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Maine News

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Maine News for Wednesday, January 9, 208


Goodbye againAbout 1,000 people gather in Orono for the send-off for Charlie Company, 126th Aviation Regiment.

Governor's speech to focus on state spending, restructuringHe is trying to offset a deficit, boost compliance with a merger law and promote a jail takeover.

JONATHAN E. KAPLAN, Washington D.C. CorrespondentREPORTER'S NOTEBOOK Obama fails to draw SRO crowd at Dartmouth College

Vigil planned to protest proposed budget cutsAUGUSTA — Advocates for the poor and the elderly will gather in the State House Hall of Flags just before Gov. John Baldacci's State of the State address tonight to protest proposed state budget cuts.

Vermont sees tentative FairPoint dealThe renegotiated plan, which still needs a board's approval, essentially mirrors Maine's stipulation.

BILL NEMITZ: Mainer says Obama can bridge gapsShe's a 53-year-old, left-leaning Democrat. She started telling her friends a few years ago that Barack Obama would be this country's next president.

COLUMN: King controversy perfect fuel for the outrage industry— It almost looked like a misprint: Days after the King Middle School birth-control controversy was selected by readers as the top story of the year, we learned that an effort to recall three of the School Committee members who approved the new policy fell well short of the mark.

EDITORIAL: Bush's economy speech did little to dispel worry
There may not be any easy answers, but a "stay the course" message won't resonate.

LTE: Downeaster a service to all MainersRecent letters from readers in Raymond and West Baldwin and comments from some of Maine's Senate and House members who reside in northern Maine reflect ignorance of the facts about the Downeaster.

LTE: Condoleezza Rice a fine candidate for presidentThe ugly caricature of Condoleezza Rice that was published Dec. 2 was very offensive. The members of the editorial staff should be ashamed of themselves.


School contract issues may modify consolidation plan When the Legislature's Education Committee meets today to consider ways to amend the school consolidation law, one of the thorny issues it will address is the law's requirement that new regional school units unify staff contracts.

Border passport requirement delayedCALAIS - Travelers entering the United States by land this year won't need a passport now that President Bush has signed the omnibus spending bill into law.

Va. company to take a look at PittsfieldPITTSFIELD - The sad fact that Somerset County and Greater Pittsfield have a high level of unemployed and underemployed people turned out to be an attractive quality to a Virginia telemarketing firm.

Baldacci preps speech for todayAUGUSTA - With major financial challenges facing the state, Gov. John Baldacci will outline his vision of the future shape of state government in his State of the State speech Wednesday night.

Today's Editorial:
Medicaid ExaminationWith a federal audit claiming Maine has overspent Medicaid dollars, coupled with impending cuts in federal funding for the health care program and a growing state budget shortfall, lawmakers in Augusta need to examine whether Maine's program is sustainable.

EDITORIAL: Cheney Impeachment

Jim Glavine: Plum Creek proposal should have closer lookThe Plum Creek Timber Co. proposal to rezone thousands of acres in the Moosehead Lake region is the largest in Maine history and one of the largest such rezoning requests ever proposed in this country.

John Buell: U.S.-Peru trade deal adds insult to NAFTA's injury Late last year, in especially untimely action, the U.S. Senate (with Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe voting yes) ratified the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement.

LTEs: Follow the money; Wasted white space; Saving Moosehead


Gardiner grad stumps for class credit, Obama The campaign for president has been very personal, and very real, for Randolph resident Gregory Clary.

Vigil protesting budget cuts planned before State of State AUGUSTA -- Advocates for the poor and elderly will gather in the Statehouse Hall of Flags tonight just before Gov. John Baldacci's State of the State address to protest proposed state budget cuts.

On Maine Politics
The return of Paul Davis? 01/08/08


Grants help Kennebec County plan for disasterAUGUSTA -- The Kennebec County Emergency Management Agency has been awarded three grants totaling $48,900 to continue its work preparing the county's 29 communities and one township for disaster, agency director Kelly Amoroso announced Tuesday.

EDITORIAL: New deal gives FairPoint some financial stabilityWith the approval of the Public Utilities Commission's three members last week, Verizon and FairPoint blew through a significant barrier to their controversial merger. Now, the companies must convince utilities regulators in Vermont and New Hampshire to bless their union as well.

COLUMN: Tax credits may spur projects in old buildingsAbsence makes the heart grow fonder. That saying applies to many things in life. We have found for many people, leaving Maine makes you realize just how special this state is. Our forests, rocky coast, lakes and streams are world class. Our downtown districts, full of historic buildings, are truly one of a kind.

LTE: Maine should take lead on the North Woods Throughout the United States and the world, Maine is known for how it differs from the rest of the United States.

LTE: Real issues facing U.S. don't get enough play


Maine Guard Unit Gets 2nd Deployment to Iraq 130 soldiers are leaving Maine soon as their Army National Guard unit sees its second deployment to Iraq in four years. Today there was an emotional ceremony at Alfond Arena to honor the departing soldiers. Murray Carpenter reports.

Maine Groundfishermen to Battle Feds in Court The battle between Maine groundfishermen and herring trawler operators has shifted to a new arena: federal court. After failing to convince the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to intervene, two groups of groundfishermen, based in Port Clyde and Saco, have filed a lawsuit seeking to ban so-called mid-water herring trawlers from areas closed to groundfishing. Barbara Cariddi reports.


FairPoint, Verizon deal clears Vermont hurdleMONTPELIER, Vt. - The state of Vermont reached a tentative settlement Tuesday on FairPoint Communications' proposed $2.7 billion purchase of Verizon Communications' land lines in northern New England, but it still must pass state regulators' muster.


EDITORIAL: Out with the 'bold'Emboldened by his re-election in November 2006, Gov. John Baldacci promised "bold" leadership throughout his second term.

LTEs: Readers really loved this Editorial about taxes in Maine

PORTSMOUTH HERALD:Navy boss visits yard with budget in mindKITTERY, Maine — U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, toured the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on Tuesday morning with new Chief of U.S. Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead.keepMEcurrent

Key changes urged at school merger rules hearingAUGUSTA (Jan 9, 2008): Pressure is on the Education Committee to propose substantial change to the school consolidation law after a hearing where rural legislators pleaded for help to prevent what they say will be increased costs to taxpayers and loss of local control over their elementary schools.

Prosperity report calls for new budget cuts, tax reformsAUGUSTA (Jan 9, 2008): The committee charged with outlining a plan for Maine's future prosperity has unanimously endorsed a report that calls for creation of a special citizen commission to recommend $75 million in cuts to state government. It also asks the Legislature to take another crack at rebalancing the state's tax code to lower the top income tax rate

At $3.35, heating oil sets new record - againAUGUSTA (Jan 9, 2008): Home heating oil hit another all-time high this week, coming in at an average statewide price of $3.35 per gallon, up 7 cents from last week and $1.09 higher than last year at this time.


As Maine Goes: Will Schools Close Under Baldacci Consolidation? You Bet! Turn Maine Blue: PPH opinion piece looks back a the King Middle School StoryReaders of the Portland Press Herald ranked the story centered around the decision by the Portland School Board to allow physicians to honor requests from some girls for contraceptives, and the media storm that followed it.

Senate Guru: Maine: The Kennebec Journal's retired editor is awfully mad about millions of dollars of waste and mismanagement in Iraq, but he doesn't blame Susan Collins. Maybe he should.

News of Maine: New YouTube Video From: Collins4Senator - Susan Collins presents medals to WWII veteran

POLITICKERME: Obama's Maine AngleTickmarks: Government Procurement: More Hassles Ahead?An alternative bill by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) is considered more palatable by contractors; nevertheless, some provisions in the Collins bill are still considered bothersome.

FOSTER'S DAILY DEMOCRAT Collins says she'll try for updated shipyard facilitiesKITTERY, Maine — Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said the message she'll try to get across to the Chief of U.S. Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Gary Roughead during his tour of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Tuesday is the need for some upgraded facilities.

WASHINGTON TIMES:EDITORIAL: Bolstering homeland defense

TELEVISION:WCSH-6Rural Health Care Facilities Receive A Boost From FCCBANGOR (NEWS CENTER) -- The Federal Communications Commission will spend roughly $417 million over the next three years building and upgrading healthcare information networks throughout the United States.WCAX-3 Vermont

Federal grant to promote health care in northern New England BANGOR, Maine (AP) - Officials say health care providers in northern New England will get faster access to the latest medical information through a new regional broadband network. Maine U.S. Senator Susan Collins says the New England Telehealth Consortium network will link 555 rural and urban health care sites throughout Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

NASHUA TELEGRAPH:HUD awards $9m to homeless centersAUGUSTA, Maine (AP) – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded more than $9 million to homeless care centers in Maine.