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Maine News

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Maine News for February 12, 2008

Portland Press Herald:
Cities prepare for bio attack
Finding the fastest way to distribute medicine is the focus of a national effort to ready at least one city in each state.

Maine superdelegates on fence

Most of the Democratic superdelegates will wait to decide on a nominee.

Caucuses reveal voters' urban-rural divide
Clinton won core party members; Obama won the youth and professionals.

Cost-cutting ideas include closing Long Creek center
The head of the state Department of Corrections has proposed closing Maine's largest youth detention center as a cost-saving measure.

Editorial; By any name, an economic storm is still a storm
The economy may not technically be in a recession, but there's a blizzard of bad news.

Editorial: Biggest caucus ever still left too many out
A race this important deserved a process in which everybody could have a voice.

LTE: Keeping illegal immigrants out is top campaign issue
"Crossing the line?" was the blazing headline (Jan. 27). This is really interesting, as it outlines the steps being taken by the federal government to control, I guess, entry of illegals into the United States from Canada.

LTE: Prescribe Medicare model for every U.S. citizen
I read with interest the opinion of Thomas N. Morrison (Voice of the People, Jan. 21). He suggests that private health insurance, if properly managed, can contribute to low-cost care for every U.S. citizen.

Bangor Daily News:
Senate race puts focus on economy

This year's federal elections could end up being called "It's the economy, stupid — Part 2," according to political observers.

Mainers show independent streak
AUGUSTA, Maine - Gov. John Baldacci said Monday he called Barack Obama to congratulate him after his Maine caucus victory, and pledged party unity after the race against Hillary Rodham Clinton for the party's presidential nomination works its way to a conclusion.

Judge ousts Allagash lawsuit
A federal judge has dismissed a federal lawsuit filed by critics of Maine's management of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.

State backs Indians in rights case
MACHIAS, Maine - The state attorney general has filed a complaint against five Baileyville men for allegedly violating the civil rights of five Indian Township youth.

Editorial: Obama's Dirigo appeal
Not surprisingly, Sen. Barack Obama handily won the Democratic presidential caucuses in Maine on Sunday. Not surprisingly, because Maine historically has been a safe harbor to candidates perceived as poised to rattle the walls of the party palace.

Editorial: Gamble on vote
The reliable and steady profits promised by slot machine gambling are like a plate of brownies fresh from the oven — really not good for you, but oh so hard to resist.

Bob St. Peter: It's time to legalize marijuana
While reading the Bangor Daily News' Jan. 23 front page story "Smuggler given life sentence," I tried to think of all the people I have met who have used marijuana. I couldn't; there are too many.

Erik Steele: Cutting payments an exercise in foot-shooting
Conflict of interest alert: I am a physician and work for a health system with seven hospitals in it. Everything below is therefore self-serving, but not entirely so.

LTEs: Red Shield's example; Lead, Mr. President;

Morning Sentinel:
State looks at new high school requirements
AUGUSTA -- Educators offered cautious praise Monday for the goals behind proposed changes to the state's graduation requirements for high school students while questioning how those changes, if approved, would be implemented.

Editorial: Obama kindles hope in jaded electorate
This is not an endorsement. But we are obligated to write about the commotion in our midst.

Column: Maine needs to reopen St. Croix to alewives
In 1995, the Maine Legislature passed a law that prevents eastern Maine's largest native alewife population from reaching its ancestral spawning grounds beyond two dams on the St. Croix River by closing fish passageways.

Kennebec Journal:
Maine soldiers help supply Iraqi schools
Before 1st Lt. Richard Blackwell and his team go out on a mission in Iraq, they have one stop to make first.

Susan Cover: Nearly 45,000 take part in Dem caucuses
Maine Democratic Party officials are riding high today after shattering the previous caucus turnout record of 18,000 by drawing what party executive director Arden Manning described as "close to 45,000" to town halls and schools across the state.

Academic Program Cutbacks On the Table at USM

The University of Southern Maine is considering suspending enrollment in 26 academic programs. The move is the result of a four-year string of deficits that have put the campus's budget more than 8 million dollars in the red. USM's interim president Joseph Wood says the school has already looked for savings in non-academic areas, but it's now necessary to go beyond that...Barbara Cariddi reports.

Congressmen Request Better Treatment for PTSD Victims

Maine Congressmen Tom Allen and Mike Michaud say they've teamed up to lend a helping hand to veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The two Maine Democrats say the so-called "Full Faith in Veterans Act" sponsored by Allen and Co-sponsored by Michaud, will be submitted to Congress this week. During a news conference this morning that followed a tour of the VA Hospital in Togus, the two told reporters the bill is aimed at improving diagnosis and treatment of PSTD. Keith McKeen reports...

Superdelegates May Not Feel Obligation to Follow Rank and File

The dust is clearing from the stampede of Maine Democrats who turned out in unprecedented numbers for Sunday's statewide caucuses. And although Sen. Barack Obama picked up 15 of Maine's 24 delegates to the Democrtatic National Convention, there is still an opportunity for Hillary Clinton to improve on her nine-delegate total. That's because Maine has 10 superdelegates who are free to cast their votes for whomever they choose. As A.J. Higgins reports, some may be surprised to learn that, for the moment, prominent superdelegates like Gov. John Baldacci do not feel obligated to honor the popular choice of Maine's rank-and-file Democrats.

Times Record:

Coal plant bill gains support in Augusta
AUGUSTA — Rep. Bruce MacDonald's bill to limit carbon dioxide emissions from coal power plants in Maine has been given top priority status for the 2008 session by 25 leading environmental organizations, announced the Environmental Priorities Coalition. LD 2126, sponsored by MacDonald, D-Boothbay, was among six issues the coalition will seek legislative and citizen support of.

Portsmouth Herald:
Kittery caucus 'confusion' explained
KITTERY, Maine — Town residents spent a lot of "unnecessary time waiting in lines and experiencing confusion" at Sunday's Democratic caucus, said Maryann Place, Kittery's town clerk and election registrar.

Democrats Hope Caucus Turnout Will Translate To Senate Race

PORTLAND (NEWS CENTER) -- More than 44,000 people attended Sunday's democratic caucuses around Maine. The huge turnout caught everyone by surprise, including the democratic party.

Allen, Michaud To Offer Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Bill

AUGUSTA, Maine -- Maine's two Democratic congressmen said they are co-sponsoring a bill that aims to help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Democrats, Republicans, Ignore Leaders' Endorsements

AUGUSTA, Maine -- Gov. John Baldacci said he called Barack Obama to congratulate him after Sunday's Maine caucus victory.

Maine Owl: Tom Allen for U.S. Senate

Maine voters are rarely inclined to remove incumbent senators. U.S. Representative Tom Allen (D-1st District Maine), who is running to unseat Senator Susan Collins, offers the best chance we're going to have to get rid of this mendacious Republican.

Daily-Kos: ME-Sen: Collins Smears Tom Allen in new ad

Lost in the caucus hooplah of this past weekend, was this diary by jm about the latest ad from the Susan Collins campaign. One really has to see it to believe it:

Maine Web Report:
Maine Heritage Policy Center launched a new website called This is a great project, here's the press release:

Turn Maine Blue: Do NOT watch these or read this if you do not want to know about PTSD & TBI or are faint of heart.
TBI, Traumatic Brain Injury. The "signature" injury of the Iraq war.

Turn Maine Blue: Rep. Allen introduces Vet legislation; Michaud a co-sponsor
This morning Tom Allen announced that he is introducing a bill, The Full Faith in Veterans Act, that changes the standard of proof required for veterans with post traumatic-stress disorder (PTSD). From Allen's press release:

Turn Maine Blue: Why WGME Sucks
I hate WGME. Really, I hate WGME. Ever since this "Fugitive file" came out, all they focus on now is shock news. For starters, the Fugitive Files sometimes feature people who have done minor crimes and failed to show up for court.

Senate Guru: Monday Rundown

Maine: A bad omen for Susan Collins: the turnout at the Maine Democratic caucuses shattered the previous record, 46,000 yesterday compared with just 17,000 in 2004. Maine Democrats are energized! By comparison, reports had Republican caucus turnout at a mere 5,000.

Collins Watch: The Passion Primary

Sen. Collins' decision to cozy up to the GOP's passionate, if paranoid, fringe makes more sense in the context of the "massive" turnout for the Maine Democratic caucus on Sunday: Her team must feel enormous pressure to do something to close the enthusiasm gap.