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Maine News

Friday, February 15, 2008

Maine News for Friday, February 15, 2008

Portland Press Herald:
In a city friendly to walking, lots of slips and falls
Hospitals report a surge in injuries as people try to cope with icy sidewalks and blocked crosswalks.

New ship contract awarded to BIW
The $1.4 billion job to build the first Zumwalt destroyer is expected to help the shipyard avoid layoffs.

A gun sale limit that spurs little criticism?
State House: A bill restricting sales to minors is supported widely, but no one's hailing it as a victory for gun control.

GOP candidate late with financial filing
Election 2008: Dean Scontras calls missing a disclosure deadline by over five months an oversight.

Official touts need for energy diversity
Maine must develop a number of energy sources, including wind, tidal and solar, John Kerry says.

Editorial: Let King parents opt out of birth control at clinic
By not doing so, some students whose parents feel strongly miss out on other clinic services.

Column: More and more, legitimacy is determined by counting heads
A trend to see voting as the only source of authority in society has a downside we ignore.

Maine Voices: Agency merger just false economy
The state's major natural resources departments will only be weakened by this approach.

LTE: Downeaster valuable asset in state's economic growth
At a time when we are facing the increasing cost of energy, we don't want to give up an excellent alternate mode of transportation.

Bangor Daily News:
State official's actions under investigation
AUGUSTA - An internal investigation will be conducted into the actions of an official with the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles who helped an Irish citizen obtain a Maine driver's license in 2006, according to a spokesman for the secretary of state. The Irish citizen, Niall Clarke, later was convicted of robbing a Bangor bank.

Many residents plan to pay bills with federal rebate check
Bangor-area residents are beginning to think about how they will spend the tax rebates President Bush signed into law Wednesday, and many seem to be sure of one thing: They will not splurge on themselves.

Calais: Canada changes mind on bridge plan

CALAIS - A Canadian customs official said this week Canada would not agree to a partial opening in summer 2009 of a new $120 million international bridge and customs house to commercial traffic.

Editorial: Winning and Losing
As the presidential campaign goes on, we will continue to hear a lot of comparisons of Iraq and Vietnam. Especially with John McCain, a true Vietnam hero, as the emerging Republican nominee. The two wars are both different and alike.

Editorial: Healing Our Troops

The phrase "War is hell," attributed to Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman during the Civil War, is perhaps the most succinct and eloquent description of armed conflict. Yet it falls far short of bridging the gulf between those who have experienced war and those who have not, and it fails to impart the indelible impression this particular hell leaves on young hearts and minds.

Matthew Arnett: Bush has made the U.S. more vulnerable
In his Feb. 8 column, "The secret of McCain's big success: George Bush," Charles Krauthammer closes his observations with the statement, "Bush remains popular in his party [because of] his singular achievement: he's kept us safe." Would that it were so!

LTEs: Break Baldacci mold; Politically incorrect; Pellet stoves an answer

Morning Sentinel:
License residency definition elusive as committee considers bill
AUGUSTA (AP) -- There was no shortage of support Thursday for a bill to impose a residency requirement to get a Maine driver's license when a legislative panel took up the issue. But lawmakers acknowledged that their dilemma is how to define residency.

Speaker urges energy conservation
WATERVILLE -- We hurt the environment, threaten public and economic health, and continue to depend on unfriendly nations as we gobble up costly foreign oil and gas.

Editorial: Wind power gets boost from task force ideas
Energy demands are mounting, oil prices are on the rise, oil supplies are diminishing. The potentially devastating global -- and local -- environmental impacts of fossil fuel use are increasingly apparent.

Column: Patients shouldn't pay for medical errors
Most of us probably know the stress of being hospitalized or having a loved one hospitalized.

LTE: Support bill to protect kids in cars from smoke
I want to applaud Rep. Brian Duprey, Rep. Patricia Blanchette and co-sponsors Speaker Glenn Cummings, Rep. Sheryl Briggs and Rep. Christine Savage for taking the initiative to sponsor a bill that will protect Maine children in vehicles from secondhand smoke. I also want to thank the Health and Human Services Committee for voting unanimously on this bill.

LTE: Last 4 recessions were under GOP presidents
Why does everyone believe that Republican fiscal policies are best for the U.S. economy, just because they are perceived as "pro-business."

LTE: Drug war doesn't fight crime, it fuels crime
Regarding your Feb. 6 editorial -- Not only should medical marijuana be made available to patients in need, but adult recreational use should be regulated.

Bill Would Allow Only Residents to Have Maine Drivers Licenses
In the post-9-11 world, proof of identity has become a contentious issue that ignites spirited debates on solutions ranging from federal Read ID national identity cards to qualifications for state driver's licenses. Last year, Maine's policy of not requiring proof of residency in order to obtain a driver's license came under fire from critics who claimed Maine was turning into a sanctuary state for illegal aliens. Hoping to diffuse some of the controversy, a working group convened by Secretary of State Mat Dunlap is recommending legislation that would require license applicants to prove that they live in Maine. But as A.J. Higgins reports, the bill may not go far enough for some.

Court Decision Makes Same-Sex Adoption Possible
Last month, Kennebunk resident Starr Waisenen adopted a daughter--not a baby girl, but a grown woman. For the past 24 years, Waisenen has helped raise Melissa Bergen, the biological daughter of Waisenen's partner, Connie Bergen. Now at age 26, Melissa is officially Waisenen's daughter too. Barbara Cariddi reports.

Sun Journal:
Maine schools overspending, report concludes
AUGUSTA - Most Maine school systems are spending more than the state recommends, and not passing full tax relief on to property owners, a report released Thursday said.

Split Senate confirms insurance nominee
AUGUSTA (AP) - Gov. John Baldacci's nominee for the open post of Maine insurance superintendent won Senate confirmation Thursday in a party-line vote.

Column: When theory and reality clash on gun control
The First Amendment gives me the right to write it, but doesn't necessarily give you the right to read it. Or so I was once told by an attorney. While the right to free speech certainly infers a corresponding right to hear what is being spoken, he said, the First Amendment doesn't explicitly grant such a right. So theoretically, it could be argued that no such right exists.

Editorial: Congress takes its third strike
A former Red Sox pitcher and his disreputable trainer led Congress on a five-hour sojourn into evasiveness, equivocation and embarrassment Wednesday, which ended with…well, it just ended.

Brunswick Times Record:

Bath, Brunswick reaping benefits from recycling efforts
BRUNSWICK — During the past year, both Bath and Brunswick have seen drastic changes in the recycling habits of residents, with both communities reporting that the pay-per-bag system and single-stream recycling have significantly reduced the amount of trash disposed in landfills by increasing recycling.

Column: Respect the grassroots
Sunday was an extraordinary day for the Maine Democratic Party. Despite bitter cold and wind-driven snow, more than 40,000 people trudged, slipped and slid to local caucuses, the least glamorous and most time-consuming elements of the electoral process. The turnout more than doubled the previous caucus participation figure of 17,000 in 2004.

Maine Coast Now:
Will Obama tide raise all Dems?
The turnouts at the Democratic caucuses throughout the Midcoast smashed the previous records. However, a closer review of back editions of The Courier-Gazette shows that despite statements from party officials that the previous record was in 2004, it turns out that the previous record was in 1980.

Maine Shipyard Gets Contract For New Destroyer
BATH (AP) -- The Navy on Thursday awarded Maine shipyard Bath Iron Works a final $1.4 billion contract to build the DDG-1000 Zumwalt Class destroyer, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins said.

The Tennessean:
Alexander plies GOP agenda in new post

"He's doing a terrific job," Collins said. "The themes of bipartisan, cooperation and working together are very welcome."

NRSC video:Democrats' Extreme Friends: US Marines "Unwelcome Intruders"

Turn Maine Blue: [UPDATED]: Press Herald: Retroactive immunity for telecoms a bad idea
This morning's Portland Press Herald has this editorial explaining why granting retroactive immunity to the telecom industry from civil suits is such a bad idea:

Turn Maine Blue: Chinese Economic Stimulus- Open Thread
1) You will be receiving a $600 check in the mail ($1,200 if a couple, $300 more for each kid).

Senate Guru: Happy Valentine's Day
NRSC Chair John Ensign is once again publicly chiding Republican Senators for not contributing enough to the NRSC. I guess times must be really tough over at the NRSC. And Ensign must be really concerned about how bad the 2008 Senate race results will make him look.

White Noise Insanity: They're gonna use a missile to shoot down a satellite?
George Bush has given the orders to our Navy to use one of their missiles to shoot down a satellite… protect us. Uh huh. Yeah right. I think the warmongering Decider of America is lying!