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Maine News

Friday, February 22, 2008

Maine News for Friday, February 22, 2008

Portland Press Herald:
Human services cuts get lukewarm response
The commissioner proposes $34 million in new reductions in the agency's budget.

Charity groups key to heating assistance
Funding for Maine's "211" crisis line depends on donations from corporate and community groups.

Editorial: Superdelegates can pick a nominee or pick chaos
Democratic Party leaders are not appointed to overrule the expressed will of the voters.

Editorial: Serb territory in Kosovo should be partitioned
The lesson of the Balkan wars is that ethnic minorities need international protections.

Editorial: Satellite shoot-down carries political, diplomatic implications
Therefore, Americans can expect to see missile defense become a campaign issue.

Column: State's higher ed systems need closer ties
While they serve somewhat different needs, student transitions should be seamless.

LTE: Benefits for illegal aliens jeopardize state budget

LTE: Taxpayers wouldn't profit from convention center

Bangor Daily News:

DHHS, health panel at odds over budget
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Department of Health and Human Services has yet to provide the details on how it will achieve its targets in budget savings to help balance the state budget, and that led to some testy exchanges between lawmakers and the agency at a meeting Thursday.

Colombian trade pact condemned
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — The proposed U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement was condemned by nearly all the Mainers who testified at a hearing Thursday night before the Maine Citizen Trade Policy Commission.

Editorial: McCain's life and the times
The New York Times' lengthy story Thursday about presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain has, predictably, put conservative talk radio and TV news programs on screech mode.

Editorial: End the torture debate
Congress last week approved new restrictions on CIA interrogations to protect detainees from abuse despite warning that this would harm the country's ability to gain information that could stop terrorist attacks. Protecting all detainees, regardless of who is questioning and holding them, from cruel treatment is overdue.

Charles Krauthammer: Iraq is becoming a federal state
"No one can spend some 10 days visiting the battlefields in Iraq without seeing major progress in every area. ... If the U.S. provides sustained support to the Iraqi government — in security, governance, and development — there is now a very real chance that Iraq will emerge as a secure and stable state."

LTEs: Do the right thing'; 'Shoot to kill'; Burger blues

Morning Sentinel:

Official offers plan to cut $34M in social services
AUGUSTA -- The head of the state's top human services official proposed $34 million in new cuts Thursday, a mix of administrative savings and service reductions.

Editorial: Animal welfare progress tested by puppy mill case
By all accounts, Norma Worley has done a fine job over the last few years as head of the state's Animal Welfare Program.

LTE: Allen should sign on to impeachment movement

Thomas Jefferson didn't insert language saying to prioritize electoral politics, nor to forgo impeachment if one thinks, "it will take too long."

LTE: Limit welfare to five years; make people work
To save the state money, make the people who are on Temporary Assistance to Needy Families off it within five years.

Kennebec Journal:

Mainers' oil outlay doubles
AUGUSTA -- An energy task force report says fuel for heating and personal transportation eats up more than 10 percent of an average Mainer's income, up from 5 percent five years ago.

More budget cuts urged: Sexual assault and domestic violence victims, homeless and foster youths targeted
AUGUSTA -- The state's top human services official proposed $34 million in new cuts Thursday, a mix of administrative savings and service reductions.


Death Raises More Concerns About State Sex Offender Registry

Augusta police are investigating the death of a registered sex offender who apparantly had no place to stay and died in the bathroom of their own police department. Dean Sawyer had a history of drug and alcohol abuse. But his ex-wife says he became despondant after getting out of prison on an unrelated charge and finding out he was required to add his name to the state's sex offender registry for a crime that occurred in 1982. As Susan Sharon reports, Sawyer's case is raising more concerns about the registry and who required to be on it.

State Budget Crafters Express Frustration In Finding $99 Million Dollar Solution

While most lawmakers were enjoying a February break from Augusta this week, members of the legislature's Appropriations Committee met daily in an attempt to identify nearly $99 million in new state budget reductions. As A.J. Higgins reports, it's been a frustrating exercise.

How Is Maine's Economy Doing? It Depends...

Economic indicators released from the nation's financial centers may paint a grim picture of the US economy. But there are those in Maine who say things aren't that bad...and they're willing to gaurantee that now is the time to buy! Keith Shortall reports.

Lewiston Sun Journal:

Grant funds VISTA volunteer services
AUGUSTA - Communities for Children and Youth, in collaboration with the Muskie School of Public Service, is seeking applications from organizations across Maine that can utilize a full-time AmeriCorps*VISTA member to address anti-poverty initiatives focused on children, youth and/or seniors.

New Jersey senator endorses Allen
PORTLAND (AP) - U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg said Thursday that taxpayers are being bilked by contractors profiting from the war in Iraq.

Editorial: What the president needs to do
The 2007-2008 presidential election (it's silly to confine the campaign to a single year) is just getting started.

LTE: More Handouts
Seven hundred million dollars to Africa? From President Bush! (Feb. 18)

LTE: Ditch Bush dogma

Times Record:
Editorial: The market's far from free
Like an annoying pop song that can't be purged from our collective consciousness, "Run government like a business" echoes incessantly at all levels of public discourse. The refrain gets louder as the economy gets worse.

Collins To Call For Tax Credit For Buyers Of Wood Stoves

GORHAM, Maine -- If U.S. Sen. Susan Collins has her way, buyers of new, clean-burning wood stoves will be entitled to a $500 tax credit.

Boston Globe:
New Jersey senator endorses Allen in Maine race

PORTLAND, Maine—U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg said Thursday that taxpayers are being bilked by contractors profiting from the war in Iraq.

Politicker ME:

Collins' staff responds to Allen's allegations

Tom Allen is attacking Sen. Susan Collins for allowing war-profiteering when she blocked a request by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., to investigate Halliburton.

Allen accuses Collins of protecting Halliburton

U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., is accusing U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Bangor, of allowing war profiteering to occur when she denied his request to investigate Halliburton in her role as chairwoman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Washington Post:
McCain, the New Bush?
With so much attention focused on the presidential race, vulnerable Senate Republicans facing reelection in November have largely escaped the spotlight. But Democrats aim to change that by launching an
Iraq attack, starring Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), his party's presumptive presidential nominee, as whipping boy.

As Maine Goes: League of Conservation Voters Scorecard Online

Vote Scorecard: 110th, 1st session Search Results

As Maine Goes: States Scrutinize Caffeinated Brews
BOCA RATON, Fla. (Reuters) — Anheuser-Busch and Miller Brewing said several state attorneys general had demanded information on how they market/sell caffeinated alcoholic drinks.

As Maine Goes: Heating Schools with Slash Piles: Good Idea in Maine?
St. Maries School District is turning to the nearby forest to cut its power bill.

Business Wire: Senator Collins, Maine EMS Applaud Donation of 25 Defibtech AEDs for Maine Schools

CARMEL, Maine--(BUSINESS WIRE)--U.S. Senator Susan Collins and Maine EMS today applauded a donation of 25 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for Maine schools from Defibtech, a company that designs and manufactures the portable, electronic devices that can shock a heart back into normal rhythm and save a victim of sudden cardiac arrest.

Senate Guru: LCV Releases Environmental Scores for 2007
The League of Conservation Voters released their National Environmental Scorecard for 2007, grading members of Congress on their votes on legislation affecting the environment.

Turn Maine Blue: ME-1: Candidate Debate
Tuesday, 26 February @ 7:00 p.m., the candidates for the 1st District seat will be debating at the 1st Parish UU Chuch in Portland - see here for more details.

Senate Guru: Thursday Tidbits

Maine: Senator Frank Lautenberg will hold an endorsement event with Congressman Tom Allen today. Why is this particularly notable? Because Lautenberg was perhaps the most vocal Senator in calling for Susan Collins to hold oversight hearings on Iraq waste and mismanagement while Collins was Chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Oversight, hearings that Collins seemingly never got around to holding.

Turn Maine Blue: Sen. Lautenberg (D-NJ) endorse Allen, critiques Collins

This morning in Portland, Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey endorsed Tom Allen's bid to unseat Maine's junior senator, Susan Collins. Lautenberg had this to say: