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Maine News

Monday, February 25, 2008

Maine News for Monday, February 25, 2008

Portland Press Herald:

Ocean Gateway 'just beautiful'
The new cruise ship-and-ferry terminal is attracting attention as it nears completion.

Neighbors pitch in to help needy stay warm
Bottle drives, concerts and dedicated parking fines are used to raise money to fill fuel tanks.

No reason to fear these IRS notices
Maine taxpayers soon will receive letters with details on the tax rebates passed to stimulate the economy.

STATE HOUSE NOTES: Candidates line up for legislative races

Other fuels in greater demand
Firewood, wood pellets and coal are now less expensive to use than oil, propane and natural gas.

Legislative Hearings

Education funds to shrink
School officials prepare for state's deficit-induced budget cuts.

Editorial: Developers' interest bodes well for Bayside
City officials should carefully choose which plan would best shape the new neighborhood.

Editorial: Domestic terror study is not an invitation to 'big brother'
Groups are usually right to be skeptical about government, but not necessarily this time.

Column: Is our government 'fence-sitting' on immigration reform?
A border fence is being built under questionable contracts, while little else is happening.

Column: Who wants looser gun laws?
Most of Maine's delegation, apparently -- even though the administration disagrees.

LTE: How should we get there from here?
Widening I-295 is just another unnecessary way to spend money that no level of government seems to have.

LTE: Legislation would make waterways, roadways safer
I applaud Bill Nemitz for encouraging the Legislature to pass the mandatory boater-education bill. As he correctly put it, "It's about time" (Jan. 20).

LTE: Tobin Tax proposal won't fly with swing investor
The column by Laurie Dobson regarding the Tobin Tax is, in my opinion, absurd ("Major source of revenue goes untaxed," Feb. 14).

Bangor Daily News

Sheriff cuts ties with MDEA
MACHIAS, Maine - Sheriff Donnie Smith of the Washington County Sheriff's Department has ordered his staff members not to work with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency until further notice.

Baldacci sees $200M budget gap in wake of new revenue forecast
AUGUSTA, Maine - As the state revenue forecasting team sits down to update its budget-governing estimates today, Gov. John Baldacci already has penciled in a number.

Obama gleans most from Maine donors
PORTLAND, Maine - Sen. Barack Obama has raised more money in Maine for his presidential bid than any other candidate, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Forum focuses on religion, politics
CAMDEN - In the 400 years before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the impact of religion on world politics has largely been ignored.

Editorial: Driver's License Fix
Maine may have lost some footing in its resistance to initiatives such as the federal Real ID plan with the recent embarrassing news that revealed the ease with which one can secure a state-issued driver's license.

Editorial: Better Land Use Oversight
A bill to raise the stipends of the members of the Land Use Regulation Commission and the Board of Environmental Protection offers lawmakers an opportunity to have an overdue conversation of the changed roles of these panels and whether updates in their structure and mandate are necessary.

Opinion: Maggie Drummond: Preserve historic neighborhood schools
As Maine struggles to compete in a new and more competitive economy, among the things we need to relearn is how to do more with less and how to do everything more efficiently. Just as generations of Mainers have done before us, we need to rediscover frugality and common sense.

Opinion: Jon Reisman: Pingree, Koffman bills toxic to Maine
Gov. John Baldacci, Rep. Ted Koffman, D-Bar Harbor, and Rep. Hannah Pingree, D-North Haven, have a legacy they wish to bestow on Maine: the green nanny state. And it looks like they have a pretty good chance of getting their wish.

Opinion: Waldo Proffitt: Truman and a Maine reporter's helpful whisper
Stories about the Democratic caucuses in Maine earlier this month caused me to look back to 1948, the year Harry Truman famously defeated Tom Dewey, and to recall my small but arguably critical contribution to that result.

Monday's Letters to the Editor
Clinton, not Obama, Store blocking, No hope for Hillary care, Where are the rabbits? Thanks, refs, Safe boating sense, Grateful for R.K. Warren

Kennebec Journal:

Flu near peak State officials see increase in cases
AUGUSTA -- Maine thus far has dodged widespread cases of the flu, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Plenty of races shaping up for House and Senate seats
AUGUSTA -- With the deadline to file for legislative seats just three weeks away, it's fun to look at who's lining up to run.

Tough going for Maine loggers Industry being squeezed by high fuel costs, low prices
MOOSE RIVER -- Logger Dan Melcher has seen plenty of downturns in the 34 years since he first drove a skidder into the woods.

State's fiscal crunch may hit students
SOUTH PORTLAND --Justin Anthony, 21, said he would not be enrolled in college if there was no culinary arts program at Southern Maine Community College.

Editorials: Times has journalistic lapse in McCain story
Just about everyone is on the The New York Times' case for its John McCain story.

Columns: Corn can't save us: Debunking the biofuel myth
Dwindling foreign oil, rising prices at the gas pump, and hype from politically well-connected U.S. agribusiness have combined to create a frenzied rush to convert food grains into ethanol fuel. The move is badly conceived and ill advised. Corporate spin and pork barrel legislation aside, here, by the numbers, are the scientific reasons why corn won't provide our energy needs:\

LTE: Bill of Rights protects from tyranny of majority
Albert Boynton, Christian, responded to Naomi Schalit's account of discrimination she experienced as a Jew (Jan. 7). "Majority Christian culture shouldn't alter for 1 person" echoes thinking that justified 1,500 years of religious persecution and made Auschwitz possible.

LTE: Books have information, much safer than snakes
Lewiston resident JoAn Karkos, who believes that "children's sex education book has no place in a public library," should turn in her library card and take up knitting. ("Lone Ranger keeps up fight," Kennebec Journal, Tuesday, Feb. 12).

Morning Sentinel

LTE: Time for Maine to have primaries, not caucuses
I just attended the Democratic caucus at Waterville High School this afternoon -- and it did take the whole afternoon, 2-5 p.m. I realize they had many more people than they had expected -- which is great -- but I feel that a caucus that made sense in the 19th or 20th century just doesn't fit in 2008.

Sun Journal:

Angry Clinton rips Obama
CINCINNATI (AP) - Hillary Rodham Clinton angrily accused her Democratic rival Saturday of deliberately misrepresenting her positions on NAFTA and health care in mass mailings to voters, adding, "Shame on you, Barack Obama."

Nader announces his bid for White House Many Democrats feel he lost Gore 2000 election
WASHINGTON (AP) - Ralph Nader on Sunday announced a fresh bid for the White House, criticizing the top contenders as too close to big business and dismissing the possibility that his third-party candidacy could tip the election to Republicans.

Obama accuses Clinton of trying to walk away from NAFTA support
LORAIN, Ohio (AP) ­- Barack Obama accused Democratic presidential rival Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday of trying to walk away from a long record of support for NAFTA, the free trade agreement that he said has cost 50,000 jobs in Ohio, site of next week's primary.

Forecast brings new budget debate
AUGUSTA (AP) - As the state revenue forecasting team sits down Monday to update its budget-governing estimates, Gov. John Baldacci has already penciled in a number.

Obama leads in cash from Mainers
PORTLAND (AP) - Sen. Barack Obama has raised more money in Maine for his presidential bid than any other candidate, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Maine getting more in heating assistance
AUGUSTA (AP) - Maine is in line to receive nearly $4 million more in federal heating assistance.

Bill proposes to allow home wine deliveries
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -For the fourth time in as many years, Maine lawmakers will take up the question of whether to allow consumers to have wine shipped to their homes.

Note: The editorial page of the Sun Journal is not loading correctly this morning; I will check back later to see if there is anything of note. If you wish to check yourself, the link is:

Waldo County Citizen

League of Conservation Voters applauds Sen Collins

WASHINGTON (Feb 25): The League of Conservation Voters, an independent group devoted to environmentally sound public policy, has announced that Sen. Susan Collins has received a perfect score of 100 percent on LCV-monitored votes in the U.S. Senate over the past year.

Seacoast Online

Maine political roundup

PORTLAND, Maine — The future of the U.S. Constitution and the role of Congress will be discussed by the candidates for Congress vying to replace Tom Allen representing Maine's 1st Congressional District.

As Maine Goes:

Maine Might Turn Into New Jersey After All
Gov. King tried to scare us into thinking rural Maine development would turn Maine into New Jersey. Looks like he was half-right. He should have warned about Maine's spending habits.

Maine Owl:

Why is Thomas Friedman advising the nation's governors on energy? States and energy independence (with clip of Governor Baldacci)

Turn Maine Blue:

Minimum wage, maximum stimulus

Here in Maine, we're experiencing a very tough winter. Across the state, thousands of people are unable to heat their homes because of increases in fuel costs (it's gotten so bad that a number of landlords are simply not buying heating oil for their tenants, because the expense is now so great they fear they'd be bankrupted and lose their properties while their tenants would be evicted).

Another Bush promise to Military personnel being broken.

In 2002 President Bush signed a bill to put citizenship applications of non US citizens who serve in the military on "the fast track". In addition, fees for citizenship are waived. Like many other promises made to military personnel this one is not being kept.