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Maine News

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Maine News for Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Portland Press Herald:
Canadian oil causes drop in Portland cargo
But the city's port saw more cruise ships and container traffic in 2007, so officials are optimistic.

Northern Maine lynx habitat gets another look
A federal agency has a year to decide whether to designate 10,000 miles it previously dropped.

Preble Street to get grant
The $1 million from the Kresge Foundation is intended to help end chronic homelessness.

Former soldiers hiking to benefit homeless veterans
Two men just back from Iraq will walk the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.

Energy drinks: Time to kill the buzz?
Worried about caffeine, a legislator proposes a ban on selling energy drinks to those under 18. Teens don't see what the fuss is about.

Editorial: Congress is starting the silly season too soon
Election-year posturing sets the tone for what could be a bitter fight over national security.

Editorial: Real dollars being lost to convention-center failures
Millions more could be pumped into the state's economy if Portland had better meeting space.

ANOTHER VIEW: Too many alternatives exist to even consider widening I-295
Expanding a highway like that one will only encourage more driving and thus waste resources.

LTE: State can find ways to help needy
The recent responses of the governor, Maine's Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Education are in reaction to long-standing federal rules.

LTE: Stimulus package support shows candidates' failings

I attended the Democratic caucus in Scarborough and, contrary to what the record turnout may indicate, found myself very underwhelmed.

LTE; State should stop giving licenses to illegal aliens
People who are in this country illegally are being issued driver's licenses in Maine. In other words, illegal aliens, who are not citizens in this state and have no valid Social Security number, are able to receive driver's licenses in our state.

Bangor Daily News:

County family stuck far from home, unable to find facility for ailing woman
BANGOR, Maine — Vaughn Drost, 83, wakes up every morning at the Stucco Lodge motel in Veazie in the room he shares with his daughter Darlene Garland. The two of them have a bite of breakfast, making use of the microwave and minifridge in their room. Then they head out to spend the day at the Stillwater Health Care nursing home in Bangor, where Vaughn's wife, Annie, has been a patient for several months.

Good news for state budget
AUGUSTA, Maine — After getting a lot of bad news recently from the federal government, the state has received some good news — to the tune of $12 million — that will help ease the difficult task of balancing the state budget, according to the Baldacci administration.

Humanity's 'footprint' hits oceans hard
A new study by a team of international researchers says humans are leaving their mark on every corner of the world's oceans and are seriously affecting more than 40 percent of marine ecosystems, including the Gulf of Maine.

Editorial: War of confusion
Defense Secretary Robert Gates is worried there is confusion among Europeans that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are connected. Perhaps the secretary should take that worry to his boss, President Bush, who has been trying to connect the two for nearly five years.

Editorial: Moving beyond 'no'
"No" has become the most frequently heard word in Augusta. Merge the state's natural resource agencies? No. Reduce services to and funding for foster families? No way. Close a youth detention facility? No how.

John Buell: Stimulus plan not based on sound economics
The recent fight over a stimulus package to revive the economy speaks volumes about the current priorities of Republican leadership. Republicans often portray themselves as the party of free markets.

Lawrence E. Lockman: Ignorance and envy among the electorate
It's not often that a political candidate drops the code language for a moment, and distills in a sentence or two his core beliefs about the proper role of government in American society. Former U.S. Sen. John Edwards did us that favor in his speech announcing his withdrawal from the presidential race last month.

LTEs: Family basic to society; Media minions; Clean Candidate

Morning Sentinel:
MAINE'S AGING BOOMERS: For many boomers, working longer is desire and necessity
Lane, 49, a licensed clinical social worker who teaches at Kennebec Valley Community College, sees her job as far more than a regular paycheck. "I do like working," she said. "I think we get a lot from working. It is the social contact. It is the feeling good about what we do. It is the gratification both mentally and emotionally. But I also love my job."

MAINE'S AGING BOOMERS: Who will pay for long-term care?
High turnover, worker shortages, low wages, unstable funding and hard, physical work are key issues plaguing employees at long-term care facilities in Maine.

LTE: Plant trees with your economic stimulus check
What will you do with your "economic stimulus" check due to arrive sometime this spring? The federal government would like to see you spend some of this money to help bolster the economy: maybe an Ipod, digital TV, or new cell phone?

Maine Homeowners Seek Shelter From Foreclosure

In January, a new state law took effect aimed at protecting future Maine homeowners from predatory mortgage lending practices that have contributed to a record number of foreclosures. But the law cannot assist those who have already fallen prey to loan application fraud, unfair and deceptive trade practices by mortgage brokers or lenders, and it can do nothing to stop the process of foreclosure. For that, many homeowners with little or no resources must seek out help from advocates and attorneys who only expect their caseloads to get bigger. Susan Sharon has more.

Making The Case Against The Caucus

Today is President's Day - a good opportunity perhaps to reflect on the nature of American democracy - the greatest in the world, we're led to believe. Many regarded this month's Maine Democratic Party Caucus as a triumph of democracy in action - nearly 50,000 party followers turned out across the state to help choose the presidential candidate. In Portland, 4,000 of them swamped the high school, where the caucus was held, eager to play their part in selecting the leader of the free world. However, Maine author and independent journalist Colin Woodard feels that many of thousands of people standing in the snow last weekend may not have bothered if they had known how little their opinions really mattered. He spoke with MPBN's Tom Porter.

Sun Journal:

Mayors invited to regional talk
AUBURN - Mayors from Maine's largest cities will meet next week to look for savings and efficiencies.

Editorial: Separate licenses and immigration
For such an easy decision, debate about requiring residency for Maine driver's licenses has grown difficult.

LTE: Enhanced process
The Democratic caucus on Feb. 10 was an impressive experience, with at least 800 people attending. I want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding as we did our best with the limited resources we had.

Times Record:
Fighting for veterans at home

It was just about a year ago that the nation was shocked by a Washington Post story that revealed the dismal conditions inside the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

LTE: Turned away from caucus
I am a fairly new U.S. citizen who will be voting in my first presidential election. I have registered as an independent.

Weak GOP-ers eager to stump with McCain

When President Bush hit the campaign trail in 2006, some Republican House and Senate candidates suddenly found the need to be somewhere else.

Huffington Post:
Proper Role of Superdelegates Debated

WASHINGTON — First-term Rep. Carol Shea-Porter supports Sen. Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination, even though her New Hampshire constituents voted for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Turn Maine Blue: Maine ranks 3rd per capita in military recruits
I've been thinking about this story form last Saturday's BDN since I read it, and I'm still not sure what to make of it.

Colllins Watch: The Remix

Just when I thought it was safe to take a couple of days off, Gerald catches Sen. Collins removing the offensive, over-the-top Allen smear video from her attack site

As Maine Goes: Impeachment Forum, Portland - Where Else!
PORTLAND, ME - February 18 - 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 First Congressional District. John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation magazine, will set the stage at the forum by addressing the constitutional issues that have been created during the current Bush-Cheney Administration.