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Maine News

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Maine News for Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Portland Press Herald:
Bush's budget rankles Mainers
The state's Republican senators join Democratic congressmen in decrying social service cuts.

Maine Med, Tufts to form doctor training program
Maine Medical Center and Tufts University today will announce a new physician training program that could increase the state's supply of doctors by reserving spots for Mainers and promoting the state as a good place to practice medicine.

Panel urged to provide more money for veterans
A state fund that helps veterans in emergencies has seen its allocation shrink over the years.

Editorial: Antitrust issues surround Microsoft-Yahoo! deal
If Microsoft didn't dominate operating software, it would still be worrisome.

Editorial: If lottery sales commissions are too high, by all means trim them
Gambling isn't an admirable way to raise state funds, but even it should be efficiently run.

Maine Voices: Local control of education should have its limits
For example, it asserts community prerogatives are more important than students' interests.

Column: State spending study a good start, but it's only a start
The need to align Maine's budget with its limited resources is huge, but nobody's ready to do it.

LTE: Tax conflict requires 20% cut in taxes, spending
Rhetoric verus reality is the principal conflict in tax reform, so John W. Porter might have us believe ("Are taxes really high in Maine?" Jan. 27).

LTE: Elizabeth Levinson Center shouldn't be privatized
The Elizabeth Levinson Center of Bangor cares for children who will never speak, walk, feed or bathe themselves and are medically fragile. Their cognitive abilities are far below a 1-year-old.

Bangor Daily News:
Aroostook County announces caucus schedule
Aroostook County Democratic Chairwoman Virginia Manuel has announced the schedule for the 2008 Democratic caucuses, which will be held Sunday, Feb. 10, for the listed municipalities below in Aroostook County. "The primary purpose of the February 10 caucuses is to vote for our Democratic presidential preferences, which Maine does during these caucuses," Manuel said.

Penobscot slots get panel OK
AUGUSTA - A bipartisan majority of the Legislature's Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee is supporting legislation authorizing the Penobscot Nation to operate slot machines in Old Town. But Gov. John Baldacci says any expansion of slot machine gambling needs voter approval.

Bill aims to protect patients from paying for hospital errors
When a hospital patient is the victim of a preventable complication or accident - a bedsore, a medication error or the wrong surgery, for example - who should pay for the extra care required to restore the patient to health?

Slots panel clarifies tax formula
BANGOR - A special panel created by Gov. John Baldacci has issued its recommendations to amend the state's formula for taxing slot machines in Maine.

Tobin phone-jamming retrial rescheduled by federal judge
A federal judge in Concord, N.H., has rescheduled a new trial for James Tobin, 47, of Bangor on conspiracy and telephone harassment charges over his alleged role in the 2002 get-out-the-vote phone banks run by New Hampshire Democrats and a firefighters union.

Is Maine following foreclosure trend?
Home foreclosures across the country saw a sharp increase in 2007, according to a California-based tracking firm, but the numbers for Maine are a little harder to read.

Editorial: Change in Wind Rules
Maine has great - and measurable - potential to reap electricity from the wind. But without a clear set of rules for the wind power industry to consider before proposing projects, that potential may go unfulfilled.

Editorial: District Decisions
The Legislature is expected to consider changes to the state's school administration consolidation law this week.

Rep. Jon McKane: Common-sense boating cannot be legislated
On Aug. 11, two more people were added to the list of those killed by a drunken driver in Maine. This time the driver wasn't behind the wheel of a car or a truck but was speeding around a lake — at night.

Sarah Miller: Deciding Maine's energy fate
"What can we do here in Maine?" to get cleaner, more dependable and affordable energy?

LTEs: Parental notification; Who is rebate winner?; Border blunder

Morning Sentinel:

Veterans advocate pleads with lawmakers
AUGUSTA -- Vietnam-era veteran Donald Simoneau of Fayette told lawmakers Monday he's tired of being told there isn't enough money in the state budget for veterans.

Touted fund said to advance conservation
Developers who want permission to fill or destroy wetlands in Maine routinely have to preserve or restore similar wildlife habitat nearby.

Planners get apartment plan details Senior housing units would replace old YMCA building
WATERVILLE -- The city will have a new, 21-unit apartment building for senior citizens next year on the old YMCA site on Pleasant Street, if all goes according to plans.

School spending plan endorsed
WINSLOW -- School board members Monday night approved unanimously a $14.8 million 2008-09 spending plan that represents a 5.5 percent increase over the current school budget.

DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CAUCUS: Obama, Clinton seek 'super delegates' vote
WASHINGTON -- Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are wooing an elite group of Maine Democrats as they battle to win the Democratic presidential nomination.

Susan Cover: Dems expect "record breaking turnout"
The Maine Democratic Party is predicting that more people than ever will attend their caucuses on Sunday, a belief based in part on the fact that they have already processed 4,100 absentee ballot requests.

David B. Offer: Maine caucus system unfair, disenfranchises too many
There are presidential primary elections in 22 states today. From California to Massachusetts -- even in American Samoa -- people will have a say in who the major political parties nominate for president.

LTE: Iraq not Vietnam, which was started by Democrat
All I hear is the Democrats talking about the war in Iraq. Why do they conveniently forget about the war in Vietnam? Not only was it started by one Democrat, and continued by another, but was ended by a Republican.

LTE: Inspection system should be mileage-based
It would seem that a better system for automobile inspections would be based on the mileage of a car and not the time since the last one. Typical maintenance intervals are pretty consistent across manufacturers.

LTE: New Jersey's death penalty decision 'refreshing'
The state of New Jersey has problems as do many states, including our own state of Maine. Last month it voted against its death penalty. This was quite a shock to me, as I would have never expected it to do so, as it has its fair share of violent crimes.

LTE: Frary's letter put him on political thin ice
John Frary dishes up his own species of "political hokum" in his risible attempt to deride Mike Michaud's advocacy of a Cheney impeachment.

Kennebec Journal:
LTE: We've been living too long on borrowed money
In an effort to prop up the over-inflated property values and stock market prices, and ensure that the already rich in this country stay rich, our ever-servile politicians are proposing a stimulus package.

LTE: State consolidation should start at top, not bottom
My New Year's resolution has gone out of the window. I swore I would not watch any more political bovine splatter especially from the state of Maine governors' office or the state Legislature.

Governor's Merger Plans Alarm Several Groups
It's been nearly a month since Governor Baldacci announced plans to explore merging four of the state's natural resource agencies into one or, possibly two, larger departments. The proposal sent shock waves through some forestry, farming and sporting groups who depend on the agencies to regulate their activities. Karin Tilberg, a senior policy adviser to the governor, acknowleges the plan has caused anxiety, but she says all her boss wants to do is improve services. A.J. Higgins reports.

Environmental Activists Denounce Nuclear Plant Proposal

A second nuclear power plant in New Brunswick, near the border with Maine, is viable. That's the finding of a study released today in St. John by the provincial government of premier Shawn Graham, which says there are potential markets for nuclear power in both the U.S. and in the Canadian Maritime Provinces. But as Keith Shortall reports, the specter of another nuclear plant in the province is being characterized by environmental activists as "a pipe dream."

Sun Journal:
Maine 'superdelegates' wooed
PORTLAND (AP) - As presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton vie for support in next Sunday's Democratic caucuses, a separate battle is being waged for Maine's so-called "superdelegates."

LTE: Homosexual agendas
I believe that the open promotion of homosexual behavior by the media is causing more homosexuality.

LTE: Deeper cuts needed
I appreciated the Sun Journal editorial Jan. 26, complimenting me for my work to lower the cost of state government by eliminating 50-plus non-essential, upper-level state government supervisory positions.

Times Record:
BNAS closure prompts $2M in workers' aid
BRUNSWICK — State officials hope local work force training boosted by federal Labor Department funding will attract business development here in the still burgeoning information technology field.

Strong interest in Democratic caucuses
AUGUSTA — Looking past the Super Tuesday voting elsewhere toward their own caucuses next Sunday, Maine Democratic Party officials said over the weekend they had already processed 4,100 absentee ballot requests.

Maine Coast Now:
First Energy Challenge set
BELFAST — Citizens will be asked to reduce the temperature in their homes by 5-degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, Feb. 24, in the city's first Energy Challenge.

LA Times:
Google's aggressive defense of

Susan Collins, R-Maine, had bought on the grounds that they, too, infringed MoveOn's trademarks. The take-down was reported by the San Francisco Examiner, ...
Aid for mill workers "critical," say Sens.

Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe are urging the federal government to grant aid for workers displaced by the recent closing of Irving Forest Product's Pinkham Mill in Nashville Plantation.

CQ Politics:
Senate Leaders Jockey for Votes on Competing Stimulus Plans
The Senate appears headed for a close vote on an economic stimulus package, as lobbying efforts focus on undecided moderate Republicans.

Collin Watch: On Offense
Sen. Collins is, of course, entitled to attack Rep. Allen for accepting donations from participants in a fundraising effort.

Senate Guru: Monday Recap
: Maybe Susan Collins would be better off running for a leadership role in a PAC outside of Maine. I say this because Collins has
taken in twice as much money from PACs as she's taken in from Mainers; and, she's raised more than twice as much money from outside Maine than she has from inside Maine.

Turn Maine Blue: John McCain
With Super Duper Tuesday just one day away, and the recent Maine GOP Caucus "victory" for Mitt Romney, it only makes sense that we learn more about the man that both Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe support.

As Maine Goes: Maine's Democrat Superdelegates: Who Are They?
WASHINGTON — Obama/Clinton are wooing 10 delegates they want to win, too. "Superdelegates" can support whomever they choose, whenever they want; and they could determine who wins the nomination.