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Maine News

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Portland Press Herald

Shortfall an obstacle to tax reform

Both fixes can't be made in 2008 if each requires a tax increase, skeptics say.

Panel calls for cooperation on Saco Bay
State House: It's seeking a delay on development so communities can discuss how to manage the waters.

Bill may protect desperate debtors
State House: Homeowners facing foreclosure need protection from dishonest companies, lawmakers say.

New graduation rules off the table
State House: Schools have enough to deal with right now, Commissioner Susan Gendron tells legislators.

Alewives' return to St. Croix River debated
State House: Are they a vital link in the food chain or a threat to salmon and bass?

Editorial: Ethics bills welcome, but what took so long?
The need for changes leaders now propose has been obvious for quite a while.

Three communities show that consolidation works
Falmouth, Cumberland and North Yarmouth students will be better served in a merger.

Commentary: Don't let Verizon off privacy hook
Maine's senators have voted to grant it immunity on wiretapping, a true miscarriage of justice.

LTE: Taxpayers bear brunt of increased budget burden

LTE: Informed Growth Act supportive, responsible

Bangor Daily News

Tribal-State Relations
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
After years of distrust and sometimes outright hostility, the state's Indian tribes and state officials have made important progress in improving relations.

Opinion: Jody Spear: Evaluating hazardous consumer products
Last week, while LD 2048, An Act to Protect Children's Health and the Environment from Toxic Chemicals in Toys and Children's Products, was being debated in the Legislature, a hearing was held before another committee on LD 1977, recommending statewide screening that would lead to intensive treatment of autism.

Wednesday's Letters to the Editor

Redirected spending; Prisons and immigrants; No more cuts; Legislature and parenting; Hoping for health care

Kennebec Journal

STATEHOUSE: 'Rescuers' could steal your home Foreclosure predators targeted
AUGUSTA -- They're called rescue companies.

State: New high school requirements should be suspended
AUGUSTA -- The Department of Education urged members of a legislative committee Tuesday to table until the Legislature's 2008-09 session a bill that would revise the state's high school graduation requirements.

Fears increasing about $4-a-gallon gas
Mainers are paying a nickel more per gallon of gasoline than the national average, and Maine gas prices have jumped up 10 cents in the past month, AAA reports.

Editorial: Justice can't be compromised to save money Budget problems no reason to treat trials as if they were optional
No government service is more essential than securing our safety and freedoms -- and you can't do that very well if you treat criminal trials like something you can give up for Lent.

Column: Toxicologist helps Maine revise policies Bush administration heeds American Chemistry Council request, bumps Rice from EPA panel
That's why I'm so proud that last year the Maine Legislature was among the first of many states to ban the hazardous and outdated deca-BDE flame retardant from household products.

Column: PROPOSAL TO ALLOW MAIL, PHONE ORDERS FOR WINE Maine wine dealers ask for level playing field for sales
As with most bills, there is more than meets the eye in the proposal by Sen. Lynn Bromley, D-South Portland, to allow mail and phone orders of wine to be shipped into Maine.

GEORGE SMITH : Apologies to grandson for boomers' failures, excesses
Dear Addison: Grampy needs to apologize to you.

LTE: Money not spent on old Cony room, where is it?
Our illustrious (?) city manager, William Bridgeo has led the taxpayers of Augusta to believe that the old Cony High School should be heated to prevent an overload of snow from building up on the roof.

Sun Journal

Herring plan brings debate
AUGUSTA (AP) - The lowly river herring, or alewife, was the focus of spirited testimony before a legislative panel that took up a plan to reintroduce the once plentiful forage fish into the St. Croix River watershed.

Baldacci says no plan to use Rainy Day funds
AUGUSTA (AP) - Gov. John Baldacci, preparing to unveil a revised supplemental budget package to cover an approximately $200 million gap, said Tuesday he would hold off from tapping state Rainy Day reserves, at least in part because Maine's revenue shortfall could grow even worse.

Dirigo reform package emerges
AUGUSTA (AP) - A new bill headed for committee review is a long-in-development effort by Dirigo Health supporters to bolster the state's troubled health insurance program and advance access to medical care for needy Mainers.

Our View: Rainy days cannot close Maine's courts
The wheels of justice may turn slowly, but they do turn. This could change under a proposal under consideration by Maine's court system.

LTE: Wind moratorium
With all the controversy over the projected wind farm in Byron and Roxbury, we owe it to ourselves to become more informed of the facts before we make a hasty decision that we may regret.

Times Record

Study tags needless boards in Maine...(full story)


Bill Would Curb Unscrupulous Foreclosures

Mainers caught up foreclosure proceedings are sometimes willing to agree to anything in order to buy the time they need to try and hang onto their homes. While there are reputable companies that offer legitimate plans to forestall or suspend foreclosure proceedings, there are other so-called rescue companies whose main intent is to strip the borrower of any acquired equity in the property. The legislature's Insurance and Financial Services Committee is currently reviewing a bill that would more clearly spell out the consequences for homeowners considering a title transfer in order to save their homes from foreclosure and discourage unscrupulous practices. A.J. Higgins reports.

Lawmakers to Decide on Revisions to Indian Land Claims Settlement

Nearly 30 years ago the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act called for Maine tribes to relinquish their claims to more than half of Maine lands in exchange for an 80 million dollar settlement that could be put toward future land purchases. It also established a unique relationship between state and tribal governments that's often been a thorny one. But a group of tribal and state representatives has been meeting since August to draft some proposed changes and bring the law up to date. The bill to implement the revisions will get a hearing tomorrow. Murray Carpenter reports.

The Courier-Gazette

GOP hopefuls announce for state seats