Maine News Headline Animator

Maine News

Friday, April 11, 2008

Maine News for Friday, April 11, 2008

Portland Press Herald
Governor's license bill won't be a 'slam dunk'
State House: Legislators must reconcile differences that were clear at a hearing on Thursday.

Smoking in cars with kids banned
Gov. John Baldacci signs the bill, citing the risk to children from secondhand smoke.

Electric firms moving on high-power line
Increased capacity for planned wind projects is one reason to study a link with New England's grid.

Teams work on funding for pier
The city and developer are finding ways to rebound from a legislative setback, the lead negotiator says.

Watercraft ban a test of state's reach
If Maine's high court rules against personal watercraft restrictions, it could affect dozens of water bodies.

House on record supporting repeal of school merger law

Governor John Baldacci`s veto of a bill to refine last year`s sweeping legislation to consolidate Maine school systems continues to reverberate at the State House.

Monday`s veto was sustained by the Senate. But Wednesday night, the House of Representatives went on record in support of repealing the entire consolidation law, which remains in the implementation stage.

A new bill filed by Baldacci, shorn of the elements he found objectionable, is still to be considered. In his veto message, Baldacci said his new bill is designed to allow school units to negotiate local cost-sharing agreements. It also aims to allow districts that receive a minimum special education subsidy to continue to do so when they join a new school district.

Sex offender registry bill survives initial Senate vote

The Maine Senate has given initial approval to a bill making changes in the state`s sex offender registry.

The changes address concerns raised after two men listed in the registry were murdered in 2006.

The bill says those who offended from 1982 to 1992 and have not re-offended can be removed from the registry. It also changes the definition of lifetime registrant so it applies prospectively from 2005.

In addition, the bill makes changes to address flaws noted by the state Supreme Court last year. The bill faces further votes.

Mortgage bailout poses risk to recovery
Using loan guarantees or placing a moratorium on foreclosures could prolong the downturn.

Using refusal of a polygraph test to question drug thefts is wrong
People are entitled to reject lie detector exams that can't be used as evidence in court.

M.D. HarmonU.S. anti-missile capability finding friends abroad
With NATO's decision to buy into the system, everybody will end up safer than they once were.

Peggy SiegleThere's still time to block Real ID
Maine can set an example for other states in how to protect their citizens' privacy.

Bangor Daily News
Statewide building code proposed

AUGUSTA, Maine - The House is expected to take up a bill today that proposes to replace the myriad of town building and energy codes with a uniform, statewide code.

Truckers gear up for fuel-price protest in D.C.

LINCOLN, Maine - The Coalition to Lower Fuel Prices hopes to roll on Washington, D.C., later this month as part of a national truckers rally and is holding a meeting Sunday to gear up for it.

License fee proposal divides Maine sportsmen

AUGUSTA, Maine - Several of Maine's sportsmen's organizations were divided Thursday over a proposal to charge hunters and fishermen a few dollars more to help cover a budget deficit in the Maine Warden Service.

License bill goes before committee

AUGUSTA, Maine - Senate President Beth Edmonds urged a legislative committee Thursday not to rush to meet the federal government's deadlines to ramp up security of Maine driver's licenses, and questioned whether its push under the Real ID law will make anyone safer.

Bill to fix state bridges passes its first hurdle

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Legislature's Transportation Committee voted overwhelmingly Thursday in favor of Gov. John Baldacci's proposal to raise $160 million over four years to fix Maine's bridges.

Law prohibiting smoking in cars gets Baldacci OK

AUGUSTA, Maine - Gov. John Baldacci on Thursday signed into law a ban on smoking in any vehicle when children under 16 are present.

Wind tower proposal on table in Addison

ADDISON, Maine - Bonnie Thompson said she wasn't optimistic when she applied last fall to erect an 80-foot wind tower on her property in Addison.

Bill would send government leftovers to the poor

WASHINGTON - Despite the millions of Americans who go hungry every day, government leftovers have been going straight to the trash because of strict liability laws.

Readers reply: night sky, drivers licenses

This week's ClickBack asked readers to comment on a recent story that showed how eastern and northern Maine are virtually free of light pollution, and about the state's ongoing debate with the federal government over the Read ID plan.

Editorial: Maine's $20 million bet

Bad news has come in about Maine's unfortunate investment last August in something called Mainsail II, registered in the Cayman Islands.

Kennebec Journal
STATEHOUSE: State's investing rules targeted
AUGUSTA -- A Republican state senator is proposing to tighten the state's policies in the wake of a $20 million investment that the state has yet to recover.

Hunger series wins national recognition
The Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel editorial series, "For I Was Hungry," received honorable mention recognition in a national journalism contest.

We should ignore Heath, League, dogma of bigotry
We don't want to pay much attention to Michael Heath and the Christian Civic League, which he directs.

L. SANDY MAISEL : Seeking a balance between civil rights, national security
How does a nation, threatened by terrorists, balance respect for cherished civil liberties against the government's need to gain information and to maintain secrecy to protect us?

JEFF AUSTIN : Statewide building code could create bigger, not better government
Maine is poised to adopt a statewide building code. As this newspaper's March 31 editorial pointed out, this would be a big step for Maine. We currently have a statewide plumbing code, electrical code and fire code. Municipalities, however, adopt their own building codes.

Sun Journal
Bridge funding bill advances
AUGUSTA - A bill to authorize $160 million in municipal bonds over four years and increase vehicle registration fees to pay for bridge improvement projects received a public hearing before the Legislature's Transportation Committee on Thursday.

Maine lobsters closer to certification as sustainable
AUGUSTA (AP) - An effort to have Maine's lobster industry certified as "sustainable" is moving forward with the hiring of a Canadian company to review the state's lobster industry.

Baldacci signs bill banning smoking in cars with kids
AUGUSTA (AP) - Saying that children don't get to decide whether they have to sit in a smoke-filled car, Gov. John Baldacci signed a bill Thursday that will make Maine the latest state to ban smoking in cars in which children are present.

Teacher records merit fullest disclosure
When doctors lose their privilege to practice, the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine discloses details of the reasons why. When lawyers are reprimanded, the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar makes it public.

License Fee Increase Proposed To Help Warden Service
Rising fuel costs are hitting state agenices hard. Among them, the Maine Warden Service, which has restricted the number of miles its wardens can travel. Today lawmakers heard about a bill to fill the warden's gas tanks, by increasing the license fees paid by Maine sportsmen. As Murray Carpenter reports, it's an idea that drew opposition from an unlikely quarter.

Senate Approves Changes To Sex Offender Registry
The Maine Senate has given initial approval to a bill that changes Maine's controversial sex offender registry, which came under scrutiny in 2006 after two men whose names were on it were murdered in separate attacks by a Canadian man who later killed himself. The bill says those who offended from 1982 to 1992 and who have not re-offended or have a prior history of offenses can be removed from the registry. It also changes the definition of lifetime registrant. AJ Higgins reports.

Will the school consolidation law go up in flames?

Controversy calms over Allen staffers featured at press event

Appropriations table: Demand far exceeds available funds

Record number of MCEA candidates to see smaller checks

Committee hearing driver’s license bill