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Maine News

Friday, April 25, 2008

Maine News for Friday, April 25, 2008

Portland Press Herald
Baldacci's pocket veto of gaming bill criticized
A Pittsfield lawmaker says the decision shows how out of touch the governor is with Maine's citizens.

Romney to headline state GOP gathering
The presidential nomination is 'sewn up,' but platform discussions could yield good debate, a lawmaker says.

Clerks foresee problems in budget balloting
School referendum rules will make it virtually impossible for many absentee ballots to arrive on time to be counted, they contend.

Gas bargains hard to come by
Mainers find slightly cheaper fuel in New Hampshire and look for decent deals closer to home.

'Familial DNA' proves to be vital tool of justice
Identifying criminals using freely given samples from relatives is not a major invasion of privacy.

Hannaford making real effort to protect customers' credit cards
But one chain can't solve this problem all by itself; changes are needed nationwide.

Kennebunkport offers improved deal to protesters
Changes to a proposed mass-gathering ordinance fit the First Amendment better.

M.D. HARMONGlobal warming policies will hit our economy hard
Ever wonder why so few stories relate the cost of these measures? Because the truth hurts – a lot.

State's legislative leaders are too quick to raise taxes

Dirigo was noble idea but it hasn't worked

Minimum wage harms the most vulnerable employees

Bangor Daily News
Orono: UM gets $12.9M federal contract

ORONO, Maine - The University of Maine has received a $12.9 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense to take the secure shipping containers developed in the campus laboratory to the marketplace.

Old pumps not made for new fuel prices

AUGUSTA, Maine - Consumers are not alone in trying to keep up with the soaring cost of fuel. Older-model gasoline and diesel fuel pumps can't keep up, either, and the state has issued emergency rules to keep the fuel flowing.

LURC gathering public comments on its vision for Maine's North Woods

State regulators will travel throughout the state during the next two weeks to hear resident' views on the top issues facing Maine’s Unorganized Territory and how best to balance competing uses within the region.

Guard members working on border

Forty-five Maine Army National Guard soldiers recently returned from a three-week engineering mission on the Mexican border, and nearly 100 more guardsmen will depart for a similar mission within the next month.

Medicaid and Mirrors

It has long been clear that the Bush administration didn't have logic on its side as it tried to limit states' flexibility in extending health insurance to moderate-income children.

Job security through solidarity
May Day, the international day of labor solidarity, is coming up and it’s a good time for workers in eastern Maine to reflect on their employment.

Kennebec Journal

AUGUSTA Romney to keynote state GOP gathering Columnist Cal Thomas also likely to appear at next weekend's meeting
AUGUSTA -- Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will headline the Maine Republican Party State Convention next weekend in Augusta.

On Maine Politics
Check out the GOP platform 04/24/08

Drivers search for cheaper gas
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, cars and trucks were lining up at the pumps at BJ's Wholesale Club gas station on Woodbury Avenue.

GARDINER -- The Maine Technology Institute will hand out $25 million to $30 million in grants by September, institute officials said.

Lay midwives should not give medications New law gives potentially dangerous drugs to minimally trained home-birth helpers
In the old days -- by that, we mean the 1940s and 1950s -- childbirth was a pretty cold, clinical and over-medicated affair.

GORDON SMITH : Beverage tax increase for Dirigo targets unhealthy behaviors
As a member of the 2006 Blue Ribbon Commission on Dirigo Health representing Maine's physicians, the Kennebec Journal editorial of April 17, titled, "Democrats slip in tax increases with night vote," was of great interest to me.

L. SANDY MAISEL : Keep 1980 Democratic primary votes in mind as '08 winds down
The Pennsylvania primary was a pivotal event in the Democratic nominating process -- in 1980.

Sun Journal
Lawmaker criticizes veto of bill
AUGUSTA (AP) - A Pittsfield lawmaker criticized Gov. John Baldacci on Thursday for refusing to sign a gaming bill sent to him at the close of this year's legislative sessions.

Resort sees cooking grease as fuel
CARRABASSETT VALLEY (AP) - Sugarloaf ski resort is expanding a program to run its off-road vehicles on a fuel that includes cooking grease.

High court sides with school panel
PORTLAND (AP) - Maine's highest court Thursday struck down a judge's ruling that required the Portland School Committee to allow a local newspaper to examine notes taken during an executive session last summer.

Ellsworth American
Freedom of Access Ruling Overturned
Maine's highest court has dealt a blow to one of the state's biggest newspaper groups. The Supreme Judicial Court has thrown out a ruling made last year which granted Blethen Newspapers access to notes taken during an executive session of the Portland School Committee. The media group says the decision violates the Freedom of Access law, and interferes with the public's right-to-know.

UMaine Receives Another Major Research Grant
The University of Maine has been awarded a 13 million dollar federal grant to continue development of a new type of secure cargo container. It's the second major research and development grant awarded to the school in as many weeks, and as Keith Shortall reports, Senator Susan Collins sees R & D as a niche that Maine cannot afford to let pass by.

Needed! Skilled Workers
As Baby-Boomers begin to retire, Maine employers are having trouble finding skilled workers these days. That's the conclusion of a study by the Maine Department of Labor. But Mainers who tune up their work skills or devleop new ones may find that in the future, the "sky's the limit." Keith McKeen reports.

Ellsworth American
Legislators Approve $210M in Bonds To Close Out Session
Statehouse News Service
AUGUSTA — Timing proved to be everything for those trying to push road and bridge projects through without taxpayer approval, as legislators voted in $210 million in bonds during the final days and even hours of the legislative session that ended on Friday night.

Effort Under Way To Repeal Tax Hike on Beverages
Statehouse News Service
AUGUSTA — Businesses hit by tax hikes on beer, wine and soft drinks, including one that would raise the price of a gallon of syrup used to make soda in restaurants by 40 percent, are considering organizing a people’s veto petition to get the increase repealed.

Consolidation Law Changes Provide Added Flexibility
Statehouse News Service
AUGUSTA — Changes made last week to the school consolidation law will allow some districts to move forward with their regional school units and others to propose unions that allow local school boards to keep some power, but not as much as they now have.

The Magnificent Seven
Maine taxpayers owe a vote of thanks to the 123rd Legislature’s Appropriations Committee, and most especially two of its Democratic members. Rep. Jeremy Fischer of Presque Isle and Rep. Linda Valentino of Saco joined with Republicans on the committee last week in a 7-6 vote that stopped dead in its tracks a proposal that would have cost the state of Maine hundreds of millions of dollars over the next 20 years.