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Maine News

Monday, April 28, 2008

Maine News for Monday, April 28, 2008

Special: BDN Editorial from Weekend
Doom, gloom and taxes

Does repeating something often enough make it true? That's what some business lobbyists and conservative activists seem to be trying with their repeated assertions about the state's bad business climate.

Portland Press Herald
Maine truckers head south to join Washington protest

Gas stations feel pinch of razor-thin margins
Some owners cut operating costs and others try to sell the business as high fuel prices change customer behavior.

Enrollment slide, energy costs to drive city's school planning
The City Council may take a step toward consolidation in a vote today tied to state aid.

New law sets standard license fee for games
The rules, effective in July, will guide veterans' groups and others who want to play cribbage.

Kibby Wind work may begin in August
But the developer says challenges such as fluctuating currency rates could stand in the way.

Proposals to alter NCLB would be for the better
The secretary of education wants us to know how all schools compare on graduation rates.

Genetic tests shouldn't be misused for discrimination
Their value as a diagnostic tool would be greatly impaired if people feared to take them.

Lawmakers' 'tax frenzy' unfair

Bangor Daily News
Lawmakers explore expanding Net access

AUGUSTA, Maine - With a quarter of Maine households without relatively inexpensive broadband access, the Legislature’s Utilities Committee has asked the University of Maine System to set up a study group to look at ways to maximize the uses of its ITV system to provide access.

Lincoln: Maine truckers hoping for Capitol 'miracle'

LINCOLN, Maine - Truckers embarking upon an 800-mile journey to Washington, D.C., sought a repeat of one of the Bible's biggest miracles before they got under way early Sunday.

Hannaford offers overseas surgery option

PORTLAND, Maine - As more Americans choose to have medical procedures performed at lower cost outside the U.S., Hannaford Bros. has begun offering to employees the option of getting hip and knee replacements at a hospital in Singapore.

Hundreds of volunteers turn out for annual Acadia park cleanup

BAR HARBOR, Maine - Every April, hundreds of volunteers take to the streets and roads of Mount Desert Island, sacrificing a few precious Saturday hours to preserve the beauty around Maine's only national park.

Fuel costs worry blueberry growers

ELLSWORTH, Maine - The annual ritual of burning blueberry fields has been in full swing in recent weeks, but as growers go through the necessary process, they may be watching potential profits disappear with the thick, black smoke.

Energy expert: Earth can avert catastrophe

WISCASSET, Maine - The technology needed to reduce the use of fossil fuels is available today, but the world needs to commit to it if people want to prevent global warming.

Marooned Middle Class

Some 80 percent of Americans define themselves as middle class. Though that self-assessment is most likely grossly inaccurate, it is telling.

Trains Trending North

The Legislature's passage of a bill to fund an expansion of rail service could hasten the return of trains as a viable freight and passenger transportation option in southern and coastal Maine.

Katrina Bisheimer: Don't shift the cost of war to Iraqis
Sen. Susan Collins has endorsed legislation that would restrict future reconstruction dollars to loans instead of grants in an effort to make Baghdad pay for more of the costs of the U.S. combat mission and reconstruction in Iraq.

Matthew Arnett: It's time to reform medical insurance
About a month ago BDN columnist Dr. Erik Steele said it was about time we find ways to cut medical costs. Then a couple weeks later he made two suggestions, stop unnecessary blood transfusions and find a way to get the best medical practice information to physicians a lot faster.

Kennebec Journal

Section 8 clients hard hit by rising prices
WINSLOW -- Joseph Toy is grateful for the housing subsidy he gets for his small one-bedroom apartment on East Vigue Street.

New law for cribbage games
AUGUSTA -- Veterans' groups and others who want to host cribbage games will have a new state law to follow in July that allows them to charge a higher entry fee and sets a standard annual license fee.

AUGUSTA -- A Blaine House dinner scheduled for May 6 will focus on the problem of childhood hunger in Maine.

Cybercommerce lets in thieves of 21st century
The theft of 4.2 million Hannaford Bros. customers' credit and debit card account numbers this past winter was neither the first, nor will it be the last, massive data compromise to hit Maine consumers.


We should focus on issues that matter to families
A few weeks ago, the Maine Christian Civic League announced another voter petition drive. This should trouble all Mainers concerned about our families and children.

Film company discount better than no business
As a long-time Farmington business owner, I am alarmed and concerned to find that a project with so much potential to provide badly needed economic stimulus to Franklin County, Rusti-cator Pictures production of the forthcoming Independent film, "Tum-bledown," is being seen as requesting, rather than providing, money to our state.

Nurse practioners had to fight, just as midwives
I was surprised to see the column (April 25) against midwives by a nurse practitioner.

Please don't sign Heath's anti-gay petition
I'm writing in response to the anti-gay referendum proposed by Michael Heath and his so-called "Christian Civic League."

Sun Journal
McGowan denies he helped hunters to locate moose
AUGUSTA (AP) - Maine Conservation Commissioner Patrick McGowan says a disgruntled former state worker was the source of an allegation that he broke the law by using his personal float plane to help moose hunters spot prey last fall.

Wisdom among the wildness
Often, the Maine Legislature is chided for wrong decisions in the frantic, waning hours of its session. Last week, however, seven members of the Appropriations Committee showed wisdom is possible, despite wildness.


The Pennsylvania primary turned on Democratic base
Hillary Clinton's solid Pennsylvania primary victory may stem more from Democratic demographics than anything that happened in the bitter six-week campaign leading up to it.


Maine's Health Care Spending Second Highest in the Nation
A new state health plan released today concludes that Maine's per capita health care spending is the second highest in the nation and that Mainers rely on out-patient and emergency room services more than most other New England residents. The Baldacci administration's 2008-2009 State Health Plan identifies several factors affecting the growth of health care expenses. As A.J. Higgins reports, state health policy experts say Mainers can -- and must -- do their part to control spending.

Battle of the Woods Brewing in Northern Maine
It's shaping up to be the next big battle over Maine's north woods. And this time it's not over clearcutting regulations or a big development project. It's about fundamental priorities for planning in the 10.5 million acres that make up Maine's unorganized territories. At issue is the Land Use Regulation Commission's proposed Comprehensive Land Use Plan, commonly known as CLUP. It's been ten years since the last CLUP was adopted. And LURC staff say much has changed since then. They've identified what they see as the biggest potential threats to the region and strategies for curbing them. But as Susan Sharon reports, large landowners and some sportsman say the CLUP itself is the biggest threat to the North Woods.


Wally Edge: 7 jump OFF the cliff
You have to love the end of session in the Maine State Legislature. In the final 24 hours, they raised taxes on beer, soda and health insurance.