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Maine News

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Maine News for Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Portland Press Herald
For beer brewers, there is a limit
As the cost of supplies rises, Maine brewers must be aware of a new production-based tax.

Truckers call for lawmakers to act on fuel prices
At least eight drivers from Maine and their families join in the noisy protest.

Maine incomes outpaced by health insurance costs
But the nation as a whole had a bigger disparity, data from 2001 to 2005 show.

Gas prices may send blueberry profits up in smoke
Growers must burn fields, and the need for fuel is creating an early deficit.

EDWARD D. MURPHY Door's open for older Maine job seekers

Robert Baldacci forms new firm

Turnpike panel wrestles with toll fairness, loses
It's not the members' fault they couldn't solve a problem that may have no equitable answer.

RON BANCROFT Legislature's last-minute shenanigans hurt Mainers
The only good news is that without Reps. Fischer and Valentino and their Republican colleagues on the Appropriations Committee, it would have been worse.

ADAM COTE, Special to the Press Herald
Leadership, diplomacy will get us out of Iraq

We must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in.

Bangor Daily News
Study lauds Maine health care solutions

It's no news that the cost of health insurance is out of reach for many families, but a new report from a respected national organization adds urgency to the search for a national solution.

Truckers reeling from high fuel costs rally in D.C.

WASHINGTON - Horns blaring in a deafening fanfare, a convoy of truck drivers, including many from Maine, traveled to Washington on Monday to protest record fuel prices.

Better Job Loss Benefits

Despite talk of human rights, drug trafficking and tariffs, the political battle over the Colombia free trade pact is, in part, about taking care of those who are thought to lose their jobs because of increased foreign competition.

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.

Obama appears to take social values seriously
Beware of the campaign sound bite. Candidates live and die by clever one-liners. In Barack Obama's case, it is especially discouraging to see a candidate criticized for an off-the-cuff comment that hardly does justice to his own earlier and more careful reflections.

Kennebec Journal

New dog license law takes bite out of evaders' wallets
Hundreds of dogs in Maine communities go unlicensed every year, creating a massive amount of paperwork for town clerks, adding extra hours for overworked animal control officers and placing an extra burden on the court system.

Local doctor tells of health care beyond America's borders
AUGUSTA -- Working as a medical doctor overseas, Dr. William Alto says he has met three types of people also trying to do some good in foreign countries: missionaries, mercenaries and misfits.

Augusta traffic change weighed Study will look at Interstate 95 access issues with new cancer care center
AUGUSTA -- A major traffic study focusing on north Augusta is expected to ponder changing the Exit 113 interchange of Interstate 95 and Route 3.


Edging toward a farm bill
What do Caribbean trade, switchgrass, food stamps, Pacific salmon stocks and thoroughbred racehorses all have to do with each other?


BY REP. NANCY E. SMITH : Midwives' bill is necessary and appropriate
During the 123rd Legislative session, I was actively involved in shepherding dozens of bills through the legislative process. I voted on literally hundreds more. I never imagined that the bill I sponsored in 2007 originally intended to license Certified Professional Midwives, or CPMs, would require explanation so soon after adjournment. This is one law for which I am confident the legislative process worked and the outcome was appropriate.

Sun Journal
Law changes cribbage rules
AUGUSTA (AP) - Organizations that want to host cribbage games will have a new state law to follow in July that allows them to charge higher entry fees and sets a standard annual license fee.

Blueberry growers feel pain of high fuel costs
ELLSWORTH (AP) - The high cost of fuel is being felt on more than just the state's roadways.

Saco considers residential wind turbine ordinance
SACO (AP) - Saco was the first Maine municipality to erect a city-owned wind turbine. Now it may become the city to pass an ordinance regulating residential windmills.

Hughes fined for violating Clean Election
AUGUSTA - The Maine Ethics Commission on Monday fined former legislative candidate David Hughes of Lewiston a total of $450 for Clean Election Act violations incurred during his campaign for House District 72 last fall.

Stimulus checks are buying time
Long-awaited checks from the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 start arriving this week, either zipped electronically into bank accounts or stuffed into mailboxes in crisp, white government envelopes.

Support for children
I am writing in apprecation of Sen. Lois Snowe-Mello for her support of both the ban on the flame retardant DECA and the Kids Safe Products bills in the past year's legislative sessions.

Weather Expected to Have Greater Impact on Tourism Than Gas Prices
Record-breaking gas prices are forcing Mainers to dig deeper into their wallets, but the escalating travel costs may hold a silver lining for the state's tourism industry. According to the American Automobile Association -- which tracks fuel prices nationally -- a gallon of unleaded gas on Monday was averaging $3.58 in Maine. But the cost of fuel is not expected to have as great an impact on the summer season as the weather will according to one toursim official. A.J. Higgins reports.

Expired Visa Progam Could Weigh on Maine Tourism

Many in the Maine tourist industry are crossing their fingers that Congress will renew the so-called H2B temporary visa program. That would allow the foreign workers Maine's hotels and restaurants depend on to return here by the time the season is in full swing. A political squabble in Congress has kept the program from being renewed, and many in the hospitality business say they're facing a worker shortage this summer. Maine's Congressional delegation is backing legislation to resolve the problem, but time is growing short. Keith McKeen reports.

Federal Government Urged to Fund Cluster Development Initiatives
Maine's boat-building industry is doing better because the boat builders talk with each other, with government, and with schools. They call it the "Northstar Alliance" and it's an example of a so-called economic cluster. Karen Mills, President of M-M-P Group, has just written a paper for Brookings, the Washington think tank, that is encouraging the federal government to get more involved in cluster development. She discussed the issue with Morning Edition Local Host Irwin Gratz.


Eye on lobbying

National: Could Clinton's Pennsylvania victory be wiped out by Montana?