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Maine News

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Maine News for Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Portland Press Herald
School merger reforms vetoed
Lawmakers will now take up Gov. John Baldacci's alternative proposal for school consolidation.

Immigration coalition opposes licensing rules
Groups argue that Gov. Baldacci's proposal would prompt some aliens to drive without a license.

Bill sets fixed fee for Dirigo insurers
State House: It also would raise the cigarette tax from $2 to $2.50 to fund Maine health initiatives.

Breast cancer license plate due
The specialty plate will raise money and remind people of the benefits of early detection.

Caring Unlimited to keep funding, remain operating
The family service agency was among domestic violence projects in Maine facing potential cuts.

Colombian trade deal 'dead on arrival'
Three of Maine's four members of Congress oppose the free-trade pact; one is reviewing it.

Council says no to money for school
Portland passes up a chance to get $19.6 million from the state to build a new elementary school.

Loss of Monroe's post raises concerns
Some worry that cutting Portland's director of ports will mean less focus on waterfront issues.

Thud! Need for maintenance flowers with the spring
Taxpayers don't get excited about investment in road upkeep until the potholes get bad.

War's real costs are being paid by too few
A larger military would ease the strain of multiple deployments on service members.

FairPoint exchange leaves caller upset with service

Taxpayers urged to beware of school consolidation

Bangor Daily News
School proposal changes vetoed

AUGUSTA, Maine - In swift succession Monday, the Senate approved changes to the school consolidation law and the governor vetoed the bill.

Allen takes Collins to task for her record on Iraq

BANGOR, Maine - Tom Allen got a prime opportunity Monday to talk publicly about one of the issues he has made central to his U.S. Senate campaign.

'Sportsmen' license plate unveiled

AUGUSTA, Maine - State officials unveiled a new specialty license plate Monday that will benefit programs popular with outdoor lovers.

Fallen Maine soldier 'one of the very best'

BREWER, Maine - Upon hearing of the death of one of his former students, Brewer High School music teacher Brady Harris said the reality of war hit home.

Vacuum Cleaner Games

To date, Maine voters have not been kind to casinos or racinos; the vote that authorized Hollywood Slots in Bangor slipped through while attention was focused on a larger proposal for southern Maine, CasinosNO! maintains.

Should Hillary Quit?

Several Democratic politicians, a few columnists, and much of the talk-show world and blogosphere are telling Hillary Clinton to quit the race. She shouldn't and she almost certainly won't.

Kennebec Journal
AUGUSTA -- Gov. John Baldacci Monday vetoed a bill meant to amend Maine's school-district consolidation law hours after it passed the Senate.

New Maine plate aimed at raising breast-cancer awareness
AUGUSTA -- A new specialty license plate to support breast-cancer services will be available in the fall.

Waterfront progress in Gardiner
GARDINER -- Carroll Leighton was thrilled to hear the city is moving closer to completing a boardwalk and other improvements at the waterfront park.

A license to protest
AUGUSTA -- Requiring everyone to prove they are legal residents to get a drivers license would make Maine roads less safe, do nothing to improve the county's security, and discriminate against immigrant workers crucial to Maine's economy, immigrant rights groups said Monday.

Congressional race has forum in Augusta
AUGUSTA -- There are 80,000 veterans in the 1st Congressional District.

I-295 detour: not pleasant, but necessary
Sacrifice for the public good is a high-minded concept that's often hell on those doing the sacrificing. And if all goes as planned, a project to close and repave southbound Interstate 295 between Gardiner and Topsham during three months this summer will indeed benefit the greater public -- but require significant sacrifice by both motorists and those living along U.S. Route 201 onto which traffic will be detoured.

BY REP. JON HINCK : Compelling reasons to limit vehicle idling
Few would argue for needless waste of oil, diesel fuel and gasoline. My commercial vehicle idling reduction bill, L.D. 2056, supports energy independence and environmental responsibility while improving business profits here.

Law on smoking doesn't anger one smoker
I couldn't resist commenting on the new uproar over the no smoking in your cars with children under 16 years of age. Being part of the smoking population, I'm probably in the minority who aren't upset with this.

Sun Journal
School overhaul veto is upheld
AUGUSTA - Three months after action had been expected, state lawmakers gave final approval Monday to a bill to refine last year's sweeping legislation to consolidate Maine school systems. Almost immediately, as anticipated, Gov. John Baldacci vetoed it.

Immigration group targets governor
AUGUSTA (AP) - Immigrants' rights activists went on the offensive Monday against Gov. John Baldacci's proposal to make driver's licenses more secure, saying it targets the most vulnerable, encourages aliens to drive illegally and does little to make Maine safer.

Baldacci signs legislation to raise snowmobile fees
AUGUSTA (AP) - Maine snowmobilers will be paying higher registration fees.

Allen announces broadband bill
BANGOR (AP) - U.S. Representative Tom Allen has submitted legislation that he says would expand high-speed Internet access in rural areas in Maine and across the country.

I-295 likely to close due to construction
AUGUSTA (AP) - State officials say it's all but a sure thing that the southbound lanes of Interstate 295 from Gardiner to Topsham will be closed to traffic for 2½ months this summer to rebuild the highway.

Baldacci speaks up for Dirigo Health
AUGUSTA (AP) - Gov. John Baldacci joined with the head of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care on Monday to urge support for a bill advocates say is needed to shore up Maine's troubled Dirigo Health program.

State parks are in demand
PORTLAND (AP) - Campsite reservations at Maine state parks have hit an all-time high for this time of year as Mainers look ahead toward summer.

A clearer view about tobacco taxes
For a momentary delight, a cigarette has serious long-term effects on smokers, those around them, and the public.

"Lemonade" Economics
Irwin Gratz talks with Karen MIlls of M-M-P Group about the impact of the recent slowdown on the Maine Economy and the opportunity it presents to position the state for the future.

Passenger Rail Funding Kindles Resentment in the House
A bill that began as a well-intended effort to expand passenger rail service in Maine quickly degenerated into a 45-minute debate on spending priorities in the House today and rekindled some long-held resentments that divide Maine's less prosperous northern residents from their wealthier southern counterparts. Lawmakers utlimately approved spending $2.5 million dollars a year to extend passenger rail service from Portland to Brunswick in a vote that divided largely along regional lines. A.J. Higgins reports.

Immigrants Target of Increased Prosecutions and Harassment
For the second time in a month, a Brazilian immigrant from out of state has been charged with transporting an illegal immigrant to Maine for financial gain. In both cases, federal investigators say the immigrants came to Maine to obtain drivers licenses. Maine is among a handful of states with lax rules for issuing drivers licenses, which can be used in other states to seek work. But advocates say the arrests reflect a growing trend in the prosecution and harassment of immigrants. Keith Mckeen reports.
Strimling accuses Pingree of setting up ‘dirty trick’ through donation

Pingree poses questions to Petraeus

Pearson tapped as Common Cause's VP for Programs

Baldacci vetoes bill that altered school funding formula

Wally Edge Catholics, the MCLU and Driver Licenses for Illegals.
The AP is reporting that the MCLU, The Roman Catholic Diocese and several immigrants and civil rights groups are planning a press conference in.

Maine AP Wire
New Jersey lawmakers agree to offer 6 weeks of paid leave

New Jersey moved Monday to become the third state to require companies to offer six weeks of paid leave to workers wishing to care for a new child or sick relative.