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Maine News

Friday, May 9, 2008

Maine News for Friday, May 9, 2008

Portland Press Herald

Baldacci pays third visit to Fort Kent after flooding
Maine's governor and New Brunswick's premier plan to work together in future emergencies.

Home heating: Otten bets Mainers will warm to wood pellets
Former ski resort owner Les Otten thinks Maine Energy Systems can provide an alternative to oil.

Drug makers to Congress: Ads 'supported by research'
Democrats are calling for tougher restrictions on TV commercials that they describe as misleading.

Maine's high court upholds towns' bans on personal watercraft
Legislators had a rational basis for the law allowing local action, the court rules.

Outdoor smoking at restaurants: Is a ban too much?
Portland councilors hear public views on a proposal to prohibit lighting up in seating areas where food is served.

Ambulance costs pile up, and so do unpaid bills
A low collection rate means that Portland loses millions.

A field trip with a ripple effect
Land trusts catering to students emphasize the importance of getting outdoors and foster a new generation of conservationists.

One race ends and another begins
Sens. McCain and Obama will have real policy debates in their race for the White House.

M.D. HARMONWhat's John McCain thinking as he looks down the road?
It's hard to know for sure, but he might be pondering the shape of the campaign to come.
The state-sponsored health care plan was well-launched, but it can't stay afloat as it is.

We should support taxes to pay for health care

Bangor Daily News
Lobster boat builders pinched as catch drops, economy slows

JONESPORT, Maine - For the first time in 24 years of building lobster boats, Wayne Beal doesn’t have any job orders.

Baldacci vows funding for County relief

FORT KENT, Maine - Anticipating a federal disaster declaration any day now, Gov. John Baldacci on Thursday promised state money until federal aid arrives to help rebuild what he called the worst flooding damage he's ever personally seen.

Who's the greenest? Colleges vie for title

University of Maine at Machias Green Council president Ryan Martin recently signed up his fledgling club for a project called RecycleMania as a way to build awareness.

Court OKs watercraft ban ruling

PORTLAND, Maine - Just in time for boating season, the Supreme Judicial Court has determined that it is allowable for municipalities to ban personal watercraft on ponds and lakes.

Early aid to flooded New Brunswick village came from Maine

CLAIR, New Brunswick — The flood waters that swept through Ludjer Lang’s village last week did more than swamp basements and damage houses — they washed away pieces of history.

Registry redo

A veto from Gov. John Baldacci gives lawmakers time to more precisely remedy problems with the state's sex offender registry. Such fixes are needed to ensure that the registry passed constitutional challenges.

Jessica Bickford: An opportunity to invest in child care for Mainers
Young children in Maine, especially from birth to age 5, deserve the best care we can give them to succeed in this world. Yet, as a child care provider I see on a daily basis the struggles working families face. There is a tremendous need for affordable, quality child care and early education.

Kennebec Journal
CENTRAL MAINE POWER CUTOFFS LOOMING FOR MANY Thousands face disconnection as winter grace period ends
AUGUSTA -- More central Mainers are at risk of having their electricity disconnected this year, as consumers appear to be making hard choices about what bills to pay.

Say it with lobsters
AUGUSTA -- Kyle Riggs walked into Augusta Seafood Thursday to order eight lobsters for a family Mother's Day celebration on Sunday. Turns out, Riggs isn't the only one who likes to honor his mother and wife with a special lobster dinner.

State's highest court OKs bans on personal watercraft
A state law that gives towns the power to ban personal watercraft on public lakes and ponds was upheld Thursday by Maine's highest court.

Otten touts change to wood pellets to heat Maine homes Entrepreneur investing $10 million for everything from boilers to delivery
A Maine entrepreneur wants to convert tens of thousands of homes in the Northeast from oil heat to wood pellets through an ambitious new business venture.

A plan for the waterfront in Gardiner
GARDINER -- Councilors on Wednesday adopted a master plan to develop the waterfront and are ready to extend the boardwalk and make other improvements.

On Maine Politics
Brennan says: Stop funding the war 05/08/08

Rezoning vote confirms lot's likely function
It should take a lot for the Augusta City Council to overturn a decision by the planning board -- and it did.

MIKE WILLEY OF OAKLAND : We need alternative forms of energy
The blame game won't work when it comes to energy independence.

We all must conserve, turn economy around
As the economic situation in Maine becomes more severe, it now seems that choices need to be made and priorities set. Every citizen can start with himself/herself in curbing needless spending. It all boils down to setting goals, and having discipline to follow through.

With all our woes, why is league revisiting gay issue?
I cannot find the benefit in a proposal that keeps us all busy trying to define marriage. I also can't see how it would benefit any child to be banned from being adopted into a loving home of any parentage.

Heath's column 'confusing, nonsensical wizardry'
In "The cost of rejecting natural law" (April 30), Michael Heath states "reason comes from high above us, as does the gift of divine revelation."

Sun Journal
New federal law helps Acadia park
AUGUSTA (AP) - President Bush has signed legislation that will benefit Acadia National Park through more land purchases and efforts to reduce traffic.

Court: Riding watercrafts not individual right
PORTLAND (AP) - Maine's highest court ruled Thursday that the state's ban on personal watercraft on Lake St. George is constitutional in a case that had ramifications for hundreds of lakes and ponds with watercraft bans.


In yesterday's editorial, we wrote Maine repealed its motorcycle helmet laws. Maine did repeal its universal helmet law in 1977, but instituted helmet laws for riders under 15, and riders in the first year of their license or learner's permit, in 1983.

Freedom has become another empty word
I'd like to think it was the sangria talking.


Mainers Filling Up with Corn-Based Fuel
Many motorists in Maine are now filling their cars up with a new blended gasoline called E10 - so-called because it's 10% ethanol. Corn-based ethanol's come in for a bit of a hammering this week: a growing number of lawmakers, including Maine senator Susan Collins, question its viability as an environmentally-friendly energy source and blame it for helping to drive up food prices. Maine's director of Energy Independence and Security says we need to decrease our reliance not just on oil, but on food-based fuels as well. Tom Porter has the story.

State Says Ticket Hikes Needed to Keep Ferry Service Afloat
As fuel costs continue to rise, Maine motorists are not the only ones feeling the pinch. Maine Department of Transportation supervisors say the budget for the state ferry service will go into the red without adjustments to current ticket fares and parking fees. On average, a 12.5-percent across-the-board increase is being proposed to take effect on June 1st. As A.J. Higgins reports, some residents of Vinalhaven are more angry about the parking permit hikes than the increase in ticket prices.

More Young Mothers Addicted on Opiates
The number of pregnant women addicted to opiates has jumped dramatically in Maine in recent years in part because young women ages 18 to 25 are getting hooked on prescription drugs. Last year more than 160 pregnant addicts sought treatment. To try to keep pace, maternal addiction programs are springing up around the state. One of them is Mercy Recovery Center in Westbrook where a second support group for moms has been added to its range of services. In the second part of our series on young mothers in recovery, Susan Sharon takes a look at how the group is helping women stay sober.


Stephen King and political discourse

Wally Edge: 13 debates in 19 days: Republicans redefine torture
Charlie Summers, who is running for Congress in Maine's first District ---from Baghdad, is returning to Maine within the week.

Times Record
School consolidation law requires budget referendums (full story)