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Maine News

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Maine News for Thursday, May 22, 2008

Portland Press Herald
Voter drive registers more than 200 inmates
Party representatives talk politics with prisoners during the first effort of its kind at the Maine State Prison.

Commentary: NEWELL AUGURMainers deserve vote on new taxes
Lawmakers' last-minute tax hike is certainly a fit target for a people's veto campaign.

Can we afford a gas-tax holiday?
A national group concludes that the plan would cut highway funds and jobs but save drivers very little.

Blame game won't keep price of fuel from rising
Senators hold a hearing to chastise oil company executives again but there is nothing in the way of solutions.

Lines drawn in beverage tax showdown
Business groups hope to repeal the law; health-care advocates say the money will do a lot of good.

N.H. joins greenhouse gas plan
The regional effort, which includes Maine, aims to cap carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

Beliveau honored for cultural advocacy
YORK NEIGHBORS: Les Franco Americains

L.L. Bean to issue new Visas
The retailer is severing ties with Bank of America, and current cardholders must apply for new plastic.

Maine publisher sues Amazon of Bangor accuses the Internet giant of actions violating antitrust laws.

Plum Creek should consider more changes
A report by land use regulation staff has moved the debate in a promising direction.

Long-term study of concussions in Maine Guard a worthy effort
Other states are following the program's progress on helping injured troops.

More data, not less, can combat patient confusion
The proliferation of Web sites on doctor and hospital preformance is a positive trend.

Ethanol wastes water, is not a viable solution

Bangor Daily News

Coalition objects to tax on beverages

BANGOR, Maine — A coalition of Maine residents, businesses and organizations launched a petition drive Wednesday in an attempt to repeal the beverage tax recently passed by the state Legislature.

Gasoline tops $4 a gallon in Calais

CALAIS, Maine - Angela Howland wants to buy a horse and Gail Cottrell plans to ride her bike to work now that gasoline prices in this border community have topped the $4 mark for regular unleaded.

UMaine student dies of burns

ELLSWORTH, Maine - A student at the University of Maine in Orono died Wednesday morning from injuries he suffered after apparently setting himself on fire the night before in a wooded area off Nicolin Road, according to officials.

Baldacci touts importance of micro businesses

BANGOR, Maine — Though they may feel under-appreciated and isolated, Maine’s small businesses play a huge role in the state’s economic well-being.

LURC urges Plum Creek changes

Staff at the Land Use Regulation Commission are recommending that Plum Creek change the scope of several proposed subdivisions near Moosehead Lake and be required to complete several large conservation deals before any houses go up.

Health savings accounts touted at Bangor business lunch

BANGOR, Maine — A small group of area businessmen and businesswomen gathered at the Sea Dog Restaurant on Wednesday to hear a presentation about health savings accounts, a form of health care coverage that promises to save money for businesses and their employees.

Voter registration drive conducted at state prison

WARREN, Maine - A 47-year-old inmate at the Maine State Prison believes being able to register to vote is a way of speaking up.

Red tide limits harvests near Maine islands

The Maine Department of Marine Resources has closed the islands from Isle au Haut to Frenchboro to shellfish collection due to the presence of red tide.

For wilderness camp leaseholders Roxanne Quimby is Public Enemy No. 1

TERRITORY 5, RANGE 8 - A retired Great Northern Paper Co. millwright and pipe fitter, 68-year-old Dennis Ballard has summered in a small camp overlooking the Penobscot River's East Branch since 1969.

MCF turns 25

Donating money to charity, especially large sums, is worthy and commendable. Ensuring that money does not duplicate existing efforts and can be pooled with other funds to do more good is smart business and increases the value of such philanthropy.

Editorial: Ted Kennedy's legacy

The genuinely sympathetic reaction among elected officials and the public at large to the news that Sen. Edward "Ted" Kennedy is suffering from a malignant brain tumor says much about the hold the Kennedy clan still has over the nation’s imagination.

Chellie Pingree: My brother Bob
I remember the day nearly 20 years ago when the phone rang as we were getting ready to head off on a family trip. It was my brother Bob, who we were planning to meet up with.

George Will: Environmentalism a threat to freedom
A preventive war worked out so well in Iraq that Washington last week launched another. The new preventive war — the government responding forcefully against a postulated future threat — has been declared on behalf of polar bears, the first species whose supposed jeopardy has been ascribed to global warming.

May 22 Letters to the Editor

Kennebec Journal

Signatures sought for 'people's veto' of new beverage tax
New state taxes on beer, wine and soda are at the center of an emerging showdown between anti-tax activists and health-care advocates.

Alewives harvesting returns to Vassalboro's Webber Pond
VASSALBORO -- A harvest of alewives in Vassalboro's Webber Pond will mark the first time legal harvesting has been allowed there in almost 200 years, an official from the Maine Department of Marine Resources said Wednesday.

WINDSOR: Town Manager Carl Pease steps down
WINDSOR -- After three years as town manager, Carl Pease has resigned for personal reasons, according to selectmen.

Caron: I stole nearly $1M
AUGUSTA -- A Waterville woman who now admits embezzling about $900,000 from her family's company over a five-year period is to be sentenced Aug. 26 in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Plum Creek revisions panned
AUGUSTA -- Better, but still too big and in the wrong places.

'The lights will not stay on if we don't'
AUGUSTA -- Sara Burns, president and chief executive officer of Central Maine Power Co., is more than willing to meet with any group to explain a major initiative that will ensure the state has a reliable power system.

GARDINER: Grant to help grow city's green areas
GARDINER -- The city recently received another grant from the Maine Forest Service to plant trees.

Boat inspections grow with threat of milfoil
AUGUSTA -- Voluntary boat inspections will again take place at boat ramps throughout Maine this summer, an effort to prevent invasive plants from spreading.

On Maine Politics
Greens commit to Real ID veto drive 05/21/08


After faux pas, Fairpoint has to gain our trust
In March, FairPoint Communi-cations completed the largest telecommunications deal in Maine history: the $2.7 billion purchase of Verizon Communications' 1.6 million telephone land lines and 230,000 high-speed Internet lines in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

JIM BRUNELLE : Memorial Day shares weekend with start of tourist season
It helps in this part of the country to think of Memo-rial Day, which arrives this weekend, as the first day of June.

KAY RAND : Alfond fund a helpful start on big expense
My soon-to-be-born grandchild, Jack or Ellie (we don't yet know if it's a boy or a girl), will be one of Harold Alfond's 2008 babies. My grandchild is scheduled to be born in June at MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta, the pilot site (along with Maine-General Medical Center in Waterville) for the Harold Alfond College Challenge.

Sun Journal

Petition drive aims to repeal new taxes
PORTLAND (AP) - Signature collectors are out in force in Maine with the launch of a petition drive aimed at repealing new taxes on beer, wine, soda and other drinks.

Maine's blizzard appeal denied
PORTLAND (AP) - The federal government has denied the state's appeal for an emergency declaration following a late March blizzard in northern Maine that clogged roads and led to extraordinary snow-removal costs.

Turnpike feels pinch of gas prices
YORK (AP) - Soaring gas prices are expected to hold down traffic on the Maine Turnpike over the Memorial Day weekend, preventing the highway from setting new traffic records.

Maine man offers $5,000 in search for Miss Right
WELLS (AP) - A 39-year-old man from Wells is looking for love - in the classifieds.

Report claims herring trawlers threaten New England waters
PORTLAND (AP) - A coalition of environmental groups has released a new report that claims large herring trawlers pose a threat to New England waters.

Maine man's Megabucks lottery winnings to send sons to college
LUBEC (AP) - A Lubec man who won last weekend's nearly $10 million Tri-State Megabucks lottery says the winnings are going to his twin sons' college educations.

Maine LURC staff seeks changes in Plum Creek project
PORTLAND (AP) - The staff of the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission says changes are needed in Plum Creek Timber Co.'s plan to rezone some 20,000 acres in the Moosehead Lake region for 975 house lots and two resorts.


Obama needs lesson in leverage before talks
In their litany of American presidents who met with hostile dictators, supporters of Barack Obama cite John F. Kennedy and his meeting with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna in 1961. They leave out how it went.


Tax it, tax it, tax it
This is response to an article that appeared May 5, "Drive targets tax on alcohol, soda."

Family destruction
Michael Heath is a decent, courageous man who has his personal life in order and, indeed, sees the big picture.


NAACP Launches Voter Registration Drive At Maine State Prison
After two years of discussion with state corrections officials, the Portland chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was permitted to hold a voter registration seminar at the Maine State Prison in Warren. Maine and Vermont are the only two states in the country that permit prison inmates to cast ballots in state and local elections. MBPN's AJ Higgins was at the Prison in Warren, and he spoke with Barbara Cariddi.

Beer And Soda Tax Debate Comes To Downtown Portland
A tax on beer, wine, soda and most other non-alcoholic drinks to fund the state's Dirigo Health program brought a number of opponents and supporters to Monument Square in Portland this morning. A group called Fed Up With Taxes announced its petition for a ballot referendum to repeal the tax, but its effort was challenged by representatives from several health organizations, including the American Cancer Society and Consumers for Affordable Healthcare. Anne Ravana reports.

LURC Staff Recommends Changes To Plum Creek Plan
The staff of the Land Use Regulation Commission is recommending that Plum Creek scale back and alter some of its development and conservation plans for the Moosehead Lake region. The recommendation does not give the massive project a thumbs up or down. But as Keith Shortall reports, both supporters and opponents of the project say they're concerned about the signal being sent by the commission.

Federal Herring Oversight Criticized
Fish conservationists are calling on federal regulators to increase oversight of the region's industrial herring trawlers. They gathered on the Portland waterfront to make their case. Barbara Cariddi reports.

Lobstermen Trade Old Rope For More Expensive Sinking Rope Designed To Protect Whales
As the October deadline looms for a new federal rule to protect endangered Right Whales. Maine lobstermen are undertaking a shift in the way they work on the water. This week they've been turning in old rope used to connect their traps and making a switch to more expensive rope that regulators believe will help prevent entanglements. But as Susan Sharon reports it's not clear whether the plan will work and whether it could jeopardize the lobster industry.

John Martin launches of

Rehabilitation programs key issue for Maine’s inmates

2008 momentum drives inmates to push for change