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Maine News

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Maine News for Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Portland Press Herald
District 1 Democratic hopefuls debate gas-tax holiday
Election 2008: Only one of the six backs the idea, with a windfall-profits tax levied on oil companies.

State agency: Plum Creek plan needs work
The developer wants to rezone 20,000 acres in the Moosehead Lake region for 975 homes and two resorts.

Kennedy news a shock for Maine's delegation
They don't all know him well, but are saddened and wishing him the best in his battle with cancer.

Kennedy facing long odds
The senator's brain tumor is often lethal, and some experts say he might have less than a year to live.

Customer complaints mostly minor since switch to FairPoint
Long caller wait times and temporary suspension of the online billing system are among the issues.

Anthem to post prices online for 39 procedures
Costs for lab tests and hospital stays also will be accessible through members' passwords.

Right hospital could be just a click away
Web sites providing ratings of patient care and clinical performance are proliferating.

911 mishaps draw further FairPoint scrutiny
This may not signal a problem with the sale decision, but it will focus attention on it.

New toll plaza's first priority to provide safe passage for cars
If that can be done with minimal impact, good; but if not, it still should be done nonetheless.

GREG KESICHCalifornia marriage ruling takes out safe middle ground
Civil union statutes will not satisfy either the supporters of same-sex marriage or its foes.

SENS. SUSAN COLLINS, BEN NELSON and EVAN BAYHBipartisan change sought in Iraq policy
This plan would place much of the financial burden of troop support on the Iraqi government.

High MERI rating isn't necessarily a good thing

Bangor Daily News
Baldacci urges 2nd stimulus

AUGUSTA, Maine - Gov. John Baldacci says Congress should approve a second stimulus package as soon as possible, given the state of the economy both in Maine and nationally.

Penn National fined for sending ads to addicts

CHICAGO - The Illinois Gaming Board has fined an Aurora casino $800,000 for sending promotional materials to problem gamblers in violation of an agency program.

Verso IPO lower than expected, but company has record quarter

MEMPHIS - Verso Paper Corp. announced Tuesday that it has closed its initial public offering of 14 million shares of common stock at a price of $12 per share.

Flood victims urged to seek FEMA aid

BRADLEY, Maine - Like dozens of people in towns along the Penobscot River, Joe and Randilee Moore's home was damaged the first week of May when water from the rising river flooded their basement and land.

How to get aid for flood damage

Residents whose property was damaged in the flood from the April 28 storm and who need assistance must call 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585. The phone line is open daily 8 a.m.-6 p.m. until further notice.

$34.8M raised to protect 342,000 acres Down East

Nine years ago, Jimmie Upham and a handful of other Grand Lake Stream residents gathered around a picnic table and, unbeknownst to them, set in motion one of the most significant land conservation deals in Maine history.

Tribes seek help from Feds

Maine's Indian tribes are taking steps to get the federal government to intervene in their effort to be considered sovereign nations by the state of Maine.

Bangor publisher suing Amazon in anti-trust case

BANGOR, Maine - A Bangor woman who operates, a print-on-demand publishing business with more than 1,500 titles in its catalogue, filed a class-action lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court against online giant Amazon.

Save, But Save Wisely

Saving through a 401(k) plan - if it is done right - can make all the difference between a successful retirement and a less-than-successful old age. A recent survey shows that too many employees are not doing it right.

Pre-emptive Condemnation

For voters hoping the state's campaign for the U.S. Senate will focus on issues and not personal attacks, Democrat Tom Allen's call for outside groups to skip the negative advertisements was welcome news.

Gerrard W. Rudmin: Demand action on energy solutions
New England has just come through one of the harshest winters on record. Most Mainers use heating oil or wood to heat their homes. Some have access to natural gas. All are carbon-based sources of energy.

Kathleen Parker: Why this much ado about slips of the tongue?
Chivalry is still charming, as Barack Obama proved when he recently warned Tennessee Republicans to leave his wife alone.

May 21 Letters to the Editor

Kennebec Journal
UMA chief defends tuition hike
AUGUSTA -- Flat funding from the state this year for Maine's seven public universities, coupled with rising personnel and energy costs, made raising tuition inevitable, University of Maine at Augusta President Allyson Hughes Handley said Tuesday.

Panel: Smaller Plum Creek
The state agency reviewing Plum Creek Timber Co.'s plan for homes and resorts around Moosehead Lake wants development areas scaled back and conservation lands protected by tougher restrictions.

Gardiner sets farm market at city park
GARDINER -- Live vegetables and fruits will greet customers today at the new Gardiner Farmers' Market on Gardiner Common.

Stolen lottery tickets net jail
AUGUSTA -- An Augusta woman was sentenced Friday in Kennebec County Superior Court on a charge of receiving stolen property.

Maine's officials offer hope
WASHINGTON -- Members of Maine's congressional delegation expressed shock and sadness Tuesday to news that U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.

On Maine Politics
Prison voter registration drive Wednesday


Maine picks up failure of feds in veterans care
One of the tragic ironies of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is that while many soldiers are surviving horrendous explosive attacks because of advanced body armor, they are surviving with serious and disabling brain injuries.

Traumatic brain injury
Symptoms of mild Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, include headache, confusion, lightheadedness, dizziness, blurred vision or tired eyes, ringing in the ears, bad taste in the mouth, fatigue or lethargy, a change in sleep patterns, behavioral or mood changes, and trouble with memory, concentration, attention, or thinking.

ROXANNE QUIMBY USED TO BE MY ENEMY. : Getting to know foes as people helps us understand each other
And when she reached out to me to find common ground, I did not want to like her.

This week is recognized nationally as Emergency Medical Services Week. This week also marks the 15th anniversary of the inception of the Maine Trauma System, a program for emergency injury care.

Sun Journal

Funds to protect E. Maine forest
AUGUSTA (AP) - Land preservation groups are announcing the completion of fundraising to protect 342,000 acres of forest and hundreds of miles of remote lakefront in Down East Maine.

Delegation prays for Kennedy
PORTLAND (AP) - Maine's congressional delegation is expressing concern over the health of Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.

Woman using oxygen dies as cigarette ignites clothing
GORHAM (AP) - The state Fire Marshal's Office said Tuesday that smoking was the cause of an early morning fire in Gorham that killed an elderly woman.


A laudable promise, if they listen
A byproduct of running one of America's most-watched campaigns for the U.S. Senate is, all of a sudden, having a lot of friends you wished you didn't.

Of dollars and sense and cheap government
I think George W. Bush deserves a raise.


Fairpoint Accepts Blame for Malfunctioning 9-1-1 System
Fairpoint Communications officials are acknowledging that the company did not respond forcefully enough to complaints about 9-1-1 outages afflicting the Cumberland County Regional Dispatch Center in Windham. The county's 9-1-1 system malfunctioned several times in March and April, and went down again last weekend. Barbarta Cariddi reports.

Penn National Casino Fined for Violating its Own Policy
An Illinois casino, owned by Penn National Gaming which operates Hollywood Slots in Bangor, has been fined 800,000 dollars for violating its own policy. The Illinois gaming board penalized the casino for sending promotional materials to a list of problem gamblers. In Maine, a leader of the anti-casino movement says the violation is evidence that casinos are dependent on addicts. But a Penn National executive says the incident in Illinois was inadvertent and won't happen again. Keith McKeen reports.

Veterinarian Shortage Plaguing Maine's Farm Industry
The shortage of veterinarians who care primarily for livestock and other large animals is putting a strain on Maine farmers, on the animals they raise and on the vets themselves. Large animal vets are forced to travel hundreds of miles a week to far-flung farms. Sometimes animals die when emergency care isn't available. Julia Davis caught up with one large animal vet, based in Turner, who travels up to a hundred miles between farms to care for many of the region's cows, sheep, goats, llamas and alpacas.

The Greening of International Trade
Going green: it's not just a trend in the US, but around the world, creating new requirements for Maine businesses that trade abroad. Maine International Trade Center President Janine Bisaillon-Cary tells Irwin Gratz it's become the theme for this year's Maine International Trade Day conference, which will be held Thursday, May 22, in Portland.


Wally Edge: 10 for Collins and 10 for Allen