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Maine News

Friday, June 13, 2008

Maine News for Friday, June 13, 2008

Portland Press Herald
Lawmakers focus on oil speculation
Maine's senators join the call for an investigation of speculative buying that may be driving oil prices.

Groups call for Plum Creek to drop key piece of project
The Lily Bay peninsula is too sensitive and valuable to be developed, they say.

Nova Scotia LNG terminal gains construction permit

BILL NEMITZ Cote loss smells a lot like a win

Ten-week project to close 18 miles of I-295 southbound starting Monday
The work between Gardiner and Topsham will force thousands of commuters and tourists to detour.

Lyme disease threat comes back strong
Experts say a greater number of infected ticks might have survived the winter because of the deep snow.

NAACP's youngest president has family ties to Maine
Benjamin Jealous, 35, is the son of a Deering High graduate who grew up in Portland.

Cumberland sees Route 88 bike lanes in its future
The town wants to pave shoulders along the road for recreational purposes.

US Airways slashing service, jobs while adding fees
The airline will being charging passengers to check their first bag.

Poised to ride wave of oil drilling
A Texas corporation buys the Biddeford company, growing its line of deep-sea products.

Gas and heating oil much cheaper with five-finger discount
As in the 1970s, sales of locking gas caps and anti-siphoning devices are picking up.

Have you thanked a candidate today?
Most people running for office do so at some risk to their personal time and self-esteem.

Ending harassment should be the boss' job
Business owners would be wise to better protect their youngest workers from abuse.

DIANE RUSSELLIs the Press Herald going, going, gone?
There are many benefits from having a local news operation run locally, but that might not last here.

M.D. HARMONHave you hugged your First Amendment today?
There are lots of 'free' countries where citizens would love to be able to speak freely, but they can't.

Paper should pay attention to news stories

Bangor Daily News
High energy costs hit rural Mainers hard

AUGUSTA, Maine - While everyone in Maine is feeling the pain of higher energy prices on everything from gasoline to electricity, those in rural areas of the state are being squeezed even harder.

'Issue' ads seen on Maine TV not tied to campaign limits

The ads started appearing on television in Maine last month. One showed a tough-talking boy in a school classroom telling his classmates they're not going to get to vote for class officers by secret ballot. Another showed blue-collar workers making seemingly sarcastic remarks about how much they enjoy belonging to a labor union.

Maine waters, wind touted as untapped energy

NORTHPORT, Maine - The winds and waters of coastal Maine offer a promising yet untapped alternative to the fossil fuels that are driving the nation into what could be a historic energy crisis, experts said Thursday.

Groups aim to protect Lily Bay

BANGOR, Maine - Two influential conservation groups pleaded Thursday with state regulators to alter Plum Creek Timber Co.'s ambitious plans for the Moosehead Lake region and keep the Lily Bay peninsula free from development.

Eastport: Down East Catholics grapple with priest shortage

EASTPORT, Maine - Faced with a shortage of priests, the Catholic Church is struggling to do more with less, but some parishioners in eastern Washington County wonder how their faith will survive with only two priests and some churches designated as seasonal.

Prospect: State parks bureau touts free pass for all seniors

PROSPECT, Maine - Senior citizens will get a free ride at Maine's state parks this season.

Education Department praises budget votes

AUGUSTA, Maien - After reviewing a sample of Tuesday's election results, the Department of Education is satisfied that the new school budget validation process is working.

Wind power freedom

A two-year battle in the Waldo County town of Freedom (pop. 700) over a wind power project should not - and need not - be replicated in other Maine small towns.

Return to rights

In a strong rebuke of the Bush administration's use of military tribunals to try terrorism suspects, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the detainees have the right to challenge their imprisonment in federal courts. The decision likely leaves it up to President Bush's successor to determine how to handle the nearly 300 men held at the U.S. military detention facility in Guantanamo Bay.

Douglas M. Smith: Maine's petroleum crisis
The rising cost of petroleum products has placed Maine in a true energy crisis. This crisis must be addressed at both the federal and state levels.

Jody Spear: Sears Island development a terrible plan for the state
Pave over more than a third of Sears Island as a cargo port, with meaningless concessions offered to environmental partners as a necessary condition of the deal? What an appalling idea, and what a dismal example it would set for a state whose leaders are committed to a creative economy and enactment of quality of place standards.

June 13 letters

Kennebec Journal
AUGUSTA -- If the city moves quickly enough -- and manages to avoid liability for any unknown environmental pollution -- it could take over the abandoned, riverside American Tissue Mill at little or no cost with hopes of finding a firm to redevelop the site, city councilors were told Thursday.

Route 201's summer nightmare to start Monday
TOPSHAM -- The clock on what state transportation officials are calling the biggest road repair project in Maine in decades begins ticking at midnight Sunday.

Report sees 'good news' in youth numbers
AUGUSTA -- The number of Maine juveniles detained and committed into youth custody is three times lower than the national average, according to new data from a national youth foundation.

State deadline today gives a consolidation report card
AUGUSTA -- The state Department of Education could find out today what progress school districts across Maine are making as they consolidate into larger, regional units to comply with a 2007 state law.



Local business expansion could help FirstPark
FirstPark's governing board has made the right decision in turning down a proposal that would have unnecessarily restricted the types of businesses that could locate in the Oakland-based business and technology center.

JOSEPH R. REISERT : Obama's views show he has more Bush traits than McCain
The Democrats are trying hard to sell the idea that a McCain presidency would amount to a third term for President Bush. That's tactically advisable, given the president's extraordinary unpopularity.

Sun Journal
Collins submits economic recovery legislation
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins on Thursday proposed an economic recovery bill that's aimed at easing the effects of runaway energy prices and a downturn in the housing market.

Home invasion victim to watch graduation from hospital room
PITTSTON (AP) - A 10-year-old girl who was critically injured along with her father in a home invasion last month plans to watch her fifth-grade class graduate live from her Portland hospital room via Web Camera.

Groups fight bay's development
FALMOUTH (AP) - Two environmental groups opposed to Plum Creek Timber Co.'s massive development plan for the Moosehead Lake region are calling on regulators to block development on the Lily Bay peninsula north of Greenville.

LNG facility wins OK
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (AP) - Regulators have approved a permit for construction of a $700 million liquefied natural gas terminal in Goldboro, Nova Scotia.

Parents must enforce teens' cell phone rules
Maine's lawmakers had the best of intentions two years ago when they forbid 16- and 17-year-olds from using cell phones while driving.

Please, set the free market free
It's simply impossible to feed and employ a growing population without increasing the supply of energy. Conservation will help, but not enough. More energy sources are needed.

Democrats leading us astray
As a World War II veteran, I compliment SSgt. Daniel R. Thibault Jr. for his thought-provoking guest column May 25.

Environmental Groups Call for Cutback in Plum Creek Development Plans
As Maine's Land Use Regulation Commission considers Plum Creek's plan to rezone 400,000 acres around Moosehead Lake, Maine's two largest environmental groups have a suggestion: block development on the Lily Bay Peninsula. And in return, reduce the amount of land the company must conserve by 33,000 acres. LURC can only consider a pending application. And, as Susan Sharon reports, unless Plum Creek has a change of heart, the current application appears unlikely to be altered.

Critics Say New School Budget Process Unwieldy
This past Tuesday, about 50 munipalities in Maine held public votes on their local school budget. Most were approved, but a handful were rejected. So what happens now? Under a new state law, they'll have to go back to the drawing board, and hold more public votes until agreement is reached. As Keith Shortall reports, the new system is viewed by some municipal officials in Maine as unwieldy and may have unintended consequences.

Senator Collins Proposes 50 Billion Dollar Economic Boost
Maine Senator Susan Collins today unveiled a plan she says will boost the nation's economy and provide relief for consumers and businesses squeezed by high energy costs. Collins' measure relies mostly on expanding existing federal programs. But she's also included a proposal she co-sponsored earlier that would float $50 billion dollars in transportation bonds to finance improvements to roads, bridges, waterways and rail and transit systems.

Maine's Democratic and Republican Parties Gear Up For Next Phase of the 2008 Election
"We've had our differences, but we're all friends now" - that was the message today from Maine's Democratic party as members put on a display of unity after wrapping up the primaries last night. Following a keenly watched, and at times divisive, six-way contest to represent Maine's 1st congressional district in November's election, the five losing candidates showed up to throw their weight behind winner Chellie Pingree. Meanwhile, Julie Ann O'Brien, executive director of Maine's Republican Party, says the GOP is unified behind Summers. And Bowdoin professor of Government Chris Potholm says Charlie Summers' relatively moderate stance means he's well positioned to build the party's base of support. Tom Porter has the full story.

PolitickerMe Tax hikes rare among states — so far

Fed up with taxes advertises in beer aisle

Tardy confirms gubernatorial bid

Group hits Allen on support of card-check legislation

Times Record

Dirigo Health backup plan in place if new tax law repealed (full story)

Maine Yankee cleanup disputed (full story)

Rising tide for Maine Democrats? (full story)