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Maine News

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Maine News for Thursday, June 5, 2008

Portland Press Herald
A fallen soldier returns home
Justin Buxbaum, a graduate of South Portland High and a son of Chebeague, is buried on the island.

Troops with Maine ties who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan

Memories of RFK assassination still bring sense of loss
Those who were inspired by Robert Kennedy's presidential run in 1968 are left to wonder 'what might have been.'

1st District Republicans offer choices to voters
With days to go, Charles Summers and Dean Scontras continue to butt heads.

Crowded Democratic field in 1st District turns feisty down the stretch
The six-way race is hard to handicap because there hasn't been any independent polling.

Lewiston superintendent's suit against Fox News thrown out

Man gets six months for breaking campaign funding law
A former legislator from Lewiston gets the longest sentence ever for Clean Election Act violations.

Sewers, education, taxes top Eliot selectmen's agenda
The town pays an unfair share of school costs, an incumbent says; a challenger cites Bolt Hill Road waste woes.

Foundation trying to raise quality of health care
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation also wants patients to demand the best treatment and care.

Gas hits $4 in Maine
Motorists handle the high prices in their own ways, whether it's driving less, budgeting more or both.

His historic first is only part of Obama's appeal
The candidate is now so familiar, it's easy to forget about how far we have come already.

TIM OUELLETTELawmakers right on roads, bridges
The state's infrastructure shortfall remains too high even with the measures a columnist criticized.

Alfond shows leadership, promotes collaboration

Bangor Daily News
$29.7M bond sale proposed

Maine officials are once again asking voters for authorization to issue bonds that would funnel nearly $60 million in state and federal money to transportation and environmental projects.

Primary care focus of health conference

AUBURN, Maine - Primary care physicians are a dying breed. Pediatricians, internists, the iconic small-town family doctor and general practitioner - they’re all on the endangered species list, especially in rural areas.

Public to revisit Plum Creek plans

ORONO, Maine — State regulators agreed Wednesday to reopen the public record on the latest proposed changes to Plum Creek’s controversial development plan for the Moosehead Lake region.

Maine leading nation in Rx drug mail-back

OLD TOWN, Maine - A cutting edge pilot program that’s providing a safe way for residents to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs for free is working well, and is expected to be expanded statewide by fall, according to program officials.

Yes on Question 1

Early last year, the Legislature approved a two-part bond package to help the Department of Transportation catch up with road and bridge work. The second part of that two-part plan goes before voters June 10.

Editorial: 1st District Primaries

With Rep. Tom Allen leaving the 1st Congressional District seat after six terms to challenge Sen. Susan Collins, heated primary campaigns are under way as Democrats and Republicans prepare to fight for the open seat.

George Gay: A win in Congress for Maine's woods, communities
After months of discussion and debate, Congress has overwhelmingly passed the farm bill. Much has been made of this legislation’s likely impact on certain agricultural subsidies and food stamp programs.

George Will: Give me oil but not in my backyard
Rising in the Senate on May 13, Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat, explained: "I rise to discuss rising energy prices." The president was heading to Saudi Arabia to seek an increase in its oil production, and Schumer's gorge was rising.

June 5 Letters to the Editor

Kennebec Journal
Muslim leader's jet parks at Augusta airport
Someone is traveling in style

Democrats clawing their way to finish line
A raft of campaign squabbles is surfacing in the final days of the six-way Democratic race to represent southern Maine in the U.S. House of Representatives.

GOP duo: Insider vs. outsider
The Republican candidates vying for the GOP nomination in the 1st Congressional District are blending time-tested themes, mutual attacks and a dash of theatrics as they scurry to build support in the few days that remain before Tuesday's primary.

AUGUSTA: Public hearing slated on city charter tonight
AUGUSTA -- Should the city abandon its current system of electing councilors both citywide and from individual wards?

Tech center rewards 400
AUGUSTA -- Rebecca Wicks knew she wanted to pursue a people-oriented field. The Capital Area Technical Center's health occupations program, she decided, fit her calling.

Amoroso leaving disaster preparedness post
Kelly Amoroso, director for the county's Emergency Management Agency, has resigned from her post after two years of service, county officials announced this week.

Vassalboro lets windmill go up
VASSALBORO -- If a proposed windmill will serve a private residence only, is no more than 33 feet high and is not in the shoreland zone, it does not need a permit from the Planning Board in this town.

On Maine Politics
Nader in Maine Thursday 06/04/08


On the mountaintop
This is not an endorsement. We write neither as Republicans nor Democrats, but rather as Americans.

THEODORA J. KALIKOW : Listening gives everyone a chance to further their education
As the president of a public liberal arts college, one of my jobs is to listen.

JIM BRUNELLE : Maine artist Hartley finally catches world's attention
With few exceptions, the sad fact is that about the only time the news media in general pay much attention to the art world is when some artist's work fetches a multimillion-dollar bid at auction.

'Time for a change' begins at local level
Change -- You hear and see this word everywhere. Political campaigns are based on it. From the national on down to the local level, our politicians promise change. But we will not get change unless we find a way to cause it.

East-west highway, tidal power are good ideas
In my opinion, the Legislature missed an opportunity to increase employment in the northeastern section of the state by not giving Cianbro full-speed-ahead on its proposal to build an east-west highway.

Question 1 passage good for healthier Maine air
On June 10, voters will be asked whether they favor a $30 million bond issue to support public infrastructure projects in Maine (Question 1).

Sun Journal

Two charged with draining soldier's funds
GREENVILLE (AP) - Two Piscataquis County men face forgery charges for allegedly stealing more than $14,000 from the checking account of a 22-year-old soldier who discovered the loss after returning from a 15-month deployment in Iraq.

Candidate gives gas-tax rebates
MANCHESTER (AP) - Motorists facing nearly $4 per gallon prices as they pulled up to the pumps got a surprise during Wednesday afternoon's rush hour: They didn't have to pay federal or state taxes, cutting their bills by 46 cents a gallon.

Maine soldier remembered
SOUTH PORTLAND (AP) - A 22-year-old soldier who was killed last month in a non-combat accident in Afghanistan was laid to rest Tuesday with full military honors.


Paper's prescription is prevention
News from Millinocket about the potential closure of the Katahdin Mill, and 208 Mainers facing layoff in a troubling economy, must move officials to wield their own, old, saw: An ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure.

Bill Clinton reduced to self-pitying plaint
Few things are sadder than former greats past their prime. A bloated Elvis Presley in a sequined suit; a diminished Michael Jordan making one last comeback with the Washington Wizards; and, we can add, a gaunt Bill Clinton desperately plugging his wife's doomed presidential campaign - the Big Dog in winter.

Don't play his game
Paul Madore is running in the Democratic primary for the state Senate.


Fellow Democrats Question Candidate's Views
Several Maine Democratic leaders are raising questions about the candidacy of Adam Cote, a former Republican, who is running as a democrat in the six-way primary race for the 1st Congressional District. Some question whether Cote's core beliefs are consistent with those of southern Maine Democrats while others wonder why so many Republicans and big corporations have made contributions to his campaign. As A.J. Higgins reports, there is also a possibility that Cote is moving up in the polls, prompting his adversaries to pull out all the stops before voters determine the outcome of the race next Tuesday at the ballot box.

Veteran and Novice Battle for Congressional Nomination
Early on in the First District Congressional race, one campaign was receiving high marks even in the absence of its candidate. Republican Charlie Summers was serving in Iraq while his wife Ruth acted as a popular surrogate, winning praise as an effective stand-in. But that raised the question of whether the absence of Naval Reserve Officer Summers was a plus or a minus for his campaign. It's still a question as the better known Summers, a former state senator, finds himself fending off political newcomer Dean Scontras. Keith McKeen reports.

Union Members takes Ads to Task
You may have noticed some ads on local television and in national newspapers recently that take aim at labor unions. An anti-union group in Washington, D.C. has launched a campaign that it says is designed to highlight rampant corruption in labor leadership. But Maine labor unions say the ads are simply an effort to sway public opinion against the Employee Free Choice Act, which would allow workers to form unions by openly signing petitions or cards, rather than by secret ballot. Anne Ravana reports.

Medical Policy at Jails Facing Probable Legal Challenge
Previously, we reported on the common practice of forcing opiate addicts in Maine's correctional facilities to go into withdrawl once incarcerated. The policy applies to inmates on legally prescribed maintenance medications such as methadone and buprenorphine. The only exception is for pregnant women, who are allowed to continue their prescriptions until they give birth and then they also undergo rapid detoxificaton. As Susan Sharon reports in part two of our story, some advocates are prepared to challenge this practice on legal, ethical and medical grounds.

Maine Lobstermen Win Reprieve On Trap Line Change
The federal government is proposing to delay a new rule requiring lobstermen to change the type of rope they use on their traps beginning in October. A final decision is expected in August, but as Barbara Cariddi reports, the delay will mean an uninterrupted lobster season and postpone an expensive investment in new fishing gear.


Michaud last Maine superdelegate to endorse

Times Record

West Bath windmill ordinance advances (full story)

Bath superdelegate supports Obama (full story)

Borrowed 'savings' (full story)

Ellsworth American
The Man with the Plan
Peter Vigue Says The Time Is Right For a Cross-state Super Toll Road
SAINT JOHN, New Brunswick — With diesel fuel about to hit $5 a gallon and with both the Maine and U.S. governments coping with growing deficits, Peter Vigue has never been more convinced that the time to build an east-west toll road through north-central Maine is now.

Prescription Drugs Big Factor in Maine Overdose Deaths
AUGUSTA — Legitimate prescription drugs were involved in 86 percent of the 154 drug overdose deaths in Maine last year.

High-stakes Battle Brewing Over Beverage Tax Repeal Effort
AUGUSTA — Stakes are rising in the battle over a people’s veto campaign to repeal the beer, wine, soda and health insurance taxes passed to support the state’s subsidized DirigoChoice program.

Water Over the Dam
There’s no small irony in the reality that, at the same time thousands of Bangor Hydro-Electric Co. customers are having a hard time paying their electric bills, there is a fully functioning hydro-electric dam in downtown Ellsworth that sits dormant at least 10 months a year.

The Law of Supply and Demand
In the wonderful world of national politics, the answer to the higher oil and fuel price crunch being felt by U.S. consumers and the economy as a whole is simple. Just hit the major oil companies with a new “windfall profits” tax. It will generate millions in tax revenues that politicians then can spread around to all sorts of recipients who will be sure to remember them come election time.

When It Comes to Energy, the Future Is Now
A recent public opinion poll asked respondents whether they thought the recent run-up in gasoline and heating oil prices was temporary or permanent. A clear majority answered “permanent.” Consider the implications; most people have concluded that we have reached a hinge point in history. The era of cheap energy (specifically cheap oil) that has fueled this economy for nearly 150 years is over. The impact is already being felt; virtually overnight a major component of most family budgets has doubled. The effects on the national budget have been equally dramatic as trade deficits rise and the value of the dollar plummets.