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Maine News

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Maine News for Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Portland Press Herald
Fuel costs threaten jetport flights
Industry turmoil may force sharp cuts in service at small airports like the one in Portland, a group says.

Maine delegation helps scrutinize speculation
Legislators are trying to determine if energy markets are being manipulated.

Look Mom, more toothpaste skips fluoride
The decay fighter unveiled in 1955 still has its critics, who prefer to go 'natural.'

Sale proposal rejected, plans for Ballpark stall
One group wants to restore the park in Old Orchard Beach for recreational baseball games.

Advice to make job tolerable
In a down economy, changing jobs might not be an option for workers who are dissatisfied.

Fed's Real ID grant just a drop in the bucket
Congress should replace this flawed program with a better secure-identity system.

Reycling deserves as much space as the trash
New blue bins in South Portland will encourage more savings for the city.

GREGORY D. KESICHIs America ready for its first organizer-in-chief?
After 25 lawyers, three teachers, two journalists and a tailor, this would be a new resum item.

Bangor Daily News
$39.6M in Medicaid claims on hold

BANGOR, Maine - For 28 mentally retarded residents of the Bangor area and the private, nonprofit agency that serves them, the interminable problems in the state's Medicaid program are more than some abstract bureaucratic exercise.

Laura Bush visits Acadia National Park

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, Maine - First lady Laura Bush visited Acadia National Park and the Bar Harbor area Tuesday, White House officials confirmed.

Bangor: Councilors honor boy for saving mother

BANGOR, Maine - A Bangor boy whose 911 call likely saved his mother's life and the city police dispatcher who helped him were recognized for their actions during a City Council meeting on Monday night.

Maine to hold 2009 EnergyOcean conference

Maine will be host to an international conference on ocean energy next year, which officials hope will give the state an opportunity to promote itself as a leader in the growing renewable energy industry.

MMA schooner to head home from Arctic trip

The schooner Bowdoin and its crew from Maine Maritime Academy have reached the northernmost point in their two-month training cruise and are about ready to head for home.

Belfast: Ruling ends lawsuit over big-box stores

PORTLAND, Maine - The case of Belfast and the big-box stores officially came to an end Tuesday when the Maine Supreme Judicial Court issued a unanimous two-page ruling that the case is moot.

Tick infestation taking a toll on moose

PORTLAND, Maine - New England's moose population is under siege from tiny ticks that have become so numerous in recent years that biologists are concerned about the long-term effect on the ungainly mammals.

Red tide forcing more shellfish closures Down East

State officials have expanded shellfish closures Down East and are warning that additional closures are possible as levels of toxic red tide continue to spread in the area.

Better review process of petition signatures needed

While the secretary of state has cleared independent candidate Herbert Hoffman to remain in the U.S. Senate race, the legal debate over whether he has collected enough signatures to appear on the November ballot revealed troubling shortcomings in the stat's validation process.

Editorial: Foreign surveillance bill has troubling provisions

When Congress was poised to let a controversial wiretapping law expire in February, the White House predicted death and destruction if the rules, which allowed eavesdropping without a warrant, weren't extended. Congress let the Protect America Act expire and used the additional time to write compromise legislation, which though improved still contains troubling provisions.

Mark Ishkanian: Government understates ozone threat
The warm weather that we yearn for in the depths of winter is finally here, but with it comes a serious health threat: ground level ozone. Weather, geography and our modern lifestyle conspire to create a serious air pollution threat from ozone here in Maine. It can affect the health of people young and old, healthy and sick. It affects our ability to exercise and to enjoy the great Maine outdoors. And thanks to a recent decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the threat of ground level ozone to our health is being deliberately and knowingly understated by the government.

Brad Macdonald: Guns in parks a national right
Recently proposed changes in federal regulations would allow the carrying of concealed firearms in some national parks, something which is not currently allowed. Specifically, the proposed regulations would allow the carrying of firearms if state law would allow the carrying of firearms in state parks. While this is a step in the right direction and should be supported, changes in federal regulations should go even further and allow the carrying of firearms in national parks even if state law would restrict or prohibit the carrying of firearms in state parks without regard to state law.

June 25 Letters to the Editor

Kennebec Journal

AUGUSTA: Downtown ideas still in pipeline
AUGUSTA -- By sometime this fall, if all goes according to plan, it should be easier for visitors to the city to both find the downtown riverfront and find something to do when they get there.

Hylton in court
AUGUSTA -- Leo R. Hylton, accused in a home invasion in May that left a father and daughter critically injured, appeared briefly in court on Tuesday to hear that the charges against him continue.

Gardiner tour will feature historic homes
GARDINER -- Barbara Oesterlin-Heath imagines the Rev. John Hanson going over his sermon one last time in the tiny room at the front of her house before he'd deliver his message at Sunday morning service.

Jail visit leads to more time
AUGUSTA -- As soon as an inmate from Vassalboro had a visitor at the Kennebec County jail in Augusta, he was violating a court order.

Dam will get rubber upgrade
The owners of the Shawmut hydroelectric facility on the Kennebec River in Fairfield and Benton will begin installation this summer of a four-foot wide, permanent rubber dam.


Mainers turning to home-grown answers for heat
Punishingly high energy prices are taking their toll all over the landscape. The costs of heating oil and gas are forcing families to make drastic cuts in other areas of the household budget, including food.

BUDDY DOYLE OF GARDINER : Voices on both sides of the aisle say, 'Get rid of the aisle'
1. We don't care a whit about your party, your race or your religion. Get your arms around the fact that you are faced with the most Herculean challenge ever to face any world leader. We are in peril, sir -- lead!

PAUL R. LEPAGE : Voices on both sides of the aisle say, 'Get rid of the aisle'
Now that the primaries are over, the presidential election cycle will kick into high gear.

GEORGE SMITH : Hello, my name is George ... and I'm a gas-aholic
On June 12, The Associated Press reported that the federal energy department predicted gas prices would peak this summer at $4.15 cents per gallon. The day before I wrote this column, I paid $4.19. And I'm ready to fire everyone in the energy department for dereliction of duty.

Sun Journal

Man sentenced in hijack threat
BANGOR (AP) - A 44-year-old man from Northern Ireland has been sentenced to 116 days in jail for threatening to hijack an Ireland-bound jetliner on which he was passenger.

Lighting up Little Canada
An $18,000 lighting system gives the Franco center steeple a glow

Council gives OK to sale of Colisee
LEWISTON - Saying they were trying to make the best of a bad situation, councilors Tuesday approved a $1 million sale of the Androscoggin Bank Colisee. The vote was 5-2.

Generation gap in river perceptions
If Sen. Ed Muskie were alive, he'd be proud - but unsatisfied - with progress toward improving water quality in the Androscoggin River. The yardstick of his perception would be long, from the river's worst days to today, perhaps its best in memory.

Making the most of passenger rail's resurgence
A train whistle blared just as Marc Magliari answered the phone, obscuring the Amtrak spokesman's words.

Abstinence-only policy never worked
So all we know for sure is that something happened in Gloucester, Mass.


Prison Inmates Complain They're Overcharged For Phone Calls
Maine's Department of Corrections is under scrutiny for the second time this week. Yesterday the focus was on the department's plans for a website that would list all prison inmates and others who are on probation. Today it's the prison's phone system, specifically, how much money the prison system charges for inmates to make phone calls. Tom Porter has details.

Grub Worms Prompt Lawn Care Debate
Lawns across Central and Southern Maine are in various stages of disrepair thanks to an influx of grub worms feasting and growing beneath the surface. The grubs create large brown spots on lawns, and many homeowners are experimenting with ways to treat them. As Anne Ravana reports, this has stirred some debate between pesticide users and organic lawn care devotees.

Black Fly Population On The Increase
While you often hear that "this must be the worst year ever for blackflies", this year it may actually be true. The reason, say entomologists, is actually a good thing: the environmental cleanup of Maine's inland rivers and streams. Keith McKeen reports.

Corrections Inmate Website Plan Draws Opposition
The Maine Corrections department is preparing to launch a website listing all the state's inmates and offenders who are on probation, for any crime. Officials say they hope the site will be online within two months. Deputy Corrections Commissioner Denise Lord says the name, birthdate, offense, physical description and projected release date of offenders will be listed. She says this will provide a valuable service to victims. Tom Porter has details.

Poland Spring Request Meets Resistance in Kennebunk
Plans to a 15-megawatt biomass generator in Millinocket are now on hold. The reason, according to developers of the so-called Katahdin Energy Project, is congestion on the New England power grid. Anne Ravana investigates why the project, which would burn wastewood and employ more than 30 people, appears to be stuck in an electricity transmission bottleneck.

Ethics commission to examine the use of ‘re-elect’ in campaign ads

Rothenberg V Rasmussen

Times Record
2-by-4 etiquette (full story)