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Maine News

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Maine News for Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Portland Press Herald
Company quits deal to remove mill dam
State officials believe costs were a factor in Sappi's decision. A formal hearing is expected later this year.

Supreme court considers tied vote
A decision is likely in a few days on the winner of the Democratic nomination in House District 107.

Business coalition endorses McCain
About 30 Maine small businesses join a national campaign to support McCain's economic plan.

Tourism comes and goes
Many businesses are thankful for a strong holiday showing, but questions linger about the season's overall prospects.

RV travelers stop short
Fuel costs mean fewer trips and staying closer to home

Car dealers feel impact of changes
They can't sell the vehicles that they have in stock and can't get enough of the high-mileage cars that buyers want.

Hearing to review hostage case
Lawmakers have questions about last week's incident at the Maine State Prison.

New community college offerings will boost state
In an era when money is tight, these new programs reflect good resource prioritization.

Public art does its job when it starts a conversation
Portland's art committee should make sure that the whole community feels included.

Obama's embrace of faith-based programs patently un-American
Either the Democratic presidential candidate is pandering, or he doesn't understand our system.

School improvement efforts under the radar
Learning Results is a work in progress, but we can cheer teachers for striving to better themselves.

Translating youthful idealism into action
The U.S. Public Service Academy would train bright undergraduates to serve the American people.

Beverage, insurance tax hike will add to Mainers' burden

Bangor Daily News
Lincoln mill boss calls for energy plan

LINCOLN, Maine - Provided by the government of New Brunswick, the nearly $60 million in low-interest, long-term loans issued this spring will help the Canadian province's largest employers upgrade technology, dump traditional energy sources and eventually crush their American forest products industry competitors, Keith Van Scotter said Monday.

Red tide hospitalizes 3 in Calais

MACHIAS, Maine - Three people were admitted to a Machias hospital over the weekend with symptoms of red tide or paralytic shellfish poisoning, marking the second time in less than a year that people in Maine have been sickened after a nearly 30-year absence of any cases.

Less bucks means less bang for Fourth

BANGOR, Maine - People who traveled to the city's waterfront to watch the sky during this year's Fourth of July fireworks display say the pyrotechnics didn't compare to years past.

Medicare gridlock looms

AUGUSTA, Maine - Because the U.S. Senate has failed to block a decrease of more than 10 percent in Medicare payments to doctors, Maine senior citizens on the federal program could have difficulty finding a physician and doctors face the loss of $50 million over the next 18 months.

Prisoner assaults jail guard with own badge

BELFAST, Maine - A prisoner who told officers he had nothing to lose by his actions ripped the badge from the shirt of a Waldo County Jail corrections officer and assaulted him with it.

Gas costs sap volunteer drivers

The high price of gasoline is affecting everybody, including agencies dedicated to providing transportation to medical appointments and other health-related destinations. Three area agencies said Monday that they are still managing to transport the poor, the elderly and others who can't drive themselves, but they anticipate harder times ahead.

Maine Party Platforms

Which political party's platform supports "the preservation of the Maine Woods and open spaces through public and private initiatives" and which asserts "Democracy is the belief that the best repository of wisdom lies in the hands of an informed and educated electorate"?

Flip-Flop Findings

Universities and colleges do research every day that leads to improvements in our lives. But occasionally there are studies that result in nothing more than a collective shrug, often because their results are so obvious.

John Buell: Mural shows off Maine's social history
Labor Day once marked the last big weekend of the tourist season. That season now extends well into the fall, to the relief of many Maine businesses. The success of the season is often viewed as a commentary on how well businesses and state government have marketed its rustic and rock-bound image. Yet Maine's achievements, even its success as a tourist destination, depend as much on its social history as on the natural qualities it possesses.

Steve Butterfield: Offshore drilling the wrong way to go

In a June 26 OpEd piece, Rep. Josh Tardy of Newport claimed that Democratic opposition to drilling offshore was the main obstacle standing between hardworking Mainers and affordable heating oil and gas this winter. Among other claims, he commented that he thought it was ridiculous that China can drill 60 miles off our coast "thanks to their agreements with Cuba" while the U.S. is prohibited from doing so because of our own laws.

July 8 Letters to the editor

Kennebec Journal
Vernal pools fuel Maine woods
WAYNE -- In an instant we are all five years old again, tromping our way through ankle-deep muck and sloshing along in the water in rubber boots.

Council OKs funds for downtown projects
AUGUSTA City councilors unanimously approved $218,000 worth of projects meant to help revitalize downtown, including a radio broadcasting system, signs and maps to help visitors find and learn what's happening downtown.

Lawyer, state rep defend connection
WINSLOW Anthony Buxton and Ken Fletcher have a shared passion for creating and preserving hydroelectric power that has brought them together inside and out of the state capitol.

AUGUSTA: Accord seen on blasting
AUGUSTA A proposed new blasting ordinance seems to have silenced controversy that erupted between pit owners and local residents over the last several years.

AUGUSTA: More parking for church, bigger sign at club
AUGUSTA -- The Planning Board meets tonight to hold public hearings on proposals for a new office building on Town and Country Road, more parking at St. Augustine Church, an addition
onto a Riverside Drive apartment building, and a proposed change to the city's sign ordinance.

On Maine Politics
McCain's jobs plan draws support

DAVID B. OFFER : What's the right kind of medical care later in life?
It's awkward to talk to old people about dying.

PATRICK CUNNINGHAM AND SUSAN FARNSWORTH : New pay-per-bag trash system cheaper, better for Hallowell residents
On behalf of the members of Hallowell's Solid Waste Committee, we appreciate this chance to explain why we believe the proposed city-run waste hauling system will not increase taxes as reported by the Kennebec Journal on July 24, 2008, and will financially benefit Hallowell residents.


Subprime mortgage article was informative
The commentary, "Plenty of culprits in U.S. mortgage mess" (June 30) was a great autopsy of past and future fiascoes!

LURC should listen to citizens on Plum Creek
When the Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC) renders its decision about the Plum Creek plan to develop Maine's Moosehead Lake region, I wonder whether its members will be able to look their children and their grandchildren in the eye and explain themselves.

Morning Sentinel

Consolidation dance begins anew
OAKLAND -- The deadline for forming new regional school units is July 1 -- less than a year from today.

Planners OK Colby Street building
WATERVILLE The Planning Board on Monday unanimously approved construction of a 7,000-square-foot office building on Colby Street, despite repeated and unsuccessful attempts to find out who will occupy the building.

Sun Journal
Lesbian partner adoption annulled
PORTLAND - An adult adoption involving lesbian partners and a claim to a share of one of America's premier business fortunes has been annulled, bouncing their high-profile case back to Maine's highest court.

Film festival kicks off Friday
WATERVILLE (AP) -About 4,000 movie fans are headed to Waterville this week and next for the 11th annual Maine International Film Festival.

Another registry? Not so fast
If there's one thing Maine knows about online criminal registries, it's that they carry unforeseen consequences.

A Republican's plan to take on the big stuff
Shhh. Listen. Hear that? It's a pulse. Faint, but there. An actual sign of life, one that could allay the fears of many about the state of Republicans in Congress.

CFTA is a bad deal for U.S.
John McCain was in Colombia and Mexico recently, promoting free trade agreements. Specifically, he wants to see the U.S. Congress pass the Colombia Free Trade Agreement, an expansion of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

America needs real energy plan
As a cashier at a gas station, I've met many people ... good, hard-working folks, struggling to break even. Unless oil prices fall sharply, I fear this nation is headed for a major recession. The middle class and the working poor will be decimated. Our community, which has seen an economic rebound in recent years, will fall into a steep decline.

Canada Fears Poor Summer for Tourism
Maine's tourism industry depends heavily on visitors from Canada, so it's perhaps no suprise that Canada's industry also depends on tourists from Maine. But fewer Mainers are making the trip north across the border this summer, and the nation's tourism industry is on the brink of what some Canadian officials say is a crisis. Keith Shortall reports.

Medical Professionals Engage in Literature Discussions
Doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers are busy people -- too busy, you would imagine, to sit around talking about books.But a literature discussion program for medical professionals, started in Maine 11 years ago, is enjoying huge success. The Literature in Medicine program was established by the Maine Humanities Council and now receives major funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. It has spread to 20 states as well as overseas, and inspired a recently-published anthology of selected poetry and prose, called "Imagine What It's Like." Interviewed by Tom Porter, Liz Sinclair of the Maine Humanities Council says the program is a way for healthcare professionals of all different disciplines to get together and reflect on their work.

Electronic Medical Demonstration Project Delayed
Members of the Dirigo Health board of directors learned today that Maine will have wait a year to take part in a federally funded demonstration project aimed at encouraging doctors to convert to electronic medical records systems. The state was approved for inclusion in the $29 million incentive grant last April. As A.J. Higgins reports, Maine doctors hope to learn from the handful of other states chosen to launch the project.

Aroostook County Economic Outlook - Part 1
Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz hears, in an interview, that nothern-most Maine is escaping some of the worst of the economic downdrafts.


Bringing a gun to a knife fight

Yarmouth recount: A tale of three ballots