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Maine News

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Maine News for Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Portland Press Herald
Group seeks to hold off winter heating crisis
An energy panel presents ideas -- including insulating every Maine home -- to Gov. Baldacci.

Poll finds solid vote for Collins in Maine
Voters show a preference for the Republican over her Democratic rival, U.S. Rep. Tom Allen.

Cars in the cross hairs
A panel wants to raise meter fees, charge residents for street parking, and alter roads and routes on the peninsula.

Groups join in campaign for affordable health care
Advocates line the steps of the State House to call on politicians to pass health-care legislation.

State overrides local law for I-295 project trucks
The rumbling traffic begins as early as 4:30 a.m., sparking complaints.

Fed to revamp lending rules
The changes would help protect homebuyers from shady practices by banks and brokers.

Godsend or gimmick?
The government says it has tested the products, but the savings were not enough to justify the cost.

Explorer of the Seas visits Portland

River and mill both benefit from certainty
The collapse of a dam-removal pact with Sappi is an economic and environmental setback.

ANOTHER VIEW: 'Adopt' specialty license plate would meet a crying need
An editorial saying an animal welfare license plate is one too many misses the mark.

SHENNA BELLOWSSpying bill would choke privacy rights
If Sens. Snowe and Collins back a FISA expansion, citizens would lose their freedom from surveillance.

Sen. Collins did not deny protesters right to speak up

Bangor Daily News
Economic boost seen as key to reversing trend

AUGUSTA, Maine - A new study showing declining life expectancy among Washington County women provoked a call to action by several state officials at a meeting last month at the Department of Health and Human Services building.

Maine's oldest Catholic parish to celebrate its bicentennial

NEWCASTLE, Maine - The oldest continuing parish north of St. Augustine, Fla., and the first in the nation to be named for Saint Patrick will hold its bicentennial celebration this weekend in Newcastle.

Study: DHHS lax with payouts

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Legislature's nonpartisan Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability has found that the Department of Health and Human Services has not been providing adequate oversight of many contracted services.

Veazie man jailed in N.Y. for marijuana

BANGOR, Maine - A Veazie man was arrested last week on Interstate 95 in Mamaroneck, N.Y., after a police dog sniffed out more than 20 pounds of marijuana in his car estimated to be worth more than $50,000, according to a report published a Westchester County, N.Y., newspaper.

Hold the Line on Spying

A bill to expand the government's ability to eavesdrop on Americans appears to be headed for passage in the Senate this week. This is a mistake. There is a better way.

Misdirected Energy

A special legislative session on energy is not a bad idea - if lawmakers have some concrete steps they plan to quickly take. But Maine, with its lack of excess funds and few indigenous energy resources can do little to lower fuel costs for the upcoming winter.

Dick Dyer: Facts against DOT's taking of Sail Inn
In the recent Maine Supreme Judicial Court decision regarding whether to allow further court examination of alleged wrongful taking of the Sail Inn Restaurant by the Maine Department of Transportation, Justicee Donald Alexander concluded that my brothers provided 'their own bald assertions' instead of evidence in accusing the DOT of wrongful taking.

July 9 Letters to the Editor

Kennebec Journal
AUGUSTA: I-295 project trucks breaking city rules
AUGUSTA -- Dump trucks steadily rumbling between the ongoing Interstate 295 reconstruction and Pike Industries' pit in the Summerhaven area are running beyond the hours of operation allowed by city ordinance.

Board to take up schedule plan for Cony
AUGUSTA -- A controversial schedule change for Cony High School some officials believe could help reverse a trend of failing students goes back to the Board of Education tonight.

Public properties with private feel
An approaching car pulls off the side of the road. The woman inside frantically rolls down the window and flashes a wide smile.

Rally seeks better health care, cheaper
AUGUSTA -- Calling it the first order of business for a new president and Congress, speakers from a collective of advocacy groups launched a campaign on the Statehouse steps Tuesday morning urging politicians in Augusta and Washington, D.C., to take action on health care.

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

On Maine Politics
Petition dispute in court Thursday


Blasting logjam blown up with new ordinance
After the years of rancor, lawsuits, rumbling and anger and finger-pointing, it's a miracle that the city of Augusta has a new blasting ordinance that satisfies both pit owners and residents of a neighborhood long affected by gravel mining.

GEORGE SMITH : Goodbye, manufacturing; hello, health care
A wool blanket has been thrown over Maine's manufacturing industries.


America needs to act fast on alternative fuels
Just a few thoughts on Iran, U.S.A., European Union, et al. But mostly about the world's dilemma concerning the oil shortages, gas prices and what, if anything, the major world powers are doing about it.

Maine politicians skirt the First Amendment
Sen. John Martin and Sen. Elizabeth Mitchell's 11th hour attempt to disband the state Office of Program Evaluation & Government Accounta-bility and their political maneuver to pass Dirigo funding without proper debate is a clear indication of their imperious attitude gained by their many years, too many years, serving in the Legislature.

Editorial on Pew Forum study raises concerns
The editorial reaction to the Pew Forum study on religious diversity in our country was strange. The editorial quoting of the Pew Religion study was perhaps as narrow as the interpretation.

Remove plaque now from Curran bridge
They say the name of the downtown bridge can't be changed until the Legislature convenes in December or January. Forget the name change. Why can't they physically remove the plaque which is a constant reminder of Father Curran's unforgivable past to everyone who crosses the bridge?

Sun Journal
Sappi pulls out of dam agreement
PORTLAND (AP) - Sappi Fine Paper North America has pulled out of a historic deal to remove a dam on the Presumpscot River to allow sea-run fish to swim upstream.

Court weighs sides of primary outcome
PORTLAND (AP) - The Supreme Judicial Court has heard arguments about disputed ballots in a legislative primary race in Yarmouth and is expected to issue a written decision within a few days.

SMCC offers heavy equipment degree
SOUTH PORTLAND (AP) - Southern Maine Community College will become the only college to offer a degree in heavy equipment operations in southern Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

Plum Creek plan deadline looms
GREENVILLE (AP) - If you want to weigh in on Plum Creek Timber Co.'s Moose-head Lake development plan, it's time to put pencil to paper.

Prison hostage case to be reviewed
PORTLAND (AP) - The Maine Legislature's Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee is poised to review circumstances surrounding a prison hostage situation last week.

Mainers oppose casino, drive less
LEWISTON - High gas prices are prompting Melanie Herrick of Auburn to spend less time behind the wheel. She's given up driving to work.


The state's sharp, short, energy session
Let's be clear: If a politician can deliver affordable heating oil, he or she shouldn't just be re-elected, but made potentate-for-life. In today's petroleum peril, however, there's little sense in praying for miracles.

Election outcome could affect court's balance
John McCain calls the future shape of the federal judiciary "one of the defining issues of this presidential election," a point underscored by the recent spate of 5-4 Supreme Court decisions.

Fudafest: Smoke pot, dance naked
I know how it is. Every once in a while, you just want to go crazy, get naked, and hang out in downtown Norway. And I'd encourage it, friend, except you have that awful habit of wearing tube socks even when you are otherwise nude.

Activists Prepare for Affordable Healthcare Campaign
A coalition of healthcare activists brought the so-called "Health Care for America Now" campaign to the State House today. It was an effort to make affordable healthcare for all a major issue in this year's congressional elections. The campaign is encouraging lawmakers to come up with some new options for consumers. They include private coverage, government-administered health insurance or some different approach for guaranteeing access to health care for all Americans. A.J. Higgins reports.

Adult Adoption Case Returns to State Supreme Court
A legal battle involving an adult woman's adoption by her lesbian partner and a share of the IBM fortune is headed back to Maine's highest court. Patricia Spado was adopted seventeen years ago by her then-lover Olive Watson, the granddaughter of the founder of IBM and the daughter of the company's long-time president Thomas Watson Junior. The adoption, which took place in Maine, theoretically put Spado in line to inherit a share of the Watson family fortune. But earlier this year, after a three-year legal battle, the adoption was annulled by a Knox County probate judge. Spado is now appealing that decision to the Maine Supreme Court.

Pan Atlantic Group Poll: Obama, Collins lead in Maine

Howard Dean rally, Hoffman hearing on Thursday

Times Record
New signs show cyclists the way