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Maine News

Monday, August 18, 2008

Maine News for Monday, August, 18, 2008

Portland Press Herald
Pre-buying your heating oil? State, industry urge caution
Customers are being told to ask dealers to explain how they will provide oil.

Task force to tackle high cost of heating
The legislative panel will hold at least five public meetings before issuing a report in November.

State committees to hold confirmation hearings
On Wednesday, the full Senate will be in session to make final decisions on the nominees.

College-bound Maine students find loans are available here
They apparently escape problems with loans that students in states such as Massachusetts have faced.

Analog TV shutdown kills free cell-phone TV

Council should accept Maine State Pier deal
The framework does a good job of limiting the city's risk in an important development.

Energy plan offers substantial response
Without precluding a special session, the governor may have made one unnecessary.
[August 17, 2008]

Community colleges in right place at right time
Foresight in creating the system is paying off big as economic times get tougher.
[August 17, 2008]

Leigh Donaldson
There are many reasons why we still need print journalism
Where else will people find the solid reporting on events near and far that no other outlet creates?

Collins should turn attention elsewhere

Criticism of Maine bottler cites questionable 'facts'

Bangor Daily News
Back-to-school tax holiday lacking panel support

AUGUSTA, Maine - Twenty states have a "sales tax holiday" during the summer months to help ease the burden of families buying back-to-school clothes and supplies, but similar proposals have not made it out of committee in Maine.

Special Report: Welfare in Maine after '96 reform act
It's been more than 10 years since then-President Bill Clinton signed into law a piece of legislation that became known as the Welfare Reform Act.

Hoffman: 'I'm going to be on the ballot'

BELFAST, Maine - Herbert Hoffman, the retired psychologist who is running as an independent in the U.S. Senate race against Rep. Tom Allen and Sen. Susan Collins, told a small group of supporters Saturday that he believes the United States Constitution is on his side in his effort to get his name on the statewide ballot this November.

Keeping the heat in

With the public's heightened concern about energy - especially its cost - and high expectation for government solutions, Gov. John Baldacci has proposed a modest short-term plan that sets the appropriate tone of using state resources wisely before moving to spend money the state isn't likely to have.

Tax reform challenges

While it is welcome news that Gov. John Baldacci wants to lower the state's income taxes, many more details are needed before this becomes realistic. One of the biggest problems is that with the state already predicted to face a large shortfall in its next budget cycle, revenue reductions will only worsen the budget gap.

August 18 Letters to the editor

Kennebec Journal

New energy panel will meet
AUGUSTA -- A new legislative panel meets for the first time Wednesday to begin work on setting an agenda to help Mainers cope with the high cost of heating their homes.

Several legislative committees to meet this week
AUGUSTA -- Several legislative committees will be back at the Statehouse this week to hold confirmation hearings on nominees for various councils and commissions.

Students dodge lending worries
While college-bound students in Massachusetts and elsewhere have struggled to secure private loans for the coming school year, Maine students have largely been able to escape those worries, lending and college officials say.


Governor works within limits to design energy aid
Gov. John Baldacci has devised a series of short-term actions to help Mainers meet the difficult challenge of high energy prices through the end of 2008. From heating oil aid to an optional four-day work week for some state workers, the governor's plan is an appropriate and thoughtful response to the growing crisis in the state.

Nader's 'bid' not valid enough for debate or ballot
Seventy-four-year-old Ralph Nader, once the scourge of corporate America, is becoming the laughing stock of democratic America.

I-295 repaving effort belied early fears
The repaving of Interstate 295 from Gardiner to Topsham, formally finished last week, could have been a mess. Instead, it was an example of how to do things right.

Sun Journal
College applications rise
PORTLAND (AP) ­- School officials say applications to Maine's universities and community colleges have increased this year due to greater marketing efforts and a flagging economy.

Festival draws 145,000
LEWISTON - Rhythm, blues and propane burners blended with applause while a near-perfect sunset provided the backdrop for one final ride into the skyline high above the Twin Cities as the 16th Annual Great Falls Balloon Festival drew to a close Sunday evening.

Auburn police test out Segways
AUBURN - Gliding through the city at a brisk 12 mph, standing tall and going places no cruiser can go, Auburn police are one step closer to the reality of Robocop.

Noel Madore: Delegate, political intern, senior in high school
At first, he liked Republican Congressman Ron Paul for president.

Working for oil
John McCain's energy policy is to sacrifice the lives of a few Mainers for oil company profits.

Governor Proposes $12.6 Million Energy Plan As GOP Repeats Call For Special Session
Governor John Baldacci today said that he will not call a special session of the legislature to deal with looming energy concerns this winter. Instead, he unveiled a multi-million dollar plan that he says includes investments in weatherization, fuel assistance, and transportation. GOP leaders, meanwhile, are repeating their call for a special session next week, as well as a short-term infusion of state funds into a federal heating assitance program.

Allen Ties Collins to "Misleading" Ad
Maine union leaders and the Tom Allen for Senate campaign are demanding that Republican Senator Susan Collins condemn an ad that depicts union members and the 1st District Democratic congressman as tools of organized crime mobsters. The ad is misleading according to critics who claim it distorts the intent of federal legislation crafted to make it easier for workers to organize a union. But, as A.J. Higgins reports, one Maine business advocate is convinced the so-called card check bill will encouarge union bosses to intimidate workers into joining.