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Maine News

Monday, August 4, 2008

Maine News for Monday, August 4, 2008

Portland Press Herald
School officials brace for fuel budget deficits
Cost overruns for heating oil and diesel may result in significant program cuts in some Maine districts.

Mainers go solar, snap up systems that make heat as the sun shines
The state rebate program for thermal energy has already run out of money.

Hydrogen car show aims to fuel interest
A fleet of vehicles, which actually run on electricity, will kick off a national tour next weekend in Maine.

How would oil drilling affect fish?
The Census of Marine Life counts 3,317 species in the Gulf of Maine but doesn't take a stand on the issue.

Persistent rains drench hay, keep farmers waiting
Yields will be down and so will the quality of the first crop, as much hay sits uncut until dry weather.

New attitudes gaining toward transit, land use
The rising cost of energy enhances ideas such as clustered housing and the revival of a trolley line.

When wealthy pinch pennies, everybody feels the squeeze
The 10 percent of households that account for one-quarter of spending have an impact.

Budget projections demand new thinking
A short-term surplus hides a long-term problem that won't be easily solved.

'Gender gap' in some fields doesn't signal an ability gap
From engineering to politics, cultural factors, not physical ones, are what hold women back.

Ban on fast-food joints not the way to fight obesity problems
Consumer education is what will make a difference in this public health crisis.

LEIGH DONALDSONStop complaining about gas prices, start seeking solutions
Trashing the planet to extract more gasoline isn't the answer to the crisis – let's look outside the box.

Homelessness policy leads to problems

Dealings with Stevens show poor judgment by Collins

Bangor Daily News
State may act on weatherization

AUGUSTA, Maine - Gov. John Baldacci says the failure of Congress to pass emergency weatherization aid before taking five weeks off could trigger a special session of the Maine Legislature. But legislative leaders say any measure will have to be very limited in scope to gain broad support.

Severe storms spawn floods, cut power

Thunderstorms, some severe, moved over parts of eastern, central and northern Maine on Sunday causing power outages and some flooding.

CMP, MPS eye upgrades across Maine

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Two of Maine's largest power-distribution companies, Central Maine Power and Maine Public Service, are proposing major upgrades aimed at preventing blackouts, bringing as a side benefit thousands of construction jobs.

Rain, economy plague state fair

BANGOR, Maine - The Bangor State Fair closed with a bang Sunday as heavy thunderstorms and rain chased away crowds for the last day of the annual summer event. In fact, the rain that plagued the fair during stretches of its 10-day run may have helped cause a drop in attendance this summer.

Special Report: Housing help on local, regional, state levels

BANGOR, Maine - Shawn Yardley is bracing for a busy winter. The director of Bangor Health and Community Services expects an influx of people needing help with housing at the top of their list.

Special Report: LIHEAP

BANGOR, Maine - The federally funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, known as LIHEAP, traditionally has helped needy residents pay 60 percent of their winter heating bills.

Editorial: Green fatigue

As worry spreads through the nation about how global warming threatens the planet, some committed environmentalists find themselves afflicted by two new annoyances: "green noise" and "greenwashing." Together, they are causing a certain green fatigue that could endanger the growing national determination to do something about climate change.

Editorial: Snowe and the veepstakes

As both John McCain and Barack Obama close in on their choice for a running mate, one name keeps popping up — Olympia Snowe. Her name isn't bandied about by professional political pundits, but by bloggers and would-be wonks.

Bohdan Slabyj: Survey reveals tension between Russia, Ukraine
A survey in Russia, for naming the greatest person of its history (BDN, July 16, 2008), has three individuals in a tight race: Czar Nicholas II, Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Lenin. This fact is as fascinating as it is revealing.

Stacey Allen Fitts: McCain's energy know-how will help America
With skyrocketing energy costs taking more and more out of Mainers' paychecks, the need for a comprehensive plan to eliminate America's dependence on foreign oil is magnified. Our nation’s security and prosperity depend on it.

August 4 Letters to the Editor

Kennebec Journal

Due to demand, solar rebates disappear
Skyrocketing oil prices are sending more Mainers in search of solar-powered heat and hot water systems.

Old tissue mill site on agenda
AUGUSTA -- A proposal to start the process of taking over the abandoned American Tissue Mill to make way for private redevelopment of the riverside site is up for a City Council vote Monday.

How long can this last?
Anyone else notice paying at the pump is starting to hurt less?

Rainy weather leaves hay wet, remaining in the fields

Hard times for convenience stores
As more of his fellow local convenience-store owners shutter their shops for good, it's difficult for Walter Longfellow to stay upbeat. But he tries.


Campaign trail: Stinky tactics and venial sin
That's right, the soon-to-be Republican nominee for president -- the one who says he doesn't want to sling mud in this campaign. He has authorized and said he is proud of a TV ad in which photos of Obama, Spears and Hilton appear sequentially while the narrator suggests they are all celebrities and that makes Obama unfit to serve.


Keep lilies away from our feline friends
Ah, summer in Maine, the time of warm days, cool nights and beautiful flowers.

Pellet stove company needs drive to fulfill orders
Concerning the recent pellet stove shortage -- I have worked for Rocky's for seven years and never have seen a calendar year seem so busy. We crew have worked mostly six days a week, 10-12 hours per day since last August, due to increased demand in alternative heating. I have received many calls and visits from customers with justified concern about the sudden change in availability with the Harman pellet stoves.

U.S.-Colombia trade pact an affront to justice
I am a member of Colombia Vive, a grassroots solidarity group based in Boston, as well as the Colombia Solidarity Network at Brown University.

Sebasticook dam removal defies environmental logic
I watched with sadness and confusion today, as workers continued to destroy the dam on the Sebasticook. I consider myself a dedicated environmentalist, but I can't reconcile eliminating a "zero carbon" hydropower generating facility so fish can swim a little farther to breed.

Maine should be proud of VA Medical Center
Recently, I had the privilege of visiting a very dear friend of mine who is a patient at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, on Patriots Place (Unit 73, Alzheimers) at Togus.

Sun Journal

Cord wood gets premium price
LEBANON, N.H. (AP) - Rising energy prices are driving up demand for cord wood and creating a shortage in some areas of northern New England.

Proposed 'green' resort has some seeing red
WINTER HARBOR - On paper, the development here in eastern Maine sounds like a dream for people looking to get away from it all.

Draining business
AUBURN - Allen Theriault doesn't charge for the water he hauls to fill swimming pools all around Central Maine, and neither does anyone else.


A green leader, in our backyard
To butcher a phrase: If lesser institutions borrow but great institutions steal, may we encourage institutions around Lewiston-Auburn to pilfer liberally from the "green" model that is Bates College.

Some laws restrict freedoms but save lives
We live in a great country. As U.S. citizens, we enjoy freedoms and independence envied by most nations of the world.


August recess: Allen says go, Collins says stay

Cote nominated to development board