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Maine News

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Maine News for Thursday, August 7, 2008

Portland Press Herald
Baldacci weighs special session to heating aid
State House: Some lawmakers oppose spending $40,000 a day and advise waiting until December.

Newspaper suitor meets with workers
Richard L. Connor tours Blethen properties; union says contract talks would happen before a sale.

Downs owner makes new pitch for slots
The proposal includes office and retail space, a town center

Hoffman requests stay, seeks U.S. high court review of ruling
The Senate hopeful wants to delay the removal of his name from the ballot.

Contractors face questions in carbon monoxide poisonings
A Brewer official says the technicians who installed the propane heating system lacked a permit.

Newspaper cuts jobs, changes sections
The number of layoffs is less than expected since some employees will take time off unpaid.

Gas prices bring carts to the fore
Street-legal golf carts are being allowed on more public roads and saving drivers money, but safety remains an issue.

Disposing of nuclear waste will combat global warming
Though the cost of a waste repository is growing, so is the need for nuclear power.

Another View: Priorities leave the needy needing much more
Mainers are pessimistic because there's a sense that our government isn't helping.

CHICHUN TSOUOlympics allow the Chinese to showcase their might and prowess
After a long history of subordination to the West, China is determined to advance as a world power.

PETER HAMILTONReturn to local energy solutions
Maine was once far more self-sufficient in power production and trade, and it needs to be again.

Portland-to-Fryeburg train great way to visit the fair

Bangor Daily News
Fires leave Red Cross in 'critical' condition

ELLSWORTH, Maine - Fires have swept homes in Ellsworth, Blue Hill, Northeast Harbor and in many other towns so far this summer, leaving many homeless and thousands of dollars in damage behind.

PUC eyes aid to low-income ratepayers

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Public Utilities Commission has started proceedings to determine whether to increase the aid going to low-income Mainers under the Low Income Assistance Program to help them pay their electric bills.

Energy task force seeks public comment

State officials are asking for public comment on a recent report that explores the possibility of more Maine homes and businesses converting to wood heat to help solve the current energy crisis.

Snowe vows to wage battle for fuel funds

BANGOR, Maine - Though the first snowflakes for the coming heating season are months away, Mainers already are jittery, if not frantic, about how they are going to pay for home heating fuel.

Veterans step up for Obama, McCain

BANGOR, Maine - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama hasn't been shy about courting war veterans, a group of voters that historically has aligned strongly with his opponent, Sen. John McCain, a longtime veteran and former prisoner of war.

Groups press Collins on chemical security

Several health and environmental groups are urging U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine to support federal legislation that the organizations claim will help close a dangerous hole in U.S. anti-terrorism policies.

Wasted Political Energy

It is understandable that the public and some lawmakers want action on energy policy, at both the state and federal levels. Calls for special sessions of the Maine Legislature and Congress must be tempered by the realization that there are no quick fixes to the long-building problem of global oil and gas supplies not meeting global demands.

North Korea Update

As the Bush administration winds up its eighth year, the talks with North Korea about its nuclear weapons program stand as a piece of unfinished business and a challenge for the next administration.

Eliot R. Cutler: The next power shift in China, from provinces to Beijing
As the world's attention turns to Beijing and the Olympic Games, the conventional wisdom abroad is that the government of the People's Republic of China is an all-powerful, centralized state.

August 7 Letters to the Editor

Kennebec Journal
STATEHOUSE Baldacci considering special session for heating aid
Gov. John Baldacci is considering whether to call the Legislature into special session to add state funds to a federal program that provides heating oil assistance for low-income Maine households, a spokesman said Wednesday.

BELGRADE -- Biologists and lake association members tonight will discuss the best way to eradicate a new invasive-plant species that has sprouted in Salmon Lake.

3 from KJ recognized
Writers and artists for the Kennebec Journal were among those recognized by the New England Associated Press News Executives Association.

AUGUSTA -- Hallowell lawyer Walter McKee was nominated to a state ethics panel Tuesday by Gov. John Baldacci.


Fundraising for library needs to hit a fast track
For 10 years, supporters of Augusta's Lithgow Public Library worked on plans to expand and renovate the library.

ROGER KATZ : Augusta residents should 'stop fighting old battles'
An old college friend recently came to visit my wife and me for the first time in 10 years. We proudly showed him around town -- the new Cony High School, the Rail Trail, Arsenal and riverfront, YMCA, Alfond Cancer Center, expanded University of Maine at Augusta and the Holocaust and Human Rights Center.

DAN BILLINGS : Both sides misleading public on beverage tax-Dirigo Health issue
In November, Maine voters will decide whether to veto a package of taxes passed to fund Dirigo Health, Maine's subsidized health insurance program.


Veterans deserve military honors at their burials
I participated in a funeral at the old Maine Veterans Cemetery recently as a member of the Kennebec County Veterans Honor Guard.

Collins puts our needs ahead of other countries'
I read with interest the letter by Brian Pulling in the July 31 newspaper, "Collins has supported Bush policy of torture."

Allen key in House vote to leave for vacation
I wholeheartedly agree with your editorial in Monday's KJ, chastising Congress for going on vacation when the country is facing a crisis. However, I was surprised that you didn't mention Rep. Tom Allen's position. He voted with the majority to shut down the House and go home. In fact, with the vote at 213-212, Allen cast the deciding vote rather than stay in Washington and work to fix these problems.

Collins voted to stay in session, work on energy
In the Tuesday, Aug. 5 newspaper, there was an editorial about why the U.S. Congress should not have gone on vacation at this time but should have continued working on such important issues as the energy crisis.

Sun Journal

Maine court will hear sex-abuse liability case AUGUSTA (AP) - Maine's highest court is being asked to decide whether supervisors can be held liable for an unlimited time for acts of sexual abuse committed by people who work for them.
The case stems from damage claims filed by two men who were allegedly abused by Roman Catholic priests during the 1980s.

Androscoggin County Jail gets top marks in state inspection
Facility needs to change inmate totes and get accessibility certification, state says

Jay veteran nears end of AT
JAY - A veteran hiking the Appalachian Trail to raise awareness of the plight of homeless veterans was expected to reach Caratunk on Wednesday evening, according to VFW District 9 Commander Palmer Hebert.

One day could make a difference
A deadlocked Congress has headed home, sans energy progress. Republicans blame Democrats for skedaddling, Democrats blame Republicans for trying to stick around to give more goodies to oil companies.

Campaigns held promise but it's politics as usual
At the beginning of this long political season - if there ever was a beginning, since campaigns are now nonstop with only the players changing - it appeared this one might, just might, be different.

Not right for turbines
The wind turbine project for the mountains between Roxbury Pond and the Swift River in Roxbury is not suitable for the area. Environmental, health and quality of life impacts will be with area residents long after the wind turbines have been replaced with more reliable and efficient sources of power. People must always consider the environmental impact of any industry in the precious Maine woods and waters.

Hoffman Seeks Stay of Signature Ruling
An attorney for a retired Ogunquit psychologist who wants to be an independent candidate for the U.S. Senate is asking the state's highest court to stay a ruling that effectively took his client off the ballot last month. On July 28, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court concluded that Herbert Hoffman had not obtained enough signatures to appear on the fall ballot along with Democratic nominee Congressman Tom Allen and Republican incumbent Susan Collins. But John Branson, Hoffman's attorney, says the law court should set aside its ruling until his client can petition the United States Supreme Court for a review of the decision. A.J. Higgins reports.


After losing case, Hoffman turns to U.S. Supreme Court

AFL-CIO: Anti-EFCA ad with Sopranos star a smokescreen

Michaud takes five-day tour of overseas military hospitals

Vets in Maine for Obama, too

Times Record

Buying votes with fuel aid?

Ellsworth American
As Heating Emergency Looms, Maine Searches for Energy Options
ELLSWORTH — As the grim realities of runaway energy costs sweep across America, Maine may wind up being the proverbial canary in the coal mine.

Prof. Richard Hill: Social Readjustment Only Fix For Energy Dilemma
ORONO — As Angus King Jr. frequently points out, every American president since Richard Nixon has stressed the importance of ending America’s addiction to foreign oil.

Nuclear Power for Maine? Not Likely, Say Politicians
As Maine ponders the economic abyss of the state’s growing addiction to fossil fuels, little mention is ever made of the “n” word of energy.

Maine Yankee Delivered Electricity at Low Cost
ELLSWORTH — There hasn’t been a nuclear power plant in Maine since 1997.

Flooding in Blue Hill
Torrent Forces Temporary Evacuation of Hospital
BLUE HILL — Blue Hill Memorial Hospital was closed to all but emergency care Monday as crews cleaned up a flooded basement that forced the hospital to evacuate its patients Sunday.

Utilities, Energy Committee OKs Cashman for PUC Post
AUGUSTA — The Utilities and Energy Committee voted 11-2 to support the Governor’s nomination of Jack Cashman to the Public Utilities Commission after listening to two hours of effusive praise during which he was called everything from a “Renaissance man” to a hard-nosed negotiator who would be fair to business and working people alike.

Restructuring Must Go
We’ll say it one more time. The Maine Legislature should get off its collective duff and repeal or revise legislation enacted more than a decade ago that “restructured” the state’s electricity industry. Since March 1, 2000, when the restructuring took effect, the cost of electricity purchased by residents of Downeast Maine has more than doubled. Last week, medium- and large-sized businesses in the region learned the so-called standard-offer rates will be increasing by as much as 32 percent. Higher prices for fuel — especially natural gas, used to generate 45 percent of the electricity in Maine — clearly have played a role in recent electricity rate increases. But it becomes more abundantly clear every day that restructuring has never delivered on the promise of lower electricity rates for Maine consumers.

Senator Snowe Talks Heating Assistance In Bangor

Maine Senate Hopeful Eyes Federal Review

Penobscot County Moving Ahead With Plans To Switch From Oil To Natural Gas

Augusta Hosts Energy Conservation Workshop


Mainers Meet Over Home-Heating Options