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Maine News

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Maine News for Thursday, September 4, 2008

Portland Press Herald
Campaigns woo the not-so-faithful
The launch of ‘Maine Republicans for Obama’ follows last week’s arrival of ‘Citizens for McCain.’

Credit unions offer heating loans
Some are even offering no interest and are giving people 12 months to repay what they have used.

The GOP vice-presidential candidate attacks Barack Obama, says John McCain will bring about real change.

Newspaper's owner asks court for ruling on contract dispute
Union disagrees with the company and insists its contract must be honored.

CFO: Paper mill lost $57 million since '04
Katahdin plans to restart its equipment after a biomass boiler is installed.

Job loss grips the heartland
Vise-Grip plant to close; Unibit operations moving to Maine

New smoking ban passed for city restaurants, bars
Portland councilors prohibit smoking in outdoor areas before 10 p.m., despite protests.

Man tried to rent girl for sex, police say
Michael Alan Berk faces charges that he offered to pay the father of a 12-year-old $300 a week to have sex with the man's daughter.

Double standard keeps kids visible
Analysis: Republicans call for the media to back off, but put the family front and center for photo ops.

Lewiston closes the book on sex-ed fight

JACK BUSSELL Special to the Press HeraldThe Blue Angels: A 'G-rated' show with 'X-rated' content
Mainers should not support this show, which only serves to glorify the horrors of war.

CAL THOMASHockey mom and reform-minded governor has shaken things up
She's true to her principles and speaks and acts not out of political calculation but common sense.

Bangor Daily News
AUGUSTA, Maine — Tens of thousands of Mainers are struggling with addiction

BANGOR, Maine — City planning board members Tuesday approved construction of

BAR HARBOR, Maine — College of the Atlantic has opened up a new student

McKernan touts McCain on import of education MINNEAPOLIS — Former Maine Gov. John R. “Jock” McKernan hosted members of

Maine delegates praise maverick Palin ST. PAUL Minn. — Somerset County Commission Chairman Philip Roy, a Maine

Wanted: energy auditors Training programs offered by the state for people interested in entering the

Kennebec Journal

Difficulties increase for merger planners
READFIELD -- The committee charged with planning the Fayette, Maranacook-area and Winthrop school systems' merger faces two competing priorities, members decided at a meeting Wednesday night.

Broken bus, stranded children upset parent
AUGUSTA -- Robin Lloyd's daughter was nervous about her first day of kindergarten at Hussey Elementary School on Wednesday.

Loans latest weapon in armory against winter
SKOWHEGAN -- Roger Seavey had watched his home-heating cost more than double since 2004, and he was ready for a change.

After revaluation, China resets property tax rate
CHINA -- Selectmen set the 2008-09 property tax rate at $10.20 for each $1,000 of valuation on Tuesday.'

Maine parties poach voters
The two presidential campaigns have launched statewide efforts to poach Maine voters from each other's party and entice undecided independents to support their respective candidates.

Legal maneuvering continues between Blethen and Guild
The back-and-forth filings between Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc. and the Portland Newspaper Guild continued this week in federal court.

On Maine Politics
Augusta GOP ‘watch party’ Thursday



Maine doesn't need another salmon war
Spare us the spectacle of the great leaper -- Salmo salar, the Atlantic salmon -- being turned into the great political football once again.

LUKE ROSIAK WRITES FOR CAPITAL EYE, THE ONLINE NEW : Obama leads McCain in military donations, 6-1
During World War II, soldiers crouching in foxholes penned letters assuring their sweethearts that they'd be home soon. Now, between firefights in the Iraqi desert, some infantrymen have been sending a different kind of mail stateside: $200 to $300 -- or whatever they can spare -- toward a presidential election that could very well determine just how soon they come home.

DAN BILLINGS : Third-party ad implications go beyond Collins-Allen race
The campaign television ads started early this year.

Sun Journal
$2.5 million gift to Bates slated for quality food
LEWISTON (AP) - The amount of local and natural food served at Bates College is growing thanks to a $2.5 million gift that's earmarked for quality food.

'Republicans for Obama' formed
PORTLAND (AP) - Maine's Barack Obama campaign has announced the formation of a group calling itself "Maine Republicans for Obama."

Hospital stops release of birth information
PORTLAND (AP) - In a move aimed at preventing infant abductions, Maine's largest hospital has stopped collecting information about births and passing it on to newspapers.

No one running for school board seats
PORTLAND (AP) - No candidates have come forward to run for two of the three open seats on the Portland School Committee.

2003 casino advocate discusses casino vote
PORTLAND (AP) - The chief architect of a failed 2003 referendum to allow a casino in southern Maine isn't keen on a ballot measure this November asking voters if they want a casino in the western part of the state.

Did casino take shape in secret?
In a recent editorial about the proposed Oxford County casino, we accused Evergreen Mountain Enterprises and Seth Carey of lacking a plan. We were wrong.

Palin's common sense wins matchup with Biden
I have never met a weak woman, or a male victim in Alaska. You've got to be tough to survive in a state that is further away from Washington than any other, except Hawaii. In terms of the contrasts between how most Alaskans think and what passes for reasoning by career politicians in Washington, Alaska might as well be a colony on the moon.

Regulators Decline To Issue Penalty Against Waterville OTB
State regulators overseeing Maine's offtrack betting parlors has decided to not to impose any penalty against John Martin's Manor in Waterville for operating illegally for more than two months. Through an agreement negotiated by the Maine attorney general's office, the OTB operation will forfeit more than $60,000 from its share of slot machine profits from the Hollywood Slots racino in Bangor. Meanwhile, members of the Maine Harness Racing Commission say the case proves they need more state money for investigators.

Oxford County Casino Opponents Cry Foul Over Closed Door Meeting
Critics of a troubled campaign to build a casino in Oxford County are charging it with back-room dealings. Casino opponents and a newspaper have joined forces in criticizing a closed-door session between Seth Carey, the leader of the casino referendum campaign, and town officials in Rumford, one of the western Maine communities where the casino could be sited. Josie Huang reports.

Lawmaker Floats Four Day School Week
Rising oil and gas prices have taken a toll on the budgets of rural and remote school districts in states such as Kentucky, New Mexico and Minnesota. In response, those states have presented their public schools with the option of a four-day school week. And, as Anne Ravana reports, at least one Maine legislator believes cutting out one day of school and lengthening other days would save schools and their staff a great deal of money.


Ellsworth American
Dirigo Health Runs Up Deficit Of $19.7 Million
AUGUSTA — The state’s subsidized Dirigo Health insurance plan has run up nearly a $20 million deficit since November.

Supporters of Tax-cutting Referendums Confident of Signatures
AUGUSTA — Proponents of two tax-cutting measures — a version of the old Taxpayer Bill of Rights and a new proposal to cut the motor vehicle excise tax by 40 percent — say they have enough signatures to get the proposals on the ballot next year.

Taxpayer-funded Grandstanding
As you watch thousands of partisan political delegates at this year’s Democratic and Republican conventions screaming, waving signs and otherwise acting like rabid fans at a rock concert, perhaps you wonder who’s paying for these spectacles. One might assume that the costs of these extravaganzas are borne by the political parties themselves. But to a great extent, that assumption would be wrong.

Selling a Pig in a Poke
With less than three months to go before state and national elections, it’s more than a little disturbing that, as of Aug. 25, one could not find anywhere on the Web site of the Maine secretary of state’s office a listing of the bond issues and other referendum questions that will appear on the ballot. One thing we do know, however, is that the ballot will include a citizen initiated question asking: “Do you want to allow a certain Maine company to have the only casino in Maine, to be located in Oxford County, if part of the revenue is used to fund specific state programs?”

Village Soup
Fuel that can grow in Maine