Entries Filed in 'Issue 32'

New report dispels myths about MaineCare

January 9th, 2012 · No Comments · Capitol news, Civil Rights, Community Maine, Health Care, Issue 32

“As the research demonstrates, many of the people who receive care through this program suffer from serious and chronic conditions that require medical attention,” said Dr. Coleman, a geriatric physician as well as an attending physician at the Geriatric Assessment Clinic at Maine Medical Center. “Without MaineCare, these patients will be less likely to receive appropriate and timely care, making their conditions much worse.”

The report where this research is documented was published by Maine Equal Justice Partners. The report analyzed MaineCare’s Childless Adult Waiver program, which provides health insurance for low-income adults in the state.

“The public debate around MaineCare has been driven by political rhetoric and anecdote,” said Sara Gagne-Holmes, executive director of Maine Equal Justice Partners. “As the Legislature considers Gov. LePage’s proposal to eliminate health insurance for low-income adults, we think it’s critical that lawmakers have an accurate understanding of who is served by the Childless Adult Waiver.”

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Neil Rolde’s blog: The Anti-Scrooge- Gov. LePage

December 21st, 2011 · No Comments · Guest Columns, Health Care, Issue 32, Neil Rolde, Public Safety

Mr. Scrooge

With Christmas upon us, productions of Charles Dickens’ classic story, A Christmas Carol, adopted for stage and screen, are popping up everywhere as they have for generations. In this redemptive tale that has so caught the imagination of the English-speaking world, Dickens has really fashioned a religious drama in which the message of Jesus during the celebration of his birth is brought home to a single individual and releases him from the mean, selfish, bitter inner misanthropic image that he projects.

Ironically, when we think of Ebenezer Scrooge, whenever we speak his name even, we conjure the first impression he makes upon us. We do not consciously acknowledge his conversion. Scrooge has become almost a noun, meaning someone who is not only a miser but also a disbeliever in the words and admonitions of Jesus Christ. The early Ebenezer neither accepts nor practices the idea of doing unto others what you would have done to yourself.

By the end of the story, however, the old gentleman has changed. A kindly side emerges. The spirit of the holiday reaches him through a series of ghosts and he arrives in the sunlight of sharing a charitable disposition with his fellow Londoners, employees and relatives. Ebenezer Scrooge is re-born, so to speak.

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LURC proposed changes may open the door to developers

December 16th, 2011 · No Comments · Community Maine, Creative Economy, Economy, Environment, Issue 32

“Drastically changing the membership of the Commission and allowing planning and permitting to be taken over by other entities could lead to a loss of the character of the North Woods that has been cherished by Mainers and visitors for generations,” said Jenn Gray, of Maine Audubon.

Planners, conservationists, and citizens throughout Maine are concerned about the impact of proposed changes to Maine’s Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC) on Maine’s North Woods, and are urging the Legislature to examine the proposal carefully and think long and hard about the importance of Maine’s signature natural resource.

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RGGI brings in $1.5 million at latest cap and trade auction for Maine

December 14th, 2011 · 1 Comment · Business & Innovation, Community Maine, Economy, Energy Issues, Issue 32, Maine's green energy potential

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), spearheaded by the Baldacci Administration in Maine, brought in $1.5 million to the state from the last cap and trade auction. To date Maine has made $28, 739,255.01 in proceeds that have benefited various weatherization and energy efficiency programs in the state.

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Issue 32

December 14th, 2011 · No Comments · Issue 32

Where are the jobs?

EDITORIALS—

Where are the jobs?

Neil Rolde’s compares Teddy Roosevelt’s America to that of President Obama’s Osawatomie campaign setting speech

Statoil’s test offshore floating wind turbine Courtesy photo

MAINE’s CLEAN ENERGY ECONOMY PROGRESSES—

Maine offshore floating wind farms move closer to reality

REGGI brings in $1.5 million from cap-and-trade program for Maine

Ecovillage, with its G.O. Logic passive homes is breaking new ground

Maine residents cut their heating oil use by 45 percent between 2004 and 2009

Citizen’s initiative to expand clean energy in Maine

New CMP line helps wind turbines

Obama’s Better Buildings Initiative announces $2 billion in energy efficiency upgrades—

Wind farm demonstration for clean energy


MAINE’S INNOVATIVE ECONOMY—

Revolutionary process for biofuel discovered at UMaine, Orono

Japanese logging group visits Maine to learn about sustainable practices

Nation’s only Cellulose nanofibrils plant to be built at UMaine —


BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY—

Bayside Bowl—bringing community together

Major Private Sector Commitments to Hire 100,000 Veterans and Military Spouses

Entrepreneurs across Maine received MTI seed grants

Bigelow Laboratory partners with industry with new program

Blackstone invests $3 million into established programs in support of Maine innovation

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS—

See interviews about the next session with two lawmakers

Insights from Rep. Emily Ann Cain—on the upcoming session and a bond package

Sen. Justin Alfond — talks about the need for a jobs bond, healthcare and other issues

Nick Danby— Maine’s youngest political activist

EDUCATION—

• Exclusive interview: Sen. George Mitchell’s scholarship program of the Mitchell Institute

Sen. George Mitchell read his interview

Southern Maine Community College expands at Brunswick Landing

PEOPLE POWER—

Same day voter registration on the ballot this November

Occupy Maine- for how long?

To evict the Occupy movement breaks with the Constitutional right of assembly

Hundreds rally to protect Maine against unfounded healthcare cuts

STATEHOUSE NEWS—

Budget proposal puts citizens at risk and may not be based on real accountancy

Legislative panel split on fate of Clean Elections —

Same-Day Voter Registration Restored

HEALTHCARE—

Regional committee established to advocate for Dorothea Dix Hospital Psychiatric Hospital

Bill to prevent health insurance rate hikes won’t be heard

Dirigo Health Agency gets $6 million grant for health insurance exchanges

Maine Law triggers Chemical Report on toxins in toys and paint- Congress needs to use Maine law as model

COMMUNITY MAINE—

Gov. Baldacci and others honored

Kennedy dinner honors Gov. Baldacci and other public servants

First Lady, Michelle Obama, energizes supporters in Maine

“Were it left to me to decide whether we should have government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” — Thomas Jefferson, 1787

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Over 500 rally to protect Maine against unfounded healthcare cuts

December 14th, 2011 · No Comments · Capitol news, Civil Rights, Community Maine, Economy, Health Care, Healthy Lifestyles, Issue 32

Betsy Sweet tells of the cutbacks proposed by Gov. LePage that could be life threatening to some citizens in Maine.

“I ask you to remember that if you make cuts to the Medicare Savings Program, you are letting 72,000 seniors and disabled adults go without a doctor’s care, without prescription drugs, and we know this will cost us all much suffering and more money in the long run,” said Richard Farnsworth, chair of AARP’s Capitol City Task Force. “If you remember nothing else, please remember that the largest part of our state Medicaid budget goes to long-term care. Nursing home and hospital care is a lot more expensive and not where people want to be or live.”

Over 500 citizens rallied today to send a message to lawmakers that extreme proposals presented by Gov. Paul LePage would hurt thousands of working families, the elderly, people with disabilities, the poor and children while also killing more than 4,400 jobs.Public hearings on Gov. LePage’s proposal, which would cut more than $220 million in state funding for MaineCare, the Fund for Healthy Maine, Head Start and other health programs, are scheduled to run through Friday.

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Maine Law triggers Chemical Report on poison in paint, toxics in toys

December 14th, 2011 · No Comments · Community Maine, Health Care, Healthy Lifestyles, Issue 32

“It is overwhelming to think of all of the unsafe chemicals in common products. I feel like I need to behave as an amateur scientist and product detective to protect my kids,” said Julie Wagner, a Portland based mother of two and local leader for the Holistic Moms Network.

A report released today identifies for the first time more than 650 brand name products that contain two hormone-disrupting toxic chemicals. Based on new industry data reported to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the report names plastic toys, such as PLAYMOBIL play figures and Chicco baby rattles, which contain BPA (or bisphenol A), the same toxic chemical already banned in plastic baby bottles and sippy cups. The report revealed another toxic ingredient, known as NPEs, in nearly 300 household paints, as well as several cleaners, wood finishes and home maintenance products.

The report, Poison in Paint, Toxics in Toys, summarizes the first chemical use reports submitted by product manufacturers under Maine’s Kid-Safe Products Act.

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Neil Rolde’s bolg: Osawatomie

December 12th, 2011 · No Comments · Guest Columns, Issue 32, Neil Rolde, News from Washington

President Obama gives historic economic speech

Slightly more than a full century separates two presidential visits to the small town (population about 4,500) of Osawatomie in the middle of Kansas. The second instance, the arrival of President Barack Obama on December 6, 2011, is not only an event with a history behind it but a direct use of history in the interplay of today’s politics. The first instance, of course, was Theodore Roosevelt’s appearance on August 31, 1910. Both men had chosen this out-of-the way venue as the launching pad for important speeches.

Actually, when Teddy Roosevelt came to Osawatomie in 1910, he was no longer President. His second term had ended with the election of 1908. Rather than run a third time (he could have done so legally then), he chose his Vice-President William Howard Taft to succeed him as the Republican standard bearer. With TR’s help, Taft won, but he proved to be a disappointing protégé for Roosevelt and his ideals. Taft showed his conservative streak by supporting the most reactionary factions within the GOP. As the presidential election of 1912 approached, TR found that in order to effect a progressive change in the U.S., he would not be able to run on a Republican ticket. Thus, in 1912, he launched the Progressive Party, nicknamed the Bull Moose Party, and ran independently. But early on, such as at Osawatomie in 1910, he was already putting forth a stunning platform to end the domination of American politics and economy by certain “business interests,” as he called them, dedicated to severe income inequality, benefiting what today we would deem the “1 percent”

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What Democrtic leaders, Rep. Cain and Sen. Alfond, hope to achieve in Augusta

December 12th, 2011 · No Comments · Business & Innovation, Capitol news, Civil Rights, Community Maine, Creative Economy, Economy, Education, Energy Issues, Environment, Exclusive Interviews, Health Care, Issue 32, State Representatives

Democrats say they want a bond package to create jobs this upcoming legislative session. photo by Ramona du Houx

Democratic minority leaders in the House and Senate answer questions about health care, welfare, the environment, voting rights, and the right-wing out-of-state agenda influencing in Maine. They also express their hope to be able to create a job package, working in a bipartisan way.

Representative Emily Cain —

The people of Maine overwhelmingly voted to restore same-day registration. Republicans even ran an extreme ad in the final days that pointed to a “gay conspiracy” theory. Why did they sink to such an outlandish concept?

The Republicans desperately reverted to their same-old campaigns based on fear and misdirection, after multiple failed attempts to create the perception of fraud in our voting system. The good news is that Maine voters saw through this deceitful campaign, rejected the change in the law, and restored sensibility and access to our elections. Democrats believe this attempt to roll back voting rights is just another example of Republicans pushing solutions in search of problems and trying to distract from the fact that they have not focused on job creation and improving our economy.

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EDITORIAL: Where are the jobs?

December 12th, 2011 · No Comments · Business & Innovation, Community Maine, Creative Economy, Economy, Editorials, Issue 32

Maine's state capitol at night. phoyo by Ramona du Houx

A recent study from Chase Bank shows that during the deepest part of the near depression, Maine’s economic recession and unemployment rates were both far less severe compared to the rest of the country as a whole. This is due in large part because the foundation for Maine’s economy to progress out of the recession was firmly established with the Baldacci administration.

But the Chase Bank study shows that after LePage’s first session with the Legislature, Maine began to lag behind in the economic recovery. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that the state had no bond issues on the ballot this past November, which would have immediately provided thousands of jobs for people in construction, research and development, public safety, and education. LePage and other conservatives flatly refused to discuss a bond package in 2010. According to the most recent Maine Department of Labor data, Maine has lost more than 4,800 jobs since January. And LePage’s proposed cuts would diminish the workforce further.

“The proposed state cuts to Medicaid in fiscal year 2012 will result in the loss of more than 4,400 jobs across all counties statewide,” said MECEP Executive Director Garrett Martin.

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