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  • Published
    January 28, 2010

    Pingree applauds Obama’s call for railroad investments

    I was glad to hear the President focus on creating jobs and improving the economy, including a commitment to making it easier for small businesses to get access to the money they need to grow and survive and investing in the clean energy jobs that we can create here in Maine. The president also called on Congress not to give up on health care reform that will lower costs, strengthen Medicare and crack down on …

  • Published
    January 28, 2010

    Michaud calls for bipartisan effort to help small businesses after president’s speech

    Many Mainers are as frustrated as I am with Washington right now. The environment is extremely partisan at precisely the time we can least afford it. Having worked in a mill for 29 years, I’ve lived through pink slips, layoffs and picket lines. I know firsthand where Mainers are coming from and understand why they are angry and discouraged – Washington appears out of touch with their priorities. It’s the very …

  • Published
    January 28, 2010

    Collins responds to Obama with call for green energy jobs

    Tonight, the president delivered a strong message to the American people and discussed many of the challenges that are important to our country. I commend President Obama for focusing his address tonight on what matters to Americans — job creation, the exploding debt and the economic recovery. Wherever I go in Maine, I hear from people who are struggling. They are struggling to pay their bills. They are …

  • Published
    January 28, 2010

    Snowe praises Obama’s spending freeze proposal, call for jobs as main focus

    Tonight’s State of the Union address comes at a consequential time in our nation’s history, with jobs and the economy at the forefront of concerns for the American people. Clearly, the president’s address was an attempt to recalibrate his administration’s agenda to reflect the increasing demand of the American people to fully focus not on growing government, but rather on growing our economy. The administration …

  • Published
    January 27, 2010

    Children in the courtroom

    The years for older children and young adolescents between the ages of 6 and 15 have been called the most important time in their development. Why can we not allow the judge to make the ultimate decision in terms of the competency and honesty of a child testifying in a courtroom, given that the child is younger than 12 years? As a divorced mother of one child, I want to share my thoughts on LD 1511, an Act to …

  • Published
    January 25, 2010

    Help your neighbors

    It’s post-holidays and I’m sure everyone is tired of hearing “would you like to donate …” or “we are collecting …” I can’t say I blame anyone for feeling that way, especially considering that the economy has been rough on us all, and many are struggling. The problem is that people and animals do not stop needing food and other forms of assistance just because the holidays are over. I think most of us would …

  • Published
    January 25, 2010

    Presenting a unified regional front

    One of my favorite things about chamber work is watching the wisdom of crowds and the power of groups at work. A modest dues investment by one business combined with similar amounts from its peers soon snowballs into an incredibly powerful tool that benefits all. At the same time, smart management allows both focus and flexibility in order to avoid the pitfalls of a monolithic and lumbering “big fist” approach. …

  • Published
    January 25, 2010

    Fire grants for safer operations

    When nine firefighters were recently laid off in Portland due to budget cuts, members of the local union dug into their own pockets to support their colleagues. In York, the volunteer fire department is holding a fundraising drive to replace an aging fire engine. And in Raymond, knowing that their breathing apparatus was outdated didn’t stop firefighters from responding to fires. These stories are incredible …

  • Published
    January 24, 2010

    Tipping points 1: passing out in my plate

    In May 2006, I passed out at our neighbors’ dinner table from an allergic reaction to something I had eaten. The attack strengthened so quickly that I never knew until much later, when we could all joke a little, that my face fell into my dinner plate. Or that I lost all muscle control. Or that my husband and our neighbors were really scared as they tried to tell a dispatcher which rural driveway the responding …

  • Published
    January 23, 2010

    Valuable community service

    Having taught a class for the new guards at Maine State Prison for more than 10 years, I make a point of telling them that their work at the prison is a valuable community service. I also warn them that most people in the community really don’t want to know what goes on here. Soon after I started at the prison, I remember friends asking me what it was like working here. The conversation would then quickly shift …

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