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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

MHPC on recent ACA rulings‏

The Maine Heritage Policy Center on today's Federal Court of Appeals Rulings on ObamaCare Subsidies
Joel Allumbaugh, Director of MHPC's Center for Health Reform Inititiaves released the following statement on Tuesday in regard to the latest ACA federal court rulings: 
"Today’s rulings highlight the many systemic problems with the chaotic train wreck that is the Affordable Care Act," said Joel Allumbaugh, Director of the Center for Health Reform Initiatives, The Maine Heritage Policy Center.
"Problems like these are bound to arise when irresponsible politicians ram massive, complex legislation through the process without properly vetting it – without even reading it," said Allumbaugh.
“More than four years later, the American people are still trying to make sense of this bureaucratic nightmare,” said Allumbaugh. "I cannot think of any other law currently on the books that brings greater uncertainty and instability to the U.S. economy than President Obama’s signature health care law. Rather than unilaterally subvert our duly elected representatives, as he has done time and time again, the president should work with Congress to fix this broken law.”

The Maine Wire: “Claim: Michaud never got a bill passed in Congress?” plus 3 more‏

Claim: Michaud never got a bill passed in Congress?
Posted: 21 Jul 2014 11:06 AM PDT
As the 2014 gubernatorial campaign heats up, political parties, politicians, political action committees and even anonymous Twitter accounts are making all manner of claims about their favorite — and no so favorite — candidates. But one claim deserves some further scrutiny. The Maine Republican Party is claiming that U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud, the Democratic candidate […]

Plowman: The Dark Side of Michaud’s Obscurity [Warning: Brutal Take-down]
Posted: 21 Jul 2014 10:48 AM PDT
By Debra Plowman — Mainers expect bold leadership from their representatives in Washington, D.C. Whether Democratic or Republican, the people we have sent from our small state to our nation’s capital have stood out and have gotten things done in that crowded town. Ed Muskie wrote the Clean Air and Water Acts. Bill Cohen became […]
Robinson on the radio!
Posted: 21 Jul 2014 10:39 AM PDT
Did you miss Maine Wire Editor Steve Robinson when he filled in for John McDonald on Saturday? Be sure to catch the podcasts of from his first solo radio show! Robinson talks about Eric Holder’s Justice Department with John Fund, senior national affairs correspondent for National Review Online: Listen! David Trahan, executive director of the […]
Bellows takes flak for using out-of-state actor
Posted: 21 Jul 2014 10:34 AM PDT
Shenna Bellows, Democratic candidate for Senate, is taking flak for her campaigns use of an out-of-state actor in a commercial. Although the ad talks about supporting Maine workers, Phil Harriman, columnist for the Portland Press Herald, points out that the hardhat-wearing actor in the commercial actually comes from stock footage. The Maine Republican Party is […]

Trends in State Courts -- 2014, Focus on Juvenile Justice and Elder Issues‏

Trends in State Courts -- 2014, Focus on Juvenile Justice and Elder Issues, is a free download
<> has multiple co-authors working with and out of the National Center for State Courts (NCSC).

I have a great deal of respect and admiration for NSCS: they have helped the country weather some major changes, and are continuing to conduct research that is valid and objective.  If you call them, they are quite helpful and if they have the specific expert on State Courts you need, they will get him or her on the phone. If the specific expert you need is located elsewhere, they will give you the contact information.  NCSC also has a comprehensive grasp of the financial struggles hitting State Courts around the country and are developing and disseminating innovative tactics and strategies to improve the delivery of justice.

The Report is over 121 megs in size so I am not attaching it.  N.B. In a national survey some years ago, State Courts were at the top of state institutions on respect, newspapers were at or near the bottom.

A few of the topics that are relevant to us are
Technology Solutions to Increased Self- Representation, James J. Sandman
and Glenn Rawdon ..................................................... 55

The Procedural-Fairness Movement
Comes of Age,
Hon. Steve Leben ............................... 59

Steps to Better Electronic Records Governance,
Nial Raaen .................................................................. 63 

Introduction: The Growing Problems of Elder
Abuse and Adult Guardianships: National, State,
and Local Reform E
fforts, Brenda K. Uekert ............. 73

Elder Court: Enhancing Access to Justice
for Seniors,
Hon. Joyce Cram..................................... 77

Addressing the Needs of Older Americans in the Pennsylvania and Texas Courts, Brenda K. Uekert, Zygmont A. Pines, and David Slayton......................... 81
WINGS: Court-Community Partnerships to
Improve Adult Guardianship, Erica Wood ................ 85 
Plus many articles on Juvenile Justice.

Dwight Hines

Monday, July 21, 2014

"Mainers need to read-- Tax Transparency 2013: Progress Report --OECD, 2013, See "Measuring Impact" chapter, and Maine's CTPC for Agriculture Impactss TTIP‏

Free download at

Related to Tax transparency:
Maine's Citizen Trade Policy Commission is doing an excellent job but it's hampered by the refusal of the US Trade Representative not disclosing the content of the negotiations for the Trans-Atlantic Trade & Investment Agreement or TTIP.  

The recent Assessment of TTIP’s Impact on Maine’s Agriculture and Food System by Karen Hansen-Kuhn, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and John Piotti, Maine Farmland Trust, is of interest here because Maine could be hit hard by benign neglect or rules that ignored our realities.  Report available at

If you don't have time to read it, give it to your favorite farmer, if he doesn't already have it.

Dwight Hines

NaturaNews: 7 free resources from Natural News for personal empowerment‏ plus more

Dear Lisbon Reporter and NaturalNews readers,
Although you're already a reader of Natural News, you may not be aware of these 7 free resources we offer that can empower you with a wealth of information "they" don't want you to know:

Learn about the top 10 magnesium-rich foods to boost your intake of this essential mineral:

Is coconut oil the "miracle" prevention solution for dementia?

Why do whooping cough outbreaks always happen among children already vaccinated?

Navy sailor exposed to Fukushima radiation reveals stunning depth of U.S. government cover-up:

more breaking news continues below...

Monday on The Robert Scott Bell Show 3-5PM EDT: RSB and Dr. Rashid Buttar discuss trusting your gut instinct even when confronted by doctors attempting to intimidate you to accept harmful therapies. Call with your questions at 1-866-939-2355. Listen in at

- Find renewed health with this apple cider vinegar remedy
- 7 reasons to eat more dark chocolate
- Kids fight Dunkin Donuts over styrofoam cups
 Lots more to read click on the following link for the rest of many interesting articles, faked police 911 call, dementia prevention, unusual Tropical disease being carried into United States by illegal immigrants and more.

We (OECD) Need your comments, but don't go paranoid. We're talking transparency for banking & global finances‏

I don't think there is much hope on global banking transparency.  Too many countries, like Germany, have a justified fear for letting their governments -- not to mention other governments -- know the details about their balances and transfers.
It would help if you made comments.

Dwight Hines
OECD – Paris, 21 July 2014

OECD releases full version of global standard for automatic exchange of information

Taking an important step towards greater transparency and putting an end to banking secrecy in tax matters, the OECD today released the full version of a new global standard for the exchange of information between jurisdictions.

The Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters calls on governments to obtain detailed account information from their financial institutions and exchange that information automatically with other jurisdictions on an annual basis. The Standard, developed at the OECD under a mandate from the G20, was endorsed by G20 Finance Ministers in February 2014, and approved by the OECD Council.
The Standard provides for annual automatic exchange between governments of financial account information, including balances, interest, dividends, and sales proceeds from financial assets, reported to governments by financial institutions and covering accounts held by individuals and entities, including trusts and foundations. The new consolidated version includes commentary and guidance for implementation by governments and financial institutions, detailed model agreements, as well as standards for harmonized technical and information technology solutions, notably a standard format and requirements for secure transmission of data.
“The G20 mandated the OECD to work with G20 and OECD countries and stakeholders toward the development of an ambitious information exchange model that would help governments fight tax fraud and tax evasion,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. “Today’s launch moves us closer to a world in which tax cheats have nowhere left to hide.”
The OECD will formally present the Standard to G20 Finance Ministers at their next meeting in Cairns, Australia, on 20-21 September. “Our message will be clear and simple: the automatic exchange of information standard is ready for implementation,” Mr Gurria said.
More than 65 countries and jurisdictions (see list below) have already publicly committed to implementation, while more than 40 have committed to a specific and ambitious timetable leading to the first automatic information exchanges in 2017. This includes a group of OECD and non-OECD countries which have adhered to the OECD Declaration on Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters as well as a group of early adopters.
More jurisdictions are expected to commit to implement the Standard in the run up to the late-October meeting of the Global Forum Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes on which brings together more than 120 countries and jurisdictions, to be held in Berlin and hosted by the German Ministry of Finance. At this occasion a signing ceremony is expected to be held for a new multilateral agreement that activates automatic exchange once legislation and other conditions are in place. Assistance will be available to support less developed countries, so they benefit from this move towards a more transparent tax environment, and international organizations are ready to co-operate to support these countries.

Even before the Standard has become operational, the drive toward greater transparency and better exchange of information is having a tangible effect on taxpayer behavior. OECD analysis of voluntary disclosure programs since 2009 shows that more than half a million taxpayers have voluntarily disclosed income and wealth hidden from their tax authorities. Countries have identified more than EUR 37 billion from voluntary disclosure programs which OECD encourages countries to consider.
Against this backdrop, the OECD is updating policy guidance in this area, contained in a 2010 report, “Offshore voluntary disclosure:  comparative analysis, guidance and policy advice”.

The OECD invites public comments on how the framework for voluntary disclosure could be further improved and what particular features might encourage even more taxpayers to come forward and take advantage of such programmes. Comments should be sent to no later than 12 September 2014.

For further information on the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters, go to:

Journalist queries on the new standard should be directed to Pascal Saint-Amans, Director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration (CTPA), Achim Pross, Head of the CTPA  International Co-operation and Tax Administration Division, or Lawrence Speer, OECD Media Office (+33 1 4524 9700).
Countries and jurisdictions publicly committed to implementation of Automatic Exchange of Information:
Andorra, Anguilla, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, People’s Republic of China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Montserrat, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Turks & Caicos Islands, United Kingdom, and United States, and the European Union.

Louise Fietz
Media Coordinator
Public Affairs and Communications Directorate, Media Division

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Statue of Liberty And Immigrants

 Statue of Liberty
Photo from
For some reason, people have difficulty structuring their arguments when arguing against supporting the currently proposed immigration revisions. This lady made the argument pretty simple. NOT printed in the Orange County Paper ....
Newspapers simply won't publish letters to the editor which they either deem politically incorrect (read below) or which do not agree with the philosophy they're pushing on the public. This woman wrote a great letter to the editor that should have been published.  Now, with your help, it will get published via cyberspace!
From: "David LaBonte"
My wife, Rosemary, wrote a wonderful letter to the editor of the OC Register which, of course, was not printed. So, I decided to "print" it myself by sending it out on the Internet.
Pass it along if you feel so inclined.
Written in response to a series of letters to the editor in the Orange County Register:
Dear Editor:
So many letter writers have based their arguments on how this land is made up of immigrants. Ernie Lujan for one, suggests we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because the people now in question aren't being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry.
Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like Mr. Lujan why today's American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer. Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented. Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.
They had waved good-bye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture. Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them. All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity.
Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought alongside men whose parents had come straight over from Germany, Italy, France and Japan. None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from. They were Americans fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan. They were defending the United States of America as one people.
When we liberated France, no one in those villages were looking for the French-American or the German-American or the Irish-American. The people of France saw only Americans. And we carried one flag that represented one country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country's flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl.
And here we are with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I'm sorry, that's not what being an American is all about. I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900's deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags.
And for that suggestion about taking down the Statue of Liberty, it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill. I wouldn't start talking about dismantling the United States just yet.
Rosemary LaBonte

I sincerely hope this letter gets read by millions of people all across the nation!!

NaturalNews: Health Ranger reveals brush with personal poverty (and a warning about financial chaos)‏ Plus More

Dear Lisbon Reporter and NaturalNews readers,
You may not have suspected this, but there was a time in my life when I was living in poverty.
In today's story, I share intimate details about my history, revealing key strategies for financial survival in a world headed into global chaos.
This may be one of the most important personal accounts I've ever published:

Malaysia Airlines MH17 conspiracy theories are rapidly emerging: here are some of the most popular theories with a quick analysis:

Research has found that a "prediabetes" diagnosis has zero medical value:

Beware: A zinc deficiency causes "catastrophic" malfunctioning of the immune system:

more breaking news continues below...

- Kids fight Dunkin Donuts over styrofoam cups
- 6 dangerous truths about processed food
- Aronia berry is a weight control superfood

Health Ranger reveals brush with poverty, financial survival and urgent warning for humanity's future
(NaturalNews) Believe it or not, I know what it's like to live in poverty. I've been there myself, and in this article I'm going to share an intimate part of my history that most Natural News may find unexpected. I'm sharing it because as the reach...
NBC News declares 'billions could starve' as America's water aquifers run dry
(NaturalNews) In America, a crisis is unfolding right under the public's feet. Water scarcity is beginning to creep into the Texas panhandle and the breadbasket region of the United States. A valuable aquifer that once provided water security is drying...
'Prediabetes' diagnosis carries huge financial and social costs with no medical value
(NaturalNews) The diagnosis of "prediabetic," as recommended by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), has no clinical value and may actually cause harm, according to a research review conducted by scientists from University College London and the Mayo...
Police state insanity: Man arrested for carving watermelon in a 'passive-aggressive' manner
(NaturalNews) In today's insane police state society, people can now be arrested for the "suspicious" way that they cut up fruits and vegetables. Apparently, carving a watermelon aggressively can land a man in the slammer these days. All police need is...
Dark chocolate found to benefit walking ability of patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD)
(NaturalNews) According to a small study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, people with Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) were able to walk longer distances unassisted after consuming dark chocolate as opposed to mere milk...
Hundreds of birds die slow, painful death after being poisoned at George Bush Airport in Houston
(NaturalNews) United Airlines, in conjunction with the airport, contracted a company to kill off birds at the Bush Intercontinental Airport this past weekend, to allegedly "reduce the health and safety risks posed" by the animals as ...
Forget the hot dogs and cold cuts - processed meats boost heart failure risk by more than 25 percent
(NaturalNews) Heart failure incidence is escalating at an alarming rate and now affects more than six million men and women in the US, a number that is expected to double over the next ten years. It is a problem caused by years of elevated blood pressure...
Research: Sleep loss degrades the blood-brain barrier, allowing toxins to invade and kill neurons. Here are three things to do immediately
(NaturalNews) When researching why people sleep, researchers from the Mexican Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM) have found that chronic sleep loss may cause neurotoxic molecules to be transported into the central nervous system. Once in the...
Illegal immigrant released onto U.S. streets commits murder of woman and kidnapping of U.S. citizens
(NaturalNews) An illegal alien that was released by U.S. authorities and handed a Notice to Appear later in federal court has been arrested and charged with the murder of a woman and the kidnapping of children on American soil, alleged crimes that occurred...
Zinc deficiency worsens sepsis, causes 'catastrophic malfunctioning' of immune system, increases inflammation
(NaturalNews) Zinc appears to play a key role in modulating the body's response to severe infection, and deficiency may increase susceptibility to a lethal immune reaction, according to a study conducted by researchers from Ohio State University and published...
A few good reasons to avoid eating pork
(NaturalNews) It is a well known fact that several religious texts forbid the eating of pork. According to Leviticus, the third book of Judaism's Torah and Christianity's Old Testament, pork is an "unclean" meat and is non-kosher, since pigs do not "chew...
TSA agents lack basic understanding of American geography - how can we trust them to provide security?
(NaturalNews) The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is desperately trying to save face after one of its employees embarrassingly failed to recognize that the District of Columbia, also known as Washington, D.C., is the capital of the United...
Easy ways to prevent food waste from the comfort of home
(NaturalNews) It's estimated that in America, about 133 billion pounds of food go to waste annually. The waste exists for a variety of reasons, ranging from expired or forgotten foods in household refrigerators to regulations that do not permit retailers...
America - Where we scare you into pills and surgery!
(NaturalNews) You, as a human, are a very weak animal who was born "insufficient" with a body that needs chemical medications, vaccines and meat and dairy for nutrition -- this is what most of us are led to believe from birth to death. Also, you will...
Who really shot down Malaysia Airlines MH17? Readers weigh in on Russians, conspiracy theories and more
(NaturalNews) For the question of who really shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine, the consensus so far is that the Russians were most likely responsible. But not everybody buys that story, and many people believe someone else might be...

MH17 conspiracy theories emerge: Fake passports, AIDS researchers, false flags and more
(NaturalNews) The shooting down of Malaysia Airlines MH17 over Ukraine is a catastrophic event resulting in the loss of 295 lives (280 passengers and 15 crew). Details are still emerging about what really happened, but Netizens are already fronting various...
Heavy metals in electronic devices causing wave of skin rashes
(NaturalNews) Portable electronic devices may be to blame for rising rates of nickel allergies, suggests a case study by researchers from the University of California-San Diego and published in the journal Pediatrics. The case concerned an 11...

Fostering Innovation, Creating Jobs, Driving Better Decisions: The Value of Government Data‏

Studies from the EU, the U.S. and the World Bank show the value of open data in stimulating economic development.

So, why are the people of Lisbon and other places in Maine having to jump hoops to obtain information that will benefit everyone when it is made public?
Dwight Hines

Fostering Innovation, Creating Jobs, Driving Better Decisions: The Value of Government Data

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jul 19, 2014
This report finds: Government data potentially guides trillions of dollars of investments each year. Government data helps governments to better target scarce resources, businesses stay competitive, and individuals stay informed about the communities in which they live. As the real world examples in this report demonstrate, individuals, businesses, other organizations, and governments use Government data to help make better informed decisions that are better, faster, and more plentiful because of the ready availability and high quality of Government data. The cost of Government data is small relative to its potential benefits. Since 2004, the Federal Government’s principal statistical agencies have spent an average of $3.7 billion annually on data collection, processing, and dissemination. This expenditure amounts to about three cents, per person, per day, and is only 0.02 percent of our roughly $17 trillion dollar economy. Government data is uniquely comprehensive, consistent, confidential, credible, relevant, and accessible. Acting alone, the private sector would likely provide only some of the types of data produced by the Government. The Federal Government is uniquely positioned to provide comprehensive, consistent, credible, relevant and accessible data, all while protecting confidentiality. Government data is used directly to support decision making, indirectly through commercially available value-added products, and as a benchmark and standard for private data products. Thus, the Government and the private sector complement each other.”

Lisbon, Maine FOAA Costs and Fee Waiver problems, suggested solutions‏

July 20, 2014

Dear Readers:

After reading the posts by Mr. Fillmore and other residents of Lisbon about the Town Attorney’s “legal opinion” about who qualifies for a fee waiver for Maine FOAA requests, I posted a statement that the Town Attorney does not understand 1) recent developments in information law, and 2) the town attorney does not understand the search and copying capacity of computers or he would realize the costs the town calculates for searching and retrieving and making electronic copies of the requested information are outlandish. 

Reading the town attorney’s “legal opinion” makes me wonder how an attorney can bill the town for any professional legal services for his “opinion” that is without facts and without cites (verifiable references) to the relevant governing laws of Maine and the United States.  The residents of Maine need to know what facts and laws the town attorney uses to support his “legal opinion,” if any. By failing to provide any objective measures, based on research methods recognized and accepted by the Maine and Federal courts to support his “legal opinion”, the residents of Maine are forced to accept that Aristotelian logic and argument is alive and well in Maine, and forced to pay good money for “legal opinions” that are not just in error but cross over into the realms of incompetent counsel and simple fraud.  Sham “Legal opinions”  are a harmful insult to the people who pay for such shoddy work and an insult to all those attorneys who burn the midnight oil, if necessary, to gather appropriate support for their advice to corporate and local government’s managers.

So, rather than just harangue the poor attorney into taking some remedial law courses, or hiring a researcher to do the required work for a true legal opinion that shows he earned his fees, I'm going to write about my recent experience with the Honorable Eric Wright, Esq., Staff Attorney, Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection, Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, State of Maine, along with relevant documents attached as PDFs. In fact, Mr. Wright showed excellent legal skills in a timely manner in dealing with an aberrant debt collection agency that made almost as many errors as did Lisbon’s town attorney.  Mr. Wright is clearly qualified to be awarded an official, true replica of the Maine Dove. 

So, should you experience any problems with a fact- and legal-challenged debt collection agency, you will have a good idea of who to contact in Maine and D.C., and what a solid legal opinion should at least look like and what it should accomplish.

First, I received a bill for supposed money due on a medical exam taken years ago.  The bill was from a debt collection agency different from the one that tried to collect money years ago for the same false claim.  I immediately replied to them and wrote the Maine Attorney General to let them know what was happening.  . I figured the Attorney General would have a database of companies that were not getting their facts straight.  There is no such database but the Office of the Maine Attorney General responded quickly telling me that they had forwarded my complaint to the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection. Within a day of that letter, I received a phone call from Mr. Wright, who had read my complaint and needed more details.  

I felt odd answering questions from someone who worked for a State of Maine Bureau that was unknown to me.  As Mr. Wright asked me questions, good pithy questions, I realized the specific answers he would craft into a fact-based, law-defined position to sculpt the best approach to resolving my problem.  After the phone call ended, I figured he had gone through the motions and i’d not hear from him again.   

I was wrong.  Within a few days, Mr. Wright sent me a soild legal opinion of the State on my position that not only referenced Maine statutes but how those statute applied to this case.  Mr. Wright’s letter was the nicest “cease and desist” letter I’ve ever read.   Responding to Mr. Wright’s letter, the debt collection agency sent me a letter withdrawing from their claim, .  A few days later, Mr. Wright sent another letter that clarified his original legal opinion and even identified how we needed to tweak the present laws to improve them. 

In the meantime, I felt so ignorant of what was going on, I started googling.  The feds do have a database, rather extensive, about financial complaints that includes debt collections.    I downloaded the entire CFPB database and searched to see if my errant debt collector had complaints filed.  They had a few.

On a googling roll, I searched to see if there were court cases against the debt collector.  There was.  A fat juicy class-action suit.    I contacted the attorney for the case and asked to join.  It looks good and even though the debt collector is going to leave me alone, they need to be held accountable for their actions so they don’t cause more harms to people who are vulnerable.  The problem of errant debt collectors has grown to the point where ProPublica (an investigative reporting group) is conducting a special study and wants you to contact them if debt collectors are giving you grief.

So, please know that you have an incredible number of different methods to protect yourself and your finances in our system of justice.  Be aware that legal innumeracy is a recognized weakness in some lawyers , but Maine has an excellent law that allows you to obtain financing for lawsuits, so you don’t have to hire someone like the Lisbon Town Attorney.

Know for sure that I am not an attorney, and I have doubts about some  of those who claim they are, but have lost their common sense. I hope my experiences help you as you work for access to information you’ve already paid for, to better understand your government and discover how to increase efficiencies.

Dwight Hines

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Lisbon School Department Press Release‏

Lisbon - The students and staff at the Philip W. Sugg Middle School are mourning the loss of one of their students who was killed in an unfortunate ATV accident. The Lisbon Crisis Response Team (CRT) has developed an action plan to assist students, parents, staff, and community members with this tragic loss. 

Counselors from the Lisbon School Department are on-call as needed and Tri-County Mental Health Services will be available for anyone requiring support after regular school hours. Tri-County Mental Health Services can be reached at (207) 783-4680. We would like to extend our sincerest appreciation for the outpouring of support we have received.

Richard A. Green
Superintendent of Schools
Lisbon School Department
19 Gartley Street
Lisbon, ME 04250
Phone: 207 353-6711
Fax: 207 353-3032

Our sincere condolences to All involved


Why Submitting FOAA Requests Have Been Necessary In Lisbon!


 When I filed to have my Freedom of Access Act (FOAA) fees waived, I knew that this request would be denied; not because it wasn’t right but because it would  set a precedent.  The reaction from the Councilors was what I was really interested in seeing.  The majority of the Councilors were seriously concerned about the problem but did not want to set a precedent and I do not blame them.  Had I been in their shoes, I too would have voted to deny the waiver.

Even today, I doubt that anyone understands what really created this situation.  You see, Maine law states that the people have a valid right to submit, as many Freedom of Access Acts (FOAA) as necessary, to understand how the government is spending our tax dollars; whether it is local, state or federal.  The term used is “Transparency in Government”.  The Town Attorney, Roger Therriault, stated in his legal opinion, “…the imposition of costs is the only control that the Town has where request for voluminous and require significant staff time and effort.” 

This legal opinion is false and undermines the law.  The correct and proper way to control Freedom of Access Acts (FOAA) is for government to ensure that all the facts are presented to the people.  This is called transparency.  There would never be a need for anyone to submit a FOAA if all the facts were presented.  The only need for a FOAA is to fill in missing information or as Mrs. Barry stated any of the 5 “W” is missing.  The five “W” are:

    Who’s involved and what are their responsibilities?
    What’s going too happened?
    When is it going to happen?
    Where is it going to take place?
    Why is it going to take place?
    How much is it going to cost each party involved?

As you can see, I added a “How” because the taxpayers need to know how much the project is going to cost them.

During Ryan Leighton’s presentation, he only provided a one page memorandum.  The council was told this was a UNITIL project but there was no UNITIL proposal and no representative to brief it.  When I submitted a FOAA to answer the above cited questions, I was told there were over 200 pages pertaining to this project.

My father use to tell me “The spoken word is like the wind, everywhere, but the written word is here to stay.”  This to me is solid advice.


Larry Fillmore

Re: Weaving the Web of Deceit - Significantly, Precedential, and Tangentially‏‏

Ms. Barry makes good points about high charges for information from the Town of Lisbon.   I think she is correct in her interpretation of the inadequacies of the "legal memoranda" prepared by the town attorney.  It would be wise to file a formal complaint about the inadequacies with the Maine Bar because the attorney is taking money for his inadequately researched opinion that inflicts real harms on the people of Lisbon and others.  (It would not take more than few minutes, if the attorney is computer literate, which he obviously is not and that is one ground for a complaint -- give opinion that is in error  - the charges for obtaining the information are arbitrary and capricious and can not be supported by reality).
The Reporters' Committee for a Free Press, and many other professional groups have litigated who is and is not press, and the attorney is in error on this opinion as well.  He needs to read Maine history of posting of information on trees, etc., and how those acts are protected.  The attorney is required to exercise some diligence in creating an opinion and the town needs to request a refund for this shoddy legal work by Lisbon's attorney.
Note below that petitions are being circulated now in other jurisdictions over excessive fees.

The court's excessive new search fees hamper public records access and the burden falls disproportionately on the poor.

So I've signed a petition to the court and Leah T. Wilson, Executive Officer, and I encourage you to do same.

Click here:

Dwight Hines

P.S.  Is the Lisbon town attorney advocating that we allow local or state governments determine who is press and who is not?  Well, they do that in many countries and not many people want to live in those places. Besides, any power held by the town attorney's opinion of who is press is derived totally from the power granted to the people.