Cheers and jeers from around the news:

• Jeers to a lack of information. In reporting cases of swine flu, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention thinks being specific about locations makes no difference. We disagree; the more the public knows about an outbreak, the better served we are to take precautions.

Releasing vague geographic information is unhelpful. We know swine flu was diagnosed at several summer camps in Maine, but we’re only told which counties the camps are in. Is this policy meant to protect the public, or to protect the camps?

The public doesn’t need to know the names and addresses of those with the virus. It should know, however, the towns or places the flu has been diagnosed so those in proximity can take counter measures against spreading it.

• Cheers to public improvement. We’ve been watching the construction along the Riverwalk in Auburn and like what we see. Once complete, it should be a tremendous community asset. The fresh new sidewalk along Pine Street in Lewiston (and areas in Auburn, too) also look great.

Whether big or small, projects that make our cities look better and provide new opportunities for residents are nothing but laudable.


• Cheers to public support. Three kids from Lewiston will enjoy a great summer experience at the Tanglewood 4H camps in Lincolnville and Tenants Harbor, after the generosity of camp supporters swelled its scholarship coffers to pay their way.

The best news is there is still scholarship money available. Visit for more information, or call 1-800-944-2267.

• Cheers to the Farmington Board of Selectmen. The panel rescinded its shortsighted ban on political activity on public property after realizing it was an unconstitutional overreaction. Sometimes emotions overrule good judgment; this seems like one of those occasions.

The board did the right thing by admitting its mistake and deserves credit for remedying it so quickly.

• Jeers to continuing pressure on the rural economy. The latest casualty is furniture maker Ethan Allen’s sawmill in Andover, costing 60 jobs. This occurred the same week that Maine policymakers and business interests feted the statewide expansion of the Pine Tree Zones to create new jobs.

Yes, that’s a good thing. But what can we celebrate that will preserve the jobs that are already here?


• Finally, cheers for the new state law that issues birth certificates for stillborn children. It is a sensible policy that not only recognizes and honors the life of the child, but also treats the grieving parents with equality and compassion.

Under the old law, stillborn children were issued death certificates. This was nonsensical — there could be death, without life? — while demeaning the stricken parents, who for them, their unborn child was as real and alive as any, with a name, a face, hopes and dreams.

This law, in our minds, rights a wrong. It is more than welcome.

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