• Our Maine man

    It is comforting that the 12-member Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity includes Maine’s own Secretary of State, Matt Dunlap. While its implied main mission, as articulated by the President — rooting out voter fraud that experts agree is largely nonexistent — seems to be a wild goose chase, it is heartening that Dunlap’s knowledge

  • Peak season

    August in Maine is peak summer. The traffic is building, the blueberries are ready to be picked and there certainly will be a few of those dog days of August that make everyone forget all about shoveling, shivering and scraping. And don’t look now, but school resumes in just a few weeks. We all love

  • Good news on energy front fuels consumer optimism

    Since the U.S. energy boom that started in 2012, our local and national heating oil, gasoline and propane costs have been lower and more consistent. This silent boost to the overall economy has propelled consumer confidence — which is higher than it has been in years — while sustaining American output of liquid fuels to

  • Where there’s smoke there’s trouble

    Tobacco use probably started 8,000 years ago as Native Americans here and south of the equator smoked or chewed the wild plant. By 1556, written documents described the widespread use of tobacco by English and French fishermen and the smoke “emanating from users’ nostrils.” By 1950, tobacco use in America was widely accepted. Politicians, movie

  • Change by degrees

    As they prepare to graduate from high school, students for years have increasingly been led to believe they need to obtain a four-year college degree to be competitive in the workforce and, by extension, live a comfortable life. “The college degree,” the New York Times declared in 2013, “is becoming the new high school diploma.”

  • Earning and learning

    Know any young people who need to make some money? The state has just made it easier for young teens to gain practical experience and make progress toward deciding what they want to do, or not do, later in life. Effective immediately, Maine’s labor regulations regarding youth employment have been modified, enabling 14- and 15-year

  • As Osborn goes …

    Osborn Plantation was settled in 1840 as one of several growing “up river” Hancock County communities spread along the branches of the Union River. Saw mills, grist mills and shingle mills lined the river. Farmers worked the fertile valleys. Osborn became a town in 1976. Today, with a shrinking, older population, its future as an

  • The rest of the story

    After much ado and drama, including a brief and not-so-painful shutdown, the 2018-19 biennial budget was adopted by the House and Senate and signed into law by Governor LePage at dawn on the Fourth of July. The fireworks were over. Much of the news coverage focused on initiatives included in the two-year funding package. Less

  • Citizen referendums haunt the hallways in Augusta

    It is summer in Maine, but the state Legislature is still struggling with the aftermath of November. Two of the three citizen referendums approved by voters back on Nov. 8 have bedeviled the legislative budget process and brought Maine to the brink of shutdown. Burdened all session by the ranked choice voting initiative (RCV), as

  • Street of Dreams

    In the Kevin Costner baseball movie “Field of Dreams,” the daydreaming corn farmer hears a voice assuring “If you build it, they will come.” His mystic mission: a world-class ball park in an Iowa cornfield. He built it and — spoiler alert — they came. Business people the world over use this optimistic philosophy to