• Maine’s hidden gem

    Barely a month goes by that one of Maine’s well-regarded boat builders isn’t being recognized with extensive profiling in national maritime magazines and newspapers. Prolific positive reviews bordering on unabashed admiration have covered Maine’s small-boat building industry with the kind of attention that money just can’t buy. From Washington County and Hancock County’s myriad builders

  • Screening out the family

    Video visitation of jail inmates, embraced last month by the Hancock County Commission, is insidious and inhumane. The video visitation industry, a for-profit initiative, has swept up state prisons and county jails nationwide over the past several years. The appeal of the product is undeniable. The company’s sales pitch notes that jails and, in particular,

  • Wind power promises failing

    In 2008, Governor John Baldacci worked with a very cooperative Legislature to craft a special zoning and permitting process that significantly aided developers seeking to capitalize on Maine’s rural resources for large-scale wind power projects. Developers promised massive “green” benefits for Maine’s energy generation, a huge economic impact with hundreds of high-paying jobs, all while

  • Joint decision

    The Ellsworth City Council made a prudent decision Monday when councilors voted unanimously to impose a temporary ban on retail marijuana businesses. The up-to-two-year ban, which applies to stores, social clubs and growing, testing and manufacturing facilities, gives the council breathing room before taking more decisive action. The majority of Ellsworth voters, according to the

  • Headwinds on the barrens

    Many farmers aren’t yet thinking about their crops this time of year, yet Maine’s wild blueberry growers think about their farming year round. Traditionally, Maine’s small blueberry farmers are seeing their final field price payments, reconciling their expenses, and planning on what work will be done as soon as winter yields its icy grip on

  • A true gift to all

    The holiday season seems to come around faster every year. Folks get busy with kids and work, outside activities and friends. We drive to family gatherings, we hustle to school games, and we dodge storms. We engage in life, such as it is for many of us today. And all too often, our lives are

  • In our good books

    The exceptional stewardship of the Ellsworth Public Library’s board of trustees has become particularly evident in recent weeks. The board’s prudent decision to replace the aging windows in the Tisdale House portion of the structure will cut down on energy costs and also reduce the amount of outside noise entering the building. Ron Fortier, chairman

  • Shop close to home

    In the shadow of the retail shopping juggernaut that was Black Friday, Small Business Saturday this past weekend was a comparatively sedate event. And that is how it should be, how we all should be: more focused, more thoughtful and more aware of how we all behave as consumers and how that affects the economic

  • The Union River Dam

    In 1907, the vast majority of American homes were heated by coal or firewood. The spread of electrical power was just beginning, with most American houses not connected to any sort of electrical grid. Horses were still the primary mode of transportation; Henry Ford’s giant automobile factories were yet to be built. That year brought

  • A hometown tradition

    Christmas. Noel. Navidad. Whatever you call the Christmas season and no matter how you and your family celebrate the season, Christmas is a significant celebration of religious and tradition importance. More than just one, single special day for many, it is a season of gathering, sharing, remembering and celebrating.  It is a season to enjoy