• Did you vote?

    Woody Allen’s observation that 80 percent of life is showing up may be a little broad in terms of life, but it’s about right when applied to town government. Example: Eight months ago, voters at a special town meeting in Orland decided to continue sending municipal waste to the Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. (PERC) in

  • Education questions

    Providing an adequate education for the young is one of a successful society’s most important accomplishments. Without an educated and skilled workforce, capable of adapting to change, a community will find it difficult to provide employment opportunities for its citizens or satisfy the needs of area businesses. For Maine cities and towns, the cost for

  • How much risk should taxpayers assume?

    Late last year, Maine’s Public Utilities Commission awarded subsidies worth $13.4-million to two alternative energy companies to restart four of Maine’s biomass plants — two in Aroostook County at Ashland and Fort Fairfield, one in Penobscot County at West Enfield and one in Washington County at Jonesboro. ReEnergy would operate the two northern Maine facilities,

  • A frightening debt future

    Since well before the turn of the 21st century, The Ellsworth American has published the current federal debt of the United States on its front page. In last week’s issue, that debt stood at $19.9 trillion, an amount that most Americans probably regard as incomprehensible. It begs the question: Does anybody out there really care?

  • If it ain’t broke…..

    Several Maine schools have jumped aboard the bandwagon calling for a later start in the school day, based on the presumption that the adolescents involved thus will get more sleep each night. The proposal picked up steam nationally after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued recommendations to push back school start times

  • Congress, heal thyself

    When will the Democrats and the Republicans in Congress learn/accept that health care is a national issue that can be addressed appropriately only by working together? As Frank Bruni pointed out last week in The New York Times, Obamacare “was a bill of far-reaching consequences stitched together behind closed doors, with a flurry of last-minute

  • April 1, 2017

    April Fool’s Day arrives on Saturday. Normally a practical joke opportunity for friends and family, it also reminds that Tax Day is only two weeks away. The ‘joke’ however is on all of us—the citizens of America. Our national debt has ballooned to $19.9 Trillion dollars, doubling over the past ten years. With a population

  • Open for Change?

    Maine has a strong tradition of high voter participation in all levels of elections. Perhaps our participatory town hall style of government, perhaps our small town responsibility as free citizens, Mainers generally are engaged in local, state and national elections. An exception is our primaries. Maine employs a ‘closed primary’ process allowing only members of

  • MDOT Work Plan, 2017

    Nothing in state government should be less partisan than infrastructure maintenance and investment. Without a solid, dependable transportation system, our economy would swiftly crumble. Since 2011, David Bernhardt has been Maine’s Department of Transportation commissioner, coordinating multiple interests and competing needs while battling an unforgiving Mother Nature that unleashes punishment to our northern-state infrastructure. From

  • Able seamen, indeed

    Congratulations to the Maine Maritime Academy sailing team for capturing a respectable fourth at the Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup regatta earlier this month. The team’s fine finish after two days of close racing off the California coast is all the more remarkable for the youth of the Mariners’ crew, several of whom are