• 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

  • Energy optimism

    With spring arriving, there is a natural tendency to start anew, to enjoy the revival that accompanies warmer temperatures, longer days and the greening of our state. Maine consumers also can savor relatively steady energy costs. AAA reports that Maine’s average gasoline prices are 43 cents a gallon higher ($2.30) than a year ago, yet

  • Maine’s improving fiscal health

    In 2011, Governor Paul Lepage stepped into a fiscal mess in Augusta. Revenues were down. Former Governor Baldacci and the Legislature had been robbing Peter to pay Paul, trying to keep various government programs running. Avoiding numerous fiscal realities put Maine in the red. The state’s bond rating was poor. Taxpayers were paying too much

  • Funding the well-funded

    It is a pity that the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee deadlocked Friday on a bill to eliminate public campaign financing for gubernatorial candidates. Worse still is that the 6-6 tie was along party lines. The issue of providing Clean Election funds to candidates for governor is not partisan, nor is it an assault on

  • More shades of gray

    “Who monitors the monitors?” That question, a key line in a 1998 espionage movie, remains relevant in today’s hyper-partisan politics. We continue to see evidence of bureaucrats and politicians who have lost their moral compass. They push the envelope of permitted activities at their jobs or while working to attain elected office. What seems right

  • Where will Grandma live?

    The numbers are stark. Maine has the highest median age demographics of any state in the nation. Hancock County, with Ellsworth as the county seat, houses a population with the highest ratio of over-55-year-old citizens in the state — more than 50 percent. As these citizens continue to age, their housing needs will dramatically shift

  • Good eats

    Let us pause between courses of business arrivals and expansions to note that downtown Ellsworth is becoming a dining destination. The announcement that Downeast Cheesecakes plans to open a storefront next to The Grand has particular significance. Downeast Cheesecakes is the third of the “pop-up shops” that incubated at the vacant Grasshopper Shop late last

  • A new police chief

    After a period of rapid changes at the helm of the Ellsworth Police Department — five top cops in three years — it would appear that the Ellsworth city manager has selected the best candidates for the chief’s role right from within its own department. Glenn Moshier, a 13-year veteran of the department, has been

  • Trojan racehorse

    The effort to build a gambling casino — Maine’s third — in York County has progressed from bad idea to citizens’ petition to legislative headache. More than most potential referendum questions, this one stinks. From the deliberately misleading title of the petition — “Horseracing Jobs Fairness” — to language manipulation that stipulates only one man