• City Council Votes to Oppose Excise Tax Initiative

    ELLSWORTH — The City Council Sept. 14 voted to oppose a motor vehicle excise tax initiative, stating that the measure only helps owners of expensive hybrid vehicles. The question, an initiative of the Maine Heritage Policy Center, will be on ballots statewide Nov. 3. Ballot Question: “Do you want to cut the rate of the

  • Commissioners Face Tough Choices in Streamlining County Budget

    ELLSWORTH — Government operations in Hancock County will be leaner in the coming year, but for many employees and department heads, leaner is meaner.   Driven to streamline operations and avoid an increase in taxes, the county commissioners have proposed a 2010 budget that is $96,173 — 1.9 percent — more than the current budget.

  • Wine Tasting Turns Bitter: New Law Frustrates Retailers, State Inspectors

    AUGUSTA — Shopkeepers and state liquor enforcers alike are being dogged by a new law designed to prevent people under the age of 18 from observing alcohol consumption in grocery and specialty retail shops.   An Act Regarding Alcoholic Beverage Tastings, enacted in June and implemented Sept. 12, requires off-premises liquor license holders to ensure

  • New Public Safety Building Floated

    MOUNT DESERT — Two selectmen favor constructing a new building for the police and fire departments instead of enlarging the existing town office building in Northeast Harbor. They announced their position in a meeting Monday night.   Curtis Blake, who gave the money to build town hall in the early 1980s, also favors the separate

  • Marina Plan Draws Comments

    MOUNT DESERT — Several residents questioned the scope and timing of the proposed Northeast Harbor marina improvement project at the Sept. 14 meeting of the Marine Management Committee.   Major components of the project, which is still in the planning stage, would include enlarging the harbormaster’s building, upgrading the yachtsmen’s facilities and relocating some roads

  • Ethics Panel Investigates Conservative Advocate

    AUGUSTA — The executive director of Maine Leads, an organization that advocates for conservative causes, testified Sept. 8 that he attempted to emulate the “political left” when he raised $419,000 from national nonprofit organizations and used more than half the money to help fund citizen initiatives in 2007 and 2008.   Roy Lenardson appeared before

  • County Seeks Clarification on Court Ruling

    ELLSWORTH — A recent court ruling prohibits Hancock County from charging MacImage of Maine for electronic copies of documents filed with the Registry of Deeds.   The ruling issued by Superior Court Justice Thomas Warren in Cumberland County has led Hancock County commissioners to seek clarification of the order and has prompted MacImage to announce

  • State Toughens Up Drunk Driving Law

    ELLSWORTH — Starting last weekend, it got a lot tougher to beat a drunk driving charge.   On Saturday, Maine joined the rest of the nation when a law took effect giving breath alcohol tests the same validity as blood alcohol tests. The new law provides two standards for operating under the influence: alcohol level

  • Eaton Bill to Prevent Child Abuse Becomes Law

    AUGUSTA — Bus drivers were added to the list of mandated reporters of child abuse Sept. 12 when a bill sponsored by Rep. Rob Eaton (D-Sullivan) went into effect.   The bill, LD 427, passed unanimously in the House and Senate and had the support of the Child Abuse Prevention Council of Maine and the

  • Hospice Council Director Urges Response to “Death Panels” Myth

    BAR HARBOR — The executive director of the Maine Hospice Council told staff and volunteers of Hospice of Hancock County at their annual meeting here Sept. 9 that they have a “moral and ethical responsibility” to help dispel myths about a health care bill before Congress that would have Medicare reimburse doctors for talking with