Commentary

  • Downeast region would benefit from stronger ozone standard

    Downeast region would benefit from stronger ozone standard By Elsie Flemings and Eleody Libby Downeast families need national air quality standards that give our kids a healthy chance to succeed. Here in Hancock and Washington counties, 9 percent of children under the age of 18 have asthma. That means that on any given school day,

  • From the middle of everywhere

    Three metaphors for impending Middle Day:

    One. Numerically, the school year may be half over — pending the final tally of snow days. But Middle Day, today at midday — 87½ school days into the 175 days required—is simultaneously more than and less than halfway. Can the magical 100s day be far off? And from what is that a hundred days from? In which direction are we counting? And is counting the days and hours a true measure of how far along we are in value, appreciation, generosity, skill, civility and laughter? It’s a good measure of how hard the lake ice might be for ice fishing, or what the moon will look like tonight.

  • Farewell from Opera House Arts co-founder

    Many of you have heard me say, from the Opera House stage, “I have the best job in the world.” No truer words were ever spoken. My job is filled with gratitude; with putting my shoulder to the wheel with others to continuously improve our communities; with inspiration and creativity; magic and mayhem, with loving our island and being surrounded by imaginative communities.

  • State budget vs. job creation

    Dear Editor: The vast majority of Maine jobs are created by small local businesses hiring local residents. Many (most?) of these small start-ups have been funded by Mainers taking out mortgages on their homes. The budget recently presented by the Governor proposes to eliminate the mortgage interest deduction from state income tax returns. This proposal would

  • Lenin’s words of wisdom

    Dear Editor: Toward the end of WWI, in the face of a resurgent Germany whose armies were winning great victories in both the West and the East, Lenin said: “True, revolutionaries must face the probability that the imperialist war, if continued unchecked, might lead to the real annihilation of civilization and the end of the

  • College consolidation a bad idea

    By Margaret Cruikshank I happened to see the reply by James Page, chancellor of the UMaine System, to a Wall Street Journal article headlined “Maine Colleges Hit the Skids” (Jan. 15). Page acknowledged that the universities face many challenges. One of the biggest, as far as I can tell, is his management. In his letter,

  • Nanny state nonprofits nurture dependence

    By Rep. Lawrence E. Lockman Here’s a New Year’s prediction you can take to the bank: The very same liberal ideologues whose policy prescriptions wrecked Maine’s health insurance market over the past several decades will work overtime this year to promote Obamacare as Mainers’ last best hope for affordable health insurance. And the professional left’s

  • Thank you, President Obama

    In January 2000, I led a small university delegation to Havana. We were in Cuba to meet with Cuban government officials and Cuban academic leaders to discuss the possibility of setting up academic exchanges. Relations with Cuba were thawing in the Clinton administration’s final year in office; our delegation was able to fly nonstop from JFK to Havana, an easy 3.5-hour flight.

  • Eyewitness to Gaza

    Having viewed countless reports, photos and videos, we felt prepared for what we would see on our visit to Gaza in early December 2014. But the reality was overwhelming. No video can capture the scope of the destruction, block upon block of Israeli-demolished apartment buildings, bullet-sprayed shops and homes, children playing in rubble, men searching for reusable stones.

  • The two-tongued sea

    The assignment for the seventh- and eighth-graders was to select one of Dylan Thomas’s topic sentences, each borrowed from a paragraph of his famous “A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” and use it to begin their own recollection of their local or familial holidays. We had read Thomas’s wonderful story, watched an excellent film version of it and looked outside as the snow hushed the Wednesday morning town — inspiring writing weather, to be sure, for kids in a harbor town in a Northern latitude.

  • Breakdown in American criminal justice

    Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the federal district court in New York has written a much-circulated piece in the Nov. 20 issue of the New York Review of Books, in which he laments the breakdown in American criminal justice caused by abuse of the plea-bargain system. He writes, correctly, that “the criminal-justice system in the United States today bears little relationship to what the Founding Fathers contemplated, what the movies and television portray or what the average American believes.” He quotes Jefferson’s expression of faith in the jury trial as “the only anchor yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.”