• Mismanaged measurements

    Since getting involved with advancing the science of performance econometrics, I have become a severe critic of government policy and practice in the economic arena — especially when it deviates from application of sound scientific and economic principle. Any good science requires quality measurement and quality communication of what that measurement means. On both these fronts, the government and big media are woefully underperforming.

  • Reverse “Robin Hood” effect

    By Roger Bowen “Tax reform” sounds like having a cold beer on a hot summer afternoon: unimaginable that anyone would decline if offered. And when tax reform refers to cutting the income tax of individual Mainers, who in their right mind would be opposed? Everyone I know wants to pay less of their income to

  • Presidential pets have left their mark

    Presidential pets have left their mark

    While Presidents Day, which we observed Monday, may be a time to reflect on the nation’s leaders, over the past two centuries, hundreds of animals also have been part of the 44 U.S. presidential administrations.

  • Severing UMaine System’s Gordian Knot

    The ancient myth of the Gordian knot addresses the seemingly intractable problem: the knot that cannot be untied. One solution is to sever the knot with a sword: Alexander’s lightning battles, Napoleon’s Code, LePage’s laser focus on taxes and energy costs. Another solution is founded in “thinking outside the box,” exemplified by the Guttenberg Press, IT innovators Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and UMaine System Chancellor Jim Page, arguably the best strategic thinker we have seen in that position.

  • Points to ponder on Orland wind power

    Dear Editor: Let me start by thanking the selectmen for recognizing the overwhelming importance of the wind power issue for many Orland residents and scheduling a vote on a moratorium. We elect you to represent us by protecting our health, welfare and property while we are busy doing our own jobs and paying our taxes.

  • 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,