• Remember the little guys

    Before The Local Variety in Bucksport closed its doors for the last time Nov. 23, a sandwich board appeared out front with an earnest plea to passers-by: “Please shop local and small so that this is the last store closing sign that you see in Bucksport for a very, very long time.” Maine’s small businesses,

  • Seeds of confusion

    When political polar opposites such as U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) align on the same side, we notice. The issue that draws them close to rapture is hemp. The upheaval resulting from the disjointed legalization of hemp as an industrial agricultural crop in Maine has put farmers squarely in the

  • Caring for our veterans

    As we gather around the family table this Thanksgiving holiday and count our blessings, there is one more thing we can be grateful for — fewer veterans are experiencing homelessness. The number of homeless veterans in Maine dropped 3 percent between 2018 and 2019. It was a small change, but in the right direction. A

  • This is not goodbye

    For 35 years, Ruth Foster’s children shop has been a downtown jewel box. Its whimsically elegant storefront opens up into a space filled with feather-soft stuffed animals, tiny hand-knit sweaters and glittery dresses sure to impress at the holidays or a father-daughter dance. The cozy, inviting atmosphere seems worlds away from the aisles of plastic

  • Collins not a villain

    In the circus of modern-day politics, the middle ground has shrunk to the width of a tightrope. U.S. Sen. Susan Collins — long heralded as a moderate willing to reach across the aisle — continues to try to walk that line despite drawing criticism from all sides. To left-leaning critics, Collins, the sole New England

  • Democracy at work

    The results of two area council races Nov. 5 were close enough to prompt recounts in both municipalities. In Ellsworth, City Council candidate Gene Lyons requested a recount after losing by a 20-vote margin. A race for a two-year seat on the Bucksport Town Council was even more of a squeaker. The initial tally put

  • Retirement savings lag

    Governor Janet Mills recently announced AARP Maine has designated the Pine Tree State as Age-Friendly because her administration committed to building livable communities “to make Maine a better place to live across generations.” Let’s help the state and AARP Maine move beyond kitschy designations by finding ways to bolster savings of working Mainers. A sufficient

  • From voters to voted in

    One hundred years ago this month, the Maine Legislature voted to ratify the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing that “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” By August 1920, the required 36 states had ratified the

  • A county-wide resource

    Careers are launched at Hancock County Technical Center. In an unassuming building on Boggy Brook Road in Ellsworth, students learn to run a commercial kitchen, repair cars, troubleshoot diesel engines, care for patients as certified nursing assistants and perform biomedical research. Students run their own restaurant and preschool, produce videos and review the fundamentals of

  • Relieving pressure on jails

    The Hancock County Jail in Ellsworth is one of 15 county jails in Maine. That’s one for every county, except Sagadahoc and Lincoln, which share the Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset. Each jail has its own unique history and set of needs. But there is one thing they have in common — though some

  • Solar gold rush

    In the wake of new legislation incentivizing solar power, developers have come courting in Ellsworth. They are looking to make a deal through a power purchase agreement under which the city would pay for electricity generated by a solar farm on city property. City officials plan to solicit quotes for a farm of up to

  • Yes to both questions

    Question 1 on the Nov. 5 ballot is a $105 million bond “to build or improve roads, bridges, railroads, airports, transit and ports and make other transportation investments.” Critically necessary, the bond would leverage an estimated $137 million in federal and other funds. The transportation bond was the only surviving piece of the $239 million