• Giving thanks

    Giving thanks

    We predict more than the usual number of burnt turkeys this year as first-time poultry chefs break in their basters. Many Americans are wisely heeding the advice of public health experts and foregoing travel and large family gatherings this year. A small dinner at home can be just as sweet but Zooming with loved ones

  • The CARES Act cliff

    Implementing COVID-19 safety measures in schools and launching remote and hybrid learning required blood, sweat, tears and a whole lot of money. Hancock County schools collectively received more than $14 million through the federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act. The money was awarded in three pools, Elementary and Secondary Education Relief (ESSER)

  • We’re taking the pledge

    Americans expect to curtail their spending this holiday season amid economic uncertainty and a pandemic. A Gallup poll in October found that U.S. shoppers predict they will spend an average of $805 on Christmas gifts this year, the lowest holiday spending projection Gallup has measured since 2016.  For many families, especially those who have experienced

  • All noise, no substance

    High on the list of things we are grateful for this Thanksgiving is the end of the constant, intrusive, frequently cringe-worthy barrage of campaign advertising we Mainers have been subjected to in recent weeks. No mailbox, television, radio, phone, web browser or roadside has been safe from the onslaught. Too often the messaging seems designed

  • The other epidemic

    From January to June, 258 Mainers died because of a drug overdose.  In the first quarter of 2020 there were 127 overdose deaths in Maine, a 23 percent increase from the last quarter of 2019. Maine’s attorney general announced that in the second quarter 132 deaths were caused by drugs — a 4 percent increase

  • The hardest part

    A tumultuous election season is finally wrapping up. And by next week’s issue we may know which man will lead our nation for the next four years. Then again, we might not. One thing is clear, we will all have to live with each other after. In the words of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers:

  • Disappearing act

    According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 11 million jobs held by women were lost between February and May. Approximately 3 million jobs returned in June, but the percentage of women in the workforce now stands around 49.2 percent, the lowest since 2008.

  • Democracy in Asia

    Over the last several weeks the streets of Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, have been engulfed by thousands of demonstrators, most of them young, demanding one basic thing — democracy. This follows months, even years, of similar demonstrations in Hong Kong. These are the latest scenes in a profoundly important drama that has been playing out in

  • The next frontier

    In a state where vitamin D supplements are encouraged because we cannot soak up enough sunlight, the burgeoning popularity of solar power can be a bit of a head scratcher. But strides in technology efficiency, the critical need to reduce carbon emissions, rising consumer interest and state and federal incentives have positioned solar power to

  • A gift for Maine’s future

    With the fall semester well under way, college students are settling into a new normal amid a pandemic with long-term implications for their lives and careers. What job market will await them when they graduate? How heavy a burden will the debt they carry become? Among these and so many other uncertainties, there is good

  • Recklessness invites disaster

    Imagine having extensive data and the best science available about a highly infectious, potentially deadly disease but still not believing it could happen to you. Or acknowledging that it could happen, but reasoning the odds are in your favor so why bother to take even the most basic measures to protect yourself and those around

  • A budget stopgap

    The Mills administration last week announced it would curtail allotments to the state’s general and highways funds to offset revenue losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The cuts totaling $244.8 million avoid — for now at least — deep reductions in program spending, layoffs or drawing from the state’s “rainy day” fund. But it is