• City poised for change

    Census results should be available by April 30, so by then we should know more about how Ellsworth has changed demographically over the past decade. Will growth have kept pace with the 10 years prior when Ellsworth was the fastest growing city in the state? The number of apartment buildings erected in recent years and

  • The virtue of independent thinking

    Sen. Susan Collins’ vote to convict former president Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial did not go over well with state Republican Party leadership. Party Chairwoman Demi Kouzounas and members of the Maine Republican State Committee, including Hancock County leadership, expressed their outrage in a letter to Collins.  They wrote to “condemn in the

  • Taking it to go

    There have been many executive orders signed by Governor Janet Mills since the COVID-19 pandemic began that have changed the way people live and businesses operate. But there is one change that may remain even after those orders expire: the ability to serve to-go beer, wine and cocktails.  State Sen. Louis Luchini (D-Hancock County) introduced

  • Who’s on the hook?

    Federal student loan debt in this country clocks in at more than $1.5 trillion. Some 42.9 million Americans owe an average of $36,520. Some also drew on private loans. Many borrowers qualify for relief under the CARES Act. How quickly the pandemic pushed them into dire economic straits and the sheer number that were already

  • Waiting on the sun

    Maine cannot afford to lose the 2021 season. Closures, mandatory visitor quarantines and economic turmoil pounded the hospitality and tourism industries last summer and the pain rippled out to other sectors, including fishing. There were a lot fewer plates to put lobster on. Some businesses just barely made it through with a combination of grit,

  • Putting differences aside

    “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Those words from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first inaugural address came to mind this past spring after hearing the increasingly frenzied worries and rumors leading up to a planned Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Ellsworth and then witnessing firsthand the event and subsequent local demonstrations.

  • Things are heating up

    The year 2020 will go down in history as one of the warmest years on record in Maine and elsewhere around the country. It is part of a larger warming trend that has taken place over the last 10 years with record-breaking conditions giving way to extreme weather.  From droughts and wildfires in the western

  • Dialing in from afar

    One of the things this long year has proven is that it is possible (if not always pleasant) to accomplish much of daily life and business online. Americans already spent much of their work and leisure time on the web pre-pandemic, but that has taken on new proportions.  Some companies have found that office space

  • Balancing the budget

    OUR VIEW: “It’s a lucky break in Monopoly to draw the “Bank error in your favor, collect $200” card. But that’s small change compared to finding $760 million,” writes the editorial board this week. “In August, the state’s nonpartisan Revenue Forecasting Committee issued a grim projection: a budget shortfall of $527.8 million for the current fiscal year and $883.2 million for the 2022-23 biennium. But in December, the committee revised its projections and the numbers, by comparison anyway, are looking up. The forecasters now anticipate a $255 million general fund shortfall this year (roughly half the original projection) and a $395.8 million shortfall for FY22-23…What Maine people need — and the Legislature should deliver in the budget process — is stability. A budget delivered on time and drawing wide bipartisan support would be welcome news indeed.”

  • A civics lesson, please

    “The level of civic education in this country is woefully inadequate if people can reach adulthood without the basic knowledge of the three branches of the United States government,” writes the editorial board this week. “Furthermore, those same folks will be ill equipped to adequately engage in a participatory democracy and be more susceptible to misinformation. Without a clear understanding of how government works, conspiracy theories and untruths are able to run rampant.”

  • Picking up steam

    While the COVID-19 vaccination effort lurches forward nationwide, Maine is doing well with what it’s got — at least compared to other states. So far Maine has used roughly half of the 96,475 doses it has been given. As of Sunday, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 48,937 people in Maine (roughly

  • A backward approach

    The editorial board weighs in on the search for city manager: According to the city charter, a city manager “must be appointed solely on the basis of executive and administrative qualifications” and that, with council consent, the city manager may serve as the head of one or more departments “provided there is no incompatibility of office.” Should the city police chief report to his or herself as city manager? Are the positions compatible? Can they effectively be performed at the same time long-term?

    Those are questions that demand thorough public vetting. The council should initiate the discussion before negotiating to hire someone for a role the community has not indicated it wants.

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