• Parents in limbo

    In order for the economy to truly reopen, students must return to school in the fall and parents must have a clear idea of what is expected of them so they can return to work. Realistic? Maybe not, given the uncertainty — and the current rise in cases — of the coronavirus pandemic. Still, school

  • Happy Independence Day

    When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the

  • The grass isn’t always greener

    For the better part of a decade the Municipal Review Committee, a member-driven nonprofit that at one time managed the municipal waste of 187 towns in Maine, knew that the lucrative power-purchase contract that the Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. (PERC) plant in Orrington had with the electric company once known as Bangor Hydro would end

  • Library fills a need

    Hermione Granger, the brilliant and bookish heroine of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, had a fallback plan for wizarding conundrums: “When in doubt, go to the library.” It is good advice even for us non-wizards. While Google and Wikipedia have largely supplanted print encyclopedias for those quick reference questions, libraries have not lost their relevance

  • The summer of 2020

    As the Tom Keifer song goes, you “don’t know what you got till it’s gone.” What hasn’t been canceled this summer? From festivals to performances, outdoor movies to parades, many of the annual rituals enjoyed by locals and visitors alike are off the table this year. And these events aren’t just a good time —

  • Confronting our demons

    The nation is on fire — quite literally in some cases. Generations-old tensions, always simmering on the back burner and prone to overheat, are at full boil. The death of George Floyd, a black man, after being pinned beneath the knee of a Minneapolis police officer has sparked days of protests across the country. Rage

  • Stop comparing COVID-19 to the flu

    “If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” – The Art of War It’s natural to compare the unknown to the known. But when the comparison does not hold up, it is time to let it go. Such is the case with COVID-19 and influenza. The flu is terrible.

  • The remote learning curve

    Since Maine schools first closed in March, the estimate for their reopening was pushed back more than once. Few were surprised when word finally came down that the doors would not be reopening this school year. But at least things will get back to normal this fall, right? Right?!? Maybe not. Officials with the California

  • The disinformation highway

    A dizzying amount of information has been published about COVID-19. Open a newspaper, turn on the TV, flip on the radio or scroll through social media and the topic is inescapable. Everyone — from scientists to politicians, journalists to economists — is trying to make sense of this disease and where we go from here.

  • A Maine vacation — for Mainers

    On Friday, we entered month two of the state’s stay-at-home order and phase one of the Governor’s gradual plan for reopening the economy. We applaud Janet Mills’ and Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Nirav Shah’s commitment to using the best available science and epidemiological data to combat the spread of COVID-19.

  • One size does not fit all

    Congress had to act fast last month to pass the enormous financial lifeline that is the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. A cornerstone of the law is the Paycheck Protection Program, which was intended for small businesses but instead left room for awards to large, publicly traded firms. Demand for the funding

  • Restaurants in peril

    Maine is home to more than 3,200 restaurants, which generate an estimated $3 billion in direct sales annually. The industry employs close to 42,000 people and, according a 2019 study from Hospitality Maine, accounts for direct wages of $1.3 million. While one in 10 Mainers are employed in the hospitality industry, Hancock County has the