• American energy independence

    The United States last week became a net exporter of oil. For the first time in more than 40 years, the country made the switch from importer to exporter. Analysts say the distinction may not last this year, but the milestone might be achieved again next year or in 2020. The implications are considerable. Some

  • Shriners outdo themselves

    Hats off (or should we say fezzes?) to the Anah Shrine Facts & Figures Unit for another blockbuster Downeast Festival of Trees. The three-day festival, which was held over the weekend in Franklin, was proof once again that small organizations can do big things. The service at the volunteer-run event was first class from the

  • Dam license positive news

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently released preliminary indications of support for continued operation of the Union River and Graham Lake dams. Over five-plus years of hearings, statements, testimony and submitted evidence, Black Bear Hydro, the dam’s owner, has worked with FERC to ensure continued operation of the dam and continued generation of hydroelectric power.

  • A write-in treasurer

    During the recent county elections, over 26,500 voters made a choice for district attorney, a position that oversees our county’s criminal justice system. Unfortunately, only 882 voters made a selection for the county treasurer’s post, a position that oversees a budget of over $20 million. Michael Boucher’s write-in candidacy outpolled acting county finance administrator Pamela

  • So much connectivity, so little connection

    Visions of the future — particularly visions of the future of technology — used to focus on transportation. Flying cars, jet backpacks, commuting to the moon and supersonic flights to Europe were just around the corner. As it turned out, the technological advances around the corner would be astonishing, indeed. But it was not transportation

  • Do yourself a favor and shop local

    Doing your Christmas shopping in town has always been a good idea. The recent proliferation of craft, clothing and gift shops in Ellsworth and surrounding towns makes it especially rewarding this season. Keeping more of your money in your local economy, as distinct from spending it with an online retailer or national chain, breathes vitality

  • Remembering our veterans in ways that matter

    World governments recently paused to observe the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. That conflict was dubbed “the war to end all wars,” but ghastly years of stalemate, trenches, barbed wire and poison gas demonstrated that it was the war that could not even end itself. While the “end all wars” claim

  • Holiday from heartburn

    We are reminded on this day or all days to offer thanks to whatever deity, fateful intervention or personal attribute we choose to credit for our health and good fortune. To allow others at the dinner table to experience additional gratitude, perhaps this is the day of all days and the year of all years

  • Dems take helm in stormy seas

    Maine voters moved the state left last week, electing Democratic majorities in the state House of Representatives and Senate and a Democrat to the Blaine House in a significant political shift. Mainers also elected their first female governor ever in Janet Mills. Plus, 39 percent of the incoming 186-seat Legislature will be female — an

  • Safe state

    Congratulations to all those who were victorious in this week’s elections. Maine and its communities need nonpartisan leadership to address the challenges ahead. Topping the list are health care, energy options and an improved business climate, among other contenders. Down low on the list, fortunately, are the safety and security of our communities. For the