• Attracting remote workers

    For many Americans, getting back to normal means returning to the office. But as the pandemic drags on, some employers (and employees) have discovered that the office is not as essential as it once was. With a laptop and high-speed internet connection, many desk jobs can be done just about anywhere. A May Gallup poll

  • Moving the goal post

    It is back to school (in one form or another) for many Hancock County kids this week and the stakes are high for students, staff, and the nation as it undertakes the massive social and epidemiological experiment that is resuming public education amid a pandemic. It was just a few short weeks ago that local

  • Until next year, fair

    The morning air is crisp and the first day of school draws near, but can a Hancock County summer really end without the Blue Hill Fair? Instead of out with a bang, the summer of 2020 is closing on a whimper. Fair organizers held out until June before making the call. By then it was

  • Welcome to Ellsworth

    Young people frequently lead the charge for social change, confronting issues older generations may be uncomfortable or unwilling to discuss. So it was a pleasure to see Ellsworth High School students and their advisors bring fresh eyes and fresh ideas to an old problem: discrimination against the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning) community.

  • Time to get it right

    Anyone with illusions about the simplicity of Maine’s lobster fishing industry should check out some of the recent headlines about the issues roiling both the market for lobster and the regulatory environment affecting the men and women who fish for them. Fishermen seem to be perpetually waiting for the other shoe to drop, but last

  • The risk of complacency

    In March, the thought of touching a shopping cart at the grocery store sent chills up your spine. By May, an appointment at the salon sounded like a terrific (and much needed) idea. In July, it seemed OK to attend a small social gathering. Here we are in August, and the streets of Bar Harbor

  • Postal Service is essential

    Of the many modes of communication available to Americans today (beyond simply talking to one another), there’s one we all of have in common: the mail. The United States Postal Service delivers to every address in the country in each of the nearly 42,000 ZIP codes. The 1970 legislation establishing the independent agency states that

  • Pandemic worsens addiction struggle

    In the first quarter of 2020, there were 127 drug overdose deaths in Maine. That represents a 23 percent increase from the last quarter of 2019. This upward trend is expected to continue, with an estimated 259 people projected to have died from drug overdoses during the first half of the year. A recent report

  • A safety net for farmworkers

    It is blueberry season in Maine and the state’s signature fruit is ripe for the raking. Many growers depend on migrant agriculture workers to harvest the crop. Any Mainer who has spent a hot August day hunched over a blueberry field hand-raking these tiny fruits knows just how demanding that work can be. Strenuous and

  • An investment in the future

    In a normal year, which this most certainly is not, Acadia National Park attracts millions of visitors hailing from all over Maine, the U.S. and the world. Tourists are still enjoying the park this year, but the pandemic has upended many travel plans. The 2020 visitation figures, when available, are likely to be far off

  • Making every vote count

    The July 14 primary saw approximately 190,000 requests for absentee ballots statewide. Compared to the 35,982 requested for the June 2018 primary, that’s a roughly fivefold increase. In many area towns, absentee ballots made up as many as half the ballots cast. That ultimately meant more hand-counting for some election clerks and generally a later

  • A little privacy, please

    Earlier this month, United States District Judge Lance Walker ruled in favor of Maine’s landmark internet privacy law. The law, LD 946, “An Act To Protect the Privacy of Online Customer Information,” was sponsored by state Sen. Shenna Bellows of Manchester and took effect July 1. Bellows grew up in Hancock. Rep. Nicole Grohoski (D-Ellsworth)