• Debt burdens future budgets

    Governor Janet Mills last week announced her 11th-hour proposal for the state of Maine to borrow $239 million to fund a package of initiatives intended to grow the economy and address challenges facing Maine. The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn on June 19, pressuring negotiators to quickly achieve consensus and sprint to deliver the constitutionally

  • The future is yours

    Well, moms, dads and grads — you did it. The child who just yesterday, it seems, was collecting dandelion bouquets is now ready to take on the world. Be proud of what you have achieved. Some kids excel at academics. Others find their niche on the playing field or theater stage, in the band room

  • A crucial reality check

    Anyone unclear on the value of a strong public health system just got a real-life lesson. As reported in last week’s Ellsworth American, the state recorded its first measles case in two years — an unnamed male student at Madison Junior High School. Officials responded quickly to the presence of the highly contagious disease. They

  • Legislature imperils Mills’ lofty ambition

    Governor Janet Mills has directed her administration to develop a 10-year strategic economic development plan for the state of Maine to be completed by November. The Governor has tapped the Department of Economic and Community Development to lead the effort and she has emphasized the plan will be expected to recommend steps to improve statewide

  • Pharmacy of the farm

    It’s an ongoing frustration for many doctors when treating chronic illness: Even effective drugs such as beta blockers and insulin won’t work if patients spend the rest of the day eating frozen pizza and cookies. Now, more and more, patients are leaving the doctor’s office with a prescription not only for the pharmacist but for

  • Winds of change

    As wind farms proliferate in Hancock County so, too, does resentment among residents who do not wish to share the view with tall towers and spinning blades that reach 591 feet into the sky. Though no reasonable person can be opposed to nonpolluting energy generation that relies on free fuel, plenty of people can and

  • Opening up primaries

    Maine is a national leader when it comes to the way it runs its elections. Popular programs such as same-day voter registration, Clean Elections public financing and a paper record of every vote that can be relied on in the event of a recount put our state in the forefront of making sure everyone has

  • Maintaining a healthy public pension system

    In the wake of the massive stock market decline of the Great Recession, Governor LePage and the Maine Legislature took steps to improve the financial condition of Maine’s public pension system. By imposing a cap and rate reduction of the cost-of-living adjustment for retired state employees and teachers, the system reduced the amount of the

  • Render unto Caesar

    In January 2018, in the midst of a severe flu season, the Catholic Diocese of Maine instituted protocols to impede the spread. Parishioners with flu symptoms were asked to stay home. For them, the Sunday Mass obligation was lifted. The communion ritual was changed to reduce touching. Shaking hands during the Sign of Peace interval

  • Competing interests

    “The farmer and the cowman should be friends,” according to Richard Rodgers’ lyrics in “Oklahoma!” Although they may step on one another’s toes in the pursuit of their respective trades, the song contends, they need not be enemies. Can a similar peace pact be visited upon Maine’s lobstermen and the advocates of whale safety? They

  • Law and order and Gouldsboro

    “A policeman’s life is not a pleasant one.” That was Gilbert and Sullivan’s assertion in “The Pirates of Penzance” (1879). And though the words are from a bygone age, they remain relevant in the modern era. Take Gouldsboro, for example. Gouldsboro voters decide next month whether they want to disband the town Police Department. The

  • Zero tuition

    Higher education has been much in the news these days, and not in a nice way. Millionaires buy college acceptance for their children. College graduates emerge with an impressive degree and bloodcurdling debt. Post-secondary education has yielded some grisly headlines of late. Except in Maine, where you don’t need to bribe anyone to get in