• Thanks for the parade

    Another installment of Ellsworth’s annual Christmas parade is now in the books, and odds are if you weren’t in the crowd watching it or taking part in the parade itself you were in the minority Saturday morning. Spectators began picking out spots and setting up chairs an hour or more before the parade got started

  • Elected or appointed: which is the wiser method?

    The Hancock County Commissioners recently voted for a new 2018 budget that is up 6 percent to over $8.3 million. Next week, we will address how much the county tax tab has grown over the last few years. One thing’s for sure: the oversight of your tax dollars is a serious responsibility, one that should

  • A lawmaking process that’s gone to pot

    One need look no further than the fallout from last year’s vote to legalize recreational marijuana to see that Maine’s citizen-initiative method of making laws is in need of fixing. Voters were asked to approve a law (specifically, a 28-page bill) that would allow adults to use marijuana and permit businesses to grow, test and

  • A crossroads for Maine’s economy

    What do a paper mill, a lobsterman’s dock and a dairy farmer’s barn have in common with a gravel pit, a granite quarry and a blueberry freezer? They each make smells and sounds that signal they are small but essential parts of Maine’s local resource-based economy. Long a self-reliant state and region, many of Maine’s

  • Community Saturday

    In recent years, Thanksgiving has become the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season with Black Friday deals and Small Business Saturday. We would put forth that perhaps this commercialization of all things holiday be known as Community Saturday to urge shoppers to patronize their own local businesses first. Put down the tablet, step away

  • Thanksgiving 2017

    Between the Pilgrims’ landing at Plymouth in November 1620 and the spring of 1622, when fishermen at Damariscove Island (off Boothbay) had to feed the starving new community, the colonists and the Wampanog Indians forged a tenuous relationship that led to an autumn feast together in 1621 that historians have come to regard as the

  • Gambling’s pot of gold remains elusive

    While Maine’s voters embraced expanding the state’s Medicaid rolls last week — without any funding to pay for it — they clearly understood the ramifications of a third Maine casino. Too many states are looking to expand gaming, gambling and lotteries to fill rapidly expanding holes in their budgets. Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland and Pennsylvania are

  • Marijuana law speed bumps

    Just over a year ago, a citizen referendum question drew enough statewide votes to legalize personal use of marijuana. Passage came after several failed attempts to do so through the Maine Legislature. Today it is much clearer why the Legislature never could agree on how to implement legalized marijuana and why citizen-backed referendums are a

  • Park fee hike necessary

    When the National Park Service was created 101 years ago, no one then could have imagined that over 330 million people would visit the 417 federally managed national park facilities around the country in a single year — more people than are citizens of our country. Yet, that is what happened last year in America.

  • Question 1 is a bad bet

    Question 1 on the Nov. 7 ballot asks: “Do you want to allow a certain company to operate table games and/or slot machines in York County, subject to state and local approval, with part of the profits going to the specific programs described in the initiative?” Proponents underscore the promise of “part of the profits.”