• An obsolete model

    Settling on a new revenue model for funding Maine roads, bridges, rail, air and shipping ports has confounded previous state legislatures and, so-far, persists as an unsolvable predicament. So, we greet the recent announcement of the establishment of the Blue Ribbon Commission to Study and Recommend Funding Solutions for The State’s Transportation Systems with high

  • Duty calls

    State police, citing an increased workload and staffing issues, propose cutting back on coverage in Hancock and Washington counties. Until now, the agency has handled half of 911 calls made in Hancock County, while the Sheriff’s Office has responded to the rest (with the exception of calls handled by municipal police departments). The arrangement dates

  • Make no enemies

    Conflicts on the water are nothing new. It wasn’t that long ago that, along with apple cider and pumpkins, autumn brought the start of scallop fishing season and an increase in tensions between lobstermen who set their traps on the sea floor and scallop draggers who towed their metal drags along it. Individual lobstermen are

  • Fall spectacular

    While they couldn’t have ordered up the glorious fall weather this past weekend, the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce team had the rest of Autumn Gold planning down to a science. The weekend offered something for everyone, from pancakes to chowder, boat rides to train rides, crafts to cars. Businesses participating in the Autumn Gold

  • Skills can be taught

    In a tight job market, in order to get skilled workers, employers may need to teach the skills. Realizing that the perfect job candidate may not be perfect yet and that investing in potential can pay off, roughly 115 employers are now participating in the state Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship Program, an increase of 40

  • Foster system is broken

    Maine’s foster kids are underserved. This incredibly vulnerable population is often subject to trauma upon trauma from an unstable, neglectful or possibly abusive home to removal from that home and entry into a system that struggles to meet their basic needs — not to mention their emotional ones. At the end of 2018, there were

  • Hail and farewell, Councilor Fortier

    Many good-hearted citizens of Ellsworth take time out from their jobs to serve their community. Gary Fortier is that rare one who had to take time out from his community service to get in a few hours of paid employment. A one-man civics lesson, Fortier’s service on the Ellsworth City Council has been tireless, selfless

  • Welcome home

    Sept. 11 is a date indelibly inked on the American psyche. Eighteen years after the terrorist attacks, last Wednesday marked another national annual day of reckoning, remembrance and reflection. It was cause to look back on the nearly 3,000 lives lost, but also on the incredible acts of selfless heroism that drew us together as

  • Collateral damage

    How much will it cost to abate the opioid crisis in Maine? It’s an open question. But if settlements with drug manufacturers will likely be one source of the funds to address the crisis, there may be lessons to be learned from the history of the 1998 tobacco settlement and the Fund for a Healthy

  • Destination Downeast

    With downtown Bar Harbor and the most popular spots in Acadia National Park full to bursting in the high season, the Schoodic region and destinations farther Downeast are poised for tourism growth. The Schoodic portion of Acadia, including the Schoodic Woods campground, and amenities such as ferry service to Mount Desert Island are already attracting

  • Roads a necessity

    Maine’s roads and transportation infrastructure are in urgent need of a cash infusion. The $105-million transportation bond now slated for the November ballot will not go far enough, but if approved, the borrowed money will leverage an additional $137 million in matching federal funding. The total sum will help chip away at the state’s backlog

  • Teachers deserve support

    Our local public school leaders are sounding the alarm. They face a critical shortage of qualified teachers, administrators and support staff needed to fill open positions. As The Ellsworth American reported in a recent three-part series, the current teacher shortage crisis is intensified by the convergence of two powerful trends. The first is the demographic