• Now it’s Trenton’s turn

    It’s another special education budget crisis in a different town, but it’s a familiar story. This time, it’s Trenton’s turn. At a recent meeting, the members of the Trenton School Committee adopted a budget for the 2019-20 school year proposing a 15 percent increase over current spending levels to fund local education. The recommended budget

  • It’s only a game

    A little over two weeks ago, a disturbing event took place at a youth basketball tournament in Orono. The incident, after which Down East Family YMCA Youth Sports Director Shane Lowell had to receive medical attention, made national news. The dustup, rightfully, has sparked a discussion of fan behavior. Even at a professional sporting event,

  • Vehicle inspections warranted

    Almost every session of Maine’s Legislature gets distracted by controversial proposals of its own making that distract the body from its primary role — establishing a working budget for all of Maine. One of the distractions this spring is the recurring push to eliminate Maine’s annual inspection law for non-commercial motor vehicles. Critics of the

  • Take one for the team

    You can’t legislate good parenting. The foremost reason being that there is no one-size-fits-all approach and any attempt to define one would insult and undermine the rich diversity of parent-child relationships. Also impossible: enforcement. How would one make love compulsory, for example, or lessons on right and wrong? Children desperately need these things, but the

  • We’re all neighbors here

    The old newspaper riddle goes “What’s black and white and read all over?” It harkens back to the good ’ol days when newspapers really were “read all over.” In recent decades, the combined pressures of shrinking circulation and reduced advertising dollars have spelled the end for hundreds of newspapers and thousands of jobs. That’s bad

  • The 55% solution

    In 2003, Maine voters directed state government to fund 55 percent of the total cost of delivering local kindergarten to grade 12 public education. For the current 2019 fiscal year, the state contribution of $1.1 billion toward the total cost of K-12 education, including the cost of essential programs and services (EPS), plus the state

  • Tournament time brings out the best in us all

    Another Maine high school basketball tournament has come and gone. Ten teams brought Gold Balls back to their communities. The caravans of fans headed to Augusta, Bangor and Portland won’t be seen again for the next 11½ months. As far as Maine sporting events go, late February is as big as it gets. Fans travel

  • The cart, the horse and the carbon fee

    Last week, Gov. Janet Mills announced that Maine would join 22 other states as part of the U.S. Climate Alliance to pursue the goals outlined by the Paris Climate Agreement — an international effort that President Trump abandoned. This is a step on the path to 100 percent renewable electricity in Maine by 2050, the

  • More than just a meal

    Dear Editor: Maggie Williams has served the Penobscot Senior Lunch every Monday for seven years. Her dedication, commitment and reliability have assured weekly nutrition for a lucky group of friends and neighbors. What Maggie has given, though, is more than just a meal. She has nourished the souls of the lunchers with her warm heart,