• Truth in advertising for Walmart

    Walmart’s ad slogan, “Save money. Live better.,” has at least one ardent adherent — Walmart itself. The multinational retailer is looking to save money by having its stores’ property assessments slashed. A lower assessment means a reduced property tax bill. Bingo: money saved. The push for a lower assessment is being felt in several Maine

  • Assistance of counsel

    The U.S. Constitution says every American has the right to legal counsel when the stakes are high. In practice, however, the 80 percent of defendants who cannot afford an attorney are often left to navigate an adversarial criminal justice system with little more than token representation. As a result, a central tenet of our system

  • Lift the lid on H-2B visas

    Hancock County’s hospitality industry faces a systemic worker shortage. Unlike other sectors, however, there’s actually an answer for the shortfall — if the federal government would just get out of the way. The H-2B visa program allows American companies outside of the agricultural sector to hire temporary foreign workers to cover seasonal boosts in demand.

  • Paying it forward

    The late Capt. William L. Bullard was frugal in life and generous after death. The maritime pilot and Navy veteran died in 2017 at age 80. Included in his estate was $10 million for his alma mater, Maine Maritime Academy, from which he graduated in 1959.   The money — the largest philanthropic gift the

  • Ellsworth Library has provided a terrific return on investment

    By Wendy Lessard Unease. That was the overriding reaction I had to reading “Councilors raise topic of reduced funding for library” in the Feb. 28 edition of The Ellsworth American. It’s an unease that has continued throughout the month of March as I’ve reread the article and spoken with Ellsworth Public Library leadership. It’s an

  • The thorny issue of rockweed

    Charles Dickens might well have been thinking about Maine’s intertidal zone — the area between the low and high tide marks — when a character in the novel “Oliver Twist” declaimed that “the law is a ass,” but there are signs the beast may be moving. Last week, a unanimous Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled

  • Life: a risky business

    Medical insurance is a gamble and some people are a bad bet. There are those who receive their black marks while still in the cradle, diagnosed with epilepsy, Type 1 diabetes, cerebral palsy, a heart defect or some other condition. Even with high premiums, those babies will cost insurance companies money year after year.  

  • 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,