• 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,

  • 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