• Energy impacts, near and far

    Just over a week ago, a large explosion and fire at the Irving Oil Co. refinery in St. John, New Brunswick, sent ripples throughout the energy industry. Processing over 300,000 barrels of crude oil a day into refined energy products (heating oil, gasoline, diesel fuels and jet fuel), the Irving refinery is Canada’s largest. It

  • Problems with Question 1

    Question 1 on the Nov. 6 ballot is a citizen-initiated referendum. Like so many recent citizen-initiated referenda, it does not stand up to scrutiny. Promoted by the Maine People’s Alliance, the initiative would impose a new a tax on higher incomes in Maine to fund in-home health care services for the elderly and disabled. It

  • What’s better than a pound of cure?

    There’s lots of hand-wringing these days about our recycling options drying up. It’s been like watching a car crash in slow motion: one town after another cautions its residents that they need not bother separating glass from paper, plastics from cloth, wood from coffee grounds. These days, most of it’s going down in the ground

  • Looking for fairness in school aid distribution

    Maine’s school funding formula, though inherently flawed, is generally regarded as the best method for determining equitable distribution of state support. The method uses property valuation to determine a community’s wealth. Fair enough, one might say. The higher the valuation, the reasoning goes, the better the likelihood that a community can fund education through local

  • Giving honor where honor is due

    It’s easy and sometimes inviting to dismiss an earnest, idealistic proposition as just another tiresome effort at political correctness. But just because something may be politically correct, it doesn’t mean it’s incorrect. Exhibit A: Spencer Patterson King’s two presentations to the Ellsworth City Council asking the councilors to adopt Indigenous Peoples’ Day in lieu of

  • Stay high or go low?

    The minor dustup between the district attorney and his challenger, though amusing, did nothing to enhance the public profile of either gentleman. As reported in last week’s American, DA candidate Steve Juskewitch emailed the Hancock County Commissioners on Sept. 18, asking that they delay hiring an administrative assistant/legal secretary until after the election on Nov.

  • Gold star for Silver Airways

    On any given day, more than 100,000 flights crisscross America, leaving from and landing at the 5,200 paved runway airports that dot the landscape. With a big country, a good economy and lots of tourist places to visit, Americans are flying. While we covet the access to major transportation hubs such as New York, Detroit

  • Who will care for you?

    Our national health care debate often conflates access to adequate health care with health care insurance coverage. Those are two different critters. While there is no ignoring the rapidly expanding cost of health care in America — more than 17 percent of the entire economy — health care debates often leave out the human costs

  • Another renewable energy proposal is in the wind

    Last month, a Boston-based energy developer announced plans for another wind-power project for rural Hancock County. Under consideration (not for the first time) is a 17-tower, $140-million development next to the existing Hancock Wind and Bull Hill wind projects. The applicant proposes to comply with the community benefit requirement of such projects by providing funds

  • Blueberry blues

    This year’s wild blueberry harvest is over. Anecdotal evidence suggests that 2018 will make the second year in a row with less tonnage than the record crop of 2016. Blueberry farmers are also worried about what their field price will be — hoping it doesn’t get worse than last year’s money-losing payments. Being a successful