• When home is where the hurt is

    Their names and faces fill the news, the focus of an epidemic that lacks a vaccine. Marissa Kennedy, Hilary Saenz, Coty, Monica and Amy Lake, Lori Hayden and Dustin Tuttle and dozens more are all domestic abuse violence murder victims killed by someone they knew, once loved, once trusted and once relied on for their

  • Winning the water lottery

    Several of Maine’s traditional industries have been hard-hit since the 1970s. Shoe manufacturers, textile mills and paper mills have disappeared from the landscape like the stately old Elm trees that lined our Main Streets. Yet, in the last few weeks, new possibilities for our economy have presented themselves — ventures that capitalize on one of

  • Thoughts and prayers won’t bring them back

    In the wake of the Feb. 14 school shooting in Florida, as members of Congress find new ways not to take action, politicians and pundits of every stripe have come forward with answers: arming teachers, background checks, mental health evaluations, age limits, magazine limits, a better FBI, bans on bumpstocks, bans on AR-15s. And, of

  • Mill town no more

    On the shores of the Penobscot River, at the top of Penobscot Bay across from Verona Island, Fort Knox and the Penobscot Narrows Bridge is the former mill town of Bucksport. Long known for the large paper mill that shaped the town’s image, Bucksport is shedding its mill town image as it becomes a destination

  • Tax season demands new tax relief

    During the recent State of the State address by Governor Paul LePage, a significant amount of time was devoted to conservation tax easements and the nonpayment of property taxes by countless nonprofit organizations in the state of Maine. Never one to shy away from controversial topics, the Governor has long pressed for changes to Maine

  • Governor LePage: A party of one

    Last Friday, Maine State Police and Department of Corrections staff, under orders from Governor LePage, descended on the Downeast Correctional Facility in Machiasport before first light. Their message to the prison’s 51 employees? “Good morning. You’re fired.” Their message to all 63 prisoners was hardly less jarring. They were being transferred, immediately, to the Charleston

  • EMBRACE prudence

    The headline sent a chill through many a taxpayer: “At $24,000 per student, board ponders options.” Last week’s front page report described the financial dilemma facing Deer Isle and Stonington taxpayers. Education costs in Maine are escalating at the same time that enrollments are declining, an unfortunate reality in a rural state with an aging

  • Safe walking

    Congratulations to Heart of Ellsworth, the city’s downtown booster/advocate, for drawing a good size crowd on a chilly Wednesday to talk about local needs. The 40 residents present at the Jan. 24 gathering spoke of senior housing, bus service, recycling, waterfront access and child care, among other topics. The presence of City Council Chairman Marc

  • Energy security priority

    During the two weeks after Christmas, Maine and the Northeast experienced the coldest continuous weather in 50 years. Degree days exceeded the previous season’s levels by 55 percent. Natural gas customers with interruptible supply contracts were turned off so that homes and residential institutions would have supply. This forced commercial and large-scale users back to

  • A solution in search of a problem

    In November 2016, Maine voters passed the citizen initiative concerning ranked choice voting (RCV) as an alternative to our existing plurality voting system for state and federal elections. The existing system, affirmed in Maine’s Constitution since 1847, stipulates that the candidate with the most votes prevails. RCV would require a majority vote to decide an