• Legacies, deadlines and dubious politics

    On June 12, Democrat and Republican party members will vote for their respective candidates in the primary elections. The plurality “party” of Mainers, the unenrolled voters, will be on the sidelines, watching. Eighteen days after these primary elections, the state’s fiscal year will end. The possibility exists that several major legislative bills will remain unreconciled.

  • For love of country

    The meaning of a holiday can get lost in its trappings — decorations, days off, family dinners. Such can be the case with Memorial Day, a day that in Maine has the added distinction of being the unofficial start to the summer tourist season. Open the I-95 floodgates: They’re coming. What Memorial Day is supposed

  • Putting our House in order

    The second regular session of the 128th Maine Legislature convened Jan. 3 and adjourned, unceremoniously, May 2 — two weeks past its statutory adjournment date of April 18. In 15 weeks of committee meetings and hearings, the Legislature fiddled with hundreds of non-emergency bills, while deferring action on the critical legislation affecting the majority of

  • Source unknown

    When President Trump claims that reports in the New York Times, CNN and elsewhere are “fake news,” his declaration is rarely met with universal concurrence. “Inconvenient news” might be closer to the mark. The President is on firmer ground when he criticizes reporters’ use of unnamed sources. News stories developed from “sources familiar with the

  • Labor woes continue for local employers

    Beneath the good news, about low unemployment in Maine and nationally as our economy rebounds, lie the hidden data. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 62.9 percent of workforce-eligible Americans are actively engaged in employment, roughly 153 million people, while approximately 94 million eligible employees are not working. Some are retirees (10,000 baby boomers

  • Enough’s enough

    The Maine Republican Party’s federal lawsuit seeking to derail ranked choice voting falls far short of principled resistance. It is 11th-hour mischief and should be withdrawn at once. The suit against Secretary of State Matt Dunlap asks for an injunction to prevent the use of ranked choice voting to decide Republican winners of the June

  • Justice delayed is justice denied

    Two young men from Puerto Rico, employed at the lobster processing plant in Prospect Harbor and sending money home to their families, were held in the Hancock County Jail for almost seven months awaiting trial. At issue was a drug charge lodged after the driver of the car in which they were passengers was pulled

  • Not as bad as it looks

    For all the dismay and disappointment attending the Legislature’s vastly incomplete performance over this last term, there is at least one break in the clouds over Augusta. The reporting data suggests that Maine’s fiscal house has been put in order over the past seven years. A dogged effort to plan ahead for government employee pensions

  • How not to handle waste disposal

    Landfill, waste-to-energy, compost, recycle, reuse, reduce. Sounds like an Earth Day mantra. But, in fact, those terms represent the state of Maine’s hierarchy criteria for managing the hundreds of thousands of tons of trash that we all generate each year. For many citizens of a certain age, these criteria were bred into us by Depression-era

  • Business tax breaks: a slippery slope

    While Maine’s Legislature struggles to find sufficient funding for essential programs, the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) is working on a submissions list of “low-income communities” eligible for Opportunity Zone investments. In other words, tax breaks. Spokesman Doug Ray recently admitted that the criteria for evaluation to be added to Governor’s selection