• Safety first

    Safety first

    Long a slogan embraced by the manufacturing and construction industries, the term “safety first” also should be the prime directive when it comes to debating the future of emergency dispatching services at a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) in Hancock County. Faced with staffing shortages and a need for more space, county officials are discussing

  • By the book

    By the book

    Undoubtedly, many public officials can identify with the frustration of school system managers and members of the Mount Desert Island High School Board of Trustees who are upset that one of their members has been woefully deficient in attending important meetings. School Superintendent Marc Gousse has had multiple communications with Michael Sawyer of Southwest Harbor

  • Saving the Great Harbor

    Saving the Great Harbor

    Perhaps no geographic feature has been more pivotal to this island’s history than the Great Harbor of Mount Desert. Delineated by Eastern Way, Western Way and the mouth of Somes Sound, the Great Harbor literally is a crossroads of maritime interests and a contemporary interface with the waves of history that created the greater island

  • Crying ‘wolf’ on weather

    Crying ‘wolf’ on weather

    Maine residents for generations have relied on the National Weather Service for regular and timely daily and long-range forecasts and for special safety warnings when unusual events, such as stream and coastal flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning, heavy rain or high winds, are expected. These valuable communications help protect life and property and are an important

  • Maine gets ‘Real’

    Maine gets ‘Real’

    Earlier this spring, Gov. Paul LePage signed into law LD 306 to bring Maine into compliance with the federal REAL ID Act. The federal government implemented REAL ID requirements under the auspices of Homeland Security in 2005, with several states, like Maine, balking at this intrusion. The reality is that our failure to comply with

  • Advisory Commission

    Advisory Commission

    In May, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced that he was suspending the work and authority of more than 200 advisory commissions to allow a full-scale, internal review of their duties and responsibilities. That included the Acadia Advisory Commission, which did not hold its usual June meeting. The commission, created when the park’s permanent boundary was

  • Character of community

    Character of community

    In social media posts and casual conversations concerning politics, a common complaint is that government is too distant from “the people.” It’s an easy complaint to make. Pinpointing specific examples, meanwhile, is actually quite difficult. Most often, that point is the last refuge of argument on the part of someone who disagrees with a particular

  • Tracking fisheries

    Tracking fisheries

    The Department of Marine Resources deserves a tip of the cap for its successful implementation of a magnetic swipe card system to manage the state’s multimillion-dollar elver fishery. By the time the 11-week fishing season closed last Wednesday, dealers had reported to the DMR purchases of just over 9,282 pounds of the tiny juvenile eels

  • Labor Dept. layoffs

    Labor Dept. layoffs

    Hardly noticed among more exciting news last week was a small release from the Maine Department of Labor announcing the layoff of up to 10 employees. What, a government agency reducing staff and no headlines revealing the monetary savings to taxpayers? Maine Labor Department Commissioner Jeanne Paquette announced that her agency would cease participation in

  • Sound of the gavel

    Sound of the gavel

    Voters at Bar Harbor’s annual town meeting last week learned an important lesson about their chosen form of local governance. During a vote on whether to approve $400,000 in bonds for the creation of a system of paid parking meters in town, moderator Bill Ferm was in doubt as to which side had prevailed after