• First responders set example

    First responders set example

    More than a dozen fishermen rushed to help rescue the crew of Georgia Maria in Bar Harbor last week. Most don’t have any official role as first responders, but they were willing to respond first. In other emergencies, lobstermen often have helped the Bar Harbor Police and Fire departments respond to fires and injuries on

  • Operating under the influence undetected

    Operating under the influence undetected

    Maine voters have approved the legal sale and personal consumption of marijuana — even while federal law on the issue has not changed. Communities all over Maine now are wrestling with moratoria on the retail sale of marijuana in their towns, and the possibility of social clubs where it could be served. Their deliberations indicate

  • Arts management critical

    Arts management critical

    There’s no business like show business. But both the song and the popular imagination ignore the boring but essential role of back office, administrative work in the arts. In the last few years, the Barn Arts Collective of Tremont has grown beyond a group of friends meeting at a private waterfront residence and exploded onto

  • Taxpayer support for business creation costs too much

    Taxpayer support for business creation costs too much

    Ever since Edmund Muskie in the 1950s, Maine governors and legislators have been all too eager to use taxpayer funds to create incentives for new businesses in Maine. It’s a widespread idea, with virtually every state showering millions of dollars of business incentives to attract new jobs. But the evidence is mounting that the vast

  • Letter from the editor

    Letter from the editor

    For the past 16 years, the dedicated staff of the Mount Desert Islander, along with the entire team of folks behind the scenes at our sister paper, The Ellsworth American, has labored long and hard to prepare, present and circulate a weekly synopsis of the incredible energy and vitality of the wider Mount Desert Island

  • A welcome park

    A welcome park

    In a community with more than 60 percent of the available land already preserved by Acadia National Park and where small pocket parks abound throughout the downtown, it might seem unnecessary to advocate for one more. But the Bar Harbor Village Improvement Association’s (VIA) push to create a small “welcome” park at the corner of

  • Building community

    Building community

    On its face, it seemed like a simple goal – raise money to fix up a neglected and unappealing playground in downtown Bar Harbor so local children have a safe, comfortable place to get outdoors. How hard could it be? The process, however, turned out to be anything but easy. With so many infrastructure projects

  • A community’s health

    A community’s health

    Community health efforts seem to be springing up everywhere these days, including highly publicized efforts to get folks to quit smoking, lose weight, exercise more and reduce stress. But some 120 years ago, the original community health effort was launched with the creation of what is today known as “Mount Desert Island Hospital.” At a

  • A ray of sunshine

    A ray of sunshine

    Along with fisheries expert and former Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Robin Alden, the Mount Desert Islander, its owner and publisher, Alan Baker, and its editor, Earl Brechlin, were honored last Friday evening as recipients of the Maine Seacoast Mission’s Sunbeam Award. Named after the Maine Seacoast Mission ship, Sunbeam, it is presented annually “to

  • Political redundancy

    Political redundancy

    Efforts are underway on a number of fronts in Bar Harbor to encourage greater community involvement in town affairs. While some, such as a push to encourage greater civility in public discourse, hold promise, others are more hollow exercises. Take, for example, the call to form a residents’ association following the recent ferry terminal rezoning