• Time’s up

    Time’s up

    Sir Sanford Fleming persuaded the English government in 1879 to embrace separate time zones around the English Isles and the rest of the world in a bold understanding of the vastness of the planet and how the sun’s rise affected various regions of Earth. Today, the whole United States, as well as Canada, has six

  • Hollow promise

    Hollow promise

    Back in 2011, Gov. Paul LePage unveiled an addition to the “Welcome to Maine” sign on Interstate 95 in Kittery. “Open for Business,” it reads. Well, apparently the governor’s definition of “open for business” has changed over the years and now includes only entities that qualify for his personal stamp of approval. Maine Department of

  • Canary in a coal mine

    Canary in a coal mine

    Puerto Rico slid into a form of bankruptcy two weeks ago with $73 billion owed to creditors and bondholders. For an island with only 3.5 million residents, that’s about $20,900 for every man, woman and child. More than $45 billion of the debt is the pension liability for government employees. Puerto Rico is only the

  • ‘Yes’ on parking zoning

    ‘Yes’ on parking zoning

    Warrant Articles 1-10 on Bar Harbor’s written ballot for this year’s town meeting all deal with parking. After years of hard work, the Bar Harbor Planning Board has voted unanimously to recommend passage of this important package of amendments. None of these measures will allow the unfettered creation of sky-high parking garages. There is no

  • Welcoming communities

    Welcoming communities

    Last week, Mount Desert became the first community in Maine to adopt a so-called sanctuary statement. By a nearly 2-1 margin at town meeting, residents embraced an affirmative resolution that does not require the police department to violate federal law. The resolution sought to “protect the independence of our local law enforcement by refusing to

  • Help wanted

    Help wanted

    Maine’s workforce is shrinking. The latest data from the Maine Department of Labor indicates 623,000 Mainers are gainfully employed, almost 62 percent of the total population and some 2 percent higher than the national average. Almost 100,000 Mainers are employed in some level of government – 16 percent of the workforce – yet this is

  • Summer’s Great Satan

    Summer’s Great Satan

    As the debate about the future of the former Marine Atlantic ferry terminal property continues in Bar Harbor, there seems to be a disturbing trend toward the demonizing of cruise ship passengers. On an island that officials in Acadia National Park said some 3.3 million people visited last year, the estimated 100,000 people that came

  • Interpretation


    Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying “you can fool some of the people all of the time.” Backers of a casino in Southern Maine certainly managed to do so by disguising their efforts to get the issue on the ballot as an economic development, fairness and jobs issue. Mindful of this blatant subterfuge, members of

  • Backing biomass

    Backing biomass

    Late last year, Maine’s Public Utilities Commission awarded subsidies worth $13.4 million to two alternative energy companies to restart four of Maine’s biomass plants: two in Aroostook County – at Ashland and Fort Fairfield, one in Penobscot County at West Enfield and one in Washington County at Jonesboro. ReEnergy would operate the two northern Maine

  • Lowering standards

    Lowering standards

    For several decades now, Bar Harbor’s zoning ordinance has included a maximum building height of 40 feet. That number conveniently coincides with the maximum height at which the town’s fire apparatus can be operated effectively. Determining where, on a sloped site, a measurement should be taken is complex and can be disputed. The code also