• A decade along

    A decade along

    Ten years ago this month, Apple introduced to the world the very first iPhone at the Macworld Convention. A touch screen device with a virtual keyboard, it could take photos, play music, surf the web, send and receive text messages and occasionally place a cell-phone call. That first smartphone has altered forever how we interact

  • Safe in the storm

    Safe in the storm

    It may be hard to believe, with the current unseasonably warm weather, that barely over a week ago, we were reeling from back-to-back storms dumping more than three feet of snow over Mount Desert Island. Residents quickly fell into a cycle of hunker down, get out and shovel, clean up and get ready for the

  • Unintended consequences

    Unintended consequences

    In his novel “Cat’s Cradle,” Kurt Vonnegut introduced a fictional element called ice-nine. It’s an ice that does not melt until the temperature hits 114.4 F. When ice-nine comes into contact with any kind of water, it freezes that water solid. Ice-nine was invented by the novel’s Defense Department so that infantry units would no

  • Project creep

    Project creep

    Last week, the Bar Harbor Town Council made an end run around town meeting by voting to shift $32,000 from the town’s sidewalk repair account to accommodate a survey of the Crooked Road. The purpose of the survey is to gather engineering information to permit bicycle lanes to be installed along that road. Unfortunately, the

  • Citizen sausage

    Citizen sausage

    The Maine Legislature is spending a great deal of time these days wrestling with wording. The wording of the marijuana legalization law has been found to be misleading and incomplete. Lawmakers have asked that implementation of the law be delayed until they can sort things out. And the Senate has asked the state’s Supreme Judicial

  • Back in time

    Back in time

    Maine lawmakers are considering a bill, LD 71, that would put Maine into the same time zone as Nova Scotia and Puerto Rico during the five winter months. If adopted by the Legislature, the proposal would be put out for a statewide vote. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Kathleen Dillingham (R-Oxford) and has nine

  • Teens and guns

    Teens and guns

    Fresh on the heels of removing nearly all restrictions on who can carry concealed weapons in Maine, proponents now look to liberalize the law even further. Sen. Eric Brakey (R-Auburn) has introduced a bill, LD44, “An Act To Lower the Age Requirement To Carry a Concealed Handgun.” The act addresses a complaint that Gov. Paul

  • Funding requests

    Funding requests

    Two nonprofit organizations have approached the Bar Harbor Town Council for major increases in funding this year. The Jesup Library, which hasn’t asked for an increase in decades, desires to go from $20,257 to $75,000. The Mount Desert Island YMCA is seeking to increase its town subsidy from $48,812 to $100,000. It last pushed through

  • Tradition of craftsmanship

    Tradition of craftsmanship

    Barely a month goes by that one of Maine’s well-regarded boatbuilders isn’t recognized with extensive profiling in national maritime magazines and newspapers. Prolific positive reviews bordering on unabashed admiration have covered Maine’s small-boat building industry with the kind of attention that money just can’t buy. From Washington County and Hancock County’s myriad builders – Hinckley

  • Power to the people

    Power to the people

    Last week, two of the three members of Maine’s Public Utilities Commission voted against permitting the Swans Island Electrical Coop to become part of the Emera Maine system. That decision means hundreds of customers on both Swans and on Frenchboro will continue to have utility bills among the highest in the country. The reason cited