• Editorial: Elephant in the room

    The Bar Harbor Town Council has a workshop scheduled for next week to discuss housing. One major policy question, and the most controversial, is off the table for that meeting: whether or how to further regulate or limit vacation rentals. A moratorium on new, non-hosted vacation rentals was one of six ideas floated by councilor

  • Editorial: Rising seas

    At Mount Desert Island homes and businesses last week, folks were busy buttoning up before Hurricane Dorian arrived. Boats and floats were hauled, ships altered course and Acadia National Park officials closed some areas. While the storm wreaked havoc in the Bahamas and knocked out power in Atlantic Canada, here in Downeast Maine it was

  • State of Maine: E-bike enforcement a headache

    If you were thinking of taking refuge from the crowds in Bar Harbor by slipping off into Acadia National Park, think again. On Aug. 29, David Bernhardt, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, issued a “secretarial order” which “simplifies and unifies regulation of electric bicycles (e-bikes) on federal lands” managed by his department. The order came

  • Community Forum: Climate denial an attractive myth

    By Susan Letcher   In my 40-year lifetime, I’ve witnessed two profound shifts that are shaping our collective future. The first is climate change. As a kid, I can remember some years when we skated on Echo Lake before Thanksgiving. Imagine that today. My personal experience is one tiny and insignificant data point. But now,

  • Letter to Editor: Summer camp and resilience

    To the Editor: Jill Goldthwait’s recent column on the disappearance of “free range childhood” in Maine raised some important concerns and it reminded me about why I chose to make the summer camp my chosen career path. Ms. Goldthwait is correct that many children are over-scheduled. Twenty years ago, a University of Michigan study showed

  • Letter to Editor: Unnecessary controversy

    To the Editor: Might be worth considering that in today’s America many are threatened by the idea of an educated populace, making this in itself a “controversial subject”? An example is climate change. Science overwhelmingly tells us that climate change is real and that humans are primarily responsible. One may accept or not accept the

  • Letter to Editor: Pedal-assist should be OK

    To the Editor: The Sept. 5 issue of the Islander contains a news article, an editorial and a letter to the editor all of which exhibit some confusion concerning the position of the Department of Interior concerning the use of electric bicycles (“e-bikes”) in national parks. The Department’s position has been clarified by the National

  • Letter to Editor: Typical tourist town

    To The Editor: I visited Bar Harbor in late July and have to say that as much as I loved Acadia National Park, I was very disappointed and saddened at how Bar Harbor has lost its charm and local flavor. It was over-crowded by cruise ships tourists and overrun by “typical” tourist stores selling endless

  • Letter to Editor: Troubled by callousness

    To the Editor: What I saw on the CBS Evening News on Thursday, Aug. 29 shocked and disgusted me. It is I’m afraid another example of how our society has declined. A woman was left alone in a jail cell for five hours as she gave birth to her child. That woman needlessly suffered for

  • Letter to Editor: Noise annoys

    To the Editor: The recent article in the Mount Desert Islander, as well as the fact that two of the three letters to the editor in that same issue concern noise complaints in other Mount Desert Island towns, have prompted me to write this letter. I am an abutter to the MDI Lobster property, and