Commentary

  • Viewpoint: A broader review 

    By Earl Brechlin  I applaud the Bar Harbor Town Council’s decision to begin a discussion about an appropriate level of cruise ship visitation for our community.  With this year’s cancellations due to COVID–19, and the prospects of little or no cruise ship trade next year, this is the perfect time to step back from merely taking every ship that comes

  • Viewpoint: Will you be home this Thanksgiving?

    By Todd R. Nelson  I embrace a whole nation that holds a holiday in the name of gratitude and coming home: ours. It’s rare in this day and age and social climate to have so many people pausing with humility for these simple, soulful things. That’s my opening point of thankfulness, every year. Just being here.   Gratitude has power. We must exercise it more often. It’s the core of one of the great redemptive experiences of literature, in addition to the world’s religious

  • Viewpoint: Dramatic failure of presidential leadership 

    By Bob Chaplin  A leader of a democratic government has the responsibility to bring together its citizens in times of national crisis. President Donald Trump’s lack of cohesive leadership in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic has had unfortunate consequences for the people of the United States.   Some basic background:  The Chinese government’s knowledge of COVID-19 dates back

  • Viewpoint: We can, we must, pave the way

    By Beth Warner  The sign at Maine’s border reads, “Maine: The Way Life Should Be.” Maine leads. We’ve led the way repeatedly. We’ve produced leaders. Sen. Margaret Chase Smith snuffed out McCarthyism and Sen. Ed Muskie overturned Nixon’s veto of the Clean Water Act. Maine is blessed with a clean, healthy environment. Maine has coon cats, but Mainers are cool cats; rugged, tolerant folks with a dry, clever sense of humor. Maine has a long history of relying on seasonal income, summer residents, visitors and tourism. Mainers grouse but welcome those “from

  • Viewpoint: Think twice about shaming your neighbors  

    By Blake Rosso  In his 2019 book “Judge Thy Neighbor,” author Patrick Bergemann examines the ways in which denunciations (public snitching/whistleblowing/tattling) were encouraged by governing authorities to propel the Spanish Inquisition, Romanov Russia and the rise of Nazi Germany. Bergemann documents how everyday people in each of these cases were convinced to turn in their friends and

  • Viewpoint: Hydrogen buses could be the future 

    By Tom Rolfes  Here’s an idea – make the new Island Explorer buses hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV’s).   If the park is to invest in 21 new buses, for $5.9M over the next five years, why not make them run on hydrogen generated from excess solar energy from the solar development over the island?  These engines take hydrogen and convert it into power for the vehicle, leaving only water as

  • Viewpoint: Five days out from an election 

    By Beth Warner  We are five days out from the most crucial election in the history of our nation. We are on the brink of losing our democracy. I have voted consistently for 48 years. Voting is not a popularity or beauty contest, not only about candidates, but also about issues, underlying principles and what we value.   I cast my ballot the first day of in-person absentee voting at what was once Bar Harbor’s high school. Old bulletin boards with staples embedded are there, covered with cheerful pale-yellow paint. I climb heavily varnished worn staircases to the third-floor auditorium to vote. Teenagers once ran up and down these stairs, some headed to the principal in an office town clerks now occupy. Gigantic windows and high

  • Viewpoint: Retail marijuana should be considered in Bar Harbor 

    By Sheryl DeWalt  We are grateful that the Bar Harbor Town Council is beginning to take a look at the issue of retail marijuana sales in Bar Harbor. I would like to provide additional background information on the state issuance of the conditional retail dispensary license to Tree of Life Day Spa.  Tree of Life Day Spa has

  • Viewpoint: Dangerous conditions on Schooner Head Road  

    By Will Schroeder  The ongoing U.S. Park Service experiment to control access to Acadia National Park has been an eye opener for those of us who live nearby, travel and recreate on Schooner Head Road. It has resulted in fast, dangerous and heavy traffic on what was once a rural road. Many of us living along Schooner Head Road are concerned for

  • Viewpoint: Vote ‘no’ on marijuana ordinance 

    By Dick Dimond  The voters of Southwest Harbor are being asked if they wish to adopt an ordinance permitting commercial recreational use of marijuana by individuals over the age of 21. To date, no town in Hancock County has voted to permit such activities, and Southwest Harbor should not become the only town in Hancock County