• Community Forum: Capitol Commentary 2020 already looms large

    By Fred Benson   With most election night uncertainties resolved, Senate Republicans are celebrating their strengthened majority while House Democrats gleefully consider what they might do to undermine the Trump presidency through oversight hearings and a blue wave of subpoenas. Meanwhile, a flailing president continues his attacks on anyone he dislikes as he ignores —

  • Community Forum: Remembering Sue Hubbell

    by Martha Barron Barrett   After reading several fine obituaries about Sue Hubbell, the nationally known writer and adventurer-in-living, it occurred to me to add the perspective of Sue as I knew her: a Wyman Road woman. Technically, her address was the narrow Tom Leighton Point Road that extends into the woods beyond the Wyman

  • Viewpoint: Kavanaugh feigned ignorance

    By Phil Worden   I believed Dr. Ford’s testimony in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing before Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. And I understand why the sexual misconduct issue dwarfed all other issues. But some of the issues raised in the original proceedings deserve revisiting because they deal with how our Supreme Court

  • Community forum: When times are tough, plan a kitchen

    By Martha Nordstrom   In those trying times, those boring times, those times of waiting, in the dull and onerous interstices between life’s more exciting moments, I plan kitchens in my head. That’s my coping skill and my mantra. It’s what gets me through a tough day. I’ve been doing it for more than 40

  • Viewpoint: Hearing goes off the rails

    Last week, I watched the proceedings of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Whether you are for or against the issue, I am sure that many victims of sexual assault are re-experiencing their own traumas vicariously. Peace and blessings to you in this terrible and highly publicized event. As a fellow survivor

  • Guest Column: Adventures with Bill Ruger

    By Michael Ian Hallet The following is the text of a speech given at William Ruger’s funeral Saturday, Sept. 22. It happened something like this. Alexander Phillips, the clockmaker in Bar Harbor and resident musician at East of Eden called me up one day back in 2005 or so. He said a fellow by the

  • Capitol Commentary

    A midterm State of the Union assessment By Fred Benson Forty-six days from now, voters will go to the polls to set the nation’s political azimuth for the next two years. Most midterm elections are unconvincingly described as being far more important than others, but this time it’s real. It is widely acknowledged that the

  • Viewpoint Democracy under threat

    Democracy is an unnatural means of social organization. I mean that quite literally. Other social animals, especially primates, organize by forming dominance hierarchies with one dominant ruler atop a pyramidal power structure. Throughout most of history, humans formed the same type of social structures, with kings or dictators at the top and slaves or peasants

  • Community Forum: Hear what Kavanaugh has to say

    In 1977, in my capacity as police reporter for The Berkshire Eagle, I covered a big murder trial. The Berkshire Eagle, still published in Pittsfield, Mass., focused on local news, much as we do at the Islander and The Ellsworth American. As is so often the case with New England communities, many of the towns

  • Community Forum: Action for the next generation

    Whenever I’m on the road, I always try to look out the window. In all the years I’ve been alive, I’ve found that there’s always something beautiful or interesting to see, so long as I just look out. On Mount Desert Island, it’s usually big, rolling mountains, or evergreen forests that stretch for miles, or