Commentary

  • Forest and mill shutdowns

    When Verso Paper Co. announced the impending closure of its faltering Bucksport paper mill and the loss of 500 jobs, workers were stunned, and a collective groan of dismay rippled through Maine’s forest products industry.

  • Destroying the Islamic State – bombs, boots or both?

    The seemingly unimpeded march of the Islamic State (IS) through Syria and Iraq further tests the mettle of an American president who would like nothing more than to leave office with the nation at peace. The IS has gained control of large portions of Syria and Iraq in recent months while ruthlessly beheading Western journalists and local nonbelievers in pursuit of its goal of establishing an independent Islamic State in the region, known geographically as the Levant.

  • Maine’s Ebola Sense

    The first thing we have to say about Maine’s legal test in respect of the Ebola quarantine is that Kaci Hickox is one lucky nurse. If we had to sit out the incubation period for some horrible disease, the place we’d like to do it is Aroostook County. This glorious wilderness, dappled with lovely lakes, small towns, quiet roads, and sensible people is the kind of place about which those who toil in the big city can only dream. We’d bring an easel and some oil paints and look at nothing but fog and forest until the danger of fever had passed.

  • Maine lobster appeals to millennials

    The landscape of the lobster industry has changed vastly in the years since I stepped off the stern of a lobster boat and into corporate America. An exploding lobster population and economic turmoil have created challenges that my family and the larger Maine lobster community could not have foreseen in the 1980s and 1990s.

  • Let’s stop feeding the bears video

    On Nov. 4, the first question on the referendum ballot will be “Do you want to ban the use of bait, dogs or traps in bear hunting except to protect property, public safety, or for research?” Here’s why I’ll be voting “yes” on 1.

  • Baiting does not increase complaints

    Recent ads placed by proponents of Question 1 claim that baiting for black bears by Maine hunters alters bear behavior and leads to nuisance problems. They cite no direct evidence for this claim. Rather, there are some compelling biological reasons why this claim is false.

  • Quarry argument is full of holes

    In September of 2010, we awoke to the sounds of an industrial quarrying operation 250-300 feet from our back door in Hall Quarry. We have lived in our home since 1990 and never heard any quarrying activity nor saw any equipment on the MacQuinn lot.

  • Planning ahead is the Maine way

    Mainers have a well-earned reputation for being prepared and planning ahead. From getting snow cleared off the roof before it gets too deep, to filling the hurricane lamps before a bad storm, we always look ahead and get ready for what’s coming. Maine towns act the same way, and that is exactly what the Municipal Review Committee is doing as we plan a new integrated solid waste management system for our region.

  • Legislative work goes on in Augusta

    Before the distraction of the fall elections, I would like to share a summary of this past summer’s legislative activity with the Islander’s readers. Although the legislative session is adjourned, much work continues.