• Editorial: Life in the time of COVID-19

    In a matter of days, the economy came to a screeching halt.   In a matter of days, most of the hospitality workforce found themselves filing for unemployment as the state Legislature worked to waive waiting periods. The so-called gig economy also dried up and phones stopped ringing for self-employed tradespeople. Fishermen have been asked to

  • Editorial: Look out for the helpers

    In his famously reassuring line to a preschool audience, Fred Rogers said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” Americans take for granted that when an emergency strikes, the calvary is on

  • Editorial: Prepare and pull through together

    This is a scary time for many in our community. People are afraid. They are afraid of the coronavirus and what it could mean for their families, friends, colleagues and neighbors. They also are afraid of the collateral damage. Local schools have shut down, leaving parents who must work scrambling for childcare. Small local businesses, especially

  • Editorial: Sunshine week

    Everything looks better in sunshine — especially the government.   Maine’s Freedom of Access Act, which became law in 1975, cites that “public proceedings exist to aid in the conduct of the people’s business.” Each week the pages of the Mount Desert Islander (Ellsworth American) are filled with stories that stem from public proceedings. This paper,

  • Editorial: Sick time benefits all

    Whether it’s the novel coronavirus, flu or common cold, the gold standard of preventing the spread of contagious illness is to wash your hands (thoroughly and often), cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing and to stay home when you’re sick. That last piece of advice is simple, effective and frustratingly hard to

  • Editorial: New positions fill critical need

    The size of Maine’s state government workforce has shrunk by nearly 1,000 positions, or 7 percent, over the last 10 years. Three primary factors have contributed to the contraction. First, the severity of the Great Recession of 2008-09 led to budget balancing measures that included position eliminations. Secondly, to enhance flexibility and improve response some

  • Editorial: Up, up and way out of hand

    The national debt stands at roughly $23.4 trillion. As of Feb. 27, that broke down to $72,327 per citizen or $188,957 per taxpayer. For a truly anxiety-inducing experience, visit usdebtclock.org to watch the tally tick ever higher in real time. The Congressional Budget Office on Jan. 28 released its “Budget and Economic Outlook: 2020 to

  • Editorial: The lights are on

    Walmart wants to lower its property tax bill in Ellsworth and other communities in Maine and elsewhere. Lawyers representing the multibillion-dollar company are using the “dark store” theory to seek hefty abatements of the assessed values of its stores. The gist of the theory is that a Walmart store isn’t worth nearly as much without

  • Editorial: Give reservation system a chance

    Acadia National Park is both a national treasure and local economic engine. There were an estimated 3.53 million visits to the park in 2018, setting a visitation record for the third consecutive year. On July 5, the park set an all-time record for a single day, with the number of visitors estimated at more than

  • Editorial: No on 1

    Tens of thousands of people, mainly in China, have been infected with coronavirus. More than one thousand people have died. Public health officials worldwide are scurrying to get a vaccine into development. With millions of potential customers following any major viral outbreak, it stands to reason that all the pharmaceutical giants would be racing to