• Editorial: Cost of subsidies

    Ask Maine wild blueberry farmers about this year’s crop and their forlorn response tells the story of an industry under heavy stress. Field prices have been abysmal over the past two years, only 27 cents a pound last year, causing many small blueberry farmers to stop harvesting and let their fields go fallow. What else

  • Editorial: Direct democracy?

    In Mount Desert and in Bar Harbor this year, local residents have endeavored to move town policy by way of the citizen initiative process available under the towns’ charters. Like the statewide ballot initiatives that have languished in Augusta for want of agreement on how to implement them, these initiatives have understandable goals. But, also

  • Editorial: Proficiency snafu

    Compulsory education became the law of the land in 1918 — just 100-years ago. Elementary education and “common schools” existed before that time, but the number of children receiving formal education was modest. Today in Maine, 620 public schools and 117 private institutions assure that every child has access to a fair and “free” (taxpayer-funded)

  • Editorial: Weighing in

    Public projects often proceed in fits and starts. After years of effort, the Town of Southwest Harbor finally purchased the gravel parking area adjacent to the Manset town dock. Voters approved the purchase in a landslide vote (98-6) at a well-attended special town meeting last fall. As town officials contemplate what’s next, traditional and habitual

  • Editorial: Medicaid expansion remains unresolved

    The expansion of MaineCare remains unresolved, unyielding and unfunded. Widening the opening to admit another 70,000 to 80,000 recipients of Maine’s version of Medicaid is one of the most contentious battles in Augusta. Proponents of expanding eligibility and inviting more applicants to our MaineCare program are butting heads with Governor LePage, who insists that any

  • Editorial: Too much of a good thing

    Town governments represent residents, property owners and voters. Of course it’s incumbent upon elected officials, appointed volunteers and professional staff to move their town in a direction wanted by those constituencies. Officials always must weigh when it’s time to seek and hear public input, and when it’s time to close debate and take action. Our

  • Editorial: Nuts and bolts

    Northeast Harbor is abuzz about whether, or when, the village’s Main Street will be rebuilt. Accurate news of the project and the related citizen petition appear to have been overshadowed by rumor and mistrust. “Who’s on first?” Mount Desert voters approved the reconstruction project earlier this year. The town’s selectmen do not have the authority

  • Business handouts

    The 128th Legislature is still convened in Augusta, more than two months after its scheduled adjournment. Too much regular session work was deferred, left incomplete or otherwise delayed by politics, brinksmanship and poor planning. Significant budgeting matters, as well as urgent legislation and issues with voter-enacted referendums, have been mired in contention between the Governor’s

  • What’s fair

    We on Mount Desert Island are fortunate to have excellent public schools. They are great schools because of students who challenge and inspire one another, because of outstanding and dedicated teachers, staff and administrators and because of the thriving, diverse communities the schools serve. Residents of island towns are invested in their public schools. Almost

  • Recrimination doesn’t solve problems

    To date, Governor Paul LePage has vetoed (or let pass without his signature) 235 bills from the Legislature. If one were to seek his governing philosophy, there is no better place to look than his veto messages. The state constitution provides that a governor may approve a measure passed by the Legislature or return the