• Editorial: We need Congress to do its job

    Right now, Congress is deeply divided about…well, everything. As America works to navigate its way through the coronavirus pandemic, we need our elected officials to rise to the challenge and put programs in place to help people until this is over. Now is not the time for partisan politics.   In May, Democrats advanced a $3 billion proposal for a fifth round

  • Editorial: Overdose deaths in Maine on upward trend 

    In the first quarter of 2020 there were 127 drug overdose deaths in Maine. That represents a 23 percent increase from the last quarter of 2019. This upward trend is expected to continue, with an estimated 259 people projected to die from drug overdoses during the first half of the year.   A recent report released by the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine found that opioids were responsible for 82 percent

  • Editorial: An investment in the future 

    In a normal year, which this most certainly is not, Acadia National Park attracts millions of visitors hailing from all over Maine, the U.S. and the world. Tourists are still enjoying the park this year, but the pandemic has upended many travel plans. The 2020 visitation figures, when available, are likely to be far off from the estimated 3.4 million visitors in 2019.  On the plus

  • Editorial: Making every vote count  

    The July 14 primary saw approximately 190,000 requests for absentee ballots statewide. Compared to the 35,982 requested for the June 2018 primary, that’s a roughly five-fold increase.   In many area towns, absentee ballots made up as many as half the ballots cast. That ultimately meant more hand–counting for some election clerks and generally a later evening overall for poll workers.   In Maine,

  • Editorial: A little privacy, please 

    Earlier this month, United States District Judge Lance Walker ruled in favor of Maine’s landmark internet privacy law. The law, LD 946, “An Act To Protect the Privacy of Online Customer Information,” was sponsored by state Sen. Shenna Bellows of Manchester and took effect July 1. Bellows grew up in Hancock. Rep. Nicole Grohoski (D-Ellsworth) was one of the bill’s co–sponsors.  LD 946 prevents broadband internet service providers operating in Maine from selling

  • Editorial: A portrait in resiliency

    We’ve heard a lot about the fragility of Maine’s economy. An Oxford Economics analysis cites Maine as the state most likely to experience severe economic fallout from the pandemic due to its older demographics, high percentage of small businesses and reliance on tourism and retail operations. Coastal Maine in particular depends on tourism and the

  • Editorial: Rental resolve

    A proposal for restrictions on vacation rentals in Bar Harbor is headed to the Town Council later this month, having survived a Planning Board hearing last week by the skin of its teeth. The plan will go to voters in November, if the council decides it should. That close Planning Board vote was only the

  • Editorial: Parents in limbo 

    In order for the economy to truly reopen, students must return to school in the fall and parents must have a clear idea of what is expected of them so they can return to work. Realistic? Maybe not, given the uncertainty—and the current rise in cases—of the coronavirus pandemic. Still, school is slated to begin in two months and a clear reopening timeline has not been forthcoming at the

  • Editorial: Happy Independence Day 

    When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the

  • Editorial: The grass isn’t always greener 

    For the better part of a decade, the Municipal Review Committee, a member-driven nonprofit that at one time managed the municipal waste of 187 towns in Maine, knew that the lucrative power-purchase contract the Penobscot Energy Recovery Corporation (PERC) plant in Orrington had with the electric company once known as Bangor Hydro would end in 2018. Prior to that date, PERC was receiving above-market rates for