• Editorial: Vote timing

    Mount Desert, Southwest Harbor and Tremont use the Town Meeting/selectmen/town manager form of government, in which the Board of Selectmen is the executive body. But many decisions, including all ordinance changes, must go to the voters at the annual Town Meeting or at a special town meeting. No state law requires that the municipal budget

  • Editorial: Clear need

    Hancock County’s hospitality industry faces a systemic worker shortage. Unlike other sectors, however, there’s actually an answer for the shortfall — if the federal government would just get out of the way. The H-2B visa program allows American companies outside of the agricultural sector to hire temporary foreign workers to cover seasonal boosts in demand.

  • Editorial: Final push

    The Maine Department of Transportation’s $18 million project to rebuild a 4.8-mile section of Route 3 in Bar Harbor, which began in the spring of 2017, is back in action. Although paving can’t begin until the weather gets reliably warm, cleanup and site work have begun, along with more adjustments to sidewalks and catch basins.

  • Editorial: Powerful poems

    Members of the Academy of American Poets, a group that’s now more than 8,000 strong, had a great idea in 1996. Inspired by efforts by and schools, libraries and other groups to celebrate Black History Month in February and Women’s History Month in March, the poets’ group designated April as National Poetry Month. Events planned

  • Editorial: Give fees a chance

    During the partial federal government shutdown earlier this year, local residents rushed to support furloughed park employees and those expected to work without pay. We railed at the unfair system that would put them in such a difficult position. That fellow-feeling is part of the relationship between people on Mount Desert Island and the national

  • Editorial: Reasonable use

    Charles Dickens might well have been thinking about Maine’s intertidal zone — the area between the low and high tide marks — when a character in the novel “Oliver Twist” declaimed that “the law is a ass.” But there are signs the beast may be moving. Last week, a unanimous Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled

  • Editorial: Next big thing

    Aquaculture, these days, seems to be everywhere you look. It comes up in public notices of scoping sessions and hearings on the latest small or large new venture, at the Maine Fisherman’s Forum, in grants for pilot projects and in coaching offered by nonprofits. Aquaculture has been hailed as the next big thing with the

  • Editorial: Out of our hands

    A 195-foot communications tower for Freeman Ridge in Southwest Harbor, first proposed in late 2017, was approved by the town’s Planning Board last May. But it’s not yet a done deal. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must license the equipment on the tower before it will be built. The FCC has a mandate to limit

  • Editorial: Accidental outlaws

    Ever since Airbnb, Uber and the like rolled out the services that have come to be known as “the sharing economy,” governments at all levels have struggled to adapt rules to the new reality. Still, laws and regulations on the books mostly don’t address the activities made possible by the new tech platforms, since only

  • Editorial: Inspections warranted

    A recurring push to eliminate Maine’s annual inspection law for non-commercial motor vehicles is again being debated in the Legislature. Critics of the law cite the burden on impoverished Mainers unable to afford basic automotive transportation, let alone make expensive repairs necessary to be compliant with minimum vehicle standards. Rougher roads tax older vehicles. This