• Editorial: Thank you, essential workers

    Not many grocery store workers, gas station clerks, truck drivers, child-care providers, elder caregivers or cleaners imagined themselves at the forefront of a public health emergency, but they are there nonetheless. First responders, doctors and nurses do expect to help in a crisis, but hardly anyone could have imagined this.  While others are told to

  • Editorial: Democratic process must be protected

    What a difference a month makes. Freedoms Americans took for granted have been curtailed to slow the spread of the coronavirus. A financial tsunami of layoffs, closures and market uncertainty have slammed the economy. Tens of thousands of people have died worldwide and future projections, even with social distancing, are staggering. In the face of

  • Editorial: Hatred is poison

    Humans are social creatures. Before the phrase “social distancing” entered our collective vocabulary, we took for granted casual chats with co-workers and meals shared with friends. Kids could play with their classmates at school and on playdates. People could gather to recreate, celebrate or mourn. Now, we’re being told to stay home and when venturing

  • 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