• 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

  • Editorial: Neighborly news

    In recent decades, the combined pressures of shrinking circulation and reduced advertising dollars have spelled the end for hundreds of newspapers and thousands of jobs. That’s bad news for everybody, not just newspapers. The aftermath has left many corners of the country veritable “news deserts” lacking good local coverage. Local journalism holds government accountable, as

  • Editorial: Reaching 55 percent

    In 2003, Maine voters directed state government to fund 55 percent of the total cost of delivering local kindergarten to grade 12 public education. For the current 2019 fiscal year, the state contribution of $1.1 billion toward the total cost of K-12 education, including the cost of essential programs and services (EPS), plus the state

  • Editorial: Local solutions

    The Mount Desert Island community is still reeling from news of the closing of Sonogee Rehabilitation and Living Center in Bar Harbor. It is a big change for the island, and especially for the employees, residents and family members who are scrambling for other options. The change also throws into sharp relief the fact that

  • Editorial: The cart, the horse and the carbon fee

    Last week, Gov. Janet Mills announced that Maine would join 22 other states as part of the U.S. Climate Alliance to pursue the goals outlined by the Paris Climate Agreement — an international effort that President Trump abandoned. This is a step on the path to 100 percent renewable electricity in Maine by 2050, the

  • Editorial: Home rule

    The towns of Bar Harbor and Mount Desert have been sharing a police chief for the last five-plus years. All signs say the agreement is working well, which is why the towns keep renewing it. An administrative assistant is also shared, and other operational changes have further integrated the departments. Chief Jim Willis has pointed

  • Editorial: Unpopular opinions

    The school shooting in Parkland, Fla. a year ago led to a wave of political activity and debate, especially in and around schools. Students at Mount Desert Island High School were on TV news. On the letters pages of the Islander, many called for changes to gun regulations. Others said some students with a different

  • Editorial: Making a splash

    Following tradition, Mount Desert Island High School swim coach Tony DeMuro hopped into the pool with his team Saturday afternoon in Orono to celebrate the boys’ team’s second straight state championship. That all-in spirit is evident at every meet. Even though each swimmer is alone in his or her lane in each event, coaches pace

  • Editorial: The HOPE budget

    Governor Janet Mills has unveiled her proposed two-year state budget, a spending package she designated the “HOPE Budget,” an acronym denoting its objectives: health, opportunity, prosperity and education. But the hope doesn’t end there. The budget does not merely affirm hope, it requires it, particularly the hope for more funding. Every year the Legislature’s Appropriations