• Editorial: Of two minds

    The National Park Service recently released visitation numbers for Acadia National Park, as it does every month. The park had record numbers of visitors in 2015, 2016 and 2017. These numbers carry enormous political weight. Officials in Bar Harbor often say the town and region are fortunate to have “an economic engine that’s revved right

  • Editorial: Shop local

    Doing your Christmas shopping in town has always been a good idea. The proliferation of year-round shops on MDI and the myriad of craft fairs and related events make it especially convenient this season. Keeping more of your money in your local economy, as distinct from spending it with an online retailer or national chain,

  • Editorial: Ripple effect

    Southwest Harbor recently became the first Mount Desert Island town to limit the use of single-use plastic bags and polystyrene food containers. Others seem likely to follow suit. Some businesses have already switched their bag and to-go food supplies. And many consumers have been using reusable bags, coffee cups and other items for years. But

  • Editorial: Support that matters

    World governments recently paused to observe the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. That conflict was dubbed “the war to end all wars,” but ghastly years of stalemate, trenches, barbed wire and poison gas demonstrated that it was the war that could not even end itself. While the “end all wars” claim

  • Editorial: A grateful island

    Sunshine sparkling on the fresh snow and ice last weekend gave many Mount Desert Island residents a chance to catch our breath and reflect on the privilege of calling this majestic place home. While we welcome many more wintertime tourists here than we used to, the turn of the season still signals a turning inward

  • Dems take helm

    Maine voters moved the state left last week, electing Democratic majorities in the state House of Representatives and Senate and a Democrat to the Blaine House in a significant political shift. Mainers also elected their first female governor ever in Janet Mills. Plus, 39 percent of the incoming 186-seat Legislature will be female — an

  • Safe state

    The country’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program collects data from 150 Maine police agencies as well as 16,000 city, county and state law enforcement agencies around the nation. The idea is to provide essential data that cities and governments can use to make decisions about public safety and security. The latest tally from Maine should be

  • Editorial: Data trumps guesses

    As reported in last week’s Islander, a “study” issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in advance of a major regulatory conference singled out stronger ropes used by Maine lobstermen as a prime suspect in whale entanglement. The study saw the fatal entanglements in the stronger lines as an unintended consequence of regulations limiting

  • Editorial: Learning can be uncomfortable

    “In order to get beyond racism, we must first take account of race,” Justice Harry Blackmun wrote in his opinion for the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1978 affirmative action case Regents of the University of California v. Bakke. Honest conversations about racial discrimination and disparities are always difficult and awkward. Because of our demographics

  • Editorial: A question with an answer

    Question 4 on the Nov. 6 ballot would provide $49 million for the University of Maine System, sharing the wealth among all seven of the state’s universities. In Hancock County, the bond would fund a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree program offered through the Mill Mall site of the University of Maine at Augusta.