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  • Published
    October 1, 2020

    Bills to address suicide, other veterans' issues are welcome

    We were encouraged to read about the U.S. House’s Sept. 23 passage of the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act, which passed the Senate unanimously Aug. 5. President Trump was expected to sign the measure as this editorial was being written. In a time infamous for its hyper-partisanship, it is refreshing to see the men and women whose job it is to serve the people of this …

  • Published
    September 10, 2020

    Make school meals free permanently

    It is an established fact — and frankly common sense — that regular access to food improves student health, performance and outcomes later in life. And for millions of students across the country, their school meals program is the only thing standing between them and an empty stomach. Every barrier preventing a kid from getting a good meal keeps them from reaching their potential, with great costs to them and …

  • Published
    September 3, 2020

    Our news coverage is not for sale

    It is no secret that the long-running process of Nordic Aquafarms’ permit applications for its proposed Belfast fish farm has been accompanied by considerable controversy in various forums, including the pages of this newspaper. Feelings on the part of both opponents and supporters of the project have often run very high. Opponents have made many claims, some based on science, others more speculative, about the …

  • Published
    August 27, 2020

    To fight the pandemic, get your flu shot early

    There is a safe, effective, widely available vaccine that can help fight the pandemic. No, it’s not the COVID-19 vaccine, whose development looks promising but is still some number of months away. It’s the flu shot, which is given to tens of millions of Americans every year, but perhaps has never been more important. In North America, the flu season starts in October and peaks between December and February. This …

  • Published
    August 20, 2020

    Going postal

    It is almost impossible to overstate the magnitude of President Donald Trump’s decision to weaken the U.S. Postal Service in order to prevent mail-in ballots during a pandemic to help his own campaign. “For the president to admit to deliberately trying to slow the mail process in order to curb mail-in voting is stunning, because it is political sabotage,” said Philip F. Rubio, an expert on the U.S. Postal Service …

  • Published
    August 13, 2020

    Time to cool the temperature and hear each other out

    The temperature of public dialog in Waldo County has spiked recently, along with the summer heat and humidity. First there was the sign in support of the far-right conspiracy theory group QAnon posted beside the Belfast bridge. Then we received email with the subject line “Confederate heritage is alive and well in Monroe.” Attached to the message was a photo of a Confederate battle flag flying at the side of a …

  • Published
    August 6, 2020

    Green light: Proceed with caution

    On Friday, Gov. Mills gave all 16 Maine counties the green light to open schools this fall, but that doesn’t mean everything can go back to normal. To open their doors to in-person learning, school districts will need to have plans in place to screen everyone entering the building for symptoms every day, maintain safe distances in the classrooms and hallways and provide hand-washing stations and protective gear …

  • Published
    July 30, 2020

    Truth: An expectation, an obligation

    A small-town newspaper like The Republican Journal seldom has the opportunity to comment on national issues or stories. Indeed, given our mission of reporting local news that even our state’s daily papers mostly don’t bother with, such stories are generally beyond our purview. Last week was an exception, however. The national spotlight was suddenly on Belfast when Fox News host Tucker Carlson, a national media …

  • Published
    July 23, 2020

    Small businesses deserve our support

    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 boost it gives to year-round and seasonal businesses alike. Indeed, …

  • Published
    July 16, 2020

    Parents need a plan for back-to-school

    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 federal or state …

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