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  • Published
    May 14, 2021

    Boosting retirement security for Mainers' golden years

    There is an estimated $7.7 trillion gap between the savings American households need to maintain their standard of living in retirement and what they actually have. Only half of American workers believe that they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement. There are many reasons why American households struggle to save for retirement, including the shift away from employer-based “defined benefit” …

  • Published
    May 7, 2021

    Maine should lead the way when it comes to recycling

    More than 30 years ago, Maine set out to recycle or compost 50% of our waste annually. Today, we’re not even close to achieving that goal. We’re going backwards, according to a new report from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Just under 38% of our waste was recycled in 2019. The state must find ways to boost recycling. Our leaders can start by assigning the producers of plastic, glass, and other …

  • Published
    April 30, 2021

    Farewell to wonder

    As a child, do you remember lying back on the grass with your best friend and looking up at the night sky? “How many stars do you think there are?” “I don’t know. A lot.” “A thousand?” “More like a million.” “There sure are a lot.” If you’ll notice, neither child said, “Let’s Google it.” Even if there was a definitive answer to that question, it didn’t matter. We were content to simply bask in the sheer wonder of …

  • Published
    April 23, 2021

    Time short to destroy brown-tail moth webs

    You have one week. Possibly not even that long. This is a call to action to all of my neighbors in Belfast and the surrounding area to get out into your yard and get rid of the brown-tail moth webs in the tops of trees and bushes. Once it warms up enough for the leaves to start budding out, these webs, which may contain from 25 to as many as 400 larvae (caterpillars), will open up and release these ravenous …

  • Published
    April 9, 2021

    Immigration a humanitarian crisis, not a political issue

    Last Friday, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, was among a group of Republican senators visiting the U.S.-Mexico border, with the delegation led by their Texas colleagues, Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn. While it was touted as an opportunity to see firsthand what is happening at the border, comments prior to the trip seemed to be more focused on blaming the current administration, with Sen. Steve Daines of …

  • Published
    February 26, 2021

    Palermo residents to vote on carbon cash-back resolution

    Palermo residents will have an opportunity to join others on the path of sustainability and carbon reduction in March at town meeting. An article backed by Carbon Cashback 4 ME is on our town meeting warrant that has been introduced by Maine citizens in dozens of Maine municipalities intending to show support for federal legislation that will reduce carbon pollution –– a major cause of climate change. The …

  • Published
    February 19, 2021

    Don't forget to laugh

    Let’s face it. The last year hasn’t exactly been a barrel of laughs. So much of our world has been turned upside down. Everything we do just seems a little harder. The things we used to take for granted now require pre-planning: grocery shopping, work, doctor’s appointments, school, going to the gym. Human contact, which used to be a given, feels like a luxury now. And since most of us are social beings, it’s …

  • Published
    January 29, 2021

    Regional implications of plastic waste in Penobscot Bay

    An Islesboro Islands Trust letter of Jan. 3 to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection listed several concerns associated with Sprague Operating Resources’ December 2020 plastic waste discharge into Penobscot Bay, including references to the ubiquitous, bay-wide, not simply localized, impacts associated with release of microplastics into the dynamic marine environment. The presence of some of the spilled …

  • Published
    January 29, 2021

    The public policy underlying Nordic Aquafarms

    I am writing on behalf of the Belfast Chamber of Commerce, as it is our mission “to promote a dynamic economy and strong communities through economic development, business advocacy, and member services for greater Waldo County.” As we reflect on the past year, a troubling trend seems to be reaching an apex and should be the focus of constructive public discussion and actions. In Maine and in Belfast, as well as …

  • Published
    December 31, 2020

    Preparing for the work ahead

    Just a few weeks ago on Dec. 2, I was honored to be sworn into the 130th Maine Legislature for my first term representing Waldo County in the state Senate. We gathered in the Augusta Civic Center in order to provide adequate space for social distancing. Swearing an oath of service along with my fellow legislators was an inspiring and unifying experience. While acknowledging our different perspectives, I know that …

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