Matthew Stone

Matthew Stone

Opinion Page Editor

Heather Fairfield, a research assistant at Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine uses a pipette to work with embryonic stem cell DNA extracted from mouse embryonic stem cells at the facility's genetic resource lab February 2, 2010.

Will a jobs bond give Maine businesses what they need to grow?

By Matthew Stone on March 07, 2014, at 11:20 a.m.
Gov. Paul LePage and Democratic lawmakers continued their salvo this week over the governor’s refusal to issue voter-approved bonds. Meanwhile, a legislative committee gave its approval to another borrowing proposal that could end up on the ballot later this year, this one aimed at small-business job creation. The $73 million …
University of Maine students attend the 2013 graduation ceremony at Alfond Arena in Orono in this May 2013 file photo.

Is Mike Michaud’s free sophomore year a good idea?

By Matthew Stone on Feb. 28, 2014, at 10:31 a.m.
About two-thirds of high school graduates nationwide have enrolled in college the fall after they complete high school. Of those students, about two-thirds will likely be back at the same college the following year. And the attrition continues as students’ college careers progress. Fewer than 40 percent of students who …

Maine is underpaying nursing homes $30 million. Will the Legislature bring them relief?

By Matthew Stone on Feb. 21, 2014, at 12:37 p.m.
The residents of Maine’s nursing homes have some of the most intensive health needs of any nursing home residents in the U.S. Maine’s nursing homes require some of the highest staff-to-resident ratios of any state, and are among the fullest anywhere in the U.S. And they haven’t effectively gotten a …
Mary Putansu (left) of Belfast, heads to work in August at Little River Apparel after getting a ride there by Waldo County Transportation driver Winnie Fowler.

Medicaid patients need rides to the doctor. How can Maine ensure they’re reliable?

By Matthew Stone on Feb. 07, 2014, at 11:27 a.m.
It’ll pay for a ride to a doctor’s appointment or physical therapy session but not a ride to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription — unless that pharmacy stop is in conjunction with a medical visit. It generally won’t cover rides to medical appointments from nursing homes. But when …
An inmate talks to another in the doorway of one of the numerous housing units at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham in September.

Bigger prison, same staff: The math behind LePage’s plan to double beds at Windham prison

By Matthew Stone on Jan. 31, 2014, at 11:32 a.m.
As lawmakers work to firm up a state budget that’s out of balance and debate an expansion of Medicaid, a proposal to nearly double the capacity of the Maine Correctional Center in Windham will resurface in coming weeks. Gov. Paul LePage included the expansion project and a $100 million bond …
A warning sign for a natural gas pipeline is seen at an oil pump site outside of Williston, N.D.

A lot of gas, but not here: How should New England deal with its natural gas appetite?

By Matthew Stone on Jan. 23, 2014, at 12:32 p.m.
The agreement among the six New England governors to invest as a region in new natural gas pipeline capacity and electric transmission is rooted in part in cold days like many that Maine and the rest of New England have experienced so far this winter. It’s also part of a …
Gary Alexander (from left) and Eric Randolph of Rhode Island-based Alexander Group and Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew prepare Tuesday to answer questions from the Health and Human Services Committee in Augusta.

Experts: Alexander report on Medicaid expansion could use some expansion itself

By Matthew Stone on Jan. 17, 2014, at 10:30 a.m.
As lawmakers have debated whether Maine should extend Medicaid to about 75,000 low-income adults, they’ve done it without the aid of a comprehensive, Maine-specific analysis of the expansion’s costs and benefits. That was supposed to change this week as Gary Alexander delivered his Medicaid expansion feasibility study to the Legislature. …
Jim Rier is acting commissioner of the Maine Department of Education.

LePage’s school grades, funding, charter schools: What’s ahead for Maine’s new education chief

By Erin Rhoda and Matthew Stone on Jan. 10, 2014, at 9:47 a.m.
Gov. Paul LePage said Monday he’s chosen Jim Rier to serve as his commissioner of education. Rier, whose nomination is subject to confirmation by the state Legislature, is currently the Department of Education’s acting commissioner and has worked at the state agency for a decade, most of it overseeing Maine …
Kara Janes of Castine, then a graduate student at the University of Maine’s School of Social Work, sits in a wheelchair at the Lakewood Continuing Care Center in Waterville in July 2011. While healthy, Janes spent 10 days in the nursing facility to learn firsthand about long-term care. Today, Janes manages At Home Downeast, a program on the Blue Hill Peninsula that helps elderly residents remain in their homes.

What Maine can learn from a Blue Hill Peninsula program that helps elders stay at home

By Matthew Stone on Dec. 06, 2013, at 10:56 a.m.
Two years ago, Kara Janes was a resident of Lakewood Continuing Care Center, wheeling herself around the Waterville nursing home with a limp right side and oxygen tubes strung across her face. Janes was a healthy graduate student at the University of Maine’s School of Social Work. She was living …
An aerial photo, taken March 18, 2012 of First Wind's 60 megawatt, 200 wind turbine Rollins Wind project, 8 miles east of Lincoln, Maine.

Maine wind, Canadian hydro, natural gas: Are the stars aligning for a bright energy future in New England?

By Matthew Stone on Nov. 22, 2013, at 5:27 a.m.
It’s the latest way of thinking about New England’s energy future: Each state has something the others need. Maine has wind resources and the space for turbines. Southern New England has the demand for renewable energy. Maine now has a law that asks state officials to look into the best …
DrinkSavvy's plastic drinkware detects whether a drink has been drugged and changes color. The product was developed by Falmouth native Mike Abramson, a patent attorney in Boston.

Falmouth native has winning business idea. What would get his business to Maine?

By Matthew Stone on Nov. 08, 2013, at 1:51 p.m.
Entrepreneur Mike Abramson has a winning idea. “It’s a cause to make drug-facilitated sexual assaults a crime of the past,” he said. The Falmouth native is well along the path of transforming his cause into a line of marketable products. By the middle of next year, he said, plastic drinkware …

Where we call home

By Andrew Catalina and Matthew Stone on Nov. 01, 2013, at 3:09 p.m.
Learn About Tableau Maps of Maine’s population over the past century, and looking toward the future, show how the fall from dominance of Maine’s traditional industries — manufacturing, forestry and agriculture — has spurred movement away from the northern, inland counties that supported those industries. The rise of health care …
Shoppers throng on Exchange Street in Portland Friday Nov. 23, 2012 in this time-lapse photo. The Greater Portland metro area now counts for more than half the state'€™s economic output.

Mainers are familiar with economic decline, but what are the solutions?

By Matthew Stone on Oct. 25, 2013, at 12:07 p.m.
Maine is digging itself out from the recession, but it’s not out of the hole yet. And for Maine, the digging is slower than it is for the rest of New England and the nation. That’s Maine’s economy, in aggregate terms, nearly six years after the start of the largest …

More older people are working, but they’re not crowding out the young

By Matthew Stone on Oct. 04, 2013, at 1:33 p.m.
An expert on aging told a group of Maine lawmakers and others this week that 20- and 60-year-olds have more in common than they realize. “At 20, you’re wondering what you’re going to do next, and that’s what 60-year-olds are asking themselves as well,” Dr. Susan Wehry, a geriatric psychiatrist …
College of the Atlantic Capt. Toby Stephenson and COA senior Rachel Sullivan-Lord search for whales while leading an “old school” whale watching tour aboard the COA research boat Osprey on Sept. 19, 2013. COA emphasizes hands-on, project-oriented learning.

More need college education, but will colleges be around to provide it?

By Matthew Stone on Sept. 27, 2013, at 12:35 p.m.
Experts say Maine’s future economic success hinges in part on a greater portion of the state’s population becoming college-educated. But long-term survival is uncertain for many of the institutions that provide that college education. At the very least, many are warning that small colleges and universities, particularly in New England, …
Eddie Leighton of Biddeford (top left) and Eric Lund of Saco (top right) use a lift to haul about 500 pounds of sugar kelp up from a skiff on May 30, 2013, at a Portland dock.

Is Maine’s economy recovering? What the statistics tell us

By Matthew Stone on Sept. 20, 2013, at 12:28 p.m.
If you listen to Gov. Paul LePage and his Republican allies, they’ll tell you Maine’s economy has turned a corner. Businesses are creating jobs, more people are working and fewer people are living below the poverty threshold. Fewer Mainers are dependent on government programs to get by. Sounds like Maine’s …

Is being tax-free key to economic growth?

on Sept. 20, 2013, at 8:34 a.m.
To what extent does tax policy alone cause an economy to grow — or keep it from growing? Maine could soon have a laboratory of sorts to answer that question. Under a new initiative being pushed by the Maine Heritage Policy Center, called Free ME, the state would stop levying …
Students board a bus on the first day of school in Bates County, Mo., on Aug. 14, 2013.

Common Core: Overreach or the start of school improvement?

By Matthew Stone on Sept. 13, 2013, at 4:02 p.m.
Editor’s Note: The BDN first published this article on controversy surrounding the Common Core academic standards for English and math on Sept. 13, 2013. Since the fall of 2013, two states — Indiana and Oklahoma — that had previously adopted the Common Core standards have formally dropped them. South Carolina …
The Dorothea Dix Psyciatric Center in Bangor.

Maine’s mentally ill more likely to be in prison than hospital

By Matthew Stone on Sept. 06, 2013, at 3:21 p.m.
Maine lawmakers last week signed off on a plan that will allow the state to transfer certain patients from Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta, one of Maine’s two state-run psychiatric hospitals, to an expanded, 32-bed mental health unit at Maine State Prison in Warren. The move in the Legislature came …
Omar Elbassiouni, 11, left, laughs as Diego Baucom, 11, makes a funny face on the first day at the Wake Young Men's Leadership Academy on Monday, August 12, 2013 in Raleigh, North Carolina. More than 230 middle and high school students at the Wake County school system's one boys-only school started the new school year at a campus that opened in 1923 but hadn't been used as a school in more than 40 years.

When girls rule the school and why it matters

By Matthew Stone on Aug. 30, 2013, at 2:55 p.m.
Women, who have a lower unemployment rate, have recovered more quickly from the recession.
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