Email, texting and Google Docs: Santa’s going digital

By Petula Dvorak, The Washington Post on Dec. 21, 2014, at 9:26 a.m.
“I sent my Christmas list to you in Google Docs. Can you help me edit it and then email it to Santa?” Sigh. The days of scrawled letters to Santa with crayons, smiley faces and Unabomber-like scribbles with serial numbers and price lists and naked greed mellowed by cute, backward …
The East Branch of the Penobscot River runs through parts of the area where Elliotsville Plantation Inc. has opened 40,000 acres to hunting and other recreational use.

A healthy economy requires positive vision, not bitterness and blame

By Jym St. Pierre on Dec. 21, 2014, at 8:39 a.m.
In his Dec. 12 letter to the editor, “Park not the answer,” blaming “environmental zealots” for the demise of Great Northern Paper Co., Stu Kallgren forgot to mention a few important facts. First, it was mismanagement by a succession of corporate owners that brought down GNP, not concern over the …
USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel

Affordability to doctor training: Obamacare’s benefits for rural Maine

By Virginia Manuel on Dec. 21, 2014, at 7:26 a.m.
Living in a rural community should not have to come with a hefty price tag for health care. The Affordable Care Act is already making a difference in the lives of millions of rural Americans, including families right here in Maine. Before the ACA, many rural families had a difficult …
Members of Sydney's Islamic community hold a candlelight vigil for the victims of the Peshawar School attack, Dec. 18, 2014. Pakistan began burying 132 students killed in a grisly attack on their school by Taliban militants that has heaped pressure on the government to do more to tackle an increasingly aggressive Taliban insurgency.

The lone wolf: a new terror

By Charles Krauthammer, The Washington Post on Dec. 21, 2014, at 7:11 a.m.
The lone wolf is the new national nightmare, dramatized and amplified this week by the hostage-taking attack in Sydney, Australia. But there are two kinds of lone wolves — the crazy and the evil — and the distinction is important. The real terrorists are rational. Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Fort …

The last, true big-time college football game

on Dec. 21, 2014, at 12:09 a.m.
When I’m out driving and want to take a mental break from news casts and jazz, I turn the dial to scratch that other itch of mine – sports. Recently while cruising home to New England from Virginia, I tuned in to a segment on the greatest rivalry in college football. Several callers touted …
Former Vice President Dick Cheney appears on "Meet the Press" in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 14, 2014, in this picture provided by NBC News.

Only Dick Cheney will defend it, and millennials care just as little as everyone else

By Alex Steed on Dec. 19, 2014, at 7:36 a.m.
While we often are seen in the context of what sets us apart from elder generations, millennials, regrettably, have a startlingly status-quo outlook on the use of torture. Half of Americans believe CIA torture following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks was justified, according to a Pew Research Center poll released …

Translation needed: A voluntary, industry ‘plan’ to save deer yards won’t

By Sandra Neily on Dec. 18, 2014, at 10:30 a.m.
I thank George Smith for his recent blog post about deer and how the next spruce budworm epidemic might be managed to support the northern herd. He knows there’s no good news. However, printing industry’s “plan” without translating the academic language means the bad news isn’t clear. I volunteer to …
The Rev. Robert Tobin and Maurine Tobin of Deer Isle visited Gaza in early December 2014 to observe the impact of the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict.

Maine eyewitnesses to Gaza: No way to prepare for an overwhelming reality

By Maurine and Robert Tobin on Dec. 18, 2014, at 8:10 a.m.
Having viewed countless reports, photos and videos, we felt prepared for what we would see on our visit to Gaza in early December. But the reality was overwhelming. No video can capture the scope of the destruction, block upon block of Israeli-demolished apartment buildings, bullet-sprayed shops and homes, children playing …
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks at the Center for American Progress' 2014 Making Progress Policy Conference in Washington November 19, 2014.

Elizabeth Warren: Godmother to a new populism

By Dana Milbank, The Washington Post on Dec. 18, 2014, at 7:11 a.m.
After Elizabeth Warren and Ted Cruz attacked the 2015 spending agreement in the Senate last week from opposite ends of the political spectrum, Washington engaged in a little parlor game: Is Warren the Cruz of the left? Though there are superficial similarities between the Massachusetts Democrat and the Texas Republican, …

A realistic plan to attract jobs, businesses to the Bangor region

By Sean Faircloth on Dec. 17, 2014, at 10:54 a.m.
Chris Dalton, a former Californian, owns a software company. He could live anywhere. He chose Bangor. Our region needs more business owners like Chris. But how? What if Bangor could benefit from an advertising campaign worth millions of dollars — a campaign leading to 450-1,000 jobs for our region? What …
China's President Xi Jinping makes a toast while speaking at a forum in Auckland, November 21, 2014.

Asia needs to prepare for a possible China crash

By William Pesek, Bloomberg News on Dec. 17, 2014, at 10:54 a.m.
As China’s first full year of rebalancing draws to close, how has President Xi Jinping done? Reasonably well, it seems. Growth appears to be moderating gently, stocks continue to soar and most economists still foresee a soft landing rather than market-shaking meltdown for the world’s second-largest economy. Next year, however, …
Lee Witting

Spiritual people and an aversion to church: When religion doesn’t get it

By Lee Witting on Dec. 17, 2014, at 10:16 a.m.
Stop by any mainline church this Sunday, and you’ll most likely observe the gray hairs outnumbering the young ones. As a hospital chaplain, I can’t help but notice that more and more patients these days describe themselves as “no religious preference” folks, though they’re often glad to see a chaplain …

Giving Beyond the Holidays

on Dec. 16, 2014, at 4:06 p.m.
Recently, I’ve been noticing that a lot of people around me have been expressing anxiety about the future, about determining their purpose in life, or figuring out “what it all means”, both as activists and as individuals. I hope this doesn’t sound condescending, but these are actually not concerns that …

Deeper learning in Maine schools can transform our classrooms and our economy

By Steven M. Pound on Dec. 16, 2014, at 12:52 p.m.
The first step for improving Maine’s economy is to become a lot more creative and demanding in the education we are providing our Maine students. That’s the key message I took from a recent report, “Ensuring Maine’s Global Competitiveness,” from the national business leader group, ReadyNation. The report provides fascinating …
Rep. Lawrence Lockman, R-Amherst.

Voters rejected Cromnibus politics, but it’s business as usual in Washington

By Lawrence E. Lockman on Dec. 16, 2014, at 12:43 p.m.
I am writing to express my deep disappointment with the way this lame-duck Congress is conducting the people’s business and the role our senators, Susan Collins and Angus King, have played in this sorry soap opera. Now more than ever, Maine needs legislators in Washington who will not be a …
Freshman members of the incoming U.S. 114th Congress Mia Love (R-UT) (center L) and Barbara Comstock (R-VA) (center R) huddle together in freezing temperatures after participating in a class photo on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington November 18, 2014.

Feminism sees the right

By Kathleen Parker, The Washington Post on Dec. 16, 2014, at 7:32 a.m.
It is probably too soon to declare a feminist reformation, but a few signs here and there give one hope. Hold it, sirs, don’t stop reading yet. I realize that seeing the F-word in the first paragraph is like discovering that your bride is wearing pantyhose, but bear with me. …

Truck rules should be based on science, not special interest favors to industry

By Daphne Izer on Dec. 15, 2014, at 12:32 p.m.
In a Dec. 11 BDN OpEd, Brian Parke, president and CEO of the Maine Motor Transport Association, challenged safety advocates who argued against the anti-safety language Republican Sen. Susan Collins added to the omnibus spending bill to “show our work.” I will happily show my work to Parke. There is …

A time of year defined by giving — which comes back tenfold

By Ron Russell on Dec. 15, 2014, at 11:44 a.m.
One of my favorite things about the holiday season is that the idea of giving is all around us. Yes, the world still churns along with its overwhelming troubles and tribulations, but among it all, giving to each other causes us real pause. Riding to work I hear a series …
Students board a bus on the first day of school in Bates County, Missouri, on Aug. 14, 2013.

It’s time to stop bullying — before another child dies

By Susan Dickson-Smith on Dec. 15, 2014, at 10:08 a.m.
Ronin Shimizu was 12 years old. He committed suicide earlier this month. He was the victim of relentless bullying at school. He was the only boy on the cheerleading squad at his school in Folsom, California. Classmates taunted him and called him gay. His parents complained to school officials about …
Delegates take notes during a plenary session of the U.N. Climate Change Conference COP 20 in Lima December 13, 2014. U.N. talks on slowing climate change were threatened with collapse on Saturday after China clashed with the United States and led emerging nations to reject a compromise outline of an agreement.

Climate change: The impossible deal

By Gwynne Dyer on Dec. 15, 2014, at 8:46 a.m.
For “shall,” substitute “may.” For example, change “countries signing this climate change treaty SHALL state how much they are going to cut their greenhouse emissions” to “countries signing this climate change treaty may state how much they are going to cut their emissions if they feel like it, but if …
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