Invest in broadband to create opportunities

Jan 04, 2020

We are pleased to read that leaders in Lincolnville are exploring ways to expand high-speed internet service to all residents of the community.

The Board of Selectmen decided recently to establish a Broadband Committee to look at this issue and suggest options to providing better service to those who need it. Other communities in the Midcoast need to take similar steps to eliminate the pockets of poor internet service.

We hope the town leaders are serious about this effort, and that the committee works quickly to recommend real solutions. We have been hearing from customers in Lincolnville about problems with the current Internet availability.

Broadband expansion is one of the best investments Maine communities can make in their future. The combination of strong Internet service with Maine's unmatched quality of life has the potential to draw young families to the region. We have already seen an influx in Rockland of active thirty-somethings who work from home using cutting edge technology in competitive fields. These workers pay taxes and are raising families here in the Midcoast. They have also been good citizens in Rockland, volunteering to serve on town committees and working to advance important causes including the protection of the environment.

While we are not sure we want to see large-scale development in Lincolnville, improved broadband is good for business. It could help us attract and retain new businesses, creating higher quality jobs for our young people coming out of schools.

We hope to see local government serving as a helping partner with business leaders to bring in new and innovative technology to improve the lives of local residents.

New Years Resolution: Let's have civil but robust debate in 2020

With the arrival of 2020, we brace ourselves for a long, hard political debate leading inevitably to the elections in November.

Courier Publications, through its newspapers and websites, is committed to providing its readers with accurate and in-depth information about the local candidates running for the Maine Legislature and other seats. We will, as in election years past, interview the candidates and organize local debates.

The culture of civility in political discussions had deteriorated somewhat in recent years, though America's practice of democracy has always been a messy one. Arguments about politics are to be encouraged.

The best way to make your case without stepping over the line is to talk about the issues more than the personalities, especially in local politics. The issues we expect to hear about will be the environment, CMP, skyrocketing property taxes, lack of affordable healthcare, the need for better education and cheaper higher education, the need for workers to fill vital jobs.

If you have a plan to address these issues or support a candidate's approach, it is much better to talk about that approach and issue directly. Pointing out why an opposing candidate's plan will not work, is also fair game.

Personal attacks, name-calling and presenting misleading or inaccurate statements from dubious sources will not be tolerated in our publications this year. We will reserve the right to reject any letter, column, online comment or ad that is sent in to us. Our goal will not be to forward a political agenda or silence any valid political arguments from either side.

We will serve as the referees in the debate, and we will write to the best of our ability not to be the final word on anything, but to keep the conversation going and keep it productive.

Many of us remember a time, not so long ago, when local Democrats and Republicans had coffee with each other and blood pressure on both sides remained healthy. We also have seen people hollering mad at town meetings, and warmly greeting those with opposing viewpoints the next day on the street.

Let's have a good 2020. Fight for what you believe in. Speak the truth. Keep your friends, even those you don't agree with, and stick to the issues.

We have faith in the voters of Midcoast Maine, and even though we approach all public officials with journalistic skepticism, we as fellow local citizens also appreciate the hard work and dedication of those who run for election and offer their time to serve the people of Maine.

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