Gov. LePage made official what he had only been threatening a couple of weeks ago: He made clear in an email to the state treasurer that he will not issue voter-approved bonds because the Legislature is defying him.

The issue is how the state will fill a $40 million gap in the current budget. The governor thinks it should be through a cut to the portion of sales taxes returned to cities and towns, while a bipartisan majority of legislators think it would be better to use revenue surplus and savings in the state’s “rainy day” fund.

Whether or not the legislators are right, the governor is absolutely wrong. Holding the state economy hostage so he can apply some leverage in the State House is no way to do business.

The bonds are needed for job-creating projects, improving facilities at the state’s public colleges and universities and repairing transportation infrastructure.

Some of these projects have been started with cash that would need to be replaced when bonds are issued so the state can pay its bills.


Holding on to these bonds might make the governor feel good, but it won’t do anything to stimulate a sluggish economy and it sends a very confusing message to businesses that contract with the state.

These bonds have already been approved by bipartisan supermajorities and the voters on Election Day. Gov. LePage should stop acting like it’s all his money and allow the state treasurer to do her job and issue them.


The number of farms is on the decline nationally, but not here.

According to the Census of Agriculture, the number of Maine farms increased slightly between 2007 and 2012, while the number of farms nationally dropped by 4 percent.

The size of the increase is less important than the trend itself. The kinds of farms that are sprouting here say a lot about where the state’s economy is headed.


Small farms and high-end restaurants have a symbiotic relationship. Well-known chefs raise the profile of locally grown produce that comes from specialty farms, helping farmers get premium prices at top markets in big cities.

Maine is well positioned to catch this trend because of the organizations that support farmers, like the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, and the Maine Farmland Trust, which helps families stay in farming and new farmers get started.

The growth of agriculture is great for Maine. A reputation for local cuisine attracts visitors to the state, and that creates a demand for Maine products when those visitors go home. This is a business sector that should be cultivated.


What’s prettier than Portland Harbor on a summer evening? Whether you are on land or in a boat, the busy waterfront, charming islands and endless sky can take your breath away.

And as the annual Fourth of July fireworks and the 2012 Mumford & Sons concert show, it also makes a beautiful backdrop for entertainment.


A developer and the owner of a 23-acre site near Bug Light in South Portland are proposing doing just that on a regular basis.

They are proposing an outdoor concert venue that could put acts on stage with the harbor behind them.

The plan goes to the Planning Board on Tuesday and deserves a good look. Bangor has an outdoor music venue that has been a major attraction for the city for the last few summers.

Two hours closer to the Boston area, Greater Portland should be well positioned to attract acts and spectators. South Portland should not lose out on a chance to build an outdoor venue with a million-dollar backdrop.


The quote of the week comes from a story in Wednesday’s newspaper, in which reporter Matt Byrne asked people how they felt about shoveling snow during this brutal winter:

“It’s a blessing,” said Eric Sorensen, who was clearing a sidewalk in the Old Port on Tuesday afternoon.

When asked if he was tired of the winter weather, he said he is thankful to be healthy enough to do the work.

“It’s all relative. My outlook is of extreme gratitude,” he said.

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