It is here: the governor’s plan to reopen the state’s economy in phases over a period of months.
We welcome the movement to lift some restrictions and the state’s reliance on science in taking this approach.
With only two active cases in Lincoln County as we go to press, we hope the state will speed up the reopening process if the situation allows.
We urge the state to expand testing as soon as possible in order to better track the disease and inform decisions about when to lift restrictions.
Lincoln County’s economy relies on tourism. A season without tourism will devastate us.
But now is no time to govern on fear and emotion – it is a time to govern on facts and science.
Unfortunately, without more testing, the state is making decisions without complete facts and science.
In the meantime and always, we encourage readers to follow state guidelines and work together to move through this disaster as efficiently as possible.
This week, we welcome a new monthly column: “Sole and Tread,” by Anton Lahnston and Jean Moon.
The columnists are the founders of the Public Safety and Accessibility Collaborative. Their column will inform readers about efforts to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety in the Damariscotta region, like the ongoing Bristol Road project.
You can read their first column on Page 2.
Below, you will find new guidelines for letters to the editor and additional guidelines for letters from candidates for public office. We will post these guidelines at lcnme.com and continue to publish the general guidelines on the editorial page on a regular basis.
We first published the guidelines for candidates last week, but have amended them to address the “From the Legislature” updates we receive from various members of our legislative delegation.
As for the general guidelines, they reflect the existing values of the editorial page, but document them in a permanent and transparent manner.
The core value behind these guidelines – thus at the top of the list – is a commitment to foster civility and respect in public discourse.
To be civil and respectful does not mean a writer cannot criticize government and its leaders. If we did not allow such criticism and would only accept adulation, we would be little better than state media in a communist country.
But we insist on civility and respect in this criticism.
For example, to say a politician is a liar is neither civil nor respectful. It is inflammatory and does not advance a productive dialogue. It is, therefore, unacceptable.
To say a certain statement by the same politician was false, with evidence, could be part of a civil and respectful letter about current events that contributes to a thoughtful dialogue.
We will address the guidelines further next week. We welcome your comments about these guidelines and, going forward, our application of these guidelines.