Cheers and jeers from around the news:

• Jeers for plans that come too late. Auburn’s laudable notion to harvest city forests for cordwood is untimely, unless taxpayers want to also dry the wood in a superheated kiln. This is a program perfect for March, not late September. Low-interest loans for heating, however, are a top-notch idea for right now.

• Cheers for Auburn for its decision toward making Main Street a one-way thoroughfare. Not only does this improve parking options for the downtown district, but also serves notice that the Auburn City Council is open to the ideas of local businesses. One-way streets are no guarantee of downtown success, but this notion for Auburn is definitely worth a shot. If it doesn’t work as planned, it can be reconsidered.

• Jeers and cheers for the weather, which has the outlook for deer season poor, but the prospect for fall foliage perhaps the best in years. So it seems hunters, while sitting in their tree stands, will at least have something to look at to pass the idle hours. It just probably won’t be a trophy buck.

• Cheers for former Auburn State Rep. Dr. Thomas Shields, who revealed in his most recent letter to the editor that he’s been measuring Sun Journal column inches to gauge our political bias. Well, it turns out – according to Shields’ findings – that during the conventions, the newspaper devoted 170 inches to Republicans and 161 inches to Democrats. As a staunch Republican, Shields said the result made him “feel a little better.”

We appreciate his efforts. It won’t stop allegations of bias, but this practically 50/50 split is a strong defense.

• Speaking of staunch Republicans, cheers for John Frary, the GOP candidate for Congress from Farmington. In a statewide radio interview this week, Frary – in his trademark oratorical manner – declared his support for legalizing marijuana and then, in a follow-up statement, hinted that Maine officials who don’t want to discuss the pros and cons of the drug’s “prohibition” are “spineless weenies.”

Some observers say this stance will cost him votes. We don’t agree with his view, but respect his forthrightness about it. Frary’s been saying exactly what he thinks since day one of his campaign. It’s refreshing.

There’s no reason he should stop now.

• Cheers, too, for the Androscoggin County Democratic Committee. (Jeers to our oversight of this until now.) In our criticism of county commissioner Helen Poulin, we’ve neglected to mention it was this committee that sought state intervention. The committee is trying to hold county government accountable and deserves applause. Though Poulin is a Democrat, the committee is putting what’s right above political affiliation.

That’s refreshing, too.


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