Cheers and jeers from around the news:

• Cheers to Auburn Mayor John Jenkins. Usually, when a politician announces they won’t seek re-election, it guarantees they won’t be back. There’s no surer way to lose a seat than saying I don’t want the job anymore.

Unless, of course, you’re Jenkins. The last time he said this, he steamrolled the real candidates as a write-in. So, please excuse us if we take his announcement that he wouldn’t seek re-election as Auburn mayor with a grain of salt. We’ve heard it all before.

The real question is, Mayor, if you’re re-elected again against your wishes, will you serve? Given the significance — and rarity — of winning as a write-in, you’d be hard pressed not to.

• Jeers to strange state-sponsored insects parading through soggy Maine campgrounds. The Department of Conservation this week announced a new education program to remind campers not to lug foreign logs into Maine.

Logs from away may be carrying invasive beetles. So, the DOC has asked department interns to costume themselves as said trespassers — the Asian long-horned beetle and an emerald ash borer — to conduct outreach sessions across the state.

According to a release, these interns have done yeoman’s work this summer identifying potential areas where foreign wood may be found. An infestation of invasive beetles is serious business; areas where these bugs are now found have become federal quarantines.

Maine must protect its forests. But sending giant beetles into campgrounds to do so seems odd: They’re not mascots. They’re the enemy.

• Jeers to Rep. Richard Blanchard of Old Town. (His second straight appearance here, a rare double-header.) His embarrassing interaction with law enforcement over the Fourth of July regarding fireworks from his camp was a little more than he let on.

Blanchard, according to an investigator’s report, was allegedly intoxicated, confrontational and abusive toward officers. If that wasn’t bad enough, he repeatedly invoked his status as a legislator to apparently remind them of who, precisely, they were dealing with.

Well, now Blanchard is dealing with an ethics probe, and deservedly so. Reportedly drunk, angry and acting all egomaniacal is no way to deal with law enforcement, Representative.

• Cheers to the wisdom of Congress in shooting down the F-22 fighter and its $1.75 billion price tag. Yes, it could hurt jobs. But at some point, maintaining employment must fade as the rationale for expending billions on military projects of questionable usefulness and application.

Not even the Pentagon wanted the F-22. There are interesting questions, too, about whether the era of manned jet fighters is drawing to a close. The stars in the skies above Iraq and Afghanistan, for example, have been drones, modern marvels piloted a half-a-world away from any battlefield.

Spending $1.75 billion on technology without clear use, need, or demand just didn’t make sense. Congress was right to say no.

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.