Cheers and jeers from around the news:

• Cheers to Eric Bonawitz, the hometown boy who is suiting up for the Maineiacs this year. This is the season of local hockey we didn’t think we were going to have, after all the controversy about moving last year, so we were already thankful. Now, we’ve also got a local boy to root for.

It should be a tremendous season.

• A muffled cheer to the TARP bank bailout program, which was reported this week to have generated some $4 billion in profit for the government. We’d file this under “S” for silver lining, and also under “I” for incomplete. Profit was never the ultimate goal of this program, but it’s nice to see the taxpayers making a little off their investment. Plus, in the TARP perspective, $4 billion is pocket change.

The more gratifying indicator is that the banks produced this money and gave it back. This is apparently not due to civic duty, but to escape strict limits on compensation, a policy idea we never liked, because the government should never artificially control a person’s potential for prosperity.

It’s still not a great idea, but at least we have four billion new reasons to soften our stance.

• Jeers to the tax reform debate. Stick to substance, or nothing. The latest salvo came from Republicans, who are accusing Democrats of using “goon” tactics to intimidate their signature gatherers, the same gatherers who Democrats accuse of misleading people into signing their petitions.

We expected the most heated public issue of this fall to be same-sex marriage, not taxes. The civility of the marriage debate is a feather in Maine’s political cap; how the parties are bludgeoning themselves over tax reform is not.

• Cheers to the Farmer’s Almanac for going easy on the Northeast in its winter forecast. Around this time last year, with oil prices peaking and the Almanac forecasting a sub-Arctic winter, we were hoping it was wrong. This year, the outlook is brighter: cold, no surprise, but mild compared to the Midwest.

We’d be remiss too, if we didn’t tip our cap to the Almanac for the current chills. It said September would dawn with lower than average temperatures, and the fleece outerwear we’re wearing in the morning hours is evidence of its truth. How they do it, we don’t know.

But it works.

• Jeers to the loss of a dear friend. Doug Fletcher, our colleague here at the Sun Journal, passed away this week after an extended illness. Doug was a fixture in our newsroom, first as a reporter and then as a copy editor, a gruff voice of reason and sharp opinions. We’ll remember him for his love of the outdoors and any editorial comment about the city council in Auburn, one of his beloved beats and targets.

Doug was a good man and a great friend. He is missed.

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