Maine once had a governor who campaigned on the slogan “Think About It.” A lot of us wondered, given how Jim Longley’s administration turned out, how much thinking actually went on in the governor’s office during that era, but the slogan itself wasn’t bad.

In some places on the Maine coast, community residents are stopping to consider what’s happening to them, their landscapes and their lives. “Think About It” would be one way to describe why Bar Harbor residents are revamping their comprehensive plan and why Islesboro has put development moratoriums in place. Not everyone likes this kind of push-back against sprawl, of course, but at least residents are thinking about what’s going on, and standing up and saying they don’t like it. A better solution than a moratorium might come along, but it won’t unless people speak up and demand it. Who says democracy shouldn’t be messy?

Chebeague’s secession movement is another example. Last year the school district of which the island is a part suggested paring down or closing Chebeague’s school to save money. Island residents correctly saw the suggestion as yet another example of mainland insensitivity toward their needs, and the secession movement got going. Now, after a great deal more thinking and planning on both sides of the debate, it looks as if secession may become a reality. Islanders “thought about it” and acted. Bravo!

On the back page of this issue you’ll find an islander’s straightforward look at the homeowners’ insurance problem as it’s playing out in isolated communities. Eva Murray and the Maine Islands Coalition, a relatively new organization of islanders, are thinking about a variety of matters that sometimes plague island life such as affordable housing and the non-availability of insurance. And they’re speaking up about them. They deserve widespread support.

Then of course there’s Wal-Mart, which seems determined to build a Supercenter in Damariscotta. Proprietors of businesses on Damariscotta’s Main St., as well as some residents, have begun to Think About It and — understandably — to point out that a huge Wal-Mart at the north end of town will mean the end of downtown as we know it. If you don’t believe that will happen, they’re saying, just look everywhere else in the country.

So in coastal Maine, at least, citizens are taking note of events and developments, mulling over the implications and — out of civic dedication or sheer frustration — deciding to do something before it’s too late. If they want to pull out those old Think About It buttons and wear them around town, they should.