Executive Editor – Mo Mehlsak ext 107
Sports Editor – Michael Hoffer ext 105
Assistant Editors – Ann Fisher ext 115, Amy Canfield ext 188
Staff Writers – David Harry ext 110 (Portland), Kate Irish Collins ext 185 (Portland, Falmouth), Alex Lear ext 113 (Cumberland, North Yarmouth, Bath, Topsham), Elizabeth Clemente ext 100 (Brunswick, Harpswell), Juliette Laaka ext 106 (South Portland, Scarborough), Jocelyn Van Saun ext 183 (Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, Cape Elizabeth), Michael Kelley ext 125 (Westbrook), Bob Lowell ext 179 (Gorham, Buxton), Jane Vaughan ext 123 (Lakes Region), Adam Birt ext 186 (Sports)
Contributing Photographers – Diane Hudson, Keith Spiro, Roger S. Duncan, Dudley Warner
Contributing Writers – Edgar Allen Beem, John Balentine, Scott Andrews, Xavier Botana, Becky Foley, Marian McCue, Al Diamon, John McDonald, Heather D. Martin, Susan Lebel Young, Emma Burnett
Vice President – Courtney Spencer ext 192
Sales – Janet H. Allen ext 122, John Bamford ext 124, Natalie Ladd ext 121, Laurie Walsh ext 114, Cynthia Bell, ext 181, Ann Duddy ext 176, Elizabeth Murphy ext 184, Kerry Rasor ext 122
Customer Service & Classifieds– Natalie Ladd ext 121, Lynn Audie ext 175
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Letters to the Editor should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
People & Business news should be sent to: email@example.com
School Notebook news should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Calendar items should be sent to: email@example.com
News Dept. address: One City Center, 4th Floor, Portland, ME 04101
Advertising Dept. address: MaineToday Media, 295 Gannett Drive, South Portland, ME 04106
Phone: 207-781-3661 • Fax: 207-781-2060
Office hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
See our weekly feature schedule.
The Forecaster disclaims all legal responsibility for errors or omissions or typographic errors. All reasonable care is taken to prevent such errors. We will gladly correct any errors if notification is received within 48 hours of any such error. We are not responsible for photos, which will only be returned if you enclose a self-addressed envelope.
Drop us a line
The Forecaster encourages readers to express their views as part of the dialog so important to a community newspaper and in the hope these expressions provide a forum for debate. Publishing decisions are made on questions of free speech, good taste, public interest and public sensitivity.
You can submit your letter to the editor by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The weekly deadline for letters is noon Monday. Letters that endorse political candidates or comment on election-related issues must be received at least two weeks prior to the election; we do not publish election-related letters in the week immediately preceding elections.
Letters are limited to 250 words; 150 words for letters endorsing candidates for public office or discussing election issues. All letters must include the writer’s name, address and telephone number, for confirmation purposes only. Occasionally, we may confirm a letter, but upon further review decide it fails to meet publication standards.
Households are limited to one published letter every 30 days.
We reserve the right to edit for accuracy, clarity and civility. If a letter requires editing to the extent that, in the opinion of the editor, it no longer reflects the views or style of the writer, the letter will be returned for revision or rejected for publication. Personal complaints or attacks, poetry, plagiarized material, religious treatises or submissions from organized letter-writing campaigns will not be published. If citing a specific article from The Forecaster, please include the date, edition, and page number where it appeared.
Educational letter-writing exercises will be considered for publication based on available space.
We also encourage readers to submit Forecaster Forum op-ed columns. Forum columns are limited to 700 words. Writers should display an authoritative knowledge on the subject on which they are commenting. Columns must be exclusive to The Forecaster for publication. Writers are restricted to one published column every six months.
We reserve the right to edit for accuracy, clarity, and civility.
Writers are encouraged to respond to letters to the editor, editorials and Forum columns that appear in The Forecaster. Rebuttals to editorials and Forum columns are limited to 450 words and must be submitted within two weeks of its source’s publication. Letter responses follow the guidelines applicable to all letters.
Guidelines for all submissions
To help our readers understand some of the newspaper’s standard policies for our opinion page, we offer the following guidelines:
* Thank-you letters. We will publish thank-you letters that have a public purpose; we will not publish letters that have only private purposes. For example, a writer may thank the general public for support of charitable or community causes. We will not print a letter from a writer who wants to thank a physician for a job well done or businesses for their charitable contributions, but we will print letters thanking good Samaritans.
* Length of letters. Letters should be brief. General letters to the editor are limited to 250 words or less. In some cases even shorter letters will be edited for length if an unusually large number of letters are submitted for print, such as just before an election, in order to give more readers an opportunity to be heard. Letters about election issues or that specifically endorse a candidate for public office are limited to 150 words.
* Limit on number of letters. Each letter writer may have one letter published every 30 days. We also limit the number of submissions from the same household. In the case of guest columnists, we will normally print one column every six months. Preference is given to writers in The Forecaster circulation area.
* Signatures. All letters must be signed with first and last names. In some cases, we may make a notation of the number of other signatures if there are more than three. Anonymous letters will not be published, except under extraordinary circumstances, such as when the writer’s life may be endangered if his or her name is known.
Reasons for declining letters
We try to publish as many letters as possible, but do occasionally decline to publish for a variety of reasons:
* Letters that are purely religious in nature, and which more appropriately belong in a religious magazine or journal, will not be printed. Letters, for example, that argue the existence of God or that argue the legitimacy of specific religious beliefs, will be declined. We also limit the number of quotations from the Bible in each letter.
* Name-calling and other forms of abrasive or abuse language can disqualify a letter.
* Letters that complain about specific products, services or places of business are not printed. Letters from inmates of local jails or state prisons in which the inmate insists upon his or her innocence, despite a conviction, will not be printed. We do not provide a forum for defendants to rehash court cases. Likewise, letters that have to do with private legal matters, including divorce and child custody issues, will not be printed.
* We do not print letters from disgruntled employees of private businesses who complain about unjust firings, or other problems. We do not print letters accusing public or private individuals of criminal conduct. These types of complaints should instead be submitted to law enforcement officials.
* Letters containing original poetry will not be printed.
* Letters about election issues or candidates for public office are not published the week immediately preceding an election.
* We screen letters that are obviously copies of the same letter that has been signed by different people, such as during an election campaign.
* We also screen letters that are lifted from the Internet or are copies of letters published in other newspapers. Letters to The Forecaster should be expressions of the writer’s opinion, not copies of opinions from other sources.
* Although we welcome letters from children, we do limit the number of letters submitted to us as part of a classroom writing project.
* Letters concerning pictures, stories, editorials, letters or any other published material that appeared in another newspaper will not be printed, unless the issue has achieved widespread importance.
* All letters must be exclusive to The Forecaster.
As with any guideline, there are exceptions, and The Forecaster reserves the right to edit any letter submitted for publication. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. If readers have any questions about The Forecaster’s policies on letters, they are welcome to contact the editor, Mo Mehlsak, at 781-3661 ext. 107, or email@example.com.