Editor's Notebook: A few (hundred) of my favorite things

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‘Tis the season. For Top 10 lists.

We’re all too familiar with them: Stories that news organizations pull together at the end of the year because a) there’s little real news happening around the Christmas and New Year holidays, b) half the staff is on vacation and listicles can take up copious amounts of news hole, or c) it’s always been done, so why stop now?

Like them or loathe them, they return every year at this time, like Aunt Millie’s fruitcake. (You can probably tell where I stand on lists and on fruitcake.)

At The Forecaster, we don’t participate in the Top 10 tradition. We don’t presume to tell you which stories we covered this year were most important to you or your neighbors, and we won’t try to tell you Story No. 1 was more significant than Story No. 10., or for that matter, Story No. 910. That’s up to you to decide.

But as the year comes to a close, I do want to recognize some of what’s been done by the people who do a lot of the heavy lifting at The Forecaster: our writers.

They work long, irregular days (and nights), attend countless hours of municipal meetings, and do it for much less than their colleagues and competitors at Maine’s “big-city dailies.” But they produce stories that the dailies often miss, ignore, or don’t have time to pursue – and that the dailies often end up chasing, after they’ve read them in The Forecaster.

Here’s just a sample of what our staff has made me thankful for this year:

• David Harry’s thorough, balanced, and ahead-of-the-pack coverage of the tar sands debate in South Portland.

• The way Ben McCanna’s stories captured the emotion and humanity after a devastating explosion and fire in Yarmouth. And his fabulous photography.

• Brendan Twist’s continuing coverage of Freeport’s decision to leave Regional School Unit 5.

• Alex Lear being on top of the School Administrative District 51 security cost overrun.

• William Hall’s engaging update on Portland’s own “Walter White,” the drug smuggler-turned-lawyer Harvey Prager.

• The light that Dylan Martin helped shine on practices at Brunswick Development Corp. (Not to mention how fired up he gets about a good arcade story.)

• And of course, the extraordinary work of Michael Hoffer, the hardest working sports editor in Maine, who seems to always be in more than one place at a time.

Like I said, it’s only a sample of what we did this year, but it makes me proud to be part of the team.

Another source of pride is the continuing support we receive from you, our readers, in the form of letters to the editor.

It’s been a tradition of mine for the past several years to express my gratitude for your contributions by running the names of everyone who has had a letter published by The Forecaster in the past year. This year is no different.

As always, the time you take to respond to what we do, and your willingness to publicly share your opinions, praise, and even your criticism, is greatly appreciated.

Here’s my Top 296 of 2013:

John Adelman, Falmouth

Caroline Ahonen, Scarborough

Gary Anderson, Bath

Russ Anderson, Falmouth

Cushman D. Anthony, Falmouth

Jerry Antl, Freeport

Richard F. van Antwerp, Yarmouth

Stephen August, Bath

Paul Austin, Scarborough

Paul S. Bachorik, Falmouth

Judith Bailow, Yarmouth

Josh & Wendy Barrett, Falmouth

Debbie A. Barry, Lisbon Falls

Shelly Bartlett, Yarmouth

Michael Beaudoin, Cape Elizabeth

Maxine Beecher, South Portland

Art Bell, Yarmouth

Jeff Bennett, Portland

Lisa M. Bergeron, Yarmouth

Jonathan R. Berry, Falmouth

Bill Beyer, Falmouth

Caryn Bickerstaff, Falmouth

Bo Bigelow, Falmouth

Peter K. Bingham, Cumberland

Patrick Binns, Boston

Sally Sandler Bitan, Falmouth

Phillip Bixby, Falmouth

Bradbury Blake, Cape Elizabeth

Scott & Kate Boak, Bath

Lori & Art Boulay, Brunswick

William & Kay Boyd, Falmouth

Cathy Breen, Falmouth

Tom Brennan, Yarmouth

Michael Brenner, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Cameron Bright, Freeport

Steve Brinn, Falmouth

Dolores & Merle Broberg, South Portland

Abby Brown, South Portland

Marie Brown, Falmouth

Justin S. Brownwell, Portland

Jill & Shane Bryant, Falmouth

Michael T. Bucci, Damariscotta

Dave Canarie, South Portland

Melissa Carifio, Scarborough

Jeff Carlisle, Falmouth

Lalla Carothers, Cumberland

Gerald Caruso, Falmouth

Jean-Marie Caterina, Scarborough

Emily Chaleff, Portland

Susan Chamberlain, Falmouth

Pat Cheney, Yarmouth

Susan K. Christian, Portland

William L. Ciciotte, Topsham

Amy L. Clark, Jamaica Plain, Mass.

Christopher Claudio, Portland

David A. Cobb, Portland

Ted Cohen, South Portland

G. Baer Connard Jr., Falmouth

Dee Conroy-Vella, Falmouth

Cathy Cook, Casco

Janice Cooper, Yarmouth

Kerry Corthell, Scarborough

J.D. Cowie, Portland

Triss Critchfield, South Portland

C.M. Cunningham, Yarmouth

Janet Daigle, Portland

Karen A. D’Andrea, Scarborough

Arthur S. Davis Jr., Woolwich

Justin Davis, Portland

Jennifer DeChant, Bath

Jeff & Tracey Deletetsky, Topsham

Kristen Deily, South Portland

Bryan Dench, Falmouth

C. Forbes Dewey Jr., Cambridge, Mass.

Albert A. DiMillo Jr., South Portland

Thomas W. Dobbins, Portland

Kristen Dorsey, Freeport

Tim Doughty, Freeport

Adrian Dowling, South Portland

Douglas H. Doyle, Falmouth

Marianne Doyle, Freeport

Gordon Draper, Bowdoin

Irene Dubreuil, Topsham

Mark Durgin, Phippsburg

Jessica Dyer, North Yarmouth

Jane Eberle, South Portland

Sam Eddy, Yarmouth

Mary Edwards, San Antonio, Texas

John Egan, Freeport

Carol Eisenberg, Peaks Island

Walter J. Eno, Scarborough

Chuck Fagone, Portland

Karen Farber, Falmouth

Katie Fellows, Scarborough

Lisa Fernandes, Cape Elizabeth

Scott Flanders, South Portland

George A. Fogg, North Yarmouth

Nancy A. Foss, Portland

Adrian Fox, Falmouth

Beth Franklin, Falmouth

Christopher Franklin, Cumberland

Joanne T. Fryer, Yarmouth

Bill Gardiner, Yarmouth

Karen Gerrish, Lebanon

Heather Giandrea, North Yarmouth

Jim Gibbons, Keene, N.H.

Marshall L. Gibson, South Portland

Sara Gideon, Freeport

Lynn Gierie, Scarborough

Susan Gilpin, Falmouth

David Goldberg, Falmouth

Betts J. Gorsky, Cumberland Foreside

Sandra Gorsuch-Plummer, Cumberland

Jennifer Gregg, Falmouth

Jean & John Gulliver, Falmouth

Matt Halpern, South Portland

Valerie Hamilton, Yarmouth

Tim Harkins, Bath

Kathie Harper, Cumberland

Clare Harrington, Falmouth

Alison Harris, Brunswick

James Harrod, Portland

David Herring, Freeport

Tara M. Hill, Cumberland

Helen Hoffses, Scarborough

Mark Holbrook, Brunswick

Amory Houghton, Yarmouth

M. Roberts Hunt, Falmouth

Leslie Hyde, Yarmouth

Madison Hynes, Yarmouth

Dr. Richard K. Jennings, Brunswick

Eric Jensen, Cape Elizabeth

Nancy Orr Johnson Jensen, Orr’s Island

Greg Jordan, Cape Elizabeth

Bob Kahn, Brunswick

Susan Karnes, Durham

Debora Keller, Bath

Cindy Kimball, Raymond

Don Kimball, South Portland

Michael Kinley, Falmouth

Hannah Klepinger, Yarmouth

Margo Knight, Brunswick

Claudia Knox, Brunswick

Alise Koocher, Portland

Emily Kopans, Falmouth

Beth Kubik & Tom Hanson, Cumberland

Phillip N. Kupelian, Falmouth

Mary Lalumiere, Falmouth

Michelle Lamb, Falmouth

John Lambert, Cumberland

Michelle A. Lambert, Bath

Marie Lausier, North Yarmouth

Bruce LeClaire, Windham

Andrea Levinsky, Portland

Sara F. Levite, Portland

Joan Levy, Falmouth

Samantha Levy, Falmouth

Dave Libby, Falmouth

Audrey Lones, North Yarmouth

JoAnn Longo, Cumberland

Susan Lubner, Bath

Daniel Lycan, Falmouth

Julie MacDonald, Falmouth

Ronald MacDougall, Scarborough

Paul Machlin, Falmouth

Bruce & Rosemary MacKay, Yarmouth

Loretta MacKinnon, Yarmouth

Karen Macmaster, Falmouth

Mandana MacPherson, Freeport

Sean Mahoney, Falmouth

Heather Maines, Gray

Ted Markow, Brunswick

Anne “Vicky” Marr, Brunswick

Deborah Marston, Scarborough

Dave Masse, Yarmouth

Kelsey Matheson, Freeport

Jack Matheson, Freeport

Kiley Matthews, South Portland

Carla McDonnell, Portland

Elena McMahan, South Portland

Lincoln Merrill Jr., North Yarmouth

Adrian Michalski, Yarmouth

Hannah Milhill, Portland

Sen. Rebecca Millett, Cape Elizabeth

Stephen W. Moriarty, Cumberland

Michael E. Morrill, Yarmouth

John Mullin, Cumberland Foreside

Ken Murphy, Yarmouth

David Murray, Falmouth

Kim Murray, Freeport

Christopher Murry Jr., Falmouth

Leanne Barschdorf Nichols, Freeport

Patrick Norton, Freeport

Kimberly O’Connell, North Yarmouth

Nancy O’Hagan, Portland

Margaret & James O’Keefe, Cumberland

August A. Oliveira, Scarborough

Richard Olson, Falmouth

Chris Orestis, Falmouth

Fred Palmer, Freeport

Kathleen Parr, Falmouth

Janice Paul, Scarborough

Greg Payeur, Falmouth

Tony Payne, Falmouth

Anne Payson, Falmouth

Rob Peabody, Brunswick

Michelle Peck, Bath

Michael Perfetti, Cumberland

James Perley, Windham

Anne Perry, Harpswell

Jacquelyn A. Perry, Scarborough

Don Petrin, Scarborough

Benet Pols, Brunswick

Joyce A. Polyniak, Damariscotta

Malcolm Poole, South Portland

Nick Popovich, Portland

Gene Proctor, West Bath

Molly Quaid, Portland

Ray Ramage, Freeport

Sara Randall, Freeport

Jason Raven, North Yarmouth

Bonnie Raymond, Woolwich

Norman S. Reef, Portland

Marilyn Reilly, South Portland

Krista Riccione, Falmouth

John Rich, South Portland

Douglas Richmond, Brunswick

William Rixon, Freeport

Diane Robinson, Wiscasset

Michael Robitaille, Yarmouth

Bonny Rodden, Falmouth

Kenneth Rosen, Portland

Julie & Dan Rosenthal, Cumberland

Duncan Routh, North Yarmouth

Ellin Ruffner, Yarmouth

Sarah Russell, Cumberland

Jeremy Saxton, Harpswell

Pem Schaeffer, Brunswick

Bill Schmidt, Pownal

Rob Schreiber, South Portland

Jaimie Schwartz, South Portland

Larry Scott, Bath

Kenneth Scribner, Durham

Barbara Seelen, Falmouth

J. Gregory Shea, Topsham

Jean Sheridan, Yarmouth

Dr. James Sidel, Phippsburg

William H. Slavick, Portland

Helen Slocum, South Portland

Gary Small, Freeport

Michelle Small, Brunswick

Kristen Smith, Portland

Patti Smith, South Portland

David Snow, Falmouth

Joshua Snyder, Portland

James L. Solley, Falmouth

Jon Spinner, Scarborough

David Stahelski, Scarborough

Cynthia Stancioff, Chesterville

Richard Stenberg, South Portland

Barry Stephens, Buxton

Jon Stinson, Portland

Steve Strand, Yarmouth

Isaac Stroe, Portland

L.M. Tate, South Portland

Creighton Taylor, Falmouth

Anne Theriault, Falmouth

Ronald G. Thurston, Falmouth

Kevin Tierney, Falmouth

Melinda Timpf, South Portland

Francie Tolan, Bath

Lucy Tucker, Falmouth

Mariana S. Tupper, Yarmouth

Tawni Turcotte, Portland

Eric Uhl, Yarmouth

Faith Varney, Falmouth

Nancy Wallerstein, South Portland

Joe & Patty Walsh, Falmouth

Sally Ward, Brunswick

Michael J. Waxman, Yarmouth

David Webster, Freeport

Dennis Welch, South Portland

Kate Werner, Freeport

Natalie West, South Portland

Dave White, North Yarmouth

Gary, Ryder & Ansley White, North Yarmouth

Harry White, Scarborough

Lin White, Pownal

Peter Williams, Falmouth

Amy Winton, Falmouth

Bruce Wood, Portland

Steve Woods, Yarmouth

Gary York, Hopkinton, N.H.

Tanya Zivkovic, Portland

Deborah S. Zorach, Brunswick

Roberta Zuckerman, South Portland

Sidebar Elements

Mo Mehlsak is editor of The Forecaster. He can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 107 or mmehlsak@theforecaster.net. You can also follow Mo on Twitter: @mmehlsak.

Editor of The Forecaster; prior reporting/editing gigs at Automotive Age magazine, Daily News of Los Angeles, Biddeford Journal Tribune; Syracuse U. Orange-bleeder; lifelong NY Yankees fan, longtime resident of Red Sox Nation.