Editor's Notebook: Add a dash of irreverence and a pinch of biology, but hold the extra sugar

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This week I’m pleased to introduce two new faces at The Forecaster: Sandi Amorello and Victoria Fischman.

Amorello, a Cape Elizabeth resident, is the latest addition to our Opinion pages. If you’re familiar with her website, irreverentwidow.com, you have some idea of what to expect from Sandi; if you’ve never heard of her, here’s how she describes herself:

” … Along with being an artist, I’m also an eternal optimist and nothing seems to stop me from inevitably rediscovering the things that have always brought me joy: Collecting sentimental vintage stuff. Making art. Telling stories. And making people smile.”

But as the name of her column (“No Sugar Added”) suggests, don’t expect Sandi to sugar coat anything. She is a straight-shooting, call-’em-as-she-sees-’em type, whose expectations and outlook were turned upside-down when her husband died 7 1/2 years ago.

Sandi is a single mother of three who runs a business in Portland and brings a unique voice to our pages – a voice textured by, as Sandi says, “an overabundance of experience surrounding loss, unexpected change, widowhood, single parenting, mid-life dating … and recovering from life’s little surprises.”

She’ll make you smile, but her wit, candor, insight and honesty will also make you think.

Victoria Fischman is our other new face. Readers may recognize her name, too: Vic, as her friends call her, is our summer intern and has already written several stories, including last week’s piece about Portland Adult Education’s celebration of cultural diversity.

But Fischman was in The Forecaster long before she ever had a byline.

Two and a half years ago, Vic, her sister Elizabeth and father Dr. Larry Fischman were featured in a story about their life-changing experience helping to build a school in the village of Kessana, in the west African country of Mali. 

“The villagers were overwhelmingly nice to us,” Vic, then a senior at Yarmouth High School, told reporter Amy Anderson in January 2008. “We met the chief, the oldest man in the village. He was 104 and couldn’t move, but he gave us a blessing. It was very meaningful for us.”

Vic is now a junior at Stanford University, where she is president of the women’s club lacrosse team (she played on two state championship teams at Yarmouth, where she was a Western Maine Conference All Star and Academic All-American). Her summer at The Forecaster is made possible by the Pat and Rowland Rebele Internship program, which recognizes the importance of journalism and well-rounded journalists.

Vic, who is majoring in human biology, says working at The Forecaster has already helped her understand that how news reaches the public is an important part of any career. Whether she ends up a biologist or a journalist, or some combination of the two, we’re glad she’s with us this summer.

Victoria Fischman

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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 @mmehlsak on Twitter.

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.