Editor's Notebook: For a change, the New Year really is new

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The week between Christmas and New Year is usually pretty quiet around here.

News sources have shut down for the holidays, reporters are using up the precious vacation days they’ve hoarded all year, our deadlines are early and our papers are returning to normal sizes after the traditional bloat from election season through Christmas.

But things are different this year. It’s anything but calm at The Forecaster, because this week we’re welcoming our colleagues from Current Publishing to our Falmouth offices.

Our cozy little group of 16 has doubled, literally overnight. As a result, we’ve also doubled our office space.

More importantly, the four editions of The Forecaster (Portland, Northern, Mid-Coast and Southern) and four hometown papers published by Current Publishing (Current, American Journal, Tri-Town Weekly and Lakes Region Weekly) – all now part of Sun Media Group – cover every inch of greater Portland. Together we reach about 100,000 readers a week in communities that make up about 80 percent of Cumberland County (plus part of Sagadahoc County).

If you’re looking for local news, The Forecaster and Current papers more than ever are your sources for information about where you live and work. If you’re a local advertiser, we’re where your customers live.

For a change, the New Year really is new around here.

• • •

One thing that isn’t changing, however, is our gratitude to everyone who took the time this year to share their thoughts and opinions in letters to the editor.

Whether you’ve been critical, have offered praise, or just wanted to share some news, we appreciate the thought, effort – and even courage – it takes to speak your mind in a public forum that doesn’t allow anonymous contributions.

We look forward to hearing from you again in the New Year, and wish all our readers, advertisers and letter writers a happy, healthy and peaceful 2016.

David L. Adams, Yarmouth

Susan van Alsenoy, Wiscasset

The Rev. Maria Anderson, Portland

Douglas C. Andrews, Falmouth

Cushman D. Anthony, Falmouth

Mark Aranson, Cumberland

Matt Arrants, Falmouth

Penny Asherman, Cumberland

Paul Austin, Scarborough

MaryBeth Bachman, Falmouth

Bruce Balboni, Biddeford

Craig Baranowski, Falmouth

Lois Barter, Portland

Mike Bellonzi, Hollis

John Berrett, Cumberland

George C. Betke Jr., Newcastle

Caryn Bickerstaff, Falmouth

Dorothy Blanchette, Falmouth

Leonard Blanchette, Brunswick

Peter Boehmer, Falmouth

Sarah Boudreau, Falmouth

Michelle Bourget, Falmouth

John Brautigam, Falmouth

Park Braverton, Phippsburg

Sen. Cathy Breen, Falmouth

Rita M. Breton, Scarborough

Trish Brigham, Cape Elizabeth

Anna Brogan, Cape Elizabeth

Fred Browne, Richmond

Claudia Brzoza & David Nagler, Brunswick

Michael T. Bucci, Damariscotta

Sandy Buckles, Brunswick

Rachel Mason Burger, South Portland

Brian Burwell, Freeport

Skip Cadigan, Cumberland

Christine Carter, Falmouth

Derek Cerjanec, Falmouth

Susan Chase, South Portland

Sandy Chipman, Brunswick

Lee Chisholm, Freeport

Lorraine Clukey, Portland

Karen Coker, Cape Elizabeth

Susan Cook, Bath

Kerry Corthell, Scarborough

Michael J. Cowell, Yarmouth

Harlan Cutshall, Falmouth

David A. Daigle, Bath

Kym Dakin, Yarmouth

Arthur Davis, Woolwich

Rosemarie De Angelis, South Portland

Lindsay deCsipkes, South Portland

Joel Demers, Portland

Bryan Dench, Falmouth

Isabel Denham, Falmouth

Dale Denno, Cumberland Center

Art DiMauro, Scarborough

Shawn Doil, Portland

Fred Dolgon, Old Orchard Beach

Barbara Doughty, Portland

John A. Dow, Windham

Adrian Dowling, South Portland

Margy Dowzer, North Yarmouth

Brian Doyle, Falmouth

Linda Draper, Cumberland Center

Mike Duck, Agoura Hills, California

Russell DuPree, Freeport

Alexander Eisenhauer, South Portland

Walter J. Eno, Scarborough

Michael Erard, South Portland

Jerry Farnham, Gorham

Mary-Jane Ferrier, South Portland

George A. Fogg, North Yarmouth

Merlyn Fogg, North Yarmouth

Katy Foley, Scarborough

Tom Foley, Cumberland Foreside

Mark Follansbee, Scarborough

Richard T. Foss-Lacey, South Portland

Christopher Franklin, Cumberland

JoAnne Freeman, Scarborough

Greg Fryer, Cumberland

Joanne Fryer, Cumberland

David Gaines, Portland

Susan Gallo, Cumberland

Andrea Garland, Portland

Lynn Gierie, Scarborough

Susan Gilpin, Falmouth

Betsy Gleysteen, Scarborough

Ann Goggin, Falmouth

David Goldberg, Falmouth

Martha Goodale, Westbrook

Jennifer Goodspeed, Falmouth

Rosanne Graef, Portland

Anne Graham, North Yarmouth

Bruce Green, Brunswick

Matt Grondin, Cumberland

Penny Guyton, Falmouth

Susan Hall, Falmouth

Susan Hamill, Cumberland

Cindy Han, Falmouth

Jonathan Harris, Newcastle

Lindsay Hauser, South Portland

Anthony Hayes, Falmouth

Alison Hayward, Falmouth

Steve Hendrickson, Scarborough

John Hobson, Falmouth

John Hodge, Brunswick

David Holman, North Yarmouth

Annette Holmes, South Portland

Kandi-Lee Hoy, South Portland

Albert Hutchinson, Cape Elizabeth

Andy Jones, Falmouth

Ethan Jones, Bath

Brian Kanode, Scarborough

Peter S. Karasopoulos, Portland

Carol Iverson Kauffman, Falmouth

Debora Keller, Bath

Wilma Kennedy, Freeport

Brigitte L. Kingsbury, Cape Elizabeth

Ned Kitchel, Falmouth

Zoe Kitchel, Falmouth

Karen Klatt, Brunswick

Kris Eric Kucera, North Yarmouth

David Kuchta, Portland

Maria Kuhn, Falmouth

Analiese Larson, Falmouth

Carol Larson, Gorham

Mary Ann Larson, Portland

Pete Leavitt, Falmouth

Paul Lennon, Cape Elizabeth

Juliana L’Heureux, Topsham

Robert Libby, Chebeague Island

Audrey Lones, North Yarmouth

Jan Love, Scarborough

Bill Lunt III, Falmouth

Dr. Jim Maier, Scarborough

Harley Marshall, Portland

Rob Masciola, Georgetown

Russ Matthews, Portland

Commissioner Mary C. Mayhew, Augusta

Kevin McCarthy, Falmouth

Maura McDermott, Falmouth

Peggy McGehee, Falmouth

Nicole McGovern, Freeport

Steve Melchiskey, Falmouth

Lincoln J. Merrill Jr., North Yarmouth

Steve Merritt, Old Orchard Beach

Andy Meyer, Falmouth

Dr. Nathan Mick, Falmouth

Monica Millay, Portland

Jennifer Morris, South Portland

Linda Morris, Buxton

Julie Motherwell, Falmouth

Katie Murphy, North Yarmouth

Tracy Murphy, Scarborough

Paul R. Napolitano, North Yarmouth

Mary P. Nelson, Falmouth

Robert & Susan Nielsen, Falmouth

Richard Olson, Falmouth

Nancy O’Hagan, Portland

Alfred Padula, Portland

Steve Palmer, North Yarmouth

Frank H. Parker, Yarmouth

Kathleen Parr, Falmouth

Tony Payne, Falmouth

Carolyn Penrose, Cumberland

Mike Perfetti, Cumberland

Thomas E. Perry, Bath

Brian Peterson, Gorham

Rep. Teresa S. Pierce, Falmouth

Mila Plavsic, Falmouth

Michael Pock, South Portland

Nancy St. John Pond, Cape Elizabeth

Elaine S. Povich, Laurel, Md.

Matt Powell, Scarborough

Albert Presgraves, Peaks Island

Warner Price, Harpswell

Jonathan Priest, Windham

Gene Proctor, West Bath

Stephen Randall, Cumberland

Bonnie Raymond, Woolwich

Gary Reed, Falmouth

Sierra Reed, Yarmouth

Tracie Reed, Portland

Bonny Rodden, Falmouth

Eben Rose, South Portland

A. Bernard Rosengren, North Yarmouth

Bob Rovner, Scarborough

Peter Rubins, Cumberland

Sam Rudman, Falmouth

R. Scott Ruppert, Harpswell

Pem Schaeffer, Brunswick

Ed and Mary Schreiber, Lake Katrine, NY

Polly Shaw, Bath

Sarah A. Sherman, Southport Island

Kate Shub, Yarmouth

Rep. Heather Sirocki, Scarborough

Linda Skinner, South Portland

William H. Slavick, Portland

Curt Slocum, Phippsburg

The Rev. Allison C. G. Smith, Harpswell

Daniel Smith, North Yarmouth

James L. Solley, Falmouth

Rebecca Soule, South Portland

John Sperber, South Portland

Charles J. Spies III, Brunswick

Sue Stableford, Brunswick

Ernie Stanhope, South Portland

Barry Stephens, Greenland, N.H.

Robert Stewart, Cumberland Foreside

Bruce R. Stillings, Falmouth

Marlise Swartz, Yarmouth

Nathan Szanton, Portland

Eva Thompson, Camden

Wolfe Tone, Cumberland

Jeff Toorish, North Yarmouth

Lucy Tucker, Falmouth

Lowell D. Turnbull, Portland

Todd Turkewitz, South Portland

Loretta Turner, Biddeford

Ted & Dolores Vail, Falmouth

Joe Walker, South Portland

Jim Walsh, Cape Elizabeth

Carol Watson, North Yarmouth

Everett White, Cumberland

Harry White, Scarborough

Lucinda E. White, Freeport

Rachel Horton White, Falmouth

Stevenson White, South Portland

Gerry Whiting, North Yarmouth

Susan DeWitt Wilder, Scarborough

Bruce Wildes, Cumberland

Dennis Wilkins, Harpswell

Stephanie Wilson, Yarmouth

John P. Winslow, Falmouth

Mike and Karyn Woelflein, Yarmouth

Rob Wood, North Yarmouth

Rita Yavinsky, Cumberland

Robin Young, North Yarmouth

Jana Zimmerman, Cape Elizabeth

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.