Editor's Notebook: Thanks for the memories

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It’s been a memorable year at The Forecaster.

New ownership, new reporters, new columnists, and a new partnership between our four legacy editions and two former Current Publishing papers – the American Journal and Lakes Region Weekly – kept us from getting too comfortable with the status quo.

What has remained constant, however, is our commitment to local news. Here are some of the stories we found most memorable in 2017 (hopefully you did, too):

In the Portland edition we documented how, despite Maine’s Freedom of Access Act, Mayor Ethan Strimling conducted city business via a private email account when he participated in the (successful) campaign for the city’s four-school renovation bond.

Our Northern edition told the story of a young Cumberland firefighter who lost his life after a two-year battle with a rare form of cancer, documented how Durham school sports boosters handled the mismanagement of club funds, and, on the lighter side, covered a Falmouth cop who “arrested” an escaped pig.

In the Mid-Coast edition we looked at the problem with promises businesses make about job growth, and obstacles facing fishermen young and old.

Southern edition readers followed Scarborough’s almost never-ending school budget saga, learned why a City Council vote in South Portland was probably not legal, witnessed the end of an era with the demise of the Griffin Club in Knightville, and celebrated the comeback of Knightville favorite Taco Trio.

The American Journal pulled back the covers on unsavory antics in the Westbrook library, and told the story of a retired U.S. Air Force nurse honored for her work at war and on the home front.

And in the Lakes Region, Standish town councilors dealt local sportsmen a setback in their plans for an outdoor shooting range, and the internet went nuts about a parody recruitment video set to rap music by New Gloucester Fire and Rescue.

Your letters to the editor were another constant reminder that what we do has an impact, and we appreciate hearing from you.

We also recognize that it takes effort and confidence to compose a letter for publication – especially at a time when so much of our local and national discourse is colored by anger, emotion, insensitivity, disrespect and, too frequently, hate. People who write and sign letters deserve our gratitude because they’re willing to speak their minds without hiding behind the anonymity of online commenting.

So thanks to the writers listed below, who shared their opinions with the rest of us this year. And Happy New Year to all our readers; here’s hoping 2018 is even more memorable – and more civil – than 2017.

Heather Abbott, Yarmouth

Michael Ahern, Portland

Stephen August, Bath

Ross & Jo Anne Babcock, Yarmouth

Cass Baker, Yarmouth

Ann Bainbridge, Westbrook

Sarah C. Barnes, Yarmouth

Stan Baron, Portland

Robert E. Barton, Westbrook

Stephanie Bath, Portland

Art Bell, Yarmouth

Nat & Jen Bessey, Yarmouth

George C. Betke Jr., Damariscotta

Peter Bollen, Bridgton

Sharon Bondroff, Gray

Eric Bowie, Durham

Mike Boyson, Portland

Whitney Bradford, Falmouth

Sarah M. Braik, Portland

Wanda Brochu, Westbrook

David H. Brown, Raymond

Rachel Burger, South Portland

Elizabeth Burrows, Yarmouth

Jeff Christiansen, Gorham

Frank Carner, Falmouth

Kevin Carolan, Yarmouth

Millard and Mary Carr, Waldoboro

Gerald Caruso, Falmouth

Meghan Casey, Yarmouth

Matt Chappell, Yarmouth

Chad Coffin, Freeport

James T. Cook, Orr’s Island

Patricia Council, Portland

Phil Coupe, Scarborough

Michael Cutting, Portland

Laura Cyr, Portland

Janet Daigle, Portland

Kymberly Dakin, Yarmouth

Kimberly Darling, Falmouth

Isabel Denham, Falmouth

Maryallyn Dennison, Freeport

Deborah P. de Rivera, Brunswick

Joyce Devine, Phippsburg

Rick Diamond, Topsham

Cate DiMarzio, Yarmouth

Art DiMauro, Scarborough

Bill Donovan, Scarborough

Barbara Doughty, Portland

Adrian Dowling, South Portland

Peter Doyle, Portland

Karen B. Drapeau, Scarborough

Mary Drymon, South Portland

Duncan Dunscombe, Falmouth

Russell Dupree, Freeport

Larry Dyhrberg, Falmouth

David Eaton, Portland

Jane Eberle, South Portland

Sam Eddy, Yarmouth

Carol Eisenberg, Peak’s Island

Scott Elliott, Portland

Burt Epstein, Portland

Joleen A. Estabrook, Yarmouth

Tom Ewig, Raymond

Karen Farber, Falmouth

Patricia Farrell, Yarmouth

Michael Fasulo, South Portland

Mary Jane Ferrier, South Portland

Richard Flowerdew, Falmouth

George Fogg, North Yarmouth

Noah Ford, Brunswick

Rick Foss-Lacey, South Portland

Brad Fox, South Portland

Russell Frank, Gorham

Ellen Fraser, South Portland

Penny Gage, Yarmouth

Bill Gardiner, Yarmouth

Shannon Garrity, Freeport

Jesica Garrou, Yarmouth

Dennis Gildart, Yarmouth

Jane Gildart, Yarmouth

Robert Gillies, Yarmouth

Susan Gilpin, Falmouth

Lorraine Glidden, Westbrook

Geoff Godo, Topsham

Susan Goodwin, Brunswick

Gregory Greenleaf, Harpswell

Jocelyn Grega, Yarmouth

Stephen Gorden, Yarmouth

Mark D. Gover, Gray

Tom Grant, Gorham

Rose Greely, Falmouth

Jacqueline Guyol, Portland

Susan Hamill, Scarborough

Steve Hanly, Scarborough

Millard Hanson, Scarborough

Chalmers Hardenbergh, Freeport

Nancy Harman, Yarmouth

Maurice Harmon, Scarborough

Phil Harriman, Yarmouth

Barbara Campbell Harvey, Portland

Keith Heldenbrand, Freeport

Steve Hendrickson, Scarborough

Peyton Higgison, Brunswick

Bill Hill, Freeport

William Holland, Freeport

David Holman, North Yarmouth

Lois Howlett, Yarmouth

Carla Hunt, Yarmouth

M. Roberts Hunt, Falmouth

Leslie Hyde, Yarmouth

Tony Ickes & Susan Holland, South Portland

Melissa Walsh Innes, Yarmouth

Karen Jacobsen, Falmouth

John Jones, Georgetown

Philip Jones, Yarmouth

Bob Kammann, Wiscasset

Wayne Keown, Yarmouth

Jeff Kew, Yarmouth

Lt. John Kilbride, Falmouth

Robert D. King, Falmouth

Susan Deborah King, Cumberland Foreside

Ryan Kittle, Bowdoinham

Jerry Klepner, Harpswell

Kris Eric Kucera, North Yarmouth

Ernie Lamarre, Brunswick

Elizabeth Lantz, South Portland

Mary Ann Larson, Portland

Mark Lawrence, Portland

Michael Layton, Cape Elizabeth

Bruce LeClair, Windham

Pauline Levin, Scarborough

Juliana L’Heureux, Topsham

Joanne Libby, Freeport

Robert Libby, Chebeague Island

Laura Ligouri, Yarmouth

Jose Linares, Yarmouth

Matt Loosigian, Brunswick

Jacquelyn Deegan Lortie, Gorham

Robert Lynch, Scarborough

David MacLeod, Scarborough

Erica Magnus, Windham

Cristina Malcolmson, Portland

Doyle Marchant, North Yarmouth

Lee Margolin, Harrison

Ted Markow, Brunswick

Martha F. H. Mayo, Bath

Mark McCain, Portland

Ed McCartan, Brunswick

Mike McClellan, Raymond

Chris McDuffie, North Yarmouth

Stephen McKay, Brunswick

Callie McMahon, Brunswick

Doris Meehan, Windham

Danielle Meltz, Portland

Lincoln J. Merrill Jr., North Yarmouth

Ray Monahan, Windham

Fran Monroe, Gray

Amie Moore, Yarmouth

Bil Moriarty, Portland

Roland Morin, Falmouth

Ann Morrill, South Portland

David W. Mortimer, Lewiston

Jacqueline R. Moss, Cumberland

Julie Motherwell, Falmouth

Joan Mueller, Pownal

Anne Nanovic, Falmouth

Patricia O’Connell, Brunswick

Nancy O’Hagan, Portland

James O’Keefe, Yarmouth

Stephanie Paine, Freeport

Donna Palmer, North Yarmouth

Nick Pappas, Cape Elizabeth

Isabella Pardales, Yarmouth

Will Parker, Brunswick

John R. Pasch, Falmouth

Linda Pearson, Gorham

Stephen Perazone, Portland

Heather Perkinson, Cumberland

Gay Peterson, North Yarmouth

Nicole K. Petit, Scarborough

Val Philbrick, Scarborough

Allan Phinney, Windham

Jeff Pierce, Windham

Rep. Teresa Pierce, Falmouth

Steven C. Pomelow, Gorham

Sammy Potter, Yarmouth

Elizabeth Pratt, Yarmouth

Skye Priestley, Portland

Gene Proctor, West Bath

Jerry Provencher, Bath

Erica Rafford-Noyes, Yarmouth

David Ray, Yarmouth

Philip Reed, Scarborough

Rachel Reed, Falmouth

Tracie J. Reed, Portland

Sally Regan, Portland

John Rensenbrink, Topsham

Tammy Richards, Yarmouth

Judi Richardson, South Portland

William Robitzek, Hallowell

Bonny Rodden, Falmouth

Sally Rollins, Portland

Emma Rotner, Portland

Paula Rowe, Falmouth

Rose Marie Russell, Westbrook

Sarah Russell, Cumberland

Rabbi Jared H. Saks, South Portland

Leah Salow, South Portland

Rep. Heather Sanborn, Portland

Ronald G. Sawyer, Yarmouth

Andrew J. Schaefer, Yarmouth

Anne Schlitt, Phippsburg

Russ Schmidt, Pownal

Steve Schnapp, Phippsburg

Peter Scott, Cumberland

Lynn Shaffer, Cape Elizabeth

Dr. Peter K. Shaw, Falmouth

Hillary Shende, Brunswick

Dugan Shipway, Bath

Craig Sickels, Freeport

Drew Sigfridson, Portland

Peter Silbert, Standish

Mackenzie Simpson, Portland

William H. Slavick, Portland

Stan Small, Leesburg, Florida

The Rev. Allison C. G. Smith, Harpswell

Barbara Smith, Yarmouth

Carl Smith, Brunswick

Sarah L.O. Smith, Freeport

Mike Soucie, Naples

Bruce Soule, Yarmouth

Charles Spanger, Scarborough

Geoff Sparrow, Windham

Phil Spiller Jr.

Jon Spinner, Scarborough

Sue Stableford, Brunswick

Anne Staples, Falmouth

Barry Stephens, Scarborough

Benjamin Stevens, Yarmouth

Bob Stevens, Freeport

Matthew Stevens, Yarmouth

Valy Steverlynck, Freeport

Sylvia Stocker, Brunswick

Lucille Stott, Bath

Marlise Swartz, Yarmouth

Dave Tanguay, Windham

Nils Tcheyan, Orr’s Island

Stan Tetenman, Poland

George Thebarge, Falmouth

Andrew Tonks, Yarmouth

Bea Trumann, Portland

Andrew Turcotte, Westbrook

Maureen Turgeon, Orr’s Island

Dolores Vail, Falmouth

Gary Wagner, Portland

Cornelia Walworth, Portland

John C. Ward, Ontario, Canada

Patricia Washburn, Portland

Paul Weiss, Cumberland

John D. Wentworth, Pownal

Ted Westerfield, Yarmouth

Lori Whitlock, Westbrook

Jack Wibby, Gray

Jenifer Wikstrom, Portland

David Wilson, San Clemente, California

Jason Wilson, Gray

Kathy E. Wilson, Brunswick

Lisa Wilson, Yarmouth

Madeline Winkeler, Falmouth

Ann Wrobel, Westbrook

Charlotte Youkilis, Brunswick

Patricia Youland, Westbrook

Mo Mehlsak is executive editor of The Forecaster, American Journal and Lakes Region Weekly. He can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 107 or mmehlsak@theforecaster.net. You can also follow Mo on Twitter: @mmehlsak.

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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.
  • Maine K2

    The Forecaster is a great local paper, on the level, with solid local reporting. Read it every week, and Mo is a fine editor — even when he edits my letters to the editor, I end up (somewhat begrudgingly) agreeing with his changes, which make my writing better. Cheers to the Forecaster staff and Mo. Na zdravie!