Editor's Notebook: Awards are nice, your letters are better

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To call 2018 a challenging year for newspapers would be a major understatement.

Ownership consolidations, revenue and circulation declines, rising newsprint costs, attempts to manipulate public opinion through disinformation, lies, propaganda and “alternative facts” all made this a year we’re glad to put in the rear-view mirror.

At The Forecaster, American Journal and Lakes Region Weekly we’ve tightened our budget belts in several ways, including a cost-saving move from Falmouth to Portland. In an effort to control newsprint expense, we’re writing tighter, shorter stories and columns, and starting in 2019 will be asking letter writers to limit their comments to 200 words (120 for political endorsements) rather than 250 (150). We’re also being more vigilant than ever about making sure the news we report can’t be confused with the “fake” variety.

What hasn’t changed is our mission: providing local news that respects, informs and challenges our readers. We know we’ve done a good job, not because of industry awards we’ve won, but because you’ve told us so.

The people we meet or interview tell us they appreciate our commitment to covering their communities. They often tell us we are their primary source of local news. If I had a dime for every time someone told me they love our papers and read them every week, I wouldn’t be rich – but I’d have a wicked collection of dimes.

There’s another way we measure how well we do our job: Letters to the editor. And the volume this year did not disappoint.

More than 430 readers took the time to share their opinions, gratitude or criticism, and generally respond to what they’ve seen in the paper. We take letters seriously, because your opinions reflect who we are and where we live. They matter.

And regardless of the challenges next year will bring, we will work every week to merit your continuing support and feedback. Thanks again to the letter writers listed here for being an important part of what we did this year, and here’s wishing all our readers and advertisers a 2019 rich with health, happiness and good news.

Mo Mehlsak is executive editor of The Forecaster, American Journal and Lakes Region Weekly. He can be reached at 780-9107 or mmehlsak@theforecaster.net. You can also follow Mo on Twitter: @mmehlsak.

Heather Abbott, Yarmouth

James J. Adams, Portland

John Adelman, Falmouth

Beth Ahearn, Freeport

Vito Ancona, Lisbon Falls

Amy Anderson, Yarmouth

Nancy C. Anderson, Cumberland

Kara Auclair, South Portland

Newell Augur, Yarmouth

Susan Auglis, Scarborough

Stephen August, Bath

Rep. Sue Austin, Gray

Jo Anne & Ross Babcock, Yarmouth

MaryBeth Bachman, Falmouth

Michael P. Bacon, Westbrook

Harlan Baker, Portland

Philip M. Baker, Falmouth

Elise Baldacci & Devin Deane, South Portland

Whitney Ball, Falmouth

Erica L. Bartlett, Portland

Mako Bates, Portland

Maxine Beecher, South Portland

Art Bell, Yarmouth

Mark A. Bennett, South Portland

Jeff Bennett, Portland

Skylar Bennett, Yarmouth

Ray Berard Sr., Windham

Rob Billings, Yarmouth

Susan Bisbing, Cumberland Foreside

Allison Bishop, Falmouth

Natalie Blake, Gray

Guy Blanchard, Freeport

Dorothy Blanchette, Falmouth

John V. Bond, Phippsburg

Sharon Bondroff, Gray

Elizabeth Bouvé, Harpswell

Chris Bove, Westbrook

Lisa L. Brady, Scarborough

Lynn A. Brady, Scarborough

Michael Brennan, Portland

Steven R. Brier, Westbrook

Trish Brigham, Scarborough

Kevin Browne, Falmouth

India Broyles & Bob Shafto, Falmouth

Eleanor Buchanan, Yarmouth

Michael Buhelt, Gray

Zachary Bull, Falmouth

Rachel Burger, South Portland

Will H. Burrow, Gray

Meredith Strang Burgess, Cumberland

Brian Burwell, Freeport

Mary Sue Cady-Mainella, Falmouth

James Cagney V, Portland

Hope Cahan, Falmouth

Sandy Carder, Gray

Donnell Carroll, Gray

Gerald Caruso, Falmouth

Meghan Casey, Yarmouth

Demetria Chadbourne, Gorham

Jim Chaousis, Falmouth

Nancy Chapman, Phippsburg

Susan Chase, South Portland

Phyllis Chinlund, Cumberland Foreside

Bob Clark, Windham

Dick Clark, Windham

Marsha Clark & Peter Goffin, Falmouth

Susie Coffin, Brunswick

Michelle Cole, Casco

Marty Colello, Westbrook

Erin Collins, Freeport

Connie & Philip Conner, Harpswell

Greg Cook, Gray

Heather Coon, South Portland

Mike Cooney, Falmouth

Rep. Janice Cooper, Yarmouth

Kelly Corbin, South Portland

Laura Coroi, Yarmouth

Thomas & Deborah Coward, South Portland

J.D. Cowie, Portland

Tony Cowles, Yarmouth

Jonathan Cox, Miami and Boston

Jo Coyne, Portland

Jonathan Crasnick, Scarborough

Dr. Catherine Crute, Portland

Jani Cummings, Raymond

Alice Darlington, Casco

Phil Davies, Falmouth

Sarah Day, Yarmouth

Attila DeLisle, South Portland

Mike DelTergo, Falmouth

Stephen Demetriou, South Portland

Bryan Dench, Falmouth

Rep. Dale Denno, Cumberland

Mary DeRose, South Portland

Judy Dickson, Windham

Kelly Dillavou, Falmouth

Tom DiPasqua, Scarborough

Rick Doane, Cumberland

Anne Wescott Dodd, Brunswick

Bill Donovan, Scarborough

Barbara Doughty, Portland

Linda Draper, Cumberland

Heather Drake, South Portland

Joan Drouin, Yarmouth

Benjamin Dudley, Portland

Russell DuPree, Freeport

Joanne Duran, Falmouth

Loretta G. Dyer, Yarmouth

Jane Eberle, South Portland

Sam Eddy, Yarmouth

John F. Edwards, Falmouth

Jim Elkins, Scarborough

Jenny Ellis & Jim Hauptman, Falmouth

Geoffrey Emanuel, Falmouth

Robert Emple, Falmouth

Burton R. Epstein, Portland

Robert Erdlitz, South Portland

James Erwin, Yarmouth

Geoffrey Evans, Brunswick

Sheri Faber, Gorham

Tracey Falla, Cumberland

Karen Farber, Falmouth

Kristen Farnham, Falmouth

Frank Fassett, Boothbay Harbor

Michael Fasulo, South Portland

Andrew Favreau, Yarmouth

Donna Fenton, Scarborough

Kimberley Fiorillo, Scarborough

Susan Flaherty, Scarborough

Anne Fleming, Yarmouth

Polly Haight Frawley, Cumberland

Len Freeman, Portland

George & Merlyn Fogg, North Yarmouth

Michael Foley, Westbrook

Mike Foley, Scarborough

Tom Foley, Cumberland

Mark Follansbee, Scarborough

Karrtikah Foote, Westbrook

Aaron J. Fuchs, Orrs Island

Jane Fulton, Yarmouth

Philip Galipeau, Westbrook

Bill Gardiner, Yarmouth

Anne Gauthier-Maurice

Acting Fire Chief Keith Gautreau, Portland

Charles F. Gauvin, New Gloucester

Jane Gildart, Yarmouth

Susan Gilpin, Falmouth

Susan Gleason, Raymond

Amy Glidden, Scarborough

Lorraine Glidden, Westbrook

Richard Goan, Westbrook

Peter Goffin, Falmouth

Cheryl Golek, Harpswell

Rick and Debbie Goss, Westbrook

Lindy Graham, Yarmouth

Bruce Green, Brunswick

Nancy Green, Yarmouth

Ann-Marie Grenier, Windham

Pamela, Jeremy & Mathew Grondin, Scarborough

Mark D. Grover, Gray

Leah Guay, Yarmouth

Michelle Gurney, Freeport

Jacqueline Guyol, Portland

Bryce Hach, Falmouth

Jason & Colleen Hallee, Yarmouth

Donna Halvorsen, South Portland

Robert A. Hammer, Falmouth

Leland Hanchett, Falmouth

Greg Hanscom, Scarborough

Chalmers Hardenbergh, Freeport

Ben Hartwell, Gorham

Larry Hartwell, Scarborough

Barbara Campbell Harvey, Portland

Jim Hauptman, Falmouth

Christine Hayashida, Yarmouth

Michelle T. Hayes, Scarborough

Councilor Peter F. Hayes, Scarborough

Tony Hayes, Falmouth

Caleb Hemphill, Falmouth

Steve Henrickson, Scarborough

Daniel Hildreth, Falmouth

Colleen Hilton, Westbrook

Mary House, South Portland

Lindy Howe, Raymond

Susan Howe, Falmouth

Al Howlett, Yarmouth

Lois Howlett, Yarmouth

James E. Hoy, South Portland

Gunnar Hubbard & Amy Winton, Falmouth

Matthew Hubbell, Cape Elizabeth

Sherry Huber, Falmouth

Ruth & John Hughes, Scarborough

April Humphrey, Yarmouth

Carla Hunt & Andrew Tonks, Yarmouth

Shawn Hunter, Yarmouth

Helen & Sparky Hurgin, Windham

Leslie Hyde, Yarmouth

Andrew Ingalls, Cape Elizabeth

Frank Isganitis, Rockland

Paul Johnson, Scarborough

Tommy Johnson, Falmouth

Jennifer Jones, Falmouth

Philip Jones, Yarmouth

Catherine V. Jordan, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Dr. Richard Jorgensen, Portland

Jennifer Jortberg, Scarborough

Lisa Joy, Falmouth

Brian Kanode, Scarborough

Mylissa Kapela, Harpswell

Larry Kaplan, Cape Elizabeth

Charles Kenny, Cumberland

Scott & Meredith Kerr, North Yarmouth

Chris Kessler, South Portland

Jeffrey Kew, Yarmouth

Claudia King, Falmouth

Mark Kirshe, Brunswick

Ned Kitchel, Falmouth

Lorrie & Kevin King, Yarmouth

Richard Klain, Falmouth

Bob Knecht, South Freeport

Mark A. Krogman, South Portland

Kris Eric Kucera, North Yarmouth

Amy Kuhn, Falmouth

Beth Kus, Windham

Meg Kusturin, Gorham

Marissa Lagasse, Windham

Stephan Lanfer, Yarmouth

Mary Ann Larson, Portland

Chris Lavoie, Portland

John Lawlor, Windham

Martha Leggat, North Yarmouth

Peter Lento, Raymond

Richard B. Lethem, Bath

Robert A. Levine, Portland

Chief Chris Lewis, Topsham

Juliana L’Heureux, Topsham

Dave Libby, Falmouth

Michael Liff, Portland

Peter Lindsay, North Yarmouth

Susan E. LoGiudice, Portland

Ben Lombard, Yarmouth

Russ Lunt, South Portland

Katharine Lyon, Topsham

Wells Lyons, Brunswick

Ellie & Andrei Maciag, Falmouth

Jock MacGregor, Sebago

Mark Mahnke, Bath

Sean Mahoney, Falmouth

Dr. James H. Maier, Falmouth

Doyle Marchant, North Yarmouth

Nancy Marcoux, Westbrook

Michele Maria, South Portland

Ted Markow, Brunswick

Kim Matthews, Westbrook

Mark Mayone, South Portland

Charlie McBrady, Falmouth

John McCall, South Portland

Dave McConnell, Falmouth

Allie McCormack, South Portland

Rep. Jay McCreight, Harpswell

Dr. Sharon McDonnell, Yarmouth

Dr. Brian J. McGrory, Falmouth

Stephen McKay, Brunswick

Tracy McMahon, Scarborough

Jackie McNeil, South Portland

Steve McPike, Gray

Dennis Meehan, Scarborough

Carmen Melito, Yarmouth

Jennifer Melville, Freeport

Lincoln Merrill Jr., North Yarmouth

Andy Meyer, Falmouth

Sen. Rebecca Millett, Cape Elizabeth

Christina Mitchell, Cumberland

Margaret Mogavero, Scarborough

Judith Moll, South Portland

Anne Mommers, Brownfield

Ray Monahan, Windham

Peter Monro, Portland

Bruce Moore, Cape Elizabeth

Victoria Morales, South Portland

Steve Moriarty, Cumberland

Trish & Scott Morin, Cape Elizabeth

Harriet Moroney, Windham

Terry K. Morrison, South Portland

Jane Mount, Scarborough

Richard J. Moylan, Yarmouth

Kelly Murphy, Scarborough

David R. Murray, Falmouth

Bill Myers, Falmouth

Chris Neagle, Cumberland

Mary P. Nelson, Falmouth

Mike Nelson, Yarmouth

Ann Nemrow, Topsham

Cynthia Nilsen, Scarborough

Kristen Nilsen, Scarborough

Bill Norbert, Brunswick

Andrew Pal, Windham

Petros Panagakos, Portland

Betsy Parsons, South Portland

Anne Chadwick Parker, Falmouth

Dr. Deborah Patten, Bath

Rosalie Paul, Brunswick

Susan Payne, Cape Elizabeth

Tony Payne, Falmouth

Pays & Anne Payson, Falmouth

Edward Pearlman, South Portland

Val Philbrick, Scarborough

Jeffrey Morgan Pierce, Windham

Jean Powers, Brunswick

John O’Hara, Westbrook

Philip R. Ohman, Gray

Ted O’Meara, Yarmouth

Craig Phillips, Brunswick

Sally Pierce, Cumberland

David Plimpton, Cape Elizabeth

Lori Poland, Windham

Sammy Potter, Yarmouth

Kellie Potvin, Falmouth

Tina Pratico, Falmouth

Barbara Price, Scarborough

Janis B. Price, Peaks Island

Warner Price, Harpswell

Steven Priestley, Portland

Jane Pringle, Windham

Gene Proctor, West Bath

Paul Proudian, Gray

Jerry Provencher, Bath

Eydie Pryzant, Falmouth

Becky Quinlan & Marvin Druker, Cumberland Foreside

David P. Ray, Yarmouth

Gary Reed, Falmouth

Kathy Hillman Reed, Falmouth

Tom Reinsborough, Yarmouth

Bob Remick, Westbrook

Rhonda Remick, Westbrook

Mark Richard, Falmouth

Doug Robertson, Yarmouth

Bonny Rodden, Falmouth

Parker Rollins, Yarmouth

Steve Romanoff, Falmouth

Sam Rudman, Falmouth

Rebecca Rundquist, Yarmouth

Don Russell, South Portland

Rose Marie Russell, Westbrook

Pat Ryan, Brunswick

Ryan Rybka, Belchertown, Mass.

Jo D. Saffeir, Pownal

Rebecca & Jesse Sammon, Yarmouth

Kim Samuelson, Gorham

Jackie Sartoris, Brunswick

Ronald G. Sawyer, Yarmouth

Julie Schirmer, Falmouth

Katelynne Schmidt, Falmouth

Denise Schwartz, Harpswell

Orrin Shane, Portland

Camilla Shannon, Yarmouth

Tim Shannon, Yarmouth

Heather Shields & Lee Lindenau, Yarmouth

Kate Shub, Yarmouth

Chuck de Sieyes & Carol Ward, Falmouth

Kimberly Simmons, Portland

Peter Simmons & Charlotte Agell, Brunswick

George Simonson, Harpswell

Sarah Singer, Brunswick

Greg T. Sirpis, Standish

Mike Skillin. Falmouth

Rob Slattery, Bridgton

William H. Slavick, Portland

Katherine Slye, New Gloucester

Pam Smith, North Yarmouth

Stacy Smith, Falmouth

Halsey W. Snow, Casco

Jon Spinner, Scarborough

Sue Stableford, Brunswick

Mitchell & Martha Stein, Cumberland Foreside

Barry Stephens, Scarborough

Lauren Sterling, Falmouth

Benjamin Stevens, Yarmouth

Howsie Stewart, Falmouth

Marissa Stewart, Gray

Bruce R. Stillings, Falmouth

Grace Stone, Yarmouth

Sarah & Hawley Strait, Yarmouth

Jennifer Sullivan, Scarborough

Mary Beth Sullivan, Bath

Ruth Summers, Scarborough

Kevin Sweeney, South Portland

Laura Sweet, Cumberland

Vicki & Bob Swerdlow, Falmouth

Anne Swift-Kayatta, Cape Elizabeth

Karen Tcheyan, Harpswell

Nils Tcheyan, Orrs Island

A.W. Thayer, Yarmouth

John Thibodeau, Portland

Frank Thiboutot, Cumberland

Linden Thigpen, South Portland

Mikala Thompson, Yarmouth

Andrew Tonks, Yarmouth

Tiffany Townsend, Yarmouth

Alan Tracy, Freeport

Anna Trevorrow, Portland

Ben Tucker, Brunswick

Lucy Tucker, Falmouth

Nancy Tucker, Brunswick

Karl Turner, Cumberland

Kristen Turner, Scarborough

Terry Turner, Raymond

Linda Valentino, Saco

Shikha Vasaiwala, Falmouth

Patrick Venne, Portland

Tony Vigue, Standish

Janis Visser, Gray

Randy Visser, Gray

Scott Vonnegut, Portland

Peter Vose, Falmouth

Bob Wake, Windham

Brian Walker, Raymond

Emily Ward, Scarborough

Ralph Warnock, Falmouth

John Wasileski, Falmouth

Bret Watson, Gorham

Dan Welch, Falmouth

Dorothy M. Wentworth, Harpswell

Ted Westerfield, Yarmouth

Fire Chief James Williams, South Portland

Mike Williams, Cumberland Foreside

John P. Winslow, Falmouth

Liz Wisecup, Windham

Sarah Witte, Yarmouth

Anna Wrobel, Westbrook

Jenny Yasi, Freeport

Andy Young, Cumberland

Mike Zagariello, Orr’s Island

Carol Zechman, South Portland

Barry Zuckerman, South Portland

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