I spent last weekend as the on-call reporter from Friday afternoon to Monday morning. That means I was responsible for listening to pages from the Lincoln County Communications Center for breaking news, like fires and accidents. The editorial staff takes turns doing this.
I also frequently checked the scanner for additional information to learn more about how I should follow up.
Fortunately, my brother lives in Damariscotta, so I had a comfortable base of operations.
You never know when news might happen, and I have a lot of Lincoln County to get to know. So I plugged the scanner’s USB cable into the port on my car’s dashboard, and crisscrossed the back roads absorbing as much local color as possible between pages.
I jumped in Damariscotta Lake in Jefferson, enjoyed a sandwich at Odd Alewives Farm Brewery in Waldoboro, twisted and folded my body on a sandy mat at Pemaquid Beach Yoga, ate chicken at North Nobleboro Day, visited Sally Delorme Pedrick’s art reception at her gallery in Round Pound, picked up a pilgrimage passport at the launch of Lincoln County Historical Association’s Bicentennial Plus One at Boothbay Railway Village, and attempted to balance on a stand-up paddleboard for yoga in Pemaquid Harbor.
A special thank you to Sarah Plummer, the yoga instructor who completely understood why I chose to paddle back to the beach, since I had never even been on a paddleboard before, never mind doing yoga on one. And much gratitude, as well, to Martin at Maine Kayak, who gave me some helpful lessons on how to stand up once I got there.
It was not all play and no work. I covered a fire in Whitefield on the night of Friday, Aug. 13. The structure was badly damaged, but fortunately no one was hurt. You can read more about it on Page 1.
As I get to know the communities of Lincoln County through landmark visits and signature events like the ones I described above, I am also getting to know the issues of Lincoln County, thanks to excellent reporting by The Lincoln County News staff, and all those who write letters to the editor, highlighting local concerns.
In follow up to my editorial last week that offered some guidance for letter writers, the reporters and I compiled a list of local issues you might consider writing opinions about.
In broad categories, what are your thoughts about broadband access (or rather, the lack of it), solar farms and other forms of renewable energy (wind, for example), aquaculture (not just for oysters), marijuana dispensaries (recreational and otherwise), and land conservation?
How about back-to-school plans amid ongoing COVID-19 concerns?
And more specifically, reporters highlighted some issues unique to certain communities, like the Sylvania property in Waldoboro, roads in Somerville, and Amish buggy mishaps in Whitefield.
Traffic and speed on Route 1 – and on any road or street – will probably always be an issue. And the age old tension between people considered local and those who come “from away.”
These are the ideas and issues we came up with, and I look forward to yours. Please remember to include your name and a phone number with your letter. I got a bit behind on my verification calls this week, but it seems somebody in the office knows just about anyone who writes. It doesn’t get more local than that.