May 10, 2013

Newspaper for Maine islands publishes last edition

The Island Times covered stories about the Casco Bay islands that didn't interest larger papers.

By Tom Bell tbell@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

The Island Times, a free monthly newspaper covering the Casco Bay islands, has printed its final edition.

In a brief notice on the front page of its May issue, the newspaper blamed shrinking advertising revenue and declining readership.

"We hope you've enjoyed the paper as much as we enjoyed producing it," the unsigned notice said.

Publisher Kevin Attra could not be reached for comment Friday.

The newspaper was first launched a decade ago. Attra has been publisher for the last five years.

The newspaper's 12-page final edition features a story by Attra on the Peaks Island Council's decision to endorse a proposed new skate park.

The newspaper's Community Events Calendar noted the 11:15 a.m. "step off" time for the annual Memorial Day parade, the rummage sale on the same day at Brackett Church, and the May 18 Loaf and Ladle Dinner at the Peaks Island Baptist Church to raise money for the island's energy assistance program.

The newspaper covered stories that didn't interest larger newspapers, said Nancy Jordan, director of the Long Island Community Library.

It was a great source of community news, said Rob Snyder, president of the Island Institute, a Rockland-based nonprofit.

"It's part of Casco Bay's identity," he said.

Attra had been looking for a buyer but nobody came forward, said Kim Macisaac, executive director of the Fifth Maine Regiment Museum, who has been writing a column about local history in the newspaper.

"It's very distressing that we won't have that means of communication," she said.

The newspaper's website, www.islandtimes.org, is still accessible but not active. Its current top news item is the decision by the Portland School Committee to hire James Morse as the new superintendent of schools. That was four years ago.

The only other publication on Peaks Island is the Star, a monthly newsletter printed by the Peaks Island Branch Library, which focuses primarily on the island's nonprofit groups.

 

Tom Bell can be contacted at 791-6369 or at:

tbell@pressherald.com

Twitter: TomBellPortland

 

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