Finally, it seems spring has arrived, and the threat of more snow is gone – at least for a little while. Some of you might think I’ve been hibernating for most of the winter – wish it were true. In fact, there has been so much going on behind the scenes at Current Publishing that a long nap has been totally out of the question. Hopefully, you’ve seen some of our latest developments in print or on the Web. If you haven’t, please take a minute to check them out.

A few weeks ago, we launched our online community at This site is different from most newspaper sites. We use our homepage as a launching pad for local news and information in the 28 towns we cover. Each of our (soon to be) six community newspapers posts various news stories, photos, community announcements, and civic information. Every day, we rotate the information from each paper so that when viewers log on, they will see different stuff all the time. Every time the front page is viewed, for example, a different photograph of one of our communities will appear at the top. It’s fun to keep refreshing this page to see snapshots of places we live and work.

Another unique and great thing about this site, which was developed by our friends at the VillageSoup company in Midcoast Maine, is its potential for daily and on-going interactivity. While most newspapers use their Web sites to post content that first appeared in print, gives businesses and individuals the ability to add their own content to the online community and to interact directly with their own and other’s content. Local organizations and businesses can post news releases, photos, calendar items, letters, and more. And, behind the scenes at each of our hometown newspapers, we are updating content, photos, and information every day of the week. In the weekly newspaper business, it’s tough to bring readers breaking news when it happens after deadline. With the online community, we can bring you updates whenever news happens.

In just over three years, Current Publishing has grown from one paper to five, and we will launch our sixth on April 29. The Sun Chronicle will cover the communities of Saco and Old Orchard Beach. Like many areas in Southern Maine, York County has been growing fast during the past decade. Saco is no different and is now home to just as many residents as some of the other large communities we cover, like Scarborough or Westbrook. And, with more year-round neighbors in Old Orchard, these communities are in need of a voice of their own. Our new office is open at 26 Common St. in the Pepperell Square area of Saco. We’ve also just opened a new office in Cornish for our fifth paper, the Sacopee Valley Citizen, which has been well received. As one local said, “It’s the only paper around that actually has text.”

And, we learned quickly this week, just how important “text” can be in a story about some local high school boys beating up a middle schooler on videotape. In a quick tour of the towns last Friday, I met several residents who told me they had no idea that this had happened at the school dance – even though their own kids had attended. We have had letters and feedback from folks in Sacopee Valley who are thrilled to have us reporting on the news and events in their community.

The Citizen is a sister paper to the Reporter in the Waterboro-Alfred area. This weekend, Gov. John Baldacci said it was a “great day for Waterboro” when thousands turned out for a parade honoring the homecoming of our local troops. Our general manager, Kerry DeAngelis, was a key organizer of the parade, and I congratulate her on her efforts to bring these communities together to celebrate. If you haven’t seen the photos, check out our photo gallery at The Reporter newspaper has grown tremendously in the past six months with Current Publishing, under the editorial direction of Kate Irish Collins. Kate has done a terrific job in reporting the news, highlighting the features, and bringing readers all of the information from the area.


Up in the Lakes Region, we’ve introduced a new feature this past week called “Faces of Retirement.” Each month Kay Soldier will profile a local senior in the community in our Lakes Region Suburban Weekly. The American Journal reported first the news that the Gorham Middle School principal was a finalist for the Cape Elizabeth Middle School principal job. What a difference that story made in the attendance at the school board meeting last Wednesday night. In that same paper, you’ll find a first hand account of how one local woman’s life was changed by Pope John Paul II, along with a tough look by Mike Higgins at different tax cutting proposals in Westbrook. In the Current last week, we reported on the potential of a new senior center in town, the latest concerns over the building of a Wal-Mart Supercenter (also a hot issue in Westbrook), and a good follow up to some issues with the new addition on the Scarborough High School.

Every week, in every one of our hometown papers, you will find stories that touch your lives. Good, bad, and ugly – they’re all there. In the past few weeks, we’ve covered some difficult and sensitive issues – in many of our communities. I’ve had the opportunity to talk to a lot of readers in many different towns about one story or another that appeared in one of our papers. Whether the caller is angry, thankful, proud, or confused – I always appreciate hearing the feedback.

This past week, someone asked me how we make the difficult decisions in our newsrooms. Do we tap into the community for opinions? Do we have a sounding board? The answer to these and other questions isn’t always simple.

First, and always most importantly, we work hard to report the news of the community. We don’t create the news, and we don’t “cherry pick” the best/worst/funniest/prettiest news items. The news is the news. We work very diligently to get the facts and report them to you. When an issue comes up that is particularly sensitive or controversial, we call upon each other – residents in our communities; peers and associates at other Maine and New England newspapers; anyone who can help us put together a better, more factual and comprehensive news report. We do this with respect, always, and we do it with dedication to the truth.

Thank you, again, for reading the papers, for taking the time to call and write letters, and please always feel free to contact me by phone in the Scarborough office at 883-3533 or by e-mail at I appreciate all feedback.

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