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Shlomit Auciello is a writer, photographer, and human ecologist who has lived in Midcoast Maine since 1988. Letter From Away has appeared online and in print, on and off since 1992.

  • Published
    July 30, 2021

    Safely on the fence

    Shlomit Auciello is a writer, photographer, and human ecologist who has lived in Midcoast Maine since 1988. Letter From Away has appeared online and in print, on and off since 1992, and is published here on a bi-weekly basis.

  • Published
    June 17, 2021

    Settling down

    I made an offer on a house last week. I’ve been in almost constant motion for a least seven years. First school, with it’s quarterly changes in housing, followed by half a year in a friend’s spare room while waiting for a tenant’s lease to run out, then back to my house in Rockland with […]

  • Published
    June 3, 2021

    Shiny new toys

    Last week, I read an article by Vijay Kolinjivadi, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Antwerp, who describes himself as, “ …an academic, living in a ‘hip’ part of Montreal and engag(ing) in activities that follow a particular aesthetic ethos…” Kolinjivadi described a new LEED-certified, so-called sustainable campus being built adjacent to what he called, “one of Canada’s poorest and most densely …

  • Published
    May 21, 2021

    An invitation from the country

    The City Mouse came to visit last week. After months of clumsy Zoom visits, long phone calls and confusing texts, my life is filled with faces again. It was wonderful to invite one of my closest friends into my home, to set out bedding and towels, and stock up on his favorite treats. I enjoyed weeks of planning: the hikes would we take, the meals we would share. We met in Cambridge several decades ago, toward the …

  • Published
    May 5, 2021

    The cost of education

    As long as there has been public education, there have been complaints about equity in delivery and methods of funding. Let’s not argue about the value of an educated electorate. Whatever might be said about his record on slavery, I have always agreed with Thomas Jefferson’s assertions that, “An educated electorate is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.” Access to comprehensive and empowering …

  • Published
    April 22, 2021

    The trail has been kind

    Like many modern Americans, I now own a device that tells me how much walking I’ve done. I scoffed at these when the first apple watches came out; too much information strapped to our arms. I said I would not be a prisoner to the step count. Curiosity took over when I discovered the health app installed on my phone, a little heart-shaped icon too cute to ignore. That was two years ago. Now I have goals. At first, …

  • Published
    April 8, 2021

    What do I call the other one?

    On average, I write one new column each week. In reality, I write two columns one week and ignore my responsibilities the next. This is because of the difference between publishing online and being published in print by someone who owns, or pays someone else to own, the presses. A writer can donate services by submitting content without expectation of payment, or an arrangement can be made. In the case of online …

  • Published
    March 25, 2021

    Survivor: the long game

    If I lived in Rhode Island I’d be bouncing of the edges by now. Fortunately for me, Maine is a large state with diverse terrain. I can take a pretty long road trip without crossing any COVID-19 boundaries. This is not true, apparently, for the 2.5 million college students and other travelers who chose to hit the Florida and Texas beaches or otherwise fly for fun March 13 and 14. Their actions caused me to explore …

  • Published
    March 12, 2021

    Mr. Mitchell and a world of realities

    A recent opinion column by Courier-Gazette Editor Dan Dunkle had me thinking about the high school I graduated from, 50 years ago this coming June. Dan was responding to LR 883, a resolve proposed by Rep. Carmichael Micky (R-Greenbush) that would direct the State Board of Education “To Adopt Rules Prohibiting Teachers in Public Schools from Engaging in Political, Ideological or Religious Advocacy in the Classroom….

  • Published
    February 25, 2021

    Moving on

    By the time you read this, there’s a chance the federal government will have moved beyond the 2020 election and begun the work that needed doing for the last four years and more. While there’s a chance the latest coronavirus stimulus package will be approved by the end of this week, there are many efforts, started in the last four years, that stalled during the last administration. I’m sure each of you has a …

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