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  • Published
    January 10, 2019

    Schools need police officers in the 21st century

    Many of you will remember the old ’70s song, “Stuck in the Middle with You” by Stealers Wheel. I think that expression captures what it is like for middle-class, moderate working people in this country. We are constantly caught up in a debate between two groups of ideological extremists, one on the right and one on the left. It’s been about 20 years since Columbine, and we have since seen news reports over and …

  • Published
    January 3, 2019

    2019: A year that could…

    My favorite Bill Murray movie is probably “Groundhog Day.” In the movie he plays a newscaster doomed to repeat the same day over and over again until he gets it right. Of course, the not-so-subtle message is that many of us feel like that. We have our routine, our job, our same three or four meals that we tend to make, over and over. But will we ever get it right? At the Courier, we have had a “Groundhog Year.” …

  • Published
    December 28, 2018

    Your gloves aren't on YouTube

    Mornings are a frantic affair. An alarm clock goes off. There are four people in the house, but only one bathroom. People must groom themselves, dress appropriately, find something to eat for breakfast, and, this time of year, clear the driveway of snow and ice. Then each child has to be brought to their respective school in two different towns using only one vehicle. Wesley is 17. Samantha is 13. Christine and I …

  • Published
    May 19, 2017

    Driver's ed, the musical

    Christine does not yell. She sings. As Wesley, age 16, with his learner’s permit, bombs the Rockland rotary for the first time, she starts in from the back seat. “Please slow down as you go into the turn…” Her alto voice lilts the words in a bizarre mix of musical proficiency and abject terror. I turn to look at her blanched face. “What. Was. That?” “I try not to yell, like you do,” she says, defensively. Wesley…

  • Published
    May 14, 2017

    Mother's Day dilemma

    How do you appreciate a mother? When I was a kid, I would wake up on Mother’s Day and ride my bike up to the little shopping center next to Hampden Academy and buy a card or candle or some other lame item at the drug store or the hardware store next to it. There was always a sweaty desperation to this endeavor. I hated these little holidays that I could never seem to plan ahead for, denounced them as commercial …

  • Published
    March 10, 2017

    Town meeting season: Something we can depend on

    March, like November, always looms large on my calendar. I look forward to it and dread it every year. March is town meeting season. I often think things have a tendency not to change here in Knox County, Maine. A gentleman in the tech industry whom I was interviewing recently told me, “Boston is 15 years in the future” compared to our corner of the world. While he’s hoping to bring some of that future here, I …

  • Published
    February 24, 2017


    In one of the first little snowstorms, where we didn’t get enough to even bother, I decided to start the snowblower and make sure it was working. It wasn’t. My understanding of all things mechanical is limited. Generally, there’s the car, which I need only turn a key to get going and the lawnmower, which requires pulling a cord, cursing, then pulling again, harder, and watching the thing cough to life. My …

  • Published
    February 16, 2017

    Jurik, Zdenek Jurik

    You may have met Zdenek Jurik. He lived in Camden for years, working as an engineer, tinkering in his spare time building guitars and taking care of beehives. You may even have tried his bees’ honey. If you met him you would likely notice his white beard, his brown fedora and his thick Czech accent. You may also have noticed a sense of focus and intensity in his eyes. He died unexpectedly Jan. 27, leaving behind …

  • Published
    February 2, 2017

    Mall of the future

    There was something a little different this past Christmas season. I noticed that almost every present under the tree came in the mail in an Amazon box. These were gifts for the kids (other than the ones brought by Santa, of course), and even my lump of coal came this way. The gifts I bought for Christine were of the last-minute variety bought entirely in stores in Rockland. I would love to tell you that I did …

  • Published
    January 26, 2017

    Bonanza: gone, but not forgotten

    I ran into Pete Lammert the other day over by the rubble pile at the former Bonanza Restaurant site. Pete was standing there holding one of the trays you would get when you went into Bonanza, savoring the memories. Here was his tray, but where was his steak? This image of him brought home to me how big a deal this is to people. That and the fact that ever since Steve Betts reported they were tearing down the …

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