November 2016

down east november 2016 cover


Editor’s Note by Kathleen Fleury
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[dropcap letter=”I”] love the state of Maine like I love my family: unconditionally, although I’m aware we’re not perfect. I aspire to support us when we struggle, and I have grand dreams for our happiness and well-being.

When we were dreaming up our “8 Crazy Maine Ideas” feature this month, it came from that place of familial intimacy. This parcel of earth is our home, and we want to take good care of it. Our geographic breadth may be large, but 1.3 million people are a relatively small community to occupy it. Great things are possible if we get creative and work together. So we asked ourselves — and our contributors — to dream big: Never mind whether it could ever happen, what would be the game-changer you’d like to see for Maine?

Here are a few of mine:

  • Universal free broadband: I can’t shake the hunch that if we could somehow provide all Mainers with fast, free internet, we could overcome the constraints of our geography, attract remote workers and small businesses, and grow our economy to new heights.
  • Family-friendly policies: We already have the quality-of-life reputation. And we all know we need a whole bunch more young people to round out our aging population and ensure our communities a prosperous future. To entice new residents, Maine needs to offer affordable childcare, paid parental leave, and other policies that make living here feasible for working families.
  • Renewable energy: Okay, so what would it take to transition Maine’s approximately 550,000 households from oil heat to wood-pellet heat? It’s not that many households — the city of Boston has more — but the economic benefits of conversion would be huge since it would reduce our dependence on out-of-state fossil fuels while bolstering our own wood products industry. Any angel investors out there?

During political seasons as tumultuous as this one, conquering the challenges that Maine faces can seem daunting. But dreaming big ideas that transcend our political differences certainly can’t hurt. So read our feature with an open mind — and then tell us what you think: What wild and crazy idea would you like to see in Maine? — Kathleen Fleury

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Where to Eat Now

Some are so new, the menus are stiff. Others are old faves firing on all cylinders. Check out the
20 statewide restaurants — and one entire town! — making Maine’s dining scene one of the hottest in the country.

The Wreck Chaser

Hundreds of military planes crashed in Maine during World War II, and their wreckage is still scattered in forests, on mountain slopes, and at the bottom of lakes. Aviation archaeologist Peter Noddin is on a mission to document all of them — and honor those who died.

Crazy Maine Ideas

Our contributors shoot the moon with eight proposals to make life in Maine better. Their ideas are so crazy, they could never happen — or could they?

See Inside


Where in Maine?

Can you name this park?


The Mail

North by East

Opinions, Advisories, and Musings from the Length and Breadth of Maine

Down East Dispatches

News You May Have Missed

No Man an Island

Hopkins v. Postal Service

Bowdoin College Food Fight

Malcolm Gladwell’s Misfire

Talk of Maine

Senator George J. Mitchell on “Straight Talk”


Living the Maine Life

Built to Last

A New Family Legacy in Hancock County

Making It in Maine

Skowhegan’s Maine Grains


Braised Duck with Turnips

My Maine

Deer Spotting

Room With a View


What to Do in Maine This Month




King Friday’s Dungeon


Kim Bernard at UNE


Sorcha Cribben-Merrill

From Our Archives

November 1956

On the cover: Drifters Wife mackerel by Douglas Merriam

Additional photos: Douglas Merriam (Where to Eat Now); Michael D. Wilson (LJ Hopkins); Sarah Szwajkos (Home); Mark Fleming (Grains); Stacey Cramp (Soakology)

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