We will remember 2020 for the rest of our lives. And the way we remember will be colored by where we were as it unfolded. The view from Maine’s coast and islands drove many of our stories this past year. Not all policy decisions, community initiatives, and business developments were tainted by COVID-19, but much was. This week, we share—or re-share—a handful of stories that topped our most-read list from last year. I believe they serve as credible “first drafts of history,” as journalism is often described. Thanks for sticking with us through this difficult year.
—Tom Groening, editor, The Working Waterfront
Island life: Not as simple as you may think
When some of our islands found their responses to COVID-19 landed them in the national news, we turned to The Working Waterfront’s four island-based columnists to address some tough questions. They did not disappoint.
Island communities value seasonal visitors, but…
Two island community leaders, one from Swan’s Island off MDI, the other from Cliff Island in Casco Bay, explained their concerns about seasonal residents fleeing the virus. It was a needle to thread, because year-round islanders do indeed value their seasonal residents.
What ‘resilient leadership in times of crisis’ means
Rob Snyder, president of the Island Institute, which publishes The Working Waterfront, saw the swelling pandemic as a crucible in which leadership must be refined. Specifically, the quality of leadership that focuses on resilience to address changing—and sometimes, unprecedented—conditions.
Considering the Gulf of Maine, 30 years out
Almost exactly a year ago, we shared this story about the crisis the Gulf of Maine faces as the climate changes, written by Catherine Schmitt, as smart and insightful an observer of such matters as we’re privileged to feature in our pages.
A cruise ship ‘refugee’ found safe harbor in Eastport
When the pandemic shut down the cruise ship industry, one vessel and its crew needed to leave hurricane-prone south Florida. It found a temporary home in the (almost) island community of Eastport on Maine’s Downeast coast.
Video: A beautiful voice tells an island’s 2020 story
On Islesboro, reflecting about the past year led to this touching video, whose soundtrack features the beautiful singing voice of Isabelle Olson.