The Working Waterfront

Our readers write: Bias, memories, and oatcakes

Letters to the editor from the December/January issue

Posted 2022-01-20
Last Modified 2022-01-20

Bias is on left, too

To the editor:

I read with interest the Rock Bound column on “Citizen Hearst” in the November issue of The Working Waterfront. I follow the news media quite closely, especially as pertains to political reporting.

I was disappointed, but not surprised to see the negative reference to Fox News and its “political agenda.” We can agree that Fox generally tilts towards the right. But why not mention that CNN and MSNBC have political agendas that decidedly tilt towards the left?

One has only to remember that for 2-1/2 years the liberal media, led by CNN and MSNBC and the New York Times, screamed daily about Donald Trump and his “Russian collusion” activities. When that was finally shot down by the Mueller investigation, there were no apologies or retractions from these outlets. They simply moved on to the next alleged scandal.

Fox News has consistently shown much more credibility in accurate news reporting over the years.

What is not reported is often more telling than what is reported. A good example is the southern border illegal immigration crisis. Fox was reporting the story beginning in January. CNN began reporting gradually in recent months after a leadership change at the top of the organization.

Likewise, the Hunter Biden scandal(s) are covered regularly by Fox, but no mention made by the others. There are hundreds of other examples, too numerous to list here, which illustrate my point.

One final anecdote: I recently gave up my subscription to the Bangor Daily News in disgust after spending five years trying to find one positive comment involving conservative politicians or their policies. I hope The Working Waterfront is not trending in that direction. Otherwise, you produce a nice newspaper.

Phil Whitney
Great Cranberry Island


Island memories

To the editor:

My wife and I enjoyed the articles on Ted Hoskins and the Union Congregational Church on Isle au Haut in the November issue.

There were threatening skies on a cool September Saturday when Ted married us out there in 2007. After the vows were said and the
church emptied to “When I’m Sixty-Four,” the sun broke through, the weather warmed, and we all walked to the library for laughter, food, and dancing.
We have the good fortune of having life-long friends at Point Lookout and we try to get out to the island every summer to enjoy its magic.

Trailering our 21-foot Seaway from home in West Bath to Stonington allows us the unimaginable pleasure of cruising through the islands of Merchants Row. Going the “back way” we scoot between Pell and Wheat islands. That’s when you first see the steeple. It’s been an aid to navigation for over 160 years.

I get a lump in my throat every time it comes into view.

Nick and Polly Hyde
West Bath


Oatcakes success

To the editor:

I was very interested in making the oatcakes described in the November issue of The Working Waterfront which I receive as an insert in the Bangor Daily News.

I enjoy Carr’s Whole Wheat Crackers, but find them rather sweet. As Barbara Fernald noted in her Cranberry Report column, I had everything needed in my cupboard, including three different kinds of oats. Extra thick rolled, steel cut, and quick. I went with 2 cups of quick oats. I followed the recipe exactly. And I did find that I needed to flip them over and bake another five minutes.

These were just right! Not sweet. Thank you, Barb!

There were several other articles in this issue that I really enjoyed reading including the one about piloting in Penobscot Bay, workers and jobs, changes in census populations, the boat builder with ALS, and Phil Crosman’s recollection about the fractured arm and more.
Thank you for your excellent journalism.

Patti Riley


Enlightening reads

To the editor:

Just a note to let you know how much I appreciate each issue of The Working Waterfront. Excellent, well-presented articles that are educational.

Example: Meghan Grabill’s article, “Here comes the sun” was enlightening for a non-technical, non-DIY type like me. For the first time, I understand the basics involved with residential solar installation!

Also enjoy culturally-based articles such as the one on French Canadian “bias.” The Augusta experience cited hit home. As an Augusta resident growing up in the 1940s, I immediately identified with the examples presented, and how much I rebelled against the bias as a “young white guy” with a lot of Franco-American Cony High School friends.

Best regards for continued success.

Don Cookson


See you in January!
Our next issue prints in 2022

With this issue—the December/January edition—The Working Waterfront wraps up 2021. We return with the February/March issue, which prints Jan. 20.

The COVID-19 pandemic has held sway over our lives—personal and professional—for about 20 months now. The pandemic also has left its mark on Maine, impacting real estate prices and tourism, among other things.

And of course, COVID has impacted how we produce this newspaper and how we fulfill our mission of reporting on and reflecting the wonderfully rich place that is the Maine coast and islands.

As editor, I’m proud of what we offered you, the reader, these last ten issues. It’s been harder to get out and about to meet with community leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, environmentalists, educators, and those whose livelihood is tied to ocean. But the first-rate writers and photographers who contribute to these pages did connect with this place and brought you diverse stories and images, many of which would not be found anywhere else.

As I look back on 2021, I’m grateful to the advertisers who have stuck with us through another difficult year. Please know that the 45,000 copies of each issue we circulate are reaching readers.

I’m grateful to our writers and photographers who tell me they like to be a part of this publication, if only because it gives them the opportunity to document the wonderfully vibrant, stunningly beautiful, and defiantly authentic place they choose to call home.

I’m grateful to our four island columnists, whose voices add spice and flavor, to Island Institute staff who share writing duties for two other columns and who often pitch-in with news stories, and to our Island Fellows, who take turns writing a column about their work and lives.

I’m grateful to the Island Institute, the 38-year-old nonprofit that publishes this paper, and whose dedicated and talented staff work to sustain coastal and island communities.

And I’m grateful to you, the reader, for investing your valuable time in what we have to say and show. See you in January!

— Tom Groening

The Working Waterfront welcomes letters to the editor, which should contain no more than 300 words and sent to with “LTE” in the subject line. Longer opinion pieces should be cleared with editor Tom Groening before submission at the same address.