Island Bound

   Three miles off the coast of Bar Harbor there is a group of islands called the Cranberry Isles. The small community has found the islands help them feel safer about COVID. Knowing everyone on the island, it’s easier to know where people have been. It’s also easier to be socially distant, since that is what most of the islanders feel is normal. Not many people move to the island, so they are used to seeing the same crowd. But being socially distant took on a whole new meaning when COVID started. 

     The pandemic has been around for over a year now. As people rushed to the store when COVID started, the islanders seemed to already be prepared. The islanders, already used to have to stock up weeks’ worth of groceries for their families, found what most call a change to be easy.  

A view right from the Dock restaurant on Islesford. This view just cannot be replaced.

     Since there has been access to the local ferry, some island folk are staying on the island. They find it much safer to stay at home, sticking to their island roots. Tammy Palmer, a year-round resident since 2013, hasn’t left the island since March of 2020. She said, “Knowing who has been where has made me feel more secure about not getting COVID.”  The small island community has been a great asset during the pandemic for everyone. Knowing what other people do during the day helps the islanders feel safer.   

     There is no doubt that the pandemic has had an effect on us all. But has it brought the island communities closer, or has it made them more divided? Tammy Palmer said, “There are two groups of people on the islands. The group where COVID  hasn’t been affected at all, and the people who are more worried about COVID. Those two groups seem to be at odds with each other.”  This is where the island communities can relate to other communities. People, regardless of traveling risks, still choose to travel anyway. 

     Even though the number of tourists is fewer, people are still traveling to the islands. This is not only affecting local businesses such as the Dock Restaurant, but how people socialize as well. Hannah Folsom, a year-round resident since 2006, said, “There is normally a great sense of community when it comes to visiting our elderly. But with social distancing and the risk of exposure, the elderly aren’t getting the amount of visits they normally get.” But the elderly isn’t the only generation that is socializing less. 

     Socializing with people in the community is a big part of the island communities. In the wintertime there are only about 120 people between the two islands. So making friends with who you have is what islanders do. Hannah Folsom found herself gathered with her island family less after the coronavirus started. She said, “I do miss being with people more. I found socializing had a big effect on the islanders.”  Some differences that islanders noticed once the pandemic started was not only having to wear a mask in town, but socializing. Normally people gather once or twice a week to catch up. But different people were finding it harder. 

     The pandemic might have separated the community a little, but nothing more than normal. Living on an island during COVID has made the islanders feel safer, mentally and physically. Whether it’s asking if anyone is at the store so they can grab something for them or not having many visitors, some things haven’t changed. The island community is used to being able to distance themselves from the world. 

‘All the President’s Men’

     In 1972 there was a  break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate building in Washington, D.C.  Two reporters for the Washington Post became detectives of the story. Woodward and Bernstein are attached to the grueling case. They want to get the story right and become dedicated to and immersed in the story. Perhaps too immersed, since not only their reputations but also their lives are on the line.  

     Journalism is said to be a profession for people and with people. Even in the 1970s, when the events took place, newspapers such as the Washington Post were accused of producing fake news–although that term wasn’t used. So journalists needed to be able to trust and be trusted. This shows when Ben Bradlee, the executive editor of the Post, had the courage to put his faith in his two reporters. This put pressure on the duo called “Woodstein.”  Their investigative trial led them to big names, all the way to the president.

    These events from over 40 years ago can teach us much in today’s world. This is especially clear when Ben Bradlee says, “Not that there’s a lot riding on this. Only the First amendment and Freedom of the Press and maybe the future of our democracy.” The First Amendment includes freedom of speech and of the press. This teaches us that we the people always have a right to speak and find the truth. It’s important that we see dedication to these freedoms. Even through the threats to their lives, the two journalists persevere. They become true journalists by finding out how to tell the story the right way. We see them look through library cards for books in a time where there were no computers to look through logs. They stay persistent and teach us all a valuable lesson about sticking to what you believe is right.

     If they had not pursued the story and had instead taken the easy way out, they would have shown us a different lesson. That would be something that a journalist wouldn’t be proud of because a good journalist doesn’t give up. A good journalist doesn’t give up on the people, doesn’t give up on the freedoms of speech and of the press.  

     This movie is based on the book “All the President’s Men” from the 1970s. We see the outdated clothing and transportation, along with manual typewriters and wired telephones. The outdated materials we see in the movie add an insight into what it could have been like. It helps us understand what journalists went through in the past and go through in the present. We need to know what we have to get to, to get the stories that we see today. We can get caught in our own world and don’t stop to appreciate the people who put effort into getting information.

     You should most definitely watch this movie. “All the President’s Men” is a great movie with a bigger meaning behind it. Not only do we get a flash back to the ‘70s, but we also get to see the investigations behind the stories in the papers. The commitment that the duo Bernstein and Woodward demonstrate shows us what journalism is all about. This movie will be a blast from the past and an insight to the future. 

A Glimpse of Life -The Pulitzer Photographs-

     “A Glimpse of Life” shares stories of photos that have won what is considered by many to be the highest award in journalism. This short 20 minute movie is a really wonderful way to get more information about what goes on behind the scenes. When you watch this movie, you will get to see how journalists see the world. Even if you might not be interested in photojournalism, this movie is a great way to see the people behind the photos you see in papers. 

     Much of what the public is aware of comes from photojournalism. When danger strikes, journalists and photojournalists alike are among the first people on the scene. In this movie we get to see that journalists tend to run toward that danger, not away from it.          

     A journalist is supposed to give a voice to the voiceless and speak to the public. Stan Grossfeld, a two-time Pulitzer winner featured in the movie, says, “If I care about something, I can make half a million people care.” 

     When you watch this film you might recognize some of these photos.  Even if you don’t, that’s OK because you get to hear about the stories that go along with the photos. You get inserted into the moment that the photo was taken. It’s a truly amazing feeling to see what kinds of efforts go into what you might think of as everyday photos. Here are some photos from the movie. 

 

1940s: American soldiers putting up the American flag on Iwo Jima.

– Joe Rosenthal 1945

1960s: A prisoner was being brought out of a building when suddenly another person walked up, drawing a gun. As soon as the gun was brought up, the photographer took the photo. This is the last moment of the prisoner’s life. 

-Eddie Adams, 1969 

“Saigon Execution”.

1970s: What was thought to be a routine rescue “went to garbage” when a balcony collapsed. The 2-year-old child lived, but her godmother died later that day. 

-Stanley Forman,1976

1980s: U.S.A. after winning at the Olympics. First thing that was done was connect with the fans. 

-The Orange County Register Staff, 1985

1990s: Don Lopez’ Last attempt to save a drowning girl. This is a crucial shot that shows the desperation of the situation. 

Woman trapped in the Columbian Mudslide.

-Annie Wells, 1997

Government Leaks Key Information About Training Crows to Be U.S. Spies?

     No one thinks much about crows as their oily black feathers rustle on by. But have you thought about them being some of the military’s most important spies? The military has been training crows to be sent out as spies. They are not only the smartest bird on the earth, but no one thinks much about them. When Lucy Alley, a local bird expert in Bar Harbor, was told about the birds she said,  “Crows are one of the smartest birds. They are known for their ability to learn to speak and play games,” 

     The government is putting tiny cameras on the crows. They call them crow cameras. These cameras provide knowledge that the military could use to learn about their enemies. The cameras could be good, but they are also creepy.  Barney Mills, a leader of a neighborhood watch team in Bangor, said, “I don’t have a problem with the military training the crows. It’s the cameras I’m worried about.” This brings up another side to the new crow trainees. Could the cameras be used for something other than military uses? But we should think about what good birds have been used for in the past. 

      Many birds in the past have been used to carry messages. This is similar to when the military trained pigeons to carry important messages back and forth across the battlefield. This was not carried out very long: the birds most of the time didn’t make it back.

     You see crows everywhere all the time. You never think twice about the crow in your backyard. Or in your neighbor’s yard, or even in the middle of the road.  What about after being told that the government was training crows to be spies? These innocent birds are smarter than you think. More useful, too. 

 

Speaking Up for High School Seniors’ Final Months

     Ever since you step foot in kindergarten, you dream about what your last year of school is going to be like. You dream of something you won’t forget, something memorable. It’s hard to say that this year wasn’t memorable, but it wasn’t in a way you would expect. 

The Trojan represents Mount Desert Island High School’s mascot. The Trojan has a mask on, showing the great efforts that the high school is putting into following the COVID-19 guidelines.

     COVID is preventing high school seniors from having a typical senior year. This is due to the rules and limitations from social distancing, unusual schedules and isolation. Even though schools have spent a lot of time making sure students have a school year, it hasn’t been the same. And some of the seniors feel forgotten. Finn Seyffer, a senior at  Mount Desert Island High School, said how most of the students feel. “At this point, the isolation sucks and we just need a fraction of normality at the end.”  

     The seniors thought that since students can be in a classroom and in the halls with masks on, they could go to a dance, too. So the seniors at MDIHS are working together to plan an event to commemorate their last year. They plan to follow COVID rules for this event.