25 Year Game Warden Shares His Stories

     Maine is proudly the most heavily forested state in the country. The land in Maine is 89 percent forest. The state thrives with wildlife. It is a great treasure and a great responsibility. David Milligan, who was a game warden for 25 years, shared his memories of protecting Maine’s wildlife. 

David Milligan at his Ashland Police Department office.

     Milligan became a game warden in 1995. From high school, he wanted that career. He got a degree in environmental science with a major in conservation law enforcement. Afterward, he went to the Maine Criminal Justice Academy and the Advanced Warden Academy. 

     Maine has only about 100 game wardens. Because game wardens take responsibility for large areas, they adjust their enforcement methods. “You have that great vast area, but you have certain spots here and there where you know people are going to fish, because that’s where the fishing’s good. So, you’re able to kind of prioritize those areas,” Milligan said.

     Game wardens often hide outdoors to watch hunters and fishermen. Regular policemen usually deal with reported crimes. On the other hand, game wardens deal more with crimes they witness. “As a game warden, we did a lot of surveillance,” Milligan said. “Lots of hiding in the bushes and actually watching people. Spying on people while they were fishing.”

     “It was a blast,” Milligan said. “I would watch somebody fish for like, an hour, and say, ‘Huh, every fish he catches, he’s throwing back. I guess he’s not going to kill a whole bunch of fish. So, I’m better off to move on to the next person.”

     “So, a lot of times they would never even know I was there,” Milligan said.

In the summer, he mainly managed fishing and watercrafts. “One nice thing about being a game warden was that every season brought a different thing,” Milligan said.

     One day Milligan monitored a brook. There, no one could fish more than five trout. He saw two people return to their car after fishing. Milligan greeted them and checked how many fish they caught and their licenses. “Their licenses were non-resident licenses from Vermont. But I saw the Maine plate and saw ‘There is somebody here from Maine. There must be another person here somewhere,’” Milligan recalled.

     Milligan asked about the third person and said he would wait to check him. They got nervous and one offered to drive and retrieve the third person. Milligan insisted on riding along in the front seat. The person looked upset at that but allowed Milligan to come. They drove for a while. “All of a sudden, I see this man,” Milligan said. “And he came out of the bushes on the side of the road, and he’s got this great big plastic bag full of brook trout. He’s got a great big smile on his face. And he’s kind of tiptoeing down like, ‘Ha! We got away with this!’ Then he walked up to my door, to where I was sitting. And he opened up the door. He saw me in the uniform. Then he was like, ‘Ah!’ and he threw it over his shoulder into the bushes,” Milligan said, laughing.

‘Spotlight’: The Truth Always Wins

     Many believe that all evil, no matter how secret, eventually shows itself. The truth comes out in many ways. In the best case, people see their own wrongs and change. Sometimes, society simply stumbles upon the truth about hidden evils without intending to. Other times, it requires hardworking, dedicated journalists to expose the ugly truth. The film “Spotlight” tells of an evil that journalism exposed.  

     The film introduces the crowded Boston Globe headquarters of July 2001. The editor-in-chief retires, and Martin Baron replaces him. Baron was a quiet, serious Jewish man new to Boston. At his first meeting with the editors, Baron asked everyone to introduce themselves. Immediately after, Baron asked for a follow-up story on the Geoghan case. 

     The Boston Globe had recently released a short story on a Catholic priest named John Geoghan. He had sexually molested children for 30 years. In court, 80 such cases had been filed against him. The lawyer for the cases, Mitchell Garabedian, claimed to have evidence that the local cardinal, Bernard Law, knew long ago but did nothing. The evidence was in sealed documents. Baron wanted to file a court motion to unseal the documents. 

     Baron immediately received shocked faces and opposing opinions. Roughly half of all the Boston Globe’s readers were Catholic. “Gutsy call for a first day,” Walter Robinson, the editor for the Boston Globe’s secret investigative team, Spotlight, said afterward. 

     Baron asked Spotlight to investigate the case. Spotlight had three journalists. They worked downstairs, together in a room with their messy desks. Mike Rezendes was their most outspoken member. Sacha Pfeiffer and Matt Carroll were the other two. They were more put-together. All three were dedicated reporters. 

     Spotlight interviewed Phil Saviano, the leader of the Survivor’s Network for those Abused by Priests. Saviano passionately wanted justice for the abuse victims. “You guys have to understand,” Saviano said. “This is big. This is not just Boston. It’s the whole country, it’s the whole world! And it goes right up to the Vatican!”

     The reporters began interviewing more victims who had become adults. The interviewed victims told tragic stories. Though many of them were grown men, many broke down during the interviews. The victims found their memories very hard to share. 

     Rezendes contacted Richard Sipe on the phone. Sipe was an ex-priest who stayed in the Catholic faith. After resigning, he spent 30 years studying abusive priests. “Look, Mike,” Sipe said. “The church wants us to believe that it’s just a few bad apples. It’s a much bigger problem than that.”

     Spotlight also interviewed Eric MacLeish, a lawyer who handled priest abuse cases. For certain priest abuse cases, Pfeiffer found no court records of settlements. MacLeish explained that the cases were legally confidential and dealt directly with the church. “We got them a sit down with the bishop and a little dough. That’s the best they could hope for,” he said.

     The church, MacLeish said, promised in such cases to remove the abusive priests. Robinson asked how he had made sure the church honored its word. Macleish couldn’t answer. 

     Spotlight team members crowded around a phone with their notebooks and interviewed Sipe again. Robinson said they found about 13 abusive priests in Boston and asked if the number sounded right. Sipe answered, “No, Robby. That sounds low to me. My estimate suggests 6 percent act out sexually with minors.”

     Sipe’s words made the group of journalists go silent. 

     Based on Sipe’s statistics, Spotlight estimated 90 priests in Boston abused children. They analyzed all the priests who moved frequently between parishes. Spotlight theorized the church moved such priests to cover up abuse cases. They found 87 priests. MacLeish emailed Spotlight a list of 45 priests he settled cases on. Spotlight wanted to release this as a story.

     Baron disagreed and told them, “We need to focus on the institution, not the individual priests…. Show me the church manipulated the system so that these wouldn’t have to face charges. Show me that they put those same priests back into parishes time and time again. Show me this was systemic. That it came from the top, down.”

     Spotlight continued traveling all over Boston to interview victims. Garabedian revealed to Spotlight that the sealed documents were made public. Rezendes went to access those documents. He found that the file was empty. The church had made sure of it.

     The Boston Globe had to file a motion to refile the documents. When that happened, Rezendes ran like a maniac for the legal office to get the public documents before the other newspapers. After combating many roadblocks in the legal office, he got them. The documents proved that Cardinal Law knew about Geoghan’s actions since 1984. 

     The Boston Globe planned expose both the crimes of Cardinal Bernard Law and the abusive priests. They wanted to confirm 70 priests. 

     For final confirmation on the names of priests, Robinson asked his friend, Jim Sullivan. Sullivan was a lawyer involved in several priest-abuse cases. Enraged, Sullivan told Robinson to leave his house. When Robinson walked out, Sullivan came after him. He cursed at Robinson some more, then asked for the list. He circled all the priests on the list as confirmation. 

     The Boston Globe released the story on a Sunday in January 2002. That morning, Pfeiffer and Carroll went to the office to take calls. In the article, they left Spotlight’s phone number. That morning, their phones rang off the hook. Most of the callers were victims. Law resigned in December that year. 

     These journalists endured a long battle. They lost sleep and time with their families over this story. Pfeiffer didn’t share the struggles of the investigation with her strongly Catholic grandmother. She didn’t think her grandmother would understand. Carroll found a rehabilitation center for abusive priests in his own neighborhood. He asked Robinson if he could tell all his neighbors who had children. Robinson said he had to wait, because the news story wasn’t ready yet. Rezendes, who attended church as a child, said he would never go back. Even Robinson and his friend Sullivan conflicted until the end. Yet, to Spotlight, the story was so important. 

     At the end of the film, Rezendes gave Garabedian a Boston Globe issue with the story early. A touchy character, Garabedian didn’t say a proper thank you. Rezendes knew that Garabedian was grateful deep down. When Rezendes left Garabedian’s office, Rezendes saw a mother and two little kids through a small window to another room. Garabedian told him that both children had been molested. “Keep doing your work, Mr. Rezendes,” Garabedian said.

     “Spotlight” isn’t a lighthearted film. But it gives hope, both to journalists and everyone else. So much injustice occurred under those Catholic Church leaders. The abusive priests served an institution dedicated to God. Yet, they had evil hearts, which the Bible says God hates. Those church officials, no matter how evil, couldn’t hide it forever. In the end, God brings the truth through personal conviction and, sometimes if the evildoer won’t change, relentless reporting.

Three Ways to Paint the World

    Art inspires human beings everywhere. Though many love it, they have not found the time to pursue it on their own. Those who look at art often wonder how the artist created it. Art does not only take mastery of technique. It requires passion and a willingness to make mistakes in the pursuit of perfected expression. At UMPI, some students shared how they pursue art. Get ready for a glimpse into the world of three different art students. 

Using Any Media

     Miranda Cole is a college junior seeking a bachelor’s in fine arts. She has studied many different art media as well as art history. The type of art she shared, however, was mixed media. She is in a mixed media class this semester. Mixed media art uses any material. Cole showed many of her art pieces, both finished ones and ones in the making. She used paint, paper, dried roses, seashells and more. Her favorite thing about mixed media, she said, is the freedom. 

     For one of her art pieces, Cole used a tiny, old Pegasus toy. She owned it for many years, and it was broken. She glued the broken pieces of the toy to a dark board. The pieces were distributed as if Pegasus suddenly fell from the sky and crashed. When the creature hit the ground, it shattered like glass. For the creature’s blood, she used gold paint. This type of art is an example of surrealism. “Surrealism is presenting a reality that wouldn’t really happen,” she said. 

     Cole’s recent art project, “Family Dynamics,” showed a variety of expression techniques. “I decided to go with an abstracted representation of the different relationships the subject of ‘family’ can address,” she said in an essay on the project. “I decided to incorporate general components such as repetitive cutouts of ‘pebbles,’ as I like to call them, and consistent frames.” 

Miranda Cole’s five parts of _Family Dynamics.

     The artwork consisted of five frames. Each frame contained a group of pebbles shapes, which were cut out from construction paper. Cole said each frame was like peeking into a window. Each of the five pictures used different color backgrounds and had the pebbles grouped differently. The pebbles represented people. The different uses of “compositional space” for the pebbles portrayed distinct types of families. 

     Cole explained the one in the center, for example. The pebbles stood in a large group, with one sitting off to the side a bit. “The various blues and merging brush strokes to the subjects are portraying a unifying loyalty and trust,” she said in her essay. She used “color theory,” which means to use color combinations for a special purpose. Different color combinations provoke different emotions and instincts. The colors behind each pebble family are intentional. “This big family dynamic is built on its reliability of one another to bring in the outliers, no matter how big or small,” her essay concluded. She made the different shades of blue swirl around the pebble family. It expressed how the family members came in from all directions.

     “I kind of want to make a narrative to the viewer,” Cole said. Her passion shows in her work. Both the broken Pegasus and the pebble families tell a story. 

A Battle for the Truth

     Imagine a world where nobody questioned widespread beliefs. Asking the tough questions is a big sacrifice. The truth sets people free. On the other hand, whoever seeks the truth threatens power. If that power comes from a lie, that power will try to silence the truth. This is the ugly battle behind good journalism. “All the President’s Men,” a film about the Watergate Scandal, tells the story of one such battle. 

Movie poster for “All the President’s Men”.

     The film begins at night on June 17, 1972. Five men quietly walk into the Watergate Office Building. The film shows the halls dark and empty. The footsteps echo. No music plays in the background to help the viewer predict what will happen. The men sneak into the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the building. The intense silence beckons the viewer to watch closely. 

     The police catch the men. The five criminals go to court for committing burglary. Bob Woodward, a journalist for the Washington Post, attends the court hearing. The newspaper sent him to write a story on the case. Little does he or the public know the reason for the crime. It will unfold into one of the biggest political scandals exposed in the United States. 

     Woodward questioned the case critically. He quickly saw that the burglars wouldn’t have broken into the DNC for themselves. The DNC doesn’t have the goods that normal burglars want. Carl Bernstein, another journalist for the Washington Post, helped with the story. “I just think it’s obvious with all that money and equipment that they weren’t out to, you know, work by themselves,” Bernstein said in the film. “Somebody hired them!” Bernstein researched and gave Woodward some crucial contacts. The contacts came from the address books of the burglars.

     When Woodward called to find out about the contacts, he quickly met resistance. Over the phone, people answered Woodward’s questions openly at first. Later, they said their previous statements came from poor memory or human error. Then they hung up. This pattern continued throughout the film. 

     People involved in the crime hid what they knew for many reasons. As the story unfurled, the reporters found that those involved were high up in government. One of those many people who shut out the two reporters said in the film, “You think you can come into my home, ask a few questions, have me destroy the reputations of men that I work for and respect? Do you understand loyalty? Have you ever heard of loyalty?”

A Photography Adventure

     Journalists’ photographs aim to capture the most climactic moments in the world. Press photographers search daily and even risk their lives to take such photos. “A Glimpse of Life: The Pulitzer Photos” takes the viewer on a journey with such photographers. In the film, famous photographers tell the story behind their Pulitzer Prize winning photos. 

“Saigon Execution”.

     Press photographers often must dive into events of heartbreak and tragedy. The 1969 photo, “Saigon Execution,” by Eddie Adams, is an example in the film. During the Vietnam War, some soldiers took a prisoner out into a rugged city street. The prisoner was a thin, young Vietnamese man with messy hair and ragged clothes. A man raised a pistol to the prisoner’s head, and the prisoner shut his eyes in terror. At that harrowing moment, Adams took the picture. 

     In the film, many photographers shared the heartbreak behind their work. Some covered war stories, and others famine, genocide or natural disasters. “You rage inside at the helplessness. To try to deal with it, you seek out elements of humanity and courage,” Carol Guzy, a Pulitzer winning photographer, said. 

     Press photographers fight tragedy by informing the world about it. With knowledge, which pictures amplify, people can band together to solve problems. “It’s an honor to be a journalist,” Stan Grossfeld, a war and famine journalist in the film, said. “If I care about something, I can make half a million people care about it.” 

     Journalists’ photographs spread hope and inspiration with photos of brave people. In 1975, photographer Jerry Gay captured “Seattle Firefighters.” The Pulitzer Prize photo, shown in the film, featured four firefighters. At a fire scene, they sat against a wall of dirt, with destruction lying around them. Three of the men had their helmets off, revealing wet, dirty hair and dirty faces. Their facial expressions reflected their tiredness in their important work. “Because they had their helmets off, the picture looked like soldiers,” Gay said. 

Jerry Gay’s photograph, “Seattle Firefighters”.

Marvel Just Got Real! UMPI Scientist Discovers Vibranium

  UMPI has made history. Its geology research members made the news public on March 5. They discovered traces of a rare, priceless substance. Scientists and Marvel fans know it as “vibranium.”

     “I led my research team on a trek through some the woods in the area. We brought tools to collect samples of bedrock,” Frederick Feigel, a student seeking a geology Ph.D., said.

The priceless vibranium sample displayed in Feigel’s hand.

“I was dead mad we had to do it in the winter. But, my course schedules and chaotic events with my family gave me no choice,” Feigel said with a laugh. “I wanted samples of the limestone bedrock surrounding Presque Isle. It was for my Ph.D. dissertation. It suggests a new theory about limestone bedrock formations. By studying the samples with a new research method, I hoped for some crucial data,” he said.

     Feigel said he never expected to find vibranium. “On one of the larger rock samples, I did a drill test,” he said, “Then, all of a sudden, as I peacefully drilled along, I heard a loud ringing noise! My small drill jerked out of my hand. In the rock, the drill’s handle kept spinning. I pulled it out. Something in there made the end smash in like Play-Doh.”

     Feigel removed the hard substance from the rest of the rock. At first, he thought it was palladium. Like palladium, the material was shiny, silver and metallic. He still felt unsure and ran more tests. The tests went on for weeks. He began to think he had found a new element. Then Lania Irving, one of his colleagues, said it might be vibranium. The research members conducted more tests. Two days later, they found that Irving guessed right. 

     “Since we let out the news, my phone rings off the hook!” Feigel said. Vibranium is rarer than uranium. With many uses, the substance conducts very well. It weighs a third of the same mass of steel. As the name suggests, it uniquely absorbs vibration. The U.S. military owns most of the vibranium in the country. 

     The sample Feigel discovered weighs 1.18 ounces. Vibranium prices increased during the quarantine. Hence, the sample would sell for over $19 million. 

     Feigel said he has received calls from top universities, including MIT and Cambridge. Not only schools, but mining companies ask about his findings. “I’m sending the vibranium sample to geology labs around the country for free,” Feigel said, “And the property value of the small section of woods I took samples from is skyrocketing to hulking prices.”

Ashland’s Newest Place to Connect

     The Ashland Diner sadly closed on Jan. 30. Knowing such businesses hold small towns together, this upset many Ashland folks. Annie’s Bake Shoppe, located on Ashland’s main street, however, plans to fill those empty shoes. 

Interior of Annie’s Bake Shoppe Located on Ashland’s Main Street.

     The business offers wonderful cookies, cakes, pies and German pastries. Paintings and old cooking tools hang on the walls. Around the shoppe stand displays of handmade pottery, jellies, soaps and teas for sale.

     The bakery’s name comes from the owner’s grandmother, Anna Katerine Williams. She lived in Austria during World War II. The Gestapo ordered her to hurt a Jewish friend, and she rebelled. In response, the Gestapo sent her to a Nazi prison camp. “She had quite a mouth on her,” the owner, Gina Wolf, said. There, Williams became an English translator for the Germans. At the same time, she worked as a spy for the Allies. So, along with making great food, the bakery bears the name of a truly inspiring person.

     The bakery will relocate to a larger building on Portage Road. The owner and her assistant plan to open their new doors between early-and-mid-April. The property will be just across the river from the town. The VFW owned the building before, but the area no longer has many veterans. In the bakery’s hands, Wolf hopes to provide the town a place to hang out. “There will be more space so we can serve people sit-down meals,” she said.