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Sally Bouchard

MAGIC and the Press
By Sally Bouchard
Jun 3, 2006 - 5:00:00 PM

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The only press that the Millinocket Area Growth and Investment Council (MAGIC) Board of Directors likes, is one that they can control.

It was MAGIC that helped the Community Press get a loan through the town. MAGIC helped the Community Press get a lease in the BRIC Building, near MAGIC's own offices.

It was a member of the Board of Directors of the Millinocket Area Growth and Investment Council, who was also a council member at that time that he went after Aaron Miller, the editor of the Katahdin Times.

The chairman of the council adjourned the meeting after Danforth's diatribe, making sure that Aaron was not given the opportunity to defend himself.

What was it that Aaron did to bring on this attack?

He disagreed with some of the things that the council were doing, such as having meetings without the public or the press being there.

Aaron lost his job because he dared to ask legitimate questions of the council.

It was friends and business associates of MAGIC who merged the two newspapers, saying that the town didn’t need two newspapers. If that were so, why did they start the Community Press to begin with? Why did the council fund it?

Why were the staff of the newspapers told to sign a document that they wouldn’t start, or work for another newspaper for over a year, and at least at distance of 60 miles from Millinocket? Once signed, many of these employees, including the editor, were fired.

With the new paper, with Lisa Pelkey and Shelley Farrington as lead reporter and editor, she whose father is now president of the board of the Millinocket Area Growth and Investment Council, the news is clearly biased in favor of MAGIC.

With the Andersons and the Magic City Morning Star, the people of Millinocket have another medium that gives them news from all over the world, plus another voice of what is going on right in this town.

For over a year, the Andersons have been under attack from MAGIC, and most particularly from those who serve on both the town council and the Millinocket Area Growth and Investment Council.

Why is this?

Without the Magic City Morning Star, the people will have only the Katahdin Press to go to for their news and with that, the only news available will be one-sided and the people of this town will not be able to express their opinion without fear of intimidation.

In the past month, some members of the council, as Councilor Danforth used his position to attack Aaron Miller, have used their positions to attack the Andersons.

And just as they did when Aaron Miller was being attacked from the council bench, the rest of the councilors have remained silent.

Not even one member of the council had the courage to speak up for them publicly.

No member of the council should use their public office to attack any member of the press. Nor should they be permitted to believe that the press is for them only, and that it should print only what they desire.

This is un-American.

Quotes from Thomas Jefferson:

“The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them” -- 1787

“The press is the only tocsin of a nation. (When it) is completely silenced…all means of a general effort are taken away.” -- 1802

“A press that is free to investigate and criticize the government is absolutely essential in a nation that practices self-government and is therefore dependent on an educated and enlightened citizenry. “

We the citizens of Millinocket have every right to ask questions about MAGIC, as the organization is financed through public funds.

It is our right, and our duty to want to know where this money is going. It is our right to want and to demand truth and honesty from our elected officials.

It is our right to read the Magic City Morning Star, or not, as we please. It is the Anderson's right to publish and to print whatever they want about MAGIC and about town government, and to do so without being attacked by members of our town council.

It is our right not to buy the Katahdin Press, or any other newspaper that we don’t want to read.

Thanks to Thomas Jefferson and to the Founding Fathers, we have rights as citizen of this nation. We live in a democratic republic and, like the French, we fought a Revolution to be able to say no to a King or to Royalty.

Shouldn't we have that right in Millinocket?


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