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Synopses of Articles

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Local Voices, REM's community newspaper! This issue was originally posted in the summer of 2000, with a few articles added that fall. This issue was reposted in the summer of 2003, with outdated material removed. Unlike with subsequent issues of Local Voices, there was never a print edition.

The articles in this issue are organized according to REM's eight priorities, as established by 48 area citizens in a three-day community workshop in January 1996. Five of those priorities are represented among the articles presented here.

We welcome submissions from the community for future issues of Local Voices. To send us an article, please see our editorial policy and submission guidelines.

Vibrant Economy

Not-for-Profits Can Still Mean Business

Common Good encourages nonprofits to become more entrepreneurial.

Kudos to Fairfield, Maine!

Local residents are undertaking a variety of projects to improve their community and its economy.

Maine's Role in the Global Economy

Mid-Maine Meets the Global Economy  .  For an update on Maine's connection with this bucking bronco, read on.

How to Make Waterville the Friendliest Place to Shop

Dr. Martin Bressler, co-chair of REM's "Develop a Vibrant Economy" team, offers insight into the importance of customer service.

Letter from City Hall

Ron Singel, City Administrator, shares plans and goals to improve the quality of life in Waterville while expanding the tax base.

Endangered Species

Good employers and employees are alive and well in this region, but we need to support them now.

Downtown! Who Cares?

Local businessman John Picchiotti explains why we all should.

'Tis the Season:  Kringleville Past and Present

Local businessman John Picchiotti re-examines the ghost of Kringleville past and discovers renewal in Kringleville present . . .


The Roots of Apathy & How Schools Can Reduce Apathy

In this two-part column, retired teacher David Solmitz offers his thoughts on apathy, control and democratic schooling. The first part examines the roots of apathy in our society. The second part suggests how schools can reduce apathy by becoming more democratic. Given the election results in Florida, an especially interesting distinction between "contest" and "consensus" is described.

A Suggestion for the Schools

Former teacher John Wells argues in favor of local control and decision-making.

The Human Potential

The Value of Literacy

Can you read this? Seven thousand people in Waterville may not be able to do what you do. You see, nearly one in five adults cannot read very well or at all.

Arts & Entertainment

Talent Surrounds Us

A "Community Celebration of Arts and Culture" was held at The Center and the Waterville Opera House on February 2. The hallways and public spaces of The Center were covered with the work of both new and established artists and craftspeople from mid-Maine. Performing artists presented diverse works and guests brought and ate ethnic foods. The event also marked the official release of the 64-page arts directory.

Waterville Area Artists and Artisans Invited to Join New Arts Group

Find out more about this Waterville area network of artists and craftspeople who are dedicated to building community.

More Than 1000 People Attend Voices of Kennebec

Ethnic food, music, activities drew hundreds of people to the shores of the Kennebec River in Waterville on June 3 for the first annual Voices of the Kennebec Festival.

Community Building

What's REALLY Going On in Waterville?

If you only read the commercial press you might feel sorry for the 52,000 residents of Central Maine. Don't you believe it! REM has organized its 1,800-plus volunteers into more than 40 teams to tackle a broad array of civic renewal issues, from beautification to education to social justice to arts and entertainment.

Love It or Lose It

REM's Executive Director, Faye Nicholson, emphasizes the importance of consensual democracy in Mid-Maine.

Tools For Building Community

Practical new methods designed for local citizens are redefining what's possible in American communities.

Downtown Advisory Group Learns About Main Street Program

A group of 17 community and business leaders met at Colby College on Tuesday, May 2 to exchange updates on revitalization work currently underway in downtown Waterville and hear about the Main Street USA program.

Extra Features!

Tales Of A Traveling Cook: Costa Rican Ice Cream

Canaan, Maine's adventurous cook Margaret LeBlanc shares ice cream recipes from a hot climate. When not assisting cooks in exotic locations, Margaret travels in Central Maine, cooking for hire in private homes.

On Behalf of the Dogs: The Story of Mamma Dog

John Wells of the Waterville Humane Society writes about a special dog and her search for the right home.