Over the years I've noticed some AMGers are very good writers. That is, they excel at developing ideas through the written word. So, I asked a handful of these AMGers to consider writing regular columns for AMG. To my delight, everyone I asked said, yes.
They are (in alphabetical order): Ken Anderson, Michelle Anderson, Andrew Ian Dodge, Bob Emrich, John Frary, Mike Lange, Hon. Ken Lindell, Butch Moore, Scarlet Pimpernel, Matt Schaeffer, Mike Travers.
My purpose is to offer these AMGers room to write and a spotlight so more of Maine can get to know them as I've come to know them. AMG's columnists are asked to write "regularly," but that can be weekly, biweekly, monthly "” it's up to the columnists. As soon as each new column is posted I will provide a link to the column on AMG's home page. As one new column replaces another, I will move the old columns into a new AMG Columnist archive.
Some note on columnists' format. Three AMG columnists have their own blogs. They will be posting their column intros on AMG with links to their full columns on their own blogs. One columnist will be posting his columns here after they've been published in local newspapers. And I've given each columnist this choice: They can post columns "unlocked," which enables registered AMGers to reply to the columnist the same as any other thread. Or columns can be "locked" in which people can reply to the columnist by PM (registered AMGers only) or by email.
Also, columnists can write under their own names or pen names.
I've asked each columnist, if they want, to provide for this announcement a short bio and an intro to their column. I'll add them here as they arrive. Some are here already and I'll get right on them.
In closing, if you'd like to write an AMG column please drop me a PM or an email.
My sincere thank you to AMG's columnists! Here we go!
[b]Andrew Ian Dodge[/b]
Andrew Ian Dodge is a 39 year old, who recently married the English comedy actress Kim Benson, and divides his time between Maine & Enfield near London in the UK. He is an author, writer, consultant, lyricist and singer. His website is [url=http://www.andrewiandodge.com]Dodgeblogium[/url] and he writes for blogcritics.com as a music columnist (as Marty Dodge). He also contributes to several other websites on both sides of the Atlantic.
Education: Farmington H.S., University of Maine in Orono, Rutgers University and Princeton University. MA degree and PhD work in Byzantine History from Rutgers. Taught history and political science at Middlesex County College for 32 years. Associate editor of [i]The International Military Encyclopedia[/i] (eight volumes published, one in progress). Conservative columnist for the Central Maine Papers March-December 2005. A regular columnist for [i]The Franklin Journal[/i] and [i]Downeast Coastal Press[/i]. Guest columns have appeared in the [i]Bangor Daily News[/i], [i]Portland Press Herald[/i], [i]Brunswick Times-Record[/i] and [i]The Daily Bulldog[/i].
Professor Frary, having studied the ideas, sentiments and doctrines of the Left since he was six years old, can claim an unsurpassed mastery of the science of Flapdoodliology. He rejoices in a target-rich environment.
From Al Diamon's Media Mutt blog on the [i]Downeast[/i] magazine site: [i]Sure, there are occasional examples of quality journalism. [b]John Frary writes a biweekly column full of wit, insight and erudition for the Franklin Journal[/b].[/i]
Mike Lange is a semi-retired weekly newspaper editor who lives in St. Albans with his very patient wife, Ronda, and his semi-patient cat, Stanley. Some of his retirement occupations include free-lance writing and serving as secretary of the Skowhegan-Madison Elks Lodge and the Meridian Masonic Lodge of Pittsfield. He enjoys politics, auto racing, the Red Sox, Patriots and fighting weeds in his flower garden.
Ken Lindell lives in Frankfort, Maine with his wife Althea Lindell and three children: William (13), Thomas (10) and Sarah (7). He owns a small financial planning business in Belfast, Maine. He is a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist and a Certified Financial PlannerÂ® practitioner.
Ken was born in Paris France to American parents. His father was an international banker and his mother a homemaker. He grew up as an American in France, Belgium, Italy and Britain. Ken arrived in Maine in 1982 as a freshman at Bates College. Ever since graduating from Bates with a Political Science degree he has made his home in Maine with the exception of a two year stint taking a job in Vermont.
In 2004 Ken was elected to serve in the Maine House of Representatives, representing district 41. He sat on the insurance and financial services committee where he used his financial background and expertise to assist in drafting numerous bills concerning banking, securities regulation and insurance.
Ken distinguished himself in the legislature with 52 floor speeches during his first term, championing issues as diverse as health insurance reform, tax policy, health savings accounts, liquor laws, environmental issues, and civil liberties. At the end of the second session of the 122nd legislature, Ken was awarded the unofficial "St. Jude award" as the patron saint of lost causes. Although he did not win re-election to a second term, Ken Lindell remains politically active in the Waldo County Republican Committee and the Republican Liberty Caucus.
Butch Moore has been an AMG regular since 1999. He holds a B.A. in Biology and has been active in local conservation organizations, including the Pleasant River Fish & Game Conservation Association, the Downeast Salmon Federation and the Pleasant River Hatchery. He now runs [url=http://www.neoutdoorvoice.com/]The New England Outdoor Voice[/url] website, and writes a monthly column for [i]Outdoors Magazine[/i].
[url=http://www.matthewschaeffermaine.blogspot.com/]Matt Schaeffer's Blog[/url]
My name is Matt Schaeffer and I sit as a Selectman for the Town of Norridgewock where I reside with my wife and daughter. I'm a US Navy submarine veteran and very active in local politics as well volunteering in various coaching capacities in area sports programs. I am an avid fly fisherman, hunter, bass guitar player and have a deep love for American history and pure rock music.
My upcoming columns will vary in content from local fiscal issues with Somerset County to presidential races to my opinions of the turmoil of the U.S. and Middle East policies. I'll also try to give updates of local happenings or events to give you a break from what I call "political overload". As you will see in my first few columns, political overload can be encountered in many forms or outlets but combated with an equally powerful force right here at home in Maine. My goal is to show you ways to sift through the rhetoric that exist in today's media in hopes of finding the information you need to still want to contribute in the democratic process that is has made the United States of America the greatest country on the planet. So please enjoy the upcoming columns from the other writers as well as myself and be thankful that we are still allowed to use our voice.
[i]"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."[/i]
Mike Travers is a native Mainer, living in West Minot, who survived the perilous journey from liberal Democrat to conservative Republican. His beliefs are based on common sense and life experiences that are uniquely his, and consequently don't always adhere to the party line.
His career has been as a certified welder, rigger and high connecter in the construction trades as well as a 12-year stretch of selling sunrooms, and many side trips along the way. These experiences have helped to color his views.
His children are grown which allows him more time, but it also leaves an empty spot, which was once filled with their school plays, football, hockey, cheering, track, lacrosse, hunting and fishing. Mike now fills this void with writing, going to Lewiston Maineiacs games, and occasionally a bit of politics. Because his two youngest children are both active duty military, he keeps a close eye on how the government handles military issues.