Down East 2013 ©
Born on the Fourth of July: Independence Day will mark the official launch of the Maine Observer , a Web site that claims it will be “a comprehensive online news source for the state of Maine.”
Depends on your definition of “comprehensive,” I guess.
The site appears to consist of three blogs, on business and the economy; technology, journalism and the media; and politics. So far, the postings have been on the bland side (particularly for bloggers) with straightforward reports on federal regulation of the Internet , unity rallies by gubernatorial candidates , and housing defaults. But perhaps the content will get more adventurous once the site is out of beta.
The Observer’s staff consists of Dan MacLeod, executive editor of the University of Southern Maine student newspaper, the Free Press; William Davis, a copy editor at the Kennebec Journal; and Mario Carmine Moretto, who edits copy at the Bangor Daily News.
(Props to Mike Tipping  for first spotting this site, which appears to have been operating since mid-May.)
Better late than never: For some time, several veteran members of the Maine media – including columnist George Smith , former columnist Jim Brunelle, and me – have been lobbying the Maine Press Association about a significant oversight in its hall-of-fame selections.
The hall has never admitted Bill Clark , the author of several books and the “Some Logrollin’” column that ran for decades in the Morning Sentinel, Kennebec Journal and Portland Press Herald, until Clark’s death in 1988.
That slight was corrected on June 21, when the MPA’s hall-of-fame nominating committee finally selected Clark. He’ll be formally inducted at the association’s fall meeting in September.
Here’s hoping this recognition will inspire some enterprising publisher to reissue some of Clark’s books, particularly the ones dealing with the fictional town of Cedar River. They offered a witty and moving look at all that’s been lost as rural Maine shifted reluctantly into the 20th century – about fifty years after the rest of the country.
Like Clark, that time shouldn’t be forgotten.
Tropical connection: Oddly enough, Northern Maine Broadcasting Inc., soon to be the new owner of radio station WEGP in Presque Isle (1390 AM), isn’t a Maine company at all. According to North East Radio Watch , the corporation and its owner, Gregory McNeil, are both based in Trinidad and Tobago. McNeil, an American citizen, is buying the talk station from Decelles-Smith Media, which purchased it in 2000. The selling price is $220,000, with about $150,000 of it being financed by Decelles-Smith over the next 10 years. In addition, McNeil has an option until the end of January to buy the station’s studio for $45,000.
McNeil also has a clause in the contract that allows him to back out of the deal if Premier Radio Networks, which syndicates the Rush Limbaugh show and other talk radio staples, refuses to sign a new contract keeping those shows on WEGP.
Cut off: The early edition of the Lewiston Sun Journal of June 18 was a mess. Readers in Franklin County found that two major stories on its front page, including staff writer Rebekah Metzler’s scoop on the Maine congressional delegation’s wealth , were supposed to be jumped to page A6. But when they turned to that page, they instead found a Portland Press Herald article about a murder trial, a piece that also showed up on page B2 in truncated form.
The problem was fixed in later editions.
That sort of mix-up would have been somewhat excusable if the Sun Journal had acknowledged the mistake the next day and provided the dropped copy in its Franklin edition. But it didn’t. And still hasn’t.
And they wonder why circulation keeps declining.
Story? What story? Considering all the coverage last year of Michael Heath’s departure as executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine, you might expect a little more attention would have been paid to the hiring of his replacement than a single article in a small weekly paper. 
Congrats to ex-Morning Sentinel reporter Larry Grard  on the scoop. Was everybody else asleep?
Al Diamon can be e-mailed at email@example.com .