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An epidemic of fake news

“Fake News” is a term that has been increasingly used in recent years to refer to misleading and incorrect information that is being presented as if it were news. Having reliable news sources is extremely important in building public trust.

In recent weeks we have seen what years of spreading false information as if it were true can result in, such as an attack on the Capitol, as well as the complete disregard for scientifically proven facts about the current virus running rampant throughout the country. This is extremely concerning because today we have access to a wide range of information through the internet and for many it can be challenging to decipher what is true and what is not especially when many pass off false information as fact.

With many different websites available at the touch of a button, some containing content that is factual while others only pretending to be, it’s important that we find a secure way for people to know what is real and what is not. Building trust between reliable news sources and the public is necessary because some current events potentially could have been prevented. We have seen false information proven wrong to the public over and over again. Yet, we still find people refusing to accept facts and continuing to spread truly false news.

Julianne Llerena


What has Collins learned?

Susan Collins believes in learning lessons. What did she learn on Jan. 6?

She did call the mob insurrectionists. She did say Donald Trump had a direct role in their violence. That is important.

Then she said she is proud that Congress rallied and continued their work.”There was no way I was going to let these thugs succeed in their attempt to disrupt the constitutional process and undermine our democracy.”

Didn’t Republican members of Congress continue to perpetuate the very lie that brought the mob to Washington by refusing to give up their challenge of the election results? Where was her outrage for their complicity with the insurrectionists by forcing a debate on a false premise? Why did she not call out Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley for validating the anger of the mob even after the mob stormed the capitol? She acknowledges the president’s claims of fraud had been debunked. It seems she gave these men a pass.

Susan Collins, filled with pride that the “thugs had not undermined democracy” said nothing about the “thugs” in both houses of Congress giving oxygen to the insurrectionists. If Donald Trump is the gas on the flames, they are the kindling. They must be held accountable.

The revolt by the mob is not over. More events are being planned. What will Collins do this time? Hold truth to power or just be sure not to wear heels to an insurrection?

Jo Trafford


It’s OK to not be OK

Hopefully you have heard about Maine Frontline Warmline. It is a phone support service (with texting capability) that provides help in managing stress related to the COVID-19 epidemic to Maine’s health care workers, first responders, school staff and any essential workers, such as long-term care, hospital housekeeping and home care staff who have potential contact with COVID-infected people. Family members of frontline personnel are also affected and invited to call.

The volunteers help callers address concerns with anxiety, irritability, poor sleep, grief or worry and promote the use or development of helpful coping strategies. They may also connect callers with other resources, if needed. The Frontline Warmline is staffed by volunteers and professionals trained in Psychological First Aid. As Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said, “It’s OK to not be OK. Please reach out, talk to someone, get support.”

For this free and confidential service, call 207-221-8196 or text “Frontline” to 898-211

7 days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Elaine Piecuch