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2012 Year in Review

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Allen's Picks

Dana White

Not only was this my favorite interview of 2012, it was one of the biggest I've ever gotten. Dana White is the head honcho of UFC, the world's preeminent mixed martial arts organization. He's a passionate proponent for his sport and a shrewd businessman not to mention a really nice guy.

Mr. White also has a Maine connection, so when the opportunity to sit down with him came along, I jumped on it. In a small-town diner/convenience store, I was privileged to listen to the face of UFC talk about all aspects of his exponentially-growing sport. We talked about recent events, about the business side of the operations, about fighter health I even got his to discuss his all-time favorite fighters and fights.

Over the course of my career here at The Maine Edge, I've had the opportunity to speak to personal idols and people who are giants in their respective fields. Interviewing Dana White takes its place alongside the very best of those experiences.

Johnny Baseball

In my time as a theatre critic, I have had the opportunity to review a few new works. However, none of them were quite as personally resonant as 'Johnny Baseball,' the Red Sox-themed musical that graced the stage at the University of Maine's Summer Music Theatre Festival in August.

As someone who is passionate both about the theatre and the Boston Red Sox, it was a thrill to get a chance to talk to Richard Dresser, the playwright who brought the tale of the mythical Johnny Baseball to life. Getting to talk to Dresser as well as Tom Mikotowicz, the production's director gave me an opportunity to peek behind the curtain and get a sense of what it takes to bring such an ambitious project to life.

Baseball and the arts two great tastes that taste great together.

A Morning in the Life

For the past year-plus, one of my duties here at the Edge has been a weekly appearance on the Fox morning news. It has been a great opportunity to preview each week's edition. As these appearances went on, I became more and more fascinated by the work and dedication it takes to put a morning show on the air each day.

So I approached Nicole Gerber and Clay Gordon, co-anchors extraordinaire, with a request let me have a look behind the scenes one morning. They were gracious enough to agree, so one morning I joined them in their preparation. The amount of time and effort expended is far more than you would guess the pair make it look effortless on-screen and it was a lot of fun to get their perspective on what they do and why they do it.

A morning show is like a duck everything looks smooth on the surface, but just out of sight, a whole lot of work is being done to ensure that very smoothness. It was an enlightening experience.

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Of course, there were a lot more great experiences in 2012. I covered the 15th annual incarnation of the Maine International Film Festival and the eighth year of the Camden International Film Festival. I visited the natural wonder that is New Brunswick's Hopewell Rocks and went curling for the first time. I composed odes to both beer and baseball's spring training. And there was the April Fools edition, perhaps my favorite edition of the year 2012's version saw stories about mythical mergers, competitive eating rivalries and of course, the TME 2012 Symposium on 2012: A Meeting of the Mayan Minds.

The year 2012 is going into the books looks like it was a good one. And now that it turns out that there will in fact be a 2013, there will be more coverage and conversations to come.

Katy's Picks

Twenty-five Years of Maskers

We're incredibly lucky to have a plethora of performing arts in the area. The Belfast Maskers have been bringing incredible live shows, Theatre Camp and workshops, as well as an opportunity for community members to become involved in a great art of theatre either on stage or behind the scenes for 25 years. And they plan to keep on going.

It was incredibly fun and moving to be able to talk to those people involved in bringing and maintaining such wonderful works to the area. The actors involved were incredibly dedicated often working full-time jobs, juggling family responsibilities and still finding time to rehearse.

Two awesome guys, one awesome show

This was a bittersweet moment, not only for me but for all fans of the Mike and Mike Show. Kiss 94.5's dynamic morning duo decided to end their tandem career on a high note. Though many people were sad that the pair had decided to end their show, they were comforted by the knowledge that the Mikes weren't gone from the radio, just following new paths on different stations.

Being able to be in the studio during their final week was awesome, hilarious and sad. They make such a great team and have done amazing things for charities and the community in the time they were together. Though everyone here at the Edge knows that both Mikes will do well for themselves in their endeavors they already are. You can catch the interview in its entirety on our website.

Fifteen years of serious fun

In the spirit of anniversaries, it was a privilege to write a story about the 15th anniversary of Three Rivers Whitewater Rafting (the home of serious fun). For several years, I was able to pose as the Adventure Guru for our annual Jump and Raft contest, where lucky winners could enter a chance to win a rafting trip with me, or a skydiving jump with Pat Shaw (apparently I get vertigo after the parachute opens).

Every year I have the best time I've ever had with the Three Rivers crew. And it was nice to get a chance to chat with other people who have had similar experiences and become part of the Three Rivers family. Our contest winners always have a great time and so do I. Now that the kids are a little older, I'm hoping to kick-start the contest again for 2013. Thank goodness the world didn't end.

Edge Mom

It's no secret that after having triplets, everything changed for me. I took on more of an administrative role in The Maine Edge, still writing stories, but also focusing more on managing the flow of columnists, interns and freelancers. Being a mom is fun, it's also gross, hilarious, scary, awesome and insane. It's been fun sharing the learning process.

Some of my favorites are my invention of the 'Five Minute' system that rewards my husband and I for doing chores with five minutes of internet or video game time.

'Watch your mouth' was about trying to clean up my potty mouth before the kids picked up on what I was saying. The contents of the swear jar will be divvied up between their piggybanks this Christmas.

And finally, the story about how awesome my husband is for helping me through this crazy-awsomeness for our Father's Day edition (http://www.themaineedge.com/livin/edge-staff-mom/happy-fathers-day). He still rules and probably always will.

Jodi's Picks

Maine's 'Holy Walkamoles'

This story ran in April of 2012, and profiled a group of women from Eddington called the 'Holy Walkamoles' (pronounced: walk-a-mole-ees). Bobbi-Jo Macomber, Arinn Goody, Mandie Sawyer and Samantha Hammond, many of whom have small children, are spending their weekends walking 11 to 12 miles a day. That's because these women were training for the 39 mile trek in Boston during the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer on May 19 and 20 of 2012.

Plus-size model to show off curves on NYC runway

This was a popular story about the 26-year-old Canaan woman who participated in the Full Figured Fashion Week in New York City, modeling plus-size fashions for designers like Lane Bryant, Bloomingdales and Kmart on June 13-16.

Exeter farm creates cow power'

Farming may be considered a traditional or old-fashioned way of making a living in Maine, but one farm in Exeter is proving just how modern farming has become. Stonyvale farm, which is less than a 45 minute drive from Bangor, is the first of its kind in the state to come up with a way to turn waste and manure into heat and electricity.

Favorites from our favorites

Our newspaper is only as good as our readers and contributors. We have some excellent content from excellent members of the community which really broadens the scope of what The Maine Edge is able to offer our audience. Since we're tight on space, we're offering a teaser. You can read the full column on our website.

Anne Powelson, The Money Edge

Anne has been with the Edge from the very beginning, helping people navigate the choppy waters of tax law with her monthly Money Edge column. Her favorite column was 'Got Student Loans? Don't miss this credit!'

Student loans keep showing up in headlines, from the complaints from various 'Occupy' groups to announcements that cumulative student loan debt has reached one trillion dollars. The Institute for College Access & Success estimates that two thirds of graduates have student loans. Maine's class of 2010 carries an average student loan debt of $29,983. All of which makes the Maine Opportunity Credit more attractive than ever.

What is the Maine Opportunity Credit? Maine Opportunity Credit is a credit on your Maine return, reimbursing you for student loan payments made. That's right, reimbursement of the entire student loan payment, not just the interest.

Cintia MirandaThe Marketing Edge

Cintia has been offering local marketing expertise for 18 months with The Maine Edge. Her pick for a favoorte was 'Making the Most of your mobile website' which ran on Oct. 24. http://www.themaineedge.com/biz/the-marketing-edge/making-the-most-of-your-mobile-website It is impossible to deny the continuing growth of mobile computing. Nowadays, more and more people rely exclusively on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices to browse the web, shop online and stay in touch. I asked my colleague Ian Marquis, creative director at Pulse Marketing Agency, to give some tips to help you ensure that your company's mobile website puts its best foot forward:

Automatically detect mobile devicesOne of the fundamentals of web design is to make things easy for your visitors. What is the point of creating a separate mobile site if users need to hunt for a link or remember a particular URL in order to see it? Configure your website so that it can tell when a visitor is using a mobile device and direct them automatically to your mobile site. Another option is to make your primary website responsive so that it displays optimally on every device regardless of screen size. With either approach, the takeaway is the same: Give your visitor the best experience possible.

Aaron Waitevideo game enthusiast and cool guy

Aaron Waite is a new contributor and has been offering a unique perspective on the gaming industry on a weekly basis. Though many of his columns are funny and insightful, his favorite was the overview of Skyrim Modifications that are available for Bethesda's 'Skyrim' the fifth installment of the Elderscrolls series.

Adding to the Elder Scrolls

If you're like me, you're a little late to the 'Skyrim' PC wagon. I got the game at launch on the 360 and ended up with roughly 110 hours of shouting at dragons and bandits and mudcrabs and just about anything you could yell at in a draconic tongue. There may have been some swords and spells in there as well, but I was too busy shouting at everyone I met to pay much attention. Giant? SHOUT! Sabre tiger? SHOUT! Mammoth cheese? FUS RO MOTHERTRUCKING DAH!I liked that bit of the game, if you couldn't tell.But eventually, I grew tired of shouting (actually, the guards made me stop doing it in town, so it wasn't fun anymore), and longed for new quests, areas and weapons to fill the void that shouting left.

As if in answer to my bemoaning, lo and behold, there was a Steam sale that cut the price on 'Skyrim' and its expansion. Leaping at the opportunity, I snarfed it up like a leftover Thanksgiving sammich. I gorged myself on mods upon mods upon mods until I passed out. When I awoke the next morning from my night of modding debauchery, I dragged myself to my computer and checked my number of Steam Workshop subscriptions. Seventy. Dear Xenu, Spaghetti Monster and Cthulhu, what had I done?

Emily Morrisonmom, teacher, wicked awesome woman

Emily joined our troupe of writers earlier this year, wowing us with her wit and writing style. She makes a great addition to our ensemble. Her pick was 'Powerless.'

Two days after the big storm, we woke up without power. My husband had an early morning meeting and left the house at the crack of dawn. Naturally, his morning wake-up call never rang through, my cell phone just so happened to be dead, and my alarm did not go off. Ten minutes to 7, the light from the skylight slowly filtered into the room. While my eyes adjusted to the brightness, a vague uneasiness set in. It was too bright.

I flung the blankets back, ran downstairs and checked the wall clock. Thank the Lord for good ol' fashioned wall clocks. I couldn't read the time. No lights. I ran upstairs, grabbed my laptop and shined my screen at the wall: 6:52. I needed to shower, wake three children, dress three children, feed three children, pack one lunch and one snack, get their outdoor gear on, and head out the door in 38 minutes. Oh, and I had to throw myself in a burlap sack.

Marion Syverson, The Money Edge

Marion Syversen is another long-time columnist who helps people navigate the choppy waters of financial planning, all the while making it seem less terrifying and somehow adorable. She chose an article that ran back in March from The Money Edge.

We don't need a leprechaun when we have a plan!

Kiss me, I'm half Irish. But that doesn't mean I'm counting on luck for my financial future.

I'm also not waiting for my ship to come in. Nor am I planning on winning the lottery, though it could happen. I don't need luck because I have a plan for my money! And, no kidding (say I with shoulders back and hands firmly on hips), having a money plan makes one powerful and awesome.

Since there is no absolute certainty in much of this earthly future, all my planning is based on assumed expectations. But none of my expectations is based on winning the lottery.

So, how can you be powerful and awesome and have your very own financial plan?

1.) Determine your goal. Why do you work? What is the goal of making money? I assume you're in this for more than snacks and a hovel? You want something more, something rich and beautiful out of life, right? Of course, many of the things that make life rich and beautiful have very little to do with money. So, what money goals do you have?

If you presently have no financial plan, may I suggest that you begin with long-term goals first. For instance, perhaps you'd like to retire at age___(fill in the blank). Maybe that means an amount of savings, or maybe you envision a particular age. (As the past years of market volatility have shown, an exact age may need some finessing as real life may unexpectedly alter things.)

Last modified on Sunday, 30 December 2012 13:45

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