Editor's Desk - The Changing Times in Calais, Maine

“Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change,” wrote author Thomas Hardy. In Calais, Maine, change has been a constant companion to the community since its inception in 1809, and the modern era is no different. With very little extrapolation we can glean the nature of what may be ahead of us.

Some projected changes may be hard to hear at first, depending on your point of view. Talks about consolidating Calais and Baileyville into one high school are continuing this month, raising the ire of sports fans but gleaning support from those who emphasize improved access to resources for students. The future of snowmobiling in the state is being drawn into question as erratic thawing and weather patterns continually endanger the state’s 14,000 mile-trail system, reinforcing data from 1955 that indicates there are now 22 days less of snow coverage on average per year.

Other changes reflect the benefits of technology and how, even with limited resources, rural areas can continue to thrive. Televised high school sports games and events were once the luxury of better-populated school districts, but an effort is now in the works – led by student Shane DelMonaco – to stream said events live to the community and beyond. At Calais Regional Hospital, the challenges of attracting specialists to a rural area are being circumvented through telemedicine, with options of telepsychiatry and telecardiology among those being focused.

Calais has changed dramatically over the past two centuries, and all indicators promise that it will continue to do so. Whatever developments come along, however, the community as a whole is what always remains.

 

Lura Jackson