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I don't know about you ... 

…but lately, the news has felt exhausting. And this year, for a lot of Americans, Fourth of July celebrations have taken a different tone.

What does it mean to be American when it feels like there are such stark divisions in our country? A PBS News segment touched on this sentiment, asking Americans how they view their country right now. As one put it: “America is an argument.” We’re continuously wrestling with tensions that the founding of our country laid out. Continuously trying to improve.

As a journalist, I try to remember that criticism is a form of optimism. At the core of criticism – and journalism – is identifying and acknowledging where we have fallen short, but also having the optimism that there can be something better.

So, I’ll leave you with that, in addition to a smattering of public media stories: some might make you angry or sad, while others might make you think or smile. And some just might give you a little bit of optimism.  

And in case you were wondering, Mark will be back at the helm of this newsletter next week.

Until next time,



Esta Pratt-Kielley, Digital News Reporter

Maine Public: 'Why not here?' Columbia Falls weighs plans for world's largest flagpole

Wreaths Across America Founder Morrill Worcester and his sons want to build the world's tallest flagpole and a multi-billion-dollar veterans memorial park, which they say will attract millions of visitors from across the country — not to Washington, D.C., but to the remote Washington County town of Columbia Falls.

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Maine Public: Maine is the oldest state, yet the only one getting younger

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WBUR: This biologist eavesdropped on humpback whales for decades. What he heard helped save the species

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Maine Public: Groups challenge sustainability label for Maine lobster over danger to right whales

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PBS NewsHour: How Americans view their country and identity this July 4th

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Maine Public: Mills prohibits agencies from participating in anti-abortion probes launched in other states

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WBUR: How planting 1,000 wildflowers could restore a biodiversity hotspot on Martha's Vineyard

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BBC Future: Is the world facing a pollen crisis with growing heatwaves?

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NPR: The first Gen Z candidates are running for Congress nationwide — and running against compromise

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NPR: Brittney Griner pleads guilty to drug charges in Russia as pressure mounts to bring her home

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We are celebrating the love of music all this July by bringing back a favorite audio series, Music That Moves ME, with a Maine Public 60th Anniversary twist!  

We decided to go back into our Music That Moves ME archives and replay some of the more memorable musical memories that our audience submitted and we produced.  You can hear all of them HERE. At that link, check out our newest favorite, Jack Rhodes's "Mairzy Doats." Maine Public’s celebration of our 60th anniversary of telling Maine’s story is made possible through the support of Birchbrook and Maine Credit Unions.


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