TRIBUTE TO ALAN BAKER AND EARL BRECHLIN; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 131
(Senate - August 02, 2017)

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[Page S4758]
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  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, in 2001, Maine's legendary Ellsworth 
American newspaper celebrated its 150th year by launching a new 
enterprise, the Mount Desert Islander, dedicated to covering every 
aspect of life in a place of extraordinary beauty. It is a pleasure to 
congratulate the two outstanding journalists who have guided the 
Islander since its inception, publisher Alan Baker and editor Earl 
Brechlin, for being recognized with the 2017 Sunbeam Award from the 
Maine Seacoast Mission.
  The recipient of numerous State and national awards for excellence, 
the Mount Desert Islander is a great example of the value provided by 
community newspapers. From Acadia National Park, local government, and 
businesses, to education, sports, and the arts, the Islander's 
dedicated staff writes the history of their communities as it occurs. 
They keep people informed and help them be more involved as citizens. 
They follow State and national issues, always with an eye on how they 
affect their neighbors.
  This dedication starts with committed leadership. After achieving 
success in journalism and publishing in Philadelphia and New York City, 
Alan Baker returned home to Maine and, in 1986, joined the Ellsworth 
American's management team, eventually purchasing the newspaper. In 
this age of media consolidation, Mr. Baker strongly believes that 
newspapers should be owned by individuals who are in touch daily with 
the readers they serve. As a former member of the Maine State 
Legislature, he is an effective voice for accountability and 
transparency in all levels of government.
  A former ``Maine Journalist of the Year,'' Earl Brechlin has covered 
Mount Desert Island for more than 35 years, and he has been recognized 
with more than 100 awards for news, feature writing, and photography. 
His commitment to journalism is evident in his election as president of 
both the Maine and New England press associations. A Registered Maine 
Guide, Mr. Brechlin is the author of nine books that reflect his love 
for our State's natural beauty, history, and character.
  The Maine Seacoast Mission is a nondenominational, nonprofit 
organization founded in 1905 to support island and coastal communities 
in Downeast Maine, and its boat, the Sunbeam V, helps to connect people 
in those communities with essential services and with each other. 
Through their dedication to the craft of journalism, Alan Baker and 
Earl Brechlin have strengthened that support and those community 
connections, and the Sunbeam Award is a fitting recognition of their 
many contributions.