Funny how things work. The week after I give my notice at the Reporter the biggest story since I’ve been in Berlin breaks, and I’m watching it as I sail away.
The deal to sell the Cascade mill fell through, according to Fraser, meaning 237 employees will almost certainly be laid off in the coming weeks. The paper mill isn’t the largest employer in the city, but many of these people have no other skills. If this mill stays closed it could add significant hardship to the region.
I was on NHPR today talking about it, giving some of the details about the events leading up to the closure. I’ve been trying to prepare for this possibility all week, including interviewing a historian on the paper industry just today to get a little more background. Tomorrow I may be on the Exchange on NHPR again talking about the closure.
It’s a little strange to be answering questions as I walk away from my full time job up there, but again I won’t be leaving the area. This event is important not to let go, not to ignore, because it is both a huge shift for Berlin/Gorham and the whole Androscoggin Valley and indicative of the struggles of industrial communities around the country. I’m going to be squeezing more into less time, but my telling the story of the North Country is far from over.