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TO MASK OR NOT TO MASK — Is that really still a question, given all the evidence that as many as 100,000 lives could be saved between now and February if everyone were to wear a mask? I’m no scientist, but I certainly listen to them. A national mask mandate could do so much.

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CONWAY — Today marks what would have been the 77th birthday of my late oldest brother, decorated Army Silver Star-winning Vietnam helicopter pilot veteran and Country Ecology newspaper and radio columnist naturalist David L. Eastman of Tamworth.

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DWIGHT A. SMITH was not the sailor pictured kissing a dental assistant on V-J Day in that famous Alfred Eisenstaedt Times Square Life Magazine photo 75 years ago, but it could have been.

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TOP OF AUGUST to you and yours, which not only means it’s yours truly’s birthday today (8-1) and the start of vacation, but it also means it’s the height of summer and the best news for any true New Englander is the start of the fresh sweet native corn harvesting season.