1. ‘Hungry Now’ documentary will have local premiere this Friday at UMM

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    You won’t hear documentary filmmaker Alan Kryszak’s voice in his fifth film, “Hungry Now”, which will have its regional premiere at UMaine Machias at 7 p.m. this Friday, Dec. 2. Instead, audiences will hear directly from the film’s subjects — people talking about or living with poverty, hunger, and homelessness, like Suzie, an adult student at UMaine Machias.

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  2. Medical office opens in Jonesport

    by Nancy Beal 

    For about a month, folks in the extended Moosabec area have had a new option when seeking medical treatment. At the end of October, BreAnna Libby opened Moosabec Medical Family Practice in Jonesport, across Main Street from the Jonesport Shipyard, in the little building behind the original (now vacant) Moosabec Video structure that once housed the school superintendent’s office.

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  3. County says no to four deputies, approves one deputy citing rising cost of everything

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The Washington County Sheriff’s Office will hire one new deputy in 2023, not four, as requested by Sheriff Barry Curtis, following a vigorous debate and a 5 to 3 vote from the county budget advisory committee (BAC) on Monday, Nov. 21. 

    With the additional deputy, the 2022-23 county budget will total $13,429,218.50 (including just over $3 million in restricted federal ARPA funds), an expenditure increase of $962,343 over the prior year, and a net increase to taxation of $674,902.27, or 10.24 percent. 

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  4. Washington Academy detects unsafe levels of PFAS in school water supply

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    This month, Washington Academy Head of School Judson McBrine notified students and parents that the school’s water supply has tested above safe limits for Per-and Polyfluorinated Substances, known more commonly as PFAS or “Forever Chemicals.”

    “Today [Nov. 17] we received water test results that showed that we had 21.9 parts PFAS per trillion parts water, which is above the state’s threshold of 20 parts per trillion,” wrote McBrine. “The federal threshold is 70 parts per trillion.”

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  5. How you can reduce your PFAS body burden

    by Marina Schauffler, Maine Monitor

    Limiting new sources of exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) can gradually lower your accumulated chemical load, aptly known as your body burden. PFAS compounds can linger in bodies for decades, with concentrations in blood plasma taking up to eight years to decline by half. Growing scientific evidence suggests that even low levels of PFAS can disrupt hormonal, immune, and reproductive systems and can increase the risk of various cancers. 

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  6. Mill workers prepare to strike if agreement cannot be reached, Union says

    USW Local 27 members at Woodland Pulp are on the verge of a “strike vote,” according to a press release from a spokesperson at Maine AFL-CIO on Thursday, November 17. 

    The workers are “demanding that the company present a contract offer that provides high enough wage increases to keep up with the cost of living.”  

    Union members are scheduled to take a vote on whether to strike or accept the company’s final offer after their bargaining session with the company on Monday, November 28.

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  7. Game Theory Rx: Tit for Tat

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    Elections have Consequences- Barack Obama

    The House Republican majority is slim and potentially fragile. The surest way to assure that it will not last long is to heed the advice of Democrats and moderates and not respond to the ruthless partisan hackery of the past four years in kind. To do otherwise will assure that Democrats will repeat the behavior in the future. The GOP House majority should:

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  8. KinderArts Party offered Dec. 8 at EAC

    Eastport Arts Center will offer a special session of KinderArts featuring music and crafts on Thursday, December 8 from 10-11 a.m. Children up to age 4 are invited to attend, with a parent or caregiver. Popular EAC instructors Caroline Coleman and Sue Riddle will lead the activities, which will include Riddle’s toddler paint craft, and Coleman’s irresistible children’s yoga and music. The morning will conclude with snacks and free play.

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  9. Roque Bluffs Turkey Trot 2022 recap

    by Amy Dowley

    Reporting out on another successful Roque Bluffs Turkey Trot. Thirty-four participants strong, we raised $600 towards the Roque Bluffs Education Fund, which gives $500 to every Roque Bluffs student upon their high school graduation.

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  10. The Nature of Phenology: Bruce spanworm moth

    by Joseph Horn

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  11. Maine driver’s licenses won’t fly starting in May 2023

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Maine driver’s licenses will still suffice if you want to drive, cash checks, or rent a car, among other ordinary daily uses, after May of next year. But if you're going to fly or enter a secure federal facility, a standard driver’s license won’t cut it starting May 3, 2023. For that, you’ll need a REAL ID or a U.S. passport.

    Maine began issuing REAL IDs in 2019 to comply with a new federal law. This year, the federal government announced it would begin enforcing use of the REAL ID starting next spring.

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  12. House fire in Jonesport

    by Nancy Beal 

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  13. Machias PD asks public’s help with Bad Little Falls Park vandalism

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A power meter recently stolen from Bad Little Falls Park in Machias is just one in a string of vandalism acts that prompted Machias Police Chief Keith Mercier to ask for the public’s help.

    “Over the summer months, the Machias Police Department investigated a handful of criminal mischief incidents at Bad Little Falls Park. These incidents took place in the overnight hours,” wrote Mercier. 

    The park is supposed to be closed from sunset to sunrise, said Mercier.

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  14. JBHS picks Carver-Kenney to coach girls' varsity basketball

    by Nancy Beal 

    After enduring a barrage of opposition to its agenda-listed choice for girls' varsity basketball coach on Nov. 9 and hearing strong backing for Kristi Carver-Kenney instead, the Jonesport-Beals High School board tabled action on the position hire that night (see MVNO, Nov. 16). Five days later, a subcommittee of three board members (Adam Merchant, Clifford Norton III, and Rebecca Stanwood) met with Superintendent Lewis Collins and athletic director Mitchell Worcester to review the recommendation.

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  15. Thanksgiving

    by Jonathan Reisman

    Bitter cynicism is a recipe for heartburn and despair. It is not a healthy state of being, and I have been struggling to find a more positive state of mind in the wake of a very disappointing election for Maine and the nation. It also makes it hard to write a Thanksgiving column, but here goes-

    Family and Homestead

    I am grateful that my elder son and his partner have returned to Maine. 

    I am grateful that my younger son is fighting for his beliefs in the swamp.

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  16. Three-town tour planned for Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony Orchestra

    The Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony Orchestra (PBSO) is delighted to announce its three upcoming fall performances: Friday, December 2 at 7 p.m. at the Eastport Arts Center in Eastport; Saturday, December 3 at 3 p.m. at the Centre Street Congregational Church in Machias; and Sunday, December 4 at 2 p.m. at Sunrise Opportunities (formerly Calais Congregational Church) in Calais.

    The program includes Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.1, “Winter Daydreams”, and “The Enchanted Isle,” a colorful suite by American composer Ernst Bacon. The suite, based on Shakespeare’s The

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  17. Local documentary, ‘Hungry Now’ to have regional premiere at UMM Friday, Dec. 2

    Following its television premiere on Maine Public Television on Thanksgiving night (9 p.m.), the locally filmed and produced documentary Hungry Now will have its regional premiere at the University of Maine at Machias Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2.

    “Hungry Now” brings you direct voices of “the hungry, the homeless, and the helpers” in a series of interviews with kids and adults who seem to walk their whole lives uphill in a nation of wealth and promise. The film aligns with “Voices From the Barrens” in UMaine’s “Right to Food” film series. 

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  18. WA senior wins Chinese language award

    Seth Wilcox, a senior at Washington Academy, won the Excellent Chinese Learner award in a Chinese speech performance at the 2022 Maine Chinese Conference at Husson University in Bangor. 

    The two-day conference was presented by The Chinese Language and Culture Center of Maine and Bangor Chinese School in collaboration with The Maine Department of Education, the University of Maine, and the City of Bangor on October 28 and 29.  The topics of the conference included Chinese education and culture.

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  19. The Nature of Phenology: Phenology scavenger hunt

    by  Hazel Stark

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  20. Maine State Police investigate home invasion and homicide in Cherryfield

    Early on Friday, Nov. 18, the Maine State Police reported a "suspicious incident" taking place in Cherryfield on Thursday, Nov. 17.

    They have now declared that incident to be a homicide which was discovered after the Washington County Sheriff's Office responded to a 9:17 p.m. call reporting a home invasion at Tenan Lane in Cherryfield.

    When deputies arrived they found 36-year-old Matthew Adams of Whitneyville* deceased. His body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Augusta where an autopsy was performed today, and his death was ruled a homicide.

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  21. State Police report 'suspicious incident' in Cherryfield

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The Maine State Police this morning report that the Washington County Sheriff's Office was called to a "suspicious" incident in Cherryfield at 9:17 p.m. last night, Thursday, Nov. 17.

    "Maine State Police detectives from Major Crimes Unit North were called to assist. Police do not believe there is an ongoing public safety risk," said MSP Communications Director Shannon Moss.

    This story will be updated as more information is available.

     

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  22. Democrats hold on to Augusta, but majority votes red Downeast

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    All but one member of central and eastern Washington County’s Augusta delegation will be a Republican, following the midterm elections held Tuesday, Nov. 8.

    Anne Perry, a longtime Democratic representative from Calais, narrowly defeated Republican challenger John Chambers, with 51.52 percent of the vote. Following last year’s redistricting, in January, Perry will represent the new House District 9, which stretches from Eastport to Grand Lake Stream along the county’s eastern edge. 

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  23. J-BHS girls' varsity basketball coaching position contested

    by Nancy Beal 

    The agenda of the Nov. 9 meeting of the school board that governs Jonesport-Beals High School listed recommendations for winter coaches, including names. The one for varsity girls’ basketball brought out several members of the team and their supporters, who were not happy with the choice.

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  24. As new DA, Granger talks priorities, including record county case backlog

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Bob Granger is ready to catch his breath. He’s spent the past five months on the campaign trail while continuing his work with Acadia Law Group in Ellsworth. Those efforts paid off and Granger, an Independent, won the Nov. 8 election for District Attorney of Prosecutorial District  7, defeating two-term Republican incumbent Matt Foster with a 3-point lead. 

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  25. Sheriff asks for four more deputies; county weighs whether it can afford them

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon 

    Responding to an increase in violent crime and a reduction in local state police coverage, Washington County Sheriff Barry Curtis has asked the county to fund the hiring of four additional patrol deputies, a budget increase of almost $700,000, including equipment and cars. 

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  26. Housing shortage leaves some residents scrambling

    by Joyce Kryszak , Maine Monitor

    Although the pandemic boosted the population of rural Down East Maine, the sudden rush of new residents sent Washington County’s already dire housing shortage spiraling, with much of the available housing stock scooped up.

    Worse still, the scarcity of homes in Maine’s second-poorest county — where the poverty rate hovers around 20 percent, and the median household income is less than $45,000 — puts the neediest residents at a huge disadvantage in the scramble to find homes.

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  27. Downeast towns experienced ‘wicked’ voter turnout

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon 

    It’s election day afternoon in Machiasport, and voters are lined up in the short town office hallway waiting for their turn at the three-person voting booth. Machiasport’s old wooden ballot box has already been called into service once because the new ballot scanner wasn’t working. But it’s up and running now, and town clerk Marcia Hayward is glad. With it, she’ll be able to head home around 9:30 tonight.

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  28. Eclipse election: red ripples and a western moonset

    by Jonathan Reisman

    I got up early Election Day to watch the lunar eclipse. We were promised a blood-red moon amidst clear skies. It was clear, but all I saw was a dark blotch across the moon as it disappeared over the western horizon. The sun came up over a frosty morning. I should have recognized it as a foreshadowing of eclipsed hopes, a red mirage and a botched Arizona election, discouragingly long lines, and disturbingly convenient snafus, at least for the Democratic Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate who was in charge.

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  29. Floats wanted for Machias Christmas Parade of Lights set for Dec. 3

    Machias Bay Area Chamber of Commerce will kick off Way Downeast Christmas with a visit from Santa Clause and a Machias Christmas Parade of Lights on Saturday, Dec. 3. 

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  30. The Nature of Phenology: Hawthorn fruits

    by Joseph Horn

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  31. Airport, ambulance, and sidewalks top Machias selectboard agenda

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Guy Rouelle of consulting firm Dubois and King led off the most recent meeting of the  Machias Board of Selectmen, bringing an update on future plans for the Machias Valley Municipal Airport. Recently the airport installed a new fuel farm, a feature Rouelle said will be a game changer for pilots.

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  32. H&S Spirits bottles local liquor in the region’s first (legal) distillery

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Local cranberries often appear on local holiday tables, but usually in a bowl of jelly. For the first time this year, holiday chefs could also serve them mixed into a glass of something bubbly, or straight up, using H&S Spirits Coastal Cranberry Liqueur, made right in Harrington.

    H&S is Washington County’s first official distillery, and co-owner Myron Spaulding says he’s proud that all of their products feature Maine ingredients.

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  33. Jonesport Elementary School graduation, class trip rumors aired, addressed; consensus on the horizon

    by Nancy Beal

    Rumors abounded in Jonesport recently that the elementary school board and superintendent were conspiring to cancel eighth-grade graduation ceremonies and the class trip that traditionally follows brought over 40 Jonesporters to the JES library Nov. 2, where the school board was holding its monthly meeting. In a straw poll called for early in discussion, they registered unanimous opposition to the change.

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  34. WA Raider volleyball dominance continues

    by Phil Stuart

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  35. Washington County 1 of 2 selected for NASA space grant funding

    bluShift Aerospace and the Maine Space Grant Consortium announced last week that they are collaborating with Educate Maine and MaxIQ Space to deliver K-12 Space STEM programs in two northern Maine counties. A member of their team will be traveling to Aroostook and Washington counties next Wednesday and Thursday to hold public educational forums.

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  36. Polls, press, propaganda, and predictions

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

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  37. Community Chorus to present 'A Harvest of Song'

    Quoddy Voices, our region's community chorus, once again takes the stage with a pair of concerts on Friday, November 18, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, November 20, at 3 p.m., at Eastport Arts Center. The chorus’ program, ‘A Harvest of Song,’ celebrates the season of thanksgiving as well as the upcoming feast day of St. Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians. 

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  38. The Nature of Phenology: Oak apple galls

    by Hazel Stark

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  39. From Washington County, mostly Republicans headed to the state house; Granger new district attorney

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    All but one member of Washington County’s Augusta delegation will be a Republican, following the midterm elections held Tuesday, Nov. 8.

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  40. Washington County towns reporting ‘wicked’ voter turnout

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon 

    It’s Tuesday afternoon in Machiasport, election day, and voters are lined up in the short town office hallway waiting for their turn at the three-person voting booth. Machiasport’s old wooden ballot box has already been called into service once because the new ballot scanner wasn’t working. But it’s up and running now, and town clerk Marcia Hayward is glad. With it, she’ll be able to head home around 9:30 tonight.

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  41. Brewer deferrals mean cancer patients now drive even further for treatment

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Service deferrals at a Penobscot County cancer care center mean Washington County cancer patients must drive even further for care, or delay it.

    Almost all Washington County cancer patients receive treatments at the Lafayette Family Cancer Institute in Brewer, says East Machias Family Nurse Practitioner Christine Moulton, but three months ago, Lafayette stopped accepting most new patients. 

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  42. Washington County sees new residents, higher home prices

    by Joyce Kryszak, Maine Monitor

    Hope and Despair, the tiny twin islands perched near the mouth of Little Kennebec Bay, could serve as an allegory for Washington County. Beleaguered by boom and bust since the demise of the canning factories that used to line the coast, the once-thriving region has nearly drowned beneath unfulfilled plans and promises.

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  43. Jonesport liquor vote will exclude Sundays

    by Nancy Beal 

    The inadvertent addition of three words to state-provided language for a liquor referendum in Jonesport has caused its selectmen to pull it from next week’s ballot and to post signs telling voters to ignore the question.

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  44. Machias Savings Bank makes $250k donation to support Maine’s lobster industry

    Machias Savings Bank (MSB) announced last week that it will donate $250,000 to the Maine Lobstermen’s Association’s (MLA) Save Maine Lobstermen campaign. The donation comes after a federal appeals court granted a motion to expedite the MLA’s appeal of a decision in its lawsuit against National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The MLA seeks to reverse what it calls a scientifically flawed federal whale plan that will cripple Maine’s lobster industry and negatively impact the economy of Maine and our coastal communities.

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  45. DECH Mammography goes 3D

    Down East Community Hospital made the upgrade to a Senographe Pristina™ mammography unit in 2021.  This system provided two-dimensional screenings as well as additional comfort.  We are happy to announce we purchased the upgrade to that system and can now offer three-dimensional screenings to our patients!

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