Sea Rhymes online musical event Jan. 19

The Pembroke Historical Society invites you to participate in a sharing of traditional and contemporary songs and poems of seafaring and coastal life.  You may sing a chantey, a ditty, a ballad, or a hymn with a maritime theme, or recite a poem, or just enjoy listening to others. "SEA RHYMES" will be presented via Zoom, on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.  We expect to have presenters not only from the State of Maine, but from many parts of the United States and Canada.

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Feds propose new whale regulations

by Nancy Beal

The long-awaited federal proposal for intensifying the rules under which commercial lobstermen are allowed to fish in the Gulf of Maine was made public last week. On December 31, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a proposed “Risk Reduction Rule” to modify the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan. These are its recommendations for enhanced restrictions on already existing rules concerning the configuration of gear that involves vertical lines in the water.

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Norman Nelson: a community institution now 10 years gone

by Ruth Leubecker

Norman Nelson, a lively lover of life with extraordinary talents and life experiences, passed away a decade ago this season.

He was always a man about town with many irons in the fire, but his variegated career resume and his ever-ready willingness to jump in and try something new made him a standout right up until his death at 92.

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Machias Valley Baptist gets head start on Operation Christmas Child

by Natalie Boomer

The Machias Valley Baptist Church is hosting Operation Christmas Child in a new way. Instead of filling shoeboxes with necessities for children in need at the end of the year, they are asking for donations throughout the entire year to make it easier for the community.

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COVID-19 update: Schools open, courthouse closed

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Washington County added two more deaths and two new hospitalizations to its tally in late December, bringing the county’s total hospitalizations to 19 and the total number of residents who have died with COVID-19 to four.

In line with a statewide trend, the county’s case count nearly doubled last month, climbing from 193 on Dec. 1, 2020, to 377 on Dec. 31, 2020. Statewide, Maine’s cumulative case totals climbed from 11,976 on Dec. 1 to 24,201 on New Year’s Eve.

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DECH welcomes first baby of 2021 on New Year’s Day

Down East Community Hospital welcomes its first baby of 2021!  Amber Norton gave birth to Neil Raymond Horn on Friday, Jan. 1 at 7:20 p.m.  Neil, who weighed in at 8 pounds, 10 ounces, is the wonderful addition to the family of Amber Norton and Calvin Horn and his two “big” sisters Audree and Brielle.

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Navy veteran proud to be descendent of Roger Williams

Robert Morris is a true son of New England. Born in Attleboro, Massachusetts, he’s a descendent of Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island, and Lucius Garvin, the governor of Rhode Island.

Bob’s parents, Garvin and Helen Buffinton Morris moved Bob and his siblings, Garvin Jr., John, and Judith to Lonsdale, Rhode Island, when they were young, and then to Cumberland, Rhode Island, in the village of Arnold Mills.

The Morris family were avid worshippers and found a home at Arnold Mills Methodist Church.

Bob follows the education path

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Out and About in Columbia

Another year is upon us and I wonder what will be in store for everyone. Will the coronavirus get worse or will we be able to get control of it and stop it? No one really knows for sure.

2020 was sure different for all of us, school not being in, remote learning, no after school activities for the students, delivering lunches to the students three times a week last spring and having to wear face masks.

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Eastport City Council votes in favor of reinstating fired police chief

by Jayna Smith

On Monday night, Jan. 4, Eastport City Council met for “a hearing on a Request for a Notice of Appeal” to the council “by an Employee with Regard to Termination of Employment.”  After approximately two hours of discussion, the council voted in favor to reinstate Police Chief Peter Harris.

Harris was hired by the Eastport Police Department in July of 2018 and appointed interim chief in April 2019. According to Harris, on Sept. 28, 2020, he was terminated by city manager Thomas Hoskins.

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Downeasters reflect on 2020, a year of great hardship and loss

by Ruth Leubecker

Often sequestered and lonely in 2020, Mainers, like the rest of a beleaguered nation, have been pervasively affected by the insidious presence of the coronavirus.

In the beginning -- way back last March -- if most thought about it at all, they considered possibly a month or two, and then it would all be over. Now, as another March fast approaches, hundreds of thousands have died nationally, and Maine, slow to wrack up those numbers, now has 28,000-plus cases and nearly 500 dead.

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Chance posting reunites Woodland alum with class ring, 32 years later

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Richard Skinner doesn’t know exactly when he lost his class ring, but guesses it was not long after he graduated from Baileyville’s Woodland High School in 1989.  
“I had lost it so long ago, I figured it was long gone,” said Skinner. “I wasn’t even looking for it.”

It turns out he did not have to. Now, thanks to an enthusiastic community effort on Facebook, Skinner will soon be reunited with his ring, and it all began when Mary White received a text from a total stranger.

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J-BHS board okays cheerleading, teacher time for COVID absentees

by Nancy Beal

At the December 9 meeting of the Moosabec CSD board, the body that governs Jonesport-Beals High School, parents of students who were staying home because of COVID-19 and learning remotely reported dissatisfaction with students’ lack of contact with their teachers. The inability to take tests and perform labs, they said, was endangering their academic progress, adversely affecting their grades, and making them feel “like they had done something wrong.”

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Water rate hike tops Machias board agenda

by Hailey Wood

After a year of debate and discussion, the Machias Board of Selectmen has lost their battle against the Machias Water Company to prevent their proposed rate hike.

The topic of a rate hike was first introduced to Machias residents by letter in late February of 2020.

The new approved annual revenue for the Machias Water Co. comes out to a 30 percent rate hike, 5 percent higher than the original ask of 25 percent in the letter sent to Machias residents.

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Versant to file electricity rate increase proposal

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Versant Power, formerly Emera, will next week file a request with the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to increase its distribution rates in 2021 and 2022, according to a Jan. 5 release to its customers.

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Fort McHenry or Fort Sumter?

by Jonathan Reisman

 

Donald Trump incited a riot on January 6th.  In  doing so,  he destroyed much of what he accomplished, validated the complaints about his narcissism, divisiveness and character flaws, and invalidated the legitimate grievances of his 75 million supporters about stolen elections, Black Lives Matter and Antifa “mostly peaceful” violence, arson and riots, media bias and leftist hypocrisy. He managed to legitimize the Biden crime family and provide aid and comfort to the very socialists and leftist tyranny he opposed.

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Milbridge couple survives COVID-19

by Wayne Smith

You could call Marge Lucas and her husband, Paul, survivors of COVID-19. Both living in Milbridge, Marge talked about how it affected their lives. She talked about the darkness of their experiences as she shone a little light on it. Marge is 90 years old and Paul is in his 70’s. With COVID-19, it turned their world upside down. Paul walks side to side. He likes his coffee. He never will give up his cigarettes. That’s kind of his best friend today.

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A virtual introduction to nature therapy program offered

Have you ever been touched by nature? Are you craving that connection again? Nature heals all: body, mind, and spirit. Join Susan Fortin on Zoom, for a reflection of Nature’s way of nurturing which will be hosted by the Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center on Thursday, Jan. 28 from 1 – 2:30 pm.

This virtual introduction to Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing or nature therapy), you can escape and share experiences beyond your backyard as the group will Experience Virtually: Outdoor Living in and near Acadia National Park.

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Emerge Maine attracted to political passion of Melissa Hinerman

by Ruth Leubecker

“This program is fantastic for empowering women and building a better Maine,” says Melissa Hinerman, Machiasport activist with an eye on a future in the political arena. “I’ve always been politically involved.”

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2.8 earthquake rattles towns

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Dozens of people in Addison, Columbia, Jonesboro and Harrington took to social media Sunday, Jan. 17 to ask, “What was THAT?!” A wide range of seismic activity websites turned up no answers that afternoon, but Monday morning the United States Geological Survey finished triangulating the event, which registered a magnitude of 2.8 on the Richter scale.

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Heading into his final term, Rep. Tuell’s bills cover a lot of ground

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

With his fourth and — at least for now — final term underway, Rep. Will Tuell plans to exit the Maine House of Representatives with impact, last month submitting a career-high 15 bills for consideration by the state legislature.

“I think I’ve been open to doing more heavy-hitting bills because I don’t feel the pressure of another election cycle,” said Tuell (R-E. Machias). “I’m not looking to the next election. But that certainly isn’t going to change my tone because I think tone is more important than ever these days.”

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Wild Blueberry Com’n firms up budget, sets priorities

by Nancy Beal

Maine’s Wild Blueberry Commission met over Zoom January 14 to formulate a budget for 2021 and identify aspects of the industry that require attention. All 10 members were present, as were the executive director, Eric Venturini, the director of research programs Patricia Kontur, longtime researcher and spokesman David Yarborough, Carol Woodcock from Senator Susan Collins’ office, and other interested parties.

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Machias Board of Selectmen discuss multi-town planning board, adult-use marijuana, and clams

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

The resignation of Machias Planning Board member David Barker, as well as the completion of Glenn Davis’ term, mean two out of the board’s five seats are vacant.  The Machias Board of Selectmen discussed those vacancies at their meeting held Wednesday, Jan. 13.

“We really need a reliable third, it seems like every other meeting now we don’t have a quorum,” said secretary Cathy Lord.

The remaining three seats are occupied by chairman Bill Thompson, Ed Pellon, and Arthur McCurdy.

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Applications due Feb. 5 for CEI’s 2nd Child Care Business Lab

Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) is offering three concurrent virtual courses of its Child Care Business Lab, helping entrepreneurs start new, quality child care businesses in underserved areas of Maine. Applications are due on Feb. 5 at 5 p.m. EST. The applications and more information can be accessed by visiting: https://www.ceimaine.org/advising/childcare/. The program begins in March.

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O. Henry meets George Orwell

by Jonathan Reisman

 

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Life at 100

by Wayne Smith

This week I want to share some memories of Norma Korenek. She will be turning a big 100 years old on February 4th.I just wanted to see what all the excitement was all about. She was gracious with a great big smile on her face. The memories seemed to flood her mind. Norma was kind of shy at first. When she got going, She wouldn't stop talking. This was what I came up with.

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Book review: Through Woods & Waters

by V. Paul Reynolds

Laurie Apgar Chandler is the first woman to solo paddle the entire 700 miles of the National Forest Canoe Trail. She wrote a fascinating chronicle of her paddling challenge in her first book titled “Upwards.”

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Community Health and Counseling Services Awarded CHAP Accreditation

Bangor, ME – January 12, 2021 - Community Health Accreditation Partner, Inc., (CHAP) announced today that Community Health and Counseling Services has been awarded CHAP Accreditation under the CHAP Home Health and Hospice Standards of Excellence. By achieving CHAP Accreditation, Community Health and Counseling Services has also been recognized to meet the Medicare Conditions of Participation as a certified Medicare provider.

 

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