Local animal shelter receives generous grant support for Ark Alley Cats program

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

A $40,000 grant will help the Ark Animal Shelter increase its shelter capacity, while reducing the number of unwanted cats through a trap-neuter-release program. The grant comes through from the Elmina B. Sewall’s animal welfare fund.

“We are so grateful to have the funding,” said Ark Director Shaina Mugford.

Half of the grant will go toward the construction of a new dog shelter, something the Cherryfield-based nonprofit has been working toward for six years.

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The DA ‘done deal’ that came undone

by Ruth Leubecker

With a growing workload and backed up court logs, sharing one district attorney has become a grueling grind for Washington and Hancock Counties.

However, this past 130th legislative session had every reason to believe that LD 272, by establishing two separate prosecutorial districts, finally had solved this longtime festering situation. But after the final gavel sounded, an eleventh-hour mystery that no one wants to talk about had happened.

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Library craft fair and book sale, Machias Fiber Festival fill Sept. 11

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

The 3rd Annual Machias Fiber Festival will draw gift shoppers, knitters, crocheters, spinners, and weavers to Machias on Saturday, Sept. 11. Rhonda Craven says she and her fellow organizers decided to keep this year’s event more “low key” by hosting it for only one day, but that day will be packed with fun, including a historical textile display, raffles, food, and, of course, shopping. 

“Next year we’ll probably go back to two days, Saturday and Sunday,” says Craven. “We’ll see how it goes.”

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From Alaska to Jonesport: JES’ new principal Fairbanks

by Nancy Beal

Even if you did not know that Jonesport Elementary School’s new principal was from Alaska, you might have guessed. She sparkles while talking about the K through 12 schools in which she was the only teacher (and cook). Her left arm is covered with tattoos depicting the salmon that are the source of life on the Alaskan coast; the right sports sled dogs. She and her husband have five dogs, including a sled dog mix—and her surname is Fairbanks.

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Bike Maine tour returns to Machias this weekend

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

The Bike Maine Weekend Tour will return to Washington County this weekend, pedaling into the Machias area from Sept. 10 to 12 and giving 250 cyclists the opportunity to enjoy some of Maine’s most scenic bike routes, including the popular Bold Coast Scenic Bikeway.

The annual event is sponsored by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, a nonprofit that seeks to expand biking in Maine, improve bike and pedestrian safety, pass bike and pedestrian-friendly legislation, and spread a love of cycling. 

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Climate alarmism redux

by Jonathan Reisman

 

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Youth theater session a success; fall program planned

EAC’s inaugural summer session of Children’s Theater Workshop provided participants from near and far with introductory theater training and plenty of fun. The program, which ran in July and August, was led by new EAC hire Mark Macey, who recently concluded service with the center through the Island Institute, and who’ll now serve both as Artistic Director of Stage East, and as EAC’s Creative Development Director. Macey was joined in the weekly sessions by co-leader Lauren “L.” Elwood, the Center’s intern.

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The ‘Worlds Most Dangerous Journey” subject of Pembroke Historical Society presentation

"Cape Horn marks the spot where the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans meet in one writhing mass. The weather is usually atrocious." That's how maritime historian and diver Charles Lagerbom describes the waters off the southern tip of South America. He knows from experience. He's been to the Horn studying shipwrecks. Among his many interests are Maine-built ships and Maine seafarers who doubled the Horn, or were lost battling the Horn, taking a prominent place in the maritime history of Maine, the nation, and the world.

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Machias schools off to a strong start

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

With one full week of school under their belts, Machias principals Nicole Case and Sue Dow say the new school year is off to a strong start.

“The staff is tired, but they’re amazing,” said Dow, who this year took over the position of Rose M. Gaffney (RMG) Elementary School Principal, after the retirement of Joyce Fragale. Dow has more than 30 years of education experience, including nine years at Washington Academy and 21 years at Narraguagus Jr/Sr High School.

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Downeast Documentary’s latest film to premiere Sept. 24 at UMM

by Celia Cummiskey

One of the first lessons Alan Kryszak teaches his filmmaking students is, “You can’t screw up, I’ve screwed up more than you ever will, I’ve lost hours of footage, so don’t worry about it!” Kryszak is an award-winning composer and filmmaker who teaches the University of Machias Maine’s Downeast Documentary filmmaking course, as well as Music in Film, Piano, and Digital Audio Production.

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Housing shortages plague market

by Ruth Leubecker

Pre-pandemic, Maine lacked thousands of affordable housing units, a situation that has been exacerbated by out-of-staters flocking eastward to buy above the asking price.

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Lobster and shellfish harvesters sought for survey

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Local lobster fishermen and other shellfish harvesters are asked to respond to a 20-minute survey that will help researchers better understand work-related health problems and possible barriers to accessing healthcare.

Project coordinator Dr. Tora Johnson of the University of Maine at Machias says her team is using the survey to understand harvester health risks and their experiences of on-the-job injuries.

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Machias talks bids, new PD, and new town manager

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

To open last week’s meeting, the Machias Board of Selectmen opened more than a dozen envelopes which held bid responses for the town’s fuel oil, propane gas, and winter sand.

“It’s that time of year,” said Interim town manager Bill Kitchen.

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A Hairy Situation

by Jonathan Reisman

 

In the late 1960s my father took me to Broadway to see Hair. I still remember some of the lyrics from the title song:

 

She asks me why I'm just a hairy guy

I'm hairy, noon and night, hair, that's a fright

I'm hairy, high and low, don't ask me why, don't know

It's not for lack of bread like the Grateful Dead, darlin'

 

Give me head with hair, long beautiful hair

Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen

Give me down to there hair, shoulder length or longer

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Two-way memorial auction of Weber’s works Sept. 19

The Eastport Arts Center proudly announces the Joyce Weber Memorial Auction. The hybrid event, which has both online and in-person components, will also serve as a space to memorialize Weber, one of Eastport’s most influential and treasured artists. Over two dozen works bequeathed to the Center will be on the auction block. Bidding will begin online on Sunday, Sept. 19, at 9 a.m., to be followed later that day by an in-person event from 5-7 p.m. at Eastport Arts Center with live music, tributes to Joyce, and light refreshments. Bidding will close both online and in-person at 6:30 p.m.

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J-BHS stays with voluntary masking

by Nancy Beal

Four weeks from the day (Aug. 17) that the Union 103 school board, by an 8-0 vote, relaxed the mask-wearing mandate that had governed its three schools last year, the group was back at Jonesport-Beals High School addressing a mask requirement again. The September 14 meeting did not produce a change in the masking policy, but the vote was much closer: five in favor of voluntary masking, four for mandatory face coverings.

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Obesity faces progressive changes in years ahead

by Ruth Leubecker

For decades Americans have continued to eat more, make poor food choices, and engage in less physical activity. Mainers are no exception, with organized programs only making a serious stab at confronting the issue within recent years.

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Rising case counts affect businesses, schools

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Washington County reported its highest-ever weekly COVID-19 case count on Monday when 108 new cases were reported for the week ending Sept. 18, bringing the county’s cumulative cases to 1,229 since the beginning of the pandemic.

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‘Uncle Joe’ Macbeth

by Jonathan Reisman

 

"This is not about freedom or personal choice"- Dictator Joe Biden lies to the nation on vaccine mandates, vaccine and mask efficacy and natural immunity.

“Welcome to North Korea”- one of my Cooper neighbors assessing the Biden dictate.

“F*** Joe Biden”- popular chant at mass gatherings, football games, and rare public Biden sitings, soon to be banned by you-tube and the CDC as misinformation deleterious to public health. 

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Father/son jazz quartet featured by EAC Video

Immediately following an end-of-summer squall, 'Shead Ahead', a quartet comprised of two father/son pairs, kicked off Eastport Pirate Festival celebrations with a high energy set of jazz, funk, and rock tunes. The fathers are Robert Sánchez, guitar, and Heron Weston, bass. Sons are Kieran Weston, drums, age 15, and Ellis Zipperer-Sánchez, age 12.

After a rapid setup, with pop-up shelter at the ready in case the rain continued, the four opened with Sánchez's own Bossa arrangement of Gershwin's "Summertime," and continued for an hour of tunes in many flavors.

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Plans underway for Baileyville’s Octoberfest

by Jayna Smith

Baileyville’s Octoberfest, a big festival that draws hundreds to the Village of Woodland, is back, and it promises to be jam-packed with fun for all ages.  This comes along with the announcement that First National Bank has committed to being a major sponsor of the annual festival.

According to organizer Jamie Bohanon, the fun kicks off Friday night, Oct. 8 with a drive-in movie.  This, he said, will be held in the parking lot of the Woodland IGA on Route 1.  

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Need internet around Machias? Here’s where the hotspots are

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Access to high-speed internet can be spotty in rural Washington County, but fortunately for anyone who needs to work from the road, there are a lot of free access points in downtown Machias. Among them are three public hotspots maintained by Axiom Technologies, including one attached to Station 1898 and sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank.

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