1. Towns jockey for high-speed access amid funding surplus

    by Ruth Leubecker

    “It’s not that Downeast Broadband Utility is actively trying to get other towns on board. We’re not,” says Dan Sullivan, president of DBU, “but when they approach us, we’re encouraging them to join.”

    Sullivan, who created the nonprofit for bringing high-speed broadband to rural Maine, is a passionate cheerleader for the increasing potential of the fledgling initiative. Calais and Baileyville are now nearly 100-percent connected with the fiber network infrastructure. 

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  2. UMaine professors complete another leg onboard Tara research schooner

    Lee Karp-Boss and Emmanuel Boss, professors at the University of Maine School of Marine Sciences, completed a month-long research cruise in the western South Atlantic Ocean as part of Tara Ocean Foundation’s Mission Microbiomes project. 

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  3. Machias business development and coworking space exceeds capital campaign goals; new name reflects purpose

    Sunrise County Economic Council (SCEC) announces the conclusion of its Capital Campaign and expresses much gratitude for the strong community support. The campaign exceeded its goal with $1.28 million in received and pledged contributions. Additional pledges from individuals and a $243,000 contribution from Libra Foundation helped SCEC surpass its $1.055 million goal, set to cover the cost to construct and launch the new center.

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  4. Resolutions and forlorn hopes

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    For Myself:

    Empathy and Humility

    • Try to remember that (most) of those that I disagree with are not evil reincarnations of Cruella Deville and/or Nurse Ratched, but rather unfortunately misguided/misinformed victims of corporate media agitprop and K-12 and higher education indoctrination.

    Honesty and courage

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  5. ‘Almost, Maine’ cast to perform for New Year’s weekend

    The cast and crew of Almost, Maine would like to wish everyone Season’s Greetings! Taking a well-deserved holiday break after their first three shows, the actors will resume performances on Friday December 31 and Saturday January 1 at 7 p.m., concluding the run with a matinee on January 2 at 2 p.m.

    Tickets are $15, available in advance through the ‘Now Playing’ tab at stageeast.org or at the door. Patrons under 17 are admitted free of charge.

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  6. Looking back on Christmas traditions

    by Wayne Smith

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  7. The Nature of Phenology: Keeping warm

    by Joseph Horn

    In a very real, tangible, evolutionary way, we humans are a tropical species. Our genetic code speaks to this clearly as Africa has the greatest diversity of human genes—a marker of a species’ origin. So while you might feel most at home sitting on a bucket on a frozen lake pulling togue bare-handed through a hole in the ice, your ancestors evolved basking in the hot sun and stifling humidity of tropical Africa. As we slide ever closer to winter, how do we not freeze to death? Today, let’s take a little dive into keeping warm.

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  8. Letter to the Editor: Rural EMS struggling more than ever

    It’s heartbreaking to hear about the recent struggles of our Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel. We’re hearing of hospitals not getting needed ambulances, overworked EMTs because of severe staffing shortages, and more calls coming in than the resources needed to answer them.

    And the situation has only gotten worse with the state mandates for COVID-19 vaccinations.

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  9. UScellular surprises Downeast Community Partners with local donation

    To celebrate the holiday season and the meaningful value of community, UScellular has donated toy trucks, game balls, dolls, Barbies, throw blankets, board games, models, baby toys, fishing pole/tackle box, arts & crafts, and more to Downeast Community Partners. To bring locally grown joy to Machias, UScellular worked with their local team to learn about the needs of the community and then reached out to Downeast Community Partners to get their ideal wish list. Traveling in a holiday-themed truck, the company delivered the holiday gifts to provide children and seniors a merry holiday.

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  10. Pratt donation-match campaign brings in nearly $10,000 for food pantries

    by Jayna Smith

    For about ten years, Ian Pratt of the Pratt dealership has held a donation-match campaign throughout the month of November, all to benefit local food pantries. Through this program, Pratt has always committed to matching up to $5,000 of donations received.

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  11. Race grifter enablers

    Because the racist “anti-racists” will work to erase the Jussie Smollett guilty verdict memory as quickly as possible, the idiotic credulity and evil complicity of the following race grafter tweets should be regularly remembered:

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  12. UMaine Extension offers webinar bundles for last-minute holiday gifts

    The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering bundles of prerecorded webinars about various gardening-related topics for last-minute gift shoppers.

    The On Demand Webinars, extension.umaine.edu/gardening/on-demand-webinars/, series includes bundles of three to four prerecorded webinars about starting and maintaining a home orchard, gardening with native plants, composting and soil health, and seed selection and starting. The webinars allow viewers to watch and learn at their own pace and include lists of recommended resources. 

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  13. Washington County COVID-19 update

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A clinic held Dec. 15 at Machias Memorial High School vaccinated 271 individuals with Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, or Pfizer vaccines. The clinic was organized by Maine Center for Disease Control (CDC) and administered by the Public Health Nursing program together with some local health care providers. “We’re grateful to the nurses, the pharmacist, and the people of the Machias region for such an outstanding turnout,” said Robert Long, CDC spokesperson. 

    More clinics are planned for 2022, but those dates are not yet available. 

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  14. The Nature of Phenology: Evergreens

    by Hazel Stark

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  15. Connie Linn Craighead

    August 10,1946 - December 26, 2020

    Connie Linn (Ring) Craighead, 74, of Evans, Georgia, passed away on December 26, 2020, after a brief illness. 

    Connie was born in Norfolk, Nebraska, on August 10, 1946, to the late Donna Weik Ring and Theodore Roosevelt Ring. She was also raised by her beloved grandmother Sada Reeves Weik, and her stepfather Jack Muir Linn.

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  16. New gas detector law takes effect Jan. 1

    A new Maine law requiring gas detectors in some commercial businesses and rental properties will go into effect on January 1.

    Under the law, many commercial businesses such as hotels, motels, non-profit organizations, shelters, and rental properties must install a detector in any room where there's a gas or propane-fueled appliance.

    Currently, private homes are not impacted by the new law unless the home is sold.

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  17. Lubec fundraiser to support family after Thanksgiving loss of mother

    A raffle and spaghetti supper to support the family of Amanda Flynn will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 19 at the Downeast Dragonfly Bar & Grill in Lubec.

    Amanda died on Thanksgiving day and leaves behind her husband Kenny Sulkowski and their four children: Jordan, age 15, Ashley age 14, Alexis age 12, and Jason age 7.

    Amanda, 35, of Calais, passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. Her friends are organizing this fundraiser to support her family, who now face their first Christmas without their wife and mother.

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  18. Lights tie Lubec and Campobello together for Christmas

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    It all began with a question.

    “I was wondering if it might be possible to decorate the bridge for Christmas?” asked Joel Ross of Lubec, posting Nov. 29 on Facebook. Readers enthusiastically applauded his idea, and this week for the first time ever, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt International Bridge —  and the saltwater beneath it —  shine with Christmas lights. 

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  19. Machias Valley Baptist Church to host living nativity Dec. 19

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The community is invited to enjoy Machias Valley Baptist Church’s first-ever living nativity, which will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 19. Church member Heather Vose said the event is designed to be enjoyed from the window of a slow-moving car, but the public is also invited to park and enjoy refreshments and music.

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  20. Shortage of EMTs cripples rural ambulance services

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Aggravated by the pandemic and hampered by a cost crisis, rural ambulance service is struggling to cope with everyday emergencies.

    “I think vaccine mandates have something to do with it,” says Rep. Will Tuell. “While most have chosen to get vaccinated, even a small percentage not doing so will affect the entire workforce.”

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  21. Moosabec straw poll nixes rockets 30-1

    by Nancy Beal

    On December 7, 321 people from Beals, Jonesport and adjacent towns showed up at the Beals town office to take part in a straw poll. The ballot was simple: “bluShift Aerospace or any other rocket company” — “in favor of” or “opposed to.” At the end of the day, the vote was 305 opposed, 15 in favor and one “maybe.”

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  22. ARISE donates church bell to Machias history village

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A 1,000-pound church bell has descended from its East Machias steeple and moved to its new home on West Branch Farm in Machias, the future home of a Machias living history village.

    “I’m shocked at how heavy the bell is,” said reenactor Joseph Dowling of Bucks Harbor, who delivered the bell from East Machias to its current storage place. “It’s probably 4 feet in diameter, it just barely fit between the wheel wells of my truck.” 

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  23. Machias board talks hiring at PD, Bad Little Brewing Company

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    After months of officer vacancies, town manager Bill Kitchen and police chief Keith Mercier last week announced they’re close to a fully staffed Machias Police Department, for the first time in many years. In fact, said Kitchen, by the close of the year, every vacant position for the town could be filled.

    “By the end of this year, this town for the first time...in many years could have every single open position filled,” said Kitchen. “Every single position.”

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  24. DECH pediatrics getting comfortable in new space

    Down East Community Hospital’s Pediatrics Practice is now seeing patients at their new location at the Down East Health Center at 1031 Main Street in East Machias. The practice moved in on December 3 and the staff and patients are settling in nicely. The space they occupy in the new building doubles the space they had in the building on the hospital campus.  There are two waiting rooms, larger patient rooms, a room to draw labs, and ample parking. 

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  25. Hoping, but not optimistic, that 2022 is an improvement

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    I began 2021 channeling “1921” from the Who. I had no reason to be overly prophetic, but it turns out Roger Daltrey accurately foreshadowed the Delta variant, Afghanistan, the open Southern border, January 6, cackling Kamala, the Durham probe, the Rittenhouse and Smollett trials and the media lies and malpractice surrounding all of it:

     

    Got a feeling '21

    Is going to be a good year,

    Especially if you and me

    See it in together.

     

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  26. LCOC celebrates 9th Annual Senior/Veteran Holiday Dinner

    Lubec Community Outreach Center’s 9th annual Senior and Veterans holiday dinner was a success. Once again, the community pulled together to provide delicious, hot meals delivered throughout Lubec and Trescott.

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  27. Announcing WeCare, new Maine Indian Education support service

    Dr. Reza Namin, Superintendent of Maine Indian Education announcing a new initiative called “WeCare”, to address the Communities, Students, Parents, and Staff’s emotional needs due to pandemics. The program is also known as “BCare”, and is founded by Dr. Darryl Tonemah.

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  28. The Nature of Phenology: Balsam fir

    by Hazel Stark

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  29. Jonesport couple seeks story behind balloon that reads 'I miss you' in Spanish

    Joe and Nancy Bell were walking their dog and picking up trash at the Jonesport campground recently and found this balloon in a tree. Someone named Caroline had written "I miss you" in Spanish. They would like to learn the story behind the balloon. Anyone with information can email [email protected], or call the MVNO at 255-6561.

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  30. Washington Academy joins local schools extending Christmas vacation

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

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  31. In our towns, Christmas means community

    From the Desk of the Editor, Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    My tall and skinny husband played the Machias town Santa Claus for two years, which is one way I know the amount of effort that goes into the Machias Community Christmas celebration. And I’m not even counting the work it took to make him look fat. 

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  32. Schools adjust vacation to allow more time for rest and healing

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Schools in Machias and East Machias will adjust their holiday break schedules to offer a little more time at home, hoping to break a cycle of sickness and give their teachers additional rest after a challenging few months. Rose M. Gaffney Elementary School (RMG), Machias Memorial High School, and Elm Street Elementary School will go remote for the full days of Dec. 20 and 21, and half day of Dec. 22, and break will run through Sunday, Jan. 2.

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  33. New Machias police chief talks first month on the job

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Machias Police Chief Keith Mercier began his second month on the job leading the Machias Parade of Lights on Friday, Dec. 3. He says his first month in Machias has been productive, and pleasantly surprising.

    “What has struck me most is the amount of business in town. I like the vibe where it’s the county hub, there’s a lot more business in Machias than I ever knew,” said Mercier. “Traffic in the morning and afternoons is kind of crazy.” 

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  34. Local allies grapple with opioid death toll, inflamed by pandemic

    by Ruth Leubecker

    As the opioid crisis has escalated in Maine, multiple factors have caused a shift in its intensity and the complexion of recovery. Washington County, a microcosm of this festering disaster, continues to cope with the situation.

    The presence and availability of a cheap and potent fentanyl is driving overdose deaths. Last week, nationally the CDC announced that 64 percent of the country’s opioid deaths are linked to synthetic opioids, like fentanyl — resulting in a record high during the pandemic.  

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  35. Bucks Harbor buoy found along coast of the Scottish Highlands

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A quarter of Jeff Davis’ ancestors came from Scotland, and a tiny percentage of his lobster gear lives there today. One buoy, to be precise, which made its way more than 2,700 miles from the waters around Bucks Harbor, Machiasport, all the way to the village of Gairloch, in the Scottish Highlands. 

    “It’s taken quite a trip,” said Davis. “I was amazed there was enough paint on it that I could see my colors.”

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  36. Officials talk enrollment increase at UMM meeting

    by Hailey Wood

    The University of Maine at Machias (UMM) Nov. 16 held an open forum at the school’s performing arts center to discuss enrollment updates and host an open discussion with UMaine/UMM President Joan Ferrini-Mundy and University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy.

    Robert Placedo, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, kicked off the event with an update on enrollment in the UMaine system, and particularly at UMM. 

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  37. Jonesport OK’s rocket moratorium 60-4

    by Nancy Beal

    By a margin of 60 to four, Jonesporters voted “yes” December 1 for a moratorium on the development of an aerospace facility while a citizen panel writes and seeks approval of an ordinance outlining the parameters within which such a facility may be introduced into their town. The panel will now have six months to construct the ordinance, and potentially another six if it has been diligently working during the first six months.

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  38. Fear, fraud, and Fauci

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    Tony Fauci is America’s senior public health bureaucrat. He is the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), where he oversees and greenlights millions of dollars of taxpayer-funded research and Senior Medical Advisor to President Brandon. He is also an egomaniacal serial liar and a power-hungry enemy of freedom. If Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was a transgender octogenarian, Tony Fauci is what you would have. 

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  39. Washington County COVID-19 update

    COVID-19 cases increased slightly last week, climbing from 62 the week prior to 73 new cases detected the week ending Saturday, Dec. 4, according to data released Dec. 6 by Maine Center for Disease Control (CDC). One more person has died with COVID-19, bringing that cumulative total to 32. No new hospitalizations are reported, leaving that total at 77. 

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  40. The Nature of Phenology: Mice

    by Joseph Horn

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  41. 4th Machias murder suspect arrested today in Massachusetts

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Maine State Police today announced a fourth murder suspect has been arrested in connection with the Nov. 4 shooting of 17-year-old Brandin Guerrero, whose body was found on High Street in Machias.

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  42. Columbia Falls lobsterman releases 2nd children’s book, ‘Chasing the Tide’

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A recent career change led Kelly Hinkle back to fishing with his father and once last year’s traps were put away for the winter, Hinkle found time to return to his childhood love of writing. This March, he published his first children’s book, inspired by his son and his love of Downeast Maine. Hinkle listed Maddox the Moose on Amazon, expecting one or two copies to sell the first day.

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  43. Expanding broadband still a frustrating distant future goal

    by Ruth Leubecker

    “None of the money is actually in our bank account yet,” says Peggy Schaffer, in what could be the broadband understatement of the year.

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  44. Busy days ahead in Jonesport, Beals

    by Nancy Beal

    A busy eight days lies ahead for residents of Jonesport and Beals, as principals of the aerospace company Blushift return to meet with the public, an area vote on its project is held, and school boards act on rules for sports during the pandemic and non-school use of the three area schools.

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  45. Wesley’s Tree Festival returns to Machias this weekend

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The Wesley Foundation will repeat its highly-anticipated Wesley’s Tree Festival this weekend starting on Friday, Dec. 3. This year’s event will showcase roughly 35 decorated trees, and will be held at the Pellon Center in Machias.

    The foundation exists to serve area youth in honor of Wesley Keeton, who passed away in 2013 at the age of four. Keeton lived in East Machias.

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