1. The Nature of Phenology: White-marked tussock moths

    by Hazel Stark

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  2. Solar, shellfish, swingset and dispatch top Machias selectboard agenda

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The town of Machias stands to save more than $16,000 per year on its electric bills if it signs an agreement with a company that proposes building a solar array on a capped landfill located off of Broadway.

    Andrew LaVogue of Revision Energy said the town’s average $104,000 in annual electricity consumption would cost approximately $88,000 under the program. Asked about risks for the town by board chairman Joshua Rolfe, LaVogue said the only risk would be if the town dramatically reduced its energy consumption.

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  3. COVID funding slow to come Downeast

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Keeping Maine Healthy grants were approved in June by the Mills administration for  towns across Maine so that they could more effectively battle the growing inroads of COVID-19.

    But for Washington County, who has historically missed out on funding in the past, this time it’s a fortunate turn of events for missing out on these COVID funds. Downeast Maine with its envious record of virus cases, only lately in the two-digit category, remains out of the mainstream.

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  4. Moosabec schools approve COVID plan, delay opening

    by Nancy Beal

    The boards of the three schools that make up Union 103—Jonesport-Beals High School, Jonesport and Beals Elementary Schools—met August 12 in the high school gymnasium, masked and socially distanced, to tackle the questions facing school boards all across the country: when to open and how. All board members were present, as were Superintendent Lewis Collins, the J-BHS and BES principals, special education director, newly installed maintenance director John Church, and approximately a dozen members of the public, many of whom were teachers.

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  5. Support solar projects and receive a discount on your bill

    by Natalie Boomer

    Want to save 10 percent on your electric bill? Bold Coast Solar can help you do just that.

    Last year, the Maine Legislature legalized the push for the development of small renewable energy projects in the state, like solar power. Community solar projects produce renewable, clean electricity for a certain area.

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  6. Bucks Harbor pre-release center on track for ‘21 construction

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Osprey circled above municipal and state officials gathered where Downeast Correctional Facility’s (DCF) control center and dormitory number three once stood. Both buildings were demolished earlier this year to make way for the Bucks Harbor prison’s next act as a pre-release center, now on schedule to open in the summer of 2021.

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  7. Miracle at Philadelphia

    Growing up and attending public schools in Philadelphia in the 1960s, I got an up-close and personal view of the American founding, race relations, diversity, and its discontents.  The Pledge of Allegiance’s promise of “liberty and justice for all” would probably be termed white supremacist systemic racism by today’s mostly peaceful protesters, but in Philadelphia, I was taught America was founded in freedom in 1776, not slavery in 1619.

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  8. Gideon championed taxpayer-funded abortion in Maine, then donations came

    by Yuichiro Kakutani  

    Democratic Maine Senate candidate Sara Gideon took hundreds of thousands of dollars from abortion interest groups after she passed legislation to force taxpayers to pay for abortion and drastically expanded abortion access during her tenure as the speaker of the Maine House of Representatives.

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  9. Comic book genius brings talent Downeast

    by Wayne Smith

    I was so excited to meet Rajive Anand who was visiting his parents in Milbridge recently.  Rajive is the writer and illustrator of the comic book Laserman. He is bright, well educated and full of knowledge about the comic book industry.

    “I was 12 years old when I wrote the comic book Laserman, Issue One, said Rajive Anand. "I’ve grown and evolved and my comic book character has evolved and grown with me. The storyline continues with Laserman, Issue Two.

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  10. The Nature of Phenology: Monarch caterpillars

    by Joseph Horn

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  11. UMM prepares for August reopening

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Danial Qualls, University of Maine at Machias (UMM) Head of Campus, delivered an update on the school’s reopening plans at the Machias selectboard meeting held online Wednesday, Aug. 12.

    “Pretty much everything I’m about to tell you is subject to change,” said Qualls.  

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  12. ‘The Chosen’ follows life of Jesus

    by Jordan Donovan

    The Chosen is a first-of-its-kind, multi-season television drama following the life of Jesus depicted through the eyes of his followers and those with whom he interacted. Fabricated, directed and co-written by American filmmaker Dallas Jenkins, it broke the all-time crowdfunding record for a media project, reaching  $10 million from over 16,000 investors for the first season alone. The second season that is still in production has fundraised over $7 million from more than 365,000 investors.

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  13. A midsummer nightmare

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    August rolled in, and although the garden looks good, I cannot say the same for Maine, the Republic, or freedom.

    The garden

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  14. Jonesport produces back-to-back county Teachers of the year

    by Nancy Beal

    In an unusual coincidence, in 2019 and 2020 Jonesport Elementary School, a 100-pupil K through 8 coastal school, has seen two of its 15 teachers earn the title of Washington County Teacher of the Year. The women also share a last name (but no close familial ties) and both live in the Moosabec area. They chose the same topic (a special program offered in their school) for the remarks that they were required to make during the competition for the state title. One teaches the youngest JES students, the other the oldest.

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  15. Online public hearing will address disputed Machias schools budget

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A.O.S. 96 Superintendent Scott Porter will present the Machias schools budget during a public hearing to be held online Thursday, Aug. 13. Voters will then cast paper ballots in a school budget referendum vote scheduled for Sept. 1, in combination with municipal elections.

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  16. Schools plow new ground in efforts to reopen safely

    by Ruth Leubecker

    With new plans dictated by COVID-19, Maine’s schools are tentatively assessing the first day of school and all of its potential challenges.

    “We’re going to do four consecutive workshops, and some of these will be more specialized,” explains Scott Porter, Superintendent of Schools for A.O.S 96. “Everyone will be wearing masks and social distancing.”

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  17. Free food boxes address growing hunger Downeast

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A line of cars wrapped around the Lee Pellon Center in Machias as people waited for a tractor-trailer to open its doors on Wednesday, Aug. 5. When the clock struck 11 a.m., volunteers began bucket-brigading free boxes of food into the waiting vehicles. Before an hour had passed, 900 boxes were gone.

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  18. WA announces hybrid school reopening plan

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Washington Academy has issued its “Safe Return to School” plan which will offer students a hybrid education model beginning Sept. 8.

    In July, Maine Department of Education advised schools to prepare green, yellow, and red plans, each to be enacted according to COVID-19 activity in their region. DOE Commissioner Pender Makin on July 31 announced that all Maine counties are currently classified green. Those classifications will be updated every two weeks.

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  19. WA wins Tammaro Memorial Baseball Tourney

    by Chris Johnson

    The annual Tony Tammaro Memorial Baseball Tournament was held in Calais over the weekend of Aug. 1 and 2. Although handshakes and high fives were limited, good baseball was played by a bunch of good guys and a girl.

    Game one featured the premiere of a new team to the tournament from Cutler. Managed by old Quoddy Leaguers Bill Corbett and Stevie Cates, the Cutler team was able to out-pitch the team organized by Joe Barnes and managed by Ryan Lincoln. The final score was 5-1.

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  20. The Nature of Phenology: Chicken mushroom

    by Joseph Horn

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  21. Union files grievance after dispatcher fired for spit milk

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Teamsters 340 Representative Lorne Smith says his union has filed two grievances against the town of Machias after dispatcher Tyler Wagner was fired and dispatcher Brandon Merrill was formally reprimanded on Aug. 7.

    According to a Washington County Sheriff’s Office incident report, Wagner is accused of deliberately spitting into his milk container, which he believed Machias Police Officer Tyler Dunbar was using without permission.

    “It is probably the most ridiculous case I have worked on this year,” said Smith.

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  22. The summer of our discontent

    This is the summer of our discontent in the annus horribilis of 2020:

    • Rioters and arsonists are described as “mostly peaceful protesters.”

    • The legacy media is an open and unapologetic arm and mouthpiece of the Democratic Party.

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  23. Machias schools close in on September reopening plans

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Machias students can return to the classroom this fall, but their school days will look different from anything they have experienced before. In fact, they’ll look different from anything any student has experienced before.

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  24. Special session, plagued by cost, not destined to happen

    by Ruth Leubecker

    The Maine Legislature, with 400 bills in appropriations waiting to be funded, is nonetheless trying to focus on a narrow agenda should they return.

    “As Republicans, we have asked to go back into session for a brief, specific time to address COVID-19  legislation — such as changing the state tax laws to coincide with the federal tax laws as relates to the PPP,” says Sen. Marianne Moore, “or how to spend the CARES funds.”

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  25. Jonesport-Beals boards to vote on school plan

    by Nancy Beal

    The three schools that make up Union 103—Beals Elementary, Jonesport Elementary, and Jonesport-Beals High School—are preparing to open for in-person instruction next month. Whether students go back to school physically or remotely will be decided at a board meeting scheduled for 5:45 p.m., Wednesday, August 12 in the high school gymnasium. That decision will be based on an 11-page plan that asks and answers how the schools plan to meet the requirements made necessary by the pandemic coronavirus.

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  26. With wild blueberry harvest around the corner, Cherryfield Foods continues safety protocols

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    COVID-19 outbreaks at two blueberry processing plants in neighboring Hancock County last week caught statewide attention. As the wild blueberry industry shifts into high gear for the August harvest, Maine Wild / Cherryfield Foods General Manager David Bell says coronavirus safety measures at their Machias facility have already been in place for months.

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  27. Pogies return Downeast for the first time in decades

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Silvery splashes in the Machias river have drawn the attention of nature lovers, fishermen, and seals as the pogies visit their Downeast summer home in numbers not seen since the 1990s. The Atlantic menhaden, sometimes confused for herring, is a filter feeder, which makes it a vital link in the Gulf of Maine food chain, according to Maine Department of Marine Resources scientist Matt Cieri.

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  28. Peter Gray Hatchery update

    by Zach Sheller

    If there is anything consistent in the world today I suppose it could be the Atlantic salmon. Although beleaguered and on the ropes, this amazing fish continues to battle to be part of this world. If the fish continues to fight, shouldn't we fight for that fish? As Benjamin Franklin once said, "Energy and persistence conquer all things."

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  29. Just a Milbridge girl

    by Wayne Smith

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  30. Horse show coming to Pembroke Fairgrounds

    by Natalie Boomer

    The Down East Border Riders Saddle Club will be hosting a pleasure show on Saturday, Aug. 15.

    “We welcome riders of all ages and levels, both club and non-club riders as well. Classes are divided by age and/or riding level that include leadline, peewee, youth and adults in walk/trot and walk/trot/canter divisions,” said Vicki Farley Brown of the DEBRSC. “Most classes are open, accepting both English and Western riders, and there will be two open Western Pleasure stakes classes that day with cash payouts.”

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  31. The cougar sightings

    by V. Paul Reynolds

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  32. The Nature of Phenology: Hermit thrush songs

    by Joseph Horn

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  33. School daze

    Opening schools this fall should not be a partisan issue, but it is and will be.  The physical and mental welfare of our children and the well-being and fitness of our economy and communities should be the decisive factors, but will not be. Education policy is and will be most strongly influenced by the overwhelmingly left of center National Education Association and associated teacher unions.

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  34. Machias PD moves into new location

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The Machias Police Department has moved from its aging offices and into a larger, more practical space in the Machias Telebusiness Center located on Stackpole Road.

    Machias Police Chief Todd Hand first suggested the move at a February selectboard meeting, and the selectboard quickly approved the idea.

    “We really did have a need for a bigger, more professional place,” said Hand. “I commend the selectboard for recognizing that and acting on it.”

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  35. COVID-19 testing sites open, opioid abuse facing ‘mixed bag’

    by Ruth Leubecker

    As rural Maine receives additional financial help to increase testing, with an intensified emphasis on attracting those without a provider’s order, hope remains that more sites will open in Washington County.

    As of July 6, 20 “swab and send” sites have opened from Fort Kent to Portland in attempts to satisfy the demand for tests. Additional mobile sites are also scheduled to launch soon.

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  36. Fields at UMM to remain empty after athletics suspension

    by Jordan Donovan

    The University of Maine at Machias last Tuesday announced that it will suspend its varsity athletics program for an “indefinite period” effective July 21. The suspension was attributed in part to the economic situation imposed by the pandemic, and the economic fallout of COVID-19. However, in their press release it was implied that the school’s financial situation was already a topic of concern prior to COVID-19.

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  37. Former preemie fundraising for NICU with 10-mile bike ride

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    MacKenzie Schors spent her first 100 days of life in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Next week, she’s hosting a biking fundraiser, collecting money for the hospital that gave her a strong beginning.

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  38. Machias Subway’s year runs happily counter to trends

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    After a rough start courtesy of COVID-19, the Machias Subway restaurant location reports higher-than-expected annual sales despite the pandemic.

    “We were up to 75 percent of our normal sales, and when they opened the motels back up we were back up into the 90s,” said co-owner Bill Laprade. “Then last week Machias had a record week in its history.”

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  39. Comet provides once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

    by Kaileigh Deacon

    For many, the thought of a comet passing in the sky is exciting but not unexpected. After all, most of us grew up hearing about the famous Halley’s Comet as a commonplace idea and probably assume that comets are all discovered, and it’s just a matter of time before they come back around. However, like all of science, astronomy is developing as technology becomes more advanced, and our ability to explore the unknowns of space increases. New things are discovered all the time.  

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  40. PRSWDD and towns close to agreement on split

    by Nancy Beal

    The Pleasant River Solid Waste Disposal District’s board of directors and the towns of Jonesport and Columbia Falls have finally reached a final agreement on how to part ways, and only the typing of a clean copy stands in the way of those two towns withdrawing from the group of six communities that banded together in the 1990s to create an alternative to their individual landfills. Negotiations—replete with lawyers’ letters and proposal documents—have extended more than a year. On July 20, when the PRSWDD board met in Jonesboro, all sides seemed to be in agreement.

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  41. Border closure extended to Aug. 21, at least

    by Jayna Smith

    Many saw it coming:  the extension of the U.S. and Canada border closure, now closed to non-essential travel until at least Aug.21.  First closed in mid-March for 30 days, the restrictions have been extended every 30 days since.  

    It has been reported that most Canadians fear a reopening, with confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19 in the United States the highest in the world.  Canada has flattened its epidemic curve.  

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  42. Three journeys to Cherryfield Days

    by Wayne Smith

    This is the story of three people's separate experiences of Cherryfield Days, three different experiences that offer a little insight. This is what they had to say as they reflected on Cherryfield's biggest celebration of the year, a celebration that, for one weekend a year, lights up a town with a parade and fireworks among other things. A place that can fill up with people crowding streets and different events in a hurry. A moment in time captured in one story.

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  43. Maine Baseball Academy to host youth clinic in Calais

    by Jayna Smith

    The coronavirus may have canceled school baseball for the spring 2020 season, but younger kids in the greater Calais area and the greater Machias area still had the opportunity to play in each town’s respective Little League programs.  As well, high school-aged boys took advantage of playing in the Maine Independent Baseball League, a replacement for this year’s canceled American Legion baseball, with teams having been fielded in both Calais and Machias.  

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  44. The Nature of Phenology: Sea lavender

    by Hazel Stark

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  45. Lubec cemetery preservation project lifts spirits, unearths stories

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    More than one driver slowed to a crawl, craning their necks to watch the flurry of activity that buzzed through Lubec’s Bayview Cemetery. There amidst tents, tripods, and buckets of cleaning supplies, 20 volunteers dotted the landscape, busily restoring the historic Main Street cemetery.

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