1. Milbridge issues early invite for others to join their parade

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Although there may be no blueberry festival this season and no lobster festival, Milbridge Days promises a big shebang, with an exciting theme, plus The Codfather.

    The annual multi-faceted celebration, held this year from July 27-31, hopes to attract many parade participants beyond Milbridge.

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  2. DC Interlude

    My wife and I traveled to Washington, D.C. for a Wuflu delayed family reunion with our sons and their plus-ones. What follows are my notes and observations after five days of following my promise to my wife to say nothing in response to the pro-BLM, pro Critical Race Theory, anti-capitalist, anti-Constitutional millennial ravings of our progeny and the possible mothers (excuse me, birthing persons) of our grandchildren, should we be so blessed.

    Bangor

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  3. PRSWDD and other waste groups grapple with Hampden plant ownership change

    by Nancy Beal

    The Pleasant River Solid Waste Disposal District (PRSWDD) is a small entity with a big name and a recent history of many problems, some solved, some pending. Those worries have ranged from non-functioning truck scales and an unstable wall that denies the plant insurance to the withdrawal of two of its six member towns and the in-progress retreat of a third. (Of the original six, Addison, Jonesboro and Beals remain. Jonesport and Columbia Falls pulled out last year, and Columbia is in the progress of leaving.)

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  4. Wildfire put out by local departments, forest service

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Unusually dry conditions likely contributed to a wildfire that spread through nearly 18 acres of Northfield and Wesley last week. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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  5. Sipayik Elementary School teacher named 2021 Washington County Teacher of the Year

    Sipayik Elementary School also known as Beatrice Rafferty School Teacher Diana Mahar is the 2021 Washington County Teacher of the Year, announced during a virtual ceremony Wednesday, May 12.

    The Maine Teacher of the Year program honors the contributions of Maine Teachers. The County Teacher of the Year is committed to excellence and nurture the achievements of all students and his/her exemplary skills inspire students and colleagues.

    Ms. Mahar has been teaching at Sipayik since 2014 and currently in her 4th year of teaching 5th grade.

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  6. Free outdoor day camp for girls at the Milbridge Commons

    Women for Healthy Rural Living (WHRL) and Maine Outdoor School, L3C, (MOS) are excited to announce that registration is now open for OWLette, a free summer day camp for girls. Owlette will happen twice this summer, and participants will gain outdoor, gardening, and naturalist skills while learning about climate change. The first session will be June 28 through July 1st and will be for girls ages 11 - 16.

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  7. Wild Blueberry Heritage Center invites your stories

    The Wild Blueberry Heritage Center and Museum, a community-minded nonprofit showcasing one of Maine’s most iconic crops, invites your stories and your stuff.

    That is, if you raked blueberries every August in your childhood, or if you have old rakes or winnowers or boxes needing a new place besides your old barn – you are welcome to contribute both memories and items, including photographs, to the museum’s exhibits.

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  8. Stage East to open EAC 2021 season with one-person plays

    Stage East proudly returns to the theater with two in person offerings this June. Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett and The Human Voice by Jean Cocteau will be played back-to-back June 4, 5 11 and 12, at 7 pm, and June 6 and 13 at 2 pm. Both plays are short one-person works that deal with themes of isolation and technology, and are being mounted by a vaccinated cast and crew with strict adherence to CDC guidelines to create a safe and enjoyable night of theater for attendees.

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  9. The Nature of Phenology: Cherry blossoms

    by Joseph Horn

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  10. Machias selectboard names Bill Kitchen interim town manager

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    By unanimous vote at a meeting held Tuesday, May 18, the Machias Board of Selectmen appointed former selectman Bill Kitchen as interim town manager. 

    Former town manager Christina Therrien vacated the position on Friday, May 15, six weeks earlier than expected.

    Board chairman Joshua Rolfe raised Kitchen’s name first at Tuesday’s meeting, detailing his qualifications.

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  11. Machias launches interim search after town manager resigns early

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Former Machias Town Manager Christina Therrien issued a 110-day notice of resignation in March, but shortened that timeframe with a written resignation notice sent Friday, May 14, effective immediately.

    The resignation followed a tense meeting held on the evening of May 12, when the four-person selectboard went into executive session with town counsel Sarah Newell of Eaton Peabody. Returning to the waiting audience on Zoom, selectboard chairman Joshua Rolfe asked Therrien to go into an executive session with the board.

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  12. Americans on mask honor system

    by Jayna Smith

    Many felt relief last week with the step closer to normalcy when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that those who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can stop masking and social distancing in most situations.

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  13. Mixed signals, myriad issues mark Gov. Mills’ path forward

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Prioritizing education and honoring a promise unmet for 15 years, Gov. Janet Mills unveiled her $8.8-billion budget to much bipartisan fanfare.

    It was an historic investment in education, with $187 million going to public schools, and satisfying a 55-percent long-standing obligation.

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  14. Beals officials seek windmill moratorium; harbor law revised

    by Nancy Beal

    Beals selectwomen have been reviewing the town’s ordinances, both existing and future planned. Next week, townspeople will be asked to impose a 180-day moratorium on the application of windmill permits in order to give the town time to draft and pass rules that would govern their installation. A public information session on the need for such a moratorium, followed by a town vote on it, is scheduled for 6 p.m., Tuesday, May 25 in the town office meeting room.

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  15. Machias votes in favor of Bad Little Brewing grant application

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Machias residents voted overwhelmingly to support a Community Block Development Grant (CDBG) application on behalf of Bad Little Brewing Company, a craft beer and farm-to-table restaurant soon to be located at 101 Court Street in the historic Clark Perry House.

    The dining and taprooms will be located in the property’s barn, which will be moved to begin construction on a new foundation as early as next week.

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  16. T/S State of Maine arrives in Virginia, sets course for Maine

    The Training Ship State of Maine (TSSOM) arrived in Norfolk, Virginia, last week under blue skies and fair weather. The vessel sailed past the Norfolk Naval Station and into Lambert’s Point, navigating through one of the busiest ports on the Eastern Seaboard.

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  17. Army Veteran is also family man, teacher, superintendent, and inn owner

    It was a thankful day indeed for the parents of Richard “Dick” Holbrook Grant, who was born Nov. 24, 1927, in New Briton, Connecticut, two days before Thanksgiving,

    His father was a teacher, and his mother stayed at home to care for Dick and siblings Robert, Leighton, and Madeline. The Grants moved more than 400 miles to Columbia Falls, Maine, when Dick was just six months old.

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  18. Responses to unequal justice and call for defunding FBI

    Last week’s column argued that that the FBI and Department of Justice were systemically biased against right of center Americans and called for their defunding because their unequal administration of justice is a recipe for tyranny.

    I shared my concerns with Representative Golden and Senators King and Collins. Senator King has not deigned to respond.  Senator Collins acknowledged receiving my concerns. Rep. Golden wrote a lengthy response arguing for the passage of HR1 and claiming credit for fighting corruption.

    Here are their unedited responses.

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  19. Uncle Stanley talks blueberrying then and now

    by Wayne Smith

    I have to look back this week. I think about my Uncle Stanley as he talked about blueberrying in the day. Stanley is the only living uncle on my father’s side of the family. He always has been a special uncle now and in the day. This week I would just like to honor him. This is my favorite article on my uncle that I ever wrote. It’s kind of a late birthday present and captures a family's tradition and a little bit more.

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  20. In Calais, authentic Mexican food truck off to strong start

    by Jayna Smith

    Folks who have been in downtown Calais lately have surely seen the new food truck on Main Street. Lined with colorful decor, the small trailer named Mama Lola’s Mexican Food Truck sits next to Triangle Park.

    Don’t be fooled by its size, however. What it lacks in kitchen space, Mama Lola’s compensates in flavor with an authentic Mexican-food experience.
    Owner Manuella “Mannie” Medrano is a first-generation Mexican-American. “My mom was from Mexico, my grandma was from Mexico, my dad was from Mexico,” she said.

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  21. The Nature of Phenology: Goldthread

    by Joseph Horn

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  22. Machias launches hiring search after town manager resigns

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Former Machias Town Manager Christina Therrien issued a 110-day notice of resignation in March, but shortened that timeframe with a written resignation notice sent Friday, May 14, effective immediately.

    “Due to the current stressful situation, I felt it was best for my health to resign at this time,” said Therrien. “I’ll miss the community tremendously.”

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  23. Machias votes 51-18 in favor of Bad Little Brewing

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Machias residents voted overwhelmingly to support a Community Block Development Grant (CDBG) application on behalf of Bad Little Brewing Company, a craft beer and farm-to-table restaurant soon to be located at 101 Court Street in the historic Clark Perry House. 

    The dining and taproom will be located in the property’s barn, which could be moved to begin construction on a new foundation as early as next week.

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  24. Famed racer returns to island home

    by Nancy Beal

    Benny Beal, originally of Beals but now of Jonesport and having reached the age of 88, was barely out of his teenage years when he set about building a small working lobster boat that would become a racing legend. The half-model for the Stella Ann, as he would name the vessel for his oldest daughter, was created by his grandfather, (William) Riley Beal, at his kitchen table on Beals Island where he fashioned a half-model that was the typical blueprint for boatbuilders of the last century.

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  25. Hike in overdose deaths spurs support for Rep. Anne Perry’s bill

    by Ruth Leubecker

    As the death toll linked to the opioid epidemic in Maine mounts annually, a new approach is being considered amidst a mixed reaction to the surge.

    With decades of medical experience as a legislator and as a nurse practitioner, Rep. Anne Perry (D-Calais) has proposed LD 967, which would decriminalize drug possession in small amounts. While the bill does not specify the amounts, Perry calls this a first step toward extending a lifeline to those with substance use disorder.

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  26. Marshfield WWII vet Harlan Gardner keeps kindness front and center

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Harlan Gardner turned 99 last month, and though he’s worn many hats in that time — Marine tail gunner, hearse driver, and mail carrier among them — it’s clear he’s also spent years honing his Downeast wit. He has a perpetual twinkle in his eye.

    “It’s a sad place to be, the last one of the line,” Harlan says, pausing. “I’m glad they picked a smart one to be on the end.”

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  27. Health officials investigating unknown brain disease appearing in New Brunswickers

    by Jayna Smith

    A growing cluster of people in New Brunswick has been experiencing signs and symptoms of a neurological syndrome of unknown cause (NSUC). With nearly fifty cases reported and six deaths caused by the disease, officials there are collaborating with local and national experts and health care providers to investigate.

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  28. Machias board, budget committee clash over sending police budget to voters

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Machias voters will not be asked to weigh in on two proposed budget items for the Machias Police Department, following a series of tense discussions between members of the Machias selectboard and budget committee.

    The Machias Board of Selectmen last week voted 3 to 1 against asking voters to consider funding for a school resource officer and part-time police department administrator. The budget committee voted 2-1 in favor of putting the items to a town vote.

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  29. Maine's Seafaring Wives & Daughters online presentation set for May 18

    An old sailors' superstition holds that women at sea bring bad luck. Yet, despite, or in defiance of this belief, many women did go to sea for long voyages under sail. On Tuesday, May 18, at 6 p.m Eastern, on Zoom, you can find out just how wrong that old superstition was for many brave women of Maine. In "Women at Sea," Ms.

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  30. Unequal protection means defund the FBI and DOJ

    Equal Justice Under Law- (Empty) Words on the Façade of the Supreme Court

    No State shall…. deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. - 14th Amendment to the Constitution

    All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others- Proclamation by Animal Farm’s pig rulers, George Orwell

    The FBI and the Department of Justice cannot be trusted to administer equal justice under the law. Their actions over the last 5 years include:

     

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  31. May flowers bloom in latest craft-along with EAC KinderArts

    EAC KinderArts video workshop series continues with ‘Craft-along: Printed Flowers.’ In this month’s video, instructor Nia Aretakis demonstrates simple techniques for creating blossom-inspired prints from everyday household items: Q-tips and paper tubes.

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  32. Skriletz celebrated with return to 'in person' theater

    On Saturday, May 1, Stage East and Indivisible Washington County celebrated the life of Jay Skriletz through a staged reading of his play, Houdini’s Secret. The event was part memorial and part fundraiser for the new Jay Skriletz Scholarship Fund, which will support youth and young adults interested in theater. With more than 20 attendees and $3,500 dollars raised, the event was felt to be a great success by members of Jay’s family and both organizations.

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  33. The Nature of Phenology: Moss

    by Hazel Stark

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  34. Letter to the Editor: Dear People of Machias

    Dear People of Machias,

    This Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Pellon Center, there will be a vote by Machias residents as to whether the town should lend its support to a new business applying for a state-funded Community Development Block Grant.

    The business, a small farm-to-table restaurant, taproom, and micro-brewery called Bad Little Brewing Company, is the result of over two years work and planning by myself and my husband Sean, both career teachers from downstate, and a lot of other folks from business advisors to craftsmen, many from right here.

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  35. Got radon? Experts share why it’s important to find out

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    What’s invisible, odorless, and a leading cause of lung cancer? You guessed it — radon, a radioactive gas that seeps out of bedrock, entering buildings through basements or even slab foundations.

    “Some of the highest readings I’ve gotten are homes that are on slabs,” says Alan Gardner, owner of Tri County Radon in Machiasport, which offers air and water radon testing services for homes, businesses, and schools.

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  36. Jonesport voters, Beals selectwomen back gun rights resolution at meeting

    by Nancy Beal

    In recent months, there has been an apparent statewide effort on the part of people promoting the right to bear arms to convince towns to sign on to their cause. To that end, members of the group have approached officials in small towns urging them to sign a resolution supporting the gun rights described in the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Their canvassing included Beals and Jonesport.

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  37. Mills reveals broadband blueprint for ambitious future

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Still encumbered by lack of funding and fiberoptic detail, high-speed Internet in rural Maine has struggled in realizing a major step toward modern-day connectivity.

    “High-speed Internet today is as fundamental as electricity, heat and water,” declared Governor Janet Mills in last Monday’s press conference, announcing a major breakthrough in the process.

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  38. Machias CDBG grant hearing well attended

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    More than 25 people turned out Thursday, April 29, to learn about a new Machias business requesting the town’s support for $180,000 in grant funding.

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  39. Machias board talks proposed Elm Street bypass corridor

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Preliminary work is being done to create a corridor of land that could one day let trucks bypass the residential side of Elm Street, instead traveling directly from Route 1 to Stackpole Road in Machias.

    Tractor-trailers are a regular — and often unwelcome —  presence on Elm Street as some travel to the Maine Wild factory and others to Machiasport seafood companies. The proposed bypass would allow the trucks to circumvent the tightest curves of Elm Street, near the Machias Valley Grange Hall.

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  40. Arise Addiction Recovery donor contributes new ride

    Arise Addiction Recovery in Machias is now traveling in comfort thanks to the generous donation of an anonymous supporter, who gifted the faith-based recovery center this 15 passenger Ford Transit van.

    “We needed an upgrade, we had a 2007 Chevy Express that was uninspectable,” said program director Paul Trovarello.

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  41. Jonesporters raise $727,113 in annual town meeting

    by Nancy Beal

    Approximately 60 Jonesporters turned out for their annual town meeting April 26 in a high school gymnasium converted to COVID-compliant conditions: chairs spaced six feet apart (except for family groups), abundant hand sanitizer and an announcement from the podium that anyone without a mask should leave or take responsibility for causing the meeting to be canceled. There were no challenges to the directive and the afternoon meeting proceeded for two-and-a-half hours.

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  42. Time for a summertime dream

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

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  43. The Nature of Phenology: Wild strawberry flowers

    by Hazel Stark

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  44. Cases climbing as clinics decrease

    by Ruth Leubecker

    More people are getting vaccinated every day, and at an accelerating pace, according to national CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. But not, however, in eastern Washington County, Maine.

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  45. Local mother succeeds in fight for toddler son’s right to hear

    by Natalie Boomer

    Two and a half year old Washington County local, Harbor Seeley has just heard sound for the very first time in his life after undergoing surgery to have a cochlear implant placed.

    Harbor was born with CHARGE Syndrome, a rare medical condition that affects many different areas of the body.

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