1. Rural health care providers challenged by COVID-19 turmoil

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Rural hospitals and providers have long struggled with national rules and responses that largely do not take into account the uniqueness of their daily battle for survival.

    As the 21st century gains its toehold, issues like broadband expansion and complicated  technology have joined the chaos of a global pandemic and the closure of necessary hospital departments and specialties.

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  2. Machias girl runs thriving online business, Binkies Bunny Treats

    by Praise Moore

    At her house, every day you can hear the cha-ching of an Etsy notification sounding on the phone when Grace Moore gets a new order. Moore’s business, Binkies Bunny Treats, was founded on her love of bunnies. She sells foraged organic rabbit treats from right here in Washington County, to rabbit owners all over the world.

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  3. Downeast Maine eyed for National Heritage area

    by Nancy Beal

    The Sunrise County Economic Council is organizing an inquiry into the creation of a National Heritage Area in eastern Maine. The move was prompted over a year ago by participants of the wild blueberry industry in Washington County, who envisioned the designation as both fitting for the unique, centuries-old existence of wild blueberries and, at the same time, capable of reviving the family farms that are in danger of going extinct because of pressure from the world of big business.

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  4. Motorists reminded of ‘Move Over’ law

    by Jayna Smith

    Enacted in 2007, Maine’s “Move Over” law requires motorists to slow down to 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit when encountering an emergency vehicle or public service vehicle stopped with flashing lights.  If possible, the law also requires drivers to move over at least one lane from the scene where the vehicle is working.  Drivers who fail to do so can face a fine of $326.

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  5. Freedom (in) Jeopardy

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    In honor of the late Alex Trebek and the endangered Republic

    Truth, Justice and the American way- What is systemic racism?

    Don’t tug on Superman’s Cape- What is White fragility?

    White Supremacy and Extremism- What is rampant in the U.S. military amongst white males, according to our new Secretary of Defense.

    All White people- What is racist?

    Publicly disagreeing with progressive policy prescriptions or any BIPOC- What is racism?

    Anti-Semitism- What is Black common sense?

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  6. UMaine, UNH Extensions offer webinar on edible native plants Feb. 24

    University of Maine Cooperative Extension and University of New Hampshire Extension will offer a webinar for home gardeners about edible native plants in the landscape from 6–7 p.m. Feb. 24.

    “Nibbling on Natives in Your Backyard and Beyond” identifies more than two dozen species of native edible wild plants suitable for adding to backyard landscapes and supporting native pollinators. Russ Cohen, expert forager and author of “Wild Plants I Have Known … and Eaten,” will lead the workshop.

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  7. Washington County students advocate for arts education

    Arts students from two Washington County schools will head to Augusta — virtually — for an Arts Education Advocacy Day hosted by the Maine Alliance for Arts Education on Feb. 17. The event kicks off a 10-day session in which high school-aged teams from all over the state—including Kali Wallander (freshman), Eastport, and Tristan Seavey (junior) and Hailey Calder (senior), Calais—will meet with state legislators to discuss the importance of arts in their schools, and how they’ve fared during this unusual year for arts education.

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  8. Ark saves pup missing for 2 wintry months

    When Christian Dior showed up at our shelter, we were so happy to have him as ours until we could get him adopted to the right family. Unfortunately, one of the worst things that could happen occurred a few days later: Christian escaped. Even with all efforts, community engagement, and awareness, we could not seem to capture Christian and get him back to safety. This was just the beginning of our sleepless nights and colder weather.

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  9. The Nature of Phenology: Chickadees in winter

    by Hazel Stark

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  10. Hospital urges 'sign up warriors' to assist elderly in vaccine registration

     

    Down East Community Hospital today, Feb. 3,  released the following letter concerning online registration for the COVID-19 vaccine. The hospital urges residents to assist any elderly who might have difficulty registering online for the vaccine clinics, which will take place as vaccine doses are made available to the hospital.

    Due to the volume of interest, the hospital is only taking vaccine registrations online, not via phone.

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  11. Police, airport fuel farm and transfer station top Machias board agenda

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A relatively quiet Machias Board of Selectmen meeting hit two crescendos on Wednesday, Jan. 27.

    The first took place when, one hour into the event, five new attendees entered the Zoom waiting room. No sooner did chairman Joshua Rolfe admit them into the public meeting than the young people launched into their version of a prank phone call. Rolfe was seen forbearing their often-lewd comments with a sigh while working to remove them from the meeting.  

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  12. Pandemic advances Corbett’s goals to critical forefront

    by Ruth Leubecker

    For years pioneering Susan Corbett has impressively furthered her dream of providing broadband access to rural Mainers, but in these crisis days of the pandemic, new and fertile territory is enhancing those goals.

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  13. Expressions Floral prepares for busiest day of their year

    by Hailey Wood

    Being the owner of a successful flower shop demands skills and careful planning. One of the events that puts those skills to the test is the influx of orders around holidays, especially for the busiest day of florist’s year — Valentine’s Day.

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  14. Jonesport budget readied for voters

    by Nancy Beal

    The Jonesport budget committee spent 90 minutes with the town’s selectmen January 27, considering their suggestions and preparing a spending plan to put before voters next month. The total came to $767,113 but included $40,000 for rebate on taxes paid early, a discount that has been consistently voted down at town meeting in recent years.

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  15. Convicted Machiasport murderer dies in prison

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Richard B. Uffelman has died in prison, according to the Maine Department of Corrections, which declined to give further details. He was roughly 74 years old.

    In 1992, Uffelman was convicted in the murders of his neighbors, Michael and Florence Phillips on Aug. 29, 1989, in Machiasport. According to contemporary reports, the murders were recorded by a video camera the Phillipses had set up in their kitchen to record acts of harassment by Uffelman in a feud between the neighbors.

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  16. Flushing 1776 down the Memory Hole

    Elections have consequences, and President Biden has decided that one consequence of the election that shall not be questioned is the elevation of the “America is systemically racist” falsehood to holy writ. He has appropriately chosen former UN Ambassador Susan Rice to lead that charge. The execrable Ms.

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  17. Pembroke Historical society offers online program Feb 24: Abolition and the Underground Railroad in Maine

    The Pembroke Historical Society will continue its popular Zoom history series on Wednesday, Feb. 24, with Dr. Mary T. Freeman presenting "Abolition and the Underground Railroad in Maine: Memory, Myth, and History." Dr. Freeman, who received her doctorate at Columbia University, is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Maine, in Orono, and Managing Editor for the Maine History journal, published by the Maine Historical Society.

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  18. Ballot box biology

    by V. Paul Reynolds

    In Maine and in a number of Western states, ballot box biology continues unabated.

    What is ballot box biology? Put simply, it is when well-intentioned but misguided animal rights activists use the democratic process to unilaterally impose wildlife management policies that rightfully should be left to professional wildlife biologists and policymakers.

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  19. The Nature of Phenology: Winter birds

    by Hazel Stark

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  20. Deaths still surge, vaccines up for elderly, but sites a logistical challenge

    by Ruth Leubecker

    With demand already exceeding supply, then 4,400 doses of COVID vaccine arriving in Maine unusable, this has been a week of crisis as the state continues to battle the virus.

    “We decided 35 of the 50 shipments to Maine had exceeded the safe temperature,” explained Dr. Nirav Shah in his January 19 briefing. “That’s 4,400 doses over the required minimum storage temperature on the Moderna vaccine. We should be receiving replacement shipments over the next two days.”

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  21. Sen. Moore prioritizes constituent requests with ten 1st session bills

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Sen. Marianne Moore (R-Washington) is back on the road between Augusta and Calais, this week meeting with committees and members of the Washington County delegation to take up the work of Maine’s first legislative session. Though most of the legislature’s winter work will be done virtually, Moore says she’s delighted to get a little face time, too.

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  22. Proposed Jonesport budget up $88.5k

    by Nancy Beal

    At their January 20 meeting, Jonesport selectmen completed the requests that they will recommend to the budget committee this week for consideration by the town next March. The grand total is $762,113, an increase of $88,515 over last year’s amount. If voters follow the pattern of late years and choose not to raise $40,000 as rebate for early-paid taxes paid, the increase will be $48,515.

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  23. Hospital: ‘We’re ready. We just need vaccines.’

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Down East Community Hospital’s website is set up to accept reservations for public vaccinations, beginning with people 70 and older. But before they open the floodgates, hospital officials say they want vaccines in hand.

    Spokesperson Julie Hixson said the Machias hospital learned a painful lesson when they were promised delivery of 200 doses and so took 200 reservations for health care workers and other members of Maine Center for Disease Control (CDC) vaccine phase 1a, the first phase to be vaccinated.

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  24. UPS drivers save man’s life after motor vehicle accident

    by Jayna Smith

    Our local UPS drivers are always greatly appreciated for their delivery service, day in and day out bringing us our awaited packages. However, on one day just recently, two UPS drivers did much more than that and are credited with saving the lives of a man and his dog.

    Two weeks ago, UPS driver Josh Gillespie made a stop at an East Machias home. This particular stop was not supposed to be part of Gillespie’s route that day, so he took care of it very first thing.

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  25. Unity?

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

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  26. Catching up with 2 Vietnam vets

    by Wayne Smith

    It was an unseasonably warm January night that I caught up with Albert Walker and Dan Handy, both of Milbridge. I walked up Main Street. The nursing home still had its Christmas Tree lit in beautiful colors. As I entered the driveway of Walker and Handy a vehicle tooted the horn at me. I had a couple of vets that wanted to tell their story to me. I really didn’t know what to expect. I sat down in a chair. Handy was to the right of me, and Walker was to the left. It was my chance to ask the questions.

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  27. Owl-themed ‘Craft Along’ for kids video released

    Nia Aretakis, instructor of EAC’s KinderArts Craft Along video series, presents her latest—Winter Owl Art. Viewers’ curiosity about owls will be piqued as they’re inspired to make their own wee owls of cardboard, felt and paint.

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  28. The moose tick problem

    by V. Paul Reynolds

    The scientific management of Maine’s wildlife populations can be complex and, at times, counter-intuitive. There are, however, some fundamental tenets that are timeless. Here are two: 1) An over abundance of animals is not a good thing, and in time can trigger unhealthy populations plagued with disease and starvation, and 2) Recreational hunting with harvest quotas is a proven and effective method of regulating animal population densities.

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  29. Slippery ice

    by Joseph Horn

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  30. 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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  31. 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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  32. 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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  33. 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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  34. 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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  35. 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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  36. 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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  37. O. Henry meets George Orwell

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

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  38. 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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  39. 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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  40. The Nature of Phenology: Winter loons

    by  Joseph Horn

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  41. 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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  42. 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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  43. 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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  44. 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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  45. 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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