1. Drones will survey for Machias dike as replacement planning moves ahead

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A plan to fix the aging Machias dike will take another step forward when Maine Department of Transportation drones will survey the Middle River and its adjoining properties beginning next week. DOT Chief Engineer Joyce Taylor said the DOT chose drones as a way to survey without entering private land.

    “We’re looking at getting elevation levels so that when we assess the alternatives [for] the Machias dike project, we’ll know what might actually get flooded with each alternative,” said Taylor.

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  2. Child abuse under oversight scrutiny

    by Ruth Leubecker

    With child endangerment numbers outpacing the national average, Maine is looking to improve its outcomes and the future of child welfare throughout the state.

    “The Government Oversight Committee has never really let go of this since the Kennedy-Chick deaths, but now we have a renewed request,” said Rep. Genevieve McDonald (D-Stonington), House chair of the GOC. “We have no timeline at this point, and there will be another review.”

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  3. Cooper Robicheau invites area youth to sell lemonade July 24

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Cooper Robicheau started raising money for charity when he was only 8 years old. Now 16, he wants to help other youths learn how to raise money, and hopes they’ll also learn something else in the process.

    “I would encourage them to use some of it in some charitable way,” said Cooper.

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  4. Jonesport to act on adult marijuana ordinance

    by Nancy Beal

    Officials in Jonesport have been working on an ordinance to regulate the use of adult marijuana off and on since the substance was legalized for non-medical use by Maine’s legislature three years ago. Lack of state guidelines and absence of prototypes have delayed the process, but selectmen have consistently urged that the town deal with the subject before a building application was presented to the planning board prior to an ordinance being in place.

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  5. $500k EPA grant will restore Cutler recreation center

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    According to authority chairman Betsy Fitzgerald, the Washington County Development Authority has been awarded a $500,000 grant to decontaminate and restore a recreation center on the decommissioned Cutler Naval Base. 

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  6. At family farm, life comes full circle for Navy veteran

    Glen Dinsmore grew up on his family’s more than 100-year-old farm in Downeast, Maine. He and his brother, Dwight, worked on the farm in Trescott, but as they got older, the family leased the property for others to use as farmland.

    Glen attended Washington Academy in East Machias and graduated with the class of 1949. That same year, he met Joyce Durgan, who would later become his wife. She went to Lubec High School and was crowned Prom Queen her senior year while Glen was elected Prom King at his school — it was a match that was meant to be.

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  7. Two wild blueberry ‘greats’ inducted to Hall of Honor

    Wild blueberries have been part of the Washington County fabric for generations. But something new for the traditional agricultural sector got added to its culture last week: the Maine Wild Blueberry Hall of Honor.

     

    Respected for their decades-long roles in local blueberry history, two men were inducted as the first cohort: Dr. John Gaddis of East Machias, and the late Francis Nicholas, of Pleasant Point.

     

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  8. Left attacks freedom

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    Teachers union embraces Critical Race Theory (CRT), climate alarmists call for China appeasement

     

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  9. Eastport Arts Center announces children’s theater summer session

    Eastport Arts Center embarks on its first-ever summer session of Children’s Theater Workshop on Wednesday, July 14 from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Each week through August 18, participants from ages 7 to 18* can join in to play theater games, build skills on stage, and learn the ins and outs of improvisation and sketch comedy. The workshop will culminate in a short performance for participants’ families during the final class. 

     

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  10. The Nature of Phenology: Common valerian flowering

    by Hazel Stark

     

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  11. Obituary - Donald McKinnon

    LACONIA, NH – Donald McKinnon, 85, of Laconia, founder and former owner of the Ridgewood, N.J. Cycle Shop, died Thursday, July 1, 2021, at Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital in Lebanon.

    Mr. McKinnon was born December 15, 1935, in Paterson, NJ, the son of the late John and Bertha (Nyenhouse) McKinnon. He grew up in Ridgewood and attended community schools.

    In 1955, he joined the Army and served in Germany. He was honorably discharged in 1957 as a specialist fourth class, specializing in weapons and mechanics.

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  12. New Machias board talks goals, public concerts, and town staffing

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

     

    New selectboard members Carole Porcher and Sandra Sinford continued learning the technical ropes of their new positions at the current board’s second meeting held Wednesday, June 30. Porcher and Sinford were elected on June 8, returning the board to its full, five-person membership after more than a year with four members due to the death of Dr. James Whalen. Sinford has previously served as selectman. 

     

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  13. Loopholes in federal broadband funding will confront rural needs

    by Ruth Leubecker

     

    Leveling the broadband playing field has taken a step forward in tackling major hurdles facing rural areas, courtesy of how federal funds will be doled out throughout Maine.

     

    “The town funding will flow through the state, but all towns have to have some kind of a plan in place for this to happen,” says Peggy Schaffer, director of ConnectME. “The treasury is giving out this money, and in order to be unserved, everybody has to be able to get 25/3.” (The definition of unserved is 25 megabits down, 3 megabits up.)

     

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  14. Monthly child tax credit begins July 15

    by Jayna Smith

     

    Many people will soon be receiving monthly Child Tax Credits. This is due to the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021, which is expanding the tax credit.

     

    Instead of a yearly tax credit, however, advance payments will be received by those who qualify on a monthly basis. Those payments are set to begin on July 15 and will continue mid-month through December.

     

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  15. Beals voters approve revised harbor ordinance, float money

    by Nancy Beal

     

    An effort to revise and update Beals’ 2004 Harbor & Coastal Waters Ordinance has been underway for over a year, when Paula McCormack was voted onto the board of selectmen in March 2020. Working with the town’s attorney to make adjustments that accounted for changes in state statute (M.R.S. 30-A), she presented a revision to the town’s harbor committee May 12. Following the committee’s approval, she scheduled a public hearing, followed by an (approving) vote last week (June 29).

     

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  16. Town costs for storm damage near $200k

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

     

    Three towns and one private homeowners’ association will pay a combined $200,000 to repair road damages from a June 9 thunderstorm that dropped up to 7” of rain in two hours, creating flash flood events in Machias, Roque Bluffs, Jonesboro, and Machiasport. 

     

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  17. Maine’s state of civil emergency comes to an end

    by Jayna Smith

     

    On Wednesday, June 30, Maine officials held the last of the scheduled COVID-19 briefings as the state’s civil emergency came to an end.

     

    The state of civil emergency was put into effect by Gov. Janet Mills on March 15, 2020, three days after the first reported case of coronavirus in the state, and extended times.

     

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  18. Jonesport fishfarm gets DEP wastewater discharge permit; Kingfish brings chef, yellowtail samples to Moosabec 4th

    by Nancy Beal

     

    When two dozen Moosabeckers showed up on the library lawn last week for Kingfish Maine’s contribution to their July 4th celebration, they were in search of renowned chef Bardon Seaver, his ideas on sustainable fisheries, and a chance to sample some grilled yellowtail that Kingfish intends to grow after building a $100 million land-based fish farm in Jonesport.

     

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  19. Freedom Studies

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    Last week America celebrated our 245th Birthday as an independent nation dedicated to freedom.  One group of Americans has rejected that Birthday and cultural inheritance, arguing the country was actually founded in 1619 and is irredeemably dedicated to racism and oppression. Those dissidents are entitled by our Constitution to their views. My own 1st Amendment-protected (for now) opinion is that the identitarian racist Black Lives Matter/Antifa/ Democrat/ Biden voter/ critical race theory left is an existential threat to freedom. 

     

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  20. Local artists donate talents to Chair-ity Auction

    Women for Healthy Rural Living will hold a “Chair-ity” Auction from July 22 to Aug. 1 to raise funds for Milbridge Commons Wellness Park.  The on-line auction will feature ten Adirondack chairs, each painted by a different artist.  The chairs will be on display at Milbridge Commons on Saturday, July 31 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the annual Milbridge Days festivities. The online auction will also run from July 22 to Aug. 1.

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  21. The Nature of Phenology: Lightning bugs

    by Hazel Stark

     

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  22. At annual meeting, DECH hails ‘good year’, talks takeover bumps in the road

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Just as last year, Down East Community Hospital held its 2020 annual meeting via Zoom, with COVID and attendant issues still lurking in the background.

    Kathy Land welcomed all those present and thanked those leaving the board for their  service, thanking all for their exemplary work throughout the year.

    She also said how much everyone was looking forward to the reopening of the East Machas Medical Center, and the expansion of the Milbridge Medical Center.  

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  23. For eligible travelers, Canadian restrictions finally loosening

    by Jayna Smith

    Since being closed to all but essential travel back in March of 2020, the border with Canada will finally soon see some restrictions being loosened.

    Effective July 5 at 11:59 p.m. EDT, those travelers who are currently able to enter Canada will be able to do so without having to quarantine if they are fully immunized against COVID-19.  Those “eligible” include those with a right of entry, such as Canadian citizens/dual citizens, permanent residents, and people registered under the Indian Act.

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  24. County weighs options for $6M in American Rescue Funds

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

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  25. Jonesporters authorize $1.75M for JES, $104.5K for island abatement; sale of town land pending survey, assessment

    by Nancy Beal

    Without discussion or opposition, on June 23 approximately 20 Jonesporters voted to spend $1,755,169 on their elementary school in fiscal year 2021-22. The lion’s share of that amount was $637,529 in additional local share: money needed beyond what the state considers necessary to run the school according to the funding model that it uses for all Maine schools, known as the Essential Programs and Services allocation model.

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  26. DECH’s accomplishments reported at annual meeting

    On June 23, Down East Community Hospital held its 2021 Annual Meeting of Corporators to report on the accomplishments of 2020.

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  27. Sens King and Collins defend confirmation of anti-Semite racist civil rights nominee

    by Jonathan Reisman

    My June 2 column took Senators King and Collins to task for confirming Kristen Clarke as the top civil rights attorney at President Biden’s Department of Justice. Ms. Clarke is a stone-cold anti-Semite racist who had advocated defunding the police and discriminating against whites and Jews for “equity”. Senator Collins was the only Republican who supported Ms. Clarke.

    I let both Senators know my displeasure with their votes, and here are their responses:

    Dear Mr. Reisman,

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  28. Chasing history

    by Wayne Smith

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  29. Jonesport library seafood cookbook and tasting event June 30

    Join chef and author Barton Seaver at the Peabody Memorial Library in Jonesport, Wednesday, June 30, at 4 p.m., as Barton prepares Kingfish, fresh Dutch Yellowtail provided by Kingfish Maine, and The Kingfish Company.

    At the Kingfish Maine-sponsored event, you can try Dutch Yellowtail,  a ‘Green Choice’ recommended by the Good Fish Foundation as an excellent sustainable alternative.

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  30. Be bear wise

    by IFW Promotional Coordinator Lauren McPherson  

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  31. In Cutler: Maine’s last cannery wins ‘Ocean Champion’ award

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Bar Harbor Foods’ products are distributed from three U.S. warehouses, sold in 10 countries and 25,000 stores, but they’re all packed in one cannery that stands between Holmes Bay and the Cutler Road. In fact, it’s the last cannery on the coast of Maine, in operation for more than 104 years.

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  32. East Machias Town Meeting reports lowered net budget

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Not prime time for an annual town meeting, but at 9 am on Saturday, townspeople and officials gathered to decide on the school budget, the town budget and 42 warrant articles.

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  33. Eastport readies for Fourth of July celebration

    by Jayna Smith

    Organizers of Eastport’s Fourth of July celebration have been hard at work for weeks, planning and scheduling events, with considerations made due to the COVID-19 pandemic and guidelines set at the state level.  

    This year, the easternmost city will kick off the weekend with a family-friendly street dance happening Friday, July 2 at Overlook Park beginning at 7:30 p.m., with Saturday, July 3 and Sunday, July 4 full of events throughout the days.  

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  34. J-BHS, Beals Elementary budgets approved

    by Nancy Beal

    The budgets for two of the three schools in the Moosabec area were approved last week by small bodies of voters who challenged none of the figures put before them. A total of $1,709,874 was authorized for Jonesport-Beals High School June 15, down a bit from last year’s $1,777,973. The state’s contribution to that amount was presented as $388,554, a bit over $35,000 less than last year. Taxpayers will be expected to pay $546,227 (last year it was about $21,000 less).

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  35. Ban on single-use plastic bags takes effect July 1

    by Jayna Smith

    Starting on July 1, Walmart customers will no longer cart their groceries and other goods out of the store using those familiar gray plastic Walmart bags. July 1 is when the ban on single-use plastic bags takes effect in Maine.

    Customers will need to bring their own reusable bag or container when shopping at Walmart. The chain will have reusable bags for sale at the registers and throughout the store starting at a price of 50¢.

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  36. Coming to Washington County

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

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  37. Fourth of July events are back with a bang in Lubec

    by Jayna Smith

    A fun-filled weekend is planned in Lubec to celebrate Independence Day, starting Thursday, July 1st with a barbecue dinner at 5 p.m., hosted by the Masons.  

    Beginning Friday, July 2 and throughout the weekend, take a drive around Lubec to see homes all over town decorated for the holiday as each homeowner vies for cash prizes in the fun decorating contest.  

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  38. Tall ships set sail in the Penobscot River July 9-18

    The Penobscot Maritime Heritage Association is celebrating Maine’s 200th birthday with a big splash. Tall ships and schooners will ply the waters of the mighty Penobscot River for the first time in 40 years! Historic seafaring vessels will visit various ports in the lower Penobscot River basin from July 9-18, 2021. They will be honoring Maine’s rich maritime past in the waterfront towns that anchor the geographic area known as the 4-Port Loop. This year, the anchors are Bangor, Bucksport, Orrington, and Searsport. The 4-Port Loop celebration is proudly presented by Bangor Savings Bank.

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  39. Driftwood art washes up next for workshop series

    Eastport Arts Center’s Summer Workshop Series continues Tuesday, July 13, with Driftwood Art. Geared for ages 12 and up, the found object sculpture workshop will be taught by artist Michael Morse from 1:30-3:30 pm. Morse will give attendees tips and ideas for beach combing, proper cleaning and other techniques for working with driftwood. Using some of the beach gleanings provided, or their own finds, participants will make small seaside assemblages of their own design.

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  40. The Nature of Phenology: Bracken fern

    by Hazel Stark

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  41. Flash flood event rips out area roads, devastates Duck Cove

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    On any normal day, a stream runs behind Danny Bunker’s property in Roque Bluffs, something he describes as a “trickle.” But in the early morning hours of Wednesday, June 9, that trickle became something else altogether.

    “That stream was 100 feet wide,” said Bunker. “It was like a river.”

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  42. MBACC still struggling as COVID clobbers fundraising

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Sharon Mack, who had been the face of the Machias Bay Area Chamber of Commerce for years, now exemplifies the face of the nonprofit itself.
    “I’ve been furloughed since a year ago last March,” she says. “And this is our second summer without a fundraiser. Our membership never kept us afloat. We needed those fundraisers.”

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  43. School budget decisions face Moosabeckers

    by Nancy Beal

    Union 103 in Beals and Jonesport is comprised of three schools—two elementary schools and a combined high school—each of which has a separate school board and separate budget. This is the time of year that those budgets are presented to the public for approval. The Beals Elementary School and Jonesport-Beals High School budget votes were held earlier this week (see next week’s MVNO for details), and the Jonesport Elementary School budget will face voters at 6 p.m., Wednesday, June 23 in the school’s all-purpose room.

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  44. Wallet found during renovation reveals clues to 1880s Calais

    by Jayna Smith

    Anyone who has renovated one of the many old homes in Calais knows that task can sometimes unearth some sort of token from years past. Such was the case last week for Charles Lewis and his wife Ginger when Charles opened a wall at their Main Street home.

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  45. The dangers of brown tail moth caterpillars

    by Natalie Boomer

    Brown tail moth caterpillars have been spotted in Washington County throughout the past few weeks.

    Although these small creatures may look harmless, they can actually cause severe reactions.

    If you see a brown caterpillar with a broken white stripe on each side and two red/orange spots on the tail end, steer clear.

    They have tiny poisonous hairs that can cause a skin rash that is similar to poison ivy. They can also cause breathing issues and other respiratory problems.

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