1. The Nature of Phenology: Skunks breeding

    by Hazel Stark

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  2. Six-player Royals team takes it all the way to Bangor

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A trophy case inside the Jonesport-Beals High School holds 13 championship gold balls — three won by the girls’ basketball teams, and 10 won by the boys. The collection won’t expand this year, but boys’ basketball coach Skipper Alley says this team has a lot to be proud of. For one thing, there are only six of them, and they made it all the way to the regional playoffs. 

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  3. Washington County’s largest schools announce end to mask mandates

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    When Machias and Washington Academy students return from winter break on Monday, Feb. 28, whether or not they wear a mask will be up to them. 

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  4. TV documentary of East Machias church restoration to proceed this summer

     The fundraising and planning for the restoration of the First Congregational Church of East Machias has met its initial goal with great success. A final decision has been made to proceed with the TV documentary filming of the church’s restoration this summer.  

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  5. So. Maine legislators push for state aerospace authority

    by Nancy Beal

    In the past year, aerospace activity in Maine has made history and headlines. In late January 2021, a Brunswick-based aerospace company launched a small rocket to the edge of space from a decommissioned Air Force base in Aroostook County using non-toxic biofuel instead of the petroleum-based propellant employed in the industry to that point. Following that world record, bluShift Aerospace contracted to secure a launch spot in Jonesport to propel small rockets into a north-south polar orbit over open ocean without traversing populated land.

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  6. Pembroke murder: County’s 2nd shooting in a week ruled homicide

    by Jayna Smith

    A second area shooting last week again brought few details made available to the public.

    Maine State Police (MSP) reported that on Wednesday, Feb. 9, at around 5:30 p.m., Washington County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to 515 Leighton Point Road in Pembroke after receiving a report of an unresponsive female.

    A spokesperson for MSP said the female was discovered deceased and the circumstances surrounding the death were considered suspicious.

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  7. In East Machias, reviving a grand old lady from longtime dereliction

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Long recognized as the presiding dowager in East Machias, the First Congregational Church stands majestically on High Street, albeit a mite shabby and neglected.

    An active participant in the lives of multiple generations of families and a stalwart beacon for all to see coming into town, the church’s history dates back to 1771, a scant eight years after the first permanent settlement of the area. 

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  8. Bad Little Brewing Company welcomes eager diners

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Food photography is suddenly splashing across local social media —  dainty pickled quail eggs, tall frosty cocktails, many-colored flights of beer, and snapshots of pear cobbler are accompanied by rave reviews from the earliest diners to visit Bad Little Brewing Company, a new farm-to-table restaurant located on Court Street in Machias. 

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  9. Pokémon Go groups bring all ages together Downeast

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Editor’s note: This is the second in our “Games We Play” series, sharing the stories of how we have fun together Downeast.

    “Did you know that this world is inhabited by Pokémon?” asks Professor Willow, a grey-haired man clad in a white lab jacket, athletic wear, and carrying a rucksack. “Pokémon can be found in every corner of the earth.” 

    Even Washington County, as it turns out.

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  10. Gift will allow food pantry dream to move forward

    A generous gift from an anonymous donor will allow the Machias Area Food Pantry to break ground and begin construction of a new building later this year, according to Lynne Gibson, pantry board president. “This is a huge step toward our goal of giving the food pantry its own home,” Gibson said.

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  11. Idle February dreams

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    February is dream-planting season- planting some garden seeds in the sunroom, dreaming of spring, and planting some political dreams in candidates in boxes, as they collect signatures and plead for campaign donations. Both operations are rooted in optimism, but both are leavened by years of disappointment. Sometimes the promising seedlings get a bit too leggy or are damaged when exposed to the sun and elements after a swaddled infancy in the warm and protected sunroom. The same can happen to candidates.

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  12. February break arts day offered for children

    Eastport Arts Center will offer a February Break Arts Day for ages 6-13 on Wednesday, Feb. 23, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Instructors Nia Aretakis (art) and L. Elwood (movement and games) will get children’s creative juices flowing with the fun session. Aretakis will start with a simple tissue paper printing project, then L. will engage the group for some energetic stretching and moves to ‘shake the sillies out.’ Finally, the students will create colorful woven paper fish. 

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  13. The Nature of Phenology: Winter mosquitoes

    by Joseph Horn

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  14. Pembroke woman's death named homicide, say Maine State Police

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Maine State Police tonight state the Feb. 9 death of a Pembroke woman is being ruled a homicide, following a Thursday autopsy.

    On Wednesday near 5:30 p.m., the Washington County Sheriff's Office Wednesday responded to 515 Leighton Point Road in Pembroke to a report of an unresponsive female, who died under suspicious circumstances. The victim has been identified as Paula Johnson, 53, of Pembroke.

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  15. Opinion: Maine is ready to lead space, says bluShift CEO

    by Sascha Deri

    Earlier this month, I spent the afternoon with a band of students from Jonesport-Beals High School. It was inspiring to see so many smart young people engaging in the science and technology of aerospace. It had me remembering my own childhood in Orland and Bucksport. I grew up knowing I’d have to leave Maine to pursue a career in technology. And that’s what I did.

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  16. Blanche Monica Guptill

    August 13, 1926 - January 5, 2022

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  17. Melvin A. Davis Jr.

    June 9, 1942 - January 8, 2022

    Melvin “Tink” A Davis Jr. left this, his earthly home to enter his heavenly home, on Saturday, January 8, 2022, in Largo, Florida.  

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  18. Local medical care presence expands

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Washington County’s three major entities of medical care – in Machias, Eastport and Lubec – are each taking a major stride to enhance their present area operations.

    “We have pediatrics there already, and we may be moving family practice providers,” says Julie Hixson, spokesman for DECH, of the Supertek building. “Those providers are now downstairs in the Reid Emery building, but we need that space.” 

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  19. Moosabec area schools discuss policies on petitions, public comments

    by Nancy Beal

    The two school boards governing Beals and Jonesport Elementary Schools turned their attention to school policy last week, specifically on revising an old one concerning participation by the public during board meetings and on creating a new one dealing with student petitions. The CSD board that handles the joint high school will take up the same matters this week. 

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  20. Fire during blizzard claims East Machias home; fundraiser underway

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    In the middle of the night and during the blizzard of Jan. 29, the East Machias Fire Department was dispatched to reports of a chimney fire on Chases Mill Road.

    East Machias Fire Chief Jack Gardner said the home’s two residents were able to get out safely.

    “I’m not sure what the temperature was but the wind was howling and it was the worst conditions we could ever imagine,” said Gardner. “They made it out basically with what they were wearing.”

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  21. Get ready for the Great Machias Winter Family Fun Day

    by Natalie Boomer

    Downeast Coastal Conservancy and Machias Bay Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the Great Machias Outdoor Winter Family Fun Day on Saturday, Feb. 26. 

    Community members are welcome to join in on the fun at Middle River Park in Machias from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

    There will be many fun things to do throughout the day, including a cardboard box sledding contest!

    Participants are welcome to create their very own cardboard box sled with a team of family, friends, or on their own, and compete for best design and the most spirit. 

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  22. Board green lights MaineStreet Business Building

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    At their regular monthly meeting held Wednesday, Feb. 2, the Machias Planning Board approved a building permit for the Sunrise County Economic Council, which will this year construct the MaineStreet Business Building on the site of the current Nash Building, on Main Street in Machias.

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  23. Six more weeks of winter forecasted by Punxsutawney Phil

    by Jayna Smith

    Feb. 2 is always the big day for Punxsutawney Phil, the apparent famed meteorologist. The groundhog has been making predictions since 1887, with just ten years missing from the record. In that time, Phil has seen his shadow now 106 times, resulting in the claim that winter will last another six weeks.

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  24. Lockdowns, mandates, and misinformation: oh my!

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    News/ Ministry of Truth/ “misinformation” items: 

    Johns Hopkins Study Showing Lockdowns had Miniscule Public Health Benefits Buried by Legacy Media

    Cloth Masks offer little to no protection Against Omni variant

    OK Boomers: Addled Karen Rockers Want Joe Rogan and “Misinformation” Muzzled

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  25. Sunday Series continues with wood carving and comedy

    EAC’s Sunday Afternoons at the Arts Center series will continue at 3 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 20 with Eastport artist Roland LaVallee, owner of Crow Tracks woodcarving studio. LaVallee will speak about building a life as an artist in Downeast Maine. He’ll touch on his process development, learning from other area artists, the buying and viewing public, and selling and developing artworks. The talk will conclude with a question-and-answer period.

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  26. The Nature of Phenology: Tree cavities

    by Hazel Stark

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  27. From the Desk of the Editor: writing the MVNO Stylebook

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    My normally easy relationship with the English language went through a low point when sentence diagramming dominated the eighth-grade curriculum. I can only assume a mathematician developed the macabre practice, perhaps looking for ways to make language more math-like and, therefore, worse. There may be a variety of opinions on the matter today, but a quick Google search found an Atlantic magazine article titled “The Wrong Way to Teach Grammar” and I agree, so I’ll leave it there.

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  28. Florida family mails dozens of letters in hopes of finding a home Downeast

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    When Nick Gustafson, his wife, and two children last summer visited Maine, they fell in love with the coast and resolved to buy a home Downeast. But a tight housing market meant they went home empty-handed. 

    Gustafson decided to get creative with their house-hunting strategy. A licensed real estate broker in both Florida and Maine, he mailed letters directly to dozens of homeowners, asking if they were willing to sell.

    “I was trying to think a little outside of the box,” he said.

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  29. Machias PD arrests 5 in drug bust

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    On Thursday, Jan. 27 at 9:20 a.m., the Machias Police Department responded to a call in reference to a vacant property located on Beal Street in Machias that had been reportedly broken into. Upon arrival, MPD Officers found a rear door that had been kicked in and a vehicle displaying Massachusetts registration plates parked behind the residence.

    Machias officers entered the property and contacted five suspects inside the residence. As a result of the investigation, 100 grams of cocaine base were seized.  

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  30. Machias selectboard talks budget season, Bad Little Brewery opening

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Two four-hour meetings are scheduled to discuss the Machias town budget for 2022-23, after a recent meeting of the Machias Board of Selectmen. On Wednesday, Jan. 26, town manager Bill Kitchen said last year’s switch to two longer budget meetings, versus many short meetings, was well-received, and the town office’s preference for this year, too. The board agreed, and the two meetings were set for March 16 and March 30, both Wednesdays, from 4 to 8 p.m.

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  31. Caution urged after cyclist, pedestrian accidents

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Maine’s 2021 pedestrian fatalities tied 2017 for the most on record — 20 lives lost. Two Machias accidents were fortunately not included in that number. Now, officials want to ensure Machias pedestrians never will be.

    Machias Town Manager Bill Kitchen says the town has plans to improve crosswalk visibility and signage in town, especially on the Jeremiah O’Brien Memorial Bridge, where a December pedestrian accident took place. 

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  32. Session’s early focus on children, surplus, DCF opening

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Exacerbated by the daily fallout of the pandemic and a beleaguered supply chain, Maine’s legislators are nonetheless back at the table tackling a multitude of issues.

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  33. Rocket survey, town vote to guide Jonesport aerospace committee; bluShift submits suggestions for ordinance

    by Nancy Beal

    In response to a plan from Brunswick-based bluShift Aerospace to launch nano-rockets from an outboard island in Eastern Bay, Jonesporters December 1 voted in favor of a six-month moratorium on such activity until an ordinance regulating it can be written. An aerospace committee was appointed to write the ordinance, has met and returned to the selectmen for ideas of how to determine and, accordingly, incorporate the wishes of the town into the document.

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  34. Headlines in my dreams

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    Left calls for trigger warnings on professor’s columns, safe space declaration on masthead

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  35. Have fun and help others at Stronghearts Winter Sports and Fun Day

    Come join families from Jonesboro to Princeton for a day of fun for all!

    For the last 20 years, the Winter Sports and Fun event has also raised funds to assist families who have a child with a heart defect. 

    Winter fun means snowshoeing, ice skating, sledding, cross-country skiing through woodland trails, a scavenger hunt, a ski race, ice fishing, organized games for kids, and ski lessons. The nineteenth annual Winter Sports and Fun Day will be held Sunday, Feb. 13, in Perry. 

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  36. The Nature of Phenology: Cryogenic disturbance

    by Joseph Horn

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  37. Machias PD arrests 5 in Beal Street drug bust

     by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    On Thursday, Jan. 27 at 09:20 a.m., the Machias Police Department responded to a call in reference to a vacant property located on Beal Street in Machias that had been reportedly broken into. Upon arrival, MPD Officers found a rear door that had been kicked in and a vehicle displaying Massachusetts registration plates parked behind the residence.

    Machias officers entered the property and contacted five suspects inside the residence. As a result of the investigation, 100 grams of cocaine base were seized.  

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  38. Lubec man makes initial appearance on murder charge

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Following extradition from Virginia where he was arrested Jan. 11, Paul DeForest of Lubec today made his initial court appearance via Zoom. DeForest is charged in the murder of 58-year-old Eva Cox, also of Lubec. Cox was found deceased in the locked trunk of a car.

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  39. Machias native Christi Holmes revels in her passion for the outdoor life

    by Ruth Leubecker

    From Costa Rica to Gray and all points in between, Christi Holmes has remained a Machias girl, born and bred.

    “Growing up Downeast, there was never much to do, so it seemed like a natural progression,” explains Holmes of her innate propensity for all things outdoors. “After college I wanted to understand and see where my food came from, so I suppose that became part of (my interest in) hunting and fishing.”

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  40. Downeast Cornhole League brings hot game to Washington County

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Note: This is the first in a series of stories on the games we play Downeast. Know of a Washington County league or club that’s having fun? Send us the details to [email protected].

    Ryan Currier found his way to cornhole by way of a similar game called washers. Both are played by tossing something, either a washer or a bag, into a hole or holes on a board.

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  41. Machias Chief Mercier pleased with PD progress

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    When Keith Mercier accepted the position of Machias Police Chief, he knew he would need to jump into rebuilding mode. Every position in the four-man PD was vacant at the time, making hiring his top priority.

    In the two-plus months since his Nov. 1 start date, Mercier says he’s pleased with the department’s staffing progress. Two out of the three vacant officer positions have been filled, with the remaining slot likely to be filled by April.

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  42. Jonesport fish farm holds (another) public meeting; Moosebeckers split on support for Kingfish

    by Nancy Beal

    By rough count, January 17 was the sixth time that principals from Kingfish Maine, a Dutch-owned company that seeks to replicate its Netherlands yellowtail operation with a land-based fish farm in Jonesport, had faced the public to explain their operation. It was held in the firehouse, a cavernous building where the 60-or-so who came to listen and speak could sit socially distanced in the second winter of Covid 19.

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  43. JES again takes part in WinterKids

    by Nancy Beal

    For the third time, Jonesport Elementary School is participating in WinterKids, a nation-wide four-week program designed to encourage students and their families to learn healthy habits and enjoy outdoor winter activities. JES is one of 22 Maine schools—four in Washington County, including Cherryfield Elementary — that are taking part. Besides enjoying the fun, schools compete for money prizes, including a grand prize of $10,000.

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  44. The storied career of MVNO journalist Ruth Leubecker

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

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  45. Passing the torch

    by Rep. Will Tuell

    For the past eight years, I have done my best to serve much of coastal Washington County in the Maine House of Representatives. While there have certainly been ups and downs, successes and defeats, I am honored that so many of you have entrusted me with your support along the way. I love the Maine Legislature and have enjoyed serving there. 

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