1. Filibusters and April Fool’s folly

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely”- Lord Acton

    Power is the Ultimate Aphrodisiac”- Henry Kissinger

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  2. ‘Entangled’ right whale movie screenings available now

    Porter Memorial Library in Machias will offer discounted online viewings of a new film, Entangled, which chronicles efforts to protect North Atlantic right whales from extinction, the impacts of those efforts on the lobster industry, and how the National Marine Fisheries Service has struggled to balance the vying interests.

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  3. Scholarships Available for Washington County Students

    Applications are currently being accepted for four Maine Community Foundation scholarships that support Washington County students.

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  4. The Nature of Phenology: White suckers

    by Joseph Horn

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  5. Machias alum awarded prestigious defense medal for exceptional service

    by Celia Cummiskey

    Machias Memorial High School graduate Martin Holmes was recently awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civil Service. Holmes, who works as a Space Policy Analyst within the Department of Defense, says he was completely surprised by the announcement that he was to receive the highest honorary award for career civilian employees given by the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

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  6. Proposed Jonesport fish farmers, Kingfish Maine, share building plans

    by Nancy Beal

    Principals in Kingfish Maine, a Dutch company that proposes to build a $100 million land-based fish farm in Jonesport on Chandler Bay, were in town last week to hold an informational meeting, a requirement on their quest for three permits needed to build and operate the facility they hope to create. They brought with them architectural renderings of what the plant and associated outbuildings would look like—from the ground and from the air.

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  7. Corrections commissioner Liberty meets daily with CDC, inmate shots this week

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Eight positive cases of Covid at the Maine State Prison recently nudged the Department of Corrections back to the forefront of questioning coronavirus preparedness.

    “Everyone’s wearing masks. We continue to have excessive hygiene. We’ve stayed the course,” says Department of Corrections Comm. Randy Liberty. “When employees come in we do a temperature check, and everyone’s wearing masks 24/7.”

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  8. Miss Bartlett: East Machias art teacher

    by Praise Moore

    Lisa Bartlett is the art teacher of Elm Street Elementary School in East Machias. When asked how she started teaching, she answered: “For a job I feel I was destined to do — I love it so much, I really do — I didn’t start until I was forty.” After she and her husband moved from Wales

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  9. Library’s chest highlights Machias naval history

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    For the second time in 124 years, a camphor wood chest has been delivered to Porter Memorial Library in Machias. The crate arrived first in 1897, delivered with great pomp and circumstance by U.S.S. Machias Commander Charles Train, who was entertained by local officials and the governor of Maine, Llewellyn Powers.

    Last month the chest was delivered again, this time more quietly, by Kathleen Garcelon of Machiasport, who lovingly restored the piece over the course of a year.

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  10. The border closure: one year later and no plans for reopening

    by Jayna Smith

    March 20 marked one year since the closure of the U.S./Canada border in an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19, and the order has been extended every month since. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested in a news conference last week a reopening date is not in sight.

    “We’re all eager to be able to travel again, but I think we’re all going to wait patiently until such time as the health situation allows us to loosen border restrictions internationally. That’ll be eventually, but not for today,” Trudeau said.

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  11. Charts and tables across my desk

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    I get quite a bit of information and political agitprop across my desk.

    Pictures speak a 1000 words

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  12. Public meeting will present options for reworking the Machias dike

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    There are nearly 20 ways to engineer a reconstruction of the Machias dike, and the Maine Department of Transportation will present all of them via an online public hearing, available beginning March 29.

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  13. The Nature of Phenology: Turkey vultures

    by Hazel Stark

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  14. Machias town manager resigns

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Machias Town Manager Christina Therrien will resign her position effective June 30, according to a letter she submitted to the board of selectmen Wednesday, March 9.

    Therrien emailed the letter to board chairman Joshua Rolfe during the “other business” portion of the board’s bi-monthly meeting, which fell earlier than usual in the evening due to a planned adult-use marijuana workshop session.

    With Therrien’s permission, Rolfe read the resignation aloud.

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  15. Coronavirus response grants create breaks for small business

    by Ruth Leubecker

    More opportunities for Maine farmers are on the horizon, with agricultural grants also creating greater availability of single business development.

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  16. Local marijuana shops fear industry damage from proposed new rules

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A state public hearing set for March 22 will take feedback on proposed changes to Maine’s medical marijuana program, changes local businesses believe will put them at a competitive disadvantage, especially against large corporations.

    “They’re going to shut down the small businesses in Maine,” says David Finlay, owner of Indian Trail Farms in Machias, who is not alone in his frustration. Last week, several dozen people marched outside the Augusta Civic Center to protest the proposed changes.

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  17. Marina floats an issue at upcoming Beals town meeting

    by Nancy Beal

    Replacing aging floats at the Beals town landing in the Alleys Bay District of town will be a major topic at the annual town meeting this year. The Beals select board—Paula McCormack, Agnes Smith, and Sandra Woodward — has scheduled the session for 6 p.m., Monday, March 29 in the elementary school gymnasium. The meeting will be in-person only with seating in socially distanced chairs six feet apart.

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  18. Family affected by vaccine legislation begins charter school

    by Praise Moore

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  19. DECH receives the 2021 Women’s Choice Award as one of America’s best hospitals for emergency care

    Down East Community Hospital (DECH) has been named one of America’s Best Hospitals for Emergency Care by the Women’s Choice Award®, America’s trusted referral source for the best in healthcare.  The award signifies that DECH is in the top 5% of 4,542 U.S. hospitals offering emergency care services.

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  20. The man (in the horsey mask) who knew too much: remembering Stephen Copel

    by Alan Kryszak

    You don’t ask inventive artist/musicians like Stephen Copel why his dog pictures are in classic artistic settings, or why he wears a horsey mask on shopping day. You don’t ask Little Seavey Lake’s master guitarist and troubadour with way too many stories why his voice sounds like it floated off of a 1970s blues album and his guitar sounds like the lost Allman brother.

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  21. A shot in the arm for the Ides of March

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

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  22. The Nature of Phenology: Silver maples flowering

    by Joseph Horn

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  23. At meeting, Machias town manager submits resignation letter 

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Machias Town Manager Christina Therrien will resign her position effective June 30, according to a letter she submitted to the board of selectmen Wednesday, March 10.

    Therrien emailed the letter to board chairman Joshua Rolfe during the “other business” portion of the board’s bi-monthly meeting, which fell earlier than usual in the evening due to a planned adult-use marijuana workshop session.

    With Therrien’s permission, Rolfe read the resignation aloud.

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  24. Earle’s Fresh Seafood is a winter standout on the Machias dike

    by Celia Cummiskey

    Earle Faulkingham’s Chevy Silverado and neon pink sign declaring “Earle’s Fresh Seafood'' are a familiar sight on the Machias dike. Faulkingham sells fresh seafood from large coolers in the back of his truck, with customers rolling through drive-through style or parking to stop for a chat.

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  25. Boards vote after Moosabeckers hear plans for $6.6M school upgrade

    by Nancy Beal

    In two separate informational meetings last week, citizens of Beals and Jonesport heard from the engineers who surveyed the insides of their schools and determined which systems needed to be replaced and the price tags that went with the upgrades. Their recommendations involved replacement of ventilation, lighting, insulation, boilers, and system controls.

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  26. Whitney pivots business to create year-round opportunites Downeast

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    In late fall and early winter, Route 1 motorists see trucks overflowing with balsam tips pulling into Whitney Wreath, then pulling out loaded with Christmas wreaths. CEO David Whitney’s wreathing business keeps his Whitneyville factory hopping at the end of the year. Recently, however, Whitney has expanded his companies’ offerings to keep the factory humming all year long.

    “We haven’t taken the focus off of balsam, but we had to take the blinders off and broaden our view,” Whitney says.

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  27. Cultivated by pandemic, lobster domestic market climbs

    by Ruth Leubecker

    While nationwide, international lobster markets severely declined in 2020, Maine rose to the occasion by shifting focus and zeroing in on new challenges.
    “We never did focus too much on the China market,” says Kristan Porter, longtime Cutler lobsterman, and first fisherman to be president of the Maine Fishermen’s Forum board of directors. “Restaurant sales were nonexistent through the summer, so we focused on home sales, which pulled us through.”

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  28. Washington County DA bill passes committee unanimously

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A bill to give Hancock and Washington Counties their own district attorneys last week passed Maine’s Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary 11-0. The two counties currently share one district attorney as members of Maine’s Prosecutorial District 7.

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  29. Fire consumes Larrabee home under high winds

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Gusts of 45-50 miles per hour reduced visibility for crews battling a blaze in Machiasport’s Larrabee village on Tuesday, March 2. Machiasport Fire Chief Dave Nielsen said the burning home was reported around 3:15 p.m., and he immediately called for mutual aid. East Machias, Jonesboro/Roque Bluffs, Machias, and Marshfield fire departments responded to the call.

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  30. Poking the green hornets’ nest

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    Last week I poked the green hornets’ nest by testifying in support of LD 324, An Act to Limit Public Land Ownership in Maine. The environmental left was outraged that any such sentiment would even be considered and suggested that the legislation was unneeded, counterproductive, overly broad, a burden on democracy, local governance, and efforts to confront the climate apocalypse.

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  31. EAC’s free craft along series teaches collage

    Eastport Arts Center’s KinderArts program, which launched a video series in October, continues with ‘Craft-along: Collage a Scene,’ set for a March 19 release. KinderArts video instructor Nia Aretakis will demonstrate a technique for creating a landscape collage scene using basic materials: fabric scraps, patterned paper, tissue paper and craft glue. Free materials kits available from EAC include sufficient supplies for the participant to both follow along with Nia’s instruction and to create

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  32. The Nature of Phenology: Fishers

    by Hazel Stark

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  33. NOTICE OF INTENT TO FILE

     

    AIR EMISSIONS, NATURAL RESOURCES PROTECTION and SITE LOCATION

     PERMIT APPLICATIONS

     

    Please take note that:

    Gartley & Dorsky Engineering & Surveying

    59 Union St. Unit #1

    Camden, ME 04843

    (207) 236-4365

     

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  34. Maine lobstermen respond to feds’ whale plan

    by Nancy Beal

    Lobstermen on the coast of Maine got the chance last week to express their displeasure with proposed federal guidelines that would impose expensive gear changes, limit fishing practices and territories, and potentially threaten the industry’s existence and the viability of the communities they live in.

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  35. Pat’s Pizza partners to prevent underage drinking

    by Natalie Boomer

    Last time you picked up a pizza from Pat’s Pizza in Machias did you notice a new sticker on the box?

    Pat’s has teamed up with Healthy Acadia to prevent underage drinking and reduce the use of tobacco products.

    “Parents who host, lose the most” is the saying on the stickers going out to customers at the local restaurant.   

     
    According to the Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey of 2019, 1 in 4 high school students in Washington County reported that they had consumed alcohol within the preceding 30 days.

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  36. Elm Street School’s Tony Maker talks teaching in 2021

    by Praise Moore

    Tony Maker, principal of Elm Street School, started teaching in 1989. When asked what the most challenging thing about teaching is, he replied, “If we could pretend the whole COVID situation didn’t exist, even in a normal classroom setting, the challenge with kids is to keep their attention,” says Maker. Those challenges are more pronounced today, especially, he says. There are so many things demanding student’s attention that having kids sit, listen, and discuss is difficult and according to Maker, even more difficult in an online classroom.

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  37. Mills’ address hails panoply of spending, towing the line

    by Ruth Leubecker

    After a year like no other and a bottom line marked with unknowns, Gov. Janet Mills last week delivered her State of the Budget with optimism and promise.

    “We, like the rest of the nation, were dealt a bad hand last year,” said Mills, referring to the year of COVID, a crippled economy, evictions, severe isolation and ensuing fear. “But we are pushing through. We will get to that other side. We will not only survive, but rise a better, greater state for all that we have endured, all that we have learned, all whom we have saved.”

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  38. More ages eligible as state changes COVID-19 vaccine strategy

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Maine has moved from a vaccine schedule based on age, occupation, and health conditions to one based strictly on age. Governor Janet Mills announced the change on Friday, Feb. 26 to take effect this week.

    “A review of recent data by the Maine CDC indicates that age is a significant predictor of whether someone will become seriously sick or is more likely to die if they contract COVID-19,” said Mills in a written statement.

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  39. Heavens to Murgatroyd!

    The 1960’s Hanna-Barbara cartoon character Snagglepuss had several trademark lines. “Heavens to Murgatroyd”, which traces to medieval England, Gilbert and Sullivan, and MGM actor Bert Lahr (the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz), was used to express the proto Pink Panther’s disbelief or utter bewilderment.

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  40. OWL: Outdoor Women Lead expands to include an outing club and summer day camp

    Women for Healthy Rural Living (WHRL) and Maine Outdoor School, L3C have expanded their OWL: Outdoor Women Lead offerings. A free women’s outing club will begin this spring and a free day camp for girls will occur twice this summer.

    OWL started in 2020 as a series of videos, blog posts, and interactive activities that taught outdoor and naturalist skills. The goal of OWL is to strengthen women and girls’ confidence outside because everyone deserves to feel comfortable and empowered in the outdoors.

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  41. Sunrise Senior College course: All the King's Men

    by Joan Miller

    This spring semester course will begin on March 8 and will continue for seven more weeks, on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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  42. Celebrating before the pandemic

    by Wayne Smith

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  43. The Nature of Phenology: Winter cutworms

    by Joseph Horn

    Winter is a lot of things for a lot of different people. For some, it is an opportunity for outdoor recreation, from skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, and ice fishing to snowmobiling. For others, it is an opportunity to hunker down with a pile of good books next to a roaring woodstove and take a respite from the hustle and bustle of the short northern summer months. And for still others, winter and its constant battle of ice, snow, and keeping warm cannot end soon enough.

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  44. Jonesport nursing home reborn as assisted living facility

    by Nancy Beal

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  45. Bills tackle mounting issues of aging in Maine

    by Ruth Leubecker

    More than 200 bills related to the state’s growing elderly demographic are waiting for attention from the 130th Maine Legislature.

    They represent a vast array of subject matter, ranging from excessive drug prices and expanding dental health coverage to improving access to bariatric care in nursing homes and the long-term impact of economic abuse.

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