1. Gerald L. Wood & Son build new home for oldest Machiasport business

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Machiasport drivers this year watched construction progress on a massive 9,500 square-foot building at the corner of the Rim and Port Roads. What passersby may not know is that the town’s newest building will be home to Machiasport’s oldest family businesses, Gerald L. Wood & Son, a groundwork company.

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  2. New school year brings new spirit, new programs to UMaine Machias

    by Hailey Wood

    School is back in session at the University of Maine at Machias. Students began moving back on campus August 26, in order to complete COVID testing before the start of classes on August 31. 

    Since school began UMM has put on numerous events for students to participate in on campus like ice cream socials, bingo, dodgeball, and many others. Due to COVID measures, they have still been limited in what they can offer students. For the same reasons UMM is currently not offering events for community members to take part in. 

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  3. Political action leads Hinerman to eye state office

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Melissa Hinerman has always prioritized when looking to the future.

    After applying for Emerge Maine, she was set on a track to think even harder about how she could boost the betterment of Washington County, her forever home. “I applied to be in the class, and was accepted in January,” she explains. “We met monthly until June, when I graduated. I met some incredible women from all over the state.”

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  4. Kids can ‘Fall into Fun’ activities at Middle River Park

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Gina Finn was inspired to create a family fall event after taking her children to a storybook walk at Downeast Coastal Convervancy’s Middle River Park in Machias. 

    “I thought it was so wonderful!” said Finn, a local businesswoman who owns Machias River General Store. “I loved Middle River Park, and thought, what a cool thing to have right here in our town that everyone can enjoy. It gives people an extra reason to come in town, get outside and do something educational while still having fun!”

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  5. Proposed bill would let voters approve new Machias dike

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Before a replacement can be chosen for the Machias dike, 10 state and federal agencies must sign off on its design. Now, Rep. Will Tuell (R-E. Machias) would like to add one more approval to the list — that of Machias and Marshfield voters.

    “This would give everybody an opportunity to have their voices heard,” said Tuell, crediting local historian Valdine Atwood with the idea. “She mentioned it on one of my Facebook posts about the dike.”

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  6. Impeach, impede and implode

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    The first eight months of President Biden have brought a perfect storm of an open southern Border, Afghanistan ignominy, Covid surges and freedom killing mandates, race hustling and racism disguised as critical race theory and anti-racism, climate alarmism on steroids, surging inflation and the destruction of the principle of equal justice, as Antifa and Black Lives Matter rioters and arsonists skate while January 6th “white supremacist insurrectionists“ have the book thrown at them.

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  7. Calais Harvest Festival returns this Saturday with jam-packed schedule

    by Jayna Smith

    CDRC (Calais Downtown Revitalization Coalition) has worked hard to bring a chock-filled schedule of events for this Saturday’s annual Harvest Festival.  Perhaps the biggest draws to the day will be the addition of the Touch-a-Truck event and the return of the community Harvest Dinner.

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  8. Beals Elementary board votes for masks

    by Nancy Beal

    When the Moosabec CSD board that oversees Jonesport-Beals High School voted 5-4 to keep mask wearing voluntary in that school September 14, two of the three members from Beals, who independently govern Beals Elementary School, were among the four who opted for a return to mandatory indoor masking. A week later, meeting alone as the BES board to consider whether masks should be required in their elementary school, they voted 2-0, with one abstention, to require masks indoors.

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  9. The Nature of Phenology: Mild coastal climate

    by Joseph Horn

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  10. Need internet around Machias? Here’s where the hotspots are

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Access to high-speed internet can be spotty in rural Washington County, but fortunately for anyone who needs to work from the road, there are a lot of free access points in downtown Machias. Among them are three public hotspots maintained by Axiom Technologies, including one attached to Station 1898 and sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank.

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  11. J-BHS stays with voluntary masking

    by Nancy Beal

    Four weeks from the day (Aug. 17) that the Union 103 school board, by an 8-0 vote, relaxed the mask-wearing mandate that had governed its three schools last year, the group was back at Jonesport-Beals High School addressing a mask requirement again. The September 14 meeting did not produce a change in the masking policy, but the vote was much closer: five in favor of voluntary masking, four for mandatory face coverings.

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  12. Obesity faces progressive changes in years ahead

    by Ruth Leubecker

    For decades Americans have continued to eat more, make poor food choices, and engage in less physical activity. Mainers are no exception, with organized programs only making a serious stab at confronting the issue within recent years.

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  13. Rising case counts affect businesses, schools

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Washington County reported its highest-ever weekly COVID-19 case count on Monday when 108 new cases were reported for the week ending Sept. 18, bringing the county’s cumulative cases to 1,229 since the beginning of the pandemic.

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  14. ‘Uncle Joe’ Macbeth

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    "This is not about freedom or personal choice"- Dictator Joe Biden lies to the nation on vaccine mandates, vaccine and mask efficacy and natural immunity.

    “Welcome to North Korea”- one of my Cooper neighbors assessing the Biden dictate.

    “F*** Joe Biden”- popular chant at mass gatherings, football games, and rare public Biden sitings, soon to be banned by you-tube and the CDC as misinformation deleterious to public health. 

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  15. Father/son jazz quartet featured by EAC Video

    Immediately following an end-of-summer squall, 'Shead Ahead', a quartet comprised of two father/son pairs, kicked off Eastport Pirate Festival celebrations with a high energy set of jazz, funk, and rock tunes. The fathers are Robert Sánchez, guitar, and Heron Weston, bass. Sons are Kieran Weston, drums, age 15, and Ellis Zipperer-Sánchez, age 12.

    After a rapid setup, with pop-up shelter at the ready in case the rain continued, the four opened with Sánchez's own Bossa arrangement of Gershwin's "Summertime," and continued for an hour of tunes in many flavors.

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  16. Plans underway for Baileyville’s Octoberfest

    by Jayna Smith

    Baileyville’s Octoberfest, a big festival that draws hundreds to the Village of Woodland, is back, and it promises to be jam-packed with fun for all ages.  This comes along with the announcement that First National Bank has committed to being a major sponsor of the annual festival.

    According to organizer Jamie Bohanon, the fun kicks off Friday night, Oct. 8 with a drive-in movie.  This, he said, will be held in the parking lot of the Woodland IGA on Route 1.  

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  17. The Nature of Phenology: First frost

    by Joseph Horn

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  18. Machias schools off to a strong start

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    With one full week of school under their belts, Machias principals Nicole Case and Sue Dow say the new school year is off to a strong start.

    “The staff is tired, but they’re amazing,” said Dow, who this year took over the position of Rose M. Gaffney (RMG) Elementary School Principal, after the retirement of Joyce Fragale. Dow has more than 30 years of education experience, including nine years at Washington Academy and 21 years at Narraguagus Jr/Sr High School.

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  19. Downeast Documentary’s latest film to premiere Sept. 24 at UMM

    by Celia Cummiskey

    One of the first lessons Alan Kryszak teaches his filmmaking students is, “You can’t screw up, I’ve screwed up more than you ever will, I’ve lost hours of footage, so don’t worry about it!” Kryszak is an award-winning composer and filmmaker who teaches the University of Machias Maine’s Downeast Documentary filmmaking course, as well as Music in Film, Piano, and Digital Audio Production.

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  20. Housing shortages plague market

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Pre-pandemic, Maine lacked thousands of affordable housing units, a situation that has been exacerbated by out-of-staters flocking eastward to buy above the asking price.

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  21. Lobster and shellfish harvesters sought for survey

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Local lobster fishermen and other shellfish harvesters are asked to respond to a 20-minute survey that will help researchers better understand work-related health problems and possible barriers to accessing healthcare.

    Project coordinator Dr. Tora Johnson of the University of Maine at Machias says her team is using the survey to understand harvester health risks and their experiences of on-the-job injuries.

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  22. Machias talks bids, new PD, and new town manager

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    To open last week’s meeting, the Machias Board of Selectmen opened more than a dozen envelopes which held bid responses for the town’s fuel oil, propane gas, and winter sand.

    “It’s that time of year,” said Interim town manager Bill Kitchen.

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  23. Moosabec school boards meet, review/approve teachers, coaches; seek special law to affirm cost-sharing formula

    by Nancy Beal

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  24. A Hairy Situation

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    In the late 1960s my father took me to Broadway to see Hair. I still remember some of the lyrics from the title song:

     

    She asks me why I'm just a hairy guy

    I'm hairy, noon and night, hair, that's a fright

    I'm hairy, high and low, don't ask me why, don't know

    It's not for lack of bread like the Grateful Dead, darlin'

     

    Give me head with hair, long beautiful hair

    Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen

    Give me down to there hair, shoulder length or longer

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  25. Two-way memorial auction of Weber’s works Sept. 19

    The Eastport Arts Center proudly announces the Joyce Weber Memorial Auction. The hybrid event, which has both online and in-person components, will also serve as a space to memorialize Weber, one of Eastport’s most influential and treasured artists. Over two dozen works bequeathed to the Center will be on the auction block. Bidding will begin online on Sunday, Sept. 19, at 9 a.m., to be followed later that day by an in-person event from 5-7 p.m. at Eastport Arts Center with live music, tributes to Joyce, and light refreshments. Bidding will close both online and in-person at 6:30 p.m.

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  26. The Nature of Phenology: Shamrock orb weavers

    by Hazel Stark

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  27. Local animal shelter receives generous grant support for Ark Alley Cats program

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A $40,000 grant will help the Ark Animal Shelter increase its shelter capacity, while reducing the number of unwanted cats through a trap-neuter-release program. The grant comes through from the Elmina B. Sewall’s animal welfare fund.

    “We are so grateful to have the funding,” said Ark Director Shaina Mugford.

    Half of the grant will go toward the construction of a new dog shelter, something the Cherryfield-based nonprofit has been working toward for six years.

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  28. The DA ‘done deal’ that came undone

    by Ruth Leubecker

    With a growing workload and backed up court logs, sharing one district attorney has become a grueling grind for Washington and Hancock Counties.

    However, this past 130th legislative session had every reason to believe that LD 272, by establishing two separate prosecutorial districts, finally had solved this longtime festering situation. But after the final gavel sounded, an eleventh-hour mystery that no one wants to talk about had happened.

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  29. Library craft fair and book sale, Machias Fiber Festival fill Sept. 11

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The 3rd Annual Machias Fiber Festival will draw gift shoppers, knitters, crocheters, spinners, and weavers to Machias on Saturday, Sept. 11. Rhonda Craven says she and her fellow organizers decided to keep this year’s event more “low key” by hosting it for only one day, but that day will be packed with fun, including a historical textile display, raffles, food, and, of course, shopping. 

    “Next year we’ll probably go back to two days, Saturday and Sunday,” says Craven. “We’ll see how it goes.”

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  30. From Alaska to Jonesport: JES’ new principal Fairbanks

    by Nancy Beal

    Even if you did not know that Jonesport Elementary School’s new principal was from Alaska, you might have guessed. She sparkles while talking about the K through 12 schools in which she was the only teacher (and cook). Her left arm is covered with tattoos depicting the salmon that are the source of life on the Alaskan coast; the right sports sled dogs. She and her husband have five dogs, including a sled dog mix—and her surname is Fairbanks.

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  31. Bike Maine tour returns to Machias this weekend

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The Bike Maine Weekend Tour will return to Washington County this weekend, pedaling into the Machias area from Sept. 10 to 12 and giving 250 cyclists the opportunity to enjoy some of Maine’s most scenic bike routes, including the popular Bold Coast Scenic Bikeway.

    The annual event is sponsored by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, a nonprofit that seeks to expand biking in Maine, improve bike and pedestrian safety, pass bike and pedestrian-friendly legislation, and spread a love of cycling. 

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  32. Climate alarmism redux

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

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  33. Youth theater session a success; fall program planned

    EAC’s inaugural summer session of Children’s Theater Workshop provided participants from near and far with introductory theater training and plenty of fun. The program, which ran in July and August, was led by new EAC hire Mark Macey, who recently concluded service with the center through the Island Institute, and who’ll now serve both as Artistic Director of Stage East, and as EAC’s Creative Development Director. Macey was joined in the weekly sessions by co-leader Lauren “L.” Elwood, the Center’s intern.

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  34. The ‘Worlds Most Dangerous Journey” subject of Pembroke Historical Society presentation

    "Cape Horn marks the spot where the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans meet in one writhing mass. The weather is usually atrocious." That's how maritime historian and diver Charles Lagerbom describes the waters off the southern tip of South America. He knows from experience. He's been to the Horn studying shipwrecks. Among his many interests are Maine-built ships and Maine seafarers who doubled the Horn, or were lost battling the Horn, taking a prominent place in the maritime history of Maine, the nation, and the world.

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  35. The Nature of Phenology: Seaside goldenrod

    by Hazel Stark

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  36. University of Maine at Machias professors honored by school, warden service

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Professors Kay Kimball, Gene Nichols, and Gayle Kraus were celebrated at a University of Maine at Machias reception held in the Merrill Library on Aug. 16.

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  37. At meeting, Jonesport adopts recreational marijuana ordinance

    by Nancy Beal

    A special town meeting was held in Jonesport last week (August 25) to consider an ordinance regulating marijuana for recreational use (or “adult use” in legal parlance). The proposed ordinance was approved by a vote of 8-0 — the eight being the town’s three selectmen, two of its office employees, and two members of the public.

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  38. Amber’s Best brings farm to market

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A family walks away smiling, one person carrying blueberries, another a bag of potatoes. A couple strolls back to their truck with an armful of gladiolas and two bags of dried beans. A woman climbs down from an 18-wheeler and walks purposefully toward the tables loaded with baskets of food. Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, there’s a happy buzz of customers around Amber’s Best farm stand.

    It seems no one can resist Richard Merrill’s farm-fresh produce. 

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  39. Machias child donates to local holiday charities

    by Natalie Boomer

    A young boy from Machias is on a mission to help those in need during the upcoming holiday season. 

    Six-year-old Jase Stevens has a goal to collect 100 items to donate to local Christmas charities, like the  Community Christmas Giving Tree, by Oct. 15.

    Charities such as this one ensure that children, teens, and even adults receive a gift on Christmas.

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  40. Pioneering ‘home run’ network takes giant step Downeast

    by Ruth Leubecker

    “We believe this network model could be a blueprint for fiber networks across Maine,” says Dan Sullivan of his brainchild, Downeast Broadband Utility. “The state of broadband in Maine has been horrible for 20 years. Now we’ve turned a little bit of a corner.”

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  41. First National Bank supports entrepreneurship center

    First National Bank recently announced a $15,000 contribution to the Sunrise County Economic Council towards the future Machias Valley Center for Entrepreneurship. 

    Located at 19 Main St. in Machias, the Machias Valley Center for Entrepreneurship will be a hub of vibrant networking, training, events and partnerships for entrepreneurs and small business owners throughout Washington County. 

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  42. Afghanistan and the southern border: Incompetence, malevolence, or both?

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

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  43. Roque Bluffs Gallery art show Sept. 4

    The Roque Bluffs Art Gallery and Learning Center so far is having a banner year. With two successful art show under their belt, they are going for a third Saturday, Sept. 4.  Each show has a theme with the next showing being ‘Flowers and Scenery’ to take advantage of the beautiful landscape of the local area.  

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  44. The Nature of Phenology: Giant puffballs

    by Joseph Horn

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  45. Town, local groups envision dike replacement possibility

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    How to repair the Machias dike has been under discussion for more than 10 years, but the need to repair it is becoming more urgent. The dike apparatus — four box culverts built with wooden cribbing — is rapidly decaying, made worse by recent storm surge and heavy rainfall events. The Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) ranks the dike culverts’ condition 4 on a scale of 0 to 9, citing large cracks, and loss of mortar.

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