1. Captain Jack is Back: Knot Tying Workshop Returns to the LCOC on Feb. 3

    The Lubec Community Outreach Center (LCOC) is pleased to announce a Knot Tying Workshop on Saturday, Feb. 3, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. 

    This is a repeat of an earlier knot tying workshop, which proved to be extremely well attended and much enjoyed. The LCOC is happy to bring back the workshop and its co-leaders, Captain John “Jack” Lynskey and retired fisherman Nathan Dunford, for a second round!

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  2. UMM Professor Using DNA to Solve Wildlife Crimes

    Gerry Zegers, associate research professor of biology at the University of Maine at Machias, knows that a career in biology is about more than just working in a lab. Zegers uses his DNA analysis skills to help solve wildlife-related crimes — and he is teaching his students how to do the same.

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  3. Trumped

    by Jonathan Reisman

    With an eleven-point victory in the Granite State GOP primary over last woman standing, Nikki Haley, Donald Trump is the almost-certain-to-be Republican presidential nominee. I think he is a riskier choice than almost all the alternatives, especially Ron DeSantis. Riskier means potential variance in outcomes. 

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  4. Quoddy Voices Community Chorus to Resume

    Weekly rehearsals for Quoddy Voices’ spring season, under the direction of Gene Nichols, will begin Wednesday, Feb. 7, 6-8 p.m. at Eastport Arts Center. A diverse program celebrating 'People, Places, and Spring' is planned for the international community chorus. (Returning participants: please make note of the change from Tuesdays to Wednesdays). Performances are scheduled for May 3-5. The group welcomes new singers with no audition required.

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  5. Soctomah to Present Documentary for Sunday Series

    EAC's Sunday Afternoons at the Arts Center series continues on Feb. 4 at 3 p.m., when Donald Soctomah will present a screening of Ntolonapemk: Our Ancestors’ Place, a 2006 film, which documents the cleanup of one of the most contaminated sites in Maine. In earlier times, Ntolonapemk was one of the sites of a Passamaquoddy village. For thousands of years, people would come to this spot to harvest great numbers of fish on their annual run up the Dennys River. A true success story, the film chronicles the site’s cleaning and return to the Passamaquoddy people.

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  6. Washington County GOP Region 2 Caucus Rescheduled, Monthly Meeting in Calais Feb. 8

    The Washington County Region 2 Republican Caucus originally scheduled for Jan. 26 has been rescheduled for Feb. 8 at 4:30 p.m. at Calais High School. Following the caucus, the committee will have a potluck supper at 5:30 and regular monthly meeting at 6 p.m. As of press time, Representative Austin Theriault (R-Fort Kent) who is vying for the Republican nomination for Maine’s Second Congressional district with fellow Republican Mike Soboleski of Phillips, will be in attendance, as will Republican candidates for state office.

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  7. Five Months Later, ‘National Trust’ Won’t Say Who Funded Takeover of Maine Newspapers

    By Steve Robinson

    Five months after telling its staff and readers that it planned to disclose “the funders” behind the purchase of five Maine daily newspapers, the nonprofit trust now controlling several of Maine’s oldest news brands hasn’t kept the promise.

    The sale of the Portland Press Herald, Lewiston Sun Journal, Kennebec Journal, and other Maine news brands to the “National Trust for Local News” was completed last summer.

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  8. Eminent Domain Hearing on Port Road Properties in Starboard Divides Town

    By Paul Sylvain

    Citing “an abundance of caution” and in an effort “to ensure transparency,” Machiasport town officials moved late on Jan. 19 to postpone a public hearing scheduled three days later to consider taking, by eminent domain, private property in Starboard to preserve public access to Starboard Beach, the Point of Maine, and a pair of islands accessible at low tide.

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  9. Washington County Community College Helping to Address Local Officer Shortage

    By Will Tuell

    It’s a common refrain in law enforcement circles that the number of applicants for open police and corrections officer positions is dwindling while the demand for qualified officers continues to rise. Whether it’s the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, any one of Downeast Maine’s small-town police departments, or state law enforcement agencies, the demand for officers is high while interest is sagging. 

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  10. Storm Relief, Windfarm Ordinance, Marijuana License Fees, and More Top J’Port Selectboard Agenda

    By Nancy Beal

    Jonesport selectmen are no longer meeting weekly but have changed to a schedule that brings them in at 4 p.m. every first and third Wednesday of the month. Maine Emergency Management point person, Dan Thibodeau, joined their most recent meeting on Jan. 17 and told how folks who sustained damage in the Jan. 10 and 13 coastal storms could begin making the extent of that damage known to the state. The state will use the information to bolster a federal disaster claim.

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  11. Storm of the Century Devastates Chipman’s Wharf, Kelley’s Lobster Pound

    By Wayne Smith

    I caught up with Amity Chipman of Chipman’s Wharf in Milbridge and Charles Kelley of Kelley’s Lobster Pound in Steuben last week, and their stories of the Jan. 10 storm illustrate just how bad it was in our area. They tell the story of heartache and survival, of picking up the pieces and going forward, as it had a direct impact on their businesses.  

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  12. Meet the Administrator of Maine Veterans’ Homes: Machias, Arlena Fickett

    By Wayne Smith

    I recently caught up with Arlena Fickett, the Administrator of Maine Veterans’ Homes: Machias. She had quite a bit to say about life after the pandemic, getting residents back into the community, and the home’s philosophy of caring for its residents and their families. 

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  13. Bordering on the Absurd

    by Jonathan Reisman

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  14. Last Saturday Contra Dance Planned for Jan. 27

    Eastport Arts Center will host a Contra Dance with the Moose Island Contra Etc. (MICE) band, on Saturday, Jan. 27, from 6-9 p.m. Band members are Alice Schuth on fiddle, Susan Luthin on octave mandolin and whistle, Joan Lowden on bass, Kara McCrimmon on piano accordion, guitar, and Irish whistle, and Jim O’Neil on banjo, button accordion, and guitar. Eustacia Landrum will grace the hall as caller. All dances will be taught, and everyone of all ages and abilities is welcome.

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  15. Fort O’Brien Elementary School Announces First ‘Star Student’ Recipients

    Fort O’Brien Elementary School in Machiasport has begun a new program to recognize students at the school who truly shine like stars as peer role models for other students at the school to aspire to. In fact, the school is even calling it the “Star Students” program.

    “Students were chosen based on academic performance, kindness, and willingness to help in their own classroom and in the school,” said Suzanne Reynolds, who teaches combined first and second grades at Fort O’Brien. “These students are all ‘well rounded’ and show excellence in all aspects of school and community.”

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  16. February StoryWalk® at Porter Memorial Library will Feature a Children’s Winter Favorite

    The February 2024 StoryWalk® at Porter Memorial Library in Machias will feature the beloved children’s book The Mitten by Jan Brett. This charming children's book tells the story of a lost mitten that becomes a cozy shelter for various woodland animals. As the mitten stretches to accommodate more creatures, the tale explores themes of kindness, sharing, and the interconnectedness of nature in a delightful and visually rich narrative. 

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  17. Twin Storms Bash Downeast Closing Dike Bridge, Destroying Chipman’s Wharf

    By Paul Sylvain

    When you think of winter storms in Downeast Maine, most people think of a good, old-fashioned nor'easter with a foot or two of snow and telephone pole-high drifts. But as Mother Nature proved last week, the destructive might and power of winter storms can come in many different forms.

    The Washington County coast was assaulted last week by the full brunt of two such storms three days apart. The first arrived on Jan. 10 and the second on Jan. 13. They could have been named Winter Storm “Peat” and “Repeat”. 

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  18. Roots Run Deep in Downeast Maine’s Often Overlooked Scallop Industry

    By Will Tuell

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  19. Steuben Man Raises $3,700 for Machias Veterans Home

    By Wayne Smith

    Johnny Brooks Jr. of Steuben brought some of the best musical talent to the stage at The Franklin Vets Club recently to raise $3,700 for the Machias Veterans Home activities fund. The music was amazing, and for many, including several residents from the home itself, the “Johnny Dream Show” came true. 

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  20. SCEC Launches Recovery Friendly Workplace Network, Linking Employers with Recovering Addicts

    by Nancy Beal

    An effort to bring together and benefit people recovering from substance use disorder and folks willing to hire them will soon be launched in Washington County. The effort, led by the Sunrise County Economic Council, will be known as the Recovery Friendly Workplace Network. It is designed to benefit prospective employees, their employers, and, by extension, the community beyond.

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  21. Cooperation, Respect Mark New Era in Machias PD-Selectboard Relations

    By Paul Sylvain

    It wasn’t that long ago that the working relationship between the Machias Police Department and town officials was contentious at best. Selectboard meetings with past police chiefs and former board members were often confrontational and punctuated by fiery exchanges between both sides.

    The Machias community at large was usually supportive of whoever the chief and the department’s officers were at the time; however, the same could not be said of the selectmen. 

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  22. National Popular Vote (NPV) Hearing Recap

    by Jonathan Reisman

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  23. First Baby of 2024 Arrives at DECH

    The first baby born in 2024 at Down East Community Hospital in Machias arrived at 6:02 a.m, Sunday, Jan. 14.

    Pierce Pineo, third son of Colin and Karmen Pineo of Jonesboro, weighed in at 9 lbs, 1 oz. and measured 21 inches.

    This healthy, beautiful baby boy is the little brother of Bentlee, age 5, and Kiegan, age 2.

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  24. DECH Auxiliary 50th Annual Christmas Craft Fair A Success

    By Suzie O’Clair 

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  25. Elm Street Students Go ‘Wild’ for Critter Encounter at School

    By Paul Sylvain

    There was a chorus of excited “oohs” and “ahs” heard in Elm Street School’s music room on Jan. 8. However the students’ awestruck reaction had nothing to do with music and everything to do with meeting exotic critters that turned the school’s music room into a makeshift zoo for the day.

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  26. Machias PD Goes on Offense with Two High-Profile Drug Busts in Last Month

    Chief Says: ‘We’re Coming For You.’

     

    By Paul Sylvain

    In the wake of the latest drug bust on Dec. 30, Machias Police Chief Keith Mercier and his department are on a mission to rid the Shiretown of traffickers in illegal drugs. According to the chief, it’s no longer a question of if you’ll be arrested, but when. 

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  27. Work Continues on King Construction Fabrication Center, Office Building

    Developer Drafting Plans for New 8-Unit Apartment Building in Machias

     

    By Paul Sylvain

    Come April, new construction, now going up just inside Machias town limits on Outer Dublin Street/Route 1, will be the new home office for IMK Properties and King Construction, both owned by Northfield developer Justin King.

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  28. Tensions Flare Between Nurses Union, Hospital as Contract Negotiations Continue

    By Will Tuell

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  29. Jonesport Shipyard Sold to Lobster Boat Race Organizer

    By Nancy Beal 

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  30. First Measurable Winter Snow Accompanied by Single-Digit Wind Chill Downeast

    By Paul Sylvain

    By Maine standards, the first measurable snow storm of the winter wasn’t a block-buster. An average of just three inches of light, fluffy, powdery snow fell across the greater Machias region Sunday night into early Monday morning, but the wind made the storm seem a lot worse than it was.. 

    The wind pushed the snow into drifts six or more inches deep in some places, while other spots remained open with bare ground. 

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  31. New ‘Boater Safety’ Course Requirement Kicks in Jan. 1

    By Will Tuell

    A new law requiring most Maine boaters under the age of 25 to complete a boater safety and education course kicked in on Jan. 1. While there are exceptions for those engaged in commercial fishing activities, Maine guides, and day boat renters, the law targets anyone born after Jan. 1, 1999, according to the state’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW). 

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  32. Entropy, Equality, and Equity

    by Jonathan Reisman

    More than a century ago, William Butler Yeats penned this first stanza of The Second Coming:

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre

    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst

    Are full of passionate intensity.

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  33. Community and 4-H Club Spread Christmas Cheer

    By Daisy Ratzlaff -- UMaine Cooperative Extension                 

    The Cobscook Current 4-H Club and community members spread joy and seasonal cheer as they helped assemble dozens of gift bags and hand-delivered them to brighten the holidays for several elderly residents in the Edmunds area. 

    The heartwarming community service project, organized by Debbie Leighton for the past 33 years, has become an annual tradition anticipated by the volunteers and the seniors.

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  34. Local Young Jiu-Jitsu Talents Shine at Good-Fight Sub-Only World Championship

    By Jayna Smith

    Local young talents, eight-year-old RJ Kendall and ten-year-old Connor Grass, recently showcased their skills at the Good-Fight Sub-Only World Championship in Manheim, Pennsylvania, a prestigious Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition.

    At the world championship held last month, RJ secured silver in the no-gi category.  Connor earned bronze in both gi and no-gi divisions.  

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  35. Davis to Retire from Legislature, Support Veteran Lawmaker Will Tuell

    By Paul Sylvain

    It’s one-and-done, for first-term District 10 Rep. Kenneth “Bucket” Davis (R-East Machias), as he announced last week that he is not seeking re-election in 2024. Instead, Davis is endorsing former state Rep. Will Tuell (R-East Machias), whom Davis replaced two years ago. 

    Davis, who was elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 2022, replaced Tuell, who termed out after serving from 2014 to 2022.

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  36. Roque Bluffs Man Honored with Top Ranger Award

    By Will Tuell

    Maine Forest Ranger Brian Getchell of Roque Bluffs was awarded his agency’s top honor as 2023 drew to a close. Getchell, who graduated from Machias Memorial High School, was tapped by the Maine Forest Service to receive the agency’s Jeremiah Crockett award during a Dec. 14, 2023 ceremony.

    Regional Forest Ranger Jeff Currier, who oversees rangers from Greenville to Lubec, spoke highly of Getchell in an email with this publication, calling the one-time high school basketball standout a leader in conservation law enforcement circles. 

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  37. Despite Disinterest, Weed Ordinance Consumes Machias Selectboard

    By Paul Sylvain  

    The Machias selectboard and Town Manager Bill Kitchen have spent the better part of 2023 first considering, then committing to drafting an all-encompassing medical and adult-use, recreational marijuana ordinance they hope to present to Machias voters sometime next spring. However, given the apparent lack of interest and limited participation, even from the owners and operators of the town’s existing medical marijuana storefronts, the effort begs the question, “Why?”

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  38. Machias Teams Strike Gold Making 2023 a Banner Year for Downeast Sports

    Guagus Wins First Volleyball Title, WA Record-Setting Win Streak Snapped

     

    By Will Tuell

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  39. Pratt Dealership’s Annual Donation-Match Campaign Raises Over $18,000 for Washington County Food Pantries

    By Jayna Smith

    In a great display of community spirit, the Pratt dealership in Calais recently concluded its annual donation-match campaign to support food pantries in Washington County.  Owner Ian Pratt, recognizing the increasing challenges faced by local food pantries, generously raised the stakes by offering to match all donations up to $10,000, a significant increase from last year's cap of $7,500.

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  40. Charlotte Native Graduates from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy

    by Mary McFadden

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  41. Motorists Reminded of Move Over Law

    By Jayna Smith

    In light of last month’s storm, with more than 2,000 people -including 1,400 line and tree crews- on the job working to restore power, Maine State Police issued a reminder of Maine’s “Move Over” Law, urging motorists to exercise caution when encountering emergency vehicles or public service vehicles displaying flashing lights.  

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  42. 2024 Dreams and Nightmares II

    by Jonathan Reisman

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  43. Holt Kicks off Arts Center’s Sunday Series

    Eastport Arts Center’s “Sunday Afternoons at the Arts Center” series begins on Jan. 7 at 3 p.m. with pianist Danny Holt. Holt’s program traces the history of the sonatina from the 18th through the 21st centuries, highlighting an eclectic array of composers, many of whom are unknown to even the most ardent classical music fans. 

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  44. A Much-Needed, Long-Overdue Zoning Ordinance Haunted the Machias Planning Board in 2023

    By Paul Sylvain

    If 2023 proved one thing, it was the need for a long overdue zoning ordinance in Machias. Just ask Town Manager Bill Kitchen and every member of the town’s planning, appeals, and select boards, and you’ll get no argument. The question remains, however, what is being done about it?

    As 2023 drew its final breath and 2024 began, town officials appeared more focused on crafting a new marijuana ordinance rather than addressing the real elephant in the room, zoning.

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  45. Brackett Found Guilty, Co-Defendant Dana’s Case Ends in Mistrial in 2022 Murder of Kimberly Neptune

    By Paul Sylvain

    The trial of two people accused of murder in the brutal slaying of a 43-year-old Pleasant Point, Perry, woman on April 21, 2022, came to an abrupt and unexpected end Wednesday afternoon in a split verdict, leaving one person found guilty and the case against a co-defendant declared a mistrial.

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