1. Machias launches hiring search after town manager resigns

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Former Machias Town Manager Christina Therrien issued a 110-day notice of resignation in March, but shortened that timeframe with a written resignation notice sent Friday, May 14, effective immediately.

    “Due to the current stressful situation, I felt it was best for my health to resign at this time,” said Therrien. “I’ll miss the community tremendously.”

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  2. Machias votes 51-18 in favor of Bad Little Brewing

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Machias residents voted overwhelmingly to support a Community Block Development Grant (CDBG) application on behalf of Bad Little Brewing Company, a craft beer and farm-to-table restaurant soon to be located at 101 Court Street in the historic Clark Perry House. 

    The dining and taproom will be located in the property’s barn, which could be moved to begin construction on a new foundation as early as next week.

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  3. Famed racer returns to island home

    by Nancy Beal

    Benny Beal, originally of Beals but now of Jonesport and having reached the age of 88, was barely out of his teenage years when he set about building a small working lobster boat that would become a racing legend. The half-model for the Stella Ann, as he would name the vessel for his oldest daughter, was created by his grandfather, (William) Riley Beal, at his kitchen table on Beals Island where he fashioned a half-model that was the typical blueprint for boatbuilders of the last century.

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  4. Hike in overdose deaths spurs support for Rep. Anne Perry’s bill

    by Ruth Leubecker

    As the death toll linked to the opioid epidemic in Maine mounts annually, a new approach is being considered amidst a mixed reaction to the surge.

    With decades of medical experience as a legislator and as a nurse practitioner, Rep. Anne Perry (D-Calais) has proposed LD 967, which would decriminalize drug possession in small amounts. While the bill does not specify the amounts, Perry calls this a first step toward extending a lifeline to those with substance use disorder.

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  5. Marshfield WWII vet Harlan Gardner keeps kindness front and center

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Harlan Gardner turned 99 last month, and though he’s worn many hats in that time — Marine tail gunner, hearse driver, and mail carrier among them — it’s clear he’s also spent years honing his Downeast wit. He has a perpetual twinkle in his eye.

    “It’s a sad place to be, the last one of the line,” Harlan says, pausing. “I’m glad they picked a smart one to be on the end.”

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  6. Health officials investigating unknown brain disease appearing in New Brunswickers

    by Jayna Smith

    A growing cluster of people in New Brunswick has been experiencing signs and symptoms of a neurological syndrome of unknown cause (NSUC). With nearly fifty cases reported and six deaths caused by the disease, officials there are collaborating with local and national experts and health care providers to investigate.

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  7. Machias board, budget committee clash over sending police budget to voters

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Machias voters will not be asked to weigh in on two proposed budget items for the Machias Police Department, following a series of tense discussions between members of the Machias selectboard and budget committee.

    The Machias Board of Selectmen last week voted 3 to 1 against asking voters to consider funding for a school resource officer and part-time police department administrator. The budget committee voted 2-1 in favor of putting the items to a town vote.

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  8. Maine's Seafaring Wives & Daughters online presentation set for May 18

    An old sailors' superstition holds that women at sea bring bad luck. Yet, despite, or in defiance of this belief, many women did go to sea for long voyages under sail. On Tuesday, May 18, at 6 p.m Eastern, on Zoom, you can find out just how wrong that old superstition was for many brave women of Maine. In "Women at Sea," Ms.

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  9. Unequal protection means defund the FBI and DOJ

    Equal Justice Under Law- (Empty) Words on the Façade of the Supreme Court

    No State shall…. deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. - 14th Amendment to the Constitution

    All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others- Proclamation by Animal Farm’s pig rulers, George Orwell

    The FBI and the Department of Justice cannot be trusted to administer equal justice under the law. Their actions over the last 5 years include:

     

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  10. May flowers bloom in latest craft-along with EAC KinderArts

    EAC KinderArts video workshop series continues with ‘Craft-along: Printed Flowers.’ In this month’s video, instructor Nia Aretakis demonstrates simple techniques for creating blossom-inspired prints from everyday household items: Q-tips and paper tubes.

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  11. Skriletz celebrated with return to 'in person' theater

    On Saturday, May 1, Stage East and Indivisible Washington County celebrated the life of Jay Skriletz through a staged reading of his play, Houdini’s Secret. The event was part memorial and part fundraiser for the new Jay Skriletz Scholarship Fund, which will support youth and young adults interested in theater. With more than 20 attendees and $3,500 dollars raised, the event was felt to be a great success by members of Jay’s family and both organizations.

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  12. The Nature of Phenology: Moss

    by Hazel Stark

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  13. Letter to the Editor: Dear People of Machias

    Dear People of Machias,

    This Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Pellon Center, there will be a vote by Machias residents as to whether the town should lend its support to a new business applying for a state-funded Community Development Block Grant.

    The business, a small farm-to-table restaurant, taproom, and micro-brewery called Bad Little Brewing Company, is the result of over two years work and planning by myself and my husband Sean, both career teachers from downstate, and a lot of other folks from business advisors to craftsmen, many from right here.

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  14. Got radon? Experts share why it’s important to find out

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    What’s invisible, odorless, and a leading cause of lung cancer? You guessed it — radon, a radioactive gas that seeps out of bedrock, entering buildings through basements or even slab foundations.

    “Some of the highest readings I’ve gotten are homes that are on slabs,” says Alan Gardner, owner of Tri County Radon in Machiasport, which offers air and water radon testing services for homes, businesses, and schools.

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  15. Jonesport voters, Beals selectwomen back gun rights resolution at meeting

    by Nancy Beal

    In recent months, there has been an apparent statewide effort on the part of people promoting the right to bear arms to convince towns to sign on to their cause. To that end, members of the group have approached officials in small towns urging them to sign a resolution supporting the gun rights described in the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Their canvassing included Beals and Jonesport.

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  16. Mills reveals broadband blueprint for ambitious future

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Still encumbered by lack of funding and fiberoptic detail, high-speed Internet in rural Maine has struggled in realizing a major step toward modern-day connectivity.

    “High-speed Internet today is as fundamental as electricity, heat and water,” declared Governor Janet Mills in last Monday’s press conference, announcing a major breakthrough in the process.

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  17. Machias CDBG grant hearing well attended

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    More than 25 people turned out Thursday, April 29, to learn about a new Machias business requesting the town’s support for $180,000 in grant funding.

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  18. Machias board talks proposed Elm Street bypass corridor

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Preliminary work is being done to create a corridor of land that could one day let trucks bypass the residential side of Elm Street, instead traveling directly from Route 1 to Stackpole Road in Machias.

    Tractor-trailers are a regular — and often unwelcome —  presence on Elm Street as some travel to the Maine Wild factory and others to Machiasport seafood companies. The proposed bypass would allow the trucks to circumvent the tightest curves of Elm Street, near the Machias Valley Grange Hall.

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  19. Arise Addiction Recovery donor contributes new ride

    Arise Addiction Recovery in Machias is now traveling in comfort thanks to the generous donation of an anonymous supporter, who gifted the faith-based recovery center this 15 passenger Ford Transit van.

    “We needed an upgrade, we had a 2007 Chevy Express that was uninspectable,” said program director Paul Trovarello.

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  20. Jonesporters raise $727,113 in annual town meeting

    by Nancy Beal

    Approximately 60 Jonesporters turned out for their annual town meeting April 26 in a high school gymnasium converted to COVID-compliant conditions: chairs spaced six feet apart (except for family groups), abundant hand sanitizer and an announcement from the podium that anyone without a mask should leave or take responsibility for causing the meeting to be canceled. There were no challenges to the directive and the afternoon meeting proceeded for two-and-a-half hours.

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  21. Time for a summertime dream

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

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  22. The Nature of Phenology: Wild strawberry flowers

    by Hazel Stark

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  23. Cases climbing as clinics decrease

    by Ruth Leubecker

    More people are getting vaccinated every day, and at an accelerating pace, according to national CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. But not, however, in eastern Washington County, Maine.

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  24. Local mother succeeds in fight for toddler son’s right to hear

    by Natalie Boomer

    Two and a half year old Washington County local, Harbor Seeley has just heard sound for the very first time in his life after undergoing surgery to have a cochlear implant placed.

    Harbor was born with CHARGE Syndrome, a rare medical condition that affects many different areas of the body.

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  25. Tick season: Take precautions to prevent Lyme Disease

    by Jayna Smith

    Warmer weather usually means more time spent outside.  With that should come the habit of checking for ticks, small bloodsucking parasites, many of which transmit diseases to people and to pets.

    Griffin Dill, pest management specialist for UMaine’s Cooperative Extension, explained that ticks generally spend the winter months in a state of dormancy among the leaf litter under the snow.  If temperatures are above 40 degrees for an extended period, ticks can become active, even during the winter.

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  26. 3 local girls shine at Maine State Science fair

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    MacKenna Carter wasn’t always interested in science, but you wouldn’t believe it to hear her speak today. She designed her state science fair project to examine natural alternatives to man made water repellents.

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  27. Aroostook County couple to manage Jonesport’s oceanside campground

    by Nancy Beal

    After weeks of advertising recently for a director of the Jonesport campground and getting no response, selectmen spent less than five minutes April 23 approving the offer from a retired couple in the Houlton (Aroostook County) area to manage the popular summer spot on the Henry Point peninsula across Sawyer’s Cove from the marina.

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  28. Participate in the 2021 Spring Trail Challenge for a chance to win a prize

    by Natalie Boomer

    Looking for something fun to do outside?

    Downeast Coastal Conservancy has created the 2021 Spring Trails Challenge for those who want to get out and explore as warmer months approach.
    Seven items have been hidden on trails throughout Downeast Maine.

    These “tree cookies”, as staff call them, feature different animals that are native to our great state of Maine.

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  29. Enemies foreign and domestic II

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    “I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic…”- Oath of Office/Allegiance

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  30. Summer concerts at Peabody Library to start — virtually

    by Nancy Beal

    Music in the Library was a popular summer feature — until the coronavirus put a stop to it last summer. After a year of learning to live virtually, it is only natural that library staff bring the tradition back — virtually — and that is how this summer’s concerts will be delivered to their patrons.

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  31. Cooper’s Pledge raises funds for Lion of Judah football

    Cooper Robicheau has, for many years, raised money to help others in his community. This month he put his efforts into raising money for Lion of Judah football, which runs faith-based football programs in and around Machias throughout the warmer months. “My brother and I have been a part of Lion of Judah Football League for six years now,” said Robicheau. “I want to give back to a program that has impacted my life. I would like to raise money to get new helmets for the league."

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  32. The Nature of Phenology: Beltane

    by Hazel Stark

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  33. Public hearing looks at proposed grant for new Machias business

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A public hearing will help Machias voters learn about a proposed Community Block Development Grant (CDBG) in support of a restaurant and brewery which aims to open at 101 Court Street this year. The hearing will be held in person and online on Thursday, April 29, at the Machias Telebusiness Center and on Zoom.

    Machias residents will vote on the proposed grant application on May 12.

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  34. Business surges after local news coverage of Binkies Bunny Treats

    by Praise Moore

    This newspaper covered Machias business Binkies Bunny Treats and its teen entrepreneur, Grace Moore, in February [Local Machias girl runs thriving global bunny business, MVNO, Feb. 10, 2021]. Since the story broke, Moore’s business has leaped in part because Moore was then offered an interview by the News Station ABC-7. “There was a particular uptick in sales located in Maine and Bangor where all the news coverage reached,” says Moore. “Sales now average above 20 orders a week.“

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  35. Expired comprehensive plans hamper Moosabec planners

    by Nancy Beal

    Town officials in the Moosabec communities of Beals and Jonesport learned recently that their comprehensive plans, approved by the state and respective towns over 10 years ago, have expired. Their expiration not only suspends the growth and planning measures they contained but, more significantly for selectmen hoping to bring improvements to their areas, cancels a key component required by most funding entities.

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  36. Elder abuse mounting scourge of everyday life in 2021

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Seeping into the cracks of real life and tough living, the tentacles of elder abuse are many and varied.

    Bank tellers are on the lookout for the signs of financial exploitation. Medical providers are always on alert for the signs of physical abuse. Neglect is often more difficult to determine without gaining entry to the home of the elderly person in question. But for those on the front line, the battle has gained momentum during the year of COVID.

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  37. Machias selectboard talks hybrid cruiser, police wages

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The town of Machias will soon own its first hybrid police cruiser, a purchase unanimously supported by the Machias Board of Selectmen at their regular bi-monthly meeting held last Wednesday, April 14.

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  38. All enemies, foreign and domestic

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

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  39. Just a Jonesboro boy

    by Wayne Smith

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  40. Online workshop to teach mixed media basketry

    Next in EAC's popular series of online workshops is Beginning Basketry with Sara Myrick, 1-3 pm, Sunday, May 2. Geared for ages 12 and up, the workshop will be a fun and interactive tutorial in making a box-shaped basket using a form and twine. Sara will also show adaptations to the project, including using different weaving materials like fabric scraps, recycled paper, etc.

    “I love this project,” enthuses Myrick, who frequently favors accessible, upcycled materials in her projects, “because of the versatility and practicality built into it."

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  41. Gardner follows in family’s public service footsteps

    Congratulations to Hayden Gardner for graduating from the Maine Criminal Justice Basic Corrections Academy last week. Though completed remotely,  a lot of work and study are required.

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  42. The Nature of Phenology: Violets

    by Hazel Stark

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  43. Milbridge Theatre groundbreaking signals bright future for town, arts

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Years of fundraising and creative community events resulted in Monday’s milestone groundbreaking of the upcoming Milbridge Theatre and Community Arts Center.

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  44. Restoration moves ahead on Machiasport’s Liberty Hall

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Port Road drivers have enjoyed the renewed beauty of historic Liberty Hall since 2009, when a $1.1 millon exterior restoration project was completed on the former Machiasport town hall. Now another project is underway, this time out of drivers’ sight.

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  45. Joint tech school up and running in Columbia

    by Nancy Beal

    Career technical education (CTE) has existed in coastal Washington County for years. Many law enforcement personnel in the Sunrise County and beyond began their training in the criminal justice program at Narraguagus High School. In the late 1990s, the building trades teacher at Machias Memorial High School took his class to Florida to help clean up and rebuild after a hurricane. Next week, the culinary arts students at MMHS will offer home-cooked (bagged) lunches to benefit a summer camp for teens (see details below).

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