1. Washington County lagging in statewide broadband upswing

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Rooted in community engagement, many towns and counties are responding to the availability of strengthened broadband … but not Washington County.

    Having a plan in place expressing and explaining a community’s need for improved broadband provides a legup on enhanced connectivity. 

    “But it’s not a requirement,” explains Peggy Schaffer, executive director of ConnectME. “We’ve been engaged with over 200 towns. We’ve funded some of them. And some of them have been funded by their counties.”

    Read More
  2. Health care workers fear reduced services due to state vaccine mandate, host rally in Machias

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A demonstration in support of Washington County health care workers affected by the state COVID-19 vaccine mandate drew more than 125 people to the Machias boat landing on Saturday, Aug. 21. 

    Read More
  3. Masks to be optional in Moosabec area schools

    by Nancy Beal

    It took the Moosabec area joint school committee 22 minutes to dispense with the issue of mask-wearing in their three schools August 17. Before an audience of approximately 30 interested citizens—more than the usual turnout for budget votes—the Moosabec CSD/Union 103 board voted unanimously to make the wearing of masks optional in Beals Elementary, Jonesport Elementary, and Jonesport-Beals High School.

    Read More
  4. No apologies, no regrets

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    Read More
  5. Largest piece of Mars on Earth to be unveiled Sept. 1 at Maine museum

    When the Maine Mineral & Gem Museum opens on Sept. 1, it will include the largest intact Mars rock on Earth. The specimen weighs 32 pounds and measures 9” x 10” x 6.5” inches.

    Mars is among the most exotic substances on our planet, with less than 500 pounds known to exist. It was an asteroid impact on the Martian surface that ejected surface material into an Earth-crossing orbit.

    Read More
  6. Local artists showcased in Jonesport library show

    by Nancy Beal

    Seven artists who make their summer and year-round homes in the Moosabec area are featured in a show at Jonesport’s Peabody Memorial Library through September 9. 

    Valerie Aponik came to Maine in her twenties as a back-to-the-lander, and has lived on Beals’ Great Wass Island for many of the remaining 45 years. She calls herself “passionate about painting outdoors” where the scene she is putting on canvas changes quickly. “Whether it is a grand landscape or a celebration of the everyday, my work is a response to being present.”

    Read More
  7. Bad Little Falls Park concert series continues Aug. 26

    Extreme BEER Trio will take the Bad Little Falls Park stage from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 26, as the “Sounds Like This” summer concert series continues in Machias.

    The summer concert series will take place from 5-7 p.m. every Thursday through Sept. 9, and is free thanks to the sponsorship of R.H. Foster Energy / Freshies. Bad Little Falls Park is located on the north side of the Jeremiah O’Brien Memorial Bridge in Machias. Attendees are reminded not to park anywhere along Elm Street, but instead to use the public Water Street or Colonial Way parking lots.

    Read More
  8. The Nature of Phenology: Grasshoppers

    by Joseph Horn

    Read More
  9. Health care workers fear staffing shortage, plan rally in Machias 

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A demonstration planned in support of Washington County health care workers affected by the state COVID-19 vaccine mandate is planned for 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 21, at the Machias boat landing on Route 1. 

    Governor Janet Mills last week announced the vaccine mandate, which requires all Maine health care workers to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1 as a condition of employment. The announcement came on the heels of two COVID-19 outbreaks affecting health care workers in southern Maine hospitals. 

    Read More
  10. Sierra Club’s wastewater appeal against Jonesport fish farm rejected by DEP

    by Nancy Beal

    One week after Maine Public broke the news that the Sierra Club had challenged the wastewater discharge license granted by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to Kingfish Maine, a Dutch company planning to build a large land-based fish farming operation in Jonesport — and before many knew that the environmental group had lodged the complaint — its appeal was rejected for lack of standing.

    Read More
  11. Machias entrepreneurship center campaign nears 75 percent of goal

    by Jayna Smith

    Machias Valley Center for Entrepreneurship is one step closer to its new building, thanks to a recent donation by Pratt Family Dealerships and other local businesses. 

    The center, a program of Sunrise County Economic Council (SCEC), will provide a physical space for coworking and collaboration, conference rooms, networking events, and training programs, all in an effort to create jobs and prosperity.

    Read More
  12. Machias brewing company grant gets final green light at selectboard meeting

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A long bureaucratic road came to an end Wednesday, Aug. 11, when the Machias Board of Selectmen voted to accept $180,000 in federal CDBG funds on behalf of Bad Little Brewing Company. The vote followed a surprisingly lengthy public hearing where the board heard comments in support of and against accepting the grant monies, which Bad Little Brewing applied for in May following a public vote (52-18) authorizing them to do so.

    Read More
  13. Downeast region struggles under swelling Rx price hikes

    by Ruth Leubecker

    As inflation inches upward on all fronts, the cost of prescription drugs continues to overshadow even the cost of food and shelter.

    Read More
  14. Mining company to begin exploratory drilling in Pembroke

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A Canadian-based junior mining company, Wolfden Resources Corporation, has announced plans to begin exploratory drilling in Pembroke next month, to evaluate the potential for a mining project it calls Big Silver.

    Wolfden is the first company to attempt mining in Maine since 2017 when the state passed LD 820, An Act To Protect Maine's Clean Water and Taxpayers from Mining Pollution.  Wolfden CEO Ron Little says Maine’s new mining rules “set the highest standard in the country.”

    Read More
  15. The educrats are all in on CRT

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    Read More
  16. Celebrate DCC’s newest preserve Aug. 28

    by Natalie Boomer 

    Join Downeast Coastal Conservancy in a celebration of its newest preserve, the Vining Lake Community Preserve in Cooper, Cathance Township!

    All are welcome to go check out the new lakeside trail on Saturday, Aug. 28, at 10 a.m. 

    Read More
  17. Island Institute launches new podcast

    In addition to rolling out fresh new content, the Island Institute is spiffing up our podcast with a new name and logo: From the Sea Up. To kick things off, we're diving in with a six-part series focusing on the topic of sustainable seafood in Maine! We'll explore the diverse array of seafood that makes up our coastal economy and supports Maine's fishermen, aquaculturists, sea-farmers, and working waterfront businesses.

    Read More
  18. Downeast driver trying to change direction on I-95 causes serious crash

    On Saturday, Aug. 14, at approximately 8:45 a.m. State Troopers from Troop C responded to a report of a two-vehicle crash on I-95 in the town of Pittsfield. The preliminary investigation reveals that a 2005 Nissan Altima driven by 28-year-old Kaitlyn Hawkes of Eastport and her passenger, 33-year-old Tiffany Bowen of Pembroke were southbound in the travel lane when Hawkes tried to change directions north. Hawkes attempted to use the crossover and entered the passing lane to do so.

    Read More
  19. The Nature of Phenology: Ebony jewelwings

    by Hazel Stark

    Read More
  20. Wild blueberries: On the verge of a breakthrough milestone?

    by Ruth Leubecker 

    Wild blueberries, a cultural tradition lately facing tough options and even tougher obstacles, may just be embarking on a new chapter in their lengthy, historic life.

    Ironically, even though the Machias Wild Blueberry Festival has been absent for two years, this celebrated tiny iconic fruit is not slipping into the background of life, commercial or otherwise. 

    Read More
  21. Aug. 21 filled with blueberry excitement

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    If you’re a fan of wild blueberries, community spirit, or both, you’d better clear your calendar for Saturday, Aug. 21. Plan to be busy from dawn to dusk, and from Jonesboro to Machias.

    In Machias, a pancake breakfast, an all-day craft fair, and an evening of dancing are planned.

    Read More
  22. Public invited to watch Battle of Rim reenactment Aug. 21

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The Revolutionary War Reenactors of Downeast Maine have battled the British several times over the years, and that’s just one of many things they have in common with the original Machias patriots who battled the Royal Navy three times in three years.  

    “Even the local people here don’t realize there were three battles,” said reenactor leader Joseph McBrine.

    Read More
  23. Area schools say indoor masking will not be mandatory

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Area school boards last week voted against making indoor masking mandatory when schools resume instruction next month. Masking will remain mandatory on all school transportation following a federal requirement.

    Schools in Machias, Machiasport, East Machias, Whiting, Cutler, Jonesboro, and Wesley announced their decision after the U.S. Center for Disease Control released guidance recommending universal indoor masking for all people age 2 and older, a position the CDC attributes to the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19.

    Read More
  24. Cherryfield man honored in Bangor retirement ceremony

    by Peter Duston

    Read More
  25. Freedom in jeopardy

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    Read More
  26. Concert series ends with two nights of chamber music

    EAC’s Concert Series will continue Friday, Aug. 20 at 7 p,m,, with Chamber Music of Bach, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, and Biss by Anna Maria Baeza, clarinet, Joachim Woitun, cello; and Gregory Biss, piano. The series will conclude with Chamber Music, including Beethoven’s “Ghost” Trio and Dvorak’s “Dumky” trio by Noreen Silver, cello, Phillip Silver, piano, and Trond Saeverud, violin, on August 27. 

    Read More
  27. Roque Bluffs prepares to celebrate 100th anniversary of historic community center Aug. 21

    At their June 14 regular monthly meeting, the Board of Directors of the Roque Bluffs Community Center voted to hold a COVID-19-delayed 100 Year Anniversary Celebration of their historic building from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday,  Aug. 21,  with supper to follow in the Roque Bluffs fire station.

    Read More
  28. The Nature of Phenology: Lobster mushrooms

    by Hazel Stark

    Read More
  29. Appropriations approves $3.625M in earmarks for Washington County projects

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, announced today that she successfully secured all six of the congressionally directed spending requests, or earmarks, that she submitted for the fiscal year 2022 Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration Appropriations Bill and the Fiscal Year 2022 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill. 

    Read More
  30. Last officer resigns from Machias PD

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The four-position Machias Police Department now has four vacant positions with the departure of officer Tyler Dunbar, who last week submitted his resignation. 

    “He would like to be put on the reserve roster, and will probably be looking to return November, December,” said interim town manager Bill Kitchen. “That currently leaves us without any full-time officers.”

    Read More
  31. East Machias Church game plan boosted by ideas, enthusiastic talent

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Close on the heels of a first meeting, a second gathering at the First Congregational Church in East Machias included discussion for application of a 501(3)(c), selection of officers and necessary next steps.

    Read More
  32. Religious and philosophical vaccine waivers end Sept. 1

    by Jayna Smith

    When Maine students return to public schools this fall, all will be required to have their required vaccines, unless they have a medical exemption.

    “Religious or philosophical” exemptions to refuse the required vaccines will no longer be honored.  All of the required vaccines have been required “for years,” according to Chief Health Improvement Officer for Maine Health Dr. Dora Mills.  “These are not new vaccines at all.”

    Read More
  33. Machiasport seeks volunteers to blaze new trails Aug. 14

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Sturdy backs and friendly neighbors are asked to lend a hand at Machiasport’s Trailblazing Blitz, a trail-breaking work session scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 14. Town clerk Marcia Hayward says the town is ready to move forward on the project, which was originally planned for 2020 in honor of Maine’s bicentennial celebration. 

    Once completed, the work will add extensive walking and biking trails to 27 acres of town property near the municipal center.

    Read More
  34. Rescued bald eagle released after rehab

    by Jayna Smith

    Back in mid-June, Keith Ramos, of Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, was notified of a possible injured eagle near the corner of Route 1 and Charlotte Road. The bird was on the road and not flying. 

    Shortly after hearing of the eagle, Ramos’ wife Tabitha, who is also a volunteer at the refuge, also noticed the bird. She got it away from the road into the grass until biologist Ray Brown could arrive to capture it.

    Read More
  35. Follow the political science

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    President Biden, Governor Mills and Democratic tyrants across the country moved towards the permanent pandemic state last week with mask mandates for the vaccinated, vaccine mandates, and mandated obeisance to the “science” they selectively cherry picked. However, the “science” mask slipped off when Presidential spokesliar Jen Psaki explained that the reason for the making supposedly well protected and safe vaccinated people mask up was because she said so.

    Read More
  36. EAC Concert Series kicks off Aug. 6

    EAC’s Concert Series begins on Friday, Aug. 6, at 7 p.m., with Trond Saeverud, violin, and Gregory Biss, piano, performing a program of Beethoven, Brahms, Saeverud, and Biss.

    Read More
  37. ‘Downeast’ author to speak at Porter Memorial Library Aug. 7

    Gigi Georges, author of the recent bestseller Downeast: Five Maine Girls and the Unseen Story of Rural America will speak at Porter Memorial Library in Machias on Saturday, Aug. 7.

    Based on five years of intimate reporting, Downeast follows five young women as they come of age in stunning but challenged Washington County, Maine — the northernmost county on the Maine coast.  All five girls know the pain and joy of life in an area whose rugged beauty and stoicism mask dwindling populations, vanishing job opportunities, and pervasive opioid addiction.

    Read More
  38. The Nature of Phenology: Jewelweed blossoms

    by Joseph Horn

    Read More
  39. Supporters stunned as popular county DA bill tabled in senate

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Local stakeholders say they’re shocked that a bill to give Washington County its own district attorney did not move forward last week despite passing the judiciary committee with a unanimous vote, passing the House 136-1, and passing the Senate “under the hammer.”

    “That means everybody just agreed to let it go forward, there was no issue, nobody had a problem with it,” said Rep. Will Tuell, who sponsored LD 272, “An Act To Establish Separate Prosecutorial Districts in Downeast Maine.” 

    Read More
  40. Jonesport updating its comprehensive plan

    by Nancy Beal

    Recently, Jonesport town fathers became aware that their ability to apply for most grants would be hampered by the absence of an up-to-date comprehensive plan. Over a decade ago—and after going through several versions—the town adopted one, but it was not renewed after its statutory 10-year life expired. This week, the first step in updating and amending that plan will happen, as residents pull a community public survey from their mailboxes.

    Read More
  41. Maine wild blueberry weekend will open two farms Downeast Aug. 7-8

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Maine’s nutritious, delicious, and iconic wild blueberry will be the focus of the 1st Annual Maine Wild Blueberry Weekend, which will open farms across the state on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 7-8. Governor Janet Mills last week issued a formal proclamation declaring the event.

    “I encourage all people to recognize the vital contributions made by the state’s wild blueberry growers and businesses to our economy, and to participate in activities that celebrate and honor the wild Maine blueberry,” wrote Mills.

    Read More
  42. Stakeholders grapple with future of East Machias church

    by Ruth Leubecker

    “What drives us today is this is a very serious problem, and a dangerous one to solve,” said Brian Pfeiffer, an independent architectural historian. “The church doesn’t have enough people or resources to maintain it, so the question is is there a group, or groups, that would recognize a shared community problem.”

    Read More
  43. Machias board talks concerts, police department issues

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    At their regularly scheduled meeting held July 14, the Machias Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to establish a new bank account to receive and disburse funds related to the Bad Little Falls “Sounds Like This” summer concert series, taking place every Thursday this summer from 5-7 p.m.

    “I’ve heard nothing but absolutely wonderful comments from all over,” said board chairwoman Paula Johnson-Rolfe, speaking of the concerts. Last week’s event drew roughly 250 people.

    Read More
  44. Down East Cruisers to host classic cars show Aug. 7

    by Kaileigh Deacon

    Classic cars and trucks are often a source of pride for those who own them, especially those vehicles that are truly well-maintained. What better place to showcase them all together than at a car show. Attendees of the upcoming Down East Cruisers Car Show will certainly be impressed with what they see.

    Read More
  45. Mid-summer notes

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    Classes start in five weeks, and as our typically foggy July ends, some mid-summer, late (?) pandemic notes:

    Read More

Pages

Pages