1. Van Norden Ignites Passion for Literacy in Area Youth at Porter Memorial Children’s Library

    By Will Tuell

    Julianne van Norden has served as the Children’s Librarian at Porter Memorial Library in Machias since 2021, and one thing is apparent from an Oct. 16 interview with the former educator who spent nineteen years working with children before volunteering at the library -- she has a passion for literacy that is infectious. 

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  2. Fish Briefs J’Port Selectboard on Hefty County Budget Increase

    by Nancy Beal

    Jonesport First Selectman Harry Fish has been a member of the Washington County budget committee for many years. He reported to his fellow selectmen Oct. 25 that the county committee, which is currently compiling next year’s budget, anticipates a hefty increase to its bottom line. The amount on that line is paid by all the municipalities in the county—calculated according to the state-assessed value of each town’s real estate.

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  3. Planning Board Giveth and Taketh Away: Rescinds Provisional Approval of King’s Fremont St. Apartments

    Town Officials Could Thwart Developer’s New Plans for Big Building

     

    By Paul Sylvain

    Based on a recommendation from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Land Resources, the Machias Planning Board on Oct. 23 unanimously voted to rescind its Sept. 20 provisional approval of a multi-unit townhouse-style apartment project at 53 Fremont St.

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  4. Deadline to Enter Maine Scallop License Lottery Nov. 6

    By Will Tuell

    Time is running out to enter Maine’s dive or drag scallop fishery lotteries. The lotteries, which opened Oct. 16, are set to close Nov. 6 at 4:30 p.m, according to the Department of Marine Resources. 

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  5. Letter to the Editor

    To the Editor:

    On Oct. 16, 2023, the Washington County Budget Committee held a public hearing on the 2024 county budget proposal. After considering the information presented at the meeting, Maine Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #006, representing full-time patrol deputies for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, is releasing the following statement regarding the proposed Sheriff’s Office line item increase. 

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  6. Correspondence and Communications Update

    by Jonathan Reisman

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  7. Remembering Andy Foss

    by Phil Stuart

    The older you get the more people you know pass on, and the list just seems to keep growing.  It is especially difficult when you see somebody leave this earth thirty years too soon like Andy Foss.

    Andy was a Lubec native who lost his father at a young age, and his mother had to bring him up along with two older sisters.  I remember Andy as a basketball and baseball player at Lubec High School in the mid eighties.  He was one of the school’s best 3-sport athletes playing soccer, baseball, and basketball.

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  8. The Nature of Phenology: Tote Road Shaganaw

    by Hazel Stark

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  9. Veteran's Day 2023

     View last year's 2022 Veteran's Day Section here

    Please email [email protected] to reserve right away.

    A simple reply will get you reserved and Dylan will design your ad message.

    Veteran's Day Special Section 2023! 

    November 8th issue.

    1) Banners $100.00 sample.

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  10. The Editor’s Desk - Anti-Semitism on the rise

    By Pierre Little

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  11. Community Mourns Retired State Trooper, Rallies Behind Foss Family

    By Will Tuell

    Even before retired State Trooper Andy Foss left this world Oct. 18, Downeasters from Steuben to Foss’s native Lubec rallied behind the career law enforcement officer and his family. Foss, who retired from the State Police in January after decades in law enforcement, had gone through a heroic battle with cancer several years ago only to learn recently that he had an aggressive, inoperable brain tumor that would ultimately take his life. 

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  12. Wash Co Children’s Program Teams up with NYU Dental to Change Lives One Smile at a Time

    By Will Tuell

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  13. Norton Enters Maine Baseball Hall of Fame

    by Phil Stuart

    Dickie Norton of Addison became the 15th Washington County resident to be inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame.  Dickie played baseball in the Quoddy League from 1958 to 1980.

    After graduating from Addison High School in 1958, where he played baseball and basketball for the Bucks, Addison resident Julian Ingersoll talked him into playing for the Jonesboro Jets in the Quoddy League.  Dickie was the youngest member of a veteran Jet squad, and after a couple of years he decided to change teams due to a lack of playing time.

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  14. Machias Assessor Responds to Justin King, Explains How Taxes Are Derived

    By Paul Sylvain

    By their nature, some jobs are more “taxing” than others. Just ask J. Douglas Guy III, whose job as Machias assessor is to calculate the town’s property taxes for each year. 

    Nobody enjoys seeing their taxes go up, but as Guy noted in an interview on Oct. 19, “There is never a simple answer to ‘why my taxes went up’.”

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  15. No Trust in the Trust for Local News

    by Jonathan Reisman

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  16. The Lobster Lady Author Alexandra S.D. Hinrich Signs Books at Berry Vines

    Children’s Books Are Not Just For Children

     

    By Paul Sylvain

    Since moving to its new location this past summer, Berry Vines has hosted two book signing events featuring popular Maine authors. 

    In August, retired Bangor Detective Tim Cotton stopped by to chat with, and sign books for, Berry Vines customers. On Oct. 20 it was Bangor children’s author Alexandra S.D. Hinrichs’ turn at the autograph table with her featured book titled The Lobster Lady, among others that she’s written.

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  17. Undefeated Cross Country Runner Josie Ingrish Takes Pride in School and Family

    By Paul Sylvain

    Fort O’Brien School in Machiasport is not only “Home of the Comets,” but also the academic home of 12-year-old cross country runner Josie Ingrish, who might even be faster than a real comet.

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  18. The Nature of Phenology: Orionids

    by Joseph Horn

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  19. Raiders and Knights Set for Volleyball Playoffs, Three Local Schools Eye Deep Runs in Soccer Playoffs

    by Phil Stuart

    The Volleyball playoffs are here and two Washington County Schools  – Washington Academy of East Machias and Narraguagus of Harrington – could be crowned state champions in the very near future if their regular season records hold to form.  

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  20. Narraguagus Runners Shine at PVC

    By Phil Stuart

    Two Narraguagus High School runners cracked the top ten at the Penobscot Valley Conference (PVC) cross country championships in Ellsworth on Oct.14.  Alexa Johnson, a sophomore finished 7th in the girls race, while another sophomore, Lucas Pounder, came in tenth for the boys.

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  21. Thank You, Biden, for Placing the World on Tenterhooks

    by Jonathan Reisman

    Among President Biden’s first actions upon taking office was a set of executive orders, decisions and appointments keeping his campaign promises to cancel and reverse President Trump’s foreign and domestic policy, including his mean social media postings. Let’s see how that has worked out:

    The southern border was opened and remains open, despite the belated wailing of blue sanctuary cities. Gov. Mills wants to welcome 75,000 illegal immigrants to Maine with taxpayer financed housing, food and medical care.

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  22. Developer Blasts ‘Anti-Business’ Machias, Vows to Move Fremont Street Townhouses to Calais

    By Paul Sylvain

    It would be an understatement to say Machias housing developer Justin King was left with a foul taste in his mouth after his two recent meetings with the town’s planning board.

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  23. MVNO Picks up Dozen Awards at Maine Press Assoc. Gala

    By Will Tuell

    The Machias Valley News Observer received twelve first, second, or third place finishes at the Maine Press Association’s Annual Conference and Awards Presentation Oct. 14 in Portland. Our sister publication, The Calais Advertiser, also won or placed in eighteen categories at the gala. MVNO’s second-place finish in the “General Excellence for Print '' category and third-place showing in the “General Excellence in Advertising '' category topped the list of awards which span the publication year of April 2022 - March 2023. 

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  24. Youth Deer Hunting Days Oct 20-21

    By Will Tuell

    This fall, Maine kids will have twice as much time to hunt deer, thanks to a new state law the Legislature passed earlier this year. Under the bill, youths will be able to hunt Friday, Oct. 20 and Saturday, Oct. 21, the traditional youth deer day, which takes place a week before all Maine residents with deer hunting licenses can take to the woods. 

    The premise of the new law is simple -- give young hunters an extra day and they may stick with hunting as they grow older. 

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  25. Debate over Absent Student Participation in School Sports Dominates Jonesport-Beals Board

    By Nancy Beal

    If a student athlete misses school the day before or the day after a game, should the student be benched for the next game?

    That question dominated the discussion at an Oct. 11 Moosabec CSD school board meeting. The existing policy governing conduct during non-curricular activities, specifically sports, was one of several up for review. During the 20-minute public comment portion of the meeting, Kristi Carver-Kenney opined on the rules governing student participation after absences. 

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  26. Moore Proposes Bills to Address County Police, Dispatcher Shortage

    By Will Tuell

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  27. Early Plans for Second Airport Runway in Machias Aired at First of Many Public Hearings

    By Paul Sylvain

    In what everyone present agreed will be a long process with numerous public feedback sessions involved, Machias officials and its airport runway design engineers held a public hearing Oct. 12 on the proposed expansion of Machias Valley Airport.

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  28. Turkey-a-Thon Raises over $35,000 to Help Washington County Families in Need

    By Jayna Smith

    In a display of community spirit and generosity, the 2023 Turkey-a-Thon event, held on Friday, October 6, proved impressive once again.  The event brought together local residents, schools, businesses, and organizations to make a significant impact on the lives of those facing food insecurity.

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  29. Of Moose and Men

    By Will Tuell 

    Scottish poet Robert Burns had it just about right when he wrote “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry,” but he could just as easily have said “of moose and men” were he tramping through the hinterlands of the Allagash WIlderness some 227 years after his passing in search of a bull moose. That, of course, is a gentle way of saying, “We didn’t get the moose.” 

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  30. The Nature of Phenology: Divining Winter Weather

    by Joseph Horn

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  31. Porter Memorial Library Launches Monthly Storywalk for Children

    By Paul Sylvain

    Organizers behind Porter Memorial Library’s first-ever StoryWalk on Oct. 6, couldn’t have asked for a better day to launch the monthly event.

    On an otherwise gloomy day, the clouds gave way to clear, sunny skies as the 3 p.m. event got underway. 

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  32. Moosabec Ambulance Service Welcomes New Leadership

    by Nancy Beal

    The Moosabec Ambulance Service (MAS), emergency responders for the coastal towns of Jonesport and Beals, is approaching its 50th birthday with new leadership in the form of Chief Andrew Phillips and Assistant Chief Carlen Ray. “Andy” and “Charlie,” who ask to be called by their nicknames, were already familiar faces, having spent several years responding to the area’s emergencies.

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  33. Concerns over Impact on Local Fisheries Push Machiasport Selectmen to Renew Aquaculture Moratorium

    By Will Tuell

    Responding to the perceived environmental impact of large-scale commercial aquaculture and a feared loss of ocean-bottom, the Machiasport Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to move ahead with a moratorium on aquaculture Oct. 2, according to Town Clerk Marcia Hayward. The move comes after the board heard extensive testimony -- both for and against -- during a Sept. 25 public hearing, and gives the town up to six months to finalize an ordinance on future aquaculture activity in the seaside community. 

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  34. The Sky's the Limit for Machias Valley Airport Expansion, Public Info Session Set for Oct. 12

    By Paul Sylvain

    A big, blue sign at the Route 1 entrance to the Machias Valley Airport access road boasts, “A Runway That Saves Lives.” That may be true for med-flight helicopters, but the airport’s 2,900-foot by 60-foot asphalt runway comes up 1,400-feet short for LifeFlight of Maine to safely land its fixed-wing flying ambulances on it.

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  35. Autumnal Equinox

    by Jonathan Reisman

    The equinox occurs when the Earth is tilting neither toward nor away from the sun, and therefore receives almost an equal amount of daylight and darkness. In the spring, the days start getting longer than the nights; in the fall, our days get shorter as winter approaches. This past autumnal equinox took on particular significance for me; at 67, I know I am in the fall of my life, if not early winter.

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  36. Plath Named Milbridge Theatre & Community Arts Center Executive Director

    The Milbridge Theatre & Community Arts Center (MTCAC) is pleased to announce that David Plath of Hancock, Maine will assume the role of Executive Director beginning Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023.

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  37. Local Scouts Win Award at Cobscook/Moosehorn Camporee

    Cobscook Bay State Park was the scenic locale for the 61st Annual Cobscook/Moosehorn International Scout Camporee recently. More than 140 Scouts and Scouters attended with some driving hours, or even days to attend, while a Machias-area troop picked took home the Bob McVicor Award during the “Dungeons and Dragons”-themed event.

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  38. Court Street Paving a Long Overdue Blessing

    By Paul Sylvain

    If Court Street had a theme song, it would be “Shake, Rattle and Roll” by Bill Haley & the Comets. Well, until last week, that is.

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  39. The Nature of Phenology: Wooly Bear Caterpillars

    by Hazel Stark

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  40. Pageantry, Fanfare as Generations Rededicate ‘Battle of Machias’ Monument

    By Paul Sylvain

    Amid a backdrop of Revolutionary War reenactors and members of the Hannah Weston Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, a plaque set in a granite stone monument was dedicated Sept. 27, to the memory of those townspeople killed in the Battle of Machias in June 1775.

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  41. All Hands on Deck: Navy Commissions USS Augusta in Fog-Shrouded Ceremony in Eastport

    By Paul Sylvain

    Downeast Maine is known for its sometimes unyielding coastal fog and Saturday dawned with a thick veil of it shrouding Eastport’s downtown pier and waterfront. In other words, it was a perfect day for commissioning a Navy ship.

    The cool, raw, foggy morning also failed to deter a large crowd of spectators from coming out to witness the tradition-filled, hour-long event on Sept. 30.

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  42. Reduced Presence by State Police Driving Up Sheriff’s Department’s Budget

    By Paul Sylvain

    Asked how his department's budget looked for the coming year, Washington County Sheriff Barry Curtis chuckled and replied, “I think it looks great.”

    The Sheriff’s Department’s proposed budget for 2024 is up 14 percent over the 2023  budget. In dollars and cents, Curtis is asking for $2,536,901, which is up $315,994 from this year.

    “Unfortunately it had to go up,” Curtis said in an interview with this publication Sept. 28. “It’s just the nature of the beast, where things are changing with coverage here in Washington County.”

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  43. Jonesport Selectmen Hear Broadband Pitch, State Approves Comprehensive Plan

    By Nancy Beal

    Jonesport Selectman Harry Fish told those attending the Sept. 27 selectmen's meeting that the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) had reviewed the town’s newly-revised comprehensive plan and pronounced it “complete and consistent” with the standards of the state’s Growth Management Act. 

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  44. ‘Clock is Ticking’ on Machias Selectboard Marijuana Ordinance Overhaul

    By Paul Sylvain

    The clock is ticking down for the Machias Selectboard to present to town voters a revised marijuana ordinance that is expected to include both adult-use — or “legal” — marijuana storefronts as well as medical marijuana storefronts.

    The handful of residents who attended a special town meeting on Sept. 14, voted unanimously in favor of placing a 180-day moratorium on accepting any new applications for medical marijuana businesses in Machias. Town officials said at the time there were no new applications pending before them.

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  45. Machias Selectboard Snaps Up 2014 Ambulance Despite Questions

    By Paul Sylvain

    Without having the more detailed “financial picture” it requested two weeks ago but did not receive, the Machias selectboard on Sept. 27, finally agreed to seal the deal on the purchase of a 2014 Chevy ambulance from Brooks Ambulance Inc., for $30,000.

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