1. The moose tick problem

    by V. Paul Reynolds

    The scientific management of Maine’s wildlife populations can be complex and, at times, counter-intuitive. There are, however, some fundamental tenets that are timeless. Here are two: 1) An over abundance of animals is not a good thing, and in time can trigger unhealthy populations plagued with disease and starvation, and 2) Recreational hunting with harvest quotas is a proven and effective method of regulating animal population densities.

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  2. Slippery ice

    by Joseph Horn

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  3. Community Health and Counseling Services Awarded CHAP Accreditation

    Bangor, ME – January 12, 2021 - Community Health Accreditation Partner, Inc., (CHAP) announced today that Community Health and Counseling Services has been awarded CHAP Accreditation under the CHAP Home Health and Hospice Standards of Excellence. By achieving CHAP Accreditation, Community Health and Counseling Services has also been recognized to meet the Medicare Conditions of Participation as a certified Medicare provider.

     

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  4. Emerge Maine attracted to political passion of Melissa Hinerman

    by Ruth Leubecker

    “This program is fantastic for empowering women and building a better Maine,” says Melissa Hinerman, Machiasport activist with an eye on a future in the political arena. “I’ve always been politically involved.”

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  5. 2.8 earthquake rattles towns

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Dozens of people in Addison, Columbia, Jonesboro and Harrington took to social media Sunday, Jan. 17 to ask, “What was THAT?!” A wide range of seismic activity websites turned up no answers that afternoon, but Monday morning the United States Geological Survey finished triangulating the event, which registered a magnitude of 2.8 on the Richter scale.

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  6. Heading into his final term, Rep. Tuell’s bills cover a lot of ground

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    With his fourth and — at least for now — final term underway, Rep. Will Tuell plans to exit the Maine House of Representatives with impact, last month submitting a career-high 15 bills for consideration by the state legislature.

    “I think I’ve been open to doing more heavy-hitting bills because I don’t feel the pressure of another election cycle,” said Tuell (R-E. Machias). “I’m not looking to the next election. But that certainly isn’t going to change my tone because I think tone is more important than ever these days.”

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  7. Wild Blueberry Com’n firms up budget, sets priorities

    by Nancy Beal

    Maine’s Wild Blueberry Commission met over Zoom January 14 to formulate a budget for 2021 and identify aspects of the industry that require attention. All 10 members were present, as were the executive director, Eric Venturini, the director of research programs Patricia Kontur, longtime researcher and spokesman David Yarborough, Carol Woodcock from Senator Susan Collins’ office, and other interested parties.

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  8. Machias Board of Selectmen discuss multi-town planning board, adult-use marijuana, and clams

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The resignation of Machias Planning Board member David Barker, as well as the completion of Glenn Davis’ term, mean two out of the board’s five seats are vacant.  The Machias Board of Selectmen discussed those vacancies at their meeting held Wednesday, Jan. 13.

    “We really need a reliable third, it seems like every other meeting now we don’t have a quorum,” said secretary Cathy Lord.

    The remaining three seats are occupied by chairman Bill Thompson, Ed Pellon, and Arthur McCurdy.

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  9. Applications due Feb. 5 for CEI’s 2nd Child Care Business Lab

    Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) is offering three concurrent virtual courses of its Child Care Business Lab, helping entrepreneurs start new, quality child care businesses in underserved areas of Maine. Applications are due on Feb. 5 at 5 p.m. EST. The applications and more information can be accessed by visiting: https://www.ceimaine.org/advising/childcare/. The program begins in March.

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  10. O. Henry meets George Orwell

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

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  11. Life at 100

    by Wayne Smith

    This week I want to share some memories of Norma Korenek. She will be turning a big 100 years old on February 4th.I just wanted to see what all the excitement was all about. She was gracious with a great big smile on her face. The memories seemed to flood her mind. Norma was kind of shy at first. When she got going, She wouldn't stop talking. This was what I came up with.

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  12. Book review: Through Woods & Waters

    by V. Paul Reynolds

    Laurie Apgar Chandler is the first woman to solo paddle the entire 700 miles of the National Forest Canoe Trail. She wrote a fascinating chronicle of her paddling challenge in her first book titled “Upwards.”

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  13. The Nature of Phenology: Winter loons

    by  Joseph Horn

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  14. Downeasters reflect on 2020, a year of great hardship and loss

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Often sequestered and lonely in 2020, Mainers, like the rest of a beleaguered nation, have been pervasively affected by the insidious presence of the coronavirus.

    In the beginning -- way back last March -- if most thought about it at all, they considered possibly a month or two, and then it would all be over. Now, as another March fast approaches, hundreds of thousands have died nationally, and Maine, slow to wrack up those numbers, now has 28,000-plus cases and nearly 500 dead.

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  15. Chance posting reunites Woodland alum with class ring, 32 years later

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Richard Skinner doesn’t know exactly when he lost his class ring, but guesses it was not long after he graduated from Baileyville’s Woodland High School in 1989.  
    “I had lost it so long ago, I figured it was long gone,” said Skinner. “I wasn’t even looking for it.”

    It turns out he did not have to. Now, thanks to an enthusiastic community effort on Facebook, Skinner will soon be reunited with his ring, and it all began when Mary White received a text from a total stranger.

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  16. J-BHS board okays cheerleading, teacher time for COVID absentees

    by Nancy Beal

    At the December 9 meeting of the Moosabec CSD board, the body that governs Jonesport-Beals High School, parents of students who were staying home because of COVID-19 and learning remotely reported dissatisfaction with students’ lack of contact with their teachers. The inability to take tests and perform labs, they said, was endangering their academic progress, adversely affecting their grades, and making them feel “like they had done something wrong.”

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  17. Water rate hike tops Machias board agenda

    by Hailey Wood

    After a year of debate and discussion, the Machias Board of Selectmen has lost their battle against the Machias Water Company to prevent their proposed rate hike.

    The topic of a rate hike was first introduced to Machias residents by letter in late February of 2020.

    The new approved annual revenue for the Machias Water Co. comes out to a 30 percent rate hike, 5 percent higher than the original ask of 25 percent in the letter sent to Machias residents.

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  18. Versant to file electricity rate increase proposal

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Versant Power, formerly Emera, will next week file a request with the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to increase its distribution rates in 2021 and 2022, according to a Jan. 5 release to its customers.

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  19. Fort McHenry or Fort Sumter?

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    Donald Trump incited a riot on January 6th.  In  doing so,  he destroyed much of what he accomplished, validated the complaints about his narcissism, divisiveness and character flaws, and invalidated the legitimate grievances of his 75 million supporters about stolen elections, Black Lives Matter and Antifa “mostly peaceful” violence, arson and riots, media bias and leftist hypocrisy. He managed to legitimize the Biden crime family and provide aid and comfort to the very socialists and leftist tyranny he opposed.

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  20. Milbridge couple survives COVID-19

    by Wayne Smith

    You could call Marge Lucas and her husband, Paul, survivors of COVID-19. Both living in Milbridge, Marge talked about how it affected their lives. She talked about the darkness of their experiences as she shone a little light on it. Marge is 90 years old and Paul is in his 70’s. With COVID-19, it turned their world upside down. Paul walks side to side. He likes his coffee. He never will give up his cigarettes. That’s kind of his best friend today.

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  21. A virtual introduction to nature therapy program offered

    Have you ever been touched by nature? Are you craving that connection again? Nature heals all: body, mind, and spirit. Join Susan Fortin on Zoom, for a reflection of Nature’s way of nurturing which will be hosted by the Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center on Thursday, Jan. 28 from 1 – 2:30 pm.

    This virtual introduction to Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing or nature therapy), you can escape and share experiences beyond your backyard as the group will Experience Virtually: Outdoor Living in and near Acadia National Park.

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  22. Eastport City Council votes in favor of reinstating fired police chief

    by Jayna Smith

    On Monday night, Jan. 4, Eastport City Council met for “a hearing on a Request for a Notice of Appeal” to the council “by an Employee with Regard to Termination of Employment.”  After approximately two hours of discussion, the council voted in favor to reinstate Police Chief Peter Harris.

    Harris was hired by the Eastport Police Department in July of 2018 and appointed interim chief in April 2019. According to Harris, on Sept. 28, 2020, he was terminated by city manager Thomas Hoskins.

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  23. The Nature of Phenology: Snow Flies

    by Hazel Stark

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  24. Feds propose new whale regulations

    by Nancy Beal

    The long-awaited federal proposal for intensifying the rules under which commercial lobstermen are allowed to fish in the Gulf of Maine was made public last week. On December 31, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a proposed “Risk Reduction Rule” to modify the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan. These are its recommendations for enhanced restrictions on already existing rules concerning the configuration of gear that involves vertical lines in the water.

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  25. Norman Nelson: a community institution now 10 years gone

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Norman Nelson, a lively lover of life with extraordinary talents and life experiences, passed away a decade ago this season.

    He was always a man about town with many irons in the fire, but his variegated career resume and his ever-ready willingness to jump in and try something new made him a standout right up until his death at 92.

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  26. Machias Valley Baptist gets head start on Operation Christmas Child

    by Natalie Boomer

    The Machias Valley Baptist Church is hosting Operation Christmas Child in a new way. Instead of filling shoeboxes with necessities for children in need at the end of the year, they are asking for donations throughout the entire year to make it easier for the community.

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  27. COVID-19 update: Schools open, courthouse closed

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Washington County added two more deaths and two new hospitalizations to its tally in late December, bringing the county’s total hospitalizations to 19 and the total number of residents who have died with COVID-19 to four.

    In line with a statewide trend, the county’s case count nearly doubled last month, climbing from 193 on Dec. 1, 2020, to 377 on Dec. 31, 2020. Statewide, Maine’s cumulative case totals climbed from 11,976 on Dec. 1 to 24,201 on New Year’s Eve.

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  28. DECH welcomes first baby of 2021 on New Year’s Day

    Down East Community Hospital welcomes its first baby of 2021!  Amber Norton gave birth to Neil Raymond Horn on Friday, Jan. 1 at 7:20 p.m.  Neil, who weighed in at 8 pounds, 10 ounces, is the wonderful addition to the family of Amber Norton and Calvin Horn and his two “big” sisters Audree and Brielle.

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  29. Navy veteran proud to be descendent of Roger Williams

    Robert Morris is a true son of New England. Born in Attleboro, Massachusetts, he’s a descendent of Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island, and Lucius Garvin, the governor of Rhode Island.

    Bob’s parents, Garvin and Helen Buffinton Morris moved Bob and his siblings, Garvin Jr., John, and Judith to Lonsdale, Rhode Island, when they were young, and then to Cumberland, Rhode Island, in the village of Arnold Mills.

    The Morris family were avid worshippers and found a home at Arnold Mills Methodist Church.

    Bob follows the education path

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  30. Out and About in Columbia

    Another year is upon us and I wonder what will be in store for everyone. Will the coronavirus get worse or will we be able to get control of it and stop it? No one really knows for sure.

    2020 was sure different for all of us, school not being in, remote learning, no after school activities for the students, delivering lunches to the students three times a week last spring and having to wear face masks.

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  31. Sea Rhymes online musical event Jan. 19

    The Pembroke Historical Society invites you to participate in a sharing of traditional and contemporary songs and poems of seafaring and coastal life.  You may sing a chantey, a ditty, a ballad, or a hymn with a maritime theme, or recite a poem, or just enjoy listening to others. "SEA RHYMES" will be presented via Zoom, on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.  We expect to have presenters not only from the State of Maine, but from many parts of the United States and Canada.

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  32. The Nature of Phenology: Sea smoke

    by Joseph Horn

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  33. Maine Wild Blueberry Commission gets preliminary data in import probe

    by Nancy Beal

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  34. DECH vaccinates 73 at its first COVID-19 clinic for staff

    On Monday, Dec. 21, Down East Community (DECH) received its first shipment of 200 Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for staff and held its first clinic on Wednesday, December 23 where 73 staff were vaccinated.  The first group will be ready for its second dose of the vaccine on January 20, 2021.

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  35. Down East Firearms raffles to support Trooper Andy Foss

    by Natalie Boomer

    A small, home-based firearms business located in Machias is hosting a benefit raffle for Maine State Trooper, Andy Foss.

    Down East Firearms has donated a Palmetto State Armory AR 15 rifle to raffle off to members of the community.

    The plan, donate the money raised to Foss and his family while he battles Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

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  36. TiP partners struggle to answer unmet area needs

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Although more connections and services exist in Washington County than a few years ago for cancer patients, care is still plagued by reliable access to services for disadvantaged elders living in isolation.

    Staffing shortages and diminished reimbursements have caused many long-term care facilities to shut down elsewhere in Maine, and others remain teetering on the brink of collapse. A crisis-level homeless epidemic, largely unpublicized, is now unrivaled since the Great Depression.

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  37. Machias man builds models of West Quoddy Head and other lighthouses

    by Natalie Boomer

    A local man from Machias has started building custom miniature lighthouses for people near and far.

    “My husband Ken makes them. He’s been doing it for 15 years now,” said Donna Pothier. “We moved up here 16 years ago from Boston. He lost one leg. He needed something to do so he came up with this idea. Started with small ones but then people started asking for one that fits over a well pipe and he designed one that does.”

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  38. Two eastern Maine patriots

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

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  39. Dancing the night away at the Ramada

    by Wayne Smith

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  40. The Nature of Phenology: Minks

    by Hazel Stark

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  41. MVNO's 2020 Christmas List of Lights

    Please enjoy this map to most of the area's wonderful Christmas decorations, with the compliments of the season from the Machias Valley News Observer.

     

     

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  42. DOT reevaluates Machias dike replacement plan

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A state plan to repair and rebuild the Machias dike has gone back to the drawing board.

    The state’s 2018 plan to rebuild the dike in its current form has been moved from the development phase back to the planning phase, according to a letter to Machias Town Manager Christina Therrien dated Dec. 9. In the letter, Maine Department of Transportation Planner Nate Howard cited concerns over adverse effects on critical Atlantic salmon habitat.

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  43. The Christmas House of Hadley Lake Road

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Its snow-covered fields and forests make Hadley Lake Road especially picturesque this time of year, but that’s not the reason so many cars are there, slowly crawling along. During the month of December, Hadley Lake Road becomes the Christmas light epicenter of Washington County, thanks to the winter wonderland installed on Troy and Lynn Huffman’s front lawn.  

    “If we were on Route 1 we’d probably have a traffic jam,” laughs Troy.

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  44. Road flood fixed and other Jonesport news

    by Nancy Beal

    Jonesport selectmen had two in-person meetings last fall before going back to the Zoom format on November 18 and will continue to meet remotely through the month of January. Among the issues they have been dealing with is flooding at the Josh Woodward Brook on Route 187 just south of the Sandy River Beach District. Route 187 is a state aid road, and therefore the responsibility of the state.

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  45. Could Maine’s iconic crops be outpaced by cannabis?

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Traditionally, pridefully recognized as the home of wild blueberries and potatoes, as agricultural crops go, cannabis is now a contender vying for economic first place.

    Adverse weather conditions and the pandemic managed to plague both blueberries and potatoes this season. Less demand from China and an uneven playing field with Canada, crippled wild blueberries even further.

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