1. Lisa Hanscom joins WBC as blueberry council expands

    by Nancy Beal

    When the Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine meets in Orono this week, its body will expand from eight to ten members, and half will be folks who grow the iconic Maine fruit and half will be those who process them. This change is pursuant to a law that took effect last January and to the appointment to fill the new positions by Amanda Beal, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

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  2. CDC opens formal investigation surrounding Baileyville mill

    by Natalie Boomer & Jayna Smith

                                            
    Seven contractors who worked at Woodland Pulp LLC and St. Croix Tissue in Baileyville have tested positive for COVID-19. So far, one local worker who was in close contact with those contractors also received a positive test result.

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  3. Collins v. Gideon: an uncommon battle to the finish line

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Setting records while engendering unparalleled national attention, Maine’s embattled candidates, Senator Susan Collins and Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon, continue their escalating competition toward the grand finale on November 3.

    The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are among the national media focusing on the Collins/Gideon contest as it races to a head as the costliest race in Maine history.

    A recent New York Times/Siena College poll has Collins at 44 percent, Gideon at 49 percent and 6 percent undecided.

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  4. UMM reopens fitness center to community members

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The University of Maine at Machias fitness center members should dust off those running shoes, grab their masks and head back to campus because effective Monday, Oct. 5, gym workouts are back on the table.

    UMM Director of Athletics and Fitness Michael Belanger said members can expect to see some changes.

    “As you enter you’re going to go through a symptom screening questionnaire at the front desk, and if you are symptom-free you can come in and utilize the fitness center,” said Belanger.

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  5. October

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”- Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

    “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise”- Gomer Pyle (Jim Nabors)

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  6. ‘Spoon River Anthology’ takes to stage in Brewer

    Ten Bucks Theatre and True North Theatre bring you Edgar Lee Masters’ “Spoon River Anthology,” adapted and directed by Julie Arnold Lisnet and Angela Bonacasa.

    The residents of Spoon River have returned from the grave to share their lives with you. Through stories and songs, experience the tragic, heroic, and sometimes comic tales of the luminaries of Spoon River, which are sure to entertain. Based on a series of 246 free-form poems originally published in Reedy Mirror magazine from 1914-1915, “Spoon River Anthology” is sure to have something for everyone.

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  7. A little bit of everything

    by Wayne Smith

    As I walked into Country Hearts Antiques in Franklin, it was dark yet inviting, giving me a warm feeling. Antiques were everywhere: milk bottles, furniture, linens, collectibles and primitives. And there were a lot of dreams and hard work, sweat and adventure mixed up with it all. Soft country music came from a radio playing in the background, pleasant and nice. Everything was stacked together; years and years of work, the collecting of antiques with so much love and care.

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  8. Lots of cougars seen

    by V. Paul Reynolds

    In the monthly outdoor magazine, the Northwoods Sporting Journal a few months ago,  personal reports of cougar or mountain lion sightings in Maine were solicited.  As a result, more than 30 readers shared their cougar-sighting experiences! Some of these accounts, all of which appear to have a common ring of authenticity and credibility, will be published in the October issue of the Sporting Journal. (www.sportingjournal com).

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  9. The Nature of Phenology: October blueberry barrens

    by Hazel Stark

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  10. Love of local history draws crowds to new Facebook group

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A new Facebook page has triggered an avalanche of local enthusiasm, growing from zero to 2,500 members in only one month. Washington County, Maine-A Look Into the Past brings together the stories of Downeast families across the county, across the world, and across the centuries, too.

    Site founder Michael Scott says he started the page as a place for people to share their family’s Downeast history, and as a result, he’s learning more about his history, too.

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  11. Kingfish Maine awarded state pipe permits, resumes store-side chats

    by Nancy Beal

    As the MVNO went to print Monday, Kingfish Maine announced in a press release that the Submerged Lands Lease Application it had sought from the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands had been granted. The permit authorizes the company to install its intake and discharge pipes into Chandler Bay to service the recirculating aquaculture system it will use to raise a projected 6,000 to 8,000 metric tons of yellowtail.

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  12. Interim town manager, fire dispatch top selectboard agenda

    Full Video of Meeting Here: https://tinyurl.com/yddpjt9s

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    In their third meeting since town manager Christina Therrien began medical leave, on Wednesday, Sept. 23 the Machias Board of Selectmen resumed discussions on the matter of an interim manager.

    Board chairman Joshua Rolfe said town counsel Sarah Newell has advised against hiring anyone, even on an interim basis, and town manager duties should remain distributed across existing town office personnel.

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  13. Equal Justice advocates for Mainers at greatest risk

    by Ruth Leubecker

    In an ominous triumvirate of COVID, job loss and food insecurity, Mainers already living on the edge face a precarious winter season ahead.

    “We connect people with resources that can help them,” explains Allison Weiss, spokesman for Maine Equal Justice. “Like MaineCare, SNAP and DHHS. Mainers are at the greatest risk because we have a lot of people with low income and great financial need.”

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  14. CDC discourages traditional trick-or-treating this year

    by Jayna Smith

    If you thought things couldn’t get any more bizarre this year, Halloween 2020 is on a Saturday, when we will be turning our clocks back to end daylight savings time, and it will be lit up with a full moon, a rare blue moon. Add to that the pandemic, with new guidelines recently issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and things really could get strange.  

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  15. Fatal fire investigation ongoing

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Sergeant Mary MacMaster of the state fire marshal’s service says the investigation into a fire that claimed the lives of two Machias men is still in progress.
    “Before it goes public it has to be right,” said MacMaster. “It’s a horrible situation and we hope to get some truthful answers for the community as soon as we can. It takes time.”

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  16. No justice, no peace

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    In a shameless act of cultural appropriation, this week’s column title takes the Black Lives Matter/Antifa/ mostly peaceful protesters/Biden voters mantra “No Justice, No Peace” and applies it to the current contretemps roiling the nation, the likely replacement of the notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG) with the notoriously “dogmatic” (at least according to California Senior Senator Diane Feinstein) Catholic mother of seven, Amy Coney Barrett (ACB).  

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  17. Fresh fruits and vegetables in Sullivan

    by Wayne Smith

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  18. 58th International Scout Camporee a success

    by Peter Duston

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  19. The Nature of Phenology: Rosehips

    by Joseph Horn

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  20. Machias and partners launch work plan, age-friendly strategies

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Delayed by the restrictions of COVID and hampered by diminished resources, Machias and its age-friendly goals have nonetheless persevered over the past months.

    Since receiving its age-friendly certificate months ago, the town has moved forward in developing strategies that would key on projects that would make the town invitingly livable for people of all ages.

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  21. We Care baby center makes permanent home in Machias

    by Natalie Boomer

    The We Care Community Baby Center has worked out of its Machias location for many years helping the Washington County community with children’s items such as clothes, toys, books, diapers, and more.

    This year, the building on 5 Water Street in Machias became the We Care Community Baby Center’s permanent home.

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  22. Candidate Crafts meets with local law enforcement

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Republican candidate for congress Dale Crafts spoke to local law enforcement officers Sept. 16 at a luncheon organized by Washington County Sheriff Barry Curtis.

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  23. Jonesport’s Kelly Point Road bridge a go

    by Nancy Beal

     On August 19, when Jonesport selectmen opened construction bids on a small bridge that would replace a culvert that shuttles the Stillman Dyer Stream, they were dismayed to learn that the money with which they had planned to finance the project was about $40,000 short of the lowest bid. Hanscom Construction of Machias had bid $69,000 for the project and Carver Construction of Jonesport had bid $116,450.

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  24. UMaine marine geologist archives nearly four decades of history, change in Maine landscapes

    Every year since 1982, Joseph Kelley captured photos of the fastest deteriorating portion of Maine’s coast, located in Camp Ellis, for use in his work as a state marine geologist, and research and teaching at the University of Maine.

    Later this fall, the public will have the opportunity to view decades of geologic transformation captured in the images taken of the Saco-area shoreline as well as thousands of others depicting dramatic changes in Maine’s coastal vistas.

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  25. Wildfire smoke changes appearance of Maine’s sky

    by Jayna Smith

    Many in the area may have noticed a difference in the look to the sky last week, specifically on Tuesday, as smoke from the California and Oregon wildfires blew across the country, leaving a haze up above.

    According to Michael Clair, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in southern Maine, the smoke was definitely visible when it was present over the state. “The sky was much more of a milky gray in appearance, rather than blue, even when there were no clouds present,” he said.

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  26. Peace and the resistance

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    “If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.”- Moshe Dayan
    “You can only end a negotiation for peace if you begin it”- Benjamin Netanyahu
    “It’s a distraction”- Nancy Pelosi

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  27. Wesley News

    by Camille Hawkins

     

    Ron and Lyn Hawkins have a new grandson born on September 11, 2020, at 11:19 p.m. in Machias. Proud parents Chelsie and Chris Wallace have a healthy 9-pound baby boy named Luke William Wallace.

    I got my firewood delivered on Tuesday afternoon. It's a big pile that looks like it will last a couple of winters. Thanks, Ron.

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  28. Jack-in-the-pulpit fruiting

    by Joseph Horn

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  29. Two die in Machias fire, three saved by good samaritan

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Fire has claimed two lives and destroyed two mobile homes in a Machias trailer park.

    According to Sergeant Mary MacMaster of the state fire marshal’s office, the cause of the fire is not yet known and the identities of the two deceased individuals, who lived together in one of the two homes, have not yet been confirmed. The fire started sometime before 3 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 21.

    “They’re just starting to go in now,” said MacMaster. Three state investigators will be on the scene today. 

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  30. Jonesboro woman honors her father by walking for cancer

    by Nancy Beal

    Rebecca Cox, 30, of Jonesboro is a runner who likes to participate in group runs. She missed this year’s Race for the Cure, which Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center sponsors annually in connection with the annual Bangor craft fair. As she was looking for another event to join, she learned about the annual Walk for Life put on in Addison by the Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center.

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  31. Whitneyville Public Library delivers comfort with community suppers

    by Natalie Boomer

    The Whitneyville Public Library has decided to host another public supper on Saturday, Oct. 3, after a successful supper on Sept. 4.

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  32. Homelessness a hidden reality in Washington County

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Besieged by a shortage of resources, the hovering presence of COVID-19 and approaching cold weather, rural homelessness remains dangerously entrenched.

    Several new surveys show urgent challenges in helping the homeless during the pandemic. The massive human and financial impacts of living without reliable shelter are far-reaching, affecting many others in the process of just getting by.

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  33. Looking back at Cutler Navy basketball: 55 points and the evolution of a knucklehead

    by Dan Ryan

    I was lucky enough to spend four years in the U.S. Navy, from, 1977-81.  Two of those years were spent at the Cutler Navy Base, and last month I was lucky enough to visit Machias and Cutler again after 40 years away.

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  34. Systemic racism racket gets Trumped

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    The Systemic Racism Industry has had its sweet multimillion consulting racket exposed and trumped. The President has used his “pen and phone” to order the critical race theory hustle out of the federal bureaucracy. The shrieks and howls from the incredibly undiverse set of pricey diversity “consultants” kicked off the taxpayer dime can be heard in HR departments and Democratic covens across the country.

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  35. Downeast Community Partners hosts virtual auction to help elderly

    by Natalie Boomer

    For the past seven years, Downeast Community Partners has hosted a tennis round robin to raise money for the At Home program, a nonprofit that provides services to the elderly to help them continue living in their own homes.

    “Every year the At Home program has a tennis round-robin at the Blue Hill Country Club. This year COVID rained on our parade and we could not have it,” said Rose Honders, Director of At Home elder services at Downeast Community Partners.

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  36. Keeping an old memory alive

    by Wayne Smith

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  37. Whitneyville Library News

    Mark your calendars for the next public supper that will be held on October 3 at 5 p.m. at the Hillgrove Community Building in Whitneyville.  It will be a New England boiled dinner with corned beef and ham, rolls, biscuits, homemade cakes and pies. We still have limited eat-in seating of 50 people, but you can also call to reserve a takeout dinner by calling the library at 255-8077 Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Reservations for takeout dinners will be taken until Friday, Oct. 2 at 4 p.m.

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  38. Landowner appreciation day cleans up to give back

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    As a show of gratitude for allowing outdoor recreation on private lands, dozens of Mainers fanned out to clean up the woods last weekend on Landowner Appreciation Day, a years-long tradition coordinated by the Maine Warden Service.

    Corporal Rick LaFlamme, landowner relations manager for the warden service, says 94 percent of Maine’s land is privately owned.

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  39. The Nature of Phenology: Yellow Jackets

    by Hazel Stark

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  40. Union 103 schools to open Sept 14; sports in doubt

    by Nancy Beal

    At three separate meetings and by unanimous votes on September 2, the school boards governing Jonesport-Beals High School, Jonesport Elementary and Beals Elementary Schools — the three schools that comprise Union 103 — voted to move up a previously set opening date of Sept. 28 to Sept. 14. The votes followed the specter of students going to school into next July after Superintendent Lewis Collins told them that the Maine Department of Education (DOE) would grant no waivers from the 175-school day mandate until January.

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  41. Delegation requests racism investigation; WA responds to ‘petition for positive change’

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Five members of the Washington County legislative delegation have requested an independent investigation into allegations of racism at Washington Academy (WA), citing a report of racial verbal attacks and threats toward minorities, including a noose left in one teacher’s classroom.

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  42. Next Step Domestic Violence Project adapting new ways to help amid pandemic

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Calls to Maine domestic violence hotlines went up 20 percent between April and June, a number only slightly more worrisome than what happened in March, when they went down.

    “It was so quiet it was eerie,” said Dorathy Martel, executive director of the Next Step Domestic Violence Project. “I think it's because people hadn’t worked out how to reach out when the person abusing them was at home.”

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  43. Runners get ready for 2020 Bad Little Trail Run

    by Natalie Boomer

    The second annual 2020 Bad Little Trail Run is set to take place on Sunday, October 4.

    The Downeast Coastal Conservancy and the Bold Coast Runners will be hosting these 2.5 and seven-mile races through the Machias River Preserve. Racers will run the Sunrise Trail and cross the Machias River on the Old Railroad Bridge, beginning and ending in Whitneyville.

    The Passamaquoddy meaning for Machias is bad little falls in reference to the falls on the Machias River which gives this race its name.  

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  44. Navy to test wells near Cutler for toxic PFAS chemicals

    The Navy is seeking to sample private drinking water wells in a designated sampling area near the Naval Support Activity (NSA) Cutler Fire Station, Cutler, Maine. These free tests are to determine whether certain chemicals (commonly and collectively referred to as PFAS) used by the Navy in its activities at NSA Cutler Fire Station may have migrated through groundwater to private drinking water wells at levels greater than U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) health advisory levels.

    COVID-19 concerns

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  45. Porter library opens The Last Page Honesty Bookstore

    Everyone has a story about doing the COVID pivot. Highly improvisational, the COVID pivot is fueled by equal parts desperation and hope, thrown together with anything from a sledgehammer to a feather duster. The purpose of the “pivot” is to solve a problem you didn’t have prior to the pandemic.

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