1. $1.5 for J’pt marina makes Collins’ earmarks list

    by Nancy Beal

    Jonesport selectmen announced last week that they had received word from Sen. Susan Collins’ office that she had included $1.5 million for Jonesport’s proposed Henry Point marina in her wish list of projects to be funded by Congress in 2023. Requests for money for special projects, known as earmarks, were common practice years ago but one that, until recently, had been suspended for the past couple of decades.

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  2. Community gathers for ATV Jamboree, seed and seedling sale, and Wesley’s 5K and Fun Run

    by Hailey Wood

    Downtown was buzzing last Saturday with the excitement of many community events. The warm weather and sun made June 11 a great day for the outdoor events happening in Machias and East Machias. 

    From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. craft fair vendors sold their wares at the Lee Pellon Center alongside the first ATV Jamboree hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, happening on the Sunrise Trail. The event also featured live music performed by the Steele Hill Band. 

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  3. Citizen input sought for Moosabec economy project

    by Nancy Beal

    Town leaders from Jonesport and Beals gathered at the Down East Institute for Applied Marine Research on Beals’ Great Wass Island last March to brainstorm about the local economy.  The project billed as “Jonesport and Beals Local Economy Project” was sparked by work done by Kristen Grant of Maine Sea Grant and UM Cooperative and Megan Bailey of UMO and the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center.

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  4. Down East National Heritage Initiative: Serfdom Beckons

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.”- Ronald Reagan

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  5. Eastport Arts Center’s Workshop Series invites all to create

    EAC’s Summer Workshop Series will run from June 28 to August 28, and include sessions for a variety of arts and crafts for all ages. Workshops include the following Tuesday sessions, which start at 1:30 p.m. and run for two or three hours: Photography with Leslie Bowman, June 28; Upcycled Mosaic Frames with Meri Fern, July 5; Joy of Acrylics with Anne Black, July 19; Paper Flowers with Jennifer Maffett, July 26; Block-printed Wearables with Susan Lehnen, August 2; Decoupage Bottle Candles with Sue Riddle, August 9; Henna Tattoos with Ashley Dhakal, August 16.

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  6. The Nature of Phenology: Nighthawks booming

    by Hazel Stark

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  7. Maine DOT names bridge as ‘preferred alternative’ to replace Machias Dike

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    This afternoon, the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) announced a bridge span as the preferred alternative to replace the existing four box culverts on the Machias Dike Bridge, which carries Route 1 over the Middle River in the Machias.

    The current structure dates to the Civil War era and is deteriorating.

    A public meeting is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. on June 28 at Machias Memorial High School to discuss the process that led to this decision and DOT’s next steps.

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  8. Machias considers adult-use marijuana cultivation ordinance

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    At their May 25 meeting, the Machias Board of Selectmen revised a proposed ordinance that, if approved by voters, would allow the cultivation, manufacturing, and testing of adult-use marijuana in Machias. 

    The ordinance would not allow adult-use marijuana retail stores.

    “I made the decision not to present a retail storefront as part of this, at this juncture,” said Machias Town Manager Bill Kitchen. “I didn’t feel like it was the right time.”

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  9. Machias youth, 13, donates basketball hoop to town park

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Sam Allen enjoyed bouncing a basketball in his driveway but recently told his mom he would like to have a basketball hoop, too. Soon, a family friend found a second-hand hoop and gifted it to Sam. 

    That’s when Sam had another idea. 

    “He said, ‘Let’s put it somewhere that everyone can use it,’” recalls Sam’s mother, Katie Sell. 

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  10. Something for everyone at ATV Jamboree & Craft Fair

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Four hundred ATVs are expected to attend the ATV Jamboree and Craft Fair, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 11. Sixty craft fair vendors will be set up at the Lee Pellon Center and on the lawn of Station 1898, where visitors can shop for local crafts and other specialties. Machias Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Director Sharon Mack says a lot of ATV clubs are expected to attend.

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  11. Jonesporters approve elementary school budget; elementary school boards OK four policies

    by Nancy Beal

    In about a half-hour, 14 Jonesporters approved a total budget of $1,966,081 to operate their elementary school next year. The responsibility of taxpayers will be reduced by a carried forward balance ($250,000) and by state subsidy ($231,068), leaving a total local share of $1,485,008.

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  12. Machias voters adopt 2022-23 schools budget

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Guided by moderator Toff Toffolon and sped along by Joyce Fragale’s motion to combine 10 articles into one vote, last week 15 residents adopted the 2022-23 Machias Schools Budget in 12 minutes flat.

    This year’s school budget includes a spending increase of nearly $1 million over the previous fiscal year but raises taxation by a much lower number of $67,441.46, or 4.42 percent. 

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  13. State approves Machiasport purchase through Land for Maine Futures

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Machiasport voters last year authorized the sale of town land abutting the Fort O’Brien State Historic Site, provided the sale price was equal to or greater than the assessed value.

    According to town clerk Marcia Hayward, the six-acre parcel near the Fort O’Brien School has only been accessible through the land of abutters or by sea. 

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  14. The 2019 Project

    One of the questions people ask me when they find out I am retiring is what are you going to do next? I have talked about continuing to write my column and aggravate leftists (usually a two for one), but nothing particularly specific.

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  15. Author Linda Greenlaw to speak in Milbridge July 14

    Gateway Milbridge and Petit Manan Yacht Club will host Linda Greenlaw for a free, public speaking engagement at the Milbridge Elementary School on Thursday, July 14, at 6:30 p.m.

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  16. Noah Carver featured in EAC Senior Recital

    Eastport Arts Center will present a senior recital by 2022 Washington Academy graduate Noah Carver, winner of a Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award ‘for extraordinary young musicians’ from NPR’s From the Top, on Tuesday, June 28 at 7 pm. The young singer will be accompanied by pianist John Newell. A student of voice teacher Gary Magby, pianist Paul Sullivan, and music teacher Bonnie Atkinson, Noah will begin his undergraduate studies in vocal performance at the Eastman School of Music in the fall. 

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  17. The Nature of Phenology: Atlantic salmon returning

    by Joseph Horn

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  18. Washington County Sheriff’s Office releases details of two traffic fatalities over holiday weekend

    Two people have died in two separate Washington County road accidents that took place over the long holiday weekend.

    In Perry, a single-vehicle crash on Route 1 took the life of Rob Zuckerman, 25, of Eastport. Down East Ambulance, Pleasant Point Ambulance, the Perry Fire Department, and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the crash, which was determined to take place after Zuckerman lost control of his vehicle.  

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  19. Clam conservation efforts draw record participation in Machiasport, one of Maine’s top clam towns

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Machiasport is once again one of the state’s top clamming towns and the most productive in Washington County. 

    Machiasport is Maine’s fifth-most productive softshell clam port behind Brunswick, Waldoboro, Freeport, and Scarborough, with 453,661 pounds of softshell clams landed at a value of $1.462 million, according to 2021 landings data — the pounds caught and dollar value of a fishery.

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  20. Downeast Maine National Heritage Area approved by Congress; money and management plan next

    by Nancy Beal

    Early last month, the federal congressional Committee on Energy and Natural Resources approved a bill sponsored by Sen. Angus King and Rep. Jared Golden to name all of Washington and Hancock Counties a “Downeast Maine National Heritage Area.” Rep. Chellie Pingree and Sen. Susan Collins co-sponsored the measure. The approval came after two years of meetings and the creation of a 200-page color glossy feasibility study prepared by the Sunrise County Economic Council. Approval and funding by the full Congress lie ahead. 

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  21. UMaine Cooperative Extension continues to offer tick testing

    by Jayna Smith

    With more time spent outdoors, it is a good time to get into the habit of checking for ticks, those small bloodsucking parasites, many of which transmit diseases to animals and people.

    According to Griffin Dill, pest management specialist for UMaine’s Cooperative Extension, ticks typically spend the winter months in a state of dormancy among the leaf litter under the snow.  Now with warmer temperatures, the risk of Lyme disease is great.

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  22. 24th Annual Children's Fishing Derby coming up

    by Natalie Boomer

    The Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, Cobscook Bay State Park, and the Friends of the Moosehorn NWR invite children 16 and under, along with their families, to go fishing at Cobscook Bay State Park Headquarters Pond in Edmunds on Saturday, June 18. The event marks the 24th annual fishing derby.

    “The State of Maine will stock brook trout into the pond just before the derby,” said Supervisory Wildlife Biologist Ray Brown. 

    This event is for all of the children of the community, even ones with no experience or equipment. 

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  23. Talking baseball

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    “Baseball has been very good to me”- Roberto Clemente

    “Baseball has been berry, berry good to me”- Garett Morris as Chico Escuela on Saturday Night Live

    “Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.”- Yogi Berra

    “There is no room in baseball for discrimination. It is our national pastime and a game for all.” – Lou Gehrig.

    “Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand.” – Leo Durocher

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  24. Maine author Bill Roorbach to deliver reading and author talk at Cobscook Institute June 10

    On Friday, June 10 at 7 pm, award-winning author Bill Roorbach will offer a reading and author talk at Cobscook Institute in Trescott. This event is jointly hosted by Cobscook and Iota Short Forms. Currently on tour for his latest novel, Roorbach has added a stop in Washington County at the invitation of both organizations. This event is free and open to the public and books for purchase will be available by Kelly’s Books To Go.

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  25. Downeast Community Partners' hires new development director

    Downeast Community Partners announces the hiring of Sharon Catus as the Director of Development. “I am thrilled to be at DCP, an organization that represents the best of Downeast Maine. The opportunity to help build a future for so many, and serve as a catalyst for improving the quality of life in Hancock and Washington counties inspires me. I am grateful to be here.” 

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  26. The Nature of Phenology: Arctic tern nesting

    by Joseph Horn

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  27. Machias board talks Boggia’s marijuana shop; public bids

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The Machias Planning Board this month approved Robert Boggia’s application to open a new medical marijuana business at 28 Main Street, located in the former Midtown Auto Repair building, now owned by Boggia.

    On May 11, Boggia’s application went to the Machias Board of Selectmen for their review. 

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  28. Kingfish holds (another) info meeting, objectors absent

    by Nancy Beal

    Kingfish Maine’s operational managers, Megan and Tom Sorby, came to Jonesport again the evening of May 16, set up again at the firehouse, and again answered various objections that have appeared in newspaper advertisements, op-ed pieces, and flyers. As in a similar noontime meeting May 4, few of the opponents appeared in person and no one voiced the claims made in print.

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  29. Local singer Noah Carver, 18, to perform on NPR’s ‘From the Top’

    by Sarah Craighead 

    Local music lovers should tune in next week to hear a local son, Noah Carver of Beals, perform on National Public Radio. In recognition of his talents as a singer, Carver was selected to perform on From the Top, a prestigious radio program that celebrates young, classically-trained musicians. 

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  30. Court reaffirms Maine’s intertidal zone is private property

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Intertidal lands belong to the upland landowner and not the state of Maine, according to last month's ruling by Maine Superior Court Justice John O’Neil Jr. 

    "This lawsuit is the latest battle in the war over the intertidal lands off Maine's coast," wrote O'Neill in his decision on Masucci et al. v. Judy's Moody, LLC et al., in which 24 plaintiffs brought five counts — all related to ownership and use of the land between low and high tide — against ten defendants.

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  31. Forest management workshop is for the birds…literally

    by Jayna Smith

    Logan Johnson, a Calais native, now Northeast Region Coordinator for the Forest Stewards Guild, will lead a group in a Forestry for Maine Birds workshop set to take place at Devil’s Head on June 11.   

    Johnson’s work with the Guild focuses on woodland owner outreach, forest climate change resiliency, and fire science.  He will be joined in leading the workshop by Joseph Roy, a landowner outreach biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

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  32. UMM Professor H. Lori Schnieders recognized with three awards in 2022

    H. Lori Schnieders of East Machias, an associate professor at the University of Maine at Machias, has been recognized with three awards this spring for excellence in academics. 

    In April, Schnieders received the Frederic A. Reynolds Faculty Award, which is presented annually to a faculty member who exemplifies commitment and dedication to UMaine Machias students. She also was awarded a Trustee Professorship for the academic year 2022–23, presented to a faculty member in the University of Maine System who has made noteworthy contributions to academic excellence on their campus. 

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  33. Refusing to be Buffaloed

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    When the news came in Sunday afternoon about the mass shooting in Buffalo, I had a sinking feeling. First, because I have a deep familiarity and connection with Buffalo, and second because I am all too familiar with how the left and their media cheerleaders use tragedy to attack their enemies and increase their power. Democratic politicians and the media confirmed my fears before night fell Sunday.

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  34. Jonesport’s Flotsam & Jetsam offers unique gifts

    by Nancy Beal

    Serita and Chet Childs’ quest for living quarters in downtown Jonesport for a family member expanded last summer to include a tiny but tasteful gift shop they style “Flotsam & Jetsam.” As its name would suggest, the one-room enterprise, located two doors east of True Value Hardware, offers a variety of wares with a nautical theme.

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  35. The Nature of Phenology: Groundnuts

    by Joseph Horn

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  36. Family teams keep Machias ambulance one step ahead of critical staff shortage

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    If there’s one thing emergency medical workers want you to know, it’s that Washington County is dangerously close to the day when someone calls for an ambulance, and an ambulance does not come. 

    “There’s not an ambulance service in Washington County that isn’t short-staffed,” says Machias paramedic Sally Taylor, who has served in Machias for 18 years. “Just because Machias keeps it covered 24/7 doesn’t mean we’re not struggling.”

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  37. bluShift still on hunt for Downeast site

    by Nancy Beal

    Having been rejected in Jonesport by moratorium and unfavorable polling, the Brunswick-based start-up aerospace company bluShift entered talks with officials in Steuben. 

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  38. Machias receives almost a million 'clams' for wastewater-treatment completion

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Machias Town Manager Bill Kitchen last week announced Machias now has the money required to move forward with repairs to its wastewater treatment facility, thanks to an $893,589 grant from the American Rescue Plan Act. 

    Plans to complete the Machias sewer system repairs were fully funded and ready to progress before the pandemic halted everything in 2020. This year, price hikes put the $2 million project roughly $600,000 over its previous estimate, leaving the town short of funds, until last week.

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  39. Fiddleheads, a Maine delicacy, in season now

    by Jayna Smith

    Fiddleheads are a springtime delicacy across Maine and New Brunswick, and in the Downeast area, are ready to be harvested.

    The ostrich fern fiddleheads can be identified by the brown, papery scale-like covering on the uncoiled fern.  Because they are perennial, they come back year after year, and according to University of Maine Cooperative Extension, nearly all ferns have fiddleheads, but not all fiddleheads are edible. 

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  40. New state law will ban some composts due to PFAS

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A new Maine law will, effective July 24, ban the spreading of municipal sewer sludge and the production of PFAS-containing sludge-derived materials, including many commercial compost mixes which contain perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, collectively known as PFAS.

    Locally, the only commercial compost known to be made with sludge-derived materials is sold by the company Mark Wright in Columbia under the name Mark’s Mix. Mark Wright is, as of 2021, owned by Casella Waste Systems.

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  41. J-BHS budget passed; more policies under consideration

    by Nancy Beal

    In less than 45 minutes on May 11 and with little discussion, 16 citizens from the Moosabec towns of Beals and Jonesport, nearly half of them school affiliated, approved a budget of $1,781,070 for their combined high school for the 2022-2023 school year. The total amount will be reduced to $882,371 after a state subsidy of $342,546, and miscellaneous revenues of $551,153 are subtracted. Beals will pay 26.1 percent of that amount ($231,487), and Jonesport 73.9 percent ($655,884).

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  42. University truths

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    Several years ago I was at a Washington County Republican meeting, which has not been a particularly common occurrence. I introduced myself to another attendee, and when he heard that I was a University Professor, the look on his face was one of horror and suspicion. He might as well have reached for some garlic and a crucifix to protect himself. His assumption that I was likely a left wing socialist plant sent to study aliens was not accurate, but would have been for the overwhelming majority of University faculty.

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  43. Summer fun and learning at Roque Bluffs Community Center

    The Roque Bluffs Community Center on Saturday, May 28, will kick off a number of classes with A Nature Walk with Carol. The class instructor will be Carol Muth, and it will be an exploration of the signs of late spring, including bird songs, emerging plant life, and the insects of the day. Roque Bluffs State Park will be the classroom.  It is recommended that people participating in the walk provide their best tick protection, i.e., heavy socks with long pants tucked in. Only a small group of 8 to 10 people can do the walk each time so sign up early.

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  44. The Nature of Phenology: Northern parula warblers

    by Hazel Stark

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  45. Versant announces Machias service interruptions May 18; Bad Little Falls substation's days are numbered

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Plans to decommission and remove an aging electrical substation will move one step closer to reality on Wednesday, May 18, when Versant Power begins transitioning some Machias electricity customers onto new power circuits.

    Ultimately, says Versant Communications Specialist Marissa Minor, the project will move customers on the southern side of the Machias River onto an entirely new substation.

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