1. Machias voters go to polls and town meeting

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Twenty-three Machias voters took their carefully spaced seats at the Machias town meeting held Wednesday, Sept. 2. Normally held in June, the municipal elections, school budget referendum, and town meeting were all delayed due to the coronavirus lockdowns.

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  2. The Nature of Phenology: Toads burrowing

    by Joseph Horn

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  3. Acadia National Cemetery dedicated in reverential weekend ceremony

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Heavy rains held off just long enough to allow a solemn ceremony dedicating Acadia National Cemetery, which took place on Saturday, Aug. 30. In keeping with coronavirus restrictions, a small group was invited to hear remarks from Sen. Susan Collins, Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Randy Reeves, and Secretary of Veteran Affairs Robert Wilkie. Music was provided by Maine National Guard’s 195th Army Band.

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  4. Beaches, bridges and bridal bells discussed in Jonesport

    by Nancy Beal

    The mini-bridge on the Kelley Point Road over Stillman Dyer Brook absorbed selectmen’s attention at their August 26 meeting. The previous week, while opening bids on the placing of a small bridge over the stream that they fear is in danger of washing out the road if either of two beaver dams upstream should fail, Selectmen Dwight Alley and Harry Fish realized that the combined proceeds of a small streams grant ($68,000) and the town’s appropriation ($20,000) was not enough to fund the project.

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  5. Lobster campaign tills new ground in marketing strategy

    by Ruth Leubecker

    As two of its largest markets struggle mightily, the lobster industry is striking new inroads to broaden its consumer base.

    With restaurants running at reduced capacity and cruise ships shut down, lobster processors are campaigning to attract markets closer to home -- and that would be home cooks.

    “With the pandemic, everyone’s already cooking at home,” says Marianne LaCroix, executive director of the Maine Lobster awe want them to be cooking lobster.”

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  6. Ark Animal Shelter celebrates pups with Fall ‘20 Dog Day

    by Natalie Boomer

    The Ark Animal Shelter in Cherryfield will be hosting its annual Fall ‘20 Dog Day on Saturday, Sept. 26.

    “The event is completely by donation, and they are highly appreciated. This event is for everyone including people with no pets, looking to adopt, as well as owners with well-behaved furbabies. This will be an outside event on a huge piece of land so furbabies can roam free, unleashed if well-behaved,” said Vanessa Coolen of the Ark Animal Shelter. “All proceeds benefit the Ark Animal Shelter!”

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  7. Machias selectboard news: executive sessions ongoing, town manager on personal leave

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The Machias Board of Selectmen stayed in executive session for over 90 minutes Monday morning in a meeting attended by the full, five-person selectboard and town attorney Sarah Newell of Eaton Peabody.

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  8. McDonald’s reopens with donation to local school

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    As a way of giving back to a profession that helped him, Peter Napoli’s restaurants celebrate big occasions with donations to local schools. Last week Napoli, his son Sal Napoli, Machias McDonald’s General Manager Kim Godfrey and other executives presented Rose M. Gaffney Elementary School with a check for $1,000 to mark the stores reopening after extensive remodeling. Napoli said it’s his family’s way of honoring one special teacher who made a difference for him.

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  9. See you in September?

    This week marks the beginning of my 37th year at UMM and my 47th consecutive September on a New England college campus. The times, they are a-changing.

    American higher education is on the cusp of a financial, cultural and political reckoning that will leave it smaller, poorer, less popular, less powerful and decidedly diminished. Those changes, as deserved as they may well be, will probably not be accompanied by any recognizable change in attitude, humility, leftist indoctrination practices or self-regard and esteem.

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  10. Welcome Back! to Porter Memorial Library

    After 11 weeks of total shutdown due to COVID-19 and another 12 weeks of curbside service to provide a safe alternative for library borrowing during the pandemic, Porter Memorial Library reopened to the public on August 27.

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  11. Jonesboro Craft Fair and the Chandler River

    by Wayne Smith

    Rebekah Cox talked about the Jonesboro Craft Fair and about her father, John Cox, and how he influenced clam and lobster fishing down the Chandler River in Jonesboro as she was growing up as a child.

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  12. Whitneyville Library News

    Pot roast with mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, carrots, cucumber salad, Janet's rolls and biscuits, homemade pies and cake will be on the menu for our September 5th public supper that will be held at the Hillgrove Community Building in Whitneyville. The supper begins at 5 p.m.  

    Following COVID-19 rules and regulations, we still can only seat 50 people but takeout is also available by reservation. To reserve your takeout you can call the library at 255-8077 Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reservations for takeout will be taken until Friday, Sept. 4 at 4 p.m.

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  13. The Nature of Phenology: Mullein

    by Hazel Stark

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  14. Machias incumbent enters write-in race for selectboard

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Incumbent Machias Selectwoman Paula Johnson-Rolfe this weekend declared herself as a write-in candidate for the Machias selectboard. Municipal ballots will be cast Tuesday, Sept. 1, in advance of the annual Machias Town Meeting set for Wednesday, Sept. 2. 

    Johnson-Rolfe initially declined to run for reelection but explained her change of heart with a public statement on social media.

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  15. Eleanor M. Kilton

    September 14, 1938 - August 3, 2020

     

    Eleanor M. Kilton, 81, peacefully passed away on August 3, 2020, at Down East Community Hospital, with her family at her side. She was born September 14, 1938, in Cherryfield, Maine, daughter of the late Amos and Maude (Randall) Matthews.

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  16. Replacement bridge from Jonesport to Beals Island dedicated, celebrated

    by Nancy Beal

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  17. Lobster industry achieves big win even as struggles still loom

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Tariffs, the coronavirus pandemic and the entanglements of right whales were a heady mix of issues that last week threatened Maine’s most iconic fishery. Now it’s one down, two to go.

    Save Maine Lobstermen provides the crux of a legal defense fund aiming to raise $500,000 to save the beleaguered lobster-fishing business.

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  18. Two seats, two candidates for Machias Board of Selectmen

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Les Haynes is the only person who completed candidacy paperwork in time to be on the Machias ballot for municipal elections, to be held next week on Tuesday, Sept. 1. Two seats on the five-person board will be vacated by selectwoman Paula Johnson-Rolfe and selectboard vice chairman Bill Kitchen. Each will have served one term.

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  19. Lion of Judah kicks off six-man youth football program

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A football adaption designed during the Great Depression will soon come to Machias when Lion of Judah Football launches its first-ever foray into fall youth football with a six-man program.

    “It was invented in the west during boom and bust times when towns couldn’t mount large teams,” said Coach Mike Karnas, who 15 years ago founded Lion of Judah football camps as a ministry outreach program.

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  20. What it’s like to be a lobster fisherman at age 9

    by T.J. Holmes

    I received a lobster license at age eight for Christmas from my grandparents, Jeff and Pam Libby. Our boat is called The Depth Star, it’s about 19 ft. long. I usually like to go but sometimes I’m tired.

    Papa lets me use one of his moorings. A mooring is a place we put our boat when we’re done hauling for the day.

    When I first started I had to get my traps and boat ready and also buy bait.

    Each trap has a buoy that floats, mine are blue with a pink spindle. It was Mom’s color when she had traps.

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  21. Nurturing food justice beyond the pandemic

    Cherryfield Academy blossomed with life in late July as five enthusiastic local high school students gathered for Food Justice League Camp, an annual week-long summer program for teens offered by Healthy Acadia that explores food system sustainability through educational programming and hands-on learning activities.

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  22. Lockdown lowdown

    Six months ago, things looked bleak for the Democrats and the Left in America. The economy was humming, unemployment was at historic lows for whites, Blacks, Hispanics. Asians, men, women and every color in the LGBTQ rainbow flag. Consumer confidence was high and rising. Voter perception of economic performance and prospects is and has been the best predictor of whether the party in the White House is returned to power.

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  23. Pigeon Hill nearly full moon hike with DCC

    by Natalie Boomer

    The Downeast Coastal Conservancy will be hosting a nearly full moon hike up Pigeon Hill Preserve in Steuben on Sunday, Aug. 30.

    Participants will meet in the parking area at 6:30 p.m. to begin their hike up to the summit to watch the sunset to the west, then turn to the east to watch the nearly full moon rise over the water.

    Hikers can pack a picnic dinner, get outside and exercise, and make new friends while social distancing.

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  24. Something crafty in Jonesboro

    by Wayne Smith

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  25. The Nature of Phenology: White-marked tussock moths

    by Hazel Stark

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  26. Solar, shellfish, swingset and dispatch top Machias selectboard agenda

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The town of Machias stands to save more than $16,000 per year on its electric bills if it signs an agreement with a company that proposes building a solar array on a capped landfill located off of Broadway.

    Andrew LaVogue of Revision Energy said the town’s average $104,000 in annual electricity consumption would cost approximately $88,000 under the program. Asked about risks for the town by board chairman Joshua Rolfe, LaVogue said the only risk would be if the town dramatically reduced its energy consumption.

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  27. COVID funding slow to come Downeast

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Keeping Maine Healthy grants were approved in June by the Mills administration for  towns across Maine so that they could more effectively battle the growing inroads of COVID-19.

    But for Washington County, who has historically missed out on funding in the past, this time it’s a fortunate turn of events for missing out on these COVID funds. Downeast Maine with its envious record of virus cases, only lately in the two-digit category, remains out of the mainstream.

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  28. Moosabec schools approve COVID plan, delay opening

    by Nancy Beal

    The boards of the three schools that make up Union 103—Jonesport-Beals High School, Jonesport and Beals Elementary Schools—met August 12 in the high school gymnasium, masked and socially distanced, to tackle the questions facing school boards all across the country: when to open and how. All board members were present, as were Superintendent Lewis Collins, the J-BHS and BES principals, special education director, newly installed maintenance director John Church, and approximately a dozen members of the public, many of whom were teachers.

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  29. Support solar projects and receive a discount on your bill

    by Natalie Boomer

    Want to save 10 percent on your electric bill? Bold Coast Solar can help you do just that.

    Last year, the Maine Legislature legalized the push for the development of small renewable energy projects in the state, like solar power. Community solar projects produce renewable, clean electricity for a certain area.

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  30. Bucks Harbor pre-release center on track for ‘21 construction

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Osprey circled above municipal and state officials gathered where Downeast Correctional Facility’s (DCF) control center and dormitory number three once stood. Both buildings were demolished earlier this year to make way for the Bucks Harbor prison’s next act as a pre-release center, now on schedule to open in the summer of 2021.

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  31. Miracle at Philadelphia

    Growing up and attending public schools in Philadelphia in the 1960s, I got an up-close and personal view of the American founding, race relations, diversity, and its discontents.  The Pledge of Allegiance’s promise of “liberty and justice for all” would probably be termed white supremacist systemic racism by today’s mostly peaceful protesters, but in Philadelphia, I was taught America was founded in freedom in 1776, not slavery in 1619.

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  32. Gideon championed taxpayer-funded abortion in Maine, then donations came

    by Yuichiro Kakutani  

    Democratic Maine Senate candidate Sara Gideon took hundreds of thousands of dollars from abortion interest groups after she passed legislation to force taxpayers to pay for abortion and drastically expanded abortion access during her tenure as the speaker of the Maine House of Representatives.

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  33. Comic book genius brings talent Downeast

    by Wayne Smith

    I was so excited to meet Rajive Anand who was visiting his parents in Milbridge recently.  Rajive is the writer and illustrator of the comic book Laserman. He is bright, well educated and full of knowledge about the comic book industry.

    “I was 12 years old when I wrote the comic book Laserman, Issue One, said Rajive Anand. "I’ve grown and evolved and my comic book character has evolved and grown with me. The storyline continues with Laserman, Issue Two.

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  34. The Nature of Phenology: Monarch caterpillars

    by Joseph Horn

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  35. UMM prepares for August reopening

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Danial Qualls, University of Maine at Machias (UMM) Head of Campus, delivered an update on the school’s reopening plans at the Machias selectboard meeting held online Wednesday, Aug. 12.

    “Pretty much everything I’m about to tell you is subject to change,” said Qualls.  

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  36. ‘The Chosen’ follows life of Jesus

    by Jordan Donovan

    The Chosen is a first-of-its-kind, multi-season television drama following the life of Jesus depicted through the eyes of his followers and those with whom he interacted. Fabricated, directed and co-written by American filmmaker Dallas Jenkins, it broke the all-time crowdfunding record for a media project, reaching  $10 million from over 16,000 investors for the first season alone. The second season that is still in production has fundraised over $7 million from more than 365,000 investors.

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  37. A midsummer nightmare

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    August rolled in, and although the garden looks good, I cannot say the same for Maine, the Republic, or freedom.

    The garden

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  38. Jonesport produces back-to-back county Teachers of the year

    by Nancy Beal

    In an unusual coincidence, in 2019 and 2020 Jonesport Elementary School, a 100-pupil K through 8 coastal school, has seen two of its 15 teachers earn the title of Washington County Teacher of the Year. The women also share a last name (but no close familial ties) and both live in the Moosabec area. They chose the same topic (a special program offered in their school) for the remarks that they were required to make during the competition for the state title. One teaches the youngest JES students, the other the oldest.

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  39. Online public hearing will address disputed Machias schools budget

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A.O.S. 96 Superintendent Scott Porter will present the Machias schools budget during a public hearing to be held online Thursday, Aug. 13. Voters will then cast paper ballots in a school budget referendum vote scheduled for Sept. 1, in combination with municipal elections.

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  40. Schools plow new ground in efforts to reopen safely

    by Ruth Leubecker

    With new plans dictated by COVID-19, Maine’s schools are tentatively assessing the first day of school and all of its potential challenges.

    “We’re going to do four consecutive workshops, and some of these will be more specialized,” explains Scott Porter, Superintendent of Schools for A.O.S 96. “Everyone will be wearing masks and social distancing.”

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  41. Free food boxes address growing hunger Downeast

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A line of cars wrapped around the Lee Pellon Center in Machias as people waited for a tractor-trailer to open its doors on Wednesday, Aug. 5. When the clock struck 11 a.m., volunteers began bucket-brigading free boxes of food into the waiting vehicles. Before an hour had passed, 900 boxes were gone.

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  42. WA announces hybrid school reopening plan

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Washington Academy has issued its “Safe Return to School” plan which will offer students a hybrid education model beginning Sept. 8.

    In July, Maine Department of Education advised schools to prepare green, yellow, and red plans, each to be enacted according to COVID-19 activity in their region. DOE Commissioner Pender Makin on July 31 announced that all Maine counties are currently classified green. Those classifications will be updated every two weeks.

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  43. WA wins Tammaro Memorial Baseball Tourney

    by Chris Johnson

    The annual Tony Tammaro Memorial Baseball Tournament was held in Calais over the weekend of Aug. 1 and 2. Although handshakes and high fives were limited, good baseball was played by a bunch of good guys and a girl.

    Game one featured the premiere of a new team to the tournament from Cutler. Managed by old Quoddy Leaguers Bill Corbett and Stevie Cates, the Cutler team was able to out-pitch the team organized by Joe Barnes and managed by Ryan Lincoln. The final score was 5-1.

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  44. The Nature of Phenology: Chicken mushroom

    by Joseph Horn

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  45. Union files grievance after dispatcher fired for spit milk

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Teamsters 340 Representative Lorne Smith says his union has filed two grievances against the town of Machias after dispatcher Tyler Wagner was fired and dispatcher Brandon Merrill was formally reprimanded on Aug. 7.

    According to a Washington County Sheriff’s Office incident report, Wagner is accused of deliberately spitting into his milk container, which he believed Machias Police Officer Tyler Dunbar was using without permission.

    “It is probably the most ridiculous case I have worked on this year,” said Smith.

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