1. What Christmas means to me

    by Wayne Smith

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  2. Wesley News

    by Camille Hawkins

    My Christmas cards are all out and coming in steadily.

    Linda and I went to Bangor on Sunday to pick up my new GE washing machine. Richard and Dustin unloaded it and put it down cellar for me. Thank you both. Got it hooked up on Monday and have done three loads. Merry Christmas to me. Thank you Warren and helper for working on my flush, it had to have all new innards in the tank.

    I got a small tree this year; it's sitting on the puzzle table. The cats are taking turns sleeping under it.

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  3. Whitneyville Library News

    It was all you could eat chowders, soups and stews at the last public supper for 2019. Everyone got to enjoy some seafood, fish and corn chowders as well as the very popular cheeseburger soup, chop suey, chili and some beef and hamburger stews. Janet's rolls and biscuits topped out the meal along with homemade pies and cakes. This supper, along with all the eight other public suppers, was put on by the Friends of the Whitneyville Public Library. In 2020, the suppers will once again begin on April 4th. So keep watch in this article and paper for the public announcement.

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  4. Out and About in Columbia

    by Ronie Strout

    I have been busy reorganizing my woodshed since I got my freezer on Tuesday. Not sure if it will be completely done before the New Year as I need to do some picking up inside. Thank goodness they took the old freezer away so I don’t need to get that done by myself. Little things like that make me happy.

    Schools closed on December 20 for Christmas vacation and will reopen on January 2. Hopefully, all the little children will be ready to return to school. We do need this break right now, or rather I do.

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  5. From tragedy to a Christmas carol: The story of Longfellow’s ‘Christmas Bells’

    by Jen Simone

    In times of intense despair, it can seem impossible to have any hope. All of us get caught up in the tragedies occurring all around us and begin to believe that life is a constant struggle without any good in it. Christmas time, though often a time of mourning for people who have recently lost loved ones, also is a time of restored hope for many.

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  6. The Nature of Phenology: Firewood

    by Joseph Horn

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  7. PRSWDD recycling windows to close

    by Nancy Beal

    After nearly two decades of educating and encouraging people to separate recyclables from their regular household trash, the Pleasant River Solid Waste Disposal District (PRSWDD) will close all its recycling windows at the Route 1 transfer station as of the first of next year. This change of policy was approved at the board of directors’ December 9 meeting and is the result of technology and economics.

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  8. Community mourns passing of teacher Malcolm Holmes

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Beloved Washington Academy science teacher Malcolm Holmes died on Saturday, Dec. 7 after a short but hard-fought battle with cancer. A celebration of life service in his honor is planned for Saturday, Dec. 21 at the school. The public is invited to attend.

    Holmes’ wife, Katherine Holmes, said that the date was chosen to fall close to Malcolm’s birthday, on Dec. 22.

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  9. Five weeks on Bristol Bay: Downeast fishermen bring Alaskan salmon to Maine

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    While blueberries ripened on Downeast barrens, two local fishermen were making their way to Alaska, exchanging the Sunrise County’s wooded waterfront for one even more remote. This summer, Captain Chris Mullen of Machias and Asher Molyneaux of East Machias spent five weeks fishing for salmon in the shallow waters of Bristol Bay, famed for its unspoiled beauty and abundant wildlife.

    Mullen said the bay’s remote nature is part of what keeps it pristine.

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  10. Pratt donation campaign brings in $16,000 for Washington County food pantries

    by Jayna Smith

    For the past several years, after realizing how great the need is for the food pantries in Washington County and in an effort to decrease food insecurity locally, businessman Ian Pratt has matched donations to local food pantries. Anyone taking part in his matching donation campaign could simply bring his or her donation to the Pratt car dealership throughout the month of November, where all donations would be matched, up to $3,000. This year, however, Pratt was able to increase his match to $5,000.

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  11. Funding outlook for roads remains abysmal as plans falter

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Maine’s rural roads and bridges are among the worst in the nation but the plans to reverse this trend remain elusive and splintered.  

    “While all of these plans have their supporters and opponents, it should be noted that the only funding mechanism that gets bipartisan support year after year is bonding,” says Rep. Will Tuell. “I know plenty of people do not like highway bonds, but to my mind, it is the lesser of many evils.”

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  12. 350 Downeast helps 32 families keep warm

    From Dec. 5-10, 350 Downeast, a local non-profit dedicated to reducing our use of carbon-based fuels to protect the environment in coastal Washington Co., built 222 custom-made insulating window inserts for 32 families from Cherryfield to Calais.  Over half of the window inserts were provided free to low-income families thanks to grants from the New England Grassroots Environment Fund and other sources.  We also made window inserts for the Centre Street Congregational Church, United Church of Christ and Porter Memorial Library.

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  13. WA Kicks off the wrestling regular season with 8-2 record in dual matches

    by Coach Lupe Soto

    As the 2019-20 wrestling season begins, the young Washington Academy

    wrestling team is making its mark as a solid dual-meet wrestling team. With eight wins under their belt, they’re coming together as good individual wrestlers and are learning to work as a team to win matches.

    You can have three of the best wrestlers in the state on the team, but if you don’t have any other team members you can’t win many dual matches. You can, however, score big in tournaments.

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  14. Out and About in Columbia

    by Ronie Strout

     

    December is moving right along faster than I want it to.

    I got my tabletop Christmas tree made on Tuesday and decorated, we are now enjoying it with the blue lights on it. This year I decorated it with tiny mittens, something different for a change. I also put up an artificial tree for the first time and got that all decorated on the same day.

    Our son Zebadiah turned another year older, we got to chat with him in the afternoon via the telephone.

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  15. Local author announces book release

    by Marci Gaglione

    Susan Grant, a local teacher and author, is pleased to announce the release of her first book, “100 Minutes with God.”

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  16. A Celtic Christmas with Cape Breton's COIG

    Calais Celtic Concerts will present Coig at the Calais High School, on Saturday, Dec. 21, at 6 p.m. Doors will open at 5 p.m. Eastern time.  

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  17. Malcolm Stephen Holmes

     

    EAST MACHIAS - Malcolm Stephen Holmes, passed away December 7, 2019, at home after a hard-fought battle against cancer.  He was surrounded by his family and was loved beyond measure until the very end.

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  18. Tuell’s DA bill advances in emergency session

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A bill that could give Downeast voters a say in their district attorney coverage advanced past the state legislative council on Friday, Dec. 6.

    “An Act to Create Separate Prosecutorial Districts in Downeast Maine,” sponsored by Rep. Will Tuell (R-E. Machias), was initially voted down by the committee, but passed on appeal last week. Tuell said he was especially pleased that the passing vote reflected bipartisan support.

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  19. DMR, MLA whale plans move forward

    by Nancy Beal

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  20. Lobsters crest variable wave of fluctuating risk, reward

    by Ruth Leubecker

    While warming waters may eventually contribute to a period of decline in lobster fishing in the Gulf of Maine, other factors enter into the viability of Maine’s premier crustacean.

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  21. University of Maine at Machias hosting one-act play ‘The Dollar’

    by Tyler Royle

    The University of Maine at Machias is hosting a play that will be performed at the Performance Arts Center by the students in Instructor Eustacia Landrum’s class. “The Dollar” is a comedic play about a bunch of lost travelers fighting among themselves over the discovery of a dollar. The play is set to have a bunch of random skits that will be open to the public.

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  22. Machias seeks airport planning and engineering consultant

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The town of Machias is seeking the services of a consultant who can help assess the feasibility of building a second runway at Machias Valley Municipal Airport.

    “This is very preliminary, to see if a second runway can be built,” said Machias Airport Committee Chairman Michael Radeka. “It’s something we’ve been working toward for quite a while.”

    Town manager Christina Therrien issued the Request for Proposal last week and said the town’s goal is to determine if a longer crosswind or “alternate” runway is even feasible.

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  23. MSBFoundation Awards $150,000 in Community Development Grants

    The Machias Savings Bank Foundation awarded 22 organizations with a total of more than $150,000 in Community Development Grants last month. The organizations are located in six different counties with statewide reach and impact.

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  24. Christmas on Beals Island

    by Wayne Smith

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  25. Out and About in Columbia

    by Ronie Strout

     

    Another week has flown by, how does that happen? Is it because I am so busy that it flies by so quickly? I suppose that it would be a boring life if the days dragged on with me not doing anything constructive.

    On Tuesday the 3rd school was canceled due to the storm that we had. I did get most of my Christmas cards made out and filled up my wood box for the stove. Sometimes it seems that when your usual routine is off a person just cannot get anything done during the day.

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  26. This weekend’s Festival of Trees boasts more than 50 volunteers

    Eastport Arts Center’s 10th Annual Festival of Trees, a festive silent auction of tabletop trees, will be held Saturday, Dec. 14 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. This year, the festival’s ‘forest’ of trees include decorating schemes to appeal to oenophiles, bookworms, Zentangle enthusiasts, art lovers, rock hounds, foodies, fabric art creators, aficionados of jewelry, dog families and globe-trotters. While browsing the array of trees, attendees can enjoy live music by the Moose Island House Players: Brandy and Ross Argir, Alice St.

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  27. Students serve up pizza to raise funds

    Students at the Cobscook Experiential Program invite the community to an all you can eat pizza and music fundraiser on Friday, Dec. 13, from 6 – 8 p.m. Students are raising money to support hands-on learning by building electric guitars. O’McCrelli and friends will entertain with a holiday sing-a-long. The suggested donation for the dinner is $10 per person or $20 per family.

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  28. The Nature of Phenology: Mice coming inside

    by Hazel Stark

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  29. Innovative library contest brings overdue book back to East Machias after 21 years

    by Tyler Royle

    Florence Sturdivant Public Library held a contest back in September in order to track down overdue library books. The contest was that the person who turned in the most overdue library book would win a prize without suffering any repercussions. The contest was advertised in the Machias Valley News Observer in the months of September and October in hopes of bringing in those people who still had overdue books.

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  30. Machias prepares for this weekend’s community Christmas extravaganza

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    This year, several traditional Machias holiday festivities — and one brand new event  — have combined together to form one gigantic community-wide Christmas celebration.

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  31. Governor committed to helping uninsured Mainers

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Describing specific plans in exclusive remarks to the MVNO, Gov. Janet Mills has outlined her intentions for bringing health care to all Mainers.

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  32. New Ark administrator aims for loving, permanent pet homes

    by Tanya Rucosky

    New Shelter Administrator for the Ark Animal Shelter, Shaina Mugford, is working hard to keep the 35-year-old no-kill shelter finding pets good homes. Coming from Narraguagus High School with a background in animal welfare and a member of the Underhound Railroad, Shaina, “Lives and breathes for the Ark Animal Shelter.”

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  33. Birds in exquisite detail: La Farge’s ‘Scientific Illustrations’ on exhibit in Machias

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Bird watchers are made of hardy stock, willing to brave thorn, brush, vine or snow for the sight of one elusive species. This month, though, Downeast bird lovers have easier delights within their grasp. An art show featuring the illustrations of Machias artist Margaret La Farge is tucked warmly within the art gallery at the top of College Hill.

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  34. Jonesport’s “car wash” culvert floods Route 187

    by Nancy Beal

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  35. A word from old St. Nick

    by Wayne Smith

    I have interviewed high school basketball players, Red Sox Players, Stephen King, Don Imus (Imus in the Morning), and the average Joes off the street. I’ve covered town meetings, board meetings, had my picture taken with Peter, Paul and Mary, Olympia Snowe, Warren Zevon, a Penthouse Pet Amy Lynn, Roger Clements, Carlton Willey and even went on a lobster boat.

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  36. Washington County Children’s Chorus to perform 2019 Christmas concert Dec. 15

    The Washington County Children’s Chorus will perform its annual Christmas concert on Sunday, Dec. 15, in Machias.

    This unique chorus is comprised of more than 30 youth who travel from all over the county to rehearse each Sunday afternoon, under the instruction of chorus director Christine Guy, who founded the chorus more than 30 years ago with her husband, Douglas. Both were honored in October with the News Center Maine 2019 “2 Those Who Care Award” for their extraordinary efforts on behalf of Washington County youth.

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  37. UMM filmmakers to be featured in University of Maine Film Festival

    Two films produced by students at the University of Maine at Machias have been selected as finalists for the 2019 University of Maine Film Festival.

    “A Journey in Darkness Through Music” and “When the Chevy Breaks (How Small Towns Fix Big Problems)” will be screened at the free public festival in Orono at UMaine’s Corbett Business Building, room 100, from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7.

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  38. The Nature of Phenology: Geminid meteor showers

    by Joseph Horn

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  39. Dutch ‘fish farmers’ share $100M plan for Jonesport

    by Nancy Beal

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  40. Volunteers care for Machias cat colonies

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A small band of local volunteers has been quietly working to care for and reduce the massive feral cat population in Machias with low-cost spay and neuter clinics, and now they’re offering a low-cost rabies vaccination clinic to be held Sunday, Dec. 8, and their final spay and neuter clinic of 2019 to be held on Monday, Dec. 9. More clinics are already in the pipeline for 2020.

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  41. Vigil to honor memories of children who left too soon

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A candlelight vigil planned for Sunday, Dec. 8, will bring bereaved families together to honor the memories of their children. Set to take place at the University of Maine at Machias Performing Arts Center, the Machias event is timed to coincide with a worldwide vigil organized by The Compassionate Friends, a group that offers support to families after a child dies.

    “It’s believed to be the biggest candlelight vigil in the world,” said Shelley Roberts, one of the local organizers.

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  42. Gateway Milbridge hails the season with $50,000 matching grant and cash calendar fundraiser

    by Ruth Leubecker

    An anonymous donor, a stage move to the waterfront and a coveted recognition for transparency and results have honored the volunteer efforts of Gateway Milbridge.
    “The donor has offered us a $50,000 matching grant opportunity,” says Richard Bondurant of the grant proposal which was announced back in September, but has special significance over the holiday season. “We have until December 31 to fulfill the match. Some supporters have said they’ll donate toward the match challenge as part of their year-end gift giving.”

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  43. Bad Little Boards brings skate culture to Main Street

    by Tyler Royle

    Two Machias men have banded together to bring a new kind of shop to Main Street. Aaron Ackley and Brendon Sohre opened the doors on Bad Little Boards earlier this year, building on their shared love of skateboarding. Ackley has been working with skateboards for the last twenty years and is responsible for building and fixing skateboards. Sohre runs the merchandising side of the company by selling different types of branding, from clothes to gemstones.

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  44. Deputies make drug arrests, K-9 Runa treated for suspected heroin exposure

    On Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 3:44 p.m. Deputies Matthew Carter and Toni Bridges of the Washington County Sheriff's Office were conducting a traffic stop on Water Street in Addison. The deputies requested the assistance of Deputy Ryan Allen and his K-9 Runa for a vehicle search. Runa is trained and certified to detect illegal drugs.

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  45. Pet owners encouraged to respond to Machias pet survey

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Despite last week’s windy weather, representatives of a New England animal welfare organization set up tables around Machias, sharing information about a survey they’re conducting.

    “We want to understand what people think about different pet issues, what they’re seeing as problems in the community, and what’s going on with their own pets if they have them,” said Hanna Lentz of Impact by Design, the research firm conducting the Machias Pet Survey.

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