1. Machias dike discussions heat up in advance of June 28 public meeting

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    In 1868, Machias replaced a bridge with a dike to carry travelers across the Machias and Middle Rivers. This month, plans appear to be moving in the opposite direction, following Maine Department of Transportation’s (DOT) June 9 announcement that a bridge is the “preferred alternative” to replace the Machias dike and causeway.

    DOT will host a meeting about the dike replacement project at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 28, at the Machias Memorial High School Gymnasium. A large turnout is expected. 

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  2. Candidate Sam Hunkler aspires to be voice of the middle majority

    by Nancy Beal

    Beals family physician, Sam Hunkler, has made his home in Beals on the shores of Great Wass Island for the past 30 years, but he has traveled and worked all over the world before and during that time. After retiring last year, he turned the broad perspective he had developed in those years on Maine’s political scene. A lifelong Independent, he was dismayed when the gubernatorial race produced two political party-backed choices: Democrat (incumbent) Gov. Janet Mills and Republican (former) Gov. Paul LePage.

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  3. Father-daughter duo spins and fires handmade pottery out of Beals Island

    by Hailey Wood

    Broderick Alley and Jennifer Ciappetta, the father-daughter duo behind The Fisherman’s Pottery and Gifts, make pottery out of their studio on Beals Island.

    Their passion began in the Fall of 2018 when they took their first adult-ed pottery class, taught by Narraguagus Pottery at Narraguagus Highschool.

    Initially, Ciappetta’s mother convinced her to take the class with her. In the end, she found it was too messy a hobby for her, but Ciappetta was hooked. 

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  4. Machiasport, Cutler to consider industrial aquaculture moratoriums

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    At their town meetings on June 27, residents of Machiasport and Cutler will consider placing a 180-day moratorium on industrial-scale aquaculture developments, in order to then consider the creation of municipal aquaculture ordinances.

    Crystal Canney of Protect Maine’s Fishing Heritage Foundation spoke to Machiasport residents at their June 16 public hearing, which was moderated by Betsy Fitzgerald.

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  5. American dystopia is a progressive policy choice

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    2022 America is a product of deliberate progressive policy choices. It’s tempting in watching Brandon, Kamala and the clown show- including AOC and the Squad, Bernie, Pocahontas, Mayor Pete, Janet “Mistaken” Yellen, Hillary Hack/Iran Appeaser Sullivan, and the rest of the sorry lot- to conclude our woes are a consequence of incompetence and stupidity, but that would be wrong. Every dystopic feature of 2022 America is a result of policy choices that Brandon and his progressive puppet masters have deliberately chosen.

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  6. Raider girls state tennis champs

    by Phil Stuart

    The Washington Academy girls tennis team accomplished something no Washington County team has ever been able to do, and only two other northern Maine schools have done since the MPA sanctioned tennis in 1995.

    On July 11, Woodie Moulton’s Raider girls journeyed to South Portland to take on the Flyers of Waynflete High School for the state Class C tennis championship. WA this year was the beneficiary of three international players who were all contributing factors, but sometimes there's a downside to that benefit.

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  7. Biss and friends to open Eastport concert series July 1

    A concert with Gregory Biss and friends will open EAC’s annual Concert Series at 7 p.m. on July 1. The program will include piano music by Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Glass & Biss. One of Biss’ compositions on the program, “Routes”, was written more than 50 years ago and features piano and trombone, both of which are manipulated electronically in live time. Jane Lanctot, piano, and Gene Nichols, trombone, will join Biss for this piece.

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  8. Zoe Reynolds of J-BHS awarded Mainely Character scholarship

    Zoe Reynolds, a Jonesport-Beals High School senior, was awarded a Mainely Character Scholarship for $5000. These are awarded annually to Maine high school seniors who demonstrate exemplary concern for others, responsibility, integrity, and courage. Zoe was selected from 375 scholarship applicants statewide; her scholarship is sponsored by Richard and Anne Cass of Cape Elizabeth and Machias Savings Bank. 

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  9. The Nature of Phenology: Hairy woodpecker nestlings

    by Joseph Horn

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  10. Margaretta Days Festival & Craft Fair will bring history to life in Machias

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    After a two-year hiatus, the Margaretta Days Festival & Craft Fair will return to Machias this weekend, Friday and Saturday, June 17-18. 

    The festival is organized by the Machias Historical Society and celebrates the first naval battle of the American Revolution, as well as the victorious actions of local 18th-century patriots and Passamaquoddy tribal members in defeating the British redcoats. 

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  11. Machias JMG students fill school plates with fresh salad

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Machias elementary school students recently enjoyed chef salads made in part with their own fresh, school-grown lettuces. Students in the Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG) program harvested the lettuce, but that’s not all. They also wrote the grant that paid for the raised beds, soil, and seeds that grew the lettuce that fed their classmates at lunchtime.

    “After they approved the grant, we did a Zoom presentation showing them what we planned to do with the money, our budget, and our timeline,” said eighth-grader Ben Mubang.  

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  12. $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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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. The Nature of Phenology: Nighthawks booming

    by Hazel Stark

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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. 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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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. 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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  26. 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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  27. 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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  28. The Nature of Phenology: Atlantic salmon returning

    by Joseph Horn

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  29. 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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  30. 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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  31. 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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  32. 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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  33. 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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  34. 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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  35. 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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  36. 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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  37. The Nature of Phenology: Arctic tern nesting

    by Joseph Horn

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  38. 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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  39. 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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  40. 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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  41. 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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  42. 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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  43. 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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  44. 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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  45. 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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