1. Machias jail shines compared to others often in crisis

    by Ruth Leubecker

    From the outbreak crisis in York County Jail to a hunger strike protesting safety conditions in the Androscoggin County Jail, Washington County’s facility has emerged as a model for Maine.

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  2. Route 1 rebuild on schedule, Machias dike project delayed

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Work on the area’s most dreaded stretch of frost heaves should begin next spring, according to Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) Senior Project Manager Randall Barrows.

    A call for bids to widen and rebuild an East Machias length of Route 1 running from Pope Memorial Bridge and north 1.8 miles will be advertised on Dec. 23. Barrows says DOT anticipates clearing and utility work could begin in Feb. 2021, and road construction could begin in April, weather permitting.

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  3. Students early visitors to new preserve on Beals Island

    by Nancy Beal

    The Nature Conservancy’s 1,500-acre preserve on Beals’ Great Wass Island was established decades ago and is well known to hikers and nature lovers throughout the country. Recently, a second preserve was carved out of the other island that makes up the town of Beals — named, appropriately, Beals Island — and donated to the Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT).

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  4. Some trick-or-treating planned in Machias

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Many Downeast families say they will be trick-or-treating on Halloween this year, though some have changed their plans due to the coronavirus pandemic.
    Results from an online survey conducted by this newspaper show that roughly 30 percent of respondents have changed their Halloween plans, and 70 percent plan to trick-or-treat as usual. Fifty-seven percent of respondents say they will be handing out candy, too.

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  5. Sergeant Schultz defense won’t hunt

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    “I know nothing”- Sgt. Schultz on Hogan’s Heroes and the Biden Crime Family

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  6. Remembering Carlton Willey

    by Wayne Smith

    It was 62 years ago that Cherryfield native Carlton Willey pitched for the Milwaukee Braves against the New York Yankees in the World Series. The faces and places were different in this year’s series in which the Braves again played the Yankees. But for Willey, the ‘58 season will play on and on. I was able to interview Willey in the 1990s, and again in 2007. He died in 2009. Baseball was his life and this is his story.

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  7. Out and About in Columbia

    It was another week of doing up some more jelly; I made currant, mint and peony jelly and strawberry rhubarb jam last Sunday. I also made some green tomato pickles to use up the last of the tomatoes that had not ripened.

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  8. EAC to offer free workshops for kids

    Eastport Arts Center’s KinderArts program is thrilled to announce our latest project—free video workshops for kids! All may view the tutorial videos, which will be shared via our website and YouTube channel; materials kits will be provided free of charge by EAC, but supplies from home may easily be used as well if preferred. The sessions are geared towards children ages 3-8, but participants of any age are sure to have fun watching the colorful videos and following along at home.

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  9. Navy detects unsafe levels of PFAS in Cutler wells

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Water testing on and around the Cutler Naval Station found unsafe levels of Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in 13 wells so far, including one on base.

    Base well #503 tested negative for PFAS in 2016 but this year 121.6 ppt were detected, well above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencies health advisory level of 70 ppt. Three other wells on base tested negative, or well below unsafe levels.

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  10. The Nature of Phenology: Deer changing coats

    by Hazel Stark

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  11. Community mourns loss of ‘compassionate, tireless’ Dr. James Whalen

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    He was born in Illinois, educated in New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and Paris, but for 42 years he made Machias his home. Dr. F. James Whalen, or just “Doc” about town, died at home on October 6. He was 80 years old.

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  12. Wild Blueberry Commission ponders probe into import impact

    by Nancy Beal

    The 10 members of Maine’s Wild Blueberry Commission (WBC) met for a day-long session in Orono last week — masked and socially distanced with the public listening in via Zoom and telephone. From 8:30 to noon, Jane Haskell, a facilitator formerly with the University of Maine Extension Service, led them through what was billed as a strategic planning session. The session involved examining the wild blueberry industry for strengths and goals and, through interactive break-out sessions, reaching a broad consensus for the industry’s future.

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  13. Families invited to hike and learn along the way

    by Natalie Boomer

    The Maine Outdoor School and the Milbridge Public Library have come together to host Summits and Stories, a hike up a local mountain along with a story told at the summit.

    Two hikes have already taken place in September and another is scheduled on October 17 at Tunk Mountain at 10 a.m.

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  14. Adult Ed opens up umbrella of opportunities, options

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Lack of funding can close doors, but often opens others, and that’s what happened when Washington County Adult Education and Training debuted on the local scene.

    “We opened in 2014 when Machias Adult Ed was going to close due to lack of money to keep going,” said Jane Blackwood, executive director of the small nonprofit. “We started from scratch. I hired new staff, and since then we’ve been expanding. I just want people to understand what we do and what we have to offer.”

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  15. Celebrate World Fish Migration Day by cleaning a local river

    by Natalie Boomer

    Downeast Salmon Federation will be hosting a river cleanup to celebrate World Fish Migration Day on Sunday, Oct. 25.

    World Fish Migration Day is a global-local event made to create awareness on migratory fish and the importance of free-flowing rivers. This simple river cleanup project will consist of cleaning up litter along the Orange River in Whiting. Open to all who are interested, volunteers are asked to meet at the Whiting Store on 136 US Route 1 in Whiting at 1 p.m.

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  16. Leaving the Washington County bubble

    Last week saw a quick trip through Southern Maine, coastal New Hampshire and Northern Massachusetts (no that is not the same as Southern Maine) to Logan airport and back. I watched the political signs, heard the results of $90 million dollars spent in the Maine Senate race, saw the pandemic-stricken and struggling airline and hospitality industries and a slice of the health care sector that minimized face-to-face interactions wherever possible.
    Monday: Cooper to Scarborough

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  17. Preserve your photo memories at ‘Croptoberfest’

    by Jayna Smith

    There is a fun group of ladies who meet quite regularly, all sharing the hobby of scrapbooking. Coming up at the end of the month, the group is inviting others to join in on the fun for an annual Croptoberfest.

    According to organizer Dawn Smith, this is the biggest event of the year and attendees will create many different projects. “Each person will also get some exclusive gifts for their scrapbooking, and I always have door prizes, product specials, and lots of surprises,” she said.

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  18. Youth explore relationships to nature and community

    Amidst the uncertainty about returning to school and after a months-long stint of physical distancing, seven youth gathered this summer at Machias River Preserve with Corrie Hunkler, Youth Engagement Coordinator for Healthy Acadia, and Hazel Stark, Co-Founder of Maine Outdoor School, for a three-day, Restorative Practices in Nature and our Community Program. The program paired Maine Youth Action Network’s Restorative Practices curriculum with fun and engaging activities such as hiking, listening, reflecting, being curious, and responding to our natural surroundings.

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  19. The Nature of Phenology: Poisonous mushrooms

    by Hazel Stark

    Nature is full of trick or treating opportunities year-round. A patch of ripe blueberries at the top of a mountain or the discovery of a forgotten apple tree? Those are treats. Tripping over loops of hobblebush branches in the ground or getting surprised by the exploding seed capsules of jewelweed? Those are tricks. But there is one kingdom in Maine whose dark door you best avoid on a fanciful trick or treating adventure: the taxonomic kingdom of fungi.

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  20. Obituary of Dr. F. James Whalen

    Dr. F. James Whalen, 80, died at home in Machias on October 6, 2020. He was born in Waukegan, Illinois on October 3, 1940, to Kemener (KJ) and Avis Whalen.

    He attended Rutgers University on a swimming scholarship and earned a B.S. in Chemistry. He continued onto Georgetown for his residency in Orthopedics. He completed other programs to expand his medical expertise including a program in Paris specializing in hand surgery. He also proudly served in the United States Air Force from 1962 to 1965.

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  21. In Princeton, state combats first invasive milfoil infestation east of Augusta

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    For the first time ever, invasive milfoil has been discovered in Washington County, in Princeton’s Big Lake. Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) biologist John McPhedran says it’s not only the first known occurrence in the county, but in the eastern half of Maine. The next closest known infestation is in the Kennebec River, in Augusta.

    “This is a big jump east, for sure,” said McPhedran, who works in the DEP’s Invasive Aquatic Species Program.

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  22. 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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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. 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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  26. 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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  27. ‘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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  28. 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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  29. 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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  30. The Nature of Phenology: October blueberry barrens

    by Hazel Stark

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  31. 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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  32. 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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  33. 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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  34. 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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  35. 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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  36. 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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  37. 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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  38. Fresh fruits and vegetables in Sullivan

    by Wayne Smith

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  39. 58th International Scout Camporee a success

    by Peter Duston

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  40. The Nature of Phenology: Rosehips

    by Joseph Horn

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  41. 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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  42. 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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  43. 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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  44. 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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  45. 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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