1. The summer of our discontent

    This is the summer of our discontent in the annus horribilis of 2020:

    • Rioters and arsonists are described as “mostly peaceful protesters.”

    • The legacy media is an open and unapologetic arm and mouthpiece of the Democratic Party.

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  2. Machias schools close in on September reopening plans

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Machias students can return to the classroom this fall, but their school days will look different from anything they have experienced before. In fact, they’ll look different from anything any student has experienced before.

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  3. Special session, plagued by cost, not destined to happen

    by Ruth Leubecker

    The Maine Legislature, with 400 bills in appropriations waiting to be funded, is nonetheless trying to focus on a narrow agenda should they return.

    “As Republicans, we have asked to go back into session for a brief, specific time to address COVID-19  legislation — such as changing the state tax laws to coincide with the federal tax laws as relates to the PPP,” says Sen. Marianne Moore, “or how to spend the CARES funds.”

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  4. Jonesport-Beals boards to vote on school plan

    by Nancy Beal

    The three schools that make up Union 103—Beals Elementary, Jonesport Elementary, and Jonesport-Beals High School—are preparing to open for in-person instruction next month. Whether students go back to school physically or remotely will be decided at a board meeting scheduled for 5:45 p.m., Wednesday, August 12 in the high school gymnasium. That decision will be based on an 11-page plan that asks and answers how the schools plan to meet the requirements made necessary by the pandemic coronavirus.

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  5. With wild blueberry harvest around the corner, Cherryfield Foods continues safety protocols

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    COVID-19 outbreaks at two blueberry processing plants in neighboring Hancock County last week caught statewide attention. As the wild blueberry industry shifts into high gear for the August harvest, Maine Wild / Cherryfield Foods General Manager David Bell says coronavirus safety measures at their Machias facility have already been in place for months.

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  6. Pogies return Downeast for the first time in decades

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Silvery splashes in the Machias river have drawn the attention of nature lovers, fishermen, and seals as the pogies visit their Downeast summer home in numbers not seen since the 1990s. The Atlantic menhaden, sometimes confused for herring, is a filter feeder, which makes it a vital link in the Gulf of Maine food chain, according to Maine Department of Marine Resources scientist Matt Cieri.

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  7. Peter Gray Hatchery update

    by Zach Sheller

    If there is anything consistent in the world today I suppose it could be the Atlantic salmon. Although beleaguered and on the ropes, this amazing fish continues to battle to be part of this world. If the fish continues to fight, shouldn't we fight for that fish? As Benjamin Franklin once said, "Energy and persistence conquer all things."

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  8. Just a Milbridge girl

    by Wayne Smith

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  9. Horse show coming to Pembroke Fairgrounds

    by Natalie Boomer

    The Down East Border Riders Saddle Club will be hosting a pleasure show on Saturday, Aug. 15.

    “We welcome riders of all ages and levels, both club and non-club riders as well. Classes are divided by age and/or riding level that include leadline, peewee, youth and adults in walk/trot and walk/trot/canter divisions,” said Vicki Farley Brown of the DEBRSC. “Most classes are open, accepting both English and Western riders, and there will be two open Western Pleasure stakes classes that day with cash payouts.”

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  10. The cougar sightings

    by V. Paul Reynolds

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  11. The Nature of Phenology: Hermit thrush songs

    by Joseph Horn

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  12. School daze

    Opening schools this fall should not be a partisan issue, but it is and will be.  The physical and mental welfare of our children and the well-being and fitness of our economy and communities should be the decisive factors, but will not be. Education policy is and will be most strongly influenced by the overwhelmingly left of center National Education Association and associated teacher unions.

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  13. Machias PD moves into new location

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The Machias Police Department has moved from its aging offices and into a larger, more practical space in the Machias Telebusiness Center located on Stackpole Road.

    Machias Police Chief Todd Hand first suggested the move at a February selectboard meeting, and the selectboard quickly approved the idea.

    “We really did have a need for a bigger, more professional place,” said Hand. “I commend the selectboard for recognizing that and acting on it.”

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  14. COVID-19 testing sites open, opioid abuse facing ‘mixed bag’

    by Ruth Leubecker

    As rural Maine receives additional financial help to increase testing, with an intensified emphasis on attracting those without a provider’s order, hope remains that more sites will open in Washington County.

    As of July 6, 20 “swab and send” sites have opened from Fort Kent to Portland in attempts to satisfy the demand for tests. Additional mobile sites are also scheduled to launch soon.

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  15. Fields at UMM to remain empty after athletics suspension

    by Jordan Donovan

    The University of Maine at Machias last Tuesday announced that it will suspend its varsity athletics program for an “indefinite period” effective July 21. The suspension was attributed in part to the economic situation imposed by the pandemic, and the economic fallout of COVID-19. However, in their press release it was implied that the school’s financial situation was already a topic of concern prior to COVID-19.

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  16. Former preemie fundraising for NICU with 10-mile bike ride

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    MacKenzie Schors spent her first 100 days of life in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Next week, she’s hosting a biking fundraiser, collecting money for the hospital that gave her a strong beginning.

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  17. Machias Subway’s year runs happily counter to trends

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    After a rough start courtesy of COVID-19, the Machias Subway restaurant location reports higher-than-expected annual sales despite the pandemic.

    “We were up to 75 percent of our normal sales, and when they opened the motels back up we were back up into the 90s,” said co-owner Bill Laprade. “Then last week Machias had a record week in its history.”

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  18. Comet provides once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

    by Kaileigh Deacon

    For many, the thought of a comet passing in the sky is exciting but not unexpected. After all, most of us grew up hearing about the famous Halley’s Comet as a commonplace idea and probably assume that comets are all discovered, and it’s just a matter of time before they come back around. However, like all of science, astronomy is developing as technology becomes more advanced, and our ability to explore the unknowns of space increases. New things are discovered all the time.  

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  19. PRSWDD and towns close to agreement on split

    by Nancy Beal

    The Pleasant River Solid Waste Disposal District’s board of directors and the towns of Jonesport and Columbia Falls have finally reached a final agreement on how to part ways, and only the typing of a clean copy stands in the way of those two towns withdrawing from the group of six communities that banded together in the 1990s to create an alternative to their individual landfills. Negotiations—replete with lawyers’ letters and proposal documents—have extended more than a year. On July 20, when the PRSWDD board met in Jonesboro, all sides seemed to be in agreement.

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  20. Border closure extended to Aug. 21, at least

    by Jayna Smith

    Many saw it coming:  the extension of the U.S. and Canada border closure, now closed to non-essential travel until at least Aug.21.  First closed in mid-March for 30 days, the restrictions have been extended every 30 days since.  

    It has been reported that most Canadians fear a reopening, with confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19 in the United States the highest in the world.  Canada has flattened its epidemic curve.  

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  21. Three journeys to Cherryfield Days

    by Wayne Smith

    This is the story of three people's separate experiences of Cherryfield Days, three different experiences that offer a little insight. This is what they had to say as they reflected on Cherryfield's biggest celebration of the year, a celebration that, for one weekend a year, lights up a town with a parade and fireworks among other things. A place that can fill up with people crowding streets and different events in a hurry. A moment in time captured in one story.

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  22. Maine Baseball Academy to host youth clinic in Calais

    by Jayna Smith

    The coronavirus may have canceled school baseball for the spring 2020 season, but younger kids in the greater Calais area and the greater Machias area still had the opportunity to play in each town’s respective Little League programs.  As well, high school-aged boys took advantage of playing in the Maine Independent Baseball League, a replacement for this year’s canceled American Legion baseball, with teams having been fielded in both Calais and Machias.  

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  23. The Nature of Phenology: Sea lavender

    by Hazel Stark

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  24. Lubec cemetery preservation project lifts spirits, unearths stories

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    More than one driver slowed to a crawl, craning their necks to watch the flurry of activity that buzzed through Lubec’s Bayview Cemetery. There amidst tents, tripods, and buckets of cleaning supplies, 20 volunteers dotted the landscape, busily restoring the historic Main Street cemetery.

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  25. Machiasport prison rebuild triggers dormant water pipeline project

    by Ruth Leubecker

    For decades Machiasport residents have been plagued by contaminated water due to chemicals released into the groundwater during the 27 years the Air Force maintained its presence in Bucks Harbor.

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  26. Beals, Jonesport officials discuss COVID-19 policy

    by Nancy Beal

    How should the Moosabec community prepare to alert its citizens of a positive case of the pandemic coronavirus? That was the question newly elected Beals selectman Paula McCormack posed to elected officials, first responders and others from Beals, Jonesport and Addison whom she invited to a meeting in the Beals town office July 16.

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  27. Machias dispatchers suspended with pay

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Both employees of the Machias dispatch center have been suspended with pay effective July 15, according to Machias Town Manager Christina Therrien. After the suspension was enacted, all calls for Machias emergency services were rerouted to the Washington County Regional Communications Center which handles 911 traffic for the county, dispatching fire, ambulance and police calls.

    The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is assisting the town with its investigation into what Therrien described as a personnel matter.

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  28. Down East Community Hospital pays tribute to their volunteers

    Down East Community Hospital was unable to hold our volunteer appreciation event this year, but that doesn’t mean that we value our precious volunteers any less.

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  29. New champs crowned in the '60s

    by Phil Stuart

    The '50s saw baseball return in full force following the end of World War II, and it might have been the best decade for Quoddy League Baseball.

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  30. Catching up with Abe Alley

    by Wayne Smith

    I met up with Abraham Alley at the pig roast in Harrington. It was a party of sorts. He was DJing the event and I told jokes. Alley was on the stage that was made out of cheap boards. The theme of the pig roast was cowboys and cowgirls. As I looked out into almost total darkness, people were spread out everywhere in a great big field. The jokes and music filtered out into the crowd on that warm, September night. The pig roast brought high entertainment and fun to the area. Alley played his music when the band took a break, and I told jokes.

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  31. EAC to offer mindful drawing workshop

    EAC’s Summer Workshop Series will offer Zentangle: A Mindful Approach to Creativity and Flow, from 1-2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 28. Instructor Ann Cannizzaro will teach participants about the inspiring and mindful drawing practice called Zentangle. This popular drawing method is for everyone and anyone. The eight-step process will lead participants to create miniature masterpieces while learning about ‘tangles’, ‘tiles’, and ‘strings’.  Attendees will learn and practice everything they need to know to begin their own journeys of discovery and creative flow through drawing.

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  32. Porter library reopening soon

    Porter Memorial Library will reopen to the public—in a limited fashion—before the end of the summer. Details about the library’s new hours and operating routines will be announced soon on the library website at http://porter.lib.me.us, on the library Facebook page, and in the local press. Please be assured that pandemic protocols may reduce our flexibility to offer service, but will in no way affect our goodwill and desire to carry out our library mission in Washington County.

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  33. Historic McGlashan-Nickerson House still offered for lease

    by Jayna Smith

    Once considered for demolition by the National Park Service, the historic McGlashan-Nickerson House in Calais is still being offered for long-term lease of up to 60 years on favorable terms to someone who would rehabilitate and preserve it.

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  34. The Nature of Phenology: Wild Maine blueberries

    by Joseph Horn

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  35. AG rules officer acted in self-defense during Machiasport standoff

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Maine Marine Patrol Officer Matthew Carter acted in self-defense and in defense of third parties when he applied deadly force during a 2017 Machiasport encounter, according to Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey, who today issued his summary and findings on the case.

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  36. Alice A. Polley Celebration of Life

    Alice A Polley, 11/25/1931 - 3/30/2020, at Jacksonville Cemetery on July 25th at 1 p.m. with a Celebration of Life to be held immediately after at her house on Court Street in Machias where there will be a tent set up for refreshments and visiting.  Please join us.

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  37. New Machias recovery center to welcome women, children

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A Machias home will soon open its doors as a women’s recovery residence, the first of its kind in Washington County.

    Located on Elm Street, the sober-living facility will offer affordable, safe housing to women in recovery. But most uniquely, says Marshall Mercer, the home will welcome women and their children, too.

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  38. Proposed Jonesport fish farm goes for wastewater discharge permit

    by Nancy Beal

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  39. Aging forum to key on mental health in wake of COVID

    by Ruth Leubecker

    “As far as I’m concerned the most critical challenge during this time is to try and strengthen and support connections,” said Dr. Lenard Kaye, in assessing the needs of the elderly during the pandemic.

    The director of the University of Maine’s Center on Aging was primarily considering the elderly demographic of Washington County, adding, “We know already that there’s a lot of isolation and depression.”

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  40. PRSWDD to consider town withdrawal offers

    by Nancy Beal

    The Pleasant River Solid Waste Disposal District (PRSWDD) board of directors met late Monday, July 13 and had in hand the latest withdrawal proposal from two towns that are opting to bow out of the six-town trash cooperative formed in the 1990s after state regulations outlawed municipal landfills. The withdrawing towns are Jonesport and Columbia Falls. Still active in PRSWDD are Addison, Beals and Jonesboro. Columbia voted last month to get out, but formal negotiations around that move are pending.

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  41. Library celebrates Maine’s bicentennial with two youth summer reading programs

    by Natalie Boomer

    Porter Memorial Library has kicked off the first of two bicentennial reading programs this month.

    The first program encourages bicentennial reading across all age groups. Children can meet their summer reading goals by reading Maine themed books, books about Maine, and books written by Maine authors.

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  42. Paula McCormack assumes mantle in Beals

    by Nancy Beal

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  43. 155 years of Campmeeting Week tradition continues at Jacksonville Campground

    There have been questions about whether or not Campmeeting Week will happen this year at the Jacksonville Campground in East Machias.  After prayer, discernment, and research, the group has decided that yes, Campmeeting Week will be held every night from Sunday, July 19 – through Friday, July 24. Preachers will include Lori Lynch, Aaron Dudley, Jesse Davis,  Susie Maxwell,  and  Adam Wolfgang.

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  44. Cancel culture karma

    As a long-time supporter of the First Amendment and the value of free and open inquiry, leftist cancel culture efforts to silence, deplatform, censor and otherwise stifle speakers and viewpoints they disagree with has angered and repelled me. As a young professor, I naively believed the academy shared those sentiments, but I have been disabused of that notion over the last twenty years.

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  45. Artwork on display at Whitneyville Library

    In the early 1980s the Whitneyville Public Library, under the direction of John Bodger, received a grant to have UMM art teacher Frank Hambe depict the history of the Whitneyville to Machiasport Railroad through his talented artwork.

    These 11 panels of artwork have been in storage at the University of Maine at Machias and when the new library building opened in October of 2018 the artwork was brought home to the Whitneyville Public Library and has been on display ever since.

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