1. Supporters stunned as popular county DA bill tabled in senate

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Local stakeholders say they’re shocked that a bill to give Washington County its own district attorney did not move forward last week despite passing the judiciary committee with a unanimous vote, passing the House 136-1, and passing the Senate “under the hammer.”

    “That means everybody just agreed to let it go forward, there was no issue, nobody had a problem with it,” said Rep. Will Tuell, who sponsored LD 272, “An Act To Establish Separate Prosecutorial Districts in Downeast Maine.” 

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  2. Jonesport updating its comprehensive plan

    by Nancy Beal

    Recently, Jonesport town fathers became aware that their ability to apply for most grants would be hampered by the absence of an up-to-date comprehensive plan. Over a decade ago—and after going through several versions—the town adopted one, but it was not renewed after its statutory 10-year life expired. This week, the first step in updating and amending that plan will happen, as residents pull a community public survey from their mailboxes.

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  3. Maine wild blueberry weekend will open two farms Downeast Aug. 7-8

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Maine’s nutritious, delicious, and iconic wild blueberry will be the focus of the 1st Annual Maine Wild Blueberry Weekend, which will open farms across the state on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 7-8. Governor Janet Mills last week issued a formal proclamation declaring the event.

    “I encourage all people to recognize the vital contributions made by the state’s wild blueberry growers and businesses to our economy, and to participate in activities that celebrate and honor the wild Maine blueberry,” wrote Mills.

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  4. Stakeholders grapple with future of East Machias church

    by Ruth Leubecker

    “What drives us today is this is a very serious problem, and a dangerous one to solve,” said Brian Pfeiffer, an independent architectural historian. “The church doesn’t have enough people or resources to maintain it, so the question is is there a group, or groups, that would recognize a shared community problem.”

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  5. Machias board talks concerts, police department issues

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    At their regularly scheduled meeting held July 14, the Machias Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to establish a new bank account to receive and disburse funds related to the Bad Little Falls “Sounds Like This” summer concert series, taking place every Thursday this summer from 5-7 p.m.

    “I’ve heard nothing but absolutely wonderful comments from all over,” said board chairwoman Paula Johnson-Rolfe, speaking of the concerts. Last week’s event drew roughly 250 people.

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  6. Down East Cruisers to host classic cars show Aug. 7

    by Kaileigh Deacon

    Classic cars and trucks are often a source of pride for those who own them, especially those vehicles that are truly well-maintained. What better place to showcase them all together than at a car show. Attendees of the upcoming Down East Cruisers Car Show will certainly be impressed with what they see.

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  7. Mid-summer notes

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    Classes start in five weeks, and as our typically foggy July ends, some mid-summer, late (?) pandemic notes:

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  8. Quoddy Voices' latest, 'Sing Gently’, illustrated by EAC Video

    The finale project of Quoddy Voices Spring 2021 Virtual Choir season is here—"Sing Gently." Recorded by Quoddy Voices members participating from their homes in the Zoom-based season and edited together by director John Newell, the choir's rendition of Eric Whitacre's song has been illustrated by EAC Video's Lauren Koss, using a mix of footage created over the past two months with singers from the group.

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  9. Street fair, live auction, and pizza-eating contest set for Saturday at St. Croix Homecoming Festival in Calais

    by Jayna Smith

    Saturday of St. Croix Homecoming Festival, to be held Aug. 5-7 in Calais, promises to be a fun one, with many events scheduled downtown throughout the day. In fact, nearly all events that are normally held in Calais on the Saturday of the International Homecoming Festival are back, with the exception of the international parade.

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  10. The Nature of Phenology: Harbor porpoises

    by Joseph Horn

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  11. Machias police chief resigns

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    In a letter addressed to interim town manager Bill Kitchen, Machias Police Chief Todd Hand resigned his position on July 13, effective Sunday, July 18. Hand assumed the position in January 2020.

    Kitchen read Hand’s resignation letter aloud to the Machias Board of Selectmen at their regular meeting held Wednesday, July 14. When asked by selectman Carole Porcher if he had tried to dissuade Hand from resigning, Kitchen said that during his short tenure as interim manager, the chief and Kitchen had numerous conversations.

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  12. Maine leads nation in shifting recycling costs from taxpayers

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Signing a controversial bill that would shift packaging costs of products from taxpayers to product producers, Gov. Janet Mills has spawned a flux of mixed reactions.

    The primary question hovering over the bill: Won’t it eventually be paid for by consumers? 

    LD 1541, An Act to Support and Improve Municipal Recycling Programs and Save Taxpayers Money, is facing a profusion of contradictory opinions.

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  13. Bad Little Studio artist takes inspiration from local color

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    In her early years, artist Sharon Mack painted in watercolors. Then, two people she loved inspired her to a bold and colorful new style.

    “One of my sisters and one of my brothers is legally blind, and my sister said, ‘I can’t see it. Will you paint something I can see?’ says Mack. “That’s how I got this particular style, I took my glasses off and painted without my glasses.”

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  14. Maine chef brings yellowtail, fish advocacy Downeast

    by Nancy Beal

    For professional chef and educator Barton Seaver, the three “S”es of public health are “Don’t Smoke,” “Fasten your Seat belt,” and “Eat Seafood.” That, and many other bits of wisdom, were shared June 30 on the lawn of Jonesport’s Peabody Memorial Library by Seaver, who was introduced to the Moosabec area by Kingfish Maine, a Dutch company that intends to establish a $100 million land-based yellowtail fish farm on Jonesport’s Chandler Bay. He brought wisdom—and food.

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  15. Entry into Canada by vaccinated U.S. citizens allowed on Aug. 9

    by Jayna Smith

    Finally, it seems there is a light at the end of the tunnel surrounding the border closure—or reopening—with Canada.  Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week the border could open by mid-August to Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19, then on Monday, July 19, his administration provided an Aug. 9, 2021 date for reopening.

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  16. A more comfortable mammography experience at DECH

    Here are a few words that rarely go together: relaxed, comfortable, and mammogram. After all, having your breasts compressed tightly between two firm surfaces while you stand there awkwardly half clothed is certainly not the most pleasant of experiences. Down East Community Hospital is now offering our patients a new option in mammograms: the Senographe Pristina™. Designed from the ground up with the input from women, it is the first mammography system to provide women with the “three Cs”: comfort, confidence, and clarity. 

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  17. Back to the ’70s

    by Jonathan Reisman

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  18. Storytelling workshop, ‘Canned Sardine’ returns July 24

    The Canned Sardine, Stage East’s storytelling event, returns to the Sutherland Amphitheater on Saturday, July 24 at 4 p.m. Storytellers of all stripes are encouraged to come share their tall tales, myths, autobiographies, or gut-busters with audience members as a part of the Eastport ArtWalk’s Passport Weekend. 

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  19. Auxiliary honors DECH ED

    Down East Community Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) is a level III, 10-bed emergency department. The ED is staffed with emergency physicians, mid-level providers, and registered nurses providing services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    On-call providers are available for specialty services in orthopedics, gynecology, urology, general surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics, and otolaryngology (ENT).

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  20. The Nature of Phenology: Rose pogonia in bloom

    by Joseph Horn

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  21. Paula (Bridges) and Dean Flaherty’s funeral services

    Family and friends are invited to attend Paula (Bridges) and Dean Flaherty’s funeral services on July 24, 2021, at 2 pm at the Whitneyville Congregational Church. There will be a reception for refreshments immediately after. Graveside service will follow at 5pm in Harrington at Forest Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Whitneyville Congregational Church- 31 S. Main St Whitneyville, ME 04654

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  22. Drones will survey for Machias dike as replacement planning moves ahead

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A plan to fix the aging Machias dike will take another step forward when Maine Department of Transportation drones will survey the Middle River and its adjoining properties beginning next week. DOT Chief Engineer Joyce Taylor said the DOT chose drones as a way to survey without entering private land.

    “We’re looking at getting elevation levels so that when we assess the alternatives [for] the Machias dike project, we’ll know what might actually get flooded with each alternative,” said Taylor.

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  23. Child abuse under oversight scrutiny

    by Ruth Leubecker

    With child endangerment numbers outpacing the national average, Maine is looking to improve its outcomes and the future of child welfare throughout the state.

    “The Government Oversight Committee has never really let go of this since the Kennedy-Chick deaths, but now we have a renewed request,” said Rep. Genevieve McDonald (D-Stonington), House chair of the GOC. “We have no timeline at this point, and there will be another review.”

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  24. Cooper Robicheau invites area youth to sell lemonade July 24

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Cooper Robicheau started raising money for charity when he was only 8 years old. Now 16, he wants to help other youths learn how to raise money, and hopes they’ll also learn something else in the process.

    “I would encourage them to use some of it in some charitable way,” said Cooper.

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  25. Jonesport to act on adult marijuana ordinance

    by Nancy Beal

    Officials in Jonesport have been working on an ordinance to regulate the use of adult marijuana off and on since the substance was legalized for non-medical use by Maine’s legislature three years ago. Lack of state guidelines and absence of prototypes have delayed the process, but selectmen have consistently urged that the town deal with the subject before a building application was presented to the planning board prior to an ordinance being in place.

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  26. $500k EPA grant will restore Cutler recreation center

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    According to authority chairman Betsy Fitzgerald, the Washington County Development Authority has been awarded a $500,000 grant to decontaminate and restore a recreation center on the decommissioned Cutler Naval Base. 

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  27. At family farm, life comes full circle for Navy veteran

    Glen Dinsmore grew up on his family’s more than 100-year-old farm in Downeast, Maine. He and his brother, Dwight, worked on the farm in Trescott, but as they got older, the family leased the property for others to use as farmland.

    Glen attended Washington Academy in East Machias and graduated with the class of 1949. That same year, he met Joyce Durgan, who would later become his wife. She went to Lubec High School and was crowned Prom Queen her senior year while Glen was elected Prom King at his school — it was a match that was meant to be.

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  28. Two wild blueberry ‘greats’ inducted to Hall of Honor

    Wild blueberries have been part of the Washington County fabric for generations. But something new for the traditional agricultural sector got added to its culture last week: the Maine Wild Blueberry Hall of Honor.

     

    Respected for their decades-long roles in local blueberry history, two men were inducted as the first cohort: Dr. John Gaddis of East Machias, and the late Francis Nicholas, of Pleasant Point.

     

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  29. Left attacks freedom

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    Teachers union embraces Critical Race Theory (CRT), climate alarmists call for China appeasement

     

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  30. Eastport Arts Center announces children’s theater summer session

    Eastport Arts Center embarks on its first-ever summer session of Children’s Theater Workshop on Wednesday, July 14 from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Each week through August 18, participants from ages 7 to 18* can join in to play theater games, build skills on stage, and learn the ins and outs of improvisation and sketch comedy. The workshop will culminate in a short performance for participants’ families during the final class. 

     

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  31. The Nature of Phenology: Common valerian flowering

    by Hazel Stark

     

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  32. Obituary - Donald McKinnon

    LACONIA, NH – Donald McKinnon, 85, of Laconia, founder and former owner of the Ridgewood, N.J. Cycle Shop, died Thursday, July 1, 2021, at Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital in Lebanon.

    Mr. McKinnon was born December 15, 1935, in Paterson, NJ, the son of the late John and Bertha (Nyenhouse) McKinnon. He grew up in Ridgewood and attended community schools.

    In 1955, he joined the Army and served in Germany. He was honorably discharged in 1957 as a specialist fourth class, specializing in weapons and mechanics.

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  33. New Machias board talks goals, public concerts, and town staffing

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

     

    New selectboard members Carole Porcher and Sandra Sinford continued learning the technical ropes of their new positions at the current board’s second meeting held Wednesday, June 30. Porcher and Sinford were elected on June 8, returning the board to its full, five-person membership after more than a year with four members due to the death of Dr. James Whalen. Sinford has previously served as selectman. 

     

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  34. Loopholes in federal broadband funding will confront rural needs

    by Ruth Leubecker

     

    Leveling the broadband playing field has taken a step forward in tackling major hurdles facing rural areas, courtesy of how federal funds will be doled out throughout Maine.

     

    “The town funding will flow through the state, but all towns have to have some kind of a plan in place for this to happen,” says Peggy Schaffer, director of ConnectME. “The treasury is giving out this money, and in order to be unserved, everybody has to be able to get 25/3.” (The definition of unserved is 25 megabits down, 3 megabits up.)

     

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  35. Monthly child tax credit begins July 15

    by Jayna Smith

     

    Many people will soon be receiving monthly Child Tax Credits. This is due to the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021, which is expanding the tax credit.

     

    Instead of a yearly tax credit, however, advance payments will be received by those who qualify on a monthly basis. Those payments are set to begin on July 15 and will continue mid-month through December.

     

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  36. Beals voters approve revised harbor ordinance, float money

    by Nancy Beal

     

    An effort to revise and update Beals’ 2004 Harbor & Coastal Waters Ordinance has been underway for over a year, when Paula McCormack was voted onto the board of selectmen in March 2020. Working with the town’s attorney to make adjustments that accounted for changes in state statute (M.R.S. 30-A), she presented a revision to the town’s harbor committee May 12. Following the committee’s approval, she scheduled a public hearing, followed by an (approving) vote last week (June 29).

     

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  37. Town costs for storm damage near $200k

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

     

    Three towns and one private homeowners’ association will pay a combined $200,000 to repair road damages from a June 9 thunderstorm that dropped up to 7” of rain in two hours, creating flash flood events in Machias, Roque Bluffs, Jonesboro, and Machiasport. 

     

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  38. Maine’s state of civil emergency comes to an end

    by Jayna Smith

     

    On Wednesday, June 30, Maine officials held the last of the scheduled COVID-19 briefings as the state’s civil emergency came to an end.

     

    The state of civil emergency was put into effect by Gov. Janet Mills on March 15, 2020, three days after the first reported case of coronavirus in the state, and extended times.

     

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  39. Jonesport fishfarm gets DEP wastewater discharge permit; Kingfish brings chef, yellowtail samples to Moosabec 4th

    by Nancy Beal

     

    When two dozen Moosabeckers showed up on the library lawn last week for Kingfish Maine’s contribution to their July 4th celebration, they were in search of renowned chef Bardon Seaver, his ideas on sustainable fisheries, and a chance to sample some grilled yellowtail that Kingfish intends to grow after building a $100 million land-based fish farm in Jonesport.

     

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  40. Freedom Studies

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    Last week America celebrated our 245th Birthday as an independent nation dedicated to freedom.  One group of Americans has rejected that Birthday and cultural inheritance, arguing the country was actually founded in 1619 and is irredeemably dedicated to racism and oppression. Those dissidents are entitled by our Constitution to their views. My own 1st Amendment-protected (for now) opinion is that the identitarian racist Black Lives Matter/Antifa/ Democrat/ Biden voter/ critical race theory left is an existential threat to freedom. 

     

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  41. Local artists donate talents to Chair-ity Auction

    Women for Healthy Rural Living will hold a “Chair-ity” Auction from July 22 to Aug. 1 to raise funds for Milbridge Commons Wellness Park.  The on-line auction will feature ten Adirondack chairs, each painted by a different artist.  The chairs will be on display at Milbridge Commons on Saturday, July 31 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the annual Milbridge Days festivities. The online auction will also run from July 22 to Aug. 1.

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  42. The Nature of Phenology: Lightning bugs

    by Hazel Stark

     

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  43. At annual meeting, DECH hails ‘good year’, talks takeover bumps in the road

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Just as last year, Down East Community Hospital held its 2020 annual meeting via Zoom, with COVID and attendant issues still lurking in the background.

    Kathy Land welcomed all those present and thanked those leaving the board for their  service, thanking all for their exemplary work throughout the year.

    She also said how much everyone was looking forward to the reopening of the East Machas Medical Center, and the expansion of the Milbridge Medical Center.  

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  44. For eligible travelers, Canadian restrictions finally loosening

    by Jayna Smith

    Since being closed to all but essential travel back in March of 2020, the border with Canada will finally soon see some restrictions being loosened.

    Effective July 5 at 11:59 p.m. EDT, those travelers who are currently able to enter Canada will be able to do so without having to quarantine if they are fully immunized against COVID-19.  Those “eligible” include those with a right of entry, such as Canadian citizens/dual citizens, permanent residents, and people registered under the Indian Act.

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  45. County weighs options for $6M in American Rescue Funds

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

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