Downeast Coastal Conservancy earns national recognition

 

Downeast Coastal Conservancy (DCC) announced last week that it has achieved national recognition as an accredited land trust, joining 398 other accredited land trusts across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in their conservation work.  

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Passamaquoddy orchestra prepares new orchestral season

The Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony Orchestra (PBSO) enters its spring season with rehearsals beginning on Thursday, April 5. Rehearsals continue on Monday, April 9 and every Thursday thereafter until the mid-June concerts. Rehearsals are from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Eastport Arts Center. New musicians are always welcome.

The orchestra will present Mozart’s Concerto in G for Flute, with soloist Krista Kwon; Schubert’s Symphony #4 in C Minor (Tragic), and a composition commissioned for the PBSO by Roberto Pace.

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50th anniversary tribute for Clancys-Makem Sing of the Sea

St. Patrick’s Day will be celebrated at the Pembroke Library on Wednesday, April 11 at 6:30 p.m., with a free concert celebrating the 50th Anniversary of one of the most important sea music recordings of all time; “The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem – Sing of the Sea.” The Clancys and Makem were the key figures in the Irish music revival that continues to today. Their 1968 album “Sing of the Sea” brought many Irish music enthusiasts throughout Europe, North America and Australia to embrace the traditional music of the Age of Sail.

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Sunday Series offers artist talk, immigration program

The Sunday Afternoons at the EAC series, a winter offering of informal and interactive programs every Sunday at 3 p.m. at Eastport Arts Center, will feature a talk by David Greenham on March 25.

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MMHS Chess Club  2018

 

The Machias Memorial High School Chess Club recently took second place as the Maine State High School Novice section. The 2018 State Scholastic Championships were played on Saturday, March 10 at the University of Maine at Orono. 

Maine Central Institute won the High School Novice section with 10.0 points out of a possible 12. MMMHS was a breath behind at 9.5 points.

Jordan Donovan from Machias High School and Vojta Filibi of Maine Central Institute went unbeaten and untied with 4.0 points in the High School Novice section.

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Community Calendar

Upcoming events

Columbia Falls Town meeting

Baked Bean Supper will be held in the old Columbia Falls Elementary Gym on Tuesday, March 20 at 5 p.m. followed by the Town Meeting at 7 p.m.

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UMaine Jazz Ensemble in Concert, by donation, Eastport Arts Center. March 22, 6:30 p.m.

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UMO Jazz Band in Concert.  March 22, 6:30 p.m.

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4th Saturday Open Mic, free. March 24, 6-8 p.m.

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Healthy Acadia Advisory Council meets in Machias April 11

Machias. Healthy Acadia’s Advisory Council will meet on April 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Machias Veterans Home (32 Veterans Way, Machias), with video/call-in availability. We encourage all who are interested from Washington and Hancock counties to attend.

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Could you have diabetes?

Dear Savvy Senior,

My brother and his wife, who are ages 60 and 56, were recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and prediabetes, and neither one had a clue. Could I have it too? 

                 Concerned Sibling

Dear Concerned,

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nearly 115 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes today, but most of them don’t even know they have it. Here’s how to know if you’re at risk.

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Cherryfield and Milbridge news

 

Jason Snider of Cherryfield, and his cousin Joe Haskell recently participated in an ice fishing derby on Schoodic Lake in Brownville Junction. Snider first started ice fishing with his father when he was just three years old. He told me the story of how he got his leg stuck in a  fishing hole that his father had just dug out. His father pulled him out and put him in the truck to get warm. Snider sometimes found it cold when he went ice fishing with his father but he was always well bundled up.. His father always tried to remember to bring a stove so that Jason could stay warm.

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Whitneyville Library news

Old Man Winter is still showering us with this delightful (yeah, right!) white stuff but that’s winter in Maine.  As former Librarian John Bodger use to say “The Leprechaun’s Pot of Gold can sometimes turn white in March.”  Well that sure is true. Construction on the new library is being hindered slightly by Old Man Winter but the framing of the building will begin before the Leprechaun can dance an Irish jig from one end of the rainbow to another.

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Wesley News

 

Our pot luck supper was cancelled because of the storm but is rescheduled for Wednesday, April 4th at 6 p.m. I think most people are tired of winter snow right now. I have more snow in the door yard now than all winter.

The dog and I played in the snow yesterday. I made mounds of snow and put glow sticks in for eyes. The ice is out on Chain Lake and is starting to leave Bog Lake.  Ice fishing is done early.

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Columbia News

Again we lost a day of school on Wednesday the 14th; we received two feet of snow here on the Ridge. I think everyone is looking forward to green grass now even though we can get many more storms before that happens. The snow is very pretty when I look out my dining room window, it does cover up the brown grass. Of course you know when we get that green grass everyone will be complaining of the black flies and that they have to mow their lawns. I guess what every season it is most of us can find something to complain about; it is either too cold or too hot, or too rainy.

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Jonesporters gather for annual town meeting

by Nancy Beal

Over 100 Jonesporters gathered for their annual town meeting in the high school gym March 12 and spent five hours dispensing with 38 articles before adjourning at 8:45 p.m.  The issues acted upon included purchase of land for commercial waterfront (see related article), a food sovereignty ordinance, a century-old town clock and the reduction of taxes by tapping the rainy day fund. Following the meeting, there was a discussion on crime in Washington County and a plan to combat it.

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Employees picking up the pieces from closure

Alan Gardner of Machiasport turned out to support friends and neighbors at a Monday morning meeting organized to bring together former employees and staff of the Downeast Correctional Facility. Scott Guerra of East Machias and David Garrison of East Machias, both longtime employees of DCF,  also attended to strategize with union representation and coworkers.Photo by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

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Timothy James O’Donnell - Machiasport

Timothy James O’Donnell,  19,  died unexpectedly March 12, 2018 in Machiasport. He was born in Winchester,  Massachusetts on May 29, 1998 the son of Rachel A. (Welch) O’Donnell,  and Kenneth R. O’Donnell .  

He loved being outdoors,  going to camp, and fishing. He loved going mudding in his Jeep,  and riding his four wheeler.  He enjoyed tinkering and fixing things. He worked as a clammer, and for Cooke Aquaculture.

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Jay Everett Wilkinson - Machiasport

Jay Everett “Wilkie” Wilkinson, 86, passed away Thursday, March 8, 2018 of heart failure, at his home in Machiasport, Maine. 

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Conference honors boys all-stars

by Phil Stuart

The Downeast Athletic Conference recently named its all-conference squad for the recently completed 2017-18 boys’ basketball season.

DAC and Northern Maine Champ, Woodland, led the balloting along with Machias as both teams placed three players on the All Star Squad.

This year’s Coach Of The Year was Ben Maloney of Woodland while Northern Maine Class D runner-up Jonesport-Beals received the conference’s Sportsmanship Award.

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Passamaquoddy language thrives with educators’ support

by Lura Jackson

Barely more than a generation ago, the Passamaquoddy language was threatened with extinction as a result of restrictive policies that forbade its usage. That fact stands in sharp contrast with the support and energy surrounding today’s efforts to promote and preserve the language, something in full evidence at an educator’s workshop held at the Wabanaki Cultural Center in Calais last month. 

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Mid-March nor’easter

Between two and three feet of heavy snow fell all over Washington County on Tuesday, March 13 and Wednesday, March 14, leading to extensive power outages. More than 15,000 homes in eastern Maine were without power at the height of the storm, but less than 7,000 were still unplugged at the end of the day on Wednesday. Photo by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

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Moose Lottery open

by V. Paul Reynolds

The 2018 Maine Moose Lottery application process is officially open to Maine residents and non-residents alike. No longer are mailed applications acceptable. Applications must be filed online. The deadline for submitting applications for the moose lottery is May 15 and must be postmarked no later than midnight on that date.

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How some executives give their brain waves a workout

CEOs, entrepreneurs, as well as ambitious middle managers, often seek ways to keep their mental faculties sharp.

Training the brain to perform at peak levels isn’t easy. That’s why some executives are turning to neurofeedback sessions. 

“Improved health and mental focus can help you balance the stressors of daily living while keeping you headed toward your goals,” says Dr. Ed Carlton, founder of the Carlton Neurofeedback Center (www.carltonneurofeedbackcenter.com) and author of the book The Answer.

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Court News

Joshua E. Cirone, no residence listed:  Unlawful possession of scheduled drug on 11/6/2017 in Addison.  SNTC date 12/5/2017, Fine $500.  GLTY

Justin M. Weaver of Machias, Maine: Operate while license suspended or revoked,prio on 11/3/2017 in Machias.  SNTC date 12/5/2017, Fine $500.  GLTY

Seeley Colby Denbow of Lubec, Maine;  Disorderly conduct, loud unreasonable noise on 11/3/2017 in Machias.  SNTC date 12/5/2017, Fine $300.  GLTY

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Farrow McKenna receives Maine Principal’s Award

 

Farrow McKenna of Marshfield, a senior at Machias Memorial High School, has been selected to receive the 2018 Principal’s Award, Principal Brian Leavitt announced today. The award, sponsored by the Maine Principals’ Association, is given in recognition of a high school senior’s academic achievement and citizenship. Farrow is the daughter of Rebecca and Andrew McKenna.

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AmeriCorps summer work opportunity in Washington County

Are you at least 18 years old? Are you looking for an exciting summer job? Do you enjoy helping your neighbors and your community and being outdoors? Healthy Acadia is partnering with Goodwill VISTA to recruit for AmeriCorps Summer Associates to help with food rescue efforts in its Washington County Gleaning Program this summer.

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Bar Harbor Bankshares offers scholarship for WaCo technical institute students

Bar Harbor Bankshares is pleased to announce the availability of a $1,500 scholarship for high school graduating seniors who are going on to college.  The deadline to apply is May 1, 2018.  Applications are available at any branch of Bar Harbor Bank & Trust and Lake Sunapee Bank, and can also be found online at www.bhbt.com.

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Clippers bow out in playoffs

by Phil Stuart

The University of Maine at Machias Lady Clippers and Clippers both were eliminated in quarter-final matchups at the Yankee Small College Conference tournament in Concord, New Hampshire.

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Knights and Blue Devils dominate DAC team

by Phil Stuart

The Narraguagus Lady Knights and the Calais Lady Blue Devils each placed four team members on this year’s Downeast Athletic Conference girls basketball team.

Heather Thompson of the Lady Knights, who finished the regular season with a 17-1 record, was selected as DAC Coach of The Year.

The Knights also won the DAC Championship by easily defeating the Class D Dragons of Woodland at the University of Maine at Machias.

Sumner High School of East Sullivan won this year’s DAC girls’ Sportsmanship Award.

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Cheerleaders honored by DAC

by Phil Stuart

The Downeast Athletic Conference (DAC) recently honored their cheerleading All-Stars from the seven member schools that included DAC champs Sumner, Machias, Woodland and Calais.

The Tigers of Sumner, who finished third in the state behind Central of East Corinth and Lisbon, placed Gabby Richardson, Abigail Bell, Lauren Nault and Lauren Hanna on this year’s squad.

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Lady Knights in action photos at Northern Maine Regionals

Kaci Alley earns a steal in the MPA quarter-final.

Hard working defense from senior Madison Leighton at the Cross Center.

Smooth inside pass from Lanie Perry.

 

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Area athletes honored

by Phil Stuart

Several Washington County high school girls and boys basketball players have been honored due to their outstanding play in the recently completed 2017-18 season.

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State title review

by Phil Stuart

For the 13th year in a row, a Washington County school was involved in a state championship game in either Class C or D girls’ or boys’ basketball. During that 13-year time span, all Washington County high schools, with the exception of East Grand High School, have been represented.

The Woodland High School Dragons were this year’s Washington County representative and they dropped a one-point 47-46 loss to the Greenville Lakers in the state title game.

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Dragons lose title bid

by Phil Stuart

The Woodland Dragons went into their state title game as a distinct underdog against Southern Maine champion Greenville.

The Lakers were in the state title contest a year ago and lost 51-39 to Machias. This year, they were heavy favorites to end a title drought dating back to 1954 when former University of Maine at Orono star Wayne Champeon was the star player from the Lakers.

Woodland, on the other hand, had primarily a junior laden squad that might have one more chance in 2019.

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Art of local students featured at Eastport Arts Center

Washington Street Gallery at Eastport Arts Center is pleased to present the fourth annual Celebrating March as Youth Art Month Exhibit. A reception to honor the young artists will be held on Saturday, March 24, from 2-4 p.m.

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Machias Area Little League registration closing March 24

Don’t forget to register for the upcoming little league baseball season. Visit us today at www.machiasarealittleleague.com to register. New and returning players must be registered no later than Saturday, March 24. New major baseball players must attend tryouts on Sunday, March 25 at 4 p.m. at Machias High School Gym.T-Ball, minor and softball registration closes on Monday, March 26.

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G.L.O. Volleyball Tournament returns to UMM

G.L.O (get lit on) Volleyball night will take place from 5 – 10 p.m. at the University of Maine at Machias on Saturday, March 24.  Organized by University of Maine at Machias senior Samantha Penn, the event is a fundraiser for The Next Step Domestic Violence Project. Teams comprising UMM students and people from the community will compete against each other in this family-friendly event. To add to the fun, the event will be held under black lights, and the equipment and players will glow in the dark. 

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Dental clinic returns to Machias

NYU Dentistry and Washington County Children’s Program (WCCP), a program of Sunrise Opportunities, continues to partner to bring no-cost dental care to Downeast Maine. The 11th Dental Outreach in Machias will take place April 9 – April 13 (closed Thursday, April 12) at the Lee Pellon Event Center located at 90 Main Street, behind the Subway Restaurant.

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Armed robbery in Machias

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

On the afternoon of Monday, March 12, a man armed with a weapon robbed another man outside of the Dollar Tree store on Route 1 in Machias. The victim was not physically harmed, and the robber escaped the scene.

The Rose M. Gaffney Elementary School notified parents that the school was put on a “soft lockdown” after the event occurred out of an abundance of caution. Though the regular school day had ended, students were still on the premises for afterschool activities.

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Jonesporters vote 2-1 to buy campground

by Nancy Beal

At Jonesport’s town meeting March 12, the article that generated most discussion was the proposed purchase of a seven-acre spit of land on the southeast side of Sawyer’s Cove where, for over 100 years, the owners have allowed the town to operate a campground.

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DCF ruling deemed a ‘victory’

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

The statewide media and Downeast internet forums were on fire Thursday morning, March 15, with news that a superior court justice ordered the Department of Corrections (DOC) to reopen the Downeast Correctional Facility (DCF). 

In a television interview on Thursday afternoon, Governor LePage said he was unaware of any news relating to DCF. “No, you guys know about it,” said LePage. “I don’t know a thing about it.” His office did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday or Friday.

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Machias entertains special amusement permits

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

An all-male revue and a forgotten town ordinance made for colorful conversation at the Machias Board of Selectmen meeting held Wednesday, March 14. 

A question received by the Machias Town Office caused town manager Christina Therrien to look into the books concerning the legality of Skywalker’s Bar and Grille Magic Mike tribute show, scheduled for March 16. “Magic Mike” is a 2012 movie about a group of male strippers.

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MaineCare expansion heats up, but DHHS mum

by Ruth Leubecker

Although MaineCare expansion remains firmly entrenched in the public eye, official reactions from other quarters signify foot-dragging and procrastination.

Medicaid (known in Maine as MaineCare) expansion was resoundingly affirmed by voters in November. Yet months after the fact, 80,000 Mainers are still waiting for their insurance coverage. 

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Therrien enters Senate race

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Machias Town Manager Christina Therrien has announced her campaign for the District 6 senate seat soon to be vacated by Republican Joyce Maker. In January Maker announced she would not seek reelection. 

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Time to PLAY BALL!

The Camron Roberts Memorial PeeWee Basketball Tournament raised $6,560 to donate toward the Machias Area Little League (MALL). Here, Cam’s Crew presents the funds to Corey Schwinn, MALL president. From left to right: Corey Schwinn, Jamie, Shelley and Connor Roberts and Camron’s girlfriend, Rylea Steeves. Photo courtesy Shelley Roberts.

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Downeast Community Hospital welcomes nurse-midwife

Dr. Dwight, Dr. Inegbenijie and the whole Machias OB/GYN team would like you to join them in welcoming Bjarni Thomas, CNM.  Bjarni is a certified nurse midwife who will see patients at the Down East Community private practice in Calais and at the Women’s Center on the DECH campus in Machias.  Bjarni has already begun to see patients at the Women’s Center and she will start seeing patients in Calais at 43 Palmer Street later this month. 

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Kristan Porter of Cutler elected MLA President

 

At the 64th annual meeting of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association (MLA) on March 2, long-time president David Cousens stepped down from his position as MLA president and Kristan Porter of Cutler was elected by the MLA board of directors to the post. Porter, 47, was one of the MLA’s two vice-presidents.

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Harriet’s story

 

by Sherry Rier

Editor’s note: This is the third in our four-part series telling the story of author Sherry Rier’s grandmother, Harriet Means Johnson and her 1908 elopement.  To read more of Rier’s work, visit voicesofancestors.wordpress.com. 

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Prison employees ask union to fight for back pay and benefits

John Mills, center, worked at DCF for more than 19 years. “We want to correct the injustice that has been done to us,” said Mills, pointing out that DCF is fully funded until June 30. “What we want is a minimum — and we think only fair out of common decency — put us back on pay status until this is settled. We’ve got families, we’ve got bills, we’ve got babies to support,” said Mills. “We didn’t walk off our jobs. We were forced off.” Photo by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

 

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Employees ‘treated like prisoners’

Chris Marshall was working the gate at DCF in the early morning hours of Feb. 9 when state police came to supervise the removal of the prisoners. “They acted aggressively, I don’t  know if they were under [LePage’s] orders to do so. But, my officers and I were treated like prisoners ourselves,” said Marshall . “We were put in a room and told to shut up and stay there. This guy didn’t just close the facility, he treated the state workers like scum.” Photo by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

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Maine drug overdose deaths increased in 2017, rate of increase slows

The State of Maine saw 418 drug-induced deaths in 2017, according to figures released today by Attorney General Janet Mills. Drug overdose deaths increased by 11 percent  in 2017 over the previous year. The data was collected and analyzed by Marcella H. Sorg, PhD, of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, under a contract with the Office of the Attorney General.

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Governor LePage issues statement on DCF

After a court order recognized the Maine Department of Corrections has the authority to operate Downeast Correctional Facility as it deems appropriate, the department is adjusting operations at the facility.

“I met with Commissioner Fitzpatrick this morning,” stated Governor LePage. “He has informed me that he will comply with the court’s order and will do so in the most fiscally responsible manner by the end of the week.”

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Towns named Santa Claus, and guess where cows outnumber people …

Downeast Maine is distinctively its own place but — guess what, folks — some recent reading has uncovered a lot of other places that are simply off the charts.

Some little-known facts have to do with how uniquely weird we are as a country. Like, did you know that in more than half of all the states in the nation, the highest paid public employee is a football coach?  Or that Apple has more cash than the US Treasury? Or that Montana has three times as many cows as it does people?

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Letter to the Editor - Laws were already in place

The weak and defenseless turn to the government for help. How is that working out for them? The boy that is accused of the shooting in Florida was reported to the FBI and nothing was done. The plight of the ten-year-old girl that was beaten to death was reported many times. How did that work out? The BDN reported that she fell through the cracks. Not true. The system was in place to help that young girl, but it appears to me they did not do their job. There are many laws on the books that could have prevented the school shooting.

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Letter to the Editor - Letter to DOC commissioner from MHS 

The Machiasport Historical Society reaffirms its support for the re-opening and continued operation, at full capacity, of the Downeast Correctional Facility located in the Bucks Harbor village of Machiasport. 

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Washington County goes to Augusta

In late January members of local town governments visited Rep. Will Tuell (R-E. Machias) at the state house in Augusta. Bucket Davis of East Machias, Tanya Brazil of East Machias and Machiasport’s Marcia Hayward were on hand to testify on a bill with Rep. Tuell. Photo courtesy Will Tuell

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The Editor’s Desk

Without question, the best parts of this job are the people I meet.

Though I only heard of Little Hands of Hope in 2017, Kristen Johnson had already been hard at work for many years. Her work on behalf of Ugandan AIDS orphans started by scrimping on her grocery budget until she managed to save $50 to send to a Ugandan friend. She felt sheepish about the small sum (by American standards), but her friend exclaimed, “Do you KNOW how many orphans $50 can feed?”

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Fraud watch network warns of IRS payment scam

As tax filing season rolls on, be on the lookout for the IRS imposter scam. Someone claiming to be from the IRS may call saying you owe a specific amount in taxes and may threaten to arrest you if you don’t pay immediately. Know the IRS will never call and demand immediate payment without first sending a notice through the mail. Nor will the IRS ever ask for credit or debit cards over the phone or threaten you with arrest. If you get a call like this, hang up. If you are concerned that you may owe taxes, call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.

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Honoring 25 years of family leave, but looking for a better solution

by Sen. Angus King

I’m often asked why I’ve elected to run for public office as an independent rather than as a member of a political party. For me, the answer is simple: I believe that good ideas come from both the sides of the aisle, and prefer a path that allows me to focus on the people of Maine rather than a singular political party. When faced with two options that don’t reflect my perspective, I seek a third approach.

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Harrington News

This is a beautiful day. The sun is shining, it is warm, and FRANKIE’S TAKE OUT on Beal’s Island is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Right now they are open weekends. Call and check their schedule and be prepared for the best seafood anywhere. I had the scallop dinner and it was delicious!!!

The buoys and traps are being repaired for the 2018 lobster season!  It is lovely out on the water on a sunny day. Windy and rainy days are not ideal, but they still try to get out every day.

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UMaine welcomes new wild blueberry specialist

Lily Calderwood is the the new University of Maine Cooperative Extension wild blueberry specialist and assistant professor of horticulture.

Calderwood most recently worked with Cornell Cooperative Extension as a commercial horticulture educator. Her research interests include sustainable agriculture, soil health and integrated pest management, and farmer-to-farmer learning.

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Beals Islanders hold annual town meeting

by Nancy Beal

Approximately three dozen islanders turned out for the Beals annual town meeting held March 20 in the elementary school gymnasium. First Selectman Daniel Davis moderated the three-hour session during which the townspeople raised $246,305 to run the town in 2018. The most controversial item was an amendment to the harbor ordinance that sought to eliminate the need for a harbormaster to be a town resident.

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Tips and resources for older job seekers

Dear Savvy Senior,

What resources can you recommend to help older job seekers? I’m 60 and have been out of work for nearly a year now and need some help. 

Seeking Employment

Dear Seeking,

While the U.S. job market has improved dramatically over the past few years, challenges still persist for many older workers. To help you find employment, there are job resource centers and a wide variety of online tools specifically created for older job seekers. Here’s where you can find help.

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CDC warns of unlicensed tattoo artist in East Machias

If you received a tattoo at the location, the CDC recommend you get tested for Hep C, Hep B and HIV immediately.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) has become aware of an unlicensed tattoo artist working out of their home in East Machias. The home is located at 16 Cove Road in East Machias. The CDC said they are not releasing a name of the individual because they believe the person has been operating under multiple aliases. 

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Wesley News

 

Had a great time at Casey and Katrina’s open house. Everyone that was there on Sarturday the 17th got to meet Avangeline who was 11 days old. What a cutie. Even Carola was there holding the baby. The oldest resident and the youngest town resident, a good picture of the two. 

After dropping Linda and Judy off at home I picked up Mya and went to Jenn’s in Penobscot for the night. We went out to eat that night with Maddy, John, and Jenn. Had a good visit and told Maddy to have a good trip to Florida with friends. 

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Columbia News

 

On Sunday, March 18 we had our corn beef dinner with our children, Michelle and David McLaughlin and Zachary, Tiffany and Konner Strout all from Harrington. I love to have them all about for a meal. If only the other three children and their families were with us, too. It is hard when the others live away.

I guess the next gathering will be for Easter dinner and that is coming up soon. It seems I just sent out St. Patrick’s Day cards to the little ones and now Easter cards are already in the mail. How time flies from one holiday to another.

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Cherryfield and Milbridge news

 

Nancy Willey of Cherryfield recently spoke with me about her late husband, Carlton Willey, who played professional baseball from 1958 to 1963 for the Milwaukee Braves and the New York Mets. 

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CDC stresses importance of screening during NCC Awareness Month

As the nation recognizes March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages Mainers to talk with a healthcare provider about being screened for the disease. Colorectal cancer remains the third-leading cause of new cancer cases and cancer-related deaths in Maine.

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Letter to the Editor - Getting what you pay for

I watched the news this morning with great interest. Governor LePage would like to see the next Governor’s salary raised from $70,000 to $150,000 per year. A raise of over 100 percent. It is a tough request to sell us here in Down East Maine since he had no problem illegally closing the correctional facility in Machiasport, reducing the wages of all the staff members working there to zero.

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Letter to the Editor - An inconvenient development

Recycling at the Machias Transfer Station appears to be no longer available to many residents of Washington County, say two town employees. “There’s no money to be made recycling,” said one.

While trash receiving has long been limited to participating towns, recycling, according to their website (as of 3/18/2020) has been “open and free to all residents of the county.”

Information concerning the restriction  seems to be by word-of-mouth. That does not cut it. If true, we need a public statement by the Town of Machias in order to prevent selective banning.

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Forever remembered for paying the highest price

After World War II ended there was a joyous time of growth, renewal and abiding optimism. New houses and happy families, town basketball teams and pioneering commerce marked the country’s upward swing toward a progressive future.

Except for those who didn’t come home. Not all families were joyously embarking on new beginnings. Our prisoners of war and those missing in action will always be shrouded in an unknown abyss of loss and pain.

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Letter to the Editor - Let’s talk trash

As the deadline for town members to renew their contract with Pleasant River Solid Waste Disposal District (PRSWDD) draws near, the discussion of transfer stations seems to be generating more heat than light.  Competition from a business standpoint has always been healthy for small communities in Washington County, and when Mark Wright Transfer Station (MWTS) advertised a cost comparison to what town members are paying annually at PRSWDD (February 28 Edition of the Machias Valley News Observer), it opened an opportunity to discuss savings and negotiations.  

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Community Calendar

Upcoming events

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Celtic Concert: Richard Wood and Gordon Belsher, Eastport Arts Center. March 31, 7 p.m.

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The Beal Family will present an Easter benefit concert titled “O What a Savior” at Faith Bible Fellowship in Milbridge.  Love offering will be taken to benefit Randy Beal. Friday, March 30 at 7 p.m.

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Red Cross Blood Drive, Wednesday, April 4, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Regional Medical Center Lubec, 43 South Lubec Road, Lubec.

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Machias Wild Blueberry Festival T-Shirt Contest deadline announced

Organizers of the Machias Wild Blueberry Festival want to remind everyone that May 1 is the submission deadline to enter your design in the 2018 Machias Wild Blueberry Festival T-shirt Contest. The winner’s design will be used on T-shirts made for this year’s festival, August 17 – 19. Every year a different design is featured on the T-shirts, which are sold to hundreds of festival goers. Co-chair Nancy Lewis said that it’s always exciting to see so many colorful, creative designs.

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Towering over history

The Clark Perry House, seen here c. 1890,  is an elaborate Victorian home built by lumber baron Clark Perry in 1868. Perry was known for his love of horses, and the majority of the block where his former home stands was originally his horse track. The home was later owned by Emma Means, proprietress of the Machias Colonial Theater. U.S. Cellular plans to construct a 100’ cell tower next to the 48’ home, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Photo courtesy Beehive Design Collective

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Reed Pond charr restored

by V. Paul Reynolds

The American Fisheries Society recently presented the fisheries division of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIF&W) with a national award for cutting-edge work in the restoration of the native Arctic charr to Big Reed Pond in Piscataquis County.

Although the project was the work of many biologists and funded by a wide array of grant partners, northern Maine state fisheries biologist Frank Frost was singled out in the award for his dedication and diligent work on this fish restoration project.

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Centre Street marks Holy Week

Everyone is invited to participate in the events marking Holy Week with the faith community of Centre Street Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, in Machias this week. 

Maundy Thursday will be marked with a foot-washing service at 7 p.m., March 29, in the church vestry.

The sanctuary of Centre Street Church will be open for reflection on Good Friday, March 30. Drop by anytime between 2 and 7 p.m. and walk around to different Stations of the Cross, taking the time to meditate on what each one means to you.

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Explore WA Day set for April 5

Local eighth graders are invited to learn more about Washington Academy on Thursday, April 5.

Starting at 7:45 a.m. students will explore the WA campus, meet teachers, and learn what to expect from high school at WA. 

In the evening at 5 p.m. prospective students and their families are invited to an open house.Dinner will be served, and attendees will  hear presentations about WA’s many programs, meet the faculty and administration and tour the school. Call 255-8301, x.210 for more information.

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RMG Principal’s Message

by  Joyce Fragale

We continue to work to complete our State Assessments for grades 3-8.  Grades 3, 7, and 8 will be testing during the upcoming week.  Your classroom teacher will notify you of testing dates for your child’s grade.  Please make sure that students are well rested, and have a good breakfast so that they are able to do their best work.  

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Tourney records downeast

by Phil Stuart

Over the years, Bob Butler of York, Maine had been compiling tournament records for all classes of high school boys and girls that took place in the Northern and Southern Maine tournaments.

Butler is a former Machias Bulldog and Machias native who graduated from Machias Memorial High School in 1941.

Several tournament records are currently held by players from Washington County teams and several Washington County teams have established records as well.

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Umpires needed

by Phil Stuart

The Downeast Board of Approved Umpires will be holding their weekly meetings and are in need of new umpires to officiate both baseball and softball games.

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Happy endings in Hermon

by Phil Stuart

Athletes transfer to other schools for a variety of reasons. In today’s world the term school loyalty does not exist. An athlete can grow up in a community and play with a group of teammates from elementary school into high school.

Today athletes don’t hesitate to transfer if the right opportunity arises.

When an athlete transfers, it isn’t for academic reasons. Normally he or she feels that the school they are going to has a better chance of succeeding than the one they are currently attending.

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Blood donors urged to help restock Red Cross shelves after severe winter storms

Though spring has officially arrived, the American Red Cross blood supply is still recovering from severe winter storms in March. Donors of all blood types are urged to roll up a sleeve and help save lives.

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Teresa Charlene (Gray) Norman Jayess, - Mississippi

Teresa Charlene (Gray) Norman, age 90, passed away peacefully at her home in Jayess, Mississippi February 28, 2018. She was born in Jacksonville, Maine on July 21, 1927 to Grace D.Gray and Maxwell E. Gray. They preceded her in death as well as her husband William Randolph Norman, sister and brother-in-law Gwendolyn and Bruce Trenholm, sister-in-law Roseanne Gray, step-mother Phyllis Gray and step-brother Joe Morrill and many beloved aunts, uncles and cousins.

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Library to preview ‘Bill Nye: Science Guy’

Preview the PBS documentary “Bill Nye: Science Guy” at Porter Memorial Library on Friday, April 6. Photo courtesy PBS POV Community Network

Come to Porter Memorial Library on Friday, April 6 at 7 p.m. for a preview of Public Broadcasting System (PBS) documentary “Bill Nye: Science Guy”. In the 90-minute film by filmmakers David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg, Bill Nye explains his mission to stop the spread of anti-scientific thinking. Well-known as the star of a popular 1990’s children’s TV show, Nye now poses important questions to grownups about the role of evidence-based science education in public life.  Discussion to follow the film will be led by Dr. Mark Brown of Machias.

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Music producer to present Judy Garland’s place in the Great American Songbook

Lawrence Schulman

Award-winning music producer, critic and translator Lawrence Schulman will give a talk on Judy Garland entitled “Moments of Magic,” at the Porter Memorial Library in Machias, Maine on Wednesday, April 11 at 7 p.m.. Admission is free. The talk will examine Judy Garland’s life and career and will feature nine audio-video clips, to be followed by a question and answer session. Schulman will endeavor to answer the question: “If I had about one hour to convince you of Judy Garland’s place in classic American popular music, what film and television performances would I choose?” 

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Rhythms of the Heart film presentation

Honoring the life of Passamaquoddy craftsman David Moses Bridges

The Grand Theatre, in partnership with the Beth Wright Cancer Resource Center and the Abbe Museum, is proud to present “Rhythms of the Heart”, a film by Maine filmmaker Thom Willey. This is the story of David Moses Bridges, a Passamaquoddy craftsman who specialized in birch bark canoe making and basketry. David balanced his family life, artwork, and culture while undergoing treatment for cancer. His legacy is one of perseverance, tradition, and passion.

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Public invited to discuss marijuana with Machias town officials April 4

The town of Machias has scheduled a public work session to discuss marijuana for Wednesday, April 4 at 6 p.m. The session was scheduled after a public hearing held on Wednesday, March 21. See “Public weighs in…” page 1.

“We would like public participation and input,” said town manager Christina Therrien. “Please come see us.”

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Whitneyville Public Library receives grant to purchase children’s books

The Whitneyville Public Library has received a $1,000 grant from the Rose and Samuel Rudman Grant of the Maine Community Foundation to purchase children’s books to help supplement our book and storyteller service to Rose M. Gaffney, Jonesboro Elementary and the Wesley Elementary Schools.

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Lamb House annual meeting set for April 8

The Lamb House, providing short term housing for families who have lost their home due to fire or other natural disaster, will hold their annual meeting on Sunday, April 8 at 12:15 pm. at the First Congregational Church 12 River Road, Cherryfield.  The public is welcome to attend.  The home serves southern Washington County. For more information contact Peter Duston at 546-7559.

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Public weighs in on truck limits and recreational marijuana

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

The Machias Town Offices were overflowing on Wednesday, March 21 as the public lined up to discuss truck traffic and recreational marijuana at two separate public hearings.

Machias Director of Public Works Mike Schoppee presented the town’s proposal to consider permanent weight restrictions on the East Kennebec Road and the Cross Road, and seasonal weight restrictions on the West Kennebec Road.

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Post 9’s birthday dovetails with Legion’s centennial year

by Ruth Leubecker

Embedded in little-known history and often occupying an understated community role, the American Legion is announcing a year of events focusing on its 100th birthday.  

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Rep. Fredette visits Downeast Correctional Facility

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

On the morning of Monday, March 21, Downeast Correctional Facility (DCF) retiree Kevin Millay went to Helen’s Restaurant to attend a meeting of former prison employees and their supporters.

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Estate planning seminar in Machias

Washington County Thriving in Place is bringing Rebecca J. Sargent, Esq. of Jones, Kuriloff & Sargent, LLC in Ellsworth, to Machias on May 22 for a  three-hour seminar on Estate Planning Basics.  This free event will provide strategies to give caregivers and family members the legal and financial resources to care for loved ones and themselves. Topics include Powers of Attorney, Advanced Care Directives, Wills & Trusts and asset protection.  This seminar will be held at the Kay Parker Building of Sunrise Opportunities in Machias from 1 to 4 p.m.

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Public meeting set for Machias dike

The Maine Department of Transportation will host a public meeting to discuss options for the replacement of the aging Machias dike on Route 1. 

The preliminary public meeting has been scheduled for Monday, April 2 at 6 p.m. at the University of Maine at Machias, Science Building Room 102.

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State’s DCF numbers raise more questions than answers

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Governor LePage has gone on record saying that he closed the Downeast Correctional Facility (DCF) because it was too expensive to operate. 

“That prison costs more per prisoner, minimum security prison, costs more to hold and imprison than the maximum security prison in Warren,” said LePage in an interview with WGME last week. 

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Revolutionary times at Pleasant River

A most interesting account of the very early days in the settlement of Pleasant River (now the area of Columbia/Columbia Falls) appeared in the October 25, 1875 edition of the Machias Union.

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Threads - Harriet’s story

by Sherry Rier

This is the last of four installments in the story of Harriet Means Johnson, the grandmother of local author Sherry Rier. For more of Rier’s writing about Harriet and her family’s local history, visit www.voicesofancestors.wordpress.com. 

Monday A.M. 

On the train. 

February 17, 1908

My dear Mother and Father, 

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Guest Voice - Helping veterans while creating jobs

by Sen. Joyce Maker

There’s been a lot of worrisome news for Washington County out of Augusta lately, but in spite of the headlines and the uncertainty that still plagues Downeast Correctional Facility, there are some great things happening this session at the State House. 

A prime example is a new law, sponsored by my colleague Representative Brad Farrin (R-Norridgewock), which will help fill some of the critical medical vacancies around the state while also helping our veterans more successfully transition to civilian life.

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Editor's Desk

I’m writing this editorial from my grandmother’s screened porch in Naples, Florida and I’m not going to sugarcoat this — the grass is green, and the weather is nice. It’s a little bit of a shock to the system, but I think I’ll manage. 

 Yesterday I visited a Super Target that I swear contained more humans than the town of Machiasport. Not much in Washington County compares for population density, and I’m okay with that because I’ve already been honked at twice for moving too slowly off of stop signs. 

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Scallop lottery, Lobster Marketing Collaborative sail to final passage in House

On Thursday, the Maine House of Representatives voted to pass a bill extending Maine’s lobster marketing collaborative an additional three years, as well as a bill to set up a lottery for new entrants into the state’s scallop fishery.

 “Both bills went through pretty easily,” Rep. Will Tuell (R-East Machias) said. “There were no official roll calls taken in either case and both got the two-thirds’ support they needed in order to go into effect once they make their way through the legislative process.”

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Letter to the Editor - Poliquin beholden to big banks

I am looking forward to November 6 when I have the opportunity to vote for someone who is not beholden to Wall Street and big banks like Congressman Bruce Poliquin is.

How can we expect a politician to vote in our best interests when he has received $388,000 in this election cycle alone from finance, insurance, and real estate sectors? These are the very industries that Poliquin is in charge of regulating. 

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