Balloon artist and comedian coming to UMM

 

John Cassidy, a professional comedian, magician and balloon artist, will perform at the University of Maine at Machias on Thursday, September 6 at 8 p.m. Cassidy holds several Guinness World Records for his balloon sculpting speed. He has appeared numerous times on television as either a stand-up comedian or magician, including appearances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Martha Stewart Living, the Today Show and Live with Regis and Kelly. 

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Budgeting dominates discussion at Machias board meeting

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

At a meeting of the Machias Selectboard on Wednesday, Aug. 22 the board signed the Whitneyville Waste Disposal Agreement for the agreement year beginning Sept. 1. Selectman James Whalen asked if the agreement allowed for raising prices throughout the year should Machias’ costs rise, too.

“We would adjust in the following year,” said chairman Joshua Rolfe. “We’re committed, it’s a contract, we’re signing on for a year with them.”

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Geriatrics seminar focuses on growing elderly community

by Ruth Leubecker

Successful aging, home options and reimagining long-term care are relevant segments offered at the 13th Annual Geriatrics Colloquium in Orono on October 12. 

The all-encompassing, full-day session at the Wells Conference Center covers a wealth of topics relevant to everyday life in Washington County. Thriving in place has special significance to a demographic where 34 percent of those receiving services at Eastport Health Center are at least 65; where 50 Mainers turn 65 every day; where by 2020 one in five Mainers will be over 65. 

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Eastport Pirate Festival offers many returning favorites

 

by Lura Jackson

The largest pirate festival in New England is about to take place, and area residents with a lean toward creative, rambunctious family fun are highly encouraged to attend. Running from Sept. 7-9 in Eastport, this year’s festival once again features high-quality attractions and events for all ages.

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Machias Harvest Fair and Fiber Festival set for Sept. 15

 

The 5th Annual Machias Harvest Fair and its new companion, the Machias Fiber Festival, are set to celebrate the delights of a Downeast autumn on Saturday, Sept. 15.

The annual harvest fair hosts 30+ vendors of locally made, grown and created fine products. There will be farmers, quilters, stained glass, woodworkers and more. This year, cooks can enter the Chili Contest and the confident among us should try their powers of bird persuasion in the first annual Seagull Calling Contest. There will be live music and a kids activity area. Admission is free. 

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Jonesporters vote to discontinue Ice Hill South

 

by Nancy Beal

After nearly a year of listening to bickering between the five residents of Jonesport’s Ice Hill South, townspeople voted last week to abandon, or discontinue, the short lane between Main Street and Moosabec Reach. At a special town meeting August 29 and after over an hour of discussion during which anger and frustration surfaced and moderator Jane McMichen admonished speakers to address her and not each other, voters opted by a margin of 18 to six to cede jurisdiction and with it, all town services.

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Jonesport Avenue status questioned by Charles Look

 

by Nancy Beal

Jonesport Avenue: public or private? That was the issue brought to selectmen August 29 by Charles Look who, with his brother Ed, owns and operates a seafood business at what was originally a sardine factory on Moosabec Reach east of the Beals Island Bridge. A recent code violation for an unpermitted paved path and doorstep to a building he had recently built alerted him that the loop road, that he had always assumed was a private way owned by him and his brother, was considered a town road where construction was bound by town ordinances.

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LiBrizzi’s passion for community opens Friday night mic

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

We know that Maine has one of the most aging populations in the nation, and we know that Washington County has a hard time retaining its young people. But Tyler LiBrizzi knows a thing or two about what young people want, and he’s working hard to create that in Machias.

“I want to stay here as a young person. I think there’s a lot of potential here,” said LiBrizzi. “Especially as a young person who wants to practice sustainable agriculture.” LiBrizzi is in his twenties and lives in Machiasport. 

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Good Read: A History of Reading by Alberto Manguel, Penguin Books, 1996

 

by Charles W, Lightner, Friend of Porter Memorial Library

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National Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month events at UMM

University of Maine at Machias, in conjunction with Atlantic Mental Health Center and the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Maine, will hold workshops and events addressing the prevention of suicide in September, National Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month. 

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Machias Bay Harvest Fair celebrates autumn Downeast

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

The Machias Bay Harvest Fair is celebrating its fifth birthday this year, staying true to its roots as a family celebration while adding a few new attractions for good measure.

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1st Annual Machias Fiber Festival to bring vendors, artists to harvest fair

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Starting a local fiber festival is something Rhonda Craven dreamed of for many years, but when she and a local group of yarn enthusiasts got down to work, the event came together in only six weeks. 

“At the end of July we just said, ‘Let’s do this,’” said Craven. “In a month and a half, everything has just fallen into place and has gone very smoothly. I’ve got a great group of ladies. They just have been over the top wanting to help, volunteering.”

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Annual Dash of Color Set for September 15 in Machias

 

Healthy Acadia will host its annual “A Dash of Color” 5K Fun Run/Walk on the morning of the Machias Harvest and Fiber Festivals, Saturday, Sept. 15. The non-competitive run/walk will start and finish at the Rose M. Gaffney School in Machias. Registration opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 8:45 a.m.; the run/walk will start promptly at 9 a.m. Event proceeds will benefit Healthy Acadia’s Down East Teen Leadership Camp and local initiatives focused on substance education, prevention, support and recovery. 

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The Nature of Phenology

Cluster flies

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Memories of my father

by Wayne Smith

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DECH would give Jonesport former nursing home building

 

by Nancy Beal

Billy Milliken said in last week’s board meeting that he had finally received a response from Down East Community Hospital to the town’s request for the former Sunrise Care Facility building and the beds that were in it. (Besides being a Jonesport selectman, Milliken chairs the board of the Arnold Memorial Medical Center, which is eyed as the ultimate recipient of SCF.)

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Mermaid shines as versatile musician

 

by Ruth Leubecker

 A Mermaid’s Tail, this year’s Wild Blueberry Festival musical, received rave reviews from many attendees. A big part of the applause was attributed to the stage presence and impressive voice of the mermaid, as played by Eustacia Landrum.

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Machias board discusses replacement compactor

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

At an extra meeting held Wednesday, Sept. 5 the Machias Board of Selectmen began with a moment of silence in honor of Warren Gay who passed away in Machias on Aug. 29. Gay served on the board since 2005, and spent many years as the board chairman.

The board also reviewed quotes for a new replacement trash compactor. The town’s previous compactor is broken beyond repair.

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Axiom grant to improve digital equity, inclusion Downeast

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

A recent grant to Axiom’s National Digital Equity Center will translate into free public trainings for Mainers who want to improve their digital literacy in pursuit of better jobs, a better quality of life, or even a better experience aging at home. 

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Stone Soup Cafe lost to fire on 9/11, firefighters honor the fallen

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

A 2 a.m. emergency phone call reported smoke on Route 1 in East Machias on Tuesday, Sept. 11. When fire crews arrived to the Stone Soup Cafe and Market only minutes later, the back of the structure was already fully engulfed.

“There was no interior attack because by the time we got there and got water on it, shortly after it was what we call ‘flashed over,’” said East Machias Fire Chief Jack Gardner.

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Marshfield Fire Department fundraising to prevent firefighter cancer

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

With the recent anniversary of September 11’s terror attacks, cancer rates among New York City’s firefighters received national media attention. According to one union study more than 1,000 of its 9/11 first responders have been diagnosed with cancer, respiratory issues and other illnesses subsequent to working at ground zero.

But increased cancer rates have become a problem for firefighters nationwide, not only in city fire departments.

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Former Machias smoke shop operator arrested for trafficking

 

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Kristian Crowley of Jonesport and Machias is currently being held at the Washington County jail in Machias. Bail was initially set at $25,000, then reduced to $3,000 cash or $30,000 surety on Tuesday, Sept. 12. Crowley was previously on probation and therefore remains at the jail. His attorney is Jeffrey Davidson of Machias.

State Police arrested Crowley on Tuesday, Sept. 11 and charged him with unlawful traffickig of scheduled drugs.

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Marshfield firefighters fundraise for urgent cancer prevention gear

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

With the recent anniversary of September 11’s terror attacks high cancer rates among firefighters have received widespread attention.  According to one NY firefighters union, more than 1,000 of its 9/11 first responders have been diagnosed with cancer and respiratory issues after responding to ground zero. But cancer has become a problem for firefighters nationwide, not only city fire departments.  

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Stone Soup Cafe lost to fire on 9/11, firefighters honor the fallen

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon 

A 2 a.m. emergency phone call reported smoke on Route 1 in East Machias on Tuesday, Sept. 11. When fire crews arrived to the Stone Soup Cafe and Market only minutes later, the back of the structure was already fully engulfed. 

“There was no interior attack because by the time we got there and got water on it, shortly after it was what we call ‘flashed over,’” said East Machias Fire Chief Jack Gardner.

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Legislative session edges to finale, prison alive on back burner

by Ruth Leubecker

Although Downeast Correctional Facility is closed, five votes short of remaining open, it remains a simmering issue in the months ahead.

“I plan on putting in a bill for consideration in January that will reopen it,” announced Rep. Will Tuell last week. “It may not be the same size facility, but my hope is that we will be able to use the same location. This will be decided when the next legislature convenes.”

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Jonesport library: “paddling” for proceeds

 

by Nancy Beal

In 2018, Jonesport’s Peabody Memorial Library offered birdhouses to school students who decorated them and returned them to the library where they were (silently) auctioned off. In 2019, it will be miniature paddles with which the Art in the Library committee hopes to pad their coffers.

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Mother-daughter duo performs at EAC

 

Mother and daughter duo of flutists, Sarah Lord (left) and Luna Lord of Machias perform the allegro movement from Telemann’s Fantasia together.

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Synergy with Orono and student excellence top priorities for new UMM VP and Head of Campus

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

 Dr. Andy Egan’s bags are unpacked, he’s over his jet lag and he’s hard at work on his top priority — gathering his community’s input, both on campus and off. 

Two months ago Egan arrived in Machias fresh from a tour with the Peace Corps in Liberia to assume his new role as vice president and head of campus at the University of Maine at Machias.

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Area schools collaborate to expand career and tech education

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

M.S.A.D. 37 Superintendent Ron Ramsay is leading a collaborative effort between schools stretching from Harrington to East Machias that could secure the region its first ever dedicated Career and Technical Education (CTE) facility.

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Struggle for control ignores Downeast Senate seat

by Ruth Leubecker

Power splits in the upcoming election have focused on the effects of term limits and key seats, but little attention given to incumbent Joyce Maker’s decision not to run.

The popular legislator from Calais, in deciding to step down, has Christina Therrien, Machias town manager, and Marianne Moore, former Calais mayor, vying for the spot. Therrien, a Democrat, and Moore, a Republican, are both strong and accomplished civic leaders. 

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11th WaCo Cancer Conference to spotlight new therapies

by Nancy Beal

Dr. Philip Brooks of Eastern Maine Medical Center’s CancerCare of Maine will be the featured speaker at next month’s Washington County Cancer Conference entitled “Cancer: There is Hope Here in Washington County,” scheduled for Friday, October 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Pellon Center in Machias. It will be the eleventh year that a consortium of health care providers and supporters has mounted the daylong event in the Sunrise County.

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Main Street era comes to a close with weekend auction, MSB expansion in works

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

A public auction set for Sept. 28-29 in Machias will close a 20-year period when Main Street Discount occupied a central position in downtown Machias. The public may enter the building to inspect the auction items beginning at 8 a.m. each day, with the actual auction starting at 9:30. The auctioneer is Melissa Wells. Machias Savings Bank has purchased the property.

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MVNO receives four statewide press awards

Last week the Maine Press Association awarded the Machias Valley News Observer four prizes in its 2018 Better Newspaper Contest. The contest evaluated content created between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018.

-Ruth Leubecker and Sarah Craighead Dedmon were awarded third place for the MVNO editorial section. The decision was based on a sampling of MVNO editorial sections over the award year and measured both writing and quality of community engagement.

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Wesley

by Camille Hawkins

I went to my granddaughter Maddy's volleyball game at Machias High School on Saturday afternoon. It was a good game against Bucksport.

Linda and I made a pineapple cream cake for Becky's birthday at Bear Camp. We had a great time. One of the bear hunters has a birthday and we're making a chocolate cake for his birthday on Thursday night.

I let three more male monarch butterflies go the last couple of days, there is one left to go. The monarchs are making a comeback, which is great.

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Life and times of being an activity director

 

by Wayne Smith

Narraguagus Bay Health Care Facility in Milbridge has different activities going on throughout the year that gets the residents fired up. Heaven Jones, Activity Director, sat down and talked to me about some of the activities there.

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October Scarecrow Contest to showcase community spirit

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Grab a hay bale and start sketching plans for your award-winning scarecrow because October is going to be the month Machias shows off its community pride with the annual scarecrow contest.

“We want them on lawns, we want them on light poles, windows, we want those everywhere, so that people will come to Machias to see them!” said Machias Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Director Sharon Mack.

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The wild cucumber

 

by Joseph Horn

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Movie set built and burned for Downeast history film

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

When America thinks of redcoats and patriots our minds go to scenes set in present-day Massachusetts and iconic battles we learned about in school, such as Concord and Lexington.

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