1. Passamaquoddy website offers new cultural resource

    by Lura Jackson

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  2. The extraordinary history of Columbia’s Epping Baseline

    Editor’s note: This concise history of the Epping Baseline is excerpted from an article written by Burni Andres for the 150th anniversary of the baseline in 2007. It is reprinted here with permission of the Cherryfield Narraguagus Historical Society. The full text can be found on their website, www.cherryfieldhistorical.com.

    In the early 1800s the accuracy of existing nautical charts was poor.

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  3. Visiting the Epping Base Line with Nancy Willey - Columbia’s historic and natural wonder

     

    by Ronie Strout

    Saturday, Sept. 29 started with a foggy morning with the fog soon burning off. Sixteen folks got on a bus to hear Nancy Willey speak about the Epping Base Line in Columbia. The bus tour started at the Union Hall in Columbia Falls at 9 a.m. and we traveled up to Centerville to begin learning about kames, kettle holes and to ride across a natural bridge.

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  4. Undeniable and Savage Management bring rap show back to Eastport Arts Center

     

    Eastport Arts Center will host Octobris Natus, a live rap show, on Friday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. The organizers are planning a Halloween-themed event with costumes encouraged; the concert is dedicated to raising awareness of suicide in memory of Cedric Altvater, cousin of Ashton Altvater (AKA Undeniable) and good friend to Sebastian Francis of Savage Music.

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  5. The trail provides: A season of miracles on the Pacific Crest Trail

     

    by Amy Dowley

    Editor’s note: Local hiker Amy Dowley recently completed the renowned Pacific Crest Trail, the western cousin to Maine’s beloved Appalachian Trail. I asked her to share her extraordinary and impressive experience with us, and am very pleased to bring it to you here in the first of this two-part series.

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  6. Saying goodbye to a friend

     

    by Wayne Smith

    You think that friends will live forever but sometimes they can go in a blink of an eye, just like a light switch. Alvah Fickett was a friend who grew up about two miles from the farm where I lived who recently passed away unexpectedly. He was 52 years old.

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  7. Birch Boletes

    by Hazel Stark

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  8. Beloved local couple celebrates 70th wedding anniversary

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    It’s no accident that the 70th wedding anniversary is marked with one of the most precious metals on earth — platinum — because couples who reach their 70th anniversary are part of a small, exclusive club. So small, in fact, that the U.S. Census Bureau doesn’t have statistics on marriages that last so long.

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  9. Lobstermen tell Cooke ‘No!’ to salmon pen proposal

    by Nancy Beal

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  10. UMM tackles ‘acute’ statewide shortage with new engineering program

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Emma Rogers was in high school when the University of Maine started looking at ways to attract students into the field of engineering. By the time she was ready to apply to college, the new Engineering Pathways program looked like a perfect fit. 

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  11. Calais votes against retail recreational marijuana sales

    by Lura Jackson

    The City of Calais will not allow recreational retail marijuana sales following a public hearing and vote on Thursday, Sept. 27. While the 6-1 vote against the ordinance was decisive, the discussion yielded pros and cons. The medicinal marijuana outlets will continue operations without interruption. 

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  12. Man with a mission running in rural Congressional District 2

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Up against two favored major party candidates, Will Hoar is relying on a strong double-pronged message in his candidacy for Maine’s congressional District 2 seat.

    Rep. Bruce Poliquin, the GOP incumbent running for a third term, faces Jared Golden, a young Democrat, politically backgrounded, aiming to make government more responsive. They both have healthy financial coffers and prime-time advertising running nearly non-stop as November 6 approaches.

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  13. Machias Downtown Resilience and Renewal community meeting Oct. 15

    Are you a business owner, resident or property owner in downtown Machias? Are you concerned about flooding and erosion issues in downtown Machias? Please make time for a community meeting on October 15 from 5-7 p.m.  in Science 102 at the University of Maine at Machias.

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  14. When the lights came on in Machias

     

    A very interesting story of how and when electric lights first came to Machias appeared in a January 31, 1903 issue of the Machias Republican. The following is a condensed version of that article.   

    MACHIAS ELECTRIC COMPANY

    In the 1890’s interest in electric power grew very strong in Washington County and it was in that decade that electric companies began operating in a number of towns throughout the county.

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  15. One weekend in September

     

    by Wayne Smith

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  16. KinderArts’ Tiny Yogis extended into November

     

    The Eastport Arts Center’s KinderArts program’s popular Tiny Yogis sessions have been extended and will run weekly on Thursdays from 9:30-10:15 a.m. through November 15. Instructor Caroline DiLio will teach yoga through music, dance and storybooks, and young participants will even learn meditation.

    Owner of Maine Moon Kids Yoga, DiLio is a certified children’s yoga teacher and a mother of three. She takes a creative approach to teaching children, including games, crafts and sometimes even Minecraft poses. Learn more about her at mainemoonkidsyoga.weebly.com.

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  17. Next Step shines a light on domestic violence Downeast

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A march organized by the Next Step Domestic Violence Project left Station 1898 in Machias and received cheers and supportive honks as the marchers made their way up College Hill to the university lawn. There, Next Step Prevention and Education Advocate Cheyenne Robinson-Bauman lit a tree wrapped in purple lights in recognition of the 1,000 people assisted each year by the Next Step’s shelters in Washington and Hancock County. 

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  18. Moosabec lobstermen to fight proposed salmon pens

    by Nancy Beal

    The Canadian aquaculture giant Cooke Aquaculture, currently the holder of three licenses for salmon pens in Eastern Bay between Beals Island and Jonesport’s Head Harbor Island, is poised to ask for a fourth site: 44.4 acres in the middle of Mud Hole Channel between Mink Island and Beals’ Mud Hole Point, the southern bound of a long inlet known as the Mud Hole.

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  19. Board moves to put Machias on electric vehicle map

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    On Wednesday, Sept. 26 Gordon Beck of Mt. Desert nonprofit A Climate to Thrive presented a proposal to the Machias Board of Selectmen at their regular bi-monthly meeting. 

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  20. Slow Money invited to Machias to exchange growth ideas

    by Ruth Leubecker

    In a significant step forward, Slow Money Maine will come to Machias on October 10  to confer with stakeholders about connecting to funding sources and building technical food systems and flourishing communities.

    Over the past nine years, SMM, a statewide network of more than 1,700 people, has focused on food deficiencies and communities that need a boost. Since 2010 the group has connected more than 366 farmers, fishermen and related food businesses to funding sources. 

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  21. County committee kicks off annual budget review

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The Washington County Budget Committee met in Machias on Thursday, Sept. 26 to begin combing through a thick binder containing the proposed county budget for the 2019 fiscal year.

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  22. PML readies for Downeast Fashion Show Gala capital campaign kick-off

    On Friday, Oct. 19 hometown pride teams up with the local funny bone when Porter Memorial Library presents The Downeast Fashion Show Gala to kick off its capital fundraising campaign. The library is raising money for major construction at its 92 Court Street location. The expansion will create access for everyone by means of a new addition and elevator.

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  23. Rotary meetings feature local candidates

     

    On Tuesday, Sept. 25 district attorney Matthew Foster presented to the Rotary. The public is invited to attend the meetings which begin with socializing and dinner ordered individually from the menu at 5:15 p.m., and a speaker presentation at 6 p.m. Photos by Bob McCollum

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  24. Trash and school security on September board agenda in Machias

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A.O.S. 96 Superintendent Scott Porter spoke with the Machias Selectboard during their normal bi-weekly meeting held Wednesday, Sept. 12. Porter updated the board on the Machias schools’ effort to hire a resource officer, a position the district advertised to no avail. A school resource officer provides a law enforcement presence on school campuses.

    Porter said Machias Town Manager Christina Therrien suggested a candidate for the part-time officer role, Bill Sternberg, who then interviewed successfully with the school. 

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  25. Migliorelli brings music to Milbridge

     

    by Wayne Smith

    Frank Migliorelli brought his music to the Milbridge Theatre Outdoor Stage in one of the last concerts of the season. He wore a blue, long-sleeved shirt, blue jeans and cowboy boots. His gray hair was parted in the middle. The crowd was taking it in. Migliorelli talked to the crowd in between his songs. As the sun went down he took off his sunglasses and perched on a wooden stool, moving it around several times, just to get it right. He brought two guitars with him to play.

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  26. Blue Devils name race after Coty, Five teams compete in event

     

    by John Rogers

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  27. Holmes celebrates 20 years of massage, looks ahead to new chapter

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Katherine Holmes was studying to be an occupational therapist when a comment from her teacher shifted her career trajectory.

    “There was a piece on learning about massage and one my instructors said, ‘You’re really good at this,’” said Holmes. 

    She finished her bachelors degree in occupational therapy but after 14 years turned her sights toward massage therapy. 

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  28. 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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  29. 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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  30. 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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  31. 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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  32. 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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  33. 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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  34. 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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  35. 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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  36. 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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  37. The wild cucumber

     

    by Joseph Horn

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  38. 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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  39. 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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  40. 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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  41. Oldest field recordings in world bring Passamaquoddy language, history to life

     

    by Lura Jackson

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  42. Indian Day Celebration to be held this weekend at Indian Township

     

    by Lura Jackson

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  43. ‘Jonesport America’: the making of a town history

     

    by Nancy Beal

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  44. Mills in Machias

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  45. 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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