1. AG Mills calls for immediate legislative fix to RCV law

    The issue raised by the Secretary of State this morning, which I was made aware of for the first time today, needs to be addressed immediately so that the will of the people may be respected.  The more than 62,000 citizens who signed the Peoples’ Veto petitions deserve to have their voices heard.  The will of the people must not be thwarted by some technicality in the law.

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  2. Secretary Dunlap posts notice of emergency rulemaking for RCV

    Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap has posted notice of the emergency rule-making for ranked-choice voting, as the state prepares to use the ranked-choice method of voting for the first time in the June 12, 2018 Primary Election.

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  3. Cherryfield and Milbridge news


    On four separate occasions, I have visited Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts to interview different Red Sox Players. I thought, with opening day upon us I would give the readers some insight into my experiences there.

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  4. Harrington News

    Today Charlie, Tim, Dea, and I enjoyed a wonderful meal at the Good and Plenty buffet in Milbridge.  It is so nice there. The food is delicious, the service is fast, and it is so great to see friends there. I highly recommend everyone try it.  You will really enjoy everything about it.

    Charlie has been sanding the hardwood floor in our kitchen.  He is doing is great job. This house is one hundred and one years old.  I cannot even think about all the footsteps that have gone through here.

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  5. Columbia News

    The month has flown by quite fast, I am not sure if I got done everything I thought I needed to do but that is okay as it looks like warmer weather is on its way. With the sun getting higher and higher in the sky it is warming up. We will probably get some cool days and one or two more snow storms but it will not last long now. 

    The physical education class was able to go this past week sledding, and they looked like they were having fun. The snow is all gone where they were sledding from the rain we received.

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  6. Whitneyville Library news

    Spring must be here!  Its that time again for our annual monthly suppers to begin. The first supper of the season is April 7 at 5 p.m. at the Hillgrove Community Center in Whitneyville. Turkey with all the fixings along with Janet’s rolls are on the menu. Homemade pies and cakes will round out the menu along with coffee, tea, ice water and lemonade. The Friends of the Whitneyville Library put on six public suppers a year. So if you like good food and great company then shake off those cabin fever and winter blues and join us!

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  7. Wesley News

    Carola’s daughter-in-law, Sharon, is staying with her for a few weeks. One week down, one to go for her cracked elbow.

    Pot luck supper is on April 4th at the Wesley Community building at 6 p.m. Weather has been getting warmer and hopefully snow is down for this year.

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  8. Jonesport special meeting: abandon Ice Hill South? loan school repair money?


    by Nancy Beal

    Jonesport selectmen finally got a response to their letter to residents on Ice Hill South, a lane that runs from Main Street toward Moosabec Reach where neighbors have been at odds in a standoff that resulted in the town’s snow plow contractor refusing to remove snow from the congested area last winter. The break in the impasse prompted selectmen March 28 to call for a hearing and perhaps a special town meeting.

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  9. How to choose a memory care unit

    Dear Savvy Senior,

    My mom has Alzheimer’s disease and has gotten to the point that she can’t live at home any longer. I need to find a good memory care residential unit for her but could use some help. Any suggestions?

    Exhausted Daughter

    Dear Exhausted,

    Choosing a good memory care residential unit for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease is a very important decision that requires careful evaluation and some homework. 

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  10. Community Calendar

    Upcoming events

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

    • • • • • •

    Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony Orchestra rehearsals resume in preparation for June concerts, new members welcome, Eastport Arts Center. April 5, 7-9:30 p.m.


    Red Cross Blood Drive, Saturday, April 7, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Community of Christ Church, 148 Main Street, Jonesport.

    • • • • • •

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  11. George Flynn - Bucks Harbor

    George Flynn died unexpectedly after a brief hospital stay at Eastern Maine Medical Center on Sunday, March 18, 2018.

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  12. Dorothy A. Johnson - Robbinston

    Dorothy Ann Johnson, 70, passed away at her home on March 27, 2018 with her nieces by her side and her cat at her feet. Dorothy was born to Clarence and Estella (Barnes) Johnson on July 17, 1947 in Calais. 

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  13. Ellery (Bud) Morrell Merchant - Addison

    Ellery (Bud) Morrell Merchant Jr., 82, passed away on March 24, 2018 at a Lewiston hospital.

    He was born on November 14, 1935 on Beals Island, Maine, the son of Ellery Morrell Merchant, Sr. and Jessie Amanda Beal Merchant.

    He attended Beals Elementary School. He was a clam digger, worm digger, did some lobster fishing, seining, worked in a mill and for a moving van company.  He coached elementary boys’ basketball and only lost three games. He played town team basketball and traveled to Canada with them.

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  14. Sandra P. Feeney Jackman

    On Wednesday March 28, 2018 Sandra P. Feeney unexpectedly passed from this world. She was born on July 8, 1943 in Addison, Maine. She was schooled in the Jonesport and Machias school systems, graduated in 1961, and later attended college in Rock Hill, South Carolina and then Husson College in Bangor, Maine. 

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  15. Sophia DeSchiffart receives MPA Principal’s Award


    Sophia DeSchiffart of Cherryfield, a senior at Narraguagus Jr. and Sr. High School, has been selected by Principal Lucille Willey to receive the 2018 Principal’s Award. The award, sponsored by the Maine Principal’s Association, is given in recognition of a high school senior’s academic achievement and citizenship.

    Throughout the four years at Narraguagus, Sophia has distinguished herself as co-valedictorian of her class.  

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  16. WA senior Farnsworth awarded MPA award


    Cameryn Farnsworth, a senior at Washington Academy, has been selected to receive the 2018 Principal’s Award, Head of School Judson McBrine announced today. The award sponsored by the Maine Principal’s Association is given in recognition of a high school senior’s academic achievement and citizenship. Cameryn is the daughter of Tracy and Theresa Farnsworth of East Machias.

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  17. Girls 2017-18 hoops wrap up

    by Phil Stuart

    The 2017-18 high school basketball season is now in the record books.

    It was a tough season for a lot of area schools.

    Going into the season, Calais and Narraguagus girls were the favorites to go deep into the playoffs along with Woodland in Class D.

    Woodland was one of the Class D favorites and Michelle Ripley’s club made it to the Northern Maine title contest.

    The Dragons went into the playoffs as a number -wo seed less than a point behind Southern Aroostook of Dyer Brook.

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  18. Honors for local athletes

    by Phil Stuart

    The Penobscot Valley Conference recently selected its all stars in basketball for the 2017-18 season.

    Kyle Case of Washington Academy (WA) was a Big East second team selection. Jacob Godfrey of Machias, who played for  this season, was a first team selection.

    The Washington Academy girls’ team won this year’s Class B Sportsmanship Award in the Big East.

    Tihomer Babic of WA received an honorable mention.

    Madelyn Willey and Brandon Allard of WA were winners of the Paul Souex Award.

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  19. UMA offers zero tuition with Pine Tree State Pledge

     Since its announcement in October 2017, eighteen students at the University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) have taken part in the Pine Tree State Pledge program. Through the Pine Tree State Pledge, eligible students will not pay any out-of-pocket expenses for tuition and mandatory fees at UMA. An additional 36 students qualified for the Pine Tree State Pledge, however, no additional out-of-pocket expenses were needed to be covered.

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  20. Moore for the Future campaign nears goal

    Thanks to the generosity of the community, the Moore for the Future campaign is close to reaching its goal.

    The campaign was launched in 2014 to help the Henry D. Moore Library and Community Center in Steuben raise an additional $250,000 for its endowment fund. It began in 2014 with an appeal letter asking Steuben residents, regional users and library friends to help ensure the library and community center could continue to provide services and programs while meeting its growing expenses. 

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  21. Lefty’s legacy lives on

    by V. Paul Reynolds

    What is it about a well-cast fly line that furls out gently across a quiet trout pond or a roiling river? Done properly it is a graceful ballet. There is a rhythm that can mesmerize, not only the angler, but the onlooker as well. And when the softly whispering line finishes its furling roll, and the floating tippet dances the #16 parachute Adams upon the water like a descending butterfly…well, sir, that is the crescendo moment.

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  22. Pre-Easter feast feeds nearly 400 at Second Baptist Church


    by Lura Jackson

    The extended Calais community was treated to an early Easter feast on Saturday, March 24 at the Second Baptist Church. This is the second year in a row that the church has hosted a free meal to celebrate Easter and, like last year, nearly 400 people came out to join in the meal of ham, potatoes, and mixed vegetables.

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  23. Machias neighbors and officials blindsided by downtown cell tower plans

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A public notice in this newspaper on March 21 was the first announcement that a cell phone company intends to build a 100-foot cell tower between North and Court Streets in downtown Machias. The tower would stand on the back end of property owned by the Community of Christ Church.

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  24. 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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  25. 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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  26. 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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  27. 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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  28. 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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  29. 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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  30. 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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  31. 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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  32. 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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  33. 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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  34. 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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  35. 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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  36. 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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  37. 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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  38. 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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  39. 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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  40. 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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  41. 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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  42. 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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  43. 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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  44. 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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  45. 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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