1. Robert John “Bob” Simon Machias

    Robert John “Bob” Simon, 84, of Machias peacefully passed away on April 5, 2018, at EMMC, surrounded by his family.

    Bob was born on August 28, 1933 in Buffalo, New York  He was the son of the late Ross & Florence Simon.

    Bob enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1950, proudly serving his country until his retirement in 1970.  He then owned and operated Simon Electric in Machias for over 30 years.

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  2. Philip Richard Dodge Machias

    Philip Richard Dodge, 92, of Machias, passed away on Easter morning, April 1, 2018, attended by his wife, Dolores and the supportive staff at Marshall Healthcare in Machias. He was born on January 16, 1926 on Fremont Street in Machias, on what was then known as Dodge Hill.

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  3. Lennox Crosby Ramsay - Addison

    Lennox Crosby Ramsay, 90, of Addison, died March 28, 2018, at the Down East Community Hospital.

    He was born on April 27, 1927, to Florence May Ramsay and Walter Robert Ramsay in Bear River, Nova Scotia.

    Lennox moved with his family from Canada to Addison, Maine when he was seven years old. He made Addison his home for the rest of his life. 

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  4. Court News

    Martha J. Matthews of Lubec, Maine:  OUI (Alcohol) 1 prior on 7/29/2017 in Lubec.  DISC

    Richard Faas of Machias, Maine:  Theft of services on 7/9/2017 in Jonesport.  SNTC date 1/16/2018, fine $150, restitution $100.  GLTY

    Hardy Preston of Edmunds, Maine:  OUI (Alcohol) in Perry on 7/29/2017.  NG

    Emily L. Bosley of Milbridge, Maine:  OUI (Alcohol) on 8/13/2017 in Machias.  SNTC date 1/16/2018, fine $500, Washington County Jail 30 days all suspended, probation 1 year, license suspended 150 days, community service 25 hours.  GLTY

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  5. How to write a will

    Dear Savvy Senior,

    Though it may seem hard to believe, at age 65, I never have gotten around to making a will, but I’d like to now. My question is: Do I need to hire a lawyer to write my will, or can I do it myself? I want to get my affairs in order, but I hate paying an attorney fee if I don’t have to. 

    Getting Organized

    Dear Getting,

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  6. Cole Museum instrumental to Machias

    Machias Music Director Nadine Baker leads both the elementary and high school bands in a medley of musical numbers at a program recognizing the generosity of the Cole Family Foundation in donating musical instruments to the music department.  “This is such a thrill to be recognized and receive a gift of this magnitude,” said Baker. Photo by RJ Heller

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  7. Maine awarded NOAA grant to improve whale protection data

    The Maine Department of Marine Resources has been awarded a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to improve the data used to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales.

    The $714,245 grant is funded through the Section 6 Species Recovery Grants to States Program administered by NOAA. The three-year project, which begins in the summer of 2018, will support work that improves and adds data on fishing gear that can inform future whale protection regulations.

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  8. The boat life

    by V. Paul Reynolds

    The sun-drenched Florida Keys with its cobalt skies, swaying palm fronds and gliding pelicans got under my skin more than 40 years ago. As a Maine Naval Reservist, official orders sent me down there more than once for a two-week training tour at the Key West Naval Air Station. 

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  9. Job Notice

    The Machias Valley News Observer is looking for a motivated sales person to handle full-time ad sales in Washington County.

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  10. Blueberry crisp

    It was a hot time on the old town last Saturday night when the Machias Fire Department led a controlled training burn on the Cherryfield Foods blueberry warehouse. The parking lot of the adjoining Pellon Center began filling with carloads of onlookers one hour before the spectacular blaze took hold. Machias was assisted by Marshfield and East Machias fire departments. Photo by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

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  11. Indie film streams Moose Peak Light worldwide

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    It’s been nearly four years since New York-based director/actor Erica Fae packed up her lights, cameras and crew to finish production on her film “To Keep the Light.” 

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  12. Partners join forces to combat domestic violence

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Accustomed to a shortage of resources, area stakeholders remain buoyed by a network of help within their ranks when tackling domestic violence.

    “It seems like the numbers are fairly stable when talking about domestic violence, but it’s complicated today by aging, substance abuse and a lack of affordable housing,” explains Dorathy Martel, Next Step executive director. “We face particular issues in Washington County because it’s so rural, and it’s hard to keep confidentiality because everyone knows everyone else.”

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  13. Schulman to present Garland, beyond the yellow brick road

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Most of us remember Judy Garland for her role as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. We know she’s Liza Minnelli’s mother, and that she died young after a public struggle with addiction. But music producer Lawrence Schulman has a unique perspective on Garland’s place in history. 

    “There are all kinds of things you can talk about, but I talk about the music,” said Schulman. “For me, that’s the key.” And, says Schulman, there’s a whole catalog of music besides “Over the Rainbow.”

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  14. Pee Wee tourney champs

    The Beals Elementary School boys came out of the losers’ bracket to defeat the Cutler Wildcats 29-26 and 23-22 in back-to-back games and claim the championship in last weekend’s pee wee tourney at BES. Photo by Nancy Beal

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  15. Not quite

    The spring sports season started on March 19 but the Machias Memorial High School softball and baseball teams are still waiting to see some grass on the fields!  Photo courtesy Renne Noyes Look

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  16. ‘Rent Smart’ renter’s class offered in Washington County

    Downeast Community Partners (DCP) and Next Step Domestic Violence Project are collaborating to offer a renter’s education class in Machias this spring. “Rent Smart” focuses on the knowledge and skills essential for a successful renting experience. It challenges participants to know and understand their rights and responsibilities as a tenant, and to know and understand the rights and responsibilities of their landlord. Emphasis is on forming a strong partnership between tenant and landlord.

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  17. Dog Comedy Show at UMM

    Johnny Peers plays the straight man to a comedy troupe of dogs, and will take the stage at UMM on Thursday, April 5 at 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center. 

    This is a slapstick comedy act unlike any other. They have appeared in Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus and David Letterman. Peers leads over a dozen dogs through challenging and hilarious tricks. Fun for everyone. 

    Tickets are available for purchase at the door for community members and are free for UMM students and employees. 

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  18. Machias JMG takes ribbons in Waterville

    Machias Memorial High School (MMHS) participated in JMG’s Annual Career Development Conference at Thomas College in Waterville on Tuesday, March 27. MMHS JMG members, along with their JMG Specialist, Faye Mack, represented MMHS extremely well, bringing home two trophies;  2nd Place Group Challenge and 3rd Place Rat Race Maze.  Team Members:  Ardriana Mahar, Amber Heath, Tyler Faulkingham, Ashley Norman, Jasmine Bell, Kaylee Alley, Tyler Wentzel, Nick Mallar and Faye Mack, JMG Specialist. Submitted photo

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  19. Maine Seacoast Mission President C. Scott Planting retiring

     

    Maine Seacoast Mission President C. Scott Planting is retiring. President Scott Planting’s announcement came in a  letter to Seacoast Mission supporters in which he thanked them for the opportunity to serve and for their help in building a secure financial base so the Mission’s programs and services on land and sea will continue.

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  20. Tourney Fun

    The Beals Elementary School girls prevailed in last weekend’s basketball tourney at BES to claim the winner’s trophy. Photo by Nancy Beal

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  21. Democratic gubernatorial candidates Cote and Dion visit Washington County Dems

    by Nancy Beal

    Visits from two Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls — Adam Cote and Mark Dion — highlighted the March 11 meeting of the Washington County Democrats in the meeting room of the East Machias fire station.

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  22. Editor's Desk

    Last Saturday morning the steps of Porter Memorial Library were stacked shoulder to shoulder with children waiting patiently for the library doors to open. There wasn’t a massive internet outage, and they weren’t there for a Harry Potter book release party. They came with their families for the library’s first annual Easter Egg Hunt.

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  23. USDA accepting best practices online to address opioid crisis

    Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett has unveiled a new interactive feature on the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) rural opioid misuse webpage. Now, webpage visitors can tell USDA what prevention, treatment and recovery actions have been effective in addressing the opioid epidemic in their rural communities. USDA is collecting this information as part of an ongoing effort to identify best practices and effective strategies for addressing rural opioid misuse.

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  24. Today hypes wild blueberries for tomorrow

    by Ruth Leubecker

    It may have been only a snippet at the tail end of a two-hour show, but it was morning prime time and a marketer’s dream come true. Featuring Maine wild blueberries right up front in all their antioxidant glory, Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb hit the high points about today’s super fruit. 

    A parallel message was to eat Wyman’s blueberries for a healthy life. “We’re wild about wild blueberries, and this could be the greatest chance to living longer,” an excited Guthrie told viewers. 

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  25. Sen. Thibodeau withdraws from gubernatorial race

    Senate President Mike Thibodeau (R-Winterport) released this statement on Monday, March 26.

    Life is about setting priorities. My service to Waldo County, fulfilling my role as Senate President, being leader of the Senate Republican caucus, and running my business are all priorities I take very seriously. Over the last few months, I’ve come to realize there just isn’t time to do all of these things and run for governor at the same time.

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  26. Letter to the Editor - CFPB is the progressive deep state creation

    I read with interest Ellen Farnsworth’s attack on Representative Poliquin, Wall Street, “Big” Banks, President Trump and the “wealthy”, as well as her defense of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

    The CFPB is the progressive deep state creation of Senator Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren (D-MA). If the Democratic candidates Ms. Farnsworth is touting are supporting Senator Warren and her identity politics/ class warfare agenda, I’ll find it very easy to enthusiastically support Representative Poliquin. 

    Jon Reisman 

    Cooper

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