1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. Community Calendar

    Upcoming events

    • • • • • •

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

    • • • • • •

    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.

    • • • • • •

    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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. 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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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. 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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  26. 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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  27. 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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  28. 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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  29. 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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  30. 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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  31. 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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  32. 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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  33. 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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  34. 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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  35. 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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  36. 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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  37. 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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  38. 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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  39. 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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  40. 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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  41. 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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  42. 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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  43. 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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  44. 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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  45. 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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