1. Lottiemae Margaret (Durrett) Mattes - Cutler

    Lottiemae Margaret (Durrett) Mattes, 82, passed away May 8, 2018 at her home surrounded by her loving family. She was born July 11, 1935 in New Orleans, Louisiana, the daughter of the late Capt. Alfred William Durrett, Sr. and Dolores Mae (Schock) Durrett.

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  2. The deer numbers

    by V. Paul  Reynolds

    “Hey, Paul, you’ve got to be kidding me! It’s March and you guys still don’t have the tally on last fall’s deer kill?” asked the New England outdoor editor of a national sporting magazine. That scolding took place more than 20 years ago, when I was press officer for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

    During my three-year tenure with IF&W, it never changed. Blame was placed on the deer tagging stations.

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  3. Maine Veterans’ salutes lost loved ones at annual remembrance ceremony

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Maine Veterans’ Homes (MVH) in Machias hosted its ninth Annual Remembrance Ceremony on Wednesday, May 23, this year in honor of U.S. Navy veterans Roland Cheney, Marjorie Morrison and David Phaneuf. All three passed away in the last year.

    The Presentation of the Colors was done by the American Legion Post #65 and bagpipes were played by the Anah Highlanders. 

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  4. Candidates race to preserve legacy, promote rural focus

    by Ruth Leubecker

    The race to the Blaine House, while gaining steam, remains multi-directional, offering few specifics and even fewer individual plans of any contender.

    The field so far is crowded, with Republicans appearing to be wary of deviating too far from Gov. Paul LePage’s actions on the issues. On some level there even appears an effort to preserve his legacy. By all accounts bombastic and controversial, Maine’s governor has nonetheless achieved results in lowering taxes and making things happen.

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  5. DEI guides Beals Elementary students in seeding clams on island flats

     

    by Nancy Beal

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  6. In service to veterans

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  7. At the Machias ballot box - Meet candidate Les Haynes

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Leslie Haynes has served on the Machias Selectboard for six years. “I just enjoy the people,” he said. Haynes was raised in East Machias and couldn’t wait to get back home after serving in the Army for a tour in Vietnam. “I had never ever seen anything like that in my life. In 1968 I was right in the middle of that big Tet Offensive over there,” he said.

    “When I came home I looked at my commanding officer and said, ‘You’ve got 12 hours to get my discharge papers ready. I’m going to Maine where it’s nice and peaceful.’”

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  8. News shorts

    Stevenson at court on charges of manslaughter, OUI

    Christopher Stevenson of Roque Bluffs was in Washington County District Court on Tuesday, May 22 for his dispositional conference. 

    Stevenson has been charged with five crimes: manslaughter, operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol resulting in death, domestic violence reckless conduct, endangering the welfare of a child and operating while license is suspended or revoked.

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  9. Letter for the Editor - More trash talk

    More trash talk

    The real difference between Mark Wright’s garbage business and the Pleasant River Solid Waste Disposal District (PRSWDD, a transfer station) is that Wright’s is private for his personal profit, while PRSWDD is public, owned by the six towns, and run openly for the benefit of those towns.

    Mark Wright wants to own the entire garbage business in the region, but when there’s a monopoly, guess what would happen to the cost of garbage disposal?

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  10. Lighthouses lure romantics to Maine

    Embedded in literature, folklore and history, Maine’s lighthouses are a lightning rod, baiting authors, summer folk and young and old alike, espe summer.

    Some still function as navigational beacons, some are totally inaccessible, a few are clustered and a few others stand like solitary sentries. But it all doesn’t matter in the scheme of things, because all 65 are shrouded in a rich mysterious heritage that is uniquely Maine.

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  11. Calais talk to explore a ‘more just relationship’ with Wabanaki peoples

    by Lura Jackson

    The importance of recognizing the past and present relationship between colonizing Christian powers and the Wabanaki people – and particularly the Passamaquoddy tribe – will be the focus of a special presentation at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Calais on Sunday, June 3. The talk will be delivered by John Dieffenbacher-Krall, Chair of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine Committee on Indian Relations. 

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  12. Lack of markets forces PRSWDD recycling to shut out plastic, mixed paper

     

    by Nancy Beal

    Two weeks ago at their May 14 meeting, the board of directors of the Pleasant River Solid Waste Disposal District voted to stop taking plastic, glass and mixed paper as part of their recycling program. The reason: there is no market for glass, the various types of plastic, or the office paper, cereal boxes and other types of printed material that made up the mixed paper category.

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  13. Daryl Eugene McCurdy Lubec

    Daryl Eugene McCurdy (Tim) passed away peacefully at his home on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 surrounded by his family, after a long battle with cancer.  He was born in Lubec on October 12, 1941, son of the late Bernard and Muriel McCurdy. Daryl graduated from Lubec High School in 1961. Throughout the years he worked at Carlton Corey’s garage, Milliken Textile Mill, was owner and operator of “The Spruce” fishing vessel, and most recently worked and retired from the United States Department of Agriculture.

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  14. Margaretta Days celebrates revolutionary history Downeast

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Festival chair Carlene Holmes said she is often asked why the mid-June event is called Margaretta Days when it only occupies one day? 

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  15. Blackfly Ball moves to new October date

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Kehben Grier of Machias’ Beehive Design Collective announced last week that the Blackfly Ball will move from its traditional Blueberry Festival August time frame to October 6. The Blackfly Ball has become a fixture of summer in Machias, historically taking place on the Saturday night of the Machias Wild Blueberry Festival and drawing large crowds to Bad Little Falls park to hear multiple bands for free.

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  16. Four WCCC students named to All-Maine Academic Team

    The All-Maine Academic Team is composed of the high achieving students in the Maine Community College System, with selections picked from each school. Unlike in previous years, when only two students from each school were named, the team has been expanded this year to include students that are in both the “transfer” pathway – meaning they are planning to continue in their academic careers – and in the “career” pathway – meaning they will be going directly into the workforce upon graduation. Every student named to the team received a $500 scholarship.

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  17. Bay Ridge students map Maine’s flora and fauna

     

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  18. Washington Academy’s 2018 Academic Awards

     

    Seniors who have been on the honor roll every quarter for all four years (14 consecutive quarters) pose here with their Headmaster’s Golden Apple Award. Congratulations to all award recipients. Photo courtesy Hannah Sprague

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  19. Passages to graduate more than twenty teen parents this year; accepting applications for new school year

    This June, Wayfinder Schools’ Passages Program will graduate more than twenty teen parents who have worked hard to earn their high school diplomas while raising their young children. Founded in 1994, Passages is a home-based high school diploma program for young parents living in Knox, Lincoln, Waldo, York, Cumberland, Androscoggin, Sagadahoc and Washington Counties. 

    This year’s Washington County graduates are Isaac J. Collins, Jr. of Robbinston, Daneishalys Fontanez of Machias, Cheyenne Maheu of Lubec, Jessica Milliken of Jonesport and Monica Moffett of Eastport.

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  20. Auschwitz survivor speaks at WA’s Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The juniors and seniors of Washington Academy’s Holocaust and Genocide Studies class organized the school’s annual Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony held Tuesday, May 15. Older students from the Elm Street School in East Machias attended the event along with all of Washington Academy’s students and some members of the public.

    In the darkened gymnasium, students lit candles for those who survived and those who were murdered in the Holocaust. 

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  21. Collins zeroes in on elder fraud, negotiating prescription costs

    by Ruth Leubecker

    As seniors struggle and veterans needs go unmet, Sen. Susan Collins continues to join forces with fellow senators in major efforts to achieve fairness on the playing field.

    “Seniors who need assistance in managing their affairs should never be exploited and left destitute by an individual a court has appointed to protect them,” said Collins in a recent address on the abuse of power that guardians and others have over the elderly.

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  22. PRSWDD towns mull waste disposal options

    by Nancy Beal

    Jonesport has long chafed under its share of costs at Pleasant River Solid Waste Disposal District, the Route 1 transfer station in Columbia Falls to which it and five other neighboring towns take their household waste, recyclables and demolition debris. (In addition to Jonesport, PRSWDD is made up of Addison, Beals Columbia, Columbia Falls and Jonesboro.) Several years ago, a move to withdraw from that trash cooperative was defeated at Jonesport’s town meeting. Another choice to stay or leave could be in the near future.

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  23. Machias veterinarian operating without license

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The state suspended Dr. Cynthia Teer’s veterinary license effective Jan. 24, 2018, but the doctor continues to see patients in her Machias Animal Hospital office.

    The Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation confirmed that Dr. Teer’s license was suspended on the evening of Jan. 23. The agency did not specify the reason for the license suspension, saying only that she can no longer see patients or write prescriptions. 

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  24. Maine Maritime Security Team runs training op to prepare for threats-at-sea

     

    The Maine Maritime Security Team, including the Maine Marine Patrol, Maine State Police Tactical Team and the US Coast Guard, took part in a training exercise Thursday, May 10 in Bar Harbor to prepare for potential security threats-at-sea.

    Different scenarios, including a hostage situation, an active shooter and an improvised explosive device carried by a passenger were the basis of the day’s training exercise.

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  25. Police Academy graduates headed our way

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  26. Matching jobs to workers a mounting challenge in 2018

    In 1918 Washington County flourished with an enterprising workforce set against a humming economic landscape, the entire picture maximizing the area’s natural-resource-based economy.

    Not so in 2018. A century later technology, outsourcing and robots infiltrating the workplace have transformed that landscape into something headed toward downright alien. Those days of graduating from high school and finding a first-class job -- one that would support a household and finance a great life right here at home in rural Maine -- are long gone.

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  27. Nancy Rose Tancredi - White Plains, New York,

    Nancy Rose Tancredi, beloved mother, cherished grandmother, loyal sister-in-law and dear friend, died unexpectedly following surgery in White Plains, New York, on May 12, 2018 surrounded by her loving family. She was 71 years old. 

    She leaves behind by her three children, Robert Sapiro and his wife Eleanor Mitten of Eliot, Emily Tancredi-Brice Agbenyega and her husband Tsiri of Pelham Manor, New York, and Constance Girvan and her husband Andrew of Edinburgh, Scotland. She also leaves behind an adopted daughter, Brittney Sampson of Boston, Massachusetts.

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  28. Susan A. Hawkins - Cutler

    Susan Amelia (Foss) Hawkins, 84, passed unexpectedly on May 13, 2018 at her home. She was born in Machias June 12, 1933 the daughter of Benjamin and Mary Foss.

    She enjoyed reading and doing puzzles, listening to country and western music, and in her earlier years going fishing. She especially enjoyed being a mother and grandmother and time spent with her family.

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  29. Spring concert celebrates the arts at WA

     

    On Tuesday, May 15, Washington Academy hosted the school’s annual Spring Concert.

    The concert featured dances from our Contemporary Dance and Creative Movement Class and after- school ballet class, as well as a performances by our Jazz Band, A cappella, Solo Artists, and more! Our guests were also greeted by a display of student artwork as they entered the building. Bravo to all of our talented students who participated! 

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  30. JOY for Porter Memorial Library

     

    Students of Machias Memorial High School’s JMG class awarded a $1,000 JOY grant to Porter Memorial Library (PML) in Machias during their closing ceremonies held Thursday, May 17. JOY stands for “Jumpstart our Youth,” a statewide philanthropic initiative that teaches the next generation how to solve local problems through well-researched philanthropy.

    The MMHS JMG (Jobs for Maine Graduates) class chose to consider nonprofits that serve Machias-area children, in many cases venturing out to see the nonprofits for themselves.

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  31. Narraguagus Jr/Sr high school honor parts

    Principal Lucille Willey is pleased to announce the honor parts for the Class of 2018 at Narraguagus Jr/Sr High School in Harrington. Co-Valedictorians are Sophia DeSchiffart, daughter of Timothy & Joanna DeSchiffart of Cherryfield and River Fenton, son of Chadwick Fenton & Christina Willey of Harrington. Salutatorian is Mary Hammond, daughter of Darin & Jasmine Hammond of Harrington and Michelle Hammond of Milbridge.

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  32. MMHS Spanish students immersed in local hispanic culture

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  33. The black bear problem

    by  V. Paul Reynolds

    “Paul, come down stairs quick,” Diane half-whispered and half-yelled at me.

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  34. East Machias preserves history and alewives at riverside smokehouse

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    “I started doing it in the 70s.” said Bucket Davis. “Used to be alewife stands all up and down the river, there was all kinds of smoke shacks. I think I’m about the only one left in the state that still smokes.” 

    The town of East Machias owns the smokehouse along the banks of its namesake river, and it’s there that Davis leads local students in the Downeast springtime tradition of smoking alewives. Davis also serves as an East Machias Selectman.

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  35. Gubernatorial hopeful Diane Russell speaks to WaCo Democrats

     

    by Nancy Beal

    Diane Russell of Bryant Pond, one of seven candidates vying in the June 12 primary for the right to carry the Democratic banner into the gubernatorial race next fall, visited the Washington County Democrats May 6 and, in a no-holds-barred presentation, delivered her message and asked for at least a “second place vote.”

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  36. Clock running on session stalemate, prison closure

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Prospects diminish daily for rejuvenating Washington County’s Downeast Correctional Facility.

    Already saved by the bell more times than reasonable, the facility now awaits a closure date of June 30 when its funding runs out. Maine’s legislature, having walked off the job at the end of the session, left hundreds of bills and innumerable issues unsettled, the DCF being but one of them.

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  37. Children’s chorus to perform spring concert before international ‘trip of a lifetime’

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Members of the Washington County Children’s Chorus have been rehearsing together — in both French and English — for more than two years, and on Sunday, May 20, they’ll deliver their bilingual springtime concert in Machias. 

    Then only weeks later a group of musicians, chaperones and 31 youth choristers from all over Washington County will depart Boston, stopping in Reykjavik, Iceland, and Geneva, Switzerland before reaching Burgundy, France — three passport stamps in one fell swoop.

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  38. Historic diorama at Machias train station, reception May 23

    Twelve members of a Museum Management Class at the University of Maine at Machias, led by Professor Bernie Vinzani, have created an exact scale diorama of Machias’ historic train station. The 120-year-old station was built in 1898 and the diorama illustrates the time period of 1950.

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  39. MMHS Boosters and PAWS sponsor Chinese auction

    The Machias Memorial High School Boosters are working hand in hand with Rose M. Gaffney PAWS to raise the full amount needed to purchase an amazing digital sign! This will be a joint sign shared with the High School. RMG PAWS President, Nadine Preston states; “These amazing Boosters are pushing to help us complete the fundraising for this project. Together with Boosters President Anita McCurdy and her team of high school parents, we hope to make this event the deal breaker that reaches the financial goal for the sign, we are hoping for the best.

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  40. Enhancing Fish Habitat Workshop for landowners and foresters

    Attention landowners and foresters!  Do you have a stream crossing in your forest or woodlot? Here is a great opportunity.  There will be a free workshop on Tuesday, May 22, from 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. to get more information and the opportunity  for financial and technical assistance to enhance fish habitat and improve access to your land.  This workshop will be at the Hillgrove Community Hall at 42 South Main Street in the village of Whitneyville.

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  41. Machias Valley News Observer, May 14, 1930

    Maurice L. Caler expects to complete his spring pack of clams this week and will close the factory until the opening of the blueberry season.

    The warm days of the past week have started farming operations and every available team is now plowing or otherwise preparing the land for planting.

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  42. At the Machias ballot box - Meet Dr. James Whalen

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Editor’s note: This is the second in our series introducing voters to the four candidates running for two seats on the Machias Selectboard. The town will vote on Tuesday, June 12. See our issue dated May 2 for the first article in the series.

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  43. Tax bill protesters speak out after guilty sentence

    Jessica Stewart, Ridgely Fuller and Sharon Dean of East Machias were convicted last week in Federal Court and sentenced to one day in jail for failing to obey a lawful order. The three refused to leave Senator Collins’ Bangor office on December 19, 2017 calling on her to vote against the tax plan. Sharon Dean traveled to Washington, D.C. in December with Mainers for Accountable Leadership and met with Senator Collins, Ady Barkan and Marie Follayttar Smith. 

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  44. Desk of the Editor

    Early Saturday morning I happened to look out my back window and see a heavy frost on my strawberry plants, early enough to hose them down. Being a spring plant, strawberries likely have what it takes to survive a frost. But being an overeager gardener, I wasn’t willing to take that chance. Hosing the plants down before the sun rises and bursts their frozen cells is one way to save them from frost. Checking the forecast and covering them the night before is one step better.

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  45. Accountability, sadly, resembles a lot of Jello, if that

    Accountability is a much-bandied-about word in 2018. 

    It sounds good and in practice it’s even better, but it remain an elusive thing to grab onto, and to maintain a hold is actually -- apparently -- next to impossible. At the State House, especially during the recent leave-taking of this 128th session, accountability was nowhere in sight.  

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