The Editor’s Desk

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Every year the Maine Press Association holds a day-long conference somewhere in Maine, this year at the Sunday River Resort in Bethel. It’s widely attended by journalists from papers in cities and small towns, and I attended the event last weekend together with a small group that included the editor of the Calais Advertiser and our publisher, Pierre Little. 

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Machias Valley Christian School celebrates autumn with apples

Wyatt Fritz works on his lace-up apple craft.

Students and teachers visited Antill’s Orchard in Wesley for an apple-picking field trip. Submitted photos

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Historic Nash building, grandfather to Main Street

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Long before Machias’ Nash Building became a local symbol of Main Street decline and revitalization, it held a fruit and confectionary store operated by Italian immigrants. 

Joseph Toschi came to Machias in the late 1800s with his children and son-in-law, Ernest Mugnai. According to Mugnai’s great-grandson, Michael Hoyt, Mugnai imported fruit and candy by train from Boston to sell in his Machias fruit store.

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Public invited to discuss new deputies at countywide meeting Oct. 30

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

The Washington County Commissioners have scheduled another public discussion to gather feedback on the proposed addition of three new deputies to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Early this year the commissioners held a series of public conversations about the possibility of adding three new deputies to the county law enforcement branch. The addition would increase the countywide tax by approximately $400,000 in 2019 when all of the necessary equipment must also be purchased, then go down in 2020 and 2021.

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What would it cost you to add three more deputies?

County taxes are calculated based on a town’s valuation, which is determined annually by the state. Though the valuations for 2019 are not yet finalized, the county worked up this spreadsheet to show towns what their share of the new deputies would be based on the 2018 numbers.  

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Debating more deputies: County commissioners ask for feedback

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

A months-long debate weighing the rise in crime against a proposed increase in county taxes continued at last week’s budget meeting. The nine-member committee met in Machias on Thursday, Oct. 11 and breezed through the office of deeds budget, then devoted two hours to discussing three proposed deputy positions for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office (SO). 

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Porter Memorial embraces expansion toward new future

 

by Ruth Leubecker

Launching an ambitious capital expansion focused on accessibility and enhanced community involvement, Porter Memorial Library may be an aging Machias dowager, but her sights are set on the future.

“This is long overdue. Many boards have struggled over the past 20 years (with the issues of expanding the library),” says Sarah Dedmon, in her third year as library board president.

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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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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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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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