Milking days

 

by Wayne Smith

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Public hearing answers TIF, cell tower questions before Feb. 7 vote

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Despite unusually cold temperatures a large crowd assembled at the Lee Pellon Center on Jan. 31 to learn more about the proposed Machias Revitalization TIF, a proposed Communications Facility Ordinance and amendment to the town’s building permit procedures.

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Award-winning journalist to speak on the search for truth

Whether the journalist’s assignment is about politics, religion, or scallops, there are always at least two sides to every story, and everybody in the story thinks she holds the golden mantle of truth. Perhaps never before – in today’s climate of fake news and sharply divided politics – has this been truer. But the truth, as Edward R. Murrow observed, doesn’t always fall equally on both sides.

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Sheriff’s office adds new deputies, towns explore additional coverage

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Washington County Sheriff Barry Curtis and Chief Deputy Michael Crabtree say they’ve hired two new deputies and identified a third to hire in April. One new hire will backfill a vacant position, and the other will fill one of three new positions funded for 2019.

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Trailrunner Wireless brings new rural internet option to Washington County

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

There are wide swaths of Washington County where it’s not possible to get high-speed internet access, and a new company hopes to change that.

DownEast Wireless has announced it will begin offering Trailrunner Wireless broadband service in Washington County beginning this week.

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Roque Bluffs to explore building a municipal fiber network

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

A public hearing scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 12 will invite residents of Roque Bluffs to learn more about the potential for a town-owned internet offering. Roque Bluffs Selectwoman Lisa Hanscom said this is the third in a series of conversations the town has held since last year.

“The people who have attended are really interested, “ said Hancom. “We’re asking people from the community to come again and discuss all this with Axiom and Island Institute.”

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University partnership pioneers new path to maritime law degree

by Ruth Leubecker

Shaving a year off the overall time to earn two degrees beneficial to Downeast Maine, a two-college partnership aims to boost the number of attorneys in rural practices.

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Jonesport budget committee readies figures for March 11 town meeting

 

by Nancy Beal

The Jonesport budget committee met January 30 and reviewed selectmen’s recommendations for a 2019-20 budget that totaled $728,961. After an hour’s discussion, the five-person panel added nearly $6,000 to that total. Members of the committee present included Wendy Beal, chair, John Church, Shane Farris, Lois Hubbard and Jane McMichen. Absent for medical reasons were Boyde Crowley and Paul Iossa. Also present were the town’s three selectmen, their office assistant and the town treasurer/tax collector.

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Bird irruptions

 

by Hazel Stark

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Taking time off from the farm

 

by Wayne Smith

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Lobster license wait list bill heard in Augusta

 

by Nancy Beal

A bill that would grant to apprentice lobstermen who have been waiting for a license for 10 years or more was heard in Augusta February 5. Most spoke against it, including the president of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association. The Department of Marine Resources, which issues lobster licenses, did not take a position, indicating that it would wait until after any new restrictions on fishing were issued by the federal government in its attempt to protect North Atlantic right whales.

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State’s plans for Bucks Harbor prison ricochet, but predicted to gain scope

 

by Ruth Leubecker

Definitive plans for the future of Downeast Correctional Facility were announced on television news this past week, but apparently, from those in the know, the news was premature.

The early announcement said the Bucks Harbor prison would receive $4 million this year and another $5.8 million in 2020. Inmates and staff would be returned to DCF in October 2019.

The news two days later: “It is unclear at this point if the prison will be a pre-release facility, or if a new facility will be built.”

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After months of red tape, Machiasport says goodbye to epic demolition pile

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

When David Wood volunteered his services to demolish and relocate a house, he thought the Machiasport Fire Department would soon proceed with their plans to use it for a training burn, per the owner’s wishes. Instead, the monster two-story pile of demolition debris has greeted drivers entering Machiasport from the Rim Road since last October.

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Fort O’Brien School students to compete in engineering challenge

 

by RJ Heller

Technology is all around us, and some students from a local Machiasport school believe they will have something to say about it in a way that could see impactful change made in harnessing the wind for power.

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Small growers’ bill to expand blueberry council heard in Augusta

 

by Nancy Beal

Legislation that would expand the Maine Wild Blueberry Commission (WBC), under discussion since December by members of the WBC and by small growers who sought the expansion, was heard in Augusta February 5 by the legislature’s Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Not scheduled at press time, but expected to follow soon, is a second bill on the subject prepared and promoted by the WBC itself.

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MMHS senior Madison Conlin earns full scholarship to Bowdoin College

MMHS senior, Madison Conlin, has been awarded the QuestBridge Scholarship to attend Bowdoin College. This is a full scholarship for four years to one of Maine’s most elite schools. QuestBridge Scholarship is a national program that connects high achieving high school seniors with full scholarships to the nation’s top colleges.

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Machias votes overwhelmingly in favor of revitalization TIF

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon
Machias voted in favor of adopting the Machias Revitalization TIF at a town meeting held Thursday, Feb. 7. More than 50 people attended and voted unanimously in favor of the TIF or Municipal Tax Increment Financing.
The town also voted unanimously in favor of a new Communications Facility Ordinance, which will give the town the power to weigh in on placement of new radio and cell tower construction, and a small amendment to the town’s building permit regulation.

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Atwood receives prestigious award for exceptional service to Washington County

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Machias Rotary Club organizers surprised Valdine Atwood with a prestigious honor called the Paul Harris Fellow recognition, which they bestowed at their weekly meeting held Tuesday, Feb. 5 at the Bluebird Ranch Family Restaurant.

The Paul Harris Fellow is given by the Rotary Club in honor of an individual’s exceptional service to their community. Along with the honor, the club made a $1,000 donation in Atwood’s name, which will support the charitable work of the Rotary Club nationwide.

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Resource shortfall can’t handle surge in elder abuse

by Ruth Leubecker

Magnified by the growing demographic of the elderly and the aversion to report, elder abuse must now also contend with inadequate staffing and stagnant funding.

State caseworkers are short-staffed enough that they often can’t read through all the new cases in a given day. One caseworker, stipulating that she remain nameless, said that the daily number of reports of abuse and neglect among the elderly and disabled ha beesn increasing steadily over many months.

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Jonesport to act on medical marijuana ordinance Feb. 27

by Nancy Beal

An ordinance governing the licensing of medical marijuana retail stores, manufacturing and testing facilities will be placed before Jonesporters next week. Starting at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, February 27, the proposed nine-page ordinance will be aired at a public hearing followed by a vote to accept or reject it. If accepted by a majority of those present and voting, it will become effective immediately. Copies of the proposal are available at the town office, where next week’s hearing and vote will be held.

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New legislation could cool U.S. tensions in heated ‘grey zone’

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Despite a history of congenial relations, a 277-square-mile expanse of water stands out as a persistent disagreement between the United States and Canada.
The “grey zone” is the name given to prime lobster waters between Washington County and Grand Manan, New Brunswick, where the matter of jurisdiction has been in question since the 1700s. Today it is fished by lobstermen from both nations, but each side fishes according to different rules.

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Machias’ Porter library sets goal to make its facility fully accessible

 

by RJ Heller

A lofty goal has been set by the Porter Memorial Library (PML) board of trustees to implement a plan that will make the historic structure fully accessible to the public while also adding much needed programming space. The anticipated expansion will cost approximately $1.5 million.

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Bakers and gardeners wanted for cake and seed fundraisers at the library

Porter Memorial Library’s first dessert auction was sadly sidelined by last week’s pre-Valentine’s Day storm. But we will not be deterred!

Please consider baking or buying a dessert to donate to our new dessert auction, which will take place in person and on our Facebook page on Wednesday, Feb. 27 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. If you are donating a dessert (chocolates, cakes, cookies, you  name it!) please drop it off at the library on Tuesday, Feb. 26.

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Doves, wild and feral

 

by Joseph Horn

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Fremont Street String Band to perform at Cobscook Fundraiser

 

Students at the Cobscook Experiential Program invite the community to an all you can eat pizza and music fundraiser on Friday, March 1 from 6 – 8 p.m. Students are raising money for two upcoming trips, one to Saint John, New Brunswick in March and another to Washington, DC in April. Washington County’s favorite Yankee bluegrass quintet, Fremont Street String Band, will perform. Students are also organizing a raffle of new family camping items and children’s life jackets. The suggested donation for the dinner is $10 per person or $25 per family.

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