1. Shuttered Jonesport nursing home will be converted

    by Nancy Beal

    A small but serious group of Moosabeckers is working diligently to reopen Jonesport’s Sunrise Care Facility (SCF) as a 24-bed assisted living center. SCF, formerly Resthaven Nursing Home, was rescued from a sea of red ink by Down East Community Hospital nearly two decades ago, but in the summer of 2017, the hospital decided that the debt threatened its own finances and, reluctantly, shuttered the home and delivered its residents to facilities in Machias and Milbridge.

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  2. Expanded Advantage coverage a boon for rural Maine

    by Ruth Leubecker

    When Renata Lahner came to Washington County last week she brought good news for many.

    The certified Medicare specialist, with better than 20 years of experience in the field, was here to explain the Medicare Advantage plans that will come into effect in 2020. “For those who are eligible, this is a big thing for Washington and Piscataquis counties,” she explained, “because they’re going to have more options.”

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  3. Want to open a child care business? Now might be the time

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A lack of available, quality child care can prevent parents from fully participating in the rural workforce, and that can have a negative impact on rural economies, particularly in times of low unemployment.

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  4. Sunrise County Economic Summit looks at where we are now, where we’re going next

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    After a decade hiatus, the Sunrise County Economic Council renewed its tradition of hosting an economic summit focused exclusively on the issues and opportunities in front of Washington County.

    So it was that on Friday, Nov. 8 the parking lot of Cobscook Community Learning Center in Trescott was full to overflowing, and the conference rooms inside were buzzing with almost 100 attendees, all interested in some or all aspects of life in the Sunrise County.

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  5. Wesley FD seeks votes to win fire truck

    by Jayna Smith

    Economy Motors in Hermon is giving away a fire truck to one lucky Maine town.

    The truck was acquired by Economy Motors, and the family-owned business wanted to give back to one Maine town.  Those interested in having a chance of winning the truck for their town had to email a letter on department letterhead to be considered.

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  6. Machias signs purchase and sale for cell tower lot

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    At their regular bi-weekly meeting held Wednesday, Nov. 13, the Machias Board of Selectmen signed an agreement to sell 2.63 acres of land to Rising Tide Towers, LLC. The land is located behind the Machias Telebusiness Center on Stackpole Road, and Robert Parsloe of Rising Tide Towers said it will be used to construct a cell tower that will carry the signal for FirstNet, a nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety.

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  7. DECH brings a smidgen of Potter Dec. 10

    Down East Community Hospital invites the community to attend our annual Light A Life Celebration on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 4:30 p.m.  It will be an evening filled with holiday entertainment.

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  8. Birch Corner sells thousands of signs

    by Natalie Boomer

    Tyler Mann, of St. Stephen, has turned a hobby into a full-blown business.

    “Birch Corner started as a little side hustle for me in 2017. I make farmhouse style signs and farmhouse style tables. It started with me just selling off of a Facebook page, hand-delivering every sign,” said Mann.

    Last holiday season Mann delivered nearly 1,000 signs in the two months prior to Christmas.
    “I grew Birch Corner from one design to over 150 currently,” he said.

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  9. Following in a father’s footsteps

    by Wayne Smith

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  10. Cape Breton Celtic show comes to Calais Nov. 23

    Calais Celtic Concerts will bring a little bit of Cape Breton's Celtic Colours to Calais as it presents the award-winning trio group of  Miller/MacDonald/Cormier to the Knights of Columbus Hall on Saturday, Nov. 23.  The group is regarded as one of the most important folk acts on Cape Breton Island today by CBC Mainstreet.

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  11. The Nature of Phenology: Wild turkeys

    by Hazel Stark

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  12. Beals lobsterman plucked from icy water by fellow fishermen

    by Nancy Beal

    Anthony Beal celebrated his 72nd birthday on November 4. Two days later, the Beals lobsterman celebrated those years in a different way after getting dumped into the water in Barney’s Cove off the northwest corner of Beals Island. A life jacket that very few fishermen wear and quick action on the part of friends and fellow fishermen combined to save his life.

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  13. Partners focus on sustainable goals as foundation’s funding ends

    by Ruth Leubecker

    After three years of productive MeHAF funding, Downeast Community Partners are coming together to determine what’s reasonable to sustain and what is not.

    The Maine Health Access Foundation has given $100,000 for each of the past three years to the Community Caring Collaborative and its partners. The money has been earmarked to support collaborations throughout Washington County, identifying the necessary resources and strengths to nurture thriving in place.

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  14. Multi-million-dollar fish farm proposed for Jonesport

    by Nancy Beal

    A Dutch aquaculture company will be in Jonesport next week to introduce Moosabeckers to what it hopes will be an extensive land-based fish farm that will command scores of jobs without affecting the environment. The company is Kingfish Zeeland, a fish producer already in production in the Netherlands, producing fresh fish that it has branded “Dutch yellowtail” for its citizens and surrounding European companies.

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  15. County committee finalizes 2020 budget

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Clocking in one full month ahead of last year, the Washington County Budget Committee has finalized its recommendations for the 2020 county budget. Now the budget will go to the commissioners for final approval.

    Committee chairman Lewis Pinkham said this year’s process went quickly and smoothly because the individual county departments “did a good job of keeping their budgets down,” so their reserves from last year’s budget carried forward to this year.

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  16. Down East Quilters deliver cuddly comfort for kids in cruisers

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    In the course of any given workweek, Washington County Sheriff Barry Curtis deals with all kinds of characters, not all of them friendly. But Curtis was in cheery company last week when he took delivery of 54 fuzzy teddy bears, each one lovingly handcrafted by members of the Down East Quilters group.

    “Some of us did the sewing, some of us did the stuffing, and some of us were finishing them off,” said Linda Throckmorton, one of the founding members of the group. “They’re small, as you can see, and they’re very soft.”

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  17. Machias area residents to receive insulating window inserts

    How can you beat a deal that will save you money, keep you warm, and reduce the amount of heating fuel being burned?  350 Downeast and Machias Savings Bank are offering such a deal again this year with a WindowDresser workshop, December 5-10.  With expertise from Windowdressers, a non-profit in Rockland, Maine we will be assembling more than 200 window inserts to insulate draughty windows in the Machias area.  Last year WindowDressers held 33 workshops across the state with over 1,000 community volunteers making 7,597 window inserts with 34% provided free to low-income households.  Those wi

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  18. November court date set for State v. Teer

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Dr. Cynthia Teer is scheduled to appear in Kennebec County Superior Court later this month for a contempt hearing, according to Maine Office of the Attorney General (OAG) spokesperson Marc Malon.

    Teer’s license to practice veterinary medicine was suspended by the state in Jan. 2018, and revoked following a Sept. 25 hearing of the Maine Board of Veterinary Medicine.

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  19. MSB donates to Community Christmas Giving Tree program

    The employees of the Machias Branch of Machias Savings Bank raise funds by contributing to the bank’s Dress Down on Fridays Program, and then they donate to a program that is making a difference in the community.  The Community Christmas Giving Tree Program is proud and excited to share that they are the recipients of $1,500 raised by the employees this year.  “We are honored by your gift,” said charity volunteer Debra Echkart. “Thanks so much to all of you!  This is a tremendous boost to our program.”

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  20. Out and About in Columbia

    by Ronie Strout

    I guess it is time, I waited till the 5th to build my first fire in the kitchen cookstove. We have a Union Crawford cast iron stove that puts out a lot of heat in the downstairs area. Now we will do most of our cooking on this as it is quicker than the gas stove. Now I must ready my wood box for the load of wood that I can place in it from the woodshed and bring in my bundle of kindling that I put in a huge cast iron pot beside the stove to start the fire with. Let it snow, I am prepared…

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  21. Ticks in the deer woods

    by V. Paul Reynolds

    Most of us who spend time deer hunting have had encounters with deer ticks, the bad ones, or know someone with Lyme disease. Earlier this fall, University of Maine Professor Jim Dill, a tick expert, appeared as a guest on my Sunday night call-in radio program, Maine Outdoors. The phones rang constantly the entire hour as listeners cued up to ask their questions of Professor Dill. Dill heads up a new diagnostics research facility at the University of Maine that opened this past April.

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  22. The Nature of Phenology: Winterberry

    by Hazel Stark

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  23. Meet the new Machias Chief of Police

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    We all know someone who had their fill of Maine winters and moved south to sunny Florida, but people migrating north are harder to find. Yet that’s just what Todd Hand did when, after more than 25 years in Florida law enforcement, he became an associate professor and relocated to Unity, Maine. Now, he’s ready to move even farther north, into his new position as the Machias Chief of Police.

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  24. Just in time for winter, new yarn shop brings Wooleez warmth to Main Street

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Beginning Friday, Nov. 8, knitters, crocheters and other yarn enthusiasts will have a wooly destination to tide them over between stops in Ellsworth and Lubec. That’s the day Melissa Molinari will celebrate the grand opening of Machias’ own yarn shop, Wooleez, which will be located on Main Street next to Sew Fetch Dog Co.

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  25. Maine economy bears brunt of lost pot sales

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Although a handful of pot shops regularly conduct business Downeast, they all sell medical marijuana, not recreational or adult use, because after three years Maine is still not ready to authorize those sales. In the meantime, the town of Machias is preparing for the state rollout by drafting an ordinance, which will then be presented to the voters.

    There are presently four cannabis shops in Machias, all licensed to sell medical marijuana: Lake Smoke, Indian Trail, Bold Coast Cannabis and Smoke Solutions.

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  26. State warns towns: Teer’s rabies certificates invalid

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Area municipalities have been directed not to honor rabies certificates issued by Dr. Cynthia Teer, due to her lack of a veterinary license. The notice, sent from the desk of Maine Assistant State Veterinarian Dr. Rachael Fiske, was circulated Friday, Nov. 1, and advises towns to decline rabies certificates issued by Teer in 2018 and 2019.

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  27. Jonesport Fire Department substation under review

    by Nancy Beal

    For the past several weeks, Jonesport selectmen have been addressing the status of their fire department’s substation in Masons Bay. The small two-bay structure was built in the early 1980s to provide fire protection for structures of Jonesporters who lived out of town. It has not, however, played a role in the town’s firefighting plans for many years.

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  28. Solar proves its worth for Sunrise Opportunities

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Two multi-unit apartment buildings in Washington County were fitted with solar panels late last year. Now the data is in, and it shows the payoffs are big.

    “We installed the solar system around October and November of 2018 and went down to an electric bill of zero dollars since the sun started coming out again [in May,]” said Sunrise Opportunities Executive Director Tom Michaud, pointing to a graph. “I expect the trend to continue.”

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  29. Out and About in Columbia

    by Ronie Strout

     

    October is now in the books, where have the days gone? I guess when you’re busy time flies by faster.

    We had seven kids come to Trick or Treat for Halloween, the weather and all the other activities for the kids to go to probably kept some from going to house to house. It is always great when my grandson and his friends still come by. It won’t be long before he will outgrow this tradition.

    Hunting season has come, and congratulations to all the youths that got their deer on Youth Day.

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  30. ‘Scientific Illustrations’ featured in UMM Art Gallery

    “Scientific Illustrations,” an exhibit of new work by Margaret La Farge, will be displayed in the Art Gallery at the University of Maine at Machias through the month of December. The gallery is located in Powers Hall and is open to the public from 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday–Thursday and noon–5 p.m. on Fridays. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact 207.255.1200.

    Featuring exquisite black-and-white renderings of wildlife and plants, the series showcases La Farge’s painstaking attention to detail and heartfelt appreciation for the natural world.

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  31. The Nature of Phenology: Warblers and Cluster Flies

    by Joseph Horn

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  32. Horse trailer website alleges Machias business location

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    An alleged horse trailer business operating under the name Equine Station LLC lists its United States Inventory address as 36 Broadway, Machias, and responds to customer inquiries stating it ships from Machias zip code 04654. However, there is no such address, and the state of Maine has no record of a business by that name.

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  33. Machiasport volunteers sought to turn bicentennial grant into tricentennial forest, and more

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Machiasport Town Clerk Marcia Hayward came home from the Maine Municipal Association’s annual conference buzzing with ideas about celebrating Maine in 2020, and some of those ideas could stretch into the future of Machiasport.

    “They're going to great lengths to make the 200th birthday of Maine’s statehood a big deal,” she said. 

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  34. UMS Chancellor brings Unified Accreditation plan to UMM

    by Nancy Beal

    To a lecture hall of approximately 40 faculty, students and administrators last week, University of Maine System (UMS) Chancellor Dannel Malloy brought a proposed structure he called “unified accreditation” of the flagship university in Orono and the seven satellite campuses located from Portland to Fort Kent. His audience included UMM President Joan Ferrini-Mundy and Head of Campus Daniel Qualls, as well as a handful of skeptics whose questions he encouraged following his presentation.

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  35. Commissioner Liberty cites major drivers of incarceration

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Jail funding problems have festered for decades with all proposed solutions leading to more money being requested, then less money being allotted.

    Through several commissioners of corrections, the dilemma has continued, but Comm. Randall Liberty, the latest and most outspoken to head the department, has a different take on how to address inmates and their immediate future behind bars.

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  36. At public hearing, Machias takes feedback on marijuana

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Sixteen people attended a public hearing to gather feedback on an ordinance that, if adopted by Machias voters, would govern sales of adult use marijuana. The meeting took place on Thursday, Oct. 24.

    Chairman Joshua Rolfe said the Machias Board of Selectmen convened the hearing to gather feedback on three specific questions: should the town limit the number of adult use marijuana shops, should the town limit where shops can locate, and how much to charge for permit fees.

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  37. Arise Addiction Recovery reaches out to local schools

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Arise Addiction Recovery Director Paul Trovarello knows that for kids, serious addiction can begin in innocent ways.

    “With me it just started as something to do, having fun. I didn’t know I was a drug addict until I needed to take Percocet so I wasn’t sick,” said Trovarello. “Fun and addiction can really go hand in hand for a kid.”

    To help Washington County youth avoid addiction, Arise Addiction Recovery is making presentations in eight area schools.

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  38. Barge bound for Bahamas makes unexpected stop in the middle of Elm Street

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A trailer carrying a barge bottomed out on Elm Street in Machias, closing the road to traffic for 24 hours starting Monday, Oct. 21. But the sequence of events that led to the road closure began much earlier when Hurricane Dorian laid waste to the Bahamas on September 1.

    Regarded as the worst natural disaster in the history of the island nation, Dorian hit with winds topping 185 miles per hour, killing more than 60 and leveling a home built there by Clay Thomas of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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  39. Forever young

    by Wayne Smith

    The year was 1967. An October wind blew a gale in Jonesboro. The trees were naked with leaves blowing into the local streets and off of the side roads that barely got plowed in the wintertime. Children rode bicycles up and down these streets, all day long, until winter came. Birds were finding their way south. The Red Sox played the Cardinals in the World Series. Everyone watched the flashy arm of St. Louis’ pitcher, Bob Gibson. The impossible happened and the Red Sox lost in game seven.

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  40. Out and About in Columbia

    by Ronie Strout

    Sunday afternoon, October 20, neighbors Dick and Sherry Paul had a gathering with friends for an apple cider event. Lots of apples and lots of cider was made for everyone to take home.

    The phys ed class took their last canoeing and kayaking class for the year on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Now they will do some hiking if the weather stays good.
    I finally got my lawn mowed for the last time this season. Looks neat and hopefully, I won’t have to mow again till June next year.

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  41. WA students to present The Legend of Sleepy Hollow at UMM

    The theater students at Washington Academy will bring Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to the stage at the University of Maine at Machias’ Performing Arts Center this November. The play is an exciting new adaptation by the father-son team Peter and Hans Bloedel blending original background music by Benji Inniger. Poetry, dance, and a touch of humor also add a new twist to this gothic classic.

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  42. WA student Noah Carver to perform at Carnegie Hall

    Noah Carver, son of Buzz and Suzanne Carver of Beals Island, was selected to be a member of the Honors Performance Series which will perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City.  The Series is a group comprised of high school music students who will come together in New York to perform, tour the city, and attend a Broadway play of their choice.  

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  43. The Nature of Phenology: Ring-billed gulls

    by Hazel Stark

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  44. Machias Valley News Observer takes home 9 awards from Maine Press Association

    At its annual state conference held Oct. 19, the Maine Press Association recognized the Machias Valley News Observer with nine writing and photography awards. MVNO sister paper, the Calais Advertiser, won four awards, including one for General Excellence in Advertising.

    The awards were presented Saturday night at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Portland, concluding a day of workshops and networking for reporters and photographers, journalists, advertising staff, and designers throughout the state.

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  45. Barge set for Bahamas makes unexpected stop in the middle of Elm Street

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The sequence of events that shut down Elm Street in Machias for 24 hours this week began much earlier, when Hurricane Dorian laid waste to the Bahamas on September 1.

    Regarded as the worst natural disaster in the history of the island nation, Dorian hit with winds topping 185 miles per hour, killing more than 60 and leveling a home built there by Clay Thomas of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 

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