1. 12 Machias voters adopt $5.3M school budget

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Twelve Machias voters attended the town meeting held Tuesday, May 28, and approved a 2019/20 school budget of $5,302,588.68, an increase of $161,964.43, or 3.13 percent, over last year’s budget.

    In the coming year, $2,090,708.57 in revenue will be contributed toward that budget via state subsidy, and $1,301,838.00 is projected in revenue from tuition students.

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  2. Shuttleworth hiking cross country on behalf of veterans

    by Nancy Beal

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  3. What to expect at the Annual Machias Town Meeting June 12

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    This year’s edition of the Town of Machias Annual Report begins with a dedication to Warren Gay, Machias Board of Selectmen Chairman who died last year. The report speaks of Gay fondly, and recalls his 13 years of service on the board. “He could often be seen socializing on official business at the town office, riding his scooter through town, or working on vehicles for friends, family, or even strangers.”

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  4. Congressman Jared Golden visits Washington County Democrats

     

    by Nancy Beal

    Maine 2nd Congressional District Representative Jared Golden was the featured speaker at the Washington County Democrats’ Norman Nelson Dinner in Machias May 18. The dinner was held to present the group’s community service award (it went to Fred and Linda Gralenski of Pembroke), and Golden echoed the theme of the evening in his remarks.

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  5. Search continues for former Princeton resident

     

    by Jayna Smith

    Police in Massachusetts are searching for a former Princeton, Maine woman.  Jacqueline “Jackie” Coutinho, age 53, was last seen on the morning of Wednesday, May 15 in Hinsdale, Massachusetts.  She had been spending time there with her sister for the last month.

    Coutinho is described as a white female, approximately 5’ 6”, 130 pounds, with blonde and gray hair.  She was last seen wearing a purple and red sweater, blue jeans, and white sneakers.

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  6. Veterans’ emergency financial assistance available

    The Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services (MBVS) is pleased to announce that the American Legion and Easterseals Maine will be points of contact for distribution of Veterans’ Emergency Financial Assistance (VEFA), which is the result of the passage of LD 1736 in the 128th Maine State Legislature, a bill that was originally sponsored by Representative Louis Luchini of Ellsworth and Representative Bradlee Farrin of Norridgewock.

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  7. Farm tidbits

     

    by Wayne Smith

    My father started dairy farming at his house in Jonesboro with about nine cows back in the 50s. He used stainless steel machines and put the milk in milk cans, and he had a cooler with water in it so that the milk wouldn't curdle. Every day, Shoppe’s Dairy in Machias would pick up the milk and bottle it over there. When he went in the service for two years, my grandfather and grandmother milked the cows. Every night, my grandmother washed the dishes.

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  8. Castlebay returns to Jonesport’s PML Music Series

     

    By Nancy Beal

    Maine vocalists and musicians Julia Lane and Fred Gosbee have been weaving the musical heritage of New England and Celtic lands since 1987 and, as Castlebay, they are a familiar duo in Jonesport. On Saturday, June 15 at 2 p.m., they will bring their distinctive Celtic flair back to the Peabody Memorial Library’s summer series Music in the Library for the series’ opening concert of the season and Castlebay’s ninth appearance since the series began.

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  9. The Nature of Phenology: Nutrient cycling

    by Joseph Horn

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  10. Governor Mills directs flags lowered immediately in honor of Virginia Beach victims

    In accordance with a directive from the President, Governor Janet Mills directed that the United States and State of Maine flags be flown at half-staff statewide immediately until sunset on Tuesday, June 4, in honor of the victims of a Friday shooting in Virginia Beach, Virginia and issued the following statement: "Maine grieves with Virginia for the lives lost Friday in a devastating, senseless act of violence," said Governor Mills.

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  11. Machias School Budget Referendum vote, Tuesday, May 28

    Machias residents will vote on the 2019/20 school budget referendum on Tuesday, May 28 at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Rose M. Gaffney Elementary School gymnasium. 

     

     

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  12. Teachers, board clash face-to-face over ongoing salary negotiations

     

    by Nancy Beal

    School board meetings in Union 103 (Beals and Jonesport) are usually low-key affairs that rarely draw the public out. Last week, the May 23 meeting of the joint committee that oversees issues affecting all three district schools attracted over 20 teachers and community members looking to challenge the board on its refusal to accept the salary recommendations of a fact-finding panel. That panel supported the teachers’ request to change the number of steps on the salary scale and to increase the step monetary raise.

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  13. Bargaining stalled, but vigil draws crowd in support of Calais nurses

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Although over 100 turned out for a vigil in community support for Calais nurses and technicians, negotiations between employees and Calais Regional Hospital persist in a stalemate.

    “There are dozens of openings at the hospital right now that management cannot fill,” said Alison Monaghan, RN, after the vigil. “If there aren’t enough employees, then this hospital cannot function properly, and that’s just not acceptable for our patients.”

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  14. Machiasport votes to purchase Pettegrow Point property

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A heated issue many months in the making came to a partial conclusion at a special town meeting held Monday, May 13, when Machiasport residents authorized the town to purchase 37 acres of shorefront land in Bucks Harbor.

    The town originally voted to purchase the property in 2017, and constructed a deal with Land for Maine Futures (LMF) who proposed paying half of the estimated $275,000 cost from its public access fund in order to expand and ensure public access to Bucks Harbor in perpetuity.

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  15. Speaking out about life with learning disabilities

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Despite lifelong struggles with reading, Shannon Davenport just wrote an essay on what it’s like to live with a learning disability.

    “It just came to mind, writing about it. It just came to me,” said Davenport. “I could see the words on the paper, and that just helped.”

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  16. Living and having a learning disability

    by Shannon Davenport

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  17. Teachers unhappy with board’s rejection of recommendation

    by Nancy Beal

    Sixteen teachers from the three schools in the Moosabec area’s Union 103 district gathered in the art room at Jonesport Elementary School May 14 to air their grievances and plan their next step. They have been working without a contract for over a year during which time the negotiating teams from their union, the Moose-A-Bec Teachers Association (MAT), and the school board have been unable to reach an agreement on a new three-year contract.

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  18. Margaretta Days Festival right around the corner, June 14-15

    Mark your calendars for the 19th Annual Margaretta Days Festival and Crafts Fair, which will take place June 14-15 on the lawn of the University of Maine at Machias.

    The festival celebrates the “Lexington of the Sea,” the first naval battle of the American Revolution, fought — and won — by Machias patriots in June 1775.

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  19. Moosabec Ambulance Service honors its own during EMS Week

     

    by Nancy Beal

    The Moosabec Ambulance Service (MAS) took part in EMS Week (Emergency Medical Services) last week with a service award luncheon at its hangar on Jonesport’s Main Street, where members of the MAS crew were recognized for their years of service. The event was organized by MAS service chief Renée Gray, a homemaker, Lubec town manager and a 20-year veteran of the ambulance service.

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  20. Right from the barber’s chair

     

    by Wayne Smith

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  21. Preseason benefit to support landmark 50th season of Machias Bay Chamber Concerts

     

    The Machias Bay Chamber Concerts will present a fundraising pre-season piano show on Sunday, June 9, at 7:30 p.m. in Centre Street Congregational Church in Machias. This concert will feature local pianists who perform in a variety of styles, including classical, jazz, blues, and experimental. There will be a mid-show intermission with refreshments, as well as a visual-art display. This presentation will benefit this 50th season of the series, and we’re asking a minimum $5 admission for this amazing evening. Here’s a preview of the musicians for this night:

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  22. PBSO presents spring concert series

     

    The Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony Orchestra concludes its spring season with three performances on Friday, June 14 at 7 p.m. at the Eastport Arts Center; Saturday, June 15 at 3 p.m. at the Centre Street Congregational Church in Machias; and Sunday, June 16 at 3 p.m. at the Calais Congregational Church.

    The program includes Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischutz Overture, Paul Hindemith’s Metamorphosis and two works for orchestra and cello, Max Bruch’s Kol Nidrei and David Popper’s Hungarian Rhapsody.

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  23. The Nature of Phenology: American Shad

     

    by Joseph Horn

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  24. Machias Memorial Day Parade

     The American Legion Post #9 will lead a Memorial Day ceremony at Longfellow Cemetery on Monday, May 27, at 10 a.m. Longfellow Cemetery is located on Court Street on beyond the hospital, heading toward Whitneyville. Then the Memorial Day parade will line up at Machias Memorial High School at 10:30 a.m., and march at 11 a.m. down Court Street.

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  25. Democratic Party controlled House and Senate pass taxpayer funding for abortion

    by Pravda Gladio

    For the first time in Maine, on May 16, Democrats controlling both the House and Senate in Augusta have passed taxpayer-supported abortion services under LD 820.

    Many Mainers who objected to the use of taxpayer dollars for abortion attended the Committee Hearings in April and gave testimony.  Mainers testified that they did not want their tax dollars being used to fund abortion, which is an elective procedure 99% of the time.

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  26. Reduced tonnage could cost towns planning withdrawal from PRSWDD

     

    by Nancy Beal

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  27. Stevenson sentenced, receives 30 days jail time, four years probation

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Christopher Stevenson of Roque Bluffs pleaded nolo contendere to charges of operating after suspension, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and manslaughter for an accident that took the life of his 11-year-old daughter on the night of Dec. 14, 2017. An earlier charge of operating under the influence was dismissed.

    Stevenson was sentenced to 30 days in jail and four years probation. His daughter, Keagan Stevenson, was a student in the 5th grade at Rose M. Gaffney Elementary School in Machias.

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  28. CRH nurses: ‘We’re fighting to keep this hospital alive’

    by Ruth Leubecker

    With negotiations ended and issues unsettled, Calais Regional Hospital nurses are asking the community to turn out for a vigil to marshall support for their jobs.

    “I negotiated their last contract in 2015, and with good results,” says Todd Ricker, Maine Nurses Association labor representative, “but since then, the administration has changed. My idea is the CEO decided to take an aggressive stance against the nurses.”

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  29. Roque Bluffs says yes to municipal broadband network

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    At a town meeting held Wednesday, May 15 residents of Roque Bluffs voted 63 to 27 in favor of building their own high-speed broadband network, funded either by a USDA grant or loan taken out by the municipality.

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  30. The evolution of Memorial Day

     

    by Ralph Canevali

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  31. Librarians meet In Whitneyville

    Washington County Librarians along with Lisa Shaw and Jennifer Melvin, both of the Maine State Library, met on Monday, May 13 at the new Whitneyville Public Library. Librarians came to discuss what is new and what is happening at their libraries.

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  32. Hannah Weston DAR installs new officers

     

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  33. DECH Auxiliary announces 2019 scholarship winners

     

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  34. Machias Memorial High School proudly announces Class of 2019 Honor Parts

     

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  35. Machias High School News

     

    Does it seem like there is always a police vehicle at Machias Memorial High School (MMHS)?  Well there is!  MMHS and Rose M. Gaffney Elementary School (RMG) are coming to the end of the first year of their School Resource Officer Program. Through a partnership between the Machias School Department and the Town of Machias a police officer has been present on campus five days a week for the 2018-2019 school year.

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  36. Chorus to present a World Tour in Song

     

    Quoddy Voices will present its spring concerts on Friday, May 31 at 7 p.m., and Sunday, June 2 at 3 p.m., at the Eastport Arts Center. The program, Around the World In 80 Minutes, is a rhythmic and joyful exploration of the great diversity of musical traditions in our world.  The featured work is one recently composed for Quoddy Voices by Chinese composer Yujing Bai.

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  37. The Nature of Phenology: Shadbush

     

    by Joseph Horn

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  38. Fiddleheads, a springtime delicacy

     

    by Jayna Smith

    Fiddleheads, the young coiled fronds of the ostrich fern, are a springtime delicacy in Maine and New Brunswick, and in other Northeastern states and Maritime provinces.  According to University of Maine Cooperative Extension, nearly all ferns have fiddleheads, but not all fiddleheads are edible.

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  39. Machias arrests expand on countywide drug sweep

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    On the evening of Thursday, May 16, multiple local sources reported an apparent group arrest taking place at the Machias River Redemption Center on Main Street in Machias. 

    Today, Maine State Police spokesperson Steve McCausland confirmed that three more people were arrested as part of a crackdown on the acquisition of illicit drugs in New York City and the distribution of those drugs throughout Hancock and Washington Counties. 

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  40. Fact-finding fails to unlock stalemate in Moosabec teacher contract talks

    by Nancy Beal

    Teachers at the three schools in the Moosabec area have been working without a contract since last September when the three-year collective bargaining agreement with the joint school board expired and teachers and the board failed to agree on the terms of its replacement (see MVNO, December 5, 2018). Last month, the recommendations of a fact-finding panel were handed down and last week they became public. The two sides were still at an impasse.

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  41. Small berry growers struggle for fair playing field in Augusta

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Battered by foreign competition and diving prices, Washington County’s wild blueberry growers are hoping for a legislative helping hand.

    LD 145, sponsored by Rep. Bob Alley from Beals, seeks to even up the Wild Blueberry Commission board, upping the number of members from eight to 10, so that instead of five processor members and three growers, there would be five of each - if the bill passes as intended.

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  42. How to prevent tick diseases in prime Lyme season

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    So far this year there have been 103 confirmed new cases of Lyme disease in Maine, and the most active tick months are still in front of us. Scientists and other experts agree that an integrated pest management (IPM) approach is the most effective way to minimize your chances of contracting a tick-borne illness.

    “Generally, people want this silver bullet solution that can do one thing and it will eliminate the ticks,” said Griffin Dill, scientist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

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  43. Meet Millie, the cat with no eyes

     

    by Jayna Smith

    May is National Pet Month, a time to celebrate the benefits that pets bring to people’s lives--and vice versa. One feline friend showing lots of love and affection to her owner is Millie, a cat who has never seen her owner, Greg Williams, because she has no eyes.

    About 12 years ago, Greg saw Millie’s picture in The Machias Valley News Observer. Millie was the featured cat that week by The Ark Animal Shelter in Cherryfield.

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  44. Young entrepreneurs buck all the trends with popular Machias game shop

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    We’ve all heard that young people spend too much time on screens, and we’ve all heard that young people are leaving Maine, but there’s a place in Machias that runs counter to both trends. Mahoney’s Gaming Emporium is a shop where young people crowd in almost every night to play tabletop games together, and its young owners moved to make a home for themselves right here in Washington County.

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  45. Machias Airport capital campaign takes off

     

    The Machias Airport Committee, supported by the Town Manager and Selectboard, announced the official launch of the MVM Phase I Capital Fundraising Campaign beginning with a $50,000 pledge from Machias Savings Bank, bolstered by a $12,500 pledge from Bold Coast Smoke Shop, and further backed by numerous private citizen donations.

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