1. Malcolm Stephen Holmes

     

    EAST MACHIAS - Malcolm Stephen Holmes, passed away December 7, 2019, at home after a hard-fought battle against cancer.  He was surrounded by his family and was loved beyond measure until the very end.

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  2. Tuell’s DA bill advances in emergency session

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A bill that could give Downeast voters a say in their district attorney coverage advanced past the state legislative council on Friday, Dec. 6.

    “An Act to Create Separate Prosecutorial Districts in Downeast Maine,” sponsored by Rep. Will Tuell (R-E. Machias), was initially voted down by the committee, but passed on appeal last week. Tuell said he was especially pleased that the passing vote reflected bipartisan support.

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  3. DMR, MLA whale plans move forward

    by Nancy Beal

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  4. Lobsters crest variable wave of fluctuating risk, reward

    by Ruth Leubecker

    While warming waters may eventually contribute to a period of decline in lobster fishing in the Gulf of Maine, other factors enter into the viability of Maine’s premier crustacean.

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  5. University of Maine at Machias hosting one-act play ‘The Dollar’

    by Tyler Royle

    The University of Maine at Machias is hosting a play that will be performed at the Performance Arts Center by the students in Instructor Eustacia Landrum’s class. “The Dollar” is a comedic play about a bunch of lost travelers fighting among themselves over the discovery of a dollar. The play is set to have a bunch of random skits that will be open to the public.

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  6. Machias seeks airport planning and engineering consultant

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The town of Machias is seeking the services of a consultant who can help assess the feasibility of building a second runway at Machias Valley Municipal Airport.

    “This is very preliminary, to see if a second runway can be built,” said Machias Airport Committee Chairman Michael Radeka. “It’s something we’ve been working toward for quite a while.”

    Town manager Christina Therrien issued the Request for Proposal last week and said the town’s goal is to determine if a longer crosswind or “alternate” runway is even feasible.

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  7. MSBFoundation Awards $150,000 in Community Development Grants

    The Machias Savings Bank Foundation awarded 22 organizations with a total of more than $150,000 in Community Development Grants last month. The organizations are located in six different counties with statewide reach and impact.

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  8. Christmas on Beals Island

    by Wayne Smith

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  9. Out and About in Columbia

    by Ronie Strout

     

    Another week has flown by, how does that happen? Is it because I am so busy that it flies by so quickly? I suppose that it would be a boring life if the days dragged on with me not doing anything constructive.

    On Tuesday the 3rd school was canceled due to the storm that we had. I did get most of my Christmas cards made out and filled up my wood box for the stove. Sometimes it seems that when your usual routine is off a person just cannot get anything done during the day.

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  10. This weekend’s Festival of Trees boasts more than 50 volunteers

    Eastport Arts Center’s 10th Annual Festival of Trees, a festive silent auction of tabletop trees, will be held Saturday, Dec. 14 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. This year, the festival’s ‘forest’ of trees include decorating schemes to appeal to oenophiles, bookworms, Zentangle enthusiasts, art lovers, rock hounds, foodies, fabric art creators, aficionados of jewelry, dog families and globe-trotters. While browsing the array of trees, attendees can enjoy live music by the Moose Island House Players: Brandy and Ross Argir, Alice St.

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  11. Students serve up pizza to raise funds

    Students at the Cobscook Experiential Program invite the community to an all you can eat pizza and music fundraiser on Friday, Dec. 13, from 6 – 8 p.m. Students are raising money to support hands-on learning by building electric guitars. O’McCrelli and friends will entertain with a holiday sing-a-long. The suggested donation for the dinner is $10 per person or $20 per family.

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  12. The Nature of Phenology: Mice coming inside

    by Hazel Stark

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  13. Innovative library contest brings overdue book back to East Machias after 21 years

    by Tyler Royle

    Florence Sturdivant Public Library held a contest back in September in order to track down overdue library books. The contest was that the person who turned in the most overdue library book would win a prize without suffering any repercussions. The contest was advertised in the Machias Valley News Observer in the months of September and October in hopes of bringing in those people who still had overdue books.

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  14. Machias prepares for this weekend’s community Christmas extravaganza

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    This year, several traditional Machias holiday festivities — and one brand new event  — have combined together to form one gigantic community-wide Christmas celebration.

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  15. Governor committed to helping uninsured Mainers

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Describing specific plans in exclusive remarks to the MVNO, Gov. Janet Mills has outlined her intentions for bringing health care to all Mainers.

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  16. New Ark administrator aims for loving, permanent pet homes

    by Tanya Rucosky

    New Shelter Administrator for the Ark Animal Shelter, Shaina Mugford, is working hard to keep the 35-year-old no-kill shelter finding pets good homes. Coming from Narraguagus High School with a background in animal welfare and a member of the Underhound Railroad, Shaina, “Lives and breathes for the Ark Animal Shelter.”

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  17. Birds in exquisite detail: La Farge’s ‘Scientific Illustrations’ on exhibit in Machias

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Bird watchers are made of hardy stock, willing to brave thorn, brush, vine or snow for the sight of one elusive species. This month, though, Downeast bird lovers have easier delights within their grasp. An art show featuring the illustrations of Machias artist Margaret La Farge is tucked warmly within the art gallery at the top of College Hill.

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  18. Jonesport’s “car wash” culvert floods Route 187

    by Nancy Beal

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  19. A word from old St. Nick

    by Wayne Smith

    I have interviewed high school basketball players, Red Sox Players, Stephen King, Don Imus (Imus in the Morning), and the average Joes off the street. I’ve covered town meetings, board meetings, had my picture taken with Peter, Paul and Mary, Olympia Snowe, Warren Zevon, a Penthouse Pet Amy Lynn, Roger Clements, Carlton Willey and even went on a lobster boat.

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  20. Washington County Children’s Chorus to perform 2019 Christmas concert Dec. 15

    The Washington County Children’s Chorus will perform its annual Christmas concert on Sunday, Dec. 15, in Machias.

    This unique chorus is comprised of more than 30 youth who travel from all over the county to rehearse each Sunday afternoon, under the instruction of chorus director Christine Guy, who founded the chorus more than 30 years ago with her husband, Douglas. Both were honored in October with the News Center Maine 2019 “2 Those Who Care Award” for their extraordinary efforts on behalf of Washington County youth.

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  21. UMM filmmakers to be featured in University of Maine Film Festival

    Two films produced by students at the University of Maine at Machias have been selected as finalists for the 2019 University of Maine Film Festival.

    “A Journey in Darkness Through Music” and “When the Chevy Breaks (How Small Towns Fix Big Problems)” will be screened at the free public festival in Orono at UMaine’s Corbett Business Building, room 100, from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7.

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  22. The Nature of Phenology: Geminid meteor showers

    by Joseph Horn

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  23. Dutch ‘fish farmers’ share $100M plan for Jonesport

    by Nancy Beal

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  24. Volunteers care for Machias cat colonies

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A small band of local volunteers has been quietly working to care for and reduce the massive feral cat population in Machias with low-cost spay and neuter clinics, and now they’re offering a low-cost rabies vaccination clinic to be held Sunday, Dec. 8, and their final spay and neuter clinic of 2019 to be held on Monday, Dec. 9. More clinics are already in the pipeline for 2020.

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  25. Vigil to honor memories of children who left too soon

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A candlelight vigil planned for Sunday, Dec. 8, will bring bereaved families together to honor the memories of their children. Set to take place at the University of Maine at Machias Performing Arts Center, the Machias event is timed to coincide with a worldwide vigil organized by The Compassionate Friends, a group that offers support to families after a child dies.

    “It’s believed to be the biggest candlelight vigil in the world,” said Shelley Roberts, one of the local organizers.

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  26. Gateway Milbridge hails the season with $50,000 matching grant and cash calendar fundraiser

    by Ruth Leubecker

    An anonymous donor, a stage move to the waterfront and a coveted recognition for transparency and results have honored the volunteer efforts of Gateway Milbridge.
    “The donor has offered us a $50,000 matching grant opportunity,” says Richard Bondurant of the grant proposal which was announced back in September, but has special significance over the holiday season. “We have until December 31 to fulfill the match. Some supporters have said they’ll donate toward the match challenge as part of their year-end gift giving.”

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  27. Bad Little Boards brings skate culture to Main Street

    by Tyler Royle

    Two Machias men have banded together to bring a new kind of shop to Main Street. Aaron Ackley and Brendon Sohre opened the doors on Bad Little Boards earlier this year, building on their shared love of skateboarding. Ackley has been working with skateboards for the last twenty years and is responsible for building and fixing skateboards. Sohre runs the merchandising side of the company by selling different types of branding, from clothes to gemstones.

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  28. Deputies make drug arrests, K-9 Runa treated for suspected heroin exposure

    On Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 3:44 p.m. Deputies Matthew Carter and Toni Bridges of the Washington County Sheriff's Office were conducting a traffic stop on Water Street in Addison. The deputies requested the assistance of Deputy Ryan Allen and his K-9 Runa for a vehicle search. Runa is trained and certified to detect illegal drugs.

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  29. Pet owners encouraged to respond to Machias pet survey

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Despite last week’s windy weather, representatives of a New England animal welfare organization set up tables around Machias, sharing information about a survey they’re conducting.

    “We want to understand what people think about different pet issues, what they’re seeing as problems in the community, and what’s going on with their own pets if they have them,” said Hanna Lentz of Impact by Design, the research firm conducting the Machias Pet Survey.

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  30. Volunteers sought to set up Machias skating rink

     After a prolonged absence due to insurance difficulties, the Town of Machias and the Machias Bay Area Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce the return of the public ice skating rink to Southside Ball Field.

    “It broke our hearts that the rink was not able to be installed for the last several years,” said MBACC Executive Director Sharon Mack. “This was a very popular place in the past and offered great outdoor recreation for many children and families.”

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  31. Washington Academy Wrestlers bring home the hardware

    The Washington Academy Raiders have a mix of new and returning wrestlers, both boys and girls, competing in the Class B North Division. WA is starting off the season with the largest squad in recent history. At the Penobscot Valley High School Pre-Season Invitational Wrestling Tournament, the WA wrestlers showed up determined to get their first win.

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  32. The Nature of Phenology: Crows roosting

    by Joseph Horn

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  33. 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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  34. 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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  35. 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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  36. 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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  37. 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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  38. 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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  39. 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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  40. 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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  41. Following in a father’s footsteps

    by Wayne Smith

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  42. 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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  43. The Nature of Phenology: Wild turkeys

    by Hazel Stark

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  44. 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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  45. 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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