In the year ahead, it’s time to pick up the pieces

by Ruth Leubecker

Everyone loves Will’s newsletter, and most could guess what he led off with recently. “2018 was a tough year for everyone associated with the Downeast Correctional Facility,” said the East Machias legislator. “2019 is our chance to pick up the pieces, start over again, and turn heartache into joy. Trials and challenges turn around with good people fighting to turn them around. Each of us is up to the task, our community is up for the task, and the rest of the state will see that again in 2019.”

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Redeemed

Editor’s note: During the long, dark months of winter we will feature the work of local artists and writers here in the Arts & Entertainment section. Snow, ice and chilly temps can make it harder to go out in a Downeast winter, so please enjoy a bit of our local arts scene here, from the warmth of your own home.

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by Steve Parrott

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26 local homes receive free insulating window inserts, just in time for winter

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

The carpeted floor of Machias Savings Bank’s training center was covered with protective plastic while busy volunteers moved around half a dozen tables set with tools. Working in shifts over three days, volunteers assembled 183 insulating window inserts last week. Those window inserts will go into 26 local homes for a collective savings of roughly 1,900 gallons of oil. 

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Downeast Lobstah Drop offers full day of free New Year’s fun for families

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

The Fourth Annual Downeast Lobstah Drop lineup is set and volunteers are ready to greet New Year’s revelers on Monday, Dec. 31 in Machias. Activities will run from 9 a.m. to midnight, and all are free of charge to attend.

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A defining reality Downeast could be rural broadband

by Ruth Leubecker

Closing the digital service gap just became significantly more likely with Sen. Angus King’s latest move to make affordable broadband more accessible.

King, a founder and co-chair of the Senate Broadband Caucus, has long touted the vital necessity of bringing high-speed, affordable broadband to Washington County. Many thousands of Internet users remain deprived of such a connection, viewed increasingly as an economic imperative.

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Wild blueberry growers, processors prepare legislation remaking WBC

 

by Nancy Beal

A dozen small wild blueberry growers beat their way through a snowstorm to the Blueberry Hill Farm research station in Jonesboro December 18 to discuss legislation revamping the Wild Blueberry Commission (WBC). Also present were two members of that commission, two WBC staffers and half a dozen observers, including the area’s state representatives and individuals from Washington County Indivisible, a grassroots political action committee interested in local issues.

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Meeting Mencken just wasn’t destined to happen

by Ruth Leubecker

Everyone has someone they wish they might’ve met -- but he died before they could get there. In my case it was H.L. Mencken who died in his sleep five years before I moved to the hometown he never left. Baltimore. 

We would have almost certainly met otherwise, because we would’ve been working in the same newspaper circles. Bill Zorzi, a fellow reporter friend of mine, could recall him covering the police beat at the News American.

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Life in Milbridge

by Wayne Smith

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4th Annual Downeast Lobstah Drop

Check out the digital version of the December 26 issue of the Machias Valley News Observer for the schedule of events for the 4th Annual Downeast Lobstah Drop happening on New Year's Eve!

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Ice: Is it safe?

by V. Paul Reynolds

Each year about this time, the Maine Warden Service urges us to use extreme caution before venturing out onto any ice that may be covering Maine’s waterways.

This is timely advice. Two winters ago, three night-time snow sledders all perished in one night on Rangeley Lake when they and their machines broke through thin ice.

Many of Maine’s lakes and ponds may appear to be frozen, however safe ice conditions cannot be assumed. 

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