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We too had questions when stumbling across this photo in the archives dated 1993. According to the caption, the property owner, Maine Hibbard of Gouldsboro, had a simple explanation for why he was using a boat tipped on its end as a lawn ornament: “Something different.” Fair enough. The much-deteriorated boat remains on West Bay Road.
Hello Popsicle Fiends: It's Thursday, June 17. It's officially (almost) summer in Maine, which means we all get to change out of our long underwear and into our lightweight parkas (!!!). As someone once said: "Ahh, summer in Maine. Everybody has a picnic that day." 

This is a picture of me on a recent picnic, wearing a wool sweater and in the midst of buttoning my jacket up to the very top:

Despite the fact that I am, at heart, a lizard whose only desire in life is to bask on a rock in the sun and snag the occasional bug snack, I have stayed in Maine because, despite the fact that summer lasts for like, a weekend, we sure enjoy the hell out of that weekend. (And once you have enough pairs of alpaca socks, the other seasons aren't so bad.) 

In the weather: Mostly sunny, with highs in the upper 60s to mid 70s.
High tide on the Union River is at 4:42 p.m.; low tide is at 10:52 p.m.
Brandi Mitchell gives Dylan Mitchell a celebratory squeeze after Ellsworth High School’s outdoor graduation ceremony at Del Luce Stadium Friday, June 11. In his remarks, Principal Dan Clifford reflected on a tough pandemic year and a group of kids that succeeded in spite of it. “They worked hard, kept a positive attitude and they are here tonight,” he said. Class president and choice speaker Lillian Frank echoed that sentiment in her speech. “Never forget that we did this. We graduated, which alone is a feat in itself, but we graduated during a pandemic.” Ellsworth American photo by Cyndi Wood.

Self-storage is a booming city business

How many self-storage units does a city need? Apparently the number keeps growing for Ellsworth. The reasons are various and anecdotal but point to a seasonal cycle that leaves a scant number of available units when people want them most. Storage units seem to be in demand both from people who need them and people who want to develop them. That demand “surely has a relationship to the housing crisis,” City Planner Elena Piekut said.

RainWise closes in Trenton

The longtime business RainWise, which produces professional grade meteorological equipment, closed its Trenton manufacturing operation June 9. The company was purchased by Pennsylvania-based Nielsen-Kellerman in January 2020, but the initial plan was not to close the Trenton location, said Nielsen-Kellerman Chief Executive Officer Alix James. James said that due to the testing and quarantine requirements during the pandemic, travel to the Trenton business, located on Route 3, became so difficult that it was “almost impossible to implement manufacturing improvements.” 

Ellsworth’s first Pride Festival was held Sunday afternoon in Knowlton Park. A crowd of well over a hundred gathered for the event, which featured live music, yoga, a Drag Queen Story Hour and a performance by members of the Ellsworth High School Show Choir. Ellsworth American photo by Cyndi Wood

Gouldsboro voters keep police department, prefer local patrol

Selectmen are focused on finding a new police chief after voters overwhelmingly nixed their recommendation to disband the town’s troubled police department at the annual Town Meeting June 9. A majority also rejected granting selectmen the option to contract with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office. Most of the estimated 180 voters in attendance preferred having police officers who know the community and can be relied on to provide prompt response to emergencies and handle day-to-day issues such as checking on someone’s well-being or rounding up a dog at large. 

Green Lake property owners frustrated by close boats

City councilors discussed at a finance meeting June 14 the house float issue plaguing Green Lake residents after City Manager Glenn Moshier said he had received emails from lake front residents over recent activity on the lake. Some of those residents, along with recreational users of the lake, had filled an April 19 council meeting over a particular house float, owned by Jason Spinney and Terry Pinkham, that residents said anchored close to shore for extended stays. Frequently, other watercraft would tie up to extend the party. 

National Park Service photo
Chandler named Legendary Warden

Large portions of the park’s carriage roads west of Eagle Lake and Jordan Pond were extensively damaged by a rainstorm in the early hours of June 9 and remain closed pending repairs, which could take several months. Ten miles of the 45-mile carriage road system are closed. Wild Gardens of Acadia at Sieur de Monts was closed for several days after the storm but is now open. Hiking trails are open, but some sections including foot bridges may be washed out. Park officials said in a press release Monday that the short duration and unusual intensity of the rainstorm combined to make it “one of the most exceptional weather events in the park’s history.”

Blue Hill Fair back for 2021

 Planning a wedding for 200 guests usually takes a year, said new Blue Hill Fair General Manager Erik Fitch. This year, fair organizers have less than three months left to plan a five-day party for 40,000. But rest assured, acts and entertainment will be booked, food vendors lined up and ribbons and prizes ordered in time for this year’s fair, which will run Thursday, Sept. 2, through Monday, Sept. 6. Fitch replaces Rob Eaton, who has retired after 30 years of organizing and managing the fair. The fair began in 1891 and has run continuously except for in 1943, when the U.S. was at war, and last year, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Photo courtesy of Ariel Gilley

Halibut missed the hooks this year

As the brief halibut season comes to a close, several fishermen, seafood suppliers and lobster pounds across Hancock County said this year was a quiet one. “The first few days of halibut trawling looked promising and then it went to pretty much nothing,” said Debbie Parsons, the owner of Parsons Lobster in Bar Harbor. The flatfish is one of the largest fish found in the Gulf of Maine and it’s a sure sign of spring when they start showing up in lobster pounds and on restaurant plates.

Lobster boat races — “a classic Maine tradition” — are all on this year

After COVID-19 cut about half of the races out the Maine Lobster Boat Racing schedule last year, the annual tradition is back in full swing for 2021. The races kicked off this weekend in Boothbay and will arrive in Bass Harbor on June 27. “It’s really a classic Maine tradition,” said Colyn Rich, a Tremont lobsterman who organized the local race. “If you haven’t had the chance to see it, you have to come see it.”

Nichole Ginn photo

Sister Act

Three hardworking sisters have created livelihoods by providing people with “life’s essentials” — gourmet cheesecake, a welcoming tavern with creative cocktails and freshly scrubbed houses. In 2016, the Leaches’ middle child, Brenda “Momo” Ledezma, started Momo’s Cheesecakes Bakery in Ellsworth, selling wedges and whole cakes of cherry, strawberry and other flavors out of her Outer Main Street garage on the honor system. Now she and her employees fill orders for 20 wholesale accounts, making between 80 and 100 cheesecakes daily. The youngest sister, Nadine Barnes, works for Momo as her assistant and does all the marketing and has two nieces who also work for her. “I’ve tried quitting several times on my clients,” said Barnes. But they won’t have it. 

Starlink Kits arrive, but night sky concerns arise

Mainers who signed up to receive a Starlink Kit — equipment from billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s broadband internet service — are starting to receive and set up the technology that will connect them to satellite internet. And for many, the calls for increased broadband access may have been answered. But will it come at the cost of experiencing Maine’s dark skies? “I don’t want to deny anyone the internet. I live by it every day,” Dark Sky Maine Vice President and Secretary John Meader said. “There’s got to be a balance to how we do that, so we don’t lose something else.”

Ellsworth baseball tops Caribou in wild finish in Class B North semis

This was never how the Ellsworth baseball team could have dreamed of drawing it up. In a span of just a few minutes Saturday, Ellsworth went from thinking it had won its regional semifinal contest against Caribou to trailing by two runs. A series of mistakes along with a few close calls going the visitors’ way had left the Eagles shell-shocked and in need of a last-ditch rally to save their season. It would have been understandable, then, had a young Ellsworth team been too shaken to mount a comeback. Instead, the Eagles fought back to earn a rollercoaster win — and a spot in yet another Northern Maine championship game.

Heard Around Town: Corea native and author Morna Briggs celebrated her 98th birthday June 10 with her sons Tim and Terry Briggs and other family and friends at Roberta Scott’s home in East Sullivan. “Morna’s Memories” was recently published and gives an account of growing up and living in Downeast Maine during the first half of the 20th century. The book is available for sale at bookemon. com. Morna is currently the town of Gouldsboro’s Boston Post Cane holder.
Going out? Get vaccinated if you haven't already! Here's the updated guidance from the Maine CDC. A note: we highlight a few events here each week, but there's lots going on we don't have room for! Check out the calendar to see more.

Tomorrow, Friday, June 18: 

In Ellsworth, the Woodlawn Museum is holding its annual Woodlawn Invitational Croquet Tournament all day on Thursday, Friday and Saturday; there's a drive-in movie (“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off") playing at the Stonington Ball Field starting at 8:30 p.m. and an $8 Friday meal at the Franklin Veterans Club.

Also on Friday, there's a painting workshop from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Wendell Gilley Museum, where you can learn to paint animals and plants in the style of artist and illustrator Dahlov Ipcar; a concert by instrumental trio Carl Dimow, Mark Tipton and Beau Lisy at 7 p.m. at Surry Arts and Events at the Barn.

On Saturday, June 19, check out the community breakfast in Brooksville from 7 to 9:30 a.m. at the Brooksville Community Center, learn how to mend your clothes at "Intro to Mending," from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Dulse & Rugosa in Gouldsboro, or hear Horticulturist Peter Kukielski speak on growing roses at 2 p.m. at Garland Farm in Bar Harbor.

On Sunday, drum in the Summer Solstice from 3 to 5 p.m. at the boat landing picnic area in Seal Cove or take in a public orchestra concert at 5 p.m. held at the Pierre Monteux School in Hancock.

As of Wednesday, each citizen’s share of the outstanding public debt was $85,249, up $63 from $85,186 last week. Students who attend school in Maine leave with an average student loan debt of $32,521.

Dad joke of the day: How do you deal with a fear of speed bumps? You slowly get over it.

Speaking of dad jokes: Happy Father's Day to all the dads and dad-figures out there! We're grateful for your dad jokes, your wisdom and your all-around awesomeness. We wouldn't be the people we are without you.
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