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August 11, 2017
THE END OF AN ERA? Justin Day of Cooper, right, and his right-hand man, David McVicar, hold their hand-rakes as they stand by a blueberry winnowing machine that was used in the 1940s and ’50s. Few fields are now being hand-raked, and for this first time in 50 years Day won’t be harvesting his 100 acres of wild blueberries because the price is so low. (Edward French photo)
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WISPS OF LIGHT create an abstract design with these fireworks set off by the Grand Manan Fire Department at the Rotary Festival on August 6. (Arlene Benham photo)

Front Page Stories

Canada eases reporting for private boats
by Edward French

The Canadian government recently streamlined its reporting requirements for private boaters who do not land in Canada. For the past five years, boaters who only crossed into Canadian waters without landing were required to report to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) and might be told that they had to go to Saint John to report. Now boaters entering Canadian waters only have to report if they are landing, mooring, anchoring or transferring any goods or people.

Blueberry growers face uncertain future
by Edward French

“I never thought this would ever happen,” says Justin Day, 81, who has harvested his 100 acres of blueberry fields in Cooper for 50 years and whose father and grandfather before him had the fields, starting around 1900. This year, for the first time in over 100 years, those fields won't be raked because the price of berries is so low.


Historic buildings gain new lease on life

Downtown Calais to get facelift
by Lura Jackson

The downtown district of Calais is going to receive a significant boost to its appearance over the coming few years as a result of a major project proposal by a partnership between David Seavey and Gary Young. Seavey and Young have combined efforts to purchase both the McAlister building and the Sarsaparilla building on Main Street to restore them to their original condition and enable retailers and renters to enjoy the large amount of space in the two buildings. In addition, Seavey and Young will be renovating the former Visitors Information Center (VIC) to be a restaurant. The project was briefly presented and accepted at a special city council meeting on August 3, along with a $1.1 million sewer project on Palmer Street.

Odd Fellows Hall to be revived
by Lora Whelan

The former Independent Order of Odd Fellows Hall, George Washington Lodge No. 23, in Pembroke is about to get a new lease on life. After a long wait for new ownership, the efforts of the Tides Institute & Museum of Art (TIMA) and Portland‑based Maine Preservation have culminated in the purchase of the hall by Severine von Tscharner Fleming, a farming champion and activist. While she has been based out of the Champlain Valley of New York, she plans to live locally and will be repairing and restoring the hall over a phased timeline starting this fall.

Former lightkeeper recalls experiences
by Arlene Benham
The allure of lighthouse keeping has intrigued people for a long time, but few fall so far under the spell as to take it up as a career. One of those rare people is Chris Mills from Ketch Harbour, N.S., whose lighthouse keeping days spanned 11 different lights on both the east and west coasts of Canada. Mills visited the Grand Manan Museum on July 25 to share some stories and photos of his adventures. His experience includes nearby light stations on Machias Seal Island and  -- his favorite --   Gannet Rock.

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