Ellsworth Green Plan Hosts Community Solar Webinar (Ellsworth)  If you see trees being planted, appreciate the plastic bag ban, or notice people advocating for municipal solar, chances are the Ellsworth Green Plan is involved.  Martha Dickinson, Convener of the Ellsworth Green Action Team, tells Star 97.7, how the citizens’ initiative came about.  (((Solar 1  “…as […]

Star 97.7 - Smooth Rock n' Roll Local News 11/29/21 - Star 97.7
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Local News 11/29/21

Ellsworth Green Plan Hosts Community Solar Webinar

(Ellsworth)  If you see trees being planted, appreciate the plastic bag ban, or notice people advocating for municipal solar, chances are the Ellsworth Green Plan is involved.  Martha Dickinson, Convener of the Ellsworth Green Action Team, tells Star 97.7, how the citizens’ initiative came about.  (((Solar 1  “…as well as asking the city to do a lot of things.”  :20))) The group’s upcoming webinar on Tuesday, December 7th, is all about community solar.  You’ll find a link to register on the Ellsworth Green Plan’s FB page.

(Ellsworth)  Think solar energy infrastructure is out of your price range?  Martha Dickinson, convener of the Ellsworth Green Action Team, tells Star 97.7, you may be surprised at the benefits AND the costs.  (((Solar 2  “…but solar is going down, down, down.”   :15)))  The Ellsworth Green Plan is hosting a webinar on Community Solar a week from Tuesday at 5 p.m.  You’ll find a registration link on their FB page.

(Ellsworth)  With rising fossil fuel costs, more and more people are looking into solar energy – especially as it becomes more affordable.  Martha Dickinson of the Ellsworth Green Plan tells Star 97.7, Community Solar Farms must also consider their impact on prime agricultural land. (((Solar 3 “…with farmland and other productive uses of the land.   :19)))   A blueberry farm in Rockport is a prime example of agrivoltaic use, with raised panels so the land can still be farmed.   To learn more, sign up for a community solar webinar to be held on Tuesday, December 7th.  You’ll find a link at green ellsworth dot org.

(Ellsworth)  Not only has the cost of community solar come down, Martha Dickinson with the Ellsworth Green Plan tells Star 97.7, you don’t even have to have those panels on your own property to benefit.  (((Solar 4  “…options out there now for community solar.”  :20)))  The Ellsworth Green Plan is hosting a Community Solar webinar on Tuesday, December 7th at 5 pm via Zoom.  Find a registration link on their website or FB page.


Cyber Monday Safety Tips

(Undated)  If you’re shopping online this Cyber Monday, Tom’s Guide’s techies say make sure you’re shopping from a secure computer – one that’s protected by the best antivirus software.   Be sure to keep the operating system and all internet-facing apps updated to the latest software versions.  And shop using a secure connection.  Search for deals on retailer sites, not on search engines. Scammers will often infect Google, Bing and other search engines with deceptive links.  We’ll have more tips in our next newscast.

(Undated)  The experts at Tom’s Guide say if you’re shopping online this cyber Monday, bookmark the most trusted online retail sites to make sure you don’t get redirected to fakes.  Check each website’s URL.  While that may seem obvious, scammers who want to steal your information will “clone” well-known shopping sites and park them at web addresses that may be just one letter away from the real deal.  And if a deal seems “too good to be true” …it may well be.  Never click on links in messages or posts.  And don’t open attachments in emails promising fantastic deals.  They may lead to phishing sites.  We’ll have more tips in our next newscast.

(Undated)  It’s Cyber Monday, and that means online retailers will be offering some big savings.  Experts say plan ahead so you’re not rushed while shopping today.  Cyber attacks can take a split second.  Take time to make sure you’re on the correct website.  Keep track of your purchases; and especially this time of year, review those credit card and bank statements regularly.  Experts such as Tom’s Guide say use a credit card – they’re safer than a debit card online.  If you must use a debit card, use one that’s prepaid with a set spending limit.  We’ll have more tips in our next newscast.

(Undated)  Cyber Monday is prime time for deals – and cyber criminals as well.  Experts at Tom’s Guide say, even if it’s a pain, use unique passwords and logon information for every site you visit.  Better yet, don’t create an account at all unless it’s a site you know you can trust.  The best passwords should be as long as possible, and contain a mix of upper and lower case characters, number, punctuation and symbols.  And if you have trouble remembering them – and who doesn’t? – use one of the password managers.  And finally never install software on your mobile device from a website link or code.  We’ll have more tips in our next half hour.


Injured Hiker Rescued

(Town)  A Caribou woman was rescued after falling forty feet down a vertical drop in Aroostook State Park Friday.  Game wardens say 37 yo Zara Gillis was hiking with her sister and two children when she slipped on a snowy area and fell, suffering a possible broken hip.  Due to snow and winds, neither the Maine Forest Service nor the National Guard could respond with a helicopter.  A team of seven game wardens and multiple other rescue personnel worked an hour and a half to carry the woman out.  Gillis was taken to a hospital in Presque Isle.

Brewer Armed Robbery

(Brewer)  A woman was robbed at knifepoint Friday morning in Brewer.  Police responded to the parking lot at the corner of Wilson and South Main Streets just before 11 a.m., but the male suspect had fled on foot with the stolen property.  The woman was not injured.  Information later led to the arrest of 33 yo Christopher Dorsey, a transient, at an apartment building at 164 Wilson Street.  Dorsey was charged with robbery and taken to Penobscot County Jail.

Bucksport Aquaculture Project Stalls

(Bucksport)  While towns like Gouldsboro and Belfast battle proposed large-scale aquaculture projects, Whole Oceans has received local support and the green light from all the necessary agencies to proceed with its salmon facility in Bucksport.  But to date, no ground has been broken, and the Bangor Daily News reports town officials are a bit baffled as to why.  The company has reportedly gone through multiple leadership changes since it first began talking with Bucksport in 2016.  Town leaders say it’s discouraging that the project has passed the two year mark since the approval with no sign of physical infrastructure being built.

Fall Hunting Season Ends

(AP/Augusta)  Hunting has been especially popular across the state, as it’s a naturally socially-distanced activity.  But Maine’s big fall hunting seasons are ending for the year.  Maine’s big four game animals are white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, black bear and moose.  Turkey season ended earlier this month, with the season for the other three ending this past Saturday.  Deer hunters who use muzzleloaders have a special season that begins today and runs through December 11th.

Steuben Collecting Nomination Papers

(Steuben)  The Town of Steuben is collecting nomination papers for the March 22nd Town Elections.  Papers are available now at the town office and are due back by January 6th.  Open positions are Selectman, Overseer of the Poor, and Local Advisory Committee – all three year terms.

NoShave November

(Ellsworth)  Just two days left in the Ellsworth Police Department’s No Shave November.  The burly officers have grown beards and mustaches all this month to raise awareness for cancer research.  Donations can be made at Ellsworth City Hall.

Chester Pike’s Sold

(Sullivan)  Chester Pike’s Galley Restaurant in Sullivan won’t reopen as a full service restaurant; but there could be a bakery or coffee shop in its future.  The Ellsworth American reports the building has been bought by Kim Swan of Swan Agency Real Estate, who says the real estate office will occupy one side of the building, while a pastry parlor is being envisioned for the other side.  Renovation is set to begin soon.

No Burger King for Ellsworth?

(Ellsworth)  Is Burger King returning to Ellsworth?  Plans to reopen the restaurant were reportedly underway with Carrols Corporation, which owns and operates other Burger King restaurants, showing interest.  But increased expenses associated with renovations may have thrown a “whopper” of a problem into those plans, resulting in the building recently going up for lease.  Architect Patrick Mahoney, who is involved with the transactions, told the Ellsworth American whether or not Burger King will ultimately return to the High Street location is still up in the air.

Ellsworth Sets Sports Policy

(Ellsworth)  Ellsworth has set its COVID-safe policies for winter sports at both the middle and high school levels.  Fans of Ellsworth winter sports and opposing teams’ fans will both be allowed to attend games this season, although gym capacity will likely be limited. The Ellsworth School Board earlier this month approved a policy that says student athletes, as well as musicians and performers, will not need to mask when actively participating, as long as they participate in pool testing.  However, coaches, referees, and those who work concessions will be required to wear face coverings at all times.

44 North Coffee Expands

(Deer Isle)  There’s something new and exciting “brewing” in Deer Isle – the expansion of 44 North Coffee.  The Ellsworth American reports the company has opened a new production facility on Church Street that allows increased production of their organic and fair trade coffee beans.  Last year 44 North roasted 52,000 pounds of beans, and the owners say the expanded space will allow them to grow their wholesale and retail offerings.

Menhaden to the Rescue

(AP)  With herring fishing suspended due to overfishing, lobstermen could have faced a bait shortage were it not for a little fish known as menhaden.  A surge in the catch of menhaden off the coast of Maine has helped stabilize that bait crunch.  The Associated Press reports the state’s catch of menhaden – also known as pogies or bunker – grew from about 6 million pounds in 2016 to more than 24 million pounds in 2020.

Camp Capella Auction

(Dedham)  Camp CaPella’s Online Auction is a holiday favorite for the non-profit summer camp that serves individuals with disabilities.  Many campers attend on scholarship, and no one is ever turned away because they can’t pay.  Every dollar raised from the auction goes to help send someone with disabilities to the camp on Phillips Lake in Holden.  The auction goes live, beginning today through December 10th.  You’ll find a link to the auction on Camp Capella’s website, FB page, or at bidding for good dot com.

Christmas Bird Count

(Ellsworth)  Downeast Lakes Land Trust will participate in the Audubon Society’s 122nd Annual Bird Count on Friday, December 17th, with most of the count concentrated in the 55,000 acre Downeast Lakes community Forest.  The bird count is one of the oldest citizen science projects in the country and helps assess the health of bird populations.  For more information, visit the Christmas Bird Count website

Ellsworth Public Library Hosts Santa’s Magic Mailbox

(Ellsworth)  Santa’s Magic Mailbox is here!  Look for it on the lawn of the Ellsworth Public Library, beginning today.   Write a letter to Santa, addressed to Santa Claus, the North Pole, and drop it in the special mailbox… no postage necessary, but be sure to include your full name and mailing address, so Santa can send you a personal reply!  Letters will be picked up through December 17th.

DSF Gets Improvement Grant

(AP/East Machias)  A salmon advocacy group in rural Maine is getting help from the federal government to make improvements to a fish hatchery and office building. The Downeast Salmon Federation operates the facility in East Machias. The group advocates for environmental protection and conservation of river-run fishes, such as salmon and smelt. The USDA is giving the federation $23,500 toward the project. The grant is part of $222 million the agency is using to help build and improve rural community infrastructure around the country. 


  • Sunday  Bruins 3 Vancouver Canucks  2.   Bruins host Detroit Red Wings Tuesday.
  • Sunday  Celtics 109 Toronto Raptors  97.  Celtics off until Wednesday when they’ll host the Philadelphia 76ers
  • New England Patriots 36 Tennessee Titans 13
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers  38  Indianapolis Colts 31
  • No comment from UMaine officials, but sources say UMaine head football coach Nick Charlton is leaving for a position as new offensive coordinator at the University of Connecticut. According to Football Scoop, Charlton will also serve as associate head coach and quarterbacks coach.