Island Briefs: Open Table donation, school insurance savings, Earth Day EV event

(From left) Machias Savings Bank financial service representative Heather Nuesslein, Open Table’s Puranjot Kaur and Mahandeva Singh, and Machias Savings Bank Manager Matt Horton.

MSB donates to Open Table MDI 

BAR HARBOR —Machias Savings Bank continues its support of Open Table MDI and its food access project with a recent donation of $1,500.  

Open Table MDI’s mission is to bring people together through the sharing of nourishing food and to alleviate hunger on Mount Desert Island and beyond.  

“The need is great and Open Table MDI is doing its part to meet that need. I encourage all to support Open Table MDI and other organizations who help those who struggle with food security,” said Matt Horton, manager of Machias Savings Bank. 

Heather Nuesslein, a financial services representative at Machias Savings Bank in Bar Harbor, has been active in the delivery of food packages to those in need on MDI and in other nearby communities.  

“All of us here at MSB are very pleased with and proud of her commitment to Open Table MDI and its mission,” said Horton. 


Schools to save $284K on insurance 

BAR HARBOR — The schools in the Mount Desert Island Regional School System will spend a total of $284,000 less than they have budgeted for health insurance next year. 

As they usually do, the schools budgeted for a 10 percent increase in Blue Cross Blue Shield premiums to try to make sure there would not be a budget shortfall. But Superintendent Mike Zboray has been notified that the cost increase for next year will be 4.53 percent. 

The schools typically opt to carry over such savings to the following year’s budget. 


Council allows bump-out dining 

BAR HARBOR — The Town Council on Tuesday granted Leary’s Landing the ability to use a bump out at the restaurant for outdoor seating at its Main Street location. Council members said the restaurant was uniquely positioned and that the space during the last two years was well taken care of.  

The town will lease the space to the restaurant for $20 a day and will review the decision next year. The town did not authorize the use of parklets this year as it had done under the previous two summer seasons.  

The vote passed 4-3 (Cough, Minutolo, Peacock). 


Drive Electric Earth Day event 

BAR HARBOR — The Bar Harbor Task Force on Climate Emergency will host a free electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle showcase on Sunday, April 24, at the Bar Harbor Club on 55 West St., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Register at 


Board approves street light analysis 

 SOUTHWEST HARBOR — The Select Board on April 12 approved the town manager to contact Mark Carter of Realterm Energy to go forward with a financial analysis of the town’s streetlights. In March, the board was notified of an opportunity to receive a free financial analysis of its streetlights. Maryland-based Realterm Energy is an LED street light installation company that is currently offering street the analyses for a chance to promote their services to convert high-intensity discharge streetlights to LED technology.


Committee to pay for tree care 

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — During an April 12 Select Board meeting, the Conservation Committee announced it would use its own funds to remove dead branches from a resident’s tree that is said to be hazardous to Pemetic School. Nathan Carroll of Southwest Harbor recently denied the committee’s request that he care for the tree on his Main Street property that is encroaching on the school’s sidewalk. The Select Board also denied a request to help remove the entire tree. 


Town eyes state salt bids  

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — During the April 12 Select Board meeting, the town showed interest in getting a winter salt bid price from the state, though the town manager made it clear that the town is not obligated to participate. Every year, the State Bureau of Purchases finalizes contracts that give municipalities and counties a chance collectively to be a part of a winter salt bid. 



SPCA Pet of the Week: Meet Grace

TRENTON — Princess Grace, known as Gracie to her friends, is a lovely 16-year-old who is feeling a little bluer than from her Blue Russian heritage alone. She’s been sad since coming to the shelter after knowing a home for her whole life. Then to find out she is in the early stages of kidney failure … well, no wonder Gracie spends most of her days looking sullen.  

Most visitors pass by Gracie thinking she isn’t a friendly cat, but if they take a quiet moment to get to know her, they’ll find out she is a darling. She loves chin rubs and soft treats, and she even loves kisses from her friends.  

Grace lived with other cats before and was fine with them, and though she would likely prefer older kids and laid-back dogs, she can likely coexist with either. She simply wants a patient and kind home where she can be doted on and loved. 

Make an appointment to meet Gracie today.


UMaine raffle offers chance to win free tuition 

ORONO — The University of Maine Alumni Association’s annual tuition raffle is now underway, offering a prize worth more than $11,000 for UMaine’s 2022-23 academic year. 

All undergraduate and graduate students planning to attend the Orono university in the fall are eligible to receive the prize regardless of whether they are in-state or out-of-state residents. Anyone 18 years of age or older is eligible to enter the raffle on their own behalf or on behalf of a family member, friend or a student in need. 

The specific amount of the prize will be the dollar equivalent of 30 credit hours at the university’s in-state undergraduate tuition rate, which university trustees will set in late May. The current cost of those credit hours is $11,640.  

University Credit Union has again partnered with the Alumni Association to sponsor this year’s raffle. 

The deadline for entering is May 9. The winner will be determined by random selection on May 13 and notified that day. A public announcement of the winner and prize beneficiary will be made on May 16.  

The entry process and rules may be found at