October 31, 2014  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Friday, October 31, 2014 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news stories and events. I have posted links to more than 34,000 news articles and announcements. I also post breaking stories and exclusives. Be sure to check not only today's news, but take a look at the headlines from the past several days as well. Articles often come to my attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. Will Sugg is the website developer. ~ Jym St. Pierre, RESTORE: The North Woods
Invasive Insects, Nov 7
Event - Posted - Friday, October 31, 2014 

Learn about insects that are threatening Maine's street trees and forests. At Maine Lakes Resource Center, Belgrade, Nov 7, 2014, 3–5 pm. Pre-register.

Maine Farmland Trust Annual Meeting, Nov 6
Event - Posted - Thursday, October 30, 2014 

MFT celebrates 15 years of farmland protection with a special screening of the new film series "Growing Local." At Chewonki, Wiscasset, Nov 6, 5-7:30 pm.
Hydraulic Fracking: Economic Boom or Natural Disaster? Nov 6
Event - Posted - Thursday, October 30, 2014 

This debate will feature three experts discussing the geological background and engineering advancements that make fracking possible, the economic impacts, environmental concerns, and potential implications for the renewable energy industry. At Colby College, Waterville, Diamond 142, Nov 6 , 7 pm.
Election Results and Maine’s Environment, Nov 6 & 13
Event - Posted - Friday, October 24, 2014 

Join the Natural Resources Council of Maine for an evening discussion about the November elections and what they may mean for the future of Maine’s environment. At Maine Historical Society, Portland, Nov 6, and Frontier Café, Brunswick, Nov 13, 5:30 pm. RSVP.
Coyote ~ America’s Songdog, Nov 5
Event - Posted - Thursday, October 23, 2014 

Conservation biologist Geri Vistein will detail Coyote’s long history, ecology, social life and relationship with other wildlife and the ecosystem as well as with humans. Visitors are invited to share their own stories and dialogue about the interrelatedness of all life. At University of New England, Portland, Nov 5, 5-6:30 pm.
Ecosystem and Fishery Impacts from the Rapid Warming of the Gulf of Maine, Nov 4
Event - Posted - Thursday, October 23, 2014 

Over the last 10 years, the Gulf of Maine has warmed faster than 99% of the global ocean. This lecture will address how marine ecosystems and the fisheries that depend on them respond to rising temperatures. At Colby College, Waterville, Olin 1, Nov 4, 7 pm.
Scarborough Energy Day, Nov 1
Event - Posted - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 

Demonstrations on how to stop drafts, make interior storm windows, and other low cost, practical ways to weatherize your home. Learn about Efficiency Maine rebates and homeowner incentives to make your home more comfortable and save on energy and heating bills. At Oak Hill Ace Hardware, Scarborough, Nov 1, 10 am - 2 pm. Sponsors include Sierra Club Maine Green Sneakers Project and Town of Scarborough Energy Committee.
Waterfowl of Sabattus Pond, Nov 1
Event - Posted - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 

In the fall, Sabattus Pond hosts a large concentration of migrating waterfowl including Ruddy and Ring-necked Ducks, Hooded Mergansers, Lesser and Greater Scaup and Coots. Nov 1, 8 am – 12 pm. Field trip sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
Sebasticook Regional Land Trust marks 10th anniversary, Nov 1
Event - Posted - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 

The fourth-annual Local Foods Feast features locally grown and produced goods. After the benefit dinner, there will be a screening of the new film DamNation. At Unity College Center for the Performing, Nov 1, 7:30 pm.
A Fierce Green Fire, Oct 29
Event - Posted - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 

This film explores 50 years of the environmental movement from conservation to climate change. A speaker will follow the screening. At Belfast Library, Oct 29, 6 pm. Sponsored by Maine Sierra Club.
Gray Fox, Oct 28
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 21, 2014 

Wildlife Biologist Sean Moriarty will talk about the Gray Fox, a critter quite different from the Red Fox in their stout, more powerful build, unique coloration, and their ability to climb trees. At Topsham Public Library, Oct 28, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Threatened and Endangered: Flora and Fauna of Maine: Artist's Books
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 21, 2014 

Book artist Rebecca Goodale will present an illustrated talk about her multi-year project to create artist's books documenting all of the plants and animals on Maine's "Threatened and Endangered Species" lists. At Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium, Oct 28, 7 pm. The talk will also be live streamed.
Loon talk, Oct 28
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 21, 2014 

Wildlife biologist Danielle D’Auria will talk about loons. At Harmony Hall, Hampden, Oct 28, 7 pm.
Communicating about Climate Impacts, Oct 28-29
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 21, 2014 

Need help developing effective climate messages for your audiences? Struggling to reach and motivate stakeholders to engage in outreach events? Climate and environmental communications expert Cara Pike will lead a two-day workshop aimed at helping you develop effective framing and public engagement strategies in support of climate action and sustainability goals. At Wells Reserve, Oct 28-29, $65.
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News Items
Who is Catalyst Paper and why do they want a mill in Maine?
Maine Environmental News - Friday, October 31, 2014 

On Thursday, Catalyst Paper Corporation announced that it wants to buy the Rumford Paper Company mill in Maine as part of a $74 million deal to also acquire a second mill in Wisconsin. Both paper mills would be purchased from NewPage Corp., a subsidiary of Cerberus Capital Management. Provided that Cerberus can sell NewPage to Verso Paper Corp., a subsidiary of Apollo Global Management. But who are Catalyst, Rumford Paper, NewPage, Cerberus, Verso and Apollo?
Book artist Goodale speaks about Maine wildlife
Bowdoin (College) Orient - Friday, October 31, 2014 

Combining contemporary art and the history of endangered Maine species, book artist Rebecca Goodale gave an illustrated lecture on her most recent project, “Threatened and Endangered: Flora and Fauna of Maine,” on Tuesday evening in Kresge Auditorium. Goodale’s accompanying works are currently on display at Bowdoin’s Hawthorne-Longfellow Library. Goodale spoke to a full audience of students, faculty and community members while showcasing images of pieces from the project. The exhibition of Goodale’s works runs alongside “Envisioning Extinctions: Art as a Witness and Conscience,” by Associate Professor of Art Susan Wegner.
NewPage agrees to sell Rumford mill to advance Verso merger
Bangor Daily News - Friday, October 31, 2014 

NewPage has agreed to sell its mill in Rumford and another in Wisconsin to satisfy antitrust concerns about its merger with Verso Paper. Catalyst Paper Corp., based in Canada, announced the $74 million purchase agreement Thursday for the Rumford mill and NewPage’s mill in Biron, Wisconsin. The deal is contingent on Verso Paper buying NewPage, which industry analysts have projected could mean mill closures or that the company would shed some assets, improving its overall financial position. Verso announced early this month it will close its Bucksport mill in December.
Opinion: In my first 4 years, actions have spoken louder than words
Bangor Daily News - Friday, October 31, 2014 

In my second term, we will increase our efforts to attract investment in pipelines for lower-cost natural gas and to get renewable hydropower right here in Maine. I look forward to four more years of doing the right thing for Maine people. ~ Paul R. LePage, Maine governor
Canadian company to buy paper mill in Rumford
Portland Press Herald - Friday, October 31, 2014 

Catalyst Paper Corp. announced Thursday that it has entered an agreement to purchase the Rumford Paper Co. mill as part of a $74 million deal to buy two mills owned by NewPage Corp. The Biron mill in Wisconsin also is part of the deal, according to Catalyst, which is based in British Columbia. The deal is contingent on the successful completion of a $1.4 billion merger between NewPage and rival coated paper maker Verso Paper Corp. Verso owns two mills in Maine: one in Jay and a smaller one in Bucksport, which it intends to shut down by Dec. 1. With the impending shutdown of that mill, the state’s pulp and paper industry will have lost three mills in a single year. Old Town Fuel & Fiber in Old Town and the Great Northern Paper mill in East Millinocket closed in 2014.
Letter: Maine wildlife agency can’t be trusted on bear baiting
Portland Press Herald - Friday, October 31, 2014 

Trusted to preserve our northern whitetail herd, our Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Department presided over its collapse due to loss of wintering habitat, and refused to admit it for fear of losing nonresident deer hunting fees. Trusted to preserve Maine’s wild freshwater fishery, IF&W stood by while pristine native brook trout ponds became infested with baitfish; they continue to watch sportsmen spread the problem. For over a decade, northern Mainers have railed about the loss of moose due to winter ticks. IF&W said our herd was thriving; a GPS collaring study indicated severe losses, exposing the economic allegiance to moose permits. Now we’re asked to trust IF&W biologists’ warnings of impending bear attacks if Question 1 passes. After researching their record, I don’t trust them on bears either. ~ Cecil Gray, Skowhegan
Letter: Hunters and trappers know best: Vote down Question 1
Portland Press Herald - Friday, October 31, 2014 

Had I not had the privilege of knowing well-regarded hunters and trappers while growing up in Connecticut and New York state, I, too, might have fallen for the propaganda put forth by the urbanites and out-of-state do-gooders. The men and women I knew — the hunters and trappers — were by far the most knowledgeable and caring conservationists I have ever met. To group bear baiting, hunting with dogs and trapping all in one bill reveals a frightening agenda. I urge you to vote “no” on Question 1. ~ Mary “Koko” Harris, South Bristol
Letter: The Maine brand?
Bangor Daily News - Friday, October 31, 2014 

While Mainers know the quality of our seafood, the rest of the nation and the world really doesn’t. This is one of Eliot Cutler’s campaign issues — Maine doesn’t brand itself well. This fact has economic consequences for everyone. Everyone in the world has heard of Maine lobster, right? Not the case. What I found out was east of Nantucket few have heard of Maine lobster, but they sure have heard of Canadian lobster. The problem about the “Maine brand” goes beyond seafood. It encompasses all natural resources and products made in Maine. Cutler is the only candidate that gets it, understands the problem and knows how to fix it. Fixing the “Maine brand” and its market value attracts business, investment, and creates jobs. ~ Colin Amundsen, Rockport
Letter: National action needed on climate change
Kennebec Journal - Friday, October 31, 2014 

One month ago, some 300,000 people gathered in New York City to press for action to combat climate change. The media flash that accompanied this event has quieted, but out-of-the-limelight work continues to make sure that action occurs on this crucial issue. Since many human activities generate carbon dioxide and thus contribute to climate change, it’s good to have many different approaches to reducing carbon dioxide pollution. But we also need concerted action on a national level. A key component of such action could be a revenue-neutral carbon tax (carbon fee and dividend) that would return all the money collected to all households equally. ~ Philippa Solomon, Winthrop
Gov. Paul LePage's staff finally responds to email questions
Penobscot Bay Pilot - Thursday, October 30, 2014 

During the summer, the Penobscot Bay Pilot, Boothbay Register and Wiscasset Newspaper collectively sought interviews with the three candidates for governor. Eliot Cutler and Mike Michaud were quick to accommodate a roundtable discussion with editors and reporters. After months of trying to arrange an interview with Gov. LePage, the newspapers submitted written questions. On Oct. 29, campaign spokesman Alex Willette finally responded on behalf of the governor. On the environment, he wrote: "A clean and healthy environment is critical to healthy people and especially important for our economy. Governor LePage has made the environment a top concern, and has enforced our environmental laws to the fullest, levying the largest fine in decades on an oil company who tried to pollute Maine’s waterways. Actions speak louder than words, and the Governor’s actions show that he takes protecting our environment seriously."
Why Bears and Jelly Doughnuts Could Decide the Fate of the Maine Governor's Race
Other - Thursday, October 30, 2014 

National Journal - Sticky-sweet pastries and black bears have become wild cards in Maine's elections next week. Residents of the state will vote on a ballot initiative Tuesday that would ban hunters from using dogs, traps, and junk food like jelly doughnuts and cold pizza to bait bears. The controversy could have an especially powerful impact on the gubernatorial race. Political analysts say the ballot initiative may boost conservative voter turnout during an extremely close contest for the Maine governor's mansion. And that, analysts say, might deliver a reelection win to Republican Paul LePage, who has been locked in a tight race with Democratic challenger Michael Michaud for months.
Conservation groups fret about proposed Canadian oil pipeline’s impact on St. John Valley
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, October 30, 2014 

Four conservation groups said Thursday they are launching a campaign to warn Maine residents about possible environmental harms from a $10.8 billion crude oil pipeline proposed by TransCanada. The company filed of a formal application to build North America’s largest and longest crude oil pipeline, with a combination of new and existing pipelines that would transport tar sands oil west from the oil-rich province of Alberta. The Energy East proposal would end in Saint John, New Brunswick, requiring construction of new pipelines in five Canadian provinces and conversion of natural gas pipelines to carry the oil. The Natural Resources Council of Maine, Sierra Club of Maine, Environment Maine and 350 Maine warned that a spill could pollute tributaries of the St. John River and that the project threatens to speed up climate change by bolstering tar sands production.
The Bakken Formation
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, October 30, 2014 

Photographer Daniel J. Cox normally focuses on wildlife and wildlands, but recently he shot a series of aerial images of the Bakken Formation in North Dakota. The entire Bakken Formation consists of about 200,000 square miles of subsurface land within Montana, North Dakota, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Oil and gas is being extraced and exported, including through Maine. View the aerial images Cox took of coal-fired power plants, wind power developments, coal strip mines, and more.
‘We might be better off’: Millinocket businesses, Virginia consultant confront future without paper mill
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, October 30, 2014 

For the first time in Millinocket’s history, “the town is outside the shadow” of the paper mill, local businessman Tom Shafer said Thursday. Shafer was one of several business leaders who talked about the town’s future just months after the remnants of Great Northern Paper Co. were auctioned for scrap and with the company’s tax bills still unpaid. “We’re just starting to figure out we might be better off,” Shafer, who co-owns Maine Heritage Timber, said at a meeting of many of the area’s large business operators and a neighborhood development consulting firm from Virginia that is offering pro bono work assessing the town’s economic assets and helping to develop its goals for the future.
Think Before You Print? Maybe not
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, October 30, 2014 

We’ve been told to “think before we print” to save trees. But some are arguing that reducing paper consumption is more harmful — both to the pulp and paper industry and to the environment. The Sustainable Bioplastics Council of Maine claims that reading an article on your computer emits more of the greenhouse gas CO2 than printing the article out. And what about electronic devices? Soon they will be obsolete and will need to be disposed of. Paper, on the other hand, is fully recyclable says the SBCM.
Plan to Pipe Tar Sands Oil Near Maine Border Sparks Environmental Concerns
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Thursday, October 30, 2014 

Environmental groups in Maine are speaking out against Canadian energy giant TransCanada, the company behind the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. TransCanada today submitted formal applications to build the largest, most expensive pipeline in North America. Emmie Theberge, with the Natural Resources Council of Maine, says the pipeline would come within 25 miles of the border, "and crossing at least five tributaries of the St. John (River) which are upstream from Maine communities like Madawaska and Van Buren."nMeaning there's potential for serious water and air pollution in Maine in the event of any rupture to the pipeline.
Opponents request hearing on Brunswick train barn permit
Forecaster - Thursday, October 30, 2014 

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection intends to hold a public meeting on Nov. 13 to gather input on a storm-water permit for a proposed passenger train layover facility in Brunswick. The meeting is set for 6 p.m. at Brunswick High School, but that could change if the department decides to hold a formal public hearing on the application, as opponents of the project have requested.
A New Complaint, and Another Court Decision, in Maine's Bear Hunting Battle
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Thursday, October 30, 2014 

Supporters of the bear hunting measure on the Maine ballot have filed a complaint with the Maine ethics commission alleging that the group leading the opposition to the proposal failed to disclose campaign contributions from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting allege that IF&W has made "significant contributions" to the Maine Wildlife Conservation Council, claiming that IF&W has contributed "many thousands" of dollars to the No on 1 campaign by providing an event venue and equipment, guest speaking services, campaign literature, advertising and staff time. Several ads against the measure have featured IF&W employees. The group says such activities are considered "in kind" contributions, and have to be reported.
Maine’s high court denies fast appeal in bear-baiting case
Associated Press - Thursday, October 30, 2014 

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court is denying an animal rights group’s request for an expedited appeal in its case against the state’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Mainers For Fair Bear Hunting is appealing a Portland judge’s ruling that the wildlife department can use its resources to campaign against a statewide referendum to ban certain bear-hunting tactics. Maine Supreme Court Chief Justice Leigh Saufley signed a decision on Thursday denying a request for an expedited appeal. The group sought the quick appeal to try to block the wildlife department from doing any more campaigning before the Nov. 4 vote.
Maine PUC votes to review proposals for new natural gas pipelines
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, October 30, 2014 

A split Public Utilities Commission Thursday approved moving forward with a possible natural gas pipeline expansion in Maine. The 2-1 vote means the PUC will look at three proposals for new pipelines that could help control high electricity costs by providing a more plentiful supply to natural gas-fired electric plants on cold days. But critics say that benefit isn’t worth the cost of up to $75 million a year that ratepayers may need to pay to subsidize the project.
Portland asking for help exploring bike-share options
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, October 30, 2014 

A long-discussed bike-share program in Portland took another incremental step forward on Thursday when city officials asked vendors to help explore options and potential costs of launching a citywide system. That information is intended to help city planning staff before Portland moves forward with the next step, which would likely be a formal request for proposals.
Climate change drives Hildreth’s giving
Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting - Thursday, October 30, 2014 

Daniel Hildreth, chair of the board of Portland-based Diversified Communications, has given $94,800 to political campaigns in 2013 and 2014, making him the seventh largest donor in Maine. “The biggest single reason I give political donations,” writes Hildreth, “is my deep concern about global warming. It is a truly catastrophic threat to the global economy, to our ability to produce food and to the environment that we depend on.”
Land Trust raises $500K to purchase Scarborough farm
Forecaster - Thursday, October 30, 2014 

The Scarborough Land Trust recently announced that it has met the $500,000 fundraising goal it had set to purchase the Benjamin Farm property on Pleasant Hill Road. The trust plans to purchase the property in December. According to a news release, a $50,000 matching gift from anonymous donors allowed the trust to meet its goal two months early. The $500,000 is the largest amount SLT has raised in private support for a land conservation project. The rest of the $2.5 million project will be paid for through Scarborough’s Land Bond Fund; the Town Council approved the $2 million in funding in June.
South Portland council mulls viability of 'solar farm'
Forecaster - Thursday, October 30, 2014 

A report about the feasibility of constructing a solar farm created what Councilor Patricia Smith called a “mixed bag” at a City Council workshop on Monday night. Representatives from ReVision Energy told the council that the city’s capped landfill off Highland Avenue is the perfect site for a solar photovoltaic farm that would produce municipal energy. But they said funding could be a major obstacle, due to lack of financial support and incentives from the state.
Imperiled by Climate Change, Endangered Species Protection Sought for Northern Bog Lemming
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, October 30, 2014 

WildEarth Guardians has submitted a scientific petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requesting protections for the northern bog lemming under the Endangered Species Act because of threats to the species posed by climate change and habitat destruction. Northern bog lemmings inhabit the cold wet peat bogs and mountain forests in northern latitudes. They live in isolated pockets of habitat in Maine, Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Minnesota, and New Hampshire.
Current  Archive      Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ...

Two-headed turtle still thriving

(This story is not about Maine's governor's race)

Photo by Kathleen Talbot

News Feeds

Maine Organic Farmers
and Gardeners Assn

The New Farmers
By Lauren Markham - Meet the youthful future of American agriculture
10/30/2014 11:00:00 PM

Oregon Legislators Working to Introduce Herbicide Spray Policy
After concerns have been raised about the poor oversight of aerial herbicide spraying on Oregon forests, and the subsequent pesticide contamination of residents living nearby, policy makers are working to introduce legislation to better protect local residents from pesticide and environmental contamination.
10/29/2014 11:00:00 PM

A third of US shrimp is 'misrepresented'
By Amma Bryce - As if links to slavery and environmental ills weren't enough to sully the shrimp's reputation, now this favourite ocean crustacean is all mixed up in seafood fraud, too.
10/29/2014 11:00:00 PM

Synthetic ingredients in Natural Flavors and Natural Flavors in Artificial flavors
By David Andrews - If you cook food at home, odds are you have a spice rack with 10, 20 or maybe even 50 different herbs and spices. I know I do. But processed food doesn’t rely just on those simple ingredients for its flavor. “Natural flavor” is the fourth most common ingredient listed in EWG’s Food Scores, which rates more than 80,000 foods on their degree of nutrition, ingredient concerns and processing concerns.
10/28/2014 11:00:00 PM

Monsanto Hired This Guy To Help It Win Over Millennials
By Eliza Barclay, The Salt - As I scrolled through tweets about a panel on agricultural entrepreneurs at the SXSW Eco conference earlier this month, one caught my eye. The sender was Vance Crowe, Monsanto's director of millennial engagement. Corporate America is currently caught up in a torrid infatuation with millennials, who befuddle and torment the companies who want their dollars.
10/28/2014 11:00:00 PM

Lobster keeps Maine fishing ports among top nationwide
By Bill Trotter - Ellsworth: The volume of national lobster landings and exports dropped slightly last year, but the strength of the fishery kept several Maine communities among the top nationwide for 2013 commercial fish landings, according to federal officials.
10/28/2014 11:00:00 PM

Follow the National Organic Standards Board Meeting in Louisville, KY
8:41 a.m. ET: Mac Stone, NOSB member from the certifier community, offers some opening remarks from his Kentucky perspective. He says because of the turmoil at the last meeting, he “uninvited” the KY state secretary of agriculture. He also uninvited Wendell Berry. Didn’t want them to get the wrong impression about organics.
10/28/2014 11:00:00 PM

Scientists call for second straight season without shrimp fishing
By Patrick Whittle, AP - Scientists say the Gulf of Maine shouldn’t be fished for northern shrimp for a second straight season because of concerns of warming ocean temperatures.
10/28/2014 11:00:00 PM

Natural Resources Council
of Maine

Plan to Pipe Tar Sands Oil Near Maine Border Sparks Environmental Concerns
By Tom Porter MPBN News Story TORONTO – Environmental groups in Maine are speaking out against Canadian ...
10/31/2014 8:23:21 AM

Conservation Groups Fret About Proposed Canadian Oil Pipeline’s Impact on St. John Valley
By Darren Fishell, BDN Staff Bangor Daily New Story Four conservation groups said Thursday they are launching ...
10/31/2014 7:54:39 AM

Light and Bright
Paint the walls and ceilings in your home a light color—preferably white. More outside light will reflect arou...
10/31/2014 4:00:26 AM

TransCanada Seeks Permit to Build North America’s Longest Tar Sands Oil Pipeline, Passing Just Ten Miles from Maine’s Border
Maine groups react in strong opposition News Release Portland/Augusta Maine – Today international energy giant...
10/30/2014 9:37:32 AM

EPA Seeks More Input on Sweeping Power Plant Rule
By Valerie Volcovici, Reuters Bangor Daily News news story WASHINGTON — U.S. regulators said on Tuesday they w...
10/30/2014 8:11:04 AM

Mt. Abram Skiing Green with $940,000 Solar Power Project
A new array of 803 solar-electric panels positions the ski area as a leader in energy sustainability, and prom...
10/30/2014 7:53:25 AM

Don’t Top Off the Tank
Some gas pumps are equipped with vapor recovery systems that send gas back into the tank to prevent vapors fro...
10/30/2014 4:00:30 AM

The Big Picture: Leading Action on Climate Change
More and more people are coming together to work on climate change. It’s no wonder. We can plainly see changes...
10/29/2014 10:54:31 AM

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