July 31, 2014  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Wednesday, July 30, 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 30,000 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
Vote for NRCM’s 2014 People’s Choice Award
Announcement - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 

You can vote for one of this year's six finalists for NRCM's People's Choice Award: Voting is open until September 1. This year's finalists (in alphabetical order) are:
• Rachel Burger, South Portland
• Robert Godfrey, Eastport
• Paul Haertel, Southwest Harbor
• Mary Anne Mitchell, Peaks Island
• Kit Pfeiffer, Whitefield
• Deb Wilson, Nobleboro
Fedco Seeds founder to speak in Belfast, Aug 6
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 29, 2014 

Belfast Co-op is hosting Fedco Seeds founder CR Lawn, who will give a free presentation titled, “Do you know where your seed comes from, and why does it matter?” At Belfast Free Library, Aug 6, 6:30 pm.
Citizen Hearing on Proposed EPA Clean Power Plan, Aug 6
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 29, 2014 

New England EPA Administrator Curt Spaulding will describe the Clean Power Plan and hear what Maine people and experts have to say about it. At Lee Auditorium, Wishcamper Center, University of Southern Maine, Portland, August 6, 11 am - 12:30 pm. Hosted by Natural Resources Council of Maine and Voter Education Brigade.
Photographing Acadia National Park, Aug 5
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 29, 2014 

Photographer Colleen J. Miniuk-Sperry, 3-time Artist-in-Residence at Acadia Nat’l Park, will share her vast knowledge of both photography and ANP at an author talk and book signing. At Jesup Memorial Library, Bar Harbor, Aug 5, 7-8 pm.
Plastic Pollution: Art to Activism, Aug 5
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 29, 2014 

Speaker: Dianna Cohen, Creative Advocacy Director Co-Founder, Plastic Pollution Coalition. At Center for Marine Studies, Blue Hill, August 5, 6 pm. Sponsored by Marine Environmental Research Institute.
Bat species proposed for Maine endangered species list, Aug 4 & 5
Event - Posted - Monday, July 28, 2014 

Two bat species are being proposed for the Maine endangered species list because they have been decimated by white nose syndrome. Hearings: August 4, 6:30 pm, Portland City Hall; August 5, 6:30 pm, University of Maine at Farmington.
Nature Photography, Aug 2
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 26, 2014 

Jane Davis will lead a nature photography outing. At Gott Pasture Preserve on Wilson Pond, Wayne, Aug 2, 8-10 am. Must preregister. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Cultivating Seaweed Sustainably on Rocks & Ropes, Aug 1
Event - Posted - Friday, July 25, 2014 

Talk by Shep Erhart of Maine Coast Sea Vegetables. At Taunton Bay Education Center, Sullivan, Aug 1, 7 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Taunton Bay.
Gulf of Maine Habitat, Jul 31
Event - Posted - Thursday, July 24, 2014 

Mark Dittrick will discuss the Gulf of Maine as a habitat: its past, present, and what might be its future. At Penobscot Marine Museum, Searsport, July 31, 7 pm.
Protect Cashes Ledge
Action Alert - Monday, July 14, 2014 

Cashes Ledge, located about 75 miles from Portland, is a unique underwater mountain range which provides refuge for a vibrant, diverse world of ocean wildlife. Modern commercial fishing technologies make Cashes Ledge extremely susceptible to damage from bottom trawling gear. Cashes Ledge needs permanent protection. ~ Conservation Law Foundation
1,000 Miles Campaign
Action Alert - Monday, July 14, 2014 

Culverts are significant impediments to fish passage and survival. Orvis and Trout Unlimited have launched a campaign to reconnect 1,000 miles of coldwater streams, including in Maine (for eastern brook trout) Caribou Bog and Henderson, Mountain and Gulf Hagas brooks.
Land Trust Nature Sites: A Photographic Tour, July 29
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 13, 2014 

Photographer David White has explored many land trust properties and will share a magical, ecological world through his impressive high-powered lens. At Topsham Library, July 29, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Living on a Shrinking Planet, Jul 28
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 13, 2014 

Dr. Jonathan Foley, 2014 Heinz Award for the Environment recipient, native Mainer, and Executive Director for the California Academy of Sciences, will paint a picture of our global environmental challenges. At Gulf of Maine Research Institute, July 28, 5:30-7 pm. Pre-register. Sponsored by Natural Resources Council of Maine.
Pond Ecology, Jul 28
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 13, 2014 

Naturalist Chuck Dinsmore will teach about common plant and animal associates in freshwater ponds and lakes. At Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson, July 28, 9-11 am. Members $10; non-members $12.
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News Items
Column: How Maine can grow without destroying what makes us special
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, July 31, 2014 

Here’s one of our most fundamental challenges: Mainers are enormously conflicted about growth. Just about everyone wants the economy to improve and the number of quality jobs to grow, but few of us want change. Sponsored by GrowSmart Maine, and with the help and support of people across the state, the Brookings Institution produced one of the greatest and most useful plans for Maine’s economy that we’ll ever need. “Charting Maine’s Future” urged us to grow in a way that is consistent with Maine’s heritage and values, that reinforces our powerful brand of wholesomeness and quality, and that allows us to both have the place we love and lift ourselves up, at the same time. Since then, thousands of Mainers have been hard at work putting those ideas into practice. I see their impact everywhere. ~ Alan Caron
Letter: If GMO food’s safe, why object to label?
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, July 31, 2014 

Food companies in some 60 other countries are required to state that a product contains GMOs, yet there is no evidence that consumers in those countries are confused. If companies believe their GMO ingredients are safe, why spend millions to keep from having to label them? Maybe it’s because, as a seed executive for a Monsanto subsidiary admitted 20 years ago, “If you put a label on genetically engineered food, you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it.” ~ Katherine Paul, Organic Consumers Association, Freeport
Letter: Sludge odor
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 31, 2014 

Neighbors concerned about Soil Preparation Inc.’s horrific odors should be aware that odor from sludge processing and sludge spreading is not just a nuisance problem. It can be a serious health problem. Sludge and sludge composts not only contain human waste, but they contain a vast array of unregulated synthetic industrial chemicals, some of which are highly toxic. Sludge and sludge composts do not belong on the land where we graze our animals or grow food and feed. ~ Caroline Snyder, North Sandwich, NH
Hazmat team cleans fluid spill at Brunswick Bath Iron Works plant
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 

Although no one was injured when a crane tipped over Wednesday at Bath Iron Works’ Brunswick plant, members of the region’s hazardous materials response team spent most of the afternoon cleaning up a roughly 30-gallon hydraulic fluid spill, a local fire officials said Wednesday evening.
ConAgra to pay EPA $5.7 million for cleanup of former South Paris tannery
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached a $5.7 million settlement with ConAgra to pay for cleanup of the former A.C. Lawrence Leather Co. in South Paris, where a series of tannery sludge lagoons had been covered with gravel and began leaching into the Androscoggin River in 2000. The EPA announced the settlement late Wednesday, concluding a legal battle that started in late 2011 against Nebraska-based ConAgra Grocery Products Co. The EPA had removed about 33,000 tons of soil contaminated with chromium and lead during 2006 and 2007, which it said prevented the chromium sludge from getting into the river and water supplies.
Verso, New Page Merger Nears Reality
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 

A merger affecting thousands of Maine paper workers is expected to move one step closer to reality tonight. Verso Paper — a leading manufacturer of coated paper — wants to acquire rival New Page in a $1.4 billion deal. Before the merger can move ahead however, Verso — which is over $1.2 billion in the red — must complete a debt restructuring deal to the satisfaction of its bondholders. The deadline for the deal is midnight tonight, and at least one prominent paper industry analyst thinks it's likely to succeed.
District attorney reviewing Ellsworth wildlife sanctuary arson case
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 

The results of an investigation into a fire suspected of being deliberately set at Stanwood Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as Birdsacre, have been forwarded to the Hancock County district attorney’s office. In March, Sgt. Tim York of the State Fire Marshal’s Office indicated that the blaze that caused significant damage to a former homestead on the property “appears to be an intentional human element fire.” District Attorney Carletta “Dee” Bassano said Wednesday that she has received the file and is reviewing it to see what, if any, criminal charges might be appropriate.
You just bought 50,000 acres for $7
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 

Each Maine resident contributed $7 to purchase an amazing list of our very best places – great places to hunt, spectacular places to fish, critical deer wintering areas and trout spawning grounds, farms, lake and pond frontage and access, snowmobile trails, important working waterfronts, and lots more. We Mainers do drive a hard bargain! The $9 million we put up for these projects in 37 communities was matched by $24.8 million from 60 partners. Good deals! These are the first awards from the Land for Maine’s Future Board in three years.
State schedules second meeting about controversial Bagaduce aquaculture
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 

The Maine Department of Marine Resources plans to hold another community meeting this week about controversial aquaculture operations in the tidal Bagaduce River. The increasing number of aquaculture projects in the river, which separates the towns of Brooksville, Castine, Penobscot and Sedgwick, has been a divisive issue among area residents. Some have raised questions about the impact the oyster growing operations have on the environment and quality of life, while others have said it is a sustainable activity that provides them with much-needed economic opportunities
Cumberland voters to decide $3M public beach purchase
Forecaster - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 

After lengthy and sometimes heated discussion Monday, the Town Council voted unanimously to send a proposed $3 million purchase of beach property to voters in November. But public opinion was much more divided, and often critical. Some residents criticized the speed of the process and questioned its degree of transparency, as well as the feasibility of recreation access at the property. Others supported securing waterfront property for the public, and defended the actions of town officials. Members of the abutting Wildwood neighborhood, whose private beach would neighbor the public land, argue the proposed use is prohibited by a conservation easement on the property.
Atlantic salmon returns lagging on the Penobscot and in Canada
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 

For more than a century, conservationists have sought to restore the Atlantic salmon population in the Penobscot River. Each year, river-watchers eagerly await the return of those fish, many of which are trapped and transported to a hatchery where they’ll be used to produce the next generation of Penobscot salmon. Unfortunately, for the third consecutive year the number of fish returning from the sea is nothing to celebrate. Just 257 salmon had returned to the Milford Dam fish trapping facility as of Monday. In recent years, by the end of July more than 90 percent of the total yearly run arrived in the river and were counted.
New gas pipeline could ease capacity shortage
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 

One of the nation’s largest natural gas pipeline companies announced on Wednesday that it will expand its system in New England, a move that could help ease a winter capacity shortage that has been linked to billions of dollars in higher electricity prices in Maine and the region. Houston-based Kinder Morgan Energy Partners L.P. said it has reached agreements with local natural gas distribution companies in southern New England to transport the equivalent of 500 million cubic feet per day on an expansion of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline called the Northeast Energy Direct Project. But some conservation groups, including Environment Northeast, are pushing back on pipeline expansion. They say it ignores diversified, lower-impact solutions and adds to the region’s over-reliance on gas.
Feds schedule Maine hearings on impact of possible missile defense site
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 

The Department of Defense is asking for public input as it prepares environmental impact statements for U.S. locations being considered for potential missile defense sites, including one in Maine. The Department of Defense’s Missile Defense Agency is eyeing a U.S. Navy facility in Redington Township, near Rangeley, as a potential home for a Continental United States Interceptor Site. Known as the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape school, the Navy uses the western Maine facility as a cold-weather training ground. The missile site would be “capable of protecting the homeland against threats from nations, such as North Korea and Iran,” by shooting enemy intercontinental ballistic missiles out of the skies, according to the Department of Defense.
Fire marshal: Maine bird sanctuary fire was arson
Associated Press - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 

The district attorney is reviewing the results of a state fire marshal investigation into an arson fire last March at Birdsacre, a nonprofit bird sanctuary in Ellsworth. Sgt. Tim York said that the fire at the Stanwood Homestead Museum was intentionally set. The interior of the building is still in a state of disarray with fire damage, pieces of the collection destroyed and numerous items awaiting restoration. The museum is part of a 200-acre wildlife sanctuary that aims to preserve the vision of ornithologist Cordelia Stanwood.
Opinion: Maine is too smoggy in the summer: It’s time to limit power plants’ carbon emissions
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 

I have worked as a doctor in the Bangor area for most of the past 33 years, and I have been a serious and a recreational athlete. Like most active people, I dread the poor ozone and air quality days that plague Maine in the summertime. These are the days when the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends Mainers avoid strenuous outdoor activity. Thankfully, the EPA is fulfilling its mandate to clean up our air. I thank U.S. Sen. Angus King for his statements of support for the Clean Power Plan, and I urge him and U.S. Sen. Susan Collins to do all they can in Congress to see this common sense rule is implemented without delay. ~ Dr. Peter Millard, Belfast
LePage, utilities commissioner conflict over conflicts only partially resolved
Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 

A conflict over ethics between Gov. Paul LePage and a member of the state’s Public Utilities Commission has been settled in the short term, but threatens to produce more controversy over the long term. The conflict was resolved when Gov. LePage recently appointed former Superior Court Judge John Atwood to substitute for commission member David Littell on a high-profile case from which Littell recused himself because of a conflict of interest. That was a reversal of LePage’s earlier position. But LePage also said if Littell is going to recuse himself on this case, the governor has a list of eight other cases he thinks Littell should remove himself from because of similar conflicts of interest, including a prominent case mounted by citizens opposed to the use of so-called “Smart Meters” at their homes.
Editorial: How Maine towns can prepare for West Nile, eastern equine encephalitis
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 

With mosquitoes out and about during the summer, it’s important for towns to be ready for what sometimes comes with them: infectious diseases. There are steps Maine officials can take to prepare for the event of an outbreak of West Nile, eastern equine encephalitis: 1. Read up on the Maine Center for Disease Control’s recommendations on prevention, surveillance, reporting and responses. 2. Spread the word about reducing residents’ risk, such as by draining standing water and repairing ripped window screens. 3. Create a response plan that addresses actions such as how to notify residents of an outbreak.
Professor: Ranavirus killed 200,000 tadpoles in Brunswick pond
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 

It resembled something out of a science fiction movie, but the science behind a massive die-off of tadpoles in a local pond is shockingly real, according to a Bowdoin College biology professor. An estimated 200,000 wood frog tadpoles died in a pond in his backyard over a 21-hour period in mid-June of 2013, according to Nathaniel Wheelwright, a population biologist who teaches at Bowdoin. The cause, according to a paper recently published in Herpetological Review that Wheelwright co-authored with researchers from the University of Tennessee, is a ranavirus, which is believed to be a significant factor in the global decline of amphibian species.
Verso Paper gets closer on debt deal to allow big merger
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 

A debt restructuring critical to Verso Paper’s proposed acquisition of rival NewPage Holdings “appears likely” to succeed before a deadline of midnight tonight, clearing the way for a merger that would create a paper industry giant employing more than 2,200 workers at three Maine paper mills. The $1.4 billion deal would combine Verso Paper and its three paper mills, including those in Bucksport and Jay, with NewPage’s eight paper mills, including one in Rumford. The new company would continue to operate under the Verso name and would control more than half of the North American market for the glossy paper used in magazines and retail catalogs.
Want to help the planet? Put down that burger
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 

Meat eaters pollute more than vegetarians. That’s the finding of two recently published scientific papers, both of which calculated the greenhouse gas emissions generated by people eating a range of diets – from American-style meat-based to totally planted-based vegan. Each study found meat-centric diets to be the most polluting.
Letter: It’s critical to support, finalize Clean Power Plan
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 

This week, people are gathering in Washington, D.C., to tell the Environmental Protection Agency what they think of the Clean Power Plan, which will reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants by up to 30 percent by 2030; this is a powerful step toward improving air quality and protecting public health. It is critical that these common-sense standards are finalized quickly, and I hope that the public voice in support of the Clean Power Plan will be loud and clear at the hearings. ~ Brian Pettingill, Scarborough
Letter: Hunting in Maine woods
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 

I have been hunting for over 55 years, and I have seen just two bears in the woods, one of which I managed to get. Maine is one of the most heavily forested states in the country, and you can’t hunt bear in Maine as you can in other states. Let the people the state pays to manage our wildlife do their jobs. Without the use of baiting, the state will be overrun in a few years with bear, and then the people who want to stop bear baiting will want the people that the state pays to come to their aid and take care of the problem bears. ~ Gilbert Rossignol, East Millinocket
Letter: Climate help
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 

I commend Cloe Chunn’s July 23 letter for making climate action a priority as she decides who to vote for this fall, but I worry the goal of a livable world is far too big for one party to manage. I will continue to support any candidate who makes the transition to renewable energy, efficiency and conservation a priority. I look for a candidate who supports carbon fee and dividend, a capitalist economic policy that puts a price on carbon at the point of extraction, then gives all the money to the American people as monthly rebate checks. It is the best version of a revenue-neutral, free-market solution. ~ Lyndy Rohman, Bangor
Maine parents, doctors press for disclosure of chemicals in kids’ products
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 29, 2014 

Mothers, physicians and business owners were among those who called on the LePage administration Tuesday to monitor the use of potentially harmful chemicals called phthalates in children’s lunch boxes, toys, raincoats and other plastic products. Dozens of advocates packed a public hearing to push the Department of Environmental Protection to add four types of phthalates to a high-priority list of chemicals regulated under Maine’s Kid-Safe Products Act, which would force manufacturers to disclose their use in children’s products sold in Maine.
Seal pup draws crowd to edge of Portland’s Back Cove
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 29, 2014 

Bill Barthelman, a volunteer with Marine Mammals of Maine, a nonprofit in Boothbay, said seals usually come onto shores and beaches just because they are tired and need rest. They can spend long periods on dry land, needing to enter the water only to find food, he said. Unless an animal has visible signs of injury, volunteers simply observe it. “It’s mainly to keep people away, and dogs,” said Barthelman. While it’s not unusual for seals to beach themselves in Maine, such an occurrence along a popular trail in Maine’s largest city is bound to draw attention.
Current  Archive      Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ...

News Feeds

Maine Organic Farmers
and Gardeners Assn

Organic Valley expands into Aroostook County for organic dairy
By James McCarthy - Organic Valley, the nation's largest cooperative of organic farmers and a leading organic brand, announced at its regional office in Portland today the addition of an Aroostook County organic dairy farm to its lineup of Maine suppliers, bringing its state total to 33 farms.
7/28/2014 11:00:00 PM

Brazil farmers say GMO corn no longer resistant to pests
By Caroline Stauffer - Genetically modified corn seeds are no longer protecting Brazilian farmers from voracious tropical bugs, increasing costs as producers turn to pesticides, a farm group said on Monday.
7/28/2014 11:00:00 PM

Bee research tainted by corporate funding, MPs say
By Damian Carrington - Criticial future research on the plight of bees risks being tainted by corporate funding, according to a report from MPs published on Monday. Pollinators play a vital role in fertilising three-quarters of all food crops but have declined due to loss of habitat, disease and pesticide use. New scientific research forms a key part of the government’s plan to boost pollinators but will be funded by pesticide manufacturers.
7/27/2014 11:00:00 PM

Curbing air pollution could help crops thrive
By Megan Rowling - Controlling air pollution could help curb projected declines in global food supplies, a new study says, suggesting policymakers should consider both climate change and ozone pollution in efforts to ensure the world has enough food.
7/27/2014 11:00:00 PM

More farmers markets accepting SNAP this season
By Sarah Walker Caron - On Sundays, the farmers market in Bangor bustles with customers. The Sunday market in Bangor is one of 37 markets across Maine accepting SNAP benefits this summer, up from 29 markets in 2013 – the first year the benefits could be used at farmers markets.
7/27/2014 11:00:00 PM

Songbirds dying from DDT in Michigan yards; Superfund site blamed
By Brian Bienkowski - St. Louis, Michigan: Jim Hall was mowing the town’s baseball diamond when he felt a little bump underneath him. “And there it was, a dead robin,” he said. Just last week, he found another one. “Something is going on here,” said Hall, who has lived in this mid-Michigan town of 7,000 for 50 years. Two dead birds may not seem like much. But for this town, it’s a worrisome legacy left behind by a chemical plant-turned-Superfund site.
7/27/2014 11:00:00 PM

Climate change and air pollution will combine to curb food supplies
Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Many studies have shown the potential for global climate change to cut food supplies. But these studies have, for the most part, ignored the interactions between increasing temperature and air pollution – specifically ozone pollution, which is known to damage crops. A new study shows that these interactions can be quite significant, suggesting that policymakers need to take both warming and air pollution into account in addressing food security.
7/26/2014 11:00:00 PM

Should You Pee On Your Compost?
By Eve Fox - Human urine is rich in the nitrogen that plants need to thrive. The commercial chemical fertilizers widely used to add nitrogen to the soil come at a steep cost to our environment and our health. Their application results in algal blooms, oceanic dead zones, contaminated drinking water, human health problems and more. Meanwhile, we are literally flushing billions of tons of free, naturally-created nitrogen down the toilet each year.
7/26/2014 11:00:00 PM

Natural Resources Council
of Maine

Take the Stink out of Composting
If your compost pile has an offensive odor, it may need more carbonaceous material. Try covering it with a thi...
7/31/2014 4:00:51 AM

Vote for Your Choice for NRCM’s 2014 People’s Choice Award
The finalists are in! We are pleased to announce this year’s finalists for NRCM’s People’s Choice Award. We re...
7/30/2014 12:00:28 PM

Dozens Call on Maine to Regulate Chemicals Found in Plastic Household Products
By Jackie Farwell, BDN Staff Bangor Daily News news story AUGUSTA, Maine — More than 70 people called on the L...
7/30/2014 9:05:43 AM

Bangor-born Researcher Looks Outside Governments to Solve Looming Global Food Crisis
By Darren Fishell, BDN Staff Bangor Daily News news story PORTLAND, Maine — Growing up, the stars over Dixmont...
7/30/2014 8:55:09 AM

Cruise Through Life
Save money and reduce your climate change pollution by hitting the cruise button on your car. Using cruise con...
7/30/2014 4:00:16 AM

York County Land Trust Acquires Farm in Berwick
The 90-acre property was donated by Ruby Brooks, who died last year after living on the farm for 60 years By G...
7/29/2014 7:41:47 AM

Maine Panel to Consider Response to Ocean Acidification
The commission formed by the Legislature will hold its first meeting Friday at UMaine’s Darling Marine Center ...
7/29/2014 7:35:25 AM

Some Like It Raw
Summer is a great time to save energy by not cooking dinner once a week.  Serve salad, sashimi, and fruit. Bon...
7/29/2014 4:00:24 AM

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