August 20, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, August 14, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond). We have posted summaries and links to over 50,000 news articles and announcements. We 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 our attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. ~ Jym St. Pierre, Editor
Lessons from the Great Conservationists of the Past, Aug 21
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 14, 2018 

Larry Nielsen, author of “Nature’s Allies: Eight Conservationists Who Changed Our World,” will speak at Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, August 21, 7 pm.
Farm to Table Dinner, Aug 18
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 11, 2018 

Dinner features the creations of four Maine-based professional female chefs, followed by a mission auction and the music of folk musician, Bill Staines. Benefits Growing to Give, which grows and donates certified organic vegetables to local food banks and pantries. At Scatter Good Farm, Brunswick, August 18, 5-9 pm.
Beaver presentation and paddle, Aug 18
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 11, 2018 

Learn about beavers with Master Naturalist, Christy Stout. Enjoy a slideshow presentation followed by a paddle to look for beaver signs. At Hirundo Wildlife Refuge, near Bangor, August 18, 5 pm.
Merrymeeting Bay Rare Mud Plant Walk, Aug 18
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 11, 2018 

Justin Schlawin, ecologist with the Maine Natural Areas Program, will lead a walk among the rare mud plants of Merrymeeting Bay. At Choice View Farm, Dresden, August 18, 1:30-3:30 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Mackworth Island Transformed: Rocks Reimagined, thru Aug 31
Announcement - Friday, August 10, 2018 

Tim Greenway's photography exhibit visualizes imaginative landscapes by detailing Hackworth Island's geology. At Portland City Hall Rotunda, July 3 – August 31.
Identifying Woodland Shrubs, Aug 16
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 9, 2018 

Join Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District and the Maine Forest Service for a walk & talk “Identifying Woodland Shrubs.” At Georges River Land Trust’s Appleton Preserve, August 16, 3-5 pm, pre-register.
Climate change communication workshop, Aug 16
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 9, 2018 

The Maine Climate Table, in partnership with GrowSmart Maine, will present a climate change communication workshop. At the Center for an Ecology-Based Economy, Norway, August 16, from 8:30 am to noon.
Rangeley Frog Jumping Contest, Aug 16
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 9, 2018 

The annual Frog Jumping Contest will leap onto the scene again at the Rangeley Blueberry Festival. Those entering should catch and release their frog or toad in the same location, to keep him or her happy and alive. At Episcopal Church, Rangeley, August 16, sign up starts at 12:30 pm, contest begins at 1 pm.
New wildlife teaching tools for a new school year
Publication - Wednesday, August 8, 2018 

Explore World Wildlife Fund's Wild Classroom, a growing library of animal- and nature-related toolkits to help foster children's curiosity and inspire the next generation of scientists and conservationists.
Blazing Ahead: Rivalry That Built the Appalachian Trail, Aug 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 8, 2018 

Jeffrey Ryan, a Maine-based author and photographer, will tell the story of how the Appalachian Trail was envisioned and built. At Maine State Library, Augusta, August 15, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Historical Society.
What Have Loons Told Us? Aug 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 8, 2018 

After 35 Years of Maine Audubon’s Loon Count, and with the help of thousands of “citizen science” volunteers, we know that in many ways loons are doing better than ever. At Somes-Meynell Wildlife Sanctuary, Mt. Desert, August 15, 7 pm.
Farming the Sea - Aquaculture in Maine's Future, Aug 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 8, 2018 

Author and food authority Nancy Harmon Jenkins will talk about the future of aquaculture in Maine. At Island Institute, Rockland, August 15, 10:30 am.
Blazing Ahead, Aug 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 8, 2018 

Jeffrey Ryan speaks about the rivalry that built the Appalachian Trail. At Maine State Library, Augusta, August 15, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Historical Society.
Landscape Design Lessons from Manhattan to Maine, Aug 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 8, 2018 

Patrick Cullina will talk about site design and plant and material selection on projects in New York City, above Long Island Sound, on the North Fork of Long Island, and on a privately-owned island just south of Rockland, Maine. At Bar Harbor, August 15, 4 pm, Beatrix Farrand Society members $10, non-members $20, students free, pre-register.
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News Items
Column: Unforced errors
Daily Bulldog (Franklin County) - Monday, August 20, 2018 

Two contenders for high public office in Maine decided, for reasons that may have something to do with having shelled mollusks for brains, to blunder out in public and beg to be breaded and deep fried for their lack of judgement. Zak Ringelstein, the Democratic sacrificial clam in this year’s race for the U.S. Senate, has no money and no real support from his party, which will be happy to see independent incumbent Angus King re-elected. Ringelstein has declared himself a socialist and embarked on an anti-corporate rampage. Republican 2nd District Rep. Bruce Poliquin is as adept at conveying the wrong impression. He sent letters extolling his virtues in protecting Medicare and Social Security (though he has done the opposite), opposing a carbon tax, supporting a work requirement for food stamps and something about fighting opioid addiction. You and I picked up the tab for what amounted to the congressman campaigning for re-election. ~ Al Diamon
The Joy and Heartache of Maine Farm Life in the 1960s
Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors - Monday, August 20, 2018 

I loved driving machinery, especially tractors and hay trucks, while working summers for my cousin Dickey. I spent my $1.25 per hour wages on two-tone wingtip shoes, corduroy slacks, and snazzy button-down shirts. Each Saturday afternoon, I hitchhiked to Smithfield with a duffel bag of clean clothes, bathed with Ivory soap in North Pond, and dressed in Mr. Perkin’s filling station’s rest room. From there, I walked to the Fairview Grange, purchased a baked bean supper for 50 cents, then scooted next door to the Sunbeam Roller Rink, a wholesome teenage hangout. Those were heady days: I had money, dapper clothes, beans and pie in my belly, and a hunger to meet cute girls. ~ Ronald Joseph, retired Maine wildlife biologist
Grants awarded to Maine small businesses to offset energy costs, spur growth
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 20, 2018 

Several small businesses in southern Maine are in line for federal grants to help them save energy and grow their companies. Nearly $530,000 from the Renewable Energy for America Program and Value Added Producer grants will be allocated to six Maine businesses:
• Turtle Rock Farm, Brunswick, $250,000 to expand the marketing and canning of organic vegetables
• T&D Wood Energy, Sanford, $200,000 to build a mid-sized wood pellet manufacturing facility
• Mook Sea Farms, Walpole, $49,597 to install a solar array for this oyster farm
• Flying Frog, Freeport, $19,496 to install a solar array, which for its tenant, Buck’s Naked BBQ
• Mallory Property Holdings, Newcastle, $6,465 to install a solar array at its Split Rock Distillery
• Porchside Properties, Dresden, $4,228 to install a solar array at Porchside Veterinary Care
Beer, Drinking Water and Fish: Tiny Plastic Is Everywhere
National Public Radio - Monday, August 20, 2018 

Plastic trash is littering the land and fouling rivers and oceans. But what we can see is only a small fraction of what's out there. Since modern plastic was first mass-produced, 8 billion tons have been manufactured. And when it's thrown away, it doesn't just disappear. Much of it crumbles into small pieces. Scientists call the tiny pieces "microplastics" and define them as objects smaller than 5 millimeters. They're in oceans, rivers and lakes. They're in soil. Even more concerning, microplastics are in drinking water. In beer. In sea salt. In fish and shellfish.
Here's How Your Contact Lenses May Be Polluting the Ocean
TIME - Monday, August 20, 2018 

New research suggests that millions of contact lenses may be ending up in U.S. water supplies each year, potentially contributing to ocean pollution. There are an estimated 45 million wearers of contact lenses in the U.S. alone. Rolf Halden, director of the Biodesign Center for Environmental Health Engineering, and postdoctoral student Charlie Rolsky conducted a survey of about 400 contact wearers. They found roughly 15 to 20% had flushed contacts down a toilet or sink drain.“ If you use them, just make sure you put them into the solid waste, and not have them enter the sink or toilet,” Halden says.
LePage calls lawmaker ‘repugnant,’ storms out of meeting on report that he didn’t drive timber decision
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 20, 2018 

Maine’s legislative watchdog found no evidence that Gov. Paul LePage was directly involved in a February decision to divert timber harvested on public lands away from two Maine mills. But the governor quickly overshadowed that news by demanding an apology from lawmakers, singling out a member of his own party, Sen. Tom Saviello of Wilton, as the “most repugnant human” he’s ever seen, and then storming out of a committee hearing after being called out of order.
Unicorn rediscovered in Maine
Maine Government News - Monday, August 20, 2018 

This summer the Maine Natural Areas Program documented the rare Unicorn Root. About 300 flowering stems were found in a damp field on privately held land in Bowdoin. This showy plant has not been seen in Maine in over 130 years and was thought to be extirpated.
Watchdog finds no proof that LePage punished sawmill owners who criticized him
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 20, 2018 

A legislative watchdog found “no evidence” that Gov. Paul LePage’s administration diverted public timber from Maine millowners because they criticized the governor, though there was “very little documentation” to back that finding. Though the finding could be interpreted as an exoneration the governor, a defiant LePage appeared before a legislative oversight panel on Monday and called Sen. Tom Saviello, R-Wilton, who raised the controversy publicly, “the most repugnant human being I’ve ever seen” before leaving the hearing room after being ruled out of order.
It’s all about men in sportsman’s newspaper
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, August 20, 2018 

Women were nowhere to be found – except in jokes – in the September 1956 edition of The Maine Outdoorsman and Conservationist. One article’s headline was “Warden Force Seeking Young Men Interested In Outdoor Careers.” Yup, women need not apply.
Missouri pork farmers breathe new life into an old Maine dairy farm
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 20, 2018 

Despite looking so much at home on this land, both the pigs and the farmers at Singing Prairie Farms in Newcastle are brand new to this place. They all relocated to midcoast Maine from Missouri last month. Before that the farm had been empty while the last owners searched for a buyer. But prior to that, it was the Dyer Valley Dairy Farm, one of Maine’s family-owned dairy farms, a group that now seems to be something of an endangered species in the state. John Arbuckle, a ninth generation farmer originally from Illinois, said he’s looking forward to seeing what the land in Maine will provide, and how they will provide for it.
Kids in Maine are more likely to get cancer, and no one really knows why
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 20, 2018 

more than 700 Maine children diagnosed with cancer between 2003 and 2014. Maine’s rate of cancer among patients under age 20 was significantly higher than the national average. Experts don’t know why Maine’s rate exceeds the national average, or what’s driving differences from region to region. “Is it because of environmental exposures?” said Dr. Nadine SantaCruz, a pediatric neuro-oncologist with Eastern Maine Medical Center Pediatric Oncology. “That might lead to the possibility that we can prevent pediatric cancer. If it’s an environmental exposure, is it something that we can remove from the environment? Is it something we can avoid?”
Letter: Nice to hear from Poliquin
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 20, 2018 

I’ve gotten two letters from Rep. Bruce Poliquin. They say he’s busy being involved and constructive in Washington. I’d love to hear he’s done an about-face on climate change. Farmers in Aroostook County are adjusting their crops and planting schedules. The Maine Department of Transportation is putting in larger culverts along the coast in anticipation of heavier rains. And the senior housing here in town is putting solar panels on the roofs. The representative writes nice letters. And because he’s in Congress, we pay for his postage. It’s always nice to hear from Poliquin. He’s always doing well. ~ Robb Cook, Lubec
Letter: Slow climate change
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 20, 2018 

Saying the recent Gwynne Dyer column “This is our last chance to avoid a ‘hothouse Earth’” was shocking would be the understatement of the century. It is horrifying to think that we are on the brink of such devastation, but we cannot let fear paralyze us. We still have the opportunity to curb our greenhouse gas emissions by stopping our use of fossil fuels and by moving to clean, renewable energy. Environment Maine and its national partner, Environment America, are working to transition colleges and universities to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. We have to do what we can to slow the effects of climate change. ~ Audrey Davis, Portland
Letter: Stormwater ditch defies definition as stream
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 20, 2018 

Do you have a ditch in your backyard? Maine stream standards say it has a good chance of being called a stream by the Department of Environmental Protection. If so, it would be subject to the same laws, regulations and restrictions applied to any Maine river, stream or brook. Sound crazy? Yes, but it happened on my property. And it can happen to you. ~ Tony St. Peter, Hallowell
Letter: A sorry excuse from CMP about substandard service
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 20, 2018 

Central Maine Power is embarking on an “I’m Sorry Tour” of sorts, with the embattled electric utility running new ads in which CEO Doug Herling promises to fix problems and address customer concerns. Unfortunately, the damage for CMP has been done. A class-action lawsuit is poised to again bring statewide attention to the company, for all the wrong reasons. While the apology may be a nice gesture, it will ultimately be ineffective, and the company should brace for the upcoming firestorm of negative press. ~ Jacob Favolise, Sanford
Letter: Global warming key to Lyme disease fight
Morning Sentinel - Monday, August 20, 2018 

Recent studies show that Lyme disease — a tick-borne illness with debilitating consequences — is on the rise. As global warming causes warm temperatures to extend deeper into the year, the season in which ticks are most likely to latch to a host is being extended. This is disastrous for Maine. There are ways that you can avoid picking up ticks — by avoiding long grass, and staying in the center of the trail, to name two. You can also used DEET-based repellents. However, they are harmful to cats, bees, fish, and aquatic insects. In the end, there is only one way that we may truly combat Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses: by combating global warming. ~ Sophie Davies, Nantucket, Massachusetts, and Moosehead Lake
Conserving oil no longer a U.S. priority
Associated Press - Sunday, August 19, 2018 

Conserving oil is no longer an economic imperative for the U.S., the Trump administration declares in a major new policy statement that threatens to undermine decades of government campaigns for gas-thrifty cars and other conservation programs. President Trump has questioned the existence of climate change, embraced the notion of “energy dominance” as a national goal, and called for easing what he calls burdensome regulation of oil, gas and coal, including repealing the Clean Power Plan.
Wildfire smoke creates hazy sky in northern Maine
WCSH-TV6 - Sunday, August 19, 2018 

Some Mainers may have noticed a milky appearance to the sky Sunday. Smoke from wildfires in Canada and parts of the United States seems responsible for drowning out what otherwise would have been a mostly sunny day. The veil of smoke was visible on satellite imagery during the day. The smoke is far enough aloft that in Maine, it is not impacting air quality at the surface.
Kennebec Land Trust seeking to create cemetery for conservation burials
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, August 19, 2018 

Kennebec Land Trust members learned, at the conservation group’s 30th annual gathering, of trust plans to create a new cemetery for conservation burials where the deceased could take their desire to protect nature to the grave with them. The Winthrop-based nonprofit land conservation organization is close to a deal with an as yet unnamed landowner to secure more than 60 acres where it hopes to develop a “green” cemetery where bodies would be placed in biodegradable coffins or shrouds and buried in the ground, without a cement burial vault, embalming fluids or a treated casket, which can all be harmful to the environment, Theresa Kerchner, executive director, told roughly 100 trust members Sunday.
Road signs en route for Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
Associated Press - Sunday, August 19, 2018 

At long last, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument will soon have highway signs directing motorists to the federal recreation area, which boasts hiking, canoeing and camping, along with stunning views of Maine’s tallest mountain, Mount Katahdin. The road signs won’t be installed before the monument’s second anniversary Friday, but the process is underway, Superintendent Tim Hudson says. Sixteen secondary road signs that will be installed before year’s end, along with six large signs for Interstate 95 that will likely be installed in the spring. The LePage administration balked at installation of the signs. About 8,000 people have visited this summer season so far. The Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters are hosting a celebration Saturday at Shin Pond Village in Mount Chase.
OPEGA To Investigate LePage Administration Over Diversion Of State-Owned Timber
Maine Public - Sunday, August 19, 2018 

The Legislature’s watchdog agency will be briefed Monday on the LePage administration's decision to divert wood that has been harvested on public lands from a company critical of the governor's position on tariffs. The Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability is investigating the timber diversion that took place earlier this year. What motivated the administration's decision to send lumber shipments that were supposed to go to mills owned by Jason and Chris Brochu to mills owned by a Canadian company? LePage has said he diverted the lumber because the Canadian-owned mill was in danger of shutting down, but the owner of the mill said his company never requested those shipments.
Opinion: Maine can’t go it alone when it comes to air pollution
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, August 19, 2018 

Maine’s air has been dangerously unhealthy this summer. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has issued more than two dozen notices for high ozone and unhealthy conditions since April. These air quality warnings expose the danger lurking behind last month’s proposal by the LePage administration that Maine withdraw from the Ozone Transport Region. More than most Northeast states, Maine needs and benefits from a strong Ozone Transport Region. We urge the Department of Environmental Protection to take its own air quality warnings to heart and reconsider this short-sighted proposal that would jeopardize the health of so many Maine kids and adults. ~ Dr. Marguerite Penner, vice chair, American Lung Association in Maine Leadership Board
Decades of chemical pollution suspected in Maine’s seal die-off
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 19, 2018 

Since the beginning of the year, over 400 dead and stranded seals have been reported in Maine. As the number of dead and stranded seals washing up on southern Maine beaches rises by the day, researchers are linking the sudden die-off to decades of chemical pollution that made the seal population vulnerable to toxins and disease.
Baxter State Park’s new director keeps focus on ‘wild’
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 19, 2018 

At 35, Eben Sypitkowski has become just the fourth director of the park since 1975. He takes over at a time when Baxter Park faces pressures from an increase in visitors and traffic, and demands for conveniences such as Wi-Fi – all of which clash with the ideals to keep the park a wilderness sanctuary. Sypitkowski, who took over as Baxter Park director in June, freely admits he doesn’t have a grand plan. But he is certain of one thing. He will follow Percival Baxter’s directives as laid out in the 28 deeds associated with his 12 land gifts.
Creatures cured, comforted at Cape Neddick’s Center for Wildlife
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 19, 2018 

The Center for Wildlife, tucked into the woods off Mountain Road in Cape Neddick, can care for up to 200 animals at a time and, during peak season, fields 30 to 40 calls a day from people who have found animals. The nonprofit organization treats more than 190 species and last year cared for 2,200 mammals and birds found injured or orphaned within a 100-mile radius of the center. This year, the center is on track to treat even more animals.
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