December 17, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news and events. 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
Maine Energy Planning Roadmap hearings, Dec 19, Dec 29, Jan 10
Event - Posted - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

The Governor’s Energy Office is asking Mainers for input in developing an Energy Planning Roadmap. Public hearings:
• Dec. 19: University of Southern Maine, Portland
• Dec. 29: Energy, Utilities, & Technology Committee, Augusta
• Jan. 10: University of Maine, Presque Isle
Help wanted: Visitor Center Assistant
Announcement - Monday, December 11, 2017 

Seasonal position, May 1 - October 31, 2018, representing Audubon’s Seabird Restoration Program at the Project Puffin Visitor Center in Rockland.
Free Skiing & Learn-to-Ski Clinics, Dec 16
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 9, 2017 

Waterville Parks & Rec, with support from Friends of Quarry Road, will provide free trail passes, free rentals, and free learn-to-ski clinics at Quarry Road Trails, December 16.
Meadow Brook/Hurds Pond Preserve Hike, Dec 16
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 9, 2017 

Cloe Chunn will lead a hike of Meadow Brook/Hurds Pond, a preserve of Coastal Mountains Land Trust. Meet at Swanville Transfer Station, December 16, 10 am. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Tax bill would slam the brakes on solar and wind energy
Action Alert - Friday, December 8, 2017 

The tax bill passed by the Senate last Friday includes an obscure provision that could pull the rug out from under solar and wind power. The House version also takes aim at renewable energy by rolling back key tax credits. These provisions "would have a devastating ... impact on wind and solar energy," according to renewable energy industry leaders. ~ Environment Maine
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Dec 14
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

Tim Hudson, Superintendent, will take you through the landscape of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument with pictures. At Belfast Free Library, December 14, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Whales of the Gulf of Maine: A Naturalist’s Report, Dec 14
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

Zack Klyver, chief naturalist for the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company and founder of Flukes whale watch ecotours, will present an engaging review of the 2017 whale watch season. At Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, December 14, 12 pm.
Olive oil tasting, Dec 13
Event - Posted - Wednesday, December 6, 2017 

FIORE Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars will host an evening to support the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust at its tasting room in Brunswick, December 13, 5-7 pm.
The Arctic Needs Your Help
Action Alert - Tuesday, December 5, 2017 

Buried deep within the Senate tax bill is a provision to open the pristine Arctic Refuge, a national treasure, to oil and gas drilling, which will cause widespread pollution and harm to the wildlife and people who call this place home. Express your disappointment to Senator Susan Collins and urge her to protect our natural legacy by working to remove this damaging language before the tax bill becomes law. ~ Maine Conservation Voters
Birds from the Footbridge in Belfast, Dec 9
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 2, 2017 

Join Ron Harrell and Gary Gulezian to watch ducks, loons and other birds in the harbor. At the Belfast Footbridge, December 9, 8-10 am. Organized by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Win $1,000 L.L.Bean shopping spree and an outing with David Sibley
Announcement - Friday, December 1, 2017 

Wildlife Acoustics, makers of the Song Sleuth bird identifying app, launched the Sibley Sweepstakes on December 1. Ends March 1. No purchase necessary to enter.
Baxter State Park sign auction, ends Dec 6
Announcement - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Auction of retired Baxter State Park signs, plus the historic dinner bell from Kidney Pond Camps. Friends Baxter State Park will donate half the proceeds to Baxter State Park, and half will support FBSP programs. Ends December 6.
Blazing Ahead: the Rivalry that Built the Appalachian Trail, Dec 7
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Jeffrey Ryan tells the story of the unlikely creation of the Appalachian Trail. At Bangor Public Library, December 7, 6 pm. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club Maine Chapter.
Celebrate CREA and the Season, Dec 7
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Meet new Executive Director Wendy Van Damme, hear about new programs and plans, and contemplate the joy of winter activity at the Cathance River Education Alliance’s 235 acre nature preserve in Topsham. At Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, December 7, 4:30 to 6:30 pm, RSVP.
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News Items
The Underground Forest
Other - Saturday, April 30, 2011 

Walking in the forest you are bathed in sounds, sights, smells – chirping of birds, sighing of the wind in the branches, flashes of light off the leaves, warmth of sun on your skin, the skittering of tiny creatures in the underbrush. There's peace there, and beauty. But there's more to the forest than the trees. Look down.
Sixth-grader helps paint Camden green
Herald Gazette - Saturday, April 30, 2011 

Two entire Camden streets' lawns are officially safe for people, dogs and wildlife, and the Megunticook River is cleaner, thanks to Eliza Robinson. Robinson, a sixth-grader at the Camden-Rockport Middle School, received assurances from every homeowner on William Glen Drive and Azalea Lane that they do not use pesticides for cosmetic use on their lawns. Now, William Glen and Azalea will be painted green on the Citizens for a Green Camden map.
Unity College to build first Passive House-certified dormitory in the nation
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, April 30, 2011 

As soon as students vacate the premises in a couple of weeks after finals are finished, Unity College will raze two of student Cottages and replace them by September with a super-efficient 10-person apartment-style residence hall known as TerraHaus. The groundbreaking structure is believed to be the first Passive House-certified student college residence built in the United States.
First Wind to partner with two Canadian companies
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, April 30, 2011 

The most aggressive developer of wind power in Maine has entered into a complicated partnership agreement with two Canadian power companies in order to build, own and operate wind projects in the Northeast United States. The deal provides First Wind of Boston with seriously needed financing through Ontario-based Algonquin Power and Utilities Corp. and Halifax-based Emera Inc.
Letter: L.D. 1210 addresses small part of bottle bill
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, April 30, 2011 

L.D. 1210 inserts a single phrase into Maine's bottle bill, and its sole intent is to correct a regulatory glitch that hurts small business. All of Maine's large distributors are exempt from paying a monthly fee because they belong to so-called "co-mingling" recycling groups. Small Maine distributors (even though they recycle as aggressively as their larger competitors) cannot join these groups and so have to pay up to $30,000 a year to Maine Revenue.
Letter: We need ban on mercury amalgam dental fillings
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, April 30, 2011 

I was shocked L.D. 146, An Act to Prohibit the Use of Mercury Amalgams in Dental Procedures for Children, Pregnant Women and Nursing Mothers, was voted down 12-0. Why won't our government protect everyone, including fetuses, from toxic mercury amalgam dental fillings? Norway, Sweden and Denmark have all banned its use.
Letter: Climate-change critic finds data confirm warming
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, April 30, 2011 

A couple of weeks ago, Professor Richard Muller, a longtime critic of government-led climate studies, testified about a project at the University of California, Berkeley, that was expected to cast scientific doubt on government sponsored studies. The Berkeley project's biggest private backer is the Charles G. Koch Foundation. Oil billionaires Charles and David Koch are the nation's most prominent funders of efforts to prevent curbs on the burning of fossil fuels. Muller, however, unexpectedly told the congressional hearing that "We see a global warming trend that is very similar to that previously reported by the other groups." Science won over political doctrine in this case.
When bugs battle, nature win
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, April 30, 2011 

Employing "good bugs" to battle bad ones is helping nature take its course at Longfellow's Greenhouses in Manchester. The two-year old biological control program has enabled Longfellow's to reduce the application of chemicals.
Letter: Sunday hunting dead for 127 years, should stay dead
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, April 30, 2011 

Sunday hunting has been dead in Maine for 127 years, and I think that's a good start, regardless of how many other states have caved in. Chandler Woodcock, the new commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, has never supported Sunday hunting and is unlikely to suddenly change his mind. Col. Joel Wilkinson, chief of the Maine Warden Service, is not in favor of landowner Sunday hunting because it would be impossible to enforce. As an avid hunter, a charter, life member of SAM and the owner of hundreds of acres of prime, non-posted hunting land, I encourage our lawmakers to continue to fight off Sunday hunting creep.
Jetport expansion includes geothermal heat
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, April 30, 2011 

The Portland International Jetport's expanded terminal will open Oct. 2, officials said Friday. Airport manager Paul Bradbury announced the opening date during a meeting with city and state officials and Christa Fornarotto, the Federal Aviation Administration's associate administrator for airports, who toured the under-contruction terminal and its new geothermal heating and cooling system.
Letter: Fishing stock growth too late for many
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, April 30, 2011 

Your editorial of April 24 ("New catch limits signal success of new fish rules") leaves the impression that groundfish stocks have increased as a result of a single year of catch-shares management. In fact, stocks have increased as a result of nearly a generation of engaged fishery management and sacrifice by commercial fishermen. Nonetheless, as a result of catch shares, many of the same fishermen whose efforts helped rebuild fish stocks have effectively lost their access to them because they no longer have "share" enough to catch.
Letters: Billboards' return finds no fans among readers
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, April 30, 2011 

So we need to strew the landscape with billboards to aid the tourists. How about conducting a survey at the visitor center down at Mile 3 on the turnpike? Ask visitors whether they feel inconvenienced by a lack of billboards. Does anybody think any significant number would say yes? This isn't about providing a needed "service" for anybody. It's about trashing the landscape to benefit a few.
Go with the flow: rivers
Bangor Daily News - Friday, April 29, 2011 

As the snow melts with the help of the warm sun and spring showers, the runoff in the high mountains makes its way to the brooks, streams, ponds, marshes and into a river. What is a river? It is nothing more than surface water that finds its way over land from higher altitudes to lower altitudes because of gravity and winds its way to an ocean or sea.
Big Reporting Changes At The Bangor Daily News
Al Diamon Maine Media Mutt Blog - Friday, April 29, 2011 

The Bangor Daily News sent out an internal email on April 29 announcing several staffing changes and what appears to be an increased emphasis on its online product. Christopher Cousins will cover the coast, particularly from Rockland south. Eric Russell will take over the State House beat. Current Augusta reporter Kevin Miller is shifting to the Ellsworth bureau when the legislative session ends. Miller will replace retiring veteran reporter Rich Hewitt. In addition to covering Hancock County, Miller will return to the environment beat, a post he filled before being moved to state government.
Opinion: Birther
Bangor Daily News - Friday, April 29, 2011 

[Editorial cartoon] We’d like to see proof that Governor Lepage was born on this planet.
Brunswick airport returns to civilian duty
Other - Friday, April 29, 2011 

Aviation International News - In the 1920s, Brunswick Municipal Airport became Maine’s first airfield. By the 1960s, the airport was greatly expanded and became Brunswick Naval Air Station. On April 2 this year, events officially came full circle when the former base, being closed by the Navy, again became a civilian-owned facility and reopened as Brunswick Executive Airport. The former base comprises more than 3,200 acres, 750 of which are being used for Brunswick Executive Airport and its development projects. Other parts of the property are designated as recreational, conservation and nature areas.
Clearing at fort reveals rabbits
Other - Friday, April 29, 2011 

South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Sentry - It was a project arborist Nate Greene said he readily embraced last fall when he joined as many as 100 volunteers who removed invasive plants from Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth. But to remove about an acre of thickets above the Cliff Walk became tangled last week when the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife said workers disturbed a habitat for the New England cottontail, an endangered species in Maine.
Vermont won't ease penalty for firm that cut too much timber
Other - Friday, April 29, 2011 

Burlington Free Press - Plum Creek Maine Timberland, the largest private landowner in the nation, ran into trouble last year for harvesting too many trees on 140 acres in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom, a move that meant 56,000 acres the company owns was tossed from a program that offers more favorable tax rates. That trouble bubbled up this week, as some lawmakers sought to limit what they saw as harsh consequences. Those efforts failed late Friday as other legislators worried about carving out a special deal and undermining the state current-use tax program designed to protect undeveloped land.
Editorial: Signs of the Times
Bangor Daily News - Friday, April 29, 2011 

In their zeal to craft policies to boost Maine business, some legislators risk creating a chaotic, unpredictable economic environment, not the stable one that businesses seek. The proposal by Sen. Doug Thomas to end Maine’s 32-year-old ban on highway billboards, is a chaos risk — pardon the pun — writ large. A disturbing theme has emerged in some proposals from the governor and Republican legislators. It’s as if they believe Maine will prosper if an imagined business wish list were implemented as policy. That list does not represent subtle, common-sense tweaks. Instead, it resembles a combine working its way through a field of wheat, sending the rules and values Mainers have collectively settled on over the years into the wind with the chaff.
Legislative inquiry deepens into Maine Green Energy Alliance
Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting - Friday, April 29, 2011 

Sparks flew, tempers flared and the gavel banged Friday as Democratic and Republican lawmakers debated whether to have the Legislature’s watchdog agency conduct a formal inquiry into the now-defunct Maine Green Energy Alliance. Despite the rancor between the top Republican and Democrat on the Joint Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology, committee members — who have spent the last two months conducting their own informal inquiry into the Alliance — ultimately voted unanimously to ask the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability to investigate the Alliance.
Deadline for Dismantling Katahdin Paper Mills Extended
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Friday, April 29, 2011 

Today's deadline for dismantling and liquidating two shutdown Katahdin Paper mills in Millinocket and East Millinocket has been extended until the end of July according to Gov. Paul LePage, who says that he met this week with officials of Brookfield Asset Management, the mills' current owner. The Millinocket mill shut down earlier this month, putting about 400 people out of work, and the East Millinocket mill closed in 2008.
Urchin council seeks increase in diving days
Bangor Daily News - Friday, April 29, 2011 

At the urging of fishermen who dive for urchins to the west of Penobscot Bay, the advisory Sea Urchin Zone Council is recommending to state officials that those fishermen be given twice as many days to fish as they got this past year.
Machiasport man agrees to $2,000 fine for clear-cut violation
Bangor Daily News - Friday, April 29, 2011 

A Machiasport man has agreed to pay a $2,000 civil penalty for clear-cutting on his land in violation of state tree-harvesting laws. Todd Purington entered into an agreement with the Maine Forest Service to resolve the violation that involved a clear-cut created by improper harvest operations completed without a plan.
Fins a-flying, workers mark state-raised salmon
Bangor Daily News - Friday, April 29, 2011 

on Thursday as experienced fisheries personnel joined forces with volunteer anglers, knee-deep in the raceways of the Grand Lake Stream Fish Hatchery, to prepare this year’s crop of landlocked salmon for their release into the state’s waters. The crew will have clipped the fins off 42,000 salmon during the two-day session. Another 5,000 to 6,000 brook trout were also scheduled for marking. Marking those fish, a time-consuming process that is repeated at the state’s hatcheries, is essential in the DIF&W’s fish management efforts because "when our anglers [catch them]…we’ll know automatically how old they are because their fin clip corresponds to that particular year that they were stocked.”
Letter: Add milk containers to current bottle bill
Kennebec Journal - Friday, April 29, 2011 

If our legislators are actually considering revising the "bottle bill," which is the main reason our highways don't have more trash along the shoulders than they do, our lawmakers might consider adding milk containers to the list requiring a 5 cent deposit.
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