March 19, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Sunday, March 18, 2018 

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
Growing More Crops in Less Space, Mar 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 18, 2018 

Workshop leader Will Bonsai is director of the Scattered Project. He is best known for his work in preserving crop diversity. At St. Paul's Church, Brunswick, March 25, 2-3:30 pm, $5 donation. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation Ski-A-Thon, Mar 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 17, 2018 

Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation promotes year-round education and training for individuals with disabilities to develop skills, enhance independence, and provide enjoyment through active recreation. In addition to being an excellent fundraiser, the Ski-A-Thon is a ton of fun. Fundraising goal: $380,000.
Stand up for Federal Bird Conservation Funding
Action Alert - Saturday, March 17, 2018 

The proposed federal budget would gut major programs and protections for birds and their habitats. One-third of migratory bird species have already lost significant populations as threats to wildlife increase. Tell your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative to make protecting migratory birds a priority in the federal budget. ~ American Bird Conservancy
Earth Hour, Mar 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 17, 2018 

Join millions of people around the world—along with businesses, cities, and landmarks—who will turn off lights in celebration of Earth Hour. March 24, from 8:30 - 9:30 am local time.
Solar Energy for ME, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Friday, March 16, 2018 

Dylan Voorhees, Climate & Clean Energy Director for the Natural Resource Council of Maine, and Rep. Seth Berry, House Chair of the Maine Legislature's Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology, discuss expanding solar energy in Maine. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 23, 7 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Resist Mike Pompeo’s confirmation as Secretary of State
Action Alert - Thursday, March 15, 2018 

Trump just fired Rex Tillerson, one of the few people left in his cabinet who was willing to speak out against Vladimir Putin. But even more egregious is that Trump nominated Mike Pompeo, a xenophobic, pro-torture, climate-denying war hawk, to replace Tillerson.
Protect Maine from EPA budget cuts
Action Alert - Monday, March 12, 2018 

There have been more than 90 of harmful amendments proposed that undermine federal safeguards to everything we rely on the EPA to protect: our air, water, climate, and wildlife.
Ask Congress to Oppose Anti-wolf Riders
Action Alert - Monday, March 12, 2018 

Congress will likely vote in the next two weeks on a 2018 spending bill for the Department of Interior. Because that legislation is likely to be broadly supported, anti-wolf legislators are using it as a vehicle to try to pass their otherwise unpopular attacks on wildlife. Email your senator or representative and ask that they persuade Leadership to strip these "riders" prior to the bill being voted on. ~ Endangered Species Coalition
What’s a woodlot and what do I do if I have one? Mar 19
Event - Posted - Monday, March 12, 2018 

Morten Moesswilde, District Forester with the Maine Forest Service, will talk about the most common considerations for landowners with 2 to 200 acres. At Belfast Library, March 19, 6 pm.
Powering Change: Saving Our Environment—and Saving Money, Mar 19
Event - Posted - Monday, March 12, 2018 

Panelists: Sophie Janeway, Climate and Clean Energy Outreach Coordinator, Natural Resources Council of Maine; Gary Friedmann, President, A Climate to Thrive; and Martha Dickinson, Ellsworth Green Plan Steering Committee. At Moore Community Centre, Ellsworth, March 19, 7 pm. Hosted by Ellsworth Garden Club.
Baxter State Park Visiting Artist
Announcement - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

Visiting Artists are asked to hold one evening program and one open studio with the public during their stay, and within one year to provide the Park with professional quality images, prints, or documents representative of their style and resulting from their experience. Dates: August 11-24, 2018. Applications due by April 20.
Help wanted: Baxter State Park Director
Announcement - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

The Baxter State Park Authority seeks an active, experienced individual to serve as the Director.
Winter Family Fun Day, March 17 CANCELLED
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 10, 2018 

Ice fishing demo, wildlife exhibit, snowmobile tote rides, winter camping demo, build a bird house, enjoy a bonfire-scavenger hunt, door prizes, & more. At Lily Bay State Park, March 17, 10 am - 3 pm.
Western Maine Fly Fishing Expo, Mar 17
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 10, 2018 

Theme: Women In Fly Fishing featuring panel discussions with prominent women in the fly fishing industry. At Gould Academy, Bethel, March 17, adults $5; kids under 16 free.
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News Items
Offshore wind farms can diminish the impact of hurricanes potentially by 50 percent
Maine Insights - Tuesday, December 31, 2013 

Mark Jacobson a scientist from Stanford looked at two hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, and analyzed what would have happened if those storms had run into big wind farms. The results are startling and encouraging. In models when the storms hit the ocean wind farms most of their energy would have been knocked out of them, in essence stolen by the windmills. For Katrina if a sizable wind farm had been in her path the wind energy of the storm would have been cut by 50 percent and her storm surge would have diminished by 72 percent. The University of Maine has developed the VolturnUS offshore floating wind platform and patented the design. Plans are for a wind farm to be placed in the deep ocean in the Gulf of Maine.
Northern Pass transmission line clears regulatory hurdle in NH
Associated Press - Tuesday, December 31, 2013 

The group that manages the power grid in New England said Tuesday it’s confident the proposed Northern Pass transmission line through New Hampshire can reliably connect to the existing system. ISO New England said in a letter dated Tuesday it has approved the interconnection application made by Northeast Utilities. It means Northeast Utilities can continue pursuing the project and is just one of many regulatory steps the company must clear on the way to final approval. Opponents say the transmission towers would damage the environment, lower property values and hurt tourism. Supporters say the power would reduce carbon emissions.
Blog: Planting Trees for Wildlife
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, December 31, 2013 

I wrote up my order to Fedco Trees today. In recent years we’ve planted plums, peaches, pears and apple trees (We’ve planted only two of the 40+ apple trees we have. The rest are wild.) for ourselves. I did plant an American plum with the deer in mind. I’ve read they love plums and I needed a pollinator for the other varieties so why not go big and get a 25 foot tall, heavily producing tree. The tree order this year is for the wildlife. ~ Robin Follette
Hike: Sanders Hill in Rome
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, December 31, 2013 

Sanders Hill a part of the Kennebec Highlands, which at 6,500 acres is the largest contiguous block of conserved land in central Maine. Rising 854 feet above sea level, Sanders Hill is located just west of the undeveloped Watson Pond and is surrounded by peaks of similar height. The Sanders Hill Loop hiking trail is 2.9 miles long and can be hiked in either direction, according to the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance, which manages the land in partnership with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry.
Atlantic Salmon Federation Lists 2013 Highlights
Atlantic Salmon Federation - Tuesday, December 31, 2013 

The Atlantic Salmon Federation has seen some success in 2013 as a charitable organization devoted to conserving wild Atlantic salmon and their environment. Here are highlights of the work by ASF and partners.
Bath students educate themselves and others on managing energy
Times Record - Tuesday, December 31, 2013 

Students are learning about math and science as they explore energy management through an evolving online tool that taps the growing network of “smart meters” attached to Maine households. The pioneers of the program, eighthgraders at Bath Middle School, have taken their work with the PowerHouse initiative even further and created public service announcements promoting electricity conservation.
Ice storm could cost Maine energy customers
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 31, 2013 

This year’s Christmas week ice storm could be deemed an “extraordinary storm event,” which would allow Maine electric utilities to seek a rate increase to offset the millions of dollars spent on recovery efforts. Neither Central Maine Power Co. [a subsidiary of Iberdrola, a Spanish multinational electric utility] nor Bangor Hydro Electric Co. [now Emera Maine, a subsidiary of Canadian energy conglomerate Emera Inc.] has yet tallied the expenses associated with the ice storm, which knocked out power to 160,000 Maine homes and businesses.
Sanford reduces waste with PAYT
Journal Tribune - Tuesday, December 31, 2013 

From Sept. 16 through Nov. 15, Sanford residents threw away 803 tons of garbage. Consider this: During the same period in 2012, city residents threw away 1,368 tons of trash, or 41 percent more. The pay-as-you-throw system, already in place in some surrounding towns like Kennebunk, Wells and North Berwick, made a return to Sanford Sept. 16 after a three-year absence. The system has a 99.9 percent compliance rate.
Silence from Cianbro about East-West Corridor is deafening
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, December 31, 2013 

A year ago, Darryl Brown, Cianbro Corp. project manager for the East-West Corridor project, told Maine Environmental News that he expected to announce the route and the private investors, and to begin the permitting process by December 2013. In February, Brown told the Sun Journal that "route designs are expected to be finished by the end of this year." In May, Cianbro Corp. CEO Peter Vigue confirmed to the Bangor Daily News that he hoped to release a proposed route by the end of this year. In mid December, Brown said he had not yet asked landowners to sign options for Cianbro to buy their land. But he reaffirmed that “We’re committed as a company to advocate for this project." As of December 31, 2013, there has been no word from Cianbro about the route, the investors, landowner commitments, or filing of permit applications.
Soil contamination delays purchase of Harpswell waterfront property
Forecaster - Tuesday, December 31, 2013 

The Harpswell Board of Selectmen on Monday agreed with Dain Allen, owner of the nearly 6,000-square-foot property, to extend the closing deadline to Jan. 30, 2014. The purchase was approved by voters in November. Selectmen have been seeking the purchase to help protect and maintain waterfront access. The purchase was delayed to give Allen extra time to remove personal property from the parcel, which abuts the Lookout Point town landing in Harpswell Neck. The town's planned $85,000 purchase of the waterfront property is also being delayed because of evidence the soil is contaminated.
Cate Street owes Millinocket $2.2 million
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, December 31, 2013 

The Bangor Daily News reports that Great Northern Paper Co. LLC and its parent company, Cate Street Capital, owe the Town of Millinocket approximately $1 million in property taxes. That represents half of $2.2 million the company owes for the 2013-14 fiscal year. The next half-year payment is due Jan. 15. In June, the town prepared to impose tax liens on the mill property when Cate Street was delinquent on a $450,000 property tax payment for the second half of the fiscal year that was due April 1.
Report: Aroostook County farmers win $1.1 million in lawsuit against Portland lawyer
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, December 31, 2013 

An Island Falls couple has won a $1.1 million lawsuit last week against a Portland attorney who they say failed to represent them properly in a 2001 case. Vaughn and Mary Sleeper had hired Daniel Lilley’s law firm to represent them in a suit against Agway, which the couple said had withheld money it owed them. They said Agway had falsely claimed the Sleepers had been selling genetically modified potato seeds and the couple lost their farm. Lilley won $138,000 for the couple, but the Sleepers alleged that Lilley and members of his law office didn’t properly represent them after Agway filed for bankruptcy protection, and through years of court and arbitration proceedings. Lilley said he expected the court to throw out the case or reduce the amount.
Maine group holds ocean plunge fundraiser
Associated Press - Tuesday, December 31, 2013 

The Natural Resources Council of Maine is holding a 5-kilometer race on Tuesday at 11 a.m., followed by a cold-water ocean plunge at Portland’s East End Beach at noon. The group says about 200 Mainers are expected to attend. It’s encouraging participants to wear polar bear costumes and will be handing out prizes for the best ones. The annual fundraiser supports the group’s efforts to fight climate change.
Maine couple wins $1.1 million verdict against high-profile lawyer Daniel Lilley
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 31, 2013 

A couple from Aroostook County who lost their potato seed farm in a long legal fight with Agway Inc. won a $1.1 million jury verdict against high-profile Portland attorney Daniel Lilley and his law firm last week after a five-day civil trial in Portland. Vaughn and Mary Sleeper of Island Falls hired Lilley’s firm in 2001 to represent them and their business, Sleeper Hill Farms, against the New York-based agricultural conglomerate in a case in which they claimed Agway withheld money from them. Ten years later, the Sleepers sued Lilley, accusing him and members of his law office of failing to represent them properly after Agway filed for bankruptcy protection in 2002.
Bill seeks to avoid conflicts that paralyze Maine PUC
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 31, 2013 

Lawmakers will consider a bill in the upcoming legislative session to fix a conflict-of-interest problem that paralyzed the Maine Public Utilities Commission during its review of a controversial contract involving Nestle Waters North America, owner of the Poland Spring brand. The bill would allow alternate commissioners to be appointed to replace those who have to recuse themselves. In October, the PUC was unable to rule on a case involving Nestle Waters. PUC Chairman Thomas Welch recused himself because, when he was a lawyer at the Portland law firm Pierce Atwood, he represented Nestle Waters. The two other commissioners also had ties to Nestle Waters. Mark Vannoy recused himself because of the extensive engineering work he had done for Nestle Waters. David Littell was a partner at Pierce Atwood a decade ago, although he did not work on behalf of Nestle Waters. Public Advocate Timothy Schneider, whose office represents ratepayers in PUC proceedings, also was with Pierce Atwood, and represented Nestle Waters in the current case.
Opinion: Rise of inequality worried Americans in late 19th, early 20th centuries
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 31, 2013 

While the theme that too few people have too much power runs deep in the nation’s history (Maine workers complained about “elitist” control of their communities and called for the elimination of licensed monopolies as early as 1831), it was shouted with monotonous regularity and deafening volume in the latter half of the 19th century and early 20th century. The Socialist Party of Maine in 1900 declared that the great overshadowing question was “Shall the trusts or the people rule the nation? Shall a few irresponsible capitalists own, control and rule the nation or shall the nation, all the people, rise up their sovereign majesty and take over the trusts and administer industry in a just, scientific plan for the benefit of all?” ~ Charles Scontras, Cape Elizabeth
Editorial: Maine veterans’ toxin exposure deserves closer review
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 31, 2013 

Carroll Jandreau has kidney cancer, and he suspects he knows what caused it. Over a period of six years in the 1960s, for two weeks at a time, the Fort Kent man trained with the Maine Army National Guard at a military base in New Brunswick. This was when fields at the base were being sprayed with massive quantities of herbicides and defoliants — including a small amount of Agent Orange, which has been linked to a host of health problems. The U.S. government has denied that the herbicides sprayed at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown sickened veterans. But a bill proposed by Maine’s two senators could open the door to a comprehensive review and answer questions that have lingered for far too long.
Census shows no growth in Maine
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 31, 2013 

New census figures show that Maine and West Virginia were the only two states to post population declines between July 2012 and July 2013, while many southern and western states grew by 1 percent or more amid a struggling economy. The loss of 199 Maine residents, or just 0.01 percent of the state’s 1.3 million residents, was a small enough shift to be within the U.S. Census Bureau’s margin of error, meaning the state’s population effectively stagnated. The trend in recent years is clear: Maine’s population growth is well behind the rates seen in most other states. That slow growth, in turn, has implications for existing companies’ ability to maintain their workforces as Maine’s population grays, as well as for the state’s attractiveness to new companies.
Could a user fee curb excessive antibiotics use?
Other - Monday, December 30, 2013 

Massive use of antibiotics for food production is only marginally beneficial and poses a huge long-term risk to human health, researchers in Canada say. In a new paper, the scientists proposed a user fee that could help curb excessive application antibiotics in the agriculture and aquaculture industries. The new paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine explains that in the United States 80 per cent of the antibiotics in the country are consumed in agriculture and aquaculture for the purpose of increasing food production.
Oil train derails outside North Dakota town
Associated Press - Monday, December 30, 2013 

Authorities urged residents to evacuate a small North Dakota town Monday night after a mile-long train carrying crude oil derailed outside of town, shaking residents with a series of explosions that sent flame and black smoke skyward. The derailment happened amid increased concerns about the United States' increased reliance on rail to carry crude oil. Fears of catastrophic derailments were particularly stoked after last summer's crash in Quebec of a train carrying crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken oil patch. Forty-seven people died in the ensuing fire.
Train collision in North Dakota sets oil rail cars ablaze
Reuters - Monday, December 30, 2013 

A BNSF train carrying crude oil in North Dakota collided with another train Monday, setting off a series of explosions that left at least 10 cars ablaze, the latest in a string of incidents that have raised alarms over growing oil-by-rail traffic. Local residents heard five powerful explosions just a mile outside the small town of Casselton after a westbound train carrying soybeans derailed, and an eastbound, 104-car train hauling crude oil ran into it just after 2 p.m. local time, officials said. There were no reports of any injuries.
One-third of Americans reject evolution, poll shows
Reuters - Monday, December 30, 2013 

One-third of Americans reject the idea of evolution and Republicans have grown more skeptical about it, according to a poll released on Monday. Sixty percent of Americans say that “humans and other living things have evolved over time,” the telephone survey by the Pew Research Center’s Religion and Public Life Project showed. But 33 percent reject the idea of evolution, saying that “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time,” Pew said in a statement. Among religious groups, white evangelical Protestants topped the list of those rejecting evolution.
State won’t pay legal costs for group opposed to Searsport gas terminal
Bangor Daily News - Monday, December 30, 2013 

The opposition group that fought against construction of a liquid propane gas terminal and storage tank project in Searsport’s Mack Point industrial zone will not have some of its legal costs paid by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court last week dismissed Thanks But No Tank’s appeal of an earlier judgment by the Maine Superior Court that affirmed the Maine DEP’s decision to grant the Denver-based developers a permit to construct the terminal. Last April, after the Searsport Planning Board determined in initial deliberations that DCP Midstream’s proposed $40 million project did not meet the town’s ordinances, the developers withdrew their application.
Wardens Remind Snowmobilers to Use Caution
WABI-TV5 - Monday, December 30, 2013 

According to the Maine Warden Service, there’s roughly 90-thousand registered snowmobiles in maine and just about all of them will be out on the trails in the coming weeks. The folks at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife want to make sure everyone stays safe this winter. Last year, there were 186 snowmobile crashes, 119 resulted in injury and 5 people lost their lives.
Start 2014 with a guided outdoor adventure
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Monday, December 30, 2013 

Why not start 2014 with a little outdoor adventure? Several organizations plan New Years Day outings that are open to the public and either free or relatively cheap. In fact, the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands will sponsor free, guided hikes in five Maine state parks on New Year’s Day as part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative.
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