July 15, 2018  
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News Items
Letter: Climate change threatens mussels
Bangor Daily News - Friday, July 13, 2018 

In 2016, Maine fishermen only caught 1.8 million pounds of the mollusk, compared with the typical 4 million pounds usually caught. There are several factors — toxic algal blooms, warming waters and acidification — that may be leading to their demise. We need to combat climate change not only because these organisms have intrinsic value within our coastal waters, but a cultural value as well. The mussel is just one organism we are at risk of losing, and if we don’t urge our elected officials to act now on reducing our greenhouse gas output and to combat climate change, we will lose much more of our identity as a coastal state than erosion and flooding from rising seas. ~ Madeleine Fenderson, Environment Maine, Portland
Letter: Act on climate pollution
Bangor Daily News - Friday, July 13, 2018 

Last week’s heat spell in Maine was not just uncomfortable, but also part of a trend with deadly impacts. High heat alone can endanger our health, but warmer temperatures also create more ozone pollution, which can cause asthma attacks, respiratory illness and even early death. Heat and drought increase the frequency and intensity of wildfires, which create particle pollution. Air pollution affects everyone’s health, but children, seniors, and people with asthma and other lung diseases are most at risk. I can speak from experience, as someone living with severe chronic-obstructive pulmonary disorder. Let’s do everything we can to stop this deadly cycle. ~ Edmond Boucher, Old Town
Letter: Salmon farm questions
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 12, 2018 

Sadly, the Belfast Nordic Aquafarms salmon farm discussion has become divisive. Many of the key issues will probably have to be sorted out by scientists and regulators. There are many unknowns. One issue is how to feed perhaps the largest land-based salmon farm in the world. Nordic Aquafarms has mentioned that insects may be on the horizon for a protein substitute. What about insect farms in Maine? We may be in the process of completely redefining what is “farming” in Maine. ~ John Krueger, Northport
Letter: Trump administration stands for corporate greed
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 12, 2018 

Many voters chose Donald Trump because they felt ignored by a culture that had little respect for their status or aspirations. However, the Trump administration consistently promotes policies that jeopardize the welfare of its supporters. Loss of environmental protections, affordable health care and access to quality public education harms everyone. ~ Thomas Adelman, Baldwin
Blog: Forests are Forever Homes for Wildlife
Natural Resources Council of Maine - Wednesday, July 11, 2018 

To love Maine is to love the forest – the way the landscape forms a mosaic of expansive woods interwoven with rivers, lakes, and our rugged coastlines. It’s nothing short of magical. Our forests are truly special places that give us the beautiful songs of warblers and thrushes, the rich taste of maple syrup, and the bounty of brook trout in a clean, cold stream. What’s more, healthy woodlands deliver valuable ecosystem services like clean water, air, and productive soils. Our woodlands give us a sense of place and long-honored cultural traditions. Our forest heritage makes us who we are. ~Deborah Perkins
Majority of Acadia traffic plan feedback comes from form letters
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 11, 2018 

Nearly 90 percent of the written comments Acadia National Park received about a draft traffic management plan are identical form letters written by a parks advocacy group. Park officials are in the process of developing a traffic management plan that they hope will ease the seasonal crunch of private vehicles in Acadia, which last year set a record with 3.5 million visits. In its draft plan, the park indicates its preferred alternative is to establish a seasonal vehicle reservation system for Ocean Drive, the Cadillac Mountain summit road and a parking lot just north of the Jordan Pond House — and to be able to require vehicle reservations in other parts of the park on an as-needed basis.
Portland envisions its waterfront without Nova Scotia ferry service
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 11, 2018 

Portland is preparing for the departure of the high-speed ferry to Nova Scotia. Bay Ferries Ltd., the company that has operated the service for the past five years, is expected to unveil a proposal next week to restore a town-owned ferry terminal in Bar Harbor and restart service to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. If that happens, the company plans to end its service from Portland. The loss of ferry, called The Cat, means people from the Portland area and south will have to drive three more hours to board the ferry in Bar Harbor. But Portland officials say the ferry’s departure will open up opportunities for waterfront development.
Back to the land pioneer Paul Birdsall dies at 91
Ellsworth American - Wednesday, July 11, 2018 

The founder of Horsepower Farm, a beloved father and grandfather, horseman, scholar, sailor and much more died June 12. Paul Grew Birdsall was 91. He was a founding member of Blue Hill Heritage Trust and the Maine Farmland Trust. Birdsall took his horses to the Common Ground Fair every year to provide wagon rides for the children. “In many ways, Paul Birdsall was the father of farmland conservation in Maine,” said Ellen Sabina, outreach director for the trust.

Scientists may have solved a huge riddle in Earth’s climate past. It doesn’t bode well for the future.
Washington Post - Wednesday, July 11, 2018 

Thirteen thousand years ago, an ice age was ending, the Earth was warming, the oceans were rising. Then the Northern Hemisphere suddenly became much colder, and stayed that way for more than a thousand years. This week, on the basis of measurements taken off the northern coasts of Alaska and Canada, scientists say they detected the signature of a huge glacial flood event that occurred around the same time. This flood would have flowed from the Arctic into the Atlantic Ocean and shut down the crucial circulation known as the “Atlantic meridional overturning circulation” — plunging Europe and much of North America back into cold conditions.
Opinion: Maine salmon farms can be models of sustainable aquaculture
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 11, 2018 

Land-based salmon farming is an innovative, sustainable alternative to sea-cage aquaculture. There is little if any impact on wild species or the environment, and salmon are not stressed by predators and parasites. Nordic Aquafarms and Whole Oceans are proposing to spend almost a combined half billion dollars to set up their projects. This level of investment is already bringing jobs to Maine. The companies have been listening to local concerns and making every attempt to earn trust and approval. We are confident these companies can become models of environmentally sustainable aquaculture and make Maine a leader in this industry. ~ Andrew Goode, Atlantic Salmon Federation
Sportsman’s Alliance has lots of major achievements
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, July 11, 2018 

Since it’s founding in 1975, the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine has achieved a lot for those who hunt, fish, and trap, and for all the wild critters in our state. Today I want to take a look back and share some of the group’s early achievements.
From fish to farm to table: Busy chef has a bold new project
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 11, 2018 

It’s not as if Cara Stadler has nothing to do. The 30-year-old chef already has three restaurants, the newest of which – Lio – opened in Portland just last month. Now, drivers passing by Tao Yuan in Brunswick are watching the busy chef’s next project come to life before their eyes. Five years in the making, it’s an aquaponic greenhouse in a 55-by-60-foot, two-story building that will also house a new café and a commercial kitchen to supply Stadler’s restaurants. Aquaponic greenhouses raise fish – in this case rainbow trout – that produce waste that fertilizes plants growing in water. The plants, in turn, filter the water for the fish. It’s a closed-loop system that sustainable agriculture groups are eager to develop.
Letter: Vacationland or wind-tower land?
Sun Journal - Wednesday, July 11, 2018 

Vacationland or wind-tower land, we can’t have both. Soon the voters of Greenwood will be called on to settle this issue. The wind energy companies from Texas and now Canada are after all the government subsidy money they can get their hands on. With this money, they hope to erect as many turbines as possible to transmit the electric power to southern New England. The mountains, residents and camp owners of Greenwood are all being sacrificed for out-of-state power, and I doubt if any of the money will stay in Maine. ~ Blaine A. Mills, Greenwood
Fryeburg Fairgrounds fire destroys sheep and cattle barns
Sun Journal - Tuesday, July 10, 2018 

Firefighters were dispatched to the Fryeburg Fairgrounds Tuesday night to find the sheep barn fully engulfed in flames. High winds caused the fire to spread to the cattle barn next to it. The barns, about 50 by 150 feet, were a total loss. No animals or people were injured in the fire.
Greenwood to schedule meeting on commercial wind farms
Bethel Citizen - Tuesday, July 10, 2018 

Greenwood Selectmen are expected to schedule a special town meeting on July 17 to decide on proposed amendments to the town ordinance governing commercial wind farms. On Monday, more than 100 people turned out for a public hearing on the issue. The gathering was dominated by comments in favor of the amendments, which would place much tighter restrictions on wind farms.
Trump pardons ranchers in case that sparked 2016 occupation of wildlife refuge
Associated Press - Tuesday, July 10, 2018 

President Trump has pardoned two ranchers, Dwight and Steven Hammond, who were convicted in 2012 of intentionally and maliciously setting fires on public lands. The arson crime carried a minimum prison sentence of five years, but a sympathetic federal judge, decided the penalty was too stiff and gave the father and son much lighter prison terms. Prosecutors won an appeal and the Hammonds were resentenced in 2015 to serve the mandatory minimum. The decision sparked a protest from Ammon Bundy and dozens of others, who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near the Hammond ranch in Oregon in 2016.
Farmington board backs offer to remove dam
Sun Journal - Tuesday, July 10, 2018 

The Farmington Board of Selectmen voted 4-1 Tuesday night to support a $1.2 million proposal from the Atlantic Salmon Federation to remove the Walton’s Mill Dam and upgrade a surrounding public park, at no cost to the town. The project also is subject to voters’ approval. The town is in violation of the U.S. Endangered Species Act because the old dam is blocking salmon from getting up Temple Stream to spawn. If the proposal is not accepted, the town’s other option for complying with federal law would be to spend an estimated $750,000, likely of taxpayer money, to build a fish passageway and leave the dam in place.
Lawsuits over weed killer Roundup clear major hurdle
Associated Press - Tuesday, July 10, 2018 

U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said evidence that the active ingredient in Roundup – glyphosate – can cause the disease seemed “rather weak.” Still, the opinions of three experts linking glyphosate and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma were not “junk science” that should be excluded from a trial, the judge ruled. The lawsuits say agrochemical giant Monsanto, which makes Roundup, long knew about the cancer risk but failed to warn people. The ruling allows the claims to move forward, although the judge warned it could be a “daunting challenge” to convince him to allow a jury to hear testimony.
Hike: Fly Rod Crosby Trail in the Rangeley Lakes Region
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, July 10, 2018 

The Fly Rod Crosby Trail is a heritage trail that connects several communities in the High Peaks Region and was named after the famous Cornelia “Fly Rod” Crosby (1854-1946), Maine’s first registered guide. Local residents began constructing the trail in 2010, led by the High Peaks Alliance, a nonprofit organization with the mission of ensuring and enhancing public access and opportunities for recreation in Maine’s High Peaks, a region that encompasses some 200,000 acres in western Maine. So far, the group has mapped out and constructed approximately 23 miles of the trail, which they estimate will eventually reach 45 miles in length.
Winthrop legislator badly burned while using gasoline to light fire, authorities say
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, July 10, 2018 

Representative, Craig Hickman, 50, was using gasoline to start the fire when gas vapors caught his clothing on fire. Hickman “was seriously burned” on his legs and chest. House Speaker Sara Gideon said Hickman suffered first-degree burns but was expected to recover. Hickman represents Winthrop, Readfield and part of Monmouth. Along with his husband, Jop Blom, he operates Annabessacook Farm, a farm and bed-and-breakfast in Winthrop.
Bridgton reopens town beach after lake water passes contamination test
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 10, 2018 

Bridgton officials reopened a swimming area Tuesday after tests showed the water is safe, according to the town. Woods Pond Beach was closed Friday afternoon after multiple people reported becoming ill with gastrointestinal symptoms after swimming there earlier in the week.
Maine regulators broaden audit of CMP to include the company’s customer service
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 10, 2018 

The Maine Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday authorized Liberty Consulting Group, the Pennsylvania company hired to investigate CMP, to expand its audit to include the company’s customer service and communications in addition to the billing and metering issues raised after tens of thousands of customers saw their monthly bills increase significantly. The commission is currently conducting its own investigation of CMP’s metering, billing and customer service performance, in tandem with the Liberty audit.
Death of loon angers opponents of boat races on lake in Standish
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 10, 2018 

The death of a loon on Watchic Lake in Standish is fueling calls for the state to change its rules so that wildlife is protected from high-speed boat races. “There’s no consideration for the wildlife,” said Kim Lajoie, who owns a home on Watchic Lake. “There’s no consideration for the people that live around the lake. Every lake in the state is vulnerable because of the way the permit is issued.” But the organizer of the boat race, Shawn Cavanaugh, and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife say there is no evidence that directly connects the loon’s death to the event.
Editorial: State needs an accountable job incentive program that isn’t outmoded
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 10, 2018 

When it comes to offering incentives to attract or retain jobs in rural areas, Pine Tree Zones are the most impressive trinket the state can dangle in front of a business that is considering moving to Maine or leaving for greener pastures. But without any real data about how many jobs are actually attributable to the program, anecdotes don’t mean much. Maine can’t afford to waste any of the Pine Tree Zone budget, and it doesn’t make sense to cling to an ineffective program just because it’s all we’ve got.
Letter: Insist that next EPA administrator puts people before polluters
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 10, 2018 

After strong grassroots resistance to his radical policies, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has resigned. Pruitt was subject to 13 federal investigations into his ethics and conduct, and had accumulated a track record of abuses of power ranging from bizarre to illegal. However, his likely replacement is little better. Andrew Wheeler, acting EPA administrator, is a former coal industry lobbyist who concurs absolutely with the Trump administration’s policy of rejecting public health in favor of fossil fuel interests. Wheeler will continue the culture of cronyism and corruption that Pruitt fostered at the EPA. It is our responsibility to learn from the ghastly mistake that was Pruitt’s appointment and urge our senators to demand an EPA administrator who prioritizes the people, not polluters. ~ Sam Matey, Gorham
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