September 17, 2019  
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News Items
Opinion: Immigration is a climate issue
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 

Tribune News Service -The climate crisis is not only causing extreme weather disasters. As droughts lengthen and rains become less predictable, it’s also directly contributing to the decline of economic and social sustainability of poor countries in the Southern Hemisphere. A World Bank report estimates that 140 million people will have to migrate by 2050 due to climate change, while other studies put the figure as high as 1 billion. We're witnessing millions of people emigrating from Central America because of severe droughts. Trump’s policies have resulted in refugees from violence or persecution being corralled in internment camps, or forced to wait for months in dangerous conditions across the border in Mexico. What’s to stop climate refugees from being treated the same way? ~ Josue De Luna Navarro, Institute for Policy Studies
How Changing Farming Techniques Can Help Slow Climate Change
Maine Public - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 

Humans have been tilling the soil for thousands of years. Not surprisingly, we've mostly been focused on what we take out of it - bushels of wheat, barrels of apples and so on. But as researchers learn more about how soil and its organic components actually work, it's become clear that farming has a role to play in climate change. An estimated 15% of greenhouse gases are generated from farming activity. But there might be a way to store more of those gases in the soil by taking better care of it.
‘Like a sunburn on your lungs’: how does the climate crisis impact health?
The Guardian - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 

The climate crisis is making people sicker – worsening illnesses ranging from seasonal allergies to heart and lung disease.
Celebrating 25 years of community service Maine Commission
WABI-TV5 - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 

On October 11th the Maine Commission for Community Service, Maine AmeriCorps Alums and the Maine Volunteer Foundation will celebrate 25 years of service. In 1994, two volunteer initiatives were launched in Maine: AmeriCorps and the Maine Commission for Community Service. Over the last 25 years, the commission has awarded nearly 32.2 million dollars to Maine organizations to support service by AmeriCorps members. Since 1991, 6800 Maine residents have served in AmeriCorps and another 1400 have come to Maine to serve our communities. They spent more than 13 million hours helping children, families, seniors, schools, nonprofits, parks, municipalities, law enforcement, and conservation organizations. They earned over 31 million dollars in education awards to support post-secondary education.
Practical Green Politics: How our ranked-choice voting could help save the world
Free Press - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 

Ben Chipman, a former Green organizer who is now a Democratic state senator from Portland, votes staunchly environmentalist, and in a chamber that the Democrats dominate he has become the Taxation Committee’s chairperson. As he may be proving, if the goal is to have a strong environmentalist in office, doesn’t it make sense to be a Democrat rather than a Green or independent? John Rensenbrink, the father of America’s Green Party, however, said Democrats haven’t been able to “relinquish their attachment to unlimited growth.” How far will the Democrats go into green politics? Will it be enough to both capture a majority of voters and — to the extent that Maine can help — prevent environmental catastrophe?
New Gloucester board briefed on solar installation
Sun Journal - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 

Nick Sampson, spokesman for Revision Energy of South Portland, updated New Gloucester selectmen Monday night on installing rooftop solar energy panels on the fire station, public works garage, transfer station and Town Hall. The commercial solar consultant said his company was started in 2003 and employs over 250 people in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The company has installed 8,000 systems. Installation costs are projected at $200,000 for New Gloucester. The system would produce an estimated 97,217 kilowatt-hours of electricity from 258 solar panels and six solar inverters.
Unsung champs of carbon capture, small Maine woodlots can have big impact
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 

Fires in the Amazon this summer have increased awareness of the role of rain forests in blunting climate change. Less appreciated is the carbon storage capacity of northern temperate forests, like the one covering most of Maine. Now Denny Gallaudet, who’s leading a team at Sierra Club Maine, is trying to figure out how the state’s small woodlot owners can be encouraged to manage their land not only for income, wildlife and recreation, but to maximize carbon sequestration. Together, these local forests have the potential to become a world-class carbon sink, Gallaudet and other activists say.
Opinion: Tourism should be part of Maine economic development plan
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 

Tourism is the largest private industry in Maine. We are reliable, growing and vibrant. We are the workhorse of the Maine economy. It would be a tremendous mistake to take us for granted and assume that we will always contribute at least $6.2 billion in tourism expenditures, bring 37 million visitors to the state per year, sustain 110,000 jobs and contribute $610 million in taxes. Tourism is one of the best-suited industries to revitalize rural Maine. To ensure that our industry continues to be strong and flourish, we need to be recognized as a major industry in Maine. ~ Chris Fogg, Maine Tourism Association, and Steve Hewing, Hospitality Maine
Opinion: Commerce secretary is nothing but ethical trouble
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 

Why is Wilbur Ross still on the public payroll? The commerce secretary’s latest offense is the serious allegation that he ordered professionals at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, upon threat of losing their jobs, to contradict their expert assessments in order to echo rather than contradict President Trump’s errant claims that Hurricane Dorian might hit Alabama. If Ross had decency, he’d resign. If Trump had some, he’d fire him in more unceremonious fashion than he just booted John Bolton. ~ New York Daily News
Another North Atlantic right whale Carcass found
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 16, 2019 

The carcass of a North Atlantic right whale was found Monday afternoon floating about four miles off Fire Island inlet on Long Island, New York, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported. “The carcass is extremely decomposed, and we are not able to provide any details on the whale’s cause of death, age or sex at this time,” NOAA said in a news release issued late Monday evening. Nearly 30 whales have been found dead in U.S. and Canadian waters since 2017. North Atlantic right whales are endangered, with only about 95 surviving breeding females. The leading causes of whale deaths appear to be entanglement in fishing gear and vessel strikes.
Multiple climber and hiker incidents in the White Mountains Sunday
Associated Press - Monday, September 16, 2019 

A 20-year-old rock climber fell about 50 feet in the Franconia Notch area and suffered life-threatening injuries Sunday. The climber was unconscious and stuck on a ledge halfway up the cliff. A National Guard helicopter took the man to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center for treatment. Not far from the 4,080-foot summit of Cannon Mountain, another hiker, Christopher Cocaine, 63, fell about 20 feet off the Kinsman Trail on Sunday night. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation. In a third case on Sunday night, a man hiking Mt. Osceola near Conway sent a text message to friends that he was off his intended route and had very little food or water. The 23-year-old hiker, Alexander Scates, was given water by passing hikers but later said he had no light source. A conservation officer reached him late Sunday. He was uninjured.
Fox that attacked Appleton men showed signs of rabies
Bangor Daily News - Monday, September 16, 2019 

An Appleton man shot a gray fox to death after the animal attacked him in his yard around noon Sunday. Maine state authorities are testing the fox to determine if it was rabid, and even though the results were not available Monday, Heidi Blood, the animal control officer for the town, said she had a “sneaky suspicion” that the test will come back positive.
Who owns (the most land in) Maine?
Maine Environmental News - Monday, September 16, 2019 

With the collapse of U.S.-based paper company ownerships in the Maine Woods, land barons and foreign corporations are increasing their stakes. According to the latest Land Report, 5 of the 11 largest landowners in America own a lot of property in Maine. Here is their ranking and total acreage in the U.S.:
1. John Malone, 2.2 million acres
2. Ted Turner, 1.92 million acres
6. Irving Family, 1.25 million acres
9. Peter Buck, 930,000 acres
11. Pingree Heirs, 830,000 acres
Most teens say they’re frightened by climate change; 1 in 4 have taken action
Washington Post - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Across the country, teens are channeling their anxieties about climate change into activism. “Fear,” says 16-year-old Madeline Graham, an organizer of a student protest planned for this week, “is a commodity we don’t have time for if we’re going to win the fight.” A solid majority of American teenagers are convinced that humans are changing the Earth’s climate and believe that it will harm them personally and other members of their generation, according to a new poll. This week, in the run-up to a major United Nations summit, hundreds of thousands of school kids plan to abandon their classrooms to demand more aggressive measures to protect the planet.
One cleanup effort at a time, the Maine woods are getting cleaner
Bangor Daily News - Monday, September 16, 2019 

On Sunday, the state’s game wardens and forest rangers teamed up to stage the sixth annual Landowner Appreciation Cleanup Day, and volunteers across the state pitched in to help clean up sites where trash has been left in the woods. The goal: Let landowners know that outdoors enthusiasts are willing to help solve the problem of woodland dumping, and that they appreciate the access to land that they do not own themselves.
How the Lake Association of Norway Conservation Program Protects Natural Ecosystems in Maine
Other - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Reichen Kuhl is a member of the Lake Association of Norway (LAON), which works to protect freshwater bodies in Maine such as Lake Pennesseewassee where his summer home is located. The Lake Association of Norway runs off volunteer support and help from members like Reichen Kuhl whose mission it is to protect the freshwater lakes of Maine. By keeping up the waters and fighting off invasive species, LAON ensures the lakes maintain their natural beauty and function while maintaining the economic value of the area. In this way, residents strengthen both the natural ecosystems native to Maine lakes and the communities set up around them.
Maine gets $2 million for wetland conservtion
Maine Environmental News - Monday, September 16, 2019 

The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission has approved $2 million in funding for a pair of wetland conservation projects in Maine. One project in eastern Maine will protect 18,739 acres of undeveloped wetlands, river and stream corridors, lake and pond frontage, and surrounding upland buffers in the Narraguagus River watershed. A second project will protect 11,148 acres of undeveloped wetlands, river and stream corridors, saltwater coastline, and surrounding upland buffers in the Kennebec River Estuary. Each project will receive $1 million.
Hallowell officials hosting public meeting Thursday to discuss closed dog park
Kennebec Journal - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Only a week after city councilors closed the Vaughn Field dog park, vociferous public response has pushed officials to schedule a public meeting to discuss opening it back up. Public Works Foreman Chris Buck supported the closure, saying it was a health hazard for city employees. Councilor Michael Frett, who said the dog park was never “conceptualized” as a city-maintained one, postulated the decision could spur a volunteer committee to take care of it. The meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the City Hall auditorium. The new dog park in Gardiner, which is maintained by volunteers and not supported by municipal funding.
Maine ag chief endorses national climate policy
Mainebiz - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Amanda Beal endorsed a national policy that encourages climate-smart agriculture programs and initiatives at the federal level and confirms the necessity of adapting to protect the country’s natural resources, while building resilient agricultural and food supply chains. Beal was among state agriculture department heads from throughout the U.S. who adopted the new climate policy during last week’s annual meeting of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. The frequency of extreme precipitation events in Maine has increased, increasing risk of soil erosion, seed loss, soil saturation, flooding and nutrient runoff, and resulting in loss of field-work days.
Scientists See A Hotter, Wetter, Less Snowy Future For Maine
Maine Public - Monday, September 16, 2019 

All this week, Maine Public - and more than 250 other news outlets all around the world - are reporting stories on climate change as part of the "Covering Climate Now" project. In Maine, scientists say that climate change means hot summers, warm winters, more rain, and less snow, along with a warming gulf of Maine, and that will affect the state's fisheries, its economy and traditional ways of life. Professor Ivan Fernandez of the Climate Change Institute at UMaine is one of the authors of the report, "Maine's Climate Future." He says that since the findings came out out in 2015, there have been many big changes in the state and globally, including an acceleration in the pace of change.
Democratic Presidential Candidates Focus On Climate Change On The Campaign Trail
Maine Public - Monday, September 16, 2019 

In August, a poll showed a sharp increase in the number of Americans who view climate change as a major threat to the well-being of the country ⁠— from 40% in 2013 to 57% now. It is of particular concern to Democratic voters, as reflected by the emergence of climate change as a leading issue in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. The same poll indicates that of the voters who identify as Democrats or left-leaning independents, 87% view climate change as a major concern. And that view is reflected by many of the top Democratic presidential candidates.
5 facts you need to know about the proposed salmon farm in Belfast
Bangor Daily News - Monday, September 16, 2019 

A proposal to build a $500-million land-based salmon farm here has drawn both broad support and loud opposition from the community, which largely remains divided over the project’s potential to spur economic growth versus the environmental harm it poses to Penobscot Bay and the surrounding area. Norway-based Nordic Aquafarms has filed thousands of pages of legal documents and permit applications with local planners and officials that aim to address some of these concerns. Here is a brief primer for those who want to learn more about the project.
How one man’s laziness is saving the environment around Pushaw Lake
Bangor Metro - Monday, September 16, 2019 

My laziness has paid off. My yard became the first certified LakeSmart property on Pushaw Lake. Maine passed a shoreland zoning law in 1971 aimed at the prevention of erosion. It worked. Degradation of water quality slowed. Some lakes improved. Unfortunately, many lakeside cottages in Maine were built before the law, sometimes within inches of the waterline, and crowded together. Drainage on camp roads often directs runoff toward the lake. Fertilized lawns have grown more popular. Water quality remains a constant worry. LakeSmart is a modern way to address the problem. The free program informs homeowners on how to maximize enjoyment of their properties, while minimizing erosion. Since moving in nearly 20 years ago, I have seldom done anything to discourage regrowth along my shoreline. It was too much like work. I never thought that I would be an environmental hero. But thanks to my innate laziness, I’m crushing it! ~ Bob Duchesne
The 179th Farmington Fair has begun
Franklin Journal - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Whether competing in events or getting to know the animals, kids at the Farmington Fair were all smiles.
Portland police investigate possible theft at recycler ecomaine
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 16, 2019 

A top manager at ecomaine’s Portland recycling facility was fired in March for destroying documents, and police are now investigating the theft of more than $300,000 from the publicly owned nonprofit. John Morin was fired from his position as plant manager on March 8 for “unexplained irregularities” at the facility and failing to follow procedures and policies. Meanwhile, Morin is named in a search warrant affidavit that says Portland police are investigating a suspected theft from ecomaine of an estimated $309,000 over a number of years.
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