August 19, 2017  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Native Plants in Context, Mar 17
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 28, 2013 

William Cullina, Director of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, will describe the importance of relationships in the natural world and answer the age-old question, "Why is gardening such hard work?" He will also describe a more sustainable way to garden and live. At St. Paul's Church, Brunswick, Mar 17, 2 pm. $10; proceeds benefit the Tom Settlemire Community Garden.
Maine: Breadbasket of New England, Mar 1
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 28, 2013 

Speakers: Tom Settlemire, director of the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust’s Local Farms/Local Food Initiative; Esther Lacognata, former director of the Bureau of Rural Resources in Maine; Alexander Petroff is a TED Senior Fellow specialist in rural development and President of Working Villages International; and Jim McCarthy, former editor of The Times Record and now lead writer for Mainebiz.
At Pilgrim House, Brunswick, March 1, 6 pm.
Smart Growth Mobility Forum - A Model for Maine, Mar 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 

The Smart Growth Mobility Project is a plan for transportation policy aimed at implementing new strategies for future passenger rail and transit investments in targeted communities along railway transportation corridors. At Univ of Southern Maine, Wishcamper Center, Portland, Mar 15, 8-11 am. Sponsored by Maine Rail Transit Coalition, Maine Association of Realtors, Sierra Club Maine and US Rail Car.
Owl Walk, Mar 13
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 

Local birder Paul Markson will guides you through the field and forest, listening and looking for Barred, Saw-whet and Great Horned Owls. At Hirundo Wildlife Refuge, Old Town, Mar 13, 6:30 pm.
East-West Corridor Community Forum, Mar 13
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 

A forum on the proposed East West Corridor will take place on March 13 at 5:30 pm in Calais.
Maine Master Naturalist Program, Mar 12
Event - Posted - Tuesday, February 26, 2013 

Cloe Chun, co-founder of the Maine Master Naturalist Program, will describe the program and demonstrate some of the teaching techniques. MMNP trains individuals to actively care for Maine's natural environment, to teach natural history, and to be volunteer naturalists at nonprofits and schools throughout the state. At Fields Pond Audubon Nature Center, Holden, Mar 12, 7 pm.
Local Environmental Action conference, Mar 10
Event - Posted - Monday, February 25, 2013 

A sampling of the workshops: Getting Organics out of the Waste Stream; Coal and The Revenge of Carboniferous Era: Using a 17th Century Fuel in the 21st Century; What the Frack? Fact, Fiction, and Fracking; What's Coming Out of that Smokestack? Tips for Understanding, Measuring and Monitoring Air Pollution from Fossil Fuel Power Plants, Trash Incinerators, and More; Community Organizing Bootcamp. At Northeastern University, Boston, Mar 10.
Maine Outdoor Film Festival, Mar 9
Event - Posted - Monday, February 25, 2013 

Teens To Trails is partnering with the producers of the first annual Maine Outdoor Film Festival, No Umbrella Media and Three Rivers Whitewater, to sponsor the Maine Outdoor Film Festival to benefit teen Outing Club programs in Maine. At Windham High School, Mar 9, 7 pm.
Changing Oceans and the Future of the Gulf of Maine, Mar 8
Event - Posted - Monday, February 25, 2013 

The conference on "Changing Oceans and the Future of the Gulf of Maine: Solutions, Successes, and Sustainability" features keynote speaker Dr. Carl Safina and a host of other marine experts. At Colby College, Waterville, Mar 8. Free, but pre-registration requested. Presented by Colby Environmental Studies Program.
The Changing Nature of the Maine Woods, Mar 7
Event - Posted - Sunday, February 24, 2013 

Andrew Barton, coauthor of "The Changing Nature of the Maine Woods," will talk about the ecology of the ever-changing Maine forest. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, Mar 7, 6:30 pm. Cosponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, Cornerstones of Science, and The Nature Conservancy.
Hike, Soup, and Strings, Mar 3
Event - Posted - Sunday, February 24, 2013 

Hike the Torsey Pond Nature Preserve trails in Readfield, followed by light dinner and open mic at Olde Post Office Café in Mount Vernon. Hike Mar 3 at 3 pm, dinner at 5 pm.
East-West Corridor Community Forum, Mar 2
Event - Posted - Saturday, February 23, 2013 

A forum on the proposed East West Corridor will take place on March 2, 1-4 pm in Dexter.
Maine River Bird Survey, Feb 27
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 

Erynn Call of Maine will speak about the Maine River Bird Survey. At Viles Arboretum, Augusta, Feb 27, 7 pm. Sponsored by Augusta Area Bird Club.
East-West Highway Informational Meeting, Feb 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 

An East-West Highway informational meeting will be held at the Garland Grange, Feb 23 from 6-8 pm. An article for a moratorium ordinance concerning “private corridors” has been placed on the town warrant.
Family Fun Day at Aroostook State Park, Feb 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, February 16, 2013 

Mainers of all ages are invited to “Take It Outside” when Aroostook State Park will come alive with a wide variety of Winter Family Fun Day activities. In addition to tote rides, ice skating, nature walks and much more, the event will feature the ski and snowshoe trailer, providing free use of cross-county skis and snowshoes. Feb 23, 10 am - 3 pm, includes hot lunch.
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News Items
This Q&A Is Top Secret, Contains Leaked Info and Definitely Was Not Peer Reviewed
Moyers & Company - Friday, August 18, 2017 

Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe reflects on last week's rare 15 minutes of fame for a new 600+ page government report on the state of climate science and it's impact on you and me right now.
Maine's moment in the Sun's eclipse
Down East - Friday, August 18, 2017 

In the autumn of 1961 an inquiry from some farsighted scientists reached the Chamber of Commerce in Bangor, Maine. A forthcoming total eclipse of the sun, it stated, would occur late in the afternoon of July 20, 1963. Within the United States the total eclipse would be visible only over a thin strip of Alaska and along a path 53 miles wide across the middle of Maine. Since Bangor was the largest community within that path.
Editorial: Why you’ll be better off from that trip to the beach
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 18, 2017 

A day at the beach is one of the cherished rites of a Maine summer. Visitors and residents trek to the state’s numerous sandy beaches to splash in the chilly water and soak up the warmth of the sun. Here’s even more reason to make another trip to the beach before summer ends: Being at the ocean can improve your health. Being close to water, especially the waves of the ocean, relieves stress.
First 1-minute hike an eye-opening affair
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Friday, August 18, 2017 

Last week, my colleague, Aislinn Sarnacki, and I headed deep into the woods of Maine, where we spent a couple of days in and around the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. When she went on a 1-minute hike, I figured I’d pitch in by finding a nice, shady spot, lying down for a few hours, and taking a nap. But that perfect plan was foiled when Aislinn invited me along on a pair of her hikes. I figured it’d only be polite if I tagged along. And honestly, how hard could they be? They are, after all, just one minute long. Or not.
‘Spectacular’ autumn foliage is forecast for New England
Associated Press - Friday, August 18, 2017 

New England’s fall foliage forecast is looking so fine it’s enough to make a maple leaf blush. For the first time in several years, little has conspired against a truly glorious autumn. There’s no more drought, the summer has been mild and the leaves — largely spared by marauding gypsy moth caterpillars — look healthy. Translation: A pretty great season for leaf peeping seems to be shaping up.
Maine’s biomass bailout bill isn’t helping loggers as much as it was supposed to
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 18, 2017 

Stored Solar LLC disclosed that in the first half of the year, it was only 31 percent of the way toward its year-end wood purchasing goal. It had purchased about 155,300 tons, while promising to purchase at least 500,000 tons by year’s end. The company also fell just short of employment goals. Stored Solar has generated enough power to collect about $1 million in state subsidies but has missed out on about $1.3 million in subsidies intended to make their way to employees of the facilities and, primarily, back into the woods to support loggers hit hard by the decline of Maine’s paper industry. Regulators did not require the second subsidy beneficiary, ReEnergy, to disclose its economic impact figures. ReEnergy has produced nearly all of the power allowed under its subsidy agreement.
New book features a lifetime of hunting and fishing stories
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, August 18, 2017 

My hunting and fishing heritage and experiences have been very important parts of my life, which makes it very exciting to announce the publication of my new book, A Lifetime of Hunting & Fishing, published by North Country Press.
Opinion: Maine’s disastrous new solar rules violate our right to energy independence
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 18, 2017 

Thanks to the actions of a self-proclaimed anti-tax governor, Maine is about to become the first state where electric companies can charge fees for the energy you make and use at your own home or business. This will likely reduce your energy choices and increase energy costs for all Mainers. LD 1504, this session’s so-called “solar bill,” would have banned new fees on the energy consumers generate at home. It also would have lifted barriers to shared projects such as solar farms or community wind or hydro-energy projects. Despite LD 1504 being sponsored by a Republican, amended twice by Republicans, and initially passed with veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate, it failed on the last day of this session. A small minority of Republicans — including seven who flipped their votes — in the House sided with LePage to uphold his veto of the bill. ~ Rep. Seth Berry, D-Bowdoinham, House Chair, Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee
Letter: Tax carbon
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 18, 2017 

For too long, too many of us have been burying our heads in the sand and ignoring the harmful effects of burning carbon-producing fuels. The Citizens Climate Lobby is urging Congress to take action to begin to reverse the effects of carbon pollution. The group has lobbied every member of Congress to support a tax on carbon-producing fuels. The money collected would be returned to consumers in the form of a dividend. To date, there are 48 bipartisan members of the House who are supporting this initiative. Please write and urge our delegation to take action. ~ Albert Bean, Bangor
370,000 Comments Opposed, 10 Leading Environmental Groups Cite Oil Spill Risks, Danger to Wildlife, Communities and Jobs
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

A coalition of national environmental and conservation groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, Earthjustice, Oceana, League of Conservation Voters, Alaska Wilderness League, Surfrider Foundation, Greenpeace, CREDO Action and the Center for Biological Diversity joined over 370,000 Americans to officially voice their opposition to the move by President Trump to expand offshore drilling. Today marks the end of the 45-day comment period for a new offshore drilling program from 2019-2024.
Opinion: We should be deeply worried about NAFTA
Washington Post - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

If the NAFTA talks that begin this week are an “arena” where nations “compete for advantage,” as the president’s aides have described the president’s “clear-eyed” worldview, and the president’s unchanging and unyielding views on trade are now officially Objective No. 1 — then no one should expect a normal negotiation, and no one should rule out collapse. The winner in all this would be China, no longer competing against a unified and efficient North American manufacturing platform and a gigantic internal market. So just as when Trump pulled us out of the TPP and the Paris climate change accord, the global benefactor may well be the very country against whom Trump directed so much of his campaign rhetoric. ~ Nelson W. Cunningham was a trade and foreign policy adviser in the Clinton White House
$350,000 in Historic State and Tribal Preservation Grants to Maine
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt with the National Park Service today announced the distribution of $278,522 in historic preservation grants to Maine as well as $81,356 for historic preservation grants to Micmacs, Passamaquoddies and Penobscots in the state. This funding, part of $25.5 million going to states and tribes across the country today, represents a total of $58 million that the National Park Service has invested in the preservation efforts to every U.S. state this year.
Obama advisor to keynote Maine conservation confab; George Smith to get leadership award
Maine Conservation Voters - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

Brian Deese, a Senior Advisor to former President Obama who oversaw climate, conservation, and energy policies, will be the keynote speaker at the annual Evening for the Environment, organized by Maine Conservation Voters. The group also announced Thursday that George Smith will receive the 2017 Environmental Leadership Award. Smith served as executive director of the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine for 18 years. The Evening for the Environment will be held at Thompson's Point in Portland on October 25 at 5:30 pm.
Lawsuit claims Poland Spring a ‘colossal fraud,’ selling groundwater
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

A lawsuit was filed in a Connecticut federal court on Tuesday and accuses Nestle Waters North America, Inc. of a “colossal fraud perpetrated against American consumers.” The civil suit was brought by 11 people from the Northeast who collectively spent thousands of dollars on Portland Spring brand water in recent years. It is seeking millions of dollars in damages for a nationwide class and appears to hinge on whether the sources of Poland Spring water meets the Food and Drug Administration’s definition of a spring. The suit comes as the company, a subsidiary of the Swiss food giant Nestle, is looking to expand its operations in Maine.
Second Town on Mount Desert Island Temporarily Bans Cruise Ships
Maine Public - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

The western side of Mount Desert Island is closer to becoming a cruise-ship-free zone after more than a hundred Southwest Harbor residents unanimously voted Tuesday night to impose a 180-day moratorium against the use of any town facilities by cruise ships. Last year, when the 310-foot-long Pearl Mist arrived in Northeast Harbor, she sparked a local controversy that ended when the Mount Desert Board of Selectmen voted to bar future cruise ship visits. When American Cruise Lines sent out feelers this year about the possibility of anchoring off in nearby Southwest Harbor and shuttling passengers back and forth from a private dock, the location was different — but the reception was the same.
Eastern U.S. most vulnerable to future harmful algal blooms
Summit Voice - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

Scientists say it’s all but certain that global warming will increase potentially threatening outbreaks of freshwater algae that can produce toxins dangerous to people and animals. A team lead by Tufts University researcher Steven C. Chapra has developed a modeling framework showing harmful algal blooms will increase the most in the northeastern region of the U.S. The research, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, is part of larger, ongoing efforts among scientists to quantify and monetize the degree to which climate change will impact and damage various U.S. sectors.
Maine Composting School is the Gold Standard For Turning Garbage Into Treasure
Maine Public - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

A few times a year, people from all over the US — and well beyond — come to Maine to learn the science of all things rotten. The Maine Compost School has been teaching people how to turn organic trash into treasure, and glop into gold, for 20 years, making it the longest running program of its kind in the US. Making a good compost is not for the faint of heart. It involves lots of things that stink, several things that crawl, and trillions of things you can’t even see.
Snakes, ticks and kids: What it’s like to be a camp counselor in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

I stood nervously in my raincoat and jean shorts watching the campers from Tanglewood 4-H Camp in Lincolnville and swatted a mosquito buzzing near my face. It had been a few years since I’d had to be an authority figure and camp counselor to a group of kids, and I had forgotten how intimidating they could be, despite most of them being a third my age. Maybe it’s the precociousness or that kids, having not developed the self-awareness that comes with age, are exceedingly confident in exactly who they are. Either way, I found myself standing in the woods, wanting to convince the campers at Tanglewood that I was cool. Quickly, I remembered this was a mistake.
LL Bean Boosting Production of Signature Boot
Associated Press - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

L.L. Bean hopes to give the boot to backlogs of its most iconic product. The Maine-based retailer is expanding production to keep up with demand for its leather-and-rubber "duck boot'' with a new manufacturing center being unveiled Thursday. Annual sales have grown from fewer than 100,000 a decade ago to this year's projection of 750,000 pairs. The company hopes to hit the 1 million mark next year. L.L. Bean plans to hire an additional 160 manufacturing workers in Lewiston and Brunswick.
Maine company seeks to produce innovative wood-fiber insulating boards
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

Maine’s glut of softwood fiber created by closed paper mills makes the state an ideal location for a factory that can produce insulation board from wood, a Belfast architectural and construction firm says, and it’s trying to find a European manufacturer that shares that vision. GO Logic, which specializes in energy-efficient buildings, says it’s negotiating with undisclosed companies that make wood-based insulation board in Europe, where the product already is in commercial use. The goal is to have a plant operating here within two years.
New CMP bills foreshadow increased consumer involvement
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

Central Maine Power customers will receive bills next month with a new format, one that is designed to make it easier to compare their past and current electrical use. While the changes are modest, the redesign will eventually be integrated into what could be an extreme makeover in how customers are billed. A long-awaited technology upgrade for CMP’s billing system soon will let the utility charge customers different rates based on when they are using electricity.
Commentary: In the end, Mainers will reject regulators’ anti-clean-energy rule
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

I’ve been asked many times: What happened to this year’s solar bill? Despite overwhelming public support, on the last day of our legislative session, a bill protecting Mainers’ ability to create local jobs and clean energy fell short by just three votes. We lost, but job-creating, local, clean energy will win in the end because the “triple wins” of rooftop solar (local jobs, clean energy and ratepayer savings) remain clear to most legislators and certainly our constituents. We chafe at our dependence on an expensive and centralized grid, which transmits our dollars out of state to the shareholders of multinational electricity monopolies and huge oil and gas companies. ~ Rep. Seth Berry (D), Bowdoinham, House chair, Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee
Letter: Mainers must demand cap on greenhouse gases
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

Richard Nelson’s Aug. 9 commentary, “Maine Voices: State’s balking at new cap on greenhouse gases threatens our fishing heritage,” should instill pride and determination in Mainers, including your governor. Mr. Nelson argues convincingly for more ambitious caps. I’m a Floridian, loving my second summer here. Our governor, Rick Scott, has a lot in common with Gov. LePage. As long as fossil fuels are the cheapest source of power, warming seas and climate debacles will continue to escalate. Florida may be known as the Sunshine State, but it’s becoming the sinking state. United, we can curb the dire predictions and ensure our children a livable planet. ~ Jeffrey Dorian, Crestview, Fla.
Letter: Disparaging to lobster industry
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

I read with dismay the Aug. 14 BDN article, “What it’s like to kill hundreds of lobsters a day.” This story contains factual inaccuracies and was disparaging to the thousands of men and women of the Maine lobster industry. According to several studies, and the Maine Lobster Institute’s Robert Bayer, the lobster’s primitive nervous system is most similar to that of an insect. Lobsters react to sudden stimulus, like twitching their tails when placed in boiling water, but they don’t have complex brains to process pain like humans and other animals do. ~ Matt Jacobson, Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative
Letter: The case for paper bags
Sun Journal - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

Why not go back to paper bags? They self-destruct and trees are a renewable, sustainable resource. There are a lot of them in Maine. There are still some paper mills and lots of experienced workers. Paper can be a used as mulch, even bedding for animals. ~ Suzanne Bottomley
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Groups File Brief Challenging Maine’s New Solar Rules

The filing appeals the Public Utilities Commission’s new solar rules in the wake of a failed legislat...

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Belfast Becomes Latest City to Ban Plastic Bags, Polystyrene

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