February 23, 2019  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Rise for Climate, Sep 8
Event - Posted - Friday, August 31, 2018 

80+ actions will take place across the globe to demand elected officials make immediate and tangible commitments to tackle the climate crisis. September 8.
A River Runs Through It, Sep 7
Event - Posted - Friday, August 31, 2018 

Downeast Lakes Land Trust presents Robert Redford’s 1992 film “A River Runs Through It.” At Grand Lake Stream ball field, September 7, 7 pm.
Swan Island Outing, Sep 7
Event - Posted - Friday, August 31, 2018 

Local historian Jay Robbins leads a tour of the Swan Island by truck, mixed with programming at the Island’s interpretative center and ample time to walk about. September 7, from 9 am - 1 pm, preregister. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Foraging: Edible and Medicinal Plants, Sep 6
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 30, 2018 

Ryan Busby, instructor with the Maine Primitive Skills School, will help participants learn to identify, plants, sustainably harvest, and use wild-foraged foods. At Lithgow Library, Augusta, September 6, 6:30 pm.
Become a Casco Bay Water Reporter
Announcement - Wednesday, August 29, 2018 

Want to get outside, take photos that may help protect the health of Casco Bay, and connect with other community members? Join theFriends of Casco Bay volunteer Observing Network, Water Reporter.
Managing Maine's Invasive Plants and Insects, Sep 4
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 28, 2018 

Join Nancy Olmstead from the Maine Natural Areas Program (MNAP) to learn about community and statewide efforts to control invasive plants and insects. At Patten Library, Bath, September 4, 6:30 pm, pre-register.
Defend the ESA
Action Alert - Tuesday, August 28, 2018 

Despite the Endangered Species Act’s successful track record preventing extinction, it is under threat. ~ Maine Audubon
Kavanaugh no friend to the environment
Action Alert - Tuesday, August 28, 2018 

Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, is no friend to the environment. As a D.C. Circuit court judge, Kavanaugh repeatedly ruled against EPA’s efforts to protect clean air and regulate industries contributing to climate change. Now is the time to take action: tell Senator Collins and Senator King to say NO to Judge Kavanaugh. ~ Conservation Law Foundation
Who is Brett Kavanaugh? Sep 4
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 28, 2018 

Join Maine Conservation Voters et al on the first day of Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings for a Town Hall panel discussion to learn about where he stands on the key issues. At University of Southern Maine, Portland, September 4, 6:30 pm.
11th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Nov 3
Event - Posted - Monday, August 27, 2018 

At University of Southern Maine, Abromson Center, Portland, November 3, 3 pm, $30 in advance, $35 at door. Benefits Friends of Casco Bay.
Rangeley Trail Town Festival, Sep 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 25, 2018 

Rangeley is one of only 35 towns along the 2,180-mile AT to be named an official “Appalachian Trail Community.” Join the Rangeley Trail Town Festival, September 1, 10 am - 4 pm.
Beyond Borders Farmers Market, Aug 31
Event - Posted - Friday, August 24, 2018 

Fresh, organic and locally grown produce plus exotic jarred delights. At Viles Arboretum, Augusta, August 31, 12-3 pm.
Exploring the Downeast Lakes through maps, Aug 30
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 23, 2018 

Cartographer Jane Crosen presents an interesting look at the Downeast Lakes region. At Grand Lake Stream School Building, August 40, 6 pm. Sponsored by Downeast Lakes Land Trust.
Endangered Atlantic salmon, Aug 29
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 22, 2018 

John Burrows, Atlantic Salmon Federation, and Paul Christman, Maine Department of Marine Resources, talk about endangered Atlantic salmon and local projects that support them in the Kennebec, Sheepscot, and Androscoggin Rivers. At Bath Freight Shed, August 29, 6:30 p.m. Sponsored by Kennebec Estuary Land Trust and Midcoast Conservancy.
Environmental Trivia, Aug 28
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 21, 2018 

Join ReVision Energy and Maine Conservation Voters for an environmental-themed trivia night. Categories will include environmental pop culture, Maine wildlife, climate change and more. At Rising Tide, Portland, August 28, 5:30 pm.
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News Items
Hunting Rules Reorganized and Reformed
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Saturday, February 23, 2019 

Maine’s hunting rules have been reorganized to eliminate redundancies, inconsistencies and outdated information, and make it easier to find and understand the rules. You can access the reorganized and reformed rules here: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/FMfcgxwBVgnxhQjGXShskSqsfcXBHQjt?projector=1&messagePartId=0.3
Leader of regional waste processing group resigns ahead of Hampden facility debut
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, February 23, 2019 

The head of a regional organization that handles the waste processing needs for 115 communities across eastern, northern and central Maine is resigning just as the group is due to start sending some of its waste to a new, state-of-the-art processing facility in Hamden. That organization, the Municipal Review Committee, announced Friday that Executive Director Greg Lounder will step down March 1 and pursue other lines of work. The new facility, which has been developed by the company Fiberight, is expected to start accepting some recyclables from the group’s member communities in March, before beginning to accept some household trash in April and ramping up operations through May and June.
What happens when death kills the dream of farming together
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, February 23, 2019 

When Susan Hunter and her husband Alan started their Unity dairy farm in 2008, it was with an eye toward a shared future of raising animals and living a life close to the land. An hour and a half away in Penobscot, Jo Barrett and her husband Dennis King were living a similar dream on their diversified farm and making plans to turn it over to a younger couple and retire. What neither couple had planned were how illness and death would leave the two widows left to figure out what was next for their respective farms.
Letter: Demand support for Green New Deal
Morning Sentinel - Saturday, February 23, 2019 

The U.S. Senate will soon vote on the Green New Deal. This is led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in an attempt to stifle constructive work on this newly drafted proposal. Like any new proposal, this document will need time to be reviewed, revised and edited before it is ready to be voted on. Bringing it to a vote so quickly stops that work. The people of the United States deserve and demand our country to aggressively address climate change. That is what the Green New Deal plans to do. Why would we not want this? Is it because many of our political leaders take massive sums of money from oil lobbyists? ~ Mary Dunn, Oakland
Letter: Offshore wind projects will add to hazards faced by coastal mariners
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, February 23, 2019 

By Gov. Mills’ executive order of Feb. 15, the way is cleared for wind turbine proposals on land and sea. Offshore installations add a new navigational hazard in fog that stalks the Maine coast mariner. Of course, most vessels today are equipped with radar to pierce the fog that draws its blinding curtain before the sailor’s eyes. Where the eye fails, the ear may help discern, above the sea’s tumult, the roar of turbine blades slashing the mist before endangering sails or superstructure. The vessel’s radar screen will also have reduced reliance on the ear to warn of danger. No technology, alas, is on hand ashore to help human senses warn of risks unseen or unheard in fogs that infiltrate the mind. Not yet, anyhow. ~ William G. Sayres, Topsham
Letter: Maine does not need CMP transmission line
Morning Sentinel - Saturday, February 23, 2019 

Maine residents do not need Central Maine Power’s proposed transmission line because it would cut a long and wide swath through some of Maine’s last wild area. If we give CMP permission, then there’s no turning back. You can’t change your mind later, because this untrammeled area would first be clear-cut, then drenched with herbicide, and unsightly enormous towers erected. All this for the purpose of making money. ~ Stu Silverstein, Waterville
Letter: Go green
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, February 23, 2019 

Trump and the Republican Party with their country-club mentality are leading America and the world down the wrong path. They are concerned with petty and nonexistent problems while ignoring major problems with difficult solutions. Instead of a wall to keep imaginary criminals out, we need to be spending money on developing green renewable energy. But the only green these people know are the dollar bills lining their pockets. We should be leading the world efforts on climate change instead of being an anchor dragging the country and world down with there ignorance and greed. ~ Steve Roth, Swans Island
Letter: Belfast reality
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, February 23, 2019 

Nordic Aquafarms' fish manufacturing plant is promoted as one of the largest in the world. This experiment has been criticized for its massive size and huge carbon footprint. It could use an estimated 1,200 gallons of freshwater per minute. Will the aquifers and our wells be diminished or dry up? Effluence piped into the Bay, even if treated for diseases, could create a catastrophe. Imagine the additional traffic. People are confronted with the reality that Belfast — not Norway, where Nordic Aquafarms is from — is a testing ground for this experiment that could end up being an environmental and economic disaster. ~ Phyllis Coelho, Belfast
Maine settlement could pave way for Canadian hydro in New England
Other - Friday, February 22, 2019 

Utility Dive - Central Maine Power and the Conservation Law Foundation, along with the Maine Governor’s Office of Energy and several other parties, have filed a settlement agreement with state regulators that could help the 145-mile New England Clean Energy Connect transmission project ultimately receive approval. The NECEC project is designed to connect more than 1 GW of emissions free generation owned by Hydro-Québec in Canada, with consumers in Massachusetts. The Maine agreement calls for CMP to make grid improvements and investments in a range of programs focused on moderate and low income families. The endorsement of Democratic Maine Gov. Janet Mills is a boon for NECEC's chances, but there is still a long road ahead for the project, say experts.
Packing of baby eels may be overseen by Maine law enforcement
Associated Press - Friday, February 22, 2019 

Maine’s lucrative baby eel industry will likely face tighter controls this year designed to thwart poaching, as officials consider requiring state law enforcement officers to oversee the packing and shipping of the valuable fish. Baby eels, called elvers, are an important part of the worldwide supply chain for Japanese food. Maine fishermen harvest them from rivers and streams every spring, and they are typically worth more than $1,000 per pound. No other U.S. state has a significant elver fishery.
Young Environmental Activists Rally At Collins' Office In Support Of Green New Deal
Maine Public - Friday, February 22, 2019 

Young environmental activists will rally outside the Portland office of Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins Friday afternoon, urging her to support the Green New Deal.
Uber subsidiary submits lone response to Portland’s call for a bike-share system
Portland Press Herald - Friday, February 22, 2019 

A subsidiary of rideshare giant Uber wants to roll out shared electric bicycles on Portland streets this spring. Jump wants to put hundreds of pedal-assist electric bikes on the streets of Portland by the end of April.
Editorial: Public lands bill an encouraging sign from Congress
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 22, 2019 

Less than a month after America’s longest government shutdown, the US Senate offered a glimmer of bipartisan hope in the form of a significant public lands package that passed with overwhelming support on both sides of the aisle. The broad legislation passed in the Senate 92-8 and is expected to find support in the House once legislators return from this past week’s recess. Importantly, the bill includes a permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a valuable program that has supported land conservation in Maine and around the country for decades. Legislators unwisely allowed LWCF authorization to lapse this fall, missing out on opportunities for conservation investment. Passage of the bill, and the reauthorization of LWCF, would be a good thing for Maine communities and the state’s outdoor economy, which generates over $8 billion each year.
Richmond man attempts last-ditch petition drive to prevent property cleanup
Kennebec Journal - Friday, February 22, 2019 

At 7 a.m. Monday, David Smith plans to present a petition at the Richmond Town Hall to stop contractors from clearing items from his property on Alexander Reed Road. Claiming his First Amendment right, Smith is asking town officials to stop taking any action to remove items from his land and to hold an open town meeting for residents to vote to have the judgment Richmond officials obtained against him vacated and dismissed with prejudice. But Richmond’s town manager said earlier this week that workers are scheduled to start work on Smith’s lot at 8 a.m. Monday.
How I Built This with Guy Raz: Burt's Bees
National Public Radio - Friday, February 22, 2019 

In this podcast Roxanne Quimby tells how she built Burt's Bees into a successful business. There is brief talk about Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in Maine starting at minute 48.
Column: Pet peeves: Bird name changes, missing birds and misused sound effects
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 22, 2019 

Frankly, there are some things about birding that annoy me. Here are a few. Squirrels. Enough said. Unnecessary name changes. In case you didn’t hear, the gray jay was renamed the Canada jay last year. Another pet peeve: No birds at the feeder. Another pet peeve: Black flies. Enough said. And then there is this one: Birds inappropriately used as sound effects in movies. This happens a lot. The classic case is the old Western. It’s hot. The sun is blazing. An eagle, or maybe a vulture, is circling overhead. Instead, you hear the “kreee” of a red-tailed hawk. ~ Bob Duchesne
This farming style that skips soil and adds fish is growing in popularity
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 22, 2019 

Aquaponics sounds like the stuff of science fiction. Instead of crops’ roots reaching down into the soil, they are suspended in water that is filled with live, swimming fish that sustain the plants with their nutrient-rich excrement. The closed-loop system is generally less disease prone and more water efficient than soil-based gardening, and its farmers can sell plants from above the waterline and the fish from below. The global aquaponics industry is expected to grow more than 7 percent in the next 10 years. The innovative growing method has the potential to make a splash in Maine’s agricultural scene, but first, it has to overcome market roadblocks and a marred past. The only active commercial aquaponics growing operation in Maine is Springworks Farm in Lisbon.
Editorial: Too many Maine schools still don’t test for lead
Portland Press Herald - Friday, February 22, 2019 

Not every Maine school regularly tests its water, some because municipal water systems are tested so thoroughly as a matter of course. That can provide a false sense of security for schools. While the water coming into the school may be fine, pipes and solder used in older school buildings may contain lead, which can leach it into the school’s drinking water. As one advocate at Tuesday’s hearing put it, lead is a “entirely preventable source of harm to children’s brains.” It shouldn’t take a law to make sure a school is safe; it is one of the basic duties of a school district, and in this case it can be accomplished with a cheap and easy test. But if so many schools are falling short in that duty, then the Legislature has no choice but to act.
Letter: Editorial didn’t mention carbon fee proposal
Morning Sentinel - Friday, February 22, 2019 

Your Feb. 12 editorial, “Our View: We need big ideas like the Green New Deal,” contained, I think, an important error. You remark that the Green New Deal “so far” is “the only proposal on the table.” It’s not. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, a bipartisan bill that would be fair to everyone, revenue neutral, job creating, and effective in reducing emissions is definitely “on the table.” ~ JeanAnn Pollard, Winslow
Hydro-Québec offers $170M in incentives for Maine transmission line
Other - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

Montreal Gazette - Hydro-Québec and its partner Central Maine Power have sweetened their offer to Maine as the two utilities look to get approval for a transmission line that would connect Quebec to the New England electric grid. The proposal — which has won support from the governor of Maine and two prominent environmental groups — would see Hydro-Québec spend US$170 million on initiatives in Maine.
Smoldering debris starts fire during demolition work at Bucksport mill site
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

A fire damaged part of a building being demolished at the former Verso Paper mill site on Thursday. No one was injured.
One Lobsterman Has A Creative Solution For The New, Lowered Herring Catch Limits, But Still Worries
Maine Public - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

Maine lobstermen are facing a major challenge as NOAA this month reduced the amount of Atlantic Herring fishermen can haul by more than half. Gerry Cushman, who has been a lobsterman for 30 years, and runs the Port Clyde Fisherman's Cooperative, says the federal action will have a major impact on the industry. "I decided to build a freezer. One thing is that we've been getting bait outside the states, from New Jersey, all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico, where they catch menhaden, and they freeze it, and then load it on 16-wheelers, and then you can have it delivered here in Maine. The problem is we don't have enough freezer infrastructure."
Nordic Aquafarms chief: Humboldt County can play key role
Other - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

Eureka Times Standard (CA) - Last week Nordic Aquafarms made the decision to pursue final due diligence for a land-based fish farm on the Samoa Peninsula in Humboldt County, California, by signing a lease-option agreement with the Harbor District. Our assessments so far strongly indicate that this location is perfect for our land-based fish operation. A number of respectable environmental organizations such as the Atlantic Salmon Federation, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and Conservation Law Foundation have written letters of support for our similar project in Maine.
Ugly produce seems to have limited appeal, so some retailers pull it
Associated Press - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

Walmart and Whole Foods in recent years tried selling some blemished fruits and vegetables at a discount, produce they said might otherwise be trashed because it’s not quite the right size, shape or color. But the two chains and others quietly ended their tests, suggesting dented apples and undersized potatoes may not be all that appealing in stores where better looking fruits and vegetables are on display. Hannaford in Maine is among the supermarkets that have stopped carrying the imperfect fruits and vegetables.
Group that promotes development near Canada’s border is expanding
Associated Press - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

An organization that promotes economic development in areas near the Canadian border in northern New England and upstate New York is expanding the areas eligible to receive the assistance. All of Vermont is now eligible to apply for funding from the Northern Border Regional Commission. The commission is also expanding in two more counties in New Hampshire and a number of counties in New York state. The commission is a federal-state partnership that works to encourage private-sector job creation throughout portions of Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire and New York. The commission has $25 million in fiscal 2019 for eligible projects in the four states.
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