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News Items
14 Shuckers to Vie for Oyster-Opening Supremacy in Maine
Free Press - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

Fourteen contestants are sharpening their oyster knives for the Maine Champion Oyster Shucking Contest at the Pemaquid Oyster Festival in Damariscotta on Sunday, September 30. The winner will be eligible to compete in the U.S. National Oyster Shucking Contest at St. Mary’s County Oyster Festival in Maryland. The winner of that event will qualify for the World Oyster Opening Championship in Galway, Ireland.
Pro-solar coalition sues, says new metering rules violate Maine law
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

A coalition fighting new state rules that reduce solar power incentives has filed a new lawsuit against Maine’s Public Utilities Commission, arguing that regulators violated state law by approving rules that will raise their costs of connecting to the grid. The Conservation Law Foundation, Natural Resources Council of Maine, solar installer ReVision Energy and the Industrial Energy Consumer Group on Thursday filed their lawsuit in Cumberland County Superior Court, continuing a legal battle against a new system for tracking generation and power consumption by small residential and commercial customers with on-site generators.
Worker shortage delays completion of Bowdoin building
Forecaster - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

Classes are well underway at Bowdoin’s Roux Center for the Environment, but construction on the college’s first new academic building in more than a decade is still underway due to a shortage of workers. The primary two college departments that will use it are Earth and Oceanographic Science and the Environmental Studies Program. The Roux Center has received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design platinum award.
Candidates for Governor Discuss Energy & the Environment
Free Press - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

Three candidates for governor — Democrat Janet Mills and independents Terry Hayes and Alan Caron — discussed their positions on energy and the environment at a forum last week in Portland. Republican Shawn Moody declined to attend. Attorney General Janet Mills said she supports setting a state goal of switching to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. Hayes said she does not have an energy policy but prefers to have a “level playing field” when it comes to energy sources. Like Mills, Caron said he would set a goal that Maine switch to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 by providing financial incentives to solar and offshore wind power. All three candidates expressed support for charging electricity customers to subsidize the construction of natural gas pipeline capacity into New England.
Preparations for Maine moose hunt heat up as temperatures cool down
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

After record-breaking heat over the summer, and with the memory of a sun-drenched September moose season a year ago still fresh in biologists’ minds, it appears that this year’s moose hunt will begin with more traditional late-September conditions. A total of 835 moose hunters will head into the woods early Monday morning on the first of four hunting sessions to be staged this year. The September hunt and the first October hunt account for 2,005 of the 2,500 permits.
Maine hunter in wheelchair kills big bear
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

I’m inspired by a Mainer in a wheelchair who shot a 300+ pound bear this fall. This fellow, who is in the same ALS support group as me, hunted out of Camel Brook Camps in Fort Kent. ALS has taken almost all the strength from my fingers and hands. I can’t even pull the trigger on a gun. But I’m going to get out with friends, hoping to see them get a deer. I’ve had a lifetime of fabulous hunts, and lots of success. I do not feel the need to shoot another deer.
Lobster industry’s struggles overseas add urgency to driving up demand in U.S.
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

With overseas markets shaky at best, the leaders of Maine’s $1.4 billion lobster industry came together Wednesday to talk about how to drive up demand and get top dollar in the one market they can count on – the United States. It’s a conversation that began long before China slapped a 25 percent tariff on U.S. lobsters, closing the door on a $128.5 million-a-year market, or the European Union inked its trade deal with Canada, driving down European exports by 27 percent.
Opinion: As demand for recycled material shrinks, consumers can take action
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

There is unprecedented low global demand combined with a big glut of recycled materials on the market. We need to create more demand for recycled commodities closer to home. The materials we recycle are too contaminated, so we need to improve the quality. We need to design easy-to-recycle products and ensure people understand what can be recycled. Meanwhile, the uncoordinated town-by-town waste management system is inconsistent, inefficient and inequitable. What you can do to help:
• Reduce waste
• Recycle right
• Redeem your beverage containers
• Buy stuff made with recycled materials
• Support policies for a strong recycling economy
~ Sarah Lakeman, Natural Resources Council of Maine
Letter: Mills undercuts workers by fighting tribal rights to protect water quality
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

In your coverage of this year’s Labor Day breakfast, you mention that Janet Mills “spoke…about her support for Maine workers.” Clearly, Mills’ support does not extend to workers in the Penobscot Nation. Since 2015, she has been engaged in a lawsuit claiming that the Penobscot Nation does not have authority to set water quality standards for the part of the river where their islands rest. Mills’ decision puts the Penobscot people at risk for health complications caused by consuming fish from polluted water. If she wants to support workers’ rights, Mills must be a candidate for all Maine workers and acknowledge that the Penobscot Nation has a right to protect the quality of the water where their islands are located. ~ Morgana Warner-Evans, Portland
Letter: Bear trapping appalling
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

I was appalled and horrified to learn that bears are trapped in Maine. I thought it was bad enough that we are one of the only states left that allow bear-baiting (aka habituating bears to doughnuts and other piles of garbage, then shooting them). Euphemisms like “device,” “harvesting” and “foot restraint” don’t really explain what’s actually being done to the bears. I believe the public has a right to know the details. ~ Jennifer Goldenberg, Bangor
Cape Elizabeth council rejects waterfront lawsuit settlement
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

The Cape Elizabeth Town Council on Wednesday night soundly rejected a mediated court settlement with several waterfront residents who have sued the town claiming ownership of an undeveloped portion of Surf Side Avenue. Under the proposed settlement, the Pilot Point Road residents had agreed to pay the town $500,000 to prevent development of a public shore path between their multimillion-dollar homes and scenic Broad Cove. The council voted 6-1 against the settlement, with several members saying they felt compelled to reject the agreement because it didn’t support the principle of maintaining public access to the shoreline.
Maine Conservation Voters and ReVision Energy Host Belfast Community Solar Tour
Penobscot Bay Pilot - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Wednesday evening, Sept. 19, community members and students from Unity College gathered for a tour of the Belfast Pitcher Road solar array, the first municipal solar project in Maine to be built on a former landfill site. The group went to learn about this innovative project that has inspired a growing number of other municipalities in the state to follow suit, despite Gov. LePage’s repeated veto of bills that would support the growth of solar power in Maine. Sadie Lloyd, City Planner for the City of Belfast, shared the incredible success of this project. "By the end of 2018 the City of Belfast will have the most municipal-owned solar of any city or town in the state, and will be offsetting nearly 90 percent of the municipal electric load," she said.
State, conservation group preserve 24,000 acres of working forest
Other - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Concord Monitor - A heavily forested area of hills, valleys and ponds alongside the Appalachian Trail has been placed under conservation easements in a $6.1 million project which has been in the works for years. The New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands and The Conservation Fund announced Wednesday that a 24,000-acre section of working forestland in the Mahoosuc Mountains, between Berlin and the Maine border, had been preserved with a public-private partnership. The easements will prevent any future development of the land, much of which was previously owned by a forest-products company, but it will still be available for logging as well as for public recreation, from hiking to snowmobiling to hunting and fishing.
Agriculture Secretary Visits Western Maine
Maine Public - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue was in western Maine Wednesday and spent more than an hour listening to comments about the needs of rural areas. Purdue, who was in Farmington with Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin of Maine’s 2nd District, says most people don’t realize the scope of the programs offered by the Department of Agriculture. He says improving the prosperity of rural America is his goal, and that addressing the crisis in opioid use is part of that agenda.
New club working with Topsham to add bike trails
Times Record - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

A group of mountain bikers have revived the push to add a series of mountain bike trails in Topsham. The Six Rivers chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association, a group of bikers from Topsham, Bath and Brunswick is working with the town to develop the trail system behind the transfer station. Another group of bikers first proposed the idea in 2012, but the effort petered out after town officials questioned liability and trail maintenance. A resurgence of interest and a freshly organized group have renewed the talks. Six Rivers also is working with the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust to develop trails at Brunswick Landing.
Maine Lobsters Get Some Herb Before Hitting The Pot
Associated Press - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Lobsters are going to pot in more ways than one. A Maine lobster pound is banking on using marijuana to try to make cooking the crustaceans a little more humane. The business, Charlotte's Legendary Lobster Pound in Southwest Harbor, is owned by a registered medical marijuana caregiver. The owner, Charlotte Gill, says she put a test lobster in a box with a few inches of water before marijuana smoke was blown into the box. She says the animal was calmer for the next three weeks, and she released it into the ocean. Gill plans to use the new method at customers' requests, and then build a larger tank to sedate multiple lobsters at once. It's unknown whether science says pot smoke actually calms lobsters or has any effect on their meat.
Elizabeth Warren Criticized for Climate Change Bill
Fox News - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has introduced the Climate Risk Disclosure Act of 2018, which would mandate that publicly traded companies provide extensive climate-related information, such as greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuel investments, and risk management strategies for things like rising sea levels and increased temperatures. “Climate change is a real and present danger ― and it will have an enormous effect on the value of company assets,” Warren said. Not everyone, however, is a fan of Warren's legislation. Marc Morano of ClimateDepot.com, on Fox & Friends, argued that Warren's bill would give the Securities and Exchange Commission extensive power to go after companies and "shake them down."
Officials still don’t know when Fiberight will start processing waste
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

A large cluster of automated sorting equipment nearly a story tall sits dormant in the middle of the Fiberight Coastal Resources of Maine facility in Hampden, but officials are still unable to pinpoint when it will begin processing waste. Installation of this recycling and non-organic waste sorting infrastructure, worth $11.5 million, is nearly complete, CEO Craig Stuart-Paul said Tuesday during a facility tour. As for when towns can expect to cease landfilling and send their trash and recyclables to his facility, he’s not sure — but it’ll be sometime this fall.
Maine restaurant gets lobsters high before killing them
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

In an effort to be more humane, the owner of a roadside lobster shack on Mount Desert Island is selling lobsters that have been exposed to marijuana smoke before they are cooked. Charlotte Gill, owner of Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound in the Southwest Harbor village of Seawall, has treated lobster by blowing marijuana smoke into a plastic box with a lobster in it before the lobster goes in the cooking pot. She said killing the lobster by stabbing it through its head or by electrocuting it can be quicker, but also can be cruel if not done correctly.
Fire breaks out at wood-pellet plant in Corinth
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

More than 20 fire departments were fighting a fire that broke out Wednesday evening at a wood-pellet plant in Corinth. The fire was reported around 6 p.m. at the Corinth Wood Pellets manufacturing facility, an emergency dispatcher for the Penobscot County Regional Communications Center said. The dispatcher described the blaze as a large fire that would take time to control. Corinth Wood Pellets LLC manufactures hardwood pellet fuel from wood fiber. The company, formed in 2007, claims to be recognized as the premier wood pellet manufacturer in the state.
The Most Popular Tourist Attraction in Every State: Maine
Other - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Reader's Digest - Maine is brimming with opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors, and one of the best is Acadia National Park. Relish in the hidden beaches sunrises over Cadillac Mountain in the park’s 47,000 unspoiled acres. Acadia is one of the most visited national parks in the country. For an intense hike, check out Precipice Trail, which features narrow ledges, switchbacks, and a 1,000-foot vertical climb to the top.
Canadian crabs with bad attitude threaten coastal ecosystem
Associated Press - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Green crabs from Nova Scotia are the same species as their cousins that already inhabit Maine waters, but are ornerier and angrier, threatening to accelerate harm to the coastal ecosystem, Markus Frederich, a professor at the University of New England, said. Green crabs, even the docile ones, are considered a scourge that can devour soft-shell and juvenile clams. They can destroy eelgrass that provides a hiding place for juvenile sea creatures. But the Canadian crabs take it to a new level. Eventually, the newcomers will move farther southward into Maine.
Why Maine farmers and gardeners are saving seed from this year’s crops
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

More Mainers are interested in saving seeds, according to Daniel MacPhee, the education programs director at the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, who also produces organic seed commercial at Blackbird Rise Farm in Palermo. Seed saving programs at some Maine high schools are becoming known nationally and even internationally. “There’s been a lot of interest, particularly in the organic community of gardeners and farmers,” he said. “We don’t have control of what commercial seed companies will be offering. If you have a variety you know and love, you can grow it yourself....Whenever you save a seed, you are breeding. You are saving a plant that grows the best."
Maine tries again to clean up a 27,000-ton fire hazard in Warren
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

A 70-acre site tucked back in the woods off Route 90 in Warren has been a thorn in the side of town officials, residents and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for the better part of the past 20 years. On the property, about 27,000 tons of carpet-like material snakes through the abandoned lot like small mountain ranges. After a previous contract with a Massachusetts company — which trucked out much less material than anticipated — came to an end last year, the DEP is once again collecting proposals from bidders to remove however much material they can from the site.
A salmon group is removing a dam from a Maine shorefront property it bought last year
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

By the end of this week, a nonprofit environmental organization hopes to convert a freshwater pond back into a saltwater cove. With the removal of a granite dam from where Smelt Brook flows into Frenchman Bay, Downeast Salmon Federation hopes to restore an historical smelt run that the fish had used to get from the ocean up into freshwater. Taking out the dam also should allow eels and brook trout to migrate upstream. The project is being funded through private donations and the Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program, in which wetland impact fees collected by the state are used to help fund environmental mitigation projects.
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