October 16, 2018  
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News Items
Critic of Federal Public Lands Management to Join Department of the Interior
National Public Radio - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 

A Wyoming property rights attorney who's long criticized what she calls federal overreach over public land management will take a position as one of the U.S. Department of Interior's top litigators. The DOI confirmed in an email Monday that Karen Budd-Falen will join the agency as deputy solicitor for parks and wildlife. The announcement has drawn swift criticism from environmental groups.
2018 Evening For The Environment
Maine Public - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 

Gina McCarthy served under President Barack Obama as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from 2013–2017. Her tenure as EPA Administrator heralded a paradigm shift in national environmental policy, expressly linking it with global public health. She led EPA initiatives that cut air pollution, protected water resources, reduced greenhouse gases, and strengthened chemical safety to better protect more Americans, especially the most vulnerable, from negative health impacts. She delivered the keynote address at the “2018 Evening for the Environment” organized by Maine Conservation Voters and Maine Conservation Alliance.
For Maine moose-turd artist made famous on Facebook, sales won’t be dropping off anytime soon
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 

The world must need moose turds right now. Since a video of Mary Winchenbach peddling her moose-turd art at the Common Ground Fair went viral three weeks ago, Winchenbach and her homespun wares have been featured on television and radio across the country and as far away as Ireland. The video of Winchenbach has been viewed more than 3.3 million times since it was posted Sept. 21 on Facebook. And now she is struggling to keep up with more than 2,000 orders for the moose-turd art through her business, Tirdy Works.
Editorial: Proposed lobster rules not based on science
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 

When we talk about climate change, we are used to politicians who ignore the science. But this time, it was the scientists who let us down. A report issued by NOAA in advance of a big regulatory conference singled out stronger ropes, which, they said, are being used by Maine lobstermen and are entangling whales as they migrate through Maine waters. When pressed, the authors had to admit that it is just a hypothesis. It’s important to understand what’s happening to the whales before trying to fix it. If we want the best policy, we need the best science.
Opinion: Plastic bag ban a chance to help the Earth
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 

As residents of Waterville, we should consider taking the environment seriously and putting aside the small inconvenience we might initially experience by getting rid of plastic carry-out bags. Let’s do the right thing, as 15 other Maine communities have already done — we can be certain that other communities will follow. If our ordinance passes, businesses would have six months to make the change to reusable bags, as this will take effect on Earth Day, April 22, 2019. On Nov. 6, please vote yes on municipal referendum 1. ~ Stu Silverstein, Sustain Mid Maine Coalition, Waterville
Letter: Tax carbon emissions
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 

Here we are dealing with another catastrophic hurricane. It arrives on the heels of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report warning that the effects of climate change, if not addressed, will only continue at an even faster pace than believed just five years ago. Yet, our government continues to ignore the science while dumping more and more dollars into emergency funding. Meanwhile, a growing body of scientists, economists, business leaders and politicians on both sides of the aisle are supporting carbon pricing. It’s voting season. I encourage you to vote with an eye to the future of this planet. ~ Connie Potvin, Hampden
Letter: Preserving Maine’s rugged landscapes
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 

A Maine Land Conservation Task Force has formed to review the accomplishments and challenges of land conservation during the 30 years since the creation of the Land for Maine’s Future Program, and to lay groundwork for the future. One question the task force will consider: Has Maine already conserved enough land? We are fortunate that the northern half of Maine is defined by its tradition of responsible public access to vast private lands. But there are still special places where the public may decide that conservation is desired. ~ Karin R. Tilberg, Forest Society of Maine
‘Hyperalarming’ study shows massive insect loss
Washington Post - Monday, October 15, 2018 

Insects around the world are in a crisis, according to a small but growing number of long-term studies showing dramatic declines in invertebrate populations. A new report suggests that the problem is more widespread than scientists realized.
Residents express few concerns at public hearing on Farmington solar project
Morning Sentinel - Monday, October 15, 2018 

Few residents expressed concerns at a public hearing Monday night about a proposed 77-megawatt solar farm that would be built off U.S. Route 2, and one resident spoke in favor of the project. Jonathan Gravel, environmental services project manager for NextEra, said the estimated one-year construction period would bring the heaviest traffic to the area and once the project is built traffic would be “very minimal.” The town has been in discussions with NextEra since 2017 about the project, which the company says would be the largest solar farm in New England if built.
Another death of right whale confirmed
Associated Press - Monday, October 15, 2018 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the third death of a rare North Atlantic right whale this year has been confirmed. NOAA and conservationists are keeping a close eye on the right whale population because of high mortality and low reproduction in recent years. NOAA says photographs of the animal show wounds consistent with entanglement. Right whales number no more than 450. About 4 percent of the animal’s population died in 2017. No new calves were spotted this year.
Critic of Federal Public Lands Management to Join Department of the Interior
National Public Radio - Monday, October 15, 2018 

A Wyoming property rights attorney who's long criticized what she calls federal overreach over public land management will take a position as one of the U.S. Department of Interior's top litigators. The DOI confirmed in an email Monday that Karen Budd-Falen will join the agency as deputy solicitor for parks and wildlife. The announcement has drawn swift criticism from environmental groups.
Climate Trial of the Century
350.org - Monday, October 15, 2018 

Last week, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a special report showing that governments around the world must take "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society" to avoid disastrous levels of global warming. The Trump administration is accelerating the climate crisis by doubling down on fossil fuels and making US fossil fuel energy dominant in the world. While they are issuing permits for oil and gas drilling and cozying up to fossil fuel billionaires, 21 brave youth are taking the U.S. government to court to stand up for their constitutional right to a safe future. On October 29, the first day of their trial, people will rally outside federal courthouses across the country in solidarity with the young plaintiffs.
Businesses displaced in blaze at former Marcal Paper Mill in Mechanic Falls
Mainebiz - Monday, October 15, 2018 

A large mill building in Mechanic Falls that housed several businesses was destroyed in a fire Sunday that continues to smolder Monday morning. Several businesses were inside the building, including Corcoran Environmental Services, which recycles plastics, and Pine Tree Waste, owned by Casella Waste Systems. Marcel, a leading manufacturer of recycled tissues, closed its Mechanic Falls mill in the fall of 1981.
King: Congress Needs to Confront Mounting Costs of Natural Disasters
Maine Public - Monday, October 15, 2018 

As the cost of Hurricane Michael - already in the billions - continues to mount, Maine U.S. Sen. Angus King says Congress should start planning for the costs of natural disasters, and not just add them to the federal budget deficit. “I believe we ought to start budgeting for it instead of taking it, borrowing every time that we do it," King says. "There ought to be a contingency account because it is becoming so regular.”
Trouble brewing: Climate change could double the price of beer
Associated Press - Monday, October 15, 2018 

Add beer to chocolate, coffee and wine as some of life’s little pleasures that global warming will make scarcer and costlier, scientists say. Increasing bouts of extreme heat waves and drought will hurt production of barley, a key beer ingredient, in the future. Losses of barley yield can be as much as 17 percent, an international group of researchers estimated. That means beer prices on average would double, even adjusting for inflation, according to the study in Monday’s journal Nature Plants.
Midcoast Maine emerges as hub for launching land-based salmon-farm sector
Mainebiz - Monday, October 15, 2018 

Two of the world's largest land-based Atlantic salmon farms are slated for construction in Maine's midcoast region. Nordic Aquafarms Inc., based in Norway, plans its operation on 54 acres in Belfast. Whole Oceans, in Portland, plans an operation on 108 acres in Bucksport. Both are moving through the permitting process for phased buildout. Their combined production at full build-out is expected to be 80,000 tons of salmon — capturing nearly one-fifth of the domestic import market.
Scarborough Downs developer lays out vision for mixed-use neighborhood to 'live, work and play'
Mainebiz - Monday, October 15, 2018 

Rocco "Roccy" Risbara III of Risbara Bros. Construction in Scarborough is one of the developers behind a plan to transform the 500-acre Scarborough Downs site into a walkable community with land for residential, commercial and light industrial use. The Crossroads Holding LLC principal commented on the inspiration for the new neighborhood and whether there's a future for harness racing.
Development projects taking shape in Rockland, Boothbay, Walpole
Mainebiz - Monday, October 15, 2018 

Maine's Midcoast is much more than a summer tourist destination as evidenced by continued businesses openings in downtown Rockland, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens' $50-million drive to become a year-round draw in Boothbay and a $3 million waterfront revitalization program at the Darling Marine Center in Walpole, part of a broader 10-year strategic plan. Here's a roundup of significant developments.
Ski areas putting snowmaking to test as they gear up for new season
Mainebiz - Monday, October 15, 2018 

Maine's mountains are still glowing orange and gold, but ski areas are gearing up to see white — thanks to continuing investments in their snowmaking equipment — as the winter season approaches. While many ski areas have busy commercial off seasons, much of the focus is also on enhancing the experience to draw more winter visitors, including increasing snow-making ability.
Saint Joseph's contributes to research on improving survivability of shipped lobsters
Mainebiz - Monday, October 15, 2018 

An academic and industry collaboration is looking into ways to create an environment where a "soft shell lobster" can be turned into a more resilient and valuable "hard shell lobster" after it has been trapped.
Since soft shell lobsters aren't resilient enough to be shipped overseas, the goal is to boost the export market with more hard shell lobsters. Saint Joseph's College's sciences department, the University of Maine and Ready Seafood, a live and processed lobster wholesale company in Portland, are collaborating on the two-year project funded by the Maine Technology Institute Technology Asset Fund.
Gallo to lead Maine Lakes Society
Maine Environmental News - Monday, October 15, 2018 

Long-time Maine Audubon staffer Susan Gallo will become executive director of the Maine Lakes Society effective November 1. Gallo has spent the past 20 years managing the statewide Maine Loon Project, Fish Lead Free Project, and Maine Amphibian Monitoring Program at Maine Audubon.
Opinion: The environmental case for immigration control
Bangor Daily News - Monday, October 15, 2018 

Today’s environmentalists are generously funded with big money, and silent on U.S. population growth. It would have been unthinkable in 1970 for the Census Bureau to identify a federal policy driving our population toward a billion and environmental titans, like the Sierra Club and the Audubon Society, remaining silent. Most discussion today of the environmental impact of America’s population growth has been silenced by a powerful combination of big money, the charge of racism and spineless leadership. We stumble into the future. ~ Janette Christian, Holden, Mainers for Sensible Immigration Policy
Opinion: Hurricanes like Michael show why we can’t ignore climate change
Washington Post - Monday, October 15, 2018 

The real lesson from the recent spate of record-breaking heat waves, hurricanes and wildfires is that the highly polarizing political debates around emissions reductions have sidelined important conversations about protecting American lives, property and livelihoods from natural disasters fueled by climate change. Here’s hoping we can find common purpose in uniting to protect our front-line communities, including the vulnerable urban and rural poor, from the ravages of ongoing climate change. ~ Kim Cobb, director of the global change program, Georgia Institute of Technology
Column: The other shoe
Bangor Daily News - Monday, October 15, 2018 

They STILL haven’t dropped the other shoe. The “Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C” contains terrifying forecasts about what will happen when we reach an average global temperature 1.5 degrees C higher than the pre-industrial average. (We are now at +1C.) But it still shies away from talking about the feedbacks, the refugees and mass death. f you don’t go into the feedbacks, then you can’t talk about runaway warming, and going to 4, 5 or 6 degrees C higher average global temperature, and hundreds of millions or billions of deaths. And if you don’t acknowledge that, then you will not treat this as the emergency it really is. ~ Gwynne Dyer
Warming climate expected to bring more people, rising seas to Acadia
Bangor Daily News - Monday, October 15, 2018 

More people, different trees and higher tides are among the things people can expect at Maine’s only national park as a result of the changing climate, according to scientists at the park. Some of these changes already are noticeable.
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