August 15, 2018  
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News Items
More dead seals wash ashore as rescuers try to save sick animals
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, August 14, 2018 

The discovery of at least 35 dead harbor seals on southern Maine beaches in the past two days, including 11 found Monday in Saco, comes amid an unexplained surge in the number of dead and stranded live seals in both southern Maine and New Hampshire in the past two weeks, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
State investigates spill of more than half a million gallons of wastewater from Maine mill
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, August 14, 2018 

State officials are investigating a wastewater leak from St. Croix Tissue, Inc. in Baileyville into the St. Croix River. The spill, which occurred Friday, Aug. 10, involved more than a half million gallons of partially treated wastewater that was discharged from an effluent line.
Editorial: Ignoring climate change puts Mainers in danger
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, August 14, 2018 

Climate change has become a polarized political issue, and instead of using research to drive response, politicians like Gov. LePage are using their preconceived notions to shut down research, even though it’s making people very sick. Maine cannot save the global climate on its own, but it can do a better job of protecting residents and visitors from the effects of air and water that are growing warmer. Doing that would take policy that’s driven by research and a governor who won’t insist on having it work the other way around.
Rockland council votes to limit the number of large cruise ships in the harbor
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 13, 2018 

The Rockland City Council voted 3-2 Monday night to impose a limit on the number of large cruise ships that can come into the harbor. The vote came at the end of a three-hour meeting that included two hours of public comment, almost exclusively on the cruise ship issue, in which the public was once again nearly evenly divided on the issue.
490-acre solar farm proposal raises concerns in Farmington
Kennebec Journal - Monday, August 13, 2018 

A proposal to build a $110 million, 490 acre solar farm off U.S. Route 2 has divided some neighbors and raised concerns among members of the town’s planning board. The project, which is being developed by Florida-based NextEra Energy and its subsidiary, Farmington Solar LLC, would be located in the vicinity of Horn Hill Road and Hovey Road and consist of 301,300 panels, which the company says would make it the largest solar project in New England. “Why do we want to house the biggest solar project in New England?” said board member Gloria McGraw during a meeting with representatives from the project Monday night. She cited concerns over benefits to the town in terms of jobs and tax revenue and also asked whether the energy will help lower local power bills.
Sculptures of deer in Portland Harbor serve as art and advocacy
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 13, 2018 

Three years after he placed a pack of lifelike dogs atop pilings on the Portland waterfront, artist Andy Rosen is back with another installation of animals, this time a pair of deer emerging from the rising sea near the Ocean Gateway marine facility. His project, funded with a grant from the Union of Concerned Scientists, calls attention to climate change and rising sea levels, as well as the role of science in public discourse and policies.
CMP launches ad campaign to say ‘we’re sorry’ in wake of billing controversy
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 13, 2018 

Central Maine Power Co. has launched a TV ad campaign in an attempt to revive a reputation tarnished by customer outrage over high bills, a potential class-action lawsuit and a state investigation of its billing and metering practices.
Why Acadia’s maintenance ‘to-do’ list keeps growing
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 13, 2018 

Maine’s only national park has a to-do list of maintenance projects that’s more than 350 items long, with a total price tag of about $59.8 million. But no one expects to complete all the projects. That’s because deferred maintenance is a perennial issue at Acadia and other National Park Service properties across the country, which cumulatively have more than $11 billion worth of overdue work to maintain their facilities and infrastructure. The backlog of projects have become a cause of concern because of the tourism economies that develop around park service properties.
Opinion: Planet’s current warming trend is not part of a natural cycle
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 13, 2018 

In response to David Dilley’s letter of Aug. 8 claiming that the Milankovitch cycle explains our current global warming, the facts are that: The warmest point of the last (Milankovitch) cycle was around 10,000 years ago, at the peak of the Holocene. But since 1750 the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere has deviated from the natural cycle. Instead of decreasing, it has increased because of fossil-fuel burning. The world has also warmed unnaturally. We are now deviating from the natural cycle. Now, carbon dioxide is leading the warming. ~ Margot McCain, Portland
Nature Conservancy sees an opportunity to fight climate change – using Maine’s woodlands
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 12, 2018 

Deep in the commercial forests of northern Maine, trees are often valued for their lumber potential or for the ecological benefits they provide. But now a small and growing number of businesses from as far away as California may be investing in Maine’s woods as a way to address climate change. Trees absorb carbon dioxide – and larger trees means more of the greenhouse gas is locked away. The Nature Conservancy, a nonprofit forest landowner, hopes to connect those companies with the vast Maine woods in a way that could benefit both.
As tick threat explodes, state’s reluctance to address climate link may threaten public health
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 12, 2018 

For 30 years, an army of deer ticks has advanced from Maine’s southwest corner some 350 miles to the Canadian border, infesting towns such as Houlton, Limestone and Presque Isle. The ticks have brought a surge of Lyme disease in Maine. The explosion of disease correlates with a warming climate in Maine, where, over the past three decades, summers generally have grown hotter and longer and winters milder and shorter.
Mainers plant pollinator gardens, become foster parents of sorts for monarch butterflies
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 12, 2018 

Mainers are reporting many sightings of monarchs – mature butterflies and otherwise – in their fields and gardens this summer. These sightings beg the question, is this a sign of recovery for the much-loved pollinator, known for its epic migration of 3,000 miles to the mountains of Mexico, where the species overwinters?
Column: Hikes to love in Lovell
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 12, 2018 

Nestled in the foothills of western Maine, the small town of Lovell is less than two hours from Portland, between Bethel and Fryeburg. There’s a bounty of hiking in the area. The Greater Lovell Land Trust protects and maintains more than 5,000 acres across 17 properties, with more than 2,500 acres that feature developed public access. GLLT also cooperates with the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands to provide public access to the summit of Sabattus Mountain, the highest point in Lovell. ~ Jake Christie
Letter: Register your opposition to CMP transmission line
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 12, 2018 

CMP’s New England Clean Energy Connect Project proposes a 145-mile transmission line from Quebec through Maine to bring electricity to benefit Massachusetts residents; 53.5 miles of new transmission line corridor is due to blaze through one of the last remaining contiguous forests in the United States east of the Mississippi River. This region includes land and water areas recognized by federal and Maine legislation, including wildlife cited as endangered, threatened, or special concern species. The transmission line is also proposed to cross the Appalachian Trail at three locations. The consensus opinion in the region of the proposed 53.5-mile new transmission line construction opposes the NECEC Project. ~ Sandra Howard, Caratunk
Column: Seeds of recovery in Milo
Sun Journal - Saturday, August 11, 2018 

Milo, like so many small, rural Maine towns, was once a robust, economically thriving community. A shadow of its former self with no mill and a somewhat anemic local economy, Milo is, nonetheless, still a town with a soul and a smaller population of concerned townspeople who remember the heydays and remain hopeful for the future. Tom Harrigan, a relative newcomer to Milo, is one such person. The Harrigans have paid for and overseen a $4 million complex that comprises the Kiwanian Function Building, the Harrigan Learning Center and Museum, as well as the Milo Welcome Center. During the good times and even the bad times, Milo has always been a special place with a deep outdoor connection. Keep an eye on it. You may be surprised. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Oakland beach reopens as lake’s E. coli levels return to normal
Morning Sentinel - Saturday, August 11, 2018 

The beach at waterfront park has been reopened to swimmers and sunbathers after it had been closed for several days because of high levels of E. coli in the water. Town Manager Gary Bowman said the swimming area was reopened Friday evening after a lake water sample taken Thursday came back showing an E. coli count of 173 per 100 milliliters of water. A count under 400 per 100 milliliters is an acceptable level for swimming, he said.
Beating the heat at the block farm in Gardiner
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, August 11, 2018 

Until this year, the 7.5-ton HVAC system that Maine Cap N’ Stem had was enough for its needs. The company, which supplies organic mushroom blocks to commercial cultivators from its Gardiner facility, requires a climate-controlled environment to keep the varieties of mushrooms from developing in the company’s inoculated blocks before they are shipped. “Because this summer has been quite unbearable, and we’ve had a fairly good production bump, we’ve added a second 7.5-ton HVAC unit,” said Mark Robinson, one of the partners.
Editorial: State parks are free for Maine residents through Labor Day. Go enjoy them.
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, August 11, 2018 

Gov. Paul LePage has declared that most state parks and historic sites will be free for day visits from now through Labor Day. This offers the perfect reason to take the family to the beach or to climb a mountain or hike through the woods. Three weeks of free visits to state parks and historic sites are a great opportunity for residents to explore Maine’s varied landscapes and to learn more about its history. Get out and enjoy.
NASA program to track greenhouse gas is canceled
Other - Saturday, August 11, 2018 

APF - A NASA program that cost $10 million per year to track carbon and methane, key greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, has been cancelled, a US space agency spokesman said Thursday. The end of the Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) program, which tracked sources and sinks for carbon and made high-resolution models of the planet's flows of carbon , was first reported by the journal Science.
As Crisis Rocks Dairy Industry, Farmers Focus On How To Manage Milk Supply
Maine Public - Saturday, August 11, 2018 

Dairy farmers in the Northeast say they're ready to talk about something that's been almost off limits for decades: how to manage the milk supply to stop overproduction. Farmers are struggling, and a fourth year of low milk prices has driven many out of business. In response to the crisis, several hundred farmers will gather Monday for a day-long meeting in Albany, New York.
Blaze at Bangor recycling business destroys building
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, August 11, 2018 

A blaze Friday night destroyed a building off outer Broadway in Bangor at a business that processes vehicles for recycling, according to the fire department. Crews were on the scene until about midnight putting out hotspots.
State approves rezoning 700 acres in Hancock County for use as a solar farm
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, August 11, 2018 

State officials on Wednesday approved a request from a developer to rezone 700 acres in Hancock County to make way for development of a 100-megawatt solar farm. The Land Use Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the zoning change, which will enable the parcel in Township 16 in eastern Hancock County to be developed into a commercial-scale solar power site. The site is roughly a mile away from a wind turbine that is part of Novatus Energy’s 51-megawatt Hancock Wind farm, which, according to a report by Vox, has the tallest land-based wind turbines in the country.
Letter: Kavanaugh bad for environment
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, August 11, 2018 

If approved by the Senate, US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, could influence the court for decades. This could be bad news for the enforcement of some of our most bedrock environmental laws. (Pollution from global warming wasn’t on the minds of our founding fathers.) While on the US Court of Appeals in DC, Kavanaugh attacked the EPA’’s ability to address toxic air pollution and climate change. Kavanaugh also ruled that Congress should reign in EPA’s statutory authority to enforce the Clean Air Act. Sen. Susan Collins needs to hear from us. Kavanaugh is dangerous, We can’t afford decades of more backsliding on climate change. ~ Beverly Teach Roxby, Belfast
Large pogy catch good news for lobstermen who feared bait shortage
Portland Press Herald - Friday, August 10, 2018 

Maine has landed a record number of pogies this summer, forcing regulators to shut the bait fishery down just as lobster season peaks. All of the landings have yet to be counted, but officials say it is likely that an unusually large pogy fleet will have caught almost 7 million pounds of the fish, which is more than double last year’s landings. This comes as especially good news for Maine lobstermen, who use pogies to bait their traps when the herring supply runs low, as it is expected to this year.
Poor market forces Unity recycler to stop accepting most plastics
Morning Sentinel - Friday, August 10, 2018 

A diminished overseas recycling market has resulted in a lot more plastic going into landfills over the last month in central Maine. The Unity Area Regional Recycling Center has stopped accepting most types of plastic items at its facility in Thorndike, which serves residents of Dixmont, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Montville, Thorndike, Troy and Unity. Effective immediately, the center’s website states that all No. 1 and Nos. 3 through 7 plastics no longer can be recycled in Thorndike.
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Environmental headlines:

LePage wants  to withdraw Maine
from regional air pollution program.

The Trump administration plans to ease
rules for auto emissions and efficiency.

BANGOR DAILY NEWS / DANBY

 

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