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News Items
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.
Once again, everyone’s out of the water at Highland Lake Beach in Bridgton
Portland Press Herald - Friday, August 10, 2018 

For the second time in two weeks, a popular public beach in Bridgton has been closed to swimming because of high bacteria levels. Town officials said Friday that a test conducted a day earlier at Highland Lake Beach revealed high levels of the E. coli bacteria, which are commonly found in the environment, foods and intestines of people and animals. Some strains are harmless, but others can cause diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness or pneumonia.
Editorial: We can’t end heat waves, but we can take steps to keep them from getting a lot worse
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 10, 2018 

Maine, like many other places, is firmly ensconced in a new world. Of the 10 warmest years on record in Portland, half of them are since 2010. In Caribou, half of the warmest years have been since 2000. The most significant increase in Maine has been in overnight temperatures, especially in the summer and fall. This is because of melting sea ice in the Arctic, explains state climatologist Sean Birkel, a research professor at the Climate Change Center at UMaine. We can drive less and switch to more fuel-efficient vehicles. On a bigger scale, we need lawmakers who understand climate change and work to enact laws to reduce carbon emissions. In the Trump administration, we have the opposite.
Allagash Wilderness Waterway on Talk of the Towns
WERU Radio - Friday, August 10, 2018 

Guests: Bruce Jacobson, Planning Consultant and author of the report; Don Hudson, President, Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation; Cindy Bastey, Bureau of Public Lands, Maine Department of Conservation. Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension.
6 things to do with your family before summer is officially over
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 10, 2018 

Here’s lots of family-friendly things to do in eastern Maine, to make the most of your summer before it’s over.
• Bee Parks and the Hornets
• West Grand Lake Race
• Machias Blueberry Festival
• Fortnite GameNite
• Pirate invasions in Winterport and Eastport
• Fort George Revolutionary War weekend
Cape Elizabeth seaside residents agree to pay $500,000 to block public shore path
Portland Press Herald - Friday, August 10, 2018 

Several waterfront residents in Cape Elizabeth have agreed to pay the town $500,000 to prevent the development of a public shore path between their multimillion-dollar homes and scenic Broad Cove, possibly bringing an end a decade-old neighborhood dispute over seaside public access.
Letter: Careful use of fertilizer helps protect ocean from harmful runoff
Portland Press Herald - Friday, August 10, 2018 

What if I told you that what goes into your garden also ends up in the ocean? During a big rainstorm, pollutants are washed away into a storm drain that leads to Casco Bay. And, that is really harmful for underwater creatures like fish. But not only underwater creatures are in danger, we are too! When you add fertilizer, make sure there’s no chance of rain coming up. Plants need time to take up fertilizers. Use only what you need because plants don’t need as much as you think. ~ Kimberly G. Santos, Grade 6, King Middle School, Portland
Letter: A well-designed carbon tax has benefits
Sun Journal - Friday, August 10, 2018 

Our U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin is misguided in his vote to condemn consideration of a carbon tax to fight climate change. A well-designed carbon tax has the potential to provide economic stimulus, adding millions of jobs to the economy, protect American companies with a border carbon adjustment when exporting goods and benefit most people by putting more money in their pocket. It can also bring predictability to the cost of energy. If you are conservative, you should support the predictable, incremental, revenue-neutral and market-driven mitigation of extreme weather. Not to mention the benefits of clean air, water, and stable ecosystems. ~ Roberta Brezinski, Durham
Letter: Don’t rush development rules
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 10, 2018 

I have concerns about Land Use Planning Commission’s proposed rule changes for development in the Unorganized Territory. What effect would these rules have on communities like Caribou, Ashland and Woodland? Would the new rules draw people away from these communities and into the unorganized townships? That will cost town residents more money to provide services. I also have to wonder what these new rules would do to our scenic areas. What would happen if an industrial farm or chemical waste facility was placed near Scopan Lake under the new rules? There has not been enough time to study this. The old rules have been working just fine, so there is no reason to rush. ~ Gary Willhide, Castle Hill
Letter: Kavanaugh and the environment
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 10, 2018 

As the U.S. Senate considers the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, it’s important that Mainers across our state make their voices heard about a decision that could shape the court for an entire generation. As a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals, Kavanaugh repeatedly wrote opinions against the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to address toxic air pollution and climate change. With Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, bedrock public health protections like the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act would be endangered. Mainers don’t want more pollution, but that’s what Kavanaugh’s confirmation could lead to. ~ Matthew Gonnerman, Bangor
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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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