June 21, 2018  
Email link to Webinar: Photograph Trailside Flowers for Science, May 15, 16
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News Items
Report: Former Acadia park director accepted illegal Caribbean vacation
Associated Press - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

A former Acadia National Park superintendent accepted an illegal gift of a Caribbean family vacation months before his retirement in 2015, according to a report released Thursday by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of the Interior. A lawyer for Sheridan Steele contends there was nothing illegal about the retirement gift announced at a dinner attended by dozens of members of the local community on Mount Desert Island. “We don’t deny the facts, but we deny the conclusion. It wasn’t an illegal gift,” said Steele’s attorney, Jay McCloskey. He called the probe “a total waste of investigative resources.”
Maine Legislature's Special Session Enters Third Day
Maine Public - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

A number of high-profile bills remain unresolved as the Maine Legislature is approaching the end of its three day special session. Lawmakers sent several proposals to Gov. Paul LePage, but they face a likely veto. Still awaiting final approval is a $200 million slate of bond proposals.
Opinion: Maine needs a governor who will prioritize clean energy
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

As voters assess their options for state leadership, two intertwined issues need to rise to prominence: Maine’s economy and environment. To advance both, Maine’s next governor must prioritize a clean energy future. The good news is that this future is close at hand. With smart energy policy reform based on proven results in other states, Maine can lower energy costs; save residents and businesses money on their utility bills; boost its own economy; grow its workforce with good-paying efficiency, HVAC and solar jobs; and dramatically reduce air pollution. ~ Kathleen Meil and Daniel Sosland, Acadia Center
Baxter State Park Announces New Director
Associated Press - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

The Baxter State Park Authority announced on Thursday that Eben Sypitkowski has been named the new head of Baxter State Park, the home to the state's highest peak. Sypitkowski is currently the park's resource manager. The state says Sypitkowski will direct about 60 year-round and seasonal employees who maintain the park, which is a major tourist attraction in northern Maine. The Baxter State Park Authority is made up of Director of the Bureau of Forestry Doug Denico, Commissioner of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Chandler Woodcock and Attorney General Janet Mills.
Column: Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument drawing plenty of birders
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

Altogether, I noted 43 species and 126 individual birds as we looped the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument last Saturday. Admittedly, I had an advantage over the other nine participants during the field trip, sponsored by the Penobscot Valley Chapter of Maine Audubon. I was riding shotgun in the 15-passenger van, with my head out the window, listening intently. As destinations go, KWW is an exceptionally birdy place. ~ Bob Duchesne
Bangor native named new head of Baxter State Park
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

The Baxter State Park Authority on Thursday announced that it has appointed Eben Sypitkowski as the new director of Baxter State Park. Sypitkowski succeeds Jensen Bissell, who has been director since 2005 when Irvin “Buzz” Caverly retired after a 46-year career at the park where he held various positions, including director. Sypitkowski, a graduate of Bangor High School and Bates College in Lewiston, also earned a master’s degree in forestry from the University of Maine in Orono. He is currently serving as Baxter State Park’s resource manager and is managing its Scientific Management Area.
The McDonald’s Lobster Roll Experience
Yankee Magazine - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

Armed with more than 100 authentic New England lobster roll experiences, I entered the glass-and-tile McDonald’s in my New England town and queued up at the counter. Upon opening the box, I was pleasantly surprised to see a couple of chunks of claw meat on top of some shredded lobster meat and a rather massive bed of similarly shredded iceberg lettuce. But by the time I finished, the McRoll simply ran out of steam and made me yearn for the real deal from a true New England seafood shack.
Climate Change Brought a Lobster Boom. Now It Could Cause a Bust.
New York Times - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

Since the early 1980s, climate change had warmed the Gulf of Maine’s cool waters to the ideal temperature for lobsters, which has helped grow Maine’s fishery fivefold to a half-billion-dollar industry, among the most valuable in the United States. But last year the state’s lobster landings dropped by 22 million pounds, to 111 million. Now, scientists and some fishermen are worried that the waters might eventually warm too much for the lobsters, and are asking how much longer the boom can last.
CEO of Company Buying Saddleback Resort Accused of Fraud
Associated Press - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

Sebastian Monsour was charged Thursday with investment fraud after a search warrant was executed. Monsour is CEO of the Majella Group, which is in the process of buying Maine's Saddleback Mountain ski resort. The Rangeley ski resort has been closed for several seasons. Owners Bill and Irene Berry announced a year ago that they were selling to Majella Group. Monsour, who was held without bail, promised to make the mountain the "premier ski resort'' in North America and to restore the 300 seasonal jobs.
Maine town declares itself food sovereign, then outlaws urban farming
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

Lloyd Cowan is not sure what he’s going to do with his small flock of chickens, two ducks and three goats. He lives in the small town of Madison where urban farming was permitted until the town abruptly passed an ordinance banning it at the June 11 annual town meeting. The new law didn’t grandfather residents like Cowan, who’ve raised animals in their backyard for decades. Cowan said he finds the move by the town in direct conflict with its vote earlier this year to declare itself food sovereign.
In the Bay of Fundy
Other - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

Bowdoin College magazine - On a remote island with no permanent residents, Patty Jones directs something remarkable: collaboration.
Editorial: Don’t waste state’s time with secret wind panel
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

A secret group of experts selected by a recently resigned government official plans to meet at a undisclosed time and place to study something about tourism and wind power. Any report coming out of a process that hinky is destined for the trash can. But studying a problem and recommending a solution is not what the governor’s wind power commission is for. It’s really an opportunity for Gov. LePage to take a last swipe at renewable energy as his term in office draws to a close.
Letter: If Cape institutes fee at Fort Williams, nearby towns should charge fees too
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

I have read that the Cape Elizabeth Town Council is yet again considering charging fees for the use of Fort Williams, probably in the form of parking fees. This is a wonderful idea! Why don’t we start charging non-Portland residents a fee for entering Portland via the Casco Bay Bridge? After all, the use of streets and public services in Portland by people who don’t live here certainly results in some cost to those of us who do live here. Why shouldn’t we pass that cost on, similarly to the plan the Cape Elizabeth Town Council is proposing? ~ Mark Nakell, Portland
Letter: Mainers must demand lead-free water
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

A new map released recently by Environment Maine shows that here in Maine 26 schools and daycares found unhealthy levels of lead in their drinking water. Unfortunately, Maine is not alone; lead contamination of school drinking water is a pervasive, nationwide public health concern. Schools can remove lead-bearing pipes, fixtures, and plumbing, and install certified filters on taps. We must demand that our school administrators, municipalities, and politicians implement these preventative measures. Our children’s health cannot wait. ~ Caroline Bonfield, Environment Maine, Portland
On a Canoe Trip Along the U.S.-Canada Border, Solitude and Shooting Stars
New York Times - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

Fog flowed from the mountains into Spednic Lake. The eastern sky was an arc of amber light. Wind roaring through the trees was thick with the dank scent of lake water turning over. Northern Maine gets cold in early October, and I had spent most of the night shivering beneath clear skies and a swirl of stars. The Milky Way ran exactly over the middle of the campsite, perpendicular to the stream. The last thing I saw before falling asleep was a shooting star splitting the sky in two. This was day three of a 4,000-mile journey along the United States-Canada boundary.
Oil pipeline and prospect of expansion hold back development, South Portland official testifies
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

Loading tankers with crude oil on South Portland’s eastern waterfront would flout the city’s comprehensive plan and further stunt economic development in a region that’s otherwise booming, the city’s planning director testified Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland. Portland Pipe Line Corp. is challenging the city’s “Clear Skies” ordinance, which effectively blocked the company from reversing the flow of a 236-mile underground pipeline that has carried foreign crude from harbor terminals in South Portland to refineries in Montreal since World War II. The South Portland City Council banned bulk loading of crude oil on the city’s waterfront in 2014.
Golden confirmed as Democratic nominee in Maine’s 2nd District
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

Assistant Maine House Majority Leader Jared Golden will be Democrats’ nominee to run against U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin in the 2nd Congressional District in November after the Maine secretary of state released unofficial ranked-choice voting tallies on Wednesday. Golden, 36, of Lewiston dispatched conservationist Lucas St. Clair of Hampden after the first round of ranked-choice tallying, winning 54 percent of votes to St. Clair’s 46 percent.
Mills wins Maine Democratic gubernatorial nomination after ranked-choice count Secretary of State tabulation of ranked-choice voting
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

Attorney General Janet Mills won Maine’s 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nomination after unofficial ranked-choice counts from the state were released on Wednesday, defeating attorney Adam Cote and five others after last week’s elections. While Republicans picked businessman Shawn Moody for governor in a landslide on Election Day, Democrats had to wait for Mills of Farmington to be declared the winner.
Panel urged to reconsider proposed development rules for Maine woods
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

Approximately 100 people attended a public hearing held in Brewer Wednesday by the Land Use Planning Commission to solicit comment on a proposal that would change the commission’s development restrictions in the state’s Unorganized Territory, which comprises of more than 10 million acres of land — mostly woods — that lie outside the boundaries of Maine’s cities and towns. Many who spoke said the proposal could rapidly increase the pace and scope of development in the UT at the expense of nearby towns, some of which have suffered economically with the decline of Maine’s paper mill industry. Development in rural Maine should be encouraged in existing towns and not in abutting unorganized townships, they said.
Conservationists and Others Voice Concern Over Development Proposals For Rural Maine
Maine Public - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

For more than 40 years, development proposals in Maine's unorganized townships have been handled in a straightforward way: new construction had to be located within one road mile of a similar existing development. But rule changes before the state's Land Use Planning Commission could affect more than two million acres in northern and western Maine. Nearly 100 people packed a hall in Brewer Wednesday for the only public hearing LUPC has scheduled prior to an expected vote on the plan this fall. The so-called one mile adjacency rule has worked well, according to many residents of the unorganized territories. But developers who are eager to profit prefer to see new developments allowed 10 miles from rural hubs and two miles from public roads.
LePage Says He Stalled Agreement For State To Take Over Kennebec River Gorge From CMP
Maine Public - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

Governor Paul LePage says he is stalling completion of an eight-year old state agreement to take ownership of the scenic Kennebec River Gorge – land that is now owned by Central Maine Power. LePage says, “There’s a law that says that Central Maine Power’s required to give the Kennebec Gorge to the state of Maine; they’re just going to donate it to the state of Maine. And they came in and said ‘why aren’t you accepting it?’ I said ‘because it comes off the tax rolls. If you agree to pay the taxes on it, I’ll take the land."
LePage Says He Doesn't Support Trump Tariffs
Maine Public - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

Governor Paul LePage says that while he supports Donald Trump and his administration, he has does not support tariffs, which he says can't work because the U.S. is too big of a user of world commodities. LePage has long opposed tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber, which he has said has led to "devastating" job losses in Maine.
Land Use Planning Commission Holds Public Hearing on Major Policy Change
WABI-TV5 - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

Maine's Land Use Planning Commission held a public hearing in Brewer today about changing the adjacency principle, a policy guiding where new development can occur in Northern Maine. The current policy restricts rezoning and development to within one mile by road of existing developments of a similar type. Opponents of the proposal say the current rule discourages sprawl and protects forest habitats. They say the changes would open two million acres of the North Woods to development.
Rabid animals bite two people, pets in coastal Maine town
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

Two Brunswick residents and two dogs have been bitten by two rabid animals in the past few days, and Brunswick police are warning people to vaccinate their pets and stay away from wildlife. At 7 a.m. Monday, police went to Woodland Drive where a 72-year-old woman had been bitten by a gray fox. Police killed the fox, which was later retrieved by game wardens and taken to Augusta for rabies testing. Earlier in the week, a skunk attacked two dogs on High Street. The dogs are now quarantined.
Shad and stripers are in, so it’s time to get fishing!
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

The shad have returned to the mighty Penobscot River. So have the stripers. And it’s prime time to start thinking about fishing for them.
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