February 22, 2019  
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News Items
How I Built This with Guy Raz: Burt's Bees
National Public Radio - Friday, February 22, 2019 

In this podcast Roxanne Quimby tells how she built Burt's Bees into a successful business. There is brief talk about Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in Maine starting at minute 48.
Editorial: Too many Maine schools still don’t test for lead
Portland Press Herald - Friday, February 22, 2019 

Not every Maine school regularly tests its water, some because municipal water systems are tested so thoroughly as a matter of course. That can provide a false sense of security for schools. While the water coming into the school may be fine, pipes and solder used in older school buildings may contain lead, which can leach it into the school’s drinking water. As one advocate at Tuesday’s hearing put it, lead is a “entirely preventable source of harm to children’s brains.” It shouldn’t take a law to make sure a school is safe; it is one of the basic duties of a school district, and in this case it can be accomplished with a cheap and easy test. But if so many schools are falling short in that duty, then the Legislature has no choice but to act.
Smoldering debris starts fire during demolition work at Bucksport mill site
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

A fire damaged part of a building being demolished at the former Verso Paper mill site on Thursday. No one was injured.
One Lobsterman Has A Creative Solution For The New, Lowered Herring Catch Limits, But Still Worries
Maine Public - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

Maine lobstermen are facing a major challenge as NOAA this month reduced the amount of Atlantic Herring fishermen can haul by more than half. Gerry Cushman, who has been a lobsterman for 30 years, and runs the Port Clyde Fisherman's Cooperative, says the federal action will have a major impact on the industry. "I decided to build a freezer. One thing is that we've been getting bait outside the states, from New Jersey, all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico, where they catch menhaden, and they freeze it, and then load it on 16-wheelers, and then you can have it delivered here in Maine. The problem is we don't have enough freezer infrastructure."
Ugly produce seems to have limited appeal, so some retailers pull it
Associated Press - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

Walmart and Whole Foods in recent years tried selling some blemished fruits and vegetables at a discount, produce they said might otherwise be trashed because it’s not quite the right size, shape or color. But the two chains and others quietly ended their tests, suggesting dented apples and undersized potatoes may not be all that appealing in stores where better looking fruits and vegetables are on display. Hannaford in Maine is among the supermarkets that have stopped carrying the imperfect fruits and vegetables.
Group that promotes development near Canada’s border is expanding
Associated Press - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

An organization that promotes economic development in areas near the Canadian border in northern New England and upstate New York is expanding the areas eligible to receive the assistance. All of Vermont is now eligible to apply for funding from the Northern Border Regional Commission. The commission is also expanding in two more counties in New Hampshire and a number of counties in New York state. The commission is a federal-state partnership that works to encourage private-sector job creation throughout portions of Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire and New York. The commission has $25 million in fiscal 2019 for eligible projects in the four states.
Editorial: More Americans are concerned about climate change. Congress should be, too.
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

A growing number of Americans are concerned — alarmed even — about climate change, a recent survey found. The good news is that as more Americans are concerned, it is more likely that needed policy changes and regulations will be put in place to slow greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, such changes need to come soon before climate changes are so severe that they cannot be slowed or mitigated. The president continues to deny the reality of climate change. That shouldn’t stop Congress from acting, however. A group of congressional Democrats have introduced a so-called Green New Deal, which aims to dramatically boost the production of renewable energy while simultaneously reducing U.S. energy use. Although the proposal is too far-reaching, it nonetheless includes many elements worthy of consideration.
Clean Energy Connect Project Will Benefit Mainers While Cutting Carbon Pollution
Conservation Law Foundation - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

Central Maine Power’s Clean Energy Connect project will build a 145-mile transmission line through Maine to connect more than 1,000 megawatts of Canadian hydropower to New England’s electrical grid. By bringing more clean energy to the region, the project will reduce our reliance on dangerous, expensive fracked gas and significantly cut climate-damaging emissions.
Opponents strategize in wake of Mills’ support of CMP transmission line
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

Opponents of a plan to build a 145-mile transmission line through the forests of Maine are pivoting their attention to other agencies after the governor signed an agreement endorsing the project that is now before state regulators. Gov. Janet Mills detailed the benefits of Central Maine Power Co.’s controversial proposal to build the line to carry hydropower from Quebec to Massachusetts Thursday, a day after she agreed to back the plan. The Natural Resources Council of Maine and a citizen group, Say No to NECEC, say the agreement struck between CMP and stakeholders does not offer enough benefits to offset the environmental impact of the project. They are focusing lobbying efforts on the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Land Use Planning Commission.
Mills, 2 Environmental Groups Back CMP’s $1 Billion Western Maine Transmission Project
Maine Public - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

Two regional environmental groups and Gov. Janet Mills' administration are signing on to Central Maine Power's bid to build a controversial new transmission line through western Maine's forests. The billion-dollar project would bring electricity from Canada’s Hydro-Quebec dam system through Maine to customers in Massachusetts. Sean Mahoney, director of the Conservation Law Foundation Maine chapter, says the project will reduce New England’s overall reliance on fossil fuels that contribute to global warming. "We think they [CLF] are flat wrong,” says Nick Bennett, a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Council of Maine.The environmental group the Acadia Center is also lending its support.
Here are details of the deal that won Janet Mills’ support for $1 billion CMP project
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

Central Maine Power’s controversial $1 billion hydropower transmission line through western Maine won major endorsements Thursday morning when a wide-ranging group of supporters, including the governor’s office, filed an agreement with regulators on a package of benefits to Mainers worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The 40-page stipulation agreement calls for a $50 million low-income customer benefits fund, a $140 million rate relief fund, a $10 million broadband fund, a $15 million heat pump fund and $10 million from Hydro-Quebec for electric vehicles.
Moose calling contest might have scared moose
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

I was a judge at last year’s Skowhegan Moose Festival. It was tough to pick the winners because all of the participants, including the kids, were exceptionally good at calling moose. Roger Lambert, Maine’s top moose hunting guide, was in charge and after the contest he led a crowd sitting in the bleachers, in an effort to set a world record for the most people moose calling simultaneously. They did set the record with 1054 people calling moose at the same time. I watched the woods behind the fairgrounds hoping a moose would step out. It didn’t happen. I decided if a moose had been in the woods and heard 1000 moose calling, it probably would’ve sprinted off to the next county!
Swedish teen leads Belgian students on 7th climate march
Associated Press - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg is joining Belgian students who are skipping classes for the seventh Thursday in a row to march through Brussels to draw more attention to fighting climate change. The 16-year-old Thunberg first addressed a European Union conference, chiding adults for their inaction in the face of such climatic global dangers. She said youngsters are being forced to skip school and protest because adults are not addressing climate issues quickly enough.
Armed with smartphones, volunteers track Casco Bay king tides as harbingers of sea-level rise
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

A growing contingent of volunteers are using their smart phones to monitor the health of Casco Bay with Friends of Casco Bay’s free Water Reporter app. Launched last summer, the app allows volunteers to upload photos and describe conditions they observe around the bay related to water pollution, acidification, algae blooms, trash, erosion, marine wildlife and now, sea-level rise. More than 80 people have downloaded the app since August, said Sarah Lyman, the group’s community engagement coordinator. The app will help people better understand their role in what’s happening in and around the bay, which is key to saving it from further degradation by human use and climate change.
Maine’s lobster industry braces for ‘catastrophic’ cuts to bait fish catch
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

For the second year in a row, federal regulators have dramatically reduced the amount of Atlantic herring fishermen can haul after scientists counted far fewer juvenile Atlantic herring in the waters from Canada to New Jersey. While determining that Atlantic herring, the chief bait used by lobstermen, is not overfished, the NOAA said “recruitment” — the number of juvenile herring — is so low that they finalized a rule reducing by more than half the amount of Atlantic herring that fishermen may catch in 2019, from 50,000 metric tons to 21,000 metric tons. The new limit has prompted predictions of bait shortages and sky-high prices and has members of Maine’s fishing community describing the situation as “catastrophic” and “devastating.”
Opinion: Let’s work toward one Maine, with environmental justice for all
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

Let’s consider Maine’s unfinished environmental justice agenda. Three groups in Maine especially deserve environmental justice: lower-income rural families, new immigrants and the American Indians indigenous to our state. A new environmental justice commitment for Maine should:
• Provide access to safe food and drinking water for all children in rural Maine.
• Expand access to locally grown, fresh food.
• Ensure homes free from lead and mold for new Mainers.
• Restore tribal sustenance fishing rights, including tougher mercury standards.
Protecting the most vulnerable populations, we also ensure a healthier environment for all of us. ~ Michael Belliveau, Environmental Health Strategy Center, and Alain Nahimana, Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center
Letter: Green New Deal not only option on table
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

The Green New Deal is a bold set of ideas for meeting the multiple challenges that climate change poses. However, it is not the “only proposal on the table.” In contrast, the Energy Innovation and Climate Dividend Act (H.R. 763), recently introduced in the U.S. House, addresses climate change head on. We need a big-tent, all-of-the-above approach to address climate change. We’re getting there. ~ Peter Garrett, Citizens Climate Lobby in Maine, Winslow
Letter: LUPC adjacency concerns
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

The Land Use Planning Commission’s new proposed adjacency rules aren’t the right direction for Maine. I own a small business in Millinocket’s downtown, and the town is working to attract people and development into Millinocket. LUPC’s proposed rules could undercut the potential of Millinocket and the region. Allowing large-scale development to go as many as 7 miles outside Millinocket’s boundaries — despite the fact that the roads leading to Baxter State Park and Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument are undeveloped forests — isn’t consistent with building strong local economies. ~ Anita Mueller, Millinocket
‘Skip the Straw’ campaign gains momentum in Kennebunk
Journal Tribune - Wednesday, February 20, 2019 

Since last fall, representatives of The Planeteers of Southern Maine, a grass roots environmental action alliance, have visited 100 restaurants and coffee houses in Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Arundel and Wells and asked owners and managers to agree to forgo plastic straws. Friday is National “Skip the Straw” Day and the project coincides with that effort to bring attention to the environmental impact of single-use plastic items and curb litter and plastic ocean pollution.
Scientist who popularized term ‘global warming’ dies at 87
Washington Post - Wednesday, February 20, 2019 

Wallace Broecker, a geochemist who issued early warnings on global warming – a term he helped popularize in the 1970s – and later developed a sweeping, widely accepted model for how the oceans circulate heat and affect the earth’s climate, died Feb. 18 at a hospital in Manhattan. He was 87.
Trump floats idea of climate committee, helmed by critic of mainstream global warming research
Associated Press - Wednesday, February 20, 2019 

The Trump administration is exploring the idea of forming a special committee to look at climate change and security risks, with the effort being coordinated by a physicist who rejects mainstream climate science. A “discussion paper” asks federal officials from an array of government agencies to weigh in on a proposed executive order that President Trump would sign establishing the “Presidential Committee on Climate Security.” A memo to those federal officials asks them to direct any questions to William Happer, 79, a member of Trump’s National Security Council and a well-known critic of mainstream climate science findings. “Happer would be a fringe figure even for climate skeptics,” said retired U.S. Navy Rear Adm. David Titley, now a professor of meteorology at Pennsylvania State University.
Opponents, supporters ramp up efforts to influence corridor project’s fate
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, February 20, 2019 

As a decision on a 145-mile Central Maine Power transmission corridor nears, both opponents and supporters are ramping up efforts to influence the outcome. A record number of comments have been posted on the Maine Public Utilities Commission’s online docket, pushing 1,000 by Wednesday morning. The vast majority are against the project.
Mills throws support behind CMP’s controversial plan for transmission line
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, February 20, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills has signed onto a deal to support Central Maine Power’s controversial proposal to build a 145-mile transmission line to carry hydropower from Quebec to Massachusetts. The negotiated settlement between the executive branch, a utility watchdog, business and labor groups, and some environmental groups was finalized Wednesday and is expected to be filed with the Public Utilities Commission on Thursday. The Natural Resources Council of Maine calculated the $258 million payout would be worth only $108 million in today’s dollars. That would lower monthly household electric bills by only 6 cents.
CMP “Settlement” Less Than Meets the Eye, Opposition to Corridor Continues to Grow
Natural Resources Council of Maine - Wednesday, February 20, 2019 

A settlement package being offered by Central Maine Power for its highly contentious corridor project offers Maine people much less than meets the eye and is not worth the damage and destruction that would be done to the North Woods. The purported settlement would not address the fundamental flaw in the transmission project: it would harm Maine substantially—from the state’s forests, waters, and wildlife to local clean energy projects and jobs—without benefitting the climate.
Belgrade to look at necessity of drafting houseboat ordinance
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, February 20, 2019 

A houseboat owner has approached Belgrade wondering if regulations exist for mooring — and town officials are wondering if an ordinance is needed for doing so. “We need to figure it out before something happens, not be forced to deal on the fly,” Selectperson Melanie Jewell said. Belgrade shoreland owners pay higher taxes for access to and views of the water — views some property owners might not have if a boat moors nearby. Sidney and Livermore Falls are among inland towns that have created ordinances.
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