July 16, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Wednesday, July 11, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond). We have posted summaries and links to over 50,000 news articles and announcements. We also post breaking stories and exclusives. Be sure to check not only today's news, but take a look at the headlines from the past several days as well. Articles often come to our attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. ~ Jym St. Pierre, Editor
Confronting Rising Seas on Island and Coastal Communities, Jul 18
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 11, 2018 

Susie Arnold, Ph.D., Marine Scientist at the Island Institute will discuss the predicted impacts of sea level rise on homes, businesses, and working waterfronts. At Island Institute, Rockland, July 18, 10:30 am.
Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail Festival, Jul 18-21
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 11, 2018 

The festival is a celebration of the Maine Woods and commemorates the history of the Wabanaki people and poet, philosopher, and naturalist Henry David Thoreau’s three trips into the Maine Woods.
Rare Ecosystems of the Downeast Lakes, Jul 17
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 10, 2018 

Justin Schlawin, Maine Natural Areas Program ecologist, will identify many special places in and around the Downeast Lakes Community Forest. At Grand Lake Stream School Building, July 17, 6 pm. Sponsored by Downeast Lakes Land Trust.
Forest Management for Wildlife Habitat, Jul 13
Event - Posted - Friday, July 6, 2018 

Learn about wildlife biology in eastern Maine and tour the habitat management techniques used at Downeast Lakes Land Trust. At Grand Lake Stream School, July 13, 9 am - 1 pm.
Former Maine Warden to speak at Rangeley, Jul 11
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 4, 2018 

Former game warden Daren Worcester will discuss his book “Open Season: True Stories of the Maine Warden Service,” which deals with a time before reality TV, GPS devices and dashboard computers, a time of coming of age for the Maine Warden Service. At Rangeley Public Library, July 11, 6 pm.
A White Mountain National PARK, Jul 10
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 3, 2018 

Stuart Weeks and Michael Kellett discuss the vision of creating a White Mountain National Park. At Concord Free Public Library, Concord, MA, July 10, 7 pm.
Swanville Fern Walk, Jul 10
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 3, 2018 

Learn about ferns with botanist Hildy Ellis. At Thanhauser-Chunn Farm, Swanville, July 10, 10 am - noon. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
CREA SummerFest, Jul 8
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 1, 2018 

Cathance River Education Alliance holds an evening featuring dinner, auction, and dancing to celebrate its accomplishments and support its future. At Maine Maritime Museum, Bath, July 8.
Native Gardening and Biodiversity Matter, Jul 5
Event - Posted - Friday, June 29, 2018 

Noted author, photographer and dynamic speaker, Doug Tallamy, will discuss his book, “Bringing Nature Home,” an invaluable resource for professionals and home gardeners who are looking for ways to improve backyard habitat for wildlife — from insects to songbirds and beyond. At Rockport Opera House, July 5, 7 pm.
Imagine the Maine Woods National Park art exhibit, July 2-30
Announcement - Wednesday, June 27, 2018 

View the wild faces and places of the proposed 3.2 million acre Maine Woods National Park through a fine-art photography exhibit. At Camden Library, July 2-30. Opening reception July 5, 4-5 pm. Multi-media presentation, July 24.
Field Trip: Capt. Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge, Jul 1
Event - Posted - Sunday, June 24, 2018 

Explore two town-owned properties in Brunswick for breeding and migrant birds: Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge Wetland Park on the Androscoggin River. July 1, 6:30 – 11 am. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
Paddle events on Orland River Day, June 30
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 23, 2018 

Cheri Domina of Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust and Karen Francoeur of Castine Kayak Adventures will lead canoers and kayakers on the scenic route to the Orland River Day festivities June 30 by joining the annual alewife run from Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery to Orland Village.
Raising Outsiders, Jun 29
Event - Posted - Friday, June 22, 2018 

Three Maine authors will discuss “How to get your kids unplugged and outdoors.” At L.L.Bean, Freeport, June 29, 7-8 pm.
Kids in Nature Program, July Saturdays
Announcement - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

Hirundo Wildlife Refuge, Old Town, offers a Kids in Nature program for youth ages 9-12 9 am-noon Saturdays beginning July 14. Each week, Hirundo staff will provide guided adventures that are educational and fun. $12 per child.
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News Items
Bridgton reopens town beach after lake water passes contamination test
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 10, 2018 

Bridgton officials reopened a swimming area Tuesday after tests showed the water is safe, according to the town. Woods Pond Beach was closed Friday afternoon after multiple people reported becoming ill with gastrointestinal symptoms after swimming there earlier in the week.
Maine regulators broaden audit of CMP to include the company’s customer service
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 10, 2018 

The Maine Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday authorized Liberty Consulting Group, the Pennsylvania company hired to investigate CMP, to expand its audit to include the company’s customer service and communications in addition to the billing and metering issues raised after tens of thousands of customers saw their monthly bills increase significantly. The commission is currently conducting its own investigation of CMP’s metering, billing and customer service performance, in tandem with the Liberty audit.
Death of loon angers opponents of boat races on lake in Standish
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 10, 2018 

The death of a loon on Watchic Lake in Standish is fueling calls for the state to change its rules so that wildlife is protected from high-speed boat races. “There’s no consideration for the wildlife,” said Kim Lajoie, who owns a home on Watchic Lake. “There’s no consideration for the people that live around the lake. Every lake in the state is vulnerable because of the way the permit is issued.” But the organizer of the boat race, Shawn Cavanaugh, and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife say there is no evidence that directly connects the loon’s death to the event.
Editorial: State needs an accountable job incentive program that isn’t outmoded
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 10, 2018 

When it comes to offering incentives to attract or retain jobs in rural areas, Pine Tree Zones are the most impressive trinket the state can dangle in front of a business that is considering moving to Maine or leaving for greener pastures. But without any real data about how many jobs are actually attributable to the program, anecdotes don’t mean much. Maine can’t afford to waste any of the Pine Tree Zone budget, and it doesn’t make sense to cling to an ineffective program just because it’s all we’ve got.
Letter: Insist that next EPA administrator puts people before polluters
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 10, 2018 

After strong grassroots resistance to his radical policies, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has resigned. Pruitt was subject to 13 federal investigations into his ethics and conduct, and had accumulated a track record of abuses of power ranging from bizarre to illegal. However, his likely replacement is little better. Andrew Wheeler, acting EPA administrator, is a former coal industry lobbyist who concurs absolutely with the Trump administration’s policy of rejecting public health in favor of fossil fuel interests. Wheeler will continue the culture of cronyism and corruption that Pruitt fostered at the EPA. It is our responsibility to learn from the ghastly mistake that was Pruitt’s appointment and urge our senators to demand an EPA administrator who prioritizes the people, not polluters. ~ Sam Matey, Gorham
Livermore board OKs cameras at town beaches
Sun Journal - Monday, July 9, 2018 

Livermore Selectpersons agreed Monday night to install surveillance cameras at town beaches on Round Pond and Brettuns Pond to address littering and loitering issues. The cameras are in response to complaints last month of a dead cat, bags of human feces, dirty diapers and used needles left at the beaches, and vandalism to picnic tables. Selectmen have considered closing the beaches.
Lawmakers save lead paint program
Sun Journal - Monday, July 9, 2018 

By a lopsided margin, legislators agreed Monday to override a veto by Gov. Paul LePage that threatened to derail a new lead abatement initiative that proponents said will pump hundreds of thousands of dollars into efforts in Lewiston and Auburn to remove dangerous lead paint in old houses.
Two familiar names look to use business space on Portland waterfront
Portland Press Herald - Monday, July 9, 2018 

Business owners want the Portland Planning Board to approve a change of use at two industrial spaces on the western waterfront. Tod Dana, owner of Asia West, a furniture and decor store on Commercial Street, has applied to convert a 13,880-square-foot wooden building at 128 Cassidy Point Drive into a warehouse, office and small manufacturing space. In a building across the street, Cyrus Hagge, a developer and owner of Project Management Inc., plans to reuse the 5,105-square-foot former CoachWorks building at 121 Cassidy Point Drive for a marine services business.
Lawmakers extend controversial Pine Tree Development Zone tax breaks for 3 years
Portland Press Herald - Monday, July 9, 2018 

Maine lawmakers have enacted a bill to extend the life of a controversial economic development program that has created hundreds of tax havens for businesses in Maine. The Pine Tree Development Zone program was set to expire at the end of this year, but its expiration date has been extended by three years to Dec. 31, 2021, and additional reporting requirements have been added for the estimated 200 businesses that benefit from the program statewide. Critics of the program have said it amounts to corporate welfare, but supporters have said it helps Maine compete for businesses. The Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability could not determine how many jobs, if any, the 15-year-old tax break program had created.
Virtual runs from Acadia to Katahdin mark amazing journeys, raise funds
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Monday, July 9, 2018 

Since last August, the more than 150 participants from around the country in the Cadillac to Katahdin race have helped raise $800 for three official charities benefiting from the race: Friends of Acadia, Millinocket Memorial Library and Our Katahdin. At the same time, they have collectively logged more than 59,000 miles on the virtual race route, back and forth between Cadillac and Katahdin; made real and virtual friends along the way; and accomplished other personally meaningful goals, whether raising funds for other causes or meeting a health and fitness goal.
Governor vetoes moose bill
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, July 9, 2018 

Governor Paul LePage has vetoed a moose bill. The bill requires the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to take some moose hunting permits from those that go to nonresidents and issue them to hunting lodges. It’s designed to help save our lodges, many of which are very challenged these days, especially if they are only focused on hunting and fishing. The legislature will reconvene on July 9 and will vote to either sustain the Governor’s veto or override it.
Fireworks set off alarms in Scarborough after truckloads of debris found on beach
Portland Press Herald - Monday, July 9, 2018 

Public works employees removed two truckloads of fireworks debris from Pine Point Beach early Thursday morning in the wake of the July Fourth holiday. Spent fireworks canisters, busted beach chairs, plastic bits and other remnants of untold good times had been strewn across one of southern Maine’s most popular beaches. It was a surprising amount of trash considering that fireworks are prohibited on the town’s beaches.
L.L. Bean drops credit card vendor that provides hundreds of jobs in western Maine
Portland Press Herald - Monday, July 9, 2018 

Citi Retail Services, a branch of Citibank, will take over the existing $1.5 billion L.L. Bean co-brand credit card portfolio from Barclaycard US, the credit card wing of UK-based Barclays bank. No changes are planned at this time at the call center Barclays operates, which employs as many as 500 people in Wilton. L.L. Bean spokeswoman Carolyn Beem said, “After a rigorous selection process we selected Citi because of the significantly enhanced customer benefits.”
Former seafood company manager says he was fired after reporting illegal practices
Portland Press Herald - Monday, July 9, 2018 

The former general manager of a Spruce Head Island seafood company claims he was fired after raising concerns to the president of the parent corporation about illegal actions that included repackaging expired seafood as new. The claims are included in a lawsuit filed by Corey Thompson of St. George against Atwood Lobster, LLC et al. The attorney representing Atwood Lobster and the related firms said the companies deny any violation of the law when it terminated Thompson’s employment. Attorney Tawny Alvarez of Portland said the companies also deny claims made by Thompson about repackaging expired seafood.
Free online burn permits to continue after LePage veto overruled
Kennebec Journal - Monday, July 9, 2018 

Free online burn permits will continue to be available through private vendors now that state lawmakers have overwhelmingly overridden a veto by Gov. Paul LePage of a bill designed to preserve that resource for Maine residents.
Editorial: America deserves an EPA administrator who works for them, not Trump or industry
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 9, 2018 

Scott Pruitt resigned Thursday as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Not only did he have little regard for protecting the environment, much like his boss, he also was intent on aggrandizing himself and his family, even if it is against government rules. The American people deserve an EPA that protects the environment and, hence, our health and well-being. Maine’s senators, Collins and King, are right to demand that a new, permanent head of the agency meet this standard. In addition, the American public should not be expected to tolerate being ripped off by government officials who work on their behalf. The new head of the EPA must have much higher ethical standards than Pruitt.
Editorial: Next EPA chief must clean up Pruitt’s mess
Portland Press Herald - Monday, July 9, 2018 

Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, resigned last week, finally overcome by a torrent of scandals. But before he used the EPA as his own personal assistant and ATM, resulting in no fewer than a dozen federal investigations, Pruitt was a horrible fit for an agency whose mission is “to protect human health and the environment.” In his time as the nation’s top enforcer of environmental standards, Pruitt handed the keys over to the fossil fuel and chemical industries. He leaves the EPA greatly diminished. The Senate, which will confirm his successor, should demand that Trump’s nominee be dedicated to restoring it.
Annual loon count to take stock of Maine's 'sentinel species for healthy lakes'
Forecaster - Sunday, July 8, 2018 

Rising early on the third Saturday in July has become a tradition for thousands of Mainers who participate in the annual count to determine the health of the state’s loon population. “Loon counters have an endless enthusiasm for loon conservation,” said Susan Gallo, wildlife biologist at Maine Audubon. She said the annual count often has multiple generations of families taking part, and has also become a chance for neighbors to meet and share their love of loons. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the count.
Maine, EPA, tribes spar over water quality rules
Associated Press - Sunday, July 8, 2018 

The state of Maine is locked in a legal battle with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a pair of American Indian tribes about the way clean water standards apply in and around tribal lands. Maine is arguing in the lawsuit that the EPA is unfairly imposing heightened water quality standards in the tribal areas. The lawsuit has attracted the attention of Maine’s forest products and paper industries, because clean water standards play a role in industries’ ability to discharge material into rivers. The Penobscot Nation, which gave one of Maine’s major rivers its name, has been involved in other court disputes over water stewardship in the past. The tribe sued Maine in federal court with a claim that the Penobscot River was part of its reservation, but lost.
Neighbors oppose massive mixed-use Falmouth project
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, July 8, 2018 

Light and noise pollution, traffic congestion and environmental impacts are among the concerns residents are raising about an ambitious mixed-use project planned along Route 1 in Falmouth. “We are not anti-business or anti-development in any way,” said Jane Begert, spokeswoman for the neighbors. “We think a village center with mixed uses as defined in the current (Comprehensive Plan) will be positive for the residents and businesses of Falmouth. The development proposed, however, does not conform to the existing zoning in terms of the scale and uses.”
Get busy hitting the trails of Topsham’s newest park
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, July 8, 2018 

This is not a race. It’s more like a series of fun runs, sponsored by The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and running, pun intended, once monthly through September – every second Thursday. You’ll get to explore the trail systems along the Cathance River, catch some views and maybe make a few new running buddies.
Column: Ecology reminds us that we’re all connected
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, July 8, 2018 

The United States, once held up as a beacon of democracy, has a president wielding degrading language like a blunt instrument, eager to inflame racial tensions for what he perceives as political gain. As dangerous and offensive as his epithets are, it’s important to see the Twitter taunts as evidence of a more entrenched problem: the all-too-human hubris that exacerbates countless societal and environmental problems. Our species’ conviction of superiority places “lesser” species and the physical world literally “at our disposal,” creating a world of throwaway people and resources. It lets us discount destruction wrought downstream – whether that harm occurs in local waters, to distant workers or to generations not yet born. ~ Marina Schauffler
Column: When your to-do list includes helping to save 10,000 acres
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, July 8, 2018 

When we got the Trust for Public Land’s announcement late last month about 10,000 newly protected acres of land along the Appalachian Trail in western Maine, we asked ourselves a really basic question: Isn’t the AT already uber protected? We called the trust’s Portland-based project manager, Betsy Cook, to get an answer, and ended up learning a lot more about her work as well the college job that hooked her on a career in land conservation. ~ Mary Pols
Letter: Maine’s ‘adjacency policy’ requires our protection
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, July 8, 2018 

We in Maine enjoy being able to see moose and bear, to go camping, fishing, hiking and hunting, especially in remote wilderness areas. A big reason is that Maine’s current and longstanding “adjacency policy” serves our state well. Large tracts of the north country have been protected from sprawling development, where we can still “get away from it all,” and where animals needing large wilderness areas can survive. The Land Use Planning Commission now proposes allowing development to go 10 miles from the outer boundaries of “rural hubs” and 2 miles from public roads. Close to 2 million acres of Maine’s North Woods are targeted to become “primary locations” for development. ~ Cole Chunn, Registered Maine Guide, Waldo
Maine game wardens charge 8 with boating under the influence
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, July 7, 2018 

Eight people were arrested for boating while intoxicated on lakes, ponds and rivers and hundreds of others were issued summonses and warnings during a three-day campaign to curb the use of alcohol while boating, the Maine Warden Service said.
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