July 16, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond; hey, we're all connected). We have posted summaries and links to 60,000 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
‘Acadia Files’ author Coppens, Jul 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

Author Katie Coppens will conduct fun science experiments with kids of all ages. At Turner Public Library, July 23, 2 pm. Each volume of “The Acadia Files” helps young readers learn about the scientific method in fun and innovative ways by following the adventures of Acadia, a young scientist.
Help Stamp Money Out of Politics
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

The flow of cash into the pockets of politicians from lobbyists, oil and gas companies, and billionaires bent on protecting their wealth is the biggest barrier to our government's taking action on climate change, and it is up to us to put a stop to it. That is why we're asking you to join the movement protesting Big Money's death grip on our future by rubber-stamping our cash with the message "Stamp Money Out of Politics." ~ Ben & Jerry
Tell Your Representative: Invest in Clean Energy and Climate Action
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Congress must update and extend vital tax credits in four key green technology areas needed to meet our climate goals — electric vehicles, offshore wind, electric grid scale storage, and building efficiency. Without these updated credits, clean energy innovation could stall and our planet will be driven even closer to the brink of climate catastrophe. ~ Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund
Hearing on CMP billing errors, service shortcomings, rate hikes, Jul 22
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Maine Public Utilities Commission public witness hearing concerning Central Maine Power’s request to increase residential rates by over 10%, and CMP billing errors and poor customer service. At PUC, Hallowell, July 22, 6 pm.
Greenhorns summer workshops
Event - Posted - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Hear from historians, restoration ecologists, entomologists, fishermen, foresters and master craftsmen, on a wide range of topics at the intersection of the human and non-human world. Greenhorns, in Pembroke, works to create a welcoming culture for new entrants in sustainable agriculture.
Crystal Spring Farm Bee Tour, Jul 21
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

Beekeeper Ken Faulkner will explain the importance of honeybees, hive dynamics, beekeeping, honeybee history, and more. At Crystal Spring Farmers’ Market parking area, Brunswick, July 21, 10 am, free. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
Kayak to Woodward Point, Jul 21
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

Check out newly protected Woodward Point on the New Meadows River in Brunswick from the water. July 21, 2 pm, pre-register. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and Maine Coast Heritage Trust.
Climate Convergence Conference, Jul 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 13, 2019 

Explore the roots of science denial and change the nature of the public discourse regarding Climate Change. At George Stevens Academy, Blue Hill, July 20.
Loon counters needed, Jul 20
Announcement - Saturday, July 13, 2019 

Each year more than a thousand volunteer counters fan out across Maine’s lakes to help track the status of the state’s loon population. Volunteer counters are needed on a number of Hancock County lakes and ponds, July 20, 7-7:30 am.
Traveling the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Jul 19
Event - Posted - Friday, July 12, 2019 

Nicole Grohoski, GIS Specialist, Cartographer, and State Representative for District 132 will share adventures from completing the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. At Gordon’s Wharf, Sullivan, July 19, 7 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Taunton Bay and Frenchman Bay Conservancy.
Yoga on the Brunswick Mall, thru Sep 6
Event - Posted - Friday, July 12, 2019 

Classes led by Sundara Yoga’s qualified instructors. At Brunswick Town Mall lawn in front of the gazebo, every Friday (weather permitting), July 19 - September 6, 7:30 – 8:30 am, free.
Hearing on CMP billing errors, service shortcomings, rate hikes, Jul 18
Action Alert - Thursday, July 11, 2019 

Maine Public Utilities Commission public witness hearing concerning Central Maine Power’s request to increase residential rates by over 10%, and CMP billing errors and poor customer service. At UMaine at Farmington, July 18, 6 pm.
Forestry for Maine Birds, Jul 17
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

Learn how to improve habitat for priority forest birds and a variety of other wildlife species; take care of your woodland; work with other forest management goals; and enhance the value and enjoyment of Maine woodlands. At Mt. Vernon Community Center, July 17, 9:30 am - 2 pm.
Revisioning the Earth, Jul 16
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Dana Sawyer, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Religion at the Maine College of Art, will speak about Revisioning the Earth. At Harpswell Heritage Land Trust Annual Meeting, Orr’s Island Schoolhouse, July 16, 6:30 pm.
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News Items
The local cut flower industry is growing. Research shows what challenges growers will face.
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, July 13, 2019 

About 80 percent of cut flowers in the United States are imported, but the local cut flower industry in North America is growing. “I’ve seen an increase in the number of growers, especially in southern and coastal Maine,” said Matthew Wallhead, ornamental horticulture specialist at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. “It’s a result of the local food movement spilling over into the flower industry, and also the influx of people growing vegetables." The main challenge of growing in Maine is the short, cold growing season. Like with other agricultural endeavors in Maine, cut flower farms suffer from a shortage of labor.
Boston investment firm still pursuing purchase of Saddleback ski area
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, July 13, 2019 

A Boston investment firm is still negotiating to buy Saddleback ski area, but says state support for $10 million in federal tax incentives it was awarded this week are unrelated to its attempt to buy the shuttered resort. Jonathan Tower, managing partner of Arctaris Impact Fund, said his firm has been trying to buy the ski hill near Rangeley for more than a year, and is close to reaching a purchase-and-sale agreement with the Berry family, Saddleback’s owners. Maine’s third-largest ski area has been closed since after the 2014-2015 season.
Opinion: Time to speak up on CMP’s billing errors, service shortcomings and proposed rate hikes
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, July 13, 2019 

If you’re a CMP customer and you feel mistreated, now is the time to tell your story. Beginning next week, the Maine Public Utilities Commission will hold three public witness hearings concerning Central Maine Power. The hearings are related to two ongoing cases at the PUC: one related to CMP’s request to increase residential rates by over 10 percent, and the other in response to CMP customer complaints about unusually high bills, billing errors and poor customer service. The time is now for the PUC to act and to declare CMP unfit to hold a monopoly over Maine people. The regulated sale of CMP to almost any other company, whether for-profit or nonprofit, can only be an improvement. ~ Rep. Seth Berry, chair, Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee
Is a Green Future Worth Spoiling the Appalachian Trail?
Outside - Friday, July 12, 2019 

A proposed project, known as New England Clean Energy Connect, is a 145-mile transmission line winding down from the Canadian border through Maine’s forests, and would ferry hydroelectric energy from Canadian dams to the New England grid. It would cross the AT three times within a mile, impacting views from several overlooks. Dizzying in its details, the project raises questions like: Must we make major compromises to immediately combat climate change, or should we fight for our ideal solutions, even if they take longer?
Editorial: Trump greenwashed his environmental record
Bangor Daily News - Friday, July 12, 2019 

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump gave a speech about the environment, touting how he valued “clear water” and public lands. It was a speech totally divorced from reality. The Trump administration has scrapped dozens of environmental protections, pledged to remove the U.S. from a worldwide climate change agreement and tried to erase federal agency mentions of climate change. It all adds up to a distressing environmental record, despite the president’s greenwashing speech. A speech full of falsehoods and nonsensical statements does not negate any of this.
Maine regulators approve 22-turbine wind power project
Associated Press - Friday, July 12, 2019 

Maine utilities regulators have approved a long-term power contract for a 72.6-megawatt wind power project in Hancock County. The Maine Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously Friday to approve the rate terms for the development by Weaver Wind LLC. Commission Chairman Philip Bartlett said the 20-year contract has a competitive rate that will benefit ratepayers. The plan calls for 22 turbines to be installed in Eastbrook and Osborn.
Hampden waste plant’s opening is delayed, again
Bangor Daily News - Friday, July 12, 2019 

The new Hampden facility that was supposed to start taking in trash from 115 towns and cities in the Bangor area and beyond 15 months ago has missed another estimate for when it would be fully up and running. The company that’s developing the plant, Fiberight, most recently said that it would be fully online by July 1, after it was originally expected to open in April 2018. But the plant still has not reached full commercial operations and may not do so until the second or third week of August.
Column: Birders can find adventure seeking the secrets of marshes
Bangor Daily News - Friday, July 12, 2019 

Kayaks are the ultimate stealth birding vehicle, gliding almost silently into the shallowest waters, lightly brushing aside lily pads. The marsh has secrets, and it’s pretty good at keeping them. There are cool birds hiding in the reeds, and most don’t want you to know where they are. But they have one big weakness. They talk. A lot. ~ Bob Duchesne
Neighbors gear up to fight plan for 40 homes, preserve green space in Maine’s largest city
Portland Press Herald - Friday, July 12, 2019 

A developer wants to build 20 duplexes on what is now 3 acres of wooded land with a walking trail at the edge of University Park, a protected tract near Morrill’s Corner in Portland. But it is facing organized opposition from neighbors and could also rile open-space advocates in Maine’s largest city. The homes would be built on a strip of wooded, undeveloped land next to University Park, which contains 9 acres of protected woodland between Forest and Washington avenues. A popular trail, known as the Harvard Street path, skirts the park’s southern boundary and would be paved and made into a city road for the new homes.
Letter: Fight for bees
Bangor Daily News - Friday, July 12, 2019 

As Mainers, we must reconcile with the simple conclusion that we are in a state of environmental crisis. Honeybees, a cornerstone of agricultural sustainability, are being threatened by toxic pesticides known as neonicotinoids. This pesticide is typically sprayed by farmers on an industrial scale. We should be terrified. The crisis that threatens Maine’s ecological balance is upon us, as we saw 53 percent hive loss in Maine from 2016 to 2017 alone. Understand this: neglecting bee population from careless use of neonicotinoids will result in dire consequences if we do not act quickly. ~ Graham Munro-Ludders, Bath
Pingree amendment would require Pentagon to prepare for climate change
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, July 11, 2019 

Maine Rep. Chellie Pingree and a fellow Democrat in the House of Representatives have successfully added an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which, if approved, will require the Secretary of Defense to take steps to ensure that U.S. military installations are prepared to deal with natural disasters caused by climate change. Pingree and Charlie Crist, D-Florida, secured the amendment that requires the Department of Defense to account for future sea level rise and flooding risks when designing new military installations or improving existing ones. The House is scheduled to vote on passage of the NDAA on Friday.
Where you can pick blueberries in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 11, 2019 

Looking for a farm in Maine that will let you pick your own blueberries? Most places open mid to late July, but a few open early in the month and some not until the first of August.
King Criticizes DOE On Natural Gas Exports
Maine Public - Thursday, July 11, 2019 

U.S. Sen. Angus King says the Department of Energy (DOE) is allowing too much natural gas to be exported without studying its impact on domestic prices. At a hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, King blasted the DOE for continuing to increase natural gas exports. “The number of LNG terminal applications now approaches 50 or 60 percent of the total production in this country, and you’re telling me that won’t affect domestic prices? That doesn’t pass the straight face test,” King says.
Mills comes out against ‘foolish’ right whale regulations
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, July 11, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills is directing the Maine Department of Marine Resources to come up with an alternative to a federal plan to protect the endangered right whale from the state lobster industry, saying she won’t allow “foolish” regulations to make life harder for the state’s fishermen.
Bucksport salmon farm investor fails in first attempt to buy West Coast counterpart
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 11, 2019 

The investor behind an indoor salmon farm proposed for Bucksport has failed in its first attempt to become the majority owner of one of the world’s first land-based salmon farms, located on Canada’s West Coast. Members of the ‘Namgis First Nation, owners of the land-based Atlantic salmon farm Kuterra in British Columbia, rejected an offer from Emergent Holdings to buy an 88 percent stake in their company. But the deal, which Emergent pursued to give its Bucksport project the benefit of Kuterra’s experience, is not necessarily dead.
Hiker seriously injured at Grafton Notch State Park
Sun Journal - Thursday, July 11, 2019 

A 19-year-old woman reportedly suffered serious head injuries while hiking at Grafton Notch State Park on Thursday afternoon. State game wardens, Maine Forest Service personnel, Mahoosuc Rescue members and local firefighters hiked to the scene to make the rescue.
Acadia National Park ‘swamped’ with calls for assistance over July Fourth holiday
Mount Desert Islander - Thursday, July 11, 2019 

Acadia National Park’s ranger dispatch center was “swamped with calls for assistance” over the July Fourth holiday, fielding 755 radio calls and 20 emergency 911 calls on July 5 alone. Traffic, falls and heatstroke kept park officials and island rescue personnel scrambling.
Editorial: The wildfire haze has made one thing apparent: national air quality protections are important
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 11, 2019 

Wildfires raging on the other side of the continent, coupled with a particular air flow, brought smoke into Maine’s air on Wednesday. The Trump administration’s efforts to roll back Obama-era emissions standards and other air quality-related rules are anything but a breath of fresh air from an environmental policy perspective. Because of the way air pollution moves across our country, America’s clean air victories and challenges are also Maine’s. No matter the action we take here in Maine, outside forces will continue to impact our air quality. That doesn’t mean state action is meaningless or ill-advised — quite the contrary. But it does highlight the need for collective regional, national and even international work on this and other environmental issues.
Canadian company wins approval for new lobster bait fish
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, July 11, 2019 

Maine’s lobster fishermen will be able to use a new species of bait fish to try to get through a herring shortage that has troubled the industry in recent years. Lobstermen typically bait traps with Atlantic herring, but federal fishery regulators have enacted dramatic cutbacks to the catch quotas for that fish. The Maine Department of Marine Resources said Thursday it has approved the blackbelly rosefish as a new species that can be sold and used as lobster bait in the state.
Coral reefs are vanishing from tropical to more temperate waters. Climate change is to blame, Maine researcher finds.
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 11, 2019 

Climate change is causing a significant shift in coral reef populations as warmer ocean waters drive them away from the equator, a new scientific study has found. “Climate change seems to be redistributing coral reefs, the same way it is shifting many other marine species,” said Nichole Price, a senior research scientist at Maine’s Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and the lead author of the paper. “The clarity in this trend is stunning, but we don’t yet know whether the new reefs can support the incredible diversity of tropical systems.”
Editorial: Reform needed for state recycling
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, July 11, 2019 

Combined with lower recycling rates, the collapse in demand means that more material is going into incinerators and landfills, driving up the costs that recycling programs were supposed to avoid. Meanwhile, changes to consumer behavior, including online shopping, are putting more packaging material than ever into the waste stream. Clearly, something is not working. It makes sense to try something else, and a producer responsibility program would be a good place to start.
Opinion: Stopping emerald ash borer will save more in Maine than trees
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, July 11, 2019 

Brown ash trees are critically endangered throughout Maine. The emerald ash borer, a parasitic beetle that has already killed ash trees across the United States, was first detected in Maine in May 2018 – several years before it was anticipated. Faced with these ongoing threats, the Wabanaki have been leading the defense of brown ash trees in Maine. The use of brown ash wood is integral to indigenous basket-weaving traditions. ~ Grace Neumiller is a junior at Colby College, and Keller Leet-Otley and Tommaso Wagner are recent Colby graduates.
Maine delegation calls on Trump to aid lobstermen, halt whale rules
Associated Press - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

NOAA is working on a rulemaking process to help save the North Atlantic right whale, which numbers only about 400. The process is a challenge for Maine lobstermen, who are being called on to reduce trap lines in the water. Maine’s four-member delegation sent a letter to Trump on Wednesday calling the forthcoming rules “a matter of serious economic importance to the state of Maine.” The delegation says new restrictions will force “significant economic hardship” on the lobster industry without concrete evidence they will benefit the whales. Conservationists pushed back at the request. Defenders of Wildlife called it “a death sentence.”
Game wardens are on the front lines for Lyme disease
WCSH-TV6 - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

Several thousand state employees are outdoors pretty much all year long. Working in the woods and along the highway puts thousands of state employees at risk for getting a tick bite and potentially Lyme disease. Several state agencies now have policies to protect employees from ticks and ensure they get prompt medical treatment. Maine game wardens, forest rangers and Maine Department of Transportation workers are on the front lines for a tick bite. But instead of waiting for the symptoms to appear, they can get immediate medical treatment, including 21 days of antibiotics the most rigorous treatment against Lyme disease.
Major rail upgrade to serve Maine’s resurgent paper industry
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

A nearly $36 million railway upgrade is planned to improve performance of a critical line in Maine and serve the state’s resurgent pulp and paper industry. The Federal Railway Administration will cover about half of the $35.5 million being spent to replace aging rails, renovate road crossings, improve safety and fix bridges on a 75-mile stretch of line between North Yarmouth and Waterville owned by Pan Am Railways. The company will match federal funds with its own investment. The Maine Department of Transportation will contribute about $568,000 to the project, which is expected to get underway next year. Pan Am also is serving Poland Spring, which transfers bottled water from its plant in Kingfield through the railroad’s yard in Waterville and south to a Massachusetts warehouse.
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