December 11, 2018  
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Great Winter Treks, Dec 18
Event - Posted - Tuesday, December 11, 2018 

Aislinn Sarnacki talks about great winter treks in Maine. At Orono Public Library, December 18, 6 pm.
Polar Bear Dip & Dash, Dec 31
Event - Posted - Tuesday, December 11, 2018 

A benefit for the Natural Resource Council of Maine’s work to fight climate change. At East End Beach, Portland, December 31, pre-register.
Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Monday, December 10, 2018 

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). 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
2019 Acadia Artist-in-Residence Program
Announcement - Monday, December 10, 2018 

Art and artists have played a key role in the history of Maine’s Downeast Region, and the founding of Acadia National Park. The Artist-in-Residence program is dedicated to creating new ways for visitors to experience Acadia through the arts. Deadline to apply online for 2019: December 31, 2018.
Lessons from Maine’s Loons and Lakes, Dec 13
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 6, 2018 

Hear new executive director of the Maine Lakes Society and long-time director of Maine Audubon’s Loon Count Susan Gallo talk about the results of the 2018 Maine Loon Count and what it means for one of Maine’s most important and revered habitats. At Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, December 13, Maine Audubon members $12, nonmembers $15, pre-register.
Yale Climate Change and Health Certificate
Announcement - Thursday, December 6, 2018 

Yale School of Public Health’s 18-week, fully online, Climate Change and Health Certificate is designed for working professionals who are eager to tackle the adverse impacts of climate change on the health of their communities. Apply for rolling admission by February 1 to be considered for the February 25, 2019, cohort.
Bird & Nature Walk, Dec 13
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 6, 2018 

At Maine Audubon’s Gilsland Farm Sanctuary, Falmouth, December 13, 8-10 am, $8.
Glacial retreat impact on Unity area, Dec 12
Event - Posted - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

Kevin Spigel, professor of Geoscience at Unity College, discusses what happened to our landscape after the glaciers retreated. At 93 Main Coffee Shop, Unity, December 12, $5 donation suggested. Sponsored by Sebasticook Regional Land Trust.
Invasive Worms, Oh My! Dec 12
Event - Posted - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

Presentation by Gary Fish, Maine State Horticulturist. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, December 12, 7 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Help wanted: Conservation forester
Announcement - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

The Maine Chapter of The Nature Conservancy seeks a Conservation Forester to manage 160,000 acres of timberland and ecological reserves at the Upper St. John River Forest. Deadline: January 3, 2019.
Tell Congress to fix our parks
Action Alert - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

Legislation to provide dedicated funding to fix the National Park Service’s $11.6 billion backlog of needed maintenance repairs is moving forward with bipartisan support. Email your members of Congress and urge them to get the bill to the president’s desk.
Stop climate denier appointment
Action Alert - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

Urge Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Angus King vote NO on Bernard McNamee for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. McNamee is a long time fossil fuel industry insider who led Texas’s lawsuit against the lifesaving Clean Power Plan. More recently, he tried to get taxpayers to foot the bill for Donald Trump’s coal plant bailout scheme while working at the U.S. Department of Energy. ~ SierraRise
Protect Nonprofit Nonpartisanship
Action Alert - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

Congress is wrapping up year-end legislation. Language in a House spending bill would make it virtually impossible for the IRS to enforce the law (Johnson Amendment) that protects charitable nonprofits from partisanship. TODAY, December 4, call and tweet members of Maine's congressional delegation: Partisanship has NO place in charitable organizations.
Restore LWCF
Action Alert - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

Since 1964, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has been the lifeblood of public land conservation and preservation in the United States. But in September, Congress let it expire, leaving the future of public lands at risk. Just a few days left to convince Congress to rescue LWCF.
Learn more about CMP's proposed transmission line, Dec 11
Event - Posted - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

CMP is proposing to build a 145-mile transmission line through Maine to deliver power from Quebec to Massachusetts. It would damage the North Woods while doing nothing to address climate change. Learn more about CMP's power line proposal. At Eureka Community Center, Durham, December 11, 6 pm. ~ Carly Peruccio, NRCM Outreach Coordinator
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News Items
No ice? No worries: Maine Ice Fishin’ Derby and Benefit is underway
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

The weather outside is getting a bit more frightful — here in Bangor we just completed the coldest November on record — but it still may be a challenge to find safe ice on local lakes and ponds. You may want to hear more about the Maine Ice Fishin’ Derby and Benefit that Wes Ashe of Brewer has organized for the past eight years. Though officially called an ice fishing derby, it takes place whether there’s any actual ice or not. Ashe doesn’t care where you fish. He doesn’t care what you fish for. All he cares about is having a bit of fun and raising some money to help out the son of a high school friend.
Millinocket Marathon expected to draw 2,600 runners in its fourth year
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

Just four years after it started, a race that was meant to breathe some new life into a former mill town continues to balloon, with this weekend’s Millinocket Marathon and Half expected to draw more than twice as many runners as last year’s race. Racers don’t need to pay a registration fee; instead, organizers have urged them to support local restaurants, shops and hotels. They started the race in 2015 with the goal of bringing economic activity to a region that was battered by the closure of two paper mills. About 50 runners participated in the race in its maiden year, 2015. The next year, more than 500 runners braved a deep freeze. Now, more than five times that number are slated to show up this year.
Cost of South Portland pier project rises with projected sea level
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

The threat of sea level rise has forced city officials to consider replacing the Portland Street Pier rather than just fixing it, a move that would cost an additional $600,000 but help ensure the facility’s long-term viability. Replacing the long-neglected municipal pier also would cost taxpayers less in the long run, engineers said, by avoiding more expensive future upgrades that would be necessary to accommodate rising tides. It’s the latest example of how communities are responding to environmental threats anticipated by federal agencies because of accelerating climate change.
Commentary: Toll of infectious disease may finally provoke action on climate change
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

Los Angeles Times - The recent National Climate Assessment paints a clear picture of a large environmental crisis that the United States confronts today. According to the report by 13 federal agencies, global warming will harm our ecosystems and our economy. Yet we continue to meet the rising temperatures, superstorms, drought and mega-fires brought about by climate change with relative inaction. Although the environmental costs of global warming may still seem distant to some Americans, there is a growing threat that many may find harder to ignore: infectious disease. The fires on the Cuyahoga River in 1969 were a watershed moment for environmental awareness. The leishmaniasis-scarred faces of Americans in the heartland may be next. ~ Fred Cohan, professor of biology and environmental studies, and Isaac Klimasmith, conservation scholar, Wesleyan University
With new state leadership, a renewed vision for clean energy in Maine
Other - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

Energy News Network - A wide-ranging coalition of Maine businesses, nonprofits, clean energy developers and others are gearing up to promote policies intended to lower emissions and drive down costs of renewable energy. During his two terms, Gov. Paul LePage promoted expanded natural gas pipelines, expanded imports of Canadian hydropower, an effective moratorium on land-based wind energy and scaling back of net metering programs to encourage solar power. “After the past eight years of the LePage administration, during which he tried to drown solar and wind in the bathtub, we knew that [the next governor] would be much more pro-renewable energy in their policy approach,” said Phil Coupe, co-founder of ReVision Energy.
Monumental Disaster at the Department of the Interior
Other - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

Scientific American - This is a tough time to be a federal scientist. The Trump administration is clamping down on science, denying dangerous climate change and hollowing out the workforces of the agencies charged with protecting American health, safety and natural resources. At the Department of the Interior, with its mission to conserve and manage America’s natural and cultural resources, the Trump’s political appointees are stumbling over one another to earn accolades for disabling agency operations. Zinke and his political staff have consistently sidelined scientists and experts while handing the agency’s keys over to oil, gas and mining interests. The only saving grace is that Zinke and his colleagues are not very good at it, and in many cases the courts are stopping them in their tracks. The effects on science, scientists and the federal workforce, however, will be long-lasting.
What Climate Change and the U.S. Federal Deficit Have in Common
Mark W. Anderson's Stirring the Pot Blog - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

The issues of global change and our growing collective indebtedness are both extreme examples of disdain for the future. They ask future humans to shoulder the costs of our enjoyment today. It is time for an attitude change. We need to ask ourselves: When it comes to issues like global change and the national debt, what would the future have us do? How will they remember us should we fail to take responsibility for the future impacts of how we act today? Do this and we will start to uphold our end of the bargain.
Climate talks focus on rules of landmark Paris accord
Associated Press - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

Negotiators at the U.N. climate talks got down to the nitty-gritty task Tuesday of finalizing the rules for the Paris accord, a landmark agreement by countries three years ago to curb global warming. The 2015 accord set a goal of keeping average global temperature increases well below 3.6 Fahrenheit by the end of the century. Scientists say the deal’s most ambitious goal – limiting the rise to 2.7 F – is still feasible, but increasingly challenging. The U.S. is taking part, despite announcing last year that it’s pulling out of the Paris accord.
Democrats select Bangor lawmaker to be Maine’s next attorney general
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

Majority Democrats in the Maine Legislature selected Rep. Aaron Frey, D-Bangor, to be the state’s next attorney general in caucus voting Tuesday, largely forecasting who will win the post when the entire Legislature votes on the position Wednesday. It took four rounds of voting to select Frey in a runoff process. He promised to be a backstop against any federal policy pushed by the administration of Republican President Trump that would undermine protection of the state’s environment or limit its response to climate change. [Maine's AG also serves on the Baxter State Park Authority.]
Bangor Lawmaker Aaron Frey On Track To Become Maine's Next Attorney General
Maine Public - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

Bangor defense attorney and state Rep. Aaron Frey won a hotly contested nomination for state attorney general on Tuesday, beating four other candidates after four rounds of voting by the Democratic caucus. Frey said he plans to join with attorneys general from other states to bring legal action to curtail efforts by the Trump administration to weaken the nation’s environmental laws. He says there are other national legal issues that pose huge risks to Maine involving the role of large corporations.
Default electricity rates in northern, eastern Maine to spike nearly 16%
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

Electricity customers in northern and eastern Maine are looking at rate increases of nearly 16 percent next year. The Maine Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday approved a rate of 8.37 cents per kilowatt-hour as the standard offer for electricity starting Jan. 1 for consumers who live in Emera Maine’s Bangor Hydro District. The current rate is 7.22 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Maine Democrats pick Bangor’s Aaron Frey to succeed Janet Mills as attorney general
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

Democrats in the Maine Legislature nominated Rep. Aaron Frey for attorney general on Tuesday, all but installing him as the replacement for Gov.-elect Janet Mills in keeping with the State House tradition of picking candidates with legislative experience. In a speech to legislative Democrats on Tuesday, Frey, a member of the Legislature’s budget-writing panel, hit Trump for policies “inconsistent with our Maine values,” citing rollbacks of environmental protections and efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Farm to Coast Mobile Kitchen opens new cafe in Biddeford
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

Chef Brian Grossman is holding a soft opening of his new cafe this week before celebrating its grand opening in Biddeford’s North Dam Mill on Monday. Grossman, owner of the Farm to Coast Mobile Kitchen food truck, said the cafe will be open Monday through Friday. After the new year, he’ll start offering once-a-week pop-up dinners. The chef ran his food truck business out of Fork Food Lab in Portland for two years, but after the community commercial kitchen announced it was closing at the end of September, he started looking for a new base of operations. Fork Food Lab has since been rescued, but Grossman decided he liked the idea of moving outside of the city, where it’s cheaper to run a business.
Ratepayers won’t be charged for CMP’s lost revenue, company official says
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

A senior executive at Central Maine Power Co. told state regulators that the company won’t ask to have ratepayers cover the costs of providing electricity to thousands of new customers who weren’t billed for their service. The Maine Sunday Telegram reported Sunday that about 3,400 new electricity customers weren’t billed for months because of delays the company had in setting up new accounts. The company captured those customers’ electricity use on their meters, but it decided to start billing only for the most recent 30-day period after the accounts were finally set up.
Fleet of 5 Maine fishing trawlers sold to New York-based equity firm
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

A New York-based private equity firm will purchase a Portland groundfish supply company that manages five of the largest fishing vessels operating in Maine. Blue Harvest Fisheries, a U.S. scallop and whitefish supplier owned by equity firm Bregal Partners, will purchase Atlantic Trawlers Fishing. Bregal Partners is a private investment firm with $600 million of committed capital funded by a six-generation German-Dutch family. Atlantic Trawlers Fishing, owned by James Odlin, operates from the Portland Fish Pier and includes the fishing vessels Nobska, Morue, Harmony, Teresa Marie III and Teresa Marie IV.
CMP power line supporters to address Somerset County commissioners
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

Supporters of the proposed 145-mile-long power line through Maine connecting hydropower assets in Quebec to the Massachusetts power grid are scheduled to address Somerset County commissioners Wednesday afternoon. Opponents of the nearly $1 billion project proposed by Central Maine Power Co. also will be on hand to voice their concerns over the project’s environmental effect as well as the effect on the area’s four-season tourism industry. A 4,000-member group called Say No to NECEC is calling on county commissioners to rescind their earlier vote to support the project.
Invasive longhorned tick found for 1st time in New England
Associated Press - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

An invasive tick species native to Asia that’s been spreading across the eastern United States has been found for the first time in New England. The longhorned tick was spotted in Connecticut this fall, marking the first finding of the pest in New England. The tick is known for transmitting disease to livestock and wild animals.
Pressing ahead
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

After installing new printing presses at its South Portland facility, Alliance Press will close its Brunswick operation in early 2019, owner Reade Brower said Monday. Brower, who in recent years bought six of the seven daily newspapers in Maine as well as 19 Maine weeklies, said the 54,000-square-foot Brunswick facility would be “phased out by early 2019,” and publications currently printed there would then be printed in South Portland or Lewiston. The Bangor Daily News is the only daily newspaper in the state that Brower does not own.
State reviewing application for wind farm in Hancock County
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

The state has begun reviewing an application to develop a wind farm in northern Hancock County and is weighing whether to schedule a public hearing on the proposal, which three years ago generated concerns about its potential to kill birds and bats. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection determined in mid-November that the application from Longroad Energy to develop a 22-turbine wind farm in Eastbrook and Osborn is complete. Part of the related infrastructure for the project would be located in Aurora and in Townships 16 and 22. The current developer, the top management team of which is composed of former First Wind executives, purchased the rights to the project out of SunEdison’s 2016 bankruptcy.
What’s in store for Emera Maine after parent company sells Rumford plant
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

Emera Maine’s parent company plans to sell some of its businesses to pay for new projects, but so far, executives have shed little light on the future of the Maine utility, which has had lower earnings than expected so far this year. Emera Inc. on Nov. 26 announced it would sell its three natural gas-fired generation plants in New England, including Rumford Power, to an affiliate of The Carlyle Group, an asset management company. Emera Maine expects to invest about $75 million in 2018, primarily on transmission and distribution capital projects. However, Emera’s planned investment and growth is far higher at its Atlantic Canada and Florida affiliates.
Mills shaping her Cabinet with eye on energy, planning and opioid crisis
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

Governor-elect Janet Mills is considering elevating the Governor’s Energy Office to a Cabinet-level position, re-establishing the State Planning Office and appointing an opioid epidemic “point person” as she moves to fill her Cabinet and key positions on her executive team. She also has promised to take a new approach to problems the state is facing relating to climate change and has said she will establish an Office of Policy Innovation to provide independent analysis to her and the Legislature on a variety of state economic, community development and natural resource issues that include increasing clean-energy production.
With Route 1 challenges backing up, Scarborough and Saco join to find solutions
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

Traffic has been a perennial challenge on Route 1 in Saco and Scarborough, and officials in both communities expect more development and traffic along the busy corridor. That realization has prompted the municipalities to team up to develop a regional plan to make Route 1 safer and more accessible for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. As many as 20,000 vehicles a day pass through the busiest sections.
Regulators may make shareholders absorb cost of CMP billing delays
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

Maine’s utility regulators won’t allow Central Maine Power Co. to shift the cost for unbilled electricity to ratepayers if the company didn’t act prudently, a top Public Utilities Commission official said Monday. About 3,400 new CMP customers did not get bills for months because the company was short-handed and unable to keep up with the task of setting up new accounts. The company has said it hasn’t kept a tally of the uncollected bills and may shift the lost revenue to other customers.
Letter: There is hope in fight against climate change
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

I’m increasingly hopeful about prospects for action on climate change after witnessing the reaction by our congressional leaders to recent climate change reports from the United Nations in October, and from the U.S. National Climate Assessmentlast Friday. Thank you to the nine Maine high school students who traveled to Washington, D.C. on Nov. 12 to participate in the Citizens Climate Lobby Congressional Education Day, and to advocate for the Carbon Fee and Dividend. ~ Bob McKillop, Portland
Letter: Don’t overlook CMP project’s benefits
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

The New England Clean Energy Connect project will lower wholesale electric costs $40 million a year for 20 years. Do the math — that is a lot of savings, which is why the companies selling electricity in the wholesale market are fighting the project. Retirees like myself pay close attention to electric costs. We retirees also have grandchildren, many of whom like mine have had to move out of state for good jobs and want to return. ~ Walter Anderson, North Yarmouth
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