June 19, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Wednesday, June 19, 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
Save Right Whales
Action Alert - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

New England’s iconic whale is on the brink of extinction. A bill in Congress called Scientific Assistance for Very Endangered (“SAVE”) Right Whales could help this key species recover. ~ Conservation Law Foundation
Water: What is has to teach us, Jun 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 18, 2019 

Learn about fresh water ecosystems and new aquaculture operations in the MidCoast region. At Topsham Public Library, June 25, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Proposed Coyote Center, Jun 24
Event - Posted - Monday, June 17, 2019 

Biologist Geri Vistein will share an informative film about the future Coyote Center in Maine, followed by a discussion of Maine’s coyotes. At Lithgow Public Library, Augusta, June 24, 6:30 pm.
Teen Wilderness Expedition, July 23-25
Announcement - Sunday, June 16, 2019 

The Teen Wilderness Expedition is a 3-day, 2-night, all-inclusive adventure for 12-16 year olds at Little Lyford Lodge, July 23-25. Offered by Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District and Appalachian Mountain Club.
Maine State Museum hosts Bike Day, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

Join the Maine State Museum, Bicycle Coalition of Maine and the Maine State Library in a free family event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote and learn about the benefits of safe, relaxed bike riding. At Maine State Museum, June 22, 10 am - 1 pm.
Woodland Management with Birds in Mind, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

A Forestry for Maine Birds workshop for landowners, foresters and loggers interested in learning how they can support Maine’s forest songbirds. At Somerset County Cooperative Extension office, Skowhegan, and on the adjacent Yankee Woodlot Demonstration Forest, June 22, 9 am - noon.
Hike Puzzle Mt., Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

A moderate to strenuous hike of 8.5 miles. Cross several exposed granite boulders and ledges offering views of the Sunday River ski area, Grafton Notch, and the Presidentials, June 22, pre-register. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Androscoggin River Canoe & Kayak River Race, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

This event is open to all to launch canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, (and more) into the Androscoggin River and complete one of three courses of varying length and challenge. At Festival Plaza, Auburn, June 22, 9 am, $15 for single paddler, $25 for a double, benefits Androscoggin Land Trust.
Plants of Corea Heath, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

Join Jill Weber, botanist and co-author of The Plants of Acadia National Park, to learn about carnivorous plants, orchids, stunted trees and shrubs and cotton-grass. At Corea Heath, Goldsboro, June 22, 8:30 am. Sponsored by Downeast Audubon.
Maine Wildlife Park open house, Jun 21
Event - Posted - Friday, June 14, 2019 

The Maine Wildlife Park in Gray will hold an open house with free admission, June 21, 5-8 pm. Feeding times for moose, lynx, foxes, cougars, vultures and bears will be posted.
Call for a presidential primary debate on climate change
Action Alert - Thursday, June 13, 2019 

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has rejected a presidential primary debate on climate change. 15 Democratic presidential candidates have joined the call. So can you. ~ CREDO Action
Trekking through Time
Announcement - Thursday, June 13, 2019 

From June through October, Lakes Environmental Association, Loon Echo Land Trust, Greater Lovell Land Trust, Upper Saco Valley Land Trust, and Western Foothills Land Trust will host the Trekking through Time Series. Once a month throughout the summer and early fall, each organization will host a historical tour of one of its conservation properties.
Help document impact on shell middens, Jun 18
Announcement - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 

Many cultural artifacts of Maine's first coastal residents are preserved in shell middens, but these sites are disappearing as sea levels rise, collectors dig into the middens, and visitors walk on them. Maine Midden Minders is developing a database of erosion conditions at middens. Volunteer training at Coastal Rivers’ Education Center, Damariscotta, June 18, 3-7 pm.
“Dog-Friendly Hikes in Maine” book launch, Jun 18
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 

Book signing and presentation for “Dog-Friendly Hikes in Maine” by Aislinn Sarnacki, which contains detailed descriptions and maps of 35 hikes across Maine that are ideal for dogs and their owners. At Epic Sports, Bangor, June 18, 5-7:30 pm.
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News Items
Gorham village is redeveloping, but 'there's room for more'
Mainebiz - Wednesday, February 20, 2019 

The Station Square mixed-use development is hard to miss in Gorham's village. While it's on Railroad Avenue, tucked behind the Hannaford supermarket, its clock tower rises above the surrounding buildings. But it was a much smaller project in 2015 by Gorham-based Great Falls Construction, Station Square's developer, that started the village on a development renaissance. The tear-down of a long-vacant Mobile station and construction of a four-unit retail building at 109 Main St.
Rep. Doudera navigates first legislative session with range of bills: ferry, taxes, paths
Penobscot Bay Pilot - Wednesday, February 20, 2019 

Rep. Vicki Doudera, D-Camden, is moving fast as she makes introductions in Augusta, and presents legislation reflecting constituent wishes. Five of her six initiatives now bills. Doudera, who represents Camden, Islesboro and Rockport, sits on the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee, where, she said: “we tackle policy relating to energy resources, efficiency and conservation, natural gas, renewables, Maine’s energy mix, telecommunications, emergency services and water and sewer utilities."
Do we have too many turkeys?
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, February 20, 2019 

Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife doesn’t know how many wild turkeys we have, but they are pretty sure we need more turkeys in some parts of the state. I know a lot of people who think we have far too many turkeys, and the legislature this session will consider a lot of bills seeking to increase the turkey harvest. DIFW Assistant Regional Wildlife Biologist Allen Starr wrote an interesting column about DIFW’s initiative to improve their methods of counting and managing turkeys. Today I am going to share Allen’s column with you. Here it is.
Blue Hill inventor who ‘revolutionized water purification’ dies of cancer at age 60
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 20, 2019 

Miles Maiden, inventor of the SteriPEN and other ground-breaking, solar-based water purification technologies, has died. The College of the Atlantic graduate died of cancer on Feb. 5 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Maiden was 60. His SteriPEN, a hand-held ultraviolet water purifier used by outdoorsmen and international travelers, was named by Time magazine one of “the 100 greatest and most influential gadgets from 1923 to the present.” Today, SteriPEN products are sold worldwide.
Angus King wants the US to unplug parts of electric grid
Washington Post - Wednesday, February 20, 2019 

Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, says the United States can learn something from Ukraine when it comes to cybersecurity. King, who serves on the Senate Energy Committee, wants the government to consider unplugging some digital systems at strategic positions in the nation’s power grid and replacing them with physical ones that hackers can’t compromise.
Contaminated waters reveal lasting legacy of mining industry
Associated Press - Wednesday, February 20, 2019 

Every day many millions of gallons of water loaded with arsenic, lead and other toxic metals flow from some of the most contaminated mining sites in the U.S. and into surrounding lakes and streams without being treated. At many mines, the pollution has continued decades after their enlistment in the federal Superfund cleanup program for the nation’s most hazardous sites, which faces sharp cuts under President Donald Trump.
Scientists Release Controversial Genetically Modified Mosquitoes In High-Security Lab
National Public Radio - Wednesday, February 20, 2019 

Scientists have launched a major new phase in the testing of a controversial genetically modified organism: a mosquito designed to quickly spread a genetic mutation lethal to its own species. For the first time, researchers have begun large-scale releases of the engineered insects, into a high-security laboratory in Terni, Italy. The goal is to see if the mosquitoes could eventually provide a powerful new weapon to help eradicate malaria in Africa, where most cases occur.
Column: Islands deserving of love
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, February 20, 2019 

Maine islands are beautiful, restful — and struggling. My wife Linda and I wrote many travel columns about our favorite islands, and we found the people on these islands to be very friendly and helpful. On several islands, big deer herds and cases of Lyme disease are a serious concern. Monhegan, which had suffered the highest per capita cases of Lyme, in the late 1990s killed all the deer on the island and eliminated Lyme disease. Most of our islands are challenged these days to maintain year-round populations and services, from groceries to ferries. But they are all very special places, deserving of our support. ~ George Smith
Letter: Publicly owned electric utility would benefit Maine ratepayers
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, February 20, 2019 

As of 2017, Maine had the least reliable power delivery service in the nation. The timing is right for Rep. Seth Berry’s proposal, “An Act to Create the Maine Power Delivery Authority.” The bill provides for a consumer-owned utility that is projected to reduce electricity rates by 15 percent. Low-interest bonds would provide funding to buy the transmission and distribution assets of CMP and Emera Maine, putting ownership and operations in the hands of an independent entity, similar to the Maine Turnpike Authority. I fully support this initiative and encourage all of us to contact our legislators and ask them to co-sponsor this bill. ~ Gil Harris, Limerick
Bringing the seashore to the mountains
Sun Journal - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 

The New Vineyard Library on Tuesday hosted a tide pool Traveling Natural History Program presented by the Chewonki Foundation of Wiscasset. Nearly 70 curious children, parents and grandparents attended the touch-and-learn presentation.
Hike: Champlain Mountain North Ridge Trail in Acadia National Park
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 

Topping off at 1,058 feet above sea level, Champlain Mountain is one of the many beautiful mountains in Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island. Several trails explore its rocky slopes, including the famous Precipice Trail, the most difficult and dangerous trails in the park. But the 1-mile Champlain Mountain North Ridge Trail is a gradual climb to the mountain’s top through a beautiful pitch pine forest.
Bernie Sanders to run for president on climate change
Washington Post - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 

Sen. Bernie Sanders will run for president proposing to stave off catastrophic climate change through a “Green New Deal,” which will aim to slash emissions with an enormous public works program that would create tens of millions of jobs. The effort is moving on a parallel track to that unveiled earlier this month by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and a number of 2016 presidential candidates. The Sanders plan is expected to contain significantly more details on how a Green New Deal would move America’s economy to one that zeroes out carbon emissions, while the Ocasio-Cortez resolution supported by the other 2020 candidates mostly laid out ambitious targets for carbon reduction. The White House said in a recent statement that the Green New Deal would be a “central planning disaster."
Lobsters inspire researchers to develop new body armor
Washington Post - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard believe the soft membrane covering the animal’s joints and abdomen – a material that is as tough as the industrial rubber used to make car tires and garden hoses – could guide the development of a new type of flexible body armor for humans, one designed to cover joints like knees and elbows.
Bill would require all Maine schools to test for lead in drinking water
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 

Lawmakers are once again considering requiring schools to test drinking water for lead following the discovery of elevated levels of the harmful metal in some schools connected to public water systems. Under current law, the roughly 300 schools that draw their water from wells must test for lead at least once every three years. But about 500 schools on public water face no similar requirement because water suppliers are already required to conduct extensive testing even though lead often leaches into water from the plumbing in older buildings.
Portland company wins contract to help develop geothermal energy
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 

A Portland company that specializes in data compilation and analysis has won a contract to help the Department of Energy harness geothermal energy. Introspective Systems LLC announced Tuesday that it received a $149,935 Small Business Innovation Research award to support the DOE’s Enhanced Geothermal Systems project. EGS is a technology that pumps water into hot rocks thousands of feet below the Earth’s surface and uses that warmed water to drive conventional steam turbines.
Supreme Court will consider letting groundwater pollution escape regulation under Clean Water Act
USA Today - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 

The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to decide if contamination of groundwater that seeps into rivers, lakes and oceans violates the Clean Water Act. Dumping pollutants directly into navigable bodies of water is prohibited by the 47-year-old law, but it is less clear about indirect sources.
Mills Cabinet complete with confirmation of agriculture commissioner
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 

The Maine Senate voted unanimously Tuesday to confirm Amanda Beal as commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Conservation. Beal, 46, the current president and CEO of Maine Farmland Trust, a nonprofit that works to protect farms from development and provide farmers with access to land, is the final Cabinet nominee for Democratic Gov. Janet Mills. Beal joins a historic cabinet lineup that includes eight women selected by Mills – Maine’s first female governor – to head a state agency, numbers that make the Mills administration the most gender-diverse in state history.
After milk contamination, health advocates urge Maine to ban sludge spreading
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 

An Arundel farmer, Fred Stone, says he still can't sell milk from his herd because of exposure to PFAS, a class of chemicals increasingly linked to cancer that in 2016 was found in the sludge he spread on his fields for decades.
Time to stop killing our fish and wildlife with fishing lures
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 

Senator Paul Davis has sponsored legislation to require biodegradable rubber fishing lures for freshwater fishing. His bill will also ban stainless steel hooks. The bill would allow 5 years to achieve his goal. Many years ago, the legislature debated – for two sessions – a ban on lead sinkers proposed by Maine Audubon. On behalf of the Sportsman’s alliance of Maine, I opposed the bill in the first session and we defeated it. But two years later, when Audubon proposed the ban again, we supported it, recognizing that there were plenty of good alternatives to lead sinkers. One thing that changed my mind was the death of a loon, in the lake behind my house, after the loon ingested a lead sinker.
Column: Electric snow machines are hot
Turner Publishing - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 

Snowsledding through the Maine wilderness is not everyone’s cup of tea. The machines are noisy, and according to snowmobile writer Rod Fraser, “A two stroke driven snowmobile emits more pollution than a car.” Technologically, though, modern gas-powered snow machines have a come a long way since my first SkiDoo, a smoke-puffing, rattling 12-horse power “one lunger.” The new ones are relatively quieter, cleaner running and far more reliable when it comes to cold weather operation, and they go like the wind, which can be a mixed blessing. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Column: Winter: a time for whelk chowder
Times Record - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 

Whelks are impressive predators. They drill into the shell of their victims and then suck out their insides, leaving behind an empty shell – all this from an unimposing snail. Maine’s intertidal areas are filled with these tiny whelks, also known as dogwinkles. Dogwinkles only get to be about an inch long. Think of how many it would take to make a meal of them and all the work to get the meats out of their shells. So, when I saw whelk chowder on the menu at Brunswick’s Vessel and Vine, I was surprised. That’s when I realized they were a larger species of whelk – the offshore waved whelk, which looks more like a conch. ~ Sarah Olcott
Letter: Carbon tax bill would pay dividends
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act would reduce carbon pollution and bring climate change under control by charging a fee on fossil fuels. The “dividend” is where every citizen could get a payment equal to about $500 per year, to offset the rise in prices resulting from the fee. The bill would create an estimated 2.1 million new jobs over the next decade and gradually reduce the $240 billion lost each year because of air pollution-related health and environmental costs, like those because of the mercury in Maine’s freshwater lakes and streams, and Maine’s high childhood asthma rates. ~ Bob Lodato, Charleston
Letter: Coyotes play a vital role
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 

Coyotes are now vital members of the ecology of Maine and all of New England, just like the great white sharks in our ocean and the eagles in our skies. Natural predators are as indispensable to a healthy planet, as clean air and clean water are to all life. When people kill natural predators, whose populations are naturally regulated by the availability of prey, we disrupt a life-affirming balance that benefits all life. Instead of enabling more violence, cruelty and killing, Maine and our new governor should finally be leading the way with honest science, decency, respect and co-existence. ~ Robert Goldman, Portland
Letter: ‘Tragedy of the commons’ plays out in our climate
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 

The typical New England village “common” was an open field where animals graze – until unintentional overgrazing destroyed it as each farmer, hoping to “maximize his personal gain,” kept adding more animals. Professor Garrett Hardin called the resulting wreck “The Tragedy of the Commons.” Today, because of the market’s failure to assign the full costs of burning fossil fuels, we’re threatened with our own “tragedy of the commons” called climate change. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019 is a bipartisan bill that would be revenue-neutral, fair to everyone, job-creating and effective in reducing emissions. Any “freedom” resulting from unintentionally abusing Mother Earth’s atmosphere like a “common” is no freedom at all. It’s a tragedy. ~ JeanAnn Pollard, Winslow
Skowhegan sets world record for moose calling
Turner Publishing - Monday, February 18, 2019 

The town and Main Street Skowhegan recently announced confirmation from Guinness World Records that Skowhegan has set the world record for the most people moose calling simultaneously. The record was established on June 9 at the 2018 Skowhegan Moose Festival, when 1,054 people participated in the world record attempt led by Roger Lambert, a registered Maine guide.
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