August 24, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Friday, August 23, 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
Rangeley Outdoor Film Festival, Aug 30
Event - Posted - Friday, August 23, 2019 

The Rangeley Trail Town Festival features a variety of short films about the outdoors. At RFA Lakeside Theater, Rangeley, August 30, 7 pm, $6 for adults, $3 for Appalachian Trail hikers and children under 12.
LightHawk Paper Plane Contest
Announcement - Thursday, August 22, 2019 

Enter your best paper airplane design for a chance to have it mailed to thousands in LightHawk's 2019 Holiday Letter. Deadline: October 18, 2019.
BTLT Seeks Community Input on Future Conservation
Announcement - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust is seeking community input on its current and future conservation work in Brunswick, Topsham, and Bowdoin. A community survey is available online until September 2.
Butler to speak on conservation, Aug 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

Conservationist Gil Butler will discuss his efforts to establish outdoor education programs and conservation projects in Maine and throughout North and South America. At College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, August 27, 9 am, free, parking on campus is by permit only.
Solo Paddle of Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Aug 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

Laurie Apgar Chandler will read from and discuss her book “Upwards,” which tells her story as the first woman to solo paddle New England’s 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail. At Bailey Library, Winthrop, August 27, 6:30 pm.
Keeping Acadia Healthy With New Science, Aug 26
Event - Posted - Monday, August 19, 2019 

Abraham Miller-Rushing and Rebecca Cole-Will will discuss how Acadia National Park is facing a triple environmental challenge: global warming, acid rain, and increased visitation. At Bar Harbor, August 26, 5 pm.
Maine’s Seaweed Scene, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Monday, August 19, 2019 

Susan Hand Shetterly and Robin Hadlock Seeley will discuss the importance of protected wild habitats and the critical role of seaweed in the Gulf of Maine. At Moore Community Center, Ellsworth, September 26, 7 pm. Hosted by Downeast Audubon.
Bee apocalypse
Action Alert - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

U.S. agriculture today is 48 times more toxic to honeybees than it was 25 years ago—almost entirely because of neonicotinoid pesticides. It's part of an "insect apocalypse." But instead of taking action, the Trump administration is shredding protections for bees. Will you stand with me in the fight to save the bees? ~ Mayor Ethan Strimling, Portland, Maine
Maine Farmland Trust Gallery 20th Anniversary Retrospective Exhibit, thru Oct 11
Announcement - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

To celebrate Maine Farmland Trust’s 20th anniversary, a curated retrospective featuring a selection of works that have been exhibited at the MFT Gallery over the past 10 years is on view through October 11.
National Parks Free Entrance, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

All National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone to celebrate the National Park Service's 103rd birthday on August 25.
Brechlin reading, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

Earl Brechlin, a Registered Maine Guide, will read from his book, "Return to Moose River: In Search of the Spirit of the Great North Woods," essays describing white-water canoeing, snowmobiling, and backpacking adventures in many parts of Maine. At Albert Church Brown Memorial Library, China, August 25, 2 pm.
Kennebec Land Trust annual meeting, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

At Camp Androscoggin, Wayne, August 25. The trust has conserved more than 6,300 acres and constructed 44 miles of trails on KLT protected lands.
Maine Herpetological Society Reptile Expo, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 17, 2019 

50+ vendors, 1,000+ reptiles, plus Mr. Drew and His Animals Too. At Ramada Inn, Lewiston, August 25, 10 am - 4 pm, $7, kids under 12 free.
Families in the Outdoors, Aug 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 17, 2019 

Learn about all kinds of Maine bugs – the good, the bad and the very strange looking. At Law Farm, Dover-Foxcroft, August 24, 9 am - noon.
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News Items
‘Spectacular’ autumn foliage is forecast for New England
Associated Press - Friday, August 18, 2017 

New England’s fall foliage forecast is looking so fine it’s enough to make a maple leaf blush. For the first time in several years, little has conspired against a truly glorious autumn. There’s no more drought, the summer has been mild and the leaves — largely spared by marauding gypsy moth caterpillars — look healthy. Translation: A pretty great season for leaf peeping seems to be shaping up.
Maine’s biomass bailout bill isn’t helping loggers as much as it was supposed to
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 18, 2017 

Stored Solar LLC disclosed that in the first half of the year, it was only 31 percent of the way toward its year-end wood purchasing goal. It had purchased about 155,300 tons, while promising to purchase at least 500,000 tons by year’s end. The company also fell just short of employment goals. Stored Solar has generated enough power to collect about $1 million in state subsidies but has missed out on about $1.3 million in subsidies intended to make their way to employees of the facilities and, primarily, back into the woods to support loggers hit hard by the decline of Maine’s paper industry. Regulators did not require the second subsidy beneficiary, ReEnergy, to disclose its economic impact figures. ReEnergy has produced nearly all of the power allowed under its subsidy agreement.
New book features a lifetime of hunting and fishing stories
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, August 18, 2017 

My hunting and fishing heritage and experiences have been very important parts of my life, which makes it very exciting to announce the publication of my new book, A Lifetime of Hunting & Fishing, published by North Country Press.
Opinion: Maine’s disastrous new solar rules violate our right to energy independence
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 18, 2017 

Thanks to the actions of a self-proclaimed anti-tax governor, Maine is about to become the first state where electric companies can charge fees for the energy you make and use at your own home or business. This will likely reduce your energy choices and increase energy costs for all Mainers. LD 1504, this session’s so-called “solar bill,” would have banned new fees on the energy consumers generate at home. It also would have lifted barriers to shared projects such as solar farms or community wind or hydro-energy projects. Despite LD 1504 being sponsored by a Republican, amended twice by Republicans, and initially passed with veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate, it failed on the last day of this session. A small minority of Republicans — including seven who flipped their votes — in the House sided with LePage to uphold his veto of the bill. ~ Rep. Seth Berry, D-Bowdoinham, House Chair, Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee
Letter: Tax carbon
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 18, 2017 

For too long, too many of us have been burying our heads in the sand and ignoring the harmful effects of burning carbon-producing fuels. The Citizens Climate Lobby is urging Congress to take action to begin to reverse the effects of carbon pollution. The group has lobbied every member of Congress to support a tax on carbon-producing fuels. The money collected would be returned to consumers in the form of a dividend. To date, there are 48 bipartisan members of the House who are supporting this initiative. Please write and urge our delegation to take action. ~ Albert Bean, Bangor
Cape Elizabeth Town Council backtracks on ‘paper’ streets
Forecaster - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

Faced with a large crowd on Aug. 14 the Cape ElizabethTown Council reconsidered last month’s decision on so-called paper streets. After hearing from the public since that meeting, the four councilors who voted to take steps to vacate paper streets acknowledged that, in hindsight, the process was flawed. Also Monday night, residents had the opportunity to address the council on a proposed amendment to the town’s Open Space Zoning Ordinance that would clarify a provision that agricultural land may be preserved as part of open space in a new development.
370,000 Comments Opposed, 10 Leading Environmental Groups Cite Oil Spill Risks, Danger to Wildlife, Communities and Jobs
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

A coalition of national environmental and conservation groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, Earthjustice, Oceana, League of Conservation Voters, Alaska Wilderness League, Surfrider Foundation, Greenpeace, CREDO Action and the Center for Biological Diversity joined over 370,000 Americans to officially voice their opposition to the move by President Trump to expand offshore drilling. Today marks the end of the 45-day comment period for a new offshore drilling program from 2019-2024.
Opinion: We should be deeply worried about NAFTA
Washington Post - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

If the NAFTA talks that begin this week are an “arena” where nations “compete for advantage,” as the president’s aides have described the president’s “clear-eyed” worldview, and the president’s unchanging and unyielding views on trade are now officially Objective No. 1 — then no one should expect a normal negotiation, and no one should rule out collapse. The winner in all this would be China, no longer competing against a unified and efficient North American manufacturing platform and a gigantic internal market. So just as when Trump pulled us out of the TPP and the Paris climate change accord, the global benefactor may well be the very country against whom Trump directed so much of his campaign rhetoric. ~ Nelson W. Cunningham was a trade and foreign policy adviser in the Clinton White House
$350,000 in Historic State and Tribal Preservation Grants to Maine
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt with the National Park Service today announced the distribution of $278,522 in historic preservation grants to Maine as well as $81,356 for historic preservation grants to Micmacs, Passamaquoddies and Penobscots in the state. This funding, part of $25.5 million going to states and tribes across the country today, represents a total of $58 million that the National Park Service has invested in the preservation efforts to every U.S. state this year.
Obama advisor to keynote Maine conservation confab; George Smith to get leadership award
Maine Conservation Voters - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

Brian Deese, a Senior Advisor to former President Obama who oversaw climate, conservation, and energy policies, will be the keynote speaker at the annual Evening for the Environment, organized by Maine Conservation Voters. The group also announced Thursday that George Smith will receive the 2017 Environmental Leadership Award. Smith served as executive director of the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine for 18 years. The Evening for the Environment will be held at Thompson's Point in Portland on October 25 at 5:30 pm.
Lawsuit claims Poland Spring a ‘colossal fraud,’ selling groundwater
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

A lawsuit was filed in a Connecticut federal court on Tuesday and accuses Nestle Waters North America, Inc. of a “colossal fraud perpetrated against American consumers.” The civil suit was brought by 11 people from the Northeast who collectively spent thousands of dollars on Portland Spring brand water in recent years. It is seeking millions of dollars in damages for a nationwide class and appears to hinge on whether the sources of Poland Spring water meets the Food and Drug Administration’s definition of a spring. The suit comes as the company, a subsidiary of the Swiss food giant Nestle, is looking to expand its operations in Maine.
Second Town on Mount Desert Island Temporarily Bans Cruise Ships
Maine Public - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

The western side of Mount Desert Island is closer to becoming a cruise-ship-free zone after more than a hundred Southwest Harbor residents unanimously voted Tuesday night to impose a 180-day moratorium against the use of any town facilities by cruise ships. Last year, when the 310-foot-long Pearl Mist arrived in Northeast Harbor, she sparked a local controversy that ended when the Mount Desert Board of Selectmen voted to bar future cruise ship visits. When American Cruise Lines sent out feelers this year about the possibility of anchoring off in nearby Southwest Harbor and shuttling passengers back and forth from a private dock, the location was different — but the reception was the same.
Eastern U.S. most vulnerable to future harmful algal blooms
Summit Voice - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

Scientists say it’s all but certain that global warming will increase potentially threatening outbreaks of freshwater algae that can produce toxins dangerous to people and animals. A team lead by Tufts University researcher Steven C. Chapra has developed a modeling framework showing harmful algal blooms will increase the most in the northeastern region of the U.S. The research, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, is part of larger, ongoing efforts among scientists to quantify and monetize the degree to which climate change will impact and damage various U.S. sectors.
Maine Composting School is the Gold Standard For Turning Garbage Into Treasure
Maine Public - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

A few times a year, people from all over the US — and well beyond — come to Maine to learn the science of all things rotten. The Maine Compost School has been teaching people how to turn organic trash into treasure, and glop into gold, for 20 years, making it the longest running program of its kind in the US. Making a good compost is not for the faint of heart. It involves lots of things that stink, several things that crawl, and trillions of things you can’t even see.
Snakes, ticks and kids: What it’s like to be a camp counselor in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

I stood nervously in my raincoat and jean shorts watching the campers from Tanglewood 4-H Camp in Lincolnville and swatted a mosquito buzzing near my face. It had been a few years since I’d had to be an authority figure and camp counselor to a group of kids, and I had forgotten how intimidating they could be, despite most of them being a third my age. Maybe it’s the precociousness or that kids, having not developed the self-awareness that comes with age, are exceedingly confident in exactly who they are. Either way, I found myself standing in the woods, wanting to convince the campers at Tanglewood that I was cool. Quickly, I remembered this was a mistake.
LL Bean Boosting Production of Signature Boot
Associated Press - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

L.L. Bean hopes to give the boot to backlogs of its most iconic product. The Maine-based retailer is expanding production to keep up with demand for its leather-and-rubber "duck boot'' with a new manufacturing center being unveiled Thursday. Annual sales have grown from fewer than 100,000 a decade ago to this year's projection of 750,000 pairs. The company hopes to hit the 1 million mark next year. L.L. Bean plans to hire an additional 160 manufacturing workers in Lewiston and Brunswick.
Maine company seeks to produce innovative wood-fiber insulating boards
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

Maine’s glut of softwood fiber created by closed paper mills makes the state an ideal location for a factory that can produce insulation board from wood, a Belfast architectural and construction firm says, and it’s trying to find a European manufacturer that shares that vision. GO Logic, which specializes in energy-efficient buildings, says it’s negotiating with undisclosed companies that make wood-based insulation board in Europe, where the product already is in commercial use. The goal is to have a plant operating here within two years.
New CMP bills foreshadow increased consumer involvement
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

Central Maine Power customers will receive bills next month with a new format, one that is designed to make it easier to compare their past and current electrical use. While the changes are modest, the redesign will eventually be integrated into what could be an extreme makeover in how customers are billed. A long-awaited technology upgrade for CMP’s billing system soon will let the utility charge customers different rates based on when they are using electricity.
Commentary: In the end, Mainers will reject regulators’ anti-clean-energy rule
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

I’ve been asked many times: What happened to this year’s solar bill? Despite overwhelming public support, on the last day of our legislative session, a bill protecting Mainers’ ability to create local jobs and clean energy fell short by just three votes. We lost, but job-creating, local, clean energy will win in the end because the “triple wins” of rooftop solar (local jobs, clean energy and ratepayer savings) remain clear to most legislators and certainly our constituents. We chafe at our dependence on an expensive and centralized grid, which transmits our dollars out of state to the shareholders of multinational electricity monopolies and huge oil and gas companies. ~ Rep. Seth Berry (D), Bowdoinham, House chair, Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee
Letter: Mainers must demand cap on greenhouse gases
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

Richard Nelson’s Aug. 9 commentary, “Maine Voices: State’s balking at new cap on greenhouse gases threatens our fishing heritage,” should instill pride and determination in Mainers, including your governor. Mr. Nelson argues convincingly for more ambitious caps. I’m a Floridian, loving my second summer here. Our governor, Rick Scott, has a lot in common with Gov. LePage. As long as fossil fuels are the cheapest source of power, warming seas and climate debacles will continue to escalate. Florida may be known as the Sunshine State, but it’s becoming the sinking state. United, we can curb the dire predictions and ensure our children a livable planet. ~ Jeffrey Dorian, Crestview, Fla.
Letter: The case for paper bags
Sun Journal - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

Why not go back to paper bags? They self-destruct and trees are a renewable, sustainable resource. There are a lot of them in Maine. There are still some paper mills and lots of experienced workers. Paper can be a used as mulch, even bedding for animals. ~ Suzanne Bottomley
Letter: Disparaging to lobster industry
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

I read with dismay the Aug. 14 BDN article, “What it’s like to kill hundreds of lobsters a day.” This story contains factual inaccuracies and was disparaging to the thousands of men and women of the Maine lobster industry. According to several studies, and the Maine Lobster Institute’s Robert Bayer, the lobster’s primitive nervous system is most similar to that of an insect. Lobsters react to sudden stimulus, like twitching their tails when placed in boiling water, but they don’t have complex brains to process pain like humans and other animals do. ~ Matt Jacobson, Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative
Cancer Expert Declares Cell Phone and Wireless Radiation as Carcinogenic to Humans
Other - Wednesday, August 16, 2017 

An expert cancer researcher and advisor to the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer has issued his scientific opinion that radiofrequency radiation from any source – such as the signals emitted by cell phones, other wireless and cordless and sensor devices, and wireless networks – fully meets criteria to be classified as a "Group 1 carcinogenic to humans" agent, based on scientific evidence. "The evidence indicating wireless is carcinogenic has increased and can no longer be ignored," stated Dr. Anthony B. Miller at a lecture sponsored by the Environmental Health Trust.
More than 100 people ask if Massachusetts energy policy will destroy Moosehead Lake region
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, August 16, 2017 

More than 100 people packed the Rockwood Community Center Wednesday afternoon to help answer the question raised by a group opposed to proposed wind farms — will Massachusetts energy policy destroy the Moosehead Lake region. The answer for many was loud and clear: “Save our mountains — No Wind Farms.” There are more than 200 new wind turbines proposed in rural Somerset County just west of Greenville, according to Richard McDonald, president of the anti-wind citizen group Saving Maine, and a member of the steering committee Moosehead Region Futures. The driving force is to win the bid for a 20-year power purchase agreement with the state of Massachusetts utilities for more than 100 wind turbines.
Lawsuit says Poland Spring water is mislabeled because it really isn’t spring water
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, August 16, 2017 

A Connecticut law firm has filed a class-action lawsuit against the owner of Poland Spring, claiming the company’s source for its Maine bottled water is not a spring. The latest suit, filed on behalf of 11 consumers, alleges that Poland Spring’s bottles are inaccurately labeled as spring water. It is seeking at least $5 million in damages. The company said it meets the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations defining spring water, all state regulations governing spring classifications, and regulations governing spring water collection, product quality and labeling. The case is not a first for Nestlé Waters, which owns Poland Spring.
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