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
Watchdog: No Evidence LePage Played Role In Timber Diversion To Canadian Company
Maine Public - Tuesday, August 21, 2018 

The Maine Legislature’s watchdog agency says it found no evidence that Republican Gov. Paul LePage diverted shipments of timber to punish two lumber mill owners who had publicly criticized his opposition to tariffs on Canadian softwood. But the report also acknowledged that investigators could not find a paper trail to document the LePage administration’s rationale for diverting the timber.
Maine woman gets $9,200 bill for rabies treatment
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, August 21, 2018 

A brief encounter with a bat left a Windham woman with a $9,200 bill for rabies treatments, and she said it’s only the beginning. There are still three more bills to come. One for each additional rabies shot, which Karen White expects will be at least $7,500 more. “This is a treatment you would have to have to save your life and why does that have to be so expensive?” she wondered.
Two bitten by rabid raccoon who was living in Kennbunkport house
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, August 21, 2018 

A Kennebunkport resident and a game warden were bitten by a rabid raccoon that the resident had illegally housed. Police said the game warden was bitten as he tried to remove the wild animal from a house in town. The resident, who police did not name, had taken in the injured animal illegally. Police said in a Facebook post that wild animals should be left alone outside.
Animal crackers break out of their cages
Associated Press - Tuesday, August 21, 2018 

After more than a century behind bars, the beasts on boxes of animal crackers are roaming free. Mondelez International, the parent company of Nabisco, has redesigned the packaging of its Barnum’s Animals crackers after relenting to pressure from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Instead of showing the animals in cages — implying that they’re traveling in boxcars for the circus — the new boxes feature them wandering side-by-side in a grassland.
Experts still haven’t found cause of southern Maine seal ‘die off’
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, August 21, 2018 

Even as volunteers for Marine Mammals of Maine responded to more dead seals in southern Maine on Monday — more than 125 since Aug. 12 — officials from various agencies were clear that no cause for the “die off” has been determined. Lynda Doughty of the Harpswell-based nonprofit organization said Monday. “Media speculation is that pollution is causing the die-off [but] no conclusive tests have been returned on southern Maine seals.”
Bangor moves to reclaim Second Street Park
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, August 21, 2018 

Down the sloping grass of Second Street park, a low-slung concrete wall cuts along the park’s wooded boundary. It has grown into one the city’s more popular outdoor hangouts. The scene has triggered parents to worry about the safety of minors who hang out there, especially with regard to underage drinking and the use of crass language that objectifies girls. A “fight club” apparently formed there. While police can enforce the law, there’s only so much they can do. But there’s one thing the city can do: change the park. A team has cleared trash and Officer Dan Bastia is planning a block party there.
Opinion: East Coast Greenway a true gem, and Maine could help it reach full potential
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, August 21, 2018 

The vision of the Greenway is a 3,000-mile bike and walking trail, safe from cars, that connects urban centers from the top of Maine to the bottom of Florida. I love the vision of the East Coast Greenway for its health, recreation, transportation, commuting, environmental, economic and lifestyle impacts. I refer to it as the “vision” of the East Coast Greenway because it is just 32 percent completed so far, meaning that 32 percent of it is fully constructed off-road trail, while the remaining 68 percent is temporarily on-road, while new off-road segments are gradually added and interconnected over time. ~ Dick Woodbury, Yarmouth, board member, East Coast Greenway Alliance
Letter: Our plastic problem
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, August 21, 2018 

We have a serious problem. We’re adding more than 8 million tons of plastic to the ocean each year, fueled by the annual production of 300 million tons of single-use plastics. Over a million animals die each year as a result, including one whale that died after ingesting 80 plastic bags, and another that died with 64 pounds of garbage in his digestive tract. Plastic is found in the most remote areas on Earth. Our planet’s health is dependent upon the health of our oceans. We must take action toward creating a more sustainable world, and mustn’t underestimate the power of our choices. ~ Rebecca Tripp, Searsport
Letter: Tax carbon emissions
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, August 21, 2018 

The BDN’s excellent Aug. 11 editorial pointed out the many ways in which we know that the climate is changing, here in Maine and around the world. But, alas, the BDN offered no solution to the problem. We continue to pump carbon dioxide and other emissions into the atmosphere causing climate change effects worldwide. What is necessary for Congress and the president to agree on is a law that puts a steadily rising price on carbon fuels. Economists worldwide agree that it would stimulate innovation in every kind of way to reduce power wastage and to invent new ways of generating clean power. The best and fairest way to do this is with carbon fee and dividend. ~ Peter Garrett, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Winslow
Blog: Zero Waste Grocery Adventure
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 20, 2018 

I’m committed to purchasing as zero waste and plastic free as possible knowing full well I will fail. Failure is part of the journey and you have to accept the times when you mess up and try and figure out ways to do better. The truth is our cheap plastic packaging is subsidized- it’s subsidized by our planet. ~ Claire Weinberg

High Temperatures and Air Pollution May Increase Risk of Mental Illness, Suicide
Center for Biological Diversity - Monday, August 20, 2018 

Increasingly, science is suggesting psychiatric problems can be worsened by weather and air pollution. For decades research has shown that heat stress negatively affects the body and exacerbates psychiatric illness; now it turns out the biological impacts of air pollution are no different.
With its paper mill long gone, Millinocket has a new story to tell
Mainebiz - Monday, August 20, 2018 

Great Northern had built its mill on the West Branch of the Penobscot River more than a century ago, then built a town around it. The story of town's decline — loss of population, homes, businesses — was so stark it even made the New York Times. Now Millinocket has a new story to tell. "Ten years ago, we were the poster town for what happens when your mill closes," says Jessica Masse, who owns Designlab on Penobscot Avenue with her husband, John Hafford. "Now we're the poster town for what you can do about it."
N.H. man accused of dumping large load of trash in Fryeburg
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 20, 2018 

A New Hampshire man has been accused by Maine forest rangers of dumping a large load of trash on a camp road in Fryeburg last week. Forest Ranger Erik Ahlquist tweeted Monday that the man, whose name was not made public, was issued a summons and will appear in October in Bridgton District Court. Ahlquist said the mess on Clay Road has been cleaned up.
Man hikes Appalachian Trail over 226 day hikes
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 20, 2018 

Salem News - Paul Truesdale, 74, recalls his quest to hike the Appalachian Trail. Truesdale did it differently than most. He hiked the trail only through day trips, without ever camping or sleeping overnight on the path. The Appalachian Trail stretches from Georgia to Maine, a path that measures roughly 2,190 miles. Truesdale calculates that it took him 226 day hikes, over a span of 40 years, to complete it.
Waterville council to consider overriding mayor’s veto on plastic bag referendum
Morning Sentinel - Monday, August 20, 2018 

At least three out of six city councilors say they will vote Tuesday to override Mayor Nick Isgro’s veto of a vote the council took earlier this month to place on the November ballot a request to enact a plastic bag ordinance that would prohibit retailers larger than 10,000-square-feet in size to dispense plastic bags.
Column: Unforced errors
Daily Bulldog (Franklin County) - Monday, August 20, 2018 

Two contenders for high public office in Maine decided, for reasons that may have something to do with having shelled mollusks for brains, to blunder out in public and beg to be breaded and deep fried for their lack of judgement. Zak Ringelstein, the Democratic sacrificial clam in this year’s race for the U.S. Senate, has no money and no real support from his party, which will be happy to see independent incumbent Angus King re-elected. Ringelstein has declared himself a socialist and embarked on an anti-corporate rampage. Republican 2nd District Rep. Bruce Poliquin sent letters extolling his virtues in protecting Medicare and Social Security (though he has done the opposite), opposing a carbon tax, supporting a work requirement for food stamps and something about fighting opioid addiction. You and I picked up the tab for what amounted to campaigning for re-election. ~ Al Diamon
The Joy and Heartache of Maine Farm Life in the 1960s
Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors - Monday, August 20, 2018 

I loved driving machinery, especially tractors and hay trucks, while working summers for my cousin Dickey. I spent my $1.25 per hour wages on two-tone wingtip shoes, corduroy slacks, and snazzy button-down shirts. Each Saturday afternoon, I hitchhiked to Smithfield with a duffel bag of clean clothes, bathed with Ivory soap in North Pond, and dressed in Mr. Perkin’s filling station’s rest room. From there, I walked to the Fairview Grange, purchased a baked bean supper for 50 cents, then scooted next door to the Sunbeam Roller Rink, a wholesome teenage hangout. Those were heady days: I had money, dapper clothes, beans and pie in my belly, and a hunger to meet cute girls. ~ Ronald Joseph, retired Maine wildlife biologist
Grants awarded to Maine small businesses to offset energy costs, spur growth
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 20, 2018 

Several small businesses in southern Maine are in line for federal grants to help them save energy and grow their companies. Nearly $530,000 from the Renewable Energy for America Program and Value Added Producer grants will be allocated to six Maine businesses:
• Turtle Rock Farm, Brunswick, $250,000 to expand the marketing and canning of organic vegetables
• T&D Wood Energy, Sanford, $200,000 to build a mid-sized wood pellet manufacturing facility
• Mook Sea Farms, Walpole, $49,597 to install a solar array for this oyster farm
• Flying Frog, Freeport, $19,496 to install a solar array, which for its tenant, Buck’s Naked BBQ
• Mallory Property Holdings, Newcastle, $6,465 to install a solar array at its Split Rock Distillery
• Porchside Properties, Dresden, $4,228 to install a solar array at Porchside Veterinary Care
In daughter’s memory, family pushes to get kids outside
Times Record - Monday, August 20, 2018 

Carol and Bob Leone of Edgecomb founded Teens to Trails, an organization aimed at promoting outdoor activities for teens, after their 15-year-old daughter, Sara, died in a car crash in 2005. Their vision was on display Saturday in Freeport, where L.L. Bean hosted the Life Happens Outside Festival in Discovery Park, where children maneuvered through a mountain biking course, climbed a rock wall, flew through the air on a zipline and flexed their muscles on the kids ninja warrior course. For 11 years, Teens to Trails has experimented with ways to support outing clubs, and worked with about 100 schools across the state.
How Much Damage are Trump’s Solar Tariffs Doing to the U.S. Industry?
Inside Climate News - Monday, August 20, 2018 

The tariffs on imported solar panels imposed by the Trump administration six months ago have done little to dampen the booming solar market in the United States. Company executives and industry analysts say that the effects of the tariffs—increased prices for installations that could depress demand for solar projects and lead to thousands of job losses—have largely been cancelled out by other factors. Many developers had stockpiled cheap panels in anticipation of the import fees. And U.S. consumers have a big incentive to install solar panels in the next 18 months, before U.S. tax incentives begin to phase out.
Beer, Drinking Water and Fish: Tiny Plastic Is Everywhere
National Public Radio - Monday, August 20, 2018 

Plastic trash is littering the land and fouling rivers and oceans. But what we can see is only a small fraction of what's out there. Since modern plastic was first mass-produced, 8 billion tons have been manufactured. And when it's thrown away, it doesn't just disappear. Much of it crumbles into small pieces. Scientists call the tiny pieces "microplastics" and define them as objects smaller than 5 millimeters. They're in oceans, rivers and lakes. They're in soil. Even more concerning, microplastics are in drinking water. In beer. In sea salt. In fish and shellfish.
Here's How Your Contact Lenses May Be Polluting the Ocean
TIME - Monday, August 20, 2018 

New research suggests that millions of contact lenses may be ending up in U.S. water supplies each year, potentially contributing to ocean pollution. There are an estimated 45 million wearers of contact lenses in the U.S. alone. Rolf Halden, director of the Biodesign Center for Environmental Health Engineering, and postdoctoral student Charlie Rolsky conducted a survey of about 400 contact wearers. They found roughly 15 to 20% had flushed contacts down a toilet or sink drain.“ If you use them, just make sure you put them into the solid waste, and not have them enter the sink or toilet,” Halden says.
Saco council prepares to vote on controversial beach leash law
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 20, 2018 

CBS 13 - Saco city officials say a new plan is part of an agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers, who will be funding and fixing the Camp Ellis jetty. The work would prevent beach erosion and flooding as well as help endangered piping plover birds, but to get the work done Saco city councilors say they have to consider a stricter leash law. Under the new ordinance dogs would have to be on a leash at all times from April through the end of September.
LePage calls lawmaker ‘repugnant,’ storms out of meeting on report that he didn’t drive timber decision
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 20, 2018 

Maine’s legislative watchdog found no evidence that Gov. Paul LePage was directly involved in a February decision to divert timber harvested on public lands away from two Maine mills. But the governor quickly overshadowed that news by demanding an apology from lawmakers, singling out a member of his own party, Sen. Tom Saviello of Wilton, as the “most repugnant human” he’s ever seen, and then storming out of a committee hearing after being called out of order.
Unicorn rediscovered in Maine
Maine Government News - Monday, August 20, 2018 

This summer the Maine Natural Areas Program documented the rare Unicorn Root. About 300 flowering stems were found in a damp field on privately held land in Bowdoin. This showy plant has not been seen in Maine in over 130 years and was thought to be extirpated.
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