May 24, 2019  
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News Items
Students From 1,600 Cities Just Walked Out of School to Protest Climate Change. It Could Be Greta Thunberg's Biggest Strike Yet
TIME - Friday, May 24, 2019 

Hundreds of thousands of students around the world walked out of their schools and colleges Friday in the latest in a series of strikes urging action to address the climate crisis. According to event organizers Fridays for Future, over 1664 cities across 125 countries registered strike actions, with more expected to report turnouts in the coming days.
Brunswick students learn what it takes to go ‘From Mud to Table’
Times Record - Friday, May 24, 2019 

“From Mud to Table” ­— that’s the title of an Extended Learning Opportunity (ELO) project being conducted by two Brunswick High School Seniors. The muddy part involves the invasive green crab population that likes to munch on valuable soft shell clams. And the table part is figuring out ways to eat them. The many steps in between are not without their challenges, but there are some innovative solutions in the works. This is what Ariana Edwards and Chloe Kilborn are documenting through a series of photographs and interviews.
Freeport brewery launches push to put more clean energy into its beer
Times Record - Friday, May 24, 2019 

Beer is more than just a mixture of water, grain, hops and yeast. Brewers know that each batch needs energy — the electricity to power the brewing system, to control the climate to heat the water, to bottle the beer, to refrigerate the finished product, to transport it where it needs to go. Behind every bottle of beer is a substantial carbon footprint — something that Maine Beer Company says it wants to reduce. The company launched a new clean energy initiative on Thursday to help increase renewable energy in the community and across the state.
Final design of Maine bicentennial flag unveiled
Maine Government News - Friday, May 24, 2019 

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap today finalized the design of the Maine bicentennial commemorative flag, to be on display statewide through 2020. The flag is comprised of a field of blue representing the sky; lighter blue across the bottom representing water, be that river, pond or ocean; and a pine tree moved off center to make the viewer feel like they are inside the forest, looking out.
One of the largest environmental protests ever is underway. It’s led by children.
Other - Friday, May 24, 2019 

A massive global youth-led protest demanding political action on climate change is underway Friday, with 2,300 school strikes planned in 150 countries. In previous strikes, youth have managed to shame some governments into action on climate change, but students around the world are skipping school today to demand even more. And activists are hoping it will be the largest demonstration for environmental action in history. The demands are clear: more aggressive targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions to keep warming in check, with budgets and legal force to back them.
TPL scores Portland on parks
Trust for Public Land - Friday, May 24, 2019 

The Trust for Public Land has built a comprehensive database of local parks in the nearly 14,000 cities, towns and communities. According to TPL's ParkScore index, Portland, Maine:
• Has 105 parks
• 88% of residents live within a 10 minute walk of a park
• 8,692 people live outside a 10-minute walk to a park
• 7% of Portland's city land is used for parks and recreation
Maine’s one-stop shop for outdoors adventure gets an upgrade
Down East - Friday, May 24, 2019 

Stephen Engle, director of the Center for Community GIS, a Farmington-based company that provides digital mapping services, figured the web was the only medium that could hold a clearinghouse of trail info for hikers, mountain bikers, and paddlers. So, in 2010, CCGIS launched Maine Trail Finder, at first featuring a few dozen trails, mostly in Franklin County. Since then, the site’s coverage has grown to span the whole state. This spring, he and his team rolled out a sleek new look for the site.
‘Riverwalk: Swimming Upstream’ banners on display in Gardiner
Kennebec Journal - Friday, May 24, 2019 

Volunteers from Upstream recently installed 26 art banners designed to record and celebrate the restoration of the stream and Kennebec River as told by the people who made it happen. This exhibit also kicks off the celebration of 20th anniversary of the removal of Edwards Dam in Augusta and the revitalization of the Kennebec River.
Letter: Editorial fails to recognize evolution in how we see animals
Portland Press Herald - Friday, May 24, 2019 

The Portland Press Herald’s May 16 editorial, while attempting to poke holes in the rights of animals by questioning whether or not a dog had legal standing in court, trivialized the very real problems society faces in protecting the welfare of animals. Regardless, if one believes animals should have rights or standing in a court of law, they nonetheless deserve respect and protection from those who would do them harm. As society evolves to recognize others’ rights, as it has with women and minorities, so has the language. Animals have always deserved the same, and now the time has come. ~ Don Kimball, South Portland
York lobster dealer wins national exporter award
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

A York lobster dealer has won a presidential award for contributing to American export growth. Maine Coast earned the 2019 President’s “E” Award for showing sustained growth over four years, but the administration’s escalating trade war with China has slowed that expansion. The company has made its mark selling lobster to China’s growing middle class. In February, in the days leading up to Chinese New Year, which used to be Maine Coast’s busiest time of year, company owner Tom Adams said that the U.S.-China trade war had cost him 90 percent of his China business.
Some ATV trails will be open May 25th
WAGM-TV - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

According to the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry, in order to provide some opportunities for riding, the following rail trails will be open beginning Saturday, May 25th, for Memorial Day weekend.
- Aroostook Valley Trail
- Bangor and Aroostook Trail
- Southern Bangor and Aroostook Trail from Houlton to Phair Junction, and
- St. John Valley Heritage Trail
Most other trails remain closed due to saturated soil conditions.
Maine Natural Gas Company Wants To Turn Cow Manure Into Renewable Energy
Maine Public - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

Summit Utilities, which operates Summit Natural Gas of Maine, is building what is called a "Dairy Digester" in the Kennebec County town of Clinton. The company is investing about $20 million into the project. When it is finished, it will take waste manure form several dairy farms in the area, break it down in a system that resembles an enormous, airless compost bin, and then inject the gas that is one of the products of the process into Maine's grid to use for home heating.
Now there’s an easy way to get lake-specific info on Maine fishing rules
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

Finding out what fishing rules govern specific Maine waters just became easier, thanks to an online tool unveiled by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Called Maine’s Fishing Laws Online Angling Tool — FLOAT, for short — the map-based program is available through a computer or smartphone, and allows the user to access fishing regulations for any Maine water quickly. The tool requires Wi-Fi or cellular data access in order to access it.
Finland’s ‘bioeconomy’ could provide roadmap for Maine
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

Jaana Husu-Kallio has a deep respect for forests and the many industries they support. The same goes for coastal fisheries, local agriculture and thousands of fresh water lakes that dot the country. Even recounting tales of moose hunting along logging roads sounds familiar. As the Permanent Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry in Finland, Husu-Kallio isn’t devoted to Maine. But she does think her country’s campaign to develop a “bioeconomy” anchored in forest products, foods and renewable energy holds lessons for the state. Husu-Kallio is visiting Maine for her first time this week to meet with economic development, trade and industry officials.
Poll shows Maine voters want action on climate change
Maine Conservation Voters - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

According to a recent poll released this week by Maine Conservation Voters, Maine voters see climate change as a serious challenge and a large majority support action:
• 71% believe climate change is a serious problem
• 59% say impacts have already begun to affect Maine
• 69% support Maine transitioning to 100% clean energy by 2050
• 66% are likely to support a candidate for the State Legislature who supports growing a clean economy economy and addressing climate change
Here’s how to repel mosquitoes while working in the yard
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

Gardening is fun. Mosquito bites are not. If you think mosquitoes are particularly drawn to you when you are working hard in the garden or in the yard, you are not delusional. All that sweating (and breathing) is especially attractive to the biting bugs. The most common mosquito repellents are made with diethyltoluamide, otherwise known as DEET, or picaridin. Joseph Conlon, of the American Mosquito Control Association, recommended a 25 to 30 percent formulation of DEET or a formulation of 15+ percent picaridin. Many old wives’ natural remedies for mosquito repellents, such as garlic, apple cider vinegar and vitamin B12 supplements are basically bunk. Mosquitoes breed in standing water, so make sure all stagnant pools, no matter the size, have been drained from your property.
Judge reconsidering stay of lawsuit over CMP billing
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

A Superior Court justice said she will rule soon on requests by lawyers to move ahead with a lawsuit over Central Maine Power Co.’s billing practices. Justice Michaela Murphy had previously ruled that the suit would be on hold while the Maine Public Utilities Commission investigated a rash of high bills, mostly during the winter of 2017-18. The investigation is not expected to conclude before this fall.
Sen. Collins calls for $100 million federal response to fight tick-borne diseases
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

Maine Sen. Susan Collins on Thursday introduced a bill that would devote more than $100 million in new federal spending to combat Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. Collins said in remarks on the Senate floor that Lyme disease has ballooned into a public health threat that needs a comprehensive federal response. The TICK Act was introduced with Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minnesota, and co-sponsored by independent Sen. Angus King of Maine.
Letter: NRCM supports Kennebunk balloon release ordinance
Seacoast Online - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

On June 11, Kennebunk residents will vote yes on a local ordinance to prevent mass balloon releases. Every year, thousands of whales, turtles, seals, and seabirds get tangled in or choke on balloon litter. Every balloon that is released will eventually break and fall, with uncountable numbers dropping into our oceans where they are mistaken as food by wildlife, often causing a slow, torturous death. There are great alternatives to balloon releases for celebrations and honoring a loved one. Planting trees or gardens, litter clean-ups, floating flowers, dedicating a park bench, or lighting reusable candles are alternatives that better embody the intent of celebrations and commemorations. ~ Chrissy Adamowicz, Sustainable Maine Outreach Coordinator, Natural Resources Council of Maine
The Health of Maine's Lakes
Maine Public - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

Maine’s lakes are renowned, and they are critical to our economy, drawing outdoor recreation enthusiasts and tourists throughout the year. How are lakes across Maine faring—from water quality to invasive species to pollution—especially in the face of climate change? Guests: Susan Gallo, Maine Lakes Society; Colin Holme, Lakes Environmental Association; and Scott Williams, Lake Stewards of Maine.
Fate of bill to require greenhouse gas study of CMP project in question
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

The Maine House gave initial approval Thursday to a bill that would require a comprehensive analysis of how Central Maine Power’s transmission line proposal would impact greenhouse gas emissions in New England and Canada. But the future of the time-sensitive bill remains unclear. Supporters failed to garner the two-thirds majority that will ultimately be required to overturn a potential gubernatorial veto, much less affect the permitting process for the 145-mile high-voltage transmission line.
Maine House falls short of support needed for time-sensitive CMP corridor climate impact study
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

A proposal to study the emissions impact of Central Maine Power’s plan for a $1 billion hydropower corridor advanced procedurally after a vote in the Maine House of Representatives on Thursday, but not with enough support to take effect immediately. The narrow vote was a rebuke to Gov. Janet Mills, a high-profile backer of the project who has been lobbying fellow Democrats on the issue. But it’s also a sign that she could find more than enough support to block this and other proposals aimed at the corridor using her veto power.
Column: Weathering species extinction
Times Record - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

Being literally in touch with the earth always instructs me in what’s essential. Organic gardening’s a wondrous no-brainer that something’s far more powerful and clever than us. All Species’ Lives Matter! The recent U.N. report on biodiversity loss and species extinction couldn’t be a clearer clarion call to that fundamental truth. Particularly encouraging in echoing that call is the groundswell of outrage over CMP’s proposed “Corridor” and its clueless energy “manifest destiny” mentality’s rationalization that we must continue harming nature in order to save it. ~ Gary Anderson
Maine’s best-known industry is being pinched
Other - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

The Economist - Last year Maine’s 4,500 lobstermen hauled in 54,000 tonnes of the critters, one of the highest landings in the state’s history. So important is it to Maine’s economy and self-image that the state offers a licence plate depicting the crustacean. Demand remains strong, says John Sackton, an analyst and publisher of Seafood News. Lobster is not just for posh restaurants and New England lobster shacks any more. McDonald’s, a fast-food chain, offers lobster rolls. But this season has been stormy.
National Park Visitor Spending Contributed Over $570 million to Maine Economy
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

According to a report released today, in 2018, 3.5 million park visitors spent an estimated $388 million in local gateway regions while visiting National Park Service lands in Maine. These expenditures supported a total of 5,820 jobs, $189 million in labor income, $336 million in value added, and $571 million in economic output in the Maine economy. Nationally, visitor spending in communities near national parks in 2018 resulted in a $40.1 billion benefit to the nation’s economy and supported 329,000 jobs.
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On May 8, 1719, the Pejepscot Proprietors 
voted to grant 1,000 acres in commonage 
forever to the residents of Brunswick, 
one of the earliest dedicated 
public lands in Maine.

The 300th anniversary is celebrated 
on May 19, 2019, due to the change 
from Julian to Gregorian calendars.

Photo © Jym St. Pierre

 


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