July 25, 2014  
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Cultivating Seaweed Sustainably on Rocks & Ropes, Aug 1
Event - Posted - Friday, July 25, 2014 

Talk by Shep Erhart of Maine Coast Sea Vegetables. At Taunton Bay Education Center, Sullivan, Aug 1, 7 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Taunton Bay.
Gulf of Maine Habitat, Jul 31
Event - Posted - Thursday, July 24, 2014 

Mark Dittrick will discuss the Gulf of Maine as a habitat: its past, present, and what might be its future. At Penobscot Marine Museum, Searsport, July 31, 7 pm.
MEN Goes Wild
Announcement - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 

I will be in the wilderness for a couple of days. Please check back soon for all the Maine conservation news that's fit to print or post (and some that isn't). ~ Jym St. Pierre
Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news stories and events. I have posted links to more than 30,000 news articles and announcements. I 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 my attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. Will Sugg is the website developer. ~ Jym St. Pierre, RESTORE: The North Woods
Climate Adaptation and Sustainability, Oct 23
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 16, 2014 

Conference on "Building a Framework and Platform for Climate Adaptation and Sustainability Planning for Maine Communities." At UMaine, Orono, Wells Conference Center, Oct 23.
Evening for the Environment, Oct 2
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 16, 2014 

Maine Conservation Voters will host the 12th annual Evening for the Environment on October 2 at the Abromson Center at USM. Carol Browner will keynote. She was President Clinton’s EPA Administrator and Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy in the Obama Administration.
Protect Cashes Ledge
Action Alert - Monday, July 14, 2014 

Cashes Ledge, located about 75 miles from Portland, is a unique underwater mountain range which provides refuge for a vibrant, diverse world of ocean wildlife. Modern commercial fishing technologies make Cashes Ledge extremely susceptible to damage from bottom trawling gear. Cashes Ledge needs permanent protection. ~ Conservation Law Foundation
1,000 Miles Campaign
Action Alert - Monday, July 14, 2014 

Culverts are significant impediments to fish passage and survival. Orvis and Trout Unlimited have launched a campaign to reconnect 1,000 miles of coldwater streams, including in Maine (for eastern brook trout) Caribou Bog and Henderson, Mountain and Gulf Hagas brooks.
Land Trust Nature Sites: A Photographic Tour, July 29
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 13, 2014 

Photographer David White has explored many land trust properties and will share a magical, ecological world through his impressive high-powered lens. At Topsham Library, July 29, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Living on a Shrinking Planet, Jul 28
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 13, 2014 

Dr. Jonathan Foley, 2014 Heinz Award for the Environment recipient, native Mainer, and Executive Director for the California Academy of Sciences, will paint a picture of our global environmental challenges. At Gulf of Maine Research Institute, July 28, 5:30-7 pm. Pre-register. Sponsored by Natural Resources Council of Maine.
Bros. Caverly interview, Jul 26
Announcement - Sunday, July 13, 2014 

Guests: Buzz Caverly, former director of Baxter State Park, and Tim Caverly, former supervisor of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. On Bob Duchesne's Wild Maine, WEZQ radio, 92.9 FM, July 26, 9 am.
Family-friendly eco-scavenger hunt, Jul 26
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 13, 2014 

Groups are given clues to find laminated turkey drawings at designated points of interest, such as a stump chewed by a beaver. On the back of each turkey is an educational note and clues to find the next station. At 52 Roman Road, Topsham, July 26, 9-11 am. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Thoreau-Wabanaki Festival, Jul 25-27
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 13, 2014 

At Greenville, July 25-27. Sponsored by Natural Resource Education Center.
The State of Blue Hill Bay, Jul 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 13, 2014 

Abby Barrows, Coastal Monitoring Coordinator at the Marine Environmental Research Institute, will discuss a ten-year window on a changing ecosystem. At Center for Marine Studies, Blue Hill, July 25, 6 pm. Sponsored by Marine Environmental Research Institute.
Microbes Matter, Jul 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 13, 2014 

Marine microbes supply more than half of the world’s oxygen, serve as the basis for the entire marine food web and help ameliorate the effects of global warming. Dr. Graham Shimmield, executive director of the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, will give a talk entitled “Microbes Matter: Their Important Role in Global Balance.” At the Northeast Harbor Library, July 23, 6 pm.
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News Items
Letter: Climate change skeptics need to examine the facts
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 

Re: M.D. Harmon’s June 20 column (“Media won’t tell you, so here are reasons to doubt global warming”), here are reasons he is wrong. ~ Neal Perry, Saco
South Portland girds for legal battle, praised for precedent on its tar sands ban
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 

South Portland officials are preparing for a legal battle with members of the oil industry over a City Council vote Monday to block the export of tar sands oil from its port — an action that environmentalists say could set a precedent for communities across the continent that don’t want the Canadian crude flowing through.
Maine regulators again approve joint wind venture
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 

The Maine Public Utilities Commission once again granted its approval to a multimillion-dollar joint venture to develop wind-generation projects after the Maine Supreme Judicial Court overturned its initial approval and sent the case back for reconsideration. During deliberations Tuesday, PUC Chairman Thomas Welch said he did not see any reason why the joint venture between First Wind, Maine’s largest wind-power generator, and Emera Inc. of Nova Scotia, an energy distributor that owns two utilities in northern and eastern Maine, does not pass muster even under the court’s stricter guidelines.
Millinocket meets with lawyers over GNP debt, has ‘decided direction’ for collecting money’
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 

Town leaders emerged from a private meeting on Tuesday confident that they were developing a strategy for handling Great Northern Paper Co. LLC’s $1.18 million property tax debt that would emerge within two weeks. Town Manager Peggy Daigle said the Town Council’s executive-session teleconference with attorneys Rob Crawford and Wendy Paradis of the law firm of Bernstein Shur concerned GNP’s inability to pay its tax bill. Council Chairman Richard Angotti Jr. and Daigle declined to comment on what actions they would or could take against Great Northern.
Rockland residents to launch effort to repeal pay-per-bag trash disposal rule
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 

A petition drive is expected to be formally launched Wednesday morning to repeal the mandatory pay-per-bag trash disposal law approved earlier this month by the city council. Former City Councilor Adele Faber is an organizer of the repeal effort. She has been sharply critical of the ordinance. Faber said last month that instituting a pay-per-bag trash program or greatly increasing annual sticker fees was not the answer to deal with the bad decisions made by councilors on operations at the solid waste facility. This marks the second time a Rockland City Council has adopted a pay-per-bag program and the second time citizens have petitioned to repeal it.
After legal challenge, Maine utility regulators again OK $333 million partnership between Emera, First Wind
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 

The Maine Public Utilities Commission voted 2-1 Tuesday to allow Emera Maine’s parent company to invest $333 million through a joint venture with wind farm developer First Wind, a deal that was sent back to the commission for further review after a Maine Supreme Judicial Court decision. Deliberations in the case Tuesday centered on whether the financial relationship would create favoritism of any kind between the power-generating entity and the Maine transmission and distribution utility Emera Maine, which is owned by Nova Scotia-based Emera Inc.
Appalachian Mountain Club Announces Sale of Carbon Credits from Maine Ecological Reserve
Appalachian Mountain Club - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 

The Appalachian Mountain Club today announced the sale of verified carbon emission credits from its Katahdin Iron Works conservation property in Maine to The Climate Trust, a nonprofit specializing in carbon financing. By encouraging natural forest growth on AMC’s 10,000-acre ecological reserve, the project preserves stored carbon in the forest and enables an additional revenue stream through the sale of carbon credits. AMC’s Katahdin Iron Works conservation and recreation property is located in Piscataquis County, and was established as part of the organization’s Maine Woods Initiative, a strategy for land conservation in the 100-Mile Wilderness region. The initial offset sale represents over 100,000 carbon reduction tons, the equivalent of removing 21,000 gasoline-powered passenger cars from the road.
Has global warming slowed down?
Summit Voice - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 

A cool phase of natural climate variability may have canceled out the heat-trapping effects of greenhouse gases the past 15 years, which would explain the so-called global warming slowdown, according to McGill University physicist Shaun Lovejoy. In a paper published recently in Geophysical Research Letters, Lovejoy concluded after a statistical analysis of average global temperatures between 1998 and 2013 that slowdown in global warming during this period is consistent with natural variations in temperature. Lovejoy concludes that a natural cooling fluctuation during this period largely masked the warming effects of a continued increase in man-made emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
Hottest June on record for Planet Earth
Summit Voice - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 

For the second month in a row, NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center reported that Earth’s average temperature reached a record high, at 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, and 0.05 degrees Fahrenheit above the previous record, set in 2010. Nine of the ten warmest Junes on record have all occurred during the 21st century, including each of the past five years.
‘North Woods Law’ hiatus no cause for concern, producer says
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 

Season 2 of “North Woods Law,” was abruptly ended after Animal Planet aired six episodes — but show producers say there is no cause for concern. The show will return in the fall. And while some irate viewers have been critical of the network’s plan, NWL supervising producer Andy Seestedt said there’s no cause for concern: “North Woods Law” will return for a 13-episode Season 3 that will run consecutively this fall and will include unaired episodes intended for the second half of Season 2.
Hike: Shore Trail near Flagstaff Lake
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 

The Shore Trail is a short day hike or snowshoe that runs along the edge of Flagstaff Lake in western Maine, ending at Flagstaff Lake Hut, one of the four wilderness lodges that make up the Maine Huts & Trails system. Flagstaff Lake is Maine’s largest man-made lake, stretching about 25 miles long. Looking at the picturesque body of water, it’s hard to believe that less than a century ago, three towns stood in place of what is now crystal clear waters and sandy beaches.
Proposed plan to address environmental Issues at former GAT facility
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 

A Proposed Plan has been prepared to provide information to the public on the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) recommended remedial action to address groundwater contamination at the site of the former Ground to Air Transmitter (GAT) Facility in Glenburn. The USACE will host an information session on August 20 from 6 to 7 pm at the Glenburn Municipal Building to provide information and answer questions. This will be followed by a formal public hearing from 7 to 8 pm.
Raising beef is by far the worst for environment, study finds
Associated Press - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 

Raising beef for the American dinner table does far more damage to the environment than producing pork, poultry, eggs or dairy, a new study says. Compared with the other animal proteins, beef produces five times more heat-trapping gases per calorie, puts out six times as much water-polluting nitrogen, takes 11 times more water for irrigation and uses 28 times the land, according to the study, published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Letter: Bear facts
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 

Animals procreate by natural instinct, without the capability to govern their population. The big game animals of Maine — black bear, bobcat, deer, moose, raccoon and turkey — have controlled hunting seasons to regulate the populations and protect the environment from over foraging. You may think baiting, trapping and using dogs to control the bear population is cruel, unethical and unsportsmanlike, but have you endured the hours of preparation and insects that are involved? ~ Troy Frye, Orland
Letter: Muddy waters
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 

I was one of the folks who gathered samples from the intertidal area at Kidder Point near the GAC Chemical Corp. plant in Searsport. People should understand The Friends of Penobscot Bay are dedicated to protecting and improving the living conditions in the estuary that is part of upper Penobscot Bay. We are interested in cleaning up the bay, not going after GAC. There is a problem, and we have identified it. But if people wish to turn a blind eye to our warnings and stick their head in the sand, I wouldn’t do it on GAC’s intertidal area, because that sand will burn you. ~ Harlan McLaughlin, Searsport
South Portland council casts ‘historic’ vote to block tar sands exports
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 21, 2014 

The South Portland City Council has effectively banned the export of tar sands, or oil sands, from its waterfront with an ordinance that has gained international attention and that oil industry opponents have vowed to challenge in court or before city officials. “The fight is not over,” said Jamie Py, president of the Maine Energy Marketers Association, on behalf of the Working Waterfront Coalition.
South Portland approves tar sands ban
Portland Press Herald - Monday, July 21, 2014 

The City Council solidified its approval Monday night for controversial zoning changes that are expected to block the potential export of Canadian tar sands oil from the city’s waterfront. The final vote was 6-1 in favor of a ban that may soon be challenged in court and at the ballot booth if opponents move forward with threats of a lawsuit and a citizen-initiated referendum.
November referendum rematch over Congress Square unlikely after Portland council workshop
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 21, 2014 

A second citywide vote on whether Portland should sell two-thirds of its Congress Square to private hotel developers is unlikely to take place in November. Facing the prospect of keeping up with an aggressive timeline in order to put the controversial sale before city voters, members of the Portland City Council on Monday night suggested they would rather slow down and let a city task force continue its previous work redesigning the embattled public space.
Congress Square Plaza unlikely to be on November ballot
Portland Press Herald - Monday, July 21, 2014 

Portland City Council members showed no urgency Monday night on moving forward with a proposal to sell part of Congress Square Plaza, meaning city voters will not likely see the issue on the November ballot. The council members opted to take additional time to discuss the issue before referring the matter to the Portland Land Bank Commission, which would have to endorse any sale. As a result, it is unlikely that work on crafting any sale proposal would be complete in time to send the issue to city voters this fall. The council is expected to discuss the issue again in workshops next month.
Firm pulls $10 million investment in Cate Street’s Millinocket project
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 21, 2014 

The New Jersey-based investment firm CCG Community Partners has withdrawn its $10 million investment in Thermogen Industries in Millinocket for the same reasons a Maine-based investor pulled $20 million in funding earlier this month. Paul Hoffman, CCG’s managing director, said that “timing associated with [Thermogen’s] development as well as other factors” led it to rescind its investment offer May 30, “after almost a year of work.” “We are currently reviewing new investments in Maine that will have a more immediate impact for the residents of Maine,” Hoffman wrote. “Our doors remain open for Thermogen Industries for future investment consideration as the project moves forward.” CCG announced its withdrawal from the Thermogen project the same day that it decided to invest $30.3 million in an Athens biomass plant adjacent to the Maine Woods Pellet Co.
Debate over tar sands rages in South Portland
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 21, 2014 

More than a year of debate about the flow of heavy crude oil, commonly known as tar sands, through South Portland reaches its climax Monday night. The City Council is slated to take its final vote to enact an ordinance that would ban the bulk loading of crude oil — including the controversial, thicker bituminous oil — onto tanker vessels in the city’s port. During previous votes, the City Council and planning board supported the ban by 6-1 tallies.
Report: National Park Service visitors spent $8.5 million less in Maine in 2013 due to Republican shutdown
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 21, 2014 

Visitors to Maine’s only national park are estimated to have generated $191.5 million for the state’s economy last year. A new National Park Service report also indicates spending by visitors to Acadia and to the Saint Croix Island National Historic Site in Calais, which is managed by Acadia, supported an estimated 2,958 jobs in Maine in 2013. Acadia National Park had 2.26 million visitors last year. The 2013 estimate indicates there was a decrease of about 170,000 visitors who spent about $8.5 million less when compared to 2012. The difference is attributed to Acadia National Park and other federal facilities nationwide being shut down for 16 days during a dispute in Congress in 2013 over the federal budget.
Great Northern Paper auctioneer makes partial tax payment but still behind schedule
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 21, 2014 

The auctioneer paying Great Northern Paper Co. LLC’s approximately $1.18 million net personal property tax debt made a $133,500 payment Friday, Town Manager Peggy Daigle said Monday. The $133,500 payment leaves auctioneer Koster Industries behind and well short of the schedule Koster, Great Northern and town leaders agreed to, which was due to be completed Monday. According to that schedule, Koster owed and paid $225,000 on July 3. It failed to make a $340,000 payment on July 8, a $360,000 payment on July 14 and has a deadline for the remainder of the $1.18 million Monday, the payment schedule states.
Blog: Our Excellent Summer Adventure – Part 1
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 21, 2014 

Snowmobiling buttoned up in April and the couple of months between the MSA annual meeting and when we need to start preparing for another great winter of snowmobiling is a fine time to disappear for a while and see what’s happening in the rest of the world. This year we opted for a complete change of scenery — a trip out west and visits to some of the most iconic locations in the National Park System. It was a trip we had talked about for years, and in almost every possible way was better than anticipated. It also underscored my conviction that a National Park in the Maine Woods would be a terrible mistake. ~ Bob Meyers, executive director, Maine Snowmobile Association
LePage, New Brunswick leader agree to work together on jobs
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 21, 2014 

Maine Gov. Paul LePage and New Brunswick Premier David Alward signed an agreement Monday outlining greater collaboration on economic issues between the state and government of the province to which Maine exports have increased in the past year. The new agreement specifies the provincial government and Maine should discuss production of hydropower and biomass energy.
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News Feeds

Maine Organic Farmers
and Gardeners Assn

MOFGA receives $1 million gift to help train more new farmers
By Abigail Curtis - Unity: A farming organization with a strong grassroots history announced Wednesday that it received a gift of $1 million to help support and train new farmers, the largest financial donation in its history. Officials from the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association said that they were thrilled with the gift from the New York City-based Partridge Foundation, which also pledged an additional $1 million to MOFGA if the Maine group can raise a matching amount over the next 18 months. All the monies are to be used for MOFGA’s new farmer programming. “This is really exciting,” Kamala Grohman, the development associate for MOFGA, said Wednesday. “It will be able to fund this program for years to come.”
7/23/2014 6:00:00 AM

MOFGA receives $1 million gift for farmer training
Unity, Maine - The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) announced today that it has received a $1 million gift from the Partridge Foundation to establish an endowment in support of its new farmer training programs. "This Partridge Foundation gift represents a tremendous vote of confidence in MOFGA and an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen our innovative new farmer training programs. We thank the Foundation for its generous support," said Ted Quaday, MOFGA's executive director.
7/23/2014 5:00:00 AM

Maine Organic Farmers Group Launches Endowment Drive
By Irwin Gratz - The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association says it's launching a fund drive aimed at creating a $3 million endowment to support the group's educational programs. A beneficiary of one of those programs is Daniel Mays, owner and manager of Frith Farm in Scarborough, where today's announcement was made.
7/23/2014 4:00:00 AM

Organic farmers receive financial boost
At Frith Farm in Scarborough Wednesday, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association announced the $1 million gift. MOFGA will use this endowment to train farmers in organic growing techniques. The Partridge Foundation also pledged an additional $1 million if MOFGA can find matching funds.
7/23/2014 4:00:00 AM

Financial gift to help Maine farmers flourish
By Tim Goff - Scarborough: The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, the oldest and largest organic organization in the country, announced a million dollar gift from the Partridge Foundation to launch an Educational Programs Endowment.
7/23/2014 3:00:00 AM

Can You Trust That Organic Label On Imported Food?
By Dan Charles - Maybe you've wondered, while looking at the price tag on some organic produce, whether that label is telling the truth.
7/23/2014 12:00:00 AM

‘Organic’ disappears from some menus
By Mateusz Perkowski - Restaurateurs are reducing organic claims on their menus in favor of claims related to geography, allergens and other features, according to market research.
7/23/2014 12:00:00 AM

Another score for organically grown veggies
By Barbara Damrosch - Watching the studies come out about the merits or demerits of organics is a little like watching World Cup soccer. A large study done at Stanford in 2012 claimed organic food to be no more nutritious than chemically grown. Score one for that side. But a report newly published in the British Journal of Nutrition finds organically raised vegetables to have more antioxidants, less cadmium (a toxic metal in commercial fertilizer) and fewer pesticide residues. Score one for Team O.
7/23/2014 12:00:00 AM

Natural Resources Council
of Maine

City Unveils Car Charger
By Kate Irish Collins KeepMECurrent news story SOUTH PORTLAND – On Thursday, July 24, at 10:30 a.m., the...
7/25/2014 12:06:43 PM

Electric Car Enthusiasts Amped About New Chargers
by Tim Goff WCSH-6 news story Watch full news video. SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Electric car ...
7/25/2014 11:46:33 AM

Quick-charge Stations Installed as a Spark in Southern Maine
Advocates hope to see more electric vehicles on the roads as Greater Portland gets two locations where powerin...
7/25/2014 11:40:52 AM

Poison Ivy Solution
Mix three pounds of salt with soapy water and spray onto poison ivy plants for a toxic-free solution to this t...
7/25/2014 4:00:32 AM

Buy Where You Burn
Plan on camping this summer? Buy firewood from local Maine firewood dealers near where you’re camping—find out...
7/24/2014 4:00:20 AM

Charging Station for Electric Cars Opens, Sparks Interest in Portland Area
By David Harry The Forecaster news story PORTLAND, Maine — Turning over a new leaf has worked well for Scarbor...
7/23/2014 11:47:12 AM

Maine’s Tar Sands Oil Ban a Win for Activists
Portland vote lifts hopes of environmentals wary of pipeline By David Abel, Globe staff Boston Globe news stor...
7/23/2014 7:59:05 AM

South Portland Girds for Legal Battle, Praised for Precedent on Its Tar Sands Ban
Conservation groups and other areas celebrate the city’s stand against the heavy crude, as opponents map out s...
7/23/2014 7:41:06 AM

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