January 26, 2015  

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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Saturday, January 24, 2015 

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 35,000 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
Announcement - Saturday, January 24, 2015 

WinterKids helps children develop healthy lifelong havits through fun, outdoor winter activities. See the schedule of upcoming events.
A Wild Wish
Action Alert - Sunday, January 18, 2015 

This year, for my twenty-second birthday, I would like to raise $2,200 for the Northeast Wolf Coalition (NEWC). This alliance of conservation organizations and scientific advisers recognizes the ecological, economical and ethical reasons for potential wolf recovery in the Northeast. My hopes are that NEWC can use this money to fund research, public education, and outreach programs focused on the value of wolves and other large carnivores. ~ Melissa Dinino
Woodlot Management Adult Education Course, Feb-Mar
Announcement - Saturday, January 17, 2015 

The information and contacts you gain from this free course will help you make decisions on how to sustainably manage your woodlot. At Bangor High School, Feb-March, Monday evenings, 6-8 pm. Registration required. Sponsored by Penobscot County Soil and Water Conservation District and Prentiss & Carlisle.
Great Maine Outdoor Weekend, Feb 13-15
Event - Posted - Friday, January 16, 2015 

The list of events for GMOW is growing.
Transmission in the Northeast Conference, Feb 2-3
Event - Posted - Friday, January 16, 2015 

This conference will address challenges to the integration of economic renewable resources, the siting of transmission reliability projects and opening up access in the Northeast United States to resources in Eastern Canada. At Boston, MA, Feb 2-3. Attorneys and industry executives $1145; government employees $765; students, people in their job less than a year, and public interest NGO's $572.
Viles Arboretum 11th Annual Super Bowl Sunday Table Tour, Feb 1
Event - Posted - Friday, January 16, 2015 

Trails open at 11 am and trail food will be served till 1 pm. Desserts, coffee and hot beverages will be served until 2 pm. Participants get to indulge in some of the best culinary delights available from restaurants and food providers in and around our Capital City. $25 (members $22.50), 12 and under $5, no charge for toddlers. Sponsored by Viles Arboretum, Augusta.
Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership
Announcement - Thursday, January 15, 2015 

Friends of Baxter State Park invites current Maine high school sophomores and juniors to apply for a leadership program that includes a nine-day wilderness experience in Baxter State Park. Participants backpack from one end of the Park to the other, working with a variety of specialists and Park staff to understand the wilderness through science, art, storytelling, photography, writing, history, and recreation. Application deadline is Feb 8.
Diary of a River: Solargraphs of the Kennebec River
Announcement - Thursday, January 15, 2015 

Johanna Moore produced images between the summer and winter solstices of the sun as it crossed the sky. She built 120 pinhole cameras and set them out along the Kennebec River and several of its tributaries, from historic sites to river dams, from Indian Pond to Phippsburg. Exhibit at USM, Glickman Library, 5th Floor, Portland, Jan 22-May 22; opening reception Jan 22, 6 pm; artist conversation April 9, 6 pm.
Birds of Gujarat, India, Jan 28
Event - Posted - Wednesday, January 14, 2015 

Mike Waters and Cathie Murray will speak about “Birds of Gujarat” in western India. At Viles Arboretum, Augusta, Jan 28, 7 pm. Sponsored by Augusta Bird Club.
Students Present: Cathance Preserve Field Studies, Jan 27
Event - Posted - Wednesday, January 14, 2015 

Students will present their field studies of the Cathance Preserve. At Topsham Public Library, Jan 27, 6:30 - 8 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance (CREA).
Organic Fertilizers, Supplements & Compost, Jan 25
Event - Posted - Wednesday, January 14, 2015 

Master Gardener Linton Studdiford will discuss organic soil management techniques, composting, organic supplement products, soil testing. At St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Brunswick, Jan 25, 2-3:03 pm. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
Liberal Cup Biathlon, Jan 25
Event - Posted - Wednesday, January 14, 2015 

Just like the Olympians, racers will have to both cross-country ski and target shoot, but racers in the Liberal Cup Biathlon should expect way more smiles along the way. At Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson, Jan 25, 8 am.
Art & Wildlife, Jan 22
Event - Posted - Wednesday, January 14, 2015 

John Bryan has been a woodcarving artist and sculptor for over 35 years. He will share a retrospective of his work and the inspiration he finds in birds, fish and other wildlife. At Gilsland Farm Audubon Center, Falmouth, Jan 22, 7 pm. Maine Audubon members free; non-members $5.
Help Wanted: Assistant Manager, Project Puffin Visitor Center
Announcement - Wednesday, January 14, 2015 

This position is analogous to that of an ambassador, representing Audubon’s Seabird Restoration Program at the Project Puffin Visitor Center, a small interpretative center in Rockland.
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News Items
Letter: Pro-park falsehoods
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 26, 2015 

The Jan. 13 letter by Steve Jacques shows again how misguided those are who push for a Maine Woods National Park. Nothing about Elliotsville Plantation Inc.’s land is more outstanding than many other areas in northern Maine, aside from occasional views of Mount Katahdin. This is not the criteria [sic] for a national park. Roxanne Quimby’s pro-park team ignores the fact that visitors to Elliotsville Plantation holdings are making use of open access on private landowners’ abutting land to even reach Katahdin Woods and Waters land. To believe promises about the major ITS corridors being preserved and half of the land being open to snowmobiling is folly. ~ Mitchell Duncan, Tomhegan Township
Letter: Madison mill logic
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 26, 2015 

Regarding the market closure of UPM Madison, I am quite familiar with UPM-Kymmene being a former employee of UPM-Kymmene Miramichi, which was closed permanently. My mill was purchased to obtain the coating recipe to supply Time magazine. It was not shut down for productivity. The question Madison employees should be asking themselves is: “Why did UPM purchase Madison?” UPM wanted something. Once it can replicate that elsewhere, I believe the Madison mill will be shut down permanently and the mill torn down as is UPM’s way. ~ Brian Ellick, Fredericton, New Brunswick
Maine Audubon lights up with solar energy
George Smith's Outdoor News Blog - Sunday, January 25, 2015 

At its Gilsland Farm headquarters in Falmouth, Maine Audubon has constructed one of the largest solar panel arrays installed by a conservation organization in the state. The panels will provide roughly 84% of Gilsland Farm’s electricity. Revision Energy installed the system and Audubon partnered with Moody’s Collision Centers in a clever collaborative way to finance the solar system. Moody’s owns the solar panels, and Maine Audubon will purchase the electricity from Moody’s for the next six years. Moody’s will get its investment money back in that time, thanks to Audubon’s payments and the federal tax credits, and then Audubon will have the option of purchasing the system.
Portland mayor wants cafeterias to serve more local fish, boost demand for commercial fishing
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, January 25, 2015 

Portland Mayor Michael Brennan wants students, hospital patients and jail inmates to eat more fish — particularly, locally caught fish. Entering the final year of his four-year term, Brennan is hoping to convince Greater Portland cafeteria operators to commit to serving local fish, an effort he said would create a stable, constant demand to boost the commercial fishing industry in Maine’s largest city.
Lawmaker hopes to bring passenger rail service back to Bangor
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, January 25, 2015 

A Maine lawmaker wants to bring passenger trains to Bangor for the first time in more than half a century. A bill entered by Rep. Michelle Dunphy, D-Old Town, An Act to Provide Passenger Rail Service to Bangor, is among the more than 1,500 bills proposed by lawmakers to start this legislative session. Patricia Quinn, executive director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, formed by the State Legislature in the mid-1990s to bring passenger trains back to Maine for the first time in three decades, said expanding service to Bangor would be neither easy nor cheap. Quinn projected such an expansion could cost well in excess of $100 million, depending on the condition of the tracks between active passenger lines and Bangor.
To gnome them is to love them
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 25, 2015 

The gnomes of western Maine are simple creatures that don’t require much: A simple, sturdy A-frame home and a tree to call their own near their gnome friends. And to those who think these hard-working woodland folk dress in green-and-black checkered wool shirts and logging boots, consider the gnomes of Rangeley. These tiny tinkers are not only fashionable, they’re bold and daring in their attire, braving the cold Maine woods in purple sleeveless dresses, salmon-colored ball gowns and knickers. Some even wear feather boas in place of scarves.
Madison Paper pursues unfair subsidies claim
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, January 25, 2015 

With more than 100 employees temporarily laid off at Madison Paper Industries, mill officials are pressing for answers about Nova Scotia’s assistance to a rival mill there that enables it to flood the market with cheaper paper at prices bolstered by “unfair” subsidies. Madison Paper cited high energy costs and unfair government subsidies provided to Port Hawkesbury Paper in Nova Scotia as reasons for the temporary shutdown of the mill. Some industry experts say the criticism of government assistance belies the real issues: a decline in the demand for paper and a difference in government priorities. In the early days of the paper industry, Maine rivers — both a method of transporting wood from the forests and of generating power — made it an appealing place for paper mills to start. Today, however, energy costs and less demand for newsprint have proved to be challenges across the industry.
Aanalysis: LePage plan will reduce tax burden for most Maine workers
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 25, 2015 

With the exception of some elderly residents, Mainers of all income levels would see an immediate reduction in their annual tax burden under Gov. Paul LePage’s proposed revisions to the state tax structure. Critics of LePage’s plan, which would reduce the state income tax while increasing sales and use taxes on most goods and services, said it would result in major revenue cuts to municipalities, which would be forced to pare essential public services, raise property taxes, or both. LePage’s plan seeks to reduce the need for property tax increases by giving cities and towns the authority to tax large nonprofit organizations that are now tax-exempt. However, while roughly 150 municipalities stand to break even or benefit from levying property taxes on nonprofits, another 350 or so don’t appear to have nonprofits that would be taxable under the governor’s proposal.
CMP’s $1.4 billion effort fortifies Maine electric grid against new threats
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 25, 2015 

Central Maine Power maintains 2,300 miles of transmission lines and 300 substations that connect utilities in New Brunswick, eastern Maine and southern New England. Much of the system is in remote areas. Grid security has become a growing concern for Iberdrola USA, CMP’s parent. A subsidiary of the Spanish multinational energy firm, Iberdrola USA has projects and companies in 24 states. It is in the midst of a multimillion-dollar effort to harden those assets against a wide range of potential assaults. Physical attacks are only one threat to the grid. Every day, cybercriminals probe for weaknesses in the computers that control the nation’s power system. In space, solar flares and other natural occurrences that emit pulses of electrical and magnetic energy threaten equipment on the grid. Maine is the first state to pass a law to study the impact of so-called geomagnetic disturbances.
Column: Good and bad legislation in the hunt
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 25, 2015 

With the new year comes a new legislative session and a plethora of proposed hunting-related bills. Some are based on hard science and others pure emotion. Some will be quickly dismissed, others discussed and debated at length. Here are but a few of the more noteworthy examples. ~ Bob Humphrey
Column: Central Maine’s conservation land well worth the exploring
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 25, 2015 

The Kennebec Land Trust has been preserving land and shorefront in the forested hills, rolling fields and farmlands, and lake and river country of central Maine since November 1988. The trust has tallied nearly 5,000 acres of conservation land on more than 60 properties that span 15 towns from Litchfield to Vienna and Fayette to Vassalboro. Some 36 miles of hiking trails offer myriad opportunities to explore these beautiful preserves, and in celebration of its 25th anniversary last fall, the KLT introduced the “Kennebec Land Trust Hiking Guide.” This attractive full-color publication features 20 of the trust’s most popular properties and some of its best hiking trails. The work is never done, and in the next 25 years the good folks at KLT plan to focus on connecting existing lands and trails, and preserving public access and unique wildlife habitat as well as farmland and woodlots. ~ Carey Kish
Column: Take a powder on Maine’s slopes
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 25, 2015 

Here’s my not-so-humble list of Maine’s must-ski runs. Think of the list as something akin to a greatest hits record – sure, there are greater B-sides and deep album cuts to be found, but these are Maine’s must-ski runs. ~ Josh Christie
Column: These woods are lovely, dark, deep and educational
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 25, 2015 

The white season may offer casual observers little to see beyond a Currier & Ives landscape, but it provides folks with nature knowledge or a guidebook plenty to peruse each day. For example, veteran outdoor types know that most conifer species grow different age classes of needles — readily visible when temperatures drop. ~ Ken Allen
Opinion: Wind battle centers on right to have input into local projects
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 25, 2015 

With the Maine Wind Energy Act’s passage, Mainers in parts of the Unorganized Territory lost their right to participate in planning and zoning decisions related to wind power siting in their communities. Unorganized Territory citizens are the only ones in the state who were singled out for uniquely adverse treatment by the 2008 legislation. Other than a single $250 donation from a small land conservation group, every dollar we’ve ever received in our effort has come from individual citizens, not corporate donors. Want to see “well-funded”? Go to the Legislature’s website and see the list of corporate wind development interests that testified against us. ~ Alan Michka, Lexington Township
Letter: Pro-wildlife bills woefully outnumbered
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 25, 2015 

Wake up, Maine! There are no fewer than 70 bills that have been submitted in the Legislature that would affect Maine’s fish and wildlife. Only two of these bills (both dealing with bears) were submitted on behalf of our fish and wildlife resources. The rest were submitted on behalf of consumptive-use special interest groups, primarily to promote the killing of our wildlife. Every legislative session we have a stacked deck in the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee, and the very few pro-wildlife bills that are submitted are usually doomed even before they are heard by the committee. Get involved. Take back YOUR fish and wildlife. ~ John Glowa, South China
Letter: etter: An informed approach would help us better assess the bear facts
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 25, 2015 

Re: “Another View: 2014 bear campaign not first example of agency’s abuse of power” (Jan. 4): First: None of us owns or has bears that belong to us. Second: Simply because an organization is the oldest and most prestigious in its field does not mean it has made correct decisions in implementing its policies. There are numerous “old” businesses that have made mistakes. Can anyone say “banking”? Third: How many of us have actually gone out with a bear hunter? One should be exposed to the practice in order to critique it. ~ Christian McGinn, Parkman
Column: Salivating bear meat recipe for you
Sun Journal - Saturday, January 24, 2015 

What does bear meat taste like? If you Google the question, you'll get a variety of answers. "It can be gamey and greasy." "Hard to describe." "It tastes a little like beef and a little like pork." Over the years, I've tried just about every wild critter Maine has to offer. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Satellite images show dramatic, rapid thinning and acceleration of Svalbard ice cap
Summit Voice - Saturday, January 24, 2015 

If sudden changes on a small island in the Svalbard Archipelago are any indication, then the Greenland Ice Sheet could be in big trouble as the Arctic warms up. Satellite images show that the Austfonna ice cap has thinned by more than 50 metres (150+ feet) since 2012 and that the ice is flowing 25 times faster than just a few years ago. Melting ice caps and glaciers are responsible for about a third of recent global sea level rise.
Editorial: Regulations have done little to boost cod in Gulf of Maine: Lobster management offers clear direction
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, January 24, 2015 

Colonial America’s first true industry, groundfishing, has followed the path of many others. Technology improved as the industrial revolution took hold. Today, that industry faces an uncertain future of depleted stocks, consolidation of the fleet, restrictive regulation and questions about whether species that long sustained some New England fishing communities will ever rebound. Today’s regulatory system leaves much to be desired. While Maine has become, perhaps, dangerously dependent on the lobster, the lobster’s success can, in part, be owed to responsible, shared management through a system in which lobstermen have buy-in. A federal, ecosystem-based model will have to take into account multiple species and will be more complex, but federal regulators might find a place to start in Maine.
Madison mill’s temporary layoffs set to begin
Associated Press - Saturday, January 24, 2015 

A Maine paper mill is set to begin a temporary layoff of many of its employees as it cuts production. Company officials say Madison Paper Industries will close from Saturday until about Feb. 9. The company employs about 220 people and company representatives have declined to say exactly how many will be out of work.
The price of beauty: Maine wants park fees on Mackworth Island
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, January 24, 2015 

Visitors to Mackworth Island may have to get in the habit of having cash on hand. The honor system used to collect fees at the state park is mostly ignored and soon could be replaced by on-site staff from the Bureau of Parks and Lands. Currently, most visitors – about 90 percent – don't want to pay to play at the state park, the math shows.
Vroom (Ouch!) Vroom
Down East - Saturday, January 24, 2015 

The annual One Lunger 100 Vintage Snowmobile Race on February 21 in Turner is a fundraiser for the Turner Ridge Riders, who groom 80 miles of central Maine trails. The race is open to sleds built before 1974. Only about half of the 50 racers who enter manage to finish. Parts fall off. Skis break. Engines quit — or catch fire. With their leaf-spring and bogie-wheel suspensions, steel skis, and welded and fixed handlebars, classic sleds are far from a smooth ride. If the snowmobiles are that uncomfortable, what could possibly be the appeal? “These are the sleds a lot of us grew up on. People love them,” Patrick Jalbert says. “And the race is slow enough that almost anyone can do it. You can have fun without worrying about getting hurt.”
Letter: Climate moral imperative
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, January 24, 2015 

I am writing in reference to the Jan. 13 column, “Pope Francis rattles political conservatives in U.S.” As a Catholic, lifetime Mainer and mother of five girls and grandmother of six wonderful young adults, I am compelled to reply with delight to Francis’ courage and demonstrated great strength that he has shown through his position on climate change. I fully concur that it is our moral imperative to address climate change. ~ Beth Martin, Bangor
Letter: Maine’s gift
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, January 24, 2015 

Maine’s natural resources are our most valuable currency. A new national park and national recreation area, as proposed by Elliotsville Plantation Inc., would help to capitalize on our amazing resource. The park would showcase Maine’s North Woods, as only the National Park Service can. A park would attract people to move to, visit or stay in the area. It’s time for Maine’s delegation to accept Elliotsville Plantation’s gift on behalf of all Mainers. ~ Len Clarke, Port Clyde
Number of moose hunting permits may fall by 9 percent
Portland Press Herald - Friday, January 23, 2015 

Maine’s moose hunt lottery, scheduled for June 13 in Bethel, looks like it will allot roughly the same number of permits as last year, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife announced Thursday. Wildlife Division Director Judy Camuso said the department is recommending reducing the number of permits from 3,095 to 2,815, a reduction of 9 percent (or 280 permits). The moose population appears stable statewide, Camuso told the department’s Advisory Council, which will vote in March on the number of permits. Last June, after the council set the permits at 4,085, the department reduced the number by 25 percent to 3,095, the fewest since 2009, in an emergency action after a study showed that winter ticks caused an unusual amount of winter mortality on the statewide herd.
Current  Archive      Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ...

News Feeds

Maine Organic Farmers
and Gardeners Assn

Battle in Iowa about who is to blame for water pollution could affect farmers nationwide
An impending lawsuit in Iowa about who is to blame for water pollution could have a major impact on farmers throughout the country, Donnelle Eller reports for The Des Moines Register. "The federal government now considers water from farmlands as surface runoff and exempts it from oversight." But Des Moines Water Works, which says three northwest counties are to blame for polluting central Iowa's water supply, "contends the underground tiling widely used by farmers bypasses the natural filtering soil provides, acting as 'a continuous mechanism for transporting nitrates to streams.'"
1/22/2015 11:00:00 PM

When it comes to variations in crop yield, climate has a big say
University of Minnesota - What impact will future climate change have on food supply? That depends in part on the extent to which variations in crop yield are attributable to variations in climate. A new report has found that climate variability historically accounts for one-third of yield variability for maize, rice, wheat and soybeans worldwide – the equivalent of 36 million metric tons of food each year.
1/21/2015 11:00:00 PM

GM insecticidal plants have no future – study
The paper below, by Alexander Viktorov, PhD, of the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution at the Russian Academy of Sciences, shows that GM insecticidal plants such as Bt plants are no more sustainable than chemical insecticides.
1/21/2015 11:00:00 PM

Iowa Farmers Group Asks for Improved Pesticide Drift Protections
The Iowa Farmers Union filed a petition yesterday with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship for rulemaking to improve pesticide drift incident responses, penalties, and support to farmers harmed by pesticide drift.
1/21/2015 11:00:00 PM

Equipment dealer happy to serve small farms
By Edward D. Murphy - "There's a definite move back (to the land) and people are trying to be more self-sufficient and know where their food is coming from."
1/21/2015 11:00:00 PM

International Dairy Foods Association Petitioned the FDA to Put Artificial Sweeteners in Milk without Additional Labeling
By Gary Ruskin - In 2013, the IDFA petitioned the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to allow the use of artificial sweeteners in milk without additional labeling requirements. According to the FDA, the petition calls for FDA to change the “standard of identity” for milk. A standard of identity is the federal requirement that determines what ingredients some food products must (or may) contain to be marketed under certain names.
1/21/2015 11:00:00 PM

BPA exposure linked to changes in stem cells, lower sperm production
By Brian Bienkowski - BPA and other estrogenic compounds hamper development of the stem cells responsible for producing sperm in mice, which suggests such exposure could contribute to declining sperm counts in men, according to a new study. The study, published in PLoS Genetics, is the first to suggest that low, brief exposures to bisphenol-A, or other estrogens such as those used in birth control but found as water contaminants, early in life can alter the stem cells responsible for producing sperm later in life.
1/21/2015 11:00:00 PM

Everything You Need To Know About Nanopesticides
By Virginia Gewin - A scientist at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Stacey Harper is doggedly researching tiny, human-made substances called nanoparticles, with the goal of identifying which will be a boon and which a bane for farmers, consumers and the environment. Nanoparticles, which are the size of molecules, are already used in everything from sunscreen to biomedical devices. Their minuscule size makes them efficient, but also unpredictable. That’s what worries Harper: The first nano-formulations of pesticides are quietly making their way onto agricultural fields, and she wants to know what happens next.
1/20/2015 11:00:00 PM

Natural Resources Council
of Maine

Keep the Dryer Door Closed
Even  if the dryer door is open just a crack, that’s plenty of opportunity for frigid winter air to seep...
1/25/2015 4:00:20 AM

5 Degrees of Separation
If you’re leaving the house for an hour or more, turn the thermostat down 5 degrees to maximize efficien...
1/24/2015 4:00:00 AM

Stash Your Ashes
Burning wood this winter? Save your ashes for use in the compost or around your yard this summer. To view more...
1/23/2015 4:00:39 AM

Portland Council Approves New Fees on Stormwater Runoff
Property owners will start paying in 2016 to help fund $170 million in upgrades to the city’s system for...
1/22/2015 8:21:39 AM

Reverse Your Ceiling Fan
Ceiling fans cool rooms in summer by lifting hot air up and out. Consider reversing the fan for the winter, to...
1/22/2015 4:00:54 AM

Portland Promotes Cigarette Butt Recycling to Make Downtown Friendlier
Restaurant owner builds street ashtrays by Tom Groening Working Waterfront news story PORTLAND — Mike Roylos i...
1/21/2015 8:22:27 AM

Chocolatier Sweet on Solar
And Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections sets up a free electric car-charging station. By Larry Grard KeepM...
1/21/2015 8:12:35 AM

Get a Temp
Many old Maine houses have beautiful wood floors that can be cold in winter. A temporary rug can warm things u...
1/21/2015 4:00:26 AM

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