April 21, 2014  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Sunday, April 20, 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. Will Sugg is the website developer. ~ Jym St. Pierre, RESTORE: The North Woods
The Meaning of Wild, Apr 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, April 20, 2014 

This half hour documentary film takes viewers on a journey through one of our nation’s wildest landscapes, the Tongass National Forest of Southeast Alaska. A post-film discussion will be led by Ken Cline, a Professor of Environmental Law and Policy at College of the Atlantic. At First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, Kennebunk, April 25, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Sierra Club Maine.
Horseshoe Crab Count Needs Volunteers
Announcement - Saturday, April 19, 2014 

Horseshoe crabs are amazing creatures. Each spring, from the end of April through mid-June, volunteers spend an hour or so during high tide counting the crabs they see along the rocky shore in the Great Salt Bay. If interested in participating in the horseshoe crab count project, contact the Damariscotta River Association.
East-West Corridor Art Show, Aug 13-19
Announcement - Friday, April 18, 2014 

Defending Water for Life in Maine is sponsoring an art exhibit to provide a public venue for art which showcases the beauty and diversity of Maine along the route of the proposed East-West Corridor, to support artists who create this art, and to raise funds to continue critical organizing to stop the East-West Corridor project. At Sam Shaw's Main Street Art tent, Northeast Harbor, August 13-19; opening reception August 14, 5 pm.
Maine Rivers Conference, May 10
Event - Posted - Friday, April 18, 2014 

A full day event focused on diadromous fish. At Hathaway Creative Center, Waterville, May 10. $40/adult, $10/student prior to May 1; $50/$10 after May 1.
Feathers over Freeport, Apr 26-27
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 17, 2014 

“Feathers over Freeport” will highlight special birding opportunities at Bradbury Mountain State Park, Pownal, April 26, 8 am - 5 pm; and at Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, Freeport, April 27, 8 am - 4 pm.
HOPE Festival, Apr 26
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 17, 2014 

The HOPE Festival celebrates our connections to the earth and to each other and affirms the power of our united efforts. At University of Maine, Student Recreation and Fitness Center, Orono, April 26, 11 am - 4 pm.
Reject and Protect, Apr 26
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 17, 2014 

Thousands of people will meet in Washington DC to stand with pipeline fighters from the front lines to send a final, unmistakable message to President Obama that it’s time to Reject Keystone XL and Protect our Land Water and Climate. At National Mall, Washington, DC, April 26, 11 am.
Years of Living Dangerously, Apr 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 17, 2014 

The new Showtime documentary series, Years of Living Dangerously, examines the impacts of worldwide climate disruption. The series follows Hollywood stars on journeys across the world to meet the people affected by, and seeking solutions to, climate change. After the screening of the first episod, there will be a panel discussion to talk about what we can do to fight climate change in Maine. At Frontier, Brunswick, April 24, 7 pm.
Neighborhood Bird Walks, Apr 19-May 27
Event - Posted - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 

The Penobscot Valley Chapter of Maine Audubon and Fields Pond Audubon Center have scheduled a dozen spring bird walks.
Rebels with a Cause, Apr 22-26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

This stunningly beautiful new film spotlights a group of citizens from many walks of life who fought to establish public parks beginning in the 1950s. At Frontier, Brunswick, screenings April 22-26.
Birds of Panama, Apr 21
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 08, 2014 

Al Haury will present “Birds of Panama” at Viles Arboretum, Augusta, April 21, 7 pm. Sponsored by Augusta Bird Club.
National Parks Free Entrance, April 19-20
Announcement - Tuesday, April 08, 2014 

Only 133 of our country's 401 National Park System areas charge an entrance fee, but even that will be waived on opening weekend of National Park Week, April 19-20.
Whiskeag Creek Birding, Apr 19
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 08, 2014 

Explore Whiskeag Creek where it empties into the Kennebec River at Thorne Head. April 19, 7:30 am. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon and the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust
Vernal Pools Walk, Apr 19
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 08, 2014 

Join Maine Master Naturalists and science teachers Sue Kistemacher and Sharon Gallant for an exploration of vernal pools in the Vaughan Woods. At Vaughan Homestead, Hallowell, April 19, 1 pm.
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News Items
Letter: Pump performance
Bangor Daily News - Monday, April 21, 2014 

After installing a heat pump this winter, I have been very impressed with its performance and the oil it saves. I am buying a second heat pump. I note that the bill to allow low-income families up to a $2,000 rebate on heat pumps and solar installation would have cost the average electricity user 5 cents per month extra on our bills. With many low-income families needing assistance to buy oil to keep warm, it should have made sense for all the legislators in Augusta to support this bill. If the Senate had over-ridden LePage’s veto of this heat-pump bill, it would have generated millions of dollars in new business for Maine’s business and saved these struggling families thousands of dollars on their oil bills. It is time for some legislators to wake up and do something worthwhile to help Maine’s people and economy, rather than sit on their duffs in Augusta. ~ Bob Tweedie, Westfield
Letter: Welfare motivation
Bangor Daily News - Monday, April 21, 2014 

I applaud Gov. Paul LePage on his efforts to recommend efforts to attract business to the state of Maine. We all want to keep our state’s pristine countryside, but the time has come to recognize that our people need good jobs. In addition, I am amazed that our Legislature will not support LePage on reducing welfare. ~ Bud Butterfield, Bangor
Letter: Story about trees a breath of fresh air
Portland Press Herald - Monday, April 21, 2014 

The story about trees in Longfellow Arboretum was a treasure. Too often we hurry past the remnants of the natural world that continue to survive in the face of urbanization. It was a pleasure to linger among the different varieties of trees for a moment, and learn something new about them. ~ H. A. Bok, Richmond, Calif.
LePage’s veto spree hurts people, the environment, education, jobs and Maine’s quality of life
Maine Insights - Sunday, April 20, 2014 

Governor Paul LePage also vetoed a bill that would have reinstated solar rebates and started a thermal heat pump incentive. These are two measures that would have spurred Maine’s innovation economy and helped combat oil bills with renewable energy. This apparent anti-business governor’s veto spree didn’t end there. With a total of 142 vetoes during his tenure, Governor LePage has exceeded the number of vetoes by any other Governor.
Study: Fuels from corn waste not better than gas
Associated Press - Sunday, April 20, 2014 

Biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than gasoline for global warming in the short term, a study shows, challenging the Obama administration’s conclusions that they are a much cleaner oil alternative and will help combat climate change. While biofuels are better in the long run, the study says they won’t meet a standard set in a 2007 energy law to qualify as renewable fuel.
Symbiosis: In Canaan, a young would-be dairy farmer gets expert advice and the use of a farm
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, April 20, 2014 

Older farmers get a teeming barn and a chance to pass on what they know.
Maine schools slash heating bills with stimulus project
Associated Press - Sunday, April 20, 2014 

Maine schools and other facilities report they have slashed heating bills in half through a project of the Maine Forest Service, funded with federal stimulus dollars, to heat with local wood products. Some project managers say the reduction in heating bills is overstated because they borrowed their share of the cost and now have hefty repayment plans that cut into their net savings. But the agency says its Wood to Energy Program will yield long-term savings. The project footed around half the cost of installing wood boilers for 24 facilities. The Forest Service credits its program with replacing 900,000 gallons of heating oil in 2012 and 2013 with Maine wood chips and pellets and cutting the cost of the same energy output by more than half.
Opinion: How the Koch brothers’ greenback influences green jobs, clean energy debate
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, April 20, 2014 

Last month, the Maine Heritage Policy Center and Beacon Hill Institute released a study attacking Maine’s efforts to promote public health and mitigate climate change through its membership in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative — a highly successful, regional cap-and-trade program that has contributed more than $92 million to the state’s economy and more than 900 new jobs between 2009 and 2011. This is textbook Koch brothers strategy and part of their larger effort to dismantle renewable energy policy across the country in order to pad their already bulging wallets. Maine’s residents deserve to know who is really writing our laws. That’s why I’m proud to be a part of a nascent task force that will help identify legislation that was drafted by American Legislative Exchange Council or other outside corporate influences. Policy that influences our precious natural resources and the well-being of our loved ones should be in the hands of Maine’s residents, not outside corporate influencers such as the Koch brothers ~ Rep. Diane Russell, Portland
Maine family hoping to complete the Appalachian Trail
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 20, 2014 

David and Emily Kallin of Dresden decided to embark on a “thru-hike” of the Appalachian Trail with their two young children on March 31 in Springer Mountain, Ga. With Nathan, 9, and Madeline, 7, as well as their dog, Orion, they are attempting to trek across 14 states toward Mount Katahdin at the northern terminus of the 2,185-mile trail. Last week they surpassed the 200-mile mark on their journey. Should they complete the entire trek sometime in September, they would be among a small group of families to do so — and the two children would achieve an unusual feat all their own. There have been just 10 families and only 22 individuals under the age of 15 who have completed the trail since it was completed in 1937.
Pine Tree Zones tax breaks costing state more than they deliver
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 20, 2014 

A 10-year-old program that uses tax incentives to lure companies to Maine and create jobs here is costing the state more money than the program provides in benefits, according to a new report. The report prepared for the state by Investment Consulting Associates, or ICA, found that the Pine Tree Development Zone program’s costs exceed its benefits. It said the PTDZ delivered total direct benefits to the state of $358 million in 2012, in terms of people employed and salaries and total sales in the state. The program, however, had $457 million in total direct costs related to lost taxes, administrative costs, overhead and other expenses. Despite the high cost of corporate incentive programs, Gov. Paul LePage recently tried to build on such programs by proposing the creation of “Open for Business Zones” to attract major employers in this legislative session. That effort was voted down by legislators.
Editorial: Government by veto causes state to stall
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 20, 2014 

‘Veto” is Latin for “I forbid” and it’s the power the Constitution gives the governor to stop legislation cold. It’s there for a good reason. Legislative districts are small, and legislators can represent narrow interests, even when they cobble together enough votes to make a majority. The governor is the only official in state government who is elected by all the people, and is, at least in theory, accountable to them all. The theory is now being tested by Gov. LePage, who has used his veto more than any governor in Maine history. LePage acts like he’s not responsible to the entire state, playing instead to a minority who applaud his anti-government governing. And as long he has more than a third of the members in the House or Senate on his side, he gets the last word. The last two years will be remembered for the lack of progress on important issues that matter to people. When it’s time to explain those failures, the voters will be the ones with the veto.
Column: Fishing season still in deep freeze
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 20, 2014 

After this winter, one of the harshest on record, the spring fishing season has been pushed back. Ice is still coating lakes and ponds across the state. What that means to bait dealers is there’s been a very delayed start to spring fishing season. For fishermen, it’s making for a long wait after one of the longest winters. In the mountains the spring season could run into summer. ~ Deirdre Fleming
Column: Brook trout after the runoff
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 20, 2014 

I love poking along April brooks just as the spring runoff has subsided enough to make catching brook trout a possibility. The clean freshness of the season smells the same as it did when I was a 5-year-old, walking in April woods behind my parents. Taking two or three trout from a brook that no one but me fishes is a fitting end to a brookie outing. ~ Ken Allen
Column: Afternoon turkey hunt not the same
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 20, 2014 

Morning turkey hunts typically begin with a flurry of activity as randy toms gobble and strut for their hens, who are preoccupied with filling their crops. Hunters start close but not too close to the roost, hoping to intercept the birds before they disperse. Activity tapers off as the sun climbs and unsuccessful hunters strike out across the land, pausing occasionally to call in hopes of raising a gobble. An afternoon hunt begins much as a morning hunt ends — slowly. Afternoon gobblers are far less vocal and less likely to answer a call. ~ Bob Humphrey
Column: Talking turkey takes time, skill
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 20, 2014 

This year, with recent changes in the law that include lower permit fees, two spring turkeys on the same permit in most of the state and all-day hunting, hunters have even more reason to head to the woods. By many measures, I have been largely unsuccessful as a turkey hunter, but I have learned a little more with each adventure. ~ Mark Latti
Column: It’s canoeing heaven in Alamoosook
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 20, 2014 

This outing has it all: Open water paddling on Orland’s Alamoosook Lake, serene paddling in the narrows of the Dead River, marsh exploration and a little whitewater at the mouth of Hellhole Stream. Plus lots of wildlife to enjoy along the way, and just maybe your first swim of the spring. ~ Michael Perry
Column: The ski season in review
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 20, 2014 

The skiing and snowboarding season this winter was a mixed bag. The season was marked by the huge difference in conditions depending on where and when you skied. And when you were able to get on the trails made a huge difference. ~ John Christie
Column: A tour of nature in the heart of the city
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 20, 2014 

The Forest City Trail follows a sinuous route across Portland from the southwest corner of the city near Westbrook to its northern edge on the watery boundary shared with Falmouth, a marvelous 10-mile hike made possible by our friends at Portland Trails. ~ Carey Kish
Column: Spring comes out of the woodwork
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 20, 2014 

My dark thoughts dissolved overnight as an inch or two of fresh snow fell silently. The new day brought sunlight, balmy temperatures and the sense that order could be restored now that the dog and I had renewed our residency and gotten a good night’s sleep. Take my wood, plunder my possessions. I have something permanently mine, something indefatigable — joy in living, deep gratitude and love. ~ North Cairn
Blog:“Checks and balances” are misused, paralyze government
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, April 19, 2014 

The American Constitution created a system in which several bodies have some of the power (the balances) and each could exercise influence on the others (the checks). Almost all states, including Maine, followed the same approach. In Maine, virtual legislative war exists between Gov. LePage and the Democratic-controlled Legislature. The governor appears to interpret checks and balances to mean he gets to insist on laws written just his way — even if his objections are minor or peevish. The Maine Constitution puts the Legislature in a priority position, because legislatures make the laws. Veto by the governor is meant to force reconsideration and compromise, not to make the executive into a legislator. ~ Gordon L. Weil
Unity’s wet and muddy conditions ideal for Trail Day
Morning Sentinel - Saturday, April 19, 2014 

Conditions in the woods were ideal Saturday for Unity College Community Trail Day — wet and muddy. Melted snow from a winter’s worth of bad weather allowed volunteers and members of the Unity College Trail Crew and trail crew club to see just where berms, rocks and logs needed to be placed to chase draining water off the trails and into nearby woods.
Augusta’s Howard Hill quiet getaway in heart of city
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, April 19, 2014 

Just a short walk into the woods from a number of informal access points scattered around Augusta and the edge of Hallowell, Howard Hill is a wooded world away from the bustle and noise of Maine’s capital city. Members of the Kennebec Land Trust, a local nonprofit land conservation organization, targeted the property for years before announcing last month it has a deal with the landowner to buy the property and turn it over to the city of Augusta. If all goes as planned, the property will be given to the city, along with a $100,000 fund to help care for it, and the land trust will retain a conservation easement that prevents the land from development. It will be open for recreation, wildlife-watching, and other nondevelopment uses.
Column: Story of a shell game played to excess
Sun Journal - Saturday, April 19, 2014 

When it comes to the surreal realm of American gun­ control politics, the adage “truth is stranger than fiction” really applies. Just when you think that you’ve heard it all, something even more utterly outrageous pops into the news headlines. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Asian beetles threaten livelihood of Maine’s American Indians
Morning Sentinel - Saturday, April 19, 2014 

Over the past 20 years, the story of traditional basket makers has been one of triumph in the face of adversity, according to Theresa Secord, of Waterville, president of the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance. But the basket makers say the emerald ash borer, the most destructive forest pest ever seen in North America, is on a collision course with Maine’s oldest cultural art form.
Chip Cochrane captures Kenduskeag Race division with daughter 40 years after winning with dad
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, April 19, 2014 

Greenville native Chip Cochrane had originally intended to attend the 48th annual Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race to support his wife, Lani Love-Cochrane, and her paddling partner Shelley Koenig. But, three days before the race, when 17-year-old daugher Czari expressed interest in entering the race for the first time and teaming up with him, he signed on. And the Cochranes won the C-2 Mixed Recreational Class with a time of 2:06:12, beating 17 other teams. Chip Cochrane and his dad, Warren, won the C-2 Family Class at the Kenduskeag race in 1974.
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News Feeds

Maine Organic Farmers
and Gardeners Assn

Blue Hill raw milk case to be heard in supreme court
By Anne Berleant - Blue Hill farmer Dan Brown of Gravelwood Farm will have his day in court – again.
4/16/2014 11:00:00 PM

Kitchens could be sources of drug-resistant bacteria
By Kathryn Doyle - Cutting boards used to prepare raw poultry may be an important source of drug-resistant bacteria in hospital kitchens and private homes, according to a new study.
4/15/2014 11:00:00 PM

Designing Hedgerows to Connect Habitat
By Rebecca Lindenmeyr - Habitat fragmentation is a serious problem across the country and a significant contributor to the loss of biodiversity worldwide. Here in Vermont, development in the Burlington area continues to fragment the habitat blocks that remain. Preserving as much forest and open land as possible is of course the first line of defense, but in many situations the damage has already been done and then the goal becomes finding ways to reconnect the fragments.
4/15/2014 11:00:00 PM

Maine Farmer to Speak at United Nations on International Mother Earth Day
Jim Gerritsen, a Maine organic seed potato farmer, has accepted an invitation to participate on a guest panel at the United Nations in New York City on April 22, 2014. The event will be the fourth Interactive Dialogue of the General Assembly on Harmony with Nature, which commemorates International Mother Earth Day.
4/15/2014 11:00:00 PM

Hormone-disrupting chemicals are a must for Maine DEP’s spring cleaning to-do list
Op-Ed by Heather Spalding - The season’s bright blue skies, sunshine, snowdrops, crocuses and longer days inspire us to tackle lots of dirty projects mounting around our homes, yards and workplaces. My spring cleaning to-do list gets longer by the day. Most of it feels manageable, but there is one thing I can’t tackle without the help of Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection.
4/15/2014 11:00:00 PM

Vermont Senate passes mandatory GMO food-labeling law
By Carey Gillam and Lisa Baertlein - The Vermont Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would make the state the first in the United States to enact mandatory labeling of foods made with genetically modified crops. "We are really excited that Vermont is going to be leading on this," said Falko Schilling, a spokesman for the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, which backed the bill.
4/15/2014 11:00:00 PM

Seed Money or Seed Sovereignty? Chile Beats Monsanto Law (For Now)
By Jessica Ramos - Chile has scored a major victory against ‘Monsanto Law’ – a bill that sought to privatize the country’s seeds and Monsanto Company – an almost unstoppable force. Indigenous communities, farmers and women beat one of the biggest seed giants on the globe.
4/15/2014 11:00:00 PM

Fermenting Maine: Kombucha and Community
Daniel and Mirra of The Perennial Plate bring us the story of Urban Farm Fermentory in Portland, Maine. Watch to learn how Kombucha is made, but also to hear the story of an inspired community building man and organization.
4/15/2014 11:00:00 PM

Natural Resources Council
of Maine

“Wild”-scape Your Yard
When choosing plants for your yard, include perennials that offer food for wildlife. Birds and small mammals b...
4/21/2014 4:00:22 AM

Squeaky Wheels
To lubricate non-specialized mechanical items (from door hinges to kitchen equipment) use canola oil instead o...
4/20/2014 4:00:20 AM

Good Clean Fun
Bored? Skip the movies and other energy- and budget-busting activities. Go for a walk at a nature area. #maine...
4/18/2014 4:00:06 AM

Maine Senate Sustains Veto, Pulls Blinds on Solar Energy Rebate Bill
by Scott Thistle, State Politics Editor Sun Journal news story AUGUSTA — The state Senate on Wednesday, by sus...
4/17/2014 10:38:55 AM

Legislature Rejects Weak Mining Rules; Sends Bill to Governor
Statement of Nick Bennett, NRCM Staff Scientist “The Maine House and Senate have given final approval to LD 17...
4/17/2014 8:36:40 AM

Hormone-disrupting Chemicals are a Must for Maine DEP’s Spring Cleaning To-do List
By Heather Spalding, Special to the BDN Bangor Daily News op-ed The season’s bright blue skies, sunshine, snow...
4/17/2014 7:49:20 AM

Toyota Will Launch Hydrogen-powered Car in 2015
By Norihiko Shirouzu, Paul Lienert and Yoko Kubota, Reuters Bangor Daily News news story TOYOTA CITY, Japan/IR...
4/17/2014 7:42:48 AM

Portland Panel Backs Plastic Foam Container Ban
But a decision on imposing a plastic grocery bags fee is delayed. The issue now goes back to the City Council....
4/17/2014 7:27:11 AM

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