September 15, 2014  

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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Monday, September 15, 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
Wildlife photo show, thru Sep 30
Announcement - Monday, September 15, 2014 

Exhibit of wildlife and fine art photography by Mid-coast Maine resident Leon Vanella. At Freeport Public Library, September.
Great Maine Outdoor Weekend, Sep 26-28
Event - Posted - Monday, September 15, 2014 

The Great Maine Outdoor Weekend is a series of events led by outdoor oriented organizations and companies to celebrate the how, where, and what of being active outside in Maine. The goal is to connect friends and neighbors with the natural world, to promote fun, physical activity, & good health.
People’s Climate March Solidarity Parade, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 14, 2014 

Meet at Festival Plaza, Auburn, Sep 21, 1 pm.
Mushroom Walk, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 14, 2014 

Mycologist Michaeline Mulvey will lead an expedition into the uplands of Bowdoinham to educate participants on local mushroom varieties. Sep 21, 2-4 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Ocean Frontiers, Dawn of a New Age in Ocean Stewardship, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 14, 2014 

An inspiring story of citizens working together for the sake of the sea. The film brings you face to face with those embarking on the nation’s first regional ocean plan, promoting healthier economies and healthier seas across New England. At Reel Pizza Cinerama, Bar Harbor, Sep 21, 2 pm. Sponsored by Sierra Club Maine.
National Drive Electric Day Maine Expo & Ride ’n Drive, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 14, 2014 

Ride and drive an electric car, and talk to others who own and drive electric cars right here in Maine. Free food (12-3 pm) provided by Lee Auto Mall and the Portland House of Pizza. At South Portland Community Center, September 21, 12-5 pm. Sponsored by Natural Resources Council of Maine.
Coastal Cleanup, Sep 20-27
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 13, 2014 

The Coastal Cleanup includes volunteers of all ages and backgrounds who clean our coastal shoreline and associated waterways of trash. Several Maine communities are looking for volunteers.
Spear Farm, Sep 17
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 10, 2014 

Janet Spear will discuss the 80-year history of the family farm and how it has grown. At Waldoboro Public Library, Sep 16, 7 pm.
Lessons NOT Learned from 9/11 and the BP Oil Disaster, Sep 17
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 10, 2014 

Speaker: Lisa Katzman, documentary filmmaker, journalist, screenwriter and educator. At Center for Marine Studies, Blue Hill, September 17, 6 pm. Sponsored by Marine Environmental Research Institute.
Is Conservation Prepared for Climate Change? Sep 16
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 09, 2014 

Shaun Martin, senior director of climate change adaptation for the World Wildlife Fund, will discuss how climate change has profound implications on wildlife, ecosystems, and ecosystem services that people rely on for their well-being. At Colby College, Waterville, Olin 1, Sep 16, 7 pm.
Live Bird Capture, Sep 16
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 09, 2014 

Patrick Keenan, Outreach Director at the Biodiversity Research Institute, will discuss annual migrations, diseases and other threats to bird populations, and modern methods for tracking and studying Maine's bird populations. He will demonstrate using a mist net to capture birds to measure the prevalence of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Maine's songbirds. At Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson, Sep 16, 9-11 am.
Help Get Allagash on TV
Action Alert - Monday, September 08, 2014 

Kevin Hoyt's "The Future of Hunting" is a television show that airs on the Pursuit Channel, advocating the preservation of hunting traditions, conservation, and education. Later this month, he will be in Allagash to film an episode. The producers have agreed to give Allagash several minutes of air time during the episode. While this could otherwise cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, they are willing to give this chance for only $2500 toward deferring their costs. ~ Chace Jackson
Clean Water & Clean Jobs, Sep 15
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 07, 2014 

Water Bond Campaign kick-off. At Maine Audubon, Falmouth, Sep 15, 10 am.
Landowner Appreciation Cleanup Day, Sep 13
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 06, 2014 

The Maine Bureau of Forestry is coordinating the volunteer land cleanup effort this year. Forest Rangers working in cooperation with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Maine Snowmobile Association, ATV Maine, and other recreational groups are preparing teams to clean up 50-60 illegal dump sites in Maine on September 13.
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News Items
Opinion: The Buck Does Not Stop Here
Times Record - Monday, September 15, 2014 

Gov. Paul LePage recently said, “The worst part of my life is newspapers are still alive.” Why does the press bug him so much? Clearly, it’s that journalists try to hold those in power accountable for their words and actions, and LePage hates being accountable. One of LePage’s favorite campaign stories is “the buffalo.” Supposedly, he was contracted to do a $50,000 study as a consultant to find out how many buffalo were roaming the forests of Maine. The laugh line was, “We found one, at the Acadia Zoo in Trenton.” It was effective because a lot of people had seen the buffalo at the now-defunct zoo. The trouble is that, when reporters checked, they could find no evidence any such study had ever been commissioned, nor did LePage ever explain what he was talking about. ~ Douglas Rooks
Federal judge sets trial date for lawsuit alleging Cate Street CEO shielded assets in collections case
Bangor Daily News - Monday, September 15, 2014 

A federal lawsuit alleging Cate Street Capital CEO John Halle transferred property and assets to his wife to avoid paying a roughly $2.4 million personal judgment against him has been scheduled for trial in November as a collections case moves forward through Maine District Court. Cate Street manages the Great Northern Paper Co. in Millinocket and Thermogen Industries, which planned to build a high-tech wood pellet plant in East Millinocket.
Corporate Volunteers Come to the Aid of Back Cove Gardens
Other - Monday, September 15, 2014 

IDEXX Laboratories, the Westbrook biomedical company, has been sending teams of volunteers to provide much-needed help with the maintenance of Portland’s YardScaping Gardens at Back Cove. The two-and-a-half-acre demonstration garden, situated along Portland’s Back Cove Trail, is a large project designed to be a showcase for trees, shrubs, and perennials that help gardeners and landscapers reduce their reliance on fertilizers, pesticides, and irrigation water.
Lyme Disease Changes Maine’s Deer Discussion
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, September 15, 2014 

For more than a century, Maine deer have been managed for maximum populations that benefit deer hunters. But Lyme disease is changing the discussion, and is likely to force Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to reduce deer populations in coastal, southern, and central Maine – even while they struggle to rebuild deer populations in western and northern Maine.
Kingfisher, merlin and sandpipers, highlights of recent Bangor outings
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Monday, September 15, 2014 

A series of loud honks announced the arrival of Canada geese to the Essex Woods wetlands on the morning of Sept. 12, a sunny day with an unmistakable crispness of autumn in the air. The geese reminded me that Maine migratory birds would soon be gone, driven south by the cold, and the marsh would freeze over for the winter. The chickadees and beaver would remain, but as for all the fishing birds, they would depart for open water. [photos]
Sierra Club supports Mike Michaud
Foster's Daily Democrat - Monday, September 15, 2014 

In an effort to spread awareness of U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud's campaign in the state of Maine, supporters gathered at Fort Foster to listen to the candidate's goals and talk to Kittery residents by going door to door. About a dozen supporters showed up to Sunday's event, which was organized by the Sierra Club's Maine chapter. According to Glen Brand, the chapter's director, the Maine chapter is endorsing Michaud in the November gubernatorial election because of his emphasis on conserving and protecting the state's environment, something Brand said Gov. Paul LePage neglects to do.
In debate on siting Downeaster layover facility, a switch: Too few riders?
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 15, 2014 

For two years now, the battle over Amtrak’s plans to build a layover facility in Brunswick has been focused on the proposed site, a former rail yard near a residential neighborhood just south of the downtown station. But opponents are now criticizing the viability of the rail service itself, saying that too few passengers ride the train to justify building a $12.7 million facility and adding more train trips to the Brunswick schedule. Officials with the rail authority that operates the train service say the proposed facility would allow the service to operate more trains and increase ridership, while at the same time lowering operating costs, particularly for fuel and overtime pay.
Devalued paper mill has Madison seeking loan
Morning Sentinel - Monday, September 15, 2014 

Madison residents will be asked this week to take out a $2.5 million loan to cushion the impact of a huge cut in the property tax assessment of the town’s biggest taxpayer, a revaluation that will cut the bill paid by Madison Paper by 60 percent and increase property taxes on homeowners by nearly one-third. Selectmen are also asking residents to dip into the municipal savings accounts by approving the use of undesignated funds and economic development money to ease the sharp tax increase on homes and businesses expected in the wake of the revaluation of Madison’s paper mill to adjust for the decline in demand for its product.
Letter: Maine state Senate needs Falmouth's Breen
Forecaster - Monday, September 15, 2014 

I was pleased to hear that Maine Conservation Voters has endorsed Democrat Cathy Breen in November for the state Senate District 25 seat. She deserves it. The organization has been an environmental watchdog in Augusta for more than 25 years, promoting forward-thinking policies that protect Maine’s air, water, and wildlife. ~ Hugh Smith, Falmouth
Letter: Amazing gift
Bangor Daily News - Monday, September 15, 2014 

This summer I explored, on a mountain bike, a small part of the 150,000-acre Katahdin Woods and Waters Recreation Area, the land proposed to become Maine’s second National Park and National Recreation Area. There are many features of this land that would enhance the National Park System, but to me, the most important is that it is connected with other conservation lands, such as Baxter State Park. Research has determined that Maine’s iconic mammals require large, contiguous plots of land to maintain healthy populations. The proposal would complement Baxter State Park. I strongly encourage others to support the acceptance of this amazing gift offered by Elliotsville Plantation Inc. to the United States and to Maine. ~ Bonnie Wood, Presque Isle
Letter: No question that our wildlife is well-managed
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 15, 2014 

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife was established to manage wildlife populations with the best interests of both the creatures and the general public in mind. The agency has determined that hunting with bait and hounds, and trapping, are important tools to manage a bear population that is thriving. The revenue lost should Question 1 pass will compromise their ability to provide all the goods and services they offer all of us. Voting against this referendum will preserve the infrastructure that enables all of us to enjoy the Maine outdoors. ~ Paul Wojciak, Merrimack, N.H.
Letter: Baiting bears may actually improve their survival rates
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 15, 2014 

If you talk to wildlife officials in most other states, such as Washington, Oregon and Colorado, bear complaints are holding steady and bear populations are manageable. Baiting is allowed in only 12 states because it is widely believed that baiting habituates bears to human food, increasing human-bear conflicts. The IFW points to Maine’s increasing bear population by 30 percent as “proof” that Maine’s three methods of hunting — hounding, baiting and trapping — are working. But the Wildlife Alliance of Maine points out that baiting increases the bear population for another reason: A high-fat diet increases the levels of circulating estrogen in bears, increasing their fertility and reproduction rate, and the high-fat, sugary supplemental feeding program increases bear and cub survival rates. ~ Vae Philbrick, Scarborough
Polls show a close, two-way race for Maine governor
Mike Tipping's Tipping Point Blog - Sunday, September 14, 2014 

A new poll released on Sunday from Public Policy Polling (sponsored by Maine Conservation Voters Action Fund) shows Governor Paul LePage and Congressman Mike Michaud statistically tied in the race for governor (Michaud at 43% and LePage at 42%) with Cutler trailing at 11%. The survey sampled 1,059 likely voters for a margin of error of +/-3%, at the 95% confidence level. This is a similar result to other polls over the last few months, indicating a remarkably stable race, especially for a 3-way contest in Maine.
World's Last Remaining Forest Wilderness at Risk
Other - Sunday, September 14, 2014 

Truthout - The world’s last remaining forest wilderness is rapidly being lost — and much of this is taking place in Canada, not in Brazil or Indonesia where deforestation has so far made the headlines. A new satellite study reveals that since 2000 more than 104 million hectares of forests, an area three times the size of Germany, have been destroyed or degraded. “Every four seconds, an area of the size of a football (soccer) field is lost,” said Christoph Thies of Greenpeace International. [Many species that migrate through Maine rely on Canada's boreal forests.]
Humane Society CEO goes door to door in Bangor to solicit support to ban ‘inhumane, unsporting bear hunting practices’
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, September 14, 2014 

The heated debate over whether to ban baiting, trapping and hounding in Maine brought the head of the nation’s largest organization dedicated to the protection of animals to Bangor on Saturday. Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, went door to door in a Bangor neighborhood with the aim to drum up support for the initiative that has sparked contentious arguments about the fairness and value of those hunting practices.
Cruise ship business booms in Portland
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, September 14, 2014 

Tens of thousands of dollars poured into the city of Portland this weekend, with two large cruise ships docked at the Portland Ocean Terminal on Saturday. “It’s real nice to have a double cruise ship day,” Bob Leeman, cruise ship marketing manager for Portland, said. Leeman said September is the busiest month of the year for cruise ships in the city.
Multimedia project shares stories of Mainers who work, play on Casco Bay
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, September 14, 2014 

Working to ensure that the bay endures for generations to come, the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership this summer resolved to “reach people on a more emotional level” and remind them of the importance of a clean bay. Funded by a grant from the federal EPA, the partnership this summer launched Casco Bay Stories, a series of multimedia stories, photos and videos sharing the lives of people who work and play in and around Casco Bay. The idea behind the project was to engage the community and share the knowledge of how people interact with Casco Bay, according to writer and producer Galen Koch.
UMaine to host climate change conference
Associated Press - Sunday, September 14, 2014 

The University of Maine Climate Change Institute is hosting a conference next month about preparing for extreme weather events. The Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainability Conference will take place Oct. 23 at the Wells Conference Center at the university’s main campus in Orono. University officials say the event is for business people, farmers, community planners and other interested residents and will cover subjects such as the spread of ticks and rising sea levels. Assistant Professor Sean Birkel will show participants how to use online tools that provide climate and weather models as well as pollution and health information.
Planet earth vs. roads: The epic conflict that will define the future of the world
Other - Sunday, September 14, 2014 

Salon - The great age of road-building is only beginning. By 2050, we will have added 15 million miles of new road to the planet — a 60 percent increase in four decades over our current total, amassed over the past 5,000 years. [One proposal is to build a 220-mile long East-West highway and utility corridor across Maine.] An epic, intractable conflict between conservation and development is upon us.
Portland Greenfest gets down to Earth
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 14, 2014 

Hundreds of people descended on Monument Square on Saturday to learn about the latest trends in eco-fashion, recycling and energy efficiency at the Portland Greenfest. The daylong event was organized by a coalition of environmental and educational groups with the aim of celebrating the planet and its cultures.
Senate chemical reform bill faces uphill fight
Associated Press - Sunday, September 14, 2014 

Efforts to come up with a new chemical regulation bill face an uphill battle in the Senate. Over the summer, Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and David Vitter, R-LA, provided a revised draft of their chemical regulation bill to committee chairwoman Barbara Boxer, who said last week that the draft still falls short. The original bill was panned by environmental groups, who assailed it as “phony reform,” although the Environmental Defense Fund supported its introduction as a chance for an eventual breakthrough. At stake is a rewrite of the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, known as TSCA, which is widely seen as an ineffective law to protect Americans from harmful chemicals.
‘Flushable’ wipes clog cities’ sewers, strain coffers
Bloomberg News - Sunday, September 14, 2014 

The ancient Greeks used clay and stone; the Romans, sponges and salt water. Americans made do with rags, newspapers or mail-order catalogs until 1890 when the Scott brothers popularized toilet paper on a roll. Only in the past decade have grownups seized upon moist “flushable” wipes similar to those that clean baby bottoms, a product that has become a prized asset in a flat market. Accelerating sales are demonstrated inside the world’s sewers, where tons clog equipment.
Challenges impede Mainers’ switch to natural gas
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 14, 2014 

Natural gas warms more than 60 percent of American homes. In Maine, the use rate is roughly 6 percent. But that’s due to change quickly. Summit Natural Gas has installed more than 130 miles of pipe in central Maine and plans to serve 15,000 homes and businesses within five years. It currently is starting to place 250 miles of pipe in Cumberland, Falmouth and Yarmouth, aiming to connect 8,000 customers by 2019. Maine’s three other gas utilities, Maine Natural Gas, Unitil and Bangor Gas Co., also are in the midst of expansion plans. Captivated by the prospect of cutting their heating bills in half, thousands of Mainers have signed up to convert their homes from oil to natural gas. But signing up is the easy part. Actually getting gas can take patience and perseverance.
BikeMaine 2014: Memories by the mile
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 14, 2014 

Of the 275 riders who participated, more than half — 163 — were from outside Maine. They included riders from Austria, Japan, New Zealand and Canada. Thirty-one states were represented, including seven riders from Florida, nine from Washington and 10 from Oregon. The BikeMaine tour, which concluded Saturday, covered 348 miles of terrain over seven days of riding.
Column: Fleeing energy forum for NASCAR promotion says much about LePage
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 14, 2014 

Dear Gov. LePage, Can we talk comfort zones? I ask this because on Friday morning, you skipped out on a forum about Maine’s energy future to go sing the praises of a race car that gets about 5 miles per gallon. I know you consider $50,000 in taxpayer money you plunked down for this opportunity a shrewd use of public coffers to turn around a state economy that continues to lag well behind the rest of New England when it comes to recovering from the Great Recession. But still, Governor. Priorities? ~ Bill Nemitz
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Sky reflection in toxic tailings pond. © Garth Lenz

Mining the Alberta Tar Sands in Canadia has produced enough toxic waste to fill a canal 32 feet deep by 65 feet wide a distance of over 2,000 miles.

News Feeds

Maine Organic Farmers
and Gardeners Assn

GMO experiments receive questionable oversight
By Bill Lambrecht - At a secret location among the vineyards of California's Central Coast, a plot of genetically engineered corn is producing proteins for industrial and pharmaceutical uses, including an experimental vaccine for hepatitis B.
9/7/2014 11:00:00 PM

At Palermo farm, rare guinea hogs from Unity College help till soil
By Rachel Ohm - In an unusual effort to reclaim an abandoned raspberry patch and other farmland, Daniel MacPhee and his wife, Corinne Wesh, recently purchased four American guinea hog piglets, a breed of heritage pigs known for their foraging ability.
9/6/2014 11:00:00 PM

EU under pressure to allow GM food imports from US and Canada
By Fiona Harvey - Britain and other European Union member states are under increasing pressure from North American business groups to open their borders to imports of genetically modified food as part of negotiations for a new Transatlantic trade deal, environmental campaigners have warned.
9/4/2014 11:00:00 PM

Despite study linking formaldehyde to cancer, Maine agency not requiring its disclosure in products
By Mario Moretto - Despite a new national study that deems formaldehyde a known cancer-causing chemical in humans, Gov. Paul LePage’s administration is awaiting more information before forcing manufacturers to disclose the presence of the compound in their products.
9/2/2014 11:00:00 PM

Soil Association launches the ‘Organic September’ campaign
By Anna Bonar - The Soil Association calls UK public to switch to organic food through their ‘Organic September’ campaign, as it is healthier, better for the environment, nutritionally richer and sustainable, according to an expert.
8/21/2014 11:00:00 PM

USDA clarifies use of ‘organic’ in brand, company names
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the National Organics Program, has issued a clarification to certifying agencies about the use of the word “organic” in company or product brand names.
8/21/2014 11:00:00 PM

New go-to career for young New Englanders: farming
By Jennifer McDermott - Bucking the national trend, the region shows an increase in the number of farms, many less than 50 acres.
8/21/2014 11:00:00 PM

Pesticides Used On Florida's Mosquitoes May Harm Butterflies
By Greg Allen - Environmentalists and a South Florida community want to limit aerial spraying for mosquitoes – saying it's ineffective and harmful to wildlife. Two butterfly species were added to the endangered list.
8/21/2014 11:00:00 PM

Natural Resources Council
of Maine

UMaine to Host Climate Change Conference
The conference will take place Oct. 23 at the Wells Conference Center at the university’s main campus. The Ass...
9/15/2014 3:04:02 PM

My Maine This Week: Jane Gagnon
“This  image is taken at Sherwood Forest in Auburn of a Downy Woodpecker  working for his lunch. It was ...
9/15/2014 11:04:49 AM

Meatless Mondays
Animal farms account for 1/5 of the world’s climate-changing emissions. You don’t need to cut meat...
9/15/2014 4:00:04 AM

Portland Greenfest Gets Down to Earth
The city emulates Boston in celebrating the planet with music, workshops, booths and much more. By Beth Quimby...
9/14/2014 2:56:32 PM

Toxic-free Cleaning
Clean stains and grime without commercial cleaners laden with harmful chemicals. Use safer alternatives that a...
9/14/2014 4:00:55 AM

Root for Fruits & Vegetables
Root-cellar your fruits and vegetables. In the proper humidity and temperature, fruits and vegetables can be s...
9/13/2014 4:00:33 AM

Saving Seeds
Save the seeds of your homegrown vegetables. Dried properly, they can be used the following year instead of bu...
9/12/2014 4:00:42 AM

UN Climate Agency: Carbon Dioxide Levels Growing at Alarming Rate
By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times Bangor Daily News news story Carbon dioxide accumulation in the atmosp...
9/11/2014 9:11:29 AM
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