July 20, 2019  
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News Items
Audubon counting Maine’s loons, which seem to be on mend
Associated Press - Saturday, July 20, 2019 

It’s time to count the loons. Maine Audubon is holding its annual count of the state’s common loons on Saturday. The 2019 Loon Count is a tool that helps conservationists in the state get an idea of how the vulnerable birds are doing. Recently, signs have been good. Maine Audubon found last year that were 3,269 adult loons and 406 loon chicks in the southern half of Maine. The count has been going on for more than three decades, and those are some of the highest totals.
Arctic Fox Walks 2,176 miles
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Saturday, July 20, 2019 

A young Arctic fox has walked across the ice from Norway’s Svalbard islands to northern Canada in an epic journey, covering 3,506 km (2,176 miles) in 76 days. What amazed the researchers was not so much the length of the journey as the speed with which the fox had covered it – averaging just over 46 km (28.5 miles) a day and sometimes reaching 155 km.
Opinion: Forget new manned missions in space. NASA should focus on saving Earth.
Washington Post - Saturday, July 20, 2019 

NASA was not created to do something again. It was created to push the limits of human understanding — to help the nation solve big, impossible problems that require advances in science and technology. Fifty years ago, the impossible problem was putting a human on the moon to win the space race, and all of humanity has benefited from the accomplishment. The impossible problem today is not the moon. And it’s not Mars. It’s our home planet. Climate change — not Russia, much less China — is today’s existential threat.
I tested 9 natural remedies for mosquito bites. Here’s what works.
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, July 20, 2019 

No matter what I do, mosquitoes seem to have a taste for my blood. Desperate for relief, I tested nine natural remedies for mosquito bites:
• Raw honey - My favorite.
• Ice - Likely the cheapest natural remedy.
• Lemon - Can result in blistering but works.
• Apple cider vinegar - Left a lingering burning sensation.
• Baking soda - Middlingly effective.
• Cold tea bag - Fairly ineffective.
• Salt - One of the less effective natural remedies.
• Garlic - Opt for a less painful natural remedy.
• Witch hazel - The least effective.
Plastic or paper? Trump campaign weighs in on straw debate
Associated Press - Friday, July 19, 2019 

The president and his re-election campaign are mocking efforts to replace plastic straws with paper ones and turning that disdain into a fundraising gimmick. The president’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, tweeted that he was “so over paper straws. #LiberalProgress.” He said liberals would do the same to the economy: “Squeeze it until it doesn’t work.” Later, Parscale tweeted a link to the campaign’s online store, where supporters could buy a pack of 10 recyclable and laser engraved “Trump Straws” for $15. Sure enough, the site now says the straws have already sold out.
N.H. court upholds rejection of Northern Pass hydropower transmission line
Associated Press - Friday, July 19, 2019 

The New Hampshire Supreme Court on Friday upheld a state committee’s rejection of a proposal to bring a hydropower transmission line from Canada to markets in southern New England, possibly dealing a fatal blow to a plan that has raised concerns among communities and environmentalists that it would harm the region’s tourism industry and hurt property values.
VIDEO: Watch a moose run through Lewiston streets
Sun Journal - Friday, July 19, 2019 

A motorist on her way to work found herself behind a moose heading into the city. Kathryn Foley posted a video about 5 a.m. showing a moose running on Route 202 as the Longley Bridge became Main Street. Then without using “his blinkah,” the moose took a right turn onto Lincoln Street.
Why do birds sing?
Other - Friday, July 19, 2019 

The Conversation - The beauty of birds isn’t just their looks – it’s also their noises. Bird songs are among nature’s most distinctive and musically satisfying sounds. Why do birds spend so much time and energy singing? There are two main purposes, and they are connected. First, male birds sing to mark territories. A singing bird is saying, “This place is mine, and I’m willing to defend it, especially from others of my species.” The second purpose of singing is to attract a mate for nesting.
Why a Maine farmer is fighting the state to save his bacon
Bangor Daily News - Friday, July 19, 2019 

A Winterport farmer is fighting back against what he calls an “absurd” food safety rule that has condemned 100 pounds of his specialty smoked meat to a terrible fate. Officials from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry have told Randy Canarr that they feel badly about it but still must rip open the frozen packages of bacon, ham, smoked shoulders and more, and douse them with bleach. This is not happening because the meat from Canarr’s pastured pigs is unsafe to eat. It’s because there was a paperwork problem at the business that processed the meat, the farmer said. He understands that he cannot legally sell meat that has been wrongly labeled, but the destruction of his bacon and other products makes no sense to him.
Column: Many bird species raise more than one brood a year
Bangor Daily News - Friday, July 19, 2019 

Nest failure is common in all species. Many will try again after a failure. Some will try again, even after success. If conditions and the food supply allow, a few species will raise up to six broods a year. I’m talking about you, Mr. & Mrs. Mourning Dove. Bluebirds can do four. Robins can do three. Other thrushes can manage two. Maine summers are too short to allow maximum re-brooding, but a lot of species can accomplish two broods per year. ~ Bob Duchesne
Editorial: Safer roadways for all are part of building community
Portland Press Herald - Friday, July 19, 2019 

When it comes to roads, there’s more to think about than cars and trucks. Most of the time, roads, particularly major thoroughfares, were built and are maintained with the thought of automobiles foremost in mind. The needs of walkers, bicyclists and wheelchair users are secondary, as are concerns over how auto-centric arteries can wall off neighborhoods. It is street design that will ultimately make roads safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. It will strengthen communities too. If you build walkable streets, people will walk. If you build bike lanes, people will bike. Improvements will bring people out of their houses and into their neighborhoods. It will be healthier for the people who walk and bike, and for the planet.
Letter: New housing should not encroach on greenspace
Portland Press Herald - Friday, July 19, 2019 

As a registered horticultural therapist, I realize the fundamental human need of greenspace within city limits. Cities that honor and protect natural areas enjoy lower crime rates and flourishing communities. It is an indisputable fact that citizens who live within easy access to greenspaces are generally healthier, happier people. This is not rocket science. Humans are part of the natural world. When people have limited access to a nature, illness results. Anxiety, depression, insomnia, obesity are epidemic in our society today. There is a solid connection between the incidence of these conditions with in a population and the lack of access to a natural environment. ~ Colleen Griffin, Portland
Letter: Sad to see trees being cleared
Kennebec Journal - Friday, July 19, 2019 

It is sad to see so many of the trees in our city being destroyed. (“With eye on safety, Maine DOT clearing trees near I-95 exits”). Augusta needs beautification – not more ugliness. ~ Jean Matheson, Augusta
Letter: Maine Lobster gear a threat to whales
Bangor Daily News - Friday, July 19, 2019 

Right whales have been entangled in Maine lobster gear. This is documented. What we don’t know is the number of entanglements in lobster gear that may have occurred that remain undocumented. Some whales may have managed to free themselves of the gear, or died as a result of their entanglement and were not reported or simply never found. While lobster gear is by no means the only threat to the survival of the right whale, it is one of them. If this critically endangered species is to survive into the future, then every effort must be made to reduce all of these threats. ~ Russell Wray, Citizens Opposing Active Sonar Threats (COAST), Hancock
Rumford police reassure public about bobcat hanging out near High Bridge
Sun Journal - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

Rumford police Thursday night announced that a bobcat has been seen in the area, but stressed that there’s no reason for alarm. “According to our animal control officer, we have a bobcat hanging out on High Bridge on the South Rumford Road,” according to the department’s Facebook page. “A vet tech and wildlife rehab vet say it seems very healthy, just fascinated with the bridge for some reason. Any complaints can go to Maine Warden Service, but people should not panic.”
Public hearing in Farmington brings more angry CMP customers
Sun Journal - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

Members of the Maine Public Utilities Commission sat through a second night of public testimony Thursday, listening to the same story from people sharing their frustrating experiences with Central Maine Power. Rep. Frances Head, R-Bethel, said, “A local dairy farmer saw his bills triple. He may have to go out of business." Speakers said that CMP has not earned the right to increase its rates by 10.65 percent to raise $46.5 million. Some had even more startling things to say concerning CMP’s proposal to build a $1 billion transmission line to bring power from Hydro Quebec through Western Maine to Massachusetts. Geraldine Bryant spoke for an elderly relative, Lyle Laplante of Livermore Falls. “Their transmission line expansion hasn’t been approved, but they are already buying real estate to build the corridor. The Laplantes have been badgered to sell their home to the point they feel intimidated. The offers are low and CMP keeps coming back and saying he might as well sell because the corridor is going to happen anyway."
Land-use survey becomes controversial in Auburn’s agricultural zone
Sun Journal - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

A Bates College survey of landowners has put a tense debate over the future of the city’s agricultural zone back in the spotlight after Mayor Jason Levesque (R) said involvement in the survey by members of elected boards violated the city charter. On Monday, Levesque said the results of the survey, which is being conducted by Bates College professor Francis Eanes, “will not be used in any decision-making process by city staff, elected or appointed officials” because the Conservation Commission and Planning Board never voted to authorize city participation. Levesque misquoted the ordinance language. Those involved in the survey say its main purpose is to gather more accurate information from landowners.
Opinion: The future of 1 billion North American birds is at stake
Other - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

The Hill - A living sea of more than 1 billion birds swept north through the U.S. on their way to Canada and Alaska this spring. They have since built nests and are now busy feeding nestlings on their extraordinary breeding grounds in the vast northern Boreal Forest. It is North America’s largest and one of the world’s most intact forest regions, stretching from interior Alaska across the Canadian North to the icy North Atlantic coast. Canada is nearing final decisions on a massive funding commitment that has the potential to ensure a healthy future for birds and the communities that rely on the Boreal Forest. We in the U.S. should not forget that their future rests on the future of the Boreal Forest. ~ Jeff Wells and Jane Alexander, National Audubon Society
Katahdin Woods & Waters: An Update on the National Monument and Its Impact in the Region
Maine Public - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

Guests: Kala Rush, Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters' Education Coordinator; Lucas St. Clair, Executive Director for Elliotsville Plantation, Inc.; Tim Hudson, National Park Service superintendent of the Monument.
Editorial: Temperatures are rising and so is the need to act on climate change
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

Trends point to a need for sustained action to reduce emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, especially from the burning of fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal to power our electrical grid and transportation sector. On the national level, the Trump administration continues to downplay climate change and to silence those calling for federal action. This is a dangerous course that will continue to cost American lives and resources. Maine has broken five daytime record high temperatures for every record low temperature since 2010. Our congressional delegation should continue to speak out and push for legislation to reduce emissions, but without a change in leadership — in both the U.S. Senate and White House — significant U.S. action is unlikely.
Many USDA workers plan to quit as research agencies move to Kansas City
Washington Post - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

The Trump Administration will uproot wo research agencies at the Agriculture Department from the District of Columbia to Kansas City in the fall. But many staffers have decided to give up their jobs rather than move, prompting concerns of hollowed-out offices unable to adequately fund or inform agricultural science. About two-thirds of the USDA employees have declined reassignment at the Economic Research Service, an influential federal statistical agency, and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which manages a $1.7 billion portfolio in scientific funding. One expert warned that the hemorrhage of employees will devastate ERS and NIFA. “This is the brain drain we all feared, possibly a destruction of the agencies.”
Rally over whale rules planned
Mount Desert Islander - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

Last week, Stonington lobsterman Julie Eaton, speaking for most members of her industry in a posting on Facebook announced plans for a rally on the Stonington Fish Pier at noon this Sunday to protest a proposed NOAA Fisheries rule that would force Maine lobstermen to remove half their buoy lines from the Gulf of Maine to reduce the risk that endangered right whales might become entangled in the fishing gear.
Famed Maggie the moose dies at wildlife park
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

The Maine Wildlife Park’s beloved 1-year-old moose Maggie has died, the park announced Thursday. She was found dead in her enclosure by park staff on July 16, the park said. The results of a necropsy indicated that she died from a ruptured brain aneurysm. Maggie arrived at the park last June when she was 3 weeks old and weighed about 25 pounds. She was discovered by a family in their backyard in Wallagrass, and a video of her playing with the family’s dog quickly went viral. She became a sensation at the park, drawing record numbers of visitors.
Stop the Removal of Park Rangers
Sierra Club - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

The Department of the Interior is continuing a secretive program to pull park rangers and police from public lands across the nation and send them to the borderlands region to perpetuate the false border crisis. This Fourth of July, Trump raided millions of dollars in park funds to host himself a lavish personal celebration on the National Mall. Now, his Interior Department is continuing to abuse park resources to further their own interests. Last year, 330 million people visited our nation's parks — that's more than the entire US population. At the same time, the funding for staff needed to protect these lands has been cut so drastically that the US Park Police has warned of "dangerous understaffing."
10 medicinal plants for your natural first aid kit
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

Medicinal plants are abundant and have been used for centuries to treat wounds and common ailments. Here are 10 plants to get you started, recommended by Steve Byers, a clinical herbalist from Belfast, and Greta de la Montagne, a registered professional herbalist and mentor with the American Herbalist Guild. Always consult a doctor for serious ailments. The information provided in this story is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Always consult a medical doctor with medical questions and before trying new treatments.
• Cattails
• Old Man’s Beard lichen
• Jewelweed
• Common plantain
• Common yarrow
• Calendula
• Arnica
• Lavender
• White willow
• Goldenseal
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