July 20, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Saturday, July 20, 2019 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond; hey, we're all connected). We have posted summaries and links to 60,000 news articles and announcements. We 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 our attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. ~ Jym St. Pierre, Editor
Grand Lake Stream Folk Art Festival celebrates 25 years, Jul 27-28
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 20, 2019 

More than 50 folk artists and craftsmen in the northeast and an outstanding line-up of talented musicians will gather in Grand Lake Stream for the 25th annual Grand Lake Stream Folk Art Festival, July 27-28, 10 am - 5 pm.
Invasive forest pests, Jul 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 20, 2019 

Hildy Ellis, Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District, discusses forest insect invaders. At Merryspring Nature Center, Camden, July 27, 10 am – noon
Odd Alewives and Oyster Tasting Cruise, Jul 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 20, 2019 

At Damariscotta River Cruises, July 27, 5-7 pm.
Sustainable Forestry Walk, Jul 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 20, 2019 

Forester Charlie Spies and wildlife biologist Steve Pelletier will discuss striking a proper balance between competing wildlife, recreational, aesthetic and timber interests. At Crystal Spring Farm-North trailhead, Brunswick, July 27, 10 am. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
Help Wanted: Communications & Research Assistant
Announcement - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

The North American Megadams Resistance Alliance is hiring a Communications & Research Assistant, based at Sierra Club Maine, to work on a campaign opposing Canadian hydropower dams and transmission corridors planned for the U.S.
Support Island Stewardship
Announcement - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

Maine Island Trail Association volunteers will make 1,400 boat landings on Trail sites this summer to provide care for these special places and assure they can remain open to explorers. Support the Float Their Boats campaign to strengthen MITA's 30-year tradition of volunteer stewardship of the Trail.
Fur, Feathers & Feet, Jul 24
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

An introduction to birds and mammals. At Orr's Island Library, Harpswell, July 24, 10 am. Presented by Chewonki Foundation.
Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail Festival, Jul 24-26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

The festival celebrates the Wabanaki Native American people and naturalist writer Henry David Thoreau’s three journeys into the Maine Woods. At Center for Moosehead History, Greenville, July 24-26.
‘Acadia Files’ author Coppens, Jul 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

Author Katie Coppens will conduct fun science experiments with kids of all ages. At Turner Public Library, July 23, 2 pm. Each volume of “The Acadia Files” helps young readers learn about the scientific method in fun and innovative ways by following the adventures of Acadia, a young scientist.
Help Stamp Money Out of Politics
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

The flow of cash into the pockets of politicians from lobbyists, oil and gas companies, and billionaires bent on protecting their wealth is the biggest barrier to our government's taking action on climate change, and it is up to us to put a stop to it. That is why we're asking you to join the movement protesting Big Money's death grip on our future by rubber-stamping our cash with the message "Stamp Money Out of Politics." ~ Ben & Jerry
Tell Your Representative: Invest in Clean Energy and Climate Action
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Congress must update and extend vital tax credits in four key green technology areas needed to meet our climate goals — electric vehicles, offshore wind, electric grid scale storage, and building efficiency. Without these updated credits, clean energy innovation could stall and our planet will be driven even closer to the brink of climate catastrophe. ~ Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund
Hearing on CMP billing errors, service shortcomings, rate hikes, Jul 22
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Maine Public Utilities Commission public witness hearing concerning Central Maine Power’s request to increase residential rates by over 10%, and CMP billing errors and poor customer service. At PUC, Hallowell, July 22, 6 pm.
Greenhorns summer workshops
Event - Posted - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Hear from historians, restoration ecologists, entomologists, fishermen, foresters and master craftsmen, on a wide range of topics at the intersection of the human and non-human world. Greenhorns, in Pembroke, works to create a welcoming culture for new entrants in sustainable agriculture.
Crystal Spring Farm Bee Tour, Jul 21
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

Beekeeper Ken Faulkner will explain the importance of honeybees, hive dynamics, beekeeping, honeybee history, and more. At Crystal Spring Farmers’ Market parking area, Brunswick, July 21, 10 am, free. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
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News Items
Maine farmers were milking goats long before it was trendy
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

“The original [goat] cheese producers who popped up in the ‘70s and ‘80s were largely women who turned to goats instead of the traditional cow dairy,” said Stephanie Welcomer, professor of management at the University of Maine Business School. “Some of these women were really pioneers in introducing goat cheese.”
Running Silver
Other - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

A 5-minute video by Maine Rivers about restoring alewives in Maine's Kennebec River watershed. "There's no fisheries restoration [project] on this planet that's as big as this one," says Nate Gray, Department of Marine Resources.
CMP Customers Criticize Utility For Sky-High Bills, Poor Customer Service
Maine Public - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

Unjustified bill increases, confusing bills, endless wait-times for customer service representatives who turn out to be uninformed - those were just a few of the many complaints Central Maine Power customers brought to a Portland hearing convened last night by the state's Public Utilities Commission.
Wood pellets destroyed in fire at Strong plant
Sun Journal - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

A small, attached building at a wood pellet plant caught fire Tuesday night, sending embers into a 40-foot metal silo, Fire Chief Duayne Boyd said Wednesday. No one was injured and firefighters saved the building at the back of Lignetics of Maine at 30 Norton Hill Road, he said. Pellets in the silo were damaged by fire and water.
UMaine Extension offers online hay directory
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

University of Maine Cooperative Extension manages a statewide online hay directory for buyers and sellers of hay, straw and silage. Sellers can list their products with details including location and type. Buyers can search for sources by county and the specific product needed.
Belfast farmers market neighbors join forces to create new vegan ‘wellness cafe’
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

When three midcoast women who all run small, plant-based home businesses met as stallholders at the United Farmers Market in Belfast, they could have seen each other as competition. But that’s not what happened. Instead of competing, the three have joined forces to start The Alchemist Cafe, described as a “plant-based wellness cafe,” in the Belfast Opera House building. The cafe showcases the talents of Linda Prichard of Fancy Plants, Kate Hall of GRAZE and Amanda Peaslee of Pure Herbal Healing.
Do you have a winning vision of Portland’s future? Make your case by Monday
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

If you think you know what Portland should look like, now’s a good time to speak up. The Portland Society for Architecture is hosting an online design competition that encourages people to consider how Portland will mature and flourish, under the assumption that growth is inevitable. The Complete City Imagined competition hopes to inform planning and development by encouraging visionary ideas from non-expert residents. The idea is to dream big, said PSA president Alyssa Keating.
Editorial: ‘Extreme heat’ on tap for Maine summers
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

This summer, the high temperatures are expected to come and go. A generation or two from now, however, they will become much more common. If nothing is done, the warming climate will within a lifetime profoundly alter the way of life here. The latest look into our climate future comes from the Union of Concerned Scientists, whose report published Tuesday says “extreme heat” events will increase dramatically almost everywhere, and sooner than you may realize. Say goodbye to comfortable Maine summers that draw millions of tourists. Climate change is already hurting and disrupting Maine’s commercial fishery, and further increases in temperature will only accelerate the pain. Maine took steps in the past year toward reducing emissions and promoting clean energy. Those actions, however, won’t do a lot of good unless the federal government follows suit. Voters, choose which future you want.
Opinion: CMP executive: Legislator wrongly maligns electric utility
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

Rep. Seth Berry’s opinion piece about Central Maine Power Company was inaccurate and inflammatory. We will seek legal remedies. First, Berry, without support, states that CMP has “knowingly, intentionally and repeatedly lied – to elected officials and to the public.” This is a baseless accusation. Berry either misquotes or doesn’t understand the data from the PUC website, which he says shows our residential delivery rates doubled. He erroneously asserts that for every $100 invested, CMP’s shareholders receive over $1,000 in profits over a 20-year period. CMP’s shareholders’ return on investment for a $100 investment would be less than $50 over 20 years. Finally, Berry asserts a consumer-owned utility would be a better alternative. We could not disagree more. ~ Douglas A. Herling, CEO, Central Maine Power Company
Opinion: History along I-95
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

I am sure the Department of Transportation had reason to recently clear-cut the Western Avenue interchange with Interstate 95. I wish more people knew exactly what it was they were cutting down. As a child in Augusta, it was a great adventure my parents loading up the car with us four children for the trip to see relatives in Boston. Every time we rounded the Western Avenue interchange my father wouldn’t say, “Look down the row of fir trees — this was entrance to the Macomber Farm, once the most beautiful estates in Maine.” ~ Harvey A. Lipman, Ashland, Massachusetts
Castine’s ‘Risky Business’ explores another side of town’s history
Working Waterfront - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

Castine is as rich in history as any town on Maine’s coast. The island-like body of land jutting into east Penobscot Bay was occupied and fought over by the French, Dutch, English, and Americans, and even played a key, but disastrous role in the fledgling nation’s war for independence. But an exhibit put together by the Castine Historical Society tells the story of the town’s heyday from the early 1800s through the Civil War, when the town enjoyed a prosperous “trade triangle,” with its ships hauling salted fish to ports like Charleston, S.C., and New Orleans, much of it going to feeding slaves.
21 great hikes in Acadia National Park, plus hiking tips
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

Acadia National Park is one of the most famous destinations in Maine, and for good reason. It’s a place filled with natural beauty. It boasts mountains of pink granite, pristine ponds, bubbling brooks, dramatic sea cliffs and one of the state’s sandiest beaches. Acadia is the outdoor enthusiast’s dream, no matter their abilities or skill level. The park features more than 120 miles of hiking trails and over 45 miles of smooth, gravel, vehicle-free carriage roads. This trail system is a work of art, with giant stone bridges, rock staircases, wooden footbridges and historic cairns. And the scenery can’t be beat. Here are some great hikes in Acadia.
Few people show for first hearing on CMP rates in Portland, but those who did criticized the utility heavily
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

About 30 witnesses and as many onlookers showed up Tuesday night in Portland for a chance to testify before regulators about high bills, customer service problems and a requested rate increase by Central Maine Power Co. Most witnesses complained about faulty smart meter readings, escalating electric bills, erratic bills, long call hold times or no response at all from CMP’s customer service and poor electric service from CMP. They also said CMP should not be rewarded for poor service with a rate rise.
Measure in US House seeks answers to whether military created Lyme disease
Sun Journal - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

It sounds like one of those crazy conspiracy theories. Yet the idea that the U.S. government may have created tick-borne Lyme disease as part of a biowarfare program mistake took on a mantle of credibility when the U.S. House last week unanimously endorsed a call to find out whether it really happened. During debate about a bill that funds the Pentagon, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R), offered an amendment that requires the military’s inspector general to examine “whether the Department of Defense experimented with ticks and other insects regarding its use as a biological weapon between the years of 1950 and 1975.” Maine lawmakers have supported efforts for years to deal with Lyme disease.
Long battle over, dam removal begins on Presumpscot River in Westbrook
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

Crews began removing the first of two dam headwalls on the Presumpscot River in Westbrook on Tuesday, allowing water to flow freely over Upper Saccarappa Falls for the first time in centuries. The work is part of a multistage project that aims to restore fish passage and wildlife habitat while making the section of the Presumpscot River near downtown Westbrook more attractive to residents, tourists and whitewater paddlers. Sea-run fish have returned to other Maine rivers in huge numbers following river restoration projects.
Regulators hear CMP customers’ complaints about soaring bills and ‘horrific’ service
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

State regulators got an earful Tuesday night from consumers who vented their frustration and anger with Central Maine Power Co. over its billing and customer service practices. Many said that the utility hasn’t earned the rate increase it is seeking. The company has filed to get a rate hike of about $46 million, or more than 10 percent. Others said no matter what the reason for the problems, the PUC should turn down the requested rate hike. The PUC will hold two more public hearings, Thursday in Farmington and Monday in Hallowell.
Maine lawmakers push for federal aid to wild blueberry industry
Associated Press - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

Maine's Congressional delegation is getting involved in a push to extend federal aid to members of the state's wild blueberry industry. Wild blueberries are an important crop in Maine, but the industry has struggled with low prices in recent years. Maine's delegation says the U.S. Department of Agriculture should include the industry in its Market Facilitation Program, which is designed to provide money to agricultural producers affected by trade disruptions. The lawmakers' push follows up on a similar request by Amanda Beal, head of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. The lawmakers say many growers are "drastically cutting back" production due to economic pressures.
Department of Marine Resources rejects group’s petition to change aquaculture lease process
Times Record - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

The Department of Marine Resources rejected a petition from the group Save Maquoit Bay to change the criteria for aquaculture lease applications on the basis that the request was “not realistic,” “arbitrary” and could have a “perverse outcome” for some applicants. Meanwhile, the company pitching a 40-acre oyster aquaculture lease on Maquoit Bay continues to await the department’s decision on its application, which is now two months overdue.
Lawsuit claims lobster company took advantage of man’s dementia
Republican Journal - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

The retired longtime owner of one of the region’s largest lobster dealerships is accusing the company that bought his Spruce Head Island business eight years ago of taking advantage of his dementia to negotiate a revised lease agreement. William Atwood sold his lobster business eight years ago to Maine Lobster and Processing, but a newer, amended lease precludes him from doing any lobster-related business in a separate property. “After Mr. Atwood realized the significance of the Amendment that he signed, he has experienced shock, dismay and humiliation that he had been taken advantage of,” the lawsuit states. Maine Lobster is part of Mazzetta Lobster Co. LLC., one of the largest importers and producers of shrimp, mussels, lobsters, crab and fin fish, handling more than 100 million pounds of finished seafood product each year.
2,700+ Towers Update Lighting Systems, Saving Migratory Birds And Expenses
American Bird Conservancy - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

Over the past two years, thousands of communications tower operators have updated their lighting systems by turning off steady-burning (L-810) side-marker lights that attract birds and cause millions to die from collisions each year. (Flashing lights remain atop these towers, ensuring aviation safety.) Since 2016, more than 2,700 of about 13,900 tall towers have made this change, stemming from December 2015 guidelines by the Federal Aviation Administration and Federal Communications Commission pertaining to towers over 350 feet in height and their impact on aviation safety and birdlife.
Bucksport’s not-so-overnight transformation
Working Waterfront - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

The path Bucksport took from “mill town” to something else—including becoming the planned home of a land-based salmon farm and an annex of Maine Maritime Academy—began more than 20 years ago. Local government leaders began setting aside funds for the possible “rainy day” that would come if the paper mill closed. In addition to planning for the financial impact of such a possibility, the community also invested in its infrastructure—a waterfront walkway, hiking trails, extensive sports fields, a larger performing arts center, and more. These community amenities were built during the “mill years,” but even with the planning that was done, the closure of the paper mill in December 2014 was a significant blow to the community.
Maine Forest Service to release wasps to combat destructive emerald ash borer
WMTW-TV8 - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

The Maine Forest Service will release tiny wasps to combat the emerald ash borer in part of the state, officials with the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry announced Tuesday. The parasitoids, or non-stinging wasps, will feed on or attack the borer's larvae. The emerald ash borer, a destructive beetle that feasts on ash trees, has been found in Aroostook and York counties. Since the beetle showed up in North America, it has killed millions of ash trees.
Column: We must protect the wolves
Washington Post - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

Americans have long had a love-hate relationship with the ancestral predecessor of our favorite family pet. Some want to hunt and kill as many wolves as they can; others want to keep them defended. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services proposes to lift protections. In a 2017 tweet, President Donald Trump referred to trophy hunting as a “horror show.” Trump, who recently touted his administration’s commitment to conservation, could prove it by speaking up for wolves. The essential question comes down to whether we want to ensure that wild areas remain wild, with limited exceptions for ranchers when their livestock is under consistent predation by wolves. Such accommodations would be preferable to rubber-stamping a massive wolf slaughter. ~ Kathleen Parker
How much do you know about Acadia National Park?
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

Acadia National Park is one of the most identifiable places in Maine for those from away, but how much do you really know about the popular landmark? You likely know that it has some good hiking, that tourists flock to it and the nearby town of Bar Harbor and that it has a history of popularity with the elite. But let’s put your knowledge to the test. Try your hand at this week’s quiz and see how well you can answer these questions about Acadia National Park.
76 people died in Acadia National Park
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

Randi Minetor's latest book, Death In Acadia, takes us back into the 1800s. A bunch of deaths occurred when people were swept by huge waves out into the ocean. Many of them ignored danger signs put up by park staff and got way too close to the water. Other people died slipping off cliffs, skating and boating, riding bicycles and snowmobiles and skateboards, and one Park worker was killed by a dynamite blast. Randi reassures us that we can be safe in Acadia. More than 3.5 million people annually visit the park without being harmed. But she also encourages us to stay behind barriers and obey warning signs. “Don’t risk your life for an Instagram photo,” she writes.
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