October 25, 2016  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, October 25, 2016 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news and events. We have posted summaries and links to 50,000 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
The Farm Succession School, Nov 1- Jan 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 25, 2016 

For senior farmers and farm couples looking for a bit of structure and motivation to tackle succession planning. At Augusta, Nov 1, Dec 6, and Jan 24, 2017.
Help wanted: Maine Audubon Development and Gifts Manager
Announcement - Sunday, October 23, 2016 

The Development and Gifts Manager administers gift processing, acknowledgements as well as membership and annual fund assistance.
Help wanted: Water Festival Intern
Announcement - Sunday, October 23, 2016 

The Southern Maine Children’s Water Festival, on May 19, 9 am to 2 pm at USM in Portland, is a day of interactive learning about clean water, wetland ecosystems and the importance of stewarding Maine’s most rapidly renewable resource. This internship will entail helping to organize many aspects of the festival, including scheduling logistics, presenters and exhibitors, food and supplies, and classroom and exhibit development.
Climate Change Forum, Oct 30
Event - Posted - Sunday, October 23, 2016 

Ivan Fernandez, Ph.D., a soil scientist and affiliate of the Institute on Climate Change at the University of Maine, will discuss planet warming, mitigation and adaptation. Andrew E. Smith, State Toxicologist for Maine’s Center for Disease Control, will discuss dealing with health threats resulting from climate change. At Univ of Maine at Augusta, Jewett Hall, October 30, 2 pm.
Eastern Promenade Birding, Oct 29
Event - Posted - Saturday, October 22, 2016 

Naturalist Doug Hitchcox will lead a birding walk around Eastern Promenade in Portland, Oct 29, 7-9 am, Maine Audubon members $10, non-members $15.
COA Roundtable on Environmental Communications, Oct 28
Event - Posted - Friday, October 21, 2016 

A panel on communications opportunities and challenges within environmental and social justice activism will launch College of the Atlantic’s first Thoreau Gathering. At College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, October 28, 4-5:30 .m.
Artist workshops, Oct 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, October 19, 2016 

Artist and naturalist Michael Boardman will give an overview of sketching and drawing birds in pencil and watercolor with a concentration on working quickly and accurately at two free workshops. At Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, Rockland, October 26, 3:00 and 6:30 pm.
Merchants of Doubt, Oct 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, October 19, 2016 

This film lifts the curtain on a secretive group of silver-tongued pundits-for-hire who present themselves as scientific authorities - but whose real aim is to spread doubt about very real public health threats, from toxic chemicals to pharmaceuticals to climate change. At Portland Museum of Art, October 26, 5:30 pm. Sponsored by Conservation Law Foundation and Maine People's Alliance.
Dam busters needed
Announcement - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

The Maine Dept of Marine Resources and and Trout Unlimited are looking for volunteers to help breach beaver dams on the Sheepscot River to facilitate upriver spawning by Atlantic salmon.
The Unfinished Business of the Darwinian Revolution, Oct 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

Professor of biology Judy Stone discusses the Darwinian Revolution. Population thinking is arguably Darwin's most original insight because it overcomes thousands of years of typological thinking, in which variation is considered to be imperfection around the true type. Despite Darwin's brilliant insight, typological thinking persists in biology, medicine, journalism, and the public mind. It can lead to dangerous conclusions, especially when applied to the human species. At Colby College, Waterville, Lovejoy Building, Room 100, Oct 25, 7 pm.
The Botanical Explorer, Oct 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

Joseph Simcox, World Food Plant Ecologist and Ethnobotanist, travels the globe to identify the world’s food plant resources focusing on under-utilized crops and wild species. He will discuss how to ensure food security and nutrition for all, while developing food systems that mimic nature. At Topsham Library, Oct 25, 6 pm, RSVP.
Creating the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Oct 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

Lucas St. Clair, head of The Quimby Family Foundation, talks about the designation of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in August 2016. At Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Moulton Union, October 25, 4 pm.
Galapagos Islands, Oct 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

Derek and Jeanette Lovitch talk about the land of volcanoes, giant tortoises, Marine Iguanas, Darwin, and birds — from flamingos and penguins to Blue-footed Boobies and Frigatebirds, from Swallow-tailed Gulls to rails and a finch that uses tools. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, Oct 25, 7 pm. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
George Mitchell and the Clean Air Act, Oct 24
Event - Posted - Monday, October 17, 2016 

Douglas Rooks will read from his book "Statesman: George Mitchell and the Art of the Possible," with a focus on the Clean Air Act of 1990, followed by Q&A. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, October 24, 6 pm. Sponsored by Natural Resources Council of Maine.
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News Items
Letter: Maine’s quality of place
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, October 19, 2016 

When President Barack Obama designated 87,500 acres east of Baxter State Park as Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, he provided Maine with an incredible opportunity to capitalize on the central recommendation of the 2006 Brookings Institution report, Charting Maine’s Future, which urged that we invest in Maine’s outstanding quality of place and that we brand it. A few weeks ago, I joined 40 people from all over Maine to participate in a hike to the summit of Barnard Mountain on the monument. It was easy to see why, after his visit to the same area in the mid-1800s, Henry David Thoreau asked, “Why should not we have our national preserves?” ~ Liz Armstrong, Topsham
Blog: Switching from Whiskey to Beer and the False Promise of Woody Biomass
Natural Resources Council of Maine - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

Like the alcoholic who switches from whiskey to beer, replacing coal and oil with woody biomass at first seems like it would serve to put less CO2 into the air because trees take up carbon through photosynthesis. Not so fast. There are important caveats to using woody biomass to generate power. Our elected leaders lack the basic ecological literacy to question the claim that burning biomass is carbon neutral. The two senators from Maine, Susan Collins and Angus King introduced a bill that would require the EPA not to count the carbon from woody biomass as a source of emissions. Its enactment would spell disaster for our forests and the climate. I urge you to demand science-based solutions to salvage a livable planet for all future generations. Remaining silent is more than irresponsible, it is ethically reprehensible to place this burden on our children. ~ Stephen Mulkey, PhD, President Emeritus, Unity College
Developer proposes 108 more apartments for Westbrook project
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

Risbara Bros. wants to add nine buildings to the Blue Spruce Farm development, where almost 200 housing units are under construction. A group of residents has called for a moratorium on residential building permits.
Poliquin, Cain spar over taxes, economy, honesty in 2nd District debate
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

Rep. Bruce Poliquin and Democratic challenger Emily Cain sparred during the first of three scheduled debates for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District race. Poliquin attacked Cain for supporting a carbon tax, but he refused to answer questions directly regarding his own record on taxes and whether he ever put any personal property into the state’s Tree Growth Tax Program that allowed him to lower his personal taxes. Poliquin previously has come under fire for placing 10 acres of his Georgetown estate in the program aimed at preserving forest land and later removing it after he was accused of skimping on tax. They also differed in their responses to a question on how best to approach the decline of the state’s paper industry. Cain focused on supporting small businesses, agriculture and the forest products industry with services such as better transportation and broadband access, while Poliquin emphasized a need to lower energy costs and taxes and cut down on regulations.
Earth’s 16-month record-setting hot streak eases
Associated Press - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

Earth’s 16-month sizzling streak of record high temperatures is finally over, according to one group of federal meteorologists. NOAA said last month’s 60.6 degrees was merely the second-hottest September on record for the globe. That’s ever so slightly cooler than the record set in 2015. But it was quite a bit warmer – 1.6 degrees – than the 20th-century average. NASA, which averages global temperature differently, considers last month as record hot.
Safety gets spruced up for a day in streets of Waterville
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

During its annual conference, GrowSmart demonstrated small measures that can make downtowns more inviting and less dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Feds grant more than half a million $ to Maine farmers; LePage MIA
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

The U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service today announced nearly $550,000 in grants to support farmers in Maine growing fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and specialty crops. Maine Gov. Paul LePage missed the opportunity to accuse the federal government of perpetuating socialism by awarding the agricultural grants. He was too distracted claiming that elections here are rigged (apparently including his own) and that the news media have covered up a welfare fraud investigation (though they did not).
New trail opens in Downeast Lakes Community Forest
Other - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

The Downeast Lakes Land Trust recently celebrated the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend with a group hike along a newly-created trail in the Downeast Lakes Community Forest. The Student Conservation Association built the trail this summer, along with clearing brush on other DLLT trails. Beginning near the historic Grand Lake Stream fire tower, the “Tower Hill Trail” meanders through mixed woodlands, travels up and over a hardwood ridge, and ends at Bonney Brook Road. The trail is an “out-and-back” trail, measuring 1.1 miles each way.
Master plan process begins for Portland waterfront project
Forecaster - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

First came drawings, then the site walk as the master plan for developing the former Portland Co. acreage at 58 Fore St. begins to take shape. An Oct. 13 joint meeting of the city Planning and Historic Preservation boards detailed the scale and scope of what could be a $250 million mixed-use development on 9 acres, with a marina on 13 submerged acres just offshore. The meeting was the first of what will likely be many to get the master plan approved. Individual site plan approval is also needed for development that could occur over the next 10 years.
PUC on the hot seat over proposed solar 'net metering' rules
Mainebiz - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

Solar power advocates came out in force Monday to tell the Maine Public Utilities Commission that it should scrap its proposed rule to gradually phase out financial incentives designed to encourage consumers to install solar panels on their homes or small businesses. At a public hearing in Augusta, solar advocates argued that rolling back current "net energy billing" policies, which the state implemented in the late 1980s to encourage its emerging solar industry, would keep Maine in last place among the Northeast states at a time when solar energy installations and jobs are growing nationwide.
Governor Raises Concern Over Land for Maine’s Future Project Not Moving Forward
Maine Government News - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

Over the last year, nearly a dozen projects under the Land for Maine’s Future program have been closed and funded. One major project in Cumberland County, however, remains up in the air despite this year’s June bond sale that included funding for LMF. On Monday, Governor LePage raised concerns over why $225,000 in state funding has yet to be utilized. “My critics and the Maine media have slammed me repeatedly for supposedly not releasing funding,” said Governor LePage. “Now the funds are available and those responsible for submitting paperwork are purposely slow rolling the process for political purposes. I demand to know why town officials and the land trusts involved with this project are dragging their feet.”
Presidential Nominees Weigh In On Wildlife Protection
American Bird Conservancy - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

Where do the candidates running for U.S. president stand on issues of concern to conservationists? To find out, American Bird Conservancy invited the nominees—Hillary Clinton (Democratic Party), Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party), Jill Stein (Green Party), and Donald J. Trump (Republican Party)—to answer questions about some of the policies they would pursue if elected. The questions covered federal conservation funding, the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, public land use, the role of the Environmental Protection Agency, fire and water management, and the protection of wildlife from renewable energy development. The Clinton and Stein campaigns responded. You can read their answers.
Maine Environmental Panel Weighs Application to Double Size of Alton Landfill
Maine Public - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

The Maine Board of Environmental Protection began two days of public hearings today in Bangor on an application by the state and Casella Waste Systems to nearly double the size of the Juniper Ridge Landfill in Alton. Casella engineers, including John Sevee, said the area's soil composition would be able to support the added waste capacity at the landfill. Critics of the plan question whether all of the waste that will be deposited at the landfill will originate from within Maine. Company officials say none of the waste destined for Juniper Ridge will come from out of state.
Herring fishery along New England coast shut down
Associated Press - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

The herring fishery along the New England coast was shut down Tuesday until further notice. The National Marine Fisheries Service said fishermen in the inshore Gulf of Maine – from Cape Cod to the eastern edge of the Maine coast – have caught about 90 percent of their quota. Herring are an important bait fish, especially for the lobster industry. A shortage of the fish in offshore waters caused a bait shortage in New England during the summer. The fish are also used as food. Fishermen typically catch between 175 million and 200 million pounds of Atlantic herring every year.
Dairy farmer funded grants allow area schools to replace aging milk coolers
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

Having cold milk with lunch would seem a given for school cafeterias, but due to aging equipment, some schools have struggled to do that. Recently, the Maine Dairy and Nutrition Council and its Fuel Up to Play 60 program, funded by Maine dairy farmers, awarded six Maine schools grant funds to purchase new milk coolers.
Canadian mill owners apologize for gas leaks in St. John Valley
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

Edmundston’s Twin Rivers pulp and paper mill has issued a public apology for five chlorine dioxide gas leaks over the last five months. The leaks, which started in June, released chlorine dioxide, a chemical used to bleach pulp. The company said there were no health risks, but the leaks spurred some public concern. The mill is located just across the St. John River from Madawaska, Maine.
Westbrook at-large council candidates back moratorium on development
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

All three candidates for the open at-large seat on the Westbrook City Council support a moratorium on residential development in the city. That issue has been in the forefront in Westbrook in recent months, as residents push for a 180-day stay on building permits for developments of 10 housing units or more. Whoever wins the citywide seat in November will replace one of the moratorium’s staunchest opponents – Michael Foley, who has decided not to seek reelection.
Tension over residential development shapes Westbrook mayor’s race
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

The housing boom in Westbrook has emerged as a top issue for the city’s four mayoral candidates. The election looms large as the Westbrook City Council debates a 180-day moratorium on residential subdivisions of 10 units or more, a proposal spurred by large-scale developments like Blue Spruce Farm on Spring Street. More than 400 residents have signed a petition calling for the temporary stay on building permits. They are asking the city to revamp its land use ordinance, increase the minimum lot size and enact a process for collecting impact fees on new construction. All four individuals on the ballot have said Westbrook needs to find a way to slow the pace of residential development.
Hike: Mead Mountain
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

Mead Mountain is a small mountain, rising just 660 feet above sea level in East Orland, but from dramatic ledges near its summit, hikers are rewarded with open views of Hothole Valley and the small mountains and hills beyond. The mountain can be hiked on roads and trails located in the Great Pond Mountain Wildlands, 4,500 acres of conserved land in Orland that is owned and maintained by the Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust.
Letter: Ban the bag
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

Maine residents use 600 million single-use bags each year. Of those, only a small percentage get recycled. The idea that we are helping the environment by reusing these bags for trash and dog waste, as many of us do, overlooks the fact that they may end up in a landfill, where they will never degrade. Others that find their way into the waterways will become unsightly litter, a threat to marine animals or degrade into microplastics that likely will be consumed by marine life, working their way up the food chain to humans. The answer is in eliminating these bags. ~ Eden Buron, Belfast
National monument kickstarts Katahdin Region’s rebuilding
Mainebiz - Monday, October 17, 2016 

Like others I interviewed, Paul and Jaime Renaud, co-owners of the cafe and nearby Appalachian Trail Lodge, say it will take more than the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument designation to fully revive the Katahdin Region's struggling economy. But after traveling around the country visiting national parks and monuments, they've seen firsthand the spinoff economic benefits to communities located near those parks or monuments. It made them wonder: Why not the Katahdin Region, especially since the National Park Service is a worldwide brand? They believe the same can be true not only for the Katahdin Region but also for Moosehead Lake and Greenville with their "America's Crown Jewel" branding initiative. All the pieces are falling in place to strengthen inland Maine's appeal as a destination for outdoor adventure tourism, Renaud told me.
Acadia's 100th, ideal weather brought big bucks to Bar Harbor
Mainebiz - Monday, October 17, 2016 

Acadia National Park's celebration of its 100th birthday, along with favorable weather, are two top reasons cited for a surge of visitors and business activity this past summer. Another contributing factor has been a marketing push by the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce, begun four years ago with the hiring of a publicist. Acadia has already welcomed 2.25 million visitors through the first eight months of the year, up 17% from the previous year, and is on pace to top 3 million visitors for 2016.
Parks Director Ethan Hipple brings a fresh eye to Portland's open spaces
Mainebiz - Monday, October 17, 2016 

Ethan Hipple is about six months into his job as parks director for the city of Portland, and already he's been part of settling the controversial redesign of Congress Square in the city's downtown. It was Congress Square that helped spark the newly re-formed parks department in April. For the prior eight years it was run by the city's public works department. But the intense public interest in the future of the city's open spaces, coupled with the Portland Open Space Vision and Implementation Plan put together by the city, the Trust for Public Land and Portland Trails to create a system-wide plan to protect and improve open space into the future, showed that open spaces needed a champion within the city's management ranks.
Japan gives visiting Mainers the scoop on scalloping
Portland Press Herald - Monday, October 17, 2016 

A group of Maine fishermen traveled to Japan this month to study mechanized techniques for growing scallops. The 10-person group traveled to the coastal region of the Aomori prefecture to learn about the machines that the fishing and aquaculture cooperatives there use to grow scallops on vertical lines suspended in the sea, a farming method proven to speed up their growth. The group also learned about shellfish processing and value-added shellfish products. “We want to get key people there to see what’s possible in scallop farming and to believe it can be replicated in Maine, although at a much smaller scale,” said trip leader Hugh Cowperthwaite, fisheries director for Coastal Enterprises Inc.
Battle Over Maine Solar Energy Policies Continues
Maine Public - Monday, October 17, 2016 

Advocates for expanding solar power’s footprint in Maine turned out in force Monday to call on regulators to preserve policies they say have fostered the industry’s growth. They’re also requesting that any changes be left to the next Legislature. Fortunat Mueller, co-owner of Portland solar installer ReVision Energy, says the Public Utilities Commission "moved forward on the obviously flawed premise that some sort of back-of-the-napkin calculation of lost utility revenue is equal to cost shift. Everyone in this room understands that’s not true and building a draft rule on that basis is just intellectually lazy.” The Conservation Law Foundation testified that the commission has badly misread the law and does not have authority to phase out net metering. But others applauded the effort.
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