December 18, 2014  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Thursday, December 18, 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 35,000 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
Help Wanted: Advocacy Coordinator
Announcement - Thursday, December 18, 2014 

Maine Conservation Voters/Maine Conservation Alliance are seeking a shared full-time Advocacy Coordinator to build and implement our field organizing and grassroots communications programs, oversee data management, and manage projects such as MCV’s Environmental Scorecard.
UMaine's Climate Change Institute, Dec 17
Announcement - Thursday, December 11, 2014 

Guests: Paul Mayewski, Director of the UMaine Climate Change Institute; Sean Birkel, Research Assistant Professor, Climate Change Institute, UMaine (and next State Climatologist); and Ivan Fernandez, Distinguished Maine Professor, Climate Change Institute & School of Forest Resources. Maine Pubic Radio, Dec 17, 12-1 pm.
Fly-Tying Clinic, Dec 17
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 11, 2014 

Fly-tying experts provide expertise, vises, tools and fly-tying materials. At L.L. Bean, Freeport, Dec 17, 7 pm.
Coyote Exhibit Artists’ Panel, Dec 16
Event - Posted - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 

A number of artists will discuss their work and coyote connections in conjunction with the exhibit "Coyote Connections" in a holiday setting. At University of New England Art Gallery, Portland, Dec 16, 5 pm.
Predator "management" in Maine, Dec 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 

State Wildlife Biologist Keel Kemper will speak about Maine’s recent bear referendum, coyote culling, and mountain lion status. At Damariscotta River Association, Dec 15, 5-6:30 pm.
Choose the best ideas to grow Maine
Announcement - Tuesday, December 09, 2014 

This Bangor Daily News poll lets you rate numerous ideas that have been proposed to create jobs and a vibrant Maine economy, including establishing a new national park, protecting quality of place, and building an East-West Highway/Corridor.
Cobscook Outdoor Adventure Club
Announcement - Saturday, December 06, 2014 

Kids can have fun learning and practicing wilderness skills at CCLC’s Outdoor Adventure Club. OAC will meet twice a month during the school year on the first and third Saturday. Sponsored by Cobscook Community Learning Center, Trescott.
Intro to Winter Outings Workshop, Dec 13
Event - Posted - Saturday, November 29, 2014 

Experienced AMC winter leaders Peter Broderick and Laura Flight will present an intro to clothing, gear, snow travel, and taking care of yourself in the winter. Learn to stay warm, dry, and functional. Workshop at Curtis Library, Brunswick, Dec 13. Pre-register. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Winter Plant I.D & Ecology, Dec 12
Event - Posted - Saturday, November 29, 2014 

Spend an afternoon with Sue Kistenmacher, a Maine Master Naturalist, for a field study focused on the identification of plants and trees in winter. At Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson, Dec 12, 11 am – 1 pm.
“Inspired by Katahdin” Art Exhibit, through Apr 30
Announcement - Saturday, November 29, 2014 

The art exhibition “Inspired by Katahdin” will be on view at Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty in Damariscotta from Dec 12, 2014, to April 30, 2015, with an opening reception on Dec 12, 4-6 pm.
19th Annual Androscoggin River Watershed Conference, Dec 12
Event - Posted - Saturday, November 29, 2014 

Presentations on cold water fisheries; youth involvement in trail maintenance, water quality and recreation; riverfronts and land trail connections; and developing relationships among communities, lands and economies. At University of Southern Maine, Lewiston-Auburn campus, Dec 12, 8 am - 3 pm. $40.
The Value of Honey Bees to Maine Agriculture, Dec 10
Event - Posted - Saturday, November 29, 2014 

About one-third of food and beverages in the U.S. are made possible because of bee pollination, an industry contributing $20-$30 billion in annual crop production. In the last thirty years, beekeepers have faced multiple challenges. Despite these problems, the commercial bee industry has been able thus far, to meet the pollination demand of Maine blueberry growers and their economically vital crop. Apiarist Tony Jadczak, Maine’s State Apiarist since 1983 and a beekeeper since age 14, will discuss challenges facing local bee colonies and beekeepers and effects on statewide agriculture. At The Old Goat, Richmond, Dec 10, 7 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
A fierce Green Fire, Dec 10
Event - Posted - Saturday, November 29, 2014 

This film explores 50 years of the environmental movement from conservation to climate change. A speaker will follow the screening. At Belfast Library, Dec 10, 6 pm. Sponsored by Maine Sierra Club.
RESTORE Annual Gathering, Dec 10
Event - Posted - Saturday, November 29, 2014 

Dr. Andrew Barton will talk about “The Changing Nature of the Maine Woods,” plus updates on Maine Woods threats and opportunities, awards, prizes, more. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, Dec 10, 6 pm. Sponsored by RESTORE: The North Woods.
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News Items
Feds offer more details in court papers on illegal lobster sales
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, December 13, 2014 

The former manager of one of the state’s largest lobster cooperatives had a clandestine arrangement with certain members of that organization to buy lobsters from them in cash and evade income taxes, according to papers filed by the federal government in court. Robert Thompson, 53, of St. George pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Portland to one count of tax evasion and one count of violation of the Lacey Act, which prohibits the illegal sale of lobsters. Thompson could receive up to five years in federal prison for the more serious tax evasion charge as well as a $250,000 fine for that offense. The income that Thompson failed to report from 2008 through 2011 from those side sales totaled nearly $160,000.
Editorial: To prosper, Maine must attract workers, young people
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, December 13, 2014 

Maine prides itself on its rugged individualism. The state, however, is much more dependent on payments from the federal government than most others, which could spell trouble as the state works to improve its economy. The crux of the problem, as numerous other economic reports and indicators have pointed to, is Maine’s aged population. The problem is well documented, but solutions have been in short supply. Is the answer improving Maine’s schools? Increasing international trade? Building an east-west highway?
Camden continues to deal with erosion complaints at ski area
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, December 13, 2014 

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection toured Camden Snow Bowl on Friday as complaints from neighbors about erosion flowing into Hosmer Pond continue. Camden Snow Bowl General Manager Landon Fake, who is also the town’s director of parks and recreation, said the town has had a contractor working exclusively on dealing with the erosion for the past three weeks.
The long, hard journey of the gray wolf
Other - Saturday, December 13, 2014 

Lake Placid News - Earlier this year, policymakers at the U.S. Department of the Interior listened as witness after witness offered passionate and often tearful testimony in an effort to convince the agency to maintain the wolf's status on the endangered species list. At the time, the agency had proposed to remove protections that had been provided by the Endangered Species Act. The proposal to remove federal endangered species protections for gray wolves in the lower 48 states has also come under fire from a scientific peer review panel that unanimously agreed that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision does not reflect the best available science regarding wolves. Currently, there are several organizations involved in studying the feasibility of restoring indigenous species such as wolves, cougars, lynx and bobcats to the forests of the northeast.
Maine’s deer season comes to an end for 2014
Associated Press - Saturday, December 13, 2014 

Maine hunters are getting ready to shoot their final deer of the hunting season. The state’s season for hunting deer with muzzleloaders and via archery ends on Saturday.
New lynx estimate will help Maine, federal wildlife agencies deal with trapping concerns
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, December 13, 2014 

When state wildlife officials petitioned to allow trapping for fisher and pine marten in areas where threatened Canada lynx live, they were required to formulate a plan that would minimize the chances of lynx being accidentally captured in those traps. That petition was approved in November. However, on Monday, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife ordered the halt of all above-ground trapping in the northern half of the state in response to the death of two Canada lynx that were killed in traps this fall. The lynx deaths triggered the mandatory changes to the regulations. Jennifer Vashon, a Maine DIF&W biologist, said the US Fish & Wildlife Service is working, with state help, to determine criteria that could be used to remove lynx from the Endangered Species list as a threatened species.
Grumbling over climate equity as COP 20 closes
Summit Voice - Saturday, December 13, 2014 

Delegates to the Peru climate talks may be working late, but the deal they’re trying to seal may not be enough to help poorer countries adapt and prepare for global warming impacts. Activist groups say that the outlook for an equitable deal seems very remote.
Harvest shows fruits of new college program
Morning Sentinel - Saturday, December 13, 2014 

The end of the semester and the first harvest of produce from the 120-acre former dairy farm in a corner of Kennebec Valley Community College’s Harold Alfond Campus — which totaled more than 6,800 pounds this fall — marks an important milestone for KVCC and it’s fledgling sustainable agriculture program. It’s been just more than one year since the school launched the program, along with a culinary arts program, making it the only community college in the state to offer a degree in sustainable agriculture and give students the chance to run a working farm.
Federal defense, spending bills contain perks for Maine
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, December 13, 2014 

The Senate passed a $585 billion defense bill on Friday afternoon that authorizes spending on Defense Department programs around the globe in 2015, including ship- and aircraft-manufacturing programs located in Maine. The bill, which passed the House last week, also includes some non-defense items, such as a lands package authorizing a study of whether the York River should become part of the National Wild and Scenic River program. With lawmakers eager to wrap up work for the year, the Senate was poised to pass in the next day or two a $1.1 trillion spending bill. The bill includes a provision that would allow WIC participants to purchase fresh, white potatoes along with all other fresh vegetables immediately upon enactment of the bill.
U.N. climate talks disappoint activists
Associated Press - Saturday, December 13, 2014 

The increasingly hostile climate predicted by scientists — rising seas, crippling droughts, ever-stronger super storms — is the looming nightmare that drives a contingent of young environmental activists that has been seeking to make a mark on U.N. climate talks. The largely 20-somethings agitating for urgent collective action to curb global warming accounted for a few hundred at best of the 12,500 people accredited to attend the Lima negotiations.
Augusta council inclined to back rail service study
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, December 13, 2014 

With rail advocates saying Augusta is well-positioned for an eventual return of passenger train service, city councilors say they plan to approve a proposal to look into the idea. Richard Rudolph, a director of the nonprofit rail advocacy organization Maine Rail Group, told city councilors Thursday that trains bringing passengers to and from Augusta could bring money and development to the city. That’s especially true of the area surrounding the city-owned former Statler mill on the city’s east side, which Rudolph suggested could become the station at the end of the line and a regional transportation hub.
Opinion: Verso’s illegal refusal to pay severance strikes Dickensian chord
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, December 13, 2014 

There must be a hundred different film adaptations of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Still, some people aren’t getting the message. Case in point are the executives of Verso Paper Corp., who continue to show an inhumanity and greed that can only be described as “Scroogish.” They’ve set aside millions for their own bonuses this year but are flouting Maine law and refusing severance pay to workers they laid off from the Bucksport mill. The company has been one of the largest recipients of Maine's business equipment tax rebates, raking in about $4 million every year from the program. In 2010, Verso also received a $2 million grant from the state to lower its energy costs, and it’s the beneficiary of a $10 million tax increment financing deal from the town of Bucksport. ~ Mike Tipping
Letter: Maine’s wildlife can be managed without cruelty
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, December 13, 2014 

The recent commentary by David Trahan, executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, deserves a response. He describes the Humane Society of the United States as “ruthless and willing to deceive the public.” He’s referring to the television ads showing what really happens when a bear is hounded or trapped. Ironically, those same two words — ruthless and deceptive — could easily describe these practices that Trahan and his followers endorse. Trahan also refers to the Humane Society as “outside invaders.” What then accounts for the nearly 78,000 Mainers who signed the petition to put the referendum on the ballot, and the more than 278,000 of our citizens who voted for it? The most important lesson we learned is that wildlife can be managed without cruelty. ~ Don Loprieno, Bristol
Letter: No park needed
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, December 13, 2014 

The last thing Maine needs is another national park. Mainers already have the opportunity to hunt, fish, snowmobile and hike, with very few restrictions, throughout most of the state. We need all productive, tax-paying, private land to remain private. ~ Mark Armstrong, Lisbon
Editorial: Leveling the playing field
Ellsworth American - Friday, December 12, 2014 

Since Maine’s wind energy act became law in 2008, the energy playing field has been tilted sharply in favor of wind developers and against the state’s citizens and the environment in which they live. Every effort to modify that law has been rebuffed by the Maine Legislature. Dan Remain of Cushing wants to do something about it and has mounted a campaign for a citizens initiative that would repeal or amend sections of the law to level the playing field and restore citizens’ rights. Mainers were sold a bill of goods when former Governor John Baldacci and a carefully selected task force pushed special treatment for wind developers through the Legislature without debate in 2008. An end to that special treatment is long overdue.
Frenchman Bay Conservancy announces leadership change
Ellsworth American - Friday, December 12, 2014 

Frenchman Bay Conservancy, a nonprofit land trust based in Hancock, has announced the retirement of Executive Director Tom Sidar. Sidar joined the organization in May 2008. He successfully managed the 27-year-old land trust through financial, organizational and land protection success at significant levels. Today, Frenchman Bay Conservancy protects 6,383 acres through easement and fee (owned) lands. Over half of those total acres have been put under conservation protection during Sidar’s tenure. FBC has hired Aaron Dority as its new executive director.
Lower IQ found in kids exposed to high chemical levels in pregnancy
Washington Post - Friday, December 12, 2014 

Chemicals found in food and common household products have been linked to lower IQ in kids exposed to high levels during pregnancy. Previous research linked higher exposure to chemicals called "phthalates" to poor mental and motor development in preschoolers. This study was said to be the first to report a link between prenatal exposure to the chemicals and childhood development.
Baxter State Park begins $100,000 effort to relocate Katahdin’s Abol Trail
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Friday, December 12, 2014 

The Baxter State Park Authority recently approved a $100,000 project to relocate the Abol Trail, a popular hiking route up Mount Katahdin that closed earlier this year due to a rock slide that resulted in hazardous conditions for hikers. Late in the winter, debris began moving on Abol Slide, forming an unstable debris field. “Boulders were continually falling and sliding all summer long,” said Baxter State Park Chief Ranger Ben Woodard. “Hundreds of rocks now — that are the size of your car — they’re gonna move,” said Baxter State Park Director Jensen Bissell in a story published in the BDN in June about the trail closure. Bissell and Woodard were both a part of the group that recently bushwhacked through the forest to flag the new trail.
Maine's Sen. King to Serve on Senate Energy Panel
Associated Press - Friday, December 12, 2014 

U.S. Sen. Angus King will serve on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources during the 114th Congress. He says the appointment will give him "the opportunity to fight for Maine's energy future,'' as well as to push for the use of cleaner energy and the protection of natural resources. The committee is responsible for national energy policy and national parks and federal lands. King helped found a wind power company after serving as Maine's governor and got out of the business before becoming senator.
Local songwriter writes tribute song for displaced Verso Paper Mill workers
Bangor Daily News - Friday, December 12, 2014 

When Orland resident Chris Soper heard the news in October that the Verso Mill in Bucksport would close by the end of the year, he had the same reaction that most people had: shock, anger and sadness. This week, when news broke that Verso agreed to sell the mill and its assets to the Montreal-based American Iron and Metal for about $60 million, many of those same feelings came flooding back. Soper, a singer and guitarist who in the mid-2000s played in local roots rock band the Gilpin Railroad Incident, got inspired. “I just picked up my guitar, and I wrote a song.
New Railroad Rebuilding Business After Disaster in Quebec
Associated Press - Friday, December 12, 2014 

The company that bought the assets of a railroad responsible for a fiery derailment killed 47 people in Canada says it's rebuilding the business. Central Maine and Quebec Railway spent $10 million on track improvements over the summer to increase train speeds. Central Maine completed its purchase of the assets of Maine-based Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway in May. The railroad has nearly doubled its business since June. The company has agreed not resume crude oil shipments before 2016, but it began shipping propane fuel last month.
Maine wildlife agency spent $31,000 to defeat bear hunting referendum
Bangor Daily News - Friday, December 12, 2014 

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife spent at least $31,000 on campaign materials, television ads, debate coaching and staff time to fight Question 1, the citizen initiative to ban bear baiting, trapping and hounding in Maine. The spending was detailed in internal agency documents and invoices released under the Maine Freedom of Access Act. Question 1 was defeated by Maine voters by about 44,000 votes on Nov. 4. In the campaign against Question 1, DIF&W took an unprecedented advocacy role on the referendum question. Wardens, biologists and other agency staff spoke at dozens of voter forums around the state and in several TV spots to defeat the initiative. DIF&W staff also spent more than 165.5 hours on campaign-related activities. However, these additional hours were unpaid and therefore were not listed in the FOAA request documents.
Climate Sticking Point: Who Cuts And By How Much?
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Friday, December 12, 2014 

BBC - U.N. talks on global warming are wrapping up in Peru, but a divide between rich and poor countries and how to divvy up targets to reduce greenhouse gases is a key sticking point that has remained unresolved. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has acknowledged that the issue is "hard fought and ... complex," but he says it is crucial that the targets be agreed on before next year's summit in Paris. The talks in Peru end today. Kerry said Thursday in Lima, "The fact is we simply don't have time to sit around going back and forth about whose responsibility it is to act. Pretty simple folks: It's everyone's responsibility." He said a failure to act would represent a "massive, collective moral failure of historical consequences."
Lima climate talks at crossroads on ways to fighting warming
Reuters - Friday, December 12, 2014 

About 190 nations were at a crossroads about how boldly to combat global warming on the final day of United Nations talks in Lima on Friday amid fears that low ambition could undermine a U.N. climate summit in Paris next year. The Dec. 1-12 talks, which opened with hopes for new momentum after a climate deal between China and the United States last month, focused on the scope of pledges that countries are due to make early next year to tackle warming. Those national pledges, due by an informal deadline of March 31, 2015, will be the building blocks of a global deal to be agreed in Paris in December 2015 and meant as a step toward reversing rising world greenhouse gas emissions.
A fascinating, informative, and historic look at Maine's fisheries management
George Smith's Outdoor News Blog - Friday, December 12, 2014 

Suzanne Auclair’s amazing new book "The Origin, Formation & History of Maine’s Inland Fisheries Division" is a thorough, often-in-their-own-words, fascinating examination of the important and historical work of our state’s fisheries biologists. This book is a treasure and will be the place future fisheries managers and anglers go to understand the state’s complicated evolution of fish and fisheries management.
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News Feeds

Maine Organic Farmers
and Gardeners Assn

Irving Certification Valuation
Mitch Lansky, founder of the Maine Low-Impact Forestry Project and author of “Low-Impact Forestry: Forestry as if the Future Mattered,” recently submitted a paper called “Irving Certification Valuation” to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a global, multi-stakeholder forestry organization with a mission to "promote environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of the world's forests." Certification by FSC of wood products, traced through chain of custody to "sustainable" forest practices, is required for many "green" building and paper programs. In the United States and Canada alone, FSC certifies nearly 173 million acres. Yet, says Lansky, J. D. Irving Ltd. – whose forestry practices in Maine are FSC certified – uses short rotations “that look suspiciously like plantations” rather than natural forests; uses more herbicides than all other forest landowners in Maine combined; is managing for stand structures that are vulnerable to spruce budworm; was cutting more than its forests were growing; and was not treating its contractors in socially responsible ways. Read and download Lansky’s in-depth analysis (Word document) at http://www.meepi.org/lif/Irvingrecertification.doc.
12/17/2014 11:00:00 PM

Stacking traits in a GMO is found to cause unexpected synergistic effects
Stacking traits in GM plants has been found to cause unexpected effects, including synergistic effects, which are not investigated in regulatory authorisations. These changes could affect the safety of the GMO.
12/16/2014 11:00:00 PM

Researchers' recipe: Cook farm waste into energy
Source: University of Guelph - Researchers are studying how to make biofuels from farm waste, especially 'wet' waste, such as corn husks, tomato vines and manure, that is typically difficult to use. They have developed a fairly simple procedure, pressure cooking, to transport waste and produce energy from it. Cooking farm waste yields compact, easily transportable material that will not degrade and can be used in energy-producing plants, they say.
12/16/2014 11:00:00 PM

What Congress Doesn’t Want You To Know About Industrial Food Production
By Emily Cassidy - Some members of the U.S. Congress don’t want you to know how the food you eat strains natural resources. That’s the meaning of a statement attached to the omnibus federal spending bill Congress sent to President Obama last Saturday. The statement, crafted by the House and Senate appropriations committees, orders the Obama administration to make sure that the 2015 edition of the federal government’s “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” contains “only nutrition and dietary information, not extraneous factors.”
12/16/2014 11:00:00 PM

Protect Seed Libraries
Source: Legalize Seeds - After Pennsylvania’s Department of Agriculture adopted a policy restricting the Simpson Seed Library in Mechanicsburg, PA from sharing locally saved seed, several states have followed suit, threatening the continued existence of seed libraries.
12/15/2014 11:00:00 PM

EPA, USDA, and the White House Team Up to Promote Bad Nutrient Trading Program in Virginia
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the White House Council on Environmental Quality have mistakenly put their faith in a voluntary, market-based trading scheme in Virginia that will do little to actually reduce pollution.
12/15/2014 11:00:00 PM

Back to the future: Scientists want 'rewilded' crops to boost agriculture
By Chris Arsenault - Scientists should "re-wild" food crops by inserting lost genetic properties of ancient, edible plants in order to boost agricultural output for a growing population, a new study said.
12/15/2014 11:00:00 PM

“Farming with Native Beneficial Insects” Means Solving for Pattern
By Adrian Ayres Fisher, Ecological Gardening - Our culture is awash in pink slime solutions. If you’ve seen "Food, Inc.," you’ll recognize this as "solving" the problem of E. coli in ground beef by concocting an ammonia-containing additive (pink slime) and then building large factories to incorporate it into the beef before it goes to the consumer. Other examples abound.
12/15/2014 11:00:00 PM

Natural Resources Council
of Maine

A Realistic Plan to Attract Jobs, Businesses to the Bangor Region
By Sean Faircloth, Special to the BDN Bangor Daily News op-ed Chris Dalton, a former Californian, owns a softw...
12/18/2014 8:26:36 AM

Arctic’s Future Not Very Bright, New Report Says
Ice is being replaced with dark land and water that absorbs more energy, keeping more heat on an already warmi...
12/18/2014 8:14:06 AM

Maine Birders Dive into Annual Christmas Bird Count
By Aislinn Sarnacki, BDN Staff Bangor Daily News news story Thousands of people across the country have been c...
12/18/2014 8:07:40 AM

Be Grateful Not Wasteful
If you purchase gifts, buy those with less packaging and pack them in recycled paper or reusable gift bags. To...
12/18/2014 4:00:53 AM

Keeping Warm with Style
Accessorizing for warmth can help you keep the thermostat down, saving money and reducing pollution. Try a col...
12/17/2014 4:00:07 AM

Trash Disposal Group, Town Officials Unveil Plan for Solid Waste Processing Plant in Hampden
By Dawn Gagnon and Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff Bangor Daily News news story HAMPDEN, Maine — A town with a long ...
12/16/2014 2:04:57 PM

Unplug for the Day
If you choose to decorate with lights, remember to unplug them during the day. Better yet, use a timer so they...
12/16/2014 4:00:11 AM

Maine Lagging Behind in Solar Energy
WCSH-6 TV news story SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — According to the Natural Resources Council of...
12/15/2014 5:12:13 PM

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