April 20, 2014  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Saturday, April 19, 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. Will Sugg is the website developer. ~ Jym St. Pierre, RESTORE: The North Woods
Horseshoe Crab Count Needs Volunteers
Announcement - Saturday, April 19, 2014 

Horseshoe crabs are amazing creatures. Each spring, from the end of April through mid-June, volunteers spend an hour or so during high tide counting the crabs they see along the rocky shore in the Great Salt Bay. If interested in participating in the horseshoe crab count project, contact the Damariscotta River Association.
East-West Corridor Art Show, Aug 13-19
Announcement - Friday, April 18, 2014 

Defending Water for Life in Maine is sponsoring an art exhibit to provide a public venue for art which showcases the beauty and diversity of Maine along the route of the proposed East-West Corridor, to support artists who create this art, and to raise funds to continue critical organizing to stop the East-West Corridor project. At Sam Shaw's Main Street Art tent, Northeast Harbor, August 13-19; opening reception August 14, 5 pm.
Maine Rivers Conference, May 10
Event - Posted - Friday, April 18, 2014 

A full day event focused on diadromous fish. At Hathaway Creative Center, Waterville, May 10. $40/adult, $10/student prior to May 1; $50/$10 after May 1.
Feathers over Freeport, Apr 26-27
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 17, 2014 

“Feathers over Freeport” will highlight special birding opportunities at Bradbury Mountain State Park, Pownal, April 26, 8 am - 5 pm; and at Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, Freeport, April 27, 8 am - 4 pm.
HOPE Festival, Apr 26
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 17, 2014 

The HOPE Festival celebrates our connections to the earth and to each other and affirms the power of our united efforts. At University of Maine, Student Recreation and Fitness Center, Orono, April 26, 11 am - 4 pm.
Reject and Protect, Apr 26
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 17, 2014 

Thousands of people will meet in Washington DC to stand with pipeline fighters from the front lines to send a final, unmistakable message to President Obama that it’s time to Reject Keystone XL and Protect our Land Water and Climate. At National Mall, Washington, DC, April 26, 11 am.
Years of Living Dangerously, Apr 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 17, 2014 

The new Showtime documentary series, Years of Living Dangerously, examines the impacts of worldwide climate disruption. The series follows Hollywood stars on journeys across the world to meet the people affected by, and seeking solutions to, climate change. After the screening of the first episod, there will be a panel discussion to talk about what we can do to fight climate change in Maine. At Frontier, Brunswick, April 24, 7 pm.
Neighborhood Bird Walks, Apr 19-May 27
Event - Posted - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 

The Penobscot Valley Chapter of Maine Audubon and Fields Pond Audubon Center have scheduled a dozen spring bird walks.
Rebels with a Cause, Apr 22-26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

This stunningly beautiful new film spotlights a group of citizens from many walks of life who fought to establish public parks beginning in the 1950s. At Frontier, Brunswick, screenings April 22-26.
Birds of Panama, Apr 21
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 08, 2014 

Al Haury will present “Birds of Panama” at Viles Arboretum, Augusta, April 21, 7 pm. Sponsored by Augusta Bird Club.
National Parks Free Entrance, April 19-20
Announcement - Tuesday, April 08, 2014 

Only 133 of our country's 401 National Park System areas charge an entrance fee, but even that will be waived on opening weekend of National Park Week, April 19-20.
Whiskeag Creek Birding, Apr 19
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 08, 2014 

Explore Whiskeag Creek where it empties into the Kennebec River at Thorne Head. April 19, 7:30 am. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon and the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust
Vernal Pools Walk, Apr 19
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 08, 2014 

Join Maine Master Naturalists and science teachers Sue Kistemacher and Sharon Gallant for an exploration of vernal pools in the Vaughan Woods. At Vaughan Homestead, Hallowell, April 19, 1 pm.
Fly Fishing Film Tour, Apr 19
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 08, 2014 

At Sea Dog Brewing, Bangor, April 19, 7 pm, $15.
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News Items
Letter: Pushing for carbon tax a misplaced measure
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 

A revenue-neutral carbon tax as proposed in a recent letter ("Focusing on climate change is a liberal and conservative issue,” April 9) is synonymous with "free health care." The prospect of a current climate-change phenomenon is inconclusive. Therefore, pushing for a carbon tax is a misplaced measure, but the liberal doctor and his conservative son can feel free to indict China and India for their careless, abusive, polluting policies. ~ Kevin Benjamin, South Portland
Letter: Coal barge
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 

In reading the piece by Wayne E. Reilly, I assume that many readers were surprised at the number of coal barges that came up the Penobscot River once “ice-out” was obtained. Why, in 17 million acres of trees, would we import coal to heat our homes? There are two reasons. First, the energy stored in a cubic foot of coal bin is 10 times greater than the energy storage in a cubic foot of woodshed. Wood sheds must be much larger that coal bins. Second, one hundred years ago, an upper-middle-class household could hire a “furnace man.” He would come in the morning, shake down the furnace, remove the ashes and bank the fire for the day. This would be repeated in the evening. The mess of coal burning would be confined to the basement. ~ Richard C. Hill, Old Town
Letter: Primarily Cain
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 

On June 10, Democrats will choose between Emily Cain and Troy Jackson to represent the 2d congressional district in the U.S. House. Although they have voted similarly (and with their party) many times, Jackson has a worse record on things like the environment. Just last week, he attempted to interfere in the imposition of justifiable environmental fines on one of his buddies. Cain, on the other hand, has been consistent in her beliefs. She gets high marks from Maine Conservation Voters. ~ Abbie McMillen, Harborside
Thermal energy bill to look at renewable biomass for energy production becomes law
Maine Insights - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

The Senate unanimously gave final approval to a bill that directs the Public Utilities Commission to complete a comprehensive study on the potential benefits and barriers to making thermal energies eligible for the State of Maine’s renewable energy portfolio standard. This standard is a regulation that requires at least 30% of energy production in Maine to come from renewable energy sources.
Maine agency to reassess $25 million bond for Thermogen startup B
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

A controversial $25 million bond the state planned to sell on behalf of a startup company, Thermogen Industries, that wants to launch a biomass fuel project in Millinocket is up in the air after the company announced a significant change in the project’s scope. Everything changed after Thermogen announced it was shelving its original plan in favor of pursuing a more expensive, but better established, technology. Alexandra Ritchie of Cate Street Capital, which owns Thermogen, said the new plan doubles the project’s cost to $140 million, but increases the number of direct jobs created to 55 and triples the annual output of the facility. Cate Street Capital also manages the investment fund that owns Great Northern Paper, which purchased defunct paper mills in Millinocket and East Millinocket in 2011. GNP reopened the East Millinocket mill, then shuttered it in January and laid off more than 200 employees. Several creditors are seeking payment from GNP of unpaid bills totaling millions of dollars.
Sportsmen Leading in Bear Referendum Poll
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

Patrick Murphy will deliver some great news tomorrow to the sportsmen of Maine. A survey of Maine voters conducted by Murphy’s company, Pan Atlantic SMS Group of Portland, found that 46.7 percent support a ban on hunting bears with bait and dogs and trapping bears, 48.1 percent oppose the ban, and 5.3 are undecided. The yes vote was stronger in Maine’s First Congressional District, where 50.3 percent support the ban. In the Second Congressional District, only 43.1 percent support the ban. This puts sportsmen far ahead of where they were in the 2004 bear referendum at this point in time. There are a couple of important lessons here. First, just as sportsmen came from behind to win in 2004, the Humane Society of the United States has every opportunity to win their campaign in 2014. Second, HSUS has already reported that it will spend at least $3 million. If sportsmen cannot come close to matching the HSUS campaign, they will be very unhappy on election day.
Push continues for second national park in Maine
WCSH-TV6 - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

Roxanne Quimby owns more than 100,000 acres of land in the Katahdin region, and is looking to turn some of that into what would be the state's second national park. Over the past few years she has stepped into the shadows of the project, and her son, Lucas St. Clair, has taken over as this push continues. Lucas St. Clair said that since he's taken over as the spokesman for this project there's been a greater understanding for what it is they're trying to do in the Katahdin region. On Tuesday night, St. Clair was in Bangor. He and the Natural Resources Council of Maine put on a presentation at the public library.
Locals Discuss National Park Proposal for Katahdin Area
WABI-TV5 - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

Proposed plans to create a new national park near Baxter State Park were discussed in Bangor Tuesday. Elliotsville Plantation Inc. wants to donate 150,000 acres of their land to the federal government. The group is owned by Burt’s Bees founder Roxanne Quimby. Plenty of locals are on-board with the plan. Others are concerned it would change the character and complexion of the region.
Acadia Opens for the Season
WABI-TV5 - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

“Who cares about a little rain?” That was the mantra for several visitors at Acadia National Park on opening day. That summer rush is not far off, says Park Superintendent Sheridan Steele. “I’m sure were going to be serving hundreds of thousands of people again this year and it’s wonderful to see people coming back to their national park, in Acadia.” Acadia is one of the most visited National Parks in the country. The vivid scenery and great outing opportunities lure people from around the world.
Court upholds EPA power-plant emission standards
Associated Press - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s first emission standards for mercury and other hazardous air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants. In its ruling, the court rejected state and industry challenges to rules designed to clean up chromium, arsenic, acid gases, nickel, cadmium as well as mercury and other dangerous toxins. The case has potential implications for air quality in Maine and its New England neighbors.
Northern Border Regional Commission Grant Funds Available
Maine Government News - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development is accepting applications for grant funds provided by the Northern Border Regional Commission. Eligible projects can
"promote resource conservation, tourism, recreation, and preservation of open spaces in a manner consistent with economic development goals; and promote the development of renewable and alternative energy sources." The NBRC was created as a result of legislation introduced by U.S. Rep Mike Michaud.
Heart-shaped Maine island goes back on the market for $1.275 million
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

Harbor Island, a heart-shaped island that helps provide shelter to boats that come and go from nearby Eggemoggin Reach, is back on the market. For someone who loves Maine’s coastal islands — and who has $1,275,000 to spend — it can be theirs. The island does come with some strings attached, however. Maine Coast Heritage Trust has placed some conservation easements on the property that any new owner will have to abide by.
National Forest Legacy Program continues to pump big bucks into Maine’s working forest
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

Since 1994, Maine has received nearly $60 million through the Forest Legacy Program to provide some protection for forestlands from conversion to non-forest uses. More than 710,000 acres of forestland, in projects from York County to Aroostook County, have been protected by public acquisition or have been covered by easements. Four more projects in Maine have already been approved for Forest Legacy funding. A fifth Maine project has been listed in the top ten Forest Legacy projects nationally and is included in the President’s proposed FY 2015 budget for federal funding. Proposals for new projects seeking FY 2016 funding are due by June 16.
Hike: Old Pond Railway Trail in Hancock
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

The Old Pond Railway Trail follows nearly 3 miles of the former Maine Shoreline Railway, which was last traveled by train in the 1980s. A century ago, the railway was used to transport tourists from Brewer to Hancock’s McNeil Point Ferry Landing on their way to the famous Bar Harbor. The wide footpath, which officially opened to the public on July 25, 2012, travels along the abandoned railway’s partially buried rails and moss-covered railway ties from Hancock Town Hall to Old Pond and on to Kilkenny Cove, passing through a beautiful mixed forest.
Column: Pellets for palaces
Times Record - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

Using pellets is more bother than using oil. They must be stowed and kept dry. Pellet fueled devices are fully automated, but the hopper of a small fireplace insert heater like mine holds only a little more than a bag of pellets and needs to be regularly refilled twice in 24 hours on cold days. Pellet stoves and fireplace inserts involve less effort than wood burning stoves. Their fanforced exhaust systems require no chimney; can be vented through a 4-inch stainless steel pipe. There is no creosote problem. On the other hand, unlike woodburning stoves, pellet burners require electricity. But I heat my palace with locally made renewable fuel, harvested and made by local people. Unlike the money we had spent on oil, 100 percent of what we spend on pellets stays in the local community. We also save money. ~ Paul Kando
Opinion: Clean-water bond would benefit Maine's environment – and economy
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

It doesn’t take a scientist to tell you that our current water infrastructure is falling behind. Take a short drive down any of Maine’s roads this spring and you will know what I’m talking about. This growing problem is only compounded by the increasing intensity and frequency of today’s storms. The Maine Legislature can take action today to address these issues. A bill that combines the worlds of jobs, fish and wildlife and flood protection for our communities is being discussed in the halls of the State House in Augusta. The Clean Water and Safe Communities Act (L.D. 1455) bond proposal provides investment to improve and upgrade culverts, fix storm water problems, restore wetlands and ensure safe drinking water and the protection of fish, game and wildlife habitats across the state. ~ Chip Laite, Camden
American woodcock among recent signs of spring
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

Editorial: Eliot Cutler offers good ideas to lower property tax. Is he the candidate who can implement them?
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler on Tuesday unveiled a tax relief package that would reduce average property tax burdens for homeowners across the state by 20-40 percent, making up for it by boosting state aid to towns and cities. Cutler proposes a range of fine proposals that, if implemented, would reduce property taxes for full-time Maine residents and export more of Maine’s tax burden to the millions of tourists who visit the state each year. Cutler is right that governors have rarely stood behind tax reform proposals and offered their clout; reform efforts in recent memory have been legislator-driven. What he has to prove between now and November is that he has the leadership ability to implement these needed reforms.
Eliot Cutler rolls out $185 million proposal to lower property taxes — and plan to fund it
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

Independent candidate for governor Eliot Cutler continued his roll-out of policy ideas Tuesday with a new proposal to lower property taxes while also increasing state aid to local communities, funding for education and the budget for marketing the state of Maine. Cutler outlined options to pay for the $185 million plan with increases in the sales, meals and lodging taxes, as well as expanding the sales tax to recreation and entertainment activities.
Nova Scotia ferry set for Thursday arrival in Portland
Forecaster - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

Terminal leases are approved, tickets are on sale, and this week the new ship that will ferry passengers to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, is expected to dock for the first time in Portland. Nova Star Cruises spokesman Dennis Bailey on Monday said the 528-foot Nova Star is scheduled to berth in Portland at noon Thursday, after a two-day stop in Nova Scotia. Daily, 10-hour trips to Nova Scotia are scheduled to begin May 15 and run through Oct. 31. The ferry can hold up to 1,250 passengers and 300 vehicles. Bailey promised the trips will provide "a true cruise experience," with three restaurants, a spa, a conference center and theater, casino, and a play area for children.
Opinion: Far from sunk, Brookings report still inspiring action in Maine
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

Curmudgeon John Frary says “Charting Maine’s Future,” the Brookings report, “seems to have sunk without a trace.” Oh, but that’s not true! The Brookings report continues to inspire action across Maine. This year, GrowSmart Maine is taking the action plan in “Charting Maine’s Future” one step further, bringing it back to the community level, because local ownership of ideas and actions is essential to long-term success. When complete, “Making Headway in Your Community,” will connect Mainers with the resources they need to make a difference in their towns. Encouraging more smart growth throughout Maine will strengthen our economy without sacrificing those unique quality places that make this place home. ~ Nancy E. Smith, GrowSmart Maine
Letter: Proposed national park in Maine merits endorsement
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

If I were a high-paid consultant to Maine politicians, I would urge all hands to support a proposal out there for a Maine Woods National Park. Elliotsville Plantation is ready to donate 150,000 acres of its land for a national park in a pristine wilderness due east of Baxter State Park. It’s a hugely generous offering. Nothing is for certain in politics, but I bet Maine office seekers who make the Elliotsville park proposal a centerpiece of their campaigns will find it a winner. ~ Gordon A. Glover, South Freeport
Letter: Climate action
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

Last month’s UN climate change report, based on input from some 1,500 scientists from around the world, contains data about the alarming effect that human-caused carbon emissions are having upon our planet. The chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that the report “should jolt people into action.” Here in Maine some people are taking action by working for a revenue-neutral carbon tax for emissions. Some countries and U.S. states are already charging fees or taxes for carbon emissions, so Maine has examples to follow and learn from. ~ Laurie Sproul, Canton
Letter: Cold War thinking
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

Lately there has been a revival of Cold War thinking in relation to climate change and global warming. What we have learned from the latest Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change’s report is that there are ever-greater risks associated with rising global temperatures, now predicted with high confidence by scientists around the world. While those who deny the science are forever with us, a new kind of skepticism has arisen, which finds it acceptable that we may see cataclysmic events in certain environments around the world — coastlines, island chains, countries with a land mass at sea level — but that the loss of these areas, and the people who inhabit them, might be tolerable. The inevitable question then becomes: Who will decide these questions? ~ Bevan Davies, Kennebunk
Meet The Surprising Star Of Showtime’s New Climate Change Series
Climate Progress - Monday, April 14, 2014 

An evangelical Christian, married to a pastor, living in conservative West Texas, and widely regarded as a top-notch climate scientist, Dr. Katharine Hayhoe is a rare breed on paper — in person, she’s even rarer. Deftly moving between topics like science, religion, and gender with equal parts insight and levity, Hayhoe is an unassuming force of nature. Mitch Hescox, president of the Evangelical Environmental Network, said, “She’s the best communicator of climate science that I’ve ever met and she’s also a person of profound faith” — a rare combination.
Current  Archive      Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ...

News Feeds

Maine Organic Farmers
and Gardeners Assn

Blue Hill raw milk case to be heard in supreme court
By Anne Berleant - Blue Hill farmer Dan Brown of Gravelwood Farm will have his day in court – again.
4/16/2014 11:00:00 PM

Kitchens could be sources of drug-resistant bacteria
By Kathryn Doyle - Cutting boards used to prepare raw poultry may be an important source of drug-resistant bacteria in hospital kitchens and private homes, according to a new study.
4/15/2014 11:00:00 PM

Designing Hedgerows to Connect Habitat
By Rebecca Lindenmeyr - Habitat fragmentation is a serious problem across the country and a significant contributor to the loss of biodiversity worldwide. Here in Vermont, development in the Burlington area continues to fragment the habitat blocks that remain. Preserving as much forest and open land as possible is of course the first line of defense, but in many situations the damage has already been done and then the goal becomes finding ways to reconnect the fragments.
4/15/2014 11:00:00 PM

Maine Farmer to Speak at United Nations on International Mother Earth Day
Jim Gerritsen, a Maine organic seed potato farmer, has accepted an invitation to participate on a guest panel at the United Nations in New York City on April 22, 2014. The event will be the fourth Interactive Dialogue of the General Assembly on Harmony with Nature, which commemorates International Mother Earth Day.
4/15/2014 11:00:00 PM

Hormone-disrupting chemicals are a must for Maine DEP’s spring cleaning to-do list
Op-Ed by Heather Spalding - The season’s bright blue skies, sunshine, snowdrops, crocuses and longer days inspire us to tackle lots of dirty projects mounting around our homes, yards and workplaces. My spring cleaning to-do list gets longer by the day. Most of it feels manageable, but there is one thing I can’t tackle without the help of Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection.
4/15/2014 11:00:00 PM

Vermont Senate passes mandatory GMO food-labeling law
By Carey Gillam and Lisa Baertlein - The Vermont Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would make the state the first in the United States to enact mandatory labeling of foods made with genetically modified crops. "We are really excited that Vermont is going to be leading on this," said Falko Schilling, a spokesman for the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, which backed the bill.
4/15/2014 11:00:00 PM

Seed Money or Seed Sovereignty? Chile Beats Monsanto Law (For Now)
By Jessica Ramos - Chile has scored a major victory against ‘Monsanto Law’ – a bill that sought to privatize the country’s seeds and Monsanto Company – an almost unstoppable force. Indigenous communities, farmers and women beat one of the biggest seed giants on the globe.
4/15/2014 11:00:00 PM

Fermenting Maine: Kombucha and Community
Daniel and Mirra of The Perennial Plate bring us the story of Urban Farm Fermentory in Portland, Maine. Watch to learn how Kombucha is made, but also to hear the story of an inspired community building man and organization.
4/15/2014 11:00:00 PM

Natural Resources Council
of Maine

Squeaky Wheels
To lubricate non-specialized mechanical items (from door hinges to kitchen equipment) use canola oil instead o...
4/20/2014 4:00:20 AM

Good Clean Fun
Bored? Skip the movies and other energy- and budget-busting activities. Go for a walk at a nature area. #maine...
4/18/2014 4:00:06 AM

Maine Senate Sustains Veto, Pulls Blinds on Solar Energy Rebate Bill
by Scott Thistle, State Politics Editor Sun Journal news story AUGUSTA — The state Senate on Wednesday, by sus...
4/17/2014 10:38:55 AM

Legislature Rejects Weak Mining Rules; Sends Bill to Governor
Statement of Nick Bennett, NRCM Staff Scientist “The Maine House and Senate have given final approval to LD 17...
4/17/2014 8:36:40 AM

Hormone-disrupting Chemicals are a Must for Maine DEP’s Spring Cleaning To-do List
By Heather Spalding, Special to the BDN Bangor Daily News op-ed The season’s bright blue skies, sunshine, snow...
4/17/2014 7:49:20 AM

Toyota Will Launch Hydrogen-powered Car in 2015
By Norihiko Shirouzu, Paul Lienert and Yoko Kubota, Reuters Bangor Daily News news story TOYOTA CITY, Japan/IR...
4/17/2014 7:42:48 AM

Portland Panel Backs Plastic Foam Container Ban
But a decision on imposing a plastic grocery bags fee is delayed. The issue now goes back to the City Council....
4/17/2014 7:27:11 AM

New Life for Old Sweaters
Unravel the yarn of an old sweater and use it to knit new hat or scarf. Or remove the arms and fashion them in...
4/17/2014 4:00:54 AM

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