September 24, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Monday, September 24, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond). We have posted summaries and links to over 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
Learn about Marine Mammals of Maine, Oct 1
Event - Posted - Monday, September 24, 2018 

Learn more about Marine Mammals of Maine, the current status of seals in Maine, and how to tell if a stranded animal really needs help and what you should do. At Kennebunk Free Library, October 1, 6 pm.
Drop-in volunteers needed to work on Acadia National Park projects
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 22, 2018 

Drop-in volunteers are needed to work on trails, carriage roads and outdoor projects during sessions organized by Acadia National Park and Friends of Acadia. At park headquarters, September 29, 8:15 am-12:15 pm. No experience is necessary.
The Nature of Craft, Sep 29
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 22, 2018 

A fine art and craft show. At Maine Audubon's Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, September 29, 10 am - 4 pm.
Stand with Hunter in opposing Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court
Action Alert - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

Hunter Lachance, a 15-year-old Mainer with asthma, testified against the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. He explained why Kavanaugh’s opposition to curbing air pollution that crosses state lines would harm Maine and people like him. Urge Senator Collins to vote “no” on Brett Kavanaugh. ~ Kristin Jackson, Natural Resources Council of Maine
Evening for the Environment, Oct 3
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

A night of camaraderie, celebration, and inspiration for those who care about protecting Maine's environment. Keynote speaker Gina McCarthy, former EPA Administrator. At Brick South on Thompson's Point, Portland, October 3, 5:30-8:00 pm. Organized by Maine Conservation Voters.
Solar 101, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Join ReVision Energy to learn about the benefits of solar technology. At Scarborough Public Library, September 26, 2018 6:30 pm.
Weasels of Maine, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Shevenell Webb, Wildlife Biologist with IF&W, talks about weasel ecology and natural history. At Augusta Nature Club luncheon, at Capital Area Technical Center, Augusta, September 26, 11:30 am, $7 for lunch.
Activist Training for Maine's Environment, Sep 27-Oct 11
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Maine's environmental community is hosting a series of trainings. Learn skills to be a powerful activist and meet fellow environmentalists who want to make a difference in Maine. September 27, Biddeford; October 4: Auburn; October 11, Jefferson; October 18, Falmouth.
Naturalist's Notebook, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Bowdoin biology professor Nat Wheelwright will speak about the book he wrote with Bernd Heinrich, "The Naturalist's Notebook: An Observation Guide and 5-Year Calendar-Journal for Tracking Changes in the Natural World Around You." At Portland Public Library, September 26, 5:30-7:30 pm.
NRCM online auction, thru Sep
Announcement - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

Online auction benefits Natural Resources Council of Maine, through September.
Help wanted: Director of Media Relations and Advocacy Communications
Announcement - Monday, September 17, 2018 

The Natural Resources Council of Maine is seeking applications for the position of Director of Media Relations and Advocacy Communications. The position provides leadership in advancing NRCM and the organization’s advocacy work through the news media. Deadline: October 11, 2018.
MCV Action Fund 2018 Endorsements
Announcement - Monday, September 17, 2018 

A list of candidates endorsed by the Maine Conservation Voters Action Fund.
Bringing an ocean perspective to an urban estuary, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Karina Nielsen, director of San Francisco State University’s Estuary and Ocean Science Center, will speak at the UMaine Darling Marine Center, Walpole, September 24, 12:15 pm.
Maine's Beaches are Public Property, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Author and law professor Orlando E. Delogu speaks about public access to Maine’s beaches. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, September 24, 6:30 pm.
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News Items
Waterville’s $1.5 million RiverWalk at Head of Falls open to the public
Morning Sentinel - Monday, September 17, 2018 

The RiverWalk at Head of Falls was rife with activity Monday morning with people walking dogs, a Colby College professor and his class checking out the Kennebec River and public works employees installing a conduit for electricity to an outdoor amphitheater. The $1.5 million RiverWalk features a lighted, 900-foot boardwalk along the river, a gazebo, a large interactive children’s play area, art installations and landscaping, including trees and flowers. Though the RiverWalk is open to the public, workers are still adding features. A dedication ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. on October 6. Former U.S. Sen. George J. Mitchell, who lived at Head of Falls when he was a small child, will be the principle speaker.
Paper streets pit Cape Elizabeth residents against the town
WGME-TV13 - Monday, September 17, 2018 

After months of debate, Cape Elizabeth town councilors will make a decision on the paper streets that have torn residents apart for years. Five homeowners on the waterfront filed a lawsuit against Cape Elizabeth a year ago, because the town never developed the road only marked on paper. Owners then agreed to pay $500,000 to the town in a settlement proposal, if they gave up the rights to the undeveloped street. Behind those homes is a gravel path that allows deeded residents access to the shoreline, and now some residents feel they won’t have access to public ways. However, residents say the trail near the shoreline is privately owned. Now it’s up to councilors to make a vote on what's works best for homeowners, and the entire town of Cape Elizabeth.
Reconnecting People With Nature
Maine Public - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Bowdoin College biology professor emeritus Nathaniel T. Wheelwright shares his latest project, a series of videos filmed almost entirely in his backyard that are designed to encourage mindfulness and curiosity among viewers. Joining Nat is Patty Jones, Director of the Bowdoin Scientific Station on Kent Island.
Opponents, Supporters Of Canada-Massachusetts Energy Project Speak At Hearings
Maine Public - Monday, September 17, 2018 

About 200 people turned out Friday night for a pair of hearings held by the Maine Public Utilities Commission — one in Farmington and one in the Forks — on Central Maine Power’s proposed transmission line known as New England Clean Energy Connect. It’s a 145-mile power line that would bring Canadian hydropower through western Maine to Massachusetts. While the majority of those who spoke Friday were opposed to the plan, CMP spokesman John Carroll says there seems to be some consensus on at least one topic: climate change.
Cape Elizabeth considering 'pay-to-park' at Fort Williams
WGME-TV13 - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Cape Elizabeth Town Councilors will discuss a proposal Monday night that would bring cashless parking meters to Fort Williams Park. The proposal would place 10 cashless meters in five parking lots across the park from April through November. The pay-to-park lots would include the parking lots closest to the Portland Headlight, the parking lot next to the Fort Williams Beach, and the Parking Lot behind the Bite into Maine lobster shack. In total, 270 spots would become pay-to-park.
Column: LePage’s *%+# up
Forecaster - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Recently, Gov. Paul LePage sent a letter to business leaders. “Employers who have the highest use of unemployment in their slow season are already socializing their costs across the system,” the governor wrote. The matter was raised by a bill sponsored by Republican state Sen. Amy Volk of Scarborough to help industries such as logging and construction, which experience weather-related interruptions caused by stuff like mud season, and are sometimes forced to institute temporary layoffs. According to dictionaries, socialization is a noun and socializing is a verb that mean “the process of learning to behave in a way that is acceptable to society.” That has long eluded the governor. It’s possible LePage is confusing these terms with “socialism,” which is when the government takes all your money and gives you free health care and food stamps. Oddly, a careful examination of the issue that has incensed the governor reveals no trace of socialism. Or, for that matter, socialization. ~ Al Diamon
Opinion: Quebec hydro line will ruin Maine’s ‘golden egg’ — our beautiful forest
Bangor Daily News - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Central Maine Power’s proposal to construct a new 53-mile corridor, as part of a larger 145-mile transmission line, through the woods of the Upper Moose River Basin will degrade our treasured natural assets. Yet, CMP and Hydro-Quebec expects us to embrace this project’s extensive visual and environmental impacts, all in the name of delivering Canadian hydro power to Massachusetts? I say enough is enough. What’s next? An adjacent pipeline? An East-West Highway? Yet another expanded power line? The impacts from these possibilities will incrementally destroy the value of the natural golden eggs that nourish our quality of life, valued irreplaceable assets that feed our rural forestry, tourism and small-business economy. ~ Roger Merchant, Glenburn
Changes: Judy Berk to retire from NRCM
Maine Environmental News - Monday, September 17, 2018 

On Monday, Judy Berk, a long-time staffer at the Natural Resources Council of Maine, announced that she will be retiring from NRCM later this year. Burk wrote to colleagues, "I have worked in communications at NRCM for more than 27 years, and it has been so rewarding – a challenge, an adventure, a learning and growing experience, an opportunity to do constructive, substantive work at a great place with a great team pulling together to make the Maine we love, a better place. What more could you ask for?" The deadline for applications is October 11.
Scientists Create New Online Ocean Conservation Tool
Maine Public - Monday, September 17, 2018 

A new online ocean conservation tool has been launched. It's called the Conservation Planning Database. "So I know it sounds like a bit of a snoozer, but it's actually incredibly exciting," says Heather Leslie, director of the University of Maine Darling Marine Research Center in Walpole. "This is something that a large team of scientists from all over the world have been working on for going on 20 years now." Leslie says the free, peer-reviewed repository of information is meant to assist people from all over the world in learning about and solving ocean issues.
As Herring Fishery Closes, Maine Fishermen Turn To Plentiful 'Pogies' For Bait
Maine Public - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Good news for Maine lobstermen: Just as a scarcity of the herring they use to bait their traps has closed that fishery, state officials are expanding the fishery for another baitfish - menhaden, or pogies that have shown up in large numbers off Maine for the third year in a row. State Marine Resources Coordinator Melissa Smith says with the Gulf of Maine's waters warming, and North Atlantic currents changing, the state may see them return more often. Four southern states where pogies have not been abundant this year are transferring some of their federal quotas for the fish to Maine.
Maine communities torn apart by age-old debate: Business growth or water views?
Other - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Portsmouth Herald (NH) - It’s a special place for the 60-some residences, split between Kittery and Eliot, affixed to its shoreline. A proposal by a local shellfish company to expand its aquaculture operations to the length of three football fields within the body of water has posed a considerable question some abutters are hastily trying to answer: Who exactly owns Spinney Creek, both literally and figuratively?
Downeaster readies for expanded Brunswick-Boston service
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Rail service between Boston and Brunswick is expected to expand as soon as November, provided a critical rail project is completed on time. The Downeaster expects to make five round trips per day on its entire line as soon as it finishes the $9.4 million construction of a secondary passing rail line in Falmouth and Cumberland.
Stonyfield Organic is Working with South Portland to Organically Maintain Bug Light Park
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Stonyfield Organic, an organic yogurt company in New Hampshire, just announced their biggest mission yet, StonyFIELDS, a nationwide effort to help at least 35 communities across the country transition their public parks and youth sports fields to organic maintenance programs, and Bug Light Park in South Portland Maine is the first on that list. Since 2017, the Parks Department has only been mowing the grass. Now Stonyfield Organic and South Portland are working together to create a demonstration area in Bug Light Park to show how a challenging landscape (compacted soil, no irrigation, saltwater ocean spray, etc) can be rehabbed organically.
Column: Those fruits of the earth that bring culinary delights
Morning Sentinel - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Fall in central Maine some 50 years ago meant coming home after school to apple pie, applesauce cake or apple crisp, straight out of my mother’s oven. There was nothing like the scent of cooking apples wafting through the house on a chilly day. ~ Amy Calder
Letter: CMP hydro plan bad for Maine
Bangor Daily News - Monday, September 17, 2018 

I want to express my concern over Central Maine Power’s planned devastation of northern Maine. This is a David and Goliath story. This is the concrete jungle versus the natural forest. The David in this story are the small fragile communities that appear powerless to stop this power grab of wilderness. Will David be able to stay the giant? They say “you can’t fight city hall” and “money talks,” but maybe, this time, the little guy will win. ~ Deke Sawyer, Jackman
Unique National Parks You Must Visit
Other - Sunday, September 16, 2018 

There are certain places that seem to belong to another world altogether, landscapes so strange that it’s hard to believe they exist on Planet Earth. Lucky for us, many of these have been preserved as national parks, allowing us to enjoy the feeling of being transported to another time or place. These distinctive, unique national parks are truly out of this world.
Interactive map: Where Maine’s electric cars are
Portland Press Herald - Sunday, September 16, 2018 

Maine has about 430 all-electric cars registered in the state, according to Bureau of Motor Vehicle data from January 2018. Although that number has doubled since the end of 2015, these cars still make up only a tiny portion of the 1.3 million registered motor vehicles in Maine. The map below shows where those electric vehicles are registered in each town across the state, as well as the locations of public charging stations.
Longtime Maine Law professor to discuss public access to beaches
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, September 16, 2018 

One of the founders of the Maine Civil Liberties Union is going to deliver the annual Constitution Day Lecture at the University of Maine School of Law. Orlando Delogu, professor emeritus, has taught at Maine Law for over 50 years, and has been deeply involved in policy issues, from the local to the international level. He’ll be discussing the Constitution and public access to beaches.
Mainers share the charge they get out of owning electric cars
Portland Press Herald - Sunday, September 16, 2018 

An electric car ride-and-drive event at the South Portland Community Center on Sunday. Sunday’s electric car event coincided with National Drive Electric Week and was organized by the Natural Resources Council of Maine, Central Maine Power, ReVision Energy and the Greater Portland Council of Governments. A survey by NRCM showed that the top two reasons Mainers chose to buy electric cars are to reduce air pollution (76%) and to save money on gasoline (50%). More than half of the respondents said they save more than $50 per month on gas and another 30 percent save at least $25 per month.
Elevated levels of arsenic found at new RSU 2 school’s site
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, September 16, 2018 

Elevated levels of arsenic have been found in the soil where Regional School Unit 2 is currently building a new school, but state officials say the school district has taken appropriate steps to prevent anyone from being exposed to the heavy metals. RSU 2 discovered the high arsenic levels two years ago, after learning that pesticides were probably sprayed over the site of the future school when it was a commercial apple orchard between 1954-1986.
Wolfe's Neck agricultural center looks to grow offerings
Forecaster - Sunday, September 16, 2018 

Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment is embarking on a capital campaign to help make its “re-imagined” campus a reality. Under the “reinvestment of the farm,” new and repurposed historic buildings and a “thoughtfully designed landscape” would allow campers, farmers, researchers and other visitors to “engage in hands-on learning about regenerative agriculture in an authentic, meaningful way.”
Maine city wants feds to help stop erosion from washing away more oceanfront homes
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, September 16, 2018 

Elected officials in Saco are hoping to get federal funding to help with beach erosion becoming a major problem in the city. The jetty at Camp Ellis, which was built in the 1960s, is causing ocean water to churn towards the shore. 38 oceanfront homes have fallen into the Atlantic over the years as a result of the erosion. "The Army Corps of Engineers wants to put a 750 foot spur two thousand feet off this six thousand foot jetty and also put two other wave breakers to stop the wave action so the stand stays in,” says Councilor Lynn Copeland. They are hoping for the House of Representatives will vote yes to provide funding for the solutions in the upcoming year.
Opinion: Taking care of Acadia is a wise investment
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, September 16, 2018 

Visitation has increased 58% over the last decade at Acadia National Park, yet the park’s inflation-adjusted budget is down approximately 12% since 2010. When you compound rising visitation with decreasing budgets, limited park staff and aging infrastructure, park facilities are on a path toward inevitable decline. Acadia staff take care of 128 miles of roads, 44 bridges, 162 vehicles, 175 buildings and 620 campsites. Friends of Acadia helps address some of the maintenance backlog by providing annual grants for the trails and carriage roads. However, our private funds are intended to supplement, not replace the fundamental responsibility of Congress to maintain these national treasures. While the focus has been on the deferred maintenance, Congress and the administration must not ignore park operations. ~ David MacDonald, Friends of Acadia
Maine farmers say legions of squirrels devouring pumpkins, apples
Associated Press - Sunday, September 16, 2018 

There’s a bumper crop of squirrels in New England, and the frenetic critters are frustrating farmers by chomping their way through apple orchards, pumpkin patches and corn fields. The varmints are fattening themselves for winter while destroying the crops with bite marks.
Maine residents asked to sign up for pesticides disposal
Associated Press - Sunday, September 16, 2018 

The state of Maine is asking residents to round up their old banned and unusable pesticides and register to dispose of them safely. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry says the weed- and bug-killers must be disposed of properly because otherwise they can harm human health and the environment. The state asks residents to pre-register by Oct. 5 to dispose of pesticides in Portland, Augusta, Bangor or Presque Isle. The state says the pesticide disposal program has kept more than 103 tons of pesticides out of the waste stream since 1982. It’s funded through product registration fees.
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