November 19, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Friday, November 17, 2017 

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 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
Protecting the Nature of Maine Grants for Maine Middle Schools
Announcement - Friday, November 17, 2017 

The Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) has eight $500 grants available to middle school teachers and club leaders (6th, 7th, or 8th grades) in Maine for projects that educate and engage students in Maine’s environment and the value of protecting it. Deadline is November 30.
Teddy Roosevelt Maine Conservation Award
Announcement - Wednesday, November 15, 2017 

The Teddy Roosevelt Maine Conservation Award given by Maine Woods Forever recognizes young people and youth organizations whose efforts are in the spirit of Roosevelt’s conservation ethic and achievements, and recognizes what Maine’s young people are doing to conserve our forest heritage, with an eye to their potential as future conservation leaders. Deadline for Nominations: January 31, 2018.
Block Trump's dangerous climate denier from the CEQ
Action Alert - Monday, November 13, 2017 

Kathleen Hartnett White, Trump's pick to lead the Council on Environmental Quality, isn't just your run-of-the-mill, extreme right-wing climate-denier. She's a senior fellow at the Koch brothers and Exxon-funded Texas Public Policy Foundation. She believes carbon dioxide is harmless "plant food," equates belief in climate change to "paganism," calls solar and wind power "unreliable and parasitic," and asserts that coal use in the 1800s ended slavery in the United States.
AMC Maine Chapter Annual Meeting, Nov 18
Event - Posted - Saturday, November 11, 2017 

Speakers: Steve Tatko, Appalachian Mountain Club’s Land Manager, will talk on the AMC’s Maine Woods Initiative. Jed Williamson will talk on Accidents in Outdoor Pursuits - Their Causes and Cures. At Portland, November 18.
Conserving Maine’s Bats: A Workshop for Woodland Owners, Foresters and Loggers, Nov 16
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

Piscataquis County Soil & Water Conservation District, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and Maine Department of Transportation, will hold a workshop on Maine bats. At Dover-Foxcroft Congregational Church, November 16, 9-10:30 am.
Nature Based Fiction & Truth, Nov 16
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

Sandra Neily will discuss novel ways to elevate conservation, nature based economics as well as outdoor-themed fiction. She will sign and read from her novel, "Deadly Trespass." At Curtis Library, Brunswick, November 16, 7 pm. Hosted by Maine Appalachian Mt. Club.
Little Long Pond: A Field Guide to Four Seasons, Nov 16
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

Author talk and book signing with Samuel Eliot and John Rivers. At Jesup Memorial Library, Bar Harbor, November 16, 7 pm.
Nature Based Fiction & Truth, Nov 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Sandra Neily will discuss nature-based fiction as well as sign and read from her debut novel, "Deadly Trespass." At Shaw Memorial Library, Greenville, November 15, 6 pm.
Seeing the Future Forest Through the Trees: Potential Changes and Management Responses, Nov 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Dr. Nicholas Fisichelli will discuss how can forest managers can respond to ongoing and projected changes. At UMaine at Machias, November 15, 6:30 pm.
Online sustainability journal ‘Spire’ invites submissions
Announcement - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Spire: The Maine Journal of Conservation and Sustainability invites submissions for the second issue of the online journal, slated for release in spring 2018. Deadline: Dec 10.
Oil Drilling Means Oil Spilling
Action Alert - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

You still have time to stop the Trump Administration from paying for tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires by opening oil drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. Mainers have nothing to gain and everything to lose from this dangerous scheme. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Maine Farmland Trust Annual Meeting, Nov 14
Event - Posted - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Speakers: Amber Lambke, Maine Grains; Rob Tod, Allagash Brewing Co.; and Sara Williams, Aurora Mills & Farm. At United Farmers Market Building, Belfast, November 14, 5:30-8 pm.
Mushing in Maine and Beyond, Nov 14
Event - Posted - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Polly Mahoney of Mahoosuc Guide Service will share her dogsledding experiences from the Yukon Territory to Maine to Nunavut and northern Quebec. She will bring a couple of her friendly sled dogs. At Bangor Public Library, November 14, 6 pm.
Baxter State Park sign auction, thru Dec 6
Announcement - Monday, November 6, 2017 

Auction of retired Baxter State Park signs, plus the historic dinner bell from Kidney Pond Camps. Friends Baxter State Park will donate half the proceeds to Baxter State Park, and half will support FBSP programs. Ends December 6.
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News Items
Eastern Maine Conservation Initiative conservation grants available
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Eastern Maine Conservation Initiative awards grants of $1,000 to $3,000 annually for academic or professional studies or endeavors in support of environmental sciences, wildlife conservation, cultural geography or historical research related to Eastern Maine. It has also funded projects for local historical societies.
Electricity prices to jump for most Maine customers
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Most of Maine’s electricity customers will pay higher rates next year. The prices apply to customers of Central Maine Power and Emera’s Bangor Hydro district who receive the “standard offer,” a fixed rate approved by state utilities’ regulators each year as a default electricity option. The rates for 2018 are the result of a months-long review process by the Maine Public Utilities Commission, unrelated to the recent storm outages.
Column: The strange world of mushrooms
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Mushrooms have always mystified me. They look strange, they grow strangely, they live strangely. And there is a bewildering variety of them. ~ Dana Wilde
Coastal Maine town rejects development ban
Lincoln County News - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Damariscotta voters on Tuesday rejected a moratorium that would have placed a temporary ban on retail development larger than 2,500 square feet.
Column: Look out — ticks are everywhere
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

The disease-carrying insects have expanded their territory, and that means we are all in trouble. ~ George Smith
Opinion: Op-ed authors fail to make case for opposing natural gas pipeline
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

When teaching my classes in engineering and public health, I encourage my students to follow the data when they are developing an opinion on a particular issue. I read with interest the Oct. 20 Maine Voices column by Olin Jenner and Beverly Roxby (“Maine does not need a natural gas pipeline from Quebec”). I disagree with the basic premise of the column and how the data were used to support their argument. ~ Ivan G. Most, Sc.D., professional engineer, Old Orchard Beach
Letter: Collins, King should stand against Trump EPA pick
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

I’m writing to ask Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to take a stand against Michael Dourson, President Trump’s pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency’s chemical safety program. Dourson has faced significant opposition from public health advocates for his involvement in a consulting group that defended the use of certain chemicals. Dourson and others claim these chemicals are safe even though they’re associated with serious health issues such as cancer, birth defects and developmental problems. ~ Erica L. Bartlett, Portland
Letter: Wind storm disaster
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Welcome to Puerto Rico. Oh, we’re in Maine. What do the two have in common? Electric power delivery systems that have been allowed to go to blazes, whose corporate executives have made annual maintenance of their equipment a thing of the very distant past. What is surprising is that we the people are willing to put up with allowing our state to be crippled by ineptitude and greed. Will we have answers to why this is allowed to happen? Not likely, since no one, seemingly, is even asking the question. ~ Diane Monroe Smith, Holden
NOAA awards $1.1M in grants to boost aquaculture research
Mainebiz - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Two awards from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will support seaweed and blue mussel aquaculture research projects in Maine. The University of Maine got a grant of $908,015 to support research into sustainable post-harvest processing — such as drying, blanching and freezing — of aquacultured seaweed and development of value-added products. Researchers will work with industry partners in New England, with the goal of increasing capacity of Maine seaweed producers and processors to compete in the food marketplace. And an award of $249,238 to Brian Beal of the Downeast Institute for Applied Marine Research and Education will support study of large-scale culture of blue mussel seed, to provide to commercial aquaculturists for grow-out.
Transfer approved for Tremont mussel farm
Mount Desert Islander - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

The Department of Marine Resources approved the transfer of an aquaculture lease last week for a Blue Hill Bay mussel farm that has been the focus of prolonged and bitter opposition, but the battle over the 15-acre site located east of Hardwood Island is far from over. Friends of Blue Hill Bay, a local conservation organization, has challenged the lease.
Selected Elections Results
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Q1: York Casino - Rejected
Q2: Medicaid Expansion - Approved
Q3: Transportation Bond - Approved
Q4: Stabilize Pension Funding - Approved
Merge Auburn & Lewiston - Rejected
Close vote kills plan to allow Portland residents to block zoning changes
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Portland voters narrowly rejected a proposal that would have allowed residents to block rezoning in their neighborhoods. The referendum comes as Maine’s largest city experiences a boom of development. The question was a citizens’ initiative from neighbors who opposed a large housing project on the outskirts of the city.
Maine gets its first snow of the season
Associated Press - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

The National Weather Service in Caribou says the first snowflakes of the year in Maine were observed in the Aroostook County city on Tuesday. Caribou is typically one of the snowiest places in the Northeast. Last winter, the city set a record with 132 straight days with a foot of snow on the ground.
Land for Maine’s Future board reviews controversial Big Six project, 24 other applicants
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Members of the Land for Maine’s Future board raised questions Tuesday about public access and recreation on a 23,000-acre property along the Maine-Quebec border that has drawn heightened scrutiny. On Thursday, the nine-member board will reconvene to make preliminary funding decisions.
Land For Maine’s Future Debates Funding Conservation Project On Maine's Largest Sugarbush
Maine Public - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

For the first time in about three years, the Land for Maine’s Future board is considering funding for more than two-dozen conservation and water access projects around the state. But funding is limited, and the competition is fierce. The Big Six project has drawn the most attention. It’s the one LMF project supported by Gov. Paul LePage, who has called the state program “corrupt” and criticized the use of public funding to conserve land and take it off the tax rolls. What’s also raised eyebrows is the landowner’s political contributions to LePage’s campaigns.
Mainers Weigh In On Proposed Fee Increases At Acadia National Park
Maine Public - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

The Trump administration is proposing a substantial increase in fees at Acadia and 16 other national parks, in part to help address an estimated $11 billion in infrastructure needs within the system nationwide. Families now pay $25 admission to enter Acadia during peak season, but the Interior Department is proposing to increase that fee to $70. Critics charge that the additional money generated by higher fees barely begins to address the problem systemwide and that fee increase will likely discourage some from spending time at Acadia.
Biomass plant owner gets loan approval for shrimp farm in West Enfield
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

The owner of a wood-fired power plant in West Enfield that wants state financial help to build three shrimp farms on the property got a boost Tuesday when the Maine Rural Development Authority approved a $500,000 loan for the venture. Board members voted 6-0 to approve the loan to Kathadin Shrimp Farm LLC, which is solely owned by Stored Solar West Enfield LLC. Low wholesale electric prices in New England make it hard for Maine’s aging stand-alone biomass power plants to be profitable. They need to gain additional revenue from selling excess electricity, steam and carbon dioxide to other on-site businesses. In West Enfield, Stored Solar has a five-year plan to co-host a mix of biorefineries, agriculture and aquaculture operations.
Nearly 500 turn out for Take Pride in Acadia Day
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

More than 470 volunteers, including dozens of students from the University of Maine and Husson University, showed their pride in the park at the annual Take Pride in Acadia Day on Saturday, Nov. 4. Together, volunteers raked fallen leaves from drainage areas and culverts on 9.7 miles of carriage roads in 19 locations. Now in its 27th year, the event is sponsored by Friends of Acadia and facilitated by Acadia National Park to support maintenance of the historic carriage roads.
Hike: Piney Knoll Conservation Area in Orono
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Piney Knoll Conservation Area is a 57-acre parcel along the Penobscot River in Orono that features about 4.5 miles of intersecting trails. The trail network is open to the public year round, and it’s a popular place for walking, snowshoeing, mountain biking, geocaching and cross-country skiing.
Retired Maine game warden pilot receives top FAA award
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Retired Maine game warden pilot Gary Dumond on Monday received the Federal Aviation Administration’s most prestigious honor, the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award. Dumond flew helicopters during the Vietnam War and has accumulated 21,000 hours of safe flying over his lifetime, helping to save lives and rescue people. Jeffrey Beach, chief pilot for the Maine Warden Service said, “From the air, Dumond will see a lake, pond or old sporting camp and will often have a story to tell about it.” The Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award recognizes individuals who have exhibited professionalism, skill and aviation expertise for at least 50 years while piloting aircraft as “Master Pilots.”
Maine DEP and BEP programs to be evaluated
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

The Environment and Natural Resources Committee of the Maine Legislature will be reviewing both the Department of Environmental Protection and the Board of Environmental Protection during the next regular legislative session in 2018. Here is the DEP's 2017 program evaluation report (large file). The BEP program evaluation report is available from Cynthia Bertocci, Board Executive Analyst, (207) 287-2452.
Why Mainers Should Be Outraged Over Worst Power Outage In State's History
Other - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Forbes - Nearly half of the people living in Maine spent a significant part of last week in the dark after a storm caused widespread power outages. “This is the largest number of outages in the company’s history,” said Gail Rice, a spokesperson for Central Maine Power. Maine’s economy lost vast sums of money as a result of the power outages. CMP’s incompetence and lack of planning turned what should have been a short power outage into a prolonged and painful experience. Mega-scale utility projects proposed by CMP and supported by LePage’s administration would not have made an iota of difference. The CMP Maine Power Reliability Program certainly did not keep the lights on in Maine despite the program’s $1.4 billion price tag.
Volk tapped by Republicans as assistant majority leader in Maine Senate
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Scarborough Republican Amy Volk has been elected by her fellow GOP senators to serve as assistant majority leader. She’ll replace Sen. Andre Cushing of Newport, who resigned from the position last month after he was fined by the Maine Ethics Commission for violations of campaign reporting rules. Through 2016, Volk had a lifetime pro-environment voting score of just 43%, according to Maine Conservation Voters. In 2017, she voted pro-environment on four out of seven bills scored.
Realtors fear Republican tax bill would dampen market for Maine properties
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

A tax bill proposed by House Republicans last week could threaten Maine’s market for vacation properties and strip savings from homeowners who rely on home equity loans. Maine has the highest percentage in the nation of second-home ownership, with some 19 percent, or 142,967 properties, listed as second homes, according to the U.S. Census.
Cape Elizabeth councilors seek solution to ‘paper street’ dispute
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Town councilors struggled to find a resolution Monday night to the dispute over so-called paper streets that run between the waterfront and several multimillion-dollar homes in the Shore Acres neighborhood. Finally, around 11:30 p.m., the council unanimously decided to extend the town’s right to accept the two paper streets, and to hold a series of professionally facilitated forums where neighbors and other Cape Elizabeth residents might negotiate a solution.
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