July 20, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Saturday, July 20, 2019 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond; hey, we're all connected). We have posted summaries and links to 60,000 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
Grand Lake Stream Folk Art Festival celebrates 25 years, Jul 27-28
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 20, 2019 

More than 50 folk artists and craftsmen in the northeast and an outstanding line-up of talented musicians will gather in Grand Lake Stream for the 25th annual Grand Lake Stream Folk Art Festival, July 27-28, 10 am - 5 pm.
Invasive forest pests, Jul 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 20, 2019 

Hildy Ellis, Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District, discusses forest insect invaders. At Merryspring Nature Center, Camden, July 27, 10 am – noon
Odd Alewives and Oyster Tasting Cruise, Jul 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 20, 2019 

At Damariscotta River Cruises, July 27, 5-7 pm.
Sustainable Forestry Walk, Jul 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 20, 2019 

Forester Charlie Spies and wildlife biologist Steve Pelletier will discuss striking a proper balance between competing wildlife, recreational, aesthetic and timber interests. At Crystal Spring Farm-North trailhead, Brunswick, July 27, 10 am. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
Help Wanted: Communications & Research Assistant
Announcement - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

The North American Megadams Resistance Alliance is hiring a Communications & Research Assistant, based at Sierra Club Maine, to work on a campaign opposing Canadian hydropower dams and transmission corridors planned for the U.S.
Support Island Stewardship
Announcement - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

Maine Island Trail Association volunteers will make 1,400 boat landings on Trail sites this summer to provide care for these special places and assure they can remain open to explorers. Support the Float Their Boats campaign to strengthen MITA's 30-year tradition of volunteer stewardship of the Trail.
Fur, Feathers & Feet, Jul 24
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

An introduction to birds and mammals. At Orr's Island Library, Harpswell, July 24, 10 am. Presented by Chewonki Foundation.
Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail Festival, Jul 24-26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

The festival celebrates the Wabanaki Native American people and naturalist writer Henry David Thoreau’s three journeys into the Maine Woods. At Center for Moosehead History, Greenville, July 24-26.
‘Acadia Files’ author Coppens, Jul 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

Author Katie Coppens will conduct fun science experiments with kids of all ages. At Turner Public Library, July 23, 2 pm. Each volume of “The Acadia Files” helps young readers learn about the scientific method in fun and innovative ways by following the adventures of Acadia, a young scientist.
Help Stamp Money Out of Politics
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

The flow of cash into the pockets of politicians from lobbyists, oil and gas companies, and billionaires bent on protecting their wealth is the biggest barrier to our government's taking action on climate change, and it is up to us to put a stop to it. That is why we're asking you to join the movement protesting Big Money's death grip on our future by rubber-stamping our cash with the message "Stamp Money Out of Politics." ~ Ben & Jerry
Tell Your Representative: Invest in Clean Energy and Climate Action
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Congress must update and extend vital tax credits in four key green technology areas needed to meet our climate goals — electric vehicles, offshore wind, electric grid scale storage, and building efficiency. Without these updated credits, clean energy innovation could stall and our planet will be driven even closer to the brink of climate catastrophe. ~ Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund
Hearing on CMP billing errors, service shortcomings, rate hikes, Jul 22
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Maine Public Utilities Commission public witness hearing concerning Central Maine Power’s request to increase residential rates by over 10%, and CMP billing errors and poor customer service. At PUC, Hallowell, July 22, 6 pm.
Greenhorns summer workshops
Event - Posted - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Hear from historians, restoration ecologists, entomologists, fishermen, foresters and master craftsmen, on a wide range of topics at the intersection of the human and non-human world. Greenhorns, in Pembroke, works to create a welcoming culture for new entrants in sustainable agriculture.
Crystal Spring Farm Bee Tour, Jul 21
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

Beekeeper Ken Faulkner will explain the importance of honeybees, hive dynamics, beekeeping, honeybee history, and more. At Crystal Spring Farmers’ Market parking area, Brunswick, July 21, 10 am, free. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
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News Items
Hike: Mount Percival in Northport
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

One of the most distinctive landmarks in Northport, Mount Percival rises 502 feet above sea level and features the remains of an old tower near its wooded summit. The Hildreth family donated 73 acres of the mountain, including its summit, in 2003 for conservation. The property is now owned by the Coastal Mountains Land Trust, which maintains the 0.3-mile hiking trail that leads to its summit and the old tower.
Freeport brewery’s success means $150K for environmental nonprofits
Forecaster - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Maine Beer Co., which moved to Freeport in 2013, pledged to donate 1% of gross annual sales when brothers David and Daniel Kleban started the business in 2009 in Portland. “The idea is that if everyone just gave 1%, we could really kind of make a dent in climate change and protecting the world around us,” Anne Marisic, marketing and events coordinator at the brewery, said. “One of our first checks was for $100 and now we’re in the position to give close to $150,000.”
Canada announces new protections for rare right whales
Associated Press - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

The Canadian government has announced new protections for endangered North Atlantic right whales in response to a string of deaths and entanglements involving the marine mammals. Six of the whales have died in Canadian waters in the last several weeks, and necropsies show three of them appear to be due to vessel strikes. The Canadian government said three more whales have been found entangled in rope, and it’s unclear whether they will survive. The protections include increasing surveillance, expanding slowdown zones and changing the rules that trigger fishing shutdowns.
Opposition Group To Launch Petition Effort To Kill CMP’s Transmission Project
Maine Public - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Opponents of Central Maine Power’s proposed 145-mile power line through western Maine say they will start a petition drive to take the question to a statewide vote. Sandra Howard, director of the grassroots opposition group Say NO To NECEC says gathering the 70,000 signatures needed to try to kill the CMP project at the ballot box in Nov. 2020 will be an enormous undertaking. But Howard says there’s clear evidence that the project, like CMP itself, is widely unpopular in the state. Pete Didisheim, the Natural Resources Council of Maine’s advocacy director, says people are "clamoring to vote against the project.”
Maine, 22 other states join California in opposing Trump mileage standards
Associated Press - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Citing climate-damaging tailpipe emissions, 23 governors signed a pledge Tuesday backing California leaders in their showdown with the Trump administration over its plans to relax vehicle mileage standards. The pledge comes as the administration seeks to ease mileage standards laid out as part of efforts against climate change. Legal challenges to Trump’s policy proposal threaten to disrupt the auto industry for years, and an influential auto industry trade group is renewing its appeal for the compromise. The administration says American consumers increasingly want bigger, less-efficient SUVs and pickup trucks.
Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story
National Public Radio - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Plastic waste gets a lot of attention when photos of dead whales with stomachs full of plastic bags hit the news. Pieces of plastic also litter cities, and tiny plastic particles are even floating in the air. Largely overlooked is how making plastic in the first place affects the environment, especially global warming. Plastic actually has a big carbon footprint, but so do many of the alternatives to plastic. And that's what makes replacing plastic a problem without a clear solution. One thing that waste experts agree on is that there's too much trash, whether it's plastic or paper or something else. And people are making more of it than ever.
Sale of 6 acres on Saco Island leaves plan for major development in doubt
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

A Massachusetts developer bought properties in Portland and Saco, including part of an island in the Saco River where a local developer had proposed an ambitious $40 million project, at separate auctions Tuesday. Ted Moore of East Marblehead, Mass, paid a total of $36,000 for the two properties, but also took on nearly $3 million in combined liens that had been placed on the properties. Moore said he does not have any plans for the properties.
Augusta might sack ordinance requiring plastic bag fees
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

City councilors might throw out a local ordinance requiring stores to charge customers 5 cents per plastic bag, because the use of those bags will be banned statewide starting next year. In a memo sent to councilors Monday, City Manager William Bridgeo said that with passage of the statewide ban, “it would appear that our pending ordinance is moot. I want to confirm that with you and then determine the most appropriate way to bag it.”
Hallowell residents lobby City Council for trash cans at parks
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Visitors and residents want to see more trash cans in city parks, but Public Works Foreman Chris Buck said trash cans in city parks are misused and could create health hazards and unsightly clutter around full trash cans.
After someone left out Doritos, Baxter State Park saw its bear activity increase
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Baxter State Park was established with a goal of the land remaining “forever wild,” and one of the benefits of that focus is the wide variety of native animals a visitor might see on the park’s more than 200,000 acres. But one particular species — the black bear — has been a bit overly active this summer, prompting park officials to put a cautionary message up on its Facebook page. “Bear activity in the park has been on the increase,” the post reads. “In order to keep the wild in wildlife, please remember to secure all food, trash, and scented items in your car or bear-proof container.”
'We cannot be radical enough': David Attenborough calls for drastic climate change action
Other - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Sir David Attenborough has told British MPs that no action is too radical when it comes to addressing climate change during an appearance at a UK parliamentary committee. The naturalist and TV presenter told the business, energy and industrial strategy committee at Westminster: “We cannot be radical enough in dealing with this issue. The question is what is practically possible.”
Opponents of a dozen new laws aim to erase them with ‘people’s veto’ campaigns
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

With a short time to collect 63,067 signatures, special interest groups and individuals file more than a dozen requests to challenge newly signed laws. To get on the Nov. 5 ballot, signatures would need to be submitted sometime in early August. Conservative activist Jack McCarthy of northern Aroostook County has applied for 14 people’s veto petitions but two were rejected because the bills in question – the state budget and one setting up a task force on climate change – already had become law. Other bills targeted include a Green New Deal (LD 347), solar energy incentives (LD 478), and the Renewable Portfolio Standard for power generation (LD 477).
Holes in beach can be dangerous to piping plovers
Journal Tribune - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Wildlife officials are asking beach goers to be mindful of piping plovers on the beach. This includes filling up any holes dug in the sand before leaving the beach. Piping plovers are a small, sandy colored shorebird listed as an endangered species by the state and designated by the federal government as threatened. Plover chicks weigh about as much as a piece of gum. A baby bird that tiny that can’t fly will not be able to get out if it falls in a hole dug in the beach. If the hole is close to shore, a bird trapped in a hole will likely drown.
Billionaire Tom Steyer Changes His Mind And Is Now Running For President
National Public Radio - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Tom Steyer, a California billionaire hedge fund manager and environmental activist, is the latest to jump into the Democratic presidential race. Steyer has gained national attention with his quest to impeach President Trump. Steyer's previous focus on impeachment could vault the issue into the presidential race. He did not say why he had the change of heart, but it comes months after the release of the Mueller report and an increasing number of congressional Democrats have called for the president's impeachment.
Brook Trout Getting New Protection
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Thanks to DIF&W Commissioner Judy Camuso, Maine’s brook trout will be getting new protections. The proposed new rule will be implemented on January 1.
Anglers throw back ‘crap fish’ that might have been a record-breaker
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Joe Vachon of Toronto, Ontario, caught a monster fallfish, or chub, while fishing the Moose River with his brother-in-law, Al Harris of Hampden recently. The anglers released the fish, but later learned that if they'd kept it, it may have been close to a state record for the species that many people view as a "trash fish." Harris said, “We were thinking, ‘You know? We got a good crap fish here. Throw it back.’ But little did we know that it was probably a contender for a record.”
How well do you know Maine’s most popular tourist traps?
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

The tourists have arrived. More specifically, they’ve arrived at some of the most popular locations in the state, from the LL Bean flagship store to Funtown Splashtown USA. But while they may be very popular with out of staters, how much do Mainers actually know about them? Take our quiz below to test your knowledge!
Market shifts prompt bill to shore up Maine recycling programs
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

State policymakers alarmed by the growing number of Maine communities restricting or abandoning costly recycling programs will draft legislation requiring private companies to shoulder the cost of disposing of common household packaging. The proposed measure is partially a response to the collapse of global markets for recyclables such as paper and plastic. Sarah Lakeman, Sustainable Maine director at the Natural Resources Council of Maine, thinks that an “extended producer responsibility” program for packaging would at least shield consumers, who did not create the problem, from bearing the cost of swings in volatile recycling markets. Terry Webber, of the American Forest and Paper Association, said his group won’t support a packaging stewardship program because "those programs are extraordinarily good at increasing costs to consumers, but not very good at increasing recovery rates."
Opinion: State’s delegation should stop blocking protections for right whales
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

How many more critically endangered North Atlantic right whales need be killed as a result of ship strikes and fishing gear entanglements for Maine’s congressional delegation to stop throwing obstacles in the way of protections for these magnificent creatures? The looming threat of extinction that right whales are facing is an emergency. We are talking about the human-caused extinction of an animal whose population was doing very well when European settlers first came to these shores. Human greed and indifference alone put these animals in this situation. The SAVE Right Whales Act proposes spending $50 million over 10 years. That's 0.238 percent of the $21 billion boondoggle spent on the Zumwalt destroyers built by BIW. ~ Russell Wray, Hancock
Letter: Cape’s improvements to park much appreciated on holiday
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Kudos and congratulations to the town of Cape Elizabeth for their upgrade to the management of Portland Head Light and Fort Williams Park. On Independence Day, the park was mobbed by cars and people, yet all was in good order, with plenty of good parking and free flow of the crowd. It was a joyous, diverse American citizenry enjoying a beautiful day in a beautiful parkland. ~ John Reedier, South Portland
Letter: Ties with Cape fray as Fort Williams parking fees take effect
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Dear Cape Elizabeth, I was sorry to see your plans for parking fees at Fort Williams. I’m your neighbor, and you and I have been great friends for many years. The fort has given me dog walking, lacrosse games, lobster rolls, biking and Dooleyball in all seasons. I’ve volunteered to garden at the fort, and donated to the fund, making me an official Friend of Fort Williams. But this parking thing feels like you’re breaking up with me. I’ll pay $15 for a pass. But that’s far less than the $100 I usually sent. You’re still more than welcome to come to Willard Beach, Bug Light Park, Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse and Hinckley Park for free. ~ Christine Koch, South Portland
Letter: Plastic doesn’t make America great
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

On June 30, columnist Jim Fossel decried the ban on single-use plastic shopping bags. He spoke nothing about huge increasing amount of plastic floating in our oceans, causing problems for us. Not being biodegradable, more and more plastic in the oceans runs counter to President Donald Trump’s call to “Make America Great again.” ~ Roger Condit, Farmington
Letter: ‘Freedom’ not under attack in Maine
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Columnist Jim Fossel’s criticism of the new State House leadership lists legislative changes he finds a danger to individual freedom, such as bans on the use of Styrofoam containers, cell phones while driving, vaping in schools, and tanning salons for kids, all of which I would consider public health or safety issues. He even blames Maine Democrats for the trend away from Indian school mascots, which was started nationwide, years ago, by American Indians. Fossel cites all these as infringements of individual rights, outside the public interest to regulate. I get a hoot out of right-wingers who defend individual freedoms unless they involve a bedroom or reproductive choice. ~ Harvey Versteeg, Augusta
Survey hopes to save historic Portland, South Portland buildings from impacts of climate change
Forecaster - Monday, July 8, 2019 

Greater Portland Landmarks is conducting a first-of-its-kind survey this summer in two vulnerable neighborhoods: Bayside in Portland and Ferry Village in South Portland. The survey is designed to document historic resources that are at increased risk due to the impacts of climate change. Those impacts include not only flooding, but high winds and increasing heat. “The ocean is now rising at an ever-faster rate, and the possibility that we could see a 6-foot increase is now more likely than ever,” a recent Nature Conservancy in Maine newsletter said. The state has already lost $70 million in home values due to coastal flooding.
Trump promotes his environmental record despite sweeping rollbacks
Associated Press - Monday, July 8, 2019 

President Trump declared himself a champion of the environment Monday, working to boost his standing on climate change and pollution issues in advance of the 2020 election despite having launched some of the most sweeping rollbacks in air, water and other protections in decades. A former senior EPA transportation engineer said the administration’s claims of environment leadership are “truly Orwellian.” Trump has slashed federal Clean Water Act protections for millions of miles of waterways and wetlands, eased regulation of the coal industry and oil and gas companies, pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord and dismissed federal scientists’ warnings on climate change.
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