January 20, 2019  
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News Items
Northeast states target transportation emissions
Other - Saturday, January 19, 2019 

Tribune - Nine states and Washington, D.C., commit to a 'RGGI redux' and are hopeful that New York and Maine will join the group. Transportation produces about 40 percent of carbon emissions in the region.
Opinion: Next president must make climate change top priority
Washington Post - Saturday, January 19, 2019 

We are the first generation to feel the sting of climate change, and we are the last generation that can do something about it. The Democratic Party must nominate a candidate who will put fighting climate change at the top of the agenda. And that’s why I’m seriously considering running for president. Confronting climate change will require a full-scale mobilization — a national mission that must be led from the White House. This is the challenge we face and the choice facing American voters in 2020. ~ Jay Inslee, governor of Washington
Column: Judy Camuso seems like a good choice as IF&W commissioner
Sun Journal - Saturday, January 19, 2019 

n terms of background, experience and temperament, it seems that Camuso has the right qualifications for the job of commissioner of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. As wildlife director, she managed a staff of regional wildlife biologists, oversaw a large budget and dealt with a mix of diverse constituents that included state politicians, as well as consumptive and non-consumptive users. Because Camuso was a strong and effective advocate for the game management value of recreational bear hunting during the controversial bear referendum, her appointment, however, will no doubt be opposed by the anti-bear-hunting faction. For most of us in the sporting community, her role in that debate is reason alone to support her appointment with vigor. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Early indications show 2018 was a strong year for lobster landings in Maine
Portland Press Herald - Friday, January 18, 2019 

The state won't release official numbers until next month, but preliminary data indicates that harvesters landed more than 100 million pounds for the eighth straight year. The state follows the $1.4 billion a year industry closely. It is Maine’s global brand, and it employs thousands of Mainers, many living where jobs are scarce.
Farmland Trust Leader To Take Over As Maine Ag Commissioner
Maine Public - Friday, January 18, 2019 

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills has picked the executive director of Maine Farmland Trust to become the commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Mills will nominate Amanda Beal to lead an agency that oversees a wide range of interests, including land conservation, commercial farming and the state's once mighty wood products industry. Beal said that she'll work with all stakeholders served by the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.
Mills makes Maine Farmland Trust leader her final Cabinet pick
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 18, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills announced Friday afternoon that she has chosen the president of Maine Farmland Trust to head the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Amanda Beal is the Democratic governor’s pick to lead the department, which was created by the merger of separate agriculture and conservation agencies in 2012.
Mills chooses head of farmland preservation group as agricultural commissioner
Portland Press Herald - Friday, January 18, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills has nominated the head of Maine Farmland Trust to serve as commissioner of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. If confirmed by the Maine Senate, Amanda Beal will lead a large state agency that oversees farming programs, state parks and public lands, the Maine Forest Service and a broad range of other programs. Beal grew up on a dairy farm in Litchfield and has been active on food policy issues. She also has ties to the conservation community, currently serving as president and CEO of the Maine Farmland Trust.
Feedback Sought On Plan To Manage Rural Maine Land
Associated Press - Friday, January 18, 2019 

Maine is looking for the public's feedback about how to better manage tens of thousands of acres of rural land and woods. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry's Bureau of Parks and Lands is working on the final draft of a management plan about the state's Upper Kennebec region. The plan will steer the way the bureau manages areas such as Sugar Island Public Reserved Lands and undeveloped state park areas. The area includes lands to the east and west of Moosehead Lake, which is one of the most popular tourism spots in inland Maine.
Judy Camuso and four bills debated on January 30
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, January 18, 2019 

Judy Camuso’s confirmation hearing is scheduled for 9 AM on January 30 by the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee at the legislature. I’m enthusiastic about speaking for Judy, because I was a strong advocate for her appointment.
Column: Birds have evolved to excel at certain skills
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 18, 2019 

Evolution is nature’s way of ensuring survival of the fittest. “Evolution” is also the name of a board game from North Star Games. I played it several times with family members over the holidays. It’s a hoot. I am deeply amused by the game, because it reminds me Maine’s bird world is full of such evolutionary amusement. Each bird must follow two rules: Eat. Don’t get eaten. ~ Bob Duchesne
Biologists are wrestling with deer so they can study how they die
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 18, 2019 

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has set up four study areas for a deer winter mortality study. The differing latitudes of the sites were selected to try to determine how winter severity may change the farther north in the state the deer live and to ascertain how that severity could affect the deer herd. An addition this year: Two of those sites are located near winter deer-feeding operations.
Opinion: To manage bear population, stop feeding them
Kennebec Journal - Friday, January 18, 2019 

In 2004 and again in 2014, wildlife biologists in the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife said that baiting, hounding and trapping bears were necessary management tools, without which Maine’s bear population would explode. The department provided no science to back up their claim. In 2015, researchers at USM produced a paper titled “Controlling the Black Bear Population in Maine”. One of the conclusions was that “using bait increases the black bear population to very high levels.” This claim has been made by wildlife advocates for many years and has been ignored by IF&W. Maine only needs to stop its bear-feeding program to allow the bear population to decrease and remain at lower, sustainable levels. Of course, this would mean the end of training bears to answer the dinner bell so they can be shot at point-blank range while their head is buried in a barrel of food scraps. ~ John Glowa Sr., South China
Letter: Reid not right for DEP
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 18, 2019 

I’m alarmed at Jerry Reid’s nomination to head the Department of Environmental Protection. Intentionally or not, he worked to advance the interests of polluting intervenors in that case, making for an unseemly appearance of conflict of interest. ~ Katherine Rhoda, Hiram
Maine school district reinstates potato harvest break; superintendent resigns
Associated Press - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

A potato harvest is being reinstated for high school students in a Maine school district. Superintendent Brian Carpenter resigned after School Administrative District 1 voted 12-2 Wednesday night. The district represents the Presque Isle High School, the largest in Aroostook County. The board previously voted to discontinue the harvest break, but decided to reconsider the decision after farmers, business leaders, and other community members voiced concerns.
The Westbrook ice disc isn’t alone. It has a smaller cousin up in northern Maine.
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

A second large spinning ice disc has been discovered in a Maine river, but it’s probably not going to attract the attention drawn to the one seen in Westbrook earlier this week. Michelle Simon of Millinocket was out with her boyfriend in Township 2, Range 10 northwest of Millinocket when she came upon another spinning hunk of ice in the Penobscot River south of Abol Bridge on Sunday.
Blog: Interior Proposes New FOIA Rule that Inhibits Government Transparency
Other - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) guarantees public access to the records of federal agencies. It embodies the view that government works best when it works in the open. On the Friday between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the Department of the Interior quietly published a proposed regulation that will make it harder for the public to access records. While most of Interior was shut down due to a lapse in appropriations, it seems that shielding itself from public scrutiny was too important to delay. When Congress enacted FOIA, a House report said: “A democratic society requires an informed, intelligent electorate, and the intelligence of the electorate varies as the quantity and quality of its information varies.” Those words were prescient and Interior should strive to honor rather than subvert them. ~ Justin Pidot, former Deputy Solicitor for Land Resources at the Department of the Interior
The North Pole is moving, and the shutdown means we aren’t keeping up
Washington Post - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Nearly 2,000 miles beneath our feet, in the swirling, spinning ball of liquid iron that forms our planet’s core and generates its magnetic field, a jet has formed, roiling the molten material beneath the Arctic. This geological gust was enough to send Earth’s magnetic North Pole skittering across the globe. The place to which a compass needle points is shifting toward Siberia at a pace of 30 miles a year. And thanks to the political storm in Washington, scientists have been unable to post an emergency update of the World Magnetic Model, which cellphone GPS systems and military navigators use to orient. Roughly half the employees at the NOAA, which hosts the model and publishes related software, are furloughed because of the partial government shutdown, now in its 27th day.
Mills names Hannah Pingree as head of new office of innovation
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Maine Gov. Janet Mills announced Thursday that former House Speaker Hannah Pingree will head the new Office of Innovation and the Future. Mills, a Democrat, promised the creation of the office during her inaugural address earlier this month saying it would, “dive into major policy challenges, foster collaboration and propose concrete, workable solutions” to the state’s problems.
Back to the future: Mills’ plan for a Maine innovation office really began 50 years ago
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills will lay out a vision for a new Office of Innovation and the Future on Thursday in preparation for what would effectively be the second rebrand of a long-standing part of state government: the former State Planning Office. It was founded by former Gov. Ken Curtis in 1968 and ended largely as a cost-saving measure in 2012 under Mills’ predecessor, Gov. Paul LePage.
New Push To Settle Boundary Dispute At Acadia National Park
Associated Press - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Maine's congressional delegation is making a new attempt to address problems with the boundaries of Acadia National Park that complicate the harvest of clams and worms. The four members of the delegation say they've introduced legislation in the Senate and House of Representatives to protect the rights of clammers and wormers to continue working the flats of Acadia's intertidal zones. Republican Sen. Susan Collins, independent Sen. Angus King and Democratic Reps. Jared Golden and Chellie Pingree say their bill would allow a 2015 land transfer to Acadia National Park to go through while also making clear that a boundary law from 1986 remains permanent.
Eel aquaculture business gets approval to build facility in midcoast town
Lincoln County News - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

The Waldoboro Planning Board has signed off on an entrepreneur’s plan to build a 27,000-square-foot facility for her eel aquaculture business at the Waldoboro Business Park. “We are taking Maine-harvested glass eels and growing them out to market size using land-based aquaculture,” said Sara Rademaker, president of American Unagi LLC. She raises the eels without hormones or antibiotics and primarily sells them to restaurants.
Plowing and trail grooming to resume at Acadia despite lingering shutdown
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

The non-profit Friends of Acadia said Tuesday in a statement that it has reached an agreement with the National Park Service to have volunteers with the Acadia Winter Trails Association groom snow on Acadia National Park’s carriage trails for cross-country skiing while the shutdown continues. Most of Acadia’s 75 employees have been placed on furlough since the shutdown began nearly four weeks ago, on Dec. 22, 2018.
Maine could become a growing hotspot for the world’s most expensive spice
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Saffron is a spice with no parallel or substitute, with flavor hovering between honeyed, sweetly floral and ineffably earthy. It’s used in fragrant rice dishes, paella and bouillabaisse. It’s also the most expensive spice the world. Made from the hand-picked and dried stigmas of a fall crocus, saffron retails for about $5,000 per pound. The North American Center for Saffron Research and Development at the University of Vermont has made it its mission to transform New England into the country’s saffron-growing hotspot.
Lobster firm to invest in Gouldsboro plant after closure of Connecticut facility
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

A seafood distribution and processing firm says it plans to increase production at its plant in Gouldsboro after closing a shipping facility in Connecticut. Garbo Lobster, a subsidiary of East Coast Seafood Group, announced this week that it plans to shut down the Groton live lobster packing facility on Thursday, Jan. 17. The company said Wednesday that most of the capacity at the Groton facility will be shifted to its Maine Fair Trade Lobster processing plant in the Gouldsboro village of Prospect Harbor.
Letter: New Year’s Wish for NECEC
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

It is 2019 and the Maine Public Utilities Commission is still discussing details presented by the proponents and opponents of this powerline designed to move electricity from Canada to Massachusetts via a combination of a new 53-mile powerline corridor and upgrade of the remaining 92 miles through Maine. So Central Maine Power, Avangrid, Iberdrola, what is next? Please determine if power source, construction, and any possible unintended consequences, make the New England Clean Energy Connect the sparkling electricity the commonwealth envisioned before spending more Maine public money on details. ~ Bob Haynes, Skowhegan
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