October 15, 2018  
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News Items
Climate Trial of the Century
350.org - Monday, October 15, 2018 

Last week, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a special report showing that governments around the world must take "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society" to avoid disastrous levels of global warming. The Trump administration is accelerating the climate crisis by doubling down on fossil fuels and making US fossil fuel energy dominant in the world. While they are issuing permits for oil and gas drilling and cozying up to fossil fuel billionaires, 21 brave youth are taking the U.S. government to court to stand up for their constitutional right to a safe future. On October 29, the first day of their trial, people will rally outside federal courthouses across the country in solidarity with the young plaintiffs.
Businesses displaced in blaze at former Marcal Paper Mill in Mechanic Falls
Mainebiz - Monday, October 15, 2018 

A large mill building in Mechanic Falls that housed several businesses was destroyed in a fire Sunday that continues to smolder Monday morning. Several businesses were inside the building, including Corcoran Environmental Services, which recycles plastics, and Pine Tree Waste, owned by Casella Waste Systems. Marcel, a leading manufacturer of recycled tissues, closed its Mechanic Falls mill in the fall of 1981.
King: Congress Needs to Confront Mounting Costs of Natural Disasters
Maine Public - Monday, October 15, 2018 

As the cost of Hurricane Michael - already in the billions - continues to mount, Maine U.S. Sen. Angus King says Congress should start planning for the costs of natural disasters, and not just add them to the federal budget deficit. “I believe we ought to start budgeting for it instead of taking it, borrowing every time that we do it," King says. "There ought to be a contingency account because it is becoming so regular.”
Trouble brewing: Climate change could double the price of beer
Associated Press - Monday, October 15, 2018 

Add beer to chocolate, coffee and wine as some of life’s little pleasures that global warming will make scarcer and costlier, scientists say. Increasing bouts of extreme heat waves and drought will hurt production of barley, a key beer ingredient, in the future. Losses of barley yield can be as much as 17 percent, an international group of researchers estimated. That means beer prices on average would double, even adjusting for inflation, according to the study in Monday’s journal Nature Plants.
Midcoast Maine emerges as hub for launching land-based salmon-farm sector
Mainebiz - Monday, October 15, 2018 

Two of the world's largest land-based Atlantic salmon farms are slated for construction in Maine's midcoast region. Nordic Aquafarms Inc., based in Norway, plans its operation on 54 acres in Belfast. Whole Oceans, in Portland, plans an operation on 108 acres in Bucksport. Both are moving through the permitting process for phased buildout. Their combined production at full build-out is expected to be 80,000 tons of salmon — capturing nearly one-fifth of the domestic import market.
Scarborough Downs developer lays out vision for mixed-use neighborhood to 'live, work and play'
Mainebiz - Monday, October 15, 2018 

Rocco "Roccy" Risbara III of Risbara Bros. Construction in Scarborough is one of the developers behind a plan to transform the 500-acre Scarborough Downs site into a walkable community with land for residential, commercial and light industrial use. The Crossroads Holding LLC principal commented on the inspiration for the new neighborhood and whether there's a future for harness racing.
Development projects taking shape in Rockland, Boothbay, Walpole
Mainebiz - Monday, October 15, 2018 

Maine's Midcoast is much more than a summer tourist destination as evidenced by continued businesses openings in downtown Rockland, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens' $50-million drive to become a year-round draw in Boothbay and a $3 million waterfront revitalization program at the Darling Marine Center in Walpole, part of a broader 10-year strategic plan. Here's a roundup of significant developments.
Ski areas putting snowmaking to test as they gear up for new season
Mainebiz - Monday, October 15, 2018 

Maine's mountains are still glowing orange and gold, but ski areas are gearing up to see white — thanks to continuing investments in their snowmaking equipment — as the winter season approaches. While many ski areas have busy commercial off seasons, much of the focus is also on enhancing the experience to draw more winter visitors, including increasing snow-making ability.
Saint Joseph's contributes to research on improving survivability of shipped lobsters
Mainebiz - Monday, October 15, 2018 

An academic and industry collaboration is looking into ways to create an environment where a "soft shell lobster" can be turned into a more resilient and valuable "hard shell lobster" after it has been trapped.
Since soft shell lobsters aren't resilient enough to be shipped overseas, the goal is to boost the export market with more hard shell lobsters. Saint Joseph's College's sciences department, the University of Maine and Ready Seafood, a live and processed lobster wholesale company in Portland, are collaborating on the two-year project funded by the Maine Technology Institute Technology Asset Fund.
Gallo to lead Maine Lakes Society
Maine Environmental News - Monday, October 15, 2018 

Long-time Maine Audubon staffer Susan Gallo will become executive director of the Maine Lakes Society effective November 1. Gallo has spent the past 20 years managing the statewide Maine Loon Project, Fish Lead Free Project, and Maine Amphibian Monitoring Program at Maine Audubon.
Opinion: The environmental case for immigration control
Bangor Daily News - Monday, October 15, 2018 

Today’s environmentalists are generously funded with big money, and silent on U.S. population growth. It would have been unthinkable in 1970 for the Census Bureau to identify a federal policy driving our population toward a billion and environmental titans, like the Sierra Club and the Audubon Society, remaining silent. Most discussion today of the environmental impact of America’s population growth has been silenced by a powerful combination of big money, the charge of racism and spineless leadership. We stumble into the future. ~ Janette Christian, Holden, Mainers for Sensible Immigration Policy
Opinion: Hurricanes like Michael show why we can’t ignore climate change
Washington Post - Monday, October 15, 2018 

The real lesson from the recent spate of record-breaking heat waves, hurricanes and wildfires is that the highly polarizing political debates around emissions reductions have sidelined important conversations about protecting American lives, property and livelihoods from natural disasters fueled by climate change. Here’s hoping we can find common purpose in uniting to protect our front-line communities, including the vulnerable urban and rural poor, from the ravages of ongoing climate change. ~ Kim Cobb, director of the global change program, Georgia Institute of Technology
Column: The other shoe
Bangor Daily News - Monday, October 15, 2018 

They STILL haven’t dropped the other shoe. The “Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C” contains terrifying forecasts about what will happen when we reach an average global temperature 1.5 degrees C higher than the pre-industrial average. (We are now at +1C.) But it still shies away from talking about the feedbacks, the refugees and mass death. f you don’t go into the feedbacks, then you can’t talk about runaway warming, and going to 4, 5 or 6 degrees C higher average global temperature, and hundreds of millions or billions of deaths. And if you don’t acknowledge that, then you will not treat this as the emergency it really is. ~ Gwynne Dyer
Warming climate expected to bring more people, rising seas to Acadia
Bangor Daily News - Monday, October 15, 2018 

More people, different trees and higher tides are among the things people can expect at Maine’s only national park as a result of the changing climate, according to scientists at the park. Some of these changes already are noticeable.
Blog: Acadia part 2: Good things come to those who wait
Bangor Daily News - Monday, October 15, 2018 

For our anniversary, my husband Bill and I returned to gorgeous Acadia National Park. We previously visited in February. There’s a reason Bar Harbor and Acadia are packed with people when most of the park is accessible. It’s charming and gorgeous. And while it can feel crowded, there’s plenty of foliage, trails and views for everyone. ~ Courtney Naliboff
Warning about chronic wasting disease stokes fears of hunting decline
Portland Press Herald - Monday, October 15, 2018 

Last week, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife enacted emergency measures to protect the state’s deer and moose herds after chronic wasting disease was detected at a deer farm in Quebec in September. Maine’s deer biologist, Nathan Bieber, said his greatest fear about CWD is the toll it could take on hunting — particularly given the state’s recent efforts to recruit more hunters. And some hunters agree they would be wary if the disease spreads to Maine, even though there have been no reported cases of CWD being passed from animals to humans.
Letter: Home solar generators shouldn’t get free ride on distribution costs
Portland Press Herald - Monday, October 15, 2018 

Electric utilities own the distribution, measuring equipment and lines connected to a residence, right up to and including the meter on the side of the house. The cost of maintaining that equipment is the same, whether the electricity flows to the home or away from it. If residential solar generators wish to be connected to the grid, the cost of the connection, transportation and metering of the flow must be paid. Paying a solar generator for the electricity provided to the grid makes sense; it makes no sense to also credit that generator for the distribution of that current, a process in which the generator plays no part. ~ Micah Engber, South Portland
Letter: What will the future say?
Bangor Daily News - Monday, October 15, 2018 

This week’s headline in the Washington Post: The world has just over a decade to get climate change under control, United Nations scientists say. Even as I read this dire warning, Belfast debates a proposed salmon farm, a critter designed for the wild. Keeping these fish alive requires an industrial operation running pumps 24 hours a day, seven days a week for their lifetime. This is an energy demand that solar panels on the roof cannot begin to meet. What will the people living in 2030 and beyond think of this proposed plant, when the effects of climate change are in full swing? ~ Jennifer Hill, Waldo
Conservatives ignored William Nordhaus when he offered tools to fight global warming
Washington Post - Sunday, October 14, 2018 

Decades ago, the work of Nobel prize winner William Nordhaus provided a set of tools that should have appealed to market-minded politicians as a way to tackle greenhouse gas emissions. Yet American conservatives chose denial instead. And because the right ignored Nordhaus (and those who picked up on his work), it seems unlikely that this country will take the “unprecedented” actions that the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said this week are necessary.
Sierra Club endorses candidates
Sierra Club - Sunday, October 14, 2018 

The Sierra Club has launched its 2018 Voter Guide. Which candidates will be climate and clean energy champions in Washington? Which leaders will courageously hold President Trump and this administration accountable for their disasterous policies? In Maine, the group has endorsed Angus King for the U.S. Senate, and Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden for the House of Representatives.
Thomas College debuts new trails for students, Waterville community
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, October 14, 2018 

Alumni of Thomas College helped open a new 3-mile trail system to the public Sunday morning. The college inaugurated the trails at the sixth annual Homecoming Weekend Terrier Trot 5K race. The Sukeforth Family, whose donation funded the project, was honored at a celebration on Saturday.
Rogue pig goes hog wild in Augusta traffic
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, October 14, 2018 

It was a classic case of a ham on the lam. Police in Maine’s capital city are looking for the owner of a 50-pound piglet that wore itself out while dodging traffic on Saturday evening after presumably escaping. Augusta police went door to door looking for the animal’s owner without any luck.
Herring, key to coastal health, slowly returning to rivers
Associated Press - Sunday, October 14, 2018 

A little fish on the East Coast that once provided vital protein for American colonists and bait for generations of New England lobstermen is slowly making a comeback after falling victim to lost habitat and environmental degradation. River herring once appeared headed to the endangered species list, but they’re now starting to turn up in rivers and streams at a rate that fishing regulators say is encouraging. The fish is a critical piece of the ecosystem in the eastern states, where it serves as food for birds and larger fish.
Farmington to hold public hearing on NextEra solar project
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, October 14, 2018 

Farmington residents will have the chance to provide feedback on a proposed 490-acre solar farm off U.S. Route 2 on Monday at the same time as the town’s planning board is working to try and move the project away from a residential area where some concerns have already been expressed. A public hearing, followed by a regular planning board meeting, is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Farmington Town Office.
Central Maine communities try to combat recycling misuse
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, October 14, 2018 

Some central Maine communities are taking action to try to eliminate nonrecyclable items from the recycling stream including Augusta, where a resident was issued a summons after allegedly putting a nonrecyclable item into a bin and refusing to take it out. In Manchester, there are plans to remove the town’s only publicly accessible recycling bin, while residents of Readfield, Wayne and Fayette may have limited access to a recycling bin and what goes in. The steps communities are taking to keep nonrecyclable items out of their recycling collection bins are in response to dramatic changes in the international market for recyclable materials, primarily China.
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