NEWS OF: 8/2/2006

Baldacci to Maine: Conserve Energy or It’s Lights Out

Governor Baldacci is asking Maine people to conserve energy this afternoon and evening as a precaution to ensure adequate power supplies and system reliability.

The high temperatures and humidity throughout the Northeast are setting an all-time record high electricity loads on the New England Power Grid. The Independent System Operator of the New England power grid says that the region’s electric demand is now at 28,000 megawatts. Last year’s record was 26,885 MW, set on July 27, 2005. Because of high power demand in New England and in neighboring regions to our west and south, electric supplies are very tight.

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NEWS OF: 8/1/2006

Grave Crisis Awaits Cemetery Ducks

Evergreen Cemetery has had ducks and geese for nearly a century. The birds are a popular attraction. People of all ages, races and income levels go to feed the ducks and geese. I’ve fed those geese and ducks myself.

But this winter, after almost 100 years of caring for the ducks and geese, Portland is tearing down the cemetery equipment shed and attached lean-to that shelters the ducks and geese during the winter. They aren’t replacing it. Why? Taking care of Evergreen Cemetery’s most popular residents costs between $5,000-$8,000 a year. According to Assistant Director Tom Civiello, they just don’t have the resources.
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But animal lovers are worried. Annette Kearney walks her dogs in Evergreen Cemetery and claims that the city’s plans constitute a “complete lack of will.” On the topic of the ducks? Kearney says, “They’re domesticated, so they can’t fly. When the water freezes, they’ll be stuck there…”

We agree. After 100 years of care the ducks are no longer a whim, but an integral aspect of Evergreen Cemetery. They can’t relocate to a wealthier cemetery. They cannot be abandoned to freeze and die this winter. Help save Evergreen Cemetery’s ducks and geese by contacting: City Communications Director, Peter DeWitt 756-8173

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NEWS OF: 6/23/2006

Harriet the Giant Tortoise Goes to Heaven

Harriet the 330lb giant Galapagos tortoise died last night at the age of 175.

Harriet, who was originally mistaken for a male tortoise and called Harry for more than a century, was named the world’s oldest living animal in the Guiness Book of Records. When she was DNA tested, scientists were able to say she was born around 1830.

Her long life was attributed to a stress-free life and a tough exterior.

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NEWS OF: 6/19/2006

Supreme Court Paves Paradise to Put Up a Parking Lot

The Supreme Court set the stage for a re-examination of the 1972 Clean Water Act, as it narrowly ruled today 5-4 in favor of two Michigan property owners who plan plans to build a shopping mall and condominiums on land tracts designated as wetlands. Can you say “global warming?

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NEWS OF: 6/16/2006

Baldacci: How’s My Environment? 1-800-B-MINUS

The Maine League of Conservation Voters gives Democrat Govenor John Baldacci a B-, crediting accomplishments relating to air quality, energy and toxics but expressing concern about water quality protection.

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NEWS OF: 6/14/2006

Turtle Crossing: Slow Way Down… Well, Stop.

turtles.png The month of June is when female spotted turtles cross the road in search of nesting places. Frederic Beaudry, a graduate student with the University of Maine Department of Wildlife Ecology, said there are “between maybe 10 to 15 roadkills a year, and probably a lot more that don’t get reported.”

These friendly shelled critters require decades of breeding in order to maintain their populations - and frequently die when people try to make them into pets.

So keep an eye open for diamond-shaped, bright yellow signs warning motorists of turtle crossings in York, Wells and South Berwick this month.

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NEWS OF: 5/18/2006

Androscoggin River Water: Exfoliate Your Tummy

The 2007 Interior-Environment Appropriations bill does include additional funding for Acadia National Park -and $216 million in cuts to key conservation and clean water programs.

From Rep. Michaud, “Cutting programs like the CWSRF hurts the ability of our local communities to promote clean water. This year’s Interior bill cuts the program by $200 million. Over the last three years, the Fund has been reduced by $662 million or nearly 50 percent.”

From Rep. Allen, “Clean water is a necessity, and Maine people don’t want to reverse 40 years of steady progress toward restoring our waterways. Fumes from the river’s pollution routinely peeled the paint off cars and houses along the Androscoggin back in the 1960s when Senator Edmund Muskie introduced the first federal clean water legislation.”

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NEWS OF: 4/27/2006

Clock is Ticking for Maine’s Moose

Despite floods, washed out roads and bridges, and requests for emergency aid, Maine’s weather forecasts always say the same thing: we “desperately need rain.” This message doesn’t end until after the spring rainy season — which starts 2 weeks after you’ve planted your gardens and ends once your tiny poppy sprouts are floating around in a large puddle.

Now, for the first time in over 20 years, we’ve had a “warm” winter… If you wondered what the results were? Well, the news is good for salmon who won’t have to swim upstream against the ice. Bad for peepers and frogs who won’t have as many critical puddles of snow melt (for another week or so) and even worse for moose.

The moose is home for the winter tick, a species that can spend almost its entire life on a single critter. A single moose can harbor tens of thousands of winter ticks (don’t picture this) and winter ticks are kept in check by cold winters. A warm winter means the winter tick population could explode.

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NEWS OF: 4/24/2006

Baxter State Park Gets Bigger

Gov. Baldacci has signed a bill authorizing a land deal to expand Baxter State Park by about 4,000 acres surrounding Katahdin Lake. Another 2,000 acres will be managed by the Maine Dept. of Conservation.

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NEWS OF: 4/20/2006

Chicklets in the Nest!

See tiny head in lower right hand side of image!

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NEWS OF: 1/31/2006

Goodbye, and Thanks for all the Fish…

Despite a five-year rescue effort, eternity on the federal endangered species list and $20,000,000 the Maine salmon might be facing extinction.

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NEWS OF: 12/21/2005

Maine Joins Greenhouse Compact

Maine has joined six other Northeastern states in the greenhouse compact - the first regional compact of its kind - to reduce by 10% greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Participating states will cap carbon dioxide emissions at the current level beginning in 2009 and then require incremental reductions of the greenhouse gas through 2019. See BDN

NEWS OF: 10/11/2005

Operation Tailpipe

Baldacci administration plans to join California and five other states in requiring new cars and trucks sold in Maine to release 30 percent less greenhouse gas pollution by 2016 is sparking debate among environmentalists, business, even doctors. The carbon dioxide released from Maine’s tailpipes contributes to global warming and lung rot. But it still pales when compared to the black crunchy debris chugging from every logging truck or dump truck in Maine. Vehicles that seem to be strangely exempt from emissions regulations. See Red Nova

NEWS OF: 10/4/2005

SMART Thinking

The State of Maine Animal Response Team is putting together an emergency plan to protect pets and critters in the face of national disaster in Maine, which, by my calendar is about 2-3 months away. See the KJ

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