Monthly Archives: April 2010

Topless march draws crowd in Maine college town | Bangor Daily News

Topless march draws crowd in college town – Bangor Daily News.

Bangor named in list of top 100 places to live | Bangor Daily News

Bangor named in list of top 100 places to live – Bangor Daily News.

Forest carbon offsets poised for growth worldwide | Climate |

Forest Carbon Offsets Poised for Growth Worldwide | Climate |

Benedictine nuns, Mormons build to a higher (green) standard | GreenerBuildings

A monastery in Madison, Wis., that earned LEED-Platinum certification and a solar-powered Mormon meetinghouse in Utah are the latest examples of houses of worship that adhere to principles of sustainable design.

With green elements that include a geothermal heating and cooling system using 39 closed‐loop wells, each 300 feet deep, the Holy Wisdom Monastery of the Benedictine Women of Madison recently received a platinum green building rating. The designation is the highest of four certification levels available under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design standards.

This week in Utah, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints showed off its new meetinghouse in Farmington, one of five being constructed according to green building prototypes under a LEED program that supports expedited certification of projects built according to pre-approved designs. The other meetinghouses are in Eagle Mountain, Utah, Apache Junction, Arizona, and Logandale and Pahrump, Nevada. The Apache Junction and Logandale sites also will be solar powered.

The projects by the Benedictines and Mormons are the most recent in growing efforts to green houses of worship in the U.S. and abroad.

Click on the link for the rest of this story on


EPA report tracks 24 climate change Indicators | News

Heat waves, storms, sea levels, glaciers, and wildlife migrations are just a few of the environmental indicators that show measurable signs of climate change, according to a new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report.

“Climate Change Indicators in the United States,” looks at 24 key indicators that show how climate change impacts the health and environment of the nation’s citizens.

Click on the link for the rest of this press release by

Cape Wind receives federal approval for first offshore wind farm | News

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar on Wednesday approved the Cape Wind offshore wind farm, completing the last regulatory step for the project which was first propsed for Nantucket Sound about eight years ago. 

The project has been delayed throughout the permitting process by opposition from coastal residents who fear the wind turbines, which will be erected five miles from shore, will devalue coastal properties and affect tourism.

Salzar said the developer of the $1 billion wind farm must agree to additional measures to minimize the potential adverse impacts of construction and operation of the facility.

“After careful consideration of all the concerns expressed during the lengthy review and consultation process and thorough analyses of the many factors involved, I find that the public benefits weigh in favor of approving the Cape Wind project at the Horseshoe Shoal location,” Salazar said in an announcement at the State House in Boston. “With this decision we are beginning a new direction in our Nation’s energy future, ushering in America’s first offshore wind energy facility and opening a new chapter in the history of this region.”

The Cape Wind project is expected to be the first wind farm on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf, generating enough power to meet 75 percent of the electricity demand for Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island combined.

Click on the link to read the rest of the press release.

Coffeehouse observation No. 110

Some days even a Red Eye – coffee with two espresso shots – isn’t enough.

Go to Coffeehouse Observer for more coffeehouse observations.

Coffeehouse observation No. 109

The words “free coffee” are almost as good as the words “free golf.” Not as good, but pretty good.

Go to Coffeehouse Observer for more coffeehouse observations.

Coffeehouse observation No. 108

First-timers to the coffeehouse will wander around for a while looking for an electrical outlet to plug in the power cord to their computers to use the WiFi. Some of them will even trip over the extension cord while doing it.

Go to Coffeehouse Observer for more coffeehouse observations.

An ’empowering’ partnership: Farm in Maine gives those who are homeless a chance to work with and care for its horses | The Morning Sentinel, Waterville, ME

An ’empowering’ partnership | The Morning Sentinel, Waterville, ME.

Bill paves way for reuse of Navy base in Maine | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Bill paves way for reuse of Navy base | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

Peace prevails on both sides at Portland gun rally | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Peace prevails on both sides at gun rally | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Maine contractors see housing growth in 2010 | Bangor Daily News

Maine contractors see housing growth in 2010 – Bangor Daily News.

Maine Maritime Academy faculty, students watch burning oil rig | Bangor Daily News

MMA faculty, students watch burning oil rig – Bangor Daily News.

Neighbors unite to purchase home park in Veazie | Bangor Daily News

Neighbors unite to purchase home park in Veazie – Bangor Daily News.

‘Remember the Maine!’

Or so went the cry after an explosion destroyed the USS Maine battleship in February 1898 as it moored in Havana Harbor.

The explosion killed two officers and 250 men outright, with eight others dying from injuries. It also led to suspicions, which led to the Spanish-American War and the “Remember the Maine” battlecry.

Today’s trivia question asked:

How many navy ships have been named USS Maine?


Four U.S. Navy Ships have been named in honor of the Pine Tree State.

Here are links to more information on the four ships:

The Maine

USS Maine (BB-10)

USS Maine (BB-69)

SSBN 741 Maine

Coffeehouse observation No. 107

How much do you have to love smoking to dig around in the ashtrays of the coffeehouse patio for cigarette butts? Revolting …

Go to Coffeehouse Observer for more coffeehouse observations.

Earth Day: Mainers get good grades but … | Lewiston Sun Journal

AUGUSTA — We asked experts to helps us compare how Maine was doing environmentally compared to the nation.

Not surprisingly, Maine is doing better in air quality, water quality and the amount we recycle.

It started 40 years ago when Maine U.S. Sen. Edmund Muskie sponsored what became the Clean Air and Clean Water acts. (More bragging rights, Muskie was a native of Rumford.) Because of those laws and all the work that followed, “Maine has air and waters statewide that are much cleaner than they were, and much cleaner than other states east of the Mississippi River,” said David Littell, Department of Environmental Protection commissioner.

Maine has many of the most intact ecosystems among eastern states, such as strong cold-water fisheries, which have 75 percent of the eastern habitat in Maine, Littell said. “We need to continue to protect high-quality air, water, and habitats, while permitting development in lower quality areas.”

The next environmental battle, he said, is climate change.

Click on the link for the rest of today’s story and guide by Bonnie Washuk in the Lewiston Sun Journal.

 [Thinking too much about the magnitude of the environment and what we’ve done to this planet can be extremely daunting.

“What can I do? What can one person do?” can be rattling around nearly everyone’s head.

The thing, it isn’t about what one person can do or what one group of people can do. It is about we all can do. What can we do? We start small and build on small victories until we make a dent. And then we push forward some more.

Attached with the story are three lists of what we all can do to help in the long run. Try one or two from each list. Then another and another. – KM]

5 things to do to improve air quality:

  1. Conserve electricity, buy efficient appliances and products such as compact fluorescents or even better, LEDs.
  2. Drive a vehicle that gets good gas mileage; keep it tuned.
  3. Make sure your home is insulated.
  4. Use an EPA certified wood or pellet stove.
  5. Drive less, carpool if you can, and support public policy and legislation that moves us toward clean and healthy energy and transportation.

Source: Department of Environmental Protection, American Lung Association of Maine

5 things to improve recycling rates:

  1. Find out what your local recycling program accepts for materials, adjust your home’s system to match.
  2. Build a backyard compost pile, keeps organics out of the trash. It will reduce odor, and you get a soil-enriching product at no cost.
  3. Use smaller trash cans; they fill up faster and make you think twice before tossing something.
  4. Make recycling more convenient in your home; keep the recycling bin near the trash can.
  5. Think about the waste generated as you buy something. Make a pledge to recycle more and throw away less, and keep that pledge

—From George MacDonald, Maine State Planning Office

5 things to improve water quality

  1. Prevent erosion. Soil erosion is the single greatest threat to water quality. Seed and mulch bare ground.
  2. Use trees and shrubs to filter runoff. Every time it rains, pollutants are washed from driveways, roofs, yards, parking lots and roads into ditches. From there the runoff goes to streams, rivers, lakes or  groundwater. A ribbon of bushes, trees and ground cover (buffers) can act as a sponge and filter out contaminants.
  3. Use less fertilizer and pesticides. Fertilizing your lawn and garden can result in phosphorus and nitrogen that can run off and get into streams, lakes and the ocean. If you leave the grass clippings, you don’t need to fertilize; grass clippings are free fertilizer. Pesticides, which are toxic, can create health problems for people and animals. Compared to 15 years ago, three times as much yard care pesticides are brought into Maine. Pesticides can wash off into into water bodies. If you have pests, spot treat. Learn to like dandelions.
  4. Maintain septic systems. About 50 percent of Mainers use septic systems. Inadequate septic systems account for 5 to 10 percent of all phosphorus that reaches lakes. Toxins, nitrates, nutrients, bacteria and viruses from inadequate septic systems can seep into wells. That pollution also flows into streams, harms lakes, and on the coast, causes clam flats and beaches to be closed.
  5. If you have a septic system, don’t use septic additives, don’t pour grease or food down your sink, pump your system every two to three years. If your septic system was installed before 1974, consider replacing it.

Source: Department of Environmental Protection

Mainers celebrate Earth Day | Bangor Daily News

Mainers celebrate Earth Day – Bangor Daily News.

What’s happened to Earth Day? |

What’s Happened to Earth Day? |