Maine: Reports of unleashed dogs biting visitors cause concern in Acadia

On Tuesday, August 13, Acadia National Park officials said there were three instances of dogs running off leash and biting visitors this week alone.

After multiple reports of visitors getting bitten by dogs, rangers at Acadia National Park are reminding the public about certain regulations that accompany bringing a furry friend to the area.

RELATED: What to do before and during a dog attack, according to trainers

According to a tweet sent out by the park on Tuesday, August 13, there were three instances of dogs running off leash and biting visitors this week alone.

Acadia National Park

@AcadiaNPS

Rangers report there were three instances of visitors being bitten by dogs running off leash in Acadia this week alone. Regulations require all pets to be restrained on a leash no longer than 6 feet (2 m). More at http://go.nps.gov/AcadiaPets 

View image on Twitter
As a result, rangers are reminding visitors that all pets that come to the park must be on a leash no longer than six feet. They also should not be left unattended, since hot summer sun can threaten the safety of animals — especially in cars. 

RELATED: 3 dogs found dead inside hot car in Jamestown, Rhode Island

As is typical with most public spots, pet owners must remove any waste from campground and picnic areas, parking lots, roads, and other developed places.

Acadia has designated pet-friendly areas, which include:

  • 100 miles of hiking trails and 45 miles of carriage roads
  • Blackwoods, Seawall, and Schoodic Woods campgrounds
  • Isle au Haut (for day hiking)

Officials say most lakes in the park are public water supplies, so pets and people may not swim in them.

Also off-limits are:

  • Sand Beach and Echo Lake
  • public buildings
  • ranger-led programs
  • Wild Gardens of Acadia
  • Duck Harbor Campground

Service Animals are allowed to accompany their owners to all park locations.

To read a complete list of park trails that are closed to pets or that are not recommended for pets, click here.

Trump Slashes Endangered Species Act!

H2 endangered species act threatened protections climate change mining drilling trump extinction plan

The Trump administration finalized changes rolling back the Endangered Species Act Monday. Regulators will now be allowed to factor in economic considerations when granting “endangered” status, species classified as “threatened” will see their protections weakened, and scientists will be limited in setting climate change-related protections. Critics say the changes were made to clear the way for mining, drilling and development projects in areas populated by protected species. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt is a former lobbyist for the oil and agribusiness industries. He is currently under investigation for possible ethics violations. The 46-year-old landmark Endangered Species Act has saved over 99% of classified animals, plants and insects since its inception. It’s credited with protecting the grizzly bear, the humpback whale and the bald eagle from extinction, among many others.

Environmental groups, Democratic lawmakers and attorneys general have vowed to fight the changes. The Sierra Club called the move the “Trump Extinction Plan.” The International Fund for Animal Welfare said in a statement, “The most comprehensive assessment of biodiversity ever completed was released earlier this year and shows that more than one million species are at risk of extinction. These species are inextricably linked to our own well-being, livelihoods, economies, food security, and overall survival. Gutting key protections of the Endangered Species Act is precisely the wrong action for the U.S. to be taking.”

Maine: Indigenous People’s Day now an Official State holiday – Jacqui Voltaire / Maria Girouard

This was just shared with me and I would ask you to share, including Maria’s words. Those of us who have been working on IPD and the Penobscot River issue know that JM is no friend of the Penobscot people and we must make sure when we talk about this wonderful news that we stress that it may have been JM’s pen, but it was no her heart and soul that was bought many years ago by the corporates!

And the best news of the day… JM [Governor Janet Mills] signed onto Indigenous People’s Day, making it a statewide holiday.  Thanks to all those who worked so hard to make this happen at the municipal level to get the ball rolling and beyond.  JM gets all the credit for a swipe of the pen but we know how much work and heart went into this from indigenous leaders and their supporters, etc. ;).  I’m also pasting Maria Girouard’s post below too for those who don’t use FB.  I appreciated it!

Love,

jacqui


NOT SO FAST ~ I’m not even sorry that I cannot join the glee and celebratory backslapping that I’m seeing around the change from a white man’s holiday to an indigenous holiday.  To see “leaders” standing with the woman who is in the forefront of perpetuating trauma and genocide against the Penobscot people sickens my stomach.  I’m very pleased to see my Chief NOT standing amongst them. 

In a Machiavellian plot twist the perpetrator of Penobscot territorial theft is now a hero (?) for tossing us a bone.  Holding in my heart our ancestral River and the struggles of countless ancestors before me who fought and died for their rights to their ancestral river, I’m not letting her off the hook.

Nothing short of dropping the state’s position in our 6 year long legal battle, Penobscot Nation v. Janet Mills will change my opinion of that woman.  The same woman who is championing the destruction of thousands of acres of Maine land to make way for the CMP corridor to benefit Massachusetts energy needs.  The same woman who sat before judiciary committee in 2015 and said that the Penobscot Nation did not have the right to protect their women from violence under the VAWA Re-authorization Act because of the Maine Indian Land Claims – the State’s handy pocket tool for keeping the Tribes oppressed and under their thumb.  And another time before the judiciary stated that “there are NO treaties”.  In my eyes she is a disgrace no matter what the second Monday in October is called.

Yay! Now we no longer celebrate a genocidal maniac. That is the right thing to do for sure. Now will the State stop acting like a genocidal maniac and drop their stance that the ancient Penobscot Nation contains no portion of our ancestral river. This remains to be seen. N’telnapemnawak.

Maine: Legislative Update from Senator Brownie Carson

Banning disposable Styrofoam dishware 

This week in Augusta, the Maine House and Senate voted unanimously to ban disposable cups, plates, and other products made of polystyrene, otherwise known as Styrofoam. On the Senate floor on Tuesday, I spoke in favor of the bill, LD 289 “An Act To Prohibit the Use of Certain Disposable Food Service Containers,” sponsored by Rep. Stanley Zeigler:

“I think we all know the perils of polystyrene, how it stays in the environment if not forever, for hundreds of years; how it can’t be recycled; and the other problems that it has. I want to report that I had a brief conversation with the plant manager of Huhtamaki, the former Keyes Fibre plant in Waterville yesterday. That plant has been in business putting Maine people to work since 1903. Huhtamaki makes recycled and recyclable paper products including single use food containers.

They buy newsprint on the open market, bring it to Maine, make pulp out of it, and make trays for multiple cups of coffee or other beverages. They make food trays that are both from recycled material and compostable, and importantly they make some, but not all, of the single use food containers such as paper plates. They are safe, they are made from recyclable material, they are recyclable themselves, and Huhtamaki in Waterville, Maine puts 500 men and women to work with good paying jobs. I urge you please to follow my light and vote ought to pass.” The bill faces a final vote in the Senate before it is sent to Governor Mills.

Expanding mental health education in Maine schools 

One of my top priorities this session is to ensure that health education in Maine schools includes lessons about mental health. A bill I sponsored, LD 1024 “An Act To Include Mental Health Education in Maine Schools,” was approved by the Legislature’s Education and Cultural Affairs Committee on April 8.

It is rare that we pick up a report on children’s health today that does not reference mental health.

Teaching our kids how to be more conversant about mental health will surely bring this subject out of the shadows. It will help kids who are experiencing mental health problems to recognize them and seek counseling or peer support more often. LD 1024 would require health education instruction in elementary, middle, junior high and high schools to include lessons in mental health and the relationship between physical and mental health. The bill now faces votes before the Maine House and Senate.

Lowering the cost of prescription drugs 

This week I also testified before the Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services Committee in support of legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs in Maine. Getting prescription drug prices under control is critically important because prescription costs drive up overall health care costs. In order to provide relief to Maine people, we must properly regulate pharmacy benefit managers — companies that are taking advantage of Maine people by manipulating the prices of drugs to their own benefit.

The cost of prescription drugs is one of the biggest drivers of rising health care costs in the country. In the U.S., one in four Americans struggles to pay for their prescription medication while one in ten Americansdoes not take their medicine as prescribed to stay afloat. According to the National Academy for State Health Policy, about 200 bills have been filed in 42 state legislatures to address the cost of prescription drugs. Of those bills, 88 have to do with pharmacy benefit managers, 25 are related to wholesale importation, and 13 are related to drug affordability review or rate setting.

Studying the proposed CMP Corridor 

On Wednesday, the Environment Committee voted in favor of my bill to require a study of the CMP Corridor’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions. The bill, LD 640, was approved by a 10-3 vote. It now heads to the House and Senate. I feel that this study is absolutely crucial as legislators, regulators, and the public consider whether this project should move forward or not.

Creating a paid family and medical leave program 

Finally, I testified as a cosponsor this morning on Speaker Sara Gideon’s paid family and medical leave legislation, LD 1410. I believe this legislation is important for many reasons. This program will provide employers with a higher likelihood of experienced employees returning after time off because of illness or family leave-making for a more stable and seasoned work force for that employer. Maine workers will also feel more valued and respected: paid family and medical leave will allow them to tend to important responsibilities without having to leave, or be fired from, a job because they need to care for a new child or an aging parent.

Some Maine workers have paid family and medical leave now through employer-designed programs or collective bargaining agreements. But many do not. All Maine workers should have this benefit.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, you can reach me at Brownie.Carson@legislature.maine.gov or (207) 287-1515. You can also follow me on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/BrownieForMaine/. I look forward to serving you in the coming year.

Best regards,

62 Arrested After Extinction Rebellion Stages Die-In Outside NYC City Hall to Demand Climate Action

APRIL 17, 2019

Protesters shut down traffic outside New York City Hall Wednesday, partially blocking access to the Brooklyn Bridge, staging a die-in to demand radical action on climate change and remaining in the streets until the police arrested at least 62 people. The protest was just one of a series of demonstrations being staged around the world this week by Extinction Rebellion, a global movement taking direct action to demand drastic government action to combat the climate crisis. Protesters say the demonstration is just the beginning of a growing resistance movement, and more actions can be expected later this week.

Maine: Bill to ban foam food containers in Maine passes Legislature, heads to Gov. Mills

If a proposed bill is signed into law by Governor Janet Mills, Maine would become one of the first states in the country to ban the use of disposable foam food containers.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A bill that would ban the sale or use of disposable foam food containers in Maine is advancing in Legislature, despite divided opinions among various state organizations.

Rep. Stanley Zeigler (D-Montville) is sponsoring LD 289, “An Act To Prohibit the Use of Certain Disposable Food Service Containers”.

Starting on Jan. 1, 2020, this bill would prohibit stores from selling or distributing any disposable food containers that are made entirely or partially of polystyrene foam, or styrofoam.

The bill would also require the Department of Environmental Protection to adopt rules that would implement these provisions.

“With the threats posed by plastic pollution becoming more apparent, costly, and even deadly to wildlife, we need to be doing everything possible to limit our use and better manage our single-use, disposable plastics — starting with eliminating the use of unnecessary forms like plastic foam,” said Sarah Lakeman, Director of Sustainable Maine. “There are affordable alternatives to foam that are less wasteful and less harmful to the environment we can be pursuing.”

On Tuesday, April 16, the bill was approved by the Senate. It faces a series of procedural votes and will then head to Gov. Janet Mills for review.

If signed into law, Maine would become one of the first states in the country to ban the use of disposable foam food containers.

RELATED: Maine house advances bill on statewide foam ban

The support behind this bill, however, is largely divided. In the 87-51 House vote earlier this month, the Portland Press Herald reported that all Republicans opposed the bill, while all Democrats and Independents supported it.

“The Maine Chamber of Commerce is skeptical about legislation that bans products in the market on a state by state basis,” said Ben Gilman, Senior Government Relations Specialist at the MCC. “We prefer market decisions to be based on consumers driving decisions.”

Gilman added that the impact of a state by state ban could create an unbalanced playing field for business in Maine, as compared to other states.

Other groups, like the Maine Grocers and Food Producers Association and the Maine Tourism Association, also oppose the proposed ban, saying it would hike up prices for Mainers.

“We continue to express concerns as this bill moves through the Maine legislature,” said Christine Cummings, Executive Director of MGFPA. “If the bill passes, it would make Maine an outlier as the first in the nation to pass such as a ban on polystyrene for food service containers. Increased product costs will occur, and our Maine residents, the customers, will inevitably incur the price of banning polystyrene and sourcing alternatives.”

Still, those in favor of the bill say that styrofoam can’t be recycled in the state and is costly to towns and cities. They also say there are affordable alternatives to styrofoam, which could help prevent pollution.

According to the Natural Resources Council of Maine, more than 150 municipalities or regions have already banned disposable foam food containers, including 14 towns in Maine. They have also been banned in state facilities and functions since 1990.

Bill McKibben: Green New Deal Is a Chance to “Remake Not Just a Broken Planet, But a Broken Society”

APRIL 15, 2019

President Trump signed two executive orders last week to facilitate the approval of pipeline projects at a federal level, limiting states’ ability to regulate such projects. The move is intended in part to clear the way for permitting on the northeastern Constitution pipeline, which has stalled after New York invoked the Clean Water Act to reject the project on environmental grounds. We speak with Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org and the author of the new book “Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?”

How Maine Senators have voted on this issue so far:

Maine Senator Susan Collins:

March 26, 2019 S J Res 8 A joint resolution recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal Cloture Invoked – Senate Nay

Maine Senator Angus King:

March 26, 2019 S J Res 8 A joint resolution recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal Cloture Invoked – Senate Nay

Keep an eye on how your elected officials are voting at: https://votesmart.org