Mar 23, 2017

Maine bill could allow ocean windmills to dominate Gulf of Maine viewsheds

AUGUSTA.  A bill coming before the Maine Legislature today could prevent the citizens of dozens of coastal towns from objecting to having their ocean viewsheds dominated day and night by ocean windfarms' siting within eight miles of their shores.  Listen to 3/23/17 public hearing  recordings  (first hour)

This due to the bill's adoption of a thirty year old  incomplete and seriously flawed list of scenic viewsheds of "state and national significance".

LD 901 "An Act To Amend the Laws Governing the Determination of a Wind Energy Development's Effect on the Scenic Character of Maine's Special Places"  does this by enshrining  an outdated and never completed complete  list of coastal Maine's  'official' scenic locations as the only locations deserving of a minimum 15 mile distance for viewshed protection

Ron Huber executive director of Friends of Penobscot Bay warned that  LD 901  would effectively prevent the citizens of more than a dozen coastal towns from objecting to having their ocean viewsheds dominated  by turning windmill blades by day  and by blinking red lights at night."

In Huber v BPL, 2011, Knox County Superior Court Justice Jeffrey Hjelm  was forced to make the absurd declaration that Monhegan lacks any scenic viewsheds of state or national significance, including the island's immensely popular Lobster Cove and Christmas Cove,  beaches reachable solely on foot, 

"These viewsheds are the subjects of 100s if not thousands of paintings, sculptures poems  and other paeans  to the island's seascape" Huber said.  But they are officially deemed insignificant because Maine Coastal Program  made never finalized its 1987 survey of scenic resources along themidcoast  Maine coast.

 Completion requires "field verification"  of aerial map. This was never carried out as noted in the Monhegan scenic map from page 128 of the 1987 report.

"The Environment asnd Natural Resources Committee should table  LD 901 and  direct Maine Coastal Program to update and complete its scenic survey of Midcoast Maine, including Monhegan, first,"  Huber said,   "Otherwise ocean windmills will be allowed to dominate Gulf of Maine viewsheds off Maine  with no accountability to the towns and cities whose viewsheds they would  economically and physically dominate."

Huber also said he hopes that  Maine Aqua Ventus' leaders Jake Ward and  Habib Dagher of the University of Maine  won't renege on their oft-repeated promises to site floating windfarms far enough from shore for the curvature of the earth to mask the renewable energy platforms'  blinking light arrays .

"Dr Dagher is an honorable man," Huber said Surely he'll keep his word ."

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Mar 21, 2017

Seven Maine Mining bills gets public hearing. The People speak

The Maine Legislature' s Environment and Natural Resources Committee held a public hearing on March 20, 2017 on seven mining related bills before it : LD 160,  LD 253,  LD 254,  LD 395,  LD 580,   LD 685  & LD 820   Listen to  an always increasing selection of these speakers  (Full audio recording of 3/20/17 mining public hearings available by request )

First Nations

Politician

Bills under review at hearing
LD 160,An Act To Prohibit the Mining of Massive Sulfide Ore Deposits under the Maine Metallic Mineral Mining Act,Rep. Robert Duchesne of Hudson
LD 253,  An Act To Repeal the Maine Metallic Mineral Mining Act - Rep. RalphChapman of Brooksville
LD 254, An Act To Implement a Moratorium on Metallic Mineral Mining - Rep. Ralph Chapman of Brooksville
LD 395,  Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Chapter 200: Metallic Mineral Exploration, Advanced Exploration and Mining, a Major Substantive Rule  MDEP
LD 580, An Act To Modify the Mining Laws - Sen. Thomas Saviello of Franklin
LD 685 An Act To Establish the Mining Advisory Panel. Rep. Chapman of Brooksville
LD 820 An Act To Protect Maine's Clean Water and Taxpayers from Mining Pollution Sen. Carson of Cumberland

Mar 6, 2017

Rockland Diversity resolution.The Public speaks. AUDIO mp3s

 Listen to more than two dozen residents of Rockland and surrounding towns spoke passionately on the city's proposed diversity resolution at Rockland City Hall  March 6, 22017

Full public comments, 1hr, 41min 
Audio broken into smaller sections. More to come...
Part 1. 10 minutes

Part 2 8min 38 sec


Part 3. 9 minutes


Part 4. 10 minutes


Part 5. 8 min 45 sec

More than 95% spoke in favor of the people's version, not the bland alternative floated by Mayor Will Clayton. Kudos to Becca Shaw Glaser for organizing the people.


Maine Fishermens Forum 2017 Audio mp3s Herring, Coral & NOAA leaders

Feb 26, 2017

FOAA 2016. ME Coastal Prog re Main AquaVentus April- November 2016

Maine Coastal Program's 11/22/16 response to FOAA  request re Aquaventus/Volturnus. The FOPB request was for "Public records in custody of you or your staff dating from April 1, 2016 to November 14, 2016 that pertain to the Maine Aquaventus /Volturnus floating ocean wind turbines project, slated to occupy the Maine Offshore Wind Test Center."    Below the links, see list of persons  within these emails


Full Part 2  All emails in one pdf file

Part 2A, Laura Singer to Matt Nixon 6/29/16 and 7/1/16

Part 2B Barbara Hitchcock to Singer & Singer to Hitchcock 7/5/16

Part 2C Barbara Hitchcock - Nixon 7/6/16

Part 2D Bensinger to Burrowes. 7/12/16 (twice)

Part 2E Barbara Hitchcock, Matt Nixon, Laura Singer, 7/5 & 7/6

Part 2F Beth Nagusky, Todd Burrowes 6/27/ 6/30, 7/18

Part 2G Nixon, Leyden, Burrowes, Marvinney. 7/18, 7/28, 11/1,

Part 2H FOPB FOAA request 11/14/16

State Agencies in emails
Kathleen Leyden  <Kathleen.Leyden@maine.gov> Dir Maine Coastal Program (MCP)
Mark Bergeron  <Mark.Bergeron@maine.gov>   Dir DEP Bureau of Lands
Robert G. Marvinney <Robert.G.Marvinney@maine.gov>  ME Geologic Survey
Patrick C. Woodcock <Patrick.C.Woodcock@maine.gov> Governor's Energy Office
Meredith Mendelson <Meredith.Mendelson@maine.gov>  DMR Deputy Commissioner
Philip deMaynadier <Phillip.deMaynadier@maine.gov>  DIFW Coordinator
Todd Burrowes <Todd.Burrowes@maine.gov>  MCP federal consistency reviewer
Peggy Bensinger  <Peggy.Bensinger@maine.gov>  MDEP's  Asst AG
Matthew Nixon  <Matthew.E.Nixon@maine.gov>  MCP  GIS &  Ocean Planning

Monhegan Residents in emails
* Barbara Hitchcock barbaramonhegan@gmail.com Monhegan resHitchcock House
* Laura T Singer <lsinger@maine.rr.com> Monhegan Resident

Wind Industry in emails
* Beth Nagusky <bnagusky@leedco.org>  Lake Erie Energy Development ,Fmr Maine renewable energy czar

* Info@windindustry.com   "website for the windindustry"

* Val Stori  <val@cleanegroup.org> Clean Energy Group, http://www.cleanegroup.org/blog-author/val-stori/







Windpower, tidepower at 2013 Maine Fishermen's Forum

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management  hosted an event at the 2013  Maine Fisherman;'s Forum

Feb 25, 2017

Maine ocean windpower events at the Maine Fishermen's Forum 2010 -2013

Maine Fishermens Forum ocean windpower events

boem/ff_2012_wind_pt2_ken_fletcher5_1min _30sec.mp3
boem/ff_2012_wind_pt2_ken_fletcher3_2min50 sec.mp3

Feb 23, 2017

Controversial plan for ramp and flat in bird-rich Watts Cove mudflat wins appeal


SAINT GEORGE.  Last night the Saint George town office hosted the latest fight between attorneys sparring  before the Planning Board for  the two sides in a longterm  struggle for and against keeping Watts Cove, a natural tidal flat, free of piers and floats. All are invited.   St George town office location map

The Saint George Board of Appeals meeting was called  after shoreland property owners Bryce and Gail Molloy  found  the Town Planning Board on January 10, 2017 had ruled against them one more time  again rejecting the application  put a ramp and float into Saint George's biodiverse Watts Cove.

 This had followed the  December 15th decision by Saint George Board of Appeals to send the application back to the planning board. That decision followed  the November 17, 2016 appeal by Bryce & Gail Molloy of the rejection of  their second application on October 4th  to build a ramp with chained floats extending out from the shore of Watts Cove, a small intertidal embayment of the tidal Saint George River.


Saint George resident Matt Stern, a member of the  Significant Wildlife Preservation Committee  a prominent opponent of the Molloy plan, said that not all waterfront is the same.    

 "If you want a place to use powerboats and jets skis" he said, "maybe that shouldn't be done in a  wildlife area that's a mudflat. Maybe you should have another place to do that."  Listen to Matt Stern February 18th interview on WRFR Community Radio 22min

According to Stern, Watts Cove's importance for wildlife is well documented by Maine  Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.  Stern and other concerned Saint George residents in the Significant Wildlife Preservation Committee  commissioned  environmental consultants Paul Leeper of Moody Mtn Env. (report)) and Sr Ecologist Richard Podolski PhD of the Ecology And Technology firm, (report) . Both identify Watts Cove and surrounds as high quality, highly productive estuarine shore and wading bird and shellfish habitat.

Ron Huber of Friends of Penobscot Bay noted that like many bay towns, Saint George's ordinance looks at all of its shorefront as having more or less the same economic and ecological value. 

"We know that this is not the case", he said. "Communities need to adopt ordinances protective of their irreplaceable  natural shoreland and marine habitats and scenic areas. This can be done without running afoul of  laws and ordinances protecting landowners' property rights."

"The state has come up with ways to evaluate the quality of  every town's scenic resources. This can help  steer development away from what is irreplaceable," Huber said. 

Stern noted that the  ordinance" kind of looks at all waterfront as the same". 

We are at a juncture," he said.

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