Maine Fishermen Should Plan For Accelerated Ocean Warming

Climate change is triggering more and more surprise variations in temperatures in the world’s oceans, including off Maine, and those spikes are changing ecosystems in ways that looking at the past wouldn’t predict.

That’s one of the conclusions of a new study out Monday from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, which finds that the bigger-than-expected temperature swings are benefiting some species while hurting others, and that has effects that can be felt up the food chain by the humans that depend on those ecosystems.

Source:  | Maine Public

Errors cited in challenge to new CMP line approval

In an appeal of that approval to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, NextEra Energy Resources accused the commission of ignoring state law requiring a third-party review of alternatives to Central Maine Power’s transmission line. NextEra also said the panel failed to follow the law in determining a public need for the $1 billion project.

Source: Portland Press Herald

Maine downtowns that turned themselves around

Lately, downtown Bucksport looks a lot like this idealized picture of a downtown, but it wasn’t always that way.

In 2014, after over eight decades of operation, the Verso paper mill shut down in Bucksport. The town was devastated. Over 500 employees lost their jobs, the town tax base shrunk by 40 percent and the economic heart of the town stopped beating.

Source:  BDN Maine

Only One Company Raising Salmon In Maine Right Now

Atlantic salmon farming has made news in Maine recently with construction of a $180 million, indoor salmon farm due to start in Bucksport this fall and another entirely land-based farm seeking permits to build in Belfast.

But so far, the only company raising salmon in Maine is New Brunswick-based Cooke Aquaculture, which has its operation spread between hatcheries in western Maine, pens in the Gulf of Maine and a processing plant in Machiasport. Cooke’s operation, partially on land and partially in pen stocks at sea, differs from the operations proposed in Belfast and Bucksport in key ways.

The company has been raising salmon in Maine since 2004, and it has effectively built itself a salmon monopoly in the Gulf of Maine in that time. Since 2016, the New Brunswick-based corporation has invested about $2 million in its Maine facilities and it expects some growth in its operation over the next two years, according to company spokesman Andrew Lively.

Source: Maine Public

Reopening Old Town Mill Expects To Produce Pulp By August

The new owner of the Old Town pulp mill has hired 130 workers and expects the reopened facility will begin producing pulp by the end of July, a major turnaround for a plant that shed nearly 200 jobs when it closed in 2015. More than 1,000 people applied for the open positions at the Old Town mill, which was bought in October by ND Paper, a subsidiary of the Chinese company Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Ltd.

Source: Maine Public

Boston Celtics buy the Maine Red Claws

The Boston Celtics have reached an agreement to purchase the Maine Red Claws, their NBA G League affiliate, the Celtics announced Thursday.

The teams have been affiliated since the Red Claws began play in the 2009-10 season. In 2012, the Celtics became the team’s sole affiliate, assuming control of all basketball operations. In the Red Claws first three seasons, Boston shared the affiliation with the Charlotte Bobcats and Philadelphia 76ers.

“The Celtics have been great partners with the Red Claws over the last 10 seasons,” said Bill Ryan Jr., the Red Claws chairman and principal owner, in a press release. “We are thrilled that the Celtics will continue to build upon the success we’ve had in making the Red Claws an important part of the Maine community.”

Source:  Portland Press Herald

Senator King Joins Push To Boost Rural Broadband Access

A Maine senator says a plan to boost innovation and job growth in rural areas by providing money for broadband access would benefit his state, much of which is forested and sparsely populated. Independent Sen. Angus King says he’s getting behind the Revitalizing Underdeveloped Rural Areas and Lands Act, which is also called the RURAL Act. The proposal is supported by Republicans and Democrats and it would ensure access to government grants and assistance for tax-exempt electrical cooperatives.

Source:  Maine Public

Bucksport approves tax break for proposed salmon farm

The Town Council voted 7-0 on Thursday night to approve a tax break for a company that proposes to bring one of the state’s first land-based Atlantic salmon farms to the site of the former Verso Paper mill. Whole Oceans CEO Jason Mitchell told the council during its meeting that with the tax-increment financing deal approved, the company will apply to the town next month for a permit to build the aquafarm, with construction slated to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.

Source: BDN Maine

Rep. Golden’s bill would allow federal programs to help cannabis businesses

Maine’s junior member of Congress, 2nd District Democrat Jared Golden, is pushing a measure that would force the federal Small Business Administration to stop saying no to cannabis-related businesses.

Golden’s bill would prohibit a number of SBA programs, from the Veterans Business Outreach Centers to the Small Business Development Centers, from declining to help otherwise eligible small businesses solely because they deal in cannabis-related products.

Source: Portland Press Herald