SoPo May Charge $1,000 a day for Short Term Rental Violations


He said councilors will go over what responses have been received, note how many violations are still outstanding and discuss what legal action can be taken against who are not in compliance. Violations could cost property owners $1,000 a day for a first offense and a fine of $1,500 per day for each additional offense. Scully said some properties in violation may have applied to register, but were denied and have continued to rent despite the ordinance. Other violators, she said, have failed to meet build

Source:  Portland Press Herald

UMaine Get $20M for Research of Maine’s Aquatic Ecosystems


The University of Maine and The Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences will use a $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation to learn more about Maine’s aquatic ecosystems. The Maine eDNA project — where “e” stands for “environmental” — will analyze samples from around Maine’s waterways.

Lead researcher and UMaine professor, Michael Kinnison, says eDNA uses tools similar to those that crime scene investigators use, to find out which organisms are present. Kinnison spoke with Maine Public’s Nora

Source: Maine Public

First Downeast hemp farm in Machias

For regular travelers of Machias’ Kennebec road, it seemed like the plants popped up overnight. One day there were empty fields surrounding Schoppee Farm, and the next, neatly-mulched rows of tall, green plants spreading as far as the eye can see.


“Now that they’re big enough to be identifiable, we get a lot of people stopping and asking us questions about them, which is great,” said farmer Ben Edwards. “But the assumption is that it’s marijuana.”

Source: Machias Valley News Observer

First look at planned Salmon farm in Bucksport 

The company proposing to build what would be one of New England’s first land-based salmon farms has applied for its town building permit and has plans to start development in November. The building permit application, submitted Friday, is the latest step the firm Whole Oceans has taken toward building a salmon farm on the site of the former Verso Paper mill, which closed in 2014. The application for the town building permit offers one of the first looks at how exactly the company plans to develop the more

Source:  BDN Maine

USDA Rejects Tariff Help For Maine Blueberry Growers

State Agriculture officials say they are disappointed with a U.S. Department of Agriculture decision to exclude Maine wild blueberries from a federal program designed to help growers negatively affected by retaliatory tariffs.

Nancy McBrady, director of the Maine Bureau of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources, says she received a copy of the decision over the weekend.

“We believed that this program, in particular, would be very beneficial to Maine wild blueberry growers because, unlike other USDA assistance programs, this was one that would have directly provided a financial benefit to growers,” McBrady says.

Source: Maine Public

Lobster embezzlement costs $4.5 million

A federal judge Thursday ordered a company allegedly set up to help facilitate a scheme to steal lobsters to pay a judgment of more than $4.5 million.

The ruling came in a civil suit filed by Sea Salt, a Saco restaurant and lobster wholesaler, against a former employee and part owner over lobsters allegedly shipped off the books and resold. The suit, filed last September, alleged that Matthew Bellerose of Scarborough shipped lobsters from Sea Salt without generating shipping labels or invoices so the company didn’t bill and wasn’t paid for the crustaceans. Sea Salt alleged that Bellerose, who had worked for the business since 2009, shipped nearly $1.5 million worth of lobster that he and a partner then sold.

Source: Portland Press Herald

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

Company admits wrongful foreclosures in Maine

Ocwen Financial Corporation will refund or credit 24 Maine residents more than $50,000 in attorney’s fees they were assessed when their homes were foreclosed upon, and the company will pay $24,000 in civil penalties and $10,000 in investigative costs to the state of Maine, as part of a Consent Agreement signed last week.

Ocwen is a national provider of loan servicing for lenders. It is headquartered in Florida and has offices in several states. In its Consent Agreement with Maine’s Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection and Attorney General, Ocwen admitted that after July 2014 it pursued foreclosures against Maine homeowners based on paperwork which the state found to be legally defective.

Source: WAGMTV

Northern Maine only place in eastern US with clear night sky 

There are precious few places left in the United States where you can still view a “pristine” night sky, according to a new study in the Journal of Environmental Management. Situated far from the glare of city and small town lights, these places offer the same unimpeded view of the cosmos that our ancestors saw thousands of years ago, before electric lighting conquered the darkness.

Source:  Portland Press Herald