Category archives for: Out In The Willie-Wacks

Civic-Minded Local Man Donates Waterskiing Ramp To Damariscotta Lake

Damariscotta Lake waterskiing rampA car went through the ice on Damariscotta Lake March 18 but all three occupants were able to get out safely. The accident occurred about 100 feet from the tip of Wavus Point, and the car was only partially submerged. According to Jefferson Fire Chief Walter Morris, only the driver of the vehicle got wet and emergency medical personnel from Central Lincoln County Ambulance checked out all three people. The trio declined to be transported, he said. Dan Hennesey, of Jefferson, was driving the car. Hennesey said he was headed for a pressure ridge in the ice and was unable to stop. When the car hit the ridge, down it went. He estimated aside from the area of the pressure ridges, there was three feet of ice on the lake at the time. (keep reading at the Lincoln County News)

Expert Says Turbines And Birds Can Coexist, As Long As The Birds Don’t Mind Coexisting In A Bloody Pile Of Feathers

Windmills in Maine. Maine news from The Rumford MeteorFALMOUTH — One of Maine’s top wildlife advocacy groups says there’s plenty of room in the state to accommodate animal habitat and wind energy development. In a report released Wednesday night, Falmouth-based Maine Audubon found that of the 1.1 million acres in the state where there’s enough wind to justify turbines, 933,000 acres don’t overlap with sensitive natural areas and could be developed with little impact to Maine’s wildlife. About 45 percent — 418,000 acres — of the space with both adequate wind and low wildlife impact is found in the state’s expedited permitting areas designated for wind projects, stated the report written by wildlife biologist Susan Gallo. (read more at Lewiston Sun Journal)

Search And Rescue Teams Can’t Find Missing Snowmobilers Who Fell Through The Ice On Rangeley Lake, Wonder If They’re Waterskiing By Now

Missing snowmobilersRANGELEY — Searchers returned empty-handed Thursday after resuming their search for three snowmobilers missing in Rangeley Lake since winter. Throughout the day, Rangeley residents gathered in small groups at the bars and restaurants, along the lake and on the sidewalks, asking each other whether any of the bodies had been found. Cheryl Burkee, a server at Parkside & Main restaurant, said the residents want the family of the missing men to get a sense of finality after their ordeal, which has so far lasted just over four months. “We feel for the families and that they haven’t had closure,” she said. The search by the Maine Warden Service began Tuesday with the use of sonar in the area where the snowmobilers are thought to have fallen into open water on the partially frozen lake in late December. (read more at Kennebec Journal)

Planning Board Trying To Strike A Fine Balance Between Greenwood’s Greed For A Lunatic Environmental Boondoggle And Their Paranoid Hypochondriac NIMBYism

windmillsGreenwood selectmen and Planning Board officials recently discussed ideas for a proposed wind power ordinance to be crafted for a vote next year. Plans originally called for an ordinance proposal from the Planning Board for next month’s annual town meeting, but selectmen earlier this month decided to postpone it to allow more research and to study Woodstock’s recently-approved wind ordinance. Planning Board Chair Dave Brainard and Vice-Chair Larry Merloni offered some thoughts on how to proceed. Merloni expressed concern that an ordinance that is too restrictive might prompt lawsuits from a wind company wanting to develop a project. Woodstock’s ordinance requires a one-mile setback from neighboring property lines to minimize noise, which is the most common wind turbine-related complaint. Merloni said setbacks of that magnitude could be “a recipe for disaster.” (read more at Bethel Citizen)

Environmentalists Take Time Out From Their Busy Schedules Of Protesting Monsanto’s Genetically Modified Frankenfoods To Plant Eco-Friendly “Scientifically-Enhanced” Chestnut Trees

Chestnut treePORTLAND, Maine — Portland city officials are hoping to finally overcome the century-old ailments that stripped the Forest City of some its most prominent trees. The latest and perhaps most high-profile step in the fight back came as Portland became one of the first to plant the latest version of blight-resistant American chestnut trees, the results of 30 years of backcross breeding and more than $30 million in nationwide research, according to the city. American chestnut trees were nearly wiped out by an Asian bark fungus introduced to the country in 1904, and scientists have spent much of the last century trying — until recently with little success — to proliferate trees immune to the blight. “What was once a plentiful tree has all but disappeared,” said Portland city arborist Jeffrey Tarling. “There are just a handful left.” (read more at Bangor Daily News)

Apparently, The Last Budgie On Peaks Island Has Died

Reading the newspaper. Maine news from The Rumford MeteorPORTLAND — The Island Times, a 10-year-old, monthly community newspaper covering Peaks Island and other Casco Bay islands, is ceasing operation, publisher Kevin Attra announced last week. Shrinking ad revenue, distribution and readership accounted for Attra’s decision to close, he wrote in the free newspaper’s final issue. “(The Island Times) was quite self-sustaining until last year, when ad revenue started disappearing,” Attra said on Sunday. He noted that the paper was “an all-volunteer enterprise” with about a dozen people helping. Revenue was used to cover printing costs and other operating expenses. “Several large ads dropped out … some regulars stopped paying as well,” Attra said. “Then I also noticed circulation was shrinking. People just weren’t reading it.” Circulation usually ranged from 3,000 during off-seasons to 5,000 during the  summer, according to Attra. He printed just 2,000 copies of the 12-page final issue. “It was a bittersweet moment when I sent the last file to the printer,” he said. A carpenter, environmental chemist, musician, and since 2007, a Peaks Island resident, Attra began writing for The Island Times as a volunteer without previous journalism experience. He took over as publisher after co-founders Mary Lou Wendell and David Tyler left the paper in 2008. (read more at The Forecaster)

Audubon Society Member Wonders How Much Longer Republicans Will Be Allowed To Force Animals To Live Outdoors

Doe, a deer -- a female deerIf you’re a white-footed mouse, 2 feet of snow might be a welcome forecast, but if you’re a black-capped chickadee or a white-tailed deer, it’s bad, bad news. The bitter cold, deep snow and, now, rain and warmth are for birds and animals extremes in the battle for survival, from which some emerge in spring as winners. Others lose. It’s nature’s way of keeping things in balance and ensuring that the strong survive, wildlife biologists and rehabilitators say. “The strategies are really diverse,” said Mike Windsor, of Maine Audubon Society in Falmouth. The first and most obvious is the one humans often embrace. “A lot of animals are really just hunkering down,” waiting for the worst to blow over, said Windsor. In this recent round of exreme weather, “a lot of factors (were) coming together,” he said. That meant animals had to use “multiple strategies” to get through. (read more at Morning Sentinel)

Upton Conservation Efforts Conserved Everything Except Upton

hunter in the Maine woods. Maine news from The Rumford MeteorCiting the continued purchase of property by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the difficulty in finding people to serve in leadership roles, Upton Selectman Bob Pepler has recently been informally surveying residents on whether the town should de-organize. Upton has fewer than 100 year-round residents. It has been plagued in recent years with difficult political issues. The buy-up of private properties to add to the Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge is one of them. Some residents worry that because such land can no longer be taxed by the town, other property owners’ taxes will increase as the tax base shrinks. “With the tax base eroding, I don’t see the future being bright,” Pepler said recently when he was contacted by the Citizen. (read more at Bethel Citizen)

Upwards Of Twelve Inches Of Snow Expected In Maine Tomorrow; Rangeley Man Expected To Don A Long-Sleeve Shirt For The First Time This Season

Blizzard in Maine. Maine news from the Rumford MeteorA winter storm is expected to dump a foot or more of snow in much of Maine on Thursday. The National Weather Service on Tuesday upgraded its storm watch to a storm warning beginning around 10 p.m. Wednesday and ending around 4 a.m. Friday. Snow will fall all day Thursday, with heavy snow during some parts of the day. “We’re expecting around a foot for most of interior Maine and New Hampshire,” NWS meteorologists Margaret Curtis said late Tuesday. (read more at Lewiston Sun Journal)

Bangor Woman Drives Injured Bobcat To Bangor. Well, He Did Have Bud Light

Bud Light HitchhikerBANGOR, Maine — When Josh Plourde of Bangor saw a van parked on Harlow Street around midnight on Tuesday, he noticed the flashing hazard lights and saw that all four doors of the vehicle were open. What he saw when he stopped to offer assistance was a bit of a surprise: A bobcat was hiding under the van. “I guess what happened was a woman was driving in Veazie on Route 2 and she hit what she thought was a house cat,” Plourde said. “It was still alive and was kind of hurt. So she pulled over to the side and scooped it up and put it in the car, thinking that it was hurt and was out in the wild. She wanted to help it.” The problem: The animal was not only in the wild. It was wild. “By the time she got to downtown Bangor she realized what she had put in her car was not in fact a house cat,” Plourde said. (read more at Bangor Daily News)

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