Nov 20, 2017

Rockland Harbor Commission reviewed plan to reorganize inner harbor.11/20/17 AUDIO mp3s

On November 20, 2017 the Rockland Harbor Management Commission heard from Mike Sabatini of Landmark Corp and Bill Morong of Yachting Solutions on remaking Rockland's inner harbor  Listen below  to the presentations

Pt 0 Introduction. 1min 27sec

Part 1 Mike Sabatini. Landmark Corp 1. 5min 13sec

Part 2 Mike Sabatini 7min 2 sec

Part 3 Mike Sabatini  7min 40sec

Part 4 Yachting Solutions  6min 36 sec

Part 5  Yachting  Solutions  8min 8sec

Part 6  Landmark and Yacht Solutions 6min 33sec

Part 7 Yachting Solutions &Landmark Corp 7min 46sec

Part 8.Yachting Solutions   6min 51sec

Full Harbor Management commission meeting 57 min

Mating attendees Harbor Commission members David Leon, Peter Smith, Melissa Maker, Louise McLellan Ruf;  Harbormaster Matt Riley;  Rockland development director Julie Nash; Mike Sabatini, engineer Landmark Corp;  Bill Morong & father (Bill) Yachting Solutions LLC;  Stuart Smith, landowner   Ron Huber Friends of Penobscot Bay/WRFR,  Lynne Barnard, Rockland public, Andy O'Brienm Free Press.

Nov 18, 2017

Rediscovery of the ancient Land of the Red Sunrise

 Sea level rise has played an important role in  bringing together three ancient people  , ten thousand years ago. The Wabanaki, the Maritime Archaics and the people of now sunken Georges Bank.  However, people being people, it wasn't at first an altogether peaceful coming together. Here is a fanciful; description of what may have taken place...

When the Wabanaki inhabited the coast of what is now called the Gulf of Maine, they had interactions with two other nations at their shorelines:  Red Paint People, a seafaring and tidal river tribe migrated south from Newfoundland, generations earlier 

This became  a stalemate until  members of  the indigenous people  from the 15,000 square mile island - that  is now submerged Georges  Bank - came to the Maine coast.  Georges Bank  was then a large island with human communities and wildife living on it   Its people would have been from the Rhode Island/southern Massachusetts area   It  had been a large peninsula connected to the mainland there, until sea level rise. parted it from the mainland  j

Georges Bankers joined in the attack on the Red Paints, killing many and driving away or enslaving the rest. 

Over the millenia, this offshore nation's people  (likely of Wampanoag ancestry)   became personified as the hero trickster "Gluskapi".  The now submerged Georges Bank  the place  where Gluskapi had come from  became the Land of the Red Sunrise.  The defeated Red Paint People became the demons, witches and monsters  slain by Gluskapi. 

Here's a version of that mythic tale with its echoes of that ancient time.

"This is a tale of the old time, of Glooskap, the mighty magician, who came from the Land of the Red Sunrise, sailing over the seas in a stone canoe.

Stately and handsome was the magician and when he reached the  country of the Wabanaki, he found it filled with Witches, Giants, Sorcerers, and Fiends. He pursued and  killed all these creatures, so that the Wabanaki dwelt once more in safety.,

...Then Glooskap made a rich feast by the shore, and invited all the animals to it. After which he entered his stone canoe, and, singing sweetly, sailed away over the seas, from the Country of the Wabanaki back to the Land of the Red Sunrise.

Nov 14, 2017

Audio MP3s: ME Supreme Judicial Court hearing oral arguments on rockweed case 11/14/17

 Seaweed harvesters cut intertidal rockweed during high
tide, using cutting barges and handpowered pole cutting
On November 14, 2017 the Maine Supreme Judicial Court heard oral arguments of an appeal by the seaweed cutting industry of a Maine Superior Court decision finding rockweed growing in the intertidal area  to be "owned" by the  shoreowner. SCROLL DOWN TO SPEAKERS

The case is  Kenneth W. Ross, Carl E. Ross And Roque Island Gardner Homestead Corporation, Plaintiffs / Appellees, V. Acadian Seaplants, Ltd., Defendant / Appellant.  CLF Amicus:   Docket # WAS-17-142

Part 0. Introduction  by Chief Justice 1min 44sec

Part 1 Acadian Sea Plants attorney & questions 13min 44sec

Part 2. Maine DMR attorney Connors & questions 5min 32sec

Part 3 Attorney Smith  for defendant & questions 19min 10sec

Part 4 Rebuttal by Acadian Atty to End 2min 43sec

Full recording 42 min 32sec 

Nov 2, 2017

Local newsie's cruise ship coverage covers up the critics

Reporter Steve Betts of the Rockland Maine Courier Gazette writes a half-baked cruise industry puff piece., that quotes not a single concerned citizen which spewing many  column inches of quotes from a  handful of  businesses that benefit from then.   Sure a few clumsy paraphrases, but all in all so badly written that you can't  help but think he plans to market it - or a barely modified version - to the cruise ship industry's magazine market.

Separating fact from fiction on the impact of cruise ships in Rockland

By Stephen Betts | Nov 02, 2017

Photo by: Stephen Betts
ROCKLAND — The large cruise ships that arrive in Rockland have been met with resistance by some citizens, who claim that these vessels pose environmental risks to the region, harm lobstermen by damaging traps, and bring little economic benefit to the city.
But a closer examination of these issues finds that there is little evidence to back up those arguments. Downtown business owners said this week that they see a spike in business when the large cruise ships arrive.
Ann Hoppe, owner and manager of Puffin's Nest, said the visits by the cruise ships provide a great benefit to her business. "There's a lot of foot traffic and lots of sales," Hoppe said. "The passengers love Rockland. They are tickled to be here."
Charla Prescott of the Rockland Cafe said the restaurant experiences a significant benefit when the cruise ships are in the harbor. "We get a ton of revenues," Prescott said.
Sierra Dietz, owner of the Grasshopper Shop, said the business sees about a 50 percent increase when the large cruise ships are in town. She said these visits help her keep staff employed longer in the fall and allow her to invest money back into the community.
Frank Albert of Frank's Family Hair Care said he gave five haircuts to passengers from each of the two past large cruise ships that arrived in Rockland. He said that if this occurs on future visits, he would earn up to $100 more per day.
Albert said he also sees firsthand the economic benefit from large cruise ship visits. "Unquestionably there is a benefit. I see the passengers walk by with packages and they tell me they eat at local restaurants," he said.
Lynn Archer of the Brass Compass and Archer's on the Pier restaurants said there is a huge positive impact to her businesses when the large cruise ships are in port. "They're a huge boon for business," Archer said.
The Penosbcot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce released statistics for six large cruise ships that arrived in September and October. Of the 9,728 passengers combined from those vessels, 28 percent took a bus trip shore excursion that went to Camden (Mount Battie as well as downtown Camden), the Owls Head Transportation Museum, and the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay.
The chamber pointed out that the remaining passengers remained in Rockland. Even those who took the bus trips returned to spend some hours in Rockland.
Some residents have expressed concern about the potential environmental harm that the large cruise ships pose to Rockland and adjoining waters. But according to wastewater treatment specialists, that is not a concern.
Rockland Wastewater Treatment Director Terry Pinto said the ships have treatment systems on board that are superior to what Rockland has. The large cruise ships discharge their treated wastewater at least 12 miles offshore and the water discharged meets drinking water regulations.
City officials toured the Norwegian Gem when it was in port last month. City Manager Tom Luttrell said in a manager's report last month that recyclables and other certain wastes are unloaded from the ship in New York City after each seven-day cruise. Certain food wastes are shredded into fine particles and dumped overboard when the ship is 12 miles offshore.
Lobster harvesting gear
Yet another criticism of the large cruise ships is that they damage traps as they travel into Rockland Harbor. Maine Marine Patrol Sgt. Matthew Talbot said he has not had any reports this year of lobster gear being damaged by cruise ships.
He said in past years there have been some reports, but that the damage was not solely from cruise ships but also ferries, large yachts and the barge that carries cement out of Rockland. He said competing uses of the waters result in such incidents.
Large cruise ships have been targeted for criticism for much of the current decade. In March 2010, the Rockland Harbor Management Commission made a presentation to the City Council.
The report from the Harbor Management Commission stated that Bar Harbor and Portland have had a host of issues with the "mega cruise ships." Some of those concerns include environmental impacts, such as diesel engines that "spew exhaust equivalent to 10,000 cars," ocean currents that bring discharged sewage dumped three miles at sea to the shore, and pollution that negatively affects the lobster industry.
The commission also stated that studies have shown that local residents often avoid areas and businesses during peak shore visits in some towns and are "apt to avoid downtown at all times for fear a ship will be in port."
Business owners have not reported hearing of any local residents avoiding their shops on the few days that cruise ships are in town.
The commission also stated in 2010 that another concern of these other communities was an increase in crime. There are again no statistics or anecdotal reports to back up that claim in Rockland.
"We want to be clear that we are not saying no to cruise ships; we are just requesting that the council take a careful and thoughtful look at the reality of the impact on our small town," the commission stated at the time.
Some of the concerns expressed in 2010 have also been voiced more than seven years later, but without any concrete facts to support them.

Nov 1, 2017

Terminal Pollution

Terminal Pollution
Do the voters from the town of Bar Harbor, on the west side of Frenchman Bay, want a cruise ship berthing facility for large cruise ships at the old Ferry Terminal property adjacent to their downtown? This town includes voters from Bar Harbor, Hulls Cove, and Town Hill.
Anthem of the Seas, 6/28/17.  Fumigating plume, blowing down into Bar Harbor
Of the number of environmental factors that need to be investigated regarding the terminal berthing for cruise ships, one in particular, and most important, is air pollution. How do sulfur dioxide and other toxic chemicals emitted from burning diesel adversely impact residents of Bar Harbor and those in towns surrounding Frenchman Bay, which include Gouldsboro, Winter Harbor, Sorrento, Sullivan, Hancock, Lamoine, and Trenton? How are visiting tourists to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park affected by these noxious fumes? Here are some researched and documented answers.
Sulfur Dioxide Emissions from Large Diesel Engines
Keep in mind four established facts that compare diesel engine emissions from land vehicles and cruise ships:
Eighteen wheelers, dump trucks, and buses—emit 15 parts per million (ppm) of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere while idling;1 whereas, cruise ships release 1000 ppm of sulfur dioxide at idle which works out to be 66 times more sulfur dioxide than what those diesel vehicles emit.
While idling, 18 wheelers burn 1 gallon of diesel fuel per hour. One large cruise ship burns 320 gallons of diesel fuel per hour while idling in port to produce electricity.
Disney Magic
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends laws that restrict the idling of large diesel trucks and buses to no more than 5 minutes because of the Group 1 carcinogenic rating that diesel has when it is burned.2 All of California as well as many cities and towns across the United States now have put this law into effect.2
In addition, Bar Harbor code # 194-38,3 which was enacted on 17 June 1997, states that no motor vehicle is allowed to idle more than 5 minutes anywhere downtown. This code not only includes diesel vehicles but also cleaner gasoline-powered vehicles also.
Tenders from cruises hip Aida Diva in Bar Harbor
Cruise ShipsElectrical Needs That Affect Air Pollution
The electrical demands of cruise ships is also critical to understanding how they contribute to air pollution. When a large cruise ship is tied up to a dock, or berthed, the ship needs to generate 13 megawatts (MW) of electricity4 for thousands of people for its 10-hour visit.4 Used only seasonally, this tremendous amount of power is too demanding to plug into the towns electrical grid, it simply is not feasible. It costs $10 million per berth to install the electrical infrastructure required. A ships electricity is used for lights, internal power systems, and the desalination of ocean water to produce over 150,000 gallons per day of fresh water. For an average ship holding 3,000 people, this figure amounts to over 1 million
gallons per week.5
To produce their electrical needs, two large cruise ships berthed at the ferry terminal for their 10-hour visit will use 640 gallons (320 each) per hour and will emit 66 times the sulfur fumes that road vehicles emit per hour. The sulfur dioxide emissions from two ships are the same as the sulfur dioxide emissions from 42,624 18 wheelers at idle ( 640 X 66 = 42,624) for 10 hours. This violates Bar Harbor’s adopted downtown idling code by 5,114,880 times.

Impact of Toxic Chemicals from Diesel Exhaust on Health
Further, according to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Diesel Exhaust Gases says : “The toxic chemicals of most concern in diesel exhaust are the oxides of nitrogen (nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide), sulfur dioxide, aldehydes, primarily formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acrolein, and various hydrocarbons particles. . . . Prolonged exposure to diesel exhaust can increase the risk of cardiovascular, cardiopulmonary, and respiratory diseases, including lung cancer. In June 2012, the International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC) classified diesel exhaust, including diesel particulate matter, as a known human carcinogen (Group 1).”6
“Sulphur dioxide (SO2) is irritating to the eyes, throat, and respiratory tract. Short-term overexposure causes inflammation and irritation, resulting in burning of the eyes, coughing, difficulty in breathing, and a feeling of chest tightness. Asthmatic individuals are especially sensitive to SO2 and may respond to concentrations as low as 0.2-0.5 [parts per million] ppm. Prolonged or repeated exposure to low concentrations (1-5 ppm) may be dangerous for persons with pre-existing heart and lung diseases. Health effects are documented at various concentrations by different researchers and organizations. A sampling of health effects that sulfur dioxide fumes have on mucous membranes in healthy individuals are outlined in the following list.”7
1-5 ppm: Threshold for respiratory response in healthy individuals on exercise or deep breathing
3-5 ppm: Sulfur dioxide gas is easily noticeable. Decreased lung function at rest and increased airway resistance
5 ppm: Increased airway resistance
6 ppm: Immediate irritation of eyes, nose, and throat
10 ppm: Worsening irritation of eyes, nose, and throat
10-15 ppm: Threshold of toxicity for prolonged exposure
20+ ppm: Paralysis or death occurs after extended exposure
150 ppm: Maximum concentration that can be withstood for a few minutes by healthy individuals
When molecules of sulfur dioxide (SO2) are inhaled, they turn into sulfuric acid (H2SO4), which is battery acid. When nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is inhaled, it turns into nitric acid (HNO3), which is the nasty component in acid rain and smog. If it comes in contact with the ocean it acidifies.
If large cruise ships are berthed at the proposed 121 Eden Street terminal site, there will be times when the diesel exhaust from these berthed cruise ships will be blown on a west, northwest wind across the land into downtown Bar Harbor as a fumigating plume. Sometimes the exhaust will travel on an easterly sea breeze right at Paradise Hill, which would be level with the smokestacks a quarter mile away and continue into Hulls Cove and then into Acadia National Park and beyond. The health effects from the fumes of these cruise ships can be measured 200 miles inland from shipping areas.
Ports around the world show high rates of lung cancer and heart disease. In Europe, 60,000 deaths from diesel are attributed to ships burning diesel and 12,000 of them are from sulfur dioxide inhalation.8 (see pg 10)
After reading this documented research, come to your own thoughtful and rational conclusions on how close you want to live to high concentrations of diesel fumes.
Jim O'Connell
Bar Harbor
1. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): “Diesel Fuel Standards and Rulemakings.”

See also Indiana Department of Environmental Management ( “Diesel Idling Facts and Myths.”

2. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans: “Diesel and Gasoline Engine Exhausts and Some Nitroarenes.” International Agency for Research on Cancer, vol 105, Lyon, France: 12 May 2012.

3. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Compilation of State, County, and local Anti-Idling Rules: Code of the Town of Bar Harbor: § 194-38. Idling of Motor Vehicles. [added 17 June 1997]
p. 42.

A. Five-minute limitation. No person may cause or allow a motor vehicle to idle for more than five consecutive minutes while that vehicle is parked in any of the downtown areas during the time from May 1 to Columbus Day.

B. Exceptions. The limitation set forth in the preceding subsection shall not apply to:
(1) Fire trucks, police cars, ambulances and other emergency vehicles while responding to an emergency call.
(2) Utility vehicles, including contractor's equipment, while engaged in the construction, maintenance or repair of utility facilities.
(3) Motor vehicles idling while in a traffic lane, as the result of congested traffic conditions beyond the driver's control (traffic jams).
(4) Refrigeration units of delivery vehicles.

C. Prima facie evidence. The fact that a parked motor vehicle is idling in violation of this section shall be prima facie evidence that the unlawful idling was caused or allowed by the person in whose name that vehicle is registered.

4. Moore, Kirk, "Harbor Emissions Shore Power and Public Health." (Work Boat magazine) 15 November 2016.

5. Fischetti, Mark, “Working Knowledge: Cruise Ships—Nimble Skyscrapers at Sea.” 1 July 2008.

6. Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs: “Diesel Exhaust Gases.”

See also note 2.

7. International Volcanic Health Hazard Network (IVHHN): “Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) Exposure Effects.”

8. Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UBA) Facultat de Dret: “The Actions Adopted at the Universal and European Union Level to Cope with the Sulfur Pollution.”, p. 10.