|California’s water woes worsen|
Grist - 12/16/2009.By Tom Laskawy – NASA just released a disturbing report on California’s shrinking water supplies: "New space observations reveal that since October 2003, the aquifers for California’s primary agricultural region – the Central Valley – and its major mountain water source – the Sierra Nevadas – have lost nearly enough water combined to fill Lake Mead, America’s largest reservoir. The findings, based on data from the NASA/German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace), reflect California’s extended drought and increased rates of groundwater being pumped for human uses, such as irrigation."
|No one hurt in barn burner|
Kennebec Journal - 12/16/2009.By Matthew Stone – Mount Vernon: An early-morning fire Wednesday destroyed much of a barn housing horses, hay and farm equipment. While no humans or animals were hurt, battling the blaze took up most of a frigid day for firefighters from eight towns. Firefighters shut down much of North Road as they responded to the fire, which broke out at approximately 4:20 a.m. on a farm owned by Richard Hall.
|Waterville to vote on regulating chickens in residential areas|
Kennebec Journal - 12/15/2009.By Amy Calder – Waterville: Chickens will be free to cluck on city lawns if councilors vote to allow it. The council, which meets at 7 tonight, will consider letting people in the residential zone house up to six chickens per household, as long as they abide by certain restrictions. For example, the birds must be hens. No crowing roosters would be allowed.
|Maine has to do more to prevent toxic products from harming kids|
Portland Press Herald - 12/15/2009.By Paul Liebow – Bucksport: Congratulations to Maine for again leading the nation in a rational approach to preventing toxic chemicals' effects on our children, especially babies. Special concerns are phthalates and BPA in everything from IVs in newborn nurseries to toys and baby food packaging. Evidence mounts daily suggesting damage to animal embryos and now to human fetal development. A public hearing on the next steps implementing Maine's "Kid-Safe Products Act" is being held on Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center.