Written by David Carkhuff
The 2014 Portland Flower Show, following a theme of Storybook Gardens, brought out tales from childhood to illustrate landscaping and gardening themes at the Portland Company Complex.
People's Choice award went to Campbell's Landscape and Design for "A Pig Trail." Cozy Acres Greenhouses, with the exhibit, "Jack is our Hero," won Best in Show.
Other awards included: The Cary Award for the garden that best uses plants that have earned the Cary Award, which are hardy plants ideal for the Northern landscape: O'Donals, Richard Young, Robins Nest Aquatics: "Storybook Trains."
The John Skillin First-Timers Award for the exhibit judged to have the best overall score among new exhibitors was Campbells Landscape & Design.
The Designers' Task Award for the garden that best exhibits a landscape designed for the right plants in the right place: Dust of the Earth: "A Storybook Zen-sation."
The Hardscape Award for the best and most creative use of natural or commercial hardscape: Aronson Stonework: "Three Billy Goat Gruff."
The Kitchen Door Garden Award for the most creative use of vegetables, herbs and other useful plants: Cozy Acres Greenhouses: "Jack is our Hero."
The Lyle Littlefield Commemorative Award for the garden that best introduces new or under-used woody plants: "Storybook Trains."
The Melvin Estabrook Ingenuity Award for the most innovative techniques and attention to detail in exhibit construction: "A Storybook Zen-sation."
The Pierson Nurseries Award for the garden that best utilizes woody plants native to North America: Coastal Inc: "Hope of Narnia."
The Best of Show Award to the exhibit receiving the greatest number of points from all judges. Cozy Acres Greenhouses: "Jack is our Hero."
Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 March 2014 00:33
Written by Craig Lyons
The City Council will soon begin the process to rezone urban squares from business to recreation and open space at the same time it explores an ordinance to better protect Portland's parks.
Councilor Kevin Donoghue suggested during a Monday night workshop that the process should be started to change the zoning of urban squares, such as Bramhall Square, Tommy's Park, Post Office Park and the remaining piece of Congress Square, from their current business designation to parks and open spaces, the category most often bestowed upon parks.
Donoghue said the whole discussion for protecting the parks came out of the council's rationale to sell a portion of Congress Square Park because it was zoned for business and development and not recreation and open space, so it seems the other parcels similarly zoned could use added protection that doesn't exist. He said it's the zoning that makes those parcels most vulnerable.
Councilor Ed Suslovic agreed and said it seemed inconsistent to pass a protection ordinance but not amend the zoning.
The council will review an order to start the process of the rezone on March 17. It will then be reviewed by the Planning Board before going back before the council for adoption.
The council's alternative ordinance designates a list of parks that will be maintained and protected by the city in perpetuity, according to a memo.
The alternative ordinance would dedicate more than 30 parcels, which include Lincoln Park, the Eastern Promenade and Monument Square, for continued use as a parks and not for non-recreational purposes. If the city should explore changing the use of a park or selling a piece of those parcels, the ordinance would require at least a 7-2 vote, and seek an advisory recommendation from the Parks Commission.
Aside from taking another look at the proposed language, the council set up the time frame during which the proposed ordinance will be reviewed.
A final workshop on the ordinance will be held on March 24, according to the mayor, and members of the Parks Commission and a representative from the Friends of Congress Square will be invited to participate. From there, the ordinance is tentatively scheduled for a first reading on April 7 and a second reading and possible adoption on April 14.
The council is looking at its version of the parks ordinance as one that was created through a citizens initiative is slated to appear on the June ballot. The city's version is scheduled to potentially be passed and implemented prior to the June vote.
The citizens initiative, designed by the Friends of Congress Square Park and its Protect Portland Parks committee, is aimed at expanding what can be included in the land bank; designating 35 public spaces for inclusion in the land bank; and requiring a super majority vote by the council to sell any of the spaces and call for a referendum if the vote margin is less than 8-1. Proponents noted that the ordinance is an extension of the land bank regulations by including 35 properties that most Portland residents consider parks.
The proposed ordinance is geared toward protecting many of Portland's park that aren't included in the land bank, and was created in reaction to the possibility that the city could sell its parks.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 23:51
Written by Staff Report
A Saturday evening crash on Forest Avenue resulted in serious injuries for an elderly Portland man, the Portland Police Department reported.
Around 6:40 p.m., the Portland Police Department responded to a serious accident near the intersection of Forest Avenue and Pitt Street. The pedestrian, Elliot Burton, 74 of Portland, was crossing easterly on Forest Avenue when he was struck by a northbound 2006 Toyota Camry operated by Lindsay Lathrop, 26, of Falmouth, police said.
Burton was transported to Maine Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition, police said.Lathrop was not injured in the accident.
The accident remains under investigation by the Traffic Division, but neither speed nor alcohol appears to be a factor, police reported.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 22:53
Written by Craig Lyons
Not addressing climate change could have a huge detrimental effect on the winter outdoor recreation industry, warned business leaders, sportsmen and environmental advocates on Friday.
"I'm very concerned about the future of snow in New England," said Ben Leoni, a professional skier. Having skied all over the country and world, he said, he's already noticed that temperatures are getting warmer earlier in the season and snow cover has diminished.
Leoni said climate change threatens the outdoor recreation industry and the businesses that are dependent upon it. He said not is the time to start making policy decision to mitigate the ongoing effects of climate change.
Leoni was joined by Jamie Wright, owner of Gorham Bike and Ski, Porter Fox, the features editor for "Powder" magazine, Lisa Pohlmann of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, Mayor Michael Brennan and professor Gordon Hamilton, of the University of Maine Climate change Institute, at a press conference Friday that highlighted the need to impose new restrictions on carbon emissions in order to protect the outdoor recreation industry.
"We need to act before our ski industry disappears all together," Wright said.
Gorham Bike and Ski has three stores and is dependent on cold winters, Wright said, and warmer winters and less snow is a big threat to the Maine economy. He said power plants that are run by coal and oil are the largest producers of carbon emissions and new rules before the Environmental Protection Agency are needed to save Maine's winters.
"Winter is an essential part of the Maine economy and our way of life," Pohlmann said, and is already feeling by the effects of climate change. She said the country needs to address climate change and the proposed rules before the Environmental Protection Agency, which will create more rigorous emissions standards for new power plants, is a critical first step.
Fox, also the author of "Deep: The Story of Skiing and the Future of Snow," said that snow cover is predicted to disappear at an alarm rate in the coming decades and much has already gone away. He said winter warming is accelerating and that means a lot to Maine and the rest of New England.
Without action to address climate change and increasing warming, Fox said, half of the ski resorts in New England could close during the next 30 years. He said the trickle down effect on the economy would be significant.
"Everybody is going to feel this," Fox said.
During the next 15-30 years, Fox said the winter recreation industry can remain successful if changes are made now. He said climate change's effects of Maine's winters are a reality and it's time to take action to save the livelihood of those connected to the recreation industry and protect the way of life of many people in New England.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 22:04
Written by Craig Lyons
Now that the Canadian government will allow heavy crude and diluted bitumen to be pumped east toward Montreal, the Natural Resources Council of Maine says it's time for Maine's congressional leaders to take action to keep it out of the state.
NRCM Executive Director Lisa Pohlmann said it's time for Mainers to call on U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, U.S. Sen. Angus King, U.S. Rep. Chellie PIngree and U.S. Rep Mike Michaud to urge the U.S. Department of State to require a federal review and new permit should the Portland to Montreal Pipeline decide to move heavy crude and "tar sands" through Maine. Pohlmann said King, Pingree and Michaud have already voiced support for further review but Collins has not taken a stance.
"I think it's important that all of them weigh in," she said.
The National Energy Board of Canada announced Thursday that it had approved plans by Enbridge to transport oil through its pipeline from Ontario to Montreal, according to a press release. Environmental groups in Maine reacted to the decision by cautioning the state that the agency's decision could soon allow for tar sands to be pumped from Montreal to the Portland waterfront.
The agency's decision will allow Enbridge to move oil from west to east, where it previously pumped oil from Montreal; allow the pipeline to move heavy crude oil; and expand the volume from 240,000 to 300,000 barrels per day, according to a summary of the decision.
"It's at our doorstep now," Pohlmann said, and people who think it isn't a real threat are mistaken.
"I think people need to wake up," she added.
Pohlmann said the congressional delegation must realize that Mainers do not want tar sands being moved through the state and putting its waterways, forests and way of life at risk. She said more people need to take action and let their elected officials they don't want tar sands being piped through Maine.
"My constituents have consistently expressed concern at the lack of any environmental review of a project of this nature, given that there appears to be no substantive state review process that would be triggered," King said, in a statement. "Yet, this pipeline runs through very important – and ecologically fragile – parts of Maine, including Sebago Lake, the drinking water supply for the greater Portland area."
"Piping diluted bitumen southward would be a significant alteration in function for this decades-old line and it would present unknown environmental risk," he added. "The people of northern New England deserve a full assessment of that risk and the likelihood of a spill if the pipeline is reversed to convey tar sands oil to South Portland."
The Enbridge project is separate from the Portland to Montreal Pipeline. The Portland to Montreal Pipeline has denied plans to reverse the flow of its line and bring heavy crude from Canada into Maine.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 22:02