Tag: Answers

Answers to your questions about how climate change affects winter recreation in Maine

Maine has long been a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts who in winter have gone downhill skiing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing. But as climate change makes sub-freezing temperatures and sufficient snowpack less consistent, and as tourists seek out new kinds of experiences, traditional winter outdoor recreation businesses in Maine are having to adjust.

Some ski resorts have suffered through slow winters due to a relative lack of snow, while opportunities to go ice fishing are shrinking as lakes consistently freeze later and thaw earlier in the year.

To share information about the effect of warming temperatures on Maine’s economy, communities and ecosystems, the Bangor Daily News hosted an online event on Oct. 15, bringing together four experts to share their work on the topic. The webinar was the third of four BDN Climate Conversations, which will help shape our coverage of climate issues.

The conversations bring together scientists from the University of Maine and other research institutions as well as local subject matter experts.

During last week’s event, people who tuned in wanted to know more about the impact of warmer temperatures on winter recreational activities in Maine. Here are some of their biggest questions.

Michael San Filippo

Is it possible that climate change may, paradoxically, cause colder temperatures on average in Maine during the winter in the future? Rising temperatures are weakening the jet stream, allowing frigid arctic air to reach further south.

While climate change has made weather conditions more volatile, the overall trend shows that the planet is getting warmer, including in Maine.

There have been some examples in recent winters of places in Maine getting single-digit or sub-zero temperatures one day and above-freezing temperatures the next, but it is unlikely that there will be any significant cooling as long as the volume of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continues to rise. Still, there could be some variability from one decade to the next, with some on average being cooler than others, due to natural factors such as volcanic eruptions.

Kenneth Capron

Couldn’t it be argued that this trend is actually good for Maine for the tourism and agriculture industries? Are earlier ice-outs better or worse for the fish in our lakes and rivers?

It depends on what kind of tourism business you run, which is why many businesses that historically have catered to snowmobilers or downhill skiers have diversified the types of activities they offer. Many ski resorts have built or connected to area mountain bike trails to attract customers in warm months, for example. Cross-country skiing requires less snowpack than snowmobiling, and fat bikes or fat tire bikes can be ridden either in snow or on bare or muddy ground.

In places that tend to draw hikers or enthusiasts of other traditional summer outdoor activities, the milder weather — especially during fall foliage season — has boosted business in the state’s tourism industry over the past few decades. Relatively warm and dry weather in the months of September and October has been credited by officials

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Lee Answers Questions On Proposed Homeless Hotel

CHATSWORTH, CA — District 12 Councilmember John Lee has released answers to a series of frequently asked questions about the proposal to turn a Devonshire Street Travelodge into temporary homeless housing.

The transformation, administered by state initiative Project Homekey, is being proposed in order to comply with a court order to provide 6,700 new beds in the city of Los Angeles for homeless people living near the freeways, over the age of 65, or at vulnerable to contracting COVID-19.

According to Lee’s release, the city would purchase the property, which has 72 rooms available. The rooms would be targeted towards any homeless individual from District 12, with priority given to people over 55, living near the freeways, or with previous health issues. The rooms will need to be available by April, and will initially serve as interim housing lasting three to five years, though some rooms will be permanent later on.

The project is referred to as “interim housing,” a “stop-gap measure until individuals are able to find long-term housing,” according to the release.

The project is mostly funded by the Federal Coronavirus Relief Funds allocated by the state. Homeless grants are being used for necessary safety and Americans with Disability Act upgrades. Across the state, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is picking up 75 percent of the tab for rooms, according to a report in the Mercury News. As of April, the state has distributed $150 million for counties to pay for motels and homelessness services.

The site will be substance and alcohol-free and observe a curfew. A to-be-determined private security company will provide 24-7 onsite security, and Lee says that his public safety deputy will be in regular communication with the LAPD to keep the public apprised of the security situation in the nearby area.

24/7 onsite staff will be “experienced with facility operations, resolving conflicts, and other types of issues related to behavior and facility rule compliance.” Case management staff and social workers will be available during the day and early evening hours. Drug and mental health services will be offered, but it is illegal to require clients to participate in them.

Lee said that the project is different from the Topanga Apartments, a proposed project that would turn a car sales and lot garage at the intersection of Topanga Canyon Boulevard and Devonshire Street into a 63-unit homeless apartment complex. Rather than interim housing, the site would provide long-term residency and intensive support. Lee says that he strongly opposes that project because he does not believe it is suitable for the site. A Motel 6 near Roscoe Boulevard and the 405 Freeway was sold to a private developer before the court ruling.

Feedback has been mixed. “We’re happy to hear Councilmember Lee supports this project!” the West Valley Peoples’ Alliance, a social justice group, wrote in response to a Facebook post by Councilmember Lee. “We would love to work on solutions for people experiencing homeless in CD12, especially welcoming the new residents into our

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