No, really, I didn’t mutilate the lobster

Lobstermen who find themselves with, say, a lobster claw that accidentally got ripped off the body before they sell their catch to a wholesaler can’t legally sell that piece, or any appendage not connected to a lobster thorax under current Maine law.

“It shall be unlawful to possess any lobster, or part thereof, which is mutilated in a manner which makes accurate measurement impossible,” the law states.

Legislation based on the work of a lobster task force and sponsored by House Speaker Hannah Pingree, D-North Haven, would provide a bit more leniency in the lobster mutilation law department. It’s scheduled for a vote before the Marine Resources Committee on Monday morning.

At the public hearing, the proposal received widespread support from Maine’s lobster industry.

But don’t think you can just start pillaging lobsters for their claws and tails and sell them, sans thorax.

“You’ve got to show proof (that the piece of lobster came from a legal catch),” said Tim Feeley, an aide to the speaker, adding that it’s important to Pingree and state officials to maintain enforcement of the state’s strict lobstering regulations.

“The point is to have less waste and sell more product,” Feeley said. “Everybody wins.”

Bates Outing Club turns 90

Last week, the Maine Legislature honored the Bates College Outing Club for reaching its 90th anniversary, and state Rep. Peggy Rotundo, D-Lewiston, described to her fellow members of the House how students in the club played a role in extending the Appalachian Trail to Maine.

“By 1933, most of the Appalachian Trail was nearly completed, but Maine still presented a challenge because of areas of seemingly impenetrable wilderness,” she said on the House floor.

It was suggested that Mt. Washington in New Hampshire mark the end of the trail, she said.

“Myron H. Avery, chairman of the Appalachian Trail Conference, resisted efforts to abandon the Maine section and its highest point, and requested help from the Bates Outing Club,” Rotundo said. “Dr. William Hayes Sawyer Jr., of the Bates faculty, assembled a crew of three students, Samuel Fuller ’35, Harold Bailey ’36 and Edward Aldrich ’35, to scout and mark the last remaining section of the trail’s route, between Frye Brook at the base of Baldpate Mountain and Long Pond in Rangeley. After an arduous seven-day trip, the two segments of the trail were joined on June 29, 1934.”

E-mail counts

A bill sponsored by state Rep. Stacy Dostie, D-Sabattus, aimed at increasing government transparency is scheduled for a public hearing before the Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

The measure, inspired by goings-on of the Sabattus Town Council and the Lewiston City Council, would “prohibit a member of a public body from knowingly sending a group electronic mail to a quorum of the members of that body regarding a substantive matter that is before the body,” according to the bill’s summary.

It would also require e-mails sent from members of “a public body” to a quorum of other members of said body to be made public before a vote is taken on the matter discussed electronically.

— Rebekah Metzler

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