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WERU 89.9 FM Blue Hill, Maine Local News and Public Affairs Archives

Audio archives of spoken word broadcasts from Community Radio WERU 89.9 FM Blue Hill (weru.org)

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  • Guest Producer/Host: John Greenman
    Engineer: Amy Browne

    Avoiding and Mitigating Watershed pollution

    -What is “clean” water?
    -what’s the Section 319 grant?
    -Who can apply and get help?

    Guests:
    Zack Steele, Exec. Dir. Hancock Cty. S.W.C.District
    Chip Stubbs, Alamoosook Lake resident, past president of the Alamoosook Lake Association
    John Wedin, Watershed Stewart for the Ellsworth, ME Water District
    Art Grindle, Kennebec County Soil and Water Conservation District


    Maine Currents- independent local news, views and culture, every Tuesday at 4pm on WERU-FM and weru.org

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Will Maine’s New Ranked Choice Voting Law Survive the State Legislature?

    The Ranked Choice Voting law passed by Maine voters in November may soon be repealed by the legislature, based on a word that was changed in the state constitution back in the 1800s. The word “plurality” was substituted for “majority” after a contentious gubernatorial race in 1880. As a result, some races in the state can be (and often are) won by candidates who have the support of far less than a majority of the voters. The court’s opinion pertains to only some of the races that would be covered by the new ranked choice voting law. The remaining races could also be conducted via ranked choice voting if the state constitution were amended to read “majority” again rather than plurality. But some in the state legislature are taking the opportunity to throw out the new law entirely – and according to an analysis by Michael Shepard in today’s Bangor Daily News (bangordailynews.com/2017/06/06/the-point/maine-lawmakers-have-five-options-on-ranked-choice-voting-signs-point-to-repeal/), they may succeed, as some Democrats are considering voting with the Republicans.

    On Friday a public hearing was held on 2 competing bills- LD1624 which proposes to amend the state constitution to allow implementation of ranked choice voting, and LD1625 which would repeal the new ranked choice voting law altogether. The hearing drew an overflow crowd to the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee and testimony lasted more than 4 hours. Not a single member of the public spoke in support of overturning ranked choice voting. We’re going to listen in on some of the testimony today- as much as we can squeeze into an hour.

    UPDATE: As we went to air work sessions for these bills were posted. They will take place on Thursday, June 8th at 1pm. FMI: legislature.maine.gov/bills/phwksched.html?CODE=VLA&snum=128


    Maine Currents- independent local news, views and culture, every Tuesday at 4pm on WERU-FM and weru.org

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne
    Engineer: John Greenman

    Conspiracy theory or healthy distrust of a corrupt system? How do you decide?

    A call-in show discussion of this issue and of Richard Otto’s book The Paradox of Our National Security Complex: How secrecy and security diminish our liberty and threaten our democratic republic
    with author Richard Otto and veteran journalist Peter Taber.


    Maine Currents- independent local news, views and culture, every Tuesday at 4pm on WERU-FM and weru.org

    NOTE: Maine Currents will be moving to Tuesdays (4-5pm) starting in June 2017

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne
    2nd segment audio recorded by John Greenman

    Minimum Wage Increase: Did Mainers Know What They Were Doing?

    Last November Mainers voted to gradually increase the state’s minimum wage from the (then) current rate of $7.50 an hour up to $12 an hour by 2020. After 2020 increases would be tied to inflation. Despite the fact that the measure drew strong support, several bills have been introduced in the state legislature that roll back the increases in various ways. In some cases the rate of increase is reduced. Other measures would tweak the formula for tipped staff or for younger workers or those in training.
    9 such bills were presented in the legislature back in April, and yesterday the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee held a public hearing on yet another, LD1609 (“An Act To Support Maine’s Employers and Encourage Employers To Hire Young Workers”) and arguments on each side were reiterated.

    Some of those who advocate overturning the will of the voters have said Mainers didn’t understand the consequences of their vote. They argue that small businesses will be forced to lay off workers or limit hiring and will pass along costs to consumers.

    Supporters of the minimum wage increase say that even the slight increase makes a difference for low wage workers who are often forced into making tough choices with their limited pay. Matt Schlobohm, Executive Director of the Maine AFL-CIO told the committee that the $30 extra per week in one 70-year-old woman’s pocket had allowed her to purchase windshield wiper blades. She had lost her home and was forced to return to work when her husband became disabled, and before the first incremental increase in the minimum wage went into effect in January her budget was so tight that needing new wiper blades would have been a crisis.

    On this week’s Maine Currents we listen in as the debate continues

    Area Resident Weighs in on Bar Harbor Cruise Ship Pier Proposal
    An event in Bucksport last week brought together several environmental groups for a discussion of local issues. “The Future of Our Forests, Rivers, Lakes, Fields and Ocean” was hosted by Maine Common Good Coalition Renata Moise expressed concerns about a new cruise ship pier being proposed in Bar Harbor:


    Maine Currents- independent local news, views and culture, every Wednesday at 4pm on WERU-FM and weru.org

    NOTE: Maine Currents will be moving to Tuesdays (4-5pm) starting in June 2017

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  • Producer/Host: John Greenman
    Studio Engineer: Joel Matt & Matt Murphy

    Update on Maine’s Cuban Connections

    Program Topics: Embargo/Blockade and Guantanamo

    Key Discussion Points:
    Update on the effects of the decades-old embargo
    The latest on the US presence in Guantanamo Bay

    Guests:
    Judy Robbins, “Let Cuba Live”
    Dud Hendrick, Maine Veterans for Peace (just returned from Cuban conference on foreign military bases)


    Maine Currents- independent local news, views and culture, every Wednesday at 4pm on WERU-FM and weru.org

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne
    Studio Engineer: John Greenman

    “Building Bridges Through Political Diversity” & “Corinna and Charleston Residents Suspicious of a Maine Power Company’s Expansion Plans”

    Segment 1: A new discussion/support group called “Building Bridges Through Political Diversity” has started meeting in Belfast with the goal of “find(ing) common ground for people of all political persuasions to work on current issues that affect us all”. We talk with two of the organizers.
    Guests:
    Elliot Benjamin has Ph.Ds in mathematics and psychology and has published a number of books and articles on various topics in psychology, philosophy, mathematics, and progressive politics. Betty Sue Easton is a psychotherapist with a practice in Belfast.
    FMI: ben496@prexar.com or bemusic4ever@gmail.com

    Segment 2: Long-time residents of Corinna and Charleston explain why Maine Electric Power Company (MEPCO)’s plans have them concerned that that a gas pipeline might actually be in the works for what is being touted as a 70 mile electricity transmission line expansion from Chester to Pittsfield —and we hear MEPCO’s response.
    Guests:
    Alan Clemence lives in the town of Charleston near the new power line. Alan has been involved in utility issues, industrial engineering, and environmental activism since the late 1970’s.
    (Full disclosure: Alan has been a WERU volunteer in years past)
    Lorenzo Pizaaro is a retired Brooklyn, New York schoolteacher who now lives in Corinna full time and owns the Second Read used bookstore in Dexter. Lorenzo’s house would be 300 feet from the new transmission line, which he believes would forever change his beautiful homestead.
    Everett Simpson is a musician and lifelong resident of Corinna, where he owns farmland and forest. He reports that he is being pressured by MEPCO to sell easements for the new power line but is steadfastly refusing to do so.
    FMI:. 207-278-3542


    Maine Currents- independent local news, views and culture, every Wednesday at 4pm on WERU-FM and weru.org

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne
    Studio Engineer: John Greenman

    Segment 1: Multi-partisan panel discussion on communicating with people with political differences

    Segment 2: Indivisible MDI’s April Town Hall for Senator Collins (who did not attend)

    Guests: Multi-partisan panel Renee Trust, Ken Gleason, Thomas White (Tim Wilson was unable to join us this week)

    WERU thanks Jeff Dobbs who provided us with a recording of the speakers at the Indivisible MDI Town Hall and Jennifer Booher who sent the photos from the event that are posted on WERU’s facebook page.

    FMI:
    Indivisible Guide: www.indivisibleguide.com/about-us/
    MDI Indivisible group: www.facebook.com/groups/397472590586952/


    Maine Currents- independent local news, views and culture, every Wednesday at 4pm on WERU-FM and weru.org

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Anti-immigration bills introduced in Maine

    We take you to last week’s public hearing for LD 366 “An Act To Ensure Compliance with Federal Immigration Law by State and Local Government Entities”, LD 847 “An Act To Hold Refugee Resettlement Agencies Accountable to Maine People” and LD 1099, a resolve that would have “Required the State To Bring Suit against the Federal Government for Failure To Comply with the Federal Refugee Act of 1980”. All were introduced by Rep. Lawrence Lockman of Amherst.

    In breaking news just before we went to air, the Judiciary Committee voted “Ought Not to Pass” on LDs 1099 and 847, and tabled LD366.

    Update: We mentioned on the show that we had contacted Rep. Lockman to inquire about two issues that were raised during the hearing: His testimony that the City of Portland had redirected educational funding to refugee support, and the comments made by members of the public that he did not stay to hear their comments after introducing the legislation. We did hear back from him after the show. Here is his response: “I was there for most of the hearing, stepped out twice to do TV interviews, then had to attend my own committee.” And he provided this link to a 2015 article entitled “LePage to fight Portland over asylum seekers money”: www.centralmaine.com/2015/06/30/lepage-to-fight-portland-over-asylum-seekers-money/


    Maine Currents- independent local news, views and culture, every Wednesday at 4pm on WERU-FM and weru.org

    No Comments