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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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  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Penobscot Chief Francis responds to Governor LePage’s Reversal of Order Promoting Cooperation with Tribes

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) Today we speak again with Penobscot Nation Chief Kirk Francis.This weekend, Governor Lepage’s office sent an email to Wabanaki Tribal leaders announcing a new executive order, signed April 16th, that rescinds the Governor’s 2011 order promoting cooperation and coordination between the Stat and the Wabanaki Tribes within Maine. (copy of executive order: www.pressherald.com/2015/04/21/lepage-rescinds-order-promoting-state-cooperation-with-indian-tribes/document/2/).
    b) Despite the original executive order, which included directing state agencies to reach out to the Tribes on issues effecting them, Chief Francis outlines numerous instances, during the LePage administration, in which they have not felt state cooperation. This includes elver fishing and tribal saltwater fisheries rights, protective water quality standards in sustenance fishing waters, fishing monitoring jurisdiction in sustenance fishing waters in the Penobscot River, and rights under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VOWA).
    c) We also speak with the Peace and justice Center of Eastern Maine about their 21st annual Hope Festival, taking place this Saturday in Orono.

    Guests:
    Chief Kirk Francis, Penobscot Nation, penobscotnation.org
    Amy Hughes, Peace and justice Center of Eastern Maine, peacectr.org/wp/hope_2015/schedule-of-events/

    www.pressherald.com/2015/04/21/lepage-rescinds-order-promoting-state-cooperation-with-indian-tribes/

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Generation Climate Rising Rally in Augusta

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) This past Saturday, April 11th, Maine Students for Climate Justice held a rally and march in Augusta, calling it Generation Climate Rising. Students from colleges, universities and high schools from across state, and supporters, called on Governor LePage to put a freeze on all new fossil fuel infrastructure and to support measures to bring more solar and conservation to the state.
    b) Speakers and participants spoke on climate justice, the need for Maine’s government to take climate change seriously, the already changing environment and the need for immediate action.
    c) This year’s Maine Youth Activism Gathering will be held Saturday April 18th -Monday April 20th, three days of workshops and community building.
    maineyag.wordpress.com/
    www.facebook.com/pages/Maine-Youth-Activism-Gathering/199809673382110

    Guests:
    A) Organizers with Maine Students for Climate Justice : Meaghan LaSala (USM), Maddie Lamal-Brown (Bowdoin), Matthew Miles Goodrich (Bowdoin), Iris SanGiovanni (USM), Catherine Fletcher (UMO), Michelle Fournier (350 Maine)
    mainestudentjustice.wix.com/mainestudents#!about_us/c14e3
    www.facebook.com/MaineClimateJustice
    www.centralmaine.com/2015/04/09/generation-climate-rising-demonstration-in-augusta/
    B) student participants from universities, colleges and high schools across the state
    C) Christine, Pine Tree Youth Organizing, ptyo.org/

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Generation Climate Rising, with Maine Students for Climate Justice

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) Maine Students for Climate Justice is organizing the Generation Climate Justice rally on April 11th, at 11am at the State Capitol in Augusta.
    www.facebook.com/events/815393905193392/

    b) We talk with two students from Maine Students for Climate Justice about the divestment movement in Maine, climate justice, democratizing energy through community based initiatives and the need for action.

    c) We also talk about the upcoming April 6th rally for Unity, and the pre-rally in support of the Penobscot Nation is their legal battle for jurisdiction over sustenance fishing waters.

    Guests:
    A) Laura Berry, student at College of the Atlantic, Maine Students for Climate Justice
    B) Meaghan LaSala, graduate student at University of Southern Maine, Maine Students for Climate Justice
    www.facebook.com/events/815393905193392/

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Orono Council Committee Votes to Withdraw from Penobscot Nation v Mills

    Key Discussion Points:

    a) On March 16th, the Orono Town Council’s Community Development Committee, which contains all members of the council, voted unanimously to instruct the town manager to draw up an order to formally withdraw Orono from Penobscot Nation v Mills. This case concerns the
    Penobscot Nation’s jurisdiction to monitor their sustenance fishing waters, a status without issue until August 8th, 2012, when then Attorney General Schneider wrote a letter to the Penobscot Nation declaring that “the State of Maine has exclusive regulatory jurisdiction over activities taking place on the River.” The Penobscot Nation is now suing the state in Federal Curt

    b) The state of Maine’s attorney, Matt Manahan from law firm Pierce Atwood, joined a consortium of 18 towns and corporations to the case, as intervenors for the state. These 18 are waste water dischargers on the river, though the case is not about pollution discharges, and many of these entities would not be effected if it were.

    c) A movement opposing Orono’s involvement developed when town residents were surprised to discover Orono’s involvement. Inquires showed none of Orono’s town councilors knew of the town’s involvement either.

    Today we listen to both councilors and the public at the Orono Town Council’s public meeting on March 16th.

    We also hear reactions from Orono organizer and resident Cheryl Robertson.

    *Note: On April 1st Orono formerly files to withdraw from Penobscot Nation v Mills.

    Guests:

    A) Orono Town Council members (Mark Haggerty,Geoffrey Gordon, Tom Perry, Tom Sptiz, Sam Kunz) and Orono Town Manager Sophie Wilson

    B) public testimony : Claudia Lawd, Eric Maynard,Maria Girouard, Kathy Pollard, Nancy Prisk, John Banks

    C) Rep. Ryan Tipping-Spitz

    D)Cheryl Roberston, Orono resident

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Penobscot Nation v Mills, with Chief Francis and Local Organizing to Withdraw Orono from the Case

    Key Discussion Points:

    a) Despite years of cooperation and co-management with the state, and explicit direction from past administrations that the Penobscot Nation does have jurisdiction when it comes to monitoring their sustenance fishing waters, in 2012, the state began action to disassociate the water flowing through the Penobscot Nation from tribal control. On August 8th, 2012, the Attorney General William Schneider wrote a letter to the Penobscot Nation declaring that “the State of Maine has exclusive regulatory jurisdiction over activities taking place on the River.”
    b) In response, the Penobscot Nation is suing the Attorney General’s Office (now occupied by Janet Mills) in federal court, in Penobscot Nation v Mills, et al. The attorney representing the state, Matt Manahan from law firm Pierce Atwood, has gone on the public relations offensive, and has additionally signed 18 towns and corporations to the case as intervenors for the state.
    c) These 18 are waste water dischargers on the river, though the case is not about pollution discharges, and many of these entities are down stream from the Penobscot Nation. One of these towns is Orono. We hear from Orono resident Cheryl Robertson about efforts there to withdraw the town from the lawsuit.

    The Orono Town Council will hold a public meeting on the issue at 5:30pm on Monday, March 16th.

    Guests:
    Chief Kirk Francis, Penobscot Nation, penobscotnation.org
    Cheryl Roberston, Orono resident

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: The legislature’s public hearing on a bill that would open Maine to metallic mining

    Key Discussion Points:

    a) Today we hear some of the public testimony and reactions to the legislature’s hearing yesterday on LD 146, a bill that would open Maine to metallic mining. Testimony was almost entirely in opposition to the bill.

    b) LD 146 contains Department of Environmental Protection(DEP) rules that were rejected by the 125th Legislature.Opponents say the rules are not protective ground and surface water or tax payers, who could end up paying for extensive cleanup or disaster costs. The metallic mining industry’s historic and current operations around the world are synonymous with water pollution that lasts for decades. The last mining site in Maine, the Callhan mine in Brooksville, continues to pollute 40 years after closure, with tax payers footing the bill.

    c) Another point of contention with this bill is the legality of the process in re-introducing the DEP rules. The Maine Attorney General’s office confirms that under Maine’s Administrative Procedure Act (MAPA) these rules should go before a DEP public hearing prior to going before the legislature. The AG office has said the legislature can only preempt the act with a vote by the full legislature.

    Guests:
    Alice Bolstridge, Presque Isle
    Shelley Mountain, Portage Lake
    Rep. Janice Cooper (D- Yarmouth), former member of Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Environment
    Browne Carson, former director of Natural Resources Council of Maine
    Current members of Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Environment: Chair, Sen.Tom Saviello (R-Franklin), Rep. Bob Duechene (D-Hudson), Rep. Denise Harlow (D-Portland), Rep John Martin (D-Eagle Lake)
    Anthony Hourihan, Aroostook Resources, JD Irving subsidiary
    Jim Mitchell, lobbyist for Aroostook Resources, JD Irving subsidiary
    Nick Bennett, staff scientist, Natural Resources Council of Maine

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: EPA Decision: Maine Water Quality Standards are Not Protective of Tribes; The Environmental Impacts of Metallic Mining as Maine looks to Open the State for Irving Project

    Key Discussion Points:

    a) On February 2nd, the US EPA issued a decision that the state of Maine’s water quality standards are not stringent enough in tribal waters. Maine has been directed to strengthen these standards in compliance with protection of tribal sustenance fishing rights under the federal Clean Water Act.

    b) We speak with Penobscot Nation Chief Kirk Francis on the importance of this decision to the tribe. And we look at the State of Maine’s inflamatory public relations offensive, primarily through Pierce Atwood attorney Matt Manahan, to re-frame the issue as a tribal power grab that will cost dischargers all along the Penobscot River millions of dollars. We also look at the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act, and a landmark case currently in the courts, Penobscot Nation v Mills, in which the Penobscot Nation is suing the Maine Attorney General’s office for it’s 2012 attempt to disassociate the water flowing through the Penobscot Nation from it’s tribal territory.

    c) We also hear part of a presentation on the environmental destruction caused by metallic mining, given by Nick Bennett, staff scientist for the Natural Resources Council of Maine. Maine lawmakers are attempting to rush through previously rejected DEP rules that would open Maine to metallic mining. LD 146, is being hopscotched over the requirement under Maine’s Administrative Procedures Act (MAPA) that proposed rule changes must have a public hearing before the DEP, prior to proceeding to the legislature. Proponents of the rule changes say, the MAPA requirements can be worked around. The Joint Committee on Environment and Natural Resources is holding it’s public hearing on LD 146 on February 25th, at 9am at the Augusta State House.

    Guests:
    Chief Kirk Francis, Penobscot Nation, penobscotnation.org
    Nick Bennett, staff scientist, Natural Resources Council of Maine www.nrcm.org

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Changes to Maine’s Mining Regulations Pushed

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) Today we talk with Rep. Ralph Chapman about fast moving and legally controversial changes to the state’s mining regulations and the power of industry in state government.

    b) Mining rule changes, crafted by JD Irving to expedite mining at Bald Mountain in Aroostook County, were rejected by the 126th legislature on the grounds that it did not protect the environment or the public from inevitably costly clean up. These same rules, however, have been re-introduced this session, as LD 146, hopscotching over the requirement under the Maine’s Administrative Procedures Act (MAPA) that Department of Environmental Protection’s proposed rule changes must go before a public hearing before proceeding to the legislature. The Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, however, has scheduled a public hearing for Feb 25th at 9am. It is expected proponents will try to push the bill through as quickly as possible and onto the Governor’s desk for signing.

    c) We also look towards the annual Changing Maine Gathering this weekend in Augusta. This years theme : ” We DO Have the Power: Local Organizing Against Corporate/Industrial Projects”

    Guests:
    Rep. Ralph Chapman, District 133 (Blue Hill, Brooksville, Brooklin, Sedgwick, Castine, Surry)
    Sass Linneken, Resources Organizing for Social Change (ROSC), outreach coordinator

    No Comments