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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

    Program Topic: Waterville City Council supports federal minimum wage increase; the LePage administration’s attempts to restrict EBT card use, veto of Medicaid expansion bill

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) Last month, the Waterville City Council voted unanimously to support to an increase of the federal minimum wage to $10.10 and hour, and to send communications to elected representatives to support the Fair Minimum Wage Act, sponsored by Rep. Miller (D-CA) and Sen. Harkin (D-IA). We speak with the Mayor of Waterville.
    b) The LePage administration is attempting to implement a change to include a photo id on EBT cards, which distribute funds for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). Based on past experiences, low income advocates and federal officials are concerned this would have an undue impact in recipients. 223,891 Mainers hold EBT cards.
    c) LePage vetoes a bill that would have expanded Medicaid coverage to 70,00 Mainers under the Affordable Care Act. This is the third time he’s vetoed such a measure.

    Guests:
    Mayor Karen Heck of Waterville
    Chris Hastedt, Maine Equal Justice Partners, public policy director www.mejp.org/

    www.onlinesentinel.com/news/Waterville_councilors_urge_federal_minimum_wage_increase_.html

    www.raiseto1010.com/http://www.pressherald.com/opinion/gov_-lepage-has-little-to-show-from-fraud-hunt_2013-09-16.html

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  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Program Topic: Tour to raise federal minimum wage to $10.10; Wabanaki Tribes continuing struggle to maintain sovereignty and fishing rights

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) We look at the movement to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. A bus tour promoting the passage of the Fair Minimum Wage Act stopped in Bangor. Miguel’s Mexican Restaurant of Bangor has just raised their minimum wage to $10.10.
    b) We speak with Maine Congressional Representative and gubernatorial candidate, Mike Michaud about the minimum wage and the realities for low income Mainers
    c) Passamquoddy tribal member, Vera Francis speaks on state opposition to tribal sovereignty and fishing rights,
    specifically around the elver fishery. After long negotiations to come to an agreement that involved recognizing that tribal elver regulations were protective of the fishery and allowed tribal autonomy, Maine’s State Attorney General shut down the process in the 11th hour. The Passamquoddy Tribes own management plan puts a limit on total tribal catch, but allows anyone in the tribe to fish. They argue that this management system is more protective then the state’s permit system.

    Guests:
    Congressman Mike Michaud
    Laura Fortman, US Dept of Labor
    Sean Garceau , manager at Miguel’s Mexican Restaurant, Bangor
    Rev. Becky Gunn, Unitarian Universalist Society of Bangor
    Vera Francis, Passamaquoddy tribal member, Passamaquoddy Fisheries Committee

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Coalition of Immokalee Workers Movement at Wendy’s Headquarters and Ellsworth Solidarity Action; Tribal Scholars Event on Wabanaki Self Determination

    Key Discussion Points (list at least 3):
    a) This month, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers completed a 10 day “Now is the Time” bus tour, calling on the Wendy’s fast food chain, and regional supermarket chain Publix, to join the Fair Food Program. 12 other retailers have already done so, committing them to pay farmworkers a penny per pound more for Florida’s winter tomatoes and to buy from growers adhering to a fair labor code of conduct. We join the tour at Wendy’s Headquarters in Ohio.
    b) A solidarity action was held at the Wendy’s restaurant in Ellsworth on Saturday.
    c) Last night, three Wabanaki scholars spoke at Sipayik on the history and implications of settler treaties with the Wabanaki tribes, the Maien Indian Claims Settlement Act and current fisheries issues. It was the fist of a two day series titled “Wabanaki Self Determination: Earth Treaties to Settlement Acts and Beyond”. The second evening will be at the University of Maine at Orono this evening.

    Guests by name and affiliation:
    A) Lupe Gonzalo, Coalition of Immokalee Workers
    B) Cruz Salucio, Coalition of Immoklaee Workers
    C) demonstrators at March 8th march on Wendy’s headquarters in Ohio
    D) demonstrators at March 15th vigil at Wendy’s in Ellsworth, ME
    E) Gail Dana-Sacco, PhD, MPH, Passamaquoddy tribal member, www.mitsc.org

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: FMLN Candidate Declared Winner in El Salvador; Creating Local Economies in Maine; Action in Solidarity with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) Today, FMLN candidate Salvador Sanchez-Cerran was declared the winner in El Salvador’s presidential elections. We speak with a social movement leader about the elections unprecedented transparency and the issues the Salvadoran social movement hopes will be the focus of the Sanchez Cerran.
    b) We preview a conference titled “Creating and Sustaining Vibrant Local Economies”. This includes looking at definitions of economy and alternative models, including cooperatives.
    c) The Community Union of Ellsworth speaks on their upcoming demonstration in solidarity with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Demonstrators will call on Wendy’s to join the other top five fast food chains in signing onto the Fair Food Program, committing them to pay farmworkers a penny per pound more for Florida’s winter tomatoes and to buy from growers adhering to a fair labor code of conduct.

    Guests:
    A) Marcos Galvez, director of CRIPDES ( Association for the Development of El Salvador ) www.cripdes.com/
    B) Cori Ring-Martinez, US El Salvador Sister Cities, election observer www.elsalvadorsolidarity.org
    C)Larry Dansinger, Resources for Organizing and Social Change (ROSC) mainelocaleconomies.org/
    D)Jane Livingston, Cooperative Maine, cooperativemaine.wordpress.com/
    E) John Curtis, Community Union of Ellsworth, www.facebook.com/communityunionofellsworth?ref=stream

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Program Topic:The Ngobe Peoples’ Resistance to Hydroelectric Dam in Panama; 3 Activists Sentenced for Tar Sands Pipeline Action in Michigan

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) Today we speak with Lawrence Reichard, from Panama, on the resistance of a Ngobe indigenous people against the Barro Blanco hydroelectric dam.
    b) We also speak with a member of the Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands (MI CATS). Yesterday, three activists were sentenced to time served and 13 months probation, for trespassing and obstruction, when they locked themselves to construction equipment at the site of Enbridge’s 6B pipeline expansion.
    c) In 2010, Endbridge’s Line 6B ruptured and spilled 840,000 gallons of tar sands oil into the Kalamzoo River.

    Guests:
    A)Lawrence Reichard, freelance journalist, WERU contributor, co-director of Learning Center at H.O.M.E. Incorporated
    B) Liz Starks, Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands (MI-CATS) www.michigancats.org/

    www.culturalsurvival.org/news/panamas-barro-blanco-dam-threatens-ngobe-people

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Program Topic:The Ngobe Peoples’ Resistance to Hydroelectric Dam in Panama; 3 Activists Sentenced for Tar Sands Pipeline Action in Michigan

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) Today we speak with Lawrence Reichard, from Panama, on the resistance of a Ngobe indigenous people against the Barro Blanco hydroelectric dam.
    b) We also speak with a member of the Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands (MI CATS). Yesterday, three activists were sentenced to time served and 13 months probation, for trespassing and obstruction, when they locked themselves to construction equipment at the site of Enbridge’s 6B pipeline expansion.
    c) In 2010, Endbridge’s Line 6B ruptured and spilled 840,000 gallons of tar sands oil into the Kalamzoo River.

    Guests:
    A)Lawrence Reichard, freelance journalist, WERU contributor, co-director of Learning Center at H.O.M.E. Incorporated
    B) Liz Starks, Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands (MI-CATS) www.michigancats.org/

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: U Main Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement; Public Hearing on Metallic Mining Bill; Work to Connect Local Farms to Unions and Low Income Mainers

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) Today we hear some of the testimony given before legislative committee on a bill aimed at opening the state for metallic mining. Water quality, cleanup, and the democratic process were all brought into question at Monday’s hearing.
    b) We also look at work to support local farmers and connect them with union members and low income Mainers.
    c) But first, we speak with a member of Divest UMaine. This afternoon students met with the University of Maine’s Investment Committee on the impacts the institution could have, if the divested from the fossil fuel industry.

    Guests:
    A) Iris SanGiovanni, Divest UMaine
    B) Senator Chris Johnson, Maine Legislature
    C)Chief Brenda Commander, Houlton Band of the Maliseets
    D)Rep. Ralph Chapman, Maine Legislature
    E) Erin Sweeney, agricultural organizer, Food and Medicine, www.foodandmedicine.org

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Mercury from Holtrachem site closes mouth of Penobscot to Lobster Fishing, Mallinckrodt, LLC resists cleanup; Irving instigates metallic mining law changes

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) This Saturday, 7 square miles of the Gulf of Maine, at the mouth of the Penobscot River, will be closed to lobster and crab fishing due to mercury contamination from the Holtrachem site in Orrington.
    b) Concurrently, the liable corporation, Mallinckrodt, LLC, is appealing its cleanup responsibility before the Maine Supreme Court.

    c) We also re-visit an industry move to dismantle current mining regulations in Maine. Monday, the legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee will hold a public hearing on the proposed changes, recently reformulated by the Board of Environmental Protection to allow for even less environmental protection.

    Guests:
    Jesse Graham, director of Maine Peoples Alliance, www.mainepeoplesalliance.org
    Nick Bennett, staff scientist Natural Resources Council of Maine, www.nrcm.org

    www.workingwaterfront.com/articles/Penobscot-River-closed-to-lobster-crab-harvest/15790/

    www.pressherald.com/news/Maine_Supreme_Court_to_hear_case_on_Orrington_hazardous_waste_site_cleanup_.html

    www.pressherald.com/news/state-regulators-meet-this-week-to-decide-the-best-way-to-clean-up-mercury-at-the-former-holtrachem-plant_2010-05-02.html?pagenum=full

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