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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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  • Producers/Hosts: Meredith DeFrancesco and Meaghan LaSala

    Topic: LURC’s Vote to Approve TranCanada’s Kibby Mtn. II Wind Project

    Why did the Citizens Taskforce on Windpower oppose the project and stage a protest before the meeting: Why did LURC Commissioner Rebecca Kurtz vote against the project (as the one dissenting vote)? Why did the rest of the commission vote in favor?

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  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Topics: UN Climate Talks, Tar Sands- IEN, Arctic- Indigenous

    Today we hear two interviews recorded at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change this month in Cancun, Mexico. We talk with Melina Laboucan-Massino from the Indigenous Environmental Network on the effects massive tar sands extraction has on the people and environment in Canada; and we hear from Patricia Cochran, the director of the Alaskan Native Science Commission and the co-chair of the Indigenous Peoples Network on Climate Change and Sustainable Development.

    What are the environmental and health effects in indigenous and other communities in Canada from tar sands extraction?What is the effect of sea level rise on indigenous communities in Alaska? What were some of the issues and results of the UNFCCC meetings in Cancun , Mexico?

    Guests:
    Melina Laboucan-Massino, the Indigenous Environmental Network www.ienearth.org
    Patricia Cochran, the director of the Alaskan Native Science Commission and the co-chair of the Indigenous Peoples Network on Climate Change and Sustainable Development.

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Topic: Veterans for Peace arrested at White House (full description to follow)

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  • Producers/Hosts: Amy Browne and Meredith DeFrancesco

    Segment 1: Climate conference in Cancun, Mexico

    Segment 2: Local artist/activist Robert Shetterly talks about a national “Veterans for Peace” protest that he will be attending (and reporting from) in Washington, DC next week.

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  • Producers/Hosts: Meredith DeFrancesco and Amy Browne

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  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Today we look at health insurance company Anthem’s lawsuit against the state of Maine for denying them a guaranteed profit margin. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court heard Anthem’s appeal yesterday.

    Also,as Thanksgiving approaches, we look at the 8th annual Solidarity Harvest.

    Yesterday, the Maine Judicial Court heard arguments in “Anthem Health of Maine, Inc. v. Superintendent of Insurance et al.” This is the second time health insurance giant, Anthem, has appealed a court ruling to uphold a decision made by Maine’s Superintendent of Insurance regarding a one year pause, in 2009, for Anthem’s request to a guaranteed profit margin of 3%. This would have seen individual policy holders hit with an 18% increase in their rate. Anthem holds 79% of the insurance market in Maine, around 400,000 policy holders. The rate change four individual health care insurance products affected 12,000 holders.

    Last year company officials said, as reported in the Portland Press Herald, that the rate hike requested reflected the medical risks of doing business in Maine, as Maine has high rates of asthma, heart disease, diabetes, a high number of smokers, and a restrictive regulatory environment.

    Anthem’s director of corporate communications, Chris Dugan, was unable to provide an interview for today’s program, but expressed interest in a future program. He said the crux of the suit and the appeal is to challenge whether the Superintendent of Insurance has the authority to rule as they did.

    We were able to speak with an organizer with the Maine Peoples Alliance on this issue, Ryan Tipping-Spitz.

    We spoke with Laura Binger, and organizer with Food and Medicine about the Food and Medicine and the Eastern Maine Labor Council 8th annual Solidarity Harvest. For more information. 989-5860 or www.foodandmedicine.org

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  • Producers/Hosts: Meredith DeFrancesco and Amy Browne

    “Person in street” interviews and live call ins re: Tuesday’s election results.

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  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Today we talk with an organizer from the Maine Peoples Economic Human Rights Coalition about an upcoming conference on ending poverty in Maine by establishing the recognition of economic human rights. And we talk about an upcoming day long Democracy School in Belfast that examines how communities can assert their rights when taking on corporate projects they oppose.

    Community members opposing corporate projects they see as destructive to their area is not new. Neither is the enormous power that corporations have to establish themselves and discount concerns as fringe. The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund has been working with communities through out the US, and internationally, to maximize their democratic rights, push to re-define how corporations should operate within a democracy, and de-emphasize the treatment of natural ecosystems as property. On Saturday, October 30th from 830 to 5pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Belfast, the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund will hold a Democracy School. We have with us by phone Chad Nicholson, the Maine community organizer for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund.

    Guest contact: chad@celdf.org, www.celdf.org 207 541 3649

    In addition, the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund helped advise delegates to the Ecuadorian Constitutional Assembly, which resulted in an inclusion of the rights of nature in the new constitution, ratified in 2008. Ecuador is the first nation to recognize the rights of nature and a court to oversee.

    Human Rights are not just about living free from torture, unfair imprisonment, and repression of free speech. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights,a nd even more specifically, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights have established a number of rights that recognize the gravity of economic hardship and access to adequate day to day resources; and they categorize these issues as human rights. Some of these include the right to fair working conditions, to primary education, to adequate housing, to food and to water. Social movements beyond the US have squarely placed economic rights within their struggle for human rights. In the US, it is not as common to hear these connections made , congruent to a prevailing ideology that housing and healthcare are not rights, but entitlements, or things one must deserve or earn as a result of certain financial paths. In fact, it is common rhetoric to blame those caught in poverty, and to take target at safety net programs, as if they are the cause of the problem. The Maine Heritage Policy Center’s recent report “Fix the System : Freeing Maine Families from Welfare Dependency.”, which has recently received press attention, is a case in point. Their recommendations include tightening eligibility requirements, and eliminating “handouts” for drug felons and non-citizens. The report emphasizes people should be further motivated to work. In last night’s gubernatorial debate co-sponsored by the Maine Chamber of Commerce, candidate Libby Mitchell said that she believed that there is not a shortage of work ethic in the state, but a shortage of work.

    Nationally the Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign, a coalition of 125 anti poverty groups has been addressing issues effecting those in poverty, including a more universal national recognition of the concept of economic human rights.

    Today we have with us member of the Maine Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Coalition to talk about an upcoming conference called the “ Poverty Free Maine Convention – How Maien Can end Poverty by Establishing Economic Human Rights”. Welcome to the program Jan Lightfootlane.

    Guest contact: mlightfootlane@gmail.com or 453-2353 or Larry Dansinger 525-7776

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