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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

    Worker Rights Board of Eastern Maine, “Right to Work” law

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  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Today we hear about a new study on who in Maine receives TANF – the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families- and why.

    On Tuesday researchers, advocates and recipients of TANF will present a study titled “Families in Focus-Moving beyond Anecdotes : Lessons for Legislators from a 2010 Survey of TANF Recipients”. The LaPage administration has indicated state social services will be examined for cuts, and has expressed the intention to limit the time period a state resident can receive assistance. The Maine Heritage Policy Center, a conservative think tank working closely with the administration, has also taken target at the state’s poverty program recipients. Today we hear from Anna Hickes with Maine Equal Justice Partners and Sarah Standiford with the Maine Women’s Lobby.

    What are the findings of the study “Families in Focus-Moving Beyond Anecdotes: Lessons for Legislators from a 2010 Survey of TANF Recipients” ? What are some concerns about the direction the LePage administration in poverty programs, including limiting the time someone can be on TANF? What are some of the experiences of individuals, particularly women and children, on TANF? What are common struggles?

    For a copy of the report go to www.mejp.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?

    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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