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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 & Amy Browne

    Maine bans BPA (bisphenol-A) and an update on LD 1

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  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Today we discuss five pesticide bills before the Maine legislature’s Joint Standing Committee Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Two bills being considered would essentially erase recently passed legislation. One would repeal the pesticide registry, which requires landowners to inform residents, within a certain distance, at the beginning of the season, that they can get on a list for aerial and air carrier pesticide spray notification. The second, would severely limit the distance within which landowners would be required to observe notification wishes, cutting it from a quarter mile to 100 feet.

    Another bill before the committee seeks to restrict the use of herbicides and pesticides on the grounds of schools and childcare facilities.

    This News Just In: The Maine Superior Court has just ruled to vacate the Land Use Regulatory Commission’s decision to grant Plum Creek’s development plan for the Moosehead Lake region. Attorney Phil Worden represented the Forest Ecology Network and RESTORE: The North Woods in this challenge to LURC’s decision. Chief Justice Humphrey called LURC’s action an “unauthorized, ad hoc procedure,” and concluded that the public was denied its legal rights to speak out on the final version of Plum Creek’s plan.

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  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Segment 1: We talk with labor historian Charles Scontras, in the wake of the labor history mural removal from the Me. Dept of Labor, on Caesar Chavez Day.

    In Maine, Governor Paul LePage’s active purging of labor history observations from the Maine Dept of labor building, includes not only taking down the mural depicting scenes from Maine’s labor history, but also orders the renaming of the rooms of the rooms in the Department of labor, one of which is named after Caesar Chavez. Another is named after Frances Perkins, the first woman to serve in a US Cabinet post and the longest serving of any member. Among the many scenes of labor history depicted on the mural painted by the artist Judy Taylor is a panel of Frances Perkins.

    Dr. Charles Scontras, the labor historian that worked with Judy Taylor on what history to represent in the mural. Scontras is a retired professor from the University of Maine at Orono’s department of political science, history and modern society. He now works as a historical and research associate with the Bureau of Labor Education. Maine is currently embroiled in another such “right to work” effort, which would undermine the capacity of unions.

    For more information on the Bureau of Labor education’s publications, you can go to their website dll.umaine.edu/ble or call 581-4123.

    A rally and press conference to demand the return of the Maine labor history mural to the Maine Dept of Labor has been rescheduled due to expected weather. It will take place Monday, April 4th at the hall of Flags at the Augusta State House at noon.

    Segment 2: We spoke earlier with Mike Belliveau, the executive director of the statewide public health organization, the Environmental Health Strategy Center.

    He spoke with us about the recent unanimous vote by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee to support a ban on Bisphenol-A in products used by children in Maine, LD 412. he also discusses a proposed bill, whose intention is to essentially gut the Kids Safe Products Act.

    For more information:
    The Environmental and Health Strategy Center : www.preventharm.org
    Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine : www.cleanandhealthyme.org.

    You can listen to testimony by Rep. Jim Hamper, in support of his bill to weaken the Kids Safe Products Act, LD 1129 , in WERU’s archives from the Tuesday, March 29th WERU News Report. In his testimony he admits industry wrote his bill.

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  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Today we examine the court challenge to the Plum Creek Development plan.

    We talk with Phil Worden. He is the attorney for Forest Ecology Network and RESTORE: The Maine Woods, who are fighting to repeal the Land Use Regulatory Commission’s approval of the massive development plan in the Moosehead Lake region, which would include 1000 house lots and 2 large resorts. The development required the rezoning of close to 16,000 acres. Included in the proposal is the setting aside of approximately 600,000 acres for so-called conservation, though commercial logging and gravel and water extraction would be allowed there.

    Initially, the Land Use Regulatory Commission was not satisfied with Plum Creek’s plan, and made changes before they approved it. They did not, however, re-open the new plan to the public adjudicatory hearing, which allowed interested parties to cross examine and present their own arguments. This is one of the main points of the suit. On February 24th, the Maine Superior Court heard final arguments on the merits of the case.

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  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Topics: Today we turn to Governor LePage’s proposed budget cuts. First a labor rally at the capitol today concerning cuts to state worker benefits, and then an interview on social safety net cuts, looking towards another rally in Augusta this coming Monday.

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  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Topics: Today we follow up with members of the Joint Committee on Regulatory Fairness and Reform,as they contemplate what to include in LD 1, including the governor’s proposed environmental and health rollbacks. And we talk more about the drastic cuts Congress is poised to make to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) funds -which community radio stations, like WERU, rely on.

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  • Producers: Carolyn Coe and Lindsey Saunders
    Host: Amy Browne

    Topic: Santurban mine, a proposed gold and silver mine in Colombia

    Report highlights the uniqueness and importance of the paramo of Santurban, resistance to Greystar Resources application for an environmental license to extract mineral resources from the area, and community perceptions of the short and long-term effects of a large-scale mining project in the region.

    Featured speakers:
    Tatiana Rodriguez Maldonado of Friends of the Earth Colombia
    Deputy Roberto Schmalbach, president of the department (state)-level assembly of Santander
    Andres Fabian Ita, student at the Industrial University of Santander and a member of the ecological collective La Nawal
    along with people interviewed at a bus station in Bucaramanga, Colombia

    Report by Carolyn Coe and Lindsey Saunders

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  • Producers/Hosts: Amy Browne & Meredith DeFrancesco

    Segment 1:
    We’ve been reporting in recent weeks, both here on RadioActive, as well as on Voices and on our new WERU News Report, about the outcry over Governor LePage’s wishlist of environmental and health legislation that he would like to rollback. While the names of those who helped him draft the wishlist are still not known, author and award-winning journalist Colin Woodard was been on the trail of Governor LePages “secret bankers”. Here is what he’s found. FMI: “LePage’s Secret Bankers”, January 19th edition of the Portland Phoenix: portland.thephoenix.com/news/114354-lepages-secret-bankers
    www.colinwoodard.blogspot.com

    Segment 2:
    Regulatory Reform Meeting in Machiaa

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