Home - WERU FM 89.9 Community Radio, Blue Hill, Maine

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)

Donate to WERU Donate Now

Archives

E-mail Notifications

Get an e-mail when we update our archives (several times a week)
Enter your Email
Powered by FeedBlitz
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco
    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Penobscot Nation v Mills : Reactions to Court Hearing

    Key Discussion Points:

    1) Yesterday, US District Court Judge George Singal heard oral arguments for Penobscot Nation v Mills in Portland. The Penobscot Nation is opposing the Maine Attorney General’s Office 2012 opinion that the Penobscot Indian reservation, which includes more than 200 islands in the Penobscot River, does not include any portion of the water. The Penobscot Nation argues this amounts to a territorial taking by the state and erases their inherent, treaty reserved sustenance fishing rights.

    2) Judge Singal heard oral arguments from Penobscot Nation counsel, counsel for the US Dept of Justice. which is intervening in the case on behalf of the Penobscot Nation, the Attorney General’s Office’s, and Pierce Atwood counsel which is representing a consortium of pollution dischargers intervening on behalf of the state. Both sides have asked the judge for a summary judgement.

    3) We also speak with Hugh Curran about the annual Estia Conference on October 23rd at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast. This year the theme is Deep Ecology. Keynotes speakers include Darren Ranco, Maria Girouard and Sherri Mitchell. www.estiamaine.org

    Guests:
    Kathy Paul, Penobscot
    Sherri Mitchell, Penobscot indigenous rights attorney
    Chief Kirk Francis, Penobscot Nation
    Maria Girouard, Penobscot historian, Dawnland Environmental Defense
    Hugh Curran, University of Maine Peace and Reconciliation Studies, Estia Conference organizer

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco
    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Penobscot Nation Chief Francis on Penobscot Nation v Mills and Meeting in DC with President Obama

    Key Discussion Points:

    1) On October 14th, US District Court in Portland will hear oral arguments for Penobscot Nation v Mills.The Penobscot Nation is opposing the 2012 opinion by the Maine Attorney General’s Office that the Penobscot Indian reservation, which includes more than 200 islands in the Penobscot River, does not include any portion of the water, a decision that the Penobscot Nation argues breaks treaties and amounts to a territorial taking by the state.

    2) We speak with Chief Francis about the case, and about the separate legal battle concerning the federal EPA decision that, though Maine has the jurisdiction over water quality standards in tribal waters, under the Clean Water Act, state standards are not high enough to protect sustenance fishing.

    3) Last week, Chief Francis met with Congressional Representatives and President Obama on both these issues, among others. The US government is currently a legal intervenor in Penobscot Nation v Mills on behalf of the Penobscot Nation.

    Guests: Chief Kirk Francis, Penobscot Nation

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco
    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Bar Harbor’s Community Solar Farm Project

    Key Discussion Points:
    1) Today we talk about two solar projects in development in Bar Harbor. One, a roof top array on the public works building to power that building and the other, a community solar farm which will power a number of homes. Bar Harbor’s will be the first community solar farm on public land in the state.
    2) We talk with Bar harbor town councilor Gary Friedman about local efforts to develop sustainable energy and address climate change.
    3) We talk with a ReVision Energy representative, John Loft, about action being taken around the state to transition to solar power.

    Guests:
    Gary Friedman, Bar Harbor town councilor, 288-5323
    John Luft, Revision Energy, branch manager,Liberty,
    john@revisionenergy.com

    www.revisionenergy.com,

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco
    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Environmental Priorities Coalition on Past Legislative Session

    Key Discussion Points:
    1) The Environmental Priorities Coalition, representing 31 Maine environmental and public health organizations, is commending last session’s legislature for conservation and energy efficiency efforts, despite Governor LePage’s anti-environmental stance.

    2) Action included rejecting a bill that would have opened the state to metallic mining (LD 750), a bill re-instituting funding for home energy efficiency subsidies (LD 1215), bills increasing lake protection (LD 568 and LD 713), support for additions to endangered and threatened species listings (LD 807), a bill blocking the governor’s attempt to decrease the number of forest rangers and the merger of the Bureau of parks and Lands with the Maine Forest Service (LD 1019) and a bill to create a process for the Maine Public Utilities Commission and stakeholders to engage in discussions and propose policy on solar power (LD 1263).

    3) Maine is the only state in New England without a solar policy or subsidies for solar.

    Guest:
    Beth Ahern, Maine Conservation Alliance; Environmental Priorities Coalition protectmaine.org/maine-epc

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco
    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Minimum Wage Ordinance Considered by Bangor City Council

    Key Discussion Points:

    a) Last night members of the Bangor City Council heard public testimony on an ordinance that would Bangor’s local minimum wage incrementally 75 cents a year for the next three years, and then attach it to the rate of inflation, as delineated by the Consumer Price Index. This would move the current $7.50 an hour state minimum wage to $8.25 an hour in 2016, $9 in 2017 and $9.75 in 2018. Exempt from the proposed ordinance, as currently written, are businesses with three or less employees, tipped employees (specifically restaurant wait staff) and employees under the age of 18. U Maine economics professor Todd Gabe says, this would affect 7% of Bangor’s workforce.

    b) Last week, Portland’s City council voted in favor of raising the local minimum wage to $10.10 an hour on January 1st, 2016, to $10.68 on January 1st, 2017, and then index it to inflation in subsequent years.

    c) Opponents to the wage increase included the Maine Restaurant Association and others who argued that those at minimum wage were being adequately compensated for their work and skill level and that local government should not be involved in setting labor law. Proponents of the ordinance say that those earning the minimum wage cannot keep up with the cost of living and that there is no action being taken at the state and federal level. The Maine Peoples Alliance and others are working on to put a referendum on the 2016 ballot that would raise the state minimum wage.

    Guests:
    Joe Baldacci, Bangor City Council, sponsor of minimum wage ordinance
    Dick Grotton, Maine Restaurant Association
    Scott Linsky, Bangor resident
    Rob Cross, owner of Dairy Queen on Broadway St, Bangor
    Randy Wadleigh, Governor’s Restaurants
    Jim Marcotte, Bangor resident
    Mary Tedesco Schneck, Bangor resident, pediatric nurse practioner
    Katherine Kates, Bangor resident
    Michael Havlin, Hampden resident, lead researcher for Portland Mayor’s Minimum Wage Advisory Committee,
    bangordailynews.com/2015/07/06/opinion/contributors/fear-has-no-place-in-bangors-minimum-wage-debate/
    Dennis Chinoy, Bangor resident
    Mike Tipping, Maine Peoples Alliance, Bangor resident
    bangordailynews.com/2015/07/06/opinion/contributors/fear-has-no-place-in-bangors-minimum-wage-debate/

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco
    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Rally for Tribal Sovereignty and Unity; Penobscot and Passamaquoddy Tribes Withdraw Reps. from State Legislature

    a) Today we hear from Wabanaki Tribal members at the Rally for Tribal Sovereignty and Unity in Augusta last week, May 26th. On that day, the Penobscot and Passamquoddy Tribes withdrew their representatives from the Maine legislature in the wake of numerous recent state actions to block or diminish tribal efforts to exercise sovereignty.
    b) These issues include fishing rights, the right of Maine tribes to gain the protections under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) afforded all other tribes in the country, and the state’s attempt to re-define Penobscot Nation territory to exclude the Penobscot River. In April, Governor LePage issued an executive order to rescind cooperation with the Tribes and, at the end of May, announced he would veto a number of bills tribal representatives sponsored this session.
    c) Repeatedly, Maine State government has used the 1980 Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act as a reason to exempt Wabanaki Tribes from federal protections and to assert power over the Tribes. The Wabanaki Tribes have repeatedly asserted a different interpretation of the Settlement Act, and the Maine Indian Tribal State Commission, set up by the Act to advise, recommend and seek amendment to a law negotiators agreed needed more clarity, has been ignored repeatedly by the state. The Wabankai Tribes are now calling on Congress to review the Settlement Act and the Maine’s interpretation and implementation of it.

    Guests:
    Matt Dana, former Passamquoddy representative to Maine legislature
    Chief Kirk Francis, Penobscot Nation
    Chief Billy Nicolas, Passamquoddy, Indian Township
    Vice- Chief Vera Francis, Passamquoddy, Sipayik/Pleasant Point
    Chief Fred Moore, Passamquoddy,Sipayik/Pleasant Point
    Tribal members: Serge, Passamquoddy/Indian Township; Tara, Micmac; Tim Shay, Penobscot; Charlene, Micmac; Adrian, Micmac, Glen, Micmac.
    Newell Lewey, Passamquoddy tribal council member, Sipayik/Pleasant Point
    Sherri Mitchell, Penobscot Nation, indigenous rights attorney
    John Banks, Penobscot Nation; Maine Indian Tribal State Commission

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Maine Blocks Coverage of Tribes Under Violence Against Women Act (VOWA)

    Key Discussion Points:

    a) When Congress reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act (VOWA) in 2013, tribes across country were granted the ability to prosecute non-tribal members who have perpetrated domestic or dating violence against tribal members. Though this is a federal law, Maine has yet again used the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act to refuse to recognize the participation of the Wabanaki tribes within the state.

    b) Today, Eric Mehnert, Chief Judge of the Penobscot Nation Court argues the tribes meet all legal requirements to prosecute under VOWA. He also speaks on the process and goals in the Penobscot Nation’s Tribal Court.

    c) On Tuesday, May 12th, at 1pm in Room 436, the legislature’s judiciary committee will hold a public hearing on LD 268, a bill that would recognize the Penobscot and Passamquoddy Tribes ability to prosecute under the Violence Against Women Act.

    legislature.maine.gov/legis/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=HP0186&item=1&snum=127

    (An Act regarding the Penobscot Nation’s and Passamaquoddy Tribe’s Authority to Exercise Jurisdiction under the Federal Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 and the Federal Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 – Sponsored by Wayne Mitchell/Penobscot representative).

    Also being heard by committee on May 12th: LD1094: An Act to Improve Tribal-State Relations (Rep. Matt Dana/Passamaquoddy)

    LD893: Resolution, proposing an amendment to article X of the Constitution of Maine Regarding the Publication of Maine Indian Treaty Obligations (Rep. Henry Bear/ Maliseet)

    LD267: An Act to Implement the Recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Rep. Wayne Mitchell/ Penobscot).

    Guest: Eric Mehnert, Chief Judge, Penobscot Nation Court

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic:Maine’s legislature works to relax mining standards

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) Today we speak with two citizen activists on current legislative proceedings aimed at relaxing state environmental standards to allow metallic mining in Maine.
    b) This week the Maine legislature’s joint committee on Environment and Natural Resources has been in work sessions, reconfiguring a new bill based closely on rule changes proposed by JD Irving, the company seeking to mine Bald Mountain in Aroostook County. In this session, the ENR Committee has reviewed mining bills LD 146 and LD 750. The current bill retains the number LD 750, but no longer contains the stringent environmental and financial stipulations of it’s original sponsor, Rep. Ralph Chapman.
    c) A public hearing on the new LD 750 will be held on May 11th, 9:00 am at the Augusta State House Cross Building, Room 216.

    Guests:
    Lew Kingsbury, environmental activist
    Dennis Chinoy, activist, volunteer Power In Community Alliances (PICA)

    www.pica.ws
    www.maineminingwatch.org
    www.nrcm.org
    bangordailynews.com/2015/02/22/opinion/contributors/mining-is-on-augustas-agenda-public-hearing-reality-tv-or-charades/

    1 Comment