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Audio archives of spoken word broadcasts from Community Radio WERU 89.9 FM Blue Hill (weru.org)

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Tomorrow will be a historic day in Augusta, as orders to impeach Governor LePage will be introduced and debated by the Maine House of Representatives. And whether the impeachment order ultimately succeeds or not, supporters say LePage’s behavior must be addressed.

    Today on Maine Currents we’ll be talking with two of the grassroots organizers behind the efforts to impeach LePage, Rebecca Halbrook and Hendrik Gideonse. We’ll hear from Dawn Neptune Adams, the woman who was shouted down by LePage supporters as she tried to speak at a pro-impeachment rally last week. And we’ll talk with the sponsor of the impeachment order, Representative Ben Chipman of Portland.

    FMI re the grassroots efforts to impeach LePage: www.facebook.com/ImpeachGovLePage/?fref=ts

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice
    Program Topic: Governor LePage’s “Welfare Reform” plans for his second term

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) Today we look at some of Governor LePage’s “welfare reforms”, those he has recently instituted and measures slated for his second term.
    b) We also look at how “welfare reform” is defined, and how the governor’s strategy and measures hurt, instead of helps those in poverty.
    c) We speak with the public policy director of the low income policy and education advocacy organization Maine Equal Justice Partners about the negative impacts and missed opportunities in the LePage administration strategies, and the positive steps that could be taken to improve the lives of low income Mainers.

    Guest: Chris Hasted, public policy director at Maine Equal Justice Partners www.mejp.org

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne
    Studio Engineer: Joel Mann

    Topics: Tourism in Maine, tourism vs manufacturing, Governor LePage

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

    Program Topic: The Maine legislature’s most recent cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services programs, including General Assistance and the Child Care Subsidy Program

    Key Discussion Points (list at least 3):

    a) The Maine legislature passes further budget cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). These include the elimination of 14,500 low income parents from MaineCare, who have income between 100-133% of the poverty level, and all 19 and 20 year olds under 150% of the poverty level. This effects an additional 7,000 Mainers. Both these measures and cuts to the Medicare Savings Program are currently in violation of the federal Affordable Care Act. The budget also includes cuts to the Drugs for the Elderly Program, and to the Fund for a Healthy Maine. Cuts to the latter include a $2 million reduction in state funding for Head Start, a $2 million cut to the Child Care Subsidy Program, $2.6 million to the Maine Families Home Visiting Program, and funding cuts for Family Planning and dental services.

    b) Director of the City of Bangor Health and Community Services, Shawn Yardely discusses cuts to General Assistance. Yardley says 70-80% of recipients, who are not waiting for SSI application processing, are on the program for 3 months or less. The last round of cuts have reduced GA from $611 to $550. 80% of GA funds go towards housing. The cuts put a 9 month cap on GA housing aid.

    c) Governor LePage’s press secretary says the administration plans to pursue further cuts.

    Guests:
    A)Adrienne Bennett, press secretary for Governor Paul LePage
    B) Shawn Yardely, Director of the City of Bangor Health and Community Services
    C) “Maureen”, from South Portland. Budget cuts will effect her enrollment in the Child Care Subsidy, and possibly the MaineCare coverage she and her husband receive.

    Call In Program: no

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco
    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice
    Program Topic: The Maine legislature’s most recent cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services programs, including MaineCare.

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) The Maine legislature passes further budget cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). These include the elimination of 14,500 low income parents from MaineCare, who have income between 100-133% of the poverty level, and all 19 and 20 year olds under 150% of the poverty level. This effects an additional 7,000 Mainers. Both these measures and cuts to the Medicare Savings Program are currently in violation of the federal Affordable Care Act. The budget also includes cuts to the Drugs for the Elderly Program, and to the Fund for a Healthy Maine. Cuts to the latter include a $2 million reduction in state funding for Head Start, a $2 million cut to the Child Care Subsidy Program, $2.6 million to the Maine Families Home Visiting Program, and funding cuts for Family Planning and dental services.
    b) Governor LePage asked for, and still plans to pursue much deeper cuts in DHHS spending. Press secretary Adrienne Bennett articulates more of the goals and beliefs behind the Governors pursuit to diminish government spending on health and human service programs, particularly MaineCare. This includes discussion on the governor’s latest controversial statement, to the Maine GOP convention, that those on government programs should “get off the couch and get a job.”
    c) Appropriations Committee member Rep. Rotundo says that recent revenue re-projection numbers negated the needs for the DHHS cuts. She also says, that tax cuts also passed in the supplemental budget bill, are unfunded, causing a loss of revenue of a half a billion dollars, which will have to be made up for in future state budgets.

    Guests:
    A) Ana Hicks, senior policy analyst, Maine Equal Justice Partners www.mejp.org
    B) Adrienne Bennett, press secretary for Governor Paul LePage
    C) Maine State Representative Peggy Rotundo (D- House District 79), Appropriations Committee House Democrat Lead (four Republicans legislators, leadership unavailable)

    Call In Program: no

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  • Host: Amy Browne
    Engineer: Joel Mann

    Issue: Open-mic style call-in show

    Key Discussion Points:
    Bipartisan politics, political participation, upcoming events, drones, Mirza Shahzah Akbar denied visa, Juniper Ridge/Old Town landfill, Casella, chicken jerky treats for dogs- danger, CSAs, local food, unions, Governor LePage

    Guests: n/a

    Call In Program: Yes

    No Comments
  • Issue: Alternative Local News
    Host/Producer & Studio Engineer: Amy Browne
    Production Assistance: Matt Murphy

    Broadcast Time: 4pm

    Program Topics:
    Segment 1: The Joint Standing Committee on the Judiciary’s Public Hearing and Work Session on legislation that would exempt the Governor’s working papers from Freedom of Information requests, LD 1805 “An Act To Implement Recommendations of the Right To Know Advisory Committee Concerning a Public Records Exception for Proposed Legislation, Reports and Working Papers of the Governor”
    Segment 2: John Christie & Naomi Schalit of the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting have recently published the results of their investigation into Pine Tree Development Zones in Maine. (www.pinetreewatchdog.org) John Christie joins us to tell us what they found.

    Key Discussion Points:
    Testimony from the public hearing on the Governor’s working papers, held last week
    Outcome of today’s work session on the issue.
    Pine Tree Development Zones

    Guest:
    John Christie, Senior Reporter for the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting
    Also recorded testimony from public hearing

    Call In Program: no

    No Comments
  • Producers/Hosts: Meredith DeFrancesco & Amy Browne

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

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