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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: Amy Browne

    Anti-immigration bills introduced in Maine

    We take you to last week’s public hearing for LD 366 “An Act To Ensure Compliance with Federal Immigration Law by State and Local Government Entities”, LD 847 “An Act To Hold Refugee Resettlement Agencies Accountable to Maine People” and LD 1099, a resolve that would have “Required the State To Bring Suit against the Federal Government for Failure To Comply with the Federal Refugee Act of 1980”. All were introduced by Rep. Lawrence Lockman of Amherst.

    In breaking news just before we went to air, the Judiciary Committee voted “Ought Not to Pass” on LDs 1099 and 847, and tabled LD366.

    Update: We mentioned on the show that we had contacted Rep. Lockman to inquire about two issues that were raised during the hearing: His testimony that the City of Portland had redirected educational funding to refugee support, and the comments made by members of the public that he did not stay to hear their comments after introducing the legislation. We did hear back from him after the show. Here is his response: “I was there for most of the hearing, stepped out twice to do TV interviews, then had to attend my own committee.” And he provided this link to a 2015 article entitled “LePage to fight Portland over asylum seekers money”: www.centralmaine.com/2015/06/30/lepage-to-fight-portland-over-asylum-seekers-money/

    Maine Currents- independent local news, views and culture, every Wednesday at 4pm on WERU-FM and weru.org

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  • Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine    
    Engineer: Amy Browne

    Program Topic: Two Maines: Can We Bridge the Divide?

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) We’ll talk about the cultural, demographic, and economic differences that define the two Maines and how those differences are sharpening political differences. b) Are there only two Maines?
    c) Can we bridge the divide?

    a) Alan Caron, is the owner of Caron Communications and the author of “Maine’s next Economy” and “Reinventing Maine’s Government”
    b) Erin Rhoda, Editor of Maine Focus for the Bangor Daiy News bangordailynews.com/staff/bdn-maine/content/erin-rhoda/
    c) Matt Stone, journalist and writer for the Bangor Daily News

    To learn more about this topic:
    What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class, Joan C. Williams in the Harvard Business Review, November 30, 2016 hbr.org/2016/11/what-so-many-people-dont-get-about-the-u-s-working-class%20
    6 takeaways from an examination of rural Maine’s future, Erin Rhoda, Bangor Daily News, January 29, 2017 bangordailynews.com/2017/01/29/mainefocus/6-takeaways-from-an-examination-of-rural-maines-future/
    This remote Maine region has a chance to grow, Matt Stone, Bangor Daily News, December 7, 2106 mainefocus.bangordailynews.com/2016/12/wilderness-and-a-way-forward/#.WLsNjfnyuUk
    Maine’s Next Economy: How the State’s Innovators, Entrepreneurs and Doers are Growing a New Prosperity, Alan Caron, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 16, 2015)

    The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes:
    Starr Gilmartin
    Maggie Harling
    Linda Hoskins
    Ann Luther
    Maryann Ogonowski
    Pam Person
    Leah Taylor
    Linda Washburn

    FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne
    Special thanks to Bill Solomon

    This Solstice edition of Maine Currents features stories about holidays, families and winter in Maine. Rev. Dr. Anu Dudley (host of WERU’s “Earthwise” feature which airs Saturdays at 7:30) kicks things off with a look at the history of Solstice celebrations, then we hear from storytellers Marjorie Longwood of Surry, Edee Howland of Blue Hill, Cathy Mink of Waldo and Roger Sprague of Belfast. We close out the hour with some voices from the past- a 2006 holiday special recorded at WERU.

    Maine Currents- independent local news, views & culture on WERU-FM 89.9 Blue Hill, 99.9 Bangor, Maine and www.weru.org, Wednesdays 4-5pm Eastern

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Today we continue our on-going coverage of the re-write of Maine’s mining laws, as there is breaking news out of Augusta: the Board of Environmental Protection is revealing their recommendations and the news is worse that some environmentalists fear. Interview with Lindsay Newland Bowker, CPCU, ARM Environmental Risk Manager, Bowker Associates, Science and Research in the Public Interest

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  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Two unsuccessful legislative attempts to block tar sands pipeline and metallic mining; developments in global retailers reaction to Bangladesh building collapse

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) This week, the Maine legislature’s Natural Resources Committee watered down a bill that would have set a two year moratorium on pumping of tar sands oil through the Montreal Portland Pipeline, 76% owned by Exxon Mobil. Changes were made to the bill after the Maine Attorney General’s office claimed such a moratorium would interfere with federal interstate commerce laws.
    b) A bill (LD 1059) that would have reversed last year’s legislation that opens Maine to open pit metallic mining did not pass out of committee this week. Instead, LD 1302 was voted out of committee, a bill that only seeks to mitigate environmental damages. Though 350 Maine and others did not support this compromise, other environmental groups, including the Natural Resources Council of Maine did.
    c) Over 30, primarily European, clothing companies have signed onto a legally binding building and fire safety agreement for their Bangladesh factories. It requires independent safety inspections with public reports, mandatory factory building renovations, an obligation that brands and retailers underwrite the cost of repairs, and a genuine role for workers and unions. Us companies, such as Walmart and Gap have not signed on, making them the continued target of labor rights campaigns.

    A) Bob Klotz, organizer with 350 Maine Team, www.350maine.org

    B) Liana Foxvog, organizer with International Labor Rights Forum, Sweatfree Communities campaign

    C)Update on Coal is Stupid blockade in Somerset, MA
    FMI: www.heraldnews.com/news/x438180711/Activists-declaring-Coal-Is-Stupid-attempt-blockade-of-coal-delivery-at-Somersets-Brayton-Point?zc_p=1

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  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Metallic Mining in Maine and El Salvador

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) Last legislative session, an effort spearheaded by Irving resulted in legislation directing Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection to over haul state mining laws to make it easier for the exploitation of gold, copper, silver and zinc. Though the impetus is a project at Bald Mountain in Arookstook County, the changes will open up mining at number of locations across the state with metallic metals.
    b) The country of El Salvador, based on past experiences within their own borders and the experiences of communities in neighboring countries in Central America, has kept a resurgence of gold mining at bay, through government action, pushed by an unparallelled social movement. Around the globe the effects of mining include water over use, severe water pollution and it’s ensuing health impacts, and the human rights abuses and violence perpetrated against anti-mining activists by myriad factions in support of mining companies.
    c) US El Salvador Sister Cities, and it’s local affiliate Power in Community Alliances (PICA), is hosting a speaking tour by Salvadoran anti mining activists. They will present along with Natural Resources Council of Maine staff scientist Nick Bennett, on the parallels between Maine and Salvadoran mining prospects and resistance.

    Jan Morrill, Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM), past US El Salvador Sister Cities staff, and organizer with El Salvador’s National Table on Metallic Mining. She is originally from Maine.

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    The Maine Center for Public Interesting Reporting released a report today on their investigation of where things stand in the state of Maine in terms of preparing for the consequences of climate change. We talk with Kate McCormick, author of the report. (www.pinetreewatchdog.org)

    Update: The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting last week reported that the state Department of Environmental Protection had removed a climate change report from its web site in December, 2011. A DEP spokesman said this week that the report was restored in April, 2012, at the request of a citizen. The Center interviewed DEP Commissioner Patricia Aho about the report’s status in June, 2012, at which time she did not say it had been restored to the web site.

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  • Topic: Islesford

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