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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: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: EPA Decision: Maine Water Quality Standards are Not Protective of Tribes; The Environmental Impacts of Metallic Mining as Maine looks to Open the State for Irving Project

    Key Discussion Points:

    a) On February 2nd, the US EPA issued a decision that the state of Maine’s water quality standards are not stringent enough in tribal waters. Maine has been directed to strengthen these standards in compliance with protection of tribal sustenance fishing rights under the federal Clean Water Act.

    b) We speak with Penobscot Nation Chief Kirk Francis on the importance of this decision to the tribe. And we look at the State of Maine’s inflamatory public relations offensive, primarily through Pierce Atwood attorney Matt Manahan, to re-frame the issue as a tribal power grab that will cost dischargers all along the Penobscot River millions of dollars. We also look at the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act, and a landmark case currently in the courts, Penobscot Nation v Mills, in which the Penobscot Nation is suing the Maine Attorney General’s office for it’s 2012 attempt to disassociate the water flowing through the Penobscot Nation from it’s tribal territory.

    c) We also hear part of a presentation on the environmental destruction caused by metallic mining, given by Nick Bennett, staff scientist for the Natural Resources Council of Maine. Maine lawmakers are attempting to rush through previously rejected DEP rules that would open Maine to metallic mining. LD 146, is being hopscotched over the requirement under Maine’s Administrative Procedures Act (MAPA) that proposed rule changes must have a public hearing before the DEP, prior to proceeding to the legislature. Proponents of the rule changes say, the MAPA requirements can be worked around. The Joint Committee on Environment and Natural Resources is holding it’s public hearing on LD 146 on February 25th, at 9am at the Augusta State House.

    Guests:
    Chief Kirk Francis, Penobscot Nation, penobscotnation.org
    Nick Bennett, staff scientist, Natural Resources Council of Maine www.nrcm.org

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  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Changes to Maine’s Mining Regulations Pushed

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) Today we talk with Rep. Ralph Chapman about fast moving and legally controversial changes to the state’s mining regulations and the power of industry in state government.

    b) Mining rule changes, crafted by JD Irving to expedite mining at Bald Mountain in Aroostook County, were rejected by the 126th legislature on the grounds that it did not protect the environment or the public from inevitably costly clean up. These same rules, however, have been re-introduced this session, as LD 146, hopscotching over the requirement under the Maine’s Administrative Procedures Act (MAPA) that Department of Environmental Protection’s proposed rule changes must go before a public hearing before proceeding to the legislature. The Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, however, has scheduled a public hearing for Feb 25th at 9am. It is expected proponents will try to push the bill through as quickly as possible and onto the Governor’s desk for signing.

    c) We also look towards the annual Changing Maine Gathering this weekend in Augusta. This years theme : ” We DO Have the Power: Local Organizing Against Corporate/Industrial Projects”

    Guests:
    Rep. Ralph Chapman, District 133 (Blue Hill, Brooksville, Brooklin, Sedgwick, Castine, Surry)
    Sass Linneken, Resources Organizing for Social Change (ROSC), outreach coordinator

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne
    Engineer/Reporter: John Greenman

    In Augusta yesterday, the legislature’s committee on Agriculture Conservation & Forestry heard nearly 2 hours of public comments in support of legalizing growing hemp in Maine – and not one argument in opposition. In the 1st half of today’s program we take you to that public hearing. Then we’re joined by Karen Marysdaughter of “Climate Solutions” and 350Maine; WERU General Manager Matt Murphy and Board Member John Greenman for a discussion of the station’s upcoming vote on divesting from fossil fuels. Meredith DeFrancesco also joins us with a preview of tomorrow’s episode of “RadioActive” which will be focusing on the latest developments in the controversial re-write of Maine’s mining regulations

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Reporting from El Salvador last week and today, as we accompany an international delegation observing anti-mining activities in the country. This week a World Bank tribunal is holding final hearings in a lawsuit a mining company filed against this impoverished country, because they prevented further mining in an attempt to protect the estimate 5% of their water that is not already contaminated.

    Segment 1: As we wrap up our coverage today, we’re making connections with the efforts to regulate mining here in Maine. Background on Maine’s mining regs re-write, some words of advice for Mainers from representatives of First Nations communities that have dealt with mining (John Cutfeet and Aurora Conley), and Maine-based anti-mining activist Sidney Mitchell, a member of the delegation, reflects on lessons learned for her work here in Maine.

    Segment 2: News from Bangor’s Sister City Carasque and from WERU’s Sister Station Radio Sumpul – with translation by Cori Ring of Sister Cities.

    (For full disclosure: Travel expenses for WERU staff member Amy Browne and volunteer Meredith DeFrancesco were paid through a grant from the Haney Foundation received by the Bangor based group PICA, which coordinates the city sister relationship with Carasque, El Salvador.)

    FMI: www.stopesmining.org/j25/

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Reporting from El Salvador this week and next, as we accompany an international delegation observing anti-mining activities in the country. This week a World Bank tribunal is holding final hearings in a lawsuit a mining company filed against this impoverished country, because they prevented further mining in an attempt to protect the estimate 5% of their water that is not already contaminated.

    Today on the News Report we’ll hear from 2 First Nations representatives traveling with the delegation. John Cutfeet is from the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (“KI”) First Nation in Northern Ontario, and Aurora Conley is from the Bad River Band, Lake Superior Chippewa tribe in Wisconsin. They talk about how mining has threatened their communities, and how they’ve fought back:

    (For full disclosure: Travel expenses for WERU staff member Amy Browne and volunteer Meredith DeFrancesco were paid through a grant from the Haney Foundation received by the Bangor based group PICA, which coordinates the city sister relationship with Carasque, El Salvador.)

    FMI: www.stopesmining.org/j25/

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Reporting from El Salvador this week and next, as we accompany an international delegation observing anti-mining activities in the country. This week a World Bank tribunal is holding final hearings in a lawsuit a mining company filed against this impoverished country, because they prevented further mining in an attempt to protect the estimate 5% of their water that is not already contaminated.

    Segment 1: In a historic vote yesterday, the town of San Jose Las Flores voted to take action to ban mining in that municipality. The traveling delegation received training and became part of a team of international elections observers. Today we bring you Mayor Felippe Tobar speaking about the vote, announcing the results, and receiving a symbolic gift of solidarity from Aurora Conley of the Bad River Tribe, Chippewa Nation.

    Segment 2: The price of resistance to mining in El Salvador goes well beyond the hundreds of millions of dollars for which a now Australia*-based gold mining company is suing. Several anti-mining activists have been murdered. Marcelo Rivera, a young activist described by community organizations here as a charismatic leader, was found murdered in 2009 after receiving death threats. His murder was referenced, along with other acts of intimidation, when the delegation visited Radio Victoria last week. Radio Victoria is a community radio station, created after the El Salvador peace accords in 1993. Representatives from the station described the backlash against community members as well as the radio station:

    Catie Johnson of Sister Cities & Pedro Cavezas of International Allies Against Mining in El Salvador provide translation.

    (For full disclosure: Travel expenses for WERU staff member Amy Browne and volunteer Meredith DeFrancesco were paid through a grant from the Haney Foundation received by the Bangor based group PICA, which coordinates the city sister relationship with Carasque, El Salvador.)

    *This is a correction – the News Report incorrectly stated that the corporation is based in New Zealand

    FMI: www.stopesmining.org/j25/

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Reporting from El Salvador this week and next, as we accompany an international delegation observing anti-mining activities in the country.

    This week a World Bank tribunal is holding final hearings in a lawsuit a mining company filed against this impoverished country, because they prevented further mining in an attempt to protect the estimate 5% of their water that is not already contaminated. We’ll have more on that on future programs.

    Yesterday we toured the now-closed San Sebastian gold mine in La Union. A village official told us about the impact mining has had there, on the water, land, and health of the community. Catie Johnson of Sister Cities translates:

    We also met with some “artisanal” miners at their camp outside one of the dangerous mining shafts:

    (For full disclosure: Travel expenses were paid through a grant from the Haney Foundation received by the Bangor based group PICA, which coordinates the city sister relationship with Carasque, El Salvador.)

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    As the state legislative session is coming to a close, today we take a look at the status of some of the legislation we’ve been reporting on – and that the Natural Resources Council of Maine has been tracking—with NRCM’s Senior Director of Advocacy, Pete Didisheim. FMI: www.nrcm.org

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