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: The Penobscot Nation Appeals River Case and the Legislature Passes Solar Energy Bill LD 1649, But Still Needs a Larger Margin to Override Veto

    Key Discussion Points:
    1) This week, the Penobscot Nation, and the US Department of Justice, filed to appeal a US District Court decision that supports the State Of Maine’s efforts to sever the Tribe’s ties to the Penobscot River within their territory.
    2) This past December, US District Court Judge George Singal decided on the highly controversial and historic case, Penobscot Nation v Janet Mills, Attorney General for the State of Maine. Despite state claims to the contrary, he affirmed that the Penobscot Tribe does have sustenance fishing rights in the Penobscot River, surrounding their reservation’s 200 islands. But on the issue of the river itself, he sided with the State, who claims the Tribe’s territory includes the islands, but not the Penobscot River which surrounds it.
    3) Last week, the Maine Legislature passed LD 1649, An Act to Modernize Maine Solar Power Policy and Encourage Economic Development, but not by a large enough margin to stop Governor LePage’s promised veto. A second vote expected on next Friday, the 29th,provides one more chance for an override.

    Guests:
    Kirk Francis, Chief of Penobscot Nation
    Vaughn Woodruff, Insource Renewables

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Donna Loring
    Engineer: Amy Browne

    Issue: River Sovereignty

    Program Topic: Penobscot Nation V Mills et els.

    Key Discussion Points:
    Case background
    Court findings
    Choices moving forward

    Guest: Chief Kirk Francis of the Penobscot Nation

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne
    Audio contributed by John Greenman

    Segment 1: Bill Farrell, a University of Maine Ph.D. Candidate and Senior Advisor on Special Projects, for the international nonprofit Mercy Corps. speaking at the University last week on “The Syrian Refugee Crisis”.

    Segment 2: We bring you to last week’s town council meeting in Bucksport, where a vote was held on withdrawing the town’s legal support of the state in Penobscot Nation v Mills, a lawsuit between the state and the Penobscot Nation.

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

    Program Topic: Penobscot Nation v Mills : Decision at US District Court

    Key Discussion Points:

    1) Yesterday, US District Court Judge George Singal ruled that the Penosbcot Nation’s reservation does not include the river waters flowing through it.
    2) While Judge Singal affirmed the right of individual tribal members to sustenance fishing in the main stem of the Penosbcot River, he sided with the State of Maine in ruling that the Penobscot flowing through tribal territory is not part of the reservation. He based his decision on the State’s interpretation of the controversial Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act,saying if the Act did not explicitly mention the water as part of the territory, then the water is not included. The Tribe holds if they did not explicitly give up their rights to the waterway in the Settlement Act, they did not give it up.
    3) In the landmark case, Penobscot Nation v Maine Attornay General Janet Mills, The Penobscot Nation opposed 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 has argued this amounts to a territorial taking by the state and erases their inherent, treaty reserved sustenance fishing rights.

    In October, Judge Singal heard oral arguments from Penobscot Nation counsel, counsel for the US Dept of Justice, 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.

    Guest: Sherri Mitchell, member of the Penobscot Tribe, indigenous rights attorney

    landpeacefoundation.net/

    www.facebook.com/dawnlanddefense

    www,sunlightmediacollective.org

    No Comments
  • 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

    Program Topic: Orono Council Committee Votes to Withdraw from Penobscot Nation v Mills

    Key Discussion Points:

    a) On March 16th, the Orono Town Council’s Community Development Committee, which contains all members of the council, voted unanimously to instruct the town manager to draw up an order to formally withdraw Orono from Penobscot Nation v Mills. This case concerns the
    Penobscot Nation’s jurisdiction to monitor their sustenance fishing waters, a status without issue until August 8th, 2012, when then Attorney General Schneider wrote a letter to the Penobscot Nation declaring that “the State of Maine has exclusive regulatory jurisdiction over activities taking place on the River.” The Penobscot Nation is now suing the state in Federal Curt

    b) The state of Maine’s attorney, Matt Manahan from law firm Pierce Atwood, joined a consortium of 18 towns and corporations to the case, as intervenors for the state. These 18 are waste water dischargers on the river, though the case is not about pollution discharges, and many of these entities would not be effected if it were.

    c) A movement opposing Orono’s involvement developed when town residents were surprised to discover Orono’s involvement. Inquires showed none of Orono’s town councilors knew of the town’s involvement either.

    Today we listen to both councilors and the public at the Orono Town Council’s public meeting on March 16th.

    We also hear reactions from Orono organizer and resident Cheryl Robertson.

    *Note: On April 1st Orono formerly files to withdraw from Penobscot Nation v Mills.

    Guests:

    A) Orono Town Council members (Mark Haggerty,Geoffrey Gordon, Tom Perry, Tom Sptiz, Sam Kunz) and Orono Town Manager Sophie Wilson

    B) public testimony : Claudia Lawd, Eric Maynard,Maria Girouard, Kathy Pollard, Nancy Prisk, John Banks

    C) Rep. Ryan Tipping-Spitz

    D)Cheryl Roberston, Orono resident

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Penobscot Nation v Mills, with Chief Francis and Local Organizing to Withdraw Orono from the Case

    Key Discussion Points:

    a) Despite years of cooperation and co-management with the state, and explicit direction from past administrations that the Penobscot Nation does have jurisdiction when it comes to monitoring their sustenance fishing waters, in 2012, the state began action to disassociate the water flowing through the Penobscot Nation from tribal control. On August 8th, 2012, the Attorney General William Schneider wrote a letter to the Penobscot Nation declaring that “the State of Maine has exclusive regulatory jurisdiction over activities taking place on the River.”
    b) In response, the Penobscot Nation is suing the Attorney General’s Office (now occupied by Janet Mills) in federal court, in Penobscot Nation v Mills, et al. The attorney representing the state, Matt Manahan from law firm Pierce Atwood, has gone on the public relations offensive, and has additionally signed 18 towns and corporations to the case as intervenors for the state.
    c) These 18 are waste water dischargers on the river, though the case is not about pollution discharges, and many of these entities are down stream from the Penobscot Nation. One of these towns is Orono. We hear from Orono resident Cheryl Robertson about efforts there to withdraw the town from the lawsuit.

    The Orono Town Council will hold a public meeting on the issue at 5:30pm on Monday, March 16th.

    Guests:
    Chief Kirk Francis, Penobscot Nation, penobscotnation.org
    Cheryl Roberston, Orono resident

    1 Comment