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  • WERU News Report 4/30/14

    Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Segment 1: It’s not unusual to hear of small businesses struggling, and eventually being forced to close, especially in this economy—but it IS unusual when a community rallies to save them. News broke earlier this month that Coastal Farm and Food in Belfast was shutting down. The local farmers and food producers who relied on them were being forced to move out. But some local residents decided they weren’t going to let that happen, at least not without a fight. Here to tell that story are two of the people most closely involved (Steve Fein and Peter Wilkinson):

    Segment 2: The problem of mercury contamination in the lower Penobscot river and upper bay has been receiving a lot of attention in recent weeks, after it forced the closure of the lobster and crab fisheries in the area. State officials estimate that it will be at least 2 years before the area is re-opened. But work to expose and deal with the source of the mercury from the former Holtrachem plant started more than 20 years ago, led by a grassroots movement of concerned area residents, the Maine People’s Alliance, and other environmental groups. Over the years, the Maine People’s Alliance has pursued the issue through the court system, winning a series of rulings forcing the former owners of the Holtrachem plant, a giant corporation called Mallinkrodt, to address contamination at the site in Orrington, as well as in the river. Their next big day in court is coming up in June, and they are inviting anyone who is concerned about the issue to join them in court on the opening day, June 3rd. At a presentation in Stockton Springs Saturday, Nancy Galland, one of the plaintiffs in the case, gave some background on the issue:

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