Archives for Maine Currents

Maine Currents Special 6/20/18

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Audio recorded by Matt Murphy

John Hodgman speaking in Blue Hill, Maine about his most recent book, Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches which was just released in paperback

Actor, humorist, author and podcaster John Hodgman summers here in this part of Maine- which is how the area became the subject of his most recent book Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches. The crowd at the Blue Hill Library on May 29th were very appreciative and immediately called off their plans for that special trip to the Blue Hill fairgrounds. (Shhh! Don’t tell!)


Maine Currents 6/7/18

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Studio Engineer: John Greenman

Supporters and Opponents Weigh in on the Nordic Aquafarms Proposal to Build a Facility in Belfast

On recent Maine Currents programs we’ve done some reporting on the proposals to build land-based salmon aquaculture facilities in Bucksport and Belfast. Today we follow up with a closer look at the Belfast proposal which seems to be drawing a lot more controversy.

Ellie Daniels, Belfast business owner and resident
Mike Hurley, Belfast City Councilor
Jim Merkel, Belfast resident, author of Radical Simplicity Small Footprints on a Finite Earth (2003)
Ted O’Meara, Nordic Aquafarms spokesperson

Nordic Aquafarm’s “Belfast Questions and Answers”
Local Citizens for SMART Growth facebook page
City of Belfast’s Nordic Aquafarms project info page
The Big Weird World of Salmon Aquafeed – Free Press article by Christine Parrish that was briefly mentioned on the show

Nordic Aquafarms will host a public informational meeting featuring a panel discussion on aquaculture and Maine fisheries at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast on Tuesuday, 06/12/2018 at 6:00pm. See PenBay Pilot for more information

Maine Currents Special 5/30/18

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Audio recorded by Matt Murphy

The Unveiling of Robert Shetterly’s “Americans Who Tell the Truth” Portrait of Rob McCall in Blue Hill, Maine on May 12th, 2018

For more information on Americans Who Tell the Truth and to see the portrait of Rob McCall:

Awanadjo Almanack airs at 7:30 a.m. every Friday on WERU-FM (and can also be heard on our live stream at Listen to past episodes at:

For more information on the Blue Hill Heritage Trust:

Maine Currents Special 5/29/18

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Audio recorded by John Greenman

Waldo Indivisible’s recent forum featuring the Democrats who are vying to be that party’s gubernatorial candidate in the June 12th primary.

Moderated by Ben Chin. Recorded in Belfast, Maine on 5/21/18 by John Greenman. Edited to fit this time slot.

Maine Currents 5/3/18

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Maine Gubernatorial Candidates Forum Hosted by Penobscot Nation

Recorded on Indian Island on April 25th, 2018. All 7 of the Democrats who are running attended. Republican Mary Mayhew declined. Some of the other invited candidates cited other obligations. Penobscot Ambassador Maulian Dana reports that Republicans Shawn Moody and Ken Fredette, and Independent Terry Hayes did not respond to the invitation. The 7 candidates who did attend answered questions on a range of issues for more than 2 hours. Today we’re bringing you the first hour of the forum. We’ve also archived the full event along with today’s show so you can hear the rest. Dr. Darren Ranco was the facilitator.

NOTE: Below you will find links to today’s show and to the full unedited forum. If listening to the full forum please note that there are some audio quality issues in the 1st 20 minutes (low volume which we are unable to boost due to a blower in the background. The audio improves drastically at about the 20 minute mark.

Listen to the award-winning Maine Currents- independent local news, views and culture with host Amy Browne- on the first Thursday of each month, 10-11a.m. on WERU-FM or via our live stream at

Maine Currents 4/5/18

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Studio Engineer: John Greenman

Segment 1: Belfast Salmon Aquaculture Proposal Raises Concerns
Segment 2: Removing Guns From Mainers Deemed to be a Risk — Mainers Weigh in on “Red Flag” Bill

Segment 1: As listeners may be aware, plans are underway for Nordic Aquafarms to build a large land-based aquaculture facility in Belfast. The proposed site is partly owned by the local water district and would need to be rezoned. The benefits of such a project would be a probable decrease in taxes and more jobs in the area, but some local residents also have concerns and believe the approval process is moving too quickly, with a vote on zoning possibly taking place this month. Belfast residents Joanne Moesswilde and Ellie Daniels are with me in the studio this morning to share some of their concerns. (NOTE: We plan to follow up with a full show dedicated to land-based salmon aquaculture in the near future. If you are involved in the issue and would like to possibly be part of that show, please contact Amy Browne at

These are the links Ellie Daniels mentioned on the show, along with her descriptions of each: “This is a comprehensive report from the International Salmon Farmers Association.” “This is on the ME DEP site, and summarizes the issues associated with excess phosphorous or nitrogen in discharge water.” “This is a trade site that follows the industry.”

Segment 2: A crowd with strong opinions on both sides of the issue testified at a public hearing on LD 1884 “An Act To Create a Community Protection Order To Allow Courts To Prevent High-risk Individuals from Possessing Firearms” in Augusta Tuesday. If passed, this “Red Flag” bill would allow guns to be temporarily taken away from people who are deemed to pose a threat to themselves or others. Today on Maine Currents we listen in as LD 1884 is introduced by Senator Mark Dion, and then we hear some of the public testimony from both sides:

To follow the progress of the bill:
For info on how to contact your legislators:

Listen to the award-winning Maine Currents- independent local news, views and culture with host Amy Browne- on the first Thursday of each month, 10-11a.m. on WERU-FM or via our live stream at

Maine Currents 3/27/18

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Our thanks for contributing audio for today’s program goes out to: Sonja Katharine Birthisel, Tracey Hair, Jeanne Curran, John Greenman

Segment 1: “March for Our Lives” audio collage
Segment 2: Salmon Aquaculture Proposed at Abandoned Mill Site in Bucksport

1: A collage of audio clips from local “March for Our Lives” events on 3/24/18. First we hear Stillwater Youth chanting, recorded by Sonja Katharine Birthisel, followed by a few clips of the speakers at the Bangor rally, recorded by Tracey Hair, and then some person in the street interviews in Bangor, recorded by Jeanne Curran.

2: Large salmon aquaculture companies are planning to build facilities in Belfast and Bangor, raising hopes and concerns in both communities. Whole Oceans, the company planning to locate at the abandoned Bucksport mill site held a public meeting recently. John Greenman recorded the event, and today we have some clips from the company’s presentation, followed by some of the question and answer session.

NOTE: Maine Currents is moving to the 1st Thursday of each month, 10-11 a.m. Be sure to tune in then for independent local news, views and culture on WERU-FM!

Maine Currents 3/20/18

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Studio Engineer: John Greenman

Opposition to Maine Taxpayers Funding “Corporate Welfare” for Military Contractor General Dynamics

In February we reported on a proposal to give a $60 million tax break to Bath Iron Works at the expense of Maine taxpayers. Those who support the measure say it protects jobs, but those who oppose it see it as corporate welfare for defense contractor General Dynamics, the company that owns BIW. Today we follow up with some of the activists involved in the issue, including Bruce Gagnon who was with us last month, as well as Bob Klotz and Lisa Savage. We’re also joined by Alex Nunes, an investigative reporter at He has exposed details about what is going on behind the scenes of this deal. Columnist Lawrence Reichard, joins us in the studio. He’s covered the issue in his weekly column “Bricks and Mortars” which runs in the Waldo County based Republican Journal and the Coastal Journal in Bath.

Later in the program we check in with Jessica Stewart, one of 3 women who were arrested at Senator Collin’s office last December where they were protesting her support of the tax bill. They are heading to federal court tomorrow.

Note: Activist Mark Roman was scheduled to be with us but was unable to join us due to technical difficulties. He sent the following comment:
“In the taxation committee testimony, BIW VP, John Fitzgerald was asked by a committee member if he would open BIW books to the committee to help determine the need for the tax break. Mr Fitzgerald said quite loudly and quite clearly NO! we will not do that. It seems that the state is not to question the subsidiary of General Dynamics Corporation, the fifth largest weapons maker on the planet. The $45 million being requested would just cover the annual compensation of the top four officers of General Dynamics. I believe that the people of Maine need that money for education, infrastructure repairs and health care for our citizens. I would ask listeners to call their representatives and tell them to vote no on LD- 1781. I want to thank WERU for being the voice of the people”

Follow the proposed legislation at:
Contact info for your legislators is available at:

To receive Lawrence Reichard’s “Bricks and Mortars” column via email, contact him at

From Alex Nunes of
Here are a few links that may be of interest to your audience.
This is the original General Dynamics stock buyback story for The Providence Journal:
This is an op-ed I wrote for The Day newspaper in New London, Conn., about General Dynamics seeking state subsidies in New England. I talk about Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Maine:
These are two stories from a multi-part series about economic development in Rhode Island and Connecticut centered around building the Navy’s next generation of nuclear-armed submarines. The first story addresses the corporate welfare/economic development aspects of it. The second looks at the reaction from the peace community:

Investigative reporting from The Bollard was also mentioned on the show and can be found here:

Bruce Gagnon blogs at
Lisa Savage blogs at