Maine Currents 1/19/21: Inauguration Eve Special

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

We’re joined once again by our Elections 2020 panel:
Professor Amy Fried, Chair of the Political Science Department at the University of Maine and columnist for the Bangor Daily News, former State Representative Ralph Chapman
Ann Luther, board member for the League of Women Voters of Maine, and host of the Democracy Forum here on WERU, and Will Hayward, Advocacy Program Coordinator for the League of Women Voters

We’ve invited them back to get their thoughts about what has been (and is) happening around the transfer of power in DC.

About the host:
Amy Browne started out at WERU as a volunteer news & public affairs producer in 2000, co-hosting/co-producing RadioActive with Meredith DeFrancesco. She joined the team of Voices producers a few years later, and has been WERU’s News & Public Affairs Manager since January, 2006. In addition to RadioActive, Voices and Maine Currents, she also produced and hosted the WERU News Report for several years. She has produced segments for national programs including Free Speech Radio News, This Way Out, Making Contact, Workers Independent News, Pacifica PeaceWatch, and Live Wire News, and has contributed to Democracy Now and the WBAI News Report. She is the recipient of the 2014 Excellence in Environmental Journalism Award from the Sierra Club of Maine, and the First Place 2017 Radio News Award from the Maine Association of Broadcasters.

Maine Currents 1/5/21: “Remembering Maine” at the 2020 Word Festival in Blue Hill

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

“Remembering Maine” with authors Kerri Arsenault (Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains) and Monica Wood (When We Were the Kennedys). Recorded at the online 2020 Word festival in Blue Hill, in October 2020. The moderator was Laura Miller

About the host:
Amy Browne started out at WERU as a volunteer news & public affairs producer in 2000, co-hosting/co-producing RadioActive with Meredith DeFrancesco. She joined the team of Voices producers a few years later, and has been WERU’s News & Public Affairs Manager since January, 2006. In addition to RadioActive, Voices and Maine Currents, she also produced and hosted the WERU News Report for several years. She has produced segments for national programs including Free Speech Radio News, This Way Out, Making Contact, Workers Independent News, Pacifica PeaceWatch, and Live Wire News, and has contributed to Democracy Now and the WBAI News Report. She is the recipient of the 2014 Excellence in Environmental Journalism Award from the Sierra Club of Maine, and the First Place 2017 Radio News Award from the Maine Association of Broadcasters.

Maine Currents 12/15/20 Elections 2020 Edition: The Finale

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

It’s the 3rd Tuesday of the month, so it’s once again time for our Elections 2020 edition of Maine Currents, with guests, Professor Amy Fried, Chair of the Political Science Department at the University of Maine, former State Representative Ralph Chapman
Ann Luther, board member for the League of Women Voters of Maine, and host of the Democracy Forum here on WERU, and Will Hayward, Advocacy Program Coordinator for the League of Women Voters, joining us for a discussion of Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results, the Electoral College meeting under heavy security, the possibility that Trump will attempt to pardon himself, the status of the Maine legislature, and where things go from here

Taped via Zoom on Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

About the host:
Amy Browne started out at WERU as a volunteer news & public affairs producer in 2000, co-hosting/co-producing RadioActive with Meredith DeFrancesco. She joined the team of Voices producers a few years later, and has been WERU’s News & Public Affairs Manager since January, 2006. In addition to RadioActive, Voices and Maine Currents, she also produced and hosted the WERU News Report for several years. She has produced segments for national programs including Free Speech Radio News, This Way Out, Making Contact, Workers Independent News, Pacifica PeaceWatch, and Live Wire News, and has contributed to Democracy Now and the WBAI News Report. She is the recipient of the 2014 Excellence in Environmental Journalism Award from the Sierra Club of Maine, and the First Place 2017 Radio News Award from the Maine Association of Broadcasters.

Maine Currents 11/17/20 Elections 2020 Edition: Election Outcomes, Polling Fails, and Where Things Go From Here

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

It’s the 3rd Tuesday of the month, so it’s once again time for our Elections 2020 edition of Maine Currents, with guests, Professor Amy Fried, Chair of the Political Science Department at the University of Maine, former State Representative Ralph Chapman
Ann Luther, board member for the League of Women Voters of Maine, and host of the Democracy Forum here on WERU, and Will Hayward, Advocacy Program Coordinator for the League of Women Voters, joining us for a discussion of the election outcomes, polling fails, and where things go from here

Taped via Zoom on Tuesday, November 17th, 2020

About the host:
Amy Browne started out at WERU as a volunteer news & public affairs producer in 2000, co-hosting/co-producing RadioActive with Meredith DeFrancesco. She joined the team of Voices producers a few years later, and has been WERU’s News & Public Affairs Manager since January, 2006. In addition to RadioActive, Voices and Maine Currents, she also produced and hosted the WERU News Report for several years. She has produced segments for national programs including Free Speech Radio News, This Way Out, Making Contact, Workers Independent News, Pacifica PeaceWatch, and Live Wire News, and has contributed to Democracy Now and the WBAI News Report. She is the recipient of the 2014 Excellence in Environmental Journalism Award from the Sierra Club of Maine, and the First Place 2017 Radio News Award from the Maine Association of Broadcasters.

Maine Currents 11/3/20: Mark Potok on Hate Groups in the US

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

We’re continuing our series on hate groups this month, with a talk by Mark Potok sponsored by the Maine Jewish Film Festival, the Jewish Community Alliance, the Maine Jewish Museum and the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine. He spoke about hate groups in the US and the current political climate on October 7th, 2020.

An excerpt from Mark Potok’s bio: “Mark Potok is an internationally renowned expert on the American radical right who for 20 years helped lead the legendary Southern Poverty Law Center in exposing hate groups, right-wing terrorism, and the rapidly increasing infiltration of extremist ideas into the political mainstream. In that role, Potok faced numerous death threats from white supremacists and constant vilification by leaders of the far-right media — a remarkable measure of just how effective his work was. Potok has been described in one book on social justice activists as having ‘a reputation as the preeminent editorial commentator who follows the American radical right’ In 2018, a year after leaving SPLC, he joined the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right as a Senior Fellow.

As the director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project and, later, Senior Fellow at the SPLC and Editor in Chief of its award-winning Intelligence Report investigative magazine, Potok was a key spokesman for the SPLC, a civil rights organization based in Alabama. He has testified before the U.S. Senate, the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights, the Helsinki Commission, and in other key venues. An acclaimed and dynamic speaker, he has given scores of keynote talks in university, government and other settings throughout the United States and Europe. They include such prestigious forums as the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.”

Potok was featured in the award-winning 2018 film “Alt-Right: Age of Rage”

Barbara Merson, Executive Director of the Maine Jewish Film Festival was the moderator

About the host:
Amy Browne started out at WERU as a volunteer news & public affairs producer in 2000, co-hosting/co-producing RadioActive with Meredith DeFrancesco. She joined the team of Voices producers a few years later, and has been WERU’s News & Public Affairs Manager since January, 2006. In addition to RadioActive, Voices and Maine Currents, she also produced and hosted the WERU News Report for several years. She has produced segments for national programs including Free Speech Radio News, This Way Out, Making Contact, Workers Independent News, Pacifica PeaceWatch, and Live Wire News, and has contributed to Democracy Now and the WBAI News Report. She is the recipient of the 2014 Excellence in Environmental Journalism Award from the Sierra Club of Maine, and the First Place 2017 Radio News Award from the Maine Association of Broadcasters.

Maine Currents 10/20/20 Elections 2020 Edition: Debates, Voting Deadlines, Voter Suppression and more

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

It’s the 3rd Tuesday of the month, so it’s once again time for our Elections 2020 edition of Maine Currents, with guests, Professor Amy Fried, Chair of the Political Science Department at the University of Maine, former State Representative Ralph Chapman
Ann Luther, board member for the League of Women Voters of Maine, and host of the Democracy Forum here on WERU, and Will Hayward, Advocacy Program Coordinator for the League of Women Voters, joining us for a discussion of the recent debates and town halls, voting deadlines, ballots, efforts to prevent voter suppression and intimidation, and more!

Have an election or voter question? Call or text the League of Women Voters of Maine Hotline at 207-558-3333 or email vote@lwvme.org
More information is also available on the Maine Secretary of State’s website
Maine Attorney General Frey’s Advisory Concerning Poll Monitoring and Voter Intimidation can be viewed here

Taped via Zoom on Monday, 10/19/20

About the host:
Amy Browne started out at WERU as a volunteer news & public affairs producer in 2000, co-hosting/co-producing RadioActive with Meredith DeFrancesco. She joined the team of Voices producers a few years later, and has been WERU’s News & Public Affairs Manager since January, 2006. In addition to RadioActive, Voices and Maine Currents, she also produced and hosted the WERU News Report for several years. She has produced segments for national programs including Free Speech Radio News, This Way Out, Making Contact, Workers Independent News, Pacifica PeaceWatch, and Live Wire News, and has contributed to Democracy Now and the WBAI News Report. She is the recipient of the 2014 Excellence in Environmental Journalism Award from the Sierra Club of Maine, and the First Place 2017 Radio News Award from the Maine Association of Broadcasters.

Maine Currents 10/6/20: Hate Groups in Maine

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

CORRECTION: Shenna Bellows previously worked for the ACLU, not the AFL-CIO

On this edition of Maine Currents, we embark on a series of discussions about hate groups in Maine

Guests:
Crash Barry is an investigative journalist, author, and podcaster. He is the former editor-at-large for Mainer News and has worked as a print, radio and web reporter for over 25 years, with a focus on the seamy side of Maine life. First as a muckraker for Portland alt-weeklies, then as a news-talk show producer, followed by a stint as a national correspondent for a radio network. During the early 2000s, Crash went undercover for a series of stories for the now-defunct Casco Bay Weekly, staying in homeless shelters, working day labor, cleaning nasty apartments, and for a brief period, flipping burgers at McDonalds. (His first shift started at noon, on September 11, 2001.) From 2005 onwards, he contributed films, investigative cover stories and columns to The Bollard, a Portland alt-monthly and wrote extensively about Maine’s path to cannabis liberation for leafly.com. Crash is the author of three books, the rollicking novel Sex, Drugs and Blueberries, the gritty memoir Tough Island and the true story Marijuana Valley.
Crash is also a filmmaker and directed the adaptation of his novel Sex, Drugs and Blueberries. View his work here

Andy O’Brien is a former state legislator, former managing editor of the Free Press in Rockland and the current communications director for the Maine AFL-CIO. His writings have been published in Down East, Huffington Post, Labor Notes and Mainer Magazine. He is also the co-founder of O’Chang Studios, which produces the popular cartoon web series Temp Tales as well as animations for a variety of businesses, government agencies, educational institutions and nonprofits. He also does freelance reporting on far-right groups in Maine. Links to some of his recent related work is below “related articles from Mainer News” section

Shenna Bellows is the Executive Director of the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine Shenna joined the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine in June, 2018. Shenna is also a State Senator for Senate District 14 in Kennebec County. Shenna led the ACLU of Maine as Executive Director for eight years and served as Interim Executive Director for LearningWorks. Most recently, Bellows owned a nonprofit consulting firm providing services to a range of nonprofit organizations ranging from the Maine Women’s Lobby to the Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition. She was a key leader on the successful 2012 marriage equality campaign and co-chaired the successful 2011 statewide ballot campaign to restore same day voter registration. She served as a volunteer with the Peace Corps in Panama and AmeriCorps VISTA in Nashville.

Steve Wessler founded the Civil Rights Unit in the Maine Attorney’s Office in 1992 and led the Unit for 7 years. In 1999 he left the formal practice of law and founded the Center for the Prevention of Hate. The Center worked in Maine and across the USA. Since 2011 he has been teaching and consulting on human rights issues in colleges and around the world. He is also the host of Change Agents on WERU-FM, the 1st Thursday of every month at 4pm

Related articles from Mainer News:

Hatebook – The Facebook group that promoted violence and death threats against Safiya Khalid, the first Somali-American elected to the Lewiston City Council

Leaks Show Mainer’s Online Radicalization By Neo-Nazi Terrorist Cult

UMaine College Republicans Caught in MAGA Civil War

Maine GOP Leadership Goes to Bat for White Nationalistic College Club

About the host:
Amy Browne started out at WERU as a volunteer news & public affairs producer in 2000, co-hosting/co-producing RadioActive with Meredith DeFrancesco. She joined the team of Voices producers a few years later, and has been WERU’s News & Public Affairs Manager since January, 2006. In addition to RadioActive, Voices and Maine Currents, she also produced and hosted the WERU News Report for several years. She has produced segments for national programs including Free Speech Radio News, This Way Out, Making Contact, Workers Independent News, Pacifica PeaceWatch, and Live Wire News, and has contributed to Democracy Now and the WBAI News Report. She is the recipient of the 2014 Excellence in Environmental Journalism Award from the Sierra Club of Maine, and the First Place 2017 Radio News Award from the Maine Association of Broadcasters.

Maine Currents 9/15/20 Elections 2020 Edition: Senate Debate, Election Safety, RCV & more!

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

It’s the 3rd Tuesday of the month, so it’s once again time for our Elections 2020 edition of Maine Currents, with regular guests, Professor Amy Fried, Chair of the Political Science Department at the University of Maine, and former State Representative Ralph Chapman
Ann Luther, board member for the League of Women Voters of Maine, and host of the Democracy Forum here on WERU is with us again today, along with Will Hayward, Advocacy Program Coordinator for the League of Women Voters, for a discussion of election safety issues, the current status of ranked choice voting, and more!

Taped via Zoom on Monday, 9/14/20

About the host:
Amy Browne started out at WERU as a volunteer news & public affairs producer in 2000, co-hosting/co-producing RadioActive with Meredith DeFrancesco. She joined the team of Voices producers a few years later, and has been WERU’s News & Public Affairs Manager since January, 2006. In addition to RadioActive, Voices and Maine Currents, she also produced and hosted the WERU News Report for several years. She has produced segments for national programs including Free Speech Radio News, This Way Out, Making Contact, Workers Independent News, Pacifica PeaceWatch, and Live Wire News, and has contributed to Democracy Now and the WBAI News Report. She is the recipient of the 2014 Excellence in Environmental Journalism Award from the Sierra Club of Maine, and the First Place 2017 Radio News Award from the Maine Association of Broadcasters.