Maine Currents Special 3/17/20 Coronavirus: Community Response, Elections, WERU

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Studio Engineer: Joel Mann

This is the Elections 2020 edition of Maine Currents, so we start off with a discussion of how the coronavirus is impacting the campaigns and how it might affect the general election in November. We’ll also look at what Professor Amy Fried calls the “delegate math” following the Maine primaries. Later in the program station manager Matt Murphy pops to talk about the measures we’re taking here at the station to keep everyone safe and the station on the air. We also talk with Cass Clem, founder of a facebook group that’s helping community members help each other, and we open the phone lines to hear how listeners are coping with the crisis.

Guests:

Professor Amy Fried is the Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Maine. She also oversees the Maine Policy Scholar Program at UMaine, and has researched and written extensively about public opinion.

Ralph Chapman served 4 terms as the State Representative for Blue Hill and several surrounding towns in Hancock County. He served first as a Democrat, then as an Independent and finally as a Green party member.

WERU Station Mgr Matt Murphy

Cass Clem, founder of the Maine Coronavirus Community Support group that has popped up on facebook, and took off overnight with community members offering help to others, or coming to the page looking for assistance.

Maine People’s Alliance coronavirus response website (that was mentioned on the show).

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 Special 3/3/20: Prison Reform & Super Tuesday

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Studio Engineer: John Greenman

Part 1: (Approx 6 minutes) “Reducing Jail Populations in Maine”, a workshop to be held in Bangor on 3/28/20. We talk with Doug Dunbar, one of the organizers. FMI: www.nopenobscotjailexpansion.com

Part 2: Station Manager Matt Murphy and Studio Engineer join me, and we open the phone lines for a Super Tuesday call in- and start an informal radio “exit poll”

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 Special 2/25/20: Immigration Law in These Challenging Times

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Audio recorded by: Matt Murphy
Production assistance: Zoe Sifnakis

“Immigration Law in These Challenging Times”, a talk sponsored by the MDI Racial Equity Working Group, recorded at the Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor on February 12th. The panelists were Anna Welch, Sam L Cohen Refugee and Human Rights Clinical Professor at the University of Maine School of Law, and Felix Hagenimana, Asylum Outreach Attorney with the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project. The moderator was Dave Feldman, of the MDI Racial Equity Working Group, and faculty member at the College of the Atlantic.

There are 2 more upcoming events in the MDI Racial Equity Working Group’s Winter Speakers Series: On March 18th, Myron Beasley, Associate Professor of American Studies at Bates College will give a presentation on “Dreamers, Dreams and Tall Tales: Malaga and Maine’s ‘Unspoken’ History”. And on April 15th, Abdi Nor Iftin, will speak about his memoir “Call Me American”, based on his childhood in war-torn Mogadishu and his eventual escape. Both events will be held at the Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor at 7pm. Click here for more information

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 2/18/20: Elections 2020 Edition

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Studio Engineer: John Greenman

Our monthly discussion of Elections 2020 related issues. Today we also discuss the League of Women Voters – celebrating their 100th anniversary this year- with Ann Luther.

Guests:

Professor Amy Fried is the Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Maine. She also oversees the Maine Policy Scholar Program at UMaine, and has researched and written extensively about public opinion.

Ralph Chapman served 4 terms as the State Representative for Blue Hill and several surrounding towns in Hancock County. He served first as a Democrat, then as an Independent and finally as a Green party member.

Ann Luther, Treasurer (and past-President) of the League of Women Voters of Maine, leader of the their Advocacy Team, and host of Democracy Forum, which airs here on WERU at 4pm on the 3rd Friday of every month, and is produced in collaboration with the league.

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 2/4/20: A Few Concerned Citizens vs Larry Lockman

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

On January 28th, the Penobscot County Commissioners (PCC) unanimously passed a resolution in support of refugee resettlement in the county. The vote comes at a time when there are no plans to resettle refugees in the area, and likely would have not taken place had State Rep Larry Lockman (R-Bradley) not raised the issue at the commission’s previous meeting- where he encouraged them to take the opposite action.

At the PCC’s January 14th meeting, Lockman asked the commission to oppose refugee resettlement. At that meeting the commission took no action on his request, which came at a time when Trump’s 2019 Executive Order , which would have allowed local governments to reject refugees, was being reviewed by the federal court. The day after Lockman appeared before the PCC, the US District Court blocked Trump’s order.

Area residents who attended the PCC’s January 28th meeting said they heard about Lockman’s proposal, and felt the PCC’s decision to not take action did not go far enough. They asked the commissioners to consider a resolution in support of refugee resettlement, should there be plans for that in the future.

Today we have some background on Lockman’s attempts to pass anti-immigration legislation in the state. We talk to Crash Barry, an investigative journalist for Mainer (formerly The Bollard), who went undercover in 2018 to expose Lockman’s Maine First Project, and we listen in on the testimony and deliberations at the PCC’s January 28th meeting.

Rep. Lockman did not respond to our request for a comment.

FMI:

The Bollard: First Maine Mania, Crash Berry

The Tipping Point: Maine Rep. Lawrence Lockman’s decades-long history of extremism, Mike Tipping

The Marshall Project: Is There a Connection Between Undocumented Immigrants and Crime?

Maine Currents, 4/26/17: Anti-immigration bills introduced in Maine, Amy Browne

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 1/21/20: Elections 2020 & Impeachment

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Studio Engineer: John Greenman

Call in show discussion of the upcoming 2020 elections and the ongoing impeachment process. Some subject areas covered include:

What are your thoughts about how the impeachment process is going to impact the 2020 elections?
Should the 1st primaries be held in states more diverse than Iowa and NH?
Primaries vs caucuses
In which elections will Ranked Choice Voting be used here in Maine?

Guests:

Professor Amy Fried is the Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Maine. She also oversees the Maine Policy Scholar Program at UMaine, and has researched and written extensively about public opinion.

Ralph Chapman served 4 terms as the State Representative for Blue Hill and several surrounding towns in Hancock County. He served first as a Democrat, then as an Independent and finally as a Green party member.

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 1/7/20: CMP Corridor Draws Opposition from Across the Political Spectrum

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Studio Engineer: John Greenman
Production assistance: Meredith DeFrancesco, WERU-FM & Sunlight Media Collective
Audio provided by: North American Megadam Resistance

NOTE: The first audio file (below) is this program, and the second is a full, unedited recording of the Megadam Resistance tour speakers in Augusta in November 2019, used with their permission.

If you come from a politically mixed family here in Maine, chances are there was one topic you were able to discuss over the holidays without anyone getting disowned. The New England Clean Energy Connect – or the CMP Corridor as it is widely known- is drawing opposition from all over the political spectrum.
Building the corridor would involve cutting 53 miles through undeveloped forest in Western Maine. According to the Natural Resources Council of Maine, the damage would fragment the largest contiguous temperate forest in North America and perhaps the world. The corridor would traverse Maine to bring pricier energy, that supporters call “green”, from HydroQuebec dams in Canada to Massachusetts.

Maine Governor Janet Mills supports the project, after, she says, she negotiated with HydroQuebec and “insisted that the project include electric vehicle charging stations, provisions to support renewable energy, broadband access, and heat pumps, as well as cash relief for ratepayers over and above the benefits of lower electricity prices”. Many towns that initially were in support have changed their minds, as has the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine after realizing that a majority of their members were in opposition.

The guests on this program represent some of the different parts of the political spectrum that oppose the project.

Dawn Neptune Adams is a member of the Penobscot Nation, a narrator and citizen-journalist with Sunlight Media Collective, Wabanaki liaison to the Maine Independent Green Party, and a Racial Justice Consultant to the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine. She met with the Cree and Innu People from the North American Megadam Resistance speaking tour in November to learn more about the situations in their territories. We hear some clips from their presentation during this program as well.

And joining us by phone, from arguably what is usually the other end of the political spectrum, is Tom Saviello, former Republican State Senator Franklin County and former State Representative for 6 towns in Franklin County including his home town of Wilton. He is the former Chair of the joint Standing Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources. He has a BS degree in Forestry from the University of Tennessee, and an MS in Agronomy & a PHD in Forest Resources from UMO. He has worked for 33 years in the forest industry starting as a research forester and retiring as the environmental manager at the Androscoggin Mill.

FMI:

Say No to NECEC
Northeast Megadam Resistance
Natural Resources Council of Maine CMP Transmission Line Proposal: A Bad Deal for Maine
Sierra Club of Maine CMP Transmission Line
RadioActive 11/14/19 Indigenous Resistance to Megadam Power in Canada
New England Clean Energy Connect
Governor Janet Mills’ statement on NECEC

Catch the award-winning Maine Currents, independent local news, views and culture, on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month, 4-5pm on WERU-FM, streaming live at www.weru.org and on the WERU app

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 12/5/19: Terry Tempest Williams Speaking in Blue Hill

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Audio recorded by Phelan Gallagher

Award-winning author Terry Tempest Williams, speaking about, and reading from, her new collection, called “Erosion: Essays of Undoing”, on November 16th, 2019 at an event sponsored by Blue Hill Books, the Bay School, and WERU-FM.

Catch the award-winning Maine Currents, independent local news, views and culture, on the 1st Thursday of every month, 10-11 a.m. on WERU-FM and streaming live at www.weru.org