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

Maine Currents 11/7/19: Vijay Gupta Keynote at Belfast Arts in Action

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Audio recorded by Matt Murphy and edited by Amy Browne

Last weekend the Belfast Creative Coalition and Restorative Art Works (RAW) held the first of what they hope will become an annual, Arts in Action Conference at the University of Maine Hutchinson center in Belfast, Maine. The focus was “summoning the power of the arts to address our opioid epidemic”.

Today on Maine Currents, we have the keynote presentation by Vijay Gupta, founder of Street Symphony, a Los Angeles based non profit organization serving prisoners and people on skid row. Gupta answers the question: “What’s art got to do with it?”

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

Maine Currents 9/5/19: Voices from Still Mill

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Audio recorded by John Greenman and edited by Amy Browne

Storytelling fans and local history buffs are in for a treat today as we bring you some of the “Voices from Still Mill”, recorded on July 21st at the Alamo Theatre in Bucksport, Maine.
The event was based on the book, STILL MILL, Poems, Stories & Songs of Making Paper in Bucksport, Maine 1930-2014 edited by Patricia Smith Ranzoni, Bucksport’s Poet Laureate and published by North Country Press. [Copyright © and registered with Library of Congress 2017. Used by permission of Patricia Smith Ranzoni, Editor]

Mel Allen, Editor of Yankee magazine and author of the 2018 article “Bucksport, Maine The Town That Refused to Die” was the facilitator. A song by Chris Soper was featured (view the youtube video of the song here )

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

Maine Currents Special 8/29/19: Part 2 of 2- Patrisha McLean’s “Finding Our Voices”

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Note: Maine Currents will return to our regular time slot – the 1st Thursday of each month at 10, in September.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: This program features women telling their stories of surviving domestic abuse. Some of the descriptions of abuse and violence are graphic.

According to the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence, here in Maine a domestic violence assault is reported to law enforcement roughly every 2 hours. And according to a 2018 report by the Maine Domestic Abuse Homicide Review Panel, for more than 10 years, almost half of the homicides in Maine were caused by domestic violence. 16 of the 37 people who were murdered in Maine from 2016 to 2017, were killed by a family member or intimate partner.

My guest on this program is Patrisha McLean. You may know her as an accomplished photographer– and you may also know parts of her personal story as a survivor of domestic violence, as they have played out in the media. Her abuser is a celebrity, so her story was shared far and wide. While that spotlight may have caused some of us to withdraw, Patrisha instead picked up her camera and a recorder and went out to help other women tell their stories on a website and traveling multimedia exhibition, called Finding Our Voices Today we pick up our conversation where it left off on the program that aired yesterday, and we open the phone lines and email to listeners.

The Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence website has resources, including confidential help lines, if you or someone you know would like to talk with someone about domestic abuse/violence. There are links to resources at www.findingourvoices.net as well. The Statewide Domestic Abuse Helpline is: 1-866-834-HELP Hearing Impaired: 1-800-437-1220 The Penobscot Nation’s Domestic & Sexual Violence Advocacy Center’s hotline number is (207) 631-4886

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

Maine Currents 8/28/19: Part 1 of 2- Patrisha McLean’s “Finding Our Voices”

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Note: We were off the air on 8/1/19 when this originally was scheduled to air. Maine Currents will return to our regular time slot – the 1st Thursday of each month at 10, in September.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: This program features women telling their stories of surviving domestic abuse. Some of the descriptions of abuse and violence are graphic.

According to the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence, here in Maine a domestic violence assault is reported to law enforcement roughly every 2 hours. And according to a 2018 report by the Maine Domestic Abuse Homicide Review Panel, for more than 10 years, almost half of the homicides in Maine were caused by domestic violence. 16 of the 37 people who were murdered in Maine from 2016 to 2017, were killed by a family member or intimate partner.

My guest on this program is Patrisha McLean. You may know her as an accomplished photographer– and you may also know parts of her personal story as a survivor of domestic violence, as they have played out in the media. Her abuser is a celebrity, so her story was shared far and wide. While that spotlight may have caused some of us to withdraw, Patrisha instead picked up her camera and a recorder and went out to help other women tell their stories on a website and traveling multimedia exhibition, called Finding Our Voices

The Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence website has resources, including confidential help lines, if you or someone you know would like to talk with someone about domestic abuse/violence. There are links to resources at www.findingourvoices.net as well. The Statewide Domestic Abuse Helpline is: 1-866-834-HELP Hearing Impaired: 1-800-437-1220 The Penobscot Nation’s Domestic & Sexual Violence Advocacy Center’s hotline number is (207) 631-4886

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

Maine Currents 7/4/19: Mainers Standing Up to General Dynamics/BIW

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Studio Engineer: Joel Mann

Guests Connie Jenkins, Meredith Bruskin, Dud Hendrik, Robert Shetterly and Russell Wray are members of an affinity group that has been engaging in what they call “civil resistance”, as well as using other strategies, to call attention to the impact of the war ships built at General Dynamic’s Bath Iron Works – including their “carbon boot print”. Hear why, and what alternatives they are proposing, on this edition of Maine Currents.

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

Maine Currents 6/6/19: “Connecting Our Struggles: Corporations or Communities?”

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Audio recorded by: Meredith DeFrancesco

Last week a panel of Maine-based activists spoke in Belfast at an event called “Connecting Our Struggles: Corporations or Communities?”
Panelists Nickie Sekera of Community Water Justice; Matt Wagner of No to NECEC; Ellie Daniels of Local Citizens for SMART Growth; and John Banks, Natural Resources Director for the Penobscot Nation, talked about tensions between corporate interests and efforts to protect and preserve communities.

This morning on Maine Currents we have the first part of the panel discussion. Part 2 will air on RadioActive this afternoon at 4:30.

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