Archives for Maine Currents

Maine Currents 12/30/15

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Today we’re bringing you to the season finale of the Queen City Cellar Tellers storytelling series, held at the Fork and Spoon in Bangor on December 18th. This month the theme was “family”. Chris Roberts emceed.

Maine Currents 12/23/15

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Segment 1: Today we bring you Part 2 of Mainers speaking out at the Maine Citizen Trade Policy Commission’s Public Hearing on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP), in Bangor on December 10th (more info re the TPP is below).

Segment 2: We shift gears for some local storytelling from the “True Stories” event held by the Midcoast Actors’ Studio in Belfast earlier this month.

If passed, the TPP would cover 12 countries with an estimated combined GDP totaling 40% of the world’s economy,
For several years, the TPP was negotiated in extreme secrecy. When the text was released last month, the advocacy group Public Citizen responded that “In chapter after chapter, the final text is worse than expected, with the demands of the 500 official U.S. trade advisers representing corporate interests satisfied to the detriment of the public interest. The text reveals that the pact replicates many of the most controversial terms of past pacts that promote job offshoring and push down U.S. wages.” Congress is expected to vote on the agreement in 2016.

The Maine Citizen Trade Policy Commission was created by Maine law in 2003 to “assess and monitor the legal and economic impacts of trade agreements on state and local laws, working conditions and the business environment; to provide a mechanism for citizens and Legislators to voice their concerns and recommendations; and to make policy recommendations designed to protect Maine’s jobs, business environment and laws from any negative impact of trade agreements.” The CTPC is composed of 6 legislators, 7 members from the private sector and 5 representatives of different state agencies.

TPP text: ustr.gov/tpp/#text

Maine Currents 12/16/15

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Mainers speak out at the Maine Citizen Trade Policy Commission’s Public Hearing on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP), in Bangor on December 10th.

If passed, the TPP would cover 12 countries with an estimated combined GDP totaling 40% of the world’s economy,
For several years, the TPP was negotiated in extreme secrecy. When the text was released last month, the advocacy group Public Citizen responded that “In chapter after chapter, the final text is worse than expected, with the demands of the 500 official U.S. trade advisers representing corporate interests satisfied to the detriment of the public interest. The text reveals that the pact replicates many of the most controversial terms of past pacts that promote job offshoring and push down U.S. wages.” Congress is expected to vote on the agreement in 2016.

The Maine Citizen Trade Policy Commission was created by Maine law in 2003 to “assess and monitor the legal and economic impacts of trade agreements on state and local laws, working conditions and the business environment; to provide a mechanism for citizens and Legislators to voice their concerns and recommendations; and to make policy recommendations designed to protect Maine’s jobs, business environment and laws from any negative impact of trade agreements.” The CTPC is composed of 6 legislators, 7 members from the private sector and 5 representatives of different state agencies.

TPP text: ustr.gov/tpp/#text

Maine Currents 12/2/15

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Engineer: Joel Mann

While the world focuses on the climate talks in Paris, here in Maine people are taking things into their own hands, working together with their neighbors to reduce their carbon footprints and influence energy policy. A few weeks ago Maine Currents featured the Bangor chapters of 350.org and Citizen’s Climate Lobby. Today we’re talking with members of the Sierra Club of Maine, and taking your calls to hear what you are doing (or think should be done) about this issue.

Guests:
Glen Brand, Director, Maine Chapter of the Sierra Club
Nancy Chandler, Sierra Club Climate Action Team- Phippsburg
Marty Fox, Sierra Club Climate Action Team- Wiscasset
Miriam Rubin, Chair of the Climate Action Team Advisory Committee

FMI: www.sierraclub.org/maine/maine-climate-action-teams

Maine Currents 11/25/15

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Today we bring you to the final installment of the fall semester Marxist and Socialist Studies lecture series at the University of Maine last week, where Professor Michael Howard spoke about “Liberal Egalitarian Versus Marxist Concepts of Exploitation”.

Maine Currents 11/18/15

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Representatives from local chapters of 350.org and Citizens Climate Lobby spoke at the University of Maine last week about “Citizen Responses to Climate Change”. The panelists were Lyndy Rohman, cofounder of the Bangor chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby(CCL); Tim Godaire, a graduate student at UMaine’s Climate Change Institute and member of Citizens Climate Lobby; Glen Koehler, who also works with CCL in Bangor; and Hendrik Gideonse from 350 Bangor/350 Maine. They talked about what drew them to climate change activism and what each group is doing to address the issue.

Maine Currents 11/11/15

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

(Part 2 of 2) Rockland 2015 is starting to sound a bit like Searsport 2012. A large out of state corporation has spun off a local-sounding LLC – Rockland Energy Center Limited Liability Corporation – and is proposing to build a gas plant in the city. Few specifics have been released, leaving Rockland residents with many unanswered questions. “Renew Rockland”, a group that describes itself as “local residents who have come together to respond to changing energy needs and concerns about our local environment” compiled unanswered questions collected at the few previous meetings where this issue has been discussed, and held a forum last week to try to address them. Panelists at the forum on “Rockland’s Energy Future” had expertise in engineering gas plants, alternative energy, climate change and health. The resulting discussion has implications far beyond Rockland.

Addendum: On Friday of last week the Bangor Daily News reported that city administrators met with representatives of the gas company on October 27th, just 2 days before this forum took place. As you’ll recall if you listened to part 1 of this special, one of the 1st questions that we asked at the forum was when was the last time the gas company was in contact with the city. City Councilor Larry Pritchett (who also serves on the city’s energy committee) responded “I think if you say ‘in contact’ you know, there’s been questions to city staff. There hasn’t been anything that looks like negotiations.” Stephen Betts of the BDN reported that the assistant city manager said city officials met with Rockland Energy on October 27th “to relay the concerns citizens had about issues such as emissions and noise. [The Asst City Mgr] said the city also informed the company that when it does submit its formal plans, the city will be hiring an independent party to review the proposal. She said the city would expect Rockland Energy Center to pay for that cost, and the company is amenable to that arrangement.” We asked City Councilor Larry Pritchett about this apparent discrepancy earlier today and he said he was unaware of the October 27th meeting and questioned the accuracy of the date as reported in the BDN. We attempted to reach the BDN reporter to confirm, but as of air time haven’t heard back. We’ll continue to follow up on this story.

Maine Currents 11/4/15

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Rockland 2015 is starting to sound a bit like Searsport 2012. A large out of state corporation has spun off a local-sounding LLC – Rockland Energy Center Limited Liability Corporation – and is proposing to build a gas plant in the city. Few specifics have been released, leaving Rockland residents with many unanswered questions. “Renew Rockland”, a group that describes itself as “local residents who have come together to respond to changing energy needs and concerns about our local environment” compiled unanswered questions collected at the few previous meetings where this issue has been discussed, and held a forum last week to try to address them. Panelists at the forum on “Rockland’s Energy Future” had expertise in engineering gas plants, alternative energy, climate change and health. The resulting discussion has implications far beyond Rockland. In a 2 part special, this week and next, we’ll take you there.

FMI: www.facebook.com/renewthemidcoast/?fref=ts