RadioActive 10/15/20: Drinking Water Crisis at Sipayik

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

For the Passamaquoddy Nation at Sipayik, public drinking water quality has been an unaddressed problem for decades, causing Tribal members to buy water, fill jugs at a local source, or rely on donations. The Passamaquoddy Water District (PWD) named after, but not run by the Tribe, is a so called Quasi-Municipal District serving approximately 618 households at Sipayik, also known as Pleasant Point, and parts of Eastport. The source of the public water supply, which individual households are billed for, is the local Boyden Lake and its watershed. At issue is water odor, discoloration and a documented high level of trihalomethanes (THMs), a chemical created by the use of chlorine in disinfecting water during the treatment process. As Boyden Lake’s water levels have decreased, increased treatment has been required to offset higher levels of organic matter in the water source. Elevated levels of trihalomethanes have been associated with health issues, including cancer and reproductive problems. Beyond drinking water exposure, trihalomethanes can be absorbed through the skin and inhalation during everyday use of tap water.

After years of inaction by municipal or state entities, and previous efforts by the Tribe blocked, the Passamquoddy is bringing the issue front and center by organizing multi stakeholder meetings, with representatives of the water district, state and federal agencies and the Tribe. Meetings began in January, and some headway is being made to find short, medium and long term solutions for safe drinking water for Sipayik and neighboring Eastport.

The Passamaquoddy underline that their lack of ability to act independently to solve the crisis is compounded by restrictions from the controversial Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act. This includes, the required approval by local municipalities for projects on Tribal so-called “fee land”. Currently, the Maine Legislature is poised to consider long sought changes to the Settlement Act in the bill LD 2094: “An Act to Implement the Recommendations of the Task Force on Changes to the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Implementing Act”, the result of a months long process with Tribal and state representatives, which passed out of the Judiciary Committee in August.

At the end of summer, Passamaquoddy Vice Chief Maggie Dana at Sipayik, Passamaquoddy Representative to the Maine legislature Rena Newell, and Passamaquoddy attorney and water advocate Corey Hinton sat down via Zoom with Sunlight Media Collective, WERU and The Maine Beacon to discuss the efforts to take action on the ongoing problem of safe drinking water.

Guests:
Passamaquoddy Vice Chief Maggie Dana at Sipayik
Passamaquoddy Representative to the Maine legislature Rena Newell
Passamaquoddy attorney and water advocate Corey Hinton

Today’s program was co-produced by WERU FM/RadioActive and Sunlight Media Collective.

RadioActive 2/6/20: Youth Speak Out at Maine Climate Council Meeting

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Today we hear the voices of youth speaking out on January 29th, in Augusta at the State’s newly formed Maine Climate Council, and the Maine Youth for Climate Justice’s Youth Voices Day.

The youth representative on the state’s climate council, Ania Wight, gave the Climate Council a report back from the UN Climate talks in Madrid in December. Maine Youth for Climate Justice held a press conference to offer their perspectives and present their four demands on the work and goals of the Maine Climate Council. This includes demanding “that achieving zero-emissions by the year 2030 be the ultimate and official goal for the state and the Maine Climate Council”. Youth demands and petition

cSince October, South Portland, Portland, Bar Harbor and Brunswick have all declared a Climate Emergency. On January 21st, the Bar Harbor Town Council additionally passed a measure to create a Climate Emergency Task Force with mission of drawing down the town’s carbon emissions by 2030.

Guests:
Ania Wright- College of the Atlantic student, Youth Representative on the Maine Climate Council, founding member of Bar Harbor Climate Emergency Coalition, Earth in Brackets (COA), Maine Youth for Climate Justice

Emma Sawyer, University of Southern Maine student, Maine Youth for Climate Justice

Felipe Andres Fontecilla Gutierrez , College of the Atlantic student from Chile, Maine Youth for Climate Justice

Anna Siegel – 8th grade student at Friends School of Portland, ME Strikes, Maine Youth for Climate Justice

Sophie Dowling – Mount Desert Island High School, founding member of Bar Harbor Climate Emergency Coalition, Mount Desert Island High School ECO team, Maine Youth for Climate Justice

Today’s program was co-produced by WERU FM/RadioActive and Sunlight Media Collective.

RadioActive Special 1/30/20: Climate Emergency Call-In

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco
Studio Engineer: John Greenman

a) Since October, South Portland, Portland, Bar Harbor and Brunswick have all declared a Climate Emergency. Today we speak with local youth who were instrumental in these efforts and continue to escalate a movement for climate action.

b) We discuss the imperative for immediate action and the necessity and opportunity to concentrate on action at local governmental level.

c) On January 21st, the Bar Harbor Town Council additionally passed a measure to create a Climate Emergency Task Force with mission of drawing down the town’s carbon emissions by 2030. We discuss this and yesterdays meeting of the State’s newly formed Maine Climate Council, and the Maine Youth for Climate Justice’s Youth Voices Day.

Guests:
Sirohi Kumar, MDI High School student, MDI High School ECO Team, Maine Youth for Climate Justice, founding member of Bar Harbor Climate Emergency Coalition.
Adam” Nusselien, MDI High School student, MDI High School ECO Team, Maine Youth for Climate Justice, founding member of Bar Harbor Climate Emergency Coalition.
Thomas Korstanje – MDI High School student, MDI High School ECO Team, Maine Youth for Climate Justice, founding member of Bar Harbor Climate Emergency Coalition.
Anna Siegel – 8th grade student at Friends School of Portland, ME Strikes, Maine Youth for Climate Justice
Ania Wright- student at College of the Atlantic, Youth Representative on the Maine Climate Council, founding member of Bar Harbor Climate Emergency Coalition, Earth in Brackets (COA)
Laura Berry- recent College of the Atlantic graduate, Program Manager for the College of the Atlantic- Community Energy Center, director for research and publications for the Climate Mobilization Project.

Today’s program was co-produced by WERU FM/RadioActive and Sunlight Media Collective.

RadioActive 1/23/20: Update on Maine Indian Claims Settlement Implementing Act Changes

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Maine Judiciary Committee Votes to Accept Recommendations of Task Force on Changes Maine Indian Claims Settlement Implementing Act

On January 14th, the Maine Legislature’s Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to accept the recommendations of the Task Force on Changes to the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Implementing Act. The Task Force met July through December 2019, to review and propose changes to the Settlement Act, with the goal of recognizing the inherent sovereignty of the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Maliseet and Micmac Tribes within Maine, in concert with the status of other federally recognized Tribes throughout the country. Today we hear from Tribal leaders.
For meeting videos, audio, transcripts and other materials:
www.sunlightmediacollective.org
legislature.maine.gov/maine-indian-claims-tf
www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_129th/billpdfs/HP130701.pdf

b) The Judiciary Committee will hold public hearings on proposed legislation on February 14th and 21st at the State House, Room 438.

c) Today we announce a special call-in program on Climate Emergency : Thursday, January 30th, 4-5pm, preceding next week’s regularly scheduled RadioActive. We will look at local efforts to declare and address climate emergency.
Four town councils in Maine have declared a climate emergency : Portland, South Portland, Bar Harbor and Brunswick. On January 21st, the Bar Harbor Town Council passed a directive to create a Task Force on the Climate Emergency. See page 107: www.barharbormaine.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_01212020-2455
We will also cover the January 29th meeting of the newly created Maine Climate Council.
www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?topic=Portal_Public_Calendar&id=1706048&v=article_microformat2017

Guests:
Chief Kirk Francis, Penobscot Nation, president of United South and Eastern Tribes (USET) and National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), Natural Resource Committee Chair
Chief Clarissa Sabattis, Houlton Band of Maliseets
Vice Chief, Elizabeth Dana, Passamaquoddy Tribe at Sipayik

Today’s program was co-produced by WERU FM/RadioActive and Sunlight Media Collective.

RadioActive 1/9/20: LUPC Approves CMP Corridor and Maine Legislature Revisits Waste Policy

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

On Tuesday, the Maine Land Us Planning Commission (LUPC) followed staff recommendation and voted 5 to 2 to approve the site law certification for Central Maine Power’s highly controversial New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) corridor project. The NECEC will now proceed to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
Before the vote, some LUPC commissioners expressed concern with the project and the pressure their commission received from Central Maine Power to accelerate their process. Today we hear some of the commissioners statements and an interview with LUPC Regional Supervisor, Bill Hinkel.
Today we also look at efforts to reform Maine’s waste law at the legislative and agency levels. On Friday January 17th, the Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee will hold a work session on waste bills held over from last session, including LD 401 An Act to Preserve State Landfill Capacity and Promote Recycling. On January 13th, representatives of communities impacted by landfills will deliver a petition to the Maine DEP to amend its rules to provide an accurate definition of Maine-generated waste and to require consideration of impacts on environmental justice when determining the public benefit of licensing landfills.

Guests:
Betsy Fitzgerald, Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC) commissioner, Machiasport
Jay May, LUPC commissioner, Mapleton
Bill Gilmore, LUPC commissioner, Freeman Twp
Bill Hinkel, LUPC Regional Supervisor
www.maine.gov/dacf/lupc/agenda_items/010820/slc9_Memo_Draft_Decision_Document.pdf

e) Hillary Lister, Don’t Waste ME

Today’s program was co-produced by WERU FM/RadioActive and Sunlight Media Collective.

RadioActive 1/2/20: Proposed Pesticide Ban in Blue Hill and Eliot Coleman Speaks on Organic Agriculture

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Today we look at a newly proposed ordinance which would prohibit the sale, application and storage of synthetic pesticides in the town of Blue Hill, with exemptions, including for commercial agriculture. (www.bluehillhealthyecosystem.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Blue-Hill-Healthy-EcoSystem-Ordinance-3-1.pdf)

We also hear part of a talk hosted by the Blue Hill Healthy Ecosystems group by organic farmer, agricultural researcher, author and educator, Eliot Coleman.

On January 14th the Blue Hill Healthy Ecosystem campaign will host an talk on the effects of pesticide on human health, with naturopath Dr, Marley Sachsman. The event will be held at 7pm at the Blue Hill Public Library.

Guests:
Rick Traub, Blue Hill Healthy Ecosystems
Eliot Coleman

RadioActive 11/21/19: Bar Harbor Town Council Declares Climate Emergency and Commits to Create Climate Action Plan

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

At their public meeting on Tuesday, the Bar Harbor Town Council adopted a resolution declaring a climate emergency and a commitment to creating a climate action plan. Portland and South Portland have also recently declared a climate emergency, joining over 50 local governments across the US, including New York City, and 1182 worldwide.
Mount Desert Island High School and College of the Atlantic students spoke about the impacts climate change is having locally and presented a resolution to the Bar Harbor Town Council, which called for the town to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
While the council did not adopt that goal on Tuesday, councilors expressed commitment to immediate work to come up with an a town action plan, including numerous sectors in the town. A preliminary meeting between student groups and councilors was called for Friday.

Guests:
Student of Mount Desert Island High School: Thomas Korstanje (president, MDI Just Eco Team), Ayano Ismimura, Matilda Allen, Sirohi Kumar, Lawrence “Adam” Nuesslein IV, Lily Crikelair
Bar Harbor Town Councilors: Jeff Dobbs (Chair), Matthew Hotchman (Vice-Chair), Gary Friedmann, Jill Goldthwait, Stephen Coston, Erin Cough
Laura Berry, local organizer, director of research, The Climate Mobilization Project

Additional Resources:
A Climate to Thrive (ACTT)
Earth In Brackets, College of the Atlantic

Today’s program was co-produced by WERU FM/RadioActive and Sunlight Media Collective.

RadioActive 11/14/19: Stephen Miller’s White Supremacist Emails to Breitbart and Indigenous Resistance to Megadam Power in Canada

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

a) Today we speak with a senior investigative reporter with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hate Watch. Reports published this week examine over 900 emails written by now senior policy adviser to President Trump, Stephen Miller, to Breitbart News prior to the 2016 elections.
b) The emails, of which more then 80% relate to race and immigration, reveal Miller’s affinity and perpetuation of white supremacist ideology and an active effort to infuse Breitabrt readers with anti-immigrant fear mongering, and the motivation behind the Trump administration’s extremist immigration policy, of which Stephen Miller is the architect.
c) We also speak with the North American Megadam Resistance Alliance. A delegation this month will tour a number of North Eat states, including Maine, to underscore the links between energy transmission corridor’s Like Central Maine Power’s proposed New England Clean Energy Connect and the Indigenous communities within Canada who bear the devastating impacts of mega hydro-dams.
On November 25th, members of some of those Indigenous communities will hold events in Maine. northeastmegadamresistance.org/2019-megadams-megadamage-speaking-tour/

Guests:
a) Michael Edison Hayden, senior investigative reporter Southern Poverty Law Center, Hate Watch
www.splcenter.org/presscenter/splc-leaked-emails-expose-key-white-house-aide-stephen-millers-affinity-white
www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2019/11/12/stephen-millers-affinity-white-nationalism-revealed-leaked-emails
www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2019/11/14/emails-detail-millers-ties-group-touted-white-nationalist-writers
www.nytimes.com/2019/11/15/opinion/stephen-miller-emails.html

b) Meg Sheehan, North American Megadam Resistance Alliance
northeastmegadamresistance.org/2019-megadams-megadamage-speaking-tour/
northeastmegadamresistance.org/
northeastmegadamresistance.org/cmp-corridor-maine/

Today’s program was co-produced by WERU FM/RadioActive and Sunlight Media Collective.