Archives for RadioActive

RadioActive 6/9/11

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Today we look at Maine’s high ozone alert with a DEP meteorologist and talk with a member of the Union for Concerned Scientists on the connection to climate change.
Then we speak with a member of the Laborers union about and upcoming “Maine Worker’s Forum on Jobs”, featuring a presentation of the Living Labor Mural.
-Maine DEP meteorologist Martha (click “Maine Air Quality Forecasts”) or toll free hotline (800) 223-1196
– Union of Concerned public health expert and co author of report “ Climate Change and Your Health : Rising Temperatures, Worsening Ozone Pollution”
Report at:
-Chris Tucker (Laborers 327) and Eastern Maine Labor Council
For registration and information on the “Maine Worker’s Forum on Jobs” :

RadioActive 6/2/11

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Today we talk with Bangladeshi labor activist Kalpona Akter, who along with two of her colleagues were arrested last summer following their involvement in a movement to raise the minimum wage for garment workers in Bangladesh. The garment factory managers who have leveled charges against the three activists are major suppliers to Walmart.
Kalpona Akter, Babul Akter and Aminul Islam, all from the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, could face long prison terms, or even the death penalty, for some of the charges. A major international campaign has targeted Walmart to take responsibility for the labor conditions in the factories they outsource to, and to pressure the factory owners to drop charges against the activists advocating for better working conditions in these factories.
We also speak with Bjorn Skorpen Claeson, director of Sweatfree Communities, a campaign on the International Labor Rights Forum.
Walmart declined an interview.

RadioActive 6/2/11

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

RadioActive 5/26/11

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

This week, the heads of the Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, MicMac, Maliseet and Maine state governments signed a Declaration of Intent to Create a Maine/Wabanaki Truth and Reconciliation Process. This process will create a commission to address the damaging history and repercussions of federal and state child welfare practices on the Wabanki tribes. This process is the first of its kind in the U.S.
An excerpt of the declaration reads:
“Beginning in the late 1800’s, the United States government established boarding schools intended to solve the “Indian problem” through assimilation. Henry Richard Pratt, the founder of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, described his effort as an attempt to “kill the Indian and save the man”. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Child Welfare League of America created the Indian Adoption Project which removed hundreds of native children from their families and tribes to be adopted by non-native families. In 1978, the US Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), which codified higher standards of protection for the rights of native children, their families and their tribal communities. Within the ICWA, Congress stated that, “No resource is more vital to the continued existence and integrity of Indian tribes than their children” and that “Child welfare agencies had failed to recognize the essential tribal relations of Indian people and the culture and social standard prevailing in Indian communities and families.”
Important progress has been made with the passage of ICWA. There has been positive collaboration between the state of Maine and Wabanaki tribes to bring lasting positive change. Since 1999, this effort has resulted in ICWA trainings for state workers, an Indian Child Welfare policy and a better working relationship.
In spite of this progress, Maine child welfare history continues to impact Wabanaki children and families today. We have come to realize that we must unearth the story of the Wabanaki people’s experiences in order to fully uphold the spirit, letter and intent of the ICWA in a way that is consistent and sustainable.”
We speak with Esther Attean, Passamaquoddy tribal member. She is with the Muskie School of Public Policy and part of the convening group for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
We also talk with Denise Yarmal Altivator, Passamaquoddy tribal member. She is a commissioner with the Maine Indian Trial State Commission and a member of the convening group.
For more information on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission:

RadioActive 5/19/11

Producers/Hosts: Meredith DeFrancesco and Amy Browne

Today we look at changing and extreme weather, the relationship to climate change, and the increased need for local governments and community responses.
Yesterday, the Union for Concerned Scientists held a telephone press conference to address the gathering increase in extreme weather, in the context of global climate change. The UCS press conference participants spoke to the work that’s beginning to be done in local communities and cities to integrate climate adaptation into their planning, and the work being done to shift costs from the public sector to the insurance markets.

1)Katharine Hayhoe, Climate scientist and associate professor at Texas Tech University.
2) Missy Stults, Climate Director, ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability

RadioActive 5/12/11

Producers/Hosts: Amy Browne & Meredith DeFrancesco

Segment 1: Supporters of Maine-certified medical marijuana user Jeffrey Barnard plan to gather at the Federal Courthouse in Bangor Tuesday morning to ask Judge Woodcock to release Barnard, and to let him resume using marijuana. They say he has been a victim of a conflict between Maine’s medical marijuana law, and federal probation policies prohibiting use. We spoke with his wife, Vicki Barnard, and a family friend, Jeff Black, earlier today:

Segment 2: Last week on RadioActive we brought you part 1 of a talk about nuclear weapons that was held at Unity College last month. Today we bring you another of the speakers at that event. This is Colonel Richard Klass (USAF, retired) of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation speaking at Unity College on April 19th, as part of the College’s Lapping Lecture Series Our thanks to Roger Fenn of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Maine Chapter, and to Unity College for making this talk available to WERU

RadioActive 5/5/11

Producers/Hosts: Amy Browne and Meredith DeFrancesco
Audio provided by Unity College and Roger Fenn

Dr. Ira Helfand, co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, with a look at the medical perspectives on the use of nuclear weapons. He spoke at Unity college on April 19th, as part of the College’s Lapping Lecture Series. He is Introduced by Roger Fenn of the Physicians for Social Responsibility, Maine Chapter.

(NOTE: Colonel Richard Klass (USAF, ret) of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation also spoke on this topic at Unity College that evening. We didn’t have time to bring you his comments today, but we’ll air that on “RadioActive” next week at this time.

RadioActive 4/28/11

Producers/Hosts: Amy Browne, Meredith DeFrancesco, John Greenman

Professor Doug Allen, University of Maine, speaking on MLK, Ghandi, and hope in times of fear.