RadioActive 11/1/18

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Environmental and Social Justice: Root Causes of Migrant Caravan and Political Violence in Central America and US

Key Discussion Points:

a) This week, we again turn to the thousands of migrants travelling together from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala towards the US to seek asylum.
b) We look further at the political repression experienced by Hondurans since the US supported 2009 coup and at the environmental, human rights and economic impacts mega-projects have had on the population.
c) We also reflect on the connections between the recent hatred fueled violence in the US and the demonization of immigration.

And, as November 6th deadline for public comment looms, we look at the Trump Administration’s attempt to repeal the 1997 Flores Amendment, which prohibits the US federal government from holding migrant children in detention centers for over 20 days.

Grahame Russel, director of Rights Action
Reporting by Sandra Cuffe, travelling with caravan:

Dennis Chinoy, US El Salvador Sister Cities, PICA (Power in Community Alliances)

Information on Flores Amendment:

RadioActive 10/25/18

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Migrant Caravan from Central America: Root Causes and Human Rights

Key Discussion Points:

a) As thousands of migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala travel in a caravan through Mexico towards the US, we speak with Patricia Montes, executive director od the immigrant rights organization Centro Presente, in East Boston.

b) We look at the root causes, and connections to the United States policies, including poverty, unemployment, gang violence and political repression, including following the US backed coup in Honduras in 2009.

c) We also look at human rights impacts, as the Trump Administration seizes on the caravan to inflame knee jerk, anti-immigrant sentiment during the mid-term election, now saying he will “call up the US military and close our southern border.”

Guest: Patricia Montes, executive director, Centro Presente ,

RadioActive 10/18/18

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Environmental and Social Justice: El Salvador Social Movement

Key Discussion Points:

a) We sat down with two members of the Salvadoran social movement, Bernardo Belloso of CRIPDES and Zulma Tobar of US El Salvador Sister Cities, to talk about some of the issues confronting the organized rural communities in El Salvador.

b) These include the growth of the sugar cane industry and the impacts on health from agrochemicals and excessive use of water, national efforts to privatize water and climate change. In 2016, El Salvador became the first country to ban metallic mining, a result of massive social movement efforts.

c) Since 1991, Bangor, through local organization PICA ( and US El Salvador Sister Cities, has had a sistering relationship with the Salvadoran community Carasque, one of the 300 rural communities organized through CRIPDES. MOFGA (Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association is sistered with the Salvadoran sustainable agricultural organization, CORDES. ( WERU Community Radio is sistered with community radio station Radio Sumpul in the organized community Guarjilla. (

Zulma Tobar, US El Salvador Sister Cities
Bernardo Belloso, CRIPDES

Thanks to Andrea Mercardo for translation.

RadioActive 8/9/18

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Union of Concerned Scientists on Heat Waves and Climate Change

Key Discussion Points:
a) Today we speak with the Union off Concerned Scientists’ senior climate scientist about climate change and extreme heat events, and what to expect if we do not curtail carbon emissions.
b) The Union of Concerned Scientists has just released two informational compilations/fact sheets on Heat Waves and Climate Change, where they distill the acceleration of extreme heat trends, their connection to human induce climate change and impacts on human health and infrastructure.
c) Based on a preponderance off evidence, these publications conclude if our carbon emissions continue at the current rate, most of the US could see an increase of 20 to 30 more days with temperatures above 90 degrees a year in the coming decades, with the Southeast experiencing a 40-50 day increase. The USC reports, do conclude, however, if global carbon emissions can be kept below 550 parts per million by the year 2100, the projected frequency of heat waves could be greatly reduced.

Guest: Dr. Rachel Licker, Union of Concerned Scientists, senior climate scientist

RadioActive 8/2/18

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Penobscot Elder Butch Phillips Speaks on the Penobscot River

Today, Penobscot Elder Butch Phillips speaks about his experiences on the Penobscot River, the Penobscot River Restoration Trust’s impacts on sea run fish and tribal culture, the spiritual Katahdin 100 and the Penobscot Nation’s current legal struggle to have their relationship with the Penobscot River continue to be recognized by the State of Maine.

Butch Phillips served as the Penobscot Nation’s Lieutenant Governor from 1983-84, was a negotiator for the Penobscot Nation during the creation of the Maine Indian Land Claims Settlement Act, chaired the Tribes’ Fish and Game Committee for 15 years and was a tribal cultural ambassador for the Penobscot River Restoration Trust.

The Sunlight Media Collective sat down with Butch Phillips in his home for the Collective’s film project, The River Is Our Relative. He is interviewed by Dawn Neptune Adams, Joanna Weaver and Meredith DeFrancesco.

Joanna Weaver recorded audio. This program is a joint production with the Sunlight Media Collective.

Guest: Reuben “Butch” Phillips, Penobscot Nation Elder

RadioActive 6/14/18

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to Drilling and Bangor Summer Food Program

Despite decades of protection admidst a protracted fight by Alaskan politicians and oil interest to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, Congress and presidential vetoes have held efforts at bay. At the end of this year, however, Congress passed a tax bill which included the opening of the refuge for drilling and considered the federal revenue as part of the offset for the tax cuts included in the bill.

This summer the Bangor School Department, the Bangor Housing Authority, the Bangor Public Library and the Brewer Housing Authority have partnered with the Good Shepherd Food Bank to provide a free Summer Lunch Program for children below the age of 18.

The following five sites in Bangor and Brewer will be serving meals during the following dates and times:
·Capehart Community Center – Monday, June 25th to Friday, August 31st Monday through Friday, 12pm – 1pm
·Bangor Public Library – Monday, June 25th to Friday, August 31st Monday through Friday, 12pm – 1pm
·Fairmount School – Monday, July 2nd to Friday, July 27th Monday through Friday, 8:30am – 9:30am for breakfast and12pm – 1pm for lunch
·Brewer Housing – Monday, June 25th to Friday August 24th Monday through Friday, 12pm – 1pm for lunch


Mitch Jones, senior policy advocate, Food and Water Watch (
Melissa Huston, Good Shepherd Food Bank ( and Bangor Summer Lunch Program

RadioActive 5/31/18

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Puerto Rico Deaths After Hurricane Maria and LePage refuses to Expand MaineCare after Referendum

Key Discussion Points:

This week the New England Journal of Medicine published a Harvard study which places the death toll in Puerto Rico, as a result of Hurricane Maria, at 4,645, as opposed to the federal government’s official claim of 64. We speak with a nurse from Bangor, Maine who traveled to Puerto Rico twice as part of the RN Response Network following Hurricane Maria, and witnessed the conditions of an unaddressed medical crisis that indicated a much higher rate of deaths would result.

Last month, Maine Equal Justice Partners filed a lawsuit against the LePage Administration for its failures to implement the expansion or Medicaid, or Maine Care, as directed by the passage of last November’s referendum.

The LePage Administration has not met deadlines to expand Medicaid access to Maine residents in preparation for the set goal of July 2nd for new enrollment. 70,000 Mainers would be eligible to receive health care coverage under the expansion.

Amy Tidd, Bangor RN, National Nurses United, RN Response Network
Robyn Merrill, executive director, Maine Equal Justice Partners

RadioActive 5/17/18

Producer: Meredith DeFrancesco

Environmental and Social Justice: Maine Climate Protectors Demand Maine DEP Adhere to Law Cutting Greenhouse Gases

Today we look at an effort requesting the Maine Department of Environmental Protection adhere to a 15 year old law in which Maine committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions “sufficient to eliminate any dangerous threat to the climate”.

A campaign called Maine Climate Protectors, made up students, organizations and others through out the state, testified on Tuesday before the Department of Environmental Protection, demanding lawmakers take action on climate change, as they are committed to by law.
c) Written comments for the Greenhouse Gas Petition Rule making are being accepted by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection until June 29th. Email: Mail: GHG Petition Rule making, Attn Jeff Crawford, Maine Department of Environmental Protection,17 State House, Augusta , ME. 04333August ME 04333

Charles Spanger, Maine Climate Protectors, Scarborough Climate Action, 350 Maine, Scarborough Conservation Committee
Beth Fuller Valentine, attorney, Maine Climate Protectors