Archives for Specials

WERU Special 5/31/17: Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)

Producer/Host: Linda Washburn
Engineer: John Greenman

Program Topic: The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)

Key Discussion Points:
a) The Equal Rights Amendment was introduced in 1923. Why was it introduced?
b) 94 years later the ERA languishes- why?
c) What has jump-started interest in the ERA?
d) Are there ways other than a Constitutional amendment to bring equality to women?

Posie Cowan, founder of Equal Rights Maine, from the Blue Hill Peninsula
Kathleen Bonk (Brooksville and DC) was involved with ERA ratification starting in 1972, then worked with Betty Ford and Alan Alda on the ERA Countdown Campaign as Communications Chief and is now on the steering committee for the current federal ERA drive.

To learn more about this topic:
Equal Rights Maine at (local organization)
Equal Means Equal: Why the Time for an Equal Rights Amendment is Now by Jessica Neuwirth, The New Press, 2015.
Why We Lost the ERA by Jane J. Mansbridge, University of Chicago Press, 1986.
Posie’s connection to the suffrage movement: And on to the ERA:
visit and

Special 3/31/17: Selections from the 2017 Camden Conference

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Program Topic: Migration and Refugees

Key Discussion Points:
a) Moral and practical reasons for refugee protection
b) Current scale of displaced people in different parts of the world and political effects
c) Distinction among refugees, asylum seekers, forcibly displace persons, immigrants

Jeanne Bourgault, Camden Conference Moderator and President of Internews
Ray Jennings, Principal, Cultural Naviagtion Group

Special 3/30/17: Selections from the 2017 Camden Conference

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Program Topic: Migration and Refugees

Key Discussion Points:
a) Rise of far right movements in Europe tied to immigration
b) American immigration policy and history
c) Current American refugee acceptance policy

Cas Mudde, Professor, Univesity of Georgia and Researcher, University of Oslo
Tim Kane, JP Conte Fellow in Immigration Studies, Hoover Institute, Stanford Univ

Special 3/29/17: Selections from the 2017 Camden Conference

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Program Topic: Migration and Refugees

Key Discussion Points:
a) Current crisis in forcibly displace people throughout the world
b) Work of the UNHCR
c) US policies on Mexico border to control immigration

Kelly Clements, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees
Bruno Stegno, former UN Ambassador from Costa Rica and Deputy Executive Director, Human Rights Watch

Special Edition of Healthy Options 10/6/16

Host and Producer: Rhonda Feiman
Co-Producer: Petra Hall
Engineer: Amy Browne

Program Topic: Healthy Aging as the Silver Tsunami Approaches

Key Discussion Points:
a) What is the “Silver Tsunami”, and what does this mean for baby boomers, seniors, & our healthcare system?
b) How do our health care needs change as we age?
c) What lifestyle habits should we cultivate in order to stay well?
d) What do baby boomers and seniors and their families need to know when interacting with the medical system?
e) What is a geriatrician? Why do we need one as we age? Why are there so few of them, in sharp contrast to the increasing population of seniors who need them?
f) What can we do as patients and as family to be sure that the treatable ailments of seniors are not dismissed as “just old age” or misdiagnosed?

Guest: Marcy Cottrell Houle, MS., coauthor of The Gift of Caring: Saving Our Parents from the Perils of Modern Healthcare

Related websites of interest:

Wabanaki Windows Special Report 9/12/16

Producer/Host: Donna Loring
Studio Engineers: Amy Browne & Matt Murphy

Issue: North Dakota Access Pipeline– Largest gathering of Tribes in 100 years

Key Discussion Points:
a) Corporate Oil and it’s destruction of Native Land?
b) Attempt to cover up its use of force against Native people at site
c) What can we do to support the Human and Civil Rights of the Tribes?

Sherri Mitchell, Esq., Director of the Land Peace Foundation. she is a Native Rights and Environmental Activist and a Penobscot Nation Tribal Member
Dr. Rebecca Sockbeson University of Alberta, Penobscot Nation Tribal Member
Chief Kirk Francis, Chief of the Penobscot Nation


WERU Special: Orland Dam Removal Public Forum 6/3/16

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Production Assistance: John Greenman

Today we have a special report on the proposal to remove the Orland Dam – a decision that regardless of which way it goes, will likely have impacts not only on that town, but on surrounding areas as well. Orland took over ownership of the dam from Verso in 2011. The dam has been found to have serious structural issues, has failed in the past, and currently salt water flows over the top periodically. It also blocks fish passage and the existing fish ladders are considered inadequate. The town will be voting on June 14th on a ballot question that gives 2 options: Keep the dam and have the town foot any associated costs, or move forward toward removal of the dam by working with NOAA fisheries and the Nature Conservancy to acquire available funding for removal of the dam and ancillary costs. NOAA is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, one of the major forces behind the Penobscot River Restoration project. In 2014 they designated the Penobscot River Watershed as a “Habitat Focus Area” — one of just two on the east coast –citing the environmental, cultural and recreational significance of New England’s second largest river, which provides habitat to many migratory fish species, including 3 that are listed as endangered.

Those who oppose removing the dam are concerned about the impact on water front views, which would start changing with the tides, potential impacts of salt water on wells and bridges, and the need to find a new source of water for fire fighting (as the impoundment created by the dam has been used for that purpose)—and whether the grants the town might receive would cover those costs. The need to coordinate dam removal with the clean up of mercury in the river so as to not further mobilize a mercury hotspot just below the dam is also a concern.

At a well-attended forum Wednesday night in Orland, experts who have been studying the issues and agencies offering funding for the project, provided updates and heard comments and questions from the public. The entire presentation last more than 2 hours. This morning we hear from some of the panelists and a few of the public comments.

NOTE: The link to the full meeting (2+ hours in length) is also posted below. The 1st link is for today’s program, the second is the full meeting.