Archives for WERU News Report

WERU News Report 7/15/14

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

People lined the sidewalk outside the Hobby Lobby in Bangor Saturday to protest the recent Supreme Court decision allowing the company to deny health insurance coverage for birth control methods the owners oppose on religious grounds. The protest was organized by the Mabel Wadsworth Center. We spoke with their Education and Outreach Coordinator Abbie Strout, and with many of the participants:


WERU News Report 7/9/14

Host: Amy Browne
Producer: Carolyn Coe

Topic: Palestine–child arrests

Key Discussion Points:
Israel tries and convicts hundreds of Palestinian children in military courts each year. Many of these children, between the ages of 12 and 17, experience abuse during their arrest and detention and about one-fifth are put into solitary confinement.

The long-term consequences of the systematic arrest and detention of children in Palestine include lifetime travel restrictions, unfinished schooling, disruptions within families, and a fear of future arrest and harm.

Organizations within Palestine are working to educate and advocate for children on their rights under international law.

Ivan Karakashian, advocacy unit coordinator, Defence for Children International, Palestine
Suha Ziyada, public relations officer with Al Shoruq
Issa Suf, activist, Hares

Defence for Children International, Palestine
Shoruq Organization
info on the round-up of boys in Hares

WERU News Report 7/8/14

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

In what many believe to be the latest threat to the Penobscot Nation and the river ecosystem, a new landfill is being proposed in the Greenbush/Argyle area. The organization behind the plan is the Municipal Review Committee or “MRC”, which represents nearly 200 Maine municipalities that have their solid waste delivered to the PERC waste-to-energy facility in Orrington. Supporters cite a 2013 report that indicated that Maine would run out of landfill space in 11 years, and an impending fee increase at the PERC plant as evidence of need for a new landfill.

The new dump would be located only a few miles from the controversial Juniper Ridge landfill. It would also be in close proximity to Indian Island, Birch Stream and Sunkhaze Meadows Wildlife Refuge, near an aquifer and in an area known for landslides. The location is also adjacent to what is believed to be the route the proposed East-West Corridor would take through the area.

Last week, the Maine Dept of Environmental Protection held a public meeting in Old Town, one step in the process of determining whether the dump would meet the “public benefit” criteria required for issuing a permit.

For several hours the public spoke Here’s what some of them had to say. DEP Commissioner Patrica Aho facilitated:

WERU News Report 6/24/14

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

As crisis heats up in Iraq, today we’re talking with Rick McDowell, a Maine resident who has been traveling to Iraq and spending time living there since the 1990s, to get his perspective on the situation

WERU News Report 6/18/14

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Maine has been on the forefront of the buy local / eat local movement for years, and in Deer Isle-Stonington a landmark was achieved last week, with the formation of the largest worker-owned cooperative in the state. When the owners of the Burnt Cove Market, V&S Variety and Pharmacy, and The Galley
were preparing to retire last year, it seemed the logical next step was to sell the businesses. The businesses are one of the largest employers in town, and the future of those jobs was uncertain. But then the idea of forming a cooperative was floated. Over the past year, with the cooperation of the owners, Vern and Sandra Seile, and assistance from Mark Sprackland of the Independent Retailers Shared Services Cooperative and Rob Brown of the Cooperative Development Institute, the employees came together and became the new owners of the largest worker cooperative in Maine

Today on the News Report we’re talking with some of the people involved in the process, to learn what went on behind-the-scenes, and how this model might be applied in other places to protect small local businesses. Rob Brown, Mark Sprackland, and Allen White, one of the new owners, spoke with us by phone from one of the stores earlier today

WERU News Report 6/17/14

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Contributing Producer: John Greenman

Segment 1: Protestors gathered outside the Cianbro offices in Pittsfield yesterday, to call attention to their opposition to the East-West corridor promoted by Cianbro’s CEO Peter Vigue. WERU volunteer John Greenman joined the group at roadside, and asked them why there were there

Segment 2: We talk with Lisa Pohlmann, Executive Director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, about their upcoming event, on Wednesday, July 2: Climate Change and the Future of Snow: A Discussion with Porter Fox, Author of “DEEP” in Northeast Harbor. FMI:

WERU News Report 6/11/14

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Segment 1: Some residents of the small Aroostook County town of Crystal have spent the past year trying to prevent the spreading of septage waste on a field in that town. When the Department of Environmental Protection approved the septage application, abutting landowner Mike Charette appealed that decision to the Board of Environmental Protection. Last week the BEP denied his appeal and a few days ago the spreading of septage got underway. We spoke with Mike Charette and his partner Cyndi Mullens earlier today to get their reaction to the BEP’s denial of their appeal, and to find out what steps they plan to take next

Segment 2: We check in with David Boyer, the Maine political director of the Marijuana Policy Project. We spoke with him on Monday, as the group was preparing to go the the polls in 3 Maine cities, to gather signatures in support of legalization

WERU News Report 6/10/14

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Segment 1: It’s something that most of us never think of when we sit down to enjoy a seafood dinner, but working in the commercial fisheries can be extremely dangerous. 46 of Maine’s commercial fishermen died at sea in the years between 1993 and 2009 alone. In Lubec efforts are underway to create a memorial to those lost from Washington County, and nearby Charlotte County, New Brunswick. Dennis Corso is the Vice President, and Jon Stence is the Treasurer of the Lost Fishermen’s Memorial Association. They joined us by phone to tell us the story behind that project

Segment 2: Judging from the feedback we get from our listeners, many – if not most – of you are supportive of media that is not controlled by corporations. But do you know the specifics of some of the most censored stories in recent history, and what happened to the reporters who tried to work within the system to report on them? Tonight WERU is sponsoring a showing of the documentary “Shadows of Liberty”, a film that takes on those very issues. Matt Murphy will tell you where and when, in this interview with one of the reporters featured in the film: