Archives for LePage

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

Maine Currents 2/22/17

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Contributor: John Greenman

Segment 1: Public hearings are being held this week on Governor LePage’s proposed 2018-2019 state budget, which would make dramatic cuts to several programs and services that serve some of Maine’s most vulnerable populations. Hospitals, municipalities, social services programs and clergy say they are already stretched beyond their capacities to serve Mainers who fall through the holes that already exist in Maine’s safety nets, and do not have the resources to deal with the consequences of the major cuts being proposed.
The public hearings are drawing overflow crowds to the statehouse. We take you there.

Segment 2: John Greenman reports back from 2 protests in Bangor today, held in conjunction with protests in Lewiston and Portland, calling on Sen. Susan Collins to hold a town hall meeting with her constituents.

Segment 3: A brief update on the developing story at Standing Rock in North Dakota. Standing Rock water defenders were given a deadline of 2pm Mountain time today to leave one of their encampments but some have vowed to stay and continue to resist the Dakota Access Pipeline.

RadioActive 1/12/17

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

Program Topic: Governor LePage’s proposal to build a privately run mental healthcare facility in Maine

Key Discussion Points:

1) Today we take a closer look at Governor LePage’s proposal to build a privately run mental healthcare facility in Maine, and what that could mean for quality and continuity of of patient care, transparency and legislative oversight
2) There is a national trend towards the privatization of mental healthcare. One of the bidders for the Maine facility id Correct Care Solution who has be criticized for it record in for profit prison facilities.
3) We also look at other labor issues in the state, including the implementation of this elections referendums on the minimum wage and income tax reform.

Guests by name and affiliation:
Shelby Moreau, mental health worker at Riverview Psychiatric Center, Vice-president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, local 1814
Sarah Bigney, Maine AFL-CIO

Maine Currents 8/31/16

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Studio Engineer: John Greenman

Hal Crowther and Robert Shetterly debate “voting for the lesser of two evils” and listeners weigh in on that, and on recent news about Gov. LePage’s behavior.

Guest bios:

Rob Shetterly graduated in 1969 from Harvard, with a degree in English Literature. He was active at that time in the Civil Rights and the Anti-Vietnam War movements.
He moved to Maine in 1970. For twelve years he did the editorial page drawings for The Maine Times newspaper, and illustrated National Audubon’s children’s newspaper, and more than 30 books.
Rob’s paintings and prints are in collections all over the U.S. and Europe. For the past 10 plus years he has been painting the Americans Who Tell the Truth portrait series. The exhibit has been traveling around the country since 2003. In 2005, Dutton published an award-winning book of the portraits by the same name.
The portraits have given Rob Shetterly an opportunity to speak with children and adults all over this country about the necessity of dissent in a democracy, the obligations of citizenship, sustainability, US history, and how democracy cannot function if politicians don’t tell the truth, if the media don’t report it, and if the people don’t demand it.
He has engaged in a wide variety of political and humanitarian work with many of the people whose portraits he has painted – including environmental and social justice activists and whistleblowers. Since 1990, he has been the President of the Union of Maine Visual Artists (UMVA), and a producer of the UMVA’s Maine Masters Project, an on-going series of video documentaries about Maine artists. He has received numerous awards and honors. FMI:

Hal Crowther has also received many awards and much critical acclaim for his work. Hal is a critic and essayist who lives in North Carolina and spends summers here in Maine. He is the author of An Infuriating American: The Incendiary Arts of H.L. Mencken which was published 2014. He is also a former syndicated columnist, screenwriter and newsmagazine editor, at both Time and Newsweek. His most recent collection of essays, Gather at the River, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle prize in criticism. Crowther’s essays have been published in many magazines and newspapers, from Granta to the New York Times, and included in many anthologies, including the 2014 Pushcart Prize volume for The Joys of Obsolescence. Author and scholar Kirkpatrick Sale has praised Hal Crowther as “the best essayist working in journalism today”. FMI:

Maine Currents 4/27/16

Producer/Editor/Host: Amy Browne
Engineer: Joel Mann

Topic: Governor LePage’s recent behavior and efforts to address it. Last night he stormed out of an event at UMaine Farmington, calling 2 protesters “idiots”. The previous day he held a meeting that legally should have been public, but access was denied to legislators, media and the public. He has declared the Natural Resources Council of Maine and the Maine People’s Alliance– 2 of the state’s largest environmental and social justice groups– “enemies”. Efforts to impeach him were defeated earlier this year, but his controversial behavior keeps those efforts alive. Meanwhile his supporters praise his “plain talking” style. On today’s call in show we’re asking “What do YOU think?”

Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives Mark Eves FMI:
Rebecca Halbrook, retired attorney working on impeachment efforts and a new group called “Mainers for Government Accountability”. FMI:
Mike Tipping, Communications Director for the Maine People’s Alliance, cohost of “The Beacon” podcast which airs on WERU Tuesday afternoons at 4 and author of As Maine Went: Paul LePage and the Tea Party Takeover FMI:

RadioActive 1/26/12

Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

Broadcast Time:4-4:30PM

Program Topic: Governor LePage’s Proposed Budget Cuts to Department of Health and Human Services programs, including MaineCare

Key Discussion Points:
a) We look at efforts to uncover the coordinated crackdown on Occupy Wall Street encampments across the country, through the US Conference of Mayors.
b) We look at restrictions to those on unemployment insurance, under the proposed bill LD 1725, “An Act to Strengthen the Unemployment Insurance Laws and Reduce Fraud”.
c) And, we check in on the status of the massive cuts to low income social service and healthcare programs, proposed by Governor LePage. 65,000 people could be cut from MaineCare The Appropriations Committee has already agreed to cut funding for “Wrap Around Maine”, which has helped struggling youth turn their lives around.

Guests by name and affiliation:
A) Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, director of The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund : ,
B) Jack McKay, director of Food and Medicine :
C )Ana Hickes, Senior Policy Analyst at Maine Equal Justice Partners :,

Call In Program: No
Political Broadcast: No

Host: Meredith DeFrancesco
Engineer: Meredith DeFrancesco