Archives for Maine

Maine Currents 12/21/16

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Special thanks to Bill Solomon

This Solstice edition of Maine Currents features stories about holidays, families and winter in Maine. Rev. Dr. Anu Dudley (host of WERU’s “Earthwise” feature which airs Saturdays at 7:30) kicks things off with a look at the history of Solstice celebrations, then we hear from storytellers Marjorie Longwood of Surry, Edee Howland of Blue Hill, Cathy Mink of Waldo and Roger Sprague of Belfast. We close out the hour with some voices from the past- a 2006 holiday special recorded at WERU.

Maine Currents- independent local news, views & culture on WERU-FM 89.9 Blue Hill, 99.9 Bangor, Maine and, Wednesdays 4-5pm Eastern

WERU News Report 12/3/13

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Today we continue our on-going coverage of the re-write of Maine’s mining laws, as there is breaking news out of Augusta: the Board of Environmental Protection is revealing their recommendations and the news is worse that some environmentalists fear. Interview with Lindsay Newland Bowker, CPCU, ARM Environmental Risk Manager, Bowker Associates, Science and Research in the Public Interest

RadioActive 5/16/13

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

Program Topic: Two unsuccessful legislative attempts to block tar sands pipeline and metallic mining; developments in global retailers reaction to Bangladesh building collapse

Key Discussion Points:
a) This week, the Maine legislature’s Natural Resources Committee watered down a bill that would have set a two year moratorium on pumping of tar sands oil through the Montreal Portland Pipeline, 76% owned by Exxon Mobil. Changes were made to the bill after the Maine Attorney General’s office claimed such a moratorium would interfere with federal interstate commerce laws.
b) A bill (LD 1059) that would have reversed last year’s legislation that opens Maine to open pit metallic mining did not pass out of committee this week. Instead, LD 1302 was voted out of committee, a bill that only seeks to mitigate environmental damages. Though 350 Maine and others did not support this compromise, other environmental groups, including the Natural Resources Council of Maine did.
c) Over 30, primarily European, clothing companies have signed onto a legally binding building and fire safety agreement for their Bangladesh factories. It requires independent safety inspections with public reports, mandatory factory building renovations, an obligation that brands and retailers underwrite the cost of repairs, and a genuine role for workers and unions. Us companies, such as Walmart and Gap have not signed on, making them the continued target of labor rights campaigns.

A) Bob Klotz, organizer with 350 Maine Team,

B) Liana Foxvog, organizer with International Labor Rights Forum, Sweatfree Communities campaign

C)Update on Coal is Stupid blockade in Somerset, MA

RadioActive 3/28/13

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

Program Topic: Metallic Mining in Maine and El Salvador

Key Discussion Points:
a) Last legislative session, an effort spearheaded by Irving resulted in legislation directing Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection to over haul state mining laws to make it easier for the exploitation of gold, copper, silver and zinc. Though the impetus is a project at Bald Mountain in Arookstook County, the changes will open up mining at number of locations across the state with metallic metals.
b) The country of El Salvador, based on past experiences within their own borders and the experiences of communities in neighboring countries in Central America, has kept a resurgence of gold mining at bay, through government action, pushed by an unparallelled social movement. Around the globe the effects of mining include water over use, severe water pollution and it’s ensuing health impacts, and the human rights abuses and violence perpetrated against anti-mining activists by myriad factions in support of mining companies.
c) US El Salvador Sister Cities, and it’s local affiliate Power in Community Alliances (PICA), is hosting a speaking tour by Salvadoran anti mining activists. They will present along with Natural Resources Council of Maine staff scientist Nick Bennett, on the parallels between Maine and Salvadoran mining prospects and resistance.

Jan Morrill, Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM), past US El Salvador Sister Cities staff, and organizer with El Salvador’s National Table on Metallic Mining. She is originally from Maine.

WERU News Report 11/14/12

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

The Maine Center for Public Interesting Reporting released a report today on their investigation of where things stand in the state of Maine in terms of preparing for the consequences of climate change. We talk with Kate McCormick, author of the report. (

Update: The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting last week reported that the state Department of Environmental Protection had removed a climate change report from its web site in December, 2011. A DEP spokesman said this week that the report was restored in April, 2012, at the request of a citizen. The Center interviewed DEP Commissioner Patricia Aho about the report’s status in June, 2012, at which time she did not say it had been restored to the web site.

WERU News Report 8/3/11

Topic: Islesford

RadioActive 3/3/11

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Topics: Today we turn to Governor LePage’s proposed budget cuts. First a labor rally at the capitol today concerning cuts to state worker benefits, and then an interview on social safety net cuts, looking towards another rally in Augusta this coming Monday.

Mid-Coast Currents 2/18/11

Producer/Host: John Zavodny, PhD, Unity College faculty
Studio Engineer: Amy Browne

Topic: Unity College: Then, Now, and In the Future

What is Unity College’s significance to mid-coast Maine? What are the major accomplishments of Unity College over the last five years? What can we expect from Unity College over the next several years?

Dr. Mitchell Thomashow, Unity College President | Author of “Bringing the Biosphere Home,” and “Ecological Identity,” both published by MIT press. He serves on the board of the Coalition on Environmental and Jewish Life (COEJL), and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). He is on the advisory board of Orion Magazine. Thomashow is a founding member of the Council of Environmental Deans and Directors (CEDD).

Dr. Amy Knisley, Unity College Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs | Knisley earned her Ph D in Philosophy from the University of Colorado and Master of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School. She is an organic farmer and small business owner (with husband Ed) of Betsy?s Farm, currently located in Benton, Maine.