Maine Currents 2/7/19

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

An Ambitious Plan to Address Homelessness in Maine

Mainers may have a chance in November to vote on a bond issue that would authorize $15 million to build housing for homeless people in the state: LD 48, “An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Invest in Housing for Persons Who Are Homeless”. The plan is to expand a “Housing First” model that has proven successful in Portland to other parts of the state.

We speak with Representative Michael Brennan of Portland, who is also a former mayor of the city and an adjunct professor of social work, the sponsor of LD 48, and Donna Yellen, Deputy Director of Preble St. in Portland- the agency that oversees the “housing first” programs there. And we listen in on testimony at the January 22nd public hearing on LD 48, before the legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs committee.

More information about LD 48, the Appropriations and Financial Affairs committee and contact info for legislators is available on the State Legislature’s website

Maine Currents 12/6/18

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Studio Engineer: John Greenman

Ranked Choice Voting in Maine: Bruce Poliquin’s legal challenges to the process, and what would be involved in extending RCV to statewide races.

A call-in show discussion of yesterday’s hearing on Poliquin et al’s case in the US Superior Court in Bangor, and where things could go from here.


Ann Luther of the League of Women Voters of Maine, and host of Democracy Forum here on WERU. Reading from their mission statement: “The League of Women Voters of Maine is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.” They endorsed RCV back in 2011 and have been working to educate the public about how it works.

John Brautigam, Senior Advisor and Counsel for the League of Women Voters of Maine, as well as Former Assistant Attorney General and State Representative (2004-2008).

Kathleen McQuaid, Professor of Political Science Emeritus with a PH.D. in Political Science from Temple University. Member Hancock County Democrats, and a supporter of adopting RCV for all levels of elections both here in Maine and nationally.

Kyle Bailey, Campaign Manager for the Yes On 1 and Yes On 5 campaigns to win and protect Maine’s Ranked Choice Voting election law

Amy Fried, Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Maine.

Attorney Kim Tucker, Employed by the Florida attorney general during the Bush/Gore election crisis and helped draft their Supreme Court brief

Listen to the award-winning Maine Currents- independent local news, views and culture, on the 1st Thursday of each month, 10-11 a.m. on WERU-FM and

Maine Currents 10/31/18

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Studio Engineer: Joel Mann

Maine’s Ballot Question 1: Home Care for All or “Scam”?

Ballot Question 1 reads “Do you want to create the Universal Home Care Program to provide home-based assistance to people with disabilities and senior citizens, regardless of income, funded by a new 3.8% tax on individuals and families with Maine wage and adjusted gross income above the amount subject to Social Security taxes, which is $128,400 in 2018?”.

Our guests today represent both sides of the issue: Mike Tipping is the Communications Director of Mainers for Home Care, the coaltion promoting Question 1. Jeff Austin is the Vice President of the Maine Hospital Association (MHA). MHA is a member of a coalition of home care, health care and business groups that are opposed to Question 1, and are behind the “Stop the Scam” campaign. We open the phone lines for listener’s questions.


Listen to award-winning Maine Currents for independent local news, views and culture, on the 1st Thursday of each month, 10-11 am on WERU-FM and

Maine Currents Special 10/24/18

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

The Impact of Trump’s Economic Policies on Maine

Garrett Martin, Executive Director of the Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP), speaking at the University of Maine on October 11th. More information about MECEP can be found at

Maine Currents Special 10/17/18

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Studio Engineer: John Greenman

Local journalist Lawrence Reichard joins us with a report back from his recent trip to the home of Nordic Aquafarms. He traveled to Norway and Denmark to learn more about the company that plans to build a giant land based salmon aquaculture facility in Belfast. We hear what he discovered, and take questions and comments from listeners.

Reichard’s column, Bricks and Mortars appears in the Republican Journal, and can be found online at
FMI or to sign up to receive Bricks and Mortars via email, contact Lawrence Reichard at

Maine Currents 9/6/18

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

The Public Speaks at “Maine Speaks on Climate and Cars: The Citizens’ Hearing”, an NRCM event held in Bangor on August 28th, 2018

In August, the EPA announced plans to weaken fuel efficiency standards by freezing them at current levels– rather than following rules passed during the Obama administration that would make them tougher over time. The plan would also prevent states from setting their own stronger standards (as many already have, including Maine). The stated rationale is that small cars are not as safe as bigger vehicles, and that stronger standards make vehicles more expensive. Critics of the proposal argue that pollution and climate change demand stronger, not weaker, laws. A 60 day period for public comment on the proposal is currently underway. Last week the Natural Resources Council of Maine held an event in Bangor called “Maine Speaks on Climate and Cars: The Citizens’ Hearing”, and recorded public comments to be shared with the EPA. Today on Maine Currents we bring you there. This meeting was held on an evening when poor air quality warnings had been issued for the following day here in Maine, a fact you’ll hear mentioned by some of the speakers.


More info from the NRCM: Critics in Maine Decry Trump Administration Plan to Ease Rules for Auto Emissions and Efficiency- NRCM

More info from the EPA, including instructions for submitting comments: The Safer Affordable Fuel Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Proposed Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 -EPA

Maine Currents 8/2/18

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Audio recorded by Matt Murphy

Americans Who Tell the Truth presentation featuring Robert Shetterly, Kelsey Juliana and poets from George Stevens Academy

Recorded in Blue Hill, Maine on June 3rd, 2018 by Matt Murphy


Maine Currents Special 7/25/18

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Studio Engineer: John Greenman

Questions and concerns about the proposed salmon aquaculture facility in Belfast

Ellie Daniels, Belfast business owner, abutting property owner and member of Local Citizens for SMART Growth
Lawrence Reichard, freelance columnist whose column Bricks and Mortars appears in the Republican Journal ,

Note: Nordic Aquafarms and a Belfast City Council member who supports this proposal were invited to participate in this program but declined.

Previous coverage of local salmon aquaculture proposals on Maine Currents can be found at the following links: