East-West Highway Update 1-7-12

1)  In a letter to Susan Collins, thanking her for passing a bill that increases the truck weight limits on the interstate, Searsport selectmen also asked her to consider supporting an East-West Highway through Maine.

If you live in Searsport, or know people who do, please talk to the selectmen about this decision.

Here is the article: http://waldo.villagesoup.com/news/story/selectmen-press-senator-for-east-west-highway-development/477526

2)  Also, the Maine East-West Highway Map has been updated!  Check it out: http://defendingwater.net/maine/maine-east-west-highway-map/

3)  We found a copy of Peter Vigue’s powerpoint presentation from November 10.  Here it is: http://www.emdc.org/document_upload/CIANBRO%20Presentation.pdf

East-West Highway Update 12-16-11

Update 12-16-11:  A nonprofit transportation research group out of Washington D.C., TRIP, released a statement identifying “Maine’s 50 most needed transportation projects for economic growth.”  #3 was the construction of a new east-west highway.  TRIP is sponsored by “construction businesses, insurance companies, equipment makers, labor unions and other transportation-related organizations.”  We believe TRIP’s role is to encourage private funding of the study, since funding from Maine taxpayers would be highly controversial, as we face severe cuts on social services. Chris 

related link: http://www.tripnet.org/state-info-reports.php?state=Maine

see our East-West Highway page under “Get Involved” for all the info: http://defendingwater.net/maine/east-west-highway/



East-West Highway Update 12-12-11

Update 12-12-11: This letter is the link between Vigue / Cianbro, Mobilize Eastern Maine / Eastern Maine Development Corporation / the Action Committee of 50, and LR2358…!  

Brief summary: Cianbro doesn’t have the money for the feasibility study, and as part of this business group, wrote a letter to Legislators asking for an emergency bill (LR2358) to support funding.  Senator Thomas had sponsored a bill to approve funding earlier that was voted down 2-8. This letter from EMDC was an appeal to reconsider.  Thomas then sponsored the emergency bill and it passed 10-0.  

Although Thomas is still encouraging all private funding of the project, LePage said that there may be money in the Maine Turnpike Authority Fund.  To take taxpayer money at the same time as proposing huge cuts to social programming seems absurd.  Chris

Letter to Legislators: http://www.emdc.org/document_upload/EastWestHighway2011.pdf

see our East-West Highway page under “Get Involved” for all the info:  http://defendingwater.net/maine/east-west-highway/

Nestle: Maine Tough State for Business

Nestle:  Maine Tough State for Business Sun Journal
“I’m in New York City all the time. You cannot walk 100 yards in Manhattan without falling over a bottle of Poland Spring on some cart on every single street.”
–Kim Jeffery, President and CEO of Nestle Waters North America
Defending Water comments………
“Falling over,” yes, for sure.  Plastic bottles produce huge mounds of waste!
“Manhattan,” the city with pure water from the Catskills delivered without plastic, without delivery trucks coming from Maine, with almost no oil use since the water flows through pipes by gravity from the mountains, and thus with almost no contribution to climate change, and where the city water is far cheaper than Poland Spring water.   But Nestle is busy convincing people they should buy Poland Spring.
Jeffrey: “‘We love being in business here, but sometimes it’s hard,’ he said. ‘Sixteen pieces of legislation is an awful lot to deal with.'”
Defending Water comments………
“Hard,” Yes, it’s become harder for Nestle now they have to deal with concerned legislators and those pesky water activists.
Jeffrey “…asked the audience of nonprofit organization officials, to which Poland Spring donates nearly $1 million a year, to put in a good word to legislators. The audience laughed.”
Defending Water comments.……..
So what non-profits in Maine are taking money from Nestle besides Nature Conservancy?

Water and the Web of Life

By Joyce White

We did not weave the web of life,
We are merely a strand in it.
Whatever we do to the web,
We do to ourselves.
– Attributed to Chief Seattle of the Dwamish tribe

We in Maine have such an abundance of water that we tend to take it for granted, seldom questioning that it will always be here for us; but by 2005, an ongoing struggle had begun in Maine to ensure the continuous supply of potable water for all. Now, towns in Maine and worldwide are struggling against giant corporations for control of water.

Somehow we became persuaded that purchased bottled water is better than free tap water. The “spring water” description implied by several bottling companies probably helped convince people that bottled water must be better – although we’ve since learned that most “spring water” comes from the same sources as public drinking water and that all those plastic water bottles are an environmental nightmare.

Jim Wilfong is the person most responsible for publicizing the complex issues of water in Maine. Four years on the Natural Resources Committee in the Maine legislature expanded his long-term interest in environmental issues; and during his stint as President Clinton’s assistant trade secretary, he noted that good drinking water was always among the top three issues in countries he worked with. That led him to think about groundwater – aquifers – differently. In his previous environmental work, Wilfong had focused on cleaning up surface waters – lakes and rivers – and hadn’t thought much about drinking water and water extraction issues. Continue reading

WERU coverage of “Tapped” documentary showing and panel

Executive Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Contributor: Meredith DeFrancesco

On Tuesday, the Lamoine Conservation Commission, the Bar Harbor Conservation Commission, the Union River Watershed Coalition, and Food & Water Watch, sponsored a showing of the documentary film “Tapped” and a panel discussion on bottled water and its impacts.   Today we bring you excerpts from the panel discussion and question and answer session.  The panelists are Rep. Jim Schatz of Blue Hill; Emily Posner, Coordinator for Defending Water for Life in Maine; Daphne Loring, Coordinator at the Maine Fair Trade Campaign;  and Willem Brutsaert, an Environmental Engineer Professor at the University of Maine, and expert in groundwater and surface water hydrology.

(Recorded by Meredith DeFrancesco;  Edited by Amy Browne)

original link HERE

icon for podpress Standard Podcast [57:53m]: Play Online at WERU

      1. Download

Tell Nestlé to stop fooling with community water supplies

For years Nestlé has run roughshod over community and environmental concerns when taking and bottling water for brands like Poland Spring, Deer Park, Ice Mountain and Arrowhead.

Nestlé is now looking to increase the number of bottling facilities it owns and operates across the country, in places like McCloud, California and Salida, Colorado.

Tell the world’s largest bottler to stop wresting water resources from local control. Send a message to CEO Kim Jeffery today and join the thousands that have already taken action.

Subject: Stop fooling with community water supplies

Your Letter:

Groundwater Extraction and Bottled Water: Lessons from Maine

Click here to View the Presentation
(requires free Microsoft Silverlight viewer)

In this podcast, Emily Posner, water activist, community organizer, grassroots lobbyist and legal worker speaks about the experience of Maine communities struggling to maintain control over their water resources as multinational corporations seek to withdraw ever increasing amounts of water for the bottled water industry.

Continue reading

Producers of “Tapped” Allege Nestle Trying to Limit Distribution

Thanks to TC at StopNestleWaters for noting this:

This statement from a Brookfield News Times interview with the makers of the bottled water documentary “Tapped” largely speaks for itself:

“A lot of major film festivals are sponsored by Nestle,” Soechtig said. “We were wondering why we weren’t getting into Cannes. We thought, is our film not good enough? Then we realized they have a hand in everything.”

Nestle asked the Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute in Louisiana to not show the documentary, the Louisiana State University of Shreveport student newspaper, The Almagest, reported. The screening board denied Nestle’s request.

Continue reading