The Future Progressive – Thoughts from the Activist Frontline

The Portland Phoenix , by Lance Tapley January 16, 2014

In my decades as a journalist, I’ve heard Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” countless times at activist gatherings. In the 50-plus years since the song was released, it’s become an anthem for people working for social change.

But when I heard it at the January 9 progressives’ rally at the State House, sung by a young woman to launch the event, I wondered what even a partial answer might be to the question it asks: How many times, years, deaths will it take until a far more decent society is created?
Read more: http://portland.thephoenix.com/news/157108-future-progressive/#ixzz2qrHj9TTA

Skagit County Suggests Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Dismisses Its [Water]Lawsuit

Sandra Spargo, Defending Water in the Skagit River Basin, Dec. 15, 2012

Please find below an article in the Skagit Valley Herald that is entitled, County suggests Swinomish dismiss its lawsuit. The Swinomish lawsuit (supported by the City of Anacortes without citizen input), if successful, could lead to all rural and agricultural landowners in the Skagit River Basin losing access to well water if they had drilled their well in 2001 or after, Ecology officials have said.

Moreover, if the Wash. State Supreme Court rules in favor of the Swinomish, Skagit River Basin owners of about 5,700 buildable lots–on which at least 400 homeowners have already built homes–could lose access to their well water for residential use.

The link of Skagit County’s letter of Dec. 14, 2012, to Chairman Brian Cladoosby and the Senate of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community is located at Letter to Swinomish & Anacortes on Dec. 14, 2012.   The link contains the letter’s three supporting documents.

To understand the viewpoint of landowners/homeowners caught up in the contentious water issue over which they have no input, visit the Just Water Alliance website at http://justwateralliance.org.

Do the citizens of Anacortes want the City to support the Swinomish lawsuit against the the Dept. of Ecology that could result in at least 400 homeowners losing their well water for residential use, possibly their homes? For a history of Anacortes’ involvement with Swinomish lawsuits, see the legal section of the City of Anacortes website at http://www.cityofanacortes.org/Legal/WaterRightsSwinomish/index.asp.

My opinion is that the City of Anacortes’ nonsupport of a compromise regarding the water issue while it promotes the sale of five million gallons of water per day for Tethys Enterprises’ proposed bottling plant makes Anacortes a lousy neighbor. Tethys would be the largest bottling plant in North America.

County suggests Swinomish dismiss its lawsuit

By Kate Martin | Posted: Saturday, December 15, 2012 1:00 am

MOUNT VERNON — Skagit County commissioners say they will rejoin a 1996 water agreement if the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community drops its lawsuit against the state Department of Ecology.

The tribe’s lawsuit is currently being reviewed by the state Supreme Court. If the tribe is successful, it could lead to all rural and agricultural landowners in the Skagit River basin losing access to well water if they drilled their well in 2001 or after, Ecology officials have said.

The letter, sent Friday, is in response to those sent last week by Anacortes and the Swinomish. Those letters in turn were in response to a November letter by commissioners, which announced the county had left the 1996 Memorandum of Agreement, which outlined a historic water agreement in the valley.

Commissioners also asserted that they had left the agreement because the Swinomish and Anacortes broke that agreement by suing Ecology to invalidate a 2006 state rule amendment that allows more water for rural and agricultural users. The original rule amendment, from 2001, provided no new water at all for rural landowners or for agricultural uses, the county states.

The commissioners’ letter outlined a path to where the county could rejoin the agreement: “You can remedy your ongoing breach by dismissing your pending lawsuit. Until that happens, Skagit County is not a party to the 1996 MOA, and has no further obligations under the 1996 MOA.”

Anacortes Mayor Dean Maxwell said he had not had a chance to read the letter, which was sent at 2 p.m. Commissioners Ken Dahlstedt and Sharon Dillon could not immediately be reached for comment.

Larry Wasserman, environmental services director for the tribe, had little to say about the commissioners’ response.

“The tribe doesn’t believe it is productive to continue to have these debates in the newspaper,” Wasserman said. “Our previous letter speaks for itself, as do the facts on our website. People can look there to find out what the real history has been.”

The commissioners’ letter also says the tribe and city’s ongoing lawsuit “completely undermines the stated purpose of the 1996 MOA” by seeking to eliminate all water for rural landowners and farmers.

The city and tribe both said in their letters that the county was using the same legal process for challenging Ecology’s rule when it sued the agency in 2003 as the tribe used to challenge the rule amendment in 2008.

Skagit County Commissioner Ron Wesen said it’s not the same.

Wesen said the 2003 disagreement the county had with Ecology involved the 2001 instream flow rule because that rule did not include any water for rural agriculture or residences requiring a well.

“What the tribe and Anacortes are saying, ‘We don’t agree with Ecology’s authority to make this change.’ If they don’t have authority to do that, then all exempt wells since 2001” are gone, Wesen said.

The Swinomish contend in their lawsuit that Ecology is using an overly broad definition of a narrowly defined exception to provide water in exceptional circumstances. The Swinomish lost an earlier round in the Thurston County Superior Court in 2010. The state Supreme Court’s ruling could be months from now.

“It’s complicated, but we’ll find out when the Supreme Court makes its ruling who is right,” Wesen said.

Wesen said the MOA and the instream flow rule don’t take into account the fact that water use changes over time. “To say this is the rule we have for 50 years and have no flexibility, it doesn’t make any sense to me.”

DW Newsletter #2, December 2011

Defending Water for Life in Maine

Water for Life, Not for Profit!

 December 2011 Issue #2

Greetings Water Allies. We have spent the last few months traveling around Maine talking about the problems with corporations taking control of our water and encouraging everyone to take a stand and demand local control in their communities.

We’ve also been keeping our eyes and ears open for new threats from Nestlé and others intent on selling Maine’s water for profit.

Is Brewer Maine Nestlé’s Next Water Grab?

We thought something smelled fishy when we read two stories in the Bangor Daily News about a Brewer official going to work for Nestlé / Poland Spring and then within weeks taking a position back in Brewer as the Water Department Supervisor. The August 31st Bangor Daily New http://bangordailynews.com/2011/08/31/news/bangor/brewer-hires-new-code-enforcement-officer/ reported that Rodney Butler, who had been the Town of Brewer’s Code Enforcement Officer, had left his Brewer position to take an engineering job with Nestlé’s Poland Spring Co. Then the paper printed a second story on October 21st http://bangordailynews.com/2011/10/21/news/bangor/brewer-hires-former-code-enforcement-officer-as-water-superintendent/ saying that Butler would be returning to Brewer on November 1st as the towns new Water Department Supervisor. What’s up with that quick turn around?

Defending Water has been working hard to find out what is really going on here. Inquiries to the Bangor Daily News and the Pine Tree Watchdog website have provided no help in getting to the bottom of this chain of events. Defending Water has also made attempts to contact Rodney Butler directly to have him explain, what’s going on? Is Butler heading the Brewer Water Department AND working for Poland Spring? Did Poland Spring encourage Butler to work for them and then return to Brewer and take the long vacant water supervisor job?

Denise is working to get answers to these questions and will continue to push forward until we get the full story about the Brewer Water Department, Poland Spring, and Rodney Butler. Please contact us if you uncover more about this sketchy job placement for Mr. Butler. Let’s all keep an eye on this!

Defending Water Web Site

We have been working hard to make the Defending Water website
http://defendingwater.net/maine the “go to” place for the latest information about corporate threats to Maine’s water and for resources to help in organizing. We are now also linked with Defending Water websites in Washington and Oregon and will soon be linked with California. So, watch for breaking stories on what is happening in Maine, across the country, and around the world in the struggle to keep corporations from gaining control of water, the very essence of life itself.

Be sure to check our map with sites and stories about bottled water in Maine and our calendar for upcoming events around the state. On the home page you will find resources like ”The Story of Bottled Water”. We’d love to hear your suggestions for how the site can serve you even better.

 

Defending Water Around The State


West Athens 4th of July Parade ~ July 4th

West Athens calls itself the “free republic of West Athens” and started their 4th of July parade way back in the 60s or 70s to celebrate “true democracy” and freedom of expression. So it seemed like an appropriate place to find allies of Defending Water for Life, as well as to network with people in rural areas who may be concerned about the threat to Maine’s water and forests from development of any future East/West highway across Maine.

Volunteers helped prepare our float. We draped the large Maine Drain banner over the hood and grill of the truck, and strung up the banners on the side and back of the truck.

We had two 30 gallon drums in the truck filled with creek water that volunteers used as “ammo” for the water cannons and sprayed parade participants. (Historically, this parade has involved a big play water fight.) The center piece of our float was a volunteer dressed up as a “Nestlé Monster.” She was draped in Poland Spring bottles, had “blood” painted around her mouth, and acted scary.

Another volunteer wore a rigid poster with the “Anti-Bottled Water Pledge” and gathered signatures for that pledge. Anyone who signed the pledge got “water warrior” stripes painted on their face…if they wanted. The poster was FULL of signatures! Chris wore the Nestlé Maine Drain sandwich board chanting, “Water for Life, Not for Profit!” and leading calls with volunteers on the float. She talked to lots of people about water mining and the East/West highway. This created great exposure for the reality of water mining in Maine and the danger that the highway, if built, could result in much more.

Thanks to all our volunteers: Kyla, Liam, Trouble, Becca, Nate, Sam, Paul, Sonia, Jim, and Lee. We had lots of fun and really got our message out. See you next year!

Maine Grassroots Media Conference ~ September 10th

WERU Community Radio and Unity College sponsored the Maine Grassroots Media Conference (MGMC). The mission was to bring people together who work in grassroots media to collaborate and strengthen their work. It turned out to be a great networking and skill building opportunity.

The one-day event was chock full of outstanding workshops. Chris learned about utilizing local access television to organize a local community, using art to communicate political messaging. and how to use “mind mapping” to brainstorm in a group, organize thoughts, and create graphics that express the brainstorm. Chris has since used this tool.

We will be posting the dates for next year’s MGMC on our calendar, so please stay tuned. We’re planning to be there and hope to see you too.

Grow ~ September 16th – 18th

Just a few days later, we attended the annual New England’s Grassroots Organizing Workshop (GROW) held on the beautiful shores of Bryant Pond. Grow is sponsored by Resources for Organizing and Social Change (ROSC). This year’s theme was “Tactics for Organizers”.

Three days of workshops included, Canvassing: One to One Organizing, Media Tactics for Grassroots Organizing, Using Referenda and Town Meeting Resolutions, Using

Popular Education to Organize, and Direct Action for Social Change. In addition to workshops, GROW uses interactive methods to help attendees develop their skills in planning actions and becoming better organizers.

The workshops were interactive, educational and lots of fun. A large amount of printed materials on a variety of subjects was available. A wide range of amazing people attended including organizers, activists, artists, students, teachers and farmers. Facilitators included Clair Gelinas, Iggy Brimmer, Sha’an Mouliert and Larry Dansinger.

Defending Water encourages everyone to try and attend this event next year. Cost is $10-$80 (pay what you can/all welcome) which includes housing, meals, all workshops, use of facilities and enjoyment of the outdoors. If you can’t make the whole weekend it is worth the trip to go for a day. Check our calendar for next year’s dates.

Thanks to everyone who made GROW possible.

Common Ground Fair ~ September 23th – 25th

Defending Water for Life organizers Denise and Chris spent three days in Unity at the annual Common Ground Fair, talking with hundreds of people from all over the state having them sign our poster-sized anti-bottled water pledge, and draw on quilt squares to add to our water quilt.

Drawing on quilt squares at the fair.

When folks approached us with concerns about Nestlé in their towns or neighbors’ towns, we talked about a rights-based approach to undermine corporate power. Only a few people had heard about this method of empowerment at the local level and appeared excited and inspired by the end of our talks.

It was powerful to hear so many people across Maine share their stories and their passion for water. We learned a great deal about some core issues concerning Maine residents who want to buck the bottle, but feel helpless. In many locations Mainers have problems with arsenic and radon in their water. This is a rural, well-water issue that needs to be addressed moving forward.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and contributed. It was great to see all of you and we look forward to next year.

Harry Brown’s Farm ~ Summer 2011

Defending Water also spent time talking to people at Harry Brown’s Farm, a MOFGA certified organic garden in Starks, Maine, which has hosted gatherings for 21 years.  The Hill hosts four annual festivals featuring music, speakers, art, vendors, dance, puppets, poi, and political activism. There are plenty of workshops where you can learn new things and opportunities for hands-on creating of cool stuff. The Hill attracts a diverse and interesting group of artists and activists, so you never know whom you might meet.

Thanks to the Brown family and Hillary Lister for inviting us into the political action tent.  It is a good opportunity to join others working to create a better Maine, especially to empower each other to be a strong force for protecting Maine’s water and demanding local control in our communities.

Political action tent on the Hill.

Defending Water Joins Wells Reserve Sponsored Tour ~ October 5th

While Defending Water’s primary focus is on opposing corporate control of water and water services in Maine, our right to clean water is also impacted by long-standing pollution and mismanagement of our watersheds. Defending Water was happy to join the tour sponsored by Wells Reserve to see all of the great projects taking place in Kittery and Eliot to restore the Spruce Creek watershed and to help re-open shellfish harvest areas. Other participants included folks from Spruce Creek Association, FB Environmental, Kittery and York Land Trusts, Kennebunk Conservation Committee and Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership.

The focus of the project, funded through a multi-phased DEP grant, is on managing storm water using low impact development and best management practices to reduce bacteria loading and the export of other pollutants into Spruce Creek and on the removal of Shoreys Brook dam. At various sites in Kittery and Eliot we saw examples of the work being done. These included:

Rain Gardens – Shallow depressions with native plants that allow storm water to collect and naturally seep into the ground.

Vegetated Buffers – Areas of vegetation maintained to protect the water quality of nearby water bodies.

Infiltration Steps – Steps taken to slow down storm water runoff and encourage it to seep into the soil.

Tree Box Filter – An in ground container planted with native tree species. Storm water is directed into the tree box and is naturally filtered before it enters the catch basin.

Removing the Shoreys Brook Dam – The dam at the head of Shoreys Brook, which forms the border between Eliot and South Berwick, has likely been in place in some form since the 1600’s. The dam blocks the passage of a variety of fish that need to spend portions of their lives in both fresh and salt water. The goal is to remove the dam and replace the culvert under Rt.101. Both tasks will restore fish passage and a free flowing system.

Shoreys Brook joins the Salmon Falls River at its junction with the Cocheco River where they form the Piscataqua River.


Shoreys Brook dam.

 

Behind The Scenes

Fryeburg, Maine

Fryeburg continues to suffer under the weight of Nestlé’s water mining for its Poland Spring brand and its unscrupulous manipulations of town politics. The towns Comprehensive Plan is being re-written virtually in secret, with no public announcement of the time and place for the meetings. Gene Berghoffen, who has represented Nestlé, heads the Comprehensive Plan committee which could frame the future town plan for the advancement of all things Nestlé.

Changes in land use regulations, residential re-districting and wellhead protection could all be affected by what is written in the Comp. Plan. Like all town business, these meetings should be open to the public and be observed by anyone interested. Defending Water is supporting local residents who are demanding that the meetings be made public. It is totally unacceptable that Nestlé is allowed to manipulate things behind closed doors.

Indian Township, Maine

This summer Defending Water became aware that the Passamaquoddy tribe at Indian Township has been working with the University of Maine at Orono and the Maine Drinking Water Program on an economic development plan to extract and bottle water from the Tomah spring on tribal lands. This project is described here, http://passamaquoddyblue.com/ At this time the Passamaquoddy do not have the permits to extract or transport water and it is unclear if they have the necessary financing, but there are several test wells already in place.

For century’s native people have had their livelihood taken away and been forced to do what they were told by whites in power. In Maine the native tribes are a sovereign people with their own government and leaders, but the Passamaquoddy are in real need of jobs and financial stability.

During her time on the Mother Earth Water Walk, Chris developed a relationship with many of the native people who joined in the walk. That effort opened a door for Defending Water to enter into discussion with some tribal members who do not believe that selling water is in keeping with their belief about honoring and respecting water. We are seeking ways for Defending Water and tribal members to stand together with the common goal that water is for people and for nature and should not be sold for profit. It is essential to find other ways for the tribe to prosper and we hope that the program at U Maine Orono will change its focus.

 

Action Items

– Plan local events in your community to talk about the importance of protecting water from commodification and privatization. Please contact us! We are available and energized to come speak, screen films or be part of a community forum.

– Hold a Democracy School in your community. Defending Water cosponsors Democracy Schools with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF). During these single day or weekend workshops, participants learn about the history of democracy and the increasing power of corporations in the U.S., and how to use local control to create true democracy in our communities. We will help you find participants and bring CELDF to your community.

– East/West Highway. We have just sent you and all of our Defending Water allies an action alert outlining how you can get involved to protect Maine’s water and forests from this road to exploitation. We are focusing on identifying potentially impacted land owners. Contact us if you have any information about the highway and/or if you would like us to add you to the East/West Highway Working Group.

– Watch out for the TransPacificPartnership Agreement which the U. S. is negotiating with at least 7 countries circling the Pacific from Chile to Australia. This is another Free Trade Agreement that would further undermine state and local control of businesses, services and the environment. We are particularly concerned with trade rules that would further promote privatization of water services and international trade in water. As we get more details we will post them on our website.

Mousam River, Kennebunk Maine

 

We look forward to hearing from you about your interests and concerns as we pursue strategies to protect Maine from corporate greed.

 

~ Water for Life ~

Chris Buchanan

chris@defendingwater.net

 

Denise Penttila

denise@defendingwater.net

 

please visit our website: www.defendingwater.net/maine

DW Newsletter #1, June 2011

June 21, 2011

Greetings to our Defending Water for Life in Maine allies and friends,

We want to let you know what has been going on with us and to let you know about what is coming up so we have decided to send out a quarterly newsletter. This is #1!

Also be sure to visit http://www.defendingwater.net/maine We are keeping the site up to date with news, information for organizing and events.  We hope you will contact us with needs or suggestions you have. We are committed to our fight against corporate water mining and to connecting communities who want to assert their right to local control in their towns.

We look forward to hearing from and seeing you!  Please, do not hesitate to contact us at any time with your ideas, feedback, or nitty gritty on Nestle or other profiteers…

Water for Life!

 

Chris Buchanan

chris(at)defendingwater(dot)net

(207) 357-1443

 

Denise Penttila

denise(at)defendingwater(dot)net

(207) 332-3579

 

DEFENDING WATER FOR LIFE IN MAINE

NEWSLETTER #1, JUNE 2011

 

Chris Buchanan Joins the Defending Water Team

Hello there!  It is such a pleasure and a blessing for me to join Denise Penttila as part of the Defending Water for Life in Maine team! I am coming into this role with the passion and focus of someone who has been nurturing a sprout for many years, and is now gleefully anticipating the harvest. In other words, I have put off organizing for a long time to learn about people and communities, develop my communication skills, and feel grounded in my life, and now I am ready to dive in and listen, support people, and bring more people together on our shared vision of a world with healthy water that is not controlled by corporate interests. I am thrilled for the opportunity to work with all of you and build our network to Defend Water for Life in Maine.

 

 

 

Mother Earth Water Walk in Maine May 7 – May 12: Report by Chris Buchanan

 

Native peoples representing the five tribes of the Wabanaki Nation of Maine and Canada gathered on May 7 at a sacred site in Machiasport to begin the Eastern Directions ceremonial walk to Bad River, Wisconsin, where they converged on June 12 with walkers from the North, South and West for a great ceremony. The mission was to raise awareness of the sacred and critical role of healthy water to all life.

As an organizer with Defending Water for Life in Maine covering this region, I supported the walkers by spreading information, organizing overnight stays in Ellsworth, Etna, Athens, and Stratton, being the primary contact for Maine walkers and supporters, coordinating safety of the walkers with local police, providing guidance on the route, and by participating in the ceremony as a walker.

The Water Walk has been one of the most powerful experiences I have had. There is something incredible about focusing all of your energy and intention on praying to water, healing water, and acknowledging the critical presence of water in everything… It was an amazing opportunity.

The mission of the Anishinawbe Grandmothers that started this walk in 2003 is so aligned with the mission of our project, Defending Water for Life in Maine.  We want people to be aware of water in everything.  We want people and ecosystems to have the right to healthy water in their communities.  Never should water be mined and sold for profit by a private corporation like Nestle. Being driven by dollars, they will never have the best interests of the community, the people, or nature in mind.

Before the Walk started this year, one of the lead walkers said, “We are doing this walk on our own beliefs within our own aboriginal culture and values of the importance of our waters.  [Water] is very precious and sacred to our being, as it is one of the basic elements needed for all life to exist.”  The walk is, “a prayer for the water, for Mother Earth, for the animals, the birds, the insects, the trees and for us, all two leggeds. Together the walks were one prayer for life.”

For more information on the Mother Earth Water Walk, please visit the website, http://www.motherearthwaterwalk.com/.  I would also be happy to share my experiences with anyone who is interested in chatting!

 

Tapped

Defending Water was pleased to participate in two viewings of Tapped this spring. On March 5 at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Sanford and on April 22 at the First Universalist Church in Rockland. There we got to connect with some old friends and meet some new ones.

One result of the Sanford show was inviting Al Pelletier of POWWR to sit down with Denise and Linda Dumey to talk about his long time activism in the water movement. This “Conversation with Al Pelletier” was filmed and is available on dvd. Thank you Al.

The folks in Rockland were very informed and knowledgeable. Three of the people we met went on to attend CELDF’s Democracy School held in Waterville later that month.

Thanks to the UU Churches who are true friends of water and always willing to help.

 

Defending Water Helps Beat Back Attempts At Dismantling Maine’s Bottle Deposit Law

 

In 1976, Maine became one of the first states to adopt a bottle law. This legislation was designed to clean up roadsides of discarded cans and bottles and to promote recycling.

In 1979, the industry attempted to repeal Maine’s bottle law via referendum. Eighty-five percent of voters rejected the effort.

This year 6 bills were introduced in the House of Representatives each of which would chip away at Maine’s bottle redemption program. The public hearing on these bills was held on April 15 in Augusta before the Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. Chris testified in opposition to the bills on behalf of Defending Water for Life in Maine The following bills were introduced:

LD 728  An Act To Reduce Truck Travel Caused by the Bottle Redemption Laws.

Sponsored by Senator Christopher Rector.

LD 1324  An Act To Create Consistency and Fairness in Maine’s Bottle Bill.

Sponsored by Rep. Kerri Prescott.

LD 900  An Act To Reduce Fraud in Bottle Deposit Redemption.

Sponsored by Rep. Robert Hunt.

LD 1063 An Act To Restore Limits on the Location of Licensed Redemption Centers and

Improve Operations. Sponsored by Rep. Kerri Prescott.

LD 1210 An Act To Exempt Small Distributors from Unclaimed Deposit Requirements.

Sponsored by Rep. Erin Herbig.

LD 1255 Resolve, To Study Initiatives To Increase Recycling in Maine.

(Emergency) Sponsored by Senator David Hastings of Fryeburg.

Five of the six bills were defeated in committee. The sixth, LD 1324, passed in committee with two amendments and incorporated language from LD900. The good news is that the provisions in LD1324 to remove containers larger than 28 ounces from the bottle bill and to establish a uniform deposit of 5¢ for all containers were deleted from the bill.  (Wine bottles now require a 10 cent deposit.)  However, the amended bill retains the LD900 provision allowing a civil action against any person, other than a licensed redemption center, that is found in possession of or knowingly tenders to a redemption center or retailer more than 48 beverage containers that were not originally sold in this State. It also increases the penalty for possession of containers not originally sold in this State.

The bill as amended was passed by the legislature and is now on its way to becoming law.

For more details about this bill and the hearing, go to last page of newsletter.

 

Maine Initiatives 2011 Watering Can Award

On June 16, 2011 Protect our Water and Wildlife Resources (POWWR) received Maine Initiatives Social Landscape Artist Award: “For changing Maine’s landscape by taking on the root cause of social problems, devising creative solutions, shifting policies or practices, and influencing others to take action.”

In 2008 Nestle Waters went into the Vernon Walker Game Preserve and drilled 23 test wells without the consent of Shapleigh or Newfield. It took almost three years to get Nestle to remove its wells and leave. In that time, Shapleigh and Newfield became the first Maine town’s to pass rights-based ordinances for voting down operations such as Nestle.

This award was presented to POWWR by CELDF’s Gail Darrell who, after being introduced to local concerned citizens by Defending Water’s organizer, Emily Posner, worked closely with them to assert their right to local control of their towns and resources.

Defending Water for Life in Maine congratulates POWWR for their triumph over Nestle Waters and for joining together and working as a team to protect their environment and community rights and to deny corporations Constitutional rights in their towns.

 

 

Upcoming Events

 

Harry’s Hoe Down, June 24-25-26

45 Abijah Hill Road, Starks, Maine  04911
www.FriendsofTheHill.com or email: HarryBrownsFarm@gmail.com

Description: Outdoor music festival at Harry Brown’s Farm, “The Hill.” Operated by Harry Brown & his family.  They are a multi-generational land-based organic family enterprise that formed to carry on the tradition of activist festival gatherings & pass on stewardship of the land to the next generation. This year the Brown’s are focusing on bringing the activist community together so that we can all collaborate.

Defending Water will be at the Hill on Saturday, June 25.  Please come visit us in the activist tent so we can share and learn from each other!

 

West Athens July 4th Parade

Description: The West Athens 4th of July Parade is a gathering of people who want to celebrate Independence Day by expressing Free Thought and True Democracy. It is open to everyone who wants to participate, so every year is a unique experience! Parade starts at the corner of the Valley Road and Chapman ridge Road in West Athens. Arrive around 10:30 AM.

We think it’s a good opportunity to meet new people and raise awareness about water in Maine. Defending Water for Life in Maine will be there!  Hope to see you.

 

The Common Ground Fair, September 23, 24 and 25

294 Crosby Brook Road Unity, Maine 04988

www.mofga.org

 

Description: The premier event of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. MOFGA, formed in 1971, is the oldest and largest state organic organization in the country. Local organic foods, Maine artisans, music, dancing, farming equipment and livestock demonstrations, garden tours, children’s activities, traditional games and the bounty of Maine’s creative and agricultural communities.

Visit Defending Water For Life In Maine at the Environmental Concerns space and discuss protecting Maine’s fresh water supplies and how Maine communities can assert their rights to local control of their natural resources.

 

Thank you Ryan!

We wanted to take a moment to thank Ryan Clark from Corinth for picking up the Defending Water torch from Emily Posner after she left last summer for law school in New Orleans.  Ryan was splitting his time between organizing with Defending Water and dairy farming. This spring he followed his heart into full-time farming and recommended Chris Buchanan as someone who could take up the Defending Water torch from him. Ryan is a very talented grassroots organizer and he will be missed, however, we know Ryan will always defend water and Mother Nature as a life-long activist. Thank you Ryan for all of your thoughtful contributions, your patient and flexible support to get Chris started, and your commitment to justice and a healthy earth.

 

Bottle Bill Details

Those testifying against the bills were the owners of several redemption centers,

Natural  Resource Council of Maine, Clayton Kyle, chief executive officer of Clynk,

Patricia Curley, director of the Stockton Springs Public Library, Kevin Roach

from Eco Maine a non-profit waste management company, Steve Smith from SMI glass

recycling company and Chris Buchanan from Defending Water For Life In Maine.

 

Those testifying in favor of the bills were Newell Augur, attorney and lobbyist for the

Maine Beverage Association, David Dumont, president of the MBA and Director of

Operations for Coca-Cola Maine, the Maine Beer and Wine Association and Hal Prince

from the Dept. of Agriculture’s Quality Assurance and Regulations Division.

 

The Maine State Legislative web site states,

Last Senate Action on LD 728, LD 900, LD1063, LD 1210 and the “Emergency”

LD 1255 was on 5/5/2011 and that these five bills were – Pursuant to Joint Rule 310.3

Placed in Legislative Files (DEAD).

 

The Maine State Legislative web site states,

LD 1324  An Act To Create Consistency and Fairness in Maine’s Bottle Bill

was passed with 2 amendments.

 

SUMMARY of LD1324

The bill proposes to remove containers larger than 28 ounces from the bottle bill and to establish a uniform deposit of 5¢ for all containers. The amendment strikes those provisions. The amendment retains those sections of the bill that change the committee of jurisdiction that reviews major substantive rules. The amendment also adds provisions that:

1. Remove the requirement that 50% or more of like beverage containers for which deposits are initiated in the State must be covered in a commingling agreement. This allows initiators of deposit who do not initiate 50% or more of like beverage containers to enter into commingling agreements;

2. Incorporate the provisions of L.D. 900 that allow an initiator of deposit to bring a civil action against any person, other than a licensed redemption center, that is found in possession of or knowingly tenders to a redemption center or retailer more than 48 beverage containers that were not originally sold in this State. It also increases the penalty for possession of containers not originally sold in this State to be consistent with the penalty for tendering such containers and removes reference to a first year warning period from the penalty provision;

3. Clarify that unclaimed deposits received under the bottle bill are not deposited in the Maine Solid Waste Management Fund; and

4. Direct the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources to undertake rulemaking regarding commingling agreements, plastic bags and redemption center locations.

 

To read Actions for LD 1324 go to,

http://www.mainelegislature.org/LawMakerWeb/dockets.asp?ID=280040926