Susan Sharon

Deputy News Director

Deputy News Director Susan Sharon is a reporter and editor whose on-air career in public radio began as a student at the University of Montana. Early on, she also worked in commercial television doing a variety of jobs. Susan first came to Maine Public Radio as a State House reporter whose reporting focused on politics, labor and the environment. More recently she's been covering corrections, social justice and human interest stories. Her work, which has been recognized by SPJ, SEJ, PRNDI and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, has taken her all around the state — deep into the woods, to remote lakes and ponds, to farms and factories and to the Maine State Prison. Over the past two decades, she's contributed more than 100 stories to NPR.

Got a story idea? E-mail Susan: ssharon@mainepublic.org. You can also follow her on twitter @susansharon1

Ways to Connect

Susan Sharon / MPBN

The South Portland City Council has voted to ban the export of Canadian tar-sands crude through the city, effectively ending any attempt to bring the crude from western Canada through a pipeline into the city. While there are no such plans in the work, Portland Pipeline Corporation Vice-President Tom Hardison spoke against the proposal.

Susan Sharon

Environmentalists are anticipating passage later tonight of a local ordinance that blocks Canadian tar sands oil and other raw crude from being loaded onto tanker ships.  The South Portland City Council's action could complicate plans to use a controversial pipeline that runs across northern New England.  But Canadian crude has other avenues into the region.

Courtesy: ACLU of Maine

Two women from Burundi, now living in Maine, have asked to join a lawsuit against the Department of Health Human Services.  DHHS recently announced that it would no longer reimburse communities that provide General Assistance to asylum seekers and other immigrants.  Since then, the Maine Municipal Association and the cities of Portland and Westbrook have filed suit against the Department. 

Susan Sharon

The city of Lewiston, home to one of the state's largest immigrant and refugee populations, will continue providing General Assistance to all new Mainers, at least for now. The Department of Health and Human Services recently issued a directive advising cities and towns to deny GA to undocumented immigrants. Several communities are openly defying the policy and have joined a lawsuit against the state. But Lewiston's City Council has chosen to wait at least another month before taking an official stand. In the first of two reports, Susan Sharon looks at who these new immigrants are, why they're here and what's at stake.

Susan Sharon

This weekend a 63-year-old grandmother from Unity is embarking on an unusual solo expedition that will take her across half a continent and take nearly a year to complete.

Women (Not) in Film

Jul 10, 2014
www.wn.com

It's summer blockbuster time at the box office.  That means big budget, special effect-driven films. It also means you probably won't see too many women in leading roles.   And for those that do, there's a good chance they'll be talking about men.  On today's show we'll discuss the Bluestocking Film Series, taking place in Maine and showcasing high-quality, narrative films that pass the Bechdel Test - which consists of three criteria: (1) it has to have at least two women in it, who (2) who talk to each other, about (3) something besides a man. 

The latest attempt to keep tar sands crude out of South Portland has taken a step forward. The city council there voted last night to approve an ordinance barring the bulk loading of crude oil for export and construction of facilities needed for that.

In a rare, joint action, a member of the LePage administration has teamed up with the Maine attorney general to file a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Filed in U.S. District Court in Bangor, the lawsuit says the agency has failed to approve state water quality standards under the Clean Water Act.

Maine was among the first states to legalize same-sex marriage at the ballot box — and now, LGBT groups are hoping voters there will break new ground by electing the nation's first openly gay governor in November.

But Democratic candidate Mike Michaud only recently came out, and he hasn't always been a gay-rights supporter.

Responding to what he called a "whisper campaign" about his sexual orientation, the six-term congressman did something dramatic last November: He outed himself in a series of newspaper op-eds.

So much for setting out the lawn chairs early and getting a good seat for fireworks tomorrow night. The National Weather Service forecast has put a big damper on the Independence Day plans for many cities and towns this weekend.

This week, readers of Maine Today Media, which includes the Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal and Maine Sunday Telegram, are being advised that they can no longer access all their online content for free. They'll be able to access 10 stories before hitting what's known as a paywall - or, put another way, before they have to sign up for a subscription. It's a strategy more than half the newspapers in the country have undertaken as a way to boost revenues. 

Susan Sharon

Democratic Congressman Mike Michaud, who is challenging Gov. Paul LePage for the Blaine House, says the governor exhibited poor judgment by meeting with members of a domestic terrorist group eight times. And Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler says it's unfortunate that LePage gave them so much time when there are so many real challenges facing Maine. But LePage supporters in his hometown of Lewiston are sticking by him.

Democratic Congressman Mike Michaud says Republican Gov. Paul LePage has shown a "lack of judgment" by meeting several times with a group that is on the FBI's domestic terrorist watch list.

Michaud, who is also a candidate for governor, says he's especially concerned by reports that LePage allegedly discussed the execution of Democratic leaders at the State House with members of the group known as Sovereign Citizens.  

Michaud says such comments, whether made in jest or not, have no place in public discourse and can lead to violence.

The Maine Municipal Association says it will file a lawsuit over a new state directive that requires cities and towns to deny General Assistance to undocumented immigrants.  

Geoff Herman, the  director of state and federal relations,  says the MMA wants a judge to review the process undertaken by the LePage administration to change the rules around General Assistance without a public hearing or legislative approval, and after the attorney general advised that doing so would be unconstitutional.  

The head of the Maine State Employees Association says she's disappointed, but not surprised, by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that prohibits an Illinois union from collecting "fair-share" union fees from part-time, home health care aides.  

Maine is one of 26 states that require all public employees who are represented by unions to pay similar dues, whether they officially join or not.  

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