June 21, 2016 – Rumford, ME – The singer/songwriter and community organizer Rebecca Martin and the writer Kerri Arsenault, both born and raised in Rumford, Maine, are returning home to host a free movie screening of the film “Tapped” at the Rumford Public Library on Tuesday, June 28th at 6:00pm. An educational panel and discussion on water related issues will follow. Scheduled to participate include Nisha Swinton of Food & Water Watch, New England and Nickie Sekera of Community Water Justice.
It was recently reported that Nestle Bottling North America, a multinational corporation, was “…searching for springs…near the Ellis River off Route 5. The town’s other primary water source is Scotties Well near Scotties Brook…the company wants to research possible springs around Milligan Well.”
“After learning that Nestle was interested in the water supply of my home town in Rumford, Maine which could also potentially impact all of the surrounding communities living in the watershed,” Rebecca Martin, the daughter of Terry Martin and the late Dr. J. E. Martin states, “and, having recently worked on this very issue in New York State successfully, I felt it was important for me to come back to share what I know with my hometown.”
Martin is the co-founder of KingstonCitizens.org, a non-partisan, citizen-run organization focused on increasing citizen engagement in local government that is now in its tenth year. The group played a central role in exposing critical aspects of the proposed Niagara Bottling Company project to the public. The water bottler, one of the largest in the US, hoped to purchase up to 1.75 million gallons of water per day from Kingston’s municipal water source at a fraction of the cost that the public pays. The deal also included tens of millions of dollars in public monies that included tax incentives, abatements and grant money.
After five months of public scrutiny, Niagara Bottling Company abandoned the location. The group led the charge soon after to successfully change the local water sale law to assure more public oversight as to how and who its water is sold to in the future.
For the past seven years, Kerri Arsenault has been working a personal history of the paper mill town of Rumford and Mexico, Maine where she grew up. Her writing examines human injustice and how its impact has been precipitating the disappearance and inequities of the working class. “I believe my book will demonstrate where we are as a country, a society, and a species,” she said.
As part of her research, Kerri has been examining how water has contributed to the development and history of Rumford, Maine. So when she heard about Nestle’s interest in the water supply in Rumford, Kerri wanted to help ensure its citizens stay informed so they can make the best choice for their community, a community where her mother still lives.
The film “Tapped” focuses on industry giants PepsiCo and Nestle. The film documents the filmmakers’ visits to Fryburg, Maine who contains a Nestle factory as well as tests run on the bottles the company uses for its products.
All events are free and open to all. NO TICKETS ARE NECESSARY. The public will have the opportunity to ask questions and to learn more about water related issues following the screening.
The showing of TAPPED is made possible by a generous donation of www.KingstonCitizens.org
For more information, please contact Patrice Fehlen at September Gurl Music, firstname.lastname@example.org or 718.768.3859.
About Rebecca Martin: Rebecca Martin is a singer/songwriter and community organizer who hails from Rumford Point, Maine. She has recorded nine critically acclaimed albums, and has performed all over the world including at notable venues such as Carnegie Hall in NYC and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. She is co-founder of KingstonCitizens.org, that recently led an educational campaign to help dissect a national bottling company’s proposal to purchase up to 1/4 of her adopted hometown’s water supply. After five months, the company abandoned the location.
About Kerri Arsenault: Kerri Arsenault is a writer, editor, and NBCC book critic. Her work has appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, American Book Review, lithub.com, NBCC’s Critical Mass, and she is the Maine Editor for the forthcoming magazine, Jewels of the North Atlantic.
About Food and Water Watch: Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment.
About Community Water Justice: A growing network on the Maine and New Hampshire border determined to secure rights and accessibility to our groundwater through education and action for future generations.
About KingstonCitizens.org: is a community-based organization committed to improving the quality of life of Kingston residents through accountability and transparency between the people and their local government.