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WERU 89.9 FM Blue Hill, Maine Local News and Public Affairs Archives

Audio archives of spoken word broadcasts from Community Radio WERU 89.9 FM Blue Hill (weru.org)

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  • Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
    Studio Engineer: Amy Browne

    Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

    Program Topic: Celebrating Acadia in 2016—Centennial Year

    Key Discussion Points:
    A. What are we celebrating?
    Centennials of Acadia National Park and US National Park Service
    B. What is the brief history of Acadia
    Highlights and tensions?
    Parallels to history of Mount Desert Island and national system?
    C. What do we know about Acadia National Park in 2015
    Key assets
    Current challenges
    Relation to the community, local economy?
    What did we learn when the federal government shut down Acadia?
    Role of Friends of Acadia
    D. How are we celebrating?
    How are the celebrations being planned and coordinated?
    What organizations are involved?
    What are some of the 2016 events you would like to highlight?
    E. What opportunities does the centennial make possible to engage with the park and its mission, and what are the implications for the wider community?


    Jack Russell, Co-chair of the Acadia Centennial Task Force
    Stephanie Clement, Friends of Acadia and member of Acadia Centennial Task Force
    Lynne Dominy, Chief of Interpretation, Acadia National Park, Centennial Lead for park service (by phone) 207 288-2375.
    Julie Veilleaux, Co-Owner, Window Panes in Bar Harbor, FOA Board of Directors, Acadia Centennial Task Force, coordinator of Acadia Centennial products effort (by phone) 207-266-2262

    No Comments
  • Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
    Studio Engineer: Amy Browne

    Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

    Program Topic: Celebrating how our buildings contribute to sense of place

    Key Discussion Points:

    What do we know about the blending of European techniques with what early settlers and builders found in Native American structures… how had Native Americans solved some of the problems of shelter—keeping the weather out, keeping warmth in, functionality?

    What housing traditions and innovations did the Europeans bring to North America?

    Trace the evolution of New England/Maine architecture… what examples can we point to that we can see today? Comment on residential, commercial and public buildings… are their towns that retain this mix? What did those early builders/designers know about relationship between built and natural environments, including siting buildings on the land

    Trace the development and application of “shingle-style” and how did that spread more broadly

    How have each of you worked with equally compelling pulls—the pull to honor the vernacular and the ways in which New England architecture fit itself into the landscape — and the equally compelling desire to innovate, to build something new? Favorite examples of “restoration”?

    Can we have it all—buildings that fit into the landscape, sustain us, conserve energy resources and are affordable not just to the wealthy? (is smaller beautiful?)

    What continues to inspire… take listeners on your favorite drive or village walk to see and celebrate our building heritage?

    Roc Caivano, retired architect, Bar Harbor
    Robert Knight, Knight Associates Architects, Blue Hill
    Barbara Sassaman, designer, draftsperson, Chair, Bar Harbor Design

    Review Board

    No Comments
  • Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
    Studio Engineer: Amy Browne

    Program Topic: Healthy Food Options for Maine General Stores

    Key Discussion Points:
    o Where do we in Maine stand in terms of healthy eating?
    o How easy or hard is it for people to make healthy choices as they plan meals for themselves and their families?
    o Do some groups have a more difficult time getting access to healthier food choices?
    o What are “food deserts” and do we have them in Maine?
    o Where do general stores rural areas fit into the “food system”?
    o What elements of the typical business model of a general store get in the way of offering healthier options to their customers? Is this part of a long term trend in terms of where people shop for food? What are some of the
    challenges for general stores? How do the wholesalers fit into these trends?
    o What models of addressing the notion of “food deserts” have worked elsewhere, perhaps in urban settings? Introduce the Food Trust’s national model and tell how you are adapting that model for rural areas in the
    collaboration with Healthy Acadia and CEI. How will it work and where are you in the processs?
    o What other general stores are you working with, and what are some of the strategies you are interested in trying?
    o How else are you connecting local growers and local consumers, through the healthy general stores initiative and elsewhere in the region? (mention ongoing work with food pantries, schools, etc?) What have been some of the responses?
    o Wrap up with contact info and where listeners can learn more about healthy eating and purchasing healthy food

    Katie Freedman, Healthy Acadia
    Sandy Dubay, Healthy Acadia
    Dan Wallace, CEI

    No Comments
  • Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
    Studio Engineer: Joel Mann

    Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

    Program Topic: The Union River, Fish and Dams

    Key Discussion Points:

    1. The Watershed

    What is the watershed of the Union River, and how does it serve/impact the region?

    What do we know about fish in the Union River—historical and present?

    First dams for sawmills and other industry, later for electric power

    2. Current dams and purposes

    ? What is the current ownership of the dams on the Union River… what do we know about

    Brookfield Power and its economic goals for the Union River?

    ? How much power is being generated on the Union River, and how important is this as part of our

    overall energy mix in Maine and the overall power grid?

    ? How important is the Ellsworth Dam to current flood control?

    3. Alewives

    From colonial times, alewives were allowed to be managed at the local level… what measures do the City

    of Ellsworth and it’s partners use to manage alewife populations and catch… explain the trap and truck

    process, who is involved, what is accomplished, what are the drawbacks?

    What is the significance of Alewives to the Passamaquoddy people, and importance of removing barriers,

    on the St Croix river and elsewhere… what work/fisheries research on behalf of the Passamaquoddy Tribe

    connects with the Downeast Fisheries Partnership and others

    4. Relicensing

    ? What agencies have oversight of dams and what do they monitor?

    ? What specifically is the role of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and what is

    the process they are using to consider a request to relicense the dam on the Union River for

    electrical power generation?

    ? Besides the current owner, Brookfield Power, who else is involved in relicensing?

    ? What factors are likely to be considered in the relicensing process? (power generation, fish

    passage, environmental impacts, property values on river and lakes?)

    ? What are some of the likely points of contention, around fish passage up and down the river,

    around water levels in Graham Lake, etc.

    5. Wrapping Up

    ? What is the process going forward and how can citizens learn more?

    ? What hopes do you have for what happens on and around the Union River as a result of the

    relicensing process?


    Dwayne Shaw, Downeast Salmon Federation

    Morris Lambden, Union Salmon Association

    Anne Hayden, Downeast Fisheries Partnership

    Edward Basset, Sipayik Environmental Department Pleasant Point Reservation,

    Alewives, eels, salmon, other species? (life cycles, etc.)

    Passamaquoddy Tribe

    No Comments
  • Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
    Studio Engineer: Amy Browne

    Program Topic: A Conversation and readings from young writers in Sumner High School’s Alternative Pathways Program

    Key Discussion Points:

    Background on Alternative Pathways Program and Sumner’s approach to education, idea for writing workshop

    Each young writer introduces briefly and reads a piece from work in progress (5-8 min each)
    Carol – first chapter from her novel
    Justin – from Chapter 9 of his novel
    Abbie- first chapter from her magical realism novel

    Writers comment on how they approach writing, their work with Cynthia Thayer
    Cynthia and Susan talk about what they are learning by working with these writers

    Carol Dawn, Sumner Pathways Program, student, writer
    Justin Alexander Hammond, Sumner Pathways Program, student, writer
    Abbie Elizabeth Holland, Sumner Pathways Program, student, writer
    Susan Walsh, Sumner Pathways Program, teacher
    Cynthia Thayer, author of Strong for Potatos, A Certain Slant of Light, A Brief Lunacy, founder of Schoodic Arts for All and co-owner/operator of Darthia Farm in Gouldsboro

    No Comments
  • Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
    Studio Engineer: Joel Mann

    Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

    Program Topic: Community Energy: Bringing the lessons from Samso to Maine Islands

    Key Discussion Points:
    o Where in the world is Samso Island, and why is it important to the islands of Maine? What is the “energy profile” for Maine islands?
    o What led to the visit to Samso by representatives from Island Institute, College of the Atlantic and residents from Maine’s islands? (include references to Fund for Maine Islands and II and COA partnership)
    o What lessons did you find most compelling to bring back to Maine?
    o How are you bringing some of these these lessons to Maine islands?
    o College of the Atlantic: Making the campus fossil fuel free, Home energy audits and air sealing, storm window inserts, and more, etc
    o Island Institute: Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Energy Education and Leadership, Annual island energy conferences, and more, etc
    o Projects on Peakes Island, Long Island
    o Community Solar project in Bar Harbor
    o What are some of the challenges and opportunities you are working with as this collaborative effort goes forward?
    o What are some of the small business opportunities that are emerging connected to this work?
    o Are there state or federal policy implications for further community and homeowner energy initiatives?
    o How can listeners learn more?

    Anna Demeo, Director of Energy Education and Management, and Lecturer, College of the Atlantic
    Saren Peetz, 4th year Student, College of the Atlantic
    Suzanne MacDonald, Community Energy Director, Island Institute
    Nate Johnson, Long Island Resident, “Renewable Energy Gateway”
    Gary Friedmann, Town Council Member, Bar Harbor,

    No Comments
  • Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
    Studio Engineer: Amy Browne

    Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

    Program Topic: Support for success in high school and the transition to college and work

    Key Discussion Points:

    Kim shares her own profile and describes her own high school and college path, comparing and contrasting some of the challenges she sees current high school and college students facing

    Todd shares a bit about his high school-to-college transition and sets the context for the challenge he and the school board and staff and community took on to build capacity for success for Deer Isle-Stonington High School

    Kim and Todd share a bit about the community of Deer Isle and its economy, how fishing influences choices by high school age students and families

    Todd describes what led to the creation of the three “pathways” (project based learing in marine sector, arts and health care), how they were chosen, and the community partnerships that have made them vibrant, shares profiles of students who have made each pathway work for them…

    Kim describes what led to the creation of Project Launch, (including connections from her earlier work with Healthy Island Project and Ready by 21 (support for high school students for preparing for college or employment) shares how program works (selection and training of gurus, connection with guidance program at school, matching with high
    school seniors, role of parents and families)

    Pat Shepard, a current guru (by phone) shares what it has meant to him, and what how the relationship seems to be working for the students he mentors

    Todd goes into more detail about Eastern Maine Skippers Program, including reference to Penobscot East and other partners, this year’s Green Crab project, Fisherman’s Forum session and the May session at the Grand in Ellsworth.

    Todd West, Principal, Deer Isle-Stonington High School
    Kim Hutchinson, Coordinator, Project Launch

    No Comments
  • Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
    Studio Engineer: Amy Browne

    Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

    Program Topic: Governor LePage’s Tax Reform Plan and its impacts on Maine towns and Non-Profit Organizations

    Key Discussion Points:
    • Michelle describes Ellsworth… its economy and tax base, with reference to the number/relative size of non-profits, role of city manager and city council in making decisions about property taxes
    • Josh describes the mission and programs of Woodlawn Museum, brief history and current estimate of property valuation, if known (land and improvements)
    • We review (from published source that Ron will share/bring) a summary of the sorts of changes in Maine’s tax system, as envisioned in the Governor’s budget and other sources. Reminder of the role of the legislature in reviewing Governor’s proposals
    • Michelle describes the Maine Municipal Association, its policy review process and shares some of the potential impacts of the proposed tax system changes on municipalities, and the position(s) MMA has taken/is taking on these changes
    • Josh describes the potential impacts of proposed change for non-profits—what he has heard from his non-profit colleagues, and potential impact for Woodlawn
    • By Phone Joel Johnson, from Maine Center for Economic Policy, describes other potential impacts from the proposed tax reform, especially the reduction or elimination of income tax, shifting of tax burden, concept of tax progressivity, who would benefit and who would be disadvantaged by the Governor’s proposals
    • Michelle/Josh shares where listeners can learn more, track the legislative process from MMA and Maine Association of Non Profits points of view

    Michelle Beal, City Manager, Ellsworth & President, Maine Municipal Association
    Joshua Torrance, Executive Director, Woodlawn Museum, Ellsworth
    Joel Johnson, Maine Center for Economic Policy

    No Comments