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

    Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

    Program Topic: The Abundance Cycle—A new lens for developing sustainable businesses

    Key Discussion Points:

    Jay Friedlander:
    • A college economics text book from the 1970s was called “Scarcity Challenged”… we have scarce resources and our various economic systems are designed to allocate those resources based on various values or beliefs. How does your concept of “abundance” connect with classic economics?
    • How does “abundance” relate to the concept that we could be doing “business” differently, sustainably, with benefit to the business owners, employees, communities and the natural systems on which we all rely?
    • How did you come to understand “abundance” as a guiding principle in sustainable business development… reference your work with O’Naturals.
    • What drew you to College of the Atlantic and how have you introduced both sustainable business and “abundance” to undergraduates?

    Steve Schafer:
    • How did you and Kate Schafer create Black Dinah Chocolatiers in the tiny community of Isle au Haut and how were and how some of the abundance cycle concepts that you applied?
    • What factors went into your decision to expand, locating production and shipping to the Portland area…, and what does it mean for the future of the company.
    • Looking back, are there any lessons you would like to share with other existing and potential small business people in our audience.

    Lisa Bjerke:
    • John Gardiner, founder of Common Cause, said: “This is the time of breathtaking opportunities disguised as unsolvable problems.” Based on your recent Watson Fellowship, traveling to Germany, India, China and Japan to explore how people viewed “waste”… are there any “breathtaking opportunities” buried under that pile of trash?
    • What resources or leads can you share with listeners who are interested in solving our solid waste problems—consumers, local town officials, business owners?

    Jay Friedlander, Sharpe-McNally Chair of Green and Socially Responsible
    Steve Schafer, Black Dinah Chocolatiers
    Lisa Bjerke, graduate student, College of the Atlantic
    Business, College of the Atlantic

    Businesses Resources: :
    Exampels of companies
    original-unverpackt.de/ (in Germany)
    Zero Waste Solution by Paul Conett, at www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/the_zero_waste_solution:paperback

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

    Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

    Program Topic: The Abbe Museum—Bridging Wabanaki and White People and Cultures

    Key Discussion Points:
    • What were the origins of the Abbe and what is it’s current mission?
    • Big step to create its downtown location… what is the relationship between the museum in Acadia and the downtown museum?
    • What were the potentials you saw when you came… what continues to excite you?
    • How has the role of the Abbe to bridge “white” and Wabanaki people and cultures evolved, perhaps using Twisted Path as an example?
    • What is the role of “museum educator”? What do you enjoy about your work in schools, or when school and other groups visit the Abbe?
    • George brings so much to his role… what are some of the obvious and not-so-obvious contributions from your Passamaquoddy/Wabanaki culture, your education?
    • How do you see the Abbe helping to bridge Wabanaki and “white” people and cultures?
    • One of the planks in that bridge might be basket-making… talk about the art and artistry of basketmaking in Wabanaki culture… historical and current context
    • Describe the role of the museum to help “build community” in Bar Harbor, and Mount Desert Island… what do you do to foster those connections, to build community capacity?
    • Talk about the new exhibit inspired by the women of Indian Township and the effects of
    substance abuse on the community… what questions would you like visitors to ponder?
    • What else should we look for at the Abbe in coming months? What are some of the other staff working on?
    • How has your affiliation with the Smithsonian affected your programming and recognition?

    Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, President, Abbe Museum
    George Neptune, Museum Educator, Abbe Museum

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

    Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

    Program Topic: Looking Back, Looking Ahead—the work of Maine Community Foundation

    Key Discussion Points:
    1. What is a community foundation, what is the brief history of community foundations and of Maine Community Foundation (MCF) in particular?
    2. What is the array of services that MCF provides to non-profits and community groups, and to donors?
    3. What led you to your work with MCF… you were with Maine Development Foundation… what of that work with MDF helped you as you took on your work at MCF
    4. How is MCF organized and staffed?
    5. Role of “county funds” and advisors (examples from Hancock, Waldo, Washington Counties)
    6. How does Maine stack up in terms of chartable giving? (is there a difference between charitable giving and philanthropy?)
    7. What are some of the changes you have led or encouraged at MCF, and how do these relate to the wider world of philanthropy? What is the balance between MCF responding to community needs and a kind of leadership- fostering longer-term strategies, including collaboration? Where and with whom is MCF collaborating these days?
    8. What are some of the trends that you see in how community groups and non-profits see themselves, and how others see them… is there more of a sense of these groups serving as safety-nets as local, state and federal government contracts? What does this mean for some of the aspirations of groups in the arts, education, conservation to lift our spirits and intellect?
    9. What are some of the trends that you see in the donor community? We see forecasts of a major transfer of wealth ahead… how philanthropy play out in that trend?
    10. Practical details—how do both donors and community groups find out more about potential partnerships with MCF?
    11. You have a year left at the helm… what will you be working on?


    Meredith Jones, President, Maine Community Foundation

    Karen Stanley, Board Member, Maine Community Foundation

    Jo Cooper, Executive Director, Friends in Action, Ellsworth

    Todd West, Principal, Deer Isle-Stonington High School

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

    Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

    Program Topic: Cleaner Elections in Maine

    Key Discussion Points:

    What is the current picture of what it takes to run for legislative and state-wide offices in Maine?
    What led to Maine’s original Clean Election Law? What has been the track record?
    What rulings by the US Supreme Court affected Maine’s Law?
    What has happened since the Citizens United ruling… what trends have we seen nationally and here in Maine? (PACs and other players)
    If sections of Maine’s Clean Election Law have been put in question by decisions by the Supreme Court, what is the possible fix? What is Maine Citizens for Clean Elections proposing?
    What do you hope Maine’s election scene look like if this change is put in place?
    These changes seem good and beneficial… who might be opposed to an updated clean elections laws in Maine? Not all candidates will choose the clean election option… under what circumstances might that be the case?
    What are the steps in making these changes… what’s on the ballot in November, and assuming you are successful, what would happen after that?
    How would citizens learn more or get involved?


    Ann Luther, Maine League of Women Voters (in studio)
    Senator Edward Youngblood, Brewer
    Jamie McGowan, Professor, College of the Atlantic
    Andrew Bossie, Executive Director, Maine Citizens for Clean Elections

    No Comments
  • Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
    Studio Engineer: John Greenman

    Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

    Program Topic: The Present and Future of Community Newspapers

    Key Discussion Points:
    What traditional roles do local newspapers fulfill? (News, Public Notice, Editorial, Access to Customers, role of “free press” in a democracy, etc)
    How do different sectors of the community relate to local newspapers?
    How is your news function structured… how does it work week to week? How do you decide what to cover? What is the reporters role, the editors role?
    How do you decide what editorials to write… how do you encourage readers to share their opinions? Does reader input influence what news you cover?
    What is the traditional business model… advertising revenue, subscription/news stand sales?
    How are the traditional roles changing and what is forcing those changes?
    (digital media, changing demographics and reader preferences, etc)
    How are local newspapers adapting/leading? (any differences with daily and national newspapers? Trends in on-line journalism?)
    In an ideal future world, how do you wish to interact with readers, citizens, local officials, business owners… what is the business model, what is the emerging role for newspapers role in a democracy?
    What are your hopes for the future of local newspapers?

    Stephen Fay, Managing Editor, The Ellsworth American
    Tim Archembalt, Director of Reach Marketing, Ellsworth American
    Ben Barrows, General Manager, Penobscot Bay Press
    Earl Brechlin, Editor, Mount Desert Islander (by phone)

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

    Program Topic: Employee owned Cooperatives retain local businesses and jobs

    Key Discussion Points:
    Background on Cooperatives from Rob and Mark
    Orient listeners to variety of cooperatives (producers, consumers, employee-ownership)
    There are various forms of ownership for businesses… what is different about cooperative ownership and operation? Examples at different scales?
    What are key advantages of cooperative ownership… for employee/owners, for the communities in which cooperatives live?
    What are some of the challenges to setting up and operating cooperatives, including financing, decision-making?
    There is a long history of cooperatives… why aren’t there more of them?
    What is the role of the Cooperative Development Institute and your program (Business Ownership Solutions
    Introduce the story of Island Employee Cooperative and the role of various partners
    Background, status of and vision for Island Employee Cooperative — Alan
    Background on the three individual businesses and the employees who came together to explore the ownership option(Burnt Cove Market, V&S Variety and Pharmacy and The Galley) and their place in the communities of Stonington and Deer Isle.
    Trace the path from when workers heard the owners wanted to retire, to creating Maine’s largest worker owned cooperative… what were some of the excitements and challenges?
    What is the status now, what sorts of decisions have owner/employees made about the day to day operation of the businesses? What changes have been made and what do you envision for the future?
    Who are the various organizations that made it all work?
    What have been some of the community response/reactions?
    What have you learned about owning and operating your businesses?
    Looking ahead
    What are some factors that tend to make employee owned cooperatives work?
    How can individuals and groups support the creation of cooperatives of all sorts?
    Where can listeners learn more?
    What are your hopes for cooperatives and local communities in Maine?

    Rob Brown, Director, Business Ownership Solutions, Cooperative Development Institute
    Alan White, President Island Employee Cooperative, Deer Isle
    Mark Sprackland, Executive Director, Independent Retailers Shared Services Cooperative by phone: 603 642 6911)
    Jonah Fertig, one of the founders of Local Sprouts, employee cooperative Portland restaurant and entertainment space, by phone 967 4735

    No Comments