The Nature of Phenology 6/22/19: Great Blue Herons

Producers: Hazel Stark & Joe Horn
Host: Hazel Stark

Photos, a full transcript, references, contact information, and more available at

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to watch a solitary heron seeking food, you know that they are the epitome of patience. Long, thin legs and neck provide an ideal vantage point from which the bird can wait motionless in shallow fresh or saltwater as a dagger-like bill points at unsuspecting prey. Their wispy pale blue-gray feathers always match the background, whether it’s a cloudy sky, a stormy sea, or a placid pond.

Nature’s Remedies 6/22/19: Hormesis

Producer/Host: Tim Hagney

Democracy Forum 6/21/19: Town Meeting- “Doing Democracy” in Your Town

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine
Engineer: Amy Browne

We talk about practicing politics and democracy at the most personal level, in local government, and the unusual experience we enjoy in the form of the New England town meeting.
Does the town meeting still work? Is participation up or down? Is partisanship creeping in? Is money “from away” taking more of an interest? If you’ve never been, what do you need to know?

Susan Clark, is coauthor of Slow Democracy: Rediscovering Community, Bringing Decision Making Back Home. She serves as Town Moderator of Middlesex, Vermont.

Susan Lessard, Town Manager for Bucksport. She’s worked town government in Maine for over twenty years in a diverse array of communities, some with and some without a town meeting form of government.

Dick Thompson, an experienced moderator for the Towns of Palermo, China, Vassalboro, and others, Dick conducts moderator training for the Maine Municipal Association.

To learn more about this topic:
Slow Democracy: Rediscovering Community, Bringing Decision Making Back Home, Susan Clark and Woden Teachout, 2012.
Managing Town Hall meetings so that everyone benefits (and relatively few are miserable), Della Rucker in Creating a Wise Economy, May, 2015.
Citizen’s Guide to Town Meeting, Maine Municipal Association.
For the People, by the People: What I saw when I participated in one of the truest forms of democracy, Amy Crawford in Slate May, 2013.
Americans Aren’t Practicing Democracy Anymore: As participation in civic life has dwindled, so has public faith in the country’s system of government, Yoni Applebaum in The Atlantic October, 2018.
More citizen education from the Maine Municipal Association here.

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine:

Awanadjo Almanack 6/21/19: “Four Follies”

Producer/Host: Rob McCall
Production Assistance: Rebecca McCall

RadioActive 6/20/19: Asylum Seekers in Portland and CMP Transmission Project Update

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

a) Today we hear from the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project in Portland on support work for the over 200 asylum seekers, primarily from the war torn Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola, recently arrived in Maine, and the impacts of federal and state policy. This week the Maine Senate failed to vote on legislation that would have restored cuts made by the LePage administration to safety net programs for documented immigrants and asylum seekers, including food stamps, MaineCare and General Assistance. Governor Mills still has the power to mobilize funds for General Assistance.

b) We also hear an update on the status of so called New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC), the proposed Central Maine Power high voltage, highly controversial 145 mile transmission line corridor which would bring electric power form Hydro Quebec in a swath through Maine to Massachusetts markets. Theres has been concerted and growing opposition to this mega project from a wide swath of communities, groups and individuals concerned with environmental impacts on wetlands, waterways and habitat and concerned with democratic and local control.

Julia Brown, Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project

For more information on volunteering and donations:
Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition
Translators needed in French, Portuguese and Lingala.

Matt Wagner, NO NECEC

Today’s program was produced with the Sunlight Media Collective.

c) A number of bills that would have potentially impacted the project were presented in the legislature at the end of this session. One bill, would have required a study to examine claims that the NECEC would benefit efforts to address climate change. Two others would have given local governments and municipalities power to approve transmission line projects and the taking of land through eminent domain. These two bills, LD 1382 and LD 1363, both passed the full legislature, but were vetoed by Governor Mills, who has thrown her full support behind the CMP project

The climate study bills received a majority of votes, but as “emergency” legislation criteria, did not receive enough votes to be implemented.

The NECEC project is still seeking permits form the Department of Environmental Protection, the Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC) and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Impacts by Hydro Quebec operations on Canadian communities, including First Nations, will be examined in a future program.

The Sketchbook 6/20/19: Eventualities

Producer/Host: Jim Bahoosh

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 6/20/19: Recent Developments

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

On this edition, let’s take a look at recent developments in a couple of areas we have discussed previously on the Electronic Cottage: facial recognition technology use at our borders, and wireless carriers selling real time location data about their customers – that’s us!

All About Aging, 6/19/19: Social Security

Producer/Host: Peg Cruikshank
Studio Engineer: John Greenman

Key Discussion Points:
-Women penalized by time out for caregiving
-Defined benefit retirement benefits better than defined contribution
-Several fixes for Social Security exist, none radical

Guest: Elizabeth Johns, University of Maine Center on Aging