Maine: The Way Life Could Be 9/6/22: Health- Care & Insurance

Producers/Hosts: Jim Campbell and Amy Browne
This series is made possible in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission

Maine: The Way Life Could Be, a series in which we look at challenges and opportunities facing Maine in the lifetimes of people alive today.

This episode:

At the outset of this series, we invited anyone interested to participate in a Zoom call to help us gather information on what folks saw as major challenges facing Maine people during the lifetime of those alive today. One of those challenges mentioned by several of the participants on that call was affordable and accessible health care.
It’s important to note right at the beginning of today’s program that health care and health insurance are two different things that are sometimes conflated. Health care refers to the care that providers such as doctors, nurses, therapists, and others provide to people with health issues.
How to pay for that care is a separate challenge, often provided in part by either for-profit insurance companies or government programs such as Medicaid, for those with very low incomes; or Medicare, for those age 65 and over.
On today’s program, we will speak with two retired physicians who, over long careers, took somewhat different paths but wound up at the same conclusion about how to provide Maine people, and all Americans, with affordable, accessible health care.

Guests:

Dr. Geoff Gratwick practiced medicine with a specialty in rheumatology in the Bangor area, and in clinics across Maine for over 40 years. He eventually became so concerned about what he saw as problems with Mainers getting access to quality health care that he ran for the Maine Senate after serving 9 years on the Bangor City Council. He served four terms in the Maine Senate before leaving because of term limits, and while there served on the Opioid Task Force, as well as on several legislative committees. He was a key player in establishing the state’s Health Care Task Force which has been charged with determining how to make health care in Maine universal, affordable, accessible and of high quality.

Dr. Phil Caper, in addition to practicing as a physician, spent a good part of his career in policy areas related to health care. From 1971 to 1976, he was a professional staff member on the United States Senate Labor and Public Welfare’s subcommittee on Health. He served on the National Council on Health Planning and Development from 1977 to 1984, chairing the panel from 1980 to 1984. He has also taught at Dartmouth Medical School, the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, and worked in private industry trying to improve the technology of hospital medical records.

Both guests are active with Maine AllCare

FMI:

Maine AllCare
From the National Bankruptcy Forum, 10/22/21:
10 Statistics about US Medical Debt that Will Shock You
Health care executive pay soars during pandemic, Bob Herman, AXIOS, Jun 14, 2021
Universal health care could have saved more than 338,000 lives from COVID-19 alone, Rachel Nuwer, Scientific American, June 13, 2022
Sudden resolution of Anthem and Maine Med dispute leaves more questions than answers, Caitlin Andrews, Bangor Daily News, 8/20/22
2022 Maine Shared Community Health Needs Assessment Report
Hidden charges, denied claims: Medical bills leave patients confused, frustrated, helpless, Joe Lawlor, Portland Press Herald, 8/21/22

About the hosts:

Jim Campbell has a longstanding interest in the intersection of digital technology, law, and public policy and how they affect our daily lives in our increasingly digital world. He has banged around non-commercial radio for decades and, in the little known facts department (that should probably stay that way), he was one of the readers voicing Richard Nixon’s words when NPR broadcast the entire transcript of the Watergate tapes. Like several other current WERU volunteers, he was at the station’s sign-on party on May 1, 1988 and has been a volunteer ever since doing an early stint as a Morning Maine host, and later producing WERU program series including Northern Lights, Conversations on Science and Society, Sound Portrait of the Artist, Selections from the Camden Conference, others that will probably come to him after this is is posted, and, of course, Notes from the Electronic Cottage.

Amy Browne started out at WERU as a volunteer news & public affairs producer in 2000, co-hosting/co-producing RadioActive with Meredith DeFrancesco. She joined the team of Voices producers a few years later, and has been WERU’s News & Public Affairs Manager since January, 2006. In addition to RadioActive, Voices, Maine Currents and Maine: The Way Life Could Be, Amy also produced and hosted the WERU News Report for several years. She has produced segments for national programs including Free Speech Radio News, This Way Out, Making Contact, Workers Independent News, Pacifica PeaceWatch, and Live Wire News, and has contributed to Democracy Now and the WBAI News Report. She is the recipient of the 2014 Excellence in Environmental Journalism Award from the Sierra Club of Maine, and Maine Association of Broadcasters awards for her work in 2017 and 2021.

Maine: The Way Life Could Be 8/2/22: Housing in Maine -Affordable to Mainers?

Producers/Hosts: Jim Campbell and Amy Browne

This series is made possible in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission

Welcome to this edition of Maine: The Way Life Could Be, a series in which we look at challenges and opportunities facing Maine in the lifetimes of people alive today.

Affordable housing is a big issue here in Maine, with current residents being priced out of certain areas by people moving here from out of state, purchase prices beyond the reach of average wage earners in all but one county, rents skyrocketing, and short term vacation rentals displacing long term rentals. Today we again hear from area town managers and planners that we interviewed earlier this year, a young person dealing with the issue, and a local real estate agent who fills us in on the trends. With inflation and interest rates complicating things, it’s hard to predict what things will look like in a few years, much less beyond that.

Guests:

Lane Sturtevant, Participant in January MTWLCB forum
Kathleen Billings, Town Manager, Stonington, Maine
Mike Cunning, Realtor, Worth Real Estate, Belfast, Maine
Jim Fisher, Town Manager, Deer Isle, Maine, and former senior planner with the Hancock County Planning Commission
Anne Krieg, Bangor Planning Officer

FMI:

Trends and Outlooks for the Maine Economy, Maine Association of Mortgage Professionals (presentation), by Amanda Rector, Maine State Economist, June 8, 2022
2021 Homeownership Housing Facts and Affordability Index for Maine, Maine State Housing Authority
LD 290, An Act to Stabilize Property Taxes for Individuals 65 Years of Age or Older Who Own a Homestead for at Least 10 Years
Airbnb bookings in rural Maine surge to $95M in 2021, Lori Valigra, Bangor Daily News, June 29, 2022
Portland isn’t the only place out-of-staters are buying pricey homes, David Marino Jr., Bangor Daily News, June 23, 2022

About the hosts:

Jim Campbell has a longstanding interest in the intersection of digital technology, law, and public policy and how they affect our daily lives in our increasingly digital world. He has banged around non-commercial radio for decades and, in the little known facts department (that should probably stay that way), he was one of the readers voicing Richard Nixon’s words when NPR broadcast the entire transcript of the Watergate tapes. Like several other current WERU volunteers, he was at the station’s sign-on party on May 1, 1988 and has been a volunteer ever since doing an early stint as a Morning Maine host, and later producing WERU program series including Northern Lights, Conversations on Science and Society, Sound Portrait of the Artist, Selections from the Camden Conference, others that will probably come to him after this is is posted, and, of course, Notes from the Electronic Cottage.

Amy Browne started out at WERU as a volunteer news & public affairs producer in 2000, co-hosting/co-producing RadioActive with Meredith DeFrancesco. She joined the team of Voices producers a few years later, and has been WERU’s News & Public Affairs Manager since January, 2006. In addition to RadioActive, Voices, Maine Currents and Maine: The Way Life Could Be, Amy also produced and hosted the WERU News Report for several years. She has produced segments for national programs including Free Speech Radio News, This Way Out, Making Contact, Workers Independent News, Pacifica PeaceWatch, and Live Wire News, and has contributed to Democracy Now and the WBAI News Report. She is the recipient of the 2014 Excellence in Environmental Journalism Award from the Sierra Club of Maine, and Maine Association of Broadcasters awards for her work in 2017 and 2021.

Maine: The Way Life Could Be 7/5/22: Shifting Demographics in Maine

Producers/Hosts: Jim Campbell and Amy Browne

This series is made possible in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission

Welcome to this edition of Maine: The Way Life Could Be, a series in which we look at challenges and opportunities facing Maine in the lifetimes of people alive today.

The population of Maine has been the oldest and “whitest” in the state, but even before the real estate boom during the pandemic, some of state’s demographics were starting to shift. Today we look at the 2018-2028 demographics forecast for the state, with Maine’s State Economist, Amanda Rector, author of the report. We also talk with Jim Fisher, Deer Isle Town Manager and Hancock County planner, about how some of the trends play out in real life in our communities.

Guests:

Amanda Rector is the State Economist for Maine. In this capacity, she conducts ongoing analysis of Maine’s economic and demographic conditions to help inform policy decisions. Amanda is a member of the State of Maine’s Revenue Forecasting Committee and serves as the Governor’s liaison to the U. S. Census Bureau. She started working for the state in 2004 and has been State Economist since 2011. She earned a BA in Economics from Wellesley College and her Master’s in Public Policy and Management from the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine.

Jim Fisher is the Town Manager for Deer Isle and former senior planner with the Hancock County Planning Commission. He earned a doctorate in urban regional planning from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and was a Fulbright scholar. He also hosted “Common Health” here on WERU for several years.

FMI:

Maine Population Outlook, 2018-2018, Office of the State Economist

State Economist Amanda Rector presents Trends and Outlook for Maine’s Economy to the Maine Association of Mortgage Professionals, June 8, 2022

Pandemic Migration Spurs Maine’s Biggest Population Growth in Two Decades, Jessica Piper, Bangor Daily News, December 27, 2021

About the hosts:

Jim Campbell has a longstanding interest in the intersection of digital technology, law, and public policy and how they affect our daily lives in our increasingly digital world. He has banged around non-commercial radio for decades and, in the little known facts department (that should probably stay that way), he was one of the readers voicing Richard Nixon’s words when NPR broadcast the entire transcript of the Watergate tapes. Like several other current WERU volunteers, he was at the station’s sign-on party on May 1, 1988 and has been a volunteer ever since doing an early stint as a Morning Maine host, and later producing WERU program series including Northern Lights, Conversations on Science and Society, Sound Portrait of the Artist, Selections from the Camden Conference, others that will probably come to him after this is is posted, and, of course, Notes from the Electronic Cottage.

Amy Browne started out at WERU as a volunteer news & public affairs producer in 2000, co-hosting/co-producing RadioActive with Meredith DeFrancesco. She joined the team of Voices producers a few years later, and has been WERU’s News & Public Affairs Manager since January, 2006. In addition to RadioActive, Voices, Maine Currents and Maine: The Way Life Could Be, Amy also produced and hosted the WERU News Report for several years. She has produced segments for national programs including Free Speech Radio News, This Way Out, Making Contact, Workers Independent News, Pacifica PeaceWatch, and Live Wire News, and has contributed to Democracy Now and the WBAI News Report. She is the recipient of the 2014 Excellence in Environmental Journalism Award from the Sierra Club of Maine, and Maine Association of Broadcasters awards for her work in 2017 and 2021.

Maine: The Way Life Could Be 6/7/22: The “Water, Water Everywhere, But…” edition

Producers/Hosts: Jim Campbell and Amy Browne

This series is made possible in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission

Welcome to this edition of Maine: The Way Life Could Be, a series in which we look at challenges and opportunities facing Maine in the lifetimes of people alive today.

Today, we focus on water. Water is a very big topic, especially for a coastal state like Maine. As we look ahead, we need to take into account possible changes to seawater, surface freshwater, and groundwater and their effects on life in the state. That is a lot to cover and we can’t go into great detail but we can provide an overview of things we may all need to think about as we look forward to our lives here in Maine.

We do that by reporting on existing research about water issues that are already becoming visible – and that will certainly be even bigger issues in our future. Later in the program, we will also be talking with people who are, in different ways, on the front lines of some major current water issues that may be even bigger in our common future.

Guests:

Nickie Sekera lives in Fryeburg, Maine and hears tractor trailers loaded with water extracted from wells in her town passing her house as they haul that water out of state. That experience has motivated her to become knowledgeable about Maine’s laws and about corporate large scale extraction from Maine’s groundwater. She is the cofounder of Community Water Justice She also works with the Sunlight Media Collective, reporting on related topics, especially those that impact indigenous communities.

Former State Representative Ralph Chapman is a materials scientist who has studied the effects of mineral mining in Maine historically, and some of the mineral mining activities being proposed today and tomorrow here in Maine. He worked on legislation that would have to addressed some of the shortcomings he identifies in Maine’s mining rules revision while he was in the legislature.

For more information:

WERU’s Dawnland Signals, hosted by Maria Girouard and Esther Ann of Wabanaki Reach, report on Safe Drinking Water for the People of Sipayik, 4/21/22

Scientific Assessment of Climate Change and Its Effects in Maine, Maine Climate Council Scientific and Technical Subcommittee, August 2020

Maine’s Climate Future, 2020 Update, Ivan Fernandez, Sean Birkel, Catherine Schmitt, Julia Simonson, Brad Lyon, Andrew Pershing, Esperanza Stancioff, George Jacobson, and Paul Mayewski. University of Maine

Maine Won’t Wait: A Four Year Plan for Climate Action, Maine Climate Council, December 2020

Maine Principles of Ownership Along Water Bodies, Maine Law Review, Knud E. Hermansen & Donald R. Richards, Maine Principles of Ownership Along Water Bodies, 47 Me. L. Rev. 35 (2018).

Notes for Talk on Groundwater Law, Peggy Bensinger, May 1, 2020 meeting of Maine’s Water Resources Planning Committee

The non-partisan Gulf of Maine Research Center

The University of Maine’s [Senator George J.] Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions

About the hosts:

Jim Campbell has a longstanding interest in the intersection of digital technology, law, and public policy and how they affect our daily lives in our increasingly digital world. He has banged around non-commercial radio for decades and, in the little known facts department (that should probably stay that way), he was one of the readers voicing Richard Nixon’s words when NPR broadcast the entire transcript of the Watergate tapes. Like several other current WERU volunteers, he was at the station’s sign-on party on May 1, 1988 and has been a volunteer ever since doing an early stint as a Morning Maine host, and later producing WERU program series including Northern Lights, Conversations on Science and Society, Sound Portrait of the Artist, Selections from the Camden Conference, others that will probably come to him after this is is posted, and, of course, Notes from the Electronic Cottage.

Amy Browne started out at WERU as a volunteer news & public affairs producer in 2000, co-hosting/co-producing RadioActive with Meredith DeFrancesco. She joined the team of Voices producers a few years later, and has been WERU’s News & Public Affairs Manager since January, 2006. In addition to RadioActive, Voices, Maine Currents and Maine: The Way Life Could Be, Amy also produced and hosted the WERU News Report for several years. She has produced segments for national programs including Free Speech Radio News, This Way Out, Making Contact, Workers Independent News, Pacifica PeaceWatch, and Live Wire News, and has contributed to Democracy Now and the WBAI News Report. She is the recipient of the 2014 Excellence in Environmental Journalism Award from the Sierra Club of Maine, and Maine Association of Broadcasters awards for her work in 2017 and 2021.

Maine: The Way Life Could Be 5/3/22: “Forever Chemicals”, Climate Change, and Maine Farmers & Gardeners

Producers/Hosts: Jim Campbell and Amy Browne
This series is made possible in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission

Welcome to this edition of Maine: The Way Life Could Be, a series in which we look at challenges and opportunities facing Maine in the lifetimes of people alive today.

In previous programs in this series, we looked at some of the possible effects of climate change on the way life could be in Maine in the not too distant future. Today, we look at some forces already at work today – climate change as well as the recent rediscovery of so-called “forever chemicals” in Maine soil and water – and what these forces may mean for people who grow food, both as professional farmers and as backyard gardeners.

We asked Sarah Alexander, the Executive Director of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) and John Jemison Professor of Soil and Water Quality with the Cooperative Extension at the University of Maine what impacts Maine farmers and gardeners might expect to see in their lifetimes from “forever chemicals” and climate change.

To learn more about the health risks associated with PFAS chemicals, be sure to check the WERU archives for the Healthy Options show from April 6th entitled: “The serious problems of PFAS ‘forever chemicals’”. Host Rhonda Feiman’s guest was Patrick MacRoy, Deputy Director of DEFEND OUR HEALTH, a public health organization based in Portland, that has been working on the issue. There are also good resources for learning more about PFAS chemicals on the University of Maine Cooperative Extension web site and on the website of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

About the hosts:

Jim Campbell has a longstanding interest in the intersection of digital technology, law, and public policy and how they affect our daily lives in our increasingly digital world. He has banged around non-commercial radio for decades and, in the little known facts department (that should probably stay that way), he was one of the readers voicing Richard Nixon’s words when NPR broadcast the entire transcript of the Watergate tapes. Like several other current WERU volunteers, he was at the station’s sign-on party on May 1, 1988 and has been a volunteer ever since doing an early stint as a Morning Maine host, and later producing WERU program series including Northern Lights, Conversations on Science and Society, Sound Portrait of the Artist, Selections from the Camden Conference, others that will probably come to him after this is is posted, and, of course, Notes from the Electronic Cottage.

Amy Browne started out at WERU as a volunteer news & public affairs producer in 2000, co-hosting/co-producing RadioActive with Meredith DeFrancesco. She joined the team of Voices producers a few years later, and has been WERU’s News & Public Affairs Manager since January, 2006. In addition to RadioActive, Voices, Maine Currents and Maine: The Way Life Could Be, Amy also produced and hosted the WERU News Report for several years. She has produced segments for national programs including Free Speech Radio News, This Way Out, Making Contact, Workers Independent News, Pacifica PeaceWatch, and Live Wire News, and has contributed to Democracy Now and the WBAI News Report. She is the recipient of the 2014 Excellence in Environmental Journalism Award from the Sierra Club of Maine, and Maine Association of Broadcasters awards for her work in 2017 and 2021.

Maine: The Way Life Could Be 4/5/22: Climate Change in Our Lifetime, Part 2 of 2

Producers/Hosts: Jim Campbell and Amy Browne
With assistance from Ann Luther and Matt Murphy
This series is made possible in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission:

In a previous program, we began looking at the effects of Climate Change on life in Maine, now and in the future, a topic that almost everyone mentioned who participated in our interest gathering efforts.

Maine is the oldest state in the country, both in median age and in percentage of those over 55, but the people who are going to be dealing with the effects of Climate Change the longest are younger people. And climate change seems to be affecting many of them already.

In December of 2021, The Lancet Planetary Health journal published the results of a survey of 10,000 people ages 16 to 25 year in ten countries. The authors found that “Respondents across all countries were worried about climate change (59% were very or extremely worried and 84% were at least moderately worried). More than 50% reported each of the following emotions: sad, anxious, angry, powerless, helpless, and guilty. More than 45% of respondents said their feelings about climate change negatively affected their daily life and functioning, and many reported a high number of negative thoughts about climate change (eg, 75% said that they think the future is frightening and 83% said that they think people have failed to take care of the planet). Respondents rated governmental responses to climate change negatively and reported greater feelings of betrayal than of reassurance.”

On today’s program, we talk with several younger people in Maine about their attitudes and expectations of the effects of climate change on their future. We spoke with two pairs of high school students. We will hear first from Joey and Edge, who are from two different schools in Washington County. We’ll follow that conversation with one with Grace and Sophia, who are from the Mount Desert Island area of Hancock County.

Finally, we hear from Hazel Stark, a Millennial, Registered Maine Guide, naturalist educator and cofounder of the Maine Outdoor School. She also hosts the Saturday morning short feature, The Nature of Phenology, here on WERU, co-produced with Joe Horn. The resources Hazel mentions include: iNaturalist , eBird , and Budburst She also recommends UMaine’s Signs of the Seasons: A New England Phenology Program and the USA National Phenology Network

FMI:

Maine’s Climate Future 2020 – a University of Maine report authored by Ivan Fernandez, Sean Birkel, Catherine Schmitt, Julia Simonson, Brad Lyon, Andrew Pershing, Esperanza Stancioff, George
Jacobson, and Paul Mayewski.

Scientific Assessment of Climate Change and Its Effects in Maine, by the Maine Climate Council Scientific and Technical Subcommittee

Inaction on Climate Change is Taking a Toll on Young People’s Mental Health, Brennan Center for Justice

Climate anxiety in children and young people and their beliefs about government responses to climate change: a global survey, The Lancet, Caroline Hickman, MSc, Elizabeth Marks, ClinPsyD, Panu Pihkala, PhD, Prof Susan Clayton, PhD, R Eric Lewandowski, PhD,Elouise E Mayall, BSc
et al.

About the hosts:

Jim Campbell has a longstanding interest in the intersection of digital technology, law, and public policy and how they affect our daily lives in our increasingly digital world. He has banged around non-commercial radio for decades and, in the little known facts department (that should probably stay that way), he was one of the readers voicing Richard Nixon’s words when NPR broadcast the entire transcript of the Watergate tapes. Like several other current WERU volunteers, he was at the station’s sign-on party on May 1, 1988 and has been a volunteer ever since doing an early stint as a Morning Maine host, and later producing WERU program series including Northern Lights, Conversations on Science and Society, Sound Portrait of the Artist, Selections from the Camden Conference, others that will probably come to him after this is is posted, and, of course, Notes from the Electronic Cottage.

Amy Browne started out at WERU as a volunteer news & public affairs producer in 2000, co-hosting/co-producing RadioActive with Meredith DeFrancesco. She joined the team of Voices producers a few years later, and has been WERU’s News & Public Affairs Manager since January, 2006. In addition to RadioActive, Voices, Maine Currents and Maine: The Way Life Could Be, Amy also produced and hosted the WERU News Report for several years. She has produced segments for national programs including Free Speech Radio News, This Way Out, Making Contact, Workers Independent News, Pacifica PeaceWatch, and Live Wire News, and has contributed to Democracy Now and the WBAI News Report. She is the recipient of the 2014 Excellence in Environmental Journalism Award from the Sierra Club of Maine, and Maine Association of Broadcasters awards for her work in 2017 and 2021.

Maine: The Way Life Could Be 3/1/22: Climate Change in Our Lifetime, Part 1 of 2

Producers/Hosts: Jim Campbell and Amy Browne
With assistance from Ann Luther and Matt Murphy
This series is made possible in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission:

When we asked Mainers to weigh in on the most important issues facing the state in their lifetimes, climate change was at the top of the list for many. Our March and April shows will feature the voices of Mainers – from town planners to academics to community activists of all ages who are working on the issue.

Today we hear from Dr. Ivan Fernandez, Distinguished Professor at the University of Maine in the School of Forest Services, part of the University’s Climate Change Institute, and a member of the state government’s Maine Climate Council ; Kathleen Billings, Stonington Town Manager; Anne Krieg, Bangor Planning Officer; Jim Fisher, Deer Isle Town Manager; Sherri Mitchell, member of the Penobscot Nation, an attorney with a focus on Indigenous Issues, an author and international speaker. Sherri is also the Founding Director of the Land Peace Foundation, an organization dedicated to the global protection of Indigenous land and water rights and the preservation of the Indigenous way of life. Sherri has been a frequent guest on WERU over the years, and was the host of the Love (and Revolution) podcast that was aired by the station; and a brief comment from Grace, a high school student that we’ll hear more from in April.

What do YOU think the impact of climate change will be on Maine in your lifetime? Record a brief comment at www.weru.org or send us an email at [email protected] and we may use your comment on an upcoming show.

FMI:

Maine’s Climate Future 2020 – a University of Maine report authored by Ivan Fernandez, Sean Birkel, Catherine Schmitt, Julia Simonson, Brad Lyon, Andrew Pershing, Esperanza Stancioff, George
Jacobson, and Paul Mayewski.

Scientific Assessment of Climate Change and Its Effects in Maine, by the Maine Climate Council Scientific and Technical Subcommittee

Inaction on Climate Change is Taking a Toll on Young People’s Mental Health, Brennan Center for Justice

Climate anxiety in children and young people and their beliefs about government responses to climate change: a global survey, The Lancet, Caroline Hickman, MSc, Elizabeth Marks, ClinPsyD, Panu Pihkala, PhD, Prof Susan Clayton, PhD, R Eric Lewandowski, PhD,Elouise E Mayall, BSc
et al.

About the hosts:

Jim Campbell has a longstanding interest in the intersection of digital technology, law, and public policy and how they affect our daily lives in our increasingly digital world. He has banged around non-commercial radio for decades and, in the little known facts department (that should probably stay that way), he was one of the readers voicing Richard Nixon’s words when NPR broadcast the entire transcript of the Watergate tapes. Like several other current WERU volunteers, he was at the station’s sign-on party on May 1, 1988 and has been a volunteer ever since doing an early stint as a Morning Maine host, and later producing WERU program series including Northern Lights, Conversations on Science and Society, Sound Portrait of the Artist, Selections from the Camden Conference, others that will probably come to him after this is is posted, and, of course, Notes from the Electronic Cottage.

Amy Browne started out at WERU as a volunteer news & public affairs producer in 2000, co-hosting/co-producing RadioActive with Meredith DeFrancesco. She joined the team of Voices producers a few years later, and has been WERU’s News & Public Affairs Manager since January, 2006. In addition to RadioActive, Voices, Maine Currents and Maine: The Way Life Could Be, Amy also produced and hosted the WERU News Report for several years. She has produced segments for national programs including Free Speech Radio News, This Way Out, Making Contact, Workers Independent News, Pacifica PeaceWatch, and Live Wire News, and has contributed to Democracy Now and the WBAI News Report. She is the recipient of the 2014 Excellence in Environmental Journalism Award from the Sierra Club of Maine, and Maine Association of Broadcasters awards for her work in 2017 and 2021.

Maine: The Way Life Could Be — DEBUT! 2/1/22

Producers/Hosts: Jim Campbell and Amy Browne
With assistance from: Ann Luther, Matt Murphy, Scott Byrd and Pepin Mittelhauser

This new series is made possible in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission:

Travelers entering Maine on the Maine Turnpike from the south are greeted by a sign that says Maine: The Way Life Should Be. Assuming for a moment that is true today, we wondered what would make it true in the future.

There are a lot of challenges – and perhaps opportunities – that will affect what life is like in Maine in the not too distant future, the future that people listening right now will probably see in their lifetimes. We decided to take a look at some of those challenges and opportunities, and get some ideas about what Life Could Be in Maine in the future – hence the name of the program series.

Of course, that bought up the question of just what are the most important challenges facing Maine now that will extend into the future. We had some ideas but we needed to find out what ideas others had about that question to enable us to identify topics for the programs in the series. So we asked.

Regular WERU listeners may recall recently hearing an invitation on the WERU airwaves to attend a video conference call, and to share their ideas about important challenges facing our state that will affect our common future – and that will help us to know what topics future programs in the series should include.

More than 25 people joined that videoconference, and many offered their ideas and concerns about important issues we will need to address if we want Maine to remain a place where we want to live in the future. We’ll hear from some of those who shared their ideas during that video conference first. Later in the program, we’ll hear from three people in our listening area working in local government– whose job it is to not only take care of today’s local needs, but also to plan to deal with the needs of tomorrow. We’ll get some of their ideas about what issues we will have to address going forward.

#ClimateChange
#UniversalHealthcare
#AffordableHousing
#TribalSovereignty
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