Talk of the Towns 5/10/19: The Abbe Museum and the Road to De-Colonization

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

Key discussion points:

How has the Abbe board, staff and stakeholders used your strategic planning process to better define the direction and aspirations for the Abbe

What is “decolonization” and how have you worked on that at the Abbe?

What differences might we see and feel in a museum that is down the road with decolonization?

The Abbe has been at the forefront of decolonization… what responses are most gratifying as you work with colleagues around the world?

One aspect of your strategic plan, and your efforts toward decolonization is the upcoming Abbe Museum Indian Market on May 17-19 in Bar Harbor.

What is the history of Indian Markets, including the earliest sales by Native Americans to summer visitors to Mount Desert Island up to the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market in Phoenix… is the Abbe an East Coast echo to the Heard event?  ?


Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, President and CEO, Abbe Museum

Gabriel Frey, Abbe Board member, Passamaquoddy Basket Maker

Suzanne Greenlaw, Abbe Native Advisory Council, Maliseet Tribe, Doctoral Candidate, UMaine, research on sustainable harvest of sweetgrass, basketmaker


Talk of the Towns 4/12/19

The Union River and Relicensing for Electrical Generation

Producer/Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Engineer: Joel Mann

What do we know about the ecology and history of the Union River and its watershed?

What do we know about the current use of the Union River to generate electricity?

What concerns have your organizations focused on as part of the relicensing process?
Fish passage (alewives, eels, salmon, etc)
Water level changes and sedimentation at Graham Lake
Recreational use of the river

What concerns have been expressed by others (City of Ellsworth, property owners along Leonard Lake, alewife harvesters, etc.?

What are the various scenarios that you see developing… whether or not there is a renewed license? Fish passage, dam removal, water level control on Graham Lake?


Dwayne Shaw, Executive Director, Downeast Salmon Federation
Brad Perry, Friends of Graham Lake
Mark Whiting, retired biologist, Maine DEP

Talk of the Towns 3/8/19

Producer/Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Engineer: Amy Browne

Community concerns and opportunities: Combatting Racism in our schools and our communities

Key Discussion Points:
Can someone offer a definition of racism, one that helps frame your work
Can you distinguish between individual behavior and “institutional” racism?
How does racism “show up” in your experience as high school students and citizens of Mount Desert Island and the state of Maine?
How do you serve as allies to those who are subject to racism in their everyday lives?
What steps are you taken to confront racism in your school and community?
How do we, as a society, confront the racism that is part of our history and persists today?

Students from Mount Desert Island High School Civil Rights Team: Grace Munger, Lily Turner, Dawson Burnett, Finn Baker, Elliot Servaites, Sirohi Kumar, Faith Reece, Lexi Simard, Claire Shaw, Bella Galarza
Michelle Merica, Faculty Advisor, MDI High School Civil Rights Team
Jackie Davidson, Executive Director, YWCA of Mount Desert Island

Talk of the Towns 2/8/19

Producer/Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Engineer: Amy Browne

Community concerns and opportunities: Is it time to open up the Maine’s primary process to unenrolled voters

Key Discussion Points:
What are primary elections and how are they conducted in Maine?
What role do parties play, what is the role of the state of Maine?
What has been the rationale to prohibit unenrolled voters from participating in party primary elections?
How is the present campaign organized and what are you hoping will happen?
What was your experience with the primary experience, as a member of a party or as an Independent candidate? What did you appreciate about it? How would this proposed change benefit the state of Maine?

Kaitlin LaCasse, Campaign Manager, Open Primaries Maine
Jill Goldthwait, former State Senator, Independent
Dennis Damon, former State Senator, Democrat

Talk of the Towns 1/11/19

Producer/Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Engineer: Amy Browne

Community concerns and opportunities: Looking back and looking forward—the view from Deer Isle, Stockton Springs and Mount Desert

Key Discussion Points:
Thumbnail sketches of geography, population and demographics
economic base, history of Deer Isle, Stockton Springs, Mount Desert
Brief overviews of town Governance structures:
Selectboard, town meeting, key committees
Opportunities and challenges from the past year… achievements?
Opportunities and challenges for the year ahead
Comparison of
Tax base (valuation), budget and tax rate
Portion of budget for education
How do you handle capital costs?
How is your volunteer base holding up (town committees, public safety, etc.)
Examples of town to town and town to non-governmental partnerships and collaboration
What is most satisfying about your work as town manager?
What makes your town a good place to live?

Jim Fisher, Town Manager, Deer Isle
Courtney O’Donnell, Town Manager, Stockton Springs
Durlin Lunt, Town Manager, Mount Desert

Talk of the Towns 12/14/18

Producer/Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Engineer: Joel Mann

Community concerns and opportunities: Developing Small Business Climate in Washington County

Key Discussion Points:

What is overall picture of Washington County? Historical perspective, Natural Resource base, Economics, Demographics… what are the most significant regional assets? What challenges does the region face?

Focus on the role of small business in the region… definition, contribution to economy and community life? Opportunities and challenges?

What led to the development of the new Machias Valley Center for Entrepreneurship? What is the core mission and how do you envision it working?
How will you develop the Nash Building… what will we see when the work is complete? How will this new center connect small businesses to other partners and resources?

What is happening with downtown revitalization, what buildings have been “saved” in recent years (including Machias Savings Bank building), and how does the Nash Building fits into the hopes and plans to continue revitalization work.

What do you appreciate about doing business and living in Machias region? If this entrepreneurship center had been operating when you were getting started, how might it been helpful?


Charles Rutelitch, Exec. Director, Sunrise County Economic Council
Larry Barker, President & CEO, Machias Savings Bank
Bill Kitchen, Member, Machias Town Council 774-364-2518
Andrea Lyford, owner of A29 Marketing 207 271 3262

Talk of the Towns 11/9/18

Producer/Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Engineer: Denis Howard

Community concerns and opportunities: 2018 Post Election Reflection

Key Discussion Points:
How would you characterize the 2018 elections… any general observations about the election process this year and any results you would like to highlight?
Review results known in Maine (Governor, Congress, Senate seat, make-up of the new legislature)… What stands out for you in these results?
Review results of Congressional Mid-Term elections (Control of House, Senate) What stands out for you?
Though he wasn’t running, President Trump seemed to be a factor in these mid-terms, highlighting some of the stark differences between Republicans (under Trump) and Democrats. How did this seem to play out? Was it unusually polarizing? How did Trump seem to influence the results?
In the wake of the Women’s March, the Me-Too movement, the Kavanaugh hearings, the Parkland student’s leadership of the March for our Lives demonstrations in March, Pantsuit Nation, Indivisible, outrage ties to white nationalism and racism, shootings and bombings… we saw impressive attempts to engage women, people of color, young-people? Any obvious results that affected this election cycle?

Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine, host of Democracy Forum that airs the third Friday of the month at 10 AM on WERU
Jamie McKown, James Russell Wiggins Chair in Government and Polity, College of the Atlantic

Talk of the Towns 10/12/18

Producer/Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Engineer: Amy Browne

The History Trust: Making the Past Accessible

Key Discussion Points:
Overview of the mission and collections of each historical society/museum, touching on how they manage those collections/archival materials, how they share them with the public.
How mission for each organization translates into a meaningful connection between a community member and some element of local history that you have “protected” or brought to light.
What are the challenges that you face as you think about keeping those materials accessible in the long-term?
Background and rationale for Friends of Island History and the concept of a “history trust”
What are the key components of the proposed History Trust? What would each participant gain through participating? What are challenges you are wrestling with?

Bill Horner, Mount Desert Island Historical Society, Friends of Island History
Raney Bench, Seal Cove Auto Museum
Muriel Davison, Tremont Historical Society
Anne Grulich, Great Cranberry Island Historical Society