Archives for Talk of the Towns

Talk of the Towns 1/12/18

Producer/Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Engineer: John Greenman

Community concerns and opportunities: Screen time and kids: What is healthy? How do we talk about it?

Key Discussion Points:
What are some of the “developmental tasks” as adolescents grow… what are they learning and mastering at this stage of life?
How do some of these developmental tasks intersect with access to and use of media, both the sorts we spoke about in your youth, and those now prevalent: cell phones, social media, hand-held devices for movies, music, etc.?
What are some of the concerns about youth and screentime? What does research in your field telling us? (brain development, bullying, intimidation, early experimentation, etc.)
What sort of conversations are you having with your children and what ground rules are you and other parents you know talking about?
How do you see some of “screen” issues presenting themselves in a school setting?
Schools use “screens” as part of the educational process… what are some underlying assumptions and cautions that schools employ? What conversations are you having with students and their parents?

Kendra Rudolph Rand, parent
Ian Cameron, Lecturer in Human Development and Family Studies, University of Maine
Edith Dubois, Social Worker, Mount Desert Island Regional School system

Talk of the Towns 12/8/17

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

Community concerns and opportunities: Revitalizing Maine’s Main Streets

Key Discussion Points:

What trends led each of your communities to undertake downtown revitalization? (malls, on-line retail, cost of buildings and renovations?)

What strategies and programs have you used to advance your downtowns/ main streets??

What is your relationship to local government, chambers of commerce, etc.

What challenges are you encountering? How are you overcoming these challenges? (including labor force development, demographic trends, housing costs, etc.)

What are some of the complementary trends are supporting revitalization efforts?
(historic preservation, local food movement, the arts, people seeking greater authenticity, etc?)

What advice would you have for other communities wanting to revitalize their downtowns? What resources can you suggest (Maine Downtown Center, etc)

Brook Minner, Main Street Bucksport
Cara Romano, Heart of Ellsworth
John Burns, Blue Hill Downtown group

Talk of the Towns 11/10/17

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

Community concerns and opportunities
Man to Man: a conversation about confronting sexist attitudes and behavior

Key Discussion Points:
How has the recent publicity about sexual assault and harassment and the corresponding expressions of #Me Too affected you?
What is the mission and program of Male Athletes Against Violence? What is the conversation about sexist attitudes and behavior like at UMaine?
What is the mission and programs of The Next Step Domestic Violence Program? Are there some myths about domestic violence that we should consider?
How does the role as a pastor come into play around these issues – counselor, minister—both within your congregation and in the larger community?
As we look at the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), there are, perhaps, more than a few mixed messages about men in relation to women. How do we sort those out?
Are there any suggestions about a code of conduct that would address how men should think and act in today’s world? Does the Golden Rule come close to such a code?
How do we men confront support for sexist behavior (along with racism and other ism’s) espoused by national leaders?

Rob Benson, Pastor, Bar Harbor Congregational Church
Lewis Redding, Volunteer, The Next Step Domestic Violence Program
Mitchell Fossier, Male Athletes Against Violence, University of Maine

Talk of the Towns 10/13/17

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

Community concerns and opportunities: Investing in children builds the future workforce, economy and community

Key Discussion Points:
What is the Maine Community Foundation, how do you promote philanthropy and promote community building?
What led to MCF’s choice for the November 14 summit on early childhood development and its connection to workforce development and communities?
What do we know about children’s development and how early experience affects the rest of their life and how they learn?
What do we know about the connection of early childhood development and Maine’s economy?
How do you help prepare the youngest to be more ready to learn as they progress into school settings?
What advice do you have for parents, hoping to help their children along life’s learning path?
What has convinced business leaders to focus on early childhood issues?
What are some of the problems bringing young adults into the workforce?

Steve Rowe, President and CEO of Maine Community Foundation
Stephanie Eglinton, Senior Program Officer, Maine Community Foundat
Marsha Stone, Family Futures Downeast, Machias
Jim Clair, TriCast… leadership team for Maine Early Learning Investment Group

Talk of the Towns 9/8/17

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

Environmental Education in Maine

-What exactly is “environmental education”? What are some forms environmental education can take?
-There’s a wealth of scientific research surrounding the benefits of environmental education to students. Can you describe some of those positive impacts?
-Do you see an increasing need for environmental education?
-What are some of the lessons from environmental education through the experiences of Maine Outdoor School, Island Institute and University of Maine Cooperative Extension
-What are some ideas for how parents and teachers can incorporate environmental education into their own teaching practice?

Hazel Stark and Joe Horn, Maine Outdoor School, Milbridge
Eliza Oldach, Bar Harbor
Yvonne Thomas, education director of the Island Institute
Ryder Scott Statewide Director, University of Maine 4-H Centers
Blueberry Cove ~ Bryant Pond ~ Tanglewood

Talk of the Towns 8/11/17

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

Blueberries for Maine

Key Discussion Points:
Some history blueberry industry in Maine
Why does Maine grow great low-bush blueberries? How did the industry start?
Changes in how berries are grown… how fields are managed over time?
Harvesting methods over time… including introduction of migrant workers
Getting berries to market – canning, frozen, fresh pack, etc.
How did the industry develop… big growers-small growers
What is Cooperative Extension’s historical role (research and extension)
Current profile
Recent trends in how berries are managed, harvests, markets, technology?
What has happened in the last few years to supply, price, markets, industry
Current problems and opportunities?
What are some of the current UM/industry research projects, and what
questions/problems/opportunities are they addressing?
(role of integrated pest management, water quality, irrigation, etc)
What is the niche for organic berries?
Profiles of Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Blue Hill Berry Company and Highland
Organics and their connection to growing organic berries, markets, etc.

David Yarborough, Blueberry Specialist, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Melissa Lee, Regional steward, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Lubec
Theresa Gafney, Highland Organics, Stockton Springs

Talk of the Towns 7/14/17

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

Discussion of The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America

What were some of the key “theological” turning points that led to the emergence of the evangelical movement in the US?
How have evangelicals contributed to the current polarization in the US? Are there examples of evangelical thought and action that have attempted to move beyond culture wars?
When and how did conservative Christians, including most evangelicals, become so heavily identified with the Republican party?
You wrote that the Christian right lost significant power in the years of the Obama presidency… partly because their leaders aged out or died and they failed to attract younger supporters? In your epilogue, you offer some theories about why 81 % of evangelicals voted for Trump… those with lower economic status and less formal education responding to the politics of fear.
For those who posit the view that the policies put forward by Republicans, with the support of evangelicals (economic, social, environmental, health care) are on the wrong side of history, are there elements of the evangelical movement that will help the nation move beyond polarization to more humane and progressive stances?

Guest: Frances Fitzgerald, author of The Evangelicals, published by Simon and Schuster, 2017

Talk of the Towns 6/9/17

Producer/Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Studio Engineer: John Greenman

Indivisible—engaging citizens and elected officials in representative government

What were the origins of Indivisible and Indivisible MDI?
What are some of the highlights of your work so far?
What challenges do you face?
What have you learned about citizenship, and about representative democracy?
So far, there has been so much to react to, trying to counter efforts to turn back progressive policies… do you sense a time when Indivisible will have an opportunity to focus more on vision, less on reaction? (moving from resistance to articulating and supporting a progressive agenda?)

Members of Indivisible MDI
Jill Weber
Gail Leiser
Ellie Oldach
Bo Green