Archives for Talk of the Towns

Talk of the Towns 7/13/18

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

Looking Back at Maine’s 2018 Legislative Session

Key Discussion Points:
How do you approach the role of legislator—what balance between advancing policy or solving problems framed by your parties vs. constituent services and solving problems that they bring to your attention?

What are your primary committee assignments, and what did those committees work on in this session?

Overall, what were the accomplishments from 128th legislature (2017-18) of which you are most proud? How do those accomplishments translate for your constituents?

On the other hand, what were your greatest disappointments—those things you hoped could be accomplished in this session, but were not?

What do you issues do you imagine will be enduring, as the campaign season heats up and after the November elections, for the 129th Legislature?

Guests:
Representative Brian Hubbell, Democrat, Bar Harbor
Senator Brian Langley, Republican, Ellsworth
Representative Ralph Chapman, Green Independent, Brooksville

Talk of the Towns 5/11/18

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

Community concerns and opportunities: Electric Vehicle Charging Stations are on their way

What is the background on all-electric vehicles? How do they work?
Why is this move to electric vehicles so important to the climate?
How do we know that electricity for electric vehicles is “clean”?
What trends in electric vehicle use are you seeing in Maine?
What led to your program to install 4-6 public charging stations in the Downeast Region in coming months?
How do charging stations work… what equipment is needed?
What is the role of municipal or non-profit hosts? What benefit do they derive from participating?
How does involvement in projects like A Climate to Thrive aid in positive mental health and building a sense of hope?

Guests:
Gordon Beck, A Climate to Thrive, Mount Desert Island
Dennis Kiley, A Climate to Thrive, Mount Desert Island
Scott Vlaun, The Center for Ecology-Based Economy, Western Maine

Talk of the Towns 4/13/18

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

Conversation with Douglas Rooks on Rise, Decline and Renewal: The Democratic Party in Maine, published by Hamilton Books, 2018

Key Discussion Points:
You begin your book with chapters on the Rise of the Democratic Party… what was so remarkable about Edmund Muskie’s election as governor in 1954?
Who was key to the rise of the democratic party and what were their key contributions (Coffin, Muskie, Curtis, Brennan)
In the meantime, what was happening in the Republican party and the role of independent candidates? (Longley, King, Cutler)
What internal factors led to the decline of the Democratic party in Maine…
What has been the effect of term limits on governance in Maine and the ability of either party to lead?
What hopes do you have for renewal? What can overcome the current state of politics in Maine? Review suggestions for Voting, Party, Legislative and Budget Reform (Chapter 9)

Guests: Douglas Rooks, journalist, author of Statesman: George Mitchell and the Art of the Possible in 2016; former editor, Maine Times, and editorial page editor, Kennebec Journal

Talk of the Towns 3/9/18

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

Making Ellsworth a Model Green Community

Key Discussion Points:
What led to interest in making Ellsworth a model green community? (Climate change, pride in community, etc.) What were the various strands that made up the whole case to take action?
What were your initial steps as you got organized (listening to community members)? Steering Committee role, etc
What are the aspects of your work going forward? Examples of baseline info and projects? (mention all, but go into detail, depending on guests)
Green and conserved spaces
Waterfront, Waterways and Water Management
Sustainable Maintenance and Environmental Interface
Waste Management/Recycling/ Composting
Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency/Public Transportation
Sustainable Development
What challenges are you facing? What are you learning about this work?
How can citizens learn more and get involved?

Guests:
Mary Blackstone, Ellsworth Garden Club
Aaron Dority, Frenchman Bay Conservancy
Brett Ciccotelli, Downeast Salmon Federation

Talk of the Towns 2/9/18

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

Farms and Food System—the work of Maine Farmland Trust

Key Discussion Points:
How did MFT come to be and what are some of the elements in the timeline since it was started?
Thumbnail sketch of farming and farmers in Maine in 2018 and what trends are playing out?
Have the issues affecting farmers and farmland changed over the last twenty years?
How have your programs evolved… how are you advancing your mission today?
Farmland Access: Maine Farmlink, Maine Farms Realty
Farmland Protection: Purchased Easement Program, Buy-Protect-Sell
Farm Viability: Farming for Wholesale, Maine Harvest Bucks, Business Planning
Stewardship
Outreach & Public Policy: Maine Farms Journal, Art Gallery & Josheph A. Fiore Art Center, Policy & Research

Guests:
Amanda Beal, President, Maine Farmland Trust
Erica Buswell, Vice President of Programs, Maine Farmland Trust
Brady Hatch Morning Dew Farm, Newcastle
Eleanor Kinney, board member for Maine Farmland Trust

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?

Guests:
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)

Guests:
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?

Guests:
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