Talk of the Towns 1/11/23: “Forever Wild” Conservation Easement Downeast

Producer/Hosts: Ron Beard and Liz Graves
Theme music for Talk of the Towns Theme music for Talk of the Towns is a medley from Coronach, on a Balnain House Highland Music recording.

Talk of the Towns: Local Community concerns and opportunities

This month:
We look at the recent “forever wild” protection of 3200 acres of land near the Whalesback, along Route 9 in Aurora, featuring Aaron Dority, Executive Director, Frenchman Bay Conservancy, Malcolm Hunter, donor, for-ever wild conservation easement, Aurora, and Sophie Ehrhardt, coordinator of the Wildlands Partnership Program. This protection also helps with climate change by allowing the forest to store carbon as the forest continues to grow and change naturally.

-What is the (brief) history of land conservation in Maine?
-What do we (society) gain from protecting or conserving land? What are “environmental services” how are they promoted in “forever wild protection”? What benefits do wildlife derive from large land tract protection/corridors? What other tangible and intangible benefits do humans derive from conserved land?
-What led to the protection of the Whalesback in Aurora? How did this partnership develop? What were some of the steps in the process? Who are the other significant partners and what were their roles?
-What do we know about the 3223 acres of land that are protected by these new conservation easements? Where is it located? Why is it significant? How does this fit into overall resource conservation for the region?
-Not envisioned as a benefit in early land conservation, mitigation of climate change is now a part of this and other land conservation strategies… what are those benefits and how Northeast Wilderness Trust’s carbon offset program work?

Guest/s:
Aaron Dority, Executive Director, Frenchman Bay Conservancy
Malcolm Hunter, donor, for-ever wild conservation easement, Aurora
Sophie Ehrhardt, coordinator of the Wildlands Partnership Program of Northeast Wilderness Trust

About the hosts:

Ron Beard is producer and host of Talk of the Towns, which first aired on WERU in 1993 as part of his community building work as an Extension professor with University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant. He took all the journalism courses he could fit in while an undergraduate student in wildlife management and served as an intern with Maine Public Television nightly newscast in the early 1970s. Ron is an adjunct faculty member at College of the Atlantic, teaching courses on community development. Ron served on the Bar Harbor Town Council for six years and is currently board chair for the Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor, where he has lived since 1975. Look for him on the Allagash River in June, and whenever he can get away, in the highlands of Scotland where he was fortunate to spend two sabbaticals.

Liz Graves joined Talk of the Towns as co-producer and co-host in July 2022, having long admired public affairs programming on WERU and dreamed of getting involved in community radio. She works as the Town Clerk for the Town of Bar Harbor, and is a former editor of the Mount Desert Islander weekly newspaper. Liz grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

Talk of the Towns 12/14/22: Teaching History

Producer/Hosts: Ron Beard and Liz Graves
Theme music for Talk of the Towns Theme music for Talk of the Towns is a medley from Coronach, on a Balnain House Highland Music recording.

Talk of the Towns: Local Community concerns and opportunities

This month:
We ask two experienced teachers about their experience of teaching history and what they want students to take away from their studies of history and social studies.
What is history… what makes it different than reporting the news and current events? How are history and social studies related?
What is the role of textbooks in your history classes? How do you connect students to history and historians outside of textbooks?
What are the roles of the state legislature (law), state Department of Education (state policy and standards), and local school boards (local policy) in shaping what will be taught and how? What does a curriculum coordinator do?
How do State Standards approach the teaching of history and social studies? Students should be able to “distinguish between primary and secondary sources,” “evaluate and verify the credibility of the information found in print and non-print sources.” and “Equally important is that students use additional sources to resolve contradictory information.”
How do you think about what students will use their knowledge and abilities in history and social studies? What do you want them to know and be able to do?
What should citizens and policymakers to keep in mind when it comes to the teaching of history in public schools?

Guest/s:
Mark Puglisi, History Teacher, MDI High School
Julie Keblinsky, Director of Teaching and Learning, MDI Regional School System

About the hosts:

Ron Beard is producer and host of Talk of the Towns, which first aired on WERU in 1993 as part of his community building work as an Extension professor with University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant. He took all the journalism courses he could fit in while an undergraduate student in wildlife management and served as an intern with Maine Public Television nightly newscast in the early 1970s. Ron is an adjunct faculty member at College of the Atlantic, teaching courses on community development. Ron served on the Bar Harbor Town Council for six years and is currently board chair for the Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor, where he has lived since 1975. Look for him on the Allagash River in June, and whenever he can get away, in the highlands of Scotland where he was fortunate to spend two sabbaticals.

Liz Graves joined Talk of the Towns as co-producer and co-host in July 2022, having long admired public affairs programming on WERU and dreamed of getting involved in community radio. She works as the Town Clerk for the Town of Bar Harbor, and is a former editor of the Mount Desert Islander weekly newspaper. Liz grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

Talk of the Towns 11/9/22: Breaking Bread

Producer/Hosts: Ron Beard and Liz Graves
Theme music for Talk of the Towns Theme music for Talk of the Towns is a medley from Coronach, on a Balnain House Highland Music recording.

Talk of the Towns: Local Community concerns and opportunities

This month:
A conversation about Breaking Bread, Essays from New England about Food, Hunger and Family, published in 2022 by Beacon Press, to benefit Blue Angel, a food bank in Hancock County, Maine
How do our stories about food connect us to our families and our heritage?
How was Blue Angel food bank, created?
How did the book, Breaking Bread, come about?
What has been the response, both from those who contributed essays, and from those who have come to book talks or who have read the book?

Guest/s:
Deborah Joy Corey, Novelist, co-Editor of Breaking Bread, founder of Blue Angel, Castine
Stuart Kestenbaum, Maine Poet Laureate, author of several books of poetry, including Things Seemed to be Breaking, Deerbrook Editions, Deer Isle
Kim Ridley, science writer, children’s book author, including Wild Design & The Secret Pool, Brooklin
Margery Irvine, lecturer in English at UMaine, Scholar/Facilitator for the Maine Humanities Council, Brooklin
Carl Little, poet, author of William Irvine: A Painter’s Journey, and other books, Mount Desert, Maine

About the hosts:

Ron Beard is producer and host of Talk of the Towns, which first aired on WERU in 1993 as part of his community building work as an Extension professor with University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant. He took all the journalism courses he could fit in while an undergraduate student in wildlife management and served as an intern with Maine Public Television nightly newscast in the early 1970s. Ron is an adjunct faculty member at College of the Atlantic, teaching courses on community development. Ron served on the Bar Harbor Town Council for six years and is currently board chair for the Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor, where he has lived since 1975. Look for him on the Allagash River in June, and whenever he can get away, in the highlands of Scotland where he was fortunate to spend two sabbaticals.

Liz Graves joined Talk of the Towns as co-producer and co-host in July 2022, having long admired public affairs programming on WERU and dreamed of getting involved in community radio. She works as the Town Clerk for the Town of Bar Harbor, and is a former editor of the Mount Desert Islander weekly newspaper. Liz grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

Talk of the Towns 10/12/22: Childcare

Producer/Hosts: Ron Beard and Liz Graves
Theme music for Talk of the Towns Theme music for Talk of the Towns is a medley from Coronach, on a Balnain House Highland Music recording.

Talk of the Towns: Local Community concerns and opportunities

This month:
We talk with child care providers, and the leader of a program to support new child care businesses, about the essential elements of good child care. The wide-ranging conversation includes early childhood learning and socialization; fees, subsidies, and regulations; and family and employer perspectives.

What child care options are there for parents to consider in Downeast Maine?
What challenges do child care providers face?
How do state subsidies help families pay for care?
What role can employers play in helping their employees find child care?

Guest/s:
Courtney Wood, Beechland Road Early Learning Center, Downeast Family YMCA
Sarah Hinckley, Mount Desert Nursery School
Cynthia Murphy, CEI Maine Child Care Business Lab

About the hosts:

Ron Beard is producer and host of Talk of the Towns, which first aired on WERU in 1993 as part of his community building work as an Extension professor with University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant. He took all the journalism courses he could fit in while an undergraduate student in wildlife management and served as an intern with Maine Public Television nightly newscast in the early 1970s. Ron is an adjunct faculty member at College of the Atlantic, teaching courses on community development. Ron served on the Bar Harbor Town Council for six years and is currently board chair for the Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor, where he has lived since 1975. Look for him on the Allagash River in June, and whenever he can get away, in the highlands of Scotland where he was fortunate to spend two sabbaticals.

Liz Graves joined Talk of the Towns as co-producer and co-host in July 2022, having long admired public affairs programming on WERU and dreamed of getting involved in community radio. She works as the Town Clerk for the Town of Bar Harbor, and is a former editor of the Mount Desert Islander weekly newspaper. Liz grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

Talk of the Towns 9/14/22: A Conversation with Esperanza Stancioff

Producer/Host: Ron Beard
Theme music for Talk of the Towns Theme music for Talk of the Towns is a medley from Coronach, on a Balnain House Highland Music recording.

Talk of the Towns: Local Community concerns and opportunities

This month:

We profile Esperanza Stancioff, Emeritus Professor, University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant, about her work to expand community science in aid of better policies and practices for water quality and adaptation to climate change.

What were some of the key elements in your career with University of Maine?
Where did you develop your love of the sea?
Describe the intersecting space between the science developed in the academy, those charged with protecting the environment, and citizens, who might appreciate the benefits of our ecosystem in their personal lives or in pursuing their livelihoods.
How did you discover the importance of engaging citizens to to contribute to scientific knowledge.
What did you learn from bringing together citizens, scientists, historians, policy makers and people making their living on the water to celebrate Penobscot Bay as a place, and to identify the gaps in our knowledge that might help us better protect and manage our shared ecological resources.
More recently, you have worked with citizens and networks of people to respond to growing threats of climate change. Talk about what motivated you to take up this work and some of the
results.

Guest/s:
Esperanza Stancioff, Emeritus Professor, University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant

About the host:
Ron Beard is producer and host of Talk of the Towns, which first aired on WERU in 1993 as part of his community building work as an Extension professor with University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant. He took all the journalism courses he could fit in while an undergraduate student in wildlife management and served as an intern with Maine Public Television nightly newscast in the early 1970s. Ron is an adjunct faculty member at College of the Atlantic, teaching courses on community development. Ron served on the Bar Harbor Town Council for six years and is currently board chair for the Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor, where he has lived since 1975. Look for him on the Allagash River in June, and whenever he can get away, in the highlands of Scotland where he was fortunate to spend two sabbaticals.

Talk of the Towns 8/10/22: Property Assessment & Taxes in Maine Towns

Producer/Host: Ron Beard
Theme music for Talk of the Towns is a medley from Coronach, on a Balnain House

Talk of the Towns: Local Community concerns and opportunities

This month:
We talk with town representatives from Camden, Orono and Lamoine about how they assess the value of property and how towns arrive at the bill that property owners pay each year.
-What sources of revenue do towns in Maine draw on to fund their budgets?
-What types of property make up a town’s “tax base’?
-How are the values of properties assessed? How does assessment relate to sales prices?
-What is the relationship between a town’s budget and property taxes?
tax?
-Are there forms of relief for property owners, like the homestead exemption? (homestead exemption, etc)
-What happens when a property owner disputes the assessed value of their property?

Guest/s:
Caitlin Thompson, Deputy Assessor, Town of Camden
Marc Perry, Downeast Assessing Services
Stu Marckoon, Town of Lamoine

About the host:
Ron Beard is producer and host of Talk of the Towns, which first aired on WERU in 1993 as part of his community building work as an Extension professor with University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant. He took all the journalism courses he could fit in while an undergraduate student in wildlife management and served as an intern with Maine Public Television nightly newscast in the early 1970s. Ron is an adjunct faculty member at College of the Atlantic, teaching courses on community development. Ron served on the Bar Harbor Town Council for six years and is currently board chair for the Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor, where he has lived since 1975. Look for him on the Allagash River in June, and whenever he can get away, in the highlands of Scotland where he was fortunate to spend two sabbaticals.

Talk of the Towns 7/13/22: How Municipalities Maintain Roads

Producer/Host: Ron Beard
Theme music for Talk of the Towns is a medley from Coronach, on a Balnain House

Talk of the Towns: Local Community concerns and opportunities

For the most part, you can get there from here, thanks to the dedication of those who take care of our road systems. At the town level, that might be a whole public works department or to a road supervisor with a budget to contract for services. In conversation with representatives of Ellsworth and Tremont, we learn how they take care of their roads… plowing and potholes in the winter and repaving and other projects in the summer and fall.

-Description of Ellsworth and Tremont’s road systems and annual cycle of maintaining roads
-Are their best practices or “science” that you follow in maintaining or rebuilding roads?
-How do you share responsibilities for any State Roads with Maine Department of Transportation?
-How is your town adapting to the increased frequency and intensity of rain storms and other weather?

Guests:
Lisa Sekulich, Public Works Director, City of Ellsworth
Jesse Dunbar, Town Manager, Town of Tremont

About the host:
Ron Beard is producer and host of Talk of the Towns, which first aired on WERU in 1993 as part of his community building work as an Extension professor with University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant. He took all the journalism courses he could fit in while an undergraduate student in wildlife management and served as an intern with Maine Public Television nightly newscast in the early 1970s. Ron is an adjunct faculty member at College of the Atlantic, teaching courses on community development. Ron served on the Bar Harbor Town Council for six years and is currently board chair for the Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor, where he has lived since 1975. Look for him on the Allagash River in June, and whenever he can get away, in the highlands of Scotland where he was fortunate to spend two sabbaticals.

Talk of the Towns 6/8/22: An Interview with Paul Anderson

Producer/Host: Ron Beard

Talk of the Towns: Local Community concerns and opportunities

Over the last 40 years, Paul Anderson has had a key role in understanding and communicating marine science in Maine. As a micro-biologist for the Department of Marine Resources, he helped establish protocols so citizen-scientists could contribute data helping assure that clams harvested from Maine flats were safe to eat. He led the University of Maine’s Sea Grant program, with its emphasis on extension, education, and research. And after several years at the helm, he is stepping down as head of the non-profit Maine Center for Commercial Fisheries, based in Stonington, helping further the organization as a partner in scientific research.

Recently, Paul sat down for a wide-ranging conversation with Talk of the Towns host, Ron Beard. Anderson reflected on his work, some of the changes he has seen and what might lie ahead in Maine’s marine economy.

-What were the highlights of your career in marine science, including your work with the Maine Department of Marine Resources, University of Maine Sea Grant and the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries?
-What makes Maine’s marine ecosystem most interesting?
-How have citizens gotten involved with collecting environmental data?
-What are the most interesting connections between marine science and how people make their livings along the coast and the quality of life and the environment?
-Through you career so far, what are some of the ‘ah-ha” moments when you saw marine science and resource management come to the forefront of solving problems or developing new approaches?
-Any reflections to share with young folks about careers and jobs in marine-related science, management and fisheries?

Guest: Paul Anderson, Executive Director, Maine Center for Commercial Fisheries

About the host:
Ron Beard is producer and host of Talk of the Towns, which first aired on WERU in 1993 as part of his community building work as an Extension professor with University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant. He took all the journalism courses he could fit in while an undergraduate student in wildlife management and served as an intern with Maine Public Television nightly newscast in the early 1970s. Ron is an adjunct faculty member at College of the Atlantic, teaching courses on community development. Ron served on the Bar Harbor Town Council for six years and is currently board chair for the Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor, where he has lived since 1975. Look for him on the Allagash River in June, and whenever he can get away, in the highlands of Scotland where he was fortunate to spend two sabbaticals.