Archives for Talk of the Towns

Talk of the Towns 6/10/16

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

Program Topic: Maine Farmland Trust and Maine’s Food System

Key Discussion Points:

Brief overview of MFT mission and history, starting with its land trust model
How has MFT evolved to a more comprehensive approach you now embrace (land conservation, land access, farm viability, food access, outreach, arts)
What is the vision for a regional food hub and tell about development of the Unity Food Hub, and how it helps farmers, food processors and consumers
What is the Farm-Link program and how does it match available farm land & willing farmers
How does MFT support farmers in develop the skills they need for success on the land and in the marketplace?
What is the Veggies for All program?
What are the opportunities and challenges for farms like Songbird Farm in Unity

Sara Trunzo, Veggies For All Director, Maine Farmland Trust
Colleen Hanlon-Smith, operations manager, Unity Food Hub
Adam Nordell, Songbird Farm, Unity

Talk of the Towns 5/13/16

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

Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

Program Topic: Going to Market: The Science and Safety of developing new food product in Maine

Key Discussion Points:
How do entrepreneurs make use of the services of University of Maine Cooperative Extension to develop and test new, value-added food products?
Using three examples (Soybeans to tofu, blueberrys to tea and development of a barbeque sauce), how have entrepreneurs addressed concerns about marketability and food safety?
What other advice do Cooperative Extension faculty and successful entrepreneurs have for folks interested in developing food products using raw materials and ingredients from Maine?

Beth Calder, Extension Food Science Specialist, UMaine
Jason Bolton, Extension Food Safety Specialist, UMaine
Kevin Burgoyne, Rosssam LLC, BBQ Sauce
Theresa Gaffney Highland Blueberry Farm, Stockton Springs
Jeff Wolovitz, Heiwa Tofu, Belfast

Talk of the Towns 4/22/16

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

Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

Program Topic: Creating Acadia National Park – the new biography of George B. Dorr

Key Discussion Points:
1. Mount Desert Island and the Rusticators
2. How the story of Acadia derives from the relationship between three men, of different
generations — Charles W. Eliot, President of Harvard University, George B. Dorr
and John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
3. Old Farm and its role in the life of George Dorr and the creation of Acadia.
4. Woodlawn Museum and the creation of Acadia National Park
5. Other important figures (and philosophies) in the history of Acadia National Park.

Ron Epp, author, historian, professor of philosophy
Maureen Fournier, Ranger, Acadia National Park
Joshua Torrance, Woodlawn Museum, Ellsworth by phone 667 8671

Talk of the Towns 3/11/16

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

Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

Program Topic: Preview of April 9 Penobscot Watershed Conference

Key Discussion Points:

1. What is the focus of this conference? Who is the audience / sponsors?
2. What led organizers to plan this conference, and why now? What is the connection to a number of conferences in the 1990s?
3. Any outcomes or results from those earlier conferences?
4. What changes in the watershed since the 1990s should we be aware of?
5. One of the outcomes you hope to come from the conference (and one of the hallmarks of the earlier conferences) is to identify some of the “unanswered questions” that could form a research agenda…
6. How do you hope the conference will help achieve some of the other goals you have established for the conference?
a. Improve communication and cooperation among Communities of Place and Communities of Interest in the Penobscot Watershed Region;
b. Provide support and inspiration for those working to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the Penobscot Watershed;
c. Explore current, planned, and potential future efforts that advance a sustainable economy and a high quality of life for all people in the Penobscot Watershed

7. Share details of conference and registration—where can listeners learn more?

(Register at

8. Reflecting on what makes the Penobscot Bay Watershed such a special place, what are your hopes for the future that make this conference a “not to miss” event?

Steve Miller, Islesboro Islands Trust
Cloe Chunn Belfast Bay Watershed Council,
Robin Alden, Penobscot East Fisheries Research Center
Esperanza Stancioff, UM Cooperative Extension
Natalie Springuel, UM Sea Grant, Host Coastal Conversations

Talk of the Towns 2/12/16

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

Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

Program Topic: The future of the Millinocket Baxter region, including a possible National Park

Key Discussion Points:

What changes have you seen in the Millinocket-Baxter region in your lifetime… are there trends in the economy and in forest practices, land ownership of the Millinocket-Baxter Region?

Given the trends, what role could recreation and tourism play in the near and longer term future economy (leaving aside, for now who owns and manages the land). What private resources are currently contributing to the recreation/tourism economy?

What gave rise to groups like Friends of Acadia and other “friends groups” of national and state parks? Your career has been in conservation—what trends do you see in what land is conserved, how it is conserved? What is the interplay between conserved land and land that is managed for forestry, agriculture or other specific economic ends?

What are the main arguments for (Olson and Johnson) and against (Pray and Robbins) a national park in the region?

Quoting from an article in Portland Press Herald– In response to interest in having President Obama initiate National Monument designation for land donated by Elliotsville Plantation

“…three members of Maine’s congressional delegation outlined nine “conditions” that the Obama administration should consider if it went forward with a designation. Those conditions include ensuring that traditional recreational activities – including hunting, fishing, camping and use of snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles – as well as forest management continue on the land. They also stated that any monument designation “must respect private property rights and ensure the federal government will never take any private land in the area by eminent domain.”
Are these conditions at the core of continued discussion?

Charles Pray, former state Senator, Millinocket, 1974-1992
Jim Robbins, former President, Robbins Lumber, Searsmont
Ken Olson, conservation consultant, former President, Friends of Acadia
Cathy Johnson, North Woods Project Director, Natural Resources Council of Maine

Talk of the Towns 12/11/15

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

Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

Program Topic: Affordable Housing at the Heart of a Community

Key Discussion Points:
1. What do we know, generally, about the issue of housing affordability on the coast of Maine and, by example, on Mount Desert Island?
2. What factors gave rise to Island Housing Trust, and its early work?
3. What successes have you seen with your early strategies?
4. How did you come to devise other strategies for addressing workforce housing issues?
5. How do you maintain “affordability” after the initial owners?
6. What is the nature of the relationship between participants/owners and IHT? How do you work with them?
7. What has been community response to the work of IHT?
8. How are you supported?… talk about the case you make to donors?.
9. What new strategies/programs are you pursuing?
10. What have you learned about the issue and its solutions over the years?
for Kendra
What was your situation as you sought housing on Mount Desert Island?
How did you learn about IHT, and what was your initial connection?
Describe the process of securing a home in Sabah Woods?
What has finding a home that you can afford meant to you and your family?
for Hannah
Life after your service in the Legislature, Nebo Lodge, family
Thumbnail profile of North Haven, overall need for housing that is affordabl
Current work to create an “elder care” home at the yellow house on Southern Harbor
What have you learned about the issue and how housing fits into a community that sustains itself?
Wrap up Question—summarize the role of adequate, affordable workforce housing as part of a community that sustains itself over time…

Christopher Spruce, Executive Director, Island Housing Trust
Ted Koffman, Board member, Island Housing Trust
Alison Bean, IHT staff member
Kendra Rudolph (purchased home with IHT support)
Hannah Pingree, North Haven Sustainable Housing (by phone)

Talk of the Towns 11/13/15

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

Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

Program Topic: Celebrating Acadia in 2016—Centennial Year

Key Discussion Points:
A. What are we celebrating?
Centennials of Acadia National Park and US National Park Service
B. What is the brief history of Acadia
Highlights and tensions?
Parallels to history of Mount Desert Island and national system?
C. What do we know about Acadia National Park in 2015
Key assets
Current challenges
Relation to the community, local economy?
What did we learn when the federal government shut down Acadia?
Role of Friends of Acadia
D. How are we celebrating?
How are the celebrations being planned and coordinated?
What organizations are involved?
What are some of the 2016 events you would like to highlight?
E. What opportunities does the centennial make possible to engage with the park and its mission, and what are the implications for the wider community?


Jack Russell, Co-chair of the Acadia Centennial Task Force
Stephanie Clement, Friends of Acadia and member of Acadia Centennial Task Force
Lynne Dominy, Chief of Interpretation, Acadia National Park, Centennial Lead for park service (by phone) 207 288-2375.
Julie Veilleaux, Co-Owner, Window Panes in Bar Harbor, FOA Board of Directors, Acadia Centennial Task Force, coordinator of Acadia Centennial products effort (by phone) 207-266-2262

Talk of the Towns 9/11/15

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

Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

Program Topic: Celebrating how our buildings contribute to sense of place

Key Discussion Points:

What do we know about the blending of European techniques with what early settlers and builders found in Native American structures… how had Native Americans solved some of the problems of shelter—keeping the weather out, keeping warmth in, functionality?

What housing traditions and innovations did the Europeans bring to North America?

Trace the evolution of New England/Maine architecture… what examples can we point to that we can see today? Comment on residential, commercial and public buildings… are their towns that retain this mix? What did those early builders/designers know about relationship between built and natural environments, including siting buildings on the land

Trace the development and application of “shingle-style” and how did that spread more broadly

How have each of you worked with equally compelling pulls—the pull to honor the vernacular and the ways in which New England architecture fit itself into the landscape — and the equally compelling desire to innovate, to build something new? Favorite examples of “restoration”?

Can we have it all—buildings that fit into the landscape, sustain us, conserve energy resources and are affordable not just to the wealthy? (is smaller beautiful?)

What continues to inspire… take listeners on your favorite drive or village walk to see and celebrate our building heritage?

Roc Caivano, retired architect, Bar Harbor
Robert Knight, Knight Associates Architects, Blue Hill
Barbara Sassaman, designer, draftsperson, Chair, Bar Harbor Design

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