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

Talk of the Towns 9/14/18

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

Community concerns and opportunities: The evolving role of community libraries

Was there a “typical” view of the role of a community library when you started out?
What roles of a community library are staying the same, and what roles are evolving?
What are some of the “drivers” of the evolving role (demographics, technology, changing communities)? Is there a tension between historic and evolving roles?
What is the role of the Maine State Library, and is it changing as well? How does the state library support community libraries and foster collaborations… examples?
What challenges are you seeing, across the library landscape?
What is your vision for the future of community libraries?

Amy Wisehart, Ellsworth Public Library
Ruth Eveland Jesup Memorial Library, Bar Harbor
Rich Boulet, Blue Hill Public Library
Jamie Ritter, Maine State Librarian

Talk of the Towns 8/10/18

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

Community concerns and opportunities: Storied Lands and Waters of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway

Key Discussion Points:
What is the history of the Allagash River and the Allagash Wilderness Waterway (AWW)—including wilderness waterway designation and state management?
What is the “present status” of the AWW and how is used, how is it “cared for” and managed?
What led the Department of Conservation and the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation to undertake the several resource assessment and planning process?
What are the main natural, historic and cultural resources reported in Storied Lands and Waters?
What are the main threats to the historic and cultural resources of AWW?
What are the key recommendations for protection and interpretation of these resources?

Bruce Jacobson, Planning Consultant and author of the report
Don Hudson, Board Member, Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation
Cindy Bastey, Bureau of Public Lands, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry


About Storied Lands and Waters of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway
Maine State Library’s digitalmaine repository at has 4 project documents available for download:
Storied Lands & Waters of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway: Interpretive Plan and Heritage Resource Assessment by Bruce Jacobson
Allagash Wilderness Waterway Sample Lesson Plans by Bruce Jacobson
Allagash Wilderness Waterway Bibliography by Bruce Jacobson
Allagash Waterway Watersheds Map, by James W. Sewall Company, created at Bruce Jacobson’s request

Both the AWW Foundation website ( and the AWW website ( also link to the material at the Library’s digitalmaine repository

Paperback hard copies of the Storied Lands & Waters report can be purchased from Amazon

About the Allagash Wilderness Waterway
Visit the AWW website at if you are interested in or planning to visit the Waterway. The AWW map and guide, camping information and fees, rules governing watercraft and use of the waterway, photographs of campsites in Google Earth, and a series of nine videos (via YouTube) showing different aspects of an Allagash trip are all available on this site. For an information packet, contact the Bureau of Parks and Lands, Northern Region Parks Office, 106 Hogan Road, Suite 7, Bangor, ME 04401. Telephone (207) 941-4014

About the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation
The AWW Foundation was created in 2012 to build a community of support for this exceptional and remote public resource, and to raise funds to supplement state funding. Its focus areas of interest include youth access to the Waterway, resource interpretation and education, Foundation support for the protection of important adjacent lands, and capital projects to enhance the experience of the Waterway. Learn more about the Foundation at Email the Foundation at; or write to them at P.O. Box 1211, Bath, ME 04530

About the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL)
The Bureau of Parks and Lands is a division of the Maine Department of Agriculture and Forestry. BPL manages state parks, including the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, state historic sites, public reserved lands, boating facilities and off-road vehicle trails. The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands web address is

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?

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?

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?

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