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

Talk of the Towns 5/12/17

Host: Ron Beard, Emeritus Professor, University of Maine
Studio Engineer: Amy Browne

Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

Program Topic: A Climate to Thrive seeks energy independence for Mount Desert Island

Key Discussion Points:

1. A climate to thrive is working on “energy independence” by 2030… what does that mean? What is most compelling about solar energy in the pursuit of energy independence?
2. What are the main elements of your solar work, including Solarize MDI?
3. What is the Community Energy Center at College of the Atlantic, and what projects does it carry out?
4. What are some of the barriers facing community solar initiatives? How are you working to surmount those barriers? A Recent Maine PUC Ruling is negative long-term but provides an incentive for installing solar in 2017.
5. What advice do you have for listeners in other communities?
6. Given your longer term vision of energy independence, what are your mid-term hopes… what would you like to see happening over the next five years.

Joe Blotnick, Coordinator, A Climate to Thrive
Gary Friedmann, Chair, A Climate to Thrive Advisory Board, Town Councilor, Bar Harbor
Anna Demeo, College of the Atlantic, Director of Energy Education and Management

Talk of the Towns 4/14/17

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

Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

Program Topic: Working Towards Food Security for Maine

Key Discussion Points:

What are some of the practical ways we are addressing food insecurity in this part of the state? How do local food pantries work with the statewide Good Shepherd Food Bank?

Hunger Pains is the title of a recent report commissioned by Good Shepherd Food Bank and Preble Street. What does this report reveal about food insecurity in Maine? What stands out? How does hunger or food insecurity affect other aspects of life for those needing a hand up (learning, job performance, family cohesion)?

What are the highlights of that report, and how does the report influence how we should respond to food insecurity as a state? Are there general myths around food insecurity that listeners should be aware of?

What policy changes are called for in the report?

While we work on policy changes, what more can we be doing at the local level to work towards food security (support for food pantries, gleaning and growing food for donation to food pantries, awareness and outreach). Include results of Hancock County Food Drive

Jennifer Jones, Bar Harbor Food Pantry
Emily Herweden, Healthy Acadia
Clara Whitney, Good Shepherd Food Bank

Talk of the Towns 3/10/17

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

Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

Program Topic: Acadia Fire Soccer Academy—Developing Skills and People

What led to the creation of Acadia Fire Football Club (AFFC)?
Explain the importance of the mission “to offer the highest level of skill development to the greatest number of players.”
What led to the development of coaching philosophy at AFFC? And how has your coaching approach has been received by players and parents?
Summarize the importance of AFFC for the development of children’s overall emotional and physical wellbeing.
For players: How has participating with AFFC made your life better in other areas?
Why do parents like having their children play with AFFC?
What are the long term goals of AFFC?

Michael Curless, Director, Acadia Fire
Simon Hulbert, Bar Harbot, Student at University of Southern Maine, coach and long time player
Lelia Weir, Bar Harbor, Grade 7… current player

Talk of the Towns 1/13/17

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

Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

Program Topic: Making Age Friendly Communities in Maine

Key Discussion Points:
As people the world over grow older, there is more attention paid to making their communities “age friendly”… what might be a good working definition of “age friendly community”?
How did the Bangor, Ellsworth and Bar Harbor decide to sign on as partners in the AARP Age Friendly Community Network? …
What are some of the opportunities / problems you would like to address?
Who is involved in your community (characterize the network within your towns)?
What challenges and successes are you finding in your work?
What are your hopes for the future of your communities and Maine as we create communities that are more “age friendly?”

Patricia Oh, LMSW, MS Livable, Age-Friendly Communities Consultant AARP Maine
Jo Cooper, Executive Director, Friends in Action, Ellsworth
Doreen Willett, Executive Director, Island Connections, Bar Harbor
Patty Hamilton, APRN, City of Bangor Public Health and Community Service

Talk of the Towns 12/9/16

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

Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

Program Topic: Higher quality of life for all Maine people – Maine Community Foundation’s plans and programs

Key Discussion Points:
What is the concept of a community foundation and how does it fit in the overall framework of philanthropy in the US?
How did MCF start and evolve?
What services does MCF currently provide for communities and for donors
What are the current strategic goals for MCF and describe the process you used to arrive at them… describe some of the key learnings from your “listening” to the people of Maine?
How does MCF partner with Maine people, communities and organizations? How will your five new strategic goals shape the work ahead?
What is the role of “county funds” as part of MCF strategy…
What is the role of the MCF board and how do they contribute to the overall success of MCF?

Steve Rowe, Maine Community Foundation President
Becky Hayes Boober, Vice President, Community Impact, Maine Community Foundation