Archives for Talk of the Towns

Talk of the Towns 8/14/15

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

Program Topic: Healthy Food Options for Maine General Stores

Key Discussion Points:
o Where do we in Maine stand in terms of healthy eating?
o How easy or hard is it for people to make healthy choices as they plan meals for themselves and their families?
o Do some groups have a more difficult time getting access to healthier food choices?
o What are “food deserts” and do we have them in Maine?
o Where do general stores rural areas fit into the “food system”?
o What elements of the typical business model of a general store get in the way of offering healthier options to their customers? Is this part of a long term trend in terms of where people shop for food? What are some of the
challenges for general stores? How do the wholesalers fit into these trends?
o What models of addressing the notion of “food deserts” have worked elsewhere, perhaps in urban settings? Introduce the Food Trust’s national model and tell how you are adapting that model for rural areas in the
collaboration with Healthy Acadia and CEI. How will it work and where are you in the processs?
o What other general stores are you working with, and what are some of the strategies you are interested in trying?
o How else are you connecting local growers and local consumers, through the healthy general stores initiative and elsewhere in the region? (mention ongoing work with food pantries, schools, etc?) What have been some of the responses?
o Wrap up with contact info and where listeners can learn more about healthy eating and purchasing healthy food

Katie Freedman, Healthy Acadia
Sandy Dubay, Healthy Acadia
Dan Wallace, CEI

Talk of the Towns 7/10/15

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

Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

Program Topic: The Union River, Fish and Dams

Key Discussion Points:

1. The Watershed

What is the watershed of the Union River, and how does it serve/impact the region?

What do we know about fish in the Union River—historical and present?

First dams for sawmills and other industry, later for electric power

2. Current dams and purposes

? What is the current ownership of the dams on the Union River… what do we know about

Brookfield Power and its economic goals for the Union River?

? How much power is being generated on the Union River, and how important is this as part of our

overall energy mix in Maine and the overall power grid?

? How important is the Ellsworth Dam to current flood control?

3. Alewives

From colonial times, alewives were allowed to be managed at the local level… what measures do the City

of Ellsworth and it’s partners use to manage alewife populations and catch… explain the trap and truck

process, who is involved, what is accomplished, what are the drawbacks?

What is the significance of Alewives to the Passamaquoddy people, and importance of removing barriers,

on the St Croix river and elsewhere… what work/fisheries research on behalf of the Passamaquoddy Tribe

connects with the Downeast Fisheries Partnership and others

4. Relicensing

? What agencies have oversight of dams and what do they monitor?

? What specifically is the role of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and what is

the process they are using to consider a request to relicense the dam on the Union River for

electrical power generation?

? Besides the current owner, Brookfield Power, who else is involved in relicensing?

? What factors are likely to be considered in the relicensing process? (power generation, fish

passage, environmental impacts, property values on river and lakes?)

? What are some of the likely points of contention, around fish passage up and down the river,

around water levels in Graham Lake, etc.

5. Wrapping Up

? What is the process going forward and how can citizens learn more?

? What hopes do you have for what happens on and around the Union River as a result of the

relicensing process?


Dwayne Shaw, Downeast Salmon Federation

Morris Lambden, Union Salmon Association

Anne Hayden, Downeast Fisheries Partnership

Edward Basset, Sipayik Environmental Department Pleasant Point Reservation,

Alewives, eels, salmon, other species? (life cycles, etc.)

Passamaquoddy Tribe

Talk of the Towns 6/12/15

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

Program Topic: A Conversation and readings from young writers in Sumner High School’s Alternative Pathways Program

Key Discussion Points:

Background on Alternative Pathways Program and Sumner’s approach to education, idea for writing workshop

Each young writer introduces briefly and reads a piece from work in progress (5-8 min each)
Carol – first chapter from her novel
Justin – from Chapter 9 of his novel
Abbie- first chapter from her magical realism novel

Writers comment on how they approach writing, their work with Cynthia Thayer
Cynthia and Susan talk about what they are learning by working with these writers

Carol Dawn, Sumner Pathways Program, student, writer
Justin Alexander Hammond, Sumner Pathways Program, student, writer
Abbie Elizabeth Holland, Sumner Pathways Program, student, writer
Susan Walsh, Sumner Pathways Program, teacher
Cynthia Thayer, author of Strong for Potatos, A Certain Slant of Light, A Brief Lunacy, founder of Schoodic Arts for All and co-owner/operator of Darthia Farm in Gouldsboro

Talk of the Towns 5/8/15

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

Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

Program Topic: Community Energy: Bringing the lessons from Samso to Maine Islands

Key Discussion Points:
o Where in the world is Samso Island, and why is it important to the islands of Maine? What is the “energy profile” for Maine islands?
o What led to the visit to Samso by representatives from Island Institute, College of the Atlantic and residents from Maine’s islands? (include references to Fund for Maine Islands and II and COA partnership)
o What lessons did you find most compelling to bring back to Maine?
o How are you bringing some of these these lessons to Maine islands?
o College of the Atlantic: Making the campus fossil fuel free, Home energy audits and air sealing, storm window inserts, and more, etc
o Island Institute: Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Energy Education and Leadership, Annual island energy conferences, and more, etc
o Projects on Peakes Island, Long Island
o Community Solar project in Bar Harbor
o What are some of the challenges and opportunities you are working with as this collaborative effort goes forward?
o What are some of the small business opportunities that are emerging connected to this work?
o Are there state or federal policy implications for further community and homeowner energy initiatives?
o How can listeners learn more?

Anna Demeo, Director of Energy Education and Management, and Lecturer, College of the Atlantic
Saren Peetz, 4th year Student, College of the Atlantic
Suzanne MacDonald, Community Energy Director, Island Institute
Nate Johnson, Long Island Resident, “Renewable Energy Gateway”
Gary Friedmann, Town Council Member, Bar Harbor,

Talk of the Towns 4/10/15

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

Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

Program Topic: Support for success in high school and the transition to college and work

Key Discussion Points:

Kim shares her own profile and describes her own high school and college path, comparing and contrasting some of the challenges she sees current high school and college students facing

Todd shares a bit about his high school-to-college transition and sets the context for the challenge he and the school board and staff and community took on to build capacity for success for Deer Isle-Stonington High School

Kim and Todd share a bit about the community of Deer Isle and its economy, how fishing influences choices by high school age students and families

Todd describes what led to the creation of the three “pathways” (project based learing in marine sector, arts and health care), how they were chosen, and the community partnerships that have made them vibrant, shares profiles of students who have made each pathway work for them…

Kim describes what led to the creation of Project Launch, (including connections from her earlier work with Healthy Island Project and Ready by 21 (support for high school students for preparing for college or employment) shares how program works (selection and training of gurus, connection with guidance program at school, matching with high
school seniors, role of parents and families)

Pat Shepard, a current guru (by phone) shares what it has meant to him, and what how the relationship seems to be working for the students he mentors

Todd goes into more detail about Eastern Maine Skippers Program, including reference to Penobscot East and other partners, this year’s Green Crab project, Fisherman’s Forum session and the May session at the Grand in Ellsworth.

Todd West, Principal, Deer Isle-Stonington High School
Kim Hutchinson, Coordinator, Project Launch

Talk of the Towns 3/13/15

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

Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

Program Topic: Governor LePage’s Tax Reform Plan and its impacts on Maine towns and Non-Profit Organizations

Key Discussion Points:
• Michelle describes Ellsworth… its economy and tax base, with reference to the number/relative size of non-profits, role of city manager and city council in making decisions about property taxes
• Josh describes the mission and programs of Woodlawn Museum, brief history and current estimate of property valuation, if known (land and improvements)
• We review (from published source that Ron will share/bring) a summary of the sorts of changes in Maine’s tax system, as envisioned in the Governor’s budget and other sources. Reminder of the role of the legislature in reviewing Governor’s proposals
• Michelle describes the Maine Municipal Association, its policy review process and shares some of the potential impacts of the proposed tax system changes on municipalities, and the position(s) MMA has taken/is taking on these changes
• Josh describes the potential impacts of proposed change for non-profits—what he has heard from his non-profit colleagues, and potential impact for Woodlawn
• By Phone Joel Johnson, from Maine Center for Economic Policy, describes other potential impacts from the proposed tax reform, especially the reduction or elimination of income tax, shifting of tax burden, concept of tax progressivity, who would benefit and who would be disadvantaged by the Governor’s proposals
• Michelle/Josh shares where listeners can learn more, track the legislative process from MMA and Maine Association of Non Profits points of view

Michelle Beal, City Manager, Ellsworth & President, Maine Municipal Association
Joshua Torrance, Executive Director, Woodlawn Museum, Ellsworth
Joel Johnson, Maine Center for Economic Policy

Talk of the Towns 2/13/15

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

Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

Program Topic: The Abundance Cycle—A new lens for developing sustainable businesses

Key Discussion Points:

Jay Friedlander:
• A college economics text book from the 1970s was called “Scarcity Challenged”… we have scarce resources and our various economic systems are designed to allocate those resources based on various values or beliefs. How does your concept of “abundance” connect with classic economics?
• How does “abundance” relate to the concept that we could be doing “business” differently, sustainably, with benefit to the business owners, employees, communities and the natural systems on which we all rely?
• How did you come to understand “abundance” as a guiding principle in sustainable business development… reference your work with O’Naturals.
• What drew you to College of the Atlantic and how have you introduced both sustainable business and “abundance” to undergraduates?

Steve Schafer:
• How did you and Kate Schafer create Black Dinah Chocolatiers in the tiny community of Isle au Haut and how were and how some of the abundance cycle concepts that you applied?
• What factors went into your decision to expand, locating production and shipping to the Portland area…, and what does it mean for the future of the company.
• Looking back, are there any lessons you would like to share with other existing and potential small business people in our audience.

Lisa Bjerke:
• John Gardiner, founder of Common Cause, said: “This is the time of breathtaking opportunities disguised as unsolvable problems.” Based on your recent Watson Fellowship, traveling to Germany, India, China and Japan to explore how people viewed “waste”… are there any “breathtaking opportunities” buried under that pile of trash?
• What resources or leads can you share with listeners who are interested in solving our solid waste problems—consumers, local town officials, business owners?

Jay Friedlander, Sharpe-McNally Chair of Green and Socially Responsible
Steve Schafer, Black Dinah Chocolatiers
Lisa Bjerke, graduate student, College of the Atlantic
Business, College of the Atlantic

Businesses Resources: :
Exampels of companies (in Germany)
Zero Waste Solution by Paul Conett, at

Talk of the Towns 1/9/15

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

Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

Program Topic: The Abbe Museum—Bridging Wabanaki and White People and Cultures

Key Discussion Points:
• What were the origins of the Abbe and what is it’s current mission?
• Big step to create its downtown location… what is the relationship between the museum in Acadia and the downtown museum?
• What were the potentials you saw when you came… what continues to excite you?
• How has the role of the Abbe to bridge “white” and Wabanaki people and cultures evolved, perhaps using Twisted Path as an example?
• What is the role of “museum educator”? What do you enjoy about your work in schools, or when school and other groups visit the Abbe?
• George brings so much to his role… what are some of the obvious and not-so-obvious contributions from your Passamaquoddy/Wabanaki culture, your education?
• How do you see the Abbe helping to bridge Wabanaki and “white” people and cultures?
• One of the planks in that bridge might be basket-making… talk about the art and artistry of basketmaking in Wabanaki culture… historical and current context
• Describe the role of the museum to help “build community” in Bar Harbor, and Mount Desert Island… what do you do to foster those connections, to build community capacity?
• Talk about the new exhibit inspired by the women of Indian Township and the effects of
substance abuse on the community… what questions would you like visitors to ponder?
• What else should we look for at the Abbe in coming months? What are some of the other staff working on?
• How has your affiliation with the Smithsonian affected your programming and recognition?

Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, President, Abbe Museum
George Neptune, Museum Educator, Abbe Museum