Cindy Han

Maine Calling Producer

Cindy’s first foray into journalism after graduating from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism was to intern with CNN in China in the wake of the Tiananmen Square massacre. She then worked in print journalism over the decades, as a factchecker, writer and editor, with publications ranging from the Los Angeles Times Magazine to the magazine of the National Zoo—where she walked past the cheetahs on the way to work each morning—to a food trends magazine. 


Her broadcast work has included doing radio news in college and in Taiwan, as well as reporting for a TV public affairs program at WQED in Pittsburgh. Cindy began working as a volunteer with Maine Public Radio’s call-in show Maine Calling when it first went on the air and stuck around until she came on board as a full-time producer in 2018. She sometimes fills in to host the show. She is thrilled to be a part of a program that helps inform, engage and connect people across Maine—and beyond.


Before moving to Maine with her husband and three kids, Cindy lived in many different places, growing up in Ohio and Maryland, and later living in New York, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Maryland again. She can’t neglect to mention her family’s dog, Otto, who is shaggy and funny.

Ways to Connect

Maine Maritime Museum

Museums are a major draw for locals and visitors to Maine, with a range of offerings, from art to history to culture. These attractions, like many, came to a halt during the pandemic. We'll discuss the challenges museums have been facing these past months, how they are reaching audiences, and what their plans are for the future. We'll also discuss the role that museums play in people's lives—as well as Maine’s economy.

Eric Gay / AP

This show is a rebroadcast of an earlier program (original air date July 14, 2020); no calls will be taken.

The use of face coverings has become a polarizing issue in Maine and nationwide. Now, Gov. Mills has issued stricter guidelines for wearing masks in public places. We discuss the many charged issues involving mask-wearing: medical reasons, state guidelines and enforcement, political symbolism, psychological effects, reasons some cannot wear masks and more.

This show is part of our ongoing coverage of topics relating to Maine's bicentennial, and is the fourth in our series on the history of Maine.

The years from World War I through World War II led to lasting changes in Maine. We'll learn about how the efforts of those on the homefront altered Maine's landscape and industries. We'll also talk about notable Maine leaders of that era, and what impacts the wars and those who fought in them had on Maine's future.

Whether or not to re-open K-12 schools for in-person instruction in the fall has become a heated national debate. We’ll examine what factors are being considered in Maine, from public health concerns to the role schools play in providing instruction and support to families. We will hear from state leadership, educators, a health professional, students and parents to explore the complex dilemma of how to keep kids learning during the Covid-19 pandemic.

From the start of the pandemic, with people staying home, those who work in the performing arts have lost their audiences and, most often, their sources of income. From musicians to actors to dancers to theater staff, it has been a particularly trying time for this creative segment in Maine. We discuss how they are faring, and what ways some have found to pivot.

All discussions about the end of the Covid-19 pandemic hinge on having a viable vaccine. We examine what it will take for this coveted vaccine to reach the stage where it can be widely administered, and can offer the necessary protection that will enable people worldwide to begin to return to normal life. We'll learn how research is progressing, how safety and efficacy will be tested, what it will take for the vaccine to be administered en masse, and how long it takes to be effective. And the big question: When can we expect all of this to happen?

Since the pandemic began, instances of domestic abuse have been on the rise, as those who are vulnerable face additional challenges. Not only are people confined at home more, increasing the likelihood of abuse, but shelters and support systems are harder to access due to COVID-19. We’ll talk with local experts about who is being affected and how they can access help. We’ll also hear about a new campaign in Maine to call attention to the prevalence of domestic violence.

Eric Gay / AP

The use of face coverings has become a polarizing issue in Maine and nationwide. Now, Gov. Mills has issued stricter guidelines for wearing masks in public places. We discuss the many charged issues involving mask-wearing: medical reasons, state guidelines and enforcement, political symbolism, psychological effects, reasons some cannot wear masks and more.

By some estimates, nearly half of all Americans say that COVID-19 pandemic has affected their mental health. The prevalence of anxiety has even given rise to the term “Covid Stress Syndrome.” Among the many reasons people are experiencing anxiety and depression: fears of getting the disease, social isolation, financial stress, uncertainty about the future and more. We’ll discuss the reasons adults and children are suffering from greater anxiety, and ways to cope with increased stress.

David Spahr

The pandemic has had many interesting by products, one of which is an increased interest in foraging as a means of being self-sufficient and less dependent on groceries or other food sources. We’ll learn about all of the edible plants and other wild foods—from seaweed to mushrooms to clams—that Mainers can find all around them. And we’ll hear about some interesting ways to eat and prepare these items—safely.

Andreas Fuhrmann / AP

As part of the response to nationwide calls for police reform and racial justice, communities across Maine are reevaluating the use of school resources officers. Portland Schools have made the move to remove SROs, in line with those who say that other social service professionals would be more relevant and that police officers put students of color more at risk. Others in Maine support the use of SROs, especially after frequent school shooting prompted a call for greater security in schools.

Maine state leaders have developed a four-year action plan for addressing climate change, and they're now seeking public input on it. We’ll learn how the plan aims to address: greenhouse gas reduction; renewable energy goals; fostering innovation and new industries; and building community resilient in the face of a changing climate. We'll also discuss the pandemic's impacts on these elements.

What’s been the impact of the pandemic on Maine's transportation system? While Covid-19 has created challenges for Maine's department of transportation, it has also meant some projects could be done more readily, with less traffic on the road. We'll discuss funding for road, bridges, ferries and more—with the bond on the July 14th primary ballot seeking to authorize $105 million toward statewide infrastructure projects—and the outlook for Maine's transportation system in the future.

The latest information about unemployment issues in Maine. We'll discuss the effects of job losses due to the pandemic and whether people are getting back to work. We'll also learn about the latest extension of unemployment benefits, how claims processing is going, and what's happening with the large numbers of fraudulent cases.

This is a rebroadcast of an earlier show (original air date May 26, 2020); no calls will be taken. 

We continue our celebration of Maine’s 200th statehood anniversary by examining Maine from the time of the Civil War to the end of the Great War. This is part of our year-long bicentennial series of shows covering Maine history.