Maine Calling

Monday - Friday, 1 - 2 pm

Maine Calling brings you interesting conversations with interesting people on just about any and all subjects.


How Sea Level Rise Will Change Maine's Coast

Sep 20, 2019

The Nature Conservancy has a new "Coastal Risk Explorer" tool, which simulates the effects of sea level rise on coastal communities. In developing the tool, the team used a variety of datasets to show homes, roads, and emergency services that would be affected (flooded, blocked, cut off from access) with each additional foot of water. We’ll learn about the how the Nature Conservancy partnered with a Bowdoin College professor to create a “Social Vulnerability Index,” which helps identify areas along the coast with concentrations of people who would be most at risk in these scenarios. This show is scheduled to coincide with the UN Climate Change Summit and is part of a week-long reporting project Covering Climate Now by Maine Public and more than 300 other news outlets around the world.


The Smithsonian Channel debuts a documentary series about the sinking of the UBoat 56 off the coast of Cape Elizabeth on September 22.  Maine Calling explores the discovery of the UBoat with the film's director, a maritime historian, and one of the divers involved in the project. We’ll also discuss other famous shipwrecks off the Maine coast.

On September 19, 2019, a ban on vaping in Maine schools will take effect. Nationwide, more news of vaping-related illness and deaths are prompting such crackdowns, including a recent statewide vaping ban in Michigan. We’ll discuss what we’re learning about the dangers of vaping and how the ban will be enforced.

Chris Pizzello / Invision/Associated Press

A new documentary by Ken Burns explores “the history of a uniquely American art form: country music. From its deep and tangled roots in ballads, blues and hymns performed in small settings, to its worldwide popularity, learn how country music evolved over the course of the 20th century, as it eventually emerged to become America’s music.” Join us for a conversation about country music.

Maine’s new "no-texting" law goes into effect on Sept. 19. Our panelists will address what the law includes and how it will be enforced, as well as why distracted driving has become a top safety hazard. We’ll also discuss other road safety issues: teen and older drivers, rules of the road, winter conditions, bicyclists and more.

The actor from Maine, best known as "McDreamy," the heartthrob surgeon on the TV medical drama Grey's Anatomy, joins us to talk about his latest work with the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing in his hometown of Lewiston. He started the center in 2008 in honor of his mother, Amanda Dempsey, who died of ovarian cancer in 2014. The center's well-known run/walk/cycle Dempsey Challenge is on Sept. 28-29.

Dempsey will also discuss his Maine roots, his career, and his involvement with race car driving.

There has been a troubling decline in recent years of Maine’s clam harvest attributed to pollution, predation, warming waters and competition. Maine collects more soft-shell clams than any other state, so the losses in this industry are significant. We’ll learn about why this is occurring and what clammers and researchers are doing to reverse the trend.

Flickr Creative Commons

What does the future hold for the longest military engagement in our nation’s history? What will be the repercussions of this week's failed negotiations and attacks? On this 18th anniversary of 9/11, our panel looks back at the origins of the war, why it has slogged on for so long, and what may be next for Afghanistan, the U.S., and the world.

Former New York Times science writer Tatiana Schlossberg joins us to discuss her new book Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impact You Don’t Know You Have. The book is about how just about everything we use, buy, eat, wear, etc. has a connection to climate change, and how consumers can be more cognizant of the impacts of their lifestyle and purchasing choices.  Joining us for the conversation will be a climate change expert and anthropologist from the University of Maine.

Starting next Monday, Maine Public and more than 220 other news outlets around the world  will present a weeklong series of stories on climate change. The special series, "Covering Climate Now,”  comes in advance of the United Nations Climate Action Summit on Monday Sept. 23 in New York.


In recognition of National Preparedness Month in September, we discuss how individuals, families and communities can be more ready to handle disasters and emergencies throughout the year. Not only are extreme weather-related disasters becoming more frequent, but other emergency situations have become more commonplace in society today. Our guests share tips on how best to prepare for the unexpected.


Gabor Degre / Bangor Daily News

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins joins us to discuss the top issues affecting our state, nation and world.

A May 2019 report by Disability Rights Maine found more than 20,000 incidents in which physical restraints and seclusion were used on students in Maine schools. That number has gone up every year since 2014, despite increased awareness of and attention to the problem. Experts say restraint and seclusion are ineffective and often dangerous, and the report found that disabled students were disproportionately subjected to these troubling interventions. Current legislation - LD 1376 - seeks to track and reduce schools' use of restraint/seclusion. The bill came out of committee "ought to pass" but was carried over to the next legislative session. This Maine Calling will air on the same day that Maine Public Television re-airs the documentary film "The Kids We Lose” (by Maine filmmaker Lisa Wolfinger) about the methods used by Dr. Ross Greene to more effectively help children with behavioral challenges.

Based on the headlines, it would be easy to think that the Maine Public Utilities Commission spends all of its time addressing issues regarding CMP. But the PUC impacts the lives of Mainers in many other ways.  It regulates electric, gas, telephone and water utilities as well as setting rates that are mandated to be just and reasonable for all ratepayers. The Chairman of the PUC and the Manager of the MPUC Customer Assistance Division join us to answer questions about the work the PUC does and the utilities they regulate.

Maine Department of Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman joins us to discuss pressing topics ranging from paid time off, minimum wage, workforce shortage, equal pay, immigrant employment, and more. In her role, she oversees the state’s labor standards, employment and training, unemployment insurance, labor market information and vocational rehabilitation. Fortman brings more than 20 years of public policy and advocacy experience to the Department of Labor.


This is a rebroadcast of an earlier show (original air date July 16, 2019); no calls will be taken. 

Many businesses in Maine are having a difficult time finding workers—particularly during the busy summer season. We’ll hear from the state economist, the Maine Commissioner of Labor, and the President and CEO of Hospitality Maine about how big of a worker shortage there is and what, if anything, can be done to address it.