Maine Calling

Monday - Friday, 1 - 2 pm

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


Through many federal mandates, our country has long relied on test scores to objectively define school success. But what does “success” mean for students, teachers and families? Maine schools are working to shift away from emphasizing assessments and standardized tests as isolated measures of success, instead making way for a more holistic approach to learning and gauging students’ readiness as global citizens of the future.

Courtesy Janet Mills' Office

We discuss the issues of the day that Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection oversees, including: chemical disposal, air and water quality, land use and waste management. As DEP Commissioner, Reid is also closely tied to the state’s concerted efforts to address climate change through greater focus on sustainable practices.

The Portland Museum of Art is featuring a major retrospective exhibit of N.C. Wyeth’s life and art. As the patriarch of a three-generation dynasty of renowned artists, N.C. Wyeth is considered one of America’s foremost painters and illustrators. His work often showcases Maine landscapes and is inexorably tied to the aura of our region. We discuss how Maine shaped Wyeth’s sensibility, and learn some of the lesser-known aspects of his life—and we’ll talk about his impact and legacy as an artist. His grandson, Jamie Wyeth—a renowned artist himself—will join the discussion.

This is a rebroadcast of an earlier show (original air date May 14, 2019); no calls will be taken.  

We discuss the challenges facing veterans and military families, and the support services available, in a state with no active military bases.

Leading into Veterans Day, we speak with longtime NPR war correspondents Neal Conan and Anne Garrels, who are in Maine as part of the East Coast tour of “Between War & Here.” The performance combines music, poetry and memoir to explore the themes of honor, courage, loss and hope. The journalists have teamed up with the chamber group Ensemble Galilei for this project, and will share their stories from their reporting careers as well as their involvement with this artistic collaboration. Ensemble Galilei’s founder Carolyn Surrick joins the discussion as well.

Sen. Angus King joins us from Washington, D.C., to discuss national and international stories in the news as well as his work on behalf of his constituents. We will discuss Syria, ISIS, impeachment, trade, Sen. Susan Collins, broadband, veterans’ rights and other issues affecting Mainers.

Climate change has the potential to wreak havoc on Maine’s coast and coastal islands. Since 1950, the sea level along the coast of Maine has risen eight inches and is continuing to rise at the rate of one inch every eight years. Warming waters and ocean acidification present additional challenges to those residing and making a living on Maine’s islands. Multiple efforts are underway to protect and conserve Maine's coastal islands, beaches, marshes, bold coast, working harbors and more against erosion and damage from strong waves and storm surges. We discuss those threats and initiatives to increase access to the Maine coast for recreational use and commercial access.

Éric Martel took office as president and chief executive officer of Hydro-Québec in 2015. He joins us to answer questions about Hydro Quebec’s plans to bring power to and through Maine. We’ll discuss the controversial CMP corridor and whether or not the transmission line would help the state reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the company’s green energy goals, and their involvement with the new electric vehicle charging corridor Gov. Janet Mills announced last week.

Signups for coverage under the Affordable Care Act began November 1st and end December 15th. Experts expect fewer people to enroll this year as more sign up for MaineCare instead. Also, several thousand people who currently have ACA insurance will be automatically switched to MaineCare (Medicaid.) We’ll discuss the new landscape for medical insurance coverage in Maine.

Both in Maine and nationwide, there has been a longtime debate over whether or not Daylight Saving Time is helpful or necessary. Two bills were introduced during the last session to eliminate the practice of losing an hour of daylight each year; they failed to pass, but the talk of the need for change continues. We’ll discuss the reasons for and against Daylight Saving Time with historians, sleep experts, business owners, farmers, lawmakers and more.

Author Mira Ptacin has written about a Maine community that has served as a gathering place for spiritualists and mediums for more than a century. We’ll discuss the belief in communicating with the dead as well as connecting with the past, present and future worlds beyond the use of normal senses.

Month in Review: The Top News Stories in Maine from October

Oct 30, 2019

Our panel of Maine editorial page editors returns to discuss the news that made Maine headlines in October. Issues we may discuss include: views on the impeachment inquiry, 2nd District Congressional Race update, local elections, and other news from around the state. 



The bat population has been in decline in Maine ever since 2011, when the onset of white nose syndrome caused by a harmful fungus began to kill off different bat species here. Bats are beneficial to the ecosystem, particularly because they eat insects and pests. During National Bat Week, we’ll learn about statewide efforts to monitor and foster the health of the bat population, and we’ll also talk with experts about what to do if bats are in your home—or if you are worried about exposure to rabies.

Human trafficking encompasses sex and labor trafficking and affects women, men and children. A 2015 study for the Maine Sex Trafficking and Sex Exploitation network estimates 200-300 cases of human trafficking in Maine each year, but cases are hard to investigate and experts believe they are under-reported. We’ll learn how Maine prosecutors and law enforcement officials are changing the way they approach trafficking cases, what’s being done to address it, and where to turn for help.

For years, if not decades or more, menopause has been a subject rarely discussed with candor and often feared, although it affects half of the population. In her provocative new book, "Flash Count Diary: Menopause and the Vindication of the Natural Life," author Darcey Steinke explores the way society and science are reframing menopause.

We'll discuss the importance of talking about menopause and why certain symptoms may indicate serious health problems. And, we have actor Cindy Williams of "Laverne and Shirley" fame on tape. She was in Maine at Ogunquit Playhouse, performing in “Menopause: The Musical!”