Maine Calling

1-2 pm Monday-Friday; Rebroadcast 7 pm M-F

Every weekday, our Maine Calling program digs into topics and issues with listeners across the state in a statewide conversation.

While the coronavirus crisis is at its height, host Jennifer Rooks will lead conversations about how the spread of COVID-19 is affecting people throughout our region. Upcoming topics will include: answers to medical questions; how businesses are impacted by the crisis; childcare issues; how to deal with anxiety and uncertainty; what Maine towns are doing to cope; how faith leaders are addressing this emergency; what Maine's Congressional delegation is doing to help; and how colleges, professors and students are reacting to changes caused by the pandemic.

Special thanks to The University of Maine at Augusta, Dead River Company, and Modern Pest Services for their support.


Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Our panel of editorial page editors returns to discuss the news of the past month, including: controversy over re-opening Maine's economy; how Governor Mills and Maine CDC are handling the response to the epidemic; widespread job loss and unemployment fraud; what's happening with the U.S. Census; and more.

Conspiracy theories can range from the absurd to the believable. Currently, there are plenty of conspiracy theories about COVID-19 – where it originated, if it’s related to 5G, and more. We’ll discuss why some conspiracy theories stick, what makes people believe certain ideas, and how they can polarize society.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on students of all ages. We discuss the many ways in which high schools students have been affected, academically and emotionally. Remote learning and social distancing have altered their schooling and many have missed out on the landmark events that mark the high school experience. For juniors and seniors, the path to college or other post-secondary plans may be in limbo. We discuss how they are handling the changes during this critical period of their teenage years.

Personal finance expert Michelle Singletary answers listener questions about money management and financial issues during the Covid-19 pandemic. Topics include the pros and cons of accessing an early withdrawal from your 401k as permitted by the CARES Act, how to work with lenders if you are unable to pay loans because of a layoff or furlough, whether to refinance your home and more.

historic lithograph exhibited at Bowdoin College Museum of Art

This is a rebroadcast of an earlier show (original air date Feb 21, 2020); no calls will be taken. This show is part of Maine Calling's ongoing coverage of topics relating to Maine's bicentennial.

In this segment, our panel of historians explains how Maine evolved in the pivotal years between becoming a state in 1820 through Maine's involvement in the Civil War. We'll learn about the pivotal figures of the day, and how Maine's cultural, economic and political landscape evolved during the 19th century.

Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, joins us to discuss the latest in the state's efforts to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

We'll discuss new federal funding, increased testing, outbreaks, use of protective equipment and masks, antibody tests, medications and research, and we'll take your questions.

COVID-19 has driven New England’s higher education sector into financial "survival mode." Now colleges and universities must adapt or risk major — if not catastrophic — loss from the crisis. Join us for an America Amplified special from the New England News Collaborative. We'll bring together voices from across the region, and we want to hear yours.

A major contributor to Maine's image and economy are the hundreds of summer camps that draw young participants from all over the U.S.—and the world. These outdoorsy experiences bring in some $200 million to the state each summer. This year, many camp directors doubt they can open as usual, if at all—while other, community-based day camps are planning to find a way to provide their service. What will that look like? Are there alternative ways to keep the camps going? What are the repercussions for the economy?

How has the pandemic affected the auto industry? After sales plummeted in March, the trend is moving back up. Our automotive experts return to discuss how sales and production of cars, trucks and SUVs have been affected by the coronavirus crisis. They will also answer questions about the latest models, car payment and repair issues and more.

Gov. Janet Mills has relaxed restrictions for restaurants in 12 Maine counties starting May 18, and they will be allowed to reopen to diners as long as they follow certain guidelines. In the four other counties, restaurants are still weighing their options.

We find out what owners are planning to do, and whether customers are ready to return. We also discuss some of the creative solutions restaurants have come up with so far to keep afloat, and those who've opted to close their doors altogether.

Maine’s proximity to Massachusetts, along with the ports of Bath and Portland, were catalysts in the Spanish Flu’s spread across Maine in 1918.  We’ll discuss the similarities and differences of that deadly pandemic to today’s, how it affected Maine, and any lessons that can be learned from it.

Across New England, tensions already existed between year-round residents and "part-timers."

Now, as coronavirus pushes more people from crowded cities to rural second homes, it's raised the question: "Whose town is this anyway?"

We’ll discuss veterinary issues—including COVID-19 transmission to or from animals, new coronavirus tests for pets, the surge in getting puppies, pet adoptions and fostering, and how veterinarians are delivering care during the pandemic.  We’ll also learn what an animal behaviorist does.

Spring is prime time for citizen scientists, also called "community scientists," to get involved with helping to gather data for research about our natural world and more. Even with public health and social distancing in mind, many opportunities to contribute to citizen science projects exist all across Maine, and globally as well. We’ll learn what they are, and how to participate.

Katie Han

As Maine begins reopening its economy, what are the risks, challenges and oppportunities ahead? We discuss how the first steps to the phased process are being taken, especially now that Gov. Janet Mills has given 12 Maine counties the go-ahead to reopen some businesses and entitites. How do businesses owners and customers feel about returning? What plans are in place for the months ahead?