Irwin Gratz

Morning Edition Producer

Irwin was born and reared in New York City and, while he never hiked miles to school, he did walk up six flights of stairs every day to the apartment his family lived in until he was nearly 19. Irwin remains a lover of subway rides, egg creams, and the New York Mets.

He moved to Maine in 1978 and worked a dozen years in commercial radio in Sanford, then Portland, before beginning to freelance for Maine Public Radio in 1990. He has been the local anchor of Morning Edition since September 1992.

Irwin served as chairman of the Maine Association of Broadcasters in 2015. From September 2004 to October 2005, Irwin served as national president of the Society of Professional Journalists, the nation’s largest and most broad-based journalism organization. He holds a master’s in journalism from New York University. Irwin won a Yankee Quill Award in 2011 for from the New England Newspaper and Press Association for his “broad influence for good, both inside and outside the newsroom.”

Irwin also has an interest in astronomy, which he indulges to this day as an occasional show presenter at the Southworth Planetarium in Portland. And he swims, a lot. Irwin has completed 7 Peaks Island-to-Portland swims. Irwin is married and has a teenage son.

Ways to Connect

PORTLAND, Maine - Backers of solar power fired a preemptive shot today in the latest battle over so-called "net metering."  That's the practice of having utilities pay retail prices for excess power purchased from solar panel owners. 

Andrew LaVogue of Environment Maine said there's a "network of fossil fuel and utility-backed organizations" that are campaigning against the spread of solar power.

Eastern Maine Development Corp. has won a half-million-dollar federal grant.

Vicki Rusbult, director of re-engineering the region and planning, says the grant will help the corporation assist businesses in seven sectors of impact.

“Forestry and wood products, composites and boat building, emerging technologies, tourism and hospitality, bioscience and health care, agriculture and food production — and that includes aquaculture — and construction and skilled labor,” she says.

PORTLAND, Maine - A law firm and two support groups are teaming up to help transgender individuals obtain ID's that reflect their gender.  

Jennifer Levy, of the advocacy group GLAD, says the law firm, Ropes and Gray, will provide free legal assistance in making needed changes.

"There can be challenges revising identity documents," Levy says. "People can have inconsistent documents.  It can be a difficult process for some people to negotiate, and so it's really important to be able to have government-issued ID that reflects a person's life."

PORTLAND, Maine - New personal income figures from the federal government illustrate a divergence in Maine's economy.

 

The latest numbers show personal income growth in all of Maine's 16 counties for the years 2013 to 2015.  But in some counties, the rate of growth accelerated during those years, while in others the rate slowed.

 

The 10 counties where the rate of growth increased include Androscoggin, Aroostook, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Oxford, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Washington and York.

 

The Nov. 8 election did a lot more than make Donald Trump president elect. It, of course, will change the government’s approach on a variety of issues, from business regulation to climate science, immigration, health insurance and taxation.

But the election, in which a majority of voters backed the candidate with fewer electoral votes, also touched off a wave of political protests unlike any in living memory.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine's two U.S. senators - one Republican and one independent - say they will get to work with President-elect Donald Trump to move the nation forward.

"I did not predict these results, but I was not completely surprised by them," says GOP Sen. Susan Collins. "I view Donald Trump as having won this election fair and square and he is now president of all of us."

University of Maine political science professor James Melcher analyzed the Maine election results for the Maine Public Radio program Morning Edition.

Political columnist Al Diamon talked with Maine Public Radio's Irwin Gratz about some of the Maine referendum results. Al writes the column, "Politics, And Other Mistakes," for several Maine newspapers.

Irwin Gratz / Maine Public

The YMCA of Southern Maine is offering free child care to voters today.

President Helen Brena says it’s part of the Y’s mission to be socially responsible.

“This is our way to do that,” Brena says. “To help parents be able to have a safe place for their kids so they can go and exercise their right to vote, which is important for everybody to do.”

The Southern Maine Y is offering the free child care at its four locations until 1 p.m. today and again 4-8 p.m. Its four branches are in Freeport, New Gloucester, Portland and Biddeford.

PORTLAND, Maine - A week out from Election Day, we take our final look at this year's crop of campaign ads.  Joining Maine Public Radio's Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz for a chat Monday was Brenda Garrand, chief executive at Garrand Partners in Portland, and Sam Surprise, of Surprise advertising.

PORTLAND, Maine - Poor roads and bridges are costing Mainers more than $1 billion a year.  That's the  estimate from a national research group called "TRIP."

A $100 million bond issue on next month's ballot is a "step in the right direction," according to spokesman Rocky Moretti, but he says it won't solve all problems.

PORTLAND, Maine - The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting is out with an investigation:  "Single Parents in Poverty: The Crisis No One Will Name." Senior reporter Naomi Schalit documents how a 500 percent rise in births to unmarried women has driven up the state's poverty rate, posed new challenges for schools, and threatens to darken Maine's future.

PORTLAND, Maine - This year’s Maine ballot features five citizen-initiated referenda and a bond issue. Maine Public’s Irwin Gratz talked with longtime political columnist Al Diamon to get his thoughts on the issues and the campaigns being waged around the measures. Al writes the column, “Politics and Other Mistakes,” for several Maine publications.

 

PORTLAND, Maine - Several southern Maine water utilities now have plans for how they might share water resources in the future.

Norm Labbe, of the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Wells Water district, says the plan isn't a direct response to the recent drought.

Irwin Gratz / Maine Public

BRUNSWICK, Maine-  A number of visitors,  and one Downeaster passenger train, were able to escape Saturday's downpour by ducking into a new rail facility set to go online next month. 

Pages