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

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. 

PORTLAND, Maine - A survey done for Colby College and the Boston Globe shows a growing, bi-partisan desire for compromise on political issues.  

Dan Shea, a professor of government at Colby's Goldfarb Center, says the most recent poll results show a shift in attitudes over the last six years:

"Spring of 2010, very few strong conservatives and Republicans wanted to compromise," Shea says. "I think that they thought they were going to win the mid-term election - which, of course, they did.  And they sort of stuck with that for a while.  Now that's changed."

PORTLAND, Maine - Water flows in the Mattawamkaeg, Piscataquis and Saint John Rivers have fallen to levels not seen in 80 or more years of record keeping.

National Weather Service forecaster Maureen Hastings, in Caribou, says the low-flow readings are a sign of growing drought conditions in parts of northern Maine.

"Something interesting we had seen coming through some local social media is that the rivers are so low people are able to walk across them," Hastings says. "And that includes the Saint John River, so, of course, that may have some issues there."

Nick Woodward / Maine Public

HERMON, Maine - Brenda Garrand, Sam Surprise and Irwin Gratz usually gather to talk about political advertising - how it looks and sounds, the strategies that may lie behind it.

PORTLAND, Maine - It rained Sunday - all day if you were along the coast.   And that's news, of course, because of the drought that has been intensifying across the state.

As much as an inch of rain fell along the coast from Portland to Bar Harbor. But Tom Hawley, the hydrologist at the National Weather Service in Gray, says not everyone got wet. 

"The most rain fell right along the coastal plain.  Once you got up into the mountains there was very little.  A tenth of an inch of less.  Some places up in the mountains didn't get anything."