Maine Calling

Monday-Friday, 1 - 2 p.m.

Maine Calling On The Road goes next to Bates College in Lewiston on Wednesday, Jan. 17, for a show on Purposeful Work, the college's program to align students' interests and talents with the work they will ultimately pursue after graduation. Click here for details and to reserve a free seat.

Maine Calling is an interactive radio program hosted by Jennifer Rooks and News Director Keith Shortall.  Maine Calling is produced by Jonathan Smith, Cindy Han and Jennifer Rooks.

Airing live Monday through Friday from 1:00 to 2:00 pm, rebroadcast at 8 pm (7 pm on Fridays), and anytime online, the show brings interesting conversations on a wide variety of topics to the people of Maine.

Maine Public listeners are strongly encouraged to participate in the program.

Scroll down to access previous programs.

Politics in the Age of Twitter

21 hours ago

Where once pamphlets were a way for politicians to distribute their ideas, attack political enemies, and reach an audience, today we have Twitter.  We’ll discuss the role of Twitter in current day politics and how it is changing political discourse and impacting social movements. 

Guests:  Judith E. Rosenbaum, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication and Journalism, University of Maine.  Author of Constructing Digital Cultures – Tweets, Trends, Race, and Gender.Brooke Foucault Welles, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies and a faculty affiliate of the Network Science Institute and NU Lab for Texts, Maps and Networks at Northeastern University.Craig Freshley, creator of Make Shift Coffee House conversations 

Teacher Shortage

Jan 15, 2018

Maine schools are struggling with a shortage of teachers, particularly for areas such as Special Ed and world languages. How do we compare with other states? Why aren’t there enough qualified teachers to meet the demand, and what's being done about it? Some districts have found creative solutions to fill the need.

Guests: Catharine Biddle, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership, University of Maine College of Education and Human Development

Lois Kilby-Chesley, President, Maine Education Association

Barbara Slote, Grade 7 Language Arts Teacher, Westbrook Middle School 

George Smith

Jan 12, 2018

Well-known Maine outdoorsman George Smith recently announced he has been diagnosed with ALS.  George joins us to discuss the diagnosis and how it has – and hasn’t – changed his life.  Also joining the conversation is the doctor who diagnosed George.

Guests: George Smith is a full-time writer, he writes about hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities, current events and issues, book reviews, and travel, and has been honored with awards from the Maine Press Association. He was the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine for 18 years. He writes monthly columns for The Maine Sportsman magazine (for more than 30 years), a weekly editorial-page column for central Maine’s two daily newspapers (for 25 years), and a travel column that he and Linda write for central Maine's two daily newspapers (for five years). He is the author of A Life Lived Outdoors.

Nell Davies, Care Services Coordinator with the ALS Northern New England Chapter

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Jan 11, 2018

What is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)? Who falls on the fetal alcohol spectrum? How prevalent is it in modern society? We will answer questions like these and delve into FASD, from diagnosis and treatment to a day in the life with FASD.

Guests: Constance Mazelsky, adoptive mother of a child with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and activist for FASD awareness

Nancy Cronin, Executive Director of Maine Developmental Disability Council 


"Craig & Fred"

Jan 10, 2018

Author Craig Grossi joins us to discuss how he rescued a dog while stationed in Afghanistan in 2010, and how this relationship saved each of them.  Grossi’s Facebook and Instagram posts are followed by more than 35,000 people who are interested in learning of Craig and Fred’s adventures – and Craig’s recovery from a war injury and the loss of comrades during his deployment.

Guest:  Craig Grossi is an eight-year veteran of the Marine Corps, recipient of the Purple Heart, and Georgetown University graduate.

Click here to visit Craig (and Fred's) website. 

Ice Fishing

Jan 9, 2018

When the ice is thick enough, Mainers head to the lakes and ponds and get set up to catch some fish (and, yes, beer is usually involved). We'll learn about the most effective methods for ice fishing, the best places to go, and what makes fishing through a hole in the ice an appealing family activity. And is climate change affecting the ice fishing industry in Maine?  

Guests:  Tim Jack, owner of Jack Traps Ice Fishing Outfitters based in Monmouth

Brittany Humphrey, Outreach Coordinator, Maine Dept of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, Information and Education

Verne Keith, owner of Cobbossee Bait in Winthrop



Food Trends

Jan 8, 2018

What's trending in the food world? Are we moving to a more veg-centric diet and embracing new global flavors? What about all of these ancient grains? Our panel of food experts talk about the ingredients and cooking techniques that are moving into the forefront for today's diners (include purple produce).

Guests: Peggy Grodinsky, food editor for the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram

Nancy Harmon Jenkins, cookbook author, historian and authority on Mediterranean cuisine

Sam Hayward, pioneering chef and owner of Fore Street Grill in Portland


Political Preview

Jan 4, 2018

We discuss the year ahead in Maine politics and what to expect from our local politicians--or aspiring politicians.


Maine Public's "Across the Aisle" team joins us:

Meredith Strang Burgess, president and CEO of Burgess Advertising & Marketing and former Maine State Representative (Republican)

Cynthia Dill, lawyer and former Maine State Representative and State Senator (Democratic)

Dick Woodbury, economist and former Maine State Senator (Independent)

Economic Outlook for 2018

Jan 3, 2018

Our panel discusses the economic forecast for Maine in the year ahead.

Amanda Rector, Maine State Economist

Yellow Light Breen, Maine Development Foundation President and CEO

Trends: 2018

Jan 2, 2018

Two in-the-know Mainers and the author of The Washington Post’s annual "In/Out list" join us to talk about the trends to look forward to, and the ones to be leery of, in the new year.


Jessica Contrera, who writes The Washington Post's annual New Year's "In/Out List"

Brian Kevin, managing editor, Down East magazine

Shannon Bryan, founder of and former editor of

Bridging the Partisan Divide

Jan 1, 2018

Due to special NPR New Year's programming, Maine Calling will not air at 1 pm. This show is airing at 8 pm on January 1, 2018. It is a rebroadcast of an earlier show (Nov 8th); no calls will be taken.

Our panelists discuss how they are attempting to bring people from different political outlooks together for conversations about moving forward without the heated rhetoric that is often found in today's political climate.

Guests:  Craig Freshly, Head Helper with Good Decisions, Inc. He's a professional speaker, author, and meeting facilitator. He's the creator of Make Shift Coffee House, which is where people with differing political views can meet and learn from each other. 

Christopher Phillips, author, scholar and deliberative democracy specialist. He is the founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit Democracy Cafe, which fosters a greater understanding of the nature and future of democracy.

Pam Plumb, co-chair of the Maine Revive Civility initiative and former mayor of Portland

The Role of Higher Education

Dec 29, 2017

This is a rebroadcast of an earlier show (Sept 7th); no calls will be taken.

Is a bachelor’s degree worth the money?  What role should humanities play in higher education?  And do colleges and universities actually contribute to the common good? We discuss the book For the Common Good: A New History of Higher Education in America, by Charles Dorn.

Guest: Charles Dorn, Professor of Education, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Associate Affirmative Action Officer. Dorn's research into the history of education investigates the civic functions adopted by and ascribed to centers of early childhood education, public elementary and secondary schools, and colleges and universities in the United States.

"The Long Haul" by Finn Murphy

Dec 28, 2017

This is a rebroadcast of an earlier show (Nov 7th); no calls will be taken.

More than 30 years ago, Finn Murphy dropped out of Colby College to become a long-haul trucker. Since then he’s covered more than a million miles packing, loading, and hauling people’s belongings all over America. Known by his trucker handle as "U-Turn," he spends his days (and many of his nights) in a 53-foot eighteen-wheeler he calls Cassidy. 

Guest:  Finn Murphy is the author of Long Haul: A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road


Dec 27, 2017

This is a rebroadcast of an earlier show (November 14th); no calls will be taken.

Golden Age of Television

Dec 26, 2017

 This is a rebroadcast of an earlier show (Aug 16); no calls will be taken.

Whether it’s "The Simpsons," "The Wire," "Breaking Bad," "M*A*S*H," "Cheers" or "Downton Abby," we all have a favorite TV series. Which do you think was number one? The authors of TV-The Book, join us to discuss their rankings of the greatest televisions shows of all time. We’ll also discuss the current crop of programs on cable and streaming platforms.

Guests:  Matt Zoller Seitz is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Wes Anderson Collection.  He has been a journalist, critic, and filmmaker for nearly 25 years, and has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism.  He is the TV critic for New York Magazine and  He is also editor-in-chief and lead film critic of

Alan Sepinwall has been writing about television for close to 20 years. Formerly a TV critic for Newark’s Star-Ledger, he currently writes the popular blog “What’s Alan Watching” on He’s the author of The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever.