Maine Calling

Monday-Friday, 1 - 2 p.m.

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

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.

Summer Vacation in Maine

21 hours ago

Americans take fewer and fewer vacation days, and there are efforts to change that trend. Here in Maine, those efforts mean promoting our state’s abundant opportunities for vacationers. We’ll hear from experts on must-see and overlooked places, events and activities to check out in Maine this summer.

Guests: Tony Cameron, director of marketing and communications, Maine Tourism Association

MaryEllen Lessard, travel agent, Northern New England AAA

Brian Kevin, managing editor, Down East magazine


May 25, 2017

The annual migration of the alewife is at its peak in Maine. These fish return each year to Maine's rivers and streams--and their populations are growing due to collaborative conservation efforts throughout the state. Their growth in numbers has led to a spike in commercial harvest operations as well. What is happening statewide to continue to help alewives thrive?

Guests:  Pat Keliher, Comissioner, Department of Marine Resources

Thomas Abello, Director of External Affairs, The Nature Conservancy in Maine

Autmotive News

May 24, 2017

Car, truck and SUV sales declined last month for the first time in years. But manufactures aren’t too worried about it.  We’ll learn why, and get the latest news from the world of electric, hybrid and old-fashioned combustible engine cars.

Guests: Jamie Page Deaton, automotive editor for U.S. News

John Paul, AAA's Car Doctor and Senior Manager of Public Affairs for AAA Northeast

Recreational Paddling

May 23, 2017

Maine is an inviting place for paddling, whether on kayak, canoe or standing paddleboard. We'll learn about how these recreational sports have increased in popularity and increased tourism, and we'll find out where paddlers can go in and around Maine -- from rivers to lakes to the exploring the coastal waters.  We’ll also address potential hazards and important safety tips.

Guests: Sandy Moore, former Registered Maine Guide and ACA Kayak Instructor, co-author of Paddling Southern Maine: Day Trips for Recreational Kayakers, Canoers, and SUPers

State Education Funding

May 22, 2017

Legislators from the state's Education and Cultural Affairs Committee join us to discuss the status of funding for K-12 public education in Maine, and what the outlook is for meeting or getting closer to the 55 percent state funding for education. They’ll also address the debate over the 3% surtax that voters approved to help fund schools.

Guests:  Rebecca Millett (D-Cumberland), Representing Senate District 2; she is on the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee

Behind the Music at Maine Public

May 19, 2017
sara willis

Maine Public music hosts Sara Willis and Toby Leboutillier join us to talk about how they put their programs together and the changing music landscape in Maine and beyond.  We’ll have a special call-in from Maine Public Classical host Robin Rillette for part of the show.

Guests:  Sara Willis is the host of Maine Public's ‘In Tune.’

Toby Leboutillier is the host of Maine Public's ‘Down Memory Lane.'

Robin Rilette is host of Maine Public Classical.

The Future of Libraries

May 18, 2017

Is the purpose of libraries no longer to store and lend books, but to serve as a digital hub for the community? Are public libraries on the decline, or just changing their focus? The Maine State Librarian and the director of the Bangor Public library join us to discuss the role of libraries in today’s highly connected world.  

Guests:  Barbara A. McDade, Director, Bangor Public LibraryJames Ritter, Maine State Librarian

Birding Season

May 17, 2017

It’s the height of the spring migration in Maine, and bird enthusiasts are excited about some rare sightings this spring – a male vermillion flycatcher in Bremen,  a fieldfare in Damariscotta, and a great gray owl on MDI.  Our birding experts will guide us to the best sights for birdwatching as well as help us identify what’s at our backyard feeder.

Guests: Jeff Wells, research associate of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and former bird conservation director for National Audubon   Jan Pierson, Owner and Founder of Field Guides Birding tours

National Political Update

May 16, 2017

The latest news out of our nation’s capital: We’ll discuss the firing of the FBI director, the fate of Obamacare, potential tax cuts, and more.

Guests: Jeanne Cummings, national political reporter for The Wall Street Journal

Gordon Adams, Prof. Emeritus, School of International Service, American University.  Distinguished Fellow, Stimson Center

Jim Melcher, professor of Political Science at University of Maine Farmington

Richard Ford

May 15, 2017

The Pulitzer-prize winning author discusses his new book, Between Them, a memoir about his mother and father.

Guest: Richard Ford's novel Independence Day was the first book to win both a Pulitzer Prize and a PEN/Faulkner award. He joins us to discuss his storied writing career, being a big Bruce Springsteen fan, and the national political scene.

Food for Thought

May 12, 2017

We'll hear about what's happening in the world of food: food events, cookbooks, ingredients of the season, restaurants and food trends.

Guests: Nancy Harmon Jenkins, cookbook author and food writer

Peggy Grodinsky, food editor at Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram

Sam Hayward, pioneering chef and one of the partners at Fore Street in Portland

Community Growth & Development

May 11, 2017

Is it possible to balance quality of life with community growth and development? How do you foster growth while not overwhelming a neighborhood or town? 


Elizabeth Boepple, environmental attorney with BCM Environmental & Land Law, PLLC

Nancy Smith, Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine

Jesse Kanson-Benanav, Founder and chairman of A Better Cambridge. He's the keynote speaker at this year's MEREDA conference.

Tech News

May 10, 2017

Apple sold fewer iPhones than expected last quarter, but rumors abound that the Cupertino company is going to get into autonomous automobiles.  There’s also talk about the next iPhone having Virtual Reality features.  We’ll discuss the latest developments from the world of IT and personal computing.

Guests: Jared Maxfield, Owner of Necessary Technology

Andrew Rosenstein, Owner of Techport

Janet McKenney, Director of Library Development, Maine State Library

Tom Gjelten

May 9, 2017

Since 1965, the percentage of the US population born outside the country has tripled, changing the many American communities.  Immigration became a central issue in the Presidential campaign, and rhetoric around immigration issues continues to divide the country.  NPR's Tom Gjelten explores the modern immigrant experience in his book "A Nation of Nations."

Retiring to the Farm

May 8, 2017

A retired professor lives off the grid at a self-sufficient farm and helps preserve wildlife habitat. Why did he choose to live such a remote and back-to-the-land lifestyle, and how does he pull it off? He addresses everything from white-tailed deer habitat to canning and preserving to solar energy.

Guest:  Prof. John Twomey, retired University of Massachusetts professor, living in Montville. He has written a book about  his experience: Retiring To, Not From: Intimate Details of Life on a Remote Farm in Maine.