Show 203: Executive Editor of The Forecaster Mo Mehlsak

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Show: 203
Air Date: Saturday, 18 February 2017
Guest: Mo Mehlsak
Host: Steve Woods (Stevoe)
Studio Contributor: Debi Davis
Executive Producer: Emily Sullivan (Sully)

In this episode, Stevoe talks with Mo Mehlsak of The Forecaster, where Stevoe writes a bi-weekly column called “Intentionally Unreasonable.” Mehlsak, a New York City native, has been with The Forecaster since 2004 and has been in Maine since 1985 when his wife accepted a position in Portland. The Forecaster is a free weekly local newspaper with four editions covering various areas of the state (Portland, Northern, Mid-Coast, and Southern).

Host of TideSmart Talk with Stevoe, Steve Woods, welcomed Mo Mehlsak, Executive Editor of The Forecaster (at right).

Host of TideSmart Talk with Stevoe, Steve Woods, welcomed Mo Mehlsak, Executive Editor of The Forecaster (at right).

Mo Mehlsak is a Syracuse graduate of the Newhouse School. He didn’t go into it convinced he wanted to go into journalism, but he did leave convinced. He and his now wife (also a Newhouse graduate) took the advice of a professor and moved across the country while they were still uninhibited in their lives. His wife took a position with the Associated Press in Los Angeles and Mehlsak joined Automotive Age on the business desk. His wife decided to make a career change, went back to law school, and they moved their new family to Maine.
Mehlsak worked his way through the ranks at Biddeford’s Journal Tribune for 20 years before new management told him he was “no longer invited to come back to work.”
Mehlsak has now been with The Forecaster for 13 years and has seen the paper change and grow as it has merged with other existing local newspapers to continue to provide quality, trustworthy, community news that is relevant to residents.
To learn more about Mo or The Forecaster, visit theforecaster.net and listen to the interview below.

Show 202: Co-Founder & CEO of Ocean Renewable Power Company Chris Sauer

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Show: 202
Air Date: 11 February 2017
Guest: Chris Sauer
Host: Steve Woods (Stevoe)
Studio Contributor: Debi Davis
Executive Producer: Emily Sullivan (Sully)

Chris Sauer is from the midwest and hadn’t seen the ocean until he was twenty. Until then, he built bridges and loved it… for a while. When he got bored, he joined a firm designing energy facilities. From there, Sauer’s career took him to Florida where he had been working on energy start-up companies and met John Cooper. Cooper had the idea to harness energy from the Florida current and with Sauer’s experience in the energy industry, this eventually led to the creation of Ocean Renewable Power Company.
Host of TideSmart Talk with Stevoe, Steve Woods, welcomed Chris Sauer, Co-Founder & CEO of Ocean Renewable Power Company (at right).

Host of TideSmart Talk with Stevoe, Steve Woods, welcomed Chris Sauer, Co-Founder & CEO of Ocean Renewable Power Company (at right).

Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) has been based in Maine since 2008 when they went from a digital company, to having a brick-and-mortar presence. When asked why he chose Portland, the answer was simple: He wanted to be here. ORPC moved away from the original idea of using the Florida current’s hydro-kinetic energy and moved to tidal and river energy. Sauer always liked Maine during his previous visits and its proximity to the Bay of Fundy (home of the world’s most drastic tides).
Their hallmark installation was the Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy Project, the first hydrokinetic project to provide power to an American grid. Their first installation outside of Maine was in a river near a remote, off-the-grid village in Alaska. This community had been using diesel fuel generators to create power, but with the installation of ORPC’s generator, they were able to drastically cut their energy costs and no longer be solely dependent on diesel fuel. ORPC is hoping to target other areas like this and they are finding that many are in Canada. Even though Hydro-Quebec is one of the largest electricity providers in the world, Sauer finds that they are supportive of the renewable energy efforts.
Sauer says that they have had a 70% success rate with their grant proposals, which has been key to their future. Their systems aren’t commercial-ready yet and have not generated any profit as a company, but they’re almost there.
To learn more about Chris Sauer and Ocean Renewable Power Company, visit their website at ORPC.co or listen to the interview below.

Show 201: President and Director of Maine Friends of Animals Robert Fisk, Jr.

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Show: 201
Air Date: Saturday 04 February 2017
Guest: Robert Fisk
Host: Steve Woods (Stevoe)
Studio Contributor: Debi Davis
Executive Producer: Emily Sullivan (Sully)

Robert Fisk of Maine Friends of Animals (MFOA) didn’t start his career planning to help animals, but it seems he plans on ending that way. Fisk, an Exeter, NH native, was an athlete: a physical education major, a college basketball coach, and the owner of the Portland Athletic Club. He says he’s always been “politically inclined,” so he decided to run for state legislature in 1997 and did a 2-year stint in Augusta which was his first step in animal welfare advocacy.

When Fisk was campaigning, the issues he ran on were small business advocacy, environmentalism, government campaign reform, and animal rights advocacy to a lesser degree. He was always a supporter of animal rights, but after he was elected he realized that many other legislators were supporters of his other issues so he became the “de-facto animal guy” in his party.

After leaving Augusta, Fisk felt he needed to continue his animal advocacy efforts in Augusta and formed Maine Friends of Animals to do so (a 501c4 at the time). The mission of MFOA is to promote the humane treatment of animals through education and legislation. Fisk and a small staff manage a membership of 1500 strong and as a non-profit, operate completely on donations.

One of the biggest issues MFOA has been dealing with lately has been the treatment of retired harness racing horses. Scarborough Downs, southern Maine’s harness racing track, has been struggling to stay open and is actively searching for a financial partner or risks having to close their doors forever. According to Fisk, this is a clear sign that the harness racing industry should no longer be an industry. In Maine, many retired horses (who could be as young as three) are sent to Mexico or Quebec, Canada to be slaughtered. Fisk and MFOA are working to educate the public on the treatment of these horses. They are also attempting to convince legislators to re-write the line in the “cascade funds” where money goes back to the racing facilites to deter racing teams/owners from further investing in the dying industry.

MFOA was also very active in November 2015 with the “Bear Baiting” ballot question. Fisk says Maine is the only state in the country where people are still allowed to use steel traps. He speculates that the controversy between hunters and animal activists/advocates forced more LePage supporters to the voting booths.

Fisk says although there have been struggles like these, Maine is still a leader in regards animal treatment. In the early 2000′s the house was the first legislative body to ban the use of circus elephants and temporarily banned Barnum and Bailey from bringing that act to Maine.It did not pass the Senate because according to Fisk, when Barnum and Bailey caught wind, they sent lobbyists to sway the senators.

To learn more about Maine Friends of Animals, please visit their website at mfoa.net or listen to the interview below.

Show 200: Senior Scientist with the Curiosity Mars rover Dr. Aileen Yingst

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Show: 200!
Air Date: Saturday 28 January 2017
Guest: Dr. Aileen Yingst
Host: Steve Woods (Stevoe)
Studio Contributor: Debi Davis
Executive Producer: Emily Sullivan (Sully)

It was a big day in the stuido this week! Our interview with Dr. Aileen Yingst marks our 200th episode of TideSmart Talk with Stevoe. In the four years, ten months, and three weeks that we have been on the air Stevoe has talked with over 263 individual guests coming from an extensive range of backgrounds. We have welcomed governors, senators, Olympians, college presidents, Nobel prize winners, NASCAR drivers, celebrity chefs, authors, and presidential candidates to our show. We have come a long way since the very first episode where we talked with The Amazing Kreskin and lawyer F. Lee Bailey on 03 March 2012. Thank you, thank you, thank you to our listeners – we’re looking forward to another 200 shows that are as entertaining as they are informative. Please read on to hear about our special guest, Dr. Aileen Yingst of the Planetary Science Institute. Cheers!

Host of TideSmart Talk with Stevoe, Steve Woods, welcomed Dr. Aileen Yingst, Senior Scientist with the Planetary Science Institute (at right).

Host of TideSmart Talk with Stevoe, Steve Woods, welcomed Dr. Aileen Yingst, Senior Scientist with the Planetary Science Institute (at right).

Aileen Yingst is a southwest Michigan native and a graduate of Dartmouth and Brown and is one of the lucky ones who had “a calling” and has known it her whole life. For as long as she can remember, Yingst has wanted to be a space scientist. She was(and still is) a Star Trek fan who would be disappointed when Sunday night football ran long and she was unable to watch the show; She claims she’s only been star struck once – when meeting Levar Burton, who was equally impressed with Yingst after learning she actually works for NASA, kind of.

Yingst is actually employed by the Planetary Science Institute (PSI), a non-profit company with the goal of exploring the Solar System. While PSI is technically headquartered in Tuscon, Arizona, they pride themselves on hiring Space Scientists who are capable of working anywhere in the world – which is how Yingst ended up in Brunswick, Maine. From her home office, or kitchen counter, or comfort of her couch, she is able to do her work: taking and examining photographs from the Curiosity Mars rover.

When NASA sets out their plans or goals, companies like PSI can bid on the work and contract with NASA. For other projects, staff scientists can submit their proposals for grant money and still work for PSI. Yingst and her team are currently responsible for planning Curiosity’s movements one sol ahead of time (a sol is the name for a “day” on Mars). It takes about 20 minutes to send instruction to Mars and another 20 minutes to receive feedback, so the PSI team plans the whole sol at once and waits to see what comes back when the rover has the chance to pass information to an orbiting relay station.

The most important information the team has discovered recently is evidenced in photographs Yingst believes could have once been a lake or waterway. She says Mars is fairly similar to Earth, but they are working to determine what happened on that planet to make it inhabitable. She is looking forward to 2020 when NASA will launch the newest rover with the intention of taking and storing samples from Mars.

To view the same photos Yingst studies from Curiosity, visit JPL.NASA.gov.
To learn more about Dr. Yingst and PSI’s work, please visit psi.edu and listen to the interview below.

Show 199: Executive Director of the ACLU Maine Alison Beyea

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Show: 199
Air Date: Saturday 21 January 2017
Guest: Alison Beyea
Host: Steve Woods (Stevoe)
Studio Contributor: Debi Davis
Executive Producer: Emily Sullivan (Sully)

Alison Beyea has been the Executive Director of the ACLU Maine since 2014, but she’s really been a part of it since her childhood. Originally from New York City, Beyea’s parents both made careers in non-profit fields with her mother working for the ACLU in New York. Beyea said she grew up in a community that protected those who had been marginalized and it became a part of who she was. She has made her career helping others, especially those in Maine.

 Host of TideSmart Talk with Stevoe, Steve Woods, welcomed Alison Beyea, Executive Director of the ACLU Maine (at right).


Host of TideSmart Talk with Stevoe, Steve Woods, welcomed Alison Beyea, Executive Director of the ACLU Maine (at right).

Beyea went to a small liberal arts college in Ohio where she said her conservative Political Science professors challenged her more liberal views. “DC was calling me,” she recalls. So she went to work on the hill for former Congressman Lane Evans who taught her two important lessons: if you’re too outspoken, it will be hard to incite change; and it’s still hard to be respected professionally as a woman. Evans suggested she become a lawyer so Beyea looked at only public schools knowing she wanted to avoid the private sector.

Someone suggested she look at UMaine School of Law, one of the smallest programs in the country. She had never been to our state before, but knew it was home when she came to visit. She fell in love with the smaller communities and the faculty who work with the students and local residents in need.

Beyea worked with Pine Tree Legal Assistance after her graduation and helped to create KIDS Legal, a service to help low-income youth in Maine and a passion project for her. Afterwards, she went back to UMaine Law as the Director of Admissions for a short time before becoming the Executive Director of the ACLU Maine.

She has been with the ACLU Maine since 2014 where she oversees the advocacy, legal, educational, developmental, and legislative activities. The main branch of the ACLU, located in New York City, was founded in 1920 when our country was going through a time of anti-immigrant stage (not unlike today, Beyea notes). Their main goal is to protect all citizens from government overstep and they do so by using the Constitution as a guideline and attempt to interpret its meaning as it regards to each individual case. Beyea says that most of the time the ACLU deals with the first and 14th amendments (free speech and due process).

Also discussed was if the controversy of the new presidential administration would affect the ACLU. Beyea says that while the ACLU has already filed a suit against President Trump, they will only act when he does, meaning if he forces an issue that could be unconstitutional, the ACLU will respond. Beyea mentioned that in Maine alone, their membership increased 30% within one week from the election in November 2016.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the ACLU of Maine, interested in learning more, or believe you need legal aid, please visit their website at aclumaine.org.

To learn more about Alison, please listen to the interview in its entirety below.

Show 198: Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Greater Portland Godfrey Wood

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Show: 198
Air Date: Saturday, 14 January 2017
Guest: Godfrey Wood
Host: Steve Woods (Stevoe)
Studio Contributor: Debi Davis
Executive Producer: Emily Sullivan (Sully)

You wouldn’t really know it by looking at him, but Godfrey Wood has a storied hockey history. Born in Brookline, MA, Wood grew up playing hockey through school and college (the Harvard graduate was the goalie for Harvard’s ECAC, Ivy League, and Beanpot winning teams) and was also a member of the 1964 US Olympic hockey squad. When he decided to hang up his skates, Wood moved on to the business of professional hockey. His first endeavor, ownership of a Nashville minor league team, eventually led him to the purchase and ownership of the Portland Pirates, our state’s resident American Hockey League (AHL) team. Their sudden departure in 2016 has reinvigorated Wood to draw a new team to the state’s biggest city, even though he has no ownership interest – just a love of hockey.

Host of TideSmart Talk with Stevoe, Steve Woods, welcomed the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Greater Portland, Godfrey Wood (at right).

Host of TideSmart Talk with Stevoe, Steve Woods, welcomed the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Greater Portland, Godfrey Wood (at right).

Buying, selling, and operating hockey teams isn’t the only thing Wood has been filling his career with. He has been a pilot, a teacher, a tennis coach, a property manager, a restaurant owner, and the CEO of the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce all before accepting the role as Executive Director for the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland. While Habitat may be a well known organization, Mainer’s (especially those in greater Portland) have likely been more affected by Wood as owner of the Portland Pirates. He said that as original owner of the team, he didn’t make any money. In fact, he lost some every year, “but it was a blast.” Wood recalls his wife and children handing out programs, preparing for the games; “the biggest thrill was seeing all the seats were sold… the rest was up to the coach and the players.” He says that operating an AHL team is generally not profitable until you sell off the franchise, which he did in 1995.

Wood spent 15 years with the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce, attracting businesses and business leaders from Scarborough, South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Cumberland, Falmouth, Westbrook, Gorham, and Portland. He mentioned the struggle to become an advocacy group with such a diverse membership, but learned to educate about issues instead of representing them. Now with the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland, Wood oversees the construction of a few homes annually and the organization’s ReStore: a place for people to purchase gently used merchandise, appliances, and furniture at a fraction of its cost new. Habitat does not keep a list of needy families – those in need must reapply every month for assistance. And it’s not free. Families must be able to purchase the homes and have the ability to contribute over 200 hours of “sweat equity” helping to build their own homes in order to be approved. Wood says that a household income of $35,000 is enough to qualify for assistance and they are building homes year-round. They are currently building four homes in a neighborhood in Scarborough.

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity Greater Portland, please go to their website: habitatportlandme.org.
If you are interested in applying for a new home through Habitat for Humanity Greater Portland, Wood recommends you attend one of their monthly informational sessions held at Scarborough’s Public Library.
For more information about Godfrey Wood, please listen to the interview below.

Show 197: Yarmouth High School Boys’ Soccer Coach Mike Hagerty

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Show: 197
Air Date: 07 January 2017
Guest: Mike Hagerty
Host: Steve Woods (Stevoe)
Studio Contributor: Debi Davis
Executive Producer: Emily Sullivan (Sully)

Almost-native Mainer Mike Hagerty was born in Leominster, Massachusetts, but migrated back to his mother’s home city of Portland early on in his life. The St. Anslem alumnus was a math major, but only briefly. He realized that some of his fellow students had a passion for mathematics that he didn’t and switched to psychology. Hagerty says he always enjoyed coaching and found the connection between it and his psychology studies. Both of his parents had careers in social work so Hagerty imagined he would follow in their footsteps, but after working an internship at a psychiatric hospital he found teaching may be his forte. He has now been teaching and coaching in Maine for twenty years.

Host of TideSmart Talk with Stevoe, Steve Woods, welcomed YHS Boys' Soccer Coach, Mike Hagerty (at right).

Host of TideSmart Talk with Stevoe, Steve Woods, welcomed YHS Boys’ Soccer Coach, Mike Hagerty (at right).

Hagerty splits his time teaching Language Arts and Math as part of a team at a Yarmouth middle school; coaching the boys’ varsity soccer team at Yarmouth High school, a local youth premiere league team (GPS Maine), and a soccer club in Yarmouth (Yarmouth Colts); and his family. While he doesn’t feel any pressure from the Yarmouth HS community to win championships, he’s done it 8 times in his 20 years at YHS – an incredible success rate of 40%.

Hagerty is passionate about youth sports and their relation to classroom learning. In this day and age, many students spend most of their time staring at a screen. Hagerty believes that between the classroom setting and on-field (or court, pitch, pool, etc.) activity, kids are getting exposed to the ever-important social connections that are necessary to be successful as adults. He is a firm believer that online learning will never overcome the public school style of education.

Over his years of coaching, Hagerty has been able to watch the changes in kids who “specialize” in one sport. He believes there is more value to being a more well-rounded student AND athlete by having interdisciplinary knowledge in multiple school subjects and multiple sports. There are lessons learned in one sport that may not be intuitively learned in another, but are relevant nonetheless.

On the subject of professional soccer in America, Hagerty says that we still have a long way to go before we’re really competitive on a global scale. He says Major League Soccer won’t be respected worldwide until they can come together with the numerous programs and leagues for youth in our country. Hagerty hopes that eventually the MLS will have feeder leagues like Major League Baseball (and now the National Basketball Association) to help focus young soccer players on a path to professional play.

To learn more about Coach Hagerty, please listen to the interview below.

Show 196: Program Director at Seeds of Peace Tim Wilson

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Show: 196
Air Date: Saturday 17 December 2016
Guest: Tim Wilson
Host: Steve Woods (Stevoe)
Studio Contributor: Debi Davis
Executive Producer: Emily Sullivan (Sully)

Tim Wilson, originally from Pittsburgh, has lived two lives at the camp in Otisfield where Seeds of Peace now resides. In 1960 he was the first black counselor at a white summer camp in Maine (Camp Powhatan) and by 1993 he was back at the same camp helping John Wallach transform it into a place “for the children of war to plant the seeds for a more secure future.” He’s been there in one way or another ever since and this year Seeds of Peace will be celebrating 25 years in Otisfield.

Host of TideSmart Talk with Stevoe, Steve Woods, welcomed Tim Wilson, Seeds of Peace Program Director (at right).

Host of TideSmart Talk with Stevoe, Steve Woods, welcomed Tim Wilson, Seeds of Peace Program Director (at right).

Wilson has been all over the country, all over the world and back again. After his camp counselor job at Camp Powhatan, he joined the Peace Corps and spent time in Thailand in the early 1960′s. At the end of this stint Wilson returned to Maine where he started teaching and coaching football in Dexter. In 1966 he was the first black secondary school teacher in Maine where he was also asked to teach Physical Education. While segregation was still a very real issue in the 60′s, Wilson remembers the residents of Dexter welcoming him into their community and made sure he was accepted by everyone in town.

Wilson has held different positions teaching and coaching throughout Maine, including 18 months at UMaine Orono (with Jack Cosgrove as his quarterback), as well as a position on the Maine Energy Board (during the OPEC embargo).

In 1993 after the bombing at the World Trade Center, John Wallach, an American journalist who worked for Hearst Newspapers, made a deal with the ambassadors to Egypt, Israel, and Palestine to send fifteen teenagers to a camp in order to foster communication, trust, and respect through dialogue. Wilson joined the effort immediately and Seeds of Peace has been facilitating difficult conversations between young people from war-torn countries for almost a quarter century.

To learn more about Tim or Seeds of Peace, please listen to the interview below or go to SeedsOfPeace.org.

Show 195: Mayor of Portland Ethan Strimling

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Show: 195
Air Date: Saturday, 10 December 2016
Guest: Ethan Strimling
Host: Steve Woods (Stevoe)
Studio Contributor: Debi Davis
Executive Producer: Emily Sullivan (Sully)

In 2010, Portland residents voted to append the City Charter in order to popularly elect a full-time mayor. Ethan Strimling is the second person to hold the position and is the city’s top elected official. Before becoming mayor, Strimling was a Maine state senator, a political analyst, and the CEO of LearningWorks – a position in which he said he did the “most powerful work [he's] ever done.”

Host of TideSmart Talk with Stevoe, Steve Woods, welcomed Ethan Strimling, Mayor of Portland (at right).

Host of TideSmart Talk with Stevoe, Steve Woods, welcomed Ethan Strimling, Mayor of Portland (at right).

Strimling, a New York City native, became familiar with the great state of Maine in a way many do: He visited and fell in love. He ended up making the permanent move when he enrolled at the University of Maine – Orono (UMO) after dropping out of Juilliard as a theatre student. Strimling’s father and grandmother were both actors and the acting bug had bit him, too, but as a 17 year old thrown into the The Juilliard School theatre scene he admits to being overwhelmed before leaving the school. It was at UMO where Strimling first became involved in politics.

Stevoe and Strimling discussed Strimling’s time in senate and the unusual number of referendum questions on this year’s ballot. When Strimling was in the senate, the state government had a democratic majority which eased the passing of new legislature, but now with a more balanced government, there seems to be more friction which according to Strimling led to the increased number of referendum questions this year. According to him, the people are doing what the senate and house refused to – pass new laws.

In regards to the recent friction at City Hall, he believes the drama will subside. Strimling hopes it doesn’t distract the council from doing their jobs, but he hopes to actualize the new charter and create clarity between the City Manager and himself. He says it’s a
“learning process” and that he’s focusing on doing good work for the people of Portland.

Strimling still has three years left in his term, but as far as his political aspirations go, aside from becoming the Secretary-General for the United Nations, he finds municipal politics fascinating and hopes to stick around for awhile.

To learn more about Mayor Strimling or about the City of Portland, visit portlandmaine.gov or listen to the interview below.

Show 194: Host of “Bill Green’s Maine” Bill Green

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Show: 194
Air Date: Saturday 03 December 2016
Guest: Bill Green
Host: Steve Woods (Stevoe)
Studio Contributor: Debi Davis
Executive Producer: Emily Sullivan (Sully)

It’s been a few years since Bill Green has been to the TideSmart Talk studios, but at this visit he is fresh off of an especially high point in his career. On Wednesday, November 30th Green was presented with the Silver Circle Award by The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences of Boston/New England, otherwise known as the Emmy organization. The Silver Circle Award is given to television professionals who have dedicated 25 years or more to their careers and communities and with 44 years in the business, Green could be vying for the Gold Circle Award in just six short years (if he doesn’t choose to retire by then).

Host of TideSmart Talk with Stevoe, Steve Woods, welcomed Bill Green (at right).

Host of TideSmart Talk with Stevoe, Steve Woods, welcomed Bill Green (at right).



While he doesn’t have any concrete plans for retiring from television, it seems Green has been giving it some thought. He says the one “platform” he’ll take is to change how Maine addresses daylight savings time. Green is proposing a “vacation savings time” where we will set the clocks forward an hour twice between May and August in order to make the most of the summertime business. This idea sparked a counter-suggestion from Stevoe and the two men went off planning and scheming the future of Maine’s economic and political structure.


To learn more about Bill Green or Bill Green’s Maine, please visit his website at wcsh6.com/local/bill-greens-maine or listen to the interview below.