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 MPBN in 1990. He's been local anchor of Morning Edition since September, 1992.

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 Degree in Journalism from New York University.

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 5 Peaks Island-to-Portland swims. Irwin is married and has a young son.

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Maine author Phil Hoose has once again written about children doing extraordinary things.

This time the setting is World War II Denmark. In "The Boys Who Challenged Hitler," Hoose writes about the aftermath of the day in April 1940 when German troops poured into Denmark, taking over with virtually no opposition:

Mainer Phil Hoose is the winner of a National Book Award. His latest book is "The Boys Who Challenged Hitler." Hoose will make an appearance tomorrow at Longfellow Books in Portland.

There's opposition to a plan by Portland city councilors to close the city's overflow shelter for the homeless. Mark Swann, executive director of Preble Street, is a leader of the effort.
"We think the city has made a bad decision," Swann said, "and they've made it prematurely without all the facts and they've made it without planning."

The overflow shelter has 75 beds. Swann says those beds have been filled every night. He says without the shelter, more homeless will sleep on streets, in doorways, and at other outdoor locations.

Courtesy, HarperCollins Publishers

In the past few weeks, there have been many stories marking the 100th anniversary of the start of the Armenian Genocide. Former Maine journalist Lou Ureneck's new book is about what happened after nearly a decade of killing and dislocations.

Irwin Gratz / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - Portland leaders gathered in front of City Hall today to denounce those who have been responsible for several racially-charged incidents in recent weeks. Portland Councilor John Hinck said the problem is not easy to solve.

"If we, as elected officials, could pass a resolution, adopt an ordinance, set penalties that eliminated racism, hatred, bigotry, intimidation forever, we would do it," he said. "It's not that simple."

MPBN: File photo

PORTLAND, Maine - Neil Rolde says the stories in his new book are real; the names were changed to protect - the politicians. Rolde, a former state legislator from York, has written a new book, "Real Political Tales:  Short Stories by a Veteran Politician."  Rolde told MPBN's Irwin Gratz that he drew the stories from his own time in Augusta.