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.

Ways To Connect

There was a time on Maine's midcoast when a common greeting on the street was the phrase, "Do you think they'll have it?" And the responses were equally odd.

"I heard one once, that was the men's got the tents up and women's got the pies all made," Luthera Dawson told Keith Shortall in an interview from the MPBN archives.

Some of the localisms and dialects that were once part of our state are still heard on the street, but others are disappearing.

PORTLAND, Maine - Canada's new consul general in Boston, David Alward, is no stranger to Maine - living, as he does, just across the border from Houlton. He was in Portland yesterday, along with new honorary consul of Canada in Maine, Brenda Garrand. Alward says much of his work will involve nurturing the strong trade ties between New England and Canada.  Alward and Garrand talked with MPBN Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz.

PORTLAND, Maine — City councilors will revisit their proposed $10.10 minimum wage ordinance in September.

The council intended to leave the lower, guaranteed tip wage alone.

But, because the state gives employers a limited tax credit to offset the state minimum wage, the council action has the effect of raising the minimum tipped wage.

Mako Bates, a Green Party official and city council candidate, says the current tipped wage credit doesn't work well.

Mark Vogelzang / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine — Thousands of people stood in long lines Sunday on the waterfront here to visit tall sailing ships.

Irwin Gratz / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - Portland this weekend hosts its first "tall ships" festival in 15 years. Among the vessels in port for the occasion is the Columbia.

Its skipper, Karl Joyner, says it was built as a replica of a fishing schooner that would have worked the Grand Banks off Nova Scotia a century or more ago.

"It's a modern interpretation so it has a few changes," Joyner says, "but the rig, the rigging, the mast, the sails, and the actual hull design are all recreated as close as possible to the original."