Tom Porter

News Producer

That very British voice you've begun hearing on Maine Things Considered belongs to our newest reporter, Tom Porter, who comes to us after a prior stint as a reporter at WVTF-FM, a public radio station in Roanoke, Virgina.

A native of Birmingham, England, Tom comes from a family of British journalists. He worked for nearly eight years at Bloomberg Television and Radio in London as a reporter and news producer. He is also trained jazz pianist. Tom has a bachelor's degree from the University of London and a master's degree from Kings College in London.

Tom has a strong background in environmental reporting, chronicling the drought affecting much of the south, innovation in “green” construction and building design and advances in biotechnology.


Cod stocks
5:53 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Regulators Recommend Emergency Restrictions on Gulf of Maine Cod

Fishery regulators today voted to recommend emergency restrictions on Gulf of Maine cod. A stock assessment released in August estimated that the amount of cod spawning in the Gulf of Maine is only at 3 to 4 percent of its target level for sustainability.

Members of the New England Fishery Management council met in Massachusetts to consider a host of recommendations made a couple of weeks ago by a panel of groundfish experts.

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5:45 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Caring for a Disabled Child - And Worrying About the Future

81-year-old Anne Palmer, who is caring for her 44-year-old disabled son, Todd, and worries about his future.
Credit Tom Porter / MPBN

According to a study earlier this year by the AARP, Maine has about 200,000 people who are described as "unpaid caregivers," providing nearly $2.5 billion of free healthcare to the state every year. Most of them are looking after elderly family members, typically their aging parents. But in some cases, the situation is reversed and it's the parent who's caring for a sick or disabled son or daughter. In the final installment of a three-part series on the challenges facing caregivers, Tom Porter examines the plight of Maine families who are worried about the future.


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Your Vote 2014
5:16 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Maine Candidates for Governor Spar Over Natural Gas Pipeline

Gov. Paul LePage discusses his views on a natural gas pipeline expansion Monday at a news event in Gorham.
Credit Tom Porter / MPBN

Republican Gov. Paul LePage is defending his support of legislation that could make it easier for private businesses to use eminent domain to seize property for natural gas pipeline expansion. The governor says the legislation is necessary to alleviate what he calls the New England energy crisis. But the governor's two opponents oppose the move.

At issue is federal legislation known as H.R.1900, The Natural Gas Permitting Reform Act, which aims to streamline the permitting process for the development of natural gas pipeline projects.

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Kotzschmar organ restored
6:17 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Portland's Famed Kotzschmar Organ Sings Again after $2.5 Million Restoration

The facade of the Kotzschmar organ.
Tom Porter MPBN

This weekend marks a landmark occasion for the city of Portland's century-old Kotzschmar organ, as it returns from a lengthy and costly overhaul that supporters hope will keep it going for another 100 years. Tom Porter took a look behind the curtain.

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Invasive milfoil
2:54 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Invasive Milfoil Found in Winthrop Lake

Milfoil found in Annabessacook Lake in Winthrop.
Credit Courtesy Maine Department of Environmental Protection

WINTHROP, Maine - State scientists have identified the presence of invasive milfoil in a lake in Winthrop - the first new sign of the troublesome aquatic plant in Maine for two years.

John McPhedran and his team will be keeping a close eye on Annabessacook Lake from now on. McPhedran heads the Maine Department of Environmental Protection's invasive aquatic species unit.

He says two milfoil samples collected from the 1,400-acre body of water in Winthrop have been identified as being of the invasive, non-native variety - which could spell trouble for the local environment

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Conversations about art
4:59 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

A Portland Sculptor Talks Art on Sex Lines in New Exhibit

by Aaron T Stephan

PORTLAND, Maine - Conversations about art happen every day - in classrooms, coffee shops and museums. But Portland artist Aaron Stephan wondered what it would be like to broach the subject with strangers in an unlikely setting. And the results of that excercise are part of his latest exhibition at the Portland Museum of Art.


Aaron T Stephan is primarily a sculptor, but in his first solo exhibition at the PMA, he's introduced an audio component.


"Hello. This is Sherry, who am I talking to?"

"Hi Sherry, this is Aaron."

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5:48 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Easing the Burden of Caregivers: It Takes a Village

George and Janice Miller.
Credit Courtesy Janice Miller

HAMPDEN, Maine - We continue now with our three-part series on the challenges facing caregivers. A report by the AARP earlier this year found that family caregivers in Maine who give their time to look after elderly or ailing relatives contribute nearly $2.5 billion in free health care to the state every year. And it's a situation that's likely to get more critical, if you consider the demographic trend - namely that 50 Mainers are turning 65 every day, while the birth rate is falling at the same time.


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Scotland independence vote
4:25 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

USM Professor in Scotland to Witness Historic Independence Vote

USM English Professor Nancy Gish.
Credit Courtesy University of Southern Maine

Tomorrow is an historic today for Great Britain, as the Scots vote on whether to become completely independent from the United Kingdom, ending a union that goes back more than 300 years. It's a debate which ought to be of particular interest to Mainers, says University of Southern Maine English Professor Nancy Gish, because as compared to other states, Maine has the highest percentage of inhabitants who claim Scottish ancestry. Gish is a devotee of Scottish literature, and has gone to Scotland to witness events.

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6:04 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Maine Maritime Academy: Not Your Typical Four-Year College

Maine Maritime Academy vessels dot the harbor in Castine.
Credit Courtesy Maine Maritime Academy

CASTINE, Maine - For most students, going back to school typically involves lectures, study halls, lab work - and, if you're enrolled at one particular college in Downeast Maine, jumping into the ocean.

(Splashing sounds) That's the sound of students at Maine Maritime Academy participating in the annual "ship jump," a 40-foot plunge into the ocean from their training ship, The State of Maine. It's a long-standing tradition - particularly for freshmen - that heralds the beginning of the academic year.

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Your Vote 2014
5:45 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

'Yes on 6' Supporters Urge Passage of Water Bond

Former state GOP lawmaker Stacey Fitts, representing the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, urges passage of Question 6 at a Falmouth news conference.
Credit Tom Porter / MPBN

FALMOUTH, Maine - A coalition of environmentalists, business and municipal leaders, and others, gathered at Maine Audubon's environmental center in Falmouth this morning to get behind a $10 million bond proposal to invest in Maine's water infrastructure.

"We are here today to officially kick off the 'Yes on 6' campaign for clean water and clean jobs in Maine. It's an exciting day," said Kate Dempsey, who is with the Nature Conservancy of Maine, one of more than 20 statewide organizations supporting the proposal.

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