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.


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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Your Vote 2014
12:03 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Supporters Stump for $10 Million Water Bond

Kate Dempsey, of the Nature Conservancy of Maine, outlines her support for Question 6 on the Maine Ballot at a press conference in Falmouth.
Credit Tom Porter / MPBN

FALMOUTH, Maine - A coalition of environmentalists, business and municipal leaders and others, gathered in Falmouth this morning to officially launch the Yes on 6 campaign.

Question 6 on the November ballot would provide a $10 million bond issue to invest in Maine's water infrastructure.

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5:08 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Desire to 'Age in Place' Presents Challenges for Maine Caregivers

Erica Magnus helps her mother, Jane Magnus, down the stairs.
Credit Tom Porter / MPBN

Momentum is building in Maine toward addressing the state's aging problem. Maine has the highest median age in the nation, and the second-highest proportion of seniors, after Florida. For seniors who seek to grow old at home - or "age in place," as it's called - the pressures are increasing on caregivers. We have the first of a three-part series looking at the challenges faced by those Mainers who find themselves acting as unpaid caregivers for elderly, or ailing, family members.


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USS Maine cannon
11:42 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Cannon From USS Maine Returned to Portland Park

A cannon from the USS Maine arrives at Fort Allen Park via truck.
Credit Tom Porter / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - A cannon from the battleship USS Maine was returned to Fort Allen Park in Portland this morning. The cannon has been undergoing restoration work for the past 15 months and will be back in place in time for the park's bi-centennial celebrations at the end of next week.

Diane Davison is executive director of the Friends of the Eastern Promenade, which has been overseeing the Fort Allen park's restoration. "We're thrilled that the timing has worked out and that the infamous USS Maine cannon has been returned to Fort Allen Park," Davison said.

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Climate change
4:14 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Study: Half of North American Bird Species at Risk of Extinction

A saltmarsh sparrow, one of hundreds of North American bird species under threat from climate change, according to a new study.
Credit Courtesy: National Audubon Society

The changing climate threatens hundreds of species of birds, and may put half of all North American birds at risk of extinction by the end of the century. That's the conclusion of a seven-year study released today by the National Audubon Society. The study looked at more than 40 years of climate data and bird census numbers. For more on the implications closer to home, Tom Porter talks with Doug Hitchcox, a naturalist with Maine Audubon.

View the National Audubon Society report.

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USDA Snack Standards
12:08 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

School Kids Bid Farewell to Unhealthy Snacks

Kids heading back to public schools for the new academic year are going to get healthier snacks with new USDA standards that are now in effect.

Known as the "Smart Snacks in School" standards, they're aimed at limiting the amount of fat, sugar, salt and calories consumed by students in between meals. So it's goodbye to snacks like chips, doughnuts and soda, and hello to healthier treats like raisins, carrots and granola bars.

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