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.

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World
5:04 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Portland Kurds Closely Monitoring Clash with Islamic State

Mustafa Rostampour (from left), Reza Jalali and Ghomri Rostampour.
Tom Porter MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine — A small group of Kurdish immigrants in Maine is closely monitoring violence and upheaval happening more than 5,000 miles away.

Fighters from the Kurdish Peshmerga are playing a frontline role in the fight against militants from the armed group Islamic State. Ethnic Kurds can be found mostly in four countries: Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq, and it's in Iraq where they have the closest thing to their own country in the Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, in northern Iraq.

And it's the KRG that's at the forefront of the war against the Islamic State.

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Supermarket fued
5:54 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Biddeford Market Basket Workers 'Ecstatic' Over Ousted CEO's Return

Biddeford Market Basket store manager Micum McIntire gives a thumbs up to the deal that ended the ongoing supermarket feud.
Credit Tom Porter / MPBN

BIDDEFORD, Maine - "There's very little that I could ever add to your brilliant work, your extraordinary display of loyalty and the power of your enduring, doing spirit over the past six weeks." Those words, spoken Thursday morning by re-instated Market Basket boss Arthur T. Demoulas, were music to the ears of hundreds of supermarket workers in Maine, and thousands more throughout the region.

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Side Trips
6:01 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Maine Museum Preserves Relics from Golden Age of Public Transport

One of the cars at the Seashore Trolley Museum.
Credit Tom Porter / MPBN

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine - Now we look back to what many describe as a golden age of public transport in America. I'm talking about an era when trolleys, streetcars, trams and electric cable cars ruled the road. Think Judy Garland in the classic film "Meet Me in St. Louis." As Americans increasingly relocated to cities and towns in  the early 20th century, street trolleys became the dominant way for ordinary Americans to get from A to B - at least until about 75 years ago.  And that, incidentally, is when the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport was established.

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Plumber shortage
5:36 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Plumber Shortage: Too Few Plumbers in Maine Pipeline

Master plumber George Doughty, of Brunswick, gets his work van ready for another busy week of 10-hour days.
Credit Tom Porter / MPBN

BRUNSWICK, Maine - If you've had trouble recently being able to find someone to unblock your kitchen sink or fix a broken pipe, you're not alone. Maine has a shortage of plumbers, and the state Labor Department is actively encouraging people to take up the trade. But that's often easier said than done.

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Airbnb
5:55 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Maine Hotels Facing Stiff Competition from Online Private Vacation Rentals

A view of the apartment Stephanie Dunn and Mark Smith rent out using Airbnb and VRBO.
Credit Tom Porter / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - Hoteliers, innkeepers and municipal officials in Maine and across the country are facing serious competition from a recent explosion in private, short-term, online vacation rentals. The main player is the Web site Airbnb, based in Portland, Oregon, which helps homeowners market their property - mostly for short-term vacations.

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Worst Road Contest
5:35 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

State's Route 15 Wins Dubious Honor: 'Worst Road in Maine'

A view of the winning road, Route 15, in the Camden area.
Credit Courtesy Maine Better Transportation Association

CAMDEN, Maine - The winner of the "Worst Road in Maine Contest" has been announced. The dubious honor, according to the Maine Better Transportation Association, is Route 15, and in particular, a 23-mile stretch that runs between Blue Hill and Stonington.

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Genetic disorder
5:11 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Doctor: Genetic Disease More Widespread in Maine's French Population Than Thought

Dr. Dervilla McCann has been deeply involved in researching the genetic disease known as FH.
Credit Josie Huang / MPBN

AUBURN, Maine - Back in February of 2012, MPBN reported a story about a rare genetic disorder that can cause sky high cholesterol and lead to early heart attacks, strokes, and death. The disease is called familial hypercholesterolemia - or FH - and, according to experts, it affects about one in every 500 people.

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Soldiers honored
11:48 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Maine Guard Members Celebrated for Service in Afghanistan

About 180 members of Maine Army National Guard were officially welcomed back home yesterday after a nine-month deployment in Afghanistan.

Members of the 133rd Engineer Battalion, along with the 1035th Survey and Design Team, were celebrated at a Freedom Salute reception at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.

They were also welcomed home by the state's congressional delegation and Gov. Paul LePage, who said the unit made the state proud. They returned home about six weeks ago.

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Ocean debris
4:29 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Group Turns to Drones, Volunteers to Clean Up Trash in Gulf of Maine

Members of The Rozalia Project clean up trash that has accumulated at Rich's Head in the Gulf of Maine.
Credit Courtesy Rachael Miller / The Rozalia Project

You might not think that a plastic water bottle, if tossed into the ocean, could do much harm. but over time, it will eventually break down into an estimated 65,000 pieces of microplastic - tiny pieces that can then be ingested by fish, endangering the fragile ecosystem. A Vermont-based nonprofit has spent much of the summer engaged in a operation to help highlight, and tackle, the problem of ocean debris in the Gulf of Maine.

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Depression's toll
5:15 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Robin Williams Death Highlights Depression's Indiscriminate Toll

Robin Williams in 2011.
Credit Eva Rinaldi / Wikimedia Commons

PORTLAND, Maine - The suicide of actor-comedian Robin Williams this week highlights how indiscriminate depression can be:  It can strike anyone, anywhere.  The actor had been open about his bouts of depression and substance abuse for years, and he recently announced he was returning to a 12-step treatment program.  But depression is often hidden, and with tragic consequences.

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