Friends of Fort Gorges

Paul Drinan, Ex. Dir., FOGOGO; Tom Handel, Ex. Dir., PMC; cannon casements and galleries: Photo credit Lesley MacVane

Paul Drinan, Ex. Dir., FOGOGO; Tom Handel, Ex. Dir., PMC; cannon casements and galleries: Photo credit Lesley MacVane

The Friends of Fort Gorges (FOFOGO) took board members of the new organization Portland Parks Conservancy out to Fort Gorges, a former United States military fort built on Hog Island Ledge in Casco Bay, to show them what could be a lovely park in the Portland Harbor. Roger Berle, Board President of Friends of Fort Gorge, took the group out in his boat "Freedom". The weather was lovely, and folks were inspired by Paul’s vision. Tom Handel and Lesley MacVane covered the excursion as a Member Highlight for Portland Media Center, so check out our Member Pages to see their promo, this episode, and many many more!

Community Kitchens Goes Green!

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Community Kitchens:

Roger Berle, host of Community Kitchens, welcomed food writer Christine Burns Rudalevige as his guest on the most recent episode. Her book, "Green Plate Special" won the 2017 socially conscious category of the Readable Feast Awards and Honorable Mention for Best Cookbooks of New England. Read the full article here:

She was a delight to work with and her taco dish was amazing! Tune in and see for yourself!

Spring Access Mixer!

Carlos Cuéllar, Catama Productions

Carlos Cuéllar, Catama Productions

Several times a year we bring together Members, Volunteers and Access Producers to mingle, maybe learn something new, and do a little housekeeping. Our Spring Access Mixer is next Wednesday, May 8, 5:30-7. Our guest will be Carlos Cuéllar, owner, director, and producer at Catama Productions. Carlos has been making video and bringing stories to life in the Portland area for many years. He will probably have some juicy stories to tell. Please Join Us!

Donor Focus May 2019: Roger Berle


Roger Berle has been a major donor to PMC for over ten years. But his passion for supporting his community goes back to his parents. His mother was a quiet conservationist and his father raised money for MIT, where he was a student and professor. Roger went to college with an interest in working in the foreign service. His paternal grandparents came from Norway. Roger’s family had spent their summers on Cliff Island since he was a child and he fell in love with the place, and eventually made it his home.

After graduating college with a major in government, Roger went into sales for three years, then worked as a sales manager in a boat yard. Eventually he went to Boston University for his MBA, but was not interested in a desk job. He was a stern man on a lobster boat and then worked in construction.

In the early 1970’s, he was on the City of Portland Charter Review Commission and became interested in Portland City government, bringing the City Manager out to the island to show him the needs of a small, year-round island community, which also happened to be the most remote neighborhood of the City. Roger joined in an Outward Bound experience where he further developed his community leadership skills. He first got involved with philanthropy when he joined the Board of Waynflete.

Roger started his own construction company called Finestkind Excavators, but when the business grew rapidly, it became Finestkind Builders EPD Inc. He made it a regular practice to provide his employees his own baked goods. His interest in culinary arts continues today as the host of PMC’s Community Kitchens.

He has expanded his community activism and philanthropy in the land conservation universe both locally and in state-wide organizations, as well as community media and free speech in his support of PMC. He also supports PMC by volunteering on productions and providing instruction to Board members on fundraising. He is now working on a book with Lesley MacVane about the year round community on Cliff Island called Off Season, Off Shore.

Roger offered this direct comment: "I enthusiastically love and highly value the many ways the average person can benefit from community television.  It truly brings power to the people at street level and offers unlimited opportunity for getting on the air through learning and developing new-found skills and self-confidence. Portland Media Center has dramatically grown its capacity to not only make so much happen right here on Congress Street but to then also connect us directly to the world."

Thank you Roger, for all that you do.

Access Producer for May 2019 Fred Thomas

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Becoming All Things Bike

Fred Thomas, the host of Portland Media Center’s All Things Bike, traveled many miles before becoming the host of Portland’s premiere television series on cycling.  Most of those miles were not on a bicycle.  Fred was born and raised in New York City, but he spent his summers in Maine. Fred majored in English at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and worked in Singapore and Indonesia after graduation. Fred met his wife, Tak, in London and eventually they moved back to the United States; first to Boston then to Maine. Fred started cycling again in 2003, and found that he had not forgotten how to train and race. In 2009, he earned his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) at University of Southern Maine (USM) and found himself at a crossroad: return to the cubicles and corporate life or set up his own company doing something that was close to his heart. The idea of starting a bicycle company won the day and Fred set up Rideable, Inc., a company with interests in re-selling services for cyclists (Frame and Wheel), performance carbon fiber and steel bicycles (A-D Bikes) and on-line and broadcast entertainment (All Things Bike). Meanwhile, Tak had set up her own financial planning and investment company (TAK Advisory) and at one point thought she might host a show about financial planning with PMC. She decided that a talk show format was not suitable for financial planning, but she encouraged Fred to do a show about cycling, and four years later All Things Bike is going strong.  All Things Bike explores the people, organizations and the gear that makes the cycling community roll and has featured bike shop owners, event organizers, legal professionals, entrepreneurs  policy advocates, competitors, youth organizations and athletes as guests. Fred’s hopes for the show includes taping in the field, satellite links to guests in other parts of the country, guest hosts and ultimately national syndication. “We have a long way togo, but so far it has been great fun, excellent networking and great exposure for Frame and Wheel, A-D Bikes and our sponsors,” Fred said. “Only in Portland, Maine will you have the access to such a valuable resource.” Fred added.  “In any other city, you wouldn’t be able to do it…The Portland Media Center is centrally located, the facility is well-equipped and Tom Handel and his team are knowledgeable, supportive and friendly.  If I can host a television show then anyone can do it!” 

If you’d like to produce your own show at PMC, go to FMI.

Volunteer of the Month May 2019: Roy Cogswell

Roy Cogswell

Roy Cogswell

Helping People

Roy Cogswell has been a volunteer at PMC for 12 years. Born and raised in Yarmouth, his interest in public access TV started when cable first came to the area in the 1970’s. Mike Leonard, on staff with the cable provider at the time, gave a class on cameras and an intro to lighting that Roy attended. He then started working as a volunteer at the Yarmouth public access station and subsequently became staff, relied upon to run cameras. The whole studio was automated, and the station mostly covered Yarmouth municipal meetings.

Roy continued working with the Yarmouth station until he moved to Portland in 2005. Soon after, Roy came into our studios and talked to Bill Blood and Arthur Nichols about how he could pitch in on the many activities here at PMC.

He enjoys working with the people here, and he also enjoys learning from the content of the shows he’s worked on.

He’s very psyched about Anne Haskell’s new show, Mainely Veterans, because he’s a veteran himself. He served in the army from 1971-1972, then a year with the National Guard, and after that 3 years in active reserve, a six-year commitment altogether. He specialized in artillery and went on to air defense artillery. He enjoyed the camaraderie of the service. After his military service he became involved as an EMT, first as a volunteer and then “pay per call.” Helping people out was what he enjoyed most about Emergency Medical services, and Roy did that for about 4 years.

His interest in helping people didn’t end there, a fact made obvious by the 12 years of volunteer work he’s accomplished at PMC. He volunteers with studio productions, mostly with graphics but has done audio and camera as well. Roy also volunteered for several terms on our Board of Directors. PMC benefitted greatly from his years of service and we look forward to working with Roy for many years to come.

If you’d like to volunteer at Portland Media Center, go to for more information.