Stories of our connected and rapidly changing region.



Want Free Coffee? Personal Data Is The Way To Pay

Shiru Cafe. Photo by Chaiel Schaffel for RIPR

Shiru Cafe looks like a regular coffee shop. Inside, machines whir, baristas dispense caffeine and customers hammer away on laptops. All of the customers are students, and there’s a reason for that. At Shiru Cafe, no college ID means no caffeine.

Read More

How The Cousins Maine Lobster Food Truck Is Taking A Classic New England Dish Around The Country

Jim Tselikis and Sabin Lomac are no strangers to the Maine lobster bake. They grew up in Maine, and, although they have since moved away, their childhood memories of simple, homemade lobster rolls inspired them to start a business: Cousins Maine Lobster. It all started as a food truck, that served, you guessed it, Maine lobster. Since they opened their first truck out in L.A., they have expanded to over a dozen cities, including Portland, Maine, and a truck that will open in Southern Connecticut in the early fall, as well as opening restaurants around the world, and writing a new book, Cousins Maine Lobster: How One Food Truck Became a Multi-Million-Dollar Business.

Read More

Maine Lobster Industry Deals With New Tariffs From China

Lobsters caught by Spruce Head Fisherman's Coop in South Thomaston, Maine. Photo by Maine Public Radio

Some Maine lobster dealers who have seen sales to China shoot up over the last decade are now suddenly shut out. Late last week, China more than doubled tariffs on lobster from U.S. sources as part of the emerging trade war between the two countries. But the lobster industry as a whole, and lobstermen in particular, are trying to take it all in stride.

Read More

Is Immigration Good For The US Economy?

John Dankosky interviews Mushfiq Mobarak at a live Arts and Ideas Panel. Photo by Judy Rosenthal

One of the biggest political debates about immigration is that it hurts the chances of American-born workers to succeed and damages the U.S. economy. But in New England, where the population is rapidly aging and the young replacement workers needed to sustain the workforce are leaving, immigration might be the answer. In this special live NEXT event we discussed whether or not immigration is good for the regional and national economy. 

Read More