Born and raised in Maine. Graduate of Edward Little High School. U.S. Navy for 26+ years. Want to move back to Maine if I can afford the taxes on retired veteran's pay.
After two head on collisions in a week and one being fatal, it would be nice to know if these were caused by cell phone use, either talking or texting. This is easily determined at the accident scene by looking at the phone logs in the phone's themselves and can, or should be, reported along with who was injured or killed. The right of the majority driving, cycling, walking along Maine's roads takes precedence over a driver that is endangering the public. People using cell phones are a threat to the common good and the public. I am willing to bet texting and/or cell phone use has injured, maimed and/or killed more people in Maine than guns this year.
Talking is distracting enough because the brain is disengaged from the activity of driving even though the eyes are on the road. Texting takes that danger to the next level. Would any sane person close their eyes for 5 to 10 seconds while driving, often at 45 or more miles per hour? I don't believe so.
Sadly, these are usually Maine's youth doing it. Cell phones are not a necessity, they are a convenience. Nothing more. If it is so important, pull over to use your phone. And the cell phone companies and carriers push this misconceived need like a drug. Buy one get one free. I am single, why do I need two phones? How about half off the one? No deal. Family plans with unlimited texting with family and friends. America, and Maine should lead this battle, needs to address this issue. There is a reason I dislike driving anymore. It was said in the past every few drivers passing you after midnight on Saturday were under the influence of alcohol. Maine took the lead then with harsh mandatory sentencing. Now it is cell phones. People are allowed to take a lethal weapon, a vehicle, propel it at great speeds (closing speed of two cars in a 45 mph zone is 90+ miles per hour) and they are looking at the cell phone and dialing numbers or reading/responding to text messages. Why not get a 15 year old drunk and give him a loaded gun and 100 rounds of ammunition and say the bullets are free for friends and family, but they expire at the end of the night! Have fun!
Make ANY cell phone usage a primary offense for which a law enforcement officer can pull them over and write a ticket. Ask ANY law enforcement officer and they will tell you they prefer to write a ticket than extricate a dead teen from a car.
Those that ignore history are doomed to repeat it! You talk about the bad old days? Well that was before a state income tax, before sales tax and the hundreds of other taxes/fees levied on Mainers now. I am retired and cannot afford to return to Maine. I would have to get a job to pay taxes alone.
You talk about the maladies associated with the old industries in Maine. However, you say nothing about the child slave labor that make your shoes today in China. You do not speak of the lack of occupational hazrds that kill thousands daily in China. You even fail to mention the cadmium plated jewelry, melanine tainted food/baby formula, the poison in the pet foods, the lead paint on baby cribs and toys that China ships to America TODAY! So the good old days are not gone. American companies longed for the good old days so much, they went to China where there are billions of people and the lines are long so if they can kill a thousand a day it means NOTHING to the Chinese government. That does not include the GOVERNMENT MANDATED ABORTIONS! One child per houshold. No brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts or uncles allowed in China. Think of thagt when you buy your next shirt or pair of shoes made in China. Who did you help kill today?
I think America's ignorance and Congressional indifference is getting old, NOT the preservation of Maine and America's history.
I really liked this article. I would like to think that the museum will continue to gather oral and written histories of the industry the has migrated away from Maine and America. 52 faces is so minuscule compared to the hundreds of thousands that passed through the shoe shops and textile mills that will never bustle with machines and people producing the best shoes ever made in America.
As Mr. Silverman so noted, “The shoe industry was not just a place that people worked — it was a foundation for the community,” he said. “We don’t have that today. People work here, they work there. It’s a culture we don’t have.” There is no longer a foundation in Maine. The state and local governments compete and are reduced to begging for industry to come to Maine or not leave. They compete with areas with better climates, greater unemployment (read as lower wages), and states willing to forgive tax burdens for greater periods after start up. THEY DEAL WITH COMPANIES LIKE WALMART THAT TELL AMERICAN MANUFACTURERS THAT TO KEEP A CONTRACT WITH WALMATRT THEY MUST MOVE PRODUCTION TO CHINA. Maine the competition with CHINA over shoes. However, they were losing the battle with Italy in the 1980's when Congressional trade deals were selling American cow hides cheaper to Italians than to American shoe makers. We need to demand a level playing field NOW! Not in ten years, not when CHINA says it is ready. We need to act today to save the last vestiges of industry in America.
These workers were/are proud of what they made. Quality was not the issue. Americans have proven over and over that we can and will compete with the world. Now if only Washington, DC would stop siding with the competition and make the rules fair, Maine and America may be able to get rid of this third world stigma that is hanging over us.
America IS now, by all definitions, a THIRD WORLD NATION. We owe more than we can produce, CHINA being the major holder of that debt. We cannot clothe our own population, but depend on China to clothe us and put shoes on our feet. We cannot feed ourselves without help from other nations including China. When will Washington wake up and realize when the foundation that Mr. Silverman speaks of crumbles, the entire house falls.