Elizabeth MitchellElizabeth Mitchell: First Woman Speaker and President of the State Senate in Maine:>>

I am very proud of being the first. But I don't want to be the last!

I got my medicare card and went to law school in the same year at the age of 66. In my time women were mostly into nursing and teaching- nothing wrong with that but those were primarily female roles, and women were going into law school but it didn’t cross my mind then. Then when I had an opportunity to do so – I remember someone asking: are you sure you want to go to law school at your age and I said- No…but at my age I can also quit if it’s a mistake! But that’s not my personality. When I started I was determined to finish. I worked part time- went in summers and was only a semsester behind the kids I started with, though many of them are my kids age. But there were older people in the school, and we brought in a different perspective and I think the class was enhanced because of it. And I had been making laws for 20 years- so that was certainly some of the reason behind it.

W are a global economy. I think we would be foolish to argue for something parochial, but we have to be sure that there is an understanding of the values, risk and rewards in something like outsourcing- that we don’t have bad contracts that hurt us- not so much that it is outsourced but that if it is not well done or negotiated correctly.

Could we do more? Yes! But we are also a transitionsing economy. There are no paper mills  that we used to have, manufacturing jobs are changing.. so we are looking at biotechnololy and new kinds of jobs that certainly include manufacturing. We don’t want to be only tourism . So it’s a state in Flux. In the state budget, we are encouraging biotechnoloty, tax benefits and other incentives to encourage investment in the state. But State can only do so much. We can get out of the way, provide regulatory fairness and make sure there are no unneccessary barriers, but that does not mean that our environment can get polluted. A race to the bottom does not serve Maine people well. If we lose the environmental qualities that make people love ME by saying you can pollute the rivers, then we have lost everything and gained nothing. State does not make big businesses. State can partner with people to make that happen.

The state is discussing bio-fuel, wind power, and we encourage green buildings . We are at the forefront of that. There is incentive to people to invest in solar power. But there is a backlash in the state that we are spending too much money without considering that most of our money goes into education and healthcare.

Biggest issues for the state of Maine: Jobs! Creating good jobs that pay decent wages- not the minimum wage jobs- too many people I know are working two to three jobs with no benefits and no opportunity to get out. So good paying jobs while maintaining the quality of life and specialness that’s Maine. 

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Noel BonamNoel Bonam: Director for the Office of Multi-cultural Affairs: >>

Every-thing in my life has happened not because I planned it that way- but because opportunity came and I was open to it.

Lots of people think that refugees just pick up their bag and come to America because it’s a land of opportunity. People don’t realize that refugees often don’t have a choice as to where they are going to go. Sometimes they don’t want to be where they are but they don’t have a choice. They are resettled by the UN commission for refugees. Usually it’s a place which doesn't feel or look like the place they come from. People speak different. People eat different. People interact differently. Everything is different. So community also has a responsibility to educate itself. We have a responsibility as a state because we see value in diversity– bringing in people from all kinds of backgrounds. Hopefully, Maine will not be the least diverse state in the country anymore.

I do believe in kismet. Absolutely do. Kismet and Karma and all that.
I am the director for the office of multicultural affairs. Everything in my life has happened not because I planned it that way- but because opportunity came and I was open to it. And the other thing is my involvement with community in a sincere way- looking at things in a way that I can do this to make a difference in the community. Wherever I have spent a substantial amount of time I have always got involved with the community I was living in. And building relationships- I am always consistently building or maintaining  relationships- working with the many communities through innovative ways.

There couldn’t be a time more critical than now for us to build a community. We need to make it a priority for our kids. One of the reasons why our kids don’t have a sense of community is because we as adults don’t have a sense of community too. We haven’t defined for ourselves what community means to us? The people around us or the society I live in – or my friends- or my family- what is community? For a lot of people they don’t have a community to begin with – and when they do they don’t define it as a community. And because we don’t we will be raising our kids in an environment where they will be selfish and feel like they don’t need the community. But we all do. There’s nothing more dangerous than having an individual in a community feel like he or she has no stake in that community because that not only stops them from being constructive it also prompts them to be destructive. And if we don;’t start working on that today- our kids will grow up like those individuals where they don’t feel like they belong or they don’t care what happens.

For the 1st time in the history of the state Maine has made a hige commitment to making Maine a diverse place and to support diversity. They have created  the bureau to support the minority communities. I think it was created more as a pro-active strategy. It wasn’t any major event that prompted it. And the numbers are small enough where you can start to build.

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Hannah PingreeHannah Pingree: Current Speaker of House and Former House Majority Leader in Maine: >>

That’s been very important for me in my life- To know the people around you- the community- Its had a huge impact on me even the way I look at politics.

Growing up on a small island, I grew much more aware of being accountable to your neighbors. And things wouldn’t function in a community unless people got involved – you are supposed to show up at a town meeting, and pay attention and vote- that’s what everybody did. And my parents volunteered for the ambulance core and they were on the school board – my mom helped start the newspaper…So if you want to get something done- you got to do it yourself. So if you live in a small town people have to step up and figure out how to get things done.

And when I went to college I felt like I had a much greater grounding than many of the people I went to college with. I felt drawn to my hometown while many others didn’t have that sense of being drawn to a community they felt part of. They had great lives but didn’t have anywhere near the sense of community that I had. They didn’t know their neighbors. When you go to school in a small town- you go with people with all social classes. They are all friends with each other. You hang out with senior citizens and ride the ferry with small kids. So all thrown together. While others from wealthier cities did not have those interactions with others. I think its important even in politics that you have a sense of different people’s lives- relate with different kinds of people. Some of my friends had never experienced that. They didn’t have that same sense of belonging. I always felt like public service is important.

Compared to Washington DC, Republicans and Democrats in ME make a lot of effort to get along and do things toether. It takes a conscious effort that I won’t say things in the paper about you or we would sit down and compromise on things so we can actually get things done. There were things in the budget that Republicans wanted and things that Democrats wanted and I think it made for a much better document in the end. I am liberal on social issues but I think I am fairly moderate on things like taxes and economy.

I think economic development and jobs is the most important thing for ME. How we continue to transition the state that people have good paying jobs and young people would move back here. Helping kids pay for education, helping senior citizens pay for healthcare- those things make sense.

Maine is a great state because we have publicly financed elections. Compared with a lot of other states there is not a lot of money involved. I didn’t raise any money when I ran. I had to collect 50 $5 checks and I had to turn them in that qualified me to run. I had 5000 dollars to run- enough to make some signs, arrange for transportation and so all. It’s a great state to run. In fact I spent two years fuind raising for my mom’s US Senate race. That was a lot of fund raising. We had to raise 4 million dollars for that race. She didn’t win! (Chellie Pingree did win a seat recently and is currently in the US Congress.) That was a lot of money. That’s ridiculous.  Our system is far better. We are only one of 3 states that have clean elections. That makes a difference. When I recruit people for office I can tell them you don’t have to raise too much money, don’t have to know many rich people- you just have to go meet people and knock on doors.

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Elizabeth Szatkowsky Eliza­beth Szat­kow­sky with daugh­ters: Direc­tor, Youth Alter­na­tives. >>

"People have the power to change themselves and to make a difference in the wider world"

A school's reason for existence must be to transform and broaden the mind. It should provide a place where people realize that they have the power to change themselves and to make a difference in the wider world.

We have this fake expectation that everybody can succeed in US, and we actually blame people when they don’t. We don’t take into account people’s background, their education, and the money that’s passed on from generation to generation and how that buys people things that other people don’t have any opportunity for.

I had always heard about 3rd world povertyI-You haven’’t seen what poverty is until you see 3rd world poverty! So I went to see what 3rd world poverty looks. I had experience with poverty and then in W. Virginia--I saw lots of poverty there too. And I said, I got to see this, because it’s going to be different--so I ended up going to Kenya.

It was a different sense of how to have community. You were a worth while person even if you were really poor. Your worth wasn’t based on that. They really valued singing -ability to tell jokes, knew many languages-You know, these people didn’t have a school, yet could speak in English--at least some English. They just valued things that weren’t so materialistic. Not to say that they weren’t materialistic at all--everybody would like a new scarf or something like that, but-that wasn’t the bulk of their life as I see in the United states.

Poverty is relative. If you live in a place where the standard is that there’s no running water, well, you don’t go on wishing that you had running water. We don’t have that many pockets in the United States where people could be living where they wanted to be living without being told-you’re poor. You’re poor!It made me see that people in United States have a much lower self esteem and it’s harder to make things happen when you don’t have hope. Well, in the village, people knew how to farm, had skills which could keep them alive-well, in United States people don’t have the skills that could keep them alive in this culture. We live in a class system in US and we just don’t talk about it. We have this fake expectation that everybody can succeed in US, and we actually blame people when they don’t succeed. We don’t take into account people’s background, their education, and the money that’s passed on from generation to generation, and we also as a culture really try to hide the fact that this country is built on slavery, and we think that we have this great country, and everybody is equal and we have democracy-and we are the leaders in the world-and yet everything was built on forced, free labor. So, we perpetuate all these stereotypes…

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Alice James and sons Alice James with sons Jeff and Mike: Activist & Author>>

"We must develop Empathy. It's the missing link!"

There was a sign up somewhere--a Bosnian refugee needed a translator who could speak French to help with paperwork. So I met this guy--an Albanian from Kosovo. He told me about the place. No UNICFEF allowed. Expelled all their obstetricians. Untreated Ebola Virus. What was on Television at that time was Sarajevo. While this was going on Serbs were setting up this other situation behind them. Isolate them. Cut off their ears, their noses--They kept saying Sarajevo today--tomorrow you. I stayed in Kosovo for a week. Embedded myself in a group of 7th graders and took pictures for a week. They found us on the 3rd or 4th day and started shadowing us. When I got back--the State Department called and asked if I could bring my pictures because no one had seen Kosovo! A 100 people came from all over the place: Democracy Institute, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty , Foreign Affairs committee…I showed the pictures, described the conditions, and made this movie from the slides and video I found in a Box--of when Serbs came into Kosovo five years ago--this compilation of horror.

The children were allowed elementary schools but not high schools. So they tried to invent high schools in homes--in one home they had 500 kids in two shifts of 250 a day. There were no materials--nothing. And then the Serbs began attacking the schools--tear gassing the kids. So then I started bringing kids, in 94.

My book ‘Soldier Mom’ was about the 1st Iraq war. It is so eerie to the second one--same names keep popping up-- and with the National guard never expected to leave their homeland deployed in combat situation. So its about a young girl who was left behind--her parents were given a 36 hour notice--not now--there was a law passed after that--so terrible for kids who were left behind!

It got negative reviews--went from 5 star reviews to 1 star. They said--this book is anti--American! It should be banned! Its now come back to being an “Okay” book. But its even more critical that it be read today--parents are going on double triple combat --Horrible ! Both parents Oh! Thousands of them and then coming home maimed, mutilated, not being treated! Its a huge issue!

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Gail DuffeyGail Duffey: One of the 1st few Woman VP's in a Fortune 500. >>

"Lot of people don't do well at their jobs because they're not willing to make a decision. They don't want to be held accountable."

I think I was good at organizing efficiently and motivating people. And I was willing to make decisions! It's funny-when I would go into a new position and people who had been in the department much longer than I and knew their job better than I did, would still come to me asking me to make decisions!

For a long time women were not in management. And I can't believe it happened when I think about it-when they made a ‘decision’that they were going to promote some women into management. They made this big deal and even the president of the company came and pinned a corsage on us! Must have been in the early 70s that they made this big deal about promoting women into management that they came around and pinned corsages on us! It was awful when I think about it now!

If we hadn't support of our relatives, we might have all ended up pregnant like my mother at 15-who knows! Family is very important to a marriage. Grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles--They are very important for the children.

One of the things I have noticed when you read about these Athletes-especially Black athletes-they place a lot of value on their Mothers. Have you ever read those articles about these successful people and they always say-"I couldn't have done it without my Mother!" So apparently there are these very strong Black mothers and I wonder where they got their mothering skills? It must be in their community-church or something-because there are so many households just run by Mothers.

I think marriages are more equal now than they were in my time. I definitely feel that a woman should have an equal voice in the household. People's likes and dislikes should be taken into consideration and you should get to a compromiseget compromise--Marriage should not be a dictatorial thing!

I think a lot of people in society do not feel that they have any value--they have lost hope. And I think that because of politics and all, we just aren't doing the right thing for people. These homeless people you should give them a job and let them earn their keep no matter how small the job, so people would feel that they have value. They weren't just being given charity!

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Mike McCarthy, King Middle School PrincipalMike McCarthy: Middle School Principal of the Year, 2010. Prin­cipal, King Middle School, 1988-present. Follow­ing "Out­ward Bound Expe­di­tion­ary Model." 1 of 9 pilot schools in US. >>

The transformation at King, from 1988 to today is amazing. We have great staff. We deliberate about the culture- deliberate about how we hire- it has to be a match. Have to be able to teach with a very open mind- that has to be part of the change. 60% of our kids are on a federal free lunch program. We speak 31 languages- refugees, stressful homes- so it’s a recipe for disaster– but if you look around kids open doors for you- they speak to people- look them in the eye. Last June we got our test scrores back. If you compare the demographics of King with the demographics with the rest of the state it is very stark. There is about 1% diversity in the state of ME and we are 31%. Free lunch (for children of families who are not able to afford) in 20% of the state-its 60% here. We scored better than the average in the curriculum area in every subject at every grade level and within the city we compared better than the other schools also.

So I can not only talk about the positive culture at King but also the academics- because sometimes you can have a happy bunch of idiots! The culture is- It is really valued to be smart, to be good- to do your work- its not valued to goof off because so much is field work and you got to work together and you have to do your piece otherwise the final product is not going to be as good. And the interesting part is because it is so active it engages a lot of different learners. Now we get about 1200 visitors a year from all over the world. People from India, Australia, Ireland, Sweden, Ghana, China, Thailand… so it’s great for the kids.

One of my links that brings me here at this school and what I have done here was my student teaching. I taught in a maximum security prison in NH in the afternoons and in the morning I taught in a rural HS. I was there at the prison for about 5 or 6 months. My job was to teach them Math and get them ready for their GED. I talked a lot to them aabout how their school life had been. And almost all of them had some kind of a label- they had behaviour problems. They had special needs- they were all dropouts. They were like the lowest readers in elementary schools. Instead of group1, group2 and group 3 innovative teachers called them cardinals, bluebirds and crows! And you knew who the crows were.

So these guys were losers in middle schools and drop outs in HS. It was really sad that an institution like a school had contributed to them having this life and their poverty and things like that. After college, I taught 7th 8th grade math at a middle school in MA and the most painful thing about it was the academic stratification which was mirrored by class. It wasn’t hard to figure out that the kids who didn’t have the really good clothes belonged to the lower divisions. Since I had come out of the prison- I had N and O divisions- who referred to themselves as the zero division and R who referred to themselves as the Retards. I was like- why do you do this? Don’t you realize how kids feel in this class?

When I came to this school 19 years ago- it was being run like two schools- one for the haves and one for the have-nots. Lots of student violence and racial put downs. There were 7 ability groups- from highly gifted to emotionally disturbed. Lots of special eds- and pull outs- those kids never got into the mainstream. When I decided to initiate change, I had a very hostile reaction. I was very unpopular. Very very unpopular. Parents were having secret meetings about me- how to get rid of me. Teachers were going to those meetings. There were petitions. Lots of union grievances against me. I have never had a grievance in 15 years at this point. But then- it was very negative.

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Dr. Donald Hankinson Dr. Donald Hankinson: Osteopath, "Do what you love." >>

On Choosing MD vs DO and varying practice systems of Medicine

 

I tell young people the same thing no matter what profession they’re thinking about. That if they’re thinking about Medicine or Business or Food Preparation- or Art: Choose what you love. Start with that something that ignites something inside of you. Hitch your star to the thing that would give you the most happiness. That would fill you on a mental, emotional and spiritual level- as opposed to deciding how can I assure myself of the best living in the biggest house and deciding about how to suit yourself to something in that profession. As far as the prestige and all those things some people are dissatisfied with the fact that today it’s 13 below zero, and there are other people who are just as distressed when it’s 90 degrees and 90 percent humidity. Sometimes you’ve a picnic planned and it rains. You pick where your heart and soul are and therest of it will take care of itself. I’ve been so blessed- I just love what I do. I teach which I love to do. I practice what I love to do.

 

I am a DO. When I do primary care-  If I had a MD equivalent- same patient comes with an asthma-he will ask some of those questions about lifestyle- and all he really has to offer them other then some advice- is give them the broncho- dialater or steroids that they may need.  I might do those things as well but I am also going to put my hands on the person.  If there is a problem with the motion of the ribs,  the diaphragm- things that could affect the breathing system that would maybe decrease the amount of  medication and maybe sometimes prevent to leading it-  So I would be able to diagnose some things that he wouldn’t and be able to treat them in a way that he wouldn’t.  So it’s like having an MD+. It’s more systemic, not symptomatic. It’s more in keeping with the Eastern philosophy that most speaks to me. I use the whole spectrum of what is available- from medication to surgery, to all the natural therapies, whether it be nutrition and diet, or osteopathic treatment or herbal remedies, and homeopathic remedies or referrals for acupuncture or psychological counseling, all those sorts of things including all the modern medicine. The difference is not in the therapy that I give you, the difference is in the way I apply it. 

They have the semblance, I’d say the illusion of having everything neat and clean. If you were to look at basic science right now- Physics- they have come out with a new article about the basic particles of the universe. When I was growing up they discovered the atom. They finally found the ultimate particle. That’s what science is trying to do. To say: we’ve got it. We know exactly what’s going on. So, since then we have electrons, neutrons and quarks and proto quarks and up and down quarks. Science is in a permanent state of adolescence, where every time they discover something it is like the final answer. SO, we now have the ultimate seven particles of the universe. That’s one of the stories I tell about science. So, here’s the ultimate particles. Only one is the up quark and one is the down quark and some of them they have only seen experimentally, and one of them the Higgs- bosun has never even been proven experimentally. They’ve never seen it. They can’t even prove that it exists. But they’re saying it is one of the seven ultimate particles. That’s the scientific model. Physicist have gone over to Philosophers because they’ve discovered things about time that they can’t- they’ve no philosophical construct to put the information into. They’re finding things about the fact that you can do an experiment now that affects the past- light beams coming from the sun, a distant star, and experimentally you make a decision now and you change the way that light arrives on the earth even though that star died before the earth was created. So, they are starting to get info like that that they can’t undertand. So, they’re going back to philosophers. So, what I'm saying is that science- comparing these two systems is like- science is written in stone , truth, solid principles, immutable, never changes, every single time you go to it is exactly going to be the same and straight line from here to the future, and holistic world is experience and things that are constantly changing and you constantly have to be adjusting you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get- though if you really look at it- there’s not that much difference.

 

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Ken KuninKen Kunin with daugh­ter: Principal, Deering High School >>

"Even if kids have mis-steps along the way any positive experiences they have will always remain with them."

 

Previous to here, I have taught a wide range of kids- kids who have been severely abused- emotional, physical or sexual abuse and kids who have developmental challenges. There is a lot of anger in these kids who have had a difficult time negotiating the world- have had difficulty learning. A hundred of those kids is like 1200 of kids here.

At the elementary public school here, where we had many poor kids and many immigrant refugee kids, we took on dental care because there was such a high correlation between kids with poor dental care and kids who were missing school because of other illnesses, not just toothaches.

Here at the high school, we have 220 students whose primary home language is not English. We have kids reading at 2nd, 3rd grade level, who are expected to be mainstreamed. And for a 12th grader to sit in 9th grade English, they can do that- but how motivating is that for a 18-19 year old with broad life experience and challenges and struggles well beyond what a ninth grader will have coming in? So some online learning will be the direction we will be going in the next couple of years. Maybe, if a student is proficient in Arabic, why not take an online math class in Arabic? But there is great cost to some of these things.

In some sense schools here in US do take on that broader youth development missing in some other countries. You can't have kids play sports with clubs and all, like in Europe, particularly in rural areas. Here, the school is the
hub and the community for many children. If we could run some of our classes like say, football, where you have assessment every week- and you watch film to see how you did and come back and practice based on this assessment- well, that’s good stuff in terms of learning! I see tremendous value for kids to be involved in team sports and if you talk to students it is some of their stronger experiences. Also, kids who participate in more teams tend to be better students.

We did a student faculty exchange recently- where we trained students as facilitators who came in during staff development time and worked with groups of staff - what it means to be respected- how staff feels respected- how students feel respected- and what are some of the challenges
We use student facilitators for dialogs between students also- to address issues and conflicts based on the model developed by the Center for prevention of Hate Violence.

Drugs and alcohol is certainly a huge issue here at Deering, though kids are a bit more wary today that adults in their lives are more aware and concerned. So, if they do it- parents or school or police might catch them. That has started to push down some level of use - but there is a long way to go. Suspension for harassment, bullying , drugs- whether or not it changes that individual's behavior, it does change the climate of the school. And students care about it because school is their social place to be.

Its not up to the school to stop everything- but its up to the school to make its values clear to say how it feels about a particular issue- racist ideology or drugs or anti-Semiticism... I went to a small high school where focus was on building relationships and connections in a real way and that’s why it doesn’t happen in a small high
school. But, its not fail safe.

We need people to have a pause between impulse and action. And in that pause there is a circle of caring, and of interaction that's worth belonging to. That won't stop all horrible things. It won't stop all suicides…all homicides. But we would do a heck of a lot better with it than without it.
Schools are fragile. You build the culture and you build the community but you’re never done.

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John RichardsonJohn Richardson: Com­mis­sion­er of the Depart­ment for Econ­omic and Com­mun­ity De­vel­op­ment, State of Maine >>

"It's going to be innovation that's going to level the playing field to a great deal- and technology- that has low impact on environment. In many respects, we are trying to transform ourselves into a Green Economy."

Primarily the jobs of the future- the jobs that are coming our way are high tech industries. We have a public private partnership, that's under my deparment called MTI - Maine Technology Institute - just about every success story that you can think of in Maine - every single MTI company has been a success story for Maine. The job growth rate of MTI companies is 6 times that of companies that exist traditionally in Maine. Per capita income in Maine is 30000 dollars. Amount averages in an MTI company is 48000.

Obviously, its about innovation, its about technology and its about the ability to export a product and add value. In many respects we are trying to transform ourselves into this green economy. When we talk of tech jobs- they are high tech but they have low impact on the environment.

People here are humble. People are quiet and humble and don't want to brag about themselves. We are modest people and we don't brag about ourselves. But we have a lot to brag about and that is my job.

We don't really have high taxes, what we have are low incomes. When we add that on a per capita basis, they say, vow, our taxes are too high. Answer is we are investing. Although we have higher taxes then people will like we have to maintain this opportunity to invest in Maine , meaning we have to continue to take the money we have and invest in our research and develooment we have- in university, in education system, and into our businesses, so some of the benefits what we are seeing, our per capita incomes are going up. If per capita incomes conitnue to go up, we don't have a tax problem here.

New York, Maryland tax more than here, but they earn more. Why do they earn more? Perhaps they have attained higher educational levels. At one time we were 34th in per capita income, and 34th in terms of people who had 4 year degrees. I think there is a direct correlation between the education one receives and the amount of money you receive for that.

Taxes is not the issue that drives businesses to come here or to stay here. That is a consideration, no doubt about it, but its not a consideration at the top. The real consideration is do you have the educated work force necessary? Are you close to urban centers? Do you have community development people are looking for? I think its going to be innovation that's going to level the playing field to a great deal- and technology.

The factor is innovation. Its driving the technology - driving the economy- so don't think you can outsource to China,. Thats a zero sum game. They are nearing in bigger cities like Shanghais to standard of living that exists elsewhere in the world. So its not like they are always going to be a ready source of cheap labour to provide products throughout the world. So if that's the model you follow, then that model essentialy begins to evaporate over time.

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Maine Maine at a Cross­roads: Finding Balance. Biggest Business: Tourism — Tax or Not to Tax? >>

Maine at a Crossroads: Finding Balance

Climate for big business or Not to Climate for Big Business?
Development vs Environment Or Development With Environment?

Pat Eltman
Pat Eltman: Director of Tourism,
State of Maine. >>

"There’s no place more beautiful than Maine. I’m sure you will agree to that. We compete against some world class destinations- Disneyworld... Grand Canyon... I’d stand anything up to any of that. This is a beautiful place."

Tourism is the number One Economic engine in the state of Maine. It is a thirteen billion dollar industry and it has about 189000 jobs attributed to it as an industry. So it’s the biggest economic engine that we have. We may have changed a lot in the last 20 years, you know- these are the jobs of the future- We are also trying to package tourism as an industry. I always use boats- Maine built boats- as an industry. Its a good example. They sell boats. You can actually see a Maine built boat when you look at it. Its hard to see tourism as an industry- because its experience you’re selling- the complete tourism experience- which is what we sell people. There’s no place more beautiful than ME- I’m sure you will agree to that

You know what Bill Clinton’s biggest gift is- he’s interested in everything. He wants to know everything there is to know. I remember my big example is- when last year he came and campaigned for the governor- and we were at the Marriott in S.Portland, and I am on the board of the boys and girls club- and the youth of the year- was from Somalia and his name was Omar Mohammed-  and he was a junior in Portland or a sophomore- and it’s a pretty serious application process to be voted youth of the year for the boys club so its serious competition. There’re 25 000 kids in the state- Omar was from our club in Portland and he was the youth of the year- so I brought him – well I thought it would be great for Omar to meet Senator Mitchel and Bill Clinton and the governor, so I brought Omar Mohammed to the Marriott as my guest, and I was incharge of the photo line so I was bringing every body through to meet the president and governor and the Senator- and it was Omar’s turn so I went up to the President- whom I knew because I had worked for him a few times- and I said President- this is Omar Mohammed and he is the youth of the year for the greater Portland boys and girls club- well, my god, he talked to him for 20 minutes! He had gone to the boys and girls club in Little Rock and he went on and on with this little kid and he wanted to know everything – tell me where you’re from and this and that and this and that- I mean he’s just a genuine... he cares. And he's just hungry for knowledge- wants to know everything- it’s a big thing- its important to people. John Baldacci- our current governor is a working man. He comes from a retail background, you know. And he’s a what we call a retail politician- a very personal guy- who gets his energy from people.

I am not a big box fan, like Home Depots or the Walmarts. But I’ll tell you, people need jobs and Walmart is the biggest employer here. People need to work. And they need to work for more than money. They need to work for self esteem and Joe Brennan who was a governor here for many years said that the best  human services program is a job. He was right and I’ve never forgotten that. Because it was true. Because people need to feel that they contribute to society. They do. Most people want to. There’s a great ME work ethic here. People in the state were brought up to work. People work hard here. They do stuff. Just different, you know- diff jobs now- I know there’s people in the tourism industry who work their asses off- Most of them are small innkeepers- that cook clean do the books go to the bank- I mean they do everything- they work very hard- this industry is run by their integrity and hard work. And 93% of businesses in ME are small business. The economic engine in this state is small business. No question.

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Ashok NalamalapuAshok Nalamalapu: At the head of i-CST

"Outsourcing does impact the local economy, and the fear is realistic, but at the same time America does want to remain competitive in the world- so there are no options, except for America to once again reinvent itself- to define that next thing, that new way, as it always has done."

My father was a good role model. Made me understand the value of hard work. My father- its a good story- He found a piece of money on the street. Bought a goat, sold it, bought a cow, sold it, bought a truck, then a bus, then sold all of it and started a hotel. He was a businessman. So I probably have those business qualities from him.

I am fortunate to be living here in this country, otherwise I would not have been where I am now in terms of knowledge and my self growth. This country has given me freedom where I can grow myself with my talent and performance- thats the great thing about America- Freedom. Freedom.

90% of our business is here in US. 90% of our revenues are spent in the US. Unlike many other companies we don't bring people to US from India, but we do send work to India. I didn't realize the impact when I was doing offshore development - but now I realize that sooner or later it was going to impact ICST as well, because now a lot of companies are laying off their employees and instead outsourcing to other companies. So it is impacting and that's why I hear not many people are interested in getting into Computer Science in the US - the jobs are going to go away. This is a real issue for Americans. But America can always reinvent itself and define what is the next thing- the new way- and that is going to happen. It's a bad thing in one way and good thing in another way. Its the global economy whether you like it or not its the reality. America wants to be competitive and sell to other countries at reasonable cost- we have to find ways in which to be competitive- lower rates and costs. So there's no option here.

The whole way of our living is changing. Technology is great, but more we are losing our values an spirituality. Becoming more materialistic - there's more self centeredness, there's more greed. If we could go back to our core values- spirituality- then we could find peace and happiness. Now we may be rich but we are struggling with wars and constant pressures in the world.

Growing business, being in the middle of people- all these things were important to me. Now I feel differently. Becoming a better person and taking care of other people- that is more important to me now. Believing in God and realization of self and Yoga and meditation - those are more important for me now.

God is in you. He's in me. God is everywhere. I am Hindu- but my analysis and conclusion is that all religions have similar basis and foundations. There are many paths to the mountain or the ocean- or whatever you want to call it- for me there's one. But I am like an infant at this point- I would like to explore more- Who is God? You can be religious- does npt mean that you are spiritual. I have been askingmyself as to how do you separate religion from spirituality. What does spirituality really mean? What is reality? What is soul?

In a way community is more here- but its only for occasions- like people would come and give money here like nowhere else in the world. So they would come together for a cause- like if someone in their family died from cancer- they would support cancer research. But in general, there is more desire to help fellow Indians in India . Here we are raised including my daughters in being independent. And that goes extreme towards selfishness.

Iraq: Swami Vivekananda said a hundred years ago: 'by killing the evil in this world are you adding more evil or eliminating more evil?'

David ClucheyDavid Cluchey: Professor, International Trade Law

"Outsourcing is just trade- on a global scale. America is still a net exporter of services to the world and jobs that are going to India, most probably we don't want, because they're not as well paid. The future for America is in high end creative work."

 

I joined VISTA- volunteers in the service of America. Domestic Peace Core. It was a one year commitment. No guarantee you wouldn't go to Vietnam. But once they put me in Alaska they put me in deferment. I knew Russian- so I was sent to Kodiak island in Alaska. No one spoke Russian there.

Federal money ha been allotted to build a road to a king crab fishing vessel in the bay from the village. The crabs and been overfished, and the ship had left 2 years ago, but no one cared. I phoned and let the govt know, but the money was there so we were told to go ahead and build a road. I was 22. With a surplus bulldozer and a dumptruck I built an airstrip to land a plane and a road to the bay. Also built a garbage dump. Had first hand experience of govt ineptitude. I watched more waste and absurdity than I was aware existed in the world. It conditioned my views of govt- with my experience of the road to nowhere. Nobody cared. Noone looked at it. But dept of labor kept their money.

America’s profligacy works because of all the inflow of cash from China and Saudi Arabia and elsewhere- because it is one of the stablest economies in the last 200 years. But Chinese are getting smarter. They are diversifying. Euro is building.

Trade and politics are hard to separate- around the world. Arms or wheat- trade is trade. We don’t outsource as much as people think. It's a new economy.  Different kinds of jobs. The blue collar would be serving the new creative top niches. Its trade on a global scale.

China has aleady emerged. India is seen by many as having as much or more potential than China in terms of trade so long as its govt allows that potential to be realized. One of my former students went to India to get his LLM there. He was advised by a fairly senior lawyer to go there. He said: Its where the action is going to be. India has better education base and infrastructure- it should be able to do better at the high end- technology industries, engineers and all that.

Jobs that are going to India- most we probably don't want- because they are not well paid jobs. They are lower level service jobs and that's fine. The future is in high end creative work. That's what you want the economy to be focused on.

I tell this to my kids- you are either going to be part of the global economy or you are going to be serving the kids who are. And sure enough, more than half of Americans will be serving those who are part of the global economy. And those service jobs won't go anywhere because they will need to be here from cleaning houses to running MacDonalds to fixing cars -there are always going to be those jobs.

Anant AhluwaliaAnant Ahluwalia & Family: From New Delhi to living in Maine
Man­ag­ing IT Oper­a­tions for one of the largest grocery chains in US

Anant Ahluwalia with Family: From New Delhi to living in Maine
Managing IT Operations for one of the largest grocery chains in US

Never felt like I was a minority in India. That whole awareness came when I came to the US. Now when I look back- I go: Jeez! Was I a minority!  Part of being in India is that people are very open asking about your religious beliefs. They are very overt about it. Growing up here people are very particular Not to! So you get more of a feeling of being a minority . They have the questions- but they don't question.

 

The world is getting smaller so the more exposure kids have to global outlooks- the better success they are going to have in their ability to make decisions. Where they end up who knows? Could be China, could be Korea... If they have the confidence to make the right choices I think that's more important. And education provides that.

Those components are no longer being taught in schools in the US. I mean Cobol and mainframes are a dead technology or a declining platform. So while we transition from those older technologies to newer technologies - for the older ones we are finding partners- who can- what we call- keep the lights On. Its a great avenue- We are able to leverage into a pool of talented folks outside of our walls who are able to keep the lights On. While our internal partners, or internal associates are providing the higher value in staying aligned with what our customer needs. So thats what outsourcing is what Hannaford.

Outsourcing is not taking jobs away. It is shifting the type of jobs a person did. So, somebody who was a programmer is now becoming a system's analyst. Somebody who was a system's analyst is now becomning a business process consultant, somebody who was a business process consultant is becoming a strategy consultant. If you measure one component- are we losing programmers jobs- the answer is yes. Are we building more business consultants and hiring them out to companies like in India? Yes. Net net where does we fall out, I haven't done any analysis, but I'm pretty positive overall it is a very positive thing. We are maintaining and retaining the edge that United States has always had.

One of the good things about places like US is we adapt so quickly. Innovation is what the US has been known for. I think we breed innovation.

I think in infrastructure readiness- in infrastructure I put rules regulations, readines, control, organization, growth for the long term, all these are embedded in our culture. That's how we are brought up in the US. Other countries like India have no concept of what infrastructure takes. You don't just put up a building and say jees, where are all these people going to park, drive to work and all that- they don't think of that! We are way ahead of that. So we can not only adapt, we can adapt for the long term. Organizations that don't have that infrastructure in place, just can't do it. That is the strength we bring. How do you provide the training and the ability to execute because we have robust procedures. They don't follow them. They have procedures, but the implementation doesn't happen.

In US as opportunities become more available in and around the globe, we are going to move to other parts of the world. and that where I come back to my own kids. The more I can provide them the confidence to travel, the more they become aware of the global environment , the more they are likely to be successful in the economy in the future.

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Lenny Shedletsky Lenny Shedletsky: Professor, Communications

"To have a good discussion in a classroom, people have to be able to speak their mind and to communicate in person, because then you can kick it around.  Have a chance to argue and to respond. Interestingly, students who are paralyzed by fear to take a position in class, spout forth on the internet, because they say- that then they don't have to face rejection in person! From an individualistic society, we are becoming one that is now even afraid to act or to think as an individual."

I do think students have changed. I think there’s been an increasing- What I would call a disrespect for education. What we have in this culture- turned education like everything else into a commodity- its for sale. Having done that long enough people are now defining education that way- they approach it that way. I find it upsetting when I see that. I think the word is out that education is a ticket to a job. And that’s all. And very few people are going to fight that fight. It used to be that words about economy sometime entered the rhetoric, now its advertised that you come here and you get a good job. And I understand that- people need to get a job, need to make a living, ned to pay the bill, but that has taken over- has taken over this other thing called education.

I think we’ve gone politically correct happy. It’s ironic too, that country that prides itself on its free speech- you’re not allowed to say Merry Christmas, you know- you’re not allowed to say a lot of things- and its weird- because in the classroom what would make for a good discussion is if people were to say what they think, even if others don’t want to hear it. Because if they don’t say it, you don’t have a chance to argue against it, you know. Otherwise, they are going to think those things anyway, and you won’t have a chance to respond. So, on the one hand we’re repressing what people say, we’ve turned speech into a criminal act, I think. On the other hand, in the classroom you’re pulling teeth to get people to say- the other thing is- what I’m realizing is that it’s very important to get people to take a position. Take the goddamned position- and take the chance of somebody saying you’re stupid, you’re wrong. The fear of being seen as stupid or wrong is enormous in the classroom. It’s enormous. It keeps people paralyzed. The same students however, can get on the internet- with the teacher and with the other students- and say what they think.  And you look at them and you think- but your name is attached to what you are saying...

Organized religion plays very little role in my life. I’ve pretty much given up on it. I have seen too much hypocrisy and haven’t seen enough insight that I have found to be genuine. I would rather approach religious issue, ethical issues, outside of religion- organized formal religion at this point of my life. On the other hand, religion plays a major part in my life. Being a Jew, it’s not just a matter of following rules, eating kosher food, and things like that. It’s a cultural identity. Part of who I am. It gives me an other identity in this world, I think. I am very comfortable with that. I like the identity.

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Jeremiah Conway Jeremiah Conway: Professor of Philosophy >>

Jeremiah Conway: Professor of Philosophy

The word Religion comes from- Re- again, and lego- a binding back to the source. And Philosophy is love of wisdom. So I see them as fairly similar pursuits. Both cases you don't stop looking to rebind yourself to the source. I have again read more seriously the Bible and the New Testament and texts of Buddhism, and there is no question in my mind that these are very powerful philosophical minds at work. It's hard to read those texts and not see minds that are remarkable- searching, questioning, disagreeing with maps that they find themselves within.

My parents wanted to expose us to things otherwise we kids won't see. So, they took us down South- in the late 50s- I was quite shocked. You would see segregated bathrooms and water fountains, stuff like that. They made it a point to show us that. They also stayed at an integrated hotel in Florida. And at that time, I will never forget it - they had marching bands all across the US- and they had a big competition in Florida. This was accidental, we didn't go there to see this- but some of the marching bands were staying at the hotel we were staying at - and many of the band players were Black. When they weren't allowed in the pool- my parents left. Which at that time left a great impression.

I think we talk an awful lot in the society about the value of freedom- which plays a lot into what we call the individualism- I will do what I like and I think as a society we don't spend a lot of time on what are our other values, other than individual freedom - and I think there are a lot of competing values. If you want a good society - you want to factor them in as well. For instance, we talk about the freedom of press- and all that - but then as a parent raising kids in that society- I felt like- my god! WHat are my kids exposed to at such an early age and a sense of this is not good for them. I had a sense of kids being preyed upon and freedom used to justify that! Music- television- it is so sexually explicit- You can't take 10 and 12 year old boys- show them MTV and have them gain any respect for women. Its not going to happen. So we espouse freedom in US without thinking what it has to balanced with.

It seems to me that on some profound level- Buddha was philosophising, Jesus was philosophising, Moses was philosophising. Unfortunately what happens with religion is that it gets organized for other purposes. And unfortunately it gets organized to the point that that very questioning and searching and doubting that initiated it, gets lost. The initial search produced fabulous thoughts and attitudes and values, then its like they become calcified to the extent that religion and philosophy have become apathetical to each other- that somehow philosophy is a threat to religion, and religion is simply an opium for the non-thinkers. I think one of our greatest problems worldwide is our obsession with certainty and our conviction that we have it and possess it. I think we would be substantially better off if people could get off the high horse of certainty, entertain a little more questioning and searching.

We all operate out of mental maps and they come out of our language and our history. So different countries , different linguistic systems, different histories - they will produce different maps. But there are remarkable similarities and parallels. So you have parallels between very disparate thought systems, that come out with remarkable similar ideas. But I am not working to come out with a grand system that would align things. Philosophy begins in wonder and I think ends in wonder.

 

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Valerie: Junior (3rd year) at University of Southern Maine.

I am a junior now and I have found I think a good amount of crea­tive teachers in my life- maybe one a year.

I had a great 7th grade history teacher at my middle school called Mr. Stein. He was teaching French Indian wars and he got a bunch of us to roll pieces of paper and throw them >>

and the others hiding behind desks and we learnt a lot about different kinds of warfare-how they change things and how they may or may not be successful. We did a lot of role playing and put ourselves in different positions. He taught about countries and we made flags and names and constitutions and I think that’s when I got interested in politics. Then we had a math teacher- Ms Suki and every year we did this dream house project where we walked around the neighborhood and looked at houses and then we planned and measured and built our own houses with these blocks of foam. It was so much fun. I had this Mr Caron who taught US history in my senior year in high school right after September 11th when Bush was talking about going to war in Iraq. And he showed us many tapes about wars in the past with US and what it would mean to go in the war now and it was a great class because we had the best debates about all sorts of issues- about war.

My parents were always telling me that these are all lies and you have to scrutinize what the media tells you. You don’t have to believe it- and this is why. But there were lots of students in the class from Conservative or military families who were arguing the opposite. That we should stand together and come together as a nation.

I was in Amnesty international in school. I was already reading up a lot then and I knew that Osama Bin Laden was a enemy of the state in Iraq and not with them! That’s something that frustrated me so much that people would just blindly listen to this rhetoric. I think a lot of students would just take someone else’s opinions rather than form their own. It’s easier. It requires less thought. And we don’t really live in a culture in this country that encourages independent thought. We are constantly being bombarded with what's referred to as news. We really have to dissect it and figure out what is news. And we are constantly being bombarded with information and political advertisements and its easy to just pick something and go with it.

I expected college to be filled with people like myself who really loved learning and didn’t care about being made fun of or not. Here there are pockets of students like that but in a bigger school like this its much harder to find those pockets. There are definitely students who are interested in politics and issues, but largely even in the university people are just so reluctant to listen about bigger issues and just want to focus on their lives. And I think a lot of them don’t even see a meaning in college education and the degree you get in the end. It is for a job.

For the most part though, I have had amazing professors both at Mt Holyoke and USM who really care about learning and they want to teach students something and they want to have students think for themselves. And that’s been wonderful. A lot of professors try to stimulate students but ultimately its up to the students I think. Because it is possible to do minimal thinking and slide by with a C. If you want to take much more it’s there.

I think students from this quiet Maine background don’t really recognize how privileged they are compared to the rest of the world. Even if they are lower middle class they still have a whole lot more than most people. There’s a big misunderstanding in this country about what we Need. We don’t Need bottled water! We don’t Need to get coffee from Starbucks everyday. Its not what we Need!

 

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Ed
Ed: Hitchhiking from Maine to New Delhi - 1968 >>

I did it. I survived. I didn’t get sick. I didn’t get injured. I saw what I saw. I smelled what I smelled. I met the people that I met. This changed me. It made me have faith in people.

I was born in 1943 and in fact my father went off to war 6 weeks after I was born and was gone for 3 years. So I grew up in Portland, ME. Went to college here and also went to ROTC. Went into army in 1966 just as the Vietnam war was heating up. I spent the 1st year in Georgia. 2nd year in Vietnam. It was a 1 year commission.

At that time I thought I was saving South East Aisa from Communism. Eisenhower who came up with the domino theory- I felt if Vietnam fell so would all the other countries in South East Asia. After I got back I did a complete 180. Realized what a  mistake it was! How foolish it was- like the Iraq war now.

I think in one way the trip kept the trauma of the war from sinking in as deep as it could have.  This trip was my focus the whole time I was in Vietnam- other than staying alive of course. But I knew this was there waiting for me.I could focus on it and it took away some of my concentration from what was going on around me. So it didn’t dig in as deeply as it could have if I didn’t have that to keep my mind on.

I got on a plane in Boston and flew to Shannon, Ireland. I stuck out my thumb in Shannon, Ireland and about 9 months later I was in Tokyo, Japan. Then I got on a plane in Tokyo, and flew to San Frnacisco. And I took a Grey hound bus from SFO to Portland, ME because I knew how dangerous it was to hitch hike in this country- even then.
I went to parts of the world where if I had known how dangerous it was I wouldn’t have been there. I could have been easily killed in many of the places that I went to. I didn’t know- so that’s why I went. Also surviving the war made me feel invincible. I’ll give you an example- The border between southern Thailand and northern Malaysia in the 60s was a hotbed of arms smuggling activities. Communist gorilla groups smuggling arms across at night time. So the border was closed. I was in a little village. I wandered around and went to a little police station. They spoke a little English there. I asked if I could sleep in a jail cell that night. So there was an empty cell and I slept there. The other cells were full of these dangerous communists that they had caught at the border. I hitchhiked to the golden triangle. Borders of Thailands, Burma and China I think come together. I was told not to go there –specially as an American. I did all those things. I felt I have lived through Vietnam I can live through anything. And when you are in your 20s you are invincible anyway!

I have always loved mountains so Nepal was my favorite country. I did a overnight trek to this village called Nagarkot at about 7500 feet from where you can see Everest. That was just Norvana. Also Nepal was very cheap and I was trying to travel as cheaply as possible. I just had a backpack and sleeping bag on my back. AT night I would sometimes just go in the side of the road, 2 feet into the forest, unroll my sleeping bag and spend the night. I wasn’t spending any money that way. I think I had just vaguely recognized the fact that there may be animals. It wasn’t going to happen to me!

Istanbul- if you are on this kind of route is the point of no return. So if you are going to go across Asia you make the commitment in Istanbul to do that or you turn back there. It is kind of the geographic demarcation line. If you go East you keep going. If you turn back you have all of Europe. It is the psychological half way point. Once you get into Asia the transportaion is also very cheap. In fact it was cheaper to do that than hitchhike because there is no bakshish. You could also get these fake student identification cards which makes it even cheaper. I took a train in Istanbul to a town on the easter border with Iran. This was late 68. Shah was in power then. The border was closed at night, so we had to sleep at the border station. It was freezing cold and not heated. Several other westerners and we hung out together. Some Australian girls. Then I took a bus from there to Tehran. We hung out Teheran and by then we were about ten guys about half a dozen girls- from Australia. In Teheran because it's a as a Moslem country- there weren’t many westerners. And the men being Moslem men- we ten guys had to form a circle around the six girls. Until we did that men would make comments- clicking sounds-pinch them- stare at them- stuff like that!

Then, we all decided we would take a bus to Kabul, Afghanistan. In Teheran we had met a German fellow who was driving a Mercedes school bus from Germany to Kathmandu to sell. There was big money in selling western vehicles. And he was picking up hitch hikers and hippies along the way and charging them just for gas for however far they wanted to ride. So we went to Kabul with him. It took I think 11 days. We would sleep in it at night. And whenever we pulled into a village, we would attract the whole population. I had quite an interesting experience in Kabul...

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Tom Tom, A Portland High School teacher of English as a Second Language Learners, and Jim, a former congressman and Peace Core Volunteer, with a friend in the School that Jim helped build 40 years ago >>

in the town of Moga, in Punjab

Jim: I lived in Moga for 2 years in 66. It was 60 miles from Amritsar. After I left the trouble began... I know it was at the center of the Sikh uprising. The movie theater I heard had been blown up and train station had been blown up. It was a new train station now. But people don’t talk about it. My friend who is a Sikh said when they tried to exhort money from him he just left the country and went to CA because his daughter is there. Moga is agriculturally a modern place. Lots of wheat.

Now it’s a 5 room school instead of a 2 room school. Now they also have another school. They didn’t have electricity then. Now they have electricity. Paved roads. Have a new middle school. Have a large water tower and running water in all the houses in the village. They also have a shop in the village now and STD phone places that they didn’t have before. There were no phones.
On the negative side water table was at 20 feet in 60s. The wells are now dry. They have used up all that water for irrigation. It’s a pretty bad omen. I don’t remember any cloudy or polluted day in Moga- not even one in 2 years. Today its hazy and polluted everyday. Before people used to come in the village in buses, horse drawn wagons and bullock carts. Now there are cars, scooters, motorcycles everywhere. Lots of traffic. Lots of environemnetal issues.
My house was the next to last house before city ended. Now it goes on for a couple of miles. Its growing in every direction. Highway was slow and is pretty busy and is divided. But the tea stall owner across the street was still there. Same guy!
A man came into the town looking for us. He had a postcard and a letter I had written to him in 68 and 69. The letter said that I couldn’t buy him  a tractor. He had asked me for it. Now he has two tractors. He is very proud of them. He bought them himself. He was a young man then. Now he is a grandfather.

Tom: I got very comfortable there. Not physically so much but emotionally and spiritually- interacting with people I was very comfortable. We were also two men traveling together and it feels like a man’s world there. In 10 weeks of traveling we saw women driving only 3 times. I’m sure there are many more but just my observation that there were mostly men all around. It was also interesting in a way that some of the connections we made seem like very deep connections even though we didn’t spend that much time there. 

We stayed at a  hotel but everyday we would go to his friend’s house and everyday his wife and Nepalesse cook would cook lunch for us! Our driver was a Rajput- was very good. Writes us passionate emails about going back to India and staying with his family.

You wouldn’t be invited into a house nearly as quickly and you would have to bring something- a potluck. A lot more hospitality there. People were a ot more spontaneous and positive. People here are more stressed and business like and perhaps more dissatisfied with their lives. I don’t see that that much there even before. You see the poor people smiling there more than you would see them smiling here. I don’t know if its religion or what. Here unless they are homeless, they usually have a TV and  a roof. I don’t think its as much as alcohol and drug related there as it is here.

For me the beauty of India is still in the village. It might be a romantic view and I can understand the excitement in the city also. There is so much going on. But, if you are low caste and don’t have land it’s perhaps better to be in the city. One of my observations was that we communicated with a lot more people from different levels of society than you would perhaps in India. We had great conversations with a lot of mostly young very bright men, and touts and beggars- I think the beggars felt that they could communicate with us rather than with other Indians. Perhaps, they felt since we were foreigners they had the license to talk with us.

It was interesting to watch the dynamics in our friend's house with his servants. There was a whole tone and langaugae and body language that our friend engaged in when talking to the servants while for us they are just another human and this particular one was from Nepal and he really enjoyed giving us eye contact and smiling. Again us being foreigners gave him license. I can really understand why people become street merchants. If they try to rise through or work through even the affirmative action programs for the low castes- it could seem pretty formidable to a lot of people– while on the street they have access to a whole different strata of people.

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Arta: Albanian Refugee from Kosovo

Its amazing how scary fireworks can be! I go and watch them with my friends and its fun and everything - but I try to hide my emotions from my friends because of the sounds. It is so similar. I think that sound is going to haunt me for the rest of my life.

I didn't leave Kososvo because I wanted to- I left because of the war. >>

But I don't feel part of that culture anymore either when I go back. I actually belong to this country more than I do to that now and I can't explain this feeling. I feel like I don't belong to this one- I don't belong to that one. I have become like a hybrid.

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Kerem Durdag: Moving Turkish Roots from Pakistan to Maine

Coming to America- I have gained the West. Otherwise I would always be the East. That’s Turkish way of thinking I guess. I am as American as American can be. Depends on the context. I don’t tend to lock myself in thinking this way. I am as Turkish as the next crazy soccer fanatic when I am watching a soccer match. >>

I don’t have any allegiances to any American football team. I don’t.On the days when Cricket is on- I am as Pakistani. Couple of days ago I took my son to a Portland Sea dogs game. Then, I am as American as American can be. You go through many stages to come to grips with the proverbial who you are. The fact that I am happily married to an American and I chose to live and die in Maine- that's not a conclusion one reaches rather easily. I will never live in Turkey and I'll never live in Pakistan and on some days that grates on  me- because I do have a certain sensibility to being somebody else- other than being American all the time. But I am also very defensive when it comes to people being critical of the US because I am American.

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Jim & Priscilla: A retired couple from Maine   P: My parents discouraged me from associating with people of different ethnic backgrounds. They were pre­ju­diced. I don’t know why- But I grew up with a much broader outlook- without any pre­ju­dice really- I think it naturally evolved. I think money was a bit of a problem-and girls didn’t need education. >>

You were expected to get an education of sorts but you were also expected to mar­ry and find someone to take care of you.

J: Interestingly enough, in my family- pretty much my mother and grandmother and aunts who hadn’t ever been anywhere- there didn’t seem to be any prejudice of any kind- I didn’t ever feel any prejudice. I would go back and forth between different people’s houses and they would come to mine- absolutely no restrictions.

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William ToddBill Todd: Harborview Investments.

If you want Maine to move, cut spending and cut taxes across the board. It's a question of efficiency- could we get the same efficiency from Augusta on 30% less?

Maine is a harsh environment for any entity. If you consider high taxes- like high winds- very few trees can sprout and grow through the high wind environment. You have to go through the sapling phase but then you don't have much competition once you are established. So you have a high barrier to entry which can be a benefit once you are established. At least there's the perceived difficulty- and I'll do nothing to dispel the myth... There are two sides to this: There is a stickiness to businesses. They are not easily dislodged. And once you are established you have a greater space to perform.

You can affect behaviour through money. If gasoline was very very expensive you would drive less. Effectively the lower interest rates was like a tax cut which caused people to borrow more money, buy more expensive houses - When things are inexpensive people buy a lot of them. We are a capitalist society- money is the driver.
If you have high taxes you drive away business.

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NancyNancy: Owner, 'Portmanteau:' Artisan Shop making Coats and Carry-alls- LOCALLY Bags Outerwear Carry-alls: designed and sewn on the premises

"Yessss. I came out of the womb knowing how to sew."

As a woman, I think there’s always a disadvantage in certain kinds of negotiations and dealings- for instance, when I went to buy my 1st house with my 2nd husband, his business was only one year old and my business was probably six years old. I had a great track record. I had enough income to make the purchase. The bank looked at both of our financial statements and said, Oh, I can’t give you a loan if you have just one year in your business! I had to clear my throat and say: 'Excuse me, but ah, you need to be looking at my financial statement!' So kind of assumptions that people make that men are primary and women are secondary earners. But starting a business is much more about money than it is about gender here.

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Angela Adams Angela Adams: Designer
Running an Inter­na­tion­al Design Business from Maine


[photo: moddecor.com]

Rugs Furniture Glassware T-shirts Home furnishings

We are known for 'Colors and Patterns.' We manufacture in India, China, Europe, throughout the US. We are member of Rugmark-which is an organization that polices child labor in different countries and concentrates on Pakistan and India and Nepal and so- we have assurance by being a member of Rugmark and we send a percentage of every rug that we sell to Rugmark that they go into the factories- check birth certificates, check the dates of everybody, check the working conditions, check the history of you know that facility and everyone working there- so we rest assured that there is no children making our rug. Also our manufacturer in India has another organization in India that’s smaller and less well known than Rugmark but is also very impactful- CRY- and every container that they ship over here puts an Indian child through school for a year.

One thing I have noticed just in the way I have grown up vs the way other friends have grown up- is just the idea of- and it might be an old Maine thing- is growing up being taught that life doesn’t happen to you, you have to make it happen. And the idea of if you are trying to make something happen, you have to figure out how to make something happen. I remember- and I feel like an old lady saying it- but if I wanted school clothes- I had to go mow a lawn, so I could buy school clothes- that was a good lesson. It creates independence. It gives confidence.

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Wendy ChapkisWendy Chapkis: Professor of Women & Gender Studies and Sociology, and Author of many related books
On being Woman / Lesbian / Transgender / LGBT >>

The transgender issues have always existed- in some cultures more than others. I think India has a particularly identified community- some Native Americans also have that category. I don't think North American or European people think of that as a natural normal category. Or they think of it as maybe it's a hermaphrodite, or someone who has a medical problem. Like well, those people were born in the wrong body, rather than bodies are really diverse- we insist in this culture that people have very particular bodies to match very particular gender identities.

The US is probably better to be transgender in than some places- in fact I know there are some people who have obtained asylum in the United States because they feel such harassment around gender identity and sexual identity issues. So there are certain places in the world where it's life threatening. Certainly, plenty of people are subject to violence and even death in this country, because people don't like us.

Many people who face discrimination- and people who also face violence- its less because of who you sleep with then what you look like. People who can pass for straight- who look conventional, unless they are doing something to flaunt their relationship, maybe are able to escape the penalties associated with homosexuality. But people who are gender outlaws somewhat can't, and don't. When you see gay bashing, its often people who are effeminate looking men or masculine looking women or couples that are very very visibly different. Same thing is true of discrimination. People who look non-conventional face higher levels of discrimination. I think its crucial that there be a law. It doesn't mean of course that discrimination stops but it means that at least you have some line of defense that's obvious enough.

Maine is a huge state. I wouldn't want to be saying what it is like to be transgender in Machias- I have no idea. But here in Portland, there's a transgender community- which makes a huge difference. I think anywhere there's a community- like minded, like acting people- its probably better.

I think in terms of sexual identity, it was impossible for me to imagine myself in the world of a heterosexual woman. In some environments my being a woman would be a most remarkable difference. In some my being a lesbian would be the most remarkable difference. There are certain forms of legal discrimination, I can't do anything about as a lesbian, which are just written into the law. But, I could get raped, not because I am a lesbian but because I am a woman. It matters very little if I can say- wait a minute- I am a lesbian- you don't want to rape me!

I am often mistaken for a man. And I look just gender queer enough- facial hair, short hair, mismatched earrings, hairy legs- people would often look at me and say- Sir! Or kids would ask: Are you a man or woman? The kid doesn't know! Its a legitimate question. We make a big deal out of distinguishing a man or a woman, so its important to know. And its a rule breaking thing and little kids are very aware of rules and so if somebody is violating one... That doesn't bother me. But people being rude- staring, laughing, pointing- yeah that's cruelty.

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Stephanie RossStephanie Ross: Women's World Weightlifting Champion Phys Ed Instructor and Trainer And Lesbian / Woman / Transgender / LGBT / Unisex>>

"I am truly truly reveling in my midlife awakening- if I could just spread it out- it is the best time in my life- truly wonderful!"

"I am doing, learning, trying all the things that I want- it’s the most wonderful time and the most impoverished- I am now doing what I wanted to 20 years ago. I joined the physical fitness certification course here at USM- now have a roster of my private clients and work few hours at the gym and manage the certification course. My partner is keeping us afloat at this time, but is very supportive while I’m trying to get there."

"I always felt I was somehow different. More androgynous somehow. When I had crushes on girls- it was frowned upon- so I stopped talking about it. But I was never interested in boys."

"I came 'out,' when I started working, but it was difficult. I had to be very careful when I said- “We” like went out this weekend or did this or that. Some people would be accepting but others would totally frown upon you and turn their back on you. It could be uncomfortable."

"When I joined Unum- I decided to come completely Open and start right out of the closet. But, people were accepting! They were wonderful there! They even did things like diversity days to promote openness. There is such a big difference in 20 years since my High School in the acceptance of gays and lesbians here in Maine now."

 

"It is wonderfully surprising- the change and the openness now, but it is still hard. When I go somewhere, I plan ahead to see what the culture of the place is like for gays and lesbians to visit. It’s not like we are openly hugging and kissing and being intimate in public- but still... Once, we were refused service in St. Martins. My partner and I were at this very well recommended restaurant and it was pretty empty when we walked in. They first seated us near the door. Then, we asked if we could move and they said sure, so we did. But the restaurant filled up and there were people seated all around us and even next to us and served water and food, but no one served us. It was painful and humiliating. It is dangerous still in some places for us to go openly, so we have to plan ahead. Even in America- in the South especially!"

"I was called “Sir” eight times before noon in Tennessey- and it was very embarrassing- and if I correct them then they get flustered and bumble, so I just generally role with it. But I have been called “Sir” many times and a few times women have told me that I’m in the wrong place when I go to the restroom. When I say I’m in the right place- they get flustered and it’s uncomfortable for them and me. I just look down- go in and out- fast as I can. It’s sometimes hard enough without having to worry about other’s embarrassments or discomfort."

"I think of women in the Muslim world behind those burquas and veils and wonder why they are here? Their purpose is only to do childbearing and manage the homes? It was like this here a few decades ago... I wonder if they even know or realize- or is it that they are so socially conditioned that they just accept it and are fine with it. Maybe in some ways, I find being a lesbian or gay like that- in terms of oppression or social place in society."

"I think of myself as “Me”. Not man or woman- just “Me”. But, I put “yes” on those forms as 'female.' Yes! I love to lift weights and can run the half marathons- am not a good swimmer- can do those bike, run, swim triathlons- but all that I just love to do. It is not something I am doing to prove or fight anything."

SkipSkip: Gym Instructor- Keeping a Community built through his trademark fun and humor

I think a lot of people need the peer pressure to do the gym. A lot of people just need to make a commitment to somebody to come to the gym. And I think when you say Hi to somebody when they first come in and if you can talk to somebody- I think it makes it easier to get assimilated into the group. That’s what I try to do! Your name is hard to pronounce- I still don’t know if I say it right- chim chimini chim chimini chim chim Charu...

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Karl Karl: Whose WITS and 'STYLE' keep him and others around him HEALTHY AND YOUNG!!!

"KNOW THYSELF! (Its from Socrates by the way!) And Unlike me you riff-raff are all headed to hell anyway- And Where's all that Eastern Spirituality that you are supposed to bring over here- I don't see any!"

Lifeline communityBarbara, Skip, Joanne, Andrew, Donna and Karl A Few Members of The "Lifeline Gym" Community

Leave your woes at the door!
Pump Iron and Take Good Cheer home!

Fran Fran: Nurse

My parents were quiet, introspective- not fun but quiet sweet. No yelling, no hitting, no threatening- she’d just look at you and you’d know. Not much of don’t do this and don’t do that. But we knew and the expectation was that you’d use common sense and we did. It was amazing, I couldn’t do that with my own children!

Well, we weren’t rich- my father walked 10 miles to his factory everyday- winter or not. Never had a car. When we came home my mother had us fill a pan with hot water for his feet- and he would sit in his rocking chair with his feet in the water. He stood all day at work.

My entire backyard was full of everything that was useful. Nothing that was not productive. We had trees- but each one was a fruit tree- peach, pear, plum, cherry, apple- and vegetables that grew in a patch in front of which were flowers. Whenever we looked out we saw first flowers- and the extending full length of the yard-  grapevines... My father used to make his own wine in season, my mother would make grapejuice. And in between two of the grapevine posts- which were like telephone poles, was my swing. My sister says- didn’t you realize we grew up in a ghetto.

We were taught to respect thy father and thy mother. I think hearing that from outside helped us in doing that. I don’t think any of the schools today teach that- no one really talks about that anymore.

I worked as a nurse and then began to train other nurses- I found it interesting when men entered the field about in the 70s. It was pretty much all women before then. A women nurse would go to a patient and say-“ Hello- I will be your nurse. Is that Okay?” And a male nurse would go over and shake hands and say- “Hello! I am Bob. We are going to work on your case together and get you out of here. I am going over to physical therapy and talk them about getting you some good therapy.” It was the difference in styles. The self confidence. They both knew exactly the same things about the patient. The male nurse didn’t know any more than the female nurse, but his approach would be broad picture- totally confident. And the female nurses were demure- the way we were all brought up then. Now, when I am in a hospital- like when my husband was in for some procedures etc- I would carefully watch the nurses of today and imagine what they are thinking as they go over his charts and I am impressed with the skills and confidence of the nurses of today.

This guy once called at our house, asking for my husband- and I said he wasn’t home and if I could help him? He said, No. Then he called again and again- and I started to wonder if something was wrong. Then he called one day when my husband was home- and my husband laughed and said- No, my wife does all that. She takes care of all the finances in our house. He asked to talk to me then, and I said- NO!

My boys turned out to be good men. Have lovely wives. They are honest, work hard, proud of the work they do. Can’t ask for very much more. Loving. Make up their own minds. Am very proud of them. We have a nice relationship. As I age, I would hope they would be supportive. But I would hope I would never be dependent on them. That has more to do with me then them.  I would feel I'm letting myself down if I allow that to happen. I can’t see myself as a helpless dependent women. I am active. I take care of my health. I take care of our finances. I am active in planning and want to be independent. I know that my sons would be supportive of whatever I choose to do.

JoanneJoanne: Undeterred by life or people
Spreading Cheer and Building Community wherever she goes

Well, you know I grew up in Falmouth not far from here. My father had started that Handy boat service down on Rt 88, and they owned a house right at the top of the road. We were quite comfortable, but then the Depression hit, and they ended up losing everything, and we rented houses. My grandparents used to stay in those Efficiency apartments down in the Eastland Hotel, and sometimes they would come and live at the Cottage that my grandfather owned by the town landing. That Town landing store was there even then- used to be a tea room then.

After school, I started working for the Sears Roebuck company, then down at the intersection of Free and Oak street- doing catalogues and stuff- and I was going out with Charlie pretty heavily then. I then moved to Boston with a friend’s family and started working at the Harvard Coop, but then Charlie came over and requested me to move back to Maine. He was working in the service then. He came over and said he had received this Check for 150 dollars and we should go to California. Well, I decided I’d go, and well, we had to go back to his house in Maine at night to get the Check, but his mother woke up. And I guess we said, we wouldn’t- but we went anyway! I was 19 and he was twenty then, and we went from state to state trying to get married, but no one would because we were minors, until we reached Missisippi. I wasn’t going to live in sin, you know:-)

Well, I had to work so I became a clerk in an office, and my boss liked me and said I should go to college and he would make me his secretary. Well, I went to secretarial college- and it was the 60s- the feminist movements and everything- and I said I don’t want to be a secretary all my life- why don’t I go to College- so I told him I wanted to be a  personal analyst- and he said he would never hire a woman. Well, I went to college for 10 years doing night classes- I was 40 and finished when I turned 50. Going to College also helped me understand my own children- even the marijuana growing on my rooftop- because I was surrounded by students my children’s age. I finished college, and did become an analyst. My old boss was no longer there and they had been hiring females now. I retired from it when I turned 63. My children all did well, eventually. And with my daughter who worked with the state department, I traveled  a lot of the world. I came back to Maine after retirement and have never looked back. I formed lots of connections when I visited after I bought back the cottage my grandfather had built.

I never really thought about getting old, because up here you never do. It’s like you look in the mirror and say- who’s this? I have things planned though- I have long term insurance so they can send people at home to take care of you. I don’t want to taken care of by my children- I told them No. I took care of my parents for 10 years and it is very hard- I had to be a parent and a daughter at the same time- and it was an enormous struggle. I look at nursing homes when I visit and it is hard to see- they’re all there just waiting... Some like it some don’t. I keep very active- exercise regularly, have a good social circle here at the gym. When I see my other friends, they’re always complaining and I get impatient with them- well, why don’t you plan and exercise, and then you will feel good like me!

I volunteer for the meals on wheels- its run by a non profit organization- Southern Maine agency for ageing- and there’re so many old people- in their homes alone, and this way they can be in touch with people from outside. When we volunteer, well, we find out how they are and we can communicate it to their families- like this one time when this women was unconscious in her apartment- well, everyday someone visits...

I think life has been good to me- and I just trust in God, and do my thing and keep active- There are many programs for the elderly here, but I find that mostly the elderly just don’t know about them, like the tax rebate program. I think the problem is that most people just are not aware of what all support and help is available. I just live in the moment- take one day at a time, one moment.

CatherineCatherine: Former Book store owner and an avid reader

My father died when I was about 10, and my mother raised us, five children- 4 girls and the youngest, a brother – The King. Good thing he was born- then they stopped having any more. Of course, Irish Catholic you know- boys are all Kings. Only one amongst us who went to college- Notre Dame?- Got a car when he graduated! Not for us- no cars!

I then started this children’s bookstore outside Annapolis, Maryland in the 80s and I loved it. I loved reading all those books. And then when I was about 49, this man used to come in and out of our bookstore and then he asked me for a date. My 1st date in 9 years! I told him- I wasn’t interested in anything and didn’t like men! He was a gentleman. A real gentleman. A sweet man. Well, he was a gentleman. We were together and then we ended up moving to Vermont. When I became 55, we married.

I think women in the West are very free- about 90%, I’d say- but there in the Middle East- I think about all these women- it bothers me- like women are there just to produce men- that’s all! I can’t understand it- Don’t those men love their mothers? How can the women not rise up in revolt? We did. We got the right to vote. Why can’t they rise in revolt? And then, I think in Africa, where they do that genital mutilation of those girls, so they can’t enjoy sex- how barbaric is that? How barbaric can people be?
I don’t agree with the war at all. We shouldn’t be there. We keep telling him, that Bush, but he doesn’t listen. And meanwhile, Afghanistan is exploding- the Taliban is coming back. I hate what they do to the women.

Religion is the root of all problems in this world. We all fight each other in the name of religion. Christians, jews- but I just can’t understand Islam- how can it sanction so much bloodletting- I don’t understand it. I don’t know how religious I am any more. I doubt it. Question it.

I sometimes think about afterlife- like is there really a heaven or hell- or were they all manufactured by us a long time ago- to keep us all under control. No, I have no desire to be born again. This is plenty. But, I do envy the people who have a strong faith, believe unquestioningly- it helps them go through things- but I doubt. I think too much.

I am surprised that I'm old. I’m not at all old up here. It is just a surprise to me. I never thought about getting old. Never. Even now, I wonder how it’s happened- Well, I'm not that old- but the physical does get to me sometimes- but emotionally or intellectually I think I’m better-. It’s good to be old. To have all this time to read and have my space- and, I exercise. It is good to be old. Now when somebody says something, I don’t have to be quiet, you know. I just ask them: “What did you say? What do you mean by that?” You can say your mind when you’re old.

I am very close to my children. I don’t have any expectations from them. None. I just hope I have something to leave behind for them when I go.

Andrew Finger Andrew Finger: Retired Pastor/Minister. Keeping a Fit body and mind

"I do still believe that what I believe is the answer, but over time what has changed is that I have opened myself up to understand that there are more solutions."

But it wasn't a calling or anything. Not at all. It was only because my pastor suggested that I go to college that I went. It could have been anything. But my roommate was a pre-theological student. He was very bright and very normal which surprised me. I expected him to be very holy and speak only wonderful language, but he played sports in college- and he was just a regular guy! So he started to talk to me- and I guess its because of him that I decided that I would be a minister. So then I enrolled in a seminary and all that. It really didn't have anything to do with religion really. It was in the seminary I learnt all that- Christianity and scriptures and Lutheranism and essentially the doctrine of the Lutheran Church. It was fine. I was happy. I believed it. There wasn't really any opportunity to believe anythign else. And you could ask questions- but you realized pretty quickly that you couldn't ask any tough questions or anything like that. You were indoctrinated- in a very subtle way- no one said anything- but I sensed it. When it came time for ordination- I was convinced thats the way to go.

Over time what has changed, I still believe that what I believe is the answer. But at the same time I have opened myself more to understand that there are more solutions and I want to see how they work.

I am happiest seeing my grandkids be caring for people, that's important to me. And I love being around them . And they ask questions. That is good. I nudge them towards going to church and all- to get involved. In fact my grand kid is in Serbia taking care of these homeless kids- trying to being christianity to them. He's not ordained or anything. Its not something he's paid for. He just wants to do that.

My other grandson is a doctor. Went to Cental America and was shocked that there was no one to take care of the sick. So he's doing that. So it has passed on. And my grandkids want to be in church when I am going to preach. I don't know what sense it gives them, but they want to be there.

When you are a minister in a community- people call for help, for advise- you are going 24 hours a day and its rough. And you can't really say you don't work on a Sunday! And I was very involved. I wanted to let people know what my church was about. It was about love and caring. But my worst experience was people, total strangers would call in the middle of the night to say they are committing suicide! It happened 3 times to me. And I would talk to them and it would be around 2 o clock in the morning. Finally, it would come to the point and I would say can we meet tomorrow? Each time it was a woman. And they would be delighted and happy: 'Yes come come I would be here at my home at 8 'o clock . I would be so happy!' And in all 3 cases that I arrived at 8 o' clock, they had committed suicide. It was devastating. All young women- all in their mid-twenties.

And death was always an issue. They all expected the pastor to be a source of strength- which I was. But then after the committal, I would go into my study, lock the door, and cry like a baby. Because I felt sad too. And then somethign I did, which has nothing to do with life, but death- is that after the commital service I would stay at the grave past after everyone had left - and one time one person said who was the last one to leave: 'You know! I got into the car and we drove out and I looked back to see one last time- and the last thing I saw was You. And I felt that God was there. And it comforted me that I wasn't just leaving this - that the church was there.'
So I did it unknowingly, and then when I was told what it meant, I did it every single time. And it was true: people would say, we took a last look, and You were there. It wasn't you, You were church, You were God. That's okay. In my estimation what is life without some faith, some belief.

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Herb PorchHerb Porch: A former Merchant marine and owner of The Lobster Shack

From Maine Maritime Academy to Merchant Marines
Calcutta to Germany to The Lobster Shack at Two Lights to currently in semi-Retirement except in Summer when business at the shack 'explodes' with tourists.

I was as close to my mother as anyone could be married to a sharp businesswoman in the 50s. She was quite succeful. Worked in a bank in the Caribbean after her 3 kids graduated from college.  But it was hard downright horrid working as a woman at that time. I see that male attitude even today when males don’t take women seriously or treat seriously or pay as much as they should be.

I graduated from the Maine Maritime Academy. Was in the Merchant Marines. You are given Deck or engineering type positions. Deck means being outside in hot or cold- lots of navigation and I decided engineering would be fun. I traveled all over the world. We had room for 24 paying guests- we would take the ships to India, Mediterranean everywhere. We took everything from grain to store goods to locomotives, tracks, trucks, boxes, containers.

Basically spent a lot of time in the Calcutta swim club. Developed my true love for scotch. I still like it. I usually took a pack of cigarettes and that took me half a day across Calcutta- I had a Pakistani driver who said if I ever hit a cow just out and run- because they will kill me. He was a mussalman. I remember the smell from the dung patties. Hey! That’s way of life. What’s poverty? It’s a rating. You have people who have  a different way of life and you can’t sit there and say Jeez I feel so bad! Well, I do feel bad but there’s nothing I can do. Its there way of life. I could do one thing though. I used to get these bars of soap and I could bargain for more. They were pretty big bars. When I left the ship I took 3 or 4 of them and gave them to the women. Kids were always after me for Candy. I couldn’t bring myself to bring candy. Soap I was happy to give.

We did take bombs over to Vietnam once for the navy. Mostly they were taken by merchant marines. Our ship was 300 feet really old- broke down frequently. Our captain belived that our ship was flexible but course wasn’t. So if there was a typhoon, 99% of ships went around the typhoon. Not us!

I ended up working for my father–in-law at the Lobster shack. He bought it in 68. about 50 seat inside- 200 outside and rocks to eat on by the ocean. We are grandfathered where we are. Own parking lot and property. In summer times we don’t advertise except where we advertise for the year. You have to stand in line. Tourists will do that. Locals won’t. I won’t do it either.  The setup has been the same since 1969 when it first opened. So the in-law made the offer for my wife and I to buy it and we did.
We bought it in 79 and increasing business every year.

One trhing that botyher sme is that as a lobtsreman you can put you tag on to a crate and the wholesaler can piut hios tag on. Out of state person can take it south and it can have 5 pounders in it. Only ME has this oversized law- where you can’t sell it in the state. I know large lobsters leave the state that way.

I don’t like buses. We have everybody local coming for lunch and now they have to wait for 40 people from the bus. They can’t relax during their lunch time and all. So we decided no buses. his views are probably similar to mine but  It would be interesting how it does change with my son and his wife.
We have 6 full time and 35 part time employees. Business is March to October.

Its nice that my son who’se taking over the business lives next door. Which means we would get to watch the grand children. If my son had to start a business probably not in Maine. Taxes. Lack of help they are willing ot give. The way business are treated here. Lot of people come and see Maine and think they will have a business going here then they look deeper and go- probably not!

Why are women treated as 2nd or 3rd class citizens there in those countries? I am sorry they are no different than you. Wake up and smell the rosees. But when you keep someone down aand don’t allow them to have an education what can you expect? Its more being scared than anything else.

Gunnell Grosse Gunnell Grosse: Accountant and Preacher's daughter

I was a preacher’s daughter. No- couldn’t go dancing. All that sin and all- just different rules – for our family. In fact, even our school never had a dance. Not middle school. Not high school. Grew up in Kindred, North Dakota, near Fargo. About 500 people- all Norwegians. We all spoke English. The whole town.

Rules for me were different- on account of being the preachers daughter.  Held up to a higher role modeling status. It was like the whole town watched me.  Everyone had eyes out for what I did! Of course it wasn’t very fun then, but now after children I can appreciate that.  They all watched out for me.  45 clergymen in my fathers family.  It was like an epidemic!  Grew up Lutheran.  I go to church every Sunday, but- now I think more spiritually- something I learned  from my husband. Yup!  Also a pastor!  A mechanical engineer turned pastor turned mechanical engineer. 

As a pastor- it was like fitting a square peg on a round hole.  He thought more spiritually and was my role model almost.  I used to think in blacks and whites, rights and wrongs- as I grew up, they changed into more grays, And I think my spiritual thinking taught me that there are  more grays in this world.  That god isn’t just sitting in judgment but is more loving and kind and forgiving. That different religions, people all look at that same god in their different ways- and it all comes down to the same thing. My spirituality helps me deal with the changes in my life,with growing old, it gives me acceptance. 

Girls, when I was growing up could only be secretaries, nurses or teachers. You really had to push to want to be something else. Some did. But I didn’t.  I went to college to study music. I was going to be a music teacher. I loved numbers but I didn’t know about such possibilities as being an accountant then. I went back to college in my 40s and then I became an accountant. I enjoy my work. I love numbers.

My husband and I were together for 33 years. A good marriage- that improved as time went on and the last few years were the best that they could ever be. My husband and I had problems, but just like every other marriage does. We were both opinionated- but we always worked them out. Made conscious decision to work them out- got help when needed- My parents marriage was totally different. They believed that if you pretended that there weren’t any problems- they would go away. I grew up with the model of my father making the decisions and my mother being manipulating to get around them. It was not a good model and both my husband and I realized early on that our parents model wasn’t the best for us

My husband’s grandparents were Rumanian. The grandmother tried to keep close to her Rumanian roots to the extent of carrying baskets on her head in the grocery store that his grandfather walked out on her leaving her with four children. She had a still going in her attic during prohibition when she had a fire. The fire department gave her a job cleaning the fire department that she had all her life and retired from it and even drew pension. They didn’t put her in jail like they might have done today. They saved so many lives- She ad 4 children to take care of. Why don’t we think like that today? Why do we think differently? And who are we to judge others?

I am very active. Have always been. I work out regularly. Bike. Did those bike tours of Europe for a few years but decided not to this past year. They are getting very expensive, with the Euro going up against the dollar. Got my deposit back, so I can go visit my daughter instead. It adds up. I plan to travel to make sure I get to see my daughter's family- especially my grandchildren. My other grandchildren live near me and I watch them every other week in the afternoons. I love them all very much.

Katie Abbott Katie Abbott: Junior in College

We don’t really celebrate much of where we are from- which is too bad- I guess if you think about it because its important to know where you came from.

9/11 really opened my eyes- like people would actually do that. I didn’t realize that in other countries people don’t have the freedom that we do! It just made me realize that I’m lucky. And it opened my eyes. My parents talked about it a lot and I think its important to talk to your kids about it.

As a woman I feel pretty free. But sometimes people would say- like you are just a girl-you can’t and then I would throw the ball and they’d say- oh you can. I like proving people wrong on that! That’s why I work so hard- to show myself and people that anyone can do something! I also chose a profession where it’s mostly guys!

My aunt was alcoholic and she was addicted- now she has been clean for a long time. It showed me how it can affect a family. I would never want my grandfather upset with me like I saw them upset with her. It means a lot to me. That was a big part why I never did drugs. She’s a great person- people who do that aren’t bad- just made the wrong decision. Even in college there is lot of stuff but I never did any of that. Never interested.

I never felt pressured about sex in High School either. I just think its about having respect for yourself and being able to say No and not feeling bad about it. I think my mom taught me that. Its not a big deal to say No.

And Everyone judges the girl- Nobody judges the guy. Yeah, even today!

I talk to my mom. I talk to her about everything. She is very supportive- no matter where I am. Honestly, I feel like I am a very strong person.  As a 19 year old I feel like I have been through a lot. To have parents who care for me is very important to me. My parents are role models to me. My brother and I have also bonded. We are a very close family. I love to hang out with them.
I feel like I am very fortunate. Don’t know what I want to do yet. But I feel like it will all fall into place.

I think the top discussion in college frankly are about - sports, college, drinking, parties…Mostly its sports though... from both boys and girls. If you perhaps sat with anybody and knew them well you might have perhaps a more intelligent conversation...

A friend’s father is Arab- and once we were at a standup show and this guy made a joke about Iraq and Arabs and I looked at her and saw that no! it was not cool. I wanted to leave. I felt like he shouldn’t have said that. It hurt me too. We should have respect for other people. That’s how I grew up. Not everyone comes from the same place.

I got into Civil Engg because I thought I could then do a minor in Architecture. Then I really liked Civil Engg.
Other day I was Kayaking and I was looking at nature and animals and I was thinking I should have really waited to see because I might want to work with nature- or sports... I want to do everything!

Evan- A 25 year old finding her path

I was born in 81 in December and my mom said she was really worried because there was a snowstorm.
  8th grade we started becoming very rebellious. I think my parents were not doing well- and they kind of missed it. My sister was completely level headed. I decided to be rebellious. Drugs-boys whatever- 8th grade was probably the worst year. I had a fun time. >>
Sex and all- no- but we were well on our way. Drinking was big. My parents divorced in the 8th grade. Makes sense when I think about it like that. We moved and bought this house. My dad got married a year later. She got ill right away. He was distracted with that. My mom was distracted with them and moving and everything else. We would hang out at the playground- cops would come- we would hang out at the baseball field. I never remember thinking that we were out of control or anything. School was definitely not our focus.I couldn’t even tell you who the principal was. I can’t even remember teachers in my 8th grade. We did go to school though. After school we would smoke cigarettes and be with boys in the cemetery. I was 14. We moved here my freshman year and high school was right across the street. It became much more of a controlled environment. I always played sports to give me something else to do. It was definitely more tame than it was in 8th grade. And you didn’t feel like you had to try so hard and be rebellious. I was always just getting by. Nobody would notice. School made me so uncomfortable I wasn’t sure I would be able to handle college. Writing a paper- academics- terrified me. I wanted to go to Arts school. Compared to everything else- if I put in any energy that’s where it was. You couldn’t really do wrong- I liked it.

When I was 17, I went to Italy with my Arts class. It was a crazy trip. Since my friend’s mom was a teacher- 4 of us best friends got to go. We had a great time. I realized that there is so much amazing stuff- You fall in love with history and there is so much to see everywhere. Years later I told mom I want to go back- and we both went and spent a month there. 8th grade I would have been too young to appreciate that. When you are getting closer to 18- you have much more focus.

There are some kids who would never leave- who have never left this state- who would never know and feel that there is something like that. They should definitely require that in schools.

I don’t think that lot of us really had anyone who was a role model. No! Maybe some sports role models- For most of us, there was really no goal. Maybe I suppose other kids did- somebody must have- we can’t all be wandering around with no one to look up to!

I am in school right now- USM- for art and enterpreural studies-so art degree with focus on business- small business like that. Intro to business, accounting- you get an idea of how to run a business. This is a new program.  Art schools- they don’t teach you how to market yourself and all- so this is great. I love school now. I really do. Teachers know that you want to be there and you connect with them differently and they value your opinion and your work. Knowing that they respect you because you’re older. Being involved in talking and leading discussions and all that- I enjoy it and I feel very comfortable with it. Its amazing what a turnaround I have done. The best thing I ever did was taking a year off after High School. Travel, go explore- it was amazing. I matured definitely.

I have always wanted to work for myself. Working at a galleyr or owning my own store- in that aspect I am excited about it. I’m just starting to ask around what I might be able to do. I am excited but its terrifying not knowing what I could do. I'm going to start making connections- meet people- that would be really exciting.

I want to be married. I do! I want to be married before I have children. That’s important to me. I want it to be stable. I look at it as sort of the natural order of things. But I am excited. The biggest part of marriage I think is communication. People just stop talking to each other and that’s when it starts to fall apart and they write it off and then next moment- they are like this was bothering me and I never spoke up and—so I think its so important to talk and get it out. My boyfriend and I- we have the realization that you have to work it out. Discuss it and work it out. We are very open. We communicate. Its not definitely easy- but its so important. We are both figuring out what we want to do. So supporting each other and figuring out yourself at the same time is quite overwhelming. But its so exciting- I get so excited knowing that we are going to see each other. I think we know we have to keep it interesting and exciting- so remembering to be spontaneous and romantic. Trips and travel- planning it together, experiencing it together is great.

Ideally in 10 years- vow! I’d be 35! I would like to have 1 kid and be pregnant with another:-) Need to have 2. And I want to be living in New England close enough to my mom and dad and sister – and I’d be at home with my kids. Maybe its just because I don’t know what I want to do yet- maybe when I find what I want to do- I’d be like- No Way! But I don’t really want someone else to raise them.

Cliff Abbott Cliff Abbott: Senior in College

As an undergrad I feel like I don’t have to prove anything to anyone other to myself and my parents. There’s no peer pressure-I didn’t join any Frats. I want to get good grades. I am trying to get out of that shadow of my parents. I am 22. I like to hope that I have matured. I think I have definitely. I think when I was younger I was naïve about a lot of things. I think I have grown out of that. I will have to manage my own money- take care of myself.

My Soccer coach in High School never really played me. He kept me on bench. In my last year, he put me in a position I had never played before and I got recruited in a college because of that game! Didn't end up going there though- too small!

Gas is killing me- all the money I have made this summer I have spent on Gas. Probably has to do with the war. I don’t know if its manipulated by the govt or not. I think I am naïve about politics.

Terrorism is pretty scary. That was definitely an eye opener as far as terrorism and actually thinking about politics. Until then I was more wrapped up in sports or what I was doing after school. My roommate just brought a buddy who had just come from Iraq. He fell off a cliff and shattered his ankle. My friend’s brother is in Iraq. It must be scary- having brother-sibling-son there.

My mother’s side was in the army and navy…her great grandfather was in WWII –he actually stole a bunch of gold from the Japanese  so they couldn’t buy any materials, food, guns…on this one island. I guess he played a pretty good part –there are a couple of books written about him – Frank Feno- the bells at Orno- where I go to college- ring every hour and are dedicated to him- he went to Univesity of Maine. If my father was in the army I guess I might have too. If it was my decision we probably wouldn’t be at war. But I don’t know the details.

When I was in Italy- I definitely thought, being a minority is different. Being there was a culture shock. We were in a little town where no-one spoke English.  It was kind of hard to communicate with people. I think we stood out- different sense of style. We wore baseball caps- I didn’t. I didn’t want to be mugged.  I wanted to blend in. I didn’t want to stand out.

I grew up with a large family. My dad has cousins and my mother has a huge family. It’s a really fun family. We have a bunch of family reunions- last one there was probably 300 people! I love my family. Can’t complain! Have grown up here my whole life. It’s been fun. And I am really scared because it’s about to end. The real world is coming up soon.  But I have one more year before I graduate college.

Right now major topics of discussion are fantasy football and fantasy baseball- on the internet. You get to draft players and you can create a team and based on their performance and statistics- you play against other teams and you get bragging rights at the end of the week. Good way to keep in touch with old friends too. Definitely, sports dominated. Occasionally, politics will creep in.

There were drugs in HS. You grow up with these kids and all of a sudden they are selling pot! I stay away from it. I don’t need that. Need good grades.

Dr. Chris PezzuloDr. Chris Pezzulo: Pediatrician: Practicing Osteopathic Medicine
Treating Children is Fun

I remember standing with my cap and gown taking the oath and thinking that it was so important. That it was so profouind- that moment. It felt like you had chosen such an important- so halloed a profession to be part of. It meant a lot actually.

I would say that during Residency although I didn’t enjoy the hierarchy of residency and sometimes kind of the inhuman hours and conditions- I always felt the same way when I was treating patients-and still do to this day. I feel like medicine is kind of a messed up profession – with insurance companies... and how we are paying for this... and Medicaid... so many problems with medicine- but when I am in a room with a patient and I close the door its all outside. I just feel its me and a patient talking or me and a  family. I don’t feel like that part’s really gone away.

I have some very complicated families- either because of their socio-economic status or because of their child’s diagnosis – they are very- I guess- what I would call high risk families. And I feel like I really enjoy doing this coordination – where I may have them come in every 4 to 6 weeks and we talk about all of that- issues confronting them and how they are doing and we kind of problem solve together and I feel like that makes a difference. And I’m sort of keeping them from tipping over the edge. And honestly, there are days when I ‘m this acute doc- where I have this ten minute schedule of patients- and I feel like I used to feel like when I was on a treadmill – but now I feel like at least by looking at their faces and looking at their responses – I feel like I did make a difference in their lives. I looked at all their worries and I either channeled or took away their worries so they were able to move forward again – so I made a difference for those forty people somehow. Sometimes I get frustrated being on call at night and I don’t get paid to do it but then I feel that I am making a diference to these people who are calling and they can’t wait until the morning. And I’m able to give them answers and they can relax or move on or at least get the sense that they can handle it.

Theres good and bad MDs and same for DO’s . I would rather have a good DO though because he seems to have has the same scientific knowledge and training as a MD but a good DO is also willing to be more present to the patient and not just view the patient as a disease or be more willing to offer alternative approaches of care. This is again a stereo typical way of looking at it.
DOs and MDs follow complete parallel track of training and specialization- but the DOs also learn manipulation and cranio-sacral  and they also learn a slightly different philosophical approach to medicine. But the text books are exactly the same. The anatomy class is exactly the same etc. Same four years. I actually did an MD residency because there aren’t any DO residencies here in Maine. There is a founder’s effect. MDs have been here longer. More entrenched. We are viewed more as second class by them. Sometimes the DOs feel in the medical world as a Black person feels in America- you are supposed to be equal- but you are suddenly not.

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Dr. Andre Stephen: MD

Played the Clarinet from school into college. I am pretty directed. What I lack in talent I make up in perseverance and dedication.

I just went through school kind of like programmed- I think a lot of physicians have this characteristic- you respond to positive reinforcement- you get good grades and everybody is happy >>
and when you do other activities- Oh! that is nice- and you get pushed along certain lines. But both my parents were teachers- they wanted me to pursue things that I would really want for personal growth- so they didn't drive me like that- and I respect them for that- really love them for that!

I love that about my job. I interact with many different peopel everyday -its enriching- and its also a cognitive thing where how are you going to deal with what you are looking at? And how you interface the biologic issues with who they are and how you relate to them. So I think its the science and the sociology of it that brought me into medicine in the first place.

I think like everything there are physicians of varying capacities whether its MD or DO, and I have some DO friends who are just fabulous doctors and there are DOs who are bad doctors. And I have known some MDs who are fabulous doctors and some MDs who are bad doctors. Just like everythign else in the world , we have built these different paths of training - and over time these paths merge and its more about experience and taking care of patiensts and it can be approached in any number of different ways to the same level. There are great chasms in our knowledge. It would be silly to think this is the only way to do it. And I think that's why some people like DOs because its more open to alternative stuff. I know that now people apply to become DOs when they could have gotten into any medical school they wanted.

What I object to is the assumption that homoepathic or naturopathic remedies are necessiraly better or easier on the body. I think what can be misunderstood is that one, if a naturopath is giving it it must be safe. You don't know that! And it must work! and so there are no randomized controls and trial in testing some of these.

The biggest frustration in my profession is : If I prescribe this medicine, will I then get a letter from the pharmacy saying this is not allowed under the insurance plan! The paperwork is opressive- and for someone to question why the test was ordered! I won't just give the test and the patients also have to make time to have them! I certainly understand where its coming from but in terms of our healthcare process, its ridiculous!

I think of my heritage and my family and what keeps you On in your game- What you have to do with teaching is atleast you have to organize your thoughts and if you are worth your weight you try to keep abreast of things and have more recent thoughts and it keeps you at a certain level. I think you want to push your self and deliver the best that you can - so maybe in 10 years teaching will be a nice thing.

Elizabeth Gannett: Acupuncturist and Nurse Practicing Western and Eastern medicine

I actually have 2 jobs: Half the week I do all Western Medicine modern care. Other half of the week I have a practice in Chinese medicine and I do acupuncture and I do Chineses Herbology primarily. >>
I do some Chi healing and some massage as well- because I do the whole gamut of Chinese medicine. They complement each other. It goes primarily with

what's most effective based on what the patient has and what the patients prefer.

Eastern Medicine is looking at a person’s body functions in a diff way and it emphasizes using the person’s strength of their own body to heal the illness. western medicine is how can we heal you- about giving medications- its not so much to encourage the body to heal itself. It kind of overrides the body to correct a condition. So I see it as their focus being different. But because their focus is diff,  and because they don’t clash in any way – its very easy to do the together- and some people really need both those things.

I find the resistance is becoming less and less. I have been practicing accu for 14 yrs now, and when I fitrst started, it was not uncommon to find resistance. But with younger physicians and particularly with DOs I find very little resistance. In fact the family practice program at Maine medical center has some of their residents come to my office to observe. They have a whole sectin that they can do in the very last year of their residency where they go out in the community and observe people with various complementary therapies in treating patients and to observe what’s involved and better understand what it can do, which is wonderful.

when I was young I wanted to be a physician. But my family was not real encouraging for me to do that, because they thought that we did not have the financial ability to put anybody thru that kind of education and they felt very strongly that slots in physician classes should be saved for men, because they support families. They were told that by a cousin of mine who was a physician and they bought it.

Unfortunately, I didn’t believe I had any recourse. So, I went into nursing school and I actually enjoyed nursing and I like doing it.

My masters degree was before they had nurse practitioners- it was a clinical specialist in community health, so I worked in home health agencies for a while.

I went for a 3 week tour of hospitals in China plus seeing part of the country. I had no idea about Chineses medicine at all and was so surprised when I went into hospitals that not only were they doing the type of medicine that we did, but they were doing alternative medicine as well- that they had 2 dif kinds of physicians in China. They had physicians who were trained in western medicine called the western medical physicians and then they had physiciand who were trained in Chinese medicine, called Eastern Physicians, and there was little bit of criss-cross so primarily they can understand each other. And people go to see them based on whether their condition is better treated by one as opposed to another and they work together on some cases too.

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Roy's Shoe Repair Shop: Father Steve and Son Dan

Father Steve: I was still in H.S. when I heard that Roy’s was looking for someone to work. I joined in- am still here.  I like it- have always been here-I am comfortable. Don’t make too much money but you know- children grew up appreciating everything they have. Not like when you have all the money! >>

Both my sons have the shoe store-one works here. It’s his. I’m just working for him now. My other son owns the store in Scarborough.

We aren’t rich-but I own the store and my house is on the top. My sons both have houses, and I have 10 grandchildren. I like working here. This is what I have done. All children live nearby. We are a close family.

I don’t know much what has changed from when I was in H.S. to now- they make things you can’t work on anymore. All these cars- you need to have computers and machines to fix them. My son got this Ford Bronco on the internet and took it to his garage to get it all fixed up. Well, they said- it will cost 3000 dollars. He asked them for a list of everything he would need and they gave it. So, he welded all these mounts and stuff on his welding machine to hold the muffler and all-and fixed other things. Well, it cost him 500 dollars! The garage people were amazed-but it was a lot of work. They can do things- my sons.

I have seen movies of Cobblers in India, sitting on the street with just the iron-shoepad...

Dan- son: I just turned 40. Started working here since probably when I was 12, but officially after H.S. I have always remembered being here- I cleaned the floor, shined the shoes. I always thought I’d work here. I'm comfortable. I have bought a nice house-not too big-but its perfect. I have 2 girls-6 and 13. I am my own boss here. Dad works here- He takes 3 hours for lunch and I come in later in the morning. We work together- I like that. That’s how it has always been.

Around 34, I got restless- you know brains need to be working and all that. Took classes in college-electrician classes-Aced them all. I took an accounting class when I decided to manage this business- I aced it. I like numbers.

I don’t want a new car, even if I had a lot of money, I would not want a new car. I would want a 10 year old car that I could fix. Its about net worth- keeping your spending and earnings in balance- and increasing your net worth. That’s what I focus on. I have read books abouth ow you could live plainly and increase your net worth and become a millionaire. I want to live plainly. Teach my girls right from wrong. They come in sometimes-they are both good at art- very good.

I don’t have any preconceived expectations for them. I just hope they develop a focus and passion for whatever it is they want to do. Maybe, they would work in the shop eventually and make belts and handbags- design them, make them. I see the business evolving, changing- maybe to belts and handbags. It’s a business. Changes are inevitable. Profession is dwindling, but I see us continuing.

My father will work here till he retires. I’d like to take care of him. But, it’s a question I would like to look back upon and answer 10 years from now.

Pat's Meat Market: Father Jimmy- Owner, Artist & Musician

Pat was my grandfather. And his father's oldest son had the 1st supermarket in portland. There were probably 8 meat markets left then-around 1951. Now there is only one. Supermarkets are trying to be your corner store now.

Did you know that in India they are fighting tooth and nail to stop >>

the opening of 3000 walmarts? That would take away each individual vendor which everyone is basically. The economy- its soaring now because of education level- and Walmart there- it'd be like DOLE- where they took away the water of a million people- diverted it- so they could grow pineapples- and people below them- all of a sudden there land is drying up- there is no water!

Soon as I took over the countryside butcher opened on St. John street. Shop and Save opened up. I was surrounded by these grocery stores. And people weren't buying meat like before- it wasn't the meat and potato crowd like my father had- that was over. They went from buying 6 chicken breasts in bulk to buying like one or two- along with other things. So I diversified.

Lets see my father was a butcher. I am a meat cutter. Man who works with his hand is a laborer. Man who works with his hand and his mind is a craftsman. The man who works with his hand and mind and heart is an artist.

Never went to a friend's wedding. Never had a Saturday off. It's just the busiest day of the week and couldn't even think about asking for the day off. It was hard! My son, Nick hasn't seen me work like that in the last few years. I broke my neck in 98- I get so fatigued if I stay on my feet too long. I am doing the best for him- but he thinks he is doing it all for me.

I want him to have it all. He's a hard worker. Well liked. He's good. But he's got blinders on. I told him don't do it Nick! Please don't. But he said I will work at the store for a year, then I will decide. I wanted him to go to school. He's a whiz kid- he could do everything- and he can retain huge amounts of data and sciences and he knows a lot of stuff. And he's interested in mechanical things. I thought engineering would be his direction- he should go in. He's doing a lot of things. He's building his boat. Fixing his house. He dug a trench by hand that looked like done by a plough- he's  very hard working- he's a bull. I love him to death. He's a good boy. He's a hard worker. Just did not want him to do this. He chose this. When I got divorced I should have turned this into breakfast and lunch with fine, fine dining upstairs- Get the hell out of meat business. It is so much labor with such little reward. I wanted to close. But Nick wanted it to continue. 'I am not going to let you close' so it continues.

But most satisfying thing was raising my kids. They are a riot. It's great to see them together. My other son Eliot is a humorous kid. Doing his undergrad in business in Boston. Bright and well liked. He is doing internship and already making a bit of money as part of his course.

Every new house in England pretty much has solar cells. We pay 80 cents on oil,. They pay 4 dollars. This guy travels a lot and the company buys back all the excess utility he doesn't use! And we are looking to open Alaska and Virginia for more oil! Our ability to get off the grid is about lost. No body even touches the earth you know. No body touches the earth. Its a whole electrical magnetic field we are part of.

This woman who just called me-- she has a son who died in Iraq. She was so confused as to why he was even there. He was blown up while he was passing candy to the children. I love this country. But what we have done to it...

I want to leave some money behind but produce something in the Arts- maybe a retreat for writers on a beautiful spot- stream or lake- or a studio for a musician here and do the same thing on the island in Jamaica, where I like to spend my time now.

Pat's Meat Market: Son Nick: The Next Generation
On Meat Market business, education, energy and the war.

"If the whole world was made of Americans, it would take 3 planets to keep us."

"I knew that right after HS I had an opportnity that may not present itself after. So, here I am. >>
Ths is my grandfather's business. I always really enjoyed coming here as a kid. Now I really love coming to work. Its great! But I didn't realize how much it was going to take. Coming everyday at 6 in the morning. It's a lifestyle change. It's a lot of hours- but it's a lot of enjoyable hours. I identify with this place.

Compared to supermarkets, we have a  smaller more controlled vision of what we sell. Consumers come here on trust. We have had clients for 50 years- in fact I have a client whose been shopping with us for 60 years! This business has survived since 1917. And every 20 years its had a fresh outlook. It changes. And thats important. It gives me the opportunity to be creative.

My great grandfather only had whole chickens in his meat case. My grandfather actually cut the chickens up. My father sold boneless, skinless and all cuts of chicken. My experience is- no fat, marinated... So many different ways- that it becomes easier for the consumer. It also gives it a creative edge. I get to be different.

We need to start selling wine. The right wine to complement a certain cut of meat. More gourmet- but I need to increase my knowledge. I might take culinary classes- learn more about wine and cuisine. The trend is Organic. I want to know that my food hasn't been tampered with- poisoned- pesticized.

My Father owns the store. I work for him. Its great. It has its ups and downs. And he's the boss. So that equation can be sometimes difficult- what customers want- sometimes we don't see eye to eye on that. My mother says: its the same old story. Same thing! My father had so many great ideas and he made it all happen. He was the saving grace of this little market. He's had it for 23 years or so... Its a long time to own a place. His ability to change with the times - way this place is successful is a wonderful thing. He worked really hard to make it work. Hardest working man in Portland. Now I have all these ideas. And I'm building the opportunity to employ them.

You can't do this work for more than 20 years. So I have already worked 8. I've got 12, then I can go to college! I feel like a lot of people use college for a good job. I want to use it for knowledge and experience. I want to broaden my horizons intellectually. I have definitely had more experience working than most people my age- who are just out of college now.

We are all so dependent on fuel. So many busineses have gone out because they can't afford the fuel prices to truck their products. But looks like the incredible cost of petroleum would drive alternate fuels into the mixture. I do have a solar panel on my camper! A little 45 watt solar panel. It runs 2 lights.
I am watching things- like global warming. And politically I have become more aware - I have started noticing Waste- huge excess- I think everybody here in America- we need three planets to support us!

I like listening to NPR and Air America. It is more my kind of news.I have a more progressive kind of view. The right puts their spin on other media. We are at war. It frustrates me to hear a biased point of view. Clinton lied, nobody died. I think George W. Bush is immoral. He is leading us to war on false pretext. That's wrong.

You get the poorest people in the country to fight a war, and the country doesn't represent these people, you know? Its terrible. But history is repeating itself over and over again. And I have friends- best friend's going to Iraq. In this economy- the only option for the poorest people is the military, you know? If you have health problems, and don't have money, can't get health care. I don't think there are too many people in the military fighting for what they believe in. I think a lot of people are in military fighting for college fund. I think a lot of people in militray can't speak their mind, and they are totally frustrated!

If we want to  take care of the world community, we should take care of the genocide going on in Darfur. That's what having power entails- that we use power to prevent genocide."

Moira DriscollMoira Driscoll: Actress and Mother
"To me a good liberal arts education is a lot of- coming to some sort of empathy with the human condition. There are lots of studies and thank god– scientific analysis of arts education and what it actually does to kids brains- that maybe that would make people listen and understand its importance!"
Josephina GascaJosephina Gasca: Writer, Author, Mother & Bellydancer

Pursuing my creativity and its many expressions---dance, words, cuisine, art---has been the source of my happiness, a wellspring for healing and the conduit to relationship with myself and others, to the world and the divine.

Claire StretchClair Stretch: Boat­build­er, bar­tend­er and a Min­is­ter's daugh­ter
"I think religion is an organized set of parameters spelled out at some time by someone and somehow a mass of people start following these parameters that someone else made up. I believe in a spirituality within the world that doesn’t have to be defined- you know sometimes the parameters are very helpful to find that spirituality but also they can be very confusing. Environmentally we are at a very sad time, andI think it stems from selfishness of people- And its very saddening, you know. I feel like I could cry for the world, sometimes..."
CurranCurran: From New Delhi back to Maine and 7th grade

Curran, racing

I love: Sailing Sailing Sailing Sailing Sailing Sailing Sai...
And Snowboarding ... And Tennis...And Soccer... And Basketball...And ...School...
And...Law...and ...Baseball...and...violin ...and...swimming ...and...biking...
I can do it all in Maine.

Greggos YahrGreggos Yahr: NeuroPsychologist and Sailor

My 1st boat was when I was 5. We grew up surfing and sailing. I was on my 1st surfboard when I was 6. We started long distance sailing when I was about 10 years old. Was I an ADHD kid? Absolutely. No question. I would not have probably needed to do so many different things and suffer in the ways that I did if I had been accurately diagnosed then. I would not have had to do 6 versions of the same things because it looks slightly different!

My father was a doctor and very much a naturalist. He always insisted on us learning and questioning and developed within us a tremendous thirst for knowledge. He used to do a lot of research with snakes and he was very much into sailing and exploration. As my dad became more interested in reptiles- got involved with a fellow who became famous for milking cobras- so worked with him in developing an anti-venom. He bought a reptile dealership and we became the biggest reptile dealer on the west coast. Wholesale to zoos and a reptile store open to the public. Other kids were out playing and my brother and I were home cleaning cages. We had giant turtles to pythons to we had special permits for having poisonous snakes. You obviously wouldn’t handle them and we had to use a tool like the forked stick to clean the cage. We had glasses for the spitting cobra which was incredibly accurate. I wasn’t frightened but fascinated. The focus of what my dad nurtured in my brother and I was curiosity.

My high school was upper middle class jew and lower class black. Very hostile. We were moving into Vietnam and the draft was coming- and lot of people were coming home in a box. There was tremendous racial tension in my HS because you had poor black ghetto kids and rich white jewish kids.
I didn’t kill anybody but I got stabbed 3 times. I connected with the black kids very quickly though-mainly because of sports which was mostly black.

People in college were being drafted all the time. There were 500000 troops in South east asia and people were dropping like flies. Conformity meant being lied to and self harm. And from a sociological perspective that was a huge thing that infused a lot of our generation. I was questioning. If it said one way street I went opposite and I would rationalize I am going one way. Spiritually and philosophically I was relating to Judaism because I got involved with this Rabbi who would lead a questioning class. In fact I thought about being a Rabbi. I remember going to a jewish summer camp and what was encouraged was lets put this out there and lets get your take on it. It didn’t matter what your position was as long as you could justify and rationalize it and provide support for it. I was never interested in a conforming non-questioning model.

So I got a graduate degree in school psychology and then went into a doctorate to learn about brain- behaviour connections. Which is very consistent with my life- curiosity and questioning and what makes our minds and our souls tick – not strictly a science based model but the spirituality and psycho-therapy. There is an empirical model and a treatment western model and an eastern mystic model or a theological model- so inbetween that. How we work and how we put things together.

I think we are just much more effective at defining and providing labels today. I think we are just identifying and picking up that population much more. Labeling in my mind is the basis for opening a door and being able to access something and being more effective at dealing woith something – and unfortunately sometimes we see labeling as closing a lid and this is the box. To me it is the very thing that opens the box because then you know what you are dealing with you can deal more effectively with it.

MegMeghana: From New Delhi back to Maine and 5th grade


I Love Soccer...And Basketball...and Soccer...and skiing... and snowboarding...
And Softball... and Kickball... and football...and Tennis...and School...
And...writing poetry...and...music... and...fieldhockey... and...biking...
I can do it all in Maine.

Cindy R: Homeless Woman- Holding on to values amidst Desperation: "This planet is big enough for all of us and we as human beings should be treated equally. "

"I was being sexually abused in my home. Not only did my mother not help me but she insisted that I do what He wanted. She forced me to marry at 16-17. I didn't marry for love or out of choice. >>
I married so my mother would't force me- I didn't know if she could or couldn't. But as soon as I turned 18, I kicked him out.

My second marriage was at 30. It lasted for 16 years and then he asked for a divorce. I was totally in love.  I totally believed that he loved me. But he had these problems and over the years they got worse and worse. 16 years in marrige he put a hand on me three times.  But terrible abuse! Mental abuse was where he was- rather than physical abuse. He gave me one on my face and even now after all these years - the dentist gave me novocain- but its still numb. Nerve damage- fractured my cheek 8 years into the marriage. Third time he hit me- he said he didn't hit me- He took a beer can, put it against my chin and just crunched it flat against it- harder and harder...

I stayed because I still loved him and didn't want to destroy his career. I couldn't do that because that would be turning mysel into him- Angry, belittling... I do not want to be that person. Sometimes you can still love a person but need to get away from him. But I loved him when I left him and that tore me apart.

I am happy to have this place. When I was there at the men's shelter I preferred to sleep in my car. There's always a police officer there from the time they open the doors - and I would just go in my car there- while there was a cop there the whole time in his car. So I knew nobody was going to approach my car. The officer knew I was in my car. I felt safe in that aspect.

I was here at the women's shelter within the first week when it opened- and what made me decide to come check it out was that it was below zero- Even with all my blankets I could not get the chill out of my bones. Its good here. We get to come and do our laundry at night. We get to take our showers at night or first thing in the morning

I stopped myself from having children when I was 22. I had a son and a daughter. Took me seven doctors- all male- that I went to to have my tubes tied so I wouldn't have any more children. Six of those doctors told me because I was not married and I was young. If I had a husband to sign the papers they'd be happy to do it for me! So I was not allowed to make that choice because I didn't have a husband. Can you imagine!

The 7th doctor said if I could give him one good reason why he should do it then he would consider. And I said I am a kid that's got 2 kids and I am a single parent and I never want to be a single parent ever again. If a guy marries me he would either want no more kids or have his own kids. He did the operation.

I believe Maine is good. They are really making eforts to help the homeless. And its a total fight because not everybody agrees with it. I was standing outside one day and a guy's dog approached me and he said to his dog" Get away from her- that ScumBag!" Called me a scumbag! I thought that was cruelhearted.

One of the hardest struggles I had was to find a place to live with my dog. I knew they were going to put him to sleep, so I had to get him out and I had to put her to sleep myself. Its taken me a while to even feel that I am worthy of a place to live myself. After my dog I started smoking crack cocaine. I did try to kill myself with alcohol. I sure gave it a good try. Then the next day I asked for help.

I try to help everybody who comes through here though because I remember that first time. I walked into Oxford street and they made me wait and wait and wait and wouldn't register me until midnight- and wouldn't let me go to bed and there's a cop standing right there and he decides I look like somebody they are looking for so he runs my name through his computer. My name has been run through the police computer more times since I have been homeless then ever before.

Here at the womens shelter the way the cots are set up we don't have to worry about breathing someone else's air . Here I watch TV. I can read a book. I can talk to people. I really love people. I have really started getting my faith in people back again which I had started losing. I like to let the woman know that it isn't as scary here as they think. They are sometimes coming from other states . They don't know Portland. There is a 23 year old who came here from NY. We all have our stories of how we got here and why we got here.

One lady told me that she had just hit rock bottom and I told her that she had hit rock bottom but when she came to this womens shelter she took one step up, and I believe that. The staff here at the women's shelter want to help everybody who want to help themselves- Even the ones that don't know how to help themselves.

This place gives us dignity. The staff at the men's shelter doesn't show anybody kindness or dignity. There isn't one staff member here who wouldn't do anything they could to help you help yourself. I am glad I had this experience but I won't wish it on anybody. I was really giving up on people at some point when I became homeless.

I hope they do something for people in the homeless situation- specially the women because - we need to treat women with dignity. In other countries I know women really take the beating- and I know this because those men come her and think that they can treat women the same here too. I met this woman from another country who said- I like your country- women have choices here."

David Faulkner: Director, Day One: Substance Abuse Treatment Center

Many parents don't understand what their kids are confronted with. About 80% of parents said that my kid does not do drugs. And 80% of the kids said- yes we do! Talk to your kids! Parents need a lot more support. Its absolutely amazing how few parents get what's going on out there, because they don't believe their kids would do it. >>

They are over 18 but they are trapped in a 12 or 13 year old body- because one of the difficulties when someone starts using alcohol and drugs heavily in adolescence is that their mental-emotional development stops.

In our long term residential treatment facility, we have 12 beds for kids 16 to 24 years old from around the state. This is the far end of the substance abuse spectrum. They have been through everything else. 30% of them graduate from this year long program. Of those who graduate 90% live a clean and sober lifestyle- about into six years out- which is a better number than most places in the country. But the 70% who don't complete the program- we know anecdotally, that even for a number of those kids, it clicks in over time.

We call this a therapeutic community, which means that its not just a treatment program but everything that goes on here is part of their treatment. For instance, they do meal shopping, prepare the meal, clean the house... and have a school on the grounds. And all the kids have to be fully involved and work and deal with what's going on in their lives: One of them has been sexually abused, eating disorders, mental health issues... They all live together. They have to grow up in one year. Its pretty amazing.

Most of them, when they graduate- are like different people. In fact, when they talk, most of them are more mature then kids their age. And some of these kids go to college afterwards- which they never would have otherwise.

In my junior year I went to Sweden to study for a year, because I was fascinated by a country that was taking care of its own people, and I wanted to study their social services system. I remember asking the head of the social welfare department at the University of Stockholm- why did you do this? And she looked at me and said- because its the right thing to do! I was like- Hah! People back in America are not going to buy that! Of the industrialized countries only two don't have universal health care. I don't know who the other one is- other than us!

School policies have changed- it used to be if you are caught doing drugs- you get punishment and you had to go to treatment. That's changed. Its punishment now.
Zero tolerance. Kids kicked out of school are still going to be in our communities. Schools also have more social issues to deal with, and they are overwhelmed, and I understand all that, but not taking care of substance abuse is not the way to do it.

Karen Eliott: Maine Adult Protective Services: "Mostly, there’s a lot of financial abuse and we hear of it from the hospital, or from a home health worker or from neighbors and we try to take care of it. There are a lot of guardianship cases- where there is financial abuse of older people.>>

I remember this case where a nephew was living with an uncle in the uncle’s own home- and the uncle drank sap straight from a maple tree and went into a diabetic coma! Well, the nephew was into substance abuse and he filed a guardianship case against his uncle. I was called to investigate the case- and well, this uncle was this man who walked 2 or 3 miles everyday into town to a coffee shop-and I had seen him around and practically the whole town knew him. So, we that is the Adult Protective Services, took care of him and he recovered his faculties. Then the uncle went to court and he had a sense of humor- so he said: “I’m going to challenge my nephew to a game of chess- and we’ll see who has better faculties!” Anyway, The uncle won this case.

Of course, I wish we had more staff and resources-finances to do more- and it’s a challenge- how every one does the best they can with the limited resources we have. But, we have started building connections with other community organizations and to pool and utilize resources and that is working much better."

Cindy Amato: Director, Sexual Assault Response Center: This is not really a Social Service- there’s a different feel about it.

It is more a political issue about why women or the vulnerable are raped and looking at the equality between genders. I see it as gender equality that if men and women were equal then there would be no need to have power over me sexually. >>

That’s the way to hurt somebody, to humiliate and shame them- in order to gain power over them.

The responsibility for sexual assault still in this day and age- unlike any other crime- is that you somehow made it happen- the victim still has responsibility for it. If you left your door open and went for a walk and someone robbed your house- people would say your house was robbed- we need to find the person who did it. That doesn't happen with rape!

Someone could look at my situation and say that I put myself in that situation so its my fault- like in India where there is social stigma attached to it. Maybe not to the same degree as there, but it is here as well, unless you were the perfect victim. That is, you had fought and run and it was a stranger that had raped you- any of that- which doesn't happen very often. 80-90% of the time, it is people you know.

It happens because in a social context we allow it to happen and we all stand by and let it happen. We need to bring in men to be part of the solution. Even though they think and say it shouldn’t happen they will stand by if it isn't happening in their lives. They need to talk to their friends. To intervene if they can. Joking about sex is not okay. Joking abut getting someone drunk so you can go and have sex with them is not okay! It will all be powerful if men say it rather than if I say it to somebody.

We have had a law passed in Maine that we can have somebody get their forensic evidence collected at the hospital for free anonymously and to have the sex crime kit held at the hospital for 90 days while they make their decision about whether or not they want to report.

In middle school we are starting to talk about sexual assault, but definitely in high schools we are talking about it, that it isn't really the scary person standing in the bushes, but its really looking at somebody you are getting to know, who is going to build a relationship with you- and someone who is going to know your vulnerabilities.

There are innuendoes about rape in all sorts of different cultural contexts in American culture. Listen to music, watch a sitcom, comedy - look at magazines and the power struggle- positions of men and women in the photographs - all those images that tell us who we are… What’s acceptable!

There’s still that somewhat puritanical view that woman should be saving themselves for marriage, only have one partner, and should not be a sexual being. While men are supposed to be having sex with everybody! So there’s a contradiction right there! Talk about a power struggle. So there's still a feeling of Shame.

As bad as it seems in this country it's so much better than it was. Its hopeful when you see so many people survive the trauma and thrive and do wonderful things in their lives because they had somebody there who believed the first time that they said it- because then their ability to do recover form the trauma is so much better than somebody who wasn't believed.

Annie: From England to Scotland to Maine: I consider myself Irish. Even though I grew up in London I lived in a very Irish community- went to Irish Catholic schools... I think its more about your bloodlines then where you are born.
I lived on a street where there were Indians, Pakistanis, Jamaicans...grew up in a very multicultural neighborhood- but my indoctrination was all Irish. >>

I was working in Ireland with mentally handicapped kids in the communities - that was my job. My degree was in child and family counseling.

After a couple of years I came to Boston to work with adolescents in a program. People thought I was crazy because no one gave up their job in Ireland especially if it was a good one. But I thought I would broaden my horizons a bit. I was 28. So, I would work with mentally disturbed teenagers here.

Coming form the west of Ireland which is very pretty to this very indusrial urban city of Lynn- there's a ditty... Lynn Lynn the city of sin, you never come out the way you go in!

We get there and I think oh my gosh! what have I done? Smokestacks spewing smoke- for the 1st 6 months I'm there- I 'm like I don't know if I can stick this. Totally difefrent environment. The kids were really tough. They were constantly in crisis. You are dealing with schezophrenic kids- bipolar kids - very in your face type of kids- quite frightening - kids I had in Ireland were very easy. But when you met their families you could see where these kids got all their problems from. No resources or broken families...

I actually stuck it out. STayed for 18 months and met my hyusband.

After 18 months I had no intention of staying here in this country- I said in this country they work too hard! They don't have enough vacation! But then I did come back as an assistant director at another all male program- because well, I had fallen in love with my husband. It was tough too.

Then I got a job as a case manager working with the elderly in the community. It was the best job I have ever had in my life. Some did have mental health issues. And there could be crisis- elder abuse- substance abuse and so on- but a lot of time I would go in and have a cup of tea- I loved it.

I remember a case- went to see this guy- It was pitch black- I turned the light on and there were roaches everywhere. Toilet didn't work. Cold water in the room. At one point I tried to flush the toilet becuase the smell was so bad- it overflowed. And all this stuff was leaking to the people downstairs through their light fixtures. So I felt bad becaue I had flushed the bloody toilet! He wasn't really all there. Was very childlike. So I actually called in to the department of elder abuse and neglect. Someone was renting him this room. Apparently he used to work for the family as a gardner.
I remember talking to the landlady and she made this comment to me: "Well! some people like living like that!" I was furious, and I remember saying to the dept of elder abuse and stuff- how do you work with these people? I felt like hitting her. But, you have to actually ally yourself with these poeple- because if you don't their whole defense mechanism goes up and you can't work together. So we got him out.

I didn't want to be promoted to manager- because then I couldn't advocate for my clients- but as  a case manager I could. They really found that very un-American in me that I didn't want to progrss up the ladder. But I said- I like working in the trenches- and I love being a case manager advocating for these peopel- if I become manager I would be stuck in the office all the time!

I really like Maine a lot. Kids go to school. You get to meet other parents. Its about community. There's everything here- just on a small scale.

My daughter had her first periods and she said to me- Don't tell Daddy! I want to tell him! I was amazed. I would never have told my father- even with my mother I hardly discussed it.
My mother's sex education to me was - she showed me a sanitary napkin and asked me - do you know what it is- I said yeah! that was it. My children definitely have a diffrent childhood than me. But they also have a lot more opportunities than me.

Its a pity they don't put 5 dollars tax on gas. I think then the war would have been stopped ages ago.

I love going back to college. I like the mix of all ages. And usually when you go back to college- you are serious about it- you want to study - they should do what they can to help people of my age - I am in my 40s now- to go back to college.
These courses in Ireland and England would be free. Here I'm paying 700 dollars a course. So I expect to learn stuff.

Jennifer: Mother, fitness instructor and Soccer coach: I have this memory of my grandfather standing and waving to us and crying as we left to go to Brazil for 2 years. That was hard. Biggest thing I noticed even as a 9 yr. old was poverty.

It seems like things are more organized now for kids and they don't have that much time to hang out in the neighbor­hood. >>

I tried hard not to schedule them. They like their free time- going off shooting baskets or playing kickball. My daughter now makes films of the neighborhood kids- that sort of thing.

My mother was very calm. Things didn't seem to faze her. I would have liked ot be more relaxed like my mother.

Whatever they do I want them to really like what they are doing. But I don't want them to move far. But I think Carly is going to be off doing stuff- Ian is more of a homebody- thinking he wants to be a chef at the moment.

Carly isn't the type who will let anyone push her around. She can be very assertive. But it will scare me to death when she has a boyfriend. Because her friends are going through it. Bringing boys into the house. I don't know I will be a good mother or bad mother at that. I haven't had to deal with that yet. I think here everythng starts a little too young. Parents encourage it too- talking about their daughter's girlfriend or boyfriend when they are 11! In general, I don't know who its harder on? Its harder on the parents.

Today, I think kids don't understand why something doesn't revolve around 'Me'? Well, ofcourse you should do that for me. Why wouldn't you? Its like entitlememnt maybe. They have access to so much more stuff. Certainly lot more than I had. There's so much more available to them and so much more thrown at them- they feel somewhat entitled.

I don't think women are treated as equally as they should be. In sports the guys get more money- they get the better buses- we get the vans! But, there are tons more oppportunities for women now in sports- not so much professionally, but in what is available to them is ton more than when I was growing up. Its not quite equal but its gotten a lot better.

I like coaching. I like playing sports. I like being in my band. You meet a lot of people. And I love working with seniors. I think the youngest person is 85 in my class! Seniors now are very active even compared to 20 years ago when I was doing the program. They do so much more now. Pushing 80 and they are all so active- Its great!

Marni: College Student: Making it on her own: I have been working since I was 13. Now have been working for the city of Portland because the city pays 50% of your tuition if you go to USM- so I decided to take my chances. I am working 23 to 25 hours a week while I go to school and during summer I work 35 hours. >>

Pros of moving out- Freedom, you hit the real world when you are younger
Cons: No money. Sometimes you feel that you have no one to lean on. Lots of responsibility. You develop like a rough exterior. But it also makes you appreciate things so much more. Its hard sometimes... Materialistic wise, street smartswise, knowledge wise I find myself relating to people in their late 20s and 30s then my own age. A kid who's 20 is still a kid! I feel a lot older. It's good. It's bad.

All we think about is gas and economy. We have men dying out there- so you can yell at your kids- so you can complain that there is traffic at 5 o'clock - What? WHAT ARE WE FIGHTING FOR? So you don't have to deal with what we see on TV that you can keep doing the same things... I don't know- freedom is wierd!

I think the war is all about monetary- natural resources-oil- lot to do with the father-son thing! Everything that we see is not the half of it- Its filtered media. I took a class- all the readings we looked at were from Arabian, middle eastern authors- and it said how we are combating terrorism, we are no better than them. We are as much a monster as they are. Two wrongs don't make a right. But I feel for the troops. They are over there- giving their life- and I don't know if its making a difference.

Marriage for me is very important. I definitely have intentions of getting married. 24-25 or 30 maybe. Have a degree, solid job, stable home - dog and a cat- before I get married.
For love definitely. To stand by someone when times get tough- Thats the true test. I think marriage is a true test of loyalty- its not about how hard you get hit- its about how hard you get hit and you keep going. You are going to have rough times- going to hit walls- take a different road - go around it. Work through it. Its a team. I think a huge reason marriages fail is because you think that person is going to change by putting a ring on their finger. They're not! You've married who you've married. They are who they are.

So why aren't all these politicians sons and daughters not out there fighting in the war? Put your money where your mouth is. It doesn't add up. Troops are made of I'd say- middle class, definitely lower class- lots of uneducated people who feel like they don't have an option- the only option for them is to fight.

Monetarily- we are technology driven- internet, cell phone, ipods, TV, rather than going out to the beach, playing basketball, going to a park. We are just in a rush to get through life-  go to the next one- we are not living in the present.

School shootings: When you are in HS and younger you don't think that what you say affect people. But all the love you give them could help them to great success and great endevours in their future, and all the things you hate or if you put hate out there- what goes around comes around.  And I think technology has a lot to do with it- video games, TV, radio, music- those lyrics-

People are in a personal conversation and they immediately remove themselves from it because of a cell phone. They are here and all of a sudden they're gone. The world's always on my cell phone. You are afraid to shut it off and don't ever want to turn it back on. Part of me wants to get rid of it- but I am stuck in societal ways. I don't have a lot of money and its cheaper than a home phone and I go for convenience-. Its a double edged sword.

John: Boxer in the Olympics selections, Ex Fireman & Custodian at USM: "What do they all do not working, just sitting and crying about this and that. A man’s got to be working.”

I was born and raised here. Born in 1927. I was one of 10 children. I joined the Navy in 1944. I was in High School then. Went to Okinawa-april 1st, 1945, easter Sunday. Last Battle- the invasion of Okinawa. >>

I did some fighting in the rink. My brother got me a manager and I started doing amateur boxing. I won the state championship- then the New England then I went into the Olympics in 48. A guy asked me if I wanted to go to college- Syracuse- I didn’t want to. I can’t believe that sometimes people go through college and can’t read! Washington Redskins had a guy at one point who couldn’t read. It was in the papers. I can’t believe it.

I then got a job in the fire department. Good job. One time I went to fight a fire on exchange street. I went down to the cellar with the hose. There was nobody with me. Then I said I got to get out of here and couldn’t find the way out. It was dark and smoky. I followed the hose- that got me out. They always say 2 minutes in a fire is a long time. It can start up or explode. We have to get their quick. Today they have so much gear. I don’t know how they fight fires in that. That’s why it also takes them longer ot respond.

My wife went to grammar school, church and graduated college on the same street- on Stevens Avenue. The library on Stevens ave- that was her father’s house. His son was a doctor- took the house over- decided it was too big- and he sold it to the library.

My son went to UMaine. My two daughters went to Smith. Then one went on to Yale for 2 years- took up Spanish- then political science. Then started a business on her own. Another works at Verizon. It was important to me my children go to college. They are not going to be able to do anything unless they went to college.

Fred Gemmer: Father of 4. Getting re-Educated at 40: I was disillusioned with the private sector. There was an awful lot of downsizing going on across the country. A lot of emphasis was on impacting operations positively in a financial sense by moving the jobs overseas. And a lot of people lost their jobs. Especially after being in the job for 15 years and being very successful in those 15 yrs and then having that job taken from under me. >>
If I wanted to continue in that job I would have to have left Maine. So, I was a little bit disillusioned, but also the realization that this was a chance to sort of do something that I would like to do and that is to help people who were in crisis. I worked one on one with this career counselor and I thought working in health care with people in crisis with their health ought to be a good thing.

So I enrolled in this class for a year to learn how to work in an OR- surgical technology position- which was relatively a short time period for me to retool- to get exposure to hospitals. I realized I liked being in an hospital setting. I also realized that having been sort of approaching my mid 40s I also wanted  some more independence and a better foundation in healthcare and a better paycheck would be to become an RN. So I’ve been doing that for several years as well.

It’s only difficult when you decide to start over at my age. And it’s hard to not be a “goto” person. Sometimes that’s a little bit difficult to the ego but if you make the decision and you’re grounded in why you make the decision, its okay.

One thing that’s different about being a male nurse- dealing with women who are 50 or older - when I walk into a room, they assume I am a doctor.

I remember my grandmother always saying- don’t be a teacher- there’s no money. No money. I think in hindsight that was totally the incorrect message.  I don’t think a parent or grandparent should ever say- don’t do something. I think the message should be- figure out what you want to do and do it.

it’s totally unrealistic that we are sitting here with the relative comforts of pretty much everything anyone could want for their life and for their family, when the impact of United States on another country at war is horrendous. And there are plenty of citizens in the United States who are getting hurt and killed also, but my heart goes out to what’s happening in Iraq. I don’t believe we should be there any longer. I think there’s too much support against it now, and there’s not too many years that George Bush will be in office. We hope. We hope.

Looking forward to maybe starting to have grandchildren. Starting to maybe have a bit more ease in my life with Connie rather than always having homework over my head and that’s hard at this age. Balancing- home, School, work, commitments, family, all that stuff has been very hard- it gets tiring. So, maybe a bit more ease in my life.

John Kilbride: Policeman: I have pride in being in the Police. No! Never fired a gun. I see my role as a role model in community. Being the good guy, helpful, involved in community. I have pride in American police as opposed to many places in the world, where there is torture and all that. We have come far. We have earned it.

Where I work- its a rich community with large gates and houses secluded from each other. >>

People don’t communicate- instead they seek our help in solving disputes which could probably easily be solved if they just communicated.

Drugs is an escalating problem. Whatever you do, it can happen to your children. Parents don’t know. Can’t imagine their children doing it. Portland schools, especially DHS have a huge problem. Administration keeps blinders around their heads. Touchy feely culture as opposed to punishment for crime- promotes it.

There are about 40 homicides in Maine in a year. Mainly because there is access to arms. Before one could cool down and next day would happen. Now, with access to guns, its easy to draw. And then there are mental problems out there...

Women in police: its good. Bring something different to the table- in dealing with children, sexual assault victims... But its also hard on them. They are treated not as well as males on the road. No law against it. Yes, woman chiefs are fine as long as it’s on ability not because they are women.

There are new ethnic problems in Maine- Many in Lewiston with the Somali community. About 45% unemployment. Fights in my time used to be about girlfriends. Now these communities are bringing ingrained tribal feuds and kids who understand only a gun to their head. It is out of the Maine police officer’s experience. It’s new. We can only respond, not provide a solution.