400 Slices
Medium 9780892727285

Virtual Maine

Doudera, Victoria Down East Books ePub

“I could do what Fm doing elsewhere, but I want to live here, because of the lifestyle, outdoor activities, and community."

—STEVE HAND*

Libraries linked to the Internet. High-bandwidth ATM. The Maine Technology Institute. If your image of Maine is limited to lighthouses, loons, and lobster, it’s time to expand that cozy vision to include cutting-edge technology. Although it may come as a surprise to those who hold the “vacation-land” image dear, the state is definitely in the race—and sometimes even in the lead—when it comes to the technology marathon. Beginning in the late 1990s, when Maine became the first state to connect every school and library to the Internet, the state has demonstrated not only a commitment to the information age, but a willingness to become a tech-sawy leader.

A key component in today’s increasingly connected world is a reliable telecommunications backbone that supports ever-evolving equipment. Wireless, cable, and fiber optic technologies are available throughout Maine, allowing businesses, schools, and someone sitting at a computer in their living room the freedom to connect anywhere in the state. As MESDA, the statewide trade association for Maine’s software and information technology industry, puts it, “Maine has DSL, ISDN, ATM, Frame Relay, Tl, T3, OC48... the whole alphabet soup of cutting-edge voice, data, and video services.” The state’s primary telephone provider, Verizon, has deployed SONET ring technology, which provides redundancy and reliability throughout the state, even the most rural areas. Maine has a high-bandwidth ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) network throughout the state, enabling users to simultaneously transfer voice, data, and video at very high speeds. And Maine’s telecommunications backbone is 100% digitally switched, with long-distance POP (point-of-presence) locations strategically placed throughout the state.

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Medium 9780892728060

Have you ever driven over this bridge?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Surrounded by a panorama of leaves that seem almost enthusiastic in their glow, and suspended far above one of the state’s most powerful rivers, this bridge neatly frames the antique steeples and spires of a white-clapboarded Yankee village, seemingly embraced by the forest. It’s a scene not easily forgotten — but it looks a little different today. Although the lofty span may seem infinite to gephyrophobes, it’s only the state’s sixth longest, on a well-traveled interstate route not far from the city that calls itself the gateway to the North Woods, and a stone’s throw from one of Maine’s most historic sites. Perhaps you stopped in this small, photogenic community of five thousand for a night or two at the town’s venerable inn? If so, you were in good company, historically speaking. The hostelry is one of the nation’s oldest, with a guest register that has been signed by a host of key figures in the history of the United States — Presidents Jackson, Tyler, Van Buren, and Harrison, as well as Jefferson Davis and Daniel Webster — most of whom came to the area to settle a border dispute with the British. Things were tense again a few years ago, when a small grassroots group stared down and ran out of town a corporation bent on building an enormous coal-fired power plant. There is already a pair of imposing smokestacks on the skyline here; the townspeople made it clear they didn’t want any others. The paper mill at the base of one of those stacks — and the river that flows beside it — provide the economic backbone for the community and many of its neighbors. Look for this view today, of course, and you’ll have a tough time. An equally impressive connector runs through here now — but this stately span remains. See page 101.

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Medium 9780892725854

Minot’s Ledge Light

Caldwell, Bill Down East Books ePub

Minot’s Ledge Light, off the southeastern chop of Boston Bay, is one of the world’s most famous lighthouses and one of the great engineering feats in marine construction. But the light that stands there today is not the one that stood there in 1847, built by Captain W. H. Swift. That was destroyed in a terrible storm in 1851, only three years after it had been built with awful hardships. Here, briefly, is the story.

Minot’s Rocks, also called Cohasset Ledges, have been the terror of seamen and the cause of countless wrecks. In nine years, forty vessels were wrecked on Minot’s Rocks and from six of these wrecks, there were no survivors. These devilish ledges are exposed only at three-quarters ebb tide. So sailing vessels bound with the wind heavy at the northeast were liable to be driven east of Boston Light, and too often were driven upon the submerged Minot’s Rocks.

Captain Swift began the hard job of building a lighthouse there in 1847. He had to erect his beacon on a small granite rock in open sea, only about three feet above the water; at dead low tide, the exposed surface was no more than twenty-five square feet; the rest of the time the ledge was submerged.

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Medium 9780892727056

Changing Times

Lydia Vandenberg Down East Books ePub

MINISTER AND WRITER Benjamin de Costa described a hike not far from this spot in 1871: “We were on top of . . . Dry [Dorr] Mountain, picking blueberries and seeking for the best way across the ravine which separated us from Green [Cadillac]. We finally decided to take the most shallow part of the ravine and push straight across. . . . at every step we were in danger of dislodging huge masses of rock that needed scarcely more than a finger’s touch to send them thundering below.”1

This group of hikers traversing the Cadillac Trail many years later could do so confidently because of the diligence and hard work of volunteer trail builders. Some, like Waldron Bates, took great pride in rearranging the terrain to allow the hiker a dramatic perspective. Hikers continue to benefit from the path maker’s thigh-strengthening handiwork and foresight.

Photo courtesy of Raymond Strout

SUMMER RESIDENTS created Village Improvement Associations in the 1890s to raise the sanitation and aesthetic standards of their adopted communities. Representing the four island VIA Path Committees were: (from left) Joseph Allen (Seal Harbor), Walter Buell (Southwest Harbor), Fred Weeks (Bar Harbor), Professor Grandgent (SWH), William Turner (Northeast Harbor), Thomas McIntire (SH), and George B. Dorr (BH). Their philosophy in creating new paths was to “open up new avenues of access to the beautiful hills and lakes, and to the grand outlooks, which make the island of Mount Desert one of the most picturesque spots on the face of the globe.”2

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Medium 9780892726301

chapter fifteen SOME NEWCOMERS

Silliker, Bill Down East Books ePub

The typical eastern coyote is larger than its western cousin but every bit as clever and adaptable. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlifte identifies two small subcategories of coyotes in the state. One group has a genetic makeup more similar to that of western coyotes; the other exhibits more wolflike characteristics than do most eastern coyotes.

Talking to moose is a specialized skill. Imitating the vocalization of a cow during the rut requires time spent listening to the real thing and demands a bit of practice. The ability to duplicate it by mouth alone, without the benefit of a manufactured mouth call

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