From Our Archives: January 2003
A look back at Down East ten years ago
In January 2003, Down East guessed what Maine would look like in ten years. How right were we?
North by East
The Tourists of Tomorrow:
The future of tourism in Maine runs on the rails. Passenger rail service could extend beyond Portland and up to Greenville and Bethel in the winter and Down East in the summer. Although a few cruise ships already run through the state, Maine’s harbors might well see more and larger — perhaps much larger — ships in the future.
A few things we’d like to see disappear in the next decade: Traffic jams on Route 1, moose on the Maine Turnpike, Jetskis, term limits, teen smoking, “vacationland” on license plates, the five-day work week, Western Avenue in Augusta, “going negative” in Maine political campaigns, and questions about the effectiveness of the laptop program.
It’s possible Maine will be down to one congressman in ten years. Maine’s population growth has been the slowest in the nation over the last ten years at 3.8 percent. Since seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are fixed at a total of 435 and apportioned by population, it means Maine must keep pace with the national average of 13 percent. Many believe Maine will lose one of its two representatives by 2010, or more likely, 2020.
Good Things From Maine
Kissing Moose Do you or someone you know love Moose? If so, here is a special gift of a kissing moose photo. $32.95
Maine in Ten Years
by Angus King
The truth is, it won’t look that much different. Camden on a summer day will be even more crowded, there will be more cars on the turnpike, and more houses in places like Standish, Gorham, Hampden, and Dayton. We’ll lose 250,000 jobs, but will gain 360,000 more. Our population will be older, richer, more diverse, better educated, more tolerant, and still angry about taxes. In addition to the exurbanites will be those coming from a lot farther away than Boston or Greenwich — try Cambodia, Vietnam, and Somalia. So what will Maine be like in ten years? No one knows for sure, but the wonderful and somewhat frightening answer is that it’s really up to us. See you there.
What Are the Odds?
The chances of certain changes taking place over the next decade:
Appalachian Trail to Canada: 90%
East-West Highway: 1%
Windmill Farms: 50%
Coastal Ferry Service: 30%
Casino in Maine: 50%
More Paper Mills Close: 100%
North Woods National Park: 5%
George W. Bush Library: 1%
No Cars in Acadia: 20%
No State Liquor Stores: 100%
by Tim Sample
1. Allen’s Coffee Brandy is now available in convenient fifty-five-gallon drums.
2. Maine lingo is recognized as a separate language at the University of Maine’s new branch in Caratunk.
3. President Mitchell and Vice President Cohen will sign “The Matinicus accords” between Israel and Palestine because both parties “really wanted to get off-island before winter.”
4. The snowmobile will officially be declared the Maine state vehicle.
5. Maine’s newest sports franchise — the Maine Moosekeepers — wins the NBA championship.
6. Martha Stewart is a free woman once more! Whilst paying her debt to society, Ms. Stewart managed to parlay the Maine Prison Store franchise into the fastest growing retail chain in America.
Down East Homes
Three fireplaces, 100 foot dock with unobstructed ocean access, attached guest quarters. A thoughtfully planned and impeccably executed home in Kittery Point. $3,500,000.