Small Steps. Big Results.


Below is a "cut and paste" from a recent edition of the Portland Press Herald newspaper. The very idea of this demonstrates alot. It shows how small ideas can move into larger geostrategic projects and, more importantly, it shows that when public officials actually do their jobs positive things can really happen.

I've said this before, and continue to witness it here in New Hampshire. A project like this could not happen because of politics and "fifedoms." This is unfortunate but this is the reality.

While we're on the subject of transportation: Gov. Maggie Hassan's nominee to be DOT Commissioner..... Massachusetts qualifies as likely the most "corrupt, backward transportation agency in the U.S. if not the world." And Gov. Hassan nominates one of their leaders to come to New Hampshire!

Portland Press Herald Article (Editorial Board).

What started three years ago with occasional visits from an Icelandic container ship is blossoming into an international relationship that could write a new chapter in Portland’s maritime history.

It started when Eimskip made Portland its North American headquarters, using recently upgraded facilities on the eastern end of the harbor. That terminal is now connected to the nation’s rail system, allowing Eimskip to bring cargo from Europe and reach any part of the country, and return loaded with American goods. It will also be the site of a cold storage facility that will facilitate more trade.

But this relationship goes beyond shipping. An Icelandic businessman, working with American partners, is planning a marine-focused business incubator which would give entrepreneurs the tools they need to bring ideas to the marketplace. The group is bidding for state bond funds earmarked for creating ocean-related jobs, and in talks with the city to lease the transportation shed at the Maine State Pier.

And the ties go deeper: The University of New England and Southern Maine Community College are partnering with the venture, called the New England Ocean Cluster House. UNE sees it as an opportunity to use work done in its marine research and pharmaceutical labs to bring commercial products to market. SMCC students will have opportunities for hands-on learning.

And the University of Southern Maine has an agreement to provide legal and financial information for the incubator entrepreneurs. A delegation of 10 representatives of USM will be going to Iceland in October to develop more opportunities for cooperation.

These relationships may have started with shipping, but they have grown much broader and deeper. Researchers and entrepreneurs will be working to develop ideas and products that could someday replace the declining groundfish industry that was Portland’s lifeblood for generations.

And perhaps the most amazing part of this story is the level of cooperation that the relationship with Iceland has formed on this side of the Atlantic. City, state and local government agencies have worked together alongside private business, colleges and universities. This is how things are supposed to work, but it happens so rarely that it stands out.

If Portland’s waterfront again becomes its economic engine, the arrival of the first Eimskip container ship will be where the story began.