Recently a brief obituary appeared about Perry Hudson. It was a summary, with relatively little detail. That’s too bad, because Perry Hudson deserves to be remembered as one of the business and civic leaders who helped bring Portland out of the doldrums in the 1960s and 1970s and on the way to becoming the great metropolitan area we have today.
Perry headed what was then New England Telephone. He worked in a time when many companies that are now part of larger conglomerates were true Portland companies – UnionMutual, Casco Bank, Maine National Bank, S.D. Warren, to name just a few – or, as in his case, semi-autonomous segments of larger companies.
The CEOs of these companies had the authority to commit resources to the community, and they used that authority well. Like many of his compatriots, Perry chaired the United Way Campaign successfully. He was very active in the Greater Portland Chamber of Commerce and other civic organizations and causes.
He believed, along with his colleagues, that business leaders had a responsibility to use their time and talent for civic good as well as business success. He and many others saw their contributions as a means to repay their community for all that the community made possible for them and their associates.
Many of these leaders have died; others will soon. As far as I know, there are no statues, no wall of fame, no paean to their good works. They would likely not be concerned about that; celebrity was not high on their list. Nevertheless, they and their counterparts in government and non-profits deserve to be remembered. Their legacy will be preserved in the people they helped and the city they built.
May their spirit carry over to tomorrow’s leaders.
‘Hit and run’ drivers should be taken off the road
I’m so glad that Lincoln Paetow sent a letter regarding the awful hit and run on I-295. Yes, I call it a “hit and run” because that is exactly what it was. I was under the impression that “hit and runs” were treated as such and that laws were written so that drivers who did such terrible things were punished accordingly.
If that is not the case, then it should be. Something does not seem right in this case. A driver who could do something like this should be in jail, off the road before offending again.
Shenna Bellows lauded as inspiring candidate
Something very exciting happened in Eliot recently. A young woman with a fresh face and a courageous plan announced her intention to become Maine’s next U.S. senator.
Shenna Bellows is the daughter of a rural upstate carpenter and a woman who became a nurse in her 50s. Bellows’ background and professional achievements are awe-inspiring. Her to-do list to repair our broken government and restore our faith in it is electrifying.
This is a candidate of character who postponed her recent wedding until all populations in Maine were permitted to marry. Rational and reasonable, as the former head of Maine’s ACLU, she fought as hard for the rights of gun owners as she did for women’s reproductive freedom.
And when the fabricators of so-called voter fraud from within and out-of-state tried to rig our election(s), Shenna beat them back and preserved voter rights. This “intrepid” lady, as former state Sen. Peter Bowman called her, is the total package and the sizable group privileged to be at her takeoff was as rapt and inspired as I was.
Sen. Susan Collins has never had the forward motion, vision or promise that seems so paramount in Bellows. If we’re lucky, there comes a moment or two when we believe we are privy to history being made in a good way. Shenna Bellows is destined to be a very special history maker.
Pot group wants policies that benefit the community
On Nov. 5, Portland residents voted by more than a 2-1 ratio to make recreational pot legal in the city. Thirty days from the day this was passed, adults over the age of 21 will be legally allowed to have possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana.
There are some issues to think about this going forward. Project SAM (Smart Approach to Marijuana) Maine is led by Scott Gagnon and he said today’s strains of marijuana are much more potent than a decade ago, making it more addictive.
What SAM members want to do is to inform public policy, prevent the establishment of a marijuana industry similar to the tobacco industry, find ways to achieve medicinal benefits of marijuana without the smoke or psychoactive elements, and reduce the unintended consequences of current marijuana policies. They want to regulate and tax marijuana just like what is done with alcohol.
It would be very beneficial if the government were to regulate and tax marijuana, but first SAM Maine wants to make sure the public is informed about marijuana and wants to make sure that the marijuana industry will never grow to the size of the tobacco industry.
Anecdote illustrates why America is a great country
As Thanksgiving approaches, I’d like to share an anecdote.
A friend who sought asylum here from Iran over 30 years ago recently talked to me about his life in exile. He said that while being separated from family and childhood friends has been difficult, his life in America has been rich, filled with love and opportunity.
He then smiled and added that during his work career he happily participated in many Secret Santa gift exchanges, remarking that this country is one of the only places in the world where a Muslim can buy a Jewish friend and co-worker presents to celebrate a Christian holiday. We should all celebrate and be thankful for that freedom and the diversity that makes our nation great on this most special of holidays.