Finished off my stay in Portland by picking up my rental car, a stretch Mondeo which has an alarming fuel consumption, and meeting with Kristen Smith, President of Buy Local Portland and Director of independent store Planet Dog (pic of Kristen below…sorry the Giants lost at the weekend!).
Lots of great information about the Buy Local campaign which has over 400 fee paying members and is highly regarded throughout the city and state. http://www.portlandbuylocal.org/
Planet Dog is a fantastic store which sells all manner of dog items but also has a grooming department, obedience classes, puppy meeting days and its own charity Foundation. The Foundation has given of $1,000,000 over 6 years to help train dogs for hearing/seeing/therapy needs as well as helping out with Vet bills for those that can’t afford the costs. www.planetdogfoundation.org.
Onward then to Rockland to meet with Shey Conover at the Island Insitute http://www.islandinstitute.org/
The Institute does a multitude of project work in five areas, media/energy/economic development/education/marine resources over the 15 unbridged inhabitated islands off the coastline of Maine as well as remote working waterfront areas. The Institute is thirty years old has a membership of over 5000 a turnover of $5million and 50 staff. Great talking to Shey as they have all the same issues as we have in our remote coastal areas. One real area of interest is their current broadband project which has sparked off some food for thought on my return re Sleat’s similar initiative. The Institute also has its own shop and gallery which is a fantastic space but does have difficulties making the books tally at year end….mmmm where have I heard that before?
Now in Belfast. Meeting today with Kate at the Belfast Co-op (can’t get away from co-ops). Great meeting the owner of a local bar/diner last night who had travelled to St Kilda and the Western Isles. Also turns out he is the Treasurer of the Co-op. Aye its a small world!