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Maine Cybertruck Owner Sad Everyone Hates His Truck

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Maine Cybertruck Owner Sad Everyone Hates His Truck


Love them or hate them, Tesla Cybertrucks garner a whole lot of attention, and apparently, one guy who bought his stainless steel behemoth didn’t realize that. A Cybertruck owner in Portland, Maine – one of the more liberal and chill cities in America – has been bombarded with reactions (both good and bad) to his new truck, and he’s not really a fan.

Right now, Travis Carter owns one of just two Cybertrucks in all of Maine, so he’s become a bit of a spectacle in his hometown, and not always in a good way, according to the Portland Press Herald.

Tennis players stop midswing to get a glimpse of it. Children want their pictures taken with it. It’s a trending topic online in the Portland subreddit.

On the road, the electric vehicle is the frequent recipient of middle fingers, thumbs-downs and slammed-on brakes. People gawk, roll their eyes and yell. It’s gotten spat on and been scratched.

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Carter tells the paper he has never been a fan of the limelight, somehow forgetting what sort of attention a massive, angular truck would garner him. The marijuana dispensary owner says buying the Cybertruck “wasn’t an attention-seeking move” and that he’s actually quite “shy.” Carter says that it’s quite a weird experience when you pull up to a stoplight and every single person is staring at you. I’m sure it is, man.

Despite this distaste for the limelight, Carter is reportedly taking the attention in stride… for the most part.

He tries to let the negative ones roll off his back. He knows there’s no such thing as bad publicity for a business such as his Forest Avenue marijuana shop, where the truck is prominently parked most days.

Carter loves the thing but still questions whether the hot wheels are worth all the attention. If he had to go back and click “place order” again, he’s not sure he would.

“I didn’t know it was going to turn into this. I’m sometimes like, ‘What did I do?’” he said. “But sometimes it’s positive, too. I take the time to talk to people, because some people are genuinely excited to see it.”

Here’s more reaction from folks in Portland, Maine after first seeing a Cybertruck in their little city that were fairly tame, from the Portland Press Herald:

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“The aliens have landed,” someone wrote about Carter’s truck on Reddit’s Portland forum, just after he returned from picking it up at a New Jersey Tesla facility.

When he first started driving it here, passersby seemed stunned.

When he first started driving it “In the first week or two, people were hanging out of their cars taking videos, even in the pouring rain,” Carter said., passersby seemed stunned.

As Carter drove up Forest Avenue through Deering Oaks Park on Thursday, a jaywalking woman stopped in the middle of an intersectionfacing oncoming traffic. Her jaw dropped. Carter came to a halt. He sighed – it was nothing new.

Things quickly turned less than cordial for Carter and his truck.

Some of the shock value has worn off. But anger has taken its place.

Carter once found a large, fresh glob of spit on the car when it was parked in downtown Portland. As he pulled up to a stop sign Wednesday, someone started yelling at him. A driver in front of him once slammed on the brakes.

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What’s his most frequent reaction?

“The middle finger,” he said. “In passing, at red lights, people walking by.”

[…]

He feels like maybe the anger’s easing, but he still gets plenty of eye rolls.

The owner of Vice Cannabis put down a $100 deposit for the Cybertruck all the way back in November of 2019 and eventually forgot about it as the truck famously got delayed more and more. Then, at the beginning of this year, the Portland Press Herald says it popped back up on his radar and he decided to go through with the purchase after a little it of hesitation.

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He knew the truck would be an eye-catcher in Maine. But he wanted it for its uniqueness.

“It’s so ugly it’s cute. It’s like a French bulldog,” he said. “I don’t think it’s the most attractive car in the world, but it’s different. And I like to be different.”

Anyway, you should head over to the Portland Press Herald’s story for more information on what Carter is doing now and why he thinks people have such a visceral reaction to his truck (hint: it’s because of Elon Musk).



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Maine

Muhammad Ali's defeat of Sonny Liston in Lewiston, Maine was a knockout for the ages

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Muhammad Ali's defeat of Sonny Liston in Lewiston, Maine was a knockout for the ages


What was the most iconic sports action photo of the 20th century? Was it Babe Ruth’s called shot? Willie Mays’ catch? Michael Jordan’s “the shot”? Does it matter?

It certainly matters for Lewiston, Maine. On May 25, 1965, a beguiling, perfectly timed photo of boxing legend Muhammad Ali was taken there at a small, remote stadium.

It is still a seminal image that some pundits believe is the greatest sports photo of all time. Sports photographer Neil Leifer captured the young champion in raging full color, his right arm cocked over the fallen slugger Sonny Liston. It radiates the emotional energy of the era’s most compelling athlete, appropriately known as “the Greatest.” The speedy, outspoken newcomer had not only toppled the sullen, plodding puncher Liston, he symbolized the whole 1960s decade of anger, protest and change, all captured by Leifer’s camera.

Even so, the greatness of the photo needed time to ripen. It was not on the Sports Illustrated cover, and it didn’t win any official awards at the time. But it did propel the photographer’s career and led to a plethora of accolades, including the Lucie Award for Achievement in Sports Photography.

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Lewiston’s 15 minutes of Ali fame linked it to sports history for nearly 50 years. Then, on Oct. 25, 2023, a much grimmer brush with fate left 18 dead from a shocking mass shooting. With that, the town’s identity was tragically reduced to a single name with new meaning: Lewiston. Hijacked by the unthinkable, the town is now more connected to Columbine, Sandy Hook, Parkland, Tree of Life, Uvalde, and Highland Park than it is to Ali. At least for now.

Lewiston is a picturesque community of 37,000 nestled not far from Portland. Its Ali-Liston match was one of the more significant sporting events of the 20th century. Ali, who would soon be the most famous human on earth for his international matches and political activism, had delivered a sudden, pervasive blow to both Liston and the establishment. Could the specter of Ali’s pivotal moment eventually decouple Lewiston from its more tragic identity?

Ali vs. Liston, over in less than two minutes

Ali began as a brash, outspoken challenger, then surprised the world when he won the title, converted to Islam, and dropped his given name Cassius Clay. He immediately rankled the sports world with his uncompromising wit, criticism and protests. Every Ali title fight became an extravaganza. Ali actually defeated the heavy-fisted Liston twice, first in Miami Beach on Feb. 25, 1964, followed by the Lewiston rematch in 1965. Ali stunned the sports world both times.

Even fate played a role. Fight promoters originally planned the highly anticipated rematch for Boston, but criticism of Ali for his Black Muslim connections was growing, plus Liston had his own issues with the law stemming from alleged connections to organized crime. Boston’s Suffolk County district attorney sought to block the fight, so its backers pulled the match from Boston just 18 days before the scheduled bout.

Maine Gov. John Reed quickly offered Lewiston. Less than 150 miles from Boston, it was home to the Central Maine Youth Center that could seat up to 4,500 people on short notice. With the fight back on, the media and onlookers flooded Lewiston. But it took under two minutes for Ali to knock Liston out.

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The image of Ali’s taunting was captured by two different photographers. One of them, Leifer, took his photo in color. The Lewiston arena even added to the photo’s mood. Boxing attracted legions of cigar-smoking fans in those days, so given the small stadium, a smoky bluish haze added a mystical aura over Ali. Experts consider composition, timing, subject matter, lighting, emotion and narrative in evaluating a photograph. Ali at Lewiston nailed them all.

Lewiston’s shooting tragedy promptly cast a pall over the town’s charm, solitude and link to Ali. America has almost become numb to frequent mass shootings at multiple towns, schools, clubs and synagogues. Columbine will always be the dark Columbine, Sandy Hook the tragic Sandy Hook, and the July 4, 2022 parade attack in Highland Park, Illinois, will always trigger a local Independence Day sadness. (That one took place in my own neck of the woods.)

Since I represented Ali once in 1990 and spent a two-hour lunch with him at Chicago’s Gene & Georgetti’s steak house, I can attest to his timeless charisma. So there is still hope for Lewiston. If a community was famous to begin with, it might overcome the stain of a mass shooting. In Las Vegas, its gaudy image has survived tragedy. Can Lewiston reclaim its Ali glory? It can. But for most of America, being famous for a shooting, rather than in spite of one, is becoming a uniquely grim burden.

Eldon Ham is a member of the faculty at IIT/Chicago-Kent College of Law, teaching sports, law and justice. He is the author of five books on the role of sports history in America.

The Sun-Times welcomes letters to the editor and op-eds. See our guidelines.

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The views and opinions expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Chicago Sun-Times or any of its affiliates.





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Police response to Maine mass shooting gets deeper scrutiny from independent panel

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Police response to Maine mass shooting gets deeper scrutiny from independent panel


LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — Problems with police communication and coordination in the fraught hours after Maine’s deadliest mass shooting will be under scrutiny Friday from an independent commission, which plans to hear more testimony from law enforcement sources.

Well-meaning officers creating chaos by showing up without being asked and officers believed to have arrived intoxicated in a tactical vehicle are among the “disturbing allegations” that have come before the commission, Chair Daniel Wathen said last week.

The details were outlined in an after-action report by police in Portland, Maine, which is about a 45-minute drive south of where the shooting took place in Lewiston.

However, it’s unclear exactly what’s on the table for Friday’s meeting. Wathen said some of the things contained in the report were outside the scope of the commission’s work and best handled by police supervisors.

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Eighteen people were killed and 13 injured by an Army reservist at a bowling alley and a bar and grill in Lewiston. The shooter fled the scene in a vehicle that was abandoned in a nearby town.

The commission previously heard testimony from law enforcement officials about the evening of Oct. 25, when law enforcement agencies mobilized for a search as additional police officers poured into the region. State Police took over coordination of the search for the gunman, whose body was found dead from suicide two days later.

Some of the tense moments came when law enforcement located the gunman’s vehicle several hours after the shooting.

State police used a cautious approach, angering some officers who wanted to immediately search the nearby woods. Well-meaning police officers without any official assignment began showing up, raising concerns of police firing on each other in the darkness. The arrival of so many officers also contaminated the scene, making it all but impossible to use dogs to track the gunman.

At one point, a tactical vehicle from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office nearly crashed into another tactical vehicle from the Portland Police Department near that scene. A Portland Police Department after-action report suggested the occupants of the Cumberland County vehicle had been drinking but the sheriff denied that his deputies were intoxicated.

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Representatives of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and Portland Police Department said they weren’t sending officers to testify Friday.

The commission was appointed by the governor and is comprised of seven members including mental health professionals and former prosecutors and judges. Wathen is a former Maine chief justice.





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Maine EMS celebrates the 50th National EMS Week

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Maine EMS celebrates the 50th National EMS Week


AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) – May 19-25, 2024, marks the 50th anniversary of National EMS Week. This year’s theme is “Honoring Our Past, Forging Our Future.”

Friends of Maine for EMS, EMS professionals, and state lawmakers gathered in Augusta Thursday at the Maine EMS Memorial and Education site for a tribute to those in emergency medical services.

Every aspect of the EMS system was represented.

“It certainly does remind us of the need to acknowledge the foundational work of those who came before us while also striving to build and lead the EMS system we envision for our future,” Speaker of the House Rachel Talbot Ross told those in attendance.

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Over the past decades, Maine has experienced the loss of EMS providers in the line of duty.

Eight EMS community members were honored Thursday.

Maine EMS has come a long way in 50 years, but Friends of EMS for Maine, which was founded in 2019, says more work needs to be done to support those who care for us.

“We are in trouble as a system. There is no question about it,” said Kevin McGinnis, President of Friends of EMS for Maine.

In addition, lawmakers spoke about this essential service we often take for granted.

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“The time and commitment that you put in for the training and the time away from your families, it doesn’t go unnoticed,” said Senate President Troy Jackson.

In 2022, the state legislature established the Blue Ribbon Commission to help learn more about the challenges EMS professionals face and how to address those.

In February 2024, the commission issued its final report with recommendations to provide more funding for EMS, increase MaineCare reimbursement rates for ambulance services, among others.

Members say progress has been made, but not enough.

“This session ended with some work of the Blue Ribbon Commission being lost. We will not stand for that,” said Rep. Suzanne Salisbury, D-Westbrook, a member of the EMS Blue Ribbon Commission. “We will come back in the next session and bring that work back. The time for action is now. We will not slow down. Lives depend on it.”

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“Everyone in our towns must know the essentialness of your service and that it costs,” said Sen. Chip Curry, D-Waldo, co-chair of the EMS Blue Ribbon Commission.

“We made long overdue investments in this system, and I know it is just a start but with these great people we’re going to continue to send a strong signal of what is to come and what’s needed,” Jackson added.



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