EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


April 30, 2014

Editorial: Some cheers, some jeers for our recent newsmakers

CHEERS to athletic shoe manufacturer New Balance, whose reputation for quality, American-made products may win it new contracts that could boost local jobs.

The Pentagon will begin requiring that the athletic shoes new military recruits purchase with their allowances be American-made. The Department of Defense has long required that many of the products it buys be made in America, But until recently, the athletic shoe allowance has been exempted.

Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, D-Lowell, and Mike Michaud, D-Maine, had filed legislation last year to require the allowances to be spent on American-made shoes. But the Pentagon went ahead and made the change without a congressional mandate.

New Balance already produces a sneaker that meets the military requirements. According to a company spokesman, the policy change could mean up to 200 more jobs for New Balance, most of which would be at its plant in Lawrence.

“Innovative companies, such as New Balance right here in Massachusetts, are able to provide our service members with quality products and keep business here on American soil,” Tsongas said in a statement. “This policy change will boost job growth, spur economic development and innovation and give the brave men and women of our armed forces better gear.”

Kudos to our military for seeking to buy American-made products and to New Balance for making its high-quality athletic shoes right here in Lawrence.

CHEERS to some well meaning people who have tried to save a local landmark. But now, perhaps it is time to let it go.

Known variously as Pinkie, Blinkie, or Tilly, the large, pink stucco whale with illuminated eyes once welcomed visitors to Salisbury’s Nat’s Fun Spot. Several volunteers sought to save the whale as the former amusement park was torn down and replaced with an apartment complex.

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