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This week’s edition!

Governor’s Address: Affordable softwood lumber prices are needed now more than ever

After the devastation from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the families who have to rebuild their lives need affordably priced lumber.

Dear Maine Taxpayer,

Unfortunately, corporate greed from a coalition of big lumber companies has already sent those prices skyrocketing. Making a profit is the goal of any company—and it should be.

But it is unconscionable that this coalition is in a position that could lead to price-gouging Americans in distress.

The issue is tariffs levied on Canadian softwood. The coalition is holding the U.S. Department of Commerce hostage, trying to slap a tariff on softwood exports to the United States from New Brunswick. But New Brunswick, Atlantic Canada and Quebec border mills have been exempt from the tariff for over three decades.

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Enough is Enough: City Council addresses problem of disorderly Bates students

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Last week the Lewiston City Council in a 5-1 vote brought order back to a Lewiston neighborhood. This long-time quiet residential neighborhood in the White Street/Davis Street area, which borders Bates College, will be returned to tranquility.

Although the problem was brought on by a miniscule number of Bates College seniors, it was not a Bates College problem. It was a City of Lewiston problem. These were a group of seniors at Bates who took advantage of their parents’ wealth, opting to rent apartments and houses off campus, thus neutralizing any attempt by the Bates Administration to control and punish their behavior.

This quiet neighborhood has been the scene of loud drinking parties, many involving underage drinkers. These party-goers urinate on people’s lawns and bushes. They threaten neighborhood residents when confronted by them about their behavior. Trash, bottles and cans, paper cups, condoms, etc. are thrown on the street, yards and sidewalks.

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CLT, Franco Center seek actors and singers for “Come Out Swingin’: A Lewiston Story”

In February, L/A Community Little Theatre of Auburn and the Gendron Franco Center of Lewiston will co-produce the world premiere production of “Come Out Swingin’: A Lewiston Story,” a musical written by Portland native Brian Daly. Open auditions are scheduled for Sunday and Monday, September 24 and 25, at 6 p.m. They will take place at the Franco Center at 46 Cedar Street in Lewiston. Those unable to attend at these times are encouraged to call the director to request an appointment. Callback auditions will be by invitation.

Production dates for the show will be Friday and Saturday, February 2 and 3, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, February 4 at 2 p.m. Friday, February 16 at 7:30 p.m. has been reserved as a snow date, if needed.

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French Sing-Alongs resume at Lewiston-Auburn College

Aliette Couturier, Rita Gosseling, Jeannine Doucette, Mary LeClerc, Gail Lawrence, Jacynthe Jacques, pianist Jeannette Gregoire, and Louise Bolduc, also known as Les Troubadours, kick off a new season singing favorite French and Franco-American songs on Friday, September 15 at 1:30 p.m. in Room 170 at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College. All are invited to attend the monthly sessions, where song books are provided so those unfamiliar with the songs, or less than fluent in French, can sing along. The event is sponsored by the Franco Collection at USM-LAC. For more information, call 576-4109.

Tree Street Youth Center director to address Rotary Club

Julia Sleeper

The guest speaker at the next meeting of the Lewiston-Auburn Rotary Club on Thursday, September 21 at noon will be Julia Sleeper, co-founder and Executive Director of Tree Street Youth Center in Lewiston. The event will take place at the Village Inn at 165 High Street in Auburn. Guests are welcome and no reservations are required. Lunch will be available at the restaurant.

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Lewiston landmark celebrates 100th anniversary with Gatsby-themed event

Today, the beautifully renovated building serves as a premier event facility.

The Royal Oak Room, formerly home to downtown Lewiston’s historic Maine Central Railroad train station, will celebrate its 100th anniversary this year with a Gatsby-themed gala event on Saturday, September 16 at 6 p.m. The public is invited to help celebrate the rich history of this landmark property by stepping back in time to an era when gin and jazz were the talk of the town. The party will feature live music by Mike Willette’s Big Band, swing dance performances and demonstrations, and a silent auction to bene?t the Alzheimer’s Association. The Royal Oak Room is located at 1 Bates Street in Lewiston. For more information or to buy tickets, call 333-3242 or visit www.royaloakroom.com.

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Op-Ed: Fear of L-A merger comes from long- and short-term costs

By Robert Reed, Lewiston

Maura Murphy is right—those of us who are opposed to the merger live in fear. (Op-Ed: “Opposition to L-A merger seems to come from fear,” TCT, August 24, 2017).

But perhaps she should ask what our fears are, instead of assuming so much.

Eight years ago we went through a similar attempt while I served on Lewiston City Council, and it was by the efforts of a small group that we debunked the numbers provided and were able to stop what would have been a disaster. Today I find myself in a similar place, again having to analyze the numbers provided and place them in context and defend my actions. So what do I fear?

I fear significant tax increases, both long term and short term, should a merger pass. While the Joint Charter Commission report provided lots of hypotheticals of what the city could look like in terms of savings, they glossed over the costs associated with a merger, simply listing them without assigning any financial weight to them. As chairperson of the City of Lewiston Finance Committee, I see these costs often and was able to ask those who do the actual work what the costs might be for some of the expenses. Just taking the $2.4 million the JCC indicates could be saved and reducing it by the leveling-up of management salaries totaling $1.6 million leaves two cities combined only saving $800,000 a year. But we must calculate the other costs.

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Governor’s Address: Join the fight to lower taxes and help Maine families prosper

It is so refreshing to have a President in the White House who truly understands what it takes to create jobs and grow the economy.

Dear Maine Taxpayer,

From his long and successful career in business, President Trump knows firsthand that a burdensome tax code doesn’t create jobs, it kills them. When he outlined his vision for tax reform last week, I was pleased to see it will help Maine families keep more of their hard-earned paychecks.

Americans now spend 6 million hours and more than $250 billion preparing taxes each year. Small businesses incur between $15 and $16 billion on tax-compliance costs.

Imagine if even a fraction of that money was spent investing in our economy, creating jobs, taking family vacations or raising wages. Imagine doing your taxes on a single sheet of paper.

The U.S. tax code is inefficient, bureaucratic and does not promote a competitive economy. It stifles companies and prevents job creation. I agree with President Trump that Americans deserve a tax system that is simple, fair and easy to understand.

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Enough is Enough: Progressives favor a Portland-style Democrat for Congress

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

“I am not a Portland Democrat!” bellowed Lewiston Democratic State Representative Jared Golden. But his actions and votes in Augusta would garner him an Academy Award for acting like one.

He is being urged to run for Congress by the progressive leadership of Maine’s Democratic Party, hoping that his combat service in Iraq and Afghanistan (for which I hold him in high regard) will mask his progressive political leanings in Augusta.

He has combined his legislative experience and his service in the Marine Corps to figuratively blow a hole in Maine’s effort, which is overwhelmingly supported in Maine’s Second Congressional District, to deny benefits to undocumented illegal aliens. His vote has placed an unnecessary burden on Maine taxpayers and certain service cities (Lewiston being one) to bear the cost of these undocumented individuals so that Maine’s privileged progressives in the First Congressional District could ease their guilt.

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Norlands hosts Saturday Pie Social

The Merry Plinksters

Step back into the post-Civil War era against a backdrop of rolling fields and woodlands at a Pie Social hosted by Washburn-Norlands Living History Center on Saturday, September 9, from 1 to 4 p.m. History and music, along with the delicious aroma of fresh-baked homemade pies, will fill the autumn air at this seventh annual fundraising event for Norlands.

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