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This week’s edition!

Governor’s Address: PUC decision confirms ratepayers pay twice

Our electricity rates are far above the national average—Maine has moved up from the 12th highest rates to the 11th highest in the United States.

Dear Maine Taxpayer,

High rates have destroyed our industrial base, our commercial base and, more importantly, are causing higher rates for those who can least afford it, our retirees.

The decision by the Public Utilities Commission to compensate owners of solar panels for transmission and distribution is taking Maine in the wrong direction. It increases prices on ratepayers by charging them twice for T and D of electricity.

I agree solar customers should be compensated for the electricity they generate at fair market rates. However, other Mainers should not have to subsidize their installation costs to make solar viable.

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Only Steps Forward: Story of famous Auburn benefactor is more relevant than ever

By Jonathan P. LaBonte

Mayor of Auburn

The name is as pervasive as any in this community. It’s in the newspaper regularly. You read it on posters, hear it from seniors at the local diner and from the mouths of kids. Yet more often than not, it’s associated with a building or the institution and not the man.

The name? Edward Little.

All of that will change in the coming weeks as Bates College Political Science Professor Emeritus Doug Hodgkin releases his newest book, “Dear Parent: A Biography and Letters of Edward Little.”

The roll-out began with a book signing at the historic home of Edward Little on Main Street, now owned by local CPA Robert Grieshaber, and will include other public events and presentations by Mr. Hodgkin.

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Enough is Enough: Local legislators try to replicate “Ban the Box” legislation

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Now before the Legislature is a bill, LD-288, “An Act To Prohibit Any Question Regarding Criminal History On State Employment Applications.” It was submitted by Democratic State Rep. Bettyann Sheats of Auburn and co-sponsored by Rep. James Handy and Senator Nate Libby, both of Lewiston.

The $64,000 question: What is the purpose of this bill?

The bill appears to somewhat mirror a Massachusetts bill that prohibits, under penalty of prosecution, a prospective employer from asking potential candidates if they have a criminal history. This law is referred to as the “Ban the Box” legislation. The law is nothing more than a continuance of more anti-business legislation designed to punish business owners for some perceived social injustice that has supposedly kept low-born people in poverty.

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Franco Center brings Mardi Gras party to L-A

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Courtesy of the State Street Traditional Jazz Band, the event will feature the rousing sounds of New Orleans-style Jazz.

Genuine Cajun cooking and music by the State Street Traditional Jazz Band will come together to create the best Mardi Gras party in Central Maine on Tuesday, February 28 at 7 p.m. at the Gendron Franco Center in Lewiston. Seating for this festive dinner-dance event is limited and reserved tickets are $20 each.

In the great tradition of those legendary New Orleans celebrations, this event will treat guests to the sounds of the Big Easy, free-flowing spirits at the cash bar, and authentic Cajun cuisine. The menu will feature Jambalaya with chicken and shrimp, Andouille sausage with peppers and onions, Cajun-roasted sweet potatoes, and King Cake for dessert. The State Street Traditional Jazz Band of Portland, who have been honoring the joyful roots of jazz music since 1989, will lend a slice of history to the party in the rousing sounds of New Orleans-style Jazz.

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Lewiston taps D’auteuil for Deputy City Administrator position 

Lewiston City Administrator Ed Barrett has announced that Denis D’Auteuil will replace long-time Deputy City Administrator Phil Nadeau, who will be retiring at the end of June. D’Auteuil is the Assistant City Administrator of Auburn and has been serving as Auburn’s Acting City Administrator. A Lewiston resident and native, he has been an Auburn employee since 2010, where he has filled the successively more responsible positions of Deputy Public Works Director, Public Services Director, and Assistant City Administrator. Prior to entering public service, he was a manager in the transportation and logistics field and served in the United States Air Force.

“I am extremely pleased that Denis will be joining Lewiston’s management team,” said Barrett. “As a Lewiston native, he knows our community. Through his service in Auburn, he is familiar with our local governments and has worked closely with and impressed members of our staff. His work in Auburn has shown that he has the necessary background and leadership skills to make a significant contribution to moving Lewiston forward.”

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Area musicians to gather for “Blowin’ in the Wind” concert

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This benefit concert for Lewiston’s Pettingill Park will feature a variety of musicians performing classic folk songs from the 1960s. (Photo by Gini Haines of Haines Photography)

Local guitarist, singer and songwriter Denny Breau has assembled a group of Maine musicians to stage a Folk Fest that will benefit Pettingill School Park in Lewiston. This “Blowin’ in the Wind” concert on Sunday, March 5 from 1 to 4 p.m. will take place at the Franco Center and will feature the music of Simon & Garfunkle, Bob Dylan, the Mama’s and Papa’s, Peter, Paul and Mary, and other popular folkies from that era.

“Music got us through those turbulent ’60s,” explains Breau. “With the current divisions we are witnessing today, I thought it would be a good time to pull out some of those old songs.”

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Valentines for Veterans

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Rep. Bettyann Sheats, D-Auburn, delivers Valentine’s Day cards to Charlie Ellis, who served in the Air Force, and Natalie Crosby, an ammunitions factory worker, at Schooner Estates. The cards were made by children at Auburn Public Library and were also delivered to residents of Clover Health Care and the Odd Fellows & Rebekah Home.

Only Steps Forward: Transition at Norway Savings Bank arena bodes well for Auburn

By Jonathan P. LaBonte

Mayor of Auburn

As we hit a high point in the hockey season here in Auburn, and with the Lion’s Tournament, America’s longest-running youth hockey tournament, kicking off this weekend, an update on the status of the city’s Norway Savings Bank Arena (NSBA) is warranted.

For anyone who follows city developments, or local hockey, you’ve likely heard that the general manager of NSBA has given his notice and will be moving on.

Marc Gosselin, who has served as GM of the arena and executive director of sports tourism for a little less than two years, announced last week he had accepted a front office position with the NHL franchise in Columbus, Ohio.

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Enough is Enough: Influx of out-of-state liberal ideas threatens Lewiston

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Over the past five-plus years, I have repeatedly warned readers of one of the biggest threats facing Maine and now Lewiston. It is the steady influx of out-of-state staunch liberals, especially from the state my brother and I fled from: Massachusetts.

Fleeing the liberal tyranny of what once was my beloved Massachusetts, I sought and was granted citizenship in Lewiston. The fact that New Hampshire stood as a buffer between Maine and Massachusetts provided me with a great comfort. But that was 40 years ago.

Since then this liberal enemy has slowly and deliberately secreted themselves into Maine’s First Congressional District. They are currently in the process of trying to turn Maine into, as Governor Paul R. LePage eloquently stated, “a socialist utopia.”

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Maine Family Snow Tube Park opens at Lost Valley

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Representatives from LAEGC, the L-A Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Lost Valley and Maine Family FCU cut the ribbon to officially open the new park.

Officials from Maine Family Federal Credit Union and Lost Valley Ski Area in Auburn have announced that the credit union has signed a five-year commitment for naming rights of the three-lane, 600’ long snow tubing park, which is completing construction and slated to open this week at Lost Valley Ski Area in Auburn. The park, to be named the Maine Family Snow Tube Park, will serve individuals, families, large groups, corporate outings and birthday parties. For additional information, including open hours and pricing, see LostValleySki.com or visit the Lost Valley Facebook Page.

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