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This week’s edition!

Governor’s Address: Market must drive energy costs, not handouts

Protecting our natural resources is a priority. It is also a priority for me to make sure Mainers can afford to live in this great state we call home.

Dear Maine Taxpayer,

Maine’s electricity rates are among the highest in the nation. In fact, we rank number 11 in highest costs. When you see your electricity bill, you should know these rates are artificially high. The reason is what liberals like to call “subsidies” or “stranded costs.”

These subsidies are taxpayer dollars funneled to the solar and wind industry to make sure they do not go bankrupt. Alternative forms of energy are worthwhile, but they are expensive—and you pay the price.

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Only Steps Forward: Regional trails, parks could link historic downtowns, other regions

By Jonathan P. LaBonte

Mayor of Auburn

With the arrival of spring, it’s good to point our minds to something that’s not white snow out our windows. As a follow-up to my update last week on the Androscoggin and Little Androscoggin Rivers more broadly, I wanted to provide an update on two projects that were first envisioned 20 years ago that could be prime to move forward.

In the late 1990s, the Cities of Auburn and Lewiston, along with the Androscoggin Land Trust, created a grand vision for an Androscoggin Greenway; an interconnected network of trails and parks that would link our historic downtown neighborhoods with regions to our north and south.

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Enough is Enough: Activists prevail in the Legislature, voters are left in the dark

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

They’re back!

The Maine State Legislature is now in full session. If you’re one of the many average people who religiously gets up each morning, braves the elements and trudges to work to support yourself and your family, then it’s time again to put a Herculean grip on your wallet or purse.

Yes, it’s that time again when social workers, educators, lawyers, career politicians, theater directors, counselors and some unemployable souls come together, don the hat of State Legislator and attempt to tackle complex issues that are usually well above their paygrade. This stands to cost you, the taxpayer, some money.

Yet, as a possible victim of their decisions do you have any idea what’s going on under the copper dome in Augusta? Probably not.

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Franco Center presents Adult Prom Night April 7 and 8

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With the coronation of a Prom King and Queen, a photo booth, the prom punch you always dreamed of, and many other surprises, the event promises to be “just like high school… only better!”

The Gendron Franco Center will present its Adult Prom Night on Friday and Saturday, April 7 and 8, at 7 p.m. Billed as “just like high school… only better,” the event will be hosted by Franco Center director Mitch Thomas in the guise of the principal of fictitious L-A High School.

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Safe Voices marks 40th anniversary in 2017

Safe Voices, previously known as the Abused Women’s Advocacy Project, marks its 40th anniversary this year. The agency, which works to empower those affected by domestic violence in Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin Counties, was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 1977, prompted by a critical need in the area for emergency shelter for abused women and their children.

At that time, with no low-income housing or federal or state monies earmarked to address the effects of domestic violence, local communities struggled to meet the needs of battered women and children who were not safe. When four women from Androscoggin County went to Massachusetts to learn about that state’s efforts to help battered women, Safe Voices was born from their efforts as two local families began accepting women into their homes.

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Camden National Bank helps area students support school teams

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The Lewiston High School Class A State Champion hockey team

Over the past several weeks, Camden National Bank has donated over $10,000 to provide tickets for over 2,100 high school students to attend and cheer on their boys’ and girls’ hockey and basketball teams as they competed in the state championship finals.

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Ice Out Plunge at Winthrop Town Beach to benefit Special Olympics

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For the inaugural event three years ago, organizers needed to cut a large hole in the ice.

Special Olympics Maine and the Maine Law Enforcement Torch Run will present the fourth annual Ice Out Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Maine on Saturday, March 25 at noon at the Winthrop Town Beach at Maranacook Lake. Hosted by the Alfred W. Maxwell Jr. American Legion Post 40 and Auxiliary of Winthrop, the event is open to everyone aged 8 and older. Each participant must raise a minimum of $100 and will receive a long-sleeve commemorative T-shirt. Additional prizes and incentives will be awarded for achievement in fundraising.

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Governor’s Address: Congress should stick to its promises on ObamaCare

After saying for eight years they would repeal and replace ObamaCare, many politicians in Congress are now focused on doing just that.

Dear Maine Taxpayer,

I went to Washington for one reason: to advocate for the Maine people. Unfortunately, an element of the highly paid career politicians down there are focused more on getting re-elected than truly reforming our health care system.

My goal is not to increase government spending on entitlements. I am fighting for an accountable and affordable Medicaid program that provides a strong safety net for our elderly, disabled, women and children and those who are unable to buy insurance.

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Only Steps Forward: Those profiting from our rivers should help with L-A’s redevelopment

By Jonathan P. LaBonte

Mayor of Auburn

Last week, the LA Metro Chamber hosted its monthly breakfast at the Franco Center in Lewiston highlighting the topic of the Androscoggin River.

I was pleased to be able to share the floor with Ed Barrett, City Administrator of Lewiston, and Shelley Kruszewski and Jim Pross from the Androscoggin Land Trust to provide an update on progress being made to reconnect the community with the river and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

While many in Auburn have heard my pitch before about how the rivers, both the Androscoggin and often-forgotten Little Androscoggin, could be recreational and environmental assets that would attract people to visit and want to live in our neighborhoods, it seemed like this might be a chance to check in again as we enter spring.

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Enough is Enough: Bad behavior putting stress on neighborhoods of longtime residents

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

One of the most pressing problems facing Lewiston today is a chemical so powerful that just a slight elevation in one’s body causes crazy and destructive behavior.

At this point federal, state and local governments have not invested one penny towards research in order to bring elevated body levels of this chemical down. This failure to act is causing financial and emotional distress among the residents of several Lewiston neighborhoods.

No, I’m not talking about opioids, but a chemical found in abundance in adolescent and often thoughtless young men: testosterone.

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