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Archive for September 2011

Op/Ed: Private-sector leaders are taking Maine government in healthy new direction

By State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin

Some 230 years ago, the founding documents that created our representative Republic acknowledged that free enterprise is the optimal engine of prosperity and liberty.

Our Founding Fathers and their fellow colonists included merchants, trades people and farmers. They understood the importance of hard work and enjoyed the fruits of their labor. They were thrifty and resourceful. They embraced risk and its potential for reward. They invented and competed, and sold their products far from their New World. They were private sector business people.

For more than two centuries, our dynamic free enterprise machine has generated new income and wealth for 300 million fellow Americans. Part of that income is taxed to provide services for our citizens, including national defense. Without a healthy and growing economic engine, we cannot live better lives—we cannot be free.

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LETTER: Older Mainers face “food insecurity”

To the Editor:

As Governor Le Page has declared September “Hunger Action” month, this seems a good time for all Mainers to consider the challenges that lie ahead for many of our older friends and neighbors as we head toward winter.

In a recently published report, AARP Foundation reveals that hunger among older Americans has jumped nearly 80 percent in just 10 years. It’s a shocking fact that of the 50 million Americans presently at risk of hunger across the country, 9 million are age 50 and older.

Unfortunately, the statistics for Maine are also shocking. In each of the categories measured in the report, Maine fared very poorly when compared to other New England states. In some cases, Maine had the worst statistics for the entire Northeast region.

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LETTER: “Fighting for our way of life”

Letter to the Editor:

Remember, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck . . . Yet our major news outlets have taken cover with the pre-9/10 mentality of saying, “Duck? What duck?”

Political correctness permeates the workplaces, the media, government and, sadly, many churches. It is going to be the end of us as a nation if we don’t wake up and start making changes fast.

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Mayor’s Corner: Recent mass immigration isn’t so recent; it’s 10 years old

By Laurent F. Gilbert Sr.

Mayor of Lewiston

Yes, 10 years have passed since the arrival of our Somali immigrants. The first “recent” immigrants to arrive were the Togolese. There were only a few families. They spoke French, and they were Catholics. At the time, I was serving on the Sisters of Charity Health System Board of Directors.

An apartment building on Golder Street that had been used for the hospital’s office was renovated back to four apartments to receive four Togolese families. People from local Catholic Churches donated clothing, kitchen items, furniture, bedding, etc.—everything a family would need to get established. As a board, we scrubbed the entire inside of the building.

We named it “Maison Bienvenue” (Welcome House). Bishop Joseph Gerry came to a house opening and blessed it. It was a wonderful feeling to be part of an initiative to receive families that had to flee their home in order to save their lives.

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Vanessa Steele, 8, looks at a bent piece of steel from the World Trade center during a 9/11 ceremony at Auburn’s Central Fire Headquarters. The steel is part of a permanent memorial at the station. Hundreds attended the solemn event, which also included a Red Cross Blood Drive. See story and photos by Rachel Morin on pages 6 and 7.



WWII bombers, fighter flying into A-L Airport

The Wings of Freedom Tour of the WWII-vintage B-17 Flying Fortress, B-24 Liberator and P-51 Mustang will fly in Auburn/Lewiston Municipal Airport for a visit from September 19 to September 21.

In honor of our WWII veterans, The Collings Foundation’s Wings of Freedom Tour is flying in the extremely rare bomber and fighter aircraft for local living history display as part of a 110-city nationwide tour.

Participating in the tour is the famed Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine” Heavy Bomber, the Consolidated B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft” Heavy Bomber and a P-51 Mustang, considered the greatest fighter plane during WWII.

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Macdonald to run for mayor of Lewiston

Retired Lewiston Police Detective Robert E. Macdonald has announced that he’s running for mayor of the City of Lewiston.

Macdonald believes that the development of Lewiston’s riverfront and Lincoln/Main Street area has the potential for producing an economic boom for the city and placing the community in direct competition for tourist dollars now being spent in Portland.

“However, this can’t be accomplished until we directly confront the major problem facing Lewiston: our reputation as a service (welfare) city,” he stated.

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LETTER: Mobilize now to ensure victory in 2012

Letter to the Editor:

About a year ago, I became politically active. I’ve always been conservative, but I never had the guts to actually do the heavy lifting involved with winning an election. It’s easy to talk a good game, but when it comes down to actually putting yourself out there, especially in potentially difficult situations, it is a tough thing to follow through with.

But things had gotten so bad in this state that I felt I had to do something. I looked at the 2010 election as our last shot to turn our state around.

I went door to door and made calls for Republican candidates. I was only planning to do this for two or three hours a week. But I got so caught up in it that it became a 12-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week, two-month obsession. I gave myself a nickname, “Jimmy Lit-Drop,” because I was like Johnny Appleseed spreading those wonderful LePage letters and Levesque palm cards all over Androscoggin County.

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Mayor’s Corner: Thirty-one-year-old Lewiston City Charter to be reviewed

By Laurent F. Gilbert Sr.

Mayor of Lewiston

As mayor of the All-America City of Lewiston, it has been my goal to have the Lewiston City Charter reviewed. The current City Charter took effect on January 7, 1980. Certainly, this charter was a vast improvement over its predecessor, the 1939 Charter.

I am a firm believer that such a governing document should be periodically reviewed to see if it needs some tweaking with minor changes or the creation of a full charter commission in order to make some more substantial changes.

At the August 16, 2011 City Council meeting, the council unanimously voted for a resolve establishing a City Charter Review Committee. The purpose is for the committee to undertake a comprehensive review of the charter and to recommend to the City Council amendments to the charter designed to improve the operations of city government or to recommend to the City Council whether a Charter Commission should be elected to undertake more substantive revisions to the charter that might alter the basic structure or form of city government.

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CLT to host Masquerade Ball and Auction

Community Little Theatre will be kicking off its 72nd season by hosting an enchanting Masquerade Ball and Benefit Auction on Saturday, October 29, beginning with a VIP Reception at 6 p.m. at The Ramada Conference Center in Lewiston.

Mistress of Ceremonies Shannon Moss of WMTW News 8 will entertain guests with her elegance and charm. The Bob Charest Band will have guests dancing the night away. And select gourmet hors d’oeuvres, wines and desserts will be catered by the innovative Chef Randy, who is new to the Ramada Conference Center.

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