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Archive for October 2011

Councilors, officials urge support for casino

The Lewiston City Council endorsed a resolution on October 4 calling upon Maine voters to support Question 3 on the statewide November ballot, which would allow a casino on the Bates Mill No. 5 property in Lewiston.

“We are thankful for the vocal support of the Lewiston City Council,” said Ron Chicoine, MD, a local physician and investor in Great Falls Entertainment, LLC, which was formed to get a casino in Lewiston.

Chicoine’s comments followed the Lewiston City Council’s endorsement. “This project has moved beyond a local investment group, and we are happy to see the local community embrace it as their own,” he said.

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Dempsey Challenge raises over $1 million for Dempsey Center

The third annual Dempsey Challenge presented by Amgen attracted 3,834 runners, walkers and cyclists from 34 states, plus Canada, Dubai, Germany and Switzerland, and raised over one million dollars to benefit The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing at Central Maine Medical Center.

The events took place during the weekend of October 8 and 9 at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston.

The L.L.Bean 5K and 10K run/walk events took place on Saturday, Oct. 8, followed by Fundraising Rides of 10, 25, 50, 70 and 100 miles presented by Exergy Development Group the following day. Other highlights included the Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Survivor Walk, Auburn Firefighters Local 797 Kids’ Fun Run and the free, family-friendly Festival in the Park, which included the Concentra Health and Wellness Expo and live entertainment.

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Laura Davis wins Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Survivor Award

Mother of five and 22-year cancer survivor Laura Davis of Buckfield has been named the 2011 Amgen Breakaway from Cancer® Survivor Award winner. The award is given to a cancer survivor involved in Central Maine community outreach and demonstrates a passion for helping others with cancer.

It is presented in conjunction with the annual Dempsey Challenge presented by Amgen, the primary fundraising event for The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing at Central Maine Medical Center.

Davis was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when her first-born daughter, Sarah, was just four-weeks-old and has dealt with six additional diagnoses over the years.

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LETTER: Maine People’s Alliance doesn’t represent the people of Maine

To the Editor:

In June, a group of roughly 50 people entered a local Bank of America branch in Brunswick in the middle of the business day. Many wore hooded sweatshirts pulled over their heads and raised their fists in defiance, reminiscent of the mobs that recently plagued the streets of London.

The group brought business at the bank to a standstill as they filled the lobby, waved signs and voiced their rage through a bullhorn. This exercise in disruption, called a “flash protest,” was produced by a group of professional malcontents known as the Maine People’s Alliance. The MPA is the leading force behind the “Yes on 1” campaign to reinstate same-day voter registration in Maine. The similarities between the street-punk hostilities at Bank of America and the MPA’s referendum effort are striking.

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Mayor’s Corner: Free Trade Agreements are not free and not fair!

By Laurent F. Gilbert Sr.

Mayor of Lewiston

Why is it that when we enter into Free Trade Agreements, we as a country, place ourselves at a disadvantage for American workers? Hasn’t the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) provided a lesson for us as a country?

The free trade agreements (FTAs) with Korea, Columbia and Panama were negotiated by the Bush Administration and after some adjustments are now being proposed by President Obama for passage by Congress. These three FTAs, according to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka are similar to NAFTA, which has cost almost 700,000 jobs and created a $97 billion U.S. trade deficit with Mexico. He called it “a miserable failure for working people.”

Although I believe that President Obama’s jobs bill is not large enough, at least it is a step in the right direction that will help with infrastructure investment and help local economies, that which is so desperately needed. This is the type of job creation that we need and to not pass agreements that send American jobs overseas and leave our communities behind.

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L/A Arts presents “An Evening with Groucho”

On Saturday, October 29 L/A Arts kicks of their new season with the award-winning show by Frank Ferrante, “An Evening with Groucho.” Ferrante’s award-winning portrayal of American comedy legend Groucho Marx was picked by NPR as one of the country’s top five solo shows.

For more than 20 years and 2,500 performances, Frank has traveled the world entertaining audiences of all ages from New York to London to PBS television. Frank’s fast-paced show highlights classic Marx Brothers routines, songs, stories, dances and hilarious audience interaction.

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Professional women cyclists join Dempsey Challenge this weekend

Coryn Rivera and Kristin McGrath of the Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12 women’s professional cycling team will join actor Patrick Dempsey and thousands of participants in the third annual Dempsey Challenge presented by Amgen.

The run, walk and cycling fundraising weekend is scheduled for Oct. 8 and 9 in Lewiston. The events will host over 3,000 participants from 33 states and four countries. Funds raised through the Dempsey Challenge benefit The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

Rivera, 19, is one of the fastest rising stars of women’s cycling. She began riding at age 10 and is the winningest junior rider in USA history for both men and women. She’s won 32 Junior National Championship titles in road, track and cyclocross, plus a pair of bronze Junior World Championship medals. She currently has her sights set on the 2016 Olympics.

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Dempsey Challenge Schedule of Events

(All times are subject to change)

Friday, October 7

2 8 p.m. Packet Pick Up and New Registration. Simard-Payne Memorial Park, 46 Beech Street, Lewiston.

Saturday, October 8

5:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. Runner and Walker Packet Pick Up and Event Day Registration at Simard-Payne Memorial Park.

7 a.m. Opening Ceremonies

8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cyclist Packet Pick Up and New Registration at Simard-Payne Memorial Park.

Festival in the Park: Concentra Health and Wellness Expo, Vendor Fair, Positive Tracks TD Bank KidZone, Hannaford 5 & 10K Café (participants only), Gritty McDuffs Tent, Concessions, The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing tent, Massage & Reiki Tent, live entertainment, health screenings, fitness equipment demos, the Prevent Cancer Super Colon, Slacklines Demo and more!

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LePage: State cracking down on Unemployment Insurance fraud

This is the weekly address delivered on October 1 by Governor Paul LePage.

In Maine, the price tag of unemployment improper payments and fraud amounted to approximately $6.5 million last year. That price is passed onto employers, who fund unemployment benefits through taxes paid on a share of each workers’ wages.

But the full cost is ultimately paid by all of us because when it is more expensive for businesses to add to their workforce, it stifles job creation and harms our economy as a whole.

Under the new leadership of Commissioner Robert Winglass, the Maine Department of Labor has stepped up efforts to prevent overpayments and fraud at the Department of Labor.

The agency has ramped up efforts to inform unemployment claimants about their responsibility under the law to be actively seeking work and willing and able to accept a job during the time that they are collecting benefits.

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Mayor’s Corner: Two-hundred Mayor’s Corner Columns and still counting

By Laurent F. Gilbert Sr.

Mayor of Lewiston

This is my 200th Mayor’s Corner column, and I am continuing to write until the end of my term the first week of January, 2012. After writing 100 columns, I re-capped the columns, so I have decided to re-cap the second hundred. So here goes:

Going back to August 2009, I wrote about Lewiston resident Nancy Dubord introducing me to the Maine Military and Community Network (MMCN), whose mission is to develop and maintain a multi group network between community, military, government and private sectors that creates awareness of challenges and resources and provides services to all service members and their families throughout the military units deployment cycle.

At the end of his life, I wrote about my memories and contacts with Senator Ted Kennedy in providing security for him.

I wrote about congratulating Michael Bussiere, Lewiston’s new Chief of Police.

In September, 2009, I reported on my attendance at the Mayors Institute on City Design at the Northeastern University School of Architecture with a focus of the Riverfront Island; we are following up now with the Riverfront Island Master Plan process.

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