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Archive for May 2012

Hilton Worldwide recognizes Auburn Riverwatch for Customer Loyalty

Hilton Worldwide recently recognized the Hilton Garden Inn Auburn Riverwatch team for achieving a Customer Loyalty score of 84.1% in April, ranking the 138-room Auburn hotel number nine out of the Garden Inn brand’s 542 hotels.

Alan Roberts, vice president, brand performance support and sales, Hilton Worldwide, congratulated General Manager Scott McKenney and his team for this accomplishment.

“We’re thrilled to receive this honor,” said McKenney. “Our team is focused daily on providing an exceptional guest experience by personalizing the service for each individual guest, helping the hotel regularly perform in the top ten for Northeastern Hilton Garden Inns.”

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Out & About with Rachel Morin: Senior College trip to Robert Frost Farm in Derry, N.H.

By Rachel Morin

On a rain-drenched May morning, I joined the caravan of cars heading to the Robert Frost Farm in Derry, New Hampshire. Led by June Spear, instructor for the Poetry of Robert Frost class at USM’s L/A Senior College, our field trip to the National Historic Landmark was a goal she set for the conclusion of her class. We were in good spirits, however, and were looking forward to learning more about Frost and how he lived.

It was early in the season, and June had made arrangements to have the National Historic Landmark open for us. Currently under the direction and care of the State of New Hampshire, Division of Parks and Recreation, the farm is a New Hampshire Historic Site and listed on the National Registry for historic landmarks of national significance.

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Benoit Bourque to perform high-energy dance, music

Noted French-Canadian folk musician and dancer Benoit Bourque will be joined by family and friends in concerts on Friday, May 18 and Sunday, May 20 at Bates College. Bourque brings his contagious energy, charisma and versatility, switches effortlessly from accordion to guitar to bones as he regales his audiences with chansons à repondre and other songs derived from Quebec’s rich archive of traditional ballads both humorous and heart-rending. For more information and schedule, scroll down this page or see TCT Digital Edition.

Republicans approve structural reforms to MaineCare

The Maine Senate and House on Tuesday approved a Supplemental Budget designed to reduce spending on MaineCare and put the state’s social safety net on a sound footing for the future. Gov. Paul LePage was expected to sign bill.

On final party-line votes of 19-14 in the Senate and 75-61 in the House, Republicans passed structural changes to MaineCare that will lower costs and seeks to end annual budget shortfalls that have plagued state government for years and threaten funding for other vital state programs.

LD 1746, the Supplemental Budget bill, was modified significantly by Republicans on the Appropriations Committee from the original proposal submitted by Governor LePage, while concurring with his position that structural changes are needed to ensure that MaineCare and core state government programs remain sustainable going forward.

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Health care costs drop as a result of Republican reform

Rates for individual health care plans in Maine are set to drop as much as 60% this July as a result of health reform law PL 90, adopted in March 2011.

PL 90, the free-market-based health reform law, was passed last March by a Republican majority in Maine’s legislature. Governor Paul LePage signed the bill in a ceremony at the State House amid cries from Democrats who insisted it would not reduce costs.

“The law takes Maine in the wrong direction,” said Emily Cain, the house Democrat leader at the time the bill was passed.

But, if you’re a Mainer looking for individual health coverage, you’re going to be encouraged by the direction private health care costs are going: down.

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Enough is Enough: L-A is not on par with Portland; it’s better

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Rome was not built in a day, yet many living in Lewiston and Auburn expect that we should be flourishing on par with Boston or, at least, Portland.

They complain there is nothing to do. To avoid boredom, Portland or Boston is the place to be. They long for a past Lewiston that was alive and filled with nightlife on the weekends.

Many of the men and women I used to work with vividly remember the nightly activity on Lisbon Street—but not in the nostalgic manner that seems to permeate the memories of older citizens and their grandchildren longing for the return of bygone days.

No, my colleagues weren’t sitting in cars on lower Lisbon Street munching on snacks and drinking sodas. We were providing the entertainment for those in their cars, battling with intoxicated millworkers who needed a place to blow off steam after slaving all week in conditions that are unacceptable today.

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LETTER: Eliminating the income tax is unwise

To the Editor:

Too many lobbyists influence too many legislators who create too many taxes. Taxes are inflicted upon blueberries, potatoes, quahogs, pet food and even milk.

Every product, every activity, is a possible tax candidate. They’ve even considered dairy sperm. They are voracious and, unless controlled, neither we nor our dairy cattle are safe.

Our politicians, like choirboys, have memorized the words and music to the popular refrain: “Let’s reduce taxes.” But they are angelic and rosy-cheeked only when singing. Out of sight, they are mischievously creating or increasing taxes.

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French-Canadian folk musician, step dancer Benoit Bourque to peform

Noted French-Canadian folk musician and dancer Benoit Bourque will be joined by both family and friends in a pair of concerts taking place on Friday, May 18 and Sunday, May 20 on the Bates College campus in Lewiston.

A member of the distinguished Quebecois band La Bottine Souriante (a multi-time winner of the Juno Award, Canada’s version of the Emmy), Bourque has plied his skills as a singer, instrumentalist and step dancer with many other popular Canadian ensembles over the past 30-plus years, most recently with Le Vent du Nord and Matapat.

Bourque, who has been lauded widely in the press for his “contagious” energy, charisma and versatility, switches effortlessly from accordion to guitar to bones as he regales his audiences with chansons à repondre and other songs derived from Quebec’s rich archive of traditional ballads both humorous and heart-rending.

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Lewiston man sentenced for food stamp fraud

Attorney General William J. Schneider announced that David M. Stain, 46, of Lewiston, pled guilty to two counts of Class C theft and was sentenced Monday for stealing Food Stamps and Public Assistance Benefits in the amount of $11,001.

Androscoggin County Superior Court Justice Mary Gay Kennedy sentenced Stain to one year in jail, all but 60 days suspended, and one year of probation with the requirement that he pay restitution.

Stain admitted that during a two-year period he obtained $9,407 in public assistance from the City of Lewiston by failing to disclose that his wife, who also receives public benefits, was living in his household.

Stain also admitted stealing $1,600 in benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) by selling his Electronic Benefits Transfer Card (EBT card) with $200 of monthly benefits to his sister for eight months and providing her with his PIN number so that she could access the benefits.

Stain used the cash to buy cigarettes.

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Gilbert to serve on D.C. panel about refugee resettlement

Former Lewiston mayor Larry Gilbert has been invited to serve on a panel at the 2012 U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops/Migrant and Refugee Services National, which runs from May 9 to 11 in Washington, D.C.

He will serve as a panelist on “Engaging Receiving Communities in Immigrant Integration Plenary,” which will take place on Friday, May 11.

Susan Downs-Karkos, Bates College graduate of Denver, Colorado Welcoming America Initiative, will be the moderator of the panel. In addition to Gilbert, panelists will include Robin Jones of the Office of Refugee Resettlement and Rachel Steinhardt of Welcoming America in Washington, D.C.

The goal of the panel is to help participants: gain a better understanding of the concept of receiving communities and how to apply it to their refugee resettlement work; learn how to engage local leaders in their work; understand the uniqueness of receiving communities; and be motivated to join the receiving communities movement.

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