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Archive for June 2012

Supreme Court rules on Obamacare: now what?

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled on Obamacare, what will happen in Maine?

Find out what happens next with Maine’s foremost expert on health care. The Maine Heritage Policy Center invites you to attend “ObamaCare: Maine’s Stake In The Fight,” a dinner presentation by Joel Allumbaugh, director, Center for Health Reform Initiatives at MHPC.

Allumbaugh played a key role in urging the legislature’s Insurance and Financial Services Committee to vote against a Democratic bill, LD 1498, which would have set up a state-level health insurance exchange that is mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare.” He insisted that Maine should wait for the Supreme Court to rule before investing time and resources to implement Obamacare.

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Liberty Festival to features food, fun, fireworks

The 16th Annual Liberty Festival will be held Wednesday, July 4 in Downtown L-A with food, fun, music and fireworks.

The 2012 Liberty Festival Planning Committee is pleased to once again offer our communities a family focused celebration of our nation’s freedom.

The excitement will be centered on both the Lewiston and Auburn sides of the Androscoggin riverfront. This year’s Liberty Festival—the 16th Annual—will include the sounds of great music performed by some of Maine’s finest bands, the smells and tastes of a variety of food vendors and the visuals of patriotic colors and crowds of happy families celebrating a day of deep meaning to us all.

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Art Walk, “Diner en Blanc” is Friday

Come out and celebrate the start of summer with L/A Arts and Art Walk Lewiston Auburn on Friday, June 29 with a lovely outdoor picnic and concert!

L/A Arts is excited to host the second annual “Diner en Blanc”, a pop-up Parisian picnic where guests dressed in all white congregate in a public space to connect with and enjoy their community. Diner en Blanc features a terrific Franco-influenced musical performance by Michele Choiniere.

Put on your best all white ensemble, grab a bottle of wine, a picnic basket and your best friends and join L/A Arts and Art Walk Lewiston Auburn at 6 p.m. on Friday June 29 in Dufresne Plaza on Lisbon Street in Downtown Lewiston.

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ALT hosts Youth Fishing Days in Downtown L-A

As a continuation of efforts to reconnect communities of the Androscoggin River to the recreational potential of this major Maine river, the Androscoggin Land Trust will be hosting Youth Fishing Days in Downtown Lewiston-Auburn during the summer of 2012. The first event was planned for this morning, June 28, at Little Andy Park in New Auburn.

Through efforts to assess potential land trail and water access to the Androscoggin River between the Androscoggin Riverlands State Park in Turner and Downtown Lewiston-Auburn, a series of community-based events are being coordinated by ALT to reconnect residents to the Androscoggin and build a sense of community ownership.

Recognizing the strengths of various state and local partners, ALT has engaged with the very successful “Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs” program of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to bring their programming and resources to the community.

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Enough is Enough: You are Lewiston, Lewiston is you

By Robert Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

While you may have a hard time connecting with me at City Hall, you will find me in local coffee shop hangouts. Although I have little real power, the status of the mayor’s office provides me the power of the “Bully Pulpit”.

This enables me to articulate in this paper, as well as the written and broadcast media, your concerns. Concerns relayed to me in public, by the public. Concerns I would not be aware of if I were shut up in my office at City Hall.

Many of you come up to me and compliment me on the “good job” I’m doing. While I appreciate the compliments, without Lewiston’s exceptional city council, unparalleled administration, devoted city employees, local investors who believe in Lewiston and your public support, I am no more than the emperor standing before you—without clothes.

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LETTER: Mayor Macdonald’s stance is refreshing

To the Editor:

Seems as though we have seen many letters recently criticizing Lewiston Mayor Robert Macdonald for following through on his “Enough is Enough” campaign promises. Are these letter writers mouthpieces for city and state representatives who don’t know how to deal with an honest politician?

It is so refreshing to have an elected official who is not afraid to do what the people who put him in office want. Bob was elected after running a campaign that promised to address the many issues that we are currently confronted with.

These included welfare reform, efforts to increase our tax base, thus lowering property taxes, and the need to change Lewiston’s image to one of pride rather than one of a welfare city.

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L/A Arts unveils student art work

L/A Arts will host an opening reception for its new exhibit, “HumaniTy Expressed Visually,” an artistic collaboration between the Lewiston Educational Achievement Program (LEAP) and Maranacook Community High School.

The event, part of Art Walk Lewiston-Auburn, will take place Friday, June 29, from 3:30 to 8 p.m. at the Community Gallery, 221 Lisbon Street in Lewiston, where the exhibit will be available for viewing until July 20.

The mission of HumaniTy Expressed Visually, an arts enrichment program of Lewiston Middle School LEAP, was to expand knowledge of communities, enhance communication skills, and foster self-awareness through hands-on cultural exploration in the visual arts. Student works featured in the exhibit will include a collection of logo and t-shirt designs, collaborative sculptures, and the award-winning mural design for EcoMaine’s “Recycling is a Work of Art,” painted onto a Silver Bullet.

Enough is Enough: Welfare reform and academic-type social engineers

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

I was pleasingly surprised by the public response I received on my June 7 column in Twin City TIMES, “LHS graduation marred by teens’ rude behavior”. The buzz it created made me feel like a rock star.

It also brought criticism from Will Fessenden of Sabattus, a former contributor to Lewiston’s local Sunday paper, and Dan Billings, Governor Paul LePage’s legal counsel. I seldom respond to criticism of my column, but in this case I’m going to adhere to the old adage: never look a gift horse in the mouth.

It appears that when it comes to words beginning with “A”, Billings and the administration become confused. You see, I like and believe in Governor LePage, thus making me an “ally”, not an “adversary”.

Lewiston and Auburn are members of the Maine Mayors Coalition, which is made up of 10 cities. In addition to Lewiston-Auburn, there is Augusta, Bangor, Biddeford, Portland, Saco, South Portland, Waterville and Westbrook. Our purpose is to band together and attempt to insure that legislation, which helpful to our needs as service-center cities, is passed.

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L-A legislators vow to fight toll hike

Lewiston-Auburn legislators are united in their opposition the Maine Turnpike Authority’s proposal to increase its tolls, which would dramatically hike rates for residents of Western Maine.

At a public meeting Tuesday in Auburn Hall, a long stream of legislators and residents railed against the proposed toll hikes to MTA Director Peter Mills and members of the Turnpike board.

The MTA rolled out its plan on June 1, which is estimated to generate an additional $26 million per year to help maintain and rehabilitate bridges, interchanges and pavement on the toll road, as well as help pay down existing debt.

The cash rate for tolls at West Gardiner and New Gloucester would increase from $1.75 to $2.50. The toll at York would jump from $2 to $3. Tolls for commercial trucks would also increase. Some residents of Western Maine could pay as much as $7 round trip to get to work each day.

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Liberty Festival announces entertainment line-up

Even bigger and better plans are in the works for this year’s Twin Cities 4th of July celebration. In addition to the state’s premier fireworks show, organizers of the 2012 Lewiston-Auburn Liberty Festival have announced a jam-packed entertainment line-up to appear at venues in Lewiston and Auburn.

The Lewiston Festival Stage will feature Skosh, the Chad Porter Trio, Firewater Creek, Terry and the Telstars, and a selection of karaoke finalists from Fusion at the Ramada Inn.

The Auburn Showcase Stage will feature a beer garden catered by Irish Twins Pub, with performances by Spice Weasel, Matt and the Barnburners, Random Order, Kaining Amy, the Luke Mulholland Band, the Brookside Independence All-Stars and Cold Blue Steel. Performing at Festival Plaza will be the Auburn Community Concert Band.

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