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Archive for September 2012

CLT casts Toto for “The Wiz”

Fifteen dogs and one cat turned out recently to audition for the role of “Toto” in Community Little Theatre’s upcoming production of “The Wiz.” The dog who beat out all the others for the role is Kale, a two-year-old Yorkshire Terrier from Lewiston. Kale lives with his owner, Marissa Lussier, who is very excited to have him join the cast of 40 adults and children from all over Central Maine. The play will premiere November 2. Kale is pictured here with fellow cast member Tiffany Warren, who will play Dorothy.

Group works to revise branding strategy for L-A

In February 2012, the Regional Image Committee (RIC) of the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce developed a Branding Initiative sub-committee to investigate a revised branding strategy for the Lewiston-Auburn area.

The Lewiston–Auburn Economic Growth Council (LAEGC) and RIC volunteers began with an evaluation of the “L/A, It’s Happening Here!” campaign and evolved into a more structured approach to L-A’s community branding as a whole.

The findings reflect the opinions of 381 Lewiston-Auburn residents and 209 non-residents collected by electronic survey over a three-month period between April and June 2012. Over 650 individuals responded to the questionnaire of which 590 were sufficiently completed to be included in the final data set.

Since the last public opinion survey was completed in 2006, the nation as a whole has been struggling through the aftermath of one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression. But Lewiston-Auburn has instilled enough sense of progress and forward thinking to maintain a relatively high level of confidence in the local economy and L-A as a whole.

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Lewiston Development Corporation celebrates 60 years of community improvements

The Lewiston Development Corporation board of directors held their annual meeting on Sept. 20, celebrating 60 years of business, success and community improvements.

After swearing in new members to the 17-member board, Chris Logan, Lewiston Development Corporation (LDC) board president and senior vice president for Androscoggin Bank, recognized the challenging economy while also highlighting recent LDC achievements.

“From refinancing deals on property in Downtown Lewiston to working with a major transportation company that brings hundreds of thousands of dollars in important tax and excise revenue to the City of Lewiston, this board has been active in the community over the last year,” said Logan.

Reiterating past achievements including the development of the Lewiston Industrial Park, Turnpike Industrial Park, creation of the first spec buildings in the Twin Cities and providing financial assistance into hundreds of companies located in Lewiston, Logan focused on the diversity of businesses assisted by LDC.

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LETTER: For many, welfare offer better benefits than working

To the Editor:

We know the welfare system is faulted, and we each have our own reasons or experiences for knowing it.  Mine began 50 years ago.  I was working weekends digging bloodworms.

A digger I occasionally saw on the mud flats told several of us an unusual story. He and his wife had amicably divorced and his only further obligation to her was the child support he paid for his two children.  He told us about a string of strange coincidences.

The woman he was seeing (living with) was also divorced, she also had two small children and by the strangest coincidence of all, her former husband was the new man in his ex-wife’s life. Both women were receiving Aid for Dependent Children (AFDC).

The two divorces changed the lives of the two families in the following ways: The women had unintentionally swapped mates; the two men, also unintentionally, had swapped families; they were all pleased with the new arrangements; and the standard of living for both families had increased by the exact amount of the AFDC checks. The two men, amicable toward each other, met periodically over coffee to pass each other child-support receipts, but no money.

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LETTER: Gas hits $4 a gallon—where is the media?

To the Editor:

When gasoline went to $2.25, I can remember exactly where I was: coaching my son’s football team. I remember because my fellow coaches and the parents of other players were extremely concerned about the outrageous run-up in prices.

Now, most people don’t have that seared-in-my-mind moment for something as mundane as a high gasoline price. But, since I’m the face of the retail gasoline marketers, it was a big deal at the time. I was further deluged with media calls and requests for interviews and, ultimately, the TV crews came directly to my house.

As long as they did not show the front of the house, I was fine with that. I expected the questions; the high prices were deserving of an answer. There were good reasons for the run-up, and the people should know why. So I was happy to tell them—as long as they did not know where I lived.

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“Dancing in the Harvest Moonlight” at Royal Oak Room

Lewiston’s historic, recently restored Royal Oak Room will host the 2nd annual “Dancing in the Harvest Moonlight” party on Saturday, September 29.

On Saturday, September 29, the historic, recently restored Royal Oak Room will open its doors to the public for the 2nd annual “Dancing in the Harvest Moonlight” party. The event will feature live music from one of L/A’s original Pal Hop bands, the Moon Dawgs, while a cash bar will serve seasonally themed cocktails. At last year’s event, the tone for the evening was set by gleaming, classic 1950s-era automobiles that greeted guests outside the ballroom.

Tickets for the event are $25 per person; a limited number of tables for 10 are available. To purchase tickets, call 333-3242. Last year’s event sold out quickly, so early ticket purchase is recommended. A portion of the evening’s proceeds will be donated to John F. Murphy Homes, which provides services to adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

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Park Ave. School Harvest Fest at Wallingford’s

Brothers Luka and Liam Kovacevich make it through the "big" maze in Wallingford's Backyard.

On Saturday, September 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wallingford’s Orchard in Auburn will be invaded by hundreds of happy, laughing children from Park Avenue School as they celebrate their annual Harvest Festival fundraiser.

In addition to the attractions provided by Wallingford’s Backyard Play Area (two corn mazes, mini-golf, an obstacle course, a noodle jungle, a zip line, and more), the Harvest Festival will offer a Bounce House and Bounce Slide, pumpkin crafts, memory tile crafts, face painting, fairy houses, and games. Food and drinks will be for sale.

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“Aurore: My Franco-American Mother” recalls L-A of long ago

By Rachel Morin

TCT columnist

The announcement called to me from the pages of the Twin City TIMES: Local author Marguerite Roy was going to discuss her book, “Aurore: My Franco-American Mother”, at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College. How could I not answer the call?

Me, with a name like Morin, marrying into a large Franco family and before that with a maiden name of Gilbert, with my father and his equally large Franco family—I had to go.

And so, there I was at Lewiston-Auburn College, at the end of August, arriving early, eager to meet Marguerite and her family. It turns out I knew two of her sisters, Madeleine Pare Roy and Louise Pare, from our membership at L/A Senior College!

I knew Marguerite would have a good attendance, and I was right. Behind me, streaming in, were groups of white-haired women, some with husbands following, Marguerite’s siblings and extended family members, her friends, classmates, neighbors and other interested people, some coming from beyond the Twin Cities.

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Lewiston seeks sponsors for universally accessible playground

“Daddy can play with me in the water,” noted five-year-old Isabel Hayes upon hearing that Lewiston’s forthcoming universally accessible playground at Marcotte Park would have a wheelchair-accessible water feature as part of a sensory rock wall.

Her parents, Erin and Ben Hayes, spoke at the playground plan unveiling due to Ben’s experiencing a spinal cord injury in 2007. With Isabel’s reaction to what she was seeing and hearing, Erin explained to attendees that “she’s only 5 years old, and she gets it,” while Ben shared that the accessible playground would enable him to be more engaged with his daughter when they play together.

In the fall of 2011, Lewiston was a regional winner of a Shane’s Inspiration/Landscape Structures contest, resulting in the awarding to the City of $10,000 in universally accessible playground equipment and $50,000 in playground design, development, and “Together We Are Able” educational programming. The City and stakeholders have worked for months with Shane’s to produce an original design for the first such playground in Lewiston and New England. The playground’s theme, “The River,” was decided upon due to Lewiston’s commitment to the development of Riverfront Island and enhancement of multi-use access to the Androscoggin.

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Enough is Enough: Bates, YPLAA will help Lewiston forge ahead and prosper

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Fall has arrived. Comfortable days, cool sleeping nights. Over the next few weeks, leaf-peeping tourists will flock to our state to view and enjoy the beauty of our endless rolling foliage.

It’s a time for football. It’s a time for renewing childcare. It’s a time for the return of bright young men and women to Bates College.

Bates College and the former Bates Mill have for years put Lewiston on the map. Bates Mill, which produced a legendary bedspread, was renown throughout the world, and Bates College is renown throughout the country for its excellence in education.

The college was founded by the Rev. Owen Cheney, a Free Will Baptist minister and abolitionist in 1855. At its founding, it was known as the Maine State Seminary. In 1862 a “collegiate department” was added to the school. Two years later the school was re-charted and renamed Bates College after its primary benefactor, industrialist Benjamin E. Bates.

With a population of approximately 2,000 students, Bates ranks 21st on the list of best liberal arts colleges in the nation. It also is the oldest continually operating coed college in New England.

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