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Archive for October 2012

Franco Center hosts 9th Gala Benefit Concert

The Franco-American Heritage Center will host its 9th annual Gala Benefit Concert on Saturday, October 20 featuring a performance by the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra with guest piano soloist George Lopez.

The Franco-American Heritage Center will host its 9th annual Gala Benefit Concert on Saturday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m. featuring a performance by the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra with guest piano soloist George Lopez.

The program will begin with a performance of Claude Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun,” followed by Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op.19, and will conclude with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Op.35.

The gala concert, which is the first in a series of four concerts that the MSO will perform at the Franco Center this season, is the biggest musical event of the year at the center and serves as a kick-off to its 2012-13 slate of events. In addition to music, the event will feature food and drink receptions both before and after the concert. The theme for the evening will be “Las Vegas.”

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Dempsey Challenge ArtWalk, celebration is Friday evening

Artist Mary Schmaling Kearns

Over 150 pieces of art work, 33 talented artists, and 11 performances at 10 venues along Downtown Lisbon Street in Lewiston will help launch this year’s Dempsey Challenge on Friday, October 12 from 5 to 8:30 p.m.

The first “Dempsey Challenge Community Celebration” has been planned and coordinated by Art Walk Lewiston-Auburn, L/A Arts and Captive Elements Art House. In keeping with the spirit of the event, the evening’s theme will be “hope, healing and survival.”

Artists participating in the Dempsey Challenge Community Celebration include Terry Grasse, Helen Warren, Penny Hood, Scott Ainsworth, Jane Pronovost, Angie Blevins, Laura Tasheiko, Matthew Barter, Linda Nichos Phillips, Isaac Marston, Joanna Reese, June Roberts, Lois Hill, Herenya Wiley, Corey LaFlamme, Priscilla Cross, Maria Castellano-Usery, Anne Breau, Erika Jordan, Darylann Leonard, Tegan Lake, Stephanie Berry, Jeffrey Jacques, Tookie Bright, Anne Labbe, Don Bernard, Dinah Harris, Pat Collins, Louella Hood, Megan Patry, Mary Schmaling-Kearns, Nel Bernard and Paul Baribault.

The venues for their art works will be Captive Elements Art House (223 Lisbon Street), L/A Art (221 Lisbon Street), Lewiston Public Library (200 Lisbon Street), Forage Market (180 Lisbon Street), the Lamey-Wellehan Building (110 Lisbon Street), Rainbow Bikes (97 Lisbon Street), The Vault (84 Lisbon Street), Androscoggin Bank (30 Lisbon Street), the Atrium at Bates Mill (35 Canal Street), and She Don’t Like Guthries (115 Middle Street).

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Paralympic gold medalist speaks tonight at Dempsey Center

Champion handcyclist and Dempsey Challenge participant Matt Updike. (Photo courtesy of Peter Wayne Photography.)

Champion handcyclist Matt Updike of Denver, Colorado, who this summer won a 2012 Paralympic gold medal in London, will share his inspirational story on Thursday, October 11 at 6 p.m. at the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing, 29 Lowell Street in Lewiston.

Updike was injured in an automobile accident in 1997, which left him paralyzed from the chest down. An avid skier and cyclist prior to the accident, he gradually made his way back into his two passions and began handcycling professionally in 2000. At this event, he will discuss the difficult challenges he faced and how he was able to overcome them. Updike joins eight other professional cyclists participating in the fourth annual Dempsey Challenge on October 13 and 14 in Lewiston.

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Northeast Charter puts Dempsey Challenge on display

Inspired by his connection to cancer and a strong desire to give back, Scott Riccio, president, owner and founder of Northeast Charter & Tour Co., has lettered one of his 45-foot coaches with the Dempsey Challenge logo and cancer awareness ribbon.

Riccio, whose brother is a cancer survivor, has seen the disease affect his circle of friends, employees and their family members. He recently lost an employee’s mother to cancer and decided to help raise awareness and funds for the Dempsey Center through the massive mobile billboard.

Among other destinations, the motorcoach will travel from Lewiston to Canada, Virginia, New York City and Washington D.C. throughout the year. A percentage of the proceeds from the bus, which is available by request, will benefit the Dempsey Center.

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LETTER: Immigrants need to assimilate

To the Editor:

What is wrong with the citizens of Lewiston for allowing a handful of individuals to attack the integrity of Mayor Bob Macdonald? Where is the democracy that is the foundation of our country?

What has happened so that people cannot express themselves without being afraid to be labeled?

Mr. Macdonald is working extremely hard to address issues such as welfare reform and economic development. He is definitely not a racist, though certain individuals would like him to be identified as such.

People need to stop putting so much energy into micromanaging and complaining about his every move. Instead, they should get to know him. They would realize that he has everyone’s best interest in mind. He is not a racist, but a politician who owes no favors and marches to his own agenda, as promised during his campaign.

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LETTER: Discrimination is unjust and painful

To the Editor:

After listening to, and reading about, Mayor Robert Macdonald’s recent comments regarding the culture of our Somali neighbors, I can’t help but ask, “Haven’t we made it past this yet?”

How many times does the L-A community have to repeat past mistakes? How many times do we need to go through the exercise of having a new group of people move here, be at first scared of them and aggressive toward them, and then realize the value they can give us and finally accept them?

Years ago, French Canadian migrant workers settled in Lewiston. Many native-born Mainers discriminated against the French Canadians. One basis of the discrimination was their language. In 1891, an amendment to Maine’s Constitution was passed that restricted Maine voters from voting in Maine State elections unless you  “were able to read the Constitution in the English language.”

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OP/ED: 125th Legislature restored integrity to Maine state government

By Harold A. Clough

Before this Legislature leaves the stage, let’s remember one of its most enduring legacies. It restored honesty and accountability to state government by uncovering and cleaning up a quagmire of corruption and malfeasance.

Under the control of the Democratic Party for decades, the corruption was allowed to fester unchecked. The old adage about absolute power was never more true, and the people of Maine were paying the price.

In 2010, Maine voters elected Republican majorities to the House and Senate for the first time since 1966. As they began surveying state government, it soon became clear that serious problems had long been swept under the rug. It seemed that whenever they lifted the lid on another department, they discovered waste and fraud, oftentimes by renegade bureaucrats who ran their agencies like personal fiefdoms.

Exhibit A in this cavalcade of corruption was the Maine Turnpike Authority. Rumors had swirled around the State House for years that the MTA had become a “rogue” agency. Nothing was ever done, however, because the MTA was run by Paul Violette, a former Democratic Senate majority leader.

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FAHC Oktoberfest set for October 6

“Beermistress Sadie” helps serve up a special Black Forest brew at the 2011 event.

The Franco-American Heritage Center will present its second annual Oktoberfest on Saturday, October 6 beginning at 6 p.m. in the Center’s Heritage Hall. This is a special pre-season celebration in anticipation of the Center’s 2012-2013 season launch, taking place October 20 with the annual Gala and Benefit Concert.

The ceremonial first pour of beer will officially open the event. A special Black Forest beer will be poured by “beermeisters” and served to patrons at tables throughout the venue, converted to resemble a traditional German beer hall. In addition to the special tap beer being served for the occasion, the Center’s full bar will also be open. Heritage Hall will open its doors at 5:30 p.m.

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Message from TCT about mayor’s column

Twin City TIMES has been thrust into the media frenzy about Mayor Bob Macdonald’s weekly column. We’d like to clarify a few points.

First, the Sun Journal and the Bangor Daily News quoted Gen Lysen, lead organizer of Maine People’s Alliance, saying that “Maine People’s Alliance members have complained to the [TCT] publisher about Macdonald’s column but have had no response.”

This is simply not true. We would never ignore such a complaint. We have not received any letters, calls or emails from anyone identified as a member of Maine People’s Alliance. We are always more than willing to print any Letters to the Editor, columns or op/eds from anyone in the community, especially if they are opposed to anything they have seen in TCT.

As loyal readers of TCT know, we welcome everyone’s point of view, and we would be more than happy to print a response written by anyone. We have asked Maine People’s Alliance for submissions written by their members or someone in the local Somali community.

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Survey: Two-thirds of residents are satisfied with L-A’s direction

The Regional Image Committee of the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce and the Lewiston–Auburn Economic Growth Council are working on a revised branding strategy for the L-A area. They started by collecting opinions in a survey about the Lewiston-Auburn area.

The 2012 Lewiston-Auburn Branding Initiative Survey reflects the opinions of 381 Lewiston-Auburn residents and 209 non-residents collected by electronic survey 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.

Here is part of the survey.

General Perception of Lewiston-Auburn

Two-thirds (67%) of all L-A residents are satisfied with the direction the Lewiston-Auburn community is headed. The top reasons for which L-A residents attribute their satisfaction are: a noticeable energy, progress and commitment to change; increase in downtown businesses and riverfront plans; increase in arts, culture, and entertainment; and community involvement.

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