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Archive for November 2012

Big crowds turn out for 6th Annual Twin Cities Holiday Celebration

The number of attendees and parade participants were at an all-time high Monday to make a huge success of the 6th Annual Twin Cities Holiday Celebration. Onlookers lined the streets to view the Parade of Lights with a theme of “Celebrating Cultural Holidays.”

Pre-parade activities were held at Auburn City Hall and the Lewiston Public Library, including story time, arts and crafts, a holiday sing-a-long and physical comedy by performer Michael Trautman, the latter sponsored by L/A Arts.

The Parade of Lights commenced in Auburn and ended its route at Dufresne Plaza in Lewiston, with Dunkin’ Donuts providing snacks at Festival Plaza in Auburn as parade onlookers waited patiently for the parade to begin.

Throughout the evening, festivities at Dufresne Plaza included music by Dionne Entertainment, free horse and wagon rides by Stillbrook Acres, free Photo Finish photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, performances by the Lewiston High School and Edward Little High School choral groups, snacks compliments of the Salvation Army, lighting of the Christmas tree and Menorah, visits with costumed characters, and holiday wishes extended by Lewiston Mayor Robert Macdonald, Auburn Mayor Jonathan LaBonté and Rabbi Hillel Katzir.

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Could Lewiston become the hub for out-of-state waste?

This is the last in a series on Casella Waste, which is seeking a 30-year contract with the City of Lewiston to take over the city’s recycling transfer station, build a single-stream recycling facility and lease land at Lewiston’s River Road landfill. The contract would allow Casella to process 90 million pounds of “mixed recyclable” waste a year.

The first three parts were published in the November 15 and 22 editions of TCT. See them at Click on the Digital Edition, then click on the Archive button at top right to see the November 15 or November 22 Digital Editions.

By Hillary Lister

and Dan Gregoire

In 2008, Casella presented a plan to the Lewiston City Council to enter into a contract with the company to take the city’s recycling to its single-stream facility in Massachusetts. The company wanted to move its Pine Tree Waste collection operation out of Mechanic Falls to the KTI site on Plourde Parkway in Lewiston, bringing 51 loaded trucks a day.

The facility would continue processing construction and demolition waste, and Lewiston—which owns the land where the KTI facility is located—would extend the lease by 10 years and support Casella in the project. The Lewiston location would become Pine Tree Waste’s Central Maine base of operations.

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Enough is Enough: Federal funds should be used to tear down vacant buildings

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

They arrived wearing tailored suits and well-coiffed hair, carrying expensive designer briefcases. To us simple folks in the room, they presented an air of stature, an air of importance. An air of superiority—airs found solely in representatives of the United States Government.

Present in the room were the mayors of Lewiston-Auburn and the economic development staffs of both cities.

Each representative from the federal government introduced himself or herself, informing those present of their individual expertise. Each explained how the magical mystical drug they had brought, known as taxpayers’ money, could be used to elevate our cities into a modern low- to no-income metropolis even more desirable for those wishing to live as recipients of Maine’s generous entitlement programs.

Mayor LaBonté and I thanked them for their concerns, but opted out of any federal funds designed to build additional low- to moderate-income housing. They were thanked for their concerns. It was pointed out that although this perennial gift of money was well intended, it has destroyed the character of our once-thriving working-class neighborhoods, turning them into a warren of abandoned buildings, drugs and filth, creating pockets of crime-ridden areas throughout our cities.

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LETTER: Concerns about redistricting Lewiston’s elementary schools

To the Editor:

Through this letter I am hoping to motivate parents to attend the meetings that will be held in their child’s schools concerning the redistricting of the Lewiston Public Elementary Schools as proposed by the Redistricting Committee.

I do have to commend the committee for its transparency in the recent articles concerning the reasons and conclusions on how and why they want to redistrict. I do, however, have many concerns on why it will be done in the fashion that they are proposing.

For starters, taking more children from the downtown area and sending them to schools further away is going to decrease parental involvement. I have spoken to a young, single mom of four who at the beginning of the year put in a request for out-of-district placement for her three children of school age (something that she will have to do every year).

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Franco Center announces Christmas program schedule

Joëlle Morris

This season’s performance calendar at the Franco-American Heritage Center is an unusually busy one. In fact, the month of December alone will feature seven Christmas concerts in a three-week span, beginning on Saturday, December 1 with a performance by local singers Just Us Entertainers.

“This is going to be a very busy place for three weeks,” said Franco Center executive director Louis Morin, who noted that with one exception, a concert by the Boston String Quartet on December 20, all of these Christmas shows will feature mostly local artists who live within a half-hour drive. “We’re blessed here in Maine with a wealth of musical and artistic talent, and we’ll be showcasing some of the best of it this holiday season.”

Morin also said that, during a season in which people are spending more on heating oil, not to mention Christmas gifts, the Franco Center is mindful that ticket prices should remain low. In the hope that patrons will be able to attend more than one holiday concert, no ticket to any show between now and Christmas will cost more than $20 – and most of them will be less than that.

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Maine Music Society presents “A Heritage Christmas”

Singers perform as the Androscoggin Chorale.

The Maine Music Society is excited to share the joy of the holidays with you as they present “A Heritage Christmas” on December 8, 9 and 15.

This year’s performance of A Heritage Christmas will join the voices of the Androscoggin Chorale with those of the Lewiston High School Chamber Choir under the direction of Darren Avery. Each choir will perform works of its choosing and then the choirs will combine to celebrate music of this holiday season.

Favorites of the season will include Carol of the Bells, Ding Dong Merrily on High, and many more. Aided by the talented Bridget Convey, accompanist, the Chamber Choir and Chorale will conclude the concert with the incredible Hodie! by Z. Randall Stroope. To complete the concert, Maestro Corrie will invite the audience once again to sing several traditional Christmas carols with the combined choirs.

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Museum LA to host Old Fashioned Holiday Celebration

Do you remember sitting on Santa’s lap at B. Peck’s department store and “fishing” for a special toy? Well, Museum L-A plans to bring some of Peck’s holiday traditions back to life for its Old Fashioned Holiday Celebration on Saturday, December 8 from noon to 4 p.m.

The event will feature Santa and the “fish pond,” as well as the Great Falls Railroad Club, who will help recreate the model train that was a staple of Peck’s annual Christmas display. A “Guess Who?” wall of photographs from the 1940s through the 1970s will feature generations of local youngsters visiting Santa at Pecks.

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Opponents question Casella operations in Maine communities

This is the third in a series on Casella Waste, which is seeking a 30-year contract with the City of Lewiston to take over the city’s recycling transfer station, build a single-stream recycling facility and lease land at Lewiston’s River Road landfill. The contract would allow Casella to process 90 million pounds of “mixed recyclable” waste a year.

The first and second parts were published last week. See them at Click on the Digital Edition, then click on the Archive button at top right to see the November 15 Digital Edition.

By Hillary Lister

and Dan Gregoire

As Massachusetts and New Hampshire tightened their waste laws, respectively banning the dumping and burning of Construction and Demolition Debris (CDD), Casella Waste sought more locations to send waste from these states.

Governor Baldacci’s administration received major donations from Casella for the 2006 election, and Maine’s waste regulations were significantly weakened, while subsidies for dumping and burning CDD in Maine were greatly expanded.

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“Survivorman” to participate in Lewiston Auburn Film Festival

Les Stroud, known better to television audiences around the world as “Survivorman” for his show by the same name, joined the board of directors of the Lewiston Auburn Film Festival (LAFF) Monday to announce his involvement in the LAFF2013.

“I’m thrilled to be coming in to participate in this year’s festival,” said Stroud via Skype from Las Vegas, joining the media and others in attendance. “I’m looking forward to meeting everybody and seeing the film.”

The latest incarnation of the festival will be held April 4-7, 2013 in various venues throughout Lewiston and Auburn. It is the third year for the event, which attracted 1,200 people from more than a dozen states in its second year.

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Collins: Congress and President must work to avert the Fiscal Cliff

By U.S. Senator Susan Collins


Now that the elections are behind us, it is time for the campaigning to stop and the governing to begin. One of the most pressing issues that Congress and the President must address immediately is the approaching “fiscal cliff,” the combination of deep, indiscriminate spending cuts and huge tax increases set to take effect in January.

Time is running short. That is why I am deeply disappointed that the Majority Leader has decided to recess for the entire week at Thanksgiving. Americans want us to be working to find a responsible way to avoid the “fiscal cliff.”

Our national debt now tops $16 trillion dollars, and it threatens our future prosperity. With each American’s share of the debt totaling more than $50,000, it is imperative that we act soon to get our nation’s fiscal house in order and avoid the economic calamity that is spreading through Europe.

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