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Archive for November 2012

Historic finials on APL in need of repair

A close-up of the finials on the back dormers taken a few years ago.

Text and photos

by Rachel Morin

Patrons and visitors to the Auburn Public Library this past month have noticed a display near the Library Street entrance of two finials in a sad state of disrepair.

Today, a dozen of these distinctive and beautiful copper finials need critical repair, amounting to over $7,000. The two finials represent the 12 finials on the front and back dormers of the building.

These dormers open into the Local History Room on the second floor of the original Carnegie Building. There are two finials on either side of the dormers; six on the front of the building and six on the backside. The remaining larger finials in the fleur de lis motif are unaffected and in good condition.

Jim Wilkins, APL Development Director, said the finials have been the victim of the Maine weather—snow, ice and rain have slowly taken their toll, eroding and deteriorating them. Also snow and ice sliding off the slate roof onto the dormers may have had a hand in damaging them.

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Enough is Enough: Reflect upon the sacrifices made by all who have worn an American uniform

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

“In Flander’s Field the poppies blow between the crosses, row on row”—thus wrote Lt. Col. John McCrea shortly after performing the burial service of a friend.

Alexis Helmer had been killed on May 2, 1915 during the second battle of Ypres, located in the Flander’s Region of Belgium. During the service, Lt. Col. McCrea noted how quickly poppies had grown around the graves of those who had recently died.

His grief, expressed through his poem, went on to become the most popular poem of the era.

Following the end of World War I, a professor from the University of Georgia, Moina Michael, affectionately known as the “Poppy Lady,” vowed to always wear a red poppy, symbolizing remembrance of those who had died in the First World War.

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CLT’s “The Wiz” opens to packed house

Here are many of the children who appear as Munchkins and Winkies in CLT’s current production of “The Wiz,” playing its final performances this weekend at Great Falls Performing Arts Center in Auburn. (Photo by Mitch Thomas.)

Community Little Theatre’s current production of “The Wiz” opened last weekend at Great Falls Performing Arts Center in Auburn to a packed house that thoroughly enjoyed what they saw and heard from the 62 people (and one small dog) that form the production’s large cast. The winner of seven Tony awards, this beloved Broadway show and movie sets Dorothy’s adventures in the Land of Oz to a dazzling mixture of rock, gospel, and soul music.

Performances continue on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $12 for children ages 13 and under. To buy tickets, call 783-0958 or see

The show is directed by Nakesha “Kay” Myrick. Co-choreographers are Audrey Martin and Tiffany Warren, who also plays the leading role of “Dorothy” and is the show’s vocal coach. The set was designed and built by Bill Hamilton and Phil Vampatella, and the set décor was designed by Carol Hodgkin and Glynnis Nadel, who is also the show’s stage manager and the artistic development intern at CLT.

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Maine Red Claws to play at ELHS

On Nov. 17 at 6 p.m., the Maine Red Claws will be play an intra-squad basketball game in the Edward Little High School gym to benefit the Edward Little Athletic Department. Also performing will be the Red Claws Dance Team.

Advanced tickets can be purchased for $5 each at The Hair Connection on Hotel Road, Gippers Sports Grill or the Edward Little Athletic Department Office.

For more information, contact Dan Deshaies, ELHS athletic administrator, at

Maine is a national leader in welfare spending

Maine ranks second in percent of households getting cash benefits

“Fix the System,” The Maine Heritage Policy Center’s 2012 report on Maine’s welfare system, show that Maine is the only state in the country to rank in the top 10 of three major areas of welfare: Maine ranks sixth in percent of households receiving food stamps; second in the nation in percent of households receiving cash assistance; and third in the country in percent of population enrolled in Medicaid.

Only California and Vermont have a higher percentage of their populations enrolled in Medicaid. Download the report here.

“This updated report makes it very clear once again that welfare reform should be a major issue for our leaders,” said MHPC CEO Scott Moody, co-author of the report. “While recent reforms have improved the system, more must be done to fix the system and free Maine families from welfare dependency.”

The report highlights reforms that were a priority of the LePage administration and approved by the current Legislature. Many of the reforms had been suggested in MHPC’s 2010 “Fix the System” report. Reforms that were successfully implemented include: a five-year limit on cash assistance; stricter sanctions for violation of program requirements; drug testing for welfare recipients accused of drug crimes; tightened Medicaid eligibility requirements; improvement of fraud detection; and a waiting period for legal non-citizens to get welfare benefits.

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Democrats’ unconstitutional bill costs taxpayers $700,000

Rep. Sharon Treat (D-Hallowell) has left Maine taxpayers on the hook for $680,000 worth of legal expenses stemming from a bill she advanced in 2007 that was has been struck down as unconstitutional.

On September 28, the United States District Court for the District of Maine ordered the State of Maine to pay $678,190 in attorney’s fees as a result of IMS v. Rowe. An “Act To Amend the Prescription Privacy Law,” passed in 2007 under the former Baldacci Administration, was found to be unconstitutional.

Treat sponsored LD 838 in the 123rd Legislature, which was merged into another bill, LD 4, and passed in June of 2007. The combined bills, pushed aggressively in the Legislature by Treat, tried to stop private businesses from obtaining information about the prescribing practices of doctors.

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Enough is Enough: Lewiston has a simple choice in this election

By Robert E Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

The upcoming election is very important to taxpaying Lewistonians and, as Mayor of Lewiston, to me personally. Property taxpayers will decide whether we build our tax base by attracting residents and businesses or whether we will continue to shrink our tax base by allowing our community to be overrun by non-profit advocacy groups.

The choice is simple: increase jobs or increase the welfare rolls.

In my role as mayor, I have had to take on a new role that is somewhat different than Bob Macdonald the citizen. I have had to put political ideology aside and decide what course benefits Lewiston and its citizens. Thank God for a city council that feels the same way.

In the local legislative races, Lewiston has a unique opportunity to finally have representation in Augusta that will not have to consult local city councilors or officials to learn about our city’s needs. The election of Republican Mike Marcotte and Democrat Nathan Libby will give us a voice in both political caucuses. It has the potential of making the Twin Cities a player, not merely hand raisers for interests in Portland and points south.

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LETTER: Picking the bones of the taxpayers

To the Editor:

We have arrived once more to that time and place where we delude ourselves into believing we can cast our single vote and change government.

We try to select the best candidates, but in moments of honesty, we have to admit that we are truly uninformed voters. We don’t know the details of the issues; we don’t truly know the candidates.  And, although we may have seen them in the flesh, may have made eye contact as they, with what appeared to be sincerity, spoke the words we desperately wanted to hear, we don’t truly know them.

But we know from long experience that those that would seek public office have all been invested with the same magical phrases necessary for an incantation to gain the public trust. We hear this litany of phrases: reduce taxes, provide help for the needy, improve education, create jobs, help veterans. Like sheep following a Judas goat, we are comfortably—but wrongly—reassured.

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Medieval merrymaking on tap at Franco Center

On November 9 and 10 at 6 p.m., the Franco-American Heritage Center will present one of Maine’s more unique and magical experiences with its fifth annual Medieval Feast.

This festive event harkens back to the medieval tradition of royalty inviting guests to watch knights compete on horseback. This feast is meant to recreate just such a gathering (only without the horses). Guests may imagine themselves in the center of a medieval courtyard, awaiting the glorious arrival of the king and queen. They will then join the royal couple, along with a host of knights, minstrels, friars and wenches, in the Great Hall for an evening of magic, entertainment, pageantry – and a meal without utensils.

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