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This week’s edition!

Archive for January 2014

Enough is Enough: Revenue sharing: cut state programs or punish businesses?

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

I write this week’s column pleading to the governor and the Democratic and Republican Legislative leaderships to find common ground and restore revenue sharing to Maine cities and towns.

For the benefit of our readers, the revenues distributed to the cities and towns are derived from a formula in which a portion of the state’s sales tax receipts are distributed to the cities and towns. Cities and towns then use this money to keep property taxes down.

This is not some form of municipal welfare. Sales tax revenues are the result of cities and towns investing local taxes in infrastructure, municipal services and providing an attractive place to live and do business. The more businesses and people we attract to our area, the greater the sales tax receipts.

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Grants available for Andro. County nonprofits

Nonprofit and public organizations seeking funding for projects that draw on the strengths of the community and foster collaboration are encouraged to apply to the Androscoggin County Fund, part of the Maine Community Foundation’s Community Building Grant Program.

A volunteer committee of Androscoggin County residents and business leaders reviews grants and makes recommendations for funding. The deadline for applying is February 15. The application and guidelines are available at

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Auburn Winter Festival Jan. 24-26

The 2014 Auburn Winter Festival will begin on Friday, January 24 and conclude on Sunday, January 26. Festival events and activities will take place at Lost Valley Ski Area, Norway Savings Bank Arena, Auburn Public Library, Walton School, the PAL Center and a number of other locales. Highlights will include a 3-on-3 pond hockey tournament, sledding, snowmobile rides, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, skating, ice sculptures, and a torchlight parade.

For more information and a complete schedule of activities, see the City’s website at


Public Theatre presents “Tigers Be Still”


From left: Cast members Rebecca Hart, Joseph Tisa, Anna O'Donoghue, and Noah Witke, from the Public Theatre’s upcoming production of “Tigers Be Still,” opening Friday, January 24.

From left: Cast members Rebecca Hart, Joseph Tisa, Anna O’Donoghue, and Noah Witke, from the Public Theatre’s upcoming production of “Tigers Be Still,” opening Friday, January 24.

If the idea of facing a new day has ever sent you back to bed, start your New Year off with a smile by seeing The Public Theatre’s production of the quirky and uplifting off-Broadway comedy “Tigers Be Still.”

Running January 24 through February 2, the play provides a heartfelt and humorous look at how we survive the tough moments in life and help each other get back in the game. With the success of the play in New York, playwright Kim Rosenstock has since become a writer on HBO’s “Girls.”

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Enough is Enough: Changing DHHS rule would provide fiscal relief

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Last Friday, a hearing was held at the Department of Health and Human Services, a meeting whose outcome will have a fiscal and economic impact on City of Lewiston taxpayers.

At issue is making several changes in the rules governing DHHS in order to bring them into compliance with federal and state programs.

Simply put, Maine cities and towns will no longer be forced by DHHS rules to help those who do not qualify for federal or state assistance. This change would allow Lewiston to save a considerable amount of money.

These savings could allow us to temporarily aid long-time Lewiston residents that might need temporary help to get over the bump in the road and back on their feet.

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Community Little Theatre receives $5000 grant


Community Little Theatre was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from the Maine Theater Fund of the Maine Community Foundation to support the sustainability of the Great Falls Performing Arts Center.

The grant will allow CLT to continue making needed improvements to its historic home on Academy Street in Auburn, including repairing/upgrading 35 steam radiators, adding additional monitoring systems, and establishing an ongoing boiler service contract.

These are preliminary steps toward converting the building to a gas-fired boiler system, which will help reduce the cost to maintain reasonable temperatures during the winter months. During the 2012-13 heating season, CLT paid nearly $25,000 in heating oil costs.

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Innovative library outreach program marks 15th anniversary

 Kim Beecy

Kim Beecy

Every Monday afternoon after school, school librarian Kim Beecy heads over to Kangaroo’s Kids Kare in Lewiston. The kids eagerly await her arrival with noses pressed against the glass door. After vying for her attention, each child gets a turn reading a book with her one-on-one. They don’t let her leave for at least an hour.

On Friday mornings, Marilyn Simonds sits down with a group of excited toddlers at Tiger Paws Daycare in Auburn. She sings with them and reads books to them. After she goes, they eagerly dig into the bag of books she leaves behind.

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College for ME honors Central Maine Community College


Pictured here at the recent College for ME-Androscoggin awards luncheon are (l. to r.) Roger Philippon, CMCC dean of planning and public affairs; Danielle Wadsworth, Musgrave Scholarship recipient; Jean Blais, Advocate Award recipient; Doreen Dignan, Student Award recipient: and Liz Oken, director of placement and transfer services at CMCC.

A recent alumnus, staff member, and student of Central Maine Community College – and the college itself – were honored recently at the eighth annual awards luncheon presented by College for ME-Androscoggin.

Doreen Dignan was one of three students recognized for their efforts to pursue higher education while juggling the demands of school, families and careers. A resident of East Livermore, Dignan graduated with honors last year with a degree in accounting. While enrolled at CMMC, she maintained a full-time job and a full course load while caring for her ailing husband.

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Gipper’s Scholarship winners


Tom Fournier of Gippers, with 2013 Gipper’s Scholarship winners Rachel Gagne (Edward Little High School) Bethany Fox (Saint Dominic Academy) and Natalie Rousseau (Lewiston High School). Rachel is studying biology at Simmons College, Bethany is studying Elementary Education at St. Joseph’s College, and Natalie is studying biology at Florida Southern University. They each received a check for $750 at a reception held for them and their families at the restaurant.

Enough is Enough: Lewiston must provide benefits for asylum seekers

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

New Year. New City Council. Many old problems left over from the prior council. On the horizon await new problems that pose a serious financial threat to our city.

We face the loss of $1 million-plus in revenue sharing because a committee of self-serving politicians who owe their elections to a variety of special interest groups failed in their task to find $40 million in cuts in the state’s budget. So much for the trait of intestinal fortitude.

Soon the political leaders of Lewiston will be asked to make a decision that has the potential of igniting a firestorm.

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