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Archive for April 2014

Emerge Film Fest to kick off with “Horror Double Feature”

The Emerge Film Festival continues to take shape and promises to be a remarkable event. The festivities will kick off on Friday, June 13 with a “Friday the 13th Horror Film Double Feature & Beer Fest,” sponsored by Baxter Brewing.

Following a tour and reception for All-Access ticket-holders, filmmakers and event sponsors at the brewery, the festival will launch its movie lineup with a pair of horror films from Bonfire Films: the short film “Natal” and the feature-length film “The Hanover House.” Both films are directed by Maine filmmaker Corey Norman. Norman and members of the cast and crew of both films will be present at the event.

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Circus Olé! returns to South Paris


This animal-free extravaganza showcases the circus arts while featuring giant theatrical animal puppets.

The third annual Circus Olé and Feast of Fools will take place on Saturday, April 26 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Community Forum of the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in South Paris.

This animal-free extravaganza showcases the circus arts while raising awareness about the mistreatment of circus animals. All Circus Olé animals are giant theatrical puppets created by Trash Into Art, a community collective founded by Rijah Newell that uses street theater to illuminate social and environmental issues.

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Hassan, Abdi win Girls Rock! Awards

At its recent Girls Rock! Weekend, Hardy Girls Healthy Women celebrated the outstanding accomplishments of five Maine girls with its annual Girls Rock! Awards. Two of those award recipients are from Lewiston.

The Entrepreneurship Award went to Sahro Hassan, a senior at Lewiston High School. Hassan saw a niche in the fashion market for designs for Muslim women that are both fashionable and modest, so she decided to start her own business, Fashionuji. Her goal was to empower young women to express their personalities and identities through fashion and to inspire other girls in her community to find their passions and work toward purposeful goals.

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Enough is Enough: Taxpayers, children will suffer without welfare reform

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Well, it’s official! The silver-spoon trust-funder, Senate President Justin Alfond, and his co-conspirator, Speaker of the House Mark Eves, have again won a battle in their war against Maine’s middle class. They successfully killed legislation that would have tightened up the rules of several state welfare programs in order to reduce fraud.

A collective sigh of relief by the Maine People’s Alliance, Maine Equal Justice and a host of other advocacy groups was heard reverberating throughout the halls of the State House. Their interests once again had trumped those of the state’s middle-class taxpayers. Yes, happiness reigned, thanks to the leadership of the progressive Democrats and their Lewiston-Auburn allies, our local Democratic legislative delegation (a.k.a. The Portland Puppets).

The aforementioned groups will now be allowed, for at least another year, unfettered access to picking the pockets of Maine’s middle class.

I must note at this time that three of L-A’s Democratic legislators may have broken rank and voted with Republicans to institute Governor LePage’s tightening of the General Assistance laws. Next week, if true, I will let you know their identities.

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Central Maine Medical Family mourns Amanda Dempsey


Amanda Dempsey, 1934-2014.

“The entire Central Maine Medical family mourns the passing of Amanda Dempsey,” said Peter Chalke, President and CEO of Central Maine Healthcare. “She was both a great lady and a determined fighter who displayed tremendous courage, class and grace during her long battle with cancer.”

Patrick Dempsey’s experiences dealing with his mother’s illness while living in California led to the creation of the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing. In 2007, the Dempsey Family approached Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston with the idea of creating a local cancer support organization. Amanda had received cancer treatment at CMMC, and the family wished not only to help other families affected by cancer but also to give back to their local community. The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing was founded in 2008 by Amanda’s children, Patrick, Mary and Alicia, in honor of Amanda and in partnership with CMMC.

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Group emerges to launch new Film Fest


A group of community members determined to keep independent film alive in the Twin Cities has launched the Emerge Film Festival, set for Saturday, June 14 at the Franco Center. Pictured here (l. to r.) are Tamera Greishaber, Chip Morrison, Laura Davis, Ramsey Tripp, Michael Miclon, Sandra Marquis, Richard Martin and Katie Greenlaw.

With the recent cancellation of the Lewiston Auburn Film Festival (LAFF), a new festival has emerged as a forum for many who were planning to show films at this year’s LAFF to present their work.

At a recent press conference, Ramsey Tripp, speaking for a group of community members determined to keep independent film alive in the Twin Cities, announced that the Emerge Film Festival will take place on Saturday, June 14 at the Franco Center in Lewiston. Emerge is a completely separate entity from the Lewiston Auburn Film Festival.

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Assad Family brings Brazilian songbook to Bates


This extraordinary family of guitarists, singers, and composers – brothers Sérgio and Odair Assad, their sister Badi, and their daughters, Clarice and Carolina – will perform a diverse program of Brazilian and Latin American music on Sunday, April 6 at Olin Arts Center.

Featuring brothers a Washington Post reviewer has called “the best two-guitar team in existence,” the Assad Family will bring an eclectic program of Brazilian and Latin American music to Bates College’s Olin Arts Center on Sunday, April 6 at 7 p.m.

Tickets for this Olin Arts Alive concert are $22, available at Limited free tickets are available for students and seniors (ages 65-plus) at Olin Arts Center is located at 75 Russell Street in Lewiston. For more information, call 786-6163 or email

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Chamber makes $5,000 contribution to City of Lewiston

“Wow,” was the reaction of Mayor Robert E. Macdonald upon hearing that the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce had made a $5,000 contribution to the City of Lewiston. Located at 415 Lisbon Street in Lewiston, the Chamber is a non-profit organization and is thereby tax-exempt.

“Although the Chamber is tax-exempt, we use municipal services,” said Chamber president Charles “Chip” Morrison. “Our Board members are very community-minded, and they recognize the challenges posed by current municipal budgets. So they wanted to contribute to the cost of the services our organization benefits from.”

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Enough is Enough: Lewiston faces budget pressure; politicians deny welfare problems

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

It is time for a no-holds-barred venting on welfare reform. It is time for an accounting from our Lewiston state legislative delegation as to what they have done to help alleviate our current welfare crisis.

Over the next eight weeks, seven Lewiston residents elected to our city council will debate, ponder and come up with a city budget that places minimum fiscal distress on local property taxpayers while providing services needed to make sure we function and grow as a community. This is Lewiston, not Lourdes—there will be no forthcoming miracles. Property taxes will increase. The only question is: How much?

Lewiston has one of the lowest property value rates in the state. This is why a house is Southern Maine is valued three times or more than a similar one in Lewiston. This undervalue is reflected in our mil rate. At the end of the day, that similar house in Southern Maine is paying about the same or slightly more in taxes than you do in your undervalued home.

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