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Governor’s Address: Preventing the purchase of soda, candy with SNAP is crucial to the health of Mainers

Obesity is a problem in our nation, and it’s a problem in Maine. But the USDA refuses to prohibit the purchase of soda and candy with food stamps.

Maine has twice requested a waiver to exclude sugar-sweetened beverages and candy from purchase with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, which are still referred to as food stamps.

The Obama Administration denied the first waiver, and now the U.S. Department of Agriculture has denied the second request under the Trump Administration.

This is extremely disappointing because Maine, like other states, is experiencing a health epidemic of obesity and other chronic illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, resulting from the consumption of foods with high sugar content.

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UU Theater presents “Those Winter Days” variety show

The Beet Poets are David Moreau, Jay Franzel, and Claire Hersom; Hurry Down Sunshine features Stan “Big Cat” Davis and Brian Kavanah.

UU Theater will present “Those Winter Days,” a folksy variety show featuring spoken word by the Beet Poets and music by Hurry Down Sunshine, on Sunday, January 21 at 1 p.m. at First Universalist Church, 169 Pleasant Street in Auburn. The Beet Poets – David Moreau, Jay Franzel, and Claire Hersom – fervently believe in poetry that won’t put people off, while Hurry Down Sunshine features the talents of musical poets Stan “Big Cat” Davis and Brian Kavanah. Tickets are $5. For more information, call 783-0461 or see auburnuu.org.

Museum L-A honors veterans with thank-you cards

Peter White reads one of the thank-you cards delivered by staffers from Museum L-A over the holidays to residents of the Maine Veterans Home in South Paris.

During the holiday season, Museum L-A staffers presented thank you cards to the residents of two area veterans’ homes in recognition of their service to our country. The museum’ Collections and Exhibits Coordinator Emma Sieh and Veteran Volunteer Tom Jarvis delivered over 100 cards to the Maine Veterans Home in South Paris and over 20 cards to Veteran’s Inc. in Lewiston.

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Auburn Winter Festival Weekend Jan. 26-28

For a complete schedule of events, see www.auburnmaine.gov.

The City of Auburn’s Winter Festival Weekend will take place Friday through Sunday, January 26 through 28. This annual community “celebration of all things winter” will feature numerous events all weekend long, most of them free of charge.

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Rotary Club to welcome At a Bend in the Road founders

Warren and Amy Shaw founded the nonprofit agency to fill an unmet need for specialized support services for adoptive and foster families raising children with histories of trauma, neglect, or abuse.

The next meeting of the Lewiston-Auburn Rotary Club will feature guest speakers Warren and Amy Shaw, founders of the nonprofit organization At a Bend in the Road, on Thursday, January 25, from noon to 1 p.m. at the Village Inn at 165 High Street in Auburn.

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Governor’s Address: Taking conservation land off tax rolls increases the burden on homeowners

Too many Maine families are facing skyrocketing property taxes that strain household budgets. Our elderly on fixed incomes are particularly vulnerable to these increases.

School budgets are often blamed for annual increases in property taxes. But there’s another reason. A tremendous amount of land and property value has been taken off the tax rolls, leaving homeowners to pick up the tab.

At the state level, my administration is actively working to put long-held, unused property back on the tax rolls. The new DHHS building in Augusta is a prime example.

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Gendrons present $50,000 donation to Museum L-A

Dollard (Del) and Priscilla Gendron present a donation check to Museum L-A Executive Director Rachel Desgrosseilliers in support of the museum’s future home.

Dollard (Del) and Priscilla Gendron recently presented a $50,000 donation to Museum L-A, the second installment of their $100,000 pledge toward a new museum. The Gendrons are a local family whose business has played a significant role in the community as contractors, real estate developers, and through their ownership of several convenience store-gas stations.

“We feel that Museum L-A is very important for our community,” said Mr. Gendron. “My family is fortunate to have the financial ability to make contributions like this one to Museum L-A because of our hard work and dedication over many years. We do this because we believe in giving back to our communities, and we hope to inspire others to make a difference by investing in their communities too.”

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Boeing, Boeing!” opens this weekend at CLT

Locked in a rehearsal embrace are (from left) cast members Emily Grotz (Gretchen) and Chad Jacobson (Robert) and Christopher Hodgkin (Bernard) and Savannah Irish (Gabriella).

Community Little Theatre’s production of the comedy “Boeing, Boeing!” opens this weekend at Great Falls Performing Arts Center in Auburn. Performance dates are January 12, 13, 18, 19, and 20 at 7:30 p.m. and January 14 and 21 at 2 p.m. The production is directed by Eileen Messina. For more information, call 783-0958, find Community Little Theatre on Facebook, or see www.laclt.com.

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Lisbon Winter Fest 2018 coming January 20

This outdoor event will include winter activities, displays and demos, park tours, and refreshments.

Lisbon Parks & Recreation will present Winter Fest 2018 on Saturday, January 20 at Beaver Park in Lisbon. New hours for this year’s event are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free and open to all.

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Concerts for a Cause celebrates MLK Day with Novel Jazz Septet

The event will feature the music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, along with stories about their relationships with Dr. King, their experiences with racism and homophobia, and their efforts to promote civil rights.

The UUCB Concerts for a Cause series will celebrates MLK Day with a concert by the Novel Jazz Septet on Saturday, January 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick. The event will feature the music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn – civil rights activists, friends and favorite musicians of Martin Luther King, Jr – along with interesting stories about their relationship with Dr. King, their experiences with racism and homophobia, and how this affected their music and forged their promotion of civil rights.

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