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Governor’s Address: Democrats Play Politics with Our Elderly Homeowners

I have been working hard to protect our elderly Mainers and to help them stay in their homes. But Democrats in Augusta are playing politics again. They say they want to help the elderly, but they are pulling a bait-and-switch.

I had proposed a bill, LD 1629 “An Act To Protect the Elderly from Tax Lien Foreclosures,” that would protect senior citizens and the elderly from municipalities that want to take their homes for back taxes.

My bill would do two very simple, common-sense things to help protect the interests of our seniors.

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Green Dot L-A now available to provide bystander intervention training

Green Dot L-A instructors and supporters at a recent Auburn City Council meeting

Green Dot Lewiston-Auburn recently enjoyed a successful Launch Week, during which they shared their approach to violence prevention through bystander intervention training with various groups in the community.

Launch Week included presentations to the Auburn City Council, Lewiston City Council, and Lewiston-Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. The week concluded with a celebratory walk up Lisbon Street by Green Dot instructors and supporters who carried a Green Dot banner and visited offices and businesses to introduce the movement.

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Hugh Keene to receive SeniorsPlus’ Ikaria Award

Auburn resident Hugh Keene will be honored by SeniorsPlus with the agency’s 2018 Ikaria Award at its annual Fill the Plate Breakfast to benefit Meals on Wheels on Friday, March 23, from 7 to 9 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn-Riverwatch of Auburn. The event will also feature a presentation by Elizabeth Peavey, creator and performer of the award-winning one-woman show “My Mother’s Clothes Are Not My Mother.” Tickets are $20 per person in advance or $25 at the door and are available by calling 795-4010 or at www.seniorsplus.org.

Spring Super Saturday to have environmental focus

Bill Hensley shows how his Nissan Leaf gets recharged in advance of his upcoming “Electric Cars” class, part of Lewiston Adult Education’s Spring Super Saturday on April 7.

Spring Super Saturday will bring an environmental focus to Lewiston Adult Education on April 7, when returning favorites will appear alongside new classes on electric cars, organic gardening, and butterflies.

A 4-H instructor will teach the “Butterflies” class, which is open to parents and children, while a member of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association will explain the basics of “Organic Gardening.” Bill Hensley, a technology support specialist for Lewiston Public Schools, will pop the hood of his Nissan Leaf during his lesson on “Electric Cars.”

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St. Dominic Academy student wins 2018 Amirault Scholarship

Pictured here with Bishop Deeley, St. Dominic Academy senior Madison “Maddie” Leslie plans to attend Franklin Pierce University in the fall.

Madison “Maddie” Leslie, a senior at Saint Dominic Academy in Auburn, is one of two Maine students selected by the Catholic Foundation of Maine to receive a 2018 Lila Grace Sullivan Amirault Scholarship. The award was presented by Bishop Robert P. Deeley on Friday, March 16.

The scholarship fund, which helps Maine Catholic high school students with college tuition costs, was established in 2013 by the late Patrick Amirault in memory of his wife. Amirault, who grew up as one of nine children in a poor family in Malden, Mass., created the fund to show his appreciation for the care and quality education he received at a Catholic school there.

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Governor’s Address: Conforming to the Federal Tax Code is the Right Policy for Maine

The federal tax cuts will provide about $1 billion in tax relief this year and next to Maine families and businesses.

To make things easier for taxpayers when the federal government changes the tax code, each state generally adopts that federal code. Adopting the same code at the state level is called “tax conformity.” It simplifies how Mainers pay income and business taxes.

Most of the time, tax conformity requires minor fixes that are relatively easy for the state to adopt. This year, because the federal tax reform was long overdue, we must determine whether we will conform our tax laws to the significantly revised federal code.

The tax code is confusing enough. Having two sets of laws for federal and state tax returns will create problems.

If we do not conform, Maine businesses will have to keep two sets of tax books. Tax administrators will have to comply with different state and federal tax rules. This is a giant headache for Maine businesses.

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Local churches host African Children’s Choir

Made up of children ages 7 to 12 from several African nations, the group performs lively African songs and dances, traditional Spirituals, and Gospel favorites.

The African Children’s Choir will perform at two local churches this weekend. On Friday, March 16 at 7 p.m., they will present a concert at East Auburn Baptist Church, and on Sunday, March 18, they will perform at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. as part of Sunday morning services at Vineyard Church of Mechanic Falls. 

Made up of children ages 7 to 12 from several African nations, this large choir melts the hearts of audiences around the world with their charming smiles, beautiful voices, and lively African songs and dances. They also sing traditional Spirituals and Gospel favorites. The group has performed before presidents and heads of state, most recently Queen Elizabeth II for her diamond jubilee, and has sung alongside such performers as Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, Keith Urban, Mariah Carey, and Michael W. Smith.

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Fill the Plate Breakfast to benefit Meals on Wheels

Elizabeth Peavey, creator and performer of the award-winning one-woman show “My Mother’s Clothes Are Not My Mother,” will be the featured speaker. (Photo by Filipp Kotsishevskiy)

SeniorsPlus, the designated Agency on Aging for Western Maine, will present its annual Fill the Plate Breakfast to benefit its Meals on Wheels nutrition program on Friday, March 23, from 7 to 9 a.m. Taking place at the Hilton Garden Inn-Riverwatch of Auburn, the event will honor Auburn resident Hugh Keene with the Ikaria Award and will feature a presentation by Elizabeth Peavey, creator and performer of the award-winning one-woman show “My Mother’s Clothes Are Not My Mother.” Tickets are $20 per person in advance or $25 at the door. Seating is limited and advance registration is recommended. To register, call 795-4010 or see www.seniorsplus.org.

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“Industrial Maine: Our Other Landscape” now on display at Atrium Art Gallery

“Dana Warp Bridge 5,” by Caren-Marie Michel

Now on display in the Atrium Art Gallery at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn campus is an exhibit of paintings, photographs, prints, and sculpture by 27 Maine artists called “Industrial Maine: Our Other Landscape.”

An opening reception will take place on Thursday, March 22, from 6 to 8 p.m. and the exhibit will be on display through June 1. Both the opening reception and exhibit are open to the public free of charge.

Painter Janice L. Moore is the guest curator for the exhibition. Moore has a longtime interest in Maine’s industrial landscapes and how they have shaped communities, both physically and culturally, over time. Her paintings focus on working factories, abandoned work sites, and repurposed structures throughout the state. She describes industrial landscapes as “the architecture of our usefulness.”

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Maine Music Society to perform Mozart’s “Requiem”

The concerts will take place on Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25 at the Franco Center in Lewiston.

The Maine Music Society Chorale and Orchestra, joined by professional soloists Sarah Bailey, Jazmin DeRice, Martin Lescault, and Carl Steidel, will present a program featuring Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Requiem” on Saturday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 25 at 3 p.m. Both performances will take place at the Gendron Franco Center in Lewiston.

Mozart’s “Requiem” is a work shrouded in mystery. For whom was it composed? And, since Mozart was in the process of composing it by dictating to his assistant while literally on his deathbed, who completed the work after his death? Although much of the music exists only in sketches, the Requiem has become one of the composer’s most beloved works.  

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