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This week’s edition!


Enough is Enough: Socialized medicine sounds great, but it didn’t help Charlie Gard

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

I began this week’s column with tears in my eyes. I write with both sadness and raging hate within my heart. Big Brother has won.

Little 11-month-old Charlie Gard had been removed from his government’s life-support system. He died on Friday, a day after he was transferred to a hospice facility.

I write this while gazing at a picture of little Charlie, peacefully asleep in his government hospital bed, tubes up his little nose and a little stuffed monkey resting on the chest of his little body. This little angel has been deemed by a bunch of government bureaucrats, many who have never laid eyes on this child, as not worth the expense of taxpayers’ dollars to save him.

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CMCC joins “Achieving the Dream” Network to improve student success

Participating in the Achieving the Dream conferences earlier this year were (l. to r.) mathematics instructor John Wallace, Dean of Student Services Nick Hamel, nursing program chair Kathy McManus, Director of Institutional Research Ron Bolstridge, Dean of Academic Affairs Betsy Libby, Humanities Department chair Ethel Bowden, Assoc. Dean of Academic Affairs Anne St. Pierre, and business instructor Mike Henry.

Central Maine Community College has joined Achieving the Dream. a network of more than 220 colleges in 39 states dedicated to improving student success. As an ATD Network institution, CMCC will work closely with national experts over the next three years to implement evidence-based approaches for improving student outcomes.

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Rotary Club Criterium brings bicycle racing to Lewiston

This high-speed race that runs circuits around Kennedy Park will benefit Meals on Wheels at SeniorsPlus. 

The second annual Auburn-Lewiston Rotary Club Criterium will take place on Sunday, August 6, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Kennedy Park in Lewiston. Proceeds from the bike race will benefit Meals on Wheels at SeniorsPlus. There is no charge to watch the race, and parking in the downtown area is free of charge on Sundays.

Bicycle racers from across New England will test themselves on a fast, technical .6-mile loop around the streets bordering Kennedy Park. There will be eight distinct races throughout the day, ranging from 20 to 60 minutes long. Top speeds will approach 40 mph on sections of the course. 

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Local businesses host Summer Block Party for Make-A-Wish Maine

The third annual Summer Block Party to benefit Make-a-Wish Maine, co-hosted by Uncle Andy’s Digest, the City of Auburn, and Mac’s Grill, will take place outdoors at Mac’s Grill in Auburn on Saturday, August 12, from 1 to 9:30 p.m. This fun-filled, family-friendly event will feature Mac’s renowned food, music and dancing, and a Kids’ Zone that will include a 95-foot inflatable obstacle course, Mr. Drew and His Animals Too, face painting, a magician, and more. The evening will end with fireworks at 9 p.m. Local Make-a-Wish families are invited to attend as guests of honor.

What started two years ago as an Anniversary Bash commemorating 20 years in print for Uncle Andy’s Digest has turned into the largest fundraising event for Make-A-Wish Maine. Due to the success of the Summer Block Party, seven wishes were granted in those two years to local kids battling life-threatening illnesses. Thanks to the support of local businesses and other agencies, the event is here to stay.

“Every aspect of last year’s event exceeded our expectations,” said event founder Jim Marston of Uncle Andy’s Digest and the Make-a-Wish Maine board of directors. “The L/A community always steps up when asked to help, and we are so proud to be a part of that.”

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Paris Hill Music Fest adds full day of free music

Among those scheduled to perform in the free Saturday Music Expo is the popular Lindsey Montana.

The Paris Hill Music Festival has added a full day of free live music to its schedule of main stage concerts taking place Thursday through Saturday, August 10 through 13, at the First Baptist Church of Paris. The Saturday Music Expo on August 12 will feature free 30-minute concerts from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Common, located at the top of Paris Hill next to First Baptist Church. Parking for the event will also be free of charge. The day’s activities will take place rain or shine and the public is invited to come enjoy this celebration of music.

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COLAC releases impact study of proposed merger of Auburn and Lewiston

COLAC, the grassroots organization that is leading the opposition in Lewiston and Auburn to the proposed consolidation of both cities, has released a list of the many impacts it says the local residents will experience as the result of a consolidation proposed by the Joint Charter Commission of Lewiston and Auburn.

“We have analyzed all of the documents submitted to the city councils of both cities,” said C.O.L.A.C. Chairman Jim Howaniec, former mayor of Lewiston. “We see many troubling, expensive impacts that we believe the voters should understand before voting this November.”

The Impact Study has been published on COLAC’s website at

According to COLAC, here are the impacts, to name a few, that residents can expect to have to deal with in a consolidation:

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Op-Ed: Lewiston-Auburn unification will result in lower, not higher, taxes

By Gabrielle Russell


Unifying Lewiston and Auburn would make us a leader in this state and nationwide.

Prior to the Joint Charter Commission, there have been three previous commissions tasked with looking at consolidation of municipal functions. Each effort found efficiencies and savings, but city councils did not move forward with the change.

This time the process is more grassroots, collecting the signatures of over 2,000 residents from Auburn and Lewiston to form the Joint Charter Commission. The next step is to let the voters of our communities shape our future by casting their vote, which is expected to be on the ballot in November.

The opposition frequently cites city mergers where taxes and municipal staff have increased. Why might that be? Naturally, prices rise over time and cities with increasing population need increased city staff to serve them. The unification of Lewiston-Auburn will lower taxes in the near term and over time will certainly save millions of dollars over what we would have paid.

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Governor’s Address: Now is the time to invest in Maine’s future

After years of fixing Maine’s balance sheet, now is the time to make investments in our economy.

Dear Maine Taxpayer,

During this past session, I supported three initiatives that focused on using bonds to invest in Maine families and our future: transportation; commercialization; and education.

Investing into our transportation system to maintain Maine’s infrastructure is critical. Our economy relies on transportation, and we must ensure our roads, bridges and ports are accessible, safe and reliable to transport goods to consumers.

The Department of Transportation has proven they can do it in a frugal, fiscally responsible way. In my budget proposal, I provided options to free up funding for the highway fund, but the legislature rejected these proposals and spent those funds on other things. That’s why I support a $100 million bond and encourage the Legislature to do the same.

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Enough is Enough: Project that would benefit seniors falls prey to “NIMBY”

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

A week ago last Tuesday was a sad day in our quest to move Lewiston forward economically. The Lewiston City Council killed the type of development that has never materialized during the five-and-a-half years I have served as mayor.

This was a project by a private developer that did not ask for any federal, state or local tax money. Any and all costs were coming out of the developer’s pocket. Unlike many other developments throughout the city, whose purpose is the bottom line, Louis Ouellette’s objective was to provide quality apartments for his mother-in-law and some of her friends.

These tenants would have been seniors that were widowed or couples that realize the home in which they raised their families had outgrown them, necessitating them to downsize. This is due in part to their decreased ability to maintain their current homes.

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Bates Dance Festival artists return for Anniversary Gala

Patrick Widrig (Photo by Stan Barouh)

Some of the best known and loved dance artists from more than three decades of the Bates Dance Festival will return to celebrate the festival’s 35th anniversary by performing in its Anniversary Gala on Friday and Saturday, July 28 and 29, at 7:30 p.m. in Bates College’s air-conditioned Schaeffer Theatre.

The program will feature work, much of it new, by some of America’s top dancers and choreographers, including “Short Story,” a poignant duet by Doug Varone and Natalie Desch; an excerpt from “The Making Room,” by Bebe Miller and Angie Hauser; a glimpse of “Crazy Beautiful,” a new solo by Tania Isaac; excerpted solos by Larry Keigwin, Sara Pearson, Patrik Widrig, and Riley Watts; and a piece choreographed for students by festival veteran Michael Foley. A party will follow Saturday’s performance.

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