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This week’s edition!

Only Steps Forward: Auburn’s neighborhoods combine to form one city

By Jonathan P. LaBonte

Mayor of Auburn

What is Auburn? Is it the “Hub of Maine” as one former mayor coined it?

Is it Maine’s City of Opportunity? Or perhaps folks know us as the place that proudly states, “We want development,” as you can see prominently as you enter our planning and permitting office?

Each of those monikers has a particular stakeholder that fairs most prominently; is it a hub for businesses and goods or people as well? If so, is it a place where investors are courted and treated with the highest levels of customer service, what about citizens?

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Sky Family to perform at Court St. Baptist Church

Each member of the group will perform on several instruments and contribute to the rich vocal harmonies and dancing.

Eastern Canada’s premier Irish Dance production the Sky Family will perform on Saturday, September 17 at 7 p.m. at the Court Street Baptist Church in Auburn. Hailing from Prince Edward Island, the group’s members will each perform on several instruments and contribute to the show’s rich vocal harmonies and high-energy dance as the East Coast Music Association nominees present their “Celtic Revival!” program.

The show’s fast-paced Celtic pop-rock music, dance, humor and Gospel inspiration provide toe-tapping entertainment for the whole family. All are invited to attend at no charge. A free will offering will be received. The church is located at 129 Court Street in Auburn. For more information, call 784-6661.

City Clerk now taking orders for absentee ballots

The Presidential and State Referendum Election will be held on Tuesday, November 8, and registered voters who wish to order an absentee ballot for this election may now place their order with the Lewiston City Clerk’s Office. Absentee ballots will not be available until October 11, but voters may request an absentee ballot now and it will be mailed to them in mid-October.

Voters may place their order for an absentee ballot in several ways. They may call the City Clerk’s Office at 513-3124; submit a completed application form, available on the city’s website, to the City Clerk’s Office; or order one online at

Lewiston residents are encouraged to contact the City Clerk’s Office at 513-3124 with any questions they may have regarding this election.

Public Theatre offers intimate evening with playwright, cast of “Last Gas”

Presque Isle native John Cariani is a Tony-nominated Broadway actor and successful playwright.

Would you like an exclusive chance to go behind the scenes with Broadway actor and playwright John Cariani and the cast of the upcoming production of his latest play, “Last Gas,” at The Public Theatre? This rare opportunity is available to 100 lucky people through a unique fundraising event that will take place at the theater on Wednesday, September 28 from 6 to 8 p.m.

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Eagle Scout project to aid homeless veterans

Alex Cote

Life Scout Alex Cote of Boy Scouts of America Troop 007 is working toward his Eagle Scout badge by compiling 150 care packages for homeless veterans to be distributed at VA Maine’s Homeless Veterans Stand Down event in October. To that end, he is asking the community for donations of various general hygiene products and nonperishables items, including razors, shaving cream, bar soap, shampoo, conditioner, ChapSkick, powder, underarm deodorant, Band Aids, tissues, protein bars, granola bars, and other snack items. Items may be dropped off in care of Alex Cote or Jennifer Lane at VFW Post 1603 at 588 Minot Avenue in Auburn on Thursdays from 4 to 8 p.m., Fridays from 4 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 2 to 6 p.m., or at the Spaghetti Supper on October 7.

YWCA announces recipients of 2016 Women of Achievement Awards

Marilyn Simonds is the recipient of the 2016 Tonie Ramsey Service Award.

The YWCA Central Maine has announced the recipients of its 2016 Women of Achievement Awards. These awards honor the often overlooked contributions of women in our community in three distinct categories: the Tonie Ramsey Award recognizes service, the Lee Young Award recognizes leadership, and the Priscilla Gendron Award recognizes philanthropy and its promotion.

The three awards were unveiled last year at the first annual Women of Achievement Awards Gala, where each of the award namesakes was recognized for contributing years of impactful service and leadership to the YWCA. In selecting the first cohort of recipients this year, the awards selection committee reviewed a remarkable pool of applicants. “The difficulty of the selection process was a powerful tribute to the achievements of women in the Lewiston-Auburn community,” said YWCA Central Maine Board President Barbara Bixby.

Receiving the 2016 Tonie Ramsey Service Award is Ms. Marilyn Simonds; receiving the 2016 Lee Young Leadership Award is Representative Peggy Rotundo; and receiving the Priscilla Gendron Legacy Award is Ms. Barbara Trafton.

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Cupcakery gets new name, location

The local non-profit bakery formerly known as The Cupcakery, henceforth to be called The Cupcakery Café and Bakeshop, will take a big leap forward this week when it moves to its new location at 56 Sabattus Street in Lewiston. The Chamber of Commerce will join them for a ribbon cutting ceremony at that new location on Friday, September 9 at 10 a.m. The public is invited to attend.

After two successful years at their former location on Lisbon Street, management has decided to take advantage of opportunities the new location will afford, such as more seating, more parking, and more baked goods, including quality-made custom cakes and wedding cakes.

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LAYSA Under 12 Boys Travel Team

This year’s Lewiston-Auburn Youth Soccer Association Under 12 Boys Travel Team includes (l. to r., from front) Caleb Albert, Daxton St. Hilaire, Mohamed Adow, Eli St. Laurent, Richie Romano, Joshua Murphy, Matthew Connor, Brandon Farinas, Jack Thompson, Head Coach Max Thompson, Campbell Cassidy, Cooper St. Hilaire, Farid Muhammad-Aceto, Ian Redstone, Miles Frenette, Isaac Shannon, Jaxson Kimball, and Assistant Coach Keith Albert. The team started off the season with a 6-1 victory over a very good Cumberland team. This year’s home games, played at the LAYSA Complex behind Auburn Middle School, will take place on September 17, 25, and October 1. The team is also looking forward to a Columbus Day Tournament in Falmouth.

Concert for homeless veterans Sep. 18

Debbie Myers and Friends will host the 7th annual Maine’s Homeless Veterans Benefit Concert on Sunday, September 18 at noon at the Augusta Civic Center. All proceeds will support the annual “Stand Down” event at the Togus Veterans Administration building in Chelsea, a day when as many homeless veterans that can be reached are brought together to access services provided by the VA and other organizations.

The goal is to find permanent housing for as many veterans as possible. Prior to the first of the six annual concerts, there were over 1,200 homeless veterans in Maine. The latest information shows that number is now down to 438.

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Enough is Enough Over 100 blighted buildings have been removed in Lewiston

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Imitation is the best form of flattery. Well, at least most of the time.

When I read the local broad sheet last week I was shocked. Shocked, that is, until I took a step backward and processed what I had read. Then suddenly I broke into my happy dance.

Lewiston’s policies, over the past four years of removing blighted buildings, had worked and were now showing success. There is no longer anymore room in the Hotel Lewiston for those with low or no income. Unfortunately this means our out-of-town homeless will be heading to Auburn.

It appears that Auburn is on the brink of building 48 Section 8, er, I mean “affordable housing” units in an upscale part of the city.  Where I come from, we call this a housing project.

When I arrived in Lewiston, members of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society Brigade had gotten a firm foothold in Lewiston and were now branching out to other parts of the city. They slowly gobbled up Lewiston’s “Little Canada.”

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