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This week’s edition!


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

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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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Governor’s Address: Universal Home Care will create more wait lists 

Here we go again. There’s another referendum on the ballot this fall that sounds too good to be true. Trust me, it is.

The ballot question proposes a bill, which is called “An Act to Establish Universal Home Care for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities.” It would pay for “in-home and community support services to individuals and families.”

Sounds great, right? Don’t be misled. “Universal” in this case isn’t universal.

But here we go again. Big-money special interests from out of state are using Maine’s referendum process to push policies that would never make it past my veto. The Maine People’s Alliance will tell you that this bill simply taxes the wealthy to pay for free in-home care for people with disabilities and for all our seniors. I will tell you what it really does.

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Franco Center plans special programs for Francophone Month

On March 15, more than 80 students from Freeport’s L’Ecole Française du Maine will perform the opera “Le Bonheur Selon Les E’Leves de L.’E.F.D.M.” (“Happiness, According to the Students of the L.’E.F.D.M.”).

In observance of New England’s Le Mois de la Francophonie (Francophone Month) 2018, the Gendron Franco Center will present several special programs in March.

Following the center’s next La Rencontre on Thursday, March 15, more than 80 children in preschool through grade five from L’Ecole Française du Maine in Freeport will perform the opera “Le Bonheur Selon Les E’Leves de L’E.F.D.M.” (“Happiness, According to the Students of the French School of Maine”). The performance is free and open to the public.

Before the performance, the meal at 11:25 a.m. will be corned beef and cabbage with red potatoes, carrots, turnips, rolls, and cake. The cost of the meal is $12 per person. Guests may contact the center to make reservations at 783-1585 or

La Rencontre is in no way restricted to French-speakers or even those of Franco descent. All are invited to attend this fun monthly meal and event as long as spots remain open.

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Author to discuss new book on Lewiston High soccer team

Amy Bass is a member of the Bates Class of 1992 and a Professor of History at the College of New Rochelle. (Photo by Rodney Bedsole)

Amy Bass, author of “One Goal: A Coach, a Team, and the Game That Brought a Divided Town Together” (Hachette, 2018), will read from and discuss the book on Tuesday, March 13 at 4:15 p.m. in Room G52 of Pettengill Hall on the Bates College campus. The event is free and open to the public.

The book explores how the Somali presence on the Lewiston High School soccer team produced success on the field and a more harmonious community. Bass is a member of the Bates College Class of 1992 and a Professor of History at the College of New Rochelle. The program is jointly sponsored by Purposeful Work and Alumni and Parent Engagement. For more information, email

Central Maine Bariatric Surgery marks milestone

Central Maine Bariatric Surgery Medical Director Dr. Jamie Loggins, FACS, FASMBS, recently had the honor of performing the center’s 2,000th procedure. Accredited by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program since 2010, the center has an established history of helping patients lose weight and live healthier lives.

Dale Morgan and Gail White, identical twin sisters who underwent surgery just 20 days apart in February 2017, decided to have the surgery to lose excess weight and control chronic conditions, including high blood pressure. Having the surgery at CMMC was an easy choice for the sisters, who are visually impaired, because of their proximity to the hospital and their access to CMMC via the bus route. In the last year, the twins have lost a combined 183 pounds.”

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Former U.S. Interior official to discuss Trump stance on climate change

Joel Clement was the top climate-change policy official at the U.S. Department of Interior until he was reassigned to an unrelated post last year by the Trump administration.

Clement will speak at Bates College on Wednesday, March 14 at 7 p.m. The topic of his presentation will be “The Trump Administration’s War on Climate Policy: A View from a Whistleblower Who Is Speaking Out.” Free and open to the public, the program will take place at the college’s Muskie Archives, located at 70 Campus Avenue in Lewiston.

The event is sponsored by the college’s Harward Center, in conjunction with the Natural Resources Council of Maine, Maine Conservation Voters, and the Conservation Law Foundation. For more information, call 786-6202.

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