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This week’s edition!

Enough is Enough: As predicted, Ranked Choice Voting is found to be unconstitutional

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Have you heard it? That crying sound that is blowing down from Augusta. It is the Democratic Party crying for what they felt was a surefire way to electoral victory—Ranked Choice Voting.

This would rid voters of that pesky plurality provision (prescribed by the Maine State Constitution), replacing it with a ballot containing the names of those running for each office in which the voter would pick their favorite candidate and then rank the others in the order of best to least.

If their choice did not receive a majority of the votes, the ranked-choice formula would kick in until someone obtained a majority. Those pushing this claim they would like to see a centrist candidate, also known as a fence sitter, elected.

Those supporting the bill had been advised from day one that this bill probably would be illegal under the Maine State Constitution. That did not matter. They pushed the ballot question forward anyway.

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“Just Us” Entertainers to present final benefit concert at Franco Center

The performance will feature the group’s 13 current members, led by Nel Meservier.

The “Just Us” Entertainers will present their final benefit concert for the Dolard and Priscilla Gendron Franco Center on Sunday, June 4 at 2 p.m. They were the first group to perform at the center in August of 2000 to raise funds for the then Festival de Joie. Since then, the group has performed at the center 38 times, including 16 annual benefit concerts to raise funds to support the Franco Center.

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Bates Dance Festival names new director

Maine native Shoshona Currier comes to Bates from her current position as Director of Performing Arts for the City of Chicago. (Photo by Mark Hackman)

Shoshona Currier, Director of Performing Arts for the City of Chicago, has been appointed as the next director of the Bates Dance Festival, an internationally renowned teaching and performance series held every summer at Bates College.

A Maine native with more than 15 years of experience in arts curation, education, and administration, Currier will start in her new position in August. She succeeds Laura Faure, who will retire on November 30 after three decades as the festival’s director.

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St. Dom’s graduates 46

Pictured here (l. to. r., from front) are St. Dom’s Class of 2017 top 11 students Ella Brown, Antoinette Carman, Emily Dionne, Sydney Sirois, Allie Veinote, Camden Jalbert, Justin Keaney, Elliot Hachey, Matthew Boulet, Kyle Welsh, and Megan D’Alessandro.

Saint Dominic Academy of Auburn recently graduated 46 students from its Class of 2017, with 100% college acceptance for those who applied. One student is entering the military. The top eleven students in the class (two students tied for tenth place), in order by class rank, are Megan D’Alessandro (Wellesley College), Emily Dionne (Wheaton College), Elliot Hachey (College of the Holy Cross), Sydney Sirois (University of Southern Maine), Antoinette Carman (Seton Hall University), Matthew Boulet (Saint Anselm College), Kyle Welsh (Saint Anselm College), Allie Veinote (Seton Hall University), Ella Brown (Wheaton College), Camden Jalbert (Saint Michael’s College), and Justin Keaney (Ohio State University). 

Stars, catapults, robots featured in summer STEAM classes for parents and children

Yahya Ismael, who taught Arabic at Lewiston High School this year, will kick off the program with a one-night class in Basic Arabic.

Stars, catapults and robots will help teach science lessons this summer as part of Lewiston Adult Education’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) program for parents and children. Part of a collaboration between Lewiston Adult Education and several other local organizations, including 4-H and Bates College, the program will offer fun and informative classes from June through August.

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Governor’s Address: There is no amount of your money the Legislature will not spend

I’ve said it for years, and I will say it again. There is no amount of your money the Legislature will not spend.

Dear Maine Taxpayer,

The State of Maine cannot tax-and-spend its way to prosperity, but the Democrats are doubling down on spending. My biennial budget calls for $6.8 billion, which is more than enough to fund government and meet the needs of Mainers.

The Democrats want to boost spending to $7.5 billion. Hard-working Mainers should be outraged by this kind of reckless and unnecessary spending.

In January, I presented a balanced budget that is fiscally responsible. It essentially flat-funded Executive Branch agencies and made an effort to reduce spending and the growth of government.

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Only Steps Forward: L-A could benefit from coordination with Francophone Cities Network

By Jonathan P. LaBonte

Mayor of Auburn

Over the last couple of years, the Mayors of Quebec City, Moncton, New Brunswick and Lafayette, Louisiana have established a network of Francophone cities with the intent to promote and encourage deeper connections between communities with language and cultural similarities around the French language.

With support from the Franco Center in Lewiston, both Auburn and Lewiston have joined as twin cities.

Rather than one city in the lead, as others in the international network have advanced, here in Lewiston-Auburn the Franco Center has played the lead role in convening a working group of local partners that involves both cities, Museum LA, the Franco-American Collection at USM’s Lewiston campus, the Chamber of Commerce, the local libraries and business leaders.

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Enough is Enough: This Memorial Day weekend, swear that you will never forget

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

“God with a roll of honor in his hand

Sits welcoming the heroes who have died

While sorrowless angels ranked on either side

Stand easy in Elysium’s meadow land.”

The Investiture—Siegfried Sassoon

This coming Monday is Memorial Day—a day to honor those who went off to war and ended up paying the supreme sacrifice. If you could speak to them what words would you use to convey and acknowledge to them your appreciation for their sacrifice, a sacrifice that allows you to live a life of comfort and freedom?

How many are aware of the history of this holiday?

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Search committee names new director for Lewiston Public Library

Marcela Peres has served as the city’s Adult Services Librarian since 2012.

After a national search that attracted 25 applicants, Lewiston City Administrator Ed Barrett has announced that Marcela Peres will be the new Director of Lewiston Public Library. A Lewiston resident and LPL employee since 2012, Peres currently serves as the city’s Adult Services Librarian. In that capacity, she has frequently filled in for long-time Library Director Rick Speer, who is retiring at the end of May.

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Maine youth volunteers honored at national awards ceremony

Maine’s top two youth volunteers of 2017, Kathleen Waeldner, 18, of Yarmouth and Bella Rossborough, 12, of Kennebunk, were honored for their outstanding volunteer service recently at the 22nd annual Prudential Spirit of Community Awards in Washington, D.C. Along with 100 other top youth volunteers from across the country, Waeldner and Rossborough each received $1,000 awards and were congratulated by Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps.

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