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This week’s edition!

Only Steps Forward: LA Arts integrates creative businesses with economic development

By Jonathan P. LaBonte

Mayor of Auburn

LA Arts has launched a new series called “Place for Makers” to highlight some of the creative businesses here in Lewiston-Auburn and to introduce them to not only local residents, but also those “from away” who may not be aware of their talents.

The continued evolution of LA Arts into an arts agency that integrates its work into the economic and community development direction of both cities is something to be applauded and further supported.

The Place for Makers series kicked off at Rancourt & Co, a shoe factory tucked behind Central Maine Health Care on Bridge Street. In the nondescript, interconnected buildings, Mike Rancourt and his team go about constructing some of the finest shoes in the world. You may have heard reports during the recent Olympics about the Ralph Lauren-labeled shoes worn by all of the United States Olympians being made in Lewiston.

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Enough is Enough: Liberal legislators to raise tax on working-class Mainers

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Like you, it does my heart good to see millions of college and university snowflakes, augmented by older adult wannabees looking to relive their college days during the 1960s and ’70s, trying to outdo each other in an attempt to rid society of what they deem unacceptable thoughts and behaviors.

They take up what they believe are noble causes, seeking change, but most importantly hope to shine a spotlight on themselves and be recognized for what they consider to be their altruistic behavior.

Now before the Maine State Legislature is a bill aimed at working-class men and women, which, if passed, will deny them their daily stress reliever: puffing tobacco.

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LYAC seeks student artwork on theme “Treat All Listeners Kindly”

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The Lewiston Youth Advisory Council includes members Khafiya Dualeh, Clare Kramer, Emma Williams, Jazy Dumas, Maggie Elwell, Deni Federico, Courtney Caouette, and Carolyn Adams. 

As part of their positive communications campaign, the Lewiston Youth Advisory Council is asking students in Pre-K through Grade 8 to submit artwork with the theme “Treat All Listeners Kindly” (T.A.L.K.).  The campaign was launched on February 7, and LYAC recently presented an informative community T.A.L.K. workshop on the topic at the YWCA.

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Food for Thought Luncheon to feature Kevin Hancock

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Hancock will discuss his experiences with spasmodic dysphonia and his recent book, “Not for Sale: Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse.”

Kevin Hancock, President of Hancock Lumber Company, will share his experiences with being diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia and how this condition changed his management style and his approach to life at the next L-A Senior College Food for Thought Luncheon on Friday, April 14.

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APL author visit will explore sexual assault on campus

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For Sexual Assault Prevention Awareness Month, Auburn Public Library’s Teen Life Skills series will present a program featuring Maine author Maria Padian on Thursday, April 13 at 3 p.m. Padian will read an excerpt from her newest book, “Wrecked,” and lead a discussion about the relationship issues it raises. Free and open to teens and young adults ages 12 to 21, the program will take place in the library’s Teen Space. Joining in the discussion will be community educators Whitney Parrish of Safe Voices and Hannah Johnson of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Services.

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Stand-up comedy students to perform at Guthries

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Posing here with instructor Harold “Tuck” Tucker (c.) are students (from l.) Crystal Bernard, Drew Bertelsen, Brian Collins, Jenny Oswald, Nick Gordon, Angela Merrill, Audra Welton and Shawn Howe. 

Lewiston Adult Education students will put their newly-honed comedy skills to the test in a comedy show at Guthries Restaurant & Café on Monday, April 10 at 6:30 p.m. Members of professional comic Harold “Tuck” Tucker’s “Stand-Up Comedy Workshop” at Lewiston Adult Education, the students will perform their comedy routines in place of taking a final exam. The show is open to the public at no charge.

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Governor’s Address: Legislators Must Enact Welfare Reform for Future Prosperity

Over the past six years, welfare reform has been at the forefront of my agenda as your Governor.

Dear Maine Taxpayer,

Some of these reforms have required legislation, such as capping TANF at 5 years back in 2011 and prohibiting the purchase of cigarettes and alcohol with welfare last year.

Despite overwhelming public support for welfare reform, many welfare reform bills have failed because of the entitlement mentality in Augusta.

That’s why many of our greatest welfare reform successes have not come from legislation, but from executive action.

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Only Steps Forward: Rising water and sewer bills point to need for efficiencies

By Jonathan P. LaBonté

Mayor of Auburn

Many of you may have recently received your latest water and sewer bills in the mail. While I also got mine, I know other taxpayers have, too—it’s been the major topic of phone calls and folks approaching me as I’m out and around town.

Knowing that city budget season is upon us, folks are worried about the continued increases in taxes and fees when their incomes aren’t rising alongside it.

A few months back, I provided some thoughts and concerns about the proposed rate increase at the water district. Because of the heavy reliance on a major water consumer like Cascade Fiber, which is now closed, and expenses rising faster than revenues, double-digit rate increases were passed.

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Enough is Enough: Vietnam Veterans Remebrance Day – think about it

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Today, March 30, is designated Vietnam Veterans Remembrance Day in the State of Maine. The day is set aside each year, by order of the Maine State Legislature, to remember the sacrifices of those who fought, served and died in the Republic of South Vietnam.

It was a war that polarized our country, similar to what America is experiencing today. Many of the returning men and women who came back had no “safe space” to decompress in, so they took their own lives. But unlike today, few people cared.

Now, after villainizing Vietnam veterans for the past several decades, suddenly their status has been elevated to “hero.” No longer will they be forced to wear a scarlet letter, alerting the general public that they are in the presence of so-called psychotic baby killers. Finally, we are being welcomed back into everyday society.

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CMCC Mustangs celebrate National Championship

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The 2017 USCAA Women’s Division II national championship team: l. to r., from front, are Spencer True, team manager Kate Kelley, Hayley Peterson, Nicole Hamblin, Tianna Harriman, Ellie Harrington, Seve Derry-Deraps, Mikayla Yanez, Holly Decourcey, Allie Ablondi, Kristina Blais, head coach Andrew Morong, Eraleena Gethers-Hairston, Rylee Moore, Samantha Burke, Jenny Schlim, Taylor Esty, Brooke Reynolds, and assistant coaches Laura Soohey and Maggie Sabine.

Fans of the Central Maine Community College women’s basketball team gathered on campus March 23 for a celebration of the team winning the USCAA Women’s Division II national championship. The Mustangs won the title after a 74-57 win over Penn State-Lehigh Valley on March 4 in Uniontown, PA, to become the first Maine women’s college basketball team to win a national title.

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