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This week’s edition!

Auditions announced for CLT’s “Alice in Wonderland”

AUBURN, ME — “Alice in Wonderland” is the classic story of a young girl who falls down a rabbit hole and finds herself in a fantastical world filled with colorful characters and exciting and unusual adventures. CLT is looking for approximately 26 actors, some roles may be doubled.

Auditions for Alice in Wonderland at LA/CLT are March 10 and 11 at 6pm at 30 Academy St, Auburn ME. Auditioners need only attend one day of auditions. However, callbacks may be scheduled later in the week.

Those wishing to audition for the Mad Hatter may be asked to perform some light choreography.

For more information, contact info@LACLT.com

The production dates for “Alice in Wonderland ” are June 14-23.

L/A Community Little Theatre, located at 30 Academy Street in Auburn, has been producing live theatre since 1940. A volunteer, non-profit organization, our goal is to provide affordable and quality entertainment in the performing arts as well as education, training, and experience in theatre for area youth. www.laclt.com.

Boiler operator, land surveyor technician trainings offered

High-Pressure Boiler Operator Training 2024

AUBURN, ME – The Center for Workforce and Professional Development at Central Maine Community College (CMCC) is partnering with area employers and service providers to recruit candidates interested in completing their High-Pressure Boiler Operator Certification.

Information and registration for the free program is available at centralmaine.cc/workforceapply.

Running from March 19th – June 18th, this course offers a practical approach, knowledge, and techniques to power plant operation and is designed to prepare the student to sit for the Maine High-Pressure Boiler License Exam. Upon completing this course and the required in-service experience under a state-issued training permit, the student can take the Central Maine Community College licensing exam. The cost of the exam is included.

The average starting wage for a High-Pressure Boiler Operator is $42,000 in the State of Maine.

Registration for this course is required.

This training is just one of the many free courses offered by Workforce and Professional Development including Introduction to Phlebotomy, Certified Pharmacy Technician, Computer Support Specialist – 2 Course Bundle, CETP Gas Training, Refrigerant EPA 608, Fiber Optic Technician, Heat Pump Installer Training, and the Welding Academy.

For more information or to register, please contact Central Maine Community College’s Center for Workforce & Professional Development at workforcedevelopment@cmcc.edu or 207-755-5280.

Land Surveyor Technician I

The Center for Workforce and Professional Development at Central Maine Community College (CMCC) is partnering with area employers and service providers to recruit candidates interested in completing their 15-hour Land Surveyor Technician Certification. The In-Person Course Dates: March 7 – April 4, 2024, Thursdays 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Information and registration for the free program is available at centralmaine.cc/workforceapply

The Survey Technician I course provides preparatory training for a nationally recognized Land Survey Technician certification. The course covers the setup for surveying stations, sequence stationing, data collection, recording observed angles, recording distances, utilizing point coding, and taking survey notes. The course will also cover reading topographical maps, CAD software operations, and following safety guidelines in the field. Upon completion, the cost of the exam is covered, students earn a Digital Badge, and starting salaries trend at over $31,000 with opportunity for advancement.

This training is just one of the many free courses offered by Workforce and Professional Development including Introduction to Phlebotomy, CNA Lewiston, Computer Support Specialist – 2 Course Bundle, CETP Gas Training, Heat Pump Installer, Refrigerant EPA 608, High-Pressure Boiler, Fiber Optics Technician, and the Welding Academy.

These programs are funded by the Maine Jobs and Recovery Program (MJRP). The course materials and exam fees are also covered. Participants must be at least 18 years of age, possess a high school diploma, GED, or HiSet, and be a U.S. citizen and/or authorized to work in the U.S. Candidates are only eligible to participate in one MJRP program being offered at any of the seven colleges in the Maine Community College System.

For more information or to register, please contact Central Maine Community College’s Center for Workforce & Professional Development at workforcedevelopment@cmcc.edu or 207-755-5280.

Stanton Bird Club to hold March meeting

AUBURN, ME — Writer and photographer, Ed Robinson will be the featured speaker at the March 4th meeting of the Stanton Bird Club. Entitled “The Mystery of Maine’s Wildlife”, the presentation will feature Atlantic Puffins, black bears, Northern Saw-whet Owls, Canada lynx, and the American mink along with a couple surprises.

Robinson spends a great deal of time studying the natural world and will share some insights about these fascinating animals. The presentation will include stunning photos, biological facts, and stories.

Growing up in the Finger Lakes region of New York, Robinson developed a deep love for wild creatures and the environment. Since moving to Orr’s Island from England in 2007, he has been exploring our beautiful state and writing about the creatures that live here.

Ed recently published his second book titled Nature Notes from Maine: Puffins, Black Bears, Raccoons & More, with the profits benefitting public education and conservation.

The talk will be held on Monday, March 4th from 4-6pm at the Auburn Public Library. The public is welcome. This lecture is free of charge. The Stanton Bird Club, a leader in environmental awareness, owns and manages the Thorncrag Nature Sanctuary in Lewiston as well as the Woodbury Nature Sanctuary in Monmouth and Litchfield.

More information about other activities of the Club can be found at www.StantonBirdClub.org and on its Facebook page.

Photo of an Atlantic Puffin by Ed Robinson.

YWCA’S Women of Achievement to honor local leaders

AUBURN, ME — YWCA Central Maine’s Women of Achievement Awards being held on March 10th, 2024, at the Hilton Garden Inn Auburn Riverwatch will honor four distinguished women from Androscoggin County and the Greater State of Maine. The event will be Emceed by Lori Voornas WHOM 94.9 DJ, part of Townsquare Media.

The Women of Achievement Awards Brunch is not only a uniquely, powerful celebration of women leaders, it is also an opportunity for proceeds to support the YWCA’s work in the community, which provides meaningful programming and services to further the mission of empowering women, and eliminating racism, including scholarships for children in our community to attend summer camp and swim lessons.

The Women of Achievement Awards Brunch is one the YWCA’s largest bi-annual fundraisers and was founded in 2015 to honor the powerful leadership of women in Maine. This award program began to recognize the outgoing YWCA Board President, Lee Young. The decision to honor her work inspired YWCA executive leadership to create annual awards to celebrate the accomplishments of women in our community and state in four distinct categories. The award namesakes have all contributed their service to YWCA and their legacies inspire the work of the organization. The four awards include the Lee Young Leadership Award, the Marcia Baxter Social Justice Award, the Tonie Ramsey Service Award, and the Priscilla Gendron Legacy Award.

The winners are:

Shanna Cox, President and CEO, LA Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce – Lee Young Leadership Award for excellence in professional, community, civic, or artistic leadership

Paula Marcus-Platz, Psychotherapist – Priscilla Gendron Legacy Award for extraordinary investment in public enrichment through philanthropic giving and fundraising

Abby Reuscher, Science Teacher, Lewiston Public Schools – Marcia Baxter Social Justice Award for courage, commitment, leadership, and humility in working toward a more just and equitable community.

Linda Scott, Lewiston Homeless Warming Shelter and Self Employed – Tonie Ramsie Service Award for exceptional, long-term commitment to improving communities and the lives of others through service.

In addition to announcing award winners, YWCA Central Maine announced the keynote speaker, Judith Josiah-Martin, PhD. Judith Josiah-Martin, PhD, ACSW, CADC, has been a part of the University of Maine community for the past 16 years, as School of Social Work faculty and as the Director of Multicultural Student Life. Dr. Josiah-Martin will be addressing the reception with a keynote called “The Shoulders of Strong Women: Walking Forward Together.”

YWCA Central Maine invites the community to celebrate with us at the Women of Achievement Awards Brunch. The event includes brunch, keynote speech, award ceremony, and a Silent Auction. Tickets are on sale now: https://YWCAMaineWOA.eventbrite.com

If you are interested in sponsoring this event or donating an item to the silent auction please reach out to Jennifer Molloy, Chief Development and Communications Officer at jmolloy@ywcamaine.org

YWCA’S Aqua Park open during February Vacation

LEWISTON, ME — The Aqua Park at YWCA Central Maine is back by popular demand! Please Join us for a special February Vacation event on Saturday, February 24th, and Sunday February 25th.

“Individuals and families looking for a fun, indoor activity to do during February vacation don’t have to look far. YWCA Central Maine invested in this unique Aqua Park that is unlike any other activity available in Central Maine in 2022. Brought out for special occasions we decided that February vacation was a great reason to set it up, and let people have fun for a weekend.” Said Jennifer Molloy, Chief Development and Communications Officer.

The park includes a trampoline, a tunnel, a rock wall, and a slide. There are 25 spots per session, so prior registration and reservation is required, and multiple lifeguards will be on duty.

Participation is for 8 years old and up.

To register go to our website and create an account in RecDesk and select “Aqua Park”. Registration is now open.

If you have further questions please call the front desk at 207-795-4050.

Filing deadline extended for FEMA Designated Disaster Areas 

 AUGUSTA, ME – The Department of Administrative and Financial Services (DAFS) announced today that Maine Revenue Services, a bureau of DAFS, will extend the deadline to file Maine state taxes, to match the recent Internal Revenue Service (IRS) federal tax extension deadline for Maine taxpayers who live in federally designated disaster areas in 10 Maine counties, until June 17, 2024.  

On February 5, 2024, the IRS announced federal tax relief for individuals and businesses in certain parts of Maine affected by severe storms and flooding that began on December 17, 2023.   

The tax relief applies to disaster areas in Maine designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Androscoggin, Franklin, Hancock, Kennebec, Oxford, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset, Waldo, and Washington counties. 

 For affected Maine taxpayers, tax returns and final or estimated payments originally due on or after December 17, 2023, and through April 17, 2024 for Individual Income Tax, Corporate Income Tax, Fiduciary Income Tax (trusts and estates) and Franchise Tax are postponed to June 17, 2024.   

 Any related penalties and interest will be abated for the period of December 18, 2023, through June 17, 2024 (Relief Period). Affected taxpayers are encouraged to file electronically. Affected taxpayers filing paper returns should write “MAINE FLOODING” across the top of their return. Affected taxpayers are still encouraged to make payments and file if they are able and prepared to do so before June 17, 2024. 

 Regardless of filing method, if any affected taxpayer receives a notice of assessment of penalties and/or interest for the Relief Period due to late returns or payments, please contact MRS immediately at income.tax@maine.gov (Income Tax programs) to request abatement. 

 Payment and filing deadlines for all other Maine tax types, including Maine sales tax and income tax withholding, remain unchanged.  

Taxpayers with questions about special federal tax relief associated with federally declared disaster areas should contact the IRS at (866) 562-5227 or go to the IRS website at www.irs.gov

New advisory services for credit unions, community banks

MAINE – Charles River CFO, is proud to announce the launch of its new Executive Advisory Services, designed specifically for Credit Unions and Community Banks. With financial institutions facing unique challenges in today’s dynamic finance environment, this service aims to provide seasoned expertise and strategic guidance tailored to their specific needs.

Charles River CFO’s Executive Advisory Services are designed to foster effective board leadership, improve CEO performance, and offer appropriate responses to audit and examiner concerns. The new service will also include board training sessions, weekly CEO coaching calls, and monthly strategic planning sessions tailored to the unique needs of each organization.

“Our services are about turning challenges into opportunities,” said Allen Sterling, Director of Community Banking/Credit Union Practice at Charles River CFO. “From filling leadership gaps with our Interim CEO and CFO services to providing comprehensive board training, we are dedicating our seasoned expertise to empower your organization and steer it towards success.”

One of the critical components of the new offering includes Audit Committee support, where the team will work closely with the Audit Committee members to define their responsibilities, evaluate CEO responses, and ensure effective monitoring of improvements.

Strategic planning is another vital aspect of the services. The Executive Advisors will provide insights on best practices for successful plan development, execution, and monitoring, ensuring that the organizations have an effective planning and budgeting process in place.

“Effective communication is key to any successful organization,” said Sterling. “Our Executive Advisory Service offers CEO coaching and works closely with your CEO to optimize their effectiveness in communicating with the board, outside examiners, and senior management.”

Charles River CFO invites credit unions and community banks to consider how we can amplify the impact of your leadership team. Connect with us at info@crcfo.com or call Jack Sullivan at (781) 431-0420 x1 to learn how our Executive Advisory Services can benefit your organization.

French trailblazers honored with Lewiston concert

PORTLAND, ME — The Franco-American Collection at the University of Southern Maine, in collaboration with the Franco Center, and the University of Southern Maine’s Osher School of Music and Bates College Department of Music, will host “Celebrating French Music, the History Makers, the History Changers” at the Franco Center in Lewiston at on Friday, March 1. The program will highlight the lives, music, and struggle for freedom of trailblazing French women composers who have been forgotten in history.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. There is no admission fee, but seats must be reserved. The music will begin at 6 p.m., with a reception to follow at 7:15 p.m. 

Soprano Malinda Haslett, director of USM’s Voice Program, and Osher School of Music seniors Josephine Lawrence, Bella StCyr, and Caroline Wood will honor the work of underrepresented musicians, including female Jewish composer and member of the French resistance, Claude Arrieu.

Haslett’s research and performances related to Arrieu earned her the USM Trustee Professorship in 2022-23. Arrieu was a founding member of the Front National des Musiciens, whose mission was to save artists and art from annihilation while preserving French culture and lifting morale. When the war ended, their music fell into obscurity. Yet, as Dr. Haslett’s work illuminates, Arrieu’s music lives on through her connection to Maine native, Dame Alice Esty, a soprano, philanthropist, and resident of Lewiston, who commissioned Arrieu to write for her after the war.

The evening program will celebrate Arrieu, Esty, and Maine’s contribution to the classical vocal music canon, and showcase the work of current young vocal artists here in Maine.

In honor of those who passed away after the tragic Lewiston shooting in October, the program will conclude with a rendition of Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem. In collaboration with friends and colleagues from Bates College, members of the USM Voice Program and students and faculty from Bates will come together to sing the Requiem as a musical memorial.

Conductor duties will be shared by Scott Wheatley, who serves on USM’s voice faculty and as a collaborative pianist, and Joëlle Morris, singer, choral conductor, music educator at Bates.

Following the event, there will be a reception and presentation by students who will share their research on undervalued women pioneers in music.

Support for this concert program comes from Maine Community Bank; Maine Advisory Associates; a Friend; TempleShalomAuburn.org; UMaine Judaic Studies; DentalLace.com; and UMaine Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Season Underwriter is Maple Way Dental Care; Media Sponsors are Sun Journal, Turner Publishing, Uncle Andy’s, Bennett Radio Group.

The Franco Center is at 46 Cedar St., Lewiston. Parking is available in the mill lot. The building is handicap accessible on the Lincoln St. Alley side. 


“The Women Who Risked Everything for Freedom” concert program featuring soprano Malinda Haslett, Scott Wheatley on piano, and a slideshow of women composers is a collaboration between Franco-American Collection at University of Southern Maine, the Franco Center, and the University of Southern Maine’s Osher School of Music. The program starts at 6 p.m. Friday, March 1. Admission is free but RSVP your seat at 207-689-2000 or www.francocenter.org/shows. Submitted photo. 

Maine MILL opens exhibit about unseen labor

LEWISTON, ME – The Maine Museum of Innovation, Learning and Labor opened on February 8 a new exhibit about unseen labor. The show expands the story of people working in Maine, and the story of their work—seen and unseen. It organizes such work thematically, with sections focused on the labor of Black people, children and unions, as well as unpaid labor in prisons and the domestic sphere. The show highlights and celebrates artwork by Candy Chang and Auburn-based Tanja Hollander. Both of these artists’ works relate directly to the museum’s memorial efforts following the October 25, 2023 mass shooting. A number of memorial items are also on display within the exhibit.

Rachel Ferrante, Maine MILL’s executive director shared, “We are thrilled to present Tanja’s Ephemera Project and Candy’s A Monument for the Anxious and Hopeful, each of which are so powerful on their own. Set against the backdrop of the complex themes of unseen labor, we hope the show will invite numerous opportunities for thought and dialogue. And our newly created memorial space will be available for the community throughout the run of the show.”

For more information about Maine MILL (formerly Museum L-A) and its events and exhibits, visit mainemill.org or call 207-333-3881. The museum is located at 35 Canal Street in Lewiston. Visitor hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 10am – 4pm.

Fill the Plate Breakfast to benefit Meals on Wheels

LEWISTON, ME – SeniorsPlus, the designated Agency on Aging for Western Maine, will hold a breakfast to benefit its Meals on Wheels nutrition program. The Fill the Plate Breakfast will be held on Friday, March 22, from 7 to 9 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn Riverwatch in Auburn. The breakfast will honor Lewiston resident Lucy Bisson with the 2024 Ikaria Award and feature a talk by beloved Maine humorist Gary Crocker. Tickets are $30 per person ($35 at the door) and are available at www.seniorsplus.org/march-for-meals or by calling 207-795-4010. Seats are limited and advance registration is recommended.

Maine humorist Gary Crocker will be the keynote speaker. Born in Lewiston and raised in North Monmouth, Crocker will offer remarks and observations about his beloved Maine and her people in the classic Maine tradition. After teaching public speaking at Cony HS in Augusta, he joined the Waterville Police Department. Crocker then served as Adult Ed Director at CMVTI (now CMCC) in Auburn and eventually became the spokesman for the Community College System at the Maine State Legislature. “These experiences put me in touch with people from all walks of life and prepared me to become a Maine humorist,” he said.

The event includes the presentation of the 2024 Ikaria Award, which recognizes an individual or organization for singular and outstanding contributions toward improving the lives of older adults, to Bisson, a longtime SeniorsPlus volunteer and current Executive Director of the Lewiston/Auburn Senior College.

Ikaria is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. It is considered one of the world’s five “Blue Zones”—places where an estimated one in three members of the population regularly lives an active life into their 90s.

The Fill the Plate Breakfast is presented in conjunction with March for Meals, a national campaign of Meals on Wheels America.

Last year, SeniorsPlus delivered more than 170,000 meals to 1,800 homebound older adults and adults with disabilities in Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties through its Meals on Wheels program.  Each meal provides one-third of the recommended daily allowance of nutrition, a safety check, and a visit to these vulnerable adults. The majority of the clients of Meals on Wheels are lower income or on fixed income.

The overall program goal of SeniorsPlus is to assist older adults and adults with disabilities in our tri-county area to remain at home safely for as long as possible.  The overwhelming majority of older adults (greater than 95% in an AARP survey) wish to remain at home until they die. The Meals on Wheels program provides nourishment, socialization and regular safety checks.

Since 1972, SeniorsPlus has been improving the lives of older adults and adults with disabilities. As the designated Area Agency on Aging for Western Maine, SeniorsPlus provides statewide services with an emphasis on Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties for core services (ie nutrition and information and assistance) that support independent living, healthy aging, and fight isolation. The mission of SeniorsPlus is to enrich the lives of older people and adults with disabilities, their families and communities, and to support them to make informed choices. SeniorsPlus envisions a future where all older adults and individuals with disabilities are engaged and respected while living quality, independent lives in the communities of their choice. Annually, SeniorsPlus serves 8,000 individuals and fields 170,000 phone inquiries. SeniorsPlus offers a network of support, including information and assistance, short-term care management, Medicare counseling, caregiver support and respite, health and wellness education, benefits counseling, and Meals on Wheels and congregate dining. 

Maine humorist Gary Crockerwill be the featured speaker on March 22 at the 2024 Fill the Plate Breakfast to benefit Meals on Wheels at SeniorsPlus.

The breakfast will honor Lewiston resident Lucy Bisson with the 2024 Ikaria Award.


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