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Author Archives: TCT Editorial Staff

Local bands featured at Poland Spring

For Sunset Concert Series through August


POLAND – The Poland Spring Preservation Society has kicked of its summer concert series, at the Gazebo at Poland Spring.

The Sunset Series of concerts on Monday evenings supports the society’s mission to preserve and restore two wonderful historic buildings, the All Souls Chapel and Maine State Building.

The concerts begin at 6:30 p.m., and admission is $5 per person.

For forty-five years, this non-profit organization has been the steward of these amazing buildings, and with ongoing support, will continue to preserve them for future generations.

Please take a moment to speak to a volunteer, or one of our staff, if you are interested in learning more about the  buildings, the history of Poland Spring, or how to become a member or volunteer.

July 19

Christie Ray Trio

Christie Ray is an emerging New England singer-songwriter, based out of New Gloucester.

Her warm, captivating voice is turning heads wherever she performs. Drawing from her own experiences and the stories of life that she sees happening all around her, Christie has that rare ability to weave lyrics into stories that feel like they were written from the soundtrack of our own life.

Her catchy melodies and memorable lyrical-hooks, will have listeners singing along, as if they already knew the songs.

Though her sets focus on songs from her upcoming album “Night Life”, she’ll also put her own spin on cover songs from artists such as Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones, Miranda Lambert, Queen, Tom Petty,  Patsy Cline, Blondie and many more.

Christie will be accompanied by Andrew Pelletier on percussion and backup vocals, along with Sean Finn on bass guitar.

July 26

Ernie Gagne

Ernie and Scott Gagné are a father and son duo from Lewiston.

They’ve been performing together for a couple of years.

Ernie is a 6th grade teacher at St. Dominic Academy in Auburn.

Scott spent the last couple of years in Nashville before COVID, where he was the lead guitarist for Bucky Covington. He also accompanied upcoming country music star Cassidy Daniels, and the pair opened a couple of shows for Willie Nelson.

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Lewiston’s tax rate going down

From City of Lewiston

Lewiston’s tax rate will be going down for the second year in a row, this time largely due to increased valuation from the Central Maine Power Clean Energy Connect Project.

The new net increase in valuation from the CMP project is approximately $100 million. The project’s contribution joins an additional $11 million valuation increase from new construction, building permits, four-year reviews, and the local Unitil adding $1 million to Lewiston’s tax base, for an overall 5.57% boost in tax valuation.

Finance Director Heather Hunter adds that “This increase in Lewiston’s valuation renders the largest increase in well over a decade. The FY22 tax rate previously published was $29.67 but will now fall by $1.41 to $28.26.”

Noting that Lewiston is a positive place for development and open for business, Mayor Mark Cayer said that Lewiston is a positive place for development, and open for business. “What wonderful news for the residents and businesses within the City of Lewiston! The fact that the new tax rate will be 41 cents below our current fiscal year $28.67 tax rate is so encouraging and certainly underscores that opportunity lives here!” he said.

 Cayer said that he and City Council members extend appreciation to Lewiston’s City Administration team, Finance Director Heather Hunter, and Chief Assessor Bill Healey and the Assessing team. “Their unwavering efforts to accurately capture tax valuation opportunities keeps our tax base current for annual tax rate evaluation.”

 School Committee Chair Megan Parks is also pleased with the tax rate decrease, “Education is a driving force in any community when it comes to community well-being and economic development. The entire Lewiston School Committee worked tirelessly to bring a budget forward this year that addressed our student needs but also took into account the pressures being placed on our property taxpayers. With this exciting news and the forecast of continued growth in Lewiston’s assessed value, we have an opportunity to provide the education our children deserve without dramatically impacting our property taxpayers.”

 Cayer said, “It’s a good day in any municipality when a tax rate decrease can be announced, and I am so pleased that Lewiston can deliver such news! Lewiston is moving in a positive direction, and the continued growth being witnessed will greatly benefit local taxpayers. Lewiston is indeed a growing city full of possibility; we’re affordable, accessible and the increased valuation is another example of the abundant offerings Lewiston has for people and businesses to thrive.”

 In contrast, Cayer said he is very concerned about currently proposed Maine legislation, LD 1708, which seeks to create a non-profit utility for those parts of Maine now served by Central Maine Power and Versant.

“We have storm clouds looming over our entire state in the form of LD 1708, and if passed, the legislation will dramatically—and negatively—impact every resident, taxpayer and business in this state,” he said.

Organ concerts at the Basilica

From Portland Diocese

LEWISTON—The popular summer concert series at the Basilica of Ss. Peter & Paul, located on 122 Ash Street in Lewiston, has begun.

The organ concerts are each Wednesday at 12:15 p.m.

The performances are free and open to the public, but donations to help with the preservation of the historic Casavant organ at the Basilica will be gratefully accepted.

July 21

Harold Stover

Stover is a graduate of the Juilliard School in New York, and a charter member of the faculty of the Portland Conservatory of Music. His recital career spans more than 50 years and includes performances on most major New York recital series and at Westminster Abbey in London, the National Cathedral in Washington, Harvard and Princeton universities, and many other distinguished venues. He has been featured as performer, composer, and lecturer at regional and national conventions of the American Guild of Organists.

Guest organists will play the historic Casavant organ at the Basilica of Ss. Peter & Paul in concerts on Wednesday afternoons through August. (Photo courtesy of Portland Diocese)

July 28

Ray Cornils

Cornils was the municipal organist for the City of Portland from 1990 to 2017. He has performed throughout the U.S. and in Germany, France, Spain, Russia, New Zealand and Ecuador. He has been a featured recitalist for conventions of the American Guild of Organists and the Organ Historical Society. In addition to his solo work, he performs regularly with the Portland Symphony Orchestra.

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Leading plastic surgeon joins CMH

From CMH

LEWISTON – Renowned plastic and reconstructive surgeon Therese K. White, MD, FACS, joins the Central Maine Healthcare Oncology Institute as the director of the Breast Care Center.

One of the leading breast reconstruction surgeons in Maine, White also specializes in hand surgery, skin cancer reconstruction and body contouring. She was most recently president of Plastic and Hand Surgical Associates in South Portland. She was also the division director of plastic surgery at Maine Medical Center and on the hospital’s Breast Leadership Council.

White takes on her new role as Central Maine Healthcare builds its new Cancer Care Center, which will be completed in February 2022. 

“Dr. White brings to Central Maine Healthcare 25 years of experience in Maine providing the highest quality and most innovative care to her patients. Her reputation as a skilled surgeon and caring physician is unmatched, drawing patients from across the state and even the region,” said Jason Krupp, MD, FACP, president of Central Maine Medical Group. “Beyond that, Therese is a great clinical leader and a wonderful person. I am looking forward to growing the Breast Care Center program under her leadership.” 

Therese K. White, MD, FACS, joined the Central Maine Healthcare Oncology Institute in January as the director of the Breast Care Center, which is part of new Cancer Care Center in Lewiston that will be completed in February 2022. (Photo courtesy of CMH)

The ability to improve quality of life for patients through a wide range of procedures drew White to plastic surgery.

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Too clever by half

Guest Column

By Grammar Guy

Kids love to tell you precisely how old they are.

Adults, on the other hand, treat age like a tightly guarded state secret.

With kids, the “half” in their age makes all the difference. My son isn’t merely “seven”; he’s “sev­en-and-a-half.” You’d bet­ter get the “half” in there, or he’ll take it as an insult. I have half a mind to di­vulge my age, but I stopped counting a long time ago.

It’s time to take a half-baked look at “half.” Specif­ically, I want to understand the difference between the phrases “a half,” “half a” and “half of.” Which is cor­rect? Do any of them make us sound dumb when we say them? Let’s explore.

I’ll start with the low-hanging fruit “half of.” The preposition “of” is not necessary, but it’s also not wrong. So, when I say, “Half of my records are Beatles records,” that’s fine, but the “of” doesn’t have to be there.

What’s the difference between “a half” and “half a”? After all, it’s important to make a distinction be­tween the “halves” and the “half-nots.”

If I had “half a box” of Lucky Charms cereal, this would indicate that the box is half full of cereal. If this was in my house, that would mean my daughter had dumped out all the ce­real, eaten just the marsh­mallows and then returned the boring cereal bits back in the box. However, if I had “a half box” of Lucky Charms, this could poten­tially mean that a ninja snuck into my pantry and sliced the box in half with his katana, leaving only a half box.

I have half a mind to stop there, but our arrange­ment of “a half” or “half a” has quantitative conse­quences. Much of the time it doesn’t matter, nor does it change the meaning. For example, you could say, “I ran a half-mile this morn­ing.” You could also say, “I ran half a mile this morn­ing.”

However, there’s a major difference between running “a half marathon” and “half a marathon.” A half marathon is a specif­ic running event in which people run 13.1 miles. If you run “a half marathon,” this would suggest that you finished the 13.1-mile race. If you said you ran “half a marathon,” it would seem that you quit the marathon (26.2 miles) when you were only halfway done. Be care­ful when throwing “a half” and “half a” around inter­changeably or your friends might label you as a half-wit.

Curtis Honeycutt is a syndicated humor col­umnist. He is the author of “Good Grammar is the Life of the Party: Tips for a Wildly Successful Life”. Find more at curtishoney­

Polystyrene foam containers banned

From Maine DEP

AUGUSTA – Polystyrene foam disposable food containers are now banned in Maine.

The state law went into effect on July 1 to prohibit restaurants, stores, and a wide variety of other eating establishments including places in the entertainment, hospitality, recreation, and tourism industries; catering establishments; correctional facilities; hospital cafeterias; mobile eating places; public and private schools; and workplace cafes from using the containers.

The ban on polystyrene foam containers was scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1, but the ban’s enforcement was delayed in December of 2020 due to concerns regarding a disruption in packaging supplies and logistical effects caused by COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection had encouraged businesses and other entities that utilize polystyrene foam products for processing, preparing, containing or serving food to use the additional time provided by enforcement delays to procure alternatives to these products. Disposable food service containers are service ware designed for one-time use, and include bowls, plates, trays, carton, cups, lids sleeves, or other items for containing, transporting, and serving foods.

Recently, emergency legislation was passed by the 130th Maine Legislature, making several changes to the original law. The new law will exempt raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs from the polystyrene foam ban until July 1, 2025 and remove an exemption in the original law that allowed items prepackaged at wholesale in another state to be purchased by Maine retailers and resold in polystyrene foam packaging to Maine consumers.

As of July 1, 2025, all food and beverage products sold in Maine, whether prepackaged out of State or not, cannot be packaged in polystyrene foam. The bill was signed into law by Governor Mills on June 15.

DEP advises the regulated community to take caution when procuring replacement containers for polystyrene foam. Many products that claim to be compostable, plant based, or biodegradable may still be made with a styrene additive to provide extruded foam properties to the product. However, products with a styrene additive, even if plant based or compostable, are not exempt from the ban.

Additional information regarding the polystyrene ban can be found on DEP’s website.

Liberty Festival

Lewiston and Auburn celebrate our Liberty

By Nathan Tsukroff

LEWISTON/AUBURN – Sister cities Lewiston and Auburn celebrated the Fourth of July with the Liberty Festival, finishing off the weekend with a fireworks display over Great Falls on Monday night.

Lewiston shut down Court Street and Maine Street by Veterans Memorial Park, and residents from both cities filled the park and all four lanes of the bridge over the Androscoggin River.

The Lewiston/Auburn Liberty Festival finished with a fireworks display over Great Falls on Monday night, after it was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic. Lewiston residents filled Veterans Memorial Park and the Court Street bridge across the Androscoggin River to watch. (Tsukroff photo)

There was not a Liberty Festival last year, due to the pandemic, and this year’s festival did not include vendors, music or other events.

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Business leaders receive LA Metro awards

LEWISTON – At its Annual Awards Celebration the last week of June, the LA Metro Chamber presented Betsy Sawyer-Manter, President and CEO of SeniorsPlus, with the 2021 Theresa Samson Women’s Business Leadership Award.

Sawyer-Manter has been the President and CEO of SeniorsPlus since 2009.  During her tenure, the nonprofit’s annual budget has grown from $19 million to $34 million as SeniorsPlus added new services including Fiscal Intermediary services, Veterans Independence Program, Dementia Capable Maine, Money Minders, and enhanced Education Center offerings.

Theresa Samson (left) is shown with Betsy Sawyer-Manter, President and CEO of SeniorsPlus, recipient of the 2021 Theresa Samson Women’s Business Leadership Award. (Photo by Kait Gallagher, GingerSnap Rentals)

Sawyer-Manter is a founding member of the Maine Council on Aging and is active in many committees and work groups at the state level.

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Oregon ALS widow riding bike in 50 states

From Team Gary 2021

SCAPPOOSE, OR – Gary Garner, a Navy veteran, died on March 20, two years after his ALS diagnosis.

Within days of his death,his wife Tami Garner, 53, set forth an ambitious plan to fulfill his bucket list wish, to ride her bike in all 50 states in his honor.

Garner will be riding the South Portland Greenbelt on July 14, and welcomes all who would join her, or would like to meet her.

Tami Garner from Oregon will be riding her bike in South Portland on July 14 as part of a national fundraising tour for ALS, in honor of her husband, who died from complications of ALS in March. (Photo courtesy of Tami Garner)

“So often we put limitations on ourselves, and I want to show that whatever contribution we can make to our world isvaluable, and possible,“ she said. “I’ve learned in this last two years that sometimes you have to persevere through the rain to find the beauty within.”

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A banjo player extraordinaire

Out and About

By Rachel Morin

AUBURN – Peter Mezoian of South Portland, Maine, banjo player extraordinaire, was coming to Schooner Estates in Auburn!

He was going to present a live banjo concert in The Courtyard.

We waited for weeks for the good weather to arrive . . .

Dedicated fans from his many banjo concerts over the years waited impatiently for that day. And the perfect day finally arrived on June 24.

Chairs filled quickly as Peter arrived early, setting up his equipment in the Schooner Courtyard.

Peter Mezoian of South Portland presented his Banjo Concert in the Courtyard at Schooner Estates Senior Living Community to a very appreciative audience. Among them were his long-time followers from previous appearances. (Rachel Morin photo)

The assembled audience exchanged tidbits of information they knew about Peter’s life and how he arrived at the greatness he had achieved in the banjo-playing musicians’ fame. They talked of how he also played for many cruise lines as well as the many concerts across the country.

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