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Zach Caldwell Joins Maine Source Homes & Realty as Sales Agent/Realtor®

Zach Caldwell

Zach Caldwell, a life-long Mainer who served in Afghanistan as a U.S. Army sergeant, has joined Auburn-based Maine Source Homes & Realty as a sales agent/realtor®.

Born and raised in the Turner/Lewiston/Auburn area, Mr. Caldwell comes from generations of Maine farmers and businessmen. While serving his country in the U.S. Army, he completed multiple leadership courses as he rose to the rank of sergeant. Now returning to Maine as a realtor, he offers the clients of Maine Source Homes & Realty his problem-solving skills, his insights born of elite-teamwork, and his deep religious faith.

“I’m excited to be coming onboard at Maine Source Homes & Realty, offering my skills as a local real estate agent,” said Mr. Caldwell. “God says, ‘Treat others as you wish to be treated’ and ‘Put others before yourself,’ and that’s what I’ll work hard every day to do for our clients.”

A new father and committed husband, Mr. Caldwell attends Free Grace Presbyterian Church in Lewiston.

Based in the Lewiston-Auburn area, Maine Source Homes & Realty is dedicated to helping customers find the perfect home-ownership solution. Whether one wishes to buy, sell, or build a home, Maine Source Homes & Realty invites customers and prospects to benefit from its 47 years of trustworthy experience and expertise.

The Public Theatre’s exciting 2019-20 Season begins!

A Christmas Carol “Michael O’Brien as Scrooge and Charlie Dresdner as Tiny Tim

“Fall is officially here, which means it’s time for the start of The Public Theatre’s 2019-20 season!” says Christopher Schario, the Artistic Director of Lewiston/Auburn’s Professional Theatre. Subscriptions and tickets to all shows throughout the season are currently on sale, and now is the perfect time to stock up on essentials like date nights, time with friends and inspiring theatre to feed your soul during the upcoming winter months.

Following a record-breaking summer co-production with MSMT of the musical Grease attended by over 4,000 people, The Public Theatre is looking forward to continuing its success with an enticing selection of shows for its 29th season. Although it’s hard to top the recent thrill of being named best theatre in Maine for the 7th year in a row by Down East Magazine’s readers’ poll, the Theatre’s reputation for producing must-see professional theatre featuring actors from Broadway and beyond continues with an exciting list of plays guaranteed to satisfy theatre-lovers throughout the state.

The theatre begins its season with the laugh out loud comedy “Women in Jeopardy” playing October 18 through 27.  Imagine Sex and the City meets I love Lucy when middle-aged moms start dating! Longtime friends Liz, Mary and Jo do everything together, until Liz starts dating a creepy guy who may or may not be a serial killer. It’s up to her gal pals to bring her to her senses as they trade in their wine glasses for spy glasses and leap to her rescue. Grab your gal pals and get out of the house for a good laugh about how ridiculously far we’ll go to help our friends. 

Next up, November 8, 9 and 10, The Public Theatre will present Theater at Monmouth’s recent and popular production of the hilarious musical comedy “Murder for Two” originally directed by The Public Theatre’s Adam P. Blais.  Get ready for a zany blend of musical comedy and madcap murder mystery in this fast and funny whodunnit loaded with killer laughs. One actor investigates the crime, the other plays all the suspects, and they both play the piano. Part musical, part comedy, part mystery, it’s all fun!

The holiday season is heralded in by The Public Theatre’s critically acclaimed production of “A Christmas Carol”, December 13, 14, 15. Rediscover the magic of theatre, when six actors and a fiddler perform the Dickens’ out of this classic story, bringing it to life in a way you’ve never imagined and will never forget. The Public Theatre is delighted to offer quality family entertainment people can afford to bring their family to, with an unbeatable ticket price of only $10 for children 18 and under.

The theatre will ring in the new year and chase away the winter blues with the funny and touching new comedy “Sexy Laundry”, January 24 through February 2. After many years of marriage, three kids, the addition of love handles and receding hairlines, Alice and Henry have hit a wall. Armed with a library copy of Sex for Dummies, they check into a fancy hotel to rekindle their romance. This relatable romantic romp about falling in love again with the person you’re married to will put a smile on your face, a lump in your throat and a new spring in your step.

The arrival of spring brings a youthful energy onto the stage in the hit play “I and You”, March 13 through 22. Mysteriously forced together to complete a book report on Walt Whitman, an unlikely pair of teenagers discover a shocking secret that will connect them forever. Winner of the American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award, this funny, moving and unforgettable show contains a surprise twist that will tempt you to see it twice.

May 1 through 10 brings a wonderful combination of comedy and drama in the relatable and heartfelt new play “Middletown”. Celebrating life through the eyes of two couples who’ve been best friends for 33 years, both couples reminisce about the highs, lows and in-betweens of their shared experiences reminding us how friends make the good times better and the hard times easier.

The season ends on May 17 with “The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow”, a special production for children and their families from the Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers. Perfect for children ages four and up, giggle along in this comedic version of the Classic Washington Irving tale as Ichabod Crane helps the headless horseman find a new head and a spookier image. The Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers have received three Citations of Excellence from UNIMA-USA, the highest national award in puppetry. Weekday morning matinees of this show are also available for school groups as a part of our student matinee program at only $5 a ticket.

The Public Theatre presents morning matinees of most productions as a part of their educational outreach and student matinee program. Study guides for each show are also available on The Public Theatre believes theatre should be for everyone and encourages young people 18 and under to attend any public performance Oct through May for only $10.

The Public Theatre will also be continuing their free pre-show beer and wine tastings in the theatre lobby for Opening night and Thursday night audiences of subscription shows. Opening night BREWHaHa beer tastings, compliments of Baxter Brewing, will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the theatre lobby on October 18, January 24, March 13 and May 1. “Wine-Down Thursday” (courtesy of Roopers, The Vault and Central Distributors), will be held on October 24, January 30, March 19 and May 7, with a special Wine-Down Friday for “Murder for Two” on November 8. 

Season subscriptions are currently on sale. Individual tickets, gift certificates, morning school-day student matinee performances and group rates (10 or more) are available for all productions. For more information visit or call 782-3200.  The Public Theatre is located at 31 Maple St. in downtown Lewiston. 

The Public Theatre 2019-20 Season Underwriters: Platz Associates, Sun Journal, Austin Associates, Maine Magazine and Gleason Media Services. 

Out & About with Rachel Morin: Meeting Franco author Ernest Herbert

Franco friends and book lovers posed for a photo before the evening began.  Pictured l to r, Margaret Craven, Celia McGuckian, Bruce Pagliaroli, Doris Bonneau, Ernest Hebert, Author; Susann Pelletier, Denis Ledoux, Aliette Couturier and Juliana L’Heureux

I was looking forward to seeing how “Meet a Franco Author” sponsored by the Franco-American Collection’s innovative reading series at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College was going to be, starting September 23.  It sounded so interesting. I had heard so much about the first presenter, Ernest Hebert, renowned author and poet from Keene, New Hampshire.

I joined early arrivals gathered around Author Ernest Hebert.  Denis Ledoux, FAC Board Member, came forward and introduced us.  All of a sudden, I heard myself saying, “Je suis enchante du faire votre connaisance” as the author and I shook hands.  It was spontaneous and I surprised myself, hearing this stilted greeting from my decades ago LHS French classes! (Merci, Mademoiselle Boucher.)  

My jubilance was short lived as I learned later that Franco Author Hebert, by his own account, does not speak French.  He explained he was fluent in French through the age of five when he entered kindergarten at Lincoln School in Keene, where no one spoke French—not teachers, not students.  It was so upsetting to him as a young child, being unable to communicate with his classmates, that his parents spoke English only in his presence.  He never spoke French again.  English became his preferred language—his only language.

It was the same story at St. Joseph Elementary School, the only Catholic School in Keene.   The priests, curates and nuns were Irish, it was an Irish Parish School. and everyone, including the students with French names, spoke English and knew not a word of French.  It was the sign of the times, as all his school friends and buddies now spoke English only and to blend in with them, Ernie did the same. (The author kindly requested I call him Ernie.)

He tells us he tried regaining his French language in high school and college French classes,but was unsuccessful.  Ernie is not one to give up, however, so who knows one day we may attend one of his lectures and hear something different.

The audience soon settled into Hebert’s recitation of his childhood memories taken from his Memoir of My Childhood, now in progress.  He has a warm, friendly, down to earth, storytelling style of how it was growing up in a family with four boys.  His delivery was just like he was talking to you alone, as you sit having coffee together.   He also has humor thrown in, as one might expect with the antics and jostling of three male siblings.

Father, mother, four sons, aunts, uncles with nuns and priests in the family made a tight, close and loving family in the Franco-American tradition.  They knew the value of hard work and had a good work ethic as the Franco-American people are known for.

Ernie proudly told us about his mother’s brother, and leader of the family, for whom he was named after, the Right Reverend Father Joseph Ernest Vaccarest.   Father Vac, as he was known, even after he was elevated to Monsignor, became a father figure for Ernie during his father’s absence, serving in the U.S Navy during WWII.  Father Vac, a hunter and a fisherman, was Ernie’s first mentor and taught him many useful things in life.

“Father Vac wasn’t like any priest I know of today,” Ernie reminisced.  “He never talked to me as if I were a child.  He was the only adult who actually conversed with me.”  When Father Vac died suddenly of a heart attack at age 61, Ernie remembers, “Father Vac’s death was the most traumatic event of my teen years.”  Ernie was 14 at the time.

Ernie had a close relationship with his mother and read us a poem he wrote about her.  He was especially pleased when she warmly welcomed his wife Medora Lavoie into the family, embracing her as the daughter she never had.

The author knows the value of a name.  He dedicates ample time on names and their importance to him, giving examples throughout his presentation.  He is very proud of his Hebert name and grew up with the pronunciation “Hee-bert” in Keene.  He paid particular attention to the different pronunciations of Hebert in the many places he lived or worked, or in his and Medora’s travels. We loved hearing these pronunciations!  Ernie ended with his favorite where they lived six winters:  New Orleans, Louisiana!  “Ay-bare, that’s a fine South Louisiana name” a co-worker would often say.  Ernie then said to us, “Nobody in my part of New Hampshire ever said ‘Hebert, that’s a fine New England name!’”

 There are so many treasured and poignant memories in his memoir, which bears having Hebert return so others may have the opportunity to hear him speak again.  The author remained with the audience for a question and answer session and a personal talk as well.

Herbert is a well-known Franco-American author and poet. His inaugural novel “Dogs of March”, the first in a series of six books that take place in the fictional town of Darby, New Hampshire, created a stir when it was published in 1979.  The following books completed the series: “A Little More Than Kin”, “Whisper My Name”, “The Passion of Estelle Jordan”, “Live Free or Die”, “Spoonwood”, and “Howard Elman’s Farewell”.  The books were very well received and were among his notable works, as well as his poetry publications.  Hebert has also written several stand-alone novels, including “Mad Boys”, “The Old American”, “The Contrarian Voice” and other poetry books.

Hebert is graduate of Keene High School and Keene State College, where he met his wife, Medora Lavoie.  Following graduation and their marriage, Hebert began working as a journalist for several newspapers during this time period, including The Keene Sentinel Newspaper, New Hampshire Business Magazine, The New Hampshire Times, and The Boston Globe. In 1972, he won two Journalism Excellence Awards from United Press International. 

In addition to his writings, Hebert was a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College for over 25 years before retiring.  Hebert was the first faculty member at Dartmouth College in Hanover to be tenured as a fiction writer.

Due to the prolific nature of his writing career, much of Hebert’s work has been donated to university archives in New Hampshire.  Dartmouth College houses his earlier work relating primarily to his Darby Series of novels. Keene State College, his alma mater, additionally has a collection which includes Hebert’s digital artwork, original galleys of his novels, and early drafts of his books.

The Franco-American Collection’s innovative reading series, “Meet A Franco Author”, will next host Susann Pelletier on Monday, November 25, at 7 p.m. in Room 170 at USM LA College.  She will read from her books of poetry, “Immigrant Dream” and “The Unheeded Eden.”  More information will be released in November.

“Meet a Franco Author” is free of charge, thanks to a generous grant from the Québec Delegation in Boston.  It is open to the public—Franco-Americans and Francophiles alike.

Governors Address: Maine won’t wait, will you?

Our small state of 1.3 million people, juts out of the northeast corner of this country, bordering Canada, bending toward Europe, is 90% forested, with clean water, rolling hills, fertile farmlands, mighty rivers and deep ports, about 3,000 miles of bold rocky jagged bold coast.

Our whole state is experiencing climate change—our weather, our iconic lobster industry, our insect populations; the warming, rising fish-rich seas that bathe our shores.

Maine won’t wait. So, we have just enacted the most significant renewable standards in the country. We are investing in clean energy and conservation, electric vehicles and energy efficiency, community resiliency, sequestering carbon in our soil and forests with sustainable forest practices. We are cutting our appetite for fossil fuels, on which we have come to depend so much for heat, electricity and transportation. And we have invented the most innovative floating offshore wind platforms in the world.

These investments will not impair our economy; they will in fact improve it and bolster it. We are doing these things now, because we believe the irrefutable science. Maine won’t wait. Will you?

We all have what it takes to combat climate change, to protect the irreplaceable earth we share and care for. What is more precious than water, air, soil, the health and happiness of our children and our children’s children and yours?

For all of them, today, by Executive Order, I have pledged that the State of Maine will be carbon neutral by 2045. And if our small state can do it, you can as well. We’ve got to unite to preserve our precious common ground, for our common planet, in uncommon ways for this imperative common purpose.

Maine won’t wait. Will you?

Safe Voices seeks donors for holiday outreach

Safe Voices, the domestic violence resource center based in Lewiston, invites businesses and community members to participate in its annual holiday programs Feed-a-Family and Adopt-a-Family.

Individuals, businesses and community organizations are welcome and may choose to support one or both programs. For parents and children who have had to flee a dangerous situation at home, or who have started over and are struggling to make ends meet, donors can help provide a happy holiday in difficult times.  

The Feed-a-Family program matches donors with a family to provide a complete Thanksgiving dinner. Donors purchase the supplies for a traditional dinner of turkey, sides and dessert and deliver them to Safe Voices, who will then get them to the family in need. 

The Adopt-a-Family program also matches donors with families to provide gifts at Christmas time.    

If you would like to participate as a donor, please call or email Victoria Stanton at 207-795-6744 or

If you or someone you know is in a domestic violence situation, please call Safe Voices’ 24-hour helpline at 1-800-559-2927.  

St. Dom’s Students raise nearly $1,000 in a day to help victims of hurricane Dorian

St. Dom’s faculty and students collecting donations

Inspired by a conversation about the destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian, students at Saint Dominic Academy in Auburn decided to do more than feel sad.

“I incorporate current events, whenever possible,” said Anne Pontbriand, religion teacher at St. Dom’s. “At the beginning of each class last week, I brought up the people of the Bahamas in our class prayers. Some students wanted to talk about it at length and know what they could do.”

The students quickly came up with the idea for a “dress down day” to raise money for victims of the hurricane in the Bahamas.

“Sarah Brown, Molly Brown, and Alec Beaudin took action and asked our administration if they could do a fundraiser,” said Pontbriand.

For $3, students, faculty, and staff could wear jeans and a t-shirt to school, and for $5, students could wear athletic clothes.

“Many donated more than the required fee just to support the cause,” said Debra Anthoine, director of advancement at the academy. “The total raised was $925 to support the victims of Hurricane Dorian.”

The proceeds will be sent to Catholic Relief Services which, along with local partners, are working to assess immediate needs in the Bahamas and organizing food, emergency shelter, and safe water for affected families.

The fundraiser will help make a small difference for people in need and left a big impression on the students in the process.

“I really think the students felt a sense of purpose and responsibility in helping people so far from us who we don’t even know,” said Pontbriand, “Those in need are part of our world family.”

Last weekend, all of Maine’s Catholic churches also held a special collection to provide aid and support to victims of Hurricane Dorian as well as other natural disasters that could occur this year. If you wish to offer assistance to victims of Hurricane Dorian, visit or call 1-877-HELP-CRS.

Community Credit Union helps feed teens and young adults through New Beginnings

Community Credit Union presents New Beginnings with a check

Recently, Community Credit Union presented New Beginnings with a check in the amount of $500 to go towards their services and outreaches for teens and young adults. New Beginnings serves an average of 700 teens and young adults each year through its many programs; shelter, transitional living and outreach. Each year, about 500 teens and young adults are served through their Drop-In Center in Lewiston.

“Addressing hunger and food insecurity for young people is one important way that we help homeless youth find the stability and opportunities they need to become successful adults. As a partner of Community Credit Union’s, we are proud to be working with them on financial literacy and downtown initiatives,” stated Executive Director, Chris Bickwell.

Community Credit Union participates in the Maine Credit Union League’s initiative known as the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger.  Maine Credit Unions have raised over $8.5 million since 1990 to help end hunger in Maine. At the end of each year, 100% of the money raised by each individual participating credit union is given back to that credit union to be distributed to hunger organizations in their community. In 2018 alone, participating Maine Credit Unions raised a new record total of more than $792,901 for the Ending Hunger Campaign.

Community Credit Union is a member-owned, full service financial institution that has been serving its members and the community since 1945. Community Credit Union has branches located at 144 Pine Street, Lewiston; 40 Stanley Street, Auburn and 1025 Auburn Road, Turner.  For more information, visit

Stanton Bird Club announces October events

A Red-tailed Hawk, one of the common hawks in central Maine. While found all year, many do migrate south for the winter. This is the hawk often seen along the Maine Turnpike perched on a tree branch surveying for small mammals. Photo by Dan Marquis.

The Stanton Bird Club of Lewiston and Auburn has five events planned for the month of October. The first event is a Wednesday Walk on the Androscoggin River Trail in Lisbon on October 2. On Monday, October 7, the Annual Club Meeting will take place, featuring Michael Good, as speaker. He is the founder of the Acadia Birding Festival and will speak on Birding in Cuba. The other two Wednesday Bird Walks will be at Packard-Littlefield Farm on October 16 and on the shores of Sabattus Pond in Sabattus on October 30. Finally, there is a Saturday walk on October 19 at the Milkhouse Farm in South Monmouth. We will look for remaining summer inhabitants as well as for the first fall migrants. All of our trips are open to everyone regardless of past experience in nature.

The first trip of October on the Androscoggin River Trail in Lisbon will meet in the parking area for Papermill Trail at the boat launch, Rte. 196 at Frost Hill Ave. at 8 a.m. This popular trail provides a gentle walk along a paved, shaded trail following the Androscoggin River. We will plan to return to the parking lot at 11 a.m. The trip leaders are Stan and Joan DeOrsey, who can be contacted at 406-4741 or e-mail Stan at

The Stanton Bird Club’s Annual Meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, October 7. There will be a silent auction on items displayed, a dinner starting at 6 p.m., followed by our featured speaker, Michael Good. The dinner costs $20.00 with reservations required. The program starting at 7 p.m. is open to the public. More details can be found on the club’s website.

The second walk of the month will take place on Wednesday, October 16, as we explore the Packard-Littlefield Farm in Lisbon. This is a great place to look for fall birds. The meeting place is at the farm, 76 Littlefield Road, Lisbon. The farm is a very unique property, two hundred and sixty acres are enrolled in managed tree growth, hay fields cover more than ninety acres, while wetland and a river also grace the estate. The bulk of the part we will be walking over is the thirty acres that have been farmed by refugee and immigrant families for several years. The leaders of this trip are Stan and Joan DeOrsey. The trip will end around 11 a.m.

On October 19, Saturday, we will walk the fields of the Milkhouse Farm, South Monmouth. This is a new location for a club field trip, promising fun and some interesting birds. Come walk the paths and fields of a South Monmouth dairy farm, looking for fall migrants. Meet at 8 a.m. at the Promenade Mall parking lot, near Staples, 855 Lisbon St., Lewiston. Stan and Joan DeOrsey lead this trip also. It will end around 11 a.m.

The next walk, always a favorite, will be on Wednesday, October 30 at Sabattus Pond. We will meet in the parking lot of former Sabattus Antique Mall, 519 Sabattus Rd., Rt. 126 at 8 a.m.  Attendees may see Common Mergansers and Pied-billed Grebes, along with Northern Pintail and Green-winged Teal. Leaders are Stan and Joan DeOrsey. The trip will end around 11 a.m.

The Stanton Bird Club, a leader in environmental awareness, manages the Thorncrag Nature Sanctuary as well as the Woodbury Nature Sanctuary in Monmouth and Litchfield. It seeks to encourage both the enjoyment and protection of our natural surroundings. More information can be found at The results of the various trips are posted there, often with photos. The Club can also be found on Facebook.

Governor’s address: thank first responders for the service they perform for the people of Maine

It has been a tough week for the town of Farmington and for the state of Maine.

At about 8:07 Monday morning last week, Farmington firefighters responded to a report of a smell of propane in the Life Enrichment Advancing People (LEAP) office building, a brand-new building, on Farmington Falls Road in Farmington.

LEAP maintenance worker Larry Lord evacuated employees from the building. Firefighters were investigating inside when the building exploded moments later. Larry Lord’s actions undoubtedly saved many lives.

We lost a brave firefighter—Captain Michael Bell of Farmington—while others, including Larry Lord, and our Police Chief Terry Bell, brother of Michael Bell, remain hospitalized.

You know, I was born and raised in Farmington, and it’s my home still. I know the Bell family and I have a great deal of respect for every one of them.

Captain Michael Bell served our community with dedication for 30 years. His loss is one that is deeply felt by the greater Farmington community.

In times of tragedy I sometimes think about Fred Rogers, you know Mr. Rogers, who said “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

Firefighters from as far away as Saco are on-site in Farmington to help our community. Office space for LEAP employees has been donated by the Western Maine Development Group. The Red Cross is organizing a blood drive next Wednesday, September 25 at the University of Maine at Farmington from noon to 5 p.m. And, people are fundraising to help the families and the people displaced by the explosion.

I am deeply grateful for all of the efforts to help our community heal and I hope you will also consider helping in whatever way you can.

In the meantime, the investigation into the cause and origin of this explosion is underway. I have directed the Fire Marshal’s office to do as much as they can, as soon as they can, to determine the cause of this tragic explosion.

While this was a terrible event for the town of Farmington and for our broader community, I am confident that we will emerge from this as a stronger community, a stronger state, and a stronger people, because that is who we are as Mainers.

I hope that you will join me in offering hopes, thoughts and prayers for the full recovery of those injured.

And, by the way, if you see a first responder, please give them a hug and thank them for the service they perform for the people of Maine.

Maine Event Comedy presents the Tightest Five

Stand Up! Records recording artist Jay Chanoine

Maine Event Comedy presents the third annual Tightest Five contest at Bear Bones Beer, Thursday, September 19 at 7 p.m. Stand Up! Records recording artist Jay Chanoine will be the evening’s featured comedian.

Any stand-up comedian will tell you they have a tight five minutes, but who has the Tightest Five? Twenty of New England’s rising comedy stars will give it their best shot.

In the first preliminary round, Mark Turcotte will host 10 hopefuls as they perform their best five minutes of original material. Five will advance to the semifinals. Along with bragging rights, the winner’s haul includes over $200 in cash and prizes.

The prelim will include Stephen Amoroso, Nate Bradford, Fred Dearnley, Joe Flynn, Chris Fritz, Al Ghanekar, Nick Gordon, Dave McLaughlin, Brendan Williams, and Randy Williams.

Described by AXS as “the funniest comedian you don’t know yet,” New Hampshire’s Chanoine honed his cynical perspective and sharp wit on stages throughout the country for the past nine years. He’s a regular on JT Habersaat’s Altercation Punk Comedy tour and recently recorded his second album “The Texas Chanoinesaw Massacre,” which will soon be released October 11 via Stand Up! Records.

The second preliminary round will be October 17, followed by the semifinals on November 21, and the finals on December 19.

The show is free and for ages 21-and-older. Bear Bones Beer is located at 43 Lisbon St., Lewiston. For more information call 207-513-0742 or e-mail

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