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Call to action: Local businesses need our help

By Mayor Mark Cayer

Dear Fellow Community Members, 

Lewiston’s largest employer consists of local businesses who employ our neighbors—our friends and family members. These businesses need your help more than ever. 

Governor Janet Mills has made the difficult decision to close all dine-in establishments and bars and recommended the closure of all other non-essential businesses for the next two weeks. I believe these closures may be extended. 

Two weeks of no income or reduced income threatens the survival of our local businesses. In fact, right now, our community is at risk of losing 40% to 50% of its businesses. 

How Can We Help? 

Our businesses are there when we need them. They regularly provide us with quality products and services, support our non-profits, donate to school/community fundraisers, and are assets to Lewiston. Now, they need us!

Please reach out to our local businesses and support them now! 

In efforts to remain open, to keep people employed, and serve the community safely by following CDC guidelines, many of our restaurants are offering food to go, and retail businesses are providing curbside pick-up and delivery options. Even breweries and wine and beer shops are finding creative ways to continue to operate for their customers. 

From flower shops to variety stores and from retailers to service providers, they need us today. If you prefer to support them remotely, you may purchase gift cards online or by phone. Each transaction makes an immediate impact for our local businesses who have given so much to this City. Also, one innovative way you can double your help is to purchase a gift card that can be donated to an area non-profit. 

Earlier this week, I asked City staff to begin an immediate outreach to our small businesses and now ask Lewiston’s State and Federal delegations who have been working tirelessly for our community to be part of this immediate call for action. 

Also, I call upon the city’s largest businesses and institutions including the City of Lewiston, Lewiston Public Schools, Bates College, Central Maine Medical Center, St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, and any other business on solid footing to immediately find innovative ways to shift as much purchasing as they can to our local small businesses. Gift cards to recognize your employees are just one small way you can make a difference for your neighbors and community. Residents and larger businesses, if you can show your commitment to our community during this difficult time by buying something from a Lewiston establishment, it will make a difference! Please utilize their social media or call ahead to see how you can avail yourself of their products and services under these tough conditions. Our small businesses are innovative and resourceful, and that’s what keeps them going. Let’s help them do just that by demonstrating how important they are to you and the City of Lewiston!

American Pickers looking for L/A Collectors

Do you know any collectors in the greater Lewiston-Aburn area? The hit TV show American Pickers has asked us to reach out to our readers and spread the word that they are looking for collectors.

Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz and their team are excited to return to Maine! They plan to film episodes of the hit series American Pickers throughout the area at the middle to end of July 2020.

They understand that with the proliferation of COVID-19, everyone is facing very uncertain times, and everything is changing daily. The staff at American Pickers is taking this pandemic very seriously and will be adjusting their schedule accordingly for the safety of those who appear on the show and their crew. However, they are excited to continue to reach the many collectors in the area to discuss their years of picking!

American Pickers is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique “picking” on History. The hit show follows Mike and Frank, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them. 

As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics. Along the way, the Pickers want to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items. The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way. Mike and Frank have seen a lot of rusty gold over the years and are always looking to discover something they’ve never seen before. They are ready to find extraordinary items and hear fascinating tales about them. American Pickers is looking for leads and would love to explore your hidden treasure. If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send them your name, phone number, location and description of the collection with photos to americanpickers@cineflix.com or call 855-OLD-RUST. Find them on Facebook @GotAPick.

Side By Each Brewing offers delivery, curbside pick-up services

Side By Each Brewing Co., the Auburn, Maine brewery that opened in 2019, announced that the company will commence delivery and curbside pick-up of many of its beer and coffee offerings, and that they expected these services to last for the duration of the coronavirus outbreak. The brewery and its adjoining business partner, Pinky D’s Poutine Factory, also remain open for takeout of beer, coffee, food, and most of their other products. 

“With our taproom only open for takeout due to the pandemic, we’re continually looking for new ways to get our beer to people while being responsible about social distancing and public health,” said Matt Johannes, who started the brewery with co-owner Ben Low. 

“We’ve basically lost 80% of our sales overnight,” said Low, “so we have to be open minded and creative and try new things without sacrificing our primary goals of quality and service.” 

Low and Johannes stated that they are planning to keep their four employees on during the crisis, though they have cut back their operating hours. 

“We’ve really been touched by the outpouring of support from our regulars and our Community Supported Brewing program members, our business partners, and our community as a whole,” Johannes said. 

“The next few weeks will be challenging to say the least, but if that support continues, we’ll be okay,” Low added. 

Side By Each offers a Community Supported Brewing program in which members pay for a year or six month share and gradually redeem their shares for growlers of the company’s beer, along with other benefits. Members will be able to receive their growlers via curbside or home delivery, Johannes and Low stated. 

Customers will be able to pick up growlers of Side By Each Brewing’s frequently changing selection of 15 or more house-brewed beers, along with most of their coffee offerings, breakfast sandwiches and pastries, merchandise, and gift cards, at the curbside of the brewery, located at 1110 Minot Avenue in Auburn. Pinky D’s Poutine Factory, a separate business in the same building, also remains open for takeout and can bring anything from their menu to waiting vehicles. 

Side By Each Brewing will also deliver many of their products, including growlers of beer filled to order, boxes of coffee, coffee beans, merchandise, and other items, within a 10 mile radius of the brewery during morning and evening delivery runs Tuesday through Saturday. 

Items available for curbside and home or office delivery, as well as details on the ordering process and times, are listed on the brewery’s website (www.sidebyeachbrewing.com) and Facebook page, and orders can be placed by phone (689-3030) or email (sxe2u@sidebyeachbrewing.com). “Our community is strong, and we’ll get through this if we work together,” Low said. “We want to be a part of the solution for our customers, and we’re counting on the community to be part of ours.” 

Pinky D’s Poutine open for takeout

Pinky D’s takeout door entrance.

Pinky D’s Poutine Factory is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and are following strict sanitation and hygiene procedures. They sincerely care about the well-being of their patrons, their staff and their partners at Side By Each Brewing. 

Pinky D’s is happy to continue to serve the community through their takeout window located through their separate entry door. They are open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 12 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Their full menu of poutine, wings, flatbread, burgers and more is available for takeout. You can also call ahead and place your order at (207) 809-2030.

Governor Mills: We have risen to the challenges of our times before and we are rising to the challenges before us now.

You know my parents used to tell me that we cannot control everything that happens to us, but what we can control—and what we must control—is how we react to what happens to us.

I know you are concerned, even scared, about your health and that of your loved ones. I know you are thinking about where your next paycheck will come from, or your next bag of groceries. I know that anxiety and concern for the unknown fill the air right now. When your child or grandchild tells you that they are scared, tell them: it’s okay to be scared. Anxiety is normal. The future is uncertain.

But remind them always: we have each other. We are all family. Tell them we have been here before, in one way or another. We fought wars together. We survived blizzards, ice storms, attacks on our nation. We have risen to the challenges of our times before and we are rising to the challenges before us now.

I want to assure you that medical professionals and Maine CDC experts are working around the clock to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus and to keep you all healthy and safe.

My Administration has worked with the Legislature, we’re working with Maine’s Congressional Delegation, with other governors and businesses and health care providers, to support small businesses, their employees, and those who are self-employed who been impacted by the coronavirus.

I am proud of that work, but what I am even prouder of is what I see in communities across Maine: I see businesses that are partnering with local nonprofits to make lunches and dinners for those in need. I see teachers conducting classes online and school staff delivering homework packets and meals to children at home. I see fitness instructors offering online classes to keep people active, and parishes live-streaming faith services and hosting online prayer gatherings. I see Maine people simply reaching out to one another to ask “How are you, how can I help?”

Fred Rogers, Mr. Rogers, said, “When I was young and I would see scary things on the news, my mother would say, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Maine people are helpers, and they are everywhere. They are our doctors, nurses, EMS, firefighters, police officers, grocery store clerks, gas station attendants, childcare workers, government employees; they are you; they are your neighbor; they are your loved ones. They are Maine people.

While I know times are difficult and uncertain, let us remember what we can control, what we can do, not just what we cannot. Remember what we can control—ourselves, our love for another, and our love for this shared state we are so lucky to call home.

Today we go outside and enjoy the state parks, go to a beach, climb a mountain—whether it’s Bald or Battie or Bradbury—enjoy the outdoors, keeping your social (physical) distance.

Today, we keep our distance from one another so that tomorrow we can come together again.

When people look back on us years from now, they will say that Maine did sacrifice but Maine stood strong. They will say: Maine people were tough; Maine people hung together; Maine provided the helpers; Maine people survived; Maine rose again better than ever.

Preliminary approval for CMH Cancer Center

The Central Maine Cancer Center, a planned $38 million investment for state-of-the-art care at Central Maine Medical Center’s Lewiston campus, has received initial approval from state regulators. 

The facility was proposed last December by Central Maine Healthcare (CMH). It will provide convenient, centralized access to the system’s superior outpatient oncology services, along with needed facility and equipment updates, CMH officials said.

“Our patients will receive cutting-edge care in one central location,” said Jeffrey L. Brickman, FACHE, CEO and President of Central Maine Healthcare. “The Cancer Center will provide the convenient access to care we are committed to offering.” Brickman noted that the new facility will house brand-new equipment, including new linear accelerators critical for radiation therapy. It will also be home to the Central Maine Cancer Institute, providing multispecialty, team-based care. 

The Certificate of Need Unit of the state’s Department of Health and Human Services reviewed CMH’s application and this week announced preliminary approval.  Final review and approval is still pending from DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew.

Central Maine Medical Center has been providing care to the community for more than a century. As the hospital grew on its sprawling campus, its oncology service become spread out nearly three football fields apart, separating radiation oncology, medical oncology and surgeons. Meanwhile, radiation therapy equipment cannot be replaced in its current location—in one of the oldest buildings at the hospital.

At the same time, cancer incidence in Maine has increased, and Androscoggin County remains one of the areas with the highest occurrence of cancers in the state.

In a letter supporting the project, the Dempsey Center wrote: “The {center} would offer Central Mainers another reason to get the highest quality of care close to where they live and work.”

Central Maine Healthcare (CMH) is an integrated healthcare delivery system serving 400,000 people living in central, western, and mid-coast Maine. CMH’s hospital facilities include Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, Bridgton Hospital, and Rumford Hospital. CMH also supports Central Maine Medical Group, a primary and specialty care practice organization. Other system services include the Central Maine Heart and Vascular Institute, a regional trauma program, LifeFlight of Maine’s southern Maine base, the Central Maine Cancer Center, and other high quality clinical services. 

Central Maine Medical Center located in Lewiston, is a Level II Trauma Center serving Androscoggin County and the surrounding region. CMMC’s “Centers of Excellence” include the Central Maine Heart and Vascular Institute, the Central Maine Cancer Center, and a Trauma Services Program. CMMC is also the southern Maine base for LifeFlight of Maine, the state’s only medical helicopter service. Supported by the latest technologies, CMMC’s skilled professionals provide outstanding care delivered with compassion, kindness, and understanding. Learn more at: www.cmmc.org.

Auburn Storywalk celebrates women’s history month

The City of Auburn is pleased to announce the Riverwalk Storywalk for March 2020: “A Celebration of National Women’s History Month.” Each display along Auburn’s beautiful Riverwalk highlight achievements made by women alongside local Auburn photographic journalist Norma Warden’s selections depicting female culture. 

If you have an idea for a future Storywalk theme for 2020 or would like to have your work showcased in the displays during L/A Arts “Last Friday Art Walk” between May and September, please contact Auburn Recreation Director Sabrina Best at sbest@auburnmaine.gov or 333- 6611. 

In October of 2019, the City of Auburn, in collaboration with LA Arts, announced the completion of the delightful new “Storywalk” project along Auburn’s beautiful Riverwalk. The project includes eight durable display cases, which can be found between Festival Plaza and Bonney Park. They showcase different “art and culture” pieces each month. Residents and visitors of all ages are encouraged to take a monthly stroll along the Riverwalk to enjoy the displays which are changed monthly by the Auburn Recreation Department. 


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