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“Why Socialism would destroy America’s economy & freedoms”

Fifty-two Republican and conservative groups and leaders will be hosting a public event on the topic “Why Socialism Would Destroy America’s Economy & Freedoms” at the Windham Veterans Center, at 35 Veterans Memorial Drive, Windham, Maine, on Wednesday, November 20. Refreshments will be at 6:00 p.m. and the main program will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets at the door are $1 (with larger donations gratefully accepted). The Veterans Center is behind the Hannafords on Route 302. 

Co-hosted by the Gray and Windham Republican Town Committees, the event has a broad range of co-sponsorship, including the Maine GOP, the Republican County Committees of Cumberland, York, Androscoggin, and Oxford, as well as thirty-one additional Republican Town Committees, six conservative nonprofits, and four current and former Maine State Representatives. 

WGAN Radio is a Media Partner of the event and the Emcee for the evening will be Joe Reagan, a WGAN Guest Host of “Inside Maine” and a Morning News Contributor. Reagan is a retired Army Captain who served in Afghanistan with military intelligence, where he was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. 

The keynote speaker for the evening will be former Second District Republican Congressman Bruce Poliquin. Poliquin served in Congress from 2015 until 2019 and was the Maine State Treasurer from 2010 until 2012. 

Poliquin’s speech will be preceded by two introductory speakers. The first speaker will be Peter Falkenberg Brown, the Chairman of the Gray Republican Committee. Brown is a Portland native, a conservative writer and author, and the host of the YouTube video channel “Love, Freedom, & the World.” 

The second speaker will be Mr. José Mayoral. Mayoral is a conservative businessman from Venezuela living in York, Maine. He was a witness to Socialism’s destruction of Venezuela’s economy and his family’s business that employed hundreds of people. Mayoral will present a warning to Americans to not go down that road. 

Each speaker will present for twenty minutes, with five minutes of Q&A. There will be an extended Q&A session with all three speakers at the end. More information available at https://grayrepublicans.org.

Dempsey Center initiative seeks to ease burden of scars for cancer survivors

The Dempsey Center, responding to a growing need among cancer survivors in Maine, has launched a statewide initiative to help those who suffer from chronic pain and restrictions caused by surgical scars.

The effort includes three key components: Public workshops for cancer survivors to learn self-massage techniques for scars; Expanded scar therapy at the Dempsey Center in Lewiston and South Portland; And Trainings for massage therapists and other wellness providers from around Maine, so they can bring these scar therapy techniques back to their communities.

Kathleen Wing, manager of complementary therapies at the Dempsey Center, said the statewide initiative is timely, as more Mainers are living longer after a cancer diagnosis, thanks largely to early detection and advances in treatments. The number of cancer survivors in the U.S. has quadrupled since 1975 and will continue to grow, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report. Of the estimated 125,000 cancer survivors in Maine, many face difficult long term effects.

“Massage therapy has always been one of our most popular services, and we hear from clients that scars are a big issue. The physical limitations and pain from scars can sometimes prevent people from doing the activities they enjoy,” Wing said.

The Dempsey Center initiative teaches ScarWork, a collection of techniques developed by practitioner Sharon Wheeler of Seattle. It’s an individualized approach toward integrating scar tissue back into the surrounding healthy tissue.

At a clinic on November 16, a dozen practitioners who attended a previous Dempsey Center training on ScarWork will provide one-on-one therapy to cancer survivors at the South Portland location. Separate workshops on December 10 and January 28 are designed for survivors who want to learn self-massage.

“When people think about scars and massage, they might think it’s going to hurt. ScarWork techniques are different. They are gentle, rarely painful, and the improvements in appearance and mobility can be profound, even after one session,” said Maggie Miller, an oncology massage therapist at the Dempsey Center who has more than 30 years of experience in the field.

“The ScarWork initiative is all about collaboration,” Miller said. “We’re increasing our capacity to treat clients directly at the Dempsey Center, but the need is far greater than what we can provide. So, one of the goals here is to connect with the network of massage therapists and structural integration folks throughout Maine and have them bring this service to their clients.”

The November 16 clinic is full, but there are openings available at the December 10 and January 28 self-massage workshops. To register or to learn more about the Dempsey Center’s ScarWork initiative, email kwing@dempseycenter.org, or visit www.dempseycenter.org.

Journalists are invited to visit the Dempsey Center, 778 Main St., South Portland, between 11:15 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 16 to speak with clients and practitioners about the ScarWork clinic. Please contact Nancy Audet to make arrangements at naudet@dempseycenter.org, (207) 774-2200 or 1-877-336-7287.

The Dempsey Center is committed to making life better for people managing the impact of cancer. With locations in South Portland and Lewiston, Dempsey Center services help individuals and families maintain physical and emotional wellness as they deal with a cancer diagnosis. Understanding that cancer impacts the whole family, the Dempsey Center provides specialized services for children and teens and their families. All services are provided at no charge.

Milligan family of Gray wins award in The Fresh Air Fund’s annual photo contest

Gray residents, the Milligans, participated in The Fresh Air Fund’s Friendly Towns Program this past summer and were among the winners of the 2019 Photo Contest! All winners were selected from the hundreds of photos submitted by volunteer host families along the East Coast and Southern Canada. The photos capture the fun-filled experiences our volunteer host families shared with Fresh Air children this past summer. Categories include “Backyard Fun,” “Friendship,” “New Experiences,” “Exploring Nature,” “Swimming,” “The Beach” and “Ice Cream.”

The photo was selected as a winner in the “Summer Brother” category, and features Fresh Air child, Hunter (7), enjoying a day at the lake with his Fresh Air family, the Milligans, of Gray, Maine.

The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer experiences to more than 1.8 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. To learn more about hosting a Fresh Air child next summer, please contact Dawn Hansen at 207-608-0004 or visit The Fresh Air Fund at www.FreshAir.org.

Fiddle music and dancing

Folks of all ages are invited to enjoy an afternoon of old-time fiddle music and dancing on Sunday, November 17, at the Danville Junction Grange in Auburn.

The featured musicians are the Mighty Folquemeisters, who range in age from 6 to 60-plus and perform on fiddles, guitars, mandolin, banjo, Scottish small pipes, bodhran (Irish hand drum) and spoons.

The program will kick off at 2 p.m. with a 40-minute concert of lively Celtic jigs and reels as well as some French-Canadian favorites. Then caller Cindy Larock will invite attendees up onto the floor to try out some traditional New England and Quebecois contra and square dances. “I plan to start off with some fun-and-easy dances that are guaranteed to be user-friendly for everyone, even if they’ve never danced before,” said Larock, who was designated several years ago by the Maine Arts Commission as a Master Artist in folk dancing. 

Since dancers are likely to work up an appetite before the afternoon is over, Grange members will have a table of delectable home-baked goods available for purchase, as well as coffee and cold drinks.

As an added bonus, there will be a plant sale boasting an array of colorful cyclamens and, in anticipation of the Christmas holidays, a special “Bible Collection” featuring angel-wing begonias, prayer plants, wandering Jews and Moses-in-the-Bullrushes. Also offered will be an assortment of vintage house plants such as Swedish ivy, beefsteak begonias and spider plants. Proceeds from the plant sale are earmarked to benefit Whiting Farm/John F. Murphy Homes and the youth music program of the Maine Folque Co-op, which provides mentoring for the Mighty Folquemeisters.

Admission to the concert and dance is $6, or $20 for a family of four, with children under age 10 admitted free of charge. The Danville Junction Grange is located at 15 Grange Street, off Old Danville Road in Auburn. 

This event is cosponsored by the Danville Junction Grange and the Maine Folque Co-op. More information is available by calling (207) 782-0386.

Governor Mills: To all Maine veterans—thank you for your service and your sacrifice

Monday, November 11 marked an important day in Maine and around the nation—it was Veterans Day.

On this Veterans Day, as we do every day, we recognized the men and women who faithfully served our state and nation in the Armed Forces. Let’s join together to thank them and their families for their sacrifice, their bravery, and their devotion to our country.

Today, our state can proudly say that we are home to more than 114,000 veterans—more than 11 percent of our adult population and one of the highest number of veterans per capita of any state in the nation.

But when you consider Maine’s long and proud history of military service, that comes as no surprise.

During the Civil War, more than 2.8 million people served, and more than 620,000 people gave, as Lincoln said, “the last full measure of devotion.” Many of those men came from Maine. Our state contributed a higher proportion of our citizens to the Union army than any other state in the nation.

One of my predecessors, General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, led the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the Civil War and he is credited with saving the Union at Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg.

From the Revolutionary War to the Civil War to World War I and World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan—Maine people have stood up to defend our nation and its ideals and our state has shouldered its responsibility to protect our country.

President Lincoln also understood the toll these wars have on people and their families, and he also knew that bringing an end to the war would not bring an end to our support for those who served.

“Let us strive on to finish the work we are in,” he said, “to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

Today, we care for those who have borne the battle and honor what they fought for—so many rights which all are too fragile and too often taken for granted.

The right to disagree…the right to express an opinion, whether anyone listens or not. The right to pray. Or not to pray. The right to personal privacy. And in the fundamental decisions of life. The right to ask for governmental assistance, and the right to be free of governmental intrusion.

Maine veterans teach all of us to cherish our rights, to remember those who gave their lives for these freedoms. They teach us to remember that our sons and daughters still defend those rights on battlefields and potential battlefields a world away and in postings across the globe.They teach us by their example the self-sufficiency they learned in combat preparation, and the strong sense of responsibility that comes from hard work and hard times.They teach us honor. They show us dignity. They teach us service.

That is why I have officially proclaimed this week—November 10 through November 16—as Veterans Week. Please join with me in commemorating these heroic men and women who have served our state and our nation.

To all Maine veterans—thank you for your service from the bottom of my heart and thank you for your sacrifice and that of your families. To all those who have served and to those who continue to serve our country: our hearts are with you this Veterans Week.

Come Out Swingin’! to premiere at the Franco Center

Come Out Swingin’! a new musical set in Lewiston during the Muhammad Ali-Sonny Liston heavyweight championship boxing match, will be presented at the Gendron Franco Center, November 22 to 24. 

It’s the spring of 1965, two weeks before Ali?then still widely known as Cassius Clay—is scheduled to defend his heavyweight title in a rematch against the notorious Liston. Controversy surrounding Liston and some licensing problems in Massachusetts have forced the promoters to quickly find another venue for the fight. They choose St. Dom’s Arena (now the Androscoggin Bank Colisée) in Lewiston, just about the unlikeliest venue ever for a heavyweight championship bout!

A co-production of the Franco Center and the L-A Community Little Theatre, the show is about a lot more than boxing. “It’s a musical comedy with lots of laughs, and it’s set against the tectonic shifts happening in America in the 1960s,” says Brian Daly, who wrote the show. “But beneath the fun on the surface, it invites the audience to recognize our common humanity.”

“It’s more a story of the people of Lewiston and their reaction to that historic event. It’s really a story about Lewiston,” notes Richard Martin, who is directing the show. He points out that the full title of the show is “ ‘Come Out Swingin’; A Lewiston Story,” because the real focus is on how Lewiston residents coped with all the excitement, media scrutiny, and how visitors perceived the city and its residents. 

In the show we meet Lewiston City Hall staffer Mickey St. Pierre (played by Zachariah Stearns), who thinks the fight could really put Lewiston on the map. While he works to gin up enthusiasm for the fight among local residents and to get the city ready for all the big-time sportswriters and other celebrities who will be descending on Lewiston, he discovers that professional hit men may be coming to Lewiston to murder Ali in the ring.

Some of the other colorful characters in the show include Rita (Lucy Poland), a wisecracking owner of a Lewiston coffee shop; Phil the barber (Ernie Gagne) and his grumpy wife, Germaine (Bre Allard); Sarge the Lewiston cop (Dan Crawford); local know-it-all “Teddy One Thing” (Bill McCue); and a bombastic stripper named Boom Boom Vavoom (Erin Marenghi).

“Then the big night comes, and everything goes wrong,” according to the musical’s synopsis. “Robert Goulet mangles the national anthem, Liston appears to take a dive, referee Jersey Joe Walcott mishandles the count, the fans cry ‘Fix!’ and the fight is over before Boom Boom gets a chance to strut her stuff.” 

The sportswriters who had nothing but praise for Lewiston turn on the community. That is when the people of Lewiston stand up for themselves. They were not responsible for this boxing fiasco. Other people blew it and then tried to blame the locals.

The show features twenty original songs written by Daly, a published author who has written other screenplays and stage productions, including the screenplay adaptation of his book “Big and Hairy” for a Showtime feature of the same title starring Richard Thomas.

Daly and Martin emphasize that the show maintains its unique Lewiston flavor throughout, even when the bizarre events threaten to spell disaster for the city. In the end, after the media circus has left town, Mickey and friends are prouder than ever to live and love in Lewiston, Maine!

“The Gendron Franco Center for Heritage, Culture, and the Performing Arts is rooted in the traditions of Maine’s French-speaking ancestors,” Martin says, “so it’s the perfect venue for this show. There are even a couple of scenes set in St. Mary’s Church, which is now the Franco Center!”

Performances of Come Out Swingin will be held on November 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m. and November 24 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $20.00 and available online at http://www.francocenter.org/events/come-out-swingin-2/. For more information, please call the Franco Center Box Office at (207) 689-2000.  

“Under African Skies” Benefit with silent auction, storytelling with pictures and live music

Side by Each Brewery is excited to co-host a special event and benefit, “Under African Skies”, with WISE Zambia, a non-profit “born” in Maine. All profits from beer sales at the event will support WISE Zambia’s educational programming in the sub-Saharan nation’s Western Province. Bernie Vigna, well known locally for his African drumming, will perform on congas and balafon. A Silent Auction will feature Zambian crafts and paintings as well as items donated by local businesses and individuals. Stories and photos of the non-profit’s work will also be part of the evening. The event takes places November 21, 6 to 8 p.m.at Side by Each Brewery and Pinky D’s Poutine Factory located at 1110 Minot Avenue, Auburn. The event is open to all. Everyone is encouraged to bring friends, enjoy the evening and be inspired by the stories. 

Owner/brewer Matt Johannes says, “Giving back and supporting good causes has been one of our core values from the beginning, and we usually keep it focused locally, but WISE Zambia is such a great program and really important to key people involved in the brewery that we wanted to help.” 

The brewery is creating a beer especially for the occasion. Ben Low, Side by Each partner with Johannes, says, “We had originally planned to brew a beer inspired by ancient brewing when we got our hands on some Maine-grown and malted Egyptian barley, and then as the WISE event came together it made sense to make the beer entirely from ingredients available in Africa. Under African Skies is a fun project unlike anything brewed before, and most importantly, delicious for the drinker.” Pinky D’s Poutine Factory on the premises has a special menu offering planned featuring a favorite food from Zambia. 

WISE Zambia is a 501(c)(3) NGO working in the poorest region of Zambia. By providing educational and community development programs, the organization empowers vulnerable women and young people, with girls at risk of early childhood marriage being the major target of their support. The goal is to provide scholarships for every student to achieve the pinnacle of her dreams and abilities, which usually amounts to a 9 year commitment —5 years of secondary school and 4 in college, university or nursing school. In addition, WISE Zambia expects and inspires all its recipients to “give back” by volunteering and to “pay it forward”, guaranteeing the sustainability of its mission. 

Auburn resident, Joanne Bollinger, current Board President of WISE Zambia, says, “After 7 years being a part of this organization—and with 8 trips to the project—I’m constantly astounded at our growth and increasing impact, the recognition we are now receiving from government agencies, and the potential for community development that lies ahead! We are so grateful to be partnering with Side by Each and looking forward to a great night. With increased awareness of WISE Zambia’s work, which in the end, benefits Africa and eventually the world, we hope that our Maine community will come to understand the value of WISE Zambia’s mission.” 

YWCA announces 2019 recipients of Women of Achievement Awards

The YWCA Central Maine is proud to announce the recipients of the 2019 Women of Achievement Awards. The Awards Selection Committee reviewed a remarkable pool of applicants this year in order to select the following recipients: Kristen Cloutier (Lee Young Leadership Award); Azenaide Pedro (Marcia Baxter Social Justice Award); Klara Tammany (Tonie Ramsey Service Award); Annette Wilson (Priscilla Gendron Legacy Award).

Kristen Cloutier: Kristen Cloutier is the Mayor of Lewiston and currently serves as the State Representative for House District 60. She previously served as Lewiston City Council President, representing Ward 5. Mayor Cloutier has supported various redevelopment projects and has been an advocate of public art and the role it can play in the economic development of Lewiston. Her council appointments have included representative to the Lewiston School Committee, chairwoman of the Immigrant and Refugee Integration and Policy Development Working Group, member of the Lewiston-Auburn Public Health Committee, member of the Androscoggin County Budget Committee, and member of the Androscoggin Valley Council of Government’s General Assembly. She is also a Class of 2015 alumna of Emerge Maine and was awarded its Rising Star Award in 2017 for her mentorship and support of women running for elected office. Mayor Cloutier resides in Lewiston.

Azenaide Pedro, or Lucy, as many people know her, studied Public Health in South Africa before moving to Lewiston, where she has been a shining leader for health in our community. In October 2018, she joined the Raise-Op Housing Cooperative as its new Cooperative Organizer, helping residents learn how to democratically manage and improve their housing, and working across different classes and cultures to solve challenges together. Lucy works every day to address issues of poverty, safe housing, food access, public safety, racial justice, and community building in the Tree Street neighborhood of Lewiston, the most racially diverse and economically impoverished neighborhood in the State of Maine. She works and volunteers for many organizations that promote social equity. Lucy works and lives in downtown Lewiston.

Klara Tammany: Klara Tammany has been Executive Director of The Center for Wisdom’s Women since 2009. The Center currently serves as a weekday drop-in center for women and has launched a social enterprise called “Herban Works.” The Center is expanding to meet the needs of women who are healing from trafficking/exploitation, addiction, and incarceration, often rooted in chronic trauma, through the residential community called “Sophia’s House,” slated to open in late 2019. Klara holds a MEd in religious education and post-master’s certificate in spirituality from Boston College, in addition to completing the Leadership Development Institute at the Maine Association of Non-Profits. She lives in Auburn. 

Annette Wilson: For the past 20 years, Annette Wilson has worked for the Cutler Institute at the University of Southern Maine. She spent nearly 13 years training and supporting prospective foster and adoptive parents across Maine; for the past 7 years, she has worked to develop curriculum to support child welfare caseworkers, supervisors, and other direct care workers. Annette has also been active in local school and community organizations for two decades. Last year she helped to coordinate the delivery of the Backpack Program, which supports families to reduce food insecurity across the community. Annette helped to shepherd the Lisbon community school PTO to register and receive non-profit status and was able to structure the non-profit to cover all Lisbon School parent groups. Annette has spearheaded many fundraising events for the past eight years for Lisbon schools that have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

We are also excited to announce that the 2019 Women of Achievement Awards Brunch will feature a keynote address from Noelle Chaddock. As Vice President for Equity and Inclusion at Bates College since June 2019, Noelle Chaddock works with colleagues to cultivate a welcoming, inclusive, equitable, and accessible campus community where faculty, staff, students, alumni, community members, and future constituents thrive and feel reflected and represented at Bates College. Noelle oversees the Office of Equity and Inclusion and supports the Office of Intercultural Education. Noelle previously served as associate provost at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee and inaugural Chief Diversity Officer at the State University of New York at Cortland. Noelle holds a PhD in Philosophy from Binghamton University.

The YWCA invites all members of the community to join in celebrating the work of the honorees at the Women of Achievement Awards on Sunday, November 17 at the Hilton Garden Inn Auburn Riverwatch. Tickets to the Women of Achievement Awards Gala are $40 and available for sale now until the date of the event. All proceeds benefit the work of the YWCA in the greater Lewiston-Auburn community. Follow the link for ticket sales https://www.eventbrite.com/e/women-of-achievement-awards-brunch-tickets-64607031370?aff=efbeventtix&fbclid=IwAR0PcvWNvjlkKf3O6NET-a1POxav0ZLqql7dGWASprvIktVubxeYYyqRzpk.

The Women of Achievement Awards Brunch is not only a uniquely powerful celebration of women leaders, it is also an opportunity for the community to come together in support of the YWCA’s work in Lewiston-Auburn. As our biggest fundraiser, funds raised through the event benefit our childcare and aquatics programming, the YWCA’s women’s empowerment programming, and the organization’s ongoing advocacy work for justice and equity in our community.

For more information about the event please contact the YWCA at 795-4050.

Orphans from war torn Ukraine coming to Maine

United Nations and international children’s rights groups have reported on the growing number of children living in state-run orphanages in Ukraine, due to the ongoing war with Russia and economic collapse. Now, families in Maine can directly impact some of these children by providing respite from war and poverty with a four-week Christmas visit to the US.

Host Ukraine is bringing more than 100 children from Ukrainian orphanages to family homes this holiday season. From December 16 to January 12, these kids will enjoy housing, food, and the love of a family for the holiday season. Maine resident Gina Stearman describes this program as “a reverse mission trip that your family and community can participate in.” The Stearman’s have opened their home to several Ukrainian orphans over the past three years, and share, “it’s been more of a blessing than we could have imagined seeing the transformation of these children during their time with us.”

Approximately 25 host families are still needed to avoid leaving any child behind. With a growing economic crisis and instability, orphanages are experiencing increases in the number of children abandoned to state care while budgets for food, medicine, clothing and other essentials continues to decline. The exact number of children in state care in Ukraine varies between government agencies, but it is estimated between 95,000 and 200,000 and is on the rise. Recent reports from UNICEF and Disability Rights International highlight the dangers children face in institutions. Hosting provides a way to change the life of one child, in a tangible way, and transforms them from a statistic to a person.

For more information on Host Ukraine or to obtain a hosting application, visit www.hostukraine.org or contact the representative listed above.

Dieterich to Present at Mini Law School for HR Professionals

Amy Dieterich

Skelton Taintor & Abbott attorney Amy Dieterich will present at the National Business Institute seminar, “Mini Law School for HR Professionals: A Comprehensive Primer on Labor and Employment Law.” The full-day seminar will take place on November 12 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bangor and provide a comprehensive primer on labor and employment law.

With employment-related litigation an ever-possible part of business life, employers must become well informed to proactively protect themselves. Compliance is crucial. The agenda is designed to be of value for attorneys, human resources professionals, accountants, business owners, and company executives. The seven sessions will bring attendees up to date on the fundamentals of human resources.

Attorneys, accountants and human resources professionals are able to earn continuing education credits and should check the NBI website for more information: www.nbi-sems.com 

Dieterich will present at three of the sessions: “Employee Handbooks and Policies in the 21st Century,” “Wage and Benefit Issues,” and “Other Employment Laws You Need to Know.”

Dieterich, a three-time New England Rising Stars honoree, is admitted to practice in the federal and state courts in both Maine and New York. Her practice areas include employment, labor, family law, commercial litigation, and municipal and government law. She represents individual clients and businesses in commercial disputes, employment and labor law matters, as well as litigation, arbitration and regulatory proceedings.

 Skelton Taintor & Abbott is one of Maine’s leading law firms serving individuals and businesses in litigation and general representation throughout northern New England for more than 150 years. The firm has been named in U.S. News-Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” in America. For more information, visit www.STA-Law.com or call 207.784.3200.


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