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This week’s edition!

TPT to Host ‘Play in the Snow’

LEWISTON, ME (January 5, 2023) – As every Mainer knows, cabin fever will be setting in shortly (if it hasn’t already) and The Public Theatre has the solution! PLAY in the Snow: a skiing, snowboarding and tubing event for the whole family on a special Saturday night with a special, low-cost ticket! Let’s all get outdoors and have some fun!

Play in the Snow will take place at Lost Valley, in Auburn, on Saturday, January 21, 2023 from 5:30 to 9:30 pm. The event will include skiing, snowboarding, tubing, raffle baskets (featuring themes for adults and children), a 50/50 raffle, Cookies, S’Mores Making Kits, FREE hot chocolate, and a mountain’s worth of fun! 

Lost Valley is typically closed for skiing and snow tubing on Saturday evenings, but The Public Theatre is renting out the entire mountain to allow for a family night of fun at a bargain price. Just $25 to ski or snowboard and only $15 to snow tube. (Standard Lost Valley lift tickets are $39 and $50 for a weekend half day or Friday evening; tubing tickets are $19 per hour.) Tubing Capacity is limited so hurry and purchase your tickets today before they sell out!

Play in the Snow will raise much needed funds to bring live professional theatre to Maine, delighting and inspiring audiences with life-affirming contemporary plays. This event also supports The Public Theatre’s education and outreach programs. Throughout the pandemic, the Theatre has partnered with schools and libraries across Maine to bring the arts—in the form of FREE in-person or virtual workshops, creative collaborations, specially priced student matinees, and more.

For more information about the event and to purchase tickets, visit thepublictheatre.org. To inquire about sponsorship opportunities please contact the Theatre by phone at 207-782-3200.

General Surgeon Receives 2022 Heart of Hospice Award

LEWISTON, ME (January 5, 2023) — Androscoggin Home Healthcare + Hospice (Androscoggin) awarded Dr. David Dixon, retired surgeon from Franklin Memorial Hospital with the 2022 Heart of Hospice Award. The award was presented to Dr. Dixon at a recent gathering of Androscoggin clinicians, administrators, and staff at the their offices in Wilton. Dr. Dixon was nominated by hospice staff for his positive impact in end-of-life care for patients and families.

Kate Sicotte, Director of Hospice Services said, “Since May of 2005, our Androscoggin hospice team has worked closely with you, Dr. Dixon, to address the needs of those living with life limiting illness and to ensure that every person is able to receive the unique, holistic care provided by hospice.  You embrace Androscoggin’s mission and values and have spent your entire career serving and caring for people.  You have been a long-standing pillar in your community, and at Androscoggin we know that without your support and advocacy, our mission and goals would be difficult to achieve.” 

Ms. Sicotte went on to say, “You are very loved by the Wilton team.  They describe you as a mentor, visionary, dedicated, and always prepared and simply “Dr. D”.  You are known to everyone in the medical community in Franklin County and beyond and you’re well respected for your long career as a general surgeon at Franklin Memorial Hospital, where you were known as “Big Red”.  You served as Medical Director at FMH.  In 2009, you received the annual Franklin Memorial Community Health Leadership Award for your service as a visionary physician and outstanding citizen having served your community for nearly 40 years.  In 2010, the Franklin Memorial Hospital’s resident house for 3rd year medical students was dedicated in your honor and today is known as “The Dixon House”.

Nominations for the Heart of Hospice Award come directly from the Androscoggin hospice staff. The award is presented to an individual or individuals who positively impact the mission and the goal of the hospice program: to provide accessible, compassionate, skilled and holistic end-of-life care to all who may require it. 

Sen. Brakey: New Legislature, New Year, New Hopes

By Sen. Eric Brakey

AUGUSTA, ME (December 30, 2022) – This weekend marks the start of 2023. It’s a New Year for America and for the world. It’s a fresh start, especially here in Maine as a newly elected Legislature takes office. And for many of us who were recently elected, this time of year is a chance of renewed hope and reflection on what Maine’s people expect from us as Legislators – after all, you elected us.

Hello, I am Senator Eric Brakey of Androscoggin County; and it’s my pleasure to join you for our first Republican Radio Address of 2023.

First, I want to thank the voters of my district — the people of Auburn, New Gloucester, Poland, and Durham — for entrusting me to represent them in the State Senate as their voice in Augusta. It is an honor to serve the people of Maine, once again.

Back in 2014, I was elected to my first Senate term as the youngest state senator in America and re-elected in 2016. After a four-year hiatus, I am honored to be back to defend the freedom and paychecks of Maine’s people. I’m sure all of my fellow elected colleagues of both parties respect the responsibility we’ve been given to serve you.

So what does 2023 look like? First, let me give you a bird’s eye view of what has happened.

In looking back at the last year, Maine ratepayers were hit with an 83% rate increase in their electric bills at the start of 2022. If you were a small-to medium-sized business that used the Public Utilities Commission’s Standard Offer, those rates rose as high as 300% before settling down later in the year.

And in what feels like déjà vu all over again, those rates are going up another 45% on average beginning January 1. That is a 165% increase in the price of electricity in just two years.

If you use fuel oil to heat your home, you’ve seen a sudden spike in heating oil prices. Beginning in February 2022, prices began inflating before hitting a peak of $5.92 per gallon in May with high rates persisting until today. In contrast, the price of fuel oil on the day President Joe Biden took office was just $2.27 per gallon – it’s more than doubled since.

And it’s not just energy. A dozen eggs that cost you $1.70 at the beginning of 2022 now costs nearly $5 as this year closes. That’s a whopping 191 percent jump. When you factor in the cost of milk, vegetables, gasoline and even the price of eating out, 2022 will not be remembered as a good vintage by any means.

There are many reasons for rising prices that we must tackle, from the effects of war overseas, restrictions on domestic energy production, supply chain disruptions from lockdown policies that proved to be counterproductive and unnecessary, and the federal government printing trillions of dollars out of thin air and stealing the purchasing power of your paycheck and retirement account with every new dollar they print.

The economic challenges before us are great and big government keeps making things worse; but as we leave a painful 2022 behind and look ahead at what this New Year may bring, I’m reminded of the spirit of Maine’s people. We’ve weathered a lot these past 12 months, and together we can overcome the challenges ahead.

A New Year brings with it the one thing we all look forward to the most – hope.

In 2023, I hope we can restore a constitutional balance to state government.

I hope that all my legislative colleagues work together knowing we are here to represent not partisan or special interests, but the Maine people from every corner of this state.

I hope we can get a handle on our drug and opioid addiction crisis and help those suffering a mental health crisis.

I hope we can end the workforce shortage, getting able-bodied adults back to work and our labor participation rate back to where it should be

I hope we can prioritize pipelines and not pipe dreams to bring affordable energy prices to Maine people.

I hope we can develop affordable housing for all those who need it by engaging the market and respecting property rights.

I hope we can ensure our elderly who need beds in nursing homes can get one.

I hope our students can make up the ground they’ve lost after years of disruptions and unnecessary school closures.

I hope we can rein in the Governor’s emergency powers so Maine’s people can have a voice in the laws that govern us.

I hope we can all return to the way life should be.

Most importantly, I hope 2023 will prove to be a better vintage for everyone than 2022 was.

Again, I’m Senator Eric Brakey of Androscoggin County; and I wish you and yours a safe, happy and prosperous New Year.

Sen. Eric Brakey represents the communities of District 20. He is the Senate Republican Lead for the Legislature’s Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services Committee and the State and Local Government Committee.

New Year, New You 2023 at APL! 

AUBURN, ME (December 29, 2022) — Mindfulness Meditation Seriespresented by Tisha Bremner of Inner Light Wellness; Tuesdays – January 10, 17, 24 & 31 – 4:30-5:15 p.m. Online, via Zoom 

 In this series, participants will be introduced to a variety of techniques that will help clear their minds, calm their emotions, and shift their perspectives during times of challenge.  Each session offers tools that can be implemented right away to make positive improvements building resilience and managing stress.  Each topic is discussed in a 45-minute class with an optional Q&A session. 

Week 1:  Introduction to Mindful Meditation; Week 2: Nurturing Emotions; Week 3: The Power of Gratitude; Week 4: Self-Compassion Matters 

This series will be led by Tisha Bremner,  Learn more about Tisha at innerlightwell.com. 

This program will take place via Zoom, and registration is required.  To register, call the Reference Desk at 207-333-6640, ext. 4.  Be sure to provide your email address when registering.  Participants will be emailed the Zoom link on the first day of the series, January 10.  The link will be the same for all 4 sessions. 

Cooking Healthy on a Budgetpresented by Healthy Androscoggin; Wednesday & Thursday – January 18 & 19 – 3:30-5:00 p.m.  In person – Androscoggin Community Room  

Want to learn how to prepare delicious, healthy foods and stay within your budget? Join this FREE, 2-class series to gain tools, information and recipes to help you sharpen your skills! These engaging classes cover topics to help you shop, cook, and eat healthier foods while staying within your food budget. All participants receive a colorful cookbook with 24 healthy, low-cost recipes and nutrition tips. Each session will include either a food demo, prep, or take-home option! 

This series will be led by Becca Schoen, SNAP-Ed Nutrition Educator from Healthy Androscoggin. Becca’s passion is growing food – watching the amazing process of seed to plant – and then transforming it into delicious dishes in the kitchen! 

NOTE:  This is a two-class series, please plan to attend both sessions — Wednesday, January 18 and Thursday, January 19! 

For our planning purposes, registration is required.  Please visit the Events page of APL’s website – www.auburnpubliclibrary.org – or contact the Reference Desk at 207-333-6640, ext. 4. 

Lewiston to Hold Riverfront Island Presentation & Open House

LEWISTON, ME (December 29, 2022) — MARK YOUR CALENDAR:  Come to a Riverfront Island Master Plan Update Open House on Jan. 12 at the Lewiston Public Library’s Callahan Hall, 200 Lisbon Street (snow date is Jan. 24). 

View current ideas and comment on the design concepts being considered for inclusion in the Master Plan. This plan covers the Riverfront Trail, Simard-Payne Park, the canals, Island Point, and bike and pedestrian connections, as well as undeveloped parcels near the riverfront. From 5-7 PM, designs for each of these areas may be viewed at your own pace.  There will be a short public presentation on the designs at 5:30 PM.  Questions may be directed to the Planning & Code Department by calling 207-513-3125.

One-Month Grace Period for Licensing Pets Expires Jan. 31

LEWISTON, ME (December 29, 2022) — The Lewiston City Clerk’s Department is reminding all Lewiston dog owners that the one-month grace period for licensing their pets will expire Jan. 31.  Per state law, a dog’s license expires Dec. 31 of each year, and a $25 state late fine will be added to each license for all dogs licensed after Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023.     

According to the City Clerk’s Office, only about seventy percent of the dogs that were licensed in 2022 have been re-licensed for the new year.  

“We do not want our residents to have to pay the $25 late fine, but it is a state requirement.  In Nov., we sent letters to all owners of dogs licensed in 2022 to remind them that the licenses expire Dec. 31 and the late fine is effective Feb. 1,” said City Clerk Kathy Montejo.   

Dog license fees are $11 for a male or female dog and $6 for a spayed or neutered animal, which means the late fine is more than the cost of the license itself.

 “We have over 800 dogs that still need to be re-licensed,” said Montejo, “which means that we will be doing a lot of dog licensing during the next month, before the Jan. 31 late fine begins, or many of our residents will have to pay the state-mandated late fee.”   Per state requirements, the late fine is assessed per dog and not per household. 

Many dog owners may not have re-licensed their pet because they may have misplaced the animal’s rabies certificate, which is required to be shown at the time of licensing.  Pet owners should contact their veterinarian’s office to request a duplicate copy of the rabies certificate if they cannot locate their copy.

 As a convenience, dog owners may mail in their license renewal information, and the tag for the new year will be mailed back to the owner.  The dog owner should mail a copy of the rabies certificate, along with the dog’s name; the owner’s name, address, phone number; and a check payable to the City of Lewiston for the correct amount.  Residents may also register their dog’s license online at the City’s website:  www.lewistonmaine.gov/licenseyourdog 

Rabies is a serious problem in the State of Maine.  Residents are urged to take the time to protect their pet against this deadly virus.   If an animal is suspected of having rabies, it is quarantined.   If during this time, the signs of rabies still appear, the only way to test an animal for rabies is to euthanize the animal.   Dog licensing ensures rabies vaccination which protects the health of your pet.

 The City Clerk’s Department has office hours on Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM.   Questions can be directed to the City Clerk’s Department at 513-3124.

Fontaine Participates in Q97.9’s Cans for a Cure

(December 20, 2022) — Every October since 2005, Fontaine Family – The Real Estate Leader’s entire team participates in WJBQ Q97.9’s “Cans for a Cure” which raises money to help those fighting breast cancer in Maine. All agents and staff members encourage clients, friends, family and businesses to save cans and bottles to donate to the cause. The goal each year is to completely fill their moving van with cans and bottles and they’re proud to say they’ve done once again this year. Follow Fontaine Team on Facebook to learn more about their involvement in the community.

Lewiston Director Receives QHC Recognition

LEWISTON, ME (December 19, 2022) — Elaine Brackett, Lewiston’s Social Services Director since November 2019, has a passion that daily fuels her response to clients.  One of eight children who grew up in a dysfunctional setting, she knows firsthand what it’s like to live in an abandoned building, have no home heating oil, and have no food. Brackett, a Lewiston native, was a long-time caretaker for her parents and siblings, and her self-care was last on the list.

She eventually knew she wanted a different life for herself and took a fork in the road towards self-sufficiency by facing the unknown to pursue change and accepting her first job.  Today, she advocates the same for the clients she serves, and her dedicated efforts have recently rendered her the title of Quality Housing Coalition (QHC) Housing Champion of 2022, touted as a “tireless advocate” by Victoria Morales, Executive Director/Founder of the QHC.

“We hope that (this recognition) provides you with meaningful acknowledgement of our appreciation for the hard work you are doing in the area of housing for the Lewiston community,” said Morales when sharing the news with Brackett.

Brackett commenced her tenure with the City of Lewiston as a Caseworker, serving for 32 years in that capacity, was promoted to Deputy Social Services Director, and then took the Social Services helm in 2019. Prior to working for the City of Lewiston, she worked as a Community Service Worker for Community Concepts.

She works daily with various landlords and organizations in response to housing and other needs for low-income individuals and families. 

“Everyone has a story, and when I meet with clients, it’s important to focus on their potential.  Not only do I want to assist with their immediate need but also want to embrace them and get to know them,” said Brackett.  “Once an initial need is addressed, I continue outreach as to programs and opportunities that a particular client might benefit from on their individual road to self-sufficiency.”

Brackett clearly believes in positive outcomes and doesn’t give up on individuals as evidenced by a client she served 30+ years ago.  The woman was homeless and asked Brackett to keep her stuffed animal for her and take care of it until she came back for it.  The stuffed animal still prominently sits in Brackett’s office, “I told her I’d watch over it for her, and I will until she comes back.”

“Director Brackett has been helping people her entire career.  We appreciate her dedication to the City of Lewiston and its residents for over three decades, and she is incredibly deserving of this recognition,” said Mayor Carl L. Sheline.

“I’m humbled,” was Brackett’s response when learning of the Quality Housing Coalition recognition, taking a moment to also praise the Coalition’s efforts, “They are as enthusiastic about helping folks as I am.”

Mayoral Holiday Address by Mayor Sheline

LEWISTON, ME (December 20, 2022) — Happy holidays! During this special time of the year, I extend an offering of joy, peace, and love to everyone in Lewiston. I also want to recognize all of our community members who are serving our country in the armed forces away from home. I am filled with gratitude for their sacrifice and thank them for their service. 

As the new year fast approaches, I’m sure that 2023 will be full of new opportunities and challenges.  Whatever the new year brings, I have confidence that we can move forward together. May you have a joyful holiday season and a happy new year. 

Merry Christmas to You and Yours,

Mayor Carl L. Sheline

“Surviving Divorce” to be Held in Lewiston

 LEWISTON, ME (December 20, 2022)—Prince of Peace Parish is offering a divorce ministry for men and women who have suffered from or are going through the difficulty of divorce.

“Surviving Divorce” is a 12-week program that will begin on Wednesday, January 4, with sessions running each Wednesday from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the hall of Holy Cross Church on 1080 Lisbon Street in Lewiston. Each week, the group will review a 30-minute video covering a variety of topics like shock, denial, anger, grief, guilt, forgiveness, money, the courts, the kids, the ex-spouse, annulment, dating, sexuality, spirituality, remarriage or staying single, and much more.

“This program was created to bring hope and healing to those who have experienced the pain and loneliness of a divorce. It is for the newly separated and divorced and those still struggling with issues many years later,” said Fr. Daniel Greenleaf, pastor of Prince of Peace Parish. “It will help them answer their questions, restore hope, and begin authentic healing.”

Admission to the group is only permitted through the third session in order to preserve group mutual trust and congeniality.
There is a registration fee of $20 to cover the cost of participant workbooks and supplies, but financial assistance is available if needed. Pre-registration is required to ensure that there are enough materials and to that the program is right for you.

To register or for additional details, call the parish office at 207-777-1200 or contact the program’s facilitators: Liz Oken (207-754-6366) or Brian Labrecque (207-576-6288).


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