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This week’s edition!

Governor Mills: Elder abuse has no home in Maine.

The abuse of vulnerable Maine people, especially older citizens, is an insidious problem. Every year, more than 33,000 Maine people over the age of sixty are reportedly abused or exploited. Every year, between $10.5 million and $64 million in savings and assets are stolen from older Maine people through financial exploitation. Far too often, older citizens are alone and isolated, and they depend on only one or two people, sometimes family members, for their well-being and they are hesitant to ask for help. 

Elder abuse has no home in Maine. Eradicating abuse requires state government, law enforcement, aging organizations and financial professionals to work together to protect our seniors.

When I was District Attorney and later as Attorney General, I prosecuted many crimes against older Maine people and, in 2014, I convened a Task Force to combat financial exploitation of seniors. We made changes to judicial case management, to staffing, and to specialized training for law enforcement to ferret out abuse and investigate it in a streamlined fashion. And earlier this year, I signed into law “An Act to Protect Vulnerable Adults from Financial Exploitation,” which requires certain professionals who suspect financial exploitation to report those concerns to the Office of Securities and to Adult Protective Services. 

These were all important steps, but I think we can do more to help protect Maine people and especially Maine seniors. We need to have a multi-agency, multi-sector response—get rid of the silos in communications—to keep older Maine people safe from abuse, neglect and all forms of exploitation. That’s why this week, I established by Executive Order the Elder Justice Coordinating Partnership.

That Partnership brings together many people and it’s the brainchild of Legal Services for the Elderly, the Elder Abuse Institute, the Long Term Care Ombudsman, the Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging, the Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the Coalition to End Domestic Violence and it’s got support from the John T. Gorman Foundation. This is not going to cost public tax dollars, but this Partnership is important because it’s going to be formed of state agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Public Safety and the Maine State Police and statewide organizations and nonprofits. They are going to develop the “Elder Justice Roadmap” in the coming months.

I look forward to the work of this Elder Justice Coordinating Partnership and, in the meantime, I look forward to strengthening our processes and actions and strengthening law enforcement—right now, the Department of the Attorney General is hiring a specialist in their investigations division to help train local police officers to ferret out financial exploitation. So, we’re doing everything we can, we’re not going to stop, until we put an end to elder abuse and neglect and financial exploitation.

Senator Collins Recognizes Biddeford and Lewiston Mayors for Signing onto Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness

The signing of Mayor’s Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness

U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Housing Appropriations Subcommittee, joined U.S. Housing and Urban Development New England Regional Administrator David Tille in recognizing Biddeford Mayor Alan Casavant and Lewiston Mayor Kristen Cloutier for signing onto the Mayor’s Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness.

 “Veterans have sacrificed so much to protect our freedoms. We must provide these courageous men and women with the benefits and resources they have earned through their service,” said Senator Collins. “I am proud of Mayor Casavant and Mayor Cloutier for committing to end veteran homelessness in their communities. We must continue building on the progress we have made. To ensure that in the land of the free, there will always be a home for the brave.”

 “Homelessness in Maine is a growing problem because the new economy in which we live does not benefit all of our citizens,” said Biddeford Mayor Casavant. “Working families, because of rising housing costs, particularly in southern Maine, are forced onto the streets because of rental increases. Veterans are also falling victim to the economic pressures of housing, and this is unacceptable. It is important that we, as a state, do what we can to end homelessness among our veterans. Provide the necessary support systems, and ensure that homelessness among our veterans is eliminated. Veteran Homelessness is something that we should not see in America, and we must do what we can to ensure decent, safe housing for all.”

 The Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness is a call to action. For all mayors and other state and local leaders to publicly commit to making sure that every veteran has a home. To be recognized for this achievement, communities must meet the requirements laid out in the federal Criteria and Benchmarks for Ending Veteran Homelessness. These are intended to help districts lower the number of veterans experiencing homelessness to as close to zero as possible while building systems that support long-term, lasting solutions.

 Other participating communities in Maine include Portland, Westbrook, Auburn, Brewer, Bangor, and Augusta. Last month, the Appropriations Committee advancedSenator Collins’ fiscal year 2020 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bill. The funding includes $40 million for new HUD-VASH vouchers to reduce veterans’ homelessness. Since the HUD-VASH program, established in 2008, Maine has received 238 vouchers to support homeless veterans. Senator Collins’ efforts have contributed to homelessness among veterans declining by 49 percent since 2010. In April, Senator Collins hosted Secretary Wilkie in Maineto visit a veteran-owned small business. Participate in the groundbreaking for a new veterans residential care facility, and tour an organization that provides housing for homeless veterans. 

MSAD 52 Adult Education Director Selected for Grant Award

Razel Ward

The National Literacy Directory recently selected four programs across the nation to receive Innovation Grants to attend the upcoming Families Learning Conference (November 4-6) in Louisville, KY. 

Razell Ward, from Maine School Administrative District (MSAD) 52, will be attending the Families Learning Conference. MSAD 52 located in rural Western Maine, where transportation barriers can be a challenge to adult learners. Razell is excited to learn innovative strategies for addressing these transportation barriers, as well as methods to better incorporate family literacy and community collaboration in MSAD 52’s established adult education program.

National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) works to eradicate poverty through education solutions involving families. Partnering with educators, literacy advocates, and policymakers, NCFL develops and provides programming, professional development, and resources that empower and raise families to achieve their potential. This intensive grassroots family learning effort, with more than 140 community partners across 38 states and Washington, DC, impacts thousands of families each year. NCFL Partners with Toyota, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, Dollar General Literacy Foundation, Better World Books, PNC, and the Goodling Institute from Penn State University. The Center is celebrating 30 years of providing high-quality literacy services, resources, and research. 

Ms. Ward looks forward to collaborating with educators at the conference. She plans to incorporate the new information she learns at her program in Turner, as well as share new solutions with her Adult Education partners. For more information on MSAD 52 Adult Education programs and offerings, please call 207-225-1010.

Lewiston High School Referendum: Adult Education

The Lewiston High School expansion project is a plan for the entire community. While teenage students always will be the primary focus, the goal is to have space which can be used by Adult Education and the community-at-large.

Given the expansion’s location, with a new, more secure entrance and lobby, the nearby rooms will be convenient for use by residents of all ages. Since purposeful consideration will be to display students’ art, this addition will provide a friendly atmosphere for all Lewiston citizens.

Lewiston’s Adult Education program is a vital part of our community. Providing instruction in professional studies and general education diploma (GED) preparation, and help to hone personal hobby interests. These traditionally after-school programs will be able to utilize the new area to improve the way the school community and the residents’ interface.

“Lewiston Adult Education (LAE) has been part of the Lewiston High School campus since it opened,” states Director Bill Grant. “LAE has leveraged LHS to provide life-long learning to the community. Community members have especially enjoyed enrichment opportunities within the arts, which include activities like music, painting, and stained glass.” He continues, “The opportunity to expand LHS and bring our art department to the front entrance will provide better accessibility for our community. LAE will also enjoy having additional classroom space near the entrance, to offer academic and workforce programming within proximity to our office. The project will provide a more welcoming and accessible environment for our community of life-long learners. It will also reflect and celebrate the cultural diversity of [Lewiston] through the arts,” he asserts.

The expansion would genuinely be a multi-function addition. Seeking to meet the needs of students, teenage and adult, and gives Lewiston another reason to be proud of its heritage, a commitment to a bright future.

Stephen Collins Presents ‘The Golden Age of the Theatre’

Stephen Collins One-man show

The Auburn Public Library is excited to present actor Stephen Collins in a one-man performance featuring classic songs and plays from the golden age of the American Theater. This free program will take place on Thursday, November 21st, at 6:30 P.M. in the Androscoggin Community Room.

The thirties through the fifties represent a significant period of American Theatrical History. The influence of and reaction to the Great Depression is evident in the work of William Saroyan. The forties saw the talent of three great playwrights emerge who dominated the theater, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, and Eugene O’Neil.

All three examine dysfunctional families, and the American dream gone awry. In 1954, N. Richard Nash’s play The Rainmaker opened at the Cory Theater in New York City. The character Starbuck charms audiences with his brand of con and hucksterism.

Collins performs monologues from these and other playwrights. Collins may even sing a Cole Porter and George Gershwin tune to round off the evening. More information on Collins visit the website provided http://unlaunchedvoices.com.

Governor Mills: Maine knows firsthand that we cannot—and are not—waiting for others to lead

Last week I led the largest delegation ever from the State of Maine to the Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik.

Whywere we in Iceland you might ask?

Well Maine’s delegation traveled to Iceland this year as it has many times before to certainly renew and reinforce trade relationships with the North Atlantic, that are fortified now by expanding shipping routes, and to encourage exchanges of business, academic, and research information between Maine and North Atlantic countries.

You know Eimskip, the oldest shipping company in Iceland, helped us transform an old facility in the Portland, Maine waterfront into a bustling port, linking our state to worldwide markets.

As a result, trade between Iceland and Maine increased more than four thousand percent over one two-year period as east coast businesses found new opportunities along the Green Line shipping route.

Next year, Eimskip will directly connect Maine to Greenland, expanding opportunities for trade and collaboration between our people in unprecedented ways.

This sea route, forged by the explorers of our past and merchants of the present, is a reminder of how regions can work together in the pursuit of a prosperous future.

Maine is poised to become the hub, the eastern gateway to the Arctic, a region whose allure we have shared since Portland explorer Robert Peary set foot on the North Pole in 1909.

Maine is bathed by the same north Atlantic waters, the same rising, warming waves that lap the shores of Iceland, but it is more than ocean waters that draws us together. 

It is more than the cultural and economic currents of our shared fisheries, our academic institutions, or even our trade in broccoli, mint chocolate, potatoes, lobsters, lumber, blueberries and beer — a lot more than that.

I realized that when I learned that the Gulf of Maine is warming faster than 99% of the world’s ocean bodies. And then when I heard from our fishermen that lobsters are moving north and eastward into colder waters; and when I saw a devastating breed of insects, tics, migrating from warmer climates, and attacking and killing the moose in Maine. 

I knew then we have a lot to talk about with our north Atlantic neighbors. 

We need to talk about a world where we can accept science without polemic, where we work in a solid front, with a common goal, with sometimes uncommon means, to mitigate well-known dangerous effects of greenhouse gas emissions in this common purpose and goal — attacking climate change, on our natural resources, on our economy and on the health and survival of our citizenry.

Our Administration is committed to fighting climate change and mitigating its effects.

In just nine months, we have enacted significant standards for renewable energy in Maine. We are investing in clean energy and conservation, electric vehicles and energy efficiency and community resiliency. We support sequestration of carbon in our soil and forests through sustainable forestry practices.  

While in Iceland I signed an agreement with the Prime Minister of Finland for us to share forest research, product development, and sustainability practices in the face of a changing climate.

Both Maine and Finland depend so much on our forests, I know we can learn from Finland, and I think that Finland can learn from us.

We also now have a Climate Council in Maine to determine what we have to do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. 

This year, Maine also joined the bipartisan “U.S. Climate Alliance,” the coalition that is determined to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. 

A few weeks ago, I stood before the United Nations General Assembly and promised the world that Maine will be carbon neutral by 2045. And we are taking steps every day to get there.

At the same time, we will be expanding our economy, attracting young people to our state, and encouraging young people to stay with good-paying new green collar jobs.

Maine is small, but Maine is fiercely determined. In Iceland they like to say there are no problems, only solutions.

Iceland’s Prime Minister says “It can be an advantage to be small. You can do things bigger and faster. You can actually change everything in a short amount of time.” Well, we know that too.As a state which has also changed a lot in a short amount of time, Maine knows firsthand that we cannot — and are not — waiting for others to lead.

LA Metro Chamber Announces New President/CEO

Shanna Cox

The Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is excited to announce that they have hired a new President/CEO. Shanna Cox, Lewiston resident and business owner, officially began her role in leading the LA Metro Chamber on Monday, October 7. 

Prior to posting the position in June, the Board of Directors worked diligently for four months to self- reflect on the Chamber’s past, the current status and what the future would hold for the organization. This journey provided the Board with a clear picture of the attributes they would be seeking in a new CEO. LA Metro Chamber Board Chair and President/CEO of Community Credit Union, Jennifer Hogan, said “It was a great process and journey for the Board. We came to realize some of the key attributes we were seeking: someone who could clearly demonstrate and articulate the value in being a member of the Chamber, someone who has proven relationships and success in workforce development issues, and someone who has demonstrated leadership within economic development projects, just to name a few. Shanna rose to the top quickly as she has experience in all of these areas.” 

The Board hired consultants with Career Management Associates (CMA) to lead the search. After reviewing over 40 applications, applicants were led through a rigorous process which included phones interviews, a written exercise and face-to-face interviews. Final candidates were then brought before a 10 person hiring committee and ultimately the entire Board. Hogan shared “The Board voted unanimously to hire Shanna and we are confident in her experience, drive and commitment to the Chamber and community at large. We are excited for her to lead our Chamber in the next steps of its success.” 

Cox’s work history weaves experiences on both business and community issues together- making her the right fit to support the Chamber’s mission- to be an engine for economic vitality and enhanced quality of life. Cox shared “The LA Metro Chamber is a longstanding and proud institution in our communities- and supporting thriving businesses and quality of life are key to the futures of our members and our region. There is significant potential and opportunities for the Chamber to clarify our value to members, attract new members, and support growth for current members, all while ensuring our work is connected to the communities we serve. I am excited to be at the helm of this organization as we lead the way towards a secure future for the organization, and improved benefits to members and the community.” 

Shanna has been pursuing economic and community development goals for the LA region for nearly 10 years. As a small business owner, Shanna worked with businesses and groups across the state to find solutions for complex community and social problems. Her statewide work grew her experience and exposure to addressing the important issues the Chamber, our members, and businesses in our communities’ face: workforce development, technology and innovation, cluster and sector development, educational outcomes and economic development and growth. While working statewide, Shanna has always been a champion and advocate for the LA region- a place she is proud to call home and raise her family. 

CMCC Esports Team notches girst win

The Esports Arena in CMCC’s Kirk Hall

Two weeks into their first season, a Central Maine Community College (CMCC) Esports team won its first contest with a convincing 3-0 victory over Arcadia University of Pennsylvania.

The CMCC Rocket League team composed of Levi Little of Phippsburg; Jared Lambert of Oakland; Sean Rooney of Winslow; Paisley Drakiotes of Lewiston; and Jayson Goguen and Matt White of Fairfield, defeated Arcadia in regular season action earlier this month.

Esports (short for electronic sports) refers to the popular and rapidly growing field of competitive video gaming. The CMCC Esports teams compete in the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE). Students who participate have to meet the same requirements as other athletes at the college. 

Other CMCC Esports teams are competing in Hearthstone, Overwatch, Fortnite, and Rainbow 6 Siege. The college has a new, 1,600 square-foot arena located in Kirk Hall equipped with Alienware Area-51 Threadrippers; five console stations with Xbox One, PS4 Pro, and Nintendo Switch; and a Twitch broadcast booth for live streaming matches.

Students interested in Esports are encouraged to learn more at the CMCC Open House on Saturday, October 19, from 9 a.m. to noon. More information is also available online at https://cmmustangs.com/sports/esports.

Curtain Up this weekend for CLT’s ‘ANNIE’

The Community Little Theatre (CLT) production of the hit musical “Annie” opens this weekend. Based on the popular Harold Gray comic strip “Little Orphan Annie,” with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and book by Thomas Meehan, the original Broadway production of “Annie” opened in 1977 and ran for nearly six years. It spawned numerous productions in many countries, as well as national tours, and won the Tony Award for Best Musical. The songs “Tomorrow” and “It’s the Hard Knock Life” are among its most popular musical numbers. 

The show is set in New York City during the Depression, and Annie is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago at an orphanage. With the help of other girls in the orphanage, Annie escapes and then encounters adventure after fun-filled adventure in the big city. She finds a new home and family through billionaire Oliver Warbucks, befriends President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and of course, finds a lovable mutt named Sandy.

The theatre will present “Annie” October 18, 19, 24, 25, and 26 at 7:30 p.m., and October 20 and 27 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are still available for purchase online athttps://www.laclt.com/

A Wacky Comedy at The Public Theatre

The Public Theatre begins its 2019-20 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 for this laugh out loud comedy about how ridiculously far we’ll go to help our friends.

Director Christopher Schario says, “This play is great fun. It’s a satisfying comedy, especially for women as the story revolves around a group of female best friends who have known each other forever, and how the introduction of a creepy new boyfriend into the picture shakes up their world.”

Performing in this play is a hilarious ensemble of professional actors; Heather Dilly (Liz), Amanda Ryan Paige (Mary), Janet Mitchko (Jo), Torsten Hillhouse (Jackson), Tom Harney (Trenner) and Nicole Fava (Amanda). 

Audiences may recognize some of the cast from previous productions. Heather Dilly has appeared in numerous TPT productions including Ripcord, Indoor Outdoor, Gun Shy, Secrets of a Soccer Mom and as the conservative mother in last season’s hilariousHuman Error. Playing her potential serial killer boyfriend Jackson Scull is Torsten Hillhouse. Torsten was last seen at TPT opposite Heather in Ripcord, and Love-Sick as well as in multiple roles in The Midvale High School50th Reunion. Audiences may also recognize Nicole Fava who appeared as adorable Frenchy in the summer production of Grease. Rounding out returning actors is Janet Mitchko in the role of sarcastic divorcee Jo. Janet appeared last year at TPT as Nora in A Doll’s House Part 2, among many other productions. 

Once again, The Public Theatre will continue its free pre-show events on opening night with a beer sampling compliments of Baxter Brewing on October 18, and a wine-tasting in the lobby provided by The Vault before the Thursday, October 24 performance. A free post-show discussion featuring the cast and director will also directly follow the Sunday, Oct 20st matinee.

Women in Jeopardy will be performed at The Public Theatre, Lewiston/Auburn’s Professional Theatre, October 18 through 27. Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. with a Saturday matinee on Oct 27 at 3 p.m.  Tickets: $25 Adults, $22 groups.  For tickets visitthepublictheatre.org or call 782-3200. The Theatre is located at 31 Maple St. Lewiston.

Season Underwriters: Platz Associates, Sun Journal, Austin Associates, Maine Magazine and Gleason Media Services.

Corporate Sponsors: Butler Brothers, LA Metro Magazine and Maple Way Dental Care.


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