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This week’s edition!

Celebrating Maine’s Bicentennial and Lewiston’s History

Guest Column

By Sen. Libby

This past weekend, we were finally able to celebrate Maine’s Bicentennial – our 200th birthday – with the parade right here in Lewiston and our sister city Auburn.

After all the hardships we have endured over the past year, it felt special to see our communities come out and celebrate our state and its unique history with such joy. The state of Maine and Lewiston have rich histories, and I can think of no place more fitting to have hosted this event than right here in town.

 The Bicentennial celebration gave me some time to reflect on our city’s history and fortunately there’s a detailed outline on Lewiston’s website provided by local historian, Douglas I. Hodgkin. I strongly encourage you to check it out, and thank Prof. Hodgkin for his dedicated work to the city of Lewiston and for providing a source of information for us to learn about our city’s story.

 Before diving into the details, it is important to recognize and acknowledge that Native Americans lived and belonged on this land far before any European settlers arrived. In fact, “Androscoggin,” the name of Lewiston’s river and county, is the contemporary word describing a Native American tribe that lived in New Hampshire, Maine and southern Quebec. The tribe was likely absorbed by neighboring tribes by the 18th century.

 The process for Maine to become a state had been underway for some time, but it wasn’t until July 26, 1819, that voters were first able to decide if they wanted to separate from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. After a successful vote, the district of Maine still had a few barriers between it and official statehood. Maine was tasked with drafting a state Constitution as well as awaiting additional approval from Congress. Finally, on March 15, 1820, as a result of the Maine-Missouri Compromise, Maine officially became the 23rd state of the United States.

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Lewiston seeks Ward 2 Councilor replacement

From City of Lewiston

LEWISTON – Calling his service as a public servant his “highest honor,” Zachary T. Pettengill resigned his seat as Lewiston’s Ward 2 City Councilor on Aug. 13.

Pettengill said he will cherish his time serving in municipal government. “The decision does not come lightly, but after much deliberation and careful consideration, I must face the facts and realize that I can no longer continue to ‘burn the candle at both ends.’ After spending six years at City Hall first as a Planning Board member and then a City Councilor, I believe the time has come for me to step aside.”

Mayor Mark Cayer sajd be was sad to hear the news, and praised Councilor Pettengill’s long-time commitment to representing the residents of Lewiston. “Councilor Pettengill will be missed. His love of community and willingness to share years from his busy schedule to strengthen our community for the better is to be commended.”

With a municipal election, including Council seats, scheduled for November, Section 2.06 (d) of the City Charter defines the process for appointment in the vacancy of a City Councilor: “If a vacancy in the office occurs less than one (1) year prior to the next regular municipal election, the remaining members of the Council may appoint an eligible person to fill the unexpired term within thirty (30) calendar days after the vacancy exists. If the Council fails to make such appointment within said thirty (30) calendar days, the Mayor shall appoint an eligible person to fill the unexpired term within ten (10) calendar days thereafter.”

Under those rules, Council President Michel Lajoie is currently accepting applications from registered voters in Ward 2 who are interested in being considered for appointment to the Lewiston City Council.

Applications are available immediately from the City Clerk’s Office, 27 Pine Street, and on the City’s website at www.lewistonmaine.gov/publicboard.

This opening is for the remainder of Pettingill’s current two-year term that expires January 2022. All eligible applicants must be at least 20 years old and must be registered voters of Ward 2 in Lewiston. Applications must be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office no later than 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 1.  The appointment is scheduled to be on the City Council meeting agenda of Sept. 7.

  Questions regarding the appointment procedure as well as the tasks and duties of a City Councilor may be directed to the City Clerk’s Office at (207) 513-3124. 

The vaccine mandate is
. . . complicated

Touching Base

Op-ed by Nathan Tsukroff

In the Maine Republican’s weekly radio address last Friday, this is what we heard:

“This is State Representative Kathleen Dillingham, of Oxford, with the Weekly Republican Radio Address. Recently, the Governor, and her administration, used the Department of Health and Human Services public health emergency issued July 1, 2021, to mandate that all healthcare employers require their employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and those employees who do not, will lose their jobs. That is an estimated 10,000 healthcare employees.”

Mandates of any kind can be . . . complicated.

And the recent mandate by Gov. Mills that all healthcare workers must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 1 adds to the complication.

Let’s look at the facts –

As we found in the State of Maine’s statement on the vaccine mandate, “The State of Maine has long required the immunization of employees of designated health care facilities to reduce the risk of exposure to, and possible transmission of, vaccine-preventable diseases. These immunizations include measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, hepatitis B, and influenza. This existing rule has been amended to include the COVID-19 vaccine. The organizations to which this requirement applies must ensure that each employee is vaccinated, with this requirement being enforced as a condition of the facilities’ licensure.”

Dillingham’s statement is at odds with the governor’s mandate, since the mandate DOES NOT refer to firings, but rather to licensure of a healthcare facility.

In other words, the governor did not tell healthcare workers to be vaccinated or they would be fired.

However, that doesn’t mean healthcare workers can be secure in their jobs.

Here’s where it starts to get complicated.

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Healthcare workers protest vaccination mandate in Augusta

a Kieltyka standing in front of the capitol building.

 Healthcare workers are concerned will be fired unless they comply with Gov. Mills lat­est mandate requiring them to receive the COVID vaccination by October 1. A peaceful protest was held at the Maine State House in Augusta on August 16. TCT photo by Lillian Baker. More pho­tos and video coverage at facebook.com/ twincitytimes.

These 2 photos courtesy of Melissa J Albert photography
ria Kieltyka standing to the left of her
Mother Samantha Kieltyka, who is a nurse.

Next Art Walk L/A is Aug. 27

Tom Jessen works on a display at LA Arts Gallery, 221 Lisbon St., of his work called Play, which is part of the next Art Walk L/A on Friday, Aug. 27. (Photo by Gary Stallsworth)

From LA Arts

LEWISTON – The next Art Walk L/A begins at 5 pm on Friday, Aug. 27, with in-person arts experiences downtown and live music at the Simard-Payne amphitheater.

Also part of the evening is an artist reception at LA Arts, a new fiction reading at Lewiston Public Library, and a community drawing event in Dufresne Plaza.

Events

– 5-7 pm: LA Arts hosts an opening reception for Tom Jessen:Play, 221 Lisbon St.

– 5-7 pm: L/A Community Acupuncture hosts Gerald Walsh: Imaginal Vision and birdfood, a collaborative ceramics exhibit, 223 Lisbon St.

local author and Lewiston High School teacher J. G. Breerwood will read from his novel, “Sinking Dixie” at the Lewiston Public Library, 200 Lisbon St., from 5-6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 27, during the next Art Walk L/A event. (Photo courtesy of LA Arts)

– 5-6 pm: Lewiston Public Library hosts a reading by local author and Lewiston High School teacher J. G. Breerwood from his novel, “Sinking Dixie.” 200 Lisbon St.

– 5-6 pm: Sketchy Friends. All ages drawing event! Bring a chair and drawing materials. Dufresne Plaza

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Community college requires vaccination

From MCCS

AUGUSTA, ME – Starting this fall, the Maine Community College Sys­tem (MCCS) will require all students attending class­es in person to be vaccinat­ed against COVID-19, due to the recent surge in cases attributed to the delta vari­ant.

The MCCS Board of Trustees unanimously ap­proved the updated COVID safety protocol lasts week.

“The safety of our faculty, staff and students has been our top priority throughout the pandem­ic. The latest information about the delta variant makes it clear we must re­quire vaccinations to keep our community as safe as possible,” MCCS President David Daigler said.

The new protocol, which will be in effect for the 2021-22 academic year, applies to any student tak­ing classes or training at any MCCS facility, includ­ing off-campus learning fa­cilities.

Students must show proof that they have re­ceived at least one dose of a vaccine prior to attending the first day of their in-per­son classes. Students who have only had their first shot when classes begin must provide proof of the second shot no later than 30 days from the date of their first in-person class. The first fall semester classes start on August 30.

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New director for Museum L-A

From Museum L-A

LEWISTON – Rachel Ferrante, a staff member of the Metropolitan Museum in New York for 10 years, will become executive director of Museum L-A, succeeding Audrey Thomson on Sept. 7.

 Ferrante, 33, is an art and visual culture graduate of Bates College and has recently moved to Maine with her family. She is currently an exhibition manager at the Met Museum, with earlier stints in the Met’s marketing department and its office of the director. She holds an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Rachel Ferrante, a Bates College graduate and a 10-year staff member at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, will succeed Audrey Thomson as executive director of Museum L-A on Sept. 7. (Photo courtesy of Museum L-A)

 Margaret Craven, board chair of Museum L-A, said, “This is a pivotal moment in the history of Museum L-A. Our Board is convinced Rachel Ferrante is the best person to help lead a transformational capital campaign that will shape, guide and create outstanding programming and visitor experiences, and develop a community gathering place to celebrate accomplishments while providing inspiration for the future.”

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Best and worst states to have a baby

Maine ranks #15 overall

With the average birth costing around $4,500 for mothers with insurance, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2021’s Best & Worst States to Have a Baby, as well as accompanying videos and expert commentary.

To determine the most ideal places in the U.S. for parents and their newborns, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 31 key measures of cost, health care accessibility and baby-friendliness. The data set ranges from hospital conventional-delivery charges to annual average infant-care costs to pediatricians per capita.  
 

Best States to Have a BabyWorst States to Have a Baby
1. Massachusetts42. North Carolina
2. Minnesota43. Georgia
3. District of Columbia44. West Virginia
4. New Hampshire45. Oklahoma
5. Vermont46. Nevada
6. North Dakota47. Arkansas
7. Connecticut48. Louisiana
8. Washington49. South Carolina
9. New York50. Alabama
10. Hawaii51. Mississippi

Source: WalletHub

Emerald River Opening Recreational Marijuana Store

By Nathan Tsukroff

LEWISTON – Emerald River Maine has broken ground for construction of an adult-use recreational cannabis retail store at 1240 Lisbon Street in Lewiston.

The planned 2,700 square foot store will be built on the site of one the firsts McDonald’s in Maine, which opened about 50 years ago. The McDonald’s moved down the street more than 10 years ago, with the lot remaining vacant until the purchase by Emerald River Maine in 2020.

Emerald River signed with general contractors Gendron & Gendron of Lewiston in mid-July of this year to begin construction of the planned $1 million store.

An artist’s rendering of the new recreational marijuana store that Emerald River Maine is building on Lisbon Street in Lewiston, with hopes of opening in December. Recreational sales of marijuana have only recently been approved in Maine. (Image courtesy of Emerald River)

As an adult-use cannabis store, a medical marijuana card will not be required to purchase cannabis, as long as the purchaser is 21 years of age or older.

While possession of marijuana is still illegal under federal law, medical cannabis was legalized in Maine in 1999 for patients suffering from serious health conditions.

Voters passed the Maine Medical Marijuana Act in 2009, which expanded the state’s existing program and decriminalized possession of up 2.5 ounces of cannabis.

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New art on display at CMMC

From WHA

LEWISTON – The Woman’s Hospital Association (WHA) Rotating Art Gallery at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston is now displaying the photography of Richard Plourde and the art of Sarah Martin.

‘West Pitch Winter’, a photograph by Richard Plourde, is on display at Central Maine Medical Center as part of the Woman’s Hospital Association (WHA) Rotating Art Gallery. (Photo courtesy of WHA)

A resident of Lewiston, Plourde has had a lifelong passion for being artistically creative. The former Art Director for the Geiger owned, Lewiston-based publication, “Farmers’ Almanac”, he designed each annual edition. More recently, Richard volunteered his creative skills to create an engaging new web site for the Androscoggin Historical Society, subsequently being awarded “Volunteer of the Year” by the Society for his efforts. He has become locally known for his stunning photos of Lewiston-Auburn highlighting popular locations and iconic structures; several of his photos can be seen promoting the city, events, and economic development.

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