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Archive for December 2010

LETTER: Honor Leon Levesque with gifts to LEF

To the Editor: It is with mixed feelings that we received word that Leon Levesque, superintendent of the Lewiston Public Schools, will be retiring on December 31.

As a founding member of the board of the Lewiston Education Fund, Superintendent Levesque has dedicated much time and energy to his vision of building an endowment to ensure that students and teachers are supported in their desire for excellence in education and in promoting aspirations.

Superintendent Levesque has asked there be no celebration or material gifts in recognition of his retirement. But the Lewiston Education Fund would like to honor him in a manner befitting his passion for education and the youth in our community. The Lewiston Education Fund Board of Directors invites you to pledge a gift in Leon’s name to the endowment.

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LETTER: No problems exist between Fuel and mosque

To the Editor:

In a letter I wrote last week, I asked: “Why are the problems that exist between the Lisbon Street Mosque and the management and patrons of Fuel restaurant being swept under the rug?” (“YPLAA, residents need to wake up to downtown problems,” Letter to the Editor, page 3, TCT, Dec. 2, 2010)

I now realize that my temper overrode my common sense, resulting in a total misrepresentation of the relationship between the Mosque and Fuel restaurant.

Upon speaking with Mr. Eric Agren, the owner of Fuel restaurant, I can state without contradiction that an exceptionally strong congenial relationship exists between the Lisbon Street Mosque and Fuel restaurant.

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LETTER: “It’s the Somalis’ fault!”

To the Editor:

Can a week not go by where someone does not write into Twin City TIMES and decry, “Lewiston is falling apart and it’s the Somalis’ fault!”

Lewiston has been arguably the poorest, most run-down city in the state for the last 30 years with subpar economic growth and a fairly large portion of its population living in poverty. Thanks to strong commitment from many civic leaders and many handfuls of hard-working local business people, things have really turned around over the last 10 years.

Yet there continues to be a disturbing number of people who refuse to acknowledge the dismal economic past and instead drop every social, financial or other issue in the lap of the entire Somali population.

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Launch L-A needs more applications from young entrepreneurs

Launch L-A, a contest that will award nearly $100,000 in cash and services to the winner of a business plan with Lewiston-Auburn roots, will be extended until January 1, 2011.

“We’ve received some very exciting business proposals from as far away as Nevada and Massachusetts from young entrepreneurs who want to move back to the Lewiston-Auburn area and launch their dream business,” said Paul Badeau, marketing director for the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council.

“Entries include manufacturing proposals, online innovations and service industry ideas, which we are very excited to share with the community for the voting process early next year,” said Badeau. “At the same time, contest participants told us that the entries required a lot of time and work. So we hope this extension provides even more entrepreneurs the opportunity to enter the contest. In addition, contestants who have already entered will be given the chance to add to their entry if they want.”

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Tax-cut extension would prevent tax hikes on families, small businesses

By U.S. Senator Susan Collins

(r-maine)

Unfortunately, the national unemployment rate in November rose to 9.8 percent, the highest level since April. In addition, the economy added only 39,000 jobs that month—far fewer than had been predicted and a sharp decline from October.

This is devastating news for the 15 million Americans seeking work who cannot find jobs.

This continued bad economic news underscores the need to invigorate our economy and get people back to work. One of the most important ways to do is for Congress to pass a two-year extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax relief laws.

If these laws are allowed to expire as scheduled on January 1, the New Year will begin with a massive tax increase for most American families and small businesses. They will face an automatic tax increase of nearly $2.7 trillion, one of the largest tax increases in our history.  This tax increase will hit all American earners, regardless of their income level and regardless of whether they are married or single, retired or working or salaried or hourly employees.

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Mayor’s Corner: Lame Duck, Dead Duck or Mighty Duck Session of Congress?

By Laurent F. Gilbert Sr.

mayor of lewiston

The period between the November Elections and the new Congress being sworn in is commonly known as the “Lame Duck Session.” My assessment of it thus far causes me to refer to it as the “Dead Duck Session:” the Republicans are saying no to everything, and the Democrats had put off everything until after the November elections.

Is this the service we expect from our Congress? I would think not! We elect our representatives to Congress to work for us and to not just sit back and say no to everything and to not fight for our benefit. It is supposed to be representative government. That means they have to do something.

We expect our Congressmen and women to work for us from the first day of taking office to the last day they are in office. That means working through the “Lame Duck Session.” If the members of Congress were to do that and vote up or down on issues based on their merits, rather than labeling such a session the Lame Duck Session, it could well be called the “Mighty Duck Session.” Isn’t that the least we should expect from our representatives? I firmly believe so!

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4th Annual Twin Cities Holiday Celebration

Lewiston Youth Advisory Council member Kenzi Masselli was The Walking Christmas Tree in the Parade of Lights on Monday during the 4th Annual Twin Cities Holiday Celebration. See more photos, p. 12-13 in TCT online or on the stands. (Photo by Dottie Perham-Whittier)

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Auburn council to discuss demolition of arts center

UPDATE: Mayor Gleason has determined that the original vote to demolish the arts center will stand. He was informed that the rules in the city charter supersede Robert’s Rules of Order. That means a simple majority of the council is needed to suspend the rules of their meetings, not a two-thirds majority.

The council will discuss the demolition of Great Falls Arts Center at its workshop at 5:30 p.m. on Monday in Auburn Hall. But it is not scheduled to take another vote at its regular meeting, which begins at 7 p.m.

Stephen Martelli, Travis Mayo and Leroy Walker attended a meeting hosted Saturday by Community Little Theatre at Great Falls Arts Center to discuss the fate of the theatre if GFAC is demolished. See story, more photos in TCT online or on the stands, p. 18-19. (Photo by Rachel Morin)

Auburn Mayor Dick Gleason stated Tuesday that the city council’s vote to demolish the Great Falls Performing Arts Center was invalid. A new vote has been scheduled for the council’s meeting on Monday.

The Auburn City Councilors voted 4-3 on November 15 on a motion to suspend their rules, which would allow them to consider an item that was not on the agenda. Councilors then voted 4-3 to demolish the former school building in June 2011. Councilors Mike Farrell, Dan Herrick, Ray Berube and Belinda Gerry voted in favor of demolition.

The vote sparked outrage among many residents and supporters of Community Little Theatre, which is based in the building, along with several smaller arts-related tenants. Some claimed that the council’s action came out of nowhere.

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LETTER: Auburn councilor explains vote on Great Falls Arts Center

To the Editor:

As an Auburn City Councilor, I, as well as Councilor Daniel Herrick, have often borne the brunt of the Sun Journal’s reporting. At first I was bothered, but I actually don’t mind anymore.

I’ve seen the Sun Journal criticize NASA astrophysicists, doctors, surgeons, educators and more. I began to feel that I was not in bad company.

You see, I have no dog in the race, other than being a rational, level headed and compassionate human being. I have learned an unbelievable amount about civic politics, systems and laws. I have had the pleasure of serving two terms with a sensational group of individuals. The City of Auburn has an amazing group of employees.

The council, though not always in agreement, is comprised of people who are well-intentioned and who try their hardest. I ran on a platform of stirring up debate and giving everything in local government a sort of litmus test. I have been instrumental in successfully cutting the tax rate here more than once—and by a hefty margin.

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LETTER: YPLAA must wake up to downtown problems

Letter to the Editor:

“Fecta Non Verba Syndrome” appears to be striking many of Lewiston-Auburn’s young professionals.

The symptoms include delusions of grandeur, an inflated sense of importance, extreme bravado in safe surroundings, lack of courage when confronted with issues relating to political correctness and the wearing of a large gaudy college ring.

Upon reading, “Young Professionals want more Nightlife, Housing” (Twin City TIMES, page 1, November 25, 2010), I pictured the YPLAA (Young Professionals of the Lewiston Auburn Area) as a collection of frat boys and sorority sisters sitting around drinking expensive wines, eating brie and fantasizing how they will transform Lewiston-Auburn into a Utopia of restaurants, arts and a lively nightlife. They are young, college-educated professionals. They are L-A’s future leaders.

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