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Archive for April 2011

Register now for Chief Worumbo River Race

For what has become a signature event at the Town of Lisbon’s annual Moxie Festival, the Androscoggin Land Trust has announced that registration is now open for the 13th Annual Chief Worumbo Androscoggin River Race. The annual fun-for-the-whole-family river event, which is set for Sunday, July 10, is one of the largest single-day paddling events on the Androscoggin River.

The Chief Worumbo Androscoggin River Race’s relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere has made it among the most popular paddling events in the Northeast, drawing hundreds of boats and participants from across New England. Paddlers in canoes or kayaks in 11 categories will kick off at the Durham Boat Access on Route 136 and race six miles downstream to the finish line under the railroad trestle where the Sabattus River meets the Androscoggin at Route 196 in Lisbon.

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Cycling legend Leipheimer to return to Dempsey Challenge

Olympic bronze medalist and eight-time Tour de France competitor Levi Leipheimer of Santa Rosa, Calif. has confirmed his appearance for the third annual Dempsey Challenge presented by Amgen.

The Challenge is a non-competitive run, walk and cycling event benefiting The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing at Central Maine Medical Center. The event will take place on October 8 and 9 in Lewiston.

Leipheimer, 37, now rides for Team RadioShack and played a major role in the 2010 Dempsey Challenge weekend festivities, including the sponsor dinner, private ride and reception, press conference, Champions for Hope banquet and autograph session. He concluded the weekend with a 50-mile ride alongside actor and event namesake Patrick Dempsey.

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Mayor’s Corner: MAINEiacs president says city has not done enough

This is the first of a two-part column. The second part will be published next week.

By Laurent F. Gilbert Sr.

Mayor of Lewiston

The Lewiston MAINEiacs have been struggling financially for several years, and no other fan is more aware of that fact than me. What concerns me is what I believe was an attempt by MAINEiacs President Bill Schurman to shift the burden of its woes on the Cities of Lewiston-Auburn. I’m blowing the whistle and assessing a penalty for what, in my opinion, is a deceptive hit on the cities.

In a locally published article, Schurman was quoted as saying that in Canada, if a hockey team were struggling, the city’s leaders would ask what they could do to help. He indicated that there hasn’t been a lot of interest from city officials in helping the team.

I was incensed, so I scheduled an appointment to meet with Schurman at the Colisée. I shared with him my disappointment about his comments, and I asked him for a retraction. He refused. I then told him that I would write about it. So here goes:

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LaBonte: Bring jobs to L-A by the handful

By Jonathan P. LaBonte

TCT Columnist

With spring arriving in Lewiston-Auburn, the difficult part of the municipal budget season looms over us. A number of drivers on both sides of the river are causing budgets to swell this season, which means taxes in Lewiston-Auburn will be going up along with it.

With that dilemma comes two solutions: grow the value of the cities to increase revenue or cut spending.

Unfortunately, when the fiscal year ends in only a couple months, the slashing of spending gets most of the attention—not the medium- and long-term need to grow the value of property in Lewiston and Auburn. This week, it seems the topic is coming to a head, as the City of Auburn contemplates an idea of “defunding” the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council.

While it was created in a very different era, LAEGC exists to provide some basic economic development services and to defuse some of the competition that exists between both cities, mostly for larger scale developments. And from the rhetoric we are now hearing, it appears the competition may be back again.

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LETTER: Why would senators join the “Hate LePage” crowd?

To the Editor:

Since reading the Op-Ed piece written by State Senators Roger Katz and Brian Langley and signed by six other senators, I have been trying to discern what they mean by the expression “government by disrespect.” (“Reject government by disrespect: Republican Senators express concern about Governor’s tone,” TCT, April 7, 2011, page 3.)

Also, what is the purpose of this piece? Why would Republican senators join the “Hate LePage” crowd?

Like these senators, I am dismayed and perturbed by the governor’s penchant for getting involved in issues that have little or nothing to do with the problems that our state faces and by his use of derogatory expressions for some of those who aggravate him. This is unbecoming, even for a governor who is obviously not a politician. I hope we have seen the end of this.

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LETTER: Bring the debate from coffee shops to the public

Letter to the Editor:

You spend your formative years studying hard in school. You follow society’s rules. Upon graduation you spend the next four to 12 years studying, training and sacrificing to obtain a successful career. Entering the workplace, you work hard and eventually achieve financial success. In our present society that makes you evil.

Or you spend your formative years merely being counted “present” on the days you make it to school. Your disruptive behavior infringes on the right of your fellow classmates who want to learn. Partying replaces studying. You develop the finer points of drugging, drinking and sexual promiscuity. You have babies out of wedlock. You fill our courts and prisons. Mandates force employers to pay an exorbitant minimal wage for your lack of skills. You are a societal victim. You are good.

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Griffiths on Flat Toothpicks, The Economy and Libya

By Dave Griffiths

TCT Columnist

Greetings. It’s been a few months. I can’t think of any excuse for the long hiatus, so I’ll quit trying.

Anyway, I saw Twin City TIMES Editor Peter Steele at a Chamber function recently and told him I was excited about submitting another column. The reason? New developments in the way my life’s journey continues to intersect with toothpicks.

As you may recall, I’ve written often and passionately about my disdain for flat toothpicks. (What good are they? How can they possibly be any more useful than cylindrical—stronger—toothpicks?).

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Report: Maine lags in addressing aging bridges

Maine has significantly more than the national average of deficient bridges, according to a new report released by Transportation for America. The report shows that more than 15.4 percent of the state’s bridges are deficient and in need of reconstruction or rehabilitation. The national average is 11.5 percent, according to the report.

“The Fix We’re In For: The State of the Nation’s Bridges” found that across the country, more than 70,000 bridges are in need of major repair or replacement. The report ranks Maine’s inventory of bridges as the 12th worse in the nation. Pennsylvania, with 26.5 percent deficient bridges, was the worst. Nevada was the best (2.2 percent).

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LaBonte on L-A: We must grow in ways that make us different

By Jonathan P. LaBonte

TCT Columnist

A certain romance radiates when you speak to longtime residents, or those that visited here from away, when they recall the heyday of downtown Lewiston-Auburn. They remember with affection the movies and shows in the evenings, the small shops and the large festivals that celebrated culture and heritage.

Beyond the stories of the experience along Lisbon Street, for example, it was the interactions with friends and family and neighbors that make those warmhearted memories linger.

When was the last time you heard someone share a tale of how fun it was to walk through a 200,000-square-foot department store? Or how unique it was to walk through a 200-car parking lot for chain-restaurant dining? Perhaps someone discussed moving to a city because of its robust industrial parks dotted along interstate interchanges.

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OP/Ed: Republican Senators express concern about Governor’s tone

By Senators Roger J. Katz

and Brian D. Langley

As Republican Senators, we all want Governor LePage and his administration to succeed. Yet we feel compelled to express our discomfort and dismay with the tone and spirit of some of the remarks he has made.

Were these isolated incidents we would bite our collective tongues because we are all human. But, unfortunately, such is not the case. We feel we must speak out.

We ran for this office as a proud Republicans, inspired and energized by the campaign themes of the Governor to make Maine a more business-friendly state and attract the capital investment we need to create jobs and ensure that our children and grandchildren will have the kind of opportunity and prosperity we all want for them.

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