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Archive for May 2011

Maine poised to join national Charter School movement

Since May 1 through 7 is National Charter Schools Week, 40 states and the District of Columbia will be celebrating the 5,000 public charter schools that enroll 1.6 million children who have chosen to attend.

This year’s theme is “Because Every Child Can Succeed.” But Maine does not yet have charter schools.

State Senator Garrett Mason (R-Lisbon Falls) has introduced enabling legislation that would allow these new forms of public education in Maine. Mason represents District 17, which includes Lisbon, Sabattus, Wales, Greene, Leeds, Turner, Livermore, Livermore Falls, Minot and Mechanic Falls.

Charter schools are public schools. They have some unique traits that increase the likelihood of a successful education for a child.

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Poll: Mainers support reforms proposed by LePage

Maine People Before Politics, which was formed to ensure policies that benefit all of the people of Maine—not just the special interests—get a fair hearing, has released a statewide survey reflecting the views of Maine people on some of the important issues being debated in Augusta.

In the survey conducted by nationally known TelOpinion Research, a large majority of Maine people voiced support for the policy objectives that have been presented by Governor Paul LePage and the new Legislative Leadership in the State Capitol.

“These results affirm what the majority of people know as they talk with their friends and neighbors throughout our state: Maine people not only want but need reform to create jobs, lower taxes and fix our state spending problem,” said Jason Savage, executive director of Maine People Before Politics.

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Mayor’s Corner: A return to Haiti, Part II

This is the second of a two-part column about Mayor Gilbert’s trip with the South Lewiston Baptist Church to provide aid and assistance in Haiti. The first part was published last week.

By Laurent F. Gilbert Sr.

Mayor of Lewiston

Last month I reported in the Twin City TIMES on a group of us visiting Les Cayes, Haiti, where Father Marc Boisvert, a Lewiston native, has been serving the people there for over 12 years. It is a four-hour drive from Port-au-Prince.

This second trip in as many months was with the same group that I went to Haiti with last year. The group is led by Andrew Letourneau from the South Lewiston Baptist Church (SLBC).

On Saturday, April 9, we finished work early, so we went all the way downtown to view some of the damage that still exists there, such as the Roman Catholic Cathedral where the Bishop was killed during the earthquake.

Last month when I went through downtown to get to Les Cayes, the Presidential Palace hadn’t been touched since last year. This time, there was heavy machinery removing the rubble. We walked around the square there and in the park across the street from the palace; there is still a tent city. We have yet to see any of the tent cities close. We also drove by the markets, which are very poor.

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Older Americans Month 2011: “Connecting the Community”

When Older Americans Month was established in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthdays. About a third of older Americans lived in poverty, and there were few programs to meet their needs.

Interest in older Americans and their concerns was growing, however. In April of 1963, President John F. Kennedy’s meeting with the National Council of Senior Citizens served as a prelude to designating May as “Senior Citizens Month.”

Thanks to President Jimmy Carter’s 1980 designation, what was once called Senior Citizens Month is now called “Older Americans Month,” and it has become a tradition.

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