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Archive for June 2011

Mayor’s Corner: Governor LePage puts Rich People Before Politics

By Laurent F. Gilbert Sr

Mayor of Lewiston

Here we go again! Republican Governor Paul LePage’s administration is pushing on two fronts: the elimination of Maine’s Estate Tax and to have Maine’s Estate Tax conform to the Federal Estate Tax.

I share with you with permission a report from the Maine Center for Economic Police (MECEP) presented recently by their policy analyst to Maine’s Joint Standing Committee on Taxation:

Testimony Regarding LD 423 and LD 1147

“An Act to Eliminate Maine’s Estate Tax”

“An Act to Conform Maine’s Estate Tax to the Federal Estate Tax”

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Join a Mainer from Morocco at the Moxie 5K Race

Tim Long wears his Moxie T-shirt in the Sahara Desert.

If you sign up for the 2011 Moxie Day 5K Road Race on Saturday, July 9, then you may meet fellow runner Tim Long. Tim, a Brunswick native currently living in Morocco, considers the run a “must do” event.

Tim and his wife Carolin return to Maine about every two years. In 2009, they decided to participate in the Moxie Day 5K Race.

Tim wrote in a recent e-mail: “Unlike other races we have been in, there was no jockeying for a better start position, no anxious anticipation of the starting gun; instead there was casual conversation, joking and laughing, pats on the back and a general feeling of collective fun.

“To make a long story short, we ran and we finished; not knowing or really caring about our time or place in the race. While driving back to Brunswick, I recall thinking how this day marked a moment of great enjoyment and humble pride in the warmth and simplicity of life in Maine.

“A short time after returning to Ecuador (where we have been living for the past 10 years), I found myself wearing my Moxie shirt often, feeling even more prideful of my Maine heritage and our iconic beverage. I even brought back a few bottles of the good stuff to share with friends, trying to convince them that while Moxie may be a peculiar drink and an acquired taste, it is more than that.

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First Art Walk Lewiston Auburn a big success

This group of eager Art Walkers was all smiles. (TCT photo by Jen Pike)

A grassroots group of community members, artists and businesses transformed the downtowns of Lewiston and Auburn into art districts on Friday, May 27 during the inaugural Art Walk Lewiston Auburn.

The Art Walk, the first in Lewiston in over a decade, is an independent grassroots endeavor by community members, artists, and local businesses that wanted to celebrate the extraordinary talent of visual artists in Lewiston-Auburn and around Maine.

“We have been overwhelmed with all of the enthusiasm for the inaugural Art Walk Lewiston Auburn,” says Michael Dostie of J. Dostie Jewelers on Lisbon Street, one of the event’s coordinators. He said the Art Walk truly showcases what can be accomplished when artists, businesses, and community members come together to bring new life to our downtowns.

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6th Festival FrancoFun opens tomorrow

Festival FrancoFun, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, June 3 and 4 at the Franco-American Heritage Center in Lewiston, presents a weekend of local and regional music, food and Franco-American culture.

The Festival opens at 11:30 a.m on Friday with La Rencontre in Heritage Hall, featuring a $7 luncheon followed by entertainment in the Performance Hall. Louis Philippe, a Portland-based entertainer and local favorite, will open festival weekend singing the American, Canadian and French national anthems in addition to his good-humored storytelling and singing.

After the festival opening, Rita Dube, executive director of the Franco Center, will host the new Franco-American Kitchen Show with local “chefs” demonstrating their Franco-American recipes from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Heritage Hall.

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“Destination: Innovation” is theme for B-to-B Trade Show

With the theme “Destination: Innovation,” the Androscoggin Business-to-Business Trade Show will be held Thursday, June 9 at the Colisée in Lewiston. Considered to be the year’s most significant networking event, the show will draw an estimated 2,500 business attendees.

This year’s show will focus on the need for organizations to seize opportunities to innovate, reinvent themselves and take a fresh look at what they do best.

Hosted by the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council, the show is the largest one-day business event in the state, featuring nearly 200 exhibitors. It is believed to be the state’s longest-running consecutive business show.

“Companies have survived this difficult economy not simply by cutting costs and staff, but by reengineering the way they do things,” says Calvin Rinck, marketing director for LAEGC. “Any successful organization must continually innovate. They must find new markets, discover new ways of doing things, look at new revenue streams and seek new relationships.”

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LaBonte on County Expenses: Something has to give

By Jonathan P. LaBonte

TCT Columnist

When I first started writing a weekly opinion piece for this paper in 2006, the topics ranged from municipal policy challenges facing Lewiston-Auburn to arts and cultural issues to ideas for how we might revitalize our downtown area that straddles the Androscoggin River. And yet, even with that municipal focus, my first venture into elected office was at the county level, not city council.

Without going into the full back story, and perhaps to more quickly move to the issues at hand, it seemed clear to me after studying this topic that planning for the economic growth of the Lewiston-Auburn area was not something that one city council or board of selectmen could tackle alone; it needed to be done regionally.

Unlike other parts of the country outside of the Northeast that saw their growth in the last century, New England grew up in the 1700s and 1800s and formed a strong commitment to town-based government. As I’ve written before, most of those town boundaries were actually based on a measure of how far a horse could travel daily, a far cry from today’s commuter reality.

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Op/Ed: Mainers should welcome passage of teen labor bill

By Tim Lajoie, Chairman

Lewiston Republican City Committee

A week ago I sent an Op/Ed to this paper attempting to rally Lewiston Republicans and all others who are tired of Democratic encroachment into their personal lives. I suggested that there was a real contrast between the self-sufficiency ideals of the Republican Party and the government-orchestrated solutions offered by the Democrats.

No sooner had Twin City TIMES published my piece did the Democrats in Lewiston and Augusta give me the opportunity to offer such a contrast, a contrast that serves as a real example of our differences. I would be remiss and hypocritical if I did not seize the opportunity to illustrate it.

I’m speaking of the teen labor bill, (LD 516) “An Act To Amend Maine Law To Conform with Federal Law Regarding Employment Practices for Certain Minors,” which was just passed and signed by Governor LePage. Now, speaking as a less-government, personal freedom, personal responsibility, autonomy-loving citizen, I say that the amount of hours a teenager should be allowed to work should be decided by the teenager and his parents or guardians.

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Mayor’s Corner: Lewiston-Auburn — It truly is happening here!

By Laurent F. Gilbert Sr.

Mayor of Lewiston

What a celebrated week we had right here in the heart of Maine.

It started a week ago Monday, when at the Key Bank Center, the home of the Androscoggin Chamber of Commerce, Carbonite’s CEO David Friend announced that his Boston-based company was moving its customer service call center from India to Lewiston. Now, there’s a real reversal from the trend of American companies moving their operations overseas. They will eventually employ 250 workers.

Friend indicated that the factors his company looked at was the number of good educational institutions in and around L-A, a high-tech infrastructure, affordable commercial space and a number of young people with technical skills that will provide longevity to the company.

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Culture Crawlers. Adam Dow and Hillary Eaton enjoyed the 3rd Culture Crawl on May 25 in Downtown Lewiston. Hosted by The Young Professionals of the Lewiston-Auburn Area (YPLAA), the crawl include a tour of Museum L-A, a tour and beer sampling at Baxter Brewing and a visit to Davinci’s. The Crawl will ended at Fish Bones. For more information, see www.yplaa.com.

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