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Archive for July 2011

LETTER: Reverend opposed to gay marriage

To The Editor:

The same way that lawyers, activists and politicians have public platforms, I believe that clergy has a voice and a place in public debate and should share the stage.

I am disgusted with the self-righteous and pompous attitude of Lewiston Mayor Larry Gilbert as of late. His recent pro-gay/pro-same-sex-marriage rally he held on the steps of City Hall was totally uncalled for. This flies in the face of voters of this state and this community.

In 2009 Mainers repealed the same-sex marriage law by a vote of 53 percent to 47 percent. If the mayor wants to be a gay rights advocate, let him do it on the front steps of his own home and not the steps of City Hall. He should not be using his position as mayor to trump his own ideas, agendas and self-interests.

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Anita Murphy named Tennis Coach of the Year

Anita Murphy with Lewiston Rec summer staff

Lewiston Director of Recreation Maggie Chisholm was bursting with pride upon recently learning that Anita Murphy, the Rec Department’s Tennis Director, has won the National High School Girls Tennis Coach of the Year Award.

The National High School Coaches Association, which bestowed Murphy with the award, is a service organization founded in 1989 to provide support and leadership programs for the nation’s 500,000 high school coaches.

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Auburn citizens band together to run for City Council

Four residents who are dissatisfied with the direction of the Auburn City Council have banded together to announce their candidacy for city council seats. They include:

Jeremiah Bartlett. Candidate for Councilor At-Large. A project engineer for the past 12 years, Bartlett oversaw planning for the Auburn Mall traffic improvements, the transportation issues associated with the redevelopment of Bates Mill, and the multi-use pathway to be constructed on Park Avenue next year. He has lived in Auburn for 10 years.

Evan Cyr. Candidate for City Councilor in Ward 5. A teacher for several years at Edward Little High School, Cyr is a lifelong resident of New Auburn. He and his wife, Jody, recently welcomed the birth of their first child.

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Bladesmithing Symposium & Knife Show is July 15-17

Learning professional skills needed to forge a knife blade will be the subject of the Third Annual ABS “Hammer In” New England Bladesmithing Symposium & Knife Show at the New England School of Metalwork in Auburn from Friday morning through Sunday, July 15-17.

Demonstrations and workshops in blade forging and cutting will be conducted throughout the event by master bladesmiths who are certified by the event organizer, the American Bladesmith Society. The bladesmiths are from Maine and several other states. Sessions are open to all for a registration fee of $55. (See www.americanbladesmith.com.)

“Our symposium shows anyone who may be interested in a viable professional career in bladesmithing how to pursue that path, further hone their skill sets and become ABS-certified,” said Dereck Glaser, metalsmithing program director at the New England School of Metalwork. “This is an opportunity to see and learn practical and professional skills from some the best master bladesmiths in New England and around the country, all right here at our facility in Auburn.”

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Mayor’s Corner: Why would a local mayor support gay marriage?

By Laurent F. Gilbert Sr.

Mayor of Lewiston

Firstly, and most importantly, when I took my oath of office, I swore to uphold the constitutions of both the State of Maine and the United States Constitution, where everyone would be treated equally and that I would represent all of my constituency, be they black, white, brown, yellow, red, straight, gay, lesbian, transgendered, documented or undocumented, refugee or immigrant, as well as natural born citizens.

I promised to serve all of the people of my community. I have been and continue doing just that. Some may have a problem with that, and I would suggest that they not serve in elective office, as in the United States of America that is what is required of elected officials. Otherwise, one is not serving all of the people they swore to represent: for America is truly an amalgamation of peoples from all races, gender, orientation, religious beliefs, etc.

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Op/Ed: Debt ceiling games and a balanced budget amendment

By Bruce Poliquin

Maine State Treasurer

There’s been lots of talk lately about the forthcoming fiscal Armageddon. Surprisingly, it’s not about our elected officials in Washington spending us into oblivion. They’ve already done that.

Rather, it’s about their request to spend even more.

You’d think that a behemoth $14 trillion national debt is enough. Apparently it’s not for most of our U.S. Senators and Congressmen. They’re trying to gather enough votes among themselves to authorize borrowing another $2 trillion by selling more U.S. Government bonds. They want to “raise the debt ceiling” in part to feed their reckless spending addiction.

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LETTER: Glass houses and charter schools

To the Editor:

The Republican legislators are feeling pretty pleased with themselves. They have reduced the tax burden, restructured Maine’s health insurance system, taken vital steps to fund the state’s unfunded obligations, reformed welfare, rationalized our daft regulatory regime and paid the state’s debts to the hospitals.

Governor LePage is also pleased, but not nearly as pleased as most of the legislators. He had more ambitious goals on all these issues and will be persisting in his efforts to achieve them in the time remaining in his first term. I have a feeling that he really hopes to get the job done in a single term and then get clear of politics and politicians. (Nothing to support this, just a feeling I have.)

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Old ELHS coming down soon

Tenants are moving out of the former Edward Little High School at the corner of  High and Academy Streets in Auburn. The school is scheduled for demolition soon. To see story and photos, click on the digital edition at left, then flip to pages 8 and 9. (Photo by Rachel Morin)

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Maine ranks in Top 10 for food stamps, Medicaid, taxes

The Maine Heritage Policy Center has released its 2011-2012 “Maine By The Numbers” report to provide a fact-based look at how Maine compares to other states and the District of Columbia in the areas of demographics, economics, health care, welfare, education and tax and fiscal issues.

How does Maine compare? In “Maine By The Numbers,” Maine’s totals and rankings for each entry are compared with the national average, the New England state average, rural peer state average and the highest- and lowest-ranked states.  The compendium indicates where Maine excels and where we fall short.

Readers of “Maine By The Numbers” will see that Maine ranks in the top 10 states for cost of residential electricity; percent of households receiving food stamps; Medicaid spending per capita; and state and local taxes as a percent of personal income.

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Firefighter brings home steel from World Trade Center

AFD will create memorial to 9/11 victims

Nearly two years ago, Auburn Firefighter Julian Beale read a message that set something very powerful in motion. It was an e-mail announcing that the New Jersey/New York Port Authority would be accepting requests from organizations wishing to receive a section of the World Trade Center.

Firefighter Beale decided to apply on behalf of the Auburn Fire Department, where he serves as a full-time firefighter, as well as the Farmingdale Fire Department, where Beale is a volunteer firefighter. He wrote a two-page letter for each department, followed by countless forms, paperwork and even court documents.

“We were surprised at how long and complicated the process was, but we understand,” said Beale. “The New York officials just wanted to make sure that the steel was going to be treated with the respect it deserves.”

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