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Archive for November 2011

Mayor’s Corner: Veterans deserve honor whether they volunteered or were drafted

By Laurent F. Gilbert Sr.

Mayor of Lewiston

I am writing this column on Saturday morning the day after Veterans Day. Yesterday, I spent the day with veterans and some currently serving in the military. At times I was moved to near tears; other times I had goose bumps all over my skin. These fine Americans are those who have given us our freedom and have protected it.

They served when war was necessary and unfortunately at times when war was unnecessary. Yes, I believe there have been such wars. If we are truly honest with ourselves, we all might believe that.

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Casino fails; Paradis, Macdonald in run-off for Lewiston mayor

See complete Election Results from L-A on Pages 4 and 6 of Digital Edition

By Peter A. Steele

TCT Editor

The Lewiston Casino question won over Lewiston voters, but lost statewide and in Auburn; Mark Paradis and Bob Macdonald topped a field of five candidates to face each other in a December 13 run-off election for Lewiston mayor; and a hotshot young professional, Jonathan LaBonté, 31, is Auburn’s new mayor and perhaps its youngest ever.

A familiar and vocal figure in local politics, LaBonté ran unopposed for Auburn mayor, scaring away any would-be challengers. In Lewiston, five competed for mayor. Paradis was the top vote getter with 2,967 votes (32%). Macdonald was a close second with 2,853 votes (31%).

The other three candidates for mayor were: Walter M. Hill, who got 1,442 votes (16%); Stanley Pelletier, who took 1,226 votes (13%); and Ronald Jean, who won 790 votes (9%).

Since the Lewiston mayor must be elected with more than 50% of the vote, Paradis and Macdonald will challenge each other in a run-off election, scheduled for December 13.

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Mayor’s Corner: Gilbert lashes LePage over casino loss

Gilbert says Governor did an 11th hour about face on Casino Questions

By Laurent F. Gilbert Sr.

Mayor of Lewiston

It is Sunday afternoon as I sit here writing this column. I know not what the results of Tuesday’s election will have been.

Just a few weeks ago, knowing that I was supporting a Lewiston Casino, I was asked by the local investors in the casino to be the spokesperson for the political action committee called “The People of Lewiston-Auburn Committee.” In full disclosure, I agreed to do so for not a single penny of pay before, during and after the election; or for any promises of any amount if the casino were to become a reality. Nothing was offered for any of these elements I just mentioned.

I don’t do this work for money. Money for me is simply a necessity for living: as long as I am living a comfortable life, as I am currently, I am happy.

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Tribute to Veterans is Friday

The L & A Veterans Council invites the public to participate at the Musical Tribute to Veterans on Friday, November 11 at the Lewiston Armory on College Street.

Starting at 10 a.m., this event is free. Everyone is welcome to come and show thanks to our veterans for their service. The program includes the Edward Little High School Band, the Just Us entertainers, the National Anthem, an invocation by Pastor Bruce Tynes of the Baptist Church in West Paris, speeches, a Pass in Review by military branches, several veterans, fraternal and youth color guards, and two special presentations, one to Collette Monument Inc. of Lewiston and one to Cote Crane Inc. of Auburn. For more information please contact Willie Danforth777-4759.

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Committee proposes two concepts for Auburn schools

The Auburn Master Facilities Committee will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, November 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Auburn Hall to solicit input from citizens on reorganizing existing schools or building a new comprehensive campus.

The Master Facilities Committee considered several scenarios before selecting the two concepts that will be presented on November 16. The first concept is a seven-campus concept, which remodels Edward Little High School and expands Auburn Middle School to include the sixth grade.

Pre-K through fifth grade students would attend one of four schools: Fairview School, Sherwood Heights School, Park Avenue School and a new school not yet determined. Walton School would house Franklin/Merrill Hill, RETC/SOS, Adult Education programs and Central Office. This scenario closes Washburn School, East Auburn Community School, Lake Street School and Franklin/Merrill Hill School.

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LETTER: Transitioning from Welfare to Work

To the Editor:

It’s strange, but the experts, the economists, that should understand the economy, don’t, and even when they are convinced they do, they are unable to agree.  Of course, like broken clocks, some of them and their theories must be right some of the time, but when and which ones?  And, whenever the government interferes, it becomes complicated, sometimes disappointing and sometimes humorous.  This is especially evident regarding work and welfare.

For myself, I find economics too complex to understand and I have to simplify it.  I imagine a remote New England farming community in the 1890s.  In this scene that springs from imagination, cattle graze near large barns; ripening fields of corn race beside their restraining fences until both disappear in the distance.  Powerful farm horses, joined to their companion wagons move at a slow, but familiar pace on unpaved roads that serve to both separate and connect individual farms.  Within my imaginary scene, the farm buildings, the fields, both those cleared and those planted, and the community roads are evidence of work already completed and the preparation for work yet to be acomplished.  The scene, because it’s of my own creation, is always pleasant and always suffused with warm summer sunshine.

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LAEGC: Casino proposal deals L-A a winning hand

By Lucien Gosselin

President of LAEGC

The Lewiston-Auburn Growth Council Board of Directors, consisting of local political and business leaders from both Lewiston and Auburn, has voted to support a casino development project in Downtown Lewiston.

The arguments you have heard from the opposition all sound familiar: the casino will create traffic congestion, it will be loud and that crime will increase; it can become addictive, change our landscape, alter the community’s historic and cultural character and will not encourage economic development. To the credit of the Lewiston casino representatives, the bill as drafted will ensure that just the opposite will happen.

The casino project will create new jobs that pay a livable wage, bring and may leverage significant capital investments to an underutilized site, enhance the local property tax base, provide a downtown destination attraction and will not detract from the community’s economic vitality, diverse business mix or historic character.

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Mayor’s Corner: Portland, Bangor newspapers display “parochialism and hypocrisy”

By Laurent F. Gilbert Sr.

Mayor of Lewiston

If recent events have not demonstrated how important it is for the people of Lewiston-Auburn to fight for themselves, I don’t know what will.

You don’t have to be a casino proponent to see what the Sun-Journal referred to as the “hypocrisy and parochialism of the campaign,” as evident in the editorial positions of Maine’s other major newspapers, which endorsed casinos in Biddeford and Washington County, but not Lewiston.

This is a time when I sincerely wish that even would-be casino opponents could join with us in support of L-A. Ten years from now, when Bangor is the second-largest city in Maine, with Lewiston having dropped to third, and Oxford raking in millions of dollars in revenues for a little town, you are going to ask yourselves what on earth you were thinking. Let us not squander this opportunity in the same way that we have squandered so many others.

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Volunteers needed for Androscoggin Greenway Walking Assessments

The Androscoggin Land Trust, through its LA Trails program, has secured grant funding from the Environmental Funders Network’s Quality of Place Initiative to expand on the planning for an Androscoggin Greenway, a continuous land and water based trail network through Lewiston and Auburn.

With support from both cities and the National Park Service, ALT has leveraged its grant funding to hire Wright-Pierce, an engineering consulting firm, to complete the technical components of this planning.

The first phase, now complete, was an inventory of all existing trails, open spaces and public lands along the river corridor from Gulf Island Pond south towards the Maine Turnpike overpass of the Androscoggin.

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LETTER: “Sid the Nazi” joins Occupy Wall Street

To the Editor:

Matt Labash, a reporter for the conservative Weekly Standard, recently spent a couple of days mingling with the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) crowd at Zucotti Park in Manhattan. Thanks to him, we have a photo of Sid in the October 17 issue.

“Sid the Nazi” (the label he has chosen for himself) appears shirtless with tattoos of bare-breasted women, dark glasses, a cigarette dangling from his mouth and an AFSCME cap. He borrowed the cap from a friend.

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