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Archive for December 2011

Winter Farmers Market offers Holiday Extravaganza

While “Buy Local” campaigns seem to be gaining momentum around the country this year, Mainers have long valued locally made products. The Lewiston-Auburn area has a wealth of small owner/operated businesses for holiday shoppers to choose from.

The Lewiston Winter Farmers Market brings 25 vendors together in one location on Thursday, December 15, making it easy for residents to shop for a home-grown Christmas.

The December Winter Market will be transformed into a Holiday Extravaganza where shoppers can find hand-crafted unique foods, gifts and even gift certificates. Stock up on Maine-grown and Maine-made products, including fresh fruits and veggies, pasture-raised meats, eggs, seafood, fresh milk and artisan cheeses.

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LePage introduces Supplemental Budget to address Medicaid shortfall

Governor Paul LePage introduced a supplemental budget proposal on Tuesday, which concentrates on structural problems within the Medicaid program at the Department of Health and Human Services and takes the state through the end of fiscal year 2013.

A thorough analysis of fiscal year 2012 has exposed a shortfall of $120 million and an additional $100 million in 2013.

In a bipartisan effort, the Governor met with Democrats and Republicans on Tuesday afternoon to unveil details of the new plan, emphasizing the importance of addressing over-budget spending within Medicaid. The Governor’s proposal includes restructuring eligibility, re-designing benefits and adopting payment reform, which addresses those structural problems and will put Maine’s Medicaid program on a path to financial accountability.

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Mayor’s Corner: A review of Lewiston City Council actions during its term

By Laurent F. Gilbert Sr.

Mayor of Lewiston

As mayor, I have served with three separate city councils, and I must say that the current council has been the best that I have served with in terms of civility and respect for each other, despite of having different views on issues at times.

Once a vote was taken, regardless of the outcome, we moved on with respect for each other, as a city council should operate. We might well be an example for Congress.

This council has worked well with City Administrator Ed Barrett and Deputy City Administrator Phil Nadeau, as well as department heads in all city departments. The council meetings move along well in conducting business, and public comments were always well respected when they dealt with city business.

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Auburn native takes first in speed-shooting competition

An Auburn native is one of four members from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Combat Arms Team who won the Scholastic Steel Challenge’s 2011 Fall Collegiate Championship, which is a handgun speed-shooting competition.

Second Class Cadet Jake Naum, 21, competed Nov. 12 in Epping, N.H., along with 14 of his classmates from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. In all, 43 competitors from four different colleges competed during the match.

Naum, along with three other team members from the academy, took first place in the competition.

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Bah humbug! “A Christmas Carol” returns to Public Theatre

“A Christmas Carol” and “Silent Night.” The Public Theatre’s own version of Dickens’ classic has become a favorite holiday tradition in Lewiston-Auburn. Friday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Dec 10 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec 11 at 2 p.m. $18 for adults; $5 for children under 12.For tickets, call the Box Office at 782-3200. The Public Theatre, Downtown Lewiston. FMI: see www.thepublictheatre.org.

 

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Proposed rewards card could promote “Buy Local” effort

An informational meeting is planned for Thursday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce office in Lewiston to promote a proposed rewards card that would encourage customers to “Buy Local.”

The card would reward customers with money back in their pocket, save merchants on processing fees and benefit a community just for shopping locally. Auburn Mayor Dick Gleason contacted Synderesis Technologies, a Virginia-based company with a product called My Axis Point to learn about such a card.

He described the program, which would be called The Maine Rewards Card by My Axis Point, as providing an opportunity for a community to rally around a “Buy Local” campaign.

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Local businesswomen win American Express/Google award

Faux Net Tricks, a locally owned company, is one of 36 national winners and one of three winners in the New England region of the American Express and Google “My Business Story” contest.

As a final contest winner, Faux Net Tricks (say it out loud: sounds like “phonetics”) will receive a digital media plan funded by American Express and fulfilled by Google, as well as a cash award.

According to the Faux Net Tricks website, they are “a Maine-based company selling super comfortable and stylish T-shirts with loads of attitude.” The company offers a full line of clever word play on top-quality teesmugs and more. The website claims that “Mediocrity is dead” and their products are “anywhere wear, show-your-support wear, definitely-not-church wear.”

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LePage to advance a business-friendly agenda

By Governor Paul R. LePage

When our nation was reeling through one of the worst economic periods since the Great Depression, Democrats in Congress rammed through an $800 billion so-called “stimulus” bill that they said would create jobs and prevent unemployment rates from exceeding 8.5%. They were wrong, and Democrats have yet to learn from that lesson.

Today, we have a so-called jobs bill that is more of the same: the same spending that failed us the first time. We have a Congress that can’t settle on anything, and as a result we have a deficit we are drowning in. So how do we successfully build our economy?

First, we must give our small businesses the chance to succeed. There was a familiar tone at all three of my job-creation workshops, the third of which was held at Central Maine Community College in Auburn. During these sessions, I heard from hundreds of business leaders from mom-and-pop shops to large companies. The recurring message was one of relief that business finally has a voice in Augusta.

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LETTER: LePage is talking policy; Cain is talking politics

To the Editor:

Governor LePage has felt it necessary to point out something obvious: since 80% of the state’s budget goes to education and the Department of Health and Human Services, he is compelled to make cuts in those areas to balance the budget.

To do this in an orderly and rational manner, he proposes to set priorities. He does not favor the “across the board cuts,” widely favored by politicians like his unlamented predecessor John Baldacci.

That is a dodge that enables politicians to escape responsibility for making difficult choices.

The governor’s priority is to continue work on welfare reform in order to preserve funding to education. He has asked voters to contact their legislators to support this priority.

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Mayor’s Corner: Dreams vs. Reality: Mill No. 5; crime rate; retirement

By Laurent F. Gilbert Sr.

Mayor of Lewiston

A few issues have come up lately that I find amusing, since they are not based in reality, but are based more so in utopia.

Bates Mill No. 5. Speaking of utopia, recently the Sun Journal has asked its readers (not all Lewiston residents) what they think should be done with Mill No. 5, since the referendum on the casino was defeated statewide—except by Lewiston voters, who passed it by a slim margin.

The readers were encouraged to think big and not consider cost. Since dreaming is cheap and is not based in reality, their readers came up with some outstanding ideas. I found it comical reading all of them. Now they want their readers to pick the top five and send in their five picks by postcard to the paper.

My top and only pick is the one based in reality. It said: “Demolish it and list it (the land) for sale, and with the proceeds help pay for the demolition.”

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