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Archive for March 2012

Jewish Merchants of Lewiston

Morris Silverman will be among the Jewish merchants Phyllis Graber Jensen will discuss at the March 27 meeting of the Androscoggin Historical Society. She will speak at 7 p.m. on the third floor of the County Courthouse Building, on the corner of Court and Turner Streets in Auburn. Still in business on Center Street, Silverman holds a photograph of his late father, Louis, who started the business on Lisbon Street in 1930. See story on Page 10 of the Digital Edition.

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Salute to Dinny Sullivan and Hats Off to Neighborhood Businesses!

Come salute Dinny Sullivan on Saturday, March 17 with a “Hats Off” to neighborhood businesses throughout the City of Auburn!

Dennis J. “Dinny” Sullivan was born in 1873 at Schull, Co. Cork, Ireland, and immigrated to Auburn with his parents, Jeremiah and Margaret Sullivan. The family lived on First Street in New Auburn and, like many Irishmen of his time, Dinny worked in the Lewiston bleachery and on the railroad.

But Dinny inspired to more. In 1919 he purchased a lot and with his wife, Nellie, operated a small neighborhood grocery store. Immigrants themselves, the apartment at the rear of the store often served as home for recent Irish immigrants, as they became oriented to American life and made their starts.

“Salute to Dinny Sullivan: Hat’s off to Neighborhood Businesses” day is dedicated too the unselfish hospitality of Dinny and Nellie Sullivan and their humble contribution to construction of this city in America—an example for all generations to emulate.

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Portland Pirates freeze Lewiston Gladiators out of tryouts

No one ever said that hockey isn’t a rough sport. But a new move by principals of the fledgling Portland Junior Pirates program has left Lewiston Area Youth Hockey League officials crying foul.

The Pirates have already squeezed the existing LAYHL program off of its home ice for next season. Now, the team is barred the Gladiators from holding tryouts later this month.

The LAYHL is a volunteer-driven, not-for-profit youth hockey league with a related travel team, the Maine Gladiators. The Portland Junior Pirates is attempting to create a for-profit youth hockey program in direct competition with LAYHL.

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Thoughts from the Mayor: New committee should extract information from joint agencies

By Jonathan P. LaBonté

Mayor of Auburn

The Joint Agency Budget Review Committee, created by myself and Mayor Macdonald of Lewiston, includes two city councilors from each city that meet to review the budget requests from the organizations that are funded by both cities, such as Lewiston Auburn Economic Growth Council, L/A Arts, Great Falls TV and others.

Elected officials from both cities, as well as members of the public, were invited to attend these meetings held over the last week.

There are number of key points that need to be raised as the cities assess the performance of these agencies, some of which that have existed with little to no reform for decades. The committee should collect the “governance” documents that create the joint committee or service and references whether the cities have an obligation to fund. Some of these efforts lack such a document, such as LA Arts, and others have never had a formal city committee—it has just been past practice to provide funding.

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Enough is Enough: St. Patrick’s Day, more than just a Hack Holiday

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

“Erin go bragh.”

It’s St. Patrick’s Day Weekend, and suddenly there’s not a Frenchman (nor a Frenchwoman) to be found in the whole town.

Those of Irish descent will break out their yearly green ensemble and proudly parade around the town. This day also affords Lewiston’s French descendants an opportunity to break out their La Kermesse outfit in order to join in the parade.

In Ireland, pious Irish men and women honor St. Patrick by flocking to Mass, receiving Holy Communion and prayerful reflection on the Saint’s life—a fitting homage to the man who brought Christianity to her shores.

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Op/Ed: Legislature enacts Medicaid reforms to avert crisis in April

By Senator Lois Snowe-Mello

(R-Poland)

Recently, the Legislature enacted changes to the Medicaid program designed to prevent a crisis in April, when the state was projected to run out of money. Failure to act would have resulted in a disruption of service for more than 300,000 Mainers served by Medicaid.

Many of the state’s providers would have gone without payment, with many shutting their doors or laying off workers. The magnitude of what the Legislature did cannot be understated given the deep philosophical divides present in what is very nearly an equally divided House and Senate. More on that shortly, but first a brief overview of the problem and how we got here is important.

In November, Governor LePage alerted us to a $221 million shortfall in the state’s Medicaid program. At that time, some 361,315 people were receiving benefits under that program. He also asserted that: since 2002, Medicaid enrollment has grown 78 percent, while Maine’s population grew only 7 percent; Maine insures 35 percent more of its population than the national average; and in 2008, Maine’s per capita Medicaid cost was $1, 895 per person vs. the national average of $1,187.

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LETTER: Don’t suspend unruly students, teach them

To the Editor:

Our schools engage in a daily struggle to educate our students. They struggle because students don’t make it easy: they act out, they get mouthy, they swear, sometimes they fight. Arguably, this is age-appropriate behavior; even if not, it’s not unexpected.

Still, the schools have to maintain order; they have to ensure an appropriate environment for learning and, even more important, they have to keep their students safe. So our Lewiston and Auburn schools, depending on the circumstances, assign detention, sometimes suspension. In Singapore, students are caned.

Previously, I unpersuasively wrote against suspending students from school; I was unpersuasive because, now several years later, our schools continue to employ this injudicious policy. My objection to suspension is that while it removes a disruptive student from the classroom, it cruelly sabotages the suspended student’s education and it increases the likelihood they will not graduate.

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The Central Maine Medical Center Woman’s Hospital Association is featuring the work of two photographers, Cathy Case and Anne Huston, at its Rotating Art Gallery through April 21. Pictured above is “Emery” by Cathy Case. See page 11.

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Dept. of Labor mural artist speaks to AMS students

Renowned Maine artist Judy Taylor recently visited Auburn Middle School to give an artist’s talk and presentation for eighth-grade students. Taylor, best known for the mural she was commissioned to paint for the Maine Department of Labor in Augusta, spoke about her artistic process and historical research in completing the large, 11-panel piece.

Students learned about direct connections between the artwork and the labor history of Lewiston-Auburn workers. The experience tied into the AMS eighth-grade art curriculum and an upcoming unit on community and public art.

“I’m delighted our art students had this exciting opportunity to hear a professional artist discuss their work,” said Heather Libby, AMS art teacher. “Because Judy Taylor based her paintings for the Maine Department of Labor mural on historic events from Maine’s history, this presentation really connected learning in art, social studies, and even language arts.”

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Steele joins The Maine Heritage Policy Center

Yes, dear readers, it’s true: your editor, Peter A. Steele, has joined the team at The Maine Heritage Policy Center, a nonprofit conservative think tank based in Portland.

And no, your favorite weekly paper, Twin City TIMES, isn’t going anywhere! Rest assured, Publisher Laurie A. Steele runs a tight ship, and TCT is on a straight and steady course.

TCT Office Manager Sharon Lagasse, who is Laurie’s sister, and TCT Advertising Consultant Jen Pike, as well as the production staff, are veteran employees who have been with the paper for many years. They are out and about in the community more now than ever before, and they promise many good things to come for TCT!

But your former editor will serve as full-time communications director for MHPC. Steele is very familiar with the agenda that MHPC has advocated for years, such as welfare reform, health insurance reform, a lower tax burden and more competition in public education. Those initiatives have now become law under the LePage Administration.

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