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Archive for April 2012

Pro cyclist Levi Leipheimer to return for Dempsey Challenge

Olympic bronze medalist, nine-time Tour de France competitor, and three-time Amgen Tour of California champion Levi Leipheimer of Santa Rosa, California has confirmed that he will return to appear in his third straight Dempsey Challenge.

The non-competitive run, walk and cycling event presented by Amgen and benefiting the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing at Central Maine Medical Center will take place Oct. 13 and 14 in Lewiston.

Leipheimer, 38, rides for Team Omega Pharma-Quick Step and has supported the Dempsey Challenge since his first visit in 2010. He is an active participant in the weekend events, joining actor and event namesake Patrick Dempsey in the sponsor dinner, private ride, press conference and Champions for Hope celebration. He also rides alongside Dempsey on the 50-mile route capped with a traditional Maine lobster dinner.

Leipheimer has four top-10 finishes in the Tour de France, including a career-best third place finish in 2007. He is the only three-time Amgen Tour of California winner, earning consecutive yellow jerseys in 2007, ’08 and ’09. He turned in a bronze medal performance for the United States in the 2008 Olympic road time trials in Beijing, China and collected his most recent victory in the 2012 Tour de San Luis in Argentina.

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Applicants sought for Bike-Ped Committee

Applicants are being sought for the newly established Lewiston-Auburn Bike-Ped Committee. The purpose of the committee is to promote bicycle-pedestrian education and to develop and monitor policy for non-motorized transportation and recreation in Lewiston-Auburn.

The Lewiston and Auburn City Councils both voted to create the committee, and interested individuals may apply at their respective City Clerk’s Office at 27 Pine Street in Lewiston and 60 Court Street in Auburn. Online committee applications can also be found at www.lewistonmaine.gov and www.auburnmaine.org.

The committee was proposed by Lewiston Councilor Craig Saddlemire and Auburn resident Jeremiah Bartlett. They noted that many L-A residents already run, walk and bike for recreation and commuting purposes. They noted that many local efforts to make L-A more walkable and bikeable, such as the pedestrian bridge, LA Riverwalk paths, Lewiston Riverside Trail, bike lanes, parking racks and the Long-Range Bike-Ped Plan (ATRC), are already underway.

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Enough is Enough: The greatest obstacle preventing welfare reform

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

What is the greatest obstacle preventing meaningful welfare reform in Maine? The Courts? Fraud? Groups with so many letters in their names that they dwarf the alphabet? The answer: none of the above.

No, it’s a word which when used in the Halls of the State House enjoys the reverence that would be given to prose coming from the Burning Bush. A word used to invalidate testimony from anyone who dares speak negatively against or question the current welfare system. The word is “anecdotal.”We’ll get back to that.

Two weeks ago I spent the better part of two weeks in the Halls of Confusion, better known as The State House. During this time, it became apparent why Maine is a welfare destination. It also provided the answer as to why Governor Paul LePage and the taxpayers of Maine are so frustrated by the system.

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Out & About with Rachel Morin: Open House celebrates Auburn library, Auburn history

The attractive local history room, recently redone, is well lit, has comfortable seating and blue-toned rugs complement the freshly painted cream-colored walls. Not shown are the several bookcases holding the historical material assembled in one location.

Text and photos

by Rachel Morin

The Auburn Public Library held an Open House on April 5 to celebrate Auburn’s history and to give the public an opportunity to see the splendid new look on the second floor.

The staff, led by Suzanne Sullivan, assistant director, has consolidated shelving, making aisles wider and placing popular books in Subject Nooks, making books on specific topics much easier to find.

The Nooks include the following categories, to mention only a few: Health and Wellness, Business and Work, College and Career, Home and Garden, Travel and Language, Cooking, Photography, Arts and Artists. Attractive seating invites patrons to linger and browse through the books.

The new look is most obvious in the local history room. The room has an attractive, warm and inviting ambiance with new rugs in blue tones complementing the freshly painted cream-colored walls. Windows on three outside walls let in lots of natural light. Bookcases have been rearranged with all historical material brought to this location.

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Riverfront Island needs critical mass of new housing

The Lewiston Riverfront Island Master Plan Committee and consultants Goody Clancy released a draft of the master plan last week, outlining an ambitious agenda to make Lewiston-Auburn Maine’s premier urban riverfront destination.

The Riverfront Island master plan would be accomplished through four goals:

1. Tap the power of the river—through access to the water’s edge, a more active riverfront and stronger connections to downtown neighborhoods.

2. Attract a vital mix of new uses—including new housing, cultural destinations, workplaces, a new Canal Park, and the parking needed to support these new destinations—through reuse of older buildings and construction of new ones.

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LAFF to honor director of Maine Film Office

Lea Girardin, a pillar in the Maine film community for over 30 years, will be recognized with the Executive Producer’s Award on Saturday at the Gala Awards Dinner as part of this year’s Lewiston Auburn Film Festival.

“The Executive Producer’s Award is given to someone we feel has forwarded the cause of independent film in Maine or best exemplifies the spirit of independent film,” said LAFF Chair Sandra Marquis. “Lea Girardin is at the top of the list in both of those categories.”

Girardin’s first major contribution came in 1978 when she, along with a small group of friends that had formed a film society, opened the Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville, after seeing a need for foreign and independent film wasn’t being met in that part of the state.

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Enough is Enough: Welfare reform could create cost shift to L-A

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

During my run for Mayor of Lewiston, I was correctly cast as a clone of Governor Paul LePage. We both have tempers. We speak often in the vernacular of the street (talk like common people).

We do what we feel is the right thing. We do not worry about re-election. We both shrug off criticism.  However, we now find ourselves on opposite sides over the current effort to reform welfare.

Who is right? Well, from where we both sit, he as Governor and I as Mayor of Lewiston, we are both right. The Governor is taking on an entrenched, runaway welfare system in which taxpayers’ money is hemorrhaging and being sopped up by undeserving individuals and their enabling advocates—this to the detriment of the truly deserving.

Being a good steward, he and his staff introduced legislation to address the problem.

It is this legislation that presents a major, as-yet-undetermined financial problem to Lewiston, Auburn and several other service centers throughout Maine. This legislation would increase the local taxes in service communities while cutting state taxes.

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AMS’s Odyssey of the Mind team takes third place

Auburn Middle School’s four-person Odyssey of the Mind team took third place in Division III at the OM State Competition in Wells on Saturday, March 24.

The team, made up of eighth-graders Ezra Thomas, Harley Lombard, Matt Grenier and Cam Hutchins, under the direction of their coach, Angela Campbell, offered a successful solution to their chosen problem, “Ooh-Motional Vehicle.”

The team’s problem required them to design, build and drive a vehicle that would travel a course where it would encounter three different situations. The team’s vehicle was required to display a different human emotion for each situation, plus one that would cause it to travel in reverse. The judge’s emphases were on the technical risk-taking and creativity of the vehicle’s engineering for travel and change of emotional appearance.

“We started with a skateboard and ended up with a police car on plywood, which was artistic!” said Hutchins, who portrayed the alien driving the vehicle.

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APD Leadercast to feature Tim Tebow, Soledad O’Brien

The Auburn Police Department looked at four years of crime data and found that 23% of all crimes committed by youth offenders in Auburn took place within an area of less than half a square mile.

They found that 25% of all police calls for service and 28% of all youth victims were victimized in this same area.

In an effort to transform these statistics and provide positive and horizon-broadening experiences for at-risk youth, the APD established the Auburn Police Activities League.

Auburn PAL is in the process of creating a PAL Center in the Chestnut Street neighborhood, at the heart of the half-square-mile area identified by crime data.

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Trail trainers hit Spruce Mountain Conservation Area

The Maine Conservation Corps and trail-building consulting firm Off the Beaten Path, led by Jed Talbot of Turner, are beginning their second week of training and service work at the Spruce Mountain Conservation Area of the Androscoggin Land Trust.

Located in Jay, along the Androscoggin River opposite the Otis Mill complex, the area includes 126 acres of land managed by ALT that is also adjacent to the Spruce Mountain Ski Area owned by the communities of Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls.

“This project, a combination of training and service work, has provided an excellent opportunity for our Trail Trainers,” says Bryan Kalleberg, program coordinator for the Maine Conservation Corps.

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