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Archive for April 2012

Draft of Riverfront Island Master Plan released

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

Below is an excerpt from the draft, which calls for tapping the power of the river as one of four goals toward revitalizing the historic waterfront. TCT will present other parts of the plan in upcoming editions. See the entire plan at http://www.lewistonmaine.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?aid=193.

Plan Overview. Successful urban centers across the country are shaping their futures guided by a common formula for success: they preserve and reuse and highlight their unique and authentic characteristics, such as historic architecture, waterways, streets and public spaces.

They include a vital and diverse mix of uses, including workplaces, restaurants, entertainment venues, homes and educational, institutional, cultural and recreational uses. They are walkable places with attractive public spaces and amenities.

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Great Falls Balloon Festival offers individual sponsorships

This year, the communities of Lewiston and Auburn will celebrate the 20th Annual Great Falls Balloon Festival. For the first time in the history of the festival, individual donors can become sponsors as a “Fan of the Festival.”

As a “thank you” for their support, Fan of the Festival sponsors will receive exclusive merchandise. This merchandise is only available to sponsors and will not be sold at the festival.

For a donation of $20, sponsors will receive a T-shirt with the Fan of the Festival logo on the front and the theme logo from each of the 20 annual festivals on the back.

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LePage to speak at Tax Day Rally in Lewiston

April 15—the deadline for our federal income tax returns—has become an occasion to remind all taxpayers that Maine carries one of the heaviest tax burdens in the country.

“Presently, Maine is number six in terms of taxes paid. At the same time, Maine ranks near the bottom at 48th in personal income,” said Jack Wibby of Maine Taxpayers United. “This is the worst of both worlds and is a result of many decades of overspending by politicians in Augusta.

The present administration, headed by Governor Paul LePage, is hard at work to correct this situation, Wibby said.

“Maine Taxpayers United wishes to remind all who work for a living that something can be done to lighten our burden and thus stimulate the Maine economy, creating jobs and encouraging our youth to stay in Maine—instead of fleeing to states where the opportunities are better,” he said.

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Enough is Enough: Ability to achieve success is limited only by your ambition

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Wilhelm Heinrich Florus Graf von Schwerin. A name little known to most scholars of the American Revolution.

His importance comes from 10 letters he wrote his uncle between August 1, 1780 and December 20, 1781.

Von Schwerin, a German aristocrat and professional military man, served as a German sous-Lieutenant in the French Army under Comte De Rochambeau. He is important to history because his letters provide an eyewitness account of the taking of Redoubts Nine and Ten during the Battle of Yorktown, leading to the surrender of Lieutenant General Charles Lord Cornwallis and his British Army.

It is a great lesson for those who are military buffs, but has little relevance to this column.

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Lewiston to provide “Clean-up Assistance Week”

Lewiston’s Clean-up Assistance Week will occur from April 21 to 28 at the city’s Solid Waste Facility at 424 River Road. During this week only, the city will waive tip fees and use of the Punch Pass.

In addition to its regular hours of operation (7:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., Monday through Friday), the Solid Waste Facility will be open on two Saturdays, April 21 and 28, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The facility will not be open on Sundays.

This assistance is for Lewiston residents only; proof of residency (driver’s license, tax receipt and/or utility bill) will be required. Failure to provide proof of residency may require the customer to pay for disposal of their waste material.

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Court rules that “rain tax” is a fee, not a tax

The City of Lewiston received a favorable decision March 27 from the Maine Supreme Judicial Court—Maine’s highest court—concluding that the city’s stormwater utility fee is not an illegal tax, as argued by Robert R. Gladu regarding his property at 475 Pleasant St.

The Supreme Judicial Court decision also upheld a May 18, 2011 Maine Superior Court ruling on the same issue.

In 2011, the City of Lewiston had taken Gladu to Maine Superior Court seeking payment of overdue stormwater utility fees, which are often referred to as a “rain tax.”The court issued a decision in favor of the city.

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