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Archive for July 2012

Art Walk on Friday features Downeast Brass, artist Stephanie Berry

Lewiston-Auburn’s third Art Walk of 2012 will take place Friday, July 27 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at venues on and around Lisbon Street in Lewiston. This month’s featured artist will be Stephanie Berry, and the entertainment will be provided by the Downeast Brass.

The opening reception for Museum L/A’s latest exhibit, “The Power of Music,” will take place at the Museum, just a block away at 35 Canal Street, from 4 to 7 p.m. All events are free.

Downeast Brass will perform from 6 to 8 p.m. at Dufresne Plaza, adjacent to 84 Lisbon Street. Comprised of five accomplished musicians from Southern and Central Maine, the group’s wide range of musical styles makes them a crowd pleasing choice for many occasions. They have performed in a variety of notable New England settings, from Governor Baldacci’s inauguration ceremony, to the Moxie Festival Parade, to the historic Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire.

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Bates rower seeks another gold medal in London

Bates College athletics will soon be represented at a fourth consecutive Olympic Games: former Bobcat Andrew Byrnes, Class of 2005, and his teammates on Canada’s men’s eight will row for a second straight gold medal at the 2012 Games in London.

The 2012 Olympic regatta will be held at Dorney Lake, near Windsor, England. Rowing competition begins July 28, with men’s eights medals to be awarded August 1.

At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the Toronto native and resident was the most junior member of Canada’s first medal-winning eight since 1992, and made Canada the first country to win the World Cup Championships before claiming Olympic gold in 36 years. This time around, Byrnes is one of only three holdovers from the 2008 gold-medal eight, including coxswain Brian Price.

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Enough is Enough: Freedom Trail belongs to everyone, not just liberals

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Enough is enough. It is time for those of us who are right of the political center to rise up and counter the socialist philosophies of those on the left. Not on the streets. Not in the back alleys. But at the ballot box in November.

It is time we set a corrective course that brings our government back to our founding principles. We are engaged in a philosophical fight for the soul of our country. There is no doubt that both sides love this country, but disagree on the direction to proceed.

Last week I discussed The Politically Correct Police a.k.a. the liberal wing of the Maine Democratic Party. Their efforts to exclude words that they classify as hateful from our vocabulary have now been dwarfed by a Democratic dictator currently holding the office of Mayor of Boston, Thomas M. Menino.

Dan Cathy is the president of Chick-Fil-A, a national restaurant chain of 1,600 eateries throughout the United States. But Cady is also an outspoken, unabashed Christian activist. His company, Chick-Fil-A, is run on biblical-based principles, among them closing on Sundays. All are welcome in his restaurants regardless of race, creed, beliefs, gender or sexual orientation. After all, a customer is a customer.

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Op/Ed: Elected representatives should provide a layer of protection for the taxpayer

To the Editor:

In response to Orion Breen’s letter in the July 19 issue of TCT, “Taxes are a necessary good,” I disagree with the author’s characterization of those who oppose excessive taxation as irrational and irresponsible promoters of fear and hatred of government.

This is the hyperbolic rhetoric often employed by big-government advocates who wish to pick the pockets of tax payers indiscriminately without accountability—and accountability is the key word here. It is not an accurate characterization.

All taxation should be accompanied by accountability, and it for a long time it was not. Some legislators—and Mr. Breen—have been much too quick to believe that more taxes were always the answer and that tax cuts always hurt people. That is changing.

When it comes to raising taxes—or maintaining taxes—the following four questions are now being asked: Are they necessary? Are they cost effective? Are they with the consent of the public? Is the government efficiently using what it already has? When the answer is found to be no, our more responsible elected officials are opposing them.

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LETTER: Letter about taxes is hypocritical

To the Editor:

In response to the letter in the July 19 issue of TCT, titled “Taxes are a necessary good,” submitted by Orion Breen, I have one simple question for the letter writer, so bear with me.

If I decide to bring neighbors to the grocery store and they pay me, I have created income and must claim it as such when I file my income taxes. But if I join Hour Exchange Portland, of which Breen is a contributing member, I could provide the same services and never pay any income taxes. And if I needed assistance of another kind, it’s possible someone else would provide those and not pay income tax.

In both cases, we might also avoid sales taxes if the situation would normally allow for those to be collected under current law. Breen speaks to the good of collecting taxes while at the same time supporting and utilizing an organization that by its very nature has found a loophole around paying sales and income tax on services provided to others.

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LePage: more money does not improve student achievement

Governor Paul LePage said he is extremely concerned by 20 years of education efforts that have resulted in almost no gains in student achievement. He called on his education commissioner, school administrators and teacher unions to step up efforts at implementing innovative practices focused on student learning.

“Clearly, the status quo in education is not working,” he said.

His comments were in response to a report, “Achievement Growth: International and U.S. State Trends in Student Performance,” released last Monday by Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance.

The study reveals what Governor LePage and Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen have said since assuming office less than two years ago: test scores in Maine are stagnant, while other states are making progress.

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“Taxmaggedon” will increase Maine taxes by $1.85 billion

The Heritage Foundation, a national conservative think tank, says that what it calls “Taxmaggedon” will cost Mainers filing a tax return an additional $2,662 each.

Even worse, according to the foundation, Maine as whole will experience a total of $1.85 billion in increased taxes in 2013.

“Taxmaggedon” is what The Heritage Foundation has dubbed a slew of major tax increases that are set to take effect next year. The foundation pulled the tax-increase data it used for its study from the IRS and estimates from the Office of Management and Budget and Joint Committee on Taxation.

The data shows that the United States will see a total tax increase of $494 billion in 2013 alone—the highest ever in U.S. history for one year.

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L-A seeks “Business-Friendly” designation

The applications are in, and the work is underway to determine the next round of Maine cities and towns earning business-friendly status.

A total of seven cities and towns from across Maine—including Lewiston and Auburn—are being considered for recognition in round two of the Certified Business-Friendly Community Program.

“The goal of the program is to encourage a business-friendly climate in municipalities throughout the state and to better position Maine for economic prosperity,” said Governor LePage.

The administration’s efforts to improve the state’s business climate seem to be paying dividends: from 2011 to 2012, Maine moved up in CNBC’s ranking of states according to best overall business climate, from 40th to 35th place.

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Enough is Enough: Political Correctness Police pummel LePage again

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Shakespeare expressed it best: “Much Ado About Nothing.” Nothing, that is, unless you’re in the print or TV news business. Nothing, that is, unless you’re a “can’t-say-no liberal democratic legislator.”

Nothing, that is, unless you’re a gutless Republican afraid to speak up in support of the man on whose coattails swept you into office.

The molehill made into a week-long mountain was Governor Paul LePage’s use of the word “Gestapo” to describe the new added duties of Internal Revenue agents under the Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare.” The IRS is now charged with making sure that everyone will have health insurance.

The Governor’s alleged insensitivity provided Maine voters with an Academy Award-winning performance of purported indignation by Democratic Senator Justin Alfond. Not to be outdone, Representative Emily Cain also chimed in.

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Macdonald calls for investigation into ASPIRE

Lewiston Mayor Bob Macdonald wrote a letter on July 10 to Governor Paul LePage, asking why individuals who have reached their five-year limit of receiving TANF benefits do not have adequate skills to find jobs.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) was created by the 1996 federal welfare reform bill during the Clinton Administration. Federally funded TANF benefits were supposed to be limited to five years and were designed to “promote work, responsibility and self-sufficiency.” Maine Democrats chose to ignore the federal limit and allow individuals to receive state-funded TANF benefits for however long they wanted it.

The purpose of TANF is to provide “short-term assistance with basic needs for families with children whose lives have been disrupted by divorce, illness, unemployment or similar challenges.” TANF provides cash assistance, funding for childcare, “transportation benefits,” “employment support” and other benefits.

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