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Archive for August 2012

Enough is Enough: Who really doesn’t pay their fair share?

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

I don’t know about you, but I am getting sick of listening to pandering politicians, utterly devoid of ideas and solutions, blaming the rich and George W. Bush for all the ills in the world. Their continued mantra—“The rich don’t pay their fair share”—has gone from annoying to nauseating.

They publically define the rich as those who greedily make money by paying their employees slave wages, providing few benefits and outsourcing jobs overseas, thus employing foreign labor and eliminating another American job.

In reality, if you’re employed in a full-time job and pay taxes, you’re included in the “You don’t pay your fair share” category.

One of my strengths as mayor is that I am fortunate enough to be retired. The limited responsibilities of the Mayor’s Office—ribbon cutting, running a City Council meeting and casting the deciding vote should the council be deadlocked—allows me the freedom to roam the city and speak with the young, middle-aged and senior citizens; the working, the non-working and the retired; established Lewiston residents, new American citizens and refugees; as well as those interested only in what support they can extract from our city coffers. I also speak with business people and our city employees.

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LETTER: Tough questions on “fair share” tax structures

To the Editor:

Susan Collins recently gave hope of independence and leadership when she parted company with her Republican colleagues in the United States Senate to support a much fairer approach to balancing the federal budget.

Senator Collins voted against a bill that would have extended huge tax cuts for those making over a quarter million dollars a year—cuts that were originally passed before the Great Recession hit and when the federal government was running budget surpluses. Like most Americans, Senator Collins recognizes we can no longer afford these expensive giveaways to those who need them least.

Unfortunately, such hope lead to disappointment when Senator Collins failed to support a reasonable, Democratic-sponsored “Middle Class Tax Cut” bill.

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LETTER: Teachers have to tolerate belligerent, rude students

To The Editor:

When people are ignorant about a topic or subject matter, the very last thing they should do is embarrass themselves by writing about it in any sort of public newspaper editorial.

I am speaking specifically about the Letter to the Editor in the August 2 issue of Twin City TIMES, written by Dick Sabine of Lewiston, titled “Teachers should emulate the work ethic of craftsmen”.

First, I would highly suggest that Mr. Sabine read Lewiston’s Republican Mayor Robert Macdonald’s “Enough is Enough” column in the same issue of Twin City TIMES, which is far more intelligently written with the knowledge and wisdom best needed to understand the reasons for this state’s and this country’s educational woes. (And I’m a proud Democrat!)

The only part of Macdonald’s column that I disagree with is his last sentence about “Don’t Forget: Remember in November”. You see, this is not—nor should it ever be—a political problem to solve. Why? Because politicians cannot legislate parents and how they raise their children.

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LETTER: A better quality of education

To the Editor:

While Lewiston Mayor Bob Macdonald was making a very valid point regarding Boston Mayor Tom Menino’s bias towards a franchise based on the beliefs of the company’s president, he tipped his hand and as usual showed that he is equally unbalanced in the opposite direction. (“Enough is Enough: Freedom Trail belongs to everyone, not just liberals,” TCT, July 26, 2012)

In answer to his question: yes, I can say “busing”. I grew up in Belmont, Mass, in the 1970s, and I’m a better person for going to a school which participated in the METCO program.

I’m still friends (via Facebook) with a man who has had tremendous success as an entrepreneur and who will tell you that this program afforded him a far better quality of education than the low-income urban environment in which he lived.

Why is Mayor Macdonald so concerned about Boston anyway?

Joan Clifford

Lewiston

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SACC to host Celebrity Waiter Dinner

Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Services, known in Androscoggin County as SACC, will be hosting its 12th annual Celebrity Waiter Dinner on Saturday, August 25. The event will begin at 6 p.m. and will be held at Martindale County Club in Auburn.

This year’s waiters include Barry Schmeiks and Liz Allen from the Auburn Police Department; Deputy Chief Jim Minkowsky from the Lewiston Police Department; and Jonathan LaBonté, mayor of Auburn.

Also serving as waiters this year are Maureen Aube from the Androscoggin Chamber of Commerce, Rep. Michael Carey, Jeremy Rush from Gleason Radio, Mitchell Clyde Thomas from Community Little Theater, Mike Blais from Blais Florist and The Gym, Adrianne Kramer from Girl Power Fitness, Rita Myrick from Maine Cycle/Skiers Edge and Joshua Shea and Molly McGill from LA Magazine.

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Twin Cities to host National Night Out

National Night Out is a unique event celebrated in communities across the country each year to heighten crime and drug-prevention awareness, generate support for local anti-crime programs and celebrate neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships.

This year’s National Night Out is scheduled for Tuesday, August 7, and preparations are underway on both sides of the river. All events and activities are free and open to the public.

Lewiston will host its activities from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Marcotte Park. Lewiston’s multi-agency approach to the event will include the Lewiston Police Department, Lewiston Fire Department, Lewiston Recreation Department, Lewiston Public Works Department, Safe Voices, Androscoggin County Head Start, Sexual Assault Crisis Center, Visible Community, Maine People’s Alliance, Lewiston-Auburn School-Based Health Centers, 911 Call Center, United Ambulance, Healthy Androscoggin, Androscoggin Emergency Management Agency, United Somali Women of Maine and the YWCA.

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Pro cyclist Ted King returning to Dempsey Challenge

Professional cyclist Ted King of Brentwood, N.H. will participate in the fourth annual Dempsey Challenge presented by Amgen, a non-competitive run, walk and cycling event benefiting The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing. The event will take place October 13 and 14 in Lewiston.

King took part in the inaugural 2009 event as part of a stellar pro lineup that included George Hincapie, David Zabriskie and Stephen Roche. This year, along with actor and event namesake Patrick Dempsey, King will ride alongside fellow pros Levi Leipheimer and Tom Danielson; paralympian Matt Updike; and former pros Davis and Connie Phinney.

The 29-year-old King rides for UCI ProTeam Liquigas-Cannondale, where he’s been an integral part of nearly two dozen wins this season. He placed third in the 2011 USA Pro National Championships and finished second overall in the 2008 U.S. national rankings. In keeping with his New England roots, King won the 2009 Lake Auburn Road Race, an 81-mile trek presented by Maine Cycling Club.

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Enough is Enough: Who’s responsible for student behavior: parent or teacher?

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

WHAP! THUMP! SMACK!  Today those are the sounds of violence. Yet 50 years ago they were the sounds of learning, the sounds of accountability, the sounds of teaching, the sounds heard in classrooms.

With the exception of one’s pride, no collateral damage occurred. You were there to learn, and learn you did. There was no time for fooling around: lessons had to be taught and learned.

To insure discipline, respect and an academic classroom environment, creative motivations were developed. Disruption in the classroom brought on punishments ranging from detention after school to writing a sentence many times on the blackboard.

From the application of the rattan (a switch) several times to the back of one’s hand, to pushups and—my personal favorite—putting on boxing gloves and going a round with a teacher who could have been a contender.

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LETTER: You can choose to change L-A and Augusta

To the Editor:

Recently I have been reading a large number of articles that give me great cause for concern over the Lewiston-Auburn area, the State of Maine and our nation as a whole. It would be impossible to address every one of them here, and I rather doubt that TCT would allow me that much space.

I did want to specifically address the problems voiced by Lewiston Mayor Robert E. MacDonald in his column titled “Political leaders are the culprits in the welfare mess,”which appeared in the July 12 edition of TCT.

The mayor outlined the influx of cases for general assistance. All descriptions of the masses descending on City Hall aside, the mayor outlines a severe problem, which the City of Lewiston—as well as the State of Maine—is not adequately prepared to address. The number of people now basically enslaved to Maine’s welfare system is monumentally high, and it just continues to grow with no end in sight.

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LETTER: Teachers should emulate the work ethic of craftsmen

To the Editor:

We spend millions on education, but our local schools continue to fail. Their students, our children, face a forlorn future, yet no one is alarmed. This has endured for too long.

Perhaps our situation is similar to the Russian farmer, who during an especially cold winter had to bring his cow inside his home. Although initially unpleasant, after a while, the family became used to it.

Taxpayers and especially the parents of school-age children should be outraged, but are not. Teachers, although embarrassed, should be determined to succeed, but are apparently neither embarrassed nor determined.

Teachers appear to have accepted their failure and have become willing to endure what might be slight criticism, while they continue to enjoy secure employment and the promise of a profitable early retirement.

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