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Archive for January 2013

Comedy night returns to Franco Center

Comedian Tom Hayes

On Friday, January 25, a trio of New England comedians will take the stage for the second of three comedy nights presented this season by the Franco-American Heritage Center in Lewiston. Performing at the event will be Tom Hayes of Boston, Jay Grove of Concord, New Hampshire and Portland’s own Tammy Pooler. Doors for the 8 p.m. program will open at 7:00. A cash bar will be available.

Hayes, who remains physically active despite losing a leg to cancer at age 12, has the appearance of a man more likely to help someone prepare their tax returns than to make them laugh. When he’s not performing at comedy clubs throughout the northeast, he works as a motivational speaker. His motto in life is: “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.”

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Public Theatre presents Sherlock Holmes spoof

Start the New Year by howling with laughter at The Public Theatre’s Maine-premiere production of the fetching farce, “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” playing January 25 through February 3. This side-splitting spoof turns the classic Sherlock Holmes tale of an ancient family curse and a mysterious hound from hell inside out, stuffing it with non-stop laughter that’s sure to uncover your funnybone. See www.thepublictheatre.org.

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Governor LePage to pay hospitals, issue $205 million in bonds

Because the State of Maine is addressing its hospital debt, Governor Paul R. LePage said he will support $205 million in bonds, including issuing all those authorized by Maine voters.

Governor LePage said the state’s hospitals will be paid the $484 million they are owed. By issuing $205 million in bonds, that is a total direct investment of nearly $700 million into Maine’s economy in 2013.

The state owes Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston $50.2 million, and it owes $28.8 million to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Lewiston.

The Governor announced Tuesday he has submitted emergency legislation to the Revisor’s Office that will authorize the state to immediately issue a revenue bond on its future liquor sales when enacted. The state will retain operational control over liquor sales starting in the summer of 2014 when the current 10-year private contract expires.

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Governor’s budget focuses on education, skills gap, criminal justice

While much focus has been placed on Governor LePage’s proposal to suspend revenue sharing payments to municipalities in order to balance the state’s budget, several important aspects of the proposal have gotten less attention.

Gov. LePage’s proposal prioritizes education, maintaining funding for Maine schools after they received a $63 million boost in the last biennial budget. The Baldacci Administration cut education funding by $100 million in its final three years.

The budget proposal also addresses the workforce skills gap by restructuring the apprenticeship program and increasing funding by over $1 million for Jobs for Maine’s Graduates. Furthermore, schools will receive an additional $15 million in incentives to improve efficiency and accountability.

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Enough is Enough: The benefits of a deal with Casella: jobs, tax revenue, control

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

This is part two of a response to an article by Hilary Lister, “Out-of-state waste to be allowed at proposed Casella processing facility,” which ran on Page 1 in the January 3 issue of Twin City TIMES.

Lister paraphrased Dan Mynahan, questioning whether the City of Lewiston was getting a good deal by leasing property to Casella in a high-value area near the Turnpike. (She never explained what the “deal” is.)

The property in question is immediately adjacent to our landfill and drop-off area. It is in an industrial setting surrounding by trucking operations and gravel pits. It includes only three acres of land. The building is a concrete industrial structure with limited potential for reuse; probably no use other than materials handling would be feasible. It is currently a non-productive asset. It’s not the site for the next Super Walmart. We’re waiting for your offer!

Lister spent considerable time discussing Casella’s financial status—something that has been raised before and an issue that the city is evaluating. Her understated concern appears to be that, by entering into an agreement, the city will eventually be left holding the bag if Casella goes under. What she doesn’t ask is, what are the actual risks to the city should this occur?

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LETTER: Will Democrats try to stop Maine’s death spiral?

To the Editor:

Maine’s economy is in a death spiral. That’s what Forbes Magazine claims. The same publication measures Maine’s business climate as the worst in the country. One has to wonder if one has something to do with the other.

If Maine business, 97-plus percent of which are small businesses, cannot generate enough new and better jobs and sufficient tax payments to meet our obligations, which is apparently the case, then the state really is in a death spiral.

The above begs the question. If Maine’s economy is in a death spiral, what are we going to do about it?

According to the Maine Economic Research Institute, MERI, a group made up of Republicans, Democrats and Independents, an organization that measures the voting record of legislators on legislation important to business, there are reasons we have the worst business climate.

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“White Mass” set for Feb. 10 at Basilica

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland will present its annual “White Mass” for health care professionals and caregivers on Sunday, February 10 at 10 a.m. at the Basilica of SS. Peter & Paul on 27 Bartlett Street in Lewiston.

The White Mass celebrates health care professionals, including doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians, lab technicians, therapists and others from all religious denominations, by offering a blessing for their contributions to the healing mission of Jesus and to ask God’s blessing upon their work.

“Those of us who entered into the medical profession do so because we desire to heal,” said Dr. Michael Czerkes, an OB/GYN and Naprotechnology Specialist at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. “We want to help those around us and we do that through medicine.”

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Classical piano meets Radiohead at FAHC

Classical pianist Christopher O’Riley will tickle the ivories of the Franco Center’s Steinway grand piano when he performs works from his latest musical release, “Out of My Hands,” on Friday, January 26 at 7:30 p.m.

Perhaps best known as the host of NPR’s weekly radio program “From the Top,” O’Riley is an acclaimed classical pianist whose memorable interpretations of songs from the alt-rock genre have made him a cherished explorer of the boundaries between musical tastes, genres and audiences. Presented by L/A Arts, his Lewiston appearance will feature interpretations of songs by bands such as R.E.M., Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Tori Amos, the Smiths, Tears for Fears, Radiohead, Elliott Smith, Portishead, and the Cocteau Twins.

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“Masked Marvels and Wondertales”

The L/A Arts Imagination Series of family-oriented performances will continue on Friday, January 11 at 7 p.m. with Michael Cooper’s “Masked Marvels and Wondertales,” which makes use of exquisite masks, skilled illusion and captivating stories told in prose, poetry and mime The performance will take place at the Franco American Heritage Center in Lewiston.

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Chamber to honor businesses large and small at 125th Annual Meeting

Chamber members and guests will gather at the Ramada Conference Center on Thursday, January 24 for the 125th Annual Meeting and Awards program —The Chamber’s largest event of the year.

The Annual Meeting will feature The Chamber Awards program, emceed by Chamber Board Chair Mary LaFontaine of the Lewiston Career Center. Those being recognized include: The Chamber’s new members in 2012; past and present Chamber leaders; and the distinguished community members who will receive The Chamber’s highest awards.

YPLAA to present awards at Chamber Annual Meeting

New this year, The Young Professionals of the Lewiston Auburn area will present their annual awards at The Chamber annual meeting. The first will be presented to Travis Dow, who is most notably recognized as the head of sales for Uncle Andy’s Digest. In the past two years Travis has launched two new businesses “The Maine Home Show” and “MenusinLA.com.” Both of these ventures were enormous undertakings that were launched for the principal purpose of helping promote local small businesses.

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