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Archive for February 2013

Op/Ed: Concealed carry permit holders used as political pawns

By David Trahan

Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine

Some within the media have wrapped themselves in the flag of the Freedom of Access laws. They are rallying to oppose legislation proposed by the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (SAM) and sponsored by Rep. Corey Wilson (R-Augusta) that would make concealed firearms permit holders’ names and information private.

Critics of this legislation are ignoring recent history in New York.

Just after the Connecticut school shooting, The Journal News published the names, addresses and a detailed map of concealed permit holders in two New York counties. The action was obviously a provocative attempt by the Gannett-owned paper to label law-abiding concealed permit holders with a scarlet letter.

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Enough is Enough: Consolidation, development and redistricting

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

When I threw my hat into the mayoral race, I did so because Lewiston was unable to shake its reputation as a “welfare city” filled with “dumb Frenchmen.” These characterizations came from those in Southern Maine who repeatedly cautioned and scolded people for using hateful words.

I felt someone had to stand up for our community and start a dialogue. But the special interest advocacy groups, the media and an assortment of numerous other groups set out to destroy me—and for good reason.

I am a threat to their continued employment. No “societal victims,” no job. Many of those who pen Letters to the Editor and Op/Ed pieces written against me should have to disclose their employment, or lack thereof, in order that the reader can judge the veracity of the letter or story. In the media, they make up quotes attributed to me.

In one story that went viral in New England, not one reporter physically covered it. Taking me out of context sometimes serves to guarantee newspaper sales, along with ratings on the TV and radio news.

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Bates concerts feature avant-garde and Irish-style sounds

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The first weekend of March will be a rich one for local music lovers as Bates College presents concerts by an avant-garde duo and an up-and-coming Irish-style band. Both programs will take place in the concert hall at Olin Arts Center.

Combining flute with electronic and computer-based music, DuoInteraktiv will perform on Friday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m. Computer operator and music theorist Reiner Krämer and flutist Patricia Surman create and perform music that fuses the sounds of traditional acoustic instruments with computer-generated electronica. The duo received the 2011-12 Yamaha-College Music Society In-Residence Fellowship for their efforts to bring works for flute and computer to a larger audience. Admission is free, but tickets are required.

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$484 Million owed to hospitals by MaineCare

Lewiston hospitals are owed $29 million

By Bruce Poliquin

Around 2002, Maine state government started practicing some odd bookkeeping: it began paying Maine hospitals less than they were owed for services provided to our rapidly growing low-income Medicaid population.

The state simply chose not to pay, for example, the full contracted amount for the ambulance, tests, medication and nurse/doctor care for a Medicaid patient treated at an emergency room. In many cases, the hospitals were not fully paid for several years so Augusta could plug recurring holes in its annual budgets.

Today, Maine’s 39 hospitals are owed $484 million for services they have already provided back to 2009. This ongoing hospital debt is the direct result of our huge and expensive Medicaid program, called MaineCare, which was originally created as a health care safety net for our most vulnerable residents.

Here are the top five hospital bills owed by the state:

Eastern Maine Medical Center, Bangor: $72 million

Maine Medical Center, Portland: $68 million

Central Maine Medical Center, Lewiston: $51 million

MaineGeneral Medical Center, Augusta: $45 million

St. Mary’s Medical Center, Lewiston: $29 million

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Gov. Lepage concerned for safety of gun owners and non-gun owners

Gov. Paul LePage displays his concealed weapons permit

Gov. Paul LePage displays his concealed weapons permit

Governor Paul R. LePage released today the following statement regarding news that the Bangor Daily News is requesting the names and addresses of concealed weapons permit holders from law enforcement agencies across the state:

“If newspapers would like to know who has concealed weapons permits, then they should know the Governor has his. I have serious concerns that BDN’s request will incite fear among gun owners and non-gun owners alike regarding their safety. There is no reason why these records should be public and I encourage the Legislature to act quickly to make this personal information confidential.

As I have said, the rights of law-abiding citizens to own firearms will not be questioned while I am Governor. That is especially true for those who respect the law enough to go through the process of obtaining a permit to carry concealed.”

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Flamenco Vivo brings fiery Spanish dance to L-A

The fiery passion of traditional Spanish flamenco will be on display when the acclaimed dance company Flamenco Vivo performs on February 28.

The passion of traditional Spanish flamenco will be on display when the acclaimed dance company Flamenco Vivo performs on Feb. 28.

For the next installment of their MainStage performance series, L/A Arts will welcome one of the nation’s premier flamenco and Spanish dance companies to Lewiston-Auburn. On Thursday, February 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the Lewiston Middle School Auditorium, Flamenco Vivo-Carlota Santana will showcase the passion and drama of traditional Spanish dance in their inspiring program, “La Pasión Flamenca.”

Driven by the fiery “cante jondo” (deep song), this eclectic program of Spanish dance and live Flamenco music will feature lamenting solos, sizzling duets, and festive company dances. The company’s master practitioners of this dynamic and beloved art form convey a range of fierce emotions – from love to sorrow, happiness to anger – that are timeless, universal and transcend all cultural boundaries.

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Danielle McCusker of CMCC scores 1,000th point

In a recent game vs. the University of Maine at Machias, Danielle McCusker, a forward on Central Maine Community College’s women’s basketball team, became only the third woman in the school’s history to surpass the career 1,000 career point mark. A South Portland High graduate, McCusker is averaging 14.7 points per game this season while shooting 49.4% from the floor. She joins former USCAA All-Americans Ashley Swett and Lynn Girouard in accomplishing the feat.

In a recent game vs. the University of Maine at Machias, Danielle McCusker, a forward on Central Maine Community College’s women’s basketball team, became only the third woman in the school’s history to surpass the career 1,000 point mark. A South Portland High graduate, McCusker is averaging 14.7 points per game this season while shooting 49.4% from the floor. She joins former USCAA All-Americans Ashley Swett and Lynn Girouard in accomplishing the feat.

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Enough is Enough: Veterans have a duty to help fellow veterans

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

A patriot was murdered last week. I grieve for him. He wasn’t a household name, like many people in the entertainment business.

No, he was part of a brotherhood of warriors, a brotherhood that protects this country from foreign enemies. A brotherhood that insures American citizens continue to enjoy the rights set down by ourfounding fathers in the Constitution and paid for, since the founding of our Republic, with the willing blood of American patriots.

In death, former Navy SEAL Christopher Kyle has beenreferred to as a hero. He was not a hero. “Heroes” win football, baseball and hockey games. Let us not cheapen his reputation by referring to him as a hero. He was a patriot—a patriot that sacrificed time with his family and friends in order to protect his brothers, country and family. This sacrifice also extended to those faceless and cowardly Americans that nastily celebrate this patriot’s demise.

Kyle earned two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars during his four tours of duty in Iraq. His effectiveness was such that the Iraqi insurgents placed an $80,000 bounty on him. Kyle believed that “taking out bad guys, terrorists and insurgents who meant to harm America and destabilize regions, is a compassionate thing to do. It was my duty to shoot, and I don’t regret it.”

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Free Family Day to cap off Ice Fest

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Physical comedian Michael Trautman will perform on Ice Fest L/A’s Family Day on Sunday, February 24.

L/A Arts will wrap up its inaugural three-day extravaganza, Ice Fest L/A, with a free day of family fun on Sunday, February 24. Taking place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the day’s events will include marveling at the festival’s beautiful ice sculptures, taking in ice sculpture demonstrations, delighting in delicious treats provided by area eateries, and enjoying the physical comedy theatre of Michael Trautman.

Trautman started out in life as a fairly normal person. After growing up in Springfield, Illinois, he attended William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, where he studied Political Science with the intention of becoming a lawyer. But in 1976 he took his first mime class, and in 1977 he was invited to become a founding member of Mimeos, a Kansas City-based school and performing company. Since then, he has been having fun performing at venues around the world.

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