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Author Archives: TCT Staff

CLT’s “Shakespeare in Hollywood” Opens This Weekend

The entire cast of Community Little Theater’s “Shakespeare in Hollywood.”

The entire cast of Community Little Theater’s “Shakespeare in Hollywood.”

The hilarious comedy “Shakespeare in Hollywood” opens this weekend at the L-A Community Little Theater. Written by Ken Ludwig (“Lend Me a Tenor,” Moon Over Buffalo”) and directed by Mitchell Clyde Thomas, the play is a fanciful and farcical romp set in 1930s Hollywood.

Winner of The Helen Hayes Award for Best New Play of the Year in 2004, this fast-paced comedy is right out of the screwball films of the 1930s. A “play within a play” that melds fact with fiction, it follows the real-life quest to bring Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream to the silver screen in 1934. In the midst of all of the business of making this talking picture, Oberon, King of the Fairies, and his sidekick Puck magically arrive, having taken a wrong turn on their way home from the wood near Athens. And then the fun begins!

Performances will be held on February 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 at 7:30 p.m. and February 14 and 21 at 2:00 p.m. All performances will be held at the Great Falls Performing Arts Center on 30 Academy Street in Auburn. Tickets may be ordered online at www.laclt.com or by calling 783-0958.

DHHS Uncovers over $1.2 Million in Welfare Theft 

Unauthorized use of EBT cards, falsifying documents, lying about income, hidden trust funds and the act of “water dumping,” are just a few examples of the welfare fraud that DHHS has caught people committing in recent months.
In 2015, 130,413 EBT cards were issued and $311,664,909.00 was spent through EBT transactions this includes cash withdrawals. Prior to this administration, the state was not actively utilizing available EBT transaction data to find potential inappropriate usage or potential eligibility issues of clients. Now, DHHS is using state-of-the-art business analytics software to quickly find inappropriate usage including clients that may have moved out of state, potential drug trafficking activity and collusion with vendors to commit fraud.

Seventeen investigators spread out over 11 offices work tirelessly taking tips, investigating leads and tracking down millions of dollars in misused benefits.

On January 8th, the most recent case of welfare fraud ended with a conviction. Details can be viewed at http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/fraud-press-release.htm

Efficient and effective government requires accountability and transparency

Governor Paul R. LePage

Governor Paul R. LePage

I intend to let Mainers know what is going on in Augusta. They deserve to know how their elected officials are voting on important issues. Unfortunately, once these politicians get to Augusta, they are all too eager to hide their business from the Maine people.

They soon forget why they were elected and what they promised to do for their constituents. I was elected by hundreds of thousands of people from all corners of Maine. As your Governor, I don’t make decisions based on one person, one lobbyist, one community or one county, but rather what’s in the best interest of all 1.3 million Mainers.

I am all for accountability and transparency in government, and I have made that clear throughout my tenure as Governor. But the Legislature is not transparent.

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We will continue to root out corruption in Augusta

Governor Paul R. LePage

Governor Paul R. LePage

As the second session of the 127th Legislature opens, you can be sure it will be more political than last session. That’s because 2016 is an election year.

Politicians know how to provide lip service, and that’s exactly what they will be doing for the next few months as they use the session for their campaign soapbox.

I did not come to Augusta to provide lip service. I came to work for the Maine people. I also came to Augusta to root out crooked politicians and government corruption. I’ve upset their apple cart, and they don’t like it. They could not defeat me at the ballot box, so they are trying to destroy me any way they can. But, as the saying goes, when you point a finger at me, three fingers are pointing back at you. These politicians are the same people who are guilty of deceiving the Maine people.

They wasted six months of the taxpayers’ time and money on a political witch hunt, only to find no wrongdoing. They convened a kangaroo court, but shut it down as soon as the truth started to come out. They blundered on the budget. In June 2015, they orchestrated a secretive, back-room deal on the budget, which included wasteful spending of millions of taxpayer dollars.  They rejected real tax reform. We put up a bill to amend the Maine Constitution to eliminate the income tax. These politicians rejected the bill, denying Mainers a chance to vote on how much tax the government should take out of their paychecks.

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Media, Legislature vilify anyone who threatens status quo

By Robert E. Macdonald, Mayor of Lewiston

Robert E. Macdonald, Mayor of Lewiston

If it were not for newspapers, the history of America might have been quite different than what children currently study in school.

Back before radio, television and computers, the printed word was sought and relished by those who wanted to keep abreast of what was happening in the world, the country and their own backyards.

Newspapers printed the current happenings. They also printed uncensored, dueling letters in which both sides of an issue were presented. This back-and-forth free flow of ideas and opinions allowed readers to make educated decisions on the issues of the day.

In the 1770s it was an educated newspaper reading public that steeled the spines of our Founding Fathers when they had second thoughts about declaring independence from Great Britain.

But as time went by, newspapers evolved. They saturated news with sensationalism and untruths designed to keep the readers’ interest, raise their emotions and, most importantly, sell papers.

Times change. Today people get their news from television, radio, the Internet and the old standbys, beauty salons, barber shops and coffee shops. Exercising your brain via the written word seems to be going the way of the dinosaur.

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Good government requires active input from citizens

By Jonathan P. LaBonté, Mayor of Auburn

Jonathan P. LaBonté, Mayor of Auburn

Many of you may remember the cartoon “School House Rock” and the song “How a Bill Becomes a Law.” Without commentary on the dysfunction of Washington and whether that is still the process today, the topic of public idea to implementation is worth revisiting.

As the song goes, some local residents had an idea and they brought it to their elected representative. Their representative turned that idea into a bill, which was sent to a committee to be reviewed, researched, debated and voted up or down back to the full elected body, in that case, Congress.

For the public, there’s a clear link between how an idea gets shared and ultimately gets to a yes or no from all of the elected officials. An idea becomes a bill. A bill goes to a committee made up of a small number of elected officials. The committee votes it back to the full body. And all the while the process is clear and the public knows how to provide its input to their officials.

In my four years so far as mayor, one of the most concerning aspects of trying to work with an elected city council of seven is that there is no process for an elected official, or a citizen, to propose an idea and have it worked through a defined process.

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Mechanics seeking photos for calendar contest

Mechanics Savings Bank is seeking photos that capture the beauty of Auburn, Brunswick, Lewiston or Windham regions for their calendar photo contest. The photos can be from any season. Winners receive $100. The deadline is October 22, 2015 at 5pm. Contest rules and photo entry instructions are available on the bank’s website: www.mechanicssavings.com.

 

Enough is Enough: Back to normal after a bigger-than-usual storm

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Here comes Suzie Snowflake, dressed in a snow-white gown, tap, tap, tapping at your windowpane to tell you she’s around.

As a kid in the 1950s, she was a welcome visitor. Her appearance signaled sledding, tobogganing and skiing. If you were a hockey player, it meant a bit of shoveling on a pond. Your labor was rewarded by the creation of a defined area in which to play.

Kids built sturdy snow forts—forts that stood up to neighborhood marauding youths. They were such great places to hang out, your parents had to come and drag you home.

Television was in its infant stage. There were no computers or Xboxes. The absence of these things enabled kids in the 1950s to develop not only social skills, but also imagination. Suzie’s arrival signaled freedom from being cooped up in the house all day with little to do.

Things change. Little Suzie Snowflake matured into a bitter, spiteful woman. Gone were her childlike traits. Suzie traded her snow-white gown for curlers and an oversized housecoat, becoming Mother Nature.

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Letter: Marijuana and Children

To the editor:

With the referendum concerning the “legalization” of marijuana in Lewiston nearing, I thought of the situation in Colorado.  In that state, ‘pot’ has become legal, and widely available in smoking form and in ready-made food products.

Although Enterovirus D68 has shown up elsewhere, Colorado recently has experienced a large number of cases in children.  We know that children are at great risk of illness when breathing secondhand smoke; there also are numerous reports of children having innocently ingested marijuana-laced treats in Colorado.

I’m not a doctor, but am pondering what I view as a very real possibility that children’s immune systems are being compromised, making them not only more susceptible to respiratory illnesses such as Enterovirus D68, but more likely to incur greater negative effects.  Do we even want to take those risks in Lewiston-Auburn?  Do we want to go against the research-based advice of the medical and law enforcement people, much less state statutes and federal laws?  Just wondering.

Robert Hansen

Auburn

Judge Issues Order Regarding Ebola

Healthcare worker required to comply with certain restrictions

Gov. LePage released the following statement with regard to an Order Pending Hearing issued today by the Aroostook County District Court located in Fort Kent, Maine: “My duty to protect the health of the individual, as well as the health and safety of 1.3 million Mainers, is my highest priority. Despite our best effort to work collaboratively with this individual. she has refused to cooperate with us,” said Governor LePage. “As Governor, I have done everything I can to protect the health and safety of Mainers. The judge has eased restrictions with this ruling and I believe it is unfortunate. However, the State will abide by law,” said Governor LePage.



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