By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
Enough is enough. The following is a list of our local lawmakers that are holding up meaningful welfare reform. Please call them and let them know your opinion on the below.
Senator John Cleveland, 782-3353 SenJohn.Cleveland@legislature.maine.gov
Senator Margaret Craven, 783-1897 SenMargaret.Craven@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Nathan Libby, 399-7993 RepNathan.Libby@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Michel Lajoie, 783-1927, RepMichel.Lajoie@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Michael Carey, 344-3017, RepMichael.Carey@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Brian Bolduc, 576-4907, email@example.com
Representative Margaret Rotundo, 784-3259, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Representative Wayne Werts, 783-6931, email@example.com.
Why is there so much pressure on our local students to attend and graduate from college? Why are they continually left with the assumption that without a piece of parchment from a “college” or “university” they will live life as a failure?
Many people living in Lewiston-Auburn own homes, cars, seasonal camps, retirement property to our south and have good jobs. They live happily and comfortably. But, unlike their peers, who have attended college, they have no degree—nor the enormous debt that goes with it.
Over the years the Lewiston School Committee has realized many students are not college material. Many who falter academically excel in the trades such as automotive, woodworking, sheet metal and, in case you’ve been away from the area for a few years, an extremely renowned culinary arts program that sends more of its students to the world renowned New York Institute of Culinary Arts than any school in the country.
Air Force and Army ROTC programs, along with the Law Enforcement Cadet Program, offer a career foundation to those who desire work away from the confines of an office.
With much fanfare iPads are now replacing computers currently used in our school system. What is hailed as an innovation and helpful to some students could prove to be a job killer to a majority of others. The reason? Students’ keyboarding skills will diminish, leaving them without the skills needed to qualify for nearly half of the jobs currently available in our community.
This lack of foresight would close the door to graduates seeking clerical or secretarial positions. Or it could force them to reach into their own pockets and pay to develop skills formerly offered as part of our public education system.
Lewiston-Auburn redevelopment staffs have worked hard to bring new jobs to our area. TD Bank and Argo have and will bring hundreds of new jobs needed to boost our local economy. It’s time to return to the realization that not all our children are college material. Let’s continue teaching the basic skills needed to insure that every student possess the skills that will move our community forward.
The last thing we don’t want to see in the windows of future employers is a sign stating, “Lewiston and EL graduates need not apply.”
“We’ll have to pass it to find out what’s in it.” Thus spoke former Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi when asked about Obamacare. Well, they did, and now we’re finding out that this is not quite what was promised. Now the very liberal Congressional Democrats who voted for Obamacare are now becoming infuriated by many of its regulations.
But that’s what happens when you’re not held accountable by the voting public. I mean, why waste time reading the bill? They have campaign cash to raise.
Now let’s fast forward to last week in Augusta.
“I am willing to take a chance.” Thus stated Senator John Patrick D-Rumford in casting an affirmative vote in the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee to link paying the hospitals to the expansion of Medicaid. What chance? The chance that the current administration in Washington, D.C. is telling the truth.
If they’re not able to back up their claims, taxpayers—that’s Maine taxpayers—will be on the hook for providing expanded coverage to the thousands added to the current rolls. Which side of error do you wish to side on?
A Sun Journal editorial on Saturday May 18, 2013 seems to be pandering to this plan. It linked Governor Paul LePage to other evil Tea Party governors who oppose the plan. Apparently the Sun Journal has not received the new talking points: Tea Party, patriotic and good guys; the Executive Branch in Washington D.C., bad guys.
Being the Mayor of Lewiston I am incensed that paying the State debt owed to our hospitals will not stand alone as a separate issue. My job is to shout when the livelihood of residents and the city’s economy is threatened. Well, I’m shouting!
In Lewiston we have experienced the good intentions of our Federal government. Promises made have turned certain areas of our city (and other cities throughout the country) into decaying shells of once-vibrant neighborhoods. We are forced to support people who no longer have (assuming that they once had) the ability or the will to support themselves. Taxes go up, and our dependents multiply.
Two things must happen. First, Governor LePage cannot waiver and must veto the bill. Second, it’s time for you to join the fight. Start calling your State Representatives and let them know how you feel.
We have spent two legislative sessions attempting to pass legislation that would prohibit those coming off five years of TANF being added to Lewiston’s welfare rolls. We have asked that 200-plus jobs and stabilization of our local hospitals that can only happen by paying off the debt owed to them for the last several years.
Finally, the Chief Executive of our State, Governor Paul LePage was denied on Sunday the opportunity to testify in front of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee. The subject was the financial distress at the Department of Health and Human Services.
Governor Paul R. LePage attended the Eagle Scout ceremony for Nicholas P. Corey on Saturday, May 11 at Holy Trinity Parish in Lisbon Falls. The Governor is a first cousin to Nick’s grandmother, Carmen Saindon. Nick attained his rank of Eagle Scout, Scouting’s highest achievement, in December. Pictured are (l. to r.) Nick Corey; Governor LePage; Muriel Michaud, Nick’s mother; and Alex Corey, Nick’s brother, who is a U.S. Navy Ceremonial Honor Guard and fellow Eagle Scout. TCT photo by Laurie A. Steele
Two Dempsey Center volunteers were recognized recently with the Maine Governor’s Award for Service and Volunteerism. The award is given to volunteers with at least 500 hours of service in one year. Richard Lavoie and Phyllis Benoit, both of Lewiston, were presented with the award by Mary Dempsey on May 7 among fellow volunteers and Center staff. Two other Dempsey Center volunteers will receive their award in June.
By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
When you were a child, unless your parents were grifters, you were taught that honesty is the best policy. Your parents told you repeatedly that the best way to earn the respect of others was through truthfulness and honesty.
Apparently, this standard does not apply to Governor Paul LePage, at least as far as the press and his political enemies are concerned.
Unless you have been living in a cave or been hospitalized in a coma for the last few years, you know that Maine is broke. After surveying the fire destruction in Downtown Lewiston, Governor LePage announced the state was broke, but he would try and find some money and resources to help us out.
Well-known children’s poems will spring to life when the Crabgrass Puppet Theatre brings their delightful new show, “Haiku, Hip Hop and Hotdogs” to The Public Theatre on Sunday, May 19 at 2 p.m.
Perfect for families with children in pre-K through fifth grade, this show provides an exciting introduction to the magic of poetry and theatre. In Crabgrass’s exciting new production, the world, action, and emotion of poems by Jack Prelutsky, David McCord, Calef Brown, and Beatrice Schenk de Regniers spring vividly to life as young audiences thrill to the adventures of Fearless Flying Hotdogs, a dancing Funky Snowman, and a Goblin who must overcomes his fear to make friends with the terrifying boy on top of his bed.
By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
It’s time for the readers of this column to step up to the plate. Our hospitals have to be paid!
The continued failure to pay this debt is denying L-A and surrounding communities the opportunity to fill between 150 to 200 shovel-ready jobs with benefits. It’s time to stop playing political games that have a direct effect on people’s lives.
The immediate payback to the hospitals is overwhelmingly supported by Democratic and Republican legislators. The problem? Senate President Justin Alfond and Speaker of the House Mark Eves refuse to bring the legislation to their respective chamber floors for a vote.
It’s time to mobilize and start flooding their offices with phone calls and emails telling them to pay the state’s debt to the hospitals.
A key building in downtown Lewiston will soon get new life, according to plans announced recently by the City of Lewiston. Argo Marketing Group’s projected hiring of 150 additional full-time employees over the next twelve months is prompting the company’s planned $2.4 million renovation of the former McCrory’s department store into a state-of-the-art customer contact facility and corporate headquarters.
Known for their cutting edge customer contact techniques and innovative technology initiatives, Argo Marketing Group helps provides their clients with customer support services through a variety of different mediums, data analytics, and customized software programs. Their new location in downtown Lewiston will incorporate a state-of-the-art contact center, including on-site training facilities, as well as potential retail and restaurant store fronts.
To the Editor:
These recent arsons downtown has made me one fired up inner-city preacher. First and foremost, I have always felt that my ministry was a ministry to the poor, the displaced and those who are frightened. Obviously, there is no lack of ministry opportunity in the inner city of Lewiston these days.
My faith stretches higher than a church steeple, and my vision extends far beyond a stained-glass window. It is my opinion and observation that the recent manifestation of complete chaos within the heart of our city lays in the hands of our city’s former mayoral leaders.
I believe that John Jenkins, Kaleigh Tara, Lionel Guay, and Larry Gilbert have all played a part in sweeping our city’s crime and dysfunction under the rug over the years in the name of commerce. None of them wanted to be considered negative, and all of them created a positive environment with a pro-business-like image such as “L/A it’s Happening Here.”
Postponed because of a February snowstorm, the third annual Bates College Folk Music Festival will takes place this weekend at campus locations to be announced. Featuring three days of contradancing, workshops and performances, the festival is open to the public.