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Enough is Enough: Look beyond school grades to see the real story

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Whew! Thank goodness Lewiston’s school budget was approved before the Maine Department of Education released its school grades.

I would speculate that if the public had gone to the polls knowing how poorly Lewiston’s school system had scored, voter turnout would have been high, resulting in an overwhelming defeat of Lewiston school budget.

But, like life, someone has to finish last. Unsurprisingly and living up to its reputation as a welfare destination, Lewiston to the surprise of no one won the race to the bottom, thus reprising our all-too-familiar role of Cinderella. Immediately our evil stepsisters (the media and the affluent progressives of Southern Maine) began to focus on and publically dissect the composition of Lewiston’s population.

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Enough is Enough: Working to protect the over-taxes middle class

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

He refuses to compromise. It’s his way or the highway. Well, boo-hoo.

For years the Democratic Party, along with Maine’s editorial writers, have shoved their vision of a socially just society, where people live in harmony and the government provides for everyone’s needs, down the throats of our over-taxed middle class. This wonderful idea, however, fails to recognize two major factors: money and human nature.

But this is what self-imposed guilt does to you. You were born white into a nuclear family, a family that provided you with food, clothing, shelter and love. Your home was warm in the winter and comfortably air conditioned in the summer. Your world consisted of manicured lawns, swimming pools, spacious neighborhoods and extended summer vacations at the lake or seashore. You enjoyed all this while the least of our society suffered extreme hardships. It’s just not fair.

Balderdash!

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“Maine is IT!” offers free summer courses for new IT students

Students interested in studying information technology at one of Maine’s community colleges, including Central Maine Community College in Auburn, may be eligible for scholarships to cover the cost of their coursework this summer.

The “Maine is IT!” initiative, funded by a three-year, $13 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, is making it possible for Maine’s seven community colleges to dramatically expand the courses and programs they offer in Information Technology (IT). A related scholarship program will enable some students enrolling in the programs for fall to get a free jumpstart toward their degree this summer.

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L-A Police and Fire Depts., local “heroes” honored by Red Cross

Three L-A residents, along with four departments of first responders in the Lewiston-Auburn region, are among those to be honored this year as “Real Heroes” by the American Red Cross of Maine.

“These are truly special people who share the common thread of taking action to help others,” says Jennifer Gaylord, Branch Manager of the United Valley office of the Red Cross. “This year, as a special recognition, we’re honoring the Fire and Police Departments from Auburn and Lewiston for their tremendous work during the 2013 Lewiston fires.”

Receiving the “Blood Real Heroes Award” is Hallie Twomey of Auburn. Twomey is a supporter of giving the gift of life through blood drives and organ donation. She tragically lost her son to suicide four years ago and organizes an annual blood drive in his honor. Twomey and her husband gave the ultimate gift of life by choosing to donate their son’s organs. In addition, Twomey has raised thousands of dollars for the New England Organ Bank, is currently in the live organ donation process, and actively promotes organ donation awareness.

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Enough is Enough: Lewiston must take a long, hard look at its budget

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Today in Lewiston we stand at a crossroad. Over the past several years prior city councils, our city administrator, our finance director, our development director and the many entrepreneurs located in the area of upper Lisbon and Main Streets have worked hard to create a vibrant downtown—a downtown that has become a destination.

We have listened to our young professionals; these young professionals represent Lewiston’s future. We have added bike lanes to our streets, nature trails and parks in neighborhoods throughout the city. We are slowly, but steadily, putting into place our Riverfront Plan. The Balloon Festival and the Dempsey Challenge bring thousands of people to Lewiston each year. These visitors spend large amounts of money at local businesses.

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Recognize this man?

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Since Friends of Pettingill was formed 17 months ago to encourage and guide the development of a city park at the site of the former Pettingill School on College Street in Lewiston, members of the organization have been working to find a photograph of the school and park’s namesake, Lee Duren Pettingill. They finally tracked down the college graduation photo shown below with the help of Bowdoin College.

L.D. Pettingill was born on August 26, 1894 in Fairfield, Maine, the son of Alvah G. and Ellen Duren Pettingill. He graduated from Jordan High School in Lewiston and was a 1916 graduate of Bowdoin College. A chemist by profession, he worked for the Pepperell Manufacturing Co. and the Lewiston Bleachery and Dye Works.

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Bates announces honorary degree recipients

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Acclaimed actress Glen Close will be among the four people receiving honorary degrees at Bates College’s 148th Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 25.

 

Bates College will confer honorary degrees on four leaders from the arts, business, journalism and technology during the college’s 148th Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 25.

Delivering the Commencement address and receiving an honorary degree will be Isabel Alexis Wilkerson, author of the acclaimed “The Warmth of Other Suns.” Also receiving honorary degrees during the ceremony will be pioneering computer scientist John Seely Brown, renowned actress and social activist Glenn Close, and leading Maine entrepreneur and champion of corporate social responsibility David Shaw.

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Lewis receives DAISY Award

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Registered nurse Rachael Lewis (l.), with CMMC Vice President for Nursing Sharron Sieleman.

Registered nurse Rachael Lewis has been recognized as a Central Maine Medical Center DAISY Award recipient.

The DAISY Award is sponsored by the DAISY Foundation to recognize nurses who consistently demonstrate in their work the following attributes as nursing professional role models: compassion, critical thinking, passion about life, patient- and family-focused care, patient advocacy, and support of all healthcare team members.

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Kaplan University announces scholarship for MCCS grads

Kaplan University’s Maine campuses are making a commitment to developing Maine’s workforce through higher education by creating a competitive scholarship for upcoming graduates of the Maine Community College System (MCCS). Each of the three Kaplan University campuses in Maine, located in South Portland, Lewiston and Augusta, will award one full scholarship covering all tuition, fees, and books to complete a 2+2 bachelor’s degree program in the student’s chosen field of study. In addition, one runner-up from each campus will be awarded a 50% scholarship.

“We know that Maine lags behind the other New England States in the percentage of its citizens who hold a bachelor’s degree or above,” said Dr. Christopher Quinn, President of the Maine campuses of Kaplan University. “We are making this commitment to help increase the quality of the Maine workforce and to help the state achieve its college attainment goals.”

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Fr. Parent to discuss French-Canadian founding mothers

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Rev. Robert A. Parent

On Saturday, April 26, the Maine Franco-American Genealogical Society will present a discussion by society president Rev. Robert A. Parent on the “filles du roi,” or “daughters of the king,” the 770 or so single women and girls who, from 1663 to 1673, underwent the long and perilous ocean crossing from France to Quebec to become wives and mothers in the New World.

The presentation will take place at 11 a.m., after a general business meeting at 10:00, in the Androscoggin Community Room at Auburn Public Library. Both the meeting and presentation are free and open to the public.

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