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Enough is Enough: Concerns voiced in coffee shops can create city policies

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

I ran for Mayor of Lewiston not for fame or notoriety, but because I was an irate taxpayer, sick of special interests and the liberal progressive policies put forth by academic and trust-fund elitists. Policies that ran counter to what the average person experienced every day. Policies embraced by spineless politicians that were opposite of the will of the middle class taxpayers that elected them.

I am a “coffee shop mayor.” I am not going to plant myself in my desk chair, which looks more like a throne, compared to the average executive’s chair, and hold court in an office to create an illusion that citizens who visit the mayor are in the presence of greatness, not their equal.

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2014 CA$H Coalition reaps $3.5 million in refunds for local residents

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Coalition co-chairs Chris Adler (l.) and Dottie Perham-Whittier, with Site Coordinator KC Geiger

When the Lewiston-Auburn CA$H Coalition celebrated its 11th anniversary of free tax preparation and asset-building outreach on April 9, its IRS-certified local volunteers were recognized for preparing 2,042 returns, resulting in a total of $2,876,000 in Federal refunds and $701,000 in State refunds that will go back into the pockets of local residents.

Those numbers accounted for 43% of the total tax prep work done by Maine’s ten such coalitions during the 2014 tax season and brought the Coalition’s 11-year claim tally for L-A area residents to $22,561,674.

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Business-to-Business Trade Show set for June 12

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The 19th annual Androscoggin Business-to-Business Trade Show, “Building for the Future,” will take place on Thursday, June 12 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.

Presented by the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council and sold out the last eight years, Maine’s premier one-day business networking event has grown to attract 2,500 business professionals and nearly 200 exhibitors from throughout New England.

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Pack 111 works to mark graves of 1945 fire victims

Cub Scout Pack 111 of Auburn is planning a fundraising campaign to purchase headstones to mark the graves of victims of a tragic nursery fire that occurred during the final months of World War II.

Most Auburn residents are unaware that sixteen children, almost all of them babies, and one adult died in a horrific New Auburn fire on January 31, 1945. The early morning blaze spread quickly through a South Main Street home, then operating as a boarding home for babies of war workers and servicemen.

The tragedy shocked the nation, overshadowing war news of the day. Newspapers around the country reported the story on their front page. Arch Soutar, a reporter covering the fire for The Lewiston Evening Journal, wrote, “A shiver and a shudder has gone up from every home where a baby’s cry, or a child’s laugh, is heard.”

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Lamey-Wellehan celebrates 100

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Jim Wellehan, President of Lamey-Wellehan Shoes, recently received a legislative sentiment at the State House honoring his company on the centennial anniversary of its founding. Started by Wellehan’s father, Dan Wellehan, and Dan’s partner, Charlie Lamey, Lamey-Wellehan Shoes now has six stores with more than 100 employees. Wellehan is pictured here with Senator John Cleveland (D – Auburn).

 

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Enough is Enough: Welfare fraud, waste and abuse cannot be excused

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

I like former mayor Larry Gilbert as a person. I simply dislike much of what he says and does.

His op-ed last week took TCT readers down a nostalgic trail of columns past, similar to airings of TV shows of the past.

It was classic —15 paragraphs long, eight of which were used to retell and remind us of the French kid who left Lewiston at an early age, moved to California and like the Prodigal Son made his way back to Lewiston becoming a renowned public figure. Upon concluding reading the column, like Clara of the Wendy’s TV commercials, I asked: “Where’s the beef?”

Upon reading the first two paragraphs, I came thought the former mayor was going to discuss students’ ability to learn when the distraction of spring arrives. Imagine my surprise upon reading the next paragraph, which began criticizing Governor Paul R. LePage and me for our “overly obsessive attitude towards welfare.”

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Enough is Enough: Taxpayers, children will suffer without welfare reform

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Well, it’s official! The silver-spoon trust-funder, Senate President Justin Alfond, and his co-conspirator, Speaker of the House Mark Eves, have again won a battle in their war against Maine’s middle class. They successfully killed legislation that would have tightened up the rules of several state welfare programs in order to reduce fraud.

A collective sigh of relief by the Maine People’s Alliance, Maine Equal Justice and a host of other advocacy groups was heard reverberating throughout the halls of the State House. Their interests once again had trumped those of the state’s middle-class taxpayers. Yes, happiness reigned, thanks to the leadership of the progressive Democrats and their Lewiston-Auburn allies, our local Democratic legislative delegation (a.k.a. The Portland Puppets).

The aforementioned groups will now be allowed, for at least another year, unfettered access to picking the pockets of Maine’s middle class.

I must note at this time that three of L-A’s Democratic legislators may have broken rank and voted with Republicans to institute Governor LePage’s tightening of the General Assistance laws. Next week, if true, I will let you know their identities.

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Central Maine Medical Family mourns Amanda Dempsey

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Amanda Dempsey, 1934-2014.

“The entire Central Maine Medical family mourns the passing of Amanda Dempsey,” said Peter Chalke, President and CEO of Central Maine Healthcare. “She was both a great lady and a determined fighter who displayed tremendous courage, class and grace during her long battle with cancer.”

Patrick Dempsey’s experiences dealing with his mother’s illness while living in California led to the creation of the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing. In 2007, the Dempsey Family approached Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston with the idea of creating a local cancer support organization. Amanda had received cancer treatment at CMMC, and the family wished not only to help other families affected by cancer but also to give back to their local community. The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing was founded in 2008 by Amanda’s children, Patrick, Mary and Alicia, in honor of Amanda and in partnership with CMMC.

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Group emerges to launch new Film Fest

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A group of community members determined to keep independent film alive in the Twin Cities has launched the Emerge Film Festival, set for Saturday, June 14 at the Franco Center. Pictured here (l. to r.) are Tamera Greishaber, Chip Morrison, Laura Davis, Ramsey Tripp, Michael Miclon, Sandra Marquis, Richard Martin and Katie Greenlaw.

With the recent cancellation of the Lewiston Auburn Film Festival (LAFF), a new festival has emerged as a forum for many who were planning to show films at this year’s LAFF to present their work.

At a recent press conference, Ramsey Tripp, speaking for a group of community members determined to keep independent film alive in the Twin Cities, announced that the Emerge Film Festival will take place on Saturday, June 14 at the Franco Center in Lewiston. Emerge is a completely separate entity from the Lewiston Auburn Film Festival.

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Assad Family brings Brazilian songbook to Bates

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This extraordinary family of guitarists, singers, and composers – brothers Sérgio and Odair Assad, their sister Badi, and their daughters, Clarice and Carolina – will perform a diverse program of Brazilian and Latin American music on Sunday, April 6 at Olin Arts Center.

Featuring brothers a Washington Post reviewer has called “the best two-guitar team in existence,” the Assad Family will bring an eclectic program of Brazilian and Latin American music to Bates College’s Olin Arts Center on Sunday, April 6 at 7 p.m.

Tickets for this Olin Arts Alive concert are $22, available at batestickets.com. Limited free tickets are available for students and seniors (ages 65-plus) at bit.ly/oacbates. Olin Arts Center is located at 75 Russell Street in Lewiston. For more information, call 786-6163 or email olinarts@bates.edu.

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