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This week’s edition!


Group emerges to launch new Film Fest


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


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 Limited free tickets are available for students and seniors (ages 65-plus) at Olin Arts Center is located at 75 Russell Street in Lewiston. For more information, call 786-6163 or email

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Enough is Enough: Lewiston faces budget pressure; politicians deny welfare problems

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

It is time for a no-holds-barred venting on welfare reform. It is time for an accounting from our Lewiston state legislative delegation as to what they have done to help alleviate our current welfare crisis.

Over the next eight weeks, seven Lewiston residents elected to our city council will debate, ponder and come up with a city budget that places minimum fiscal distress on local property taxpayers while providing services needed to make sure we function and grow as a community. This is Lewiston, not Lourdes—there will be no forthcoming miracles. Property taxes will increase. The only question is: How much?

Lewiston has one of the lowest property value rates in the state. This is why a house is Southern Maine is valued three times or more than a similar one in Lewiston. This undervalue is reflected in our mil rate. At the end of the day, that similar house in Southern Maine is paying about the same or slightly more in taxes than you do in your undervalued home.

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Dempsey to receive Maine Creative Industries Award

The Maine Center for Creativity (MCC) recently announced that actor and cancer activist Patrick Dempsey will be one of the co-recipients of this year’s Maine Creative Industries Award, a prestigious biennial honor that recognizes exceptional people and organizations who enrich Maine’s growing reputation as a state where the arts and enterprise meet and flourish.

The other recipient of the award will be Jackson Laboratory, a leading-edge genetics research laboratory located in Bar Harbor. The awards will be presented on November 15 at a gala celebration in Portland.

“These exemplary honorees showcase Maine’s creativity in separate ways – Mr. Dempsey as a product of our rich performing arts community, which led to his success and ability to found the Dempsey Center, and Jackson Laboratory as an example of our world-class research and development industry,” said Jean Maginnis, founder and executive director of MCC. “Their common accomplishment is their imaginative approach to bringing comfort, care and the pursuit of a cure to cancer patients in Maine and beyond.”

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LAC, ELHS students convene for civil rights workshop


Students from ELHS and LAC take part in a civil rights workshop hosted recently by LAC’s Druker Office of Community Engagement. From l. to r. are Ayuub Sharlot (EL), Angela Hamel (LAC), Jessica Sinclair (LAC and EL), Sierra-Lynn Frost (EL), Morgan Laferierre (EL), Patrick Garner (EL), Dante Baskett (EL), Allie Flowers (EL), and Riley McCurdy (EL). Standing in back are Renee Morin (LAC) and Pamela Lebourdais (LAC).

The Druker Office of Community Engagement at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College (USM LAC) recently hosted a daylong workshop about civil rights for students from the college and Edward Little High School (ELHS). Called “Bringing it Home: Civil Rights Struggles from Birmingham to Maine,” the workshop examined similarities and differences between civil rights struggles in Lewiston-Auburn, the United States, and globally 50 years ago and today.

Funded by a USM Diversity Mini Grant, the workshop brought together approximately 50 students from ELHS and 25 students from USM, along with staff from both schools, to build community among students while exploring the ethics and history of civil rights movements.

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Rice-DeFossé enters Franco Hall of Fame


Lewiston legislators congratulate Mary Rice-Defossé (c.) on becoming one of seven new members inducted into the Franco-American Hall of Fame this year. Pictured with Rice-DeFossé are (l. to r.) Representative Nathan Libby, Patricia DeFossé, Senator Margaret Craven and Representative Michel Lajoie. Rice-DeFossé is a French professor at Bates College in Lewiston.

Enough is Enough: Mother Nature wreaks havoc on education system

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

School daze: A condition that will soon be coming to a school near you. No school will be immune. It will spread throughout the entire Maine school system faster than students being dismissed for the day.

There is no known cure for it. In some cases it can be limited, although this year it is on track to reach epic proportions. This year’s students will be infected by the most powerful strain of this scourge: Mother Nature.

Over the past school year, Mother Nature has wreaked havoc on the steady, consistently measured flow of educational knowledge imparted on our students by their teachers. This educational flow is only successful if it is allowed to continue with few interruptions. However, this academic year Mother Nature has been exceptionally cruel to our educational system. There is still a chance Mother Nature may rain down another catastrophe upon us. As I write, a major Nor’easter is forming with the potential of hitting Maine hard.

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Envisioning a new Downtown Auburn


Auburn Economic Development Specialist Alan S. Manoian (r.) gestures as he expands for Gerard Dennison on his ideas about the future of Downtown Auburn at a recent presentation at Auburn Public Library (photo by Rachel Morin).

Tickets still available for NCAA Division III Men’s Ice Hockey Championship


The Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston becomes the first Maine venue ever to host the NCAA Division III Men’s Ice Hockey Championship on March 21 and 22.


For the first time ever, a Maine venue will host the NCAA Division III Men’s Ice Hockey Championship. The event will take place on Friday and Saturday, March 21 and 22 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston. Tickets are still available for the general public.

The event will feature two semifinal games on Friday at 4 and 7:30 p.m. and will conclude with the national championship game on Saturday at 7 p.m. There will be a separate admission for each day. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors, students, and children under 18.

Tickets may be purchased in person at the Colisee, 190 Birch Street in Lewiston, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; over the phone at (207) 783-2009 x525; and online at

Bowdoin College and the Maine Sports Commission are co-hosting the event.

Collins meets with LaBonte, Bicycle Coalition members


U.S. Sen. Susan Collins met in her D.C. office recently with Auburn Mayor Jonathan Labonte and members of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine to discuss cycling and pedestrian safety issues. From l. to r. are (sitting) LaBonte; BCoM Communications Director Brian Allenby; BCoM Event & Development Coordinator Elizabeth Hall; (standing) BCoM board member Peter Garrett; BCoM founder Charley LaFlamme; Senator Collins; BCoM Community Spoke Bob Rand of Lewiston, and BCoM Community Spoke Tony Barrett of Harpswell.


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