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.
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.
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 www.NCAA.com/tickets.
Bowdoin College and the Maine Sports Commission are co-hosting the event.
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.
Dizzy Grant of the legendary Harlem Globetrotters visited Portland this week to discuss the team’s 2014 “Fans Rule” World Tour that will bring the team to the refurbished Cumberland County Civic Center on Sunday, March 23 at 2 p.m. and the Augusta Civic Center on Monday, March 31 at 7 p.m.
The sharp-shooting Grant discussed the 2014 “Fans Rule” World Tour, the Trotter Bounce, the team’s World Vision partnership, and what local fans can expect to see at the Globetrotters upcoming performances.
By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
How many of you reading this column have ever heard of CTS? If I told you the initials stood for Coordinated Transportation Solutions, would that ring a bell? Probably not.
Yet at the beginning of January of this year, this company dominated the news in a very negative fashion. This was the company contracted by Maine’s Office of MaineCare Services to provide rides to those on MaineCare (Medicaid) needing transportation to appointments.
CTS was contracted by the State of Maine after the federal government forced the state into a brokering system after it concluded that contracting only one company, in this case Community Concepts, presented a conflict of interest. Enter CTS, who brokered contracts with several companies, including Community Concepts, to provide the transportation needs of individuals on MaineCare.
Sandcastle Clinical & Educational Services is a private, nonprofit agency committed to providing quality services for children with special needs and those at risk of developmental issues. Established in 1996, the organization provides education, early identification, prevention, and therapy to 600 children each year.Mechanics Savings Bank recently donated $2,500 to Sandcastle Clinical & Educational Services. The funds will be used to support the nonprofit’s only major fundraising event: Maine’s Got Talent. Lewiston-Auburn’s premier music competition will take place at the Ramada Conference Center in Lewiston on Saturday, March 8. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7:00. Tickets can be purchased online at www.sandcastlemaine.org. For more information, call 782-2150.
“Sandcastle is so appreciative of the ongoing support of Mechanics Savings Bank,” said Sandcastle Executive Director Stephanie Gelinas. “Mona Leavitt, the bank’s Chief Deposits Officer, has given endlessly of her time and talent, serving as the chair of our fundraising committee and sitting on our finance committee.”
By Senator Garrett Mason
Workers’ compensation has long been considered one of the biggest financial drains on Maine businesses that have had to endure the high costs and bureaucratic red tape of an outdated system that no longer served the best interests of employers and workers.
But there is finally encouraging news for workers’ comp, and it would not have happened without a series of changes that began when Maine voters opted for Republican leadership in the Governor’s Office and Legislature in 2010.
The Maine Bureau of Insurance this month received a recommendation to decrease workers’ compensation rates by an average of 7.7 percent. This is expected to save Maine businesses more than $15 million. It’s the largest rate decrease since 1998. Maine is one of the few states in the nation that will see a rate reduction.