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Enough is Enough: Lewiston must provide benefits for asylum seekers

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

New Year. New City Council. Many old problems left over from the prior council. On the horizon await new problems that pose a serious financial threat to our city.

We face the loss of $1 million-plus in revenue sharing because a committee of self-serving politicians who owe their elections to a variety of special interest groups failed in their task to find $40 million in cuts in the state’s budget. So much for the trait of intestinal fortitude.

Soon the political leaders of Lewiston will be asked to make a decision that has the potential of igniting a firestorm.

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Babies get new sleep sacks at CMMC

CMMC babies

Adam LeClair of Harpswell and Rebecca Brakeley, M.D. help Carter LeClair (l.) and his brother Chase model the Halo Sleep Sack wearable blankets now used at CMMC in place of traditional baby blankets. The sons of Adam and his wife, Melody, the twins arrived on December 5.

Central Maine Medical Center has replaced the age-old infant receiving blanket with a slightly higher-tech and safer “sleep sack,” according CMMC nurse educator Betsy McGrail.

Babies born at the hospital’s Special Delivery Family Birthing Center and infants cared for in its Neonatal Intermediate Care Unit now sleep in HALO Sleep Sack wearable blankets. The HALO Sleep Sack safely envelopes infants, keeping them warm while eliminating chances that the child’s breathing will be obstructed by loose blankets. CMMC is also discharging infants with sleep sacks.

Tragically, between seven and 10 babies die in Maine each year from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), a phenomenon not fully understood by medical researchers. SIDS is defined as the sudden death of an infant younger than one year of age that remains unexplained even after a complete autopsy, death scene investigation, and thorough review of the clinical history are conducted.

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Bates Museum of Art features collage, shaman objects from Vietnam

Paper masks used in shaman rituals of the Yao people of Vietnam.

Paper masks used in shaman rituals of the Yao people of Vietnam.

In an exhibition believed to be the most extensive of its kind in the United States, the Bates College Museum of Art will present in January an extraordinary selection of painted scrolls, masks and other objects used in the shamanist ceremonies of five ethnic minorities in northern Vietnam.

“How to Make the Universe Right: The Art of the Shaman in Vietnam and Southern China” will open at 6 p.m. on Thursday, January 23, with a talk by Trian Nguyen, associate professor of art and visual culture at Bates, in Room 104 of Olin Arts Center. The exhibition is based upon recent research by Nguyen. A reception will follow the lecture.

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CMCC, Husson sign major new agreement

Representatives of Central Maine Community College and Husson University sign a major new agreement allowing students to more easily transfer credits between the two schools.

Representatives of Central Maine Community College and Husson University sign a major new agreement allowing students to more easily transfer credits between the two schools.

Central Maine Community College (CMCC) and Husson University have approved a memorandum of understanding that will facilitate the transfer of credits between the two schools and provide CMCC students interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree with a smooth transition from CMCC to Husson.

The agreement outlines admission and program requirements. It also specifies which CMCC courses can be used to meet general elective and major requirements at Husson. To assist in the advising process, individual course equivalencies listed by program are included in the agreement. Read the rest of this entry »

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Enough is Enough: Spreading goodwill and tending to the truly needy

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Last week, I was unexpectedly out of commission for a few days. Politics and this column was the last thing on my mind.

However, I did learn the value of expanded cable, a DVD player and a VCR. Passing the time with basic cable makes for a long day.

I felt that I had been placed in a re-education camp. News and editorial opinions were being constantly thrown at me. As tedious as this became, in the end, I was able to take time and reflect about what had been reported.

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St. Dom’s food drive nets 1000 pounds for food pantry

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The fifth grade class at Saint Dominic Academy in Lewiston organized a food drive in recent months to benefit St. Mary’s Food Pantry.

The students challenged their peers to donate non-perishable food items from their own pantries and place them in designated receptacles at the school. They also organized a Halloween dance to help reach their goal of collecting 1,000 pounds of food.

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At the end of the community service project, the students loaded a school bus with the collected food and delivered it to the pantry, where they were delighted to learn that they had eclipsed their goal by delivering a total of 1,037 pounds.

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Lisbon students support Toys for Tots campaign

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Two of the newest junior volunteers at Lisbon Community School, fifth graders Madison Ryder (c.) and Emma Tapley, help Assistant Principal Ryan Patrie sort the school’s donations to the Maine Toys for Tots Campaign (photo courtesy of Monica Millhime).

Students, staff and family members of Lisbon Community School, Philip W. Sugg Middle School, and Lisbon High School partnered this holiday season with the Town of Lisbon, the Giving Tree program, and the U.S. Marine Corp. to support the Maine Toys for Tots campaign.

“Student volunteers met to decide which projects they wanted to support this year,” said Lisbon Schools Community Resource Coordinator Monica Millhime. “Collecting toys during the holiday season was at the top of the list again this year.”

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Troop 121 expands Christmas tree collection service

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Scouts from Troop 121 of Auburn load trees for delivery to a local recycling center.

Boy Scout Troop 121 of Auburn will again collect discarded Christmas trees for delivery to a local recycling center this year. Last January, in the first year of the service, the Troop collected over 80 trees from residents of Auburn; this year, the troop will expand the service to include residents of Lewiston. While the cities of Auburn and Lewiston provide locations for free tree disposal, they no longer collect the trees at curbside.

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Enough is Enough: City councilors, your lives are about to change

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

In a few weeks a new city council will take the helm of Lewiston government. Councilors John Butler (Ward 1), Craig Saddlemire (Ward 5) and Richard Desjardins (Ward 7) will be replaced by Councilors-elect Leslie Dubois, Kristen Cloutier and Michael Lachance.

Our new councilors will find that their best day as a member of the Lewiston City Council will be Monday, January 6, 2014, Inauguration Day at the Franco-American Heritage Center. The inauguration gives them one day to bask in the sun, enjoying what they were able to achieve with family and friends.

The following day, reality will hit. City councilors, you are no longer part of the complaining public. Your days of complaining and criticizing policy makers have now gone the way of the dinosaurs. You are now part of the policy-making team. Your decisions will be applauded by some and loathed by others.

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Mechanics Savings Bank supports Auburn Fire Department

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Mechanics Savings Bank employees Terri Cook, Chelsey Cooper, and Kristina Cote donned red and green tutus and candy cane-striped socks to participate in the Auburn Fire Department’s “Local 797 Truckload of Christmas 5K.” They are pictured here with Tommy Hunter and Justin Carver of the Auburn Fire Department.

Mechanics Savings Bank is a long time supporter of its local fire departments and the charities they support. On December 8, a team of Mechanics Savings Bank employees donned red and green tutus and candy cane-striped socks to participate in the Auburn Fire Department’s “Local 797 Truckload of Christmas 5K.”

“This was a great way to meet my personal fitness goals, give back to the community, and have a lot of fun with my co-workers,” said Terri Cook, Performance Improvement Project Manager at Mechanics Savings Bank. “This is what Christmas is all about… spreading cheer and embracing the opportunity to make the season a little brighter for others.”

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