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Politics

Enough is Enough: A good rapport with our local refugee population

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

I was humbled by Jane Pelletier’s letter which appeared in last week’s TCT (“Refreshing to have Mayor Macdonald”).  However, I must address one sentence, “out of the country guests wanted him to resign.”

The incident she is referring to was performed by a group of illusionists who succeeded in masking their identity in order to make it appear that this protest was being carried out by “out of the country guests.”

To better understand what went on here, I must refer to two events, one referenced by Ms. Pelletier and another which took place over a three-day period. Both were an attempt to label me (feel free at this point to enter a derogatory name).

At the beginning of this year, I was visited by two agents from the Department of Justice. One of the agents was Frank Amoroso, a former Portland Police Chief, and his partner of Somali descent. For three days, they had been roaming the streets of Lewiston inquiring of every Lewistonian of Somali descent as to how they felt about me.

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Letters: Preservationists see the value of churches

To the Editor:

I found the column penned by Lewiston Mayor Robert E. Macdonald (“Enough is Enough: Churches were Lewiston’s social and religious centers,” June 6) a curious read, running interference as I take it, for Central Maine Healthcare.

Rather than defend his city’s rich social and religious ethnic heritage, Macdonald aims his brickbats at those who have come forward to defy the political and economic establishment to defend the civic culture: the historic preservationists. Mayor Macdonald composes his words to defend the entity that would raze St. Joseph’s church for a parking lot.

For some reason, Macdonald reminds me of the mayor of Amity Island in the movie “Jaws.”  Mayor Larry Vaugan refused to let police chief Martin Brodie post the beaches off limits after the first shark attack. Vaugan was afraid of ruining the tourist season and offending powerful beachfront hotel owners.

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Enough is Enough: Legislators want to expand welfare, but ignore our most needy

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

They are truly God’s children. Perhaps that is why they have been left on the side of the road by our ever-increasing secular society.

You will never hear them asking for or demanding government assistance. You will never hear them at all. They represent a moral and societal debt that must be paid if we wish to continue to exist and call ourselves a civilized society. They are those among us that unfortunately have been born with severe mental disability.

Our society, which continues to pat itself on the back for projecting a philanthropic attitude toward those labeled as “down trodden,” continues to ignore the basic needs of unquestionably our most vulnerable.

Growing up, they did not sneak around with their peers to participate in a rite of passage known as under-aged drinking. Growing up, they did not experiment with the illegal drug du jour.

Growing up, they required constant, dedicated care and attention by family, teachers and societal agency staff. They will need this care until they are called from this Earth.

Today in Maine our legislators make sure that money is available for those who flock to Maine, many with their GPS programmed for Lewiston, to obtain the generous welfare benefits offered by our caring Legislature. But for 3,100 of our most needy, those who cannot survive without assisted living, the funding for home- or community-based care is not available.

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Letters: Schools are manned by excellent people

To the Editor:
This is a response to a Letter to the Editor from Dick Sabine, “Children in L-A have no voice in education,” which was published April 25 in Twin City TIMES.
Mr. Sabine, in his article on education in Lewiston-Auburn, seemed to go to great lengths to compare our great cities with Florida and Vermont in how proficient our young students are compared to them. He uses Hispanics and blacks in Florida and mostly whites in Vermont to compare against our students. Isn’t this like comparing apples with oranges?

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Enough is Enough: Churches were Lewiston’s social and religious centers

By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston

Over the past few years, many of our older lifelong residents have expressed sorrow over the closing of St. Patrick’s and St. Joseph’s Catholic Churches. In bygone days these parishes served as the social and religious centers for many residents in our community.
But all things come to an end. Over the years attendance at Sunday Mass has greatly diminished. At age 66, they refer to me as “The Kid” at the Mass I attend on Sunday. For any entity to survive, it needs new blood.

Over the years the fiscal prowess of the State of Maine has been on a steady decline. Many of our bright young people have been forced to leave our community and state in order to pursue their chosen careers. Deaths in Maine now outnumber births. However, like the Phoenix, our city is slowly and steadily resurrecting itself.

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Enough is Enough: While politicians fiddle, taxpayers worry about property taxes.

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston
I have not seen this level of “tuning up” since I left the Lewiston Police Department. Senate President Justin Alfond and Speaker of the House Mark Eves are acting like a pair of street-wise, thug cops in an off-the-wall police show.  Their target, the short tempered Governor of Maine, Paul LePage.
I like Governor Paul LePage. Whether you agree with him or not, you must concede that he has brought to the forefront the dire fiscal mess we currently find ourselves in. His use of the bully pulpit wards off the ability of the Democrats to brush off our fiscal distress as nothing more than a bump in the road.
But Governor, you must learn to control your temper or it will become your downfall. Like experienced cops, Senator Alfond and Representative Eves have zeroed in on this major flaw and are going to exploit it for all it’s worth—along with their allies in the press—until they run you out of office.

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Letters: Bipartisan tax reform is flawed and predatory

To the Editor:

Politicians in Augusta want to reform the state tax code—again! What should ordinary folk make of this? We should believe that general truth, that fundamental principle, the one that states: whatever politicians say they are talking about, what they are really talking about is money: ours.

They propose collecting less money from here and more money from there. Is there anyone reading this, anyone who can count pocket change, who isn’t already convinced this shell game means that overall we will pay more taxes?
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Letters: Effective, productive communication needed in Augusta

To the Editor:

Effecting real change on issues in Washington, D.C., seems out of reach due to elected officials’ behavior; however, not in Augusta. We as citizens still have the ability to impact the behavior of Maine’s elected officials. To do so, however, we need to voice our opinions loudly and steadily.

Every community in this state is facing a tax shift never seen before with homeowners facing significant tax increases, and we need representatives that will conduct business for the good of all. It’s time for every taxpayer to tell our elected state officials to stop the ongoing rhetoric and move forward with a goal of compromise. If a fair, compromised budget is not attained, communities will be hugely impacted.

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Enough is Enough: College material, hospital debt and welfare expansion

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Enough is enough. The following is a list of our local lawmakers that are holding up meaningful welfare reform. Please call them and let them know your opinion on the below.

Senator John Cleveland, 782-3353 SenJohn.Cleveland@legislature.maine.gov

Senator Margaret Craven, 783-1897 SenMargaret.Craven@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Nathan Libby, 399-7993 RepNathan.Libby@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Michel Lajoie, 783-1927, RepMichel.Lajoie@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Michael Carey, 344-3017, RepMichael.Carey@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Brian Bolduc, 576-4907, bolduc74@yahoo.com

Representative Margaret Rotundo, 784-3259, mrotundo@bates.edu.

Representative Wayne Werts, 783-6931, rw556@aol.com.

Why is there so much pressure on our local students to attend and graduate from college? Why are they continually left with the assumption that without a piece of parchment from a “college” or “university” they will live life as a failure?
Many people living in Lewiston-Auburn own homes, cars, seasonal camps, retirement property to our south and have good jobs.  They live happily and comfortably.  But, unlike their peers, who have attended college, they have no degree—nor the enormous debt that goes with it.
Over the years the Lewiston School Committee has realized many students are not college material. Many who falter academically excel in the trades such as automotive, woodworking, sheet metal and, in case you’ve been away from the area for a few years, an extremely renowned culinary arts program that sends more of its students to the world renowned New York Institute of Culinary Arts than any school in the country.

Air Force and Army ROTC programs, along with the Law Enforcement Cadet Program, offer a career foundation to those who desire work away from the confines of an office.
With much fanfare iPads are now replacing computers currently used in our school system. What is hailed as an innovation and helpful to some students could prove to be a job killer to a majority of others. The reason? Students’ keyboarding skills will diminish, leaving them without the skills needed to qualify for nearly half of the jobs currently available in our community.
This lack of foresight would close the door to graduates seeking clerical or secretarial positions. Or it could force them to reach into their own pockets and pay to develop skills formerly offered as part of our public education system.

Lewiston-Auburn redevelopment staffs have worked hard to bring new jobs to our area. TD Bank and Argo have and will bring hundreds of new jobs needed to boost our local economy.  It’s time to return to the realization that not all our children are college material. Let’s continue teaching the basic skills needed to insure that every student possess the skills that will move our community forward.

The last thing we don’t want to see in the windows of future employers is a sign stating, “Lewiston and EL graduates need not apply.”
“We’ll have to pass it to find out what’s in it.”  Thus spoke former Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi when asked about Obamacare.  Well, they did, and now we’re finding out that this is not quite what was promised. Now the very liberal Congressional Democrats who voted for Obamacare are now becoming infuriated by many of its regulations.

But that’s what happens when you’re not held accountable by the voting public. I mean, why waste time reading the bill? They have campaign cash to raise.
Now let’s fast forward to last week in Augusta.
“I am willing to take a chance.”  Thus stated Senator John Patrick D-Rumford in casting an affirmative vote in the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee to link paying the hospitals to the expansion of Medicaid. What chance? The chance that the current administration in Washington, D.C. is telling the truth.

If they’re not able to back up their claims, taxpayers—that’s Maine taxpayers—will be on the hook for providing expanded coverage to the thousands added to the current rolls.  Which side of error do you wish to side on?
A Sun Journal editorial on Saturday May 18, 2013 seems to be pandering to this plan. It linked Governor Paul LePage to other evil Tea Party governors who oppose the plan. Apparently the Sun Journal has not received the new talking points: Tea Party, patriotic and good guys; the Executive Branch in Washington D.C., bad guys.
Being the Mayor of Lewiston I am incensed that paying the State debt owed to our hospitals will not stand alone as a separate issue. My job is to shout when the livelihood of residents and the city’s economy is threatened. Well, I’m shouting!
In Lewiston we have experienced the good intentions of our Federal government. Promises made have turned certain areas of our city (and other cities throughout the country) into decaying shells of once-vibrant neighborhoods. We are forced to support people who no longer have (assuming that they once had) the ability or the will to support themselves. Taxes go up, and our dependents multiply.

Two things must happen. First, Governor LePage cannot waiver and must veto the bill. Second, it’s time for you to join the fight. Start calling your State Representatives and let them know how you feel.

We have spent two legislative sessions attempting to pass legislation that would prohibit those coming off five years of TANF being added to Lewiston’s welfare rolls. We have asked that 200-plus jobs and stabilization of our local hospitals that can only happen by paying off the debt owed to them for the last several years.

Finally, the Chief Executive of our State, Governor Paul LePage was denied on Sunday the opportunity to testify in front of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee. The subject was the financial distress at the Department of Health and Human Services.

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Governor attends Eagle Scout ceremony

Lepage.scout

Governor Paul R. LePage attended the Eagle Scout ceremony for Nicholas P. Corey on Saturday, May 11 at Holy Trinity Parish in Lisbon Falls. The Governor is a first cousin to Nick’s grandmother, Carmen Saindon. Nick attained his rank of Eagle Scout, Scouting’s highest achievement, in December. Pictured are (l. to r.) Nick Corey; Governor LePage; Muriel Michaud, Nick’s mother; and Alex Corey, Nick’s brother, who is a U.S. Navy Ceremonial Honor Guard and fellow Eagle Scout. TCT photo by Laurie A. Steele

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