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Politics

Enough is Enough: Why is there so much pressure to attend college?

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Apparently the mayoral campaign has started and friends of my opponent have begun attempts to discredit me.

In a Letter to the Editor published June 27 in TCT, “Students have a willingness to succeed,” signed by Jordan C.D. Handy, I am accused of negativity towards the Lewiston School System. (Oh, did I mention that his father, James Handy, is the chairman of the Lewiston School Committee and a friend of my opponent?)

Young Mr. Handy’s letter about one of my columns, which was published May 23, comes five editions after the column ran. Why the slow response?

In his letter, young Mr. Handy states that my column was written with a negative flavor. He contends that I implied that “The Lewiston Regional Technical Center is nothing more than a dumping ground for students that can’t succeed academically.” On the contrary, my article praised the program.

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Letters: Students have a willingness to succeed

To the Editor:

This is a rebuttal to Lewiston Mayor Robert Macdonald’s column, “Enough is Enough: College material, hospital debt and welfare expansion.”

Enough is enough with the negativity in the City of Lewiston.

The mayor writes that there is pressure on students to attend and graduate college. I don’t call it pressure at all. Instead, I believe students have a willingness to succeed and live a better life than their parents did.

Macdonald asserted that “many who falter academically excel in 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.”

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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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