By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
Before getting to this week’s column, I have some news that should make Maine’s struggling taxpayers happy. While at the fish counter of a local grocery store, I was informed by the clerk waiting on me that lobster could no longer be purchased using an EBT card. A small victory, but a victory, none the less.
In last week’s column, I wrote about the obstacles and philosophies put forth by Maine’s progressive Democrats and their allies to prevent comprehensive welfare reform. This week, we will write about who in Maine’s Congressional Delegation (Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and Representatives Michael Michaud and Shellie Pingree) has stepped up to the plate and who has ignored Lewiston’s plea for help.
By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
Thank you, Governor Paul LePage, for standing up for the working people, Maine taxpayers and the local property taxpayers in keeping your promise to address the welfare problems facing our state.
Maine taxpayers are compassionate people. They are always ready to help others who find themselves needing a temporary hand up to get over one of life’s bumps. This is called compassion.
Then we have those who expend their energies in not finding a job or getting an education. No, they spend their time insuring that state welfare continues as their preferred lifestyle. For many, it’s generational. Others swarm from place to place, devouring benefits and decimating one fertile place after another.
The Twin City Titans and the Maine Gladiators announced recently that the two organizations will merge. The merger will create one of the largest youth hockey programs in the state, with over 600 young players competing with teams from other leagues throughout Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Participants will range in age from 4 to 18, most of them living in the Lewiston-Auburn area.
“We see this as an opportunity to grow both programs and enhance opportunities for local kids” said Denis Berube, president of the Twin City Titans.
Andy Guerin, president of the Maine Gladiators, said that the two organizations have been discussing the merger for some time now. Guerin will assume the role of president of the new organization, which will be called the Maine Gladiators.
Thursday, June 19 was the last day in public education for four teachers at Lewiston High School (LHS). Caroline Sample grew up in England and taught in London, Cameroon and Old Orchard before coming to LHS in 2006. Her experiences in Africa made her a great asset to the school’s ELL department, where she taught English to immigrant students. She leaves education with 41 years of experience.
Maine Community Health Options (MCHO), Northern New England’s only nonprofit, Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP), has partnered with Northeast Delta Dental to offer dental coverage within upcoming MCHO plans for 2015.
“Good health requires good oral health, yet many lack access to basic oral health care,” said Kevin Lewis, chief executive officer of MCHO. “This is particularly troublesome for Maine and New Hampshire children without adequate access to care, because we know that oral health is tied to kids’ health, school performance, and overall wellbeing. Therefore, we’re pleased to partner with Northeast Delta Dental to increase access to pediatric dental coverage directly within MCHO plan offerings, and also make it easier for everyone to purchase complementary dental plans.”
American Legion Post 153 of Auburn installed new officers recently. Pictured here (l. to r.) are Commander Dan St. Pierre, 1st Vice Commander John Pape, 2nd Vice Commander Phil Brushwein, Adjutant Ken Winter, Finance Levite “Tibby” Dupuis, Service Officer Alan Aliberti, Chaplain Claire Poirier, (second row) Sergeant-at-Arms Paul “Bud” Caouette, Americanism Officer David Jacobs Pratt, Trustees Carl Douglas, Fern Labbe, Keith Davis, and Bill Watson, State Historian Ron Caron, and State Adjutant & Post Judge Advocate and National NEC Officer Paul L’Heureux.
Spencer Dunn, a sophomore at Edward Little High School, won the one-mile race walk on Friday, June 13 at the New Balance High School Outdoor National Championships in Greensboro, NC. Dunn took the lead halfway through the first lap and never looked back, finishing the race in a time of 7:10.44, missing his personal best by 3 seconds. Dunn, who is coached by Dr. Tom Eastler of Farmington, earned his fourth high school All-American in his two-year high school track career and returns to Maine as the National Race Walk Champion.
The Public Theatre achieved a significant milestone recently when it performed for its 100,000th student.
This was no accident. In response to the nationwide challenges of widespread budget cuts in arts education, as well as demographic trends yielding a “graying audience” for the performing arts, The Public Theatre has redoubled its efforts in recent years to bring the performing arts into the hearts and lives of Maine students by making school field trips to the Theatre more affordable, inspiring, and educational.
For instance, in 2010, they created a special youth-priced ticket that allows anyone age 18 or younger to attend any performance for only $5 – the lowest price for professional theatre in New England. This effort was made possible by generous support from a variety of community businesses and foundations.
Bishop Robert P. Deeley recently blessed and dedicated the new St. Louis Garden Mausoleum at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Lewiston. The mausoleum contains 76 single crypts and 64 companion crypts, as well as 284 cremation crypts. The planning process for the mausoleum began nearly three years ago and construction began last autumn.
The Garden Mausoleum is located near the cemetery’s larger mausoleum and chapel and is named for the recently closed St. Louis Church in Auburn. During Saturday’s dedication ceremony, Georgette Berube, a former parishioner, presented a brief history of the parish.
Those who gathered for the dedication also heard Laurier Raymond, Jr., chairman of the cemetery’s board of directors, speak about the cemetery’s rich history. Originally known as the French Cemetery, St. Peter’s opened in 1876. At the time, it was just eight acres, but it has since grown to 70 acres of developed land.
The Dominican Fathers owned and operated St. Peter’s Cemetery from 1881 until 1994, when it became a diocesan cemetery.
The fifth graders of Lisbon Community School were pleased to present Principal Carlene Iverson with a flowering crab tree as their legacy gift to the school. Members of the future Lisbon High School Class of 2012 were assisted with the presentation by Ed Bush of Maine Landscape-Bush’s Bushes of Lisbon Falls. Bush planted the tree during the presentation, with assistance from Lisbon H.S. Class of 2010 alumni Joe Doughty. Bush also extended his services beyond the planting to include perpetual care of existing shrubs on the school campus.