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Friday, January 12, 2018



L-A Rotary Lunch Club to Welcome Peter Baker January 18

Auburn - On Thursday, January 18, from noon to 1:00 p.m. at The Village Inn, 165 High Street, Auburn, Peter Baker  will be the featured guest speaker at the Lewiston-Auburn Rotary Lunch Club.  Peter Baker is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Program Director, for Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter.  Baker holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Southern Maine and has been working in dementia care since 2006. He has worked in long-term care centers as a Social Services Director, Dementia Program Director and as an Executive Director.  As the program director for the Alzheimer’s Association, Caron oversees the care and support services provided by our Maine Chapter serving the entire state of Maine. His areas of expertise include family care consultations, information and referral services, crisis support, safety services, care planning, and emotional support. Externally, his work focuses on educating professionals and community members about the disease, facilitating support groups and training support group leaders. Reservations are not required at the luncheon.  FMI on future Rotary speakers, contact President and Program Chair, Monica Millhime, 713.7045 or email  Events and other club information are posted at and

L-A Rotary Lunch Club to Welcome Warren & Amy Shaw January 25

Auburn - On Thursday, January 25, from noon to 1:00 p.m. at The Village Inn, 165 High Street, Auburn, Warren and Amy Shaw  will be the featured guest speakers at the Lewiston-Auburn Rotary Lunch Club.  Warren and Amy Shaw are the founders of At a Bend in the Road, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide a place where Adoptive, Foster, and Kinship families in Maine can find specialized support for their unique needs. Warren works in Product Development at Thos. Moser Cabinet Makers where he has been employed for the past 25 years.  Amy is a stay at home Mom and Program Director for ABR.  The Shaw family personally experienced the great need for appropriate and specific supports for families who were raising a child with a history of trauma, neglect, and abuse. In 2001 they adopted their 9-month-old daughter from a Siberian orphanage.  Due to her young age, they expected to bi-pass many of the challenges common in raising a child with a history of neglect and abuse.  They discovered this was not the case, and through the years of tremendous struggle, they met other families who had similar unmet needs for unique and specific supports.   ABR was formed in 11/2012 in response to this need.  Reservations are not required at the luncheon.  FMI on future Rotary speakers, contact President and Program Chair, Monica Millhime, 713.7045 or email  Events and other club information are posted at and

Rotarian Joanne Bollinger to address L-A Rotary Lunch Club February 1

Auburn - On Thursday, February 1, from noon to 1:00 p.m. at The Village Inn, 165 High Street, Auburn, Joanne Shea Bollinger will be the featured guest speaker at the Lewiston-Auburn Rotary Lunch Club.  Bollinger was sponsored as a new member to the L-A Rotary Club by President, Monica Millhime, and induced was into the Club on October 19, 2017.  She is a Board member of WISE-Women’s Initiatives that Strengthen and Empower, a non-profit in Maine since 2005, to move vulnerable women and children in western Zambia to self-sustaining lives. Her first trip to the project in 2013, intended as a one-time immersion experience in a small African town, inspired her to become involved in a deeper way. She now travels to Zambia at least once a year to advise, collaborate and learn from the local women who do the actual work on the ground. Much of her time in the US is focused on fundraising, sharing the WISE story around the country. Her passion is WISE’s scholarship program which currently supports 150 secondary students who would have no options for school beyond 7th grade, especially young girls at risk of early marriage. A special connection has been forged with the Nkwazi Rotary Club in Lusaka, Zambia’s capital: a trip to Zambia must include a visit with them.  Bollinger grew up in Auburn (EL ’63), never expecting to return. Following a career in music, teaching in Camden, Woolwich, Brunswick and singing throughout New England, she spent 12 years in Illinois with her second husband. Returning to Maine with her husband and following his death from Alzheimer’s Disease, the circle to Auburn was closed in 2014, when Joanne came “home” to be near her son and his wife.  Reservations are not required at the luncheon.  FMI on future Rotary speakers, contact President and Program Chair, Monica Millhime, 713.7045 or email  Events and other club information are posted at and

L-A Rotary Lunch Club to Welcome Candace Sanborn February 15

Auburn - On Thursday, February 15, from noon to 1:00 p.m. at The Village Inn, 165 High Street, Auburn, Candance Sanborn  will be the featured guest speaker at the Lewiston-Auburn Rotary Lunch Club.  Sanborn is the Chief Marketing Officer for Community Concepts, a non-profit organization providing a variety of family, transportation and housing support services to residents in Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford Counties. Prior to joining Community Concepts in January 2016, Sanborn had an extensive 30 year career in strategic planning and marketing in business and as a consultant to a variety of for-profit and non-profit organizations in Maine and the Northeast.  She has a BA in Journalism from the University of Maine and an M.B.A. from the University of Southern New Hampshire.  Active in her community, Sanborn has served on numerous state and local non-profit boards and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Central Maine Medical Center (CMMC) and the Maine Community Foundation. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, she has two grown children and lives in Auburn with her husband. Reservations are not required at the luncheon.  FMI on future Rotary speakers, contact President and Program Chair, Monica Millhime, 713.7045 or email  Events and other club information are posted at and

L-A Rotary Lunch Club to Welcome Tim Gallant February 8

Auburn - On Thursday, February 8, from noon to 1:00 p.m. at The Village Inn, 165 High Street, Auburn, Tim Gallant  will be the featured guest speaker at the Lewiston-Auburn Rotary Lunch Club.  Gallant  is a Maine Staff Assistant for Congressman Bruce Poliquin. When he is not representing Congressman Poliquin at events or working on local Veterans’ benefits and claims, he volunteers at his church- Pathway Vineyard, serves the community through organizations such as the Lewiston ELKS Lodge, and more.  Gallant served in the Navy for 19 years from 1975 through 1994. He attended boot camp in Great Lakes, IL and Navy Aviation Electrician School in Millington, TN. He has served with the Blue Angels in Pensacola, FL, Patrol Squadron 23 in Brunswick, ME- where he was one of the first to earn the Air Warfare Designation in the Navy (AW), Naval Recruiting District New Jersey in Iselin, NJ, Naval Air Facilities AIMD in Lajos, Azores, Portugal, on the USS Destroy Peterson (DD 969) Norfolk, VA while attached to Helicopter Squadron 34, and as the Senior Instructor at the Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, VA. Upon retirement from the Navy, Gallant used his GI Bill to attend Concordia University, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. He returned to Maine in 2001, and accepted a positon as Building Grounds and Transportation Director at Maine School District 43 in Western Maine. He then became the Parks Superintendent for the Town of Rumford. Gallant retired in 2009 and returned to school to earn a second degree in Applied Science as a Drug and Alcohol Counselor. During this time and as a disabled veteran himself, he was also helping Veterans receive benefits through his local VFW and American Legion Posts. Since 2016, he has worked as a Staff Assistant to Congressman Bruce Poliquin out of his Lewiston Office. While he focuses primarily on helping Veterans with their benefits, the Congressman’s Lewiston Office also helps constituents in dealing with the federal government and all federal agencies. The Congressman’s district offices in Maine, including at 179 Lisbon Street here in Lewiston, regularly assist with VA issues and claims, immigration applications and problems, Social Security and Medicare, the IRS, and much more. Gallant and the entire staff in Congressman Poliquin’s office are happy to help the local community in any way they can.  Reservations are not required at the luncheon.  FMI on future Rotary speakers, contact President and Program Chair, Monica Millhime, 713.7045 or email  Events and other club information are posted at and

Thursday, January 11, 2018


Last Tuesday night, I attended the sub-committee meeting hosted by Councilor Norman Albert and Councilor Mark Lunt pertaining to the situation with Lisbon Emergency Services.  The purpose of the meeting was to update the members of the sub-committee on the changes Lisbon Emergency had made to their By-Laws.  The meeting was conducted with no microphones or handouts so the members of the audience could not heard a lot of what was said and without a handout could not follow along.

I have been complaining about this situation for years but our Town leadership treats citizens as second class citizens.  What I mean is they do not care if the Public hear what is going on during these Public meetings.  I listen to Councilors complain that not many citizens take an interest in what is going on in town.  Well, when you are treated in this manner it is hard to maintain an interest when you cannot hear and no one cares.  Also, I have attended numerous briefing during my forty years working for the government and I never sat through a briefing that I could not hear everything said and I always had a handout in which to follow along.  At the end of classified briefings, the handouts were gathers back up and destroyed.
I have complained to our leadership on numerous occasions and they really do not care if they are professional or not.  This is just one of several reasons; I do not attend Town Council meetings.  If our leadership is not interested in what I have to say, then I am wasting my time attending.  Most of every Town Council meeting has been decided the outcome before the meeting so it is only a formality any ways.
Now, some can say that the By-Laws of Lisbon Emergency belong to Lisbon Emergency’s.  However, if the Town of Lisbon is hosting the meeting and Lisbon Emergency is asking for the taxpayers to supplement Lisbon Emergency; the taxpayers have a right to see the documents being discussed.  Just call me old fashion!  It is my personal opinion, that if you conduct a meeting in the town office and invite the Public; they should have handouts available to follow along.  If you do not want the people to attend and if you do not care if they hear or know what is going on; then stay out of our pockets to.  In other words, the citizens of Lisbon are being asked to pay for something but do not have a right to see and know what they are being forced pay for.
When is our leadership going to start treating its citizens like people, again?
Larry Fillmore


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Offices Closed - Monday, January 15, 2018

POSTED ON: JANUARY 10, 2018 - 11:45AM

Martin Luther King Jr. Day
In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Town Offices, Lisbon Public Library and MTM Center will be closed on Monday, January 15, 2018.  You still will have access to the MTM fitness center by using your membership code key.
All offices will be open regular business hours on Tuesday, January 16, 2018.

Lisbon Town Offices Closed - Monday, January 15, 2018


In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Town Offices, Lisbon Public Library and MTM Center will be closed on Monday, January 15, 2018.  You still will have access to the MTM fitness center by using your membership code key.
All offices will be open regular business hours on Tuesday, January 16, 2018.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Dept. Operation Hours and Snow Removal Notice


All town departments are operating on regular business hours.  If anything changes, we will issue an alert.
Downtown Snow Removal Scheduled for Sunday Night January 7, 2018.


Beaver Park Trails


Beaver Park snowshoe and cross country ski trails have not been groomed.  The park road is packed should you wish to use them.  Parks is hoping to groom trails Monday, January 8, 2018 for your enjoyment.

Urgent: Downtown Snow Removal Scheduled for Sunday Night January 7, 2018

Downtown Snow Removal Scheduled for Sunday Night January 7, 2018


Wednesday, December 27, 2017


On December 19, 2017, our loved Town Council performed yet another illegal Executive Session.  This is exactly the same way it was when Councilor LaRochelle was on the Town Council the last time.  At least they waited until the second meeting to start again.  I believe that before you can be a Councilor you must know how to read.  Since the oath of office they take, requires you to obey the laws of the State of Maine; each Councilor should know the law pertaining to Executive Sessions.  Maine Statue 405, Executive Sessions is only three pages long and outlines what can and cannot be discussed behind closed door.
Paragraph 6, Permitted deliberation, states “Deliberations on ONLY the following matters may be conducted during an executive session:”   It goes on to outline 8 sub-paragraphs for which an Executive Session is authorized.  Sub-paragraph C. reads “Discussion or consideration of the condition, acquisition or the use of real or personal property permanently attached to real property or interests therein or disposition of publicly held property or economic development ONLY IF PREMATURE DISCLOSURES OF THE INFORMATION WOULD PREJUDICE THE COMPETITIVES OR BARGAINING POSITION OF THE BODY OR AGENCY.”  The last portion of this provision is the most critical because it outlines when this sub-paragraph can be used for an Executive Session.
On December 19, 2017, the Town Council when into Executive Session under the above cited sub-paragraph and when they came out Councilor Kolbe read a prepared motion that read: “Move to loan $146,940.00 with a 10-year term at an interest rate of 5% to Jason LaVerdiere and Tyson LaVerdiere doing business as Flux Restaurant as followers:  $100,000.00 from the IRP fund and $46,940.00 from the Commercial Loan Fund.”  This was the only application for the Revolving Loan Fund program so where is the competition.  How is approval of the only application going to change the bargaining position or going to be changed if this information was released?  The loan application does NOT meet the criteria for Executive Session under the provisions of Maine Statue 405.  I support the approval of the loan application BUT not in the manner it was done.
This Town Council meeting is only Councilor LaRochelle’s second meeting.  It would appear that the community is in for three more years of back-door dealings and illegal Executive Sessions.
Call your Councilors and tell them to stop these illegal Executive Session and start complying with the law by discussing them in Public.
Larry Fillmore

Friday, December 22, 2017


This is an editor’s notice: 

According to the Town Manager: 

The Library & Transfer Station will be closed tomorrow due to the ice storm.  They will reopen on Tuesday, December 26th.

Larry Fillmore

Saturday, December 16, 2017


Tuesday night will begin the downfall of the community, again.  I am surprised it took until the second meeting with Fern LaRochelle to start.  On Tuesday agenda, there is an item under Executive Session, called Acquisition of Real Property or Economy Development.  Executive Session is where Fern LaRochelle does most of his wheeling and dealing because it is in SECRET.  No one can ever know what goes on behind closed doors.
Information put out in Executive Session pertaining to real property or anything that pertains to the bid process is restricted to ONLY Councilors.  I call this “insider information” because none of the other individuals that want to bid on the subject matter know what was discussed in Executive Session but Councilors are allowed to bid as private citizens.  Once again, there is no “conflict of interest” but ONLY in Lisbon.
No Councilor should be able to take part on anything discussed behind closed doors because it gives them an unfair advantage.  Fern LaRochelle has taken advantage of this in the pass when he purchased town property at a reduced price.  Having insider information provides Councilors with an advantage. 
I am shocked that the Chairman of the Town Council and the Town Manager waited until the second meeting to start this trend all over again.
Larry Fillmore




If you are wondering what “” is; it is the address for the Lisbon town website.  The purpose of this website is to keep the people informed as to what is going on in Lisbon, Maine.  It should be an attempt to provide transparency for our local government.  However, as Mr. Joe Hill noted in his great article titled “Lisbon Has An Ongoing Problem Notifying Residents” no matter how many times residents complain nothing gets changed.
This is a shame because the solution is quite simple.  All scheduled meeting must be posted to the “Event” calendar on the Home page. I am going to provide two solutions to the problem:
Option 1:  Make the Councilor, who is responsible for the Board/Committee, responsible for posting the meeting/cancellation to the “Event” calendar.
Option 2:  Make the Councilor, who is responsible for the Board/Committee, responsible to notify the Town Manager’s Administrative Assistant to all meetings/cancellations.  This will ensure they are posted to the “Event” calendar on the town website.
This simple change will ensure that citizens have one location to be informed about ALL meetings.  This way the people can choose which meetings they want to attend and have an interest in.  However, before the town can implement these changes; they must first post all the Boards/Committees/Sub-Committees on the town website under the section called “Boards/Committees”.  Currently, the website ONLY lists 9 of the 18 Boards/Committees listed under “Council Committee Assignments”.  The Town Manager needs to ensure that all Boards/Committees/Sub-Committees are listed under the section called “Board/Committees”.
These simple changes will ensure that the people of Lisbon are kept informed and will show transparency.  By the way, taxpayers are paying tax dollars for the town website so why are we NOT using the site for what it was intended to do.  By selectively posting just what management want the people to see; the town is censoring what the people can and cannot have for information. So why are we wasting tax dollars on a web site that is NOT providing what we need?
Call your Councilors and ask them why the town is wasting tax dollars?  Also ask your Councilors; “Who has oversight over the posting of the town website”?
Larry Fillmore




Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Lisbon Has An Ongoing Problem Notifying Residents.

Last week's article by Larry Fillmore reminded me of a frustrating incident I had last winter.

Last January or February after braving a rather nasty snow/sleet storm  I arrived at Town Hall to find the advertised Council Meeting had been canceled. This cancellation was not noted on the outside electronic board or on the Town Web Site.   

On the return two miles drive back to my home, I wondered if the Town of Lisbon could be held partially liable if someone had a serious accident driving to or from this canceled meeting.  Bartenders can be held liable if they give an inebriated person excessive alcohol that causes an accident. Could Lisbon be held liable if they are the reason an accident victim is driving to or from a canceled meeting.  -- Probably not---

In my humble opinion, Lisbon has a serious ongoing problem keeping residents apprised of  Town Meetings, Cancellations, Informational material for meetings as well as updated budget information.  It would only take a minute to update the Town's Website or send an E-mail to notify residents of any meetings or changes to meetings.

By not keeping the residents notified of ongoing town business the Council is speaking volumes about the way they view residents.

They are silently saying to each and every resident:
  •  We don't respect you enough to keep you informed.
  •  We tell you we want you at meetings but we really can't be bothered to actually do the work to notify you.

How many times since 2010 have you heard someone complain that all the documentation for the Council Meeting isn't available on the Website?  I have heard this complaint dozens of times. Usually, someone will post the information a few days later 
when the Council has already voted on the measure.

If Councilors can't be bothered to keep residents informed why should residents respect and help the Council?  This respect goes both ways.

Joe Hill

Monday, December 11, 2017

HE’ssssss BACK!!!!!!!

Well, the people have spoken and re-elected Fern LaRochelle to the Town Council, again.  I am NOT a fan of Fern LaRochelle and this article is my personal opinion.  It was not bad enough that when he was on the Town Council before; there were back door meetings, numerous actions was conducted in Executive Session and Fern conducted secret meetings with the Millers over the Worumbo Mill property.  I believe Fern also took advantage of his position on the Town Council to purchase town owned property at a reduced price.  I call this “insider information” but to everyone else he was legal as a citizen.
As you can tell, I believe that Fern is part of the problem and not the solution.  Take the Lisbon Communication Center as a prime example, Fern lobbied hard to keep it in Lisbon instead of closing it and utilizing the Androscoggin County Dispatch at a savings to the taxpayer of roughly $200,000.00.  This was strictly a political decision, instead of a sound logical decision, with the best interest of the community being first.  Currently, the Lisbon Communication Center cost the taxpayers of Lisbon over $300,000.00 a year; money that could be better used to improve the community.  Fern did this as a sub-contractor of the town for wrecker/vehicle recovery service.
Why do I bring this out, yet again, it is because the first thing Fern did was appoint himself as the Councilor to the Public Safety Committee. This means he has a say in the Lisbon Communication Center which dispatches wrecker/vehicle recovery service for the town.  I believe this would be concerned a “conflict of interest” anywhere else except Lisbon.
Also, it is my opinion the length of the Town Council meetings will increase two fold because Fern likes to hear himself talk.  He is always saying “At the end of the day”.  So for the next three years, I believe that Fern will be wheeling and dealing and costing the town more money than it needs to spend.  In my opinion, Fern LaRochelle is a primary member of the “good old boys network/political machine” of Lisbon.
This is my personal opinion but I believe that Fern LaRochelle has to screw his pants on in the morning.
Larry Fillmore


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Training Partners Support St. Mary’s Medical Assistant Program

Photo caption:  Pictured (l-r):  front row – Marie Blessing, Audrey Condon, Dancile Nshimirimana, Francis Nguyen, Kassandra Hebert, Katie Hamilton, Darcy Goyette, Mary Ann Gowell, instructor.  Second row – Jessica Biron, Dinah Morris, Tracy Crossman, Sandra Barnich, Trisha Newcomb, Justine Gray, Lori Adkins, Melissa Dalton, Kelsa Brennan, Kayla Caron, Patti Saarinen, WIOA Site Coordinator WMCA – Lewiston CareerCenter.  Third row – Paula Bolduc, Julian Kirouac, Brittany Wilkins, Miranda Hutchinson, Cathy Stairs, WMCA Employment & Training Specialist.
Lewiston – St. Mary’s Health System, 96 Campus Avenue, held a celebration ceremony on Tuesday, November 28 at the facility recognizing  19 local students for completion of their Medical Assistant classes.  Instructor, Mariann Gowell,  welcomed administrators, staff, family, friends, and community partners for the presentation of certificates.   Brittany Blais, St. Mary’s Talent Acquisition Partner & Human Resources, also shared remarks and thanked partners for making the program possible.
Students successfully completed a fast paced, condensed curriculum offering training to assist physicians with the clinical responsibilities of a medical office. The program included 140 hours of classroom/lab training with routine lab procedures, phlebotomy, EKG, diagnostic testing, etc.  Following the classwork, students are completing the final weeks of an Externship schedule of 160 hours.  Many of the students also earned a WorkReady certificate covering the topics of effective workplace communication techniques, resume and interviewing skills, conflict resolution, teamwork, and other important soft skills. This St. Mary’s employer driven project was made possible through the collaborative support and grant funding provided by Western Maine Community Action, Bureau of Employment Services/Competitive Skills Scholarship Program, and Gray/New Gloucester Adult Education.  The combined curriculum empowers students with the skills and knowledge essential to the specific job field.  “This graduation class is not only the result of the students’ dedication but also a prime example of train-to-work where business, education, and workforce development collaborate,” shares Patti Saarinen, WIOA Site Coordinator WMCA – Lewiston CareerCenter.  “The integration of education and training is a best-practice model for success.” 
"St. Mary’s Health System is proud of the success of the students that have completed this course,” shares Brittany Blais at St. Mary’s.  “This program was designed and executed in collaboration with Western Maine Community Action, Maine Department of Labor, and Gray-New Gloucester Adult Education after we recognized a need in our system for Medical Assistants.  It was a wonderful opportunity that will hopefully fulfill our need for qualified medical assistants and allow these students an opportunity to grow professionally in a rewarding career.  We are very appreciative of the efforts that all parties contributed to make this successful and wish the best of luck to these students." 
Monica M. Millhime
Employment & Training Business Specialist


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