Cleaning out the inbox . . .


As previously noted by our colorful columnist and crime reporter Mark LaFlamme, jeers to the rapture. Or perhaps for some of us cheers to the rapture, for sparing us for another few days, at least. While some of us were skeptical, we now know for certain we still have a chance at closing out our debts and making good on all of our other promises before the EOD — End of Days. Don’t fritter.

Speaking of fritters, or at least doughnuts, here’s to the warm-hearted folks who work at the four Dunkin’ Donuts in Franklin County. Instead of begrudging franchise rules that ban employees from taking customer tips, the doughnut shop crews led by Chasya Silvestre set up donation boxes for the Franklin County Animal Shelter in Farmington.

Silvestre, whose parents own the four local shops, said the response to the Plexiglas donation boxes featuring a photo of a local shelter resident was remarkable. People not only put change from their purchases in the boxes, but also dug into their wallets and purses to add to the collection. In April they raised $530 for the shelter. Other stores in Franklin County, like Tranten’s grocery store in Kingfield, also collect for the shelter, helping to care for and adopt out unwanted dogs and cats.

“They need support especially in these difficult times,” Chasya’s dad, Dan, said. “It’s impressive to see how generous people are during this tight situation.” Cheers to that and to the Silvestres, the workers, the shelter and all those who have opened their hearts, wallets and homes to help shelter animals anywhere.

Cheers to the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee. Wednesday, the committee gutted a Gov. Paul LePage-sponsored bill that would have rolled back Maine’s efforts to diversify its sources of electricity by gradually adding more renewables to the mix.

The governor hoped the change would save Maine ratepayers about $5 a year on their electric bills, but it would have cost the state billions of dollars in private investment and thousands of energy-related jobs, including existing ones at Maine paper mills and biomass facilities. The bill seemed in direct conflict with LePage’s otherwise pro-business and pro-jobs stands. We are thankful the Legislature used its greater wisdom to check the bill.

And cheers to LePage for joining a delegation of officials including a former Republican rival — Maine and Co. President and CEO Matt Jacobsen — in welcoming Carbonite, a Boston-based, high-tech data storage company, to the governor’s hometown of Lewiston earlier this week.

Carbonite hopes to have 50 people employed shortly and 250 employed by the end of 2012 at a 20,000-square-foot customer service center. The jobs, on average and with benefits, will pay an estimated $35,000 a year.

LePage’s remarks were on the mark, appreciative of Jacobsen, Maine and Co. and all the others in the Lewiston-Auburn business community who did the actual heavy lifting in getting Carbonite here. LePage showed his heart really is in the right place, at least from our perspective, when it comes to jobs — right here in L-A.

Cheers to all the tenants at the Great Falls School in Auburn who are on the move. Rather than throw in the towel when they learned their space would be demolished, they rallied, and most found new spaces. Vital parts of our arts community will continue to grow and flourish.

Relocating to a previously vacant,  but soon to be renovated, Merrill Hill School on Western Avenue, Dance Center LA owner Elizabeth Hansen decided to reinvest in the community she has served so well, for so long.

“We’re looking forward to having a home and being able to expand and grow, Hansen told the Sun Journal.

We’re looking forward to that too. Cheers to Hansen and to the enrichment that dancers and all performing artists add to our lives.

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The opinions expressed in this column reflect the views of the ownership and editorial board.