I was born in Lewiston, raised in Augusta in a Franco-American neighborhood, attended St. Augustine's Parochial School, graduated from Cony High School and moved to Lewiston in 1988 to start a family. I have been in this area ever since.
I've enjoyed your "short stories" for years and just wanted to say thank you for a great laugh. We need more feel good stories like this. Happy New Year!
P.S. I hate those "standing in the parking lot" moments when we forget something...
Throwing a pig's head into a place used for religious purposes is hateful and wrong. No doubt the mayor has every right to freedom of speech, he also has responsibilities to all of our residents and to not encourage bad press and a bad image for Lewiston. I also have that same freedom of speech and I exercised it on a very rare basis in public for several reasons, one being that I care about Lewiston's image having lived, worked and worshiped here for many years. I disagree with all of your comment except for the facts that Mayor MacDonald is an American and he has same right of freedom of speech. He just needs to use more discretion as a public servant representing Lewiston.
In my opinion former Mayor Raymond's "letter" did not deserve such a negative reaction from the Somali community, nor from the national press. I'm curious about our current Mayor's intentions. From the Council meeting excerpts he has worked with our Somali fellow residents, "breaking bread" with them, yet his rambling written and spoken words confuse me as to what his real intentions were. Even though he tried in his own way to explain what they were, I still have no idea what they were.
I felt bad for former Mayor Raymond and supported the letter he wrote as a genuine reaching out on an issue of great importance to our City. It was "his way" to communicate, though many "assumed" his intentions were not good. Why he didn't meet with the Somali community before writing the letter? Who knows and so what, his bad. Did he or the City deserve the circus that followed? No. I'm convinced of that after reading the Sun Journal articles again.
Given our history of events over the past 10 years and given the hard work of many in the Somali community to make a better life for themselves here in Lewiston, becoming citizens and becoming actively involved in the community, they did not deserve the current Mayor's comments, neither did the rest of Lewiston. Are there some who take advantage of our generosity? Sure, no more than the rest of us. Will it take more time to grow into our community after leaving their homeland? Of course, as it did with other immigrants that moved here. He needed to admit his mistake and apologize Tuesday night. It is one thing to communicate with people directly, another to make it a public spectacle. Blame the press? That's a cop out. I hope the Somali community and he work together to resolve the issues and show everyone else that forgiveness and tolerance are not qualities that have been forgotten in Lewiston. Perhaps the press will then have something positive to report on.