Dear Sun Spots: I am saddened and in shock seeing all the wonderful,
big trees along the edges of Bates College on Russell Street and
Central Avenue cut down. I don’t always see the Journal, so if there
was advance notice or a public hearing I missed it.
I’d like to know who is responsible for the decision to remove these
environmentally important trees and also why. What’s the reason? What a
shame. Surely there was no connection to the construction of new
sidewalks around town. This does not support our goal to become a
greener city. Thanks. – Andi, Lewiston.
Answer:
Steve
Murch, city arborist for Lewiston, noted that it is a project of the
Maine Department of Transportation, which is being done to accommodate increased traffic on Russell Street. Murch also said that more trees will be planted to
replace the ones that were cut down, as well as additional landscaping
added.
Kent Cooper, senior landscape architect for the MDOT said city
officials, Bates College and MDOT have been working for some
time on construction plans to add turning lanes, new handicap compliant
sidewalks, pedestrian crosswalks and signals, relocate utilities
away from the campus, and add synchronized lights to improve safety and
traffic issues in this area.

He also noted that they have developed plans for extensive replanting of more than 230 trees, including
shade trees, evergreens, flowering trees and perennials as part of the
landscape improvements for the project.
Part of the project also included a tree inventory of the area. Cooper noted
that while visually significant, many of the trees immediately adjacent
to the right of way were in decline, provided poor screening value and
were nondesirable species in less than prime condition. He also said
that several movable shade trees on the project were relocated prior
to construction this spring.

Both Murch and Cooper noted that there were numerous public hearings with the college and community members.
The department hopes that new
sidewalks, improved safety and landscaped median islands will be
successful enhancements for the community.
Dear Sun Spots: We are a residential care facility in Sabattus. We are looking for replacements for our living room furniture and dining room sets. Due to state regulations, they must be in good repair (no worn areas, no tears and not stained) Are there any suggestions of where we might request donations from the community in the event someone may be looking to give furniture of this type to a good home? We may consider paying a fee if the cost is reasonable and will transport it. Please contact Coleen at 375-6562 at your earliest convenience. – Coleen, Sabattus.
Dear Sunspots: First of all I want to thank you for your helpfulness in the past. If there is anyone in the Lewiston-Auburn area in need of a cane or a walker, we have several folding canes, a shepherd cane and a walker to give away. We are able to deliver if needed. Please call Bo or Nancy at 783-3786. Thanks again for all your help. – No Name, No Town.
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