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LETTER: YPLAA must wake up to downtown problems

Letter to the Editor:

“Fecta Non Verba Syndrome” appears to be striking many of Lewiston-Auburn’s young professionals.

The symptoms include delusions of grandeur, an inflated sense of importance, extreme bravado in safe surroundings, lack of courage when confronted with issues relating to political correctness and the wearing of a large gaudy college ring.

Upon reading, “Young Professionals want more Nightlife, Housing” (Twin City TIMES, page 1, November 25, 2010), I pictured the YPLAA (Young Professionals of the Lewiston Auburn Area) as a collection of frat boys and sorority sisters sitting around drinking expensive wines, eating brie and fantasizing how they will transform Lewiston-Auburn into a Utopia of restaurants, arts and a lively nightlife. They are young, college-educated professionals. They are L-A’s future leaders.

Leadership is not simply attending art shows or patronizing the arts. Leadership is not eating in L-A’s better restaurants. Leadership is not having your photo frequently in the paper. Leadership is not remaining silent while your community deteriorates around you.

Where was the YPLAA, and for that matter Lucien Gosselin of LAEGC and Chamber President Chip Morrison, when the Lewiston city staff—not the developer—pushed through a Section Eight Housing Project in an area that was supposed to be designated for business?

This housing project is next to DaVinci’s restaurant. Perhaps you didn’t show up because you know the future residents will provide you entertainment while you and your friends dine on DaVinci’s patio. Yes, there is nothing more entertaining as the sounds of inner-city Lewiston while you dine.

Leadership is developing intestinal fortitude and, unlike our present city government, honestly defining the problem and addressing it. It’s time to follow the example of Denis Theriault, who is standing up and confronting problems with the Bartlett Street mosque, in public.

After a two-hour workshop in which Theriault detailed problems with mosque attendees who disrespect his and other’s private property, I think the public got a fairly good picture of what is happening downtown, as well as Lewiston city government’s attempts to remain politically correct by responding ineptly to the problems.

It’s about time that the citizens of Lewiston are informed about how we were selected to be a home for thousands of refugees. Is Lewiston a part of a university academic experiment to see if Bantu, Somalis and Sudanese Christians can get along with each other in close proximity?

During the workshop with Theriault, Mayor Laurent Gilbert suggested that a disinterested party could mediate the problem so that all parties would get along. The reason that many of these “New Mainers” are in Lewiston is precisely because they couldn’t get along in their homeland.

I hope the city fathers and mothers will develop some intestinal fortitude and crack down on these problems. It is a sad day that a multi-generational family like Theriault’s is forced to the extreme in order to protect their property. You can’t continue to carry on like everything is rosy.

Lastly, it has been suggested that Theriault should tow illegally parked vehicles from his lot. Those actions would probably result in increasing damage to his property from this hostile group. Many are appalled by the fact that Theriault is carrying a firearm to protect his property.

I would note that violence is a way of life for some of these New Mainers, killing being no exception. It is easy to be a hero and give advice when you’re far removed from the situation.

So, to our city officials and our future city officials, it’s time to develop a new attitude: “Fecta Non Verba” (Deeds, not words).

Robert Macdonald


One Response to “LETTER: YPLAA must wake up to downtown problems”

  • MO:

    I would like to take this time to respond to Mr Macdonald for his letter that is missing the facts and the truth. I am a member of the Islamic center, and a resident of a twin city; Mr. Macdonald is waking up people of downtown twin city without no bases; If history needs to be look, in 2001 downtown Lewiston when I came to this great city, it was a bad place to live and no one would like to be driving a long Knox street, but thanks to people who lives there, the palce is safe to not only drive, but walk in midnight. I would also like to tell Mr. Macdonal there are religious right in this country, we as US citizen we have a right to practice our religion; The mosque in Lisbon street have being there more than 8 years and we haven’t had any problems with our neighbors or the business around us. To summaries my point, Mr. Macdonald have a right to express his thoughts, but he has to get his facts straight before telling us to wake up. He needs to visit local center and meet with leaders and the business owners.

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