March 15, 2019

Free “Irish” community meal at Raymond Village Community Church


The Raymond Village Community Church (UCC) will offer another free Community Meal as a post St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Corned Beef & Cabbage will be served from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20 at 27 Main Street in Raymond.

But there may be one surprise to some - the famous St. Paddy’s Day Irish Corned Beef and Cabbage is actually an American dish! While the Irish did have a boiled meal, the meat was usually a cut of pork called “Irish Bacon” – with pork being much cheaper than beef in Ireland at the time.  However, when the Irish came to the U.S., beef was cheaper, and “corned” beef was substituted, becoming wildly popular throughout New England.   

Whether you’re Irish, a multi-generational Mainer, or anyone in the area who enjoys really good food and a great time, the church cordially invites you to celebrate community at a free community
friendship meal on the first day of Spring.

“Come one, come all. All are welcome in this place”, stated RVCC Pastor, Rev. Nancy Foran.  “We’re starting small, but our goal is to have everyone in the area – Raymond and beyond – to attend these meals and in the process to feel more a part of this wonderful region of Maine.”

For further information, contact Rev. Foran at nancy1@maine.rr.com or at 207-655-7749.



Black Box Teens present “Truly Talented Kids”

Most parents know that if you put a group of talented kids together, eventually they will want to put on a show for friends and family.  At Schoolhouse Arts Center, the Black Box Teens have taken this to a whole new level.

On March 15-17, the talented teenagers at Schoolhouse will perform their fourth annual cabaret-style, “Truly Talented Kids”. This is nothing like the kid’s shows that you have witnessed in your living room. This is a true cavalcade of local talent. It will entertain the adults and inspire the teenagers of our community. For the fourth year in a row, the Black Box Teens have put together a show that will truly impress any audience. It will include musical covers, dance numbers, comedians, and even American Sign Language. For everyone in the audience, it will be a memorable evening.

But for the Black Box Teens it is an opportunity to perform the skills and talents that they have developed throughout the year. This is a show scripted, produced, costumed, teched, and directed by the teens themselves. At a ticket price of only $8, this is a great evening of entertainment and a real opportunity to support the teens of our community. In an age where the news often focuses on teen
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problems, our community is fostering a larger and larger group of local teens who want to display their positive skills and talents.

“Truly Talented Kids” will take to the stage on Friday, March 15 and Saturday March 15 – both evenings at 7 p.m. A matinee will be performed on Sunday March 17 at 2 p.m. at Schoolhouse Arts Center, 16 Richville Rd.  (Route 114) in Standish. You can make reservations to see the Black Box Teens perform by visiting the Schoolhouse Arts Center website at www.Schoolhousearts.org.



A day in the life at the State House: The ability to bilocate is handy for legislators during committee meetings

Rep. Jessica Fay and Lorraine Glowczak
By Lorraine Glowczak

As I stated last week, (March 8 edition, page 8), it is my intention to better inform myself of the procedures and daily activities during the legislative sessions. As a result, I’ve asked the Raymond and Windham delegates if I could shadow them for part of their day. They all responded immediately with open arms.

It is my hope that by sharing my experiences, I can “bring” a visit to those who are unable to travel to Augusta and watch their legislators in action. It is here I will do my best to communicate the day to day policy-making intricacies of those we elected to serve us in Augusta.

Last week I shared my first adventure with Rep. Sue Austin (Republican. District 67 that includes portions of Gray, Raymond, Casco and all of Frye Island), I spent the morning of Thursday, February 28 shadowing her and learned that flexibility is needed during legislative sessions as the day’s agenda changes quickly. I also learned that a minor shift in language can completely change the meaning of a bill.

After my morning exploration with Rep. Austin came to an end at 1 p.m., I met up with Rep. Jessica Fay (Democrat. District 66, representing parts of Casco, Poland and Raymond).

We had been communicating all morning via text messaging because, as stated previously, adaptability comes with the territory in the constantly changing legislative environment. We initially were going to meet at 11 a.m. and was I going to observe her during the Environmental Priorities Coalition lunch that was going to meet between 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. But I had not even left my home in Windham yet, when I received this message from Rep. Fay, “Hi Lorraine,
My committee was just invited to lunch with the Speaker. Unfortunately, the press isn't invited.
It should be about an hour. We can chat about it after session. Lots happening today.”
At a break during the morning House Session, Rep. Fay took some time to visit me in the gallery to speak to me for a few minutes.

It was during this few quick uninterrupted moments that I learned Rep. Fay is on two committees (Environment and Natural Resources committee as well as the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife committee and she is also the co-chair of the Caucus on Aging.) “Aging well is one issue that I'm working on, especially as co-chair of the bipartisan Legislative Caucus on Aging,” she explained. “Economic abuse is another issue that I'm working on. Both are issues I hear a lot about from constituents.”

http://www.rsu14.orgAt 1 p.m., when we finally met up for good. I attended the Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) where I observed Rep. Fay in action. It seems the afternoons are the times when all committees meet. Being my first time to watch legislative committees in action, Rep. Fay explained to me the process; “A committee schedules a public hearing where the bill sponsor (a legislator) introduces the bill - and then other legislators, members of the public, departmental staff and lobbyists can weigh in. A week or so later there is a scheduled work session where the committee and its staff analyst go through the testimony, make changes, ask further questions and decide if the bill is worthwhile of moving onto the full legislature.”

Afternoon committee times, I discovered, are when legislators sometime must be in two places at once.

While ENR was listening to testimonies, it just so happened that the Health and Human Services Committee was having a scheduled work session. One bill that was scheduled for that session, was a bill Rep. Fay sponsored, LD 583 - “Resolve, directing the Department of Health and Human Services To Study the State’s Long-term Services and Supports System for Older Adults,” (this includes both home and community based services for older people and assisted living, nursing home and other institutional care)

So how does a legislator bilocate? Easy. She notifies the aid. In this case, Rep. Fay spoke to the aid of the Health and Human Services (HHS) committee prior to the meetings to notify her when the bill LD583, was about to be considered.

As a result, while in the middle of hearing testimony from a sponsor of the bill, LD 450 - An Act To Increase Funding for the St. Croix International Waterway Commission, Rep. Fay was notified it that was time to speak to the HHS committee. We left ENR, and I witnessed Rep. Fay provide the additional information required from her by the HHS committee.

When we returned to ENR, the committee was on to discussing another bill, LD 621 - An Act To Prohibit Extruded Polystyrene Food Service Containers.

Because I missed the hearings and part of the committee’s discussion on this bill, I have decided to follow it to the end. It will be the first time I will witness a bill from the beginning to its completion. 

For clarification on this bill and the next step, Rep. Fay stated in an email, “The next step will be a language review with our committee staff, and then the bill will be sent off to the Clerk of the House to be placed on the House Calendar, where it will be debated (or passed without debate) and then it goes to the Senate for debate, then back to the House for concurrence. Then back to the Senate and to the House for final enactment if it passes, then to the Governor. This is where the song, ‘I'm just a bill’ from the old Saturday morning cartoons comes in handy.”

Although it is true that the day was a bit chaotic, Rep. Fay pointed out that not all days are like that – and even when they are - there is a process in the chaos and everyone is focused and does a good job, despite the frenzy.

Next week, I will share my adventure with Rep. Mark Bryant.

LED street lights are being considered in Raymond

By Lorraine Glowczak

Finding ways to balance a responsible budget and spend less on required items is often a challenge for most municipal communities, and the town of Raymond is no exception. As a result, the town is in the process of working with the communities of Windham, Gorham and Standish to cut costs that stem from energy and electricity consumption produced through essential street lights by converting them to LED street technology.

“We are working in conjunction with Windham, Standish and Gorham to provide more cost effective and energy saving street lighting by installing LED technology,” stated Raymond Town Manager, Don Willard. “As a part of the cost saving efforts, we are working with consultant REALTERM Energy, a company that works closely with municipalities to install reliable and affordable LED lighting upgrades, often providing the service to groups of towns working together.” In this case, the collective buying will be a result of the collaboration between the four Lakes Region towns.

Although the exact cost savings are still being analyzed and precise numbers will be available soon, Willard said that LED lighting requires far less energy, using only 15 percent of what an incandescent bulb uses, and thus providing a steep and long-term cost savings for the town.

Kaela Gonzalez, Administrative Assistant to Willard, is coordinating the research and collecting both energy use and financial data with the town’s Financial Director, Cathy Ricker. So far, she has created an inventory of all the street lights in Raymond. “There are 235 street lamps the town pays for,” Gonzalez began. “Of all those lights, we have determined that there would be an immediate cost savings by converting 112 of the street lamps to LED lights.”

“We identified those 112 street lights as easy conversions with the highest cost rate savings,” Gonzalez explained. “We are not considering the decorative street lamps as it is not cost effective to change those lamps to LED at this time, however changing all the lamps over to LED should be looked at eventually”

At the present time, the current street lights are operated and maintained by Central Maine Power (CMP). “The Town of Raymond pays CMP to lease the lights as well as the delivery of the power,” explained Willard. “We also are in communication with CMP to see if continuing to work with them might be more cost effective. They have stated that we would see a 30% decrease in cost if we converted to their LED program.”

The question Willard, Gonzalez and Ricker must consider as they continue their research and data collection is whether or not to maintain the relationship with CMP, leasing the lights while paying for the energy or if the REALTIME Energy conversion to town ownership and maintenance might be in the town’s best interests.

One positive with CMP is that the company will maintain the lights as part of the package costs. With the REALTIME Energy proposal the Town will own the lights but must find a company or contractor to maintain the street lights. “With LED technology, however, we have to factor in that maintenance will be required much less often than our current lighting system due to the expected design life of the luminaire which can exceed 100,000 hours before burning out,” Willard said.

In addition to cost savings and energy efficiency, LED lights provide directional lighting which puts the actual light where it is needed for public safety and also reduces night sky light pollution. Another major factor is that the new lights can be programable. “We would be able to program a specific street lamp for light intensity or perhaps to blink at the location of an accident.” Willard began. “I don’t know if we would want or choose to do all that, but the point is, we could if we wanted to with an LED lighting system for additional energy savings or public safety.”

Once the data and statistics are determined, the options will be presented to the Raymond Board of Selectmen to consider and vote upon.

Other towns in Maine that have converted to or are in the process of converting to LED lamp lighting includes Presque Ise, Biddeford, Portland, South Portland, Wells, Dover-Foxcroft, Fort Kent, Houlton, Rockland, Falmouth and Caribou to name just a few. All these municipalities worked with REALTERM Energy.

“All the cool kids use LED,” joked Gonzalez. “Perhaps we should consider it, too.”

March 8, 2019

Community support is requested for Boys and Girls State


American Legion Post 148 has been providing information articles in this paper to generate interest
on the part of our local area High School Juniors to attend their respective Boys or Girls State Conventions.

This is a great opportunity for these young men and women to be introduced to the workings of government on the local, and state level. The American Legion Post 148 and its Auxiliary have been sponsoring these opportunities for over seventy years. In recent years there have been more interested students then the Post and auxiliary have funding for.
Unfortunately, the Post and Auxiliary resources limit sponsorship to three girls and three boys.  In past years we were able to send additional students due to the generosity of members of the local business community who took up the challenge and sponsored a student. 

The Post would like to extend an invitation again this year to any citizen, organization or business who would like to ensure that a girl or boy from our junior class community has the opportunity to see first-hand our democracy in action. 

Full sponsorship for Boys State is $300 (as has been for the past five years) and Girls State is $320 (last three years). Full or partial funding would be greatly appreciated. 

Please contact Finance Officer and Post Adjutant, Dave Tanguay at 892-1306 if you have questions or can sponsor a candidate to this worthy cause.  If you would prefer to remain anonymous, you may send a check to American Legion Post 148, PO Box 1776, Windham, Maine, 04062. (mark Boys State or Girls State). Thank you.


Sen. Diamond bill to strengthen “move over law” gets public hearing


AUGUSTA — A bill sponsored by Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, to strengthen protections for police, emergency responders and road workers received a public hearing on Thursday, Feb. 28 at the Legislature’s Transportation Committee, which Sen. Diamond chairs.

The bill, LD 546 “An Act To Enhance Highway Safety by Strengthening the So-called Move Over Law” increases the minimum fine for passing a stationary emergency or public service vehicles with its emergency or service lights on from $250 to $350.

“The ‘move over law’ keeps police, emergency responders and public service workers safe while they do their jobs,” said Sen. Diamond.  “I hope this bill can serve as the start of a conversation about strengthening safety protections for those who keep us safe.”

In December of last year two Maine State Troopers were injured, in two separate accidents a week apart, when their cruisers were struck by passing vehicles. These incidents caused Maine State Police to step up their enforcement of the “move over law.”

LD 546 faces further action in the Transportation Committee, as well as votes in the Maine House and Senate.



Rotary announces community business luncheon

The Sebago Lake Rotary Club is pleased to announce a March 21 lunch to be held at the Windham Veterans Center, located at 35 Veterans Memorial Drive, Windham, ME (behind the Hannaford plaza, off route 302) from 11:30 a.m. until approximately 1:30 p.m.

The Rotary Club, whose purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to
provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the world, is hoping to attract local business people to join them for a presentation by the Greater Portland Council of Government’s (GPCOG) Executive Director, Ms. Kristina Egan.

The Rotary Club has invited Ms. Egan because her agency is currently working with area local governments and agencies to address issues of today, as well as making preparations for the future. Ms. Egan will be focusing her remarks on the following five topic areas: Smart Growth, Transportation, Economic Development, Energy and Public Health and their potential impact on the greater Sebago Lake business community.  (see www.gpcog.org)

Tony Plante, Rotary Club president, and GPCOG’s Director of Municipal Collaboration said, “What transpires within each of these focus areas will have both immediate and future impacts on our local businesses and their ability to grow and prosper.  Having Ms. Egan share the work and thinking of the GPCOG will help local business people plan for and adapt to the likely future growth and development within our region.” 

A light lunch will be provided to attendees. The cost will be $10 per person. Ample opportunity will be available to network with attendees as well as to ask questions and voice your concerns directly with the people, like Ms. Egan, whose work today will likely affect our future business environment.
Individuals interested in attending the luncheon are urged to contact Marge Barker of the Sebago Lake Rotary Club at margebarker173@gmail.com to reserve one or more seats. Tables, each holding up to six people, will also be available to reserve.  

Reservations are encouraged in order to get an approximate head count for the caterer, Pat’s Pizza. Attendees may pay in advance, or at the door.  Early registration is encouraged since the Veterans Center capacity for such an event is a maximum of 125 people.