July 13, 2018

Summer reading is for the dogs (and cats) by Briana Bizier

Are you looking for a way to encourage your children to read more this summer? The Raymond Village Library is here to help.

Children of all ages are welcome to join Raymond Village Library’s Summer Reading Program. This year’s theme is music, and the library is hosting special events the entire month of July to celebrate. Stop by to sign up for the program and receive a bag with a monthly calendar of all the library’s special events, two Seadogs tickets, a bookmark, a reading tally sheet, and a whistle.

This summer, the Raymond Village Library has partnered with local animal shelters to offer special rewards to young readers. Children who join the reading program are able to set their own goals by planning on reading, or being read to, a certain number of minutes per week or a certain number of books per week. The readers, or their parents, keep track of books or minutes read on the tally sheet. Each time the readers meet their goal, they’ll be given the chance to win a special prize for a cat or dog.

Prizes of cat and dog toys, treats, and food are on display in the children’s section of the Raymond Library. When a young reader completes their goal for the week, they have the chance to decorate a special gift tag with their name, select a prize for the shelter animals and move the tagged prize to a separate shelf. At the end of the summer, all the “prizes” will be delivered to the animal shelters with the children's tags attached. This summer, the more kids read, the happier local dogs and cats will be!
Stop by the Raymond Village Library for your chance to support your local animal shelter, read great books, and have fun at your library this summer.

Windham Fire-Rescue Deputy Chief retires after many years of service by Matt Pascarella

Deputy Chief David Nichols with Deputy Chief Jim Poitras and Captain Ken Thorpe at the South Windham Fire Station. Submitted photo
Deputy Chief David Nichols has been a member of the Windham Fire Department since he was 15 years old. He followed in the footsteps of his dad and hero, Ernie Nichols. “It was part of the family business; giving back to the community,” Nichol states. “It was always part of our family tradition.”
Nichols retired on June 1st after serving the Windham community for 34 years.

His dad, Ernie Nichols, was a fire fighter in the South Windham Village for 25 years and left in 1981 as Deputy Fire Chief; he’s now 82. Deputy Chief David Nichols grew up around the fire station and being around the other firefighters he became aware of the lifestyle; he realized he wanted to help others in the same way as his dad.

Nichols started in August of 1984 at the age of 15 as a junior member in South Windham. By the age of 18, he had become a lieutenant. In 1993, he moved to North Windham and became a captain shortly after, beginning his role as Deputy Chief approximately 10 years later.

After some initial training, Nichols became a member of the Portland Fire Department in 1999. He has been in this highly sought after and competitive position for 19 years and is currently a lieutenant. He will continue to serve on the Portland Fire Department.

http://www.downeastsharpening.com/Serving the community has been very rewarding. Nichols states that when the phone rings and someone is having their worst possible day he, and the other firefighters, want to do their best to help and try to find the positive in that worst day. For Nichols, the good outweighs the bad.

Nichols will miss his firefighting family in Windham. Nichols thanks his dad, his wife Jen and his two kids, Tim and Steph; he thanks them for their patience and sacrifice. Nichols would also like to thank the individuals who have mentored him along the way: Chief Dolby, Chief Hammond and Chief Libby and his first Captain, Jim Poitras.

“It’s been very rewarding…” reflects Nichols.

He plans to spend his extra time with his family, as well as participating in two of his favorite activities, hunting and fly fishing.

The Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce welcomes new Executive Director by Lorraine Glowczak

Lynn Mansfield
The Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has recently appointed Lynn Mansfield as their new Executive Director. Mansfield, who began her position approximately one month ago, has many professional and personal experiences that will contribute to the Chamber’s commitment to supporting Lakes Region businesses in meeting their economic successes and goals.

This is not the first time Mansfield has held the position of director. She was the State Executive Director for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for ten years until the MADD Maine office closed its doors. Unfortunately, she became involved in the organization two years after she lost her own brother to a drunk driving crash in 1996. Her role as director was to educate the public on MADD’s mission to stop drunk driving, support the victims in this violent crime and to prevent underage drinking.

During her time there, she worked closely with a diverse group of volunteers, much like she will at the Chamber. “My new position with the Chamber allows me to continue my work with volunteers as we strive to foster and sustain economic growth and prosperity throughout our region by promoting commerce,” stated Mansfield. “While the mission may differ, it takes an extraordinary person to volunteer their time and talents to the community. I hope to use my experience working with the legislature, media, educators, program sponsors and high-profile agencies to propel the Chamber forward as it seeks new opportunities for growth.”

https://www.egcu.org/cardsIn addition to her experience as an executive director, she also knows a thing or two about entrepreneurship and running her own business. Loving to bake, she created a specialty bakery, Lulu’s Cupcakes. Mansfield was such a success with that endeavor that she entered and made it to the final elimination round of the Macy’s Million Dollar Makeover Challenge in 2012. “The experience took me out of my comfort zone and while I didn’t win the food spot (or the million dollars), the confidence I gained continues to pay dividends.” 

She also enjoys the art of natural light photography which has been a profitable business for her as well.

But her talents and professional experiences do not end there. Mansfield and her husband, Cary, are parents to ten children ranging in ages 27 to 10. How does that contribute to her role as the director of the Chamber? “People often ask me to describe what it’s like to raise ten children and my answer is always ‘controlled chaos,’” explained Mansfield. “I’ve learned how to balance a large workload with the needs of ten very different people and multitasking is my superpower. It takes a fair amount of diplomacy to maintain harmony and while I haven’t figured out how to clone myself yet, I’ve learned to find creative solutions to achieve balance. I measure my success as a mother by ensuring that my children feel valued at the end of the day. Working with a board of directors is similar, in that our members bring something unique to the table based on industry and life experiences. Identifying their strengths and interests allows me to offer volunteer opportunities that provide the most value for their contributions. Like a large family, there’s a place for everyone.”

And speaking of those children, it is also important to mention Mansfield homeschooled them. “When MADD closed its Maine office, I looked at it as an opportunity to invest more time in my growing family and homeschooling felt like a natural extension.” Mansfield said. “It’s an absolute privilege to be present for a child’s educational milestones, to watch a face light up with each new accomplishment. Children often have different learning styles, so being able to provide a curriculum that teaches to their strengths has been such a gift.”

The accumulation of experiences has not only helped her build a certain level of strength and knowledge to assist businesses in the region, but it has also helped her clearly define what her plans are in the next six months or so. “I’m fortunate to be joining the Chamber at a time when its board is open to pursuing positive changes that will expand outreach and provide more value for membership,” stated Mansfield. “During the coming year, I hope to be a catalyst for the economic success of our members by strengthening efforts to advocate for their business interests. We need to re-engage our members and find out what they need from the Chamber. I’ve already discerned the need to provide more meaningful networking opportunities and step up our efforts with marketing support. Chamber membership is a great way to increase visibility and connection to the community and we wouldn’t be able to offer new programs and improve services without the generous support of our sponsors. We are fortunate to have so many member businesses that are vested in our growth. As I find my groove in my position, my goal is to reach out, strengthen those partnerships and provide more value for their contributions.”

Not only is Mansfield excited to be a part of the Chamber, the members and its board are very happy that she is a part of this organization. “Lynn Mansfield has come into the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber at a time of great change for the organization and the community,” stated Michelle Libby, Chamber President. “We are excited to have her at the helm to enable the business communities we serve to band together to work as a unified group for the success of all. Lynn has an engaging personality and makes everyone she meets feel comfortable and welcome. We are very lucky to have her.”

July 6, 2018

An update on investigation into Maine’s child protective system by Sen. Bill Diamond

Sen. Diamond

As responsible and caring citizens, we have a profound responsibility to lookout for the safety and well-being of Maine kids, especially when it comes to reporting signs of abuse or neglect. However, those reports mean nothing if the proper infrastructure isn't in place to follow through on these reports and remove children from harmful situations. It doesn’t matter who’s at fault; a strained child protective system is bad for our kids and society as a whole. The alarming fact is - kids are being severely abused and the only reason we don't have names is because these abused kids haven't died yet.

Last week, the Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee (GOC) met again to receive an update on the investigation into the tragic deaths of Kendall Chick and Marissa Kennedy and to get answers to some of our most pressing questions. What I learned was very concerning. But what was most revealing was the lack of information and cooperation from the Department of Health and Human Services, which is extremely frustrating. The fact is this: the system currently being used to identify and protect abused kids is badly broken.

Much of our meeting involved taking a deep dive into the Child Protection Intake process, which I did find to be informative. In Maine, when a mandated reporter or a concerned citizen submits a report, there are three paths forward. If the report is found to not contain sufficient allegations of abuse or neglect in accordance with statute, the case is closed. If the report does contain credible allegations that are consistent with state law, then the report is referred to the Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS) for a child protective assessment. The Alternative Response Program (ARP) is an option used to assist OCFS for low-moderate cases. However, too many reported cases are never even given the initial investigation because these reports fall through some very large cracks. 

Regardless of the process, reports and caseloads are up and we need to do something to make sure caseworkers have the tools, resources and support they need to manage their caseload and keep kids safe. Right now, caseloads are too high and staff is ill-equipped to meet the increase in calls to the hotline. Some people have reported being put on hold for over an hour while waiting to report cases  of abuse.  

One of the ongoing challenges in this investigation is obtaining the information. While it shouldn't be this difficult, there have been a number of unnecessary roadblocks, with the latest being the failure of the Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner to show up to the last GOC meeting per order of the governor. He has the answers to some very important questions that will help us fix the system and the governor needs to allow the Commissioner to work with us.

If we are going make sure this tragedy never happens again, we need to all work together to create a robust child protection system that best meets the needs of our children and our state. Innocent children who are being severely abused need to be rescued,  not left to suffer at the hands of cruel and demented abusers. We can only fix this system if lawmakers (Democrats, Republicans and Independents), the governor and the Department all roll-up our sleeves and work together to make it happen. Time is of the essence and every day we sit around spinning our wheels is another day of horror and torture for these abused children.

Since the start of this investigation, I’ve received an extraordinary amount of information from professionals who report possible cases of child abuse and neglect. It's become frustratingly obvious that the Department has failed to follow up on too many cases. To me, this is more than a red flag; it's a scream pleading for help. And I want answers.

I urge anyone with information related to Maine’s child protective system to contact me at diamondhollyd@aol.com or (207) 287-1515. As we go forward with this investigation and fixing this broken system, it’s imperative that we have all the information necessary to do our job. I know there are people out there who have experiences with the Department and could be extremely helpful. After all, Maine children are counting on us.

Faith Lutheran Church to host a large three-day yard sale

The Faith Lutheran Church located at 988 Roosevelt Trail in Windham will hold a three-day yard sale from Thursday, July 12 to Saturday, July 14, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The yard sale will feature a wide variety of valuable and beautiful treasures to include antique furniture and dishes, eclectic vintage items, clothing and toys.

Although many items have been donated by church members and friends, a large portion of the
upscale yard sale selections are from a vintage and antique shop in Bridgton. “I have been a part of a group shop for six years and have decided to step back and retire from antique retail,” explained church member and yard sale organizer, Dori Madsen. “I had three booths, so I have a lot of things and nowhere to put them. It all must go, so there will be plenty of items for sale.”

Madsen stated that many objects are chic collectables and upscale furniture such as an antique china cabinet, drop front secretary desks, oak dresser drawers with a mirror, bookcases, wooden stands and tables as well as a wooden saddle holder - to name just a few.

“I also have a lot of beautiful clothing from the shop,” Madsen stated. “That doesn’t include the clothing and other items that have been donated.”

https://www.egcu.org/autoProceeds of the yard sale will go toward a new memorial garden on the church grounds as well as the church’s mission fund. “A portion of our sales will go back into the community,” explained Madsen. “In the past, we have provided monetary donations on the local level to include the RSU14’s Backpack Program and Village Funds, Windham Food Pantry and the free weekly Monday Meals to name a few. We also contribute to national and international non-profit and social justice organizations that help others live a full life.”

If there are any items left over once the yard sale ends, Madsen will continue to hold a private sale at her home in Naples throughout the rest of the summer. Proceeds from the items donated by church members and family that did not sale during the three-day event, will continue to go toward the church’s mission fund at Madsen’s private sale.

To donate new or gently used, clean and in good working order items to Faith Lutheran’s yard sale or for more information, contact Madsen at 207-233-3805.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the Windham Farmers Market

The Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce helped the Windham Economic Development Corporation celebrate the grand opening of the Windham Farmers Market at Turning Leaf with a celebratory ribbon cutting. The event included a delicious sampling of goods offered by local vendors, from organic vegetables, pastured meats, locally brewed beers, crafts and more. Several members of the SLRCC were in attendance, but the visiting calves and the Pond Lilies stole the show. 

About the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce: The Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce, representing the towns of Casco, Gray, Limerick, Limington, Naples, New Gloucester, Raymond, Sebago, Standish and Windham, is one of the most active chambers in the State of Maine. It is comprised of business members ranging from young entrepreneurs and ‘mom & pop’ shops to the largest employers in our region.

Faculty spotlight on Phil Rosetti by Matt Pascarella

Phil Rosetti
Assistant principal, Phil Rosetti has been in the district, in one capacity or another for over twenty years. He began his career in 1996, right out of college, as a social studies teacher at Windham High School.

Rosetti loved working with his Social Studies teacher during high school and that individual inspired him to become an educator. “I think that connection you make with people is important,” he explained. Education and working with kids is something he has always enjoyed.

In college, he investigated a couple career options, including sports medicine and journalism. By the end of his sophomore year, his passion for history and working with kids lead him to teach social studies. “I made that decision and have not regretted it since.”

Rosetti’s love of athletics steered him to coaching at Windham High. His passion for football is what created the first football team. He, along with the basketball coach at the time, Kevin Millington, organized the team in 1999.

During the late 1990s, some students were not feeling like they were a part of the community and creating the football team helped to solve that issue, at least for those who joined the football team.

“These were kids, who may have been disassociated with school - once they put those jerseys on they were proud of who they were, proud of what they represented and proud of their community and school,” Rosetti said.

http://www.downeastsharpening.com/In 2015-2016 he moved to South Portland High School becoming assistant principal for one year. He found his way back to Windham and became a full-time assistant principal working with at risk youth.  “I’m looking to make a connection to help kids learn from their mistakes.”

“Windham has been home for me,” says Rosetti. “I’ve made so many great connections with so many people within the community. It’s a really nurturing place with people who really care about kids and want the best for them.”

Rosetti lives in Raymond with his wife, Sara and 7-year-old daughter, Maria. He enjoys golfing and travelling with his family.

Mike Gilman represents Windham at third annual Varsity Maine Awards by Matt Pascarella

Some of the state’s best and brightest athletes gathered at the University of Southern Maine’s Portland Campus to be honored in the third annual Varsity Maine Awards. Senior Mike Gilman was nominated as a finalist in early June, by his basketball coach, Chad Pulkkinen, for ‘Play of the Year.’ This was for a shot Gilman made during the Class AA North tournament game against Portland.

Mike Gilman
Windham had been trailing Portland for a majority of the Class AA North semifinals game until Gilman sunk a three-point shot with the clock winding down. Windham was then able to hold off Portland leading to a very celebrated victory as excited fans rushed the stage after Windham shut down number one seeded Portland, 55-53.

Gilman remembers that game and that moment. “It all went by pretty quick; I wasn’t expecting to be that open. It was just what we needed.”

“A lot of the best athletes in the state are here, so just to be a part of that, I feel pretty good,” remarked Gilman. He said it felt good to be nominated and recognized for the shot, but it was a team goal. He has Coach Pulkkinen to thank for calling the play and his teammates to thank for helping to execute it well. 

 “Such a monumental shot, not only for Mike, but for the entire team and what they’ve been able to do together over the last three years with me,” commented coach Chad Pulkkinen on why he nominated Mike for the Varsity Award.

Pulkkinen continues, “Without Mike, teammate Nick Curtis as well as some of the seniors, we wouldn’t be in this situation to have recognition of a shot like that.”

Although Gilman was not selected from one of the five finalists, the hard work put forth by him and his teammates have made this town very proud.

Gilman will attend Thomas College in the fall.

June 29, 2018

Groundbreaking ceremony for Windham Shared Maintenance Facility

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new Windham Shared Maintenance Facility was held on Tuesday, June 26 at 6:30 p.m. at the site, adjacent to the current facility.

The new facility, including the 31,000 square foot building, will be home to both the Windham Public Works Department and RSU14 Windham-Raymond School District’s transportation maintenance functions. It is expected to be complete in mid-2019.

Approved by Windham voters in November 2017 at a cost of $9.3 million, the new facility adds much needed operational space, improves site circulation and safety, and will help lengthen the service life, reliability of vehicles and equipment; as well as improve response times and efficiency.
In the above photo are members of RSU14, Windham Maintenance Facility members, Town Council Members and Town Manager, Tony Plante.

Windham High senior wins Norris Inc. Technology Scholarships

Josh Libby
Norris Inc. was on-hand on Thursday, June 7th at Windham High School to laud the accomplishments of a WHS senior and presented a certificate signifying they had won a $1,000 award to use toward post-secondary education/training. The winner was Joshua Libby of Windham.

In order to qualify for the award, students needed to have a 3.0 or better GPA and be interested in fields of study that are pertinent to the security industry, including Fire Science, Electrical Sciences (engineering/electrician, etc.), Software Development, or Network/Cyber Security. If students met those guidelines, they were then asked to compose an essay explaining their relevant interests and share their future plans for study. The winner was chosen by the scholarship committee.

In his award-wining essay, Libby explained his primary interest was in programming.

“I want to go to college to develop my skills as a programmer and logical thinker,” Libby said. “I can already code. However, I want to hone my skills and grow my connections once in college.”

Norris CEO, Jason Roberts felt the evening was a great opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of the senior class (one of his own daughters graduated from Windham and celebrated a number of accomplishments on June 7), including those of Libby, whose contributions went beyond his studies in school.

As the evening went on, and I learned more and more about Josh, I realized the scholarship committee made a great decision,” Roberts said. “He is committed to his community, which is evident from the overwhelming amount of community service hours he has performed.”

https://www.egcu.org/homeAgain, from his essay, Libby displayed wisdom beyond his years as he explained school was more than just a way to get a job.

“I think programming has the potential to speak to millions in new and profound ways,” Libby said. “I want to bring my skills back to Maine and work in the state I grew up in. I know Maine is aging rapidly and I want to make jobs here to help the state economy.”

Libby said the scholarships were of great importance to him and his family.

“The support that this scholarship gave me and my family is vital in a time where college is necessary and expensive. I am not a stellar athlete so there were few sports or athletic scholarships I could apply for, but I have high grades in hard classes, so scholarships based on merit and dual enrollment classes while in high school are the best ways I have of saving money on college,” Libby said in an interview with Norris. “My tuition will still be high, but with the help from places like Norris, I can save money on loans and interest.”

Libby will be attending Southern New Hampshire University in the fall and will double major in Computer Programming and Art Design.

Honor Guard members conduct flag ceremony

On Sunday, June 24th at noon, Field-Allen Post 148 Honor Guard members conducted a flag ceremony at the little league field at Kiwanis Beach in Standish. 

Recipient of the flag was Tyler Haskins who had recently lost his grandfather, US Navy Vet, Tom Dame. American Legion Honor Guard members included: David Rendall, Craig Pride, Chaplain and narrator, Richard Drapeau and Post Adjutant, David Tanguay.

The community morns the loss of Raymond Firefighter and Inspector, Captain David Mains

Dave Mains passed away at the age of 48 on Monday, June 25th.
The Raymond Fire and Rescue placed a Facebook post, announcing his death. It read:

“It is with deepest sorrow we notify our members and community of the terrible loss in our family. David Mains has passed away from injuries sustained in a crash in Massachusetts. Jen Mains is injured and expected to recover in the Massachusetts hospital. Captain Mains was a dedicated member who loved his family, community and this department. He will be sorely missed and will leave a large void in our family and organization which will not be filled without unmatched extraordinary efforts, pride and dedication which Captain Mains put forth every day.

Captain Mains has been honored as Firefighter of the Year, awarded many community service awards and honored with the Chief’s Award.

I want to ask each of you to keep thoughts and prayers in your hearts, reach out to David and Jen’s family and give them all a hug, support, and offer assistance as they will need these things as the grieving the great loss will take a great time to heal.”

An online fundraiser has been established for the Mains family to help cover medical and memorial expenses, and to make sure the kids are taken care of through this tragic time. Any contribution is appreciated. To make a contribution: www.facebook.com/donate/252956885254907/

Senator Diamond welcomes local student to State House as Senate Page

Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, welcomed Nathaniel Richmond from Windham High School to the State House on Thursday, June 21. Nathaniel and his father had their picture taken with Sen. Diamond during a break in the Senate Session. Sen. Diamond extends invitations to honor roll students from the area’s middle schools and high schools, as a way to recognize their strong academic performance and to help foster their interest in civics.
Nathaniel Richmond, center, poses with Sen. Diamond (L) and his father (R)

 The Honorary Page Program gives students an opportunity to participate in the Senate and interact with legislators. Honorary Pages see what it is like to work on the floor of the Senate and be part of a legislative session. Pages perform such duties as delivering messages to senators and distributing amendments and supplements in the chamber. Students from third grade through high school are invited to serve in the Senate Chamber as Honorary Pages when the Senate is in session. This Legislature is in the process of finishing its business, but the Senate will reconvene in January of 2019. For more information, call Sen. Diamond at (207) 287-1515.

Music with a Mission features Ashley Liberty and Daniel Strange in concert

Ashley Liberty, an accomplished violinist, and Daniel Strange, a talented pianist, are returning to North Windham Union Church to perform on Saturday, July 14 at 7 p.m. Both are Maine natives from this area and are beloved favorites of local audiences.

Liberty and Strange are known for their skill at multiple genres of music including: classical, jazz, rock, swing, and of course fiddle. They have both accompanied numerous Broadway and classical performers, including Norm Lewis, Sutton Foster, Andrea Bocelli, Noel Paul Stookey, and Bernadette Peters. Ashley and Daniel reside in Miami but have graciously agreed to perform this benefit concert while home during their summer vacation.

For those of you who attended last year’s sold out Hot Fiddle Concert, this show will feature some of the favorites and new arrangements too. We expect this concert to sell out again, so get tickets soon.  It will certainly be an evening to remember! 

The Music with a Mission Concert Series is sponsored by the North Windham Union Church, which donates a portion of the proceeds to area non-profits. Now in our sixth season, MWAM has provided over $55,000 for mission support to the church and other community organizations.  

The community proceeds from this concert will help the Travis Mills Foundation in their efforts to support recalibrated veterans as they overcome physical obstacles, strengthen their families, and provide well-deserved rest and relaxation in their nationally recognized retreat located in the Belgrade Lakes Region of Maine.

Tickets will be sold at the door and are $12 for adults and $10 for students, children, and seniors. Tickets are also available in advance on-line at www.mwamconcerts.com. The box office opens at 6:00 p.m. and the doors will open at 6:30 p.m. The North Windham Union Church is located at 723 Roosevelt Trail in Windham and is air-conditioned for your comfort. For more information please call 892-6142 or email MWAMconcerts@gmail.com.

2018 WINDHAM SUMMERFEST - Even with a little rain, Windham knows how to have fun

Deb Matthews and Robin Mullins, co-chairs of the 2018 Windham Summerfest were very pleased with this year’s event. “The day was a complete success,” stated Mullins. “The Toby Pennels Memorial 5k, the Duane Clark Memorial Car Show and the parade all took place with lots of people in attendance. The crowd from the parade made their way to the event enjoying music, food, helicopter rides, the inflatable park and tons of interaction with local vendors and businesses. The afternoon rain could have ruined the day, but not in Windham! The non-profit food vendors stayed open, the bands kept playing and the fireworks went off as scheduled at 9:35pm. The Summerfest Committee is so thankful for the many people involved in making the day a huge success. Thank you all for helping us “Bring Unity to Our Community”!

Gary Plummer, of the parade committee, congratulated Summerfest Committee for a job well done. “They did an excellent job. Everyone was helpful and knowledgeable and answered questions cheerfully. The Summerfest Committee met with us on two occasions to be sure that we all worked well together. It was also a great idea to have Recreation Director, Linda Brooks involved. Linda and the entire committee really made sure that we were an integral part of Windham Summerfest.”

“Seeing the crowd that came back for the fireworks even though the rain kept trying to ‘make a comeback’ was really heartwarming and shows that Windham people like to have fun,” Brooks said.

Annual Windham Center 5k continues to honor a well loved man and raise funds by Lorraine Glowczak

Every community has at least one person whose life touches others in positive ways. For the town of Windham, one such person was Elliot Fogg, a well loved and generous man who worked 25 years at the Windham High School (WHS) as a custodian. Students and teachers alike, adored Fogg for his refreshing humor and kind spirit. He retired in June 1999, one month prior to his death from lung cancer.

In his honor and memory, the Windham Center 5k run/walk was created to raise funds for cancer
research. This fifth annual run/walk event will take place on Thursday, July 19 at Windham Town Hall. Registration begins at 6 p.m. with a run start time of 7:15 p.m.

The creator and coordinator of the Windham Center 5k is Tony Myatt. Myatt had a close relationship with Fogg. “I knew him personally and was very close to him,” Myatt said, referring to his high school years. “In fact, he was like a second grandfather to me, as well as to many other students. He just had a jovial and caring way about him – always being there for others.”

Fogg, a 1949 graduate of Windham High School, was a World War II veteran, entering the war as one of the youngest Maine soldiers. Upon his return, he worked for George Fogg Truck Company prior to his position at the school. He volunteered throughout the community, spending much of his free time working with his greatest passion, horses.

Although he never married or had children, Fogg treated WHS students and staff as if they were his family. “If anyone needed anything at all, Elliot was there in a second,” Myatt recalled. “He would buy us soda and chips sometimes and at Christmas time he’d get my brother and me candy. He
considered all the kids at school, his kids or grandkids.”

“He was always joking, and he had a big booming voice,” Myatt continued. “So, we could hear his laughter thundering down the hallways. We would all get such a kick out of him.”

Fogg’s jovial and approachable manner provided him an opportunity to be a part of a film created by the students one year. “The students asked him if they could film him walking down the hallway,” Myatt began. “The students were trying to mimic the scene in “Saturday Night Fever” where Travolta is walking down the street and the camera zooms in on his feet while the song, ‘Staying Alive’ plays in the background. Elliot agreed to it – so somewhere, there is a film at the high school with Elliot walking down the hallway along with the tune of ‘Staying Alive’. Every time that song comes on, I always think of him and it brings back fond memories.”

The run/walk will include gift prizes and a free meal will be offered by Corsetti's.

To participate in the Windham Center 5k run/walk, register online at www.runsignup.com/Race/ME/Windham/WindhamCenter5K. For more information, contact Myatt at tonedog86@aol.com. Registration fee is $25.

If you do not wish to participate in the event but would like to donate $5 (for a pint glass) or $15 (for a t-shirt). Funds raised from this event will go toward the American Lung Association of Maine for cancer research.

June 22, 2018

Sixth grade students celebrate reading challenge successes

Sixth grade students from Windham Middle School participated in a reading challenge this year. The challenge consisted of reading 25 books, writing reviews for each individual book.  On Wednesday, June 13th, their hard work paid off. Thirteen students met the challenge and as a result, celebrated with a field trip to Maine Escape Games.  The sixth-grade teachers are excited to offer this challenge to incoming sixth-graders for the 2018-2019 school year. 

An added incentive of earning raffle tickets for each book read will be offered to the incoming group as well.  Raffles tickets will be used to enter in drawings for baskets or individual prizes. 

Sen. Diamond earns perfect attendance record in 2018 Legislative Session

AUGUSTA — Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, earned a perfect attendance and voting record during the 2018 Legislative Session.

“My record of attendance reflects the people I serve,” said Sen. Diamond. “The people in District 26 show up and work hard at their jobs. It’s only right that I approach my job in the Legislature the same way.”

During the 2nd Regular Session of the 128th Maine Legislature, Diamond cast 100 percent of the votes recorded, excluding absences excused by the President of the Senate for illness or other extenuating circumstances.

Diamond introduced legislation this year to bypass the red tape and allow fuel companies to fill other companies’ propane tanks in extremely cold weather. Diamond also had a 100 percent attendance record last year, during which he sponsored bills to ban handheld devices while driving, protect seniors from discrimination by car insurance companies, and allow Mainers to continue to use drivers’ licenses as official identification, among others.

The 128th Legislature reconvened this week to complete its business before adjourning for the year.

Ribbon cutting ceremonies

The Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce helped Bean Group Real Estate, formerly known as Maine Real Estate Network, celebrate the grand re-opening of its Windham office with a celebratory open house and ribbon cutting hosted by Yvonne Myer.  Several members of the SLRCC, Board Directors and Executive Director were in attendance. (Above)

The Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce also helped Moose Landing Marina celebrate the launch of Freedom Boat Club Maine with a celebratory ribbon cutting and boat christening at the June Business Break hosted by owner, Stanley Arnold. The catered event included live music and generously donated raffle prizes with proceeds to benefit Camp Sunshine.

Windham Middle School goes “Back to the Future” to combat opioid misuse

Hundreds of students, parents and staff went back in time on Thursday, June 7, to witness the incredible effort that went into an educational project at Windham Middle School. This project was designed to educate seventh and eighth graders on the dangers of opiate usage by sharing their knowledge with the general public.

Spearheaded by teachers Doug Elder, Lee Leroy, AJ Ruth and Gwen Roberts, the students worked for months on learning about the dangers of opiate use and researched information to use, for video PSA’s, newspaper articles and science projects on the effects of opiates on the brain among other efforts.

With a “Taking Back Maine’s Future” theme, students were inspired by the “Back to the Future” movie to use as an analogy that depending on the decisions you make in using opiates, your future can be healthy or tragic.

Thursday evening’s event was complete with an actual DeLorean car parked out front. Ushers escorted attendees into the Windham Middle School cafeteria where one future was set up in the dark, with trash around and featured students with their news articles on the tragic future ahead if the opioid crisis continues. The other future was well lit and featured students with news articles on how bright the future will be if we combat the opioid crisis in Maine.

Students and parents alike agreed that this project opened the eyes of many to the dangers of opioid misuse.

“Great Awakening” history talk describes how times haven’t changed

Over the last couple of years, we have heard many people say that things have never been this crazy, divisive or have seldom had so many serious problems as we face now. It’s often been said that things are changing so fast we cannot keep up. 

If one looks at our history, however, there have been times that were much crazier than this, with disagreements serious enough for Americans to go to war with one another. One such period occurred between the War of 1812 and the start of the Civil War. This was when our friend, Nathaniel Hawthorne (born 1804), lived and he resided part of the time right here in Raymond, Maine.

In the early 1800s, America was rapidly changing from a rural country of isolated small farmers to a more connected, urban and ever-expanding country. People’s lives changed not only due to revolutionary inventions such as the telegraph and railroad but also because of changes in religious beliefs, which played a dominant role in American life. 

New ways of thinking and believing evolved, eventually leading to the birth of several new religions including Unitarian, Quaker and Mormon. 

The evolving beliefs of these and other religions eventually had a major impact on society, leading to the rejection of slavery, rampant alcoholism, child labor and the inferior status of women.

To learn more about this transformative period, the Hawthorne Community Association invites you to attend a talk by trustee John Manoush entitled, “The Second Great Awakening” on Saturday, June 30 at 6:30; immediately preceding the Hawthorne House’s Annual Strawberry Festival. 

A $10 donation includes the talk and the best homemade strawberry shortcake available.  It also helps support this historic home in our midst. The location is 40 Hawthorne Road - corner of Hawthorne and Cape Roads in Raymond. For more information visit: www.hawthorneassoc.com.

Windham Town Council receives update on Community Center finalization plans by Colby Willis and Lorraine Glowczak

The Windham Town Council met on Tuesday evening June 19th in the Council Chambers to discuss a variety of agenda items including an update on the Windham Community Center.

Pat Moody, Chair of the Ad Hoc Community Center Study Committee provided an update to the Council on the committee’s work since they last met with the Council on October 24, 2017. The update included further information regarding the development of the Windham Community Center concept.

The following points are some of the updates provided to the council:

Moody first gave a quick update on the community park (not to be confused with the community center). It will include volleyball beach courts and basketball courts, as well as walking paths around the park. It is their hope to break ground on the community park in the next few months. The location is at the skate park next to the public safety building.

In regard to the Windham Community Center update, Moody stated that the committee has spoken to three architectural planning firms to get estimates as to the possible costs involved.

He reported that Linda Brooks, Parks and Recreation Director, has just returned from Denver where she was researching community centers and recreational facilities there. Moody stated that it seems to be proven that community centers provide a safe gathering spot as well as provide local economic success.

The location of the center is one issue the committee is discussing. They believe the parcel of land between Routes 202 and 302 (by the rotary) would be the best spot for the community center. The fact that it is centrally located and near the schools contributes to this land as a top choice.

Moody also stated that recreation and other fees will be a source of funding for the center.
Upon completion of Moody’s report, the Council requested that the committee come back and provide them with the three quotes from the architectural firms, including the pros and cons of each quote.

For full details and other agenda items discussed, go to the town website at www.windhammaine.us. The meetings are also available to view on Facebook Live as well as recorded and broadcasted on Channel 7.