July 19, 2019

Windham five-year-old took a celebratory home run lap around the bases of Hadlock Field

The Maine Children’s Cancer Program, the Portland Sea Dogs, and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine honored Griffin Cochrane of Windham, a five-year-old boy who is making progress in his recovery from leukemia at Hadlock Field in Portland with a triumphant home run lap around the bases while the players give him high-fives and the crowd cheered him on. The ceremony occurred just prior to the Portland Sea Dogs’ 7 p.m. game at Hadlock Field on Friday, July 12, after the national anthem.

Griffin Cochrane running basis
According to a recent press release, Griffin’s parents shared the following information:
“On June 25, 2017, our world came crashing down around us as our worst fear became our reality. Our oldest son, Griffin, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the age of three years old. From that day, we knew Griffin would have the fight of his life ahead of him.

Griffin spent the first month of treatment at The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital undergoing surgical placement of his Mediport, bone marrow aspirations, lumbar punctures and chemotherapy.
There, we met Griffin’s oncologists, social workers and nurses from Maine Children’s Cancer Program, who would be providing world class care to save our son’s life.

From the day Griffin was diagnosed, the oncologists, social workers, nurses and staff at Maine Children’s Cancer Program went above and beyond to not only provide Griffin with lifesaving treatment, but to provide support for our entire family. He is still on active treatment today for Leukemia and will be until the fall of 2020.

With the incredible support of Maine Children’s Cancer Program, along with support from our families and friends, we are ecstatic to say that Griffin is thriving. He is an active five-year-old who attends preschool and loves to play outside with his younger brother, Sawyer.

He plays soccer, basketball, t-ball and wants to be a hockey player when he grows up. He is thoughtful, kind and sincere beyond his years. We are so proud of him and all that he has overcome. He is truly incredible!”

In tribute to Griffin’s courage and strength, he was honored at the first of four Anthem’s Heroes at last Saturdays Sea Dogs’ game.

A report from the Town of Windham Assessor’s Office

It is the responsibility of the Assessing Office to maintain assessed values according to just value or market value. Continued increases in the real estate market are indicating that this office again needs to make value adjustments.  The Maine Constitution states that “all taxes upon real and personal estate, assessed by authority of this State, shall be apportioned and assessed equally according to the just value thereof.”  In order to apportion the tax burden equally, the Assessor must establish assessed valuations at just value. Just value is synonymous with market value. 

  1. The Windham real estate market has continued to grow, and recent sale prices are quickly outpacing last year’s town-wide valuation update. Sales studies now show that residential assessments average around 88% of sales prices and prices continue to ascend. Had Windham not conducted an update last year we would likely be in the 75% range this year. There have been very few commercial sales and therefore no adjustments to commercial assessments are needed at this time. 
  2. The school, town and county budgets have already been set. An update will NOT raise more revenue for the Town. The purpose is to value all properties by the same standard and equalize the tax burden.
  3. Significant changes are not expected in most tax bills as the majority of the update will be proportionate to one another. This means that most property valuations will be raised by a similar amount and thus experience a tax bill increase similar to what they would have even without the update. Exceptions include cases where a homeowner has made property improvements or are undervalued relative to everyone else.
  4. Benefits to this action include:
·       The projected mil rate will likely be reduced;
·       Properties that were undervalued relative to others will be brought up to pay their fair share;
·       We will avoid reducing the amounts for Homestead, Veteran and Blind exemptions;
·       Smaller updates like this insulate property owners from sudden jumps in valuation;
·       Frequent updates avoid costly one-time revaluations;
·       The update can be prepared without significant expense because our field inspection work is current.

Work on this project will begin immediately in order to meet the August 13, 2019 commitment date deadline.

Tax Relief: The following exemptions and current use programs are available to those who qualify. Applications and more information can be obtained either through the Assessing Office or by contacting Maine Revenue Services, Property Tax Division at 287-2013.

·       Veterans Exemption - A person must be a Maine resident, 62 years or older and have served in the U.S. Armed Forces during a Federally Recognized War Period or; be receiving 100% disability compensation for service-connected injury. $6,000 exemption.
·       Homestead Exemption - A person must be a Maine resident and have owned and resided in the property they consider their homestead and legal residence for at least 12 months prior to date of application. Forms must be filed with the Assessing Office by April 1.  Forms filed after April 1 of any year will apply to the subsequent year’s tax assessment. $20,000 exemption.
·       Blind Exemption - A person determined to be legally blind. $4,000 exemption.
·       Senior Property Tax Assistance – Information is available through the Town Manager’s Office or by visiting:  http://windhammaine.us/616/Senior-Property-Tax-Assistance

Current Use Programs: In the 1970's, the Constitutional Law added a current use clause which allowed special treatment for certain property use if several criteria are met.

·       Tree Growth - A parcel of land with at least 10 contiguous forested acres which are harvested for commercial purposes.
·       Farmland - Property must have a minimum of 5 contiguous acres and be used for agricultural purposes with contributing income.
·       Open Space - No minimum acreage but parcel must be undeveloped and provide a public benefit.

For more information please visit our website http://www.windhammaine.us/156/Assessor or contact the Windham Assessor’s Office at (207) 894-5960 ext. 3.

Council moves forward on the search for Windham Town Manager

By Lorraine Glowczak

Although the meet and greet the town hosted on Friday, June 21 to introduce the top Town Manager candidate, John Mauro, to Windham residents was a successful one, the Council will have to start the search for a Town Manager once again since Mauro was offered and accepted the position of Town Manager for Port Townsend, WA.

In a special Town Council meeting held on Tuesday, July 16, the Council opted to move forward and start the search process immediately.

Below is an updated Windham Town Manager search timeline. Please note that this timeline is tentative, and dates may have to be adjusted or changed.                                                           

July 17 Wednesday        
·       Ad placed  

August 14 Wednesday
·       Deadline for applicants

August 16 Friday
·       Notebooks with selected resumes of applicants delivered to Council. A notebook with all the resumes available.

August 20 Tuesday
·       Council meets to review applicant’s resumes and decides on which candidates to interview (no more then 8).

August 26-30
·       First round of interviews. Most likely two days needed. Decide on (2) candidates for second round of interviews. Complete background checks performed on finalists before next round.

September 9-12
·       Community gathering to meet finalists.
·       Dept. Heads interview finalist.
·       Council interviews finalist & selects new manager.

September 16-
·       Negotiations with final candidate and starting date announced

For more information, contact the Town Manager’s office at 207-892-1907.

Seeking classroom grandparents

The Opportunity Alliance is calling on community members to contribute their skills and experiences to support the youngest generation as a classroom volunteer in the Foster Grandparent Program.   Classroom grandparents are role models, mentors, and friends to children in schools and child development centers, supporting school readiness and academic achievement.

Openings are available for adults age 55 and over, living in Cumberland, York and Oxford counties, willing to commit to a regular schedule during the school year and are interested in helping children thrive.

Volunteers who meet generous income guidelines receive a stipend of approximately $200. a month, travel reimbursement, meals, ongoing training and most importantly, are guaranteed to laugh and smile every day!  As one volunteer said, “The benefits to me include joy in seeing a positive change in a child. One little girl struggles to read, but with positive encouragement and praise she now wants to read with me and asks for her turn daily.”

Studies prove Americans who volunteer better health and increased friendships.  To learn more about volunteering and the next training program, call the Foster Grandparent Program at 207-773-0202 or toll-free at 1-800-698-4959.

Seventh annual “Lobstah Bake” to be held at Faith Lutheran Church held on August 4

Members of the Faith Lutheran Church, 988 Roosevelt Trail, North Windham, are elated to announce that their seventh annual fundraising “Lobstah Bake” will be held on Sunday, August 4 with two different seatings available at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

The meal includes one lobster, ½ pound of steamers, corn on the cob, potatoes, coleslaw, blueberry cobbler, and lemonade. Tickets are $20. The same meal with two lobsters is $25. A hotdog or a hamburger meal, with the same side options, is also available for $10. Single lobsters may be available at market rate.

“This fundraiser is really an event for the whole Windham community - not just the members of our church,” stated Jane Field, Pastor of Faith Lutheran. “It's a chance for old friends to reconnect and for new friendships to form as people gather under the tents to enjoy delicious lobster. Everyone in our congregation gets involved in putting this on, and you can really see the incredible spirit of hospitality and welcome that is at the very heart of their faith. The money we raise goes to support the work of the church with a portion of the proceeds going to Windham Neighbors helping Neighbors. 
“The sign out in front of our church says, ‘All Are Welcome,’ and that's true every Sunday - but it's especially true on Sunday, August 4 when all are truly welcome to join us in enjoying great lobster and supporting a good cause." 

To place your order for “Lobstah Bake” tickets or for lobsters to take home, contact Melinda Zimmer-Rankin before July 31 at 207-749-9503.

Rep. Corey’s bill to allow spouses to provide home and community-based services is now law!

It will improve the quality of life and care for families, lower costs, and address the shortage of workers

WINDHAM – Rep. Patrick Corey (R-Windham) announced his legislation, LD 84, Resolve, Directing the Department of Health and Human Services To Allow Spouses To Provide Home and Community-based Services to Eligible MaineCare Members has been signed into law by Governor Janet Mills. The new law directs the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to request a federal waiver allowing spouses employed as personal support specialists to provide services to their spouse.

For Rep. Corey, this was his second attempt to pass legislation in response to the plight of constituents, John and Linda Gregoire of Windham. John has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease and requires round the clock care from his wife Linda.

"John and Linda Gregoire really opened my eyes to the hardships that a spouse with a debilitating disease can place on a family,” said Rep. Corey (R-Windham). "While getting spouses paid for caregiving through Medicaid seemed pretty straight forward, it took two attempts, strong advocacy from many interests, and some really creative thought regarding who will employ this new workforce to keep the costs down. LD 84 brings us one step closer to allowing spouses to be paid for caregiving activities.”

"Linda slowed down her work schedule more and more, since I was diagnosed with ALS in 2007," said John Gregoire. "Today, she's only able to work away from home one day a week. The reality is however, with my need for 24/7 care, she's working more hours when we don't have outside help."

Allowing spouses to be paid through MaineCare fills a significant need in the home care workforce while providing financial benefit to the state. Avoiding the cost of nursing home care for one-year equals paying for three years of personal support specialist services.

According to the Maine Wire, “the average annual cost of a private room in an assisted living facility or nursing home is $59,892 and $108,405, respectively, in Maine. Under the current reimbursement rate for services under Section 19, if an individual required 40 hours of care per week, the state would spend less than $38,500 to reimburse for these services.”

Additional Benefits:
Low wages and the demands of direct care jobs both contribute to a shortage of direct care workers in Maine. Spouses were often filling these lapses in care, making it difficult for them to retain gainful employment.

Patients in this program already qualify for expensive long-term care. Keeping nursing home eligible people at home saves the state money.

Families will be able to stay together. Previously, anyone could be paid to provide care except a  spouse. In some cases, it resulted in the dissolution of marriages.

July 12, 2019

Windham Town Council discusses the Retail Adult Use and Medical Marijuana Task Force

By Lorraine Glowczak

The agenda item of the Windham Town Council meeting held on Tuesday, July 9th that brought the crowds into the Town Council Chamber was: “To discuss and act on the continuation of the Retail Adult-Use and Medical Task Force”.

The discussion began with Interim Town Manager, Don Gerrish, giving a historical background of the issue at hand. He explained that the council had a workshop on June 25th with the town attorney and at the workshop the council made a tentative decision on marijuana options in Windham. Due to that meeting and based upon the outcome, Gerrish explained that he cancelled the Taskforce meeting, admitting that he made an assumption without the direction of the Council.

The floor was then open for public comment with Maggie Terry, co-owner of Legal Leaf the first to speak.

She expressed that she felt the task force was not being heard by town leadership and believed, as a chair of that task force, she had not received any guidance from the council. Terry also mentioned that she had heard there were some complaints about the cannabis industry and when she asked what those complaints were so they could be addressed, she received no response. Terry reiterated, “the owners of the cannabis industry are hardworking and family oriented and Windham can benefit from this business. The cannabis community wants to work together for the best of all involved.”
She presented more than 200 signatures for all legal use marijuana options.

Joanne Mattiace, also of Legal Leaf, spoke to the council about her concern regarding the town attorney’s work with a cannabis company. “The law firm that represents the town and advises the council simultaneously advises a cannabis company,” she said. “It’s critical that we consider if this is a conflict of interest. Any advice by the legal council [at the above-mentioned meeting] may have been bias.”

Mattiace asked the council the following questions:

When did the law firm’s representation begin? Which client did it serve first?
Was the duo representation made known to the town?
Who advised on this matter?
What is the specific billing arrangement with the law firm?

Response from Council:

Councilwoman Donna Chapman reiterated that the Council did not know about the cancellation of the task force meeting and intends to make sure that everything will get back on track. She suggested that with signatures it be put on the ballot for public vote in November. In regard to the Town Attorney, if there is a problem it will be looked into. “The only thing we are saying ‘No’ to right now is adult use grow stores. We try to listen to both sides of the voters.”

Councilmen Jarrod Maxfield stated that he does believe the task force should continue and concurred with Chapman that if there is a problem with the law firm and a potential conflict of interest, research in the matter should occur.

Councilwomen Rebecca Cummings admitted that she was torn about continuing the task force because, “Since we voted ‘no” for adult use – I do not want to have the task force members leave their families every week to meet on the committee. But at the same time, perhaps a compromise could be made.”

For more details about the meeting and to hear opinions from members of the task force, the minutes and video can be found at: www.windhammaine.us/

Board of Selectmen request volunteers for RSU14 withdrawal subcommittees and encourage “One Raymond” concept

By Lorraine Glowczak

The Raymond Board of Selectmen held a meeting on Tuesday, July 9 from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. before entering into executive session for an annual review of the town manager.

The evening’s agenda included an approval of the Gore Road Agreement with the Town of Gray as well as an update on the RSU14 withdrawal process.

Briefly, the first segment of Gore Road starting at the intersection at Webbs Mills Road in Raymond is a publicly accepted town way. As one travels toward Little Sebago Lake, the road becomes a private road, for approximately ¼ of a mile -and then at the Raymond/Gray town line becomes a public roadway again in the Town of Gray.

The Town of Raymond currently plows and maintains the public way portion of Gore Road located in Raymond but does not maintain the private portion of the road. The issue is that this section of the road, which is used by both Raymond and Gray residents, is filled with potholes, causing damage to both public and private vehicles. Since the private road is a major connecting point between the two towns it has become nearly impassable, causing damage to both private and public vehicles – not to mention the lack of safety from a patient care standpoint.

The road’s condition is beyond capacity of the private landowners to improve. Additionally, what makes this private road unique is that it is a thoroughfare, and not a dead end as is the case for most private roads.

Through many discussions between the two towns, public works directors and municipal attorneys, Raymond Town Manager Don Willard has described the proposed resolution as a “creative solution to a unique situation. It is a win-win for both towns.”

A resolution has been developed and written between the two towns in which there is a quid pro quo exchange of services. The resolution is both cost effective and financially neutral. Presently, the Town of Gray has a contract with a private plowing company, and thus, the plowing agreement will begin in 2021. The Raymond Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to have Willard sign the agreement.

An update on the RSU14 withdrawal process was discussed by Chair, Rolf Olsen. He stated that working on the separation agreement and that subcommittee work is in the beginning stages. The Budget Committee, which is working on the outline of the Raymond school budget, needs more volunteers.

“We would prefer that someone who has a stake in the school system, and a member from the community be involved,” stated Selectmen Marshall Bullock who is also the Chair of the Withdrawal Budget Committee for the RSU14. “We now have a Select person, and a member of the Raymond Budget Finance committee on board. We would prefer that the persons are willing to assist in the development and see all facts before forming their opinion.”

The committee will first look at the cost of physical assets (computer technology and facilities maintenance) with the student services portion of the budget as a second part of the process (superintendent, nurse, guidance counselor).

Another subcommittee will consider resurrecting the “One Raymond” concept. The intention of this approach is to explore all assets available within the town without duplicating services for both the town and Raymond schools’ needs. An idea borrowed from the Town of Cape Elizabeth, the purpose is to improve efficiency by sharing assets, personnel and functions between town and school to minimize property tax impacts.

The next RSU14 withdrawal meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 10.  That meeting will have both a public side and possibly an executive session depending on where things are with the withdrawal agreement.

For more information, contact the Raymond Town office at 207-655-4742, or to watch the full meeting: www.raymondmaine.org/video-archives

July 7, 2019

Sen. Diamond welcomes Senate page from Windham to State House

AUGUSTA — Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, welcomed Windham Middle School student Riley Marquardt to serve as an honorary page in the Maine Senate. Riley and her grandmother took the picture below with Sen. Diamond in the Senate Chamber.

The program gives students a unique chance to participate in and observe the State’s legislative process. As honorary pages, students deliver messages, distribute documents within the Senate Chamber, interact with senators and take part in a real world, legislative learning experience.

To learn more about the honorary page program, please contact Sen. Diamond’s office at (207) 287-1515.

Collins joins bipartisan group in launching new effort to combat plastic marine debris

Save Our Seas 2.0 Act addresses plastic debris polluting our oceans, harming marine life, and washing up on American shores

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) joined Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) in launching a new effort to combat marine debris. 
The Save Our Seas 2.0 Act seeks to tackle the problem of plastic waste on a global scale by spurring innovation and finding uses for the plastic waste that already exists to keep it from entering the oceans.  The legislation builds on the initial progress made by the Save Our Seas Act, which was signed into law last fall. 

Image from:
“Countless jobs in Maine and in coastal communities throughout our country rely on the health of the ocean.  The Maine lobster, aquaculture, and tourism industries are among the many critical sectors of our economy that are dependent on Maine’s pristine waters,” said Senator Susan Collins.  “To protect our ocean and the sea life that inhabits it, our bipartisan bill will help accelerate the removal of plastic waste and prevent future marine debris, protecting this vital resource for generations to come.”

Roughly eight million metric tons of mismanaged plastic waste from land enters the oceans each year.  Ninety percent of this plastic enters the oceans from ten rivers, eight of which are in Asia.  The plastic breaks down into tiny pieces that can enter the marine food chain and harm fish and wildlife and wash ashore on even the most isolated stretches of coastline.  Plastic has been found in areas as remote as the Mariana Trench, the deepest known point in the ocean.

The Save Our Seas 2.0 Act is also cosponsored by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Tom Carper (D-DE), Rob Portman (R-OH), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Chris Murphy (D-CT). 

A bipartisan, balanced budget

By Sen. Bill Diamond

A quick note before we get to this month’s column on the biennial budget: Many of you probably saw that last week, Maine Superior Court Justice William Stokes sentenced Shawna Gatto, who killed her fiancĂ©’s 4-year-old granddaughter Kendall Chick, to 50 years in prison. Files released by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) show that after they placed Kendall in Gatto’s care, they only followed up twice, violating their own protocols, and they closed her case ten months before she died. It’s clear that we in the Legislature must push for an honest, vigorous examination of the state’s child protection system and real reform. That’s exactly what I intend to do. – Sen. Bill Diamond

Two weeks ago, after an all-night session, the Legislature officially adjourned for the year. We tackled a lot of big topics this year, and at times things did get contentious, but at the end of the day we found a lot of common ground on which to move forward.

One of the biggest lifts of the session was passing a budget to fund the state government for the next two years. I’m proud to report that the budget that was passed was supported by both parties, stays within projected revenue without raising taxes, and funds important programs including property tax relief, child protection and more.

I want to commend my colleagues on the Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee, who were tasked with writing this budget. This year, there was an unprecedented level of bipartisan agreement on the committee: Of the 1,154 lines of the budget, all but seven were supported by every single Republican and Democrat on the committee. That is testament to the hard work and collegial attitude of those who served on the committee.

I believe that Mainers pay enough in taxes, and I was pleased to learn that the budget doesn’t raise the income or sales tax. In fact, the budget is balanced, as the Maine Constitution requires it to be, and it sets aside $18 million for the future in the state’s “Rainy Day Fund.”

The budget also lowers property taxes. I know too many seniors on fixed incomes and businesses and working families who are just trying to make enough to get by, for whom property taxes are a huge problem. The new budget provides $75 million in property tax relief for families, seniors and small businesses by expanding the Property Tax Fairness Credit to include roughly 13,000 additional people. Through this program, eligible Maine seniors can save up to $1,250 in property taxes and eligible working Mainers and families can save up to $800 on their property taxes. The budget also increases the Homestead Exemption, which helps folks save on their property taxes.

The budget funds other good programs too, including additional positions at the state’s Computer Crimes Unit, which investigates child pornography cases and has unfortunately been struggling with a backlog for many years. It also provides funding for 62 additional child protection workers; while it’s not a silver bullet, this is still a good and needed step toward addressing the shortcomings in our child protection system.

For these reasons, I was proud to support this budget.

As always, please feel free to contact me or my office with any questions, comments or concerns. You can call (207)287-1515 or email me at diamondhollyd@aol.com. It’s a pleasure to serve you.

Tenth annual food drive a success

Field-Allen Post 148 in collaboration with the Joint Military Cadet of America (A co.1st BN 3rd ACTB)  Windham High School, held its 10th Annual Food Drive at Walmart North Windham in support of the Town of Windham Food Pantry Summer Youth program. The Cadets and Post members filled an M-37 Dodge Military Vehicle with food products and received $1500 in cash donations for the cause.  Above: L-R 1st SG Dan Wirtz. C/PVT Cataldi, C/PVT Currier, Post Adjutant David Tanguay, Collette Gagne (receiving $1500 check), C/CPL Carpenter, C/PV2 Hemond and C/PV2 Allen. The  Cadets were a significant help to this year’s Food Drive.

Relaunching of the Lakes Region Writers' Guild

By Lorraine Glowczak

For most aspiring and published writers, a monthly writing group is the motivation needed to keep the creative juices flowing. Whether it’s to hold one accountable for a completed project, the need for constructive feedback or simply, the want of social connection in a solitary career, a writer’s group provides the impetus to keep moving forward.

For theses reason and through the efforts of Mary-Therese Duffy and the Raymond Arts Alliance, the
Members of the new Lakes Region Writers' Guild
Lakes Region Writer’s Guild has been ignited and met for the first time on Tuesday, June 25 at 2 p.m. at the Raymond Village Library. “
We were quite the dynamic and lively group,” stated Duffy. “Ten of us were in attendance with all having varied approaches to writing, as well as our stages with it. Some people have been published, others coming back to it after some time, while others are just beginning. Many are in at least one writer’s group already, some several; and many having taught writing for quite some time.”

The Lakes Region Writer’s Guild (LRWG) began in 2000 with founding members Elaine Griffin, Deb Smith and Alan Lapidus. Griffin, who initiated the group gathering, was an accomplished writer and known by many as a beautiful and special person. “She was uncannily perceptive and had as wide and generous a heart as she did a sharp and wonderful wit,” Duffy said. The LRWG folded in 2014 due to Griffin’s progressive dementia. She passed away on March 4, 2016.

Griffin’s unique and endearing perspectives on life are two of the many reasons for the success of the original LRWG and Duffy, who was a part of that group, hopes to continue in a fashion that would honor Griffin and her success. In fact, Duffy stated that last Tuesday’s first group gathering was very much like the original group. “The exception is that we only provided written critiques when the reader requested it; and we never sent our topics to each other ahead of time,” she stated. “We just arrived and started out of the gate. Also, we never did a group writing, but this is an interest of the majority of members.”

Although it may take a while to get the final rhythm in place, last week’s newly established LRWG have determined to meet once a month with a relaxed structure. “If one would like to read and have critique, they are to contact me ahead of time to be put on the agenda as well as to provide copies of what they are reading to the group at the meeting,” explained Duffy. “If someone would like to read and there is time, we will allow the time for that regardless of prior notification or available copies. If one of us has a question, concern or a topic they would like to discuss in the group, that would also need to go on the agenda ahead of time. If there is time, space and inclination, we may take a few minutes for basic stream of consciousness writing within the group time; this may be to ground and center or process the conversations we have just had and mine the individual inspiration within it.”

Duffy also stated that since LRWG is a group with attentive focus given to each writer/reader, it is requested that only one person speak at a time, with no side conversations. She admitted, however, that respectfully listening is extremely hard to master since a writer’s group, such as this, is so exciting and inspiring.

Whatever the author’s purpose to participate in the LRWG, goals can be met. During their time with the original LRWG, both Griffin and Lapidus successfully published books. Griffin is the author of “Bitter Sweets”, a story that captured a friendship she had with a couple she’d known during her advertising career. Lapidus (who is part of the relaunched LRWG) published “Everything by Design: My life as an Architect”, which includes his accounts of designing hotels and casinos for Donald Trump.

Whatever an individual’s goal in joining a writer’s group, Duffy puts it best: Our commonality is seeking the kind of anchoring, support, motivation, and accountability a good group can generate and we certainly demonstrated that the newly re-launched LRWG has the experience, strengths and insights to provide each of these.”

As of this writing, 16 people have indicated an interest in the newly relaunched LWRG. Duffy said it is possible she might have to start a waiting list. To see if there is space available or for more information, contact Mary-Therese Duffy at 207-712-6200 or mtherese@maine.rr.com.

The next scheduled meeting is Tuesday, July 30 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Raymond Village Library.

June 28, 2019

Student of the Week: Jayden Grenier

Jayden Grenier, a student at Jordan-Small Middle School, is The Windham Eagle’s Student of the Week. Grenier enjoys bike riding and playing outside.

“Jayden is a hard worker who pursues challenges and is excited to learn,” stated his teacher. “He has taken on extra work in classes and is always focused and on task.  He stands out for his sense of responsibility and work ethic, single handedly turning in the biggest numbers on our band practice challenge. Jayden shows consistency and perseverance in the art room and he is a responsible student who strives to do well in class. He fully participates in all activities and is respectful to his peers. 

Jayden is quiet and has a wonderful sense of humor.  His demeanor adds a lightness to the classroom to allow for fun but always stays within the boundaries of what is appropriate.”

Grenier stated that learning new things is what makes education fun for him. His favorite subject is music and his favorite musical group is All Rock.

Foreign exchange host family with Greenheart shares story: Consider hosting student from France

Kathy Hansen is a Mainer who has lived in Windham with her husband, Jon, for 44 years.  They raised their family here and hosted exchange students.  Her friend Stacy hosted Hisham from Palestine, and he did a video of his exchange experience this year.   When her daughter Kristin saw it, her comment was:

“Oh, my gosh. Hisham describes it perfectly!! Memories are flooding back from some of the coolest students we hosted when I was growing up! I learned so much from them. So thankful to my parents for teaching us beyond four walls.” 

Host mom Kathy says, “I have no idea what inspired me to say yes to hosting, but it was a monumental moment that changed the course of my life.”   She agreed to help find families for teenagers from France from July 8 to July 28, and she needs help from the community with hosting even if they can only host a week in July.

They are here to practice English and to make friends.  If you have a teenager, they could get invited to France. It does not cost anything except to feed them.  They can share a room.  They are not here to be entertained or to travel.   They have their own spending money. If you can’t host for the whole time, let me know when you can.  They can hang out with each other if no one is home for the day or night.

If you are interested in being a host family, simply fill out a short application: https://www.tfaforms.com/236744. For more detailed information, contact Hansen at: Khansen@greenheart.org.

Raymond Fire and Rescue participates in Jordan-Small Middle School Career Day

Seven members of the Raymond Fire and Rescue Department (RFRD) spent several hours with 47 fifth grade students at Jordan-Small Elementary School in Raymond. This is the third year that the RFRD has educated fifth graders on their career day as to what is involved in becoming a firefighter or EMT/paramedic. 

The students first listened to an interactive presentation on the education, training, and fitness standards necessary to be in the fire/EMS service. The students all had various questions which were answered. Following the question and answer session, groups of students went to three training stations with fire apparatus where they saw various medical equipment. Each tool, firefighting and extrication equipment was explained by department paramedics regarding its importance and the purpose of its use. 

The subjects of math and science and how it plays a role in the fire/EMS service was emphasized, as well as the need for a high school diploma – along with at least two years of college education, plus regular on-going training.  

“The students gained an appreciation that not only is the fire/EMS service physically demanding, but it also requires a lot of technical knowledge that is always changing,” explained Fire Chief Bruce Tupper.

Christmas in June at the Raymond Village Library

By Sheila Bourque

Each December, a wonderful event occurs at the Raymond Village Library - the annual Holiday tree lighting! The voices of the Jordan-Small Middle School choir ring out, Santa Claus arrives in style in a bright red Public Safety fire engine and hot chocolate and cookies are passed around to all.

Dale Gilman and Laurie Wallace show off the
new tree that will don bright lights this Christmas
The festive spirit of the evening never fails as “oohs” and “ahs” spread through the crowd when the tree comes to life. The children can barely contain their excitement as Santa Claus arrives. While Santa Claus’s line is plenty long, the line for children climbing into the fire engine and ringing its bell come in a close second! The Raymond Village Lions Club sponsors this event and is the keeper of this Raymond tradition.

Each year the Lion’s club brings a tree to the library, sets it up and decorates it with colorful lights. The tree is placed in an iron pipe that is buried in the ground. This annual tradition is challenging as the pipe is often buried in snow and ice. Finding and clearing the pipe is no small task.

On Friday, June 14, the holidays arrived a little early at the Raymond Village Library. The Raymond Lions Club planted an evergreen tree on the library’s front lawn. This live tree will stand on the library’s lawn and become the Raymond Holiday tree for years to come. This live tree will be cared for by the Lions Club and will be kept in perfect holiday shape.

The Raymond Village Library would like to thank the Lions Club for their continued support of the library and the community of Raymond. The next time you stroll up the library’s sidewalk, look straight ahead at our new living holiday tree. Whenever you see the bright yellow vests of a Raymond Lions Club member, be sure to thank them for making Raymond a community to be proud of!

Windham Dare to Adventure students participate in active assailant exercises

Last month, the Portland Police Department in cooperation with area public safety agencies including the Windham Police Department (WPD), held an active assailant exercise at Deering High School. An important part of this exercise was to test the processes outlined in the National Incident Management System. Students from the Windham Middle School Dare to Adventure program, a cooperative program with the WPD, played a very important role.

Left to Right Top:    Ryan Bernard, Ezra Foster, Josh Noyes, Levi McDonald
L to R top:    Ryan Bernard, Ezra Foster, Josh Noyes, Levi McDonald
L to R bottom:Haley Atherton, Riley Small, Morgan Hammond
 Missing student from the photo but participated:  Jacob Chouinard

A large part of any natural or manmade disaster, large public gathering or critical incident is to have a system in place that manages people and equipment needed to support ongoing operations and recovery efforts.

The process of “staging” personnel and equipment allows fresh troops to take over for the initial responders and allow them time to rest before reactivation. The Dare to Adventure students were an integral part of the Staging process, assisting the Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) from the Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency.
During the exercise, the students managed the task of signing in over 130 exercise participants into the staging area. The students used computers and clipboards and provided exercise managers with a real-time view of all the people committed to the exercise. All this information was entered into the computer and then the students rechecked all the names to ensure accuracy.  This is a very difficult undertaking and all the students did a tremendous job making sure the system worked.

Auto Shine Car Wash raises $1,000 for local firefighter’s recovery fund: Ongoing support needed

Josh Chase, vice president of Auto Shine Car Wash; John F. Chase, owner of Auto Shine Car Wash & Chase Custom Homes; Tim Smith and his daughter Mia.
To back up Auto Shine Windham’s contribution, Chase Custom Homes and Finance will donate another $500 to the first business who offers to match that amount of $500.
The line at the SpineLite Super Wash Tunnel wrapped around the building at Auto Shine Car Wash in Windham. Cars rolled through the wash to get a clean vehicle for a great cause. Over the course of six weeks, the car wash has raised more than $1,000 for Tim Smith, a local firefighter/EMT currently recovering from a heart transplant.

A portion from every top wash sold went directly to Tim’s ongoing recovery efforts. Tim is now at home and doing well, but the fundraising effort continues in order to help the family cover the cost of ongoing medical bills, particularly expensive anti-rejection drugs.

An update on Tim’s story
Tim Smith, a father, husband, and former Sebago firefighter, was given the devastating news that he needed a new heart last fall. On April 16, 2019, Tim received the gift of life - a new heart!

https://psychicandreikihealing.com/Tim is at home beginning the long road to recovery. He is making progress everyday but has also experienced some setbacks. At this point, Tim is still unable to work and is extremely tired all the time. “We are hopeful that he can begin rehab soon to help strengthen his muscles and regain his stamina,” said, Cyndi German, a close family friend and Tim’s fundraising organizer.

Tim’s wife, Shauna Smith is trying to find a way to keep the family’s head above water financially as they have over $20,000 in past due medical bills from Maine Medical Center. This does not include the hospital bill for the heart transplant. In addition, they need to pay out of pocket for Tim’s meds, which will be for life.

As always, the family is in good spirits and just very thankful that Tim is still here and that he is currently showing no signs of rejection. “On behalf of our family we are so grateful for the love and support that we have received from not only our friends and community, but from absolute strangers; we would not have made it through this journey without it and we are truly thankful,” said Shauna. “Tim’s transplant team has said that the first year is the most difficult, so we continue to remain cautiously optimistic about the future in regard to his health and our financial wellbeing. We are so fortunate to have Tim still here with us and for that reason alone we are blessed.”

Ongoing Fundraising
To back up Auto Shine Windham’s contribution, Chase Custom Homes and Finance will donate another $500 to the first business who offers to match that amount of $500. If your business wishes to donate, please let Marketing Director, Molly Shaw know by calling 207-892-2700 ext. or email at mshaw@cchfi.com.

For more information and to donate:
Cyndi German, fundraising contact: cyndi@pushnudgeshove.com