May 24, 2019

Windham High School students touched the past

By Craig Bailey

On May 17, students from Windham High’s social studies classes had the opportunity to learn how early 20th century advances in technology and transportation transformed many aspects of life. To support this, Toby Stinson, of Owls Head Transportation Museum (OHTM), was onsite with three working Model T Fords.

Student, Brady Jackson, stands beside a Model T Ford.
Jeff Neal, Windham High School U.S. and World History and World Politics teacher organized the event. Neal stated, “There is nothing like students physically seeing, touching and smelling a relic. This is something you cannot get with modern technology. I’m hoping this will inspire the students to experience and preserve the past.”

The Model T’s on display included an open, 1910, 3-seater, a covered, 1915 5-seater, as well as a “cut away” enabling students to view the engine and drivetrain internals of these early automobiles.

Stinson kicked things off, “In the early 20th century we saw the beginnings of mass production and at the center of this was Ford’s Model T.” Stinson reminded the group, “At the time these cars were built, America was a rural agrarian society and everyone had horses. In fact, there were more blacksmiths than doctors, as blacksmiths were required to work on wagons and shoe horses.”

The benefits of these first automobiles were many. Stinson commented, “A horse takes time to get ready and doesn’t like bad weather. A machine doesn’t get tired or complain. Once these cars were mass produced you could buy a brand new one for $240, which was cheaper than outfitting and maintaining a horse.”

Stinson shared, “My dad used his car as a tractor to haul potatoes and pull boats out of the water. It was also considered a portable supply of power. My dad could cut 10 cords of wood in a day, with a saw powered by his car.”

Stinson then covered the topic on how owners started, operated and drove these early automobiles.
The first step was confirming there was enough fuel. This was done by dipping a stick of wood in the 10-gallon tank, which was found under the seat. Next, you would check the oil. This was done by opening a valve. If oil dripped out you were good-to-go and, if not, you needed to add some.

“Realize, in 1915 these cars were considered non-polluting, compared to a horse,” Stinson reflected,  “For example, on the streets of New York City, horses excreted over a thousand gallons of urine and thousands of pounds of manure daily. The biggest health challenges at the time were diseases of filth, such as diphtheria and cholera. The transportation industry helped to eliminate that.”

Next, Stinson shared that Model T’s had a hand throttle with 2 forward speeds (slow and fast); fast being a relative term. While these cars would only do upwards of 25 miles per hour, that was fast compared to a horse and buggy.

Starting the Model T required the most attention. Stinson emphasized the importance of properly holding the crank, because not doing so may result in a backfire which could wrench your shoulder or break your wrist.

“From the beginning, Henry Ford’s goal was to make cars affordable for virtually anyone,” Stinson noted. “As an example, during early production Ford learned that black paint dried a little quicker than other colors. Considering the economics of buying large quantities of paint he determined that sticking with black made the most sense.”

Stinson continued, “Ford used the most advanced technology and best materials available to build the most durable automobiles possible.”

Stinson reminded the audience, “These cars were built when there were no roads. As such, Ford designed these cars for a rugged environment, to last long while remaining cheap. For example, Ford was the first to fully enclose the engine and drivetrain to prevent dust, dirt and mud from entering and damaging the internals.” Stinson also explained that what is referred to as a ‘dashboard’ today, was actually a feature to dash away dust and bugs.

The automobile industry continued to evolve, driven by consumer needs and wants. Once people had cars, they wanted more: a roof, side curtains and to be fully enclosed. Later, accessories such as heat and windshield wipers were introduced. All things we now take for granted.

“The industrial revolution and more specifically, mass production, resulted in societal change,” Stinson stated to the students. “Humans had been using horses for 10,000 years. In the early 1900’s this completely flipped with the introduction of the automobile. People no longer had the same limitations on the distances they could travel and things they could accomplish. This all began with innovation and resulted in explosive technology which literally changed the world. Due to the impact on society, many consider Henry Ford the single most powerful person at that time.”

One of the students asked if they could drive a Model T, to which Stinson responded, “Come to our museum and we may be able to arrange that. At the museum the cars run, and the planes fly.”

The Owls Head Transportation Museum (OHTM) is a nonprofit educational organization. Its mission is to collect, preserve, exhibit and operate pre-1940 aircraft, ground vehicles, engines and related technologies significant to the evolution of transportation for the purpose of education. Learn more about OHTM at:

Windham Primary School students raise thousands at second Annual Community Day

By Kathrina Frost

Students took part in a run-a-thon fundraiser during their second Annual Community Day at Windham Primary School.  On Thursday, May 16, the students gathered with community members to recognize all of the hard work of the students and to present community groups with checks for the funds raised. In total, the event raised $7,217.44.

The kindergarten classes raised a total of $1,771.50 for the Windham Public Library. Samantha Cote
The students at Annual Community Day
accepted the check from Dr. Rhoads and top individual fundraisers Caleb Sargent, Ben Freysinger and Charles Hager. The top Kindergarten classroom was Mrs. Carver with $434.00. 

The first-grade classes raised a total of $1,659.25 for the Windham Fire Department. Chief Brent Libby accepted the check from Dr. Rhoads and top individual fundraisers Luke Russell and Michael Hall. The top first-grade classroom was Mrs. Shibles with $510.00. 

The second-grade classes raised a total of $2,181.50 for the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals. Kathy Woodbrey accepted the check from Dr. Rhoads and top individual fundraisers Dylan Emmons and Byron Davis. The top second-grade classroom was Ms. Hopkins with $592.00. Four local businesses also contributed matching funds to second graders for their support of the MSSPA. 

They were APEX, Hall Implement, Sebago Lake Automotive, and Horsepower Auto Care.

The third-grade classes raised a total of $1,605.19 for the Windham Historical Society. Susan Simpson, Carol Manchester, and Jason Farley accepted the check from Dr. Rhoads and top individual fundraisers Rocco DiDonato, Renner Gerrity, and Adyson Miller. The top third-grade classroom was Mrs. Grund with $319.00. 

Community Day was started as a service-learning opportunity highlighting community groups that support RSU 14, and reflecting on how students can, in return, support those groups. Windham Primary School students were grateful for the opportunity to show how much they appreciate their community. An amazing job was done by all.

Historically significant land closer to being conserved

Loon Echo Land Trust (LELT) moved another step closer to conserving 252 acres of forestland in South Bridgton a couple of weeks ago. LELT announced that it was recently awarded $12,500 from the Kendal C. and Anna Ham Charitable Foundation to help purchase the property, which will be called “Peabody-Fitch Woods.”

Peabody-Fitch Woods will forever protect the land surrounding Bridgton Historical Society’s historic
Narramissic Farm. Conserving this land will ensure public access for recreational opportunities including hunting, walking, and nature observation. LELT plans to enhance the existing pedestrian trails located on the property and has engaged local clubs to make sure that a snowmobile and ATV corridor on the property remains accessible.

This award adds to grant money already received from several other foundations, including the Fields Pond Foundation, Davis Conservation Foundation, Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation, Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust and an anonymous foundation along with many donations from individuals in the community.

“We have received incredible support from the community for this conservation project,” says Matt Markot, LELT’s Executive Director. “In partnership with the Bridgton Historical Society, we are eager to protect this land. The site of a once prosperous and well-known family farm in South Bridgton, it has incredible cultural, historical and ecological value. Once protected, this land will continue to benefit our community forever.”

LELT seeks to raise the rest of the money needed to purchase the property before a June 30th, 2019 deadline. To date, LELT has received 95% of the funds and needs just another $17,000 to purchase the land. Private donations from individuals will be critical in achieving this goal. Complete information about the project, including maps and the option to donate online, can be found at Checks to support Peabody-Fitch Woods can also be sent to Loon Echo Land Trust, 8 Depot Street Suite #4, Bridgton, ME 04009.

Loon Echo Land Trust (LELT) is a member supported, non-profit land trust that works to protect the natural resources of the northern Sebago Lake region. Loon Echo conserves 6,700 acres of land and manages 31 miles of recreational trails in the towns of Bridgton, Casco, Denmark, Harrison, Naples, Raymond and Sebago. These important natural spaces protect the region’s water resources and wildlife habitat, maintain rural character and provide public access to outdoor recreation such as hiking, hunting, fishing and skiing. For more information about Loon Echo’s land conservation projects or information on how to get involved, visit their website, Facebook page, or call 207-647-4352.

A visit at the State House: Shadowing Rep. Patrick Corey

By Lorraine Glowczak

I began this series of visiting the statehouse to capture a glimpse of a day in the life of our local delegates. I have had the pleasure to visit and report on: Rep. Sue Austin, Rep. Jessica Fay and Rep. Mark Bryant, all of whom have been accommodating and welcoming. Last week, I spent the day with Rep. Corey.

The intention of this series is to share with our readers the work and focus of our state officials while
Rep. Corey with John and Linda Gregoire (and Sen Diamond).
Corey is working on bill LD 84 to to allow spouses
to Provide home and community-based services
to Eligible MaineCare Members 
they represent us in Augusta. I do hope that the past articles have contributed to some informed insight of the process. But I must admit, I think it is I who is learning the most from the experience.

My day with Rep. Corey began at 8:30 a.m. where we sat for ½ hour in the State House café and spoke over coffee. It was a “slow day”, Corey told me (Slow is a relative term. It seemed busy to me.) This gave us time to talk for a while, providing an opportunity for him to discuss with me his committee work and the bills he has introduced.

He is a member of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. “We focus on issues facing and bills that affect the Department of Corrections, county jails, State Police, the opioid problem and human trafficking,” Corey began. “This includes issues surrounding domestic violence and rape.”

He is also a member of the Maine Marijuana Commission which focuses on medicinal and adult use of cannabis and on the development and administration of a regulated marketplace in the State for adult use marijuana and the regulation of the personal use of marijuana and the home cultivation of marijuana for personal adult use.

Corey stated that his major interests include bringing Maine citizen voices to the initiative process, working on constituent related issues, and protecting law-abiding, mentally stable residents from gun control measures. In fact, Corey introduced LD-85. “It’s a law that would encourage gunowners to lock up their guns by providing a sales tax exemption with a purchase of a locked storage unit for guns,” stated Corey. “The bill passed the House and the Senate, but it sits on the appropriations table.”

As I learned from Rep. Bryant, and Corey reiterated, bills that go to the appropriations table, “go there to die” and have to be revived again during the next legislative session. The bills that affect the state budget are the only bills that go to the appropriations table – and in this case – it is the reduction of sales tax for a lock cabinet/gun safety.

Corey also sponsored a bill that has passed and is now law, LD 79, An Act To Protect Shooting Ranges. “There is a hunting safety law that states you cannot shoot a firearm within 300 feet of a building” explained Corey. “There was an incident in which a shooting range which has been in existence for many years but faced a challenge. A neighbor had purposefully built a structure on his land and within the distance that would require the range to shut down. The landowner had admitted that he purposefully built the structure to shut the range down. The law passed unanimously by both the House and Senate and was signed into law by Governor Mills.”

But Corey’s interests do not end there. He is still working on 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.” He specifically works on this bill as a result of Windham residents, John and Linda Gregoire. John has had ALS for 10 years and his wife, Linda, has been providing home care assistance without pay.

Other bills that Corey has worked diligently on and have recently passed and are now law include: LD 648, An Act To Improve Reporting of Operating Under the Influence Offenses and  LD 858, Resolve, Directing the Department of Education To Study and Make Recommendations for the Establishment of a Maine School Safety Center.

After our coffee and conversation, Corey went to his Caucus meeting (in which the public is not allowed) and then on to the House floor where I got to observe in detail, the various laws being considered and/or passed. During the session, Corey would vote, and then come back to the galley to explain in detail “what just happened.”

Visiting our legislators is an experience and, an amazing one at that. I would highly encourage all individuals to visit Augusta just once – to witness the process of a bill becoming a law and the difficult and complex work in which our delegates participate on our behalf.

Next week, look for my article as I shadow Sen. Bill Diamond.

RAA and Raymond Village Library collaborate to provide venue for local artists

Raymond is a treasure box full of undiscovered artists and craftspeople. As a result, and wanting to honor and recognize the local talent, Raymond Arts Alliance (RAA) is coordinating local artist displays at the Raymond Village Library. The artwork will be on display on a two-month rotating basis.

Artwork by Jennifer Fuller
The first display, currently highlighted at the library, is from the work of Jennifer Fuller, a glass artist. It features fused glass, lampworking, blown glass, and stained glass. Fuller also works a variety of glass processes to create handmade jewelry, plates, decorations, and custom designs. 

"I am an autistic artist who is both mentally and physically disabled and though my past has much abuse and depression, glass art has been a bright spot in my life. It has helped me through the past several years and more recently given me the opportunity to focus on learning more, look to future possibilities with my art, meet amazing people, and feel like I am part of an encouraging, supportive community of people who all have a passion for glass art like I love to do,” Fuller said about art in her life.

Fullers work will be on display until July 7.

During the months of July and August, WHS 2017 graduate Holden Willard and his father, Don, will have their artwork on display. Recently, Holden received best in show in a world-wide competition at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod after he submitted a self -portrait to the center’s “The WORKS” competition. Holden attends the Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA.

His father, Don – a known leader in the community as the Raymond Town Manager, is quite unknown as a talented artist in his own right. His imaginative steam punk pieces are as beautiful as they are useful and his “found objects” metal sculptures are not to be missed!

Briefly, Raymond Arts Alliance is on a mission to strengthen the Raymond arts community and bring people together while enjoying beautiful expressions of artistic skill and imagination. 

“We agree that the arts should be accessible to everyone whether you are an avid art student, collector, professional fine artist, weekend hobbyist, or someone looking for the perfect gift,” explained RAA Board Member, Kim Hansen. “The joy of making, viewing and sharing the arts brings people together.  What better place to take part in appreciating beautiful things than a place set up specifically for community - the Raymond Village Library.”

There will also be a “meet and greet” the artists to be announced soon.

For more information about the Raymond Arts Alliance and other events occurring at the Raymond Village Library, peruse the library’s website at  or call at (207) 655-4283

May 17, 2019

A killer faces justice, but what comes next?

By Senator Bill Diamond

Sometime in the late afternoon or early evening of December 8, 2017, four-year-old Kendall Chick lost her life.

We now know that what caused her death was sustained, brutal child abuse by Shawna Gatto, the fiancée of Kendall’s grandfather, Stephen Hood. At the trial, which I was present for much of, we learned that police found splatters of Kendall’s blood all over the house and a dent in the sheetrock where Kendall’s little head was slammed into a wall. We learned that when Stephen asked about his granddaughter’s multiple bruises and injuries, Shawna made up stories about a clumsy child, a “drug baby” who couldn’t get out of her own way and “tripped over air,” who picked at scabs and was “a bleeder.” Gatto also took steps to hide Kendall from public view, for fear that her abuse would be discovered.

Maine’s Chief Medical Examiner Mark Flomenbaum testified at the trial that Kendall’s fatal wound was a combination of about 15 to 20 previous injuries along with a lacerated pancreas, associated with some sort of trauma about 12 hours prior to her death. It was very clear that this was not the sort of injury a 4-year-old child, even a clumsy one, could inflict upon themselves falling over or running into something. It was abuse, plain and simple.

Last week, Maine Superior Court Justice Bill Stokes found Gatto guilty of the crime of depraved indifference murder, which, according to Maine murder statue, means she “engage[d] in conduct that manifests a depraved indifference to the value of human life and that in fact cause[d] the death of another human being.” In rendering his verdict, Justice Stokes noted Gatto’s repeated, callous attempts to conceal her abuse of Kendall and the sheer amount of trauma to Kendall’s body as evidence of Gatto’s depraved indifference for Kendall’s life.

The trial was brutal, and rehashing these details now is painful, but this verdict is an important step toward accountability for Kendall’s killer. Unfortunately, we will never be able to bring Kendall back or undo the pain and torture that she suffered.
The very least we in Maine government can do is reaffirm our commitment to protecting children and take steps to ensure that this never happens again.

Kendall’s death was, at its core, a failure of Maine’s child welfare system.

Kendall, who was born addicted to drugs, was placed with Gatto and Hood, two people recovering from drug addiction, when she was taken from her mother, who was also battling addiction. Despite these circumstances, DHHS only checked in on Kendall once during the three years she lived there.
Had they visited, they may have seen the blood spatter, bruises and cuts that police found after her death. Another visit from DHHS could have saved Kendall’s life. That visit didn’t happen, and she died.

Logan Marr, a 2-year-old child, died in the care of a former DHHS worker in 2002, and since then, through seven DHHS commissioners and four administrations, we’ve had a lot of promises and good intentions, but children are still dying. To fix this, we need an honest, vigorous examination of the state’s child welfare system, and we need real reform.

This will take a coordinated effort from DHHS, the Legislature, the courts and law enforcement. I have a bill in to start this process, by creating a Legislative Commission to investigate issues at DHHS and propose legislation to make changes. I am hopeful that this can be a step toward improving our efforts to protect Maine children.

If you have any ideas, questions or concerns, please feel free to contact my office at 287-1515 or I work for you, and my line is always open.

Windham Boy Scout receives highest honor

Sen. Bill Diamond, Samuel Cole and Rep. Patrick Corey

Boy Scout, Samuel Cole of Windham has been awarded the highest honor in Boy Scouts, the Eagle Scout rank. Cole celebrated his achievement with a ceremony and reception at Windham Hill United Church on April 28th.

To reach the rank of Eagle Scout, Cole and other scouts must complete at least 21 merit badges and do a community service project which involves fundraising, proposing the idea to the town and BSA council, planning, recruiting helpers and producing a project that benefits the community. With the request of a much-needed structure by the Windham Parks and Recreation Dept. Cole constructed a pavilion at Dundee Park that was completed in November with his fellow Troop members of Troop 51 and several adults and friends.

Cole will be graduating from Windham High School with the class of 2019 in June and then he will be attending Clark University in Worcester, MA in the fall. He is the son of Jennifer and Larry Cole.
His father and brother, Tyler, are also Eagle Scouts.

Eighteen Raymond residents enrolled in Senior Farm Share

By Sheila Bourque

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) receives a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to fund the Maine Senior Farm Share Program. This program provides low-income seniors the chance to receive a free share (worth $50) of first-quality, fresh, local produce at no cost directly from local Maine farmers during the growing season.

Age Friendly Raymond recognizes that food insecurity is a challenge for many of our residents. 

Frank Pecoraro of Mulberry Farms visited our age friendly group last fall to explain the program.
Mulberry Farms has partnered with Age Friendly Raymond to make it possible for a number of our seniors to participate in the farm share program this summer! Organic Farmer Frank will be providing both gift cards and delivering farm shares to eighteen Raymond residents this summer.

Under the leadership of Sheila Bourque and with the help of many volunteers the program information was shared with community residents. The Raymond Lions spread the word via food boxes at our local food pantry and Raymond residents Eleanor Thompson and Laurie Wallace (Age Friendly Raymond Steering Committee member) coordinated sign-ups.

Thanks to all for making this happen!

Windham Middle School students gain hands-on experience developing business idea and pitch

Light Express team: Riley Marquardt, Reed Wescott,
Rafael Roney, Ella Wilcox, Sedona Narvaez
By Elizabeth Richards

On Monday, May 6, four teams of eighth graders at Windham Middle School took part in a “play-off” round to determine which idea will represent the school at LaunchPad Junior, a partnership between Gorham Savings Bank and Junior Achievement.

LaunchPad is an adult entrepreneurship competition sponsored by Gorham Savings Bank.  LaunchPad junior is designed to be an extension of Junior Achievement’s “It’s My Business!” curriculum. For six sessions, volunteers from Gorham Savings Bank led students through the curriculum and guided them in applying the concepts they learned as they developed a business idea that fits a need in the community.

The teaching team, O’Hana Explorers, which includes Erika Dupont, Pam Mallard, Trish Sabine and Lisa Hodge, entered the school into the Launchpad junior program. Each of four social studies classes had a classroom winner, and these four winning teams competed in the play-off round since only one idea from the school can be presented at the competition.

Each idea presented at the play-off round was well-developed, innovative and addressed a specific need. Students were poised and confident as they presented, and their work showed a high level of dedication and commitment to the project. The students in each group clearly demonstrated the idea, value, and need for their product. four finalist ideas and teams were:

MuzicalMelodiez, an app to make music education accessible to all, presented by Maria Yurkevich and Emma Bennett.

EZ Teach, an app that would give students access to tutors and homework assistance, and help them with time management and tracking assignments, presented by Sadie Vancelette, Lila Schrock, Kailey Chalmers, Grace Paiement, and Reagan McDougall.

Light Express, a bracelet that would help individuals with difficulty expressing their emotions verbally communicate how they are feeling, presented by Sedona Narvaez, Rafael Roney, Riley Marquardt, Reed Wescott, Noel Denslow, and Ella Wilcox.

Buddy Bots, a robot companion for critically ill children, which also helps monitor medications and other health information, presented by Chloe Fitts, Haney Haidari, Cody Harrison, and Maddie Policano.

This partnership provided an authentic opportunity for students to collaborate and brainstorm a business idea that would fulfill a need in this community. The biggest growth for most students was in their levels of confidence as they brought their plan to fruition and presented to live audiences,” said Hodge. “I was proud of the growth and it was fun to see students step out of their comfort zones.  Learning can be fun!”

The judges selected Light Express as the team which will present their pitch at the live LaunchPad event, which will take place on Tuesday, June 4 at USM’s Hannaford Hall in Portland.  In addition to the hands-on experience the students gain from the program, Gorham Savings Bank donates $1000 to each participating middle school.

New mascot revealed at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine commencement ceremony

On Saturday, May 11, 2019 Saint Joseph’s College of Maine surprised over 500 students graduating at the 106th Commencement ceremony by revealing the new Monk mascot character. Saint Joseph’s is the only college or university in the United States, in any NCAA division, to have “Monks” as a mascot.

According to Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer Joanne Bean, the new Monk mascot costume was made possible because of the support given from alumnus and Board of Trustee Dr. Colonel Solis ‘93, BSBA, MA, MBA, MPhil, DBA, PhD of McLean, Virginia who worked with the advancement and athletics departments to enhance the presence of the Monk in the community, to better reflect the Monks logo currently used by the athletic teams, and to serve as a reminder of the College’s Core Values.

Solis, who is the son of Cuban immigrants and a decorated Vietnam veteran, said, “When you’re a U.S. Marine, you remember and continue to live everything that it stands for. And when you’re a Monk, it’s also symbolic and meaningful for life. A mascot elevates the spirit of the entire student community on campus. I’m very pleased to give back to the College.”

The Monks mascot at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine dates back to 1970. It was only one year after the Board of Trustees decided that the College would become co-educational that then College President Bernard P. Currier hired Christopher Kiernan from Assumption College to become the new director of athletics and to launch a competitive varsity program. Knowing that Assumption Prep was about to close its doors, Kiernan asked for a donation of their team uniforms which bore the name “Monks.” From that point forward, Saint Joseph’s College adopted this as its mascot.

The suit was designed and produced by Costume Specialists in Columbus, Ohio. Their work with other universities includes the Columbia Lion and Princeton Tiger.  

The community can look forward to seeing the Monk at sporting events, student activities, and alumni gatherings.

Third-grader wins calendar contest

Lincoln Rulman, a third-grade student in Mrs. Arbour’s class at Windham Primary School entered the Casella Waste calendar contest for third graders. Out of 308 entries in Maine and 2200 entries total, Lincoln’s artwork was selected, and his photo will be showcased in the Casella Wastes 2020 calendar. Rulman didn’t know he won until Friday, May 10 when a representative from Casella Waste came to Windham Primary School and presented him an award alongside some of his third-grade classmates.

Music with a Mission features Pretty Girls Sing Soprano in concert Saturday May 25th

On Saturday, May 25th, at 7 p.m., Music with a Mission is proud to present Pretty Girls Sing Soprano for a relaxing evening of acoustic folk music. Sweet, sassy and soulful, this trio delivers a spirited mix of covers and originals with ringing three-part vocal harmonies, from folk, rock and pop to bluegrass and gospel. 

Founded as a duo in 2010 by Ingrid Ayer-Richardson (vocals, guitar) and Susan Mathews (vocals), the group quickly gained a loyal following. Pretty Girls became a trio with Deana Gurney (vocals, keyboard, percussion) in 2017, and has recently released their first album, “Bag Full of Lessons”.  Since their inception Pretty Girls Sing Soprano have quickly turned heads and gained a loyal following with their tight, clever and original harmonies. Their combined voices share their love of acoustic and a cappella music. The Pretty Girls will sing to your soul and leave you with a smile as they perform a variety of songs from bluegrass, folk, traditional to country and rock-n-roll. If you enjoy good music with top-notch vocals you need to check out Pretty Girls Sing Soprano.

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 seventh season, MWAM has provided almost $63,000 for mission support to the church and other community organizations.  Pretty Girls Sing Soprano has chosen to support Riding To The Top with the community proceeds from this concert.  Located right here in Windham, Riding To The Top Therapeutic Riding Center (RTT) is a non-profit dedicated to helping people with disabilities reach their highest potential through the healing power of horses.

Tickets will be sold at the door and are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.  They are also available online at  The box office opens at 6:00 and the doors will open at 6:30. The North Windham Union Church is located at 723 Roosevelt Trail in Windham.  For more information please call 892-6142 or email

Music with a Mission – Celebrating great music with concerts for the common good

MWAM Committee: Jim McBride, Rick & Linda Nickerson, Michael & Ruth Kepron, Allen & Dawn Sample, Peter & Dorine Ryner and Chick Marks

“Don’t Let Your Life Go Up in Vape” presentation educated parents on the dangers of vaping

By Lorraine Glowczak

There were over 50 parents and community members in attendance at last Wednesday’s, May 8 vaping education and forum event at the Windham High School.  Entitled, “Don’t Let Your Life Go Up in Vape”, Hawa Shir of Portland Public Health and Laura Morris of Be The Influence presented information on vaping and the scientific studies that indicates the negative effects that vaping and other drugs have on the developing brain.

“We also discussed how youth are targeted by the industry,” stated Morris, referring to the various vaping flavor concentrates available such as bubble gum, cotton candy, etc. After the presentation, there was a panel discussion with information that was shared to parents on health risks and the increased use in schools and what parents can do to keep their youth safe.

The panel of experts included: Ron Springal, MD/Asst. Director of Opioid Response under Gordon Smit; Windham High School Assistant Principal Phil Rossetti;Emily DaSilva of the Opportunity Alliance; Doug Daigle, Seventh-grade Health Teacher; Eliza Adams and and School Resource officer, Matt Cyr.
Both Shir and DaSilva took time out of their schedules to share pertinent information regarding vaping use and youth health, specifically as it impacts the lung and brain.

There are a variety of health concerns when it comes to vaping products,”Shir stated. “The e-liquids used in these products can contain a variety of harmful chemicals that can cause health issues in youth and adults. Some illnesses that have been found to come from vaping are popcorn lung and wet lung. Other affects can vary from person to person. These products also contain nicotine which is highly addictive. Youth who use these products are conditioning their brain to addiction.”

DaSilva offered the following ways parents and the community can help to prevent youth vaping use:

Know the facts- make sure you have a clear understanding of what vaping is and the effects it can have on the individual and on the community.

Establish and maintain good communication with your young person – they’ll be more likely to come to you about serious problems.

Be a positive role model- our young folks learn from what they see.

Help your child identify a protective factor or goal that they are working toward and frame conversations around protecting what’s important to them.

Talk to legislators about the need for more restrictions around vaping.

Make sure school policy is up to date with vaping language

Regarding education and awareness, DaSilva added that it is imperative to continue to get the word out that vaping isn’t safe for young people and that being safer than cigarettes doesn’t mean safe. “And that when it comes to the developing brain, the use of nicotine primes that brain for future addictions,” she said.

As a result of education being offered in the schools and community, the word is spreading about the detrimental effect of this activity. However, there are students in the community who vape. “Although most prevalent in high school, we have seen students start vaping as early as fifth grade,” Morris stated.

Perhaps the best method of prevention was offered by Shir, “Talking to your kids about these topics in an open way can be helpful to youth.” In doing so, it can help direct youth to make more wise decisions in regards to their health.

A free workshop offering guidance on end of life decisions

The sad reality is that most of the friction and confusion that occurs when people are gravely ill or dying occurs because people have not documented their end-of-life wishes in a legally binding way. Raymond Village Community Church (RVCC), located at 27 Main Street, is holding an End of Life/Advance Directives workshop from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 23 to help change that in the Lakes Region.

The program will be facilitated by Rev. Nancy Foran, RVCC’s Pastor and both a Certified Advanced Care Planner and Certified Adult Family and Elder Mediator. It will also be co-facilitated by Marie Guerin, a trained hospice volunteer. 

Pastor Foran and Ms. Guerin have first-hand experience with the stress, anxiety, and emotional pain people experience navigating through end-of-life issues in the modern health care system. “It breaks my heart every time I see the suffering people experience when they don’t really know what their loved one wants or discover that the health care system is making those decisions for them.”, said Rev. Foran.  “This is especially sad when all it takes to be in control is a properly-written Advanced Directive.”

“Advance directives” are legal documents that allow you to plan and make your own end-of- life wishes known in the event that you are unable to communicate. Advance directives consist of (1) a living will and (2) a medical (healthcare) power of attorney. A living will describes your wishes regarding medical care. With a medical power of attorney, you can appoint a person to make healthcare decisions for you in case you are unable to speak for yourself. 

“We encourage adults of all ages to attend because anyone can suffer a serious accident or illness at any time.”, said Ms. Guerin.  “Just like insurance, it is so important to have these documents in place before a crisis occurs.”  Even people who already have Advanced Directives are encouraged to attend this workshop, because these documents should be regularly reviewed and updated to reflect current wishes and desires. 

The workshop will explain the meaning of a variety of terms, how to choose health care agents, and strategies for talking about advanced care planning with loved ones. The workshop will use the “Five Wishes” program as a model.  It is a complete system to address advance care planning, is written in everyday language, and has been confirmed as legally-binding in the State of Maine. The information provided in the workshop will help attendees work better with any type of advanced directive. 
Admission is free, and light refreshments will be served.

 For further information, email Rev. Foran at, or call the Church at 655-7749.

RVCC: Small Church, BIG Heart!

Raymond Village Community Church is a United Church of Christ congregation.  It is a diverse faith community embracing tolerance, committed to building community in the Lakes Region, devoted to missions and outreach, singing joyfully, and welcoming all people no matter where they are on their faith journey.  For more information about RVCC, contact Rev. Nancy Foran, Pastor, at 655-7749 or

May 10, 2019

Diamond bill to keep Mainers safe from distracted driving passes committee unanimously

AUGUSTA — A bill introduced by Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, and supported by Sen. Ned Claxton, D-Auburn, was unanimously endorsed by the Legislature’s Transportation Committee on Thursday, May 2. LD 165, “An Act To Prohibit the Use of Handheld Phones and Devices While Driving,” would require that electronic devices used while driving are hands-free.

“Distracted driving is a growing epidemic on our roads and highways,” said Sen. Diamond. “We all see it every day — people behind the wheel fiddling with phones and other electronic devices, their eyes off the road and their hands off the wheel. I’m so grateful the committee has taken this important step to curb the dangerous epidemic of distracted driving.”

Sen. Ned Claxton, D-Auburn, supports Sen. Diamond’s bill.

“I became passionate about this issue after hearing about one of my constituents who was injured when a distracted driver crossed the yellow line while looking at a cellphone,” said Sen. Claxton. “It’s critical that we take steps to keep the roads safe for everyone.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “about 3,000 people die and 400,000 are injured in the U.S. each year in crashes involving distracted driving.” Despite bans in 47 states, smartphone use behind the wheel is a common problem. New research released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety finds that even though 97 percent of drivers say texting or emailing while driving is a serious or very serious threat to their safety, 45 percent admit to having read a text or email while driving in the past month, and 35 percent admit to typing one.

LD 165 now faces votes in the Maine Senate and House.

Evergreen Credit Union awards top local businesses and announces VP of Commercial Lending

Portland, MEEvergreen Credit Union introduced new directors and honored its business partners during their 24th annual meeting at the Portland Museum of Art. 2018 Lending Partner of the Year accolade was presented to Scott’s Recreation of Manchester and Turner, Maine. Runners-up for the honor were: Ossipee Trail Motors, Long Lake Marina, All Seasons Power Equipment and Lee’s Family Trailer Sales & Service. These winners participate with over 80 other local businesses in Evergreen’s Loan Portal Connect lending program.  

Recognized as annual best business partners by Evergreen Business Banking were Bob’s Seafood, Home Rentals, Long Lake Marina, Teamsters Local 340 and Country Village Assisted Living. Awarded Advocate of the Year was Matthew Chamberlain, co-owner of Regency Realty Group.

Additionally, Evergreen Credit Union is proud to announce that Jon Merrill has joined their team as Assistant Vice President, Commercial Lending. A life-long Mainer, Merrill most recently was Principal Examiner with the National Credit Union Administration, and previously worked in lending with the US Department of Agriculture Rural Development program.  He is a graduate of the University of Maine, Orono.

Evergreen Credit Union is one of Maine’s largest credit unions and offers mortgage, consumer, and business services throughout Cumberland and York Counties.
Timothy and Dianne Mathieu of Bob’s Seafood, Evergreen CU VP Sr. Commercial Loan Officer Jere Shaw

Evergreen President/CEO Jason Lindstrom, Scott’s Recreation Finance Manager Scott Penney, Evergreen Business Development Officer Brenda Pollock

Jon Merrill

Lake Region Community Chorus presents “Sing For Joy!”

It is concert time again for the members of the Lake Region Community Chorus. This enthusiastic singing group is made up of fifty-five members from fourteen surrounding towns. They will present a varied program made up of traditional classical pieces, folk songs, spirituals, and a tribute to Cole Porter called, “Let’s Fall in Love.” The performances will be held on May 17, at 7 p.m. and on May 19 at 3 p.m. at the Bridgton Academy’s Twitchell Chapel in North Bridgton.

The LRCC is directed by Jan Jukkola, Susan Stockwell and Dan Allen. The group is accompanied by Carolyn Stanhope and Sara-Sue Schreiber. The program will also include accompaniments by these very talented musicians, Rusty Wiltjer, percussion and Mark Priola, electric bass. They will be joined by instrumentalists from the chorus including Ginny Halligan, flute, Glen Jukkola, violin and Jan Jukkola, clarinet.

The chorus would like to thank the Bridgton Academy for all their help and support and providing them with rehearsal space and a concert venue. They would also like to thank their enthusiastic audiences and local sponsors. The concert is free but donations to help cover music and operating costs will be gratefully accepted. Come and join the Lake Region Community Chorus as they sing into spring. The concert is sure to be remembered long after the final chords are sounded. Please e-mail or call 647-2584 for more information.

Manchester School gardens are ready for growing season

Student, Isabella Thibodeau and her mother Jennifer 

On Saturday, May 4, the Master Gardener Workday at Manchester School hosted volunteers and several local master gardeners adding soil amendments, replacing and repairing several raised beds, trimming and raking the Manchester School gardens. The Manchester Gardens for Learning Committee would like to thank the Coast of Maine Organic Products Company out of Portland for a recent donation of 10 bags of lobster compost. The compost was added this weekend to the raised beds to help prepare them for vegetable planting this spring. The committee appreciates the volunteers and master gardeners’ help with our workday as well as the generous donation from the Coast of Maine.

Students in Mrs. Sanborn’s, Mrs. Ocean’s, and Ms. Bell’s rooms have been busy this winter with tending to spinach and lettuce greens growing in the hoop house. The school is lucky to be able to continue to grow greens in the hoop house during the winter months. Students have also been busy this winter learning about composting, soil, and pollination. Many seedlings have been started, with plans for many more to come. Students and staff are looking forward to getting outside and doing some planting - now that it is finally SPRING!

Sen. Diamond welcomes decorated Navy SEAL to Maine Senate

AUGUSTA – On Thursday, Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, welcomed Commander Michael Wisecup, USN, Ret., to the Maine Senate for the day. Sen. Diamond and Commander Wisecup took the picture below in the Senate Chamber immediately following the day’s legislative session.

Commander Wisecup, who retired from the Navy in Nov. 2018, graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1998 and received a Master of Business Administration from the Indian Institute for Technology in Mumbai, India. He was deployed multiple times to Iraq, Afghanistan, and across Africa and Asia on military operational assignments on SEAL Teams 1, 5 and 8 and Special Boat Team 12. He also had various staff assignments at home and abroad, including most recently serving as Deputy Commander of Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force - Iraq. Commander Wisecup has received the Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal with Valor, Purple Heart, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon, and various other unit, campaign and personal citations. He is currently a Presidential Leadership Fellow at Colby College in Waterville.