March 15, 2019

Free “Irish” community meal at Raymond Village Community Church


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

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

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

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

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



Black Box Teens present “Truly Talented Kids”

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

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

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

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



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

Rep. Jessica Fay and Lorraine Glowczak
By Lorraine Glowczak

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LED street lights are being considered in Raymond

By Lorraine Glowczak

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 8, 2019

Community support is requested for Boys and Girls State


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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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



Rotary announces community business luncheon

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rotary launches Ice-Out 50/50 raffle


The Sebago Lake Rotary Club, coming off its successful 2019 Ice Fishing Derby, is running a Derby complimentary event called the Sebago Lake Ice-Out 50/50 Raffle.  From now until March 21st, all residents, ages 18 and older of the greater Sebago communities are welcome to make a guess at the day “ice-out’ happens on Sebago Lake. 

For purposes of this raffle, the Rotary Club is using the State of Maine’s Department of Agriculture,
Conservation and Forestry (DACF) definition for “Ice-out”. DACF defines it as: “when you can navigate unimpeded from one end of the water body to the other”. For purposes of determining the winning entries, the actual date of Ice-Out on Sebago will be the date the DACF posts to its Ice-Out table, available on its official web site.   

Raffle chances are just $5 each. Chances submitted by members of the public will be limited to 1,000. If 1,000 paid chances are received, the Rotary will be issuing the winner a check for $2,500. Fewer paid chances will result in a smaller available raffle pool. Individuals may enter more than one guess, at $5 per guess.
 
Because the Ice-Out chance will be based only on the day ice-out occurs, it’s likely there will be multiple winning entries. The Rotary Club will place all winning entries received into a drum, from which a single winning chance will be randomly drawn.

Proceeds from the Raffle will go to the Rotary Club Charitable Fund, from which the Club makes annual donations to local individuals and non-profit organizations in need.  Over the past ten years, The Sebago Lake Rotary Club has contributed over $1 million to local charitable causes. Tony Plante, current Rotary Club President noted, “Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves. Fundraising is an important part of our activities, allowing us to support good works.”

Raffle chances can be found here, in this publication, as well as at local restaurants, lounges and local businesses.  Individuals wishing to participate should complete a chance form and mail it, along with $5 to Sebago Lake Rotary Club, PO Box 1941, Windham, ME 04062.

Rotary will stop accepting chances as of the close of business on March 21, 2019. The final drawing for the cash prize will take place right after the State posts the confirmed ice-out date for Sebago Lake.  The winner will be notified and asked to attend the very next Rotary weekly lunch meeting to receive their check.



Senator Collins warns of fraudulent calls targeting Social Security numbers


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, is warning of an increasing number of fraudulent telephone calls from people pretending to work for the Social Security Administration (SSA). 

The Committee’s toll-free Fraud Hotline has received several reports from people in Maine who say they are receiving calls telling them that their Social Security number is at risk of being deactivated or deleted. 

In other instances, the caller will falsely claim that the targeted victim’s Social Security number has been “locked” because it has been linked to a crime. Often, the incoming call is disguised to display the real SSA phone number on caller-ID, making it even more difficult to tell it’s a scam.  The caller will often ask for personal information, such as the victim’s Social Security number or bank account information with the sole intention of stealing his or her identity or money.

The Federal Trade Commission says last year, more than 35,000 Americans reportedly lost $10 million to Social Security imposter scams. The SSA’s Office of Inspector General urges anyone who receives a call from someone claiming to represent the SSA to be cautious, and never give out a Social Security number or bank account information to an unknown caller.  The SSA will never call to threaten someone’s benefits, and Social Security numbers will not be suspended. 

“Criminals will stop at nothing to harass, mislead, and steal from trusting Americans,” said Senator Collins. “Anyone who receives a suspicious call should just hang up and contact someone you trust. You can also report the call to our Committee’s toll-free Fraud Hotline, 1-855-303-9470, and an investigator from our office can help.”

Each year, the Senate Aging Committee publishes a Fraud Book detailing the top 10 scams reported to its Hotline.  In 2018, Social Security Impersonation Scams were the eighth-most reported scam.  The book not only details the scams, but also provides tips to avoid falling victim. 


March 7, 2019

Flexibility and linguistics play a role during legislative sessions

Rep. Sue Austin and Lorraine Glowczak
By Lorraine Glowczak

To better inform myself of the procedures and daily activities during the legislative sessions, I’ve asked the Raymond and Windham delegates if I could shadow them for part of their day. They all responded immediately with open arms.

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

My first legislative adventure was last Thursday, February 28 where I spent the morning with Rep. Sue Austin (Republican. District 67 that includes portions of Gray, Raymond, Casco and all of Frye Island). “Dear Lorraine. Why don't you come to the State House by 9 a.m. and check in at the Republican House Office on the third floor. We have caucus from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. prior to morning session in the room right beside the Rep. House Office. I will be able to spend some time with you from 9 to entering session shortly after 10.  You can visit in the Gallery during Session so you can see information and paper flow through the day's work at hand,” Rep. Austin stated in an email communication between us.

I arrived on time, but the caucus had a special guest speaker and was closed to the media. As a result, Rep. Austin had only a few moments to speak briefly before the House session began at 10 a.m. “You are beginning to see how things go here on a daily basis,” she began. “The process has more control over us than we do of it. As a legislator, you must always be flexible because the day’s agenda changes quickly. Let’s meet after the house session so we can talk.” Then she asked if I wished to join her at the Women in Government Luncheon that was being held at the Maine State Library.
I was then introduced to one of her legislative aides, Ryan Lorrain, who escorted me to the gallery where I had the opportunity to see the session in process – or as Rep. Austin stated in her email “the paper flow” of the day’s work that include the bills being considered in the various committee meetings. The morning’s house session seemed to occur at lightning speed.

Once the session was over, Rep. Austin and I had an opportunity to talk without interruption for about a half hour. I asked her about the meeting that occurred at the morning caucus. “There was a presentation from representatives of CMP regarding the transmission line proposal. It was all very interesting, and I learned a lot but there is going to be a lot of ups and downs on this issue.”

When I asked her thoughts on CMP’s line proposal, she stated it was too early in the process for her to say. “It’s not that I don’t want to state an opinion, but one needs to be aware of the language that is used in certain bills and proposals,” she explained. “One word added or replaced can change the meaning of a bill, making it completely different than when the bill first began. It’s always wise to know the bill to the best of your ability before you form an opinion.”

(NOTE: After this conversation on Thursday, we have spoken since and she clarified for me that there will be no actual vote on the CMP proposal. “We are still getting public feedback on the CMP proposal and listening to constituent concerns overall, but CMP does not need a bill or our vote to do this.”)

Rep. Austin also stated, “With bills, I am always cautious about responding whether I do or do not support them ahead of time because we never know the final language until the committee’s work is finalized and it comes to the Chamber for a vote.”

I also learned from our discussion that she is member of the Business Committee as well as the Labor Committee. “These committees were once a combined committee, so when they were made into two separate entities, I was assigned to both.”

She is always open to and receives calls from her constituents. The one recent issue that is brought to her attention the most is regarding the bill, LD 798 – “An Act To Protect Maine Children and Students from Preventable Diseases by Repealing Certain Exemptions from the Laws Governing Immunization Requirements.”

Briefly, the current law allows exemptions from immunization requirements based upon religious or philosophical beliefs for students. LD 798 would take away that exemptions.
Rep. Austin stated that she is for the parental right to make the best healthcare decision for their children.

On our way to the Women in Government luncheon that included a webinar session with other women legislators from across the nation, Rep. Austin was stopped by a colleague to have a brief meeting on an issue they needed to discuss prior to committee meetings. This delay caused us to miss the webinar portion of the luncheon, but we did get an opportunity to speak with other house representatives. I personally met and had lunch with Senator Susan Deschambault from Biddeford as well as Rep. Amy Arata of New Gloucester.

Once the luncheon was completed it was time for the afternoon committee meetings and time for Rep. Austin and I to part. My experience with her was about three hours and it felt like an eight-hour whirlwind. From her, I learned that an elected official must be flexible and on your toes at all times. But perhaps more importantly, the linguistical nature of bills and the language used is so complicated that the use of a lawyer is often needed.

After saying my goodbyes to Rep. Austin, I then connected with Rep. Jessica Fay. Stay tuned next week for my political adventure with her.




Be The Influence speaks to council and shares concerns on youth drug use and its effect on the developing brain

By Lorraine Glowczak

The Windham Town Council held its weekly Tuesday evening meeting on March 5 at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall Council Chamber room. The agenda items included a discussion on the Watershed Protection Grant applications that were received from five area lakes and rivers, a discussion on rescue services medical billing as well the need for updates to the animal control ordinance referencing nuisance dogs.

Laura Morris and Dominic Cataldi
The Council also heard from Be The Influence (BTI) Coalition Director, Laura Morris, and other
coalition members as they provided a presentation to share with the council the coalition’s mission, it’s work within the community and to express their concerns regarding youth drug use and how a long term habit has been scientifically proven to be harmful to youth brain development.
     
Morris explained that BTI is a collaborative community effort between leaders in Windham and Raymond and its goal is to spread awareness about the dangers of youth substance abuse and address the issues surrounding it. BTI does that though various projects and activities that encourages youth engagement. It also includes training and education with parents, at schools, town councils, etc. The students are provided up to date information through their school curriculum and the many BTI student members provide peer-to-peer education and activities to younger students in the RSU14 system.

Morris stated that vaping among the youth has become a very important issue and is specifically targeted to children. It is advertised to be safe alternative to cigarettes, but it still contains nicotine and it’s just a dangerous. There are over 8,000 vape flavors, including “Kool-Aid”, and “Cotton Candy” to name but just a few.

The greatest concern regarding vaping are the actual vapor ingredients. These include the following:

Toluene (petroleum)
Acetaldehyde (disinfectant)
Benzene (Charcoal/lighter fluid)
Cadmium (batteries) formaldehyde (preserve)
Isoprene (rubber)
Nicotine
Marijuana and heroin can also be added 

“We are not trying to be political- we are just trying to be scientific,” Morris said regarding the addiction of nicotine on the body. Referring to result from a study of Harvard Professor, Nora Voltrow, nicotine can cause increased heart rate, trouble breathing, damage to lungs, and increased acid reflux.

Morris stated that marijuana use among youth is also a concern and she showed an image from Voltrow’s research that demonstrated normal brain receptors compared to the brain receptors (or the lack thereof) after long-term use of marijuana.

Asst. Principal of Windham High School, Phil Rosetti joined Morris to provide additional information. “I’ve been an educator for 25 years. One thing this community does is care about its kids. Increased vaping has become an epidemic, and couple that with the legalization of marijuana, it has made our job very difficult. Vaping is also used for marijuana as well,” he stated to the council.
He also informed the council that in some vaping devices he has confiscated, he found that the THC level was at 93%. “Compare that back to the 90s, when THC levels were only at 3%, we’ve seen the increase of the addictive qualities.”

Rosetti stated that the schools along with the BTI coalition are working together to provide alternative ways to keep students’ interests in other things with an emphasis on making healthy decisions.

“Council, you are faced with a great responsibility to balance the needs of the community. I do hope you’ll continue to give thoughtful consideration to legislation that help support students in our community.”

Morris introduced an active BTI student member and Windham Middle School sixth-grader, Dominic Cataldi who has successfully completed a public service announcement (PSA) that will be shown at Smitty’s Theater. When asked how he felt about his PSA, he stated that he felt really good about it and that it was a great educational opportunity and “….kept my brain off drugs.”

New nonprofit organization offers opportunities for networking, giving back, and fun

By Elizabeth Richards

The Greater Windham Business Exchange (GWBE) is a new nonprofit organization that offers businesses an opportunity to network, give back to the community, and have fun all at the same time.
Founded in 2018, GWBE is “dedicated to helping businesses network and grow through the common goal of giving back to our community,” according to their website.  Fun is also an essential element for the group, said President Michelle Libby.

Melissa O'Brien, Will Hawkins, Rob Adams, and President Michelle Libby attended the meet and greet.
“The idea came from wanting to give back to the community in a way that was fun, in a way that networked businesses together,” Libby said. “It’s a fun group, and it comes right from the top. We try not to take ourselves too seriously, we just want to do good in the community,” she said.

Founding members started working to create the nonprofit in September of 2018, and they now have 501c3 status, making donations to the organization tax-deductible. Membership is $100 per year, regardless of the size of the business. The first 50 members to join will be considered founding members.

https://www.raveiscareers.com/GWBE has been involved with several events since late in 2018, when they participated in the Second Annual Festival of Trees, helping to raise money for the Windham Hill United Church of Christ. Other events have included a free coffee day, a blood drive, and the first GWBE Meet & Greet held at Bucks Naked BBQ on Thursday, February 28th.

That event was a great success, Libby said, and money raised at the event went to benefit the Healing Tribe, a nonprofit that provides complementary therapies like massage and bodywork, free of charge, to people in traditional therapies who are referred to the program. “It was great to see people that we haven’t seen for a while come out and want to be part of the group,” Libby said.

The organization has a big social media presence, Libby said, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, in addition to their website.  Social media will be used to promote organization events, as well as to generate buzz for things that members are doing. The GWBE website also has a directory of services members offer.

GWBE does not have an office, or any overhead, since the organization is run entirely by volunteers. The group is welcoming and open to any business, no matter how big or small.  Direct Sales consultants, freelancers, and people who run a small business on the side in addition to having full time jobs are all welcome. This means that people who haven’t had a place before can network and get involved, Libby said.

Many events are planned throughout the year, Libby said, including some that they have taken on from other groups who were unable to continue organizing the events.  Every event that GWBE holds will benefit a charity.  The next event planned is a Movie Trivia Night at Smitty’s Cinema in Windham, to benefit the Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Devin Fahie from Sebago Signworks and Vehicle Advertising will match up to $500 raised at the event as well.

GWBE is open to business throughout the Greater Windham area.  The executive board is: President, Michelle Libby, Author; Vice President, Omar Velazquez, Mechanics Savings Bank; Secretary, Emily Wainwright, Metayer Family Eye Care; Treasurer, Nate Hicks, Milliken, Perkins, & Brunelle; and Clerk, Dawn Dyer, Law Office of Dawn D. Dyer. For more information, or to get involved, visit www.greaterwindhambusiness.com.

March 1, 2019

Student of the Week: McKenzie Keeney


McKenzie Keeney, a sixth-grade student at Jordan-Small Middle School, is The Windham Eagle’s Student of the Week. Keeney states that science is her favorite subject.

“There are so many remarkable facets to McKenzie Keeney, it is difficult to know where to begin,” stated her teacher. “McKenzie is the kind of student who is always looking for ways to help. She has a quiet leadership style that is appreciated by both teachers and peers, and she never hesitates to lend a hand. Caring and welcoming, she greets everyone with the same verve. She has an environmental awareness and a kindness that extends beyond what you’d expect. In the classroom, she is creative and tireless, always looks for new ways to challenge herself. She is an amazing science student, excelling in every lab, assignment, discussion, and assessment. She is here to learn, and her open mind-set and positive disposition brighten our classrooms. McKenzie makes JSMS a better place, and we cannot wait to see where life takes her.”

Keen states that group work and projects are what makes learning fun for her. She enjoys participating in band, dance, drama, cross-country running and basketball. During her free time, she likes to read.

She lives at home with her three sisters, two dogs, four chickens, two Guinea pigs and two cats.



Norway Savings Bank and Riding To The Top continue to change lives


Patricia Weigel, President and CEO of Norway Savings Bank (NSB) visited Riding To The Top Therapeutic Riding Center (RTT) earlier this week and spent some time with the incredible horses that do so much for the clients of RTT. Weigel was at the center to present a check for $5000 to support RTT’s equine assisted activities and therapies. 

“Every time I visit, I am inspired by the incredible horses and the stories I hear about the connections they form with RTT’s clients - some as young as three years of age!” She added that Norway has supported RTT for 17 years because “Services like RTT’s are important to the health and well-being of Mainers. Norway Savings Bank’s contributions also include hundreds of volunteer hours contributed by local employees who work on projects and fundraising events.” Sarah Bronson, RTT Executive Director said, “Contributions from local businesses like Norway Savings Bank allow us to deliver services 6 days a week, year-round, keeping an important resource available year round to over 250 people with disabilities.”

Since 2005, Norway Savings Bank has contributed over $128,000 to Riding To The Top. Bronson added “RTT was founded by passionate volunteers, our Windham center was funded by individuals and businesses including Norway Savings Bank - and we thrive because of our strong community
support.”


Citizen science is making a resurgence

If you enjoy bird-watching, you can be a citizen scientist
By Lorraine Glowczak

Most imagine that the world of physics, chemistry and biology require a certain level of brain power and some may even assume the subjects bring with them a certain level of boredom. Add on the perception of the crazy mad scientist with wild hair and it is no wonder that the general population runs away and avoids these topics as fast as they can.

If you are one to have held this assumption, then you might be surprised to know that those who have found new planets and rediscovered lost bird species – were and continue to be the result of everyday people, like you and me. You don’t have to work in a lab or hold a degree in Microphysics to be a “real” scientist. An individual can contribute in many ways to science and even sometimes, do it right from the comfort of their back yard.

According to National Geographic online magazine, “Citizen science is the practice of public participation and collaboration in scientific research to increase scientific knowledge. Through citizen science, people share and contribute to data monitoring and collection programs. Collaboration in citizen science involves scientists and researchers working with the public. Interested volunteers, amateur scientists, students, and educators may network and promote new ideas to advance our understanding of the world.”

https://www.egcu.org/autoAlthough the term, citizen science, is relatively new and has only been used for a short while, the concept has been around for decades (and in some cases, centuries). There are a variety of scientific fields that use citizen scientists such as astronomy, where citizen scientists collect observations and take photos. In the world of ornithology, amateur birders contribute data on breeding and migration. There are also the fields of medicine, botany and Limnology (study of lakes). In fact, since concerns have surfaced regarding the health of the lakes in the Lakes Region communities, citizen science has been an important factor to area studies of the inland bodies of water.

The Presumpscot Regional Land Trust (PRLT) have their own citizen science volunteer program.
“We run a 20-week water quality monitoring program that goes from May through September and involves collecting water samples every other Saturday morning from somewhere in our five-town region,” stated Toby Jacobs, PRLT Stewardship and Outreach Manager. “Most volunteers work in pairs or groups of three and sample three sites per group. Samples are tested for dissolved oxygen (high amounts of which is crucial for aquatic life) and bacteria (high levels of which can make water dangerous for drinking or swimming).”

Results from last year and a bit more information about the program is available at www.prlt.org/water

Dave Nadeau, a Highland Lake resident and Windham Town Council member, has been working closely with scientist, Keith Williams, to monitor the water clarity as a result of the algae bloom the lake has been experiencing the past couple of years. The data he receives contributes to information as part of the study with the intent to identify and rectify the problem. “I use a disc, called a secchi disk, and I lower it into the water until I can’t see the disk any longer,” explained Nadeau. “I measure and record how many inches deep the disc goes in order to determine the clarity of the water.”

Nadeau also measures how much oxygen is in the lake. He began his volunteer efforts in July of last year, when the algae bloom began to make its appearance. Being out on the lake during the day to monitor gave him another opportunity to do an activity he enjoys. “When I am out on the lake to record the data, I go fishing.”
http://www.mwamconcerts.com/
If you are interested in becoming a citizen scientist, there are a number of organizations that you can collaborate with. No matter what your interest is, there is something for you. Here is a small list to get you started.

*Photograph plants, animals, and other organisms on your own or as part of a BioBlitz. Use the iNaturalist app or iNaturalist.org to upload your observations and add them to a global database of biodiversity to support local to global research projects. 

*Measure Night-Sky Brightness - Join the Globe at Night program in documenting light pollution by submitting data based on the visibility of constellations.

*Search Space - Want a chance to have an interstellar dust particle named after you? Help NASA by volunteering for Stardust@home and searching images for tiny interstellar dust impacts.

*Bird Watch - Join eBird, an online checklist project created by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society. Ebird allows people to report real-time bird sightings and observations.

If you are interested in participating with the PRLT, they have a variety of volunteer opportunities, “We are always taking volunteers to help us with trails to our new wildlife initiative to create habitat for key species in the region,” stated Jacobs. “People can sign-up and obtain information at www.prlt.org/get-involved.”

Rep. Corey to serve on Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee


STATEHOUSE – State Representative Patrick W. Corey (R-Windham) has been reappointed to the 129th Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety. The committee is among the most important legislative assignments, because it has oversight that includes the criminal and juvenile codes, public safety laws and firearms. 

“Constitutional rights and protections are very important to me and all Maine citizens,” said Rep. Corey.  “I am interested in ideas and policies that make Maine a better, more attractive place to live, work, start a business and raise a family.”

Committee jurisdiction also includes: Maine Bail Code; criminal law and criminal procedure; sentencing; Criminal Law Advisory Commission; Department of Public Safety; law enforcement; Criminal Justice Academy; victims’ rights; Department of Corrections; adult and juvenile corrections; intensive supervision; probation and parole; county jails; community corrections; Board of Corrections; operating under the influence; operating after suspension; habitual offenders; fire safety and arson; firearms; concealed firearms permits; private investigators; security guards; and Maine Emergency Management Agency."

Rep. Corey, a self-employed creative director and marketer, is serving his third term representing District 25: Windham (part). He previously served on the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee and the Joint Select Committee on Marijuana Legalization and Implementation. He is now a member of the Maine Marijuana Advisory Commission.


Sen. Diamond working hard to contact owners of unclaimed property


AUGUSTA – Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, announced the addition of over $12.1 million to Maine’s Unclaimed Property Fund, $376,984 of which is believed to belong to his constituents. This property consists of financial assets that have gone unclaimed by their owners. The last known owner’s information is now available on the Treasurer’s website: www.maineunclaimedproperty.gov.

“State Treasurer Henry Beck is working hard to return unclaimed property held by his department,” said Sen. Diamond. “I urge all of my constituents to search their names on the Treasurer’s website to see if any of the $376,984 reported within the past year alone belongs to them.”

In total, the State Treasurer is holding more than $249 million of unclaimed property.

https://www.facebook.com/windham.veterans.center/?rf=1016192665105713Unclaimed property consists of cash and other financial assets that are considered lost or abandoned when an owner cannot be located after a specified period of time. It includes, among other items: 
checking accounts, certificates of deposit, over payments, gift certificates, paid-up life insurance policies, unpaid wages, uncashed checks, death benefits, dividends, insurance payments, refunds, savings accounts, stocks and contents of safe deposit boxes. Unclaimed Property does not include real estate, animals or vehicles.

Millions of dollars are turned over annually to the Treasurer of Maine by entities that cannot locate the owners. If your name is on the list, you can file your claim electronically at www.maineunclaimedproperty.gov. Also, be wary of scammers — you do not need to pay anyone to file your claim, as filing a claim is both easy and free.


Surveys for residents and businesses available to identify targets for better internet access

By Lorraine Glowczak

Raymond, Windham and other Cumberland County citizens and business owners have an opportunity to provide information by participating in surveys to express their opinion with current internet offerings and future broadband needs. Why is there a need for these surveys and why is it important to take few minutes to answer questions regarding broadband and internet access?

In the August 24, 2018 edition of The Windham Eagle, it was explained in this way:
It was only about 20 years ago when the popular use of dial-up internet hit the mainstream, changing the way the world communicates and completes business. Blast forward to the 21st century where high-speed internet has changed life further, affording many the freedom to create home-based businesses, provide financial savings via online learning as well as the ability to ‘cut the cord’ from cable television.

But much like a well-traveled road that requires expansion to continue the swift pace desired, the speed and availability of the internet is quickly changing. For those in rural areas like Windham and Raymond, the internet is unable to keep up with the traffic and demands of its residents, students and business owners.”

And some say that road is owned by only one company, thus monopolizing costs. It has also been said that the company can determine what information can travel and be accessed on that road. The truth of the matter must be determined by the individual and thus the reason for the surveys.

But there is some truth that the slowing internet access can pose a problem for those who need to respond quickly in order to compete successfully as a business.

At the present time, Raymond citizens and business owners have two survey opportunities. One is a public information survey made available by Cumberland County and the other is produced by the private company, GWI, which is supported by the Town of Raymond and can be found on the town’s website (Links to both surveys below).

Kerem Durdag, Chief Operating Officer, of GWI stated that the purpose of the GWI survey is to determine the various service level and affordability options and to investigate methods of providing the needed services based upon the result of the responses. “We are applying for a very competitive federal loan to provide an option of fiber optic based broadband and high-speed internet services to rural communities in Maine. As a condition of the application, a survey must accompany the process,” Durdag explained. “GWI is taking the entire financial risk if the federal loan is awarded so that municipalities don’t have to and can move forward, no matter the outcome of the federal application process.”

Durdag also stated that the GWI survey is designed to take only 60 seconds of an individual’s time.
Travis Kennedy, Director of Public Affairs for Cumberland County stated in a recent email to municipal partners, “The purpose of the [public] survey is to study broadband in the region and identify means to expand or improve access at regional levels in communities that end up deciding they want to pursue it. We earned a Federal grant last year to hire a contractor who we're working with on this project. A big first step in this process is surveying community need and desire; and the business community is paramount to that data gathering, because economic development is so much at the core of the need for stronger Internet access. It's also one of the key questions that municipal leaders ask, because they like to see evidence whenever a public investment might result in a stronger economic base. 

Tom Bartell, Executive Director of Windham Economic Development Corporation encourages Raymond residents to take both surveys and Windham residents to participate in the Cumberland County survey. He indicated that both are trustworthy surveys and adhere to the mission of improved internet service. “GWI and Cumberland County surveys are both reliable surveys and will do what they say they are doing, which is to determine the wants and needs of the community” he said.
Bartell also stated that there will be other internet surveys that may come out soon, but he warns
they may have an ulterior motive, such as to get you to purchase their product, of which Cumberland County and GWI do not have.

“We're agnostic about method here; we're not trying to sell anything. It may be that we'll learn in some communities, this isn't viewed as an issue and those towns can move on to other concerns. Ultimately, our goal is to get the information and then help develop concrete plans to respond to it,” stated Kennedy. Durdag concurred with Kennedy in response to the GWI survey and added that the details of the respondents who fill out the surveys are protected by its very strict privacy policies.

The links to the surveys are as follows:

Raymond residents and business owners only: GWI - www.gwi.net/fiber-survey/
For both Raymond and Windham residents and business owners: http://cumberlandcounty.org/broadband