April 28, 2014

Windham students become published authors

On April 10th, a group of Windham High School students presented their published book, Water Maine, at the Maine State Librarian Conference.  

Over the course of the year, Mr. Riddle’s Earth Science class researched, wrote, illustrated, and designed the book as a learning tool for middle school students engaged in the Portland Water District’s environmental education programs.  

“Water Maine engaged students, asked them to produce something real, something others could learn from,” said Riddle. “There was never really anything easy about this project, which was one of the lessons we learned.  Real projects facilitate authentic learning with effective outcomes for all involved.”
Education in America and here in Maine is experiencing an overhaul; one with a focus on students showcasing proficiencies within different content areas.  Within Windham’s science education, the priority is mastery of scientific "skills and practices."  

"An authentic learning experience is at the heart of the curriculum as it holds the power to motivate, reach, and teach students.  These experiences provide students with the skills and knowledge they will use throughout their lives,” explained Riddle.   

“A project like Water Maine is a dream come true, as it offers a unique opportunity for students to consider many facets of information literacy, including copyright regulations, proper crediting of sources and relevant and reliable information they can use to teach others,” stated Windham High School librarian Amy Denecker.

Water Maine, a collaborative effort between Windham High School students, the Portland Water District and other support staff, was written to share information about water in Maine and the world. In the introduction section, the students share their aspirations for the book, “we hope you take the knowledge and put it to use in your daily lives so that Earth’s water, which comes around and goes around, stays available, clean, and safe so all may benefit for generations to come.”

Submitted photo and story.
Photo Caption: From left to right:

Olivia Verrill (WHS student graphic designer), Dakota Ennis (WHS author), Haley Stedt (WHS author), Sarah Plummer (PWD Environmental Education Coordinator), Amy Denecker (WHS Librarian), Jeff Riddle (WHS teacher), Dorothy Hall-Riddle (consulting librarian), Julia Rand (WHS author), Bailey Card (WHS illustrator and author), Emily Algeo (WHS author).

2014 "Welcome to Raymond" brochure project in production

The Raymond Revitalization Committee has again headed the "Welcome to Raymond" brochure project for its third year. The 2012 and 2013 editions were well received. The 2014 project is now in production and is expected to be completed and delivered to many Raymond businesses, Town Offices and area information centers by Memorial Day. 
The brochure includes information on Raymond businesses, the town itself, and the many volunteer organizations that make Raymond a great place to live or visit. Last year, over 14,000 brochures were distributed to visitors and residents, helping to stimulate Raymond business activity, as well as highlight the many benefits the town has to offer. 

Every effort is being made to contact businesses who were listed or had paid ads in the 2013 edition in addition to numerous other businesses. It is the intent to give everyone an opportunity to be included; if you have not been contacted, or are a newer or home-based business in Raymond, please contact us to participate. 

In order to have your business included you need to purchase a listing or an ad. The one-line complimentary listing is no longer offered. The cost for the one-line listing is now $20 this year. Upgraded expanded listings continue to be available for an additional cost. There are also various sizes of display ads available. Businesses must be based in Raymond to be included.

Please contact project coordinator Ellie Stengel of Custom Designed Graphics by May 6th. Because there are a limited number of display ad spaces available, it is recommended that you respond early if you would like one of these. Office 207-892-5994 or email cdg1@fairpoint.net.

April 20, 2014

Legislature's inaction leaves mainers out in the cold - By Senator Gary Plummer

As an elected official, I am always pleased when the actions we take in the Legislature have a direct, positive impact on those we serve. This has happened on many occasions since I have been in office. Reducing taxes and burdensome regulations in the 125th Legislature and protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners in the current one stand out as recent examples.
Unfortunately, the Legislature missed an opportunity to help Mainers during this legislative session, and I think that is unfortunate.

We were unable to pass a bill to allow Mainers to access more efficient and affordable ways to heat their homes. I thought this proposal would have been much better received following this past winter when many Maine families struggled to pay their heating bills.

The proposed legislation called for allowing the State of Maine to increase the timber harvest on public lands. The money generated from the increased timber sales would have gone to Efficiency Maine in order to allow Mainers to invest in alternative heating systems such as heat pumps and pellet stoves.
This was an innovative idea that made sense on a number of levels. In addition to providing Mainers with a chance to save money on their heating bills, it also had the potential to help the economy. Jobs could have been created with the cutting and delivery of the lumber, others in the manufacturing of furniture and other products. There was also the opportunity to increase the amount of firewood available to Mainers. 

The bill was defeated in the Senate, mostly along party lines. Democrats who objected to it said they would have rather seen the revenue from the increased harvest go to trails and maintaining property boundaries in the woods. While those may be worthwhile endeavors, I don’t believe they are as an important a priority as keeping our citizens warm in the wintertime. Furthermore, Efficiency Maine already has a budget of $19 million for the maintenance of trails that comes directly from the timber harvest

It seems to me that this new money from one of Maine’s most abundant and sustainable resources would have been better spent helping Maine people stay warm during our cold winters. 

I hope that a future Legislature will have the wisdom to take another look at this proposal.

Senator Gary Plummer (R-Cumberland) serves on the Maine Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.

Recognizing our Hometown Heroes - By Sgt. William T. Andrew

 On April 12, the Portland Sea Dogs held their 7th Annual Hometown Heroes game at Hadlock Field. The Portland Sea Dogs honored police officers, fire fighters, EMS workers and volunteers from all over the State of Maine. A recognition ceremony was held prior to the start of Saturday’s game
This year was the first year that the Windham Police Department participated in this ceremony. Even though all of our police officers are deserving of this recognition for the work they do, the supervisory staff of the police department choose three officers: Officer Jason Burke, Officer Jim Cook and Detective Paul Cox to represent the Windham Police Department as our Hometown Heroes. Each of the three offers a different level of expertise to the department. 

Officer Burke is one of the accident reconstructionists that the police department relies on to reconstruct motor vehicle crashes, and to perform other specialized investigative techniques surrounding motor vehicles. 

Officer Cook is part of the police department’s Field Training Program. His strong work ethic and decision making ability make him a vital part in the initial training of new police officers. He is also part of the Cumberland County Regionalized Impaired Driving Enforcement Team also known as the R.I.D.E Team. Officer Cook also assists in training at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy on the use of the speed radars.

Detective Cox was reassigned from the patrol division to the criminal investigative division in May of 2012. Since that time he has worked closely with other local police departments as well as state and federal law enforcement agencies. This work has involved solving cases which may start, involve or end within the Town of Windham. His knowledge and experience have helped to solve cases both old and new. He is also a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) and instructor for the DRE program. 

To help honor our heroes, Windham Town Manager Tony Plante joined friends, family and co-workers, at Hadlock Field. While we recognize the police officer, the fire fighter, and the EMS worker who make daily sacrifices, we must also remember that it is the families of our heroes who are also sacrificing daily - when their loved ones miss holidays and birthdays in order to keep all of us safe. So join the Town of Windham and the Portland Sea Dogs in extending a special thanks to them, and all of our Local Hometown Heroes.

April 13, 2014

Absentee voting begins May 9 for Raymond voters

Raymond town voters are encouraged if they are unable to make the polls on June 10th of this year to fill out an absentee ballot application for ballots to be sent to them as of the beginning of absentee voting on May 9th.  As of May 9th voters can come into the town office and vote absentee in person during regular business hours.

To become a registered voter visit the town office during regular business hours and through election day at the polls Tuesday, June 10  from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.  However, if residents want to vote at town meeting Tuesday, June 3rd they will have to register to vote before town meeting commences at 7 p.m.  The voter registrar will be available one hour before town meeting and all day June 10th.  Please bring a photo ID (Maine driver's license or Maine ID card) and proof of your residency in Raymond (a piece of US mail with your street address or CMP or cable bill).

Raymond now has 2 Districts for State Representative 66 and 67. If you have any questions come into the town office or call Louise Lester, town clerk, at 655-4742 or email louise.lester@raymondmaine.org.