February 26, 2016


2016 Caucus held next weekend - By Rep. Patrick Corey

http://www.lisafriedlander.comOn Saturday, March 5 Lakes Region Republicans will have a chance to weigh in on who will be the GOP nominee for President of the United States. Please note that Maine does not hold a presidential primary and the caucus is your only chance to vote for a candidate to represent the party in the November election. You will have a chance to cast ballots in the Maine Presidential Nominating Caucus and join fellow local Republicans in municipal caucuses where you will be able to meet local candidates for Maine House and Senate, as well as nominate people to attend the State Republican Convention on April 22-23 in Bangor. 
Three of these regional caucuses will take place in Cumberland County and each one has a list of participating towns. For the Lakes Region Caucus the participating towns are Baldwin, Bridgton, Casco, Frye Island, Gray, Harrison, Naples, Raymond, Sebago, Standish and Windham. Residents of these towns must attend this regional caucus to participate. It will take place at Windham Middle School at 408 Gray Road in Windham. The event kicks off at 8 a.m. with a schedule that you need to be aware of.

At 8:30 a.m. registration for new voters and for those who wish to change their enrollment from unenrolled to Republican begins. It is also possible to do this at your municipal office prior to March 5. Democrats that wanted to enroll as Republican would have had to do so prior to February 19 to participate in the March 5 Republican caucuses.

At 9:30 a.m. voter registration ends and the municipal caucuses begin. At this time you are also free to cast your ballot in the Maine Presidential Nominating Caucus. Photo IDs will be required to vote in the Presidential Nominating Caucus. It’s important to attend your municipal caucuses to meet local candidates for the Maine House and Senate, sign petitions to get those candidates on the ballot, and learn how you can get involved in their campaigns. There will also be the election of delegates and alternates to the State Convention, nominating County Committee members, and in some cases electing municipal committee officers. 

At 10:30 a.m. presidential candidates and their surrogates—supporters and candidate family members—will be giving speeches. Should other speakers be present who are running for national or county-wide office, they will be given an opportunity to deliver their messages.

From there, voting will continue until 12:30 p.m. Any additional municipal caucus business will continue once speeches end.

For those who wish to attend the Democratic Caucus, they are scheduled to take place on Sunday, March 6 at various times and places in each municipality.

I hope you use this opportunity to cast your ballot in the Maine Presidential Nominating Caucus and to get involved in national, state, and local races.

Sears raises nearly $1M for Make-A-Wish America

WINDHAM – Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. reported today that its Sears Hometown Store, Sears Outlet Store, Sears Home Appliance Showroom and Sears Appliance & Hardware locations nationwide raised $986,291 for Make-A-Wish® during its 2015 “Season of Wishes” holiday campaign. As part of the nationwide charitable program, which ran from Nov. 2 to Jan. 15, the Sears Hometown Store in Windham, encouraged customers to make incremental donations of $2, $5 or $10 through various incentive promotions to support the wish-granting organization.
The funds raised allow Make-A-Wish to help more children with life-threatening medical conditions experience the powerful impact of a wish-come-true. Throughout its 2015 partnership with the organization, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores raised more than $1.4 million for Make-A-Wish, helping to grant nearly 150 wishes. 

“We believe a wish is a powerful force in helping children with life-threatening medical conditions and we are so thankful to the residents of the lakes region for helping support our efforts by donating to this amazing cause,” said store co-owner Bob Yates of Windham. “Together, we’re making a life-changing difference in so many families’ lives.” The Windham Sears store raised over $1,100 toward the project. 

In 2014, the Company’s campaign for Make-A-Wish raised more than $500,000. It plans to support Make-A-Wish again in 2016 to continue helping grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Plans for the next campaign will be released later in the year. 

http://www.downeastsharpening.com/David Williams, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish America, said, “With every event we hold and every donation given, we’re shining some brightness into the lives of children diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions and their families. To achieve our goal of granting the wish of every eligible child, we need support of companies like Sears Hometown and Outlet stores and we are grateful they make it a priority to give back to their communities.

FMI, call Jayne Levy, Fishman Public Relations, at (847) 945-1300 or jlevy@fishmanpr.com or visit the corporate website at www.shos.com.

Smitty's announces a prom dress and suit drive to benefit local teens

All Smitty’s Cinemas across Maine and New Hampshire will be showing the 2016 Academy Awards for free on Sunday, February 28th, 2016. During this community event we will also be collecting gently used suits and dresses for local teens who without this help may not attend their prom this year.
No donation is necessary to gain entrance to the event, but all donations are greatly appreciated. Our Red Carpet begins at 7 p.m. and the Awards begin at 8:30 p.m.

In 2015 we held this event at our Biddeford location only and we received such overwhelming community support and donations we have expanded to all our location in 2016.
Smitty’s Cinemas are located in Topsham, Windham, Sanford and Biddeford, Maine, as well as Tilton, New Hampshire.

WCST announces auditions for "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown"

jobs@tubehollows.comWindham Center Stage Theater is holding auditions for their spring musical, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.  Auditions are Tuesday, March 1st, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Wednesday, March 2nd, 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Callbacks are Wednesday, March 2nd, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Auditions will be held at Windham High School, 406 Gray Rd. Enter through the canopy entrance and someone will be there to greet you. Please prepare a musical theater style song to sing with piano accompaniment (approx. 15-30 bars). An accompanist will be provided, but please bring sheet music. Also, prepare a comedic monologue to perform. Show dates are May 20-22 and May 27-29. For more info, go to www.windhamtheater.org or contact us at windhamcenterstagetheater@gmail.com.

February 19, 2016

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Representative Bryant weighs in on plan effecting Windham Correctional Center

By Rep. Mark Bryant - If you’ve been following the news, you know there has been a lot of discussion about changes at the Windham Correctional Center. The plan to renovate the facility has been in the works for years, and it is finally starting to come to fruition.  

However, Gov. Paul LePage has recently thrown a wrench into the process by proposing to move mental health patients from Riverview Psychiatric Center to the Windham prison. This would delay implementation of the current plan that has already been thoroughly vetted by the community. Not only that, but it may even be violating the constitutional rights of Maine’s mentally ill, and I believe it would fail to meet the needs of both prisoners and mental health patients.  

http://www.windhampowersports.com/Last week, I stood up before the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee to voice my opposition to any changes to the original project that have not come before the Windham community.  
Up to this point, I had been very pleased with the Department of Correction’s efforts to work with the community, provide information at forums and public meetings and listen to concerns to ensure that we are moving in a direction that we are all comfortable with. The governor’s proposal takes the project in a completely new direction.

I believe that we must move forward with the critical renovations that have been the product of so much work. The scope of this project should be determined by the needs of the Windham Correctional Center and the needs of Maine’s correctional system as a whole, and a thorough process has led us to this point where we have a solid plan in place.  

Moving mentally ill individuals into the prison would not only disrupt the current work being done, but it would be detrimental to patients’ treatment and recovery process. Patients are not prisoners and we should not be perpetuating that harmful stigma. In fact, the National Alliance on Mental Illness is against the governor’s proposal to add a mental health unit and testified at the bill’s hearing that it is “blatant criminalization of mental illness.”  

A recent trip to the Riverview Psychiatric Center with the other members of the Windham legislative delegation made the importance of keeping these two groups separate even more apparent. Prisoners need programming that will in many cases lead to a reintegration back into society, including job training. Mentally ill individuals require treatment, highly specialized staff and a hospital facility that is geared towards their needs.
The mission of the Windham Correctional Facility is “to improve public safety by decreasing the recidivism of both male and female prisoners by providing opportunities for correctional rehabilitation within a supervised and secure setting, while assuring the safety of the public, the staff and the prisoner.” We need to work towards renovating the building so that it is able to effectively fulfill its mission.  

February 12, 2016

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Citizens form committee to secede from Town of Gray to join Raymond

http://www.lisafriedlander.comGRAY - Citizens on the west side of Little Sebago Lake have begun an official movement to secede from the town of Gray and join Raymond’s tax base. On January 28, 2016, representatives from the Gray Secession Committee, delivered notice of the secession effort to Deb Cabana, town manager of Gray.

Geographically, the secession territory is separated from the town of Gray. These residents have to travel through the town of Raymond to get to Gray. Raymond has provided emergency services for their area for around fifty years and the mail has been delivered through a Raymond mailing address. A serious identity crisis exists for many of these residents who do not feel connected to the town of Gray but do feel connected to Raymond.

They feel that the town of Gray’s current mil rate of 18.3 is a reflection of a municipality that favors undue spending at the expense of its residents. Many feel that the continuous increase in tax rates are out of line with the lack of services provided. On top of that, many citizens feel that some of the current municipal town councilors are their adversaries, not public servants working for the people. The disconnect with Gray, the lack of services provided, along with an ever increasing tax mil rate of 18.3 has caused residents to seek out a secession from the town and join the Town of Raymond.

The legal authority for the act of secession of a territory from a municipality is found in Article I Section 2 of the Maine State Constitution and the Maine Revised Statutes at Title 30-A, Sections 2171 & 2172. As required by law, the Secession Committee has appointed five individuals who will serve as the official representatives of the territory. These individuals are Jennifer White, David Getchell, Margo Fournier, Scott Mildrum and Debora Luce. White also serves as the spokesperson and chair for the committee.

The secession committee is creating a proposed map of the secession territory and volunteers will begin circulating a petition within the territory seeking the support of all registered voters. If 51 percent of registered voters within the territory sign the petition, it will then be presented to the Gray Town Council and a public hearing will be held on the matter. State law mandates that the secession committee must get the permission of the legislature in Augusta to proceed before a referendum vote can be held. If the legislature gives permission to move forward a bill of secession will be submitted to the legislature at the appropriate time.

This is a citizens’ initiative effort that welcomes volunteers. Visit their Facebook page, Gray Secession Committee, for updates and information.

Work on women’s pre-release center has begun on River Road - By Michelle Libby

Ready for foundation to be layed next week

Last year two meetings were held to discuss the 23,000 square foot women’s pre-release facility that was to be built on River Road in front of the Maine Correctional Center. Landry/French Construction Company of Scarborough broke ground in late November. Next week, the foundation will be poured, according to Dr. Joseph Fitzpatrick, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Corrections.

The program allows women with three years left on their sentence, who have good behavior, the opportunity to transition to the pre-release program. Though this facility they continue to get training, therapy and management, however they are no longer behind bars and are encourage to work in the community.
“This is extreme low risk. It’s called community level of custody and there is no risk to the community, but a lot of benefits,” Fitzpatrick said at the meeting last March.

The building will have state of the art security, cameras and alarmed doors and two officers will be on duty at all times. There will be 68 beds with an addition 24 possible, if needed.

http://www.allaboutdogskennel.com/The pre-release program currently resides in Alfred in a building that it too small and lacks programming space. It also has no medical facilities for the women who have to travel to the Maine Correctional Center to get care.

They anticipate the project being finished in early 2017 and will cost just under $10 million.