March 31, 2017

Bryant encourages Windham residents to attend health care panel

Nonpartisan forum will discuss how the Affordable Care Act can be improved

AUGUSTA - Rep. Mark Bryant, D-Windham, is encouraging Windham residents to attend a public forum on improving the Affordable Care Act. The panel will be held Tuesday, April 11, at 6 p.m. at the Windham Public Library, 217 Windham Center Rd. 

“This nonpartisan event is a good opportunity to voice your thoughts and concerns about the Affordable Care Act and its impact on Maine health care,” said Bryant. “We will also hear from health care experts and providers about their experiences.”

More information about the event can be found by contacting Priscilla Payne at: 892-5757 or

Gray secession goes to Augusta for state hearing and returns by Stephen Signor

In a hearing with the Town of Gray Council and Gray residents on March 21, Jennifer White, chairperson and spokesperson for the Gray Secession Committee provided a description of the problems that have led to the secession effort. Items discussed included: Problems faced on both sides of the issues, potential solutions other than the secession and the potential impact the secession might have on the designated territory and the municipality. 
The Town of Gray’s attorney and newly elected moderator, William Dale, was sworn in as a requirement by state statute to oversee the proceedings, to hear reasons for the secession and address things that can be done short of secession.

In review: On January 27, 2016 five registered voters formed this committee to commence procedures. After several delays (caused by registered voters not reflected by updated census information and a national election that limited the amount of attention) in January 2017, over 51 percent of the 302 registered voters signed the petition. On the 26th of the same month all signatures had been verified. stated that, “In a 2010 census a geographical separation exists that has led to a real identity crisis for residents in the secession territory. Our area is known to locals as Graymond. While this may be a joke to some, it is taken seriously by those who live there. As White pointed out, “Mailing addresses have always been Raymond, fire and rescue services are provided by Raymond and even a GPS device indicates a Raymond address”.  These were just a few of the examples presented to council members.

Hard pressed to resolve these and other issues and figure out any feasible solutions pertaining to the geographical area, statues require that possible solutions be discussed including secession. To this end, White encouraged feedback. “We welcome any constructive citizen and municipal dialog that can present realistic solutions to this unique issue.” At the same time she also pointed out that, “The Legislature finds that the citizens of the State, in accordance with the Constitution of Maine, Article 1, Section 2, have an unalienable and indefeasible right to institute government and to alter, reform or totally change the same, when their safety and happiness require it.”   

One of the major factors that prompted secession was health and safety and came in the form of transportation, specifically - school buses. “Elementary school children have to spend roughly two and one quarter hours on a  bus, round-trip daily, thus creating unhealthy conditions,” White stated to the Council.  Sighting examples of both physical and mental outcomes, White continued, “This leads to aggressive behavior, social interactions, insufficient adult supervision and less time to spend on homework, sports and family time.” 

To reinforce her stand, White pointed out that the MSAD 15 Board of Directors adopted a policy under the title, Student Transportation Services, which states that bus routes should not result in students spending more than one hour on the bus either to or from school, barring unforeseen traffic or weather conditions. “Many times this time frame has been exceeded because of our geographical location.”
As council members listened, proponents as well as opponents voiced their opinions with the support of documentation.

 In what would be her closing statement of this meeting White said, “The secession board feels that most of the opposing argument and evidence was subjective. The councilman who presented names of town government volunteers, failed to mention that some of them were retired, therefore having much time on their hands. The town council and attendees failed to come up with any solutions to the problems. The town council failed to look at our problems as real issues; once again. They showed more concern about budgets and money spent on the town on this and failed to bring to the table a level of empathy for the issues the residents in the secession area are facing. No viable solutions were offered.”

Since then a state hearing on LD 619 and Mt. Hunger Shore LD 618 was done simultaneously and lasted under three hours. There will be a work session next week on the bill and the legislative committee will deliberate and decide then whether to put it through to vote before the House and Senate. 

“This is a citizens' initiative but it is imperative that we have legal counsel and representation to get through some of these steps. Ann Robinson from Pierce Atwood was present today and we need her continued help for the upcoming work session and hopefully the upcoming vote of the House and Senate. If you haven't yet had an opportunity to contribute toward legal expenses, this would be a critical time to do that,” concluded White.

To make a donation please mail to: Gray Secession, P. O. Box 829, Raymond, ME 04071

Student of the week goes to Molly Cochrane! Congratulations!

Molly Cochrane, an eighth-grade student at Jordan-Small Middle School is The Windham Eagle’s student of the week. The 13-year-old enjoys reading, running, as well as participating in art, the Yearbook Club and drama.

“Molly is the kind of student who always has a ready smile and will help a peer in need,” stated one of her teachers. “She is a pleasure to have in class and is always conscientious and stays on task. Her enthusiastic personality is contagious and she’s a pleasure to be around.  

Her respectful attitude toward school, teachers and fellow students make us proud.”
Cochrane’s favorite subject is ELA (English Language Arts) and her favorite movie is “The Sound of Music.” 

Cochrane lives at home with her mom, dad, two sisters and a cat named Gracie.

Nutrition Director to be recognized for outstanding work in the field of nutrition by Lorraine Glowczak

On April 10 Jeanne Riley, RSU14 Nutrition Director, will receive the Katherine O. Musgrave Public Service Award at the Maine Nutrition Annual Conference in Augusta at Maine General Hospital.

Nominated by Samantha Cowens-Gasborro, RSU 14 Chef and Nutrition Coordinator, and Stephanie Stambach, Child Nutrition Consultant for the State of Maine, Riley will be recognized for her outstanding work in the field of nutrition policy, education and research within the State of Maine. 

Congratulations to Jeanne Riley (above)
“I was notified of the award on March 10,” Riley stated recently in an email. “It is such a great honor. Katherine Musgrave was a lifelong champion for nutrition, nutrition education and nutritious and healthful eating.”

To receive a Katharine Musgrave Public Service Award is, without a doubt, a great honor. Originally from Tennessee, Musgrave moved to Maine and began teaching at the University of Maine in 1969. Her passion for nutrition and its impact on a child’s life made her a nationally well-known nutrition expert. Her greatest passion was the importance of a child’s diet and she continued working toward her purpose with nonstop zeal until her death at the age of 95.

Musgrave has been quoted as saying, “My feeling is if we can get children, in the first eight years of their lives, to like food and really appreciate food they’ll eat right the rest of their lives.” (www.
Riley has the same nutritional philosophy and is well deserving of the award.  

“We believe that school nutrition is an integral part of the education community because if children are not properly nourished, they cannot learn - no matter how excellent the education environment is.” Riley began. “While RSU#14’s free and reduced meal percentage is approximately 37 percent, we feel that there are many more families in our community who are living on the fringe; every day having to make critical decisions about whether to purchase nutritious food or pay the mortgage, purchase medication, etc. Our role is to offer not only nutritious and affordable school meals, but also to utilize the cafeteria and our department as a classroom. From afterschool cooking classes to:  In-class food education, to school gardens and our current ‘Eat Your Way Through the Alphabet’ promotion featuring fruits and vegetables A to Z for the month of March, which is also National Nutrition Month - we are always trying to enhance the school dining experience and promote lifelong nutritious cooking and eating.”

Riley, it seems, is ahead of her time. “Jeanne is an amazing leader of our school nutrition program,” Cowens-Gasborro said. “She is a forward thinker with great ideas that really benefit the children of this community.  She is dedicated to ending hunger in our community and feeding our children good, real food.”

In a recent conversation Riley had about the RSU14 School Nutrition Program, she summarized the most important qualities of the school’s mission for childhood nutrition: “We measure all of our efforts (school meals, special promotions, nutrition education) by the following three statements: 1) We want to feed students delicious and nutritious food so that they are healthy and ready to learn;  2) We want the students to be excited and engaged in eating healthy, delicious food;  3) We want to inspire children and their families to eat healthy, nutritious food at school and at home.”

The students of RSU14 have a great and healthy start in life, thanks to Riley. Her own passion toward children and the impact nutrition has on their lives, will not only contribute to their success now, but for years to come.

“Her vision combined with building a team has built our school nutrition whereby it is recognized across the country as state of the art,” Superintendent Sanford Prince said about Riley. “Our students have greatly benefitted knowing that as a district we are teaching and providing nutritional school meals that will be life changing for many and it is a life skill. My dream is that this generation will see how nutrition has a profound impact with living a healthy life.”

Special congratulations to Riley for her work and dedication.

March 24, 2017

Free film screening to provide hope, raise funds and awareness for ALS by Lorraine Glowczak

As the daylight hours increase and we leap into spring, it is time to shake away the cobwebs of the winter months by preparing for outdoor activities. With that in mind, St. Joseph’s College’s Outdoor Adventure Club (OAC) invites the public to view a free screening of the film, “Hope on the Horizon”. The film event will occur on Thursday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the Alford Hall Auditorium at St. Joseph’s College, 278 White Bridge Road in Standish. 

The film is a documentary about three hikers who set out to summit the 48 highest peaks in the White Mountains of New Hampshire in a single trip on foot, reaching the 48th summit in 25 days. They did so with the intention to raise awareness of and funding for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The producers of the film, the New Jersey based ALS organization HARK, state on their website: “Through this film HARK will change the way the world views ALS, increase awareness of this fatal disease and raise funding to provide financial assistance to ALS patients and their families, as they face a challenge far greater than the White Mountains.” the screening of the film is free, donations are accepted and will be contributed to The Hope-JG Foundation a 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation. Funds raised from donations will go towards the purchase of portable wheelchair ramps, which are not covered by insurance,to individuals in Maine who have ALS. Portable “suitcase” ramps provide wheelchair-bound individuals’ access to homes or older businesses with an entry step or two, enabling the patient to remain socially  

Donations of any amount are accepted and every $175 raised equals the purchase of one ramp. 

The Hope-JG Foundation was co-founded by John Gregoire and his wife Linda, both of Windham. The foundation’s mission is threefold, “to provide practical help, guidance and insight to families with ALS, to inspire and promote innovative technologies which enrich the lives of families living with ALS and other neuromuscular diseases and to establish a world class ALS/MS Residence in Maine, similar to the first of its kind facility founded by Steve Saling and Barry Berman at the Leonard Florence Center for Living in Chelsea, MA.”
John Gregoire was diagnosed with ALS in 2007.

Thursday’s event will be emceed by Jeff Ryan, an avid hiker and author of, “Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-year hike on America’s Trail.”“I have had the privilege to hike throughout the United States and a few other parts of the world,” Ryan stated. “The older I get, the more I appreciate how fortunate I am - for the people that made these great trails possible, those that continue to maintain and support them and for my own health. Hiking has given me so much: Better health, improved observational skills, greater independence, lessons in perseverance, an appreciation of self…the list goes on and on. Sadly, not everyone is physically able to make the same journey. My childhood friend, John Gregoire, is one. ALS has mostly robbed him of that opportunity. (I say “mostly” because a dedicated group of friends carried him up Bradbury Mountain last year so he could see the view and feel the sun on his face.) ALS is an insidious affliction. Offering a hand is one way I can help.”

Autumn Zubricki, President of the Outdoor Adventure Club, states that hiking is a means of relaxation and escape. “Although hiking can be a wonderful time for personal thought, it is also a time in which people can come together in community to share nature and common passions,” Zubricki explained. “It is therefore important for the OAC to participate in events such as the showing of ‘Hope on the Horizon’ to join with another community in support. I think it is wonderful that hikers were able to use their passions to help members of their own community, and my hope is that the club, by hosting this event, can act in a similar fashion.

Those interested in attending the event can purchase a free ticket to reserve their seat at Although it is highly encouraged to purchase a free ticket to guarantee a seat, everyone is welcomed to attend.

For more information about the film visit:

Fundraiser takes on a whole different “spin” by Lorraine Glowczak

What began as a personal bucket list to pedal a bike across the U.S. morphed into biking for a cause with The Fuller Center for Housing. William Turner, who attends Faith Lutheran Church in Windham, will embark on a 1700-mile cycling adventure from San Francisco, CA to Santa Fe, NM, to raise funds for the construction of replacement homes for a family in Haiti. Turner’s month long biking excursion will begin on June 2, 2017 
What’s different about this fundraising effort is that it comes with a surprising and motivating curveball. 

Turner’s original goal was to raise enough funds to fund one home. However, two months after sending out an email to every contact he had on his mailing list, to invite people to give a donation; the amount raised was very close to the $6,000 goal. This generous response clearly indicated that the amount needed for the construction of one home would be achieved. 

It was at this point that a friend made a dare. “Go for two homes,” the close friend said. Turner accepted the challenge and is now trying to raise funds for two homes instead of one.

“We have raised just over $7,400 with only $3,600 to go in order to fund two homes,” Turner exclaimed. “We even have a pledge for a donation of $500 if we make it to $10,000.”

After considerable research and long discussions with his wife, Lily, Turner chose The Fuller Center for Housing to bike for a cause. “One hundred percent of the funds donated to the organization for this cause are used for the intended purpose,” Turner explained.

The Fuller Center for Housing is a 501(c3) non-profit organization based out of Americus, GA. Its mission is to “promote collaborative and innovative partnerships with individuals and organizations in an unrelenting quest to provide adequate shelter for all people in need worldwide.”

Although a Christian based organization, The Fuller Center for Housing accepts any volunteer from any background or faith who wishes to promote dignity for others by helping them own a home. The organization serves people of all faiths including those who are Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims. Per the website, “We believe Jesus would not want us to place religious requirements on beneficiaries, so we don’t.”

It is Turner’s intention to continue raising funds until he meets the magnified goal. However, he hopes most of his donations arrive within the next week. “The week of March 27 to March 31 would be a great time to make a donation of $25 or more,” Turner began. “An offer of $1,000 to The Fuller Center will be contributed to the athlete who raises the most amount of $25 or greater donations during that five day stretch.”

As for his personal goal of a cross country peddling excursion? “I want to see how well I do with the 1700 miles first,” Turner explained. If all goes well, he will soon check that goal off his bucket list.

Those who may be interested in donating to Turner’s fundraising effort may do so by visiting his web page at: Or one can send a check to: The Fuller Center for Housing, Attention Bike Adventure, 701 S. MLK Jr. Blvd, Americus, GA 31709, placing FCBA: Bill Turner in the memo line.

For more information, visit