August 25, 2017

Become a hospice volunteer and make a difference

Hold a hand, lend an ear, run an errand or provide a comforting presence. If you are a compassionate, reliable individual with a sincere desire to help, we encourage you to join our team of valued VNA Home Health Hospice volunteers. 
Volunteers are needed most to help hospice patients in York and Cumberland counties. Healthcare experience is not required and you will receive the necessary training and support needed to help you enjoy a positive and rewarding volunteer experience. 

Call today to learn more about this opportunity and sign up for upcoming training sessions.
Contact Beth Simmons, LSW, VNA Home Health Hospice Volunteer Coordinator at 207-400-8852.
Next training sessions are schedule for Tuesdays, September 12, 19, and 26 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Highland Lake Association discusses moratorium with Windham Town Council By Lorraine Glowczak

The Windham council chamber room was standing room only; and an over flow room was opened with extra seating to accommodate the many Highland Lake (HL) watershed residents attending the Town Council meeting on Tuesday, August 22. They were present to discuss the need for a moratorium on high density development in the HL water shed due to water quality issues at the lake.  
Rosie Hartzler and Dennis Brown

The discussion began with Town Manager, Tony Plante, providing a synopsis to the Council regarding the history of HL. He explained that because of decreasing water quality in HL in the ‘80s and ‘90s, an EPA funded watershed survey was conducted in 1997, to identify sources of non-point source pollution unfiltered runoff, emitting phosphorus into the lake.    

HL was placed on the DEP list of “lakes most at risk for over development.”  Following extensive mitigation efforts to reduce phosphorus, the lake water quality improved. 

However, in 2014, water quality monitors noted a sudden drop in water clarity during July and August of that year. This pattern repeated during the 2015 and 2016 seasons and it was determined that the drop in water clarity was caused by picocyanobacteria (PCB) – a microscopic bacteria proliferating in the lake, most likely caused in part because of a high level of nutrients (namely phosphorus and nitrogen) in the lake.

Highland Lake Association (HLA) President, Rosie Hartzler spoke to the Windham Town Council. “We are here tonight to request a one year moratorium on high-density development,” Hartzler said. “This will give the town the opportunity to revisit ordinances and zoning regulations in order to consider how those ordinances may need to be adjusted, in order to protect resources like Highland Lake.” 

“PCB is a new and unknown microscopic bacterium that baffles even the scientist,” Hartzler added. “We need time to figure this out.”

Hartzler explained that according to Professor Karen Wilson, Environmental Science Professor from the University of Southern Maine, the PCB outbreak may be indicative of things to come. At this point, the picocyanobacteria bloom is considered non-toxic but is a short step away from becoming toxic and a health threat to the lake. “We are at a tipping point,” stated Hartzler.

Dennis Brown, Treasurer of the HLA and Committee Chair, expressed concerns related to the two high density development projects that are being considered in the HL water shed:  Highland Views Manufactured Housing Park & Mixed Use Development and Babbidge Farms Subdivision.

 “Both projects contain and are near major wetlands,” Brown began. “One project has the potential to distribute 30 percent of the unmitigated phosphorus from the development into Macintosh Brook, the main feeder brook into Highland Lake.”

Brown also expressed apprehension about the potential impact of any additional development in the watershed; as this would create a situation that would be very difficult to mitigate for the potential addition of excess phosphorus and nutrients into HL.

He suggested that, if a moratorium is in place, it might give the time needed to protect and discover what has been missed. He also stated that, what may be learned in this process might possibly be a model to other lakes, particularly in the Windham area, noting that HL is not the only lake in Windham exhibiting signs of stress.

Robyn Saunders, Program Director of the Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation, was present and spoke about the need for towns to consider the potential impact of development on natural resources.   

“Development and land use ordinances have not caught up with science yet,” said Saunders.   “Consultants are only required to look at present regulations and permits and do not consider the present environmental impact.”

Town Legal Counsel, Kristin Collins added that a moratorium can be established, but a clear analysis of why it is needed is necessary in order for it to be put in place. She suggested putting a proposal on the table with extensive research and thought as to why a moratorium is needed, with clear objectives set in place.

After discussions, concerns and questions were expressed by the Council; a poll of the Council members was taken and all agreed to investigate a moratorium. 

No community member in the audience spoke out against the moratorium or presented an alternative viewpoint.

As Plante stated, “This will not be the last conversation on this issue, there will be many more to come.”

Senators Collins, King Announce More Than $400,000 for Maine DHHS’ Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced today that the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will receive a total of $404,685 to prevent childhood lead poisoning in Maine. The grant is being awarded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH). 
“Lead poisoning is one of the most prevalent public health issues facing children today,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “We welcome this investment by the CDC, which will help support Maine’s efforts to prevent the serious and often permanent effects caused by exposure to lead.”

The NCEH was first established in 1980 and works to prevent illness, disability, and death from unhealthy environments. The NCEH estimates that at least four million households include children who are exposed to high levels of lead. Even relatively low levels of lead exposure can cause reading and learning disabilities, hyperactivity, behavioral problems, and reductions in IQ and attention span, all of which can threaten a child’s ability to achieve his or her full potential.

The CDC is an agency within the U.S. Department of Human and Health Services.

Feed the Need initiative delivers $7,000 to region’s food pantries

The Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce is proud to share that the first two quarters of fundraising for 2017 were very successful. Early in August, over $7,000 was divided between 13 pantries in the name of “Feed the Need – An Initiative to Eliminate Hunger” organized through the SLRCC Charitable Trust, a 501(c) 3 non-profit. Many volunteers from the Chamber community worked together on fundraising, with events ranging from yard sales to charity nights at local restaurants. 
New in 2017, fundraising for Feed the Need is now a year round effort. In the past, monies were raised between August and October with funds dispersed in November. The new model allows the food pantries to receive funds throughout the year to assist them in their mission to support the food insecure.

For the fifth year in a row, this initiative is generously supported by premier community sponsor Windham Weaponry, Inc. In late August through early September the initiative is running a raffle fundraiser for a 30-minute helicopter ride for up to 5 people courtesy of the company. Over the past 5 years this effort has raised over $100,000 with 100 percent of the funds directly supporting the pantries.

If you or your business is interested in volunteering on the Feed the Need committee please contact Aimee Senatore at or 207-892-8265.

For more information about the initiative, please visit
and look for the Feed the Need logo on the homepage.

Everlasting Wreath Program receives generous donation from Coldwell Banker Team Real Estate By Lorraine Glowczak

Now approaching its third year, the Everlasting Wreath Program is more than half way to reaching the funds needed, to place over 850 wreaths on the graves of veterans in the over 30 cemeteries in Windham and Raymond area this Christmas. Funds have been raised through the successful outreach by members of the American Legion Field-Allen Post 148 to community businesses. A generous donation of $500 was submitted by Coldwell Banker Team Real Estate when Charles Tufts, CFO and VP of marketing, presented the check last week.
Charles Tufts presents check to Legion members

With $2000 more to go, Field-Allen Post 148 is well on their way of reaching their objective. “To date, the American Legion has raised approximately $4000 towards its goal of $6000, thanks to the generosity of both large donors as well as small donors giving an average of $25.00 each,” Adjunct Dave Tanguay stated. “The Coldwell donation takes the Post a long way toward its goal of completing this solicitation by October this year.”

The Everlasting Wreath Program was initiated by Libby Sawyer of Studio Flora in the fall of 2014. “Libby approached Field-Allen Post 148 with an idea and needed our support to complete it, said Commander Mel Greenier. “She wanted to place a wreath on every Veteran grave site in Windham/Raymond. She said Studio Flora would order and pay for the wreaths up front and would appreciate our support in counting the veteran graves in all 28 cemeteries, preparing the wreaths with ribbons; helping to raise funds to help her defray some of the cost and organizing placement teams and thus the program began.”

The Coldwell Banker donation was made, in part, due to its association and history with veterans. Tuft, who is a Vietnam Veteran and a member of the American Legion, described the alliance. “The donation is given in the name of the Tufts family (Karen, Charlie and Jim) who own and operate Coldwell Banker Team Real Estate,” Tuft said. “I believe we are the only vet owned and operated real estate company in the region.”

 “My brother was one of the first Vietnam vets and I was one of the last.” Tuft continued. “As you may or may not be aware, many vets were not treated especially well on our return home after serving in Vietnam. The Windham American Legion has sponsored some very cathartic events over the past year to honor the people that served in Vietnam. I think it only fitting that we give back to our community, which supports these efforts, in order to help honor all brothers and sisters that have gone before us and especially comrades from the Vietnam War.”

Many families wish to honor their loved ones and remember them with a wreath but many costs associated with winter bills and the holidays create limited funds for some individuals.

“We understand that not everyone can afford to buy a wreath for their loved ones at Christmas time so we want to help ensure that all vets buried in our town get one” Tuft said. “It should be noted that smaller donations add up surprisingly fast and that all are welcome to participate. People that contribute to the program are guaranteed to have a wreath placed on a veteran family member grave.”

Greenier noted that Larry DeHof, the Post’s Sergeant-at-Arms, has headed much of the fundraising efforts along with Tanguay and Post member, Walter Braley. Their work and outreach has also contributed to the success of the fundraising program thus far.

“This program is an opportunity for the community to honor a loved one with a wreath this winter,” expressed Tanguay. “Many donors have already given a check ‘in memory’ of a vet loved one. For all donors, The American Legion Field-Allen Post will recognize and publish a complete list of all donors in the local paper at the end of 2017 campaign. The push is now on to complete the program by the first of October.”

 Donations may be sent to “Field-Allen Wreaths”, P.O. Box 1776, Windham, Maine 04062.  All donations, large or small, will be greatly appreciated.

August 18, 2017

Legislative update from Rep. Jessica Fay

The first year of a Maine Legislative session is known as the “long session”. The session that just adjourned was the longest “long session” in Maine history. We passed a bipartisan budget that was signed by Governor LePage, made policy that will help increase economic development in rural Maine and passed some good laws to help our environment.
In the Environment and Natural Resources Committee, on which I serve, we heard bills on diverse topics. The Committee has jurisdiction over the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) which includes air and water quality, natural resource protection, shore land zoning, subdivisions, management and disposal of solid and hazardous waste, waste-to-energy facilities, mining, and the bottle bill, among others. 

One of the highest profile bills that the committee dealt with was the new law that will add a 5-cent deposit to 50mL liquor bottles (also known as “nips”). The original bipartisan bill would have added a new 15-cent deposit and that was reduced through compromise. Much of the testimony we heard was in favor of adding these small bottles to the list of returnables. LD 56 will become law on January 1, 2019 and will help keep trash off the road, give local bottle redemption centers a boost and maybe even help reduce drinking and driving. though there was support in the committee for a mattress recycling program, also supported by landfill owners, municipalities and folks who like to use the woods for hunting and harvesting, a bill that would have set up this program was vetoed by the Governor. That veto was upheld. There are successful programs in other states and with some more work, Maine may eventually create one, too. 

Keeping waste and toxic chemicals out of the environment was a theme this session. There was good bipartisan work which resulted in a toxic flame retardant ban in new upholstered furniture sold in Maine. This law will help reduce the rates of cancer in first responders and had strong support from firefighters across the state. Maine has been a leader in banning toxic chemicals from our environment, protecting not only firefighters, but also our children and pets from unhealthy exposures.

The Environment and Natural Resources committee also discussed funding for the Youth Conservation Corps which provides jobs and training for youth and assistance to landowners with conservation projects, which protect or improve water quality. In addition, we heard bills regarding septic tank inspections, both in the shore land zone and statewide. Making sure that septic tanks are functioning as they should, particularly near water, can help prevent pollution that contributes to toxic blue green algae blooms, among other negative water quality impacts. I am hopeful that though these bills failed in final passage, we can revisit this issue in the future. Committee also worked extremely hard with the help from the DEP, environmental advocates and experts from the University of Maine and other academics, to craft a bill that would better protect Maine from environmental damage from mining. This new law has been characterized as one of the most protective in the country, if not the world. It bans “open pit” mining and the types of waste impoundments that have caused great environmental harm. The new law would also require any company seeking a permit, to have enough cash to fund a cleanup of any damage they might cause.

There were many bills on other topics, landfill closure, climate change risks and hazards planning, battery recycling, polystyrene bans, plastic bag bans, changes to subdivision rules, changes to shore land zoning rules and food waste and donation regulations. Not every proposal required legislation. Some will result in bills in the future; some were already being addressed by DEP in their everyday work. Overall, the committee worked in a bipartisan way to protect Maine’s environment, one of our most valuable assets.

If you have any questions regarding any of the legislation that the ENR Committee heard this session, or any other proposals that came before the Legislature, or general questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I can be reached by email at or by phone at 415-4218.

Jessica Fay is in her first term and represents Casco (part), Raymond (part), and Poland (part) in the Maine House of Representatives. She serves on the Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

Award-winning Inventor and Eagle Scout Receives Distinguished Eagle Scout Award

Eric Fossum
Eric Fossum, Ph.D. has been awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award upon nomination by the Pine Tree Council and the Boy Scouts of America. This award is granted to Eagle Scouts who, after 25 years, have distinguished themselves in their life work and who have shared their talents with their communities on a voluntary basis.

Eric Fossum has distinguished himself through his career as an Engineer and Inventor and through his continued service to God, his country, and other people by following the principles of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. He has met community service needs through his voluntary actions.

Dr. Fossum, born and raised in Connecticut, received a Ph.D. in Engineering from Yale University.

He is best known for the invention of the CMOS image sensor “camera-on-a-chip” used in billions of cameras, from smart phones to web cameras to pill cameras and many other applications. In 1990, Dr. Fossum joined the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology and managed their image sensor and focal-plane technology research and advanced development. During this time, he invented the camera-on-a-chip technology (aka CMOS image sensor) and led its development and subsequent transfer of the technology to US Industry. An early version of his image and camera are on display at the Smithsonian Museum of American History’s Inventing in America exhibit. Fossum has received numerous awards for his work, including induction as a Queen Elizabeth Prize Laureate, the highest global honor for engineering, England’s version of the Nobel Prize.“We are excited to honor Dr. Fossum for contributions to our nation and to the fields of science and technology,” said Eric Tarbox, CEO/Scout Executive of Pine Tree Council. “He exemplifies the ideals of Scouting and is a role model to all youth. We will honor Dr. Fossum with the prestigious Distinguished Eagle Scout Award at a campfire ceremony during our first ‘Enabled Scouts’ week, which will give Scouts with physical and learning disabilities the opportunity to experience a week of camp at their own pace.”  According to Eagle Scout and Pine Tree Council Board Member, Jack O’Toole: “It is important that we recognize the extraordinary achievements of Eagle Scouts such as Dr. Fossum to show our youth that professional and academic achievement can be attained by ANYONE if they apply themselves and persevere.”

The National Eagle Scout Association Committee, under the direction of Alumni Relations at the Boy Scouts of America’s National Office, selects the recipients of this award. The members of the selection committee are all recipients of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. Since 1969, more than 1,850 nominations have been approved. 

About the Pine Tree Council, Boy Scouts of America:

Serving more than 6000 coed youth and 2500 registered volunteers, the Pine Tree Council, Boy Scouts of America is one of the nation’s foremost youth programs of character development and values-based leadership training. For more information on Scouting, please contact Eric Tarbox, 207-797-5252.

Camp Sunshine Watermelon Festival fun an successful

It was definitely “watermelon central” on the lawn of L.L Bean on Saturday, August 12. The 2017 Camp Sunshine Watermelon Festival was a true success with approximately $25,000 raised.  A big thank you goes to L.L. Bean, Whole Foods and Texas Roadhouse, as well as local organizations, Hicks Productions, Westbrook and Modern Woodman, Windham for helping to sponsor the event.

Meg Hatch Photography joins national search for America’s beautiful high school seniors

Meg Hatch Photography is honored to be one of 50 photographers who’ve been chosen to participate in Beauty Revived’s 2018 Senior Campaign. This is an opportunity to shine light on a local high school senior who is beautiful. It’s an opportunity to find the good and tell a great story.

The senior campaign is looking for a unique member of the class of 2018. This is a person who shows their beauty through large or small acts of strength, kindness, leadership, compassion, grace and love; or any combination thereof.

The selected senior will receive:
A super-sized photoshoot with Meg Hatch Photography
Professional hair & makeup
Professional wardrobe styling
A chance to win a $1500 Beauty Revived Scholarship
A published article sharing their story in Beauty Revived January 2018 Print Magazine as well as the online version.

Hatch will be accepting nominations until August 25, 2017 and will then choose one senior to be featured.

“I am very much looking forward to this campaign,” Hatch stated. “I love working with high school seniors and I am especially excited for the opportunity to celebrate someone who is making service to others a part of their high school legacy. I am so hopeful that these young people will graduate and continue to blaze a trail that will make the world a better place for all of us!

Beauty Revived was started three years ago as a way for photographers to use their lens for good and shine light on the real beauty that was happening in our communities. In the past few years, more than 700 women, girls and children have been featured on their website and magazine.

“As a high school senior photographer, I started Beauty Revived because I saw the power that a photographer has in shaping perception and altering dialogue on beauty,” Michelle Gifford, Beauty Revived founder, said. 

“The photographers, who participate in our campaigns, not only have great technical and artistic talent but also have big hearts and a desire to be more than just a picture taker. They want to be a photographer who changes the world with their work,” Gifford said.

For more information about Beauty Revived, please visit To nominate a senior, please visit:

Annual Popsicles with the Principal Event at Windham Primary School by Kyle Rhoads

I am inviting all Windham Primary School families to join me and some of the staff, for Popsicle and playing on the playground by the cafeteria on Tuesday, August 22. We will provide Popsicle, by the A-House Houplayground, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The rain date will be Wednesday, August 23. We hope you can join us for this fun, school community event.

When I became principal at Windham Primary in 2008, I used this event as one of my first opportunities to get to know the families of the students. The first Popsicle Event was very well attended. Families expressed enjoying this opportunity. 

The following summer, staff and families shared that they hoped I would continue the event and I decided to do so. When our new playgrounds were built, it also became an opportunity to celebrate and enjoy those as well!

Popsicles with the Principal Event highlights many important parts of our school community. This year we have the opportunity to meet our new assistant principal, Mrs. Diana Jordan. Often some of our new staff and returning staff attend this event and have the opportunity to meet families. Many teachers hold an open house right before the event so students can meet their teachers and see their classrooms and then head over to the playground.  

Many former students return with their younger siblings and it becomes a reunion. Most importantly, it provides a great chance for the students, staff and families to reconnect after summer and build new relationships while enjoying popsicles and our beautiful playgrounds!

We are looking forward to this opportunity to meet with the students and their families. The event is an indicator that school is returning and summer is winding down! Families attending should enter the school and playground by the road closest to the High School tennis courts.

Please call the WPS office at 892-1840 or email with any questions.