January 26, 2018

Rep. Fay’s K-9 Emergency Treatment Bill receives strong support

A bill sponsored by Rep. Jessica Fay, D-Raymond, to ensure working and service dogs have more access to emergency care, received strong public support Thursday during a public hearing before the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee.

Under current law, if a police dog is injured or exposed to drugs, an on-duty EMT is prohibited from
stabilizing the animal before transport to an emergency clinic. If approved, this bill would extend Good Samaritan liability protection, to cover trained first responders who treat working and service animals in emergency situations.

“It was gratifying to see all the support for this bill. The law enforcement K-9 community's commitment to their canine partners came through in the testimony today,” said Fay. “We have the opportunity to provide a better chance for these specially trained dogs to survive a serious injury in the field. Officer Cole of the Portland Police Department has been a driving force in moving this legislation forward and it has been a pleasure to work with her.”

Among those testifying in favor of the bill were canine handlers, emergency medical services providers and veterinarians. There was no opposition.

http://www.downeastsharpening.com/“As handlers, we often respond to calls for service far away from our areas. Some emergency vet clinics are better equipped than others, and we don’t always know where the closest emergency vet clinic is,” said K-9 Officer Shane Stephenson of the South Portland Police, who testified in favor of the bill. “Passing this law will give us the extra time needed to provide the best emergency care.”

The Judiciary Committee will vote on the bill, LD 1716, “An Act to Protect Persons Who Provide Assistance to Law Enforcement Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs and Service Dogs” on Tuesday, January 23.

Fay is serving her first term in the Maine Legislature and represents part of Casco, part of Poland and part of Raymond.  She serves on the Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

Senator Diamond welcomes Honorary Page to State House

Windham Middle School student Kylie Drottar served as an Honorary Page in the Maine Senate on January 16, as the guest of Senator Bill Diamond, D-Windham. Kylie had her picture taken with Senator Diamond during a break in the Senate Session.  

Senator Diamond extends invitations to honor roll students from the area’s middle schools and high schools, as a way to recognize their strong academic performance and foster an interest in civics.
Sen Diamond with Kylie Drottar
The Honorary Page Program gives students an opportunity to participate in the Senate and interact with legislators. Honorary Pages see what it is like to work on the floor of the Senate and be part of a legislative session. Pages perform such duties as delivering messages to senators and distributing amendments and supplements in the chamber. Students from third grade through high school are invited to serve in the Senate Chamber as Honorary Pages when the Senate is in session. For more information or to schedule a visit, call Senator Diamond at (207) 287-1515.

“Kylie did a great job and it was a pleasure to meet her,” said Senator Diamond. “The Page Program is an excellent way for students to learn about our government. I enjoy meeting folks from my community in the State House and I strongly encourage parents or guardians of students who make the honor roll to call my office and take part.”

Work plan for state bridge and road projects unveiled

Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, is pleased to announce the details of Maine’s three-year transportation infrastructure work plan, and what it means for the state and region. The plan is released annually with an outline of the Maine Department of Transportation’s strategy for road, bridge and other transportation projects throughout the state.
“It is critically important to maintain the integrity of our transportation infrastructure,” said Sen. Diamond. “The safety of our people and strength of our economy both depend on the quality of our roads and bridges. I appreciate the DOT’s efforts to this end.”

https://www.egcu.org/autoAccording to the MDOT, the work plan includes more than $2.3 billion worth of construction and maintenance, of which $511.1 million is scheduled for 604 capital projects in 2018. The three-year plan estimates MDOT will invest in 229 miles of highway construction; 1,128 miles of pavement preservation; 1,800 miles of light capital paving for roads and highways; 240 spot and safetyimprovements; and 260 bridge construction projects.

The following breakdown is the planned capital and maintenance work for some communities in the region in 2018:

Highway Paving
Standish, Route 114: Beginning at the southerly intersection of the Wards Cove Road in Standish and extending north 2.13 miles to the West Shore Road.
Standish: Roundabout construction located at the intersection of Route 25, Manchester Road and Saco Road.
Windham, River Road: Beginning at Route 302 and extending south 0.32 of a mile to Pottersville Road.
Windham, Falmouth Road: Beginning 0.04 of a mile north of Nash Road and extending northerly 1.16 miles.

Highway Safety and Maintenance
Baldwin/Standish: Paving beginning at Ossipee Trail Way west and extending north 12.03 miles to Depot Road.
Casco: Grader ditching and culvert replacement beginning at the intersection of Route 11 extending east 2.55 miles to the Naples/Casco town line.
Casco: Ditching and culvert replacement beginning at the intersection of Route 302 extending west 1.65 miles to the Sebago/Naples town line.
Raymond: Removing trees on Route 121 beginning at the Casco/Raymond town line and extending south 3.85 miles to the intersection of Route 302 in Raymond.
Raymond: Ditching beginning at the intersection of Egypt Road extending north 1.20 miles to the intersection of Dryad Woods Road.
Raymond: Ditching beginning at the intersection of Tower Road in Raymond and extending 7.00 miles to the Otisfield/Casco town line.
Windham, Route 302: Brush removal beginning at the intersection of Mineral Spring Road and extending north 1.15 miles to the Windham/Raymond town line.

Rep. Corey introduces bill to allow those with debilitating conditions to hire spouses as caregivers

Rep. Corey, Linda Gregoire, John Gregoire, Sen. Diamond
Rep. Patrick Corey of Windham has introduced LD 1708; legislation that would allow Medicaid recipients suffering from debilitating diseases to hire spouses as caregivers. Currently, family members, with the exception of spouses, can be hired to perform these tasks.

When it comes to people who have been diagnosed with diseases like ALS, their care is extremely personal in nature and requires a great deal of trust on the patient’s behalf. Pay for these tasks is lower than we would all like, slightly above $10/hour, and the jobs performed are demanding, leading to high turnover in this field. The natural caregiver or spouse is really the backstop at hours when someone cannot be there. 

While spouses are currently uncompensated for care they provide, there are financial impacts that go beyond the most obvious including: gaps in their work history, fewer quarters paid into Social Security, a lack of benefits including health insurance and retirement programs that come with a job, and professional isolation. This doesn’t take into account the extreme physical and psychological burdens these spouses face.

http://www.mwamconcerts.com/“Keeping patients at home in the long-run costs the taxpayers less, which is a win, but a bigger win is for the families that get to remain together,” said Rep. Corey. “I know that this is a challenging issue and we want to make sure that resources are used appropriately and that people in unfortunate situations are provided the very best care we can provide. I’d like to argue that keeping families together by making it so that spouses aren’t specifically excluded is part of the answer.”

“This bill is very important and long overdue,” said Sen. Bill Diamond (D) of Windham, a co-sponsor of the bill. “It’s time spouses qualify as caregivers when a spouse is in need.”

Rep. Corey was approached by constituents he found to be remarkably inspiring. John Gregoire and
his spouse Linda are true advocates for families that have received an ALS diagnosis. Not unlike other debilitating diseases, an ALS diagnosis is a hardship on not just the patient, but the entire family. I spoke with Linda one day and she told me that sometimes they are not in a position to help themselves, but they can certainly help others. This has led John and Linda to create The Hope-IG Foundation where they help families who face the same battles. 

A public hearing on LD 1708 was held earlier this week in the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services. A work session is expected to be scheduled in the next few weeks where committee members will take their first votes.

The Lake Region Community Chorus seeks singers

If you love to sing and are free on Monday evenings, the members of the Lake Region Community Chorus (LRCC) would love to have you join them.

The group has about 50 members from fourteen surrounding towns in the Lake Region including Windham and Raymond. They will be starting their eleventh session of rehearsing and performing.I
The first rehearsal for the spring session will be on January 29, 2018 in the Twitchell Chapel at the Bridgton Academy in North Bridgton. 

The LRCC conducting team is made up of Jan Jukkola, Susan Stockwell and Dan Allen.
LRCC welcomes members from all voice parts; Sopranos, Altos, Tenors and Basses but we especially need Sopranos, Tenors and Basses to balance out our sound. Auditions are not required.

The programs are made up of a variety of pieces from many musical genres and styles. There is something for everyone and both singers and audiences have a very enjoyable time at rehearsals and performances. 

Rehearsals are from 6:25 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Monday evenings. Registration begins at 6 p.m. on January 29, 2018 and there is a $25 registration fee that helps cover the cost of the music. 

Members will also be registered on February 5, 2018. There is a two-week trial period if needed.
The concerts are scheduled for Friday, May 18, 2018 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 20, 2018 at 3 p.m.
Please contact Jan Jukkola for more information at musicsix@cox.net or
647-2584.We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. 

The LRCC thanks the Bridgton Academy for their on-going help and support.

Ribbon Cutting at Natural Beauty Day Spa

The Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce welcomed Ashley & Chrissie, owners of Natural Beauty Day Spa of Windham to the community with a celebratory ribbon cutting on Wednesday, January 24. Many directors from the SLRCC board were in attendance in addition to other supporters in the community


Gray resident announces run for Maine House District 67 by Lorraine Glowczak

Randy and Janis Visser with Anne Gass (center)
Anne Gass of Gray officially announced her run for the Maine House District 67 seat at her campaign launch party held at the Christopher Aaron Counseling Center, 26 Main Street in Gray on Wednesday, January 17.

District 67 includes most of Gray, parts of Raymond and Casco as well as Frye Island. Gass states that she is running as an Independent so she can work to find practical solutions to real life problems without the distraction of the political parties.

To a crowd of approximately 35 attendees, Gass spoke about her past experiences growing up in a strong community and its contribution to her decision to run. “When I was growing up we had a community barn where we each took care of our own horses – but we helped each other, too. I learned a lot from that time in my life. Mucking stalls taught me the Zen of hard work. And in the microculture of barn life I came to understand and value community. Since moving to Gray almost 29 years ago, I’ve worked to find and be part of that sort of community spirit.”

Gass also expressed several concerns she has regarding the issues Mainers face today that include the many innovative, hardworking individuals who own or work for small businesses. “As a small business owner of 24 years, I’m concerned about the economy – [and want to] create a climate in which Maine’s small businesses can thrive. Most of us in Maine work for small businesses. No one’s coming down the pike to solve our economic problems; we’ve got to do it ourselves.”

Gass noted that strong schools, broadband, and access to affordable health care coverage are three things small businesses need to thrive.

As an independent historian who has done extensive research into women’s fight for equal rights, Gass also mentioned her concern about current efforts to limit women’s access to birth control and reproductive health care. “We’re having the same fights now that we had 30 years ago, 50 years ago, and that’s scary.”

For more information about Gass or to contact her, she can be reached by phone at 207-657-4935 (office) or 207-650-4369 (cell.) One can also write Gass by email at agassmaine@gmail.com or by mail at 232 N. Raymond Road, Gray, ME  04039.

Look for our article in early fall that will highlight all individuals running for office who represent the Windham and Raymond communities.

January 19, 2018

Veteran’s groups and Coldwell Banker Team Real Estate to host quarterly blood drive

January is National Blood Donor Month and the American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood and platelet donors of all blood types, including right here in Maine. 

 In fact, American Red Cross states that the recent severe winter weather has played a role in the
increased need due to blood drive cancellations.

Additionally, American Red Cross points out that the flu, and hectic holiday schedules collectively, contributing to more than 28,000 fewer donations than what was needed in November and December. 

Local veterans, along with Coldwell Banker Team Real Estate, will sponsor a drive on Wednesday, January 24 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Windham Veteran’s Center. Although appointments are encouraged, drop-ins are accepted. 

To make an appointment, call 1-800-RED-CROSS. Dunkin Donut cards will be available.