August 31, 2018

School Nutrition Association National Survey highlights RSU14 lunch program

“School nutrition professionals are determined to find new ways to ensure students enjoy the healthy options available with school meals and benefit from all the nutrients they provide,” said SNA President Gay Anderson, SNS.

School meals meet federal nutrition standards, and schools are working to identify appealing recipes and increase choices for students so they are more likely to eat their meals. Survey results reveal:
·       74.5% have implemented student taste tests or sampling:

·       67.6% offer salad or produce bars
·       Nearly half (48%) of responding districts have schools that have scheduled recess before lunch, a proven strategy for increasing consumption
·       57.4% currently implement nutrition education with another 18.3% planning/considering it.
The survey also revealed widespread efforts to incorporate locally grown foods in school meals and promote these choices to foster healthier eating habits for students. The survey found and highlighted the RSU14 lunch program for following the list below:

·       59.9% of responding districts offer locally sourced fruits and vegetables
·       More than half (52.2%) include preferences for local or regional sourcing of foods in solicitations or purchase specifications
·       47.8% have implemented Farm to School initiatives, and
·       34.2% utilize school gardens to promote healthier food choices
For details about RSU14, visit:
Meanwhile, schools employ a variety of strategies to reduce the amount of food students throw away:
·       Nearly two thirds (64.1%) of districts encourage students to share unwanted/unopened food items with their peers through cafeteria share tables  
·       18.3% collect uneaten food to donate to charitable organizations
·       18.1% are composting food waste.

The survey also shows significant increases in the use of innovative service models to make healthy school breakfasts more convenient for students. Since 2010, the School Nutrition Foundation and Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom (supported by the Walmart Foundation) have provided more than $11 million to help schools purchase equipment, like kiosks for “breakfast after the bell” programs. The survey findings highlight efforts to extend breakfast service times beyond the first school bell to ensure students have time to access the benefits of school breakfast:·       54.1% of districts that offer breakfast provide alternate service venues in addition to the traditional cafeteria line (up from 46.5% in 2016). Among these districts:
o   43.9% deliver breakfast directly to the classroom in some schools
o   Grab and Go kiosks outside of the cafeteria have gained in popularity in middle and high schools, with this service option available in 61.8% of districts, up from 56.2% two years ago.
·       40.4% of districts offering breakfast have schools that serve during the first 10-15 minutes of the school day (up from 33.2% in 2016)
·       33.9% offer breakfast during a morning break, or “second chance breakfast” (up from 26.8%).
Schools are offering more options for students with special dietary needs and working with parents to address student food allergies:
·       49% of districts now offer gluten-free food options (up from 44.5% in 2016)
·       39.5% offer lactose-free milk (up from 34.1%)
·       45.5% offer online access to nutrition and allergen information
·       17.7% report certain foods have been banned districtwide due to allergies
o   An additional 20.3% report certain foods have been banned in some schools 
o   Peanuts lead the list of banned foods, followed by tree nuts.

·       75.3% of districts report having unpaid student meal debt at the end of the 2016/17 school year
·       40.2% report that the number of students without adequate funds increased last school year 
·       Districts with unpaid meal debt utilize the following tactics to support families and prevent or minimize debt:
o   online payment/monitoring of account balances (94.2%)
o   school staff notify parents directly about low balances or meal charges (85.7%)
o   assistance offered to families completing free and reduced-price applications (82.6%)
o   automated phone calls, texts or emails for low balance notifications (77.9%)
·         financial assistance provided through donations (56.4%).

Other notable trends tracked in the report include district demographics, school meal prices, lunch periods, afterschool and summer meals, procurement practices, equipment and technology. The State of School Nutrition 2018 survey was conducted in May and June 2018. The report is based on the analysis of 1,550 responses received from SNA members representing districts nationwide.  Members of the media may contact to request the report.

About School Nutrition Association:
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing 57,000 school nutrition professionals across the country. Founded in 1946, SNA and its members are dedicated to making healthy school meals and nutrition education available to all students.  For more information on school meals, visit

Sen. Diamond testifies in favor of legislation to protect children

Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, testified on behalf of his bill to strengthen a law protecting vulnerable children from child abuse and neglect during a public hearing before the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee. The bill, LD 1922,"An Act To Amend the Child and Family Services and Child Protection Act," received a public hearing and initial work session on Monday.

The bill seeks to clarify the statute regarding the family reunification for children in the child welfare system, who have been temporarily removed from their homes. This subtle change in the language underscores that while family reunification is often best for the child, a child should not be reunified with their parents if it would be harmful to the child’s safety and well-being.

“If there is anything that we have learned over the past few months, it’s that Maine’s child protection system is badly broken,” said Sen. Diamond. “I want to make sure that the law is clear that children should not be placed back with their family if serious health and safety risks remain. The deaths of Kendall Chick and Marissa Kennedy have highlighted that pervasive gaps in our system exist and we must make sure our laws reflect what’s best for Maine children in the child welfare system so these tragedies never happen again. Nothing is more important.”

The Maine Legislature resumes its work on Thursday, August 30. Sen. Diamond hopes that LD 1922, as well as the other four bills designed to overhaul the Department of Health and Human Services’ child protective services system, will receive a thoughtful public hearing and work session, where the input and insight of parents, law enforcement officials and child welfare experts will be taken into consideration. He is prepared to work with stakeholders, lawmakers and the governor to pass legislation that will begin rebuilding Maine’s child welfare system. The other four bills are:

·         LD 1919, which adds penalties for failure to report abuse;
·         LD 1920, which directs the DHHS to retain all criminal records related to child welfare instead of expunging them after 18 months;  
·         LD 1921, which gives DHHS access to confidential criminal records;
·         LD 1923, which provides more staff and resources so that DHHS can do its job more effectively.

“Other states have taken steps to improve their processes of finding the best home for abused children,” said Sen. Diamond. “I believe Maine should follow suit and craft a smart law that prioritizes the best fit for the child.

Professor from Japan visits Nathaniel Hawthorne’s home to complete his dissertation research by Lorraine Glowczak

Professor Ikuta with John Manoush and Rebecca Tracy
The boyhood home of Nathaniel Hawthorne located in Raymond on Hawthorne Road entertained a special guest on Monday morning August 27th. A professor of American literature from a college in Japan traveled to Raymond, Maine to visit Hawthorne’s home as part of his dissertation research which focuses on the author’s life as a child. 

Professor Kazuya Ikuta of Kagoshima Women’s College in Kagoshima has a five-day research tour planned throughout Maine and Massachusetts. He made his first stop in Raymond where he sat down with members of the Hawthorne Community Association to discuss the history of the house as well as share his own interest in the well-known author, recognized for many classical novels such as the “The Scarlett Letter.”

John Manoush, Secretary/Historian of the Association along with the Association Treasurer, Rebecca Tracy and trustees Abel Bates and Sylvia Sullivan, all of Raymond, shared their knowledge with Professor Ikuta about Hawthorne’s life story and history.

Ikuta, who has already completed extensive research on Hawthorne, explained the reason for his interest in the American author. “In Japan, college students not only take English courses to learn the language, but they study American literature classics to help them understand the culture and history,” he said. “Nathaniel Hawthorne is among one of Japan’s favorite classical authors.”

#beangroupIkuta stated that he had always been captivated by Hawthorne’s life, but it was after reading the book “Hawthorne’s First Diary” by Samuel T. Pickard that his interest in the author’s boyhood life increased. “As a result of reading that book, I became fascinated about his childhood,” Ikuta explained. “But I discovered that there is controversy surrounding the authenticity of that diary. As a result, my study and dissertation will focus on getting as accurate information as possible on Hawthorne’s boyhood life.”

Ikuta’s visit also included a discussion of Richard Manning (Hawthorne’s uncle) whose house is located across the street from the boyhood home. A tour of the cemetery where Manning and several early residents and first settlers of Raymond are buried also took place.
Ikuta’s historical research tour will continue to Bowdoin College in Brunswick where Hawthorne attended and graduated. Ikuta’s research will also take him to Salem, MA where Hawthorne was born as well as to the Peabody Museum in Essex, MA where the famous portrait of Hawthorne by Charles
Osgood is on exhibit.

Briefly, Hawthorne’s boyhood home in Raymond has been owned and cared for by The Hawthorne Community Association since 1921 and is still used from to time by its members for social and cultural events. It is registered as a National Historic Building. If one is interested in becoming a supporter of the association, please contact Manoush at

As for the visitor from Japan, Manoush was honored to host someone who traveled such a great distance. “I think this is the farthest anyone has traveled to visit the Hawthorne House and we were happy to accommodate him. It was a most pleasant visit,” he stated.

August 24, 2018

Selectmen discuss Town of Raymond vote to withdraw from RSU14 by Colby Willis and Lorraine Glowczak

The Town of Raymond Board of Selectmen met Tuesday evening, August 21st at 6:30 p.m. at the Broadcast Studio, 423 Mills Road in Raymond. Among the agenda items, was the discussion surrounding the RSU14 withdrawal process; as a result of last week’s vote on August 14th by Raymond residents to withdrawal from the school district.

Town Clerk, Sue Look shared with the Board of Selectmen, the election results. There was a total of 301 voters who showed up at the polls, making it a 7.5 percent participation rate on an off-election (which was six times more than the last off-election). 171 residents voted for the withdrawal while 128 voted against (and 2 ballots remained “blank,” meaning that the individuals voted both “yes” and “no”). The election results also allow for the amount of $50,000 to be expended by the withdrawal committee over the course of two years.

Chair and Selectwoman, Teresa Sadak explained that Dan Stockberg, legal counsel for the Town of Raymond will act as the negotiator for the withdrawal committee while Mark Eastman, a former superintendent, will act as a consultant.

It was approved by the Board to allow the Town Manager, Don Willard to communicate per the consulting agreements with Eastman and Stockberg.

The next step will be a letter signed by the Board of Selectmen that will be sent to the Department of Education (DOE) and to the Superintendent of Schools, notifying both organizations of the intent to withdraw. The DOE has 30 days to respond to the letter, after which time a withdrawal committee of four voting members will be established, enacting the 22-step withdrawal process.

For more information about this meeting or other municipal meetings, video and minutes are available on the Town of Raymond website at

Partnership works to increase economic opportunities for Lakes Region through improved and affordable broadband connection by Lorraine Glowczak

It was only about 20 years ago when the popular use of dial-up internet hit the mainstream, changing the way the world communicates and completes business. Blast forward to the 21st century where high-speed internet has changed life further, affording many the freedom to create home-based businesses, provide financial savings via online learning as well as the ability to “cut the cord” from cable television.

But much like a well-traveled road that requires expansion to continue the swift pace desired, the speed and availability of the internet is quickly changing. For those in rural areas like Windham and Raymond, the internet is unable to keep up with the traffic and demands of its residents, students and business owners.

To sustain and improve upon the economic, educational and residential needs of the Lakes Region communities, an area coalition of business, municipal and residential partners are working together to stay ahead of the rapid and ever-changing scope of broadband internet connectivity.

The Lakes Region Broadband Partnership (LRBP) includes members from the commercial, residential, municipal and educational communities of Gray, Raymond, Standish and Windham.

The goal of the partnership is to not only sustain and improve the area’s internet access but by doing so, provide the region with an easy and affordable approach through an open access, community-owned broadband model.

Currently, broadband internet reaches area residents and business owners through an Internet Service Provider (ISP) which is a privately owned and closed model. The ISP also owns what is known and referred to as the backbone infrastructure from which all services are derived. As a result, ISPs can determine the cost of internet services and what types of services they will or will not provide to their customer. The most common and well-known ISPs in the area include Spectrum and AT&T, to name a few.

“What we have presently is a structural monopoly which holds the power in their [ISP] hands in terms of the cost and availability” stated Rep. Jessica Fay. “And for some folks in the area, it is too expensive under the current internet model. In fact, I recently spoke to a mother whose children need internet access to complete school projects, but because she is unable to afford internet, it puts her children at a disadvantage for educational success.”

President of St. Joseph’s College, Dr. James Dlugos, also expressed his thoughts on the advantages of open access and community owned broadband to education at large. “As you may know, Saint Joseph’s College not only educates 1,000 undergraduates on its Standish campus, but also offers dozens of undergraduate and graduate online degrees to over 2500 students from Maine and across the country,” he explained in an email interview. “As such, greater access to high speed connectivity expands the market for institutions like Saint Joseph's to provide online educational opportunities not otherwise available, especially to working adults.”

In addition to affordability and access to education, the present broadband connectivity is making it almost unfeasible to have a successful home-based business - or any business - in the Lakes Region. “Because my business in in technology, I must purchase the best and most up to date broadband connection available,” stated Technology Consultant for the Town of Raymond, Kevin Woodbrey. “But even with that, it is not enough. It is very difficult for me as a business owner to deliver my services on the infrastructure that now exists.” Woodbrey lives and operates his business in Raymond.

While Woodbrey works to back up important data and records for the Town of Raymond, which is required of all municipalities, he admits it is a difficult task. “To safely and securely store years of important data by trying to upload it to the Cloud is becoming nearly impossible.”

Fay reiterated Woodbrey’s concern, relaying the plight of another business owner who moved to Casco from South Portland. “The home-based business owner chose to purchase a home and move to Casco because he found that from all the other small communities he visited in the area, Casco is where he had the best internet service,” she continued. “But in order to do so, he has to pay the premium price, which is expensive. He considered another community in Maine first but since the connection was not available there, he chose to make his home and business in Casco.”

It is the priority of LRBP to establish broadband services in the business corridors and downtown areas within two years and then expand into more residential areas soon after. The hope is that businesses will remain in the Lakes Region while others will be attracted to the area. The initial project would install a fiber backbone starting in Standish and running across Windham to Gray Center, with an intersecting fiber backbone starting in Windham Center and heading to Raymond Village and the Raymond school campus. A spur to connect Saint Joseph’s College is also planned.

Legislation has been established to help rural communities in Maine increase broadband infrastructure and reliability. “The Legislature has enabled towns and cities to form Municipal Broadband Utilities and has provided a funding mechanism allowing these utilities to raise capital through Revenue Bonds,” explained Windham Economic Development Corporation Director, Tom Bartell. “We are also working with Cumberland County government, which has received grant funding through the CDBG Program to research which form of the Municipal Broadband Utility would be best for the region. Cumberland County government has also received CDBG funding to assist with the construction of the fiber backbone through certain portions of the region.”

Don Willard, Raymond’s Town Manager, stated that it was time for Maine to be a leader instead of a follower. “It is imperative to invest in our future. We must change and adapt if we are to remain economically viable, for not only businesses in the area, but for the community at large.”

Dr. Dlugos agreed. “From a social justice perspective, we support expanding access to high speed connectivity for rural communities as it helps level the playing field with regard to information access and access to educational opportunities. As institutions like Saint Joseph's continue to rely more heavily on off-site and "cloud" hosted systems, connectivity for on-campus students, faculty, and staff becomes more and more critical. Redundant high-speed fiber options are very limited for us now.” Dlugos also stated that high-speed internet promotes entrepreneurial activity.

Dr. Dlugos ended his statement: “Saint Joseph’s College supports this broadband initiative and looks forward to the social and economic advantages that it will afford citizens and business of this region.”

For more information regarding the Lakes Region Broadband Partnership or broadband connectivity in general, contact Tom Bartell at or 207-892-1936.

August 17, 2018

Annual Popsicles with the Principal event

Calling all Windham Primary School (WPS) families to join the principals and staff for popsicles and
playing on the playground by the cafeteria on Wednesday, August 22 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Dr. Rhoads and Assistant Principal, Mrs. Jordan, will provide popsicles by the A-House Houplayground to hear about all the adventures the WPS students had during the long summer months. They are also looking forward to this opportunity to meet with new students and their families.

The rain date for this event will take place on Thursday, August 23, same time and place. 
Call the WPS office at 892-1840 or email with any questions
Please enter the school and playground by the road closest to the Windham High School tennis courts, which used to be a one-way road and is now a two-way road.

Honor veterans by supporting Windham’s Annual Everlasting Gratitude Program by Dave Tanguay

The Everlasting Gratitude Program was started in 2013 by local Florist, Libby Jordan, of Studio Flora with a goal of placing an evergreen wreath on every veteran’s grave in the cemeteries of Windham. Moving ahead to today, the American Legion Field-Allen Post 148 of Windham is now administering the program with support from Studio Flora.

The Windham based program mirrors the Wreaths across America project that provides wreaths at veteran’s graves in national cemeteries. Windham has over 24 local cemeteries with over 875 veteran’s graves dating back to the Revolutionary War. In December these graves will be honored with the wreaths adorned with a red, white and blue ribbon manufactured by the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 148.

Due to great support from last year, the Post has been able to delay the kick-off of this highly visible program to August. Several $500 donations have been received that greatly enhance the success of the program. The goal this year is $6000. Your donation of just $25 will buy four wreaths. All donations great and small are most welcome.   

To donate please send a check to: American Legion Wreath Program P.O. Box 1776, Windham Maine 04062.

Thank you for your support from the American Legion, Field-Allen Post 148 in Windham.

Raymond residents vote to begin RSU14 withdrawal process by Lorraine Glowczak

Approximately 300 Raymond residents went to the voting pole on Tuesday, August 14 to cast their ballot, voting either for or against the RSU14 withdrawal process. Out of the 301 individuals who voted, 171 voted for and 128 voted against, with two votes remaining blank.

Raymond Selectwoman and chair, Teresa Sadak, is a proponent of the withdrawal and was among the individuals who obtained signatures that put the issue to vote. “I am very happy with the results,” stated Sadak, “The next steps will be to notify the RSU and the Department of Education. Then we will put together a Withdrawal Committee and get to work.” also stated that the main goal will be to focus on what is best for the students as they are the top priority. “If Raymond does go through with the final withdrawal, then we will have local control back and hopefully more parents [will] get involved,” she stated.

Sheila Bourque, a Raymond resident who attended the Special Town Meeting and public forum on Tuesday, July 31 to express her concerns regarding the RSU14 withdrawal, stated in an interview that she anticipates challenges during the withdrawal process. “The challenges I anticipate are based on my concerns regarding the withdrawal itself. The unknowns include debt assumption, special education, developing and staffing a school board and administrative staff, the added burden to existing Town staff, negotiation of the withdrawal agreement and the willingness of the Select Board and Raymond voters to invest in our schools.”

But now that the town has voted to begin the withdrawal process and a committee of local community members (to include outside consultants) will soon take place, Bourque is willing to offer her thoughts and become a positive part of the process.  My advice is to make sure that the committee has representatives from all segments of the Raymond community,” she began. “Individuals both for and against including families, seniors, young adults and summer residents. All have a vested interest in the results of the process.”

Bourque also stated that, if asked, she would consider serving on the committee.

Town Manager, Don Willard, said that the 22-step process of an RSU withdrawal will be quite extensive and it will take time to work things out. However, despite the lengthy process, positive change can take place. “This vote presents a significant opportunity to closely examine the past and present state of our local schools,” he began. “I am confident that through this exercise, a cogent plan will be formulated to move forward with a goal to provide local schools of excellence in keeping with the educational tradition of Raymond.”

August 10, 2018

Windham resident awarded research grant from NASA

This summer, Saint Joseph’s College hosted a Maine Space Consortium Grant MERITS student, Annie deCastro from Falmouth High School, as part of its communications nanosatellite research team. (L to R): Annie deCastro (Falmouth High School) and Kevin McWilliams ’20, Dr. Ryan Dorland, and Dr. Steve Jury (all of Saint Joseph’s College) stand behind an array of sensor boxes that they designed and built for several research projects. Photo: Patricia Erikson
The NASA-Maine Space Grant Consortium held their Celebration Day for the Maine Research Internships for Teachers and Students (MERITS) Program on the Saint Joseph’s College campus on Friday, August 3rd. The MERITS Program provides six-week summer research opportunities to Maine high school juniors in host institutions across the state.  

Windham resident Dr. Ryan Dorland, Assistant Professor of Sciences at Saint Joseph’s College, was awarded a one-year research grant for $20,000 from NASA through the Maine Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) to introduce satellite science and build nanosatellite prototypes in introductory calculus-based physics labs. This funding led to the creation of the nanosatellite team research project. Day provided the opportunity for research presentations by students who were hosted by Saint Joseph’s College, University of Maine, University of Southern Maine, Colby College, the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, RLC Engineering, and Mobility Technologies. MERITS students are interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields and want to experience “real-time” applications of STEM in a research-focused work world conducting research and technology development.

As one of the hosting institutions, Saint Joseph’s College brought Annie deCastro (Falmouth High School ’19) onto a research team that is striving to build a communications nanosatellite and to help Maine launch its first Cube Satellite, in collaboration with the National Air and Space Administration (NASA). Investigator Dr. Dorland explained, “We are one of the first colleges in the state working on this; we’re on the ground floor with NASA. The goal is to connect the sensor boxes together wirelessly and gather fine-grained data from a dispersed area all at once. Then we can connect to small satellites to gather data in remote locations where no cell or radio signal exists. Designing a small satellite is part of this project. We won’t be building the satellite, but we will complete a conceptual design and build a prototype.”

deCastro said “I do robotics at school. These electronics and trouble-shooting skills overlap a lot with what I’m doing here at Saint Joseph’s College. I had an inclination toward engineering already, then, I applied to the MERITS program and got in. They helped place me into a project here at Saint Joseph’s for the summer for six to eight weeks. This gives me hands-on experience and an opportunity to confirm my interest in STEM.” deCastro spent the summer building sensor boxes and testing them on a number of NASA-funded projects on campus, in collaboration with Saint Joseph’s College students and faculty.

Award winner from Raymond receives full tuition scholarship

Maine Adult Education Association was proud to feature several awards at the 2018 Conference held at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. Theme for the conference was “Better Together” and educators came together to learn about teaching methods and much more.

Dr. Carol Leary, President, Bath Path University and the American Women's College and Gloria Collins, Windham/Raymond Adult Education full scholarship
For the first time, The American Women's College at Bay Path University awarded one full-time scholarship to a woman from Maine served by the Maine Adult Education Programs. The winner, Gloria Coffin, Raymond, of the Windham/Raymond Adult Program will have the opportunity to enroll in the fall of 2018 and begin her journey towards completion of her undergraduate degree.

The American Women's College is the first 100% online program in the nation exclusively for women. Through the accelerated, online format, the recipient can choose from over 20 career-focused degrees and graduate within as little as one and a half to three years. The program is based on a unique award-winning online platform known as SOUL, Social Online Universal Learning, designed specifically to help women complete a college degree by monitoring academic progress in real time and connecting students with classmates and faculty in innovative ways.

Students at The American Women’s College benefit from the Women as Empowered Learners and Leaders program, also known as WELL, to develop the skills, confidence, and knowledge to achieve their goals and are also assigned educator coaches who support the student from the start to the finish of their degree.

Raymond pools resources with other towns for purchase of Animal Control Officer vehicle by Lorraine Glowczak

It is mandated by the State of Maine that each municipality employ an animal control officer (ACO) to investigate mistreated animals and control those that are deemed dangerous, abandoned or lost. For smaller communities, an ACO is often employed by more than one town.

This is the case for Jessica Jackson, the Animal Control Officer who provides the required state services for the towns of Raymond, Casco and Naples.

Jackson has been the area’s ACO since 2011. She has performed her job and responded to calls, concerns and complaints by using her own vehicle in the 125 square miles that comprise the three communities. Until recently, that is.

Through the collaborative efforts of the three towns, a 2014 Ford Explorer Interceptor was purchased from Maine State Surplus Property. “This newly acquired used vehicle was previously utilized by the Maine State Police and came with extensive interior improvements to safely transport a police dog already installed,” explained Don Willard, Raymond Town Manager. “The vehicle has two separate climate-controlled cage areas, a second and third row aluminum interior liner and features a remotely actuated electric-hydraulic rear passenger side entry door. We [the three towns] were able to pool our resources together to purchase this vehicle all equipped, at the reasonable cost of $3,000 per town.”

Once the Ford Explorer made its way to the Lakes Region, it received a new look with graphic lettering on the side doors and rear hatch establishing it as an Animal Control vehicle representing the Towns of Casco, Naples and Raymond.

Jackson states that the new vehicle delivers not only a safety factor but imparts a distinct visibility as to what she is doing in the area and why she is present. “With the marked vehicle, I am more visible to the community and it acts as a deterrent for the mistreatment of animals,” she said. “It also offers more security for me as an officer because people can clearly identify me. From a safety standpoint, people know the purpose of my being in the location. People are now approaching me because they know who I am and who I represent. This was not the case when I was driving my own personal vehicle.”

Jackson is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week and the company supplied vehicle adds a little relief for the demanding travel of the job. “It was a natural progression from Jessica using her own vehicle to one that is provided for her,” Willard said. “All three towns appreciate Jessica’s expertise and dedication and we want to make the job more accommodating for her in terms of travel and safety. We are examining ways to establish a more reasonable schedule, as well.”

Jackson encourages people to contact her with any concerns regarding domesticated animals. “I want people to feel comfortable asking me questions and sharing anything that may concern them regarding domestic animals,” she stated. “I’d rather have a concern go unfounded than unreported. Also, I prefer to be proactive rather than reactive. Most often, with a little communication and education, many issues can be resolved if you catch them in the early stages.”

Jackson, who is also a licensed wildlife rehabilitator specializing in wildlife predators, urges everyone to keep a watchful eye on their animals, report them missing promptly, and attach ID tags along with registration tags. If they do go missing, please report it promptly.

To report missing, abused or abandoned animals, Jackson can be contacted by calling the Cumberland County Dispatch Center at 800-501-1111.

August 3, 2018

Bruce Marshall to open Loon Echo Land Trust’s Acoustic Sunset Concert Series

Loon Echo Land Trust's popular Acoustic Sunset Concerts Series on top of Hacker's Hill Preserve on Quaker Ridge Road in Casco, ME returns Wednesday, August 8 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for its seventh season.

This summer's opening concert will feature the vocals and guitar work of nationally renowned

Accessible by car, the open, grassy fields of Hacker’s Hill’s beautiful land allow for comfortable seating and extraordinary sunset views of the Lakes Region with the White Mountains acting as a backdrop for the performance. Bring a picnic dinner, a lawn chair or blanket and soak up the splendor of the sunset while listening to the music.

There is a suggested donation of $10/Adults and $5/Child to benefit the ongoing stewardship efforts of Hacker's Hill. Hacker's Hill is car accessible. Parking is available by driving to the road into Hacker's Hill Preserve on Quaker Ridge Road in Casco, approximately one mile south of the Route 11 intersection and four miles from the Route 302 intersection.  Parking at Hacker’s Hill is limited so carpooling is advised.

For more information about upcoming events or ways you can support Loon Echo Land Trust, go to their website or call 207-647-4352.   
musician Bruce Marshall. A tireless performer with great originals, an expressive, soulful voice and accompanying guitar style on acoustic and steel dobro, he’s earned a reputation as one of New England’s best.

Annual Kelli 5K – an event that keeps giving in more ways than one by Lorraine Glowczak

Saturday, August 11 at 9 a.m. will mark eight years since the first Kelli’s 5K run/walk occurred. The event was created to honor and remember Kelli Hutchison who passed away at the age of 10 on February 16, 2010 of GBM brain cancer. The intention of the 5K is to raise funds for upkeep and expansion of a playground in her memory. It has also morphed into a way that honors Kelli’s loving and caring approach for life, by donating a portion of funds from the race to local projects and organizations that help others who face difficulty in some way.

“There is a lot of hardship in the world,” stated Michael Hutchison, Kelli’s father. “With Kelli’s 5K we are able to help others in need. Kelli would have been thrilled with where the funds have been contributed over the years.” first two years (2010 and 2011), the funds were dedicated to building the Kelli Hutchison Memorial Playground. The playground is located at 40 Windham Center Road on the grounds of St. Ann’s Episcopal Church where Kelli and her family have always attended services. The playground was built to not only honor Kelli’s memory but to be a “fun and welcoming place to enjoy the spirit of childhood,” as stated on the church website. The playground is not only open to its church members, but to the children of the great lakes community as well.

Dan Wheeler, a church member and former member of the playground committee stated in a previous interview. “There are always children playing on the playground. It is very well used and that makes us happy.”

After the playground was built, the yearly 5K funds provided the upkeep and future expansion to the playground. “In addition to adding mulch periodically, we have been blessed to be able to add umbrellas, tables, trees and in the near future a patio to the playground with the funds raised,” stated Melissa Hutchison, Kelli’s mother. 

But it was also decided that the monies made from the event would either be split equally or a portion of the funds shared with other projects and organizations. 

The following projects or organizations have also benefited:

2012 - Make a Wish Foundation.
2013 - St. Ann’s Capital Campaign for church expansion and Windham Primary School playground
2014 - St. Ann’s Capital Campaign for church expansion and Windham Primary School playground
2015 - Tools for Schools (provide school supplies where necessary).
2016 – Windham High School Project Graduation (Kelli’s graduating class of 2017)
2017 – Nolan Cyr, local student who is now cancer free and the RSU14 Activity Fees
2018 – RSU14 Activity Fees

Giving to local community organizations is not the only way the annual 5K honors Kelli. There is another form of giving involved and that is the giving that comes from others to make the 5K a success.

“It’s really been amazing how many volunteers give their time and local businesses give prizes and sponsor the event,” Michael said. 
Kelli's parents, Melissa and Michael

Kelli’s mother, Melissa added, “We are very indebted to our sponsors and volunteers that support us year after year. We are also very thankful for the committee members who work throughout the year with their big push in the very busy summer months. 

The Hutchisons would like to give a special thanks to Kelli’s 5K developers, Barney Boynton and Mike Cushing, for their yearly commitment and expertise. They map out the course and provide guidance on timing the participants. “They are our experts,” Michael said. “I don’t know how we would run the race without them.”

The race will take place at the Windham High School’s cross-country course. Located at 406 Gray Road, the event will begin at 9 a.m. with two courses to choose from. The first, a challenging and timed 5K run that will include rolling terrain, a series of bridges and a steep path. The second course is a non-timed walkathon around the Windham High School Campus. for the annual walk/run has already begun and will continue to be accepted up to 30 minutes prior to the race. 

Although the run/walk may have been precipitated by somber beginnings, the true focus of Kelli’s 5K is to spread light, friendship and the art of giving to others, which represents Kelli’s true-life expressions.

“Kelli would be so proud of her community,” Melissa reflected.

For those who have not yet registered for the run/walk and wish to do so, it is not too late. To register, go online at The cost to register is $20 before the event, $25 the day of the event. To make a donation or for further information about the playground, please contact Melissa Hutchison at 

Raymond Board of Selectmen hold a Special Town Meeting and Public Hearing by Lorraine Glowczak

A crowd gathered at the Broadcast Studio, 423 Webbs Mills Road in Raymond on Tuesday, July 31 to provide public input at a Special Town Meeting and Public Hearing.

The meeting began at 6 p.m. to discuss moratoriums on registered caregiver retail stores as well as on mobile homes in the Limited Residential/Recreational 1 and Limited Residential/Recreational 2 shoreland zoning districts. The public hearing on the proposed referendum question regarding withdrawal from the RSU14 immediately followed. vote for and the unanimous election of Joe Bruno as the Special Town Meeting moderator began
the meeting.

First on the agenda was the discussion of the moratorium on registered caregiver retail stores, which is a facility or location where registered medical marijuana caregivers sell harvested marijuana to qualifying patients for medical use through a storefront. The purpose of the moratorium consideration was due to concerns of public safety and welfare, the increased requests for storefronts and the fact that the Town’s existing ordinances do not provide an adequate mechanism for regulation and to control the location and operation of storefronts. This moratorium would be applied for 180 days with possible extension by the Board of Selectmen or would end 90 days after the Legislature adjourns from current special session, of which the Maine Marijuana Act would take affect and supersede the moratorium. of the Raymond citizens who addressed the Board, spoke out against the moratorium, making the argument that medical marijuana provides relief for many ailments. They argued that to limit storefronts could hinder safe use of the product and create cost increases unnecessarily.

After careful consideration, the moratorium on registered caregiver retail stores was voted upon and failed.

The second item on the Special Town Meeting agenda was the discussion regarding the moratorium on mobile homes/manufactured housing in shoreline zoning areas. A majority of the public spoke for the moratorium and it passed. It will be in effect for 180 days. During this time the Town of Raymond will work on developing appropriate land use regulations regarding this form of housing.

The Public Hearing for the Board of Selectmen to receive public input on the proposed referendum question regarding withdrawal from the RSU14 began at 7 p.m.

The referendum was proposed after many expressed concerns about the Board of Education cost-sharing agreement with Windham. The greatest concern regarding this agreement was the recent vote above stated concerns but have not received any responses.
that was passed by Windham residents to build a new Shared-Maintenance Facility Building, located in Windham. “This is a $9.3 million facility of which the Town of Raymond is responsible for paying $1.2 million,” stated Board Selectwoman and Chair, Teresa Sadak. Sadak also stated that the Board has worked with the Town attorneys to have conversations with the school board as well as with the Town of Windham to discuss the

Attorney Daniel Stockford was present and explained the process it takes to withdraw from an RSU.

Concerns and comments from the public were expressed about the withdrawal that included but were not limited to the following: Concerns regarding the quality of Raymond students’ education if
withdrawal occurred, the cost of providing quality education and the loss of sense of community among the students after middle school. It was also suggested to have a plan in place prior to starting any withdrawal process.

All Raymond residents will have an opportunity to vote on this ballot question on Tuesday, August 14 at the Jordan Small Middle School cafeteria. The question to be voted on is as follows:

“Do you favor filing a petition for withdrawal with the Board of Education, authorizing the withdrawal committee to expend $50,000 over 2 years and authorizing the Select Board to issue notes in the name of the Town of Raymond or otherwise pledge the credit of the Town of Raymond in an amount not to exceed $50,000 over 2 years for this purpose?”