December 20, 2019

Maine CDC releases student health survey results

Reported e-cigarette use among high school students nearly doubles since 2017

AUGUSTA — Results from the 2019 Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey (MIYHS) show an increase in the number of Maine high school students who report e-cigarette use, commonly referred to as “vaping.”

Survey results for 2019 show that 28.7 percent of Maine high school students report currently using e-cigarettes (at least one time in the past 30 days), an increase from 15.3 percent in 2017. Maine’s 2019 MIYHS high school results align with the most recent data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey, which show that 27.5 percent of high school students throughout the United States report having used e-cigarettes within the past 30 days, an increase from 11.7 percent in 2017.

The number of Maine high school students who report ever having used an e-cigarette product increased from 33.2 percent in 2017 to 45 percent in 2019.

The survey also shows that the number of high school students who reported current use of conventional cigarettes dropped from 8.8 percent in 2017 to 7.1 percent in 2019.

“Notably, the 2019 responses show a decrease in the percentage of Maine students who smoke or use other forms of conventional tobacco products,” said Nirav D. Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC). “Young people in Maine are getting the message that tobacco use is dangerous. But they need to realize that vaping also poses great risks to their health.”

The survey is a collaboration between Maine CDC and the Maine Department of Education (DOE), conducted biennially since 2009. Its purpose is to identify emerging trends facing youth by quantifying the health and related behaviors and attitudes of 5th through 12th graders using direct student surveys tailored to each age group. All public middle and high schools in Maine are invited to participate in the survey, which is administered during the spring of odd-numbered years.

The survey results show that e-cigarette use is also up among Maine middle school students. Current use (at least one time in the past 30 days) among middle school students rose from 3.8 percent in 2017 to 7 percent in 2019. The number of middle school respondents who reported ever having used an e-cigarette product rose from 10.4 percent in 2017 to 16.3 percent in 2019.

The 2019 survey results also indicate that fewer Maine high school students report buying e-cigarettes from stores, decreasing from 7.2 percent in 2017 to 4.8 percent in 2019. Most students reported receiving e-cigarettes from other people or giving money to others to buy the products.

Under a law that took effect in 2018, most individuals in Maine must be at least 21 years old to purchase tobacco products – including e-cigarettes. A clause in the law allows individuals who had turned 18 as of July 1, 2018, to continue to buy tobacco products lawfully.  

Maine CDC has worked with the Maine Office of the Attorney General to pursue increased compliance checks on e-cigarette purchases at retailers throughout Maine to prevent sales to youth. Maine already conducts these checks on both electronic and combustible cigarettes but has boosted the focus on e-cigarettes. Maine also already bans all online sales of e-cigarette products and licenses tobacco product sellers to ensure oversight.

The Maine CDC and Maine DOE have additionally promoted awareness of a September 2019 law that bans e-cigarette use on school property.

Maine CDC and Maine DOE continue to work with partners across the state to help prevent young people from initiating use of and exposure to e-cigarettes. A workgroup has met regularly to create educational resources and presentations to increase awareness.

For information on the Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey: 

For information on tobacco cessation programs:
- Maine CDC Tobacco and Substance Use Prevention and Control Program: (207) 287-4627 or
- Local technical assistance for schools:
- Maine CDC educational guide about e-cigarettes/vaping-type devices:‌resources/ends-toolkit/
- Additional resources:
- The Maine Tobacco Helpline at 1-800-207-1230 or

- The Truth Initiative offers free text message programs for youth and young adults who want to quit vaping or smoking and is a resource for parents looking to help their children.
Text Quit to 202-804-9884 to quit JUUL or e-cigs.
Text QUITNOW to 202-759-6436 to quit cigarettes.

Students learn the reality of journalism

Belle Clapp, Ashlynn Moorehead, Ellie Szostalo
and Journalism Teacher Ryan Lowell in front of the Green Screen
 By Lanet Hane

Students in Windham High School’s Journalism course have been learning all about the process of writing great stories. In addition to learning the craft, they have a number of opportunities throughout the course to experience the real-life world of careers in journalism.

Last week students were provided the opportunity to tour WGME, experiencing everything from green screens to the feeling of being on-air. They had the chance to interact with people who have made a career out of journalism and were immersed in the real-life application of the work they have been doing in the class.

Later in the week, Lorraine Glowczak of The Windham Eagle joined the class to talk about her experiences as a writer and editor. They had the opportunity to ask questions about the process of writing articles, keeping deadlines, working for a newspaper, and much more.

RVCC brings beloved Christmas Operetta to Christmas Eve Worship

Taking a break from its traditional Christmas Nativity pageant this year, Raymond Village Community Church, 27 Main Street, will present selections from Gian Carlo Menotti’s famous operetta; “Amahl and the Night Visitors”; the wonderful and magical musical story of a young disabled boy (Amahl) and his encounter with the Three Kings on their way to Bethlehem to visit the Christ Child. The service will be on Tuesday, December 24 at 5 p.m.

Poland High School Junior and All-State vocalist, Amy Fryda, will play Amahl.  Raymond resident Erin Gurney will play the mother.  Members of the RVCC Senior Choir will play the other roles.  RVCC Music Director, Patrick Martin, is directing and will accompany the production on piano.

The cast of RVCC’s Christmas Eve operetta; “Amahl and the Night Visitors” at rehearsal: (l to r) Caryl Gilman, Brenda Olsen, RVCC Music Director Patrick Martin, Brenda McMackin, Jeri Keane, Amy Fryda (“Amahl”), Polly Dyer, Cheri Moore, Rolf Olsen, Nancy Yates, Lori Lambert, Erin Gurney (“Amahl’s Mother”) 

“Rev. Nancy (Foran) is always seeking to tell the story of Christmas in new and meaningful ways.  

We both thought that “Amahl” was the perfect way to do so this year.” said Mr. Martin.  “It’s a wonderful story about a young boy with a penchant for telling tall tales. When the three magi arrive at their door, Amahl and his mother offer them food and shelter and learn about the Christ Child they are seeking. Miracles occur, and, in the end Amahl leaves with the kings, carrying a very special gift for the Baby Jesus.”

Rev. Foran said, “We’ll focus on the Amahl story, but we’ll begin with a brief Call to Worship and an opening carol, and end with a candlelight singing of ‘Silent Night’.  As always in the past, this service is for the entire family. From the youngest to the oldest, everyone is welcome here. This is a great way to begin the Christmas holiday!”

December 13, 2019

Windham Interim Manager Gerrish offers recommendations to Town Council at his last meeting

By Lorraine Glowczak

Presenting to the Windham Town Council his last official Interim Manager’s report at the Council Meeting held on Tuesday December 11, Don Gerrish offered some thoughts about areas the Council could consider helping Windham to continue to move forward.

He discovered, with the help of Town Clerk, Linda Morrill, there were only 36 voting residents who attended the Town Hall meeting this past June. “In fact, in the last eleven years, the average attendance has been only 43 individuals who joined the town meetings to adopt the budget,” Gerrish stated. “Town meetings have served their purpose in the past, but it is no longer true representation with a population of approximately 17,000,” As a result, Gerrish recommended that the council consider a petition to vote on in the next Gubernatorial election to eliminate town hall meetings. suggested that the council also to take a closer look at the charter. Currently, the position of
Town Clerk is voted in every two years, and the Assessor who is appointed by the town council. “I think the process would work much better in a town of this size if these positions were appointed by the Town Manager.”

Gerrish also suggested an increase in borrowing power. “Under the charter today, if you do not do away with the town meeting, there are two things about the town meeting you need to consider…one is you can’t borrow anything under $25,000 without a vote and town approval but this is too low. Most communities have a limit, but it needs to be a higher number (up to $100,000) in order to offer a more expediate way to get things done.

Gerrish stated the charter needs to be revised for wording, processing and timing etc.
“and brought up to the 21st century.”

Additionally, Gerrish advised that the next town manager might consider an assistant and change the number of departments that directly report to the town manager. “Currently there are 13 different departments reporting to the Town Manager. Although this is doable – but the span of control to do all that work takes the time to manage that many departments is very time consuming in a town this size.”
Gerrish asked that the Council consider looking at council rules of procedure to streamline and clarify
some issues that have been brought up in the past year. Every year the rules need to be examined and adopted after each election - and changed as needed.

“Finally,” he continued, “I want to thank the Council for the opportunity for the past year. It has been a pleasure. It has had some challenges, but it has been a great please. I also want to think the citizens for welcoming me and making me a part of the community.”

December 6, 2019

Windham High School Katahdin Program chefs prepare another free community meal

The students of The Katahdin Program; Windham High School’s alternative learning initiative, had such a good time planning and preparing Raymond Village Community Church’s (RVCC) free community meal last month that they want to do it again. This time, they’re working with RVCC parishioner and Portland Firefighter Craig Messinger to put another memorable and delicious meal on the table at RVCC, located at 27 Main Street on Thursday, December 12 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“Craig makes a mean seafood chowder,” stated RVCC Pastor Nancy Foran. “His chowder will be paired with vegetarian minestrone, salad, homemade bread, and carrot cake prepared by the Katahdin Program students. Other members of our congregation are getting into the act, preparing even more desserts.”

Pastor Foran also reminded the public that these meals are completely free. “The whole point of these meals is to build community: everyone is encouraged to attend, to see old friends and meet new neighbors before the Winter closes in.”   

The Katahdin Program utilizes the classroom, the outdoors and the greater community to provide alternative education programming for students, grades nine through 12, in the RSU14 Windham/Raymond school district. The program recognizes that all learners have strengths, assets, and interests. Katahdin staff believe that every individual is an important part of the learning community, whose core values are integrity, safety, respect, responsibility, and kindness.

For further information about RVCC and Free Community Meals, email Rev. Foran at, or call the Church at 655-7749. 

To learn more about the Katahdin Program, go to their website at:

RVCC: Small Church, BIG Heart!
Raymond Village Community Church is a United Church of Christ congregation.  It is a diverse faith community embracing tolerance, committed to missions and outreach, singing joyfully, and welcoming all people no matter who they are, or where they are on their faith journey.  For more information about RVCC, contact Rev. Nancy Foran, Pastor, at 655-7749 or

Breakfast with Santa

The Windham Lions Club is hosting another Breakfast with Santa, a once a year event, where children can visit and eat with the jolly ol’ elf. Children of all ages are welcome to partake of the free breakfast of pancakes, sausages and beverages. Breakfast is served Saturday, December 14 between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Donations to support the Lions Club will be accepted at the door.

There will be an opportunity to take pictures with Santa, so bringing a camera is recommended. 

The event will be at the Windham Veterans Center behind Hannaford on Toby Pennels Memorial Drive. The event is co-sponsored by the Windham Veterans Association, which is providing the usage of the center for this community event.

Legislative update: Protecting children requires vigilance

By Sen. Bill Diamond

Over the past two years, our child protection system has been under a microscope, and rightfully so.
The violent deaths of two young girls, Kendall Chick and Marissa Kennedy, at the hands of abusive family members, shocked us all and highlighted very real shortcomings within the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS). That OCFS did not properly intervene in those cases is as big a failure as there can be in state government.

This recent scrutiny has been damning. Thanks to investigative reporting from the Portland Press Herald, we now know that in the past 12 years at least 18 children died in homes that had been previously flagged for incidents of child abuse or neglect. And a report last year from the Legislature’s Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability, which was ordered after Kendall and Marissa’s deaths, indicated that OCFS was chronically understaffed.

cstlouis@spurwink.orgTo the credit of the current administration and the legislature, this scrutiny has spurred some well-intentioned efforts to fix the broken system. There have been press conferences and testimony to the legislature’s Government Oversight Committee, promising to make changes. The most recent budget includes a significant staff increase for OCFS.

But these good intentions and promises will not be enough, and we know that because we’ve been here before.

In 2001, five-year-old Logan Marr was found dead in her foster mother’s basement with more than
40 feet of duct tape wrapped around her little body. She had been left alone like that, asphyxiated, and died slowly and painfully. It was a horrible case, and the foster mother, Sally Schofield, was sentenced to 17 years in prison.

The case generated widespread outrage, and immediately following Logan’s murder, the state declared that they would fix the problem. Well-intentioned actions were taken, such as adding more supervisors and caseworkers, reducing the number of children in state care, increasing family training and prioritizing family placements.

Remember, this all happened in 2001. Here we are, almost 19 years later, right back where we started, if not worse than before. The good intentions and promises didn’t work.

Protecting children requires vigilance. We cannot continue to react in a knee-jerk fashion every time the public becomes outraged after a child is murdered. We must be proactive, and prevent the deaths from occurring in the first place.

This is not something OCFS can do on its own. We’ve been through seven DHHS commissioners and four gubernatorial administrations since Logan’s death, and children are still dying. Rigorous, ongoing oversight is absolutely necessary if we ever want to truly get a handle on this problem, as is input from the courts, the legislature, law enforcement and the public.

That’s why, earlier this year, I introduced a bill, LD 1554, “Resolve, Establishing a Commission to Reform Child Protective Services.” We will continue hammering out the details next year, but the idea is to move beyond good intentions and to truly fix our broken child protection system.

We cannot let this moment be a flash in the pan. Ten, 20 years from now, we should be able to look back and see that we solved this problem, and not wonder how we ended up right back where we started, again.

There should never be another Kendall, or Marissa, or Logan. Let’s make it happen.

If you have any ideas, questions or concerns, please feel free to contact my office at 287-1515 or send me an email at My line is always open to you.

November 27, 2019

Windham Hill United Church of Christ hosts third annual Festival of Trees

The third annual Christmas Festival of Trees will be held at Fellowship Hall, Windham Hill United Church of Christ, 140 Windham Center Road in Windham from December 6 to December 8. 

This much anticipated event for the community of Windham is a showcase for local merchants and organizations as well as a fundraiser for Windham Hill United Church of Christ, the founding church of Windham and a historic landmark for the town. The festival hours on December 6 are 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. Hours on Saturday, December 7 are 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. and Sunday, December 8 from noon until 4 p.m. The grand drawing of winners will be at 4 p.m. on Sunday. Hall will be decorated for the Holiday season and refreshments will be available. There will be over 20 decorated Christmas trees with lights, each one donated by one of our local businesses or individuals. The donor will decorate the tree and then put gifts on and around the tree, many from their store or organization. Winners will receive the tree itself, with its lights and ornaments, all of the gifts on the tree, and all of the gifts under the tree.

Last year the winners took home everything from toys and gift items to kitchen supplies and jewelry. There was great excitement at the Grand Drawing. This year there will be several new trees added to popular donors from last year.

Admission to the Festival of Trees is free, everyone is welcome to visit to see these beautiful trees and the products from our local restaurants, gift stores, specialty companies, automotive businesses and construction companies. There will be tickets on sale for 50 cent each or 10 for $5. A bucket will be in front of each display. One ticket will be drawn for each tree at 4 p.m. on Sunday. The winners will need to claim their tree and gifts by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, December 10th.

Robert Turner, chair of the Festival of Trees stated, “raffle tickets will be available for sale so that the viewers may enter their tickets in the hopes of winning a beautiful tree. Each tree's winner gets to

take it home, fully decorated and already for the holidays.”

This event is a fund-raising activity of Windham Hill United Church of Christ to benefit their mission program: local, national and international missions including: Heifer International, the Root Cellar, Windham Food Pantry, Church World Service, SERRV, and many other organizations. Funds will also benefit continued maintenance and programming for this church which hosts Food and Fellowship’s Monday Meals, Boy Scout Troop 51, Windham Lion’s Club, and other civic events. Windham Hill United Church of Christ is an open and affirming church, welcoming all who would come. The church was founded in 1743 and has been central to the life of Windham throughout Windham’s history as a town.

Windham Lions Club’s “Stuff the Bus” event celebrates 20 years of feeding families in need

Keeping their tradition of helping families in need during the holiday season, the Windham Lions Club will be in front of Windham Hannaford Supermarket from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. collecting food donations to stuff the bus on Saturday, December 7. 

The program “Stuff the Bus” was started here in Windham Maine in cooperation with the Windham
School system 20 years ago. Today we still have support from RSU 14. In the past, Windham Lions have donated approximately 850 pounds worth of food.

Lion Club member, Anthony Ackerman, heard about the program similarly done in Massachusetts and brought the idea to Windham’s club.  “Through the years we have stood outside at the Hannaford store at the Windham Shopping Mall collecting nonperishable food, money donations, gift cards, and small gifts to support the community,” stated Bob Simmons, who organizes the “Stuff the Bus” event since Ackerman passed away. donations go to the social services on Gray Road in Windham, Maine where they will build Holiday Baskets for families in need. All monetary donations will purchase turkeys and hams at Hannaford to be put in the baskets.  Gift cards, small toys, hats, coats, and gloves/ mittens will be
given to children and young adults for holiday gifts.

The Windham Lions, RSU 14 and Hannaford are always pleased that they can support the community with your donations. However, they can only support families with your help. Help them fill every seat and aisle on the bus with bags of non- perishable food.

“We wish to thank everyone who has given in the past,” began Simmons. “And we especially want to give a big thank you to Hannaford’s for allowing us to have this event in their parking lot for the past 20 years. We couldn’t do it without them.”

For those who wish to help the Windham Lions Club and their Windham Food Pantry donations but will be away on December 7th, send inquiries and monetary donations to: The Windham Lions Club, P.O. Box 448, Windham, 04062.

Raymond Beautification Committee wins Spirit of America Award

Members of the Raymond Beautification Committee.
From top left going clockwise, Shirley Bloom,
Sharon Dodson, Jan Miller, Susan Adams
By Briana Bizier

If you’ve been impressed by the efforts made to beautify Route 302 in Raymond, you’re not alone. Those colorful flower beds in the summer and festive wreaths in the winter have also caught the eyes of the town of Raymond’s Select Board. On November 12th, in a ceremony with the Cumberland County Commissioners, Raymond’s Beautification Committee was chosen by the Select Board and the Spirit of America committee to receive the Town of Raymond’s 2019 Spirit of America Award.

Based in Augusta, the Spirit of America Foundation is a public charity that honors volunteerism and commendable community service. Every year, over one hundred Maine municipalities present the Spirit of America Foundation Tribute. The recipients are typically chosen by a town’s Board of Selectmen.

[The Beautification] committee does excellent work in insuring that our 302 corridor and other areas in town look their best,” Raymond Select Board member Marshall Bullock said in the write-up he presented to the Spirit of America committee. “Spring cleaning and plantings require a lot of dedicated volunteers who gladly put in many hours. Cleanups through the summer and fall are followed by a drive to place Christmas wreaths on each of our streetlights. These efforts are appreciated by community members and visitors alike.”
The Beautification Committee’s work began in 2003, when the state did an overlay of Route 302
through Raymond, the Portland Water District installed waterlines, and the Town of Raymond put in sidewalks, decorative light poles, and over 70 planted areas along the business corridor and at the Raymond Beach parking lot. Although the newly installed gardens were intended to be hardy and maintenance free, the first year was a bit of a struggle.

Nathan White, Raymond Public Works Director, managed to keep most of the perennials and trees alive by watering the best he could that first hot summer,” wrote Sharon Dodson, who co-chairs the Beautification Committee along with Elissa Gifford. “But the weeds grew taller than most of the plants!”

Raymond’s Beautification Committee was formed the following winter and, that spring, they began their work in the gardens by pulling those weeds, replacing plants that hadn’t survived the first year, and attracting volunteers to maintain the flower beds. These volunteers, now known as the Walk & Weeders, meet every Friday morning from May through October to weed and neaten the gardens.
“For the past few years the Walk & Weeders have had regular maintenance help from Public Works, which allows them to focus more on making the public areas look beautiful, rather than merely struggling to stay ahead of the weeds,” Sharon explains. The Walk & Weeders also plant flowering bulbs to usher in springtime, and annuals to highlight Vacationland’s beautiful summer.

Volunteers make sure the Veterans Memorial is decked out with red, white and blue by Memorial Day and keep our Pink Garden for Maine Women’s Cancer research full of pink tulips in spring and pink geraniums in summer,” Sharon continued. “This year volunteers planted 425 daffodils to support the Maine Suffrage Centennial, so next spring they should put on beautiful golden display along 302 and at the Veterans Memorial Park.”

Those readers who have gardens of their own will recognize the tremendous effort that goes into creating and maintaining the beautiful flowers beds that brighten Route 302, Veteran’s Park, the Raymond Town Hall, and the Raymond Village Library. For Beautification Committee co-chair Sharon Dodson, the benefits of these flower beds extend even beyond the visual cohesion they bring to Raymond’s business district and the good impression this beautiful landscaping makes on potential customers and visitors.

In addition to the immediate gratification we volunteers get from making a messy garden look nice or an empty barrel come to life, we really thrive on the camaraderie of working together to do good
work and get some exercise,” Sharon told me. “We have made lifelong friends while doing this and have improved our own lives in the process.”

The Beautification Committee’s efforts continue through the dark, cold days of December when 70 cheerful holiday wreaths are placed on the streetlights lining Route 302 to keep Raymond shining through the shortest days of the year. These wreaths are provided at cost by Jessica Fay, the owner of Maine Lakes Wedding Event Florist, who also provides the bows for the wreaths.

"Maine Lakes Wedding and Event Florist is happy to contribute annually to this effort,” Jessica Fay said. “Decorating Raymond's public space for the holidays is a way for us to celebrate the ways our town can come together. It also shows visitors and people passing through town that we are a welcoming community."

To purchase these wreaths, members of the Beautification Committee collect donations from local businesses in November. To make a tax-deductible individual donation and help Raymond sparkle through the holidays or shine through the summer, please write a check to the Town of Raymond and note it is “for the Beautification Committee.” Checks can be hand-delivered to the Raymond Town Hall or mailed to 401 Webb’s Mills Road, Raymond ME, 04071.

Finally, Raymond’s Walk & Weed group is always looking for volunteers. Anyone interested in helping to maintain these beautiful flower gardens should contact Sue Look at the Raymond Town Office.

November 22, 2019

After record online vote, Town & Country FCU Awards $25,000 area non-profits including MSSPA

At a special reception held at Town & Country Federal Credit Union’s Operations Center in Scarborough, the credit union awarded $25,000 in grants to non-profits serving Cumberland and/or York counties through its 2019 Better Neighbor Fund. The grant recipients were determined through a month-long vote during October which resulted in nearly 13,000 votes cast through the Town & Country FCU Facebook page, a new record.

Erin Ludwig of the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals of Windham, accepts a $2,000 grant on behalf of her organization from David Libby, President and CEO of Town & Country FCU. 
In his opening remarks to attendees, David Libby, President and CEO of Town & Country FCU, explained the purpose of the Better Neighbor Fund and the uniqueness of the Reception event.  “The Better Neighbor Fund honors and celebrates some of the wonderful work and services provided a special group of non-profits to communities throughout Cumberland and York Counties. Tonight is about people and the spirit of coming together to support and help others, whether it’s providing help to animals, educational opportunities for children or assistance to people in recovery, and a variety of other worthwhile causes and initiatives. You all make our communities better places to live because of your mission and commitment to being better neighbors. Our Reception is designed to bring organizations that make a difference together, and to allow them to have an opportunity to speak with your fellow non-profits and to reinforce the fact that we all contribute and care about our community. 

It was great to see such a high level of engagement with the online voting.”

In 2010, Town & Country introduced the Better Neighbor Fund to celebrate the ideal of neighbors helping neighbors, a concept that has a long and rich tradition in Maine.  The credit union has awarded $250,000 to 80 charitable initiatives, to date.

Eight charitable organizations from an original finalist list of 25 nominees were awarded a share of $25,000 from the 2019 Better Neighbor Fund - three received $5,000 grants and five received $2,000 grants. 

The 25 finalists were nominated in September through the credit union’s Facebook page, and during October, the public voted online for the project they felt was most deserving to receive one of the eight grants. 

The winners of the 2019 Better Neighbor Fund grants include (all serve Cumberland and/or York Counties):

$5,000 Grant—Learn Around the World Network, Inc. (Portland) – support the GEOshow Maine program, which will introduce K-5 students across Southern Maine to new places through virtual field trips.

$5,000 Grant—The Center for Wildlife (Cape Neddick) – support the Connecting Neighbors and Nature environmental education program.

$5,000 Grant—Friendship House (South Portland) – provide funding to help with its bathroom renovation project.

$2,000 Grant—Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals (Windham) – to help promote and expand the Maine Horse Matchmaker program.

$2,000 Grant—Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad & Museum (Portland) – will be used to help build a new station for the Narrow-Gauge Railroad and Museum at Ocean Gateway in Portland.

$2,000 Grant—Standish Parent Teacher Organization (Standish) – will help purchase and install new soccer goals and basketball hoops on the playgrounds of the Edna Libby and George E. Jack Elementary Schools in Standish.

$2,000 Grant—Royal River Community Players (Yarmouth) – support renovations of the Yarmouth Playhouse, the new theatre and performance center of the Royal River Community Players.

$2,000 Grant—Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland (Westbrook) – will be used to allow for the presentation of the Toddler Storytime program, which offers a hands-on, exploration of the shelter.

About Town & Country Federal Credit Union
As Maine’s second largest credit union with nearly 40,000 members, Town & Country is a full-service financial institution offering a wide range of financial products and services to people who live, work, go to school or worship in Cumberland and York Counties. Designated as one of Maine’s ‘Best Places to Work’ for the past eight years, the credit union has $405 million in assets, and is part of the second largest branch network in the country. To learn more, visit

The Windham Eagle presents check to Windham Veterans Association

In honor of Veterans Day, The Windham Eagle newspaper put together fundraising pages to raise money to help fun the new roof needed at the Windham Veterans Center. Through the generosity of contributing advertisers, $275 was raised. Pictured here is Melissa Carter, Sales Manager with Lorraine Glowczak, editor and Dave Tanguay of the American Legion. If you missed it, view the pages at

Windham Town Council considers proposed town hall office and marijuana licensing ordinance

By Lorraine Glowczak

The Windham Town Council held a workshop on Tuesday, November 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Town Hall in the Council Chambers room. The workshop began with a proposal sponsored by Councilor Clayton Haskell regarding the expansion of Smith Cemetery.

For a portion of that expansion, Haskell is recommending a veteran, fire and police memorial be placed near Route 202 in the southwest portion of the cemetery. “With the exception of a memorial at the veterans center and the high school, there is no town sponsored dedicated space for our veterans, police and fire personnel,” explained Haskell.
Councilor Haskell also proposed a new town hall building, to be constructed in the same portion as the memorial. “The current town hall is getting cramped,” Haskell stated, explaining that Smith cemetery is the only space the town has to expand and to build new property. He mentioned that a new town facility in this location would not change the flow of or increase traffic along Route 202. “We would simply be moving the Town Hall from one side of the road to the other.”

Haskell recommended that the current town hall be used by the Parks and Recreation Department. He suggested that if a new town hall is built, Windham contractors should be hired for the construction.
All councilors concurred that a veterans and police/fire memorial is long overdue and agreed to look into placing one in or near the suggested area.

Regarding the new town hall proposal, Councilors Nadeau, Douglass, Cummings and Maxfield suggested and recommended creating a space needs analysis prior to moving forward on any new construction. Maxfield suggested adding this topic as an agenda item at the Council’s December 7, 2019 goal setting session. All Councilors agreed.

Also discussed at Tuesday evening’s workshop was the Marijuana Licensing Ordinance Proposal. Town Planner Amanda Lessard and Town Attorney Kristen Collins spoke to the Council about the revised ordinance proposal based upon the feedback received from the Council’s October 22, 2019 meeting on this subject.

Lessard spoke briefly regarding the draft changes requested by the Council. These changes included but were not limited to the following: 1) Changes in the ordinance language specifically in terms of the denial of a license and 2) Adding a grace period of 60 days for a marijuana business operating on the effective date of the ordinance.

Lessard and Collins also sought guidance from the Council regarding marijuana cultivation facilities which include size limitations/square footage of those facilities and the district locations in which they are allowed.

The following is what was determined by the Council:
For the ED District (Enterprise Drive): A 20,000 square foot cultivation facility allowed.
For the C1 Zone – No facility allowed
In the Farm Zone – No facility allowed
In the Industrial Zone – A 7,000 square foot cultivation facility allowed.

Marijuana adult use store frontage was also discussed with Lessard asking the Council if the Council has changed opinion on this subject since its October 22nd meeting. The consensus was that they want to explore adult use in subsequent meetings. The topics will include limitations on the number of licenses as well as regulations on how to operate those storefronts.

All town council meetings are televised on public access television, Channel 7 and are posted live on Facebook. For a full detail of this meeting, please visit the town website at

November 15, 2019

Student of the Week: Jaylin Leng

Jaylin Leng, a third-grade student at Windham Primary School, is The Windham Eagle’s Student of the Week. Leng, who is nine years old, states that he enjoys playing on his iPad, watching funny videos, playing pretend and playing with his stuffies.

“I selected Jaylin because he has worked hard to improve his academics and following directions,” stated Principal, Dr. Karl Rhoads. “He has made tremendous growth as a learner!”

Leng said his greatest accomplishment is being a good swimmer. The people who have  meant the most to his education are his friend, Matthew, his teachers and his family What makes learning fun for Leng is recess and playtime because they “make everything fun.”

Leng lives at home with his mommy, Shawna, his daddy, Geno along with his brother, Leelin and two pit bulls, Navi and Champ.

Favorite subject: PE which Physical Education
Favorite movie:  SpongeBob Movie
Favorite holiday:  Christmas

Sebago Lake Rotary club to host another speaker event

Many people underestimate how much money they will spend on healthcare during their retirement. Taking the time now to budget for healthcare costs can help you maintain the lifestyle you want in retirement. Join the Sebago Lake Rotary Club and Edward Jones Financial Advisor, Mark Morrison as they host a workshop luncheon on Tuesday, November 19th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Windham Veterans Center, 35 Memorial Drive in Windham.

In this workshop, you’ll learn how to estimate your future healthcare costs and create income to help you cover some of these expenses. Other discussion topics will include the rising cost of healthcare and its impact on retirement savings, ways to estimate your future healthcare costs in retirement Medicare Parts A, B, C and D coverage and costs as well as creating income to help cover some healthcare costs during retirement.

Seating is limited so register today at A $10 must be ordered when registering and paid at the door on the day of the event. Deadline is Saturday, November 16th.

A special thanks to the following sponsors: Prudential, Edward Jones, First Light Home Care, Olsen Insurance and

RAA discovers the very best of how art networking in the community creates the sharing of talent for all to enjoy

By Mary-Therese Duffy

The Raymond Arts Alliance (RAA) is completing its second year as an organization and entering its third. We couldn’t be more grateful to the community for helping us close these last months with the realization of what has been the primary goal of the RAA:  someone in the community knows somebody else in the community, who knows another somebody, who will be visiting the community and thinks:  wouldn’t it be great if we could share them with our friends and neighbors?  This has been an RAA goal, a vision, a plea in our advertising and signup sheets and now, it’s a wonderful reality!
Joni and Olivia Harms with Don Roy and
Jay Young of the Don Roy Ensemble

It went like this:  Selectman Marshall Bullock, husband to Rhonda Bullock learned the marvelous Country Music duo, Joni and Olivia Harms, were visiting the area and spoke of it with an RAA volunteer and member. 

“Do you think we could have a show here, ummm - on a Thursday [October 24, 2019]?”  Not the best of nights to ask people to come out for an event, but given it was a community member’s idea, it was as they say, a no brainer. Then RAA learned who the Harms’ were. The duo are a seriously talented and deep hearted pair whose originals and covers have been bringing them to enthusiastic audiences, literally, all around the world. Joni, is a rancher, still devotedly homesteading her great, great grandfather’s Oregon land, and credits this as the source of her inspiration.  Indeed, it has also brought her to the Grand Ole Opry and to Carnegie Hall. 

A full discography of some 13 CD’s her work has been hailed by Country Music People Magazine as “some of the very best country songs of recent years” and Joni herself as “one of country music’s most underrated writers." 

Her daughter, Olivia, has been honing her own musical craft, with a deftness and talent that is clearly gaining traction. RAA were by turn, delighted, amused, introspective, and moved by their incredible harmonies, heartfelt lyrics, and true to the bone, authenticity. And honestly, Joni’s tribute to Merle Haggard, brought his presence right into the room.

But, of course, true to Country Music, this is not where the richness ends. Bringing it all back home: Rhonda Bullock, while visiting this mother/daughter dynamo some time ago, shared a tribute she had written to her own grandfather with them. Imagine if someone puts the most thoughtful, loving words about the enormous impact on themselves, family and community by a dearly missed and true giant of a man, then puts it to the simplest and sweetest melody, and gifts it to the most skilled harmonizers, who can not only deliver tenderness, but raise it unequivocally in an audience’s experience. Well, if you can imagine all of that, you have a taste of the sincerity, beauty and sweet joy that visibly moved our local audience.

All because, somebody knew someone who knew somebody else, who - and there it goes; and lucky for Raymond, right to the RVCC stage.

High School student explores the medical field

By Lanet Hane

Maine is in need of an increasing number of medical professionals at all levels, and Maine Medical is hoping to interest more high school students in the profession through its Medical Explorer’s program.

Abigail Nelson and others learning about the
role of an EMT
The Medical Explorer’s program is a free, 8-week program hosted by Maine Medical as part of their overall pipeline program. It is an opportunity for high school students interested in a variety of medical careers to learn more about a wide range of opportunities and what is involved in the day-to-day life of those occupations.

Abbey Nelson is a Windham High School student who made it into this program this fall, “I talked to a lot of seniors who had shadow experiences doing their Capstone projects and realized they weren’t interested in the field,” she said. “This class has been a chance for me to access professional information about the field and connect with the right people to understand whether it is for me.”

The professional information Nelson talks about is the result of a variety of guest speakers, including doctors and other health professionals who come into the 90-minute weekly classes to share about their experience in the profession. The class had also included trips to a simulation lab at a college and the fire department.

Alongside clear information about the life of individuals in health occupations, participants have the chance to hear from college staff who explain the process of getting into medical school and help students understand the steps they need to take to be prepared and get into the programs of their choice.

“The chance to network in this program has been so valuable,” Nelson stated. “Because of new connections, I am now considering attending USM, which wasn’t even on my radar before.”

Because of how interactive and helpful it is, the program fills up quickly each session. Luckily for Abbey, once she was accepted into the fall session, she now has the choice to return in the spring session. She plans to do so; “An extra 90-minute class once a week doesn’t sound exciting, but once you get into the program, you’ll understand. This class has helped me see what a rewarding career I can have in the medical field, and I am excited to dive even deeper this spring.”

Hundreds of “Superheroes” gather at RTT benefit

Last month, over 400 people attended the 12th Annual Triple B ~ Boots, Band & BBQ and grossed over $200,000 to benefit the clients, horses and programs of Riding To The Top Therapeutic Riding Center (RTT).

This year’s events paid homage to the many “RTT Superheroes” - riders, horses, volunteers, longtime supporters and the evening’s guests and sponsors. Superheroes like Denny of DennyMike’s BBQ who served another delicious and abundant barbeque to the hungry crowd. This was his 10th year and many said the food was the “best ever”! Other superheroes of the night included popular local band Under The Covers, auctioneer Elizabeth Holmstrom (dressed in a wonder woman costume) and emcee Michelle Taylor of 99.9 The Wolf, all who donated their time, talent and superpowers to the evening.
Saint Joseph's baseball team volunteers

However, the crowd soon learned the most powerful superheroes at RTT are the courageous clients and the horses they team up with at the center. Scott Wentzell, parent of a longtime RTT rider shared his family’s story and the role RTT horses have provided in their son’s journey. Wentzell noted, “It’s about a connection to these amazing horses. A connection is that based in science, but also seems to have equal parts spiritual and emotional thrown in as well. It’s a connection that is so easy to see, even if it is hard to really understand”.

RTT Executive Director, Sarah Bronson, thanked the many sponsors and volunteers that make the event such a success sharing that “This event is all about community – we receive tremendous support from start to finish, but especially in the days immediately surrounding the event, to transform the riding arena for this “party with a purpose.” This year IDEXX and Martin’s Point Health Care employees joined RTT volunteers to help with set up and then again with post event “take-down.” During the event, the Volunteers in Police Services of Gorham helped direct traffic and park cars while the Saint Joseph’s College baseball team members (40 of them!) helped with food service, the auction and recycling efforts. In total, 115 volunteers contributed nearly 1,000 hours in the various stages of the event (pre-event planning, set up, night of and cleanup days post-event).

The Triple B is RTT’s largest and most important fundraiser of the year, funding over a third of annual program expenses. To date, the event has raised over $1.2 million dollars and introduced the healing power of horses to thousands of community members.

Essay competition winners and Teacher of the Year award announced at Veterans Day Ceremony

By Lorraine Glowczak

It is an annual event to honor our veterans, both past and present, who put their lives on the line so that we, as Americans, can lead the life we want with freedom and the choice of happiness. In the greater Windham area, veterans are honored every year with a Veterans Day Ceremony hosted by the Windham’s Veterans of Foreign War (VFW).

Essay winners: Brianna Johnson, Lillia Freeman and
Isabella Johnson with VFW Commander Willie Goodman
What is included in the annual event are announcements of winners to an essay contest written by local students as well as an award of a local teacher who supports veterans by educating their students on the lives of those who have served in the military.

There are two essay competitions; The Patriot’s Pen and Voice of Democracy. Both needed to include the theme, “What makes America Great.” The Patriot’s Pen competition is open to middle school students, including home schoolers, in grades six to eight in the Windham area who are required to write a 300 to 400-word essay. The winners for this year were:

Second runner up: Isabella Johnson of Windham Christian Academy who won a $100 cash award.
Winner: Lillia Freeman of Windham Christian Academy who won $150 cash award and will go on to the district competitions.

The Voice of Democracy competition is open to the high school students, grades nine through twelve, include those home schooled, in the Windham area. Students are to write and record a three to five-minute essay (on an audio CD).

The winner for this year was Brianna Johnson of Windham Christian Academy. She also won a $150 cash price and will go on to the district competitions.

Emily Stokes, sixth grade teacher at Windham Middle School won the Teacher of the Year.
The event also included guest speaker retired Navy Seal Commander Mike Wisecup who started SEALs for Sunshine to raise awareness of what Camp Sunshine can offer to military families with children facing life threatening diseases. Guest musicians were the Windham Chamber Singers. Boy Scout Troup 805 assisted the VFW with the event and refreshment preparations. 

Below is an excerpt from Brianna Johnson’s winning essay:

“Two syllables. Six letters. One word. A revolution is like a body, spiraling, forming, surging in unison, with one brain. But bodies are not all air, they have substance, they are made up of many small, immensely important, cells. People are the cells of revolution; it lacks purpose without people to push it along and yearn for it. Since there will always be people there will always be revolution. A scientist who finds a new vaccine, a child learns to walk, a program is started to feed the hungry, a student graduates college, a new discovery in medicine allows the deaf to hear, someone speaks against a norm, a soldier saves another despite the barrage of terror around them, someone stands alone on a stage with hands shaking but with a will to speak. A revolution is within the eyes of the beholder. In an army or alone, quiet or loud, long or short. Each individual person begins their own revolution, many, daily, but never ceasing. 

Nine syllables. Twenty-seven letters. Six words. This is what makes America great. People, and their individual views and determination in their own revolutions. None are ever too little, ever too big, all pushing us as a people to be, in its best sense, great. Or should I say it will always be, in its best sense, America.”