March 29, 2019

Rotary Club and Greater Portland Council of Government get businesses talking

Transportation was one of the subjects discussed
By Matt Pascarella

The Sebago Lake Rotary Club sponsored a presentation by the Greater Portland Council of Government (GPCOG), entitled ‘The Lakes Region: Today and Tomorrow’ held at the Windham Veterans Center on Thursday, March 21. The GPCOG’s executive director, Kristina Egan, was the keynote speaker and she spoke on the importance of community and businesses working together with local governments to address various issues.

Egan, a Freeport resident, has worked in the United States and abroad on the issues of: transportation, smart growth, energy, housing and climate initiatives as well as public policy.

Before she joined the coalition in 2011, Egan served as the director of the South Coast Rail project for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

The GPCOG’s vision for the future is “we are thriving economically, socially, and environmentally.” Egan presented data showing the rising cost of transportation, job growth and a worker shortage. She discussed reasons, related to income and housing, that individuals might move away from the Sebago Lakes Region.

She also brought attention to the many positives to the Sebago Lakes Region. The area has a diverse economy and growing public transportation. The Sebago Lakes Region has a strong school system with higher learning institutions (like St. Joseph’s College and University of Southern Maine) that are finding ways to integrate the community. stressed that there is a lot to be proud of and reminded attendees that it is our choice what the future holds for the region. For businesses, it’s important to have a productive, constructive relationship, she added.

She identified some of the ways a region can be made better: preserve rural areas, expand broadband access and find effective ways to manage traffic. Egan emphasized supporting local businesses by buying local. The rising problem of opioids and other drugs and the importance of finding a way to help those affected through a recovery process was discussed.

Being part of a team, like many of the businesses that were there for her presentation, is a big step toward success. government is the foundation of democracy in Maine,” Egan explained. “What we need to do is figure out how local governments can work together with the business community to make sure all our people are thriving. By creating great places and preserving our rural areas, town government has a really big role in doing those things. We know that that will be the secret of success for the future in the Sebago Lakes Region.”

Egan believes that the most important thing an individual can do is to be a cheerleader for the area. “It’s a wonderful place and we should be relentlessly positive in how we communicate about it to others,” she stated. “We need to acknowledge that we have challenges, but not dwell on them; focus on the things we can do together to create a brighter future.”

Tony Plante, Rotary Club president and GPCOG Director of Municipal Collaboration explained that The Rotary Club’s goal is to get people to start thinking, start talking about these things and begin acting. “A lot of collaboration begins with informal conversations around tables like these,” he said. “I think the more we bring people together, the more we convene them around issues of regional importance, the more natural opportunities for people to work together.”

A day in the life at the State House: Details – it’s all about details

Rep. Mark Bryant and Lorraine Glowczak
By Lorraine Glowczak

For those who have been following my legislative “shadowing” series, you are aware it is my intention to better inform myself of the procedures and daily activities during this legislative session.
It is my hope that by sharing my experiences, I can “bring” a visit to those who are unable to travel to Augusta and watch their legislators in action. It is here I will do my best to communicate the day to day policy-making intricacies of those we elected to serve us in Augusta.

In the March 8 edition, I shared my first adventure with Rep. Sue Austin (Republican. District 67 that includes portions of Gray, Raymond, Casco and all of Frye Island) and then in the afternoon, I witnessed Rep. Fay in action (March 15 edition). It was my first experience of observing committee work in action and the process of creating a bill. “This is where the song, ‘I'm just a bill’ from the old Saturday morning cartoons of the early 1970s comes in handy,” she said to me as I shadowed her that afternoon. bill making process solidified itself as I followed Rep. Mark Bryant (Democrat. Representing part of Windham) on Thursday, March 14.

My day with Rep. Bryant began at 12:30 p.m. as I sat in the House gallery observing the various bills being considered and voted on for movement to the Senate.

While sitting in the gallery trying to follow the fast-moving parts of the House session, somehow – and much like the other representatives I have visited thus far, Rep. Bryant took time to visit me away from his seat downstairs to explain certain procedures that were occurring. I have always admired our Windham and Raymond delegates for their acts of civility, but the time they take to explain details to me without condescension, pretention or arrogance, has deepened my appreciation for them.

The House session ended around 1:30 p.m. It was then that Rep. Bryant and I moved across the State House where I got to witness the public comment portion of the Transportation Committee, of which there were many issues brought to the committee members’ attention. As we were walking to the Transportation Committee room, I asked Rep. Bryant how legislators are appointed to their committees. “Because I live near Route 302, River Road and other major roads in the area that are well-traveled, I stated my interest and was appointed.” to, “Most legislators are assigned to one or more joint standing committees, which are responsible for analyzing and making recommendations on bills, making periodic evaluations of agency performance and structure, reviewing major agency rules and reviewing certain gubernatorial appointments. Generally, a committee holds a public hearing on each bill referred to it. Committee work sessions are held after the hearing, and committee members vote on each bill. The vote on a bill is a recommendation for final action that is reported to the full Legislature for consideration. Legislative staff offices provide legislators and committees with assistance in analyzing the bills and the potential policy, legal and fiscal implications of enactment.”

As stated, the members of the Transportation Committee heard many concerns from constituents across the state, legislators as well as from the Maine Department of Transportation on the day of my visit. Of the many issues brought to the committee’s attention, there were two that deserve some consideration.

The first issue was the LD 688 – the Bill to Resolve, Directing the Department of Transportation to Convene a Work Group To Study Improving Traffic Safety for Color-blind Drivers. there were many individuals who spoke to the committee about this bill on both sides, an individual who is color-blind shared his personal experience. “Imagine being a passenger in a car being driven by a color-blind person,” he began. “You are likely to be asked, ‘what color is that light’ and before you can figure out what the question is all about, you’re through the red light.” The constituent further stated that he would be happy to assist a work and study group with the Department of Transportation to focus on improving designs, shapes and colors that would prove to be beneficial for all travelers.

Another issue that may not seem important to towns with larger populations across the state, but is an important issue for a small community that relies on tourism for economic development is the bill LD 850 – Resolve, Directing the Department of Transportation to Erect Signs on Interstate 95 to Island Falls.

Representative Steven Stanley (Democrat representing EastMillinocket/ Medway/ Millinocket/Patten/ Herseytown Township/ Long A/ Long A Township) asked the transportation committee to consider a small Maine town community and what it has to offer tourists. “……every vehicle passing Island Falls on I-95 is a lost opportunity for the town’s businesses. If tourists saw a recreation sign, they would be more likely to get off at the Island Falls exits and spend an afternoon enjoying Please Pond, some time on the Mattawamkeag River, go to the Tingley House to rent an ATV for the afternoon and hit some trails. However, without a sign promoting the town’s recreation opportunities, tourists simply drive by the town.” is putting a simple sign on I-95 an issue? According to a state law, in order to have signage, it is required (among other standards) that: “A geographical area contains at least 15 of the 19 activities/attractions determined by [attachment to state law]…..” Basically, the Island Falls exit on I-95 does not meet the standards of placing a sign to advertise their recreational opportunities, and thus, also providing economic development to their businesses.

“Can we take a closer look at this and find a way to help this small community?” Senator Diamond and Chair of the Transportation Committee asked the Maine Department of Transportation representative. She agreed that she would do her best, under state law, to help this small-town Maine community.

What did I learn this time around? Details – there are so many details our legislators must consider. There are certain restraints placed by laws already established that not necessarily fit all the needs of Maine communities (while supporting other important issues – such as the beauty of Maine.) Details. So many details.

The next time someone states to me their disappointment or dismay about the legislative process, I will question how much they have sought to understand the details.

I have two more shadowing adventures coming my way in late April and early May with both Rep. Patrick Corey and Senator Bill Diamond. I’m told that’s when major bill making processes occur. “It will be really exciting,” the representative and senator both told me.

Renys celebrates a great Maine adventure with their customers

It’s their birthday, but you get the presents! Renys opened its doors 70 years ago, and they are celebrating their spectacular customers and incredible employees at each of their 17 locations throughout 2019 – starting in Damariscotta, where the adventure began in 1949!

Stop by the Windham store and put your name in the basket to win more than $500 worth of Renys great merchandise from Carhartt, Smartwool, Bob’s Red Mill, and your choice of all the other great brands with a $50 gift card!

You don’t have to be present to win – but hurry!  The drawing ends on Saturday, April 13th, and the winner will be chosen on Sunday, April 14th. Thank you for shopping at Renys, and for being the reason for our success!

Sebago Lakes Region Chamber and Lakes Region delegates to host legislative forum this Saturday

All Lakes Region entrepreneurs, business owners, local government officials and the general public are invited to participate in the 2019 Legislative Forum sponsored by the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce (SLRCC) and Lakes Region Delegates to be held this Saturday, March 30 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Alfond Center on the Saint Joseph’s College of Maine Campus, 278 Whites Bridge Road in Standish.

“Based upon the success of the last couple of years, we want to give business owners and others access to their delegate to discuss concerns related to doing business in the Sebago Lakes region,”stated Executive Director of SLRCC, Lynn Mansfield. “It is also an opportunity for delegates to meet with their constituents.”

Among possible topics and discussion items that may impact local businesses include, but are not limited to, workforce and labor shortages, minimum wage, broadband access and marijuana legalization.

“We have invited all delegates from across the Lakes Region to participate in this forum,” Mansfield said. “The legislative panel will include Susan Austin (R), Mark Bryant (D), Patrick Corey (R), Jessica Fay (D), Bill Diamond (D) and Walter Riseman (I).

The morning will begin with a meet and greet style of networking at 10 a.m. that will include coffee and pastries. This will be followed by the panel discussion and question/answer session from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

To RSVP to the event, contact Mansfield at or 207-892-8265. If you are just learning about this event and aren’t able to register, feel free to join the event anyway.

Those who wish to be included in future announcements such as these, should follow the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce on Facebook or sign up for their e-newsletter on the homepage of their website:

Windham Middle School seventh grader headed to National Geographic GeoBee state finals

By Craig Bailey

On Friday, March 29 Windham Middle School seventh grader, Caden Violette, will be heading to the state finals for the 2019 National Geographic GeoBee.

For the 31st year, the National Geographic Society is holding the GeoBee for students in the fourth through eighth grades. Thousands of schools are competing in this year’s contest from across the United States and the five U.S. territories.

Caden Violette. Submitted photo.
The National Geographic Society developed the GeoBee in 1989 in response to concern about the lack of geographic knowledge among young people in the U.S. Over more than three decades, 120 million students have participated in the GeoBee.

Violette mentioned, “My understanding of geography stemmed from an interest in history. I really enjoy knowing about the past. On hearing the names of various places, I wanted to know where they were and how these countries interacted geographically, not just politically.”

When asked what transpired to get him to this point, Violette stated, “I heard about the GeoBee over the intercom last year. I was interested, did some studying, and came in fourth. This year I started preparing in October. I feel like that preparation definitely helped.”

The qualification process began with all students participating in a written test. The students who qualified then participated in the school finals, similar to a classic spelling bee. There were a few rounds for which each student was asked a question. Then, the top two moved on to the school championship round where each finalist was provided a written question, they both had to answer. The final question was: There is a skiing competition that takes place in the Scandinavian country with the highest population. What country is that? The answer: Sweden.

Violette, the Windham Middle School champion, after answering the above question correctly, will now move on to the state level contest taking place at the University of Maine, in Farmington, on March 29. This event includes the top 100 qualifiers for the state.

When asked how he prepared, Violette responded, “I used the NatGeo website which shows maps, country names as well as questions similar to what would be asked in the contest. In addition, I studied the World Atlas.”

In providing guidance to other students who may participate in this contest in the future, Violette had a few suggestions. “Don’t just focus on the map, its lines, stars and dots,” he began. “Study cultures and other things that have to do with the country. Learn why the boundary lines exist and where the capitals are, about the habitat and ecosystems. It is much more than knowing the capitals of the 50 states. And, you’ll want to start practicing a month or two before the school qualifiers. That way, when you get into further rounds you’ve had more practice.”

Violette shared a profound perspective when asked how he felt this contest and the accumulated knowledge would benefit his life. “I feel like knowing our world, not just how it works scientifically, can have a major effect on how we decide to live our lives,” he stated. “This includes things like voting. It all comes down to how it impacts our culture.”

During the interview, Violette’s teacher Mrs. Roberts stopped by to indicate, “I am privileged to have Mr. Violette as an excellent student in my class.”

When asked, “Do you believe you can win the overall contest,” Violette humbly responded, “Well, I’m not sure what the competition looks like, but I’ll do my best.”

March 22, 2019

State computer crimes unit needs a boost

By Sen. Bill Diamond

Right now, at the Maine State Police’s Computer Crimes Unit a stack of computers and other electronic devices is gathering dust in a storage room.

These devices contain evidence in cases in which a computer was used in committing a crime, or in cases where the computer was a target of a criminal act. Currently, there are 85 cases in this backlog, most of which originated between 2015 and 2017 and about half of which pertain to the exploitation of children, such as child pornography or an individual soliciting sex with a minor.
To be clear, this means that criminal child predators are out on the streets and on the web, evading justice and possibly plotting their next attack.

Unfortunately, this issue is nothing new—the Bangor Daily News reported in 2012 that the Computer Crimes Unit had a backlog of 156 cases. The progress made since then is a credit to the hard work of the analysts in the unit. However, more and more crimes are being committed using computers, and technology improvements have increased the complexity of cases handled by the unit, so analysts are facing an uphill battle.

At the root of this problem is the chronic underfunding and understaffing of the unit.

I’ve been working with the State Police and the Computer Crimes Unit for 15 years, trying to secure the appropriate funds to analyze the backlog of evidence against several child predators so we can rescue the children who are being used to produce child pornography videos for sale online. There have been proposals in past years to bump up funding for the unit, and through our piece-meal efforts small increases in funding have occurred, but our call to address the full need of this important unit has fallen on deaf ears in both Republican and Democratic administrations alike.
That could change this year.

After strategic planning sessions this fall, it was decided that we should approach Gov. Janet Mills to see if she would include in her budget the needed funding to reorganize the entire Computer Crimes Unit, adding the necessary forensic analysts and detectives to get the evidence backlog analyzed and sent to prosecutors for arrests.

Gov. Mills recognized the seriousness of the child pornography and exploitation problem and agreed to include in her budget seven new positions at the unit. These positions will include a new analyst and an administrative assistant to help take some non-investigative work off current analysts’ plates. 

With new funding, the unit will work to create an affiliate program which would work with local authorities to help identify and investigate more child sexual abuse cases. The unit will also add three new detectives, which will increase the volume of cases it is able to take on. A new quality control position will also be added.

We cannot continue to put the financial squeeze on this critical investigative unit.

Underfunding its work jeopardizes the safety of children in Maine and across the globe who are either being sexually abused now or are at risk of becoming victims in the near future if we allow child predators to continue to walk free among us.

We’ve never addressed this problem the way we should, and we cannot wait any longer. If not now, when?

If you have any ideas, questions or concerns, please feel free to contact my office at
287-1515 or I work for you and my line is always open.

Area sportsmen’s’ clubs to host Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Commissioner

Judy Camuso
Three area sportsmen’s clubs; Naples based Sebago Lake Anglers’ Association, Windham-Gorham Rod and Gun Club, and Standish Fish and Game Club will jointly host Commissioner Judy Camuso of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife for a Sportsmen’s Forum. The Forum will be held Wednesday, March 27 at 6:30 p.m. at the Windham-Gorham club house 8 Tow Path Road in Gorham.

The purpose of a Sportsman’s Forum is two-fold. It gives area sportsmen and women an opportunity to express their concerns and ask their questions directly to the one person who can greatly affect policy and rulemaking for the Department. For the commissioner, it gives her an opportunity to communicate directly with her “constituents” and to engage with the public on a whole range of issues.

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a spaghetti dinner complete with salad, garlic bread, and dessert plus coffee, tea, and soft drinks. A donation of $5 for those intending to dine at the club is appreciated.

If there is a rule or regulation that you have never completely understood or a change that you would like to see to IF&W regulations, this would be a good time to come ask it. The event is open to the public with adequate free parking and handicap access and toilet facilities. For more information, call Bob Chapin 571 217-1700 or 207-655-1028.

Raymond student chosen as delegate to represent Scouts BSA in Washington DC

Isabella Messer
Isabella Messer, a local Raymond fifth grader, was chosen as one of twelve delegates to represent over two million Scouts from Boy Scouts of America in Washington D.C. last week.

Section 8 of the BSA's 1916 congressional charter requires the BSA to present an annual report to Congress. The BSA maximizes this opportunity by selecting youth delegates from across the country to hand-deliver the report to key officials in the executive, legislative and judicial branches. Due to security risks and upon the request of the leadership of the delegation, the scouts are unable to reveal the itinerary of the delegation prior to the departure.

The following link will give you detail information about the Report to the Nation, including information on the 12 individual delegates (two from Maine), and highlights the meetings with numerous government officials. The link will also highlight the visit to the U.S. Naval Academy, and private tours of places such as the Supreme Court and the Pentagon as well as visiting George Washington's home and laying a wreath in his crypt, participating in a service project at the Korean War Veterans Memorial and the privilege of visiting the Oval office to meet the President of the United States.

Photos of the week can be found on flicker at was one of the founding members of Pack 51 Windham, Maine's first family Scouting Pack, Kindergarten to fifth grade. She was also a founding member Scout Troop 851 in Raymond, Maine's first female troop to cross over into Scouts at 12:01 a.m. on February 1, the very first day Boy Scouts of America allowed girls to join and one of the first Troops in the nation due to the east coast position
and time zone.

Messer also broke history going to Washington D.C. on the delegation as one of the first female delegates representing Scouts BSA as a Cub Scout. She was the youngest member of the delegation and significantly added to the teams’ representation.

Books, Bytes and Bagels: Educators maximize learning

Michelle Lane and Natalie Skovran setting up in the MakerSpace
for Books, Bytes and Bagels.
By Matt Pascarella

The fourth annual Books, Bytes and Bagels took place at Windham High School Library on Friday, March 15. Librarian Kristin Chavonelle said the event started as an advocacy attempt; to showcase how the library can assist teachers in the classroom. The librarians create opportunities for teachers who have used library resources in the classroom to explain the benefits to those teachers who haven’t used the library as a resource to help supplement their curriculum.

“It’s best [that the information] comes from the teachers themselves, as it is much more effective,” explained Chavonelle. “There are a lot of really good conversations among the teachers about what works. It’s really hard to get the word out and provide the ideas as to what teachers can do to revamp their classroom curriculum for projects.” event featured several stations that showcased many of the tools the library uses to teach students how to better use technology, not Facebook, to function in the 21st century.

How does the library assist teachers and other educators? Teachers approach the librarian with a lesson or project and together, they collaborate, brainstorm and find a way to incorporate community members and come up with modified lesson plans.

Chavonelle also teaches lessons on how to use databases, how to do a good google search and determine if a site is credible.

Health teacher, Melissa Dubois demonstrated a digital portfolio where students can organize all the standards they’ve met, or begun meeting, since seventh grade through senior year. This is also a great resource for the Capstone project.

“It’s amazing how easy it is; it allows us to be teachers,” Dubois says.

Another great library resource, The MakerSpace, is a creative place for students to print projects in 3-D, learn coding through robots as well as other tech-oriented activities that can assist students post high school.

“The ultimate goal is to have kids creating things with technology. It’s vitally important for kids to be developing critical and sequential thinking and to be getting interested in the backend of computers because everyone can Facebook, everyone can Instagram or Snapchap,” observed Tech Integrator, Natalie Skovran. “However, that’s not going to help them with their skills moving forward.
Top job traits are: can you work together? Can you problem solve? And The MakerSpace will help students develop those traits.”

The event was successful for educators and librarians, alike, and there are plans for another Books, Bytes, and Bagels next year, making it their fifth annual event.

March 15, 2019

Free “Irish” community meal at Raymond Village Community Church

The Raymond Village Community Church (UCC) will offer another free Community Meal as a post St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Corned Beef & Cabbage will be served from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20 at 27 Main Street in Raymond.

But there may be one surprise to some - the famous St. Paddy’s Day Irish Corned Beef and Cabbage is actually an American dish! While the Irish did have a boiled meal, the meat was usually a cut of pork called “Irish Bacon” – with pork being much cheaper than beef in Ireland at the time.  However, when the Irish came to the U.S., beef was cheaper, and “corned” beef was substituted, becoming wildly popular throughout New England.   

Whether you’re Irish, a multi-generational Mainer, or anyone in the area who enjoys really good food and a great time, the church cordially invites you to celebrate community at a free community
friendship meal on the first day of Spring.

“Come one, come all. All are welcome in this place”, stated RVCC Pastor, Rev. Nancy Foran.  “We’re starting small, but our goal is to have everyone in the area – Raymond and beyond – to attend these meals and in the process to feel more a part of this wonderful region of Maine.”

For further information, contact Rev. Foran at or at 207-655-7749.

Black Box Teens present “Truly Talented Kids”

Most parents know that if you put a group of talented kids together, eventually they will want to put on a show for friends and family.  At Schoolhouse Arts Center, the Black Box Teens have taken this to a whole new level.

On March 15-17, the talented teenagers at Schoolhouse will perform their fourth annual cabaret-style, “Truly Talented Kids”. This is nothing like the kid’s shows that you have witnessed in your living room. This is a true cavalcade of local talent. It will entertain the adults and inspire the teenagers of our community. For the fourth year in a row, the Black Box Teens have put together a show that will truly impress any audience. It will include musical covers, dance numbers, comedians, and even American Sign Language. For everyone in the audience, it will be a memorable evening.

But for the Black Box Teens it is an opportunity to perform the skills and talents that they have developed throughout the year. This is a show scripted, produced, costumed, teched, and directed by the teens themselves. At a ticket price of only $8, this is a great evening of entertainment and a real opportunity to support the teens of our community. In an age where the news often focuses on teen
problems, our community is fostering a larger and larger group of local teens who want to display their positive skills and talents.

“Truly Talented Kids” will take to the stage on Friday, March 15 and Saturday March 15 – both evenings at 7 p.m. A matinee will be performed on Sunday March 17 at 2 p.m. at Schoolhouse Arts Center, 16 Richville Rd.  (Route 114) in Standish. You can make reservations to see the Black Box Teens perform by visiting the Schoolhouse Arts Center website at

A day in the life at the State House: The ability to bilocate is handy for legislators during committee meetings

Rep. Jessica Fay and Lorraine Glowczak
By Lorraine Glowczak

As I stated last week, (March 8 edition, page 8), it is my intention to better inform myself of the procedures and daily activities during the legislative sessions. As a result, I’ve asked the Raymond and Windham delegates if I could shadow them for part of their day. They all responded immediately with open arms.

It is my hope that by sharing my experiences, I can “bring” a visit to those who are unable to travel to Augusta and watch their legislators in action. It is here I will do my best to communicate the day to day policy-making intricacies of those we elected to serve us in Augusta.

Last week I shared my first adventure with Rep. Sue Austin (Republican. District 67 that includes portions of Gray, Raymond, Casco and all of Frye Island), I spent the morning of Thursday, February 28 shadowing her and learned that flexibility is needed during legislative sessions as the day’s agenda changes quickly. I also learned that a minor shift in language can completely change the meaning of a bill.

After my morning exploration with Rep. Austin came to an end at 1 p.m., I met up with Rep. Jessica Fay (Democrat. District 66, representing parts of Casco, Poland and Raymond).

We had been communicating all morning via text messaging because, as stated previously, adaptability comes with the territory in the constantly changing legislative environment. We initially were going to meet at 11 a.m. and was I going to observe her during the Environmental Priorities Coalition lunch that was going to meet between 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. But I had not even left my home in Windham yet, when I received this message from Rep. Fay, “Hi Lorraine,
My committee was just invited to lunch with the Speaker. Unfortunately, the press isn't invited.
It should be about an hour. We can chat about it after session. Lots happening today.”
At a break during the morning House Session, Rep. Fay took some time to visit me in the gallery to speak to me for a few minutes.

It was during this few quick uninterrupted moments that I learned Rep. Fay is on two committees (Environment and Natural Resources committee as well as the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife committee and she is also the co-chair of the Caucus on Aging.) “Aging well is one issue that I'm working on, especially as co-chair of the bipartisan Legislative Caucus on Aging,” she explained. “Economic abuse is another issue that I'm working on. Both are issues I hear a lot about from constituents.”

http://www.rsu14.orgAt 1 p.m., when we finally met up for good. I attended the Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) where I observed Rep. Fay in action. It seems the afternoons are the times when all committees meet. Being my first time to watch legislative committees in action, Rep. Fay explained to me the process; “A committee schedules a public hearing where the bill sponsor (a legislator) introduces the bill - and then other legislators, members of the public, departmental staff and lobbyists can weigh in. A week or so later there is a scheduled work session where the committee and its staff analyst go through the testimony, make changes, ask further questions and decide if the bill is worthwhile of moving onto the full legislature.”

Afternoon committee times, I discovered, are when legislators sometime must be in two places at once.

While ENR was listening to testimonies, it just so happened that the Health and Human Services Committee was having a scheduled work session. One bill that was scheduled for that session, was a bill Rep. Fay sponsored, LD 583 - “Resolve, directing the Department of Health and Human Services To Study the State’s Long-term Services and Supports System for Older Adults,” (this includes both home and community based services for older people and assisted living, nursing home and other institutional care)

So how does a legislator bilocate? Easy. She notifies the aid. In this case, Rep. Fay spoke to the aid of the Health and Human Services (HHS) committee prior to the meetings to notify her when the bill LD583, was about to be considered.

As a result, while in the middle of hearing testimony from a sponsor of the bill, LD 450 - An Act To Increase Funding for the St. Croix International Waterway Commission, Rep. Fay was notified it that was time to speak to the HHS committee. We left ENR, and I witnessed Rep. Fay provide the additional information required from her by the HHS committee.

When we returned to ENR, the committee was on to discussing another bill, LD 621 - An Act To Prohibit Extruded Polystyrene Food Service Containers.

Because I missed the hearings and part of the committee’s discussion on this bill, I have decided to follow it to the end. It will be the first time I will witness a bill from the beginning to its completion. 

For clarification on this bill and the next step, Rep. Fay stated in an email, “The next step will be a language review with our committee staff, and then the bill will be sent off to the Clerk of the House to be placed on the House Calendar, where it will be debated (or passed without debate) and then it goes to the Senate for debate, then back to the House for concurrence. Then back to the Senate and to the House for final enactment if it passes, then to the Governor. This is where the song, ‘I'm just a bill’ from the old Saturday morning cartoons comes in handy.”

Although it is true that the day was a bit chaotic, Rep. Fay pointed out that not all days are like that – and even when they are - there is a process in the chaos and everyone is focused and does a good job, despite the frenzy.

Next week, I will share my adventure with Rep. Mark Bryant.

LED street lights are being considered in Raymond

By Lorraine Glowczak

Finding ways to balance a responsible budget and spend less on required items is often a challenge for most municipal communities, and the town of Raymond is no exception. As a result, the town is in the process of working with the communities of Windham, Gorham and Standish to cut costs that stem from energy and electricity consumption produced through essential street lights by converting them to LED street technology.

“We are working in conjunction with Windham, Standish and Gorham to provide more cost effective and energy saving street lighting by installing LED technology,” stated Raymond Town Manager, Don Willard. “As a part of the cost saving efforts, we are working with consultant REALTERM Energy, a company that works closely with municipalities to install reliable and affordable LED lighting upgrades, often providing the service to groups of towns working together.” In this case, the collective buying will be a result of the collaboration between the four Lakes Region towns.

Although the exact cost savings are still being analyzed and precise numbers will be available soon, Willard said that LED lighting requires far less energy, using only 15 percent of what an incandescent bulb uses, and thus providing a steep and long-term cost savings for the town.

Kaela Gonzalez, Administrative Assistant to Willard, is coordinating the research and collecting both energy use and financial data with the town’s Financial Director, Cathy Ricker. So far, she has created an inventory of all the street lights in Raymond. “There are 235 street lamps the town pays for,” Gonzalez began. “Of all those lights, we have determined that there would be an immediate cost savings by converting 112 of the street lamps to LED lights.”

“We identified those 112 street lights as easy conversions with the highest cost rate savings,” Gonzalez explained. “We are not considering the decorative street lamps as it is not cost effective to change those lamps to LED at this time, however changing all the lamps over to LED should be looked at eventually”

At the present time, the current street lights are operated and maintained by Central Maine Power (CMP). “The Town of Raymond pays CMP to lease the lights as well as the delivery of the power,” explained Willard. “We also are in communication with CMP to see if continuing to work with them might be more cost effective. They have stated that we would see a 30% decrease in cost if we converted to their LED program.”

The question Willard, Gonzalez and Ricker must consider as they continue their research and data collection is whether or not to maintain the relationship with CMP, leasing the lights while paying for the energy or if the REALTIME Energy conversion to town ownership and maintenance might be in the town’s best interests.

One positive with CMP is that the company will maintain the lights as part of the package costs. With the REALTIME Energy proposal the Town will own the lights but must find a company or contractor to maintain the street lights. “With LED technology, however, we have to factor in that maintenance will be required much less often than our current lighting system due to the expected design life of the luminaire which can exceed 100,000 hours before burning out,” Willard said.

In addition to cost savings and energy efficiency, LED lights provide directional lighting which puts the actual light where it is needed for public safety and also reduces night sky light pollution. Another major factor is that the new lights can be programable. “We would be able to program a specific street lamp for light intensity or perhaps to blink at the location of an accident.” Willard began. “I don’t know if we would want or choose to do all that, but the point is, we could if we wanted to with an LED lighting system for additional energy savings or public safety.”

Once the data and statistics are determined, the options will be presented to the Raymond Board of Selectmen to consider and vote upon.

Other towns in Maine that have converted to or are in the process of converting to LED lamp lighting includes Presque Ise, Biddeford, Portland, South Portland, Wells, Dover-Foxcroft, Fort Kent, Houlton, Rockland, Falmouth and Caribou to name just a few. All these municipalities worked with REALTERM Energy.

“All the cool kids use LED,” joked Gonzalez. “Perhaps we should consider it, too.”

March 8, 2019

Community support is requested for Boys and Girls State

American Legion Post 148 has been providing information articles in this paper to generate interest
on the part of our local area High School Juniors to attend their respective Boys or Girls State Conventions.

This is a great opportunity for these young men and women to be introduced to the workings of government on the local, and state level. The American Legion Post 148 and its Auxiliary have been sponsoring these opportunities for over seventy years. In recent years there have been more interested students then the Post and auxiliary have funding for.
Unfortunately, the Post and Auxiliary resources limit sponsorship to three girls and three boys.  In past years we were able to send additional students due to the generosity of members of the local business community who took up the challenge and sponsored a student. 

The Post would like to extend an invitation again this year to any citizen, organization or business who would like to ensure that a girl or boy from our junior class community has the opportunity to see first-hand our democracy in action. 

Full sponsorship for Boys State is $300 (as has been for the past five years) and Girls State is $320 (last three years). Full or partial funding would be greatly appreciated. 

Please contact Finance Officer and Post Adjutant, Dave Tanguay at 892-1306 if you have questions or can sponsor a candidate to this worthy cause.  If you would prefer to remain anonymous, you may send a check to American Legion Post 148, PO Box 1776, Windham, Maine, 04062. (mark Boys State or Girls State). Thank you.

Sen. Diamond bill to strengthen “move over law” gets public hearing

AUGUSTA — A bill sponsored by Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, to strengthen protections for police, emergency responders and road workers received a public hearing on Thursday, Feb. 28 at the Legislature’s Transportation Committee, which Sen. Diamond chairs.

The bill, LD 546 “An Act To Enhance Highway Safety by Strengthening the So-called Move Over Law” increases the minimum fine for passing a stationary emergency or public service vehicles with its emergency or service lights on from $250 to $350.

“The ‘move over law’ keeps police, emergency responders and public service workers safe while they do their jobs,” said Sen. Diamond.  “I hope this bill can serve as the start of a conversation about strengthening safety protections for those who keep us safe.”

In December of last year two Maine State Troopers were injured, in two separate accidents a week apart, when their cruisers were struck by passing vehicles. These incidents caused Maine State Police to step up their enforcement of the “move over law.”

LD 546 faces further action in the Transportation Committee, as well as votes in the Maine House and Senate.

Rotary announces community business luncheon

The Sebago Lake Rotary Club is pleased to announce a March 21 lunch to be held at the Windham Veterans Center, located at 35 Veterans Memorial Drive, Windham, ME (behind the Hannaford plaza, off route 302) from 11:30 a.m. until approximately 1:30 p.m.

The Rotary Club, whose purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to
provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the world, is hoping to attract local business people to join them for a presentation by the Greater Portland Council of Government’s (GPCOG) Executive Director, Ms. Kristina Egan.

The Rotary Club has invited Ms. Egan because her agency is currently working with area local governments and agencies to address issues of today, as well as making preparations for the future. Ms. Egan will be focusing her remarks on the following five topic areas: Smart Growth, Transportation, Economic Development, Energy and Public Health and their potential impact on the greater Sebago Lake business community.  (see

Tony Plante, Rotary Club president, and GPCOG’s Director of Municipal Collaboration said, “What transpires within each of these focus areas will have both immediate and future impacts on our local businesses and their ability to grow and prosper.  Having Ms. Egan share the work and thinking of the GPCOG will help local business people plan for and adapt to the likely future growth and development within our region.” 

A light lunch will be provided to attendees. The cost will be $10 per person. Ample opportunity will be available to network with attendees as well as to ask questions and voice your concerns directly with the people, like Ms. Egan, whose work today will likely affect our future business environment.
Individuals interested in attending the luncheon are urged to contact Marge Barker of the Sebago Lake Rotary Club at to reserve one or more seats. Tables, each holding up to six people, will also be available to reserve.  

Reservations are encouraged in order to get an approximate head count for the caterer, Pat’s Pizza. Attendees may pay in advance, or at the door.  Early registration is encouraged since the Veterans Center capacity for such an event is a maximum of 125 people.