May 31, 2019

National Red Nose day was celebrated at Windham Christian Academy

Students in their red noses prior to delivery to the food pantry
By Lorraine Glowczak

The students at Windham Christian Academy (WCA) were seen sporting big red noses on Thursday, May 23 as they celebrated Red Nose Day, a nationwide day set aside to bring awareness to childhood hunger. The celebration was an extension of the work the fifth and sixth-grade students have been participating in all year long with the Casco Alliance Church's Food Pantry, of which they visit twice a month. 

“Fifth and sixth-grade teacher, Mrs. Hagerstrom decided to culminate the year of service by
celebrating Red Nose Day,” stated WCA Principal, Jackie Sands. “Her students researched childhood poverty and food scarcity. They then raked leaves, picked up sticks and other yard work in order to raise funds to purchase the red noses. The class asked the rest of the students to bring in a non-food pantry items in order to receive a red nose."

Fifth-grade student, Amber Sands stated that going to the food pantry and helping people in need was a fun experience but more importantly was the discovery she made in class prior to the Red Nose delivery. "We looked up the amount of food insecure people in Windham and it was a really big number,"
Hagerstrom was able to share the statistics. “We learned that 1 in 5 children and 1 in 7 adults deal with food insecurity in the state of Maine,” she said. “We also learned that local food pantries need support, willing people to give time and resources to help their neighbors. My class learned that hard
work is made easy with many helping hands, that it feels really good to do something for someone else.” 

Not only did the students deliver the much-needed items, but they also unpacked the boxes, put food on the shelves and took out the garbage.

“We discovered that the director frequently purchases the needed food items herself and we wanted to help with this need,” Hagerstrom said. “This class ministry was something we all looked forward to. Working together for a common cause drew us closer as a class and will miss it over the summer.”

Ninth annual Pizza Challenge goes off without a hitch

Reps. Patrick Corey, Jess Fay and Mark Bryant taste testing
the pizza with Rotarian George Bartlett
Did you know that pizza is one of the most popular comfort foods and a go-to staple for quick, family-friendly meals? Statistics show that 93 percent of Americans eat at least one piece of pizza per month. Five billion pizzas are sold worldwide each year, and the United States accounts for three billion of those pizzas. The average person will eat 46 slices of pizza each year. Perhaps this is the reason locals look forward to the annual Pizza Challenge hosted by the Sebago Lake Rotary Club every year in late May.

Last Thursday, May 23 approximately 300 people attended the ninth annual Pizza Challenge. Attendees enjoyed pizza tastings from local restaurants and had a blast socializing while raising money for the club. While some of the money is used for discretionary giving, this is the one and only event which raises funds for the operations of the club.

It was a friendly rivalry among the local eateries and they all showcased their best that evening. The winner taking the title of “Best Pizza” and “Most Creative” was Beacon Pizza of Raymond. Erik's Church won “Best Meat Pizza” and Franco's Bistro won “Best Crust”. rotary would like to extend a big thank you to all that attended and supported the event along with the participating stores, restaurants and pizza places which included: Franco’s Bistro, The Beacon Pizza, Pizza Hut, Sunset Variety, Erik’s Church, Pat’s Pizza, Dominoes, Corsetti’s Westbrook and The Deck House.

Please be sure to support these local businesses while getting your monthly, weekly or even daily pizza fix. It is because of them that events like this are possible. Owning a business is tough and to take time out of their already busy schedules to support organizations like the Sebago Lake Rotary Club as well as many others is invaluable to our community.

A day at the State House with Senator Bill Diamond

By Lorraine Glowczak

It was an exciting time at the State House last Thursday, May 23 as I shadowed Sen. Bill Diamond for this “day at the State House” series. On this State House adventure, I got to experience many firsts. It was the first time I could sit in in a caucus meeting. It was the first time where I could witness other conversations and meetings take place where someone like me (“the press”) wouldn’t usually be allowed. It was also the first time I got to see activists in action as the Senate made their decision regarding the religious exemption on vaccinations. “I want you to experience it all,” Diamond said to me.  

My day with him began at 8:30 a.m. in his first-floor office, which seems to be a “front porch” of the State House. Republicans, Independent and Democrat officials seem to comfortably come and go out of his office to share tid-bits of information or tell a joke or two before the official day began (that usually occurs around 9 a.m. -give or take ½ hour depending upon the demands of everyone’s schedules.)

Anxious to discover what a caucus entailed, I looked forward to the new adventure in my State House series and hoped I didn’t let my excitement show too much. Inside I was smiling like a Cheshire cat. In fact, “caucus” felt like such a mystery to me that I had to look up the term. According to, a caucus is “an informal organization of members of the House or the Senate, or both, that exists to discuss issues of mutual concern and possibly to perform legislative research and policy planning for its members.”

And that is all it entailed. Of course, as a member of the press I was asked that no quotations be used in this article. But I must say – if I did use specific quotes – it would not have made big news and would not have turned any heads. In fact, I found the conversations to be respectful of those who were not in the room – even in the midst of different perspectives on certain subjects. Maybe they were on good behavior because of my presence (as well as the five or six other visitors in the room) but on the day of my visit - authentic, respectful and well-thought out conversations ensued.

From there – I followed Sen. Diamond up three flights of stairs and down the hallway to the Senate floor. It was an intense day and the hallway was filled with families holding signs, pleading the senators to vote in favor of religious exemptions for vaccinations. Another hot topic of the day was allowing nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurse midwives to provide abortion services.

These two issues were among a multitude of subjects the senators had to consider that day and, as a result, the House was in session for over four hours to discuss and vote on these subjects. In case you were wondering and didn’t catch the latest news updates, the Senate voted to not allow religion as an exemption of vaccinations and voted for other medical advisors as described above to perform abortions.

From the Senate floor, I then followed Sen. Diamond as we rushed back to his office where we met two representatives of the Maine State Department of Transportation. The meeting lasted for about ½ hour and then Sen. Diamond and I entered the Transportation Committee meeting of which he is the chair (and Rep. Mark Bryant is a member). I witnessed the meeting for only about 45 minutes and had to leave at 3:15 p.m. Neither Sen. Diamond or I had eaten in almost 7 hours, and I was starving. 

But luckily for me, I had a meeting at 4:30 at an outdoor restaurant in Portland. It was the first morsel of food I had all day and I wondered how Sen. Diamond was faring without food as I ate my first French fry along the shores of Casco bay. “Had he had a chance to eat yet,” I wondered.

This is the last of this State House series and I have had the honor to follow Rep. Sue Austin and Rep. Jess Fay of Raymond as well as Rep. Mark Bryant and Rep. Patrick Corey of Windham. They all have been amazing – answering my questions and accommodating me as I “shadowed” them. They were welcoming and openly answered all my questions. I personally feel lucky to have such amazing – and VERY hardworking delegates in our midst! And - Sen. Diamond is among them.

Q & A: Raymond Board of Selectmen and RSU14 Board candidates

On June 11, the Town of Raymond will hold their municipal and RSU14 vote. Below are questions and answers for those running for office so that the voter can be more informed about the incumbents (although, all three candidates are running unopposed).

Jani Cummings
Jani Cummings, running for reelection to the RUS14 School Board

Background information: family, profession, volunteer work, hobbies.

I retired from teaching in 2016, after 38 years in the Raymond schools, primarily in first grade. I was lucky to work with some amazing, creative educators and administrators, and beyond blessed by the numbers of fantastic children I learned with. Currently, I have a busy BnB in my home on Main Street, cleverly called “Cottage Industry for Retired Teacher.”  My hobbies are reading, writing, painting, and collecting candy for Halloween. (Remember that I live on Main Street.)

What motivates you to want to return as an RSU14 board member?

It was hard for me to retire from education. I spent my entire professional life caring for and encouraging and worrying about the children in Raymond and those feelings were impossible for me to turn off.  Being on the School Board allows me to be a knowledgeable advocate for the students and staff of the RSU, from both towns. It is a way for me to remain in education, but not have to do report cards.

What issues do you deem most important in the district?

rita.theriault@raymondmaine.orgOf course, I am worried about the possible Raymond withdrawal from the RSU, as I do not think that is a good idea, financially or educationally; but there is little I can do about that, so I will hope that a majority of Raymond voters agree with me. My focus in the next three years will be on the high needs of our youngest learners; the necessity of building resilience in all learners; helping the District implement a new math program, K-12; fostering social-emotional education, which helps all children make life choices that reject harmful behavior; and  helping the new superintendent be successful.

If there is anything else you’d like to add that you want the voters to know about you – please feel free to add that here: 

My vision for the RSU is simple, it is our motto: Success for All. I want us to continue on the path of success, toward equity and consistency for all the students and staff in our district. We can always do better, but I know that we are on the path, and that’s what matters.

What is the best way a faculty member or a parent can reach you before election? After election?

 People can always reach me at

Teresa Sadak
Teresa Sadak, running for reelection to the Raymond Board of Selectmen

Background/personal information to include family, professional memberships, volunteer efforts.

I am married (almost 31 years) with 2 kids, Ben (25) and Colleen (24).  I have lived in Raymond since 1990.  I run my own home daycare and have been doing that for 24 years.

I served on the Raymond School Board for 3 years and my 4th year was on the consolidation board for Windham and Raymond.

What inspires you to run again for Board of Selectmen?

I like to be a part of what is going on and try to be a part of the solution.  I figure I have no excuse to complain about something going on in town if I am not trying to be part of the solution.  There is a lot to know about being on the Select Board but I have had a great group of people to work with that have helped me along the way.

What do you think are the top three most important issues facing Raymond and what do you see as potential ways to rectify those issues?

Taxes – I want Raymond to be affordable for people to live in…All Ages.  Keep moving the town forward in small increments so it isn’t a huge hit on taxes.

Roads – I think they are pretty good right now (there are a couple that do need help) but it is important to keep them taken care of.

Schools – Making sure our schools/kids/teachers are supported by the town to be able to give the kids the top-notch education they deserve.

If you received a $1 million grant to use for the Town of Raymond in any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?

A Community Center!  It would be cool to have a central place to go for all the different groups/activities we have in Raymond.

It is not overcrowded, and it is affordable to live here.  Raymond is a beautiful town.  People really care about each other in this town.   I know firsthand how people you know and don’t know are willing to reach out to help each other in a crisis. 

What is the best way for Raymond residents to contact you?

My home phone at 655-5411 or email me at

Rolf Olsen
Rolf Olsen running for reelection to the Raymond Board of Selectmen.

Background/personal information to include family, professional memberships, volunteer efforts.

I have been a resident of Raymond for 40 years and have been married for 35 years. I have two sons. I received my degree from the University of Maine in marketing and management. I am a licensed Insurance Agent and I have served on many committees and boards for the town, was chair of the Boy Scout troop committee for six years and am the current trustee for the Raymond Village Community Church.

What inspires you to run again for Board of Selectmen?

It has always been my belief that people should be willing to give back to the community they live in. I have served on several town committees and boards over the years and have been on the Town Select Board for three years. Prior to that, I was on the Budget/Finance committee for 29 years and served as chair for 12 of those years.

We have been working over the last few years on remaining competitive with our surrounding towns on various aspects ranging from employee benefits, infrastructure and technology, maintaining the quality of life for our residents and visitors.

That work is never done, there are always new challenges and opportunities for the Town. I enjoy the ever-changing challenges that come up and helping to come up with different ways to solving those challenges. We are fortunate to have a Town Manger that can bring different ideas to the table and it is enjoyable to help bring those ideas to fruition.

What do you think are the top three most important issues facing Raymond and what do you see as potential ways to rectify those issues?

One of the biggest issues Raymond faces, as do most towns in the area, is in the area of public safety. Due to changing demographics, state and federal mandated training and the overall time commitment required by our fire fighters and EMTs. Recruiting and retention has been an increasing problem in the area. There is no sliver bullet to solving this problem and it will require more cooperation between towns involving both equipment and personnel assets.

Another area of concern is volunteerism. In the past when people had more time, the level of volunteerism was at a higher rate. As the demographics of the town has changed, many of the “typical” volunteers are no longer available.

A third issue in maintain a reasonable tax (mill) rate. The overall Town budget includes two areas that the select board has limited or no impact on: the county tax and the RSU14 budget. These two areas account for almost 80$ of our total mill rate. Some solutions included creative approaches to equipment purchase, making decisions on bonding vs. saving and maintaining our high bond rating. Due to our controlling costs, while supplying needed service and maintain proper reserves, the Town is one of the few that can boast a AAA rating.

If you received a $1 million grant to use for the Town of Raymond in any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?

On the surface a million dollars sounds like a big chunk of money, however in reality it is only about 6% of out total budget. That said, I would welcome such a gift as it would help in several ways to include:

Recreation activities for young and old, alike.

Upkeep in walking tails and other accessible activities for the aging population.

Contribution to the infrastructure. The town has a large inventory of roads and equipment that we maintain a balance of need verses expenditure and using some of the funds to strategically move some of this up in the schedule would have the potential to offer some down road savings.

Why do you love living in Raymond?

For all the changes I have seen in the town over the past 40 years, much of the original character remains. We are still a safe community with members that will look out for each other and in time of need. We are still a community where people know each other, a place where it is not always ‘what’s in it for me’, a place people want to call home.

What is the best way for Raymond residents to contact you?

It’s best to contact me by email at

Windham/Raymond Adult Ed celebrate new digs with an open house

By Lorraine Glowczak

Over 50 community members visited the new building that houses the Windham/Raymond Adult Education program at an open house event on Wednesday, May 22. The celebration included a variety of foods and desserts as well as prizes donated by local businesses.

Adult Ed Director, Tom Nash stated that students feel safe in the new building and are grateful that
Director, Tom Nash with Rep. Mark Bryant
there is a separate structure dedicated to adult students. “The new building provides a clean, fresh, modern space that is a warm, welcoming learning environment,” Nash explained. “There is a lot of natural light, large classrooms, and new technology – a computer lab, laptops, SMART Boards, a TANDBERG Videoconferencing system and even a SMART TV.”

The students and staff officially moved into the new space, that sits behind the Windham High School, on January 18. Nash explained that they had to delay the start of classes by a week to unpack and organize the offices.

Nash also said that the new space is available for community groups to use, usually at no cost unless there is an unusual request that would require set-up and cleaning before Monday morning classes. “We currently have Lighthouse Knitters Guild of Maine using our space one Saturday per month,” he said. “The Windham White Rock Extension Homemakers will be using the space in the fall.”

The adult education program strives to provide lifelong learning opportunities, academic classes and support along with quality workforce training for adults in the greater Sebago Lakes Region. “Our new space sends a positive message to our students that their educational journey is supported by the district; so much that they were given their own building in which they could pursue their dreams,” explained Nash. “They feel respected and valued by staff and each other in this vibrant learning community.”

A big thank you goes to the following business who provided door  prizes for the open house celebration: Attorney Dawn Dyer, Cakes by Debbie, Colonial Mast Campground, Freedom Massage and Wellness, Restoring through Nature, Siochanta Farm, LLC., Spring Meadows Golf Club, Windham Raymond Adult Education and Windham White Rock Extension Homemakers.

New street names will help emergency vehicles to navigate efficiently at RSU14 complex

By Matt Pascarella

It’s every parent’s nightmare: an emergency vehicle is needed at one of the schools on the RSU 14 main campus. What if those vehicles didn’t know which school was which? The address of Windham Primary School is 404 Gray Road. If you put that into a GPS, it doesn’t bring you to the Primary School.

Windham High School campus. Photo courtesy of
Beginning July 1, 2019 three roadways on the RSU 14 main campus will undergo a renaming to enhance the delivery of emergency services to our growing school district, to assist out of town emergency responders and to be able to clearly direct citizens to individual locations for district events and functions.

The roadway from Route 202, past the tennis courts, past the Adult Education building, past the rear of Windham Middle School, past Field Allen School to Windham Center Road will become Educational Way.

The roadway from the intersection of the new Educational Way to the stadium field; right hand road past the stadium to Windham Center Road will become Stadium Drive.

The roadway from the intersection of Route 202 that runs between Windham High School and Windham Middle School to the intersection of the new Educational Way will become Expedition Drive.

“It’s not just a matter of labeling,” explained Chris Howell, assistant to the Superintendent. “It’s for 9-1-1 services. Having a regional dispatch that’s covering all these different communities, it’s important that when they have a place they know the exact location, because it may not be someone who’s familiar with the community who is sending’s important that we have the right locations.”

If you search for the address of Windham Primary School (404 Gray Road) in a GPS, it’ll bring you to a driveway and then the emergency vehicle would have to hunt for the location. “The last thing we would want is time being wasted in case of emergencies,” commented Mike Duffy, Safety and Support Specialist for RSU 14.

In addition to the address changes on the school campus near the Primary School, signage will also be added to the campus. Windham hosts individuals from all over Maine for events and it’s important they know where the athletic fields are located, and which buildings are which. “Mike is going to be working on the exact street address so we can send people to those locations. We want to be a good host and the last thing we want is one of our visitors driving around campus trying to figure out where things are,” Howell added.

Windham High School, Windham/Raymond Adult Education and the Kathadin Program will all keep the 406 Gray Road address. Windham Middle School will remain 408 Gray Road. RSU 14 Windham/Raymond School Superintendent Office and Central Office will remain 228 Windham Center Road; this address will apply to the billing address, which will not change. There will be no change to Manchester or Raymond Schools.

Windham Primary School will change from 404 Gray Road to 24 Educational Way and that will also be the new mailing address. Field Allen School will change from 215 Windham Center Road to 45 Educational Way. Field Allen School does not receive mail. The sewage treatment plant will become 8 Stadium Drive.

Postcards will be sent to vendors for billing purposes. There will be no cost to Windham/Raymond residents other than the man hours it takes the crews to install these signs and rename the roads. Maps will be put in the kiosks around campus to make it easier to find various locations.

This change will take place July 1, 2019 with the goal to have everything in place for the 2019-2020 school year.

Emails will be sent out via List Serve, which goes to parents and staff. There will also be a notice in The Link newsletter, which goes to every resident.

“It’s going to help a lot of people and it’ll be a lot easier giving directions,” added Duffy. 

May 24, 2019

Windham High School students touched the past

Student, Brady Jackson, stands beside a Model T Ford.
By Craig Bailey

On May 17, students from Windham High’s social studies classes had the opportunity to learn how early 20th century advances in technology and transportation transformed many aspects of life. To support this, Toby Stinson, of Owls Head Transportation Museum (OHTM), was onsite with three working Model T Fords.

Jeff Neal, Windham High School U.S. and World History and World Politics teacher organized the event. Neal stated, “There is nothing like students physically seeing, touching and smelling a relic. This is something you cannot get with modern technology. I’m hoping this will inspire the students to experience and preserve the past.”

The Model T’s on display included an open, 1910, 3-seater, a covered, 1915 5-seater, as well as a “cut away” enabling students to view the engine and drivetrain internals of these early automobiles.

Stinson kicked things off, “In the early 20th century we saw the beginnings of mass production and at the center of this was Ford’s Model T.” Stinson reminded the group, “At the time these cars were built, America was a rural agrarian society and everyone had horses. In fact, there were more blacksmiths than doctors, as blacksmiths were required to work on wagons and shoe horses.”

The benefits of these first automobiles were many. Stinson commented, “A horse takes time to get ready and doesn’t like bad weather. A machine doesn’t get tired or complain. Once these cars were mass produced you could buy a brand new one for $240, which was cheaper than outfitting and maintaining a horse.”

Stinson shared, “My dad used his car as a tractor to haul potatoes and pull boats out of the water. It was also considered a portable supply of power. My dad could cut 10 cords of wood in a day, with a saw powered by his car.”

Stinson then covered the topic on how owners started, operated and drove these early automobiles.
The first step was confirming there was enough fuel. This was done by dipping a stick of wood in the 10-gallon tank, which was found under the seat. Next, you would check the oil. This was done by opening a valve. If oil dripped out you were good-to-go and, if not, you needed to add some.

“Realize, in 1915 these cars were considered non-polluting, compared to a horse,” Stinson reflected,  “For example, on the streets of New York City, horses excreted over a thousand gallons of urine and thousands of pounds of manure daily. The biggest health challenges at the time were diseases of filth, such as diphtheria and cholera. The transportation industry helped to eliminate that.”

Next, Stinson shared that Model T’s had a hand throttle with 2 forward speeds (slow and fast); fast being a relative term. While these cars would only do upwards of 25 miles per hour, that was fast compared to a horse and buggy.

Starting the Model T required the most attention. Stinson emphasized the importance of properly holding the crank, because not doing so may result in a backfire which could wrench your shoulder or break your wrist.

“From the beginning, Henry Ford’s goal was to make cars affordable for virtually anyone,” Stinson noted. “As an example, during early production Ford learned that black paint dried a little quicker than other colors. Considering the economics of buying large quantities of paint he determined that sticking with black made the most sense.”
Stinson continued, “Ford used the most advanced technology and best materials available to build the most durable automobiles possible.”

Stinson reminded the audience, “These cars were built when there were no roads. As such, Ford designed these cars for a rugged environment, to last long while remaining cheap. For example, Ford was the first to fully enclose the engine and drivetrain to prevent dust, dirt and mud from entering and damaging the internals.” Stinson also explained that what is referred to as a ‘dashboard’ today, was actually a feature to dash away dust and bugs.

The automobile industry continued to evolve, driven by consumer needs and wants. Once people had cars, they wanted more: a roof, side curtains and to be fully enclosed. Later, accessories such as heat and windshield wipers were introduced. All things we now take for granted.

“The industrial revolution and more specifically, mass production, resulted in societal change,” Stinson stated to the students. “Humans had been using horses for 10,000 years. In the early 1900’s this completely flipped with the introduction of the automobile. People no longer had the same limitations on the distances they could travel and things they could accomplish. This all began with innovation and resulted in explosive technology which literally changed the world. Due to the impact on society, many consider Henry Ford the single most powerful person at that time.”

One of the students asked if they could drive a Model T, to which Stinson responded, “Come to our museum and we may be able to arrange that. At the museum the cars run, and the planes fly.”

The Owls Head Transportation Museum (OHTM) is a nonprofit educational organization. Its mission is to collect, preserve, exhibit and operate pre-1940 aircraft, ground vehicles, engines and related technologies significant to the evolution of transportation for the purpose of education. Learn more about OHTM at:

Windham Primary School students raise thousands at second Annual Community Day

The students at Annual Community Day
By Kathrina Frost

Students took part in a run-a-thon fundraiser during their second Annual Community Day at Windham Primary School.  On Thursday, May 16, the students gathered with community members to recognize all of the hard work of the students and to present community groups with checks for the funds raised. In total, the event raised $7,217.44.

The kindergarten classes raised a total of $1,771.50 for the Windham Public Library. Samantha Cote accepted the check from Dr. Rhoads and top individual fundraisers Caleb Sargent, Ben Freysinger and Charles Hager. The top Kindergarten classroom was Mrs. Carver with $434.00. 

The first-grade classes raised a total of $1,659.25 for the Windham Fire Department. Chief Brent Libby accepted the check from Dr. Rhoads and top individual fundraisers Luke Russell and Michael Hall. The top first-grade classroom was Mrs. Shibles with $510.00. second-grade classes raised a total of $2,181.50 for the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals. Kathy Woodbrey accepted the check from Dr. Rhoads and top individual fundraisers Dylan Emmons and Byron Davis. The top second-grade classroom was Ms. Hopkins with $592.00. Four local businesses also contributed matching funds to second graders for their support of the MSSPA. 

They were APEX, Hall Implement, Sebago Lake Automotive, and Horsepower Auto Care.

The third-grade classes raised a total of $1,605.19 for the Windham Historical Society. Susan Simpson, Carol Manchester, and Jason Farley accepted the check from Dr. Rhoads and top individual fundraisers Rocco DiDonato, Renner Gerrity, and Adyson Miller. The top third-grade classroom was Mrs. Grund with $319.00. 

Community Day was started as a service-learning opportunity highlighting community groups that support RSU 14, and reflecting on how students can, in return, support those groups. Windham Primary School students were grateful for the opportunity to show how much they appreciate their community. An amazing job was done by all.

Historically significant land closer to being conserved

Loon Echo Land Trust (LELT) moved another step closer to conserving 252 acres of forestland in South Bridgton a couple of weeks ago. LELT announced that it was recently awarded $12,500 from the Kendal C. and Anna Ham Charitable Foundation to help purchase the property, which will be called “Peabody-Fitch Woods.”

Peabody-Fitch Woods will forever protect the land surrounding Bridgton Historical Society’s historic
Narramissic Farm. Conserving this land will ensure public access for recreational opportunities including hunting, walking, and nature observation. LELT plans to enhance the existing pedestrian trails located on the property and has engaged local clubs to make sure that a snowmobile and ATV corridor on the property remains accessible.

This award adds to grant money already received from several other foundations, including the Fields Pond Foundation, Davis Conservation Foundation, Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation, Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust and an anonymous foundation along with many donations from individuals in the community.

“We have received incredible support from the community for this conservation project,” says Matt Markot, LELT’s Executive Director. “In partnership with the Bridgton Historical Society, we are eager to protect this land. The site of a once prosperous and well-known family farm in South Bridgton, it has incredible cultural, historical and ecological value. Once protected, this land will continue to benefit our community forever.”
LELT seeks to raise the rest of the money needed to purchase the property before a June 30th, 2019 deadline. To date, LELT has received 95% of the funds and needs just another $17,000 to purchase the land. Private donations from individuals will be critical in achieving this goal. Complete information about the project, including maps and the option to donate online, can be found at Checks to support Peabody-Fitch Woods can also be sent to Loon Echo Land Trust, 8 Depot Street Suite #4, Bridgton, ME 04009.

Loon Echo Land Trust (LELT) is a member supported, non-profit land trust that works to protect the natural resources of the northern Sebago Lake region. Loon Echo conserves 6,700 acres of land and manages 31 miles of recreational trails in the towns of Bridgton, Casco, Denmark, Harrison, Naples, Raymond and Sebago. These important natural spaces protect the region’s water resources and wildlife habitat, maintain rural character and provide public access to outdoor recreation such as hiking, hunting, fishing and skiing. For more information about Loon Echo’s land conservation projects or information on how to get involved, visit their website, Facebook page, or call 207-647-4352.

A visit at the State House: Shadowing Rep. Patrick Corey

By Lorraine Glowczak

I began this series of visiting the statehouse to capture a glimpse of a day in the life of our local delegates. I have had the pleasure to visit and report on: Rep. Sue Austin, Rep. Jessica Fay and Rep. Mark Bryant, all of whom have been accommodating and welcoming. Last week, I spent the day with Rep. Corey.

The intention of this series is to share with our readers the work and focus of our state officials while
Rep. Corey with John and Linda Gregoire (and Sen Diamond).
Corey is working on bill LD 84 to to allow spouses
to Provide home and community-based services
to Eligible MaineCare Members 
they represent us in Augusta. I do hope that the past articles have contributed to some informed insight of the process. But I must admit, I think it is I who is learning the most from the experience.

My day with Rep. Corey began at 8:30 a.m. where we sat for ½ hour in the State House café and spoke over coffee. It was a “slow day”, Corey told me (Slow is a relative term. It seemed busy to me.) This gave us time to talk for a while, providing an opportunity for him to discuss with me his committee work and the bills he has introduced.

He is a member of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. “We focus on issues facing and bills that affect the Department of Corrections, county jails, State Police, the opioid problem and human trafficking,” Corey began. “This includes issues surrounding domestic violence and rape.”

He is also a member of the Maine Marijuana Commission which focuses on medicinal and adult use of cannabis and on the development and administration of a regulated marketplace in the State for adult use marijuana and the regulation of the personal use of marijuana and the home cultivation of marijuana for personal adult use.

Corey stated that his major interests include bringing Maine citizen voices to the initiative process, working on constituent related issues, and protecting law-abiding, mentally stable residents from gun control measures. In fact, Corey introduced LD-85. “It’s a law that would encourage gunowners to lock up their guns by providing a sales tax exemption with a purchase of a locked storage unit for guns,” stated Corey. “The bill passed the House and the Senate, but it sits on the appropriations table.”

As I learned from Rep. Bryant, and Corey reiterated, bills that go to the appropriations table, “go there to die” and have to be revived again during the next legislative session. The bills that affect the state budget are the only bills that go to the appropriations table – and in this case – it is the reduction of sales tax for a lock cabinet/gun safety.

Corey also sponsored a bill that has passed and is now law, LD 79, An Act To Protect Shooting Ranges. “There is a hunting safety law that states you cannot shoot a firearm within 300 feet of a building” explained Corey. “There was an incident in which a shooting range which has been in existence for many years but faced a challenge. A neighbor had purposefully built a structure on his land and within the distance that would require the range to shut down. The landowner had admitted that he purposefully built the structure to shut the range down. The law passed unanimously by both the House and Senate and was signed into law by Governor Mills.”

But Corey’s interests do not end there. He is still working on LD 84, “Resolve, Directing the Department of Health and Human Services To Allow Spouses To Provide Home and Community-based Services to Eligible MaineCare Members.” He specifically works on this bill as a result of Windham residents, John and Linda Gregoire. John has had ALS for 10 years and his wife, Linda, has been providing home care assistance without pay.

Other bills that Corey has worked diligently on and have recently passed and are now law include: LD 648, An Act To Improve Reporting of Operating Under the Influence Offenses and  LD 858, Resolve, Directing the Department of Education To Study and Make Recommendations for the Establishment of a Maine School Safety Center.

After our coffee and conversation, Corey went to his Caucus meeting (in which the public is not allowed) and then on to the House floor where I got to observe in detail, the various laws being considered and/or passed. During the session, Corey would vote, and then come back to the galley to explain in detail “what just happened.”

Visiting our legislators is an experience and, an amazing one at that. I would highly encourage all individuals to visit Augusta just once – to witness the process of a bill becoming a law and the difficult and complex work in which our delegates participate on our behalf.

Next week, look for my article as I shadow Sen. Bill Diamond.

RAA and Raymond Village Library collaborate to provide venue for local artists

Raymond is a treasure box full of undiscovered artists and craftspeople. As a result, and wanting to honor and recognize the local talent, Raymond Arts Alliance (RAA) is coordinating local artist displays at the Raymond Village Library. The artwork will be on display on a two-month rotating basis.

Artwork by Jennifer Fuller
The first display, currently highlighted at the library, is from the work of Jennifer Fuller, a glass artist. It features fused glass, lampworking, blown glass, and stained glass. Fuller also works a variety of glass processes to create handmade jewelry, plates, decorations, and custom designs. 

"I am an autistic artist who is both mentally and physically disabled and though my past has much abuse and depression, glass art has been a bright spot in my life. It has helped me through the past several years and more recently given me the opportunity to focus on learning more, look to future possibilities with my art, meet amazing people, and feel like I am part of an encouraging, supportive community of people who all have a passion for glass art like I love to do,” Fuller said about art in her life.

Fullers work will be on display until July 7.

During the months of July and August, WHS 2017 graduate Holden Willard and his father, Don, will have their artwork on display. Recently, Holden received best in show in a world-wide competition at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod after he submitted a self -portrait to the center’s “The WORKS” competition. Holden attends the Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA.

His father, Don – a known leader in the community as the Raymond Town Manager, is quite unknown as a talented artist in his own right. His imaginative steam punk pieces are as beautiful as they are useful and his “found objects” metal sculptures are not to be missed!

Briefly, Raymond Arts Alliance is on a mission to strengthen the Raymond arts community and bring people together while enjoying beautiful expressions of artistic skill and imagination. 

“We agree that the arts should be accessible to everyone whether you are an avid art student, collector, professional fine artist, weekend hobbyist, or someone looking for the perfect gift,” explained RAA Board Member, Kim Hansen. “The joy of making, viewing and sharing the arts brings people together.  What better place to take part in appreciating beautiful things than a place set up specifically for community - the Raymond Village Library.”

There will also be a “meet and greet” the artists to be announced soon.

For more information about the Raymond Arts Alliance and other events occurring at the Raymond Village Library, peruse the library’s website at  or call at (207) 655-4283

May 17, 2019

A killer faces justice, but what comes next?

By Senator Bill Diamond

Sometime in the late afternoon or early evening of December 8, 2017, four-year-old Kendall Chick lost her life.

We now know that what caused her death was sustained, brutal child abuse by Shawna Gatto, the fiancée of Kendall’s grandfather, Stephen Hood. At the trial, which I was present for much of, we learned that police found splatters of Kendall’s blood all over the house and a dent in the sheetrock where Kendall’s little head was slammed into a wall. We learned that when Stephen asked about his granddaughter’s multiple bruises and injuries, Shawna made up stories about a clumsy child, a “drug baby” who couldn’t get out of her own way and “tripped over air,” who picked at scabs and was “a bleeder.” Gatto also took steps to hide Kendall from public view, for fear that her abuse would be discovered.

Maine’s Chief Medical Examiner Mark Flomenbaum testified at the trial that Kendall’s fatal wound was a combination of about 15 to 20 previous injuries along with a lacerated pancreas, associated with some sort of trauma about 12 hours prior to her death. It was very clear that this was not the sort of injury a 4-year-old child, even a clumsy one, could inflict upon themselves falling over or running into something. It was abuse, plain and simple.

Last week, Maine Superior Court Justice Bill Stokes found Gatto guilty of the crime of depraved indifference murder, which, according to Maine murder statue, means she “engage[d] in conduct that manifests a depraved indifference to the value of human life and that in fact cause[d] the death of another human being.” In rendering his verdict, Justice Stokes noted Gatto’s repeated, callous attempts to conceal her abuse of Kendall and the sheer amount of trauma to Kendall’s body as evidence of Gatto’s depraved indifference for Kendall’s life.

The trial was brutal, and rehashing these details now is painful, but this verdict is an important step toward accountability for Kendall’s killer. Unfortunately, we will never be able to bring Kendall back or undo the pain and torture that she suffered.
The very least we in Maine government can do is reaffirm our commitment to protecting children and take steps to ensure that this never happens again.

Kendall’s death was, at its core, a failure of Maine’s child welfare system.

Kendall, who was born addicted to drugs, was placed with Gatto and Hood, two people recovering from drug addiction, when she was taken from her mother, who was also battling addiction. Despite these circumstances, DHHS only checked in on Kendall once during the three years she lived there.
Had they visited, they may have seen the blood spatter, bruises and cuts that police found after her death. Another visit from DHHS could have saved Kendall’s life. That visit didn’t happen, and she died.

Logan Marr, a 2-year-old child, died in the care of a former DHHS worker in 2002, and since then, through seven DHHS commissioners and four administrations, we’ve had a lot of promises and good intentions, but children are still dying. To fix this, we need an honest, vigorous examination of the state’s child welfare system, and we need real reform.

This will take a coordinated effort from DHHS, the Legislature, the courts and law enforcement. I have a bill in to start this process, by creating a Legislative Commission to investigate issues at DHHS and propose legislation to make changes. I am hopeful that this can be a step toward improving our efforts to protect Maine children.

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.

Windham Boy Scout receives highest honor

Sen. Bill Diamond, Samuel Cole and Rep. Patrick Corey

Boy Scout, Samuel Cole of Windham has been awarded the highest honor in Boy Scouts, the Eagle Scout rank. Cole celebrated his achievement with a ceremony and reception at Windham Hill United Church on April 28th.

To reach the rank of Eagle Scout, Cole and other scouts must complete at least 21 merit badges and do a community service project which involves fundraising, proposing the idea to the town and BSA council, planning, recruiting helpers and producing a project that benefits the community. With the request of a much-needed structure by the Windham Parks and Recreation Dept. Cole constructed a pavilion at Dundee Park that was completed in November with his fellow Troop members of Troop 51 and several adults and friends.

Cole will be graduating from Windham High School with the class of 2019 in June and then he will be attending Clark University in Worcester, MA in the fall. He is the son of Jennifer and Larry Cole.
His father and brother, Tyler, are also Eagle Scouts.