June 28, 2019

Student of the Week: Jayden Grenier

Jayden Grenier, a student at Jordan-Small Middle School, is The Windham Eagle’s Student of the Week. Grenier enjoys bike riding and playing outside.

“Jayden is a hard worker who pursues challenges and is excited to learn,” stated his teacher. “He has taken on extra work in classes and is always focused and on task.  He stands out for his sense of responsibility and work ethic, single handedly turning in the biggest numbers on our band practice challenge. Jayden shows consistency and perseverance in the art room and he is a responsible student who strives to do well in class. He fully participates in all activities and is respectful to his peers. 

Jayden is quiet and has a wonderful sense of humor.  His demeanor adds a lightness to the classroom to allow for fun but always stays within the boundaries of what is appropriate.”

Grenier stated that learning new things is what makes education fun for him. His favorite subject is music and his favorite musical group is All Rock.

Foreign exchange host family with Greenheart shares story: Consider hosting student from France

Kathy Hansen is a Mainer who has lived in Windham with her husband, Jon, for 44 years.  They raised their family here and hosted exchange students.  Her friend Stacy hosted Hisham from Palestine, and he did a video of his exchange experience this year.   When her daughter Kristin saw it, her comment was:

“Oh, my gosh. Hisham describes it perfectly!! Memories are flooding back from some of the coolest students we hosted when I was growing up! I learned so much from them. So thankful to my parents for teaching us beyond four walls.” 

Host mom Kathy says, “I have no idea what inspired me to say yes to hosting, but it was a monumental moment that changed the course of my life.”   She agreed to help find families for teenagers from France from July 8 to July 28, and she needs help from the community with hosting even if they can only host a week in July.

They are here to practice English and to make friends.  If you have a teenager, they could get invited to France. It does not cost anything except to feed them.  They can share a room.  They are not here to be entertained or to travel.   They have their own spending money. If you can’t host for the whole time, let me know when you can.  They can hang out with each other if no one is home for the day or night.

If you are interested in being a host family, simply fill out a short application: https://www.tfaforms.com/236744. For more detailed information, contact Hansen at: Khansen@greenheart.org.

Raymond Fire and Rescue participates in Jordan-Small Middle School Career Day

Seven members of the Raymond Fire and Rescue Department (RFRD) spent several hours with 47 fifth grade students at Jordan-Small Elementary School in Raymond. This is the third year that the RFRD has educated fifth graders on their career day as to what is involved in becoming a firefighter or EMT/paramedic. 

The students first listened to an interactive presentation on the education, training, and fitness standards necessary to be in the fire/EMS service. The students all had various questions which were answered. Following the question and answer session, groups of students went to three training stations with fire apparatus where they saw various medical equipment. Each tool, firefighting and extrication equipment was explained by department paramedics regarding its importance and the purpose of its use. 

The subjects of math and science and how it plays a role in the fire/EMS service was emphasized, as well as the need for a high school diploma – along with at least two years of college education, plus regular on-going training.  

“The students gained an appreciation that not only is the fire/EMS service physically demanding, but it also requires a lot of technical knowledge that is always changing,” explained Fire Chief Bruce Tupper.

Christmas in June at the Raymond Village Library

By Sheila Bourque

Each December, a wonderful event occurs at the Raymond Village Library - the annual Holiday tree lighting! The voices of the Jordan-Small Middle School choir ring out, Santa Claus arrives in style in a bright red Public Safety fire engine and hot chocolate and cookies are passed around to all.

Dale Gilman and Laurie Wallace show off the
new tree that will don bright lights this Christmas
The festive spirit of the evening never fails as “oohs” and “ahs” spread through the crowd when the tree comes to life. The children can barely contain their excitement as Santa Claus arrives. While Santa Claus’s line is plenty long, the line for children climbing into the fire engine and ringing its bell come in a close second! The Raymond Village Lions Club sponsors this event and is the keeper of this Raymond tradition.

Each year the Lion’s club brings a tree to the library, sets it up and decorates it with colorful lights. The tree is placed in an iron pipe that is buried in the ground. This annual tradition is challenging as the pipe is often buried in snow and ice. Finding and clearing the pipe is no small task.

On Friday, June 14, the holidays arrived a little early at the Raymond Village Library. The Raymond Lions Club planted an evergreen tree on the library’s front lawn. This live tree will stand on the library’s lawn and become the Raymond Holiday tree for years to come. This live tree will be cared for by the Lions Club and will be kept in perfect holiday shape.

The Raymond Village Library would like to thank the Lions Club for their continued support of the library and the community of Raymond. The next time you stroll up the library’s sidewalk, look straight ahead at our new living holiday tree. Whenever you see the bright yellow vests of a Raymond Lions Club member, be sure to thank them for making Raymond a community to be proud of!

Windham Dare to Adventure students participate in active assailant exercises

Last month, the Portland Police Department in cooperation with area public safety agencies including the Windham Police Department (WPD), held an active assailant exercise at Deering High School. An important part of this exercise was to test the processes outlined in the National Incident Management System. Students from the Windham Middle School Dare to Adventure program, a cooperative program with the WPD, played a very important role.

Left to Right Top:    Ryan Bernard, Ezra Foster, Josh Noyes, Levi McDonald
L to R top:    Ryan Bernard, Ezra Foster, Josh Noyes, Levi McDonald
L to R bottom:Haley Atherton, Riley Small, Morgan Hammond
 Missing student from the photo but participated:  Jacob Chouinard

A large part of any natural or manmade disaster, large public gathering or critical incident is to have a system in place that manages people and equipment needed to support ongoing operations and recovery efforts.

The process of “staging” personnel and equipment allows fresh troops to take over for the initial responders and allow them time to rest before reactivation. The Dare to Adventure students were an integral part of the Staging process, assisting the Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) from the Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency.
During the exercise, the students managed the task of signing in over 130 exercise participants into the staging area. The students used computers and clipboards and provided exercise managers with a real-time view of all the people committed to the exercise. All this information was entered into the computer and then the students rechecked all the names to ensure accuracy.  This is a very difficult undertaking and all the students did a tremendous job making sure the system worked.

Auto Shine Car Wash raises $1,000 for local firefighter’s recovery fund: Ongoing support needed

Josh Chase, vice president of Auto Shine Car Wash; John F. Chase, owner of Auto Shine Car Wash & Chase Custom Homes; Tim Smith and his daughter Mia.
To back up Auto Shine Windham’s contribution, Chase Custom Homes and Finance will donate another $500 to the first business who offers to match that amount of $500.
The line at the SpineLite Super Wash Tunnel wrapped around the building at Auto Shine Car Wash in Windham. Cars rolled through the wash to get a clean vehicle for a great cause. Over the course of six weeks, the car wash has raised more than $1,000 for Tim Smith, a local firefighter/EMT currently recovering from a heart transplant.

A portion from every top wash sold went directly to Tim’s ongoing recovery efforts. Tim is now at home and doing well, but the fundraising effort continues in order to help the family cover the cost of ongoing medical bills, particularly expensive anti-rejection drugs.

An update on Tim’s story
Tim Smith, a father, husband, and former Sebago firefighter, was given the devastating news that he needed a new heart last fall. On April 16, 2019, Tim received the gift of life - a new heart!

https://psychicandreikihealing.com/Tim is at home beginning the long road to recovery. He is making progress everyday but has also experienced some setbacks. At this point, Tim is still unable to work and is extremely tired all the time. “We are hopeful that he can begin rehab soon to help strengthen his muscles and regain his stamina,” said, Cyndi German, a close family friend and Tim’s fundraising organizer.

Tim’s wife, Shauna Smith is trying to find a way to keep the family’s head above water financially as they have over $20,000 in past due medical bills from Maine Medical Center. This does not include the hospital bill for the heart transplant. In addition, they need to pay out of pocket for Tim’s meds, which will be for life.

As always, the family is in good spirits and just very thankful that Tim is still here and that he is currently showing no signs of rejection. “On behalf of our family we are so grateful for the love and support that we have received from not only our friends and community, but from absolute strangers; we would not have made it through this journey without it and we are truly thankful,” said Shauna. “Tim’s transplant team has said that the first year is the most difficult, so we continue to remain cautiously optimistic about the future in regard to his health and our financial wellbeing. We are so fortunate to have Tim still here with us and for that reason alone we are blessed.”

Ongoing Fundraising
To back up Auto Shine Windham’s contribution, Chase Custom Homes and Finance will donate another $500 to the first business who offers to match that amount of $500. If your business wishes to donate, please let Marketing Director, Molly Shaw know by calling 207-892-2700 ext. or email at mshaw@cchfi.com.

For more information and to donate:
Cyndi German, fundraising contact: cyndi@pushnudgeshove.com

Governor signs Rep. Fay’s bill to protect victims of economic abuse

AUGUSTA – Rep. Jessica Fay’s bill to protect victims of economic abuse by protecting them from debt collection and allowing them to repair their credit was signed into law by Gov. Janet Mills Wednesday.

When I met a constituent on her doorstep in 2016 and she educated me about the issue of economic abuse, I promised I would work on the issue and raise awareness about its impacts on survivors and families,” said Fay, D-Raymond. “This bill is the result of that work. We have more to do but this bill will make a significant impact on the lives of survivors.

The bill, LD 748, An Act To Provide Relief to Survivors of Economic Abuse, was unanimously enacted in both the House and the Senate.  It will go into effect 90 days after end of the legislative session.

“This bill is a game changer for survivors of domestic violence who have had their credit ruined by an abusive partner,” Fay said. “It is the result of three plus years of work by advocates and survivors who were persistent in their advocacy.”

Fay is serving her second term in the Maine Legislature and represents parts of Casco, Poland and Raymond. She serves on the Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee and the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee.

“Meet and Greet” of Windham Town Manager finalist

By Lorraine Glowczak

Originally scheduled for Thursday, June 20, the public forum to meet and greet John Mauro, the finalist for Windham Town Manager’s position was postponed to Friday June 21 due a plane delay. Although rescheduling may have affected attendance, approximately 15 to 20 community members assembled at 5:30 p.m. in the Town Council Chambers to introduce themselves and share their thoughts with Mauro.

John Mauro listens to a Windham resident
Mauro actively reached out to the visitors as they approached him. His amicable personality made for
a light evening of conversation among all those present. Beth Hall was among those who attended the “meet and greet” and had an opportunity to speak with Mauro. She stated that she was pleased he was from Maine. “Having roots in Auburn is close enough for him to connect with people in Windham,” she stated. “I also appreciate the fact that he has had an opportunity to live outside of the state, allowing him to bring additional knowledge and experience to the area.”

When asked what she looked forward to in a new town manager, Hall replied that she hoped respect would be a part of his approach to the people of Windham. “I hope that he will be respectful enough to return calls and follow up on concerns expressed by the public.”

Mauro stated that if officially offered the position, he will begin his role by obtaining clarity on major town goals and issues – and from there determine where and how to proceed. “First I will look at the tough and critical issues at hand, and from there, determine where we all want to be in 10 years.”

After the hour long gathering, members of The Town Council along with Mauro and interim Town Manager, Don Gerrish entered into an Executive Session meeting. As of this printing on June 26, the Council has yet to officially announce the name of the new Windham Town Manager.

June 21, 2019

CBS This Morning segment highlights Sen. Diamond’s efforts to protect Maine children

AUGUSTA – In a segment that aired Friday morning, the nationally syndicated program ‘CBS This Morning’ highlighted efforts by Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, to improve child protective services in Maine.

“We’re not making progress,” said Sen. Diamond in the interview. “Kids are being abused, right now, while you and I are talking. They’re being abused terribly. The only reason we don’t know who they are is because they haven’t died yet.” 

The segment, which highlighted the challenges faced by child protective services workers across the country, included an interview with Sen. Diamond and highlighted his bill, LD 1554, “Resolve, Establishing a Commission To Reform Child Protective Services,” which seeks to establish a legislative commission to study and hold public hearings regarding the laws governing the protection of vulnerable children in state care, and propose necessary changes.

Data provided by the Department of Health and Human Services earlier this year shows that since 2017, more than 20 children have died after the state received concerns about abuse or neglect involving their families. Four of those deaths were ruled to be homicides.

The deaths of two children in the state’s Child Protective Services system, Kendall Chick of Wiscasset in December 2017 and Marissa Kennedy of Stockton Springs in February 2018, spurred the Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee to open an investigation into the Office of Child and Family Services within the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. The resulting information brief, “Frontline Workers in the State Child Protective System: Perspectives on Factors That Impact Effectiveness and Efficiency of Child Protective Work,” was released in February 2019, and highlighted that the workers in that office were overburdened and did not feel that they could accomplish the job within a normal 40-hour workweek.

LD 1554 has been carried over until the next Legislative Session and will face votes in the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee during the Second Regular Session of the 129th Legislature.

Auto transport company offers scholarship entry to Windham/Raymond students

A-1 Auto Transport, Inc., one of the nation’s largest car shipping companies with offices in Maine has announced they are offering their scholarship to local Windham and Raymond, Maine students. The scholarship for $250, $500 and $1000 is open to students who are enrolled in an accredited college, high school, truck driving school or other logistics program either full or part time and have a minimum 3.0 GPA. There is no minimum age to enter for the scholarship.

The scholarship will be sent directly to the financial office of the student’s school.

To enter:

Students need to write an essay/article based on a topic shown on the company website at: www.a1autotransport.com. Essays must be at least 1000 words and are required to be 100% original and not found published anywhere else online. All essays/articles entered will be published on the company website and attributed to the student.

The company is looking for original thoughts and ideas for topics including:
Car shipping services
Freight shipping
Motorcycle shipping
Boat shipping
Moving overseas
Long distance moving
Door to door transport
More ideas for topics can be found on the scholarship page of the A-1 Auto Transport website. www.a1autotransport.com/a-1-auto-transport-scholarship

Deadline for entry:
March 10, 2020 and all following years. For example March 10th 2021 will be the deadline for 2021.

Essays will be voted on by the public once they are published to the website and the Scholarship Committee will determine a winner based on the number of votes. The winner will be announced on the website and notified by email by the end of March 2020.

A-1 Auto Transport, Inc.
9032 Soquel Drive Suite 200
Aptos, CA 95003
ATTN: Joe Webster
Director of Marketing

Applebee’s of Windham Partnered with local firefighters; Raised over $1,000 for MDA

On Saturday, June 8, Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar of Windham opened its doors to local firefighters for a Tip-A-Firefighter fundraiser. Members of the Windham Fire Department served as ‘celebrity waiters’ at Applebee’s for the fundraiser, with 100% of their tips donated directly to Muscular Dystrophy Association. The event raised more than $1,000 for Muscular Dystrophy Association, which aims to make a difference in the lives of local children faced with the challenges of muscle-debilitating diseases.

The International Association of Fire Fighters has shown unwavering commitment to defeating muscular dystrophy and related life-threatening diseases since 1954, with the Windham Fire Department participating annually to help raise funds. Apple American Group, the largest Applebee’s franchisee in the country, who own and operate Applebee’s locations throughout New England including the Applebee’s of Windham, pledges to assist those less fortunate and support those institutions that enhance the quality of life in the communities it serves. Each restaurant stays engaged in its neighborhood through participation in community events, donations, sponsorships and fundraisers to help local organizations grow and flourish and takes care of their own team members through the Flynn Restaurant Group Family Fund.

Local families needed for cultural exchange students

ASSE International Student Exchange Program (ASSE) is seeking local families to host boys and girls between the ages of 15 to 18 from a variety of countries around the world.     

Students come with an enthusiasm to practice their English and experience American culture -- food, sports, shopping and more. They will also share their own culture with host families. Host families welcome these students into their family, not as a guest, but as a family member, giving both the students and families a rich cultural experience.   

In addition, students have pocket money for personal expenses; and full health, accident and liability insurance. Students are academically selected onto the program, and host families can choose their students from a wide variety of backgrounds, countries and personal interests.  

To become a host family or to find out how to become involved with ASSE in your community, please call our Eastern regional office 1-800-677-2773 or go to asse.com There are many students to choose from, so call or go online  – and begin the process of welcoming your new son or daughter into your family today! 

Annual Toby’s Memorial 5K run/walk to start the Windham Summerfest celebration

By Lorraine Glowczak

This fall will mark five years since Stuart “Toby” Pennels’ life was taken too quickly at the age of 55. He left behind a wife and three children – and a community that adored him immensely for his positive impact on the world around him.

Seven months after his death, the first annual Toby’s Dream Memorial 5K was held at
Windham High School (WHS) to initially help a community-wide fundraiser to raise funds to pave the roadway to the Windham Veteran’s Center, located behind the Windham Mall. As a retired U.S. Army Colonel, Pennels’ dream to have easy access to the veteran’s center came true when over $8,000 funds raised from the 5K, adding the funds needed for the total costs.

With the exception of one summer, the 5K has become a yearly event and the Fourth Annual Toby’s Memorial 5K run/walk will occur again this year and will begin the festivities at this Saturday’s Windham Summerfest on June 22nd with a race start time of 7:45 a.m. The cost of the run/walk is $20. One can register online at www.runinarace.com/TobysDream/index.html or on the day of the event. A one-mile run/walk option will also be available as part of the race. The one mile and 5K starting and finishing line will be located at the Windham High School canopy entrance.

WHS Cross Country Couch, Jeff Riddle has been and continues to be the race director. He stated that the funds raised will go toward the Toby Pennels Memorial Scholarship Fund, Windham High School Cross-Country team and the Joint Military Cadets of America. “All the funds generated, large or small, will go toward helping kids or graduates at WHS to Improve Their Position”

“Improve Your Position” (IYP) that Riddle refers to is from Pennels’ experience as a soldier.  He adopted the mantra “Improve Your Position;” a phrase which refers to improving one’s fighting position/foxhole in a combat situation.  In many respects, it became Toby’s defining philosophy in life.

For those who may feel intimidated by the word “race,” Riddle helps to improve their position. “I designed this race course to be a flat course so all can enjoy the challenge of it, and I also wanted it to run by many RSU#14 school buildings as Toby worked hard to support school programming within those buildings for many years,” Riddle said.

According to the Toby’s Memorial 5K website: “Toby personified the spirit of the selfless volunteer, taking on any task and spearheading numerous projects that enriched the lives of those in the community. Toby was a lifelong advocate for education, serving for many years on the Windham School Committee including two terms as Chairman.” Pennels was also President of the Windham Veterans Center.

Start your Saturday morning and the Summerfest by helping to “improve the position” for others – and yourself - and run/walk your way into the day.

Thank you to the following sponsors: Fleet Feet Maine Running Company – Portland, RSU#14 Windham Raymond School District, The Good Life Market, The Dugout. Signs donated by: Bob the Screenprinter

The Windham Historical Society presents Rooms in Bloom

The Windham Historical Society will be hosting a colorful fundraiser on Saturday, June 29 at the home of Historical Society members Haley and Andrew Pal at 28 Haskell Road in Windham from noon to 4 p.m. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Historical Society’s Village Green Living History Village. The Living History Village provides hands-on historical education to students and adults in the Lakes Region area.

The event will be a walk through a country farmhouse enhanced with beautiful floral arrangements inspired by summer and created by talented local designers.

Several businesses are donating floral arrangements to be offered in a silent auction and for sale on the property’s back patio. The Pals live in a 19th century farmhouse and the rooms inside will be blooming with the scents and colors of summer as guests walk through the home and bid on their favorite pieces.

Businesses participating are Broadturn Farm, Marigold Floral; Windham Flower Shop; Distinctive Gardening; Risbara’s Greenhouse; Blossoms of Windham; Skillins Greenhouse; Allen, Sterling and Lothrop Garden Center; Roosevelt Trail Garden Center; Cooper’s Greenhouse; Farmhouse Floral by Estabrook’s, Simple Elegance of Maine, Studio Flora, and the Windham Historical Society will offer an arrangement of their own. Society members are also donating perennials that will be up for sale.
Refreshments will be served to guests who attend. Admission is $5 at the door.

For more information, contact Haley Pal at 892-7139 or haleypal@aol.com.


Field-Allen Post 148 and Troop 805 Flag Day Ceremony

By Dave Tanguay

Promptly at 7 p.m. on Flag Day - June 14, the American Legion Field-Allen Post and Boy Scout Troop and Pack Members conducted a solemn Flag Retirement Ceremony at the Windham Veterans Center. Prior to the ceremony the Troop and Pack members were instructed in the origin of these flags that were about to be retired. 

The flags were collected over Memorial Day weekend from the graves of our local veterans and replaced with bright new flags for the coming year. After receiving instructions on the proper procedure for retiring the flags by burning the Scouts participated in the retirement ceremony and in turn placed their bundle of flags on the fire. Each bundle of flags had been previously inspected and deemed unserviceable and ready for disposal by the Post 1st Vice Commander, Eric Bickford and Post Americanism Officer, David Horne. 

During the Ceremony it was noted by Commander Mel Greenier that, “A flag may be a flimsy bit of printed gauze or a beautiful banner of the finest silk. Its intrinsic value may be trifling or great, but its real value is beyond price, for it is a precious symbol of all that we and our comrades have worked for, lived for and died for- a free nation of free men and women, true to the faith of the past, devoted to the ideals and practices of justice, freedom and democracy.”

Greenier then commanded, “Let these faded flags of our country be retired and destroyed with respect and honorable rites and their place be taken by bright, new flags of the same size and kind and let no grave of our soldiers, sailors, Marines and Airmen dead, be unhonored and unmarked”. Following a brief prayer by Post Chaplain, Richard Drapeau, the Sargeant at Arms, Richard Graves, directed the scouts to in turn place their bundle of flags on the fire. He then retired the troop.

All articles pass at Windham Town Hall meeting: Age friendly forum followed

By Lorraine Glowczak

Approximately seventy-five Windham community residents joined Town Council members, Clayton Haskell, Jarrod Maxfield, Tim Nangle, Dave Nadeau along with Interim Town Manager Don Gerish and Town Clerk, Linda Morrill at the annual town hall meeting on Saturday, June 15 from 9:45 a.m. to approximately 10:15 a.m.

The first article of business was to elect a moderator of which Representative Patrick Corey was chosen. Before voting on the other six articles that included excise tax receipts, recreation program fees, user fees against operations of sewer funds, miscellaneous revenues, unappropriated funds, an authorization of the municipal budget for the fiscal year 2019-2020, discussions occurred between town officials and community members in a question and answer format. All six articles passed.

Immediately following the town hall meeting, a public forum to discuss a community survey of town residents with the intention of creating a Windham Age-Friendly community occurred. Briefly, the survey suggestions included the following subjects: transportation, housing, neighborhoods, environment, health, engagement, and opportunities. The funding for the forum (and the survey that will be sent out in the late summer) is provided by a grant by AARP. Refreshments were provided. 
For details on the town warrant and the articles passed, go to: www.windhammaine.us/512/Proposed-Budget

June 14, 2019

Southern Maine Gearbots 2019 season

Bryce Smith, Rudy Hassapelis, and Isaac Libby

Two Windham teams representing the Windham based Southern Maine Gearbots LEGO Robotics program set new World Records at the Robot Track Meet Association (formerly hosted by Maine Robotics) meet in South Portland on Saturday, May 11. Team “Ruberics” coached by Windham’s Ray Smith with sixth-grade students Bryce Smith, Isaac Libby and Rudy Hassapelis who took home the meet Championship Trophy with three first place awards, three second place awards and one third place award in events, with member Isaac Libby setting a new World Record in the Bridge Build. 

The “Green Team” coached by Windham’s Alan Caron and Dan Knott with Chayse Caron, Asher Knott (pictured) , Zac Noonan and Nate Strout set a new World Record with their Walking Robot completing the course in two seconds.

Election results

Town of Raymond: 219 Voters Cast Ballots

SELECTMAN - vote for two – three-year terms
161 Rolf A Olsen Jr
137 Teresa R Sadak
23 Write-ins *
117 Blank

BUDGET-FINANCE COMMITTEE - vote for two – three-year terms (no candidates on ballot)
33 Joe Bruno
23 Karen Lockwood
(30 Write-ins had 4 or less votes)
341 Blank

RSU 14 BOARD MEMBER – vote for one – three-year term
182 Janis E Cummings
10 Write-ins *
27 Blank

158 Yes
59 No
2 Blank

150 Yes
66 No
3 Blank

Total Voters: 3,998
D 1,129 (27.3%)
R 1,269 (30%)
G 180 (4.5%)
L 1 (.8%)
U 1,419 (37.4%)

Turnout: 5.5% of Total Voters

Town of Windham

Article 1:
Do you favor approving the Regional School Unit No. 14 budget for the upcoming school year that was adopted at the latest Regional School Unit budget meeting?

224 Yes
123 No
0 Blank

Article 2:
Do you wish to continue the Budget Validation Referendum process in Regional School Unit No. 14 for an additional three years?

233 Yes
108 No
6 Blank

Registered voters: 13,173
347 voted (.03%)

Volunteers needed for free summer meal program at Dundee Park this summer

By Lorraine Glowczak

The Summer Food Service Program will be providing free summer meals again this year every weekday from Monday July 8 through Friday, August 16 from noon to 1 p.m. This seventh annual free summer meal program will be located at Dundee Park, 79 Presumpscot Road in Windham with the intention to help families save money while providing a fun, safe place for kids and teens, ages 18 and under, to eat a healthy meal every day of the week -unless the park is closed.

Summer fun and free meals at Dundee Park
The Summer Meal program is served by a number of volunteers throughout the community. Volunteers assist each day from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to set up, receive the meals, serve the meals and clean up. “Volunteers are asked to commit to two or three time slots over the course of the six-week session,” stated Michelle Jordan, volunteer coordinator. “They can volunteer on a weekly basis or just for one of the months.” 

There will be mandatory training for volunteers on Wednesday, June 19 at 1 p.m. at Westbrook High School in Room 114. If you are interested in learning more about volunteering, you can contact Jordan at wpsvolunteer @gmail.com. The program is most in need of volunteers on Monday's, Wednesday's and Friday's. If you want to volunteer and can't make that meeting, please let Jordan know and she’ll make arrangements for you.

Statistics indicate that one out of every five school age children are food insecure. This includes children in our small-town communities of Windham and Raymond.

According to the Economic Research Service division of the United States Department of Agriculture, the following is what is known about food insecurity in the U.S.

The defining characteristic of very low food security is that, at times during the year, the food intake of household members is reduced, and their normal eating patterns are disrupted because the household lacks money and other resources for food. Very low food security can be characterized in terms of the conditions that households in this category typically report in the annual food security survey.

98 percent reported having worried that their food would run out before they got money to buy more.
97 percent reported that the food they bought just did not last, and they did not have money to get more.
95 percent reported that they could not afford to eat balanced meals.
97 percent reported that an adult had cut the size of meals or skipped meals because there was not enough money for food.
88 percent reported that this had occurred in 3 or more months.
68 percent of respondents reported that they had been hungry but did not eat because they could not afford enough food.
44 percent of respondents reported having lost weight because they did not have enough money for food.
33 percent reported that an adult did not eat for a whole day because there was not enough money for food.
26 percent reported that this had occurred in 3 or more months.” www.ers.usda.gov.

“I think it is important to volunteer and to help bridge the summer gap that students experience during summer vacation,” Jeanne Reilly, RSU#14 Food Service Director stated in a previous interview. “This gap is pretty severe right here in Windham and Raymond and we need all the help we can get.”

Volunteers, and their children, will have free access into the park, as entrance fees do apply. Park stickers that affix to your vehicle will be replacing passes that were used last year and will be available   for Windham and Raymond residents and can be requested from Reilly at jreilly@rsu14.org.

For those who are interested in volunteering, contact Jordan at wpsvolunteer@gmail.com. To learn more about the program itself, contact Marge Govoni at mgovoni@rsu14.org.
Lunch must be eaten at the park and cannot be taken home; this is the policy for this program.

Spirit of America Award given to Raymond's Sam Gifford

By Lorraine Glowczak

Approximately 150 Raymond residents filled the gym at Jordan-Small Middle School at last Tuesday evening’s Raymond Town Hall meeting (6/4). The purpose of a town hall meeting, which primarily takes place in New England townships, is “a form of direct democratic rule established in the 17th century where members of a community come together to legislate policy and budgets for local government.”

Rep. Jessica Fay presents the Spirit of America
Award to Sam Gifford
However, it is also a time to honor those who have volunteered their time and efforts, instigating a
collaborative and successful community. It is for this reason Sam Gifford of Raymond, who is the brainchild of the Raymond Vitalization Committee, received this year’s Spirit of America Award. Gifford is also a member of the Raymond Select Board.

Briefly, the Spirit of America Foundation was the concept of Maine Governor, John McKernan and became incorporated on October 16, 1990 to promote volunteerism in Maine. According to the foundation’s website, the Spirit of America Foundation Tribute is presented to and in honor of those who have volunteered extensively – and is announced at annual town meetings. 

Gifford’s idea for revitalizing Raymond’s economic, business and residential community occurred in 2007 while a member of the Raymond Planning Board. “I was having a conversation with an active community member, Wayne Holmquist,” began Gifford. “I told him that we should have a committee to look at revitalization to refocus efforts on Raymond’s future and expanding business options.”

Within weeks, Gifford and Holmquist worked together to establish a proposal that was presented to members of the Raymond Select Board. Approved unanimously, the Raymond Revitalization Committee was born. Soon, the committee began meeting with many nonprofits and volunteer organizations to explore what the needs were and how the committee could be of assistance.

By identifying the community’s strengths and assets which included one of Maine’s busiest highways, Route 302, as well as the cooperative community spirit  – the committee considered the 2002 comprehensive plan results as their baseline for their revitalization endeavors. “We felt there were no organizational efforts to address issues such as sewage and Wi-Fi, which are both important to business success and cultivating Raymond’s economic development,” Gifford said.

As the committee progressed, it was renamed and established as the Raymond Vitalization Committee in 2015.

Marshall Bullock, also a member of the Select Board, along with Sharon Dodson began working with the vitalization efforts in 2015. He concurred with Gifford’s statement adding that the business vacancies along the Route 302 corridor became a major impetus for the committee’s work. “In 2015, there was a 25 percent vacancy rate along Raymond’s portion of 302,” Bullock said. “But due to the work of the committee, the 302 corridor is now filled with many businesses that include Chipman Farms, Beacon Pizza, Dunkin’ Donuts, Raymond Car Wash and Storage and Paris Farmer’s Union. It is now down to a five percent vacancy rate.”

Besides increasing business opportunities for Raymond, other accomplishments of the Raymond Vitalization Committee include printing a Raymond brochure for locals and visitors alike that include a list of campgrounds, beaches and businesses as well as educational, family-oriented and cultural organizations. They also sponsor a “Candidates Night” forum at major elections cycles. But that’s not all.

 “The committee also helped to develop the ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ event,” explained Bullock. “We handed it off to the Raymond Village Library in hopes that it would entice local support, but due to the lack of volunteerism, the event was difficult to move forward and has been discontinued.”

The committee previously met once a month but currently are meeting on an as needed basis. “We are now monitoring high-speed broad band internet, sewage issues and assessing the transportation needs of the community - especially those who are aging in place,” stated Gifford.

The Raymond Vitalization Committee is working closely with the Town of Raymond and other communities to bring in high-speed broadband internet to the area in order encourage home-based and small business entrepreneurship. At the present time, internet access for those in the greater Lakes Region area is slow at best and often difficult to access. “I am aware of an individual who is trying to grow her home-based business but has difficulty with the internet that is available to Raymond residents,” Bullock said. “It’s extremely slow and cannot keep up with the demands of website development and marketing opportunities. We want to change that, and we encourage bringing in high-speed internet.”

Economic development and community growth to the town are the highest priorities of the committee. “Our goal is to encourage diverse businesses to relocate to Raymond but to not compete with already established businesses,” Gifford said. “Bringing in new and unique businesses brings with it, affordable housing and superior educational opportunities for our students.”

And – it’s for this reason Gifford was honored for his commendable community service and was the recipient of this year’s Spirit of America Award.

For information regarding the articles discussed and passed at last Tuesday’s town hall meeting, please visit the town’s website at www.raymondmaine.org/content/town-meeting-june-4-2019 or reach out to the Town Clerk for written documentation at 207-655-4742, ext. 121.

June 7, 2019

Age Friendly Raymond survey results are ready

By Sheila Bourque

It has been a long journey but Age Friendly Raymond (AFR) has published the results of the community assessment conducted last year. The AFR Steering Committee recognized the importance of an independent review early in the process to ensure that the review, analysis and recommendations were unbiased. The survey was based on the work of other Maine communities and was reviewed and approved by AARP. This report will serve as the foundation for AFR to develop action plans based on what Raymond residents identified as their concerns and needs to make Raymond a more livable community.

In 2018, a group of interested volunteers received a grant from AARP to research perceptions of residents relative to livability in Raymond. AFR created a survey instrument based on the eight domains of livability created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and promoted by the AARP (eight domains). The eight domains of livability are: outdoor spaces and buildings, transportation, housing, social participation, respect and social inclusion, civic participation and employment, communication and information, and community and health services.

AFR circulated the survey among Raymond residents utilizing written media and local collection boxes, as well as offering on-line options via multiple Raymond organizations' websites. Approximately 300 residents of Raymond completed the survey. The AFR reached out to Kimberly Post, Director of Community-Based Learning at Saint Joseph’s College, who connected the group to John Kenneally’s marketing research class. The class organized itself into self-managed groups that analyzed the results of the survey. Their analysis forms the basis for the report.

The survey showed that residents feel that Raymond is a safe place to live with a great library and recreational opportunities. More than 95% of respondents have access to the internet. The challenges residents face includes public transportation, communication, home health, in-home repairs and maintenance, and the need for property tax relief.  Lack of transportation options, access to health services, and support for mostly independent living can damage the ability of older people to thrive as they age in place. All were areas of concern. Communication, civic participation, social inclusion, and social participation would be improved if people knew how and where to access the information needed.

AFR would like to thank St. Joseph’s College, Professor John Kenneally and the students of his Marketing 302 class for their work in producing this survey analysis and results report. We would also like to thank AARP for their funding grant and Peter Gartland of First Light Home Care for his financial support.  This project has been more than a year in the making and our all-volunteer group could not have accomplished it without their support.

AFR will be meeting to develop action plans to address the concerns identified by residents. The results of the survey can be found on our website agefriendlyraymond.org. If you would like more information or to become involved, drop us a note at agefriendlyraymond@gmail.com.