September 27, 2019

New laws championed by Sen. Diamond take effect

AUGUSTA — A number of new laws sponsored and supported by Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, took effect on Sept. 19. Maine people will begin to benefit from new laws that keep our roads safer, support veterans and help farmers.

“I’m proud of the work we were able to accomplish this year,” said Sen. Diamond. “There’s always more to be done, but we have made great progress toward a safer, more prosperous Maine.”

An overview of laws sponsored and supported by Sen. Diamond is available below:

Sen. Diamond, who serves as chair of the Legislature’s Transportation Committee, introduced several new laws to make Maine roads safer for everyone:

Hands-free electronic devices: A new law from Sen. Diamond prohibits the use of handheld electronic devices while driving, ensuring that drivers’ attention stays on the road. The new law allows for devices to be used in hands-free mode, while attached to the dash of the car, or to call emergency services.

“Move Over” law strengthened: Another new law from Sen. Diamond strengthens the “Move Over” law, which requires motorists to slow down and move over when passing a police, emergency or public service vehicle that is pulled over with its lights on.

Mainers Feeding Mainers: This new law from Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, renews the Mainers Feeding Mainers program, which funds a partnership between local farms and food banks to reduce food insecurity.

Local food for schools: This new law from Sen. Eloise Vitelli, D-Arrowsic, will encourage public schools in Maine to buy and serve more local produce. It’s good for farmers and the economy, providing markets for Maine growers and producers, reducing transportation costs and keeping more Maine food dollars in our own communities. It is also good for kids: It exposes them to a variety of new, fresh, healthy, nutritious food; connects them to local farmers and expands their understanding of where food comes from before it hits their plate.

Providing new opportunities to honor vets: A new law from Senate President Jackson allows Maine people to donate moose-hunting permits to servicemen and women.

Creating veteran-friendly workplaces: Another new law allows veterans to take time off from work to attend medical appointments.

Working to reduce veteran homelessness: Lawmakers passed funding for organizations working in our communities to give veterans the tools they need to get back on their feet.

Faith Lutheran Church to host “Blessing of the Animals” event at Hartwell Farm

In honor of Saint Francis of Assisi whose feast day is in early October, Faith Lutheran Church is holding a traditional Blessing of the Animals ceremony at the Hartwell Farm at 443 Sebago Lake Road in Gorham on Saturday, October 5 at 1:00pm (rain date is October 6).
Blessing of the animals service at Trinity Episcopal Church
 that occurred last year in Saco
St. Francis of Assisi was a 13th century Christian friar, deacon and preacher who was known for his love of animals and nature.  He wrote a “Canticle of the Creatures”, an ode that includes the line, “All praise to you, Oh Lord, for all these brother and sister creatures.” He believed that human beings have a duty to protect and enjoy nature as both the stewards of creation and as creatures themselves. 

Churches around the world hold Blessing of the Animals ceremonies in honor of St. Francis, one of the most famous services being the one held inside the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City where elephants, camels and other animals from the Bronx Zoo process up the aisle to receive a blessing, along with farm livestock like horses and sheep, and the pets of parishioners. 

“Faith Lutheran is proud to introduce this tradition to our community as part of our observance of A Season of Creation, an annual worldwide Christian celebration of prayer and action to protect creation,” explained Pastor Jane Field. “By inviting prayer, changes in lifestyle, and advocacy, this one-month season fosters hope for our fragile earth. We’re uniting to protect all species and the glory of the Creator that they reveal. It’s work that’s urgently needed.”

The October 5 event at Hartwell Farm is open to the public and pet owners are invited to bring their creatures, great and small, to receive a special, personal blessing.  Dogs must be on a leash, cats in carriers, and smaller pets in cages or aquariums.  Those wishing to trailer in larger animals are asked to email in advance to ensure adequate parking.

Actor to star as Daddy Warbucks at WCST will shave head as a fundraiser

On September 29th Windham Center Stage Theater is hosting a fundraiser for their upcoming production of “Annie”. One of the cast members, Randy Hunt will be shaving his head for the role of Daddy Warbucks. He is raising money for St. Baldrick’s foundation.

What is the St. Baldrick’s foundation? According to its website: “Every two minutes a child is
diagnosed with cancer – about the time needed to log onto your laptop, order a coffee, or get through a TV commercial break. It’s also about the same amount of time it takes to have your head shaved to support childhood cancer research. Join the fight against childhood cancers by participating in a St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event near you.”

The head-shaving fundraising event will occur this Sunday, September 29th, at 12:30 p.m. at the Windham Town Hall.

Randy Hunt stated, “I’m trying to raise $1,000 to help with the Baldrick's mission of fighting childhood cancer. Since 2006, they have raised nearly $280 million! I’m thrilled that in some small way *WE* can help make a difference in the lives of kids going through one of the worst things that can be thrown at them -- a cancer diagnosis.”

In order to do that, Hunt is asking his fellow actors to be a part of the fundraising effor. “BUT - I NEED YOUR HELP! For every $5 a crew member of Annie donates - their name will be entered into a drawing to be one of the three people who will get to help shave my head with the electric clippers! Our Annie (Meghan) will get the first swipe at my precious locks. Then one other cast member and one staff/crew member will each take one side of my head to render it bald. All crew members will get one free entry into the drawing!”

For those who wish to help Hunt reach his goal and wishes to donate to the cause - can do so online at

Maine birthday events begin in Windham

Windham is commemorating Maine’s Bicentennial with signature events over the next year. To start off the festivities, there will be a celebratory Maine Bicentennial Kick-off in conjunction with the Windham Public Safety Day, located at the Windham Public Safety Building, 375 Gray Road next Saturday, October 5. The celebration will begin at 10 a.m. and will continue until 1 p.m.

The day will start with a ceremonial raising of the official Maine Bicentennial Flag followed by a
variety of historical games, crafts, and snacks along with a launch of a historical photo scavenger hunt.

Also, there will be historical safety equipment on display, giving everyone an opportunity to see safety equipment once used in days of yore.

According to Maine’s Bicentennial Commission, “Maine became independent—very independent—in March of 1820, 200 years ago. [To celebrate with local festivities] is the perfect occasion to explore all that makes Maine what it is today—our land and waters, history, people and institutions, challenges and successes.

Other events include: Free disposal for unwanted/expired medications, crime scene drone demonstration, K-9 demonstration and fire extinguisher demonstrations – and much, much more.

Join the festivities and celebration next Saturday, October 5th to learn how you, your family, or your community organization can participate in events throughout the year and help celebrate Maine’s 200th

To learn more:

Rep. Fay earns Maine Council on Aging award

AUGUSTA – Rep. Jessica Fay, D-Raymond, has been named as the Maine Council on Aging’s (MCOA) 2019 “Legislator of the Year.” The award recognizes the sustained efforts of legislative leaders who actively champion legislative initiatives that improve the health, safety and economic security of older Mainers. She shares the award with Rep. Drew Gattine, D-Westbrook.

“I am humbled by this award,” Fay said. “It means a great deal to me to receive this honor from the Maine Council on Aging.”

Fay is being recognized for her work building cooperation and coordination between agencies in developing aging policy and for her efforts to reframe how the Legislature deals with aging. Fay is House chair of the Legislature’s Aging Caucus and is also House chair of the Commission to Study Long-term Care Workforce Issues.

“I feel it is important to elevate the conversation about what it means to age well in Maine,” said Fay. “I will continue to work to improve how we treat Mainers as they age, and make sure they have the respect they deserve and the services they need.”

The MCOA is a network of more than 90 organizations, businesses, municipalities and older Mainers formed to address public policy concerns facing older adults in Maine. The award winners will be honored at the upcoming Maine Council on Aging Summit on September 24, 2019, at the Augusta Civic Center in Augusta.  

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.

September 20, 2019

Active Assailant Preparedness Training will be offered by Rotary and Windham Police

Incidents of active assailants attacking innocent people are hitting the news with disturbing frequency. How prepared is your business for such a catastrophic event?

With the intention to better inform and prepare for such a circumstance, The Sebago Lake Rotary Club is working in conjunction with The Windham Police Department to offer a two-hour Active Assailant Preparedness Training on Thursday, October 3 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The lunch time event will be held at the Windham Veterans Center, 35 Veterans Memorial Drive.

All participants will receive this certificate
The Active Assailant Preparedness Training Program is designed to plan and make an individual ready for the unthinkable. 

Participants will be taught the Citizen Response to Active Assailant Training utilizing the Avoid Deny Defend TacticTM. Officer Matt Cyr will lead the workshop and is certified through the ALERRTTM Center at Texas State University. Those in attendance will learn the psychology behind what motives an active assailant as well as the range of emotions and physiological steps a victim goes through in these types of situations. Each individual will receive a certificate of completion for the training.

According to website “The campaign is designed to provide all civilians with knowledge that will empower and instill confidence to survive an active shooter attack whether at work, church, the movie theater or anywhere else they may be.  It is not intended to frighten, but to empower and strengthen the ability to survive. Avoid  Deny  Defend™  is designed as an awareness tool that will empower and instill confidence to civilians of all ages and abilities,  helping them understand that ‘What You Do Matters™’ in an active shooter event.”

“The Sebago Lake Rotary Club is best known for our local fund-raising efforts; however, we are committed to providing many other valuable resources to our community,” stated Rotary member, Tricia Zwirner. “We recognize that it’s our responsibility to begin some very tough conversations and create an open dialogue with our local citizens. The threat of an active shooter has become a reality in our society, so we are offering this valuable training to prepare community members with the skills and knowledge necessary to empower them to take action and save lives. It’s not where we want to be but it’s where we have to be.” 

“It’s important to provide practical training for situations that are unexpected and potentially tragic,” began Rotary member Mark Morrison. “The training will help prepare participants to avoid possible damage in pubic places and minimize worst case scenarios.”

Anyone who is interested in participating in this training is welcomed to join in, however seating is limited. Deadline to register is on Wednesday, September 25th. Although the training is free, there is a $10 lunch charge that must be ordered when registering. To register for the event, email at Payment for the lunch will be accepted at the door.

A special thanks to the sponsors of the event. They include Tricia Zwirner of State Farm, First Light Home Care, Gorham Savings Bank and the Town of Windham. <

Local businesses advertise to raise money for the Maine Children's Cancer Program

In honor of Children's Cancer Awareness month, The Windham Eagle newspaper organized an advertising campaign in last week's September 13, 2019 edition to raise funds for the Maine Children's Cancer Program. For every ad sold, $5 was donated to the organization. A record total of $425 was raised.

If you would like to support the Maine Children's Cancer Program pediatric oncology portion of The Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center, you can make a donation online at Making a gift today allows your donation to be put directly to use. Your tax-deductible donation will help the Maine Children's Cancer Program provide the best possible care to children fighting cancer by applying your generosity where the need is greatest.

A big thank you to our local businesses for making this contribution possible. Please remember to always support local first and tell them you saw their ad in The Windham Eagle Newspaper. You will find the special pages dedicated to these businesses in the center of the September 13th edition.

Food insecurity continues for displaced veterans: Windham Veterans Center still taking food donations

By Dave Tanguay

Food Insecurity among the homeless and displaced Veterans in the Portland area continues to be a concern of the American Legion Field-Allen Post in Windham.  For the Past two plus years the Legion Post has been collecting food items in support of the Portland Vet Center, Homeless Vet Food Pantry, a small, but crucial support system for many local homeless and food insecure veterans.

At the Windham Vet Center, as part of the collection effort, a member of the Eagle Riders #4131 out of New Gloucester, Greg Damon, stopped by and dropped food items collected by the Eagle Riders in Gray and New Gloucester in support of the program. The Legion Post appreciates this support from organizations like the riders.

Chuck Whynot and Greg Damon
The Portland Veterans Center provides an array of support for local veterans in need in addition to the food pantry.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with a female Marine Corps vet who told me about a bad time recently in her life. She agreed to tell her story to highlight the work at the Center and identify the help she received.

To keep the story short, she was in need of medical and housing help and was facing food insecurity due to her inability to work.  These issues were compounded by issues with PTSD. Her salvation was in seeking help from the Portland Veterans Center. She was assisted with, medical referrals, support for her rental and help with her food insecurity due to the presence of the Homeless Vet Food Pantry staffed by our own team of Legion Post 148 members.

Chuck Whynot and Bill Cassidy are two of these Post members who work tirelessly in collecting, sorting and the distributing the food items each week. Over the last two plus years, they have delivered almost two tons of food items to the Portland Veterans Center. Their work has been extraordinary! Post Service Officer, Chuck Whytnot, founded the program when he saw the need and has provided weekly support ever since. Staff at the Portland Veteran’s Center indicates that they fill 20 to 30 requests each week.

This time of year (and during the holidays) the needs are the greatest. We have some regular donors like WWII Vet, Bob Miele, who almost weekly, provides a bag of groceries. Recently, we had a local individual stop by and give two boxes of items even though he himself was not a veteran.

Despite this recent support, the cupboards are close to bare. The needs are great!

How can you help? Each Wednesday, Whynot collects non-perishable food items at the WVC from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.  Most useful food for the cause is small unit or single serving items of meats, spaghetti, soups, canned fruit, sauces etc. as well as a variety of crackers and juice/drink products. No donation will be rejected.  There are a variety of needs. Want to give a financial donation? Not a problem, Whynot keeps a ledger of donations. Checks should be made out to the Legion Post 148.

September 13, 2019

Celebrating local business success with Referral Network social

Most business owners and professionals would agree that the growth and success of their company is due, in large part, through their connections with others. Whether you’re working as an independent contractor, starting a new business, or trying to build an established company, building long-term, meaningful relationships with quality business professionals is the heart and soul to success.

Many local business owners and entrepreneurs have found professional – and personal – success through their long-term relationships with Referral Network – BNI, Windham. To share in their successes and the meaningful friendships they have developed, they invite the public for a social at Pat’s Pizza, 844 Roosevelt Trail on Wednesday, September 18 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Join in for a variety of food and conversation to learn more about how this group of professionals can help your business growth and continue to succeed.

Current President of Referral Network – BNI® - Windham Chapter, Darlene Pratt, has been a member for five years. “My membership with BNI® has consistently been 15 to 20 percent of my business yearly and has brought to me exceptional relationships.”

Briefly, Referral Network is one chapter of BNI® – Maine, which is part of a larger and supporting international organization, where people can quite literally gather and support each other all over the globe. According to the website, the mission of BNI® is to help members increase their business through a structured, positive and professional referral marketing program that enables companies to develop. This occurs through weekly meetings and exclusive resources.

There are many core values that members of BNI® promote and these include the commitment to life-long learning, having a positive attitude, attending weekly meetings and taking accountability. But one core value that builds long-term success was explained by BNI Founder, Dr. Ivan Misner in a recent interview.

“BNI®’s principle core value is ‘Givers Gain®’,” Misner began. “The idea is that if you help others by sending business their way, they’ll do the same for you. This is a concept that is predicated on building relationships, not focusing on transactions. One of the most important things I’ve discovered over the last 33 years is that networking is more about farming than it is about hunting.  It is about building long term meaningful relationships with other business professionals.”

Mark Morrison, Referral Network member growth coordinator stated that “BNI® allows you to broaden your professional resource network beyond your field of expertise. This allows you to connect your clients with quality professionals you know and trust which will ensure they will be taken care of properly. You become the go to person for your clients and your community. It is a win win for all concerned.”

With the ‘Givers Gain®” value by which BNI® members adhere, many professionals throughout Maine have also seen significant increase and growth in their businesses.

Get to know other like-minded business professionals in the Greater Windham business community and join Windham’s BNI Chapter – Referral Network – for a social event with food and conversation. <

Faith Lutheran Church offers a chance to win a “Dream Trip” for two anywhere in the continental U.S.

A small church in North Windham is hoping that a fundraiser can also help raise awareness and support for the work they do serving neighbors in need. Faith Lutheran Church sits on a hill in the woods at the edge of Sebago Lake at 988 Roosevelt Trail, but their compassion extends far beyond that idyllic setting. The motivating force behind a new non-profit, Fuller Center for Housing in the Sebago Lake Region (expected to become official in late October), the congregation has recruited other area churches as well as St. Joseph’s College to begin a program to renovate and repair houses of the elderly and disabled.

Faith Lutheran has also become an official partner with St. Ann’s Episcopal Church to operate a monthly Essentials Pantry providing items like soap, cleaning and paper products, diapers and personal hygiene items that can’t be purchased with SNAP (food stamp) benefits.  The church is a part of the Monday Meals program, and practices “tithing” by donating 10% of all money they raise to various organizations like the Village Fund, RSU14 Backpack Program, The Root Cellar, Windham Neighbors Helping Neighbors, and the City of Portland fund to assist asylum seekers.

To continue with these efforts, they are now conducting a special “Dream Trip” raffle, selling tickets to those in the surrounding community who would like a chance to support the church’s work and want a chance to win dinner anywhere in the continental United States, with air or train fare and two nights in a hotel also included (total value of $2,500). 

Tickets are $20. Only 500 tickets will be sold, so there is a 1 in 500 chance of winning. But hurry! Deadline to purchase the raffle tickets will be Sunday, October 6. The drawing will be held at the church on Sunday, October 13, at 10:45 a.m. and ticket holders do not need to be present to win. Local travel agent Emery Travel in Raymond will handle arrangements for the winner.

“We know that a lot of our neighbors aren’t members of our church but would welcome the chance to support our small-but-mighty congregation because of all the ways we serve the larger community,” said Pastor Jane Field.  “And we’re finding that this “Dream Trip” raffle is a great way for us to get to know our neighbors better, too!  It’s been so much fun to talk with folks about where they would go if they win. We’ve heard beautiful stories about trips to see family, life-long dreams to see the Grand Canyon or return to a childhood hometown. We’ve also been touched by those who have bought tickets for others, hoping to give a friend or family member the chance to take a trip they could never afford on their own. It’s warmed our hearts and reminded us once again of why we love being part of this community.”

Tickets are on sale after 9:30 a.m. worship on Sunday mornings at the church or from any church member. For more information, email or call Steve at 207-221-0734. Raffle terms and conditions are available on the Faith Lutheran Church Facebook page (Faith Lutheran Church Windham Maine). 

Raymond Fire and Rescue and Age Friendly Raymond collaborate with Red Cross to give away free smoke alarms

Free smoke alarms are available to Raymond residents through an American Red Cross program that has saved at least 627 lives nationwide.

Raymond residents can request appointments for free smoke alarm installation by visiting or calling 874-1192 and choosing Option 3. The Red Cross, the Raymond Fire and Rescue Department and Age Friendly Raymond are teaming up and will perform the installations on Saturday, Sept. 28.

“We urge you to take advantage of these free lifesaving services. Home fires are a real threat to our community,” said Fire and Rescue Chief Bruce Tupper. “Smoke alarms can – and do – save lives. Smoke alarms are your first line of defense to provide you quick warning as you do not have much time to escape the toxic soup of chemicals that a fire creates.”

In addition to installing free battery-powered smoke alarms, teams will check existing alarms, help residents create escape plans and review home fire safety tips with them.

Working smoke alarms reduce the risk of death by half and an escape plan further improves the odds of survival. Many people do not realize that smoke alarms have a 10-year lifespan and need to be replaced after that time.

“Older adults are at the greatest risk of dying in a fire – more than twice that of the population as a whole,” said Sheila Bourque, who serves on Age Friendly Raymond’s Steering Committee. “Taking concrete steps like having working smoke alarms and creating an escape plan can make all the difference.”

On average, seven people die in a home fire every day in the United States. Sixty percent of those deaths take place in homes where the smoke alarms weren’t working properly or where there weren’t any smoke alarms at all. 

“We know this work is making a difference. At least 627 lives – including those of 11 Mainers – have been saved because of it,” said Melissa Condon, the Red Cross disaster program manager for Cumberland County. “Home by home, community by community, we are making Maine people safer.”

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit us at or on Facebook @MaineRedCross, Twitter @ARC_Maine or Instagram @maineredcross.

September 6, 2019

WIndham Town Council discusses Community Center

By Lorraine Glowczak

The Windham Town Council met on Tuesday evening, September 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the Town Hall in the Council Chambers room. evening Council Workshop began with an update from the Windham Community Center Advisory Committee. The committee gave a graphic 3D tour video presentation of the proposed building design. The design displayed considers space and activities for multigenerational use with the intention of becoming financially self-sustaining.

The Community Center layout consists of a reception area, four basketball courts, swimming pool, a kitchen area with a large room next door. The kitchen and the next room can be expanded to provide larger meeting space. Above the basketball courts on the second floor is an indoor track and administrative offices. Locker rooms and a child care space are also a part of the design.

Chair of the committee, Pat Moody stated that the committee is looking at whether or not the center will be a municipal or nonprofit and how to generate revenue through activities, all the while considering operational costs. “These are the pieces of the puzzle we need direction from the council,” he said. a few minor concerns about the building itself, The Council agreed regarding the use and concept design of the Windham Center as presented at the meeting. Disagreement was expressed among council members and public in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting regarding the suggested location/property for the building – the land behind Smith Cemetery at the Route 302/202 rotary.

“The next charge is to talk with Don [Gerrish, Interim Town Manager] to find out what it’s [next steps] going to include, how big the committee should be and identify where the money is coming from to continue – then we can move forward,” explained David Nadeau.

Mark Hampton of Mark Hampton Associates, Inc. spoke to the council regarding the Smith Cemetery parcel that is the proposed building site for the community center as well as expansion of the cemetery itself. Hampton is a certified soil scientist and site evaluator and he was hired to evaluate the land. A portion of the parcel contains wetlands, but no vernal pools were found. Although he does not see any red flags regarding both the construction of the center and expansion of the cemetery in regard to environmental impact, he does suspect that a fee might need to be paid to DEP in order to build there. He did share a few “yellow light” concerns in which design and layout would need to be analyzed in great detail.  

For more information about the community center plans, programs and designs, contact the Windham Parks and Recreation Department at (207) 892-1905 or Parks&
For full details of the meeting and other agenda items discussed, go to the town website at

GWBE Wing Challenge crowns first winner

Last Wednesday, Greater Windham Business Exchange hosted its first GWBE Wing Challenge at All About Kids in Windham. The event brought in stiff competition with The Beacon in Raymond winning the popular vote and taking home bragging rights and a plaque to be hung in their restaurant for the year.

The wing challenge partnered with area businesses to raise money for Hannah Warrior Princess’ mission of raising money to purchase fun play sheets to be giving to children at Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital.

Hannah was diagnosed with Leukemia and spent a lot of time at Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. She’s home now and wants to give back to other children staying at the hospital. The play sheets go home with the children after they use them at the hospital.

The event raised over $600 with admission and donations combined. This will purchase at least 60 sets of sheets for ill children.

GWBE is a 501(c)(3) networking group that raises money for local charities and non-profits. Save the date for the next event on September 18, a block party carnival at Commons Drive in Windham, to raise money for Marine Mammals of Maine. For more information, visit