September 24, 2021

Windham Town Council's Abenaki Drive decision pending

Finding a solution to snow removal in the Abenaki Drive 
subdivision in Windham is causing concern among members
of the Windham Town Council, which has delayed making a
decision to accept Abenaki Drive as a town road until the 
council's Sept. 28 meeting. PHOTO BY ED PIERCE    
By Ed Pierce

Sometimes decisions made by members of the Windham Town Council have far-reaching implications well into the future. Take for an example, the acceptance by the town of a private road as a town road and all the responsibility that entails now and for years down the road. That was the case facing Windham councilors at the Sept. 14 town council meeting regarding the acceptance of Abenaki Drive as a town road.

The Abenaki Drive subdivision contains eight lots with homes and was developed by STJ, Inc. of Buxton and was approved by the Windham Planning Board in December 2017 and in May 2018. The road was one of the first constructed following updated town standards, but as part of the subdivision’s approval, Planning Board members granted two waivers from the public street standard, the requirement for a Cul-de-sac and for sidewalks or widened paved roadway shoulders.

STJ, Inc. offered an easement to the town for public access for 4.03 acres of common open space and stormwater drainage earlier this year in June and applied for Abenaki Drive to be formally transferred to the town as a public roadway.

But lingering questions about snow removal led town councilors to postpone a decision regarding acceptance of the road until later this month.

Windham Town Council Chair David Nadeau raised questions about where town snowplow trucks could put snow scraped off the subdivision road.

“To plow this road, you have to push the snow into someone’s driveway,” Nadeau said. “I feel for these residents but there’s no place to put the snow.”

Windham Public Works Director Doug Fortier also questioned where two- and three-ton town snowplow trucks would place the accumulated snow in the subdivision.

“I don’t know where I’m going to put the snow,” Fortier said.

For the past two years, the road has been plowed by smaller plow trucks by Gorham Sand and Gravel and pushed to the right side of the Abenaki Drive into a 10-foot culvert. And some Abenaki Drive residents at the meeting said the snow could also be pushed onto sections of their property. 

Nadeau said the issue for the town snowplows was created by the developer when they requested and received waivers from the Planning Board for not creating a cul-de-sac and sidewalks.

Five different residents of Abenaki Drive spoke at the meeting saying they built homes in the subdivision because they were told that the roadway would be accepted as a road and maintained by the town and that the subdivision was approved by the Windham Planning Board.

Councilor Jarrod Maxfield explained to the residents of Abenaki Drive attending the meeting that many different factors go into the acceptance of a town road and that questions such as the ability to plow a road efficiently is just one factor the council must weigh carefully along with many other considerations.

“I want to work this out because this is one of the first roads that did what we asked almost,” Maxfield said. “But someone’s getting stuck with the problem and it’s either the town or you and I’d like to make it a solution to make it the town.”

Maxfield raised the question of the town asking for a rider or an easement to protect itself into the future for dumping the snow from Abenaki Drive somewhere in the subdivision.

He told the residents that if accepted, the road will be there at least 150 years into the future, but some future residents of Abenaki Drive may not want snow pushed into the culvert or onto their property and then future Windham taxpayers would have to find a different way to get rid of the snow.

Windham Town Manager Barry Tibbetts suggested that the council postpone a decision about accepting Abenaki Drive as a town road until Fortier could take a town snowplow there and see what can actually be accomplished on the roadway with a larger type of vehicle and where the snow could be pushed to safely and efficiently in the subdivision.

Councilors then voted to follow Tibbetts’ suggestion and will take up the issue again at the Sept. 28 council meeting. <

End of season nearing for Windham Farmers’ Market

Sisters Nola and Georgia Dixon, owners of
Magnolia Flower Company, were on hand
to showcase their wares on Saturday, Sept.
18 at the Windham Farmers' Market.
By Collette Hayes

The growing season is winding down and the Windham Farmers’ Market will wrap up another successful season on Oct. 2, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still plenty of local fresh produce as well as quality artisan crafts available.

The Windham Farmers’ Market was founded four years ago and is sponsored by Baker Brook Farm Creamery, who generously provides the property for the market and the Windham Economic Development Corporation, whose main goals are to support local farmers, makers and artisans and to promote shopping locally.

Farmers’ Market Coordinator Lisa Fisher said that she was enthusiastic about the response to this year’s market

“We have enjoyed another very successful season,” Fisher said. “The market was founded with the intent of both providing fresh local produce as well as providing an affordable venue for the vendors. In order to call yourself a Farmers’ Market you have to have at least two farmers contributing to the market. At this market there are both organic and regular farmers that have been with us for four years. The shopping community that has developed over the years is delightful. It is simply a very nice place to be.”

Over the years, the market has offered a variety of foods and products grown or created in Maine by people who are committed to their craft and the quality of their results.

“Many of our vendors return to the market each year, but we are always looking for new vendors who have a little bit different product to help diversify,” Fisher said. “For anyone interested in becoming a part of our growing vendor community, in the spring, we will begin taking vendor applications toward the end of March.”

Magnolia Flower Company, owned by Nola and Georgia Dixon, are new to the Windham Farmers’ Market this year and are hoping to return next year. They offer locally grown cut flower bouquets, featuring flowers raised from hand-sown crops in Windham.

“All of our flowers are grown at the Windham community garden,” said Nola Dixon whose personality is as bright and sunny as the flowers she sells. “We sell all of our fresh flowers at the Farmers Market exclusively. We truly look forward to being here every weekend. There is such a great sense of community here. Growing flowers at the community garden is our way of contributing to the town of Windham. Now the community is generously giving back to us by supporting us at the market.”

Sarah Allen, the owner of Fox Run Gifts, has been selling her crafts at the Farmers’ Market for the last four years and has something for every age. According to Allen, it takes her three or four hours to crochet her adorable zip-back baby sweaters. Booties and hand knit mittens are readily available to match.

PH Farms continues to offer eggs, fresh produce, jams, jellies and pickles from their farm in South Paris.

“Our farm is small. It is only 14 acres,” said Mary Miriam, the owner of PH farms. “We are fortunate that everything we grow, we either sell fresh here at the market, or our friend, who owns a commercial kitchen, bottles it for us, and we sell that here as well.”

The final days to shop at the Farmers’ Market for fresh produce and quality crafts for the season will be from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25 and Saturday, Oct 2. They will end the season with a Harvest Day for children featuring apple cider, pumpkin painting and other fun activities.

The Windham Farmers’ Market can be found off Route 302 and the River Road intersection at the end of Turning Leaf Drive in North Windham. <

Windham Raymond Adult Education observes National Adult Education & Family Literacy Week

Windham Raymond Adult Education can be found
at 406 Gray Road behind Windham High School.
The program is in partnership with the Coalition
on Adult Basic Education and they are celebrating
National Adult Education and Family Literacy
Week from Sept. 19 through Sept. 25.
Windham Raymond Adult Education, in partnership with the Coalition on Adult Basic Education is celebrating National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, from Sept. 19 to Sept. 25.

To recognize the accomplishments of adult education and family literacy students, Windham Raymond Adult Education sponsored a financial literacy event on Tuesday with Community Engagement Manager Lesley Ridge from University Credit Union providing information about financial literacy topics such as how to pay for a vehicle or college, how to build credit and how to fix bad credit.

Over 30 million Americans over the age of 25 – or one out of every ten U.S. citizens – do not have a high school diploma. Windham Raymond Adult Education is working to change that.

During the past two years, despite all the challenges, 40 students received their high school diploma or HiSET through our program. They currently have 14 students who are working toward either a HiSET or high school diploma and expect this number to grow each month of the school year.

Research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that job growth for individuals without a high school diploma or some college experience is about zero or even negative.

By 2024, 48 percent of job openings will be middle-skill and 32 percent will be high-skill. This means that in less than 3 years, nearly 80 percent of all job openings will require more than a high school degree.

Adults who participate attending Windham Raymond Adult Education are given the opportunity to explore career pathways and hone their skills so that they can advance their careers through post-secondary education or training.

Adult education and family literacy programs serve adults who need to improve their basic literacy and math skills, improve their oral and written English, obtain a high school equivalence degree, and prepare for post-secondary education or training.

Family literacy programs serve parents and their young children, teaching basic skills, English as a Second Language, and parenting skills to adults while their children are provided high quality instruction. These programs are focused on breaking the cycles of low literacy, low education, and poverty.

Windham Raymond Adult Education is located at 406 Gray Road behind Windham High School. Registering is easy. Contact to schedule an appointment with their Adult Basic Education Coordinator to explore which pathway to graduation is right for you.

For more information about Windham Raymond Adult Education please contact

The Coalition on Adult Basic Education is the premier national professional association of adult educators. Over 65,000 members strong, COABE’s mission is to inspire educators so that adults succeed and communities thrive. Website: <

In the public eye: Windham’s Lisa Fisher works tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure town’s success

Lisa Fisher serves as the Administrative Assistant for the
Windham Planning Department and for the Executive 
Director of the Windham Economic Development
Corporation. She also coordinates and staffs the 
Windham Farmers' Market. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Editor’s note: This is another in an ongoing series of Windham and Raymond town employee profiles. 

By Ed Pierce

The work performed for the Town of Windham by Lisa Fisher may sometimes be behind the scenes, but it certainly doesn’t always go unnoticed.

Fisher splits her time between serving as the Administrative Assistant for the Windham Planning Department and to the Executive Director of the Windham Economic Development Corporation. As part of her work for the WEDC, she’s also coordinated and staffs the Windham Farmers’ Market.

“There are several different facets to my job. I provide staff support to Amanda Lessard, the Planning Director; Steve Puleo, the Town Planner; and Tom Bartell, the WEDC Executive Director,” Fisher said. “In addition to my daily office responsibilities, I work on the logistics of special meetings and public outreach events for WEDC. Four years ago, WEDC started the Windham Farmers’ Market. I have been actively involved in the market since then and it represents much of what I do during the summer months.”

As the initial point of contact for the Windham Planning Department, Fisher is typically the first person the public sees for a planning issue. She also helps produce the Planning Board's packets prior to meetings, conducts research, and prepares meeting minutes for approval by board members.

She’s worked for the town for 19 years as of this November and she loves what she does and interacting with the public at the Windham Farmers’ Market.

“The most rewarding thing I do is probably the Windham Farmers’ Market,” Fisher said. “I have a lot of help in that and would like to credit all the hard work of our wonderful volunteers, Jen Kenneally, Celeste Kennedy, and Kelsey LeDoux. We have developed a market of great vendors and customers who are so very supportive. Additionally, I need to acknowledge the invaluable sponsorship of WEDC and Baker Brook Farm Creamery.  Together this group has created something valuable and good for the community.  I feel fortunate to be involved.”

According to Fisher, the most challenging aspect of what she does is work that comes with a deadline or an expiration date. 

“My work can also rely on what someone else is doing before it gets to me, so I need to keep track of a lot of dates, times and projects,” she said.

Originally from New Jersey, Fisher grew up near the coast and later earned a degree at Andover College in Portland after she moved to Maine.

Her most memorable moment working for the town is easy.

“Probably it was when we realized that the Windham Farmers’ Market would continue beyond one season,” she said. “That was gratifying. One of our hopes, when we were organizing that first year, was to have a space that was relaxing and welcoming to be in. We weren’t sure how much interest there would be, but we decided to step into the void and see what happened. Support from our vendors and customers has been overwhelming. They are amazing and the market is really about them. It is so satisfying to be a part of something that is having a positive effect.”

Not everyone is properly suited for working for a town or a city, but it comes with duties and responsibilities that Fisher doesn’t take lightly or for granted. It’s a job she said that she enjoys and remains interesting for her.

“Municipal work is a thing unto itself,” Fisher said. “I was working for a different town, thought it was time for a change and Windham was hiring.”

As someone who works significant time behind the scenes preparing for meetings, Fisher says the public may not have many misconceptions about what she does for the town.

“I’m not sure anyone thinks about my job in those terms,” she said. “I have been here a long time and so I think probably it just is there, and people accept it.”

But her family is supportive of her work and listens as she explains what’s going on at the Windham Town Hall.

“My husband wonders why I talk about stormwater and septic systems as dinner conversation,” she said. <

Fuller Center and USM partner to help elderly remain safely in their homes

The Sebago Lakes Region Fuller Center for
Housing offers home repairs for older adults
in the Lakes Region area that include the rebuilding
of decks, maintenance of sheds and much more.
They have recently teamed up with the University
 of Southern Maine's Occupational Therapy program
to extend services. COURTESY PHOTO  
By Lorraine Glowczak

International keynote speaker, Simon Mainwaring may have had the group efforts of two local organizations in mind when he said: “Creating a better world requires teamwork, partnership and collaboration”, because that is exactly what The Sebago Lakes Region Fuller Center for Housing (Fuller Center) and the University of Southern Maine’s (USM) Occupational Therapy (OT) Department are doing.

In recent months, the two organizations have combined forces to help older adults remain safely in their homes in the greater Raymond, Windham and Standish areas and beyond.

Briefly, the Fuller Center is a local non-profit organization with a mission to make needed repairs to the homes of older adults who are experiencing financial hardships or are physically unable to do so on their own.

“We believe every older adult should never be prevented from living in their home where they have raised their children and made lifelong memories despite the difficulties they may face,” said Diane Dunton Bruni, President of the Fuller Center. “Working with USM’s Occupational Therapy program will not only allow us to offer our services but will provide a long-lasting relationship with our clients”

The USM’s OT program concentrates on a holistic and integrative approach as students become occupational therapy practitioners. The Assistant Clinical Professor for the OT program, Tammy Bickmore said the students are looking forward to working with the Fuller Center while they participate in their own experiential learning.

“As part of our curriculum, we have in-person fieldwork experiences where students can use their classroom knowledge in the real world,” Bickmore said. “The Fuller Center gives us an opportunity to support student learning and help this organization meet their goals and mission.”

A couple of area families have been identified recently and will be the first to receive the services from the organizations’ combined efforts. The volunteers of the Fuller Center will make much needed repairs to a deck, stairs and add a grab bar to a bathroom wall to name a few of the necessary maintenance items.

The OT students will help with a variety of mobility issues to include but not limited to neuromuscular re-education, therapeutic and home-based exercise program and a training schedule.

These combined efforts will provide long-term and caring connections between family members and the OT students.

“This is a generations helping generations sort of experience,” Karen Swasey-Jones, the Fuller Center’s Public Relations Chair said. “Once the stairs and other repairs have been completed, students will continue a relationship with the clients, meeting and improving their physical day to day needs such as walking up the steps securely or helping them get into the shower on their own.”

Swasey-Jones explained that often there are other challenges some clients face that have long lasting and emotional impacts and in this Swasey-Jones captures the true essence of helping others.

“Although the Fuller Center has the intention of repairing homes, we are discovering that our mission opens the door to perhaps more important concerns of physical needs and social isolation,” Swasey-Jones said. “By combining our efforts with the OT students, who will continue to treat the physical, developmental, and emotional ailments that impact our clients’ everyday lives, a long-term relationship will continue. When we [the Fuller Center] visit a client to see what needs repaired, it often turns out that we help them in other – perhaps more deeper ways.”

Dunton Bruni said in a previous interview that the Sebago Lakes Region Fuller Center for Housing’s mission is simple. “It’s giving hope to others, being able to help them feel safe in their homes, and giving them dignity. It is done with an opportunity to pay it forward in a way that they can. When you have hope, then you look to the future. And now, we are lucky to have this partnership with the students at USM. After all, this is truly how one can make a significant impact in the world.”

For more information about the Sebago Lakes Region Fuller Center for Housing, follow them on Facebook, Instagram or peruse their website at:

To make a donation toward the Sebago Lakes Region Fuller Center For Housing, donations can be made to Fuller Center Bike Adventure, Home Team, Diane Bruni.

NOTE: Eighty percent of funds donated to the Fuller Center remains in the Sebago Lakes Region with 20 percent going toward the building efforts in Haiti. <

September 17, 2021

State salutes Windham officer for keeping impaired drivers off roads

Windham Police Department Patrol Captain
Raymond Williams received the DRE
Lifetime Achievement Award during the
annual Drug Recognition Expert training
in Cape Elizabeth on Tuesday, Sept. 14.
By Ed Pierce

Through the years, Windham Police Patrol Captain Raymond Williams has been instrumental in training hundreds of police officers across the state in the techniques of detection and processing alcohol and drug impaired drivers. For his diligence at protecting Maine motorists and keen ability to recognize impaired drivers before they harm others, Williams has been recognized by the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety and the Maine Criminal Justice Academy for his lifetime contribution as a Drug Recognition Expert and his devotion to keeping Maine highways safe.

Williams received the DRE Lifetime Achievement Award during the annual DRE training held in Cape Elizabeth on Tuesday Sept. 14.    

James A. Lyman, State DEC Coordinator and Jamie Dionne, Maine Bureau of Highway Safety, Impaired Driving Programs Coordinator, presented Williams with the award and they said that the honor is well-deserved.

“He has been part of a core group of instructors that are passionately teaching these skills in the Basic Law Enforcement Training Program as well as regional classes and within his own agency,” Lyman said. “Ray has taught in most all the DRE schools since 2003 and has taken on a mentorship role helping new DREs as they learn new skills. For his years of dedicated service and overall contributions in removing impaired drivers from Maine roadways, in addition to his leadership and support for the Maine Drug Recognition Expert program, Raymond S. Williams has been presented with this DRE Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Williams is a native of Cumberland and following graduation from Greely High School, he attended Southern Maine Community College and earned an associate of science degree in law enforcement technology. 

His first job in law enforcement was as a reserve officer for the Windham Police Department and he was hired as a full-time police officer by Windham on Sept. 4, 1986. 

In March 1987, Williams graduated from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, and he went on to successfully complete the Drug Recognition Expert School in 1991. At this time, Williams is the last active member   of that first DRE School in 1991 still serving with his department.

He’s worked for the Windham Police Patrol Division for 20 years, 13 of those as a motorcycle officer.  In June 2010, he accepted an interim detective’s assignment to the Criminal Investigations Division and was awarded the position permanently the following summer. 

Williams worked investigations until November 2014, when he was promoted to Sergeant by the police department and was reassigned to the Patrol Division as one of two Evening Shift Commanders. He was promoted to the position of Patrol Captain in December 2020.

As a certified instructor for the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, Williams teaches Standardized Field Sobriety Testing and is also teaching Active Firearms and Urban Rifle Instruction there. He is a Drug Recognition Expert, skilled in the use of the Intoxilyzer 5000ES equipment to detect alcohol impairment and in firearms. 

He’s run the Windham Police Department’s firearms program since 2006 and has been the department’s armorer since 1993. Williams also launched the department’s first Motorcycle Unit using forfeited assets he seized in a traffic stop from a drug courier transporting drugs from Connecticut to Maine. Enough money was seized to fund the Motor Unit, K-9 program and purchase other equipment not in the normal budget.

Windham Police Chief Kevin Schofield said that Williams has been part of a core group of instructors that are passionately teaching these skills in the Basic Law Enforcement Training Program as well as regional classes and within his own agency.

“Ray has taught in most all the DRE schools since 2003 and has taken on a mentorship role helping new DREs as they learn new skills,” he said.

Williams plans on finishing his career with the Windham Police Department and will have racked up more the 35 years on the job when he does retire. < 

Refuge Church hosting ‘Shop and Hop’ to give back to community

The new 'Shop and Hop' sponsored by the Refuge Church
will be held on Sept. 25 in Windham and includes a thrift
store, a fun bounce house for kids, Gaga ball, hot dogs,
cotton candy and popcorn, all for free. 
By Collette Hayes

A new event sponsored by the Refuge Church in Windham includes something for everyone in the family and is intended to show the church’s appreciation for the community. The “Shop and Hop” event will be held at the Refuge Church’s new location on Roosevelt Trail in Windham on Sept. 25 and will include a thrift store, a fun bounce house for kids, Gaga ball, hot dogs, cotton candy and popcorn, all provided at no cost.

According to the Rev. Adam Herald, the pastor of The Refuge Church, over the last several months the church has received many donated items for the new event.

“We would like to give back to the community of Windham by sponsoring a Shop and Hop. Everything at the event will be free,” Herald said. “We are hoping that people will come and shop at the sidewalk thrift store as well as enjoy good food and fun entertainment for the kids. This is our way of giving back to the Windham community that welcomed us over four years ago.”

On March 5, 2017, the Refuge Church first opened its doors to a congregation of about 150 people in the Fine Arts auditorium of Windham High School. After four years, the church has found a new home in the heart of Windham and currently the new location is under construction and the congregation has been holding services outside on the church lawn. 

“Construction on our new building should be completed soon,” Herald said. “Due to the challenges of the pandemic, for the last 15 months we have been holding our services online. We believe we were blessed, and we are definitely excited to find a permanent meeting place. One of the cultural values of The Refuge is to empower people to be dreamers and not to settle for those dreams to just remain dreams.”

To that end, Herald said that a member of the church’s congregation, Caitlin Burrell, has had a dream to open and run a coffee shop.

“The Refuge is supporting her dream by including a coffee shop, Milk and Honey, in a large welcoming area in our building,” he said. “Although the coffee shop will remain separate and not provide funding for the church, the main focus will be to provide an informal gathering place where our members can come to socialize, network and build community.

“Community is an amazing thing. When you get people together as a community, dreams come to life,” Herald said. “To support dreams, we do something called small groups. Anyone that comes to church for a while and has a dream in their heart can start a group and watch their dream come to life. People weren’t created to travel life alone.”

According to Herald, there will be three classrooms for kids in the new church building. The classroom addition supports the focus that every child deserves a champion, an adult that will never give up on them. Sunday should be kids’ favorite day of the week. They should be having fun and learning about Jesus in a way they can relate.

Herald said that the RefugeKids experience worship, age-specific lessons, and a variety of exciting activities. All of the classes are staffed with a highly trained team of leaders who are background checked and committed to ministering to children.

If you would like to stop by Shop and Hop, bring a bag to shop, enjoy great food and entertainment for the kids. Shop and Hop will be conducted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25 at The Refuge Church’s new location at 765 Roosevelt Trail in Windham. <

Windham librarian Alvino to be honored with Greenaway Award

Jenn Alvino, Windham Public Library
director, is this year's recipient of the
Emerson Greenaway Award for
distinguished library service awarded
by the New England Library Association.
 By Ed Pierce

Patrons of the Windham Public Library have known for a while that their librarian is among the best in the business and soon many in New England are about to learn that too. Jenn Alvino, who’s led the Windham Public Library for more than seven years, is this year’s recipient of the Emerson Greenaway Award for distinguished library service.

As the library’s top staff member, Alvino has guided the Windham library through some difficult challenges, including a significant renovation in 2017-2018, finding solutions to be relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic and exploring new ways to connect with the community based upon the needs of Windham residents.    

She was nominated for the honor by a friend who also is a librarian and members of her staff in Windham.

“I was nominated by one of my colleagues that I’ve worked closely with over the last few years in the Maine Library Association,” Alvino said. “She received letters of support from a few other individuals that I’ve worked with as well.”

The Greenaway Award is the New England Library Association’s top annual award for distinguished service in librarianship. In 1988, the association’s president, Christine Kardokas, established the “Great Librarian Award” and intended for the distinction to recognize the contributions of exceptional librarians.

The very first recipient to be honored for his outstanding achievements was Emerson Greenaway, an innovator in library organization and practice in the 20th century. As the director of the American Library Association in the 1950s, Greenaway championed access to library’s nationwide for all races, despite living in an age of segregation.

Several years after the award’s creation by the New England Library Association, this regional tribute was renamed the Emerson Greenaway Award to honor the memory of its first recipient.

“It is really special to me to not only be receiving the award but to have the support of some amazing individuals that I’ve had the pleasure of working with,” Alvino said. “What I like most about leading the staff at the Windham Public Library is to be able to support the ideas and work that they do each day to meet the needs of the community. The staff does a phenomenal job listening and responding to our library patrons with programming, resources, information, and materials of all types.”

She’s extremely proud of the library’s staff, telling The Windham Eagle in March that those who work at the library are highly approachable and dedicated to helping library patrons.

“My staff is really, really amazing in terms of being flexible, especially this last year. They’ve really done an outstanding job keeping things running. I’m very proud of that,” she said. “I think we do strive to be all things to all people. When people walk through that door, they have a certain expectation of what they’re going to find. We’re always trying to meet that need. As expectations change, we need to make sure we’re flexible enough to do that.”

The Emerson Greenaway Award is presented annually, whenever there is a worthy candidate, at New England Library Association’s Annual Conference.

Alvino was honored for her achievement during Tuesday’s Windham Town Council meeting and will be presented with the award during the upcoming New England Library Association Conference at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts on Oct. 18. <

Sticky Bud Farms earns 'Best Medical Dispensary' for 2021

Sticky Bud Farms of Windham won "Best Medical Dispensary" for all of New England for 2021 by NCCANN, one of the largest cannabis conventions in the country.

The highly coveted award was presented to Dave Whitten, the owner of Sticky Bud Farms on Friday, Sept. 10.

This highly respectable award is given after thousands of patients from across the nation and out of more than 1,000 dispensaries nominated.

"I am proud and humbled by this win as it comes from my peers and patients," Whitten said. "I really strive to be the best in customer service, customer satisfaction, pricing, quality and variety, but at the end of the day, I just want my patients to feel the best and be treated like the best. My staff is phenomenal and unlike other shops, we listen and educate." SUBMITTED PHOTO   

September 10, 2021

In the public eye: Raymond’s new Parks Foreman a trusted neighbor

Longtime Raymond resident Eric Richmond is the town's new
Parks Foreman and will split his time between working for the
Raymond Public Works Department in the winter and Raymond's
Parks and Recreation Department in the summer.
Editor’s note: This is another in an ongoing series of Windham and Raymond town employee profiles .

By Briana Bizier

This coming winter, Raymond’s roads will be in the hands of a longtime local resident. Eric Richmond, who has lived in the town of Raymond for 25 years, is the town’s new Parks Foreman. 

“It’s a split position between Public Works and Parks and Recreation,” explained Joe Crocker, Raymond’s Recreation Director. “Eric works for Parks and Recreation during the summer and then transitions fully to Public Works in the winter for plowing and whatever else they may need.”

This is a new position for both the Town of Raymond and for Richmond himself. 

“I’ll be basically taking care of the athletic fields, the soccer fields, the baseball field, Sheri Gagnon Memorial Park, Tassel Top park, and anything and everything in between,” Richmond said. “And I’ll be plowing the roads of Raymond during the winter months.”

As a longtime Maine resident, Richmond is familiar with the importance of plowing and the demands our long winters make on our rural roads. 

“I’ve had a plowing business for the last seven years,” he explained. “I’ve plowed residential driveways, and we were subcontracted to plow some of the roads in Gray.” Richmond, however, laughed when I asked if he was a plowing expert. “I just know how to run a plow,” he said.

Even before opening his plowing business, Richmond was familiar with heavy machinery. His previous career was operating a log forwarder in the forestry industry. 

"It basically carries wood out of the woods,” Richmond said. “I’d make eight to 15 trips a day back and forth, carrying wood to the landing.” It’s a job that took him all over southern Maine, from Jay, Eliot, and Kittery to as far away as Newcastle.

However, the 2020 explosion in the Androscoggin Mill in Jay caused Richmond’s employer to rethink his entire operation. 

“We produced a lot of 8-foot pine pulp, and that was primarily our profit for the year,” Richmond said. “When you can’t make your profit for the year due to that explosion, well, my boss decided to pursue a different track.”

This different track ultimately led Richmond back to his own backyard and to the places where he had raised his three children. 

“This is a great place to raise your family,” Richmond said. “Our kids were all raised on Raymond Rec sports from the time they could dribble a soccer ball or throw a softball.”

One of his children is now a teacher in Oxford, one is a CNA for Maine Medical, and his youngest is currently attending Gray-New Gloucester High School.

“We were hugely invested in the community with our kids,” Richmond said. “My wife was in charge of the soccer program and I coached baseball and softball, so I’m very familiar with the soccer fields we use and Sheri Gagnon Memorial Park. I’ve coached or been involved with the recreations part of Raymond for probably 20 years.”

Richmond admits that his long history with Raymond’s recreation programs did give him an edge during the hiring process. 

“It’s the only job interview I ever went to and I knew all the answers,” he said. 

He also has long-standing relationships with many of his current coworkers. 

“It’s a pretty tight knit community,” Richmond said. “So if your kids go to school and they’re around the same age, you know a lot of the people. And for a couple of them, I even plow their driveways.”

With his long history in the town of Raymond and his ability to navigate logging equipment, you might be forgiven for thinking Richmond must be a native Mainer. 

“No, I’m originally from South Jersey,” Richmond said. “I went to UMaine in Orono and studied wildlife management and criminal justice. That career path didn’t come to fruition,” he said. “I met my wife in Orono, and she’s a registered nurse at Maine Medical. We settled in Raymond and raised our family.”

It was the beginning of a strong connection to a small town that has anchored Richmond for most of his adult life. Now, as a year-round caretaker for Raymond’s athletic fields, parks, beaches, and roads, it’s a connection that will help maintain the town’s facilities for all residents, including the next generation of young Raymond Recreation athletes. <

Social service organizations grateful for support of Windham residents

 By Ed Pierce

Agencies and social service organizations that provide valuable assistance when needed to residents of Windham want to recognize the town for its continued support and generosity.

The town of Windham has donated $2,000 to
LifeFlight of Maine as a charitable grant to
help the organization to continue to offer critical
care and medical transport services when required
for Maine residents. COURTESY PHOTO
Each year the town of Windham sets aside funding in its budget approved by town residents during the annual town meeting in June for deserving community agencies and the Windham Town Council makes funding awards based upon need and applications it receives. During the Windham Town Council meeting last month, Windham Town Manager Barry Tibbetts shared three letters that the town has received thanking Windham residents for their support.

Colleen Hilton, the president of Northern Light Home Care & Hospice, sent a letter to the town thanking Windham residents for their donation of $1,000.

“Rest assured that the funds you have awarded us will be used to care for patients who lack sufficient health insurance or require our telehealth program for daily monitoring,” Hilton wrote. “As you know, our patients are primarily the frail elderly, and all are homebound. Some are recovering from illness or surgery or may be managing one or more chronic illnesses while others have elected to spend their remaining days at home under hospice care.”

Hilton said many people that they assist are lonely and isolated who look forward to their visit by a clinician.

“Indeed, sometimes for some, their only visitor is their nurse,” she wrote. “We thank you once again for your continued support and generosity.”

Northern Light Home Care & Hospice is a non-profit organization providing direct, personalized care throughout Maine. It is committed to making visits to those at home who are recovering from illness and surgery and offers hospice and other programs to help those who prefer to spend their remaining days in the comfort of their own home. It addresses public health nursing by offering immunization clinics, adult health clinics, and education and awareness events for all ages.

Megan M. Walton, Chief Executive Officer for the Southern Maine Agency on Aging, also wrote to Tibbetts expressing gratitude for a $5,000 donation made on behalf of the town to the agency.

“For more than 40 years, the Southern Maine Agency on Aging has provided residents of York and Cumberland counties with resources and assistance to address the issues and concerns of aging,” Walton wrote. “The agency serves 20,000 individuals each year on our efforts to improve the physical, social, and emotional well-being of Maine’s older population. Thank you for support of SMAA, and for helping to create better days for Windham residents.”

SMAA is a non-profit organization dedicated to planning and implementing social services for adults ages 60 and older, prioritizing those with the greatest economic and social need, including low-income individuals, BIPOC communities, and individuals residing in rural areas. It provides many services and programs for seniors on a variety of issues, be they financial, medical, or personal. SMAA offers seminars to help navigate the array of insurance and Medicare options, delivers important dietary and fitness practices, and provides older adults with the opportunity to stay active in the community via participation or volunteerism.

Kate O’Halloran, Executive Director for LifeFlight of Maine, expressed her organization’s appreciation for Windham’s donation of $2,000 to their vital life-saving mission.

“We hope you take great pride in knowing what a difference your support makes,” O’Halloran said. “We are incredibly grateful. For your support and belief in LifeFlight’s vision for Maine in which every person in every community has access to critical care and medical transport when they need it.”

LifeFlight of Maine offers critical care and medical transport services when required for Maine residents. It achieves its mission by working with EMS partners such as Windham Fire/Rescue to transform the critical care transport medicine system into an integrated, high quality, patient-centered system worthy of the public’s trust.

The Little Sebago Lake Association’s Board of Directors also wrote to the town to thank residents for Windham’s grant of $10,000 to the association.

“Little Sebago Lake Association thanks you for your generous support of our fundraising efforts,” LSLA board members wrote. “Member contributions like yours help us raise the funds necessary to maintain the dam, control invasive plants, monitor water quality, and promote safe boating on our lake.”

The association is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation that owns and operates Hopkins Dam. Its mission is to protect, restore, and improve Little Sebago Lake’s water quality and fragile ecosystem. It aims to create and nurture a community of lake stewards, educate users on lake safety, and always be mindful that human needs must be balanced with the needs of the natural environment.

The LSLA board thanked Windham for partnering with them in the commitment to safeguard Little Sebago Lake’s environment and to be advocates for all Little Sebago property owners.

“Our goals could not be achieved without the generous support of devoted friends like you,” the board wrote. <                 

Windham Pack 805 opens world of adventure for new Cub Scouts

By Ed Pierce

Joining the Cub Scouts will open a world of adventure, make new friends, gain a sense of confidence and is an opportunity to learn new skills in an environment designed to help them succeed for boys in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Windham Cub Scout Pack 805 will conduct a registration
night at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 13 at Donnabeth Lippman
Park in Windham. COURTESY PHOTO
In Windham, Cub Scout Pack 805 is always welcoming new scouts and new parents that hopefully turn into new pack volunteers. On Monday, Sept. 13, Pack 805 will conduct a registration night at Donnabeth Lippman Park at 6 p.m. and pack leaders are hoping for a great turnout of boys looking to take the first step to become Cub Scouts. 

“Scouting teaches kids positive character traits, helps foster relationships, and to be part of the community,” said Windham Pack 805 Den Leader Casey Melanson. “It helps them take their best self, work on self-growth, and try new things. The scout motto is ‘Do Your Best’ and that’s what the kids learn.”

Melanson said that Cub Scout Pack 805 dens meet one night a week for about an hour. The whole Pack gets together once a month, usually for special meetings, like for Trunk or Treat in Windham, a holiday party, or for the Blue and Gold Banquet or other special events.

Joining the Cub Scouts is almost a rite of passage for boys in Windham.

“Our pack is a great group of scouts and parents.  We care about each other, push each other, and just all around have fun,” Melanson said. “We want our scouts to learn what is means to be part of something important, what is means to help their community, make new friends, build relationships, and most importantly grow as a young man.” 

According to Melanson, Pack 805 currently has about three dozen scouts who work on several community projects each year. 

“We have assisted in celebrating the grand opening of a retirement home, picking up trash after Summerfest, and we will usually host a toy drive for a family for Christmas,” Melanson said. “We also participate in Scouting for Food each November to collect needed goods for the Windham Food Pantry.”

Pack 805’s dues are $100 per scout for the year, half of which is due at sign up and the other in December.  Of that $100, most of it covers national registrations, insurance, and other expenses.  The rest stays with the pack to help toward achievements by local members.

“During the year, the pack does fundraisers to help with the cost of awards and to pay for some of our activities, like camping and overnights at EVO,” Melanson said. “We do pizza sales, popcorn sales, and bottle drives.  Our last bottle drive raised over $1,200.”

According to Melanson, Cub Scout uniforms consist of a shirt, a rank neckerchief, and a rank slide. Pants and rank hats are optional. Scouts are encouraged to have a belt (not necessarily a scout belt) to be able to display their beltloop achievements. 

“There is also a handbook for each rank that the scout will need to be able to learn, perform, and complete each achievement,” Melanson said.  “Prices for these items start at around $6 and go up from there. There is a Scout Shop right in South Portland by the Jetport that carries everything that a budding scout would need.” 

She said that Cub Scout activities emphasize having fun and learning useful life skills.     

“Cub Scouts can do anything they put their minds to. We have gone winter camping, hiking, ice fishing, and built lean-tos in the winter woods,” Melanson said. “We also have our annual Pinewood Derby where the boys design and build their own cars and then compete against one another.  As a pack we have had beach outings, cookouts, movie nights, and EVO Rock Gym overnights.”

Serving as Pack 805’s Den Leader, Melanson said that she became involved with the Cub Scouts when her son joined as a Tiger in first grade. He’s now in sixth grade and will be crossing over to participating in the Boy Scouts this fall, she said.

“I was just a scout mom, but soon became part of and then Chair for the Fundraising Committee.  I am also now the Den leader for this year’s second-graders, the Wolves,” Melanson said.

Over the summer, members of Cub Scout Pack 805 worked on completing their achievements so that the scouts could move up in rank. 

These included First Aid, safety, teamwork, nutrition, and other topics, Melanson said. 

For Pack 805’s registration night on Sept. 13, the registration table will be staffed by Scout leaders who can answer any questions that parents of boys interested in participating may have.

“If someone has a new potential scout who is interested, they may come with the parent,” Melanson said. “If someone is interested in joining but is unable to make the registration event, they can reach out to us through Facebook or email.”

For more information about Cub Scout Pack 805, visit their Pack 805 Windham Maine Facebook page or send an email to < 

Sebago Spirits Festival returning to Lakes Region

By Ed Pierce

The third year of the Sebago Spirits Festival promises plenty of fun in a scenic setting with some of the best locally made distilled products from throughout the Lakes Region and Maine on Saturday, Sept. 18.

Hosted by the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce and the Maine Distillers Guild, the festival runs from 1 to 5 p.m. Sept. 18 at Point Sebago in Casco and is an interactive outdoor tasting event featuring great spirits and really tasty food.

The public will be able to taste and sample rum produced by 
Sebago Lake Distillery and a bevy of other local distillers
during the third Sebago Spirits Festival on Sept. 18 at  

“Celebrate Maine’s craft distillers with samples of locally made spirits from 12 different vendors and purchase some of your favorites to bring home while listening to the music of School’s Out and partaking in some fantastic food choices from three locally owned food trucks,” said Robin Mullins, executive director of the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce.

According to Mullins, Maine is home to some of the finest spirits producers in the world and this event was created to showcase their products to the public.

“The best part of this is being able to sample all of the local spirits and then purchase them right there,” she said.

Mullins said there will also be a VIP session for exclusive sampling and the VIP ticket also gets participants a free shot glass, Sebago Spirits Festival cloth mask and a food demonstration.

“The VIP session will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. and the number of these VIP participants are limited,” she said.

Festival tickets are priced at $30 and an extra $10 is collected for VIP tickets.

Vendors for the event include Batson River Brewing include Batson River Brewing & Distilling; Chadwick's Craft Spirits; Hardshore Distilling; Maine Distilleries-Cold River; Liquid Riot Bottling Co.; Mossy Ledge Spirits; New England Distilling; Sebago Lake Distilling; Stroudwater Distilling; Three of Strong Spirits; Tree Spirits of Maine; and Wiggly Bridge.

Participating food trucks will be Volkernick Sausage, MacDaddy's Seafood & Tots, and Pinky D's Poutine Truck.

Live music will be provided by classic rock band School’s Out from Southern Maine.

Hosts the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce and the Maine Distillers Guild are expecting to surpass 400 participants for the event, Mullins said.

Event sponsors include the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce; Maine Alternative Caring; Point Sebago Cove Resort; Patman’s Redemption Center; 99.9 The Wolf; Maine Magazine; Fielding’s Oil; and Norway Savings Bank. 

Tickets are available at <

September 3, 2021

Raymond Community Forest a 'hidden gem'

Raymond Community Forest is a treasure for hikers and
nature lovers. It has about four miles of trails that can be
hiked individually or strung together for a longer trek in
a scenic setting. PHOTO BY BRIANA BIZIER 
By Briana Bizier

When you think of Maine’s famous hikes, what comes to mind? Perhaps you’re picturing the rugged slopes of Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park or the dramatic rocky coastline of Acadia National Park. However, as fall approaches, bringing its legendary foliage, cooler temperatures, and blissful reprise from biting insects, it’s worth visiting some of the  rugged slopes and dramatic views that we can find in our own backyard.

The Raymond Community Forest, a 356-acre permanently conserved preserve nestled between Crescent Lake and Raymond Pond, is a true hidden gem for hikers and nature lovers of all ages. The preserve holds roughly four miles of trails that can be hiked individually or strung together for a longer adventure.

The trails to the east of Conesca Road, also known as the “upper” trails, contain steeper sections and are limited to pedestrians only, while the “lower" trails by the parking lot are also open to mountain bikers, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers. All four of the trails in the Raymond Community Forest begin and end in one parking area off Conesca Road.

The trails are very clearly marked and well maintained; maps are usually available in the kiosk by the parking lot, and they can also be downloaded from the Loon Echo Land Trust’s website:

Exploring each of the four trails in the Raymond Community Forest is worthwhile.

The Spiller Homestead Loop was a favorite with both children when they were learning to read as the gentle mile-long trail features signs pointing out interesting plants and landscape features. This trail is also where my children learned the phrase “glacial erratics,” a term that’s surprisingly useful when living in Maine. The Spiller Loop contains the remnants of several old stone walls that are slowly being reclaimed by the forest, as well as many chatty chipmunks who will let you know on no uncertain terms when you trespass into their part of the forest.

Grape Expectations, a second mile-long loop trail in the “lower” section, branches off the Spiller Homestead Loop. This trail opened in 2019, and its name comes from the abundant wild grapes in this section of the forest. The gentle, bike-friendly trail winds through several boggy sections of forest and past a large vernal pool, so bug spray is highly recommended, especially if you are visiting in early summer.

The Raymond Community Forest straddles Conesca Road, which provides the dividing line between the “lower” trails and the “upper” trails. Spiller Homestead and Grape Expectations both begin in the wildflower meadow surrounding the parking lot while Pismire Bluff and the Highlands Loop, the “upper” trails, require following the Spiller Loop trail for 0.1 mile and then carefully crossing Conesca Road.

The Pismire Bluff trail is easily one of my top ten hikes in Maine. This trail, a 0.7 mile in-and-out climb, begins in a raspberry field on the far side of Conesca Road and then winds through beech and oak trees, passing the occasional glacial erratic, until it makes a short and steep climb to the top of the bluff.

The views of Rattlesnake Mountain, Crescent Lake, Panther Pond, and Jordan Bay from the top of Pismire Bluff are simply unrivaled. This hike is one of my favorite places to bring out-of-town visitors, especially if they happen to be visiting during fall foliage seasons, and the spectacular view from the top might be responsible for quite a few of the new residents who have decided to make a permanent move to Raymond.

The Highlands Loop, the fourth and least trafficked trail in the Raymond Community Forest, takes off where the Pismire Bluff trail ends and makes a gentle 0.7-mile loop through the elegant beech forest at the top of the bluff. It’s a lovely and private-feeling trail that adds a bit of gentle exploration to the climb up Pismire.

Our family first hiked Pismire Bluff when my son was 4 years old. Back then, the climb took us all afternoon and required the use of all of my emergency M&M candies. Our family climbed Pismire Bluff again less than a month ago, this time with family members visiting from Colorado.

We finished the hike in less than an hour and with far fewer meltdowns, a visceral reminder of how quickly the children are racing through childhood and toward adolescence. The view from the top, however, was just as spectacular as ever.

To find Raymond Community Forest, head north from Route 85 on Raymond Hill Road. Turn north on Conesca Road. The trailhead for Raymond Community Forest is just past Hancock Road. <

Keeping Windham and Raymond residents warm this winter with free window inserts

The Maine Energy AmeriCorps
Program and GrowSmart Maine
along with volunteers, are eager to
help as many people as possible
to keep their heating costs low
by offering free window inserts
for eligible families.

By Lorraine Glowczak

In its fourth year, the Maine Energy AmeriCorps Program (MEAP) and GrowSmart Maine will provide free customized window inserts for eligible families in an effort to help individuals who live in the greater Windham and Raymond areas to stay warm this winter, saving on energy costs.

Each eligible household can receive up to 10 window inserts at no cost.

MEAP and GrowSmart Maine, which partners with WindowDressers and Efficiency Maine, as detailed in a recent press release that window insulating inserts are a great option for homeowners and renters because they do not require any fasteners and can be easily slid into existing windows.

From now until mid-October, AmeriCorps volunteer Grace Sherman, will be leading the effort, seeking individuals who can benefit greatly from this service.

“We are eager to help as many people as possible in the Windham and Raymond communities and have begun recruiting eligible households,” Sherman said. “Although the actual building of the window inserts will not occur until the last week of October, we want to spread the word now.”

As soon as Sherman begins receiving requests, she and other AmeriCorps members and/or volunteers will visit homes to determine the size of each window using a tool that records the measurement accurately to ensure a custom fit.

According to the Window Dressers website, “each insulating window insert is made of a custom-made pine frame wrapped in two layers of tightly sealed, clear polyolefin film and finished with a compressible foam gasket. The foam allows enough give for the inserts to be easily slid into place in the fall and removed in the spring, while holding firmly enough to provide a tight, friction-based seal that stops drafts and adds two more insulating air spaces between your home and your window.”

Sherman said that eligible individuals from each household are asked to volunteer their time and build their own inserts, but those who are unable to do so, MEAP will recruit extra volunteers.

“Not only do we seek individuals who need to keep warm this winter, but we are also in need of volunteers,” Sherman said. “Volunteers can choose from one of four days with a variety of shifts. This way, we can accommodate everyone’s schedules.”

Sherman added that window inserts are also for those who do not meet the qualifications for discounted inserts but can participate in the program for a nominal fee plus volunteer time.

The window insert build will take place at Unity Center for Spiritual Growth, 54 River Road in Windham from Tuesday, Oct. 26 to Saturday, Oct. 30.

If you or someone you know is interested in or in need of window inserts, contact Grace Sherman at To sign up as a volunteer, visit www:// or

About the Maine Energy AmeriCorps Program:

The Maine Energy AmeriCorps Program (MEAP) is an AmeriCorps program focused on environmental stewardship and economic opportunity. The MEAP program aims to educate individuals throughout the state of Maine about resources to improve energy efficiency and cost savings and provides light weatherization services such as home energy checks and free window insert installations for economically disadvantaged Mainers. MEAP is a project of Maine Campus Compact, a consortium of 17 campuses whose purpose is to reinvigorate the public purposes of higher education. Maine Campus Compact is under the fiscal umbrella of the University of Southern Maine and is hosted on the USM Lewiston-Auburn campus. <