November 23, 2022

Remembering Windham’s Steve Quimby

By Max Millard
Special to The Windham Eagle

I first met Steve Quimby in 1958, when my family moved from New Hampshire to the Goold House in Windham, two houses away from the Quimby residence. Steve was my classmate, and we became friends right away. We were both members of a club called the Tree Scouts. The only other members were Steve's older brother Jimmy and their cousin Dennis Hawkes.

Steve Quimby gathers with the rest of the Tree Scouts in
Windham in 1962. From left are Steve Quimby, Peter Millard
(honorary member), Dennis Hawkes, Jim Quimby and Max
The original Tree Scouts were started by Steve's father Ivan Quimby and his friends. We copied the name. Jimmy thought the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts were stupid. The Tree Scouts made up their own rules.

We built a cabin on the Hawkes’ land at the edge of the woods. We cut down the logs and hatcheted the ends to make them fit together, using as our model a picture of Abe Lincoln's log cabin. We got a wooden platform for the floor and smeared creosote on the walls to protect the logs against rotting. We spent many nights sleeping there.

Unfortunately, there were a few insects trapped inside the logs which made a shrill­ pitched whistle all through the night. Apart from that, it was a great getaway for us. It gave us a place to smoke, swear and look at dirty magazines.

In the summertime, the Tree Scouts would often sleep out under the stars in our sleeping bags. We would sneak into the Hawkes's garden and raid it of strawberries peas, corn and anything else that was ripe. Each boy would go after a different item'. Then we'd build a fire and roast corn on it, keeping the husk intact to seal in the moisture. Seldom have I tasted corn that was so delicious.

From the spout

In those days the Hawkes grew a lot of apples, which they sold by the bushel. The ones that fell to the ground were gathered in baskets and taken to the cider mill downhill from the farm, where they were crushed into cider. Steve and I would sometimes go to the mill, turn the handle, and drink cider directly from the spout like a garden hose, letting most of it run onto the ground.

Every fall, the Hawkes and Quimbys grew more tomatoes than they could sell at the stand. At the end of the season, Florence Hawkes didn’t can them fast enough to keep up, and many tomatoes would rot on the vines. So, the Tree Scouts would go have a tomato fight. Tomatoes would soon be splattered all over our clothing, so that we resembled bloody actors from a third-rate horror movie. It was fun to dodge flying tomatoes by hiding in the bushes or making alliances to gang up on others.

Rainy afternoons were never dull for the Tree Scouts. We'd go to a house where our parents weren't home, dial a number at random, and start using vulgar language. Sometimes the victim would stay on the line and swear back at us, but usually they'd hang up. Other times we'd look in the phone book for a family whose last name was Lord. Then we'd call and ask, "Is this the Lord's residence?" If they said yes, we'd say, "Then let us pray."

One of the favorite tricks I did with Steve was pulling a handbag. We'd place an old empty handbag in the middle of Windham Center Road with a fishing line attached to it, then hide in the bushes next to the road. When a car would stop to check to see if there was any money inside, we'd pull the bag quickly, then run away laughing. The driver would shake his fist at us.

Back in junior high, Steve and I both started smoking cigarettes, although we later gave up the habit. Both Steve's mother Barbara and my father Ben were smokers, and we'd take turns stealing cigarettes from them, then share them. Steve would take one or two at a time from his mother's purse. My dad always kept several packs on a bookshelf in the kitchen. I'd push one of the packs behind the books, and if he didn't notice it within a week or two, I'd take the whole pack.

We would sometimes go out at night and smoke in Dick Hawkes' strawberry house. But the best place for smoking was Alley Hawkes' barn because you could stack up the bales of hay like building blocks and construct a house big enough for two of us to fit in. We'd sit there at night with a flashlight and smoke. Of all the places in town, that was probably the most dangerous to do that. But we were careful, and never had an accident.

One night the four Tree Scouts decided to climb the high school water tower. It was located beside the old high school. To climb the tower, it was necessary to scale a 10-foot latticed wire fence, which had holes just big enough to hold the toes of our shoes. On top was a metal bar topped with two strands of barbed wire. You had to do some very tricky balancing to make it over that wire without getting your pant leg entangled and falling. But barbed wire was nothing to farm boys.

Snow jumps

In winter, we all went sledding, standing up straight on our toboggans and holding the guiding rope, mimicking Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, a popular TV show of the time. We'd construct big wedge-shaped snow jumps, but it was nearly impossible to remain standing until we landed.

Steve graduated from Windham High School in 1967, and not long after that he got a job at Serta Mattress. One of his workmates there called himself Lindbergh, claiming he was the kidnapped Lindbergh baby. He got mad if people said they didn't believe him.

One day, when Lindbergh didn't think he was being observed, he picked up Steve's lunch box, removed the handle, and put it on his own lunchbox. But Steve saw this happening. When Lindbergh wasn't looking, Steve threw his lunchbox in the river.

As it was sinking, Steve called him over and said, "Hey Lindbergh, what's that out in the river?" Lindbergh said he didn't know. Steve said, "It looks like a lunchbox. Hey, maybe it's your lunchbox." Lindbergh said that it couldn't be, because that one had a handle. Steve answered, "It is too your lunchbox, and I threw it there because you took my handle."

I could tell more stories about Steve, but what I remember most about him is his good nature and his sense of humor. I hardly ever saw him without a smile on his face.

After I moved to California in 1980, I lost contact with Steve for many years, but I kept in touch with our classmate Lloyd Bennett and Steve's cousin Jim Hawkes. When I flew into the Portland Jetport for a visit to Maine in 2016, Jim and Lloyd met me at the exit. They were accompanied by a tall, large man who looked vaguely familiar. It was Steve! We had a great reunion, and the four of us went out to dinner that night, and later met twice more, for a pizza night at Lloyd's and at Jim's neighborhood party.

That was the last time I saw Steve but hearing of his passing jogged my memory about what a good friend he was. I wish I could have been there for his memorial service. I've remembered him for 64 years and I'm sure I will never forget him. <

Morrison to serve as new Windham Town Council chair

By Ed Pierce

Incumbent councilors Nick Kalogerakis and Jarrod Maxfield and new at-large councilor John Henry have been sworn in to serve on the Windham Town Council following the municipal election earlier this month and during a council meeting on Nov. 10, councilors elected a new chairperson, leadership team and made committee assignments for the coming year.

Councilor Mark Morrison has been elected
to serve as the chair of the Windham Town
Council for the coming year. He has served
as an at-large Windham Town Councilor
since November 2020. FILE PHOTO
Councilor Mark Morrison was elected as the new Windham Town Council chair, succeeding Jarrod Maxfield in that position. The council also nominated and elected David Nadeau to serve as the council’s vice-chair and Brett Jones as the council’s parliamentarian.

Morrison has lived in Windham since 1990 and is a financial advisor. He has represented Windham as an at-large councilor since being elected in November 2020.

The council also chose Nadeau to serve on the Finance Committee along with Councilors Bill Reiner and Nicholas Kalogerakis. Elected to serve on the Appointments Committee are Councilors Bill Reiner, Kalogerakis and Nadeau.

Kalogerakis, who represents Windham’s South District, will join Maxfield in continuing to serve as the council’s representatives to the Windham Economic Development Board.

Councilor Brett Jones, who represents Windham’s East District, was elected as the council’s representative to the Public Easement Committee.

Newly elected Councilor John Henry was elected to serve on the Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee, while Maxfield was elected to serve on the Highland Lake Leadership Team.

Nadeau was elected as the council’s lone representative to the Long Range Planning Committee, while Jones will continue to serve on the Natural Resources Advisory Committee.

Councilors Maxfield, Nadeau, and Henry were elected to serve on the Ordinance Committee.

Maxfield will serve as the council’s representative on the Energy Advisory Committee while Morrison will continue to represent the council on the Substance Prevention Grant Committee. <

HOPE program helps families achieve economic independence

The Higher Opportunities for Pathways to Employment program, offered through the Maine Department of Health and Human Services Office for Family Independence, supports Maine parents in pursuing meaningful careers while helping to address Maine’s workforce needs.

Maine's Hope Program helps parents
pursue meaningful careers while
providing a pipeline for future
workforce needs across the state.
HOPE provides wraparound support for parents to reduce barriers to pursuing higher education and help them attain education and training in career-oriented fields that can provide a pathway to economic independence. It uses a wholistic approach that recognizes that parents face a range of challenges to accessing higher education.

For example, parents who can’t access or afford reliable childcare or transportation often end up dropping out of class or not pursuing educational or training opportunities; and those who put their education on hold may have unpaid fees that keep them from reenrolling.

The HOPE model provides funds to pay expenses including classes, childcare, car repair, books, technology, and even dental care and corrective eyewear that may be needed to help parents stay in school. Along with financial support, the HOPE program also connects participants with student navigators who provide individualized help with resolving logistical barriers like finding childcare, selecting, and registering for classes, developing a schedule and workload that fits their life, and applying for financial aid.

In addition to benefiting individual Maine families, the HOPE program is also helping to provide a pipeline for participants to attain degrees, training, and licenses needed to access meaningful and well-paying careers in key sectors. Since the program began in January 2020, HOPE has helped 193 parents earn a total of 205 degrees and credentials, including associates and bachelor’s degrees and short-term occupational training in in-demand fields ranging from accounting and early childhood education to skilled trades like masonry, commercial driving, precision machining, and electrical technology.

One sector where HOPE graduates are finding success and filling critical roles is health care. Of the 205 credentials earned, 73 percent have been in the health care field:
* 52 HOPE graduates earned nursing degrees and completed training programs leading to certified nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse, and registered nurse credentials

* 42 HOPE graduates earned credentials in behavioral health such as substance use disorder counselors, social workers, and mental health and rehabilitation technicians

* 56 credentials earned by HOPE parents help support the vital work of health care, including health care administration, medical assisting, medical billing and coding, gerontology, phlebotomy, and massage therapy.

Many HOPE graduates have found employment directly after completing their education or training. In a recent survey of participants, a majority of respondents reported that the credentials they obtained with support from the HOPE program led to positive outcomes like increased wages, new jobs and promotions. None of the respondents reported they were unable to work in their field of study.

According to one HOPE graduate who obtained a nursing degree and RN credential, “I cannot even begin to explain how much of an impact being able to further my education has made for myself and my family. I feel so hopeful that I have permanently broken the chain of generational poverty.”

More information about HOPE, program eligibility, and how to apply is available online and on the HOPE Program Facebook page. <


Taking simple steps now can avoid frozen winter pipes

Don't be caught off guard by the sudden surge of frigid weather, with its bone chilling temperatures and biting windchills.

Homeowners can avoid problems with frozen
household pipes by taking a few simple 
precautions now such as wrapping and insulating
pipes and turning off outside water faucets.
Avoid the hassle of frozen meters and pipes by taking a few simple precautions now.

According to the Portland Water District, here are a few simple steps to prevent a winter disaster:

* Turn off outside faucets. Disconnect the hose. If you are going to be away for the winter, turn off the water from inside your house and drain the pipe.

* Never completely shut off the heat when you are away. If you are planning to leave your home for an extended period of time, and you don't drain your pipes, lower the household thermostat, but never shut it off. The lack of heat can freeze the pipes in the walls and basement. Freezing does burst the pipes and, when the house warms up, the thawing water will cause flooding and significant damage.

* Patch any cracks and holes in doors, windows, and walls near pipes. When the temperature drops to near zero, a high wind blowing through a small opening can freeze a nearby pipe, even though the temperature in the room is 70°F.

* Insulate water meters, pipes, and faucets in unheated areas. Wrap pipes with pipe-insulating material, which is available at hardware stores.

If you should experience frozen pipes, do not use a torch with an open flame to thaw. The easiest and safest way to thaw a frozen pipe is to heat the room or use a hair dryer. Set the dryer on low heat and wave the warm air back and forth along the pipe. Placing a warm towel or rag around the pipe may also do the trick. Remember, the pipe may already be broken and when the water is thawed, it will leak.

So be prepared. Take precautions early. Have your furnace regularly serviced, insulate drafty areas, inspect your plumbing, be familiar with your plumbing system and know where your inside shut off valve is located and verify that it is working properly. Make sure you have the name and telephone number of your plumber handy. Being prepared for the cold can keep you from being left out in the cold without water this winter.

For more information on how you can prevent frozen water pipes, contact the Portland Water District at or 207-761-8310. <

Lakes Region not immune to seismic activity

By Abby Wilson

This summer, a series of about 10 earthquakes hit Jonesboro Maine, but because the magnitude was less than 3, not many people noticed.

Maine is not immune to earthquakes and each year about
20 earthquakes are recorded but because they are so small
they are usually not noticed. But major earthquakes have
struck New England in years past and might again 
sometime in the future.  
New England experiences around 20 earthquakes every year, but we hardly notice them. The magnitude ranges from very low to average and often they aren’t recorded in the press with only half a dozen or so felt by anyone.

The threshold for damage is around 5 on the Richter Scale. Anything bigger could do harm to structures. Damage varies and depends on multiple factors including distance to the epicenter of the earthquake. As seismic waves travel from the epicenter, they die off, just like ripples from a skipping rock.

Soil conditions also matter because softer soils such as those near a riverbank or marsh cannot tolerate horizontal shaking. If a structure is built on softer soil, this shaking is amplified. Rocky areas and hillsides are stronger and able to sustain horizontal shaking.

John E. Ebel, Professor of Geophysics at Boston College and Senior Research Scientist at the Weston Observatory of Boston College, has been studying earthquakes in New England for 40 years. He says it’s possible that a city which is closer to the epicenter with harder soils, may have less damage than a town further way but with soft soils.

The city of Portland was built close to the ocean and several buildings likely sit on softer soils. The city is at risk of damage if an earthquake over 5 hits the state of Maine, Ebel says. Possible damage would most likely include collapsing chimneys and cracked foundations.

The good news is, Maine does have earthquake protocols and building codes to help prevent extreme and significant damage.

Seismologists can calculate the magnitude of an earthquake that happens hundreds of years prior with mathematical formulas. Using historical records, the scientists can figure out how far the earthquake was felt and how much damage was caused.

It is because of this formula that we know that an earthquake over 6 in magnitude hit Cape Anne, just outside of Boston, in 1755. The epicenter was probably 30 miles offshore. It caused damage as far north as Portland. Wooden framed houses can tolerate horizontal shaking so damage to these early colony homesteads was not horribly extensive. There are historical reports of this earthquake being felt from Lake Champlain to North Carolina.

The last big damaging earthquake to strike Maine was in 1905. The epicenter was located near Eastport and the northern tip of Penobscot Bay. The magnitude of that quake was calculated at 5.6 on the Richter Scale.

The last nondamaging yet significant earthquake occurred in 2006. It measured 4.6 on the Richter Scale and the epicenter was around Bar Harbor. Although there was no structural damage as a result, there were reports of large rock falls in Acadia National Park and many trail closures.

On March 30, 2013, the U.S. Geological Survey recorded a 1.9 magnitude earthquake near North Windham. Its epicenter was 7 kilometers, which is about 4.3 miles from North Windham. In September, a 2.3 magnitude quake was recorded in Greenwood in Oxford County.

Perhaps the most significant earthquake to be felt in New England was one that struck south of Quebec in 1663. It is estimated that it was a 7.5 in magnitude. It was felt throughout Maine and even caused damage in Massachusetts which was 400 miles away from the epicenter.

Ebel says that the damage was so bad, there were landslides along the Lawrence River and six months later the river was still impassable because so many trees had fallen into the water. It took years for the streams to fully clear.

Earthquakes have no set patterns, which drives seismologists crazy, says Ebel. Sometimes there is a large seismic event followed by smaller aftershocks. It can also happen that the before shocks are small and a major earthquake occurs afterward.

In some cases, several small earthquakes occur over the course of a month. The earthquakes that hit Jonesboro in August are a good example of this. Many of these small earthquakes were less than 3 in magnitude with the largest registering at about 3.1.

“Maine is half the spatial area of New England and New England gets 20 earthquakes every year,” Ebel said. “One could assume that because Maine is so big it is probably seeing more earthquakes than other New England states.”

Seismologists know that earthquakes with magnitudes 2 and 3 happen several times a year in Maine and only occasionally do we get one that is over 4. Only once in 450 years would we experience an earthquake with magnitude 6 or over, and every several thousand years, we would potentially get an earthquake over 7.

This is a tricky event to predict though, Ebel says, because scientists don’t have the data. It’s possible that an earthquake did strike here thousands of years ago, and we don’t have human records that describe it.

If that’s the case, we may be due for another large seismic event at some point. However, it’s very difficult to tell.

“Average is calculated but is not predictive,” says Ebel. “Records of earthquakes don’t always tell us when we are due or when we are not due.”

Ebel works for the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Boston College and is the author of “New England Earthquakes: The Surprising History of Seismic Activity in the Northeast.” <

Book Club provides students with forum for literary discussions

By Masha Yurkevich

While reading may not be everybody’s thing, Windham High School wants to support those whose it is. Librarians Kristin Chavonelle and Amy Kneeland at Windham High School lead the WHS Book Club and work to provide an atmosphere where students who do like to read and enjoy books can come and share their thoughts about those books with others.

The Windham High School Book Club provides an activity
where students who like to read and enjoy books can come
and share their thoughts about those books with others.
As a high school librarian, Chavonelle does more than just work with books. “I not only check books in and out,” says Chavonelle, “but I also collaborate with teachers on projects and lessons, teach classes, perform collection development and management duties, host two book clubs — one for students and one for staff, maintain the website, create Class Guides, manage the budget, order books, plan promotional activities and more.”

This is Chavonelle’s 10th year at WHS. For her first five years, she was a library assistant and was then hired as the second librarian.

“The students' book club was already happening when I started in 2013,” says Chavonelle. “I believe the one that was going on when I started happened because this group of girls loved reading romance novels and wanted a venue to chat about them together.”

Both of the librarians — Kneeland and Chavonelle, are part of the club along with a group of students.

“We all participate, depending on how much of the book we've read,” says Chavonelle. “I think we all join because we love to read and want a place to chat about the stories together.”

So far this year, the book club has read “Five Total Strangers” by Natalie D. Richards and they are currently reading “The Shadow War” by Lindsay Smith. They meet once a month during PRIDE Block.

“I think being a part of the book club offers a fun place to meet new people plus hang out with your friends and chat about books and anything else that comes up,” says Chavonelle. “Plus, we provide snacks!”

Some other benefits of joining a book club are that it gives you different perspectives on the book and it might get you to read books that you otherwise wouldn't pick up. It also improves your writing skills, helps you meet new people, and teaches communication skills in both active listening and speaking.

Kneeland started working as a librarian at Windham High School this year. She had been studying to be a librarian and used to work as an English and social studies teacher in Washington state.

“I am part of the book club because I love reading,” says Kneeland. “I love helping students find good books.”

The current book the club is reading is “The Shadow War,” which Kneeland enjoys and says is like Stranger Things meets World War II.

Reegan Burke is a 2022 WHS graduate and currently a freshman at St. Josephs's College of Maine. She is majoring in history and political sciences with a minor in secondary education. Her goal after college is to become a high school history teacher.

She said that she became a member of the WHS book club in her freshman year of high school and has been a part of the book club for four years, this being her fifth year.

“I was introduced to the book club because I volunteered in the library and I decided to join the book club because I love reading and wanted to talk about books with other people who enjoyed reading,” said Burke. “The way book club works is everyone picks a book from the shelves and then we all vote on which one sounds most interesting, then we all read that book, and meet to discuss it. We meet once a month during the morning PRIDE block.”

For Burke, she loves the book club because it is a very relaxed and fun environment. There is a seat for anyone who loves to read or wants to enjoy reading. Everyone is welcome, even if someone did not finish the book, they are still welcome to attend.

A common misconception about book clubs is that they are boring and only read intellectual non-fiction books, or classics. The WHS book club does not fit into this stereotype; at their book club, the students choose the book.

Their next meeting will be on Nov. 30 during PRIDE block about the current novel that they are reading, "Shadow War" by Lindsay Smith. <

November 18, 2022

In the public eye: JSMS teacher impacts students’ love of music

Editor’s note: This is another in an ongoing series of Windham and Raymond town employee profiles.

By Ed Pierce

Rose Underkofler is the kind of teacher that students will never forget because of the impact that she makes on their lives in her music classes at Jordan-Small Middle School.

Rose Underkofler has taught music at Jordan-Small Middle
School in Raymond for the past six years and leads the
school's orchestra and chorus programs. She is a positive
influence on students and helps them to develop an
appreciation for music. SUBMITTED PHOTO
For many students, Underkofler is their guide to a greater understanding of music and leads them to a better appreciation of what it takes to perform before an audience and for their peers.

Underkofler is the Orchestra and Chorus Teacher for students at Jordan-Small, teaching beginning strings for fifth graders, along with leading the school orchestra for Grades 6 to 8, and the chorus for Grades 5 to 8.

She has worked at the school for six years and says that the best thing about her job is inspiring kids to cherish music.

“I love being the beginning teacher for young musicians,” Underkofler said. “The foundation of musical technique is so important, and I love making sure that students have that.”

According to Underkofler the most challenging part of her work is trying to give every student access to musical opportunity at the school.

“For those families that need it, we have a small cache of instruments owned by the school to loan out for free,” she said. “And when that cache runs out, I have to tell those families no. Music education should be available to everyone, and it's so important that we have the resources available to make that happen.”

Originally from Saco, Underkofler’s came to value music at an early age.

“I feel especially grateful to the music teachers in Saco, and my violin teacher from Scarborough for instilling such a love for music and a want to share that with future students,” she said. “I attended college at the University of Southern Maine School of Music and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Music Education.”

While still in college, Underkofler did her student teaching at Jordan-Small under the direction of JSMS music educator Hanna Flewelling.

“I really loved the environment up here at JSMS, so when Hanna accepted a full-time position at Windham High School, I knew I had to apply for this position,” she said. “My family is happy that I'm in a position where I feel like I'm making a difference, and where I'm supported in my program. They love coming to our concerts and seeing the students make progress every year.”

Underkofler said that community support for the music program at Jordan-Small Middle School is highly important.

“In order for our programs to be really successful, we need support from the community at all levels,” she said. “I sometimes feel like it's easier for the upper programs to be visible, but our middle schoolers are working incredibly hard, and their work deserves to be seen.”

The misconception may be that all middle school students do is play and sing boring music, but Underkofler dispels that notion.

“Our students actually have a say in what we perform,” she said. “They get really into the music selection process.”

Her most memorable moment of working at the school took place in the past year when students returned to in-person instruction following the pandemic and she was able to hear them play and sing again.

“The pandemic was such a lonely time, but to be able to come back from being separated and have kids be excited to be with their peers and play music was really beautiful,” Underkofler said. “Last year we had our first in-person concert in almost two years at our December Orchestra concert. The eighth-grade students that were performing had stuck with their instruments through virtual and hybrid learning, and they were really responsible for the majority of their progress. To be able to conduct them through their concert with the knowledge that their personal perseverance had gotten them there, and it was a really special moment.”

For Underkofler, the opportunity to teach students at JSMS has been an exceptional experience.

“I've learned what it means to be a great educator. I've been able to watch so many amazing educators at Jordan-Small MS, and every single one of them has taught me something new about being a teacher,” she said. “I’ve learned how to put students first, how to build connections with students, and most importantly how to make sure that everything I'm doing is for the students. I'm so thankful to have been a part of this staff for six years.” <

WMS field day promotes youth development and leadership

By Lorraine Glowczak

About 400 sixth- and seventh-grade students from Windham Middle School experienced outdoor adventure activities that included team building initiatives as a way to gain problem-solving and leadership skills.

Guided by trained educators of the outdoor
learning program Rippleffect, Windham 
Middle School students participated in
fun and collaborative activities that help
build resiliency, improve social-
emotional skills and learn WMS' core 
values of respect, responsibility, integrity
and compassion.
The field day, held during the last week of October, was led by qualified outdoor adventure educators from Rippleffect, an expeditionary learning program with its home base on Cow Island in Casco Bay. In addition to offering outdoor education on the island, instructors travel to schools to guide students with unique team-building activities to improve leadership skills as well as foster confidence while teaching respect and integrity.

“Rippleffect focuses on giving students the skills to advocate for themselves, the ability to recognize and handle conflict in a respectful and productive manner and build meaningful connections with their peers,” WMS Assistant Principal Peter Hill said.

While following specific guidelines, the team building activities allowed the students to learn reliance on one another while finding ways to communicate using a variety of verbal and non-verbal methods. The experience offered problem solving skills with their peers in dynamic and creative ways while fun and laughter naturally ensued. Between each adventure activity, Rippleffect educators guided students through a time of reflection to discuss what they learned and how they could apply that learning in everyday life.

"I think all of us had a lot of fun,” Meghan Coombs, a WMS sixth grader, said of the field day. “There was a lot of teamwork, and we had to learn how to help each other and communicate in different ways that were sometimes hard, but it made us laugh."

During the time of reflection, there were many subjects discussed, including honesty and empathy towards self and others.

“We had fun and did a bunch of activities I'd never heard of to learn about compassion and integrity,” sixth grader Morgan Vickers said. “It made us all more respectful and responsible. I think it changed us and made us more responsible human beings.”

The teaching staff also had an opportunity to participate along with the students. Logan Hatlett, WMS teacher, said that working with Rippleffect allowed his students to practice WMS’ core values in new ways that were not only easily understandable for students but educated the importance of the values in an enjoyable way as well.

“The students had fun with the laid-back, low-stakes setting that Rippleffect provided us, but during the debriefs after the activities, I could tell students were connecting the dots,” he said. “By partaking in the activities and watching others do the same, they learned new ways to communicate, gaining a fresh outlook on collaboration and the many ways it can be achieved. Now, in class, I can reference the "5 C's" that Rippleffect focused on or ask how we can demonstrate our core values throughout activities and students seem to have more thoughtful answers to offer than the typical answers we would see them giving at the start of the year.”

The field day was made possible through the Town of Windham’s Substance Prevention Grant, an Educational Grant Program funded by payments collected from marijuana license, alcohol permit and other designated fees.

“We applied for and received funding through the town’s Education Grant Program, which provided this opportunity for both students and staff,” Hill said.

Hill also stated that at the end of the Field Day experience, students made commitments to themselves and to the community about how they can have a positive year.

“After this experience, the themes of building resiliency, improving social-emotional skills, and displaying WMS’s core values of respect, responsibility, compassion, and integrity will be carried on by team teachers throughout the year.”

This is the first year WMS collaborated with Rippleffect, and there are plans to develop a long-term partnership with the Cow Island based organization so that all WMS students can have a continuum of outdoor learning experiences in years to come. <

Emergency financial assistance for veterans available

The Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services (MBVS) and Fedcap’s Veterans Forward program have partnered to offer the Bureau’s Veterans’ Emergency Financial Assistance Program (VEFAP), for veterans who suffer an emergency and do not have sufficient savings or access to other financial assistance to resolve it.

Examples of grant assistance (up to $2,000) for veterans who are Maine residents include to prevent or resolve the veteran from being homeless; vehicle repair to maintain employment; illness of the veteran or family member that results in hardship; and any other condition that puts the veteran at risk of not having basic necessities of food, shelter or safety.

“We look forward to this beneficial collaboration,” said Deputy Director Steven Lanning, “Fedcap’s multiple locations across the state combined with their knowledge of community and social services will strengthen the Bureau’s ability to serve Maine’s veterans and increase our outreach along with our partners, the American Legion of Maine.”

Widely known for their Families Forward program, Fedcap was also recently awarded a $500,000 grant by the United States Department of Labor for a Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) to help homeless veterans and those at risk of homelessness gain stability, obtain training, and pursue high earning careers in Maine’s leading industries.

“Fedcap was founded by veterans, and we are honored to partner with the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services. This an incredible opportunity to help veterans in Maine get the resources they need so they can keep housed, retain their employment, and ensure their long-term economic well-being.” said Serena M. Powell, executive director of Fedcap Inc. serving Maine.

If a veteran you know is struggling with a financial emergency, please contact the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services at 207-287-7020 or visit for more information regarding available resources. <

U.S. Post Office sets deadlines for holiday mail delivery

WASHINGTON — The holidays bring many things — gifts, family gatherings, decorating and festivities. For 2022, they also bring a few updates from the Postal Service for shipping deadlines and temporary pricing changes, as well as new package regulations.

2022 Holiday Shipping Deadlines

The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines for expected delivery by Dec. 25 to domestic addresses and Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office (APO/FPO/DPO) addresses*:
Dec. 9 — APO/FPO/DPO (all ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
Dec. 16 — APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express Military service
Dec. 17 — USPS Retail Ground service
Dec. 17 — First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)
Dec. 17 — First-Class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
Dec. 19 — Priority Mail service
Dec. 23 — Priority Mail Express* service

Dec. 2 — Alaska to and from Continental U.S. — USPS Retail Ground
Dec. 17 — Alaska to and from Continental U.S. — First-Class Mail and Priority Mail
Dec. 21 — Alaska to and from Continental U.S. — Priority Mail Express

Dec. 17 — Hawaii to and from mainland — First-Class Mail and Priority Mail

This is also a prime season that crooks target mail. It is the priority of the post office to keep mail safe and your holidays happy. Criminals, however, are always looking for ways to spoil this joyful time.

Here are some things you can do to delight the bad guys and have yourself an unhappy holiday:

1. Send Cash. Cash is untraceable and easy to steal, creating a nice payday for thieves.

2. Cause a Fire. Batteries, especially lithium batteries, can cause a fire or explosion in the mail.

3. Turn a Blind Eye. If you see something suspicious, say something. Call the police to report someone following your carrier or stealing mail.

4. Let Your Mail Pile Up. A visible pile of mail sitting in your mailbox or on your front porch is an invitation to thieves. If you aren’t going to be home, go to to sign up for the USPS Hold Mail® service or customize your delivery.

5. Ignore Your Doors. If you aren’t watching and monitoring your doors, you can be sure the thieves are. If you have a home security camera system, make sure it’s aimed at your front door and mailbox.

6. Get Scammed. Fraud is always a problem, but during the holidays fraudsters take advantage of your giving spirit. Check out any charity before you give.

7. Click the Link. Scammers send bogus delivery emails or texts trying to get your information. Don’t fall for it.

8. Allow Crime to Happen. If you are a victim of a mail crime, report it. Call 877-876-2455 or go to

9. Get Arrested. Sending fireworks through the mail is illegal and could lead to arrest and federal penalties. <

Music Festival concert to be broadcast on Maine Public Radio

The First Concert of Sebago-Long Lake Music Festival's 50th season will be broadcast on Maine Public Radio's Maine Stage, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, Thanksgiving Eve.

Sebago Long Lake Music Festival musicians perform during
their first concert of the organization's 50th anniversary
season at Deertrees Theater in Harrison in June.
The concert includes "The Lake Guide," a piece commissioned by SLLMF to commemorate its 50th anniversary. It was written by Beth Wiemann, a music professor at UMaine-Orono and an accomplished composer whose works have been performed around the U.S. and internationally by well-known ensembles.

Carol Madsen, Vice President of the Board of Trustees of SLLMF, said this is great exposure for the popular summer concert series.

"We are so proud of ‘The Lake Guide,’ so if you are hearing this concert for the first time or you heard it this past summer, enjoy it with us on Maine Stage on Wednesday, Nov. 23,” Madsen said. “Take a break from your Thanksgiving preparations and listen with us."

The Program was performed at Deertrees Theatre on July 12, 2022 and includes Donizetti: Trio for Flute, Bassoon and Piano, Beth Wiemann’s The Lake Guide commissioned by the SLLMF, and Beethoven’s Septet in E-Flat Major for Winds and Strings Opus 20.

Performing artists include Laura Gilbert, flute; Benjamin Fingland, clarinet; William Purvis, horn; Adrian Morejon, bassoon; Min-Young Kim, violin; Matthew Sinno, viola; Mihai Marica, cello; Jered Egan, double bass; and Mihae Lee, piano.

Click here to find your Maine Public Classical station:

Listen online at

For more information about the Sebago-Long Lake Music Festival, check out or by visiting its Facebook Page. <


November 10, 2022

Public to preview new recreational area on conservation walk

By Ed Pierce

It was John Muir, a co-founder of the Sierra Club and a champion for wilderness preservation, who said “in every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” Such will be the case when the public is invited to join representatives of the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust and the Town of Windham on a preview walk through the East Windham Conservation Project on Sunday, Nov. 20.

Residents will be able to take a tour of the new East Windham
Conservation Project from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20.
The project will conserve 750 acres including Little Duck
Pond and is expected to open by fall 2023.
The event will be held from noon to 2 p.m. and is a showcase for participants of the scenic beauty, wildlife and natural splendor contained in the 750-acre preserve. The program will include about 2.5 miles of walking at a leisurely pace for those who attend.

In all, about 10 miles of new multi-use trails will be built at the site next year by the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust, but this walk will offer spectacular views of the White Mountains and water views of Little Duck Pond on the property.

Once opened a year from now, the East Windham Conservation Project will become part of the largest wildlife habitat and trail access corridor in the Greater Portland area, providing 2,000 acres of conserved land and a 30-mile trail network connecting Lowell Preserve, North Falmouth Community Forest, and Blackstrap Hill Preserve.

The planned new trails will eventually connect to 20 miles of existing trails, making it a destination for walking, hiking, mountain biking, trail running, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and bird and wildlife watching.

The project is conserving 38 acres of wetlands and 661 forested acres, more than 1,500 feet of Little Duck Pond frontage, and miles of pristine headwater streams that lead to Forest Lake, Highland Lake, and onto the Presumpscot River, the 150-acre Deer Wintering Area for hunting, and the 580-foot Atherton Hill, the tallest hill in Windham.

A project budget of $3.7 million has been raised including a $1 million grant from the Land for Maine’s Future initiative, voters from Windham approving a $1.8 million conservation bond using open space impact fees during the Annual Town Meeting in June and $400,000 raised privately from public donations this past summer. A Land and Water Conservation Fund federal grant for $500,000 to pay for the infrastructure improvements at the site is pending.

A town-wide survey conducted over a six-month period in 2021 and 2022 concluded that conserving the land to remain undeveloped for wildlife habitat, water quality protection and rural character was the top benefit to be derived from the project. The second-highest ranked community benefit was to provide multiple-use outdoor recreation and create access for the whole community.

According to Rachelle Curran Apse, the executive director of the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust, the organization is now working with the Town of Windham to complete grant requirements of the Land for Maine’s Future to conserve the land.

She said once the land is officially conserved, the land trust will begin building out the trailhead and 10 miles of trails at the site while planning for a grand opening next fall.

Windham Town Manager Barry Tibbetts said the town is grateful to the Lands for Maine’s Future organization for helping to fund this project.

“The timing of this land being available to be conserved for the future with recreational usage combined with the state’s renewed commitment to funding with the Land for Maine’s Future program has been ideal,” Tibbetts said. “The LMF Board’s award to grant the town nearly $1 million for the acquisition of this property is an opportunity we can’t afford to pass up.”

Windham’s Open Space Plan identifies developing and maintaining open space partnerships and relationships as key mechanisms to grow conservation efforts in the town. When the council formally adopted the Open Space Plan, Windham reached out to the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust in 2021 to be an open space partner by holding a conservation easement and sharing responsibility for the trail management on the adjacent 308-acre Lowell Preserve.

During a Windham Town Council meeting earlier this year, Linda Brooks, Windham Parks and Recreation Director, said that the creation of the East Windham Conservation project will expand the towns growing tourist economy by creating a new outdoor destination with miles of accessible forested trails and a spectacular 360-degree view from which will be the only observation tower from on top of one of the highest points in the Greater Portland area.

"Four season recreational opportunities will help local business realize benefits from tourists throughout the year,” said Brooks. “Acquisition of this property will protect resources for hiking, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, skiing, mountain biking, picnicking and other recreational activities. In addition to all the recreational benefits for all ages, there are educational benefits to be considered as well. We do have members from RSU 14 who will serve on the steering committee to help us with educational development. The East Windham Conservation Project offers a unique opportunity for K to 12 educational activities in a large and diverse outdoor classroom setting.”

The preview walk is open to the public and is free, but space is limited, and registration is required to participate. An RSVP link to the event listing is contained on the land trust website at <

Age-Friendly Committee hosting luncheon in Windham

By Masha Yurkevich

No matter our age, nothing will ever replace spending time with others. While setting a time and place can be difficult, Windham Parks and Recreation has that covered. On Friday, Nov. 18, the parks department and the Age-Friendly Committee in Windham will co-host a Holiday Luncheon at the Town Hall Gym.

The Age-Friendly Committee was spearheaded by the late Human Services Advisory Committee member, Deb McAfee, when the town enrolled in AARP’s Network of Age-Friendly Communities in January 2019. McAfee, who passed away in May of 2022 following a lengthy battle with cancer, was the driving force behind establishing this committee.

A committee formed and completed a public survey in October 2019. The committee is currently working to develop an action plan to make Windham a great place to live for people of all ages. It is a committee of both town staff and community volunteers that are dedicated to maintaining the independence of our town’s older residents and helping them thrive while aging at home.

The committee started when the Mills Administration announced that Maine’s final Age-Friendly State Plan, the culmination of more than a year of collaboration with AARP and more than 50 other organizations throughout the state to craft a comprehensive strategy to help Maine’s older residents live well and safely in their communities. The plan follows Maine’s designation in October 2019 as an AARP Age-Friendly State, the first step in a multiyear process to make Maine more livable for people of every age.

Maine was the sixth state in the nation to receive the coveted designation, which provided access to critical data, technical advice, best practices and organizing tools to help Maine plan for the future and learn from a global network of partners to better serve older Mainers. Today, more than 100 communities in Maine also have the Age-Friendly designation.

Once the committee completed a public survey and hosted a community forum designed to identify the strengths or challenges Windham faces in measuring up to eight areas of livability, it identified specific Areas of Focus, which is the framework the committee is working within to further its work.

It designed a logo, established a mission statement and goals, created a resource manual and established the website.

Linda Brooks, Director of Windham Parks and Recreation, has been working for the Town of Windham for seven years, and was previously the Parks and Recreation Director in Standish for 21 years. As director, Brooks oversees a year-round staff of four that are responsible for the provision of recreational activities for people of all ages and the management of the parks and trails throughout the town.

“Our department’s mission statement says it all in that we are creating a sense of community through people, parks and programs,” said Brooks. “I love what I do because it is very rewarding work, and every day is different.”

Brooks said the Holiday Luncheon will be Friday, Nov. 18 at the Town Hall Gym.

As for its purpose, one of the areas of focus for the event is social participation, she said.

“We are really hoping that adults of all ages take advantage of this social gathering and learn more about the ways they could assist in this initiative,” says Brooks. “The committee is also working with an AARP fellow, who is assisting us in further developing an action plan for Age Friendly Windham.”

According to Brooks, current goals are to establish a daily check-in program administered by volunteers to obtain assurance that the participant is doing okay and to develop a volunteer transportation program to assist people in getting to appointments if they are unable to drive.

“Two members of the committee, myself as the staff representative and Lorraine Glowczak as the community representative, are attending a six-week Age Friendly Master Class provide by AARP to further educate the committee about all the ways to establish an effective sustainable model for Windham,” Brooks said.

Jennifer Alvino Wood, Director of the Windham Public Library, oversees and promotes library services and assists community services such as Age Friendly Windham. She has been the Library Director in Windham since October 2013 but has worked in libraries since 1994.

“Anyone can join the Age-Friendly Committee,” says Wood. “There are no requirements to join, just a desire to help others.”

This can be done by contacting or another committee member will add someone to our committee list.

“It’s a really good group of people working to support our older residents,” says Wood. “I enjoy being a member of the committee knowing that I’m meeting residents and helping them find resources.”

She said that committee members attend planning meetings once a month, assist in developing goals and action plans for each area of focus as well as participating in a senior check-in program by making phone calls, assist in home renovation or maintenance projects coordinated by organizations dedicated to keeping seniors in their homes, provide transportation to medical appointments for seniors who can no longer drive, volunteer at programs that offer a social outlet to seniors who may be isolated and assist in the delivery of programs that enhance physical and cognitive functioning for aging seniors.

The Holiday Luncheon will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a traditional meal provided by Starlite Catering. Adults of any age are welcome to attend for a fee of $10 per person. Registration and payment is required by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16.

For more information or to register, call 207-892-1905 or visit <

Mushroom-growing classes starting in Windham

By Masha Yurkevich

We’ve all seen it in either cartoons or movies: the character puts on a straw hat, some boots, a woven basket and marches into the forest in search of mushrooms. Perhaps even the traditional Little Red Riding Hood picked a few to put in her basket on her way to her grandmother’s. Well, now there’s a chance for all mushrooms lovers — and not just necessarily mushrooms lovers — to learn how to grow their own mushrooms with classes offered at the Windham Town Hall through December.

Michael and Kristina Allen, who have a small two-acre
farm called Yellowbird Love Farm in Windham, will be
instructing a mushroom growing class at the Windham
The class will be taught by instructors and creators Michael and Kristina Allen, who have a small two-acre farm which they call Yellowbird Love Farms. They are slowly improving their soil's health with horticulture in mind and working on their small 140-year-old schoolhouse, now their home, surrounded with 80 acres of tree growth.

Everything that the Allens grow is organically and naturally grown. Michael and Kristina Allen have four children between them and are just your ordinary family who have been Mainers for almost all of their lives.

Kristina Allen has lived in this area since she was a child and Michael Allen has been here since 2013, originally from Bowdoinham. The Allens have also worked with Maine Foodscapes in Windham to help learn and grow.

“There is an incredible number of benefits surfacing of the multiple uses mycelium and mushrooms have to offer us,” says Kristina Allen. “We believe we - as a collective - are just hitting the surface of what they can do.”

Some Maine books like “David Spahr Edible and Medical Mushrooms of New England and Eastern Canada” and “Greg Marley of Mushrooms for Health: Medicinal Secrets of The Northeastern Fungi,” are very inspiring to the couple, they say.

“Some other reasons that come to my mind are the growing cost of groceries, knowing where your food comes from, what exactly is in it and empowering others to gain knowledge that our food is also part of our self-care that we choose every day,” says Allen. “We’d like each person to ask what they think their ancestors ate? It sure wasn’t that box of Kraft Mac & Cheese or those Doritos on top of your fridge.”

Mushroom growing classes will be offered from about 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17 in the Windham Town Hall Gymnasium and if there is enough interest, there will also be classes offered from noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7 and Wednesday, Dec. 21.

The classes will start with the very basics, like learning the difference between a spore, mycelium and what exactly fruit means in the mycelium world. Participants will take steps to grow their own mushrooms and all the supplies will be included for in-class and “homework” activities.

“At the end of the last class, our goal is that each participant will have the knowledge to continue to practice their own mushroom farming at home,” says Michael Allen.

They said that everyone is welcome to join.

“Anyone wanting to nerd out with us and is interested in the how’s of the mycelium network is welcomed. We will be using agar, Petri dishes, making still air boxes and so on,” Michael Allen said. “We welcome older kids whose parents feel their child can be responsible with these tools as well. We also welcome seniors to come nerd out with us.”

The class is intended for those that have some knowledge of growing mushrooms but are still in the beginner's stage or for anyone who wants to practice how to grow mushrooms from spore to full fruiting body. The fee for the class is $200 and $175 for seniors and kids.

The best way to join is by preregistration emailing Michael and Kristina Allen at to do so. A non-refundable payment is expected to hold your spot in the class.

“We will have recipe ideas of ways mushrooms can be incorporated into daily life, and without anyone, like picky kids, realizing it,” said Kristina Allen.

To join the class, please send an email to to reserve a spot. <

Fire Prevention Week educates students about safety in Raymond

Fire Prevention Week always includes October 9, the date when the Great Chicago Fire started in 1871.

Raymond Elementary School Fire Prevention
Week poster winners are joined by John Facella
of the Raymond Fire Rescue Department at
the school. SUBMITTED PHOYO  
Although this observance and educational week was officially started by President Calvin Coolidge back in 1925, for the Raymond Fire Rescue Department it has always been a full month of activities including a library visit with children and an Open House for the community at the Fire Station.

This year the department provided fire safety training for 360 children in area day cares and at Raymond Elementary School.

A poster coloring event was held for the school, and third-grader Nolan Gervais won a ride in a fire truck for his poster. Other winners who received smoke alarms or a fire extinguisher during the week included fourth-grader Bayla Abrams, second-grader Ella Moreau, first-grader Peter Reilly, Kindergarten student Ronan I. Green, and Pre-Kindergarten student Liana Vangelist.

With today’s furnishings and building materials, fires burn hotter and faster. It is important that families evacuate their homes immediately if the smoke alarms go off, because in about two minutes a small fire can become very large.

The Raymond Fire Rescue Department also recommends being careful about where combustibles are stored. In our area we have had a number of fires caused by combustibles that were temporarily stored on top of stoves.

Here are three things for families to consider:

· Make sure everyone knows where the meeting place outside is, and that no one should stop on the way for anything

· Everyone should close their doors at night to prevent smoke and flames entering bedrooms. If the smoke alarm goes off, and you cannot evacuate, keep the door closed, open a window, and throw things outside so the firefighters know where you are.

· Check your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms monthly to be sure they are operating. Thanks to a working alarm, a Raymond resident who was asleep was able to evacuate when a fire started recently. <

For all families with children, we ask that you review the fire safety videos that Raymond Fire and Rescue Dept. has online:

· For K-2 students, there is an under 6-minute video showing a firefighter suiting up, and why he is “not scary”. Go to:

· For 3rd and 4th grades, there is an under 12-minute video which discusses kitchen safety, and how children should escape from their bedrooms at night if there is a fire. Go to: <

Windham REALTOR® earns prestigious CRS designation

Cindy Dan of Windham has been awarded the prestigious Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Designation by the Residential Real Estate Council, the largest not-for-profit affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS®.

Cindy Dan
Those REALTORS® who receive the CRS Designation have completed advanced professional training and demonstrated outstanding professional achievement in residential real estate. Only 25,000 REALTORS® nationwide have earned the prestigious credential.

Home buyers and sellers can be assured that those with the CRS Designation adhere to the strict REALTOR® code of ethics, have been trained to use the latest tactics and technologies, and are specialists in helping clients maximize profits and minimize costs when buying or selling a home.

Dan is a Broker with Maine Real Estate Experts in Windham. She is also a member of the Greater Portland Board of Realtors. In addition, Dan is a member of National Association of Realtors; the Maine Association of Realtors and has also received the e-Pro designation which teaches real estate professionals how to effectively use advanced real estate technology to grow their business and become more efficient.

“I choose to earn the CRS designation to gain more knowledge to better serve my clients,” Dan said. <

Veterans Forward’ receives $500K in funding from Labor Department

The “Veterans Forward” initiative of Maine has been established by Fedcap, Inc. to provide veterans, service members, and their families with critically needed support in emergency situations such as housing, substance use treatment, home heating assistance, food and clothing, and job training across the state of Maine. The program was launched thanks to $500,000 in funding received from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Organizers say that “Veterans Forward” is essential for veterans and their families given rising costs because of record inflation that has placed additional financial stress on many military families.

“We must do a better job of serving our heroes and their families who have sacrificed so much for their country and launching ‘Veterans Forward’ will help provide the support they deserve,” said Grant Collins, president of Fedcap, Inc. “Fedcap history is deeply rooted in serving service members, veterans, and their families, given we were founded by WWI veterans. This is another example of our commitment to improving the economic well-being of the people of Maine.”

Fedcap Inc. is based in McLean, Virgina and worked with the former Veterans Count Maine chapter, led by its treasurer, Dennis Brown of Windham and chapter secretary Todd Crawford of Raymond, to create the “Veterans Forward” organization.

“Fedcap welcomed us with open arms. Fedcap was quick to recognize this important need and immediately began putting the pieces together,” Brown said. We thank Fedcap for their dedication to our service members, veterans, and their families.”

To help kickstart the Veterans Forward program, the United States Department of Labor awarded Veterans Forward $500,000 to create a Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) to help homeless veterans and those at risk of homelessness gain stability, get training, and pursue high-earning careers in Maine’s leading industries.

For more information about, or to support Fedcap Maine’s Veterans Forward program visit<

November 9, 2022

Final election results from Nov. 8 election

By Ed Pierce 

Final election results from the Nov. 8 election in Windham and Raymond revealed some close races with some newcomers winning and some incumbents falling.

Two three-year positions on the RSU 14 Board of Directors representing Windham will be filled by former board member Christina Small, and newcomer Caitlynn Downs. Small had 4,301 votes, while Downs had 3,245 votes. Incumbent Marge Govoni finished third in the race with 3,055 votes. 

Louise Douglas of Windham was re-elected to a five-year term as a Portland Water District Trustee representing Windham and Raymond. She has been Portland Water District Trustees chair since 2020.

For the State Senate District 26 seat representing Windham, Raymond, Casco, Frye Island and part of Westbrook, former Windham Town Councilor Tim Nangle, a Democrat, defeated former State Senator and State Representative Gary Plummer, a Republican. Nangle tallied 9,695 votes to Plummer's 9,358 votes.

In the newly renamed Maine House District 106, Barbara Bagshaw, a Republican, edged newcomer Dana Reed, a Democrat, for the seat by only 26 votes. Bagshaw had 2,372 votes to Reed's 2,346 votes. 

In the newly renamed Maine House District 107, former State Representative Jane Pringle will be returning to Augusta as she defeated newcomer Michael Hall, a Republican. Pringle had 2,343 votes to Hall's 2,209 votes. Pringle formerly represented Windham’s District 111 as state representative from 2012 to 2014. 

Incumbent Jessica Fay, a Democrat, won re-election in a newly redrawn and renumbered House District 86 representing Raymond, Casco, and Poland. Fay has 2,397 votes to Republican Greg Foster's 2,313 votes. 

In Windham, three candidates for the Windham Town Council were unopposed. Town Council Chair Jarrod Maxfield was re-elected to represent the town’s North District for a three-year term, while South District incumbent Nicholas Kalogerakis was re-elected to a three-year term. Maxfield has represented the North District of Windham since 2016. Kalogerakis was elected to represent the South District on the council in 2019.

Newcomer John Henry won an At-Large position on Windham's Town Council for a three-year term. 

Incumbent Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce, a Democrat, was unopposed for re-election. Newcomer Jackie Sartoris, a Democrat from Brunswick, was unopposed for the Cumberland County District Attorney position. Paul Aranson, a Democrat, was unopposed for Cumberland County Judge of Probate position. < 

November 4, 2022

Windham to convert to automated trash removal

By Ed Pierce

After months of negotiation and discussion with Casella Waste Systems, also known as Pine Tree Waste, the basic framework for an agreement to convert Windham to automated trash removal has been reached.

Within the next year, the Town of Windham will be converting
to an automated trash collection system with residences
issued new carts for garbage and recycling. As a result, the
blue bags required for the Pay As You Throw refuse system
will be eliminated. PHOTO BY ED PIERCE 
Although some contractual details have yet to be worked out, members of the Windham Town Council voted unanimously at a meeting on Oct. 25 to move ahead with the proposal. It means that by next fall, Windham residents will no longer use the Pay As You Throw (PAYT) system, eliminating the purchase of blue bags, and switching to a cart system with trash picked-up curbside by a driver using an automated retrieval system.

Under the current system, trash and recyclables are manually collected at the roadside which requires a driver and a laborer and services about 5,400 stops in the town.

Windham Town Manager Barry Tibbetts told councilors that the proposed contract allows flexibility for the town to either purchase trash carts from Casella or to join in an initiative with other nearby towns to purchase receptacles separately and save money by purchasing them in bulk. Tibbetts said Windham’s 2022-2023 budget included $600,000 funding for a trash cart purchase for residents.

Homes in Windham would be issued two carts, one for trash and the other for recycling. The new contract calls for residential pick-up service scheduled once a week Monday through Thursday using designated routes and should a pick-up fall on a legal holiday or on a storm day, the schedule would be pushed back one day.

Tibbetts said he’s had discussions with the towns of Falmouth and North Yarmouth to share cart maintenance service as those towns are also converting to automated trash pick-up.

During the meeting, several councilors asked about trash removal for some roads in Windham that Pine Tree Waste does not travel on currently.

Casella Market Manager Chris McHale said all routes in Windham will be evaluated before the new system is implemented.

McHale said Casella may purchase and deploy a smaller trash truck to service roads not accessible by the new automated trash vehicle. He stressed that the company intends to work with residents to provide the best service possible, but because of rising operational costs and advances in technology, the trash removal industry is converting to automated systems and can no longer continue to provide a similar system as currently used in Windham.

“This makes for a more efficient and safer way for collecting trash,” McHale said.

Tibbetts said once a final agreement between Casella and the town is reached, councilors will be able to approve the full contractual terms, but the council needed to vote now to endorse the automated system to allow Casella to obtain trucks to service Windham.

“The initial contract will be for five years from July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2028,” Tibbetts said. “The town may choose to renew the contract for an additional five-year period with six months advance notice to Casella at that time.”

Councilor David Nadeau reminded the council that under Windham current Pay As You Throw trash bag program, users purchase bags to be picked up by the refuse collectors and that the town collected about $763,000 in revenue from that system alone in 2021.

Not having the PAYT system would mean losing that revenue and increased tipping fees incurred by the town for EcoMaine if residents place improperly bagged waste items in carts that is picked up when the trash truck operator is unable to see what is in the cart below the top. Windham blue trash bags are sold at 15 different locations in town and priced at $13.50 for either ten 13-gallon bags or five 30-gallon bags.

Nadeau said not having the PAYT system would decrease town revenue generated by the trash collection method and would raise the town mil rate.

Tibbetts showed councilors a graphic that eliminating the PAYT system would put Windham’s mil rate at 11.91, which would remain the lowest of all surrounding communities.

He said once the new system is implemented and operational, residents possessing blue bags would be able to sell unused bags back to the town.

Councilors voted unanimously to endorse conversion to the new automated system but reserved the right to review contract particulars including fuel and operational costs before authorizing a new contract with Casella. <

In the public eye: Raymond’s Parks Director enjoys community connections

Editor’s note: This is another in an ongoing series of Windham and Raymond town employee profiles.

By Ed Pierce

Joe Crocker may be the first person to serve as Raymond Parks and Recreation Director, but he welcomes the opportunity to grow the department into one of the finest in all of Maine.

Joe Crocker is nearing his third anniversary of being appointed
as the first director of the Town of Raymond's Parks and
Recreation Department. During that time, the department
has grown and expanded to meet the town's needs and
now offers many programs and opportunities for residents.
Crocker was appointed as Raymond Parks and Recreation Director almost three years ago and has embraced the challenge of balancing the growth of what the department can offer with what the town’s needs are.

“The Town of Raymond has seen growth in families moving to the area and a lot of them have come from towns or cities that have had long established Parks and Recreation Departments,” Crocker said. “Building these programs takes time and the Town of Raymond is coming up in only its third year of having its own department.”

The areas of focus for Crocker as Parks and Recreation Director are program and event coordination, assisting with maintenance and project planning for Raymond parks, and the day-to-day operations of Tassel Top Park.

Crocker says the best part of his job though is connecting with the community.

“There are so many passionate volunteers that help out with our programs and make a big difference in coaching or instructing our youth participants,” he said. “Occasionally, I get to coach or referee in these programs and that brings me joy because that is how I got my start in this career.”

Originally from Saco, Crocker attended high school at Thornton Academy and then went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from St. Joseph’s College of Maine. He later earned an MBA in sports and recreation management from New England College.

He says Raymond’s small-town charm led to him applying for job with the town.

“I have been working in municipal Parks and Recreation agencies since I was 18 years old. I have mostly worked for large municipalities,” Crocker said. “I was interested in working for the Town of Raymond because of the small-town feel. I live really close to the Raymond town line and I appreciated how nice they kept the Route 302 business landscape. I also used Tassel Top Park as a patron. It was also a rare opportunity to build a Parks and Recreation Department from the ground up. Not many people can say they started a brand-new department.”

He says that people would be amazed if they knew how much work goes into running a parks and recreation department.

“A lot of people see the fun side of the programs. That is definitely the goal,” Crocker said. “There is a lot of work that goes into the planning portion of these programs and offerings such as making sure we have a program budget, collecting registrations, purchasing equipment, finding volunteers or instructors, and making sure that everything is communicated to the public. There are multiple levels of coordination that go into recreation programming.”

According to Crocker, his most memorable moment of working for the Town of Raymond so far was when Barry Alden, Facility Maintenance Manager at Tassel Top Park, won “Outstanding Parks Professional of the Year Award” from the Mine Recreation and Parks and Association last spring.

“It was great to honor someone that has worked for the town for so long and has made a significant impact in so many people’s lives when they come in to enjoy the park,” he said.

Although his work has unique hours as most recreation activities are not during normal work hours, Crocker still makes time to spend with his family while leading a growing parks department.

“What is nice is my family can attend events and my daughter is now getting old enough to participate in some programs,” he said. “In this position, you have to wear a lot of different hats. I can go from working in the office one day to coaching soccer to running a movie night with the Raymond PTO. I never know for certain what each day will bring.”

He said something he’s learned through his work is that residents of the Town of Raymond are very passionate about having recreational opportunities for the community.

“So much so that they provided these programs through volunteer committees in the past,” Crocker said. “If I can help to provide these opportunities it makes a big difference to the people who used to run the programs. Now they can enjoy attending these events while I run the administrative duties.” <