February 24, 2023

WHS students preparing for One Act Drama Festival

By Jolene Bailey

Regardless of taking time off from COVID 19, Windham High School students have been participating in a drama festival for more than five years designed to showcase one-act plays, and these are theater productions that typically run 20 to 40 minutes.

Windham High School students participating in the One Act 
Drama Festival include top from left, Stuart Gabaree, Abigail
Coleman, Victoria Lin, Emma Kennedy, Ralph Leavitt, 
Theodore Becker, Liam Yates, Lucas Oldershaw, CJ Payne,
and Maddy Cook. Bottom from left are Rosario Lydon,
Francesca Lomonte, Erica Linn, Molly Plati, Riley Yates,
Sophie Koutalakis, Bryce Smith, Nicholas Davenport,
Elijah Snow and Maia Ransom.
The 2022-2023 Drama Festival includes both regional and state competitions, and pits WHS against other schools in Maine.

This annual event is arranged by Maine Principals’ Association and Maine Drama Council. The festival is divided into two classes, A and B with Class A consisting of schools with 500 or more students, and Class B having schools with less than 500 students.

In order to be eligible, all participants must be in grades 9 to 12.

This year’s Class A competition will feature the WHS performance, a farce comedy about the founding of a fictional midwest American town, “Humbletown: The Greatest Town on Earth.”

Windham Director CJ Payne, has assembled a cast of 15 high schoolers, including six student technicians, and an additional pit crew of four talented student musicians.

“It is my first time working with WHS students as a director, and not just a technical director. I wanted to choose a fun and silly comedy with lots of characters, so that it could attract the involvement of as many students as possible,” Payne said. “Fortunately, it worked and we're currently working with a cast and crew of 25 students from freshman to seniors.”

Theater has influenced Payne’s life since childhood, and he has been working as the Auditorium Coordinator for WHS for over 10 years.

“Not only can you see the show you imagine at first start to come to life in front of your eyes, but also to find the great creativity the actors and technicians bring to the rehearsal process, which makes the end result so much more than you first envisioned,” he said.

Madison Cook is a freshman who portrays the roles of Broom 3, Salutatory 4, Greta, and Humblepie Humblefolk.

“I have been doing theater ever since I was 10 years old, so roughly five years,” she said. “It’s not much but it’s enough that it has made a huge impact on my life,” Cook said.

Performances on stage can be as amusing to partake in comparatively than watching the production live.

Rehearsals have been improving at a significant pace to get to a comfortable 40-minute time mark. Festival rules state if any performance is above the given limit of 40 minutes, disqualification is at risk.

One-Act plays are shorter than a typical musical. However, the cast and crew has put a lot of time and effort into entertaining the crowd.

Ava Dickson has been doing theater since last year and has been in six plays within that time frame.

“This is my first theater play that is not a musical, so the biggest difference is that we don't have to sing and dance,” said Dickson, who plays the roles of Little Suzie, Brenda, Women 3 and Ghost 2.

For many WHS actors, this is their first non-musical theatrical activity.

“What I have done in the past is usually musicals rather than one acts or plays, but this is a superior, fun play that I’m happy I get to be a part of. This will be my first year at the one act competition. It’s different but very exciting,” said Cook.

In contrast, this festival has brought many new experiences for others, including technicians.

“This is my first time helping out backstage for a WHS production,” said junior Ralph Leavitt. “Being behind the scenes of Humbletown is an incredible new experience for me, I get to meet new people and spend time with friends. Humbletown is different from other productions in quite a few ways, producing backstage is far more hands-on for example.”

Another difference between usual high school productions and the One Act Drama Festival is that schools will be judged. Like anyone on stage, they will be watched, but this will be for critiques.

Each individual judge will provide three minutes of feedback to improve the school's performance. In return, the students will have three minutes to ask any questions to the judge when applicable.

Two preview performances of “Humbletown: The Greatest Town on Earth,” will be held at the Windham Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. on March 3 and March 4. There is no admission charge but donations are accepted and highly appreciated.

The One Act performance at the festival itself will be at Thornton Academy in Saco, at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 11. <

Nature photogrpaher passionate about Maine ecosystems

 By Abby Wilson

Robert (Bob) King is a wildlife biologist, nature photographer, and ecologist who has spent 40 years in the wildlife field and loves exploring local waterways.

A loon and her chick are shown in a photograph on 
Highland Lake taken by nature photographer Bob King,
who grew up on the lake and has returned to the area after
a long career as a wildlife biologist.
King grew up near Highland Lake in Windham and in his teen years, he regularly spent time fishing the lake outlet at Duck Pond. Following his years in the wildlife field, he returned to Maine and continued working independently on Maine waters, including Highland Lake.

He started photographing wildlife in his early 20s, prompted by a visit to northern Maine where he saw about a dozen moose and thought “if only I had a camera.”

At the beginning of his career, he thought it was impossible to photograph a flying bird in focus. Fifty years later, we can.

Film was also very expensive when King started and people had to send their undeveloped photos to Rochester, New York and then wait weeks to see the finished products.

Through the years, King has continued to photograph wildlife on Highland Lake, especially loons. Why loons? King says, “They were here and they are charismatic. They are gorgeous especially in breeding plumage.”

According to King, breeding plumage starts in early summer. Once loons mate for the season, they will then go into a phase which scientists call “eclipse” where their feather pattern becomes muted.

Loons in the Pine Tree state winter in the Gulf of Maine but when springtime comes, they are ready to return to the lakes in the state.

King says this is a great time to get out and photograph birds because they are “shopping” for nesting sites. He said he then stays away once they find a place because they are territorial. Also, humans disturbing nest sites is one major reason for abandonment which is when the adult disappears from a nesting site before the chicks have hatched.

“Loons also have some real secrets,” says King. Sometimes an intruding male loon will enter a pair’s nesting site and kill the chick(s). This is called infanticide. If it’s early enough in the season, the intruding male might be able to mate with the female and increase chances of his own offspring occurring in the gene pool.

Another important species for King is the monarch butterfly.

Right now, according to professionals, three things that are causing monarch population to decline are pesticide use, illegal timber harvesting in Mexico, and climate change and changes to the jet stream.

The wintering grounds of the monarch are in Mexico, some of which are UNESCO world heritage sites and protected areas. Often these habitats are logged. It’s important to remember that people need to make money and the timber industry can provide people with an income.

Many believe that we can use ecotourism to employ locals and save forests. It is also an effective method to prove that wildlife can be financially prosperous.

King says that we are in the sixth mass extinction in the history of planet Earth and “if wildlife is going to survive, it’s going to have to pay for itself.” He says humans have to come up with these solutions and be creative in applying them and that ecotourism is one of these creative solutions.

To tackle another roadblock in the monarch butterfly’s life history, we need to look to our own grassy back yards. There is a new initiative called ‘Homegrown National Park’ which encourages people to use their yards to create habitat.

“People don’t think about wildlife in their back yard,” says King.

However, you can add value to your yard but converting it. All one needs to do is rototill, plant native wildflowers, and stop using pesticides.

Using pesticides is killing insects, in turn, killing us. Insects pollinate our crops, and they provide food to secondary consumers, playing an infinitely crucial role in our ecosystem.

‘Homegrown National Park’ was started by Dr. Doug Tallamy who understood the need for people to see the value in their own back yards. Anyone can register a yard by visiting the website and entering your zip code as well as the surface area. This initiative starts in your yard but can be applied internationally.

“Maine is a good place to be if you love nature,” says King. “In winters I spend time at Maine estuaries. Estuaries are among the richest habitats on the planet and Maine has many of them… See all the ‘fingers’ of land protruding into the ocean off Maine's coastline? Think about all the convolutions and the total length of coastline. Then consider that it is all tidal, meaning that the saltwater floods in and drains out every 6 hours. And let us not forget the Kennebec River watershed. This region is one of the richest on the Eastern Seaboard of North America.”

You can visit Bob King’s website (itsaboutnature.net) to view his photography and learn more about his book “The Pond of my Boyhood: Ecology of a Maine Pond.” <

2023 Ice Fishing Derby challenging but fun for participants

By Ed Pierce

A lack of ice on Sebago Lake didn’t ruin the fun for participants in the annual Cumberland County Ice Fishing Derby on Feb. 18 and Feb. 19.

Scott Dube of Saco placed first in the
Cumberland County Ice Fishing Derby by
catching a pickerel weighing 4.26 pounds and
25 1/2 inches in length. SUBMITTED PHOTO 
Moving to the 20-plus remaining lakes and ponds in thweighing e area with adequate ice to ensure safety, anglers fishing in the Cumberland County contest sponsored by the Sebago Lake Rotary Club found an abundance of perch and pickerel ready to be caught.

This was the 22nd year for the Ice Fishing Derby and although warmer temperatures prevented the buildup of ice on Sebago Lake this time, the contest proved once again to be more than just an excuse to get outside for time spent fishing. Proceeds from the Ice Fishing Derby benefit local charities and nonprofit organizations that the Rotary Club donates to, including “Feed the Need,” which assists with funding for 12 food pantries in the Lakes Region of Maine.

Angers found that searching for suitable ice was fun and the event brought together people from all walks of life, helping forge new friendships among those fishing and left them with great stories to tell about their experiences that probably will be shared for a lifetime.

The warm temperatures and subsequent cancelation of contest fishing on Sebago Lake held down the overall number of registered participants compared to previous years, but many did sign up for the Cumberland County portion of the event, said Cyndy Bell of the Sebago Lake Rotary Club.

But Bell said that as in years past, participating fishermen continued to donate their catches which were delivered to Nova Seafood and will be processed and delivered to assist in feeding the homeless and those facing food insecurity.

Tom Noonan, a Sebago Lake Rotary Club member, is credited with coming up with the concept for the Ice Fishing Derby in 2001 in cooperation with the Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department.

Since then, the event has grown substantially to become the Sebago Lake Rotary Club’s largest annual fundraising initiative and has supported hundreds of charities over the past two decades, with more than $1 million donated to local causes since its inception.

“Under the leadership of Sebago Lake Rotarian Toby Pennels, the derby gained additional national notoriety as one of only four fishing derbies in the United States to be featured in a television program filmed for the National Geographic Channel that aired in June 2014,” Bell said.

Here are the 2023 Cumberland County Ice Fishing Derby winners –

Top Prize Winners

The winner of the $5,000 cash grand prize was Ben Carlin of Windham.

Shannon Hallgren won the 50/50 raffle drawing.


First place: Scott Dube, 4.26 pounds, 25 ½ inches

Second place: Brian Rocray, 4.25 pounds, 25 ½ inches

Third place Adam Bryant, 3.20 pounds, 23 ½ inches

Yellow Perch

First place: Chris Green, 1.20 pounds, 13 inches

Second place: Chris Green, 1.20 pounds, 13 inches

Third place: Chris Green, 1.16 pounds, 13 ¼ inches

White Perch

First place: Shanna Hudgin, 1.62 pounds, 14 ½ inches

Second place: Tyler Holmquist, 1.60 pounds, 13 ½ inches

Third place: Shanna Hudgin, 1.50 pounds, 13 ¼ inches <

Local poet to display writings in honor of National Poetry Month

By Masha Yurkevich

Since 2000, poet Bob Clark of Windham has been creating poems highlighting natural, rural surroundings. These poems often illustrate similar humanistic activity such as the virtue and necessity of patience or survival efforts in the cycles of life’s renewal and to honor National Poetry month in April and as a dedication to the Windham Public Library’s 51st anniversary, Clark will be displaying his framed poetry at the public library throughout the month of April.

Poet Robert Clark presents Windham Public Library Director
Jennifer A. Wood with a framed poem 'Our Library, Our
Orchid' as a dedication to the library's 50th anniversary in
2022. Clark's poems will be featured at the library during
National Poetry Month in April. SUBMITTED PHOTO 
This year marks a decade of framed poetry displays by the local poet at the Windham Public Library. “Sounding Spring” is this year’s title of a 50-piece poetry group and it was designed to draw attention to the annual National Poetry Month in April.

Clark’s unique style of visual presentation is accompanied by a preview of his poetry book “Spinnaker,” the fourth and newest in an ongoing series of five. The book, including 30 seasonal poems, can be purchased at each of the Sherman’s Bookstore locations throughout Maine. His 2022 book, “Canoe,” is also available in the library and the coastal retail bookstores.

“So as to improve their work sculptors and painters experiment with physical proportions and the subtle effects of lighting a color arrangement. In a similar way, a poet can select from a variety of lyrical formats to achieve certain sound meters that accent a word story,” says Clark.

“Spinnaker’ contains a number of interesting rhythmic patterns as well as symbolic imagery. The poems are presented metrically so as to offer a pleasant and entertaining read.

Clark will also exhibit his special poem that he composed specially for the Windham Public Library anniversary a few years ago to help celebrate the occasion. The poem, “Our Library, Our Orchid,” includes both the historical existence of the library as well as the appreciation of its patrons.

The ‘orchid’ in the poem flourished as an idea representing a calm and inviting feeling for those who view its colorful charm, said Clark. Just like the orchid, the library is an intriguing opportunity open to all.

Similar to an artist’s painting, a poem is able to bring someone else certain memories or moments. An artist does the very same thing, they just have a brush in their hand and a paint palette instead of a dictionary and a pen, says Clark. A poem is casting light on something specific that can bring the reader a certain feeling or emotion.

The poetry book name “Spinnaker” represents the joy of sailing when that brightly colored cloth was in a full gust of operation,” says Clark.

“The back story is of a career teaching colleague of mine who moored his sailboat, Calypso, on Sebago Lake. During afternoon summer sails it was his greatest delight to hoist the 'spinnaker' when the 'wind was up and right for it,’ Clark said. “His passing in March of 2018 gave rise to a poem by the same name, it is included as the last one in the 2023 book.”

The title of “Sounding Spring” by the library is a choice to highlight the regional change of season.

The April snow melts quickly and uncovers a habitat of rebirth, and with it come the daily chirping sounds of spring, said Clark.

According to Clark, they seem like a fabulous welcome chorus from favorite returning and newly nesting birds. These sweet trills, coupled with maple sugar running, trees budding, and a warmth in the air bring on a wondrous, uplifting mood.

Clark’s poetry exhibition featured at the Windham Public Library throughout April is open to the public. <

February 17, 2023

In the public eye: Manchester School principal influences generations of students

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

By Ed Pierce

It’s said that the influence of an exceptional school leader remains a constant in our lives and for Danielle Donnini, Manchester School’s principal, that’s a fact.

Danielle Donnini has worked at Manchester School in
Windham for 26 years and had led the staff as principal 
there since 2015. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Donnini has worked at Manchester School for 26 years and through the years has become responsible for all aspects of the educational environment, safety, student learning, supervision, hiring, and school culture there. She has led the school as principal since 2015.

“The best thing I do is build positive, honest, collaborative relationships with our students, our staff and our families,” Donnini said. “I do love it when one of my old students shows back up as a parent and we can build upon that foundation. That's amazing.”

She grew up in northeast Pennsylvania in a coal and farming region and attended Penn State University, Luzerne County Community College, King's College, the University of Southern Maine, and the University of New England, earning a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a master’s degree in Special Education and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership.

“When I moved after college from Colorado to Maine, I wanted to live and work near Portland because it's such a cool little city, so I applied for jobs all over and that's how I found RSU 14,” Donnini said.

She worked as a psychiatric technician in a hospital with a school program in Pennsylvania for five years and after moving to Maine, she became an educational technician in Saco and served as an alternative education teacher in Gardner. Donnini worked as a Special Education teacher and then assistant principal at Manchester School before leading the school as its principal.

According to Donnini, the challenges facing a school principal on a daily basis are plentiful.

“There are often too many competing initiatives, challenges, and needs, so staying true to the priorities that are closest to students and our strategic vision is important,” she said.

The biggest misconception people may have about her role as Manchester School principal is complex.

“Given the divisive climate in recent years, some people believe that our work is political, and that's not actually what we are about. Also, some people think that the principal’s role is disciplinarian, and that's not right either,” Donnini said. “In both cases these misconceptions could be reframed if our priorities were understood. Making our school a place where every child feels safe and learns the academic and social skills to be a happy and contributing member of their community is what we do.”

In working for the school for more than two decades, Donnini said there are so many moments she’ll take away from the experience, it’s hard to narrow it down to just one as being the most memorable for her.

“There isn't really one moment I can think of. There are a thousand sweet, sad, challenging, bright, and funny little moments I've shared with families, students, and our staff over these many years,” she said.

Her family is proud of the work she does as a school administrator and creating a welcoming atmosphere at Manchester School for student learning.

“They know I love the kids,” Donnini said. “I think my commitment shows my own nearly grown children that they can work hard and can aspire to take on challenging, important careers.”

One thing that Donnini wants the public to know is that educating children remains the foremost aspect of her work at Manchester School.

“I do think the public knows that children are our priority, always. A skilled and caring school staff is how we take care of that priority,” she said. “So, we should value all the members of our school community with the pay and benefits they deserve, and treat them with kindness and respect, always.”

Donnini said that the most important thing that she’s learned while working for Manchester School is simple.

“Culture is everything and everybody is responsible for it every day,” she said. <

WHS senior earns Ladies in STEM Scholarship

By Ed Pierce

Although Windham High School senior Victoria Lin still doesn’t know where she will attend college, she’s already working on how to pay for her education and has been announced as this year’s recipient of the Ladies in Stem Scholarship.

Windham High School senior Victoria Lin is the recipient of
this year's Ladies in STEM $1,000 Scholarship for female
students in Maine interested in pursuing college degrees in
STEM-related fields involving  science, technology,
engineering and mathematics. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Lin, 17, was honored as this year’s winner of the $1,000 scholarship by Dror Liebenthal, the Chief Executive Officer of Bold.org, an independent scholarship platform, on Jan. 29. The annual scholarship program was created to encourage the access and participation of women in STEM careers and fields.

Liebenthal said the Ladies in Stem scholarship aims to support female representation in STEM by supporting female students who are preparing to pursue higher education. Any female high school student in Maine who will pursue a STEM-related program may apply for this scholarship.

STEM is an umbrella term that stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, which are fields in which women are vastly unrepresented, according to a study conducted by the American Association of University Women. Currently only about 28 percent of women make up the U.S. STEM workforce, something that Bold.org is attempting to rectify.

Lin, who turns 18 on Feb. 24, said she first learned about the available scholarship opportunity in December and decided to apply. To be considered for the scholarship, she had to write an essay between 400 and 600 words on the topic of how she plans to make a positive impact on the world through her STEM program.

“What I like about STEM is its focus on practicality. STEM classes are all about problem solving and connecting to the real world,” she said. “I am also a curious person. I want to know how everything works, why, and how it can be used for different purposes.”

According to Lin, most of her experience in STEM at WHS comes from being a member of the school’s robotics team. She has been the co-captain of the WHS Robotics Team for about three years and usually spends anywhere from six to eight hours a week building and testing different mechanisms for the team’s robot.

"My favorite STEM course is physics. I am learning a lot about how the world works. My favorite part is when I can apply what I learn, like torque and projectile motion, in robotics,” Lin said. “When it comes to STEM, experience, experimentation, and mistakes are just as important as lessons from class.”

She is the daughter of Karen and Carl Lin of Windham and is still trying to determine where she would like to go to college.

“I'm holding out some hope for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but I know wherever I go I'll be happy and successful. I'm planning to study mechanical engineering with a minor in sustainability,” Lin said. “I want to use my skills in engineering to help protect our environment. I may be working on electric cars, constructing dams, or finding alternatives to plastic. I'm planning to explore all these possibilities in college.”

Besides her interest in robotics and STEM at WHS, Lin is also an active member in other school clubs, serving as the librarian for the Windham Chamber Singers, a member of the Windham High School Quiz Team, and leading the pit band in her school's “One Act” show.

“During the summer I work at Camp Natarswi, a Girl Scout summer camp. My main job is to teach outdoor skills,” Lin said. “For my capstone project, I'm designing STEM activities to bring to camp because I want to encourage curiosity and excitement for all things STEM in young campers, especially girls who are so often discouraged from this kind of stuff.” <

EPA to address PFAS contamination in Maine water

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced $18.9 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to address emerging contaminants, like Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in drinking water in Maine.

This investment, which is allocated to states and territories, will be made available to communities as grants through EPA's Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities (EC-SDC) Grant Program and will promote access to safe and clean water in small, rural, and disadvantaged communities while supporting local economies.

"Too many American communities, especially those that are small, rural, or underserved, are suffering from exposure to PFAS and other harmful contaminants in their drinking water," said EPA Administrator Michael Regan. "We are investing in America and providing billions of dollars to strengthen our nation's water infrastructure while safeguarding people's health and boosting local economies. These grants build on EPA's PFAS Strategic Roadmap and will help protect our smallest and most vulnerable communities from these persistent and dangerous chemicals."

Other EPA officials agree.

"Today's grant announcement is one significant step in EPA's comprehensive PFAS Roadmap to support our state partners as we aggressively tackle PFAS in drinking water, protect public health, and provide critical information quickly and transparently," said EPA New England Regional Administrator and Co-Chair of EPA's Council on PFAS David W. Cash. "This funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will target resources to small or disadvantaged communities most in need of assistance and will speed up our important work reducing PFAS and other emerging contaminants in drinking water, especially in communities that are challenged by lack of capacity and funding."

Maine Gov. Janet Mills said the state is grateful for the EPA funding for PFAS contamination.

"Maine is a leader in addressing PFAS contamination, but there is a lot more work left to do," Mills said. "Maine people deserve safe drinking water, and these Federal funds will be instrumental in helping my Administration identify PFAS contamination across Maine and take steps to mitigate it."

U.S. Senator Susan Collins of Maine said this is an important step forward.

"Maintaining access to clean, reliable drinking water is essential to protect the health of the public, our environment, and the economy," Collins said. "Americans should be able to have confidence that the water from their faucets is safe to use. Although Maine is home to some of the cleanest sources of water in the country, the increasing prevalence of pollutants like PFAS require action to keep our drinking water pure. Senator Shaheen and I co-authored the provision that includes this funding as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and I am pleased to see the implementation of these resources to protect water supplies in Maine."

U.S. Senator Angus King of Maine said the funding will be of help in addressing PFAS in the state.

"Maine people deserve clean, safe, and healthy water," King said. "This significant new investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help address the PFAS contaminants in our water and protect the long-term health of communities across the state. There is still more work to be done, but this funding is an important first step and a great example of the game-changing investments of the bipartisan bill."

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $5 billion over five years to help communities that are on the frontlines of PFAS contamination reduce PFAS in drinking water. EPA announced the funds for Maine as part of an allotment of $2 billion to states and territories that can be used to prioritize infrastructure and source water treatment for pollutants, like PFAS and other emerging contaminants, and to conduct water quality testing.

EPA is also releasing the Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities Grant Implementation document. The implementation document provides states and communities with the information necessary to use this funding to address local water quality and public health challenges. These grants will enable communities to improve local water infrastructure and reduce emerging contaminants in drinking water by implementing solutions such as installing necessary treatment solutions.

The EPA’s actions represent a significant milestone to combat PFAS pollution and safeguard drinking water.

PFAS are widely used, long lasting chemicals, components of which break down very slowly over time.

Because of their widespread use and their persistence in the environment, many PFAS are found in the blood of people and animals all over the world and are present at low levels in a variety of food products and in the environment.

PFAS are found in water, air, fish, and soil at locations across the nation and the globe. Scientific studies have shown that exposure to some PFAS in the environment may be linked to harmful health effects in humans and animals.

There are thousands of PFAS chemicals, and they are found in many different consumer, commercial, and industrial products. This makes it challenging to study and assess the potential human health and environmental risks.<

Local students earn accolades for academic performance

 College students from Raymond and Windham have been recognized for exceptional academic performance during the Fall 2022 semester.

** Sarah M. Cummings of Windham has been named to the Dean’s List at Fairfield University in Connecticut for earning a grade point average of 3.50 or higher.

** Kaila Mank of Raymond has been named to the President’s List at Western New England University in Massachusetts for earning a grade point average of 3.8 or higher.

** Clayton Hatch of Windham has been named to the Dean’s List at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania for earning a grade point average of 3.4 or higher.

** Archie Medina of Windham has been named to the Dean’s List at the University of Maine at Machias for earning a grade point average of 3.3 or higher.

** Haylen Chisholm of Windham has been named to the Dean’s List at the University of Maine Augusta for maintaining a grade point average between 3.25 and 3.79.

** Eric Floyd of Windham has been named to the Dean’s List at the University of Maine Augusta for maintaining a grade point average between 3.25 and 3.79.

** Michelle Deiulio of Windham has been named to the President’s List at the University of Maine Augusta for maintaining a grade point average of 3.8 or higher.

** Nicholas Drake of Windham has been named to the President’s List at the University of Maine Augusta for maintaining a grade point average of 3.8 or higher.

** Caden Theriault of Windham has been named to the President’s List at the University of Maine Augusta for maintaining a grade point average of 3.8 or higher.

** Aileen Pelletier of Raymond has been named to the President’s List at Central Maine Community College for earning a grade point average of 3.9 or higher.

** Eve A. Schultz of Windham has been named to the President’s List at Central Maine Community College for earning a grade point average of 3.9 or higher.

** Jasmine M. LeShane of Raymond has earned High Honors recognition at Central Maine Community College for earning a grade point average of 3.6 or higher.

** Katelyn A. Colvard of Windham has earned Honors recognition at Central Maine Community College for earning a grade point average of 3.3 or higher.

** Stephen Howard of Windham has earned Honors recognition at Central Maine Community College for earning a grade point average of 3.3 or higher.

** Lindsey McDonald of Raymond has been named to the Dean’s List at Keene State College in New Hampshire for earning a grade point average of 3.5 or higher.

** Kiana Webster of Raymond has been named to the Dean’s List at Eastern Connecticut State University for earning a grade point average of 3.5 or higher.

February 10, 2023

Windham legal services to be handled by Jensen Baird law firm

By Ed Pierce

In keeping with the town practice of reviewing service contracts every five to seven years, Windham has wrapped up an in-depth process of interviewing bidders for the town’s legal services and awarded a new contract to the Jensen Baird law firm of Portland at the Jan. 24 Windham Town Council meeting.

The Windham Town Council votes on awarding a legal
services contract to the Jensen Baird law firm of Portland
during a meeting at the Windham Town Hall on Jan. 24.
Windham requested bids for legal services in October and four candidates submitted proposals by the Dec. 14 deadline.

A legal review committee that included Town Council Chair Mark Morrison; Town Council Vice Chair David Nadeau; Councilor Nicholas Kalogerakis; Town Manager Barry Tibbetts; Assistant Town Manager Robert Burns; Director of Planning Amanda Lessard; Code Enforcement Director Jon Rioux; Finance Director Susan Rossignol; and Police Chief Kevin Schofield reviewed the bid submissions and conducted interviews on Jan. 11.

The committee submitted specific questions to bidding firms in advance of the interviews that focused on the town’s short-term and long-term goals. Question topics spanned a wide representation of issues including matters of legislation, code enforcement, zoning, planning, land use, real estate, labor and employment, finance, bonding, taxation, economic development, law enforcement, civil rights, and other local, state, and federal law and regulatory issues.

All four of the applicants committee members interviewed are in good standing with the Maine Bar Association and licensed to practice in Maine.

The interview session lasted more than five hours and following a discussion, committee members reached a consensus and unanimously recommended that the Windham Town Council engage the legal services of Jensen Baird and to have the town manager develop a transition plan for the legal services.

The committee recommended a five-year contract with Jensen Baird which comes with renewal options and yearly legal service reviews based upon performance, said Barry Tibbetts, Windham Town Manager.

He said that the submitted hourly legal services expense would be $225 per hour which was also tied for the lowest cost among bidders.

The Jensen Baird firm was founded in 1952 and has extensive expertise in business and real estate law. It has represented local governments in facility planning, permitting, infrastructure improvements, licensing, and financing.

Over the years, the firm has partnered with the City of Westbrook on the Rock Row and Vertical Harvest projects and with the developer of The Downs project in Scarborough.

Windham’s existing contract has been handled by the law firm of Preti Flaherty and Beliveau with Kristen Collins serving as town attorney.

Collins has been instrumental in helping councilors set up licensing fees and regulatory oversight of marijuana shops in Windham and drafting associated ordinances.

“The committee and the town have very much appreciated all the participants and the services that have been rendered by Preti Flaherty over the past several years,” Tibbetts said. “We felt this new firm would help us take the next step forward as a town.”

The council voted 7-0 to award the legal services contract to Jensen Baird.

Councilors thanked Preti Flaherty for their efforts on behalf of the town during the discussion and said they hoped the transition in legal representation would be smooth.

“I’m optimistic and think it’s going to be a good transition,” Tibbetts said. <

Creative Writing Club helps students embrace their imagination

By Masha Yurkevich

Creativity is key to seeing the world from a different perspective, something that is very important in today’s world where everything is an opportunity. The Creative Writing Club at Windham High School allows students to embrace their creative side through creative writing.

Windham High School's Creative Writing Club is advised 
by Chelsea Scott and Lorraine Glowczak and allows for
a warm and welcoming environment for students to let
their creativity shine and share their writing with others.
The club was originally started during the 2018/2019 school year by a student named Sophie Phipps, who graduated in 2021, and offered an opportunity for social connections for students during the pandemic. Phipps found purpose in expressing herself through words and hoped that she could create opportunities for other students to do the same.

The Creative Writing Club was her Capstone project and has continued, now led by Lorraine Glowczak and Chelsea Scott, an English teacher at WHS for four years and who is also the Can We? Project liaison.

“Our purpose is to empower students to write creatively and experiment with the art form,” says Scott. “Our hope is to promote art for art’s sake, and the stress relief and creative fulfillment that comes with it. We also offer students a first experience of publication through our journal, Screech Review.”

Scott says that she absolutely loves being a part of the Creative Writing Club.

“Students continually surprise and inspire me with their passion and ideas, as well as their openness to each other,” she says. “This is such a compassionate and welcoming group. I hope that more students will find us and lend their voices! I would also love to see kids experimenting with forms like playwriting.”

Scott shares her advising role with Lorraine Glowczak this year and says that it is a privilege to do so because as a writer herself and the ELO Coordinator at WHS, Glowczak brings so many ideas and so much support for students to the table.

Darcey Langerman and Breeauna Bonin are both seniors and members of the Creative Writing Club. They both joined in their junior year of high school.

Bonin says that she wanted to join the club because Scott oversees it, and Bonin had enjoyed Scott’s class so much. Bonin also loves to write in her free time, so this club seemed like a good fit.

“I like that we have prompts to write to, and I like that people share their pieces so I can hear other ideas and thoughts,” says Langerman.

Having a welcoming group to share their work with and having available time to put aside specifically for writing is something that is important for Creative Writing Club members.

“I am a part of it because I wanted to join a club during my time in high school, and it sounded like I would enjoy it,” says Bonin. “I value it because not only was it my first-ever club, but it also taught me ways to improve my communication and writing skills.”

Corynn Logan, senior at WHS, is the Editor in Chief of the Creative Writing Club.

Logan originally wrote creatively as something to do for fun and has a creative mind that she decided she wanted to use in a literary art form. After a while of writing on a personal level, she wanted to learn more about the topic.

In her junior year, she took a semester-long class that touched on different types of writing. It was during that course that she learned about the school's club. As time went on the semester ended, but she was still full of things she wanted to write about.

“Yes, I knew I could still write even though the class had finished, however, I had grown accustomed to having other members to bounce ideas off of and I loved gaining the confidence to try and write outside of my comfort zone” she says. That was when she started showing up periodically to the club meetings and each week she had worked on a new piece to share.

“Creative writing can be done whenever. Wherever you want to write you can. Writing is an escape for me and most people,” says Logan. “But the best part of creative writing is that it can go in any direction. It has been scientifically proven that the act of writing can increase brain power, speech, and overall peace of mind. Taking some feelings and trying to put them into words can help identify the issues in our lives. I value creativity, and I value the act of free speech and creative writing can help with that. I love being a part of the club because I feel supported and represented as a creative person.”

The Creative Writing Club meets at the capstone office weekly during the student Pride block each Wednesday and welcomes all creative minds to come and let their imagination shine. <

Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District a valued partner in Lakes Region

By Abby Wilson

The Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District (CCSWCD) works collaboratively with towns and nonprofits to protect natural resources and educate the public across the county.

One of the major focuses of the Cumberland County Soil &
Water Conservation District is to help protect the water
quality of local waterways, such as Crescent Lake in 
Conservation districts were invented after the Dust Bowl in the 1930s to serve each county nationwide. Names and duties vary but in Maine, these county districts are part of the Department of Conservation and Forestry.

Two major focuses of CCSWCD are water and soil. Water quality of lakes, streams, ponds, and rivers as well as erosion control are often key areas especially in the Sebago Lake area.

Ali Clift, the Education & Outreach Coordinator for CCSWCD, says that the Conservation District is headquartered in Windham and is a team that works together to solve issues, manage projects, and provide outreach to the community.

Clift said CCSWCD staff includes an engineer, district manager, project manager, educators, technician, and marketing professional.

Funding comes from the state and county but largely, about 90 percent, is funded by grants. The Conservation District does have a ‘Fee for service’ program which allows people and businesses to reach out for assistance.

This is a countywide initiative where the Conservation District offers one free hour of technical service. These projects often include fixing culverts or controlling erosion. It’s the job of the CCSWCD to recommend a course of action and refer land owners to an appropriate contractor.

CCSWCD collaborates with other nonprofit organizations. In Windham, the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust, the Lakes Environmental Association, the Portland Water District, and the Town of Windham are all partners.

With these collaborators and the community, the Conservation District can protect and manage watersheds, streams, lakes, and ponds; develop construction plans; assess stormwater and erosion; and implement urban agriculture.

Perhaps one of the largest tasks of the CCSWCD is to educate the community.

Classroom education is provided to middle schools in Windham. The Conservation District’s educators provide hands-on lessons to kids in collaboration with Portland Water District. Currently in Windham, students are raising brook trout eggs.

“Teachers have fish tanks and chillers with insulation panels right in their classrooms,” says Clift. “These children will watch the fish develop from eggs to stream stocking age.”

Another highlighted program is one that targets landowners. Yardscaping is a community workshop which includes presentations on reducing the use of fertilizers/pesticides, as well as converting lawns to other types of landscapes, instead of just grass.

Following up on these presentations, participants can apply concepts they’ve learned to their own yards.

“Choose to get soil test kits which test for nutrient deficiencies, pH, and heavy metals like lead,” says Clift. “It’s good to know what’s in your soil especially if you’re growing food.”

These workshops take place in the spring and fall across the county, with a rotating list of towns each year. Windham is scheduled to host a program this fall. The location and exact date are to be determined.

Every year, from Saco to Portland, the Conservation District asks garden and hardware stores if they want to participate in the Yardscaping program. The Conservation District then goes to these stores and puts stickers on products (compost, grass seed, fertilizers) that are Yardscaping ‘certified’ materials. Even Lowes, Walmart, and Home Depot are involved in this program.

CCSWCD also creates native plants displays at these garden centers to educate the public on the importance of vegetative buffers which stand between a body of water and a lawn.

These are naturalized areas of trees and shrubs and they help slow down water as well as filter it, Clift said.

You may also see the Conservation District at a local Farmer’s Market where they provide demonstrations, showcase Yardscaping materials, and sell compost bins, rain barrels, and supplies for other yard conservation projects.

Black Brook, Pleasant River, Highland Lake, Little Sebago Lake, Sebago Lake, Panther Pond, and Crescent Lake have been project areas for the program and CCSWCD is working on several projects in the Raymond and Windham area currently.

The Conservation District also is working with the Highland Lake Association, the Town of Windham, and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to identify plants for vegetative buffers on Highland Lake.

Portland Water District and the Conservation District collaborate on Sebago Lake projects and are focusing on watershed protection. Clift said that CSWCD is collaborating with Sebago Lake State Park to mitigate erosion with natural materials like plants and trees.

Across the county, professional trainings such as septic installation or state certifications can also be provided by the Conservation District. The CCSWCD organizes the Maine Stormwater Conference every other year, as well as the Urban Runoff 5K Race.

In both Cumberland and York counties, the Conservation District is working with pet owners to reduce dog and other pet waste. These programs are implemented from Portland to Biddeford.

You can access information on these programs, dates of workshops, lists of garden centers that have tagged Yardscaping materials, fact sheets, and more on the Conservation District’s website at https://www.cumberlandswcd.org/. <

Raymond Shopping Center under new ownership

By Ed Pierce

After 10 years of ownership by the Gagnon Family, the Raymond Shopping Center has been transformed into a thriving center for commerce and a strong starting point for the revitalization of business in the town.

The Raymond Shopping Center has been sold by KP Gagnon 
to SAMP 1233 LLC of Massachusetts for an undisclosed
price. The property has nine tenants. SUBMITTED PHOTO
The shopping center at 1233 Roosevelt Trail in Raymond was purchased in 2012 by Raymond resident Kevin Gagnon from Tony Accousti of Raymond. Gagnon saw the potential for the property and had been successful in revitalizing shopping centers in Naples, Standish and Gorham previously. Eventually ownership of the property was transferred to Kevin’s son, KP Gagnon, who has just closed on the sale of the 31,749-square-foot facility and property to SAMP 1233 LLC of Massachusetts. The SAMP 1233 LLC company’s managing partner is Nilesh Patel.

One of the popular retail areas in the Lakes Region according to both summer visitors and Raymond residents alike, the Raymond Shopping Center includes space for 10 different businesses, but two are currently leased by the Maine Dance Center. It was remodeled extensively during the past decade by the Gagnons, giving the retail facility a complete facelift and roof replacement while also upgrading and repaving the parking lot.

“It was the right time for us to sell, but it was a hard decision and one that I had second thoughts about it,” K.P. Gagnon said. “My parents are now wintering in Florida and now my wife and I are spending more time there too. It was a difficult choice to make, but we’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished with the property.”

Just two years ago, one of the longtime tenants of the shopping center, the Family Dollar store, expanded their retail space from a 7,200-square-feet facility to 9,300-square-feet.

Family Dollar is one of four tenants of the shopping center, including the Angel Nail Salon, the U.S. Post Office, and the Southpaw Meat Market, that have been tenants for the entirety of the property’s ownership by the Gagnon Family.

“When my father first bought the property, there were four vacancies in the shopping center and now every space there is occupied,” he said. “It’s a real success story.”

The property transfer closed in the second week of January and K.P. Gagnon said he’s sad because through the years, the family has developed strong relationships with tenants of the shopping center.

“It’s like the end of a journey,” he said. “It’s truly difficult because we’re not there every day as we once were. We’ll miss that and have taken great pride in our relationships with our great tenants through the years.”

Marcus & Millichap brokers handled the sale. The sale price was not disclosed. <

New electric meter vehicle boosts efficiency for Portland Water District

That different looking vehicle you may see driving slowly through your neighborhood represents the Portland Water District’s latest step toward financial efficiency and good environmental stewardship, a commitment that dates back 20 years.

Portland Water District Control Center Operator Joe
Hannigan displays PWD's new electric Mustang Mach-E
vehicle to be used for meter reading. SUBMITTED PHOTO 
PWD’s new meter-reading cruiser, an electric-powered Ford Mustang Mach-E, has a range of 211 miles a day and is rated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as attaining 100 miles per gallon in city driving.

Better yet, the all-wheel drive vehicle was highly affordable – it cost $32,399 when purchased last spring – and the expectation is it will cost $150 a year in maintenance, compared to $650 a year for a typical, gas-powered SUV or pickup.

Combining premier mileage and reduced maintenance, the water district expects to save $1,000 annually. The PWD meter reader and vehicle travel more than 1,600 miles monthly.

While saving money is important to the water district and its customers, that’s only half of the equation.

“Our mission is to protect public health, safety, and the environment,” said Josh Hudak, PWD facilities manager, who oversaw the vehicle’s purchase and implementation.

Other company officials think the timing was right to obtain the new electric vehicle.

“We are committed to environmental stewardship and continuous efforts to become more sustainable,” said Chris Crovo, director of asset management and planning. “Part of our effort over the years has been to become less reliant on fossil fuels.”

Big moved toward efficiency

Perhaps the biggest single step toward achieving both goals – saving millions of dollars over the years, and burning much less gasoline – came in 2005, when the water district converted from manual meter reading to an automated approach.

Prior to then, the water district employed seven full-time meter readers who each drove separate pickup trucks to read customers’ water meters. The employees would walk to each meter, on every house, and touch each touch pad. Meter reading back then took a month to complete and water district staff drove over 100,000 miles a year.

That has all changed. Initially, the district switched to drive-by, automated meter reading using specially equipped vehicles that received unique radio transmissions for each water district customer. That information was transferred into the PWD’s information system, and an individualized bill was produced. Later hybrid vehicles were used during this process, and they served their purpose well.

The Mustang Mach-E, however, represents the latest major step forward. The Portland Water District’s commitment to common-sense environmental protection continues in other ways as well.

Crovo explained that in recent years, two of the organization’s largest facilities were converted to natural gas for all operations, both to save money and to lessen their carbon footprints. Through a consortium, 14 percent of electricity now comes from solar sources.

Annually the water district spends about $2.1 million in electricity costs, and participation in this partnership will save ratepayers $967,400 annually once fully operational. Currently, the water district is looking at battery storage at its East End Wastewater Treatment Facility to reduce peak energy demands which will further improve reliability and cost savings.

The Mustang Mach-E is working well thus far, Crovo said, and as technology improves, the district will consider replacing its entire fleet of vehicles with electric options.

“Financial efficiency, environmental stewardship, and appropriate investment in infrastructure are all important attributes of a well-run organization like the Portland Water District,” said General Manager Seth Garrison.<

February 3, 2023

In the public eye: Raymond Elementary principal a champion for student achievement

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

By Ed Pierce

Beth Peavey believes that every student deserves a champion, someone who will never give up on them and who understands that the power of connection exists, and they can become the best they possibly can be.

Beth Peavey is in her third year as principal
Raymond Elementary School and has an
extensive background in education as a special
education teacher and a school administrator.

Peavey has led Raymond Elementary School since 2020 and was the school’s assistant principal for three years before her promotion to principal. She is a dedicated educator and school administrator who knows how to relate to students and create a welcoming environment for them to grow and learn.

“The role of the principal is complex and not easily defined in a few sentences,” Peavey said. “The principal is responsible for administering and supervising the total school program and providing opportunities for educational leadership for the students, staff members, and the community consistent with the educational goals of the school system.

She says that her role as principal is to foster a positive, safe school climate by facilitating team growth and leadership, engaging parents and community members as partners, and ensuring student growth academically, socially, and emotionally.

According to Peavey, the best thing about her job is the uniqueness of the Raymond community and the opportunity to foster positive relationships with students, staff, families, and community members.

“At the top of my list of best things, is receiving a hug from a student and seeing students excel and become excited when they have accomplished a goal or experience that they have been persevering on,” she said.

But working as an educator and school leader these days is about more than reading, math and science.

“One of the most challenging aspects of this job has been the increase of elementary students with significant worries and anxieties. It is heartbreaking to listen to students and their life stories and the worries they bring to school every day,” Peavey said. “The weight of knowing that even with the increased social work and counselor services in our school, the needs are surpassing the services we have available to offer. Fortunately, I have extremely dedicated staff in addition to the counselors who work to develop connections with students. The most important part of the day is when many of the staff, along the front entrance of the school and within the school hallway, welcome and check in with our students as they arrive in the morning.”

In seventh grade, her parents moved her and her brother across the country from Santa Rosa, California to China, Maine. Upon finishing eighth grade at China Elementary School, she attended Oak Grove Coburn High School which has since become the Maine State Police Academy.

In 1987, she attended the University of New England as a business major but after her first year chose to change her major to Elementary Education and Special Education. She graduated from UNE in 1991 and in 1998, she earned a master's degree from the University of Southern Maine in Special Education and her Educational Leadership certification from St. Joseph’s College in 2012.

“My love for working with students began early in my life in part due to my brother who has special needs. In high school, I enjoyed volunteering at his summer program and Special Olympics,” Peavey said. “Although I originally went to school for business, after my freshman year, I transferred into the education program. During my time in college, I worked at the Spurwink Program as a respite worker for several of the group homes. When I graduated, I was offered a position as a special education teacher educating students with autism.”

In 1994, she was hired by SAD 6 as a special education teacher for grade K to 3. She also taught kindergarten, second, and fourth grades and worked at Windham Primary School as a second-grade teacher and served as Assistant Principal at Songo Locks Elementary School for three years.

Along with her husband Del, who is an educator/Special Education Director, Peavey has lived in Raymond since 1998.

“Our three children were fortunate to attend their elementary years at Raymond Elementary School,” she said. “The RES close-knit community is what drew me to apply for the position as well as the district's visionary, supportive leadership. On a side note, the beautiful campus with lake views and a three-minute commute is also a plus.”

Of everything she’s accomplished as RES principal, Peavey says one thing comes to mind.

“When I reflect on what I have learned during my time at Raymond Elementary School, the African proverb, ‘it takes a village to raise a child,’ comes to mind. We must work together collaboratively and with creativity and flexibility to meet the needs of our individual unique learners.” <

MDOT schedules local road projects in Three-Year Plan

By Ed Pierce

Maine’s Department of Transportation has announced its three-year plan for making improvements to state roads and bridges and Windham and Raymond figure prominently among those projects.

Maine Department of Transportation's Three-Year Plan
includes $1.5 million on funding for replacing Varney's
Bridge over the Pleasant River on William Knight Road 
in Windham in 2024. PHOTO BY ED PIERCE  
MDOT has calculated completion for the projects will cost $3.95 billion and has designated funding for 2,599 prioritized projects in Maine for 2023, 2024 and 2025. The department cites rising costs of material and labor as factors in project funding and cites that construction prices have jumped between 40 and 50 percent since 2018.

According to MDOT, about 44 percent of the planned projects will be paid for through federal funding, which the department estimates to be around $1.75 billion for the state in this three-year span. State Highway Fund revenue sources are derived from state per-gallon fuel fees and motor vehicle fees which also include other road maintenance activities such as snow removal.

Bruce Van Note, who serves as MDOT Commissioner, said that for assets that MDOT controls, like the state highway and bridge system, prioritization and selection of projects for the Three-Year Work Plan is driven by MDOT staff committees: the Highway Committee, the Bridge Committee, the Multimodal Committee, the Safety and Mobility Committee, and the Management Team of the Bureau of Maintenance and Operations.

“These committees are comprised of staff from relevant disciplines and specializations. They include engineers and technicians with hundreds of years of cumulative experience. The committees work throughout the year in conjunction with the Bureau of Planning to identify project candidates and prioritize them for potential inclusion in the Work Plan,” he said.

According to Van Note, despite the challenges, new developments and improvement projects provide Maine with the opportunity to make meaningful investments in Maine’s multimodal transportation system including the state’s foundational highway and bridge network, iconic villages and downtowns, transit enhancements, port facilities, culvert replacements that improve road reliability and fish passage, active transportation infrastructure, electric vehicle charging stations, and infrastructure resiliency.

“This Work Plan also assumes the availability of about $75 million in bond funds in Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle (GARVEE) bonding as allowed by the Federal Highway Administration,” Van Note said. “GARVEE bonds are revenue bonds repaid only with future Federal Highway Administration formula funds. “The $75 million in proposed new GARVEE bond issuances represents about 2 percent of the total value of Work Plan items.”

For 2023 and 2024, Windham projects funded in the Three-Year Plan are:

** $78,000 for repairing header joints and painting bearings and beam ends on the Eel Weir Bridge which carries Route 35 over the Presumpscot River in Windham 0.27 of a mile southwest of Hackett Road. (2023)

** $100,000 for repairing curb, rail, and posts on Mallison Falls Bridge which carries Mallison Street over the Presumpscot River in Windham about 160 feet northeast of Canal Street. (2023)

**$547,000 for sidewalk construction Gray Road starting at Depot Street in South Windham and extending north 0.23 of a mile to the Mountain Division Trail. (2023)

** $585,000 for highway reconstruction Route 302 Beginning 0.45 of a mile west of Outpost Drive and extending west 0.14 of a mile, including the roundabout intersection with Route 202. (2024/2025)

** $1.5 million for replacing Varney’s Bridge over the Pleasant River on William Knight Road. (2024)

** $2.86 million for construction of a new sidewalk on the west side of Route 302 from Shaw’s Access Drive extending 0.48 of a mile north to Amato Drive. (2024)

** $483,000 for intersection reconstruction work to the Route 302 and Albion Road intersection. (2024)

** $855,000 for traffic signal modification along the Route 302 corridor from Route 115 north to White’s Bridge Road. (2024)

** $1.220 million for bridge deck replacement of Loveitt Bridge starting 0.13 miles north of Laskey Road. (2024/2025)

** $1.4 million highway construction and rehabilitation of Route 202 and River Road. (2023)

** $450,000 for construction of a bicycle/pedestrian path beginning at Bridge Street in Westbrook to the Route 202 crossing in Windham. (2023)

** $395,000 for spot improvements to install Backplates with Yellow Reflective Strips and Supplemental Signal Heads along Route 302. (2025)

For 2023 and 2024 in Raymond, funding of $37,000 and $124,000 has been designated for making capital improvements to the Frye Island ferry service between Raymond and Frye Island. <

PWD helps communities obtain federal funds for local projects

Portland Water District has partnered with three communities in Cumberland County to obtain $3.2 million in federal funding for water and wastewater projects.

Company officials say that the Portland Water District recognized the importance of each project to our service communities and municipal partners, and strongly advocated for federal financial support.

“These projects are important to Greater Portland’s economy as well as the sustainability of our water and wastewater infrastructure. Many thanks to Senator Susan Collins for making it happen,” said Portland Water District General Manager Seth Garrison.

Windham Wastewater Treatment Facility ($2 million)

Years of study in the North Windham Commercial District have shown that the use of private septic systems was having long-term adverse effects on the underlying aquifer and adjacent water bodies. Windham and the Portland Water District are partnering to design a reliable, advanced wastewater treatment system that will improve and protect water quality. Funding for the $40.6 million project is coming from a mix of federal, state, and local sources.

Vulnerability Assessment of the Presumpscot River Corridor in Westbrook ($996,000)

In the fall of 2020, a 2-acre landslide filled a portion of the Presumpscot River in Westbrook and threatened public water and wastewater infrastructure. The landslide impacted two 42-inch water pipes and the Westbrook Wastewater Treatment Facility. Concerned with potential damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of service, Portland Water District removed the debris and stabilized a portion of the riverbank. Federal funding will assess other problematic areas along the Presumpscot River corridor.

Feasibility Study for Water and Wastewater Systems in Gorham ($240,000)

Gorham has long considered expanding their wastewater system to accommodate ongoing development and support well planned sustainable regional economic growth. Portland Water District supported Gorham in getting funding to study expanding the water and wastewater systems. <

MPA awards journalism scholarship to Raymond student

The Maine Press Association has awarded a $1,000 journalism scholarship to a local student who completed an internship at The Windham Eagle newspaper last summer.

Andrew Wing, a former intern for
The Windham Eagle newspaper, has
been awarded a $1,000 journalism
scholarship by the Maine Press
Association. SUBMITTED PHOTO  
Andrew Wing of Raymond is a senior at St. Joseph’s College in Standish and a graduate of Windham High School. He successfully completed an internship at The Windham Eagle in August 2022, writing and developing news, feature stories, personality profiles and sports articles.

“He is certainly deserving of this scholarship,” said Ed Pierce, Managing Editor of The Windham Eagle newspaper. “When Andrew interned with our newspaper, he performed exceptionally and was able to work independently and handled the most challenging assignments in a superb fashion. He indeed has a bright future ahead of him in the profession of journalism. We’re very proud of his work with The Windham Eagle and for receiving the MPA Scholarship.”

Wing has appeared on the Dean’s List at St. Joseph’s College for academic excellence in every semester that he has attended the school. He also works part-time in his family’s restaurant in Raymond and for Hannaford Supermarket in Windham.

The Maine Press Association awards scholarships every year to a junior or senior with a financial need who plans to pursue a career in journalism. The funds come from the association’s annual scholarship auction during the organization’s yearly awards ceremony.

Established in 1864, the Maine Press Association works to promote ethical journalism, to advocate for the interests of the journalists and organizations that constitute its membership, and to protect the freedom of the press and the public’s right to know. <