Friday, June 5, 2020

FOOD4VETS program about to launch in Windham


By Dave Tanguay
Special to The Windham Eagle
FOOD4VETS a program funded by the New England Patriot’s organization is hosting major food distribution sites in Maine and throughout New England for veterans and their families who may be food insecure.
This is a multi-organization collaboration with the New England Patriots partnering with 222cares and the VET Center in Lewiston to deliver boxes of food to the Lewiston and Brunswick areas for veterans. The American Legion Field-Allen Post has asked to expand this coverage to include the Route 302 corridor with the addition of sites in Windham and Bridgton.
Shown is the VA truck that will be delivering
food to veterans in need of assistance
and their families at the Windham,Veterans Center
on June 17. SUBMITTED PHOTO BY DAVE TANGUAY
Plans are to have the sites up for distribution at the Windham Veterans Center, Post 148, in Windham from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 17 and at Post 67 in Bridgton that same day in the afternoon from 2 to 5 p.m.
The Windham Veterans Center is located on an extension road in the back of the Hannaford’s Complex in North Windham.
A box of food will be provided to each family member registered. For example, if there are two individuals in the family, they will receive two boxes etc.
Families in which the veteran has died may still register provided they have the deceased’s DD214 as proof of service.
Veterans or their families needing this support must register on the 222cares.org website and present a DD214 or proof of service at the time of food pick-up.
Please pass this information on to any and all veterans in need of this support.
For families in need of VA contact information, call Jerry Short, Veteran Outreach Program Specialist at 207-623-8411, Ext. 3479 or by email at gerald.short@va.gov.
For more information about Post 148, call 207-892-1306 or by email at dtanguay46@aol.com. <



Free Monday Meal program is still going strong, providing food to local pantries


By Lorraine Glowczak

The concept of a free Monday meal officially began by members of the Windham Hill United Church of Christ (UCC) in 1998.
The intent was to provide free nutritious meals for those who experienced food insecurity on Monday evenings. Hoping to receive help from other area churches, Windham Hill UCC reached out to other congregations to see if there would be an interest in joining their efforts on a needed service to the community.
It was not long after the request was made that more than five area churches were soon on board, offering weekly free meals – and as such, the Food and Fellowship, Inc. a non-profit ecumenical organization was established.
The organization has sponsored the free Monday Meal program in the Lakes Region since 1999, serving between 50 to 70 guests every Monday evening.
Although the program has not been able to provide free in person Monday Meals for over two months due to the pandemic, Food and Fellowship, Inc. is still going strong.
Olley Klein of Gray, left, said thathe has been coming
to the Monday Meal program since its inception and
finds its fellowship is just as important as the
food the program serves
PHOTO BY LORRAINE GLOWCZAK
“We are still here, although we can’t get together in person right now,” said Dan Wheeler of St. Ann’s Episcopal Church and President of Food and Fellowship, Inc. “We thought it was important to continue giving food for those in need, so we have opted to donate towards area food pantries.”
The organization has recently donated at total of $1,750 to food pantries of surrounding towns that have contributed financially or otherwise to Food and Fellowship, Inc. “We have given $250 to Standish Food Pantry, $250 to the Raymond Food Pantry and $1,250 to the Windham Food Pantry,” Wheeler said.
As with most organizations and individuals, the pandemic has created an opportunity to think outside the box, being innovative to meet missions and goals.
“What we realized when the social distancing began is that we did not have a system in place in circumstances such as these to let people know what we were doing,” said Wheeler. “Although we do have a Facebook page and a website to provide that information, there are some people we serve who either do not have access to a computer or internet or simply do not use social media as a form of staying connected. This is where we have decided to develop a phone and email list so we can update individuals who join Monday Meals. We plan to do this going forward.”
But just as the food is an important part of the Monday Meal Program’s mission, providing a source of social interaction plays a very important role, too.
In a previous interview for an article last summer highlighting the 20th anniversary of free Monday Meals, Olley Klein from Gray shared his thoughts about getting together with others on a weekly basis.
“My wife died in 1991 and I have been coming here almost since the beginning,” he said. “Not so much for the food - which I enjoy – but more for the social aspect of it. In fact, I think I spend more time in the churches of Windham than I do at home in Gray.”
Although it is unsafe to gather at this point, the Monday Meal program will be meeting in person when the threat of contracting COVID-19 is diminished and is safe for the guests to gather.
“We will be back to meeting in person someday, hopefully soon,” Wheeler said. “Once schools are in session then it is possible that we will meet again. However, 90 percent of our board members and meal participants are at risk and we must make sure the facilities where the meals take place meet social distancing requirements. Although there is much to consider for the safety of all, we will be back!”
When the program is back in session, the meal sites will continue as normal. September through May, the meal sites are located at: First Monday at North Windham Union Church, second Monday at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, third and fourth Mondays at Windham Hill United Church of Christ and on those rare fifth Mondays - at the Standish Congregational Church. During the summer months (June, July and August), the meal sites are: First four Mondays at St. Ann's Episcopal Church and the fifth Monday at the Standish Congregational Church. Meals begin promptly at 5:30 p.m. but guests begin arriving as early as 4:30 p.m. to reserve a spot and enjoy appetizers and fellowship. The meals traditionally end at about 6 p.m.
Funding for this program is donated by area churches. The Town of Windham also donates generously on a yearly basis.
If you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation to the Food and Fellowship program, you can do so by sending a check or money order to Food and Fellowship, c/o Mark Stokes, Treasurer,  P.O. Box 911  Windham, ME  04062.
For more information about Monday Meals, contact Wheeler and Food and Fellowship, Inc via email at:  mondaymealwindham@gmail.com. Like and follow them on them on Facebook www.facebook.com/Monday-Meals-Food-and-Fellowship-Inc-330082320897486/
or check out their website at:  www.monday-meals-foodandfellowship.com/

Raymond safely opens public places and town hall, returning to normal business hours


By Lorraine Glowczak

The Town of Raymond’s municipal office has opened their doors to the public to continue providing services, while at the same time, protecting members of the community and office personnel COVID-19 exposure.
The town hall’s office hours are Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Wednesday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. As for the public places, Raymond Beach and Veterans Memorial Park are open, but Tassel Top Park is closed until further notice. 
The Town of Raymond is asking patrons to practice proper social distancing when using these public spaces by remaining 6 feet from others. Also, it is asked that people not use any playground equipment or sit at picnic tables as they are not being sanitized after each use and pose a risk of spreading the virus.
Although the town offices are reopened, staff continued to provide municipal services during the couple months they were closed. Much like other organizations, the town has had to be innovative, overcoming challenges the pandemic has created.
The Town of Raymond's municipal offices have reopened
to the public for resident services, but town staff
members and visitors must observe social distancing
and mask directives to prevent COVID-19 exposure
and transmission. PHOTO BY ED PIERCE

dd caption
Employees have adjusted well and kept things moving forward in a timely manner.
“I wish to give a word of thanks to all town staff and employees,” said Town Manager Don Willard. “We have continued to provide services, working remotely from home, and everyone has been very happy to do so. The Town’s Select Board has been supportive and right there with us. We have all worked very well together and have done so under unusual circumstances.”
Working together includes the collaborative efforts with the town’s patrons to ensure a certain level of safety as their doors open to the public.
To prevent possible contamination or spread of the virus, the Town of Raymond is taking certain precautionary measures.
According to information posted on the town’s website, the following are essential guidelines they are asking people to observe to adhere to the State of Maine CDC and OSHA safety recommendations:
* Face masks will be required when inside the building.
* Only two individuals will be allowed in the office at one time unless more people are required to complete a transaction or the individuals are related to each other.
* The Code Enforcement and Assessing Offices are still by appointment/call-in only.
* When you arrive at the Town Office, you will be asked to call
207-655-4742 Ext. 124, and staff will let you know when you can come in. There will be signage outside with directions.
* Because of increased disinfecting procedures and safety measures there will be an increase in wait time and transaction length.
The website also contains the following information:
* Staff temperatures will be taken and recorded before work daily. Any staff member with elevated temperature or exhibiting any level of illness will not be permitted to work.
* Hand sanitizer will be available for everyone who visits the office and a temporary protective barrier has been added to the counters and the Code Enforcement Assistant window for added safety. There has also been a temporary extra workstation added.
* Regularly touched surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected three times daily that will include, but not be limited to door handles, hand sanitizer dispensers, pens, faucet handles, phones, workstations and counter surfaces.
* To maintain safety for staff members, there will be no public restrooms will be available until further notice.
* All forms of payment will continue to be accepted, however credit cards, ACH and checks are the preferred methods. Regularly replaced disposable gloves will be used for all transactions.
Many services can still be completed online or over the phone.
All residents are encouraged to follow self-watch guidelines, seek medical care when necessary and stay at home if possible as Maine is still under a Medical State of Emergency.   
“We look forward to this first step towards normalcy and appreciate your continued understanding and patience,” Willard said. “All and all, we are in great shape – financially and otherwise.”
The public is encouraged to obtain the latest and updated information via the town’s electronic sign, website (www.raymondmaine.org), Facebook, and the RoadRunner newsletter found in The Windham Eagle newspaper each month.
For more information regarding each park and beach area please view the Raymond Recreation Park Use Policy. <

Anonymous tip system helps keep community safe


By Elizabeth Richards

Windham residents now have access to a new tool to help keep their community safe. With the introduction of the new Windham PD App, developed by tip411, anonymous tips can be submitted via the app, text, or website.
The mission of the Windham Police Department is to provide the citizens of the town of Windham a safe, secure community in which the protection of life and property are the highest  priority,” said Kevin L. Schofield, Chief of Police, in a press release. “Making it easier for residents to connect with us to provide information is paramount to our efforts, and we believe our new tip411 system will help keep our community safe.”
The Windham Police Department is offering
a free app for smart phone users to report
crime tips anonymously. COURTESY PHOTO
The idea rose out of an old system that was in place years ago that centered around combatting underage drinking said Capt. William Andrew. With that system, someone could call and leave a tip about a party, or if someone needed help.
Managing that individually was difficult, Andrew said, so the department began to explore other platforms that were available to the general public.
The department received a grant from the Be The Influence coalition and partnered with tip411, which is also used by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency as well as other Maine communities.
A few months of behind the scenes work was necessary before launching the app, such as development of apps for both Apple and android products; determining who would receive the tips; getting quotes for the cost of the service; and exploring the cost to include the school department as they develop an avenue for submitting school-related tips, which will be available at a later date. 
Tips submitted to the anonymous tip line will trigger an email alert that goes to specific members of the Windham police department. Tips will also be monitored as they are received by the dispatch center at Cumberland County Regional Communications Center. 
“Some tips don’t need immediate attention,” Andrew said.  Others need to be addressed right away.  The dispatch center will monitor incoming tips and triage the calls to determine if they need to be brought to the department’s attention immediately.”
Andrew said it’s important to know that the tip411 system does not take the place of dialing 9-1-1 in an emergency. In emergency situations, people should still use 911 so the department can get help to those who need it immediately.
The tip411 technology removes all identifying information before the police department receive the tips, making these communications completely anonymous. 
Tips can be sent from a smartphone using the free Windham PD app; by text message to 847411 by typing the keyword WPDTIPS, a space, and then the tip information before hitting send; or through the anonymous web tip form on the Windham PD website (www.windhammaine.us/170/Police), by clicking the tip411 logo.
The free Windham PD app can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store, the Google Play Store, or from the city website. <

Graduating senior embodies strength, adaptability


By Ed Pierce

Nobody better exemplifies the spirit and resilience of the Class of 2020 graduates at Windham High School than Anthony Gugliuzza.
He’s intelligent, a skilled athlete, caring, respectful, a positive role model for younger students and a genuine leader who knows where he’s headed in life, like many of his classmates. Among his many accomplishments, Gugliuzza served as Senior Class president, finished seventh overall academically in his graduating class, taught Spanish to local kindergarten students, supported DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education program) and competed in football, basketball and lacrosse.
Windham, High School 2020 graduate Anthony Gugliuzza
will attend Endicott College where he will pursue a
degree in athletic training and play football with a
long range goal of becoming a physical therapist.
PHOTO BY ED PIERCE
In the fall, Gugliuzza, the son of AJ and Kristen Gugliuzza of Windham, will attend Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts to pursue an accelerated degree in Sports Science and Athletic Training with a concentration in Physical Therapy. He’ll be suiting up for Endicott in football and ultimately hopes to become a physical therapist or physician’s assistant someday.
“Anthony is one of the most thoughtful, caring, and kind leaders I’ve had the pleasure of coaching and working with. His positivity is infectious, and he is a selfless leader,” said Philip Rosetti, Windham High School assistant principal. “He puts the team first in everything. His work ethic and determination are excellent. He wants to succeed in the classroom, on the athletic fields, and in life. What really sets him apart is he is a leader that can connect with everybody and this is achieved by his kindness to others. He is a tremendous person.”
Gugliuzza says he’ll miss his time at Windham High and all of the classes he’s taken there through the years.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to take a lot of memorable classes over my high school career, but if forced to choose one, I would have to say Leadership was my favorite,” he said. “Not only did I take that class with two of my amazing coaches, I also got the chance to hear from some equally remarkable speakers. Over the course of this class, I learned a lot of important skills that I will have for the rest of my life.”
He said that he’s learned so much about himself while attending Windham High and feels prepared to handle adversity or any challenges thrown his way in life.
“I’ve definitely learned a lot. I think that for me, I use adversity as motivation and fuel. I think at the end of the day, we all face adversity, but it’s how we respond to it that truly defines who we are,” Gugliuzza said. “It’s not hard to be a frontrunner. However, it is those who face challenges head on, those who use hardships as a means to get stronger that are successful in life. My parents always said that adversity is what make the victories much sweeter, and they were right. I’ve lived it. The senior class has lived it, but in the end, these minor setbacks will be minor details in the legacy we build. Adversity breeds success and my time at Windham High School has certainly shown me that.”
According to Gugliuzza, one thing stands out the most regarding his high school experience.
“The best thing about Windham High School is the staff and how close they are and the relationships they try to build with students,” he said. “They go above and beyond and that’s evident with the graduation ceremonies.”
And, he gives credit to other teachers he had along the way in RSU 14 schools that helped prepare him to become a great student.
“I really want to thank my math and science teacher at Windham Middle School, John Condello,” Gugliuzza said. “I had to have foot surgery while I was a student at the middle school and while recovering at home, Mr. Condello would come to my house and teach me every day after school to keep me up to speed on my work. I will not forget how much he cared.”
He also praised his fifth-grade teacher, Sabrina Nickerson, whom he says was instrumental in improving his academic skills and study habits. 
“She got me out of my comfort zone and pushed me to be better academically. It gave me confidence going forward,” Gugliuzza said. “She’s the one who nominated me for the People to People Leadership Program and from that experience I was able to go to Washington, D.C.”
In high school, Gugliuzza had to put in plenty of long hours studying each night after practicing for the sports teams he played on after school and then was up by 7 a.m. each morning to be on time for his first class of the day at 7:25 a.m.     
“I’m sure there were plenty of great classes that I did not have the opportunity to take,” he said. “However, I had some amazing teachers, so any additional classes with them would have been great.”
Having influential teachers as a younger student really assisted Gugliuzza to tap into his full potential, he said.
“I think my work ethic and approachable personality have given me the ability to truly connect with my peers and teachers, thus allowing me to be successful both in and out of the classroom,” Gugliuzza said. “My parents always taught me from a young age to treat others with kindness, love, and respect and at the end of the day, I think that it is this guidance and support that has shaped me into who I am.”
His mother, Kristen, said the Gugliuzza family take great pride in what their son has been able to accomplish so far and are thrilled to see him graduate and take the next step in his life at college.
“It means a lot. As a parent you push them to realize their potential,” she said. “He’s a unique kid. He’s smart and he’s compassionate. I do wish the graduation was under better circumstances this year, but I’m mighty proud of my son.”
During his junior year, Anthony joined his classmates on a school excursion to Salem, Massachusetts and he said it was his favorite field trip he participated in as a student.
“It was really awesome to walk around the city and see all of the historic landmarks with my friends,” he said. “The atmosphere was really cool as well, given the fact that the Red Sox were playing in Game One of the World Series later that night.”
In 10 years, Gugliuzza sees himself as an established professional working in the medical field. 
“I want to be a role model within my community and have a positive impact on the lives of others,” he said. 
With his plans for the future clearly within reach, Gugliuzza said he believes that if he continues to work hard and treat others with respect, he can achieve his dreams. 
“Growing up, I’ve always admired Tom Brady,” he said. “I’ve admired his work ethic and everything he stands for, so I think one of my favorite expressions would have to be when he said ‘If you don’t believe in yourself, why is anyone else going to believe in you.’” <

Friday, May 29, 2020

Windham streamlines permit process for restaurants, retail stores

In response to the State’s social distancing regulations proposed for the reopening of restaurants and retail sales during the current Covid-19 pandemic, the Windham Town Council, working with the Planning and Code Enforcement Departments and the Windham Economic Development Corporation have streamlined the permitting process so Windham’s restaurants and retailers can adjust their customer service areas to better meet the new regulations. 

On Tuesday, May 26, the Windham Town Council approved the process, as well as waived any fees related to these temporary permits for restaurants and retailers.  The approval for these temporary permits will be in force through October 2020.

If there is a need for restaurants to expand their seating footprint outside of the current permitted footprint to meet social distancing requirements, without expanding the current permitted seating capacity, they would only need to apply for a temporary Change of Use permit with the Code Enforcement Office.

http://www.thegoodlifemarket.com/The Windham Town Council has waived the $50.00 permit fee for this temporary Change of Use   Please note that the restaurant may need to apply for an extension to their current Maine Liquor License to allow for liquor sales in any new seating areas developed.  The extension should be applied for through the Windham Town Clerk’s Office.
permit.

If there is a need for a retailer to add to their designated retail sales footprint outside of their building, to meet social distancing requirements, they will need to obtain a Retail Sales, Outdoor Temporary permit from the Code Enforcement Office.  The Windham Town Council has waived the $100.00 permit fee for this Retail Sales, Outdoor Temporary permit. 

The steps for approval for restaurants are:

·    *  Discuss your plans with the property owner
·    *  Sketch a dimensional Plot Plan clearly delineated with additional seating footprint area(s)
·    *  Total number of seats is limited to existing permitted total
·    *   Submit a temporary Change of Use application to the Windham Code Enforcement Office
·    *  The Windham Town Council has waived fees for this temporary Change of Use permit
·         Code Enforcement Office will review the application and provide approvals as appropriate
·   *   The permit will be in force through Oct. 31, 2020

The steps for approval for retail stores are:

·     *    Discuss your plans with the property owner.
·     *    Sketch a dimensional Plot Plan clearly delineated with additional footprint area(s)
·     *    Submit a Retail Sales, Outdoor Temporary application to the Windham Code Enforcement Office
·    *    The Windham Town Council has waived fees for this Retail Sales, Outdoor Temporary permit
·         Code Enforcement Office will review the application and provide approvals as appropriate
·    *    The permit will be in force through Oct. 31, 2020

For more information and Change of Use application, go to windhammaine.us


Local churches keep faith as some prepare to reopen

Catholics in Windham and Raymond who attend
 Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Windham
 will be to worship at church again starting next week,
 but with some restrictions as a result of the
 COVID-19 pandemic. Shown is the statue of Mar
 in the Our Lady of Perpetual Help garden.
 PHOTO BY ED PIERCE
By Ed Pierce

Area churches have kept the faith despite some trying times the past few months yet are planning the way forward with an eye on safety and health in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With the state imposing restrictions for in-person worship gatherings on March 15 to protect the public from the coronavirus, many churches launched unique initiatives to connect with congregations in other ways while awaiting opportunities to reopen. Some restrictions for church gatherings have been lifted effective May 29 based upon guidelines and recommendations made to Gov., Janet Mills by the Maine Council of Churches and paving the way for churches to reopen across the state.


Rev. Jane Field is the pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Windham and serves as Executive Director of Maine Council of Churches. She helped craft guidelines for reopening churches across the state including allowing worship services of up to 50 people; mandating that face mask coverings be worn, following proper social distancing, eliminating handshakes and personal contact, and thoroughly cleaning surfaces following gatherings.

https://www.egcu.org/recField said that Faith Lutheran’s small and vibrant congregation has adapted to changing times and strived to keep all church members engaged and involved during the pandemic.
We are a family-sized congregation, which means everyone knows each other very, very well.  We don't let anyone slip between the cracks,” Field said. “We have one member who is 101 years old and living in a retirement community that is on lockdown, so we all take turns calling her several times a week as she has limitations that make it impossible for her to join us for online worship or prayer services.”
She said another way that church members have stayed unified in the absence of regular church worship is through nightly prayer services conducted online on Zoom from Tuesday through Saturday.
“It’s a great way to speak with everyone, to be able to see how folks are doing, and take stock of what help, if any, anyone needs,” Field said.  “We also offer online bible study classes, and we gather for worship every Sunday morning via Zoom. We like that platform because it is live, in real-time, and participants can engage and speak with one another unlike just watching a pre-recorded sermon or service privately on your own time.”
https://jobs.spectrum.com/According to Field, it has been very difficult to offer pastoral care to those who have been hospitalized during the pandemic because of the prohibition on visitors, so Faith Lutheran has relied on hospital chaplains to provide care and has stayed in touch with them through the chaplains.
“We are all holding up well, staying connected and enjoying some of the innovation and creativity we can experiment with in our worship services such as video clips, power point presentations, and dialogue sermons,” Field said. “We have also adapted a communion liturgy to be appropriate for online services, not holy communion, but a sharing in broken bread and cup, each in our own home, with prayers of thanksgiving and lament.”

Rev. Sally Colegrove, pastor of the Windham Hill United Church of Christ, said that she has been writing a column and sending it to her congregation every day during the pandemic.

“I try to include news from members, things that are happening in the world, concern for the seven of our members who are in the medical professions and spiritual meditations and prayers,” Colegrove said. “On Sundays we are holding Zoom worship services at 10 a.m. Anyone is welcome to join us, they just have to send me their email address so that I can send them the zoom address and password.”

Colegrove said that the church carillon is rung every day for about a half hour as a message to the Windham Hill UCC congregation and neighbors that they are still there, and still thinking about them, and still maintaining a presence here on Windham Hill even as they move to Zoom gatherings.

“We are thinking about how we can respond as a congregation to the needs of those around us. We have helped out with a small delivery of fuel oil and are ready to assist if we hear of those who are in need of food,” she said.
“Several of our members, mostly our college young people, have volunteered to do grocery shopping for elders and we have paired up shoppers and those in need. I have been calling the members of the congregation to check in, and many of our folk have also been checking with one another to stay connected.”

Catholics in Windham and Raymond who attend Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Windham have been able to watch Mass posted online every day courtesy of the Diocese of Portland, but will also have an option to worship at church next week.

Starting June 1. the Diocese of Portland is allowing Maine Catholic churches to hold public Masses with restrictions and safeguards in place.
The regular weekday and weekend Mass schedule at Our Lady of Perpetual Help will be offered at 8 and 10:15 a.m. Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8 a.m. and Saturdays at 4 p.m.

Diocese officials say that facial masks or face coverings are required to attend, with social distancing guidelines maintained and no more than 50 worshippers allowed in church at one time.“We are, of course, anxious to return to our churches and have the opportunity to celebrate Mass,” said Bishop Robert Deeley in a press release. “We have been preparing for the last few weeks for a safe restoration of Mass in accord with the guidelines of the CDC. There are a lot of things involved, but we want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to keep people safe and fulfill the mission of the church.”

For Catholic parishioners uncomfortable at attending church in person at this time, Deeley said that a dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass continues to be in place, and the extensive list of live-streamed Masses being offered at churches around Maine (www.portlanddiocese.org/live-streamed-Masses) will continue as most parishioners won’t be able to attend in person due to the capacity restrictions.

Some of the restrictions may seem to be too cautious for the faithful who wish to return to public Masses at this time,” said the bishop. “However, ensuring the safety and health of our clergy, employees, students, volunteers, parishioners, and the greater community remains our top priority.” <

Working on the home front: 'Rosie the Riveter’ shares memories, experiences

Dorothy "Dot" Skolfield, who lives in Windham
with her daughter, enjoys a recent spring day
 in the backyard. Here she is sporting the Boston Post Cane
 she was awarded in the summer of 2019 by the Town of Weld,
 her official residence. Skolfield's father was working for the Boston Post
when the newspaper instituted the award as part of a publicity tactic.
PHOTO BY LORRAINE GLOWCZAK
By Lorraine Glowczak

In a recent Letter to the Editor, the American Rosie the Riveter Association reached out to the Sebago Lakes Region community to try to locate women who worked for the war efforts during World War II. The intent was to capture as many stories as possible around the U.S.

“These women have stories of their WWII experiences that are of historical value and perhaps have never been told,” the letter said. “American Rosie the Riveter Association would like to acknowledge these women with a certificate and have their stories placed in our archives."

We, here at the Windham Eagle newspaper office invited anyone in the area to also share their stories with us and one individual responded to that invitation.

“Our ‘Rosie’ is my 97-year-old mother, Dorothy "Dot" Weld Reynolds Skolfield,” Sharon Bickford wrote in an email to The Windham Eagle newspaper. “My mother contributed to the war effort in several ways and she has seen many changes in her years on earth. For her birthday, we are giving her a membership to the American Rosie the Riveter Association to be recognized and have her story a part of their archives.”

Skolfield has lived with her daughter in Windham for the past 10 years. She was born May 14, 1924 in Boston, Massachusetts. She was the fourth of five children of Howard Reynolds, a sportswriter and editor for the Boston Post, and to Lottie Reynolds, a nurse. Although living most of her early years in and around the Boston area, she and her family spent summers in Weld. Skolfield worked in both Maine and Massachusetts in her “Rosie the Riveter” role.

“After I graduated from Newtonville [Massachusetts] High School in 1942, I spent that summer with my family in Weld,” Skolfield said. “Everyone wanted to help the war effort in some way and my sister-in-law and I where no different. We both got a job as volunteers scanning the sky with binoculars, watching for aircraft, and identifying them. We had access to a telephone and when we spotted a plane, we would call the central agency. We did this for four hours a day.
https://www.egcu.org/autoSkolfield and her sister-in-law were part of a citizen volunteer program of the Army Air Force Ground Observer Corps. The mission was to fill a gap in the country’s air defenses and security during WWII. There were many observational posts throughout Maine at that time, with Weld being among them. In addition to binoculars and a telephone, volunteers were also equipped with a distance calculator.

Online Maine Encyclopedia describes the role of the corps volunteer in this way:
“When any aircraft was seen, the volunteer would dial the operator and say, ‘aircraft flash [number assigned to post].’ That would identify the post to the ‘filter center’ at Bangor’s Dow Air Force Base, which tracked use of the air space over Maine.”

When the summer 1942 turned into fall and it was time for the family to return to Massachusetts, Skolfield got a job working for Hoods Rubber Company in Watertown helping to make deicers for airplanes. She earned $45 a week.

“I was on the assembly line and we each had our own specific duties,” Skolfield said. “Mine was to insert a small piece of equipment into one area of the wing that would inflate and activate the deicer when it was ready to be used.”

This one seemingly mundane task, however small, was very important. All completed objects were tested before the wing was attached to the plane to check for precision.

“One day, I put my piece in backward,” Skolfield said. “It stopped the whole assembly for many hours until they were able to find and correct the mistake. I was so mortified and embarrassed.”

But despite the one error, Skolfield’s calm and even-keeled demeanor may not just be a genetic character trait but could be a result of the war-time civility and the American effort to work together during difficult times.

“People seemed to trust each other more back then, and everyone worked together,” Skolfield said. “There was a certain love for our Country, and everyone was patriotic. We all had one common goal and that was to cooperate. No one tried to make money off the war, and everyone was willing to give up for the greater good. And yes, there were disagreements, and everyone had their own opinion, but you just listened to what others had to say – and then you went on quietly following your own opinion. My mother would always say ‘sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’ You never took things personally because everyone is entitled to their beliefs. Today feels so different. There seems to be family against family and a lot of fighting. It seems to me that today we have had it easy for so long that it is more difficult to adjust when adversity arises.”

Being there for one another was an expected norm during the days of World War II, which lasted from 1939 to 1945. Skolfield recalls one way her mother played a role in being there for servicemen in the community.

“My family lived on something similar to a cul-de-sac and the Air Force was using it as a base,” Skolfield said. “On the soldiers’ days off, my mother would invite them for Sunday dinner. Our table was always surrounded with strangers because my mother wanted to give soldiers a home-cooked meal.”

Skolfield eventually moved to Atlantic City, N.J. for a couple of months and worked in sales to be near her sister-in-law and her brother before he left for overseas. She eventually returned to Massachusetts and attended Fisher’s Business College in Boston to obtain a certification as a Foreign Trade Secretary. She admits that it was not something she wanted to do with her life.

“I went to secretarial school at the encouragement of my mother, but I was such a tom-boy,” said Skolfield. “I couldn’t wait to get out of a dress and into jeans. Being a secretary would have been too confining for me.”

Instead, Skolfield held several other positions that fit her personality more appropriately. She opened an Ice Cream Shop in Weld during the summer months and then work in Massachusetts at a dime store and nursing home.  

In 1948, she married Stanley Skolfield of Weld, making Maine her permanent home. She and her new husband had a son, Tom (Rep. Tom Skolfield of House District 112) and daughter, Sharon Bickford.
While raising a family, Skolfield would work a variety of jobs in and around Weld that included pumping gas, working at Mount Blue State Park, working as a Town Treasurer, Tax Collector, Town Clerk pro-temp and was elected as the first female Board of Selectpersons for the Town of Weld.

She acknowledges that although she has seen difficult times being alive during WWII, she has had a very good life.

“My family growing up was loving and supportive and I married a loving and supportive husband,” she said. “I have been incredibly fortunate.”

Her husband passed away 28 years ago. In the summer of 2019, she was awarded the Boston Post Cane by the Town of Weld. Although this is a great privilege to anyone who receives this award, it was extra special for Skolfield.

“My dad worked for the Boston Post when they instituted this award as part of a publicity tactic,” Skolfield said. “So, it was truly an honor to get the Gold-headed Boston Post Cane that my father helped to implement.”

Source: www.maineanencyclopedia.com/ground-observer-corps/

Windham to keep taxes flat for the next fiscal year

Windham’s municipal budget for the
 2020-2021 fiscal year will have a
 zero increase as a result of
the pandemic.
PHOTO BY ED PIERCE
By Lorraine Glowczak

The most recent word in today’s repertoire is ‘flatten’ – as in ‘flatten the curve’ relating to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Town of Windham is using the term as it relates to the town budget.

“The town’s municipal budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year will have a zero increase as a result of the pandemic,” said Barry Tibbetts, Windham Town Manager. “Basically, the town’s fiscal budget will remain flat and the majority of planned building remodels and additions, paving and improvements to dirt roads along with other needed items have been placed on hold. There will be no tax increases from the town’s municipal budget.”


The town has postponed the hiring of additional needed staff as well as building renovations and expansions necessary at the Town Hall. A few much-needed items will be purchased and be obtained, and the public safety building located on Windham Center Road will undergo some expansion, but residents will not see an increase in taxes this year or the future for that project.


“We will be purchasing one pickup and a smaller dump truck, a new ambulance and must make necessary additions/remodeling to the public safety building in order to comply with the safety regulations as a result of COVID-19,” Tibbets said. “When the public safety building was built in 1989, there were only 22 employees. Now, we have more than doubled the number of staff with 48 employees and the officer and emergency medical providers are extremely cramped and unsafe. These modifications to the building with the new addition will be absorbed within the budget by using  a bond. There will not be an increase in the mill rate or the town’s taxes, as a result.”

https://www.portresources.org/Residents will still see an  increase in taxes, however, due to standard and projected RSU14 budgetary items and the slight rise of Cumberland County budget in the mil rate. The projected mil rate increase for the RSU budget, should it be approved, will be 47 cents while the County impact will be 4 cents. Another quick way to calculate that for individual impact would be a $51 increase per $100,000 in valuation.

Cumberland County was scheduled to convert from a calendar year to a fiscal year but has decided to hold that change so as not to adversely affect the towns financially. The shift from a calendar year to a fiscal year would equate to about 17 cents on our mil rate. This is a tremendous help for our Town.

As for the RSU14 budget, the increases taxpayers will see are the necessary union negotiation changes per the recently agreed contracts along with continued special education prerequisites.
“The school board is obligated to pay staff the required contractual employee pay increase in addition to adhering to State of Maine special education standards,” Tibbetts said. “The school board must adhere to these predetermined requirements.”

RSU14 School Superintendent Christopher Howell echoed Tibbetts statements.
As for RSU14, taxpayers will see an increase due to negotiated contracts, special education programming and positions to support increased enrollments at the elementary level,” Howell said. “The board is committing $900,000 from carryover funds to help offset the impact to tax increases. The RSU is legally obligated to meet the special education needs of students.”

For more information regarding the fiscal year 2020-2021 budget, please contact the Town Manager’s office at 207-892-1907.

Be sure to keep informed by watching recorded Town Council meetings at www.windhammaine.us/228/WCCG-TV-7.

Windham High plans non-traditional events for 2020 graduates


By Elizabeth Richards

High schools across the state are finding creative ways to celebrate graduation and Windham High School is no exception.  This year’s graduation ceremony will be a small personal experience, but students will then have an opportunity to be together in a safe way as they gather at a drive-in theater.

WHS principal Ryan Caron said the school had hoped to have a video celebration now and hold an actual outdoor graduation ceremony in late summer. When state guidelines for August continued to limit gatherings to 50 people, those plans needed to change.   

Individual graduation ceremonies for 2020 graduates at Windham
 High School will be filmed and then shown
 to students and their families at the Saco Drive-In
 in Saco on June 9 with a rain date scheduled for June 10.
 PHOTO BY ED PIERCE
While some schools chose student-centered plans and others were more family focused, Windham developed a two-part plan that allows for both.


“We tried to find the best of both situations, given the limitations.  An opportunity for family to be involved, and also the opportunity for the kids to be together, even if they’re separated by cars,” Caron said.

During the first week in June, students will have an individualized ceremony, by appointment, in the WHS auditorium. A small group of family and friends will be allowed to attend this ceremony. 

Caron said that graduating students will wear caps and gowns and be announced, then walk across the stage to receive their diplomas, awards and scholarships. Photos and video will be taken of these individual ceremonies.

WHS senior Jessica Brooks said she thinks that the school is offering a great option in difficult circumstances. 

Many students were worried that there wouldn’t be any celebration at all, she said.

“Although not being all together for this is disappointing, for a lack of better words, I’m just glad we get the experience to walk across the stage,” Brooks said. “I’m also really glad that family and friends were able to be invited. I relied on my friends and family a lot the last four years, and I was worried they would not be able to be by my side for this accomplishment.”

Following these individual ceremonies, Caron said, a video will be made that includes many elements of a traditional graduation, such as speeches and a class song.  This video will then be shown to students and families at the Saco Drive-In on June 9, with a rain date of June 10. 

Caron said that feedback has been positive, even as people wish they could do something bigger.

“Everybody’s been really understanding,” he said. 

Some families have expressed concern about safety and have told the school they are unlikely to participate. 

Diplomas and gift bags will be mailed to these students, Caron said.

“We’re trying to respect everybody and make it as personalized an experience as we can,” he said.

The attention and concern for everyone is appreciated.

I think given the circumstances Windham has made the best of a tough situation. It is definitely apparent to me that our teachers and administrators truly care about their students,” said WHS senior Anthony Gugliuzza. “The way in which they have handled these past few months is incredible. It’s a huge testament to who they are as people.”

The drive-in night allows students to be honored in the best way possible, Brooks said, “I’m really happy to be a part of a district that is trying so hard to accommodate everyone as best as possible and make light of a pretty dark situation,” she said. “This graduation is definitely going to be one for the books, and it will be a story and experience we are able to share with younger generations, but I truly hope no one has to face these circumstances again.”

Although the traditional Project Graduation event was canceled, according to Sarah Elliott, chair of the school’s Project Graduation Committee 2020, said they’re planning to do something to bring students back together in late May or early June 2021.

The Project Grad committee also partnered with the school and local business to have lawn signs made up for all seniors. In conjunction with that, they held their last fundraiser, allowing friends, family, teachers, students, and community members to send personal messages to seniors.

These signs and messages were distributed on Friday, May 22 and Tuesday, May 26.

Arrangements can be made for any seniors who were not able to pick these up at those times.

Elliot said it was a touching experience to see the time and thought people put into the messages they sent. 

She said that the event next year is a way to give students an opportunity to be together one last time, when social distancing is more relaxed.  While it is uncertain what the event will be, Elliot said that they want to keep it similar in spirit to what they would have done originally while keeping it more local.

“We want to include as many graduates as possible,” Elliott said.

An Instagram page has been set up to continue communication throughout the year and as the event draws closer, she said.

To arrange sign pick-up and for more information, contact Elliott at plummersplace76@gmail.com. <