Friday, April 19, 2019

Signs of peace this Sunday at the rotary reflects time for action toward a collaborative society

By Lorraine Glowczak

Between 12:15 p.m. and 12:45 p.m. at the Windham rotary this coming Sunday, April 21, you will see signs of peace held by individuals who are taking action with the intention and hope of moving toward a more unified society – honoring all varieties of perceptions in a diplomatic manner.

The signs will include sentences that might say: “Peace starts here”, “Peace Now” and “Let there be peace”. Last month, the signs invoked honking horns from passersby in agreement that the world could move in a more integrated direction.

This Sunday will be the second of a monthly Peace Vigil that will continue to meet at the same time and place on the third Sunday of each month. Anyone who wishes to join this group of peace activists are welcomed to do so.

“As you know, the country is in a … (pausing to find the right word)….transformative place,” is the term Jack Seery chose. He will be one of the individuals you’ll see holding the signs this Sunday afternoon. “We all have many opposing perspectives, which is healthy in a democratic culture. But somehow, as a society, we have managed to steer off course, civility speaking. This benefits no one. There are ways to support one another through collaborative efforts without being so divisive. Peace is one way to unify us and this is the purpose for this Peace Vigil.”
Seery explained how it all began. Five years ago, members of the Unity Center for Spiritual Growth located on River Road in Windham (formerly known as Unity Church of Greater Portland) began studying the likes of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr as part of their “season of non-violence” examination.

“We read a series of books by Paul Chappell and studied peace and non-violence activists, Gandhi and King,” Seery stated. “But after five years of the academic study about peace, we realized it was a time for action. We all agreed that we contemplated the issue enough. Instead, we needed to act on what we learned.”

As a result, Unity has collaborated with other organizations including Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, to bring in well-known speakers and non-violent activists to the area. One such event was published in an article written by The Windham Eagle Reporter, Elizabeth Richards, in March 2018 – that of Peace Activist, Father John Dear, who spoke on nonviolence at Saint Joseph’s College and at Unity.

“Peace activism is one step toward non-violent communication and peace”, stated Seery
In an online article regarding King and Gandhi’s approach, written by Walter Earl Fluker, it explains the importance of peaceful activism:

“In Montgomery, King realized the power of nonviolent resistance to achieve his vision of community…..”

Fluker went on to state: “Before Montgomery, his [King’s] understanding of nonviolence was confined to an abstract association of ideas and readings from his intellectual pursuits, but in the midst of the struggle he came to understand its power to effect change, both in society and within the votary him/herself. It is also important to understand that nonviolent resistance as a viable alternative for social change had been debated and attempted by the black leadership long before King emerged as a proponent of the method. Initially, the method of the movement which came to be called nonviolent resistance was conceived in the hearts of the black people of Montgomery as "Christian love."

 King writes that:‘From the beginning a basic philosophy guided the movement.... It was the Sermon on the Mount rather than a doctrine of passive resistance that initially inspired the Negroes of Montgomery to dignified social action. It was Jesus of Nazareth that stirred the Negroes to protest with the creative weapon of love.’”, that’s the sole purpose (or perhaps the “soul” purpose) of the efforts of the Unity members who studied non-violent and peaceful approach to a chaotic society – a creative weapon of love and peace.
In terms of technicalities and to stand by their method of peaceful action, members of Unity stated they have reached out to determine if it was lawful to do what they deemed important. The Windham Eagle contacted Windham Chief of Police to verify. “As long as they are not impeding the flow of traffic, the individuals have the right to exercise their freedom of speech.”

Legalities aside. “We have received a lot of honking horns in support of what we are doing and our role in a peaceful approach,” Seery said.

As Gandhi has famously been quoted, “An eye for eye makes the whole world blind.” King’s response? “There is another way.” Members of Unity may be following that other way.
If you are interested in joining this small group of peace enthusiasts, you can either show this Sunday at the rotary or, for more information, contact Seery by email at

Famous musician entertained crowd with song and story at the Windham Performing Arts Center

Dougie MacLean
By Lorraine Glowczak

Internationally renowned for his song, “Caledonia” as well as a composition featured in the movie, “Last of the Mohicans”, Dougie MacLean from Scotland performed to a crowd of approximately 300 last Wednesday, April 10 at the Windham Performing Arts Center.

The singer-songwriter, who played a few scores with the Windham Chamber Singers, provided an interactive concert, sharing tales and encouraging the audience to sing along; crafting a harmonious musical adventure.

"I loved the way he wove his story, telling us a bit of the background of his songs along with gently coaxing us into true audience participation," stated one audience member, Barb Hunt Maurais. "Of course, the songs and his guitar playing skills were amazing. What a treasure." the audience’s laughter, participation and - sometimes tears as a result of the melodic beauty - is any indication, then Maurais’ assessment of the evening was correct. He was adored by all.

Most fans of Dr. Richard Nickerson, conductor of the Windham Chamber Singers, are aware of the story and how the adoration of MacLean began in 2011. Nickerson and his new bride, Linda, honeymooned in Ireland where they heard and enjoyed the song, “Caledonia” for the first time at a local pub. “I knew I wanted to incorporate the musical composition into a choral arrangement to be sung by the Windham Chamber Singers,” Nickerson explained.

But in order to do that, copyright and other legalities were required. Nickerson reached out to MacLean, who not only gave him his blessings for the rights – but also helped Nickerson compose the song specifically for the chorus.

As a result of this communication Nickerson had with both Maclean and his wife, Jackie (who addresses all correspondence for the famed musician), the opportunity for this special performance on Wednesday was created. “Jackie sent me a message,” began Nickerson. “She told me that Dougie was going to be on tour in the U.S. and had an evening available to perform. She wanted to know if Windham would enjoy experiencing a concert by him.” Nickerson responded with an unequivocal yes.

MacLean with the Chamber Singers
The Lakes Region was very lucky to have such renowned talent in their midst. The Windham Eagle reached out to MacLean, who happens to still be on tour as of this publication. His wife responded within an hour and provided a bit of his biography to us, “Dougie’s performances have carried on apace though over 40 years with great tours and festival appearances in England, Wales , N. Ireland, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Canada, the USA, Spain, Australia and all parts of Scotland.

Venues have included Glasgow Royal Concert Hall’s Main Auditorium with the legendary Mavis Staples and with Phil Cunningham Aly Bain and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Usher Hall with 3 wonderful choirs, solo with his trio and with the MacLean Project in The Queen's Hall during the Edinburgh Festival and a concert in Holyrood Palace for HRH Prince Charles.” have such a world-class and musical genius performing in Windham is not the only honor received. “Although his song “Caledonia”, has become a staple in the Windham Chamber Singer’s repertoire, I explained to our chamber singers that it would be respectful to let him sing the song on his own – after all, it is his song,” stated Nickerson. “But he invited the singers to join him. It was a surreal moment.”

Nickerson was not the only one who was moved by MacLean’s invitation. “After hearing it many times, it still brought goose bumps when Dougie invited the Windham Chamber Singers to join him for ‘Caledonia’,” stated Jim McBride, another member of the audience. “It was another proud moment for Windham to have a world-class talent on stage with our students.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Schoolhouse Arts Center kicks off 30th season with hilarious farce

By Elizabeth Richards

Schoolhouse Arts Center opened the first show of its 30th season last weekend with an uproarious rendition of “Noises Off!”, a farcical look at the world of theatre. I had the pleasure of attending the dress rehearsal, which unfolded far more smoothly than the dress rehearsal portrayed on stage.

If you’ve ever participated in a theater production, you’re sure to appreciate the familiar (but greatly
exaggerated) glitches that arise. And if you haven’t, your perception of live theater may be forever changed once you’ve seen this show.

The audience received a glimpse of how each character would evolve from the moment each made their initial appearance on stage. The talented cast built upon these initial impressions throughout the show, creating characters that worked in perfect sync with one another. Through facial expressions, body movements, and flawless timing of remarks and gestures, the distinct personality of each character emerged. By the end of the show I felt as though I knew each character personally and could anticipate what might come next, though there were plenty of twists throughout. first act details the final dress rehearsal of a touring show about to open. Although it soon becomes clear that things aren’t running quite the way they should, there’s a hopeful air that it will all come together in the end. But by the end of the act, with personal lives revealed bit by bit and a love triangle emerging, it’s clear that the run may not be so smooth after all.

The second act, set a month later, gives a backstage glimpse of how poorly things have gone. It was this act that highlighted just how talented this group of actors (the Schoolhouse cast, not the fictional cast) is. The pace is quick and frenzied, but the show moved smoothly along, with so many side stories overlapping all at once that it was difficult to keep track of all the action.  Everywhere I looked there was a hilarious moment unfolding; I hate to think of how many I missed.

In the third act, back on the set of the fictitious show two months later, it’s clear that the entire production has devolved into total chaos. And yet, the (fictional) cast embraces the idea that “the show must go on,” moving through every missed entrance, unexpected arrival, and set failure as though nothing unusual has happened at all.

The physical comedy alone makes this show worth seeing. Comedic timing was right on, and there was often no way to determine if what had just happened was part of the script, or an actual glitch in the rehearsal. Everything worked so well that it simply didn’t matter. impressive as the acting and flow of the show was, the set showcased the backstage talent at Schoolhouse Arts Center.  Two stories high, with detachable stairs and ladders, the entire thing had to rotate between each act. The show has two 15-minute intermissions to accommodate this rotation. I recommend staying in your seat for one of them, just to see the feat accomplished.  It’s a real life look behind the scenes that added another level of interest to the production.

“Noises Off!” is a production that shouldn’t be missed. In fact, with all the action happening simultaneously, you might want to see it more than once to catch anything you may miss. There are four shows remaining in the run, on Friday, April 12th at 7 pm; Saturday April 13th at 2 pm and 7 pm; and Sunday, April 14th at 2 pm. The show is rated PG-13 for language and innuendo.  Tickets can be purchased online at

Windham High School students get nerdy at science

By Briana Bizier

On a blustery Saturday in late March, a team of Windham High School students traveled to the University of Southern Maine’s Gorham campus to compete with mousetraps, calculators, and batteries. Maine’s annual Science Olympiad competition, which dates back to 1986, brings together teams of students from middle and high schools across the state.

There’s no other competition like it,” explained Pamela Ferris-Olson, one of the two directors of the 2019 Maine Science Olympiad. “The events run across all STEM disciplines, from the build competitions to biology to physics. At least two students compete in every event, so kids learn how important it is to cooperate. The students win on the strength of their team.”

Maine Science Olympiad’s events range from tests on subjects as far-ranging as herpetology and forensics, which are written, administered, and graded by a group of dedicated volunteers who follow national standards, to “build” competitions where students design and construct something beforehand which is then tested and evaluated by volunteers on the University of Maine campus. The entire event is a celebration of math, science, and engineering. Windham High School’s team T-shirts poked fun at popular perceptions of science by using the symbols for nitrogen, erbium, and dysprosium from the Periodic Table of the Elements to spell out: NErDy. have 23 events covered by 15 kids,” explained Daniel Wirtz, one of the two teachers who serve as coaches for the Windham High School team. “So, our team has to have a wide range of knowledge
and experience.”

For the build events, Wirtz said, students are required to bring their completed machines as well as their test and run logs to the competition. As we spoke, the Mousetrap Car competition ran in the background. For this event, high school students constructed a vehicle powered entirely by the snap of two mousetrap springs. To compete, the mousetrap car needed to push a cup eight meters, then stop, and then travel in reverse.

Another popular build event is called Mission Possible, where students construct a complex Rube Goldberg machine in order to accomplish a simple task. This year, the task was lifting a nine-volt battery. Extra points were awarded to students whose machines included details like using vinegar
and baking soda to inflate a balloon, filling a container with water in order to lift a golf ball, or using electricity to break a string.

My young assistants and I watched the Windham High School team set up and run their Mission Possible machine. As we waited, the volunteer judges examined the machine carefully and asked a few questions about the batteries.

Those batteries are hooked up in parallel,” Windham High School student Evan Desmond explained, “so the voltage doesn’t add, it’s just the amperage.”

Clearly, these Windham High School students already know much more about electricity and
The Mousetrap car that won second place.
batteries than this reporter!

After a few last-minute adjustments, Desmond and fellow student, Cordelia Inman put their Mission Possible machine into action. A water balloon inflated, balls rolled down ramps, a string snapped, and finally a little engine whirred into action, slowly raising a wooden platform holding the single nine-volt battery.

I want to see it again!” my four-year-old assistant declared. I promised him that, if he works hard enough in school, he could one day be on the Windham High School Science Olympiad team.

The Windham students’ dedication and hard work paid off during the Science Olympiad award ceremony. Students Annika Johnson and Landon Leclerc took a gold medal for first place in the Anatomy competition. Haley Froisland and Joshua Mora took silver, second place, for their Mouse Trap Car, and Desmond’s and Inman’s battery-lifting Mission Possible machine won third place. \

Students Owen Flibert and Kiril Perederil also took third place in the Forensics competition.

The Windham High School team is generously sponsored by State Farm Insurance in Windham, thanks to Tricia Zwirner. The Windham team thanks you for your continued support of math, science,
and engineering!

Friday, April 5, 2019

Paving the way – the story of a road trip for women’s right to vote

By Lorraine Glowczak

In 1915, three women drove across the country in an Overland Six automobile, from San Francisco to D.C. with the sole purpose of gathering and delivering over 500,000 signatures on a petition to Congress and President Wilson, demanding women’s right to vote.

Maine author, Anne Gass, retraced that trip with her husband in the summer of 2015 - 100 years after
Left to right Sara Bard Field (from Detroit), Maria Kindberg
and Ingeborg Klingstedt. photo credit goes to Library of Congress
the initial journey. She shared her own story as well as that of the three women who made the arduous trip in a presentation last Monday evening, March 25 at the Little Meeting House in Windham, hosted by the Windham Historical Society.

The trip was sponsored by the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage (CU), a small but mighty group led by Alice Paul that was determined to win voting rights for women through an amendment to the U.S. Constitution instead of the much slower strategy, pursued for decades, of winning it state by state. The CU set up a booth at the Panama Pacific International Exposition in 1915 and spent months gathering signatures on a petition demanding an amendment to the U.S. Constitution enfranchising women.

However, there needed to be a way to get those signatures to President Woodrow Wilson and Congress in Washington, D.C. Paul decided that a cross-country road trip was the answer. This would permit gathering more signatures in the states they visited, and would also generate badly needed publicity for their cause.  

Paul asked a poet, Sara Bard Field and wealthy socialite, Frances Joliffe to represent the Congressional Union on that journey. “Unfortunately, Frances became ill and was forced to drop out of the trip almost right away- in Sacramento,” explained Gass. “Two Swedish immigrants from Rhode Island, Maria Kindberg and Ingeborg Kindstedt, had traveled by steamship to the Exposition and were already planning to buy a car and drive it back to Providence. They offered to drive the envoys and the petitions the 5,000 miles to D.C, getting there in time for the opening of Congress on December 6.”

As Gass explained at last Monday evening’s talk, “They traveled the Lincoln Highway. However, the term “highway” was much different at that time. In 1915, the ‘Lincoln Highway’ was little more than a cart track that would turn to a sea of mud in the rain. It was highly unusual for women to drive alone - but they were determined to do it and they overcame considerable hardship.”

Gass revealed the many obstacles the three women faced. “Notice the car is a convertible,” Gass pointed out the picture on the PowerPoint presentation. “They begin their road trip in September and were traveling east in early December. Obviously, they were going to face cold weather along the way.”

Author and speaker, Anne Gass
Gass also explained that they had three gas cans filled with water, oil, and fuel stored on one side of the vehicle because gas stations were not as plentiful and easily accessed as one would experience today on a cross-country trip.

She told the story of the three women driving through the Salt Flats of Utah on their way to Ibapah Ranch, where they were planning to stay that night. “They went through extreme heat, through dusty salt plains and had to stop to patch their tires a dozen times. Unfamiliar with the route, they’d hired a man who swore he knew the way,.”

Not as much help as expected, the hired driver got lost. With the help of two cowboys they found wrapped in their blankets at a crossroads, they finally arrived at the ranch early in the morning hours. “
The women continued across the U.S., enduring snowstorms, washed out roads and mud. “At one point, they got stuck in the mud  near Hutchinson, Kansas at 10 p.m. at night,” Gass said. “They had just passed a farm house, so they yelled for help with the hope that someone would hear them and offer assistance. Getting no response, Field, who had insisted on taking the short cut, was elected to walk to that house – in mud up to her hips in places– to ask for help.”

They discovered from two men they met later that day that their pleas for help were heard but ignored because, “If those women want the right to vote, let’s see if they can help themselves out of the mud,” is what the men said to the three feminists. Not impressed with their logic, Field rebutted, “Do you know how many times I’ve been up in the night to help a man who was ill and couldn’t take care of himself? This is not a matter of the right to vote, this is about common humanity.”

Despite their challenges, the road trip provided opportunities for signatures and education to the public, with Field informing those who gathered in town squares, etc. about suffrage and encouraging people to support voter rights.

Making it to D.C. in time and impressed by the size of the petition, the President expressed his admiration and said he would consider their demand. Although it took another five years, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, finally ratified in 1920, opened the polls to women. The three women, plus the 500,000 signatures, helped pave the way for women winning the right to vote.

Anne B. Gass is the author of “Voting Down the Rose: Florence Brooks Whitehouse and Maine’s Fight for Woman Suffrage”, published in 2014. She is the great-granddaughter of Florence Brooks Whitehouse who led Maine’s branch of the CU, working closely with Paul, Lucy Burns and other well-known suffragists. Gass’s great-grandmother was present in D.C. to greet Field, Kindberg and Kindstedt after their long three-month trip.

Gass lectures regularly on Florence Brooks Whitehouse and Maine suffrage history at conferences, historical societies, libraries, schools, etc. She serves on the Steering Committee of the Maine Suffrage Centennial Collaborative, a diverse group of organizations from across the state working to promote the one hundred year anniversary of woman suffrage.

To have Gass speak to your group, contact her at

Career fair offers networking and connection for successful professional life in Maine

By Briana Bizier

Last Wednesday, as the bright March sun melted the remaining snowbanks on Saint Joseph’s campus, a group of businesses, community members, and college students gathered to focus on their futures and, together, to help advance the future of our state.

The annual Saint Joseph’s Career and Internship Fair, which was re-scheduled for March 27 due to a snowstorm on the original date in February, provided an excellent opportunity to build networks and connections which may lead to internships, jobs and, ultimately, a successful professional life in Maine. With over 60 employers in attendance from fields as diverse as banking, law enforcement, mental health services, and recreation, the Career Fair represented a large swath of the southern Maine professional community.

Saint Joseph College Alumni, Brett O'Kelly, Jason Riley and
Danielle Capozza attended the career fair representing Tyler Technologies
It’s great to see this number of employers,” explained Muhammad Humza Khan, a Talent and Diversity Specialist with Bangor Savings Bank. “And, the students I’ve met are very impressive,” he added.

While the Career Fair has a very strong connection to Saint Joseph’s, this event is always open to the entire community. Laurie Murphy, Assistant Professor of Human Resources in Saint Joseph’s Business Department, explained that this event is an opportunity to support the Maine economy and connect motivated, talented workers from the college and beyond with local employers.

The fair also provided Saint Joseph’s students with an intensive hands-on opportunity to participate in planning, managing, and running a large event. Over thirty students volunteered their time and expertise to make the fair a success, according to Steve McFarland, the Director of Career Development at Saint Joseph’s. Student involvement in the Career Fair ranged from running the check-in counter during the fair to reviewing resumes and LinkedIn profiles for fellow students and members of the community alike. Students even suggested new employers to invite. Tri-County Mental Health, McFarland said, was attending this year’s Career Fair thanks to a suggestion from a current Saint Joseph’s student. Students were even volunteering at the photo booth to offer all attendees the opportunity to sit for a professional portrait.

This is an all-campus undertaking,” explained McFarland.

Historically, the students’ efforts have certainly paid off. Last year, McFarland stated that several Saint Joseph’s students met their future employers during the Career Fair. One of those students, Steven Albert, found his position as a management trainee at Enterprise during last year’s fair. He returned to the Saint Joseph’s campus last Wednesday to represent Enterprise’s Portland branch and their Management Training program.

This is really ground-up training in how to run a business,” Albert said. And it all began with a handshake over the Enterprise table in the same room one year ago.

Other Saint Joseph’s alumni in attendance worked for Covetrus, a software company in Portland who designs technology to serve veterinarians and their teams, and Tyler Technologies in Yarmouth.
We’ll recognize a lot of students who come through today,” explained Danielle Capozza, an Associate HR Representative at Tyler Technologies, who was one of three recent Saint Joseph’s graduates representing Tyler Tech at the Career Fair.

This personal connection to a fellow classmate can make networking and job hunting much less intimidating, explained Alyssa Theriault, a current HR Management Major at Saint Joseph’s and one of the student volunteers who helped to organize the Career Fair.

I found an internship here,” Theriault said, explaining how a connection made at last year’s Career Fair led to her summer internship position with Norway Savings Bank. “It was a great experience,” she told me, with a cheerful smile.

Yet this annual Career and Internship Fair helps to build more than individual careers.

Professor Laurie Murphy explained that this event is an important part of building the Maine community. As a state with an aging population, Maine faces a demographic challenge. “We need a strong workforce to ensure a successful future for employers, their employees, and the entire state.”

Many of our alums want to stay in Maine,” Murphy explained. This Career Fair gives the talented young students at Saint Joseph’s, and the larger community of Windham and Raymond, a chance to connect with employers, to learn of opportunities they may not have imagined, and to envision themselves building their career in Vacationland.

According to Theriault, living and working in Maine after graduating from Saint Joseph’s is an easy sell for most of her classmates.

We spend four years here,” Theriault said, gesturing to Saint Joseph’s panoramic views of the ice-covered Sebago Lake and the white peak of Mount Washington. “How can you look at that view every day and then want to move to a big city?”

Friday, March 29, 2019

Former Maine firefighter with local ties needs a heart

"Tim is the one that usually will give the shirt off his back for anyone who needs help.” a fellow firefighter stated as he described Tim Smith of Naples, Maine. Now, he needs help.

In 2012, Smith was diagnosed with coronary artery disease. With this diagnosis, he discovered his arteries were narrowing, blocked and or becoming hardened. He ended up with a bypass graft in 2013. Six months later he began coughing up blood, in which they realized part of the bypass graft did not take. He began receiving stents, which is plastic or metal tubing that bypasses the blockage. While the stent had worked for a while, the stents stopped working. Smith’s stents became blocked up and he began to need new stents despite the fact that he was on medications as well as following doctor's orders.

A year after the bypass, doctors had discovered that Smith had built up scar tissue that was surrounding his lungs. His lungs were no longer inflating and deflating properly. Tim received a video assisted thoracic surgery. However, despite the newest surgery, the shortness of breath and chest discomfort continued.
Over the past few years he received seventeen cardiac catherizations and more stents. By November
2018 things began to spiral downhill and Smith began to become more symptomatic. By January he received an angioplasty. By February he had suffered a heart attack. At this point, more stents were out of the option due to the fact there was no more places to work with. Having a heart transplant was the only option since he has also maxed out all the medications available.

Everyone who knows Smith would describe the former firefighter the same way. Smith, 44, is no stranger to serving others and putting others first. In fact, for twenty-two years he had served for the fire service as well as EMS. He began in the fire service in 1992 at the Groveville station and progressed to a captain at the Buxton Fire Department as well as a captain for Naples and the EMS Chief in Sebago.

He was also an instructor for many years throughout Southern Maine. His wife, Shauna, is a paramedic and nurse. Both are accustomed to giving aid and helping others in situations, not receiving it.

Both Tim and Shauna work closely with firefighters in the Windham and Raymond communities. "Tim is a wonderful father, husband, person and fireman,” stated Tony Cataldi from Windham. “He has spent his life being there for others in their time of need and now he needs our help." Firefighter, Gillian Thomas has known Smith and his wife, Shauna, for approximately 20 years. “They have always been dedicated to public safety in some role or another,” Thomas said. “We all cross paths in some way in our jobs, but I was lucky enough to work with both of them a few years ago and still stay in touch on Facebook. A lot of our mutual friends have worked for Tim when he was Chief of Sebago EMS, and with Shauna as a paramedic and RN, so there's a huge family of people gearing up to help them get through this. They have always been there when people need them, so if anyone deserves to be on the receiving end, it's them.” 

That's why on February 5, 2019 it came to a shock that to improve Smith’s quality of life, he would need a heart transplant. A heart transplant was the only way to improve Tim’s condition and still be a father to his two children as well as a husband.

“It really stinks for us to ask for help. We are the ones that are usually assisting others.” Shauna stated.

The Smiths are asking for help due to the fact Tim needs a heart. Transplant centers want to know that the recipient can pay for the organ, in this case the heart, as well as the anti-rejection medications and other medications where insurance seems to have a gap in coverage.

Anyone interested in helping the Smiths can donate via the GoFundMe page called 'Former Firefighter needs a Heart Transplant' or through the bank account that was set up at:  Tim's Transplant Fund, c/o ME Solutions Credit Union, 209b Western Ave., South Portland, ME 04106
For updates and to show your support, you can follow Tim at the Facebook page that was created

Windham Community Center begins to take shape at third and final forum

Monday evening's survey included the choice of a
pool concept design.Submitted photo
By Matt Pascarella

The third and final scheduled public forum to discuss the planning and development of a Windham Community Center was held on Monday, March 25 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Town Hall community gym. Approximately 15-20 people were in attendance. The forum was also made available remotely via Facebook Live.

In the first forum, Linda Brooks, Director of Windham Parks and Recreation, stated that a survey was sent to Windham citizens in 2016 and 2017. The results indicated the want for a community center with intentions and purposes of giving Windham a sense of place that accommodates the needs and activities of all demographics.

The proposed location is the Morrell property located near the rotary and Smith Cemetery at the intersection of Routes 302 and 202. This property is town owned and is currently being evaluated. the second forum, the design firm, Harriman (previously known as Harriman Association), proposed three concept designs: 1) a 20,000 square foot building with two floors that would include all the critical items such as a 2-court gym and indoor track, two locker rooms, pool, lobby and adult fitness area. 2) a “phase” approach which would entail constructing the center in phases. Still 20,000 square feet, it would contain a 2-court gym and indoor track, two locker rooms, a lobby, a 365 square foot kitchen, two multi-purpose rooms, a teen room, a senior room and administrative offices. 3) an all-purpose building: a roughly 60,000 square foot building that would include a three-court gym and indoor track, large pool, small pool, two locker rooms and a 625 square foot kitchen.

All designs would include outdoor space for an athletic field, playground and parking spaces.
In the third forum, Mark Lee and Emily Innes, both of Harriman, revealed Windham residents selected the third concept design, the all-purpose building by a vast majority. Concept design number three would include: a three-court gym and indoor track, 2 pools, locker rooms, kitchen, youth and adult wellness studio, childcare room and administrative office. While the original square footage estimate was 60,000; given the contents of the building and its surroundings, a new square footage estimate of roughly 70,000-84,000 was given. presented Monday night’s attendees with three pool designs. A competition style pool, with six lanes, ideal for swim meets and practices; a family pool, which has more of a wide-open swim area with a ramp for entry; and a hybrid pool which has a competition section on one side and a wide-open swim area on the other.

Attendees were given ballots and broke into groups to discuss which pool they thought was best. For those who were watching via Facebook Live, there is a similar ballot available on the Windham Parks and Recreation website. When the ballots were counted from the meeting, the hybrid pool came in first, then the competition pool followed by the family pool. A final pool concept design will be decided next month.

At this point in the process, Harriman’s responsibility is to take the input from the final forum and present it to the building committee, deciding if the program elements desired by the community have been captured in concept design number three. If so, Harriman will do a final concept design to get a more concrete sense of the area of the building and what the construction budget will be. A study will be written based on the concept design and that study will be given to the building committee and eventually presented to the town council.“I think there’s a tremendous amount of excitement towards this project,” added Pat Moody, Chair of the Windham Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. “The data is clear. There is overwhelming support for concept number three. I think the next phase is figuring out what the cost will be, the revenue generating opportunities, how we can fund it and make it a reality.”

Council member, Jarod Maxfield is behind the community center effort. “I think it’s a great idea to explore and I’m definitely behind it,” he stated. “I need to know more about the revenue and costs and how we’re going to make money, but to be good for the town and the residents and especially with our aging population and all the families moving to town, it’s a needed resource.”
Lee projected the rough cost of this facility would be between $36.2 million and $39.8 million, with a projected timeline of 3-5 years from concept to construction.

For more information about each concept design and to vote on the pool concept design of your choice, contact the Windham Parks and Recreation Department at (207) 892-1905 or or visit

Friday, March 22, 2019

Theater provides confidence and team building for students at Jordan-Small Middle School

By Elizabeth Richards

On the last weekend in March, students at Jordan-Small Middle School (JSMS) will present the lively musical, “Jungle Book Kids.”

The show, adapted from Rudyard Kipling’s collection of stories, tells the story of Mowgli, an
abandoned baby raised by wolves deep in the jungle. Banished by tiger Shere Khan, Mowgli is guided towards a village by Bagheera, a panther. But the trip doesn’t always go smoothly, and Mowgli is reluctant to leave his jungle home. He meets a varied cast of friends and foes on his journey, which climaxes with a giant jungle battle.

Deb Doherty, the director of the show, has been a drama teacher in Southern Maine for over 30 years. She was the program and summer stock theater director at Point Sebago Resort for 20 years, and when she retired, she returned to educational theatre., she said, is the most amazing confidence builder, and not just on stage. “It’s handling situations, thinking quickly, it’s being able to work as a team,” she said. “Theatre brings a community together, it brings a cast together. Everybody has equal footing,” she said. And that includes not only cast members on stage, but technical crew, stage crew, and anyone else involved.

Student cast members said that the show gives them an opportunity to meet new people and get involved. Eighth-grader Elijah Strom, who plays Akela and Colonel Hathi, said he started doing shows when he was very young, encouraged by Doherty. “I loved it. It was very fun,” he said of that first experience. “I am happy to see her again, to do another show with her and learn some more,” Strom added.

Noah Mains, a seventh-grader, plays Shere Khan. He has been involved in theater at JSMS for three years. He enjoys doing plays because, “It gives me something to do instead of sitting at home doing nothing,” he said.

Sixth grader Noah Campbell agrees. Campbell plays Baloo in the show, and this is his second year doing theater. “It gives me something to do after school, other than sit home and play video games and watch TV,” he said. He really enjoys performing for an audience, he added, and though he was nervous about his first show last year, this year he isn’t feeling nervous, he said.

Leila Laszok, a fifth-grader, is playing the role of Mowgli, and this is her first show ever, she said. She’s excited to finally be able to participate, something she has looked forward to since elementary school, she said. Playing a major role feels good, but is also scary, she said. “I like meeting new friends in here,” she added.

Meeting new friends from the whole range of grades is one benefit of participating, the cast members said. “When you’re in school, normally fifth-graders don’t talk to eight-graders,” Campbell said. Now, he added, kids from a range of grade levels can have real conversations with each other.
Laszok said that being involved in drama gives her something to look forward to at school. Mains agreed. “It’s definitely my favorite part of the school day,” he said. cast members said they have a lot of fun together, and they are excited about the costumes this year. They agreed that dancing and memorizing lines are among the most challenging aspects of doing a show. Learning to improvise is important, they all said. Strom said he learned this important skill from Doherty. “Even if I mess up, I’m still going to keep it going, and just have fun with it,” he said.

“Jungle Book Kids” will be presented on Friday, March 29th at 7 p.m., and Saturday, March 30th at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m at Jordan-Small Middle School. Tickets can be purchased at the door.

Doctor leads an evolution in occupational therapy and community leadership

Dr. Kate Loukas
Matt Pascarella

Dr. Kathryn Loukas has been a Windham resident for 29 years and heavily involved in the community programs like Youth Soccer, Riding to the Top, and Windham/Raymond Performing Arts. She has also been helping others since she started in occupation therapy (OT) in the Windham School system in 1993.

Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Dr. Loukas loved the outdoors and had worked for the Outward Bound School in Colorado. She had had the opportunity to work for the Outdoor Education Center for the Handicapped and she described it as life changing. She worked with five young men who had spinal cord injuries and were skiers. She knew from that moment, she wanted to work with people who had grit and determination and were finding joy in life on a different level. 

When she graduated with her degree in occupational therapy in 1985, Dr. Loukas and her husband moved to Maine, eventually working for the Windham School system.

“I had an epiphany. I had been working mostly with adults, and when my oldest son went to kindergarten, I saw this really fun room [in the Primary School] where the occupational therapist was helping children access education and I wanted to be a part of that community.” The occupational therapist at the time retired the next week and Dr. Loukas was hired shortly after that.

She worked in Windham Schools for seven years and during that time, also taught courses at the University of New England (UNE). She had always liked teaching and promoting her profession but enjoyed working in the schools.

 In 1998, she split her time between Raymond (working at Jordan-Small Middle School and Raymond Elementary School) and teaching at UNE. Dr. Loukas eventually transitioned to only working at the university.
Dr. Loukas got her doctorate in Occupational Therapy in 2010 from Creighton University online in Nebraska.

In 2013, Dr. Loukas had the opportunity to go to Tangier, Morocco where UNE was building a campus. She observed the cultural differences in occupations (eating, dressing, bathing, education) and the need for occupational therapy. Recently, she was able to teach an interprofessional course with occupational and physical therapy students.  As part of the course the students visited service sites, including an orphanage and a school for children with developmental disabilities. “UNE hosted the first ever OT conference in Morocco,” stated Dr. Loukas. “[This] was really exciting to participate in the evolution of a profession in a developing country. We could see the need and role and were able to facilitate the infancy of the occupational therapy profession at the service sites. The teaching was bringing occupational therapy to Morocco.”

In 2016, Dr. Loukas and physical therapy professor, Dr. Eileen Ricci and several others at UNE helped to develop the Maine Leadership Education for children with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities. Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (LEND) provides high-quality interprofessional education and practice training programs that are funded through the Health Resources and Services Administration Maternal and Child Health Bureau in 52 sites across the country.  Dr. Loukas serves as the Training Director as LEND develops interprofessional teams that include family members, students, social workers, speech and language pathologists. LEND also includes self-advocates as trainees working to improve the health and community participation of infants, children, and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disabilities.

“The idea is that we are creating future interprofessional leaders. I work directly with students, early career practitioners, self-advocates, and family members to build leadership and create programs in the state; it has been a culminating experience for my career to be part of the LEND program,” stated Dr. Loukas. “It is really exciting, as it is experiential teaching where I can spend more time with individual trainees, helping them develop their leadership skills as we work with children and families.  The LEND program also seeks to influence policy to support the rights of people with disabilities through our legislative process on the state and national levels. It is important work and I am honored to be a part of it.”
Dr. Loukas lives with her husband, Kane, and has two sons, two daughters-in-law, a granddaughter, and a grandchild on the way. She loves the outdoors and has a camp in Millinocket where she hikes, kayaks, and skis.

On a personal note, Dr. Loukas was my OT early on and I have continued working with her through the years. I am very grateful for her patience and dedication to her profession (and with me). She is someone who cares deeply about what she does and has her client’s/student’s best interest at heart.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Students experience potential and kinetic energy through sledding

Owen Gaulrapp 
By Lorraine Glowczak

The snow-covered hill near the football field and Windham Primary School was packed with eighth grade and second grade students having fun sledding on Friday afternoon, March 8. No, it was not recess. They were studying chemistry.

Windham Middle School’s eight grade team of Ohana Explorers led by teachers, Pamela Mallard, Lisa Hodge, Erika DuPont and Tricia Sabine, were given an unusual homework assignment – to build a sled from materials at home. They were given four weeks to make their creations, factoring in the concepts of potential and kinetic energy. Specifically, they were assigned to, “develop a model to describe objects interacting at a distance and the different amounts of potential energy that are stored,” Mallard said. This was the curriculum standard to which was learned and developed.

Briefly, chemists divide energy into two classes. potential energy is where the energy is stored while kinetic energy is the energy found in a moving object. The faster the object can travel, the more kinetic energy it has. “Students needed to be able to describe what the potential energy of the sled was and where it converted to kinetic,” explained Mallard. “The student also needed to identify the role of friction in stopping their sled.”

https://www.egcu.orgStudents were asked to determine the relationship between the amount of energy transferred, the type of matter, the mass and the change in kinetic energy. They also explored how adding a person to the sled, which increased the mass, would change the amount of acceleration of the object.

“Students did an on-line program through Gizmo (an interactive learning site) called Sled Wars,” explained Mallard. “This gave them information to ponder while constructing their sleds. Sleds were built at home and the students could have the help of a parent. I encouraged the home connection
among family members.”

If a student didn’t have materials of their own, Mallard offered materials from the school and they could stay to work on them after class.

The second-grade students who participated in this middle school science project are part of a mentorship program. “We have been mentoring Mrs. Brianna Butts second graders once a month since the beginning of the year,” stated Mallard. “This allows the eighth-grade students to take on a leadership role and make connection with their younger friends. It is something we will continue to do for the remainder of the year.” student, Abby Thornton stated that the project was a fun and engaging activity. “I never realized the true potential of sledding. It shares a global meaning of fun and allowed us to see how velocity, acceleration, speed, and other components contribute to real life.” 

Lucas Spencer, another eighth-grade student, stated it was a great learning adventure he experienced with both family and friends. “This school project allowed for me to really make a home connection,” Spencer said. “I am lucky that my little brother is on the buddy team at the primary school. We have been brothers and buddies all year. We designed and constructed the sled with the help of my Dad
and my uncle.” 

The next mentorship program event will consist of the eighth-grade students hosting a Grandparent Day in May for both groups. “This allows us to make a generation connection with our buddies,” Mallard explained.