Friday, May 19, 2017

Sebago Lake Automotive chosen by ACDelco to provide free vehicle repairs to those in need by Lorraine Glowczak

They say it takes a village to raise a child. However, that often-quoted statement can also be used as part of a community effort in lending a helping hand to those who could use a little assistance. On Thursday, May 4, Debora and Nathan Rand of Raymond as well as Janie Brown of Gorham, were chosen to be the recipients of ACDelco’s National Day of Service by getting their vehicles repaired free of charge at Sebago Lake Automotive on 302 in North Windham.
This is the second annual National Day of Service as ACDelco, an automotive company that is owned by General Motors, works with repair shops across the nation, to provide a collective $200,000 net worth of free vehicle repairs. This year, Sebago Lake Automotive was the chosen shop to provide service in Maine.

Sebago Lake Automotive had the difficult choice of choosing one non-profit organization in the area, to work in conjunction with and to identify a local family and/or individual who could benefit greatly from this service. They chose to work with the Windham Hill United Church of Christ (WHUCC) who recognized the Rands and Brown as needing the service. In doing so, they were provided a total of $4,000 in free automotive repair service.

L-R: Pastor Colegrove, the Rands, Dupree and Woodbrey
“A member of our church community approached me and informed me about the ACDelco National Day of Service,” stated Sally Colegrove, pastor of WHUCC. “I thought about it for a long time and decided that Debora and Nathan Rand and Janie Brown, members of the church, would be a great choice. These three individuals are retired and living on a limited income. That, in and of itself, is deserving of this free service. But I chose them because they give of themselves to the community in unlimited ways. I thought it would be wise if the community could reciprocate, so I approached Sebago Lake Automotive with my suggestion.” 

The Rands, who own a 2003 Ford Focus, are very involved in a multiple of community volunteer efforts that includes Food and Fellowship, a weekly service from various organizations that provides free meals to the community every Monday at WHUCC. They are also a part of the Missions Board at WHUCC and participate in the community garden and plant sale efforts that raise funds and environmental awareness with the Raymond Village Library. 

The Rands’ Ford Focus had a leaking air conditioner, needed a timing belt and hood release mechanism replaced. They also received a free State of Maine inspection. “The total cost for the Rand’s would have cost them $2,000,” said Mitch Woodbrey, co-owner and service manager at Sebago Lake Automotive.

Brown, of Gorham, owns a 2004 Toyota Scion. She is the coordinator of the Food and Fellowship. As a coordinator, she works tirelessly with a multitude of other organizations and churches in the area that contributes to the success of this program, making sure that at least one weekly free and healthy meal is provided to those who need some extra help. Brown, along with the Rands, also works on The H.O.M.E. Craft Show and Sale. It is a project that is a part of the Missions Board and is an event held on Saturday, June 3. The event is open to the public to support crafters in one of the poorest areas of Maine, Hancock County.   

Brown’s concern for others and making sure that they can survive to the best of their ability, leaves little time for her own personal concerns. But she does have a bit of a challenge living on a fixed income. “I always have on my mind what needs to be paid next.” Brown said. “It’s nice to have this one thing off my mind,” she continued, referring to the needed repairs of her 13-year-old vehicle.

As General Motors and ACDelco state, everyone should have access to reliable and safe transportation. The out-of-pocket repairs can add up to over $600, and nearly a third of American drivers cannot add that amount to their monthly budget. 

There is another saying that states, “Do good and good will come to you.” It seems this is the case for the Rands and Brown. A thank you goes out to ACDelco, General Motors and Sebago Lake Automotive, for recognizing three individuals who do good in the world - by returning the good to them.

PowerServe beautifies the community and comes together in the name of doing good by Lorraine Glowczak

The committee of and volunteers for PowerServe successfully provided a morning of community service for families and organizations within the greater Windham/Raymond Communities on Saturday May 13. This is the second service event hosted by PowerServe, with the first occurring last spring.

Genevieve Delano center with friends Allie Kirby and Ben Breton

Genevieve Delano, director of PowerServe and a junior at Windham High School, said that the event was initially planned as a one-time event as a way to honor a classmate, Shane Donnelly, who had passed away. It was also created to help those who knew and loved Donnelly. “My mom and I started this event last year in an effort to create a positive energy around the situation by celebrating his life instead of his death,” Delano explained. “He would have loved this. 

Although PowerServe initially was intended to be a one-time event, Delano stated that there were many requests to have it happen again this year. 

“One hundred percent of the people we got survey results from, wanted to do it again,” she stated in the March 17, 2017 publication of The Windham Eagle’s ‘PowerServe will provide communities services once again’ by Elizabeth Richards.

And so, PowerServe heeded the call and met the requests that came from the community. Last year, most of the projects took place at the Windham High School campus working on landscape and minor maintenance and painting needs. However, it was their hope to reach further out into the community this year. 

Through outreach, they met their goal and expanded their services. Along with the Windham High School, the following individuals and organizations were the recipients of PowerServe:
Windham Library, Windham Historical Society, the Karsten family, the Dickinson family, the Boucher family, Village Green, Windham Police Station, the Gregoire family, the Levigne family, Manchester School, Black Brook Preserve and local cemeteries.

Linda and John Gregoire were very pleased with the assistance they received on Saturday from the volunteers of PowerServe. John Gregoire was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) almost 10 years ago, making any physical work impossible.

 “They trimmed back a couple of years’ overgrowth in the back yard and disposed of the brush they cut back” Linda Walker said. “It is work I don't have the equipment or time to do and it was appreciated very much. They cut down some small trees with the chain saw, which is something I can't do, I don't own a chainsaw, and even if I did I wouldn't dare use it.” Linda Gregoire joked.

There is hope that this may become a yearly occurrence. “We would love to continue putting on this wonderful event annually,” Delano said. “However, I am leaving for college after next year so I do not know what will happen after that. I would love to leave this in the hands of someone I trust, but that has not yet been put together.”

Members of the Windham Historical Society would like to see the return of PowerServe. 
Approximately 10 volunteers were available to paint, rake the grounds and transfer artifacts as well as weed and plant in the gardens. "All were serious, purposeful, hard-working and fun to be around.” member of the historical society, Walter Lunt said. “They were truly an inspiration.” 

PowerServe, and its initial intention is, in fact, an inspiration in and of itself. “This event is indicative of how great this community is,” Shane’s brother, Bobby Donnelly said. “We want the community to know how much they are appreciated.”

“It [PowerServe] came out of a great love and compassion for our son, Shane,” stated Kim Donnelly, Shane’s mother. “It has turned into this amazing event, helping so many in our surrounding communities, providing fellowship and a way for people from all ages and walks of life to come together to do good.”

It seems PowerServe does more than provide the much needed repair and maintenance where it is required, but it also repairs grieving hearts by spreading joy and light into the world.
Lunt stated it best. “If these young people are any indication of our future, I'd say we're in good hands."

Friday, May 12, 2017

Landing Real Estate grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony

On Wednesday, May 3 at 4:00 p.m., the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce (SLRCC) conducted a formal ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of Landing Real Estate on 79 Tandberg Trail in Windham.

Lisa and Matt DiBiase, agency owners, enjoyed a large group of attendees including several directors from the SLRCC Board, as well as professionals from in and around our region.

The agency also has a location in Portland on Exchange Street.

Bottle Drive on Saturday to raise funds for students to attend OM World Finals competition. By Lorraine Glowczak

It was a brief 5 weeks ago on Saturday morning April 1 that a team of five students from the Windham Primary School (WPS) placed second in the state competitions of Odyssey of the Mind (OM). As a result, they will have a chance to compete in the 2017 World Finals to be held at Michigan State University, May 24 to 27.
Odyssey of the Mind students working at one of many fundraisers

The WPS OM students, the first students from Windham Primary School to compete in the World Finals, are looking forward to traveling to Michigan and competing with approximately 800 other students from around the world. 

There is one hitch however, and it is getting to this competition. It’s the ever present challenge of funding in order for the five bright, young students to travel to Michigan.

But when has a challenge stopped the most brilliant and creative?

This Saturday, April 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the students and their coach, April O’Shea will host a second bottle drive in the parking lot of Time4Printing, 588 Roosevelt Trail in Windham.
Their first bottle drive was last weekend. “Last week's drive focused on the boys walking around a few neighborhoods. We are hoping to get a bigger outcome by having a bottle drive this Saturday in one location,” O’Shea said.

The financial goal to fund travel to the competition in Michigan is $7,000. This covers event registration, lodging and transportation for all five students.

“The boys have been working very hard to reach the trip goal.” O’Shea said. “They are about halfway there right now. They have been out in the community every week fundraising. The support from families, school staff and local businesses has been wonderful. Also, one last fundraiser will be held on Saturday May 20 at the AT&T Wireless store, from noon to 3 p.m. We will be having a bake sale and playing some creativity games.”

“Odyssey of the Mind (OM) is a creative, problem-solving competition for students of all ages,” stated Linda Berry, Enrichment/Academic Support Coach for RSU14.

When they arrive in Michigan, the competition will incorporate two areas of challenges the young competitors must solve. The two categories are: 1) Long-Term Problems and 2) Spontaneous Problems. The students have been working together since December to create and practice their long-term problem solution and will present that at the competition. Additionally, they will be given a spontaneous problem to solve. Teams are scored on a combination of the two major components, which also includes a style component. Certain aspects of their long-term project will be judged and scored for their creativity.
The students look forward to testing their intellectual and innovative prowess and representing the State of Maine. 

If you are unable to make this Saturday’s bottle drive or will not be able to attend the fundraising event on May 20, a account has been set up to make a financial donation. Visit to make a donation in any amount.

Local musicians compete for prizes in the 2017 MAMM Slam this Saturday By Lorraine Glowczak

Local Windham High School students and musicians, David Young, Deven Young and Seth Martin, members of the rock group The Rubber Band will compete in a Battle of the Bands competition, known as the Maine Academy of Modern Music (MAMM) Slam, Saturday, May 13 at Empire located at 575 Congress Street in Portland. The doors will open at 1:30 p.m. and The Rubber Band will perform at 2 p.m.
Members of The Rubber Band rock group

 The Rubber Band has performed together for two years and consists of a guitarist (David Young, senior) a drummer (Deven Young, sophomore) and a bass guitarist (Seth Martin, senior.)

The band, whose musical sound is similar to Creedence Clear Water, Neil Young, Cream, Led Zeppelin and Bob Dylan competed and won the preliminary rounds in the High School Rock Off portion of MAMM Slam on April 8 at Bayside Bowl in Portland. 

The Rubber Band will compete again on Saturday with five other bands and solo artists to vie for first place and win a host of prizes that will include: $1,000 cash sponsored by the Rusty Rocket Music Fund, college scholarships to the Maine College of Art (MECA) of up to $16,000 per year to each member of the winning band, a tour of Gateway Mastering in Portland, free recording studio time, a scheduled performance to include an appearance on the MAMM Stage at the 2017 Old Port Festival and the All Roads Music Festival in Belfast. The prize also includes radio appearances.

Per, a leading sponsor of the competition, “The MAMM Slam is a statewide competition designed to provide young, career-minded musicians with an educational platform through which to gain performance and business experience, professional acumen, industry exposure and promotional and career networking opportunities. The competition is open to bands and solo artists.”

The group performed and competed last spring in the 2016 MAMM Slam. “Last year we made it to the final round, but didn't take the grand prize.” David Young said. “I did win a Best Guitarist Award, though.”

The Rubber Band’s talent comes with years of experience that will increase their odds of winning the grand prize. “I've been playing for about 8 years,” David Young said. “Seth plays all sorts of things including guitar, bass and drums and he's been playing for at least as long as I have.  Deven's been on the drums for almost three years now, and he's really coming along quick.”  

The rock group has been working with an agent and partner named Dave Biron, and his company Brownstaff Talent Productions. Biron has arranged performances for the band in the Southern Maine area since the 2016 competition. “He actually contacted us after the MAMM Slam last year and has got us into places such as the Great Falls Balloon Festival in Lewiston,” David Young explained. “And we've gotten recent airplay for some of the songs off our new EP "Thunder" [a 4-song recording] on Maine's Big Z 105.5/92.7, thanks to him.”

As Young stated above, the band has recorded their music and now has the 4-song EP entitled “Thunder.” It consists of three originals and a cover of Bob Dylan’s, “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” The EP will be available to purchase at the MAMM Slam on Saturday.

Admission to Saturday’s performance is $12.If you are unable to attend, an individual can purchase “Thunder” by contacting the band members on their Facebook page at

Good luck to The Rubber Band as they compete this Saturday, although it’s possible they won’t need it.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Meteorologist Todd Gutner visits Jordan-Small School by Lorraine Glowczak

The sixth-grade students from Lynne Estey’s science class, at Jordon-Small Middle School, had the opportunity to learn the ropes of a meteorologist from the WCSH Channel 6 TV station in Portland. Morning weatherman Todd Gutner spoke to the crowd of 11 and 12-year-olds about the science behind weather on Thursday, April 27 in the school’s library.
He began his talk by stating that, as a morning weatherman he must get up by 2:00 a.m. to be on the air by 6:00 a.m. “In the winter,” Gutner began. “I get up at 1:15 a.m. Winter weather is a little more complicated and takes more time to prepare for the morning broadcast.”

Gutner stated that he has a great time being a meteorologist, explaining that often he and the other co-hosts tell jokes and laugh with one another. 

“There are times, however, when things are serious,” Gutner explained. “Weather can be a very serious topic because it can be dangerous and affect daily life.”

As an example, he spoke about the thunderstorms he has covered over the years. Specifically, a thunderstorm that developed into a tornado warning in the Rangeley/Farmington area and most of the Carrabassett Valley a couple of years ago. was at this point students got to view a live broadcast of Gutner on air during that tornado warning. By watching the video, they got a better understanding of the science behind summer meteorological conditions such as velocity, high air pressure, low air pressure, the exact definition of a tornado warning and the difference between a cyclone and a funnel cloud.

The students also discovered that tornados are labeled into specific categories. Based upon the Fujita Scale, a scale for rating tornadoes established upon the amount of damage it has caused, tornadoes are given between a F1(least amount of damage) to F5 (the most damage.)

“In Maine, there has never been a tornado greater than an F2,” Gutner said.

Gutner discussed what to do during a tornado warning to keep safe. His suggestions included going to the lowest point in the home, staying away from windows and using pillows and blankets for protection.
6th students prepare to be filmed for TV

Students were given an opportunity for question and answers. Lightening was one major topic of discussion, including the occasional “bolt from the blue” lightning. This occurrence is a lightning bolt that can strike many miles away from the thunderstorm cloud that produces it and can be exceptionally dangerous.

The morning talk ended with the 6th grade class being filmed by Gutner himself in front of “Stormy”, the Channel 6 weather vehicle, for the Friday morning’s broadcast. If you missed last Friday morning’s weather broadcast, the students got the opportunity to be on air at 6:55 a.m. telling the viewers who they were and what school they were from. Their on-air limelight ended with the morning shout, “Wake Up!”

Cinco de Mayo Fundraiser Fiesta planned to help families impacted by fire by Elizabeth Richards

The community is pulling together to support families affected by the fire on April 19th at A La Mexicana restaurant in Raymond with a Cinco de Mayo Fundraiser Fiesta.
The event is coming together very quickly with an outpouring of support from people throughout the local area, from Bridgton to Portland, said Laurie Mason. Mason and her husband Bob own the
building that A La Mexicana was housed in.

Mason said they plan to rebuild as soon as possible, but working with insurance is a long process. This fundraiser isn’t about the rebuilding the property, though. The money raised will go towards helping the families - owner Jose Chavez and his family, along with staff members and their families. “For us, it’s a building,” Mason said of the impact the fire had. “But for Jose and his family, it’s his life.”

Jose and his family have been tenants for many years now. They are awesome tenants,” Mason said. “They are hard-working, family oriented, honest and produce a much-loved product for the community. Everybody around here loves them,” she said. An outpouring of well wishes and comments on the restaurant’s Facebook page shows just how popular the restaurant is in the

An announcement for the event on the Maine Mayhem Women’s Football Facebook page read, “We never know how quickly our lives can be impacted by tragedy. It could happen to any of us . . .  in an instant. On Wednesday, April 19th the A La Mexicana Restaurant caught on fire. There were numerous families impacted by this tragic loss. When tragedy hits there is nothing more beautiful than an entire community rallying together to help bring a little peace to all the chaos.”

And rally they have. Adam Herald, pastor of the Refuge Church in Windham, said he knew Chavez’s sister-in-law, Jerica Parker, from building relationships in the community. “When I heard about the fire, I asked what we could do to help,” he said. “Any time there’s an obvious need in the community, I think the church needs to step up and say, ‘what can our role be and how can we get the community working together’?” In this case, in addition to helping get the word out for the event through Herald’s contacts, the Refuge Church secured the hall for a non-profit rate, and will be paying the cost of that rental.

While they were talking, Parker brought up the fact that Cinco de Mayo was a very lucrative day for the restaurant, Herald said. The idea to organize something around that day was born, almost without realizing how quickly it was approaching.

Mason said the fundraiser has certainly been on a fast track to organize. “We’re putting it together in a week. It’s not going to be perfect. But I keep telling everyone when you’re doing something with love, you can’t do it wrong.”

The outreach from the community has been phenomenal, Mason added.  Within hours of the fire, she said, she was receiving phone calls asking what people could do to help. She said that seeing this kind of response makes her feel good about the world again. “There’s a ray of sunshine, and hope, and an outpouring of love,” she said.

Along with Parker, Herald, Chavez and the Masons, some of those heavily involved in the quick organization of the event include Caitlin Faria, Mandy and Marty Greco, Alicia Paige, Anne and Dave Murch, Dave and Kathy Gerrish, Kathy and George Jillson, and Robin Brown. Point Sebago has donated a 5-night vacation as a door prize, and many other local vendors have stepped up to donate raffle and auction items. The Wrong Road band, who will perform at the event, also donated their time.
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Chavez will be providing the food for the event. He said the support they have received means a lot to him. “I never imagined it was going to be like this,” he said. “I want to say thank you so much for caring so much.”

The Fundraiser Fiesta will be held on Friday, May 5 from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Windham Veterans Center, 35 Veterans Memorial Road, Windham. The event will include a buffet dinner, live music, raffles, an auction, and more. Tickets will be sold at the door, and are free for children 3 and under, $10 for children 4-12, $15 for adults and $40 for a family of four.  For more information, contact Laurie Mason at

Friday, April 28, 2017

The “Great War Governor” from Windham by Walter Lunt

“Windham Then and Now” - The fourth in a series of historical topics about Windham’s unique history and heritage

As the 200th anniversary of his birth approaches, the legacy and influence of Windham’s “favorite son,” John Albion Andrew, extends into the 21st century. Andrew was born and raised in South Windham. He attended Bowdoin College and became the 21th governor of Massachusetts during the American Civil War, serving from 1861 to 1865.

In 2007, the newly elected 71st governor of Massachusetts, Duval Patrick – following tradition – selected the portrait of a former chief executive to hang behind his desk in the governor’s office. He chose John Albion Andrew. “At a time of great divide in America, he demonstrated a willingness to change the status quo and encourage others to do the same,” said Patrick, “I am proud to display his portrait . . . and hope that I may govern with the same compassion and foresight that he demonstrated.” Patrick served until 2015.

THEN: Birthplace of Gov. Andrew
Andrew was born in a small single-story, wood frame house in the Little Falls section of Windham in May of 1818. In his lifetime, he would be immersed in some of the most significant issues of the 19th century: temperance, civil war, emancipation, reconstruction and even divorce laws.

His parents, Jonathan and Nancy (Pierce) Andrew came to Windham from Salem, Massachusetts and purchased the house of Dr. James Paine (an early Windham physician) on Depot Road. Jonathan established a grocery business on the corner of Depot and Main (now River Road), which he later moved to a location near the bridge in South Windham. The two were highly regarded citizens of the community. Nancy had been a teacher (or preceptress) at Bridgton Academy, Jonathan a general trader and Deacon of the Congregational Church (“Windham, Then & Now,” March 24, 2017). 

Their oldest child, John Albion Andrew, would later be remembered by C.O. Stickney, writing in the Boston Sunday Globe around 1898 as, “One of the best and most popular of boys raised in (Windham) bright, likeable and full of fun.” Many remarked on his unusual ability of elocution. 

At age 14 he would deliver an inspiring talk on the evils of drink at a public temperance meeting. It was considered a remarkable performance for a young boy. A story often told by Albion, as he was known by all in Windham and Gorham, probably reveals the origin of his strong feelings on prohibition. It seems that his father sold “ardent spirits” at his store, the sale of which was highly “remunerable.” Through the thin walls of the house on Depot Street, Albion and his siblings would eavesdrop on frequent bedtime conversations between his mother and father. Mother was a fervent supporter of the early temperance movement, and would use this time to urge her husband to end the sale of alcohol in his store. This, according to Albion, went on for months when, finally one night, his father stopped his wife in mid-refrain to announce, “I stopped selling spirits several weeks ago.”

NOW: What Andrew's birthplace looks like today
Albion and his siblings were “home-schooled.” Jonathan built a tiny schoolhouse behind the home where he and Nancy tutored their children. Albion eventually attended Bridgton Academy where his mother had once taught. He entered Bowdoin College, class of 1837, where one of his classmates later observed “(His) college life was the flow of generous impulses and noble purposes, rather than the display of brilliant talents and extraordinary scholarship.” He was also known as a joker, a mimic and a general cut-up. A cousin, Nathan Church, said that the governor “Could not only pray and preach like old Parson Smith of his native town, but could also slay his audiences with impersonations of politicians and other well-known preachers.” Church also said, “He could have had success as a comedian.”

Following college, John Albion Andrew entered the bar in Massachusetts and opened a law practice in Boston. He was noted for his strong defense of poorer clients and for his wit and anecdotes. His firmly held beliefs on the issue of slavery and other reform movements, led him to politics, and by 1858 he was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where he opposed the Fugitive Slave Law and used his position to defend fugitive slaves and raise money for their legal fees and shelter. He became an early organizer of the new Republican Party and rallied for Abraham Lincoln at the Chicago Presidential Nominating Convention.  Their relationship while he was governor would become thorny due to the President’s handling of various war issues. Andrew, notorious for his lack of patience, criticized Lincoln for holding off delivering an emancipation declaration until late in the war, and for what he perceived as the president’s reluctance to accept blacks in the Union armies. 

As governor, he won high national praise for the early formation of militia regiments, even before the start of the war. As a result, Massachusetts would furnish the first volunteer regiment to reach Washington and the first to fight in the Civil War. traveled the countryside in his recruiting efforts, visiting Windham and other Maine towns in his appeal to organize volunteer regiments. The late Ernie Knight, author of several books and articles on local history, once told a gathering of local history enthusiasts in Windham that Northern townspeople, in general, did not want their husbands and sons to fight their Southern brethren, even though they had always been willing to take up arms when necessary. But because the recruiter was “our native son of renown,” Andrew succeeded in garnering enlistments.

Following Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, Andrew succeeded in organizing a regiment of black soldiers – the famed 54th Massachusetts Regiment which came to be known for its heroism and sacrifice.

In his Valedictorian Address in 1865, Andrew called for reconciliation with the South rather than punishment, “The halls of legislation are the arenas of debate, not of muscular prowess . . . we must secure the constitutional, civic liberties and franchises of all the people.”
Andrew returned to his private law practice after the war, focusing much of his time on reforming the archaic divorce practices of the day.

Former Gov. Patrick was inspired by Andrew
On October 30, 1867, the Great War Governor of Massachusetts died, age 49, following a “fit of apoplexy” (a stroke), after tea, at his home on Charles Street in Boston. He and his wife, Eliza Jane are buried in Hingham where they lived during most of their time in the Bay State. A marble statue of Andrew overlooks the site, as one biographer described it “. . . not tall in stature, but colossal in majesty of power and purpose.”

Interred in Windham’s Brown Cemetery near the corner of Depot Street and River Road are several members of the Andrew family, including the governor’s mother, Nancy, who died in 1832, and his grandfather, John Andrew, who passed away in the 1790’s. Mossy headstones identify their resting places. The burial ground, one of Windham’s oldest, is within sight of the old Andrew home, still standing today at the hilltop on Depot Street. The current owners, Paul and Sandy Penna, say it’s a “quaint old house,” a white wood-frame cottage that still retains much of its 18th century charm.

According to Sandy, “The house itself is the original structure with many of the original wide pine flooring boards.” Built in 1792 by Windham’s second physician, Dr. James Paine, it was later purchased by Albion’s father, Jonathon Andrew, who greatly improved it. The house may have once faced toward the main (River) road. Early sketches show a classic portico front doorway flanked on either side by two windows with shutters, a center chimney, adjoining carriage shed, all fronted by an early version of a picket fence. Now in its 225th year, the house is one reminder of Windham’s historic and revered son. Others include Albion Road and the John A. Andrew School, which stood near-by for nearly a century. At Windham High School in the early 1960s, many former students still recall the essay assignment in junior year English: The John A. Andrew essay contest on the topic “What it means to be an honest man.”

Fast forward to the 2000s and the name continues to reverberate as the significant source of guidance and inspiration for Massachusetts’ first African-American governor. 

Windham Wellness Fair and Earth Day a Perfect Match by Stephen Signor

Life Coach Jackie Winant

Despite a less than perfect day weather-wise, many celebrated a portion of Earth Day 2017 by going to St. Ann’s Episcopal Church to attend the Windham Wellness Fair. 

In keeping with the theme, those environmentally conscience folks who attended the fair were offered a complimentary filled water bottle that was made from recycled materials. But the real target audience here was those seeking to improve their physical and mental well being. Once inside, that search was over. Several vendor booths were ready to offer up suggestions as well as solutions. 

Jackie Winant, who has been practicing several forms of wellness since 2003, was one of them. “I am a life coach, polarity energy and a Reiki Master,” shared Winant.

Fern Dyer
That’s just for starters. She also finds the time to teach Yoga. Reaching out to those with the desire but not the motivation can be a daunting task. As Winant explained, “Coming to a fair such as this can be, for some, intimidating at times but should be just the opposite. There is a commonality associated with being here. If you have a moment to spare, you will meet a lot of people with a lot of different qualities. Everybody is here for the same reason.”

Then there are those who have made that decision to pursue some kind of approach to improving their wellness but are unsure of making the right choice. One alternative healing technique is through the use of stones. Fern Dyer, whose wellness practice comes primarily in the form of healing with stones and crystals, was on hand to offer her expertise. She was also willing to share how she got started. It began from a personal experience resulting from injuries sustained in a serious motor vehicle accident. The rest is history. “When I started doing healing 11 years ago, it all came together at the same time; learning Reiki and learning energy therapy, the stones came my way. I was also guided to take photos. They all have their specific healing properties and it works energetically. You don’t have to know what a stone means; just whatever you are drawn to.” This is what she tells people prior to her healing sessions where clients are given five stones to look at.“Sometimes people will think too much. They need to stop doing that. I tell them the one stone that pops out is the one that is for you. Then when they read the meaning, which accompanies each stone, they get validation. You are drawn to what you need.” Clients are then made comfortable on a message table in a meditative state from whatever makes them relax. This may be subdued lighting and or soft mood music. This is when she channels her energy. Energy is abundant and everywhere. “Energy is catchy and can be obtained and disseminated simply by being in a room full of people,” continued Winant.

For those looking to look good as well as feel good, there were a couple of available options to ponder. A major contributor to someone’s health or lack thereof is unwanted extra pounds, those seemingly unstoppable invaders who prey on us, particularly during the long winter months. Getting rid of them can be challenging. 

Amber McDonald, Program Director for ChiroThin of Maine, explained how this does not always have to be the case. “This is a six week program that is doctor assisted. Patients are guaranteed to lose 20 pounds but some people may lose more that. The program is geared for anyone regardless of their weight loss goals; as some people may only want to lose 10 or 15 pounds in a couple of weeks.  It is also a nutritional program. We help keep their diet under control and teach how to eat healthy. The main difference between this and other programs is that it is doctor created and supervised and there are no crazy supplements or shakes. It’s focused primarily on getting the appetite under control. 

Included is a four week maintenance program. This insures our patients will keep the weight off.”
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For those interested in receiving further information and alternatives, additional topics ranging from meditation to chiropractic practices were available from wellness representatives who were on hand to provide demos and talks throughout the scheduled for hours of this event.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Celebrating Earth Day today and everyday by Lorraine Glowczak

Karen Lothrop (r) with Ron and Martha Strout
What began as a grassroots movement in 1970 by then U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, has now become a global celebration to focus on the health of the environment.
It all began with a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California that Nelson took note of and then decided to raise awareness about environmental issues. With the assistance of Rep. Pete McCloskey of California, as well as a Denis Hayes from Harvard, events were organized across the nation with many college students participating in various ways. The date, April 22, was chosen at the time because it fell between spring break and final exams.

According to the Earth Day Network, “Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. By the end of that year, the first Earth Day had led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean AirClean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.”

In 1990, Earth Day became a global passion with approximately 140 countries participating in environmental awareness activities. Despite recent years of cynicism, Earth Day celebrations remain in the spotlight with approximately 180 countries participating as it approaches its 50-year anniversary in 2020.

For some, celebrating Earth Day has become an everyday habit. This includes a few individuals within the Windham and Raymond communities.

Gordon Street holds the sign he will use in Saturday's March for Science
For the past 15 years, Karen Lothrop from Windham and her friends Martha and Ron Strout, as well as Inger Riley (when she is visiting from Wisconsin) go on long morning walks. And as they do, they pick up trash. Their route begins on Sandbar Road, making their way along 302 and then onto Route 35. “We have discovered that the most trash can be found behind Staples on 302,” Lothrop stated. “For some reason, people dump a lot of trash in that area.” 

Although Lothrop spends winters in Florida, where she picks up trash on her daily walks there, she always returns to her home in Windham. While here at home, she dedicates her morning walks to trash pickups from June until October. 

Gordon Street of Raymond has turned his passion, the art of scientific thinking, into an Earth Day activity. Street will be participating in the “March for Science” event that will occur this Saturday in Portland. 

However, Street’s participating in Saturday’s March is just the beginning. He has been and will continue to advocate for and educate the public on the need to think scientifically, a critical skill that has not been adequately taught to our children. 

“All humans have what is called a ‘confirmation bias’,” Street explained. “This simply means that we look for data that supports what we believe and suspect to be true, instead of data that opposes what we believe, which is the way scientist approach a hypothesis. Scientific thinking prevents us from ‘shooting from the hip’ and making decisions and coming to conclusions in error. You don’t have to be a scientist to have critical scientific thinking skills.”

Street believes the lack of scientific thinking has a great impact on misunderstandings surrounding the environment.
For those who also are interested in being every day stewards of the earth, one does not need to be an advocate or walk every morning to pick up trash. There are a variety of small steps that can fit your lifestyle. Some positive action can be as simple as turning off the lights in a room when no one is there or planting a tree (make sure it is not invasive to Maine). 

If hiking, biking, snowmobiling or riding your ATV is your passion, one can also become a member or a volunteer for non-profit environmental organizations where trails are readily available. Organizations such as the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust (Black Brook Preserve and Pringle Wildlife Preserve in Windham) or the Loon Echo Land Trust (Raymond Community Forest in Raymond) are always willing to accept volunteers. 

No matter what it is you do to celebrate Earth Day, today and/or every day, any step you take is an important one. As Lothrop stated, “There is no Planet B, so it might be wise to take care of the one we have.”

Community Day embraces new learning style by Michelle Libby

Every year Manchester School in Windham hosts a Community Day, a celebration of projects the students do to support the community and non-profits that they want to support. This year’s theme was, “Hands and Hearts Caring for our Community.” 
“This is the most special day we have during the school year,” said Principal Danielle Donnini. Fifth graders learn about culture and civilizations, she said. That means common values, ideas and goals. Common celebrations and traditions are a part of culture. “This is the one day we take a break to celebrate them.”

Donnini thanked the volunteers, parents, AmeriCorps volunteers, PTA and school board who had helped with the projects.“It’s pretty awesome, the projects and the celebration,” said Superintendent Sandy Prince. “The work is really important. Every year it gets better and better. The projects are relevant, meaningful and make a difference. It raises their awareness of the community.” 

Special guest speakers, on Wednesday morning, were Windham High School Principal Chris Howell and Windham Middle School Principal Drew Patin. “I was absolutely impressed with the work you’ve done this year,” said Howell. “You have the opportunity to grow up in a very special place. When you help another person you get more enjoyment, more excitement than the person receiving the help,” he said.  

The projects the students worked on this year mirror what will happen when they are in the high school with a Capstone Project, which is an individual project in an area of interest. Students will explore with a mentor from the community and help make career decisions, said Howell. These projects were a taste of what’s to come for the students. 

Last Wednesday began with breakfast for 400 people. Guests were invited to visit each display and table set up in the gym at the school. During the presentation, students and teachers presented checks and gifts to recipients.

“Last year there were 20 projects. This year we can’t capture all the projects,” said Donnini. “As teachers, we learned how to make learning more real, more engaging.” 

Teacher Carol Otley has spent 15 years helping her students build bird houses to share with people all over the State of Maine; with over 200 bird houses created by the students over the years. The bird houses have been placed from New York City to Katahdin, Aroostook County and all over New England. Many birds have been sheltered. This year bird houses were given to: Game wardens, Windham Police Officers Gene Gallant and Steve Stubbs and K9 Vader, a VFW veteran and Survivor winner Bob Crowley to name a few. 

“All of you are from Maine. Be proud to be from Maine,” said Crowley, who owns Maine Forest Yurts. “I’m almost 70 and I’m still giving back to the community.” 

Other teachers and their classes were recognized. Otley was recognized as VFW Teacher of the Year at the local and district levels. Sabrina Nickerson and Stacey Sanborn were honored with the Garden of the Month Award from Maine School Garden Network. Environmental educator Katrina Venhuizen from EcoMaine recognized Jen Ocean’s class with an Eco-Excellence Award 2017 for recycling. The class applied for and received a grant from EcoMaine to work on food waste and recycling at Manchester School. The school went from making nine bags of trash per day to one.
“The class saw a problem, which led to some research, but it takes all of you to make it work,” said Donnini. 

The experiential learning that happens with the projects is hands-on. “The projects give the students choice and voice. It’s not the teacher saying I want to do this,” said Donnini. “Students have their own voice and passion, which leads their learning.”

Judy Taudvin’s class each chose individual projects to work on, allowing the students to develop their own interests. 

Adam Beal’s class raised $400 to donate to Chelsea’s MS Walk. Another class made 21 pet beds out of old sweaters to donate to Harvest Hills. One held an Iditarod Read-a-Thon and another will hold a Color Run on May 20, at 9 a.m. One class sold Pok√©mon cards and has raised over $400 for the Preble Street Resource Center. 

Paton closed the assembly. “I haven’t always been a Windham Eagle. I have pride to be a Windham Eagle.” He is excited to have the students in his school next year. He said he was proud of their, “willingness to be creative, to be problem solvers.” Patton stated that he liked their creativity, perseverance and grit; and their willingness to make a difference in somebody else’s life.