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Friday, October 26, 2018

Windham High graduate reaches for the moon and lands beyond the stars

Cassidy Mullins
By Lorraine Glowczak

Who, among us, can say they not only accomplished a dream in less than a year after high school graduation but soared way beyond it? Cassidy Mullins of Windham, that’s who.

Mullins, a 2017 graduate of Windham High School, began an interest in body building during her junior year. “I have always enjoyed exercise,” explained Mullins. “So, I started watching various videos of body building on YouTube and knew that it was something I wanted to try, at least once in my life.”

After graduation, she took a few courses in exercise science, working on receiving her certificate in personal training and now works full-time at Planet Fitness in Windham. She knew where she needed to be and didn’t hesitate to do what she needed to do to work towards her dream. But it was a vacation in Florida during spring break that propelled her to land beyond the moon and accomplish what she set out to do her junior year.

“I went on vacation in April,” Mullins began. “When I looked at pictures of myself in a bikini, I wasn’t as fit as I hoped I would be. It was at that moment of looking at those pictures that I knew the time was now to act on my dream of body building.”

She immediately approached a local body building expert, Rose Beth Wilson, to get the ball rolling. “Rose Beth was on board with me and helped me to prepare for a body building competition.”
Immediately, Mullins began working on an exercise program and a strict diet to prepare her body for the annual Maine Event Body Building competition in Biddeford on September 22.
https://www.egcu.org/auto
At this event, she won first place in novice category as well as first place in open category which allowed her to receive her “pro card”, giving her the ability to compete on a professional level at the next match on October 6 in Cape Cod where she was awarded first place as a professional on the body building level, at age 19!

As a result of winning this competition, Mullins is now in the running on a national level, competing against those who have many years of body building experience this Saturday, October 27 in Washington D.C.

However, as many who accomplish their dreams and goals, it doesn’t come without hard work. “I have many people approach me and want to know how they can make their bodies look like mine today,” Mullins began. “What I do – the seven days a week exercise program and the weekly diet to be a body building competitor – is not a liveable or healthy lifestyle. You must have a healthy mindset and consider the time involved in exercising and watching your eating habits. It is exhausting.”

Mullins explained that she works out every day, building specific muscle groups on certain days of the week. “I work a variety of specific muscles in a four to six-week program before switching up the plan,” she explained. “I also eat 85 grams of greens with each meal.”

Mullins will not continue this diet or exercise program after her competition in Washington D.C. this Saturday. “I will take a 6 month break to let my body repair itself and gain some of my healthy fat back. It is not only imperative to my future goals and success as a body builder – but the success of a long, healthy lifestyle.”

We wish you the best in Washington D.C. this weekend, Cassidy Mullins!

New project coordinator connects with area youth through personal experience

By Lorraine Glowczak

Nicole-Raye Ellis
It is one thing for an adult to encourage youth to make wise choices in terms of alcohol and drug use, but the message has much more impact when it comes from an adult who made choices as a teenager that led her into a life filled with hardships and the death of loved ones – not one, not two, not three – but many loved ones.

Nicole Ellis was hired on Wednesday, October 3 as the new Project Coordinator for Be The Influence Coalition – an organization with the mission to promote community collaboration and positive choices in reducing youth substance use in Windham and Raymond.

Although Ellis holds associate degrees in both liberal studies and education from Southern Maine Community College, graduating in the top ten percent of her class and was a member and Vice President of Service with Phi Theta Kappa, the real contributing factor to her new role as Project Coordinator is her personal experiences that Be The Influence relies upon to encourage local youth to make wise decisions.

http://betheinfluencewrw.org/index.htmlEllis, a 2006 graduate from Gorham High School, knows all too well about how life’s adversities make choosing the path of mind-altering substances a way to escape and deal with the many harsh realities that come our way. “Although it is true that I was experimenting with various drugs and alcohol in my early teens, it was the result of being prescribed pain medication after a serious car accident that began my downward spiral at the age of 15,” Ellis explained. “It’s where my addiction began. Because I was feeling the regular teenage emotions combined with my family history of alcohol and drug abuse, I became addicted. I look back now and wonder why the medical professionals didn’t take a closer look at my family’s history with addiction before prescribing them to me.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Opioid painkillers are highly addictive. After just five days of prescription opioid use, the likelihood that you'll develop long-term dependence on these drugs rises steeply — increasing your risk of eventual addiction and overdose.”

Ellis explained that she was born into a family of substance abuse and alcoholism. Having the genetic make up and being prescribed a highly addictive painkiller, Ellis eventually fell into a crowd of friends who used and abused drugs which lead to both overdose and death of those she loved dearly.

She explained about her teenage experiences, “I witnessed many of my friends die from addiction. I saw my friend who was much like a brother to me, die of an overdose. I also had a few friends who died while drinking and driving,” she stated. This story does not include her step-dad who also died while he was drinking and driving. “And this is only the beginning and a snapshot of my young life,” Ellis reiterated.

Ellis eventually left Maine for two years, spending a year in Florida and a year in California before returning to her home state. Having some time away from her friends plus the announcement her brother made that he was going to have a daughter, Ellis made a conscious decision to move in a different direction. “I wanted to be a part of my nieces’ life, but my brother disowned me due to my life choices with drugs and alcohol, which I never blamed him for” Ellis stated. “Having a niece was the motivation for me to become healthy.”

In 2010, Ellis checked herself into Mercy Rehab. “The year 2010 is a special year for me. It is the year I became clean and the year my niece was born.”

As with any change one makes in life, it was not an easy journey. “I was lonely for the first four years after I became sober,” Ellis said. “I purposely chose not to be with all the contacts I had before who might pull me back into that lifestyle as well as any events that would remind me or had any association with drug and alcohol use. The thing is, I still loved my friends and I missed them a lot.”

She sought out new friends who had no experience with drugs to not only help her remain healthy but to see what life was like for those who didn’t participate or had very little experiences with mind-altering substances. “I was curious,” she said. “My experiences thus far had been so involved with nothing but drugs and alcohol, I had to see for myself what the other side was like.”

By choosing to take this path, she got to meet her daughter’s father who helped her on the road to sobriety and continues to do so. Together, they gave life to their daughter, Annabella, who was born in 2013. They continue to work jointly to provide a wholesome and productive life for their daughter.
In addition to the births of her niece and Annabella, another contributing factor that turned Ellis’ life around was the decision to be of service to others. “I began volunteering for organizations who help others such as Habitat for Humanity and the Ronald McDonald House. Serving others was a real-life changer for me and helped ease the pain of loneliness.”

https://www.facebook.com/Bill-Diamond-Maine-State-Senate-District-26-535326616567615/Now, Ellis’ focus is to help area youth learn from her life experiences and is one of the reasons why the Director of Be The Influence, Laura Morris, chose Ellis to fill the Project Coordinator position. “I chose Nicole because of her passion from personal experience and understanding of addiction and how it can ruin your life,” Morris began. “She saw this position as an opportunity to share her story in hopes of helping others to make healthy decisions. She is also the ying to my yang and able to help with some efforts behind the scenes with accuracy and structure. This relates directly to our mission and will definitely have a positive impact of the youth we serve.”

Together, Ellis and Morris are working on a variety of innovative, fun and creative efforts to adhere to the BTI mission and to invite local youth involvement. One of those endeavors include creating a video.  

“Right now, we have a Public Service Announcement video contest established,” explained Ellis. “We are inviting all students ages 13 to 18 in the Windham and Raymond community to submit a one to two-minute video on why it is important to be a positive influence in living a drug-free life.” Ellis also explained that there will be chances to win first, second and third place prizes that will be donated by local business. The prizes will be announced soon.

For more information regarding other activities, projects and the organization, explore the Be The Influence website at www.betheinfluencewrw.org or contact Laura Morris at director@betheinfluencewrw.org. Donations for the video contest can be directed to nicolerayeellis1227@gmail.com.

As for Morris’ belief in Ellis’ contribution and fulfilling Be The Influence’s mission, Morris had this to say, “She is going to rock this – and blow it out of the water.”

Friday, October 19, 2018

A tea workshop at Windham Public Library introduces the history of an ancient beverage

Ray Marcotte on a tea sourcing trip in India
By Lorraine Glowczak

For those who were able to attend the workshop, “Tea: History, Types and Tasting” at the Windham Public Library on Friday October 5th got to experience a real treat. Not only did the participants get the opportunity to explore the beverage’s history, but they were also introduced to varieties of tea leaves and the processes to which the leaf is transformed from tea bush to cup.

The workshop was led by Windham Library’s Ray Marcotte, a Reference and Technology Assistant, who is also a tea connoisseur. Marcotte and his wife are co-owners of an Asian-style teashop in Portland’s Old Port and they have studied the history and art of tea for over seven years. Marcotte travels annually to various Asian countries such as India, China, Korea and Taiwan on tea sourcing trips to learn the details of tea production.

http://betheinfluencewrw.org/index.html“Despite popular perception, tea does not come from England,” Marcotte said. “The small leaf variety tea bush (Camellia sinensis sinensis) was discovered 5,000 years ago in China, and has been transplanted all over Asia, the Middle East, and even the United States.”

Marcotte stated in the workshop that Chinese legend has it that the mythical emperor Shennong, the “father of Chinese agriculture”, was sitting under a camellia bush when a leaf dropped into his cup of boiled water, thus discovering tea and its restorative and healing powers.

Workshop participants learned that there are two main varieties of tea: Camellia sinensis sinensis (small leaf variety from China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Vietnam) and Camellia sinensis assamica (large leaf variety from India, Ceylon, Sri Lanka and Kenya, Africa).

“From those two main varieties, there are six classes of tea,” Marcotte explained. “These include green, black, white, yellow, oolong, and Pu-er teas. Each tea class is produced and processed differently.”

Tea is a highly managed product and the method from plant to cup of boiling water is a long and sometimes arduous one. “There are very specific methods of picking tea leaves and the process to which each class of tea is produced.”

Marcotte further explained the details of picking tea leaves by expert hand pluckers as well as the process that occurs after the leaves are picked. “Most green tea comes from the bud, first and second leaves only. The top shoots provide the best quality tea, and therefore produce the most pleasant and refreshing taste. Once the leaves and bud have been picked by hand, then the processing of the leaf begins. For Chinese green tea, that includes withering, heating (pan-firing), shaping and drying (unoxidized).”

Tea productions and processes for other classes of tea include a variation of the following: pan-firing, shaping and drying, sun baking, rolling, tumbling, roasting, withering, fermenting and smothering.        
   
Marcotte also shared with workshop participants how the misconception that tea comes from England came to be. The story states that the popularity of a mid-afternoon English tea began only 200 years ago by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford. Supposedly, she is the one who coined the phrase “sinking feeling”, referring to her energy as it began to wane in the middle of the afternoon after breakfast had worn off. At that time in England, dinner for the upper classes wasn’t served until approximately 8pm, so Anna started having afternoon tea with desserts to relieve her hunger. She enjoyed her new daily routine and as a result, began to invite friends. By the 1840s, the afternoon tea became a high society social event among the wealthy. The tea that was most often served and consumed was Darjeeling (from India.)

The transformation of loose-leaf tea into tea bags happened quite by accident. “A New York tea merchant by the name of Thomas Sullivan sent samples of tea to his customers in small silk bags as an easier way to send the tea leaves,” Marcotte stated. “His customers assumed that they were supposed to put the entire bag into the pot of boiled water, rather than emptying out the contents, and thus – the teabag was born.”

Marcotte stated that the teabag grew in popularity in the 1950s. “It is important to note that the contents in a teabag are not leaves but are actually the ‘dust’ from the leaves which is what’s left over from the sifting process.”

The hour-long workshop participants, after discovering the many interesting facts about the ancient beverage, got to enjoy and sample a variety of high-quality teas. No teabags were used, of course.

https://www.egcu.org/autoFor more information about how tea became popular in the West, Marcotte recommends reading the book, “For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History “by Sarah Rose. It is available to check out at The Windham Library. Marcotte is also available to answer any questions.





Welcome aboard! Local Chamber of Commerce votes in Maine’s youngest president

Zack Conley
By Lorraine Glowczak

It is true that small and local businesses have an edge today with social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Webinars and Facebook Live. There is little doubt that the internet has given some boost to individuals looking to grow their business in today’s society. But nothing can compare to the personal and face-to-face interactions that help a business and individual grow more profoundly to reach goals and to expand career options and aspirations.


That’s exactly the purpose and mission of the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce. And what better way to incorporate both social media and face-to-face interactions than having one of the youngest Chamber Presidents in Maine.

 Zachary “Zack” Conley, age 22, a Financial Representative with Modern Woodmen in Windham, was voted in by Chamber Board members to replace former President, Michelle Libby, on Thursday, October 4.

“My first goal is to discover all of our individual strengths,” stated Conley about all the board members. “From there, we can gather from our individual knowledge, experiences, expertise and talents to achieve the mission of the chamber, which is to help businesses grow and reach their goals through networking and educational events.”

Conley also stated that his chief focus is to invite more members to become actively involved with the intention to help them succeed in both business and in life, as he believes they go hand in hand. His second main goal is to introduce the chamber, whether it is the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce or beyond, to young professionals in the area seeking to become the best they can be.

To achieve this goal, Conley has spoken to classes at Windham High School about personal finance and is incorporating the importance of joining the local chamber, no matter where you live. “Now that I’m the President of the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber, I will be reaching out to speak to other
https://www.facebook.com/Tom-Tyler-for-Maine-House-374831959591528/
high schools in the Lakes Region area, too.”

Conley believes that joining and being active in the Chamber is one of the best ways to meet successful business people. “The chamber is one way to meet all the shakers and movers in your community,” Conley stated from experience. “It was just a little over a year ago when I became a Financial Representative at Modern Woodman and I was advised to become a part of the chamber as a way to succeed in my business. I joined the Chamber, met many successful movers and shakers and not only has my business taken off, but so has my networking with others and meeting so many amazing people who have contributed to my success.”

And, now here he is, in one year’s time frame his business has blossomed and he is the youngest chamber president in Maine. But his path to success was not without a few bumps. “I was attending college in New Hampshire, but I had no clue where I was heading and was spending money on something that I felt like was not leading me anywhere,” Conley began. “So, when I dropped out of college and returned home, many people were disappointed in me and I was told I was going nowhere. When I accepted the position as Financial Representative, there were naysayers who stated I would fail. Instead of fulfilling their prophecy, I used their words of discouragement as a source of motivation.”


Lynn Mansfield, Executive Director of the Sebago Lakes Chamber of Commerce states that Conley’s strong network of peers and his business success makes him the perfect fit for his new role in the chamber. “His success attracts a new face to the Chamber—the young professional. My vision is to establish a young professionals network that will focus on career, community and connections--a vision that Zack also shares.  Together, we met with the Greater Portland Chamber about the success of their program, PROPEL. We are fortunate to have a rich resource in Saint Joseph’s College, so we’d like to strengthen that relationship in hopes that more young people will put down roots in the business community.  Zack already works to educate high school students on the importance of financial stability, so it will be a natural extension of his connection to the community.  He’s humble and looks forward to leading the Chamber in a positive new direction.  I knew we had the right man for the job when he shared that he read an extra chapter of “Robert’s Rules of Order” because he found parliamentary procedure to be interesting!”

http://www.hallimplementco.com/No matter what industry you’re in, networking is always a good idea to build your business and lead it into a successful endeavor that helps others. The chamber is one way to make that happen. Conley promises to help businesses succeed. “I believe in giving 110% in whatever endeavor you choose to do – and I will give that in my role as President,” Conley stated. “Also, I want people to know that I’m always open to suggestions on ways to improve the organization and that my door is always open if anyone wants to learn more about the Chamber or has questions.”

A few of the following networking opportunities are available:

*Weekly Connecting For Growth referral group meetings that gather every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Windham Baptist Church, 973 River Road.

*Monthly evening Business Breaks that offer an opportunity to meet other business members in the surrounding area. The Breaks come with free food and fun networking. You do not have to be a member to attend.

*Quarterly Morning Momentums that provide an educational opportunity to improve business goals. It comes with breakfast and an opportunity to meet others. You do not have to be a member to attend, although there is a discounted cost to members.

*Ribbon Cutting Events to celebrate, welcome and highlight the new businesses in the Lakes Region. All are welcome to attend.

For more information about the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce, call or text Conley at 207-838-0464 call or email at Zachary.J.Conley@mwarep.org or contact the Chamber office at 207-892-8265.



Friday, October 12, 2018

Managing the 90 Year Crop: Sustainable Forestry in Raymond’s Hayden-Murdock Memorial Forest


Hayden-Murdock Memorial Forest
By Briana Bizier

Have you ever looked at a stretch of forest along the shore of one of our beautiful lakes and wondered how long it would remain undeveloped?

This tree was removed because it showed signs of damage.
For the Hayden-Murdock Memorial Forest on Panther Pond, the answer is forever. Owned by the Maine Woodland Owners as a land trust, this 100-acre parcel on Panther Pond is a working forest managed sustainably by the forestry company Timberstate G. to encourage tree health and growth. The Maine Woodland Owners currently own more than 5,000 acres of land, all of which is open to the public, sustainably managed and permanently protected from development. Although they are a non-profit organization, the Maine Woodland Owners chooses to pay property taxes out of the proceeds of their timber management.

This forest property contains 1,000 feet of lake frontage which will never be developed, and the entire acreage is open to the public for hiking, hunting, or nature walks. The property is also crossed by an existing snowmobile trail for winter access to the woods.

On a recent beautiful, sunny Wednesday, Greg Foster of Timberstate G. gave me a tour of the property to explain how sustainable forestry works. In the 1800s, the lot which eventually became the Hayden-Murdock forest was a sheep farm. As Foster and I walked through the woods, we found several crumbling rock walls, evidence of the land’s past as a working farm. The sheep fields reverted to forest in the 1920s, and the land was donated to the Maine Woodland Owners in October of 2000. 

http://betheinfluencewrw.org/index.htmlSince then, the Maine Woodland Owners has held several meetings and demonstrations on the property, including inviting members of the Portland Water District to discuss past and future forest management and its impact on the watershed.

The objectives of long-term forestry are very compatible with long term environmental goals,” Foster said as we began our walk in the woods.

Sustainable forestry, he explained, involves a careful inspection of every single tree on the lot. The larger trees are the most profitable, but size isn’t the only concern when a forester marks a tree for cutting. On the Hayden-Murdock acreage, the current timber harvest is being managed for maximum sustainability. This means any tree which shows signs of insect damage, disease, or rot is removed, even though those trees are not the most valuable. Clearing those trees, Foster explained, opens the forest to more sunlight and air flow.

Sunlight is the only thing we can control,” he told me. Removing the larger trees allows more sunlight to penetrate the canopy and reach the forest floor, encouraging the growth of the most valuable tree in the forest: white pine.

Maine’s famous white pine has been highly valued since the 1600s, when it was used for the masts of the great ships of England’s Royal Navy. Many of the original white pines in Maine were marked with “The King’s Broad Arrow,” a pattern of three hatchet slashes forming an arrow pointed toward England. It was illegal to cut a white pine with the King’s Arrow, a law which fueled the simmering resentment toward England which eventually boiled over and created an independent United States.

These days, foresters use bright orange spray paint instead of hatchet marks to indicate which trees will be removed from a forest. As we walked through an area of forest which had been logged several days earlier, I was surprised to note how many large white pines remained standing.

We’re doing what’s right for the forest,” Foster explained, “and leaving the best quality trees.”
https://www.egcu.org/autoThe hemlock, white pine, and hardwood trees taken from this plot of woods will travel all over New England. The largest and highest quality wood will be sold to lumber yards, where it is destined to become boards, furniture, decorative trim, or even tongue and groove planks. The tops of the trees, which tend to be smaller and knottier, become pulp logs for paper mills, or are processed into wood chips and sold to mills or power plants to generate electricity. Remaining tree limbs are returned to the forest, where they will decompose naturally.

If a landowner can get good returns on selling timber, they’re a lot less likely to sell their land for development,” Foster said. “The forest is like an investment. You can’t have a better long-term investment than high quality fiber from a forest.”

Lily the forestry dog on a recently felled white pine 
This acreage, Foster elaborated, will probably be logged every fifteen or twenty years. Cory Jordan of Jordan Tree Removal, the loggers who are currently removing trees in the forest with high tech machines like feller bunchers, explained that he and Foster had logged the Hayden-Murdock Memorial Forest fifteen years ago.

There was a lot more rotten pine then,” Jordan said, explaining how the sustainable forestry practices of fifteen years ago had led to healthier trees for this harvest.

I noted that sustainable forestry was a bit like farming, only on a very large time scale. Jordan laughed.

Instead of a ninety-day crop, we’ve got a ninety-year crop,” he said.

As Foster and I walked through sections of forest which were marked for logging and sections holding stacks of trees that had just been felled, chickadees flitted over our heads and an enormous pileated woodpecker flew between the trees. Foster explained Maine state regulations recommend foresters leave one standing tree per acre to remain as a “wildlife tree,” although his practices of thinning the forest to maximize white pines left significantly more than one tree per acre.

I also noticed many white pine saplings lining the forest floor. Some of those trees barely reached my knees, and some were almost as tall as me. Foster explained that white pine seeds germinate quickly after a logging operation, especially along the trails which have been disturbed by logging equipment.

He told me the saplings which now reach my shoulders may be ready to harvest in a hundred years.
We won’t be around to see them when they are harvested, but the Hayden-Murdock Memorial Forest will remain a forest for the next hundred years, open to the public and echoing with the sounds of chickadees and woodpeckers as the white pines stretch toward the sun.

A big thank you goes to Tony Plante for outstanding service to the Town of Windham


Tony Plante in 2016 celebrating his Stackpole Award
By Lorraine Glowczak

Serving as Windham’s Town Manager since 1996, Tony Plante’s official last day on the job was this past Wednesday, October 10. During his 22 years of service, Plante has provided exceptional leadership with dedication to the community and town staff.

In a previous interview with The Windham Eagle, Town Clerk Linda Morrill expressed her admiration for Plante’s loyalty and devotion to his career. “Being a town manager is not an easy job, and if anyone switched jobs with him they would find that out in a hurry,” Morrill said in 2016. “A manager needs to be on top of everything, 24/7. You need to be dedicated, and Tony is.”

Morrill was interviewed as part of an article written about Plante when he received the Linc Stackpole Manager award of the Year by Maine Town, City and Country Management Association two years ago. (August 19, 2016 edition by Michelle Libby).

http://windhamtheater.org/The Stackpole award is named for Lincoln Stackpole, who served as town manager in Machias from 1970 until his death in 1977. It recognizes integrity and leadership, and recipients must demonstrate a socially responsible approach towards their community; concern for the well-being, support and growth of their municipal colleagues; and contribution and service beyond their community.

It has been reiterated in recent weeks about Plante’s concern for the well-being of not only the members of the community but for the town staff as well. Police Chief Kevin Schofield stated in the 2016 interview that Plante was a very easy boss to work for. “He gives us a lot of autonomy. He’s very analytical, thoughtful and well spoken. He promotes a family atmosphere within all the departments and employees,” Schofield explained.

Town Councilman, Jarrod Maxfield who has always been a big supporter of Plante stated that he has always admired Plante’s professionalism. “I appreciated his focus and dedication to his work and the community. He was respectful, not only to individuals in the community but to town staff as well.”

http://www.mwamconcerts.com/Many staff members are sad to see Plante go and have stated that the next town manager will have big shoes to fill. Jen Alvino, Director of the Windham Public Library, shared her thoughts about Plante and his new direction.

“He has so much to offer and whatever he chooses for his new path, I sincerely wish him well,” Alvino began. “Where ever he goes next, those who get to work with him will benefit from his leadership, expertise and knowledge. I will really miss him.”

Donna Chapman, Chair of the Town Council also wishes Plante well. “We all honestly wish the best for Tony as well as the best for his family.”

The community of Windham wishes you luck, Tony Plante, although you won’t need it. Thank you for your many years of service, dedication and extraordinary leadership.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Hazel Gilman is presented The Boston Post Cane

By Lorraine Glowczak

In 1909, as part of a publicity act, The Boston Post newspaper presented gold-headed walking sticks, known as the Boston Post Cane, to 431 New England towns. The stipulation that the cane be given to the oldest citizen for use as long as he or she lived. Although, The Post stopped its circulation over 60 years ago, the tradition still exists in many municipalities, including right here in Windham.

Town Clerk, Linda Morrill
On Tuesday, October 2nd a replica of Windham’s original Boston Cane Post was presented to Hazel Gilman, age 100, at her home by Town Clerk Linda Morrill. The original gold-headed walking stick is in an enclosed display at Town Hall for safe-keeping.

When asked how she felt about being presented with a time-honored tradition, Gilman said with a smile, “It’s nothing I’ve done to deserve it. I just happen to be the oldest person alive in Windham.”

Born Hazel Plummer on July 20, 1918, Gilman has lived her entire life in Windham, of which 98 of her years have been spent in the home where she currently resides. “When I was two years old, my Mom and Dad moved in with my grandparents to help take care of them,” Gilman explained. “My grandfather was deaf and blind, so my mom and dad wanted to be there for them.”

Gilman graduated from Windham High School in 1935 and married Kenneth Gilman in 1941. Their favorite past time activities were weekend day trips with friends. “We loved to travel. During our week-long vacations we would rent a home on the beach or travel around the New England area,” she said.

Gilman and her husband lived a happy life together until his passing 20 years ago. Although they did not have children, Gilman is surrounded and supported by a loving and large family, that includes two younger brothers. She had a total of six siblings.

https://www.egcu.org/autoHaving been through five major wars, she has witnessed and experienced many changes in a century’s time. Gilman shared an insight she had recently. “I put laundry in the washing machine the other day and it dawned on me that I can have my clothes washed and dried in a couple of hours,” she began. “It would have taken my mom two days to do the same amount of laundry…by the time she boiled the water, soaked the clothes, etc.”

As for the current electronics, she admits frustration. “There are so many buttons. It’s all very confusing to me.” Referring to the electronics of fifty plus years ago, such as the radio and television, Gilman joked, “I liked it when there was just an on and off button.”

When asked what she thought may have contributed to her longevity, she thought for a moment and then responded, “I don’t know. It just happened.”

For those who were present at her home yesterday that included two nephews, Peter and John Forbes, and her youngest brother Rick Plummer, one could not help but notice the laughter and jesting between the family members. “They are always teasing me,” she kidded.

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But then, becoming serious, Gilman said, “I am very fortunate to have such a large and loving family who looks in on me.”

She did not remain serious for long, however. As the crowd in her home was getting ready to disperse, Gilman teased Morrill, “They need to make these canes shorter for short people.” Laughter filled the room.

Gilman may not know exactly what has contributed to her long life, but it is evident that love and humor has something to do with it.

Congratulations, Hazel Gilman.

Raymond and Windham students eat a locally prepared Maine Harvest Lunch


All the food in the above photo came from Maine farms
By Lorraine Glowczak

To encourage and expose students to healthy and locally grown foods, Chef Samantha Cowens-Gasbarro, District Nutrition and Wellness Coordinator, and Jeanne Reilly, School Nutrition Director as well as the lunch program staff have been slowly introducing wholesome diets into the RSU14 lunch program for the past eight years.

But Tuesday, October 2 was an exceptional day for the students of Raymond and Windham. It was “Maine Harvest Lunch” day – a day when students had the opportunity to indulge in all fresh foods that were grown and raised from Maine farmers. There was not one morsel of processed foods or staple from other states – or countries - in Tuesday’s lunch.

markbryantwindham@gmail.com“Our ‘Maine’ goal is to introduce kids to nutritious, real food and to get them interested and engaged in eating freshly prepared, minimally processed, locally grown foods,” explained Reilly. “We want them to know where their food comes from and we want them to be excited about eating healthy and delicious food. We also feel strongly about supporting the local economy by purchasing as locally as possible when we can.” 
 
When asked how successful it was to have a full menu of locally grown foods for the students at RSU14, the answer was resounding positive. “The kids loved it,” stated Cowens-Gasbarro. “At the high school they loved the [chicken] drumstick bar and so many kids were raving about the roasted delicata squash. Many who had never had it were asking to try it. The kids were pleasantly surprised at the local food options and how they were prepared. One student said this was the best meal they had all year. At one of our elementary schools, those who were lined up at the end of lunch were still trying to finish every last bit on their plate before being dismissed. They needed more time to eat this delicious meal.”

Those of us who live in Maine are lucky to experience and eat locally grown produce, livestock and seafood that are readily available. Cowens-Gasbarro and Reilly have taken advantage of this opportunity by reaching out to Maine farmers to supply the food for the lunch program.

“Farmer Frank” Pecoraro of Mulberry Farms in Raymond was one of the local farms that supplied the organic red potatoes, kale, delicata squash and peppers. He delivered the food to the Raymond Elementary School himself on Thursday, September 27th.

“Farmer Frank” Pecoraro of Mulberry Farms in Raymond delivers food directly from his farm to Raymond Elementary School
“Our partnership with Farmer Frank came about through us having conversations about our mutual dedication to serving this community delicious top-quality food,” explained Cowens-Gasbarro.

So, what are the benefits of eating locally? According to the University of Washington, the top eight reasons to eat local foods includes the following:

Local foods are fresher. Fruits and vegetables begin to lose nutrients as soon as they are picked. Buying local produce cuts down travel time from farm to table.

Local foods are seasonal. True, it would be great to have fresh tomatoes and berries all year round but eating seasonally means avoiding “artificial ripening” or eating food that’s been shipped thousands of miles.

Local foods are better for the environment. Some foods are shipped literally thousands of miles; that is a big carbon footprint that could be avoided by purchasing local and seasonal foods.
http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/
Local foods preserve green space and farmland. The environmental question of where your food comes from is bigger than its carbon footprint. Buying foods grown and raised closer to where you live helps maintain farmland and green space in your area.

Local foods promote food safety. Less distance between your food’s source and your kitchen table leaves less of a chance of contamination.

Local foods support your local economy. Money spent locally stays local. Purchasing locally builds your local economy instead of handing over the earnings to a corporation in another city, state, or country. Also, since the food itself moves through less hands, more of the money you spend will end up in the pockets of those raising and growing those foods.

Local foods create community. Ever find yourself spending much of your time at the farmers market chatting and socializing in addition to purchasing your produce? Getting to know your farmer, cheese purveyor, fishmonger, butcher, workers at your local co-op, etc., creates a sense of community.

In addition to the organic vegetables by Mulberry Farms; broccoli was grown and sold by Chipman Farms in Raymond, organic peppers and red onions were grown and sold by Hancock Farm in Casco and the chicken for Tuesday’s lunch was provided by various Maine farms.

The Maine Harvest Lunch was more of a success than staff had hoped - not only among the students, but for the parents as well. We often get emails from parents thanking us for exposing their children to new and different foods.  Because children have the opportunity to try new foods in a friendly and safe environment, parents report that they are more likely to serve these new foods on their menus at home.  Reilly said. “This is a true success to us.”

Police Sergeant recognized for outstanding work


By Matt Pascarella

Last month, Sergeant Raymond Williams of the Windham Police Department was recognized by the Maine Criminal Justice Academy for his 25+ years of service as a certified Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). There were seven officers, including Sergeant Williams, recognized in Maine. Each officer was recognized for their exceptional work in evaluating 100 or more drug impaired drivers during their career. Sergeant Williams has evaluated 130 impaired drivers.

Sergeant Raymond Williams
A DRE is a police officer trained to recognize impairment in drivers under the influence of drugs other than, or in addition to, alcohol.

In the late 1980s, standardized field sobriety tests to test for alcohol were brought into Maine. These tests were based off standardized practices that all officers across the country were required to use. The tests determine the top three ways to obtain information regarding a person’s impairment. This included the horizontal eye test (involuntary jerks of the eyes), the walk and turn test as well as the standing on one leg test.

Although these standardized tests work well to identify drunk driving, it was discovered that many who were impaired drivers were not impaired by alcohol, and therefore could not be arrested.
As a result, the International Chiefs of Police Association and the Bureau of Highway Safety brought the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program into the state of Maine in the early 1990s, incorporating instructors who had been through the DRE program.

Sergeant Williams knew how frustrating it was to have contact with a person who was clearly under the influence of something, but either had no alcohol or not enough alcohol in their system to be a crime. There was no mechanism to prosecute such people in the late 1980s/early 1990s. So, when the DRE program came to the State of Maine, the Legislature had to add wording into the regulations that stated it was against the law to be under the influence of alcohol and/or any other substance.

“I saw the end result of people operating under the influence,” Williams said. “I wanted to do what I could to get those people off the streets.”

Sergeant Williams became a certified DRE through the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. This included being certified on the standardized field sobriety testing, taking the drug evaluation classification program as well as participation in a two-week DRE school. The program included mock and/or actual evaluations and written testing. To be DRE certified, you also need to be knowledgeable about various types of drugs.

Sergeant Williams, who grew up in Cumberland, went to Southern Maine Community College and got an associate degree. After college, he worked in Windham as a reserve police officer in the summer of 1985 and was hired full time in the summer of 1986. He attended the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in 1987.

Sergeant Williams has been on the department for 33 years and would like to pass on his knowledge until retirement. He manages a firearms program and began the motorcycle unit in 1998 which is still in use today.