Sunday, June 28, 2015

Veterans Park dock is in - By Michelle Libby

A dock has been put in at Veterans Park in Raymond to allow people on the lake and from Frye Island to have a place to leave their boats while walking to Raymond’s business district. The dock is big enough for two boats to tie up at a time. It was added to decrease the amount of erosion when boats were pulled up on the shore. 
The dock was donated by Panther Run Marine, Bill Coppersmith of Fisherman’s Catch and other local businesses, according to Raymond’s director of development Danielle Loring. 

In addition to easier access for boaters, it also is an option for fire/rescue personnel when transporting emergency patients from the lake or Frye Island. 

The dock will be in from Memorial Day to Columbus Day.

Photo: Rev. Joyce Long and three boys from the Casco Village Church Vacation Bible Camp took some time to use the new dock at Raymond’s Veterans Park on Tuesday afternoon.

Summer reading fun at the Windham Public Library - By Elizabeth Richards

Summer reading isn’t just for kids at the Windham Public Library. This year there are programs for all ages centered around the theme “Every Hero has a Story.” The program runs from June 15th to August 28th, and includes Bingo games, special events, and a chance for children to earn a special summer reading certificate.

One of the changes in the summer reading program this year is the addition of a new age group for children in grades 4 through 8, rather than having one children’s category from birth through age 10, said Windham Library director Jen Alvino. This means that there are four age groups – young children, juniors, teens and the adult program. 

“We wanted to make sure we weren’t missing that group,” said Alvino. “They’re doing a bingo sheet like the teens, but it’s geared towards that 7 to 10 age group. We’re pretty excited about that,” she said.
The summer reading program is a collaborative effort between the children’s room and the adult section of the library, Alvino said, and planning for it began in January. The library will be participating in the Summerfest parade, riding on an antique truck restored by the husband of a library staff member. 

For the juniors, teens and adults, there will be a bingo card with a variety of tasks to complete. “It’s fun for people to try something different. The bingo sheet really helps people stretch,” said Alvino. 

When a row on the bingo card is finished, participants will win a book. Towards the end of the summer, there will be other prizes and drawings for completing the whole sheet. Prizes have been donated by community partners, said Alvino. 

“It’s nice to collaborate with the community businesses and also the schools,” she said. The high school has loaned the library copies of books on their summer reading list to be sure more kids have easy access to these books. 

There are a variety of activities planned at the library in the summer months. The children’s room will offer craft days, story times, take home activity sheets, a creative writing club and a letterboxing trail. For teens, there will be puzzle challenges, movies, and an opportunity to explore life after high school with a college transitions coordinator. Adult activities include book group meetings and a weekly showing of Downton Abbey. 

There are also a number of special events including a tea, Magic of the Steelgraves, an ice cream party, hero parade, pet show, yoga for children, a scavenger hunt, and a Bedtime Math end of summer star party. The summer reading program concludes with an Every Hero Has a Story Carnival featuring games and activities on the back lawn on August 27th

For a full calendar of summer activities, including dates and times, visit the library website at or call 892-1908 for information.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Library director one of 40 to attend leadership Institute - By Elizabeth Richards

Windham Public Library Director, Jen Alvino, will head to Itasca, Illinois in August to participate in Leading to the Future, a four-day leadership institute offered by the American Library Association. Alvino was selected from a highly competitive national pool to be one of 40 participants from around the country.

The institute will be led by leadership experts Maureen Sullivan and Kathryn Deiss. Alvino said the association tries to bring together librarians from different parts of the country, with different professional responsibilities and from different types of libraries to form a diverse cohort.

Alvino attended leadership training led by Sullivan in 2005 through the New England Library Association (NELA). At that time, she said, she was at a very different place in her career. She had not yet attended graduate school and knew she wanted her career to take a different direction. 

“At that time that leadership training was a real trajectory for me to go to graduate school, advance my career and take on a bigger leadership role,” she said. 

Since then, she has attended graduate school, and had jobs with increasing responsibility leading her to her position as library director in Windham. She was also the president of NELA, and is on the American Library Association council. Her goals in attending this institute are different this time. She said she’s hoping to gain knowledge around how to get out into the community and be a voice at the table. She wants to learn how to hear what the community needs from the library, and how to address those needs. 

Windham is in the midst of strategic planning and creating a comprehensive plan. There are many conversations about how the town is growing, and where the town is going, she said. “I really feel strongly that this institute will help me not only address the library needs, but also participate more in those conversations about where the town is going, how we’re growing, and what the community members need not just here in the library but elsewhere in town too. It’s really exciting for me,” she said.

The competitive application process began in April, with a letter of approval from Town Manager Tony Plante. Alvino submitted her resume along with answers to several essay questions about what she was hoping to get from the institute as well as what she could offer to others. 

“They create opportunities for you to connect and to keep those connections throughout your career which is really nice,” said Alvino. The connections outside the community bring a different perspective to the work, she said. 

Alvino is the only librarian from this region to be selected for this year’s institute. The closest participant on the list, she said, is from Connecticut. “I’m excited to broaden myself that way too, to meet some people that I haven’t met,” she said.

Mark those calendars - Summerfest is rapidly approaching - By Michelle Libby

With a week left until Windham Summerfest, organizations, businesses and the Summerfest committee are scurrying around to gather volunteers, purchase supplies and organize last minute details to make this year’s event the best one yet. 

Summerfest is an annual fair and community event that brings together all of Windham for a fun, entertaining time, where food is plentiful and people are there to have a great time. It is all located on the Windham High School complex. 

This year there will be new additions to the line up on the main stage. Motion Man entertains the children and families at 12:30 p.m. with everything from balloon twisting to magic and illusions. New bands include Air Away, made up of local high school students and Country Roads, a country band. There will also be a So You Think You Can Zumba contest featuring local Zumba instructors and students. 

The first event of the day will be the car show, with registration starting at 7:30 a.m. Breakfast sandwiches will be available for purchase in front of the high school and along the parade route.
The awards for the car show will be at 2 p.m. in front of the high school. 

The parade will begin at 10 a.m. at the rotary of Route 302 and Route 202 and continue to Windham High School. The time of the parade is big difference for this year. Fundraisers have been happening for the last few months from recycling cans and bottles to a Bob Marley show last Thursday night, the community has been showing its support for the annual community event. 
Windham Police officers Sgt. Bill Andrew and Steve Stubbs will do a K-9 demonstration at 4:14 p.m. with their dogs Grinko and Vader. For a photo listing all the events, visit Windham Summerfest on Facebook. 

This year Landing Real Estate and Robie Builders will be the event sponsors as well as a host of other businesses stepping up to help support Summerfest. 

“Don’t miss this year’s event. It brings the town together,” said Summerfest chair Kelly Mank. “Summerfest allows Windham businesses, non-profit organizations and community members to get together and share what it means to live, work and play in Windham.”

For last minute sign ups or questions, contact anyone on the Summerfest committee, including Kelly, Niels Mank (logistics), Robin Mullins (fundraising), Ben Schultz (parade), Deb Matthews (vendor booths), and Rick Sanborn (business expo). 

The carnival opens at 10 a.m. and the event will close with fireworks at 9:20 p.m. provided by Central Maine Pyrotechnics.

East Windham ball field renamed to Ciccarone Field - By David Field

Two months ago, Windham Little League’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to rename the Lowell Farm Field to Ciccarone Field at Lowell Farm in honor of the man who diligently maintains it and announces at each game. Bill Ciccarone resides in nearby Falmouth but spends his springs and summers daily at the field. He can’t wait for the snow to melt to begin the process of opening the field. This year, the opening was delayed due the depth of and slow melt of snow. Bill’s goal is to give each player on the field “an experience”. 

Last year, Windham hosted the 10- and 11-year-old State of Maine Little League Baseball Tournament. Teams from all over came to Windham to play. The compliments that were received about the Windham facility were abundantly positive. We have one, if not the best, small diamond in the State of Maine.
Only because Bill pours his heart and soul into the field.

Windham Little League announced their baseball All-Star team on Saturday. With the teams and families on the field, David Field presented the field being renamed and it caught Bill by surprise. When he walked on the field and heard the proclamation and saw the sign, he was speechless. He quietly said thank you, wiped the tears away and went back to the scorer’s booth. 

On the Windham Little League Facebook page, Amy Bilodeau posted “We as a league cannot thank Bill enough for the endless hours he pours into maintaining this field and his tireless commitment to the players, coaches and our league! We are beyond proud of this field, Bill and his dedication and it was a true pleasure to see him honored! Thank you, Bill!”

For more on Bill Ciccarone, read the article written by Elizabeth Richards at