Wednesday, November 27, 2019

New trail opens in Raymond Community Forest

At the ribbon cutting. The trail, "Grape Expectations",
is named for the wild grapes the grow abundantly in the area
By Briana Bizier

A cold, wintery mix of rain and sleet didn’t stop a group of devoted outdoors-loving hikers and bikers from celebrating the opening of a new trail with a joyful ribbon cutting ceremony on Sunday, November 24. The new trail is part of Loon Echo Land Trust’s Raymond Community Forest, a 356 acre permanently conserved area off Conesca Road in Raymond, and it is open to pedestrians and mountain bikes.

This may not be the best weather,” said Jon Evans, Loon Echo’s Stewardship and Volunteer Coordinator. “But this is a great day for Loon Echo Land Trust.” of the trails on Loon Echo’s land have been inherited from the land’s previous uses, Evans told the crowd. Being able to design and build a trail from the ground up was a very exciting opportunity. This new trail adds a pleasant one-mile extension to the existing Spiller Homestead Loop, a flat and mild trail in the lower Raymond Community Forest that’s easily accessible for even the tamest hikers. 
The new trail expands on the previous loop and offers several bridges over marshy sections of the
community forest.

As the crowd applauded, Evans handed a wooden plaque to Dave Dowler, who spearheaded the trail building efforts. Dowler turned the plaque over and revealed the name of the new trail: Grape Expectations.

When Loon Echo Land Trust analyzed the potential trail site, Evans explained, they discovered an abundance of summer grape, a native grape species. Raymond is on the far northern edge of the wild grape’s habitat, so the trail builders took care to conserve the wild grape vines. In addition to providing a clever name for the trail, these native grapes are an important food source for wildlife. Expectations was designed to accommodate pedestrians and mountain bikes alike, with gentle curves and plenty of scenic appeal. Evans voiced his hopes that members of the community would make the trip to the Raymond Community Forest to visit the new trail.

Riding season is not over,” Evans said, as the crowd assembled for the ribbon cutting ceremony. “Fat tire bikes are welcome, mountain bikes are welcome, anything without a motor is welcome here.”

The new trail begins roughly a hundred yards from the parking lot on the Spiller Homestead Loop, and it ends on the Spiller Homestead Loop as well. As the audience of volunteers and Loon Echo Land Trust supporters clustered beneath Grape Expectation’s trail blaze - a yellow diamond with a black circle in the center - Evans spread a red ribbon over the new trailhead. Dowler cut the ribbon, and the crowd applauded.

Welcome to the coolest new pedestrian trail in the state of Maine,” Evans announced. the name of journalism, my five-year-old assistant and I inspected the entire trail. We discovered that Grape Expectations is an easy, enchanting hike that winds through the forest for slightly over a mile, crossing several bridges, climbing gentle hills, and circling a beautiful pool that was just closing over with ice. The ease of following this new trail, even in less than ideal conditions, belies the tremendous effort that must have gone into building the loop. There’s a section cut into a hillside that
is especially beautifully done, and that looks like it would be a heck of a lot of fun on a mountain bike. It would also make a wonderful, family friendly post-Thanksgiving stroll, or the perfect way to avoid the crowds on Black Friday.

If you’d like to check out the coolest new pedestrian trail in the state of Maine, head north from Route 85 on Raymond Hill Road. Turn north on Conesca Road. The trailhead for Raymond Community Forest is just past Hancock Road. Be sure to wear your blaze orange if you hike the trail in November, as hunting is allowed in Raymond Community Forest.

About Loon Echo Land Trust:

Loon Echo Land Trust (LELT) was formed in 1987 to protect land in the northern Sebago Lake region to conserve its natural resources and character for future generations. LELT protects over 6,700 acres in Raymond, Bridgton, Naples, Casco, Sebago, Denmark and Harrison through land acquisition and conservation easements. LELT is a community supported non-profit organization.

New Interim Town Manger believes Windham has encouraging future ahead

Barry Tibbetts
By Lorraine Glowczak

It was officially announced on Thursday, November 21 by the Windham Town Council that Mr. Barry A. Tibbetts will be filling in as the Interim Town Manager beginning Dec. 19th.  The contract with Mr. Tibbetts will be on the agenda of the December 10th Council meeting for approval with the intention that his role as Interim Manager will end in March 2020.

As stated in the press release, Tibbetts has 25 years of municipal experience, previously leading   His broad experience in local government, administrative operations, budgeting, regulatory functions, and community relations will serve the Windham Council in moving forward with the leadership of the town. Tibbetts is not new to the Windham area as he and his family have enjoyed spending many summer vacations on Little Sebago and Sebago Lake for many years.
Kennebunk in multiple progressive capacities through mid-2017.

His wife of 35 years, Joanne (Irace) Tibbetts, was previously a first and second grade teacher at Field-Allen and John Andrew Schools (now known as Windham Middle School) so, as a result, serving the Windham Council and community “is a unique opportunity,” Tibbetts said in the press release. Tibbetts took time this past Saturday morning, November 23rd to meet at a coffee shop in Westbrook with The Windham Eagle newspaper. His down-to-earth and approachable demeanor
created a relaxed and positive interview where much was learned about his excitement to assist Windham to move in an encouraging and decisive way.

Tibbetts stated that he looks to the Council for direction and plans to listen and learn from the them as well as from town staff and community members about the goals, desires and  opportunities for Windham.

“I believe it is important to listen first, then work with the Council and staff (team) finding consensus, planning and the appropriate support mechanisms to move forward,” Tibbetts said. “From what I have heard and read, Windham has tremendous potential and the Council is looking to move the community forward.”
As the Town Manager of Kennebunk, he is known and appreciated for developing and reinventing the
downtown area. He, along with elected officials and the community, collaborated to increase the
town’s economic development, producing over 700 jobs during his tenure.

Windham also has a vision to increase business and job opportunities. From his own experience, Tibbetts sees potential growth happening in Windham, in its own way.

Tibbetts knows a thing or two about town and economic growth. For example, there is the well-publicized ice-skating rink that it now known at the Waterhouse Center in Kennebunk that turned the downtown village into a small-town gathering mecca.

“We knew the downtown area of Kennebunk was oversaturated with gas stations and wanted to provide something more to help improve the downtown area,” Tibbetts said. to the Kennebunk website, the story goes like this: “In 2010, the town [of Kennebunk] was redeveloping the downtown and had the opportunity to purchase one of four gas stations on Main
Street downtown Kennebunk. The Town voted to purchase the former Mobil Gas Station at 51 Main Street for $280,000. The Town was awarded a Brownfield Grant to clean the site and sought options for commercial development.

In the meantime, the Town filled the space with the Farmers’ Market, Artisans’ Night Market, festival events, winter ice skating, and community events, while seeking a developer for the property.

A citizen-initiated petition to keep the property for Town use, won by a 3 to 1 margin.

The Town was fortunate to have a local resident, Geraldine Waterhouse and her granddaughter, Paige Hill, offer to preserve the ice skating and other activities for the community with a $1.5 million dollar endowment. The community responded by raising over $630,000 to construct a 100’ x 120’ open sided, four season pavilion for youth and family events, festivals and activities. The pavilion also includes a 60’x90’ winter ice skating rink.

 At a meeting in the spring of 2014, the Board of Selectmen voted to name the pavilion “The Waterhouse Center."
Tibbetts explained that the endowment program provides annual operating support to the facility for a number of year-round activities. The combination of this central location and ongoing program
support will ensure that its mission ‘to support the betterment of children’ is fulfilled.
Tibbetts views the same potential in Windham, and he pointed out the many prospective development options.

“There is good residential growth which fosters business growth, diverse age population with a young family component, high traffic volumes of tourism as well as a very good school system in the Town of Windham,” Tibbetts explained. “I am very impressed with the many work/materials concerning Windham such as the 21st Century plan, the Comp Plan and much more. No vision succeeds without a blueprint in mind and Windham seems to have detailed plans to create a future that will affect everyone in a concise and encouraging way – for both individuals and businesses alike.”

Tibbetts stated that before he offers advice based upon his own experience, he wants to hear what the Town of Windham has to say about their version of success. “Having a proactive plan, good leadership, and a bit of luck all work towards a successful end.,” he began. “Every town and village center have some central synergies while at the same time each area is uniquely different and embracing those attributes is essential towards being successful. Town Council Chair, Jarrod Maxfield commented on behalf of the Council in the official press release that they are pleased to have Barry’s experience in continuing to move the community
forward in the coming months. “His broad experience in local government, administrative operations, budgeting, regulatory functions, and community relations will serve the Council in moving forward with the leadership of Windham,” is stated in the press release.
Maxfield added in a phone interview that the Council was impressed by Tibbetts past successes.

“What is impressive is his ability to work with the community and elected officials of Kennebunk to create a very active and progressive downtown that most New England families would admire,” stated Maxfield. “We look forward to his advice and guidance during his tenure as Interim Town Manager.”
Tibbetts stated that working in government is a unique opportunity to serve the public, provide essential quality services, and potentially enhance the quality of life for the residents. After retiring from his post in Kennebunk, travelling with his family and serving in other arenas, Tibbetts is looking  
forward to getting back into the municipality workforce.

“After 25 years of service in town government, I needed to shake up/change my outlook,” Tibbetts explained upon his retirement as Kennebunk Town Manger. “I have always enjoyed challenges and moving the “ball” forward.  So, I decided to venture into the energy startup world (that company is now in the process of being acquired), I also worked with several other businesses in the energy industry while consulting in the governmental field. Government work has many great characteristics/attributes as I mentioned and can be a-lot of fun. I am once again exploring that unique opportunity. “

Prior to accepting the interim position here in Windham and after his retirement as Kennebunk Town Manager, Tibbetts has traveled with his wife, worked with a small energy start up, and developed a consulting business in energy and governmental services. Tibbetts received his undergraduate degree from USM, credentialed certifications from the ICMA and MCTMA, then obtaining his MBA later in his career.

Don Gerrish, who has been Interim Town Manager for over a year, will continue assisting the Council in the search process for the permanent replacement during the first quarter of 2020.  Mr. Gerrish’s last day, handing over the role of Interim Town Manager to Tibbetts will be Wednesday December 18th.

Friday, November 22, 2019

The last lesson: Daughter shares wisdom from former Raymond Boston Cane Award recipient

Betty Stetson at the age of 24 with her son in 1942
By Lorraine Glowczak

It was officially announced at last Tuesday evening’s Raymond’s Select Board meeting that Teresa M. Ingraham of Raymond was awarded the Boston Cane Award. As we and the Town of Raymond schedule to meet up with Ms. Ingraham for a future interview, staff at The Windham Eagle thought it would be good to offer an honorary farewell to the previous Raymond award recipient, Elizabeth “Betty” Stetson, who passed away last month at the age of 101.

We met up with Stetson’s daughter, Becky Almstrom, also of Raymond who shared some of her mother’s life lesson that family and friends have incorporated into their own lives. Stetson, who moved to Maine from New Hampshire, made her home with Becky and her husband, Bob for the past 18 years.

“There were many things our mother and grandmother taught us,” began Becky. “One lesson was the importance of food, family, friendship and hospitality. She always believed that there should be enough food in the house for unexpected visitors. And, she never failed to spontaneously host a wonderful spread of food if guests stopped by. As a result, she taught me well and I always have plenty of food in my pantry for any guest I may find at my doorstep.” a memory book filled with old photos and letters, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren shared the gifts that their matriarch imparted. Letters indicating a life well-lived with family and friends that included: movies to the theater in a New Hampshire town square, Easter egg hunts, snowmobiling with the family, long afternoon walks, teaching rug hooking, singing in the choir, Sunday dinners and trips to Europe that included Stetson’s home country of the Czech Republic. But the fond memories always returned to food and drink such as the memories of the ‘horrible tasting slivovitz” [Eastern Europe Brandy] and the delightfully homemade kolaky [Czech sweet rolls].

Betty Stetson at the age of 100
in 2018 posing with her
Boston Cane Award
In an interview with us last March 2018 when she was awarded received the Boston Cane Award, Stetson provided a bit of advice, which of course, included food. “For longevity - make sure you eat your greens,” she smiled. “Oh! And fruit. Fruit is good for you too.”

But if anyone had the opportunity to spend even just an hour with Stetson, one quickly realized that eating healthy was not the only thing that has contributed to her long life. Happiness and laughter fill the air in her presence.

Part of her laughter, during that interview a little over a year ago, stemmed from the fact that she loved to play jokes on her family. Her favorite holiday, it turned out, was April Fool’s Day and so for the past 18 years, Becky and Bob learned to be prepared for whatever Stetson had up her sleeve.

But the greatest lessons came to Stetson’s family in the last days of her life. Diagnosed with bladder cancer this fall and given six months to live, Stetson asked her daughter that any and all family differences come to an end and to remain a cohesive and close unit.

“After I promised her that I would do my best, it was only a day later that she had a stroke and she was taken to hospice,” explained Becky. “It was her last few days in hospice care that I believe she provided her last bits of wisdom.”
While she lay unconscious with her family by her side, she would become alert enough to say her goodbyes. “At one point, she woke up and with eyes wide open – almost with a look of happiness. She took my hand and lifted it up and pointed to the ceiling,” began Becky. “I asked, ‘Mom? What do you need?’ It was at that moment my son-in-law pointed out that she might be telling us that she ‘sees a light’.”

Becky realized her mother may have offered her last lesson. “I think she was telling us that there is always hope that there is life after death. I saw it with my own eyes and heart.”

Stetson easily and readily slipped into that very possible next life on October 3, 2019. But she left this life – sprinkling it with joy, laughter, adventure and love for family and friends. And a lesson or two. Not only for her family, but for anyone who might listen and learn from a women who lived a long and eventful life.

“Sister Act” another win for Windham High School theater

The full cast rocks the stage
By Elizabeth Richards
Based on previous experiences, when I attend a performance at Windham High School, my expectations are high. I was not disappointed when I attended the Sunday matinee of “Sister Act” last weekend.

I am consistently impressed with the quality of student productions. It’s obvious that every aspect, both onstage and behind the scenes, is carefully planned to enhance the show – and students are involved every step of the way.

There is, of course, plenty of adult volunteer support, but looking at the listing of production team and backstage crew, it’s clear that there are myriad opportunities for students to get involved.

At intermission, I overheard a woman say “There’s just so much talent in Windham.” The truth of her statement is evident in the quality of the music, sets, costumes, lighting, sound and smooth scene changes. students who are onstage also take on behind the scenes roles. For instance, Sophey Potter plays Sister Mary Robert, “the shy postulant who finds her voice.” But she is also the assistant director of the show. “Assistant directing has been a welcomed challenge and a wonderful experience,” she said. 

Potter described the show as “hilarious, entertaining and uplifting. An enjoyable show for all ages,” and after seeing it, I agree wholeheartedly. The cast does a great job with timing and delivery, but there are so many subtle jokes throughout the show, you have to be paying close attention or you’ll miss them.

One of the things I love about this show is that there are so many interesting characters, and great songs that highlight the talent of many different cast members. I’d be hard pressed to choose a favorite number, but when the nuns are singing, it’s difficult not to tap your feet along with the beat.  

The quirky personality of each character was evident in the way the talented cast portrayed each one. It was obvious that this cast had a great time together and put in the hard work necessary to create a wonderful show. said, “It has been so much fun to be Mary Robert, a character very different than myself, but in some ways very similar.”  She added, “Over the course of this show, the nuns are virtually always together, as a result we all really have become like ‘sisters’”.

Will Searway, who perfectly portrayed the disheveled, fumbling, shy officer who is trying to break free of his old nickname “Sweaty Eddie,” said “This show will blow your mind. The funny lines, the phenomenal singing, and the dances all make “Sister Act” really stand out.”

He added, “This show has an amazing cast. They are very welcoming, and I am grateful for that.”
Corrinne Ulmer, who plays Deloris, said, “Being able to do “Sister Act” as my last show at Windham High School has truly been a pleasure. I’m so glad I’m able to leave going out with a bang with such a fun and upbeat production.” The role pushed her out of her comfort zone, she said, and opened her up to an entirely new style of music and singing.  “I've been in many productions, but I have not felt this sense of community among a cast and crew in such a long time and I am so glad that I got to finish my senior year with this one,” she said.

“Sister Act” runs for one more weekend, with shows on Friday, November 22nd and Saturday, November 23rd at 7 pm, and Sunday, November 24th at 2 pm.  Reserved tickets are available online at General admission tickets can be purchased at the door.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Eight-year-old Odyssey Angels on the move to raise funds and make a difference

Windham Odyssey Angels, from left to right: Aislin McDonald, 
Harlie Menard, Aubrey Galipeau, Garrett Chandler, Chad Cleaves, 
Lily Cooper, Carrie Menard, Zack Welch, Max Robinson, Madison Daigle.
By Lorraine Glowczak

There is a new group in town that recognizes a recent community problem and is taking action to create change. Known as the Windham Odyssey Angels, this organization consists of seven eight-year olds from Windham Primary School. They are teaming up with the Windham PTA and Raymond PTO to not only help raise awareness about adding stop arms to school buses but are determined to help raise the funds too.
Windham Odyssey Angels became an official organization at their first meeting a little over a week ago on Monday, November 4th and they are taking immediate action. In fact, this past Monday, November 11th you may have seen these young students as they hit the ground with their first fundraising launch by going business to business, requesting donations to help purchase 15 extended stop arms for the RSU14 buses. This motivated group of angels began their day at 11 a.m. and ended at 5 p.m., stopping for a bite to eat at Pat’s Pizza.

There is a reason for their enthusiasm. “Right now, the stop signs on the buses only stick out about
two feet,” explained one Windham Odyssey Angel, Harlie Menard, “The stop signs we are trying to raise money for will come out six feet which will make it harder for cars to pass the bus.”

As stated in an article in last week’s edition of The Windham Eagle, children’s safety has become an issue in the Windham and Raymond communities as students wait at the end of their driveways and roadways to enter the buses that take them to school. In recent weeks, parents have recorded on their cell phones and shared on social media – the many drivers who have sped past a stopped school bus. bus, with its blinking lights and stop sign extended, is indicating the driver to stop so young students can cross the road safely and enter the bus. Unfortunately, many drivers have not stopped, as required by law – putting our children’s well-being at risk. 

Windham Odyssey Angel member, Aislin McDonald was one such student. “One morning when the bus came to pick me up, three cars zoomed past before I could get on,” she stated. “If I was younger, I may not have known better and would have walked out in front of the cars – or my brother would have had to grab me and pull me back to keep me safe.”

It is for Aislin’s safety as well as for the safety of all other students in the community that inspire this new group. But what exactly are Odyssey Angels? It is an international program that challenges students to use unique creative problem-solving techniques while at the same time helping some aspect of their community that would otherwise be overlooked.

According to the Odyssey Angels website, anyone can participate in the program. “The only limitation is that one person in the Odyssey Angel group is on an Odyssey of the Mind team. The group can be of any size and made up of any individuals with no age limitations. It can be a family, a class, a team, a group of friends – anyone who wants to help their community.”

The website also states that participating in an Odyssey Angel group gives students a chance to utilize their strengths and help others while learning important lessons in teamwork, compassion, and more.’s first fundraising effort was met with success. “After going out ALL day today, the students were able to raise $5,000 for their first time out in their community,” stated Carrie Menard, a parent and one of the sponsors of Windham Odyssey Angels. “This is huge for a group of eight-year olds!”

The group explained that anyone can make any type of donation and it doesn’t necessarily need to be monetary as projects, goods and services can also be contributed. “We will also take objects like
crafts and then raffle them to help make money too,” explained Windham Odyssey Angel, Aubrey Galipeau.

Although the Windham Odyssey Angels are focused on serving their community, making it a safer place to live, there is a possibility that their project could be entered into a competition for creative problem solving. As the national website states, “Odyssey Angel teams will explain their charity project and results. Then one will be chosen that is considers to be not only creative, but beneficial to the community. Up to five representatives of that group will be invited to World Finals as special guests and be able to present its experiences at the Creativity Festival.”

It is a part of their mission that every person in their community become an angel with them. “This is very exciting for the kids,” stated Carrie Menard. “These kids are amazing and want to make a difference in our community. I could not be more proud of them.”

“We want everyone to join us to be an angel; not just us,” Galipeau said.

For more information or to make a donation to the Windham Odyssey Angels, contact the group at

WCCG TV-7 offers much more than the average local access television station

Producer, Brad Saucier
By Matt Pascarella

When you think of local access television, what goes through your head? Maybe meetings, meetings and more meetings. Producer of WCCG TV-7, Brad Saucier wants the town of Windham to know that TV-7 isn’t all meetings. There’s children’s programming, cooking shows, movies, even a Maine based paranormal show, along with information and more. There is so much local access can offer the community of Windham.

Saucier has been working for TV-7 for roughly 15 to 16 years. He’s principally responsible for the programming of the station and is the one that puts on the town meetings as well as finds and schedules the programs that appear on TV-7.

In 2014, Saucier reached out to a website called, that houses shows across the world. He can download a wide variety of programs, from children’s entertainment to political screenings to movies. Saucier changes the programming and the content twice a year. All content comes from

“I try to do a broad range on our station,” explains Saucier. “I personally think there are some outstanding shows that we show on our station.” are a variety of programs that appear on TV-7 that can accommodate the whole family that include the following:

A children’s show based on “The Slouch in The Couch” book series.

“Bridging Cultures” - a show based upon English professor, Kathy Najafi, as she introduces viewers to different cultures around the world.

A cooking program entitled “Eat Well Be Happy”.

A show providing education to parents, for children from 18 months to 18 years.

An entertainment piece about the history of television and technology and a paranormal show set in Maine. TV-7 also shows movies.

Saucier offers some of the local access’ regular shows like “Speak out” currently hosted by Representative Patrick Corey, which has been showing in Windham for over 30 years. Saucier now produces the program.

TV-7 is a wealth of information regarding the town, as well. Saucier has a bulletin board that runs all the time. It displays services and events you may not have known were available in Windham.“TV-7 can help the average individual get in touch with how the town of Windham works,” explained Saucier. “For people who don’t have that much time, we’re a good conglomerate for that information. If someone needs to know what the town offices do, we have that information playing all the time.”

The best way to watch WCCG TV-7 is to go to:; scroll to the bottom and you’ll see an icon that looks like a TV with a play button on it, there you get a live feed of the station itself. If you are a Spectrum Cable subscriber and live within Spectrum’s area in Windham, TV-7 is found on channel 1303.

The town meetings are also on Facebook. Simply, ‘like’ the Town of Windham and you’ll get a notification one minute early, telling you the meeting is available to watch.

Saucier is always looking for people who may want to create content with/on TV-7, whether it be entertainment or information to the town of Windham. “For those people interested in creating their own show, this is a diamond waiting to take place. They should contact me and let’s get some ideas together.”

If you or someone you know may have an idea for a program, contact Saucier

Friday, November 8, 2019

New administrative team hard at work for RSU14

Christine Frost-Bertinet and Christopher Howell
By Elizabeth Richards

On July 1st, 2019, a new administrative team took the reins at RSU 14. Christopher Howell stepped up from the assistant superintendent position he had held for a year to become the district’s Superintendent and Christine Frost-Bertinet stepped into the role of assistant superintendent.

Howell has a long history in the district, having been in several positions throughout the district since 1996. “This is just a great opportunity to now lead a district that I’ve been a part of for so, so long,” he said.

His history with the community made the transition easier since he didn’t need time to learn who people were, what the community is all about, or time to understand the community issues, Howell said.  His awareness of certain issues and scope of work made it possible for him to move forward a little faster than if he’d come into a new community, he said. 

Frost-Bertinet worked in both RSU57 and the Gorham School District prior to becoming assistant superintendent for RSU14. Her experience includes five years as an elementary school principal, as well roles as an assistant principal and as a teacher of English Language Arts at the middle and high school levels. 

Because she was new to the district, Frost-Bertinet spent much of her summer meeting people and making connections. “I could tell from the onset of starting in July that this was a very child centered, learner centered school community of bright, caring innovative educators,” she said. 

“I was overwhelmed by the welcome I received. So many people reached out from a variety of roles within the district and the community to say welcome, which says a lot about the pride and the dedication to making sure this is a wonderful school community,” she added. of the things Howell has been working on recently is the Windham Middle School building project. The district is fifth on the list of state projects. RSU14 has already begun the visioning process, Howell said.

Staff from both Windham Middle School and Jordan Small Middle School have worked together to determine a vision for middle school education in the district.  Being clear about the vision, which is being developed with the help of a national expert, will guide the building design, Howell said.  

“We’re trying to get as much work done prior to official working with major construction project so we’ll be ready to go – that’s why we chose to do the visioning now,” Howell said.  With continued growth on the horizon, careful planning of space in the building is essential.

Frost-Bertinet has been working from the current strategic plan, which is in its final year, with a focus on the design for learning and the environment for learning.

On the environment for learning side, social-emotional learning has been a big part of the conversation. The district has come together as a team, with community representatives, board representatives, and teachers from all levels coming to the table to talk about current practices, areas of growth needed for social-emotional learning, and what the next steps should be.  “We’re going to be working on that throughout the year, and that work will inform the next strategic plan,” she said. 

This is the first time that the district has come together with many voices at the table to examine the work already done and plan the direction for making sure each child is getting their academic, social and emotional developmental needs met, she said.  “We’re examining great practice and looking to go to the next level.”

On the design for learning side, she added, they are working as an administrative team through a grant that involves many districts. “Our team is really examining what are those instructional practices that speak to the design for learning part of the district’s strategic plan,” she said.

Howell said it’s important for the community to know that the administrative team loves working with their students. “I know that Windham and Raymond are very special places to raise kids,” he said. “We really enjoy being a part of that process. We’re going to do whatever we can to make sure that every kid has every opportunity to be successful,” he said.

He added that in RSU14, they take instruction seriously. “We want to make sure that what happens in our classrooms is best practice, and those best practices then lead to opportunities. We want kids, when they leave this district, to have choice.”, he said, he wants people to know that “We don’t always get things right, but when we don’t we want to hear about it so we have the opportunity to fix it.” Feedback helps the district look at policies and practice, and they are open to making changes if necessary.  “We want to be kid focused, we want to make sure that their needs are being met, because that’s why we’re here,” Howell said.

Outside of work, both Howell and Frost-Bertinet have a passion for the outdoors, albeit in different ways. Howell spends time rebuilding and refurbishing old boats and getting them on the water, while Frost-Bertinet loves camping and hiking. Both have children of their own, as well. 

Howell, who lives in West Cumberland, has three sons. Being a visible, present part of their lives is important, he said. Frost-Bertinet, who lives in Gorham, has two children, one who graduated from high school last year, and one who is a senior. Being involved in their lives and helping them get to their next phase is a big focus presently, she said.

Howell said the combination of their experiences make he and Frost-Bertinet a great team. With experience at different levels of education, they can be more efficient, he said.  They both appreciate the opportunity to work in the district, and feel the community support they receive, he added.

Local volunteer project part of nationwide Celebration of Service campaign for improving the homes and lives of veterans

On Friday, November 1, The Home Depot Foundation partnered with the Windham Veterans Association to transform the Windham Veterans Center, which serves local veterans and the community as a whole. More than six members of Team Depot, The Home Depot’s associate-led volunteer force, supported the project on their day off.

The repairs to the Windham Veterans Center have upgraded the building so that it is more attractive
Thanks to the volunteers!
for the community to host various events and functions in the space. The venue rentals will in turn support the association’s mission to help local veterans and provide scholarships to youth in the community.

This project in Windham is part of The Home Depot Foundation’s ninth annual Celebration of Service season to improve the homes and lives of U.S. military veterans and aid communities affected by natural disasters. From September 19 to Veterans Day, members of Team Depot are pledging 100,000 hours of service and planning to activate more than 600 volunteer projects across the country.

“I would just like to convey what an honor it is to work for a company that makes it a priority to give back to its community and the veterans we have, and continue to make it possible for us to safely live and operate our businesses this country every day,” stated Bruce Calmes, the Team Depot Store Captain and Store Manager of North Windham’s Home Depot. “This project at the Windham Veterans Center is particularly important to our community and the Veterans it serves, as this facility houses three separate Veterans Organizations and the local Scouting Troop.  The building serves as home for the American Legion Post 148, Ladies Auxiliary Post 148,  VFW Post 10643, Boy Scouts Troop 805 and also serves the Lions Club and Sebago Rotary as well as other smaller community organizations.
Calmes continued. “Due to the extent that this building serves the community, coupled with the aging membership and limited funds these organizations traditionally have, made it a great venue to have a Celebration of Service Team Depot project this year.  We sincerely appreciate the service that these men, women and families have given to our country and hope that this small effort and investment in our community helps them continue to serve this community in which we live.  I encourage all the members of this community, and others, to join our Home Depot associates in giving back at our next Team Depot event.”

cstlouis@spurwink.orgThis year, the Foundation is unveiling a new theme – Operation Surprise – that celebrates the selfless spirit of our veterans by surprising them with life-changing moments. The community is invited to visit to nominate a deserving veteran to receive a home repair grant for up to $25,000. The winner will be announced Veterans Day.

Since 2011, The Home Depot Foundation has transformed more than 45,000 homes and facilities for veterans across the country. Giving back to veterans is personal to The Home Depot, as more than 35,000 of the company’s associates have served in the military.

The Veteran’s Center is also in need of a new roof. The estimated cost to replace the roof is between $16,000 to $17,000 of which $9,000 has been generously donated by current American Legion members. To make a donation, one can send a check or money order made out to WVA/Roof and send to P.O. Box 1776, Windham, ME 04062 or call Mel Greenier at 207-892-7449. Be sure to check out the fundraising efforts by local businesses on pages 12 and 13 of this week’s publication.

Friday, November 1, 2019

A local tale of a Maine moose hunt

By David Field

Being drawn for the moose hunt is like winning the lottery to those chosen. After being drawn this past June for the second season moose hunt for Zone 11, the planning began. First, I called a butcher to reserve my spot. This is a necessary action as a lot of butchers only take so many animals in a season.

Secondly, I got my team assembled. We have a group of guys that has the moose hunting challenge down to a T, no matter who holds the permit. So, besides me, I had my long-time friend and moose magnet, Cliff Knight as my sub-permittee, Ron Richards of Windham and Todd Hunter of Raymond. The four of us previously did a moose hunt in 2017 and brought home a 675-pound bull on Ron Richards’ permit.

Thirdly, the scouting began. I follow Maine Moose Hunting on Facebook and it amazes me at the number of hunters asking for moose locations before and during the hunt. Accommodations weren’t an issue as we have a hunting camp in the zone. and I went to camp in June and deployed a handful of game cameras. We made trips north every few weeks during the summer to collect photos, assess activity and develop our plans.

We went up to the camp the last weekend in September to assess rutting activity and signs and to hopefully nab a grouse or 2. We didn’t nab grouse, but we did learn some things. In the area of the camp, we encountered 5 moose hunters looking to fill their tags. In the first season for Zone 11, only 11 out of 25 tags were filled. I attribute this to a handful of reasons. 1) The rut hadn’t really started, 2) plenty of food in the woods (is your yard filled with acorns?) 3) hunters were driving the roads hoping to fill their tag and not actually hunting the woods.

So, with the second weekend of October upon me, I begin packing. The trailer gets loaded with a 300-foot spool of rope, the 4-wheeler, propane tank, water, coolers full of food and of course, clothing and guns. At camp, we use an old Sears John-Boat to haul moose out of the woods. Very effective tool.

We get to camp and check the cameras for the almost final time. The camera located in the spot we call Moose Alley has 3 different bulls on it. Another camera has 2 bulls on it and a third has a cow. Another location has a moose wallow and becomes our Number 2 spot. Moose Alley is number one. 

Sunday afternoon to sunset, we go and check a few spots out. We had a cow moose come out at Moose Alley after sunset. I was so pumped for the 12 hours to pass!

The author, David Field and Cliff Knight with
the 680 pound bull.
Sunrise Monday morning finds us at Moose Alley. 33 degrees. We hear a bull grunt in the distance and the excitement jacks up a notch. We enter the woods and begin calling. We get a response, but from a different direction. The bull answers the call, but doesn’t come in. We stay in place until late morning. Frustrated, we head to camp for lunch. We try our second spot after lunch. Bright sunshine a stiff south breeze and 64 degrees are the conditions. We are set up at a T location of logging roads. I was on the south side of the truck when a bull appeared on the north side 20 minutes after arriving. I didn’t have a shot and the bull took off. We pursued but he escaped deep into the woods. We went to another spot and did some calling and then went back to Moose Alley to finish the afternoon. A day in the books and we were facing an incoming weather system on Thursday that we didn’t want to hunt in.

Tuesday morning, we went back to the spot that we were at Monday afternoon. We parked away from the area where the bull appeared. Again, walking in, we heard a bull grunt off in the distance. We set up and began calling. After a few hours, we explored. We walked down a logging trail that became a wide-open field. The beaten down path through the field showed the animals had been there. After exploring, I got a text from Todd to “Get Back ASAP”.  Ron and Todd had stayed back while Cliff and I explored the field. When I got the text, we got back and the guys told us that they heard a bull grunt 4 times off to the southwest. We worked our way back up the trail. About two-thirds of the way back, Ron made a grunt on the can call. There was a response that seemed to come from the road we had started on, very close. I worked up to the road and peeked up and down. Empty. A few more calls and the bull had gone silent. With the late morning approaching lunch, we headed back to camp to reassess.

So, Cliff and I decided to go back in the early afternoon and Ron and Todd would drive and scout with the rendezvous to be around 4pm at Moose Alley. We stuck to the plan. No action at the first stop, then back to Moose Alley. We set up in our parking spot. I had a feeling that the moose would be out and about this area as opposed to deeper in the woods where we had been on Monday., Todd and Ron took turns with cow calls and bull calls. Every 10-15 minutes, a new chorus and answers would occur. Forty minutes later, about 300 yards away, the young cow we saw Sunday night emerges from the woods. She is followed by the crotch-horn we had on camera from the previous week. In a bolt, we jog/creep down the road doing our best to stay out of sight. We get to 75 yards from the animals and the cow takes off. The small bull seems oblivious and slowly meanders to the cutting on our left. Sighted in on him, there is movement to the right. A much larger bull appears and the focus changes. One shot and the bull dropped just feet from the logging road. A final shot finishes him off.

With the easy part of the hunt done, the work begins. Ron goes to camp to get the trailer, tow strap and beverages. I have my gutting kit with me and change clothes and ready the knives. I use a forked branch to hold the rear leg out of the way and we tie off the front leg to Cliff’s truck. Todd watches me in amazement as I eviscerate the beast. He quickly nicknamed me the “Ginsu-Man”. As I am finishing the gutting, Ron returns with the trailer and goodies. We quickly fashion a drag to pull the moose up into the trailer. It took us 2 hours from time of shot to driving off with the bull to get this done.

So, the final weight was 680 pounds. I netted just over 300 pounds of meat. The final harvest for Zone 11 was 32 moose out of 50 permits issued.

Many thanks to my friends on this trip. Couldn’t have done it without them and the memories! Until next time.

Public comments highlight need to prioritize maintaining private roads in Highland Lake watershed

Heather True-Huntt speaking to members of Highland Lake
By Lorraine Glowczak

Approximately 15 Highland Lake residents, two Windham Town Council members, (Jarrod Maxfield and David Nadeau – also a Highland Lake resident) and a Planning Board member (Nick Kalogerakis) attended the Highland Lake Watershed Management Plan meeting and presentation that occurred last Wednesday, October 23 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Cornerstone Church, 48 Cottage Road.

Heather True-Huntt from the Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District (CCSWCD) who is also member of the Highland Lake Leadership Team explained to all present, “The purpose of this public meeting is to gather feedback from residents regarding the proposed Action Items of a 10 year Watershed Based Management Plan for Highland Lake.”  

First, a brief reminder about the environmental concerns regarding the health of Highland Lake. In 2017 it was brought to the attention of the Towns of Windham and Falmouth as well as to the Highland Lake residents that Highland Lake was experiencing a sudden change in water clarity. The culprit had been identified as a form of algae. Although these algae are microscopic, they are growing in such large populations that they drastically reduce water clarity, thus not only causing detrimental environmental impacts and quality of the water, but a grave financial effect on both the town itself as well as to property owners.
It was from that point that immediate and sincere efforts have been made to safeguard the lake – and thus the financial investments of all who live in the greater Windham area. The concern was what Highland Lake was/is experiencing and its potential impacts on other lakes in the Sebago Lakes region including Sebago Lake - the source of drinking water for the Greater Portland area and beyond.

In order to safeguard the lake and the financial investments of property owners, the Highland Lake Leadership Team was developed, with support of the Windham and Falmouth Town Councils. Windham Town Councilor, Donna Chapman, along with other town officials and Highland Lake leaders, lead the charge to identify the reasons for the recurring algae bloom and to rectify potential hazards.  

In 2018, the HLA conducted a Watershed Survey, which documented sources of erosion in the water shed.  The Watershed Management Plan, once adopted, will serve as a road map for applying to the EPA for funding to remediate problematic erosion sites within the HL watershed. 

For the past 2 years, the Highland Lake Association in collaboration with  the Department of Environmental Protection, University of Southern Maine, University of New Hampshire, University of Maine – Orono and Bigelow Labs have gathered extensive data in the effort to discern the causes of the picocyanobacterial blooms – a phenomenon unique to lakes in  Maine. 

Huntt invited attendees to give feedback to the action items “We want to know thoughts: Do you think we’ve captured it all? Is there more we could do? What might we have missed? Where should we focus first?” Councilor, David Nadeau focused on the steps that the Town of Windham has taken in the effort to preserve Highland Lake including the institution of a point system for all development in the Highland Lake watershed.  He then engaged the group with the complex, and yet absolute prioritization of the need for private roads to be maintained – as private roads are a major contributor to erosion into Highland Lake. Councilor Nadeau has a proposal in front of the council, already accepted, that would require any public easement road plowed by the town to put the equivalent cost of plowing into road maintenance every year. The figures were presented to the council and these roads should be hearing from the town in the spring. The details are being worked out. The costs are defunded for each road in the proposal. If you have questions, contact councilor Nadeau at 892-7192.

The issue of septic systems and how they may impact Highland Lake is also of concern. Real Estate Broker, Nicole Foster stated that it is Maine law that all septic tanks be inspected during a real estate transaction. The bill (LD 216), entitled, “An Act to Protect Water Quality by Standardizing the Law Concerning Septic Inspection in the Shoreland Zone” will be enacted on January 1, 2020.

“An expansion of the already existing requirements has been extended to include inland shoreland areas as well,” stated Foster. “As of January 1, 2020, buyers for properties where septic systems are located within a shoreland area will be required to hold a septic inspection by completed by a person who is certified by the Department of Health and Human Services to do so. Exceptions will be available if there is evidence this inspection was done by the seller or the system was replaced within the previous 3 years. If the weather conditions do not allow for the inspection to be completed prior to purchasing, the buyers will be responsible for holding the inspection within 9 months of the transfer. If the inspection finds that the system is malfunctioning the system must be repaired or replaced within one year of transfer.” consideration was suggested that the HLA help raise funds for individuals who might need financial assistance in the case of septic tank repair or replacement.

Heather’s presentation included the fact that the total estimated cost for the implementation of the Watershed Management Plan over the next 10 years could reach $854,120.  Where is this money going to come from? Nick Kalogerakis, of the Windham Planning Board Member  suggested the following: “Of the 1500 residents who live on the lake watershed, a $50 a year in-kind donation by all the residents is all that is needed to help improve the quality of the lake and meet the financial needs in the next 10 years.” That would only be $10 per month for five months. This could be a simple solution to a complicated environmental issue.

A resident suggested that state representatives may be a potential resource in helping solve the water quality issues at Highland Lake. 

Several emphasized the importance of collaborating with local school districts in the effort to engage young people in ongoing environmental challenges of preserving natural resources. 

“There was an overall very positive response to the Action Items as presented,” commented Rosie Hartzler, President of the HLA.  Rosie is part of the Technical Assistance Committee (TAC) tasked with drafting the Watershed Management Plan, which will be reviewed by the DEP in early 2020.  Once accepted, there will be an application to the EPA for funding which is hoped to come online in 2021. 

“The protection of our natural resources is implicitly tied to the overall economic viability of this community; we all need to continue to participate in the ongoing effort to preserve and protect Highland Lake” said Rosie Hartzler.