Friday, April 24, 2020

Donations help to protect Raymond’s Emergency Medical Services

Carol Dennison, Paramedic/Firefighter and 
Connor Glavin, EMT/Firefighter wear the face shields 
made and donated by Scott Trebilock and 
the fabric mask donated by Fred and Susan Miller, 
all three of Raymond.
By Briana Bizier

Emergency services in Raymond can breathe a little easier now thanks to two generous donations of protective face shields and fabric “over masks.” The face shields were created by South Portland High School teacher Scott Trebilcock using the school’s 3D printer, and Raymond residents Fred and Susan Miller donated the “over masks,” which can be used to cover the department’s N95 respirators.

These shields and masks will help to protect Raymond’s first responders against the coronavirus.

We have dealt with several confirmed cases,” said Bruce Tupper, the chief of Raymond’s Fire and Rescue Department. Tupper explains that his department offers full emergency medical services, which includes emergency medical transport to a hospital. “We should be called the EMS department who occasionally deal with a fire,” Tupper joked.

zgreenfield@bgt-law.comUnder current circumstances, personal protective equipment is essential for Fire and Rescue workers responding to a medical emergency that may turn out to be complications arising from a coronavirus infection. The Raymond Fire and Rescue Department uses surgical gowns or Tyvek suits as well as N95 respirators on any call that is ruled “high risk.”

The CDC now recommends using a cleanable face shield over an N95 respirator to help preserve the N95 masks and increase their reusability. Thanks to Raymond residents Fred and Susan Miller, the Raymond Fire and Rescue Department now has an excess of thirty fabric “over masks” to use on top of their N95 respirators. These three-layer masks were hand-sewn by Susan Miller in a variety of different patterns and colors and then donated to the department.

It really does help to protect us,” Tupper explained. The cloth face masks extend the life of the department’s N95 respirators while the face shields help to protect the eyes and face from any air-born virus-harboring droplets without obscuring vision. “We have been amazed at the number of people going above and beyond in support of emergency services,” Tupper continued. “It is deeply appreciated.” resident Scott Trebilcock, a Technology teacher at South Portland High School, created the
donated face shields using two of the school’s 3D printers. 3D printing, which is the process of creating a three-dimensional model using computer aided design, might sound like something from the science fiction television show Star Trek, but this futuristic technology is proving its practical applications in the fight against the coronavirus. In addition to the face shields Trebilcock donated to Raymond’s Fire and Rescue Department, he is also making extenders to keep face masks secure without the annoying elastic straps that go behind your ears and almost invariably cause skin irritation.

The coronavirus pandemic has made personal protective gear for emergency medical personnel, like face shields, harder and harder to find. In an email exchange, Deputy Chief Cathy Gosselin said Raymond Fire and Rescue had been unable to find any additional protective face shields to replenish their supply before Trebilcock’s donation. “There’s a shortage of supplies,” explained Don Willard, Raymond’s Town Manager. “You can’t even buy some of these things. That’s just one reason why we’re incredibly appreciative for these donations.”

In the face of these shortages and complications, Raymond residents have pulled together to protect their town’s emergency medical personnel. “At a difficult time like this,” Willard continued, “it’s really gratifying to live in a small town where people step up and help one another.”

Windham ASL Interpreter for Maine CDC briefings shares personal life visions

By Elizabeth Richards

Dr. Regan Thibodeau, ASL Instructor at the University of Southern Maine’s ASL Lab and a Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) and Translator, is committed to helping the Deaf community get all the resources and support they need. This is apparent in her interpreting for the Maine CDC briefings on COVID-19 as well as in the work she has done throughout her life.

Thibodeau has garnered a lot of attention recently for the expressive way she interprets at the Maine CDC briefings. In a conversation with Jeff Parsons published on, she explained the importance of using such animated expression in her interpretation.  “…most of our ASL grammar such as punctuation, intonation, tensing, transitions, even run-ons, occur within the face and head tilting. Shoulder shifting shows dialogue, for example. If you covered a signer’s face and only had their hands shown, it would not mean anything.”  Interpreters who sign smaller and use less expression typically are those for whom ASL is a second language, and didn’t grow up using sign language, she added.  “This means we will miss getting this critical information to a huge group of people that need ASL access.”
Thibodeau is also involved in a project with on Facebook, to be sure that CDIs are provided for white house briefings. This project has very limited funding, she said, and they don’t know what will happen when that runs out. “Really, the White House should be paying for it,” she said. “We are so lucky that MEMA and the State of Maine recognizes the use of CDIs!”

In an email exchange, Thibodeau shared snippets from her life, her views on her work, and her personal vision.

Thibodeau is bilingual, fluent in both spoken English and ASL. Typically, she works with a Hearing Interpreter who interprets the spoken English to her. She then interprets that expressed signing to her team.

Thibodeau, who was born deaf, has been a member of the Deaf community since childhood. Throughout her life, she has encountered many different signing styles and skills. “This is an asset to my job as it gives me language flexibility to meet my clients at their place of understanding and their world view to better connect the two people using me to communicate with each other,” she said.“I am working very hard to include and meet all the needs that I can,” Thibodeau said. “For example, those who can read the captions or learn about what is going on via Google do not depend on me, so I try to focus more on the visual components of ASL,” she said.  Thibodeau received interpreting training from the University of Southern Maine, and teaching of ASL training from Teachers College at Columbia University.

Thibodeau said a difficult childhood made her an overachiever. “I had to make a choice to unlearn misconstrued beliefs because they made me respond out of fear,” she said. “To unlearn, I had to read and talk. A lot. My dad made sure of one thing, though – that my being Deaf had nothing to do with anything, much like my having brown hair has nothing to do with anything.”

She harnessed that fear and other difficult emotions, she said, and turned them into a form of logical, productive energy. “I still get anxious about the power of misconceptions amongst people who don’t really  know what they don’t know,” she said. This led her to get a Ph.D, and she was the first Deaf person in Maine to do so.  

As a Deaf expert, Hearing experts cannot tell me they know more about Deaf people than I do,” she said.
Watching parents be educated by hearing people on how to deal with their deaf babies is difficult, Thibodeau said.  “If I, as a bilingual Deaf person, can model that giving your deaf baby everything gives them more opportunities in life, then just maybe they will be inspired to give their baby everything,” she said.

Though there is a common myth amongst hearing experts that learning ASL prohibits learning English, Thibodeau says that simply isn’t true. “I had it all: total communication, speech training, sign language, lipreading, ASL literacy, English literacy. It’s as if I learned Spanish, English, and French. No confusion at all. Ask any other Bilingual D/HH/DB person!” Thibodeau said. She added that the fear that Deaf/Hard of Hearing/DeafBlind (D/HH/DB) children will continue experiencing language deprivation is something she is still working on overcoming. 

Thibodeau co-wrote a bill with Karen Hopkins of Scarborough to help the State of Maine pass legislation on Kindergarten Readiness for D/HH/DB Children last year. 

She said she is excited to have recently submitted a final version of the world’s first textbook chapter on CDIs in the K-12 settings.
In addition to having a standard for ASL in all kindergarten classrooms, Thibodeau
wants to launch a pilot program to get more CDIs into K-12 settings across the United States, with the hope that as schools experience the benefits of having Deaf and Hearing Interpreting teams, the bilingual-bicultural interpreting model (having Deaf and Hearing interpreting teams), they would hire the CDIs  permanently.

She also has a goal for all senior citizens to consider having sign language as a tool in case they experience aging effects, such as losing their hearing, that make communication in spoken English harder to use and access. “My grandmother went deaf and blind in her last years and experienced isolation that she would have been able to avoid had she known sign language,” she said. Thibodeau wants to develop free classes for the aging population, their families, and their medical providers to ensure that their golden years really are golden, she said. has traveled to 16 countries, including backpacking across 6 European countries when she was 18. She studied abroad in Costa Rica for five months. While there, she did a community service to inspire artistic confidence in the local Deaf community by teaching a group of Deaf women a choreographed dance so they could put on a show. “At the time, nothing like that had been done before. It was so much fun,” she said.

She also took college classes in Spanish literacy taught by Deaf teachers using their native sign language, Lenguaje de Senas de Costa Ricannese (LESCO). On weekends, she explored Costa Rica and conducted field research to find natives not yet exposed to LESCO and trying to document their language on camera.

When she returned from Costa Rica, Thibodeau took a 3-week trip to Taiwan to document Taiwanese sign language variations by those who were not exposed to Mainland Chinese signing influence. “I feel really blessed to have been able to find these hidden gems,” she said.

cstlouis@spurwink.orgThibodeau also spent nine-days in Peru with Polly Lawson of Windham and Dr. Judy Shepard-Kegl of Yarmouth.  “We worked together to present before the Congress of Peru the importance of officially recognizing the sign language of its people and how it supports their economy to do so. Two years later, the Deaf Peruvian community could celebrate an official recognition, and of course, more schools and occupations opened as a result,” she said.

Recently, Thibodeau has been showing up regularly in the Facebook group “Quarantine Karaoke.”  She first participated in live Karaoke with friends at the Midnight Blues in Auburn, when she was in her early twenties, signing alongside whoever was doing vocals. When she discovered Quarantine Karaoke, she decided to participate there as well.      
On the dance floor at Midnight Blues is also where she met her husband, Thibodeau said.  “Typically, when I went out dancing, I preferred my own space so I could dance the way I wanted to. But I had so much fun dancing with him that we ended up dancing all night long. The rest led to an adventurous 16 years together.”

In addition to traveling, dancing, karaoke, and researching languages, Thibodeau said she enjoys soccer, mountain biking with her son, and painting.

zachary.conley@mwarep.orgThibodeau and her family have lived in the Forest Lake community since 2007. There are many things she likes about living there, she said, including the privacy of the roads which makes it safer for her to run, having the lake right there, and the summer people who make the place come alive with a different energy.

“One other thing I really like about this community is that there are many types of leaderships focused on parts of what makes the lake living so special,” she added. “We have the Road Association, Lake Association, and most recently we formed the Friends of Forest Lake which was set up by a few of us who really rallied against a proposal for a quarry.” said that many in the community may have seen her speaking up rather passionately at town hall meetings on this topic. A number of people met and developed valid, factual concerns and ideas for her and Cathy Worf to propose in the quarry policy committee they were appointed to.  “Without them, we wouldn't have been as successful in stopping that proposal. Most people are not aware that Forest Lake is a back-up drinking water source for Portland/Windham residents. Why would anyone allow any margin of risk for contamination?” she added.  

Of her many accomplishments in life, Thibodeau said some proud moments for her include getting her BA while working 60 hours a week, going to school full time, and dealing with the effects and aftermath of a toxic relationship; giving her commencement speech at the Multi-cultural graduation ceremony; and running the Beach to Beacon for the first time despite having suffered back injuries. Now, she added, it makes her happy to be able to do home projects such as replacing her own kitchen sink. “And when my family says I pulled off a good dinner,” she added.   

Thibodeau said she feels blessed with the gift of life.  “It sounds corny but all the bad things that happen to us are the thorns that make the rose that we are,” she said.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Windham High School graduate participates in unique Navy exercise

Hunter Anderson with some of the crew members of ICEX. Some individuals brought their state flags to represent their homes. Here, Hunter holds the original Maine Flag (since it has made a comeback to celebrate Maine’s 200th year). He is also wearing a hat to represent the company where his father works (Foglio, Inc.).
By Elizabeth Richards

zgreenfield@bgt-law.comThough Hunter Anderson didn’t join the Navy with the goal of joining a submarine team, he’s glad that that’s where he ended up. Recently, being part of this team offered Anderson an opportunity to participate in a multinational maritime ice exercise (ICEX) in the Arctic Ocean.

An article by Geoff Ziezulewiz in the Navy Times said ICEX “helps boat crews stay sharp in an Arctic region that officials believe is becoming increasingly vital to national security.”

The exercise, held every two years, was based out of Camp Seadragon, a temporary military outpost
on an ice floe in the Arctic Ocean.

Two U.S. boats participated in ICEX 2020: the Connecticut, based out of Bremerton, WA and the Toledo (Anderson’s boat), based in Groton, CT., U.S. boats won’t participate in two exercises in a row. The Toledo was scheduled to participate in the last one, Anderson said, but had been unable to do so, which is why the opportunity arose this year.

The boat was underway for about two and a half months, Anderson said. In addition to testing under ice warfare tactics, and potentially finding new tactics that may work better, they worked with a team of researchers from MIT to support a scientific research project, Anderson said.

Anderson said ICEX was something he looked forward to when joining the submarine force. It’s not
something a surface ship could ever do, he added. “It’s a cool experience to work with the other submarine on the west coast that we usually don’t work with because we’re so far away – It was just a cool experience all around,” he said.

Working on a submarine presents some unique challenges, Anderson said, and it takes a certain type of person to handle the working environment and close quarters. It’s difficult, he said, to get into the submarine force and stay in, making it an undermanned part of the Navy. The upside, he said, is that you know that the people you are working with have been through extensive training, have the necessary knowledge, and won’t crack under pressure.“You’re working with, hands down, the best people in the Navy,” he said. The downside, he added, is that you are constantly busy because there are so many things only the submarine force can do, and so few people to do them.

Anderson is a 2017 graduate of Windham High School, and his family still lives in Windham. His mother, Vicky Anderson, said she was excited that Hunter had a chance to experience ICEX 2020. “Not many people can say that they’ve been on a submarine, and not many people can say they’ve been on a submarine above the arctic circle,” she said.

Vicky said that Hunter is a true Mainer. “He’s a cold weather guy, so to experience something so extreme like that was right up his alley,” she said. “I was really thrilled for him to get the opportunity
to experience something so unique.”

His whole family is very proud of Hunter, she added, not just because of his participation in ICEX, but because he’s part of the submarine force’s readiness to protect our national security interests. “We’re thrilled that he had the opportunity to experience something like that, but also really proud that he’s part of keeping us safe,” she said.

Windham High School senior produces inspirational video message for the Class of 2020

2020 Senior Tony Hernandez, and Ken Levinsky,
class advisor celebrating before COVID-19 disrupted
normal and everyday routines.
By Elizabeth Richards

Knowing they won’t return to school for the remainder of the year is a major adjustment for all students, teachers and families. But for high school seniors, it’s heartbreaking to hear that they will not walk the halls with their friends one last time.

WHS senior Anthony Gugliuzza created a video that he shared via YouTube early last week.  Now, with distance learning continuing through the end of the year, the video is even more poignant and relevant.

Gugliuzza said he’d been thinking a lot about senior year and the uncertainty that surrounded it.

Looking at pictures of teachers and friends on his phone made him smile, he said, and inspired him to create the video to share. “I thought that if I put something together for the whole class, it would be a means to helping everyone through such tough times. I wanted people not only in our school but throughout the community to know that we will get through this together, even if it means [that] right now we have to be apart.” news that school would not reopen this year was tough, Gugliuzza said.  “Our school is like family, the kids, the faculty, we all care about one another. However, I know our school system is filled with some amazing individuals who will find a way to make our senior year special,” he said. “Sometimes you need to lose something to know what you have. Although it's not ideal to lose your
senior year, there is always a plan. Things seem to have a funny way of working out,” he added.

Though Gugliuzza said he wishes he had known that March 12th would be their last day together, he believes that being a senior this year is special in a way no one could have imagined. “I think being a senior this year will mean that we’ll be more battle tested, we’ll be better equipped to handle the curve balls and the adversity that life sometimes throws us. I think it will make us more resilient. I think this class is a memorable one and with all that’s happened this year, I think the spirit of this class will really live on in a special way,” he said.  “The reality we are living now will eventually be a heck of a story.”

When social distancing guidelines are finally relaxed, Gugliuzza said, “I [want to] see the laughs and the smiles, and I am certain we will because that’s who we are, that’s who this community is,” he said. “High school has been an incredible experience and I just don’t want it to fade away into the night.” said it’s not just the senior class going through this difficult time. “We all thrive on social
interaction, so this is tough on everyone,” he said.  “I think we just need to be kind, check in with our neighbors or the people that you know and often see around the community. Check in with classmates, even those that maybe you didn’t ordinarily interact with outside of class. We all need to have our spirits lifted from time to time. I think we as a class, we as a community need to band together.”

“I think great things often come out of the most trying of times, so that’s what I hope for most...that this will bring out the very best in all of us,” Gugliuzza said.

Gugliuzza wants to remind his class to stay strong, safe and have faith. He urged them to remain close even from a distance. “The news that distance learning will continue for the remainder of the year is tough, but I’ve heard from teachers and faculty already that want to help, some who are already talking about plans to ensure we have those senior milestones. I’m not giving up on this class or our senior year,” he said. “This story isn’t finished yet. We’re going to get through this together, because our class is family, and that’s what families do.”

He added that he wants to be sure his classmates know that Windham cares about them, and the community is hurting for them too. And he wanted to thank the community and let them know that the Windham High class of 2020 appreciates their care and support, and they’re going to be ok. “Hopefully when this is behind us, we can all celebrate together,” he said.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Community programs strive to keep students active and engaged with “Book Bus”

By Elizabeth Richards

Since school closed on March 16, the RSU14 backpack program has been very busy. As the school closure continues, other programs are piggybacking on the distribution times to offer other resources as well.

Director of School Nutrition Jeanne Reilly says the backpack program is distributing food on Tuesdays and Fridays in both Windham and Raymond. The program offers three bags of food: one with fruits and vegetables, another with milk and possibly other dairy items like yogurt and cheese, and a third with shelf stable items such as peanut butter, cereal, soup, tuna and pasta.

“Any family with children is welcome to come. They do not have to be a previous recipient of the backpack program,” Reilly said. “We do ask that it be families with children in the home, since we are operating with funds that were donated for the express purpose of feeding children.  Families do not need to sign up, they can just come to one of our sites during the hours that we are open.” Tuesday, March 31st, a “Book Bus” began distributing grade level books for K-3 students in conjunction with the backpack program.

Julie Young, instructional leader for Windham Primary School, coordinates the book bus. She said 100 bags of books were packed the first week and 80-100 more, which also included some basic school supplies such as paper, pencils, glue sticks and construction paper, had already been packed for the second week.

Families can pick up a new set of books each week, Young said, and books should not be returned. The books being distributed are from a large supply of retired curriculum materials, she said, and include individual paperbacks as well as anthologies.

On the first week of distribution, there were enough bags assembled for every family who asked for one, Young said. Bags were also sent to Raymond Elementary School for distribution. Young said that they have enough materials for every child, though they haven’t been packing that many since they didn’t know how many would come. “We’d love for every child to come and get a bag,” she said, adding that delivery is also possible.

https://www.egcu.orgDistributing reading material is important, Young said, because it’s difficult for parents to have leveled materials, especially for younger children who go through their material quickly. Although digital libraries are available, not all children have access to those, she said. “We wanted to make sure that we have some non-digital opportunities for our kids to continue to learn,” she said.

Reilly added that though the official book bus is on Tuesdays, there have also been some boxes of books and other reading materials that families can take available on Fridays.

Windham Parks and Recreation is also offering resources to families during this difficult time. This week, they began to add their weekly edition of “Useful News” to the lunches being sent home, so that families who may not receive it through email have access, said director Linda Brooks. This newsletter offers tips on enjoying the outdoors safely, as well as information on events and available resources.

“We continue to offer programming opportunities to our residents, but in many new ways, since people suddenly have much more leisure time in their lives,” Brooks said. “Parks and Recreation is all about helping people develop healthy leisure lifestyles, and outdoor activities are still being encouraged as an effective manner to manage this crisis. Moving forward, we are working on other activities that we can make available for children to do at home.”

Reilly said they are working to provide recipes, nutrition information, and culinary videos on social media channels and their website. “These will be ideas and tips for families to come together and experience some of the food we are sending home in our bags. We hope families will do some cooking together and some nutrition education, and even incorporate some science and math lessons with the food and recipes,” she said.
The backpack program is not accepting food donations at this time but welcomes financial support for the project. The bags provide each family with about $20 worth of food, and participation in the program is growing, she said. On Friday, April 3, they served 122 families, which is an estimated 300-400 students served.

Food can be picked up at Windham Middle School on Tuesdays and Fridays from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and at Raymond Elementary School on Tuesdays and Fridays from 1:30 to 3 pm. They are delivering to families in quarantine or who do not have transportation, Reilly said. If transportation is an issue, families can reach out to Reilly at or district chef, Ryan Roderick at

The wish of a dying veteran is granted through the generosity of a “Brother in Arms”

Joe Bernard just prior to joining the Marines
By Lorraine Glowczak

“Yesterday, I wrote a post seeking a set of Marine dress blues for my dying uncle,” the post began in the Windham Maine Community Board Facebook page. “He loved being a Marine and worked very hard on veterans’ support issues his entire adult life. The outpouring of support from the Windham community brought a tear or two to my eye.”

That was a post written recently by Barry Bernard, a Portland man who also has a camp on Pettengill Pond in Windham and is the treasurer for the Windham Drifters Snowmobile Club. The previous day, he reached out to the Windham community, asking if there was anyone who might know of where the family could find the well-known and honored Marine dress uniform.

“It was my uncle’s desire to be buried in dress blues,” Barry stated. “We searched and couldn’t find his uniform. We wanted to do our best to make sure to locate a uniform for him and hoped we could do that before he passed away.”

In just over an hour after making the original Facebook post, Bernard had those dress blues donated by, none other than, another Marine. Ryan Salamon, who dedicated his life to the United States Marine Corp from 2010 to 2014 and now lives in Manchester, Maine responded to Barry’s request.
“My wife, Rachel, follows the Windham Community Board and saw Barry’s post,” Salamon said.“She thought it would be a good idea to offer my dress blues to Barry’s uncle – and I agreed so we immediately reached out to Barry.”

Marine dress blues as described by Medals of America consists “of a long-sleeved navy jacket with standing collar over a plain white shirt and white, webbed belt on top. Enlisted soldiers will have red trim on the coat and a gold waist plate corresponding to rank. Officers will have a gold M-buckle on their jacket belt. Pants are sky blue in color for enlisted Marines and midnight blue for officers. The red stripe down the trousers, also known as a “blood stripe,” varies in width depending on rank”
Barry stated that Salamon was not the only one who responded to his request. “My neighbor at Pettengill Pond who lives in the Boston area stated that he would help me in my research to find dress blues. But because the need was immediate, we elected to use Ryan’s uniform.”

The Marine dress blue owned by Ryan Salamon
and donated to Joe Bernard
Barry’s uncle, Harry Joseph (Joe) Bernard, Jr. joined the Marine Corp Reserves from 1964 to 1970. Joe was a combat engineer with the 10th Engineering Company where he honed his skills on covert missions building airstrips and base camps during the Vietnam War era throughout the Philippines and Puerto Rico. During his deployment, Joe handled and worked with the chemical, Agent Orange, in his role as a combat engineer, and thus had possible exposure to it. “This was of great concern to him and he talked about it often,” Barry said.

When he returned home to civil life, Joe began his 30-year career as a Crane Operator, working for Cianbro Construction. “He laid the steel for the Casco Bay Bridge and worked on the decommissioning of Maine Yankee [Maine’s only nuclear power plant],” Barry stated proudly of his uncle.

Known as a practical joker and the life of the party, Joe continued his Marine-like devotion to the Country. He was active in the Boy Scouts of America as a troop leader. As the Commander of his local American Legion, he sponsored many scouting activities and projects for America’s young men.
“He also was highly involved in the Honor Guards at funerals for veterans and was very engaged in the development of the Veterans Home in South Paris,” Barry stated. “He was committed to Maine’s veterans, helping out in any way he could.”

It was in that same vein of helping a Maine veteran that Salamon donated his dress blues. “I feel honored and am very happy to give my dress blues to a fellow Brother in Arms,” Salamon said. “To be honest, the uniform was just collecting dust and now it is serving a better purpose. If I am lucky enough to live into my 70s, perhaps one day another Marine will donate his dress blues to me.”

Upon completion of the service in the Marines, both Salamon and Barry’s Uncle Joe ended their military career as Sergeants. As a result, Barry pointed out that the stripes on the uniform are correct. Salamon did remove his medals and ribbons but his dress blues are in concert with Joe’s rank.

Joe passed away on Thursday, April 2nd but he did so peacefully - knowing that he was going to be buried in Marine dress blues. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, funeral services will be placed on hold until this summer. However, family members will be allowed to view Joe’s body in his dress blues, five at a time, in keeping with social distancing guidance. There will likely be a burial service later this spring, but the funeral home has worked closely with Joe’s son, Bob, so that the family can properly grieve.
Before his uncle died, Barry got the opportunity to FaceTime him. Barry shared his experience with those who had been following the story on the Windham Community Facebook page. “I was so pleased to let him know that his wish will be granted [before he passed away]. Uncle Joe smiled and said, ‘thank you’.”

“And, I thank you, Ryan Salamon and all the Windham community that was willing and ready to assist our family in meeting our uncle’s dying wish!”


Friday, April 3, 2020

Sanitizing and purifying your home and office: Local business offers free service

Chris Wallace with his air purifier

By Lorraine Glowczak

It is without a doubt that hand hygiene and overall cleanliness is consuming our thoughts these days. Whether we are spending long hours at home or are required to go to the office, making sure our hands are frequently washed, surfaces are sanitized and the air we breathe is clear of contaminates is a full-time effort.

There are many ways in which we can make sure these efforts are effective. Of course, there is the
ever-important handwashing option. It is at the top of the list of sanitizing methods because it is so effective at washing away viruses and bacteria. Friction from scrubbing with soap and water can help break the protective envelope, states the EPA. Soap and water can clean all surfaces in a home, especially when applying a little extra elbow grease.

Additionally, as people clear isopropyl (rubbing alcohol) off the shelves, do not discount the power of hydrogen peroxide. The CDC says household hydrogen peroxide at 3 percent concentration can deactivate rhinovirus, the virus that causes the common cold, within six to eight minutes of contact.

Although not as effective, natural items can be used for general cleaning. Products such as white vinegar, baking soda pastes and citrus oils and juices could fill the void of chemically based cleansers for other home tasks. there are other options to consider that are not a part of everyday discussions. Air purification and sanitization systems are another method to help keep our area surfaces as clean as possible. Chris Tarr, who recently became the owner of the Aerus of Portland in July 2019 has decided to offer a free one-time air purification service to area residents.

“I would like to provide a decontamination service free of charge to any individual in the greater
Lakes Region area and beyond, whether it’s in the home or office,” Tarr explained. “In times like these, people should feel safe in the comfort of their homes and offices and the reality is, they are not. There are things we cannot see, touch or even smell that are affecting millions around the globe but what most do not know is that ActivePure can help.”

https://www.egcu.orgWith this service, Tarr said he hopes to restore some peace of mind to the community by knowing that their home/office spaces are clean of many cold and flu viruses. “We will also be able to provide extended home sanitation options for anyone who’s interested in maintaining a safe, healthy living environment.”

Briefly, using light-induced oxidation, the ActivePure purifying units take the circulated air generated
in the space and produce molecules that disseminate into the environment, killing pathogens in the air and on surfaces. This Certified Space Technology, used by NASA, dramatically reduces concentrations of airborne aerosol contaminants and neutralizes up to 90 percent of viruses and bacteria within an hour and wiping out 99.9% of infectious germs and viruses in a matter of hours.
ActivePure is also used by hospitals, schools and sports stadiums to end staph infections and other viruses. The purification system reduces absenteeism and flu-related dismissals at facilities that have installed the technology.

One recent example occurred at a major sports stadium. After four players in the Texas Rangers Major League Baseball organization contracted methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in one year, the team installed ActivePure air purifiers in its stadium’s locker room and gym. A study at the facilities demonstrated that the purifiers virtually eliminated bacteria and fungus throughout the facility and dramatically reduced air particle counts continuously over the course of a year. Over 30 major league baseball stadiums use the systems at the present time. Wallace of Windham, tax preparer and Regional Vice President of Primerica recently had an ActivePure system installed in his office. “When Chris [Tarr] realized that 20 to 40 people a day were coming to get their taxes done, he insisted I get the machine,” Wallace explained. “I was trying to exchange air by opening the windows. That was not working. We installed the machine last Friday
and within a few hours the air was fresher, and I breathed a sigh of relief. Several clients have asked about the machine and expressed their pleasure with us doing this to keep them safe.”

Local Windham resident, Lorraine Barrett has been using the purification system in her home for over seven years. “I must admit, my husband and I both smoke in the house and the purifier is amazing at keeping our indoor air clean and smelling fresh. When our kids come to visit – they never complain about the smell,” Barrett laughed and then continued. “We also have a home in Florida, and I have an Aerus purifier there too. Although we don’t smoke in that house it does magic on keeping the pollen count down.”

Tarr’s intent is not to sell a product but to provide an option for cleaner surfaces and increase the indoor air quality, maintaining it at a safer level. “I just want to give back to Mainers and try to help restore some peace of mind to the community.”

To learn more about Aerus, view these videos and PBS commercials:
decontamination line: 207-400-6437

Police and fire departments help three year old have an awesome birthday

Parker Coopenrath getting ready for his birthday parade
By Matt Pascarella

During this weird time, it’s difficult to make fairly regular activities happen. When Caitlin Coppenrath’s son, Parker was about to celebrate his third birthday, a regular party was not going to happen. After some creative planning and help from Windham Police Department, Windham Fire and Rescue, Gorham Patrol and the Cumberland County Sheriff, on Sunday, March 29th on Chute Road in Windham, Parker Coppenrath was thrown an amazing parade he won’t forget for a while.
After plans for a bounce house with friends and family seemed unlikely to happen, Coppenrath and her husband got creative.

“We had seen on the news that many teachers around the state were doing mini parades to wave hello to their students. On social media we saw some drive-by baby showers happening...,” said Coppenrath. Her aunt suggested a parade. Friends and family would drive by and wish Parker a happy birthday (while social distancing) and Coppenrath immediately started planning. works with Courtney Edwards, the wife of Gorham police officer, Sears Edwards, and had asked her if maybe one police car could be a part of the parade, as Parker lights up whenever he sees police cars, fire trucks or ambulances. Officer Edwards was not working that day, but talked with Sargent Ray Williams, of the Windham Police Department, who planned on showing up and driving by.

“I was so incredibly excited that we would have a police car in the parade! I knew Parker would
be...excited,” Coppenrath stated. it turned out, there was more than one police car. There was an incredibly long line of police cruisers, fire trucks, and ambulances from Windham Police Department, Gorham Police Department, Cumberland County Sheriffs, and Windham Fire and Rescue and they used their loud speaker to wish
Parker a happy third birthday.

After the emergency vehicle parade, a long line of friends and family, roughly 20 cars, drove by to wish Parker a great year. There were signs, honking, flashing lights, dogs barking in excitement and even someone in a shark costume. Parker was excited to see everyone.
“Wasn’t it fun when all the police cars and fire trucks and ambulances came?” Parker asked his mom afterwards.

Sargent Ray Williams had the Windham Police Department and Fire and Rescue sign a card for him, and sent along some patches and badges, and a pass to go fishing on Sebago lake this summer.
Coppenrath and her husband were amazed and shocked at the community involvement for their special boy and thought the parade was so incredible, it brought tears to their eyes. It’s hard to describe the energy but it was an extremely powerful moment of kindness and support.“Our hearts are full. I cannot find the words to thank Officer Edwards and Sargent Ray Williams enough for what they put together for us,” stated Coppenrath. “We will never forget this out-pouring of support and love. The willingness and excitement of all involved to be a part of the parade for our son’s third birthday is just remarkable and makes us extremely proud and honored to be a part of this

Coppenrath added “These are some very challenging times, and we are going to rise above it by sticking together and lifting each other up as we are able! Being creative with our safe social distancing and finding ways to pay it forward will help us through.”