Friday, May 29, 2020

Windham streamlines permit process for restaurants, retail stores

In response to the State’s social distancing regulations proposed for the reopening of restaurants and retail sales during the current Covid-19 pandemic, the Windham Town Council, working with the Planning and Code Enforcement Departments and the Windham Economic Development Corporation have streamlined the permitting process so Windham’s restaurants and retailers can adjust their customer service areas to better meet the new regulations. 

On Tuesday, May 26, the Windham Town Council approved the process, as well as waived any fees related to these temporary permits for restaurants and retailers.  The approval for these temporary permits will be in force through October 2020.

If there is a need for restaurants to expand their seating footprint outside of the current permitted footprint to meet social distancing requirements, without expanding the current permitted seating capacity, they would only need to apply for a temporary Change of Use permit with the Code Enforcement Office. Windham Town Council has waived the $50.00 permit fee for this temporary Change of Use   Please note that the restaurant may need to apply for an extension to their current Maine Liquor License to allow for liquor sales in any new seating areas developed.  The extension should be applied for through the Windham Town Clerk’s Office.

If there is a need for a retailer to add to their designated retail sales footprint outside of their building, to meet social distancing requirements, they will need to obtain a Retail Sales, Outdoor Temporary permit from the Code Enforcement Office.  The Windham Town Council has waived the $100.00 permit fee for this Retail Sales, Outdoor Temporary permit. 

The steps for approval for restaurants are:

·    *  Discuss your plans with the property owner
·    *  Sketch a dimensional Plot Plan clearly delineated with additional seating footprint area(s)
·    *  Total number of seats is limited to existing permitted total
·    *   Submit a temporary Change of Use application to the Windham Code Enforcement Office
·    *  The Windham Town Council has waived fees for this temporary Change of Use permit
·         Code Enforcement Office will review the application and provide approvals as appropriate
·   *   The permit will be in force through Oct. 31, 2020

The steps for approval for retail stores are:

·     *    Discuss your plans with the property owner.
·     *    Sketch a dimensional Plot Plan clearly delineated with additional footprint area(s)
·     *    Submit a Retail Sales, Outdoor Temporary application to the Windham Code Enforcement Office
·    *    The Windham Town Council has waived fees for this Retail Sales, Outdoor Temporary permit
·         Code Enforcement Office will review the application and provide approvals as appropriate
·    *    The permit will be in force through Oct. 31, 2020

For more information and Change of Use application, go to

Local churches keep faith as some prepare to reopen

Catholics in Windham and Raymond who attend
 Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Windham
 will be to worship at church again starting next week,
 but with some restrictions as a result of the
 COVID-19 pandemic. Shown is the statue of Mar
 in the Our Lady of Perpetual Help garden.
By Ed Pierce

Area churches have kept the faith despite some trying times the past few months yet are planning the way forward with an eye on safety and health in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With the state imposing restrictions for in-person worship gatherings on March 15 to protect the public from the coronavirus, many churches launched unique initiatives to connect with congregations in other ways while awaiting opportunities to reopen. Some restrictions for church gatherings have been lifted effective May 29 based upon guidelines and recommendations made to Gov., Janet Mills by the Maine Council of Churches and paving the way for churches to reopen across the state.

Rev. Jane Field is the pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Windham and serves as Executive Director of Maine Council of Churches. She helped craft guidelines for reopening churches across the state including allowing worship services of up to 50 people; mandating that face mask coverings be worn, following proper social distancing, eliminating handshakes and personal contact, and thoroughly cleaning surfaces following gatherings. said that Faith Lutheran’s small and vibrant congregation has adapted to changing times and strived to keep all church members engaged and involved during the pandemic.
We are a family-sized congregation, which means everyone knows each other very, very well.  We don't let anyone slip between the cracks,” Field said. “We have one member who is 101 years old and living in a retirement community that is on lockdown, so we all take turns calling her several times a week as she has limitations that make it impossible for her to join us for online worship or prayer services.”
She said another way that church members have stayed unified in the absence of regular church worship is through nightly prayer services conducted online on Zoom from Tuesday through Saturday.
“It’s a great way to speak with everyone, to be able to see how folks are doing, and take stock of what help, if any, anyone needs,” Field said.  “We also offer online bible study classes, and we gather for worship every Sunday morning via Zoom. We like that platform because it is live, in real-time, and participants can engage and speak with one another unlike just watching a pre-recorded sermon or service privately on your own time.” to Field, it has been very difficult to offer pastoral care to those who have been hospitalized during the pandemic because of the prohibition on visitors, so Faith Lutheran has relied on hospital chaplains to provide care and has stayed in touch with them through the chaplains.
“We are all holding up well, staying connected and enjoying some of the innovation and creativity we can experiment with in our worship services such as video clips, power point presentations, and dialogue sermons,” Field said. “We have also adapted a communion liturgy to be appropriate for online services, not holy communion, but a sharing in broken bread and cup, each in our own home, with prayers of thanksgiving and lament.”

Rev. Sally Colegrove, pastor of the Windham Hill United Church of Christ, said that she has been writing a column and sending it to her congregation every day during the pandemic.

“I try to include news from members, things that are happening in the world, concern for the seven of our members who are in the medical professions and spiritual meditations and prayers,” Colegrove said. “On Sundays we are holding Zoom worship services at 10 a.m. Anyone is welcome to join us, they just have to send me their email address so that I can send them the zoom address and password.”

Colegrove said that the church carillon is rung every day for about a half hour as a message to the Windham Hill UCC congregation and neighbors that they are still there, and still thinking about them, and still maintaining a presence here on Windham Hill even as they move to Zoom gatherings.

“We are thinking about how we can respond as a congregation to the needs of those around us. We have helped out with a small delivery of fuel oil and are ready to assist if we hear of those who are in need of food,” she said.
“Several of our members, mostly our college young people, have volunteered to do grocery shopping for elders and we have paired up shoppers and those in need. I have been calling the members of the congregation to check in, and many of our folk have also been checking with one another to stay connected.”

Catholics in Windham and Raymond who attend Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Windham have been able to watch Mass posted online every day courtesy of the Diocese of Portland, but will also have an option to worship at church next week.

Starting June 1. the Diocese of Portland is allowing Maine Catholic churches to hold public Masses with restrictions and safeguards in place.
The regular weekday and weekend Mass schedule at Our Lady of Perpetual Help will be offered at 8 and 10:15 a.m. Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8 a.m. and Saturdays at 4 p.m.

Diocese officials say that facial masks or face coverings are required to attend, with social distancing guidelines maintained and no more than 50 worshippers allowed in church at one time.“We are, of course, anxious to return to our churches and have the opportunity to celebrate Mass,” said Bishop Robert Deeley in a press release. “We have been preparing for the last few weeks for a safe restoration of Mass in accord with the guidelines of the CDC. There are a lot of things involved, but we want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to keep people safe and fulfill the mission of the church.”

For Catholic parishioners uncomfortable at attending church in person at this time, Deeley said that a dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass continues to be in place, and the extensive list of live-streamed Masses being offered at churches around Maine ( will continue as most parishioners won’t be able to attend in person due to the capacity restrictions.

Some of the restrictions may seem to be too cautious for the faithful who wish to return to public Masses at this time,” said the bishop. “However, ensuring the safety and health of our clergy, employees, students, volunteers, parishioners, and the greater community remains our top priority.” <

Working on the home front: 'Rosie the Riveter’ shares memories, experiences

Dorothy "Dot" Skolfield, who lives in Windham
with her daughter, enjoys a recent spring day
 in the backyard. Here she is sporting the Boston Post Cane
 she was awarded in the summer of 2019 by the Town of Weld,
 her official residence. Skolfield's father was working for the Boston Post
when the newspaper instituted the award as part of a publicity tactic.
By Lorraine Glowczak

In a recent Letter to the Editor, the American Rosie the Riveter Association reached out to the Sebago Lakes Region community to try to locate women who worked for the war efforts during World War II. The intent was to capture as many stories as possible around the U.S.

“These women have stories of their WWII experiences that are of historical value and perhaps have never been told,” the letter said. “American Rosie the Riveter Association would like to acknowledge these women with a certificate and have their stories placed in our archives."

We, here at the Windham Eagle newspaper office invited anyone in the area to also share their stories with us and one individual responded to that invitation.

“Our ‘Rosie’ is my 97-year-old mother, Dorothy "Dot" Weld Reynolds Skolfield,” Sharon Bickford wrote in an email to The Windham Eagle newspaper. “My mother contributed to the war effort in several ways and she has seen many changes in her years on earth. For her birthday, we are giving her a membership to the American Rosie the Riveter Association to be recognized and have her story a part of their archives.”

Skolfield has lived with her daughter in Windham for the past 10 years. She was born May 14, 1924 in Boston, Massachusetts. She was the fourth of five children of Howard Reynolds, a sportswriter and editor for the Boston Post, and to Lottie Reynolds, a nurse. Although living most of her early years in and around the Boston area, she and her family spent summers in Weld. Skolfield worked in both Maine and Massachusetts in her “Rosie the Riveter” role.

“After I graduated from Newtonville [Massachusetts] High School in 1942, I spent that summer with my family in Weld,” Skolfield said. “Everyone wanted to help the war effort in some way and my sister-in-law and I where no different. We both got a job as volunteers scanning the sky with binoculars, watching for aircraft, and identifying them. We had access to a telephone and when we spotted a plane, we would call the central agency. We did this for four hours a day. and her sister-in-law were part of a citizen volunteer program of the Army Air Force Ground Observer Corps. The mission was to fill a gap in the country’s air defenses and security during WWII. There were many observational posts throughout Maine at that time, with Weld being among them. In addition to binoculars and a telephone, volunteers were also equipped with a distance calculator.

Online Maine Encyclopedia describes the role of the corps volunteer in this way:
“When any aircraft was seen, the volunteer would dial the operator and say, ‘aircraft flash [number assigned to post].’ That would identify the post to the ‘filter center’ at Bangor’s Dow Air Force Base, which tracked use of the air space over Maine.”

When the summer 1942 turned into fall and it was time for the family to return to Massachusetts, Skolfield got a job working for Hoods Rubber Company in Watertown helping to make deicers for airplanes. She earned $45 a week.

“I was on the assembly line and we each had our own specific duties,” Skolfield said. “Mine was to insert a small piece of equipment into one area of the wing that would inflate and activate the deicer when it was ready to be used.”

This one seemingly mundane task, however small, was very important. All completed objects were tested before the wing was attached to the plane to check for precision.

“One day, I put my piece in backward,” Skolfield said. “It stopped the whole assembly for many hours until they were able to find and correct the mistake. I was so mortified and embarrassed.”

But despite the one error, Skolfield’s calm and even-keeled demeanor may not just be a genetic character trait but could be a result of the war-time civility and the American effort to work together during difficult times.

“People seemed to trust each other more back then, and everyone worked together,” Skolfield said. “There was a certain love for our Country, and everyone was patriotic. We all had one common goal and that was to cooperate. No one tried to make money off the war, and everyone was willing to give up for the greater good. And yes, there were disagreements, and everyone had their own opinion, but you just listened to what others had to say – and then you went on quietly following your own opinion. My mother would always say ‘sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’ You never took things personally because everyone is entitled to their beliefs. Today feels so different. There seems to be family against family and a lot of fighting. It seems to me that today we have had it easy for so long that it is more difficult to adjust when adversity arises.”

Being there for one another was an expected norm during the days of World War II, which lasted from 1939 to 1945. Skolfield recalls one way her mother played a role in being there for servicemen in the community.

“My family lived on something similar to a cul-de-sac and the Air Force was using it as a base,” Skolfield said. “On the soldiers’ days off, my mother would invite them for Sunday dinner. Our table was always surrounded with strangers because my mother wanted to give soldiers a home-cooked meal.”

Skolfield eventually moved to Atlantic City, N.J. for a couple of months and worked in sales to be near her sister-in-law and her brother before he left for overseas. She eventually returned to Massachusetts and attended Fisher’s Business College in Boston to obtain a certification as a Foreign Trade Secretary. She admits that it was not something she wanted to do with her life.

“I went to secretarial school at the encouragement of my mother, but I was such a tom-boy,” said Skolfield. “I couldn’t wait to get out of a dress and into jeans. Being a secretary would have been too confining for me.”

Instead, Skolfield held several other positions that fit her personality more appropriately. She opened an Ice Cream Shop in Weld during the summer months and then work in Massachusetts at a dime store and nursing home.  

In 1948, she married Stanley Skolfield of Weld, making Maine her permanent home. She and her new husband had a son, Tom (Rep. Tom Skolfield of House District 112) and daughter, Sharon Bickford.
While raising a family, Skolfield would work a variety of jobs in and around Weld that included pumping gas, working at Mount Blue State Park, working as a Town Treasurer, Tax Collector, Town Clerk pro-temp and was elected as the first female Board of Selectpersons for the Town of Weld.

She acknowledges that although she has seen difficult times being alive during WWII, she has had a very good life.

“My family growing up was loving and supportive and I married a loving and supportive husband,” she said. “I have been incredibly fortunate.”

Her husband passed away 28 years ago. In the summer of 2019, she was awarded the Boston Post Cane by the Town of Weld. Although this is a great privilege to anyone who receives this award, it was extra special for Skolfield.

“My dad worked for the Boston Post when they instituted this award as part of a publicity tactic,” Skolfield said. “So, it was truly an honor to get the Gold-headed Boston Post Cane that my father helped to implement.”


Windham to keep taxes flat for the next fiscal year

Windham’s municipal budget for the
 2020-2021 fiscal year will have a
 zero increase as a result of
the pandemic.
By Lorraine Glowczak

The most recent word in today’s repertoire is ‘flatten’ – as in ‘flatten the curve’ relating to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Town of Windham is using the term as it relates to the town budget.

“The town’s municipal budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year will have a zero increase as a result of the pandemic,” said Barry Tibbetts, Windham Town Manager. “Basically, the town’s fiscal budget will remain flat and the majority of planned building remodels and additions, paving and improvements to dirt roads along with other needed items have been placed on hold. There will be no tax increases from the town’s municipal budget.”

The town has postponed the hiring of additional needed staff as well as building renovations and expansions necessary at the Town Hall. A few much-needed items will be purchased and be obtained, and the public safety building located on Windham Center Road will undergo some expansion, but residents will not see an increase in taxes this year or the future for that project.

“We will be purchasing one pickup and a smaller dump truck, a new ambulance and must make necessary additions/remodeling to the public safety building in order to comply with the safety regulations as a result of COVID-19,” Tibbets said. “When the public safety building was built in 1989, there were only 22 employees. Now, we have more than doubled the number of staff with 48 employees and the officer and emergency medical providers are extremely cramped and unsafe. These modifications to the building with the new addition will be absorbed within the budget by using  a bond. There will not be an increase in the mill rate or the town’s taxes, as a result.” will still see an  increase in taxes, however, due to standard and projected RSU14 budgetary items and the slight rise of Cumberland County budget in the mil rate. The projected mil rate increase for the RSU budget, should it be approved, will be 47 cents while the County impact will be 4 cents. Another quick way to calculate that for individual impact would be a $51 increase per $100,000 in valuation.

Cumberland County was scheduled to convert from a calendar year to a fiscal year but has decided to hold that change so as not to adversely affect the towns financially. The shift from a calendar year to a fiscal year would equate to about 17 cents on our mil rate. This is a tremendous help for our Town.

As for the RSU14 budget, the increases taxpayers will see are the necessary union negotiation changes per the recently agreed contracts along with continued special education prerequisites.
“The school board is obligated to pay staff the required contractual employee pay increase in addition to adhering to State of Maine special education standards,” Tibbetts said. “The school board must adhere to these predetermined requirements.”

RSU14 School Superintendent Christopher Howell echoed Tibbetts statements.
As for RSU14, taxpayers will see an increase due to negotiated contracts, special education programming and positions to support increased enrollments at the elementary level,” Howell said. “The board is committing $900,000 from carryover funds to help offset the impact to tax increases. The RSU is legally obligated to meet the special education needs of students.”

For more information regarding the fiscal year 2020-2021 budget, please contact the Town Manager’s office at 207-892-1907.

Be sure to keep informed by watching recorded Town Council meetings at

Windham High plans non-traditional events for 2020 graduates

By Elizabeth Richards

High schools across the state are finding creative ways to celebrate graduation and Windham High School is no exception.  This year’s graduation ceremony will be a small personal experience, but students will then have an opportunity to be together in a safe way as they gather at a drive-in theater.

WHS principal Ryan Caron said the school had hoped to have a video celebration now and hold an actual outdoor graduation ceremony in late summer. When state guidelines for August continued to limit gatherings to 50 people, those plans needed to change.   

Individual graduation ceremonies for 2020 graduates at Windham
 High School will be filmed and then shown
 to students and their families at the Saco Drive-In
 in Saco on June 9 with a rain date scheduled for June 10.
While some schools chose student-centered plans and others were more family focused, Windham developed a two-part plan that allows for both.

“We tried to find the best of both situations, given the limitations.  An opportunity for family to be involved, and also the opportunity for the kids to be together, even if they’re separated by cars,” Caron said.

During the first week in June, students will have an individualized ceremony, by appointment, in the WHS auditorium. A small group of family and friends will be allowed to attend this ceremony. 

Caron said that graduating students will wear caps and gowns and be announced, then walk across the stage to receive their diplomas, awards and scholarships. Photos and video will be taken of these individual ceremonies.

WHS senior Jessica Brooks said she thinks that the school is offering a great option in difficult circumstances. 

Many students were worried that there wouldn’t be any celebration at all, she said.

“Although not being all together for this is disappointing, for a lack of better words, I’m just glad we get the experience to walk across the stage,” Brooks said. “I’m also really glad that family and friends were able to be invited. I relied on my friends and family a lot the last four years, and I was worried they would not be able to be by my side for this accomplishment.”

Following these individual ceremonies, Caron said, a video will be made that includes many elements of a traditional graduation, such as speeches and a class song.  This video will then be shown to students and families at the Saco Drive-In on June 9, with a rain date of June 10. 

Caron said that feedback has been positive, even as people wish they could do something bigger.

“Everybody’s been really understanding,” he said. 

Some families have expressed concern about safety and have told the school they are unlikely to participate. 

Diplomas and gift bags will be mailed to these students, Caron said.

“We’re trying to respect everybody and make it as personalized an experience as we can,” he said.

The attention and concern for everyone is appreciated.

I think given the circumstances Windham has made the best of a tough situation. It is definitely apparent to me that our teachers and administrators truly care about their students,” said WHS senior Anthony Gugliuzza. “The way in which they have handled these past few months is incredible. It’s a huge testament to who they are as people.”

The drive-in night allows students to be honored in the best way possible, Brooks said, “I’m really happy to be a part of a district that is trying so hard to accommodate everyone as best as possible and make light of a pretty dark situation,” she said. “This graduation is definitely going to be one for the books, and it will be a story and experience we are able to share with younger generations, but I truly hope no one has to face these circumstances again.”

Although the traditional Project Graduation event was canceled, according to Sarah Elliott, chair of the school’s Project Graduation Committee 2020, said they’re planning to do something to bring students back together in late May or early June 2021.

The Project Grad committee also partnered with the school and local business to have lawn signs made up for all seniors. In conjunction with that, they held their last fundraiser, allowing friends, family, teachers, students, and community members to send personal messages to seniors.

These signs and messages were distributed on Friday, May 22 and Tuesday, May 26.

Arrangements can be made for any seniors who were not able to pick these up at those times.

Elliot said it was a touching experience to see the time and thought people put into the messages they sent. 

She said that the event next year is a way to give students an opportunity to be together one last time, when social distancing is more relaxed.  While it is uncertain what the event will be, Elliot said that they want to keep it similar in spirit to what they would have done originally while keeping it more local.

“We want to include as many graduates as possible,” Elliott said.

An Instagram page has been set up to continue communication throughout the year and as the event draws closer, she said.

To arrange sign pick-up and for more information, contact Elliott at <

Friday, May 22, 2020

A salute to local veterans on Memorial Day

By Dave Tanguay
Field-Allen Post Adjutant
Special to The Windham Eagle 
No, I’m not morbid or morose. I do read the local newspaper obits online each day for a good reason.  The Field-Allen Post makes a point of recognizing each veteran from the Town of Windham during their Memorial Day Celebration with the tolling of a ceremonial bell after reading of their names to the assembled community.
This recognition has been going on for over 20 years. Any veteran who has had any connection to Windham by birth, work, schooling, residence or retirement is acknowledged.  It is sometimes a daunting task, particularly when not everyone gets an obituary.
Some obits are short and succinct, Others go on about the many accomplishments of the individual and all the lives they’ve touched. is one common theme, obits short or long almost always make a statement about the military status of the individual whether they served a brief time or made a career of the service. There is a deep sense of pride that goes along with that one item in the obit. Those that you leave behind consider your veteran’s status a great accomplishment often listing it in the first paragraph or so.
Two thoughts come to mind. One, If that service was important to the family, then it should be recognized by the veteran’s organizations in the community whether it be by an annual community ceremony or, if the post has an Honor guard, by making themselves available for appropriate honors at the funeral, wake, celebration of life, or internment.
That one, short investment of time on the part of the Honor Guard member pays untold dividends in the community and for many Honor Guard members instill a sense of pride and worth in being able   This is a win-win situation.
to support a fellow veteran and their family.
Second, as a veteran, you have the opportunity now to support other veterans. There may come a point in your life when after years of family and work there is a void or a need to affiliate with something new, a new challenge.  Serving other veterans and the youth of your community is a viable, rewarding option that may be found with your local American Legion Post. 
As noted, for the last 20 years, the American Legion Field-Allen Post in Windham has been honoring the town’s veterans who had passed away the previous year.  If the veteran was born and raised in Windham, schooled in Windham, worked in Windham or lived here later in life, the post recognized them on Memorial Day.   That is why the obits are scrutinized daily. Unfortunately, the list may not be complete.
This year, unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 situation the Memorial Bay bell tolling ceremony that honors these veterans will not take place.  I have provided a list of all the veterans that I have been able to find who passed away this year.  It is hoped that a ceremony might take place later in the year. In the interim, the Post will keep these veterans in their collective thoughts and prayers.
If a Veteran has been omitted, please give me a call at 892-1306
The Field-Allen Post has an Honor Guard that can be scheduled for military honors on a case basis
when the Corvid-19 situation allows.
Roll Call of Obituaries for Windham veterans
May 2019 to May 2020
Roger Beaudoin
James Cairns
Clayton Crummett
Wesley Estes
James Gaudet
Wilbur Harris
John Herald Sr
George Honnewell
Gerry Jacobs
Galen Jordon
Dan Keef
Joshua Kuuseal
Sidney Leighton
Norman Raymond Lock Libby
David Mac Vane

Brian McAvoy
Robert Newberry
Dennis Potter
Alan Saunders
Weston Shaw
Richard Small
David Smith
Richard Southard
John Swanson
James Taylor
Ronald Tilton
George Webber

Lakes Region Explorer to resume regular bus service soon

Lakes Region Explorer bus service is
 expected to resume within 10 days,
but with a scaled-back ridership because
of social distancing restrictions.
(Submitted photo)
By Ed Pierce
A decision to resume regular service for the Lakes Region Explorer bus is forthcoming as the state slowly lifts coronavirus travel restrictions between local communities.
The Lakes Region Explorer offers service along Route 302 from Bridgton to Portland, with stops along the way in Naples, Casco, Raymond, Windham, and Westbrook. Operated by the Regional Transportation Program, bus service in the area has been mostly shut down since March because of travel restrictions imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“Safety first will guide our decision to restart the Lakes Region Explorer and our paratransit services,” said Jack De Beradinis, the executive director of the Regional Transportation Program. “We will notify the public shortly, probably within 10 days of so, regarding the startup of the Lakes Region Explorer.”
De Beradinis said RTP will probably reduce its daily weekday service to three round trips for the Lakes Region Explorer.“Specific information regarding the Explorer service will follow shortly.”
According to De Beradinis, prior to the pandemic, the Lakes Region Explorer was providing about 10,500 trips annually.
“The first run leaving Bridgton at 6 a.m. and the return trip leaving Portland at 5:30 p.m. have been the runs most used,” he said. “I anticipate that our service will be restored gradually over the next few months and the agency will prevail through the challenging times.”
The bus capacity for the Lakes Region Explorer is 24 ambulatory seats and placements for two wheelchairs, but because of preventative social distancing as a result of the pandemic, the number of passengers may be limited once service resumes.
“We will need to restrict ridership between six to 10 riders at one time in order to maintain the minimum six-foot distance,” De Beradinis said. “In the summer we usually transport more than 15 riders at one time on these two runs.”
karen.spring@fryeislandtown.orgADA transportation for those with disabilities offered by RTP in the Lakes Region has continued since travel restrictions were imposed by the state in March.
“The demand has been very limited, and we use taxis to transport these riders unless an RTP van is required,” De Beradinis said.
RTP has also pledged to riders and local communities to provide seasonal Saturday service between Memorial Day and Labor Day, although it will be limited along with other services because of coronavirus health concerns. fare for the Lakes Region Explorer for a one-way trip is $3 with discounts for monthly passes, seniors and students. Those who cannot afford the fare can ride free of charge.
Currently RTP has suspended all rider fares through June 30 and will not bill the towns it serves with the Lakes Region Explorer for the period of April1 to June 30, De Beradinis said.
Established in 1976, RTP was formed by combining the transportation services provided by the Portland Chapter of the American Red Cross, York-Cumberland Senior Services and the Social Services of the Greater Portland Transit District. It is a United Way agency providing low-cost transportation to the elderly, social service agency clients, the economically disadvantaged and persons with disabilities throughout Cumberland County and serves a total of 27 communities. <

Windham begins ‘soft opening’ with focus on safety, service to residents

By Lorraine Glowczak
As the COVID-19 state restrictions slowly lift, Windham’s Town Hall has officially taken steps to open its doors to the public as of Monday, May 18 and will continue to do so until further notice.
The hours of operation will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and will include a maximum capacity of 15 customers at one time in the building. Other measures are in place to protect all involved with this ‘soft opening’ to avoid exposure.
“Our main goal is to keep both town employees and the residents as safe as possible,” Windham Town Manager, Barry Tibbetts said. “To do so, there are many procedures we have put in place to guard against the spread of the virus.” preventative actions include staff not only wearing masks and gloves as well as providing a greeter at the door to maintain the required social distancing measures, but wet mats with a chorine solution also will be placed at the door’s entrance and employees will have their temperatures taken upon arrival to work. (Police/EMS/Fire employees’ temperatures will be taken twice a day because of their extent of public exposure).
Private offices will be closed to the public and all important and necessary meetings that must take place in person will be held in conference rooms where proper social distancing can be adhered to. Additionally, all paperwork will be processed with ultraviolet (UV) wands and set aside for three days.
“We will process all registrations, paperwork and incoming mail with UV wands which can kill most of the virus instantaneously,” said Tibbetts. “Once it goes through that process, everything will be set aside for three days to eliminate any possibility of spreading COVID-19 onto the employees.” addition to these safety precautions, Tibbetts said that Ion Air Purifiers have been installed at Town Hall. Windows will be open and fans have been placed around the hallway areas to create a fresh airflow to prevent any lingering droplets of coronavirus.
Protective shields have been installed for both the staff and residents. Tibbetts said that 6-foot spacing is being used between all visitors.
Should anyone who experiences any symptoms after visiting the Windham Town Hall, please notify town management so it can alert town staff. If you forget your mask, they will have some available for visitors.   
“For those who do not want to wear a mask, we will offer special in person appointments from 8 to 9 a.m.,” Tibbetts said. “I am certain no one wants to get sick. We are only as safe as we collectively want to be.”
For further questions or information, contact the Town Manager’s office at (207) 892-1907 or

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Windham Community Garden prepares for growing season

By Elizabeth Richards
With the weather finally turning warm, the Windham Community Garden is open to gardeners, as long as they follow some specific protocols.
Priscilla Payne, Secretary of the Windham Community Garden committee, said there are 80 beds available, and they are going quickly, with just a few left to be rented.
“We are getting off to a slow start due to the colder weather but there are green things beginning to show up,” she said. “We have a solid group of returning gardeners and some new gardeners. It seems like many more folks are looking to provide their own food during these times of Covid-19.”
Because of COVID-19, the committee has developed protocols designed to protect the safety and health of both the garden community and the community in general. These protocols were sent in a document to all gardeners and include some standard guidelines as well as some specific instructions around tool cleaning and usage.
zachary.conley@mwarep.orgThe general protocols include not coming to the garden while sick or if you think you may have been exposed to the virus; wearing a mask and maintaining a social distance of at least 6 feet if other gardeners are present; bringing personal gardening tools if possible; and carrying disposable items in and out, leaving nothing behind in the garden.
While at the garden, people are expected to have the following supplies on hand: face mask, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, gloves, a trash bag, and a spray bottle containing a bleach and water mixture.
Payne said that the committee will depend on the honor system for enforcement of protocols at times.“Committee members cannot be at the garden all the time and so we are depending on the gardeners to police themselves,” she said. “The committee members will model the correct behavior.  For example, yesterday I went to the garden and there was another gardener there, so I wore my mask and we stayed more than 6 feet away.”
Gardeners using tools that belong to the Community Garden must wash and sanitize these tools both before and after use.  They are also asked to use disinfectant wipes or a bleach solution on the combination locks before and after use, on hose sprayers and faucet handles before and after use, and on the gate handle before and after entering.
With these protocols in place, the Community Garden is open and ready for gardeners – and with most beds already rented, it’s clear that gardeners are ready too.  “It looks like it’s going to be a busy year,” said Payne.
For more information or to sign up to participate, visit website  <

Friday, May 15, 2020

Legal help for elderly available at no cost

Legal Services for the Elderly is a nonprofit organization that has provided free legal help for Maine residents ages 60 and older since 1974.

Call the Legal Services for the Elderly Helpline at 1-800-750-5353 for assistance.

Services are free and confidential.

To get free help for limited-income Mainers of any age who are having trouble getting or affording their medications through Medicare, call Legal Services for the Elderly’s Medicare Part D Appeals Unit toll-free at 1-877-774-7772. <

Windham launches new way to celebrate SummerFest, but event spirit remains

By Matt Pascarella

The good news: the Summerfest Committee is committed to having fireworks and a celebration at a later date, once it is safe to do so.

The other news: Last month, because of the pandemic, the Summerfest Committee made the decision Summerfest will be a virtual event held on the Summerfest Facebook page.

Previously known as Old Home Days, Summerfest has always been a great way for residents to celebrate Windham. This free, family-friendly event lets everyone gather to kick off the start of summer.

Due to Covid-19, public events of more than 50 people are prohibited into June, July and August under Governor Janet Mills’ timeline to reopen the state.

“We decided to err on the side of caution and try a virtual event,” said committee co-chair Robin Mullins. Windham Parks and Recreation Department’s mission is to create a sense of community and unity through people, parks and programs. Like many of us, since the pandemic, the department has had to change the way they do things, but they haven’t stopped doing them. They are a profession dedicated to providing worthwhile activities for people’s leisure – even in these uncertain times.

Some of the event activities include:

• Hometown Hero award (sponsored by Modern Woodmen of America): Download the submission
form at The deadline for nominations is May 29. Modern Woodmen Hometown Hero will be announced at the June 9 Town Council Meeting.

• Old videos and footage of past Summerfests: You can post to the Summerfest Facebook page or if you are not on Facebook, submit photos to – please provide your name and they will post your submissions on the Summerfest Facebook page

• Weekly photo contests
Leading up to Summerfest, there will be weekly themed photo competitions on the Summerfest Facebook page or email your submissions to Parks& Please provide your name and they will post your photo on the Summerfest page.
photo contest Themes:
• May 16 to May 22 – Pets & Livestock

• May 23 to May 29 – Memorial Day – Honoring Our Veterans

• May 30 to June 5 – Windham’s Lawns, Gardens and Great Outdoors

• June 6 to June 12 – Windham Eagle Spirit Week

• June 13 to June 19 – Celebrating Maine’s Bicentennial

• June 18 to June 22 – Summerfest Participants Showcase: Past years organizations, nonprofits,
businesses, community groups, vendors, crafters, parade participants, bands and performers will be invited to share their profiles/websites/information on the Summerfest Facebook page.

• More to come
“The Summerfest committee is dedicated to working together to make this the best virtual event possible. It’s certainly not what we wanted, but it’s the hand we have been dealt,” said Mullins.

As always, the committee plans to give it their all.

“Summerfest’s mission is Bringing Unity to the Community,” said the liaison for vendors and crafts Barb Maurais. “The committee felt that it was important that we continue our Summerfest tradition and celebration even with the social distancing restrictions. Since we wouldn’t be able to gather, the 
Virtual Summerfest will be our way of bringing Windham residents together especially during the celebration of Maine’s Bicentennial.”

The weekly winner will be determined by the most “likes” on her/his photo and will receive a very special prize from Windham Parks & Recreation.

Would you like to get involved – from a safe distance? Please visit and reach out to any of the committee members or the Parks and Recreation Department for ways to help.
If you have questions please email:

And of course, follow Summerfest on Facebook for updates and ongoing coverage of the exciting  (and different) happenings. <