Friday, November 27, 2020

‘Buy Local’ not a fad: It's a matter of survival for business owners and the community

Diana Mills, the owner of Mills & Co. at 778
Roosevelt Trail in Windham, shows a Cuisinart
skillet available at the store this Christmas.
Mills & Co. is one of many local businesses
that is ready to host shoppers seeking personalized
service, great products and supporting local
merchants this holiday season.
By Lorraine Glowczak

It may be viewed as the latest progressive movement but shopping local is by far not a popular whim that will quickly become a thing of the past. In fact, it is a matter of survival, for both the business owner and the individual.

Locally owned businesses generate more tax revenue and thus promote positive economic growth by recirculating a greater share of every dollar back into the local economy, adding to the pot of many non-profit and social programs, facilitating civically based healthy communities.

Additionally, local businesses add a certain level of “local flavor.” This is important for tourists who visit the Sebago Lakes Region every summer. Local commerce encourages economic growth gained from tourists’ dollars.

An important side note to be addressed includes the current pandemic. Homegrown businesses can accommodate the variety of safety protocols; keeping their employees and customers safe and still offer the same amazing services, especially on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 28.

“Local business owners have worked hard this year to ensure all CDC requirements are being met and have implemented protocols to ensure the safety of employees and customers,” Executive Director of the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce, Robin Mullins said.

Although we may be tempted to order online through non-local entities, it is advised to use these resources as a last resort.

“Ordering online, although convenient, is hopefully a consumer’s last option, and only when an item
cannot be found locally,” Mullins said. “If a consumer orders online with an organization like Amazon, none of that money stays local. Therefore, providing no benefit to our community at all”

The following are concrete examples of how supporting Windham and Raymond businesses returns in favor to the two towns that include positive impacts on the community and individual.

1. Supporting local trickles down and provides the ‘good life’ of small-town living.

If you truly want to enjoy the ‘good life” feeling that comes from living in small towns like Raymond and Windham, then purchasing from your local store is what will keep that feeling a reality. Often the “trickle down” is not always apparent - only felt.

“The less obvious reason to buy local is that by supporting local businesses you are benefiting your
entire community,” Mullins said. “If a consumer spends $100 at a locally owned business, $68 of that stays local, supporting community programs.

If there is one highly rated example of a business supporting various community programs, The Good Life Market located at 1297 Roosevelt Trail in Raymond is among the communities’ greatest supporters. Owner, Linda Manchester, and her family give back to the community by helping to support local education initiatives and non-profits who serve those in need.
“My family and I grew up in this area,” Manchester said. “We raised our family here and we were educated here – and we aspired to start a business here because we wanted to stay close to home and be among what mattered to us. We didn’t want to drive into Portland every day for a random job - so we opened the market to be closer to what we loved and cherished.”

From the moment The Good Life Market opened their doors, the community came out in full force to
support this new business.

“The community supported us from the very beginning,” Manchester said. “We believe in the saying, ‘what goes around, comes around’ and as a result – we give back to local food pantries as well as local programs that focus on education to our youth and the care for our elderly.”

2. The people behind the product know you and the community’s needs.

When you personally know the person behind the business, you enjoy a connection you would not otherwise have. And perhaps just as importantly, the local business owner has an invested interest in and know the needs of the community. Chris McDonald of Windham Power Sports located at 646 Roosevelt Trail in Windham is a perfect example. He and his family were one of the major supporters to ensure area school children were safe by supporting the initiative raising funds, placing stop arms on RSU14 buses.

“When it came to the school bus issue it all began with my own children,” McDonald said. “For years we stood in our front driveway waiting for the bus and it seemed as though a regular issue how unsafe it was for my kids to cross the street and load the bus with drivers not paying attention to stop lights. Something so simple in most minds appeared difficult for others. Maybe they didn't have children of their own? Or maybe they were still tired from the morning, didn't have their coffee yet or were late for work? However, it doesn't matter what the reason, it was careless and unsafe. Sitting in the car one day with my daughter, we were discussing the issue and she brought up the fact, at eight years old, ‘What about my friends and all the other kids?’ So, we decided to try and bring some community involvement into the situation and took video shot from my truck and posted the infractions online. This community is where we live and have lived for the last 16 years! As our videos began to circulate, one of the
groups our daughter was a part of the "Odyssey Angels" decided to get involved in raising funds for these extended stop arms to be installed on buses to help wake those people up who are not paying attention. Shortly after, other groups began to coordinate events as well as together these groups reached out to local businesses myself included and it was amazing to see the support provided by these local folks. They were able to raise funds far beyond the expectations of the original goal and they outfitted multiple buses with the first of the extended stop arms.”

3. Supporting local gives the community its “local flavor.”

How can one pass the The Elbow Room restaurant located at 781 Roosevelt Trail in Windham and not wonder what is up the chef’s creative sleeve?

“Our home is the test kitchen and our family acts as our critics,” Owner Nick Kalogerakis

said. His son is the chef behind the inspired and creative menu.

“We cook in our kitchen almost nightly,” Kalogerakis said. “We rarely eat the same meal twice; we are always changing things up with different seasonings and cooking techniques. Most recently we have been using some spices my mom brought back to us from a trip to Turkey. Delicious.”

However, “local flavor “does not only refer to food. It can also signify personal preferences in Maine home furnishing and decor.

“If Maine-made products that include keepsakes and country relics is what you want for your home decor - we have it ,” said Carrie Perry, Owner of Willow Tree Primitive Shop, located at 6 Sabbady Point Road in Windham.

Whether it is personally made wooden signs, local honey or Maine made furniture- most items sold at Willow Tree Primitive Shop support local artisans, providing the ‘local flavor’ of Maine.

“A majority of what we sell is unique to Maine and is made by local individuals,” Perry said.

4. More personalized service.

“All of our employees know and understand what we sell,” said Bob Mills, owner of Mills and Company, located at 778 Roosevelt Trail in Windham.

That is another reason why shopping local is so important. Receiving personalized service by individuals who know their products is seen by many as a thing of the past. Not so at Mills and Co.

“We have 319 different vendors – most of which come from Maine,” Mills said. “This adds up. Twenty-five percent of our business goes back into our community and into the State of Maine. And our employees know most of those businesses and individuals.”

5. Local does not necessarily exclude national chains based within the community.

“It is also important to understand that if consumers spend $100 at a national chain store that is located in the region, $43 stays local,” Mullins said. “Clearly, we hope residents choose to shop our locally owned businesses. However, based on the numbers, there is still a benefit to supporting national chain stores in our region.”

Be sure to keep informed with the latest in supporting local businesses. The Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce is working with the generosity of Gorham Savings Bank and Windham Economic Development Corporation, to support local businesses in the Sebago Lakes Region in a “Support Local” event coming up soon. <


Gateway to Raymond wreaths help holidays shine locally

Members of Raymond's Beautification Committee
and volunteers gather to pick up evergreen holiday
wreaths to be hung along Route 302 and Raymond's
Business Corridor last year. A total of 74 wreaths 
will bring the holiday spirit to the town this year.
By Briana Bizier

Just like carols on the radio and candles in the windows, beautiful evergreen wreaths are a festive way to welcome the winter holiday season and a cheerful addition to December’s short, cold days. If you’ve driven through Raymond’s Business Corridor along Route 302 in previous Decembers, you’ve probably noticed the large evergreen wreaths hanging beneath each of the corridor’s decorative light poles. While you might be forgiven for thinking these holiday wreaths, like Santa’s sleigh, appear through a bit of holiday magic, the truth is that the wreaths are a labor of love from the Raymond Beautification Committee, the Raymond Vitalization Committee, and the entire community of Raymond.

Each fall, those two committees collect funds in order to purchase the 74 large wreaths necessary to deck the halls of Raymond’s Route 302. Maine Lakes Wedding and Event Florist purchases the wreaths in bulk, at cost, and florist Jessica Fay ties the cheerful red bows herself.

“I got involved because the Beautification Committee approached me to purchase wreaths back when my business was called Raymond Village Florist,” Fay said. “It felt like something I could do to contribute by getting wreaths for the group at cost and the same with the bows. As a retail business on
the 302 Corridor, it was really nice to see the area decorated for the winter holidays.”

Fay is still working with the Beautification and Vitalization Committees to provide holiday cheer along Route 302. "I've kept doing it because I really like the community spirit the project exemplifies,” Fay continued, “even though making 74 red velvet bows makes my fingers a little cramped! It is a good way for me to get into the holiday spirit.”

Typically, the town’s Beautification and Vitalization Committees seek the donations to fund their wreaths through door-to-door solicitations. However, like so many other aspects of normal life, COVID-19 has upended the tradition of collecting donations by going door-to-door. So, this year, community donations to the annual wreath campaign are more important than ever.

There’s no denying that 2020 has been a strange and upsetting year. The darkness of this coming December could feel especially oppressive after the individual sacrifices we have all made during this horrible pandemic, not to mention the political turmoil of this last election. These are trying times when it is especially important for us to come together as a community.

Traditionally, a Christmas wreath is made with evergreen branches to symbolize eternal life, and those branches are shaped into a circle that symbolizes unending love. This year, hanging over 70 wreaths of life and love beneath the lampposts along Route 302 is a beautifully fitting way to commemorate what brings us together as a community, and what will help us get through the dark times and into better days ahead.

The Raymond Beautification Committee and the Raymond Vitalization Committee urge you to please consider making a tax-deductible individual donation to purchase holiday wreaths for Raymond’s Business Corridor.

Checks can be made out to the Town of Raymond; please note your donation is “for the Beautification Committee” and can be hand-delivered to the Raymond Town Hall or mailed to 401 Webb’s Mills Road, Raymond ME, 04071. <

Adopt-A-Family provides joy for families in need at Christmas

The Windham Eagle newspaper
and the Windham Maine Community
Board on Facebook are teaming up
for the second consecutive year to
adopt area families in need of help 
this holiday season. 
By Ed Pierce

The notion of helping others in need over the holidays is universal as the Christmas season arrives every year. It was what made Charles Dickens’ “‘A Christmas Carol” an enduring classic and makes us recall O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi” some 115 years after it was first published. And now residents of Windham and Raymond have an avenue to help neighbors and families in the community by assisting those in need through a special Adopt-A-Family initiative this Christmas.

For the second consecutive year, The Windham Eagle newspaper and the Windham Maine Community Board on Facebook are teaming up to adopt families in need of a hand this holiday season, collect gifts and bring smiles on Christmas morning for community members struggling this year during the pandemic.

“It’s a great feeling to be a part of something like this and inspire others to stand up and do the same thing,” said Aaron Pieper of the Windham Maine Community Board. “Another thing that the Adopt-A-Family means to my family and me is it’s a way for us to do what we can to help others and our community as we’re not in the position to adopt a family ourselves for Christmas. So, by helping organize and doing something of the leg work and behind the scenes work, we are contributing in some way.”

Kelly Mank, publisher of The Windham Eagle, agrees and has lent support of the newspaper to the project.

“There are many families out there who are in need of help and we see it as our mission to be there for them,” Mank said. “This is a positive, kind and caring community and we are fortunate to be able to do this yet again this year.”

According to one of the Adopt-A-Family organizers, Kim MacKaye of Windham, a total of 14 families were assisted last year by the program and that number is expected to double this Christmas because of the pandemic, people out of work and so many area families barely getting by.

“The best part of this is that it brings our community together,” MacKaye said. “It connects those in need with those who want to give. It’s amazing. It shows we need each other.”

MacKaye said applicants for help are taken in good faith and the program is open to anyone in Windham and Raymond.

“We have a great capacity for compassion in this community,” she said. “Last year I was humbled by what people in need asked for, they were small gifts, they weren’t asking for a lot. Some asked for gloves, a winter hat or warm socks.”

Volunteer Meaghan Bisson of Windham helped match families with gifts a year ago and also spent time wrapping gifts so that they could be delivered in time for Christmas.

“It’s rewarding how much the Windham community is as a whole,” Bisson said. “This community truly
cares about one another.”

Another volunteer, Nicole Lewis of Windham will serve as a shopper for the program and expects to be shopping right up until the cutoff for registering families for adoption.

“Every year there’s a group that needs help,” Lewis said. “It’s about the kids. It’s Christmas and this year, kids have lost a lot.”

Pieper said the outpouring of support from the community is not limited to individuals and that local businesses he’s spoken with are enthusiastic about helping too.

“Every single family that we help will receive brand new haircuts and toothbrushes from area businesses,” he said. “Those business owners I’ve talked to so far are really excited to be a part of this.”

Mank said the newspaper offices will serve as a collection and wrapping point for gifts.

“It gets pretty hectic trying to get everything done in time, but it’s really a labor of love,” she said. “We’re thrilled to be a part of this positive program again this year.”

Pieper said that if you or someone you know is in need of help this holiday season, he encourages them to fill out this electronic form for assistance:

Requests for help close Monday, Nov. 30.

Anyone interested in volunteering to help is asked to sign up here:

Gift cards and donations for the program may be dropped off be at the offices of The Windham Eagle, 588 Roosevelt Trail in Windham, during regular business hours. If contributing a donation by check, make checks payable to The Windham Eagle. <

Virtual science experiments connect college students with Windham eighth-graders

By Ed Pierce

Even in the middle of the pandemic, some RSU 14 educators are still striving to be innovative while teaching remotely and creating memorable and innovative lessons for their students. A great example of that is Pamela Mallard, Windham Middle School math and science teacher.

With her eighth-grade students in the classroom twice a week and having to learn remotely on Fridays, Mallard teamed up with Chemistry Professor Dr. Emily Lesher at Saint Joseph’s College to conduct a series of engaging experiments online this fall for eighth-graders led by college chemistry students. In past years, Saint Joseph’s have sat in on some of Mallard’s classes in person, but the pandemic resulted in a change of plans with all-virtual experiments that students can perform on their own at home.

Skyler Conant, an eighth grtader at
Windham Middle School, shows an
experiment he worked on virtually
this fall with chemistry students
attending Saint Joseph's College. 
In the experiment, Conant
demonstrated a chemical reaction by
mixing baking soda and vinegar
causing a gas that blew up the balloon.

“It has made it possible to overcome a barrier that has been difficult,” Mallard said. “Last year Emily brought her science students into my classroom and did engaging experiments. Our goal was for my Middle School students to see how Science could be fun and lead to a career. This year with the restrictions due to the pandemic, visitors were not going to be allowed to come and present.”

Mallard said that Professor Lesher reached out to her to devise a plan about how to implement the same program but in a different way. 

“She devised with her students to come into my class by Google Meets. College students then led the middle school students in experiments and learning adventures,” Mallard said. 

Supplies needed for the special labs and experiments would be delivered by Dr. Lesher so that the eighth-grade students would have what they needed to perform the experiments at home each Friday. 

Skyler Conant, an eighth grader in Pamela Mallard’s science class at Windham Middle School shows an experiment he worked on virtually this fall with chemistry students attending Saint Joseph’s College. In the experiment, Conant demonstrated a chemical reaction by mixing baking soda and vinegar causing a gas that blew up the balloon. SUBMITTED PHOTO


“My students couldn’t wait to see what the package held,” Mallard said. “The surprise brought such excitement to my students. I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Lesher and her students.  This year has been very difficult for students and this outreach allowed them to have something to look forward to.”

According to Mallard, each of Mallard’s 40 students were given a virtual lesson and experiment, split up into 10 at a time.

“At this age, my kids don’t always see the importance of science,” she said. “But these college students were able to connect science to careers they were preparing to enter such as a medical biologist or a game warden. This allowed excitement to happen again for my students and they could see the crossover to the future plans for these college students and opened meaningful dialogue about it.”

Adding to the relevance for the eighth-grader students were that three or four of the Saint Joseph’s College chemistry students helping lead the experiments were graduates of Windham High School, Mallard said.

“This allowed my students to see local kids who are attending a local college and gave them an opportunity to think about what they might want to study at that level too,” she said.

Participation among the Windham Middle School eighth graders was 90 to 95 percent for the Friday experiments, which spanned a range of topics from chemistry to physical sciences.

“They gave them everything they needed to do the experiments at home and that was met with real enthusiasm by my students,” Mallard said. “They were able to relate to the college kids and the entire program was extremely worthwhile because it helped promote math and science and they could come in to class the next week and share what they learned.”

The final day for the fall experiments for Saint Joseph’s College students interacting virtually with Windham Middle School math and science students was Nov. 16.

Mallard said because of the success of the program this fall, she hopes to continue it in January with Lesher’s new class at Saint Joseph’s  College. < 

Veteran outdoorsman joins newspaper lineup as columnist

By Ed Pierce

This week The Windham Eagle newspaper welcomes Bob Chapin as its new outdoors columnist.

Chapin is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a retired defense analyst who moved to Raymond about 12 years ago with his wife, Susan, and has been active in local conservation, environment, neighborhood, and local hunting and fishing organizations. He is the past president of Raymond Waterways Protective Association, the current president of Thomas Pond Improvement Association and the Pulpit Rock Road Association of homeowners. He’s also a past president of Windham-Gorham Rod and Gun Club, the current Windham-Gorham Rod and Gun Club entertainment director, and the current president of the Sebago Lake Anglers’ Association.

Bob Chapin will be writing an outdoors column
starting with this issue for The Windham Eagle.
He is active in local conservation efforts, 
environment, neighborhood and local hunting 
and fishing organizations and has lived in
Raymond for the past 12 years.

He’s been a lifelong fisherman and hunter and has fished in Thailand, Korea, France, Florida, Alaska, Montana, California, Virginia, Maryland, Idaho, Connecticut and Maine. He has hunted elk in Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, and Idaho. While on assignment to Alaska for six and a half years he hunted Dall Sheep, Brown Bear, Black Bear, Moose, Ptarmigan, Grouse, Ducks, and Geese. In Germany he hunted Reh Deer, Wild Boar, Red Stag, and Gomswild or Chamois goats and has also hunted hares, rabbits, ring-necked pigeons and pheasants.

As an experienced fisherman, Chapin has taught fly tying and ice fishing to Boy Scouts, taught fishing to Girl Scouts, taught fly casting to participants in Portland Water District’s field day and is currently mentoring several members of the Windham-Gorham Rod and Gun Club on hunting ducks and geese, turkeys, and pheasants in Maine.

He said the best thing about being an outdoorsman living in the Sebago Lake Region is the assortment of available options.

“We are blessed with such a variety of places, activities, and resources that make pursuing our passions whether they be fishing or hunting, or boating or hiking, or collecting mushrooms, whatever it is, it is right here at our doorstep,” he said. “All we have to do is get out and enjoy it.”

Through this new outdoors column, Chapin said he’ll pass along helpful hints that almost everyone can use.

“Readers should expect to learn something they can apply to their personal pursuits and maybe make them a little more comfortable, safer, or successful doing so,” he said. “I am at that age when I feel I have had so many wonderful experiences all over the world and hopefully learned some of the finer points that I can share with readers.  I have made some mistakes as well and hopefully they can read about them and avoid doing the same. I also like to include some humor when I can because reading the column should be fun as well.”

His interest in outdoors activities didn’t just happen overnight.

“For me it was not just one thing and it took several years to develop. My parents had a summer camp on Lake Housatonic down in Connecticut, that section of the Housatonic River that was captured between two dams, one at Lake Zoar and one in Derby near Shelton, Connecticut,” Chapin said. “I had three brothers and three sisters and all of us kids loved the last day of school after which we bundled up everyone and headed for the camp for the summer. We lived in bathing suits and fished and swam about every day. Neither my dad nor my uncles were outdoorsmen, so our development was a slow one. My interest didn’t really take off until I was through college and assigned to my first duty station, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska.”

He said he spent quite a bit of time in the coffee bar at the squadron there and when they were not talking about flying, they were talking about fishing or hunting because Alaska is an outdoorsman’s paradise.

“Several guys in the squadron had their own bush planes and could fly us into some remote areas. We would relish the stories when a crew would get back from a hunt and would tuck any special lessons into our planning for our next hunt,” Chapin said. “This continued when we got assigned to Germany. Most guys were content to just shoot trap or skeet on base, but I wanted to hunt in Germany. To do so required you to take and pass the German Hunting Course, which of course was in German and pass a practical shooting and safety test. I did all that and it opened lots of opportunities for me on that and a subsequent assignment later in my career. I continued my interest in each subsequent assignment always researching and following up on opportunities to enjoy the outdoors wherever I was.”

According to Chapin, he’s is a master navigator, a flight examiner, a private pilot, and a certified open ocean scuba diver and in his spare time, he works on minor construction. He’s also a member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, and through the Sebago Chapter of Trout Unlimited has assisted Maine’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department on several field studies and projects.

His column will be published in The Windham Eagle once or twice every month and Chapin’s first column appears in today’s newspaper. <

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Dazzling displays: Holiday Decorating Contest shows Windham’s holiday spirit

It’s that magical time of the year when wishes do come true for children of all ages and a season of good cheer and wanting to express gratitude for family, friends and neighbors is upon us.

And this year in Windham, a new contest is expected to become a beloved tradition in celebrating the spirit of the community.

Decorate your home or business for a chance to win the First Annual Holiday Decorating Contest and be included on a 2020 Holiday Lights Map of Windham.

How do we enter? 

In order to enter your home or business, you must register online at and submit a photo.

How will winners be chosen? 

Winning homes and businesses will be chosen by a “People’s Vote” on Facebook and at the Parks & Recreation office during the week of Dec. 14.

Will there be any recognition for entrants who do not win the “People’s Vote”? 

We will also hold a prize drawing for any home who enters the contest and is not a “People’s Vote” winner.

What is the Holiday Lights Map? 

Windham Parks & Recreation will publish a map that lists all of the homes and businesses in the decorating contest, so that local families may drive by and enjoy your decorations in person.

Help spread holiday cheer throughout Windham.

Entry Guidelines

1) Please submit a single still image that may be uploaded to social media for voting purposes. This photo should be uploaded when prompted to submit "Required Documents."

2) If you wish to submit additional photos and/or video, these may be emailed to Parks&

3) All photos and videos that have been submitted may be posted by Windham Parks & Recreation on our Facebook page or other social media.

4) By participating in this contest, you agree that your home or business location will be recognized on the 2020 Holiday Lights Map.

5) As part of the entry process, you will be asked to provide a public name for your location to be identified on the map. Suggestions include using your family name as in "The Smith Home," or designating a theme such as "Winter Wonderland."

6) During the registration process, please choose to "Check Out Online" and no fee will be charged. This is required in order to complete your registration.

The Holiday Decorating Contest is co-sponsored by the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce, Windham Parks & Recreation, and the Windham Economic Development Corporation. <

Friday, November 20, 2020

Dream Come True: Korean War veteran receives medals 70 years later

U.S. Army veteran Edward 'Ed' Salmon of
Windham displays medals, ribbons and a
certificate he received during a special
ceremony on Veterans Day at the Windham
Veterans Center. Salmon, 91, never received
the medals for his military service during the
Korean War following his discharge and return
to civilian life in 1952. PHOTO BY ED PIERCE   

By Ed Pierce

Nearly 70 years ago, Edward “Ed” Salmon answered the call to be drafted into the U.S. Army and logged two years creating critical lines of communication for soldiers in combat zones on the Korean Peninsula during the Korean War. When his time in the Army was up, Salmon returned to the United States vowing to make a life for himself, but there was always something missing.

On Veterans Day, Salmon, 91, of Windham, who went on to earn a college degree in civil engineering and served for 20 years as the Director of Plant Facilities for the University of Maine at Orono, was brought full-circle to his military career when he was awarded five medals and two ribbons for his service in Korea.

Born in 1929 in Cornwells Heights, Pennsylvania, Salmon just missed being drafted for service in World War II because he was too young, but as he was approaching his 21st birthday in December 1950, he was drafted and was among the first soldiers to train for eight weeks at the newly reopened Fort Meade in Maryland. From there Private First Class Salmon was sent to Fort Benning in Georgia for further training and then he swapped places with a fellow solder going home on a hardship discharge and was sent to Korea early in 1951.

“It was brutally hot in the summer there and 20 to 40 degrees below zero in the winter,” Salmon said. “And it rained all spring.”

Working in heavily fortified areas, he learned to climb telephone poles and crisscrossed much of the
Korean Peninsula building, installing and maintaining communications lines. It was tough and dangerous work, under constant watch by the enemy and sometimes being shot at.

Because of the nature of their mission, his unit didn’t receive much recognition by the Eighth Army based in Tokyo and to a man was overlooked for promotions in rank and unheralded for their work under some of the most trying conditions of the war.

“I didn’t particularly care for any of it,” Salmon said. “You were constantly on the move and I didn’t like Korean food.”

After spending almost 13 months in the combat zone, Salmon was discharged and back in the USA by February 1953, feeling lucky to have survived the experience.

He was accepted for admission to the University of Maine and earned a Bachelor of Science degree. He began his civilian career working as a structural design consultant for a Massachusetts firm and then returned to Maine to work for a construction company in Yarmouth.

Salmon married his first wife and they had four sons together. After his marriage fell apart, he met his current wife, Pat, in Portland and they have been married for 37 years, moving to Windham about 15 years ago.

“He didn’t talk about his time in the military,” Pat Salmon said. “About four or five years ago, we started going to the Togus VA Center for a  hearing problem he has and it was then he started thinking and talking about the medals he never received for his military service.”

She said that he knew he had been awarded some medals for his time in Korea but had never physically received them.

“It was something that had passed long ago,” Salmon said. “I did my job and came back. But I had a life to lead and went on with my life. Over the years I forgot all about them.”

Being around other veterans at the Togus VA Center rekindled his desire to obtain his medals, he said.

Pat Salmon helped him fill out paperwork to receive his medals, but a few issues stalled the process.

“His DD 214 discharge papers had his birthday wrong,” she said. “They had his birthday off by one day and getting that corrected took some time.”

The Salmons then met Lin and David Tanguay, who live in their neighborhood. Lin Tanguay told Pat Salmon that her husband David could help in Ed Salmon’s quest to receive his medals and suggested that they join the American Legion Field-Allen Post 148 in Windham.

In his role as Adjutant of the American Legion post, David Tanguay was able to obtain the medals for
Ed Salmon.

During a special ceremony at the Windham Veterans Center on Veterans Day, Salmon received not three medals as he had thought he had coming, but five medals and two ribbons.

He received the National Defense Service Medal Award retroactive to 1950; the Korean War Service Medal, the United Nations Korean War Service Medal; the Korean Commemorative Medal; the Korean Service Medal; the U.S. Army Presidential Citation Ribbon; and the Korean Presidential Citation ribbon.

“I was very pleased to get them and with two of my kids there to watch me receive them,” Salmon said.

The framed medals, ribbons and a commemorative certificate from the American Legion now occupy a prominent place in the family’s living room and are a source of great pride for them.   

According to Pat Salmon, the family is grateful to Tanguay and the American Legion for helping fulfill Ed Salmon’s dream of receiving the medals he earned in Korea and for the camaraderie of being around other veterans.

“He needed the social outlet,” Pat Salmon said. “It has allowed him to meet and talk with others who have shared his experience. We can’t thank David and his wife Lin enough for their efforts in introducing us to the group and helping make this such a memorable time for us.” <

Windham High’s Restorative Learning Program assists students in getting back on track

Windham High School's Restorative Learning
Program assists students who have been
suspended or expelled to remain engaged and
learning while also helping them take
steps to repair the damage of their actions.
By Elizabeth Richards

Often, when high school students are suspended or expelled, they fall behind in their academics because of time spent out of school. The Restorative Learning Program at Windham High School is an innovative approach that keeps these students engaged and learning while helping them take steps to repair the damage of their actions.

WHS Assistant Principal Phil Rossetti said the program began as part of a grant program several years ago, with several area schools involved in similar work. Windham is the only high school that still has the program, he said, which demonstrates the district’s commitment to helping students succeed. 

School is not a one-size-fits-all system. It fits most but there is a group of students that need alternate pathways,” Rossetti said.  “RSU 14 lives by the motto “Success for all”. This is exemplified in the many ways the district support’s our high school programing. The Restorative learning program is one of several that are designed to support students that are struggling to find success.” 

Jill Tank and Dr. Leisl Johnson staff the RLP at the high school in a typical year. This year, due to COVID 19, the program isn’t functioning normally, so the two are providing academic support for students and coverage for staff who need to quarantine.  

In a regular year, students can enter the RLP when they have made a mistake that leads to suspension or expulsion.  Typical suspension or expulsion doesn’t result in repairing the damage or help keep students engaged academically.

If students are home, Rossetti said, they may continue making the poor decisions that led to those consequences. 

Time may also be spent in unproductive ways, like playing video games, Tank said. 

“They don’t play games in my class,” she said.

Expulsion isn’t the “old school” idea that once you’ve been asked to leave, you’re gone forever,
Rossetti said. 

What it means, instead, is that a student is removed from their program and enrolled in RLP to help them discover what they need to get back on track, he said. Once that hard work is completed, they have an opportunity to return and continue working towards graduation. 

Students enrolled in the RLP are picked up at their homes by a staff person in a district van. The program operates from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday.

Once at school, students spend their day with RLP staff keeping up with schoolwork and finding ways to repair the damage of their actions, such as reflective work around what prompted their choices or restorative letters to others impacted by their behavior. RLP staff coordinates with the teachers to determine the work that needs to be completed for each individual student.

The RLP is a different way to connect with students, Tank said.

This approach helps keep students on track academically and allows students to build important relationships. Typically, one to four students are participating in the program at a time.

“The success of many students is based on the relationships they form,” Rossetti said.  “The [RLP] staff do a great job building these relationships with students. Knowing that they have a place that is safe where they can be themselves and seek out advice helps foster success.”

Tank said the relationships formed is evident in the number of students who leave the RLP but continue to return to connect with the staff.

The RLP Program provides students an opportunity to not only remain engaged academically and not fall behind, but form relationships with staff who are there for them even after they leave the program,” she said.

Although the pandemic has put a temporary stop to the program due to the challenges of this school year and transportation difficulties it remains one of many ways in which students can reach graduation in RSU 14. 

“There are many ways for students to be successful in RSU 14 and Windham High School that include not just RLP, but the Katahdin Program, JMG and the APEX program as well. I think that’s what makes us special and unique,” Tank said. <

The Windham Eagle partners with Windham Community Board to assist local families during holidays

The Windham Eagle newspaper and the Windham Maine Community Board on Facebook are excited to come together again this holiday season to create a positive solution by helping some local families who are in need or have fallen on hard times.

If you or someone you know is in need this holiday season, please fill out this electronic form here:

As we cannot guarantee every family will be adopted, we will work diligently to bring cheer to as many Windham and Raymond families as possible. We will be accepting requests from residents of Windham and Raymond until Sunday, Nov. 30.

If you are able, we would love for you to join us in sharing some joy with our neighbors this season.

Let us know how you can help by filling out this form here:

We wish everyone a safe and wonderful season. <


Raymond firefighters continue Fire Prevention Month tradition adjusting for pandemic

Raymond Elementary School students visit with
Raymond firefighters on a visit to the school
during Fire Prevention Month. PHOTO BY
For almost 100 years, firefighters across America have a week every fall to observe Fire Prevention Week, an initiative designed to show children, adults, and teachers how to stay safe in the event of a fire.

Raymond firefighters use the opportunity to provide lifesaving public education to try and help drastically reduce casualties caused by fires.

“For us, this has always been Fire Prevention Month, because we have a lot of activities each year that just don’t fit into one week” said Raymond Fire Chief Bruce Tupper.  “But because of the pandemic, we had to change some of the ways we had been doing things.  All our members wore masks, and we maintained social distancing with the children.”

Because of the pandemic, the Raymond Elementary School requested training videos be created to avoid having firefighters in the classrooms. 

With the help of Bill Blood, Raymond’s videographer, two videos were created:  one for the younger grades emphasized that ‘firefighters aren’t scary’ and told the children not to hide from firefighters during an emergency.  The other video, for grades 3 to 4, emphasized kitchen safety and how to escape from their bedroom at night.

School administrators reported that the videos, which were shown by the teachers in the classrooms, helped the children have sufficient time to digest the invaluable lifesaving information. 

Each class then went outside, and all the grades got to see some of the tools in ‘the big red truck.’  The
children were provided with Halloween trick-or-treat bags with fire safety information for their families.

The videos are available for families to view.  For Kindergarten to Grade 2 students, there is an under six-minute video showing a firefighter suiting up, and why he is “not scary.”  To see the video, go to

For students in Grades 3 and 4, an under 12-minute video discusses kitchen safety, and how children should escape from their bedrooms at night if there is a fire.  See the video at

Fire Prevention Month efforts also included other activities.

Raymond Deputy Fire Chief Cathy Gosselin said that members of the fire department also visited several of our day cares, and the Raymond Village Library, in order to connect with younger children and their parents. 

“We have been doing that for many years and the children look forward to it,” Gosselin said. <

Diamond proposes bill to set standards for vanity plates

Senator Bill Diamond of Windham has
introduced a bill to strengthen the standards
used by the Maine Secretary of State's office
in issuing vanity license plates and to reject
applications for those that are vulgar,
contain hate speech or include language
that refer to drugs.
Senator Bill Diamond of Windham has introduced a bill to strengthen the standards that Maine’s Secretary of State uses to issue vanity license plates.

Diamond’s bill will allow the Secretary of State to reject applications for plates that are vulgar, contain hate speech or that include language referring to drugs.

“As a former Maine Secretary of State, I know that these additional standards are badly needed,” Diamond said. “Some of the plates I see when I’m out on the road today provide strong evidence that the Legislature must create more thorough guidance.”

He served as Maine’s Secretary of State from 1989 to 1997, during which time Maine’s vanity plate program was first implemented. Maine law currently prohibits plates that encourage violence, may result in an act of violence or spur other unlawful activities.

In 2015, Maine repealed restrictions on license plates that could be considered obscene, contemptuous, profane or prejudicial, or which promoted abusive or unlawful activity.

“As the Secretary of State who began the vanity plate program, I never imagined that plates would be used to make such vulgar statements as the ones we’re seeing today,” Diamond said.  “Vanity plates are a fun part of driving in Maine, and have even become a tradition here, but we need to have some limitations when it comes to making public statements on state property (vanity plates) if for no other reason than to demonstrate to our youth that with life comes certain boundaries. Setting some clear standards will make sure everyone is on the same page about what is and is not appropriate for our roadways.”

The bill will now undergo further work in committee.

The 130th Maine Legislature will be sworn in on Dec. 2. <

IIA’s Academic Elders act as patients so nursing students can learn real-life clinical assessment skills

The Academic Elder volunteers brought out the
life experiences, frailty and struggles of the
characters portrayed in the scenarios so
students could learn to see the person and
not just the illness or disease. As a result
of the volunteers, there was improvement
in students' verbal and non-verbal
communication, fostering a positive and
effective nurse-client relationship.
By Lorraine Glowczak

Officially established a little over one year ago, the Institute for Integrative Aging (IIA) at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine (SJCME) seeks to address loneliness and isolation experienced by many older adults by offering a variety of intergenerational activities. Programs such as Silver Sneakers®, online Coffee and Conversations, a hiking program, a book club and much more have been and continue to be successful. The recent launch of the Academic Elder Volunteer Program was implemented for the first time this fall with nursing students and also proved to be a success.

“We had four amazing Academic Elder volunteers who virtually joined Professor Nancy Bonard’s Nursing Fundamentals Course, acting as ‘standardized patients’ IIA Director Heather DiYenno said. “This opportunity allowed the nursing students to practice their clinical assessment skills along with general communication and interviewing techniques in a simulated environment.”

DiYenno and Bonard have been collaborating on several projects that support both the nursing program at SJCME and IIA. Due to the restrictions from the COVID pandemic, the Academic Elder Volunteer Program filled a gap in hands-on learning.    

“The nursing program’s clinical sites for long-term care have been part of the curriculum, working directly with patients at long-term care facilities,” Bonard said. “However, this semester, the nursing students were not able to visit the facilities due to the risk of coronavirus transmission.”

Learning how to communicate effectively with the patient and create a therapeutic nurse-patient relationship would not have been fulfilled if not for the help of the Academic Elders.

“While there are ample opportunities for practicing skills on mannequins [such as bathing and transferring clients], there was a need for students to be able to practice therapeutic communication skills,” Bonard said. “The discussions included many important themes for nursing care, such as caregiving, the unique needs of older adults, transitions of care, and holistic care of clients.”

“At the conclusion of the four-week period, both volunteers and faculty noted that there was improvement in students’ verbal and non-verbal therapeutic communication, fostering a positive and
effective nurse-client relationship,” DiYenno said.

Although the students were not available for an interview, they expressed to both DiYenno and Bonard that they were grateful to talk with a real person, being able to ask better questions that included feedback as a result. This included proper and effective ways of communication – knowing what to say and what not to say to a patient. They also said this portion of the experience was one of the favorite parts of their clinicals.

The Academic Elder volunteers, who had heard about this opportunity through email communications with IIA, share some of their own experiences. Lyman and Darnell Stuart were two of those volunteers.

“Meeting with Nancy and Heather was all that it took to see what a wonderful experience this would be for their students,” Lyman Stuart said. “I love helping anyone further their education in whatever they may be learning, and I found this to be unique.”

Darnell Stuart, who is very engaged in theater, was looking for ways to be involved now that theaters are closed. Having had many years of work experience in senior health care, Darnell believed she was able to contribute to the students’ learning. But she also learned something as a volunteer.

“I was reminded of the term, ‘youth is wasted on the young.’ This is not so true - it is not wasted. It is they who keep us young if we allow them to grow.”

A third volunteer, Donna Leitner decided to be an Academic Elder because she had many positive mentors throughout her educational and professional career and thought this would be an opportunity to “pay it forward."

“I’m hoping my involvement afforded students a ‘live elder’ (albeit by videoconference) to practice
communication and assessment skills,” Leitner said. “Most importantly, I feel I brought out the life experiences, frailty and struggles of the characters portrayed in the scenarios so students could learn to see the person and not just the illness or disease.” 

“Watching their growth caused me to ‘up my game’ in portraying the character as realistically as possible,” she said. “In some instances, I had to do research on the character’s illness or the formal medical assessment scales/tools that might be utilized in their questioning.”

There may be more opportunities for both older adults and students next semester.

“Nancy’s class will continue with a different curriculum and there is a possibility to work with them again this spring,” DiYenno said. “Due to limitations of clinical placement, these students would have otherwise lost a whole year of clinicals without the help of the volunteers.”

IIA is also having discussions with other departments at the college including Social Work and Communications about other Academic Elder opportunities. And it seems from the positive feedback from the first set of volunteers, IIA and the professors will not have to look far for more Academic Elders.

“Their enthusiasm is infectious,” Lyman Stuart said. “I am already looking forward to the spring
semester when we can do this again.”

For other older adults who may be thinking about volunteering their time as an Academic Elder, Darnell Stuart has this to say:

“I do hope more people get involved. The students deserve what each of us can give them and we deserve the joy of helping them grow.”

For more information on the Academic Elder Volunteer program, contact Heather DiYenno at the Institute of Integrative Aging by email at or by phone at 207-893-7641.<