Friday, November 9, 2018

Child's innocence invokes gratitude

By Lorraine Glowczak

The rain was coming down exceptionally hard Tuesday afternoon as I was driving to the polls to vote. Wishing the monthlong rains would give us a break, my grumpiness with the weather melted when I stopped for an oncoming school bus as it stopped, letting out four young students. As they skipped in front of the bus, their laughter and carefree chatter made me crack a smile. As I did, my first thought was, “They are our future and one day it’s possible I might be voting for one of them.” I kept that thought in mind as I voted and slid my ballots into the voting machine.

I love children and the lighthearted way they leap through life. I think it is safe to say that most
people have a soft spot for the youngsters in our lives and will do most anything we can to protect them. In fact, it is among one of the many reasons why we vote. The greatest action taken to protect children, is the safety and freedom we all receive from those who join the armed forces. This brings me to this Sunday, November 11 - Veterans Day.

Most of us prefer peace over war, especially because of the children – here at home and abroad, but sometimes war is inevitable. It is for this reason I wish to take a moment to say, “thank you” to all military members, past and present. There are several unique ways we can show our gratitude for those who must leave their families and/or give up their life so the rest of us can live freely, providing a future for our children in a secure environment. If you wish to find a way to actively show your gratitude, I found a few of the following ideas:

If you know a veteran, offer your services such as with home repair, cooking, running errands, etc. If you don’t know a veteran, check in with the Windham Veterans Center and I’m certain they can connect you with someone in need.

Give donations to homeless veterans shelters or make a donation to Preble Street Veteran Housing Resources. FMI: Call 207-956-6556 or email at Windham Veterans Center also takes donations for homeless vets and will distribute them as needed. Since winter is just around the corner consider giving coats and emergency rain ponchos.

Support a military family who may be missing a loved one stationed elsewhere. Make meals, mow the lawn, help with grocery shopping, or simply provide emotional support. By supporting a veterans' family, you're showing respect for all the sacrifices they make.

Support the businesses that support our military. Many restaurants and stores offer promotions on Veterans Day to military members and their families.

But most importantly, would you join me as I do my best to continue showing my gratitude after Veterans Day ends? I, for one, will always be reminded to say “thank you” whenever a child’s laughter echoes within my presence. Afterall, isn’t that one motivation why we wish to keep our world safe? Thank you!

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Opportunity knocking?

Is opportunity knocking on Windham’s door? Quite possible. First of all, I have been unable to determine if the town manager was fired, resigned, or …. something. Should it be this fuzzy? I believe the town manager was degraded publicly and hope the town council might consider a slightly different approach to the treatment of our employees. They could hit the re-set button and show some real leadership.  But will they?  Employees certainly deserve it, as do the residents.

I have read the so called “Opus” report dated September 17, 2018. I found nothing surprising.  In fact, most of the deficiencies identified have been common knowledge for years and are issues that any organization has. I’m not entirely sure why we needed two studies to inform us of problems that should have been obvious. Ah, that’s one of the problems; management didn’t recognize the problems and should have. As a result, no corrections were made. However, I saw no problems that deserved a dismissal, resignation or anything similar. 

I also noticed something significant in the report; that everyone lent a hand in the problems; and as such everyone will be part of the solution. A critical component of any solution will be the chain of command. All employees need to know and understand this. Everyone, employees, and the town council need to know their role. Employees that are residents of Windham need to understand that they are employees when discussing town matters. Just these couple of items will go a long way in eliminating many of the issues identified in the report.

In the search for a new town manager, the council could appoint a hiring committee. This committee might include representatives of stakeholders such as councilors, department managers, rank and file employees and residents of the town. The committee needs to be diverse, but not too large. They need to discuss what is desired of a town manager. That is, what traits, personality, management style, track record, etc. The members need to be honest, feel safe in stating opinions, reflective, no personal agendas, and of the utmost importance is to remember that it isn’t about any individual but about what is good for the town and its residents.

So, as we move forward from this ugly chapter is our history, I would like to point out a couple of things, that to some may be obvious, but to some maybe not:  Any organization has a culture.  That culture is on display every day. It is evident when talking with employees, attempting to solve problems, etc. That culture is set by leadership. Leadership that should come from the town council, town manager, and department managers. The town leadership needs to be more transparent. I’ve noted that we as a town have lots of secrets. They need to stop. They can reveal much more than they do. Everything is not a personnel matter or a negotiation. They need to rid themselves of their personal agendas. Employees need to have goals.  Supervisors need to work with their subordinates to set realistic, yet challenging goals. Most employees will perform to expectations when known. If there are no clear goals for employees, that is exactly how they will perform. 

It will take some time to repair the damage done, particularly with relationships. It is difficult to trust again; but they must. The Opus report is a good place to start as we begin the next chapter is our history.

Jeffrey M. Pierce

Friday, November 2, 2018

Insight: In spite of everything

By Lorraine Glowczak

“I know you have a soft spot for him, but he has done absolutely nothing good for me,” my friend said, sharing her disappointment about a mutual acquaintance. I attempted to clarify that there may be more to the story than what she could see, when she stopped me midsentence. “What your problem is, is that you only see the good in everyone.” We laughed, and I agreed it was true. “I am often disappointed and get bitten in the behind, a lot. In fact, it’s a wonder I have a behind left,” I joked.

Since that conversation, along with the recent shooting at the Jewish synagogue in Pittsburg, PA, I began to question my “good is in everyone” philosophy. But it seems I’m not alone. While searching for a quote for this publication, I came across these words penned by Anne Frank, “In spite of everything, I still believe people are really good at heart.”

Anne Frank was just a young teenager when she authored that sentence. I wonder if she would have still held that belief had she survived the concentration camp, especially after all she had experienced and witnessed while in profoundly miserable captivity.

The question regarding whether humans are innately good or bad has existed since time began. Ancient philosophers and religious leaders each had their differing theories on the subject. Some stated that we are basically good but are corrupted by society while others opted for the thought that we are born basically bad but are kept in check by society.

It seems that recent scientific studies indicate that we are good at heart, in spite of it all. In his doctoral research at Harvard University, Adrian F. Ward discovered that “….we tend to act based on our intuitive and automatic impulses…willing to give for the good of the group even when it comes at our own personal expense.”

This is not the only evidence I found that reflected Ward’s study, other psychologists and social scientists have come to the same conclusion. I searched for some evidence that people are innately bad but was unable to find such. All research led me to this basic conclusion: We instinctively prefer good over evil.

Research is one thing, but experience is another. This past Tuesday, October 30, I was one of the 1,500 individuals who attended the Community Vigil at Congregation Be Ha’am in South Portland to honor and remember those who lost their lives in Pittsburg. The gathering of people from different walks of life coming together to support people they did not know who lived in another state illustrated the compassion humans have for one another and, in spite of everything, have a truly good heart.

I don’t know if Anne Frank would have remained true to her philosophy had she lived, but I will go to my grave believing that we are all basically good, and I will continue to see value in everyone. It may be true that a portion of my backside will be completely missing upon my death, but in spite of it all, I will take that over the absence of my heart.

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Jennie Butler and I have known each other for almost seven years.  Through this time, I have been involved with her at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church through a Neighborhood Faith Sharing group and a discernment committee for a potential seminary candidate through the Episcopal Diocese of Maine. She is a woman of faith with a servant heart.  

Jennie recruited my family to join the Down East Ski Club two years ago.  She has been an active member of the Down East Ski Club for many years and has held various leadership positions.  I know that Jennie would be an excellent State Representative for District 25.  She is passionate and determined when it comes to key issues that our state and town are currently struggling with. 
I am a nurse and witness the strain of our healthcare system on seniors in our state every day.  Jennie understands this fully as being the caregiver for her elderly mother.  Although I didn’t know Jennie as a teacher at WHS, I have two young school aged children and I feel confident that Jennie will initiate much needed change in our public educational system.   Jennie understands that it takes more than just showing up to get the job done, she is someone that you can count on to follow through and work selflessly to get positive results. 
Judy Dickson

Dear Editor,

I’m writing in support electing David Nadeau to Windham Town Council.  I’ve known David for 15 years, and I’ve never known a councilor who understood Windham’s budget better or managed its finances better. 

David is serious about the best management of Windham. His ideas in past terms have been crucial to keeping Windham on a sound footing. David brings to Council his experience and hard work, and the character and leadership skills that have seemed lacking over the past year. David looks to balance the infrastructure needs of the town of Windham, working to get the State to fund its own obligations, and working to keep Windham fiscally sound for the years to come.  I don’t think I’ve seen anyone work harder to understand and communicate the town business aspects.  Let’s get this guy back on the Town Council where he can continue to work for us. Vote November 6!

Brian Butler

Dear Editor,

I urge everyone to elect Jennie Butler as State Representative for Maine District #25 (Windham). My vote for change is about the key issues that have impacted everyone in District #25 for the past four years: (1) the State-funded River Road, the primary route through the District, has not been rebuilt – the road is dangerous for school buses and commuters alike, and it costs us hundreds of dollars each year in car repairs. (2) The Keddy Mill Superfund Site in Windham has not been cleaned up - residents near the site are very concerned for the health of their children and the impact to property values. The site is now “not time critical” because of the lack of state attention. (3) The state continues to decrease education funding to Windham, causing our property taxes to increase in response.  Please vote for Jennie Butler on November 6! We can’t afford not to!

Brian Butler

Dear Editor,

In her first term as State Representative, Jess Fay has taken the title “representative” seriously. Jess has met regularly with members of her constituency to hear their thoughts and concerns. By holding “office hours” in each of the communities that form District 66, she has made it a priority to be accessible to all.  In a time where so many legislators follow personal agendas, Jess has made time to learn and to act upon what’s important to the people in this district.

Jess Fay truly has been an outstanding representative. I plan to support her in her bid for reelection.

Terry Turner

Dear Editor,

We met Patrick when our family moved to Windham four years ago. We have nothing but respect for him and his ability to work on both sides of the aisle effectively.

As a mother of two young children, I’m very concerned about the Maine that they will inherit. Higher education affordability is top of mind along with a strong economy opportunity created by a prosperous business climate for the next generation.

Patrick is a proven, experienced leader and the BEST candidate to get the job done!

Mel Oldakowski 

Dear Editor, 
Having known Patrick Corey for many years, I have had the opportunity to see just how important that our outdoor heritage and sports mean to him. He is dedicated to sustaining and protecting sportsman’s rights and also is an advocate for environmental issues, ensuring outdoor habitat for everyone to enjoy for years to come. He was a member of the Joint Standing Committee for Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in the 127th Maine Legislature, endorsed by the Maine Conservation Voters Fund, and has an A+ rating with the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. Please join me in my support for Patrick Corey for Maine House of Representatives on Nov 6th.

Paul Tanguay

Dear Editor,

Healthcare continues to be an issue of great concern to older adults and as a voter over the age of 50, I am committed to casting my vote with this in mind on November 6th.  Healthcare includes the affordability and access to prescription drugs. As Rx costs continue to skyrocket, this is one issue that has become more and more important to Mainers of all ages. 

The bad news is that prescription drug costs are only going up and they often cost Mainers far more than they can afford. Too many, especially older Mainers on fixed incomes, are forced to choose between putting food on the table, heating their homes or taking the prescriptions they need to stay healthy. It shouldn’t be that way. Chronic diseases like cancers, arthritis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and asthma affect thousands of our family, friends, and neighbors and 62% of Maine Medicare beneficiaries have one or more chronic diseases. We need our next elected officials to work on long-term solutions to this critical concern.

One solution is to allow the prescription drug market to be more competitive. Congress should be pushing hard to make the Rx drug market as free and fair as possible. This means combatting anti-competitive practices used by many brand-name pharmaceutical companies to block or slow lower-cost, generic drugs from coming to market. We should be making the prescription drug market more competitive and pave the way for lower-cost generics that could save Mainers money every time they fill a prescription.

The cost of prescription drugs is just one of the issues on the line in these mid-term elections.  I look forward to going to the polls on November 6th and hope to see you there.
Erica Magnus, Ph.D.

AARP Maine Communications Volunteer

Dear Editor,

I am writing to express my opinion concerning Greg Foster, candidate for Representative of District #66 (Parts of Raymond, Casco and Poland). I have known Greg for over 10 years now, as both his friend and his pastor. I can say that he is as genuine as the day is long. His character is above reproach and you can know for certain that he is who he says he is, stands for what he says he stands for and will do what he says he will do. He is a true conservative. He values land owner and property rights and seeks to limit government overreach into the lives of hardworking Mainers.

A vote for Greg Foster is a vote for a man who will represent the rights and freedoms of Mainers. I fully endorse Greg and stand behind him and his honest character. He is a man you can trust to do the right thing.

Adam Lee
New Gloucester

Dear Editor,

As a longtime resident of Raymond in district 66, I've felt very thankful to have Jessica Fay as our State Representative. She is a very special representative, respectful, open minded, hardworking, intelligent, easily available, conscientious, creative, and she listens thoroughly to her constituents and to her peers in Augusta.

I'm not the only one who appreciates Fay, she was nominated by our legislative leaders to take part in the 2018 Emerging Leaders Program at the University of Virginia. Out of a nationwide pool of over 200 nominees, Fay was one of only 50 state legislators chosen. Her extraordinary qualifications are evident. “These legislators represent the best in our legislative institutions and are destined for future leadership roles in their state,” said Stephen G. Lakis, President of the State Legislative Leaders Foundation.

A Representative like Jess doesn't come around often, we are very lucky to have her! This isn't just a job for Jess, her heart and soul are engaged in working hard to represent us to the best of her ability. I hope you will join me in casting your vote to re-elect Jess Fay on November 6th.

Sandra Crowell

Dear Editor,

Jessica Fay listens to her constituents, both as she knocks on doors and in the listening sessions she regularly scheduled in the towns she represents. I had the privilege of working with Jessica in the last legislative session to effectively address a complex issue raised by a constituent- a domestic violence victim. In this process, Jessica researched the issue, talked to experts, and accomplished real results. 
She also showed her ability to work with stakeholders and fellow legislators on both sides of the aisle on behalf of her constituents.  

I know she will bring these skills and dedication to getting results when addressing important issues in the next session, such as making healthcare more accessible, and protecting the lakes and environment in our region.

I support another term for Jessica Fay.

Faye Luppi

Dear Editor,

Patrick Corey is my State Representative. Patrick works very hard to serve Windham and the State of Maine. In fact, he is one of the hardest workers in the Maine Legislature. I have talked with him about many issues that have come before his committee and the legislature.  Patrick reads the bills, including the things “in fine print”. He also researches the need for each bill. In other words Patrick really does his homework.

Representative Corey does not always vote the way I would, but he is always able to explain and justify his decision. I am pleased to support Patrick in his bid for re-election. I encourage voters in District 25 to join me in voting for Patrick Corey on November 6th.

Gary Plummer

Dear Editor,

Tom Tyler and I served together in the 126th session of the Maine Legislature. We also served together on the Joint Standing Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety. Tom did an excellent job as a state representative and a member of one of the most important committees in the legislature.

I have known Tom since high school, but I really got to know him well during the two years that we worked together. Among other things I learned that Tom Tyler has a great deal of common sense. Sometimes that is not that common in Augusta. I also learned that his views and those of the people of Windham are closely aligned.

Tom is a wonderful family man and has been active in Windham all of his life, serving as a firefighter and a coach for many years. I know from experience that he will do an excellent job representing Windham in the Maine House of Representatives. If you live in District 24, I urge you to vote for Tom Tyler.

Gary Plummer

Dear Editor,

With the November election fast approaching, political ads and mailings have begun in earnest, which is why I’m writing today to urge my neighbors in House District 66 to support Representative Jessica Fay’s re-election.

I’ve known Jess for almost 20 years and the commitment and dedication she’s shown for the community during her term as my State Representative doesn’t surprise me one bit, she has always cared about our district in one way or another.

As a business owner over the years, she worked with the Raymond PTO to help them make gifts for teachers for the holidays and she provided flowers at low cost for school fundraisers. She still works with the Beautification Committee to purchase Maine made wreaths for the 302 corridor and donates her time making bows for those wreaths each year.

Jess volunteers at the library, she has been a Trustee, and when she's not in Augusta she still volunteers at the circulation desk when she can.

She’s been part of the community for all the time that I’ve known her: as a business owner, a committed volunteer, and now as our State Representative. She understands this community, its values, and what’s important to people. She always has her eye on how to make things better for the people she represents. That’s her only goal in her work as our State Representative.

I hope you’ll join me and others in supporting Jessica Fay for re-election in House District 66 on November 6th.

Frank McDermott

Dear Editor,

I have known the Foster Family since 1964. Greg Foster is the Republican candidate for Maine House of Representatives, District 66 (parts of Casco, Poland, and Raymond). Greg is a Maine native, growing up in Gray and living in Raymond for over 31 years. He wants to keep our children in this state by bringing jobs back to this state. 

Greg supports the military, active duty, reserve, guard, and veterans. He knows their dedication, service to our great nation, and their hardships. He has seen it in his own family; his father, brother, and uncles all served. He has witnessed his father's struggles getting services for his military disabilities. As an Air Force veteran myself, I know Greg will fight for the rights and benefits these men and women have earned.

Greg is a hardworking, dedicated, self-employed individual. He has been a Maine licensed Professional Forester for 37 years. He is a conservationist, concerned with the preservation of wildlife in the timber lots he is responsible for. He is also a Tree Farm Inspector, starting in 1981. He has followed in his father's footsteps with these careers.

We need a Maine native who understands how other Maine natives value their state in Augusta as their representative! Get out and vote on November 6 for Greg Foster, he understands what Maine should look like.

Terri Smith,
Former resident of Gray

Friday, October 26, 2018

Insight: The daunting and terrifying

By Lorraine Glowczak and Nicole-Raye Ellis

Halloween brings out the ghosts and goblins in all of us. Whether we are of the miniature ghoulish variety who knock on doors pleading for candy or of the larger type who honor their inner child by donning costumes no matter our age, this holiday is all about having fun.

However, that’s not always been the case. Halloween was once a grim event where dressing up in menacing costumes was taken seriously.

According to, Halloween originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in) when people lit bonfires and wore costumes to ward off ghosts. Celts believed that on this night, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of spirits made it easier for Celtic priests to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter ahead.

Although we’ve come a long way from the time of the ancient Druids, the volatile aspects of everyday life still exist, and we seek sources of comfort as we face the daunting, and sometimes terrifying events that knock on our doors and enter our lives.

In my recent interview with the new Project Coordinator of Be The Influence (see front page), I had asked Nicole Ellis what advice she could give students on making wise choices using drugs/alcohol during our most difficult and scary times. Below are the words she offered as a source of direction. Although meant for youth, her wisdom can also be heeded by adults, no matter the situation:

Serve others: Try to make it a goal every day to serve others, whether that be helping a friend, a teacher, a stranger in some small, or even, big way. Serving others gets us out of our heads and enables us to feel good about ourselves. 

Stay connected with family: As much as teenagers don't want to be around family, preferring to be around peers, it is crucial we take time to spend with family. Although they can drive us crazy, families also provide a larger perspective. Try not to discount their advice prior to even hearing it, as it’s their advice that may be exactly what you need to hear at the moment.

Develop real friendships: Most importantly don't succumb to the pressure to fit in or be “normal.” True friends, the ones that will still be in your life years from now, will never ever pressure you to do something you don't want to do. 

Dare to be different: Sheep follow their shepherd even if it’s leading them to the wolves because that is the only shepherd they have to follow. Don’t be a sheep. Be a shepherd and walk in your own direction in your own way.

And, I’ll add one more thing - don’t let the unknown scary stuff frighten you, whether it is real or otherwise. Much like finding our way through a haunted maze, while we may not know what is going to happen next, it can be an adventure of discovery.

Happy Halloween!

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

My wife and I lived in Gray from 1994-2010. At that time, we became aware of and met Anne Gass on several occasions. We learned of her civic involvement with many projects especially the development of the Libby Hill Recreational Area. She worked tirelessly for that wonderful addition to Gray’s recreational opportunities.  But also during this time, and in subsequent years, Anne’s activism motivated  her to volunteer her services on the Gray Comprehensive Plan, the Zoning Board of Appeals, the School Board, and the Community and Economic Development  Committee, a record of unmatched leadership and effectiveness.

In 2017 we returned to Gray and learned of Anne’s Independent candidacy for District 67 of the Maine House of Representatives. A better candidate would be hard to find, and having worked with Anne on this endeavor, I have experienced first- hand her strength, courage, dedication, determination, and inherent work ethic. As an example, this summer on a brief vacation, Anne and her husband Rick, climbed through many miles of very difficult terrain (some hand over hand) in the Slovenian Alps. An amazing accomplishment!

Anne’s excellent character is beyond question and I have no doubt that she will be an outstanding representative for the voters of Casco, Frye Island, Gray, and Raymond.
Please vote for Anne on November 6.

Philip R. Ohman
Gray, Maine  

Dear Editor,

I have had the pleasure of knowing Jennie Butler since I was 11 years old. I first met her as my sister's math teacher when I was in fifth grade, and we continued to get to know her and her family over the next several years.

I have worked with Jennie on multiple different occasions, the first of which was her taking time out of her regular life to give me a private class during the summer between my seventh and eighth grade years, so I could get into the advanced math class at Windham Middle School. Her willingness to take that time out of her life has put me on a different life path, and I know that I am not the only one to have experienced this.

Later, in multiple years in my high school career, Jennie has been there to help me through classes and even just rough times in my life. I know full well that I am not the only student of hers to experience this. My sister is still seeing the effects of Jennie’s teaching far into her college years.

In addition to having the experience of interacting with Jennie as a tutor and a teacher, I have also seen her as an active member of the Windham community. For years she has been a supporter of the Windham Chamber Singers and the school’s theater program, showing her support for students. I’ve seen her time and again show her support for Windham High School and local businesses, and I have seen her dedication to this community both as a teacher, and a friend.

Jennie will be an astounding advocate for students in our state, at all levels including post-secondary. She cares deeply about her students, her friends, and her community as a whole, which makes her a perfect candidate for the Maine Legislature as our representative.

Samuel H. Nemeroff

Dear Editor,

Sue Austin is what we need in Augusta.

I had the honor and opportunity to serve with Representative Susan Austin for four years in the Maine State Legislature (2006-2010). During that time, not only did Sue serve as a mentor for me in the first few years of service, but she became a dear friend. I have watched her commitment to her constituents, by the countless hours she personally responds to emails and phone calls, to writing informational articles, speaking on the house floor or attending numerous events in her district. Sue is committed to her job as a legislator.

Augusta has become extremely partisan, and that isn’t helping Maine. I know that Sue can work with everyone when it comes to getting things done. She is a genuine, respected and intelligent public servant who has vast experience in the Maine House. A vote for Sue Austin on November 6 is definitely what Maine needs right now. Please send Representative Austin back to Augusta for District 67 and let her continue the great work she has accomplished. She won’t let you down!

Kerri Bickford

Dear Editor,

Sue Austin, who represents House District #67 covering parts of Casco, Gray, Raymond and all of Frye Island, the lady of many hats, the lady with panache, is the lady I support to continue her excellent work on behalf of her constituents. 

Sue has been and will continue to be dedicated to fiscal conservatism and ways to ensure the best for Maine residents, not out-of-state interests that seek to impose, through the referendum process, extreme liberal values for Mainers to live under. 

Sue goes out of her way to listen to and respond to questions and concerns anyone may have so on November 6, please join me in voting for Sue Austin or, if you reside in District 66, for Greg Foster.

Alice Darlington
South Casco

Dear Editor,

I am writing to endorse the re-election of State Representative Jessica Fay in Maine House District 66. As a local business owner, and a resident of Casco, I have found Jessica to be what we wish every one of our elected officials would be, and that is attentive, knowledgeable and a tireless worker.

Working within an industry that services elders, I am aware of the demographic tsunami of older residents heading our way, and the types of services they will require. I am also aware of the need to re-think our communities in order to accommodate people’s interest in aging ‘in-place’, preferably in their own homes. Jessica also recognize this issue and has taken a leading role in the initiation of local efforts to advise communities within this District on the needs and wants of our elder residents.
During my interactions with Representative Fay, Jessica has never asked me if I affiliate with one party or the other, but instead asks “How can I help?” I have found her counsel, wisdom and knowledge of the legislative process to be both informative and helpful. Further, she follows up by periodically contacting me to ask how I am progressing on whatever issue I raised with her.

In short, I have found Jessica Fay to be an extraordinary elected official and urge my fellow District 66 residents to join me in ensuring her continued role within the legislature.
Peter Gartland
President, First Light Home Care   

Dear Editor and Windham Residents,

Election day is almost here, and I cannot wait to re-elect DENNIS WELCH to Windham Town Council’s at-large seat!

Having worked with Dennis over the past year, he’s consistently been respectful towards other council members and our residents despite flared tempers and complicated situations. He listens, weighs both sides, shares his knowledge, and makes an informed decision.

Dennis was the former President of the local chapter’s National Correctional Employees Union, is a member of the Maine Municipal Association (MMA) Legislative Policy Committee, was appointed to the Maine Labor Relations Board and has served on Windham’s Finance Committee for three years.

Dennis has the knowledge, experience, and temperament Windham desperately needs to move forward! Let’s keep the momentum going!! I pray you join me in re-electing Dennis Welch on Nov 6th!

Rebecca Cummings

Dear Editor,

Sue Austin is the right choice for House District 67. I grew up in Gray-New Gloucester and Sue was one of the first politicians I met when I got involved in politics while in high school. She has served her constituents in Casco, Frye Island, Gray, and Raymond well and I know she will continue to do so during the 2019-2020 legislative session.

Sue has sponsored or cosponsored a lot of legislation that will have a positive impact on Mainers including an act to establish a statewide sexual assault forensic examination kit tracking system, an act to support the evaluation of opioid diversion efforts, an act to restore the trip credit to Maine employees, and an act to allow hemp growers to grow hemp from clones and to grow hemp indoors. 

Sue works for the people of the 67th House district, and she has proven that over and over again in Augusta by voting in the people’s best interest, not the interests of big business.

I strongly encourage everyone to get out and vote for Sue Austin on November 6th or vote absentee before November 1st if you will be unable to get to the polls on Election Day. Let’s be sure the 67th district has a voice in Augusta!  

Believe in Sue, Believe in Maine!
Katherine Slye

Dear Windham friends and neighbors,

I am writing to ask for your support in re-electing my husband, Patrick Corey, as State Representative for District 25.

Patrick has served as our State Rep. for the past four years. He has successfully garnered bi-partisan support for many of his bills proving his ability to collaborate and work “across the aisle”.

This cooperation is so desperately needed in order to get work done for his constituents. One example of this is LD 1708 which would allow qualifying Medicaid recipients to hire relatives to care for them. Oftentimes, a close relative must leave the workforce to care for a sick or disabled family member – this bill would alleviate at least some financial burden to a family.

He also voted to protect minor girls by voting to criminalize female genital mutilation, making it a Class-B felony to perform the procedure on minors and allow those who consented to the act to face charges. Sadly, Maine has been identified as one of the eight high risks areas in the country. Patrick also supports laws that protect women who are victims of human trafficking.  

Patrick has the compassion, thoughtfulness, and leadership needed for success in this position. He has legislative experience that will allow him to get to work for you on day one. I encourage you all to re-elect Patrick Corey as State Representative.

Sheila Corey

Dear Editor,

I’m writing to express my support for Jennie Butler, candidate for Windham’s House District 25.
I have known Jennie for many years and in many capacities - math teacher, skier, and fellow community member. As my teacher, she brought a level of commitment and compassion to the classroom that allowed all student's opportunities for success. Jennie’s enthusiasm and hard work in all that she does as an active member of our community are unwavering. I know that Jennie will bring these qualities with her to the State House and represent the needs of House District 25 professionally, passionately, and effectively.

Jennie cares for the wellbeing and success of her students and I know she will do the same for her constituents. If you live in House District 25 please join me and many others in supporting Jennie Butler this November!

Marissa LaGassey

Dear Editor,

Jess Fay equals democracy in action! Have you met our State Rep yet?  Jess listens to voters, holding office hours in each town she represents; she also goes door to door to hear firsthand what's on the minds of people who live in the towns she serves.

As a freshman representative, Jess brought forward three pieces of legislation suggested to her by voters. All three gained bipartisan support and were signed into law. Check out her positions on educating and retaining Maine’s workforce, planning for our aging population, and broadband internet access.

Jess is unflappable. She designed the flowers for my wedding and was completely unfazed by my bridesmaids’ dresses: a futuristic metallic pink, a bright floral print, and a solid cobalt blue. Our gorgeous bouquets complemented everyone’s dress. Creative problem solving is just part of who Jess Fay is and how she approaches everything that comes her way.

Amy Kimball

Dear Editor,

We are writing to support Jennie Butler for House District 25. We have known Jennie for many years through her work as a teacher in the Windham Schools, and as a supporter of the Windham Ski Team. Our son Max was one of the first students to join the Windham Ski Team, and Jennie was a volunteer who helped make the team a reality.

When our daughter Marta became the ski coach, Jennie was a tireless volunteer and supporter of the team. Additionally, we are excited to support a candidate who is endorsed by the Sierra Club. We need representatives who will take climate change seriously and help Maine become a leader in environmental protection. Please join us in supporting Jennie Butler for House District 25.

Helen and Sparky Hurgin

Dear Editor,

Rep. Sue Austin has done excellent work in Augusta for her many constituents. Sue is honest, hardworking, caring and sincere. Whenever I’ve had a question or concern, she has provided answers. With her many years’ experience at all levels of leadership – school board, town council and Maine Legislature – Sue knows how to work with others for common-sense solutions. Sue has accomplished meaningful change for working families by fighting to lower taxes, create jobs and grow our Maine businesses. At a time of increasingly uncivil politics, Rep. Sue Austin sets the bar for exemplary public service. I ask you to join me in supporting Sue Austin for State Representative on November 6th.

Greg Cook

Friday, October 19, 2018

Insight: Learning from teaching

By Lorraine Glowczak

Instructing others can be one of the best learning tools for everyday life, if you let it. As part of a writing class I teach, I will periodically suggest a few writing prompts. One of my favorite prompts is to have students write an opinion about a subject they feel strongly about. Once that is completed, I then ask them to write about the same subject as if they were another person with an opposing viewpoint.

There is usually a bit of resistance at first, but then the writers amaze me with their ability to compose, with detail, an opposite perspective, (although there is usually a lot of sarcasm involved in their “opposing viewpoint”).

Practicing this writing exercise helps to expand the author’s experiences with the intention of broadening and increasing awareness and observing life from a more multidimensional perspective. It moves the writer from egocentricity (individual as the center of all things) to a more of an us/other person approach to writing, making the poem, novel or essay more interesting to the reader.

I must admit, however, there is a bit of an ulterior motive on my part. I secretly hope that in the practice of considering another point of view, the writer may find that in the differences, a new and better perspective may arise and/or the realization that one’s perspective is not the only valid one.
To keep up the practice, I join the other writers during this writing exercise. In last week’s class, I discovered something about myself as an editor that made me take a closer look at The Windham Eagle’s purpose and mission. That is, “to provide positive and solution-based news.”

In a few past Insights, I have reiterated the paper’s mission, but I have done so without completely encompassing others’ perceptions. In response to recent and local issues facing our community, we’ve received three valid comments/questions that may challenge our mission.

These comments included: “Why didn’t you write about what happened at the Town Council meeting? People need to know what is happening.” “You are not adhering to the rules of journalism,” and “The purpose of a newspaper is to shed light on issues, so people can make informed decisions.”

Since my writing prompt last week, I have reflected upon these well-founded inquiries and how I can still adhere to the newspaper’s mission while touching on subjects that some people have strong opinions about. I have been racking my brain on how to accomplish make a positive out of what may be viewed as a negative.

I’m sorry to announce that I have not quite figured out how to bring two polar opposites together. But I’m determined to find a way.

How? Well, if it is true that you learn through teaching, then maybe I will figure it all out with the help in next week’s writing prompt. Wish me luck!