Friday, August 18, 2017

Quote of the week


In the circle: Insight by Lorraine Glowczak


In my “Insights”, I write often about how the members in this community come together and give their time, money and effort to the many causes and individuals who are facing a particularly difficult time.

Relatively new to the Windham and Raymond areas, my role as editor in the past eight months has
exposed me to the incredible individuals who live here. I’m still amazed and in awe of the amount of giving and community collaboration that takes place in this small Maine community. 

Once again, there was a lot happening this weekend – The first annual Windham Trails Day and the Kelli’s 5k this past Saturday, as well as the news of Windham’s Rob Gomez selfless actions at the Beach to Beacon 10k (see sports page for interview).

I think it’s fair to say, we love to give because it makes us feel like we are contributing to something greater than our own needs and, quite honestly, it makes us feel pretty good – and there is nothing wrong about that.

But what about the individuals on the receiving end? Those whose needs we are trying to fulfill. I can’t speak for everyone, but when I am on the receiving end of things, it is not quite as easy – or fun. It puts me in a place of vulnerability and it makes me realize that there are times in life when I may not be as much in control as I believe myself to be.

Part of the reason I may feel this way, is that I buy into the belief that it is better to give than to receive. But if I want to feel good in giving to others, I need to feel good in receiving as well. In order to keep the circle going, it would behoove me to accept a simple and polite “thank you” as well as a fast and swift hand that grabs me by the jersey when I fall.

I’ll end my insight here with a portion of the lyrics from the Lion King’s “Circle of Life” that seems to say it best.

“More to do than can ever be done/There's far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found/But the sun rolling high
Through the sapphire sky/Keeps great and small on the endless round
It's the circle of life/And it moves us all
Through despair and hope/Through faith and love
Till we find our place/On the path unwinding
In the circle/The circle of life.”





Letter to the Editor


Dear Editor,

The Windham High School Project Graduation 2018 Committee has been hard at work for several months, planning events and raising funds for a fun, safe and chemical-free celebration for our 2018 graduates next June. With a current class size of 248 students and an estimated event cost of $150 per graduate, our fundraising goal is a very lofty one and will continue throughout the school year.  

As a member of two previous committees, I very much appreciate the importance of parental involvement and the level of community support that a Project Grad endeavor entails. We are so fortunate to live in a community where the safety and well-being of our children is paramount, and where support for programs like Project Grad is offered from many factions. It’s only through the enthusiasm and commitment of dedicated community members that we can provide our graduates with one last night together, free of charge.

The Committee invites the entire Windham/Raymond community to help promote the purpose of Project Graduation by becoming involved and supporting our fundraisers. On Sunday, September 24, at beautiful Point Sebago, our annual Golf Tournament (and largest fundraiser) will be held. We welcome players of all levels to join the fun and register for this event, and encourage local businesses to show their support in the form of a tournament sponsorship or other donation. For more information on the tournament and how to register to play or provide some other form of support, please contact the committee at whsprojectgrad2018@gmail.com.

We thank all for their support of WHS Project Graduation 2018 and look forward to continuing to partner with the community to promote the well-being of and celebrate our upcoming graduates.

Sincerely,
Elaine Herzig
Project Grad 2018 Chair

Friday, August 11, 2017

Quote of the week


A radical embrace. An inisight by Lorraine Glowczak


Many who know me are not surprised when I tell them that I have been accused of being a tree hugger. It is true that I adore nature, respect the environment and everything in it, but I see myself as a middle of the road kind of gal. Yes, I have my passionate opinions about environmental issues but I have never been radical in my approach. Until, well - maybe now.


Being a small town Midwestern girl who moved to Maine in her early 30s, I was and still am in awe by the natural beauty of this state; and at times, I often still find that my breath can be easily taken away at the sight of an ocean wave or the forest landscape. 

I feel very lucky to call this unsoiled environment my home and I hope I never take it for granted.  

But, often, when we are exposed to such magnificence continuously, we can become complacent. Whether we love to ski, snowmobile, ride an ATV through the wooded trails, hike the mountains, enjoy a book at the beach, plant a garden or other outdoor adventures; it would serve us best if  we remained aware enough about our natural surroundings to sustain what we all love the most.

If we do fall into complacency we risk creating a situation that is destructive not only to the environment, but to ourselves as well.

As a reminder, to keep our way of life here in Maine a clean and sustainable one, I hope you take a moment and read “The Love Canal” by Michelle Libby (who is not a tree hugger, by the way) on page http://lifestyles.thewindhameagle.com/2017/08/the-love-canal-reminder-that-actions.html. Her insights and reflections on a spontaneous side trip to the Love Canal in Niagara Falls, NY help to remind us to thank our lucky Perseids Meteor Shower stars that we have what we do. (Be sure to see the article, Raymond Village Library assists in hosting an “Evening Star Party at Hacker’s Hill”http://lifestyles.thewindhameagle.com/2017/08/raymond-village-library-assists-in.html)

I admit it. My accusers are right. I have hugged a tree from time to time. However, this is about as radical as this girl from the Heartland gets . . . at least for now.


Letter to the Editor



Dear Windham Eagle Editor,

During a recent annual ladies weekend on Thomas Pond, our group was invited to take a free class at World Class Taekwondo, 795 Roosevelt Trail, Windham. 

Our host for the weekend is a student there. We first observed the class before ours and were impressed to see the cooperative way in which students at all levels learned together and demonstrated achievements for each other. 

Many of the adult students were kind enough to stay and assist with our class. The director, Master Park, was so generous with his encouragement and he made us feel comfortable trying something we had never done before. 

The studio is spacious, well-organized, and clean. All ten of us thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
I highly recommend World Class Taekwondo to anyone in your community who wants to learn a new form of physical activity in a warm and supportive atmosphere.

Thank you.
Susan Williams
Maynard, MA

Friday, August 4, 2017

Quote of the week


Box? What box? Insight by Lorraine Glowczak



We’ve all heard the term, “think outside the box.” What does that really mean? Yes, it’s true that the conventional definition to that statement is to think unconventionally; to shift one’s perspective beyond the status quo to create solutions to difficult problems – but that explanation seems, well, like the inside of a box.

We are all presented with challenges and problems on a daily basis in which it is required to put on our thinking caps and find a creative solution. But sometimes, there are those challenges that land in our lap that catapults us into a new territory where shapes as we know them do not exist.

Those sorts of challenges rarely come in a nice rectangular package tied with a neatly secured bow
where innovative thought solves the problem. Nope – these difficulties usually come in the form of malleable blobs that one can’t seem to get a steady grasp. And once you think you do – it begins to shift shape again and your creative problem solving goes into overdrive. There is no box to think outside of.

In many of this week’s articles, I have discovered this happening more than once – individuals who have been challenged beyond “convention”, whose experiences come with unimaginable pain and hardships. They not only survived, but rose above and profoundly moved forward with pure genius. I stand in awe of those individuals who blew the concept of a box to pieces.

I also bow to those who give their time, money and energy to support those very individuals and the causes that steady the shaky grounds. My hat goes off to people like Susan and Raymond Dupuis and groups like St. Ann’s Episcopal Church for their true creative brilliance. (See front page articles, “A local couple uses their passion for dance to give back to the community” and “Seventh annual Kelli’s 5K to donate funds to RSU14 and local boy battling cancer.”)

Sometimes, in this crazy journey called life where things are rarely straightforward and there are no sharp defining edges that even form a shape of a box, there are those who somehow take “thinking outside the box” to a whole new level – where even the notion of a box holds no barrier to living in a creative, innovative manner with strength, grace and wisdom.



Letter to the Editor


To the Editor:

What a proud day for Maine! On behalf of AARP’s nearly 230,000 Maine members, all Mainers over 50 and their families, I want to express sincere gratitude to our two U.S. Senators for their steadfast opposition to the poorly conceived attempts to increase costs and scale back healthcare coverage for millions of us.

Senator Collins was subjected to relentless pressure, but resolutely reaffirmed her support for her constituents’ best interests: To oppose the proposed Age Tax, rollbacks of essential Medicaid coverage, reduced insurance coverage for millions of Americans, and the process by which the Senate repeal-and-replace bills were cobbled together. Throughout the grueling months, Senator Collins engaged directly with constituents, listening carefully to their concerns. She voted in exactly the way she was asked to vote. 

Senator King consistently opposed all the iterations of the now-failed legislation. He, too, engaged with literally thousands of Mainers on this subject. In addition to recognizing the onerous impact on the health security of the people of Maine, including hidden impacts on both Medicare and private insurance beneficiaries, Senator King recognized the potential economic impact on Maine’s rural healthcare delivery system. Both Senators understood that rural hospitals and nursing homes could have been forced to close, further restricting access to healthcare. 

With enormous pride and gratitude, we extend our thanks to two of the most stalwart members of the U.S. Senate. Now, we must work together in an open, bipartisan process to address ongoing health care access and cost issues that impact Mainers of all ages. 

Rich Livingston
AARP Maine Volunteer State President

Friday, July 28, 2017

Quote of the week


Insight - What makes you happy seems to also make you strong by Lorraine Glowczak


There is something about giving to others that creates a level of happiness within us. In fact, in this week’s “On the spot” question: “What are a few things that make you really happy?”  I was not surprised when a few answered with, “When I help others.”


Going above and beyond your daily demands to serve others or the community in some way, no
matter what it is, gives us a sense of purpose. But it also seems to expand our awareness about the plight of others’ lives and makes us more kind and understanding.

According to Dr. Thomas Plante, Professor of Clinical Psychology at Stanford University, “When [serving others] you have a sense of how much of the world lives (not the Hollywood celebrities and even some of your peers), you have a better perspective on life as well as the hassles and challenges of our lives too. Additionally, you experience more empathy, compassion, and solidarity with others as well.” He also states that serving others creates a resiliency. www.psychologytoday.com

The unfortunate thing about giving your time passionately is that you are also exposed to critics - those who sit on the sidelines pointing out your errors or ways you could be doing it better. I have witnessed this lately, and to be quite frank, I am flabbergasted.  

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But by being a witness to this, I have been fortunate to notice that those who give (and thus are happier) have really tough skin. They prove to me that Dr. Plante is right in his assertions. They may feel the pain of the rock thrown at them, but they are resilient, too. They stand up, shake off the painful words and keep moving forward - maybe they learn a little and then continue on to do their thing, giving to the world in positive ways.

But what moves me the most is that these “givers” feel empathy and compassion to their critic. Not that they don’t experience human emotions and anger in the beginning - but at the end of the day (or perhaps two or three) they reach a level of benevolence that doesn’t hold them back. And they, I assume, go to bed happy.

So, it seems through recent observations of others that what makes you happy also makes you strong. Those who give seem to grow thick skin that can repel some of the hard and dirty boulders thrown their way. I admire that. Kudos to those who serve the greater good; leaving the critics in their dust. If this is you, keep up the good work.

Letter to the Editor



Dear Editor,

I would like to thank Representative Patrick Corey for supporting LD 1504, An Act to Modernize Rates for Small-scale Distributed Generation, which received enough bipartisan support in the legislature to be veto-proof. In the face of a veto override vote, Central Maine Power is spending a significant quantity of ratepayers’ money in lobbying efforts to try and change legislators’ votes from yes to no.

The scope of this bill is very narrow. The most significant piece of this bill does away with the PUC's [Public Utility Commission] misguided rule that assesses a fee on all energy generated by a solar array; even if that energy is consumed in real time behind the meter. This is akin to super markets charging a fee when you grow your own tomatoes instead of buying them from the store. If this bill does not pass, all ratepayers (solar and non-solar) will collectively pay millions to have CMP install new and invasive metering equipment.

I have worked in the solar industry for over a decade now. The growing industry has allowed for significant job growth in our community. These jobs provide a fair wage, cannot be outsourced, and are reducing the migration of our brightest minds and hard workers away from the state of Maine.
On behalf of everyone in Maine that could be impacted by this vote, I would like to urge Representative Corey to not be led astray by the utility lobbyist and maintain his yes vote on this bill.

Thank you,
Geoff Sparrow
Windham Resident