Friday, December 7, 2018

Insight: Peace on Earth, can it be?


By Lorraine Glowczak

This past weekend was packed with holiday activities that I found myself attending including, craft fairs, Festival of Trees and other events that included the Annual AmFam Holiday Tradition by the Windham Chamber Singers.

I also attended the Old-Fashioned Christmas Carol and Readers’ Theater hosted by Faith Lutheran Church where I got to hear a favorite Christmas song that always brings tears to my eyes – the David Bowie/Bing Crosby rendition of the combined “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy” holiday harmony.

Peace is something we want and hope for year-round but especially during the holiday season. But as we know, observe and experience, it seems an impossible dream.

This publication day, December 7, marks 77 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor. That morning’s attack has famously become “a day that will live in infamy.”

Of course, I wasn’t alive when this event occurred, but I was alive during the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. From that experience and the frightening, tumultuous days that followed, there was very little sense of peace in most Americans’ hearts. I suspect the same was true of those alive on that cold December morning as everyone was preparing for the glorious holiday season.

This is where the juxtaposition of life makes things a bit hazy and confusing – where the lines are fuzzy as we grapple with contradictory ideology. Yes. We all want peace. But sometimes that begs war in order to achieve it.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor and World War II was over, peace did reign again in our nation, at least for a while. And it seems the cycle returns again and again - peace, war, peace, war. And, although we face many circumstances today that can render the soul into sadness, for the most part - here in our homes in Windham and Raymond – there is for now – a sense of peace.

There are two ironic and fascinating facts about these two songs – sung together. First, the Little Drummer Boy was written in 1941 – the year of the Pearl Harbor attacks. There is no evidence that the composer/writer of the holiday classic, Katherine Kennicott Davis, wrote it with peace in mind, but as author Penelope Hart wrote on Holidappy.com, “’'Little Drummer Boy' crosses genres, boundaries, borders, beliefs [as stars] like Bing Crosby to rock god guitarist Jimmy Hendrix, from Marlene Dietrich to Johnny Cash” each performed the song. Crossing and accepting boundaries – accepting one another as we are - is one step toward peace and - going out on limb – may also be a preventable measure to war. (Although, I must admit, it’s not always that simple.)

As for the “Peace on Earth” portion of the melody, it was written specifically for Bowie as he performed the song with Bing Crosby in his holiday television special – on September 11, 1977. It’s just simply an interesting fact that may beg some reflection. Again, acceptance and respect of one another may have prevented the attacks on September 11, 2001. And, again – I may be going out on a limb with that suggestion and of course, nothing really is ever that simple.

I wish I could offer some guarantee or some deep and amazing insight regarding a peace that is eternal. But since I can’t, I would like to end with the last verse of “Peace on Earth” lyrics: “I pray my wish will come true. For my child and your child, too. He'll see the day of glory. See the day when men of good will live in peace, live in peace again. Peace on earth, can it be…..can it be.”

May peace be with you and begin with you.













Letters to the Editor


Dear Editor and area Lakes Region community: 

Our 2018 election cycle is essentially over. Some are happy, some are sad, some are angry and some don’t care. We are all hopeful for a change in attitude from partisan politics, deep polarization and division amongst most of us, including family and friends. I invite you to join us at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church this Advent and Christmas for a bit of peace and hope.

Recently, a gunman walked into a synagogue in Pittsburgh and killed multiple unsuspecting worshipers. The motive was described as a hate crime and blatant Antisemitism. Yet again, a young man descended upon a nightclub in Thousand Oaks, CA and opened fire on a crowded bar of revelers. More dead and no motive realized, the shooter took his own life after his rampage. I invite you to our church this Advent and Christmas to pray for the victims and their families and experience some peace and hope.

Wildfires continue to rage out of control in California with a growing list of victims and property damage. Unbelievable scenes of carnage and wreckage flood the media. We ask ourselves is this the beginning of the end-times? I invite you to Church to immerse yourselves in peace and hope.

Our world is filled with division, hatred, pain and suffering. Our Church can be for you and your family a place of peace, joy, fellowship and love. I invite you to join us for worship at either 8 a.m. or 10 a.m., on the four Sundays of Advent beginning December 1, and for any of our three Christmas Eve services at 4 p.m., 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Perhaps you’ve been away from the Church for a while, maybe you never consider going to any church, or maybe you are new to the area. Advent is a time of “new beginnings” and maybe the timing is right for you to make your way to us this December. I know it can be difficult to enter through the double red doors when it hasn’t been a habit lately, or ever. But I assure you that you will find a warm welcome, unconditional acceptance, and a loving community just happy to see you.
May God bless you and keep you safe.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Rev. Tim Higgins, Rector
St. Ann’s Episcopal Church

PS: Please call or send an email anytime at 892-8447 or revtimhiggins@gmail.com.


Dear Editor,

Thank you to the Windham Eagle and Walter Lunt for the wonderful article on Doctor Sidney Branson. The article inspired me to write a short piece about Doc Branson and the ways that he impacted my life.

Doctor Sidney Branson delivered me into this world. Throughout my life, Sidney Branson was much more than our family doctor. As a boy, I remember Cub Scout meetings in the basement of his home in South Windham. His wife, Nora, was one of our leaders. I, like all the other scouts, was fascinated by Dr. Branson’s extensive model train display in the basement of that home. Dr. Branson’s son, John, and I were good friends. I remember marching in Memorial Day parades. I was wearing my Cub Scout uniform and Doc Branson was marching in his military uniform. I looked up to him and the other service members as heroes.

As an adult, I would drive a classic car in the parade and Dr. Branson was still marching. The first year that he could no longer walk in the parade and had to ride was a watershed moment for me. This was the moment that I first realized that members of America’s “Greatest Generation” were getting older.

In my years on the Windham Town Council, Dr. Branson was very supportive. I vividly remember a proposed ordinance to restrict movies that could be shown at the newly planned movie theater in Windham. It was a very controversial issue and in the end,  I voted against the proposal. This was not the way “popular opinion” seemed to indicate, but it was the way I knew that I had to vote. In the hours and days that that followed, I had second thoughts about my vote. Later that week, I received a note from Sid Branson thanking me for defending free speech and our “first amendment rights”. At that point, I knew I had made the correct decision.

While planning for the 250th anniversary celebration of Windham, in 1987, we needed a keynote speaker at the opening ceremony. We wanted someone who could speak about the way Windham was throughout the years. In my mind, Dr. Branson was the logical choice. He agreed to speak and did an excellent job.

During my years on earth, I have known many great people. I will always remember Sidney Branson as one of the greatest.

Gary Plummer


Friday, November 30, 2018

Insight: Dogs matter, too


By Mary Emerson

Mary Emerson, The Windham Eagle’s Office Manager, had an experience she wanted to share with our readers. So, I am giving the Eagle readers a break from me and my insight so that Mary can offer a perspective in which we all can identify. Lorraine Glowczak


For our team at The Windham Eagle, Wednesdays are publication days and making plans on a Wednesday night is a bold move. Our staff often stays late to make sure all parts of the paper come together. However, last week I was on a mission to leave by 5 p.m. to meet my roommate and our boyfriends for dinner in Westbrook. To make such a plan was risky, on my part, but I was really craving wings - and nothing gets in between me and a wing night with friends.

All went smoothly, and I was able to leave early. On my way home, I took my usual route and followed Pope Road. Just after the well-known sharp curve on Pope Road, I noticed two cars slowing down on the opposite side of the road. Before I knew it, I saw a white dog run across the road with a retractable leash attached, dragging behind it. After the dog passed us, I continued forward a little to find a place to turn around and see if I was able to help.

I was expecting the others who slowed down for the “getaway dog” would have pulled over to help the dog as well. Neither did stop, so I was on my own. When I pulled up to the house where the dog ran towards, I could see it had gotten caught on the porch by its leash. The house owner had already noticed the cars slowing down by his house and greeted me at their deck.

Together, we decided that taking the lost dog to the Windham Police Department would be the best plan. I delivered the dog to the station and Officer Brokos took it from there – taking the happy-go-lucky pup to the Animal Refuge League in Westbrook. He was reunited with his owners shortly after that.

Although I was on my way to meet friends and very excited about my evening plans, there was something about taking time to help that dog. I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy my dinner date if I hadn’t. In fact, I had called my boyfriend to tell him that we might be adopting a dog if the owner wasn’t found.

Clearly, it doesn’t take much for me to get attached. I knew that if I had accidentally lost control of my dog that I would appreciate another person’s help. The fact is that giving, even when you know you will not receive anything in return,  is very rewarding.

Not just this holiday season, but in everyday life, I will continue to challenge myself and invite you to join me - to go out of your way to help others. I guarantee you will not regret how rewarding it feels to make a difference in a dog’s life. After all, dogs matter, too. Especially to their owners.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Insight: The science of gratitude

By Lorraine Glowczak

Snow turns the world into one huge outdoor adventure for my dog, Zarah. She prances, runs, eats it and sticks her nose as far into the snow as she can. The fact that she is unable to speak my language, her joyful play makes it obvious how grateful and happy she is.

A happy dog in snow
The snow this past Friday was no different, but I noticed something that I hadn’t observed before. Once the newness of the snow wore off, Zarah let the beagle in her take over and began sniffing out the voles that make their home under the snow. At one point, her nose and head were buried so deep in the snow, intent on catching her prey that she missed an easy catch as a vole popped up from the white ground behind her and ran in a hopping manner toward the woods.

Smiling, I remember the times I was so intent on reaching for a goal that I missed what was right before me. They say feeling grateful helps to correct narrow vision, at least that is what Annette Bridges suggests in this week’s quote, “Gratitude helps us to see what is there instead of what isn’t.”

Thanksgiving reminds us to be grateful for those things we have, and in doing so, it helps us see those things we often miss throughout the year. There is some evidence that being thankful on a daily basis contributes to psychological health and makes us more joyful.

Before I continue, I think it is important to recognize that the holidays can be a time of sadness and anxiety for some who grieve what is not there (family, friends, etc.) The absence of these things cannot and should not be easily dismissed nor the feelings associated with those absences. If this is the case for you, may there be some peace in your heart as you go through this holiday season.

But, for the typical, everyday experience, Harvard Health online states, “Gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”

A Science Daily article concurs with the above findings. “Numerous studies show that expressing and experiencing gratitude increases life satisfaction, vitality, hope, and optimism. It contributes to decreased levels of depression, anxiety, envy, and job-related stress and burnout. Perhaps most intriguing is that people who experience and express gratitude have reported fewer symptoms of physical illness, more exercise, and better quality of sleep.”

But if you are still not convinced that being thankful plays a role in a more joyful life, you can perform your own study. You don’t have to be a traditionally trained scientist to discover if these findings are true for you. Test it out. Try gratitude for a certain amount of time and – see what happens.

Now, back to the gratitude experienced by my dog last week. I’m curious how grateful she might be about the snow if she had to shovel the sidewalk.

From our home to yours…..Happy Thanksgiving.

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Support is needed for caregivers.

Caregiving is a labor of love. You take care of your loved one’s personal needs, you are their safety officer, their advocate.

My wife, Deb, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011. Deb used to read two books a week. That went away. She started having cognitive problems. Her condition continued to worsen, and she stopped working.

At first, life was not too different. Deb still got around and volunteered at Meals on Wheels. Slowly, the ability to cook, to read, etc. went away. In 2013, I reduced my work hours to give Deb greater care. Finally, in 2014, I stopped working, retiring three years earlier than planned. We lived on Social Security and savings. Medical insurance was over $1,000 per month until I was eligible for Medicare.
Caregiving is on the job training. You regularly change routines and activities as your loved one’s condition deteriorates. Deb’s condition worsened and safety issues developed. She now lives in an assisted living facility. Even though Deb has a new residence, it is still my job to be her caregiver, particularly as her advocate.

Caregiving is costly. Not just in dollars, but in the physical and emotional toll it takes. In my case, I had to retire three years early, coordinate adult daycare services for Deb, and ultimately place her in a facility. These services are expensive.

I think of other retired caregivers who are unable to afford services for their loved ones and the son or daughter caring for a parent who must reduce their work hours. The financial burden on the whole family can be devastating.

Caregivers need support so they can do the best job possible for their loved ones. I urge our elected leaders to do all they can to bring supports and services to Maine caregivers next session.

Deb Weldon/Tom O’Connor


Friday, November 16, 2018

Insight: Thanks for giving


Lorraine Glowczak

It’s hard to believe that when everyone receives next week’s edition of The Windham Eagle (arriving early in your mailboxes on Wednesday), preparations will be underway for Thanksgiving Day celebrations. I, for one, am astonished that most of us will be carving a turkey in less than a week - which will then open the doors to countless holiday parties and invitations.

As the excitement and holiday flurry begin, so will the increased invitation to help others who are facing hardships in various ways. This is an inspiring time of the year and the action to serve others falls under the true meaning of the season. But many among us have pointed out that we slide back into our old and comfortable ways after the tinsel, candles and lights are packed away for another year - foregoing the spirit of giving after the holidays are long gone.

Although there is truth in that statement – it’s been my observation that the spirit of giving continues in the Windham and Raymond communities beyond the holidays. I am lucky that I get to see these actions more frequently since many amazing stories land before me in my role as a writer and editor. As a result, I have the advantage to witness these good deeds more than the average person. I am often humbled by how this community digs deep, rolls up their sleeves to serve in ways that are needed and appreciated.

It is true that we are far from being the perfect community as we face many challenges – but that should not take away from the reality of our endeavors that create positive change and a better life for others. Here is a list of just a few examples this community provides for each other throughout the year:

*Weekly free Monday Meals provided by the collaborative efforts of area churches for all members in the Lakes Region.

*Local school efforts to help those in need such at Windham High School’s annual Powerserve in May.

*Raymond’s Age Friendly initiative that serves the older generation and fosters intergenerational community with intention of creating safe places for all.

*Various and almost weekly fundraising efforts by individuals, organizations and businesses that help victims of cancer, accidents, fires and more.

*The Windham and Raymond Food pantry and the organic, fresh vegetables given to them by local farmers and gardeners.

*This list could go on and on, but I only have limited space in which to share with you the many, many ways in which this community freely gives.

So, I’ve decided this Thanksgiving, when it comes time for me to express my gratitude, the one thing that I’ll be most grateful for is that I am part of an exceptional community that gives every day, keeping the spirit of the holidays going all year round.



Letters to the Editor


Editor’s note: The following letters are published in the order they have been received.

Dear Editor,

On behalf of the 230,000 AARP members in our state, AARP Maine congratulates Maine’s Governor-elect, the Senators and Representatives who will serve in the 129th state legislature, and Maine’s federal elected officials who will represent us in Washington in 2019. 

While Maine has a strong record of voter turnout, this year’s mid-term election season inspired record numbers of voters to make their voices heard at the polls and through absentee ballots. 

During the last few weeks our office engaged with thousands of AARP members and their families around the state. We conducted a statewide survey of Maine voters 50-plus and released the results in early September. We organized non-partisan community conversations on healthcare, hosted gubernatorial candidate tele-town hall forums and co-sponsored televised debates with the gubernatorial and U.S. Senate candidates. Our goal was to listen to the concerns of Maine voters 50-plus and offer opportunities for candidates to share their positions with Maine’s largest voting bloc.

With the elections now over, Mainers are eager to hear from those elected on how they will fulfill their campaign promises. How will our federal representatives protect Social Security and Medicare? 

How will our state legislators expand community services and support so older Mainers can age in place? How will they enable rural communities to be better connected through improved transportation options and broadband? How can both federal and state officials work to lower the cost of skyrocketing prescription drugs upon which so many older Mainers rely?

These are just some of the concerns we heard about through our voter engagement initiatives this fall. In just a few weeks, the next session will be underway, and AARP Maine welcomes the opportunity to work with the Governor-elect and state and federal lawmakers on these critical issues.

Rich Livingston
AARP Maine Volunteer State President

Dear Editor,

Thank you to the people of Windham for your kind words of support, encouragement and votes. I am honored and humbled to have been a candidate for the Maine House of Representatives for District #25 in Windham. All along the campaign trail, I listened to voters in our District voice their concerns about rising health care costs and aging in place, rising property taxes largely due to the State not meeting its funding obligations, business regulatory issues, State road repair delays, and concerns over the lack of progress on the cleanup and redevelopment of the Keddy Mill Superfund Site. All of these issues rightfully deserve attention in Augusta. 

Thanks to all of the volunteers who drove while I knocked on doors, helped with campaign signs, hosted signs, made clean elections donations on my behalf, wrote letters to the editor, and gave me moral support. Thanks to Ben, my campaign advisor, Marissa, my campaign treasurer, and Andrew for entering all my data. 

Most importantly, thanks to my family - Brian for filling in on many family duties while I was out knocking on doors, Nathaniel for creating my website, Matthew for sign help, and my mom, Harriet, for riding with me while I was knocking on doors on those few days I did not have a driver. I couldn’t have done it without all of you. Again, thank you!

Jennie Butler 



Dear Editor,

Another Veterans Day is in the books. The American Legion Field-Allen Post 148 for the first time in recent history elected to participate in the Legion Poppy Program. A reminder, all funds donated to the Legion can only be used to support Veterans and their families and service members and their families.

I wanted to spend a few minutes to thank the community for their great support this Veterans Day weekend and to share on a few stories or comments that were passed on to the Post and Auxiliary members. One woman never heard of the program and my Auxiliary partner gave her a brief history of the Poppy Program dating back to 1919. A gentleman accepted the poppy and indicated that he would wear it proudly on his hat in memory of his WWII father who passed away this year at age 94.

Another woman whose Korean War veteran husband had passed away some years ago said that she looked forward to the poppies and that she has made a wreath of them in memory of her husband and would add the poppy to the wreath.
 
Most people given a poppy stopped for a moment in their busy lives, smiled with words of encouragement and said thank you.

Thank you for supporting veterans. All that sharing from the simple act, the simple pleasure of presenting a single paper poppy to someone was heartwarming.

David Tanguay

Dear Editor,

I would like to take this opportunity and give a thank you the individual who walked into Corsetti's in Windham and left $50 at the register with instructions it was to be used to pay for purchase made by any veteran. It is this kind thought and appreciation that goes so much further than money can buy. Thank you whoever you are.

Stephen Signor
Windham


Dear Editor,

I'd like to thank my supporters and Windham's people who cast a vote to send me back to the State House. Many of you have been so welcoming and willing to share your thoughts and concerns year after year on doorsteps while I've been campaigning. Please, keep that communication coming my way.

Both Maine and Windham have many challenges ahead of us and my promise will always be to evaluate legislation based on its particular merit and approach my work in a judicious manner. I will always work to improve the lives of House District 25's people.
I appreciate and honor the support you've given me over the years.

Rep. Patrick Corey

Dear Editor,

I am writing to thank the residents in House District 66 (parts of Raymond, Casco and Poland) for turning out to vote last week and for entrusting me with a second term as State Representative. A very special thank you to those who have shared their thoughts with me during office hours, at doors, or via email and social media. These contacts with constituents continue to guide me as a Representative, and this campaign has been such a wonderful opportunity for me to hear so many voters’ stories and to better understand the issues that are important to people in the District.

I’d also like to take the time to recognize the folks who worked tirelessly at the polls, most of them volunteers, on Election Day. They deserve our sincere gratitude, as this day of heavy voter participation was a long one. Our poll workers showed such patience and diligence in making sure that all voters had what they needed to cast their ballots. 

Our democracy depends on people willing to participate, both by voting and by volunteering in their community during an election.

As we begin a new Legislative session with a new Governor, I hope that you will continue to reach out with your thoughts about state government and the issues that interest you. Please feel free to email me at jessica.fay@legislature.maine.gov or call me at 415-4218.

It continues to be a pleasure and a privilege to serve the people of Raymond, Casco and Poland.

Jessica Fay
State Representative
Maine House District 66

Dear Editor,

In our lifetime we set goals that we work consistently toward. Goals, however, are seldom accomplished single handedly. If we are fortunate, good and caring people assist in “Staying the Course” that leads to the full realization of Victory!

One of my favorite sayings comes from our Sabbathday Lake Shaker Society…”the more the hands the lighter the work”.  How true these words are and how much this saying plays in a successful outcome. At this time of year as we reflect on our blessings with our family and friends, I want to “Thank You” for your support in my jaunt for re-election to the Maine State House of Representatives. Each of you impacted the final Tally and the “Winning” results!

I am excited for this honor to continue to serve you and represent our House District #67. We will face difficult and challenging issues for certain, but I am set to continually engage in moving Maine forward!

My best wishes to you for a blessed, joyous Thanksgiving and Christmas Season with those you love and hold dear!

Warmly,
Rep. Sue M. W. Austin  
Proudly Serving the Good Folks of Dist. 67
Portions of Gray, Raymond, Casco, and all of Frye Island
In God We Trust

Dear Editor,

We would like to express our thanks to the Good Samaritans who called police and rescue when we were in an accident on election night.

To Windham Police officers Brokos and Stubbs, and especially to EMT personnel Mike Beneke and Logan Doak, we are very grateful for your kind and professional care.

Wilbur and Barbara Hall


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 vhs@preblestreet.org. 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
Windham

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
Windham

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
Windham

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
Raymond

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
Windham



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
Windham

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
Raymond

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
Poland

 
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
Windham

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
Windham

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
Raymond

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