Friday, May 22, 2020

Insight: Finding a newspaper editor’s real purpose

It’s surprising that no matter how old you may be, there are still things you can learn about yourself. I bring this up because a while back I discovered my real purpose as a newspaper editor.

I was working as a news reporter for the Laconia Citizen newspaper in Laconia, New Hampshire when I was chosen by the publisher to be that paper’s new editor. After years of leading daily and weekly newspapers previously as an editor, I accepted a reporter’s job in Laconia because it didn’t come with all of the tedious tasks, duties and responsibilities otherwise associated with being an editor.

But when the previous editor had resigned, I was asked to fill the role by the publisher because of my lengthy experience in journalism and skill at organization.

Before the announcement of my promotion had been made public, I attended an early morning committee meeting for a drug-free community coalition where I disclosed to committee members that I was being promoted to serve as editor of the newspaper.

Following the meeting, a friend of mine who also served on that committee, Pastor Shaun Dutile of Laconia, sought me out in the parking lot and posed an interesting question to me.

“Do you know why God has put you in this position as the editor of the newspaper?” Dutile said.

Before I could come up with a reply, he told me that the answer to his question was something that only I could discover through self-introspection and discovery.

“Only you and God will know the reason for you to be put in this position and its purpose is something that you must find out in order to be successful,” he said.

His question got me to thinking about my lengthy career in journalism and what it meant to be placed in charge of supervising the content of a community newspaper.

What I eventually learned -- and it’s pertinent to my new job here as the managing editor at The Windham Eagle -- is that the editor of a community newspaper works diligently on behalf of the readers and not for personal gain.

As the staff member who determines what gets covered in the newspaper and how it is reported, the editor’s role is more than simply correcting typos, choosing photographs to accompany articles and fixing misspelled words in stories.

What I have discovered from first-hand experience is that the editor of a newspaper must always be objective, be a true champion and strong voice for everyone in the community who does not have such an extensive platform that reaches so many people throughout the area. As such, the editor should believe that a student’s Eagle Scout project is as deserving of coverage in the paper as reporting about a late-night town council meeting or the news that a new minister has been appointed to lead a local congregation.

Readers pick up The Windham Eagle with the expectation they will learn something interesting and impactful to their daily lives in every edition of newspaper. And I intend to continue to be as enthusiastic and helpful in doing just that as my predecessor Lorraine Glowczak, was in her time filling the managing editor’s position here.

Before I left New Hampshire to move to Maine in 2016, I had another conversation with Pastor Dutile and I thanked him for posing that question to me when he did. To this very day, I can still hear his words and reflect upon the awesome responsibility placed in me in leading this newspaper, The Windham Eagle.

Through the years, my work as a journalist has taken me to so many different places and I have enjoyed the distinct privilege of meeting and telling the stories of so many different people. But none of those are as important or meaningful to me right now as what you are currently doing in this community, how it affects your lives and those of your neighbors and it’s what makes this such a great place to live and work.

There is a reason I have been placed in this role and what I have learned is that the purpose is to serve you and to champion the Windham and Raymond communities.  <

 Ed Pierce

 


Friday, May 15, 2020

Insight: While I was busy making other plans

By Lorraine Glowczak

It was late fall, 2013. My transcripts were being analyzed by a University of Southern Maine counselor as I looked on. I only had about 24 credit hours left to obtain a bachelor’s degree.

“I don’t care if it’s in underwater basket weaving – I just want to accomplish this before I turn 50,” I told her.

With that in mind, the counselor proposed three possibilities that would help me finish my long sought-after education before I entered my fifth decade. I only remember two of the three degree choices she proposed.

“Leadership and Organizational Studies is one option,” she began. “Or…. you could get a degree in journalism/communications. That might be a great option for you since your writing skills indicate you might fare well in the industry.”

Since I had been an active leader in several organizations in Portland at the time, I opted for Leadership and Organizational Studies.

“Besides,” I told her. “I am a creative writer, not a reporter. I will never go into journalism.” 

Ironically, the leadership program turned out to encompass a writing intensive curriculum and improved my writing skills immensely.

There is the saying that goes; “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.”

Here I am seven years later, signing off as editor of The Windham Eagle newspaper. So much for not walking in the field of journalism.

For the past four years, I have put my heart and soul into this weekly media news source. I believe in its mission to provide ultra-local, positive, and solutions-based news to the readers of Windham and Raymond. I also believe I have taken it to its next step – giving it character and energy. But I must admit I have taken it as far as I can.

This is where Ed Pierce can take it from here. Mr. Pierce, with his 45 years of experience in the field of journalism, will propel The Windham Eagle to the next level. Very seldom do I see life as black and white but in this instance, I am convinced that Mr. Pierce is your man. (For his full story see the front-page.)

Although I am signing off as editor, I am not signing out completely. Whether you like the energy I have given to The Windham Eagle or not, I am still here none the less and will continue in my personal creative flare as a writer. I will also be busily at work on my book of essays and helping to co-author a book on leadership.

But – I cannot sign off without sharing my gratitude. This is where tears blur the words of appreciation as I write my last Insight.

I have gained friends along the way that include reporters Elizabeth Richards, Matt Pascarella and Walter Lunt. I have also gained a kindred-spirit with reporter, Briana Bizier who I have relied upon to edit my future book of essays (manuscript to be completed in September).

I will sorely miss being teased about my shoeless office attire by Gerry Collins and the quiet, friendly smile of Don Perreault that greeted me in the mornings. I’m saddened to say goodbye at a distance to Ben Parrott, Tricia Griffin and Karen Mank whom I haven’t seen in eight weeks, as they have been working remotely since March 16. 

Then, of course, there is the phenomenally amazing Layout Editor and Ad Manager, Melissa Carter. I have never loved working with anyone more than her. I would have never been able to pull off the production of this newspaper without her creative expertise and our collaborative efforts. 

There are, of course, the Publishers Kelly and Niels Mank (and the four Mank ‘assistants,’ Keith, Kaila, Brandon and Brian) The Manks have supported me in so many ways it is impossible to list everything. They put their trust in and believed in me more than I believed in myself. If it were not for them giving me this opportunity, I would not have had the confidence to become the writer I’ve aspired to become.

I must not forget you - our readers who encouraged me to follow my dreams. “You need to write a book of essays based upon your ‘Insights,’” I’ve been told by some. Or as one supportive reader once urged, “Have you started writing your book yet? You need to get on it. What’s taking you so long?”
As much as I never thought I would enter the field of journalism, I did not think I would be saying goodbye as your editor today. But life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.

Ed – take it from here.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Insight: What is this world coming to?

By Lorraine Glowczak

As we celebrate our mothers this Sunday, May 10th, we will do so in our own ways, depending upon individual circumstances and situations. I will be one of those daughters who honors her mother with memories – having done so since her passing eight years ago.

I have many fond recollections that include her love of peonies, her excitement when something good happened in her life or the lives of her loved ones, and - when I became adult – her love of sitting down with me for margaritas on the rocks with salt at her favorite Mexican restaurant.

But one memory that is making a deep impression on me today are the times my mother worried unnecessarily about me or the world in general. One question she posed often and continues to echo in my mind is, “What is this world coming to?”

She would often reference that question to the worry she carried within her about how people treated one another – and at times - the concern about the youth – whether the future held a bright promise for them (and thus her children). I, of course, dismissed her concerns as any know-it-all and highly idealistic daughter would. “We are going to be fine – just fine,” I often told her.

If Mom were alive today, I suspect she would wonder with more intensity and frequency what the world is coming too. As I walk into my own middle-age, that question begins to bubble up in my own psyche from time to time. However, just as I am about to give up on the world, there is always something that – or someone who - converts my unnecessary worry and judgment about the status of the world into joy and trust of a beautiful life that exist now with an even better future in store.

In the four years at The Windham Eagle newspaper, meeting and interviewing many people in the community, I have been reminded time and time again that although - yes, these are crazy times (always have been and most likely always will be) there are also so many delightful and exquisite surprises that still remain.  

The most recent “savior” in my glass half-full perception shift is 9-year-old Byron Davis of Windham and his family. (See front page for story at http://frontpage.thewindhameagle.com/2020/05/byrons-bloom-bombs-explode-with.html ). This innovative young student has made a huge impact on the world around him by the simple gesture of giving away over 900 homemade paper seed discs to essential workers that include everyone from medical staff to grocery store cashiers.

Although his mission is to serve a specific group of individuals, what this third-grade student may not realize is that this seemingly minor act creates a ripple effect beyond his targeted goal, touching individuals far and wide, including this small-town newspaper writer.

No matter what this world is coming to, with all the Byron Davises that dot this big round globe, how can one be discouraged? How can one worry about our future?

They say what you focus upon becomes the reality in your life. I have never claimed to know the whole truth or to own the copyright on it, but my curiosity has the best of me. What would happen if we dedicated our thoughts to ways we could improve the world for others – and in doing so, improve our own lives.

If my mother had the opportunity to meet or to know of Byron, my guess is that she might still ask, “What is this world coming to?” But instead of asking the question out of concern, it would be in the form of a statement that carries with it a peace of mind.

Perhaps the greatest honor I could offer to the memory of my mother, is to forever be changed by the act of one person. 

Happy Mother's Day!









Evergreen CU launches four-part online financial education


With COVID-19 affecting so many Mainers, Evergreen Credit Union is introducing MoneyMatters, a free online financial education course. The credit union recognizes this is an ideal time to offer basic skills for sound money management. MoneyMatters four 20-minute courses are easily accessible as downloadable videos and PDF presentations here: egcu.org/money.  

The 4-installment program includes: Where does your money go?, Credit Scores: How they're calculated and how to optimize your score, Managing and reducing your debt and Building your savings.  

Evergreen Credit Union is one of Maine’s largest credit unions, offering mortgage, consumer, and business services, with branches in Portland, South Portland, Windham and Naples.


Friday, May 1, 2020

Insight: Finding a compromise

By Lorraine Glowczak

Every week since COVID-19 swooped in and wreaked havoc on so many lives, my Insights have reflected my thoughts as I witness and experience a typical day during this new normal. But as I sit down each week to pen a new editorial, I promise myself to write about a subject without mentioning the pandemic.

However, the writing muse that has been assigned to me since birth has always had her own agenda and there are times, we butt heads. Today, I have argued with her for over five hours. “I am taking a break from this topic and taking a break from it NOW! We are going to write about something else,” I demand. She laughs. Just as I begin to cave into her impulses – I ask for a compromise. She agrees.

Last week I received a letter to the Editor from a woman who lives in Alabama. Very seldom do we receive a note from so far away, so I opened the letter with suspense. The author was the secretary to the American Rosie the Riveter Association. She herself was a “Rosie” and she wrote to say that the organization is looking for more “Rosies” around the U.S. to join them with the mission to collect names, stories, etc.

Being one who loves a good local biographical story, I do hope they (and we) get a response from those in the Windham and Raymond communities. (Please reach out to me if you are a woman who worked during the WWII effort or you know of a woman who did.)

In February of this year, I met with and wrote an article about Raymond resident, Teresa “Tess” Ingraham who was presented the Boston Cane on January 30th. Without realizing it at the time, Tess was a “Rosie”, but we didn’t discuss that part of her life much. In the article she had stated that immediately upon graduating high school in 1940, she had worked at S.D. Warren in the main office. She explained most of the products made at the company went toward the war effort.

She also spoke about what it was like living during World War II. “It was really a scary time and we did without a lot,” she began. “Because many products went toward the war, each family was allotted a certain number of coupons because the supply was limited. These coupons were distributed by the government and would allow us to purchase things like sugar, shoes, clothing, etc. and if you didn’t have a coupon when you needed something – you did without.”

What struck me the most about Tess’s story, is how she was willing to compromise for the betterment of all. “We simply worked together because that is just what you did,” I remember her telling me.

The History.com website refers to the WWII effort and compromise Tess spoke about: “This fear of attack [on Pearl Harbor] translated into a ready acceptance by a majority of Americans of the need to sacrifice in order to achieve victory. During the spring of 1942, a rationing program was established that set limits on the amount [products] consumers could purchase. The United States Office of War Information released posters in which Americans were urged to “Do with less–so they’ll have enough” (“they” referred to U.S. troops).”

We are currently living during a very scary time and the pandemic has instilled a fear in all of us – for a variety of reasons. Recently, there have been more divisive opinions on how to achieve a victory over COVID-19 with no compromise in sight. How did people of the WWII era come to a certain level of conciliation? What could we learn from them? Can we do with less so that others can have enough? Can we find a civil way to honor both human and economic life?

I do not have the answers, and probably never will. After all, I just discovered how to compromise with my own writing muse. But if that is possible, I must say - anything is.

Here’s to hoping we find a compromise.

Source: https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/us-home-front-during-world-war-ii


Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Calling all working women in the Sebago Lakes Community who participated in WWII home front.

American Rosie the Riveter Association is trying to locate women who worked on the home front during WWII. Thousands of women worked to support the war effort as riveters, welders, electricians, inspectors in plants, sewing clothing and parachutes for the military, ordnance workers, rolling bandages, clerical, farming and many other jobs such as volunteer workers collecting scrap metals and other critical materials.

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

American Rosie the Riveter Association is a patriotic/non-profit organization with the mission to recognize and preserve the history and legacy of working women during WWII. This organization was founded in 1998 by Dr. Frances Carter, Birmingham Alabama and now has over 65,000 members nationwide. Current elected officers from Connecticut, Maryland, Minnesota, Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama all serve on a volunteer basis.

If you are a woman (or a descendant of a woman) who worked during WWII, or if you are just interested in more information, please check our website at www.rosietheriveter.net or call the toll free number at 1-888-557-6743 or email at americanrosietheriveter2@yahoo.com

Thank you,
Mabel Myrick (a Rosie – age 93)
Corresponding Secretary

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: If there are “Rosies” in the Windham and Raymond communities who have stories to share, please contact Lorraine Glowczak at lorraine@thewindhameagle.com.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Insight: When life returns to normal

By Lorraine Glowczak

“It’s ironic that you are the extrovert and you work from home all day without ever leaving and I’m the introvert but leave the house, talk to people and go to work every day,” my husband told me as he was getting ready to head out the door. We both laughed, because the paradox between our personalities and present life circumstances is true beyond measure.

After our laughter subsided and we returned to living life in ways that do not align with our individual quirky traits, we did our best to not let the cumbersome routines that have become the new ordinary get the best of us.

One of those new routines includes my participation in Zoom video conferencing. I have meetings and gatherings approximately three or four times per day. This online platform can come in handy as it temporarily satisfies my sociable nature.

However, the other side of the Zoom coin has posed a bit of an issue for me. When I see myself staring back from the flat laptop screen, I try to avoid eye contact with that person at all costs. The woman peering back at me does not look familiar. In fact, I have no idea who she is. Who is that woman with a saggy neck, drooping jowls and wrinkles on her forehead? I knew she had gray hair – but the rest of it surprises me.

How is it that I didn’t notice the beginning stages of elderhood? It looks like there is another new ordinary creeping in and I can’t say I’m jumping for joy at the prospect.

There is a saying often written or spoken by individuals who practice Zen philosophy. “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”

I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of that statement and understand it only on a surface level – until perhaps now. Thanks to that old lady on the computer screen – and the Pandemic which forced me into the world of Zoom.

Although there are slight variations to the chop wood/carry water wisdom, one interpretation teaches that mastering your thoughts and perceptions allow you to appreciate the extraordinary miracles in ordinary daily life. By mastering your thoughts, you are not chopped by the wood and carried by the water anymore.

If I must accept this ordinary life of an aging soul, then I will take the bull by the horns and conquer the heck out of it. I will master my perceptions of old age – or at least I will give it a whirl by remembering the attitude of a 98-year-old women I read about recently. The story goes something like this: She told her doctor that when she was younger, she looked like Elizabeth Taylor. When the doctor told her that it must be difficult for someone who was once that beautiful to have aged, the woman responded “What do you mean? Am I not still beautiful?” Yes, I want to be like her.

I know that when the pandemic is over and everything returns to normal, many of us, including myself, will come out on the other side with different perspectives and appreciating things, events, and people we took for granted before. But what I am now learning is when things return to normal – the normal is going to be different. The ordinary will have greater meaning.

Yes. I will still be an extrovert. Yes. I will still use Zoom. Yes. I will still age. But my perception of it all will have changed. I will not regard my adventure into aging with disdain. When things return to normal, I will have learned to chop wood and carry water with the best of them.

And, when that old lady looks back at me during a Zoom conference call and begins to judge the shifting tides of my skin, I will look directly in her eyes and respond, “What do you mean? Am I not still beautiful?”

And believe me – that personal shift in perception is one big extraordinary miracle!

May you also experience your own miracles when life returns to normal.



Letter to the Editor


Dear Editor,

Technology in the Garden of Good and Evil. Is there a solution to climate change?

Scientists have called global climate change an existential threat to mankind's sustainable life on Earth. Vast numbers of scientists now believe that the elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide is from man-made primarily from fossil fuel use. This gas effectively traps solar radiation (heat) close to the surface, and further manifests with increased ocean temperature – +1oC since the mid-19th century. 

This small temperature increase causes more water vapor to enter the atmosphere naturally and results in more intense weather events, perversely including droughts and wildfires. Scientists have projected that a rise of +1.5oC will become a “tipping point” where the onset of climate change will become unstoppable or irreversible by any measure.

This was why nations banded together in the 2015 Paris Accords to slow the rate of increase of greenhouse gases by mid-21st Century.  In the aftermath of the 2020 pandemic, the world's nations must remain unified in fighting a new enemy and vow “to slow the growth” of greenhouse gas emissions. It will be equally painful to our economy and culture, but in this battle, the enemy is “Mother Nature,” and we all know from the late 70's Chiffron margarine commercial - “That it is not nice to fool Mother Nature.” Also, like the COVID-19 war, climate change has no territorial boundary or political party. This time it is simply “life as we know it will end” for all species period.
A major lesson from today in 2020 is that we must trust the same scientific process that led us to extend “Slow the Spread” to slow the increased rate of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere before mid-century.  It will not be easy economically or from any technology points of view.
 
I submit that we must turn to our own EPA and its legacy of reliance on science to manage the environment. Its wisdom and dedication led to near reversal of the environmental affronts of the 20th Century in roughly 50 years. The EPA Alumni Association was formed in 2008 to address ongoing educational and mentoring needs. Its motto is a feisty “We're Not Done Yet.” EPA has repeatedly focused on science and technology to implement a new paradigm that suggests optimistically future successes moving forward on the climate change front.

The challenge will be to infuse a degree of efficiency, creativity, in R&D [research and development] already underway in transportation, construction materials and standards, and electrical power generation. The technology fix is underway in research in solar panels, lighter weight batteries, and pollution prevention practices that alter the impact of manufacturing on multiple products. 

What's urgently needed now is a societal will that empowers technology and excites the public to a more sustainable future for the human race. I close with this interesting observation from our Constitution itself that uniquely supports scientific innovation and creativity. It provides our Congress with the authority "to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries."

Ray Whittemore
Standish


Friday, April 17, 2020

Insight: Beautiful Interruptions, part two.

By Lorraine Glowczak

C.S. Lewis once stated; “The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own,’ or ‘real’ life. The truth is, of course, that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life.”

Clive Staple Lewis was a British writer and lay theologian best known for his “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “Screwtape Letters” books. He questioned much of ‘real life’ during his early years and it was not until he was in his thirty’s that he began to see all of life’s splendor, even in the midst of – and despite of – its darkness.”

In a previous Insight published in September 2019 entitled “Beautiful Interruptions”, I wrote about
and used this famous quote by Lewis as I described a typical ‘real’ life day of my own.

Yes, I had (and continue to have) plans that were and are constantly being interrupted, but I was also able to count all the adventures as a result of the everyday intrusions. What I didn’t know seven months ago is that there would be a much more potent interruption taking place today. For me, the current events are a simple but an irritating distraction – but for others the current times can be a traumatic event based upon individual circumstances. Is my ideal of “beautiful interruptions” still beautiful today?

To be honest, the dust hasn’t settled yet for me to have clear vision for that answer - but I suspect that I (and perhaps many others) will be able to uncover something special – something beautiful when it is over. But until then, what?

WebMD offers the following guidelines and helpful suggestions for those who may be going through exceptionally distressing times:

1) Face it and don’t avoid it. “As tempting as it may be to try to ignore a traumatic event….facing your feelings head-on is important because you want to be able to take care of them in a way that helps you move forward.
2) Don’t isolate yourself. (Obviously, this advice was published before self-isolation was a thing.) But seriously, we have many opportunities with online chats, FaceTime and Zoom that make it easy to connect with others. Don’t have access to the internet? Phone calls still work. And, I actually received an old fashion handwritten note through snail mail last weekend. It made my day! Write a letter if you must – just stay connected with loved ones and friends in whatever way you can.
3) Exercise and meditate – As WebMD states, experts say these two things are one of the most effective ways to handle the stresses we are experiencing today. But, also, be gentle with yourself. “Don’t force things, though. If you’re tired, it’s OK to rest.”
4) Keep a routine – If there is anything I have learned through all of this is keeping some sort of routine. Researchers at Tel Aviv University state that predictable, repetitive routines are calming and help reduce anxiety. Routines help you have some form of control of your day and subsequently, your life. For me personally, a daily and weekly routine has been a lifesaver.
5) Celebrate life – Even the small and ordinary are causes to celebrate during stressful times. Did you take a shower? Celebrate. Did you get out of your PJs? Celebrate. (Did you just giggle? Or crack a smile? Celebrate).
6) Turn up the music - British dramatist William Congreve stated, "Music has charms to soothe a savage beast." And – while you are at it – dance too.

So, is today’s exceptionally weird interruption as beautiful as I thought they were seven months ago? Darned if I know. But while we experience temporary unpleasantness, we might as well “face it head on” and dance, celebrating life in small ways. And when this is all behind us – maybe for a majority of us there is the correct assumption that “we will realize how little we need, how very much we actually have, and the true value of human connection.”

If this is the outcome of today’s circumstances, then yes, once the dust settles – I believe the current conditions will be judged as a beautiful interruption. Until then? Make your own beauty whenever possible. Write a letter, turn up the music and dance away….in your PJs!

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

EPA at 50 - From “Silent Spring” to Today

“The ultimate test of man's conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today
 for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard” Gaylord Nelson.

A vast majority of Mainers did not experience the dawn of the modern-day environmental movement in the United States in the decades of the 50s and 60s, that were championed by Senator Nelson and Maine's own Edmund Muskie, but all have most assuredly benefited from its focus on public health and general natural resource protection and/or remediation. 

The resulting legislation did not come easy as there was much resistance to ceding power to the federal government over state's rights, and the nation was in the midst of considerable growth. At the same time, environmental regulation was often seen as a growth deterrent and a factor affecting America's competitiveness with other worldwide economies.   

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created in 1970 as a unique partnership of federal and state resources to address numerous issues broadly related to clean air, water and solid waste disposal.  It was built upon prior efforts of predecessor agencies like the United States Public Health Service, Federal Water Pollution Control Agency and The Departments of Agriculture, and the Geological Survey.  These agencies included expertise in hydrology, atmospheric science, farming, forestry, and earth sciences and serve as EPA's core of expertise in many environmental areas.

Rachel Carson's iconic “Silent Spring: energized public pressure to pass seminal legislation and the EPA.  Earth Day turns 50 on April 22, 2020.

Raymond C. Whittemore
Standish, Maine



Friday, April 10, 2020

Windham Parks and Recreation offer safe Easter Egg hunt


Looking for a fun family activity to do while you're practicing social distancing on Windham's trails? Why not join in a community-wide Easter Egg Hunt!

Windham Parks and Recreation have hidden Easter Egg signs along the trails in Lippman Park, Mountain Division Trail, and the Lowell Preserve Story Walk. Look carefully - each egg has a word written on it! If you find all 9 egg signs, you can unscramble the words to discover a funny Easter joke!

The Easter Egg Hunt is currently running from now until Sunday, April 19th to give everyone plenty of time to participate. There is a worksheet that can be accessed on the link below that may help you to keep track of all the eggs you find. When you unscramble the joke, please send us an email with your name, age, and the joke itself at Parks&Recreation@windhammaine.us. You will be entered to win a prize!

As always, please remember to follow good social distancing practices. “As we continue to provide fun family activities during this difficult time, anything we are offering is taking into account recommendations from the CDC,” stated Windham Parks and Recreation Director, Linda Brooks. 

“Consequently, no eggs are actually on the premises to be picked up, we still want to encourage social distancing on the trails, and if a parking lot is full, please consider visiting one of the other parks and trails.”

Brooks also reminds participants to go only with immediate family members and allow at least six feet of distance between yourselves and any other families. “We want to encourage everyone in Windham to safely enjoy time outdoors,” she said

To access the worksheet, go to: www.windhamrecreation.com/documents/2020_easter_egg_hunt_answer_worksheet.pdf

Resources for businesses and workers

By Sen. Bill Diamond

As we face one of the worst pandemics in a century, this is a moment that requires all of us to step up and do our part. Slowing the spread of COVID-19 is necessary to protect our community and reduce the burden on our health care system. The only way to do that effectively right now is for everyone who can stay home to do so. 

This is a moment that has required our local businesses to make sacrifices. Essential businesses and
their workers have quickly stepped up to keep our community supplied with the things we need, while doing what they can to limit the spread of COVID-19. Other businesses in our community have shut down or have significantly altered their operations to protect public health.

For businesses that find themselves struggling financially during this time, there are some resources available. The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development has become a sort of clearinghouse for information on the programs available to businesses during these trying times. This includes federal programs, such as the Payroll Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the US Small Business Administration, and loan programs from the state. They also handle “essential” and “non-essential” business designations. For more information visit www.maine.gov/decd, call 1-800-872-3838 or email business.answers@maine.gov.

Workers have also been asked to step up. Those in the health care field find themselves in an uncertain and scary situation every day when they show up for work, as do workers at grocery stores and other essential businesses. Many of these workers have kids who now have to stay home from school, creating additional challenges for parents. These people are heroes in our community, and they deserve our support and gratitude.

Other workers have been asked to stay home from work, while many others have been put out of work altogether. Last week, more than 23,000 people filed for unemployment in Maine, and more than 21,000 did so the week before that. To put those numbers in context, leading up to this crisis, the Department of Labor typically processed about 800 such claims a week. 

If you have been laid off, had your hours reduced or are otherwise out of work because of the COVID-19 outbreak, you may qualify for unemployment benefits. To apply, visit reemployme.maine.gov or call 1-800-593-7660. Please note that call wait times have been very long as the Department works to process an unprecedented number of claims. 

Finally, we must all continue to look out for our own health. If you feel symptoms, such as a cough, a fever, fatigue, or difficulty breathing –– which are symptoms of COVID-19 –– call your primary care provider or the health care facility you normally use. It’s important that folks don’t just show up unexpected, as that can further spread the disease.

If you are feeling overwhelmed or just need someone to talk to, you can call or text the Maine Crisis Hotline at 1-888-568-1112 or use their online chat at www.heretohelpmaine.com.

For any questions about COVID-19 and Maine’s response, you can call 211, text your zip code to 898-211 or email info@211maine.org. You can also visit www.mainesenate.org/covid19 for up-to-date information on measures taken in Maine.

I am also here as a resource and am happy to help in any way I can. You may call my office at (207) 287-1515 or send me an email at diamondhollyd@aol.com. Let’s get through this together.



VFW members visit nursing home to let veterans know they are not forgotten




Two members of Windham’s Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) members made a trip to the The Cedars, a senior retirement nursing home community located on Ocean Avenue in Portland on Friday, March 27th.  Roger Timmons, VFW Post 10643 Chaplain, (right), and Ken Murch, past Post Adjutant, (left) took time to cheer isolated residents there.

Timmons created and gave a sign to Cedars so that those who visited the home would let Veterans and those caring for them know that they are not forgotten. The sign reads: “You are our heroes. You are not forgotten. We love you. God bless you.


Insight: Clear as mud

By Lorraine Glowczak

It’s been four weeks now – but who is counting? 

It took me two and ½ weeks into the self-isolation journey to really settle into this “new”, albeit temporary, way of life. In the beginning, while working in my makeshift home office – I felt scattered and unable to focus. I was multi-tasking beyond my normal quota, and as a result, rarely efficient at completing any one task competently.  

Once I was able to transition into being more focused and grounded, I faced more changes as one “new normal” slipped away to make room for something completely different, requiring another innovative adjustment.

Luckily, I have always been the optimistic sort and it especially comes in handy these days. Or does it? “Work hard, stay positive and don’t let fear take away your focus”, I tell myself often. “Everything happens for a reason and transitions are just a part of life.”

The last part of that sentence is definitely true. Life is full of transitions. Much like death and taxes, you can’t stop change. And change is stressful. In an article written by Susan Krauss Whitbourne, a professor of psychology, she addressed the topic of transitions like this: “Some of these [transitions] are predictable, such as graduating from high school at about age 18 (obviously this was written before March 14th), and some are completely random, such as having a tree fall on your roof during a storm.”

Well, we have collectively had one huge tree fall on the roof of lives – and boy has it ever been challenging. One way some of us, namely me, get through these challenging times is to tell ourselves that everything happens for a reason.

What is ironic, however, is I tend to be a philosophically rebellious sort and, considering the current situation, I’m beginning to protest my own optimist nature. Not that I’m abandoning it altogether, because there is a valid place for enthusiasm. Sometimes, optimism can only act as a band-aid to a wound that requires much more healing – and, again sometimes – it can often harm rather than inspire those who are facing incredibly difficult circumstances such as we are facing today.
And – this is where all of this is clear as mud to me. Wanting meaning for why we are dealing with this, I search to find answers.

One book I read about two years ago was entitled, “Everything Happens for a Reason (and other lies I’ve loved)”. The author is Kate Bowler, an Associate Professor at Duke Divinity School who was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer at the age of 35. She has stated that she had everything she ever wanted - professorship at an Ivy League College, a happy marriage to a high school sweetheart, and after a long period of infertility, she gave birth to a son. But when she discovered that there would be the possibility of an impending death, taking all she worked for and dreamed of away, her views changed.

In a 2018 Ted Talk, Bowler stated the following: “Americans believe in the gospel of optimism. It’s a mindset that has served me well. It drove me to achieve, dream big, to abandon fear. It served me well – until it didn’t.” All she knows for certain now is “….life is really beautiful and life is really hard.”

Bowler admits to not having found a reason for her cancer diagnosis and can offer no magical formula to healthy living, but the one thing she has experienced from it all is a profound tenderness and passion for others and all of life. This gives me hope.

You know what else gives me hope? The profound tenderness and passion I’ve witnessed in our two Sebago Lakes communities since this world-wide pandemic began. (Need an example? Read the two front page articles in this week’s edition).

I don’t deny that a bit of “snippiness” is happening among us from time to time. Let’s just be okay with it knowing that things are a little unusual right now. But observing the more positive actions among us, it balances my optimism, making it more authentic in response to today’s circumstances.

Although life right now, and the reason why the pandemic is happening, is still clear as mud to me, I can at least rest in the certainty that life is extremely hard – and life is incredibly beautiful.
I promise to hand in there if you do!







Easter Sunday ukulele hymn sing-a-long, prayers and message to brighten challenging times

Capt'n Uke (otherwise known as Dana Reed), will be providing an unusual Easter service celebration in the usual SLUKES (Sebago Lakes Ukuleles) fashion this Sunday, April 12th from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. The music will include old familiar hymns that many love and enjoy and the gathering will take place on Facebook Live (Sebago Lakes Ukuleles page).

Reed, who has served as Navy chaplain for 28 years states he has performed services of worship under adverse conditions. And currently, we are currently experiencing challenging times. “I know how to provide and facilitate for all,” he stated on his Facebook page. “You may be from a faith other than my religious tradition or no faith at all. So, please do not let that stop you from joining me online.”

In this online Easter celebration, Reed will intersperse the song time with a reading or two, address any prayer concerns, and may offer a message for the day.
Be sure to check out Capt’n Uke’s website to get a copy of the latest PDF file of all the songs/hymns that will be played. If you don’t play an instrument, Capt’n Uke encourages you to join anyway.
Go to www.captn-uke.com for this and other musical adventures.


Friday, April 3, 2020

Insight: The indestructible nature of the human spirit

By Lorraine Glowczak

What can I offer to you, our dear and faithful readers, that hasn’t already been said?

I have asked this question every Wednesday at 2 a.m. on publication day for the past three- and one-half years as I prepare each week to write this editorial. But I have never once imagined I would be faced to write an “Insight” during times like these.

With all the uncertainty we currently face, most are experiencing anxiety, vulnerability, fear and isolation in ways that has never been experienced in recent years. I have no previous knowledge in such matters and am flying by the seat of my pants into unknown territory and have no words of wisdom to impart. So, I turn to more wise and talented writers before me who could possibly guide me through the current challenges and mysteries of life we are experiencing now.

The first author that comes to mind is that of a young German-born writer from the Netherlands. Anne Frank. If there is anyone who exuded the indestructible nature of the human spirit during difficult times – it was (and remains) Anne Frank.

As I write this, I am entering into my third week of self-isolation – not so much for myself but to prevent the potential spread of the virus onto others. Although I haven’t lost my mind yet, some days I wonder how much longer I can remain cloistered in my small 900 square foot home with my husband and small dog – without going bonkers.

Anne, on the other hand, lived with eight other people in an approximately 450 square foot apartment (the secret annex) for two years. Anne and the rest of the group lived in hiding with the constant fear of being discovered and could never go outside. They had to remain quiet during daytime in order to avoid detection by the people working in the warehouse below.

With this in mind, what words would Anne have penned if she were alive today? What poetic and hopeful advice would she have shared? Of course, one will never know, but she did offer the following bits of wisdom in her diary that could be useful to us now as we face our own fears in uncertain times:

“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.”

“I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

“Whoever is happy will make others happy too.”

“I don't think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains”.

“Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.”

“No one has ever become poor by giving.”


“We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same.”

“Whoever doesn't know it must learn and find by experience that 'a quiet conscience makes one strong!'”

“As long as this exists, this sunshine and this cloudless sky, and as long as I can enjoy it, how can I be sad?”

The fact is, we don’t know how long this pandemic will last. We don’t know how many local and small businesses will have to shut their doors. We don’t know how long we will have to socially-isolate. We don’t know how much we ourselves will be affected by this virus (financially and physically) and we don’t know how many more people will die. But if we can, from time to time, grab onto Anne’s indestructible and resilient spirit, we will get through this. I believe if we can just hang in there, we will get to the other side of chaos with strength of character – even if it means awkwardly holding on to ideals that appear to no longer apply.

Is it possible that if we can become a part of the indestructible nature of the human spirit that Anne exemplifies, we can rise above the fear, anger, sadness and anxiety – even if for a moment?

When this time is behind us and I look back, I hope this was the path I had taken and did not let the insanity that is currently knocking on the peripheral edges of my mind suck me in. Wish me luck. And for you, our dear and faithful readers, I wish the best during these unusual and difficult times. I hope Anne offered you as much optimism and faith as she has given me.



Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

In Times of Need
This morning I picked up a check for $400 for the Backpack Meal Program from Stephen Napolitano at Dairy Queen. I want to publicly thank him and the multitude of businesses, organizations (religious and other) and the many residents of our communities who have stepped up and supported this Program that helps so many. We may be keeping our social distancing, but you are quick to respond, and I can't begin to tell you how much that response is appreciated.

I need to add the following reminder because we need to remain a wonderful caring community and "Even though we are in a pickle right now, remember we are not the only pickle in the jar"
This is a tough time for all but worse for some. Be kind to those people who are going to work so that the rest of us can go to the store and buy what we need. Remember they are not the reason that some items are not available, and they also have families at home that are counting on them staying safe and not bringing the virus home with them. Be thankful to our Public Safety personnel, Police, Fire and other people who are out there serving us at their own risk.

Remember to show our gratitude and stay safe for yourself and your families.

Always grateful,
Marge Govoni
Backpack Program Coordinator


Friday, March 27, 2020

Insight: Laughter is STILL the best medicine

By Lorraine Glowczak

“We’re feeling stir crazy,” a friend of mine said in an email recently. “My son had a meltdown on Monday because he wants to go back to ‘real school’. Then I had a meltdown because I want him to go back to ‘real school’, too!”

I don’t know if it’s because I’m on the verge of insanity myself, but her note produced in me my customary “throwback head” laughter. After my belly chuckle subsided, I realized it was the first time I laughed like that in two weeks.

Surely I’m not the only one who could use a little reprieve from this highly unusual anxiety ridden time. As the saying goes, “Laughter is the best medicine,” but is laughter appropriate in circumstances such as this?

In an Online Forbes Magazine article, entitled “Laugh Away the Apocalypse with these 15 Coronavirus Memes,” staff writer, Abram Brown quoted Adam Padilla who is known for his creative work with funny memes. Padilla expressed his thoughts about joking in the midst of this horrible pandemic.

“Humor is helping us get through this. It’s about keying in on the common threads that all we have in our new lives.”

Hara Estroff Marano, Editor of Psychology Today, states that laughter reduces pain, increases job performance, connects people emotionally, and improves the flow of oxygen to the heart and brain. She also said that laughter reduces pain and allows us to tolerate discomfort.

I think it is safe to say there is a lot of emotional pain and discomfort happening these days.

As far as I’m concerned, a dose of laughter every day will, if anything, heal our spirits and lighten our thoughts so we can live life as normally as possible, whatever normal is now.

One new normal that has popped up overnight since the coronavirus has halted our lives is the current memes that you see on social media.

Online dictionaries state that memes are a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.

The following are a few examples of memes as they relate to the current COVID-19 virus.





Stay safe, exercise often and be sure to get your daily dose of hilarity. After all, laughter is STILL the best medicine – especially in today’s circumstances.

Individual volunteers his time to help with essential shopping and errands during pandemic

Richard MacLaughlin, a Windham resident, wants to help elders and other high-risk members of the community by helping with grocery shopping and other essential errands. While shopping for his family, he was concerned to see many older folks out grocery shopping. He posted an offer to help on the Facebook group: Windham Maine Community Board but has not yet received any takers. He contacted The Windham Eagle in an effort to reach Windham community members that may not be online. "I Imagine there are people out there, scared, and needing assistance," said MacLaughlin. "I didn't think my wife's at-risk parents were taking the virus seriously enough, so we sat them down and had the talk. After they did an initial shop to take care of their essentials, I've been bringing them groceries."

MacLaughlin has the capacity to help others and wants to do so not only for those in need, but because it "fills his cup too." He explained that in helping others, it fulfills him as well. And, he added, "When I keep myself busy, I get off my phone and away from social media and digital distractions, and that helps keep me grounded and feeling more positive in general."
If you need help with essential shopping or errands, please contact Richard MacLaughlin at (207) 747-2882.  Please leave a message if he's not available. He will return all calls.

Seeking materials to help produce 3D printed medical masks locally

Dave Townsend, a Windham resident, is trying to create 3D printed medical masks to help out in this pandemic we are now experiencing. He is asking if anyone in the area may have contacts that would be able to help with the necessary filters, elastic straps and seals needed to complete the masks for distribution. Currently, Townsend’s 3D printers could produce about 100 to 150 masks per week to distribute to local healthcare facilities. If you or someone you know could assist Townsend with his goal and help others at the same time, please contact him at dave@dnd3d.com.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Insight: Valuable lessons learned from the past

By Lorraine Glowczak

Do I even touch upon THE inevitable subject of today? Or should I dance around the larger than average-sized elephant in the room to give us all a break from the daily barrage by not mentioning THE virus?

As much as I want to give myself – and you – an occasion away from it all, I’ve decided it would be irresponsible of me as a writer if I completely ignored and didn’t address this highly unusual time we all are experiencing. Although I will not dig deep into the subject of the coronavirus, I will lightly tap into it with the intention to cheer your heart and provide a bit of hope.

I will start with words of wisdom from Tom Mockaitis. He is a professor of History at DePaul University where he teaches World Civilizations. He has this to say about our current situation: “The pandemics of the past offer valuable lessons. First, in all probability COVID-19 will not come close to the severity of any of the great pandemics. We have far more knowledge and resources to prevent infection and treat this disease than did our great grandparents in 1918. Second, fear continues to be as contagious and debilitating as the disease itself. Considerable evidence suggests that COVID-19 is not particularly lethal to healthy people.”

I don’t know about you – but I feel slightly better by his uplifting words. In fact, Mockaitis says it all in his first sentence: “The pandemics of the past offer valuable lessons.”

One day, after we have all survived the present moment, this experience will one day be in the past. We have an opportunity right now – today - to be an example for good and offer a valuable lesson to future generations,

As I write today’s Insight (Wednesday, March 18th) it is my mother's birthday. If she was alive today, she would have been 91 years old. It goes without saying I miss her deeply and I especially miss our talks. I wonder what advice she would offer me today - in light of recent circumstances. I suspect that since she has been through the Great Depression, she would be slightly concerned about the present situation but would know, from experience, all will turn out well.

I can’t be certain what lessons she would impart on to me as we face this very unusual time in our generation but, based upon our talks in the past, I believe she would have offered the follow pep talk:

There is always enough to go around. And if there is not, humans are innovative and creative so don’t let your anxieties get the best of you.

Family and friends are most important. In fact, when you believe you have lost everything – you realize how much you have gained. Communities come together in times of misfortune.

There is a big difference between what you want and what you need. Yes, we all would like the latest in material objects – but they never replace things and memories like the sharing of warm fresh bread out of the oven lathered with melted real butter.

We need each other to be happy. Protect your family – and your community at all cost. They really are all you have. And when it comes down to it – it’s really not about you. If don’t have community? What good is that?

But above all the hardships is love. And hope. And laughter. And family.

Those are the lessons I belive my mother would have shared with me if she was alive today. And in honor of her – I will share her valuable lessons of the past on to you. Be well!

SOURCE: https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/487111-what-we-can-learn-from-past-pandemics

Towns of Windham and Raymond updated information

PLEASE GO TO THE FOLLOWING TOWN OF RAYMOND AND WINDHAM WEBSITES TO RECIEVE THE LATEST UPDATED INFORMATION REGARDING CONTINUITY OF SERVICES!




Friday, March 13, 2020

Insight: As the snow melts


By Lorraine Glowczak

The warm sunny weather we’ve been experiencing the past few days has put a spring back in my step and I’m loving every minute of it. Although I do receive snow with open arms during the wintertime of the year, I’m just as happy to see it go as we head fully into March.

However, as the snow gently recedes and melts away, it slowly exposes the trash in the ditches along
the roads I travel. This brings back a memory from my childhood.

I was six years old in 1971 when Keep America Beautiful, Inc. produced its anti-pollution campaign. It was probably the best-known and most guilt-inducing public service announcement at the time. It’s the commercial staring actor, Iron Eyes Cody as a Native American shedding a single tear at the sight of a trash-filled and smoke laden landscape.

The words in the ad go something like this: “Some people have a deep, abiding respect for the natural beauty that was once this country and some people don’t,” states a narrator in a baritone voice. 

Apocalyptic music follows as someone tosses a bag of half-eaten fast food out the window of a passing car. It lands and scatters at the actor’s feet. He looks forlorn into the camera as the tear rolls down his cheek. The narrator continues, “People start pollution. People can stop it.”

Without a doubt, this commercial made a massive impact on my six-year-old psyche and I became an environmental activist – well – at least for an hour after I saw the ad and until something else caught my attention. Eventually the commercial stopped running and although I never became an activist in the traditional sense, you will never catch me throwing trash out the window of my car. That tear really made its mark on me. But more accurately, I do love the natural environment that Maine has to offer, and I would like to preserve it as best as I can.

In about one month - on Wednesday, April 22, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Whether you have been deemed an official “tree hugger” or not, we all have a certain responsibility to the environment if we wish to maintain the life we have now.

It really does not matter whether you are a conservationist, or you simply enjoy the Maine outdoors, it behooves us all to assume a certain obligation to not mess up our own back yards. Our actions do not have to be big, profound, or impressive (but if they are, contact us and we’ll write about you!).They can be simple everyday actions that work within our everyday lives.

One small action I have done in the past happened during my morning walks. I took a trash bag with me and pick up garbage thrown along the side of the road. I would have to stop every two or three seconds, and the trash bag was completely full in less than a ¼ of a mile.

Just as I was beginning to feel I was making a difference; I would then notice more trash reappear after a couple of days of having not walked. This brought back my memory of “the lone tear.”  
Although it seems I’m trying to save the Earth, that’s really not what I’m doing at all. I’m selfishly saving my own butt and the way I have become accustomed to the joys of being in nature.

If there is any truth that the planet is a self-correcting system then it would seem that the earth, in all its natural intelligence, will adjust just fine. Humans, however, don’t adjust so well. We love things to remain the same and we fight change with all our might.

Whether it’s four-wheelin’ in the countryside you enjoy or a nice meditative stroll through a forest path – we all want the same thing – for the beauty of nature and all it has to offer to remain as we know it.

Comedian George Carlin once said that the planet itself will be just fine. It will just “shake us off like a bad case of fleas” to free itself from the object causing its pain. I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to be shook off the planet just yet.

So, this may be selfish (again) on my part, but would anyone out there be interested in joining me in self-correcting trash habit behaviors? Here’s the deal. Starting today, I will stop buying plastic coffee to-go cups. If you see me with one, I will owe you coffee.

If you join me, then perhaps next spring when the snow melts yet again…the roadways will have less trash. And perhaps, somewhere, someplace, somehow.....there will be less tears…less fleas.