Sunday, July 28, 2013

Insight - Parenting By Kelly Mank

As parents of four kids, we are very, very busy. All four kids play sports, have friends, go to school, get in trouble and do all the normal kid things. Lately, I have had some parents asking me questions like:

Don’t you think you’re too hard on your kids?
Don’t you think you expect too much out of your children

How do you get your kids to be so good?

The way they have been raised has created well-behaved and well-mannered young adults and children. I don’t expect any more from them, than I expect from myself.

My husband and I raise our children to be independent, loving, caring and hard working. One day this will make them successful (whatever that means to them as individuals). This means my children do laundry, dishes, pick up after themselves, go outside and play rather than play video games, spend time with family, help with adult chores when appropriate, and help around the businesses when they can. My kids understand that hard work pays off with “fun playtime.” They also learn the more we help our community the better it will be not only for them but for everyone.

A few things that drive me crazy in today’s world… and I definitely don’t have my degree in education or child psychology, however…

• No grades, what happened to A, B, C, D, F? Why can’t I hold my kids accountable? A “meets” grade can be an “A” or a “C”. Really? I know this subject is going to be coming up more and more with changes in education, but really… healthy competition and accountability are two major things that build character and we take them away with this grading system. I am not okay with “average” and I will never allow my children to think “average” is acceptable. If they don’t strive to be “exceptional” then what do our children look forward to and what goals does this set for them?

• Not being able to say “No” to your kids… another one that I just don’t understand. I hate watching a kid go crazy in a store, or yell and scream at their parents. Why doesn’t the parent say “no” to this behavior? What are we teaching our kids? That it’s okay to not have respect for our parents or elders? Do we want them to think if they yell and scream enough they will get anything they want?

Those are just two of the simple things that make me a “bad” mom. If my children act out they have consequences and I will hold them accountable for the actions they chose to make. I don’t understand how taking away so many of the lessons my parents taught me are now deemed “bad”. Those are the lessons that got me to where I am today, and are missing with many of today’s parents.

Reflections of a first time legislator By Rep. Jane Pringle

We have recently completed the first session of the 126th legislature and I am taking time to reflect on what I have experienced and what we in the legislature have and have not accomplished.

I ran for the position of state representative when I learned that our state was not supporting full implementation of the Affordable Care Act so that all Mainers could have health insurance coverage. I had spent a large portion of my career trying to provide medical care to sick people who were working without insurance. I saw the poor outcomes and the cost shifting and know that covering everyone lowers costs and keeps people healthier and better able to work. It also seemed that our government had become so polarized that we were not able to get anything done. Having learned as a physician to care for anyone regardless of their opinions, I hoped I could help find compromise and practical solutions. I came to this job with two guiding principles. The first is to tell the truth and the second is to treat others as I want to be treated.

When I began in Augusta I learned that there were over 50 new representatives, first term legislators like me, who were frustrated with the direction of government. We range in age from 21 to our seventies and have diverse education, work and life experience including recent military service, teachers, business owners, marine biologists, lawyers, organizational developers, farmers. We represent diverse areas of the state from Kittery to Lubec. We all shared a desire to get things done, to fix problems we see with how we invest in each other, our education system, healthcare, business environment, roads, bridges and social service systems.

We were sworn in last December, elected our leaders in the house and senate and began our committee work in January. We had to submit all bills (proposed laws) by mid-January. I submitted the bill related to my main reason for running, to have Maine participate in the Medicaid expansion to increase eligibility for MaineCare health insurance for people making between 100 percent and 138 percent of federal poverty level (about $15,000/year for a single person). I became lead co-sponsor with Representative Linda Sanborn of Gorham, who is also a physician.

Committees have 13 or 14 members from both house and senate and both parties and independents. We consider all bills related to our area. They are presented by the sponsor with a public hearing and testimony “for”, “against” or “neither for nor against”. The majority of bills are voted out of committee with a unanimous vote on whether or not to pass. The number of unanimous votes range from two-thirds to 90 percent agreement depending on the committee.

Legislators are often asked to submit legislation by constituents or by organizations that see a problem to fix. I submitted three other bills at the request of organizations. Maine Medical Association recommended that we update the language of existing laws relating to healthcare providers with substance abuse problems.

Maine Health proposed reducing the restrictions on the ability of healthcare providers to discuss a patient’s mental healthcare when trying to coordinate care for the patient. Planned Parenthood asked that we expand coverage under the Medicaid program to cover family planning services for more people. The first two bills passed to be enacted and the third will be carried over to the second session next January.

The Medicaid expansion was paired with the bill to complete paying the hospitals for past debt. It passed both house and senate, but was vetoed by the Governor and fell short of enough votes to override the veto.

We heard from some legislators that they would consider voting for the expansion if it was separated from the hospital payment bill. Both issues were brought back separately. The hospital payment bill passed and was signed by the Governor, but the Medicaid expansion was vetoed again by the Governor and fell two votes short of the number needed to override the veto. Those of us who support the bill will bring it back again in January. Unfortunately, this means some of us with the lowest incomes will not be able to sign up for health insurance in October to start coverage in January.

Why has it been so hard to get this passed? It seems to me that we are battling over our views of welfare and welfare recipients as well as the role of government. Some of us believe that if people would just get a job and stop depending on a “hand out” from the State they could access all of the things they need. State-funded health insurance and welfare are seen as the same thing. “Lazy” people do not deserve it and “we” can’t afford it. Others of us ask “what are the barriers to people getting off of welfare?” How can we change the system to encourage and help people get healthcare, find and keep work and get paid a living wage so they can be independent of government support?

These competing philosophies, “survival of the fittest” vs. “we are all in this together” have affected many of the issues that divide the legislature. Being a pragmatist, I believe in “enlightened self-interest” as well as “we are all in this together “. I hope that going forward my fellow legislators will be willing to leave ideology behind and focus on what I believe are our shared desired outcomes, which include opportunities for good health, good work at fair pay and good government at the lowest cost and the least interference in our lives.

Foodie Fare - Melon Salad By Brian Rounds


 It has been pretty hot around here which means I have absolutely no interest in cooking – or do I? There are so many things that can be made without heat! The best part of this type of cooking is that not only does it free you from standing over a hot stove or grill, but it also provides you with scrumptious, refreshing food to cool you down.  One of my favorite things to make on a hot day is a melon salad. I’m sure you’re thinking that I am crazy that you can’t make a melon salad – all you are doing is cutting melons and dumping them into a bowl, but I swear to you, I am making melon-magic when  I make this recipe.

I first start by slicing open a large, ripe, melons of the watermelon, honey dew and cantaloupe varieties. I cube the fruit up and remove as many seeds from the watermelon as I can, but let’s face it, half the fun of eating this fruit is spitting out the seeds, right?  You can use a melon baller if you want to be fancy, but why bother  - a melon-baller is a uni-tasker (an Alton Brown term for a tool that really only does one thing) – you have knives in your kitchen (at least I hope you do) – they are multi-taskers and do the job just as well.

Back to the melon – I leave the cubes in a bowl in the fridge so that they stay nice and cold. In a smaller bowl, I mix together a splash of simple syrup, a dash of fresh minced mint, a squirt of lemon juice, another of lime juice, a drop of balsamic vinegar, and – if only adults are enjoying the melon – a splash or two of either a sweet white wine (Moscado works best) or rum.  I dress my melon mixture with this concoction and let this all chill for at least two hours. The melon will begin to break down a little, but, no worries, it will still have some texture to it. The best part is that it is a cold dish being served on a hot day. 

Some additions I have made to this are grapes – any kind will work, but since the salad is beautiful, I try to pick grapes that complement the existing colors – we do, after all, eat with our eyes first. Another addition is fresh, wild Maine blueberries – but they have to be in season or it just doesn’t do the salad justice.  In addition to the blueberries, add some supremes of orange – but make sure the orange you pick is nice and juicy, otherwise you run the risk of them being left behind on the plate. (A supreme of orange is a section of orange that is taken from a peeled orange and cut to remove the membrane).

Either way you mix this salad, on a hot day, it is sure to cool you down. I have even taken the leftovers (though few) and juiced them so that I could drink the goodness that is a melon salad.  With this, Windham and Raymond, I bid you happy mid-summer wishes and hopes that you are staying cool!

Watermelon Salad
1 Watermelon, cubed
1 Cantaloupe, cubed
 1 Honey Dew Melon, cubed
½ TBSP Fresh Mint, minced
1 TBSP Lemon Juice
1 TBSP Lime Juice
½ TBSP Sweet White Wine

Optional Additions:
Orange Supremes

Student of the week Tiffany Hall

Jordan-Small Middle Schooler Tiffany Hall is The Windham Eagle student of the week. The recent eighth grade graduate has two sisters, one brother, a guinea pig, a dog and multiple cats. Her favorite subject is math and she likes writing songs and singing.

“How do you describe a poem, a flower, or a rainbow with mere words? Tiffani Hall is a package of compassion and the epitome of tenacity and benevolence. She makes Jordan-Small Middle School a better place simply by walking through the door each morning,” said her teacher.

Favorite TV show: Dance Academy

Favorite movie: Hunger Games

If I wasn’t studying, I would be helping other people.

What you need to know about Twitter By David Pride, social media specialist

Not too long ago if someone asked if you were on Twitter you may suspect they were using slang for some sort of drug or perhaps digging for a reference having to do with Tweety Bird. Now a days when people ask if they can reach you via Twitter, you probably know what they mean. But, do you understand all of the great things you can do with Twitter? Below I will offer you three things you should know about Twitter. If you have a question while reading, tweet at me and I’ll answer you live time @DavidaPride.

Search, Hashtags, @, RT, and DM…What does it mean?

Twitter offers you a handful of methods to communicate with your community. If you want to send a message to the world then all you need to do is simply type your thought out and keep it to 140 characters (in fact, keep it to about 120 so that people can retweet your post if they want to). Once you click “Tweet” your post is live and goes out to the Twittersphere. Think of it this way; I just walked into a crowded space and want to let folks know that I’m really excited about the sale at Levinsky’s. I only have about 12 words to do so before I lose my voice. I might tweet/say something like this, “I'm super pumped about the sale on Bruins garb at Levinsky's! Who's with me?”

Across the street dining at the Windham mecca, Chutes, sits my friend who reads my tweet and wants to let me know he’s headed over as soon as he finishes his hobo hash. So, he would click “Reply” and type “@DavidaPride I’m on my way!” Since my friend used the “@” symbol before my name I will be notified that I have been mentioned on Twitter. If he started his tweet with the “@” symbol only, I will see that tweet and it will not appear in his general Twitter stream, only on his profile page and to the other Twitter users who follow both of us. If he wants his whole community to know that he’s on his way over he would say something like this; “I’m on my way @DavidaPride!” Notice in this example he didn’t start with the “@,” therefore it goes out to all of Twitter.

What if my friend didn’t want his tweet to be public and wanted to tell me privately? In this case he could send me a Direct Message (DM). A DM appears in my Twitter Inbox and is only visible to me.

Here’s where it gets even better. If Levinsky’s were on Twitter and typed into the search bar their company name, they would then see my tweet and anyone else who has talked about them by name on Twitter. They could prepare for my arrival, respond, or even Retweet (RT) my post. If they chose to RT, my post would then go out to all of their followers. A ReTweet is the ultimate compliment on Twitter.

Speaking of hobo hash, I get asked about Hashtags a lot. In my last article about Facebook I talked about hashtags (#), but in case you missed it here’s a review. Using a # before a word makes that word available to be clicked on and grouped together with other people using that same hashtag. A lot of TV shows use them, #DuckDynasty was a popular one. If you were to click on that hashtag while on Twitter you could then see who else was using that hashtag. It’s a great way to track what subjects you’re interested in.

If you want to take your Twitter search a little deeper and limit it to a specific state where a tweet came from, exact phrases, sentiment, or specific users you can visit here you can do some really great and detailed searches. For example, if you are own a roofing company you could go to this website and search to see who has recently tweeted “I need a roofer” in Maine. You could then respond directly to those users. This is just one example, imagine all the other ways you could meet new people!

There are a few things to keep in mind when using Twitter. Once you send out a tweet, it’s sent. There’s no going back. Even if you delete something you posted to Twitter there are services that can allow a person to see a tweet that has been deleted. Just ask any number of the celebrities and politicians who have used Twitter irresponsibly. The best rule of thumb is this; if you have to think twice about what you’re going to send out – you’re better off not sending it.

I hope you found this article helpful and if you did, let me know! You can find me on Twitter at @DavidaPride, tweet at me and I’ll get right back to you. Have fun out there and go make some great new connections!

David Pride is a graduate of Windham High School Class of 01’ and the Social Media Specialist for Burgess Advertising. He also owns a social media/relationship marketing blog. David can be reached by email at or find him on Twitter @DavidaPride

Japanese Beetles By Genevieve Coombs, Roosevelt Trail Landscaping and Garden Center

They’re here. Those shiny green and copper invaders. They land on our roses, our apple and cherry trees, any choice plant that we love. They eat everything in their path, but favor the flowers.
 Japanese Beetles.

The scourge and bane of the New England gardener in July is a small, 6-legged creature. Popillia japonica, or Japanese beetles, showed up in the US around 1916, and have been bugging us ever since. They do not have any largely effective natural predators, so we are treated to hordes of them descending upon our gardens every summer.

All is not lost, however. There are ways of controlling these pests. The most effective and surefire way to eliminate the threat without further damage to the plant is to take a jar of soapy water and flick the beetles into it. It is time consuming, but if one has only a few rosebushes or other host plants, a few minutes in the morning is well worth it. Some swear by leaving the beetles to marinate in the jar, and spraying the affected plants with the resulting dead beetle wash. It smells quite unpleasant, but those that do it say it keeps other beetles from flying in.

Sprays are effective for killing beetles that are already on your plants, but more will quickly in to replace them, so it is not the best way to treat the problem. Pheromone trap bags actually do more to attract beetles to the area, so while effective, they must be placed far away from the plants you wish to protect, preferably downwind.

There are trials for some biological controls; there are a few parasitic wasps and flies that will lay their eggs inside the larva or the adult beetle, but it is not truly effective in stopping their munching until the eggs hatch. If you see a beetle with white dots on its head, it has been visited by one of these predatory insects. It’s a toss-up on whether to dunk that particular beetle in the soapy water bath or to let it live and hatch more predators…

 Milky Spore is another biological control. It is a bacteria that lives in the soil and attacks the larval stage of the insect. It is entirely pet- and child-safe, and remains in the soil for up to 10 years. There have been dramatic decreases in beetle populations observed in the season following application, which has the added bonus of reducing the mole and burrower population, keeping your lawn healthier.

At the Library - Raymond Village Library By Sally Holt

By Sally Holt, librarian

At the Library

The Raymond Garden Tour in June was a tremendous success. Many thanks go out to the sponsors, the garden owners and the many visitors who came from far and wide to visit the beautiful gardens in Raymond, Maine. We continue to receive positive comments about the tour and are pleased that it was so well received. Our volunteers for the garden tour were the best! The time, energy, interest and work that was donated for this project is impossible to measure. All proceeds from the garden tour will benefit the library.

The Summer Reading Program continues for young children through teens. On Monday, August 5, at 10:30 a.m. Sarah Sparks returns with another science activity, soil presentation. This will be a hands-on activity for all age groups, held outside the Raymond Village Library. If it is raining, it will be held at the Raymond Public Safety Building. On Monday, August 12, Lisa Davison will show participants how to make straw rockets. This activity will be held outside the library at 10:30 a.m. On Monday, August 19, the Summer Reading Program will conclude with an awards picnic, complete with prizes at 11 a.m. at the library. All programs are free.

On Sunday, August 18, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. will be an end of summer tent book sale. This is a great opportunity to get great deals on books of every type including children's books, puzzles, audio books, music and videos for sale. If you spot tents and balloons as you drive by, stop in. If it is raining the book sale will be moved inside. Mark your calendars for a day filled with fun and great deals!

Gazing at the stars with a telescope to view the night sky is a great way to spend a summer evening. We have an Orion Starblast 4.5" Telescope for loan at the library. And if you are in the mood to spend a day with wildlife, a community pass to the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray is available upon request. Although it does not cover the entire entrance fee, it cuts down on the fee considerably.

The book group will meet at the Hawthorne House on Wednesday, August 28 at 7 p.m. to discuss “Abide With Me” by Elizabeth Strout. The novel takes place in the late 1950s in the small town of West Annett, Maine, where a minister struggles to regain his calling, his family and happiness in the wake of profound loss. At the same time, the community he has served so charismatically must come to terms with its own strengths and failings when a dark secret is revealed. All interested readers are welcome. The book will be available upon request at the library.

There is still a lot of summer left, but if you are starting to think about your child's return to school stop in and talk with us about MARVEL, a database provided to all residents of Maine through the Maine State Library. It has some terrific resources that can be used for school research and assignments for all ages. Call the library for more information at 655-4283. 

 For more information on these and all the library programs, call 655-4283, check Facebook, or visit

Do you know what really grinds my gears? by Jeffrey J. Thivierge

You know what really grinds my gears…?


You know… The people that, regardless of what story you have just told is going to be nothing in comparison to what they or their best friend’s brother’s sister’s roommate once did at Brown University that now makes your story seem insignificant.

When I joined the Army, my father prepared me for this inevitability, as he had spent over 20 years in the service himself.  He had endured the ridiculous nature of this ritual.
I figured he was embellishing a little.

Nope.  Not one bit.

I was 22 years old when I enlisted, which in a pre-9/11 Army made me an “old man” in basic training.  Most everyone in my platoon was 18 or 19 years old.   For some reason, however, everybody in my platoon had given up lucrative scholarships to play football for Big Ten schools or had gotten the maximum $40,000 cash bonus that the recruiting commercials always talk about.  They also dated the homecoming queen and drove ridiculous cars that, if I’m not mistaken, are now being used in the “Fast and Furious” movie franchise.
That’s how ridiculous these “one-upper” stories would get.

Nineteen years ago I had jaw surgery to correct a birth defect and a severe under-bite.  When I went to my boss to take some time off from work for the operation, she proceeded to tell me all about how much worse her surgery was going to be and how she was going to be back to work in just three days, but she was going to give me the two weeks I was asking for, just to be nice.  Her surgery was to have her wisdom teeth taken out.  I still have the 14 screws in my jaw.  On the coldest winter days here in Maine, I swear on my father’s grave that I can feel the metal in my face.

See what I just did there?

I “one-upped” the wisdom tooth removal by making my post-surgical experience seem horrible and traumatic.  (Seriously, though… The second my wife gives me the okay that we can move to Texas, I’m putting our house on the market.)

In all honesty, most everybody has done this at one point or another in his or her lives.  I’ve caught myself once or twice and put myself on notice.  I’ve found that since then, I’m nowhere near as interesting as the people that I meet on the street that were in the Marine Corps Recon then transferred to the Army Special Forces and rounded their careers out in the Navy SEALs.  I simply can’t compete with that.  
But this one time, at band camp….. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Start with a logo By Kelly Mank, owner of Time4Printing

Let’s talk a little about image this week. Now, owning a printing company we work with a lot of new businesses. I must say, one of the most important things you can do when you start your business is to make sure you have a logo or “look” that you are not only comfortable with but that represents your company for what you want it to be.

What is a logo? A logo is most commonly a graphic that is used by businesses to promote immediate public recognition.

Why is this important? A logo is not going to sell your product for you. A logo will create public awareness. If seen often enough it will become the image that someone thinks of when they are in need of the product you have.

Where do you get a logo? Go to a local company that you feel can understand your business. Don’t go online. Find a company that understands print and web needs so that you don’t end up paying for your logo to be recreated multiple times. Find a company that is trusted in your community and that has a name for itself. Remember, you are trying to build your brand, make sure you work with a company that has done a good job building its brand.

Quick story: I was at a networking event a few months ago and a woman with a massage company handed me her card. I noticed her logo and recognized it which I thought was odd because I hadn’t heard of her business before. I went back to my office and found a landscape company that was using the same exact logo. Both of them went to the same online logo sites, paid $200, and picked a logo. Obviously that didn’t work out great for them.

Branding your company has many components to it and as many say, a brand is the living image of a company. A good piece of advice – start with a great logo!

Sell your home with more visibility By Frankee Chapa

When selling your home ten years ago, if your real estate agent wasn’t putting an ad in for your home in the real estate section of the daily newspaper, you had every right to be annoyed, but today is a different story. There are multiple marketing channels agents should be using to get the most visibility for your home.

So where and how should a real estate agent be promoting your home? Before choosing a real estate agent to sell your home, don’t be afraid to interview a few candidates. Here are five marketing-related questions to ask real estate agents before deciding which agent is the best fit for you:

1.Where online will my home be listed? According to research done by Google and the National Association of Realtors, 90 percent of home buyers use the Internet at some point during their home search process. On Google alone, real estate related searches climbed 253 percent in just the last four years.
Your agent needs to be making sure your home is visible on the Internet. Ask your agent if your home is listed on sites like Zillow, Trulia, and other home buying search engine websites. Home buyers are looking for homes online. You want your home to be found.

2.Do you use social media to promote my listing? Sure, social media might not be the place where someone suddenly finds your home and decides to buy it, however it does provide a great platform to get the word out about your house.

Ask your agent to create a social media post about your home on their website. From there, share that post with your friends and family. Ask your friends and family to do the same. A neighbor may have a relative looking to move close by or a distant cousin may want to buy summer home in Maine. Social media can get hundreds of eyes on your property for free!

3.How do you advertise open houses? It is great that your agent is hosting an open house, but are they just sticking an open house sign on the front lawn every Sunday and hoping for traffic? What other advertising methods are they using?

Are they informing other local agents of open houses? These agents may have a buyer who would fall in love with your home. Are they advertising the open house on Facebook? In the newspaper? Are they printing flyers and leaving them with neighbors? Find out what sort of effort they are making to make sure your home receives the foot traffic it deserves.

4.What else do you do to promote my listing? Besides online and traditional forms of advertising, what does the agent do to promote listings that might make them stand out? Do they blog about their listings? Will your home be featured in a home of the week article?
Is the agent a member of any networking groups where he/she shares listings with a group of professionals? Often these networking groups are working with your agent to help find referrals, adding more people to your sales team.

5.Is there anything I can do to increase my homes visibility? As much as a real estate agent can promote and advertise your home, they do not have an endless supply of money to pay for additional advertising. Perhaps your agent plans on taking out $250 worth of local advertising for an upcoming house. You may want to offer matching the cost for the added exposure.

Is there a certain publication you believe your home should be listed in? Would the agent split the costs or even add on additional funds to increase ad size? Are there any professional photographers or stagers the agent might recommend for added value? Help make your home stand out.

Make sure you don’t just choose an agent because they seem the friendliest or because they drove in with the flashiest car. You want your home to be seen by the right buyers. Find out how your agent will make this happen.

Frankee Chapa is the social media and marketing director at RE/MAX Alliance located on Route 302 in Westbrook. She has worked in marketing for the last seven years, specializing in online, print and social media.

The Conjuring Review by Heath Chase

Throughout my years, people often told me that I was easy to scare, but as I grew older, so did the horror film genre. Through that time I was able to see that these horror films that used to horrify my innocent little self, weren’t all that scary anymore and that was upsetting for me because—well, I really just love being scared. As I watched the trailer for “The Conjuring” I knew that something was going to scare me in the near future, especially when I saw “Directed by James Wann” at the end of it.  This was simply because James Wann directed the last film to scare me so badly that I could not sleep comfortably for the next week, this film was known as “Insidious,” and was also a film I acclaimed as the best horror film I’d ever seen…until now.

“The Conjuring” brings us back to 1971 where the Perron family is moving into their new home. We are quickly introduced to each member of this large group and are shown that they are a rather warm bunch and create good vibes. But when doors start to slam and figures start to speak to the youngest child, the Perrons start to realize that they are not alone in their new home. Desperately trying to find closure to the situation after these forces begin to arise, Carolyn Perron (Lilli Taylor) and her husband Roger Perron (Ron Livingston) seek out two demonologists named Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) to put an end to their nightly terrors. What ensues is a horrifying ride that you cannot look away from and at one point about mid-way through the film, I found myself so frightened by one scene that I scrunched into the theater chair so far that I was barely visible and didn’t reappear until the credits started rolling. 

This movie does what a lot of others have done before, but it does it in a way that is original. Everything is tweaked to keep things feeling fresh and the goose bumps will not leave your body until the film is over. The acting was exceptional, the writing was real and the execution was near perfect. See this movie, and have fun trying to sleep.

Oh, and you may have heard by now that this movie is based on a true story and for some that is just a cheap gimmick to help it sell. But on closer inspection, I have found this to be a true statement. Just watch some testaments from the Perron family and Ed and Lorraine Warren on YouTube if you don’t believe me….


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Makeover Magic for Rita Loft

Rita Loft is the mother of two and although she works at Walmart, right now she is coordinating two weeks of Cub Scout day camp at Camp Hinds in Raymond. Hair and makeup take a back seat to everything else in her life, so when invited to do a makeover, she agreed to give it a try.

“I’ve never done that before. I was walking in fearful. You never know what they’re going to do,” Loft said. She walked into Voila Salon and Day Spa in Westbrook and was immediately put at ease by stylist Megan Maley.

“I went in with the ‘do whatever’ thought,” Loft said. She was greeted with 
“You have beautiful eyes.” Loft left the styling up to Maley.

“I was very happy with the outcome,” Loft said.

Maley did Loft’s hair, cut and color. Maley added some layers, brought it to her shoulders for more movement, and darkened her hair to give it depth and shine. Amber Morin did her makeup to enhance Loft’s natural beauty. She also added some false lashes for fun.

Loft’s husband, Jeremiah, was speechless all day long, Loft said. “I called him at work and asked if he wanted me to come see him at work or wait until he got home,” Loft said. She went to his office and walked in the front door. 

“They didn’t have a clue who I was,” she said. “I’ve never worn makeup and my hair is normally in a ponytail.”

It took her two sons a while to get used to the new look.

“It was a great experience. They make you feel comfortable and lift your spirits up,” Loft said. “I don’t even think I felt that way on my wedding day.”
“I went back to my regular hairdresser who said, ‘wow, they did awesome.’ I always tell her ‘just to trim it’,” Loft said.

She’s now happy she took the chance.

Thank you to Voila Salon and Day Spa and to Dentist Leslie A. Elston for teeth whitening services.

Foodie Fare By Brian Rounds

Something that you may not know about me is that I work at a summer camp. I teach art, printing and pottery, but I also assist the program director in scheduling and programming. I love my summer job just as much as I love my school job. Some of the greatest memories I have from camp are my days and nights off when I can spend time with my summer family -  the other staff members. Don’t get me wrong, as a foodie living and working at a summer camp, I’m fed well – our chef is from Uruguay and is absolutely amazing – the boys at my camp never starve, that’s for sure.  On my nights, off, however, I find myself driving into Windham (my camp is on the western shore of Sebago). My car tends to steer itself toward Rose’s Italian Restaurant. Everyone at camp loves Rose’s – thanks to my recommendation.

Just recently, I had a day of and a night off where I ended up at Rose’s. The first night I was with three other guys from camp and we were excited to eat a meal not governed by the schedule. I ordered pizza – the Rose’s loaded minus the bell peppers.  When my pizza came, it was steaming hot straight from their brick oven (the only one in town).  I dove in and enjoyed. The toppings were perfectly balanced and the crust was done just right with a hint of smoke from the roaring fire. There is just something about Rose’s pizza that can’t be beat.

The second visit to Rose’s found me with a close friend from camp. We were there for lunch. I ordered the steak and chicken tips combo with fries and a side of their delectable marinara sauce. The steak and chicken tips were cooked to perfection and were super juicy. The fries were golden and crisp. I could probably sit and eat their marinara with a spoon if I really wanted to, but it was a great accompaniment for the tips.  Yum!

On both visits, I got the same server, who was prompt and on top of things.  Each visit also afforded me a salad which is pre-made and topped with Rose’s own Italian vinaigrette which, when I close my eyes, brings me back to my grandmother’s salad – there is nothing wrong with a little spark in memory when eating. In visits past, I have even ordered dessert at Rose’s. They have a decent selection, but who needs anything else when tiramisu is on the menu?

Must haves:
Steak Tips
Chicken Tips

Unplugging By Lisa DeFosse

As a society, we gravitate toward electronic communication and stimulation.  Some people use Facebook games and smartphone YouTube searches as a way to escape from their everyday lives.  Others fear they will miss something important if they shut off their phone or don’t check their emails every ten minutes.  As a whole, we have forgotten how to communicate and bond in person.  When was the last time you played a game of Scrabble?  No, not Words with Friends, but with the actual board game in front of you… face to face.

There is great value in “unplugging”.  Our family recently vacationed for ten days and spent the majority of the time without electronics.  We were five days in before we even turned on the television, and that was to see the local weather so we could plan our day. 

It is amazing the games and conversations that emerge when everyone isn’t neck deep in the latest funny YouTube video.  We bonded with each other on a deeper level and filled our time with laughter, card games, exploring and enjoying one another’s company.  After five days, we were up early and decided to check emails and Facebook.  We plugged in for a short time, got our fix, and then went back to life without electronics.  Leaving the phone behind was very liberating. 

I have challenged myself to “check-in” less often.  Do I really need to check my emails every ten minutes?  Will it be disastrous if I don’t see the latest status update of my closest friend until tomorrow?  I believe that taking more time for real connections is very important and unplugging can bring you closer to those you love and even to yourself as you can spend more time meditating or just enjoying the present moment.  Try unplugging for a day, or even just for dinner time with the family.  Resist the urge to pick up the phone every time it buzzes.  Check your emails every hour instead of every ten minutes.  Take some time back for yourself and you might find yourself happier and healthier than ever.

Lisa DeFosse is a licensed massage therapist and a certified Reiki Master. She lives in Windham with her husband and three sons.

Student of the Week: Carpentier sends message to "Stay safe - Arrive alive!"

Recent Windham High School graduate Brad Carpentier won first-place in the 9th annual Arrive Alive Creative Contest sponsored by the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein. The contest asks students to come up with a creative message warning their peers about the dangers of drinking and driving and distracted driving.

Carpentier won a new laptop for an original song he recorded portraying what can happen if someone drinks and drives. His entry was selected as one of five first-place winners out of over 100 entries.

The Arrive Alive Creative Contest is open to graduating high school seniors in Maine who may enter by submitting a creative project of their choice. First-place winners receive a new laptop, second-place winners a new iPad, and third-place winners a new iPod. Every student who enters receives fun prizes from the firm. 

A complete set of rules and all past winning entries can be viewed online at the contest’s website: or on Facebook. In the past 9 years, the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein has given away over $70,000 in prizes in an effort to educate teenagers on the dangers of distracted driving.

The Law Offices of Joe Bornstein is a statewide practice with six offices in Sanford, Biddeford, Portland, Lewiston, Augusta and Bangor, and specializes in personal injury and Social Security Disability law. For over 39 years, the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein has been getting Mainers the justice they deserve. For more information visit:

Your internal light By Elizabeth S. Giammarco, PhD, LCPC, NCC

A new column for The Windham Eagle features Elizabeth S. Giammarco, PhD, LCPC, NCC, who writes about mental illness and how to overcome its difficulties one step at a time.

Disclosure: This column is not intended to give medical or psychiatric advice. If you are experiencing any difficulties, please call your physician, or call 911, or go to your nearest emergency room. This column is for information and entertainment only.


I enjoy holidays. I look forward to them as if I were a wide-eyed child waiting with anticipation for that special day to arrive. One that I enjoy to this day and remember well is the Fourth of July. It was not only special as a national holiday; it was also my mother’s birthday. There was always a lot of family along with food and of course, fireworks. Sparklers, salutes, parades, watermelon, clam cakes and Nehi soda were part of the package then and still march through my mind each Fourth as if they were still here.  And although some of it has dwindled such as the large family and Nehi soda, others still remain.

Last week as I was getting ready to admire with oohs and ahs the Fourth of July fireworks that one of my sons was about to fire off, I caught a glimpse of some small lights flickering in the darkness. I did not pay particular attention to them as my concentration was more on the pending festivities. 

However, somewhere in the recesses of my mind a tug of familiarity began. Again, I saw the tiny dots blink on and off and with them came the realization of what I had been seeing. They were lightening bugs! I had not seen them in quite a few years. I don’t know why they had not been around but their appearance brought joy to my heart along with reminiscence of hot, steamy, Fourth’s of years gone by. To my amazement as well as to that of my family, I was as excited about those as I was about the fireworks. I felt that wonderment again as I did when I was a youngster.       

I thought about the memories of not only my childhood, but also my young adulthood when my children would catch the glowing insects and place them in a glass jar that was filled with green grass and that had holes in the top so that the creatures would be able to breathe. I thought – what a great way to celebrate a summer’s evening – I had man-made fireworks to behold, but I also had the beauty of nature’s glowing lights as well.

One of the issues with becoming an adult and taking on responsibilities is that we often neglect or forget the child within us that searches for the lightening bugs. Sometimes because we have misplaced that child, the lightness of heart that we need dims. However, it is not gone forever. In fact, it attempts to rekindle itself often. Each one of us has unique ways to address that part that desires for child-like glee. 

As a therapist, I often have to deal with people who have had their internal lights, so to speak, dim. Sometimes it takes a gentle spark like the lightening bugs to switch them back on and sometimes it takes the burst of fireworks to it. Often, it is a combination of both. However, the good news is that the light is always there ready for a spark much like a perpetual pilot light.            

During this summer season, find a way to have fun and to bring out the child in you who searches for the lightening bugs that await you. Capture them in your mind and heart. Let them shine through and they will help you find a way out of the dark.

Elizabeth S. Giammarco, PhD, LCPC, NCC is an adjunct professor at SMCC and a lecturer at USM.

Lyme disease and tooth pain By Dr. Leslie A. Elston, dentist

Ahhh….. Summertime in Maine. Sun, sand, lazy days, hikes, picnics and…ticks. Yucky, yucky deer ticks and Lyme disease. Lyme disease- our gift from the bite of an infected deer tick can be difficult to diagnose, but did you know your dentist may be a help in early detection of this disease?

In the United States, 25,000 people a year contract Lyme disease, with the majority of cases found here in the Northeast.

A recent study reported 70 percent of people with undiagnosed Lyme disease complained to their dentist of tooth pain in the absence of any true dental disease. Their pain could be associated with the jaw joints and chewing muscle or manifested as tooth pain that tends to move from tooth to tooth. Accurate diagnosis can be tricky due to the disease hiding behind vague symptoms.

Unfortunately, most Lyme disease patients are not diagnosed until the later stages of the disease by which time neurological symptoms, arthritis and damage to the heart and other organs has occurred.

If you are experiencing dental problems it is important to visit your dentist to diagnose true dental needs from the mysterious and vague symptoms of Lyme disease and to receive proper dental treatment, or a referral to your primary care physician for further investigation.

Three things to know about Facebook By David Pride

Believe it or not, my full-time job involves working with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn. It’s a geek’s dream job. Eight hours a day I stare at a computer monitor and look for and create conversations around some of New England’s strongest brands. When I’m not chugging Mountain Dew and choking down protein bars you can find me speaking around New England about using social media more effectively for business. Below are three things I think everyone should know about Facebook.

1.    You can control who sees what you post.
Ever wonder why your kid’s name and postings don’t appear in your Facebook newsfeed? That could be because he/she has you hidden from their posts. Have you ever wanted to share a piece of information with a select group of people but not all 1,100 of your Facebook friends? You can do that, too. All you need to do when you update your status to control who sees what posts is click on the down arrow icon that sits next to the box labeled “post.” A handful of options will drop down from that list. You can select friends, friends except acquaintances, public, customize or just me. Most of those labels are pretty self-explanatory but if you’re wondering what customize means you’re not alone. If you select “customize” then you will be given the option to hide the post with specific people. This could come in handy on many different occasions. Please keep in mind that hiding a rant about your boss does not mean he won’t see it – especially if he has friends who have access to your page. It is always best to save rants for in person conversations.

2.    Hashtags now work
Once reserved for other social networks hashtags (#) now work for Facebook. This means you can now find conversations happening about subjects you’re interested in simply by typing the word or phrase you’re looking for into the Facebook search bar. If you are like me and love Pomeranians you can now search #Pomeranians and you will have hours of Pomeranian pleasure at your fingertips! When you use a hashtag in your status update, it will also allow others to click that word to see others who used a hashtag with that particular word. Keep in mind that hashtags do not override your privacy settings, so if you have your status set to private as I discussed above, only those allowed to see your statuses can see the hashtag.

3.    Download all of your Facebook data
About two years ago, my Facebook account was hacked and the hacker managed to change my password and begin posting things to my community that I didn’t approve of. Things got so bad that I had to (gasp) delete my account. Luckily I had already backed up all of my Facebook data. Like most people, I post photos of great events in my life, have fun interactions, and am tagged in many photos. All of which would have been lost had I not backed up my Facebook information onto my computer hard drive.  The process to back up your Facebook info is very simple. Click the little wheel at the top of the right hand corner of your page; this will open up your “General Account Settings.” At the bottom of that page you will see “Download a copy of your Facebook data.” When you click that the next screen will let you know what this process entails and shortly there after all of your Facebook data i.e. statuses, photos, videos, and chats will be saved to your computer. This is a real help if you ever do get hacked.

What questions do you have about Facebook? I’m happy to help!

David Pride is a graduate of Windham High School Class of 01’ and the Social Media Specialist for Burgess Advertising. He also owns a social media/relationship marketing blog. David can be reached by email at

Eliminate the Guesswork! By Chris Wallace

Trusting your finances to chance? Take the time to plan for your financial future – and reap the benefits.

Budget. Do you know what you spend? A shocking 22 percent of adults don’t have a good idea how much they spend on housing, food and entertainment.1  If this ignorance-is-bliss approach sounds familiar, consider this: you could be cheating yourself out of a better life. A recent study found that those who stick to a budget have a higher net worth than those who don’t have a budget or don’t stick to one.2  So, if you haven’t already, start experimenting with a budget. Try reviewing your receipts or bank statements from the previous month to see where your money is actually going. Or, try going on a quick financial “fast:” Do your essential shopping, then try to go a week without spending anything extra. You may be surprised at what you don’t need.

Retirement. How much will you need? A shocking 42 percent of workers simply guess at what they need to save for retirement, rather than actually doing the calculation.3  Does this sound like you?
If so, you are selling yourself short: People who plan for retirement actually have five times the assets of those who don’t! 4 Also, workers who have performed a retirement needs calculation are more than twice as likely as those who have not to expect they will need to save $1 million or more for retirement.5

Emergencies. A healthy emergency fund is a great way to take the guesswork out of life’s unexpected expenses. Yet, more than half of Americans don’t have a six-month pot of money to tide them over in a financial emergency.6 Those working in a high-demand profession may be fine with a three-month stash, but if you work in an unstable industry or are 50 plus – which adds three months to the average job search – you should stash enough money to cover up to a year’s worth of expenses.7

Car Insurance. Are you paying the optimum rate for car insurance? How can you be sure? If your idea of staying on top of your car insurance is automatically renewing your policy – like 75 percent of insurers – you could charging yourself an extra $170 a year on average.8 Been with the same insurer for more than eight years? You’ll save about 19 percent by switching.9

Life Insurance: Are your loved ones properly protected in the event that tragedy strikes? How can you be sure? If you haven’t updated your life insurance coverage in a while – or have experienced a significant life change (such as marriage or the birth of a child) chances are you could need more coverage. Many financial experts recommend coverage of eight to 10 times your annual income, but that is just a shorthand calculation. Life insurance coverage is not a one-size-fits-all matter; every family situation is unique. “The truth is life insurance is a personal affair. Two couples may earn equal salaries, but it’s silly to say someone with four young children should have the same coverage as empty nesters with no mortgage and a substantial retirement fund.”11

Chris Wallace an independent representative of Primerica.

1 Kiplinger’s, February 2013 2 Money, July 2012 3 Money, December 2012 4 Money, August 2011 5 Employee Benefit Research Institute 6 Money,
January/February 2013 7 Ibid 8 Money, December 2012 9 Kiplinger’s, February 2013 10 Savings amount based on a survey of people who purchased insurance from Answer Financial and responded to the survey with their estimated savings statements during January 2012 to March 2012.
Average reported savings were $427 per year. 11 “How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?”, viewed January 16, 2013

How to choose a realtor By Lisa DiBiase

How do you choose a Realtor? This is a great question and should be considered extremely important to anyone who is considering buying or selling a home. As realtors, we go out each day with a job to do just like everyone else. That job is to help people achieve their real estate needs effectively and in a timely manner. This can be said for anyone's job description; complete the task quickly and effectively. For example, if my car breaks down, I take the car to a mechanic who is an expert on how to fix them. I do not try to fix the car myself! Even though I can navigate under the hood and determine what I think is wrong with the vehicle, I do not attempt to try and do something without an expert opinion. This is the same reason one should use a realtor. As realtors, we are the experts in our field and can help you navigate "under the hood' in a real estate transaction. There are many reasons to list as to why to use a realtor and perhaps I will make that my next article! But today is about how you choose an agent to represent you and your biggest asset. This is an important decision to make and it must be an educated one.

So what makes each realtor different and how does it affect you and your real estate needs? The following are important questions you should ask when interviewing a realtor:

How long have you been in business?
Experience is key. Each day is a new day in this business and we learn something new every day. No two transactions are the same. A seasoned agent is likely to have a solid base of experiences to refer to when handling each transaction. Seasoned agents are great, just make sure they are staying on the cutting edge of technology. But what about new agents? New agents are hungry for the business just be sure they have competent mentors helping them through their first and second year. Ask them to bring their mentor or designated broker to the first meeting.

How many homes have you sold so far this year and how many total last year?
This is such an important question to ask. This is going to tell you how successful an agent is in one quick answer. The more houses a realtor has sold, the more experience they have, and the more experience they have, the more valuable they are to you. It’s important to know how many homes they sold the previous year as well as the current year. On average 5 percent of the realtors are selling 95 percent of the inventory. Therefore, the average agent sells between 5-8 homes a year and the successful agents are selling above 30 homes a year.

Do you work with more buyers or sellers?
This is important to discover whether the agent has more experience in one area of real estate over the other. If you are looking to list your home, it is helpful to have someone with the skills and marketing plan to help you sell your home quickly. Conversely, if you are looking to buy a home, it is important to have an agent know the inventory. Ideally, you look for an agent that does both!

What are three things you do differently than the other realtors?
All agents have their own marketing plans and ways of working with their clients. It is up to you to determine what is important to your needs when you ask this question. To some people communication is key and to others it’s more about the action plan! You must start by asking yourself what standards you want from your realtor. From there, you can ask what they do differently and decide who fits your criteria best. This is where you can determine what kind of marketing they offer and how much commission they charge.

What have I not asked you that I should know about?
This is an opportunity for the realtor to sell themselves! It’s important to listen to how well they pitch their own services and that will give you an impression on how they will negotiate for you when it comes down to getting the best price.

Being a realtor is a job just like any other profession. It is our job to help you quickly and effectively protect your biggest asset and/or investment. Please call a local realtor for all you real estate needs, no matter how big or small. We are trained professionals to make your life easier. It's best to surround yourself with the right team of professionals that can continuously give you the right advice for all your circumstances.
 Lisa DiBiase is Lisa DiBiase is the owner of Landing Real Estate. She is also the reigning Mrs. Maine America 2013. 

“Guests of the Ayatollah” By Phil Baker

My first reaction to reading this book was to determine where Iran was and then narrow my search to Tehran.

Today terrorism is a way of life and Iran a notorious rogue state. It’s inconceivable now that Iran wasn’t on the radar screen in the seventies. Americans were painfully aware of Vietnam; we’d seen body counts climb and Saigon fall on the evening news. We had gas shortages. We’d just emerged from the darkness of Watergate and lived through a weird nightmare called Jonestown.

It was 4 November, 1979. America received the news that students had stormed the US embassy in Tehran and taken staff-members hostage. Mark Bowden’s book, “Guests of the Ayatollah”, 640 pages first published by The Atlantic Monthly Press, takes us inside the embassy where 52 hostages were held for 444 days. He illuminates the uncoordinated and ineffective response of the US government. A rescue attempt floundered in the desert and left eight men dead. The administration looked inept and impotent to bring our people home. And the Ayatollah Khomeini was an unsolvable enigma.

Bowden’s complete history of the crisis dredges up a great number of failures. The Carter administration has, fairly or not, taken the brunt of the blame. The UN failed to stand against one nation’s mistreatment of another nation’s diplomatic mission. And some unsavory characters selfishly grabbed the spotlight with no regard to the hostages’ well-being.

Bowden’s narrative is a cautionary tale. Words and actions can lead to unintended reactions worldwide. The Iranian students’ hatred for the US was cultivated as several attended liberal institutions like Berkeley and were exposed to anti-America dogma. The administration welcomed the Shah fomenting anger in Iran as months earlier he’d been deposed as a human rights criminal. And politically active clergy and others made visits to the hostages for self-aggrandizing purposes. 

It’s the history of a sad affair that exposed America’s weakness against the tactics and theater of Islamic terrorism. Bowden states optimistically that terrorism represents the death throes of an ancient way of governing based on a sacred text. Will freedom trump the theocracy the Iranian students delivered to us 44 years ago in Tehran?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

You know what really Grinds my Gears? by Jeffrey J. Thivierge

My wife trying to groom me as if I were a gorilla.

OK, before she reaches over and whacks me with the paper, computer, iPad, or throws a cat at me, let me preface this by saying I love my wife more than I love warm, dry socks on a cold winter day after I’ve spent a few hours snow-blowing and shoveling.  My wife tolerates the noises I make at inappropriate times as well as my “issues” with crowds, which has pretty much rendered me a recluse and not much fun to be around.  Through thick and thin, after almost seven years now, we’ve gotten through some pretty tough things… deployments to Iraq, miscarriages and head trauma.  She and my daughter are the best two things in my life.

About two years ago, however, I started to sprout some new friends in my life.  “Flare” one might say.  Most people call it nose hair.  I pay no particular attention to these little whistlers, as I’m not a particularly vain person.  I don’t spend hours primping myself in the mirror.  I don’t have 58 “selfie” pictures of myself on Facebook.  Heck, when I do find the occasion to shave the whiskers on my face, I do so in the shower and avoid the mirror altogether.  I brush my teeth 2-3 times per day.  One of those times is in the shower.  The other time is in the bathroom sink, and rest assured, I’m not ogling my nose its illustrious nasal flare in the mirror while I’m scrubbing my incisors. 

My wife, on the other hand, has taken exception to my new friends that protrude ever so slightly from my nares.  About a year ago, my wife and I were sitting on the couch watching a movie and she took it upon herself to reach over and snatch one of my black beauties that had been peaking out from my nostril.

Now, I’m not sure if anybody reading this has ever had the “pleasure” of being plucked by a ninja, but it rates up there with getting a surprise paper cut in-between your toes.  (Admit it…. You just got a shiver up your spine thinking about that, didn’t you?) 

Since that first grab at my nose hair, it’s become a running gag in my house.  Even my daughter thinks it’s funny.  My wife tells me that her mother has done it to her father for years and that he just gave up fighting.  It’s like she thinks it’s her second job in life to search and destroy anything that might sneak out of my nose that has a root and is implanted in my skin as though she’s a member of SEAL Team 6 searching for Bin Laden in the caves of Tora Bora. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I want my wife to tell me if I’ve got something hideously wrong with my body.  If I’ve cut my hair badly, by all means, let me know.  (Yes, I cut my own hair.)  If my shirt doesn’t match, please, tell me.  For the love of Pete…. Leave my 37 pieces of “Flare” alone before I go bananas.  When they start whistling when I breathe, I’ll probably go thin them out.

Dr. Orders "Summer Whiplash Injuries" by Dr. Alan Moore

Whiplash is a generic term applied to injuries of the neck or back that are caused when the neck or back is suddenly and/or violently jolted in one direction and then another.  This whip-like movement causes a sprain/strain and/or tearing of the supporting ligaments and muscles of the spine causing joint damage, inflammation and swelling. 

The most common causes of whiplash are motor vehicle accidents, falls, sports injuries and work injuries.  In the summer we increase our odds of motor vehicle accidents due to more people traveling, which increases the amount of traffic on the road.  Water sports such as tubing, water skiing, wakeboarding, knee boarding and surfing are all common summer activities where people experience whiplash injuries. Whiplash also may occur in summer sport leagues such as baseball, softball, volleyball, tennis, golf, soccer, basketball, kickball, etc.

What are the common signs and symptoms of whiplash?
•    The most common symptoms of whiplash are pain, stiffness, swelling and inflammation.
•    Headache, especially at the base of the skull, is also a common symptom associated with neck injury.
•    The pain and stiffness with neck whiplash injuries may extend down into the shoulders and arms, upper back and even the upper chest.  You may also feel pain in your jaw.
•    Symptoms of concern if they persist are difficulty swallowing, nausea and blurred vision.
•    Other symptoms include irritability, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating.
•    Symptoms usually develop 2 to 48 hours after injury.
How is whiplash treated?
•    Staying active as long as the injury is stable. 
•    Bracing/Immobilization if the injury is not stable.
•    Ice and/or heat are often used to help control pain, reduce swelling and inflammation, and reduce muscle spasms.
•    Physical therapy modalities, such as electrical stimulation and/or ultrasound.
•    Active-care program of exercise and stretching.
•    Spinal manipulation and/or mobilization performed by a chiropractor.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monitoring the legislature by Rep. Michael McClellan

The Maine Legislature has completed most of its work as July begins. We will come together one more time on July 9 to deal with remaining items. The last two nights we met in June (26th and 27th) led to late nights in Augusta, finishing close to midnight twice in two days. The Majority leadership appeared to be unorganized as the various legislators were forced at times to sit for hours with no work presented. On the second day in which we began at 11 a.m, we were told to arrive with the intent to work through lunch. (I assumed to completion.) We arrived to begin and within 20 or so minutes went into a break. This happened throughout the day and by 2 p.m. people were beginning to leave given this day had not been originally scheduled. Many left for meetings and work. Needing 101 votes to approve any mandate or defeat a governor's veto the dwindling numbers began to threaten the ability to do anything. Late in the evening a roll call was done and 95 representatives pushed their green button signaling attendance. This resulted in more delays as the majority must have been concerned about offering up bills that would lose due to lack of voters. Even as many of us sat tired from the two-day marathon, there was both irony and humor present in the position the leadership had put themselves in by waiting this late to present work (late by waiting until this date and late in waiting to this hour). Eventually, even though they were able to get six people to return, we ended the night with remaining work pushed to July 9.

I have now been in the majority and minority. My observations this session were that the new majority does not like to share information until they have too. Often, there was little negotiation allowed. The past legislature put many of its important work items upfront, this one waited until the very end. Your taxes are going up, and you likely will not feel like you got any value. Some of our neediest people still won't be covered in healthcare. The new budget, passed overwhelmingly, seems to suggest you don't pay enough taxes and Maine doesn't spend enough of your money. I have thought over the past days that a good bill would be one that created a law that said each of you should spend a day in Augusta monitoring the legislature. If you did, you might choose to get more involved as we spend your money.

I can't close without mentioning two days that to me, say it all. They were the day we discussed stopping all smoking on college campuses and we also discussed legalizing marijuana; and the day we defeated a bill that would have said underage girls needed to involve their parents when getting an abortion (unless the parents were abusive) and the next bill was to stop under 18-year-olds from drinking caffeinated drinks. Someone once said elections have consequences. The beginning of the 126th Maine Legislature seems to have shown that to be true.