Friday, June 29, 2018

Insight: The ocean and the forest by Lorraine Glowczak

"Bringing Unity to the Community” is the Windham Summerfest motto. The Summerfest Committee and all others who worked tirelessly in creating a fun and successful community event, did an incredible job making all the parts come together this past weekend. Kudos to you all. 

I imagine; however, there were some challenges along the way and it wasn’t as easy as they made it appear.

There is no denying that words like civility, teamwork and unity are becoming tattered and worn with overuse and I suspect many of us are becoming tattered and worn by trying to bring those words to our lives through actions.

Participating with others while working toward the same goal is a thorny task that challenges even the best among us. This creates the question: Is there an effortless way to collaborate with others without too many puncture wounds for all involved?

I wish I could offer a thought provoking answer. Not only would it help solve many of today’s issues in civility, but I would have the next best-selling self-help book on the shelves today.  

What I can pose is one tiny little perspective that may help ease some pain of challenging interactions.

One of my favorite spots to visit when I first moved to Maine was Mackworth Island. One day while exploring, I took a moment to sit on a beach on one side of the island to enjoy the incredible view. All I saw was rolling waves, boulders in the water and the Portland skyline. Ready to head back, I turned around to walk toward the path on the inside of the Island and was struck by the beauty of the tall pines, trees and flowering bushes. It dawned on me that by just turning around in a 90-degree angle, I had a completely different viewpoint.

What I had observed that day was Mackworth Island provided two opposing truths. One truth was the ocean, the other truth - the forest. 

Imagine if there were two different people and they had their backs to one another. The individual facing the ocean could say, “Wow! Look at all the water! Isn’t it beautiful?” The other person might possibly respond, “You’re nuts and you’re wrong. There is no water at all.”

They both would be right. They could argue back and forth or discover that the ocean and the forest both exists. If they choose to learn from each other, their world will expand to include both perceptions of nature. If they continue to disagree and hold steadfast to their viewpoints, their understanding of the world will remain small – and boring.

The next time we all work together, perhaps we can remember this analogy or something similar, and the efforts of teamwork may not seem so painful. It may also expand our view of the world and make us a bit more interesting.

If this week’s Insight makes your next collaborative effort go more smoothly and work with betters with others, let me know. I have always wanted to be a best-selling author!

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor

AARP Maine and our more than 230,000 members would like to extend our congratulations and best wishes to all the candidates running in the general election in November.

We would also like to remind everyone that November is not that far away. By far, the biggest and most robust voting bloc in the state is that of Mainers over the age of 50. The issues impacting older Mainers are of particular importance here in Maine, the oldest state in the country. Whether it’s the cost of living in retirement, access to housing that’s affordable or staying connected to friends and family, AARP Maine is advocating on these issues.

At the national level, nothing is more important to our members than protecting the Social Security and Medicare benefits we have worked all our lives to earn. In Maine, we expect the next legislature will be asked to deal with health care costs and access (especially for those aged 50-64), prescription drug pricing, and transparency about how pricing is established. We also look forward to following the election by celebrating November as the first-ever Maine Family Caregivers Month and raising awareness about the needs and challenges of 178,000 Maine family caregivers.

It’s a loaded agenda, and we welcome the participation of all who would serve in elected office. 
At the same time, AARP’s “Be The Difference. Vote. campaign encourages all Mainers to make their voices heard. Help us send a strong message to candidates and politicians this election by visiting and adding your name. What are the issues of concern to you and to your family?  Every vote counts, and together, we can hold politicians accountable regarding the issues that matter.

Rich Livingston
AARP Maine Volunteer State President

Friday, June 22, 2018

Insight: A summer of wonder by Lorraine Glowczak

"Remember when we were kids and summers lasted forever,” Frank, my husband asked with nostalgia as we floated in our kayaks on the lake this past Sunday. It was the perfect lazy summer day in all its cloudless blue-sky glory and that’s when summer officially began for me.

Technically, summer officially begins on Thursday, June 21st - the longest day of the year. It is the one day the sun dilly-dallies because it thinks it has forever. And, that feeling of “forever” is what summers were like when I was a child. It seems that feeling is also true for others.

But then we grow up and summers speed by in a matter of seconds. Why is that? Why does summer seem to go faster as we grow older? There are many theories that explain the perception of time and why it appears to travel more quickly as we progress in years. The online magazine, “Scientific American” offers one thought on the issue, “…our brains encode new experiences, but not familiar ones, into memory, and our retrospective judgment of time is based on how many new memories we create over a certain period.”

The article further explains that from childhood to early adulthood, we experience new and exciting adventures for the first time and we learn many new skills. When we become adults, we crowd our lives with busy routine and we experience fewer unfamiliar moments.

So, I have decided to do an experiment this summer and act like a kid with the hopes that the summer might appear to last a little bit longer.

I know it may seem like an oxymoron, but I have already “scheduled” free time in my calendar. As a child, I experienced a lot of free time – and in fact, I even had a few moments of boredom. But this is when I discovered ants carrying objects bigger than their bodies, heard the call of a whip-poor-will for the first time and realized there was this thing called the Milky Way - and it wasn’t a chocolate bar.

On days when boredom seized me, I hopped on my bike with friends and we explored the surrounding wheat fields, back country roads and streams. It was fascinating to see firsthand the main ingredient for bread or discover how snakes slither across the road and to see tadpoles before they became frogs. I had no plans, I just showed up.

So, wish me luck with my experiment to slow summertime down and grab the childlike wonder of my youth. I will do my best to make the familiar, unfamiliar again and to rediscover my surroundings, as if I am seeing them for the first time. If you want to join me in this effort, please do.

Perhaps we can rediscover together all the amazing ways our small-town communities are alive – by just showing up without expectations. If you are up to it – join me in one of the bounce houses this Saturday at the 2018 Windham Summerfest. I’ll race you.

Editorial essays by two sixth-grade students

Below you will find essays written by two sixth-grade students from Windham Middles School. These essays were a part of their Project-based learning on water pollution.

Essay One
Ensuring our water is clean
By Jaida Narvaez

Did you know that only one quart of gasoline or oil can contaminate up to 250,000 gallons of water? In the state of Maine, we need to keep our water clean, because before we know it, we might not have any at all!

Before you worry about running out of clean water, remember that after you read this essay, you will be educated with this topic. And if you are willing to, you can help stop water pollution!
Some things we will talk about in this writing piece are; natural pollutants, human activities that lead to polluting and ways you can help prevent pollution.

Natural Pollutants:
These are pollutants that are caused by substances of a natural origin. Although they are natural, they still pollute our water and cause serious problems. Natural pollutants, such as soil are mostly carried into the water from runoff. As stated earlier, these pollutants can cause serious problems like algae growth, decreased clarity, and warm water. You might think warm water is a good thing, but it actually means that the water has less oxygen in it. When water has a very low oxygen level, some low tolerant animals in the water might die. This is a problem because eventually, some aquatic animals could go extinct.

Human Impacts:
As you probably know, humans can pollute the water too. Sometimes, we pollute without even knowing it! Next, we will talk about some of the things you might have done that could lead to polluting our water. Not picking up your pet’s waste. Besides just being gross, this will lead to much bigger problems in our water. When it rains, runoff will carry your dog’s waste to the water. As a result, the water will be turbid, and have low oxygen levels. Furthermore, when oil from your boat ends up in the water, along with oil from other boats, it destroys the insulating ability of fur bearing mammals. These animals would include sea otters and birds. Lastly for this paragraph, is fertilizers and pesticides. You might not think twice before adding fertilizer to your lawn to get healthy, luscious, green, grass. But if you don’t apply it correctly, you could pollute your nearest body of water. When runoff carries your fertilizer into the water, the nutrients from this chemical makes a rapid growth in algae in the water. As we learned earlier, when too much algae is in the water, it makes the water lose oxygen, which affects aquatic life.

You might feel hopeless after hearing about all the pollutants, but thankfully, there are solutions! For example, one solution would be rain gardens. Rain gardens are bowl-shaped gardens that are designed specifically to capture and filter runoff from roofs, driveways, and other hard surfaces. They collect water and allow it to sink, slowly, into the ground. Not only does it look good, but it is also a great way to reduce the amount of polluted runoff that flows into the water! Another solution would be an infiltration trench. These are basically trenches filled with gravel/crushed stone that collect runoff and filter the pollution out of it, making it cleaner for when it reaches our water. Lastly, you could try vegetated buffers. These are trees, shrubs, and other plants that catch polluted runoff before it reaches our water. Try some of these solutions, and you can help reduce pollution, save aquatic life, and keep our water clean!

Humans, nature, and animals all contribute to pollution, but now that you know these solutions, you can do your part to help reduce the amount of pollution that reaches our water! So next time that you apply fertilizer to your plants, leave your dog’s waste on the ground, let your boat leak oil, or see construction sites getting soil in the water, remember that all those things pollute our water. But you, can stop it. You can make a difference!

Essay Two
Fresh water pollution in Maine
By Joley Graden

3.4 million people die from waterborne diseases every day. Can you imagine not being able to turn on a faucet with clean water in it? Just imagine yourself going to your sink, turning on the faucet and filling a glass cup with fresh cold icy water. Because of untreated dirty unhealthy water, a child dies every 90 seconds from a water-related disease. In my opinion this is heartbreaking!  Luckily, we as Mainers don't have these kind of issues . . . yet. That’s why we need to treat our freshwater with care if we don't want to have these issues. Some other things you will learn about are what natural pollutants are and human impacts. Also you will learn solutions to these issues.

Natural Pollutants:
Natural pollution and human pollution are both bad but natural pollutants are the worst for our freshwater. Some examples of natural pollutants are soil, and animal waste. Soil is the number one pollutant in Maine because there's tons of it!  Soil: adds nutrients to the water which can cause algae blooms to grow which causes plants not to get nutrients because the algae is blocking their sunlight. Also, the animals can't get the food they need. In addition, when an algae bloom occurs, it makes the water turbid; makes water cloudy and the dissolved oxygen levels decrease; dissolved oxygen which is harmful to aquatic life. However, If the sediments were to get into a fish’s gills this would not just affect the fish, this would affect the consumers as well. People could end up getting sick with a waterborne illness. This is just some of the many effects of natural pollutants.     
Human Impact:
In my opinion human impact is the worst of all of them. I say this because most of the time you can choose whether to pollute the water or pick it up and dispose of it properly. Specifically, some human pollutants are car oil, fertilizers, herbicides, road salt and sand, litter, pesticides, car soap, factory waste, etc. Do you wash your car? Have you ever thought where the soaps go into? Well they all runoff into the closest water body (Watershed) and pollute the water; instead you could stop the pollution, so it doesn't affect the environment. Same with fertilizers if you don't apply them properly they can affect your watershed. Like for an example if you put down fertilizer when it’s going to rain the next day. There are many ways to solve these problems the question is will you take the time to solve them?

Now that you know some ways we harm our environment here are some ways to save it. On the other hand, using BMPs (best management practices) help reduce runoff and pollution. Some BMPs are vegetated buffers, rain barrels, rain gardens, infiltration trenches, and dry wells, etc. Some situations where you could use these solutions are when you have eroded spots on your lawn you could cover those spots with buffers to keep the soil/dirt from running off into the water. Another scenario is if you were washing your car on your paved driveway all of the soap and chemicals would runoff because of the pervious pavement but if you washed your car on the grass you would give the soaps time to infiltrate (soak into the ground) into the ground so it wouldn't harm are water bodies. When water goes into the atmosphere it does the same things as ground and plants. In a similar fashion, it takes the pollutants away so it’s not harming are water or the environment.

In closing, as we saw earlier freshwater pollution is a big problem in Maine and other places around the world. You can stop human impact by disposing of things the right way like clean up road salt and sand in your driveway (use a broom). However, you can stop natural pollutants by using BMPs to reduce runoff. BMPs are very important to stop pollution, and I recommend using them if you have these sorts of problems. According to Brian Tracy, “There are no limits to what you can accomplish, except the limits you place on your own thinking. If you are working on something that you really care about, you don't have to be pushed.”

Friday, June 15, 2018

Insight: Voice of the familiar by Lorraine Glowczak

"Does my voice sound too twangy?” That’s the question I asked fellow writers last week in a writer’s group I attend monthly. As an author, I am always concerned about my writer’s voice, but this time - it was my actual speaking voice that had me apprehensive.

Two weeks ago, I attended a creative, non-fiction essay workshop in Belfast and someone from that group invited me to publish my work on a community radio station in the Downeast and Midcoast areas. I accepted the invitation but admitted to my new friend that I still speak with a Kansas inflection and may not be able to pull off that “NPR” tone. She assured me that all would be fine. “The way you speak is what will add to the depth of your stories,” she said.

My writing group friends echoed her sentiment. Despite their encouragement, I was still not convinced. To help soothe my concerns, the group recorded me as I read one of my essays. Their feedback? I didn’t sound anything like myself. “You start out in your natural speaking voice but then changed to a softer, less impassioned version of you.” I was instructed to go home and listen to the recording.

I did as they recommended and was surprised to discover that what they believed wasn’t my voice, I believed was and it is exactly how I hear myself. As a result of this discovery, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about individuality; the way we express our unique style and how we play that out within our communities.

 Most of us wish to be liberated individuals, not succumbing to the “sheeple” way of life. However, we also don’t want to disassociate ourselves completely from the family and friends that complete us and are a part of something greater than ourselves.

I think the same is true of language and the way we speak. For example, for me to be a part of something greater, I spoke with an intonation and dialect as others around me. Not only did I speak that way to be a part of a whole, but as I learned during my days of linguistic study - I did that to be understood in an agreed upon language. This is true for everyone, not only for me.

So, in a sense - our voices and our language belong to everyone. It’s not just ours alone and it offers a bit of the familiar. This familiarity provides the springboard into our individuality - our unique voice.

The same can be said of my “NPR” radio voice, or the lack there of. The listeners of that community radio station turn on that program to hear the familiar. That doesn’t mean I should change my speaking voice but I might be careful to speak so I can be understood. I should do my best to refrain from speaking “tin” when I mean “ten” or “buuuuuk” when I mean “book”.

So, if you happen to ever be in a quandary over your individual voice (written, spoken or otherwise), I hope my little predicament and my little discovery helps you in some way.

Editorial Essay by Maddie Hancock

Teens versus pop culture
An argument essay written by seventh grader, Maddie Hancock of the Windham Middle School

For the past several years, teenagers and adults have been facing a problem: The content of three entertainment related subjects - music, movies, and television. These three categories each reference substances such as drugs and alcohol. In music, movies and television, substances are often associated with luxurious lifestyles and wealth which results in the glorifications of substance use.

Each year the number of references in each branch of media increases. In teenage and young adult years the brain is very vulnerable and susceptible to new ideas, but if those new ideas are harmful, that means trouble for the party involved. Often the representation of substance use without consequence leads to real life substances use. After all, exposing someone to a dangerous substance without also exposing them to the consequences is like giving a child a lollipop, but expecting them not to eat it. Nonetheless, many people choose to ignore the effects that references could have on people and choose to believe that substance use is solely the users choice, not at all influenced by any exposure. However, if drugs, alcohol, and opioids were not heavily represented in pop culture and the media, many teens and adults would not turn to those harmful substances.

Music is something that many people turn to influence the emotions, however, music happens to showcase an abundant amount of substance references. Depending on the genre of music, the percentage of references varies. For example, twenty-nine percent of all teens listen to pop music. Usually that would not seem like a problem, until you consider that about fifty percent of all pop music mentions some sort of substance, such as drugs or alcohol.

About twenty percent of teens listen to rap music which has an approximate thirty percent substance reference rate. About sixteen percent of teens listen to country music and country music has about a fifty percent reference rate - the primary substance mentioned is alcohol.

About eighteen percent of teens listen to Broadway music with about a zero percent reference rate. Finally, rock music is listened to by about seventeen percent of all teenagers and has about a thirty percent reference rate. Despite the fact that there are excessive mentions to substances within song lyrics, there are also many musicians who have or are currently using drugs or alcohol.

Many of the musicians who use substances credit them for the creativity of their lyrics. Since many people look up to artists, the substances use of the artist may be ignored or looked past. A Living Pianos writer contributed to the discussion, “The downside to drug use is very well documented in the music world. While it might allow certain musicians to be more ‘creative’ it does have its share of negative effects,” (Lenin, David). 

Artists who have openly admitted to substance use include the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Britney Spears, and Snoop Dogg; all who are closely followed and looked up to by their large fanbases. To summarize, drugs and alcohol are heavily appropriated in music because of the seemingly endless references in most genres, along with the fact that many substance-using musicians are still popular, and because of that many teens may see substances as a positive item instead of a dangerous one. While it may seem like there are a plentiful amount of substance references in music, substance references in movies occur at an even higher rate.

Movies are a very prominent part of our society, but they are also a piece of the puzzle when it comes to substance references. They are constantly advertised on billboards, television and sometimes social media platforms. Unsurprisingly, many references to substances are made in movies whether it be for comedic effect or to add suspense to the plot. Since movies are most commonly two to three hours long the consequences to using substances are rarely presented in a realistic way if they are even touched upon.

This can be interpreted by teens and adults to mean that the consequences of using drugs and alcohol are not extreme or that they simply do not exist. Those thoughts can sometimes lead to drug use and possibly addiction. While some may argue that representation of drugs and alcohol do not force others to actively use the drugs, it can be interpreted by some to make use seem okay to participate in usage. A journalist from New York Film Academy wrote,“. . . there has been a surge of drug films and drugs appearing much more often in movies, at a rate that is more than triple of that just twenty years ago. While drug use is on the rise in the U.S., on film, it’s an outright epidemic,” (Robins, Lincoln).

With substances abuse on the rise, many people are speculating that increased references are to blame; taking into consideration that substance references in movies have tripled. As children grow to teenagers and adults the content gets more explicit, which may not always be the best situation for easily influenced people. Movies makers may be able to provide excuses for the lack of consequences shown due to time limitations, but television shows cannot provide the same argument.

Television shows can run for various lengths depending on popularity, which is usually based off the plot, which may not realistically represent drug use. Some of the most popular television shows that have ever aired for a long span of time with a high viewer rate involve some sort of substance use at one time or another. For example, “Cheers” a television show popular in the eighties and nineties, was based off a bar, which brings about the obvious references to alcohol. There were rarely any consequences shown, but the characters were often put in to laughable situations because of alcohol usage.

Another popular show, “Friends” that may teenagers and adult watch, has a recurring plot of Chandler, a main character trying to quit smoking, which some of the negative repercussions are presented.

However, there are also many references to alcohol, which is used to numb pain or forget about pain in this show. Occasionally there are some consequences, but they are either minor or nonexistent. Most crime shows mention some sort of substance to enhance the plot because of the criminal aspect of using drugs or alcohol. Since many people watch television programs as a pastime, they are undoubtedly influenced by the plots, whether it deters them from usage, or if it is the more likely influence that drugs and alcohol do not have serious effects and that little harm will come to any user, possibly leading to actual substance use.

Another thing to take into consideration would be the medication advertisements. These are showcased as miracle workers and solutions to problems, but the side effects are only briefly touched upon. This can have dangerous outcomes. For example, a writer from wrote about drug advertisements on television: “Television advertising of over-the-counter drugs has been suspected of being a contributing factor in drug abuse among youth,” (LeBlanc, Jason). Television is not just light-hearted programming, it is something that contains hidden dangers for many people.

In conclusion, there is a plentiful supply of references to substances in popular culture. This heavy representation exposes people to these substances, most commonly without showing the negative consequences. When people are frequently exposed to negative things without being shown the repercussions, it can encourage them to partake in usage without considering what could go wrong. If these types of substances were either represented less frequently or not at all, many teenager and young adults would be deterred from substance usage. To start a movement for change, consider what you are watching or listening to, evaluate the dangers of the content you are exposing yourself to, and figure out how you can protect yourself and possibly others from turning to substances in times of strife.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Insight: Little life lessons nature can offer by Lorraine Glowczak

I wanted to offer something in this week’s editorial for the 2018 graduates. I thought and I thought and couldn’t come up with an inkling of wisdom that I could offer the students as they begin their new journeys.

Until that is, I was writing the article about videographer, Bill Blood who combines his love of videography and science education by travelling to Hawaii to capture and teach about geological formations. While writing it, I was inspired to research what the Hawaiian culture might perceive about the current erupting Kilauea volcano and the lessons some people in Hawaii might take from it. Perhaps in understanding how they learn from nature, I could reach my goal of offering something to the graduates.

In my research, I found a travel blog writer, Avia Venefica, who stated that volcanoes offer a few
lessons that most Hawaiians take seriously. “Volcanoes represent the upward challenge our lives sometimes present and they remind us of the goals we aspire to reach, the journey to get there, and the value of the climb to the top.”

In Maine, we typically align ourselves with monotheistic views, but we often also learn the values and lesson that nature provides us. Many people experience a transcendent connection in Maine’s natural environment, learning something personally and profoundly while participating in a favorite activity, be it hiking, kayaking or snowshoeing.

The following are a few life lessons that the natural beauty of Maine can potentially offer, not only for the 2018 graduates, but for all of us:

In addition to the “upward challenge” analogy Venefica offers, a hike up a Maine mountain can reflect the reality of peaks and valleys. Life is exciting and frustrating. There are always going to be good days and bad days, but it helps to know that everything is temporary. So, during the valley moments – just keep chugging away as the peak moments will be arriving soon. Of course, the opposite is also true. This keeps us humble.

Sitting in a kayak, one can’t help but notice how adaptable the water is – how easily the water divides and wraps itself around the kayak as it moves forward. Water can easily skirt around any object and keep moving onward. It can teach us to persist without struggle.

Personally, I think snow can teach us a major life lesson about individuality. Whether you have snowshoed or cross country skied through a deep and fresh layer of snow, you will notice there is not a trail in front of you. You must create your own way, your own path. In life, it can be scary to blaze new horizons. But much like snowshoeing, you can look back from where you once stood and see how far you’ve come.

It is my hope that all graduates will one day look back and see how far they have travelled since 2018 – learning their own bits of wisdom along the way.

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Whether you live in a large or smaller town in Maine, with our far-flung population it can be easy to feel isolated from the decision-making process in Washington and Augusta. However, the truth is that no matter how far away we may feel from the political debate, all our votes matter. 

As the mid-term election on June 12th approaches, in light of the current political climate in our nation and right here in our own state, no matter where we live each vote is critically important.
With this in mind, I am glad to hear about AARP’s “Be the Difference” campaign which encourages all of us older Mainers to get out and vote. The focus of “Be the Difference” is simple: Educating voters, getting out the vote and making sure more Mainers head to the polls on June 12; particularly those of us age fifty and older.

Although political campaigns sometimes overlook the issues that impact older voters, we have traditionally been a major force in Maine elections. Older voters are concerned about issues such as livable communities, financial security, Medicare, Social Security and caregiving, to name just a few. 
These are critical issues, but are they being discussed by the candidates? “Be The Difference” will offer multi-media information to Maine voters as to where candidates stand on these and other issues to help us hold politicians accountable for their positions this November.

Older voters vote in impressive numbers. It is a mistake for any candidate to assume otherwise. Let’s be the difference on June 12th.

Dr. Erica Magnus
AARP Maine Communications Volunteer

Friday, June 1, 2018

Insight: Persevering through banana peel realities by Lorraine Glowczak

Recently, while working at one of my side jobs, I overheard the term “banana peel reality.” I’m not quite sure what context that term was being used, but the instant I heard it I recalled something I learned over 25 years ago.

I have had many side jobs in my lifetime and one that I recall with fondness is my “jack of all trades” position working at a greenhouse and garden center in Topeka, KS. I remember the experience with fondness because my coworkers and I became family – not because it was an easy job filled with days of plant loving joy while experiencing the calming influence of the natural environment. That was far from the reality of working in a greenhouse.

Instead, the days were filled with back breaking work and all the employees would go home at the end of their shifts smelling like fungicide. On especially busy days, lunch breaks consisted of eating pizza with soiled and chemical laden hands while answering the phone or watering the plants, shrubs and trees under the hot Heartland sun.

I had always dreamed of working in a greenhouse, but it didn’t quite fit my vision of what it entailed – fun and delightful days among profusely blooming flowers. I still loved the job it was just that the realities of that life were a bit different than what I had imagined. This is where I learned about the so-called banana peel reality.

In the banana peel reality, it’s not that we slip and fall while reaching or living our dreams (although we often do) – it’s the fact that while we are living our dreams, the reality of it can slip us up sometimes, causing us to question our choices – even our goals. But this is where we must persevere during the unpleasant aspects and the uncertainties that come with the territory. (Of course, the opposite can also be true. You may discover that living your dream isn’t really your dream, after all. That’s another Insight topic.)

The banana peel reality happens almost everywhere – which leads me to a few articles for this week’s publication. I have witnessed in the past year the making of the farmers’ market that came into being this past Saturday. If you were able to visit last weekend, you would never had known all the hard work that occurred to make that successful day happen. But the dream of creating a successful farmers’ market by a few dedicated individuals made it through all those banana peel moments to the successful reality it became. The same can be said of the Summerfest that will occur on June 23rd.

So, if you find yourself having a banana peel reality kind of day, I encourage you to hang in there – at least for a while. You never know what success may be on the other side if you persevere.

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I attended the forum for the candidates for District of Attorney for Cumberland Country last week.
After listening to them I was most impressed with Windham resident Frayla Tarpinian.

Currently, she is an Assistant District Attorney in Kennebec County and Head of the Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence and Elder Abuse Unit. One priority of hers is to advocate aggressively on behalf of victims of violence, exploitation, and abuse; which is what she is currently doing in Kennebec County.

The candidates were asked about restorative justice, which according to is “a theory and method in criminal justice in which it is arranged that the victim and the community receive restitution from the offender.” This is another one of her priorities. She believes this model should be used in juvenile and adult prosecutions, where appropriate.

Her other priorities include emphasizing treatment and diversion through access to drug court and bringing a veterans’ court to Cumberland County.

In Windham, Frayla has been a member of both the Windham Comprehensive Plan Review Team and the Board of Appeals.

Please read more about her at and I hope you will support Frayla Tarpinian in the Democratic Primary on June 12, 2018.

Jennie Butler