Friday, October 26, 2018

Insight: The daunting and terrifying

By Lorraine Glowczak and Nicole-Raye Ellis

Halloween brings out the ghosts and goblins in all of us. Whether we are of the miniature ghoulish variety who knock on doors pleading for candy or of the larger type who honor their inner child by donning costumes no matter our age, this holiday is all about having fun.

However, that’s not always been the case. Halloween was once a grim event where dressing up in menacing costumes was taken seriously.

According to, Halloween originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in) when people lit bonfires and wore costumes to ward off ghosts. Celts believed that on this night, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of spirits made it easier for Celtic priests to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter ahead.

Although we’ve come a long way from the time of the ancient Druids, the volatile aspects of everyday life still exist, and we seek sources of comfort as we face the daunting, and sometimes terrifying events that knock on our doors and enter our lives.

In my recent interview with the new Project Coordinator of Be The Influence (see front page), I had asked Nicole Ellis what advice she could give students on making wise choices using drugs/alcohol during our most difficult and scary times. Below are the words she offered as a source of direction. Although meant for youth, her wisdom can also be heeded by adults, no matter the situation:

Serve others: Try to make it a goal every day to serve others, whether that be helping a friend, a teacher, a stranger in some small, or even, big way. Serving others gets us out of our heads and enables us to feel good about ourselves. 

Stay connected with family: As much as teenagers don't want to be around family, preferring to be around peers, it is crucial we take time to spend with family. Although they can drive us crazy, families also provide a larger perspective. Try not to discount their advice prior to even hearing it, as it’s their advice that may be exactly what you need to hear at the moment.

Develop real friendships: Most importantly don't succumb to the pressure to fit in or be “normal.” True friends, the ones that will still be in your life years from now, will never ever pressure you to do something you don't want to do. 

Dare to be different: Sheep follow their shepherd even if it’s leading them to the wolves because that is the only shepherd they have to follow. Don’t be a sheep. Be a shepherd and walk in your own direction in your own way.

And, I’ll add one more thing - don’t let the unknown scary stuff frighten you, whether it is real or otherwise. Much like finding our way through a haunted maze, while we may not know what is going to happen next, it can be an adventure of discovery.

Happy Halloween!

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

My wife and I lived in Gray from 1994-2010. At that time, we became aware of and met Anne Gass on several occasions. We learned of her civic involvement with many projects especially the development of the Libby Hill Recreational Area. She worked tirelessly for that wonderful addition to Gray’s recreational opportunities.  But also during this time, and in subsequent years, Anne’s activism motivated  her to volunteer her services on the Gray Comprehensive Plan, the Zoning Board of Appeals, the School Board, and the Community and Economic Development  Committee, a record of unmatched leadership and effectiveness.

In 2017 we returned to Gray and learned of Anne’s Independent candidacy for District 67 of the Maine House of Representatives. A better candidate would be hard to find, and having worked with Anne on this endeavor, I have experienced first- hand her strength, courage, dedication, determination, and inherent work ethic. As an example, this summer on a brief vacation, Anne and her husband Rick, climbed through many miles of very difficult terrain (some hand over hand) in the Slovenian Alps. An amazing accomplishment!

Anne’s excellent character is beyond question and I have no doubt that she will be an outstanding representative for the voters of Casco, Frye Island, Gray, and Raymond.
Please vote for Anne on November 6.

Philip R. Ohman
Gray, Maine  

Dear Editor,

I have had the pleasure of knowing Jennie Butler since I was 11 years old. I first met her as my sister's math teacher when I was in fifth grade, and we continued to get to know her and her family over the next several years.

I have worked with Jennie on multiple different occasions, the first of which was her taking time out of her regular life to give me a private class during the summer between my seventh and eighth grade years, so I could get into the advanced math class at Windham Middle School. Her willingness to take that time out of her life has put me on a different life path, and I know that I am not the only one to have experienced this.

Later, in multiple years in my high school career, Jennie has been there to help me through classes and even just rough times in my life. I know full well that I am not the only student of hers to experience this. My sister is still seeing the effects of Jennie’s teaching far into her college years.

In addition to having the experience of interacting with Jennie as a tutor and a teacher, I have also seen her as an active member of the Windham community. For years she has been a supporter of the Windham Chamber Singers and the school’s theater program, showing her support for students. I’ve seen her time and again show her support for Windham High School and local businesses, and I have seen her dedication to this community both as a teacher, and a friend.

Jennie will be an astounding advocate for students in our state, at all levels including post-secondary. She cares deeply about her students, her friends, and her community as a whole, which makes her a perfect candidate for the Maine Legislature as our representative.

Samuel H. Nemeroff

Dear Editor,

Sue Austin is what we need in Augusta.

I had the honor and opportunity to serve with Representative Susan Austin for four years in the Maine State Legislature (2006-2010). During that time, not only did Sue serve as a mentor for me in the first few years of service, but she became a dear friend. I have watched her commitment to her constituents, by the countless hours she personally responds to emails and phone calls, to writing informational articles, speaking on the house floor or attending numerous events in her district. Sue is committed to her job as a legislator.

Augusta has become extremely partisan, and that isn’t helping Maine. I know that Sue can work with everyone when it comes to getting things done. She is a genuine, respected and intelligent public servant who has vast experience in the Maine House. A vote for Sue Austin on November 6 is definitely what Maine needs right now. Please send Representative Austin back to Augusta for District 67 and let her continue the great work she has accomplished. She won’t let you down!

Kerri Bickford

Dear Editor,

Sue Austin, who represents House District #67 covering parts of Casco, Gray, Raymond and all of Frye Island, the lady of many hats, the lady with panache, is the lady I support to continue her excellent work on behalf of her constituents. 

Sue has been and will continue to be dedicated to fiscal conservatism and ways to ensure the best for Maine residents, not out-of-state interests that seek to impose, through the referendum process, extreme liberal values for Mainers to live under. 

Sue goes out of her way to listen to and respond to questions and concerns anyone may have so on November 6, please join me in voting for Sue Austin or, if you reside in District 66, for Greg Foster.

Alice Darlington
South Casco

Dear Editor,

I am writing to endorse the re-election of State Representative Jessica Fay in Maine House District 66. As a local business owner, and a resident of Casco, I have found Jessica to be what we wish every one of our elected officials would be, and that is attentive, knowledgeable and a tireless worker.

Working within an industry that services elders, I am aware of the demographic tsunami of older residents heading our way, and the types of services they will require. I am also aware of the need to re-think our communities in order to accommodate people’s interest in aging ‘in-place’, preferably in their own homes. Jessica also recognize this issue and has taken a leading role in the initiation of local efforts to advise communities within this District on the needs and wants of our elder residents.
During my interactions with Representative Fay, Jessica has never asked me if I affiliate with one party or the other, but instead asks “How can I help?” I have found her counsel, wisdom and knowledge of the legislative process to be both informative and helpful. Further, she follows up by periodically contacting me to ask how I am progressing on whatever issue I raised with her.

In short, I have found Jessica Fay to be an extraordinary elected official and urge my fellow District 66 residents to join me in ensuring her continued role within the legislature.
Peter Gartland
President, First Light Home Care   

Dear Editor and Windham Residents,

Election day is almost here, and I cannot wait to re-elect DENNIS WELCH to Windham Town Council’s at-large seat!

Having worked with Dennis over the past year, he’s consistently been respectful towards other council members and our residents despite flared tempers and complicated situations. He listens, weighs both sides, shares his knowledge, and makes an informed decision.

Dennis was the former President of the local chapter’s National Correctional Employees Union, is a member of the Maine Municipal Association (MMA) Legislative Policy Committee, was appointed to the Maine Labor Relations Board and has served on Windham’s Finance Committee for three years.

Dennis has the knowledge, experience, and temperament Windham desperately needs to move forward! Let’s keep the momentum going!! I pray you join me in re-electing Dennis Welch on Nov 6th!

Rebecca Cummings

Dear Editor,

Sue Austin is the right choice for House District 67. I grew up in Gray-New Gloucester and Sue was one of the first politicians I met when I got involved in politics while in high school. She has served her constituents in Casco, Frye Island, Gray, and Raymond well and I know she will continue to do so during the 2019-2020 legislative session.

Sue has sponsored or cosponsored a lot of legislation that will have a positive impact on Mainers including an act to establish a statewide sexual assault forensic examination kit tracking system, an act to support the evaluation of opioid diversion efforts, an act to restore the trip credit to Maine employees, and an act to allow hemp growers to grow hemp from clones and to grow hemp indoors. 

Sue works for the people of the 67th House district, and she has proven that over and over again in Augusta by voting in the people’s best interest, not the interests of big business.

I strongly encourage everyone to get out and vote for Sue Austin on November 6th or vote absentee before November 1st if you will be unable to get to the polls on Election Day. Let’s be sure the 67th district has a voice in Augusta!  

Believe in Sue, Believe in Maine!
Katherine Slye

Dear Windham friends and neighbors,

I am writing to ask for your support in re-electing my husband, Patrick Corey, as State Representative for District 25.

Patrick has served as our State Rep. for the past four years. He has successfully garnered bi-partisan support for many of his bills proving his ability to collaborate and work “across the aisle”.

This cooperation is so desperately needed in order to get work done for his constituents. One example of this is LD 1708 which would allow qualifying Medicaid recipients to hire relatives to care for them. Oftentimes, a close relative must leave the workforce to care for a sick or disabled family member – this bill would alleviate at least some financial burden to a family.

He also voted to protect minor girls by voting to criminalize female genital mutilation, making it a Class-B felony to perform the procedure on minors and allow those who consented to the act to face charges. Sadly, Maine has been identified as one of the eight high risks areas in the country. Patrick also supports laws that protect women who are victims of human trafficking.  

Patrick has the compassion, thoughtfulness, and leadership needed for success in this position. He has legislative experience that will allow him to get to work for you on day one. I encourage you all to re-elect Patrick Corey as State Representative.

Sheila Corey

Dear Editor,

I’m writing to express my support for Jennie Butler, candidate for Windham’s House District 25.
I have known Jennie for many years and in many capacities - math teacher, skier, and fellow community member. As my teacher, she brought a level of commitment and compassion to the classroom that allowed all student's opportunities for success. Jennie’s enthusiasm and hard work in all that she does as an active member of our community are unwavering. I know that Jennie will bring these qualities with her to the State House and represent the needs of House District 25 professionally, passionately, and effectively.

Jennie cares for the wellbeing and success of her students and I know she will do the same for her constituents. If you live in House District 25 please join me and many others in supporting Jennie Butler this November!

Marissa LaGassey

Dear Editor,

Jess Fay equals democracy in action! Have you met our State Rep yet?  Jess listens to voters, holding office hours in each town she represents; she also goes door to door to hear firsthand what's on the minds of people who live in the towns she serves.

As a freshman representative, Jess brought forward three pieces of legislation suggested to her by voters. All three gained bipartisan support and were signed into law. Check out her positions on educating and retaining Maine’s workforce, planning for our aging population, and broadband internet access.

Jess is unflappable. She designed the flowers for my wedding and was completely unfazed by my bridesmaids’ dresses: a futuristic metallic pink, a bright floral print, and a solid cobalt blue. Our gorgeous bouquets complemented everyone’s dress. Creative problem solving is just part of who Jess Fay is and how she approaches everything that comes her way.

Amy Kimball

Dear Editor,

We are writing to support Jennie Butler for House District 25. We have known Jennie for many years through her work as a teacher in the Windham Schools, and as a supporter of the Windham Ski Team. Our son Max was one of the first students to join the Windham Ski Team, and Jennie was a volunteer who helped make the team a reality.

When our daughter Marta became the ski coach, Jennie was a tireless volunteer and supporter of the team. Additionally, we are excited to support a candidate who is endorsed by the Sierra Club. We need representatives who will take climate change seriously and help Maine become a leader in environmental protection. Please join us in supporting Jennie Butler for House District 25.

Helen and Sparky Hurgin

Dear Editor,

Rep. Sue Austin has done excellent work in Augusta for her many constituents. Sue is honest, hardworking, caring and sincere. Whenever I’ve had a question or concern, she has provided answers. With her many years’ experience at all levels of leadership – school board, town council and Maine Legislature – Sue knows how to work with others for common-sense solutions. Sue has accomplished meaningful change for working families by fighting to lower taxes, create jobs and grow our Maine businesses. At a time of increasingly uncivil politics, Rep. Sue Austin sets the bar for exemplary public service. I ask you to join me in supporting Sue Austin for State Representative on November 6th.

Greg Cook

Friday, October 19, 2018

Insight: Learning from teaching

By Lorraine Glowczak

Instructing others can be one of the best learning tools for everyday life, if you let it. As part of a writing class I teach, I will periodically suggest a few writing prompts. One of my favorite prompts is to have students write an opinion about a subject they feel strongly about. Once that is completed, I then ask them to write about the same subject as if they were another person with an opposing viewpoint.

There is usually a bit of resistance at first, but then the writers amaze me with their ability to compose, with detail, an opposite perspective, (although there is usually a lot of sarcasm involved in their “opposing viewpoint”).

Practicing this writing exercise helps to expand the author’s experiences with the intention of broadening and increasing awareness and observing life from a more multidimensional perspective. It moves the writer from egocentricity (individual as the center of all things) to a more of an us/other person approach to writing, making the poem, novel or essay more interesting to the reader.

I must admit, however, there is a bit of an ulterior motive on my part. I secretly hope that in the practice of considering another point of view, the writer may find that in the differences, a new and better perspective may arise and/or the realization that one’s perspective is not the only valid one.
To keep up the practice, I join the other writers during this writing exercise. In last week’s class, I discovered something about myself as an editor that made me take a closer look at The Windham Eagle’s purpose and mission. That is, “to provide positive and solution-based news.”

In a few past Insights, I have reiterated the paper’s mission, but I have done so without completely encompassing others’ perceptions. In response to recent and local issues facing our community, we’ve received three valid comments/questions that may challenge our mission.

These comments included: “Why didn’t you write about what happened at the Town Council meeting? People need to know what is happening.” “You are not adhering to the rules of journalism,” and “The purpose of a newspaper is to shed light on issues, so people can make informed decisions.”

Since my writing prompt last week, I have reflected upon these well-founded inquiries and how I can still adhere to the newspaper’s mission while touching on subjects that some people have strong opinions about. I have been racking my brain on how to accomplish make a positive out of what may be viewed as a negative.

I’m sorry to announce that I have not quite figured out how to bring two polar opposites together. But I’m determined to find a way.

How? Well, if it is true that you learn through teaching, then maybe I will figure it all out with the help in next week’s writing prompt. Wish me luck!

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Voting is a right given to citizens in the U.S. 18 years and older. While it’s been a few years since I voted in my first election, the novelty hasn’t worn off. This election season, AARP has launched a campaign to “Be the Difference,” encouraging us older Americans to get out and vote. It is a non-partisan effort to encourage all voters to get informed on the candidates and choose who will best represent them in office, and then show up on November 6 to cast their votes.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out recently that older voters in Maine have a proud tradition of casting their ballots. In 2014, 68 percent of Mainers age 50-59 cast their votes; nationally voter turnout was less than 36 percent. 

This is vitally important as many issues are up for debate after the next election. The fate of Medicare and Social Security will be decided by the next government. Programs that many seniors rely on to survive may be at risk.

Every year, more and more of the population joins the 50+ club. We are living longer than ever before. We show up to the polls when it counts. The older Maine voter is a force not to be underestimated.

John LaPlante
Dear Editor,

Do you follow the Windham Town Council? If you do, you know that Dennis Welch works hard on behalf of the citizens of our town. You also know that Dennis is always respectful to his fellow town councilors, to town staff, to other town committees and to citizens who choose to attend and speak at council meetings.

I have never seen Dennis exhibit a superior attitude or talk down to others. Dennis is a model of the civility that we need from our elected officials at all levels of government.

I hope that you will join me in voting for Dennis Welch for Windham Town Council on November 6.

Gary Plummer
Dear Editor,

Fall is here, the political signs are out, and we are soon to vote in the next national/local cycle. Sadly, the two political parties have become polar, there does not seem to be much choice so voters can only go one way or the other.

Given the recent issues we have seen nationally, I ask Raymond voters to send a clear message on election day and vote Republican. We all like our own local candidates but this election seems to be about one side continuing to grow every aspect of our economy or the other side trying to stop that amazing growth simply because they don't like the person who succeeded at it. Consider the amazing numbers in job growth, minority advancement, business success and so many other areas of our society. Haven't read much about that? Try googling the recent accomplishments and see for yourself. And, yes, while Washington seems so far away, it all intersects.

The recent Supreme Court process should send chills through the bones of anyone who is a volunteer, an elected local official, an educator, a police officer, someone in the military, a first responder, or simply a parent-grandparent. Will a political party attack you or your loved one next? I urge you all to send a clear message that we are a country of laws. There is a need for multi parties to give us choice; send a clear message to the party who has fallen away - vote Republican.

Mike McClellan

Dear Editor,

Anne Gass will be an effective representative for District 67. She has raised her family in this area for over 30 years.  She has served on a variety of civic organizations. She is committed to growing the community through support of local schools and local businesses. She has ideas for improving government services and supporting tax reforms that are reasonable and fair. Her most important quality is that she takes the time to listen to others and to respond to their concerns. She will give the citizens of District 67 an active voice in the legislature.  

Will H. Burrow

Dear Editor,

It is with great pleasure that I write this letter on behalf of our Democratic State Representative, Mr. Mark Bryant.

Mark is a man of integrity and works tirelessly for his constituents.   

My family and I have known Mark for more than twenty years and ask that you get out there and vote for Mark this November.

Ron C. Booth

Dear Editor,

Patrick Corey will have my vote November 6. I have known him for many years and have been impressed by his approachability, keen intelligence and common sense. He is dedicated to his community. His 100% voting record shows his commitment to Windham's people. His respectfulness to his peers in the Legislature and his willingness to work with and listen to them and to learn all that he can to make the best decisions are impressive. Patrick is well positioned to put his knowledge to work for Windham. His committee experience, ability to get bills through the Legislative process and advocate for his constituents is extremely valuable. I encourage others to support him.

Liz Wisecup

Dear Editor,

I have known State Representative Jessica Fay in a variety of capacities over the years. I am pleased to be one of her constituents in the parts of Casco, Poland, and Raymond (my town) she represents, and to support her re-election to our State Legislature.

Repeatedly, I have found Jessica to be a detailed-oriented, extremely competent representative with a unique ability to have a rapport with people of all ages and opinions. Jessica, with her bills addressing Septic Waste Watercraft, Boat Noise, and Domestic and Sexual Abuse has proven her ability to work for our welfare across the aisle and here at home.

Please re-elect Jessica Fay. I sincerely believe it is very important that with her form of bipartisanship she returns to the legislature to represent us all. 

Respectfully Submitted,
Col Bob Akins, USMC, Retired

Dear Editor,

On November 6, I will be voting to reelect Jessica Faye as State Representative serving Casco, Poland, and Raymond. Jess has been doing a good job representing her local constituents.

I've contacted Jess several times in the past few years. She has always responded with interest and followed up on my concerns. I find her to be thoughtful, intelligent, and professional.

Jessica Fay is the kind of Representative we need, and I urge you to give her your support on Voting Day.

David H. Brown
Dear Editor,
I’ve known Jennie Butler for many years and she has my support! I have come to respect Jennie as a person who gets things done, is willing to listen to both sides and work for a common good, and especially as a compassionate and caring member of our community.

I believe that Jennie will work hard for things like improved access to healthcare and care for the elderly and sick, protecting our environment for future generations and quality education for all Mainers. Jennie will support these priorities while at the same time recognizing that a fiscally responsible approach is necessary if we are all to do well together.

So, if you are in Maine House District 25, join the many citizens and groups who support her and vote for Jennie Butler, State Representative. 

Bill Keller

 Dear Editor and readers

I am writing to ask for your support for Sue Austin for Maine House District #67, which includes portions of Gray, Raymond, Casco and all of Frye Island.

As a lifelong resident of the Town of Gray, Sue has been deeply involved in her community. Sue has served her community in many ways such as Ambassador of the Gray-New Gloucester Optimist Club to Director for the Crystal Lake USO Ice Fishing Derby. Sue is a supporter and past participant in both the Patriot 5K Race and Libby Hill 5K Trail Run. Sue has also served on MSAD 15 School Board, the Gray Town Council, as well as the House of Representatives in Augusta. Sue knows the issues, local, state and federal; she gets her work done.

Sue's energy level and commitment are amazing. It is no wonder she was appointed by Governor King to serve as Gray’s Representative on the Pineland Conversion Committee. Heck, Sue has even worked at Mardens!  

It is clear to see that Sue has the wonderful ability to work in a positive manner, and truly brings about that in others. Sue is a problem solver, who brings people together.
In the political environment we have today, I believe Sue remains the perfect fit for the job. Sue has a very fair minded and balanced approach. Sue has proven herself to be dedicated, thoughtful, kind, and caring. As the Representative in Augusta for District #67, Sue has also shown herself to be a hard worker for her constituents, and for all Mainer's. 

A vote for Sue is good for the community and good for the state. FMI visit Sue's web page at

In closing, I encourage voters in District 67 to vote for Sue Austin.

Thank you for your time,
Ann-Marie Grenier

Friday, October 12, 2018

Insight: Lessons of the fall

By Lorraine Glowczak

Last Friday before working at my job in Portland, I went for a walk on one of my favorite nature trails. My hike in nature did not occur as I had imagined.

Deep in thought, I wasn’t paying attention as I was walking down a steep and narrow path. As my mind was elsewhere and not on the path ahead of me, I tripped. Instead of turning on the sharp curve on the downhill trail, I kept walking forward where no path existed – only an abrupt slope. I tumbled approximately twenty feet down the side of the hill. My yoga skirt slid above my head, exposing myself to anyone who was also enjoying the day in nature. I was embarrassed and mortified, walking away with bruises and scratches.

But that wasn’t the only fall I took last week.

When you are an editor/writer for a small-town newspaper, it is very wise to stay present with a focused mind. If you make one tiny misstep – any errors that are not spotted and corrected are exposed to the world to see. Yes. That happened in last week’s edition.

For the experienced readers among us as well as the grammarians in our lives, my error was cringeworthy and stones were thrown with accuracy. Some of the comments received were correct and deserving. As a result, I walked away from last week’s publication embarrassed, mortified and bruised. Making a mistake in public is a very challenging life experience, to say the least. Much like my yoga skirt sliding up my body and over my head, the exposure is humiliating - not only for me, but for the whole Windham Eagle newspaper team.

What lessons did I learn from this fall?

There are people who will support you through your mistakes.

What helped me the most through this public embarrassment were the words of encouragement I also received. Comments such as “We are all human and we all make mistakes”, were helpful as I picked myself up. Some people even helped me laugh at myself. Just before teaching my class last Thursday, employees of Windham/Raymond Adult Education offered humor and suggestions to turn the mistake around.

The newspaper team, even though my error reflected negatively upon them, continue to love me anyway.

Your mistakes make you more compassionate.

Although I’ve always been shy about throwing stones, I am more aware of how the power of words can play a role in an individual’s life.

You discover more about yourself.

The greatest lesson learned is that I may have chosen my career wisely, despite my errors. As I was leaving the Windham/Raymond Adult Education office to teach my class, Director Tom Nash said to me regarding the misspelling of the word Sergeant was, “Lorraine. No one died.”

Relief flooded over me. Of the many mistakes I have made in life, I will thank the heavens above that I have chosen the career path of writer and editor….and not a surgeon.

My apologies to Sergeant Raymond Williams, our readers and the whole Windham Eagle news team as well as to those hikers who may have seen more of me than they bargained for.

Letters to the Editor

Editor's note: The following letters to the Editor are printed in the order they were received.

Dear Editor,

I would like to cast my endorsement for Anne B. Gass of Gray, as an independent candidate for the Maine House of Representatives, District 67. 

Anne and I have known each other since we both served on the Board of the Gray Community Endowment. I have found her to be honest, forward thinking and willing to listen to everyone she encounters whether they agree with her or not.

I have long been troubled by the indifference of our current legislature to the wishes of the people and I am convinced that Anne would be a strong advocate for our schools, for land conservation and water quality protection for our lakes plus, as a small business owner, would be proactive in attracting small businesses and helping them stay in Maine. 

We need Anne to help move our state forward and I urge you to join with me in voting “Yes” for Anne Gass in November.

Natalie Blake

Dear Editor,

I am writing this letter as my unreserved support for the candidacy of Gregory Foster for Maine House District 66. I believe that he possesses the qualities of a good leader with sound judgement.
I have known Greg for many years. He not only believes in the importance of Maine traditions but also in preserving our valued way of life.  I believe that as a Representative that he would represent the district with great honor, ensuring that the people’s interest would be properly represented and protected.  

Greg has the initiative and dedication to make a significant difference to the progress of the region.

Tammy (Townsend) Brown

 Dear Editor,

This letter is to urge people to vote for the re-election of Representative Patrick Corey.
I brought a concern of personal interest to him before his initial election to office.  Soon after his election, he got to work on that issue, diligently researched, and tirelessly pursued a bill which ultimately changed a law in the Maine State Retirement System.

It was a change that was viewed as fair and passed unanimously in both the House of Representatives and the Senate and was supported by the Maine State Retirement System as well.
This change affected not only me but hundreds of other people who found themselves in the same situation as myself regarding divorce and retirement benefits.

I am proud of being a part of Representative Corey's first bill and I thank him for his listening, consultation, fair-mindedness, and perseverance to bring about necessary changes.  He is an honorable man who truly represents the interests of his constituents.

Please vote for Representative Patrick Corey on November 6th.

Sharon Skolfield Bickford

 Dear Editor,

I’m writing in support of Jennie Butler for Maine State Representative for Windham House District 25.

Jennie has the education and experience to be an excellent Legislator. She has the ability to listen to and work with people with various viewpoints. As a math teacher at Windham High School and at the University of Southern Maine, she has the skills to understand a problem and assess solutions. She can listen to and communicate with many people.  

Jennie’s life experience as a wife, mother, daughter supporting a parent at home, church member, teacher and coach has given her insights into how our community does and doesn’t support our members. Her work in organizations such as Scouting, Windham Recreation Advisory Committee and Windham Athletic Boosters shows her ethic of service as well as her ability to work with others to get things done.

I encourage everyone to join me in voting for Jennie Butler in November.

Jane Pringle

 Dear Editor and district 24 residents,

Anyone who’s kept current with local issues realizes the importance of an active and informed citizenry. Of equal importance is having a representative who’s lived amongst their constituents for decades and knows firsthand the issues locals discuss most around the farm table or sideline.

Windham needs a representative that grew up here, raised a family here and has worked on committees and boards that effect positive change for residents. That’s why I pray you join me in voting Tom Tyler as District 24 State Representative on November 6th.

Tom not only served as Windham’s Deputy Fire Chief for over 20 years, he was a member of the Windham Economic Development Council (WEDC) and served on the Public Safety Building Committee. Tom is a proud lifetime member of Cumberland Farmers Club and is on the Board of Directors Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine & SAM-ILA.

Tom has vowed to fight for our large veteran population, find affordable healthcare options for all, honor our outdoor heritage and 2nd amendment rights, support Maine’s farming, fishing and forestry industries, and ensure job creation and small business growth for Windham.

We need Tom Tyler’s proven leadership in Augusta so Windham can flourish for decades to come.
Let’s send Tom Tyler to Augusta and “continue to make Maine the way life should be!”

Rebecca Cummings
Windham Town Council/East District

Dear Editor and district 25 residents,

We need a strong bipartisan leader, like Patrick Corey, in Augusta that will keep the focus on the economic, environmental, and wellness issues we the people of Windham deem important.

Patrick knows us well thanks to his tireless involvement on local boards, committees, and task forces such as Windham Neighbors Helping Neighbors and the Task Force to Help Shape the Next Generation of Maine Land Conservation. He’s a Director of Falmouth Rod & Gun Club, former Director of Windham Land Trust, and worked on Windham’s Comprehensive Plan.

Patrick maintained 100% attendance during the 128th legislative session and was instrumental to LD9: An Act to Prohibit the Creation of a Firearms Owner Registry and LD1418: An Act to Ban the Purchase of Retail Marijuana & Retail Marijuana Products with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program Benefits. Or as Patrick would say, “Need before weed!”

I pray my neighbors in District 25 send Representative Patrick Corey back to Augusta to keep fighting for our natural resources, time-honored traditions, and core values! Vote for Patrick Corey on November 6th.

Rebecca Cummings
Windham Town Council/East District

 Dear Editor,

As a professional young adult living in Gray with my family, I support and endorse Sue Austin for Maine House District #67 and encourage my fellow district citizens in joining me with voting for her in the November election.

Like myself, Sue was born and raised in Gray and threads of our community are carefully woven into the commitment for which she stands. I continue to be impressed with Sue's ability to listen and discuss even minute concerns as well as her ability to direct much needed quality development throughout our community.

Sue’s genuine presence and participation in local events, meetings and fundraisers is nearly constant. Beyond what Sue has demonstrated, I find her to be honest, trustworthy and dedicated; all of which are essential for the office in which she should be elected.

Dr. Marissa D. Stewart, PT, DPT, BS

Friday, October 5, 2018

Insight: Panacea, or the next best thing

By Lorraine Glowczak

According to the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a panacea is “a remedy for all ills or difficulties; a cure-all.”

Although it is true that solutions to all society’s struggles and problems have yet to be found, there
are a few of us wannabe alchemists who are still trying to concoct an elixir to life. Before you are tempted to laugh or criticize these few pseudoscientists, be sure you are not one of us.

For example: Have you looked for ways to lower your risk for Alzheimer’s? What about that perfect diet that not only helps you maintain your weight but also energizes you, helps you to live longer – and reduces anxiety, too? What about working towards the cure for cancer?

Whew! I thought so. I was worried I might be the only one in search of, not necessarily a panacea – but actionable steps toward helping to balance the many ills in the world. However, since the facts are stacked against any perfect remedies, how shabby would it be for this alchemist, and others like me, to settle for the next best thing?

For those who may not know, Britain’s University of Bristol’s School of Chemistry states, “……the introduction of alchemy to the west came in the 8th century when the Arabs brought it to Spain. From here it quickly spread to the rest of Europe.

The Arabian belief was that metals are made up of mercury and sulfur in varying proportions. Gold was seen as the perfect metal and all others were less perfect, an idea popular among western alchemists. It was a very popular idea indeed, that these lower metals could be transmuted into gold….”

Although the alchemists were not successful in converting less important metals into the sought after soft, malleable and highly prized metal, their efforts “led to the manufacture of amalgams and advances in many other chemical processes and the apparatus required for them……leading to what is now, the science of Chemistry.”

Which, many might say – is the next best thing.

This leads me back to solving all the countless troubles and misfortunes. Our efforts may not create gold but may convert a few obstacles into advantages for some.

The Chef and Nutrition Director, in the effort to provide locally grown foods for students in the RSU14 lunch program may not solve the world hunger issues, but they certainly transformed the lives of a few students (see front page). Perhaps last Thursday’s Make Shift Coffee House will not turn the Titanic of division around immediately, but its success may slow down the speed of the boat (see page 5).

If we can’t obtain a panacea or create a true elixir for all the difficulties we face – I for one think it may be okay to accept the next best thing.

Here’s to all the alchemist of life! Keep up the good work.

Letters to the Editor

Editor's note: The following letters are published in the order they are received.

Dear Editor,

I would like to express my support to re-elect State Representative Jess Fay.  I have known Jess for over 15 years.  As a legislator, I have found her to be thoughtful, engaged in the community, and responsive to the people in her district.

Jess is available to her constituents, takes the time to find out what issues concern them at both the local and state level, and listens closely to the public's questions. Jess looks at both sides of every issue to make sure she makes the most informed decision.

She is also willing to help a constituent in need. During last winter’s cold snap, a friend who was out of oil was unable to get a delivery for weeks--adding oil 5 gallons at a time because that is what she could carry. I shared the story with Jess. Jess was able to get them a delivery the next day.

Jess works diligently with her fellow legislators to solve issues impacting the residents of Raymond, Casco, and Poland.  Please vote for Jess Fay in November.

Leigh Walker

Dear Editor,

It is disheartening to witness National party line politics seep into Maine state politics with parties spending more time digging in on “their” side than focusing on serving constituents and addressing problems facing us all. When Anne Gass announced running as an Independent for District 67, I was not surprised. In my many discussions with Anne over the years, I have found her deeply engaged in our community. She is knowledgeable about issues at the local and state level, but never stops seeking ways to learn more. She is willing to talk to anyone, about any topic and always starts by listening.

In group discussions, she is always quick to point out a good idea or a different way of looking at things. Her professional and volunteer work has given her a strong problem-solving skill set, understanding of state policies, helped her build a network of resources and created a long record of accomplishments.

Anne understands the new approaches to critical issues – such as traffic management/safety, housing and broadband expansion – and available funding mechanisms to assist with addressing them.
This will make Anne a strong advocate for her constituents ensuring we have a seat at the table in Augusta. She looks forward to working collaboratively with other Representatives to get things done. 

Anne has strong values and will fight for them; but is a true independent and understands the best solution is often a combination of ideas and approaches. I hope you join me in voting for Anne Gass.

Thank you,
Sandy Carder

Dear Editor,

With political sign season upon us, I would like to point out a few things. 
Maine is a tourist destination in the fall. People travel here to see our beautiful fall foliage. Instead of beautiful leaves, they get a blast of eye grabbing signs. Vote No! Vote Yes! Vote for me! 

When I see political signs on public property, I can't help but think of the waste these signs are. It is not showing support for a candidate. It is a contest to see who can buy the most signs, that will be trash in a month. That money could be put to much better use.  

The Windham Rotary at Foster's corner is beautiful. The Windham Rotary Garden Club takes time each year to plant and weed the island gardens. All of the signs detract from the efforts to make it look nice. 

I am asking people to have a conversation with their reps about this issue. It only takes a quick phone call, email, or text message. 

If you support a candidate, put a sign on your own lawn or share their name on Facebook. Let's put an end to unnecessary clutter and waste.  

Jennifer Harmon

Dear Editor,

I have had the honor and privilege serving the people of my home town as both a State Representative and State Senator for 16 years. During that time, I have come into contact with many other elected officials. Today, I would like to offer my support and endorsement for State Representative Jessica Fay.

Jess and I have served together on the environmental and natural resources committee. I found Jess to be thoughtful and knowledgeable on the wide-ranging legislative matters before us. She did her homework in preparing for the hearings and subject matter at hand. We worked to find solutions and common ground.

Yes, there were times we disagreed. We did this respectfully.

It is my hope you will return Jessica back to the Maine House of Representatives this November. We need people like Jess serving this wonderful state of ours.

State Senator Tom Saviello

Dear Editor,

When Jessica Fay opened her retail flower shop, I’d purchase a few flowers. We’d chat, and she’d arrange the greens and flowers into a small bouquet as she wrapped them. I’d ask for long lasting flowers. She’d remember and educate me on new flowers. I saw a kind person with grace. She was like a green shoot in the spring.

Sometimes we’d talk about community happenings and local situations of concern. I didn’t want to take all her time, but she’d say, “No, I’m interested,” and we’d finish our conversation. The shoot was becoming a stem.

Jess offered some flower arranging classes with various local libraries. Each library could keep proceeds from these classes as their fund raisers. We took away something beautiful. She showed her genuine interest in creating with a few flowers and in what was said about how our library was fairing. I saw some color at the top of that stem.

The time arrived when she told me about her long interest in political affairs and her family who was involved in politics. This was not an idle idea; she was definitely interested in people’s needs. She listened, she heard, she knew how to achieve the goals. That color was taking the shape of a bud.

Jessica Fay went for state representative and was voted into the house. The flower was blooming. She worked with both parties, Democrat and Republican. Goals were achieved. Bills that she presented were passed. Other bills were passed with her input and cooperation. She is in full bloom and fragrant.

Vote for Jess in November.

Rev. Joanne E. Painter