Friday, June 30, 2017

Health care proposals are deeply unpopular among Maine’s largest voting block

PORTLAND — AARP Maine today released new survey data highlighting the deep divide between Americans and Washington politicians over  health care policies important to older Americans. 

“Health care is a deeply personal issue that has a real and immediate impact on American families across the political spectrum. These survey findings are very clear – Mainers don’t support legislation that would mean higher costs and less coverage for older Americans,” said Lori Parham, AARP Maine State Director. “AARP urges Senator Collins to oppose any bill that would raise premiums, price people with pre-existing conditions out of coverage, weaken Medicare and make cuts to Medicaid that would reduce services for those most at-risk, including low and middle-income seniors in need of long-term care supports.”

More details from the survey are below:

The Age Tax: 94 percent of Maine voters age 50+ oppose charging older Americans five times more than others for their healthcare plan, while just 4 percent support the drastic cost increase. The proportion of age 50+ voters who oppose the age tax includes 88 percent of Republicans, 96 percent of Independents, and 98 percent of Democrats.

Medicare Cuts: 89 percent of Maine voters age 50+ oppose cutting funding for Medicare and

increasing premiums for current and future seniors, while just 9 percent support the harmful cuts. The proportion of age 50+ voters who oppose Medicare cuts includes 82 percent of Republicans, 89 percent of Independents, and 95 percent of Democrats.

Removal of Pre-existing Condition Protections: 83 percent of Maine voters age 50+ oppose charging people with pre-existing conditions more for their coverage, while just 15 percent support doing so. The proportion of age 50+ voters who oppose removal of this protection includes 67 percent of Republicans, 83 percent of Independents, and 95 percent of Democrats.
Tax Breaks for Big Drug and Insurance Companies: 83 percent of Maine voters age 50+ oppose providing tax breaks for insurance and drug companies, while just 11 percent support such breaks. The proportion of age 50+ voters who oppose tax breaks for big drug and insurance companies includes 73 percent of Republicans, 87 percent of Independents, and 89 percent of Democrats.

Medicaid Funding Cuts: 79 percent of Maine voters age 50+ oppose cutting funding for Medicaid, while just 18 percent support the harmful cuts. The proportion of age 50+ voters who oppose Medicaid cuts includes 68 percent of Republicans, 81 percent of Independents, and 88 percent of Democrats.

Methodology: AARP commissioned a telephone survey among 601 likely voters age 50+ in Maine. The sample utilized an age-targeted registered voter landline and cell phone list who were contacted between June 2 and June 13, 2017. The data were weighted by age, gender, race/ethnicity and geographic region and are generalizable to registered voters in Maine age 50+. The survey has a margin of sampling error of ±4 percent. The survey annotation will be made available at

Must-haves for fun and safe hiking trips

Few outdoor activities are more widely enjoyed than hiking. According to Statista, a statistics portal that gathers studies and statistics from more than 18,000 sources, more than 37 million people in the United States went hiking in 2015. That marks an increase of nearly eight million from 2006.

Hiking is a great activity that makes for great exercise and a wonderful way for people of all ages to spend time enjoying the great outdoors. Veteran hiking enthusiasts recognize that hiking, while a fun activity, can quickly become dangerous if they don't exercise caution and prepare for their hikes. Novice hikers may want to focus on a handful of areas before going on their first hikes.

Appropriate attire and footwear can make hikes safer and more enjoyable. The American Hiking Society notes that hikers going on short hikes that do not involve heavy packs or technical terrain can wear trail shoes, while hikers should wear hiking books when carrying heavy loads or traversing more technical terrain. Boots offer more support than hiking shoes, making them more suitable than hiking shoes on difficult terrain. addition to wearing footwear appropriate to the terrain they will be traversing, hikers must pack rain gear and extra clothing. The AHS recommends that hikers dress in layers so they can adjust to changes in the weather and their activity levels. Avoid cotton, which keeps moisture close to the skin, and bring a hat to protect against unforeseen rainstorms and insects.

Men and women may be accustomed to pulling out their smartphones or tablets and employing the
GPS services on such devices when they need directions. But it's important that hikers recognize networks may not be accessible in wooded or remote areas. As a result, hikers should not think they can rely exclusively on technology to help them when they get lost. Hikers should carry a map and compass during the hike, making sure they bring an updated map of the trails they will be hiking.

Food and drink
Extra food and drink can help hikers whose hikes end up taking longer than they anticipated. Choosing snacks such as protein bars that can fill a person up without making him or her feel sluggish is a good idea. In addition, hikers should pack enough water to keep them hydrated during the hike and longer in cases a person gets lost or wants to stop and enjoy a nice view along the way. The AHS notes that drinking too little water during a hike can make one susceptible to hypothermia and/or altitude sickness.

Hikers should purchase a prepackaged first-aid kit for hikers, which the AHS notes can be found at any outfitter. In addition, a knife or multipurpose tool can help a person perform repairs on broken or malfunctioning gear. If need be, hikers should bring a backup pair of eyeglasses or, if contact lenses are worn, a lens kit and eyeglasses just in case.
Hiking is an enjoyable activity that continues to attract millions of people. But hikers must take steps to ensure their hiking trips are safe.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Undefeated Raynor Shine Painting Little League Team wins championship by Andrea Schmuck

Every spring, hundreds of young men and women get ready for the baseball and softball season here in Windham, through the Windham Little League. This spring of 2017 was no different!

As we waited for the snow-melt that never seemed to come, we looked forward to those spring and
summer games, the crack of the bats and the joy of watching our kids play ball. This was true for the coaches, players and parents of the Raynor Shine Painting Majors Little League Team.

Well, what a season it would turn out to be!

Our team was coached by three volunteer dads, Scott Raynor, Brian Marden and Hal Foley. They donated their time, experience and caring to help our boys get ready for the season and to help them have an enjoyable season. team consisted of the following 11 boys: Collin Casserly, Ethan Barker, Colby Raynor, Tate Chork, Logan Marden, Tommy Casserly, Landon Schmuck, Nathan Jordan, Sam Rogers, Sheamus McDougall and Aiden Foley.  

The team jelled very well and played marvelously as a team! They went undefeated in the regular
season, beating most teams by 10 runs or more on most occasions. They played great offense and defense and were great sports towards each other and the other teams.  

Then they boys went into the playoffs as the number one seeded team. They sat out the first round and then went on to win both playoffs games on their way to the Championship Game!

The rest of the teams were great teams with great kids and they all played really well. On June 14, the boys played the Championship Game against MPM Sealcoating which they won 11-1!

Way to go Raynor Shine Painting!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Athlete of the Week: Alex Wilkins

Alex Wilkins, a junior at Windham High School is Aroma Joe’s Athlete of the Week. The 16-year-old believes kids should play sports because it establishes a sense of cooperation and it teaches kids to set goals.

“Alex is the 2017 Class A State Champ in the Triple Jump,” stated coach Paula Pock. “[Receiving athlete of the week] is a well-deserved honor for a fine young man.”

Wilkins, who enjoys fishing and skiing, stated that he has learned to work as a team and to support others as a result of his participation in track and soccer.

He names his parents as the most influential people in his sports career. “They have driven me to always do my best,” Wilkins said. 

He plans to go to college and get a degree in medicine. 

Wilkins lives at home with his mom (Susan), dad (Rick) and his two dogs.

Special Olympic athletes celebrate a job well done at State Competitions by Anne Blake

Nine RSU 14 athletes competed at the State Special Olympics on June 9 to 10, 2017. All athletes are grades 6-12.

Athletes brought home a lot of medals and ribbons and a great time was had by all who attended.
The weekend was capped off with a dance with Motor Booty Affair. A special thanks to all the coaches and all who helped fund the trip especially the RSU 14 Boosters.

Back Row from Left to Right: Cameron Malone James Tucker Ben Silva. Middle Row: AJ Mains Kayla Fillinger Anne Stuchbury Ginger Whiteside Front Row: Dani Laconeta and Austin Rice

Friday, June 9, 2017

Olivia Mora leads Windham High Softball to the first playoff of the season by Stephanie Coffin

Collecting 100 hits in a high school softball career is the equivalent of scoring 1,000 points in a high school basketball career. Obviously it takes a level of skill that not every athlete has, but it also takes consistency and the athlete has to remain healthy enough to stay on the field to help her teammates. 
Over the course of the last four years, Olivia Mora, senior at Windham High, has embodied
consistency and has always been on the field to help her teammates succeed. Her skill level is unquestionable and has been recognized by coaches around the State of Maine – first with four consecutive all-conference selections and finalized by being nominated for Miss Maine Softball.

Last week, in her final regular season home game, Mora clobbered a first inning pitch over the fence in centerfield for her 100th hit which provided her team with an early 3-0 lead over fifth-seeded Noble.  

The home run left Mora one home run shy of the Windham school record, but Windham would go on to defeat Noble 7-6. The win improved Windham to 13-3 on the season; good enough for the fourth-seed in Southern Maine Class A, a first round bye. Mora’s personal accolades continue to grow, she and her teammates know that it takes the entire team pulling in the same direction to accomplish the ultimate goal: bringing home some hardware!  

The marathon is now a sprint for these young ladies, their first playoff game is Thursday, June 8 against either Maine Girls Academy-Falmouth or Noble; with the winner advancing to the semifinal round on Saturday, June 10.  

Regardless of the outcome of our playoff run, it’s been an exciting, and memorable, season and I’m extremely proud of this team and our program.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Track highlights by Nini Bennett

Congratulations to all who reached their personal best record (PR)

4 by 100 Relay boys got PR  -  Sam Cole. Abbotoni Connor .Louis Geller and Orion Beers
400 Dalton McClure got PR
400 James Mannette also got PR
800 Ben Breton got PR
Congrats to Alex Wilkins who is SMAA champ in the Triple jump, with a 2 12 PR
One mile Jeremy Bennett got PR
Sam Cole triple jump

Softball snapshots by Stephanie Coffin

Erin Elder jumps to catch the fly ball against Noble
Lauren Talbot dives in an attempt to tag Noble player out at second
Taylah Piazza stopping the ground ball at second

Boys lacrosse snapshots by Stephanie Coffin

Ben Elliott with a save on goal
Griffin MacVane flies by the Westbrook defense
Seth Wall with a catch down field