Friday, September 15, 2017

Local legendary musician, Al Hawkes, to perform his last concert for Music with a Mission

On Saturday, September 16 at 7:00 p.m., Music with a Mission is proud to present Al Hawkes and the Nitehawks for an evening of bluegrass and country music. Al Hawkes is a local legend and widely recognized as a pioneer of bluegrass and old time country music, which he has been performing for decades.  

Hawkes has lived in Westbrook since he was 10 years old and has been playing guitar since he was 12. Over the years, he has been recognized with over 30 national and regional awards, and has performed and recorded music with many different groups. Hawkes recorded with the Nitehawks back in 1991 and his most recent CD is from 2014 titled “I Love the State of Maine”.  

When Hawkes met recently with the Music with a Mission production staff, he handed them the following quote to share:

 “All of a sudden I’m old. Eighty-six to be exact. How did I get here so fast? I was just twenty-five a few days ago, or at least I thought I was, and I’ve acted that age most of the time through all of my years of playing music, being an electronic technician and running three businesses. But the recent occurrence that landed me in the emergency division of the Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine made it clear: I’m eighty-six years old. I was told to slow down, and that I must do [it] if I want to live long enough to finish some very important projects. So, this two hour concert with my Bluegrass Nitehawks on September 16 will be my last concert. I don’t plan on disappearing completely but I’ll be out playing less frequently. It has been a wonderful life and I appreciate the support from my family, wife, friends, fans, business associates and God.”  

“We are honored to have Al Hawkes return to Music with a Mission,” said Dr. Richard Nickerson, Minister of Music for NWUC. “Al is a legendary performer who has influenced and inspired countless musicians. This will be a historical event and a night to remember.”

This concert is the 48th in the Music with a Mission series sponsored by the North Windham Union Church. The church donates a portion of the proceeds to area non-profits and to date we have raised almost $50,000 for mission support to the church and other community organizations. Al Hawkes and the Nitehawks have chosen to support the Highland Lake Congregational Church, UCC. 

Tickets are available online at or at the door. Prices are $12 for adults and $10 for students, children, and seniors. The box office opens at 6 p.m. and the doors will open at 6:30 p.m. The North Windham Union Church is located at 723 Roosevelt Trail in Windham. For more information please call 892-7149 or email

Connie Baxter Marlow and Andrew Cameron Bailey open interfaith intercultural season at Unity of Greater Portland By Elizabeth Richards

Unity of Greater Portland will usher in their Interfaith Intercultural Season with a series of films, multi-media talks and forums with Connie Baxter Marlow and Andrew Cameron Bailey, authors, filmmakers and futurists.

The weekend’s events are centered on the theme, “Become the promise America made to the World.”  Central to this theme is the connection to the Indigenous values embodied by Marlow’s great, great grandfather, James Phinney Baxter and his son, Percival Baxter, both prominent Maine politicians. 

Native American cosmology, their way of life and belief systems are connected to the heart, spirit and oneness of all life, honoring the animals, the earth, and the water, said Marlow. “This is what James Phinney Baxter and Percy Baxter did in their public and private lives; they honored the women, the animals, the earth and the water,” she added. These values inspired action: The Baxters gave the people of Maine, Baxter State Park, Baxter Woods, and Mackworth Island. James Phinney Baxter, six-time Mayor of Portland, formed the Portland city park system. All of these acts were designed to allow people to get close to nature and access those aspects of themselves, Marlow said. 

Understanding these indigenous values that were so important to her ancestors is of critical importance, Marlow said, to finding a new perspective that can move us from old ways of being into new realities. “Without that, we’re stuck,” she said, “separated from the true nature of the universe.”
On Friday, September 22, the pair will screen their film, “SEEDS OF FREEDOM: A Vision for America,” which highlights the belief held by James Phinney Baxter that America must embody the high ideals of New England’s original settlers. The film also includes a link that is often missing: the role of the American Indian in the evolution of democracy and the American mind and spirit.

The screening will be followed by a multi-media talk and discussion titled, “Thoreau, the Pope and the Indian: A Shared Vision.”

On Sunday, September 24, the two will present their message, “The Baxter Legacy – Alignment with Indigenous Values,” at the 10 a.m. service. This will be followed by a multi-media presentation and discussion at noon, titled, “Civil Disobedience, Spiritual Activism and Higher Law: A Vision of the Individual’s Role in Creating a Just World.”

The intent of these presentations is, “giving people hope and courage for what to do right here, right now, given the current situation in this country and in the world around our birthrights of liberty, justice, equality and abundance,” said Marlow. 

On Sunday, they will track the evolution of social activism, from civil disobedience and non-violent non-cooperation through to spiritual activism; which is aligned with higher law, Marlow said. “As we’ve unfolded our understanding of the nature of the universe and humanity’s place in it, quantum science has shown us that our thinking actually affects the collective,” she said. “What we’re showing is this evolution of consciousness and our ability to affect change through supporting something positive.”  The hope is that people will come away with an idea of their own personal power, along with some tools for understanding their place in a conscious, loving, abundant universe, she said.

Bailey added that asking questions about core beliefs isn’t something typically done in today’s society, but it’s critical to do so. Bringing these beliefs to the surface, he said often allow for change, allowing people to see their circumstances from a different perspective. “It changes perspective. It gives people a more accepting attitude toward existence. It’s literally the difference between a fear based existence and a trust based existence,” he said.

Marlow and Bailey are also the authors of, “The Trust Frequency”; a book that Bailey said sets out to ask the question, “What do we believe?” and examines unconscious assumptions

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Senators Collins, King Announce More Than $1.7 Million for Maine DHHS

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced today that the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will receive a total of $1,776,038 for the Ryan White Part B Supplemental Program. This funding was awarded through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to improve the quality, availability, and organization of HIV health care and support services. 

“The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program is a lifeline for those living with HIV/AIDS across our state,” Senators Collins and King said in a joint statement. “This investment will provide invaluable assistance to individuals who are underinsured or uninsured, connecting them to medical professionals and health services and making HIV/AIDS care more accessible and convenient.”

The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program provides a comprehensive system of care that includes primary medical care and essential support services for people living with HIV who are uninsured or underinsured. The Program works with cities, states, and local community-based organizations to provide HIV care and treatment services to more than half a million people each year. The Program reaches approximately 52 percent of all people diagnosed with HIV in the United States.

Is your connected home safe and secure? Brought to you by Tricia Zwirner of State Farm in Windham

Today's homes feature a large number of devices connected to the Internet—everything from kitchen appliances to thermostats to light bulbs. While there's convenience to being able to turn off forgotten lights or monitor who comes and goes, connected home devices can also create a security headache.

Cyber security protocols aren't nearly as strong for home devices as what you would find on a laptop or smartphone. And because they're connected to the Internet, these devices are a potential doorway into your laptop and smartphone if they're on the same network. Once there, cyber thieves have access to your identity, banking credentials, credit card numbers and other personal information. A recent study found that 42% of people whose home devices were hacked had a financial loss of $1,000 to $5,000.1

Consider these home security tips to keep yourself safe: 

Keep it to a minimum. Take an inventory of the digital entry points into your home and consider consolidating.
Use a separate network. Keep the network for connected home gadgets separate from your home network used for your computer, phone and printer. Most home routers have a guest network option. By connecting your home gadgets to that, a compromised refrigerator won't be the gateway for someone to move on to your banking.

Factor in multi-factor authentication. Don't rely on passwords alone to keep your devices safe. Check to see if your system offers two-factor authentication, which adds an extra security layer to the log-in process, such as a security key or a one-time code received by text. Even if a hacker is able to steal your password, it's much less likely that your phone can also be hacked.

Update regularly. Just as you would update your computer or tablet, do the same for home devices. Vulnerabilities are found all the time, and regular updates provide the necessary protection against them.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Hawk migration events with Loon Echo Land Trust

The arrival of early to mid-September’s cooler weather coincides with New England’s largest hawk migration of the year. On the evening of Wednesday, September 6 at the Harrison Village Library, Loon Echo Biologist, Paul Miller kicks off the hawk migration season with a Hawk Migration Talk from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., the first of two free public programs to educate bird lovers from novice to expert, on this annual migration.

Miller's presentation and discussion will include ideal conditions for viewing, species of interest to look for, as well as helpful online resources for tracking seasonal bird migration. The Harrison Village Library is located at 4 Front Street across the street from the post office. 

The second of Loon Echo's Hawk Migration Programs will occur on Saturday, September 9 from 9 a.m. to noon. Dick Anderson, former Director of the Maine Audubon, will bring his enthusiasm for the southern hawk migration to Hacker’s Hill Preserve in Casco for Loon Echo’s annual Hawk Migration Watch Program.  

Numerous species of hawks begin their seasonal migration around this time and under ideal conditions birders have seen over one-thousand in a day. In past years many varieties of hawks have been observed along with bald eagles and osprey. Bring a lawn chair, binoculars, water and snacks. 

Parking is available by driving to the top of the road into Hacker's Hill Preserve on Quaker Ridge Road in Casco, approximately one mile from the Route 11 intersection and four miles from the Route 302 intersection. Please park in the “Event Parking” area to the right of the summit.  

For more information about upcoming events or ways you can support Loon Echo Land Trust, go to their website or call 207-647-4352.

The Lake Region Community Chorus is looking for more singers

If you like to sing and are free on Monday evenings, the members of the Lake Region Community Chorus would love to have you join us. The group has about 50 members from fourteen surrounding towns in the Lake Region including Windham and Raymond. We are a fairly young choral organization and are looking forward to starting our ninth session of rehearsing and performing.

Our first rehearsal for the Winter Session will begin on September 11, 2017 in the Twitchell Chapel at the Bridgton Academy in North Bridgton. We thank the Bridgton Academy for their on-going help and support!

The LRCC conducting team is made up of Jan Jukkola, Nancy Capone and Dan Allen.

We welcome all voices but we especially need Sopranos. We also need more tenors and basses to balance out our sound. Auditions are not required. Our programs are made up of a variety of pieces from many musical genres and styles. There is something for everyone and we want to make sure our singers and audiences have a very enjoyable time at rehearsals and performances. 

Our rehearsals are from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Monday evenings. Registration begins at 6 p.m. on September 11 and there is a $25 registration fee that helps cover the cost of the music. 

We will also register members on September 18. There is a two week trial period if needed. Our concerts are scheduled for Friday, December 8, 2017 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, December 10 at 3 p.m. Contact Jan Jukkola for more information at or 647-2584.We are a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization.