Friday, October 13, 2017

The best way to deal with a parking lot accident by Tricia Zwirner, State Farm Insurance

Especially while tourists are here to leaf peep this fall, and even on many typical weekends, parking lots at malls and supermarkets are packed; increasing the possibility of a fender bender.
If you hit, scrape, or otherwise damage a parked car—or if you're the victim of such an accident—don't panic. Here are some simple steps you can take:

If you're the driver:

Don't drive away. If another customer or a surveillance camera spots you, you could be punished for a hit-and-run.

Track down the other car's owner. Head into the store and speak to someone at the customer service desk. Describe the car to the employee, and have him or her announce it over the store's loudspeaker.
Leave a note. If you're unable to find the other driver, jot down basic information—your name, phone number, and a brief explanation of the accident—and place it in a secure spot on the car. Write down the license plate number and take a photo of the damage if you have a camera or smartphone with you.

Call the police. Depending on how extensive the damage is, you may want to involve the police. 

They'll document the accident and they can help you find the other car's owner.

If you're the victim:

Contact your agent. Let him or her know what happened as soon as possible. Your agent will help you determine the next steps.

Record evidence. Take pictures of the other driver’s insurance ID card as well as damage to both vehicles with your phone or a camera, if you have one on hand.

Take thorough notes. If the other driver is still around, jot down his or her name, address, phone number, driver's license number, and insurance company. Gather as much information as possible.

Get backup. Ask others in the parking lot if they witnessed anything. Also head back into the store and find out if they have security camera footage you can check.

If you're the witness:

Provide assistance. If the offending driver is gone, help the other driver document the damage. Give the driver your contact information in case his or her insurance agent or the police need to contact you for further comment.

Sea King - “Hazy Dream”: A music review By Ryan Lowell, Windham High School Journalism Teacher

In a music video shot for the song “I Don’t Wanna Lose My Mind,” Jake Newcomb carries a lantern through Battery Steele, the cave-like former military base on Peak’s Island; lighting up the graffiti that decorates the walls as he walks through the empty corridors. It’s fitting imagery for “Hazy Dream,” Newcomb’s third album-long search for illumination via various philosophies, religions and dreams, which he recorded as Sea King.
A Maine native who traded the Portland in Maine for the one in Oregon, Newcomb’s music has always felt as comfortable travelling between genres as the name of his self-created Nomadic Behavior Records suggests. As with previous Sea King albums, “Hazy Dream” is unified by overarching themes of self-betterment, spirituality, and the meaning of life, more than it is by any particular sound.  

Over the years, Newcomb has become adept at layering samples, vocal effects and backing instrumentation into his music; fleshing out creations to the point where they seldom sound anything like the traditional guy and guitar, singer-songwriter stuff. But when you hear a Sea King song, no matter what he has done to manipulate his sound, Newcomb’s heartfelt lyrics are always the centerpiece. The album begins with a vocal slowed and deepened to a register somewhere between satanic and operatic, but Newcomb’s message is anything but obscured as he repeats the line, “sometimes I feel like a motherless child.” 

This vulnerability is one of Newcomb’s most endearing traits. He opens up even more on the aforementioned “Lose My Mind,” confessing the continued work he’s putting in to maintain sanity, maturity, and sobriety.  “I don’t wanna waste my life,” he sings. 

Most of the rest of the album inhabits brief, thought provoking bursts that sound like the hazy dreams after which the album is named. Newcomb’s music dwells in those sleepy moments just after waking up - trying to hold onto snatches of insight from the subconscious, that waking life mercilessly rips away. On “Light In The Cave,” Sea King is “gonna reach for the answers tonight.” On “My Lame Brain,” he struggles to escape the fog of his own mind and the hazy dreams that imprison it. And on “Within Your Mind,” he uses dreaming to “fit infinity into a morning.” 

Newcomb continues the search for life’s answers in dreams throughout the album without ever quite getting there. But there are rewards in the continued pursuit, and in Newcomb’s vocalization of it. The album lingers for a lighthearted moment on the soothing standout “No Objective,” which finds Sea King taking the time to stare at the walls and feel just fine about it. Jake Newcomb hasn’t found a way to fully channel the wisdom of his dreaming mind, but “No Objective” suggests he’s not losing much sleep over it. Hopefully those sleep filled nights will help him on his quest to make sense of all those hazy dreams. 

“Hazy Dream” was released on October 2. To check it out, visit

Book Review :“Touch” Reviewed by Jennifer Dupree, Circulation Supervisor at Windham Public Library

While I liked Courtney Maum’s first novel “I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You”, there were places where I found the main character in that novel a little flat, a little hard to root for. 
Not so in her second novel. Maum’s “Touch” is a funny, cynical, and honest look at a near-future full of tech junkies. The main character, trend forecaster Sloane Jacobsen, is a full-on pleasure to read. Sloane is smart, funny, and likeable. And the other characters in the book are equally well-drawn and engaging. It’s worth reading the novel just to encounter Sloane’s ridiculous French boyfriend, Roman. 

The novel opens with Sloane moving from Paris to New York, to take a job with a huge tech company that advocates and celebrates non-procreation. At first, Sloane gets drawn along - after all, she herself is childless by choice - but, as her personal life becomes more chilly and less intimate, Sloane struggles with the message she has been hired to promote. Despite what everyone else seems to want, Sloane is troubled by the fact that she has lost touch with, well - touch. Her life has become devoid of all kinds of intimacy and her creativity is suffering as a result. When she suddenly receives a creative flash that tells her intimacy is making a comeback, not everyone believes her.

While Sloane works hard to figure out what trends will be a part of the return to intimacy she forecasts, her boyfriend and her boss work to thwart her. Sloane’s path isn’t a startling or even surprising one. But, this isn’t that kind of novel. It’s less about her outward decisions and more about her internal conflict. 

This novel is one of those rare occasions where the author is trying to say something important and it doesn’t come across as a lecture. It’s a thought-provoking and interesting book. “Touch” would make a great book club pick.  

Join us at the library on Wednesday, October 18 at 6 p.m. for our Movie Discussion Group. This month we’ll be talking about “Arrival.”

Eighth Annual Cabaret at Faith Lutheran Church promises to burst with wit and comedy by Lorraine Glowczak

Faith Lutheran Church will host its Eighth Annual Cabaret on October 21 at 5:30 p.m. at 988 Roosevelt Trail in Windham. With a collection of hilarious and witty performances, along with assorted musical acts from talented local musicians and not so talented dancers, the audience will be entertained with a theme of Maine and its “Local Flav-ah and Cul-ah.”
“The skits and stories definitely fit a title of ‘A Little Local Cul-ah’ which is a play on the Maine
accent and theme that will include a home-made dinner and desserts,” stated Jane Field, Pastor of Faith Lutheran Church. The cabaret will include home-made Italian Pasta Fagioli soup, salad, rolls, cookies and brownies.

Cabaret style is a style of performance that became a popular form of entertainment in early 19th century France. It often includes a diverse collection of stories, music, theater and dance while the audience enjoys a dinner simultaneously. The concept of the cabaret made its way to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with a recent resurgence in popularity.

The goal of Faith Lutheran Church’s cabaret event is twofold, “Cabaret night is meant to be a community event,” began Faith Lutheran Church Music Director, David Hansen. “It’s a fun evening full of laughter for the whole family while enjoying dinner at the same time - all for a reasonable price. It is less than a dinner and a movie.” 

The cost of the event is $15 a ticket for adults and $10 a ticket for children 12 and under.

The second objective for this year’s cabaret is to raise funds for local, national and international charities. “Proceeds [from this year’s event will] go to support the church with 10 percent of the funds designated for mission projects like the Monday Meals Program in Windham and the national and international disaster relief efforts of Lutheran Disaster Response,” stated Pastor Field.

The doors will open at 5:15 p.m. with dinner being served at 5:30 p.m. The musical and theatrical entertainment will begin soon after dinner is served.  

For more information or to purchase tickets, please call Melinda Rankin-Zimmer at 207-749-9503.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Marijuana regulations on deck for Legislature this autumn by Senator Bill Diamond

Nearly a year ago, a majority of voters in Maine favored a referendum to legalize the recreational use of marijuana by adults over 21 years old, the same threshold used for alcohol.

The law passed at the ballot box directed state government to develop the nitty-gritty details of how
legalization would be implemented. Those include important questions about taxation, retail sales and “social clubs” — businesses where customers could consume marijuana, the same way patrons consume alcohol at bars.
Now, after hours of painstaking work by a special committee assembled to tackle the issue of legalization, the Legislature is preparing for initial votes on a bill that would establish the regulatory framework for the newly legal marijuana industry in our state. I expect we’ll consider this bill during a special legislative session called by the governor sometime this autumn.

The bill we’ll consider contemplates a 10 percent sales tax and 10 percent excise tax on marijuana; with 5 percent of the tax going to the community that hosts the retail store or grow operation. Towns that host marijuana businesses would also receive 1 percent of all statewide marijuana taxes. In an effort to reduce outsized out-of-state interests, it would also give Maine residents a two-year head start in applying for recreational marijuana business licenses. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it would prohibit marijuana facilities from being located within 1,000 feet of a school.

The committee that crafted this bill, comprised of Democrats and Republicans alike, has strived to strike a responsible balance with regulations that respect the newly legal nature of marijuana and the need for restrictions and regulations that make sense for this intoxicating substance.

I’m most interested in ensuring that local control is preserved in whatever regulations are ultimately enacted. Communities that do not want marijuana sales or social clubs must be able to decide for themselves to prohibit those businesses. Communities that do want to allow this industry within their borders should be able to do so under the auspices of a commonsense regulatory framework at the state level.

Whatever regulations are approved by the Legislature, the executive branch will be responsible for establishing and enforcing them. That means not only enforcing restrictions, but taking the steps necessary to make business applications available, and processing them in a timely manner. Some questions have been raised about whether the governor will support the law, in part because he has remained uncharacteristically silent on the issue. However, I’m confident that he will make sure his agencies do their duties.

All of that will be determined at a later date. What’s most needed right now is you. I hope you’ll get in touch to let me know what you think is a priority as the Legislature contemplates implementation of the Marijuana Legalization Law. When I vote in the Senate, I’m representing not only my best judgment, but the wishes of people in our community. The legalization of recreational marijuana is a matter of tremendous consequence, and I need to hear from you.

Feel free to contact me at or (207) 287-1515, with any questions or concerns about this or any other important issue facing our state.