Friday, July 29, 2022

Movie Review: ‘Nope’ will leave you unsure

By Matt Pascarella

Rated: R

Runtime: 2 hours, 10 min

The first thing that appears on the screen is this verse:

“I will pelt you with filth, I will treat you with contempt and make you a spectacle.” – Nahum 3:6

Shrouded in a bit of secrecy until it’s release, writer/director Jordan Peele’s “Nope” is the story of the Haywood Hollywood Horse Trainers, the only African American-owned horse trainers in Hollywood and some weird occurrences that happen at their ranch.

After watching the first 30 or so minutes of this movie, I drew a conclusion that I’m still not sure is correct. While the ending left me a little confused, this is still a very good, sometimes very startling movie.

“Nope” stars Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Keith David, Brandon Perea, Steven Yeun, Wrenn Schmidt, Michael Wincott and Sophia Coto.

Did you know the first assembly of photographs to create a motion picture was a two second clip of an African American man on a horse? And that man was Emerald Haywood’s great, great, great grandfather.

OJ (Kaluuya) is out on the ranch with his dad (David) and all of a sudden, objects begin rapidly falling from the sky and kill OJ’s dad.

After a missed opportunity to feature a horse in a movie, OJ and his sister, Emerald (Palmer), meet with Ricky Park (Yeun) who owns an amusement park called Jupiter’s Claim. Park was a child actor on a 1990s sitcom called “Gordie’s Home” where a chimp infamously went on a 6 minute, 13 second killing spree.

Back at the ranch, OJ sees lights flickering and a screeching sound that makes a horse escape its pen. There is something in the sky.

Emerald and OJ are concerned so they buy several outdoor cameras to monitor the sky. They meet Angel (Perea), a somewhat arrogant tech installer and a bit of a conspiracy theorist.

After OJ sees something in the sky again, he contacts a Hollywood producer, Antlers Holst (Wincott) about the possibly of making a documentary.

OJ and Emerald promise the impossible.

In a nightly show Park does at Jupiter’s Claim, he professes to have seen a flying saucer every night at 6:13 p.m. Park calls them “The Viewers.” Some weird stuff happens and results in several disappearances.

Another event in which many things are zooming from the sky to the Earth and this time it’s a little gorier. Emerald, OJ and Angel must run for their lives.

“Nope” is somewhat allusive in plot. So much so that three quarters of the way through the first time I saw it, a thunderstorm knocked out the power in the theater and the movie stopped very abruptly in a key point and I figured this was part of the movie - until the screen never came back on.

A lot happens and I still have not put together how, or if, it all fits together. Not knowing adds to the fright. Why was that shoe standing straight up on it’s heal?

The plot moves quickly and kept me wanting to know more. I might have to see it a third time.

Side note: there is a bit of mild gore, violence as well as language in this movie.

Two cowboy hats up.

Now playing in theaters. <

Friday, July 22, 2022

Windham Lions host ‘Touch-A-Truck’ for families Saturday

By Ed Pierce

Kids of all ages will be able to put their imagination into gear this Saturday as a free “Touch-A-Truck” event arrives in Windham.

Sponsored by the Windham Lions Club, the “Touch-a-Truck” event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 23 in the parking lot behind Hannaford on Route 302 in North Windham. Participants should use Franklin Drive to access the event, organizers say.

The Windham Lions Club will host a free 'Touch-A-Truck'
event for all ages from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 23
in the parking lot behind Hannaford in North Windham.
The goal of the event is to create awareness for the club
and will feature 11 large vehicles. COURTESY PHOTO
Participants will be able to climb into the cab of a fire truck, a police car, explore a land excavator, a dump truck and more. There will be a total of 11 large vehicles from throughout the community for kids to see up close and honk the horn.

The event has been in the planning stages for months by Windham Lions Club members.

“Our club members started talking about Touch-A-Truck in the spring of 2021 and had initially considered holding it that November,” said Evelyn Brissette, Windham Lions Club president, “After more discussion and being concerned about the weather we decided to go with a summer of 2022 event instead. We set a date and set up a committee consisting of Gene Tanguay, Ron Soucy, Camille Swander, Cathy Fortier and I to work on this event.”

The “Touch-A-Truck” event provides a hands-on educational community event to see and touch the trucks and machinery used in the community and to meet the men and women who operate these machines. Participating vehicles will be displayed in a safe, supervised environment and it’s the perfect venue for exploring the machinery while learning about the people who build, protect and serve Windham.

The idea for hosting “Touch-A-Truck” for the Lions Club came from an idea Brissette had.

“I had done some research online and it seemed like Touch-A-Truck would be a fun way to interact with kids and people in our community,” she said. “We also want our community to be aware that the Windham Lions Club does exist and with everyone’s help we can make life a lot brighter for those less fortunate. We thought 2021 might be a hard year for many families and decided to start the Windham Adopt-A-Family program. It appears 2022 will be more challenging than ever.”

Brissette said she believes that when people take an interest in their own community, and work together for a cause, they can make a difference.

“Our Club members discussed it and decided to go with it. We did not realize upfront what a big undertaking Touch-A-Truck would be for our older, small group. We hope other caring people from our community, that visit our event on Saturday, might be inclined to give a little of their time and join us. We need more members.”

There is no admission charge to attend “Touch-A-Truck” and Brissette said that Poland Springs has donated 320 bottles of water for the event,

“BJs and others donated snacks, ice and supplies. We hope by giving these items out for free that the public will feel generous in making cash donations for our Windham Adopt-A-Family Christmas program,” Brissette said.

There will also be balloon entertainers and an ice cream truck for those who wish to purchase frozen treats.

According to Brissette, last year the Windham Lions Club chose to help struggling families in need at Christmas and the program was such a success, they plan on continuing that effort in 2022.

“We wanted to help out because we were aware that many Windham families were struggling to give their children the Christmas they had been hoping to have,” she said. “I contacted the Windham Veteran’s Center and the Windham Food Pantry. Our club was looking for deserving families that needed assistance. Six families were referred to us and we were told what their needs were.”

One of the families they helped was a senior veteran and his wife who needed assistance with an unhealthy environmental issue. The other five families had children attending school from the primary grades to high school.

“We purchased the clothing that was requested as well as toys for the younger ones,” Brissette said. “Through cards, notes, and the pictures that the children actually drew, we were told that each of the families had a wonderful Christmas. It is our hope that we can adopt more than six families this year. Again, it will all depend on our community’s generosity.

All cash profits from “Touch-A-Truck,” the club’s craft event in October, and the cash donated at their annual “Stuff-the-Bus” event in November will go to the Windham Adopt-A-Family program, Brissette said.

Since its inception, the Windham Lions Club has been instrumental in the community, supporting a variety of causes and issues affecting the lives of residents.

Some of those include purchasing and manning Windham’s first rescue van in 1968; donations to the Windham Public Library; helping with expenses related to eye exams and eyeglass when they meet the Lions Club criteria; assisting with expenses related to hearing tests and hearing aids when they meet the Lions Club criteria; conducting RSU 14 eye screening with more than 5,000 students screened so far; sponsoring the “Student of the Month” program; Speakout competitions; Breakfast with Santa; Stuff-the-Bus with more than 10,000 pounds of food collected for those in need; supporting the Windham Veteran’s Center; and collecting used eye glasses and hearing aids.

Brissette said the Lions Club is grateful to Windham Mall owner Jay Wise, truck company and business participants, and Windham Public agencies for their help with the “Touch-A-Truck” event.

“We want our neighbors to realize that our group does exist and that we are doing more than they even realize,” she said. “We also want our neighbors to know that through their generosity we can help to make a nicer Christmas possible for the families we are able to adopt this year. We can’t take care of everyone’s problems, but we will do everything we can with our community’s support.” <

Friday, July 15, 2022

Chamber’s ‘Christmas in July’ Boat Parade sets sail next weekend

By Ed Pierce

It’s often said that Christmas is the time of year when all’s right with the world and people go out of their way to help one another. But in the Lakes Region, there is a way to keep the Christmas spirit alive despite what the calendar may say.

Participants have fun during last year's 'Christmas in July'
Boat Parade on Brandy Pond in Naples. The 3rd Annual
'Christmas in July' Boat Parade will start about 8:15 p.m.
Saturday, July 23 in Naples. SUBMITTED PHOTO  
The Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce and the Naples Marine Safety Patrol have scheduled the 3rd Annual Christmas in July Boat Parade for 8:15 p.m. Saturday, July 23 on Brandy Pond, and Long Lake in Naples. If past events are any indication of its popularity, this is one summer event that even ol’ Santa himself may come out of hibernation early to attend.

The more boats that decorate and participate this year, the better, says Robin Mullins, executive director of the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce.

“Have a boat? Decorate it, register it at the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber website, and come join the parade on Brandy Pond,” Mullins said. “There will be prizes awarded for the top-three best decorated boats, as determined by the Naples Board of Selectpersons.”

The annual parade is a Naples Marine Safety Patrol-created event that was first conducted in 2020 with a total of 65 boats participating.

“Naples Christmas in July Boat Parade was started in 2020 by Mark Maroon and Jim Stark of the Naples Marine Patrol as a way to get folks safely out and having fun in the midst of COVID-19,” said Robin Mullins, Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce Executive Director. “They were assisted by community volunteer Joanne Jordan.”

Mullins said that given that volunteers only worked on the event for about three weeks prior to the parade, the turnout of boats was amazing considering pandemic restrictions of the time.

“Boats, captains and the crews were all decked out for the holidays,” Mullins said. “The town selectpersons judged the winning boats, as prizes were given for the best decorated watercraft.”

Last year the number of boats increased significantly, and the event is expected to establish a new record in 2022 for the number of boats and participants.

Mullins said those without boats can find something of interest at the festive parade.

“Don’t have a boat? No worries, come have dinner at one of the sponsor restaurants, such as Brother Flecker’s, Freedom CafĂ©, or Gary’s Olde Town Tavern, or do a little shopping at sponsor Causeway Gifts,” she said. “Whatever you do pre-parade, make sure you find a nice viewing spot as the parade makes it way from Brandy Pond onto Long Lake and back starting at around 8:30 p.m.”

She thanked the event’s other Captain’s Club sponsors for their help to make this year’s Christmas in July Boat Parade one of the best ever, including Long Lake Marina, Naples Marina, and Moose Landing Marina, which sponsored last year’s best decorated marina boat.

According to Mullins, the chamber is pleased to partner with Naples in bringing this popular event to the town once again in 2022.

“Our hope is to make it a destination event for Naples,” she said.

“Naples is an important part of the Sebago Lakes Region, and like all of our eight towns including Casco, Gray, Naples, New Gloucester, Raymond, Sebago, Standish and Windham, we want to support them in any way we can.”

To participate in this year’s boat parade, all boats must be registered prior to the event. Registration is available online at

“Our hope is to make it a destination event for Naples. Of course, we said, yes. Naples is an important part of the Sebago Lakes Region, and like all of our eight towns including Casco, Gray, Naples, New Gloucester, Raymond, Sebago, Standish and Windham, we want to support them in any way we can.”

To participate in this year’s boat parade, all boats must be registered prior to the event. Registration is available online at

“Once again we hope boats come all decked out with tons of holiday decorations,” Mullins said. “There will be prizes for the three top decorated boats, once again voted on by town selectpersons.”

She said that the town of Naples is encouraging nearby businesses and residents of Brandy Pond and the lower end of Long Lake to decorate docks, homes, and waterfront properties to show their solidarity with the “Christmas in July” spirit.

Event organizers say they are grateful for all sponsors for this year’s parade, which has helped to pay for lighted buoys for the event and prizes for parade participants.

The Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce represents the Lakes Region towns of Casco, Gray, Naples, New Gloucester, Raymond, Sebago, Standish, and Windham, and it is one of the most active chambers in the entire state of Maine. The chamber is made up of business members ranging from young entrepreneurs and ‘mom & pop’ shops to the largest employers in the area. <

Movie Review: Paramount+’s ‘Jerry & Marge Go Large’ big-ticket fun with heart

By Matt Pascarella

Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 1 hour, 36 minutes

Jerry Selbee has recently retired from working at Kellogg’s for many years. He’s a bit restless and somewhat bored, unsure of what to do with himself now, until he figures out a loophole in a state lottery game called Winfall.

He first wins $15,000 and from there discovers how he can win more and more and more money.

After their marriage has become maybe a little unadventurous, this becomes something he and his wife, Marge, do together - and the payoffs grow so much, that they involve their small town of Evart, Michigan.

Selbee gives back to make his town a better place for everyone. All is going great until a Harvard student figures out the same loophole and threatens to ruin Selbee’s life if he doesn’t back out.

This winning movie stars Bryan Cranston, Annette Bening, Larry Wilmore, Rainn Wilson, Jake McDorman, Anna Camp, Devyn McDowell, Uly Schlesinger, Cheech Manohar, Tracie Thoms and Lindsay Rootsare.

In the small town of Evart, Michigan, Jerry Selbee (Cranston), has just retired after 42 years. His children (McDorman and Camp) buy him a fishing boat and he asks them if he likes fishing.

Selbee is now kind of lost. He and his wife Marge (Bening) also have drifted apart and don’t do as many things together anymore.

He has always been really good with numbers and on a visit to see his accountant, Steve (Wilmore) is told to take a risk with his money.

Selbee is hesitant of this at first, but after hearing about a state lottery game called Winfall, he does the math and discovers a loophole guaranteed to pay out.

At first, he keeps this from his wife, but after he wins $15,000, tells her and she gets very excited. They become professional lottery players. At least that’s what they tell the convenience store clerk (Wilson). The more you bet, the better your odds are of winning.

As the money starts to really pile up and Selbee has a solid understanding of how this loophole works, he goes to Steve and wants to start a corporation to get the community involved. He does so and much of those winnings are fed back into the town, to restart the Jazz Fest that the town loves, but hasn’t happened in a while.

“You brought this town back from the dead when no one else could,” said Steve later in the movie. “You see us as more than just numbers.”

Meanwhile, Tyler (Schlesinger) is a Harvard student working on a research project. He discovers the same loophole Selbee did but isn’t interested in making anyone rich but himself.

Tyler threatens Selbee, but while Selbee is intimidated at first, he – well, I really shouldn’t say anything else.

After all was said and done, Jerry and Marge Selbee had won a total of $27 million.

This is a sweet, funny movie inspired by real-life story. It features what I would consider an all-star cast. It is a heart-warming story about giving back and the importance of family, friends and community.

Two lottery tickets up.

Available to stream on Paramount+. <

Friday, July 8, 2022

St. Anthony of Padua Festival returning to Windham

A special Mass in honor of their patron saint, a procession and an outdoor festival will draw parishioners and community members to Windham on July 15 and July 16 for the second annual St. Anthony of Padua Festival.

The St. Anthony of Padua Festival is returning on July 15
and July 16 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church
at 919 Roosevelt Trail, Windham. PHOTO BY ED PIERCE 
The festival, which will be held on the grounds of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church at 919 Roosevelt Trail, was initially held last summer to celebrate the formation of St. Anthony of Padua Parish (Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Windham, St. Anne Church in Gorham, St. Anthony of Padua Church in Westbrook, Our Lady of Sebago Chapel in East Sebago).

It was so heavily attended and successful that parish leadership decided to make it an annual occurrence, church officials said.

“It’s wonderful meeting everybody from the other churches on a more personal, casual level,” said Carol Kennie, one of the festival organizers. “It’s amazing the talent, the interest, and the enthusiasm that we have from everyone.”

A special Mass honoring St. Anthony followed by a procession to the St. Anthony Shrine will be held on Friday, July 15, at 6 p.m.

The festival itself will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 16, followed by a Mass at 4 p.m. and a festival-closing dinner at 5 p.m. Festival activities will feature live music; booths with handmade items, jewelry and books; a silent auction with items such as bicycles, kayaks and a homemade quilt; a yard sale; raffles; and lots of food, including Luigi’s Italian Foods, homemade meatball sandwiches, clam cakes, fried dough, hamburgers and hotdogs, and pizza.

Participants can also purchase a S’mores kit and roast them over a fire pit, and after the 4 p.m. Mass, the Knights of Columbus will host a chicken barbecue dinner.

Everyone is welcome to attend all or any part of the weekend’s schedule.

For more information, contact St. Anthony of Padua Parish at 207-857-0490 or send an email to, or visit <

Friday, July 1, 2022

Movie Review: ‘Jurassic World Dominion,’ solid movie, big action

By Matt Pascarella

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 2 hours, 27 minutes

In this sixth installment to the “Jurassic Park” storyline, it is four years after the fall of the Isla Nubar. Dinosaurs and man now co-exist.

Biosyn Genetics are dedicated to using dinosaurs to teach us more about the human race. They have a dinosaur sanctuary in Italy’s Dolomite Mountains.

Biosyn’s intentions are less than pure, and CEO Lewis Dodgson creates more trouble than solutions in this action-packed dinosaur adventure.

“Jurassic World: Dominion” stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, Isabella Sermon, Campbell Scott, DeWanda Wise, Mamoudou Athie, BD Wong, and Justice Smith.

Claire Dearing (Howard) and Owen Grady (Pratt) live in a secluded cabin in the woods with Maisie Lockwood (Sermon), the cloned granddaughter of now deceased Benjamin Lockwood. They have been protecting her from Biosyn who wants to study her DNA.

A species of incredibly large locusts has shown up in a field and are threatening the human food supply. Paleobotanist Ellie Sattler (Dern) suspects Biosyn is the cause of this, but she needs evidence to prove it. She recruits paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant (Neill).

The two of them travel to Biosyn where they meet CEO Lewis Dodgson (Scott) and are reunited with chaos theorist Ian Malcolm (Goldblum).

Despite working for Biosyn, Malcolm is helping Sattler and Grant get the proof they need about the locusts. Things don’t go their way in trying to get that proof.

In the meantime, Lockwood is kidnapped along with Grady’s velociraptor Blue’s child, named Beta.

Malcolm says the Doomsday Clock might be out of time.

Dr. Henry Wu (Wong) warns Dodgson that the locusts are a problem that will only get worse.

Dr. Wu would like to study Lockwood so he can fix a terrible mistake he made.

On their way to find Lockwood and Beta, Grady and Dearing discover an underground dinosaur black market.

Here there is a very action-packed scene that might have you on the edge-of-your-seat where Grady is on a dirt bike chased by several dinosaurs.

Dearing meets pilot Kayla Watts (Wise) who agrees to fly her and Grady to Biosyn. They don’t make it there on a direct flight.

Once Dodgson learns of the breach with Grant and Sattler, he fires Malcolm.

Dodgson burns the locusts to destroy the evidence. More than just the locusts catch fire.

Eventually, both groups meet: Grady, Dearing, Sattler, Malcolm, Grant and Lockwood. Now they must escape.

Everyone heads underground. Can they escape?

What about Dodgson?

This is a fun conclusion to the “Jurassic Park” storyline. I found it to be visually impressive with a lot of great dinosaur battle scenes and interaction between human and gigantic beast.

The movie is a bit on the longer side, but I thought it was relatively well-paced. Plus, there was enough intense action to keep me invested in the storyline. My only complaint were the giant locusts; I’m not a fan of really big bugs.

It was fun to see some of the original cast together onscreen for the first time since the first movie in 1993. See this one on the big screen.

Two thumbs up.

Now playing in theaters. <

Raymond Village Library becomes town department with landslide vote

By Collette Hayes

The town of Raymond voted a decisive yes giving their approval to make the Raymond Village Library officially a Raymond Municipal Department. On June 15, the residents of Raymond cast their votes 529 in favor to 122 opposed in support of the Raymond Village Library becoming a town department.

Raymond residents voted 529 to 122 on Maine Primary Day
on June 15 for the Raymond Village Library to become an
official town department. FILE PHOTO
The library provides a vibrant and dynamic place where the community engages in personal enrichment. People of all ages are welcome and have free access to information that promotes and inspires their educational, recreational and cultural interests.

Prior to its inception as a town department, Raymond Village Library has been an incorporated non-profit organization. Under the cooperative relationship and interaction between past Chairman of the Board Selectmen, Teresa Sadak, and Raymond Village Library Board of Trustees President, Deb Hutchinson, discussions resulted in a Memorandum of Understanding which was presented at a town meeting to see if the town would accept the library under the conditions outlined in the MOU. The presentation of the MOU at the meeting resulted in approval.

In a recent conversation with Don Willard, Raymond Town Manager, most residents of Raymond assumed that Raymond Village Library was already a town department.

“I think the results speak for themselves,” said Willard. “From the results of the vote you basically have the townspeople saying a resounding yes to we want the library to be a town department.”

As a town department, the library would be able to broaden and add additional services, programming and opportunities for people of all ages. It would give the library more depth and breadth and support.

In the past the library has been dependent on fundraising efforts. The town was part of this effort by giving the library an appropriation every year. Now Raymond will assume the cost of the operations, the salaries and the benefits for the employees and it will make the whole organization more viable and sustainable.

“The Town has worked with the library for decades and they have worked really hard to have a quality library,” said Willard. “What they had to work with, they have done a tremendous job. It’s been a private nonprofit organization for many years and now it will be a municipal department. With the town financial support, and the support of the other town departments and what they can bring to the Library, I think you will see it better than ever.

“I’m really happy about it. I think it’s the right direction for the town,” Willard said. “We now have a way as a town to support the library in a way that we didn’t have before. Although there still will be fund raising that will continue, we have other resources that can be put into play to help the library achieve some of their goals such as the further development of programming and cultural offerings. I think it is a win-win deal.”

According to Allison Griffin, Director of the Raymond Village Library, there are two major advantages to becoming a municipal department.

She said there will be financial stability. Instead of having to wait halfway through the fiscal year to see what the library’s financial situation will be from fundraising, there will now be consistent funding. Programming can be planned, and acquisitions can be made throughout the year instead of waiting to make purchases after the major fundraisers are over in December.

Consistent and reliable funding will also help to retain highly qualified library staff, Griffin said.

Another major benefit of becoming a town department will be working with the Raymond Parks and Recreation Department due to common interest and being able to provide consistent scheduled programming.

“The full-time staff members will receive health insurance which we have never been able to provide,” said Griffin. It’s difficult to retain staff without providing health care benefits. Nothing internally will change. The Board of Trustees will transition into to a fund raising “Friends” support group. The collections, the staff and the services will remain the same.” <