June 17, 1992
The Westbrook City Council took its final vote Monday on the city budget for the year that begins July 1. It’s almost unheard of for the budget to be adopted before the year begins, and is expected to save $71,000 that otherwise could have gone for interest on tax anticipated loans. The city will spend $27,541, 724 in the year, including $11,183,172 for city operations and $15,805,811 for schools. The tax rate is expected to be a few cents below the 1991-92 rate of $18.65.
People can throw “pies” (a paper plate loaded with meringue) at Westbrook Mayor Fred Wescott and Police Chief Ronald Allanach, Portland Police Chief Michael Chitwood and Fire Chief Joe Thomas and the Pine Tree Shaw’s manager Jerry Williamson June 20 to benefit the Cumberland County Child Abuse and Neglect Council. The pie-throwing is part of a party on the grass between Shaw’s and Rand Road planned by Shaw’s employees to benefit the council. Throwers will pay $1 a plate.
In a year when much is said about fresh faces in politics, Republicans of Maine Senate District 28 (Westbrook, Gorham, Buxton) picked a newcomer over two veterans in last week’s primary elections. Allerton H. Hawkes, of country music fame but also a longtime Westbrook businessman, never had run for election before. He won the Republican nomination to the Senate with 989 votes to 867 for Philip E. Curran and 528 for Tuffy Laffin. Curran and Laffin are experienced officer holders. All three are from Westbrook. In November, Hawkes will face Donald E. Esty Jr., also of Westbrook, another longtime political figure who was unopposed for the Democratic nomination.
Gorham Town Manager Paul Weston has announced the appointment of Shirley Hughes, Scarborough, as Gorham’s new finance director. She succeeds Jack R. Gorsuch of Westbrook, who is retiring at the end of June after 11 years as finance chief. Hughes is director of budget and fiscal operations for the Maine Department of Human Services. She will start at $40,000 a year and move up to $42,000 after six months. Gorsuch gets $41,000.
The Young at Heart of the Westbrook First Baptist Church chartered a bus June 3 and went to Willowbrook in Newfield, where they visited the 19th-century restoration village with 36 different areas of antiques. A complete turkey dinner was served in the restaurant and a Westbrook lady said, “The clam chowder was delicious.”
Over 50 well-wishers attended a surprise retirement party for Mary Estes, Libby Avenue, Gorham High School’s Guidance Department secretary since 1964. Mary entered a local restaurant accompanied by her husband Elwood, and Donna and Bob Marean, Donna Street, ostensibly to celebrate the Mareans’ wedding anniversary. After the initial shock and greetings, Mary and Elwood joined their son and his wife, Skip and Bette Estes, West Buxton, and a daughter and her husband, Judy and Eugene Roy, Claremont, N.H., at the head table.
Gorham High School Principal Gunnar A. Hagstrom announced the top 10 students for the class of 1992. They are, in order of academic standing: Jeffrey A. Morrow, valedictorian; Aaron A. Gould, Salutatorian; Peter E. Lord, Tanya L. West, Lisa K. Forgione, Christopher P. Lawrence, Derek R. Libby, Megan K. Allen, Jennifer M. Blood and Nanette Smith.
June 19, 2002
The American Journal of Westbrook, owned and operated for the last 37 years by widely known journalist Harry Foote, who gave the paper its reputation as a feisty chronicler of suburban news, has been sold to Current Publishing of Scarborough. The sale combines the oldest suburban weekly in metropolitan Portland with the area’s newest weekly, the Current, circulating in Scarborough and Cape Elizabeth, started last September. Foote, 86, announced the sale to the staff of Monday morning. After introducing Current publisher Lee Hews Casler and editor Victoria Ogden by name, he said, “You spell it F-U-T-U-R-E. It’s time to turn the American Journal over to new owners.” News of the sale brought accolades to Foote, who is known in the area as a man who went to great lengths to get the story first and delighted in beating the Portland daily, his former employer. He was named to the Maine Journalism Hall of Fame in 1999.
The drug methadone can be deadly, especially to non-users of opiates who may try it experimentally, Westbrook Police Chief Steve Roberts warns. It caused the deaths of two relatively young Westbrook men in recent months, neither one receiving it as a patient in a clinic. Roberts said it’s not all treatment clinic-related methadone that’s out there, since the drug can be prescribed by physicians as a strong painkiller for various medical reasons.
Kevin Merrill, son of Paul and Suzanne Merrill, 45 Madison St., Westbrook, became an Eagle Scout in a ceremony June 9. He also got a Bronze Palm for five merit badges in addition to the 21 required of an Eagle. He received a plaque from Westbrook Fire Chief Gary Littlefield and Capt. Steve Goodwin recognizing his community service project, a Smokey Bear fire danger sign and planter for Westbrook’s Fire Station 3, Route 302. He is a junior at Westbrook High School, a member of the National Honor Society, Key Club, jazz band and marching band.
Four recent graduates were honored at the June 16 service of the United Church of Christ at North Gorham. The Rev. David Hall, interim pastor, congratulated them and gave them each a gift. The are Stephanie Atwood, daughter of Barry and Diane Atwood of North Gorham, Gorham High School graduate; Ben Tapley, who also graduated from Gorham High School, son of George and Kathie Tapley, North Gorham Road; Devin Mack, who graduated from Bonny Eagle High School, son of Mark and Maureen Dodge, Standish; and Andrew Houlihan, who graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y., son of John and Cynthia Houlihan, North Gorham Road.
From the Gorham Police Log: A woman said a man tried to spy on her twice while she was using the restroom in a Gorham eating place. The police log said that she threw a creamer on the man, who then threatened her. She explained it to the manager but he didn’t do anything. At a subsequent visit, a man followed her out and threatened her, and she explained the situation to the manager again, but nothing was done.
In 1959 the Westbrook Fraternal Order of Eagles constructed this building at 98 Bridge St. to replace their old building that was destroyed by fire in 1958. The Eagles eventually purchased the Knights of Columbus building on Saco Street and moved to that location. Flannery Properties purchased the old building and demolished it. A parking lot now occupies the site. To see more historical photos and artifacts, visit the Westbrook Historical Society at the Fred C. Wescott Building, 426 Bridge St. It is open Tuesdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon, and the first Wednesday of each month at 1:30 p.m., September-June. Inquiries can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The website is www.westbrookhistoricalsociety.org.