LOOKING BACK – Issue of Oct. 31, 2002


On Wednesday afternoon petitions arrived at Scarborough Town Hall bearing the signatures of 423 residents, mostly from Dunstan, who are opposed to a Great American Neighborhood in their village.

A total of 438 signatures were gathered, with 15 of them being from the towns of Gorham, Saco, Biddeford and Old Orchard Beach.

On Tuesday Scarborough residents will be asked not only to approve a $26.8 million bond for an addition to the high school, but also to vote on a charter change – Question 2 – that would allow the Town Council to authorize spending between $2 and $3 million to put utilities along Haigis Parkway.

More than 100 municipalities have endorsed “An Act to Reduce Local Property Taxes Statewide” since the Maine Municipal Association initiated a citizen petition in September to place a referendum question on the 2003 state ballot, but not all local communities are convinced.

The main thrust of the MMA proposal would require the state to cover 55 percent of the total $1.6 billion spent on education in Maine each year. The question would also require the state to fund 100 percent of all special education programs it mandates of local school districts.

When Gov. Angus King spoke out against a proposed casino in Southern Maine during a Casinos No meeting in Biddeford Monday, a contingent of Scarborough officials sat listening directly in front of him, nodding in agreement to most points.

“Biddeford isn’t that far from Scarborough,” Town Councilor Sylvia Most said after King’s speech, explaining her opposition to a casino. “York County is right next door to us. If a casino comes here, it will definitely have an impact on our town as well.”

With less than a week remaining until Scarborough voters decide whether to build a $26.8 million expansion to the high school, the Current hit the streets Wednesday to find out how residents feel about the project.

If the mixed sentiments among the small group of people who discussed the proposal Wednesday were any indication, the vote will be close. Most agreed there is a need for more space in the town’s growing school system, but some had concerns about the price tag, especially considering the town would have to cover the entire cost itself without assistance from the state.

With no expansion of the Scarborough Public Library on the horizon for at least another five years, the library board of trustees is now in the middle of deciding what can be done about the current space crunch.

A consultant hired by the board released a report in September that calls for various changes, totaling between $100,000 and $125,000.

William Collins, a candidate for the state House of Representatives District 27 seat in South Portland, was issued a check for $8,510 last week after a judge ordered the Ethics Commission to take another look at his request for Clean Elections funding.

Collins, a Democrat challenging incumbent Republican Kevin Glynn, had been denied the funding to match a $13,000 expenditure by Glynn just before the June primary vote.

Hoping to learn about the satisfaction of doing something positive for others, students at Scarborough Middle School have been busy this fall planning ways to reach out to the community. Each year students at the middle school participate in a program called Community Service Self.

The CSS program fulfills three goals, said JoAnne Sizemore, the middle school principal. It makes students aware of the world outside; it allows students an teachers to work in small groups; and it offers a chance for middle school students to be seen in a positive light.

South Portland seventh-graders have begun receiving their laptop computers this week, with network compatibility problems keeping the middle schools from handing them out until now.

“We have started going from class to class in the middle schools, giving students the laptops and making sure everything is working correctly,” Superintendent Reginald MacDonald said.

“We don’t have a Macintosh network in the school system, so there was a compatibility problem. We are having problems getting the laptops to print, for example.”

While students will receive the roughly 240 laptops for school use, they will not be allowed to bring them home at this point, MacDonald said. The state paid for the laptops, but how to go about insuring the computers against damage once they are off school grounds is a “very gray area,” he said.

The Scarborough Rotary Club honored 10 students who participated in the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Conference this summer with a breakfast on Oct. 22 at the Black Point Inn.

Successfully completing the RYLA program, held in June at Camp Hinds in Raymond, were: Brian Adams, son of Barbara and Bill Adams; Dan Breiner, son of Debra Breiner; Matthew Buttarazzi, son of Nancy and Mark Buttarazzi; Emily Eschner, the daughter of Marie and Thomas Eschner; Kathleen Jones, the daughter of Sandra and Brian Jones; Dorothy Joyce, the daughter of Barbara and Marty Joyce; Samantha Murray, the daughter of Judith Murray; David Packhem, Jr., the son of Karen and David Packhem; Amy Schoppee, the daughter of Julie and David Schoppee, and Jordan Tyson, the son of Therese and Peter Tyson.

Drum Major Mackenzie Mayes, center, leads the South Portland High School marching band through “The Music of the West” at the Maine Band Directors Association marching band finals on Saturday in Old Orchard Beach. Under the direction of Craig Skeffington, South Portland won its seventh consecutive gold medal, one of five bands to capture top honors at the season-ending meet.