November, 1980

Spruce logs, cones and still-green needles estimated to be 12,000 years old were dug up this summer on land of the Portland Terminal Company near Fore River. They were embedded in clay that sealed them away from oxygen. Geologists believe they were buried when a banking caved in.

Severe unemployment has qualified 13 towns around Sebago Lake for federal grants and loans.

“The present attitude of city government runs contrary to your and my sense of Yankee frugality.” Those are the concluding words in a 14-line campaign message, typed and run through a duplicator, which carried Robert W. Fickett Jr. to victory by about 500 votes over incumbent Gene Gendron for election to the South Portland City Council. A photo by Roger Brown catches Fickett on his farm in work clothes and a John Deere cap.

At the request of the Parks and Cemeteries trustees, Westbrook Forester Wes McKague and crew cut down three spruce trees at the entrance of Riverbank Park. The oldest was 75 years old, and the tallest was 60 feet. They’ll be replaced by ornamentals.

Governor Joseph Brennan has reappointed Robert E. Blais Jr. to the State Board of Funeral Service. Blais has been chairman three years.

U. S. Senator William Cohen reports that there is a proposal to offer residential energy tax credits for fire wood heating.

In the series of historical programs at the South Portland Branch Library, this week’s subject will be “The 1930s; Dark Days.” Readings will be from Studs Terkel’s “Hard Times” and John Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath.”

Filene’s and J. C. Penney each plans a two-story extension of the Maine Mall.

The South Portland Board of Education voted 4-3 to reduce the number of assistant superintendents of schools from two to one. Chairman Lewis Beckford cast the deciding vote.

Bernard Shub is offering to expand Westbrook’s Hamlet Coach Park into Gorham with 50 mobile homes for the elderly.

Gorham’s School Committee won’t let school buses enter Friendly Village this year. As a result, 60 children wait for the bus at the Friendly Village entrance, and parents are complaining that the children are in danger.

Harold Hickey, retired Westbrook school superintendent who was hired last year as Gorham’s full-time school business manager, resigned the Gorham job and was re-hired immediately for the rest of the school year as a part-time employee. The state was questioning whether he could work full-time when getting his Westbrook pension. Gorham will hire somebody else next year.

Teachers retiring in Windham are Donna Aldrich, 24 years; Pauline Atherton, 18 years; plus 13 in Bridgton; and Emma Fickett, 26 years.

Krista Burrill, Westbrook High School cross-country runner has won every race this year. She won the Southwestern Maine conference championship and now has won the Maine state championship, a race held at Colby College.

Gorham High School’s soccer boys have won all 18 games, climaxed with their 2-0 victory over Ellsworth for the state Class A championship. George Stevenson is their coach.

Three teen-age Gorham boys were arrested for the burglary theft of a six-piece silver tea set valued at $24,000 from a Gorham home. After they tried to sell it in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, it was recovered in Laconia, N.H. Police also have recovered jewelry, appliances, money and other things with estimated total value of $26,000 stolen in recent Gorham burglaries.

Westbrook’s Ward 4 voting house, vacant for years, then headquarters of the Jaycees, has been polished up as the office of Daniel Palmieri, director of the city’s Neighborhood Conservation program.

November, 1990

Gorham schools have withdrawn a questionnaire about sexuality that teachers have been using in recent years. A typical question: “What causes heterosexuality.” The questionnaire was given to 9th Grade students to fill out for credit. After a student’s parents distributed about 250 copies to other parents, the school decided to drop it.

Advanced Evaluation, Inc., Dover, N.H., which devised and scores the Maine Educational Assessment tests, has apologized to South Portland’s Hamlin School. Instead of the 100 (lowest possible) score in science it reported. Hamlin students actually scored 355 – above even the expected maximum of 330 (out of a possible 400), Kathy Germani, principal, and Ellen Corrigan, teacher, knew the first report had to be wrong.

Westbrook Junior High School’s varsity and junior varsity football teams were undefeated – 6-0 and 4-0.

A winter carnival Feb. 23 is planned as the opening event in the celebration of the 100th anniversary next year of Westbrook’s start as a city.

Dwight Woodman, a member of Windham’s Planning Board and several town committees, has been called to duty with the U. S. Army in Saudi Arabia in Operation Desert Shield. At age 48, he is a staff sergeant in the Army Reserves. He has been a maintenance supervisor for the Portland Pipe Line Corp. since 1962.

The Penobscot Bay Medical Association, doing business as the Martin’s Point Health Care Center, Portland, has bought for $452,000 the former QuickCare Walk-In Clinic on Rte. 302, North Windham.

The Richard King Mellon Foundation will give the Interior Department 122 acres on Cutts Island, Kittery, to add to the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge.

A full-page picture in the American Journal is an aerial photo taken in 1947 by Ivan Flye, Damariscotta, of the Westbrook-Portland boundary area before construction of the Maine Turnpike or the Exit 8 shopping development. The view stretches from Portland City Hospital to the S. D. Warren smokestack.

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