March 1982

Ex-councilman Lincoln T. Fish of Gorham told the American Journal that he has submitted a notice of intention to change political parties from Democrat to Republican. The conversion will not be effective for 90 days. This is not a sudden move, according to Fish. “I had been thinking about this for a year,” he said. Fish said he didn’t want to shift before the election because he didn’t want the change “to be interpreted as a political move.” When asked why the change, Fish declared, “Because I’ve become more conservative.”

Students in special education programs in the Westbrook school system are being well taken care of, according to a report conducted by the State Department of Education and Cultural Services. The four-member review team found only five violations. “We had a good report card. The non-compliance issues are so very minor,” said Leon H. Nick” Kakitis, director of special education in Westbrook.

Ten-year-old Lori Ann Beane, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clifford E. Beane, 223 New Gorham Road, Westbrook, is a substitute organist at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church. Lori also played on the E. & G.G. Hook organ in the Westbrook United Methodist Church in August. She has studied organ for two years and is a pupil of Mrs. Kathleen Walker, 19 Webster Ave. Westbrook, organist in the Westbrook United Methodist Church. Lori is in Grade 4 at Saccarappa School.

Mayor William B. O’Gara is still undecided about whether to run for the Maine House against Rep. Russell R. Day (R), and the Democrats are talking to three or four other possible candidates. For Westbrook’s other house seat, it shapes up as Harold Hickey, Republican and former Westbrook school superintendent, against Rep. J. Robert Carrier, Democrat, who is serving his seventh two-year term.

Over the opposition of Mayor William B. O’Gara, the Westbrook City Council took the final steps to change the ordinance on self-service gasoline stations to permit them to sell general merchandise, too. At the same time, such stations are being required to install automatic dry-chemical devises to quench a gasoline fire. Westbrook has no self-service gasoline now. The ordinance permits it, but only if the station sells only motor fuel motor and antifreeze.

After much discussion and disagreement, the Gorham Town Council voted 5-2 to approve the application of LaVerdiere’s Super Drug Store, Main Street, for one additional coin-operated amusement device. The council also approved, in a 4-3 vote, the issuance of a permit to 7-Eleven’s request for two coin-operated amusement devices.

March 1992

The former Westbrook Spinning Mill, operating since January as the Westbrook Worsted and Woolen Corp., closed its doors March 13, leaving around 60 people without jobs. Central Maine Power shut off the electricity to its space. A phone company message began referring callers to the number of the Massachusetts parent company. It may have closed for good, but there’s some hope it may be reopened.

Scott Paper is preparing to cut its work force by offering early retirement bonuses in several departments of the S.D. Warren paper mill in Westbrook, according to worker and union reports. It is expected to announce how many jobs will be cut. Sources said Scott has asked all five of the unions to offer the names of people who would be willing to retire early.

Nancy and Bruce Perkins, White Rock Road, Gorham, have kept various small farm animals for years, rabbits among them. Last year, they decided to raise rabbits again, just for the pleasure of watching them. But having owned them in the past, and not wanting to be overrun, they acquired two male rabbits and put them in a hutch together. They found out how wrong assumptions can be. One of their two “boy” rabbits had given birth in the underground burrow, and at least two young white babies, all furred out, have been popping out into the light of day and scurrying back underground.

The first step in a concerted effort to attract development to Gorham was taken by the town council last week when it unanimously agreed to give the Gorham Planning Board the sole power to rule on special exceptions as part of the normal review of developments. The vote, taken at a special meeting, means special exceptions will no longer be heard by the Zoning Board of Appeals.

An intoxicated 31-year-old man accused of shoplifting at Shop ‘N Save was giving the store’s employees a hard time. Police took him to the Maine Medical Center, then to the Cumberland County Jail.

The public got its first look at the proposed addition to Gorham High School that school officials say is urgently needed to keep up with increased enrollments. Representatives of the Portland Design Team, the architectural firm selected for the project, were present. Superintendent Timothy McCormack emphasized that even this early in the process, public involvement is important. A number of additional classrooms, upgraded science and art facilities, an auditorium, and improvements to the library are on McCormack’s list of needs.

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