Scarborough Town Clerk Yolande Justice said almost 80 percent of those registered turned out to vote in Tuesday’s election, approving a $26.8 million expansion of the high school with a comfortable margin.

Voters also returned Jeff Messer and Sylvia Most to the Town Council and chose Shawn Babine over Judy Roy to fill the third vacant seat.

Walter Hansen was the top vote-getter in the Board of Education race, where Christopher Brownsey also won a seat. Along with the school expansion project, voters also approved a charter amendment that will allow infrastructure improvements on Haigis Parkway.

Charles Andreson, James Pandiscio and John Tarbell were all elected to the Sanitary District Trustees, all three running unopposed.

The total number of votes cast was 8,057, including a record number of absentee ballots at just under 1,600.

Voters in Scarborough, South Portland and Cape Elizabeth leaned in the direction of incumbents for state and congressional races, but Cape and Scarborough differed sharply with the rest of the state in the race for governor.

It was a heavy turnout for a mid-term election. In Scarborough, 80 percent of registered voters cast ballots Tuesday, and 68 percent in Cape Elizabeth. In South Portland, 58 percent of voters made it to the polls.

Republican Peter Cianchette beat governor-elect John Baldacci, D-Bangor, by a 1,435-vote margin in Scarborough and by 432 votes in Cape Elizabeth. South Portland sided with Baldacci by 741 votes. Statewide, Baldacci beat Cianchette by more than 26,000 votes.

Residents opposed to the Great American Neighborhood were at the polls on Tuesday gathering 745 more signatures on a petition initially signed by 438 people.

They hope to get the Town Council’s attention on a project many think already has a green light.

That petition was being presented to the council at the end of its regular meeting on Wednesday night, but no action was planned. “In the long run, it may have an impact,” said Council Chairman Jeff Messer before the meeting. “Right now we will take it under advisement.”

When contacted by the Current, four of the people who signed the petition explained their reasoning.

Roger Delaware of Libby Road said he is not just against the Great American Neighborhood, but against any further development in the area without getting long-term traffic solutions in place first. Wendell Whitten of Dunstan Landing Road believes that the project as proposed is just too big.

Exactly 60 years ago Friday, Eugene Gutter and the 1st Armored Division were overrun by the Germans in Tunisia during World War II, landing the Scarborough resident in POW camps for the next 27 months.

During those years, Gutter’s two brothers, Joseph and Theodore, were killed in the war. They had all signed up together. The rest of his life, while raising a family and running greenhouses on Highland Avenue, Gutter has struggled with both the emotional and physical ailments that plague him from the war.

Dunkin’ Donuts is hoping to open two new locations in Scarborough, one near Dunstan Corner and another at the new Citgo gas station on Payne Road.

George Valvanis, one of the franchise owners of the current Dunkin’ Donuts on Rte. 1 and six others in the area, said Wednesday that if the town grants approvals, he would like to convert the former St. Louis building near Dunstan Corner into a new Dunkin’Donuts.

Dr. Anthony Tomassoni of Cape Elizabeth, the only medical toxicologist in the state, has been chosen to help prepare Maine for public health emergencies.

While his official title is “medical director, office of public health emergency preparedness,” what he really does, he said, is team-building.

Tomassoni is a humble man who avoids talking about what he will do without also mentioning many of the other players involved, and he encourages input from a wide range of people.

His experience is mixed, including teaching school, going to graduate school in chemistry and doing medical work in emergency medicine, toxicology and urban search-and-rescue.

“I still view myself as a teacher more than anything else,” Tomassoni said .

Two area residents have joined the YWCA of Greater Portland’s Board of Directors.

Sally Kennedy is a resident of Cape Elizabeth and recently retired after 25 years in early intervention work with social service agencies. Kennedy continues to do some consulting and grant writing for the Head Start program and is also Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for York County Child Development Services.

Nina T. McKee, of Scarborough, is a homemaker and has been an active volunteer in the community for 40 years. Her volunteer work has included the Maine Youth Center, the Maine State Children’s Trust Fund, courtappointed special advocate for abused children, trustee for North Yarmouth Academy, and Spurwink School Board of Directors.

South Portland gave the green light Monday to $4 million worth of improvements to I-295 Exit 3, Westbrook Street, – $1.5 million picked up by the city – and also is contributing the bulk of funding to implement a new computerized t r a ffic signal system in the Maine Mall area.

Getting a school-wide paper recycling program up and running at Scarborough’s Wentworth Intermediate School is the goal of Erin Daly, a senior at the University of Southern Maine earning a degree in environmental science and policy.

Daly is an intern hired by the town to educate youngsters about the importance of recycling and to focus on Wentworth School in particular.

Students at Scarborough’s Eight Corners School took to the polls Tuesday, much like their adult counterparts. The students were asked to choose between three candidates for the school’s new mascot.

All the students from the kindergarten through the second grade got their say on which animal would represent the school – Moonlight the Moose, Domino the Dog or the Eight Corners Eagle.

The winner was Domino with a total of 97 votes.

The School Building Committee will recommend the School Board approve a one-story, five-classroom expansion to Pond Cove estimated to cost $1.5 million and a $7.7 million renovation at the high school, including an expansion of the cafeteria to seat one-third more students than the current space allows.

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Public relations specialist Linda Frechette of Scarborough was awarded First Place for Media Relations by the Maine Public Relations Council in a statewide competition for all PR agencies and practitioners.

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Anew center for the creative arts could be coming to Cape Elizabeth, if the Planning Board approves the project and if an agreement can be reached between those proposing the arts center and the Redeemer Lutheran Church on Spurwink Av e n u e .

Rhonda Carlson and her husband Kevan Patriquin, who may be best known in this area for directing shows at the Portland Players, are hoping to open a creative arts center that would serve as both education and performance space.

James Aldrich and Brad Bell, Boy Scouts from Scarborough Pack 47, pass out “I Voted Today” stickers at the Scarborough polls in this photo from the Nov. 7, 2002 issue of The Current.

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