Nov. 23, 1988

Gorham has joined the ranks of school departments that are publishing their own newspaper. Last week it began mailing a 20-page tabloid paper to all households in Gorham. The paper, called the Gorham Gazette, contains articles about the school system written primarily by administrators and teachers, and also contains advertising. According to School Superintendent Connie Goldman, the paper is costing around $2,000 per issue and will be published three times during the school year. The ads in the first issue were solicited by Grace Brown, owner of Etc. and Co. of Westbrook, which was paid by the School Department to edit copy, typeset and produce the entire issue. Brown approached the Gorham School Department, which agreed to her offier and did not solicit bids for the project.

The Rotary Club of Westbrook presented a $3,500 check Nov. 15 to Shane Wescott, treasurer of the Little League Association, to help complete a second Little League ball field adjacent to the League’s Bridge Street site. The funds were raised by Rotary members at an October auction supported by local merchants and businesses.

With two of Westbrook’s citizens just back from a week of honors in the northern Russian port of Archangel, Westbrook’s mayor and City Council committed Westbrook Monday to sharing in a “Sister City” partnership with Archangel. The two citizens are Mayor Philip D. Spiller and Daniel M. Glover, 90 Stroudwater St., president of the Greater Portland Archangel Committee. The resolution adopted by the municipal officers parallels one adopted by the Archangel City Council, and extends an invitation to Archangel to become a Sister City – a formalized program inaugurated by President Eisenhower in 1956 to establish greater friendship and understanding between the United States and other nations through direct personal contact.

Springbrook Associates is expected to win final state approval next week to build a $4.53 million, 124-bed nursing home in Westbrook. At a brief public hearing Thursday in Augusta, an advisory committee unanimously followed the Department of Human Services staff in recommending that Commissioner Rollin Ives pick Springbrook over Hillhaven Corp., the only other group bidding to operate a new nursing home in greater Portland.

Gorham High School administrators, fed up by students who refuse to pick up their trash after lunch, barred students from leaving the cafeteria Nov. 14 so they couldn’t trash the adjacent hallway. The move, in which administrators stood sentry at the doors to refuse passage, resulted in some criticism from parents. Designed to teach a lesson, it was done after students left the lunchroom and adjacent hallway Thursday in a particularly trashy state, according to High School Assistant Principal Robert Atwood.

Around 15 residents of the Plummer Road area of Gorham turned out at the Monday meeting of the Planning Board to question a 65-acre gravel pit planned by the Grondin Brothers on land owned by longtime dairy farmer Alton Benson. The board, accustomed to moving with caution on pit applications after months of hearings on the controversial Shaw Brothers request for pit expansion at Gambo Road, told concerned neighbors the board would not take any action until after a site walk Dec. 3.

Nov. 25, 1998

It took some doing, but Charlie Kilbride will be back to greet the children for the 21st time as Santa Claus in Santa’s Village in downtown Westbrook from 4-7 p.m., Dec. 5-10. He needed a house, and one has been provided. Kilbride and Santa’s Village will be where they were in 1995, 1996 and 1997, in the store that was Foye’s Carpet at William Clarke Drive and Stroudwater Street. Foye’s has closed, but the site is being made available by Peoples Heritage Savings Bank, Kilbride said. Kilbride is an S.D. Warren employee, now retired, and for years held Santa’s Village in the United Paperworkers union office. He has help from the UPIU, businesses and many friends.

“Downtown revitalization is one of the most difficult things communities get involved in. There’s no magic solution,” planner Mark Eyerman of Planning Decisions Inc. told an invited group of Westbrook businessmen this week. Eyerman and fellow planner Victor Rydlizky gave the group an overview and a written summary of the results of their soon-to-be-released Downtown Westbrook Market Analysis. It is important to keep in mind that revitalization is a series of projects over time, Eyerman said. He listed four cornerstones of a good effort: Organization, marketing and promotion, design and physical features, and finding out what your downtown’s economic role is. He said Westbrook should expand on its role as a downtown convenience stop, citing Sportsman’s Hardware, cleaners and banks. That needs to be nurtured and continued. And, he said, the closer a grocery store can be to a downtown, the more it stabilizes the downtown’s role as a convenience center. He also talked about Westbrook as a traffic corridor, and commended the City Council’s recent vote to ban through-traffic by big trucks on Main Street. Eyerman presented an artist’s concept of one suggestion, placing a center island in William Clarke Drive. He said people have said it’s difficult to cross, with some who live right next door to it using their cars to drive across to the downtown and back. The plan he showed had an 8-foot center median strip with trees on it, and still had two travel lanes in each direction.

The search for a new Westbrook school superintendent will begin next week to replace Robert Hall, who is retiring after three years. The School Committee is paying the Maine School Management Association to assist them with the search. The committee hopes to chose a final candidate before April 1 and have that person on the job by July 1.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins recently received a handmade gift from Al Hamilton of Westbrook – one of the model three-masted schooners he builds as a hobby. “I was so impressed by his work. The ship is just beautiful and is currently on display in my personal office in Washington,” said Collins.

The Annie Louise Cary Club of Gorham, an affiliate of National Federation of Music Clubs, hosted a Troubadour Tea Nov. 14 for the benefit of music scholarships. The Troubadours traveled to the homes of Rachael Brown, Barbara Neal and Rosamond Phinney.

50 YEARS AGO

The Westbrook American reported on Nov. 20, 1963, that Shirley Irving, a senior at the University of Maine in Orono, was a practice teacher at Bonny Eagle High School.

Clifford Wiggins, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Wiggins of Bar Mills, was home on leave from the military. A 14-year veteran, he had re-enlisted and was assigned to a destroyer based in Newport, R.I.

The Westbrook Municipal Parking Lot was located on Main Street opposite Central Street, which once connected to Main Street. The lot bordered the Presumpscot River, and the city Public Works Department had a snow dump at the rear of the lot to deposit snow into the river. This lot served the downtown merchants for many years. Urban renewal took the property and developed it into Saccarappa Park, the Bridge Street traffic spur and a small parking area. The building shown here is the Dana Warp Mill, which is located across the river on Bridge Street. To see more historical photos and artifacts, visit the Westbrook Historical Society at the Fred C. Wescott Building, 426 Bridge St. Inquiries can be emailed to [email protected] The website is www.westbrookhistoricalsociety.org.


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