Feb. 14, 1990

Aldermen Don Richards and Francis Donahue, the latter a retired Westbrook policeman, put Westbrook Police Chief Ronald Allanach over some policy bumps Thursday. Allanach and the new City Council gave 31?2 hours to the task of reviewing a proposed police policy manual and never got out of Chapter 1. There are 13 chapters plus 13 chapters of appendix material. Answering Richards’ questions, Allanach said he began in November working a four-day week, Monday-Thursday, and that Mayor Fred Wescott knows it. He said he works 50-60 hours a week. Richards called attention to the manual’s proposal for Allanach to work five eight-hour days. Allanach said that part of the manual will be changed.

Show Me Video of Westbrook and Gorham is lending copies of the controversial punk rock video recently aired on South Portland’s public access channel and originally titled “Death and Geno’s.” It has been retitled, “Free Speech or Filth,” at the request of the owner of Geno’s Pub in Portland, where it was shot. Video store owner Lionel Dumond says he is lending the tapes free of charge in the interest of free speech. He said the video is “shocking and offensive, to be sure, but that shouldn’t be against the law.” The video was produced by local musician John Hitchock.

Tuffy Laffin of Westbrook will seek the Democratic nomination for Register of Deeds of Cumberland County. Laffin served three terms in the Maine House and several terms as a Westbrook alderman. He also has been a candidate for Westbrook mayor. “This is not a controversial political office, but an office that has to be filled,” he said. Laffin, 60, is semi-retired after injuring his back while employed as a Metro bus driver.

The Gorham ballot is final for the March 13 election. Three newcomers – Janice LaBrecque, Roger Marchand and Douglas Finch – are running for two vacant Town Council seats. Nicholas Kirby’s and Richard McKeil’s terms expire in March but neither will run for re-election.

Dr. Robert Godwin will be director of the Ecumenical Choir for Gorham’s traditional Palm Sunday service, to be held this year at the South Gorham Baptists Church. Godwin, prior to his retirement, was chairman of the music department and professor of music history at the University of Southern Maine. All church choirs and other church members are invited to participate. Weekly rehearsals began Monday.

Feb. 16, 2000

Westbrook is forming a building committee to develop plans for the renovation and expansion of Wescott Junior High School. Superintendent Stan Sawyer said last week that he’d like to see the School Department apply for state school construction aid within the next few years for a “major project” at Wescott. In the nearer future and involving a much smaller amount of money, Westbrook is likely to apply for state revolving renovation fund money for one or more projects at Congin Elementary School. The new building committee will oversee both projects, Sawyer said, since the schools are located side by side on Bridge Street.

Gorham School Business Manager Dan O’Shea has been thanking his lucky stars recently that he signed the school department up for a fuel oil contract at 62.2 cent a gallon. The open market rate for homeowners reached as high as $1.80 in recent weeks.

When the Gorham School Committee decides on which of four architects it will hire to design its new middle school Feb 16, it will pick a firm that will see the project through from beginning to end. Gorham, which is No. 10 on the state’s priority list for school construction funding, could have a new middle school for grades 6-8 by 2002. The school is expected to go to a referendum vote in November. School Superintendent Michael Moore said yesterday that the cost will likely exceed $16 million. A location hasn’t yet been chosen.

In giving a green light to girls lacrosse at Westbrook High School Monday, some School Committee members suggested that Athletic Director Matt Nelson consider eliminating other sports teams to make room in the budget. Cross country, track and freshman teams in softball and soccer were mentioned as not attracting enough participants to justify the cost of coaching stipends, referees and busing.

Advertisement: The Westbrook Chamber of Commerce presents Business After Five, sponsored by Full Court Press, Tuesday, Feb. 29, 5-7 p.m., 4 Westbrook Common. Full Court Press is having a grand reopening/open house. With the recent acquisitions of Alrose Printing and Allegra Print & Imaging, Full Court Press is celebrating its growth by sponsoring this Business After Five event.

Information on the Gorham bypass study will now be available on a Maine Department of Transportation website, www.gorhambypass.org. The study is evaluating transportation improvement options for congestion problems in Gorham Village. The website will provide ongoing information on the study and allow for citizen participation.

Looking up Fitch Street toward Main Street after a snow storm. Paul’s Café is on the left and the building behind it with the dormers is the old Pride Block, demolished to make room for a new A & P Store. Clarance A. Hughes owned the oil truck in the photo. Paul’s Café building is gone and the Family Dollar Store occupies the old A & P Building. The buildings on the right were taken by urban renewal and were destroyed by fire just prior to their scheduled demolition. CVS Pharmacy presently occupies the site. This portion of Fitch Street between Main Street and William Clarke Drive was discontinued during urban renewal and part of it now serves as part of the drive-through for CVS Pharmacy. To see more historical photos and artifacts, visit the Westbrook Historical Society at the Fred C. Wescott Building, 426 Bridge St. It is open Tuesdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon, and the first Wednesday of each month at 1:30 p.m., September-June. Inquiries can be emailed to [email protected] The website is www.westbrookhistoricalsociety.org.Photo and research courtesy of Mike Sanphy

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