Feb. 9, 1994

Acting Mayor Kenneth Lefebvre may have winced last week when the City Council-School Committee discussion turned to the high percentage of unpaid property taxes in Westbrook. Records in the Registry of Deeds indicate that Lefebvre owes two years’ taxes (1991-1993) on two properties totaling $13,802.58, and 1991 sewer assessments on two properties totaling $1,545.14. Liens have been taken by the city against the properties. Lefebvre said yesterday that he has worked the balance to about $9,000, and will pay it in full Friday. The properties are at 79 and 90 Mechanic St.

Lionel Dumond is due for back surgery this week that will keep him from presiding at the Westbrook Republican Caucus Feb. 13. The Ward 1 alderman said he is continuing his campaign for mayor and hopes the caucus will nominate him despite his absence. He is the Westbrook Republican City Committee chairman. Democrats will also caucus Feb. 13. Mayoral candidates are Paul LeConte and Kenneth Lefebvre, acting mayor.

The Boxing Hall of Fame, Canastota, New York, is in possession of one of the largest collections of boxing memorabilia in the country, thanks to Charley Parker of Hillview Road in Gorham. Parker, 89, recently donated over 200 issues of Ring magazine from 1926 on, in addition to many news clippings and rare books about boxing. Parker’s interest in the sport began in his childhood, when he met and became friends with “Shadow” McCormack, a well-known local boxer. McCormack was a trusty at the South Windham Reformatory, where Parker’s father was the prison doctor. McCormack did some work on the Parker home and told many boxing tales. They set up a gym in the barn and Shadow taught him the ins and outs of boxing.

Gorham residents Mr. and Mrs. John J. Arsenault – she was Judy Jones – were married Jan. 18, 1969, at the Woodfords Congregational Church in Portland. Their family surprised them with a 25th wedding anniversary party Jan. 15. They were picked up by limousine at their home, 15 Ridgeway Ave., taken to Valle’s Steak House for dinner, then by limo to the Italian Heritage Center for a party. A DJ entertained for dancing until midnight and hot and cold hors d’oeuvres were served.

Presumpscot Grangers broke a record last Sunday, serving chicken pot pie to 127 people at their first-Sunday-of-the-month public dinner. So much hard work goes into these meals. This one was particularly gratifying because in this cold weather many diners have been hibernating. Sunday’s sunny day and the lure of chicken pie, a favorite, brought out the record-breaking crowd.

Feb. 11, 2004

More than 60 Gorham residents have signed a petition to block a Maine Department of Transportation plan to upgrade a portion along Brackett Road between New Portland Road and Saco Street. Construction of the $2.5 million, 2-mile project would likely begin in June 2005. It would standardize travel lanes to 11 feet and include 4-foot paved shoulders. Construction would fix the road base, upgrade drainage and add curbing. Petitioners don’t want a wider road, fearing it would encourage speeding, cause erosion and possibly contaminate well water with runoff.

Westbrook City Council finally approved a new land-use ordinance Monday that will change zoning districts and land uses all over the city. The ordinance passed did not include amendments that would have allowed big-box retail on the 60-acre Snyder property on Stroudwater Street. The council referred the zoning for that property to the Planning Board. The ordinance had been held up for more than a year because of procedural mistakes, landowner objections and disagreements among councilors.

U.S. Rep. Tom Allen, D-Maine, has announced that Brent Alan Emery has received and accepted appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Allen also had nominated Brent’s older brother, Lewis, who is in his second year as midshipman. Brent is a senior at Westbrook High School. He and Lewis are the sons of Lewis and Stephanie Emery.

Gorham homeowners who are unprotected by smoke detectors are eligible to have one free, as part of a $68,000 federal fire prevention grant awarded to the Gorham Fire Department. Fire Chief Robert Lefebvre said Monday that $1,500 of the Federal Emergency Management Agency grant has been earmarked to buy and install home smoke detectors and batteries. The town is also spending $50,000 on a fire-prevention training program.

Westbrook police could get tough on people with unpaid parking tickets if the City Council approves a crackdown on offenders. Police would begin towing and booting offending cars and summonsing their owners under the proposed changes designed to help the city recoup some $50,000 in accumulated unpaid parking tickets dating back to 1996. The council’s Public Safety Committee unanimously recommended the changes Monday.