July 20, 1994

Westbrook High School Athletic Director Peter Curran, a member of the Olmsted Field Restoration Committee, told the School Committee Wednesday that in order to make proposed improvements to the high school athletic fields, a strip of land 150 feet wide and about 1,200 feet long would have to be acquired from the city. With that extra land will come a permitting process with the Department of Environmental Protection, which could hold up the project or block it altogether. The 150 feet includes significant wetland areas and is a wildlife habitat. The cost of improvements, covering six fields and the existing tennis courts, has been estimated at $904,606. Curran said that he expected only $100,000 of that could be raised in the community. The rest would have to come from state and local tax money.

If you take a walk through Phinney Park in Gorham and notice the new garden of perennial flowers surrounding the old rusty flagpole, you can thank 14 students from Room 57 at the Village School and their teachers. As part of the Gorham School Department’s ATLAS summer program, the fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade boys and girls decided to do something to make the community better. They chose to beautify Phinney Park. They planned, researched, raised money and received donations from area garden shops.

The land where Gorham developer Susan Duchaine intents to build five apartment buildings is essential to the construction of a suggested Route 25 bypass, according to Bernard Rines, a member of Gorham’s Transportation Committee. The proposed development is located south off Weeks Road on South Street, behind the Rock Hill apartments. Plans call for five four-unit apartment buildings that Duchaine would like to see used for elderly housing. A proposed bypass, or as Rines calles it, “relief route,” would connect to South Street at the direct spot of the proposed development, he said.

Daniel Marston, son of Robert and Pamela Marston, East Bridge Street, Westbrook, graduated magna cum laude from Wheaton College, Norton, Massachusetts, May 21. He majored in European history. He was honored at a graduation party May 22 at the home of his parents. He is a 1989 graduate of Westbrook High School.

Hilary (Pat) Hamilton, longtime Gorham resident, has returned after 20 years on St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, where she taught elementary reading and was in guidance. She is living temporarily where she did 20 years ago, on Water Street. Her daughter, Karen Brown, and grandchildren Chris and Michael, live in the apartment upstairs.

July 21, 2004

A local political activist said he is working with members of Westbrook’s administration to craft a referendum on the issue of rezoning the Saunders Bros. property to allow big-box retail. Ray Richardson is working with City Administrator Jerre Bryant and the city attorney to come up with language for the referendum, which he hopes to place on the November ballot. He said once the question is finalized, about 1,200 signatures would have to be collected to place it on the ballot. The City Council narrowly gave first-reading approval to the controversial zone change July 12, and the second reading is Aug. 2. Richardson said he intends to press forward with the referendum even if the council gives its final approval to the zone change.

The Stroudwater River runs about 12 miles from its headwaters in Buxton and Gorham to the Fore River in Casco Bay. The scenery is hidden to most. But there are hikers along its banks in Portland, where there’s a walking path, and now, enthusiasts hope to extend walking trails along the river through Spring Harbor Hospital property that would provide the last link to entry into Westbrook. Nan Cummings, director of Portland Trails, said her group is working with the hospital to extend a trail into Westbrook. Robert Frazier, president of Gorham Trails, said there is walk-in access at a pole line of South Street. He said a walking path along the river from there to Portland is a common goal envisioned by the two trail groups.

Risking his life, a man from Westbrook plans a trip in August to his homeland, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to help mediate peace there. The Rev. Mutima Peter has held reconciliation conferences in Central Africa each year since 1997. But there has been a flare-up of hostilities in June this year, which has claimed, among many other lives, three children of Mutima’s sister. He hopes to bring clergy from warring faction to the same table to talk about peace.

The Mitchell Institute has named Anya Kushnar the 2004 Mitchell Scholar from Gorham High School. Kushnar, an immigrant from the former Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan, served as the editor of her high school newspaper. She is also a musician who participated in choir and band. She has been active in her church community, teaching Sunday school and serving as director of the children’s choir. She plans on majoring in journalism at Saint Joseph’s College.

From the Gorham Police Log: A woman reported a dog ran out at her and chased her on Finn Parker Road. A verbal warning was given to the dog’s owner. A Winslow Road man reported three dogs getting into his garbage. A Bonnie Hill Road resident reported a husky mix dog wandering on the road. A caller reported a small brown dog on County Road and South Street.

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