June 21, 1995

A citizen is giving the money for granite curbing in Westbrook’s Riverbank Park. The donor doesn’t want to be identified, at least not yet, said Mayor Kenneth Lefebvre, who announced the gift at Monday’s City Council meeting. The value of the gift, which includes installation, is estimated at $16,000-$19,000.

A core group of the fiscal conservatives of Gorham, hoping to hold the Town Council to the no-tax-increase position it took in December, has unfurled the banner of the Gorham Taxpayers Association and is hoping to turn out a crowd for the council’s budget meeting June 27. The group had been operating as the Gorham Citizens Committee.

Both Sappi, the new owner of the S.D. Warren Co., and Scott Paper Co., which sold Warren to Sappi, had big profit gains in the fourth quarter. Sappi’s magazine, Sappi News, said its earnings in the year that ended Feb. 28 were up 291%, with much of the gain coming in the fourth quarter, when demand was excellent and prices soared. Scott Paper’s fourth-quarter earnings were up 159%.

Walker Memorial Library in Westbrook marks an anniversary this week. On June 22, 1985, someone dumped a tortoise-shell-colored kitten in the library parking lot and drove away. Walker the cat luckily got a new life as the pet of the library’s patrons and staff. “Over the years, she has made a great many people happy,” librarian Carolyn Watkins said. The library also adopted another cat, Libby, about a year after Walker. Both are featured in a book called “Cats, Librarians and Libraries,” by the Library Cat Society.

Looking for a place to go this summer, a group of Gorham teens want to start up a skateboard park at an old F.S. Plummer building, but police are worried that they already have. Gorham Savings Bank, which owns the building, has reported the kids to the police. This prompted Tim Wilcox, 16, to ask Town Planner Debbie Fossum what it would take to start a park at the site.

“We just want to have some fun, but we’re getting kicked out of everywhere we go,” he said.

June 22, 2005

Nine Westbrook students from Wescott Junior High, Canal and Saccarappa schools celebrated the last day of school Monday by trading a yellow school bus for a white stretch limousine. They piled into the back of the long, white Lincoln for their ride, which included lunch at McDonald’s and a ride around town. Saccarappa Principal Sharon Orlando, who is retiring at the end of the school year, said this was the first time she had ever seen a limo pull up to the school to pick up students.

The Warren Furniture building, at Main and Bridge streets, Westbrook, is under contract to be sold to an undisclosed buyer. Neither owner Eleanor Potter, nor her attorney, Matthew Goldfarb of Portland, would give any information on the buyer. The building, erected in 1890, is a holdover from the days before urban renewal.

John Merrifield and his daughter Brielle, 14, have just set out on a bike from their Westbrook home on a trek of some 1,000 miles that will take them down the eastern seaboard to Virginia Beach. And they’ll be together the whole way – they are riding a tandem bicycle. They’re riding to raise money for a scholarship fund they have established in Joshua Merrifield’s name, their son and brother who took his own life last year.

Despite objections by a Baxter family member, Gorham is moving ahead on $7 million plans to convert the vacant Shaw School and grounds into a home for town and school administrative offices. Eric Baxter said it was “morally reprehensible” for the town to ignore the wishes of Percival Baxter and pave over what remains of a 1.3 acre parcel he donated to Gorham in 1915.