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LOOKING BACK – 12/14

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Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2012 10:48 am | Updated: 10:52 am, Thu Dec 13, 2012.

Dec. 16, 1987

Mike Nobel is a pushover for a good cause, and the Gorham resident has found another one to get involved in – the singer-songwriter, 40, has been selected to serve as Maine’s 1987 Christmas Seal chairman. Nobel, known for his novel career as the “human jukebox,” is also well known for the jingles he has written for such local companies as C.N. Brown, Deering Ice Cream and J.J. Nissen Baking Co. “My favorite thing is to use music to get across an educational message,” said Nobel, who has been involved in many other causes, such as the peace movement during the Vietnam War era.

At least for 1988, Westbrook High School’s graduation will still be held in Westbrook High School. The School Committee reversed itself Monday, voting 4-2 for the high school after seniors said a majority of the class did not want the ceremonies held in the Cumberland County Civic Center. The committee had voted Nov. 23 to move graduation to the civic center. “We feel the civic center would be cold and impersonal,” one senior told the committee, which was presented with a petition signed by 132 of the 214 seniors in favor of the Warren Gym.

Gorham Town Manger Donald Gerrish was presented one of the first copies of the book, “Gorham’s 250th Anniversary Remembered,” by the person who did most of the work in compiling it, Martha Harris. The $7 paperback has more than 200 pictures with captions and stories chronicling the celebration. It will be on sale in several stores in town and the libraries.

Weighing scales for major commercial haulers will begin to operate Jan. 1 at the Gorham landfill on Huston Road. The new $25,000 system of scales will be linked to a computer at the transfer station that will calculate the amount of waste from the gross weight of the vehicle. Gorham Town Manger Donald Gerrish said there are no plans to use the scales to weigh the trash brought in by private individuals. Gorham residents purchase coupons to use the landfill at various outlets, including town hall. Public Works Director Bud Benson estimates that the fees assessed by the scales will affect large commercial users.

A man brought in to Gorham police a box of puppies that he had found. They were taken to the Animal Refuge League in Westbrook. Officers said they hope the puppies will wind up under some Christmas trees.

Conversion of the old Westbrook High School to a Young People’s Cultural Center is stalled until $300,000 can be raised for what it was hoped would be a $50,000 project. The cost was underestimated when the cultural center, a project of the Children’s Theatre of Maine, won a 25-year lease from the city of Westbrook in April 1986 for $1 a year, according to Ann Fridlinger, president of the board of directors. It is hoped that the money would be raised over the next months and renovations completed by the fall of 1988.

Dec. 17, 1997

The Westbrook City Council is expected to take its first formal actions on Dec. 22 and 29 on the proposed gas-fueled electric generating station of International Power Partners Inc. The council will be asked to pass, in two readings, a Joint Development Agreement between the city and IPP. Mayor Kenneth Lefebvre said he would be meeting with IPP to finalize that agreement before presenting it to the council. The power plant is described as a $250 million-$300 million project. Lefebvre disclosed Monday that the city is already in the electricity business. It is, he said, half owner of Boundless Energy LLC, a company whose existence was announced to the Finance Committee Oct. 27. Boundless Energy, Lefebvre said, will be able to sell power to businesses in Westbrook’s Five Star Industrial Park at as much as 30 percent less than others will pay. He said IPP won’t be allowed to sell direct to users, and users will have to buy electricity from someone like Central Maine Power, which has transmission lines. That company’s transmission charge will be about 30 percent, he said. However, customers “contiguous” with IPP’s plant can avoid that transmission charge by buying through Boundless Energy, he said.

Forty dogs and 100 cats are waiting at the Animal Refuge League in Westbrook for new homes. They’ll get an extra treat on Christmas Day, but what they really need is a ride in Santa’s bag to loving new homes.

Someone stole Santa’s pants, and Westbrook police haven’t caught up with the thief yet – or the pants and the $80 in Charlie Kilbride’s wallet. Kilbride left the trousers in a back room at Foye’s Carpet, Stroudwater Street, after climbing into his Santa suit to greet children at Santa’s Village. The theft took place Dec. 9. Luckily, his car keys were in a jacket, so he could drive home. Why the thief stole the pants instead of just the wallet is a mystery to Kilbride. They were month-old corduroys, but cost him only about $15, he said. The story found its way into the national press – CNN and Paul Harvey reported it.

Coming to downtown Westbrook – a unique Amato’s coffee shop. Already there is Amato’s Bakery. John Amato of Sebago, owner of Amato’s Bakery, has moved it to the former McLennan Store at 855 Main St. from its 95-year-old home at 67 India St. in Portland. Amato’s Bakery is a wholesale business, supplying the sandwich rolls for Amato’s Italian Sandwich Shops (now owed by the Dominic Reali family) and for other shops in the area. The coffee shop will offer coffee, doughnuts, bagels, Italian and Danish pastries and muffins at retail.

The Westbrook School Committee extended the contract of Superintendent Robert Hall to 2001. His pay was set at $72,380, with a retirement stipend raised to $6,000. His present salary is $72,018. Hall succeeded Edward Connolly as superintendent three years ago.

The 30-bed Westbrook Community Hospital will be joining Mercy Hospital as an affiliated organization. “It is difficult for a small hospital like ours to stand alone, to provide excellent medical services and remain financially viable in today’s health care environment,” said Gary Payne, present of the Westbrook hospital’s board. Mercy Health System of Maine and the Westbrook hospital have a signed letter of intent, an announcement said.

Laurent and Lillian Boivin, 51 Longfellow Road, Gorham, were honored in their home Nov. 22 to celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary. The open house was given by their children and families.

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