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LOOKING BACK: Issue of April 10, 2003

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Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 5:40 pm

Issue of April 10, 2003

Scarborough born and bred Robert Moulton, the town’s chief of police, is celebrating 25 years on the force this year. And after five years of being police chief, he is still surprised at the significance people attach to his title.

“I was never interested in accolades or titles or that kind of thing. But since I’ve had this job, I certainly get invited more places and the things I say get more significance attached to them,” Moulton said.

When asked about police work, Moulton, who likes to be called Robbie, said, “these men and women do a lot more than people often think. From one day to the next, we truly don’t know what we’ll be facing.”

Thinking back on the last 25 years, Moulton said he has seen things that no one should ever have to see.

“That kind of thing has a strong impact. Sometimes we don’t get very much respect but you don’t know where that officer, who has stopped you for speeding, has just been or seen. That’s why a kind word can go a long way. It can be pretty special to hear from people who appreciate our efforts,” Moulton said.

He likes to tell people he started on the force when he was nine years old, which isn’t that difficult to imagine. However, he was really 20 when he took his first job on the force as a summer reserve officer. Moulton was a foot beat cop at Higgins Beach. On Jan. 1, 1978, he became a full-time police officer and wasn’t even old enough to purchase his own firearm.

In those days there were no department issued sidearms. Moulton said there were a few six-inch barreled 38’s, but if an officer wanted something different he had to buy it himself.

Moulton went down to the Kittery Trading Post, spent awhile picking out a gun he liked and didn’t realize until he got to the counter that he wasn’t yet old enough to buy it.

He grew up in Dunstan and graduated from Scarborough High School in 1975.

If developers have their way, a Dunkin’ Donuts will open in Cape Elizabeth, just across the high school entrance road from the Community Center.

George Valvanis, a Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee and operating partner with eight stores in Southern Maine, said a Cape Elizabeth store is on his plan, right after one at Dunstan Corner in Scarborough, one in South Portland’s Cash Corner and a third on Route 1 in Saco.

Those three are all in various stages of planning and approval, and he expects them to open within the next year. He hopes to have the Cape one open by summer 2004.

“We’re planning on putting a Dunkin’ here,” Valvanis said.

The property is now occupied by a building that used to house real estate agent Tom Tinsman’s office. “We would probably be tearing it down,” Valvanis said.

The building that replaced it would be a “colonial-type.”

Will Murphy, a seventh-grader at Scarborough Middle School, won the state geographic bee competition last week and will now be one of a select few to compete for the national title in May.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the national geographic contest, which is sponsored by the National Geographic Society. The geographic bee was started in 1989 in response to concern about the lack of geographic knowledge among young people in the United States.

Murphy competed against 100 other students from around the state, who qualified for the state competition by winning their school geographic bee contest.

This was Murphy’s first try at getting to the state competition and he said he’s pleased to have won it. “I feel happy and I’m looking forward to nationals,” he said.

A tree sculpture of a woman’s nude figure on the front lawn at 117 Holmes Road in Scarborough is causing a small stir around town, but most of the immediate neighbors say the “artwork” makes them smile. Even the artist’s mother thinks it’s OK.

The home is owned by Jeremy Grondin, who bought the house last year. He spent six months renovating the home and in late winter cut down an old willow tree that was making a mess out of his front lawn. The tree was cut down with the help of Grondin’s brother, Matt, and Grondin’s roommate and his brother.

Before the tree was cut down the group of young men originally thought it would be great to carve a chair out of the trunk of the tree, but then when the tree stump sort of looked like it had arms, other ideas began to form in their minds.

“We sort of just started carving a figure, a woman’s figure,” Grondin told the Current Tuesday.

It was clear to them that the stump looked like it had a woman’s breasts so the next weekend the men spent some more time really sculpting it out.

“This is definitely a man’s house,” Matt Grondin said. “We sort of looked on it as kind of a joke.

Gary Tapley, a longtime volunteer firefighter with Engine 4 at the Pine Point station in Scarborough, was honored with an outstanding employee award last week. He was nominated by fellow firefighter Bruce McLellan and the award was presented during the call company’s annual meeting.

A tanker truck carrying 8,000 gallons of fuel flipped over early Monday morning, spilling jet fuel into the street and into storm drains leading to the Fore River and Casco Bay. At least one oil covered bird has been found

dead, and several birds coated with oil have survived, though the full environmental impact remains to be seen.

CEHS math teacher Charlotte Hanna is piloting a computer program being eyed by school district officials as a way to help students who need extra help with specific skills in math and language arts.

Concerns over security in wartime have caused two April vacation trips to be canceled. One trip to Greece and Italy, and one to Spain, were canceled by parents and school officials, CEHS Principal Jeff Shedd told the School Board Tuesday.

The Rev. Dr. Carol Kerr has just finished her first month as the new pastor at the Blue Point Congregational Church. Kerr was chosen for her expertise in church growth and individual spiritual growth. Seven years ago, she also served as the interim pastor at the church.

Welcome to the discussion.