Sunday, January 31, 2010

Westbrook Politics: February 1- February 5, 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010
City Council meeting
Westbrook High School, Room 114

Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Westbrook Zoning Board of Appeals meeting
Westbrook High School, Room 114

- John C.L. Morgan

Westbrook Almanac: January 24- January 30, 2010

High: 50F (January 25)
Low: 2F (January 30)
Precipitation: 1.35 inches
Snowfall: 0.0 inches
Previous Sunrise: 7:00a
Previous Sunset: 4:50p

High: 50F (January 25)
Low: -1F (January 10)
Precipitation: 2.86 inches
Snowfall: 20.0 inches

High: 50F (January 25)
Low: -1F (January 10)
Precipitation: 2.86 inches
Snowfall: 20.0 inches

Source: National Weather Service

- John C.L. Morgan

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Must See TV

It may not be as entertaining as watching the Prime Minister's questions, but this hour-long Q&A session between President Obama and House Republicans was a breath of fresh air and one of the most informative political programs I've ever seen. It seems a lot of Americans (C-SPAN is re-airing this program in prime time tonight due to the overwhelmingly positive reaction they've received from viewers) are thirsty for actual face-to-face interaction between political leaders. Who'd a thunk it?

- John C.L. Morgan

P.S. The video's low audio will pick up at around the 2-minute mark.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Westbrook on YouTube

The City now has a YouTube channel.

- John C.L. Morgan

Westbrook Call Center Abruptly Hangs Up on Employees

A call center in Westbrook closed its doors overnight, leaving its employees
stunned and upset. Listen Up, LLC, gave no warning to its employees when it shut
down. Tony Ricardi, president of Listen Up, says the economy coupled with a lack
of demand for the company's services simply left him no choice.
- John C.L. Morgan

Pro-Pike Group Delivers Signatures of Support

On Thursday, members of the group Citizens For Balanced Growth took action that
would allow the company to operate its Spring Street Quarry. The group delivered
more than 1,000 signatures to city hall in hopes of allowing the company to keep
the quarry open and operate on Spring Street on a limited basis.
-John C.L. Morgan

Related: City Council Pushes Back Pike Meeting (November 24, 2009)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Westbrook Democrats Will Caucus on Sunday

The Westbrook Democrats will be hosting its caucus this Sunday at 2p.

Taking place in the Westbrook Public Safety building on Main Street, the caucus will consist of approving by-laws, electing Democratic Committee officers, electing representatives to the Cumberland County Committee, and electing delegates to the state convention.

Registered Democrats and unaffiliated/unregistered Westbrook residents who are interested in enrolling in the Democratic Party are encouraged to attend.

- John C.L. Morgan

Related: Westbrook Democratic Caucus: The Bold-Faced Edition (February 10, 2008)
Related: Westbrook Republican Caucus: The Bold-Faced Edition (February 2, 2008)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Casella: Westbrook Facility Key to Goal of 'Zero Waste' Future

Casella Waste Systems' chief development officer has a vision of a world where
there's no such thing as trash. In the not-so-distant future, all garbage will
be recycled or turned into energy, according to Jim Bohlig. "We want to get out
of landfills and get into resource recovery," he said this week. A
state-of-the-art trash-processing facility Casella is proposing to build on
County Road in Westbrook would mark a step in what Bohlig calls "the journey to
zero waste."
- John C.L. Morgan

Related: Will Westbrook Be the New Biddeford? (December 30, 2009)

MOOMilk is on Shelves

The milk is produced by 10 Maine family organic dairy farms in Washington,
Aroostook, Penobscot and Kennebec counties. It's trucked to Smiling Hill Dairy
in Westbrook for processing, then distributed by Oakhurst Dairy of Portland and
Crown O'Maone Organic Co-op in Gardiner.
- John C.L. Morgan

Related: Smiling Hill Farm to Process Organic Milk (October 12, 2009)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Westbrook Politics: January 25- January 29, 2010

There are no public meetings scheduled this week.

- John C.L. Morgan

Westbrook Almanac: January 17- January 23, 2010

High: 34F (January 17, January 20)
Low: 6F (January 23)
Precipitation: 1.04 inches
Snowfall: 12.3 inches
Previous Sunrise: 7:07a
Previous Sunset: 4:40p

High: 47F (January 16)
Low: -1F (January 10)
Precipitation: 1.53 inches
Snowfall: 20.0 inches

High: 47F (January 16)
Low: -1F (January 10)
Precipitation: 1.53 inches
Snowfall: 20.0 inches

Source: National Weather Service

- John C.L. Morgan

Friday, January 22, 2010

Paper City Promo

According to the City's economic and community developer Keith Luke, this ad will be running on WPXT and WPME, with the hope that it'll be inserted into Cinemagic's loop of pre-movie commercials.

- John C.L. Morgan

Related: Westbrook's Among Maine Towns Walking the Walk (January 20, 2010)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

More on Middle School's First Day of Classes

Students walked in to find a two-story atrium with exposed wood beams and a long
staircase that leads to the performing arts center and other common spaces. The
light wood, porcelain tile floors and earth-tone colors gave the school a warm
and welcoming feeling. Mazjanis said one of his favorite features is the natural
light. "I love the feel of this school," he said. "Everywhere you go in the
building, there is natural light. Today, I knew what the weather was. In the
other building, I never saw outside."
(Update: WCSH has video from inside the new building.)

- John C.L. Morgan

Related: Westbrook Middle School Marks First Day of Classes (January 20, 2010)

Beverly Jensen's Web Site is Up, Book to be Published June 28

Beverly Jensen, the late Westbrook native whose novel The Sisters from Hardscrabble Bay will be published posthumously in late June by Viking Press, is now the focus of a Web site.

Besides featuring a thorough biography of Jensen and an assortment of content highlighting the book, the Web site also has audio of Jensen reading rough drafts of her stories aloud in 1999.

Jensen, a 1971 graduate of Westbrook High, passed away from cancer in 2003, at the age of forty-nine.

- John C.L. Morgan

Related: The Sportswriter: Seven Questions for Edward Rielly (December 10, 2009)
Related: Tentative Date Set for Jensen Book (October 14, 2009)
Related: Finding 'Finding Beverly' (January 5, 2009)
Related: Viking Press to Publish Beverly Jensen's Work (December 15, 2008)
Related: Beverly Jensen Redux (January 5, 2008)
Related: Wet Wool, Warm Whiskey, and a Cold Church (January 2, 2008)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Westbrook Middle School Marks First Day of Classes

Sitting in the gymnasium of their new school Wednesday morning, most of the 600
or so middle-school students hadn't been around the building yet, but they were
already impressed. "It's just absolutely amazing," said sixth-grader Greg
Buotte. "It even smells new."
- John C.L. Morgan

Related: New Middle School Will Open for Classes on Jan. 20 (January 14, 2010)

Westbrook's Among Maine Towns Walking the Walk

"The quote from him [National Endowment of the Arts chairman Rocco
Landesman] was that, the NEA is talking the talk, but Maine is walking the
walk," [director of the Maine Arts Commission Donna] McNeil said. "I think
we have seen a lot of economic and downtown revitalization that has been
stimulated by arts and culture. It is making towns like Rockland and Eastport
and Stonington and Portland and Biddeford and Westbrook really wonderful places
to go and to visit and live."
- John C.L. Morgan

Related: It Still Starts in Westbrook (December 28, 2009)
Related: 04092 on 207 (December 10, 2009)
Related: Westbrook Arts in Spotlight (December 7, 2009)

Number of Westbrook Manufacturing Jobs Holds Steady Amid Statewide Decline

Manufacturers' News, Inc:
MNI’s city data shows Bath has overtaken Portland as Maine’s top city for
manufacturing employment, with its 5,098 industrial jobs virtually unchanged
over the past twenty-four months. Second-ranked Portland accounts for 5,096
industrial jobs, down 4% over the past two years. Industrial jobs in Auburn
declined 5.2%, with the city home to 3,924 jobs. Westbrook is home to 2,873
jobs, with no significant change reported, while jobs declined 5.7% in Lewiston,
with the fifth-ranked city representing 2,693 of Maine’s industrial jobs.
- John C.L. Morgan

Related: When Jobs Were Gained--And Lost (January 8, 2010)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Win a Free Handbag

The Maine Maven-sponsored contest and an interview with the proprietors of annie catherine, the Dana Warp-based designers of the handbag, are here.

- John C.L. Morgan

Westbrook Grad Prepares for Miss America Pageant

Susie Stauble is packing her bags for the competition of a lifetime. As Miss
Maine, Stauble will travel to Las Vegas this week to compete in the Miss America
Scholarship Pageant. She leaves Thursday but took time Sunday afternoon to
formally thank her supporters.
- John C.L. Morgan

Related: Westbrook Grad Will Vie for Miss America Title (December 2, 2009)

Why I Live in the Paper City, Part IV

Snowstorm strolls at 3:30a. This morning's wintry wandering wasn't as filling as this one, but it was fulfilling nonetheless.

- John C.L. Morgan

Related: Why I Live in the Paper City, Take Three (June 8, 2009)
Related: Why I Live in the Paper City, ctd. (May 11, 2009)
Related: Why I Live in the Paper City, Draft One (April 27, 2009)

On Headline Hilton's Governing Philosophy

Hilton says her business philosophy is to hire top-notch people to lead various
departments and hold them accountable for the areas they oversee. As mayor,
Hilton said, she will use the same philosophy to manage the city's budget and
its 169 employees. "This is a business, a $52 million business," Hilton said.
"I've been an administrator for a long time. I don't want anyone to think these
are easy decisions to make. I get paid to solve problems. It's not a popularity
- John C.L. Morgan

Related: On Westbrook's Mayoral Form of Government (January 11, 2010)

Society Notes on Inaugural Ball

Westbrook's newly elected Mayor Colleen Hilton generated headlines and stirred
community debate after making quick changes to a number of city departments upon
taking office. But on Jan. 9 at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland, the
focus was celebration rather than politics as more than 300 of her friends,
family members, neighbors, co-workers, city officials and supporters gathered
for Westbrook's Inaugural Ball.
- John C.L. Morgan

Related: Photos of Inaugural Ball (January 14, 2010)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Westbrook Politics: January 18- January 22, 2010

Tuesday, January 19
Planning Board meeting
Westbrook High School, Room 114

- John C.L. Morgan

Westbrook Almanac: January 10- January 16, 2010

High: 47F (January 16)
Low: -1F (Janaury 10)
Precipitation: 0.41 inches
Snowfall: 0.6 inches
Previous Sunrise: 7:12a
Previous Sunset: 4:31p

High: 47F (January 16)
Low: -1F (January 10)
Precipitation: 0.49 inches
Snowfall: 7.7 inches

High: 47F (January 16)
Low: -1F (January 10)
Precipitation: 0.49 inches
Snowfall: 7.7 inches

- John C.L. Morgan

National Weather Service

Friday, January 15, 2010


Portland-based Over a Cardboard Sea.

- John C.L. Morgan

Chief Baker Signs Up for Immigration Reform

"We are calling on the Congress and president to
pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation this year," said Ben Chin,
federal issue organizer of the Maine People's Alliance, which organized
Thursday's event. "We think we have waited long enough, and now is the time."
The letters to Snowe and Collins were signed by seven people, including Bishop
Richard Malone of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland; Ed Flanagan, CEO of
blueberry grower Jasper Wyman & Son of Milbridge; University of Maine System
Chancellor Richard Pattenaude; and Westbrook Chief of Police William
- John C.L. Morgan

Related: More on Westbrook Police's Mental Health PSAs (May 29, 2009)
Related: Bustlin' Bill: Laws Concerning Standoffs Are Too Narrow (April 30, 2009)
Related: Bustlin' Bill Reaches Out to Immigrants (February 21, 2009)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Middle School Will Open for Classes on Jan. 20

It's official now--classes will begin at Westbrook
Middle School on Wednesday, Jan. 20. Teachers will prepare their classrooms on
Tuesday, Jan. 19, which will be a no-school day for middle-school students. The
building's steering committee Thursday accepted the middle school as
substantially complete, meaning the school department has taken ownership of the
facility from the construction company and the architect.
- John C.L. Morgan

Related: School Officials: We'll Move In When We Move In (December 30, 2009)

Canal School in Running for $100,000 Award

It's the second year the cellphone company U.S.
Cellular has held its "Calling All Communities" contest. Any school throughout
the country can enter, and the community casts votes to make it rank higher. As
of December, the Cumberland-Oxford Canal School was ranked #56 out of the entire
The top 10 schools in the country win the $100,000 reward, so help out Canal by dropping by the local U.S. Cellular store (cough, Kohl's plaza, cough), pick up a code, and vote here. Oh, and the deadline's 11:59p tomorrow (Friday, Janaury 15) night.

- John C.L. Morgan

New Chairman, Vice Chairwoman Chosen for School Committee

The Westbrook School Committee last night unanimously approved Ed Symbol as the committee's new chairman, and Maria Dorn was unanimously approved as the committee's Vice Chairwoman.

- John C.L. Morgan

P.S. Last night's meeting--Skype experiment and all--can be seen here.

French Press Receives Mostly Favorable Review

Hey, Westbrook. Listen up: What's the matter with
you? We stopped by the (relatively) new French Press Eatery early one weekday
morning, and except the guy who was on his way out the door with a takeout bag,
there were no other customers there. If this place were in the Old Port, there
would be a long line of folks grabbing an 8 a.m. coffee, a breakfast sandwich
or one of the downright decadent home-made donuts.
- John C.L. Morgan

Related: French Press Gets Good Press (December 31, 2009)

Westbrook Man Overdoses After Rehab Facility Abruptly Shuts Down

Toronto Star:

As the Star reported Wednesday, the Clear
Haven Centre, a residential addiction treatment facility in the Laurentian
Mountains, informed clients at 8:30 a.m. last Thursday that it was closing. Less
than 90 minutes later, they were on the bus to the airport in Montreal, some
with no money or plans to get home.

Elijah Peabbles, 26, a heroin addict, relapsed the
day after he returned home to Maine and overdosed, his family said. He is now
brain dead and on life support. Doctors are waiting to turn off the respirator.
"It will happen whenever my mom says, 'I've had enough time with him,'" Elijah's
brother, Preston, said Wednesday.
- John C.L. Morgan

(Update: The Montreal Gazette has an article about Peabbles's death.)

Photos of Inaugural Ball


- John C.L. Morgan

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Chief Baker Concerned for Haitian Friends


Westbrook Police Chief William Baker is patrolling
cyberspace in his search for information on his friends who have been impacted
by the massive earthquake in Haiti. He, like many people, with friends or loved
ones living in Haiti, has sent numerous e-mails to friends and colleagues he met
while living there. Baker spent a year working to improve police practices in
the poor Caribbean country.
- John C.L. Morgan

(Update: FOX Maine also documents the anguish Haiti native and Westbrook resident Joel Alcied is experiencing as he awaits word on the health of his family and friends.)

Smiling Hill Bottles As Wedding Decor

We've been saving our Smiling Hill Farm glass milk
bottles to use as water carafes. When I think of exemplary Mainers, I think of
Roger Knight, so it will be nice to have his spirit at the table.
- John C.L. Morgan

Related: Department of the Bizarre (January 12, 2009)
Related: Next Week: A Tour of Leander Valentine's Grave! (July 18, 2008)
Related: Smiling Hill Farm (May 30, 2008)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Caribou Sledding, Circa 1968

- John C.L. Morgan

Virtually Room 114

Video of the January 11, 2010 Finance Committee and City Council mettings can be seen here.

- John C.L. Morgan

Related: Westbrook Politics: January 11- January 15, 2010 (January 10, 2010)
Related: On Location: Room 114 (March 11, 2008)

Are Too Many Candidates a Bad Thing?

I'm still not sure I agree with Press Herald columnist Justin Ellis's plea to prospective gubernatorial candidates to resist running for the Blaine House to avoid inflating an already-bloated field of governor wannabes. Nevertheless, I'll channel Robert Schwartz, the author of The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less, to explore the following questions: Are too many candidates for governor a bad thing? Will the large field of candidates dampen voter turnout and cause Maine voters to be even more dissatisfied with the eventual victor than usual?

In a
20-minute presentation at the 2007 TED Conference that succinctly sums up his book's thesis, Schwartz explains how having too many choices is not necessarily beneficial. In fact, Schwartz argues, a plethora of choices tends to spark analysis paralysis, buyer's remorse, escalated expectations, and increased self-pity among the decision-makers who must consider all those options. I'll introduce you to Schwartz's buddies opportunity costs, escalated expectations, and personal responsibility in a minute, but first let's look at how too many choices on the gubernatorial primary ballots might dampen voter turnout during the June primaries.

Schwartz cites a colleague's study that found employee enrollment into a company's 401(k) retirement plan actually went down 2% for every ten different plans offered to the employees. Participation in a retirement plan among employees who were offered fifty different options, for example, was 10% lower than the participation rate of employees who were offered only five different plans. Why? Well, acording to Schwartz, it's because the employees who were given fifty different 401(k) plans didn't find the process of choosing a retirement plan liberating, but burdensome. So burdensome, in fact, that some of them continuously put off researching the relative merits and demerits of the numerous plans for so long that they just chose not to enroll at all.

Now, when you consider these employees who chose not to enroll in their plans made their decisions despite losing out on significant financial contributions (both their own and their employer's matching funds) toward their retirement, is it too much of a stretch to assume voter turnout (especially among independent voters) in gubernatorial primaries featuring more choices than usual will be lower than it was in years featuring fewer candidates? I don't know, but it's food for thought.

Another kernel of contemplation is the affect too many gubernatorial candidates could have on Maine voters' psyche, namely their level of satisfaction (or more likely, dissatisfaction) with the election of the eventual winner. And for that perspective, let's now refer to opportunity costs, escalated expectations, and increased self-responsibility.

According to Schwartz, opportunity costs--a series of outcomes you forgo by making a particular decision--often cause a decision-maker who has many options more dissatisfied with their decisions than a decision-maker who could chose from only a few options. Or, put another way, could voters who have many different candidates listed on their ballots be more likely to experience voters' remorse than voters who don't have as many names on their ballots? According to Schwartz, the answer to that question is "yes, they would." That's because people who face many options before making a decision can't help but wonder if they made the right decision, so they continue to ponder the attractive qualities of the choices they didn't choose, often to the point where they feel dissatisfaction with the decision they initially made. So will the large field of candidates make more voters than usual wonder if they should've voted for candidates Y and Z, instead of the eventual victor, Candidate X? Again, good territory for a political scientist looking to be published.

Another reason why too many choices on the ballot could increase Mainers' dissatisfaction with their voting decisions can be explained by escalated expectations. Schwartz tells the anecdote of how he once went into a store to buy jeans with little-to-nonexistent expectations for the quality of jeans he would eventually purchase, mostly because he figured he'd have only a couple types of jeans to choose from. After an hour of trying on the many types of jeans available to today's consumers, however, Schwartz's expectations for a perfect jean went from being nonexistent to very high. So high, in fact, that the likelihood of him being disappointed the next time he went jean-shopping in the future would be much higher than it would be if he'd maintained his lower expectations for jeans brought on by having only a few choices. To square the metaphor to Maine's gubernatorial primary, is it possible the twenty-two candidates and all their different policies, experiences, biographies, etc. might escalate Maine voters' expectations for the gubernatorial candidates to the point where there will be dissatisfaction for the handful or so candidates who will survive long enough to appear on the general election ballot?

And finally, the final reason why Schwartz might argue that too many gubernatorial candidates could make Maine voters more dissatisfied with their choices than they would be if they had a few choices is because many different choices forces the decision-maker to be responsible for his decision-making. To continue with Schwartz's jean analogy, if he were given only a few types of jeans from which he could choose, he could blame someone else--jean manufacturers, fashion designers, the world--for his lackluster jeans. In this era of materialistic plenty, though, it is the dissatisfied jean owner's fault he chose poor-fitting and fashion-challenged jeans. Likewise, if Mainers elect an incompetent and hackish governor from a field of many different choices, who must they blame? Well, considering the electoral process has given them the opportunity to choose among many different candidates, wouldn't Maine voters be responsible for electing an incompentent and hackish governor?

- John C.L. Morgan

Related: As Maine Kids Go, So Goes Maine (October 31, 2008)
Related: Cock-Eyed, Take Two (February 3, 2008)
Related: Cock-Eyed (January 3, 2008)

2010 Gubernatorial Candidates--So Far

The current tally is twenty-two.

Democratic Party
Donna Dion
Pat McGowan
Libby Mitchell
John Richardson
Steven Rowe
Rosa Scarcelli

Green Independent Party

Patrick Quinlan
Lynne Williams

Samme Bailey
Beverly Cooper-Pete
Eliot Cutler
Augustus Edgarton
Alex Hammer
John Whitcomb

Republican Party
Steve Abbott

William Beardsley
Matt Jacobson
Paul LePage
Peter Mills
Les Otten
Bruce Poliquin
Martin Vachon

- John C.L. Morgan

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Preview of the PPH's Inaugural Ball Coverage


- John C.L. Morgan

On Westbrook's Mayoral Form of Government

Westbrook's charter grants [Mayor Colleen] Hilton
unusually broad powers. In fact, the mayor in Westbrook has more authority than
the mayor of any other city in Maine. Although the city has just over 16,500
people, Hilton wields the kind of power enjoyed by big-city mayors such as
Thomas M. Menino of Boston and Richard M. Daley of Chicago.
- John C.L. Morgan

Related: E-Mail Mishap Leads to Earlier-Than-Expected Layoffs of City Workers (January 8, 2010)

Westbrook by the Numbers: Gas Prices

Friday, December 28, 2007
$3.179/gallon (Big Apple)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008
$3.659/gallon (Big Apple)

Monday, July 14, 2008
$4.159/gallon (Holly's Super Gas)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008
$3.629/gallon (Big Apple)

Saturday, December 13, 2008
$1.699/gallon (Holly's Super Gas)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009
$1.959/gallon (Big Apple)

Thursday, July 16, 2009
$2.599/gallon (Big Apple)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009
$2.499/gallon (Big Apple)

Friday, December 11, 2009
$2.699/gallon (Big Apple)

- John C.L. Morgan

Related: When Jobs Were Gained--And Lost (January 8, 2010)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Westbrook Almanac: January 3- January 9, 2010

High: 37F (January 7)
Low: 10F (January 8, January 9)
Precipitation: 0.0 inches
Snowfall: 3.4 inches
Previous Sunrise:
Previous Sunset:

High: 37F (January 7)
Low: 10F (January 8, January 9)
Precipitation: 0.08 inches
Snowfall: 7.1 inches

High: 37F (January 7)
Low: 10F (January 8, January 9)
Precipitation: 0.08 inches
Snowfall: 7.1 inches

- John C.L. Morgan

Source: National Weather Service

Westbrook Politics: January 11- January 15, 2010

Monday, January 11
Finance Committee meeting
Room 114, Westbrook High School

City Council meeting
Room 114, Westbrook High School

- John C.L. Morgan

Friday, January 8, 2010

E-Mail Mishap Leads to Earlier-Than-Expected Layoffs of City Workers

Westbrook Deputy Fire Chief Thaddeus Soltys and two
other city employees were laid off Friday, Mayor Colleen Hilton confirmed late
in the day. The action came several days earlier than Hilton had planned because
on Wednesday, she accidentally sent an e-mail meant for Police Chief Bill Baker,
City Administrator Jerre Bryant and Human Resources Kristy Gould, in which she
mentioned the deputy chief's layoff, to all members of the fire and rescue
department. That set off a flurry of activity in City Hall and ultimately led to
the layoffs being handed out Friday, rather than later this month.
- John C.L. Morgan

Related: More on York Street Shakeup (January 6, 2010)
Reatled: Hilton Wastes No Time Shaking Things Up (January 4, 2010)

When Jobs Were Gained--And Lost

Slate has an interactive map that documents job gains and losses on a month-to-month basis in counties across America.

Designed using statistics from the Labor Department, the map shows Cumberland County experienced consistent job growth throughout 2007 compared to corresponding months in 2006, but began shedding jobs or remaining relatively stagnant on the job front from January 2008 through June 2008. Then, after a three-month stretch of relatively positive job growth from July 2008 through September 2008, Cumberland County began to bleed jobs consistently from October 2008 to October 2009.

- John C.L. Morgan

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Them Are Fightin' Words

Beer Locavore:
Less successful, despite a long track
record as a Maine classic: The Burnt Trailer. Equal parts Allen's Coffee
Brandy and Moxie, this drink is pure wretched. I was just barely able to choke
mine down. And, uncharacteristically, when my research assistant gave up on hers
after a mere sip, I was unable to finish her drink. A shame. And we were
in Westbrook, which seems like an appropriate locale
[Emphasis mine]

- John C.L. Morgan

Related: Quote, Unquote (May 13, 2009)
Related: On Location: The Hamlet (October 14, 2008)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Some County Road Neighbors Are Skeptical of Casella's Latest Plans

[Smiling Hill Farm's Warren] Knight said he has
concerns "across the environmental gamut," including debris, noise, odor,
appearance, and traffic. Some of those could affect his property specifically
and some are concerns for Westbrook as a whole. Knight thinks the city and its
residents too often settle for whatever business they can get, accepting their
designation as the "ugly stepchild of Cumberland County," he said.
- John C.L. Morgan

Related: Will Westbrook be the New Biddeford? (December 30, 2009)

More on York Street Shakeup

In her first full day as Westbrook's mayor, Colleen
Hilton defended her decision to fire three top administrators, including the
fire chief. Hilton, who was sworn in Monday night, said Tuesday that the Fire
and Rescue Department could face layoffs, and that she will explore
opportunities to consolidate its services with surrounding communities.
- John C.L. Morgan

(Update: The AJ has also posted its story related to the inauguration and the week's events in Westbrook politics. And WCSH broadcast a piece about Hilton's announcements yesterday.)

Related: Hilton Wastes No Time Shaking Things Up (January 4, 2010)
Related: Did You Know? (September 24, 2008)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hilton Wastes No Time Shaking Things Up

Minutes after being sworn in as Westbrook's new mayor, Colleen Hilton (D) announced during her inaugural speech that she will not be reappointing Fire Chief Daniel Brock, Recreation Department Director Randy Peters, and Finance Director Susan Rossignol to their respective jobs.

(Update: Adding insult to injury, WMTW's report on Hilton's firing of Daniel Brock mistakenly gives the former fire chief the newly-minted mayor's surname.)

(Update II: The PPH has more on this story, as well as the inauguration as a whole.)

- John C.L. Morgan

Related: Election '09: Voters Choose Hilton for Mayor, Dems for Council (November 4, 2009)
Related: Election '09: Colleen Hilton on the Issues (October 30, 2009)
Related: On Brock (January 6, 2009)

2005 Little Leaguers One of Decade's Most Remarkable Stories

They wouldn't get haircuts, loved to goof around,
and bonded with each other in the way the best teammates do. Nick Finocchiaro,
Zach Collett, Reid Coulombe and all the others fancied themselves as Westbrook's
Idiots, much as Johnny Damon, Kevin Millar, and David Ortiz did the summer
before when the Red Sox won the World Series.
- John C.L. Morgan

Related: The Sportswriter: Seven Questions for Edward Rielly (December 10, 2009)
Related: On Location: Westbrook High School (June 11, 2009)