Thursday, February 17, 2011

Gov. LePage to Host Town Hall Meeting in WPAC

He will be at the Performing Arts Center at
Westbrook Middle School on Stroudwater Street from 6-7:30 p.m. Friday for a town
hall-style meeting. The public is invited to attend to ask questions of LePage.
- John C.L. Morgan

Audit of City Finances 'Not a Good Report Card'

An independent audit of Westbrook's finances
for the previous fiscal year has uncovered many key deficiencies that officials
say left the door open for malfeasance. Audit problems also caused a delay in
the city’s ability to borrow for several high-profile capital projects,
including the Walker Memorial Library and community center repairs.

- John C.L. Morgan

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Remember the Maine...By Drinking a Remember the Maine

Frontier Psychologist has the recipe for the drink that reminds us of the consequential sinking of the USS Maine in Havana harbor on this date in 1898.

- John C.L. Morgan

Related: 'Czar' Reed and the Spanish-American War (April 28, 2010)

Westbrook Business Owner Likes Gov. LePage's Tax Proposal

Duane Gushee, president of D&G Machine Products
in Westbrook, said the [reduction of the top income tax bracket from 8.5% to
7.95%] would encourage investments by companies like his. "This initiative
makes it more affordable to do business in Maine and allows us to be more
competitive," he said.
- John C.L. Morgan

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Closing of Lollipop Lane Captivates Local Media

Owner Ann-Marie Hebert's announcement on Thursday that her child-care center, Lollipop Lane Educare, would be closing yesterday attracted the attention of most of the local media:

AJ: Here

PPH: Here

WCSH: Here, here

WMTW: Here

WGME: Here

With news of a possible new owner of the business swirling around, we might be hearing more about Lollipop Lane in the coming days.

(Update: The quick turnaround of the prospective new owner's application for licensing has some competitors crying foul.)

- John C.L. Morgan

'Westbrook Idol' Auditions to be Held Today

That means the competition begins with open
auditions, set for Saturday, Feb. 12 at 10 a.m. at the Performing Arts Center at
Westbrook Middle School. Ray said local channel 2 is filming the auditions,
which are open to anyone age 12 and up. Everyone from kids to adults who live or
work in Westbrook is welcome to give it a shot, he said.
- John C.L. Morgan

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Snowmobiles Killed the Skiing Star

Suzy Anderson recalls the days when everyone skied
in Aroostook County. She and her friends skied to school. They wore their ski
boots in class, and skied after school. They competed in winter carnivals and
raced each other on weekends. Then Anderson left northern Maine to go to
college. When she returned in 1974, the skis had disappeared. They'd been
replaced by gas-powered snowmobiles. "None of the kids were skiing. There was no
skiing whatsoever. It was because of the snowmobiles," Anderson recalled.
"Skiing was essentially over."
- John C.L. Morgan

Monday, February 7, 2011

Westbrook Student En Route to MIT


[Massachusetts Insitutue of Technology] admissions had informed early applicants
the exact date and time decisions would be available online: Dec. 16 at 9 p.m.
That night, I was very nervous and fully expecting to see a deferral letter on
the screen. When at 9:01 I pulled up the screen and read the words, "it is my
pleasure to offer you admission" I was completely in shock. I had to read it
several times before I told my parents. Once it actually sank in, I was beyond
excited and definitely relieved. Still, there are times, even now, when I have
to convince myself that I actually got in.

- John C.L. Morgan

A Look at Paul's Shoe Repair

Rowland's job is all about the small details that make a shoe or boot or handbag
look like new. Many of those details, like tiny threads on a narrow band of
material at the bottom of a shoe, are not really noticeable to us non-cobblers.
But to Rowland, who has been doing it for 25 years, getting the details right is
a big part of his job satisfaction.
- John C.L. Morgan

A Family Tradition of Reffing

It’s not often that history is made at a middle school basketball game. But that
is exactly what happened last week when Katelyn Benson of Westbrook stepped on
the court to officiate a Westbrook Middle School basketball home game. It was
the 18-year-old’s first official game, making her the youngest female basketball
referee in Maine history, a moment she shared closely with the game’s other two
refs: her father Bob Benson Sr., and her brother, Robert Jr.
- John C.L. Morgan

A Look at Haven's Past, Present, and Future

A dedication to what works, even if it's old-fashioned, has helped the [Haven's
Candies] deliver profits nearly 100 years after it was founded, according to
owner Andy Charles. "What I love about Haven's is that we are 96 years old, and
although we have expanded our size and scope, and adopted some technology, we
still make candy by hand," Charles said. "We are sticking to our roots. That's
the soul of the company."
- John C.L. Morgan

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chief Baker, Police Department Look Forward


[Bill] Baker’s new post is a full-time job [with the FBI], so he is not truly
"retiring," though he is stepping away from full-time law enforcement after a
36-year career. "It’s a pretty significant change. It’s a new phase, and maybe
the final phase, of my career," he said.
Those within the Westbrook Police Department say it will be business as usual
come Monday, despite the absence of Chief Bill Baker. Baker announced his
retirement the first week of January. Since then, the city has announced fire
Chief Mike Pardue would step in on an interim basis to lead both police and fire
- John C.L. Morgan

More on WHS School for Success

Last week, Alex Howe got a perfect score on his mid-term math exam. Last year,
he might have skipped school and missed the exam. "I got the highest grade in
the class," Howe said proudly. Howe is succeeding in a new program at Westbrook
High School that supports freshmen who are at risk of dropping out. He's one of
16 students in the School for Success, a program that school officials hope to
expand to include sophomores next year.

- John C.L. Morgan

Related: Westbrook High Provides Support for Struggling Students (January 14, 2011)