Wednesday, November 30, 2011

On eHope

The man attaching the tube is a wiry,
energetic 53-year old Army veteran, and he's more than just a personal care
attendant. He's the reason why the Kennedys have a network of volunteer
caregivers to call upon."My name is Jeffrey Wood. I am the founder and president
of an organization called eHope."
EHope was begun five years ago. According to its website, the non-profit's mission is "To form caregiving communities which provide
non-medical, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual support, for a loved one
who faces a life-threatening illness."

An extended interview with Wood can also be heard at the link above.

- John C.L. Morgan

Related: Jeffrey Wood One of Region's 'Unsung Heroes' (December 31, 2010)

Dreamers Moves Out

Dreamers Cabaret, a controversial strip club that
opened for one day last fall and has been locked in a legal battle with the city
ever since, is moving out of its Warren Avenue location. Selden Von Herten, the
owner of the property, confirmed this week that he has filed suit in Cumberland
County Superior Court to prematurely terminate the club’s lease, which was
supposed to remain active for another four years.
- John C.L. Morgan

Monday, November 28, 2011

Owner of Dana Warp: Westbrook Provides Affordability, Political Stability

I think I naturally gravitated to Westbrook
for several reasons: One, I think from a pricing standpoint, there’s greater
upside, greater value to be had in Westbrook. Two, I think there’s greater
political risk in Portland. I was involved in the redevelopment of the Maine
State Pier and I saw Portland government at its worst, and I vowed that I would
never invest a dime in Portland, never, never.
- John C.L. Morgan

School Officials to Host Open Forum on Upcoming Budget

As part of that, [Superintendent of Schools Marc]
Gousse said, the district is presenting a public forum on Thursday, Dec. 1, at
6:30 p.m. in the library at the Westbrook Middle School, inviting parents and
residents to hear what school officials are doing in the wake of the frantic
2011-2012 budget process, and to solicit opinions on how to proceed now.The new
budget won’t be a walk in the park. Gousse said early numbers indicate a
possible budget gap of $2.1 million to $2.3 million, which the district will
have make up in order to prevent that amount from being handed off to the public
to fund through higher taxes.
- John C.L. Morgan

Full disclosure: I teach at Westbrook High School.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Snyder's Company Files for Bankruptcy

A holding company once created to manage more
than 60 acres of land off Stroudwater Street initially destined for a
multimillion-dollar commercial development plan has filed for bankruptcy.Jason
Snyder, the owner of the land and the holding company, 500 Westbrook LLC, filed
paperwork in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Nov. 4 under Chapter 11. The paperwork
lists the company as the debtor, and Snyder as the company’s manager.
- John C.L. Morgan

WHS Replaces Unsafe Bleachers at Olmsted Field

The bleachers on the Stroudwater Street side of the
field are being dismantled this week, after a recent inspection brought safety
concerns and code violations to light. "We probably dodged a bullet there," said
School Superintendent Marc Gousse, who said this week that the bleachers were
labeled off-limits following the inspection, and removed to prevent anyone from
getting hurt.
- John C.L. Morgan

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Westbrook Leads Greater Portland in Wage Growth

Westbrook led the region with a 15.76% rise in
average weekly wages [over five years], ranking first in Greater Portland and
sixth in the state. Portland saw a 12.68% rise in average weekly wages, while
South Portland and Scarborough experienced 10.44% and 7.8% growth,
- John C.L. Morgan

Idexx Taking Advantage of iPad's Capabilities

Idexx has found a solution in yet another form of
technology. Its new mobile app allows vets to display radiographs on a tablet
computer. “The move to the iPad liberates that information,” says Jonathan
Ayers, the Westbrook company’s president and CEO. Pet owners typically pay out
of pocket for their animal’s veterinary services, and don’t always understand
the level of care involved, he says. When a vet can take an X-ray, share it in a
matter of seconds and explain the results effectively, clients are much more
likely to recognize the benefits--and pay for them.
- John C.L. Morgan

Thursday, November 10, 2011

City Council Looks to Adopt Fireworks Regulations

The ordinance allows sale of fireworks by dealers who obtain a permit from the
city. Among other requirements, the ordinance mandates that dealers have proper
state and federal permits, and have to show proof of insurance, as is required
by state law. City Administrator Jerre Bryant said dealers must also comply with
other fireworks-specific state laws, such as the law requiring dealers only
operate out of stand-alone buildings, with no other tenants.
- John C.L. Morgan

Gallant-Charette Listed Among Notable USM Grads

From a PPH column written by university president Selma Botman:
How many of us follow the career of Pat
Gallant-Charette, a 1993 School of Nursing graduate and native of Westbrook, who
in August became the oldest American woman to successfully swim the English
Channel? A grandmother of two, and marathon swimmer, Gallant-Charette also holds
the record for the fastest swim of the Strait of Gibraltar for a woman over
50--3 hours and 28 minutes.
- John C.L. Morgan

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

WHS Baseball Coach Resigns for Family Reasons

Mike Rutherford remembers how his parents used to watch all of his games when he
played for Portland High. Wanting to do the same for his daughter and stepson,
and knowing that would be difficult with his job as the Westbrook baseball
coach, Rutherford resigned last week after four seasons with the Blue Blazes.
"It came down to family," Rutherford said.
- John C.L. Morgan

Hilton, Dems Sweep Contested Races

Incumbent Colleen Hilton defeated Bruce Chuluda by more than 300 votes in the
mayor's race, in a repeat of their match-up two years ago. The vote total
Tuesday night was 2,659 to 2,350.
City Clerk Lynda Adams held onto the post she's had for the past four years. She
defeated former finance director Susan Rossignol, 3,114 to 1,801. In the City
Council Ward 2 seat, incumbent Democrat Victor Chau, who's finishing his first
term, defeated Republican Matt Maloney, 602 to 281. In Ward 4, Dorothy Aube, a
councilor for six years, received 327 votes. Gary Rairdon, who is unenrolled,
got 289 and Republican Ernest Porell finished third with 153. Democrat Michael
Sanphy, who had been appointed to fill the Ward 5 seat, won his first election,
defeating Republican Michael Lawson, 889-558.
- John C.L. Morgan

Westbrook Voters Approve Same-Day Registration, Split Ticket on Casinos

According to the PPH, Westbrook voters mirrored statewide voters' preference for reinstating same-day voter registration, with both local and statewide voters approving Question 1 with a 60-40% margin.

Westbrook voters also dovetailed with statewide voters with its votes on a proposed casino in Lewiston (57% of Westbrook voters rejected Question 3, and 63% of statewide voters did so), and local voters reflected countywide results on the bond question involving the renovation of the Cumberland County Civic Center (55% of Westbrook voters approved the $33 million bond for the renovation, compared to 59% of county voters).

Westbrook voters did differ with the rest of the state, however, in its preference for casinos based in Biddeford and Washington County: 51% of Westbrook voters approved Question 2, while only 45% of statewide voters approved the referendum question.

- John C.L. Morgan