Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

Westbrook Woman Swims English Channel

The third time's the charm for a Westbook woman, who has finally realized her
dream of swimming across the English Channel. Pat Gallant-Charette, 60,
succeeded today on her third attempt to swim the 20-mile distance. According an
entry posted at 3:14 p.m. today on her blog,,
Gallant-Charette completed the swim after battling strong currents at the end.
"SHE DID IT!, OMG, she did it!" the entry reads.
- John C.L. Morgan

Related: Westbrook Woman Prepared to Swim English Channel (August 15, 2011)

City to Outsource IT

[City Administrator Jerre] Bryant said Unified Technologies has been helping the
city with IT needs on an “on-call” basis since the vacancies occurred, and the
proposed contract would bring the company on in a more extensive fashion. The
contract, if approved, will involve a one-time fee of $7,650, and a monthly fee
of $15,000, starting in September and ending on June 30, 2012. Bryant said it
will cost a total of $161,950. By contrast, Bryant said the city’s budget for
that same time period for in-house IT services is $188,000.
- John C.L. Morgan

Thursday, August 18, 2011

PPH Calculates Cost of Lawsuits

[F]or all three settlements, taxpayers will pay $338,000 of the $1.2 million
that the employees receive.
Each claim covered by insurance also requires that the city pay a deductible,
the cost of which differs depending on the type of claim. Each of the three Fire
Department employees' lawsuits triggered the payment of a $10,000 deductible.
That adds another $30,000 to the cost of the lawsuits. Big settlements also
affect the annual premium the city pays for insurance coverage. Between 2009 and
2010, the premium jumped from $188,000 to $208,000, or a $20,000 increase. In
the three years prior, the premium increased an average of about $10,000 per
- John C.L. Morgan

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Foxy 'Brook

FOX 23's "Good Day Maine" has had a couple guests with Westbrook ties on their show recently.

Mandolin player Taylor Smith and his progressive bluegrass band Cribstone Bridge Band played on the show, and James Tranchemontagne of the Frog and Turtle cooked and talked shop.

- John C.L. Morgan

Monday, August 15, 2011

Westbrook Swimmer Prepared to Swim English Channel

Pat Gallant-Charette wants to swim across the English Channel in August. On top
of her job as a nurse, the 60-year-old grandmother from Westbrook, Maine,
follows a rigorous training schedule that includes one- to 10-hour swims along
the crashing waves of the cold ocean shore. Gallant-Charette almost crossed the
Channel once before, but currents kept her at bay just a mile and a half from
the finish. This time, she's convinced she'll make it.
also had a profile on Gallant-Charette last week.

- John C.L. Morgan

Related: Westbrook Woman Sets Record in Swim Across the Strait of Gibraltar (June 29, 2010)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Westbrook High Football Prepares for Class 'B' Schedule

Westbrook and Marshwood moved from Western Class A to Western Class B, and
Brewer and Mt. Blue made similar drops in Eastern Maine. The moves are intended
to make them more competitive because they will play against schools of similar
size. "We're really excited about it," said Westbrook Coach Jeff Guerette. "It
gives us a chance to be competitive. The more attractive we can make the
program, the better the chances to get more kids out for the sport."
- John C.L. Morgan

Construction on William Clarke Drive Expected to Wrap Up in October

Using 80 percent federal highway funds and 20 percent state funds, MaineDOT
hired R.J. Grondin and Sons of Gorham as the contractor. The job started in
spring 2010 and it's scheduled to be completed by the end of this October, Latti
said. "Basically we're widening that road, it's nearly a mile long, from the
Westbrook Connector to Saco Street in Westbrook," Latti said. Over 16,500
vehicles a day use this stretch of Route 25, which connects the Westbrook
Arterial to Saco Street. More than 19,000 vehicles a day travel some sections,
Latti said. In the past, pedestrians faced a steady flow of traffic with few
easy crossings.
- John C.L. Morgan

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mayor Hilton Named One of Five 'Women to Watch'

Maine Biz:
People seem to think Colleen Hilton should be more stressed out than she is. As
CEO of a health care organization facing major funding cuts and mayor of a city
that’s seen its share of controversy in the last year, she certainly has reason
to be. But for Hilton, making tough decisions comes with the territory.
"If you don’t have the mindset that you’re confident about what you’re doing,
you shouldn’t be doing it," Hilton says, sitting in her office at VNA Home
Health & Hospice, a nonprofit that serves more than 3,000 clients each year.
- John C.L. Morgan

Related: CCB Inc. President a 'Woman to Watch' (October 13, 2009)

Monday, August 8, 2011

White Family Donates Land for Playing Fields

White Bros., which was sold last year to Connecticut-based Lane Construction,
has offered the city 14 acres near its quarry to use for athletic fields. The
company is also donating its workers and equipment to build the two fields--an
estimated $400,000 gift. "It's an unbelievable blessing for the city," City
Councilor Victor Chau said last Monday, before voting in favor of an agreement
to lease the land for 25 years for $25. The council also voted to spend $26,400
on the engineering and design of the fields. City Administrator Jerre Bryant
said that cost would be covered by donations. He wouldn't say who was donating
the money because those deals hadn't been finalized.
- John C.L. Morgan