Looking Back – 9/11

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Sep 11, 2014 in Rat News | Subscribe

Sept. 13, 1989

After 10 years on the School Committee, four as chairman, and six years on the City Council, Fred C. Wescott will seek election as mayor of Westbrook this year. His first test will come Sept. 17, when Democrats caucus to choose their nominees for the Nov. 7 city election. Carmine Russo, former police chief, had earlier considered running for mayor, but said Sunday he will not. 

There may be a Bill Clarke-Ron Usher contest in Westbrook’s city elections. Usher didn’t deny rumors that he’s thinking about accepting the Democratic nomination for city clerk in the Sept. 17 caucus. Clarke, a Republican, definitely will be a candidate for his 18th two-year term as clerk. Usher is a former alderman, five-term state senator and is known as a strong campaigner.

The Dundee Dam, which was constructed in 1913, is being shut down to allow repairs that would bring it in line with federal standards for flooding in a worst-case scenario. Work will begin Sept. 18, and could leave around two dozen homeowners along the river on both the Gorham and Windham sides without drinking water for a few months. The closing of the dam will mean that the river will return to its natural level of flow behind the dam to a point just below the CMP dam at North Gorham. Water levels below the dam will be unaffected. This lowering of the river is likely to have an effect on about a dozen homes on the Gorham side of the river. Homes along the Shaw Road, which are serviced by shallow wells, could be without drinking water until Dec. 1.

Stroudwater Locks, one of the last projects to escape Westbrook’s ban on cluster housing, is in financial trouble. Fleet Bank is suing Paul J. Albert, Kenneth M. Lefebvre and Earl J. LeClair for $789,482, claiming only $8,000 has been paid of a promissory note for $768,000 they signed Jan. 22, 1988. Interest is piling up at $266 a day, the bank said. “We’re working on a settlement with them,” Lefebvre said Monday. In the background of the loan are spectacular leaps in the selling price of the 20-acre site next to Westbrook High School. Bought by Paul and Donna Albert in 1984 for $14,850, it sold last year for $748,000. The suit has political overtones, as well. Lefebvre is the temporary administrative assistant to the Republican mayor, Philip Spiller, and is a likely candidate for the Democratic nomination Sunday to return to the City Council, either from Ward 4 or at large. He resigned as Ward 4 alderman to take the administrative assistant job.

Just four months after Westbrook resident George Pednault suffered a heart attack while speaking to the Westbrook Senior Citizens, the 68-year-old tennis ace was back on the court. “Recovery is as much mental as physical,” he said. “Sports helps give you that motivation to get better.” The King Street resident will be going for his second gold medal in tennis in the Maine Senior Games, Sept. 16 and 16, at various locations in Portland.  Pednault spent 22 days in the hospital, and was discharged March 1. He then took a Caribbean cruise to recuperate and was back on the tennis courts by June 12.

Sept. 15, 1999

Don Esty won the Democratic nomination Sunday for a second two-year term as Westbrook mayor. Martin Pizzo, ex-councilor, turn in signed nomination petitions yesterday for a run for mayor as an independent candidate. And John O’Hara, four-year Ward 1 councilor, announced Monday that he, too, will run for mayor as an independent. More can join the race by the filing deadline of Friday, Sept. 17. The Republican Party may find a mayoral candidate and others can take out nomination papers and quickly gather the 25 signatures needed.

Gorham residents are expected to be asked to vote Nov. 2 on whether the town gets a new, $1.3 million municipal public works facility. The Gorham Town Council met last night to decide whether the proposed facility will go on the upcoming ballot. The proposed building would be the place where all municipal vehicles, including fire trucks and school buses, are serviced. 

A relatively new post of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie No. 4352, which has been meeting in the former Gazelle truck caps and canoe location on Route 302 in Windham, has found a new home in Westbrook – one of the buildings at the former Meyer’s Furniture, across the town line, at 1399 Bridgton Road. The club, which has no liquor license presently, is seeking one for the new location. The City Council will hear the request at a Sept. 27 meeting.

The Gorham Planning Board will hear preliminary plans Sept. 20 for a new downtown convenience store/takeout restaurant on land behind the C.N. Brown Mobile station at Mechanic and Main streets. David M. Kingsley and Wilfred J. Audet Jr., doing business as Northgate Plaza Associates, have an option to purchase the land from the Meserve family. They are calling the project the “Village Market.” Assistant Gorham Town Planner Fred Michaud said that, at least for new, the Mobil station and the vacant former Show Me Video building will stay where they are. C.N. Brown had planned to build a new gas station and McDonald’s on the combined properties, but the Gorham Town Council slapped a moratorium on downtown development in January and then enacted strict development regulations that Brown said would kill the economic viability of the project.

Eric Eastman, son of Pat Eastman, Friendly Village, Gorham, has been raising and teaching his pet rats for a year. He adopted them from a friend. He finds them easy to care for, very clean and easy to train. They have separate eating, play and bathroom areas. He keeps the babies until they are weaned, about six weeks, and until they have learned to trust. He sells them to a pet store, but only for pets or breeding, not for scientific purposes or food for larger animals.


The Westbrook American reported on Sept. 9, 1964, that Mr. and Mrs. Irving Ginn of Preble Street in Gorham had sold their home and were moving to New Hampshire.

Robert Files, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Files of West Buxton, was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

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