Friday, May 30, 2008

Smiling Hill Farm


Proposed Addition to the Westbrook Dictionary

I modestly suggest the addition of the Westbrook Wake-Up to the (unofficial) Westbrook Dictionary, alongside the Paper City Picnic and Paper City Trifecta.

For the uninitiated, the Westbrook Wake-Up requires a three-pronged definition: First, you must be rudely shaken from your slumber by your neighbors yelling at each other on the tough street that is Rochester at 5:29a (alas, a precious minute before your alarm clock is set to erupt). And second, the loud neighbors must also be swinging an aluminum bat at one another, as well as a small log that was once another neighbor's lawn ornament. And third, Westbrook's finest must be called to make an appearance. It's a very specific definition, so the phrase itself is a ten-pointer.

Now, I could be a braggart and paraphrase Tony Bessey by saying it's just a slice of my ordinary day, but this is actually the first Westbrook Wake-Up I've had.

In a while.

- John C.L. Morgan

Thursday, May 29, 2008

American Journal One-Liners

Westbrook Regional Vocational Center having difficulty to find land for student-built houses.

The other Mr. Westbrook figures he'd be a knife if he were a kitchen appliance.

Teachers, community members, and students express what the new middle school will mean to them.

Lady of Perpetual Pink tells all about being Grand Marshal of Westbrook Together Days parade.

Westbrook Together Days will feature an old-fashioned revival for the first time.

Westbrook Together Days event is explored from its birth to today.

Westbrook Together Days auction is only the best thing ever.

Officer David Finnochietti is basically the biggest star in CSI: Westbrook.

- John C.L. Morgan

They're Baaack

I had some snarky remarks about Westbrook's 'Community Videos' back in January, but all joking aside, it's good to see they're back. And if they've been back for a while, then my tardy acknowledgement is proof the collection's icon should be featured more prominently on the city's website.

Nevertheless, I'm still waiting for that spoof. Maybe Mr. Ahura Zakhuur Diliiza et al. aren't too busy to give the city a purposeful hand.

- John C.L. Morgan

Just Do It: Buy Maine

Spend at least $10 on Maine-made products each week.

Besides pumping money into the coffers of Maine businesses, the challenge offers irony too delicious to ignore: The use of the currency bearing Alexander Hamilton's mug to help that most Jeffersonian of institutions, the American small farmer.

So just do it.

- John C.L. Morgan

In Memoriam

Take Two

Besides the video posted above, there are seven other Memorial Day videos on our sister site, Paper Television. And I also recommend you check out Tony Bessey's photographs of the event over at Ordinary Maine.

- John C.L. Morgan

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Down East Snubs Westbrook

In its June issue, Down East magazine has an article entitled, "Choosing Maine: Town-by-Town Tour of Maine." Though it is more accurately a county-by-county tour of Maine, eh, so far, so good. That is, until I scanned down to Cumberland County.

Expecting at least a mention of how Westbrook don't stink no more, I was a little surprised the city garnered little more than a mention as part of the cluster that constitutes Maine's "most populous county." Hell, even Standish got a little shout out as a town to investigate if one is planning a move to Maine.

Ah, the irony of an ultra-provincial blogger criticizing an ultra-provincial mag for not being, well, provincial enough.

- John C.L. Morgan

Dig for Knowledge

For those of you unable to attend this afternoon's overview of the new Wescott Junior High School at the Westbrook Community Chamber, check out wescottproject.org, the well-cut and informative website devoted to the project.

Now if only I can get my hands on one of those, er, golden shovels and nifty hardhats used during the groundbreaking.

- John C.L. Morgan

P.S. I refrained from cracking a joke about the groundbreaking's slogan, "Digging for Knowledge," because, well, I'll need a job next fall.

Patriots Honor MPTC

According to the Boston Globe, Beverly Preston of the Mission Possible Teen Center was one of twenty-one 'Community MVPs' honored by the New England Patriots at a ceremony at Gillette Stadium yesterday.

According to the Patriots' press release about the event, Community MVPs were recognized for "their above-and-beyond service to others in the six New England states" and received a football-shaped wooden trophy and agency grants ranging from $1,500 to $10,000 for the Grand Prize Winner.

Preston was the only Mainer to win the award.

- John C.L. Morgan

Did You Know?

Did you know Westbrook is among the oldest Tree Cities in Maine?

In fact, this past Arbor Day (Tuesday, May 20) marked the thirty-first year the Paper City has held that designation, a consecutive run matched only by Farmington and Kennebunk among Maine towns and cities.

According to the Arbor Day Foundation's Tree City USA website, a community is determined to be a Tree City only if it meets the following four requirements: A tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

- John C.L. Morgan

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Fourth Friday Art Walk


On Location

Sandwiched between Westbrook artists Fred and Caren-Marie Michel's bright, cheery home and the cozy confines of the Warren Memorial Library's auditorium was a jam-packed evening of art, wine, and finger foods. Not a shabby combination, if you ask me.

Nevertheless, Maine musician Sara Cox, who performed at the WML, nicely captured Westbrook's inaugural Fourth Friday Art Walk when she said: "You gotta be a good walker. Or really like art."

So without further ado, here's an (incomplete) list of the artists and companies featured in the art walk:

The next Fourth Friday Art Walk is scheduled for June 27. Click here for more information.

- John C.L. Morgan

Congressional Wannabes

Two weeks from today, Westbrook voters will pull the figurative levers for the Democratic or Republican candidate they prefer to represent their respective parties in the November election to represent Cumberland, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, and York counties in the U.S. Congress.

Candidate Information:
Michael Brennan (D)
Website
Video
PPH Profile
MPBN Interview

Adam Cote (D)
Website
Video
PPH Profile
MPBN Interview

Mark Lawrence (D)
Website
Video
PPH Profile
MPBN Interview

Steve Meister (D)
Website
Video
PPH Profile
MPBN Interview

Chellie Pingree (D)
Website
Video
PPH Profile
MPBN Interview

Dean Scontras (R)
Website
Video
PPH Profile
MPBN Interview

Ethan Strimling (D)
Website
Video
PPH Profile
MPBN Interview

Charlie Summers (R)
Website
Video
MPBN Interview

Debates:
WCSH Democratic debate
WGAN Democratic debate (here, here, here, and here)
WGME Republican debate
WGME Democratic debate

News:
On Maine Politics
Political Extra
PolitickerME

And for information concerning voter participation and polling information in Westbrook, check out this useful link from the City of Westbrook's website.

(Update: The Maine Public Broadcasting Network hosted a debate among the Democrats after this post was initially written, and the Republicans' debate on MPBN is scheduled for June 5. Both can be seen here.)

- John C.L. Morgan

New Vids

I just posted video from yesterday's Memorial Day parade on Main Street. They can be viewed here and here.

Footage from the ceremony will be posted within the next two days.

- John C.L. Morgan

Around the Diamond

A couple bits of baseball-related info to pass along:
  • Westbrook resident Gary Lapierre is one of this year's twelve inductees to the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame. Lapierre was a member of the 1981 Portland Babe Ruth World Series team and is in the top five in both career doubles and career hits at the University of Maine (1985-1988). He also starred at Deering High School, but I don't want to stain my screen with brags of the accomplishments of that school (that, and I have no idea what his accomplishments actually were at Deering, aside from the fact that he "went on to star" there.
  • Also, Westbrook alum Jordan Purington was selected to the America East All-Conference second team. Purington, a sophomore hurler at Stony Brook University, posted a record of 3-3 with an 3.83 ERA. He was also third in the conference is saves (6) and led the conferences in appearances (26). As for his Stony Brook Seawolves (whatever those are), they won the America East Championship to secure a bid in the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship. So they're scheduled to travel to Tempe, Arizona to take on Arizona State on Friday, May 30 at 10p. Moreover, Purington will be joined in the Tempe Regional by fellow Mainers, Ryan Flaherty and Andrew Giobbi, of Vanderbilt University.

Damn, I just gave Deering credit.

(Update: According to the Bangor Daily News, Lapierre was a three-time All-State selection in high school and captained the University of Maine team as a senior in 1988. He graduated with eight hitting-related school records.)

- John C.L. Morgan

Monday, May 26, 2008

Westbrook Foodie, 2.0

According to the food writer, Meredith Goad, Westbrook is now a destination spot for growling stomachs. So here's a collection of all the reviews I could dig up related to Westbrook food after mining this site and the excellent Portland Food Map:

Baker's Bench: here.

Burrito: here, here, here, and here.

Casa Novello: here and here.

Don's Lunch: here.

Fajita Grill: here and here.

Lady Ball's Victorian Boutique and Tea Room: here.

Medeo: here and here.

Thanksgiving's Bakery and Eatery: here.

The Frog and Turtle: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Wake N' Bakery: here.

- John C.L. Morgan

Historians and Robbers

When I read the 'Westbrook Cop and Civil War Historian' teaser on the front page of the Press Herald's 'Audience' section, I assumed I'd be reading about Sgt. Mike Sanphy once I flipped to page six (speaking of page six, when is the Press Herald going to get a page six like this one?).

Anyway, it was a safe assumption considering Sanphy is an active member of the Westbrook Historical Society and a frequent visitor to the Society on Saturday mornings. But I suppose we all know what happens when you assume: You learn the Westbrook Police Department is actually a secret bastion of...history buffs.

To wit, read the PPH's interview with Sgt. Mike Nugent, a co-author of One Continuous Night, a deconstruction of Gen. Robert E. Lee's retreat from Gettysburg.

- John C.L. Morgan

Pine Tree Lit

The Press Herald is collaborating with the Maine Regional Library System to create a Maine Literary Map, a geographical representation of Maine's appearances in popular fiction and non-fiction. You can read about the project here and contribute to the project here.

I've contributed to the project once already and have adopted it as a little hobby until the window for submissions closes on June 8.

- John C.L. Morgan

(Update: I just added E.B. White's One Man's Meat to my earlier selection of Robert P.T. Coffin's Kennebec: Cradle of Americans. I know, I'm a geek.)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Song of the Week

The song of the week is The Grassholes' "9-Pound Hammer."

- John C.L. Morgan

Buckfield Bass



Westbrook Almanac: May 18-May 24, 2008

Week-to-Date:
High: 71F (May 18)
Low: 43F (May 20, May 24)
Precipitation: 0.01 inches
Previous Sunrise: 5:08a
Previous Sunset: 8:10p

Month-to-Date:
High: 79F (May 8)
Low: 29F (May 1)
Precipitation: 0.71 inches

Year-to-Date:
High: 79F (May 8)
Low: -5 F (January 4)
Precipitation: 21.99 inches

Source: National Weather Service

- John C.L. Morgan

Top 10 Local CDs: May 12- May 18, 2008

Here are the Top 10 Local CDs for the week of May 12-May 18 (the album's spot in last week's Top 10 is in parentheses, much like this fyi note), courtesy of the Portland Phoenix:

  1. Dead Season, "Rise" (1)
  2. Rustic Overtones, "Long Division" (3)
  3. Various Artists, "Greetings from Area Code 207, Vol. 7" (2)
  4. Bob Marley, "Maine-iac on the Loose" (-)
  5. As Fast As, "Destroy the Plastique Man" (4)
  6. Cambiata, "To Heal" (5)
  7. Time for Change, "Apocalyptic Fantasy" (8)
  8. Bob Marley, "Goin Up the Faya" (-)
  9. Civil Disturbance, "The Battle Within" (6)
  10. Bob Marley, "Don't Feed the Natives" (-)

The list was compiled from Bull Moose Music.

- John C.L. Morgan


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Rest and Rejuvenation

I've been blogging nearly every day for almost six months now, so I think I'm due for a break. And considering I'm the boss of this here site, I grant myself that wish.

I'll be away from the keyboard for only a week, so check back in next Sunday, May 25. In the meantime, feel free to browse my previous samples of electronic chicken scratch extensive library of past posts, and let me know what you've liked or disliked about the blog so far.
I am very much interested in your frank and specific appraisals.

But for now, I'll write to you later.

- John C.L. Morgan

Westbrook Almanac: May 11-May 17, 2008

Week-to-Date:
High: 70F (May 13)
Low: 38F (May 12, May 14)
Precipitation: 0.02 inches
Previous Sunrise: 5:14a
Previous Sunset: 8:03p

Month-to-Date:
High: 79F (May 8)
Low: 29F (May 1)
Precipitation: 0.70 inches

Year-to-Date:
High: 79F (May 8)
Low: -5F (January 4)
Precipitation: 21.98 inches

Source: National Weather Service

- John C.L. Morgan

Top 10 Local CDs: May 5- May 11, 2008

Here are the Top 10 Local CDs for the week of May 5-May 11 (the album's spot in last week's Top 10 is in parentheses, much like this fyi note), courtesy of the Portland Phoenix:
  1. Dead Season, "Rise" (3)
  2. Various Artists, "Greetings from Area Code 207, Vol. 7" (1)
  3. Rustic Overtones, "Long Division" (2)
  4. As Fast As, "Destroy the Plastique Man" (4)
  5. Cambiata, "To Heal" (8)
  6. Civil Disturbance, "The Battle Within" (10)
  7. Sly-Chi, "The Space" (6)
  8. Time for Change, "Apocalyptic Fantasy" (5)
  9. Cambiata, "Into the Night" (9)
  10. Dave Mallett, "Midnight on the Water" (-)

The list was compiled from Bull Moose Music.

- John C.L. Morgan

Quote of the Day

"We used to drink Heineken, but now we drink Papst Blue Ribbon."

- A North Haven lobsterman explaining how he is adjusting to the increased cost of living in a Maine Sunday Telegram story about inflation on Maine islands.

- John C.L. Morgan

P.S. Speaking of Maine islands, check out my review of Virginia Thorndike's book, Islanders.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Step Away From the Wii

Considering I was one of the last kids in The Hamlet to receive a Nintendo (and later, a Sega Genesis), I'm probably not inclined to appreciate the allure of the Nintento Wii.

So while I was reading Avery Yale Kamila's
first-person narrative of the Wii experience The Flask in the latest issue of The Maine Switch, I couldn't help but think: Sure, virtual tennis, golf, and bowling sound fun. But why wouldn't one just play tennis at the Saccarappa or Westbrook High School tennis courts? Or stroll through a round of golf at Rivermeadow Golf Club, Sunset Ridge Golf Links, or the Twin Falls Golf Club? And then, of course, there's bowling at Colonial Lanes or Westport Bowling Lanes.

Seems to me the real thing might be a little more enjoyable.

(Update: Good luck playing tennis at Saccarappa School. The courts lack nets and are not in the greatest shape.)

- John C.L. Morgan

Proposed Social Calendar

About a month ago, I floated the idea of a not-so-secret society known as the Presumpscot Social Club (PSC), whose low-minded intent is to go places and have fun. But as Robert Putnam might put it, the high-minded intent is to build social capital among Westbrook folk. So without further ado, here's the proposed social calendar for the PSC:

June 2008: Scarborough Downs
Your chance to experience life as a Scarborough Downer. The food isn't too bad (read: greasy), and the adult beverages are reasonably priced. There's something else that makes Scarborough Downs fun, but for some reason I can't remember it...oh yeah, winning bets.

July 2008: Willowbrook Museum Village
A chance to get in touch with your inner history buff.

August 2008: Reggae on the Bay (Peaks Island)
A ride on the ferry, laid-back vibes, and fun under the sun. Doesn't sound too shabby to me.

September 2008: Paper City Triangle
Dinner at Don's Lunch, a couple games at Colonial Lanes, and a nightcap at Mill Side Tavern. Does it get any better than that?

October 2008: Downeast Potluck Supper at The Elms
We'd have to charge a fee to cover the $250 + 7% tax rental cost. But I think the setting and the do-it-yourself meals featuring Maine ingredients would be worth it.

November 2008: Maine Brewers' Festival
Beer, beer, and more Maine beer. 'Nuff said.

December 2008: Christmas Prelude
The website makes it looks cool (and cold). Nevertheless, it looks like a good spot for some X-Mas shopping.

January 2009: Neal Dow Pub Crawl
A chance to get in touch with the, ahem, nightlife Westbrook has to offer. (A request for a moment of silence in honor of the late Skybox Bar and Grill.)

February 2009: Lady Ball's Victorian Boutique and Tea Room
I suppose it's only fitting that the place right out of a romance novel should be enjoyed during the month that features the most romantic day of the year. Or something like that.

March 2009: Wayside Soup Kitchen
Life's not always just about us...some of the time.

April 2009: Open to suggestions.

May 2009: Portland Symphony Orchestra
A chance to get all fancy and cultured. I'm specifically thinking about this performance.

June 2009: Beanhole Baked Bean Supper and Pig Roast on the Riverwalk
Just a little shindig on the Friday night of next year's Westbrook Together Days. But does anyone have a stall where I can store a couple piglets this fall? And does anyone have any experience butchering said piglets or cooking beanhole baked beans? Those skills might be useful.

- John C.L. Morgan

Thursday, May 15, 2008

On the City Budget

Via Leslie Bridgers's article on the city budget in this week's American Journal, here are the particulars of the latest round of budgeting:
  • The Finance Committee approved the school budget, which was decreased by $46,000 because of a grant.
  • The Finance Committee unanimously voted to restore funding ($8,8775) for the position of a part-time car washer.
  • The Finance Committee rejected a proposal to double the funding (from $1,500 to $3,000) for a dinner organized to recognize public safety officials, 3-3. (Councilors Aube, Foley, and Joyce in favor; Councilors Gattine, O'Hara, Rielly against.)
  • The Finance Committee was able to extract $15,370 from the budget because of redundancy in the Police Department's budget.
  • The Finance Committee supported an increase of $6,100 to cover the cost of printing and postage for citywide mailings on behalf of the Recreation Department, 5-1. (Councilors Aube, Gattine, Joyce, O'Hara, Rielly in favor; Councilor Foley against.)
  • The Finance Committee increased funding for social services by $12,100, including an extra $6,000 for the Mission Possible Teen Center and an extra $3,000 to the Red Cross.

The City Council will be voting on Monday to give preliminary approval to budget. The meeting is at 7p, and will take place in Room 114 at the Westbrook High School.

- John C.L. Morgan

American Journal One-Liners

Westbrook gears up for its very own art walk.

Joyce Perrey talks about the city's clean-up and stars in the AJ's multimedia version of the story.

Portland police officer (and Westbrook resident) was indicted.

Pike Industries will present a sketch plan of its expansion plans to the Planning Board on Tuesday.

Finance Committee unanimously approved the city budget and sent it to the City Council.

- John C.L. Morgan

Freaky Art

I linked to James O'Reilly's photos of Westbrook last week. But what I didn't tell you at the time (mostly because I didn't know) was that O'Reilly will be exhibiting his photographs at Freaky Bean on Main Street throughout June. And that an opening reception for the exhibit is Friday, from 5-8p.

So consider the opening a warm-up for next week's inaugural Fourth Friday Art Walk and the Freaky Bean exhibit a welcomed addition to the event.

- John C.L. Morgan

Just Do It

First, vote in Down East magazine's 'Seven Wonders of Maine' poll, and then contribute possible entries for the 'Five Wonders of Westbrook.'

I smell a poll coming, so just do it.

- John C.L. Morgan

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Re: Dirigo Taxes

State Senator Phil Bartlett (D-Cumberland County), who represents a portion of Westbrook, co-authored an op-ed in today's Press Herald that picks apart the media's coverage of the controversial taxes that will be levied on soda, beer, and wine.

And on the opposite side of this debate, Maine Taxpayers United is sponsoring a training session for those interested in gathering signatures for a Peoples' Veto aiming to repeal the taxes. It is scheduled for Saturday, May 17 at 8a, and will take place at the American Legion Hall on Dunn Street. For more information on the training session, click here.

- John C.L. Morgan

P.S. The City's website features an excellent resource that clarifies who represents whom in Augusta. To wit: 'SS 6' refers to State Senator Bartlett, 'SS 9' refers to State Senator Joseph Brannigan (D-Cumberland County), 'SR 125' refers to State Representative Ann Peoples (D-Westbrook), and 'SR 126' refers to State Representative Tim Driscoll (D-Westbrook).

Quote, Unquote: E.B. White

"To me 'Vacationland' is a particularly annoying device to be emblazoned on the bow and stern of my small overworked sedan."

- E.B. White in One Man's Meat (1942), a collection of essays about his life on a Brooklin, Maine saltwater farm.

- John C.L. Morgan

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

No Sleeping Pills Required

Two years ago this week, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously sided with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection in the S.D. Warren Co. v. Maine Board of Environmental Protection et al. case about the state's ability to regulate the Presumpscot River.

Considered a landmark case for the Presumpscot specifically, and American rivers generally, a summary S.D. Warren Co. v. Maine Board can be read here. But for the truly adventurous (or dull), the Supreme Court's decision and the arguments surrounding the case can be read here and here, respectively.

And in closing, I hereby retroactively declare the 'Westbrook Word of the Year' for 2006 to be discharge.

- John C.L. Morgan

Monday, May 12, 2008

Better Know a Rep: Brendan Rielly

Better know a representative by checking out this 'Proust Questionnaire' of City Councilor Brendan Rielly (D-Ward 1) :

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Notre Dame's football team winning the national championship, or my kids succeeding at something they've worked hard at. Don't make me choose.

What is your current state of mind?
Peachy keen.

Which living person do you most admire?
Drew said his wife? I'll say Drew's wife, too. Anyone who can put up with him is a saint. No, I'd have to say my wife. I have to. She's reading this. Just kidding. I do admire Erica for her good heart and sense of humor, and the fact that she's stuck with me since we were both fifteen. Either she's a very loving person or just plain crazy. Both are traits I admire, and I'm not asking any questions.

What is your greatest fear?
Bats. Nasty, mean, ugly creatures. I could be profound and say fear of failing my loved ones, but I've gotta go with bats.

What is your most marked characteristic?
The third eye in the middle of my forehead. I keep it covered over with makeup. No, I hope my most marked characteristic is my positive attitude and willingness to make the best out of whatever situation I'm in.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Lack of patience.

Which living person do you most despise?
I don't despise any single person. I despise self-important people who have never had to work a day in their lives and who have no sense of humility, faith, duty, honor or community. And Yankees fans.

What is your greatest extravagance?
I don't really have any extravagances, although if I don't have air conditioning I get pretty cranky.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
See the traits of the living person I most despise.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
I don't think there is such a thing. Virtue only becomes overrated if it is false virtue, like pride or arrogance. Then it's no longer a virtue. Wow. That was way too profound for a Friday afternoon.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
I suppose that third eye in my forehead...

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I'd be more patient, and I'd have the gift of flight.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
A snarky sense of humor.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
A snarky sense of humor.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Okay.

Which talent would you most like to have?
Quarterbacking the Green Bay Packers would be pretty cool.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
You, of course. But since you're taken, I'll go with my wife.

When and where were you happiest?
Right here, right now. In general terms, I mean. I don't mean sitting at my computer typing to you, although this is pleasant.

Where would you like to live?
In the great city of Westbrook! I have a thousand places I'd love to travel to, but it's always nice to come home.

What is your most treasured possession?
We have lots of things that remind us of people we've known or places we've been, but I'm not a "thing" person, so I don't really have a treasured possession.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Not having friends or family who care about you.

What is your favorite occupation?
Dad and husband.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
A three-way tie: Luke Skywalker, George Bailey and Tom Joad. When I was a kid, I wanted to be Joe Hardy.

Who are your heroes in real life?
I start with my parents who taught me how to care for others, be a man, and give back. I continue learning from them as well as from my wife, my sister, my kids, and many of my friends. I'm always trying to learn how to be a better person and I certainly have a lot to work on. I'm lucky to be surrounded by people who are smarter, cooler and more put-together than me, and I learn from them. They're my heroes. Now I'm going to cry.

What do you most value in your friends?
A snarky sense of humor.

What is it that you most dislike?
People who think they know everything.

What is your motto?
Go get that ball. That's your ball! Sorry, that's my soccer coaching motto. Clarence the angel said: "Remember, no man is a failure who has friends." That works as well as anything.

- John C.L. Morgan

P.S. To read City Councilor Drew Gattine's 'Proust Questionnaire' from two weeks ago, click here.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Song of the Week

This week's song is "Black Rivers" by Brown Bird.

- John C.L. Morgan

Top 10 Local CDs: April 28- May 4, 2008

Here are the Top 10 Local CDs for the week of April 28-May 4 (the album's spot in last week's Top 10 is in parentheses, much like this fyi note), courtesy of the Portland Phoenix:
  1. Various Artists, "Greetings from Area Code 207, Vol. 7" (1)
  2. Rustic Overtones, "Long Division" (2)
  3. Dead Season, "Rise" (4)
  4. As Fast As, "Destroy the Plastique Man" (3)
  5. Time for Change, "Apocalyptic Fantasy" (-)
  6. Sly-Chi, "The Space" (8)
  7. Cambiata, "Into the Night" (9)
  8. Cambiata, "To Heal" (7)
  9. Sidecar Radio, "Wave Principle" (-)
  10. Civil Disturbance, "The Battle Within" (-)

The list was compiled from Bull Moose Music.

- John C.L. Morgan

Westbrook Almanac: May 4-May 10, 2008

Week-to-Date:
High: 79F (May 8)
Low: 41F (May 6)
Precipitation: 0.56 inches
Previous Sunrise: 5:22a
Previous Sunset: 7:55p

Month-to-Date:
High: 79F (May 8)
Low: 29F (May 1)
Precipitation: 0.68 inches

Year-to-Date:
High: 79F (May 8)
Low: -5F (January 4)
Precipitation: 21.96 inches

Source: National Weather Service

- John C.L. Morgan

Main Street Mile Tee


Main Street Mile Results

Fourteen runners (and walkers) participated in the third annual Main Street Mile road race this morning. Encompassing Westbrook's Main Street from Stockhouse Restaurant to Profenno's, the event raised over $800 for the Westbrook High School's Class of 2008 Project Graduation.

The top five finishers in the 3rd annual Main Street Mile road race:
  1. Zach Good, 6:18
  2. Pat Bureau, 6:26
  3. Joe Romano, 6:55
  4. Allie Aceto, 7:11
  5. Audrey Shutts, 7:11

- John C.L. Morgan

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Photogenic, Take Two

Westbrook has suddenly become photogenic.

Besides James O'Reilly's photographs, there are also these nocturnal images of the city, courtesy of Brookie, Tony Bessey.

- John C.L. Morgan

Clean(er)


Clean-Up Report

One of the beneficial things life provides is ample opportunity for do-gooders to do well.

This morning, for example, I was one of about seventy volunteers dispatched to all the corners of Westbrook (clean-up sites included Beaver Pond, City Hall, Main Street, Prides Corner School, the Lincoln Street skating rink, the Riverwalk, the Rochester Street railroad tracks, the skatepark, the Sappi snow dump, Saccarappa Cemetery, the Stroudwater Street ice rink, Wescott Junior High School, Westbrook Commons, Westbrook High School, and William Clarke Drive) to pick up litter. And anyone who participated would affirm the opportunity (read: trash) was plentiful.

According to the clean-up coordinator, Joyce Perrey, Westbrook churches such as the First Baptist Church in Westbrook, Pride's Corner Congregational Church, Trinity Lutheran Church, The Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Greater Portland, and Westbrook-Warren Congregational Church supplied much of the manpower. But eight Key Clubbers (7 from Westbrook High School, 1 from, ahem, Cheverus) and an assortment of unaffiliated Westbrook residents (such as myself) also showed up to join the effort.

Also, the City of Westbrook Department of Public Services provided the tools of the trade, while local businesses (Full Court Press, Hannaford, and Home Depot) lent their support, both financially and materially.

And, finally, all the bottles and cans retrieved throughout the clean-up were en route to the 302 Redemption Center, with the proceeds of the returns designated for the Westbrook Food Pantry.

- John C.L. Morgan

Don't Just Look at It. Study It!

The folks at the Unicorn School of Metaphysics have just posted their short film, PROJECT AYNA-V. And this critic puts it in the category of so-awful-it-is-almost-awesome.

Nevertheless, I'd say it's the second-best film shot in Westbrook, behind only Motel Mission.

- John C.L. Morgan

P.S. Bizarre thought of the day: Why is having some awe good, but being full of awe, well, awful? Maybe I have some etymologists in my reading audience who can answer this linguistic puzzler.

Friday, May 9, 2008

American Journal One-Liners

City Council gave preliminary approval to an amendment that requires severence payments to city workers of more than $3,000 to be approved by the Council.

Pike Industries has been awarded part of the contract to renovate an 18-mile stretch I-295.

Planning Board recommends the City Council continue to allow people build houses on 5,000 square foot lots.

Portland police officer (and Westbrook resident) remembered as "a wonderful neighbor."

Planning Board to quicken vetting process for Stroudwater Place.

Westbrook Little League opens 2008 season.

- John C.L. Morgan