Monday, December 31, 2001

Tally Systems expands reseller program

Published in Interface Tech News

LEBANON, N.H. ‹ IT asset inventory specialist Tally Systems recently closed a resale and distribution deal with Vancouver, British Columbia-based TechTrack Solutions. With this agreement, TechTrack plans to resell Tally's asset-tracking software and Web-based platform services, and may include Tally products in its own offerings.

"A lot of the revenue potential for this is over the long haul," said Randy Britton, communications director for Tally.

Tally offers two packages: TS.Census, a company intranet-based program for ongoing tracking at larger companies, and WebCensus, a Web-based application targeted at short-term users or smaller companies. Both provide customers with specific reports on installed hardware and software, including CPU components and application serial numbers, to assist companies with inventory and IT asset tracking.

"They get results in a matter of days," Britton said of WebCensus clients, many of whom are planning the timing and scope of hardware and software upgrades. "Knowing what you have in place really helps you to make that decision," he added.

Patricia Adams, a senior research analyst studying IT asset management for the Gartner Group, agrees, and said there is a lot of growth in this area right now.

"What's driving this is the recession," she said. "Companies are now tightening back on their spending." That leaves software companies coming up short in their sales figures, so they are auditing their clients.

According to Adams, while the typical response to audits used to be purchasing more than enough additional licenses to be compliant and leaving it at that, companies are now saying, "Let's just quickly run an inventory."

"It's more a project focus than a long-term focus," Adams said. But she added that some companies are even seeing value in continuing asset tracking.

Companies that know where their assets are can retire them when they're no longer needed, recover unused software license fees, and renegotiate bulk deals to save money. Also, Adams said, they can plan upgrades more efficiently, knowing ahead of time what hardware will need to be replaced to support a new software package such as Windows 2000 or Windows XP.

"Asset management has always been around," Adams said, but "now it's really coming of age."

Thursday, December 27, 2001

Students aim for military academies

Published in the Current

At a time when there has been a spike in patriotism, across the country, four local young men are applying to take the long road into military service.

They are aiming for admission to the country’s elite service academies, and if they get in and make it through, they will come out as leaders – officers in the Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines or Merchant Marine.

Dan Shevenell and David Greenwood of Cape Elizabeth, and Matt Reichl and Ben Tourangeau of Scarborough, have been nominated by Maine’s congressional delegation to attend U.S. military and service academies next year.

Nomination is not the final step in applications to the academies, but neither is it the first. In addition to multiple pieces of paperwork beyond a standard college application, there is a physical exam, questioning by nomination boards and interviews at the academies. Each is a key step, and nomination by a U.S. senator or representative is the most common way for civilians to enter the academies.

It is an introduction to government bureaucracy and teaches an important lesson: Despite the piles of paper, “it doesn’t take all that long,” according to one applicant.

Two from Scarborough
Scarborough resident and Cheverus High student, Ben Tourangeau, is applying to the Merchant Marine Academy after being approached by the soccer coach there. The academy’s was but one of several recruitment letters Tourangeau has gotten from schools around the nation who want the star Cheverus player on their team.

He looked at the experience, including traveling while in school, and was impressed when he visited the campus. He also considered what would happen after graduation.

“The job acceptance when you graduate (from the Merchant Marine Academy) is really high,” Tourangeau said.

He also thought about his dream. “I want to be a Navy Seal,” he said. He said a lot of folks might be expecting him to play a lot of soccer and even get involved in a semi-professional league. But he said it’s time for a change. He’ll still play and enjoy soccer at the academy, he said, but it won’t be his primary focus.

“This is going to be a big challenge,” he said. And if he doesn’t get in? He’ll probably go to the Naval Academy Prep School and aim to go to Annapolis from there.

Matt Reichl’s father was in the Navy, and he’s following in those footsteps by applying to the Naval Academy and the Merchant Marine Academy. He also takes inspiration, he said, from Red Sox star Ted Williams, who said he felt his time in the military was among his most valuable experience.

The Scarborough High senior sent out his applications two months ago and is hoping to hear back from the schools before New Year’s. He is also applying to civilian schools, and hasn’t decided about whether he’ll get involved in ROTC or not.

“I run to the mail every day,” Reichl said.

He said Sept. 11 hasn’t changed his mind about the military, and he accepts the risk of war.

“It’s something the country has to do,” Reichl said.

Reichl said the country needs graduates from the military academies even more now. “What they really need now is leaders,” he said.

He said his parents also support his decision. “My parents are 100 percent behind me, whatever I choose to do,” he said.

The local students have been nominated to one or more of the following schools: the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, N.Y., the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. The U.S. Coast Guard Academy at New London, Conn., does not require applicants to be nominated.

Cape Elizabeth’s nominees
Cape’s Dan Shevenell has been planning to apply to service academies for four years. “My decision to apply to a service academy started freshman year,” he said.

Shevenell, who is nominated to the Naval, Merchant Marine and Air Force academies and will apply to the Coast Guard Academy as well, said terrorism made him more certain of his choice.

“Sept. 11 made me definitely want to go to a service academy,” he said.

He is not a hawk, he said, and is concerned about risking his life in battle, but sees a greater good he can serve. At the academies, he said, students “train for war and they thank God that they don’t have to use that training very often.”

He wants to become a leader, and the quality of education – not to mention getting paid to go to college – makes the academies more attractive Shevenell said.

He also sees an important element of the system of checks and balances at work in the nomination process. “The Congress gets to nominate all their officers and controls their funding,” he said.

Shevenell’s eggs are not in one basket, and he is applying through the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) to civilian colleges and universities. He is not choosy about which service he ends up in, but he does have a goal.

“I’d like to be a pilot,” he said.

So much so, in fact, that he has already started working on his private pilot’s license. He thinks flying with the Coast Guard would be particularly challenging, since they do a lot of their work in bad weather.

“You can’t argue with a storm,” Shevenell said.

David Greenwood of Cape enlisted in the Marine Corps back in August, and is applying to the Naval Academy and to West Point. He wants to be in the infantry. He said he has a lot of family in the military, including a brother in the Marines now.

He hasn’t questioned his enlistment, even in light of recent events. “When Sept. 11 came, I knew I’d made the right choice,” Greenwood said.

He was in the Naval Cadet Corps for four years up at Brunswick Naval Air Station and is also applying through ROTC to various civilian colleges.

Packy McFarland leaves behind a legend of caring

Published in the Current

Edward “Packy” McFarland died Dec. 19 after a long battle with heart trouble. It was a strong, all-embracing heart, for which he was admired by most people in Scarborough, and for which they honored him during his life and after his death. His heart was his greatest asset and, in the end, his final weakness.

“He was extremely good at motivating kids that were atypical athletes,” said current Scarborough High School athletic director Frank Spencer. “He made them feel good about themselves.”

And that is perhaps his lasting legacy in Scarborough. Former players and students remember him as a great man, with some corny catch-phrases like “A boy in sports is a boy not in trouble.”

But Dan Warren, one of Packy’s players who grew up to live and work and coach baseball in Scarborough, said he often finds himself repeating Packy’s pithy platitudes to his own players, 30 years later.

Warren, who played on Packy’s last conference championship baseball team in 1971, became even better friends with him as an adult than they had ever been at the high school.

“He was a tremendous people person,” Warren said. “He makes great eye contact with everybody, and this was a guy who was legally blind for the last 10 years of his life. He would put himself six or eight inches from your face and have a conversation.”

Warren remembers that Packy said coaching high school basketball was one of the hardest things he ever did, in a life that included service in World War II and work as a shipbuilder. In Maine, Packy would say, there’s not much to do in the winter, and people really care about their basketball teams.

So any minor outing to a store or a gas station could become a fully involved discussion between coach and angry fan questioning the decision to play a full-court press in last night’s game.

But Packy would take these discussions in stride, saying that everyone had a right to have access to their team’s coach.

Warren said that’s a principle that is missing from today’s sports world.

Looking out for others
Also missing today, according to some, is a sense of community spirit Packy embodied.

Mark Buttarazzi, now a dentist in Scarborough, played baseball for Packy in the early 1970s. “His players and students always came first,” Buttarazzi said. “Their accomplishments meant a lot to him.”

He had no trouble getting his players to give their all. “He was the type of guy you just wanted to play your heart out for,” Buttarazzi said. “He could get 110 percent out of everybody.”

Buttarazzi said Packy’s motto, “Quitters never win and winners never quit,” helped him get through college and graduate school. Packy’s devotion to the community was a model for Buttarazzi, who came back to Scarborough to give back to the community that had given him so much.

He started his own dental practice, and learned again that quitting was not a formula for success. Packy helped him get involved in coaching youth baseball, too.

“Packy was the type of guy who gave a lot to the community,” Buttarazzi said. “I always admired that.”

Warren said Packy helped him see the value in getting involved in the community and in giving to charitable causes. “He just pushed me, but he always did it gently,” Warren said.

A long and storied career
Packy taught and coached at Scarborough High School for 26 years, retiring in 1983, the same year the school’s baseball field was given his name.

But long before that, the caring man and athlete made his mark on Maine. As a student at Bowdoin College, he was captain of the basketball team for three straight years and made All-American as a senior.

He helped start Bowdoin’s intercollegiate baseball team, and was its first captain.

Despite hearing loss due to a head injury during a basketball game early in his career, he was a successful coach and history teacher. And, for every student who remembers working hard in Packy’s demanding classes, there are players who remember a man driven to help them succeed.

In their success he found his own, getting elected to the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame as a coach in 1993. He also has been honored as a Maine Sports Legend. But Warren said it’s not the awards and honors, it’s not the championship titles and the prestige of being a big name in Maine sports. “It’s how he used it,” Warren said.

He would teach in stories, but not tooting his own horn. Instead, Warren remembers, he would tell a story about how he failed because he didn’t do something the right way. And he would say what happened, and what he thought about that now. It was a way of teaching, Warren said, that really reached his audience.

It wasn’t just that way on the field, but in the classroom as well. He would start with a paragraph from a textbook and launch into stories about his service in the war, or other lessons he had learned. “He brought the outside world into the classroom,” Warren said.

A good family man
“A lot of my favorite memories are about going to the games,” said Martha Williams, Packy’s daughter and an English teacher at Scarborough High. The teams, she said, were a part of the family. Martha’s mother, Alice, would cook dinners for the teams before big games.

Her brother played on basketball and baseball teams for Packy, but even before that, the coach’s games were family affairs.

And beyond the coaching, Packy was a good father. “He would come home and read to us,” Williams said. “He was a very caring, compassionate father.”

Packy took his family from Freedom Academy, where he started out as a coach of boys and girls basketball, to Gorham High School for 10 years. And then he came to Scarborough, and the school was never the same.

“He just loved people and they gave it back,” Williams said.

Williams, who started teaching at the school before her father retired, said he was always a great person to have around as a parent, colleague and friend.

“He had a great sense of humor,” Williams said.

He kept that upbeat spirit even in the darkest days of the Red Sox, his beloved team. He never gave up on them, or any of his students or players. He always gave more than he got, but he got more than he could have imagined.

And now the question is, Warren said, “How do we take up the torch?”

Thursday, December 20, 2001

Gorman back in Maine, claims innocence in murder probe

Published in the Current; co-written with Brendan Moran

The Scarborough man wanted for questioning in the murder of Amy St. Laurent has been brought back to Maine after fleeing, but his attorney has told police his client didn’t kill the woman.

Jeffrey “Russ” Gorman’s lawyer said Tuesday outside of the Cumberland County Courthouse that his client was “innocent” in the murder of Amy St. Laurent.

“He didn’t do it,” Clifford Strike told a reporter from the Portland Press Herald. “He is not responsible for Miss St. Laurent’s death.”

Although Gorman, 21, of Scarborough, has been named as a suspect in the case by the press since court documents linked him to the crime, the Portland Police haven’t charged anyone with the crime. They have said repeatedly that he is not a suspect in the case.

Portland Police Chief Michael Chitwood said he expects to make an arrest in the “near future,” but declined to be specific.

“The person should know we’re coming,” said Chitwood.

Detectives continued to search the area off County Road where St. Laurent’s body was found for clues this week, but Chitwood did not say what, if anything, had been found.

“The investigation is being conducted methodically and professionally,” Chitwood said.

Gorman was arrested outside of Troy, Ala., last week, after a four-hour stand off, and extradited to Maine for probation violations in an unrelated theft.

“Maine authorities advised Troy police they needed to talk to Gorman in connection with a missing person case which allegedly occurred in October. The missing person’s body was later found in a small town near Portland, Maine,” read a press release from the Troy Police Department.

Chitwood refused to comment on the Alabama press release.

Gorman lived at 68 County Road in Scarborough for the past couple of years with his mother and other relatives.

The home is just a few hundred yards from where the body was found.

Gorman was born in Troy. He grew up and attended high school there, according to Sgt. Benny Scarbrough of the Troy Police Department.

Scarbrough knew of Gorman most of the time he was living in Troy. He knew when Gorman left Troy for Florida, only to return later.

“I don’t want to talk about anything while he was a juvenile,” said Scarbrough.

Gorman hadn’t been in Troy for more than a few weeks before police arrested him at an acquaintance’s home outside of Troy. Police got a tip that led them to the residence, after Gorman allegedly pulled a gun on someone outside a business in Troy.

Troy Police were able to evacuate everyone from the residence before the standoff.

But Gorman refused to be arrested for four hours.

Gorman was holding two guns. Scarbrough said he was cooperative and didn’t make any demands, other than asking for a phone. He didn’t threaten anyone, but did put the gun to his own head a couple of times.

Police negotiators refused to give Gorman a phone. Negotiations were broken off several times so that traffic could get through on the highway.

Gorman even held his guns out of sight as the traffic passed at the request of the police, according to Scarbrough.

Police negotiators eventually traded a cigarette for one of Gorman’s guns and ended the standoff peacefully.

The day after his arrest, Gorman waived extradition proceedings, speeding his return to Maine. He was flown back Dec. 14, escorted by officers from the Maine Department of Corrections.

Monday, December 17, 2001

Lightbridge tightens reins

Published in Interface Tech News

BURLINGTON, Mass. ‹ Continuing its post-merger shuffling of personnel and resources, mobile business services company Lightbridge is closing one of its four offices and shifting tasks and employees to the remaining three. Most of the employees have left the Palo Alto, Calif. office, although a few will remain through May.

Its February 2001 acquisition of prepaid mobile services specialist Corsair Communications, based in Palo Alto and Irvine, meant Lightbridge had two offices in California ‹ in addition to its Burlington headquarters and its software development center outside Denver.

Nearly 100 employees were affected, though most were offered the option of relocating to Irvine, the company said. Many will do so, while others will leave Lightbridge.

Lynne Smith, Lightbridge's director of corporate communications, said this was a planned event based on the company's business needs, rather than a response to the economic downturn.

"This wasn't about taking hits," Smith said. "We are still quite profitable. This was a real business decision."

The overhead associated with keeping the additional office open was an inefficient burden on the company, Smith said, and bringing together staff who perform similar functions will help move Lightbridge toward its renewed focus on mobile business services.

"We are a conservatively managed company," Smith said, emphasizing that Wall Street's response to the consolidation was positive.

Analyst Iain Gillott of iGillott Research said the company was making a smart move, and was actually surprised at the timing of the rearrangement. "I thought they were going to do this sooner," Gillott said.

He differentiated Lightbridge from startups and equipment companies that have taken big hits recently. Instead, he said, Lightbridge gets much of its revenue from commissions and royalties when people activate mobile phones, and also through the company's involvement in credit checks and fraud prevention methods used by mobile carriers.

Gillott said that mobile phone usage and subscribership continues to climb, especially in the area of prepaid service, which is a major focus for Lightbridge.

Lightbridge does face some obstacles, Gillott said, primarily in the way the market is shifting toward mobile business in addition to mobile telephone services. "They have to shift their strategy to deal with that," he said, adding that Lightbridge has been pigeonholed by the industry and needs to break out of those preconceptions.

He said the company has a good chance to do that, with a good reputation and strong services.

"They do what they do very well," Gillott said.

Thursday, December 13, 2001

Cape affirms school superintendent

Published in the Current

The Cape Elizabeth School board re-appointed Superintendent Tom Forcella to his position for another year at the board’s regular meeting Tuesday. It was a formality required by state law, but the board took the opportunity to praise him.

“We are a really nice group and we really like Tom,” said board chair George Entwistle.

The board also congratulated middle school physical education staff and students on their achievement of the President’s Physical Education Award for the fourth consecutive year.

The board approved the revisions to the health insurance plan for teachers, which were renegotiated as required in the contract. Entwistle said the update is part of the district’s effort to attract and retain top-notch teachers.

The board also approved the changes to the educational records policies, as required by state and federal laws. Board members also approved the first reading of time out and therapeutic restraint policies, which are new to the district but are required by state law.

In other business, the board:
– Heard a report from Superintendent Tom Forcella that the Cape Elizabeth Education Foundation is continuing its strategic planning process and may kick off a capital campaign in fall 2002. Forcella also reported that there will be a districtwide staff survey in January to establish a baseline against which progress of the district’s Future Direction Plan can be measured.
– Heard a report from high school student representatives, including news that the mock trial team is doing very well and will face the Waynflete team this week in Portland. The debate and speech meet went well over the weekend, too. Sports are in full swing, and track and skiing will have their first competitions this weekend.
– Heard a report from the middle school student representatives, including information that there are programs throughout the school promoting kindness and respect between students. The middle school students also reported on their continuing videoconference communication with the Bronx Zoo. “We are the first school in the state to communicate in this way with an out-of-state organization,” said student Lily Hoffman.
– Heard a report from middle school principal Nancy Hutton that Gov. Angus King visited the school and participated in a video conference with the Bronx Zoo.
– Heard a report from high school principal Jeff Shedd on progress reports, which he described as “a work in progress.” For the first quarter, all students received progress reports from all of their teachers. For the rest of the year, students in danger of failing will have notices mailed home to parents, while other teachers may give progress reports to students, at their discretion. Shedd also said he has not received any formal notice from music director Norm Richardson of his departure.

The board invited residents to a public forum on ethical and responsible behavior, to be held Monday, Jan. 7, at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria shared by the middle and elementary schools.

Sgt. Lindsey turns in his badge on Christmas night

Published in the Current

On Christmas Day Richard Lindsey will get an extra gift: freedom. The 60-year-old sergeant on the Cape Elizabeth police force has served 30 years, literally half his life, with the department. His last two shifts will be Christmas Eve and Christmas night.

He has served four police chiefs under four town managers, in four different police stations around Cape Elizabeth.

“It goes by quick,” Lindsey said.

And he has seen a lot of change in town. “This was all farmland,” Lindsey said, gesturing to the area southeast of the town center. He remembers when Wainwright Circle was a big potato farm.

“It’s grown a lot,” he said of the town. And even buildings that existed when he came to Cape have seen growth and change.

“They’ve rebuilt all the schools,” he said.

Broad Cove was just being developed when he started in the department, when police offices were over in the fire station on Shore Road, right by the South Portland town line.

He had spent just a few months in the Portland Police Department that year, 1971, and came over to Cape. He said the challenges are different, and likes the breadth of duties he has in Cape.

While Cape’s criminal activity tends to be smaller and less frequent, he has been involved in two homicide investigations. “You’ve still got to be prepared,” he said.

And bigger departments have specialists for different kinds of police work. But Cape’s officers have to do everything and keep up their training across the range of police skills.

Lindsey, from East Machias, served in the Air Force on Guam, from 1960 to 1964, and he still talks about it with a smile. “It was great.”

Then he came back and worked on a timber crew and in a Georgia Pacific paper mill before going to the Portland Police Department.

Chief Neil Williams said he knew the time would come when Lindsey would leave. “We just didn’t know when,” he said. Williams said the department will fill the empty sergeant’s spot by promoting within, and will hire a reserve officer to fill that vacancy.

Williams said he wishes Lindsey well, and said he has more than earned his keep, especially working swing shift, for 30 years. “That’s a long time,” Williams said.

Working swing shift has been tough, Lindsey said, and it’s time to stop working two weeks of early shift, two weeks of days, then lates and then nights, each for two weeks.

“The older you get the tougher it is,” he said.

And, of course, the town’s bad guys don’t age at the same rate. “At my age you’re too old to be out chasing kids,” he said with a laugh.

But Lindsey said he will stick around the area, even if he does take a few weeks “down South” after he retires. He’ll keep his house in Portland, and his daughters and their families – including four grandchildren – live nearby.

He loves to hunt and fish and golf, so Maine’s a good place for him to be. He said he was sorry that he wouldn’t get to see the inside of the new police station, though he admitted he would probably go visit his colleagues, and would be back in Cape.

“It’s been a great community, and I have lots of friends here,” Lindsey said.

Watch out for trains

Published in the Current

The Scarborough Police Department is warning people to look out for speeding trains in town, as the Amtrak service between Boston and Portland begins Saturday.

It means that some trains passing through Scarborough will not be going 30 mph, as freight trains do, but possibly up to 79 mph.

The only road-rail crossing in town will be on Winnocks Neck Road, but police Chief Robert Moulton said he is more concerned about people walking on the tracks elsewhere in town.

People often fish from the trestles or walk along the railroad bed, he said. Some parents encourage their children to walk along the tracks rather than use busy roads.

The increased train speed means people along the tracks will have less time to get out of the way of an oncoming train, but Moulton also warned of another danger: suction.

The train could be moving fast enough, Moulton said, that a 200-pound adult ten feet from the tracks could be sucked in and under the passing train.

Railroad staff working along the tracks in Scarborough Wednesday afternoon dismissed that concern, but said people walking along the tracks could be ordered to pay hefty fines for trespassing on federally patrolled property.

Moulton said one particular area he is especially worried about is along Highland Avenue, at Cook Concrete, where local teenagers have been known to party.

He urged all local residents to use caution when near the tracks, and keep an extra eye out for oncoming trains. “You’re talking about a very heavy piece of equipment,” he said.

Scarborough’s connection to murder unfolds

Published in the Current; co-written with Kate Irish Collins and Brendan Moran

A Scarborough man who was linked to the murder of Amy St. Laurent by court documents left few footprints in town.

Portland Police Chief Michael Chitwood refused to name Jeffrey “Russ” Gorman as a suspect in the case Wednesday and said, “We’re not looking for him.”

But a handwritten note written at the bottom of a request to revoke Gorman’s probation on unrelated charges of burglary and theft, stated that he was a “prime suspect” in the case – a connection first reported by the Portland Press Herald on Monday and verified by documents obtained by the Current.

Police have one strong suspect and believe others may have helped conceal the body, according to Chitwood. He said he expects to make an arrest in the case “soon,” but declined to give a timetable.

Portland Police have not contacted Scarborough Police for information on Gorman, 21, or told them he was a suspect in the case, according to Scarborough Police Chief Robert Moulton. Moulton said police have stopped Gorman in the past, but only for traffic violations.

While court documents identify Gorman, whose last known address was 68 Country Road in Scarborough, as “dangerous, may be armed,” Chief Chitwood said Gorman is not believed to be in Scarborough or posing a danger to Scarborough residents.

Searchers discovered St. Laurent’s body Saturday afternoon just a few hundred yards from 68 County Road, which is Route. 22. Gorman’s home is less than a half mile from the intersection of County Road and Saco Street and less than a mile from the Westbrook line.

Police weren’t the only ones looking for St. Laurent in Scarborough.

Dennis St. Laurent, Amy St. Laurent’s father, was searching the Haigis Parkway four to five weeks ago, according to Michael Anton, the owner of Admiral Fire and Safety, which is on Haigis Parkway and where Dennis St. Laurent came asking permission to search the area.

A source close to the family confirmed that St. Laurent’s father and other family members had been looking for her in “various places at various times.”

“It’s really too bad,” said Anton. “It turns out, in the end, he wasn’t
that far off.”

St. Laurent, of South Berwick, disappeared in the early morning hours of Oct. 21, after a night of dancing in the Old Port. Her picture has appeared on the news and was posted around Portland after her disappearance.

A possible suspect
Gorman “is prime suspect in missing St. Laurent girl case. Is believed to be in Florida, having taken off (Nov. 16). Request this be placed in system as soon as possible, as Florida (police) are attempting to locate,” read a note at the bottom of a request to revoke Gorman’s probation, signed by David Redmond, Gorman’s probation officer.

Redmond refused comment Tuesday and referred calls to the Associate Commissioner of Corrections, who did not return calls from the Current.

Gorman’s probation resulted from the theft of a car stereo in September of 2000. Authorities issued three warrants on separate occasions for probation violations, recalling two of them.

Gorman had failed to notify his probation officer of a change of address. He also had failed to tell him he had been contacted by police on five separate occasions. The document does not indicate why police contacted Gorman.

In addition to those violations, Gorman failed to pay $500 restitution on the earlier charges and to report to his probation officer on Nov. 19.

The first warrant was issued Nov. 20 and recalled the next day, at the request of Portland police. The warrant was again issued Nov. 29, and recalled Monday, this time at the request of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office. The warrant was issued Tuesday, once again, on the same charge.

Clifford Strike, the lawyer who represented Gorman in the burglary and theft case, last heard from Gorman in August or September. He said he remembered Gorman as a young man without much of a criminal record.

Westbrook Police Chief Steven Roberts refused to comment on Gorman.

“I don’t have any intent of jeopardizing an investigation that’s ongoing at this point,” said Roberts.

A woman who answered the door Tuesday at 68 County Road, Gorman’s address according to court documents, said “no comment.”

Few footprints
The house is a few hundred yards down the road from the wooded lot where St. Laurent’s body was discovered.

Wanda Donovan, whose home is right next to the property where St. Laurent’s body was found, said the dirt road there can be busy.

“I see a lot of activity down that road,” she said. It’s mostly hunters, but she said she had heard that there is an old gravel pit back in there.

Donovan was unsettled by the discovery.

“I’m trying not to think about it too much,” she said.

Scarborough’s Chief Moulton said the area is not a so-called “dumping ground” for evidence criminals want to conceal. He recalls that there was a chicken coop in the area, where a runaway would hide years ago, but hasn’t heard anything suspicious about the property since.

Joan Deveau owns the house at 68 County Road, according to town records. Although neighbors said Gorman had been in the neighborhood for a couple years, none of the neighbors interviewed by the Current knew Gorman or his relation to the Deveaus.

Gorman, who was born in Troy, Ala., didn’t attend high school in Scarborough or Westbrook, according to school records.

Richard Hillock, who lives across the street from 68 County Road, said he had seen Gorman around, but never spoke to him. He said he hadn’t seen him in the last couple of weeks.

Although Hillock said he had spoken to the Deveaus on a few occasions, he didn’t know how Gorman had come to stay at the house across the road.

Gorman worked part time at 1st Stop convenience store down the road for a couple of weeks “a year or two ago,” according to Don Cook, the owner.

Cook couldn’t remember any details about Gorman. “I wouldn’t recognize him if he walked in here today,” said Cook. “You could be him.”

Cook couldn’t remember whether Gorman had quit, but he couldn’t remember firing him. “I think he just didn’t show up,” he said. Cook hasn’t seen him since then.

A fortunate find
The discovery of St. Laurent’s body came as a result of the efforts of the Maine Warden Service, according to Chitwood.

Wardens provided about 85 volunteers and several cadaver search dogs. They also used computerized search-planning software to design a search of the area in question.

“The warden service was unbelievable,” Chitwood said.

On Saturday afternoon, a volunteer came out of a line of trees and had to step down a bit. He put his foot into an area of soft dirt and took a step back to look more closely. He realized the area there was disturbed, according to Chitwood.

The searcher called others to the area. A Portland police detective got on his knees in the dirt. Digging carefully, the detective went down about 18 or 20 inches, at which point he felt a sweatshirt.

It was then that they knew they had something big, according to Chitwood. They set up lights and brought in a medical examiner, an archaeologist and other police officials to photograph and document the scene and recover evidence.

Three to four hours later, after dark and just before snow began to blanket the area, they were finished and removed St. Laurent’s body.

“Had we not found her body that day, we would probably have never found it,” Chitwood said.

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

Bottomline delivers for UPS, gets resale help from Unisys

Published in Interface Tech News

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. ‹ Continuing its march to prominence in the electronic payment and invoicing sector, Bottomline Technologies will be providing the back end for Atlanta-based United Parcel Service's (UPS) electronic billing system. The company also expects a November reseller agreement with Unisys, of Blue Bell, Pa., to really get rolling in January.

"We have implemented an electronic invoice delivery system for (UPS)," said Bottomline CEO Dan McGurl.

Clients using UPS' Web site will be able to register to receive invoices on-line and make electronic payments, including viewing billing summaries and details of specific invoices.

McGurl described the deal as "a multi-million dollar one" that is part of a continuing relationship between the companies.

It is another step in Bottomline's efforts to support the increasing demand for electronic invoicing and payment. McGurl said the recent uncertainty about the safety and reliability of the U.S. postal system has pushed more companies into exploring alternatives to paper invoice and payment systems.

Another boost for Bottomline in the New Year will be the resale of Bottomline software by banking and financial services giant Unisys. The agreement was made in November, but the ramp-up period lasted through late December, paving the way for sales this month.

"This product that we've developed," McGurl said, "is something that (Unisys) didn't have." He expects the company to integrate Bottomline's electronic payment-to-invoice matching software into its own offerings, saving time for both payer and payee, and allowing better control of cash flow for both parties.

Avivah Litan, vice president and research director at the Gartner Group, said Bottomline is thriving even as the economy slides. "The truth is it's doing pretty well," Litan said.

She said electronic invoicing is growing, with about 20 percent of all business-to-business invoices already electronic.

The advantage for companies like UPS, who are Bottomline clients, Litan said, is the adaptability of the software packages.

"They allow the customers to live in the paper world and the electronic world at the same time," she said, making migration a comfortable process for the client.

And closing the deal with Unisys will provide a big boost for both companies. "Unisys has been trying to penetrate this market for a while," Litan said, adding that Bottomline's small sales force "needs all the partners and resellers they can get."

Friday, December 7, 2001

Capitol Computers expands training facility

Published in Interface Tech News

AUGUSTA, Maine ‹ Responding to rapid growth in demand for its services and projected expansion in the future, Capitol Computers is expanding its training space from 30 to 50 workstations and hiring two additional instructors.

The company will continue to provide sales, maintenance, and technical support to businesses and educational institutions, but sees the most growth potential in the area of computer-based training, according to vice president and general manager Paul DeSchamp.

DeSchamp said the company's revenue increased 18 percent from 2000 to 2001, and projected it will increase a further 40 percent by 2002. Those figures are driven by a 200 percent increase in offerings of career-based, self-paced training classes from 2000 to 2001. DeSchamp expects the class offerings will double again in the next year.

Capitol's biggest client is the state of Maine, to which it offers employee training and serves the state's career counseling program, retraining workers laid off from other industries. Among the services Capitol offers are certification programs for computer technicians and network engineers.

The new space, with 20 additional desktop machines, all with high-speed Internet connections and access to networked printers and file servers, is scheduled to open Dec. 1. DeSchamp added that there is more room for expansion, should it be needed.

He admits that mill closings and other layoffs around Maine have boosted his business, but stressed that, while he is happy to help people learn new skills, "we don't want to see more closings."

Katherine Jones of the Boston-based Aberdeen Group's education and e-learning research section said that, while computer-based training is nothing new, computers are being used more and more for educational purposes.

In the current economic slowdown, Jones said, people need to retrain or improve their skill sets to get and keep jobs ‹ that means more business for training centers. Added to that can be state or even company programs offering financial incentives to laid-off workers learning new skills.

According to Jones, one area of significant promise is certification for industrial workers. There are programs which train people to handle hazardous material, operate heavy equipment, or perform other tasks, offering certifications at the end of the process.

"You need about five of them to run a backhoe," Jones said. And the certifications expire, bringing people back every year or two to keep current. "Most of the stuff is learnable online and testable online," she said. "That's a perfect thing for training companies."

Thursday, December 6, 2001

Remember Christmas in Thailand

Published in the Current

In Thailand, Christmas isn’t the national holiday it is here in the U.S. In the mostly Buddhist country, only a small percentage of people are Christians. But the Rev. Phil Gage said the country is increasingly embracing the commercial aspects of the holiday.

“You hear Christmas carols, you see Christmas lights,” on the streets of the major cities, he said. Part of that is because the king’s birthday is Dec. 5, and that is a cause for great national celebration.

Christmas, he said, “sort of fits right into that.”

Gage, now the pastor of Scarborough’s Free Baptist Church at Eight Corners, and his wife spent 25 years as missionaries in Thailand.

They were there for four years at a stretch before returning home to the U.S. for a year of traveling to speak at various churches.

They served as spiritual advisers to villagers, city-dwellers and other missionaries, and helped make Christmas a special time.

“Here we’d normally gather as families,” Gage said. In Thailand, “people come together and celebrate as a church family.”

Many Christians in Thailand are not estranged from their Buddhist families, Gage said, but they have big church community events to celebrate the holiday.

There are pageants, caroling and worship. And while Christians make up less than five percent of the population of Thailand, they travel to the houses of church members, singing and having fun at each home. One year, Gage said, they took two minivans and started caroling at 10 p.m. They finished the next morning at 5 a.m., when they ate a giant meal of boiled rice with all sorts of side dishes, a favorite Thai meal.

The Thais don’t tend to exchange gifts, but they will give each other cards, Gage said. And decorations aren’t the same as we would expect. “It is more apt to be the traditional sort of decoration,” Gage said.

In his time in Thailand, Gage traveled all over the country. Some tribal groups, he said, have converted to Christianity en masse, but in a way that has allowed them to retain tribal customs.

Before they became Christian, they would hold large parties for each new year, but would get drunk and fights would erupt.

After they became Christian, they stopped having the celebrations for a time, but realized they missed dressing up in traditional costumes and doing their dances and other cultural performances. So they decided to have their traditional celebrations but substituted tea for the alcohol, making the events more peaceable.

Thais, he said, tend to focus more on people and relationships than on material objects the way Americans do, especially around the holidays, but Gage has also seen parallels between Thai Christmas celebrations and the way his church members observe the occasion.

“(Thais) will act out the birth of Christ a lot,” he said. Recently some of the members of his church wanted to do a live nativity scene outside the church. “That really clicked with me,” Gage said.

But Thais also will bring their own culture to church. “They would perform their cultural dances,” he said, as well as songs.

Like in the U.S., Thai holiday church services often feature children performing.

Gage and his wife adopted two Thai children, who are now 30 and 25. Gage became a grandfather for the fourth time Nov. 30, when his daughter gave birth to his first granddaughter in Massachusetts.

His daughter, Missy, makes crèches for the holidays, including a special Maine themed one, with a fisherman and woodsman, among other figures. She also makes crèches or ornaments that she gives to each family in Gage’s church during Advent.

And now, back in the states, Gage has an easier time decorating his home and the church as well. Over there, he said, “you had to really be creative in terms of decorating.”

But even so, lights and candles were common, and through the 1980s more and more Christmas decorations came to Thailand, appearing in storefronts and advertisements, primarily in cities around the Buddhist nation.

Mainers remember Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941

Published in the Current

Infantryman Albert Riopel
Albert Riopel, 84, spends most of his days in the Maine Veterans Home on Rt. 1 in Scarborough. And though he is in the company of a great many veterans of World War II, he hasn’t found anyone else who was at Pearl Harbor the day the Japanese attacked.

He volunteered for the infantry in 1940 and after training he went to Pearl Harbor, to prepare for an attack on Japanese positions on Corregidor, an island stronghold in the Pacific.

Preparations were under way as negotiations deteriorated between the Japanese and U.S. governments, and war appeared more probable. But nobody expected the attack that peaceful Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 1941.

He was just getting up when the attack began.

“It was a fiasco. (The Japanese) knew what they were doing,” Riopel said. They bombed the harbor, the barracks and the airfield, destroying much of the military hardware in Hawaii.

Riopel’s unit was sent to Clark Field to defend it from attack.

Everyone expected the Japanese to land and try to take the island, and Riopel thinks they might have succeeded. But they didn’t try.

“They wanted to cripple the Navy,” he said. “It was over in no time at all.”

After the attack, the invasion force, including Riopel, headed for Corregidor, but found it surrounded by enemy submarines.

So they invaded New Guinea instead. Fighting in the jungle was merciless, he said, and difficult because of the thick underbrush.

The Japanese would hide all over the place and attack from any direction, Riopel said.

“Every time we’d go on patrol the first one (in line) would get killed—the first one and the last one,” Riopel said.

He doesn’t like to remember the scenes he saw, but did say he watched many of his friends die over the four years he spent fighting in the jungle.

“It was rough,” Riopel said. “I lost a lot of my friends there.”

He said fighting in the Pacific was brutal. “Many times I wished I was in Europe,” he said, where soldiers would capture a city and then celebrate.

Riopel especially envied the access to wine the European soldiers had.

But in the Pacific things were different.

“You capture one island and you go on to the next,” he said.

Even worse, General MacArthur wouldn’t let his unit go back to the U.S. “He wouldn’t let us leave because we had experience,” Riopel said.

He especially respected the Australian soldiers, whom he described as tough and skilled fighters, though they would stop for tea twice a day, he said, “no matter where they were.”

He wasn’t a career soldier, and after the war ended he came to Maine and worked in mills for more than 40 years. He lived in Westbrook and two weeks ago sold the house he owned in that town for over 55 years.

His daughter lives in Cape Elizabeth, and he gets a lot of visits from his family, but when he sits alone sometimes, he said, memories of what he saw in the war come flooding back.

Nurse Revella Guest
Revella Guest was born Nov. 8, 1912, in Brownville Junction to a Canadian mother and an English father. She went to high school in the town, and then went to Portland to study nursing at Maine General Hospital, graduating in 1935.

Her papers, now in the care of a relative in Scarborough, tell the story of her life, including her experience as a nurse at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

Restless with private duty work around Portland, she became an Army nurse on Jan. 30, 1930. By March of 1941 she was heading to Tripler Army Hospital near Honolulu, the capital of the then-territory of Hawaii. She was lodged at Hickam Field, which would suffer serious damage in the Dec. 7 attack. On Dec. 5, though, the nurses were moved from their four-person apartments back to rooms at Tripler.

That night, she and some of her nursing friends went to dinner on the battleship USS West Virginia with some warrant officers serving
on that ship.

As they ate and watched a movie, it never crossed their minds that Japan could attack. “Everybody was just having a good time and doing their duty. We never thought anything about that,” Guest said.

On Dec. 7, just like the day before, she was scheduled for the morning shift.

The attack
At 7 a.m., Dec. 7, she reported for work at the hospital, and was doing routine work on the ward, when it happened.

“All of a sudden the radio started blaring for all military people to report back to their stations. We had porches and I was out looking on the back porch, and I saw some, heard some guns, and I saw black smoke coming up. I thought, ‘My goodness! I’ve never seen that before!’” she said.

“Then the radio started to blare that we were being attacked by the Japanese. Then I called down to my friends where they were, and I told them to get up and get dressed because everybody was going to be working, because we were being attacked by the Japanese,” Guest said.

The hospital had fewer staff on duty over the weekend, with some people having time off and even some patients out on a pass. But she knew it would be a busy day.

“We knew that when we were being attacked that we were going to have casualties because we were the largest general hospital on the island. In fact, we were the only general hospital,” she said.

She spent the first few minutes getting the walking wounded out of the hospital to make room for more seriously injured people. When she was done, only two patients remained, both of whom were in traction, but they were not about to let that stop them.

“I had to watch those guys like a hawk,” she said, “because they were going to cut themselves out of traction and go to war.”

Her ward became a post-operation ward, where patients went after surgery. “You had amputees, abdominal wounds, head injuries. You name it, and it was there,” Guest said.

She and one other nurse were racing around caring for 65 patients, changing intravenous fluids and providing other care to the men, as
they came out from under anaesthesia. They didn’t have time to do proper charts, but instead scribbled the time of the last morphine injection a patient received on a scrap of paper at the head of each bed.

As night fell, the hospital was blacked out to protect against air raids. She needed to give a shot to a patient on the porch, and removed the piece of blue carbon paper from the front of the flashlight, so she could see the vein. “I’d take that thing off and some guard would holler, ‘Put out that light or I’ll shoot!’ I’d yell, ‘Shut up until I give this shot!’” she laughed.

She worked through the whole night and into the next day without any sleep. She was first able to change into a clean uniform at 6 a.m. Dec. 8.

A few days after the attack, she and a friend went to the local telegraph office to deliver their first news to their families that they were OK. Her telegram just said, “Revella.”

The first shipload of patients headed back to the mainland on Christmas Day, after Guest and her colleagues spent a lot of time Christmas Eve bandaging patients to be ready for travel.

Still tied to Maine
Her family remembers her as having loved Maine and returning as often as possible.

Her papers and other effects were distributed among the family. Many of her World War II records and items are now with her sister-inlaw’s
cousin, Ken Dolloff of Scarborough.

Moose on the loose in Cape

Published in the Current

School bus drivers and neighbors have spotted two moose wandering around in the Great Pond area of Fowler Road, often in the early morning.

Out of concern for the well being of the animals and the safety of drivers on the road, the Cape Elizabeth Police Department asked a wildlife biologist from the state to take a look at the area and help determine whether the moose should be tranquilized and relocated or left alone.

The biologist visited Fowler Road Tuesday afternoon, and didn’t see the moose, one of which is reportedly smaller than the other. But he did make a recommendation to Police Chief Neil Williams about what to do.

“His feeling is that they’re going to move on,” Williams said. With the warm weather and the apples on the ground nearby, they have food for the moment. But when it cools off, and when the snow comes, Williams said, “they’ll move on with the supply of food.”

The police will continue to keep an eye on the area, and have ordered signs be put up warning drivers to watch out for moose.

If the moose are a mother and a calf born in the spring, the little one could weigh as much as 400 pounds. The mother would weigh between 700 and 900 pounds, and could stand as much as six feet tall at the shoulder.

Moose are especially dangerous to drivers because their coats are dark and their eyes are higher than most headlight beams, so drivers don’t see their reflections the way they do with deer or other smaller animals.

Also, moose tend to be active between dusk and dawn, when visibility is lowest. And they can be unpredictable, sometimes darting out in front of an oncoming car.

For now, Cape’s moose will have a temporary home, but will move where nature supplies the food.

“They should be up north, but they’re not,” Williams said.

Students hear the call for fire and rescue work

Published in the Current

While their friends and classmates are playing sports, hanging out with friends or doing homework, some high school students in Scarborough and Cape Elizabeth would rather be out fighting fires, directing traffic or administering medical care to sick and injured people in their communities.

They learn skills they will use as police officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel, and they begin serving their communities from a young age.

It is a crucial opportunity, according to Cape Elizabeth Fire Chief Philip McGouldrick, who got his start as a firefighter in South Portland’s student program 40 years ago.

“You get them when they’ve got some time and interest,” McGouldrick said, and before they go away to college and lose interest or no longer have the time to learn firefighting skills.

It offers another benefit to the towns, both of which are home to commuting workers. Fire and rescue volunteers are in shorter supply during the day, but the departments are bolstered by the students, who are nearly always around during school hours.

The students all must qualify for their extracurricular activities in the same way as student athletes do, by keeping grades up and by being responsible for any class work missed.

Going since the 1960s
The oldest program in the two towns is Scarborough’s student rescue squad, begun in 1968.

The program now involves seven or eight members each of the junior and senior classes at the high school.

They have weekly training sessions, in which juniors prepare for the Emergency Medical Technician training course mandated by the U.S. Department of Transportation. They learn basic first aid, CPR and how to splint broken bones. Seniors, who have taken the EMT course at Southern Maine Technical College in the summer after junior year, practice their skills.

The seniors also carry fire department pagers and can be paged out of classes at the high school to respond to an emergency.

They are responsible for all their class work and homework, and must keep their grades up.

While students used to respond to all fire and rescue calls during the school day, the recent growth of business in town has resulted in a change to that policy, according to program coordinator Bob Hawkes.

Because a number of daytime fire calls are from malfunctioning automatic alarm boxes at businesses, there is really no need for extra medical assistance. If the students left class for each of these calls, Hawkes said, they would never be in school at all. So the students are only paged out if the call is one that will require medical attention.

Several students plan to participate in rescue squads while in college, and some of them will be entering the medical field.

“It just opened a door for me,” said Karolina Kurka, who wants to be a doctor. Her colleagues echo her interest and dedication, even after spending a large part of the past summer in a classroom at SMTC studying to be an EMT.

“It was definitely worth it,” said Stephanie Byrne.

Scarborough Police Explorers
Scarborough students are not just working on the rescue squad.

Several are involved in law enforcement, through the 5-year-old Explorer post run by the town’s police department.

The group, while part of the Boy Scouts program, is open to both girls and boys between 15 and 21.

The program now includes about 10 people, according to community service officer Joe Giacomantonio.

The kids have a rank structure and uniforms, and get training in various aspects of law enforcement.

They do ride-alongs with town police officers, learn about dispatch and incident reporting, learn to direct traffic and perform various projects in the community, like putting up street signs required by the E-911 system.

Giacomantonio said they have no authority to make arrests, and do not carry firearms, though they do some firearms training on a shooting range.

The group is presently raising money to pay for a trip to Flagstaff, Ariz., in July 2002 for a conference of law enforcement Explorer posts. Among their activities will be a comedy night at the high school on Mar. 6, featuring local comedian Bob Marley.

The Explorer post provides a career-development opportunity for the students. “I really want to be in law enforcement,” said Explorer Lt. Ann Chaney. “My favorite part is a lot of the training.”

The group also sells Christmas trees at Bayley’s campground on Pine Point Road, and helps clean up a local YMCA campground.

Cape Elizabeth Student Firefighters
Several students at Cape Elizabeth High School also carry pagers and respond to calls during school hours. They take the Firefighter I course, a nationally required course for firefighters, one evening a week. They’re required to keep their grades up to stay in the program.

“It’s been very useful,” said Fire Chief McGouldrick. He said it’s a great way to make sure there are firefighters in the community.

The program offers the department additional personnel during the day, and though the students who haven’t completed their training can’t actually go into a burning building, they can help with opening and tending fire hydrants, getting drinks and tools for the firefighters, and doing other smaller, but no less important tasks around the fire scene, McGouldrick said.

“They’ve been real valuable to us,” he said.

Student firefighter Mike Walsh said he enjoys the work and the learning. He even comes to the Fire Department on his free periods to be available for calls or training.

Cape Elizabeth Student Rescue
The Cape firefighters have colleagues on the rescue side of things, as well. While they do not get certified as EMTs as part of the town’s Student Rescue program, they get exposed to a wide variety of emergency calls. They are not allowed to respond to calls involving suicide threats, people trapped in cars after accidents or other potentially disturbing scenarios.

The program is about 10 years old, according to the new coordinator, Mike Tranfaglia, a physician’s assistant who is also an ambulance driver for the squad.

Two students are on call each week when school is in session.

They wear radio pagers and respond to the fire station when a call comes in. They are allowed to decide whether to go.

“The ambulance is going to run whether they’re there or not,” Tranfaglia said.

When they go on a call, they don’t perform direct patient care, but instead observe what happens and help out by being go-fers for the EMTs, getting slings or other medical equipment from the ambulance.

They do learn to take vital signs and sometimes are asked to do that in the course of a call, Tranfaglia said.

At least once each month the group, which now numbers four, meets with Tranfaglia to discuss the past month’s runs. They go over general principles of medicine, and Tranfaglia uses calls about chest pain, for example, to teach about the risk factors for heart disease.

He said some of the students go on to further careers in medicine or join the squad as EMTs, but not all do.

“It’s supposed to be educational exposure. We’re not trying to get members for Cape Rescue out of this,” Tranfaglia said.

Christopher Roy is one of the students in the group, and has been a part of the program since his sophomore year. He is now a senior and said he wants to become a physician. He is not sure whether he’ll specialize in emergency medicine or not, but he’s learning.

“It seemed like a good way to try it out,” Roy said. He said there is also satisfaction in the way he’s learning. “I like helping others.”

He is considering taking an EMT course in the spring, and said he enjoys working with the other members on the rescue squad and learning from their experience, though sometimes that can be a little stressful during a call when a medic needs to do something without a lot of questions.

Roy also said he enjoys meeting members of the public and learning about general safety issues.

“You get all sorts,” he said. “Everybody you meet is an interesting person.”

Thursday, November 29, 2001

Woodstove blamed for Thanksgiving fire in Cape

Published in the Current

On Thanksgiving night, firefighters’ pagers went off all over Cape Elizabeth. The home of Rudy,Teresa and Alex Tumidajski on Sweet Fern Road was ablaze.

The family was in Connecticut for the holiday, but relatives who live nearby came to the house.

They called Connecticut and the Tumidajskis headed back to Maine that night. Their beloved dog, an Australian terrier named Max, died in the fire. “He was 7 going on 2,” Teresa Tumidajski said. Rudy said he wasn’t sure if he would get another dog, after the heartbreak of losing Max.

As firefighters arrived, they saw a house “fully involved,” with flames shooting from
upstairs windows and licking the outside of the brick chimney.

“The fire had a real good jump on us,” said Fire Chief Philip McGouldrick. The beams holding up the second floor had already burned through, collapsing a bedroom into the living room. McGouldrick said the fire was due to prolonged use of a woodstove insert in the fireplace.

There is sometimes little a firefighter can actually do. Even rapidly extinguishing a blaze can leave only a sodden, ash-coated shell of a building, with a home, memories and treasured possessions destroyed.

In the effort, two firefighters were slightly injured, one by tripping over a planter sitting on the darkened lawn, and the other had his shoulder clipped by a piece of clapboard that fell off the building.

Within 25 minutes of the crews’ arrival, the fire was under control, and the home’s attached three-car garage was saved, McGouldrick said.

After that came what the crews call “overhaul,” when they tear apart the remains of the building’s interior to make sure there is no fire hiding between walls or in the rubble.

Investigators next comb through the wreckage, searching for the source of the fire.

The outside of the building gives a good clue. There is severe damage around the chimney and in the upper bedroom, where the fire burned through the exterior walls.

The house was originally built with electric heat, but due to the expense, there was a woodstove insert installed into the fireplace which McGouldrick believes caused the fire. Over 12 years, the Tumidajskis have used the insert primarily as a furnace.

“A fireplace is more aesthetic,” McGouldrick said, and should not be used as the primary source of heat in a home.

The sustained heat from the stove made the fireplace bricks hot. Those bricks were stacked right up against the wood frame of the house, which would be fine for a fireplace in occasional use, McGouldrick said, but is not appropriate for a furnace.

Over time, high heat affects the wood, creating a low-grade smoldering, which makes it more likely to catch fire.

A new two-by-four needs to be heated to between 300 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit before it will burn, McGouldrick said. But after years of heat contact like that in the Tumidajskis’ fireplace, it would only need to get up to around 100 degrees before catching fire.

McGouldrick said people who have woodstove inserts should have their fireplaces checked out by the local fire department. And people going through a house with a home inspector should ask about the possibility of installing a woodstove into the fireplace, rather than assuming it will be fine.

The family had banked up their woodstove so it would continue to heat the house over the long weekend.

And hours after they left, it heated the wood to its burning point.

With few neighbors home, and the fire on the side of the house and away from the street, nobody noticed the flames until it was too late.

The shell of the house remains, with its windows boarded up. The family said the insurance company may decide to repair the damage rather than start from scratch, but that remains to be seen.

The Tumidajskis are holding up well, staying with Teresa’s mother in South Portland, and focusing on “what’s important in life.”

“Your world as you know it is turned upside-down and disintegrated,” Teresa said.

She said they do plan to rebuild the house, but it could be several months in the process, notwithstanding winter.

She asked that people who want to help say prayers for the family.

Chief McGouldrick said his firefighters turned out in great numbers despite the holiday. The first people on the scene were there within five minutes of the call. “We had a good response,” McGouldrick said. And nobody really left early, either, even though, with cleanup included, the work took close to four hours. “The more people that stay and pitch in, the quicker everybody gets home.”

“It’s what firefighters do,” McGouldrick said, “and what their families have come to expect. It just seems to happen at inopportune times.”

Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Youth transition facility opens

Published in the Current

On a small dirt road off Mitchell Hill Road in Scarborough is a beautifully renovated house which will soon be home to six young adults in transition from the state’s youth services programs to systems serving adults.

On Dec. 1, the youths, between ages 17 and 21, will move in to their single bedrooms in the fully furnished house, along with a 24-hour support staff including social workers and psychiatrists. The program is run by Ingraham, the Portland-based human services agency.

All six bedrooms will be full, and the agency said there is a waiting list. This part of Ingraham’s programs helps troubled youths make transitions from youth to adult systems of state programs and helps teach them skills for living and working in a community.

The house existed before, but was significantly renovated with sprinklers, exit signs and other safety features added, as well as offices for staff, additional common space and landscaping.

“We wanted to keep it as homey as possible,” said Ingraham Executive Director Jane Morrison. “When you give (the residents) a beautiful atmosphere, they feel like they’re worth something.”

This is Ingraham’s seventh such home, but its first in Scarborough and the first in such a rural location.

There is a pond on the property for skating in winter, and trees and shrubs abound.

“It’s so serene,” Morrison said.

She said the agency could explore outdoor education and wildlife and ecology programs using the home as a base.

Neighbors have been supportive, Morrison said, adding that some are former Ingraham volunteers, which helped the community’s reception.

“We’ve always been a good neighbor,” Morrison said. Neighbors were also glad that there is 24-hour supervision, and that residents are carefully selected so as not to be a risk to themselves or others, Morrison said.

One challenge for the residents and staff alike will be transportation.

The house has a van, and can give residents rides to and from work, education and other programs. But since part of the program involves learning living skills, Morrison said sometimes the van will drive a group to the Maine Mall and they’ll have to take buses to their destinations.

Remembering holidays spent on the Ice

Published in the Current

For the first time in three years, I'll be home for Christmas in more than just my dreams. I've spent the past two holiday seasons as a journalist in Antarctica, based at McMurdo Station, the main U.S. research and logistics base in the Antarctic.

Now this year, as I share meals and gifts with my family and friends in New England, I'll be thinking of my friends in the Antarctic.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are the major holidays celebrated at the U.S. bases, though the small Jewish populations do have Hanukkah. They have to violate bans on candles (fire is a big threat in the windy, dry Antarctic) but they light a few small menorahs anyway.

In 1999, I met an Egyptian at the South Pole trying to observe Ramadan. His problem was that Muslims have to fast between sunrise and sunset, and he was in a place where the sun was up all day for months. The solution was clever: With the advice of his family's cleric back home in Egypt, he used the sunrise and sunset time of Christchurch, New Zealand, a main support station for the U.S. Antarctic Program.

But because most of the folks at the stations are of Christian extraction, even if they don't all go to the church services, there are holiday parties, carol-singing events and a huge Christmas feast, which is the main event everyone looks forward to.

Big holiday meals are a long Antarctic tradition. Capt. Robert Scott even carried a special plum pudding for the Christmas feast while he and his companions were sledging toward the South Pole in 1912. They never made it home, and they weren't the first to the Pole, but their bellies were full that night for the first time in months. The man who led the expedition that first reached 90 degrees south latitude, Roald Amundsen, also had a big Christmas meal on his way home, two weeks after reaching the Pole.

I often think of those small groups of men in tiny tents on the high Antarctic plateau, celebrating in that great cold and solitude a holiday they had previously spent with their wives and children at home in Europe.

Nowadays, in the warmth of McMurdo and the other American bases, the kitchen staff and volunteers serve turkey, stuffing, hand-made breads, fresh vegetables specially shipped in from New Zealand, and glorious desserts.

When we walked into the dining room for the holiday meal, there were artificial trees, colored streamers, and ornaments, and the food was arranged beautifully. Even the old hands, who had spent more Christmases on the Ice than they had at home, were impressed and amazed.

People dress up for the holiday feast, a big change from the Carhartts and fleece jackets normally worn at mealtime. Wine is even allowed in the dining room during holiday meals, and people take their plates off the cafeteria-style trays, insisting they "eat civilized" for the special day.

Other spontaneous celebrations occurred. My first year, the dormitory hallway on which I lived was a close-knit crew. We couldn't have a real tree because we couldn't import non-native species, and we couldn't find a fake tree either. Somebody found a floor lamp, though, and we put on it as many decoratioins as we could find, including Thanksgiving and New Year's signs, and each of us hung a government-issue thermal sock on the wall as a stocking. On Christmas Eve, we sang a few carols and shared the quirky holiday spirit we had nurtured.

And despite all the festivities, there was a sad undertone. Folks who head to the Antarctic are strong and independent, but at the holidays, everybody would really rather be at home. Some are lucky and have their partners or spouses there with them. But most make phone calls home, touching base by voice with family members they wouldn't see that year.

The holidays are a time to think of loved ones near and far, and to remember that while we may be lucky to see many family members and friends this holiday season, there are those who will not. Think of them too, and send them your telepathic holiday greetings. I certainly will.

Thursday, November 15, 2001

OxyContin theft at Rt. 1 Rite Aid

Published in the Current
Scarborough police are looking for a man who threatened a Rite Aid clerk with a knife during a theft of OxyContin from the store’s pharmacy on Route 1 at about 6 p.m. Monday.

The man was a white male with possibly brown hair and possibly brown eyes, said Detective Ivan Ramsdell. He was wearing a hat pulled low and a bandanna over the lower part of his face, so only his eyes were visible, Ramsdell said.

Late last month, police told The Current that a general warning had gone out to all local drug stores because there was concern about OxyContin thefts in the New England area.

The Community Pharmacy in Oak Hill Plaza responded to the warning by posting a sign on its front door, telling would-be thieves, “we don’t have any OxyContin in stock; if you leave a prescription we can order for the next day.”

The pharmacies at the Scarborough branches of Hannaford and Wal-Mart said they had not changed any policies since Monday’s incident but continued to be concerned about theft of the drug.

“We will be verifying prescriptions,” said Hannaford pharmacist Barbara L’Heureux, noting that her procedures have been in place since the OxyContin theft in Yarmouth last year.

The CVS pharmacy in Cape Elizabeth has not put up signs about its stock.

Community Pharmacy pharmacist Bob Milligan said this week he is still concerned, but hopes there will be a solution. He said the problem is not just in Maine, but is a nationwide issue. The store’s warning sign is now posted above the pharmacy counter.

OxyContin is a synthetic opioid painkiller intended for use by cancer patients, Milligan said. It has a 12-hour dose in a single pill, which is covered with a time-release coating. Addicts crush the pills and snort or inject the powder, taking an entire 12-hour dose at once.

Milligan said the pharmacy had received a police warning a couple of weeks ago, cautioning them about possible thefts of OxyContin. He said he had not heard from the police since the Rite Aid theft, though he had thought he might.

Scarborough’s a safe town, Cape is even safer

Published in the Current

Scarborough is the third-safest place in Maine, among towns and cities with populations greater than 10,000 people, according to the recently released FBI report, Crime in the United States 2000. It is one of only five towns or cities in Maine with a crime rate lower than the state’s overall rate.

Cape Elizabeth, with its population just below 10,000, had less crime than even the safest city.

The FBI analysis is based on reports from local law enforcement agencies, and indicates the number of serious crimes occurring in towns, cities, states and nationwide in 2000. Comparisons are possible between regions by calculating the crime index rate and the number of serious crimes in an area for each 1,000 inhabitants.

The FBI groups seven types of crimes into its crime index: murder and negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft
and motor vehicle theft. Larceny-theft is defined by law enforcement agencies as including shoplifting, pick-pocketing, thefts from motor vehicles, bicycle thefts and other thefts “in which no use of force, violence or fraud occurs.”

Maine, with a population of 1,274,923 in 2000, had 33,400 serious crimes, which is a crime index rate of 26.2 crimes per 1,000 residents, making it the fifth safest state in the country.

The national index was 41.24. North Dakota was the lowest with 22.88.

Scarborough’s 15,394 residents in the year 2000, had 284 crimes in town, a rate of 18.45. Nearly all were property crimes: 222 were larceny-theft, 39 were burglaries, 15 were motor vehicle thefts and one was a robbery. Regarding person-on-person crimes, there were seven aggravated assaults in 2000, but there were no murders, arsons or rapes reported to Scarborough police.

Police Chief Robert Moulton said Scarborough has tended to have a low crime rate, which he attributed to the staff of the police department. “We’ve got a lot of good people who are very committed to what we do,” he said.

Not only, he said, is community resource Officer Joe Giacomantonio being very successful at getting the word out about public safety programs, but the patrol officers are very visible on the streets of town and the detectives are excellent at catching lawbreakers when crimes occur.

“If they do come to Scarborough to do something bad,” Moulton said, “they’re going to get caught.”

Cape Elizabeth, with about 9,000 residents, does not have a large enough population to appear on the FBI report.

According to its 2000 records on file with the state, however, Cape has a crime rate of 15.15. Of the 140 serious crimes in town that year, 123 were larceny-thefts, 14 were burglaries, two were motor vehicle thefts and one was a rape. Two arsons were reported in town as well, but those are categorized separately in the Uniform Crime Report system.

Town Police Chief Neil Williams attributed the low incidence of crime in town to it being a residential area without many commercial buildings.

“We just don’t have much (crime), which is good, knock on wood,” Williams said.

The most dangerous town in Maine was Bangor, with a rate of 56.42. The safest town on the list was Orono with 16.02. Following Orono and just ahead of Scarborough was Gorham, with 17.88.

Maine compares favorably to nearby states. The state’s rate is 26.2 per 1,000, as contrasted with the national rate of 41.24. New Hampshire’s rate is 24.33. Vermont’s
is 29.87. Massachusetts’s rate is 30.26.

Thursday, November 8, 2001

Per pupil spending separates Cape and Scarborough schools

Published in the Current

Scarborough spends 20 percent less than Cape Elizabeth does per student, but the two districts have very similar educational outcomes.

Looking at all the school districts in the state, the average per-pupil expenditure was $5,819 in 1999-2000. Cape spent $6,506, and Scarborough spent $5,224.

To compare the two towns only to similar districts, those paying for all grades, K-12, is more relevant.

The K-12 average, a breakdown the state does not provide but which was calculated by The Current, is $6,070 per student.

Cape Elizabeth spent $436 more than the average, while Scarborough spent $846 less.

Out of the 117 K-12 districts in Maine, Cape Elizabeth ranks 29th, while Scarborough is 100th.

While students in both districts perform generally above the state average on the Maine Educational Assessment tests, Cape Elizabeth students tend to score higher than Scarborough students. The margin between the two towns’ scores, however, is between one and four points in most categories.

Of the 146 graduates from Cape Elizabeth High School in 1999, 81.5 percent pursued postsecondary education. One hundred sixteen went to college or university, according to state statistics. Three went to vocational or technical schools.

Of Scarborough’s 144-strong class of 1999, 88.2 percent enrolled in post-secondary education. One hundred ten went to college or university, and five went to vocational or technical schools. One went to a post-secondary high school course and 11 went to junior colleges.

Superintendent William Michaud said Scarborough schools have a strong curriculum,
excellent staff, good educational outcomes and good facilities.

He said the enrollment growth does put pressure on the district’s finances, but it hasn’t adversely affected the education opportunities available to students.

“Scarborough gets a great return on its investment,” Michaud said. “Scarborough is known statewide as a progressive, high-achieving district.”

Cape Elizabeth school board chair George Entwistle said he is pleased with the education Cape Elizabeth students are receiving.

“The value you receive, using any metric you want, is a good value,” he said. One of the school board’s primary funding goals is helping teachers learn more and do better, he said.

“One of the biggest and best investments we can make is staff development. A highly energized teacher in the classroom is the best guarantee of good education for our kids,” Entwistle said.

By the numbers
Herb Hopkins, business manager for Scarborough’s schools, said the per-pupil spending numbers are not always an accurate reflection of a community’s commitment to education.

Some districts, for example, put buses in the operating budget of the schools, while Scarborough issues bonds to purchase buses. That makes the per-pupil spending appear lower in Scarborough than if the town’s buses were included in the school budget.

A big factor as well, Hopkins said, is that the modular classrooms were refitted by Scarborough as part of its capital improvement budget, rather than its operating budget. Since the state uses operating dollars, not capital improvement dollars, to figure per-pupil spending, that may further lower Scarborough’s ranking in the state.

Hopkins did say, though, that the state’s method is fairly good, and that while Scarborough may actually spend enough to be higher on the list, it wouldn’t be a big change.

“We might be 70th,” Hopkins said, rather than the 100th the district ranks in the state.

Hopkins said Scarborough’s town government supports its schools.

“They have treated the school department pretty well,” he said, allowing the ordering of two or three buses a year as growth requires, rather than the one many districts are able to purchase “if they’re lucky.”

Comparisons to similar districts
Both Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough traditionally compare themselves to K-12 districts in the Greater Portland area which are similar in socio-economic characteristics.

The districts themselves list Yarmouth, Falmouth, School Administrative District 51 (Cumberland and North Yarmouth) and Gorham. Each district also said it looks at the other. Cape said it looks at Freeport as well, while Scarborough looks at Windham and, “to some extent,” South Portland, said Assistant Superintendent David Doyle.

Taken in that context, Cape Elizabeth appears in the middle of the list of its comparison districts, behind Yarmouth and Freeport but ahead of Falmouth, S.A.D. 51 and Gorham.

Scarborough is at the bottom of the list of those districts with which it compares itself, spending less than Gorham by $73.

The district spending the most per student is S.A.D. 7 (North Haven), which spends $13,081 per pupil.

S.A.D. 64 (East Corinth) spends the least, $4,593 per student.

Cape Elizabeth’s business manager, Pauline Aportria, did not return calls requesting information for this story.

Thursday, November 1, 2001

Cape and Scarborough above national average for web access

Published in the Current

Scarborough and Cape Elizabeth are among the most-wired towns in the U.S. Some of it is due to demographics, while part of the two towns’ connection to the Internet came by accident.

When TimeWarner Cable introduced its RoadRunner high-speed Internet access over cable television wires here in 1996, it was not because the company was looking for a test market, or even had much of a plan for the Portland area.

The system the company ordered for installation in San Diego was too small for that city.

Scrambling to find a home for equipment it couldn’t otherwise use, TimeWarner looked at Portland, and brought RoadRunner to Maine, according to Maine’s RoadRunner general manager, Rick Preti.

That ordering mistake kicked Scarborough and Cape Elizabeth into the elite bracket of high-speed, easy-installation Internet access early in the Internet boom, according to analyst Antony Parchment of Internet Commerce Systems in Scarborough.

The relative affluence of the two towns meant people could purchase Internet access. High educational levels of town residents meant they wanted to see what was out there on the newly-dubbed “information superhighway.”

Many people had moved to Maine for improved quality of life, but wanted to continue
working in their previous career fields.

The Internet allowed them to do that, and high-speed connectivity made it even easier. Rather than a one-lane dirt road full of potholes, the Internet over a cable connection was at least a two-way street covered in blacktop.

“We were fortunate,” Parchment said. And there was a ready market of ex-city people.
“People had made their lifestyle choices and wanted to be in Maine,” Parchment said.

It caught on, and passed via word-of-mouth among Internet users in the area.

“Now people are hooked,” Parchment said.

And Internet access in both Scarborough and Cape Elizabeth is well above national norms.

One-fourth of the households in the two towns are connected to RoadRunner, Preti said.

Business advantage
One Scarborough business is capitalizing on the Internet connectivity in town.

Rob Doehler of Scarborough’s said his business would not be located in Scarborough if the town’s demographics did not support an Internet food-ordering business.

With a high concentration of families in which both parents work, and with a high household disposable income, Scarborough is well-positioned to support a food take-out and delivery business which accepts orders over the Internet, he said., Doehler said, takes advantage of the Internet to allow busy professionals to order healthy food quickly. It is an example of his vision for the next phase of Internet business development.

“The Internet at this stage needs to come to the brick-and-mortar business,” Doehler said. The real potential, he said, is to make transactions between existing customers of existing businesses more efficient.

People can order food on-line or over the phone, and can either pick it up or have it delivered in Scarborough.

Customers can also come in and eat at the store on Route 1.

Other local businesses say the Internet has a positive impact on them, too. Car dealerships traditionally draw most of their business from local residents, but Michael Pierter of Scarborough-based Portland Volvo said he gets interest from as far afield as Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Those prospective customers, he said, look at the dealership’s on-line used car inventory and call to express interest in a certain car.

“It opens up our inventory to a new group of people,” he said.

Many walk-in customers also are better informed as a result of the Internet, Pierter said. They have done on-line research into cars’ safety ratings, reliability and options packages, as well as prices.

“We have a fair amount of customers who do research before they come in,” he said.

Tom Hall of Hall Marketing in Scarborough said he has web development clients in various businesses, including retail stores, software dealers and consultants.

“It doesn’t matter what kind of business you have,” Hall said.

He said a lot of people locally use the Internet to research items before purchasing, and many take advantage of Internet access at work.

“You’ll see a big spike (in web site traffic) from like 11:45 to 1:15,” Hall said, when people are at their desks eating lunch and checking out the web.

He said web site statistics also show local businesses can succeed on-line.

“Server stats show that businesses that offer local services are getting found” during Internet searches, Hall said.

Wired houses
Not only are most households in the two towns equipped with some form of Internet access, but more of those connections are high-speed hookups than would be expected by looking at national data.

RoadRunner, Preti said, has over 30,000 subscribers in Maine, serving 18 communities in Cumberland County, including Scarborough and Cape Elizabeth.

He would not give specific subscriber numbers in the two towns. He did say that out of the homes in Scarborough which are passed by cable service, 26 percent are subscribers to RoadRunner. In Cape Elizabeth, the subscriber base is between 28 and 29 percent of households passed by cable, he said.

This, he said, is “very high by national standards.”

Still, the medium has room for growth. By contrast, Preti said, 85 percent of homes passed by cable connections subscribe to cable television service.

Nua Internet Surveys show that 70.7 million households in the U.S. have Internet access, or just over two-thirds of all households nationwide.

Nua said less than 1 percent of Internet access in the U.S. is provided over cable television systems, which is due, in part, to the fact many areas are not served by cable Internet services. But the sector is growing, with cable Internet connections increasing 153 percent to 3.6 million in 2000, Nua statistics show.

Schools and government
Gary Lanoie, technology coordinator for Cape Elizabeth’s schools and for the town, has two mobile labs—carts with laptops and printers—which can move from classroom to classroom to assist with teaching.

“You can bring the technology to the classroom,” Lanoie said.

Teachers and parents use the web site extensively, Lanoie said, to get information about school activities and programs. “We try to keep things current and up-to-date,”
Lanoie said.

Both Scarborough and Cape Elizabeth have extensive town government web sites, providing 24-hour access to forms and information, as well as databases of town ordinances.

Stephen Tewhey, Scarborough’s director of information systems, which is also a school-town combination position, said the town will be expanding its four-year-old web site, offering real-time signups for community services events. Tewhey said the town will continue to put meeting agendas and minutes on the web, as well as other information.

“We really want to be able to put the public information out where the public is able to view it,” Tewhey said.

He said town residents do use the web sites, often in the evening when town offices are closed. And people notice if there’s a delay.

“The few times that we have been late putting out agendas, the phone rings,” he said.

The Scarborough Police Department also uses the Internet to distribute information. The department has a list of e-mail addresses to which community officer Joe Giacomantonio sends road closings, emergency advisories and general information.

The list is constantly growing, Giacomantonio said, and now includes between 30 and 40 addresses.

Wednesday, October 31, 2001

OSA becomes ManageSoft

Published in Interface Tech News

NASHUA, N.H. ‹ Open Software Associates changed its name to ManageSoft Corporation on Oct. 1 in an effort to clarify its brand and message. The move was underscored by the renaming of the company's flagship NetDeploy Global product‹ now ManageSoft version 6.0 ‹ the major change of which is in the name.

Bob Thaler, director of product marketing, said the decision stemmed from market research that produced disappointing results.

"We found that we were limited in our marketing reach," Thaler said. "We needed to develop a name and brand that was more closely related to what we do."

With the help of branding consultant Jack Trout, who heads up Old Greenwich, Conn.-based Trout & Partners, the company chose a new name, to showcase its focus on software management and deployment.

While the names have changed, not much about the product or the company is new, Thaler said. The software employs the metaphor of a warehouse for software, showing users that there are receiving, inventory, picking, and shipping aspects to the program.

"It is a place where a customer does everything they need to do," he said, pointing out that the system can be set to deploy software over a network to remote users whenever they are connected. This allows reliable updating of laptops, as well as desktop machines, according to Thaler.

Neal Goldman, a research director at the Boston-based Yankee Group, said the product doesn't seem to have any major improvements over its competition. He said there are existing software-audit programs and those that deploy software, but they are largely independent and used in that way.

"Not everybody has both (systems)," Goldman said, although he liked the warehouse model for its possibilities. "If you could actually return stuff to the warehouse (that would be new)," he added.

According to Goldman, the market for this type of software is not large. "It's never been a huge market in terms of absolute dollars," he explained. Software auditing is less than a $400 million business, and other aspects of the ManageSoft software are included in larger systems-management packages like OpenView, he said.