Thursday, September 19, 2002

Cape is media mecca

Published in the Current

For a quiet town that sometimes thinks it has little news, Cape Elizabeth has more than its fair share of news professionals in residence.

Anchors of Portland television stations, several top editors at the Portland Press Herald, including editor Jeannine Guttman and managing editor Eric Conrad, and even regular reporters live scattered throughout the town. They say they like the peace and quiet as well as its proximity to work and the bustle of Portland.

Guttman and Conrad did not return multiple phone calls seeking comment for this story. But one of their colleagues was willing to talk. John Richardson, a reporter for the Portland Press Herald, has lived in Cape since 1994. He has two children, 11 and 9, and he likes the environment they have. “It’s a great place for them to grow up,” he said.

The family previously lived in York County, but it was a longer commute and more isolated. “We like being near the ocean,” Richardson said, citing the town’s rural character as another strength.

“It’s a great community for families and kids,” Richardson said.

Bruce Glasier, a native of Portland, has lived in Cape since 1978. The sports anchor for WCSH 6, Glasier’s family started in the Two Lights neighborhood, then moved to Star Road and now live on a dirt road in a house with a view of the ocean. It is only one road over from where his wife, Marita Ray, grew up.

“I just love the community,” he said. His son went to Cape schools, which was different from Glasier’s childhood.

“I grew up as a city kid,” he said. But it’s different now that he has moved to the country. “I don’t have to go far to look at the ocean,” Glasier said.

Doug Cook, an evening anchor for WMTW, Channel 8, feels similarly. “I always liked the fact that it’s close to the water,” he said. Cook and his wife, Cape native Elisa Boxer, who is also his co-anchor, are building a house in Cross Hill.

They had looked in Falmouth, but hadn’t found a place that felt right to them. In Cape, though, they are close to work and family and in a town with strong schools.

“We found an unbeatable combination. It’s perfect,” Cook said. He and Boxer haven’t moved in yet, but are looking forward to doing so next year. “I think it’s going to be awesome,” Cook said.

He had to persuade Boxer to look at Cape. She grew up there, and like many small-town kids, wanted to “get out.”

“Growing up, I swore it was the one place I would never return to,” Boxer said. But now she is happy to make it her home.

“I think it’s such a great place, because you’re 10 or 15 minutes from Portland, and it really feels so rural and suburban,” Boxer said. “It’s kind of the best of both worlds,” she said.

Cindy Williams, an evening anchor for WCSH 6, and her husband Lee Nelson, one of the station’s morning anchors, also find a pleasant balance in Cape.

They have lived in town for six years. Before that they lived just down the street in South Portland, and loved the neighborhood. When they needed a new house, they didn’t look far.

The big farmhouse they now call home is in the same neighborhood, but is just across the line in Cape.

Being close to the beaches is a plus for Williams, as are the friendly people and quiet streets where she lives. The house is also close to work, a plus for Nelson, who gets up before the crack of dawn to be on the air by 6 a.m.

A lot of the folks they work with live in South Portland, but William s and Nelson have a head start to their favorite eating place: the Lobster Shack.

These news folks like to get away from the hectic pace of city life and come home to Cape. Boxer said the town has a good mix, and despite physical proximity has a totally different air than Portland or South Portland. She called the feeling “so close and yet so far. ”