Monday, January 30, 2012

Is the Fro’ a go? Sure hope so!

(Ed note: if the Bohemian Coffee House can be called ‘The BoHo,’ we figure Frosty’s can go by ‘The Fro.’

We read just the other day in the Bowdoin Orient that the new owners of Frosty’s Donuts are busily at work planning for a grand re-opening.

We can’t wait.  We hope to be among the first to report on their offerings once they do open, and we wish them great success.

From what the article says, we should have high hopes the new owners will be carrying on the Frost’s tradition of making the best donuts anywhere.

Omdal and St. Andre will, for the most part, stay faithful to the Frosts' recipes and business model. They will also have Bob Frost in the kitchen, until the reopening, to help them along the way.

"We're keeping the basic donut recipe exactly the same, and we plan to be open seven days a week," said St. Andre.

Sounds like they are hard workers too.

We plan to stop by soon and offer our good wishes, and to volunteer as an experienced taster to help evaluate their progress.  We’ll also suggest some new items to try: long johns, buttermilk bars, and boston cremes.

All we ask is that they pay us a living donut wage in return.

Spread the word.  This young couple is taking on some hard work, and not many these days are up for that.  They should be rewarded with customer support for worthy efforts.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Maine Housing: playing the game artfully

You may remember that we touched on ‘focused’ public service spending at the Maine State Housing Authority in this post of last week.

Don’t feel embarrassed if you can’t remember.  We’ve been consumed by other matters in recent days as well, and have been less than diligent in posting compelling items.  Perhaps you’ve had withdrawal symptoms.

Before we get to the point of this post, here’s the descriptor that MSHA appends to their press releases:

MaineHousing, a quasi-governmental agency, is a $1.6 billion financial institution that serves 90,000 people annually and infuses approximately $1.2 million into Maine’s economy daily.

In other words, one out of fourteen residents of Maine are served by MSHA, and roughly $440 million is ‘infused’ into our state economy annually in the process.  That’s more than $4,800 per person ‘served,’ or $400 per month.  And $440 million means $330 plus for each and every resident of Maine is distributed annually.

Clearly, we aren’t talking about peanuts.  Maine’s general fund spending is in the vicinity of $3 billion per  year. The source of MSHA’s funds are unclear in the specifics, but there can be no doubt they all come from taxpayers.  Which means they are dollars compelled by the force of law, whether or not you see their efforts as charitable.

Now to our main point.  On January 17th, just last week, Maine Wire published the item referenced above, which linked to a 565 page file MSHA provided in response to a Freedom of Access request from MHPC.  It took more than 6 months for MSHA to provide this info, and MHPC paid $800 for the labor involved in compiling it. 

As you can tell if you looked at the list, it consists only of names and addresses of ‘vendors’ used by MSHA, with no dates, number, or amounts of payments. did exactly what any requestor of such info would do, and what MSHA should have expected they would do.  It asked why MSHA would be making payments to Funtown-Splashtown and other vendors not clearly involved in their mission of providing housing for those who cannot afford it on their own.  Seems reasonable enough to raise the questions, especially since MSHA is spending other peoples’ money to help the needy.

MSHA told MHPC that it would take a huge effort to deliver all the details (dates and amounts) of payments to the vendors on the 565 page list.

Strangely enough, the day after the the Maine Wire article appeared, other media outlets had details of dates and amounts for a number of MSHA expenditures, and published them to suggest that MHPC had made a mountain out of a mole-hill, and even worse, conducted an ‘invasion into a public officials personal life.’ 

The biggest point here is that while MSHA could not provide details of transactions to MHPC in response to their formal request, they were able to come up with numerous such details for other media personnel in a matter of hours, presumably because it would explain some of the legitimate questions raised by the vendor list disclosure.  They distributed the details to a long list of media contacts, including a “Progressive News Source” blog, but not to MHPC, which formally requested the data to begin with.

We’ll leave it to you to decide whether MSHA intentionally gamed the system, making partial disclosure months after data was requested, and then providing clarifying details to others the day after the  Maine Wire article appeared.

One thing is sure.  The ‘media outlets’ that got the clarifying details from MSHA owe a debt of gratitude to MHPC.

There’s no way any of them would have looked into MSHA operations and finances unless MHPC first raised the issue.  They’re all too lazy, and cozy with the entrenched 40 year aristocracy to do so.

And they sure as hell don’t want to risk their access to the movers and shakers.

Government watchdogs?  Don’t make me laugh.

Or worse.

MaineWire: Venture Statism

For the interested student:

Bankrupting a free and innovative American economy does not have an upside.  Liquidation has no benefit when the entire national enterprise is at stake.  Job loss is a plague when statism replaces capitalism.  Buy-outs are one thing; wipe-outs of public equity are calamity on a historic scale.

Read it here.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

MaineWire: Thou Shalt Not Steal, even the Maine Council of Churches…

From the article:

Your identity, in the political sense at least, has been stolen from you by the Maine Council of Churches. And they have taken it like a thief in the night.

How can I make such an assertion? Because if you attend a church of any of the above denominations, they claim your imprimatur in their political activism. And I am confident they have done it without your direct approval, and more than likely, without your knowledge.

Find the article here.


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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Looking under MSHA rugs…..OOPs!

The Maine State Housing Authority has been in the news plenty in recent weeks in stories about excessive housing prices, and then lax oversight of Section 8 landlords and properties.

Now some sunshine is coming in through MSHA office windows, and interesting things are coming in to view.

For those of you are not yet following MaineWire regularly, it’s time you begin.  In particular, you should read this recent item:

It concludes with this piece of work:

“I think,” McCormick is quoted in the Bangor Daily News, “the more people know about what we do and how we do it, the prouder they are going to be. I think we are a model for how quasi-government agencies should be operated.”

After you read the article, you’ll understand just how depraved and self-delusional the entrenched political ruling class has become.

Oh they’re a ‘model,’ alright.

Still, we are left to wonder whether the Maine Turnpike Authority took lessons from the MSHA or vice-versa.  Or even worse, that there is a centralized School of Hack-o-rama Studies hidden somewhere in the Greater Augusta region.

We’re gonna need ‘disinfectant’ by the truck loads around here.  Sunlight, especially this time of year, may not be enough.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Roots: The Pork Connection

No, silly; not that kind of pork!  Much as we’re dismayed by the widespread distribution of ‘pork’ all over our civic landscape, including right here in innocent little Brunswick, that’s not our focus tonight.

We’re talking about the pork that stores in some parts of the country specialize in.  Like this one:

Maybe you recognize it, maybe you don’t.  Your chances are much better if you’re from New Jersey, like this correspondent is.

We grew up in a place called Secaucus, in the shadow of Manhattan’s skyline.  Secaucus has a history rich in pork.

Before the 1950s, Secaucus was home to a number of pig farms,rendering plants, and junk yards, which gave the town a reputation for being one of the most odorous in the New York metropolitan area. In 1963, debris from the demolition of Pennsylvania Station was dumped in the Secaucus Meadowlands.

New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Secaucus as its 11th best place to live in its 2008 rankings of the "Best Places To Live" in New Jersey.

Growing up, the sounds and smells of the Armour and Swift slaughter houses were prominent aspects of life.  As was plinking for rats on the pig farms.  The pig farms were here, just miles from Manhattan, for a very good reason: garbage from the hotels and restaurants and stores in New York were rich in discarded food products, which became ‘swill’ as it was dumped into the pig pens.

It all made perfect sense in the 50’s and 60’s of our youth.  ‘Waste Management’ was a big industry in the area, and truckloads of valuable ‘byproducts’ could be hauled from Manhattan to the farms of Secaucus in a matter of minutes.  Silverware and other table service items mixed in with the consumables were an added bonus for the farmers.

Secaucus had substantial notoriety in those days, largely because of its unique drive-through ‘aroma therapy.’ Perhaps it’s most notorious claim to fame was a colorful local personality who decided to run for President:

Henry B. Krajewski (July 15, 1912 – November 8, 1966) was an American politician who ran for the United States Presidency in 1952 (for the Poor Man's Party) and in 1956 (for the American Third Party). He was also an American Third Party candidate for the United States Senate from New Jersey in 1954. He also ran for New Jersey Governor three times, in 1953 (Jersey Veterans Bonus), 1957 (American Third Party), and 1961 (Veterans Bonus Now).

In 1952, he owned and ran a 4,000-pig farm in Secaucus, New Jersey. With printing-press operator Frank Jenkins as his running mate, his platform included a one-year tax moratorium for every taxpayer with an annual income below $6,000, and one free pint of milk a day in school for every child. He won 4,203 votes.

Krajewski ran a tavern in his side of town, and we can remember being in it at least once, probably for birch beer and a sandwich.  His picture, in which he was holding a baby pig, ran in Time Magazine, with his slogan ‘politicians are jokers.’

Fast forward to the present.  Our daughter now lives in New Jersey, just a short drive from where we were born and raised.  If you must know, Secaucus has no more pig farms, and has prospered as a commuter community for those who work in New York City.  The Meadowlands Sports Complex is not within the city limits, but is a major factor in the overall economics of the area.

Color us delighted when our daughter gave us “Food Lovers Guide to New Jersey” for Christmas.  In it, we found two pork stores in her vicinity.  One Italian themed, the other German themed.  And both unbelievable.

On the same trip, we spent an afternoon in Manhattan, and visited Zabars Deli and the Fairway Market on the upper west side.  If you’re not a ‘foodie,’ no big deal.  If you are, we’re talking heaven, especially compared to Maine.

We were going to regale you with descriptions of the sights and smells of these places, but what’s the use?  Instead, we’ll tell you that the NYC stores don’t need our help.  if you make it to Manhattan, ask anyone where they are, and they’ll tell you.  And prepare yourself for sensory overload.

In New Jersey, the Italian themed place is A&S Pork Store, in West Paterson.  Make sure to practice your fuggedaboutit shtick before you go there; it’s that kind of place.

The German themed place is The Swiss Pork Store in Fair Lawn, and since that is our heritage, it was our favorite.  The welcome and the selection are world class.  And there’s a great old fashioned bakery two doors down.

Here are some shots from the Swiss Pork Store:



On a closing note, New Jersey Pork Stores are known for adapting to the needs of their customers.  You can see the proof in this candid shot, in which local fans show their support for their local meat processor.


Pork?  Waste Management?  Good neighbors looking out for your interests and your safety?  And Jersey Boys.

What’s not to like?

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

For the MRRA, it’s hummedeh hummedeh hummedeh time…


As the great man might say if he was mayor of Lake Basebegone, MRRA and Brunswick are now squarely ‘facing the tail of the bull.

Alan Horowitz, oops, I mean Klapmeier, and his Kestrel Aviation job explosion in the local area, are now one step closer to saying buh-by, ta-ta, and au revoir to the local landscape.

The Superior Telegram reported today:

An aircraft manufacturing facility in Superior gained a nod of approval Tuesday from the Douglas County Land and Development Committee.

The committee voted unanimously to transfer property at the fairgrounds to the city’s Redevelopment Authority to facilitate a proposed manufacturing facility for Kestrel Aircraft Company.

One of the more curious parts of the whole story is how the number of jobs to be created has increased since Kestrel’s whirlwind landed the plum aviation asset on the former Navy Base.  300 was the number used to win the prize here in Brunswick, Maine, but it took doubling down to 600 to grease the way in Wisconsin. 

Hey; you want jobs?  I got your jobs right here.

Their development authorities must be a lot tougher than ours.  Or maybe Maine workers are thought to be twice as productive as those slugs in Wisconsin.

Surely the Inferior Ostrich will do an in-depth investigative report to let us know how our local trustees missed those other 300 jobs.  And how ‘TIFs’ might be called into play to keep the deal alive.

In related news, local weather forecasts call for temperatures to continue in the 70’s.

Soon as we finish clearing all the warm air off the driveway, we’ll see if Stella can get hold of Senator Stan the Minority Man, Johnny Protocols, and FLee Bailey.  If the betting is still open, they could try dropping the job promise to 150.

Or they could bring in some milk-cows from Wisconsin to help the grass stay short and green, in an environmentally appropriate fashion consistent with the underlying story line.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Good morning, union brothers and sisters…..

Alright now, sing along with me:

“Solidarity forever, solidarity forever…”


You over there….why aren’t you singing?  And you, and you, and you all the way in the back?

What?  You aren’t union members?

Haven’t you seen the latest column on

Brunswick property taxpayers are sending along 1% or more of their tax assessments to the MEA for use in any way they see fit. This makes a taxpayer a de facto dues paying member of the union. Even worse, such taxpayers are deemed to be in full agreement with union officials on ballot issues, candidate support, and all other political campaign expenditures. And their lobbying efforts as well.

Now tomorrow morning, I want EVERYONE singing!  And make sure your tee-shirts are clean and neatly pressed! 

We may have to go to Augusta, but don’t worry; buses and signs will be provided.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Slumlords, Slumming Columnists, and Poetry Slams

As most of you know, Side is a cranky old man, and we’ve put a lot of years and effort into perfecting our reputation and stature as a leader in the field.  So please humor us while we light the pettiness lamp.

One of the things about contemporary journalism that really fries our grits is the practice of placing an opinion columnist’s photo at the top of his/her column.  These are never simple candid snaps; instead, they’re artfully posed to inspire reverence, and to ‘make a statement.’  Think Paul Krugman, Eddie Beem, and Billy “Boohoo” Nemitz.

In the case of Nemitz, the statement made reads as follows to your correspondent:

“Listen up, little people.  I’m up here and you’re down there, and there’s a reason for that. 

It’s because I have a piercing intellect, a pure and humble heart, and I care more than you do.  You aren’t worthy of what I’m about to say, and it will fly right over your heads, but my benevolence demands mercy for even the least among you.

Ergo, I will shower you with my wisdom.  Just remember how fortunate you are to sit at my feet and be enlightened.” 

And then a familiar tune seems to play…

“But where in the world
Is there in the world
A man so untouched and pure?
It’s me!”

There; that takes care of our repressed pettiness for the moment; the lamp is out until we light it again. 

To the subject at hand:

A few weeks ago, Billy Nemitz authored a ‘column’ that was styled after the beloved poem “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” and in it, he voiced his grotesque disdain for Maine’s Republican Governor.  Just two days before Christmas, it was ‘hate journalism’ of the most repulsive sort.

There is, as it turns out, an illuminating back story to his vile verse.  Just three days before it appeared in print, Nemitz had invested a half day in Augusta at the Maine State Housing Authority.  This was the most recent meeting of the MSHA Board of Commissioners, and he arrived an hour before the meeting began, presumably for a private audience with MSHA’s Director, Dale McCormick.

He then sat through the Board Meeting itself.  Given Billy’s well known MO, his transparent hatred for all things at odds with his extreme leftism, and recent news on the MSHA front, it’s obvious he was there to gather evidence for one or more future attack columns.  

We’re sure he arrived confident he’d find Governor LePage had sent a hit squad to MSHA offices, and directed them to engage in witch-hunts and various other forms of uncalled for wire-brushing.  All to demonize a pure and devoted cadre of public servants who exist only to bring relief to those who need it most.  His dreamed for scenario fulfillment would confirm Nemitz’ belief in a LePage scorched earth political agenda.

We imagine that Nemitz, who we think of as Sir Boohoo-a-lot of the Left Table, arriving on his white horse, a firm grip on his pike, was intent on tilting Sir Bruce, Knight of the Right Table, off his steed. He would run him through over and over in print. We could almost hear him sing:

In Portland far I heard your call.
And here am I to give my all.
I know in my soul what you expect of me,
And all that and more I shall be.”

Given the slumlord news reported in the weeks before this meeting, Nemitz probably thought he could go slumming about MSHA, and find evidence of the evil Poliquin and his merry band of vicious and politically motivated interlopers, reveling in the ooze and slime surrounding the organization.

Poor Billy; what he got instead was stunning disappointment, undermining his giddy expectation of multiple horror story columns for the next few weeks.  I know because I was there.

Suddenly, Sir Boohoo-a-lot had a problem.  A big problem.  And nothing for his next deadline.

What he got for his travels was an MSHA Director sheepishly revealing how she had somehow reduced the cost of the Elm Street project from $314,000 per unit to $265,000 per unit, and a nightmare of embarrassment in Section 8 housing conditions in the Norway area, as we previously reported.  Featured in the story is Avesta Housing, headed by one of Brunswick’s civic elites.

So Billy found himself without a credible screed to run.  What would he do?

What he would do is submit an adolescent, Christmas themed attack upon our Governor.  Call it an homage to the worst of Maine’s ‘creative culture.’

Taking Nemitz’ offering as a challenge, we decided to respond in kind.  We drafted the following and submitted it to his editors:

Awed by Bill Nemitz’ recent ode of hate to our Governor, in the style of a well known Christmas poem, I longed for a muse to inspire a worthy response.

But none was forthcoming, so I dug through the closet and found my Shirley MacLaine magic decoder ring, and furiously rubbed the crystal in hopes of channeling a worthy bard. After several minutes’ effort, letters began to appear in the crystal, one after another. I scribbled them down as fast as I could, and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but this delivered verse so clear:

Sonnet #86, from the Portland Left

By Billy Barrett Nemitz-Browning

How do I hate thee? Let me tell you LePage.
I hate thee to the depth and breadth and rage
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal scorn.
I hate thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I hate thee freely, as men strive far left;
I hate thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I hate thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's spite.
I hate thee with a bile I seemed to lose
With my lost saints!---I hate thee with the breath,
Smirks, tears, of all my life!---and, if God choose,
I shall but hate thee better after death.

For reasons not disclosed, the editors did not acknowledge our submission or publish it.  Go figure.  But it is published here, for all to see and enjoy.  Fa la la la, and deck your halls, etc.

Now the denouement of these events.  On Friday evening past, MSHA released their report on the circumstances of the Norway fiasco. 

Embarrassing as the report is, Sir Boohoo-a-lot saw it as a chance to pivot and again point his sharp tongue at Sir Bruce of the Right Table, and thus deflect his groupies away from the light.  

In his column on Sunday, January 8th, Nemitz refers to “the embattled Executive Director McCormick,” which is never a good sign.  Further, he writes:

But make no mistake about it. As MaineHousing's lengthy mea culpa makes the rounds this week, the long knives are about to get a whole lot longer.

In a press release issued just over a week ago, State Treasurer Poliquin claimed that MaineHousing's staff revealed at a recent board meeting that they "had known about these squalid conditions for at least two years."

I attended that meeting and never heard any such thing. But if Poliquin was on one of his facts-be-damned riffs before the Norway report was completed, imagine what he and his comrades-in-politics will do with 17 pages of self-scrutiny by the agency they claim can do no right.

Aye, then, the gauntlet was thrown down, accompanied by yet another familiar verse:

It’s Bill! It’s Bill, I rush to disclose.
I'm far too noble to lie.
That man in whom
These qualities bloom,
C'est moi, c'est moi, 'tis I.
I've never strayed
From all I believe;
I'm blessed with an iron will.
Had I been made
The partner of Eve,
We'd be in Eden still.

But forsooth, yet again, Sir Boohoo-a-lot gets caught carrying his pike with the pointy end aimed at himself, rather than his quarry.  Unable to ignore Sir Boohoo’s pike in belly and foot in mouth, another brave knight responded.

Quick as a flash, on the eve of the very same Sunday, Good Sir Lance-a-lot, carrying the scarf of Lady Truth, responded with a video that runs Sir Boohoo-a-lot through. 

And the next day, Sir Lance-a-lot  further vanquished the columnist errant, with a rich and detailed treatise.  It even mentions the childish Christmas poem.

No doubt editors of the Left-Table will declare Nemitz received only flesh wounds.  But like the Black Knight, Sir Boohoo-a-lot is in need of more ’long-knife’ training.  And he might want to get a few stitches in those flesh wounds.

Perhaps, should he lose his role as chief protagonist for the Portland left, Sir Boohoo-a-lot can look for a production of Liar of La Mancha holding auditions.  The new version centers on green, renewable, alternative energy windmills, something Nemitz seems ideally suited for reporting on.

“To Dream the Impossible Dream……..”  How appropriate, and right up his wheelhouse.

If that doesn’t work out, he can always seek employment as a short-order cook.  He seems to have a way with eggs.

On a closing note, whenever you read that our exalted print media, like The Ostrich, etc, ‘don’t run any conservative letters because they just don’t get any,’ you can bet they are lying through their beady little eyes. We’ve provided two recent examples: this one for the Press Herald, and the TIF one last month involving The Ostrich. 

Over the years, the number of cases of the same conceit are beyond counting, both for other writers and your faithful correspondent.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A breath of ‘fresh’ air…

For longer than we can remember, we’ve had to get by with the non-reporting, non-investigative efforts of the self-absorbed ‘mainstream media’ in Maine and Brunswick.

Their big-government advocacy has been reinforced by scores of organizations in the non-profit industrial complex that promote, prolong, and expand dependency on governmental benefits.

These are the hundred or more professionally staffed entities that claim ‘the disadvantaged have no voice,’ while they earn their living providing that voice.  Look here to see who they are.  Note the “Maine Can Do Better” mantle.

In contrast, we’ve often wondered who provides ‘the voice’ for working families who labor day after day to generate the revenue that funds the benefits for those dependent on government.

And we’ve never come up with a good answer.  But there is hope.

A new web-based news service has been created, intended to offer an alternative to the one-sided coverage of established media outlets.  It’s called TheMaineWire, and you can find it here. 

A relevant example of their reporting efforts, germane to Maine Can Do Better, follows:

Below is a sampling of the CEO salaries for some of the Maine Can Do Better groups:

  • Avesta Housing – $128,811 ($11 million in government funding)
  • Disability Rights Center – $95,955 ($1.6 million in government funding)
  • Family Planning Association – $102,454 ($3.8 million in government funding)
  • Preble Street – $88,109 ($2.5 million in government funding)

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England ($3 million in government funding)  lists four executives on its 990 form:

  • Nancy Mosher – $201,888
  • Thomas Frank – $170,213
  • Cheryl Gibson – $204,955
  • Susan Smith – $150,845

Looks like you can do quite well providing a voice for others.

We hope you’ll visit The MaineWire regularly, and help them succeed in offering another ‘voice.’

Lord knows we desperately need it.

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Monday, January 2, 2012

Kestrel: Breaks, bulls, and suckers

Time for a 2012 update from Lake Basebegone:

W. C. Fields is credited with some pithy bromides:

“There comes a time in the affairs of man when he has to take the bull by the tail and face the situation.”

“Never give a sucker an even break.”

For some reason, these seem to fit the moment.

Because one of the bitter disappointments of the golden years is finding out just how gullible one has been, and almost always learning that lesson via government, politicians, and the myriad parasites and cronies that love to rub shoulders with them while picking the publics’ pockets.

We suppose it is the penalty of leading a sheltered life in a family with ‘old fashioned’ values, and having spent a career with professionals who acted with integrity and respect for customers.  So retirement came, and we had not learned the lessons that others may have along the way.

It’s especially painful when you find out that the word gullible is not even in the dictionary!

Our subject here is the recent news breaking on Kestrel Aviation.  We had been making notes on the subject for some time, and were planning on an ‘in-depth’ essay when time and priorities allowed.  We got waylaid by affairs at MSHA and other things we considered more timely.  And our personal life, if you must know.

We’re going to address the subject briefly tonight, with plans to come back to it somewhere down the 400 foot platform that is a metaphor for “the road,” with appropriate governmental symbolism.

We think tonight of the estimates of 17,000 jobs; Jim Horowitz and Oxford Aviation; FLee Bailey; and Johnny “Protocols” Richardson and his private discussions with ‘a half dozen or more Fortune 500 companies’ interested in locating on the former Naval Air Station.

By comparison, 100 train passengers a day coming to dine and shop in Brunswick is barely worthy of note.

The Chase:

Recent news reports indicate that the Kestrel Aviation ‘promise’ of a glorious aviation future for Brunswick is turning out to be so much hype and propaganda associated with milking whatever public (IE: taxpayer) funding cows are grazing in the fields.

This report appeared in the BDN last week:

BRUNSWICK, Maine — Kestrel Aircraft Co. is negotiating with development officials in Superior, Wis., to create 300 to 600 jobs initially envisioned for Maine, a local redevelopment official confirmed Friday.

Steve Levesque, executive director of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, said Friday that Kestrel founder Alan Klapmeier confirmed a story in the Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune reporting on a Jan. 16 public hearing at which the city of Superior would consider a development agreement with Kestrel for the company to build parts for its new single-engine turboprop plane there.

A friend sent along further reports from other outlets:

The city of Superior is in the running for an airplane manufacturing facility that could create 300 permanent jobs initially and up to 600 jobs by 2016.

Kestrel Aircraft Co. — led by founder and former head of Duluth-based Cirrus Aviation, Alan Klapmeier — has been in negotiations with the city and state of Wisconsin since mid-July to discuss the possibility of siting a manufacturing plant in Superior.

Under the terms of the development agreement, the city would provide assistance with the project with the sale of land, grants, and tax increment financing to encourage the development.

In addition, the state could provide tax credits to make the project a reality, said Port and Planning Director Jason Serck.

And this from AVWEB.COM:

Kestrel Moving To Wisconsin?

Media in Duluth, Minn., and Superior, Wis., are reporting that a deal is close to site the new factory for Kestrel Aircraft in Superior, which is a few miles from Kestrel President Alan Klapmeier's home town of Duluth and just across the Wisconsin border. Klapmeier, who co-founded Cirrus in Duluth, took over Kestrel 18 months ago with plans to manufacture the turboprop single in Brunswick, Maine. It's not clear what happened with the widely publicized plans to build the aircraft at a decommissioned naval air station in Brunswick.

Kestrel was in line to receive an incentive package in exchange for the 300 jobs the facility would create. Wisconsin seems to be stepping up to the plate financially, too, and is hoping the plant eventually creates 600 jobs. "This is a significant number of jobs, right now, but it will continue to be a significant number of jobs in the years to come," said Jim Caesar, an economic development consultant contracted by the city told the Superior Telegram. "They have plans beyond this prototype that will require additional workers well into the future … this is an ongoing thing." A spokesman for Kestrel was not immediately available for comment.

In related news, MRRA directors are said to be looking for a new face to head the organization.  Rumors are that Ben Dover has applied for the job, but calls to his representatives met with a turned cheek.

The Ostrich is reported to be hard at work not pulling it’s head out of the sand, fully committed to keeping it’s ‘government watchdog’ record tarnished.

We hope you’re feeling suitably loved and respected as another year of continued growth in the town of Perfect begins.

And that’s today’s report from Lake Basebegone.

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