Thursday, October 18, 2012

<p> Angus King proposes solar-driven wind-power generation, with fail-safe backup just in case..

We’ve overheard many in town whispering that we aren’t exactly the sharpest bulb in the drawer, and that we might even be a few watts short of a full load.

Still, we think it’s fair to say that our credentials in serious matters of power generation and distribution are a matter of record. At least in some places. Don’t believe us? Maybe you need to brush up a bit, and you can begin by reading this prior epic.

If you read our post of October 7th, and read the related Maine Wire column, you know the latter suggested that Alan Caron and Angus King are political animals of the chameleon type.  (Don’t forget the latest Maine Wire item, found here.)


We believe, from what we know and read, that Angus has recently taken inspiration from solar wind, shown in the graphic just below. And why wouldn’t he? The concept is lofty enough to give Maine’s loonies the vapors, while being so amorphous as to defy confirmation.  Which makes it a shoo-in for government subsidies.


The heliospheric current sheet results from the influence of the Sun's rotating magnetic field on the plasma in the solar wind.

This may be why we’ve noticed Angus supporters sporting the latest in political chapeaux, hyping the ‘renewable energy’ aura surrounding his campaign.  Unless, that is, the beanies are personal transporters for carrying wearers back to the mother ship that brought them to our planet.

                         Adult Propeller Beanie Hat Made in the USA

Regardless, the six colors go nicely with the chameleon theme, don’t you think?

King’s history in the wind business is, as they say, complicated.  First, there is Independence Wind.  Nice touch that, given his professed lack of firm governing principles.  Apparently, Independence Wind spawned the Record Hill project, which led to a new company, Record Hill Wind.

This project received huge federal loan guarantees, and was the source of some embarrassment for King as he announced his run for Olympia Snowe’s Senate seat.  Not as much is known about Highland Wind, another project in which King and his partners were involved.

KIng’s son Angus III is a Vice President at First Wind, which operates wind energy projects in New England, and wouldn’t you know, serves as an advisor, like his father, to Alan Caron’s Envision Maine ‘non-profit.’

Now the big news.  We’ve heard that Angus is drawing up plans for a new enterprise called Second Wind.  Borrowing from the aforementioned solar wind theory, Angus’ latest inspiration is intended to overcome wind power’s biggest problem – that wind blows when it wants to, and doesn’t when it doesn’t want to, making it unreliable as a foundational, primary power source. 

Wind turbines also suffer from public opposition for a number of reasons, including their size, required destruction of natural settings, their blight on the viewscape, their thrumming noise and irritating shadow patterns, and their efficiency as a Vitamix blender for birds who stray into their air space.


Couple this with the fact that generators are simply electric motors running in reverse, and vice versa. and you have the seeds of a brilliant solution. 

Second Wind will, with the help of hundreds of millions in federal subsidies and loan guarantees, develop solar powered wind machines.  These will look much like the wind turbines we’ve all become familiar with, but with acres of solar panels mounted atop their towers.  These panels will drive electric motors that spin huge blades to generate wind, which will be aimed at nearby wind turbines.

Here’s the really great part of this plan.  The motors in the solar powered wind machines will turn in the opposite direction of the existing wind turbines.  Just like noise cancelling headphones, this will cause the thrumming noise and annoying shadow pattern of the wind turbines to be zeroed out.  The air space between the two will be a neutral, calm, bird repelling zone, so wildlife will no longer be minced into a fine dice by the wind turbines that now function as giant bird chippers. 

Best of all, harmonic light wave variations will create a holographic phenomenon that makes both the existing and new towers disappear from view.  No towers, no dead birds, no noise, no shadows, just free, renewable power.  As long as the sun shines or the wind blows.  With more well deserved largesse for Angus and his friends.  Next thing you know, he could be making $500,000 a year in reportable income!

The most exciting part of this plan is that when the sun don’t shine and the wind don’t blow, Second Wind has a backup plan.  They are developing ‘blinding light’ towers, flexibly fueled by natural gas, oil, or coal, that will generate sufficient photons to activate the solar panels on the nearby wind machines to generate enough wind to propel the wind powered electric power generators.  And when all else fails, the grid connections can reverse current flow and drive the wind generators electrically.

Ain’t sustainable, renewable energy generation magical?

Breaking News: 

A reliable source leaked to us that Angus is also developing plans for an enterprise called Break Wind.  This renewable power scheme is based on a biochemical energy source, obtained by fitting individuals with PMCD’s (personal methane capture devices.)  PMCD’s would serve dual purposes: improving air and sound quality for visitors to the wearer’s ‘personal space,’ while providing a natural and organic fuel base for heating, cooking, and lighting, and perhaps someday, powering vehicles and generators.  The marketing tag is expected to be “Finally, natural gas accessible to everyone, everywhere, all the time!”  No matter where you go, you’ll have your renewable energy source up close and personal.

Clearly, this is the kind of innovation you can only expect when visionaries like Angus and friends set their minds to Envisioning and Reinventing Maine.

One More Surprise:

Did you know that if you drive your Prius backwards, you can power your house with it?  This is because, as we told you earlier, generators are simply electric motors running backwards and vice versa.

This is why, should Angus lose, he has more exciting plans for ventures in the energy business.  Now that one of his sons, the more sedate and news-worthy one, is entrenched in First Wind, Angus plans to leverage the cash flow from that enterprise in a new effort code named Mariah.

This will be a challenging R&D venture, targeted at residential users.  The breakthrough required is to find a way to park a Prius like vehicle and run it backwards while sitting on rollers, so it can power your house and charge the batteries in your i-devices.

Once the technology is perfected, Angus and his partners plan to produce the Sugna Suirp, a fancifully named auto “hybrid” reminiscent of Studebakers of yore.  That company failed because it was ahead of its time, before anyone realized a vehicle that looked the same going backwards or forwards could revolutionize energy distribution.

Feast your eyes on that classic just below.  If you happen to have one tucked away in a barn somewhere, Angus can probably arrange for a federally guaranteed load to take it off your hands.

            1950 Studebaker Starlight Car Picture

It’s always popular to finish such theatrics on a musical note, so here you are:

Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever spinning reel
As the images unwind
Like the circles
That you find
In the windmills of your mind!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Family pocket book issues…huh?

We’ve scrupulously avoided getting into partisan commentary on the upcoming election.  Not that anyone wonders which grassy knoll this reporter views things from.  However comma we picked up on something last night in the debate coverage that simply must be addressed and stamped with our sticker.

Birth Control Pills

As we understand it, the President asserted that ‘contraception is a family pocket book issue,’ and thus we (you, me, everyone who pays income taxes) should pay for other people’s birth control expenses.

As one participant on a forum said, try comparing the cost of contraceptives to the cost of raising a child!  Not to mention that we understand pills run in the range of $10 a month.

Our point here is to ask if being ‘a family pocket book issue’ is the threshold for what we should expect the government to pay for.  For those who think it is, ponder the consequences of such a stand.

Here in our cozy little family, we have no shortage of ‘family pocketbook issues.’  Try food, clothing, property taxes, pay per bag trash bags, phone, internet, electricity, gasoline, house and car insurance, fuel oil, paper products, dog food, donuts, etc.  Then there’s vitamins, aspirin, ibuprofen, adult beverages, and other remedies to reconcile us with our fates.

Others may find that beer, cigarettes, and laxatives are ‘family pocket book issues.’  What about 5 hour energy shots and other elixirs of our age?  And lottery tickets and scratch cards?

So when should we expect the rest of you to chip in for our necessities?  And while we’re at it, we’d like to know where our 18 tax cuts are. 

We can’t remember a single one.  But we’ve got a pretty good fix on a significant tax increase that we’re facing in a matter of months.

It’s probably necessary so the government can pay for all those things we listed above.  We just need to know whether we’ll be placing our orders on a new government web site a la Amazon, or instead have to file claims for everything we buy so we can get reimbursed.

Either way, it looks like employment will be increasing in SOME sectors.

Maine Wire: A Chameleon Sequel


Like the turning leaves of autumn, so are the turning colors of Maine’s political animals.

A sample passage:

As I wrote the column, I didn’t recognize just how well varying one’s colors would describe Caron’s conduct in today’s changing political landscape. I made the following observation, but it barely hinted at reality:

“In his first column, Caron appeared in the magic Technicolor Dreamcoat of ‘independence,’ which positions him fluidly on the spectrum of political life styles: liberal, GOP, bi-political and trans-political (LGBT).”

Subsequent study shows that Caron has fully embraced the chameleon’s legerdemain in his published political posturing.

Read the entire item here:

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Ostrich: 3rd place, no matter which way you look at it.

We noticed today that The Ostrich is trumpeting its award for “third place among all Maine daily newspapers in the General Excellence category — in Maine Press Association’s annual Better Newspaper Contest.”

As we understand it, the ‘daily newspapers’ list in Maine consists of the following seven:

Bangor Daily News
Journal Tribune
Kennebec Journal
Morning Sentinel
Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram
Sun Journal
The Times Record

In our view, the Kennebec Journal, the Morning Sentinel, and the Press Herald are effectively one daily, since they all belong to the Sussman-Pingree media empire.  So editorially speaking, the list really has five entries.  Add to that the content sharing arrangement the Sun Journal has with the Bangor Daily News, and The Times Record to some degree, and you could argue there are really more like four editorially distinct dailies in Maine.

That assertion means The Ostrich came in third in a four or five horse race for the general excellence title.

Which means they came in second for least general excellence amongst their daily peers if you turn the rankings upside down.

Or, if it makes you feel better, third least excellent.

They can take some solace, we suppose, that these awards are in the “Better Newspaper Contest,” not the “Best Newspaper Contest.”

The bar is pretty low here, obviously, but you know the old saying.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Time to ‘limber up,’ in a manner of speaking

We don’t know about your routine, but as for us, we don’t do as much stretching as we should.  Oh, we get on the treadmill five days a week and head to nowhere for 40 minutes plus.  And we engage in a variety of other physical activities, ranging from the glazed donut lift to the pay per bag carry out.

But we only touch our toes once or twice a year, and only when we have no choice, if you know what we mean.

But it looks like we all better practice up, because as we read the news, it’s time to ‘stand by for incoming.’

By that we mean this item on the Town Council Agenda for the meeting this coming Monday (the 15th).

111. The Town Council will consider setting a public hearing for November 5, 2012, to adopt a “Resolution Amending the 2012-13 Budget Appropriating $174,500 from the Unassigned Balance of the General Fund to Fund the School Department’s Facilities
Master Plan – Phase II,” and will take any appropriate action.

This leads us to ask the following.

1) Why is Municipal Government proposing to appropriate funds for the School Department, when the latter is the largest portion of town spending, and should take care of their own needs from their own budgeted funds?

2) How much was spent on the “Facilities Master Plan – Phase I,” and who paid for it?  Who were the funds given too, and what was the resulting delivered product?  What did it propose, and why wasn’t it sufficient to plan for the future?

3) $174,500, applied to consulting services at a generous rate of $5,000 per  man-week, would cover roughly 35 weeks of professional services. Does it really require eight plus months of very expensive professional services to come up with a “Facilities Master Plan – Phase II,” especially considering that a Phase I plan has already been paid for?

There is a point at which those who pay for such things should cry Bravo Sierra, and we believe that point has already been passed.  The thought that our so-called ‘public servants’ need to spend this much more to create an argument that we need to spend something like $40 million or so to ‘maintain our school system excellence’ is repulsive.

This, it is ever so clear, is the normal modus operandi of those who see OPM as just so much jingle ready for the taking.  The next time you see one of these big spenders, why don’t you ask them to explain why figuring out how much more we need to spend costs so much?

And why they can’t do it themselves?

OK, now, hold on to those toes.  This will only take a minute.

You know what?  We just realized we’re not sure whether this should be called ‘limbering up,’ or ‘getting down.’  Either way, the end result will be the same.  They win, you lose.

Other Side goes for ‘The Big O’

Here at Other Side, we’ve come to realize that our growth has been limited by the fact that we are not a certified organic web site.

This was hammered home to us yesterday when we happened by the Tontine Mall and discovered that you can now get Organic Manicures ($30) and Organic Pedicures ($35).  Imagine how surprised we were to learn that nail polish plants can be grown in both organic and non-organic versions.  What’s next – Vampire Mani-Pedis?

As for us, we’re not willing to pay more than $5 for either our mani or Pedi, and thankfully, Leo the Barber is willing to add these options to our twice a year head shave for these token amounts.  Yes, it grosses out some of the other haircut customers, but it’s time for them to get with the retro-sexual vibe.

So, faithful readers, we come to you today to announce that Other Side is, from here on out, a fully Organic blog.  We pledge to eliminate the use of synthetic hormones, antibiotics, herbicides, insecticides, symbiotics, petrocides, peroxides, fungicides, czaricides, ovicides, germicides, or any other cides or xides from the posts you read here.  We cannot, obviously, eliminate Sides from our content.

Certifying our content as Organic, in keeping with prevailing retail trends, will require that we double our current subscription rates.  You can expect to see the increase in your next statement.  We’re confident that you’ll pony up the increase without any grousing.  If you don’t, expect us to publish your name on the Enemies of Organic Blogging web site.

It boils down to this: the staff here at the editorial offices believes the Organic wave is the key to our financial security, and the way to grow our business base.  While we’re still refining the details, we’re already formulating plans to open an Organic Consulting Agency, an Organic Bookkeeping Office, an Organic Tree Removal Service, an Organic Well Drilling Company, and an Organic Electrician Practice.

We think there might be potential for Organic barbers, handymen, and trash removal services as well.

We’ll keep you posted on these ideas, in a purely organic way. 

If it works out, maybe we’ll create an on-line presence called “Orgy’s List.”

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Monday, October 8, 2012

OPM and Strategic Planning Consultants

As long as we’re on the subject of OPM (pronounced “O-pee-em”), we might as well clean out the job-jar on that subject.  At least for now.

Hopefully you remember our post last month reporting that Marty and Kat at Systems in Sync had decided to send a Dear Paul letter to the Brunswick School Department.  Reporting on that heart-breaking split gave us a chance to remember Seinfeld’s “It’s not you, it’s me” break-up classic.

As we were mourning the loss of Marty and Kat’s affections, we consoled ourselves by looking longingly at their web site.  Doing so was not quite as rewarding as banging our head against the wall in front of the Town Council, but it came close.

Looking at the list of their clients, we noticed two things:

1)  Its makeup is 90% plus government schools, government agencies, and ‘non-profits,’ most of whom exist on government funds in some form.  These are all people who spend OPM, and they don’t have the same thresholds of reason and economic incentives that private sector entities do.  Think GSA conferences in Las Vegas, and MSHA conferences all around the country, plus hundreds of thousands on ‘trainings,’ catering, and consultants of all sizes, shapes, and areas of expertise.

2)  The largest segment of clients is comprised of government schools and school districts.  As we said before, there is only one listing in Maine, that being Brunswick, and Systems in Sync has put on ‘its all overcoat’ and headed back to Vermont.

If you stop and think about this, you’ll realize that Marty and Kat and their ilk are really a form of shadow government. They exist almost totally because of government, and they survive almost totally on government funds, which they extract from others without any taxpayer approval. 

We couldn’t help but wonder if there is some common linkage between their clients that gave Marty and Kat an advantage in marketing their services to faraway, little-known Brunswick.

There is, we deduced, and that would be state teachers unions, who are knit together by the national teachers unions.  Among other possibilities.

Hmmmm.  Could there have been a glowing reference given by those in another state?  Through whom, and to whom?  Or was even worse mischief afoot?  (or ameter, if you’re a euro-metric proponent.)

The least likely scenario, we are convinced, is that the natural alignment of the cosmos and serendipity brought Marty, Kat, and Paul together.

Only The Shadow knows for sure.  And The Shadow isn’t very talkative.  Yet.

But we’ll keep trying to see if we can get him to open up.  The problem is, he keeps hiding out in the shadows.


As a convenience to those who may not wish to visit Marty and Kat’s web site, we’re posting the client list here.  Enjoy.


Bethel School District, Bethel, VT
Brunswick School Department, Brunswick, ME
Caledonia Central Supervisory Union, Danville, VT
Caledonia North Supervisory Union, Lyndonville, VT
Canaan Elementary School, Canaan, NH
Chelsea Public Schools, Chelsea, VT
Claremont Middle School, Claremont, NH
Conval High School, Peterborough, NH

Dartmouth Medical School, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Lebanon, NH
Dartmouth SEEDS Consulting Group, Hanover, NH
Disnard Elementary School, Claremont, NH
Georgia Elementary and Middle School, Georgia, VT
Lisbon Regional Schools, Lisbon, NH
Ludlow Elementary/Union #39 School Districts, Ludlow, VT
Maple Ave. Elementary School, Claremont, NH
Montpelier Public Schools, Montpelier, VT
Newport Middle School, Newport, NH
Northfield School District, Northfield, VT
Peterborough Elementary School, Peterborough, NH
Pierce Elementary School, Bennington, NH
River Bend Career and Technical Center, Bradford, VT
Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
SAU #1, Peterborough, NH
SAU #6, Claremont, NH
SAU #70, Hanover, NH
Southwestern Community Services Head Start, Keene, NH
Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union, Bennington, VT
Unity Elementary School, Unity, NH
Washington South Supervisory Union, Northfield, VT
Windsor School District, Windsor, VT
Winooski School District, Winooski, VT


The Alternative Life Center, Conway, NH
Autism Resources for Community and Home, Norwich, VT
Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District, Montpelier, VT
Circle Of Life, Derry, NH
Community Health Center of Burlington, Burlington, VT
Council for Children and Adolescents with Chronic Health Conditions, Concord, NH
Concord Peer Support, Concord, NH
Cornerbridge, Laconia, NH
The Family Center of Washington County, Montpelier, VT
The Fort at No. 4, Charlestown, NH
Granite State Monarchs, Keene, NH
Helping Hands North, Inc., Colebrook, NH
Mascoma Valley Health Initiative, Canaan, NH
Mount Washington Observatory, North Conway, NH
NH Center for Nonprofits, Concord, NH
NH Healthy Kids, Concord, NH
NH Providers Association, Concord, NH
NH State Council on Developmental Disabilities, Concord, NH
Northeast Kingdom Community Action, Newport, VT
On The Road To Recovery, Inc., Manchester, NH
Orleans-Northern Essex AHS District, Newport, VT
Project Crash, Waterbury, VT
Rural Community Transportation, Inc. St. Johnsbury, VT
Seacoast Consumer Alliance, Portsmouth, NH
Stepping Stone Peer Support Agency, Claremont, NH
Tri-City Consumers’ Action Cooperative, Dover, NH
Vermont Agency of Transportation, Montpelier, VT
Vermont Department of Education, Montpelier, VT
Volunteer NH, Concord, NH
Women’s Information Services, Lebanon, NH


Atlantic Cellular, West Lebanon, NH
Bradford Veneer, Bradford, VT
Grant Ducharme, Builder, Sharon, VT

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Maine Wire: Angus King & Alan Caron–Maine’s ‘colorful’ political animals, in a manner of speaking


Excerpts from the full column:

A few weeks back, I wrote on the subject of partisanship here on The Maine Wire. In so many words, I suggested that Angus King is a skillful political opportunist wearing an “independent” overcoat because it offers the best chance to fulfill his personal ambitions—much the same as embracing wind power offered the best chances for milking the government subsidy cash cow. I stand by that view. (You can read King’s manifesto here.)

In his first column, Caron appeared in the magic Technicolor Dream coat of “independence,” which positions him fluidly on the spectrum of political life styles: liberal, GOP, bi-political and trans-political (LGBT). He hams it up in his role, embracing Angus King’s senate candidacy, because of his legendary stature on the imaginary independent axis.

Read the entire piece here:

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Capital Projects, OPM Addiction, and Public Buildings

When it comes to capital facility projects, Brunswick’s municipal governance history is a case study in incompetence, ineffectiveness, and a cocksure belief that whatever it takes dollar-wise can be squeezed from local taxpayers with not a bit of embarrassment or next election risk.  And at the penalty of perhaps a half-hour of public hearing opposition.

Not to mention a total lack of accountability and responsibility when it comes to prioritizing maintenance of existing assets.  The School Department in particular will always make good stewardship of physical assets last on their list, knowing full well that the general public are suckers for weepy-eyed rhetoric about ‘doing what’s right for the children.’ Even when it means trashing once-praised buildings that should have been routinely kept in good repair, in favor of wondrous architectural ‘visions’ no matter their cost and no matter declining enrollments.

The town is littered with physical evidence of this pathology, or in some cases, only memories.

When a $13 million public safety building proposal was resoundingly rejected by voters in 2003, contrite town councilors openly professed that they had “gotten the message from the public.” 

Yah, shurr.  Some lessons stick; but when OPM (pronounced oh-pi-um) is involved, clear thinking is quickly compromised as the thought of more and more Other Peoples Money is lined up in neat little rows, and keeps the partying going.

It’s obvious that we, the ones who always, always cough up the shekels to bail out those responsible, have created this ‘dependency,’ and allowed it to become permanently institutionalized.  What’s not obvious is how individuals to whom we give the authority in such matters can repeat the same mistakes over, and over, and over again, without ever learning from their mistakes.  And then do it over again, just for good measure.

How many times do you have to stick your finger in a fire before you realize you’re going to get burned?  How many times do you have to walk in front of architects and contractors with thousand dollar bills hanging out of every pocket before you come to realize those involved will help themselves to the goodies?  How many times do you have to hear 2 + 2 = 4 before you realize it’s true?  How many times do you have to fail before you realize there are others who could help you, and without fleecing the town in the process?

We’ve reflected on this subject more times than we can bear to recall over the years, and we continue to marvel at just how forgetful our elected betters, and their hired professionals, can be in this regard.

(If you’re looking to refresh yourself on the subject, you can go here to get a recap of our prior posts searched on the term ‘police station.’)

The latest sad reminder of just how badly elected officials and highly paid, certified administrators can bungle capital projects is the tearing down of the old Times Record building on Industry Road.  We taxpayers invested ~ $1.3 million to buy it, and perhaps half of that again to make it useful for some limited purposes. While our betters have no doubt forgotten, you and this reporter surely remember how shortly after the purchase, it was ‘discovered’ that the building would need $5 million plus in renovations to make a useful municipal facility.

Apparently no one in the chain of command, or any cognizant authority, had ever heard of the term ‘due diligence,’ especially as it comprises a key step before finalizing a facility purchase.  How no-one was summarily terminated over that fiasco is beyond us, but this very fact makes it clear that incentives to perform with competence are non-existent in OPM land.  And that consequences of rank ineptitude are nil, especially if you are widely seen as ‘nice.’  Which leaves us fearful that our pockets are about to be turned inside out in what lies ahead.

In our view, you can chalk up the old TR building caper as a cash gift to the Times Record organization, such as they are today.  They got our money, and we got a building that served no municipal purpose, and now we are paying to get rid of it.  And yet, in spite of this cash gift, the Ostrich has had great trouble staying current on its property taxes.

The good news, of course, is that the School Department is lusting after the cleared Industry Road site as the location for a new ‘bus barn,’ at who knows what cost.  We expect they’ll take their cues from the Cooks Corner Substation, with it’s double deep drive through bays, heated floors, and other amenities.  No doubt the school bus team would love a workout area, a full commercial kitchen, and restful lounge areas just like modern fire stations.  Ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching.

As long as we’re on the Industry Road side of town, we can’t help but wonder why the town hasn’t picked up the Daniel Stone Inn, now that it’s in some form of receivership. They should be able to get it for a song, and that grand stairway in the lobby will be much more fitting for glorious processions of town officials than anything the McClellan building can provide. It would close a dubious circle, since the town itself had a good deal to do with driving the Inn owners into foreclosure.  It seems only logical officials would pick up the pieces for their own use.  And what a break room they’d have!

Which brings us to the most recent example of municipal mangling of fundamental capital project management.  In case you haven’t already seen it, read about it here in the Forecaster.

As if there haven’t been enough controversies and excesses already in the great Police Station dream, we now read that the numbers aren’t holding up before the digging even begins.  The rhetoric coming from the mouths of town officials and the architect are more than we can bare to recite here; you’ll have to revel in it yourself.

All we can say is that nobody in authority seems to have a clue about how to contract for such a building so that taxpayer exposure to cost growth and overruns is strictly limited, while the for-profit enterprises take that risk on themselves. 

But lets face it; the latter know what patsies we all are, especially when seen through the prism of officialdom, where OPM seems  available in whatever amounts necessary, no matter the reason, if just a little well-rehearsed schmoozing is applied.

Too bad there’s no longer a good cobbler in town.  He could make a fortune replacing the rounded-over heels on the shoes of our elected and professional ‘leaders.’ Maybe then they could stand-up straight when the ‘Brunswick, we have a problem’ winds start blowing in.

And it wouldn’t hurt if the round-heelers were to learn how to engage in a little blowback of their own on our behalf.

“To dream the impossible dream, to go where the brave dare not go..”

Sancho, Sancho, bring my steed and my lance, quickly!

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“DARE” we make a suggestion to the Brunswick School Department? About “saying no?”


We haven’t heard much about the D.A.R.E. program in many a year, and a quick trip to the Google guru shows why…the program was declared a ‘big, fat, failure’ to use the words of one citation.

We won’t go off on that bit of history, but we would like to encourage the Brunswick School Department to dare to say no to advertisements on their web site.  We refer specifically to online drug purveyors of questionable character. 

Especially advertising for drugs designed to make one ‘ready when the moment is right,’ and whose use has been known to increase employment for plumbers and bath fixture manufacturers.  Reportedly, this drug has a known side effect: a compulsion to install dual bathtubs in idyllic settings. 

We wistfully remember the Superintendent’s proposal a few years back to place change receptacles in local establishments, so patrons could drop coins they got in change from a cash transaction (something used nowadays mostly by those who could use the medicinal boost we’re talking about) into the jar.  The proceeds would be used to supplement the $30 million plus provided by taxpayers each year.

Unseemly as such a proposal was, it sounds quaint compared to the new attempt to monetize the School Department web site.  But we shouldn’t be surprised by what we discovered.  After all, the Department, and the schoolies who provide it’s loyal and forgiving fan base, are brimming with imagination these days, especially when it comes to generating more dollars to invest in the schools.  Which as we’ve argued repeatedly, really means more dollars for the teachers.

To our point, the following content appeared on the Brunswick School Department web site earlier this week:


October 3, 2012: Facilities & Maintenance Committee, 3:30 p.m., Hawthorne Conference Room.

Buy Kamagra online from trusted online pharmacy

Agenda: update Facilities Master Plan Phase 2/Discussion of Jordan Acres Expenses and Timeline/Other Business-Discussion of Request from Brunswick Alumni Association

October 3, 2012: Agenda Building, 4:15 p.m., Superintendent’s Office

Etc., etc., etc.

The “buy Kamagra” link takes you to a site called “TRUSTED TABLETS”, where you can buy the “new medicine manufactured by Ajanta Pharma (India) for treating erectile disorders in men.”

We get that here in Brunswick, where perfection is the norm, there is no such thing as going too far when it comes to doing things ‘for the children.’  Before we know it, we suppose we could have young students knocking on our doors asking if we’d like to buy Kamagra Candy Bars to support the schools.  Pharmaceutical sales can be a lucrative career choice, and getting kids interested at an early age can’t do any harm.

As a final thought, we hope the advertisement didn’t migrate un-noticed to the School Department web site from a school official’s computer.  The two-tub imagery is bad enough; picturing an administrator or board member in one of them is more than even we can abide.  Even if they are on a grassy knoll, gazing at the splendor of the Harriet Beecher Stowe architectural statement.

We’re biting our tongue extra hard not to follow up on that image with some zingers.  Doing so would be like throwing the baby out with the bath water.  This isn’t ‘the right moment’ for that, and besides, it would be too bitter a pill for readers to swallow.