Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Internecine warfare, Brunswick style

Geez, how we love a good street fight.  Especially during the cat days of winter.  Now that we can’t seem to find our mobile mural, we need something else to suck up the diesel fumes in Brunswick, and we just may have found it.

You’ve probably heard the slang word ‘demo’ used over the years, in statements like ‘we need to demo the old Times Record Building,’  where it means demolish.

In the street fight we’re here to tell you about, ‘demo’ has double meanings: demolish, and Democrat, the latter being the political party.  In keeping with the internecine theme of the title, local Democrats look like they’re out to demolish each other in a personal demolition derby. 

Like most of you, we no longer subscribe to, buy, or read The Ostrich, ever since they refused to run a tab for us, even though we did for their local property taxes.  Occasionally, however, we do come upon a diaphanous copy at a local dentist’s office, where reading it cover to cover provides two or three minutes of distraction, like most of the typical magazines these days.

Because of our inattention to the local paragon of news media printicide, we missed the opening public throw-down in this brewing brouhaha.  But we caught up fast on this furious story, and we want you to as well.

So let us introduce you to the participants:

In this corner, Senator ‘Stan the Man’ Gerzofsky, now in his 13th straight year of legislative service, if we count right.  In this corner, ‘Johnny Protocols’ Richardson; now a Town Councilor, a former mentor of the Senator, one-time gubernatorial candidate, one-time Speaker of the House, one time DECD, and BFF with FLee Bailey.  And in this corner, Jackie Sartoris, newly minted lawyer and former multi-term Town Councilor. 

We hold her in especially high esteem because she tried very hard to make sure the rule allowing public comment at the start of Council meetings wouldn’t pass, and also publicly labeled this reporter a liar (‘a teller of fictions.’)  There’s no need to mention how she once told us in an official email that ‘honesty isn’t always the best policy.’  It wouldn’t add anything to this discussion.

It almost seems, when you get the picture, that a circular firing squad could be forming.  Another player or two would make the imagery more complete.  Town Manager Gary Brown has shown some flashes of political pugilism from time to time; perhaps he’d like to take another corner.  And it wouldn’t surprise us if before long a few masked locals can’t stand to just watch the action, climb over the ropes, and toss a few stools around to join in the rope-a-dope theater.  This could easily surpass the popularity of the Kabuki Theater of years past.

So what are we talking about?  The throw-down we mentioned earlier,  penned by Counselor Sartoris.  You can read it here:

If you’re not tempted to read it yet, maybe these samples will spur you on:

Stan has waged a long, quiet, successful battle for enormous control in Brunswick. Every councilor serving Brunswick from 2005 to 2006 remembers the quiet coup resulting in our town losing not just control, but the mere opportunity to participate effectively, concerning redevelopment of the former Brunswick Naval Air Station.

I watched Stan play councilors off one another, making temporary alliances to gain more control. Stan is a masterful political practitioner, with his own jujitsu: the quid pro quo, the quid pro no quo, and the no quid, no quo. At every turn, the council chose not to fight Stan publicly. At every turn, it was the wrong decision.

The more we think about it, the more we can see that Steve Levesque (separated at birth from Stan?) and long time former Council Chair Joanne King might be tempted to jump into the ring as well.

Politically, it’s already widely expected that JP is planning another run at the Blaine House, if not higher; Jackie has now officially thrown her hat into the State Senate ring; and while we don’t know what Stan has planned, we’re damn sure it doesn’t include giving up life in the political spotlight.

The danger here, of course, is that this could easily escalate from internecine warfare to interporcine warfare.

While a winter skating pond in the town mall has its charms, we doubt the Public Works department would take kindly to a mud pit in the summer.

Either way, the publicity this brings to our sleepy little village of Perfect can only make sure than no single ‘actor’ gets to hog the spotlight.

Public barbeque anyone?

Phishing phor phlunkies and phools: consider yourselph phorwarned.

Iph it’s not too late, that is.

Because we got suckered in, and iph you are a member of Side’s inner circle, you may have been aphphected by what happened.

We’re usually pretty suspicious of emails that somehow don’t seem pro-phorma, or otherwise set ophph alarms.  And we have what we consider to be pretty ephphective intrusion detection software, including philtering of our email in box.

But yesterday, a ‘phishing’ expedition hooked us.  In our inbox appeared an email appearing to be phrom a phriend of some years, but one with whom we exchange at most a phew emails a year, and usually very brieph ones passing along some item of interest.

So the message yesterday seemed pretty typical of him.  It simply read ‘check this out,’ phollowed by one of those quirky looking ‘tinyurl’ type links consisting of a jumble of letters and numbers.

Stupidly, we clicked on the link, and a clearly suspicious web site appeared, which we quickly closed.  No matter, that did the damage.  Ironically, we had a very similar message from a far less well known contact first, and had the good sense not to take that bait.

Before long, we had all sorts of ‘undeliverable’ reports in our inbox, reflecting outdated/invalid email addresses in our records.  And a smattering of messages from friends asking if and/or suggesting that we had been ‘phished.’

So, you are now phorewarned about this practice; don’t go phor it.  And iph we set you up phor a phall by extension, our humble apologies to you.

We’ll have to see if we get multiple cycles of the same thing from those we inphected yesterday; we sure hope not.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Maine Wire: Everyone has a champion in the school bureaucracy — except the children

student.head on desk

Now that the new year has turned, towns across the state have entered the semester of budget preparation, presentation, deliberation, and enactment.  This seems like a good time to review the factors, organizations, and political pathologies that drive school system priorities, in particular.

Last year, we addressed school budget theatrics in this column: Now I intend to prove that the only group that has no champion in the process is the children themselves.  Hear me out.

I live in Brunswick; I don’t know where you live, dear reader.  No matter, I know that my town and yours are like faraway, fairy-tale Lake Wobegone.  Our schools are the best, each of our teachers is excellent, and all our students are above average.  So what follows doesn’t apply to you and me; it’s for all those who don’t enjoy our unfair advantages.

Read the entire column here:

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Weekend Tidbits

Herewith a few ‘curiosities’ to keep your juices flowing and your mind sharp.  Side came across this first one in the Wall Street Journal:

From an 1876 speech by Civil War veteran, orator and Republican Party figure Robert Ingersoll:

I will now give you my ideas about finance. In the first place the Government does not support the people, the people support the Government.

The Government is a perpetual pauper. It passes round the hat, and solicits contributions; but then you must remember that the Government has a musket behind the hat. The Government produces nothing. It does not plow the land, it does not sow corn, it does not grow trees. The Government is a perpetual consumer.

We support the Government. Now, the idea that the Government can make money for you and me to live on—why, it is the same as though my hired man should issue certificates of my indebtedness to him for me to live on.

This next one we saw posted on an on-line bulletin board we frequent, under the title “A Lesson In Irony.”

The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing this year the greatest amount of free Meals and Food Stamps ever, to 46 million people.

Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us

"Please Do Not Feed the Animals."

Their stated reason for the policy is because "The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of

Thus ends today's lesson in irony.

That’s for sure!

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Whither Goest The Downtown Art Show?


“Well,” he says, in an exasperated combination of a sigh and frustration.

So this is the thanks we get.”

Exactly one week ago, we went out of our way to publish a glowing report on “an artistic breakthrough of enormous scale,”…. “a mobile, many-axled, two-faced, multi-panel mural” art exhibit, “erected smack-dab in the very heart of our signature venue.”  Right here in Brunswick, that is.

Giving as we are, our fully illustrated paean was a gracious free advertisement for the exhibit, and we’re confident, had inspired many to come from far and wide to view this one-of-a-kind, mixed-media grand offering. 

But now it’s gone, and those coming to see it will have to endure disappointment in addition to the frigid temperatures.  Will they ever trust Side again in such matters?  Only The Shadow knows.

All we can do at this point is try to find the mural, and see if we can convince local authorities to restore it to it’s prior location, where it was accessible to all, independent of their station in life and income.  Art novice or art elite, it was there for all to enjoy, breathing life into a listless winter landscape.

As to the disappointment of those who came only to find the mural had vanished, welcome to Brunswick, where disappointment is a staple of civic life.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Brunswick’s Pied Pipers: The blind lead the blind on the road paved with good intentions

‘In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.’

We open with this chestnut because it may well characterize the situation in Brunswick.  Here in Perfect, known to the little people as Brunswick, we have a sizable number of the figuratively blind. 

Their blindness, we are told, is caused by good intentions, that all-purpose explanation for any number of civic blunders and pathologies.  We, as you know, are obliged to accept the often flawed visions of these anointed because of their noble intent.  And compelled to pay for whatever they dream up as they dance and sing along the j-axis.

The blindness kicks into high gear whenever it encourages and confirms their dearly desired scenarios, no matter how foolish or unfounded in reality they may be.  And if you throw a practiced piper or two into the mix, you end up with a parade to celebrate the blindness.

Who are they, these blind?  And these pipers?  Here are some examples.

1) Those who wrote to The Ostrich following the announcement that Brunswick Naval Air Station would close, asserting that Brunswick ‘would continue to grow,’ even though Brunswick had not grown for years.

2) Sally Sellit, the Queen of local real estate agents, who repeatedly insists that people move to Brunswick ‘because of our excellent schools,’ while ignoring why families seem to move out of Brunswick at a higher rate.

3) Those who asserted that the ‘revitalization’ of low-cost former Naval  housing in the McKeen Street project would drive enrolment increases in our school system.

4) Brunswick Community United: the Imagine and Invest crowd, who are convinced that if you pay teachers more next year, they’ll do a better job teaching the children than they are doing this year.  You know, like John Arbuckle and Yuban, ‘you get what you pay for.’  (Note: they’re right; if you pay teachers more, you get higher paid teachers.)

5) Planning Decisions, Inc: all purpose Faustian consultants, who make their living rationalizing the fantasies of various dreamers, imaginers, and gullible clueless in our midst.  In the process, they scarf up taxpayer funds while providing air cover for whatever ill conceived proposals are in need of professional impetus and sanction. 

6) And last, but not least, PDT Architects, who regardless of reality, create narratives urgently calling for vast civic investments in community assets, which they will, oh so incidentally, rake in a share of.  They should rename themselves Conflicted Interest Architects, given their modus operandi.  Like Dillinger, they know where the money is, and how to pry it loose, or more properly, get their ‘clients’ to do so.

We say the following with sincere regret but no apologies: all of the above are boneheads of one species or another.  But they are accomplished and effective boneheads, because they hold sway over the elected officials responsible for overseeing the town enterprise: the Town Council and the School Board, and related professional staff.  Many of them earn their living by such means, and are rewarded handsomely for their ability to schmooze and charm ruling class boneheads.

Given this backdrop, let’s give you some cheery news we’re confident you won’t read about anywhere else.  The Brunswick School Department enrolment reported to Maine’s Department of Education for October 2012 is 2,345, a decline of 69 from the April 2012 report.  Or nearly 3% in 6 months.

This continues a non-stop decline in enrolment since the high point of 3,372 in the 04/05 school year.  Ergo, claiming this is some sort of aberration or anomaly is bogus.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that in polite community discourse.

Let’s look at this no doubt ‘unexpected’ down turn vis-a-vis the prophesies from the sages mentioned above; we’ll do so by the numbers.

1) The Ostrich itself may be the trademark dispenser of delusional propaganda here in Perfect.  Or, if you prefer, poppycock, or for the more imaginative, balderdash. They willingly give voice and column space to the loonies who between slugs of Kool-Aid tell us that up is down and left is right, and that the laws of physics and economics are, you know, so yesterday.

2) It’s been said real estate sales is for those who couldn’t make it selling used cars.  Or is it the other way around?  You know the type: adept at describing a total wreck as ‘a rustic blank canvas waiting for you to express your originality.’ 

Much like our Federal masters, who ignore those dropping out of the work force and new applications for unemployment insurance, while trumpeting ‘new jobs created,’ Sally sees only those transactions that confirm her sales pitch to unsuspecting clients.  Right up there with ‘Brunswick has the best schools’ is the claim that we are a great winter getaway for those who want to warm up in a tropical atmosphere.  It doesn’t hurt that the word gullible is not in the dictionary.

3) Let’s hand it to Mr. Schott and his efforts to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse on McKeen Street.  He’s had some success at repopulating this in-town neighborhood that should be driving school enrolment through the roof, if you believe the nimrods who inform our local discourse.  We can only wonder how much lower enrolment would be if he hadn’t worked his magic on McKeen Street, in housing oh so affordable and close to the crown jewel of our school system. 

All conveniently forget that the prior military population was essentially frozen in time, providing a constant supply of students, while non-military residents do no such thing.

4) As to Brunswick Community United, how do you reason with schoolies who are rounded up and organized by the academics at our local Ivory Tower?  (Remember Professor Klingle, the genius of previous budget cycles?  See this to refresh your memory, and more.  Re-reading his thoughts, we’re concerned that he’s been coaching Johnny Protocols.)   

If you believe that paying teachers more next year means they’ll teach better next year, then you have to believe that a Bowdoin degree awarded next year is worth more than one awarded last year, because the faculty is making more.  In a related story, did you know that if you say the word ‘gullible’ very slowly, it sounds just like ‘oranges?’

5) Planning Decisions must have worked on the 2010 census, or at least be students of census techniques. 3000 plus military personnel and their family members left Brunswick and surrounding communities when the base closed, yet our population was reported to be essentially unchanged since 2000! 

PDI has conducted two enrolment studies for the school department.  The first was issued in 2004, before base closure was announced.  We’re trying to find out how much these studies cost us, but haven’t succeeded yet; when we do, we’ll let you know.

The 2004 report, when forecasting enrolment in the current (2012-2013) school year, without Durham high school students, projected 2,779 students as ‘best fit,’ with a low range estimate of 2,544, and a high range estimate of 3,004.  This included military dependents living in Brunswick, but as you’ll see in a moment, that amounts to a ‘so what.’  The ‘best fit number’ is over reality by 434 students, an 18% mistake.

The 2007 revision to the PDI report took base closure into account.  We can’t know for sure, but we’ve always wondered if this effort was driven by our civil suit challenging the State’s decision to fund a new school in Brunswick, because that decision was made before BNAS closure was announced.  It put forth three estimates: a best fit model; a base closing Scenario 1; and a base closing Scenario 2.  Strangely, almost beyond belief, all three ended up with school enrolment of 2,927 four years from now. 

For the current school year, the best fit model projected 2,963; base closing Scenario 1 projected 2,896; and base closing Scenario 2 projected 2,727.  So wouldn’t you know; with base closing thrown into the mix, PDI upped the ‘best fit’ projection for the current year by almost 200.  Scenario 1 came in 350 higher than the low range estimate in 2004, and Scenario 2 came in almost equal to the 2004 ‘best fit’ figure.  All three projections exceed reality by nearly 400 or much, much more.

Interestingly, the 2927 figure for Best Fit in 2016-17 is the low point.  In base closing Scenario 1, the low point is 2,687 in 2009-10, while in Scenario 2, the low point is 2,704 in 2010-11.  In the latter two cases, enrolment increases steadily after the low points.  Yah, schurr.

In fact, if PDI was even close to correct, we’d be looking for taxpayers to fund ANOTHER new school to hold the 600 students beyond current reality!  It’s a damn good thing we closed Longfellow and Jordan Acres, wouldn’t you say?  All the more work for PDT Architects to do laying out a $50 million plus plan for Brunswick Schools.

6) We have no words to express our disdain for PDT, which seems to be thee Pied Piper for Brunswick projects.  How can you question a professional architect when he emphasizes ‘for the children’ priorities?  And presents his recommendations to elected officials who sought their offices to make things better ‘for the children,’ even if they can’t think of any other way than spending more to do so?  When we already have ‘the best schools?’

What really fries our shorts about all of this is the now predictable routine of paying so called professional consultants excessively higher labor rates than called for to tell us that we have to spend more taxpayer money no matter what else has to be done. 

Or not done.  But that is not in the realm of possibilities.  Do you really think you can find a ‘consultant’ who will tell you that you are way over equipped, or spending way too much, to deliver a quality service?  Are you kidding me? 

Take a look at the schools they design and the reports they generate, and it’s not hard to envision them taking out archived offerings from past ‘successes,’ and putting on a new coat of lipstick to serve them up for us.

Do you think there’s a professional anywhere who would dare suggest that Jordan Acres could have become the new police station, or even been preserved as a useful school asset?

As they say in the movies, smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.  Or mix up a new pitcher of Kool-Aid if that be your preference.  As you enjoy your mellow mood, thank your lucky charms that we now have J.P. Richardson on the town council, anxious to pander to and patronize the schoolies and their accomplices.  While not knowing squat about the budget history of our schools and the runaway growth in per-student costs.  Not to mention the plan presented last May to add more than 35 personnel to department staff.

Come to think of it, J.P. may be the leading candidate to play the king role in the opening chestnut of this post.

Somehow “Always Look At the Bright Side of Your Life” comes to mind.  If that means nothing to you, here’s a visual embodying the same sentiment.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Station Art Show Lifts Wintry Pall from Downtown

Given Brunswick’s well known creative economy riches, it’s with a good deal of delight that we bring you this report, and the innovation and counter-culture profile it embodies.

We refer to a new exhibition spurred by our investments in Maine Street Station, and the associated rail rejuvenation courtesy of unknowing taxpayers nationwide (not to mention foreign lenders.) In an artistic breakthrough of enormous scale, unidentified aesthetes have brought a mobile, many-axled, two-faced, multi-panel mural to listless yet defiantly creative Brunswick. 

It is erected smack-dab in the very heart of our signature venue, and is so compelling one’s eyes and artistic sensibilities cannot avoid it.  It sits just a few paint splashes away from the now famous pennants hanging from an adjacent landmark.  

Both are triumphant symbols of the multiculturalism prized by the aristocracy in the local Ivory Tower.  Expressions can take many forms, thought most are less disagreeable than the public tongue-lashing sent our way in late 2010.

You know what's awesome about Brunswick? Bowdoin College. Without Bowdoin, what is Brunswick?

However, the point is Brunswick thrives on the presence of Bowdoin College, both financially and culturally. 

And definitely don't welcome Brunswick residents into your lives, because they tolerate you less than you could ever imagine.   

We’re wondering whether these ‘pieces’ could be the foundational elements of a joint Bowdoin-Brunswick Museum of Modern Railroad Art (MOMRA)?  Only The Shadow knows, and he’s not taking our calls.

To our unpracticed eyes, the mural appears to be of mixed-media on a variety of industrial materials.  Imaginative, daring, and dramatic, the throngs of Amtrak passengers arriving daily are no doubt stunned by the scale of the exhibit.  For those lucky enough to gaze upon it as they patronize nearby establishments, it must leave an impression they won’t soon forget.

Residents are abuzz about a public-relations triumph.  Adding to the appeal of the exhibition is the aura of mystery surrounding it.  Could it be the work of artists from Bowdoin College’s vibrant art scene: students, professors, or both?  Over the years, Mumsy and Papa have spared no expense to indulge their budding artistes at the Bowdoin Conservatory of Fine and Not-so-fine Arts.

Or could these be the personal statements of unrecognized multi-media expressionists from other states, or even other countries?  The mind reels at how this could boost Brunswick’s national and international reputation in the arts!  Bravo, we say, to those who came up with the idea!

We looked on the mural for those discrete little white info cards that identify the artist, the name of the piece, and the price, but have so far been unsuccessful.  This may reflect the ‘if you have to ask, you can’t afford it’ nature of the mural collection.  Not to mention real challenges displaying it in your manse.  So we don’t know if the pieces are available separately, or only in the manner shown as connected, co-dependent co-creations.

In moments of wild intellectual abandon of course, it’s not hard to see downtown Brunswick as a canvas upon which artists of various styles and abilities paint with the figurative brushes of their longings, biases, and flights of fancy and self-expression.  Some welcomed and sensible; some just the opposite.

One looks at The Mall, and besides Danny’s Dogs and the rest, is reminded of the seasonal renderings by Vivian Wixom, beloved local artist, of which three hang in the Poppycock’s domicile.  (We’ve been unable to find the fourth.)

Periodic “Art Walks,” sponsored by the Downtown Association, flood Maine Street sidewalks with tens of artists, looking for a paying audience for their works, or as some say, ‘pieces.’

A serious gallery or two, with items priced well into the moneyed collector range, draw the interest of one-per centers, if only via the internet.  Far more common is the exhibition of affordably priced items in restaurants and other local businesses.

And we mustn’t ignore the social and political ‘arts,’ such as the Peace Fair and other events that distinguish the civic life of our community.  Brunswick just wouldn’t be the same without the ‘everything free for everybody’ sign carriers on Saturdays.

Then we have the broad brush strokes of government, as it reconfigures traffic flow at great expense but to no benefit, or dishes out tax exemption and deferral goodies to favored suitors, often connected with our small, high prestige local college.

As most know, Side prefers the edible arts over the above, as exemplified by the creations at such ‘galleries’ as Frosty’s.

We’ll close by offering images of this marvelous addition to  Brunswick’s downtown ‘character.’  Make note of the innovation of two-sided works.  In the work just below, the artist defies the normal boundaries of a canvas, extending beyond simplistic linear and planar interpretation.


Here you see the innovative juxtaposition with a prior installation by a Bowdoin College art student; it perfectly captures the visual turmoil of the urban consumerist landscape, wouldn’t you say?


Note below the bold monochromatic brush strokes, in stark contrast with the bland industrial canvas.



Here we see impressionist influences, in a brash show of dadaistic expression.


Note how the multi-panel mural, impossible to capture in a single frame, adds to the welcoming ambience of the Station, and by extension, all of Brunswick.


The bold block letters in the panel below evoke the style of Robert Indiana in his famous ‘LOVE’ sculpture.


Inspired by this local cultural milestone, we’re thinking of petitioning local officials to display ‘post’-erized blow-ups of our finest posts, so as to further impress those coming to or leaving our fine little village.  We’re thinking of identifying our selections as from the ‘artsy-fartsy verbal school of self-expression.’

We’ll let you know what kind of reception we get.  Meanwhile, put in the good word for us, will you?  It might help us avoid getting “run out of town on a rail.”

Monday, January 14, 2013


Catching up on the news last week, for reasons those who know us will surely discern, Side recalled this memorable movie clip, in which the money line is “Here’s Johnny!”

That’s because Brunswick is watching the opening scenes of its own ‘Here’s Johnny!’ production.  We’re not talking about the Johnny in the scene above, or Johnny Carson, the comic legend for whom the introduction was made famous by Ed McMahon.

No, we’re talking about John “Johnny Protocols” Richardson, as we tagged him over the years in  prior posts.  You probably know he is now on the Brunswick Town Council, taking the seat held by Joanne King for nine years, six of which she was Council Chair.

King also served as Treasurer of Richardson’s ill-fated primary run for Governor in 2010.  Richardson had been Speaker of the House in Maine during his eight years in the legislature, and then became Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development under Governor Baldacci.

While holding this position, he told the Brunswick Town Council that “protocols'” prevented him from providing information on the numerous Fortune 500 companies he was courting to establish a presence on the redeveloping Brunswick Naval Air Station.

Coupled with his boundless ambition, and the ego that drives it, Johnny apparently felt this “development leadership’ qualified him to be Governor.  Curiously, when the tail of his political comet burned out, due to ‘anomalies’ in his campaign finances, the Fortune 500 prospects went AWOL big time.  Fickle capitalists, we suppose.

We have no idea whether Ms. King had any role in the anomalies, and frankly, we don’t care.  But we have a hunch their names might be linked in future reports on local development and business matters.  But let’s leave that for others to research and report on.

For now, we believe these words from a Forecaster item last week are more than enough to spike the interest of anyone conscious enough to contemplate what the future in Brunswick and Maine might hold.

Richardson, a former Democratic gubernatorial candidate who replaces former Chairwoman Joanne King on the council, said balancing the needs of public education funding with redevelopment efforts at Brunswick Landing will be his major focus.

"There's a lot of talk about corporate welfare for Kestrel, but you're not hearing enough about the need for local school funding."

"Brunswick is a local education town, and we pride ourselves on having a strong education system," Richardson said, "and we're in jeopardy of losing the benefit of our local public schools if we are moving too far in one direction."

In these brief statements, Johnny makes it clear that his number one priority is pandering to the schoolies, especially those organized as “Brunswick Community United.”  Neither party cares about the realities of enrolment decline or stunning growth in cost per student.  Instead, they prefer to talk about ‘imagining our future’ and ‘investing in our schools.’  We think they could be better described as ‘fantasizing about our future’ and ‘investing in our teachers.’

Here’s a litte secret: we’ve engaged in rehabilitation of sorts over the past few months, and we expect to give you the details in the coming weeks. 

As for the subject at hand, we believe ‘Johnny Protocols,’ aka John Richardson, has entered the rehabilitation process for his political reputation.  We can’t know whether it’s to prepare him for another run for Governor in 2014, or to seek higher office at the federal level.

We’re quite certain, however, that the cost of his rehab will be borne by local property taxpayers, whether they want to or not, since the town imposes an adjustable rate property tax, and a vote here and a vote there, and next thing you know, you’re eating the cost of $20 million plus in school borrowing, plus the usual increases enacted via ‘tough choices.’

“Imagine” the clamoring for Johnny to run for higher office once the schoolies feel his budgetary love.  And be grateful you had a chance to “invest,” via your property taxes, in furthering his political ambitions.

Isn’t that what ‘community’ is all about?