Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Good News (I hope) and Giveaway

Last night voters rejected the horribly eviscerated Sheepscot Valley RSU 12 (that's fancy talk for consolidated school district) school budget that was approved at a blatantly un-democratic town meeting last Tuesday (I'm sorry, but a meeting that runs from 7 p.m. to 1 p.m. on a school/work night pretty much disenfranchises everyone who has children and/or a job, meaning only old retired farts who don't give a f*ck about anything but their social security checks that pay the satellite TV bill on their trailer so they can keep up with NASCAR. What, bitter? Me?).

Woo-hoo. (I found the article online here, but although the headline reads "Sheepscot Unit Plan Shot Down" the article covers every other school budget in the region, except Sheepscot). Now the school board can go back to the drawing table, take into account carry-over, shuffle the numbers around so whatever cuts they do come up with don't come out of general education, and bring it back to the voters...hopefully at a time when parents can make it (i.e. not bedtime through the middle of the night). Maybe they could even offer childcare (what an idea!) And if we do end up hacking up education further, and our school ends up in the crapper, well at least that gives me one less reason to want to live here (our family practice doc moving to the hospital in a few months is another one), although we'll have to find homeschoolers or retired old farts who don't want to pay taxes to sell our house to.

Now, on to the giveaway. I recently bought a Brain, Child Before Color Pack (i.e. four back issues of Brain, Child magazine) because I should never be left alone with a high speed Internet connection and a credit card. Anyway, one of the issues that came was one that I already had. Sooo...the exciting giveaway is a never-before-read Summer 2004 issue of Brain, Child (I was hoping to link to a photo on their site, but there isn't one! It has a picture of some legs on the beach with a big slice of watermelon...sound familiar?)

If you've never heard of Brain, Child or if you've been an avid reader since sometime after Summer 2004 this is the prize for you!! I've maintained a subscription since that issue and I still love it. Occasionally an essay or article doesn't completely connect with me and there was one issue that I found totally disappointing, but otherwise I love the writing (essays, fiction, a feature, humor). After reading the three back issues I hadn't already read, I started re-reading them all from the beginning (because, yes, I don't throw them away) and I find myself sneaking away to read an essay here, an essay there, gobbling through them at a rate of one or two issues a day (I'm looking at it as prep for an online writing class I'm starting tomorrow--yes I've become the person Sandra Tsing Loh is talking to in A Year in Van Nuys when speaking to a writer's support group she says (and I paraphrase), "You people aren't writers! You're just addicted to writing workshops." Guilty as charged--so I'm just reading essays, not features or fiction).

So...that's a really long way of saying, leave a comment on this post between now and next Wednesday (noon EDT) for a chance to win this fabulous magazine. And remember to come back on Thursday to see if you won, because Google doesn't let me see your email address. Oh, yeah, and if you don't usually comment, don't be shy. That's why we do these giveaways--to flush the lurkers.

Good luck and good reading.

Edited to add:
Thanks for the comment Steve and good point. If you live in one of the eight RSU towns, call one of your school board members to let them know why you voted no (for example, you want the general education budget restored as much as possible and to have the School Board decide where cuts should come from if there must be cuts, just a suggestion). You can find the names (but unfortunately not the phone numbers or email addresses) of the members of the RSU board on their website.


  1. makesure you contact an rsu board memeber and tell them why you voted no.

  2. didn't check my spelling

  3. How I love Brain, Child.

    Masafrasen school districts. Good luck.

  4. It is simply wrong, wrong, wrong that the RSU site contains no e-mail addies for members.

    Thanks for all your hard work on this Andrea.

    Also, I'm with you on the property tax rebels. What they don't realize is they are being crushed by the health insurance companies, not their own communities. Health insurance rates have multiplied in the last 20 years while property tax rates have actually dropped, according to the Maine Tax board.


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