Brunswick tax on solar panels a step backward 

We want to address the new tax imposed on residential solar panels by the Brunswick assessor.  Each panel has been assigned a value of $200 for tax purposes. This action is disappointing.
Several years ago the Town of Brunswick, with the Recycling and Sustainability Committee, initiated Solarize Brunswick.  Sixty-five families decided to install panels.  Now it seems as if these homeowners are being penalized for exchanging an existing system for an alternative energy source.

Climate change is real. In the past year, the carbon footprint of the United States increased at a time when there is increasing urgency to lower or stabilize it.  It is past time to advance alternative energy sources, adding their adoption to energy conservation to reduce our carbon footprint.  To penalize those making an effort to be part of the solution is a step back.

To the Town of Brunswick:  We urge you to withdraw the assessment for solar panels.  At the very least, place a moratorium on this action until it is thoroughly studied.  Collect statewide data on how other towns are handling this.  It is time to think ahead.  Make Brunswick a leader.

Eleanor Brown, Robin Hansen, Bronda Niese and Mary Lee Ward,

Brunswick Interfaith Earthcare Alliance

Leadership in America 

Rather than expound on the injustices taking place in Washington, D.C., I ask all readers and so-called leaders of our government to reflect on the three quotes below: 

Edna Ferber, author: “The leaders who start out as jokes – people make fun of them, they’re caricatures, cartoons in newspapers – and people decide they are harmless. Those men are the most dangerous. The day comes when they use their power against their own people.” 

Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor during Roosevelt’s four terms, creator of the Social Security Act: “The people are what matter to government, and a government should aim to give all the people under its jurisdiction the best possible life.” 

Justice Hugo Black (R) for the US Supreme Court majority that decided in favor of the press: “In the First Amendment, the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors.”   

One could also substitute the word “Congress” for “press “as a reminder of what the role of Congress should be.  

Margy Burroughs, 


Where does this insanity stop?

The Trump administration has continued to eviscerate all branches of our government. From the EPA to the State Department, Trump has appointed leaders who have no interest in the furtherance of their respective organizations. He has listened to the advice of people such as Steve Bannon who openly advocate the elimination of not only regulation but the very foundations of our system of governance. Trump has backed out of many global treaties and insulted numerous heads of state while simultaneously praising dictators like Putin and Kim Jong Un. Trump’s latest move is to hold the country hostage for his absurd wall project. The longer the shutdown persists, the weaker such organizations as the FBI and others become. Who after all would sign up for a job at the FBI when a job in the private sector would be more fiscally stable? This assault on the foundations of all systems of government and the press can only help a person who has something to lose from strength in those institutions. Where does this insanity stop? If these actions had been perpetrated by a Democratic President, that person would have been removed long ago. 

Bart Chapin,