The Ati-thesis , Marxism

"By that definition, a state capitalist country is one where the government controls the economy and essentially acts like a single huge corporation, extracting the surplus value from the workforce in order to invest it in further production.[3] Friedrich Engels, in Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, argues that state capitalism would be the final stage of capitalism consisting of ownership and management of large-scale production and communication by the bourgeois state.[4]"

Quoted from Wikepedia

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Do the Boothbay Botanical Gardens Hold The Key to The Clay Pancake Mystery?

In my last post, I published a map of the area around the Boothbay water supplies, which includes four construction project,

The Boothbay Harbor Country Club displays a small mountain top, where I have heard rumor that condominiums will (or are?) to be built as if offering an elite view of the kingdom, like castles on a mountain top, where water streams down the hilltop.

Then there is Muirgen, the high end real estate development where Lepage picked up his home in a sweet deal in 2014 and now is reported to  be offering it for sale at $300,000.00 below market value.

There is also the Botanical Gardens, with an ongoing 30 million dollar expansion. The Botanical Gardens was cited for environmental violations in the spring. Last spring Andersen Design could mix clay casting slip with Boothbay water, which is no longer possible, for the first time since 1958 when we began mixing casting slip on our location. 

Connecting them all, we have the public-private transportation project with special exits to lead the visitors to the cultivated landscapes of the Boothbay Harbor Country Club and the Botanical Gardens, popular man- made escapes from the wild untamed nature for which Maine has been identifies for far too long, at least according to some economic development players.

 There is an excellent article in the Boothbay Register, explaining the violations for which the Botanical Gardens was cited :
DEP issues violation notice to Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
In the Boothbay Register article, The officials of Maine's cultivated landscape wonderland blame nature for the problem of vernal pools and muddy waters
Botanical Gardens officials blamed heavy spring rainfall for problems with controlling soil erosion and turbidity. Executive Director Bill Cullina said most of the inspector’s reports had shown CMBG was working towards “100 percent compliance” with federal, state and local ordinances. ,,, ... Cullina said. “We’ve only had a couple instances with a small amount of turbidity getting through the erosion control and everything else is flowing free and clear. We’ve had an extremely wet spring on the construction site making total compliance difficult. It’s a construction site, things happen like Mother Nature.”DEP issues violation notice to Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Really ? Are you serious? The Gardens can't be expected to plan for Mother Nature?

In David Enery's rebuttal, he reminds us that there is a trade- off in the works, Another View: Story on Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens requires clarification When complete, this project will bring up to an additional 140 year-round jobs and more than $120 million in annual economic impact to Maine. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is first a botanical garden centered on stewardship of the environment, long-term sustainability, and educational programs.
David Emery wrote this behalf of the building committee of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay Harbor.

Maybe the man-made gardens violated environmental code but in closing Mr Enery reminds us that the cultivated gardens gardens will create 149 local jobs and bring more money to the state of Maine, joining the Boothbay Water District, in sounding more like an economic development council than environmental stewards. I submit this as testimony to the Maine constitutional view that it is not the business of government to centrally manage the economy or form special interest relationships with private industry.

In 1876 when Article IV Part Third Sections 13 and 14 were added to the Maine Constitutionm. Governor Seldon Conner had just taken office. His inaugural address railed passionately against special interests and abuses of governmental powers which Article IV Part Third Sections 13 and 14 of the Maine Constitution were intended to cure.
Maine Constitution Article IV.Part Third.

Section 13: Special legislation. The Legislature shall, from time to time, provide, as far as practicable, by general laws, for all matters usually appertaining to special or private legislation.
Section 14: Corporations, formed under general laws. Corporations shall be formed under general laws, and shall not be created by special Acts of the Legislature, except for municipal purposes, and in cases where the objects of the corporation cannot otherwise be attained; and, however formed, they shall forever be subject to the general laws of the State.

Governor Seldon Connor's Speech
 Section thirteen presents a discretionary field of action which your own honor will impel you to occupy to the fullest extent. ‘The title of 'Special and Private Laws,' which includes so large a portion of the laws of former Legislatures, is an obnoxious one, conveying suggestions of privilege, favouritism and monopoly; though happily these evils have not in fact, stained the character of our legislation, they should not be suffered to have, even in the form of our laws, any grounds of suspicion that can be removed. Other weighty objections to special laws for private benefit are, that they are obtained at the public expense, and in their passage distract the attention of legislators from matters of public interest. The opportunity is now afforded, and the duty enjoined upon you, by the amendment, to restrict the necessity for such laws to the narrowest possible limits. An analysis and classification of the private and special laws upon the statute books, will inform you of the objects or which it is desirable to provide by general laws, if practicable. 'Many objects have been hitherto specially legislated upon although they were amply provided for by general laws. I have distinguished authority for the statement that sixty or more of the corporations created by a special act for each, by the last Legislature, could have been created and organized under general laws. The reason why the general laws have not been resorted to a greater extent, is not, so far as I am informed, to be found in any insufficiency or defect of those laws, but in the greater ease and simplicity of the method of application to the Legislature and in the fancied higher sanction of an authority proceeding directly from it. Section fourteen, relating to corporations is compressive and peremptory. It relates to all corporations, except only those for municipal purposes. It clearly prohibits their creation by special acts if the objects desired can be secured under existing general laws.'  From Governor Seldon Conner's Inaugural Address 1876 (emphasis mine)

The Anthony Family Appeal to the expansion of the cultivated landscape has been moved back to consider the evidence ofa 2014 Wolfeboro, New Hampshire lawsuit involving Topsham engineering firm Wright-Pierce, the same consultant form being used by Boothbay Botanical Gardens.

Meanwhile, the clay made from Boothbay water has still not dried in a month of sitting on a plaster bat outside in the sun. There is no drying action taking place from contact with the plaster, Very slow drying action appears to be the result of evaporation only. The clay has a very high water content and yet poured  as 1 inch + think pancake form onto the plaster. After a torrential rainm dimples on the surface  indicate that the water did not penetrate into the body of the pancake. Perhaps this is why clay is associated with vernal pools, which are often spoken about as having clay linings to retain the water. While the Boothbay water supply is newly useless for making ceramic casting slip, it would make an excellent lining for a vernal pool to retain the water. The next hearing on the Anthonies appeal is tomorrow night, Sept 21 at 6 p.m at the Boothbay Town Office. I plan on being there with a sample of our clay pancake.

Part two of the rebuttal centered around arguments regarding possible phosphorus contamination of Knickerbocker Lake from runoff created by hundreds of additional paved parking spaces in the watershed. Last month, Kevin Anthony contended two studies, one commissioned by the town of Boothbay and one by BRWD, showed that the Maine Department of Environmental Protection used “faulty and outdated methods” in calculating allowable phosphorus runoff into the watershed. <Appeals board considering more evidence in CMBG hearing
These two articles are about the use of flocullated clay as means of controlling harmful algal look relevant to the issue of the mysterious clay pancakes:, but I do not have the time to read them today.
Controlling Harmful Algal Blooms Through Clay Flocculation


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Does LePage Know Something We Don't Know?

News update on Boothbay Water.

I have attempted to report my findings per the use of Boothbay water in the ceramic slip making process at the municipal and state levels to little avail. Even non-profit organizations formed in mutual interests fail to respond, consistent with my experience for many years, leading to the impression that the whole system is afraid to go against the established line of command.

And so this is my venue for reporting my findings on the public water supply in the Boothbay Region. One might say that the ability to mix a functioning ceramic casting slip is its own scientific test. The results tell us only that something is amiss.

A while ago I decided to try to dry the slip made from Boothbay water to a bone dry state and then mix it with my new water source to see if the materials used could be recovered.

In ceramic slip casting we use plaster molds because the plaster quickly absorbs the water from the liquid slip in contact with the plaster. After about 20-30 minutes we dump the liquid slip out, leaving the hollow form around the edges where the slip was solidified by its contact with the plaster.

When I poured the slip made with the Boothbay water on a plaster bat in the sun, it was three days before I saw any evidence of drying action. One can well understand why such a casting slip is useless. After three days there was evidence on the top layer of the slip that drying action was occurring through evaporation but it was proceeding very slowly. I took some from the thinnest section and broke it into very small pieces which sped up the drying action. Eventually I got the small broken pieces to a bone dry state and added the alternate water source. The result was a return to the mucky viscosity characteristic of slip made using the Boothbay water supply. This suggests that whatever the non-defloculating agent  is, which enters the slip when the Boothbay water is added, does not evaporate. It remains in the material.

Google Maps

In other News:
Boothbay home LePages bought 3 years ago is back on the market

The colonial is listed for $409,000, nearly twice as much as what the governor and his wife bought it for out of foreclosure in 2014. Portland Press Herald

 The listing is almost twice what the LePages paid for it in 2014. They bought the colonial for $215,000 from a bank that had been asking $329,900 for the property after taking it from its previous owner in a foreclosure proceeding the year before, records show. At the time they bought it, the average house value in Muirgen was about $700,000.
A new development in Boothbay ! Could this be the new economic construction boom that The Boothbay Water District Report raves about as a boon for our economy? Is this why the Boothbay water district says our economy is "hot"?

 In the above map you can see Knickerbocker Lake, the source of the non-deflocculating water supply, is centrally located to the Botanical Gardens, The Boothbay Harbor Country Club and the new public-private transportation project which links them and the new private development where the recently purchased LePage home is newly on the market again.

Given that our government by and for public private relationships has deemed that it is for our public benefit to protect private trade secrets from the public's right to know if hazardous materials are being used in public-private transportation projects, I deem that it is fair to speculate when the public is deprived of knowledge by statutory law.

The question then becomes: Does Lepage know something we don't know. The optics are not looking good in this picture !

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Andersen Design collaborates with Calypso



It is with great faith and expectations that we are setting up a new stand alone production, While our current location plans are uncertain, this is a move consistent with our business plan  which involves setting up a local stand alone production where we can train others to set up satellite productions, ideal for Maine's low income high unemployment regions but can be located anywhere. For more information on the network request our business plan.Please state the nature of your interest and but Requesting Business Plan as subject.

Production is slow now while we make the transition but we are taking orders for when we are set up, hopefully in the next month.Taking orders in advance will help us to make plans and hire a staff.


Collaborates with

The main story

Harborfest in Boothbay Harbor is featuring a vintage theme. We are setting up a space upstairs from Calypso where we will be displaying contemporary and vintage work. Hours will be posted later. We expect to be open through September and possibly longer .

Calypso Ad designed by Mackenzie Andersen.
For Graphic Design and Photography Services by Mackenzie you can make a request by email  with "Requesting Graphic Design Info" as subject, or call 207 449-1449

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Public's Right to Know is Secondary to Protecting Trade Secrets in Maine

In my last two posts I told of a new and unprecedented difficulty I was encountering in  mixing a functioning ceramic casting slip. I traced the cause to the Boothbay water supply and was able to mix a functioning casting slip by using water from a different source. An article published by NASA, The Role of Water in Slipcasting identifies a cause of the problem I was experiencing as "non-deflocculating" additions or contaminates in the water supply. Another word for deflocculant is electrolyte Electrolytes are present in the human bodyaffecting human health and well being. I do not have the expertise to speak on that subject but I can speak about the limitations placed on the ability to know what may be affecting our environment as related to the public-private transportation project underway in close proximity to our summer and winter water supplies. Current law favors private trade secrets over the public's right to know about environmental impact. 

As reported previously in this blog, the distribution of DOT funds is set up on a first 
come-first serve basis favoring communities which have private investors with deep pockets. The guideline is dated 2014, which means it was likely enacted in 2013.

In May of 2013, Senator Rebecca Millett sponsored An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Right To Know Advisory Committee Concerning Public Access to Records Relating to Public-private Partnerships. The bill was co-sponsored by: Senator Langley, and Representative Daughtry, Boothbay Representative Bruce MacDonald, Representative Malaby, Representative Nelson, Representative Parry, Representative Pouliot, and Representative Sirocki
This bill implements the majority recommendation of the Right To Know Advisory Committee.
Current law requires that the Department of Transportation submit to the Legislature a bill that authorizes the agreement that implements a public-private partnership for the development of a transportation facility. This bill requires the department to publish public notice on the department's publicly accessible website or in newspapers when it has determined that a public-private proposal and agreement meets the standards of the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 23, chapter 410, subchapter 5 and to wait at least 30 days after the public notice has been published to submit the bill.
The proposed 2013 Act  addressed a conflict of interest between the communities right to know and freedom of access to information concerning toxic and hazardous substances vs the protection of trade secrets. It was voted "ought not to pass" by the Maine Legislature citing that it would compromise the ability to attract large corporations to the state. The act which sought to protect the public's right to know was voted down, keeping the confidentiality provisions favoring protecting trade secrets in place pursuant to §4251. Public-private partnerships; transportation projects
10-A. Confidential information

There was testimony from the ACLU and The Right To Know Committee. The report by David Hastings makes note that "The confidentiality provisions of the Act are broad and ambiguous about the public's right to access information collected by the Department but trade secrets are completely protected". My research on economic development statutes written since the Longley Doctrine was implemented in 1976, supports that it is no accident when there is either ambiguity or specificity used in legislative code, implicating a systematic intentional device.

Maine ACLU

Right to Know Committee/7th Annual Right To Know Report

Ironically the Hastings testimony also reports that "Members (of the Sub-Committee)
also recognized, that while some information about large projects should be available to the public, supporting free enterprise means allowing development of plans without revealing trade secrets and other information to competitors
" Nothing is more antithetical to a free enterprise system than a centrally owned and managed economy by public-private relationships! If the reason given for prioritizing trade secrets over the public's right to know about health related concerns were used everywhere throughout a free enterprise system, the USA would soon be as polluted as China. On that note, during the same legislative season, a JOINT RESOLUTION AFFIRMING THE FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN THE STATE OF MAINE AND THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA was passed declaring both Maine and the People's Republic of China share a most important relationship supported by our common values of freedom, democracy, rule of law and commitment to a free market economy; and……. China is on board with “climate change”. If free enterprise means public-private partnerships and prioritizing trade secrets over the public's right to know if public-private projects are using hazardous materials, it is inconsistent with concerns about climate change. 

In 1985, as the Maine Legislature was codifying the priority of private business trade secrets over the public's right to know if hazardous materials are used in public-private projects, it continued to proclaim that it served the public interest in protection against and disclosure about the use of hazardous materials. The popular adage is that "you can't have it both ways" - but when you are the body that writes the laws, apparently, you can- at least in rhetoric ! Boldly the contradiction is written into the same part of a same title in different subsections:

Part 3: PUBLIC HEALTH HEADING: PL 1989, C. 487, §11 (RPR)

§1691. Findings and declaration of purpose

The Legislature determines that it is in the public interest for the State to examine its emergency response mechanisms and procedures for accidents involving hazardous materials, to establish a comprehensive program for the disclosure of information about hazardous substances in the community and to provide a procedure whereby residents of this State may gain access to this information.[1985, c. 494, §2 (NEW).] (emphasis mine)

22 §1696-F. Provision of information; trade secrets
Subtitle 2: HEALTH
Part 3: PUBLIC HEALTH HEADING: PL 1989, C. 487, §11 (RPR)
§1696-F. Provision of information; trade secrets (repealed & replaced with special law for public-private transportation projects)

A person may withhold the identity of a specific toxic or hazardous substance, if the substance is a trade secret. For purposes of this section, "trade secret" means any confidential formula, pattern, process, device, information or compilation of information, including chemical name, that is used in any employer's business that gives the employer an opportunity to obtain any advantage over competitors who do not know or use it. All other information, including routes of exposure, effects of exposure, type and degree of hazard and emergency treatment and response procedures, must be provided if requested by the Director of the Bureau of Health and is considered a public record. [1999, c. 57, Pt. B, §4 (AMD).] (emphasis mine)
1985, c. 494, §2 (NEW). 1999, c. 57, §B4 (AMD).

 Title 22: HEALTH AND WELFARE was created by the Maine Legislature in 1981 for the purpose of protecting the public's health and environment, but like the Pine Tree Zone tax exemptions, originally created for low income high unemployment areas, its purpose was eroded and undermined in a mere four years.

Subtitle 2: HEALTH
Part 3: PUBLIC HEALTH HEADING: PL 1989, C. 487, §11 (RPR)

§1691. Findings and declaration of purpose

The Legislature finds that adequate measures must be taken to ensure that any threats to the health of the people of the State posed by natural phenomena or the introduction of potentially toxic substances into the environment are identified, appropriately considered and responded to by those responsible for protecting the public's health and environment. [1981, c. 508, §1 (NEW).]
The purpose of this chapter is to create an Environmental Health Program within the Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Health, which would provide the department with the capability it requires to discharge its responsibilities satisfactorily, and to advise other departments and boards charged with similar or related responsibilities regarding the potential health implications of their actions. [1981, c. 508, §1 (NEW); 2003, c. 689, Pt. B, §6 (REV).]
1981, c. 508, §1 (NEW). 2003, c. 689, §B6 (REV).

 An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Right To Know Advisory Committee Concerning Public Access to Records Relating to Public-private Partnerships was voted Ought Not to Pass Pursuant To Joint Rule 310, May 23, 2013, leaving the 1985 status on confidentiality in place:
Current Status of Section on Confidentiality:

§4251. Public-private partnerships; transportation projects

10-A. Confidential information.   Information submitted to the department relating to a public-private partnership proposal under this subchapter is confidential and not a public record under Title 1, chapter 13, subchapter 1 if the private entity submitting the information designates the information as being only for the confidential use of the department and if:
A. The information is a trade secret as defined in Title 10, section 1542, subsection 4; or [2013, c. 208, §3 (NEW).]
B. Disclosure of the information would result in a business or competitive disadvantage, loss of business, invasion of privacy or other significant detriment to the private entity to whom the record belongs or pertains. [2013, c. 208, §3 (NEW).]
If legal action is filed to gain access to the information designated as confidential under this subsection, the private entity must defend its designation and the department shall release the information in accordance with the order of the reviewing court. Failure to defend the designation under this subsection constitutes a waiver of confidentiality by the private entity and the department shall release the information.
[ 2013, c. 208, §3 (NEW) .]
Why is the Maine Legislature writing a special set of laws for public-private relationships? The Maine Constitution says that all corporations however formed are subject to general laws.

I am in a constant battle these days to keep the Maine Constitution online as a separate stand alone document as it has been for years, I have momentary success, only, soon to be converted back to presenting the Maine Constitution as if it were a subsidiary of the Maine Legislature, which is just one of the three branches of government governed by the Constitution. Today is no exception. The first link that comes up on a google search for the Maine Constitution leads to a list of laws enacted by the Legislature.

In third position is a PDF file for the stand alone Maine Constitution but that file does not have the menu at the side where one can easily search the sections. The last time I went through this battle with the Maine Law Library, the old page for the stand alone Constitution was restored but with a menu for the Maine Legislature inserted into it. Now the link to the Maine Constitution has no menu at all and it no longer has the traditional buff colored  background, signifying its historical standing, but is on a plain white background.

The second link on the Google list leads to a document with a parchment background. At the top of the list is the Maine Constitution, followed by four links to the all-powerful Maine Legislature. Click on the link to the Maine Constitution and after going through another doorway to the Legislature one finds the Maine Constitution with a green background to match the new color for the statutes, which were formerly blue. Blue merged with parchment color becomes green.The Constitution's color is on equal standing with that of the statutes. There is a menu for the sections on the side but they are listed as Articles identified with Roman numerals, only, not by their names, making it harder to locate the section one is seeking.

I feel like I am dealing with an infantile brat at the Maine Law Library. If the Legislature wants to include a link to the Maine Constitution that is great, but that does not justify removing access to the stand alone Maine Constitution with menu links to the Articles identified by name. The Maine Constitution represents the Rule of Law authorized by the  consent by the governed. The Constitution governs the Legislature not the other way around. Longley's Doctrine" Centrally managing the economy is an essential government function which must be done by public private relationships" was decided by legislative deeming. The consent of the governed was never asked. Longley's Doctrine is grounded in a different political ideology than that of the principals on which United States and Maine Constitution are founded.

From my files: Article IV Part Third Sections 13 & 14 as they once appeared on line:

Article IV.

Part Third.

Legislative Power

Section 13.  Special legislation.  The Legislature shall, from time to time, provide, as far as practicable, by general laws, for all matters usually appertaining to special or private legislation.

Section 14.  Corporations, formed under general lawsCorporations shall be formed under general laws, and shall not be created by special Acts of the Legislature, except for municipal purposes, and in cases where the objects of the corporation cannot otherwise be attained; and, however formed, they shall forever be subject to the general laws of the State.

According to the above, the Maine Legislature should be writing general laws, only, which apply to all corporations generally, not creating special acts to govern corporations making special deals with the government- otherwise known as a hegemony.

Around or about the same time that the Maine Legislature voted to protect trade secrets in public-private transportation projects over the public's right to know, the rules for the distribution of public transportation funds, were set up as a payola system in which communities must purchase access to public transportation funds via private developers. Statutory law specifically states that there must be a minimum fifty-fifty match to access publicly financed capital. If a community does not have a private developer with deep pockets- it must go to the back of the line-or get the matching fund from property taxes but communities like Boothbay with private developers can deliver two thirds of the cost to buy the public capital funds before other Maine municipalities, If there is anything left over after the hegemony buys its share of public funds, then the needs of communities lacking wealthy private developers, will receive consideration before distributing another round of public funding to the hegemony!

When a community votes to make public funds available to a public-private transportation project, the fact that public private transportation projects are protected from the public's right to know about hazardous materials by Maine law, is usually excluded from talking points in the Maine media.

AN ASIDE OBSERVATION I use my blog as a reference when I want to find a link to something I previously wrote about. When I went back to the post titled  Unspoken Transformations in State & Local Government to access MaineDOT’s Business Partnership Initiative, the link did not work. I then took this screen shot of the html code for the link:
"xn--mainedots%20business%20partnership%20initiative-z703a" is a strange looking address. It cannot be accounted for as a typo for " It is not even an html page or pdf doc. Where did this address come from?

When I insert an internet link I copy and paste it from the address bar and afterwards check to see that it works. I am not usually paying a great deal of attention to what the address is, until it is not working, which has happened numerously with other links posted on this blog. In the past I have found numbers inserted into a formerly working link, which when removed, restore functionality but the link shown above does not conform to standards with which I am familiar.

The original link I posted worked when tested. The link has been altered by an unknown method by an unknown agent. There is no way this could be a typo error on my part and it would be to no point for me to invent it out of thin air. I am now correcting the links in Unspoken Transformations in State & Local Government to point to If anything changes, I will update this observation if any further changes occur.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Update on Slip Mixing Mystery !

I have been busy attending to many different things and so it took a while to get new materials ordered so that I can test our casting slip using a different water supply.

As a reminder (see last post) after mixing slip at our location since 1958, recently I was unable to achieve a functioning balance between specific gravity and viscosity. To put it in easy to understand terms. specific gravity is the measure of the water content of the slip and viscosity is the measure of resistance to fluidity. A low specific gravity means there is a high content of water. A low viscosity means that the mixture is very fluid. I was getting an extremely low specific gravity reading such as I have never seen before and an extremely high viscosity. That is like putting enough liquid into a batter to make it like a soup but instead it is like cookie dough. Neither low specific gravity or high viscosity are functional in a ceramic casting slip.

After three different batches of slip were attempted, all getting the same result, I started looking at the water supply. A consultant came over and dumped an extremely large amount of darvan. into the mix to achieve a decent viscosity but having no effect on the specific gravity. He claimed it must be  caused by bad darvan from our source so I ordered a new supply of darvan from another source. According to his theory, I should have been able to add the normal amount of darvan to a batch and the viscosity would be solved. That didn't happen.

Then I mixed a small test batch of casting slip from scratch using a different water supply.The result is a perfect casting slip.

In the meantime I had called the water district which sent someone over to test the water. The results of the test was normal and I was told the problem is with my product. However my product is perfect when mixed with a different water supply It was impossible to get anything close to normal using the Boothbay water supply, which I understand is coming from Knickerbocker Lake in the summer. I will report my results to the Water District and the Town Managers of Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor. They can seek to understand this abnormality in the behavior of our water supply or not.

Friday, August 11, 2017

A "Booming Economy" and the Local Water Supply

Andersen Design has been mixing casting slip at our present location since 1958. I have personally been mixing it for decades but I recently ran up against an unprecedented problem, which has persisted through three batches from three sources, the last being made from fresh raw materials, keeping adjustments for viscosity at a minimum.

When mixing clay slip the amount of water content is crucial. Our specific gravity target range is 176-180. The lowest We ever go is 171 and that is for small items only.

The viscosity, or fluidity of the slip has to be such that it easily pours in an out of the mold. I do not usually measure that because it is very apparent, The higher the viscosity the thicker the slip and the less flowing qualities it has. If the water content is within range but the viscosity is high, I add a deflocculant and that brings the viscosity down. This is the way it has been working for years until now when we are working on a small but potentially large wholesale order.

This time with every batch I made I am getting a very low specific gravity reading while the viscosity is somewhat like cake batter. The latest reading, is 150. That is a huge difference from 176-180. Just dumping in more defloculant is expensive and eventually stops working and at that point can even have the opposite effect.

After checking the accuracy of our scale,the only thing left which all three batches have in common is the water supply. We asked the town water department if any new additives have been added to the water and they said nothing has been added.

Every article that I come across, such as this one from NASA which mentions the effect of additives in the water supply on the slip making process, in the same breath also mentions effects from floods, droughts and industrial contamination:

Treatment of municipal water supplies to insure potability can mean variation in the amount and kind of ions, especially when the raw water changes with seasonal floods, droughts, or industrial waste contamination. The major waterborne ions affecting the degree of deflocculation of claybased slips are Ca2+ , Mg2+ , Fe 2+ , C1 - , and SO4= . Hardness is expressed in terms of CaCO 3 although this figure covers the sum of Ca2+ , Mg2+ , and Fe 2+ present, regardless of its original form. Very soft water contains as little as 15 ppm of hardness while a hard water carries 100-200 ppm. The alkalinity of water usually consists of calcium or magnesium bicarbonate. Softening of water with lime and soda ash introduces carbonate and hydroxyl ions. Sulfate may enter as alum used in clarifying water or from industrial sources while chloride may come from chlorine-treating or naturally occurring salts.?
The presence of calcium hardness in whatever form is reflected in increased deflocculant requirement of casting lips and reduced fluidity, even at maximum deflocculation.
Non-deflocculating- chloride and sulfate ions also increase deflocculant requirement and further reduce fluidity. Rate of cast and percent retained water are increased by the presence of alkaline earth chlorides and/or sulfates.  NASA, The Role of Water in Slipcasting
I was about to report this to the Boothbay Water Department again, when I came upon a 2016 report written by the water department, which claims that the drought, one of the conditions that the NASA paper sites as a cause, is good for business. The drought is good for business?  Is this for real? We have a drought and our local water supply's response is that it is good for business? Further more the water company's view of the great business season of 2016 contradicts everything I have heard at the retail street level, which is that the retail summer market, continues to be in recession as has been the case since 2002. Why asks retailers?They are the small guys in the wealth creating sector- the Water District's data for our booming economy is based on the wealth redistribution sectors of non-profit and government .

GENERAL In formulating the Boothbay Region Water District 2016 Budget, all normal operational activities have been funded including all salaries and related benefits, as negotiated January 2016 with Teamsters Local #340. The following summary is an outline and analysis of the 2016 budget as related to actual spending and the activities and goals of the district proposed by the management for fiscal year (FY) 2017.
Early in 2016 the Boothbay region began to experience drought conditions. Even though droughts are generally bad for crops and water reserves, the byproduct is an abundance of warm, sunny summer days. Coupled with the on-going drought the national and state economy was thriving, allowing tourists more discretionary income, which translated to a very successful and hectic tourist season. 2016 was an excellent year for revenue, setting an all-time high at $3,367,520.83. Much of the higher than expected earnings were derived by state, federal and private grant income totaling $217,988.96 with an additional $100,000.00 in revenue from a short-term line of credit from the First National Bank of Damariscotta and transfer from cash reserves of $388,661.13. In addition to the contributions to total revenue listed above, the economy seems to have been strong and the weather warmer than usual and extremely dry, creating the perfect conditions for a strong tourist season. In October, the district became the first non-profit water utility to take advantage of the Infrastructure Surcharge allowed by the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) which was enacted just before seasonal overage billing. With only one quarter of the year the district realized an addition $34,429.65 in revenue slated solely for the cost of newly constructed infrastructure. Boothbay Region Water District

It may seem to the executives at the water district that the many tourist we see at Hannaford have all kinds of discretionary money just waiting to be spent, but it seems to every one I talk to in the retail business that they don't.

The NASA report identifies drought, additives, and industrial contamination in the water supply as things which can affect the role of water in ceramic slip-casting. The Water Department lists those same things as great for revenue and the economy:

414.00 JOBBING REVENUE - Coupled with the strong tourist season the
construction industry was also experiencing a strong year with new construction or major rehabilitation to properties experienced district wide.
The district added over 40 new customers in 2016 which required billable hours by district staff to complete. The performance of this accounting line item exceeded 50% more than expected.
- MISCELLANEOUS - This accounting category added 600% more revenue to the
district than expected. Jobbing Revenue and Establishment of Service showed marked improvements due directly to a strong economy and new construction. As will be dealt with in IA EXPENSES, the district to a large extent overextended itself with regard to capital infrastructure investment requiring a $388,661.13 depletion of the district’s cash reserves and a year ending drawdown of $100,000.00 of a line-of-credit held by the First National Bank of Damariscotta. However, during the year, the district received an additional $217,988.96 in federal, state and private grants to support infrastructure installation and land acquisition, all of which contributed to the inflation of this accounting category. Boothbay Region Water District
Through out the report the alleged "improved economy" which is built on redistributed wealth and credit, continues to be emphasized. The section on materials and chemicals is no exception. The information cited above in the NASA report on the effects of drought and construction on the water supply is a non-issue. In fact lets build a new four lane highway, passing right by our water supply- its all about the money and that is all about the wealth redistribution and credit economy !

3. Materials and Supplies - With the improved economy and the increased demand of more tourists on the system overall, the district exceeded the budget expectation for materials and supplies by 12%. Two subsets within this budgetary category exceeded spending projections, those being Chemicals and M&S Transmission & Distribution.
a. Chemicals - Treatment chemicals ended the year approximately 24% over 2016 budget estimates. Much of this overage was a simple cause and effect due to 30% more summer demand for water due to the outstanding tourist season. In addition, because of persistent drought conditions, the district used more of its annual allocation for water from Knickerbocker Lake, withdrawing near its permit withdrawal limit to meet demand and preserve Adams Pond at a higher level going into the winter where Adams Pond is the only drinking water source for the Boothbay region. Knickerbocker Lake water quality is much less than that of Adams Pond due to development around the lake and within its watershed. Boothbay Region Water District 2017 Budget 4 Consequently, the water treated from Knickerbocker Lake requires more chemicals to treat to the high level of purity the district demands. Boothbay Region Water District
The report continues on- exclaiming about our hot and booming economy every step of the way. telling of increased construction and additives as a result of our allegedly booming economy and never a thought about the effects of construction and additives on the water supply itself. Since we are experiencing a drought again this season, I am guessing that the water supply we are drawing upon is Knickerbocker Lake which was stressed to the limit in 2016 and in response to that was being overdosed with additives. I can't speak to what effect that might have for human health concerns but I think the 2016 report from the Boothbay Water Department confirms my speculations about what is affecting our ability to produce a functioning casting slip. It looks like we will have to mix our next batch with bottled water. I will report back on if this solves our problem.

The 2015 Boothbay Comprehensive Report begins with an assessment of the 1998 Report. A survey done then concluded that protecting our groundwater supply was the top concern for all surveyed, Has that changed,?
A. 1989 Comprehensive Plan The Town’s 1989 Comprehensive Plan was developed by a volunteer Comprehensive Plan Committee. The plan is a mix of long-range planning considerations and very specific ordinance type proposals. As part of the planning process, the Committee conducted a survey of both year-round and seasonal residents with a very high rate of participation (a total of 651 surveys were completed with about 60% from year-round residents and 40% from seasonal residents). The results from the survey are included in the plan. The plan includes the following conclusions from the community survey:
  • “There is a remarkable degree of unanimity (lack of controversy) in the public opinion expressed in the survey. Both residents and non-residents felt strongly that the town should protect the groundwater from contamination (the most strongly held opinion).”

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

To Be or Not To Be Synergy

I was thinking in a cynical manner of jest, that I want to live in a town where the zoning laws mandate that one must have a business in one's home and apply for special permission to live there if one has a residence without a business. Then I remembered that there are such places. Its called artist in residence zoning, without which Soho in New York City would never have become the neighborhood it is today. I remember riding my bike through the Soho neighborhood when it was nothing but run down factory buildings. Then it became zoned for artists in residence. After that it became the center of the downtown Manhattan art scene. In the eighties there were more art galleries per square foot than anywhere in the world. There were entire buildings filled with nothing but art galleries. Then suddenly in the early nineties someone turned off the stock market faucet which had been fueling the art boom. After that the art galleries were replaced with stores and restaurants.

The Libra Foundation is investing in a similar idea in Monson, Maine, a town located in Maine's rural low income regions, where I have long envisioned a network of independently owned ceramic slip casting studio's. I thought of the idea years ago when I was casting. Our line is so large and we were working in a small space so we had to cycle the production. Many molds have special tricks one has to remember when casting them. By the time the revolving cycle returned I often forgot about the special tricks in the first casting. I imagined a series of slip-casting studios with each one casting a portion of the line. One could rotate the line through the casting studios as a backup procedure so that more than one production knows how to cast any design.

Our line would provide a base of activity to support the independently owned studios in the network but as independently owned operations, the studio could take on other jobs if they chose to do so. The formation of working relationships between all participating business entities would be self determined. If the network is functioning optimally. it would become great creative synergy, similar to the synergy that happened in Soho after it received artist in residence zoning.

Synergy is more powerful an economic development engine than those qualifications that make up the 'quality jobs" subsidized by Maine State Inc. The State's ideas about attracting a younger population to Maine are based on materialistic motivations. The State's tax payer subsidized "quality jobs" are defined by higher than average wages and benefits. The Swedish bandage factory at the court of  MRRA is a quality job. Working in a startup American ceramic production probably isn't  A ceramic production job can at some point offer higher than average wages and benefits but still not be a "quality job" in the sense of being tax-payer subsidized, The higher wages and benefits would be the result of targeted application of the parameters of operations, designed by Weston Neil Andersen, and incorporated into our business plan. There are many ways to achieve that given the many markets into which our product line can belong, from high end one of a kind, to creative mass production niche markets.There is a segment of the youthful population which is strictly motivated by the materialistic carrots offered by the State's "quality jobs" but on the whole, the largest youthful population is attracted by great synergy.   Even if we are offering higher than average wages and benefits, we never want to be offering quality jobs, as that term stands for tax payer subsidized upper crust jobs.

Yesterday I posted a new update on my petition for MTI to offer fiscal sponsorship

A Perfect Match but No Fiscal Sponsorship

The post compares a section of the Andersen Design Business Plan with quotes from an article about the Libra Foundation. To my reading they are coming from one and the same page. It is the same idea except that the Libra Foundation is focusing its efforts in one Maine town, Monson Maine, and my idea is for a network spread across a the low income regions of rural Maine. I am told by well intended advisor that Monson, Maine is very political and I should contact someone with more political connections than I have to represent me. A member of the JECD is suggested. Why is Monson political now but the Washington County Redevelopment Authority isn't? Because Monson Maine has a well financed foundation. The politicians of economic development power elite suddenly care about Monson. They do not care about the WCDA which has just been gifted back its own commercial real estate but has no economic assets to maintain or develop that asset thanks to its status as a "municipal corporation serving as an instrument of the state". They do not care about Andersen Design. They care about being controlling authorities where ever there is money to be found. I will trust my own instincts. Thank You.

Regarding current status of our property: Today we wake to a new unanticipated paradigm. Little is known about it yet.