‘Ill-informed, pathetic robots’

I write today regarding the vicious cartoon you chose to show equating the Tea Party Patriots with the Ku Klux Klan [July 21 TRJ].

Your lack of knowledge regarding the Tea Party Patriots is breathtaking.

We stand for limited government, freedom and liberty. For all. What do you stand for?

Our current government is corrupt on every level. State, local and federal. They hate freedom and the people who are speaking out. This is so plain to see. Why do you choose to bury your head in the sand and pretend this isn’t happening? I feel sorry for you. In the end, truth will prevail, and your pathetic point of view will be defeated. You see, the truth always comes out. We, the Tea Party Patriots, will shine the light into your darkness.

It is our duty as citizens of the United States to stand up against a corrupt administration. Our founding fathers not only expected it, they demanded it. What puzzles me is your willingness to throw away my freedom. You have no courage. You go with the flow. Shame on you. But don’t worry. People like me and the Patriots will stand and fight for our country and our Constitution so that people like you can continue to have your First Amendment rights.

In further review of your pathetic cartoon, it appears that the KKK members in your cartoon are borrowing “a cup of hate” from you and your like-minded, ill-informed pathetic robots.

Barbara A. Berry



Editor should go

It is with sadness and disgust that I write this letter. When I opened up the [July 21] Republican Journal to the editorial page, I was shocked to find the most deplorable cartoon I think I have ever seen.

I am a member of the Tea Party Patriots of Midcoast Maine; I am neither a racist, a bigot, nor a hater of any kind. I may disagree with some, but hate and racism are not part of it. I also have not found one person in the Tea Party group who hates, etc. as this cartoon portrays.

I find it ironic that those at the paper who feel we are a hateful group seem to want to spread their own form of hate via the cartoon. I suggest, actually I dare them, one and all, to come to one of our meetings and see for themselves.

I would also suggest that those who have power remove Steve Fuller from his post as editor. If he cannot see fit to represent all of the Midcoast area in a fair way, then he should go. I have no problem with his having his views, and to even express them, but to allow them to be made in such an inflammatory way does not make for reasonable discourse.

It is hatred like this that will harm us all in the end. With God’s help and lots of hard work “We the people” will make a difference. We must make the difference if we are to turn so much hatred, bigotry and racism into something positive. We have our work cut out for us, but it can be done with patience and understanding.

Hope Fox Coates



TRJ has ‘fallen into cesspool’

Shame on you for allowing such a despicable attempt at political satire to be published in your paper. It was not amusing. The attempt of depicting anything that remotely resembles the Ku Klux Klan is as ignorant and bigoted as the Klan itself. If the idea was to spread the demeaning lie that members of the Tea Party movement are racist, I would suggest that you, too, are ignorant of the facts.

I am appalled that this kind of inflammatory garbage would show up in a reputable news publication. If The Republican Journal and VillageSoup are trying to follow in lockstep with the rest of the biased news media, you’ve fallen right into their cesspool. What a disappointment. I would have expected your judgment and ethical standards to be much higher. I strongly suggest that you print an apology to the Tea Party. They are neither racist nor bigoted.

Linda Hoeschle



‘Shocked and appalled’

I was shocked and appalled to see the Journal’s July 21, 2010, editorial cartoon. A banner across the top of the cartoon says, “At Tea Party Headquarters…” and it shows a man opening a door to three individuals in KKK uniforms, who are saying, “We had read your blog, and seen your billboard … we were in the area and wanted to know if we could borrow a cup of hate?”

Your cartoon slanders an entire grassroots movement, and by extension, anyone associated with it. It is false in every respect. First as a grassroots movement, the Tea Party has no “headquarters,” although there are a number of loosely-linked organizations that share the name. Secondly, the Tea Party movement does not involve itself in “hate.”

Any large group of people can have individuals whose personal views are far from those of the vast majority, so in a movement as widespread as the Tea Party, there well may be people who are prejudiced — just as, statistically, the chances are good that there are some who believe in alien abductions, as well.

However, the reason people attend Tea Party events is not to engage in “hate” — or discuss UFOs — but to express their deep concern over the unparalleled growth of government, taxes and the deficit.

I am not active in the Waldo County Tea Party organization, but have attended one of their events. What I experienced was educational, positive and uplifting. We sang the national anthem, said the Pledge of Allegiance, listened to a gentleman portraying one of the signers of the Constitution, and heard candidates explain how they would work toward lower taxes and lower state government spending, while helping to improve Maine’s economy. While the actor in the knee pants and three-cornered hat did have some strong words about King George III, there was no mention of race.

I suggest your editorial staff attend one of the next meetings — Aug. 19 at 6:30 p.m., when a Waldo County commissioner will explain how county government works, and Sept. 25 from 1-3 p.m., when candidates Paul LePage and Jason Levesque will be speaking. You will see for yourself what the movement is all about.

Nancy Hamilton



Shame on you, TRJ

With your cartoon on the editorial page of July 21, you have joined the liberal media bomb-throwers. It’s a very disappointing stance for “Maine’s Oldest Weekly Newspaper.”

I am rather confused as to the message. Obviously, it’s meant to disparage the Tea Party, but by whom?

As far as I know, the Democratic Party has been the embracing party of the KKK. Wasn’t their recently departed member, Robert Byrd, an acknowledged KKK member, even a Kleagle? Does this mean the Democrats need more hate and fear? Are these elements gathered in a cup?

Shame on you, Republican Journal!

Stuart Phelps



‘A particularly scurrilous lie’

The Smith cartoon in your July 21 edition is a particularly scurrilous lie. It is attempting to link the Tea Party to the Ku Klux Klan. Anyone who reads the blog, or attends the meeting, knows the truth about racism in the Tea Party — there isn’t any. Period.

What there is, in the Taxed Enough Already Party, is detestation for the high-handed despoliation of the public purse for the liberal leftist programs designed to control Americans and enrich Democrat cronies.

When the groundswell of conservative feeling began to frighten the leftists, they began their usual misdirection — call us racists. That is a flat-out lie, and Smith knows it. You ought to know it, and if you do then you are passing on lying hate-speech in your paper. If you didn’t know it, then you are not checking your content for truth as you ought to be doing.

Here’s a quote on this from Ann Coulter:

“As we now know from the Journalist list-serv, where hundreds of liberal journalists chat with one another, and which leaked to Daily Caller this week, journalists cry “racism” whenever they need to distract from bad news for Obama. (Ironically, this story did not make headlines.)

“When the Rev. Jeremiah Wright scandal broke during the 2008 campaign, the first response of Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independant was to demand that they start randomly picking conservatives — ‘Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.'”

Read the entire column, if you want, at anncoulter.com.

Please publish an apology to all of us patriotic Americans in the Tea Party, for this lying insinuation that we are racists. We want the administration to adhere to our Constitution, and to stop spending us into the poorhouse for frivolous programs that do nothing except expand their bureaucracies.

James Horsey



‘Heavily biased’ cartoon in poor taste

The recent cartoon you published depicting the Ku Klux Klan at the doorway of a Tea Party “office” asking for a cupful of hate was in very poor taste and highly offensive to many longtime readers.

It was designed apparently to misinterpret the goals and patriotism of the Tea Party movement. Membership in this group crosses all political lines and includes people from different political parties who do not hate, but instead are concerned citizens who wish to preserve our constitutional liberties as well as conservative fiscal responsibility in government.

Indeed, you have alienated a substantial portion of your readership by printing this heavily biased cartoon just to provide “amusement.”

An apology to the Tea Party Patriots is the least that is asked.

James Clayton



Cartoon has ‘no basis in fact’

Shame on you for publishing the Smith cartoon erroneously depicting the Tea Party in your July 21, 2010, publications. This cartoon is outrageous in its content and has no basis in fact.

I have attended Tea Party meetings and rallies both in Belfast and other towns and cities in Maine and have never observed the slightest hint of hatred. If anything, the Tea Party folks I met were full of love for their country! The goals of the Tea Party are to educate ourselves and others about the U.S. Constitution and to further our core values of fiscal responsibility, limited government and the free market. Tea Party members do not tolerate racism in any form from any source.

You owe your readers, and especially the Tea Party members, an apology that takes up at least the same amount of space on the editorial page as this despicable and misleading political cartoon.

Mary D. Kivel



Cartoon ‘far from being funny’

I was shocked and disappointed by the “cartoon” which appeared on the editorial page of the July 21, 2010, edition of the Republican Journal.

The “cartoon” is far from being funny, it is horribly shocking and distasteful, depicting Ku Klux Klan-robed characters asking for a cup of hate from a Tea Party Headquarters person.

Where were the editorial filters at on the day the cartoon was approved for publication?

Why accuse the Tea Party members of hate, with no substantiation? For a community paper to take this action, one can only assume you were targeting the local populace who attend/support Tea Party meetings. Based on what local evidence could you have published such a misleading and prejudiced viewpoint?

I have attended a number of Tea Party meetings/rallies in Belfast and beyond and have never seen a hint of hate espoused by any attendee.

Three weeks ago over 80 people attended an uplifting Mid-Coast Tea Party meeting at the VFW on Field Street, Belfast. The subjects of the meeting included discussions for a more limited government, a return to the principles of the U. S. Constitution and more self-determination.

Attendees included office staff from both Maine U.S. senators’ offices, Collins and Snowe. Are you accusing our elected senators and their staff members among those who are hateful and allies of the Ku Klux Klan?

Perhaps your cartoonist and/or editorial board should have attended and reported honestly on such a meeting to become better educated on what these concerned Americans really care about. It is certainly not hate toward anyone, but a love for our country and concern for the path we are on.

A sincere apology is demanded from the Republican Journal/VillageSoup to right this flagrant insult to patriotic Americans exercising their rights to gather and be heard.

Richard Kivel



Cartoon a ‘cheap smear tactic’

The July 21 editorial cartoon depicting the KKK visiting Tea Party Headquarters and asking for a “cup of hate” was a gross misrepresentation of the what the Tea Party truly stands for and nothing more then a cheap smear tactic.

This cartoon would be the equivalent of depicting the Black Panthers visiting the NAACP and asking for a “cup of hate.” Both depictions are ridiculous and dishonest.

All Americans are not going to agree on all political issues and debating the issues is fine, but playing the racism card to intimidate, smear and silence opposition to President Obama’s agenda is heading down a dangerous road. What will be next? Being sent to a psychiatric institution or a re-education camp because you disagree with the government?

These actions show that the left cannot debate the issues successfully. Their polices appear to be causing more harm than good, so as a last resort anyone who dares question their polices is going to be labeled a racist. Then the lapdog media obediently spreads the news.

If believing in fiscal responsibility, limited government, the free market and the constitutional principles established by our founding fathers is seen as racist by the left and their unquestioning supporters in the media, then we are in some seriously deep trouble as a free nation.

Andrew Carpenter

Owls Head


Stan who?

Just who is this Stan “Our Man” [“Desperation,” July 14 edition of TRJ] who writes an intolerably lengthy article in which he talks of the homeless in Washington, D.C., over whom he sometimes has to step while making his way to his hotel room, the cost of which runs him $200-$300 a night?

If he really is as compassionate as he would have his readers believe, perhaps a slightly less expensive room might be found and some of the savings be extended to these “invisible” souls.

The hypocrisy continues as we read about his breakfast of tropical fruit and fried eggs in Addis Ababa while watching the street sweepers below him. I mean, do we really care what he has for breakfast or the fact that he “works out,” when the theme of this near-dissertation-length saga is “Desperation”?

And what does a reference to “divorce settlements” and Facebook comments add to the topic, unless, perhaps, there is an underlying theme that really has nothing whatsoever to do with the plight of abject poverty and homelessness. Indeed, it “does seem like a paradox,” doesn’t it?”

Joy Sherman



Em Bee Cleaners closing

As of July 30, after 55 years of being in business at 126 Church St. in Belfast, Em Bee Cleaners is closing its doors forever. We survived the polyester leisure suit era of the ’70s; the stock market crash in the ’80s; the ice storm in the ’90s, and we hoped, maybe, this economic downturn we are all experiencing today.

We thought we could hold out, but we were ill-prepared for new Department of Environmental Protection concerns and regulations. The cost of doing business with DEP has drained the coffers and we are done. So that everyone knows, I’ve scrambled for months to find someone to take care of our customers and accounts, large and small, to no avail. This was my biggest concern, other than my precious friends who just so happen to be my employees.

I need to say major thank-yous to a few special companies and individuals who not only helped us survive these years, but are standing beside me today. Many thanks to my friends at Camden National Bank and Larry Quinn (even though he has retired) for trusting and believing in me as a businesswoman. Also MAC Electric and Kienow’s Refrigeration for saving me time and again, working in 100- to 120-degree heat until nearly midnight on occasion to make sure we were up and running the following day.

Thanks to Roger Brown, Jim Cox and Charlie Nolan for their expertise and willingness to jump in and fix or retrofit on a moment’s notice. Special thanks to Tidewater Oil, aka Matt Porter with his sidekick, Bunny Evans, for not only taking care of my enormous oil needs, but for the “going above and beyond” over and over, the support, and of course the hugs! To Laura, Mary and Terilyn, you know who you are, and so many thanks, we’ll be in touch in the future.

I also need to say thank you to my family. My husband, Peter, and my boys, Brendyn and Aaron, have not only worked here doing engineering work, counter work, rug cleaning, painting and computer work, but have endured years of missing wife, mom and many late dinners. I love you and thank you forever.

I also want to thank my brother Dick for allowing me to continue to pick his brain for years after he was no longer able to work in the business. Your continued support and belief in me will help me through the next phase. And of course there are my parents. Richard and Janet Bowden brought me up in this business. At times I slept in hampers on blankets while my parents worked. I remember my father holding me up at 3 years old to push the keys on the ancient cash register that we still use.

They’ve been there every step of the way, supporting, working and helping in any way they could to help us survive. Now, the last day of business is reduced down to my daddy and myself. Thank you for standing with me, believing in me and telling me when to stop. I love you so much and am sorry this had to happen on my watch.

My final thank-you is of course to my special employees/family who have made coming to work such a pleasure. We’ve endured so much, and after all these years we are forever bonded. And of course, above and beyond, my customers. Thank you so much for all the years of loyalty, love and support. You’ve been our family, too, and we will all miss you terribly. One of our community gathering spots will now be gone, but hopefully we’ll see you in another? Best wishes to all and thanks for the many precious memories.

Connie Sarnacki



Move over, Philadelphia

The city of Belfast turned an unfortunate situation into a heartwarming experience on July 17 when our green SUV stalled unexpectedly at Route 7 and Vine Street. It refused to start after many attempts and at least eight separate motorists stopped to offer aid. A kind lady offered shelter from the 90-degree weather in her home.

Our insurance company sent a towing service at long last and we were taken to Quirk Ford, where the culprit awaits repair. We wish to thank all those caring folks who offered assistance. We will always think of Belfast as the City of Brotherly Love — move over, Philadelphia.

Jean and Alvin Edwards



Giving thanks for those who give

Sometimes in one’s life, something occurs outside the realm of birth, death and just living in general. In the past month I have been witness to an outpouring of generosity, caring, concern and love for some very longtime friends of mine, Gary and Michelle Cross.

I’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of businesses and individuals who rallied together to donate to the raffle when the call went out for help. They gave very generously with no hesitation. The nutritionist and the man in charge of reserving the cafeterias at Mount View High School, who answered all my questions and returned my many calls and showed me patience and caring.

To Stephanie, Darlene, Lisa, Pam, Rhonda, Crystal, Taylor, Sharon, Heather, Mikaela, Cheryl and Steve, Mike, Kim, Kellie, the cook, the janitor and so many others. To the ladies who baked all the goodies for the bake sale. To those ladies who donated all the punch mix.

To all those kindhearted, caring and concerned people who gave and then gave some more; who answered a call for help for a friend, a family member or a neighbor in need, I want to say to you all: thank you from the bottom of my heart and soul!

Everyone who came to the benefit supper, (including the big white bus), who bought raffle tickets, purchased sweets from the bake sale, or just dropped by to leave a personal gift to Gary and Michelle; I thank you all for caring and giving.

Good in this world still exists and I’ve witnessed it many, many times over these past few weeks so that it brought tears to my eyes and made my heart feel so good. Again, thanks to you all.

Shannon Jewell Flood



Thanks, Belfast

The First Church of Belfast wishes to thank all those who attended our public supper July 3. We raised a portion of our proceeds for the soldiers in Afghanistan, amounting to $400. Marty and Bill Leavitt’s son has sent us their need for rest and recreation. Boxes will soon be sent with love from the people of Belfast.

Eileen Estes

Fundraising chairperson



You may be flushed


If you notice a blue and gold toilet on a front lawn in the Belfast area in the next few weeks, you aren’t hallucinating — it’s real, and for a great cause!

Project Graduation is a group of parents working to provide the Belfast Area High School class of 2011 with a fun and alcohol-free event all night long next June 12, the night of graduation. The fundraiser is called “You’ve been Flushed.” The idea is that you enjoy your lawn ornament, then call the designated phone number. The options include:

1) For a donation of $15, the toilet will be promptly removed;

2) For a donation of $20, you may send the toilet to a yard of your choice;

3) A donation of $25 allows you to send the toilet to the yard of your choice and provides you “Flush Insurance” to insure that the toilet never returns to your yard.

Please support this project by razzing those who receive one of these lovely lawn ornaments and/or graciously accept the toilet if you receive it, pass it on to a worthy recipient and most of all, support this fundraiser by generously donating.

Thank you.

BAHS Project Graduation 2011 Committee