Letters to the editor, The Courier-Gazette
I, Wayne Leach, am speaking for myself, both as an individual, and as a member of the group of four Maine men who identify ourselves as either the Constitutional Coalition and/or Constitution Coalition. A constant barrage of unproven, false attacks were, and are still being made against our group, and against us, individually. These attacks originated with, were instigated by, and continue to be promoted by Michael Tipping's comments regarding the release of the first chapter of his book, "As Maine Went: Governor Paul LePage and the Tea Party Takeover of Maine." Tipping, a liberal who supports liberal gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud, appears to have political motives to sabotage the current governor's campaign by and through his false, unjust attacks upon our group. However, Tipping's slander and libel can backfire, expose him as a political hatchet man, and could possibly damage Michaud's campaign with the blow-back.
The title of Tipping's book and nearly all the articles and comments being made in relation thereto, speak volumes toward the intentions of Tipping and most media in Maine. These are to attack, castigate and ridicule the individuals, and the group named in its title, Gov. LePage and the Tea Party. However, using members of the Constitutional Coalition to do so, has been, from the very beginning slander and libel, and continues to be, due to many of Tipping's false comments, and the media's apparent neglect to research and vet those comments before publicizing them far and wide! Truth appears to be in short supply with Tipping and Maine media. These statements also attack the Tea Party, for whom I do not speak.
Tipping gives absolutely no factual evidence to prove his defamatory, libelous and slanderous statements about members of the coalition. For instance, an editorial in the Bangor Daily News falsely claims that "LePage met eight times with people who essentially seek to undermine the state's public safety," but fails to prove how the group would undermine the state's public safety. Another Bangor Daily News article by Tipping, dated June 30, 2014, falsely states that, "Paul LePage held at least eight meetings with a group of Sovereign Citizens, recognized by the FBI and Maine state law enforcement as belonging to a "domestic terrorist movement," and in the same article, "LePage indulged and supported sovereign's beliefs. ...discussed with them the arrest and hanging of Eves and Alfond." Yet again, in that June 30 article, Tipping states that, "The central topic of conversation for most of the meetings was the sovereigns' "remonstrances," documents they said gave them the authority to arrest and execute Maine House Speaker Mark Eves and Senate President Justin Alfond for treason." These statements falsely alleging our group to be Sovereign Citizens recognized as belonging to a domestic terrorist movement; and about the hanging and execution of Maine Legislative leaders are totally and blatantly false. Tipping provides absolutely no concrete facts to substantiate them.
I, as a member of The Constitutional (or Constitution) Coalition of Maine, demand an immediate, complete and public front page retraction by Tipping and all media which has made any public of any of these, and similar false derogatory, demeaning and libelous attacks on the coalition and its members' good names, their character, reputations, and community standing, and which could even place them in serious danger of attacks by radicals — and even by law enforcement officers.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of MCH, Inc (formerly Methodist Conference Home) and all of the beneficiaries of the Meals on Wheels program here in Knox County I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Bettina Doulton of CellarDoor Winery and Lani Stiles of Megunticook Market for inviting us to participate in this year’s Pop the Cause benefit event. It was an honor to be included along with such valued not-for-profit partners as United Mid-Coast Charities, Mid-Coast Hospitality House and Coastal Opportunities.
It was also inspiring to be part of an event that did such an outstanding job of promoting the idea of volunteering and giving those that have never tried volunteering an opportunity to have this rewarding experience. The idea of Pop For Change was and is a completely novel and innovative way to get people active in giving to our community. With the help of CellarDoor Winery’s Devon Salisbury, our Meals on Wheels program signed up nearly 100 volunteers this winter and spring through the Pop For Change program, and many are continuing to help Meals on Wheels.
Our thanks go out to all of these volunteers who helped deliver Meals on Wheels. Volunteers are an essential part of Meals on Wheels, we could not operate the program without them. Volunteer drivers are on the road five days a week, delivering meals, but also bringing relief from the isolation that many of our homebound participants experience. Our volunteers are a connection to the outside world.
We are also tremendously grateful for the enthusiastic support from people in the community who voted for Meals on Wheels to win the top award of $100,000. Thank you to all the Rockland businesses that hung the plates sharing Meals on Wheels recipients’ stories of how the program helps them.
The Board of Directors of MCH has voted to set aside $80,000 of the $100,000 award to put toward much-needed upgrades to the kitchen at the Methodist Conference Home on Summer Street in Rockland, where the meals are prepared by Lois Stackpole Alley and her dedicated staff.
As Maine’s population continues to grow older, demand for Meals on Wheels in Knox County will only continue to increase. Over the past three years the need for this program has increased by more than 25 percent. This wonderful gift from Pop the Cause will help MCH gear up to meet the growing need for this vital program.
Thank you once again to Bettina and Lani, the volunteers and voters, and all who made this gift possible!
Lee Karker, Executive Director
Trekkers thanks local police
On behalf of Trekkers, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to Officer Tim Hoppe and the local law enforcement community for sponsoring a wonderful charity golf event, and for selecting our students as the beneficiaries of its proceeds. The 11th annual Law Enforcement Golf Classic on July 13 was a great community fundraiser. Held at the Rockland Golf Club, the day’s activities included some great golf, and with a combination of raffle sales, contests, registrations and sponsorships, the tournament raised money to support the youth-mentoring programs of Trekkers.
In addition to the members of the Thomaston Police Department, I would also like to thank the Rockland Golf Club for hosting the event, and the following members of the business community for their support: Aimic Construction, Brooks, Inc., Corson's Auto Supply, Creek Hill Auto Repair, Eastern Tire & Auto Service, E.L. Spear, Inc, Fabian Oil, GC Minery Plumbing & Heating, Glen Cove Dental, Hi-Tech Communications, Home Depot, Hoppe’s Tree Service, Jess's Market, JK Kalloch Enterprises, KDK Apparel Printing & Embroidery, Lowe’s, Mid-Knight Auto, Midcoast Federal Credit Union, Midcoast Marine Supply, Mr. Tire Company, Norman Assurance Associates, Park Street Cleaners, Pik Qwik, The Puffin’s Nest, Rockland Ford, Rock Coast Plumbing, Schooner Bay, Sidecountry Sports, Thomaston Grocery, Thomaston Recycling, Inc., Walmart 1797 and Wasses Hot Dogs-Thomaston.
My sincere thanks go to Officer Hoppe and the following individuals who helped make the tournament and its planning go so smoothly: Jack Carpenter, Ann Hoppe, Keenan Flanagan, Dyann Peters, and Gail Tardif. And, of course, many thanks to all the golfers who participated in making the event so enjoyable.
As Trekkers begins another year of expanding its mentoring opportunities to youth from the midcoast area, we are so grateful for the support we receive from our community. It is the community’s support that allows us to achieve the Trekkers’ mission of connecting young people with caring adults through expeditionary learning, community service and adventure-based education. Thank you for your ongoing support of Trekkers and the young people we serve.
Don Carpenter, Executive Director
On behalf of the Jackson Memorial Library staff and board of directors, I would like to thank the more than 30 volunteers who have shared their time and energy over the past 12 months to make this year’s Book Fair on Aug. 19 a tremendous success! A small corps of volunteers organized the book donations, others handled organizational details for the silent auction and raffles. Special preparations for Book Fair Day involved volunteers who helped with setting up tables and tents, filled the tents with books and treasures, prepared special offerings for the bake sale table, made the roadside signs and/or served as cashiers on Book Fair Day.
Special thanks to the community artists and merchants who made generous contributions for both the raffle and the silent auction.
Volunteers are the life blood of our library. We could not be more grateful for their special assistance at the library book fair during St. George Days and their considerable efforts throughout the rest of the year.
Yvonne Gloede, Director
Jackson Memorial Library
Watershed Tour a success
Last Sunday, July 13, the Georges River Land Trust held its 23rd Gardens in the Watershed Tour in Appleton, Rockport, Warren and Union. It was a wonderfully bright, sunny day! The Land Trust, as well as the gardeners, are grateful to the more than 400 patrons who came to the middle watershed to appreciate the lovely country gardens, vistas and to partake in the beautiful summer day.
There are so many people to thank, but most important are the gardeners who graciously opened their special places to us and without whom there would not have been a tour: Alvin Chase and Tozia Dippre of Dreamchaser garden, Josie Hughes and Rickard Franklin’s Vaughn’s Neck Garden, both in Warren, the garden of Steve and Barbie Sylvester in Rockport, garden of Nancy and Chuck Huus, Judy and Dave Brogden at Mill Pond House and Mike and Rosalie Brady at Breezy Farm Acres, all in Union, and Linda Arnold and Jim Ostergard at Brambly Cottage in Appleton. Their dedication, hard work and love of the land were evident in the riot of color and peaceful serenity we were all privileged to experience last Sunday. We are indebted to them for their gracious hospitality and incalculable contribution to the Land Trust.
Bangor Savings Bank is our major sponsor of this event and we are grateful for their financial support and interest in our work. We thank them and the 72 other business sponsors and individual donors who dug deep in their pockets to fund this event and support the mission of the Land Trust. Their generosity is greatly appreciated. We encourage everyone to patronize these wonderful businesses listed in the tour brochure. James Hatch and his staff at the Home Kitchen Café deserve our grateful thanks for preparing nearly 200 delicious lunches of unique sandwiches, chips, and cookies for our hungry patrons. The sandwiches were delicious! And the cookies…large and chocked full of chocolate chips!
As always, our volunteers on tour day kept things running smoothly, from helping park cars and directing traffic to taking tickets, handing out lunches, selling raffle tickets and assisting the gardeners in various ways. We are grateful to the 45 wonderful people who gave up a good part of their weekend to help us.
The Gardens in the Watershed tour is the single most important annual fundraising event of the Georges River Land Trust and its success is crucial to our work of helping to conserve the watershed, both land and natural resources, for the public benefit. It also offers participants the opportunity to experience the diversity and traditional character of the Georges River watershed as they travel from garden to garden.
And with deep gratitude, we recognize our fellow members of the Garden Tour committee who have worked tirelessly all year to make this event successful: Linda Arnold, Pat Ashton, Tracy Beck, Mary Bumiller, Mary Ann Carey, Leslie Fuller, Sydney Hall, Ginny Hibbard, Norma Jones, Heidi Lyman, Hilary Matlack, Bonnie Percival, Jane Rasmussen and Judy Waterman.
Chairman of 2014 Garden Tour Committee
Georges River Land Trust