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GROTON SUB SIGN DEFACED - They can trace paint? That's pushing it.

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Postby U-5075 » Sun Oct 22, 2006 8:52 pm

Groton Submarine Sign Defaced

By Tina Detelj
News Channel 8

October 19 2006, 4:32 PM EDT

The giant sign that proudly proclaims Groton as "The Submarine Capital Of The World" was defaced with paint and anti-war messages, and now the search is on for who is responsible.

"I think it's despicable. That's the word I like to use," Groton Mayor Harry Watson said.

Sometime during the night vandals poured yellow paint over the sign and scrawled anti-war epithets along the bottom of it. Folks around here take it personally.

"We're all navy. It's a navy town so we all stand behind our guys," says Sheree Lowe from Norm's Diner. "It's just sad they have to go by and see something like that."

At Norm's Diner they serve a lot of people who work either at the submarine base or shipbuilder Electric Boat. They are not happy with what they saw.

"I think it's sad and it's outrageous," Lorraine Fratus said. "I mean, this is the time we need to be pulling together as Americans and doing the right thing."

This is actually the second sign to sit along Interstate 95. It is a silhouette of the Nautilus submarine and was unveiled just two years ago. It was made through the cooperation between the Navy and the community, and it looks like that is how it will also be repaired.

"The submarine service and building submarines is such a big part of our community. It's a real slap in face," Mayor Watson said.

State police have begun their investigation into who defaced this symbol of shipbuilding.

"We're gonna find out what kind of paint that is and trace it, 'cause you can do those things these days," Sen Cathy Cooke, R-Mystic, said.
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Postby Gerwalk » Mon Oct 23, 2006 11:21 am

At the end of the investigation they will conclude the paint was bought at a Home Depot... :D
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Postby tabledancer » Thu Oct 26, 2006 1:43 am

Maybe when the fools are caught they should be KEEL HAULED. :x
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Postby U-5075 » Fri Oct 27, 2006 7:42 pm

SuBase New London must be doing something constructive again -- compared to closing down. Remember the good old days of the Cold War, and the peaceniks demonstrating across the street from the Base entrance? It was interesting and amusing... at the end of the Cold War, there were no more demonstrators.
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Postby TMSmalley » Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:14 pm

I don't know anyone that is pro-war. I believe these "people" are anti-military.
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Postby U-5075 » Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:36 am

Artist Charged With Defacing Submarine Sign Offers Apology
Message wasn't meant to 'demean' anyone, he says

By Charles E. Potter Jr., Julie Wernau, Day Writers

Published on 10/25/2006
New London Day.

New London — The artist charged with defacing the “Groton: Submarine Capital of the World” sign off Interstate 95 in Groton last week offered a public apology Tuesday, saying his message was “misunderstood.”
William MacDonald Love, 27, of 81 Bank St. — the Hygienic co-op building that includes the Hygienic Art Gallery — turned himself in at the Troop E barracks in Montville Monday after learning police had a warrant for his arrest.

Love, one of six artists-in-residence at the Hygienic, was charged with first-degree criminal mischief and breach of peace for allegedly smearing yellow paint and anti-war messages on the sign. He was released after posting a $3,500 bond.

Love, his jeans spattered with paint, opened the door to his studio apartment Tuesday when a reporter sought to interview him. He said he would not comment on the details of the sign-painting, but that he wished to make a public apology.

“I just want to apologize to the community of Groton and the submarine community there and tell them I never meant to demean them in any way,” Love said. “... I'm sorry that my message was done in a fashion that was misunderstood.”

Love, who, according to the Hygienic's Web site, signs his art “Mac Love,” said his writing “Make Love” on the submarine sign was not meant as a signature.

He said he went to help clean the sign when he saw a photo in Saturday's edition of The Day of peace activist Marc Frucht removing the paint. Love said he introduced himself by his real name and that volunteers at the site told him most of the work was already done. He said volunteers told him much of the paint was washed away by rain.

Love said he would help repaint the sign, if necessary.

“We're just taken by surprise by this — that one of our artists was involved in this,” said A. Vincent Scarano, president of Hygienic Art Inc. “It has nothing to do with the views of Hygienic Art.”

Scarano called Hygienic's relationship with Love a purely “landlord-tenant” relationship, and said Love was chosen to live in the building by other members of the co-operative. Scarano said Hygienic is an all-volunteer organization that is “just interested in giving artists support.”

“Maybe we should have a better screening process,” Scarano said.

The board of directors issued a statement that read in part:

“Hygienic Art Inc. regrets the actions of one of our co-op members, William MacDonald Love. The defacing of the Submarine sign, a symbol of pride to our community and to the men and women of the workforce who make the finest submarines in the world and the brave men who serve on them, we stand with you in condemning this act of vandalism. As artists, we are in the forefront of free speech and freedom of expression, but our actions should be to inspire people to a more profound conscience not with a senseless act that brings shame on oneself and the organizations with which one is associated.

“Hygienic Art Inc., as an organization, is committed to the legal and lawful expression of all art be it fine art, music, or poetry. Hygienic Art Inc. is a nonpolitical entity and is deeply disturbed by this act of desecration. Mac Love is a fine young artist and a member of our Co-op but Hygienic Art Inc. finds his actions to be untenable. We wish him well as he moves through the legal system. It was a truly sad day for Mac, for Hygienic Art Inc., and for the Community when this act was committed.”

Amanda Hutson, a member of a Navy family who told The Day last week that she had avoided driving by the sign so that her two sons wouldn't have to see the vandalism, said Tuesday that Love's apology makes the situation somewhat better but does not excuse his behavior.

“I'm not angry. But there are other ways to make statements,” she said. “Most anti-war protesters carry signs and set up pickets. We all have our opinions. That's what America is all about. But we don't deface their property, their signs or symbols. They should show the same respect. What he did was definitely uncalled for. He should be the one to pay to fix it.”

Chris Cedrone, a 44-year-old massage therapist, said his father spent 28 years building submarines at Electric Boat and that he has friends in the Navy.

“I've seen that sign forever,” he said. “Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but I don't forget to thank those who fight and die for my right to have my opinion. His act makes a mockery of their efforts.

“If his apology is sincere, that makes me feel good. I take my hat off to him,” Cedrone said. “No one knows the intent of his apology but him. If he did it to get publicity for his art, then I feel sorry for him. He's the one who has to live with what he did. I don't need an apology. He should be apologizing to the woman (Hutson) and her family.”
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Postby JWLaRue » Tue Oct 31, 2006 2:22 pm

...his message was "misunderstood"?!?!?!

Yea, right. :roll:

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Postby sam reichart » Tue Oct 31, 2006 3:01 pm

maybe a fine and some probation will clear up any "misunderstanding".
what were once vices are now habits
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Postby U-5075 » Wed Nov 01, 2006 6:44 pm

Cleaning it up and repainting it.

'Submarine Capital' Sign Surfaces With New Look
Weather gives Navy crew chance to paint vandalized landmark

By Katie Warchut
The Day.
Published on 11/1/2006

Groton -- They were afraid they'd have to wait until spring. But a burst of warmth on the last day of October meant the silhouette of the USS Nautilus could be revived.
Chief Kermit Franklin, with help from Navy workers, gave the submarine-shaped sign along Interstate 95 a slightly new look Tuesday: slick black paint.

In 2004, Franklin, who is assigned to the USS Virginia, painted the sign that dubs Groton “The Submarine Capital of the World.”

He had to wait for the temperature to climb above 60 degrees to do the job again, and on Tuesday he and his crew were able to do it as cars passing by Exit 85 honked in support.

The 40-foot-long sign was vandalized earlier this month, painted yellow and covered with an obscenity and anti-war slogan. A New London artist, William MacDonald Love, was charged with first-degree criminal mischief and breach of peace in connection with the incident.

“I just had to go out there and paint it again,” Franklin said. “I don't have anything against any war protesters ... but when they vandalized it, it crosses the line.”

At a meeting last week, officials from the Naval Submarine Base, the town and the Groton Business Association decided to repaint the sign. Cleanup efforts had damaged the original paint surface and left behind a yellow tinge, according to Groton Town Manager Mark R. Oefinger.

They picked black to be more visible in the daylight, and agreed to white, reflective lettering, similar to a road sign, to be visible at night.

Navy spokesman Chris Zendan noted that black is the color of an actual submarine.

The total cost to restore the sign is estimated at about $3,000 to $3,500, much of which will be donated, Oefinger said. The paint was donated by Gary Merchant, of Warner & Sullivan in New London, Franklin said, while the city of Groton donated scaffolding and a generator to use with the compressor.

Over the next few weeks, the town will consider additional improvements at the sign, including lighting, fencing and landscaping to beautify and add security, Oefinger said.

The sign was installed in the 1960s by the then-Groton Chamber of Commerce. During the 1980s, it was a frequent victim of vandalism, and Electric Boat workers and sailors provided labor to repaint it as needed.

Originally the sign was lighted, but it is believed the lighting was disconnected following construction of the second span of the Gold Star Bridge in the early 1970s.

In the 1990s, the town secured permits to maintain the sign from the state Department of Transportation because there was no official owner after the demise of the Groton Chamber of Commerce.

In 2004, the Lafayette-class submarine sign, which was no longer part of the base's arsenal, was replaced with a silhouette of the Nautilus, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the first nuclear-powered submarine.

Tommy Wilson, part of Franklin's group, was glad the Navy could restore a source of pride so quickly.

“This has been up here for years,” Wilson said, shaking his head. “It just wasn't their property to deface.” ... 0ff3895015
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Postby TMSmalley » Fri Nov 03, 2006 8:28 am


Here is the photo that goes with the above story.
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Postby rokket » Tue Nov 14, 2006 4:49 am

Some thoughts...

- good that it's being repaired, and by donation

- very cool sign!

-vandalism is never anythign but vandalism (just as Freedom Fighters become terrosrists when they hit non-military targets)

-it's so wrong, and so good that the sign is back in operation. I wonder if "Mac" would enjoy living under Stalin Rule or Hitler rule. It would have been better if he put out leaflets or something
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