Friday, August 20, 2010

Writing While Angry

It is probably not a good idea for me to read the comments section on newspaper articles. I find the comment sections are frequented by people who abhor change and enjoy maligning every idea presented. Yesterday there were two articles in the Kennebec Journal about the town of Gardiner- one about the possibility of turning Water Street into a two-way street and the other about contaminated soil found while redeveloping the waterfront park. Neither of these seem like emotionally charged issues to me.

The two-way street article was about including the idea in the city plan so it can be researched, discussed and appropriate public process can take place. There was one comment in particular that caught my attention because it seemed to be about me since I am the only person not from Maine who has opened a business downtown... unless they are lumping in anyone not from Gardiner. It reads-

"The truth is that the central Maine market is just limited. A lot of these people who move here don't seem to understand this...there's just not a lot of money in the area to spend on frills. Gardiner may develop over the years. But some of these people who move to Maine with their little artsy vision of what they'd like it to be need to shut up, listen and learn."

What should I learn from? The other commenter who said that Gardiner is a relic of the past? Or the ones who refuse to walk a block? I prefer to do some research and listen to people who have. I listen to the people who have talked to the Department of Transportation to see if it is feasible (and by the way it is). Of course that doesn't mean it will happen...just that it is something we can talk about like grown adults. As for my artsy vision, I am selling (and yes I did say selling) the work of people from Gardiner, West Gardiner, Pittston, Litchfield and many other towns in Maine. And I will bring to Gardiner art and craft that has never been sold locally. And ultimately I will offer the works online to a much larger market (since my business plan has already taken into account the "central Maine market").

Just yesterday a couple came in because they had heard what I was doing here. They found Gardiner to be charming. They loved the buildings and wanted to talk about my experiences moving here and buying a building. I told them what I truly believe- that Gardiner is a great town, an undiscovered gem that will become so much more than it is. That my friends is what will help Gardiner...people who see potential.

Support Gardiner Businesses-
Corniche, Sweet Love and Baxter Tea Co., A1 Diner, A1 To Go, Moda Bella, Raggamuffins, Blue Sky Bakery, The Mad Dog, Bagel Mainea, Reny's, The Girltrend Shop, The Depot, Mike's Water Street Grille, Gerard's Pizza, Dennis' Pizza, Johnson Hall, and more.


  1. I had the same feeling when reading the comments on these articles. There are a group of negative nay-sayers who regularly comment on KJ articles - and for the most part they not only fear change - they fear and dislike anyone with an original idea. I feel sorry for them really... can you imagine such a pathetic existence? These people will never try anything new, will stay in jobs they hate, stay married to people they distrust, and lead pathetic, dysfunctional lives. They only way they can make themselves feel better is by writing nasty comments under anonymous pseudonyms in the local paper.

  2. It's much easier for people to accept failure and not want to change than to put in the effort to make things better.

    Anonymous comments on any website just leads to people being able to leave uneducated and hurtful opinions.

    Once people accept change, they'll have a better life.

  3. Don't worry (or do, depending on your perspective); these comments aren't restricted to the KJ. The comment section on the Bangor Daily's web site is often peppered with the same kind of thing. I think if you picture them in your mind as the hecklers Stadler and Waldorf from the Muppet Show, it's easier to put them in perspective. :D

  4. Ah, it is so nice to hear from intelligent forward thinking people.

  5. Oh and funny people too :) Waldorf and Stadler...I'll try that!

  6. Clare,

    Pay no attention to that man (or people) behind the curtain. We need more of what you're offering.

  7. Ditto to what the others above have said. Keep your head up and keepp moving toward your vision.