Best BDN blog posts of 2014 as recommended by fellow BDN bloggers

I asked my fellow BDN bloggers which blog posts they considered to be some of the best to come out of our network in 2014. They had a lot of great suggestions, and I offer here my favorites of that bunch.

They had a lot of great suggestions, and I offer here my favorites of that bunch.

While specific posts from these blogs don’t make an appearance here, Amy Fried’s Pollways, Pat Lemeiux’ Man Child, and Aaron Prill’s Counter Culture were mentioned for being great all around and I agree with those assessments. I would also like to put in a plug for State and Capitol, which I believe consistently proves itself to be the best blog BDN has to offer.

Karen Foley [of Postcards From a Work In Progress] recommends Jim LaPierre’s reelections on an extended stay at the hospital:

I like to take on every challenge and transition with a remarkable lack of poise. Being flat on my ass gazing up into the eyes of my understandably worried wife is a place I’ve been far too many times. We take turns reassuring each other and almost inexplicably, it keeps working out (“It” being everything of significance in my life). It has worked out far too well far too many times for me to doubt that it will continue to. This is the basis of my faith: I know that it will be ok. I don’t know when or how. I only know that it will and that eventually, it will be better than ever.

Foley also recommends Pattie Reaves’ post about her maternity leave coming to an end:

In a different way, going back after maternity leave is another momentous moment, maybe even harder to emotionally navigate than the day she was born. When she was born, instinct kicked in and I just did what I needed to do. Today, we have to figure out how our family life will fit together for the rest of our lives.

Reaves [of After the Couch and BDN Audience Manager] recommends Chris Shorr’s  tale of a local lobsterman who miraculously survives wreck only to witness tourists taking pictures instead of helping:

After gathering his wits he began yelling for help, “I was right in Dyer Cove, I could see tourists coming down from The Lobster Shack (a popular seafood joint and tourist attraction), but they all just had their phones and cameras out taking pictures of me. I couldn’t believe it. Finally a guy came running over, he said he was a Coast Guard member from Virginia up here on vacation.”

Reaves also recommends Sarah Cottrell’s open letter to the nurses at the Lafayette Family Cancer Center

I want to tell you that in a quiet but profound way you all feel like my sisters. I want to tell you that I get tired from dealing with this. And that I cannot fathom how you watch kids with bleeding disorders and every shade of cancer walk, limp, and wheel through your doors without falling apart at the seams.

And Dianne Ackley’s reflections on the loss of Helen’s Restaurant:

To locals and tourists alike, Helen’s was a second home to countless people. It was a place to celebrate friends, family, and awesome food. While the ashes are still smoldering, a community is coming together. Family is a more appropriate word…the Helen’s family is connecting from all over the country to reminisce and support one another.

And my post about quitting booze:

Moderation is not my specialty, which is ultimately the problem. A lot of people are, and I envy these bastards, but I am a too the bottom guy. One drink inevitably becomes 3, 3 becomes 7, and 7 becomes more. I get loud and bossy and argumentative. In the past, my commitment to fidelity would become loose, and while I would not pursue trouble, I wouldn’t go out of my way to stay out of its way. There are definitely a number of people who want nothing to do with me, and my love for the drink and everything at the core of that love is partially responsible. I am lucky that nobody got more hurt than they did. I am lucky to have never gotten arrested for driving or fighting or just being a fucking asshole. I am lucky that nobody died.

And Troy Bennett’s post about a woman who lost her squirrel:

I just read the news. Georgette Curran lost her fight to keep her fish. A gang of 10 wardens and state scientists knocked on her door in Harpswell, threatened to arrest her and took the koi she’s been fighting to keep. They say they’re an invasive species and there’s a possibility they could get loose and start living in the wild, like pythons in the Everglades. That seems like a long shot to me. But I’m no biologist, so I’ll take their word for it.May 28, 2008 – Zackary, a Chihuahua pup from Cundy’s Harbor, snuggles with one of his adopted squirrel siblings.May 28, 2008 – Zackary, a Chihuahua pup from Cundy’s Harbor, snuggles with one of his adopted squirrel siblings. But why’d they go an take her squirrel and bluejay, too?

Christopher Cousins of State and Capitol recommends Seth Koening’s “report on a former Nazi prisoner:

His interrogator never pulled the trigger. A fellow Nazi officer jumped in to stop the execution, and Lawasz was transported to German prison-of-war camp Stalug Luft IV in what is now Poland. On Feb. 6, 1945, during one of Europe’s coldest winters ever, the guards caught wind of the looming arrival of Russian soldiers who might liberate the camp, and took Lawasz and his fellow prisoners out on what Ernest Shorey called a “death march.”

Jackie Farwell of Vital Signs recommends John Holyoke’s three part meditation on the mystery of an ice circle:

Another reader said aliens from Wallagrass were responsible. I haven’t spent much time in Wallagrass, and attempts to reach an alien representative who lives in the town were unsuccessful, so I can’t fully support this claim.

Chris Shorr of Tides recommends all Mike Tipping’s coverage of Governor LePage’s relationship with the extremist Sovereign Citizen movement, which started with:

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.

And my post about the phenomenon of telling women to smile:

Fortunately, comment sections are largely where the worst of humanity go to talk at each other and play out their fantasies of being reptilian philosopher kings and queens and so this is not necessarily representative of how all people think about this issue. And since a very good exercise for strengthening one’s moral compass should always be to do the opposite of whatever consensus is arrived at in these digital cesspools, this is a teachable moment. Whereas the commentators in question hear a woman’s experience and interpret that experience as that woman’s fault, we should strive to hear the experiences of those who share in earnest.

Dani Unterreiner of Feminist Nonfiction recommends Mike Tipping’s post about Rep. Lawrence Lockman’s history of extremism:

“In the overwhelming majority of cases, people are dying because of their addiction to sodomy,” Lockman wrote in a 1987 letter to the editor to the Lewiston Daily Sun arguing against funding for AIDS education. “They are dying because progressive, enlightened, tolerant people in politics and in medicine have assured the public that the practice of sodomy is a legitimate alternative lifestyle, rather than a perverted, depraved crime against humanity.”

Tipping recommends Bill Trotter’s examination of Bar Harbor parking efforts that had gone viral:

In Bar Harbor, parking has become a spectator sport – in large part thanks to a Facebook page dedicated solely to photographs of bad parking jobs. Bar Harbor is one of the most visited destinations in the state between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and “Welcome to Bar Harbor’s Famous Parking Show” is a reflection of how high a premium there is on available parking during the summer.

I recommend Jennifer Collins’ response to my Elf on the Shelf Op-Ed:

We don’t guilt our children into good behavior so that they will receive everything on their Christmas list.  Where is the grace in that?

Sarah Caron of Maine Course recommends Ryan Parker’s rant about children and inattentive parents at farmer’s markets:

I’m not going to try to tell you how to raise your kids.  You do what you want.  If you’re content with saying, ‘Honey, please put that down,’ half a dozen times without results, that’s your thing.  You gotta do what you gotta do.  But when you go to a farmer’s market, or a roadside farm stand, or for that matter a Wal-mart and you personally damage something, or you allow your child to do so, now you’ve created a bigger problem.  And it’s a problem that is so easily avoidable.

Diane Atwood of Catching Health recommends Jim LaPierre’s post about Robin Williams’ passing:

Those of us who understand addiction, and/or paid close attention to his stand up are not shocked that this happened. Comedy always contains a certain amount of truth. Examine that truth closely and you will find a certain amount of pain.

Atwood also recommends Telly Halkias’ post about caring for an elderly parent:

Yes, my mother did push me in a carriage a half-century ago. Now, in what might be life’s great irony, I get to return the favor.

LaPierre [of Recovery Rocks] recommends Karen Foley’s tips for surviving holiday chaos:

The advice I have for these families, of which I am one, is simple. When the children are young, do what is best for them, always. When they are adults let them figure out what is best for them, then do what is best for you, always! Keep the day as pleasant, and drama free as possible, for the sake of everyone involved.

And Tom Hale of [Up North Motorsports] recommends Kathleen Pierce’s 24 hour stay at LL Bean:

There are so many blogs at BDN and I am positive that I am overlooking many amazing contributions here. What were some of your favorites?


Alex Steed

About Alex Steed

Alex Steed has written about and engaged in politics since he was an insufferable teenager. He has run for the Statehouse and produced a successful web series. He now runs a content firm called Knack Factory with two guys who are a lot more talented than himself.