For the last nine years, I’ve always been honest with readers of Chelsea Update and I’m not going to stop that practice now.
Today, I should be happily celebrating the first day of the 9th year of Chelsea Update.
But I’m not.
Nine years ago, I quit my full-time job with benefits, threw caution to the wind, and launched Chelsea Update for this community. As my give-back to this community and its wonderful residents.
Over the years, thousands of readers have showed their appreciation of my efforts with their support by sending surprise gifts and donations, and written and verbal words of appreciation. In fact, I built extra time into trips to town because I knew people would stop me and want to talk. The conversations always ended with a thank you for all you and your staff do for Chelsea.
Today, personal thank you’s have been replaced by demands, threats and accusations via social media, email and phone.
So, yes, I am a bit sad today on the very day I should be dancing like Snoopy that Chelsea Update is celebrating its 9th anniversary.
But I’m also determined. Determined to turn things around.
I’ve always held close to a deeply rooted belief in Chelsea – that no matter what, this community would continue to lift each other up and support their neighbors and their businesses.
But in the last two years, there has been a lack of civility and respect for each other as human beings. And I honestly never thought I would listen to this community go after each other with such ruthlessness. There are ways to express your opinions that don’t include rudely dismantling a fellow human who might have a different viewpoint.
There have vicious social media and verbal attacks mounted against Chelsea business owners, elected officials on the city council as well as on the Board of Education, the police department, the city staff … and yup, against me, personally, as well as against the staff of Chelsea Update.
And it needs to stop.
I hoped that once people were vaccinated and could roam about freely, that this groundswell of finger-pointing and negativity would quiet down. I hoped that people would come out of their COVID mind fogs, and come together – happy to see each other, to go places and to do things again.
Unapologetically, I have always said that I love Chelsea. So does the staff of Chelsea Update who work so hard to be the beacon of positivity for this community. We love showcasing the awesome school district and government, terrific businesses and events.
Chelsea, this wonderful small town with its cheeky charm and its uncanny ability to come together to support one another in good times and bad – this is something special; something you see in Hallmark movies.
What is happening here? I can’t for the life of me, figure it out. What exactly is so bad, so wrong, so awful, so undesirable about this little town?
We’ve all had a rough time of it during COVID. I get that. And I want to chalk up a lot of what I’m hearing as a byproduct of a divisive political cycle and a pandemic, the likes of which many of us have never seen before.
But during all of this upheaval, my small staff and I worked harder for this community than at any time leading up to these national events. Despite the fact that these days, most often what we hear are complaints, we continue to feel a profound sense of accomplishment for what we were providing this community.
I believe that there are thousands of people who continue to enjoy reading Chelsea Update every day. And I’m asking you to support us as we publish all the news that’s fit to print about Chelsea.
During this pandemic, there has been a steady decline of not only appreciation but also donations from the community. I depend on reader support to pay my writers and photographers and make a living. So, if you are able, please consider making a donation. Checks can be made out to Chelsea Update and sent to 18829 Bush Road, Chelsea, MI 48118 or you can donate through Paypal on the home page.
And if you have already done so, thank you so very, very much. You’ll be hearing from me soon.
My tiny staff and I may be a bit beaten up right now, but we still believe in Chelsea and what we are providing to the people who have chosen to live here.
We still believe that Chelsea is truly an extraordinary place to call home.
So please support us as we begin our ninth year of spreading this positive message and publishing stories from all over town each and every day.