L. Alessio: Save a valuable Maine resource

According to Fr. Joseph A. Sirba (AD2000.com), “one out of every 10 Americans is an ex-Catholic.”

I am one.

Nevertheless, like many people driving by the handsome, imposing facade of the vacant St. Joseph’s Church on Main Street in Lewiston, I am saddened at the thought of losing that prominent, historic landmark of the state’s heritage.

Its beauty transcends changing religious views and populations.

I wonder if a creative compromise can conserve something of the building’s profile in the city’s center and its silhouette in the city’s skyline.

An idea: given an imaginative architect, someone who shares admiration for this structure, a respect for both its aesthetic and personal importance, and recognition of Central Maine Medical Center’s practical necessities, could the facade of the building be preserved?

By maintaining the frontage of the building and its two lovely turrets, turning the street-side landscaping into a small park, perhaps with elevated viewing balcony, and replacing the church doors with walkways, could the most visible, memorable and beautiful features of this monument to the Twin City’s heritage be maintained?

The sale of many architectural features would fund much of the the structure’s revitalization.

CMMC would gain the good will of the community, as well as a magnificent gateway to a hidden parking lot in back; the city would gain a permanent remembrance of its culture and avoid another downtown, blacktop blot; and a valuable Maine resource would remain for future generations to admire and esteem.

Lew Alessio, Greene

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Brian, won't be able to make...

While I was able to travel to Kittery twice this summer for the Wood Island Life Saving Station debacle ( just under 2 hours) I won't be able to make it to the meeting in Lewiston ( over three hours one way ). I don't have a car and work three jobs to pay off debts no honest man can. Sorry.


Maine's rich catholic culture

The loss of Catholic culture in Maine is proceeding at a troubling rate, with the loss of St.Francis de Sales in Waterville which was razed for federally subsidized housing the latest.

Catholics contributed greatly to what Maine is today. Our "Memory House" should include more than the meeting house on the hill and the Colonial house on the village green.

Open the door. Let them in.

Brian Franck's picture

New message for Steve Lindsey!

Steve: The meeting of the Lewiston Historic Preservation Review Board has been scheduled for next Thursday afternoon, August 8th, at 3:00pm in the City Hall Council Chambers at the corner of Park and Pine Streets. The entire time will be devoted to the fate of St. Joseph's Church! I hope that you can attend. I will be there, prepared with a speech.
I have not heard anything lately from either Mr. Gravel or Mr. St. Jean. I wonder if they plan on attending the meeting. I have noticed that Mr. Gravel has moved on to comment about other letters recently. I guess he got tired of trying to win an argument with me! Now, to the task of saving St. Joseph's Church!

Brian Franck's picture

New Update for Steve Lindsey!

Today I had the wonderful opportunity to meet and speak with Mary Dempsey, the sister of leading actor Patrick Dempsey and founder of the Dempsey Challenge. She is such a kind, warm and gracious lady. I felt very comfortable and relaxed in her presence. My purpose in going to see Mary at the Dempsey Center was to establish direct contact with her brother and enlist his aid in the effort to save St. Joseph's Church. She echoed some of the same commentaries made in the recent past by Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dumb regarding how will the church be maintained to prevent further deterioration of the structure. All that I could answer for the present was buying time to work towards a solution. If the building is demolished before this Christmas, then there is no point in putting together any kind of fundraising effort! She was quite surprised to hear that the purpose of the parking lot was to provide parking for the employees of 29 Lowell Street and not the main hospital complex! Mary indicated to me that there are only 19 employees at the Dempsey Center. I also noticed while parking directly next to the main entrance, right on the street, that there were already an abundance of parking lots adjacent to the building. I also observed that there were a number of empty spaces in those lots as well. And, these lots are much closer to the old Knapp shoe factory building than the proposed lot for the St. Joseph's Church site. In addition, the employees parking in those lots do not have to deal with crossing the busy intersection at Bates and Main Streets.

Bravo for your research!

Bravo for your reserach, Brian.

Well done.

Something productive has emerged from the debate. The parking is not needed.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"Catholics contributed

"Catholics contributed greatly to what Maine is today".
True, but isn't that the core of the problem? Catholic Churches dotted the landscape for decades. But then in the modernized Maine, Catholics, in large numbers, for whatever reasons, stopped attending and thereby stopped contributing financially, leading to the domino effect we are witnessing today. Churches being used as retail outlets for antiques and sundry goods, theaters, and whatever else they can be converted to, including the dreaded parking lot. It's a sad spectacle.

It is sad.

We cannot save all the churches, nor should we. But we should save the best.

St. Joseph's I believe qualifies

1) It was born of the Know-nothing Era, and represents the then Catholic/Protestant, immigrant/nativist, working-class/owning-class divide.

2) It was designed by reknown architect Patrick Keely

3) It is in a prominent position in Lewiston's downtown.

4) It has great aesthetic/architectural merit.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You don't need to convince me

You don't need to convince me of its worth. That is not my point of argument, as St. Joseph's deserves everything good that could possibly happen to it. But, I believe your waging of war against CMMC and making them the villains here is misguided and probably not winnable. But, as the great Eastern philosopher Filmore West once said, "GO FOR IT!"

Brian Franck's picture

There is no war here, only the obvious!

And, the obvious is teaching the powers behind Central Maine Healthcare Corporation a lesson about appreciating art, something they clearly know nothing about! If they did, they would not even contemplate tearing down St. Joseph's Church! Because of their ignorance on the subject of art as well as their intent to destroy it, this certainly labels them the "villains" (heinous ones at that) in this matter!

CMMC is the dominant actor here...

Therefore, CMMC is making itself the villain.

It has the power to turn this around,

In a heartbeat.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Then you'd best get on with

Then you'd best get on with it.

We are.

We are sending out appeals across the nation... To Ancient Order of the Hibernian chapters, the Keely Society and more...

We are ginning up popular opinion against demolition.

We need to turn this ship before we get to the ice field!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You've got 'em right where

You've got 'em right where you want 'em, now.

Not yet...

No... Not yet... But we're working it hard...

You see evidence in up coming days...

We're putting a big spotlight on Lewiston.... A big ol' klieg light.

You will be able to see everything.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Just what Lewiston needs;

Just what Lewiston needs; more out of staters looking to cause trouble.

Brian Franck's picture

Out of staters?

How about an "in stater" causing trouble? I only live a little over a mile away from St. Joseph's Church! How does that grab you?

Brian Franck's picture

Save the Church!

Mr. Alessio is right! St. Joseph's Church must be saved at all costs! But, it takes one sensitive to the arts to fully appreciate that. Lew Alessio easily fills that bill, from the heydays of the Theater at Monmouth as an equity actor along with other notable figures such as Maryann Plunkett!
Unfortunately, when Mr. Alessio attempts to say something positive about preserving St. Joseph's Church, the naysayers have to crawl out of the woodwork and attack his viewpoint. The ignorance of the naysayers abounds and is all too frequently louder than the reasoned pleas of the building's supporters.

Andrew Jones's picture

Yes, save it at all

Yes, save it at all costs!
..except your costs, right?

The organization that built it has $170 billion dollars in revenue in the US alone that they pay no taxes on, but they won't pay so much as a dime on the upkeep of the property and sold it for profit to CMMC knowing full well what they planned to do with it.

Brian Franck's picture


In my letter to the editor, I referred to the Maine leadership of the Catholic church as assuming the role of Judas Iscariot in this matter, all for 30 pieces of silver!

Jason Theriault's picture

You know what Lewiston needs?

You know what Lewiston needs?
Another vacant building disintegrating on Main st.

I think the whole downtown should be made up of vacant buildings in various stages of collapse.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Jason, One of the few times


One of the few times we agree - kudos.

Brian Franck's picture

No surprise here!

I would expect that remark out of you!

Brian Franck's picture

More ranting and raving!

Another asinine comment with a proposition suggesting the creation of more vacant buildings in downtown Lewiston!

Jason Theriault's picture


Oh no, Lewiston doesn't need to create them.

They already exist in abundance.

All Lewiston needs to do is, much like the also abundant vacant lots, ignore them and they will blossom into eye sores and fire hazards.

ERNEST LABBE's picture

Where were all

Where were all you people who all of a sudden are saddened because someone bought a building that has been on the market for the past four years. Did you not suspect that sooner of later someone would buy the building? Would it not be a good guess that the new owner would not be buying it to open another church.

It was never your property persay, the owners of the building decided they could not afford to operate it in its original function. If you were so concerned you should have started collecting monies four years ago to buy it.

You are all akin to someone complaining about a politician that didn't vote when they were elected.

Brian Franck's picture

Boy, is he angry!

I guess Mr. Alessio should have never opened his mouth or, more correctly, typed his thoughts using a computer keyboard because it got Mr. Labbe very upset! Mr. Labbe reminds me strikingly of someone else, a certain Mr. Gravel. It appears that they feel they have the right to chastise anyone who speaks out in favor of saving St. Joseph's Church. I wonder who appointed them to that job. Hindsight is always better than foresight, right? If we had only known four years ago that Central Maine Healthcare Corporation intended to demolish the church to make a parking lot this year, we could have been saving all of our pennies. Just think of how much we could have accumulated in four years. I guess according to Mr. Labbe, you are only allowed to make comments if you already own the building or have the money in hand to purchase it. I will have to remember that for the future!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Great post, Ernest. Many

Great post, Ernest. Many kudos.

Brian Franck's picture

No surprise here!

I would expect that reaction from Mr. St. Jean.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

There you have it, folks;

There you have it, folks; another tidbit of profundity from cryin' brian.

Brian Franck's picture

I am not crying at the moment!

At the very least, I have a brain quite capable of profound thoughts! What is your excuse?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Nice...when do you intend to

Nice...when do you intend to display its ability to function?

Brian Franck's picture

I have been all along!

Again, what has been your excuse?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Ernest, I could not have


I could not have said it better.

Moreover, if CMMC did not purchase the property, what then? It rots in place and cleanup costs are placed on the taxpayer.

Brian Franck's picture

Finally , you speak the truth!

You certainly could have not said it any better, but then, Mr. Labbe did not say it very well either.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I think Mr. Alessio's

I think Mr. Alessio's suggestion is a good one. However......

Brian Franck's picture


You were about to say something profound?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Actually, I waited for you to

Actually, I waited for you to show up and make an ass out of yourself, again.

Brian Franck's picture

Truth be told, except....

Except, there are only two individuals making "asses out of themselves" here. One is called "Dumb", and the other is called "Dumber". I will give you two guesses which one is the "Dumber". The answer to that should be very easy!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Another great post from

Another great post from cryin' brian.

Brian Franck's picture

Glad that you recognize that!

Too bad that you cannot spell, though. The word is "crying". You should really put a capital "B" on that proper name.

Save a valuable Lewiston land mark

I couldn't agree more,or disagree more with the previous reader who called Lewiston's oldest Catholic church un inspiring; CMMC could be a hero, rather than a greedy villian. What is more un inspiring than a parking lot that replaces a historical cornerstone of our community A former parishoner, it breaks my heart, shame on you CMMC!

Could be...

CMMC could turn this around in a heartbeat, could turn a PR nightmare into gold.

Brian Franck's picture

He is right!

A common sense perspective, that is why we elected Bob Mennealy to the Auburn City Council.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Are you willing to open your

Are you willing to open your wallet to help fund Church restoration and ongoing maintenance?

Just because CMMC has goals contrary to your beliefs does not merit you calling them greedy. This is just your attempt to defame CMMC for no other reason than you don’t agree with them.

What would be the alternative? Let the building rot until it becomes a danger to the community and then tear it down at taxpayer’s expense?

What is your alternative there Bob?

Brian Franck's picture

There he goes again!

More lecturing from Mr. Gravel, he expects everyone to open up his/her wallet when "Mr. Right" commands!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Most respectable adults do

Most respectable adults do open up his or her wallet when they want something that cost money. Why are you different?

Brian Franck's picture

I am not different!

Mr. Gravel: I probably do not have a wallet as big as yours. So, will you help me out here? I believe the spelling should be "costs money". Do you know if there are any disrespectful adults around? Maybe we should ask them for a donation.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

What is CMMC about to do that

What is CMMC about to do that makes them a "greedy villain"?

Brian Franck's picture

You don't get it, do you?

Tear down the church and put up a parking lot, dumbo!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Call me dumbo again, rosebud

Call me dumbo again, rosebud and I'll be looking you up.

Brian Franck's picture

I think I heard a threat!

Might I suggest, Mr. St. Jean, that you attend the August meeting of the Lewiston Historic Preservation Review Board? There, you could beat me up in front of those present. This will surely grow the reputation of the Central Maine Healthcare Corporation to have a true disciple pummel one of the few supporters of St. Joseph's Church. If you cannot get to that meeting, kindly let me know when you plan to arrive. That will save time because I will able to alert the police in advance so they can arrest you on the spot for assault and battery. Thanks!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

If you honor my request like

If you honor my request like the true gentleman I believe you to be; the statement means nothing.

One small correction.

Methinks there will be more than a few supporters of St. Joesph's church attending.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

There is simply no money to

There is simply no money to keep St. Joseph's operable. Compared to St. Peter and Paul Church or even St. Louis Church, St. Joseph's is really an uninspiring historical landmark. The economics will dictate the outcome - it is time to raze the building.

Your opinion...

Others feel otherwise.

We cannot save all the churches, nor should we. But we should save the best.

St. Joseph's I believe qualifies

1) It was born of the Know-nothing Era, and represents the then Catholic/Protestant, immigrant/nativist, working-class/owning-class divide.

2) It was designed by reknown architect Patrick Keely

3) It is in a prominent position in Lewiston's downtown.

4) It has great aesthetic/architectural merit. Representative of its era...

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Again, who pays the bill?

Again, who pays the bill?

Brian Franck's picture

Bill, bill, who's got the bill?

Why is it any of your concern who pays the bill? You have already expressed your disdain in very vehement terms towards those who would like to see that the building is saved!

Brian Franck's picture

It is time to raze the building?

Boy, are you stupid for making such a comment! I won't tell the fans of architect Patrick Keely that he is "uninspiring". I guess the owners of the 700 churches he designed across the United States during the nineteenth century were not too bright. You are not getting a jackhammer from me for Christmas!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Patrick Keely puts on his

Patrick Keely puts on his socks and underwear just like the rest of us. You know what Jesus said about worshiping false idols.

Brian Franck's picture

I don't think he does anymore!

I don't think that he does anymore. He died in 1896. His socks probably stink quite badly by now!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

The takeaway should have been

The takeaway should have been that he is just a man just like the rest of us, no one special. No need to idolize any man.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Ever hear of the man before

Ever hear of the man before the St. Joseph/CMMC situation?

Brian Franck's picture


And more people will know his name after the August meeting of the Lewiston Historic Preservation Review Board!

Living in your fishbowl...

Many Americans couldn't name more than one architect (Frank Lloyd Wright.) Maybe two or three if they went to college or were paying attention ( H H Richardson, Frank Gehry .) Merely acknowledging one's ignorance does not negate an architect's contribution to our culture.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Living in my fishbowl, I

Living in my fishbowl, I learned how to read with a high level of comprehension. Apparently, you didn't.
Where in my post did I say I had not heard of Mr. Keely? That's right; nowhere. If you'd read it correctly you'd have learned that I was asking Mr. Gravel if he had heard of him. It was not an admission of ignorance of the man on my part. If you're going to play the freakin' game, at least get it right.

Our joisting here has made you strong, Grasshopper.

The debate over St. Joseph's has had an educational benefit for those reading this.

Some were introduced to Patrick Keely and his magnificent architecture.

That alone has made this worth while.

And there's more.

St. Augustine's church in South Boston is being converted into housing by a developer with a respect for history and the community.

See: http://southbostontoday.com/did-you-know-3/

MARK GRAVEL's picture

To idolize perversity in the

To idolize perversity in the Catholic Church?

Mark "Cheap Shot" Gravel.

No. Not at all, Cheap Shot.

To honor Catholic culture, the struggle of Catholic immigrants, the struggle of working-class in industrial America, the architect, the beautiful building, to honor beauty and defend her over an economic entity with a tin ear that wants to build a parking lot.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Nope, and I have not heard

Nope, and I have not heard from him recently since I stopped responding to his remarks. A one topic wonder.

Brian Franck's picture

Where have you been?

Well, no point in my making comments anymore when there are no witless interjections to respond to.

Brian Franck's picture

Just a man, maybe, but a brilliant one at that!

Patrick Keely might have been just an ordinary man seeking a better life for himself when he emigrated from Ireland to Brooklyn, New York in the mid-nineteenth century, but he soon began to distinguish himself as a gifted architect once he was established here. The owners of the 700 churches he built across America could not have been all that wrong in their choice of him as their architect!

Show some respest....

No, not idolize. But respect. Respect talented individuals. Appreciate those who have struggled against great odds.

There is more to life than idolizing .... The Marketplace.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Franck and Lindsey are

Franck and Lindsey are looking for new playmates to whine with. Care to make the introductions?

Brian Franck's picture

I hope that Steve Lindsey is reading this!

It seems that "Dumb and Dumber" have come to roost again! What I find completely fascinating is the fact that both Mr. Gravel and Mr. St. Jean issued all of their initial comments above and below before I even joined into the discussion. They appear to float from story to story offering their 2 cents, regardless of whether they can speak with any kind of authority on the subject.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

And what do you do? Besides

And what do you do? Besides whine all day. I don't know your age, but you come across like, maybe, 14 or so.

Brian Franck's picture

Probably as old as you!

I am just coming down to your level, Mr. St. Jean. Or should have I said, sinking down?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

So what you are saying is

So what you are saying is that you need to climb the sears tower building to come down to Paul’s level? I agree.

Brian Franck's picture

I have been to the top of the Sears Tower!

I do not need to go there again to realize that Mr. St. Jean and also Mr. Gravel are incapable of having any lofty thoughts.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Well stated. But, the odds

Well stated. But, the odds are, he won't get it. His ability to think doesn't go beyond half way to the second level..The rest of it is pure emotion.
Conservatism is an intellectual pursuit; liberalism is an emotional train wreck. Cryin' brian is the poster boy.

Brian Franck's picture

Here we go again, more of that "emotion" crap!

Actually, I have far more "ability to think" rationally and intelligently than either Twiddle Dee or Twiddle Dumb could ever imagine! I never linked conservatism with intellectualism. I guess that means if you want to tear down a historic building designed by a prominent architect in exchange for a parking lot, then you are both conservative and intellectually bright. Anyone opposed to that plan is an "emotional" train wreck. And Twiddle Dumb calls me a "poster boy"? He still has not learned how to spell "crying" yet. He also does not like capital letters. Completely hopeless, or I should say, hapless!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Would crying briang make you

Would crying briang make you feel better?

Brian Franck's picture

Still have not learned how to spell yet?

Why don't you go back to grade school, Mr. St. Jean? That is where they teach the basic A, B, Cs!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

There are some of us who

There are some of us who think 4th grade may have been the best 3 years of your life.

Brian Franck's picture

And just who are the "some of us"?

Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dumb, right? That's not saying much!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

"calls me a "poster

"calls me a "poster boy"?

Hell, we call you a lot more than that. The problem is that we can write those words here.

Brian Franck's picture

I certainly would not want you as a "poster boy"!

What a terrible example and model that would be for today's youth! Only a "lowlife" would suggest coarser language!

If we have enough typewriters...

Monkeys can write words... Doesn't mean we need to pay attention.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

For a man of such great

For a man of such great abilities, you have not provided a cogent response to my question. Where will the money come from to save, restore, and maintain St. Joseph’s?

Surely, someone with your great intellect should be rolling in money and should be able to step up a fill those shoes, surely, or perhaps narcissism is the wealth of the day.

Great You.

You are the shining sun Mark...

The rest of us... all... are but dun moons in your orbit.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Why will you or Brian not

Why will you or Brian not provide an answer to a simple question is that relevant to the discussion. Why leave the absence of a response up to my imagination.

Perhaps you don't know the answer.

It has nothing to do about the sun or the moon.

The Sun King

You are The Sun King.

Must be all that self-esteem affirmation your mom gave you...

Brian Franck's picture

I guess Mr. Gravel does not want to read!

I gave him an answer last night with my suggestion that he form a committee of one (himself) and go ask the Federal government for the funds. They obviously have a lot of surplus funds if they can waste $34 million on a useless building in Afghanistan!

The values in the Beltway...

Sad how we squander our nation's wealth on foreign adventurism, when a small percentage of this lost treasure could be used putting Americans to work at home, fixing up and re-purpose heritage structures including St. Joseph's church.

One of my best moments in recent years was coming up 20 masons repairing St. Brigid's in the East Village of New York City. We fought year to save this Keely church. The clink, clink, clink of mason's tools was music to my ears.

New York Times story, Jan 27, 2013 here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/28/nyregion/st-brigids-church-on-lower-ea...

Wiki entry for St. Brigid's here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Brigid%27s_Roman_Catholic_Church_%28Man...

Sounds like a better fate for St. Joseph's than a parking lot.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Reading this opinion makes me

Reading this opinion makes me realize how little people know about current events.

“Sad how we squander our nation's wealth on foreign adventurism,..”

Given the national debt is $17T and climbing, what makes citizens think money spent on foreign aid was ever real to begin with.

Forty cents of every dollar the federal government spends is borrowed.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

And it spends $11 for every

And it spends $11 for every $7 it takes in. Can you say "recipe for disaster"?

Brian Franck's picture

And now that you acknowledge this....

Are you going to ask the Federal government for some money?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

We don't beg, it is immoral.

We don't beg, it is immoral.

Brian Franck's picture


And you call yourself "moral" with all the stupid and crass comments you have made?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I'll leave that up to you.

I'll leave that up to you.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Again, the answer is still

Again, the answer is still no.

It would be immoral for me to seek government money for such a cause, especially when the national debt is at record levels.

You need not ask that same question again.

So you'd rather squander it overseas?

Rather than spend it in the homeland, you'd spend our nation's treasures on foreign adventures, leaving our children with substandard educations in an American Wasteland?

Brian Franck's picture


Does that also mean that you will no longer "harp" on the same obnoxious question about who will pay?

Your humble servant responds...

As we have not the wealth and fame of your lordship, we mere mortals are figuring this out...

A works in progress if you will.

But our first priority is to stop the wrecking ball.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

They fear the outcome of

They fear the outcome of their quest will not be to their liking, so they engage in insults and name calling. It is, basically, all they have to offer. And, if the didn't have you and me to fulfill the rolls of "the enemy", they'd simply just find someone else who was unsuspecting enough to engage in their purposeless banters with them. Reasoning with some people is like trying to pick up a turd by the clean end.

No Fear

We know our chances of victory in our noble cause are slim in this corporate world of behemoth corporations and this neo-Gilded Age mentality, but we press on.

It is you, the apologists for power who fear. Who fear the most.

Even through you hold all the aces.

And we the deuces.

It is you who dread an upset.

For you would have to question your value system, your actions, whom you really are.

Now that is fear.

Even if largely unfounded.

As our chances are slim.

Your fear is the fear the dwarfs all others.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"Apologists for power"??

"Apologists for power"?? That's pretty good.
Those are not deuces you're holding. Real card players would call them Jokers.
You have much to learn about judging (you might call it evaluating) other people and their motives.
But, sally forth, as they say.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I sense a bit of jealousy and

I sense a bit of jealousy and envy.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I sense nothing but fear,

I sense nothing but fear, desperation and panic.

Brian Franck's picture

Not in the least!

I am feeling more confident about St. Joseph's Church now. There are a lot of important, influential and highly-educated people in Lewiston/Auburn who want to see the building saved!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Name five!

Name five!

Brian Franck's picture

You would not know them!

They don't move around in your circle! Consider the four submissions on the Opinion page since the first of June for starters. Add Mr. Lindsey to that, and you have got your five.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Five? Isn't that what you

Five? Isn't that what you call a circle jerk?

Brian Franck's picture

No, again!

It is what I call an answer to your question! Don't you get it? Or, is it that you cannot read?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Perhaps the characterization

Perhaps the characterization is a bit off - you have not got it, a cogent answer that is.

Brian Franck's picture

I guess that I don't!

But, you seem to the answer for everything!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Whatever it is, it smells

Whatever it is, it smells sour.

A visit to the laundromat...

Methinks it might be your skivvies that need a wash'n.

Brian Franck's picture


I cannot think of anyone for whom I could be less jealous or envious. If one is to be jealous, there has got to be some modicum of ability or talent worth the effort!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

It is amazing to hear all

It is amazing to hear all these inspiring ideas, yet not one individual suggest where the funding originates for restoration and ongoing maintenance. Perhaps from the money tree in the backyard I guess.

All these individuals who want to save the church don't appear to be willing to open their wallets, a phenomenon not uncommon in the age of entitlements. Well Obama did teach these individuals well - call CMMC villains and get them to pay for what you want.

Brian Franck's picture

There he goes again!

It seems that it is time for Mr. Gavel to ask everyone to open their wallets again.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Your rants, insults and name

Your rants, insults and name callings are really going to gather support for your position in this. Great job of PR. You've done for the saving of St. Joseph's Church what the Boston Strangler did for the door to door salesman. You might try a more subtle approach, but then you're probably too much of an emotional train wreck to see that. Calm down and enjoy the show, man.

Giving the devil his doo

Actually it is you and Mark that have done much to further the cause of saving St. Joseph's...

By keeping the issue alive when CMMC would prefer it go away... To pull this off largely in the dark. Like shiny black beetles coming out at night to forage in a graveyard...

And affording us a chance on both sides to bring this to the public, making our respective cases.

Sirs, Thank you.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

My guess is that CMMC is not

My guess is that CMMC is not even reading these posts.

Unless they have fools for captains...

You'd sadly be mistaken.

Brian Franck's picture

I hope that you are right, Steve!

I also hope that the August meeting of the Lewiston Historic Preservation Review Board will be jam-packed with a lot of angry people towards the Central Maine Healthcare Corporation.

Brian Franck's picture

On this point.....

This time I actually agree with you! Perhaps if they did read these commentaries, it might weaken their resolve.

Brian Franck's picture

There is a show! When does it start?

Actually, the entertainment is right here! One does not need to go to a movie theater. Just read the comments from the two imbeciles advocating for Central Maine Healthcare Corporation in its quest to demolish St. Joseph's Church to put up a parking lot!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

How can those who wish to

How can those who wish to save St. Joseph's Church possibly lose with you on their side? With all the mindless vitriol that spews from your keyboard, I'll bet you call yourself a Christian, too.
Well, here's something they should have taught you in Bible school. "Everyone you encounter will not always agree with you. That will not entitle you to insult or demean them in any way."
Maybe you missed that session?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Paul, mental illness comes to

Paul, mental illness comes to mind.

Snarky you.

Snarky, snarky, snarky.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I floated the bait and got

I floated the bait and got two nibbles.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture



A bite...

More like a big horsefly landing on a sunbather's back.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Do you believe we're

Do you believe we're advocating CMMC's tearing down of St. Joseph's Church to build a parking lot?
I always thought we were simply being supportive of their right to do so if they choose to, since it IS their property.
I never pictured us as cheering them on, have you?

Brian Franck's picture

With the same enthusiasm as the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders!

Just not as pretty!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Our questions and comments

Our questions and comments have been crystal clear. Sometimes avoidance is a coping mechanism.

Brian Franck's picture

Crystal clear?

More like a hazy fog, with the exception of the constant harping on who is going to pay! If avoiding hearing that question over and over again is a coping mechanism, I plead guilty.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Some appear to have

Some appear to have dangerously high opinions of their opinions.

Brian Franck's picture

I have a high opinion of the truth!

Not witless rhetoric!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

"I have a high opinion of the

"I have a high opinion of the truth!"

Doesn't that produce an empty set for you?

Brian Franck's picture

High opinion of the truth?

Too bad you cannot tell the truth!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Please explain to us, Mr.

Please explain to us, Mr. Franck, calmly and articulately, where and when has Mr. Gravel not told the truth.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I suspect truth is a hurdle

I suspect truth is a hurdle you have to go around or jump over every day.

And I suspect...

You are bumping yer head time and time again on the larger truths, as you keep your eyes on the ground, on yer feet so as not to stumble on the little truths you hold so dear.


Kettle calling pot.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I suspect pot in every kettle

I suspect pot in every kettle would be more to your liking.

Eat mo' chicken.

More like a chicken.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Keep chocking that chicken.

Keep chocking that chicken.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Hahaha....looks like the

Hahaha....looks like the conversation is about to take a little side trip.

Little ones.

Let's not get sexual here, Mark. This is a family newspaper.

Little ones reading.

So let's keep it clean.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

How about trying a literal

How about trying a literal reading and don't project your proclivity in the text.

Again Mark...

Again Mark,

Let's keep it clean.

For the little ones.

This is a family newspaper.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Hell, you're the one who went

Hell, you're the one who went gutter sniping with your not even close interpretation of what the man said. But then, truth and reality are daily major obstacles for you guys, anyway, so your comment is not surprising.

Brian Franck's picture

We deal in the truth every day!

But we keep on getting interrupted every time by these two clowns who interject stupid comments into the discussion!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Again, that is your

Again, that is your projection of the literal text.

Whack! Whack!

Ok,...Ok... Here goes.

Your comment "Keep chocking that chicken"

In response to my Chicken in Every Pot image.

Chock... Not choke... chock...

Like in block.... Like chocking a boat

Yeah, I believe you, Mark.... Got a bridge to sell in Brooklyn?

Hold out your hand. Here comes the nun. Switch in her hand.

Whack! Whack!

You are a clever if dirty boy!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Chock used as a verb also

Chock used as a verb also means cram full. Keep cramming that chicken in the pot.

I told you to read it literally. Now who as the gutter mind? All the readers saw where you mind went.

Didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday.

Keep telling yourself this.

Repeat it enough and it may become accepted as truth.

Like WMDs in Iraq.

Brian Franck's picture


Why are we discussing the word "chock" here? This is supposed to be about trying to save St. Joseph's Church from the brutal tyranny of Central Maine Healthcare Corporation! Oh, and by the way Mr. Gravel, I believe the sentence should read: "Now who has the gutter mind?"; and also, "All the readers saw where your mind went".

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Now, come on, Mark....it's

Now, come on, Mark....it's for the chil-l-l-l-l-dren.

Goats here...

I knew that would git yer goat.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Is that your purpose for your

Is that your purpose for your participation in this process? To get our goats?
We were under the impression you were sincerely passionate in your quest for saving St. Joseph's Church from the wrecking ball.
Now, you've just informed us that your roll here is relegated to nothing more than that of being an outside agitator. Nice.

Brian Franck's picture

Would you prefer an "inside" agitator?

I can provide that. Steve and I are committed to preserving St. Joseph's Church. But, I do love "getting your goat". It is one hell of a lot of fun!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I'll bet it is. You two been

I'll bet it is. You two been to Brokeback Mountain yet?

Brian Franck's picture


Why is the subject of Brokeback Mountain being brought up in this conversation? What does it have to do with saving St. Joseph's Church?

Homophobia is a disease....

Come on Pirate.

Let's not go homophobic.

Keep to the discussion please.

Have some dignity, man!

Buck up.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Homophobia is the science of

Homophobia is the science of learning the anatomical differences between a man and a woman and adjusting one's behavior accordingly.

Brian Franck's picture


Boy, this guy needs to consult his dictionary badly!


And where did you get this tidbit of wisdom? A Cracker Jack box?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I can't tell anymore if I'm

I can't tell anymore if I'm reading your stuff or your buddy's; it's all the same school yard stuff. I'm losing interest really fast. In fact, I'm about to send you up the plank.

Care to elaborate?

Care to elaborate on your "homophobia" observation?

Maybe I've sold you short.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

No, and you have.

No, and you have.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Your response puzzles me. I

Your response puzzles me. I thought we were just having a few laughs gettin' each others' goats. Get your buddy (and yourself) to tone down the vitriolic rhetoric a bit, and you might just see a positive reaction from this side. We reap what we sow, do we not?

And you seem...

And you seem to catch a lot of sea urchins in your lobster pots.

It's all fun and games until some gets hurt...

We can rank on each other with much vigor to get some yucks, but let's agree to leave out the Gay-Lesbian-Trangender community. Other people are reading this.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You're aware Brokeback

You're aware Brokeback Mountain doesn't even exist, right? If I'd asked you if you two had been to Kokomo yet, what would that have made me, anti-Hispanic?
You guys cut out the name calling and the deliberate demeaning insults and we will respond in kind. Otherwise, speaking for the Pirate, the gloves stay off.

Brian Franck's picture

I never had any gloves on!

I like to go immediately for the jugular vein. I believe that Mr. Gravel and Mr. St. Jean have met their match in the retorts delivered by Steve and I.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Your retorts are as effective

Your retorts are as effective as flicking boogers at an aircraft carrier. But, keep up the good work; you might hit something someday.

Brian Franck's picture

Another asinine comment!

Why would I want to flick those disgusting things at an aircraft carrier? Are you off your rocker? At least my retorts are far more intelligent and believable than anything you have said to this point!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Sure, you do.

Sure, you do.

Something in your eye?

I think I see a booger on your glasses.


Let's not go there... Be dignified.

The goal is to save a heritage structure of some import.

Not score points on the Internet.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You are displaying wisdom.

You are displaying wisdom. More than can be said for your flippant saddle buddy.

Brian Franck's picture

That is something you don't have!

Wisdom, or should I say common sense? Talking about flippant, dumbo certainly qualifies for that! Did anyone catch his flipping to another letter to the editor earlier this week by adding his weekly 2 cents worth of commentary on a discussion relating to Obama?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Quite true, rosebud. I

Quite true, rosebud. I thought I'd try to find some adult conversation for a change. You and taximan get on a person's nerves after a while. Whine, whine, whine and no cheese gets pretty mundane.

Brian Franck's picture

Am I getting on your nerves?

That is great! When are you serving wine and cheese? Let me know where. Trying to find adult conversation can be quite challenging, particularly if you have none to offer yourself! Isn't that right, dumbo?

Au contraire...

Since when does an old sot like you get bored drinking wine?

You've left many dead soldiers under the bridges of Lewiston.

Nice word.

Flippant. I like that word. Thank you using it today.

Brian Franck's picture

You are quite right, Steve!

But I still enjoy annoying them!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Not nearly as much as we

Not nearly as much as we enjoy reading your sophomoric, immature rants.

Brian Franck's picture

Immature, really? Read on, pal!

That is sort of like the pot calling the kettle black! Only a kindergarten mentality would link "boogers" and an aircraft together.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I marvel at how the simplest

I marvel at how the simplest of metaphors goes right over your head. What are you, an imp?

The better word is

The better word is "trite."

As in tritest of metaphors...

Brian Franck's picture

That was supposed to be a metaphor?

You could have fooled me, but I thought the comment about "boogers" and an aircraft carrier was one that only a child would think up, not a mature, rational and intelligent adult!


Not a good thing...

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Again, an appropriate display

Again, an appropriate display of wisdom.

Brian Franck's picture


Finally, there is something that Mr. St. Jean and I can agree on!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Perhaps that could be used as

Perhaps that could be used as a springboard for a budding friendship. I'll bet you and I have much in common.

Brian Franck's picture

Oh....Give me a break!

There is absolutely nothing you have in common with me! "Budding friendship"? How pathetic!

Brian Franck's picture

Steve, I thought that you would like to know....

Steve, I thought that you would like to know Mark Gravel and Paul St. Jean have moved on to new territory to conquer! I opened up today a new letter to the editor that criticized Obama. Guess who was the first respondent to offer a comment? None other than Mr. St. Jean. I guess they are no longer interested in the cause to save St. Joseph's Church! The real battle to save St. Joseph's Church will come in August at the meeting of the Lewiston Historic Preservation Review Board. I look forward to seeing you there.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You think we left? You don't

You think we left? You don't know anything, do you?

Brian Franck's picture

A lot more than you do, Mr.St. Jean!

Ah.... you admit working as a team! How shall we title this rerun? I know: "The return of Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dumb"! Now, how is that for a catchy title? I know one thing though, that I could not count on the two of you leaving. But, at least I can dream!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Yes you can.

Yes you can.

Brian Franck's picture

Then, by all means....

Then, by all means, please leave!

Brian Franck's picture

You know, Steve....

You know, Steve, I think both Mr. Gravel and Mr. St. Jean are beginning to lose steam. They are growing tired of the good fight! Yet, they both seem to forget that it was they who started off going on the offensive. After attacking my point of view following the letter to the editor I wrote, they moved onto the letter by Carol Jeffery. Tiring of that one, likewise, they have moved onto Mr. Alessio's comments.
I think Mr. Gravel chose the right word, "leeches". Does not a leech suck the life out of its host and then moves on to new territory?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Great response; for a 12 year

Great response; for a 12 year old.

Brian Franck's picture

Let's add 50 years to that.

I guess it takes one to know one, Simple Simon (with emphasis on "simple")!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

So that would put you at

So that would put you at around 62. Interesting.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Why would we not want to

Why would we not want to treat everyone equally?

Doesn't mean we can have fun along with way...

Our primary roll... role is to save St. Joseph's church as an important part of Lewiston's, Maine's, and the nation's architectural and social and heritage...

Humor, as Twain and Mencken found out, is just one of the tools at our disposal.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

So, busting Mr. Gravel's

So, busting Mr. Gravel's chops over a totally innocuous comment and making it about the children. That was the "having fun along the way" part?
Guess I didn't get a copy of that memo.


You got it now.

Brian Franck's picture

Sorry to hear that!

Is that what you are both suffering from?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Dunno...some times I think

Dunno...some times I think it's more complicated than that.

Brian Franck's picture

I always have to insult stupidity!

Won't you be disappointed if we win and St. Joseph's Church remains! If I utter "mindless vitriol" spewing from my keyboard, it is because you have taught me well. I have to sink down to your and Mr. Gravel's level in order to be understood by you and him.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"I always have to insult

"I always have to insult stupidity".
You must really enjoy standing in front of a mirror.

Brian Franck's picture

Why? I can't see you there!

Might I suggest that you submit to a cat scan of the cranium, Mr. St. Jean? Let's see if there is anything going on up there of importance!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Hate them. The list of music

Hate them. The list of music options is way too short.

Brian Franck's picture

You could always ask....

You could always ask for "bongo" music! That is about your speed isn't it? Oh, and by the way, a headset is provided only for for a MRI not a cat scan.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I imagine you'd know since

I imagine you'd know since you probably get one every month as long as you can get someone else to pay for it.

Brian Franck's picture

Not every month!

Only once in a blue moon, and the insurance company pays for it!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Paul, this fool thinks the

Paul, this fool thinks the insurance company pays for it out of its magic dust. The fool does not know that all ratepayers pay.

Brian Franck's picture

I am no fool!

Do you , Mr. Twiddle Dee, know what an MRI is likely to cost? Roughly $5,000 to $6,000! If you think that I am "fool"ish enough to pay that much for one, then truly you are the "fool", sir!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Who will pay the bill? It is

Who will pay the bill? It is really a simple question.

Brian Franck's picture

Are you looking for a

Are you looking for a handout?

And call y....

And call it paradise...

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I take that to mean you are

I take that to mean you are clueless as to who will pay the bill for restoration and ongoing maintenance of St. Joseph's.

Shouldn't that be a strategic part of our plan?

Brian Franck's picture

Hey, Mr. Gravel!

I have got a great idea! Why don't we send the bill to the Federal government? They just built a $34 million building in Afghanistan that neither the natives or the American military wanted or can use. So, it sits empty. They've got money to burn! So, I will appoint and you send to Washington, DC as a committee of one to collect it. How is that for a quick solution?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Since you're an obama lover,

Since you're an obama lover, it's YOUR government that built it; the government you voted for.

Brian Franck's picture

You know how I voted?

How did you find that out? I did not vote for Obama in either election so, you are wrong once again!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You just told me what I

You just told me what I wanted to know. We do, indeed, have something in common. There is hope for you.

No Hope and Change for you?

How's that Hope and Change thingy working out for you two?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Obama lover? Maybe he can get

Obama lover? Maybe he can get more money if he uses a little tongue around the rim.

Brian Franck's picture

Another one who thinks I support Obama!

Did Mr. Gravel and Mr. St. Jean both observe my voting ballot in the last election? Perhaps an eye exam would be in order here. There is not a need to use one's "tongue" in an eye exam!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Ah, now you are just rimming

Ah, now you are just rimming around the edges.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Do you think we'd do that? We

Do you think we'd do that? We vote early and often, but we don't cheat.

Wow... For a minute...

I thought we were trading barbs with Paul "Vaseline" LePage!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Or, he might get a personal

Or, he might get a personal phone call from the anointed one congratulating him on......Oh, never mind; you know what I mean.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Oh, you said anointed, I

Oh, you said anointed, I misread it. I thought you said ointment.....

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

LMAO....You're good!!

LMAO....You're good!!

Brian Franck's picture

But you are stupid!

The two of you, with your vulgar and unfunny talk, sound like slime balls!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

There you go again with the

There you go again with the name calling, which as we all know, is the last resort of lower echelon mammals who have lost their capacity, assuming they ever had it in the first place, for contributing anything with substance to the conversation. I know that might be a bit long for you to digest, but I'm sure taximan will be pleased to help you with it.

Brian Franck's picture

Are you trying to sound intelligent?

Well, it is not working! "We all know" just how stupid are your and Mr. Gravel's asinine comments. Mr. Lindsey and I both realized early on what kind of dimwits we were dealing with.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Spoken like a true fifth

Spoken like a true fifth grader.

Brian Franck's picture

Spoken like a true Dumbo!

Fifth grade? Is that as far as you went in school? I went much further than that!

Or try this...

Get the politically connected contractor that built that $34 million project and award him to re-purpose St. Joseph's into a building useful for CMMC.

Nothing trumps political connections in Washington.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Crickets, please.

Crickets, please.



MARK GRAVEL's picture

If you want something, bring

If you want something, bring your money to the table. Otherwise you appear to be just a leech.


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