Hey, nobody's perfect. Certainly not me. (Just ask my wife.)
After noticing a Twitter tweet pointing to a Wild Pear Restaurant Facebook post that said they weren't part of the downtown restaurant owners who expressed concerns about food trucks at the July 14, 2014 Salem City Council meeting, I checked the notes I'd taken during the public hearing on this subject.
Couldn't find a mention of Wild Pear, even though I'd mentioned them in a blog post where I'd (correctly) said that representatives of Venti's, Gamberetti's, and Napoleon's said they worried about the effect of downtown food trucks on their businesses.
So I've edited that post, taking out mention of Wild Pear, and also edited a follow-up post that included that erroneous information.
Along with looking through my notes of the July 14 City Council meeting, which I attended in person, I also looked at the CCTV recording of the meeting. Nope, no sign of Wild Pear.
I have no idea why I included Wild Pear along with the other restaurants whose owners did testify at the public hearing. Of course, if I'd had such an idea, I wouldn't have done what I did. Sometimes the reason for what we do in life is mired in mystery.
Anyway, my apologies to the Wild Pear folks. I feel bad about wrongly lumping them in with the other downtown restaurants whose representatives spoke at the City Council meeting.
I need to add, though, that until I read the Facebook post I wasn't aware of the error. Nobody from Wild Pear ever contacted me about the mistake in my blog post. If I'd known about it earlier, I would have corrected it right away.
The good thing about blogs (and also a bad thing, based on how you look at them) is that they are living information sources. Unlike print newspapers, content can be easily changed.
So anyone who finds an error in a blog -- mine or anyone else's -- shouldn't hesitate to contact the writer of the post. Usually mistakes are innocent errors, as happened in this case, not purposeful attempts to malign someone.
Here's what Wild Pear said in the Facebook post:
Dear Friends, fellow Salemites,
We’d like to make a brief statement on the food cart controversy that brewed on social media last week that was reported on by the Statesman Journal: “Hearsay sparks social media fire after food trucks removal”. The title of that article couldn’t be more accurate.
The Wild Pear was not responsible for, and had no part in the asking of the Fusion food cart to vacate its space downtown. From what we have researched it was an issue directly related to and between the property manager and the tenant. In addition, the Wild Pear was not present at a City Council hearing to testify that was held last July, in regard to the food cart ordinances being amended. All the hearsay being printed on social media, and reported on a blog that state otherwise are false. There is evidence to verify that in a live recording of the entire hearing available on You tube and the City recorded minutes dated July 14th 2014.
Before this social media fire storm, there was no Restaurant vs Food Cart war that we were aware of. A select few have stirred the pot, or stoked the coals to try and get one going. What we’re asking of you is to help us STOP it by not being a part of it! Spreading vitriol on social media does unfair damage that can be irreparable. Once something is launched on the internet the ramifications can extend far beyond what your seemingly well-intended comment can do, and with little or no accountability to those words. Just because a person claims it to be, doesn’t make it so. Give each other the consideration of reserving judgement before believing false accusations, and declaring boycotts on people’s businesses. This applies to all of us, in any circumstance, not just businesses with livelihoods to protect of themselves, their employees and their respective families. We appreciate and are grateful to so many of you that have lent us and our fellow restaurant owners your support by not believing or participating in this unfortunate ordeal.
We have our feelings about food carts, and our own desire of perhaps running one someday, and with that, also want appropriate regulation to co-exist with brick and mortar restaurants. There is and can be a way to co-exist and promote the success of both style of food operations that is equitable. One investment or person’s dream does not diminish the other. But that has to happen with civilized, constructive, and reasonable conversation between the people who have a financial stake in the matter and our governing officials that set the guidelines for a fair market. We look forward to the next hearing and furthering the discussion on this issue.
Despite this unfortunate situation there is good news to report! After a long four month closure due to a flood the Wild Pear is finally OPEN again! The food carts got their first pod on Market and Broadway! The farmer’s markets are soon to return to downtown on Wednesdays and northeast of downtown on Saturdays! There are more brick and mortar restaurants and food carts in Salem than ever and our food culture IS growing! Let’s celebrate and report on the good that is happening in Salem, and set our sights on moving onward and upward.
Jessica & Cecilia