Left In Lowell

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July 31, 2012

Folk Fest Snippets

by at 6:57 pm.

So I know it ended a couple days ago, but I was just reviewing my Qik video, the bits I did record, and they came out quite decent. So I thought I’d post them for your enjoyment.

I was particularly pleased with the quality of the sound of the Lúnasa video.


I got a much shorter segment of Joan Soriano at the Dutton St Pavilion.


This new phone is splendid at taking videos for Qik, I ought to get in the habit of using it again.

A Room With A View, Room 50

by at 6:13 pm.

Meet the Mayor’s new media effort:

Photobucket

The Brushback of C.Lorrey

by at 7:24 am.

Back in June,

It was interesting to see C.Lorrey pop his head up, like he did. In less than one news cycle he picked the LPD’s OT budget’s pocket (I support that cut, btw) and came up with the scoop on the parking whistleblower. This makes me nervous, but I’m the nervous type. Ever the affable guy, Lorrey may not be able to shuck and grin his way through such political mayhem. The long knives are being palmed, hidden from view. This is not a good time to be “Johnny on the spot.” Anyone who has ever seen Goodfellas knows, it is your friends that come for you. They come with smiles.

With just a few months under his belt, the freshman Councilor boldly stepped up, implementing campaign promises and pushing through some of the rhetorical fodder glomming up the dialogue in the Council Chamber. Lorrey pressed hard on several issues, including the facilities at the High School, the squabble over the soccer field sewer pipe and, more recently, the use of “other” city authorities to squelch the unruliness downtown.

For this, the Blog of Record has thrown a fastball, high and inside.
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July 30, 2012

Campi’s Contortions

by at 3:13 pm.

Compare and Contrast:

Unfortunately, the 2006 council which hired a new city manager, Bernie Lynch, and the 2007-elected council gave the chief executive more and more latitude to govern without exercising the checks-and-balances prescribed in the charter. The 2009 council did the same. While the 2011 council has shown a desire to reclaim its authoritative charge, it still seems reluctant to provide the necessary oversight where warranted.

vs.

… It is time to give Bernie Lynch a chance. He’ll have enough challenges to deal with and doesn’t need to be compared with John Cox. That’s not fair. Of course, some people will do that and criticize every move Lynch makes. Bernie has to be his own manager, and the council has to rely on his skills and trust his judgment. Lowell needs to heal the wounds of the past few months and get on with a new era and a new way of thinking. The next election is when voters should state their case.

(more…)

July 27, 2012

Come check out UnchARTed’s NEW DIGS!

by at 3:18 pm.

I grabbed this from Facebook. This will be one of the best “happenings” of the weekend.

We have put together an excellent exhibit of new art from our roster of artists/members.
Our first night, Friday July 27th from 6pm to 10pm.
Come check out some amazing art at our new gallery at 66 Merrimack St. in beautiful downtown Lowell….
Take a tour of our studios around the corner at 9 Central St. (take elevator to floor 5)
Enter our drawing for a FREE MEMBERSHIP to join our revolution!
Get the juicy details on our upcoming GRAND OPENING in the fall….
Saturday July 28th we are open from NOON TIL 11:30PM…. Come enjoy our spiffy new gallery featuring brandy new hardwood floors, ice cold air conditioning, crisp white walls covered with AMAZING NEW ART!!! Meet the artists, tour their studios, learn about the benefits of membership and stick around for a GREAT NIGHT OF LIVE MUSIC!!!

Here’s the lineup:


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Light In The Lobby

by at 10:01 am.

Yes, the process over filling a vacant seat at GLTHS is a bit shady. Let there be light? I’m intrigued.

Mayor Patrick Murphy, who also chairs the School Committee, said he was approached by Krieger, Boutin, Montoya and Hogan about their interest in the seat. Murphy said if Lenzi resigns, he would like to have an interview process for the candidates.

“When the time does come, if it does come, there ought to be a clear process in place so that it doesn’t just become the people who lobby the hardest get the most votes,” said Murphy.

“We’ll get a better sense of what people’s vision is for that school and what their background is. It’s fairer for the public and it’s not just a backroom lobbying deal,”he added.

I envision a process very similar to the last phase of the last Lowell Public Schools Superintendent search process. The “finalists” will be interviewed in the Council Chamber by those with voting authority, which is the combined membership of the City Council and School Committee. This would happen under the public eye, with LTC present. The final vote and choice would be informed by the process.

The premise rests on a fundamental principle of Mayor Murphy, performance based governance. The candidates would be judged on tangible policy points and presentation. It would be merit based. It’s a “job interview.” We get it.

But, …
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July 25, 2012

Lowell Sister City Initiative

by at 4:30 pm.

Salmira and I are happy to be part of this effort. We’ll be reaching out to more folks in the thriving Brazilian community, here in Lowell.

Mayor Murphy Seeking Nominations for Sister City Task Force Members and Sister City Committee Chairpeople
Lowell, MA – Mayor Patrick Murphy is currently seeking nominations for a five-member Sister City Task Force. This Task Force, whose meetings will be chaired by either the mayor or a named representative, will develop strategic goals and provide guidance for the Lowell Sister City Initiative.

In addition, Mayor Murphy is seeking Committee Chairs who will work to maintain and strengthen Lowell’s individual Sister City relationships.

For each Sister City, a Committee Chair will lead a group of interested citizens who will plan and implement ways to maintain the international relationship. The exact nature, frequency, and duration of the meetings will be determined by the Committee Chair and other committee members, as will the ways that the committee chooses to interact with the counterpart Sister City.

Any City of Lowell resident is eligible to serve on this Task Force or as a Committee Chair. All interested persons should submit a resume, along with a brief cover letter explaining their desire to work with Sister Cities, to the Mayor’s Office via e-mail (mayor@lowellma.gov) by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 10.

The nine Sister Cities listed on the City of Lowell’s website are: Limerick, Ireland; St. Die des Vosges, France; Nairobi, Kenya; Barclayville, Liberia; Lobito, Angola; Winneba, Ghana; Bamenda, Cameroon; Berdyansk, Ukraine; and Bryansk, Russia.

Individuals interested in forming committees to establish new Sister City relationships are encouraged to contact the Mayor’s office by e-mailing mayor@lowellma.gov or calling (978) 674-1551.

Sister City relationships can serve several purposes. Primarily, they are an opportunity for direct educational and cultural exchange between citizens of different nations. In some cases, the relationships can grow to include business and travel connections, but at their most basic, elemental level, Sister City relationships can simply be a way to improve our residents’ knowledge about world geography, world cultures, and international communication.

For any questions about information contained in this press release, please contact Greg Page at (978) 674-1551 or e-mail gpage@lowellma.gov .

July 24, 2012

Updated: Romney’s Rant Wrong - Case Closed

by at 7:12 am.

The conservative folks in America have been making quite a bit of hay with this quote by President Obama:

If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

In an effort to distract from the refusal of Mitt Romney to release more of his tax returns, the GOP noise machine has focused on the quote above, flogging it like the proverbial dead horse.

So convinced in the focus group tested power of this meme, the Romney campaign crafted this TV ad:


“My father’s hands didn’t build this company? My hands didn’t build this company? My son’s hands aren’t building this company? … President Obama, you’re killing us out here. Through hard work and a little bit of luck, we built this business. Why are you demonizing us for it?”

The problem is ….
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July 23, 2012

A Note From Jen Myers

by at 9:49 pm.

With permission, I lifted this note for those of you that don’t use Facebook.

Wow. Today has been overwhelming, almost like being at my own funeral (in a good way, without being dead). Thank you all so much for your support, kind words and friendship. I am excited about this new adventure, wherever it takes me, but that doesn’t mean I will turn my back on where I have been. I have spent the last 12 years hanging around the Sun newsroom in a variety of roles from stringer to Valley Dispatch reporter, Tyngsboro/Pelham reporter, Billerica (which is da bomb) reporter, City Hall reporter and most recently Senior Writer. I have worked with amazingly talented people, too many to list here. The newsroom is a unique place full of unique people and completely inappropriate humor, which makes it fun and a great place to be every day. It is a place where I met some of my best friends and the best people I have ever known, with whom I know I will remain friends for life.
I have had the opportunity to fly over the city (and Fenway Park) in a helicopter, spend a day at Shriners’ Hospital with awesome Billerica firefighter Phil Tammaro who was himself treated there for burns as a child and now gives back to the hospital, cover the wedding of two dogs in Westford (one of who was dying of cancer), and have been allowed into countless homes and lives of people in the best and worst times of their lives.
In my time covering City Hall, I learned an enormous amount about municipal government, finance, and planning, from the best municipal administration in the game, filled with brilliant, talented, funny, real people at all levels. I learned a lot about how the city rolls from a bevy of dedicated City Councilors, including my energetic, visionary new boss.
I also learned a ton about education from three great superintendents, their talented support staff, and the committed and hard working School Committee members I have encountered in the 5 years I have spent covering the School Department.
Most importantly I have fallen in love. In love with the city my Great-Great-Great Grandfather Ferdinand Longtin came to from Quebec in 1876, seeking work in the mills. A city whose diversity, neighborhood leaders, culture, food, natural beauty, history and passion make it the most amazing city on Earth. That is why people come and why they don’t leave; why generations upon generations of families call Lowell home.
I am excited about this new job, in which I can use all of the skills I have honed over the years and build upon the relationships I have formed. It is a comfort to know I am going to work in a building where I already have many very good friends and in a city where I hope to make many more while helping the Mayor’s office better serve and effectively communicate to the residents. I have HUGE clown-sized shoes to fill. Greg Page has done a remarkable job in his brief time in the office and I only hope I can live up to the example he has set of professionalism, organization and graciousness.

Update: The outgoing aide, Greg Page, jots on his blog, The New Englander: …And Now, a Brief Pause for Jenuflection

Jen Myers Quits Sun, Now Aide to the Mayor

by at 7:50 am.

Buckle your seatbelt Dorothy, ’cause Kansas is going bye-bye!”

The next few days will be frantic in the bubble. I expect the Mayor to stand stoic, with that easy confidence he puts on so well. The frantic will come from Campi’s camp. They will not know whether to shit or go blind.

Alternate diary titles: Defection Perfection, The Juice is Loose, …

Update: PRESS RELEASE Patrick Murphy announces new Mayoral Aide in City Hall
(more…)

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