Left In Lowell

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July 17, 2012

Public Meeting: UML North Campus and Traffic

by at 11:17 am.

Of interest to anyone who ever tries to drive over the river into Pawtucketville and Centralville (and back), UMass Lowell is hosting a public meeting to talk about North Campus area traffic affected by the new buildings UML is building there.

The East Pawtucketville Neighborhood Group invites you to a Community Meeting sponsored by UMass Lowell to learn more about the big changes taking place in regard to traffic in our neighborhood.

Monday, July 23, 2012
6:30-8:00 pm
Alumni Hall
UMass Lowell North Campus

There will be a formal presentation on traffic impacts, and the Chancellor will be present from 6:30-7:30 pm to listen to concerns and answer questions. The City will also have representatives there as well talking about bridges and traffic.

Here’s what an active neighborhood group can do for you, as the East Pawtucketville Neighborhood Group instigated this meeting. By the way, you can keep up with their doings and meetings on Facebook by liking their page.

Gratitude

by at 8:43 am.

Nothing brings out the community like a neighborhood disaster.

A backup of traffic, and a lot of sirens going by, got me to leave my TV (where I was actually keenly interested in one of the last new episodes of “The Closer”) to go see what was up. A neighbor pointed to the twilight sky, where a column of smoke was rising. Heart in my throat hoping it wasn’t some family’s house, or apartment, I headed down the street. Admittedly, I was not being an intrepid reporter, and didn’t take my smartphone with me for vid or photo or tweeting, but in a way, I was more a neighbor in this case than a blogger.

Hiking down Main St (Lincoln was seriously backed up both ways by rubbernecking and street cutoffs), I think every single neighbor was outside trying to make out what was going on. I gleamed some rumors and such from people I passed, but largely what I was told turned out to be actually correct according to the Sun. It was a commercial storage shed, not a residence, and that gave me some relief.

It was a pretty tough looking fire, where something inside there was burning pretty bad. Even once they seemed to have some control, the fire kept coming back, only to be doused again, and then back.

Our city’s finest did a great job protecting nearby property. At one point I saw a few adjacent tree limbs on fire, and given how dry our state is right now (if my lawn is any indication), that could have spelled disaster. Luckily no homes were in danger.

Over and over in my head, I thanked the stars I live in a state, and city, that believes in the Common Good, and not that we’re all on our own. Unlike some states and counties, we have striven not to gut our fire and police services, nor to force families to watch their homes burn to the ground with their pets inside for forgetting to pay a specific fee. Examples of why paying for our Common Good should not be voluntary or optional. Whether a $75 fee forgotten or not paid (or not affordable), or a corporation or very wealthy person paying zero dollars in taxes, it amounts to the same thing.

We’re all in this country together, and in many things, we’re better together than apart, and we should not punish the good people willing to donate to charity or service organizations, but consider it one’s duty as a citizen to pay into the pot so that we can all flourish. After all, a healthy society is actually better for even the most fortunate among us, in the end.

And above all, I’m grateful for the fact there are some brave people out there willing to put themselves in danger to help others. Grateful to the firefighters who are here to protect us, whether it’s a non-occupied commercial building, or a home where lives need saving. Thanks guys.

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