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Left In Lowell » 2012 » December

Left In Lowell

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December 30, 2012

Saying Sh!t, When You Have A Mouth Full

by at 1:52 pm.

So often in politics, there are tiny rooms filled with large elephants. Yet, no one will say a goddamned thing.

And so the powers that be have anointed Congressman Ed Markey as the next U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, issuing a well choreographed series of endorsements to his new candidacy to replace John Kerry. Why, even the future Secretary of State got into the act, issuing a statement that sounded like an endorsement. (Probably written by the wordmasters over at Foggy Bottom for the ever so diplomatic Secretary of State in waiting.)

Just a couple of observations on the “process”. It is not clear to me that Ed Markey is the right answer to the question on who has the best shot to hold the seat for Democrats. But far smarter people, with access to data, have determined that he is, so let us concede the point. Nonetheless what has happened here is an injustice to Capuano, Lynch, Downing, and whoever else was thinking about running. I do not come at this question as a “process” diehard, as some of my good Democratic friends do. I like to win, and I like to see things move, and on that basis I understand what happened. But Capuano, Lynch, and Downing deserved better than what they got. And I am fascinated by the utter lack of consistency of some of those in the liberal blogosphere, who have been devoted to “process” and “democracy”, who now turn a blind eye to what is nothing short of putting the fix in. It will just be a bit more difficult to raise objections in the future when it happens with a different set of candidates.

Finally it is worth noting that one pretty big footprint lies on the back of Governor Deval Patrick, who went from a key player in the selection process to an after thought. Since the Markey move the Governor has been marginalized, with the Washington folks just blowing right by him. The Governor is used to doing the big footing, but in this case the role has been reversed.

Thank you, Mayor Bill Manzi.

December 21, 2012

Slow Blogging Holidays Open Thread

by at 1:51 pm.

A new open thread for your enjoyment as we all scramble around trying to get ready for the holidays.

Please take a moment to hold in your mind all those whose Christmas will not be joyful…not just the Sandy Hook family members, but the many people before and since who’ve been victims of violence, particularly gun violence.

And also take the time to enjoy the company of friends and family, because to me celebrating that is part of celebrating the lives of those taken from us. Happy holidays, everyone, whatever it is you celebrate.

PS: did I mention I am grumpy, also, about a special election? Talk about a distraction from our local muni contest. Just sayin’. :)

December 19, 2012

Open Thread: Ms. Heinous Edition

by at 12:06 pm.

I was going to write about the dust up between myself and Deb Forgione. But, Cliff Krieger has a diary finished, so let’s take this squabble over to his blog: Right Side of Lowell.

Please talk about anything, other than Ms. Heinous on this Open Thread.

December 18, 2012

Rest in Peace Tom

by at 6:55 pm.

While watching today’s City Council meeting, I just learned that Tom Byrne passed away.

Most people in LiL nation do not know him but in some ways he was a lot like us, he loved Lowell politics. He belonged to a certain “clan” and did not travel in my circles both socially and certainly ideologically. However, we agreed that civic participation is key to a healthy and prosperous community.

I got to know him when on occasion I was invited on the Saturday morning WCAP talk show. He always treated me with respect, on and off the air.

December 16, 2012

UPDATED: Leahy’s Leap

by at 11:43 pm.

I wanted to point this out now.

From the Blog of the Blog of Record:

WHILE THE City Council’s public vote Tuesday night on approving Auditor Sheryl Wright’s contract was 5-4, the vote whether or not to approve it in executive session gave Wright a little more breathing room.

The roll call in the private session was 6-3, with Councilor John Leahy, who later voted publicly against the contract, voting yes.

Leahy said he did not have a change of heart during the walk from the private session in the mayor’s reception room to the Council Chambers. Leahy said he voted for the final package in executive session, after voting in favor of most of its changes, to get the pact to the floor.

He told The Column he voted against the contract in public because he said he believes the position of auditor should be an appointment, and there should not be a contract in place.

Leahy said he was one of three councilors who voted earlier this fall against negotiating a new contract with Wright.

I have to spend some time pulling all the minutes, ect. together; but trust me when I say, John Leahy had no compunction WHATSOEVER supporting contracts when he was on the School Committee. Especially, a long term contract for Jay Lang.

To be clear, I’m convinced this wrangling by Kennedy and his protege Leahy, is more about the next contract with Lynch, than it is about the Auditor. They are laying a crumb trail, so they can try to evade supporting a contract for the CM in 2014.

Criticize my ‘hunch,’ as you see fit. It’s just that I have noticed that some only bother with the flimsiest of fig leaves, the skantest of plausible denialabilities. It’s because they know some will cry foul, while others will hoist them aloft on shoulders.

This is Lowell. Don’t let the nice guy smiles goad you into complacency.


Lowell City Council to negotiate with embattled auditor
Lyle Moran (9/25/12)

Mayor Patrick Murphy and Councilors Marty Lorrey, Bill Martin, Joseph Mendonca, Rita Mercier and Vesna Nuon voted to enter the negotiations with Wright.
Councilors Rodney Elliott, Ed Kennedy and John Leahy voted against entering negotiations with Wright, who is hired by and reports directly to the council.
Wright told the council she likely would have left Lowell if she did not have a contract. She declined to comment after the meeting.

Kennedy also said he does not see any benefit to the council or city in giving whoever holds the auditor’s position a contract. Leahy, who has only been on the council since earlier this month, said he voted against contract negotiations because he is not a supporter of contracts.
(bold mine)

Well, that was now.

This is then. When John Leahy was on the School Committee and apparently loved him some contracts!

December 15, 2012

Journalists Are Hard To Come By, These Days

by at 10:28 am.

Sometimes the world makes you heartsick.

Eighteen children murdered
Posted by Police Line on December 15th, 2012

That’s what I read about earlier today, and then I looked up, and there sat my 4-month-old daughter staring at me.

When she saw me looking back at her she smiled. That’s the thing; kids have no idea about all the things that we do.

I grabbed Charlotte and carried her around the house a bit, holding her extra tight against my chest.

And then Chris Scott called and asked if I would interrupt my vacation and go to Connecticut to help The Sun’s parent company, Digital First Media, cover the shootings in Newtown, CT.

I believe in what I do. I believe the worst this world has to offer us has to be documented, thought about, reported graphically, and never ignored or forgotten.

I made sure it was okay with my family, I hugged Charlotte, kissed her, told her I loved her, and left.

The comments are closed. Please follow Rob Mills over at The Lowell Sun and share your thoughts with him. He can work with them better than most.

Mary Jo Has Got To Go! - We’ve Been “Queeg’d.”

by at 10:10 am.


(h/t Gerry Nutter)


December 13, 2012

Mary Jo Has Got To Go! - Contract Shenanigans

by at 11:23 pm.


So, Gerry Nutter is all jerked off because Erik Gitschier did his homework and opted to address the issue in public session, as opposed to doing the preferred Santoro work around, over the phone.

It’s not like the warning signs weren’t glaring:



December 12, 2012

Mary Jo Has Got To Go! - Pin The Tail On The Donkey

by at 12:10 am.

The title says it all:

Member of connected Dracut family now on Tech payroll
Posted by sunthecolumn on December 11th, 2012

A member of a politically-connected Dracut family is now employed at the Greater Lowell Technical High School.

Andrew Blatus, son of former Dracut Selectman Michael Blatus Sr. and brother of former Dracut School Committee member Michael C. Blatus, was hired as a guidance counselor.

Superintendent-Director Mary Jo Santoro said Blatus’s family connections had nothing to do with his hiring. “I know the history. I’m not really connected to the family in any way. It wasn’t a consideration in my decision,” said Santoro.

Sadly enough, I believe Santoro in this case. The Blog of the Blog of Record, for some reason, opts to frame this story around partisan politics and release it during the Dracut vote on approving the funding for the GLTHS renovations. (Btw, Dracut approved their part of the funding.) Those pesky Democrats, huh?

What’s really interesting is the cynicism that made this story ’shine’ in the first place. Charges of nepotism hang so heavy out there, at GLTHS, it’s hard to believe the Superintendant, anymore.

December 8, 2012

Gratitude Tour

by at 9:33 pm.

Which was a lot of what was on the menu tonight at Hookslide Kelly’s. Forgive the quality of the vid as it was taken by my cell phone held over my head for the entire time. :)

Warren seemed energetic (I have no idea how after three or more events today) and she expressed a lot of thanks, both specific and general, in her nearly 20 minutes at the podium.

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