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Left In Lowell » 2013 » January

Left In Lowell

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January 31, 2013

Lynch Rides Markey’s, Circa 1976, Coattails?

by at 12:08 pm.

Crossposted from BlueMassGroup:

This diary originally started as a comment over on danfromwaltham’s diary: Stephen Lynch will go to Washington to stand up, not fit in

I thought better of it, and came to the conclusion to write such a comment would be taking a giant squat on Dan’s effort to promote Lynch. Thus, tantamount to ‘hijacking.’ As we endeavor to play nice, this Primary season, I chose to take my observation and remarks away from Dan’s work, placing it here, to stand on it’s own.

Please note the closing frame of the recently debuted Lynch ad, as seen on Youtube:

 photo FirstLynchSenateYTAd_zps4d9b9026.jpg


January 30, 2013

This Is Not Supt. Santoro’s Fault

by at 3:19 pm.

Why aren’t the GLTHS meeting episodes available for us to watch on LTC, at our convenience?

 photo LTCMuniList_zps4761bb51.jpg

The episodes are aired on LTC’s CH.99. You can watch them when they air, but only then.

 photo LTCMuniCh99_zpseaf8f8a9.jpg

Why are the GLTHS School Committee public meetings not available in the LTC video archives?

The next time you call a GLTHS School Committee member, y’know, to tell them “Mary Jo Has Got To Go!”, please ask them to get the meeting videos archived on LTC. Wouldn’t it be nice to check in on them, when the schedule works for us?

If LTC can air them, then they have the video data to stream it. I’m betting LTC would archive the meeting, if they could. Who knows what’s up?

January 28, 2013

Info Meeting About Markey On Tuesday

by at 12:50 pm.

Dick Howe and Marie Sweeney are hosting an informational meeting on Ed Markey Tuesday night, at the Pollard Library first floor at 7pm. The purpose is to:

learn about Ed Markey’s background, position on the issues, and voting record in Congress. We will also discuss the likely timetable for the special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat now held by John Kerry.

First, I have to say, way to jump in there Markey people - that’s being on the ball. Second, it’s a huge plus in Markey’s favor that Dick Howe is already on that bandwagon. I respect and admire Dick a lot on matters both issue-oriented and on electoral horserace stuff. He doesn’t always pick a favorite in a Democratic primary (and it does appear we’ll have one) so I feel that’s actually somewhat significant.

He also says:

Ed Markey has represented Massachusetts in Congress since 1976. He has a long and distinguished record but few outside his Congressional District, which is centered in his home town of Malden, know him very well. I’ve studied Ed Markey’s record very closely and I like what I see. I will be enthusiastically supporting him in this race. As I’ve talked about his candidacy, many people in Greater Lowell have told me they would like to know more about him. That’s the purpose of this meeting. Even if you’re on the fence, please join us and listen to what we have to say. There’s no commitment and everyone is invited.

If you are interested in the campaign, please go to the “Lowell for Ed Markey” page on Facebook and “like” us. That’s the best way to get information and to follow events. If you want to communicate with me directly, send an email to DickHoweJr[at]gmail.com. Thanks, and I hope to see you Tuesday night.

I’ll probably see folks there, if my other project (and the reason that Jack and I have been a bit too busy to post a lot lately) is finished and ready to launch. Yeah, that’s right, pay attention to this space later on this week, we have a really cool announcement!

January 25, 2013

Steve Lynch & Brown’s Cardboard Cutout

by at 1:05 pm.

It’s sorta official:

US Representative Stephen F. Lynch plans to announce next week that he will challenge his congressional colleague Edward J. Markey for the Democratic nomination in the special US Senate election to fill John F. Kerry’s seat, according to people with direct knowledge of his decision.

Lynch is set to unveil his run within several days after Kerry’s expected confirmation as President Obama’s secretary of state, those people said.

The problem for Lynch, imho, is that he’ll have to campaign by lugging around a cardboard cutout of Scott Brown with him. At most events, Lynch will have to strike a pose with his arm around it. This puts Steve Lynch in a tough spot. He can’t run against ‘Scott Brown,’ as many conservaDems & right leaning Unenrolleds identify with what Brown pretended to stand for. But, Lynch can’t openly embrace ‘Brown,’ either.

Ed Markey will run inside the Dem’s base, carefully articulating his progressive record.

If Lynch wins the primary, he will have the sharper pivot. Lynch’s ‘Goldilocks Zone‘ will be much harder for his consultants to craft and damn near impossible for Lynch to stay in. The media will dog his ass, enthralled as he wobbles, maintaining his delicate fence straddling balance.

One thing for sure, the party at Lenzi’s will be amaaaaaazing!

Update: Who is Lynch meeting with in Lowell?

Lynch spoke to the Reporter on his way up to the Dorchester offices of SEIU 1199, the healthcare workers union. “One of the news outlets said I had announced, and I had a date and I had an event planned and all this stuff, and that was totally premature. We’re still – obviously I’m here to talk with the SEIU, I just left the plumbers’ union hall,” Lynch said. “I’ve got some people that I’ve got to talk to up in Lowell and Haverhill tomorrow. So we’re still, we’re still, you know, doing the outreach that we need to do to measure our support, to make sure that if we get into this thing, that we can run a good strong campaign.”

January 21, 2013

Go Big or Go Home!

by at 9:15 pm.

Update: Maria Sheehy’s landing at UML was soft.

Sheehy will be assistant to the provost for faculty affairs and compliance, a new job. According to a job description provided by the university, Sheehy will provide “advice and counsel” to various provosts, vice provosts and deans on collective bargaining and other personnel matters.


The chattering sage spurred the Bubblenistas to wonder:

The other dynamic to watch in the council race is the potential of two young professionals, one male and one female, running. I had a pretty strong indication that both are poised for a campaign this fall. …

I had some ideas of my own, as to who Wallace was referring to. But, Gerry Nutter sniffed out some leads and offered two names:

It didn’t take long for people to start to speculate who he was talking about. Two names that have floated to the top of the bubble are:

Marie Sheehy who has worked part-time for the City Law dept. for many years

Former Acting City Clerk Brian Leahy who also at one time worked for the City Law dept.

A retort to Gerry’s speculation was quickly blurted out on The Blog of The Blog of Record.

Longtime Assistant City Solicitor Maria Sheehy’s last day working for the city was this past Friday, but The Column Blog has learned she is expected to land on her feet in the near future, possibly at UMass Lowell, in a role that would, of course, enable her to use her legal prowess.

Sheehy, who would not confirm her next destination, said Monday she is moving on after 15 years with the city because she is looking for a job that presents her with the opportunity to learn new things.

“I’m really hungry for new challenges,” said Sheehy, the daughter of former Lowell city manager and state senator Paul Sheehy. Sheehy, 46, is also seeking a full-time job.

If no one has an objection, I think I’ll venture a guess: With Gerry Leone bowing out, Maria Sheehy is mulling over a run for Middlesex DA.

January 18, 2013

GLTHS Students Create Magic

by at 7:55 pm.

Via Jen Myers on Facebook, this awesome story on the Patriot’s website. I can’t embed the video (darn NFL and their tight hold on all things) but go and see it.

The group of students completed a nearly 10-month tile mosaic picture honoring Myra Kraft and the Patriots. They, as the video explains, wanted to give Bob Kraft and the team something they could touch when leaving the locker room, and for that a painting wouldn’t work very well. They completed it on time for this weekend’s AFC Championships and to thank them, Kraft asked them to come to the game this weekend.

The mosaic is really awesome looking, top rate and really polished and precise, and what a cool project. It reminds you that no matter what the bad press and problems we talk about here regarding the school’s board and leadership, the students and the teachers are hard at the work and achieving great things.

Have fun at the game this weekend, kids!!

January 15, 2013

Addressing the Core Transit Issue

by at 8:45 am.

I was watching local news this morning and they had a segment on Governor Patrick’s and MassDOT’s new transportation plan (pdf). I think I owe the Governor a small apology as the things listed prominently as revenue sources for addressing the structural deficits, crumbing infrastructure, and needed transportation investments included MBTA fee hikes. I was all set to write a huffy blog post about that, and I will get to that in a minute, but it appears that the mention of MBTA fee increases is modest, if anything, in the actual report, so now I’m a little miffed at Channel 7 instead.

Since that early report, I have heard the Governor on WBUR on my way into work (audio not up yet) and read some online articles like on Boston.com and skimmed the revenue section of the report itself (as linked above). I have to say, the plan/report takes the situation pretty head on and has a very wide net in its revenue suggestions. And the report is not Boston-centric; although of course most of the public transit is in the Boston area, there is a call for a Boston-Springfield line (long overdue) and other projects. (more…)

January 13, 2013

You Wouldn’t Like Him When He’s Angry

by at 11:53 am.

You don’t pull on Superman’s cape. You don’t spit into the wind. You don’t pull the mask off that ol’ Lone Ranger and you don’t mess around with Dick Jr.

There are a lot of unwritten laws that govern our local political soup…one of the immutable ones is not to push Dick Howe, Jr past his vast store of patience and diplomacy. Dick is one of the nicest guys I know, and one of the most positive and upbeat bloggers in the local ’sphere. But I’ve seen him angry in person. Twice. At deserving someones who reached his pretty high bar of stupidity. One of those was up close. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever witnessed, and I vowed, right then and there, that I would never, ever do anything that would piss off Dick Howe.

Okay, that’s a tiny bit of hyperbole, but still. Seriously. If you get this sort of post indirectly aimed at you from Dick, then you are really, really screwed. A sample:

As a kid I spent countless hours in the Lowell library and I’m a regular visitor now, not just to check out books but to sit and do research for extended periods of time. I’ve always found it to be an orderly, interesting and safe place, but something must have changed because watching the city council meeting this past Tuesday night, I was left with the impression that the city library had become a haven for sex offenders and other miscreants and that nothing was being done about it. I knew it had to be a dire situation because I had looked at the council agenda and nowhere on it was there any notice that sex offenders at the library would be a topic for discussion at that meeting and I hoped, at least, that councilors would not gratuitously engage in “agenda by ambush” unless it was an extreme emergency.

Summoning some courage, I headed for the Pollard midday on Saturday…

Go read the whole thing. It’s pretty devastating.

January 11, 2013

Mary Jo Has Got To Go! - Mixed Bag

by at 9:16 pm.

Take a gander:


It should go without saying, I’m nervous about this School Committee meeting behind closed doors with that Superintendent. If it makes you nervous too, make yourself feel better and give the School Committee members a call. Their contact info is here. While you’re chatting with Ray Boutin, please be sure to give him mad props for the motion above. (When I texted him, he said the Agenda was going to be amended, as it should be a co-motion with Erik Gitschier.)

January 10, 2013

Yes, I am troubled!

by at 8:53 pm.

Chris, Dick and Gerry have already posted on this past week’s City Council meeting. but I want to focus on a couple of issues. First, I have been closely following City poliitics for decades and have been blogging on this issue for about 7 years. Last Tuesday’s meeting was a low point.

I have lived in Lowell for decades under the rule of many City Councils but Tuesday night’s performance left me wonder what happened to meetings that focused on pubilc policy issues. When did the City Council meetings turn into petty inside political football?

I want to focus on the comments of City Councilor Ed Kennedy or should I say his accusatory questioning of the City Manager:

The agenda item on the floor was the appointment of my good friend, Cliff Krieger to the Licensing Commission. He is a good citizen, intelligent, kind and fair. He will do a great job serving this City. I am quite glad that he chose to answer this call to duty has he had all the other previous ones.

Here is a 7-minute video clip of the meeting. (You can watch the entire meeting courtesy of your public access television stations, LTC. The video is available through their website or as repeat on Channel 99).


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