Left In Lowell

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February 9, 2014

Panic over TEH SEX!

by at 9:55 am.

On further examination of the agenda for Tuesday, one that appears to be fairly innocuous is this:

C. Mercier – Req. City Mgr. have proper department provide a report as to current status and future proposed plans for Mill #5 building on Jackson St. located in the Hamilton Canal District.

Though usually anything like this brought up by Rita Mercier has some sort of “someone called me and complained” attached to it, it seems like a good discussion we should have, as Mill No 5 comes online and artists, craftspeople, and businesses move in and open up shop.

However, the most likely explanation for this motion from Rita is that someone did call her and complain, given what is happening behind the scenes. I happen to know the story, so I thought I would elucidate. You see, this entire motion is most likely all about…”TEH SEX.”

The back history is this: Mill No 5 is soon to go in front of the ZBA for a special permit to allow massage parlors in their building. My understanding is that there’s at least one tenant lined up who wants to offer those services there. Now, next to where Mill No 5 is being created, there are condos which were developed by the same owners (Lichoulas). There is, apparently, a couple of people who live in the condos who have convinced themselves, apropos of nothing and without any evidence, that said massage parlors are not just for relaxing massages…but you know, wink wink, one of those types of establishments. (Dick Howe also believes this motion is likely made on behalf of this complaint in his weekly review.)

It’s patently ridiculous, but these people are going around in a panic, claiming that there will be happy ending massages, a porno theatre (Mill No 5 is building out a 200-seat theatre, which is not a porno theatre, but an arts/indy theatre) and that the neighborhood will become some sort of Red Light district. They have gone to all the neighbors, surrounding businesses, to the ZBA and to City Councilors with their claim.

Personally, I think bringing this motion forward (I’m 99.9% sure these people talked to Rita and this is why this is on the agenda) makes Rita Mercier look like a fool - because with a little research, or perhaps talking to the developer, other residents of that building, or to Bernie Lynch’s office or DPD, or heck, the ZBA, Rita could have realized that this zOMG SEX PARLOR madness is the brainchild of fringe type people who are (at best) making assumptions with zero evidence. Look, I’m all for citizen engagement, but if every crank or crazy in the city with some loony opposition to something that will never exist got the ear of the Council, all we’d be doing is fielding these types of motions all night, every week.

6 Responses to “Panic over TEH SEX!”

  1. Eric J Says:

    No no! We wouldn’t want anybody speculating without any evidence!

  2. joe from Lowell Says:

    Nativity scenes. Going after bike lanes and solar panels. Now this.

    Rita Mercier, and others, are consciously pursuing an old-Lowell-vs.-New-Lowell wedge politics strategy.

    A strategy like that is doomed in the long run, but I’m sure it will work quite for the number of years that Rita has left to her Council tenure.

    It’s not dissimilar to the Republicans running against gay people, immigrants, and cultural liberals in the 00s: effective in the short run, and by the time it bites them in the ass, it will be somebody else’s problem.

  3. Realistic Joe Says:

    I agree with you joe. The strange thing is that there is zero chance Rita will lose a city council election anytime soon. It’s not just typical political pandering. This seems personal. During the election it appeared that she would be the swing vote on many issues including the city manager. Since then things have changed. Someone must have really pissed her off because she is on a one woman crusade against the cities progressives.

  4. joe from Lowell Says:

    Realistic Joe,

    The personal is political, and the political can be very personal.

    I think Rita Mercier wants her country back, in the Tea Party sense.

  5. Gail Says:

    Thank you for the explanation. I looked at that and said, they sent Hamilton Canal District development to the economic subcommittee. Can’t they move on until something comes back from the committee?

    So is massage to be allowed at 80 Middlesex Street (Oasis Day Spa in The Club Fitness, but not elsewhere in the Hamilton Canal District?

  6. Lynne Says:

    To be fair…this *could* be a case where someone bent Rita’s ear and she didn’t have the filters to stop and think for a second, hey, wait, this sounds weird, let me look into it before I bring this forward…

    Or, it could be some sort of anti-Lichoulas thing? I don’t know the status of the Mercier-Lichoulas relationship.

    But whatever this is, one thing it definitely is, is really dumb and a waste of our time.

    By the way, tomorrow at 6:30 is the ZBA meeting where the license will be discussed, so people are welcome to go in support (or opposition, I suppose, if you are bent that way…)

    BTW, one explanation about Rita vs. progressives might be that she endorsed Scott Brown over Elizabeth Warren, and a lot of local Dems are pretty mad. People who were friends of hers and longtime supporters, just regular voters, said they would never vote for her again. I suspect she lost a few friends over it. (You can’t be a registered member of a party and a public elected official, endorse the other side when you have a perfectly great candidate on your side, simply because you hated the mayor at the time and he endorsed Warren, and not expect blowback…)

    Yes, all politics is personal to Rita. For better or worse.

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