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Tis the season! The campaign for city office season, I mean.
For those of you who are not familiar with Stacie Hargis, she’s someone you will see at coordinated campaign offices doing the hard work of campaigning, on the boards of local organizations like COOL, or (formerly) working for US Rep. Niki Tsongas. I’m pretty excited to see what she will do in her campaign.
I captured as best I could her speech tonight at her kickoff at Cobblestones:
The Primary is one week from yesterday.
A note from Ariela: This is the same night as the fund raiser for the bombing victims being held at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center. It is understood that at 6pm, many of the attendees will be walking over to the ICC for that event, as well. I hope to see you all soon.
So we didn’t make a huge fuss about this in January, and we should have, because the new show we’re doing on LTC, “Threads,” is a lot of hard work and we’re proud of it! In case you missed it on Facebook or elsewhere, Threads is a hyperlocal cable access TV show with great local hosts and even greater local guests! Everything current affairs, culture, history, arts, politics or government is fair game. The aim is to bring new voices and diverse points of view together for a one hour show once a month.
Today we wrapped our studio segments (with a couple more field pieces to come), where this month’s host Corey Sciuto interviewed Dick Howe about his new book, Legendary Locals of Lowell (Facebook page here), and Joy Mosenfelder, coordinator for the Coalition for a Better Acre’s new program, Merrimack Valley Time Exchange. They were both great topics and timely, with Dick’s book coming out on Monday, and the MV Time Exchange looking for new members for its pilot program…people willing to give an hour of their own talent to get an hour from another person with a skill they need.
To keep abreast, I recommend Liking our Facebook page, and if you missed our pilot episode, you can catch it in segments or as a full episode at our website LowellThreads.com. Our first episode focused on the Master Plan draft that the city held public meetings on in January.
If you are interested in seeing what it takes to do a show on cable access, have a great idea for a segment, or want to become part of the team, we have plenty to do and never enough hands to do it, so email us at producers [at] lowellthreads.com (copy and paste, replace spaces and [at] with @)!
Think the sequester doesn’t affect us? Think again.
Even the Lowell Sun knows better.
If automatic federal funding cuts go into effect Friday, Lowell National Historical Park officials expect they will have to cut about $415,000 from its budget, eliminating travel for employees and park funding for programs like the Lowell Folk Festival and the Tsongas Industrial History Center.
The National Park Service has asked individual parks to prepare to cut 5 percent from their budgets, but exactly what will happen when the automatic cuts, known as sequestration, go into effect still isn’t clear, said Celeste Bernardo, the Lowell park superintendent.
“The uncertainty is really difficult,” she said.
And I have news for the Republicans among us: The projected deficit has been cut pretty dramatically and it’s gone down already, without these draconian, stupid, self-inflicted and painful slashes to our important programs and services. And it is a LACK OF GROWTH that is killing our revenues and fueling huge deficits. The last thing you should be doing in a still-recovering economy is laying off teachers and fire fighters and reducing spending on projects like roads and bridges. All of those jobs are full of people who, when employed, SPEND MONEY and create economic activity. Guess what they do when they get laid off? They stop spending!
Due to, well, the proclivities of winter, Winterfest has officially been postponed two weeks by the City of Lowell.
LOWELL WINTERFEST IS HIBERNATING FOR TWO MORE WEEKS!
Pending Storm and Crowd Safety Force the City of Lowell and WinterFest Committee to Delay the Annual Celebration Until February 22 & 23
This year’s WinterFest is in brief HIBERNATION! Earlier today, February 6th, the WinterFest Committee made the difficult decision to postpone the 13th Annual Lowell WinterFest event due to an extreme winter weather advisory that calls for well over a foot of snow to fall in the immediate area over the next several days.
The WinterFest Committee is currently hard at work on logistics for this change in schedule, and encourages the public to visit Lowell.org and LowellWinterFest.org for program updates as they happen. As of today, all the major components of the event — the Microbrew Competition, the Soup Bowl Competition, Club Celsius Live Music Tent, and the National Human Dogsled Competition — are still taking place as planned.
For now, we hope you will save the NEW dates for the 13th Annual WinterFest and please plan on joining us in Lowell in TWO weeks!
The 13th Annual Lowell WinterFest
New Dates! Friday, February 22 & Saturday, February 23
Visit LowellWinterFest.org for event updates!
If you haven’t heard, local history buff Richard Howe, Jr. is co-author of a new book in Arcadia Publishing’s Legendary Locals series. Legendary Locals of Lowell features stories about the movers and shakers of Lowell’s history, from its founding, to modern times. From the book’s official description:
When Nathan Appleton and his colleagues built their first textile mill on the banks of the Merrimack River in 1822, they were pursuing the vision of their departed mentor, Francis Cabot Lowell. The complex system of machinery, labor, management, and capital that resulted made the city that they named Lowell the centerpiece of America’s Industrial Revolution. Changes in technology and commerce made the golden age of Lowell’s mills short lived. Despite the success of businesses such as the patent medicine company of James C. Ayer, jobs remained scarce for decades. Hard times created strong leaders–people like Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers, who sponsored the G.I. Bill, and writer Jack Kerouac, who added a new voice to the country’s literary mix. More recently, Paul Tsongas inspired a new generation to transform Lowell into one of the most exciting mid-sized cities in post-industrial America and a world model of urban revitalization. Legendary Locals of Lowell tells the city’s story through pictures of its people.
You can preorder from Amazon here. The book will be released on March 11, 2013. If you object to buying from Amazon (some people do, and there are good reasons), you can be alerted from the publisher’s page when it will be available and of course, it’ll be sold locally in stores…I imagine copies will be in the window of the UML bookstore downtown. They better get a lot of copies, because I know a lot of people will want to get one!
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!
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.
Speaking of Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren, if you haven’t heard it yet, she will be in Lowell this weekend on a stop of her “Starting with People” tour, Saturday, Dec 8th, at 5:30pm at Hookslide Kelly’s at 19 Merrimack St. I’m sure the turnout will be pretty big, with lots of notables on hand.
Then the real work will begin for our new Junior Senator!
I could not, alas, make it to the Tanner St public meeting last night due to another obligation, but Dick Howe has a post with a report.
This is my neck of the woods, so I’m keenly interested in things like proposed realignments for the south end of Tanner St, and the different ideas for connecting the Connector better to the district. The first addresses the major problem of bottleneck at the Connector exit; it’s a nightmare sometimes to try to get onto Tanner St which abuts real close to, but does not align with, the Connector exits and entrances, with the light at Target being right afterwards. Then you add all the 18-wheeler, tow truck, and truck traffic trying to get access from Plain to the industrial end of Tanner, and you can well imagine that something like a Connector exit/entrance at Howard St (the left-turn at the north end of Tanner) would allow the truck traffic more direct access, alleviating that problem as well. I’m not sure that can be done, but if it can, it’d be a significant improvement for both area residents trying to get home as well as attractive to potential new industrial companies who would have direct truck access without tangling with much city traffic.
Anyway, there’s lots of talk about a trail along the River Meadow Brook, which is cool, and trying to figure out how to allow access to and use of East Pond, another natural asset. Also discussion about improvements to Tanner like good sidewalks (boy would that be welcome) and trees, land use studies to figure out any zoning changes, and how to fluff up the pretty dismal entrances into the district.
The big problem with long term plans for an area such as this is that what might be judged to be attractive to businesses now may not in the future. However, I feel that the folks behind this plan have taken a realistic and balanced approach - noting that grandiose, single-company large-scale buildings are not the way to go, but to create a place where small and medium sized industrial companies can buy or lease subdivisions, while making sure to accommodate existing businesses, of which there are many.
More information on Tanner is on the City’s webpage, including maps, meeting materials, and hopefully soon, the draft proposal.
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