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Category: Local Issues

Plastic Bag Ban Ordinance Tonight!

Plastic Bag Ban Ordinance Tonight!

Tonight, the City Council will hold the public hearing on the the plastic bag ban ordinance! This is a great first step not only to reducing our dependence on single-use plastic, but on keeping our streets (and trees!) clean. The item on the agenda is officially “Item 4.1 Ordinance-Amend Ch. 270 By Creating A New Section Prohibiting Single-Use Plastic Bags.” Check out the full proposed ordinance here (PDF). Any retail or grocery store 3,000 sq. ft. or geater distributing single…

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Kerouac Park Revitalization Project!

Kerouac Park Revitalization Project!

The City of Lowell is trying to bring a new renaissance to the park named after a Lowell-born founder of the San Francisco Renaissance. And if the city can raise $25,000, it will get a matching $25,000 from MassDevelopment, marking a $50,000 upgrade for an important but overlooked space. The fundraising page is now open and accepting donations. A rare bit of public park in the downtown area, Kerouac Park has long been used as a location for annual Kerouac celebrations,…

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Fellow White People…Can We Talk?

Fellow White People…Can We Talk?

This is a post that has been simmering in my mind for quite some time. I’m not going to say anything profound that hasn’t been said elsewhere, a hundred times and more eloquently, by both people of color and white people (and let’s face it, white people are more likely to listen to other white people, that’s been part of the problem all along). In the wake of just story after story after story of white people calling the cops on…

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Lowell Will Have a Plastic Bag Ban! And, On Leading From the Front

Lowell Will Have a Plastic Bag Ban! And, On Leading From the Front

If plastic bag ban enthusiasts tuned into Lowell City Council last night hoping to have an early evening, you were sorely mistaken. Two motions taken out of order—as described by Dick Howe in his CC report but which does not do any justice to the length of time the first motion out of order took—pushed the Subcommittee reports until, if I remember correctly, after 8:30pm. TBH the softball field thing took twice as long as the marijuana-in-public motion, which is…

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Lowell Plastic Bag Ban Reports Out of Committee

Lowell Plastic Bag Ban Reports Out of Committee

Tomorrow night is Prince Spaghetti—no, wait, that’s Wednesday. Tomorrow night is the Lowell City Council meeting! For a good overall preview, you can always turn to Mimi, who is now blogging over at RH.com. But tucked into the city council agenda doc is something very important. Namely, that the Environmental and Flood Subcommittee will be favorably reporting out the plastic bag ban in a 2 to 1 yea vote. Please note: the so-called “Democrat” Rodney Elliott voted against it, something…

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Trans Rights: Get Elliott On The Record

Trans Rights: Get Elliott On The Record

So now we’re in full swing in the state Senate campaign to replace Eileen Donoghue (and boy do I have feelings about this but I will save them for another time). Several candidates are in the running, including two sitting and one former City Councilor in Lowell, among others. But it is one specific person running for the Democratic nomination I would like to address: Councilor Rodney Elliott. First of all, a Democrat? Really?? I’ve been a member of the…

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On Democracy in Lowell

On Democracy in Lowell

by Santiago Rodriguez Rey Lynne invited me to participate here regarding the latest elections. But who am I? Well, besides making all those funky looking maps populating the Lowell forum on Facebook casting an eye on the results, let me tell you a couple of things as to give you an idea on who’s writing. I lived exactly two years in Lowell, until December 2015. During that time, I had some radio shows at WUML, UMass’s radio station, and participated…

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The Dumbing Down of Lowell

The Dumbing Down of Lowell

On Lowell Live Feed, an April [2016!] article from Jeff Speck, a highly respected professional city planner who was brought to Lowell to help build long term plans for Lowell’s development, has raised a brouhaha once again. While some off-my-lawn codgers are arguing against bike lanes (especially on Chelmsford St, where not only was that space wasted on the super-wide road, but it’s also the main thoroughfare from the Bruce Freeman Trail into the city), I was especially disgusted by the…

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Out of Sight, Please, So We Can Keep Ignoring You

Out of Sight, Please, So We Can Keep Ignoring You

A friend on Facebook posted the Sun’s article (you don’t have to click through to it, but I ethically have to put the link) on the latest City Council motion addressing homelessness. Was it a compassionate look at what initiatives Lowell could produce to reduce homelessness, address addiction, or support those in need at this time of year? Hah. No, of course not, silly readers! No, it was a motion to “Req. City Mgr. investigate and report on any problem activities…

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