Welcome back to Left in Lowell!

Musings

I’m including myself in this greeting, because as is well known I’ve had a rather extended hiatus.

During the intervening years, I’ve attempted to revive the blog, by going into my database of old posts and trying to wrangle them into modern WordPress format for importing into a fresh install. Only to come close and be stymied by this or that technical hurdle, then life intervenes and I get distracted.

To that end, I’ve decided to start fresh. At some point I’ll finish the data import and build archives, but for now the old-timers will all just have to rely on fond memories of days gone by.

This site and its layout are a work in progress. Excuse the mess.

So why now? I could have done this fresh start eons ago, and gee wouldn’t it have been useful to have another resource during this last contentious election? Aren’t you a little barn door after the horse fled? Yeah, busted. But to be fair I’ve been getting back into local activism this last year, on the ground (three guesses as to why), and I keep itching to have a place to write.

Plus who would have wanted to touch the high school issue with a ten foot pole? What a mess all around. For those who know me, I’ve been a keep Lowell High downtown supporter, but I have friends on both sides and it seemed like a mudfest to me. I mean kudos to both sides for passionate involvement, but could you have done it without the nastiness? This issue divided this city like none other I’ve ever seen, and I was around and blogging through the “I’m for Cox” campaign (don’t say that aloud in front of your kids!). I guess we’ll see where it goes from here…you can’t say yesterday’s results aren’t definitive, so hopefully the worst of this is behind us.

For the record, my conclusion in the end was that in any case, the kids will be all right. I mean, there are drawbacks on both sets of options. In case you lived under a rock, that would be whether to extensively renovate the downtown high school, or move it to a new building at Cawley Stadium. Reno while kids are attending a school isn’t a perfect situation obviously (though temporary), but also shifting our high school to a “suburban” campus at Cawley changes a lot culturally that I don’t think some people understand, plus the poor sleep deprived teens who would have to be bused across the river and through the Belvi area during rush hour will suffer a lot. As someone who was bused from a rural district to a nearby city for high school, which took more than an hour, I can tell you it was miserable, and it hugely affected my learning.

(Luckily I had band first period, cuz nothing wakes you up better than a line of snarky brass players behind you, or practicing halftime show moves in October at 8 in the morning…but I spent my teen years perpetually sleep deprived. Well, more so than is normal in the pre-smartphone era.)

I have a lot of other issues with moving the high school that I won’t even bother to go into because, guys, done deal, but suffice to say they’re pretty comprehensive.

I also think the downtown reno hysteria was a little overblown. OK, if I’m being truthful…a lot overblown. I listened to what people had to say, and it left me scratching my head. No, folks, the kids won’t be poisoned, and while, again, staging renovations can be tricky and disruptive, it can be done. And hey, we just elected someone who has project management experience in occupied renovated buildings!! (Go Karen Cirillo, so proud!!) Truth be told, as a kid I had a couple classrooms in trailers while a new wing was being built at my school, and I’ll tell you that I’d take that any day over that hour plus commute by bus to Manchvegas for high school…

All right, moving on, like I said. There are about a million two hundred and five other issues facing the city of Lowell over the next decade, so. Let’s do this.

P.S. OMG Rita came in fifth. I thought I would faint of shock. I hate to rub salt in any wound this deep, but for heaven’s sake she went to a Trump rally, I’m having a hard time feeling a lot of sympathy. And Belanger and Rourke bumped. And wow, Vesna! who came in first! He really ran an amazing campaign, worked social media like a boss, and I’m so happy to see him back on the Council. Good luck to the new Councilors!

I’ll be starting a countdown clock for Kevin Murphy’s resignation once I can install one. Maybe we can take some bets with the prize being some new amigurimi. I’ve been dying to try this baby Groot pattern.