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Left In Lowell » Navel Gazing

Left In Lowell

Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs

2013 Candidate Questionnaire Responses!

August 17, 2013

Come October, This Won’t Matter

by at 8:20 pm.

A flurry of comments have popped up on Lynne’s post about Matt Vieira, down blog. The crux of the retorts are about an argument over whether #JMatt (Vieira) deleted an earlier Facebook incarnation of himself. The rumoured Facebook page was very overwrought with scurrilous, tea bagger frenzied remarks about liberals, including the POTUS.

We at LiL are accused of being “lunatics” and are said to be making this stuff up because we want to damage Matt Vieira’s candidacy.

Some points:
1) Come October, there is a slim chance this diary will be relevant.
2) Vieira is the Prince of self-inflicted political gaffes.
3) The whole “deleted Facebook page” thing has been around since, at least, March 2013.

The latest “buzz” for a new challenger is Matt Vieira a young man who has worked on some local campaigns and has been involved with the Best Buddy and Cancer charities. Like a lot of young people, Matt has posted some strongly opinionated items on Facebook that in hindsight I’m sure he regrets and he deleted his old page and began a new one. However, things aren’t gone because they have been deleted and those that support the City Manager style instead of strong Mayor will no doubt bring those posting back. It is up to Matt to show the maturity to deal with his past while not letting it become a distraction.

Apparently, as Gerry Nutter predicted, Vieira was so acerbic, someone took note and grabbed some screen shots. Here’s a sample of what was passed around.


July 6, 2013

Hogwash over School Hiring

by at 9:06 pm.

It would not strike me as odd, should you click away from ANOTHER one of my ‘Blog of Record’ rants. But here goes, and I think this one is a keeper.

Part I: Sabotage

Kim Scott wants to stop the gravy train of family hiring in the Lowell Public School System, especially for administrative staff.

She says there’s an epidemic of nepotism when it comes to hiring decisions in the schools. Job candidates should be treated equally, says Scott, and no one should get a leg up because of political or school connections.

On the face of it, it’s a well-intentioned idea from the Lowell School Committee member.

The way Scott sees it — and we do, too — there is a growing concentration of power among a few people who are charged with making important hiring decisions affecting the education of the city’s 14,800 students.

Suffice to say, The Sun editorial has hijacked Kim Scott’s effort and intent with the developing motion to place procedural safeguards to diminish the practice and /or perception of the practice of nepotism and other facsimiles, thereof. The words blockquoted above, ALL belong to the ghost writer. They try to frame Kim’s mindset to appear simpatico with their breathy, hyperventilating panics. But, Kim doesn’t need to sell newspapers. Campi does.

To read more of Kim’s direct comments on this matter, and the speculation whirling around it, please check out these links:

This episode, around the Lowell Public School District, is one of The Sun’s most reprehensible.

But, WHY has the Sun descended so low? Let’s dig in a little deeper. Please, hold your nose.

June 15, 2013

The Shallot Rises

by at 7:18 am.

There was a period of time, I was thinking of hijacking the Shallot brand and running my own bootleg jihad. But, that would not be cricket.

The Shallot has risen.

There will be No Quarter. The Shallot is, apparently, a Thelemite. Do what thou wilt is the whole of the Law.

All I ask for is an updated Crony Map.

May 4, 2013

Lowell has gone to the dogs!

by at 1:08 pm.

 photo 51e7a181-c835-43c6-825a-9be552b419fc_zps89da164a.jpg

I know in the larger picture this issue which I am about to discuss is not as important as some other problems but it is a quality of life issue. I look at it as a version of the broken window theory.

I am grateful for the Parks Department for posting this sign. I assume that it is not unique to this fence and can be found at all public parks not just at the one where I snapped this picture.
It is evident that Lowell’s dog population is slowly increasing. I do not have hard numbers to support my observation since many dog owners do not officially register their pet with the City but I consider myself a good observer of life in our city. How do I know that their dogs are not registered? I look at the collar.

I am not a dog owner but I have many, many friends who are so please do not attack me as an anti-dog person. I have nothing against dogs except that we have some irresponsible dog owners and we also have some inconsiderate dog owners.

Again, nothing against dogs, some of my best friends have dogs. As a matter of fact, the Lowell blogsphere is dominated by dog lovers. It is the irresponsible dog owners who have to be policed that I am addressing.

So it was with interest that I read, City Manager Bernie Lynch tweet that the City is looking for a non-dog owner to join the Animal Advisory Board. This is not the first time that the Manager has put out the call for volunteers for this position, apparently no one is answering it. I had seriously considered applying but honestly I think with this current CC, I may get the Samkhan Khoeun* treatment. Then my epitaph would read “Here lays a woman who could not even get elected to advise the dog catcher.”

Have you noticed the trend of owning two dogs? There are the mother and child combination (dogs of the same breed, one fully grown and the other a puppy; there are the twins ( I do not know if there are siblings but the two dogs are the same breed and about the same age; and then there is the random two dogs that you have rescued (i.e. Lynne) or purchased. I do see a lot of people walking two dogs. Last Saturday, I was walking behind a woman who had two different size dogs and as she was approaching a utility pole, the two animals decided that one would go left of the pole and the other one right of the pole. Needless to say, there was a traffic jam on the sidewalk.

Just today, I was driving north on Lawrence Street, I saw a woman at the small park located right after Moore Street. She had a very large dog and no bag in her hands. While the dog was doing his business, she was busy socializing on the phone. This park has a very large sign that reads “DOGS NOT ALLOWED.” It is a relatiely small park but there is a lot of kids that play there. Can anyone be more inconsiderate?

If they cannot properly take care of their dog, maybe they should get a cat or better yet a gold fish.

May 3, 2013

Voter Suppression Comes Home

by at 1:00 pm.

This motion will get fast tracked to subcommittee, where it will wallow.

This graph compares total voter turnout to C. Elliott’s support, for the last 6 City elections. What would happen, if this November the turnout went up to 12,000?

March 26, 2013

A Quick Question For Rita

by at 12:06 pm.

According to the Blog of Record:

Mercier said she is seeking the vote of no confidence because neither the city’s Plan E charter nor City Council rules appear to provide a formal process for the council to remove the mayor from his role.

Mercier, who has topped the ticket in the last eight council elections and is one of the most popular politicians in Lowell’s history, said Murphy would be invited to the executive session if the council decides to hold one.

She also said she believes she has the support for her motion and no-confidence vote, and hopes Murphy decides to resign.

Sources told The Sun if the council was able to take a vote to have Murphy relinquish the chair, those who planned to support it were Councilors Elliott, John Leahy, Lorrey, Kennedy and Mercier.

It’s sweet of you to ‘invite’ the Mayor, Rita. But, how do you propose getting around the inconvenience of the OML?

Section 21. Executive Sessions

(a) A public body may meet in executive session only for the following purposes:

(1) To discuss the reputation, character, physical condition or mental health, rather than professional competence, of an individual, or to discuss the discipline or dismissal of, or complaints or charges brought against, a public officer, employee, staff member or individual. The individual to be discussed in such executive session shall be notified in writing by the public body at least 48 hours prior to the proposed executive session; provided, however, that notification may be waived upon written agreement of the parties. A public body shall hold an open session if the individual involved requests that the session be open. If an executive session is held, such individual shall have the following rights:

i. to be present at such executive session during deliberations which involve that individual;
ii. to have counsel or a representative of his own choosing present and attending for the purpose of advising the individual and not for the purpose of active participation in the executive session;
iii. to speak on his own behalf; and
iv. to cause an independent record to be created of said executive session by audio-recording or transcription, at the individual’s expense.

The rights of an individual set forth in this paragraph are in addition to the rights that he may have from any other source, including, but not limited to, rights under any laws or collective bargaining agreements and the exercise or non-exercise of the individual rights under this section shall not be construed as a waiver of any rights of the individual.

I’m not so sure that the ‘Coalition of the Chatty’ will hold together, knowing every word they say, in Open Session, can be clipped into a Youtube video and played every day until Election Day.

March 19, 2013

The Grooming of Pangi

by at 9:48 pm.

Has it been “four to five years” already?

From The Column, 9/30/12 (Archived Online)

STATE REP. David Nangle held a fundraiser at Ricardo’s Restaurant on Gorham Street several days ago. And the chatter was about a hush-hush huddle between former state Sen. Steven Panagiotakos , for whom Nangle used to work, and UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan.

Meehan downplayed the conversation. He said the two talked about the many UMass Lowell building projects. Political insiders, however, speculated the political titans talked about Panagiotakos ‘ future: Specifically him becoming city manager .

As City Manager Bernie Lynch gets roughed up every Tuesday night, Panagiotakos has said privately that he would indeed consider the job, but he doesn’t want to be viewed as pushing Lynch out.

That’s in stark contrast to 2006. Following the departure of John Cox as city manager , the job was Panagiotakos ‘ for the taking. He did not enter the ring, thus opening the door for Lynch, the former Chelmsford manager.

Government has been divided since Cox was forced to resign by the City Council — remember the “six rats?” One camp holds Cox was treated unfairly, the other embracing change at the top.

Several names are circulating of possible managers to replace Lynch. None would be as welcomed by both sides of the divide as Panagiotakos .

Panagiotakos is everyone’s pol, and he relishes that. As city manager , that could erode starting day one. That’s why not everyone is buying into Panagiotakos ‘ alleged interest.

Panagiotakos is vehement: He’s not interested. “Maybe five or six years from now, but not now.” He repeated it several times.

As for Lynch, he’s playing with house money. He’s already passed six years on the job, an accomplishment particularly for a non-Lowellian.

“The clock starts ticking in this city on city managers at four to five years,” said one pol. “Bernie’s passed six.”

The manager’s contract doesn’t expire until the Aug. 2014. But with controversies in several city departments and several councilors beating him up every Tuesday, folks are wondering how much more Lynch is willing to take.

But Lynch sounded confident at the Lowell Plan annual breakfast Thursday morning, boldly proclaiming the “city is in excellent health and the prognosis is even better.”

Why leave? Lynch said he has no plans.
(bold mine)

I’m getting mixed signals from ‘the word on the street.’ I’ve got sources saying Pangi is beginning to get his ducks in a row, to make a move on the corner office. But others, in the know, say all is quite on that front. Palace intrigue can be agonizingly deceitful. :v\

March 17, 2013

Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts

by at 10:29 pm.

 photo PericlesPic2_zps800c1f44.jpg

“For him to use a symbol of our immigrant story as a prop in a perverse ploy for a cheap laugh is insulting and belittling to the Greek-American community,” said former state Sen. Steven Panagiotakos. “There seems to be a pattern here of hostility to the Greek-American community.

“A mayor is supposed to show leadership, not divide a community.”

Update: Jen Myers Says:
March 18th, 2013 at 7:52 am e
Pericles was moved back to the MRR in October, after the former state senator approached the Mayor at a UMass Lowell event and asked him to move it. That was the FIRST time anyone personally asked for it to be moved. So, it was.

I agree, in spirit with Pangy, ‘… a symbol of our immigrant story as a prop in a perverse ploy ..’ is not cool. Too bad Pangy and Mr. Behrakis started it.

November 29, 2012

Off To The Leper Colony, Buba

by at 1:48 pm.

From the Blog of the Blog of Record:

Like an anvil, the weight of the internet crashed down upon two-time unsuccessful state senate candidate Jim Buba Wednesday.
Buba commented on a photograph of the fire at 886 Central Street that claimed the life of a 79-year-old Lowell man who was popular in his Back Central neighborhood.

Popular sport in a down economy. Can’t make the payments and can’t make a flood, so…” read the Facebook post on The Sun’s Facebook page.

For the record, the post was made more than 12 hours after Fire Chief Edward Pitta said the cause of the tragic fire appeared to be accidental, and after The Sun reported Pitta’s comments on the fire that claimed the life of Juventino Leite.

In the following 12 hours, nearly half of the more than 40 comments on the photo condemned Buba, most in language that can’t be repeated. Some comments even wished Buba harm.

November 27, 2012

Gerry Speculates Again…

by at 12:39 pm.

I really go back and forth on whether Gerry’s blog is useful or just a nuisance. (Sorry Gerry, but that’s the truth.) On the one hand, he has done some very good things to further the discussion on politics in Lowell. On the other, he uses his forum to produce rank speculations that have no basis in anything other than his musings. I wish he’d keep his speculations to a minimum, because when he’s on, he’s pretty decent.

Case in point, this post about the current blog v. GLTHSC situation. First, he complains about Cliff’s reaction to his comments yesterday about some people in the Lowell Rumor Mill™ stating that we at LiL didn’t pay attention to the GLT situation until Cliff didn’t get the nod from the selection committee.

For John, BLUF: Blogger Gerrry Nutter got confused on WCAP this AM, over why Left in Lowell has again focused on GLTHS.

On WCAP (680 AM) this AM Blogger Gerry Nutter suggested that Left in Lowell picked up the theme of GLTHS as a result of Ray Boutin, vice Cliff Krieger, being appointed to the GLTHS School Committee

Cliff’s hearing may be going (Nice to see he types like me, one to many r’s in GERRY and 980 WCAP) because what I said is the gossip making the rounds by those who support the Superintendent at the tech is Left in Lowell didn’t start focusing on the Tech until Cliff was bypassed and that Jack is being political because he’s blaming the Supt.for Cliff not getting the appointment.

Truth to tell, I think Cliff misunderstood what Gerry was trying to do on the radio. I was there, and it was pretty obvious Gerry was trying to air out a rumor he himself didn’t believe. Given the personal nature of that rumor against Cliff (attacking our and Cliff’s integrity), I’m not surprised he reacted, but as for me, I thanked Gerry after the show for mentioning because it put sunlight on the rumor so it could be refuted, which to my mind appeared to be what Gerry intended by bringing it up. (more…)

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