Things I’m Reading This Week: 12/26/2017

Things I’m Reading This Week: 12/26/2017

Just some longform media I’ve been reading you might find of interest. Ma Bell In Pixels? Are big tech companies really making the world “a better place”? Or are they just maximizing profits and pursuing monopolies? Some really pertinent questions, as we watch our democracy erode. “What has the greatest collection of humanity and IQ and financial capital been brought together to accomplish?” Galloway asked the crowd. “To save world hunger? To create greater comity of man? I don’t think so….

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Mass Fiscal Alliance Cites Hate Group in Mailers

Mass Fiscal Alliance Cites Hate Group in Mailers

The Safe Communities Act has brought out the worst in the Mass Fiscal Alliance, who is trying to scuttle the bill, by sending out flyers with information produced by a white supremacist hate group. If you don’t know much about the Safe Communities Act, it’s merely a legal framework to keep our local resources local, instead of being used for federal immigration work. There is nothing controversial about it. Unless you want to spend our local and state tax dollars doing…

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I Like Donoghue. But No.

I Like Donoghue. But No.

Speculation runs rampant any time there is an open seat or leadership shakeup. With state Senate president Rosenburg taking, at minimum, an extended leave of absence due to the allegations against his spouse of sexual harassment or assault, everyone wants to know who will be taking over, and like seagulls over a french fry the swarm is immediate and fierce…at least according to the media, who loves a good scramble. The Boston Herald seems to have been the first to…

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Mayoral Glitch

Mayoral Glitch

In case you (probably) missed it, the behind-the-scenes mayoral selection (the phone calls, the meetings in the dead of night…erm, sorry, got carried away) just got not so behind the scenes. Yesterday, it appeared that Councilor John Leahy had the votes needed to secure the mayoral honor. (Sun article here, you don’t have to click through.) Those supporting Leahy are Councilors Rodney Elliott, Rita Mercier, David Conway, who was most recently elected to the council, Mayor Ed Kennedy and himself….

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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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Things I’m Reading This Week

Things I’m Reading This Week

In a world of soundbites and social media and headlines you don’t even click on (guilty sometimes), I’ve fallen in love with longform journalism. Or as it used to be called: just journalism. I’m that annoying person who will read the entire Mother Jones article, leaving it up in a tab until dammit, I’ve finished the thing! I read a lot of stuff online, and then share it on Facebook when I love it, but then I thought to myself…self,…

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People Making Maps

People Making Maps

So folks are starting to have some fun with the data Wayne posted yesterday (as mentioned in the previous post). In particular, Santiago Rodriguez Rey on Lowell Live Feed has created some precinct maps using shapefiles and that data. (Cue olde blogger griping: “Back in my day, sonny, we didn’t have such things as Google maps or shape files! Get off my lawn!”) Not everyone is or wants to be on LLF, so I got permission to repost the maps…

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Data Nerds, Start Your Engines!

Data Nerds, Start Your Engines!

The esteemed and excellent Wayne J posted an open Google spreadsheet on Lowell Live Feed with the unofficial precinct by precinct election data for all candidates and the referendum (see other tabs there) from Tuesday’s election. (He also posted the ward/precinct map on request.) I am not the numbers person generally, but geek out, nerdlings, to your heart’s content. Of course, even though I’m really the paintbrush, keyboard, and HTML type, I might have a couple observations of snark interest here…

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