Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
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:
I started blogging in the late Summer of 2007 during the NH Democratic Primary season. For the entire Primary, I blogged under a pseudonym, Sleeping Giant Stirs, as it was common to do so. By November, my face and name was well known in the circle of activists that participate with the various campaigns, but I didn’t openly blog as Jack Mitchell, until after the January 2008 primary election.
By 2009, I was active locally. Many of the campaigning tools I learned, as a volunteer in NH, I tried to apply to the local elections. It went well, in 2009; but even better in 2011.
Locally, there are two areas where I tend to dabble: ground game & communications. By ‘ground game,’ I mean contacting a specific subset of residents and encouraging them to vote. In the area of ‘communications,’ my principle focus has been undermining the slanted narratives of the Blog of Record and challenging the yarns they spin around the few politicians that Campi, et al, wish to fluff.
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard those cowed by, what some call, the “Legacy Media;” endeavor to diminish the import and influence of Lowell’s vibrant blogscape. Frequently, I hear pols say, “I don’t read the blogs.” Others will down play by blurting, “How many people even read those blogs?”
The answer is … enough.
“… a consensus has formed that blogging is increasing in influence. Farrell and Drezner acknowledge that “A key reason they are important is that journalists and opinion leaders are readers of blogs.” …
… the appeal of blogs to media and political elites has had an impact much larger than the modest size of blog readership might suggest. In fact, “the important question in terms of political communication may not be how many, but who.” She writes that political blogs may “have effects that are quite disproportionate to the absolute numbers of participants because journalists, elected officials, and other influential elites are consuming them. …”
Just recently, a friendly member of the local ‘legacy media’ keenly noted that ‘certain news’ just won’t make it out into the light, because influential people will punish ‘professional’ news outlets by withholding ad revenue and access to their ‘realm.’ If ‘Legacy Media’ is beholden to these folks to put bread on the table, you can bet certain things are kept, intentionally, on the down low.
Or, as is glaringly obvious with the Lowell Sun, what is eventually reported is rigged to cast a kind spin for their allies, while conjuring hassles for their foes.
I won’t lie. I do the same thing, for free. I’ll have an ‘objectivity arm wrestle’ with the Blog of Record, anytime, anywhere.
Greg Page coined the phrase, Home Run Derby.
After a recent Council meeting in which there were a series of emotional speeches preceding what would clearly be a 9-0 vote, I was searching for a term for these sorts of things, and settled on “Home Run Derby.” Why?
Because everyone can get up, take their cuts for the fence in Barry Bonds-ahead-of-the-count-and-nothing-to-lose fashion, while the pitches are coming in straight to the wheelhouse and no one is playing defense.
Last night’s City Council meeting met the criteria for a ‘Home Run Derby’ and then some. Unfortunately, we need a new phrase for the ‘and then some.’ What do we call it, or should call it, when a Councilor jumps in front of a moving band wagon, in the hopes of taking credit for the soon to come achievement.
Let’s focus, now, because this is EXACTLY what C.Kennedy is doing with the motion he directed at the License Commission. (more…)
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.
I’d like to invite you all to a special event. Details and links below the fold.
FERC had a brainfart.
The cub reporter quickly blurted out the bits his Editor want to float:
“We find that the proposed pneumatic crest gate system can be installed without unacceptably altering the dam or adversely affecting the park and historic districts,” FERC wrote in its ruling. “The crest gate system will also provide important benefits to recreation, fish passage, dam and worker safety, and project generation, and will help alleviate upstream backwater and flooding effects to the maximum extent possible.”
Of course, there are little gems stashed in the “Order Amending License.” (h/t Corey Sciuto)
47. The licensees’ proposal to install an inflatable crest gate system has an estimated capital cost of $5,980,000. This capital cost results in an average, annualized cost of $956,000. We estimate that the annual cost to operate the system would be minimal.
48. Operation of an inflatable crest gate system instead of flashboards could enable the project to generate more power, because the gates could be reinflated relatively soon after high flows. In contrast, the flashboards would be washed out for an estimated three months. The licensees estimate that project operation with the inflatable crest gates would result in an increase in annual generation of approximately 8,000 megwatt hours (MWh). Using a regional estimated alternative energy value of $38.74/MWh, as determined from the Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook for 2012, this additional generation would be valued at $310,000 annually. Therefore, the net cost of the licensee’s proposed action, including total capital costs and generation benefits, would be approximately $646,000 annually.
49. Although our analysis shows that the cost of installing the crest gates would exceed the value of the increased generation, it is the applicant who must decide whether to accept this license amendment and any financial risk that entails.
There is a lot to digest. Please give it a go, then chime in here.
PS. We are about to find out, if the Dept. of Interior folks are willing to take it to the next level. The Dept. of the Interior(Parks) has a brand new Secretary and Energy(FERC) is due to get a new Secretary. So, leadership may come from the locals until Obama’s Cabinet members can find their way around. This matter may be determined by which Department has better insulated its ‘Legal Eagles’ from sequestration. :v\
I’ve been a little too heartbroken to write about yesterday’s tragedy and its aftermath. But the stories are starting to trickle in. The 8 year old Martin Richard of Dorchester who lost his life and whose mother and sister were severely injured. The adorable Krystle Campbell, 29, of Arlington who was also killed. It was only a matter of time before it came home to Lowell, where the lives of a Lowell mother and her daughter, a senior at Lowell High, and their family are irrevocably changed.
…on Monday, shrapnel from one of the bombs that exploded during the Boston Marathon shredded both of Sydney’s legs, leaving her with deep arterial injuries, said her older brother, Tyler Corcoran, during an interview Tuesday morning in the kitchen of the family’s home in the city’s Pawtucketville neighborhood.
Sydney, with her mother, Celeste, and father Kevin, were in Boston to watch her aunt, Carmen Accabo, of Westford, finish the storied event. Celeste, too, was struck by shrapnel and overnight had both legs amputated below the knee, Tyler said.
Stuck in a place where I could only consume news and be saddened since yesterday, the only place I’ve been online besides news sites was facebook, where I was alternatively angered, disgusted, depressed, crying, and angry again. But if you are looking for a way to help and can donate, a fund has already been set up for Celeste and Sydney. Let’s be the community that makes sure this family does not have to suffer any more than they have to in their recovery.
And keep the victims and their families in your hearts in the coming days. Love to all.
Update: Wow, two fundraising goals are already blown through. Let’s be totally amazing, Lowell.
Update II: You can also donate to the fund for Jeff Bauman Jr. of Chelmsford.
Update III: A third victim from Dracut, Roseann Sdoia, also has a fundraising page.
After a FB tip from Gerry Nutter, I went over to check out the ‘protest.’ Yes, indeed. I spoke with the holder of this sign, who leveled charges of adultery at one of the monks. He felt the ‘leadership’ was corrupted and not in keeping with core principles of their faith. A more prominent Cambodian leader, who was part of the temple’s fundraising efforts, stated clearly, when ‘(he) asked for an audit, I was called a devil.’
The Cambodian community in notoriously fractured. I can’t bring myself to say, one way or another. The folks, today, are perfectly clear. The support for the Temple is there, but there are heavy concerns about who is running the show.
After the 2012 election, it didn’t take long for me to brag about how we routed Scott Brown: Groundgame (h/t Andrew Howe & Ariela Gragg, et al)
This map is a screen grab from The Boston Globe:
Excuse me, … I can’t stop chuckling. *deep breath* Anyways, let’s look at what happened in Lowell. (more…)
If you are one of those individuals that complaints about your cable television programming and if you are one of those that wants more local access television, you have an opportunity to have your voice heard and make a difference.
The City of Lowell is currently holding public hearings to discuss the renewal of the City cable contract with Comcast. As some of you are aware, through a fee assessed on our monthly bill, funds are directed to the City of Lowell. The first hearing took place on March 13th.The second and last public hearing will be held this April 10th . All cable subscribers and interested parties are invited to attend the hearings and share comments or suggestions about cable service.
These funds are disbursed to the public, education and government (PEG) channels which are operated by the Lowell Communications Corporation (LTC) and Lowell Educational Television (LET) . LTC operates channels 8, 95 and 99. The first two are community programming and the last one is government. And LET operates Channel 22.
The City of Lowell also receives funds for its intranet as well as other technical operations. And I believe that Greater Lowell Technical High School also receives some funds from this contract.
As part of the information gathering the City of Lowell IT Department and LTC have partnered to survey of Lowell residents and gather information that will help in drafting an agreement which is responsive to the public’s needs and desires. The answers provided in this survey will also assist LTC and LET to better serve the City with its programming and outreach.
Here is the link to the survey
I just finished taking it and I did in 2 minutes.
Oh, and did I mention that everyone who takes this survey is eligible to win a $50 Amazon gift card.
Update (by Jack):
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