June 18th, 2010
Lowell SUN editor Chris Scott is reporting on-line that John Kelly of Dracut has dropped out the race for the Democratic nomination for State Senate in the Second Essex/Midddlesex District. Union leader Kelly was in the race early – planning to run head-to-head against the incumbent Senator Sue Tucker but he’s not been seen campaigning at local events recently. When Tucker announced her plans to retire and not run for reelection the field got crowded. Andover State Representative Barry Finegold, Andover School Committee member Deb Silberstein and Andover resident Jack Wilson joined the race on the Democratic side.
According to Scott’s report Kelly will endorse Wilson who worked for former State Senator John O’Brien back in the 1990s. The Second Essex/Middlesex Senate District includes the city of Lawrence and the communities of Andover, Dracut and Tewksbury. Barry Finegold’s 17th Essex Rep District includes precincts in Andover, Lawrence and Tewksbury. The Kelly decision makes an interesting race even more so as officials, activists and other supporters line up behind these candidates. Rumor has it that Dracut Board of Selectmen Chairman George Malliaros plans to endorse Finegold who has garned much support with Tewksbury town officials. Board of Selectman Chairman Todd Johnson was the emcee at a recent Finegold event.
The race also includes Jamison Tomasek and Patrick Rahilly who will face off in the Republican primary and Independent Jodi Oberto.
Stay tuned as the race unfolds in the run-up to the September 14th primary.
Read more: http://www.lowellsun.com/breakingnews/ci_15325370#ixzz0rDtCDXN7
June 18th, 2010
Nearly 200 people last night gathered for the opening dinner of the Innovative Cities Conference at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center. In a video message, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas emphasized that older, mid-sized industrial (or post-industrial) cities have a particular set of challenges and assets that must be addressed in the overall design of federal urban policy. Keynote speaker Adolfo Carrion, Jr., the first director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs reminded the audience that the vast majority of Americans live in cities and metropolitan areas and that demographers predict that by 2050 nearly 75 percent of the world’s population will be composed of city dwellers. If we in the United States don’t make our cities healthy, energy efficient, economically productive, and places that provide opportunities for people to live fulfilled lives in every sense, he said, then we will not succeed as a nation. Closer to home, he said the fates of Lowell and Lawrence are not unrelated and that places like Lawrence that are in fragile economic and social conditions need to be pulled into the spheres of places like Lowell that are enjoying more prosperity by comparison.
President Carole Cowan of Middlesex Community College underscored the commitment to “community” at the heart of the mission of community colleges and noted that each of the six cities being featured at the conference has a strong community college. Noting the collaborative sponsorship and presentation of the conference, she said no institution or agency or organization in Lowell works alone—and that the partnership ethic is vigorous in the city. Taking a broad view, Chancellor Marty Meehan of UMass Lowell called for Lowell as a whole to embrace the concept of the city as a “college town,” which it has been in fact since the middle 1890s, but which it has not been in reality. Going forward, the higher education engine in Lowell, community college combined with university, can drive the city’s economic and social fortunes for the next 100 years, he said. The whole region will benefit if this vision is realized.
Conference sessions continue today with in-depth looks at Ann Arbor, Asheville, Belfast, Lowell, Milwaukee, and Portland. Walk-up registration is available for last-minute deciders. The lunch speaker is the Director of the National Park Service, Jonathan Jarvis, whom Lowell is honored to be hosting today. For all details, visit www.innovativecitiesconference.com