A new history book about Lowell by Richard P. Howe Jr and Chaim Rosenberg to be published on March 11, 2013. To order a copy and to learn about local readings and book signings, check out our Legendary Locals of Lowell page.
A year ago, I made the decision to switch from studying history to evolutionary biology. I spent the entire summer weighing my options and considering the benefits of both degrees. Part of what I found appealing about biology, and science in general, is its absolute reliance on evidence; arguments from authority are never allowed. Instead, undergraduates sit around a conference table for two hours ripping apart the works of the greatest evolutionary biologists and anthropologists of the past century; we study a contentious subject. This is why we find it impossible to take creationists seriously, or climate change deniers, or anti-vacciners; they have no evidence.
I’ve watched the recent debates over our economic policies for the next few years with great dismay. I hear repeatedly that we should not be passing on more debt to our children (meaning me I suppose). Perhaps that sentiment would seem sincere if the very same people hadn’t already ensured that we won’t get around to paying off current deficit spending until my children’s time, or maybe their children. The majority of the current deficit over the next decade comes from the Bush presidency and the Republican Congress that paid for nothing. This is a fact; the numbers are straightforward enough. read more »
“Flashback Friday” is a new feature I’m going to try. Each Friday, I hope to post a picture, video or article from Lowell’s political past. There won’t be any chronological connection between the item posted and the date of posting – it will be completely random. Like so much else in life, I got the idea somewhere on the internet. Here’s our first installment of Flashback Friday – the 1988 Lowell City Council:
1988 Lowell City Council
Lowell City Council Inauguration Day photo, 1988. Seated from left, Tarsy Poulios, Mayor Richard P Howe Sr, Brian Martin, Joe Fitzpatrick, Gerald Durkin, Brendan Fleming, City Manager James Campbell, Curtis LeMay, Edward “Bud” Caulfield, Robert Kennedy
Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band played on the Boston waterfront Tuesday night to a large crowd, including many young people, according to a colleague of mine who attended the concert. She said it was an excellent concert, but Ringo did not come out for an encore. What’s the old show biz line? Always leave them wanting more? Now there’s news that Yoko Ono has overseen the re-mastering of all John Lennon’s post-Beatles music and will reissue the songs in a variety of formats in October. Read the details from www.beatles.com:
“London, England – June 29, 2010 – Eight of John Lennon’s classic solo albums and other standout recordings have been digitally remastered from his original mixes for a global catalogue initiative commemorating the music legend’s 70th birthday, which falls on October 9.
“Overseen by Yoko Ono, John Lennon’s “Gimme Some Truth” campaign will launch on 4 October (5 October in North America) with the worldwide release of eight remastered studio albums and several newly-compiled titles.
“Double Fantasy, 1980’s GRAMMY Award winner for Album of the Year, will be presented in a newly remixed ‘Stripped Down’ version remixed and produced by Yoko Ono and Jack Douglas, co-producers of the original mix with John Lennon. The new stripped down version of the album comes in an expanded 2CD and digital edition pairing the new version with Lennon’s original mix, remastered.
“The campaign’s other new collections include:
· A hits compilation in two editions titled Power To The People: The Hits
· A 4CD set of themed discs titled Gimme Some Truth
· A deluxe 11CD collectors box with the remastered albums, rarities, and non-album singles, titled the John Lennon Signature Box
“All of the remastered albums and collections will be available on CD and for download purchase from all major digital service providers
“YOKO ONO said: “In this very special year, which would have seen my husband and life partner John reach the age of 70, I hope that this remastering / reissue programme will help bring his incredible music to a whole new audience. By remastering 121 tracks spanning his solo career, I hope also that those who are already familiar with John’s work will find renewed inspiration from his incredible gifts as a songwriter, musician and vocalist and from his power as a commentator on the human condition. His lyrics are as relevant today as they were when they were first written and I can think of no more apposite title for this campaign than those simple yet direct words ‘Gimme Some Truth’.”
“The albums have been digitally remastered from Lennon’s original mixes by Yoko Ono and a team of engineers led by Allan Rouse at EMI Music’s Abbey Road Studios in London and by George Marino at Avatar Studios in New York. All of the remastered titles will be packaged in digisleeves with replicated original album art and booklets with photos and new liner notes by noted British music journalist Paul Du Noyer. The albums to be reissued are:
· John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (1970)
· Imagine (1971)
· Some Time In New York City (1972)
· Mind Games (1973)
· Walls and Bridges (1974)
· Rock ‘n’ Roll (1975)
· Double Fantasy Stripped Down (2010) / Double Fantasy (1980)
· Milk and Honey (1984)
. . .
“One of the world’s most celebrated songwriters and performers of all time, John Lennon was killed at the age of 40 on December 8, 1980. Lennon has been posthumously honoured with a Lifetime Achievement GRAMMY Award and two special BRIT Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Music, and he has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2008, Rolling Stone ranked him in the Top 5 of the magazine’s “100 Greatest Singers Of All Time” list.
“In celebration of his 70th birthday on 9 October, 2010, John Lennon’s life and music will be specially feted with a variety of commemorative releases and events around the world. Please visit www.johnlennon.com for official announcements and updates.”
The Massachusetts State Senate voted 25-15 for a plan that would establish three resort-style casinos in the Commonwealth. They’d be located in Boston, the western part of the state and in the southeastern part of the state. It’s estimated that the three casinos would create 15,000 new jobs and produce approximately $300 million in tax and fee revenue each year. Senators from this region that voted for the bill were Steve Panagiotakos (Lowell) and Ken Donnelly of Arlington (who also represents Billerica). Voting against the bill were Sue Tucker, Sue Fargo and Jamie Eldridge. The full results of the Senate vote are here.
The Massachusetts House of Representatives has already passed its own casino bill but it contains significant differences, most notably it calls for only 2 casinos but it also allows slot machines at the state’s existing race tracks. The two bills now go to a conference committee to be reconciled. Despite their differences, I’m guessing that some compromise will be reached since there seems to be strong support for the concept and because of the attractiveness of the infusion of revenue derived from means other than a tax increase. This will all have to be done rather quickly since the legislative session comes to a close at the end of July and legislators will want to leave themselves plenty of time to override any veto the Governor may make if and when he signs the bill.
I’m ambivalent when it comes to casinos and state-sponsored gambling in general. Gambling holds no attraction for me, but many people I know truly enjoy visiting Foxwoods so who am I to judge how or where another person spends his recreational dollars. If they’re going to gamble, why not do it here within the Commonwealth so that the state can get its share of the money. That’s what I think every time I stop for gasoline or a coffee and see folks furiously scratching away at their lottery tickets. While they might win big (and there’s certainly entertainment value in harboring that hope), odds are they will lose and for every dollar they lose, it’s one less dollar I have to contribute to the state’s revenue, so it’s OK with me.