July 3rd, 2010
Boston.com posted a “best” list for ice cream in New England that includes Shaw Farm in Dracut and Kimball’s in Westford, Carlisle, and a NH location. Here’s the link for the Shaw Farm entry. Not on the list, but worth the drive is the ice cream stand at the Brookstone Event Center, Route 111 in Derry, NH. My wife and I were there today for a wedding and sampled the ice cream while we were waiting for the reception to begin. We had small cups of coffee-Heath Bar and caramel pecan (a sugar-free option). The ice cream stand is run by Moo’s Place, 27 Crystal Avenue in Derry. Here’s the Moo’s link.
July 3rd, 2010
“All Lowell” Class of 1960 50th Reunion Committee
Did you graduate in 1960? Do you know these people? Are any of them your high school classmates? For a closer look check:
Plan to come to your 50th High School Reunion on October 9, 2010. Get in touch with this committee by mail at: LHS Class of 1960. P.O. Box 974, Westford MA 01886 or leave a message on this blog post.
To our Friends and Classmates:
The “All Lowell” Class of 1960 50th Reunion is planned for October 8-9, 2010.The celebrating schools are: Lowell High School, Keith Academy, Keith Hall, Notre Dame Academy and the Lowell Trade schools.
A number of reunion events are planned including:
Friday October 8th
*A Class Social and Oldies Party at Cappy’s Copper Kettle
*A Memories & Memorabilia display at Cappy’s
*Tour/Lunch Greater Lowell Technical High School (pending)
Saturday October 9th
*Tour of Lowell High School and Open House at Lowell Catholic High School (formerly Keith Hall)
*50th Reunion Dinner at Lenzi’s
Sunday October 10th
*Brunch at various locations
As part of the festivities there will be a “Class of 1960” 50th Reunion Program with photos, class member biographies and ads and well-wishes from class members and sponsors. Proceeds from the program book will benefit the various celebrating schools or the legacy schools.
July 3rd, 2010
Yesterday’s national unemployment figures provide further evidence that our nation’s economic “recovery” may be sputtering. The performance of the local real estate market over the first half of 2010 tends to confirm that conclusion. For the ten communities in the Middlesex North Registry District (Lowell and nine surrounding towns), the number of deeds recorded from January through June was up slightly from the same period in 2009 (2420 in 2009 t0 2698 in 2010, an increase of 11%), but the number of mortgages recorded was down substantially, dropping from 8021 in 2009 to 5374 in 2010, a decline of 33%. At the same time, the number of foreclosure deeds recorded rose from 195 to 345, an increase of 77% and the number of “orders of notice” (the document that signals the commencement of a new foreclosure), more than doubled, climbing from 298 to 655, a jump of 120%.
Several factors contribute to this bleak picture. The most immediate is an extreme tightening of lending standards by banks and mortgage companies. What’s happening now is a classic example of over reaction in an industry. From 2003 to 2008, the only criteria needed to receive a loan of more money than you even asked for in the first place was to be breathing. Income history, repayment ability, credit worthiness – none of that mattered. Now it seems that the pendulum has swung way over in the other direction with hardly anyone being able to receive financing. There was much talk earlier this week about the need for Congress to extend the deadline for closing a purchase to be eligible for the Federal home buyer tax credit beyond June 30. Incredibly, Congress acted and pushed the deadline to September 30. But that extension will make little difference if buyers are unable to obtain the financing they need in the first place.
The second negative factor is the imbalance of current values versus outstanding mortgage amounts. An incredibly large number of people – it’s difficult to quantify exactly how many – simply owe more on their homes than the property is now worth. This is not necessarily a result of recklessness on the part of the homeowner. Prices in 2005-07 were just historically (and perhaps irrationally) high, but everyone has to live somewhere and with banks not only willing but anxious to lend (back then) substantial amounts of money, it’s easy to understand how so many wound up in this situation. Now, high foreclosure rates and a scarcity of buyers able to obtain financing continue to drive down values, putting more and more people into this hole. Many homeowners are trapped, with the only options being to keep paying monthly payments that will never translate into equity in the home or walk away and face foreclosure and the devastation of one’s credit rating. Most people choose to sit tight, but that’s dependent on a continued stream of income to provide for the payments. A few years ago when anyone asked me “what’s going to happen with real estate?” my answer was “what’s going to happen with unemployment?” and that remains the case today. When a homeowner loses a job, it’s likely another foreclosure will result. (That’s just one of the reasons why the US Senate’s recent failure to extend unemployment benefits was such a bad decision).
Sorry to be so pessimistic on this holiday weekend, but that’s the way I see it.
July 3rd, 2010
In today’s Eagle Tribune religious writer Yadira Betances tells the story of the Sisters of Notre Dame who took a chance and bought a raffle ticket. The offering was no ordinary prize but Red Sox tickets – 18 luxury seats near first base and the Sox dugout at Fenway Park. At $100 per chance – it took a group effort of ten nuns – all Red Sox fans – to come up with $10 each. Jokes about “divine intervention” and the nuns’ nine-day novena aside – the lucky ten along with eight guest nuns will “limousine” their way to Fenway Park to cheer their team along with others in Red Sox Nation. By the way, the raffle raised more than $50,000 for a very good cause – Lazarus House - a homeless shelter, food pantry, soup kitchen and thrift shop in Lawrence.
Remember when Cardinal Cushing would take the nuns of the Archdiocese to Fenway?
Read the full story here in the Eagle Tribune.
July 3rd, 2010
For the next few weeks there will be a major disruption of traffic in the Highlands as Stevens Street from the intersection with Parker (at St Margarets School) to the intersection with Chelmsford Street (at Cross Point) will be closed to traffic from 7 am to 5 pm. The blockage will begin on this coming Tuesday, July 6, and will extend until Friday, July 23. The closure is being publicized by two flashing signboards at either end of the work site. Hopefully, this will be the final phase in the road work that has disrupted traffic in the Highlands for the past couple of years. (Although to be fair to our neighbors north of the river, the disruptions we’ve endured are nothing compared to the inconvenience of a bridge closing). Knowing the Highlands as I do, the Stevens Street detour will have a substantial impact on other major roads in the area including Parker, Chelmsford and Stedman Streets.