Here’s the first trailer for the filmed-in-Lowell, Mickey Ward bio-pic, “The Fighter.” This clip is just 2:30 seconds long but there are so many recognizable scenes from Lowell – Cupples Square, Florence Road, Middlesex Superior Court, many shots of Micky O’Keefe – that it’s a bit like watching a neighbor’s home video. The movie will premiere on December 10 and the buzz about it will only build until then.
Just when you think you are getting lost in the weeds of daily busy-ness, someone comes along with pictures of the solar system. Take a look at these images from boston.com
UMass as a system came in at a strong 56 out of the world’s 200 best universities in new rankings by The Times of London. It was the region’s only public university to make the top tier and was in good company along with Harvard, MIT, and Tufts from New England. Read the boston.com report here. UMass was the 33rd highest university in the US on this list. Very impressive. So, the Times of London says UMass is the 33rd best university in America. It’s number 14 among public universities in the US on the Times’ list. These are good numbers for current students, alumni, and prospective undergraduates and graduate students to see. It would be better to be higher, but that leaves room for improvement. With Massachusetts so associated with education and intellectual achievement, the state as a whole should be driving its public university to a higher orbit. Being number one among public universities is not a far-fetched goal.
Both the Boston Herald and the Lowell Sun are reporting an AP story that a coalition of community hospitals are looking for restrictions on the Caritas Christi Health Care system after its sale to Cerberus – a private equity firm. Expecting increased competition for their doctors and fearful of the possible use 0f “improper” incentives, the Healthcare Access Coalition is seeking limits on how this for-profit will do business.
The Healthcare Access Coalition – made up of hospitals in Lawrence, Brockton and New Bedford – wants to prevent Caritas’ buyer, Cerberus Capital Management, from using “improper” incentives to recruit their doctors.
The coalition is also asking the state attorney general’s office for a three-year ban on price increases for hospital services.
A lawyer for the coalition tells The Boston Globe that the fear is that Cerberus’ for-profit hospitals could become “predatory” and drive up costs.
Caritas and Cerberus officials refused comment.
Note: Holy Family Hospital in Methuen – providing heath care and service to communities of the Merrimack Valley – is part of the Caritas Christi Health Care system.
Of all the surprises in Tuesday night’s elections the biggest took place on the national scene, in Delaware, where Tea Party supported Christine O’Donnell beat long-time established Republican Mike Castle for the US Senator nomination. Most pundits believe O’Donnell’s chances of winning the general election are much less than Castle’s would have been.
Below are Republican consultant Karl Rove and Fox’s Sean Hannity “heatedly discussing” O’Donnell’s victory last night.
I offer this video because it is great fun to watch a “rational conservative consultant” fight with an “extremist talking head” over whether a “radical extremist candidate” is hurting the Republican cause.
The entry below is being cross posted from Marjorie Arons-Barron’s own blog.
Tom Brady has a head start on a wonderful life. He has the golden touch. But why couldn’t he also give a head start to the program by that name? Monday’s Boston Herald had an interesting juxtaposition, a story about a huge Head Start backlog in Massachusetts opposite a Peter Gelzinis column noting how Tom Brady, who just signed a jaw-dropping $72 million contract, gets a free $98,000 Audi S8 luxury sedan from the manufacturer because he supports the Best Buddies program, in which Audi has been involved.
Now, it’s admirable that Brady hangs out with developmentally disabled children through Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s Best Buddies Program. But, as Gelzinis said, couldn’t he take the freebie car, auction it off and use the proceeds for the charity? Track Gals Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa echoed the idea this morning, and the Globe’s Joanna Weiss weighed in as well, urging that the pampered and super rich jock refuse the car so it could be used for charitable purposes .
I’d like to go a few steps further. Let’s return to that juxtaposition I mentioned and look as well at the 1000 kids on the waiting list to get into the federal low-income Head Start program, the program that gives disadvantaged pre-schoolers an early education experience that enables them to do better in school. Advocates are looking for a $500,000 supplemental budget through the state legislature. Through the program, health and dental care also become available to these youngsters. Head Start participation can give the kids a boost – in math, in reading, in social interactions – that can mean the difference between success and failure in school. It’s a foundational experience that pays off.
So, Tom Brady, you just signed a $72 million contract to play football. You completed three touchdown passes on Sunday, and it was great fun to watch. How about kicking in some of your lavish income to help the Head Start program? More than 26 players on the Patriots earn in excess of a million dollars a year. The team’s total payroll is $96 million a year. How about taking the lead and soliciting donations from your well-heeled team mates and perhaps players on other Boston sports teams who have “made it.”? Wouldn’t the real touchdown pass be one that helps a low-income youngster advance the ball and maybe even make it into the end zone?
- Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
September 30 is the deadline to apply for green energy grants and loans to retrofit buildings in the downtown historic district. This money is available thanks to a $5 million “stimulus fund” (Recovery Act) federal grant announced by US Rep. Tsongas, Sen. Kerry, and City leaders a few months ago. Read about the program and application guidelines here. Forms are available on the City’s website. If you don’t use the web, call the City Manager’s Office at 978-970-4000.
Photo-blogger Tony Sampas captured this view of the Fairburn Building at 10 Kearney Square in Lowell. I’ve passed by this building thousands of times (and have been inside hundreds of times – my dad’s law office was on the fourth floor for twenty years) and never before noticed this architectural detail.
The NYTimes today has a report on the progress being made in Cambodia with United Nations-linked trials of Khmer Rouge leaders accused of atrocities related to the genocide in that country from 1975 to 1979. Read the article here, and get the NYT if you value the international reporting.
I like baseball. I really like baseball and have liked it as far back as I can recall. One of my great memories is of my father taking me to a Red Sox-Minnesota Twins afternoon doubleheader at Fenway when I was 11 years old. It was the mid-60s, and the Twins were a hot team with players like Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva, Camilo Pascual, Bobby Allison, Jim Kaat, Earl Battey, and Zoilo Versalles. The Red Sox had Tony Conigliaro, Yaz, Jim Lonborg, and others of that era. The game was sold out when we got to the park, so my dad bought standing-room tickets and we stood in the back of the grandstand behind home plate for 18 innings. At one point we got a couple of seats when two people left, but mostly my dad stood with me the whole time. I inherited the baseball gene from him.
It occurred to me the other day that this is the first time that I’ve gone a whole season without watching one Red Sox game on TV. I didn’t go to Fenway either. I watched half an inning here and there while skipping through channels on TV, but that’s about it. I glanced at the headlines in the Globe or Sun sports pages or on boston.com to see who won. I just wasn’t interested this year. It seemed like the Sox’s prospects for being a contender faded by mid-spring. It felt like a “wait till next year” year. Every week there was a new player injured. The line-up was forever changing. The Yankees surged again, which was a turn-off itself. In late summer the Roger Clemens scandal re-surfaced. Maybe the cumulative weight of the cheating with drugs, stratospheric contract deals, and endless free-agent musical chairs soured me on major league baseball overall.
This year my family gave up the charter season’s tickets we’ve had for the Lowell Spinners. We didn’t go to one Spinners game this summer for the first time ever. I spoke to owner Drew Weber about letting the four tickets go, and he understood that it is a real challenge for people to go to even half of the 35 home games. I was spending more and more time posting available tickets online for sale or finding people to take the tickets for free. In the past few years we went to five or six games during the year, and always enjoyed it. Drew said it’s better for folks like us to give up the tickets so that the seats aren’t empty. It’s better for him, of course, to have happy patrons in the park buying hot dogs and ice cream. At the park, they wait a few innings to be sure the season’s ticket people are not coming and then let standing-room folks fill in the empty premium box seats. Makes sense. Taking a pass on the Spinners was part of the overall baseball blues this year.
We’ll see what happens over the fall and winter. Maybe the World Series will be a memorable set of games this October. In the meantime, I’ll pull out my old baseball cards and see if I can rediscover the magic.