James Sullivan writes about the economic impact of Jack Kerouac’s legacy in Lowell in the Business section of the Boston Globe, posted tonight on boston.com for tomorrow’s paper. Read the article here, and get the Globe if you appreciate the reporting.
With some prompting by Dean Johnson of 980 WCAP, Nancye Tuttle recalls her relationship with American Bandstand on Nancye’s World. Here’s what Nancye wrote:
Listening to Dean Johnson interview Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon today on WCAP took me back to my teen years when I was an American Bandstand fanatic and loved Freddy, Bobby Vee and all the rest of the oldies but goodies stars appearing on Saturday night at a salute to the oldies show at Lowell Memorial Auditorium.
And, truth be told, I didn’t just love Bandstand, I lived it, breathed it and danced on it. Yes, it’s true. I lived not too far from Philly and had a doting dad who didn’t mind piling my pals and me into the old Dodge wagon to transport us to the show. We loved getting tickets and we loved every minute of it, from mingling with the regulars to dancing in the spotlight dance and watching the up and coming stars. Those I saw included Sam Cooke, Frankie Avalon and Bobby Rydell.
Great memories of a great time. Thanks, Dean for bringing them back today with Freddie.
The September 27, 2010 edition of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly contains a couple of items that might be of interest to some of our readers:
First was a piece about Worcester County Sheriff Guy Glodis who chose not to run for re-election as sheriff and instead ran for the Democratic nomination for State Auditor. Glodis lost that race and in January will relinquish his sheriff’s office and be unemployed – or so we may have thought. Glodis has held elective office since 1994, serving as a state representative and then a state senator before being elected sheriff. Prior to 1994, however, Glodis worked as a court officer and a state law permits a state employee who is elected to public office to go on an unpaid leave of absence from his original job and return to that position when his tenure in elective office is over. Thus, while Glodis has given no indication of his post-January plans, he can always resume his former job as a court officer.
In a criminal case with local connections (Commonwealth v Dooley), Lowell attorney Robert Normandin argued in a motion to suppress evidence obtained when Westford police searched his client’s bedroom. The facts were that after the 26-year old Mr. Dooley had been arrested for assault and battery on his girlfriend, the police when to the home of his parents where he lived in a basement bedroom. The parents told police that Dooley, who was already in custody, may have had firearms in the room and signed a consent form authorizing the police to search the premises.
Normandin argued that because of the son’s age, the separate outside entrance to his room and all the circumstances of the son’s living arrangements, taken together, established that the parents lacked the power to authorize the police to search. Without such authority, the search would be illegal and the evidence seized would have to be excluded from use at trial.
Superior Court Judge Thomas Billings denied Normandin’s motion, writing
Parents still . . . maintain authority as householders over what goes on in their home; hence, the oft-heard gripe, “When you’re under our roof, you’ll live by our rules,” he wrote. “It is the authority and control over the home, not necessarily over the child, that carries with it the presumptive authority to consent to a search of the house, including the child’s room.
Presumably the case will go to trial and the ruling on this motion will be appealed, so this might not be the final word on the topic. Still, if you’re one of those stereotypical bloggers living in your parents’ basement and posting in your pajamas all day, you might want to keep any contraband someplace else since your parents might invite the police in to look around.
Here are the answers to this week’s Tuesday Trivia questions:
1) How did Fort Hill get its name?
• A fortification was built on it by the Native Americans
2) What corporation was formed in 1792 and is the oldest existing company in the
• The Proprietors of Locks and Canals on the Merrimack River
3) What was the first textile mill corporation to open in Lowell and the last of the original ones to close?
• The Merrimack Manufacturing Company a.k.a. the Merrimack Mills
4) What hospital was phased out in 1930 and given over to the Grey Nuns of the Cross of Ottawa?
• The Lowell Corporation Hospital
5) Which Civil War veteran was a five-term Congressman, a one term Governor and a candidate for the United States presidency?
• General Benjamin F. Butler
President Obama pumped up the volume on his message for the upcoming election in a just-released interview with Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone magazine. I picked up the feed from realclearpolitics.com. Read the RS interview here, and consider buying the magazine if you value the work.
The State of Vermont lodged a complaint with the Food and Drug Administration and asked for an investigation to determine whether Log Cabin Syrup, a division of Pinnacle Foods LLC, is violating FDA labeling laws. A recent AP story noted:
A new Log Cabin syrup touted as “all natural” looks a lot like the pure, 100 percent maple product that’s the pride of Vermont, right down to its packaging in a plastic beige jug.
But Vermont officials, seeking to protect the state’s signature commodity, contend that Log Cabin All Natural Syrup is not what it seems, enticing consumers into dousing their pancakes with ingredients that include caramel color, xanthan gum a natural thickener and a paltry 4 percent maple.
True New Englanders and aficienados of Pure Vermont Maple Syrup – or that of New Hampshire and Canada – wince at the idea of consumers outside the region being duped by the trickery of a container and a label.
Today the AP’s John Curran is reporting that:
The maker of Log Cabin All Natural Syrup says it’s getting rid of the product’s caramel coloring in response to complaints by producers of the real thing…
Pinnacle Foods said Tuesday it’s changing the ingredients to assuage concerns by maple syrup makers in Vermont and New Hampshire.
The “purist’s” complaints are probably not fully assuaged since the labeling still isn’t clear that the product isn’t really ”pure” and all-natural. Stay tuned.
Currier and Ives: American Forest Scene Maple Sugaring, 1856
In a front-page story today, the New York Times singles out Brockton High School as a model of academic achievement in a diverse, urban setting. Plus, with its 4100 students, Brockton cuts against the prevailing wisdom in the field of education that smaller is better. It also shows how public schools are capable of significantly raising the performance of their students without any magical formulas or prescriptions – but through good old fashioned hard work and cooperation.
The story begins in 1993 with advent of education reform in Massachusetts. With passing scores on the MCAS test looming as a future graduation requirement, teachers – not administrators – at Brockton High sensed the looming disaster as up to one-third of the school’s students would fail to graduate. A small group of teachers began meeting voluntarily on Saturdays to chart out a turnaround strategy. They settled on emphasizing the basics: reading, writing and reasoning; and got the school’s administration and most of the faculty to buy-in to an approach that required every staff member – from English teachers to gym teachers to guidance counselors – to integrate instruction in those areas into the daily lives of the students. The results have been remarkable.
Here are a couple of key passages from the article:
Brockton never fired large numbers of teachers, in contrast with current federal policy, which encourages failing schools to consider replacing at least half of all teachers to reinvigorate instruction . . .
Teachers unions have resisted turnaround efforts in many schools. But at Brockton, the union never became a serious adversary, in part because most committee members were unionized teachers, and the committee scrupulously honored the union contract.
And the school’s diversity and size, which many on the outside would automatically consider detriments, are seen by those at the school as part of its strengths:
Many students consider the school’s size — as big as many small colleges — and its diverse student body (mostly minority), to be points in its favor, rather than problems.
“You meet a new person every day,” said Johanne Alexandre, a senior whose mother is Haitian. “Somebody with a new story, a new culture. I have Pakistani friends, Brazilians, Haitians, Asians, Cape Verdeans. There are Africans, Guatemalans.”
“There’s a couple of Americans, too!” Tercia Mota, a senior born in Brazil, offered. “But there aren’t cliques. Take a look at the lunch table.”
“You can’t say, those are the jocks, those are the preppy cheerleaders, those are the geeks,” Ms. Mota said. “Everything is blended, everybody’s friends with everyone.”
It’s all pretty compelling evidence that charter schools, vouchers, wholesale firing of staff aren’t solutions to the problem of lagging academic achievement. The solution lies in a unified vision for the school that is implemented by a fully engaged group of teachers, administrators and parents.
In an op-ed piece in today’s Boston Globe, former Massachusetts Attorney General and Member of Congress from the 5th District – Jim Shannon – weighs-in on the pending sale of the Caritas Christi Health Care systems to Cerebus Capital Partners – a for-profit private equity firm. Commenting on Attorney General Martha Coakley’s role in the process – Shannon sees “an orchestrated effort to get her to move quickly to rubber-stamp the deal.” Shannon cautions Coakley about taking her time and requiring some conditions:
“…Coakley should carefully consider all the ramifications of this decision because her approval, without appropriate conditions, could severely limit access to quality health care for hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts residents.
Disclosing his current position as a trustee of Lawrence General Hospital – a sister community hospital to Caritas Christi Holy Family Hospital in the Merrimack Valley – Shannon expresses his concern for the fall-out effect on other hospitals and health care services.
It is not just the Caritas Christi hospitals that are at risk in this deal. In Greater Lawrence, Brockton, and Fall River, the community is served by two hospitals, one run by Caritas Christi and the other a private not-for-profit institution.
I serve as a trustee of Lawrence General Hospital, which together with Caritas Christi’s Holy Family Hospital serves the Greater Lawrence community. There has always been an element of competition in these communities served by two hospitals, and that has benefited the public because both hospitals have a real stake in the long-term well being of their communities…
In this process the competing hospitals could be seriously harmed and forced to cut back drastically on the services they provide to their communities. If, after all of that, Cerberus’s investment in Caritas Christi were to end up like Chrysler, the effect on the health care available to people in the Lawrence, Brockton, and Fall River areas would be catastrophic…
The attorney general should not act until she has all of the information she needs.
Read Jim Shannon’s entire commentary here in the Boston Globe.
Why isn’t the annual announcement of the MacArthur Foundation “genius grants” for extraordinary creativity in the sciences, arts, engineering, and other disciplines televised nationally like baseball’s All-Star Game? The awardees are the ”stars” of intellect, creativity, and insight. The NYTimes today reports on the latest MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grants.” At least three of the 23 recipients live in Massachusetts. Read about the winners here, and get the NYT if you value the journalism.
The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. There are three criteria for selection of Fellows: exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.
The MacArthur Fellows Program is intended to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations. In keeping with this purpose, the Foundation awards fellowships directly to individuals rather than through institutions. Recipients may be writers, scientists, artists, social scientists, humanists, teachers, entrepreneurs, or those in other fields, with or without institutional affiliations. They may use their fellowship to advance their expertise, engage in bold new work, or, if they wish, to change fields or alter the direction of their careers.
Although nominees are reviewed for their achievements, the fellowship is not a reward for past accomplishment, but rather an investment in a person’s originality, insight, and potential. Indeed, the purpose of the MacArthur Fellows Program is to enable recipients to exercise their own creative instincts for the benefit of human society.
The Foundation does not require or expect specific products or reports from MacArthur Fellows, and does not evaluate recipients’ creativity during the term of the fellowship. The MacArthur Fellowship is a “no strings attached” award in support of people, not projects. Each fellowship comes with a stipend of $500,000 to the recipient, paid out in equal quarterly installments over five years.
Tony Sampas contributes more photographic evidence of Lowell’s past as a “smokes stack economy”