March 30th, 2011
The recent release of the 2010 census got me thinking about the demographics of Lowell. That prompted me to open my copy of “The Record of a City: A Social Survey of Lowell Massachusetts”, a fascinating book written by George F. Kenngott in 1912. The book is both enlightening and a representation of the sometimes shocking to our way of thinking attitudes towards race and ethnicity of that time. From time to time, I will excerpt sections of it here. Today’s selection is from the opening of Chapter 2, “The Present Population.”
Lowell is a cosmopolitan city of over one hundred thousand people, representing at least forty nationalities. There are about 20,000 native-born Americans of native parents. There are enough representatives of the English-speaking peoples of England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Canada, to make, perhaps, forty per cent of its population. Of the non-English speaking peoples, there are 20,000 French and French-Canadians, 2000 Swedes, 300 Norwegians, 2500 Portuguese, 8000 Greeks, 2000 Poles, 2500 Jews, 200 Armenians, 500 Germans, 200 Belgians, 200 Syrians, and a great mixture of Russians, Lithuanians, Austrians, Chinese and others, aggregating forty percent at least of the population, and increasing so rapidly by immigration that this foreign-born population will soon be fifty per cent, if it is not so already. This large foreign, non-English speaking population has come to Lowell almost entirely during the last twenty-five years; those from southern Europe and Asia have come almost entirely during the last fifteen years.
March 30th, 2011
As a founding member of the Greater Lowell Community Foundation back in the late 1990s and a longtime Chair of the Distribution Committee, I know how important this seach for a new leader is to the foundation and the Greater Lowell/Merrimack Valley community. It is a critical position in our local non-profit world and I’m confident that they will find “that perfect fit” as the GLCF’s next Executive Director. Check out the job description and pass it along to your network.
Executive Director Search for the Greater Lowell Community Foundation
The Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF) seeks an executive director (ED) to grow the 14 year-old organization. The foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life for the people in the Greater Lowell/Merrimack Valley communities through philanthropic leadership and service.
Working with the board, the ED will first lead the multi-year strategic/business thinking/planning process together with the development of a strategic communications plan. Guided by this roadmap for growth, the ED will be instrumental in implementing, leading, building, expanding and managing GLCF’s day-to-day operational effectiveness; friend, donor and fundraising capacity; community, program and project development; as well as multi-pronged collaborative efforts with other organizations.
Through a highly successful and prudent investment strategy, GLCF’s endowment has grown to $21 million in 2011. In 2010, the foundation gave $868,000 in grants, totaling 290 grants in education, human/social services, health, community development, arts & culture and the environment. The foundation’s 2011 operating budget is $460,000 with a current staff of 2.5 FTE and a 19–member board, representing a cross section of Greater Lowell’s community leaders.
The ideal candidate will have a minimum of a BA degree, with ten or more years in a management role with progressively increasing responsibilities. He/she will possess strong social entrepreneurial leadership skills and be effective in both nonprofit and donor worlds. With the proven ability to navigate in a multi-cultural and diverse environment, he/she will have a history of success in all aspects of friend, donor and fundraising as well as community outreach and development. The successful candidate will have a genuine passion for the mission and philosophy of GLCF, be a multi-tasking team player with a strong, hands-on work ethic and be an individual of unquestioned integrity.
This is a full time position offering a competitive salary and benefits commensurate with skill and experience.
This search is being conducted by Third Sector New England’s Executive Transition Program. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Only online applications will be accepted. For the complete job description and information on how to apply, please visit http://www.tsne.org/jobs/ed_glcf
The Greater Lowell Community Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.
Find out more about the Greater Lowell Community foundation here at the website: http://www.glcfoundation.org/homepage.php?wpage=/root/home.htm
March 30th, 2011
Everyone is invited to hear the acclaimed African peace activist Leymah Roberta Gbowee speak at UMass Lowell on Monday, April 4, at 12.30 pm, in the O’Leary Library Auditorium, Room 222, 61 Wilder Street, on UML’s South Campus. Parking is available in the Visitor Lot on Wilder. She is the keynote speaker in the Day without Violence program of the UML Peace and Conflict Studies Institute.
Leymah is the 2011 UMass Lowell Greeley Scholar for Peace Studies. In 2003, she organized a peace movment led by women of Christian and Muslim faiths. Ms. Gbowee is executive director of the Women’s Peace and Security Network of Africa, based in Ghana. In 2007, the Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard University’s JFK School of Government honored her with the Blue Ribbon Peace Award, and in 2009 she and women from Liberia collectively received the Profiles in Courage Award of the Kennedy Library in Boston. She is the central character in the award-winning documentary “Pray the Devil Back to Hell.” She will be at UMass Lowell for the first three weeks in April, meeting with students and faculty on campus and speaking to community groups in the region. For details on her events, visit uml.edu/artsandideas or the website of the UMass Lowell Peace and Conflict Studies Institute, which hosts the Greeley Scholar each year.
March 30th, 2011
I really like this cartoon about “April as Poetry Month” on the Pollard Memorial Library blog site. Check out the PML site and read about all the events scheduled for the month of April here.
March 30th, 2011
While searching for a Saints Medical Center photo this morning I came across this image on Corey Sciuto’s great website. Corey has some terrific Lowell photos including some sent to him by others. The above photo comes from Ken Coffin, who worked as a photographer with City Fair in Lowell in the late 1970s into the early 1980s. This particular photo brought back lots of memories … All the men in this photo ran for Congress at one time or other – two were elected and served. Who are they?
For more of Corey Sciuto’s images check here: http://coreysciuto.blogspot.com/search/label/Lowell%20Photos
March 30th, 2011
Tony Sampas gives us some close-ups of the machinery that helps run Lowell’s canals.
March 30th, 2011
The City of Lowell’s Department of Planning and Development hosted a public meeting last night at the Pollard Memorial Library meeting room to update residents on plans to renovate the city’s South Common. DPD’s Rachel Kisker facilitated the meeting and landscape architect Nina Brown (whose first project in Lowell was designing Boarding House Park) did the presentation.
The plan is to have the construction documents complete by June 30 of this year. That would allow the city to apply for a state grant of $1.5 million that, if awarded, would allow construction to begin in the spring of 2012. Since the overall improvements contemplated would cost $7 million, the work will be split into phases.
Phase I will include an extension of last summer’s renovations to the sidewalk and lighting along Thorndike Street all the way to Highland Street. It would also include the installation of a path all the way from Thorndike to South Street with appropriate lighting and the replacement of the existing 8-foot high razor wire topped chain linked fence behind the Rogers School with a more sightly barrier. This path would be laid out to accommodate the contemplated extension of the National Park’s trolley system through the Common.
The trolley now ends on Dutton Street opposite the Textile History Museum. The line is expected to be extended into the Hamilton Canal development areal. Once that’s done, it could then be extended again up South Street – crossing Appleton – to the South Street-side of the South Common. From their, the trolley would turn into and cut across the Common and Thorndike Street to drop riders right at the Gallagher Terminal.
Phase II of the project would be the renovation of the existing soccer field. This would include a walking track around the field’s perimeter and an amphitheater built into the slope along Thorndike Street across from the Gallagher Terminal with the stage area on the Thorndike Street side of the playing field. There is an ongoing investigation as to what surface – natural grass or artificial turf – would be best for the soccer field.
Phase III wold include all of the “activities” such as a new playground along South Street and a new pool, either of a traditional variety or a fountain pool. The idea is to keep all the family-friendly activities grouped together in that area so that a parent would be able to supervise multiple children at the same time. There is also much consideration being given to keeping noise down at night because of the housing across South Street. Because of this, a basketball court will be located in the opposite corner of the park, closer to the Thorndike-South Street intersection (although this park will not have lights to keep it from being used late in the evening).
I found this meeting to be very interesting and informative. So much of this work is money-dependent that given the present tough fiscal times, it might take longer to accomplish that we all hope. Still, you can do nothing without a good plan and it seems the city already has that.
March 30th, 2011
There’s a report in today’s Boston Globe that there is a tentative agreement in place for the Steward Health Care System that recently purchased the Caritas hospital system to acquire Saints Medical Center in Lowell.
For-profit health care is expanding in Massachusetts, with community hospitals in Taunton and Lowell expected to soon disclose deals to be sold, probably to Steward Health Care System, while other struggling nonprofit hospitals around the state ponder similar bids.
Steward, the Boston for-profit company formed last year to run the six Caritas Christi hospitals in Eastern Massachusetts, appears to have the upper hand in bidding for Morton Hospital and Medical Center in Taunton, according to people briefed on the negotiations. It also has a preliminary agreement to buy Saints Medical Center in Lowell, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity because talks are confidential.
This possible purchase of this Catholic, non-profit hospital is a huge development for the delivery of health care in this part of the Merrimack Valley. Steward acquired Holy Family Hospital in Methuen as part of the Caritas take-over last year. Last December Steward agreed to pay $21 million for Merrimack Valley Hospital in Haverhill and Nashoba Valley Medical Center in Ayer. Those deals await approval by the state. Remember the process needed to acquire Caritas? The Attorney General, Mass Department of Health and the Court all have a role to play as they represent what’s best for the local communities. Stay tuned as this is sure to cause concern in Lowell and elsewhere. This change to a for-profit health care delivery system brings cultural and economic change to the affected communities.
Read the full Robert Weisman and Liz Kowalczyk article here at Boston.com.
Update at 8:40am – the Lowell Sun has an item here on BreakingNews at their website.