Images of the Merrimack Canal by Tony Sampas
Images of the Merrimack Canal by Tony Sampas
The entry below is being cross posted from Marjorie Arons-Barron’s own blog.
If Ronald Reagan was the great communicator, Barack Obama is the great synthesizer. In an artfully designed presentation, he pulled together all the disparate themes that have been raised in the last three weeks regarding our Libyan involvement and wove them into a (superficially) coherent tapestry of history, policy, philosophy, critical analysis and doctrine. It was a performance worthy of the law school professor that he was. But, as with a full-course dinner of Chinese food, an hour later you’re hungry and looking for more.
President Obama, as anticipated, defended the necessity of the Libyan action as a way of halting brutal atrocities and the potential flow of refugees into other, new and fragile regimes in the region. Now, he said, the United States, having halted Gaddafi’s deadly advance, will turn over responsibility to NATO and other allies. We, however, will continue to provide support, especially in intelligence, logistics, “humanitarian assistance” and communications. But, while it’s comforting to think that the United States has, with international collaboration, “done what we said we’d do,” we’re left with many serious, nagging questions for which the President didn’t provide answers. All the “what if’s.”
As Robert D. Kaplan wrote last weekend in the Wall St. Journal, the Middle East crisis has just begun.
The President has described our “unique role as an anchor of global security and advocate for freedom.” But do freedom and democracy mean the same things to the Libyan opposition coalition as they do for us? Will the material assistance we provide the coalition end up being used against us?
He said we are safeguarding $33 billion of Libyan frozen assets to help rebuild a system of government. How heavily involved will we be? What long-term commitments is he actually making to build a replacement government? How far does one go in taking sides in a civil war? The UN resolution said one thing. The Canadian in charge of the NATO mission said another. read more »
The topping off ceremony at the construction site of UMass Lowell’s Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center was satisfyingly inspirational for many reasons, chief among them being the sight of a long white steel girder autographed by hundreds of people in blue Sharpie and bearing a small fir tree and US flag slowly being lifted by a crane to the top line of steel of the structure. A few minutes earlier a time capsule that had been placed in the foundation of the now-demolished Smith Hall dormitory in 1947 had been opened in front of the crowd. In it were documents from the time, including a letter from the Governor of Massachusetts who expressed faith that his generation would find their way forward in the new “Atomic Age.” A new time capsule will be embedded in the ETIC, filled with documents and messages to a future generation on campus and in the city.
The crocuses poking up in my front yard must have missed the latest forecast, otherwise they would have stayed below ground. Hoping that the prediction of snow was just an April Fool’s joke, I clicked through the TV dial to survey several weather forecasts:
Channel 5 puts Lowell on the border between 2-6 inches of snow and 6-12. A fractional change in the storm’s track or the temperature will make a huge difference.
Channel 7 says we’ll get 4-7 inches of heavy, wet snow but there’s little risk of icing or sleet with winds of up to 40 mph. The storm will taper off on Friday afternoon.
NECN has us getting 6+ inches of heavy, wet snow beginning after midnight tonight although NECN has Rte 495 as the dividing line between a lot of snow and not so much.
Channel 4 gives us 2-4 inches with a “close to call” caveat on the weather map.
WCAP’s Al Kaprielian predicts the most snow, giving us a pretty solid 6-12 inches.
Check back this time tomorrow for no school announcements
With April 2 being the first Saturday of the month, Western Avenue Studios will have its normal Open Studios during the day, but there’s much more this month. Here’s the schedule:
–Noon to 5 PM, First Saturday Open Studios
–5 PM, Q&A/PERFORMANCE: This show is open to everyone but our special guests will be young musicians and music fans from greater Lowell. The
show will open with a Q&A between Glen David Andrews and Mike Flynn of WCAP. He’ll talk about his life, the evolution of jazz, how music saved
him from the streets, etc. Then he’ll play a set.
–6:45, FILM SCREENING: We’ll show the documentary “Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans.” GDA is featured in this film, but our
other special guest will be Dr. Caryn Cosse Bell, who was Research Director on the film and is a UMASS Lowell history professor.
–8:30 PM, GDA PERFORMANCE: Put the children to bed. This is basically just GDA’s regular nightclub act. He is a monster and will burn the mills
to the ground.
Everything is free. Donations will be collected to create a fund for music education initiatives here in Lowell. We’re also trying to collect
used and new instruments to send back to NOLA with Glen David for his nonprofit initiative “Trumpets Not Guns”.
Here’s some more information about Glen David Andrews:
A 30-year-old native son of the historic Treme neighborhood, Andrews first played Western Avenue Studios in 2009. His thrilling performances draw upon his cultural lineage, incorporating the sounds of gospel, blues, traditional jazz, funk, and brass band street music. He has toured the globe with his own band and alongside such luminaries as Bonnie Raitt, Lenny Kravitz, and U2’s The Edge. He is featured playing himself on HBO’s “Treme” series and was recently honored as a “Future Hall of Famer” by the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. He is also the cofounder of “Trumpets Not Guns,” a grass-roots initiative to distribute instruments to disadvantaged youth in New Orleans. www.glendavidandrewsband.com
Sunday, May 22, is a day to mark on your calendars if you are interested in literature, Lowell, the creative economy, poetry, history, America, and more. If the planets line up correctly, there should be four new books released that day by Kate Hanson Foster, Paul Hudon, Bob Forrant & Christoph Strobel, and your reporter here. Stay tuned for details.
On this last day of March – Women’s History Month – it is fitting to note that on this day – March 31, 1776 – in a personal letter – Abigail Adams urged her husband John Adams “to remember the ladies.” As the Continental Congress met to write the laws of the new nation to come, she wanted representation for women. It would be nearly 150 years before the House of Representatives voted to pass the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. Abigail Adams letter was a private first step in the fight for equal rights for women
In a letter dated March 31, 1776, Abigail Adams writes to her husband, John Adams, urging him and the other members of the Continental Congress not to forget about the nation’s women when fighting for America’s independence from Great Britain.
The future First Lady wrote in part, “I long to hear that you have declared an independency. And, by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”
Read more here at the Adams National Historic Site/National Park website.
The NYTimes today has an article about a new art project involving tractor trailers and a bunch of activist visual artists and writers and performers. Read about The Great American Art Trip as reported by Randy Kennedy, and get the NYT if you want more of this kind of arts coverage. This project is tied to a larger, very interesting effort that I had not heard about, “America: Now and Here.” The arts community in Lowell and the Merrimack Valley should look into how we can link up with this initiative. Check out the website.
After years of rumors about a Great American Art Trip in the works, the painter Eric Fischl has announced a privately financed program in which a truck-based roving museum and performance space will tour the country for two years to address what he sees as an identity crisis in American culture.
The idea, he said in an interview, grew out of a strong conviction in the years after 9/11 that the country, as it grew more politically polarized, was losing a sense of its place and direction in the world, more so than at any time since the 1960s.
“This came just from talking to friends, peers, acquaintances, students, local grocers, whoever I talked to,” he said. “America doesn’t usually turn to its artists for help with something like that, but I actually think it’s something that artists do very well. And I thought, ‘If America won’t turn to its artists, then I know a lot of pretty famous artists and I’ll ask them to go out and do it themselves.’ ”