A new history book about Lowell by Richard P. Howe Jr and Chaim Rosenberg to be published on March 11, 2013. To order a copy and to learn about local readings and book signings, check out our Legendary Locals of Lowell page.
The economists said the answer to the economy’s struggles isn’t government budget cutting. Instead they called for fiscal stimulus — more federal spending, tax cuts, or both — to help right the economy.
“It is clear that the economy is not going to heal itself, and that fiscal austerity in the short run will only prolong economic suffering,” the summary said. “The economically prudent policy — more fiscal stimulus in the short run coupled with deficit reduction that takes effect as the economy recovers — can be achieved only is we reach political consensus.”
The group — which includes economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Boston University, Harvard, and MIT — said interest rate reductions and other steps taken by the Federal Reserve have “reached the limit of their effectiveness,” and called upon federal policy makers to take additional steps.
A week from tonight a lot of people from Lowell and environs will be at the Appleton Mills atrium for the launch of a new book that collects the work of dozens of writers, visual artists, and musicians who live and work in the city. Titled “Young Angel Midnight,” the anthology will make a huge statement about the vitality of the creative sector of Lowell. This is something new and different. The Cultural Organization of Lowell (COOL) commissioned Bootstrap Productions, a local publisher, to produce a document that would capture the imaginative and intellectual energy surging through the community’s nervous system. I try to keep up with what is going on, but I was surprised to see the variety in the work of younger creative people in the city. The quality is high throughout.
Cotton production is today’s topic in the Disunion series on Civil War history in the NYTimes. Frederick Law Olmsted shows up as a journalist rather than a landscape architect in this installment. Historian Susan Schulten of the University of Denver is today’s author. Read it here, and get the NYT on your porch or online if you want more.
Today Congresswoman Niki Tsongas joined officials from the Lowell National Historical Park, Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust, and the city of Lowell to celebrate the opening of River Reach Park. Located behind the historic Spalding House this new park provides an exciting location for interpretive programs at the Pawtucket Falls. She spoke about the power of partnerships among the key players – the Park Service, the Parks and Conservation Trust and the city in preserving Lowell’s history as a driver of economic development.
Mass Moments, the daily dose of Massachusetts History tells us that today is the birthday of Henry Hobson Richardson, one of the most important and influential architects in American history. Richardson was born in Louisiana in 1838, studied in Paris, did much of his work in Boston, and died in 1886. Perhaps his most famous work is the Trinity Church in Boston’s Copley Square, shown above. Richardson’s Wikipedia page is HERE and the full Mass Moments essay is HERE. The latter explains that from early America until after the Civil War, there was no truly American style of architecture, but that . . .
Henry Hobson Richardson would change that. In 1866 he won the commission for the First Unitarian Church in Springfield, Massachusetts. At a time when most churches were being designed in the English Gothic manner, with pointed arches and towers, Richardson chose an original blend of rounded Roman arches of stone, freshly interpreted with varied colors and textures, to create a massive, monumental effect. The project was a success, and other church jobs followed. In 1872 he won what may have been the most important commission of his career —Trinity Church in Boston’s Copley Square. With its massive stone walls, supported by dramatic rounded arches and relieved by gables and turrets, and an inventive use of color, Trinity Church is a masterpiece. Richardson’s practice grew dramatically.
From the beginning I didn’t have a good feeling about this Red Sox season. Perhaps the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup in the spring sucked up all my pro sports enthusiasm. The additions to the team seemed sound – Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford – and the talk early on was how would they find enough work to keep all of their top of the line starting pitchers occupied through the season. Their pitching seemed to abandon them as Dice-K was lost for the season and then Clay Buchholz went down for the last six weeks. Crawford was a disaster right from the start and while Gonzalez repeatedly demonstrated why he was valued so highly, he became a victim of the Home Run Derby Slump which, each year, takes one of the players who dominates the home run derby at the All Star game and turns him into a weak singles hitter for the rest of the season.
For the past week I’ve been more concerned with finding time to go see Moneyball, the new Brad Pitt movie that’s based on the Michael Lewis book of the same name – one of my favorite works of nonfiction ever – than I have been with the pennant race. Having lived through the Bucky Dent home run, the Bill Buckner error, and the Aaron Boone home run, this year just adds to local Red Sox lore. The team did win the World Series twice in our lifetimes, what more do you want? Still, the aura of Theo Epstein is badly damaged. Daisuke Matsuzaka, J D Drew, John Lackey and Carl Crawford: he’s spent a lot of money on players that have defined mediocrity over the past few years.
Unfortunately, the same vibe I had about this Red Sox team back in the spring is how I feel about the Patriots today. Go Bruins.
In the immortal white-board handwriting of the late Tim Russert, “Florida Florida Florida.” I hope the Sunshine state folks push to the hilt their attempt to get the earliest primary election date possible in 2012. I am so sick of New Hampshire and Iowa being at the front of the pack. I wanted to yell, in fact I did yell in my kitchen, when I read a news story yesterday with a quote by some smug New Hampshirite politico saying Florida upstarts are endangering the vital and historic role that N.H. plays in “vetting candidates.” What crap.
It’s always bugged me that Massachusetts politicians let New Hampshire eat our presidential primary lunch by dutifully waiting in line until N.H. sorted out the pack. Why do Hudson and Seabrook and Keene get first pick? Nevermind the caucus barn dance in Iowa just before. Why haven’t the Massachusetts political parties insisted on having their primary earlier than N.H. or on the same day at least? I don’t get it. Tradition is the wrong approach for something so important. Why is Nashua more deserving of winnowing the field than Lowell and Worcester?
Seems to me that national political party types should have a lottery system with everyone in. You create a big event like the professional sports team draft extravaganzas and pick 50 state cards out of a tumbling drum. Maybe there are five primary days, “super Tuesdays,” with ten states each time. Maybe Oregon and Kentucky get to be first to vote the next time. Maybe New Hampshire winds up in the fifth pack and has to wait until May to vote. Maybe change is a good thing in this case. I think so.