March 28th, 2012
Human rights activist John Prendergast will be at UMass Lowell for four days in early April. Several of his presentations are free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome.
Tuesday, April 3, 12.30-1.45 pm
“Good News Peace Stories from Africa: The 2012 Day Without Violence Lecture.” Sponsored by the UMass Lowell Peace and Conflict Studies Institute and Greeley Scholar for Peace Studies Program. O’Leary Library auditorium, Room 222, 61 Wilder St., UML South Campus. Parking available in Wilder St. lot.
Monday, April 9, 7.00-9.00 pm.
Film screening and community conversation. Sponsored by PACSI and the Greeley Scholar Program. John will present a short film about his international human rights work and discuss current issues in Africa. UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, 50 Warren St., downtown Lowell. Parking is available in the Lower Locks Garage.
For more information, visit www.uml.edu/centers/pacsi, send email to email@example.com or call 978-934-3218.
March 28th, 2012
Mayor Patrick Murphy, event moderator
Yesterday morning at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, the Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce held its 17th Annual Municipal Breakfast. Moderated by Lowell Mayor Patrick Murphy, the event featured the city/town managers of Lowell, Westford, Dracut, Chelmsford and Billerica each giving an overview of the important civic and fiscal issues confronting their respective communities.
Lowell City Manager Bernie Lynch led off, saying that there has been and are many positive things happening in Lowell despite the on-going recession. Building permits are up. The remaining space in the Boott Mill complex is moving forward with both commercial and residential uses. The portion of the Massachusetts Mills closest to the intersection of the Merrimack and Concord Rivers, a prime location that has languished for decades because of questions about fire equipment access and historic preservation seems set to move forward after the city mediated a solution to the various concerns. Other major developments at Western Ave and Jackson Street are also progressing. The Lowell Community Health Center has consolidated its operations on Jackson Street which is vitally important since 25% of Lowell’s residents obtain some form of health care from that entity and the merger of Lowell General and Saints Memorial is a key development in the city’s health care infrastructure. Lynch said “we don’t have time to talk about all the great things underway at UMass Lowell, but it’s certainly the busiest time in that institution’s history.”
Transitioning to other topics, Lynch informed the audience that despite losses at the height of the recession, the number of private sector jobs in the city is the same in 2012 as it was in 2006. The manager also gave a shout-out to Howl-in-Lowell, calling it a “great new online publication about the city” and urging business leaders to take a look at it. Infrastructure-wise, work on the Hunt’s Falls and Central Street bridges was complete, the new bridge at University Ave is underway and the National Park recently received a major grant to extend the city’s trolley line.
Lynch said that city government was “in good shape.” There is a Capital Plan for the first time in the city’s history and the city is in better financial shape than it was six years ago. The city took advantage of the recession to make “institutional changes” need to make us more sustainable. The settlement of the health insurance issue with city unions was huge, saving Lowell 3 to 5 million dollars this year and up to $8 million per year in the future. Lynch concluded by saying “my fear going forward is complacency”, that as things get better there’s a temptation to “let loose” with spending whereas we should maintain the fiscal discipline that’s been forced upon us be the recession even though good times return. read more »
March 28th, 2012
Last night, nearly 20 people gathered at the Moses Greeley Parker Library in Dracut for an illustrated lecture by Richard Marion, who showed in Powerpoint format about 25 images of Lowell places, buildings, and scenes from among the hundreds that he has created in the past 40 years. The talk was organized into sections: Mills, Downtown, Rivers and Canals, Neighborhoods, and Bridges. Many of the images have been seen on this blog in the past year, from the Greenwood Bros. building on Lawrence Street to the remembered float planes on the Merrimack downriver from the city.
Interspersed with his comments about composition, line, form, and color were anecdotes like one about a recalled episode in family history when a man’s pay envelope went missing from the third floor of a tenement in Little Canada along the Northern Canal. The envelope with cash and coins had gotten scooped up with bread crumbs on a tablecloth and “lost” when the man’s wife shook the tablecloth out the window. There’s a happy ending to this story: the envelope that had gone in to the canal and had sunk to the bottom because of the coins was retrieved the next day when the canal was drained of water to allow for maintenance of the system.
March 28th, 2012
Tony Sampas brings his camera to St Margaret’s Church on Stevens Street in Lowell