AGENDA: The regular agenda for the May meeting will include: update from the DSC, the Mass Dems convention in Lowell July 13, 2013; the US Senate “special” primary / election / debates / campaign activities; election 2014 / candidates/ etc.; 2013 Distinguished Dem update; other topics on the minds of members.
Greater Lowell Area Democrats (GLAD) Chair Marie Sweeney announced today that former Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone will be honored as the 2013 Distinguished Democrat at the Annual Fall Brunch on Sunday October 27, 2013.
First elected as the Middlesex DA in 2006 Attorney Leone declined to seek reelection to an upcoming third term. This past March he resigned from his position to join the international law firm Nixon Peabody LLP as partner in the firm’s Government Investigations & White Collar Defense practice in Boston. Prior to his election as district attorney, Mr. Leone served as first assistant United States attorney in the District of Massachusetts, managing the office and conducting federal and international investigations and cases ranging from public corruption to health care fraud and cybercrime.
Attorney Leone has earned the respect of law enforcement, business and community leaders, his fellow members of the bar, government officials as well as political leaders and activists for his work as an effective and ethical prosecutor and community leader. His career has been focused on seeking justice for victims of crime and in protecting the children and families of the Commonwealth.
Members of Greater Lowell Area Democrats are pleased and proud at the choice of Attorney Gerry Leone and look forward to honoring him as our 2013 Distinguished Democrat.
Reservations for the event to be held at Lenzi’s in Dracut can be made with Greater Lowell Area Democrat Chair Marie Sweeney at email@example.com. Tickets are $40 each. Table reservations are available.
The hot topic nationally and locally is the issue of sequestration – its reach and fall-out. Many pundits and editorial writers have weighed-in on its perceived realities and the politics swirling around the issue. The Executive Director of Community Teamwork – Karen Frederick and CTI’s Director of Planning – Cheryl Amey have their very experienced views in today’s Lowell Sun as a rebuttal to the recent Sun editorial suggesting “barely a ripple” locally. With their permission we have it here for our readers:
A few weeks ago the Lowell Sun printed an editorial, “Sequestration Foolishness,” which suggested that there is barely a ripple of an impact on any Massachusetts resident. The implication was that sequestration doesn’t matter and that there will be no impact on Lowell.
That’s not the case.
Last week Congress passed legislation to protect air traffic controllers from furloughs resulting from the sequester. News reports of the impact of flight delays on the economy propelled Congress into action. What is lost on Congress is that the sequester’s impact on families and on communities like Lowell also impacts the economy. The last thing our country needs right now is anything that will further weaken our economic recovery and yet that is exactly the impact the sequester will have.
As a result of the sequester, in Massachusetts –
- 500 children will lose child care assistance. Parents of young children need child care in order to obtain and retain a job, which makes child care key to the economy. The fact is – working parents need child care.
- 1,100 fewer children will be served by Head Start, the federal pre-school program designed to give low income children a chance to start school ready to succeed – more on par with their wealthier counterparts, which affects their future performance in school and increases the likelihood they will graduate from high school (and hopefully go to college).
- 26,970 adults will no longer receive job search assistance. If we are going to strengthen the economy in our state, then those who have the hardest time finding a job need some help so that they can contribute to our communities, pay taxes, and become self-sufficient
- 2,940 fewer children will receive vaccines to combat illnesses and to promote healthy development.
- 160 fewer disabled children will receive assistance when our state loses $13.4 million in education aid for disabled children.
- Meals for the elderly will be cut by $535,000
- 500 fewer battered women will receive assistance as they try to escape from situations involving domestic violence.
- Juvenile justice grant funding will be cut by $300,000, which translates to fewer police in our communities.
When cuts are allocated throughout the state, the impact may be diffuse but, for those who are directly affected, the cuts will be great. For communities like Lowell, the impact translates to fewer parents employed who will pay taxes and purchase goods and services in the community. For children, the loss of child care or inability to participate in Head Start may have a life-long impact. Fewer seniors who receive fuel assistance or food may endanger their health and well-being. In addition, the these cuts all have an impact on small businesses—fuel delivered and meals prepared all represent jobs for others who do not directly receive assistance. Grocers and vendors who supply services like fuel are part of our local economy.
The sequester does matter. While we may not know at this time the exact impact on Lowell, by the time we do know it, it will be too late. The damage will be done. Community Teamwork Inc. (CTI) seeks to assist low-income people to become self-sufficient and to alleviate the effects of poverty. As an economic engine within the community, our goal is strengthen the economy in Lowell by strengthening families and small businesses. We have an array of programs funded by the federal government that at their core help individuals to work and contribute to our local economy and help small businesses grow. Demand for services far exceeds the resources we have. The sequester may not be visible, but the impact will be clear. Fewer parents who can get the child care they need to work, less money in the pockets of small business including local oil dealers and grocers, and layoffs in one of our community’s largest employers all undercut Lowell’s ability to grow the area’s economy.
It is up to us to let Congress know – if they can protect air traffic controllers from furloughs, then they can help those who are most vulnerable among us. And, in doing so, they will promote an economic development strategy that communities like Lowell need to survive and to prosper.
Karen Frederick, Executive Director
Cheryl Amey, PhD, Chief Planning Officer
Community Teamwork, Inc. Community Teamwork, Inc.
(For full disclosure ~ I am a member of the Community Teamwork, Inc. Board of Directors. I have served as the representative from the Town of Tewksbury since 1992. My tenure includes serving four terms as the President.)
Read about the well-deserved tribute for filmmaker John Antonelli, who grew up in Greater Lowell (Tewksbury to be exact) and went on to notable success in the world of film. Fitchburg State University will recognize him at its Commencement with an honorary degree.
This coming Saturday, May 11, 2013, I will speak about Company K of the Sixth Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment as part of Chelmsford Civil War Day at the Chelmsford Center for the Arts, 1A North Road in Chelmsford (the former town hall). While contemplating the controversial step of instituting a national draft during the summer of 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued a call for 300,000 volunteers to serve a term of 9 months. The Old Sixth, a Lowell-based militia regiment that had disbanded after its 90 days service at the start of the war – service that included the riot in Baltimore and the first deaths from hostile fire in the war – was revived in answer to this call for troops. Many of the veterans of the Sixth had enlisted in other units and so there was an immediate push for new recruits. There was also a need for an entirely new company since the original Sixth was smaller than wartime regiments. A new Company K was created to fill this void, recruiting its members from Greater Lowell towns such as Chelmsford, Dracut and Tewksbury. The regiment left Lowell in early September 1862 and was deployed to southeastern Virginia near Norfolk where it saw limited action but sustained losses due to disease and hostile action. It returned to Lowell in June 1863 at the completion of its term of service.
On Saturday, I will discuss this 1862 mobilization of the Sixth Regiment – how the soldiers were recruited, what their daily lives were like, and the particulars of the skirmishes and battles in which they were involved – and place it in the larger context of the history of the Sixth Regiment and of the Civil War. Please try to join us.
UPDATE: The talk is at 10 am this Saturday (May 11) at the Chelmsford Center for the Arts at 1A North Road, right in Chelmsford Center.
For a while now UMass Lowell has been seeking a downtown Haverhill location for a satellite campus. With recent proposals not meeting its criteria, UML Chancellor Marty Meehan has entered into a partnership with Northern Essex Community College to offer bachelor’s degree courses at NECC’s Haverhill campus in time for the opening of the Fall semester. University officials will continue to seek downtown Haverhill space but will continue its NECC association. In today’s Eagle-Tribune staff writer Shawn Regan gives an update.
“We are pleased that we can begin making a high-quality UMass Lowell education available in Haverhill as soon as September,” said UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan. “We have worked successfully with Northern Essex for years to help their graduates make a smooth transition to continue their education on our campus and now we can say that will be even easier.”
Meehan stressed the university is “totally committed” to finding a site downtown for a temporary satellite campus and then eventually a larger, permanent campus there.
“We wouldn’t be going to Northern Essex if we weren’t totally committed to downtown,” Meehan said. “The reason we are going to Northern Essex now is to begin to grow a program so we have the enrollments and structure in place for a larger site downtown.”
Read the full article here at eagletribune.com: http://www.eagletribune.com/haverhill/x326073258/UMass-Lowell-to-open-satellite-campus-at-NECC
Driving home from a meeting in Worcester one day last week, I exited Route 495 at Boston Road Westford to grab a late lunch. There are many quick and casual dining choices just off the highway, but I had heard there was a Five Guys Burgers franchise in the vicinity. Sure enough, after leaving the highway and driving south towards Route 110, the Five Guys sign was visible on the right, part of a large complex of retail outlets known as Cornerstone Square.
Visually and functionally, Five Guys is more McDonalds than Friendly’s. You approach a counter just inside the door and place your order, aided by the large menu board permanently affixed above the employee who takes your order. Because the food is not pre-made, you’re given a receipt with your order number, and empty drink cup to fill at the communal dispenser, and you then sit down at one of the two dozen tables inside the establishment. Large sacks of potatoes and canisters of peanut oil piled amidst the tables give the place a slightly rustic feel. Soon your number is called, you return to the counter and take the brown paper bag containing your food.
The menu is focused – several variants of burgers plus hot dogs and veggie and grilled cheese sandwiches. There are also french fries, “five guys” or cajun style. There are many toppings, all free, which you use to customize your burger when you place your order. I had a “Little Cheeseburger” which was a single adequate sized hamburger patty with a slice of melted cheese. The burger, though thin, was juicy and the roll was amazingly fresh. I ordered lettuce, tomato and mayo and that was all served accurately. I ordered the “regular” sized fries which yielded enough for about four servings. The fries were thick, hot and had the potential to be very tasty, but mine were dredged in so much salt that they were nearly inedible. I’m assuming that was a result of a server with a too heavy hand on the salt shaker, so I’ll wait until my next order of fries from Five Guys to pass final judgment. The burger, fries and a medium soft drink cost just over $10 with tax.
If you’re looking for a quick burger and fries that does a better job of camouflaging the industrial output look, feel and taste of what you get at McDonalds, Five Guys is a good choice. I will definitely try it again.
AGENDA: The regular agenda for the April meeting will include: update from the DSC meeting; the Mass Dems convention in Lowell July 13, 2013; the US Senate “special” primary / election / debates / campaign activities; election 2014 / candidates/ etc.; 2013 Distinguished Dem update; other topics on the minds of members.
Elected officials, candidates and their representatives are welcome to join us! Please advise the Chair.