Is Councilor Belanger Wrong in his attack on Trinity Financial?


I listened to City Councilor Corey Belanger on 980 WCAP yesterday morning, he was on with Teddy (after apparently forgetting he was booked and advertised on City Life).

I didn’t catch his entire interview and it isn’t posted on the radio replay but caught the tail end when he took Trinity Financial the Developers of the Hamilton Canal District to task, stating they were behind on two buildings, that the Manager was working on getting a local company to stay in Lowell and take the entire 110 Canal Place (UML has 2 floors presently) and that the City shouldn’t be doing their work getting tenants and that he would be holding them accountable and asking for plans and a time table. Teddy warned him that he might be upsetting people with his comments but he said he stood behind them.

My initial thought (and text) when I first heard him was he wasn’t all wrong and if they are behind they need a push and if they aren’t working with this unnamed business they should be.

However I should have considered the source and before agreeing with him I should have asked around to collect some more substantial and dependable information.

Let’s start with the fact that they may be behind , that is somewhat factual in that when they first talked about the redevelopment it was “assumed” by many that the Freudenberg building was going to be an easy marketable piece but in fact had to be redeveloped and that put them off schedule.

Let’s also remember that in April of this year the Patrick Administration announced with Chancellor Marty Meehan at a highly publicized press conference the following (reported by the SUN): Gov. Deval Patrick joined UMass Lowell, state and city officials at 110 Canal St. on Thursday to announce a new UMass Lowell innovation center will occupy two floors of the downtown building, with the hope that the center will spur the next wave of business innovation in the city and region.

Patrick also announced that the state is investing an additional $1 million to help complete the construction of the 55,000 square foot commercial building.

Now it appears the Murphy Administration and apparently Councilor Belanger and some other Councilors are supporting an effort by Manager Murphy, trying to force UML OUT of 110 Canal Place after the previous Administration, UML, Trinity Financial and the State of MA. worked so hard to make the UML expansion happen there.

That effort to force out UML to another building is being done on behalf of a private business who according to rumors floating in the bubble, doesn’t want to lease the entire building, they want to buy it at a loss for Trinity Financial!

To have any City Official in favor of forcing a PRIVATE DEVELOPER who has put many millions of their own dollars, that of investors (Met Life has invested over $42 Million in the Appleton Mills phrase), and State Money to change plans in an effort to save a few jobs in the City for a Private Company and political capital is in my opinion, wrong, unfair and borders on attempted extortion.

Lowell doesn’t want to lose any businesses, that is understandable. However trying to force UML to move after the Governor and the State have invested MILLIONS of Dollars with support from the State Delegation is a slap in the face to the State, Governor, Umass Lowell, Senator Donahue and Marty Meehan and unfair to Trinity who seems to be doing the best they can in an economy that has been so sluggish that even Councilor Belanger had to close his business and try to restart it under a new name.

To publicly accuse Trinity Financial of not working with a private business who wants Trinity to take a loss, wants the State and UMASS Lowell to change their plans after the State invested in this building and site (and from what I hear, this particular business has been dragging their feet on moving for over a year) is another case of an inexperienced Councilor shooting off his mouth before getting all the facts or purposely ignoring the facts for political gain.

If Manager Murphy is really attempting to move UML and forcing Trinity to take a loss or applying pressure to do something on behalf of saving a few jobs, he is not only wrong but could be jeopardizing future State investments in the City and working with UML on the downtown and other projects.

How does it look when the Governor holds a press conference in April and the City Manager 5 months later is trying to get the State to move their investment for a private company?

Maybe Councilor Belanger wanted people to agree with him like I initially did, he sounds good until you do the homework and find out that just like his statement on moving the High School to the Common, Councilor Belanger either doesn’t have or doesn’t share all of the facts for the public to be truly aware of the entire story.

I’ve attached Trinity’s Letter to the Citizens of Lowell from the Lowell Sun published earlier this year, the last time Councilors attacked them. They did not respond to my email request for comment regarding this latest issue but the open letter from February certainly gives a great overview of their plans.

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Familiar Face to be Special Events Coordinator?

City of Lowell
Job Description Please Post ~ August 15, 2014 Deadline ~ August 21, 2014 Special Events Coordinator

I’ve heard only a few rumors about possible people getting this position, usually someone connected with a Politician.

The lasted BUZZ in the Bubble has an old familiar, popular and well-respected person rejoining the Murphy Administrative after being dumped as Asst. to the City Manager. Someone with actual experience from his days at the Lowell Plan.

Yes the word in the Downtown Mob has Henri Marchand making his way back to City Hall.

If this is true another nice hire by Manager Murphy…if only he would learn how to announce these things to the public.


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Sunday Notes Sept. 14th 2014


Beside the mention of the State Rep race in the 18th, today’s SUN Political Column features NOTHING about Lowell Politics. No City Council mentions, no school committee mentions, nothing about the Manager ZIP!

They have gone from being attack pit bulls against the former Manager and selected Councilors to neutered french poodles. No longer to be feared, just annoying to have them around.

In the mention of the State Rep. race there was no mention of the quality of the candidates who lost or speculation about their political future. The only thing in the column of significance is a shot at two former Cambodian/American former City Councilors who served for a short time.

Neither Uong or another prominent city Cambodian, Vesna Nuon, have called to congratulate Mom. Uong is a housemaster at Lowell High School, but his political career ended in ignominy when he ignored advice and got caught up in a conflict-of interest mess.

Nuon, an employee of the state Sex Offender Registry Board, lost his bid for re-election to the City Council last fall. He served one term.

Of course it is hard to call out a City Council who the Sun endorsed a majority of and a City Manager they wanted after doing their best to get out the former Manager. People might actually realize they could hold some of the responsibility in the state of the City. The government you get is the one you elect.

Think the headlines would be something like this if Lynch and a different Council were in place instead of Murphy and this council. CITY EXPERIENCES UPTICK OF 24 MORE SHOOTING INCIDENTS THAN 2013..COUNCIL NEEDS TO TAKE ACTION.

Councilor Corey Belanger who ran a campaign centered on Public Safety is starting to realize the voters may actually remember his empty rhetoric and has resorted to pointing fingers at the Police and Social Service Agencies to blame them for his and this Councils inability to stem the violence. If you run based on one main point and the problem increases instead of decreases, what else can you do?

Belanger said the city hired five more police officers for the new fiscal year that began July 1. Belanger wants the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office to lend help to Lowell police for extra patrol. State police should also help, Belanger is worried Lowell could become as crime-infested as some other cities without quick action, prompting residents to move elsewhere as has happened in the past.

“Before there is another mass exodus, we have to curtail this in a real hurry,” Belanger said.

Belanger said the high concentration of social-service agencies in Lowell, including homeless shelters and drug-rehabilitation facilities, help attract criminals. Although he believes those agencies are important, surrounding smaller communities should also host some of those facilities to share in the burden, Belanger said.

“We are tired of being 100 percent of the solution. Social-service agencies are really destroying the city,” Belanger said.

At least the SUN recognizes things have gotten worse since this Manager and Council have been in office and published some of the latest incidents in a list.

Timeline of recent shootings:

• On Saturday night, a shot fired inside The Broadway Barber Shop at Broadway and Walker streets grazed the cheek of an unidentified man.

• On Thursday night, a man, 19, was shot in the chest at 10 Burton St. in South Lowell. While an investigation continues, Taylor said it is possible the shooting was related to a drug deal.

• On Aug. 23, a Lowell man, 32, was charged with firing several gunshots into the air outside a Powell Street home in the Highlands, where his ex-girlfriend was with another man.

• On Aug. 23, officers found six bullet holes in a two-door coupe on the Lowell Connector near Thorndike and Gorham streets.

• On Aug. 10, brothers Keith and Joseph Callahan were fatally shot in an Andrews Street apartment. A Chelsea man has since been charged in their deaths.

• On June 25, five people in a home on Midland Street were shot in what police said was a gang-related incident.

• On June 17, shots were fired in the area of Third and Read streets in Centralville.

• On June 15, a man was reportedly shot in the leg in the Back Central neighborhood.

• On June 8, at least 20 shots were fired near 1431-1433 Gorham St. in South Lowell.

Seems since Lyle Moran has moved on, the Mayor may have found a new binkie instead of the newspaper. Let’s face it, Rodney was their guy for attacks on Lynch but even that didn’t get him the SUN’s endorsement in last years election. Now it’s the morning host who seems to be his favorite, “Every morning, I turn the radio on, and it’s another shooting, it’s another shooting. I’ve had it,” Teddy has to train him to mention the call letters the way Elliot used to wave around the SUN. Maybe a WCAP Tie for him to wear at meetings? Tough to wave around a radio or app.


Brian Donovan and Paul Yem both had respectable showings in their first attempt at elective office. Either would make a good candidate for the next Lowell City Council race. David Ouellette, who also ran a solid campaign works for the City so I’m not sure he could serve on the Council. Maybe Jim Leary would consider a move to the Council but based on history, we have seen that is not an easy move.

Wonder who was more disappointed in the Rep. race outcome, Jim Leary or former School Board member Bob Gignac who would have rejoined the School Committee if Leary was successful in the primary and then in the General November Election? Gignac was holding signs for Leary!

Campy writes a sarcastic filled diatribe against the Historic Commission in today’s paper.

They left it up to Lowell’s capo di tutti capi of preservation, Historic Board Administrator Stephen Stowell, to implement Lupoli’s demolition application once it is received.

Keep your fingers crossed, Lowellians. Stowell is known for ingeniously crafting rules and regulations on the spot to frustrate business owners trying to upgrade their properties that have had the unfortunate destiny of being gerrymandered into an ever-growing Downtown Historic District.

I’ve always found it funny that the City with the backing of the paper wanted to take FEDERAL FUNDS to be named a Historical District and a National Park but since business in the downtown is slow, businesses are now whining and complaining about the restrictions, many who signed on and opened their businesses KNOWING IT WAS IN A HISTORICAL DISTRICT. Bill Samaras is playing along with the SUN since the SUN didn’t attack Manager Murphy giving a promotion to his SON in a job that was never posted for the public or other employee’s to apply for. Imagine if Lynch had promoted a Councilors SON?

When I was on the Election Commission I was “advised” by the Ethics Commission to file a disclosure that said in my unpaid role on WCAP’s Saturday Morning Live I sometimes dealt with candidates and elected officials but that I was able to do my job on the Election Commission impartially. I wonder how many other appointed Board or Commission members, Elected or appointed City workers have filed any of the many disclosure forms that the Ethic Commission offers have been filed with the City? I filed a FOIA request and was told I would have the information this past week, that has yet to happen but the City has until next Friday the 19th to respond before they violate the 10 day rule.

The SUN does take the time to promote Jim Campanini’s favorite Radio host latest project….
LOWELL’S OWN John MacDonald, host of WCAP’s “The Pulse” on Thursday nights, has published his first e-book, Moonlight Montecristo, including a picture of the book.

Congrats and good luck JMAC, all the sucking up to Campy pays off in a free ad for your book.

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On September 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four airliners and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two of the planes were flown into the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.

Often referred to as 9/11, the attacks resulted in extensive death and destruction, triggering major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism and defining the presidency of George W. Bush. Over 3,000 people were killed during the attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., including more than 400 police officers and firefighters.
From The History Channel

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City Admin to walk Neighborhood Business Districts

Mike M

Asst. City Manager Mike McGovern checked in to let me know that “Great Minds think alike” and that the Manager had already discussed with the staff about the importance of visiting the Neighborhood Business Districts.

The first such visit will be the Bridge St. area in Centralville on Tuesday Sept. 23rd beginning at 10:00 am.

If you know of businesses in that area, give them the heads up and have them ready to speak with the city about what can be done to assist them.

A great idea and outreach by the Murphy Administration.

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Are Neighborhood Business Districts being Ignored by Obsession with the Downtown?

Courtesy Lowell SUN

Courtesy Lowell SUN

Nice that the City Manager brings the staff out for a walk in the “downtown” but when he he going to recognize that Lowell is bigger than the areas between Appleton St. Kearney Square and Fr. Morissette Blvd?

When will we see the Manager with his entourage intact, walking Rte 38 in Belvidere to the Tewksbury Line? or Bridge St from 1st St. in Centralville to the Dracut Line? Mammoth Road? Middlesex St? Westford St.? Salem St? Steadman St beyond the Methadone and Ambulance businesses?

Why is he sending the message that the #1 Priority in this city is for the few businesses in the Downtown and not EVERY Business area in the City?

Don’t the neighborhood business districts deserve the same type of attention? Are Neighborhoods being Ignored by the Obsession with the Downtown?

It’s bad enough we have City Councilors who seem to be working for the Downtown Businesses. Don’t these other businesses not located Downtown and who are paying the same taxes as those in the downtown deserve a City Administration who cares about and will be attentive to them?

Is there anyone else besides me who is sick of hearing nothing but motion after motion concerning Economic Development for the Downtown and the seemingly lack of support or attention for the other business districts by this Council and this Manager?

BTW have you been paying attention to the fact that not only are shootings UP all over the City but now those “Quality of Life” crimes that were in decline appear to be on the rise in both Centralville and Pawtucketville according to messages sent out by the Lowell Police.

Hello everyone, we sent out 3400 code red phone calls on Christian Hill area. This is a result of 3 more homes that were entered overnight. Residents left pocketbooks on kitchen tables that were visible and suspects entered the house and stole them. They also took car keys and went through a person’s car. They appear to be looking for cash as nothing else was taken, even from the vehicle.

Message from Captain Kelley Richardson 7 car break -ins in unlocked cars in outer Varnum Ave:
I am not sure how many people are on your e-mail list but I need to get the word out in the outer Varnum Ave area that people need to lock their vehicles. We have had 7 car breaks off of outer Varnum and all had the doors unlocked

Maybe the focus for this Council and Manager could be for ALL OF LOWELL and not just for DOWNTOWN LOWELL!

The Citizens and Businesses in ALL NEIGHBORHOODS deserve that!

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“Party of all Parties”


Centralville Neighborhood Action Group

For the “Party of all Parties”
Sun., Sept. 21st , 1-4:30pm
Dom Polski Club,
corner of Lakeview Ave. & 10 Coburn St.

Our Vendors are …

Admission free, door prizes, refreshments, and fun. Tell your friends.

‘Be a good neighbor, bring a friend’.

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