Sunday Notes August 31st 2014

Nice to have Market Basket back and a classy move by Bridge St. Store Manager Andy Haggerty who on Saturday afternoon Thanked shoppers for their loyalty and support on the PA and then had the employees stop and applaud the customers!

Mass Open Meeting Law: The list of topics must be sufficiently specific to reasonably inform the public of the issues to be discussed at the meeting. Where there are no anticipated topics for discussion in open session other than the procedural requirements for convening an executive session, the public body should list “open session” as a topic, in addition to the executive session, so the public is aware that it has the opportunity to attend and learn the basis for the executive session.

While not required under the Open Meeting Law, public bodies are encouraged to make a revised list of topics to be discussed available to the public in advance of the meeting if the body intends to discuss topics that come up after posting but before the meeting convenes.

What seems pretty clear is Mayor Elliot believes he is above the Open Meeting Law. He posted the following “Agenda” 1. Finance SC August 19, 2014
RE: Discussion of FY 14 and FY 15 City Budget
.

If you listened to the Council meeting the other night, while defending Mayor Elliott I think I heard Councilor Mercier state that the Mayor called her to tell her about the meeting. If you look at the actual Finance Sub-Committee meeting, you notice 5 City Councilors inside the Council Chamber which makes me also wonder if he contacted more than the sub-committee members and since a Majority of the Council was contacted and present, was this entire meeting Illegal?

This Council has been all over the Solicitor and Water Dept. about rules, procedures and regulations but they also don’t think the same requirement to follow rules and procedures applies to them. Just look at what the dean of the Council Rita Mercier says I keep quiet about the rules violations because I want the people to hear about it whether we’re in violation of the rules or not.

IRONY of the WEEK -
We will be saying it is OK to fund personal vendettas with taxpayer dollars. I don’t think that’s the message we want to send to the taxpayers who funded this witch hunt.” — Lowell Mayor Rodney Elliott

Hmmm Fiscal Watchdog BARKING over less than $26,400 a year in the past 6 years for Surveillance in a $300 Million Dollar Budget and yet he has spent THOUSANDS OF TAXPAYERS DOLLARS by using the City Auditor, Solicitor and Manager’s Staff trying to prove there was some type of “Cover-UP” by the Lynch Administration. ( personal vendetta)

He’s correct that’s NOT the message you want sent to Taxpayers but it appears he is doing exactly that.

I did laugh a lot when people complained about a post earlier this week that went back 30+ years. No one gave a damn about a 3 year old item when I was a target. If Years didn’t matter then, they sure don’t matter to me now!

BTW: IF ANYONE has any concern over what I post, Don’t call/mention it to one of my sisters, cousins, friends. None of them are responsible for what I write and none of them have any say or editorial control over what I post. If You have an issue call me I am reasonable, don’t yell (nor expect to be yelled at, I will hang up) 978-866-8561 I have a long drive to work in the am 7:15-8:00 and home 5:15-6:00 and enjoy the chance to chat.

How necessary are HOUSING Authorities? Warren Shaw advocates getting rid of Housing Authorities, Dracut Housing is making a case that they really aren’t needed.The next time they meet, they will have had a 95 day space between meetings. If you can go without meeting for 3 months, is the board really needed?

If You look at the DHCD Guidelines for Local Housing Authorities it suggest

 Holding and attending regular monthly and special meetings in conformance with:
 Open Meeting Law, M.G.L. c. 30A, §§ 18-25
 Public Records Law M.G.L. c.4 §7(26);

The Lowell Housing Authority on its website clearly shows a meeting schedule: Meeting Agendas/Schedules:

The Board of Commissioners’ Regular Meetings take place the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 5:00pm. The Annual meeting is the 2nd Wednesday in March at 5:00pm. Meetings take place at the Armand P. Mercier Community Center, 21 Salem Street, Lowell, MA.

Dracut Housing Authority’s By-Laws are a little more Vague: Section 2 – Regular Meetings. Regular meetings will be posted in accordance with State and Local By-Laws.

So why isn’t the Board meeting? and why hasn’t the Lowell SUN who relentlessly went after the LHA, not asking or writing about this? In fact why was the SUN going so hard after LHA and now why are leaving the DHA alone?

Another question I have after it was pointed out to me is why in any story dealing with the LHA maintenance workers Union does the SUN hardly EVER mention which Union that is?

president of the union representing the LHA’s maintenance workers,

Two leaders of unions representing workers at LHA acknowledged the report and the shortcomings in how LHA approached the renovations.

Angelo Karabatsos, president of the union representing LHA maintenance workers, (No mention of what union again,but a paragraph later Lyle Moran writes)

“The report says they did not check until after the work was done,” Local 429’s David Purtell said. “That is not the way it is supposed to be done.”

Why name one Union and not identify the other? What is the SUN hiding from the public?

What Union represents the LHA maintenance workers? What Union represents The Dracut maintenance workers? What is the connection between the LHA and Dracut Union? Is there one? Is there a Board member or staff on the DHA associated directly or through family with a Union that represents the maintenance workers? Is there a connection with another union? Are there some serious conflicts of interest or is this just typical infighting and bubble rumors? Lots of questions, few answers.

What does the SUN know that they are not reporting? Inquiring minds want to know.

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New England PBA responds to Governor Patrick’s anti-police race-rant

Blog Supporter Jerry Flynn asked to share his letter to Gov. Patrick

08/29/2014 – 10:14am

As the executive director of the New England Police Benevolent Association, which represents over 4,000 law enforcement professionals across New England, we are appalled at the latest anti-police rant by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. His latest tirade regarding race relations is purely an attempt to give his candidacy for higher office some kind of legitimacy off the backs of hard working dedicated police officers. Governor Deval Patrick has consistently and constantly taken to the press when it fits his own political agenda. His anti-police rhetoric is well known and his most recent race rant in which he states he is, “sick of unarmed black men being shot by police” is disingenuous at best and factually inaccurate.

In fact Governor, since you have been the Governor of Massachusetts can you give us an example of “ANY” police officer within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts who has been charged with shooting an “UNARMED BLACK MAN” or ANY person without legal justification under the law. In this state, where lawlessness is not condoned nor is it accepted you have attempted to paint all police officers with the same broad brush BEFORE the facts are even know with respect to the fatal shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. You have haphazardly used race against a profession with which is forced to make split second decisions to save the lives of the general public, as well as their own.

Governor, your own political ambition has either clouded your good sense of judgment or your own bigotry is manifesting itself in a negative way as a result of what you may have observed as a youth in Chicago, IL Your bogus comments are reminiscent of the stupidity exhibited by President Obama when he called the actions of a Cambridge Police Sergeant as “Acting Stupidly” with respect to a white police officer arresting a black professor and those of us in law enforcement all remember how that turned out and we are not interested in another keg party or beer blast.

As you are well aware Governor, just last year police officers in your adopted state of Massachusetts protected the general public and saved lives as terrorists attacked innocent civilians and paralyzed the City of Boston. Yet, together White, Black, Asian & Hispanic police officers assisted everyone and anyone they could regardless of RACE, CREED OR COLOR. In fact, this was a precursor to the violent attacks against police officers by those same terrorists who confronted police officers with bombs on the streets of Watertown, MA.

In fact, the para-military offensive displayed on the streets of Watertown and utilized to search the residential neighborhoods for this cop-killer was applauded by a thankful community. Governor, your friends in the United States Congress now wish to condemn these tactical maneuvers – Yet, you remain silent on this issue.

So Governor, were you also “SICK” that day as police officers risked their own lives to protect YOU and the public at large. Your bombastic and infuriating comments have no place in today’s society and neither does hateful race relations from the likes of Rev. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Yet, as President of the United States of America and the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts you have both decided to wrap yourselves around the shroud of controversy from which these two “Race Rats” produce a living – in a vile attempt to further divide this country and thus putting dedicated hard working police officers at risk.

Perhaps, your expertise and knowledge of the effectiveness of the para-military equipment utilized after the murder/assassination of MIT Police Officer Sean Collier and the manhunt which ensued would be more relevant than the racial diatribe that echoes from the streets of Ferguson, Missouri to the new palatial confines of your corner office at Beacon Hill. In fact, $11.5 million dollars would train and equip a lot of police officers or perhaps integrate an inner city community policing program designed to work with these “unarmed black men” before they get shot by police – proactive instead of reactive would be a noble idea, don’t you think?

Governor, your comments are not only factually inaccurate, but also boldly unforgiving and as we lose a police officer in the country every 52 hours-we are reminded of your gross negligence and that of the Massachusetts Parole Board Chairman who was appointed by you and allowed a career criminal to murder one of our members, Woburn Police Officer John “Jack” Maguire.

In fact, President Obama’s “if I had a son” speech regarding the tragic shooting and death of Trevon Martin rings in my ear with a vengeance – because I do have a son and he is a rookie police officer and just this week his police academy classmate was shot at multiple times simply while making a traffic stop. He returned fire and shot the suspect and although he was not injured the results may have been extremely different if not for his courage, training and God’s blessing and yes – that could have been my son.

So Governor, let me be clear; “We are sick of police officers being shot, we are sick of going to police officer’s wakes and funerals; but most of all, we are sick of you pandering to the public about issues of race that do not even remotely exist within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts”.

So maybe . . . just maybe, when you meet Lowell Police Officer Patrick Casey as a recipient of the annual George L. Hanna Award Ceremony, you can thank this HERO for putting his life on the line protecting the citizens of the Commonwealth. Yes, he is white and the suspect was said to be multi-racial; but we don’t allow rioting and looting in the City of Lowell and we don’t allow our police officers to become target practice either.

So perhaps Governor, as you look toward higher office you would be best served if you took a page from the former Attorney General of the United States Robert F. Kennedy, who addressed and notified a large group of African-Americans in Indianapolis, IN about the senseless murder of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Ironically, while race riots and looting occurred across the country – no such incidents occurred in Indianapolis, IN.

Robert F. Kennedy said; “What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love, and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.”

Sincerely,
Jerry/Flynn, Executive Director
New England Police Benevolent Association

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REMOVED

I’ve made the choice to take down this post out of MY RESPECT for Family.

Maybe the Mayor and others will think about others Families before they attack people and insinuate they are part of a Cover-Up, are Woman haters or are Negative Ninnies.

I struggled yesterday on whether I should even post, but felt it had to be posted so people knew what was going on and to show that YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW!

No pressure by anyone, no threats, no screaming to take this post down, I just chose to take it down and remind EVERYONE

family-matters-1989

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Grand Opening of Wicked Irish Pub & Grille

No Published Caption

Just received an Invitation to the Grand Opening of Wicked Irish Pub & Grille- Half way to St. Patrick’s Day Celebration!!!

September 13 – September 14 Sep 13 at 2:00pm to Sep 14 at 1:00am 197 Market St, Lowell, Massachusetts 01852

Looking forward to attending and Thanks to Mg Entrtnmnt for the invite.

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LMA General Manager Keith Vaske – We are very excited about the start we are off to in year two

Keith Vaske the General Manager of the Lowell Memorial Auditorium was unable to join us on Saturday Morning due to last second a family commitment that had come up, his email went into my spam folder so I didn’t realize he could not make it.

He did responded to some questions I had asked and here is his statement.

I did see your questions, and hopefully the following will provide you with the answers.

We took over the building July 1, 2013 and we we able to start booking at that time. Typically, events that happen in the fall/winter are booked in the spring prior to us taking over. Event bookings were behind when we took over as there were not many events in the fall that had been booked because of the transition process and most shows that were touring had already completed routing/venue booking. This is shown by the amount of weeknight shows we had compared to weekend. This year, many shows will be on or towards the weekend.

When looking at the events on the calendar this fall compared to last fall we have double the ticketed events on sale at this time.

Events that we currently have on sale

- ECFC II(mma) – Sept. 12 ($90, $75, $55, $40, $30 MILITARY, $20 STUDENT)

- R5 – Sept. 28 ($32.50, $35, $42.50)

- Doo-Wop – Nov. 8 ($49, $59)

- Colin and Brad – Nov. 9 ($39.50, $49.50, $59.50)

- Wild Kratts – Nov. 15 ($27, $37, $67)

- Straight No Chaser – Nov. 20 ($29.50, $39.50, $49.50)

- Dark Star Orchestra – Dec. 6 ($29, $75) $35 Day of Show.

- Holiday Pops – Dec. 14 ($50, $70, $80, $126)

We have also already confirmed our Broadway Series and will be announcing it soon. This was a feat that we were not able to accomplish until October of last year because of the late start. We are further ahead in terms of being able to market the series and sell tickets which will benefit the financial performance.

In addition to this we have 3 other events that are confirmed but have yet to be announced, 2 of which will take place before December 31st. In total we will have 10 events(not including Broadway) on sale over the first half of our fiscal year during our 2nd year. Comparing the early sales trends of the shows currently on sale to shows of a year ago we are in much better shape. As you can see from the list above we have sometime for everyone, MMA events, concerts, comedy and family shows.

We feel this is a result from the relationships that we have been able to build and bring into the auditorium during the first year. They are turning into actual bookings now because we have been in the building for an entire year.

We are very excited about the start we are off to in year two. We are confident that having a full year under our belts with a better idea of what event revenue and building expenses will translate into a successful second year and future years. We think the building is wonderful and with the continued support of the community the city will be in a better place over the life of the contract.

We are currently working with the city on an addendum to the contract and once we get through that I would be happy to sit down and talk with you in more detail about the future of the Lowell Memorial Auditorium.

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Sunday Notes August 24th 2014

Despite the Lowell Sun’s continued Bias, slanted attempt at attacking the former Lynch Administration for the ERRORS of the former Treasurer former CFO Tom Moses over on Lowell Live Feed addresses the Bond Issue and why he thinks they did not get issued.

Maybe I can shed some light. Bernie Lynch has made it clear that one of my responsibilities was debt issuance. It is not that Liz was incapable – she just wasn’t in Lowell when Bernie hired me. It was my responsibility to make sure we closed the year with clean capital accounts. If is missed anything, Sheryl Wright would have certainly brought it to my attention because she understood very well the consequences of not doing so.

Bob Healy was clearly hired to prepare the budget. It may not have been his role to oversee debt. I doubt Conor or Kevin Murphy told Liz that she was now responsible for debt. Neither Conor nor the new auditor had ever closed the books in MA, so they probably weren’t aware of the consequences. In fact, free cash is not a concept in use in Texas. Chalk this up to lack of MA financial experience. The current staff is smart and I doubt this will happen again. I do hope they don’t miss something else. However there is one leader and it is up to him to assign and know everyone’s roles. That clearly did not happen.

What’s becoming clear is the obvious inexperience of this City Manager and his team when it come to Municipal Fiances and what also is clear is that Mayor Elliot along with the SUN hold grudges and will hold special meetings and go off on silly tangents in any attempt to show up the Lynch Administration and take people’s focus of the inaction and inability of this City Council and this Manager.

What is clear is that many of these Councilors (with assistance from the SUN) ran on a Public Safety focus, especially on shootings and gun violence which the SUN and these individual played up in their campaign efforts. They used the fear of shootings and the promise to address it to get elected and after almost 8 months we know from the stats supplied by the Lowell Police that it hasn’t gotten any better.

Shootings involving victims is actually up from where is was last year,
Year Time Period Shootings(actual victim shot)
2013 (1/1/13-6/30/13) 4
2014 (1/1/14-6/30/14) 5

and we had a double murder a few weeks ago and stories like this which would have been BOLD headlines in an Election year biased coverage are now small column stories in the paper.

Police stop car, find six bullet holes

The Biased, slanted coverage by Jim Campy, EDMark O’Neil and the Mayor’s Publicist reporter Lyle Moran doesn’t mention the continued increase in shootings and murders instead focusing on “Quality of Life Crimes” such as theft from motor vehicles and vandalism.

Citizens are writing letters of concern to the newspaper about the continued shooting incidents and they publish them (usually on a Saturday, the least read day) Impact of shootings is harming the city and this citizen sums it up pretty clearly:

Last November 9 people were elected to the City Council largely based on there “commitment to public safety” and this year a city manager was hired on his “commitment to public safety.” Someone in authority has to be tasked with the sole objective of removing this one single element that is hurting our city.

It’s to bad we have a newspaper focused along with the Mayor on spending time attacking the past Administration instead of addressing the seemingly growing violence. It it also sad that most of these city councilors are now so afraid of getting attacked ny the newspaper and the Radio Host weekday mornings that they have become silent partners and accomplices to this Council Manager and the negative way this city is heading.

The SUN has all but forgotten the promise of many Councilors who wanted to focus on ‘Economic Development’. In the first 8 months of this Council we have seen neighborhood markets, dog care shops and hairdressers being welcomed by the Mayor but no new major businesses and instead have seen these businesses announcing they are cutting , closing or moving.

Lowell General Hospital braces for cost cuts as operating challenges mount (I’m told many workers have already had hours cut because the Saints Campus isn’t being utilized) and workers have had to use their saved sick and vacation time or would have a day deducted unpaid.

Centro’s sold – Ray Robinson’s closed due to David’s death and the building Owners desire to get rid of the restaurant

Autoliv ASP, Inc. Auto safety R&D and manufacturing Lowell 8/1/14 – 12/9/14 93 Jobs to be eliminated Pawtucket Blvd

Genesis HealthCare – Glenwood Center facility Health care Lowell 2/20/14 – 3/20/14 86 Jobs eliminated, business boarded up on Varnum Ave.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Financial Services Lowell
3/31/14 – 12/31/14 60 Jobs being eliminated at the former Wang Towers

Even City Councilor Belanger Chair of the Economic Sub-Committee closed his downtown business this Summer.

I hope the Newspaper gets sold soon, Lowell needs a local paper but needs one with objective fair reporters, editors and a Publisher who is smarter than one who lost $790,000 selling their office condo’s.

WE need host and newspaper people willing to call out the current administration with the same joy and zeal they use in reporting about their so called failures and shortcomings of the past administration and labeling concerned citizens Negative Ninnies while threatening future City Council candidates who have supporters who are vocal on Lowell Live Feed with attacks on their candidacy for what people who support them same.

This Council and Manger are being covered in the best light possible and any negativity is being blamed on the past administration. Funny that many people being critical are the exact same ones who bashed Bernie lynch when he did the same to John Cox and his administration.

Just like Mayor Elliot, Campy and the SUN these people are proven hypocrites.

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6 Year Average on Surveillance in City of Lowell – $26,413.25

surveillance5a

26K

Holy Smoke! Just look at the vast amount of money in a multi-million dollar budget that was spent on average in 1 year here in Lowell. A WHOPPING $26,413.25 (Click on link above)

The 6 year total is $158,479.51 less than we are paying the Mayor’s Big Brother, an inexperienced City Manager for 1 years work and mostly (SHOCKINGLY to No ones surprise) it was spent on WORKERS COMP CASES.

HOLY COW! It’s a good thing the Mayor has been so up in arms about the money spent. I mean why not just pay a worker claiming to be hurt $30,000 a year for life…that way we save all the surveillance money.

In her letter to the Manager, the City Auditor also warns the Manager and Council (HELLO ANYONE LISTENING) that even if names are disclosed in “Executive Session” because of confidential settlement agreements they may not be shared.

Maybe we can move on to more important issues now??

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