Creatures of the Lowell Line

The US Secret Service confirmed today that it is investigating a man who allegedly impersonated a Secret Service agent on an MBTA commuter rail in an attempt to avoid a fare.

“We’re aware of the incident and we are investigating it,” Special Agent in Charge Stephen Marks told “Impersonating a federal agent or officer is a crime… we’re taking the report seriously [and] looking to get to the bottom of it.”

Richard Sullivan, lieutenant detective with the MBTA Transit police’s special crimes unit, confirmed that the transit police are also investigating the incident. Sullivan said that the investigation is ongoing.

“We have had communication with the US Secret Service—Boston office relative to the video,” Sullivan told “I’m confident that the gentleman alleging to be a federal agent does not possess such status.”

Did this really go down on the Lowell line?  I ask you this, does this stuff NOT go down on the Lowell Line every single day?  You give me a day that ends in “Y” and I’ll give you at least one incident of a dude trying to get out of the fare.  Secret Service Agent?  Not even in the top 5.  I  saw a guy crawl into the portal to hell known as the train toilet and emerge halfway to Woburn, only to find a patiently waiting conductor (Some bird totally narced on him).  When asked for a ticket, the guy claimed he was on the previous train into Boston, experienced a “seve-ah diarrhea attack” and couldn’t dethrone in time for the next trip.    Needless to say, that ride was on the State.  Nobody in history has ever debunked an explanation that involved diarrhea.  It’s bullet proof.

Mayor Elliott Absolutely Destroys the St Paddy’s Day Breakfast


Shades of Richard Pryor and Sam Kinison in their prime.  Just eviscerating the room with comedic nukes.  At a certain point, the laughter was so uproarious that it kept knocking WCAP off the air between every masterful line.  Panos and Fontanella have some splain’n to do because those of us on the radio end just got awkward silences.  You’re better than that fellas.

…and how about this Coakley bird trying to big league our mayor?   She’s a day removed from “SHEMA” and all of a sudden she’s a Last Coming Standing judge?  I wonder what she said about Willie Lantigua during all those Lawrence St Paddy’s day breakfasts? 

Farewell Sbarro. We’ll always have our little slice of history together.


New York Times

The pizza restaurant chain Sbarro filed for bankruptcy protection for the second time in three years after struggling with too much debt and fewer customers in malls that house many of its restaurants.

Lenders would take control of Sbarro, which is based in Melville, N.Y., under a prepackaged Chapter 11 reorganization. The company on Monday said that could allow a “quick exit” from bankruptcy, before May 7.

Sbarro expects to cut its debt load by more than 80 percent, and said nearly all its lenders supported its restructuring, which requires court approval. The company will invite other buyers to submit better offers.

Founded in 1956, Sbarro tried to increase sales by rewriting its recipes to entice diners who increasingly favor fast-casual chains such as Chipotle and Panera Bread. But an “unprecedented decline in mall traffic” and an “unsustainable” balance sheet necessitated a revamping, including the closure of hundreds of restaurants, Carolyn Spatafora, the company’s chief financial officer, said in a court filing.

Farewell Sbarro.  Will I remember your delicious sauce? Neh. Will I remember your chewy crust? Neh.  As far as I can remember, your pizza sucked.  But I had a stranglehold on the Mortal Combat game at the Pheasant Lane Mall Dream Machine from 1991-1992 and a portion of this feat should be credited to your nuclear grease.  When that stuff coated my fingers, I was like Tommy, the pinball wizard.  During that run, even the Asian kids gave me respect, and that’s unheard of in a Mall arcade…especially once they released Dance Dance Revolution. That pretty much killed it for white kids. 

Anyway, farewell Sbarro, we’ll always have that little sliver of history to cherish.

Can I Be Frank?: St. Patrick’s Day! (AKA Amatuer Day)

irish brawl – March 17, 2014 – How Many People Were Arrested at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade?

The number of people arrested by the Boston Police Department during Sunday’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade could be counted on one hand.

According to a BPD report released Sunday evening, five people were arrested at the St.Patrick’s Day Parade. Two were arrested for disorderly conduct. Three were arrested for boozing in public, and one had to be taken into protective custody.

In total, however, police issued 293 citations.

The majority of the people who attended the parade, dressed head-to-toe in green, the BPD said, “did so in a fun and safe manner.”

BostInno won’t take credit for keeping yesterday’s arrest numbers down. All we did was provide some tips on how to not get arrested. Whether or not that helped doesn’t really matter. The bottom line is: The 2014 St. Patrick’s Day Parade was safer than last year’s.

In 2013, more than 330 people were issued citations and 26 were arrested for disorderly conduct at the parade. Yesterday, only five people were arrested.

Way to rage responsibly, Boston.

First of all, Happy St. Patricks’ Day!  As a very proud Irishman, I love this day like the other 96% of the state of that claims Irish descent.  That said, it is a little discomforting that this is the type of news that hits the wire on the most important day of the year when we celebrate The Old Sod.  Nobody loves to tip a few pints back, especially on the glorious Paddy’s Day, as much as me but let’s face it, folks, today should be called ‘Amatuer Day’.  Like St. Patrick’s Day’s illegitimate children, New Year’s Eve and Pre-Thanksgiving Wednesday, today’s happenings always kinda piss me off and here are a few reasons why…

1.  Crowds

Irish bars and pubs, especially in these parts, are the proverbial Blarney Stones.  They are great; at least for 364 days/year.  BUT, today, it is a total shite-show.  Drinking a poorly poured pint out of a plastic cup while crammed in the corner between “Meaghan the Lonely Obnoxious Power Boozer’ and “Juan, Ireland’s First Mexican” is just not that fun to me.  If you can’t pull up a stool and allowed enough room for you and the Holy Spirit, move on.  Better off trying your luck at Polish American Club on St. Paddy’s.

2. Irish for a Day

Look, I am not being a snob (well, maybe a little) this is a America after all and if people want to celebrate, Irish or not, that is their Constitutional right.  That does not mean I have to like it.  Sure, join in the spirit.  Toast a Guinness.  Sip a whiskey.  Go for it.  But, if this is your first attempt at imbibing some of these Irish classics…tread lightly.  I’ll take the same advice on Cinco de Mayo when the Patron is being passed around.

3. Junior Varsity Day

Like many of the inexperienced or overzealous drinking patrons on St. Patrick’s Day, the bartenders and wait staff do not have their A-game on this day.  Due to the massive crowds of raucous revelers, the staff at your favorite Irish watering hole are forced to put out a less the top-notch product.  The pints are often puny.  The corned beef resembles the output of a shoe leather plant on strike.  The cabbage is, well, cabbage is gross on it’s best day…but actually worse during Paddys.  As Robin Williams told Matt Damon, ‘It’s not your fault“, but that doesn’t make it any better.  Again, Wayne Kowalski, the day bartender at the Polish Club, may be the best bet for your drinking needs today.

4.  Embarrassment

Pretty sure SAINT Patrick would not be overly psyched to read the above story on the arrests that went down at, ya know, a feckin’ PARADE!  Don’t really see these types of headlines after Greek Independence Day, do you?  Rarely is there a Rosh Hashanah riot?   Drunken disorderly during Ramadan?  I don’t think so.  But it’s par for the course for those sons and daughters of the Emerald Isle.  Stop it.

Alright, enough negativity from me.  Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day – but trust me, its more fun to be Irish the other 51 weeks each year.  Now, if you’ll excuse me I need to get totally annihilated on watered down whiskey and pick a fight with some Polacks.


You can listen to last Friday’s ‘F n K Show’ where we discussed all things Irish on 980 WCAP.

What We’ve Learned: Lowell Politics March Madness Edition


Lowell Sun

LOWELL — Three city councilors had all five of the applicants they selected to receive interviews chosen as finalists for the city manager’s position, according to the interview lists provided to The Sun Friday morning.

Here is whom each councilor selected as finalists:

Corey Belanger: Balukonis, Graczykowski, Keyes, Murphy, Ramirez

Mayor Rodney Elliott: Graczykowski, Keyes, Murphy, Ramirez

Ed Kennedy: Balukonis, Keyes, Murphy, Ramirez

John Leahy: Ramirez

Bill Martin: Graczykowski, Keyes, Murphy, Ramirez

James Milinazzo: Balukonis, Bruner, Keyes, Murphy, Ramirez

Rita Mercier: Balukonis, Keyes, Murphy, Ramirez

Dan Rourke: Keyes, Murphy, Ramirez

William Samaras: Balukonis, Bruner, Keyes, Murphy, Ramirez

What did we learn? We learned that you want to be in any March Madness pool that John Leahy’s in. I’m told by sources that he also had Boston College and Worcester State making it to the Sweet Sixteen, which would be impressive because I’m pretty sure Worcester State is in Division 3.

In fairness to Leahy though, at least he filled out his own bracket.

UPDATE: Who’s more butthurt than the Lowell Sun right now?

Lindsay Graham confirms that all too often, John Kerry’s flag is flying at half mast.

I watch football and news magazine shows, so I’m all to aware that a vast majority of men over a certain open-ended age threshold have trouble getting themselves…you know…game ready. But boner time is your time fellas. Let’s keep the colleagues and CNN microphones out of it.

That said, with two seasons of House of Cards under my belt, trying to imagine what Lindsay Graham has in store for Kerry’s awakening is bringing me to some pretty dark places.

Thanks to KPax for the link.

Update from Reader “Fred” who has a very acute sense of humor:


Sent: Friday, March 14, 2014 10:21 AM

Subject: John Kerry Video

 You guys know that they’re talking about John Boehner (speaker of the house)…not a boner, right?  I mean are you that out of touch that you don’t know who the speaker of the house is?  Video Fail! Blog Fail! 


Dunkin Foam Strikes again.


Nothing takes a bigger dump on the morning quite like a faulty Dunks cup. Sure, the coldwar era styrofoam keeps the bevy warm, but it doesn’t stand up to the viking grip of the women who pours my coffee. You either have to go paper, or stop letting the rectangular folks pour the coffee.

Does anyone have Jackie Chiles’ number or a good balm?

Next up, the Tour de France

As we begin our transition from Winter to Spring here in Massachusetts, one of my favorite activities is upon us once again…bike riding.  Ever since I was a young girl, my bicycle was my ticket to freedom, my connection to the outdoors, my outlet to get moving and a great time to laugh and talk to my friends riding with me.   I am glad to have passed this love on to my children, but today’s trip was one aggravation after another and it’s a wonder I didn’t just peddle right into Lake Gardner and call it a day.

It was a balmy 50 degrees and the massive amount of snow we got this year was melting so I decided around lunchtime that when the boys got home from school we would all grab the bikes and helmets and ride off into the sunset, hair blowing in the wind while we sing and laugh and they all declare me the best Mom ever…!  It didn’t quite go like that.

First, you have to convince the children they want to go on the ride.  You would’ve thought I asked them if they wanted to go get their teeth extracted the way they grumbled and moaned and protested at my suggestion.  The oldest was watching Modern Family in the living room with all the curtains drawn and the lights off.  He had just eaten 7 snacks rapid-fire and was now hiding under a Snuggie because I invited him to go outside and get some exercise and fresh air.   “I already had gym today!” skinny jeans declared.  To which I asked “Yeah, what did you do today in gym?”  He then proceeded to show me some stupid planking-like body move and said he had to hold that pose for 2 minutes.   Kids today are such pussies.   What happened to dodge ball?  Climbing a rope?  Track and Field?  The kid is in front of me doing damn yoga.  No wonder all his classmates have muffin-tops.   “Change your pants.  Let’s go.” (all biz mommy) Being the first born (aka the perfect child) he went upstairs immediately and grabbed some sweats and a sweatshirt.   One down.

Next up, the middle child.  Ugh.  Seven year old boy who will talk until your ears bleed.   He is usually the most active of the 3 so I was surprised when he ran upstairs and tried to lock himself in the bedroom he shares with his older brother.   The pile of clothes in his doorway helped me to slow down his attempt, and the door wouldn’t close all the way.  That’s a win for Mom.   To the bottom bunk he went, complaining about who knows what.   I have trained my ears to stop hearing at the first hint of whine.   Ultimately, what got him up and moving was the promise that he could borrow a Wii game from the library while we were out.  Hey, whatever gets him there.  I assume he knows they have books too but I’m not 100% on that.   Two down.

Baby girl has the best deal in this whole gig.  She rides on a toddler bike seat that sits in front of me while I peddle my ass off.   She thinks it’s cute to pretend she’s out of breath and winded.  I do not think it is cute.   But honestly, riding on that bike with her is one of my favorite things ever and we have an absolute blast.  Soon, she will be learning to ride her own bike so I cherish her at age 3.  She changed out of her fancy dress and tights was ready to go.    Three down.

Now, to get the bikes out of the garage.  They were hanging upside-down on these big ass hooks so I had to bust out the ladder and get them down.   I got two awesome new bruises while doing this.  But I did it.  Three heavy bikes down.   I’m slightly out of breath so I pause and notice #1′s bike has a flat front tire.  Shit.  I forgot that when we put them away for the winter.   Now try to find the bike pump and his helmet, which of course isn’t with the others.  (Why would it be?)   Found the pump, but it’s useless.  The tire is junk.   Pulled out the ladder (again!) and pull down his old bike from when he was 6.   He tried to appease me but it really was too small for him to ride and he’s not Puerto Rican.  Put that bike back up on the hook.  Called hubby.  Gave him the measurements and the new tire would be arriving in about an hour.   But who can wait?  I suggest to my son that he go borrow his friend’s bike.   Twenty minutes later (the kid lives 2 doors down) he arrives with the bike, and the kid’s brother.  OK.  One more kid, why not?  I already have three so I might as well have a hundred.   We’re almost ready to go.  The 7 year old has to climb out of the tree.   I have to fix the zipper on my back pack, fill a water bottle, grab my overdue library movies (AND books) and hit the road.   OK, lift my daughter and try to buckle her in the seat.   She’s apparently grown a foot since our last ride and needs the straps adjusted.  Lift her out of the seat.   Adjust two of the stupidest straps ever constructed in life. This took a solid 6 minutes.  Neighbor kid asks if we can stop at the store so he can buy gum for MCAS.  (huh?) Oh and can I hold his ten dollar bill?   Strap the babe in and click her helmet.   We’re almost out of my driveway.  Look at my phone, it’s been exactly an hour from when we started.  

The main road we have to take to get downtown is over a mile long and riddled with potholes.   My middle son stopped riding his bike approximately every 30 seconds and walked it.   I was starting to lose it.  And for the first time ever, it was car after car after speeding car on this old country road.  WTF!?  Got all the kids on the right side of the road and started to feel the stream of muddy water that was kicking up from my back tire onto my bum & back as well as my white backpack with the bobby pin zipper.   (breathe, Kerry, breathe)  Bike walker boy finally gets some momentum and then promptly falls right in front of me.   I have NO patience for this bullshit move.  ”You’re fine.  Get up” was all I could muster while gritting my teeth and rolling my eyes.  Supermom!  

We flew down the hill, babygirl and me!  It is a glorious trip down Whitehall Road but we are already dreading the return.  (What flies down, must walk up)  We made it to the library in 25 minutes (it’s less than a mile and a half away) and here I sit, catching my breath and letting off steam via my keyboard while the kids all ask me “Are we going yet? Are we going yet?”  

Thank God you’re listening.  Next stop, gum for MCAS.  After that, six pack for Supermom.