Check out those headlights, eh?

Bright lights

As an avid cyclist, I encounter people of all walks of life sharing the roads with me on their bikes.   Many, like me, are recreational riders who ride leisurely or maybe for personal fitness.  But for a majority of Lowell cyclists, the bike is their only means of transportation.  And, doubtless, we’ve seen cyclists riding at night without any safety equipment or lights.  This doesn’t just perturb motorists and pedestrians who can’t see them but is obviously a grave safety risk to all involved, but perhaps mostly to the cyclist themself.  A recent Mass-wide study showed that Lowell had among the highest bike-related accident rates in the state.  

If you’ve ever wondered how you can make a real, tangible difference in your community, then this is no exaggeration  when I say you can really save the life of someone in your community.  The inability to afford a simple bike light should not be a death sentence in our community.

My goal is to raise a minimum of $500 to secure approximately 500 units of front and rear bike light sets through Alibaba and distribute them to the Lowell Bike Coalition and various other community organizations so they can be given to the people who need them.  Please consider that for the cost of one movie ticket, you can essentially provide an entire family with bike lights and make their commuting lives far safer.  Thank you.

Go Fund Me- Lights for Lowell

For a good chunk of the city cycling community that uses their bikes exclusively for vandalism and stealing GPS units out of people’s unlocked cars, this probably doesn’t apply to you…you’re better off just waiting until this pilot is funded and you can just steal them like everything else.    But for the growing gang of commuting exclusive pedal pushers out there that are carving up the city streets (and sidewalks), let’s make sure we get some lights on those trikes.  You know…for safety yada, yada…and more importantly, for blasting a high beam through the back windshields of our elected officials that don’t ever see people riding their bikes on city streets, or the elected officials that just like to troll and waste folks time with “test motions” that call for the removal of bike infrastructure, or simply to ensure the safety of the jay-walking pedestrians crossing Market Street to get to the Athenian Corner.

Corey Belanger: Purveyor of fine spirits, spirit…hope and goodwill.

corey2

Picture Gleefully stolen from CoreyBelangersVests

From RichardHowe.com

At the Lowell City Council on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, Mayor Rodney Elliott made a motion requesting the City Manager have the Chief Financial Officer and Superintendent of Schools produce a report regarding the costs incurred to educate newcomer students.  Besides Mayor Elliott, Corey Belanger was the only City Councilor to speak on the motion.  The following is a verbatim transcript of what Belanger said: 

By Councilor Belanger:  Thank you Mr. Vice Mayor [Councilor Leahy was in the Chair].  I think this is a great motion.  And to get to Mayor Elliott’s points, that Lowell, we’ve always been a city of immigrants.  That is our foundation.  We have many nationalities here.  I visited many of the schools and it’s encouraging to see how diverse we really, really are, all the way to a young age.

But we got a problem that’s serious and it’s going to get far worse, of refugees, undocumented or illegal aliens, which ever term you choose to use, are pegged for Lowell.  We are on that list.  Many of which are unskilled and uneducated.  And they’re on their way.

Corey’s not saying we’re not the place for immigrants. He saying we’re not the place for THESE immigrants. We just need to hold out for the right types…you know, the 1850’s tired, poor, huddled masses types. And we have just the place for these types. We have a place in this city where they can warm themselves with a  bowl of hearty beef stew.  A place where the nectar of their homeland pours from 3 different taps. A place where the craic is grander than a Clare Island wedding party. A place where Tommy Makem’s (bless his soul) dulcet tones rain down upon thy guests like a spring shower.  A place so authentic you could convince yourself that Eamon De Velera once sat bar side watching a Red Sox spring training game hiding from John Bull’s informants.  A place…the only place, where you won’t be greeted by the words, “Wicked Irish Need Not Apply.”

To those folks we say, “céad míle fáilte!”

New City Manager: A Real Mill City Cinderella Story

 

New Lowell City Manager Kevin Murphy (Center), with Chief Meehan and some unknown guy on the left.  Photo stolen from Jennifer Myers.

I understand this is the new Lowell City Manager Kevin Murphy (Center), with Chief Meehan and some unknown guy on the left celebrating Double Chin Day in 2013. Photo stolen from Jennifer Myers.

March Madness ended with a bang last night in the chambers of City Hall.  The field…nothing short of exceptional. As far as we know, at least 5 of the 30 candidates had most of their mental faculties.  The battle was fierce, the carnage was epic, and  in the end, one man was left standing.  But not just any man.  Not the man that 172 of 174 ESPN analysts had as their “locks.”  No, no!  What we got here is a bonafide Cinderella story.

A man named Murph.

Murph’s resume may not have been as prestigious as the Subway Sandwich Artist or as tailor made as the Columbian guy that failed to attend a Chilean flag raising.  But he lists his hometown as this place called “The Highlands”…which has yielded some of the greatest leaders this earth has ever seen…William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, Robin of Locksley, Pat Donovan of Van Greenby, to name a few.  That’s good enough for me.   I look forward to getting to know this guy a little better over the coming years…and as you can probably tell, “the pleasure is all on this side of the table.”

That was quick- There’s gonna be a new Mayor!

LOWELL — City Councilor Rodney Elliott has secured the commitments necessary to become the city’s next mayor, a post he has long sought.

Councilor-Elect Dan Rourke told The Sun Friday morning he will support Elliott, giving Elliott the five votes he would need when the new council votes in January to select the mayor.

Rourke said he made the commitment after several extensive conversations with Elliott this week. Rourke said he was pleased Elliott told him he will be a positive voice for the city.

Rest of the Sun write up here from LiL’s best buddy Lyle Moran.  “Mr. Lynne” and the other wives and spouses over at LiL better hide the cutlery at their houses.  Jack Mitchell might actually consider joining the Taliban to get out of Lowell.  Watching them unravel this week from a far has been nothing short of the Superbowl of Schadenfreude for me.  If that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.