Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Snow Emergency Parking Ban - Tuesday 9 AM

Please be advised that a Snow Emergency Parking Ban has been declared on Tuesday at 9 AM.

There shall be no parking on the City Streets from 6:00 P.M. until such time that the ban is lifted. Motor Vehicles parking in violation of such ban (City Ordinance, sec. 19-89) are subject to towing under the authority of the Lowell Police Department and such towing will be at the owner’s expense (sec. 19-90). Motor Vehicles shall also receive a parking violation ticket.

FREE Parking for City residents who do not have access to "off-street" parking during “Snow Emergency - Parking Ban” available at George Ayotte Parking Facility, 11 Post Office Square, Lowell, MA 01852


Friday, January 21, 2011

Snow Alert

Someone sent a comment: Can anyone tell me where else we can park during snow emergencies for people that live near downtown that is not 5 miles away from the neighborhood?

Answer: You can park in any of the city garages. However the only free parking is at the Ayotte garage next to Tsongas arena.
More info at city web site:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

LDNA meeting Monday January 24, 7PM, at ALL Gallery 22 Shattuck St.

-Discuss inviting downtown businesses for bi-annual presentations.

-Discuss city elections and charter change proposals
-Public Safety and the cost to increase number of police officers

-Nominations for officer elections in February

Thursday, January 13, 2011

R.I.P. Mary Sampas

An icon amoung us...Mary! An extraordinary woman!

There is some nice "Mary-telling" over at

SAMPAS--Friends are invited to her calling hours which will be held at Holgy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 62 Lewis St., Lowell on Monday from 3 until 8 PM. Her Funeral Service will be held on Tuesday at 10 AM in the church. Internment in Wetlawn Cemetary, Lowell. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in her name to the Hellenic American Academy, 41 Broadway St., Lowell, MA 01854-4295, Pollard Memorial Library, 401 Merrimack St., Lowell, MA 01854, or to the Hellenic Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity 62 Lewis St., Lowell, MA 01854. Arrangements entrusted to the care of DRACUT FUNERAL HOME, 2159 Lakeview Ave., DRACUT. For condolences please visit

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Public Safety SubCommittee Meeting Tonight 5PM

I do try not to use this blog as a forum for editorializing but every now and then I am either so annoyed or outraged that I have to expel a few thoughts (which btw…anyone is welcome to add their own voice here). Today I am a combination of sad due to the loss of another young woman and a bit annoyed (maybe mostly at myself) for it to take me almost 10 days to understand that this issue is almost impossible to solve at the moment and knowing why (I have had a seriously limited amount of "pondering" time of late). After I left Amory Park I made the mistake of telling a person who knows me better than I know myself that when standing there I did not have any place in my mind to figure out how such a thing could happen. I immediately got the look that says "you're so stupid" and was reminded of a similar but at a much lower speed (if what happened on Grant St. was going 100 mph the incident I was involved in was only going 5mph and I had something Corrina et al did not have; someone just a little older and a lot wiser to take me by the hand and pull me away in time) situation in my life. My friend starting asking me absurd questions like "think back; do you remember being afraid? Do you remember why you went there in the first place? Did you ever for one minute think someone would actually shoot you?" It took quite a few days digging through memories long buried before I could answer yes to the first two questions and certainly not to the last. No one EVER thinks someone is really going to shoot and kill them…you just don't ever believe it.

Which brings me to my point (yeah there's a point)…I anticipate a large number of people from all city neighborhoods attending the public safety sub-committee meeting tonight. There will be a wide array of ideas battered about on how to solve the problem of gun violence. I am pleased the city council is willing to "throw everything but the kitchen sink" at this problem. Not everything will work but if you try a lot of things some of them will work. However all the good intentions in world will not get us where we want to go is because on the issue of guns…"we" can not agree.

Back 30 or so years ago we started taking lovely little third grade kids and teaching them to "JUST SAY NO" to drugs. Wow! That is miraculous. Parents, educators, legislators', police all pretty much agreed that drugs aren't good for you so let's tell the kids. What made the program even better (I know this because my daughter would come home and teach me) was that it spoke in a very direct manner with facts about medical, physiological, psychological, etc. effects that certain drugs had on the body…it's not a "preachy" program just honest. I'm not saying this was a panacea but it worked pretty well.

So what took me so long to realize (did I mention my lack of pondering time lately) is why we haven't been able to apply this simple idea to teaching kids about guns. Why don't we take our wee little darlings at age 10 and explain what guns look like; different types; how they work; what to do and how to say "no" to someone who offers you a gun and other important things like what the potential for destruction is if we use them in anger; what the potential for destruction if they are used in recreation (Mr. Cheney); and most importantly if you are shot/shoot and killed you will be dead forever. Just the basic information for a child to use in evaluating guns as a part of their life.

So I go to the meeting in hopes there will be enough good ideas to save some children…but the thing that would save many more is no where in sight because "we-the-people" do not agree about guns; Who can have one? Who can not? Do you really need a permit? What about my rights? According to a BBC article "The United States has the largest number of guns in private hands of any country in the world with 60 million people owning a combined arsenal of over 200 million firearms". 200 million guns…there are about 310 million Americans at last count. So do the math…I do not foresee anytime soon a youngster telling me about what he learned in "Just Say No" about guns.

Update: Thanks to all of the downtown residents who took the time to attend the meeting tonight (there were a lot of you). I really think you all showed your committment to the neighborhood and to the city. Now let's see if we can't find a way to get some more police officers.

Friday, January 7, 2011

City Council Public Safety Subcommittee

Message from Taya Dixon Mullane, President, Lower Highlands Neighborhood Group Urging you to attend - City Council Public Safety Subcommittee - Tuesday 1/11/11 - 5.00 - 6.30PM in the City Council Chamber at City Hall.

Lower Highlands Friends,

We continue to mourn the loss of Corinna Ouer, a young woman who called the Lower Highlands home, after the heinous act of violence early on New Year's Day. Our thoughts and prayers remain with her family and friends, for the speedy recovery of the other seven victims from that night, and for the safety of all the residents of our neighborhood and the City of Lowell.

I am unable to make sense of what happened last weekend, and I know from hearing from so many of you, that you feel the same way. In an effort to get some perspective on the violence that has affected our neighborhood and what can be done to address it, the City Council Public Safety Subcommittee will be meeting on Tuesday, January 11 from 5.00 - 6.30PM in the City Council Chamber at City Hall. The Lowell Police Superintendent and the Middlesex District Attorney have been requested to attend.

Although the Police are on the front lines of responding to crime, we as residents of the City of Lowell are all its victims. We must send a message to our City leaders that we want our neighborhoods to be safer, that we do not want to loose another young person like this, that any efforts taken by the City must include the community - and most importantly, that those efforts not wane until another senseless act of violence claims an innocent life or leaves our community in fear.

I am urging you to attend the City Council Public Safety Subcommittee Meeting on Tuesday, January 11 and to encourage your members to do that same. The meeting is scheduled for 5.00PM and will likely continue until 6.30PM. If you can attend all or even some portion of this meeting, please consider attending. By filling the City Council Chamber, we will demonstrate our unity as a community to urge our leaders to take extraordinary measures to help our City's neighborhoods be safer by engaging all members of our community in that goal. You are welcome to address the Council, but you are not required to do so - your presence means just as much.

Thank you, and as always, if you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please get in touch.

Taya Dixon Mullane
President, Lower Highlands Neighborhood Group

UTEC to attend services to honor Corinna Ouer’s memory

From our Friends at UTEC

Please join us at the United Teen Equality Center to attend services to honor Corinna Ouer’s memory

Friday, January 7, 2011. Meet at UTEC at 2.00 PM. UTEC will provide rides to the Wake and Services from 2-4.30 pm (Dolan Funeral Home 106 Middlesex Street. North Chelmsford 01863). Following the wake, there we be a service at the Triratanaram Temple (21 Quigley Ave, N. Chelmsford) from 5-8pm. We will be back by 9 P.M and will drop off at your home.

Saturday, January 8, 2011. Arrive at UTEC at 8.00 AM. We will leave at 8.30 to join a funeral procession at 9am, starting at the Triratanaram Temple and ending at the Linwood Cemetery-Crematory (41 John Ward Avenue, Haverhill). Services will then continue back at the Temple and run from around 12-1. UTEC will provide rides to all services. Service will end by 1pm. Directly following the services, a remembrance ceremony for Corinna Oeur will be held in the UTEC gym.

Sign-up sheet for rides will be at UTEC. Please sign up and please don’t be late for rides. Message us on Facebook or call us at 978-856-3990.

Letter from Executive Director

The staff and youth members of the United Teen Equality Center are deeply saddened by the January 1st shootings on Grand Street. As you may have already heard from the various news reports, 8 young people were shot (all under the age of 21) and one young woman lost her life. We send our condolences to all of the young people who were affected that night, and especially to the family and loved ones of the late Corinna Ouer, only 20 years old.
It’s very troubling to start off 2011 with an incident of youth violence, and especially on this scale. It’s a great loss whenever young people in our city resort to violence. We take heart knowing that so many of Lowell’s young people get involved with UTEC and other positive options, to change their own lives and our community. We have to continue to prioritize the need to reach out to those young people who are the highest-risk in our community through a balanced approach and an increased investment in critically essential services such as employment, alternative education, outreach and wrap-around services.

In addition to combating gang and gun violence, we are also fighting against a variety of forces such as poverty and a lack of opportunities that create the space for such violence to occur.

UTEC thanks the Lower Highlands Neighborhood Association for their immediate action to bring together the community on Sunday afternoon. UTEC staff, teen members, and board members joined the gathering to show support and reach out to the young people in mourning. UTEC Streetworkers stayed at the homemade memorial that friends and neighbors established on Grand Street. “Every time I go to work, I give everything I have to youths like them,” Johnny, a member of the Streetworker team, told the Lowell Sun, speaking of the accused shooters.

Young people who seek a safe place and support can visit UTEC during our hours of operation (Mon-Fri from 9am-6 pm) or call UTEC any time at 978.856.3990.
Learn more about UTEC’s Streetworkers and their efforts to prevent youth violence at

Gregg Croteau, MSW
Executive Director

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Please join the Lower Highlands Neighborhood Group (LHNG) on Sunday January 2nd at 2 PM in Armory Park to place purple ribbons along Grand Street in rememberance of the victims of ciolence that ocurred at 04 Grand Street on New Year's Eve (ribbons will be provided by LHNG).

The event will begin at Armory Park at the corner of Westford and Grand Streets. The purpose of the event is to send a clear message throughout the Lower Highlands and the City of Lowell that violence will not be tolerated in our community.

For more information about LHNG go to

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year

January 1, 2011, 2:24 AM

I have been out wandering the neighborhood tonight. There were lots of wonderful first night celebrations going on...I stopped in at Centro where all was lovely and warm and celebratory. At Garcia Brogans there was a great crowd of peole listening to covers of tunes that I was amazed these kids knew; many of the members of the band live here in the 'hood".

STOP! There was a shooting at (or near) the 7 Eleven at the Lord Overpass. Not the way you want a neighborhood to start a new year. I happen upon a SUN reporter and Rob Mills is on this so I'm sure we will hear more in the morning. In the meantime say a prayer and hope that no one is hurt and it is jut some rambunctious new year craziness.

Taking a spin around the block...there are about 80 people standing in front of Brian's Ivy Hall on Merrimack St. (and not the happy friendly ones I've seen elsewhere) usual mayhem for this place. This one is beyond me; I have no idea why this place is not taken-to-task by someone about what goes on outside at night.

The Old Court and Hookslides are looking very peaceful. There was a wedding tonight at The Smokehouse; people rented the whole place and everyone is lovely and it is a really cool event.

Round the bend; tonight is "Fetish Night" upstairs at the Blue Shamrock. Costumes abound...I had to stop in wonder of where one finds all that gear. 6-inch heels on cobblestones was worth watching for awhile...they have carried the party into the garage now. Good luck to anyone tryin got sleep at Canal Place.

All-in-all as I wander around I am always astounded by what happens here in our neighborhood at night. It may seem even more astounding to those who don't live here how much I love this place and I'm never worried about walking around at 2:30 AM. As busy as they are with more serious issues our LPD are here walking the streets keeping an eye on the revelers and I have a great sense of peace knowing I'll see my friends and neighbors tomorrow at the Market.

Happy New Year to All!