Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cronies 2, Citizens 0

He did it!!! Clancy got his buddies their jobs one day before it was too late.  I was beginning to doubt the Crony-izer.  I should have known. He'll do anything to keep us from moving forward the way we want to move forward. Thanks, Honorable Mayor for doing one last dis-honorable thing before leaving office. We appreciate it.

Whether or not these two are the right ones for these positions is irrelevant. Police Chief Kevin Coppinger is probably the right choice. Deputy Fire Chief James Carritte, we will never really know. Time will tell on this one. The point is, he should have left it alone and let our Mayor-elect do her due diligence and bring forward the right choices for those two positions. Instead, it was a race to the finish and Clancy clobbers the Citizens of Lynn in a record finish!

With all due respect (or rather, all the respect you are due) - Adios Clancy!


Well said, Mr. Collins......

Is Henry Collins new at the Item?  He apparently wasn't there during the past year of Mayoral debates.

I just recently subscribed to the $10/month online Item so I can see everything, not just what they choose to put online. It's a good investment and less wasteful then piles of paper stacked up in my recycle bin. Allows me to see the ads too, which is good to stay on top of what else is going on in Lynn.

On the 29th, Henry Collins wrote an opinion column entitled "Kennedy has vision for Lynn."  In an interview with Henry at the Item, Judy Flanagan Kennedy is right on message. Still talking about getting SROs back into the schools and using the money saved in just the Mayor's office salaries to pay for at least one.  Still talking about a pavillion of sorts to create a Lynn "destination" not a "drive-by" (pardon the pun). She is also talking about getting public on crime. This is awesome! Clancy always stayed quiet when things were bad and worked behind the scenes to improve things. Kennedy has pledged to take a more "Menino" style and be public about our faults as we work together to make them better.  I like the answer she gave when asked if her approach would be more Clancy or more Menino. Ummmm.... that's a softball question!!!!   Let's see, should I be like the mayor who re-invented one of the greatest City's in the United States, or like the mayor who thought his city was in neutral for 8 years and offered no public voice to improve it. Let me think on that and get back to you.

I agree with you Mr. Collins. Kennedy has vision for the City of Lynn. I only wish you realized this during the campaign and gave her the fair coverage she deserved from the city's ONLY "news" source.

Perhaps we're all turning a corner... Onward to January 4th!!!


What will we see first - Turbine or Universal Health Care?

A bunch of downtown Lynners and I went to The Blue Ox tonight. On the way there, we noticed some people in Turbine. Looks like hardwood floors are down and that's about it. I still see signs of construction in there. They are telling me it's days until we see open doors. I am starting to feel like I'm being lied to..... I predict a grand opening in Summer of 2010 at this rate.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

East Coast Karate, a unique place for children with autism

We stopped in to 25 Central Square yesterday, the new home of EAST COAST KARATE & Aerobic Fitness Center. This place is not just another karate studio. When they mentioned they have programs for children with autism, that sparked my interest.  I don't have children, but I know this is a fairly common occurance for families today. This is something more people need to know about.

From their website:

"East Coast is proud to offer specialized karate classes to children diagnosed with autism, PDD and other challenges.  Classes will be taught by Master Hopkins and Mary Panagopoulos, a special educator for the Lynn Public Schools.  Mary has worked in many different classroom settings throughout her 27 years of teaching. She has worked with children with autism spectrum disorders since 1999. Class size will be small (6-8). Karate uniforms are to be worn. The students will learn respect, discipline and self control as they work on focusing skills and coordination. Karate improves their overall strength and cardio while they are having fun!!"

They also have several classes for us Downtowners who don't get home from Boston until 6-6:30. Combat Punch Out at 7PM on Monday and Wed nights as well as 9AM (ouch) on Saturday mornings.  They also run a Cardio Combo class at 9AM on Sunday mornings.  Grab a quick Cardio class before that trip to Capitol Diner on Sundays. Bob will be confused as we all start to lose weight eating his food. :-)
More importantly then anything they offer, my first impression of these folks excites me. It was the kind of excitement for what they offer, that this downtown really needs. The place looks fantastic. They all were incredibly friendly and happy to see us. They look to have people in there every night. Let's help this place become a smashing success.

Call them today at 781-595-8779 and sign up for a class, start on that life-long dream to be a martial artist (they have programs for adults, children, and even TODDLERS). If you have a child with autism, get them into the specialized karate program today. 

Check out their website for even more detail.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

What are you doing New Years....New Years Eve?

There are plenty of places to ring in the New Year in Downtown Lynn. I wanted to make sure you all are aware of at least two options:

The Blue Ox - Regular dinner menu. You won't have to pay a fortune to have a fantastic meal. The Blue Ox burgers are $11. Try and get a burger for $11 in Boston on 12/31.  There will be a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. Call 781.780.5722 for advance reservations. I imagine they will fill up very fast if they are not already.

Tatiana's - I just spoke with Tatiana on the phone. I think they will remain open until 1AM and in her words "There will be a party, but we don't know what yet"  So, go to Tatiana's and hang out with friends. Watch the ball drop on the big screen and bring in the New Year with fellow Lynners.

My wife and I have never done the whole First Night Boston thing. So, we're doing that this year. For others who want to do the same, here are some important details.

First of all, you can buy your first night buttons right here in Lynn. We got ours at Tedeschi Food Shops right near the intersection of Summer and Western Ave.  They also sell them at Shaw's on the corner of Market and State St.  They are also available at two other Tedeschi locations: 210 Lewis Street and 625 Boston St.

North Station is 19 minutes from the MBTA Central Square commuter rail stop in Downtown Lynn. On New Years Eve, they have regular weekday service to accomodate the extra traffic heading in to Boston for First Night.  They also have several options for getting home late that night including a 12:10 AM Rockport train, a 12:45 AM Newburyport train, and a 1:00AM Rockport train. The main fireworks in Boston are on the common at 7PM, so you can also head in, catch the ice sculptures and fireworks and take an earlier train home. There will be several on the normal schedule.

 If you have a New Year's event in a Downtown Lynn establishment that you would like me to publicize here, please leave a comment and/or email me at

 Have a Happy and Safe New Year!

- Corey

Saturday, December 26, 2009

So... what did you get for Christmas?

A friend of mine has been sitting up in Ward One bidding on collectible Lynn, MA postcards. Last night she gave me an album full of them. It is such an interesting slice of history. They are mostly from the early 1900s and they read very similarly to the modern day text message. It wasn't about being on vacation or "wish you were here" type messages. It was like twitter, but instead of instantly knowing what was on these people's minds, you had to wait a few weeks while the horses and trains got the message over to you. Messages about arrivals or departures at certain destinations. Messages about people's illnesses and how they are progressing. Messages apologizing for not writing a letter, only a postcard. I included both sides of our favorite card. I really hope she got her ice cream :-)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone has a safe and very Merry Christmas. My wife and I celebrate both holidays, so I get twice the presents!!! Well not really, but I like to think that. I got a new electric menorah as one of my Christmas presents.  Feels like Christmukah! My wife bought me a new 50MM 1.4 lens for my Nikon. That means another photo walk around Lynn soon. Any other photographers out there that would be into a photo walk?

Merry Christmas!!!!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Parade comes to Downtown Lynn

On Christmas Eve, the City of Lynn has its' annual Santa Parade. Starting at 5PM Santa and several other vehicles begin making their way all around Lynn. I found it difficult to figure out where I could catch it if I live downtown, so I think from what I see on City of Lynn website and what the Item reported, it kind of circles us. The most convenient spot to watch seems to be Broad Street at 6:30. I would get there a little before that to catch it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fox 25 Visits The Capitol Diner this morning!!!

The Invite of the Century!

Ok, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration. The decade...... absolutely. 8 years of shame is over. Clancy the Clown jokes will cease. I will no longer have a Mayor to compare to Music Man's Mayor Shinn.

I just received the most glorious looking piece of mail I've ever received from the City of Lynn.

I will hopefully be live blogging from the event if I can figure out an efficient way to do that. At the very least, I'll post a few times.  Look at how fabulous this invitation looks. The heading on the bottom half just seems to fit the new City of Lynn. I am so excited for the change Judy Flanagan Kennedy is going to bring to this beautiful city.  If only Darren Cyr and Stephen Duffy's names weren't on this piece of paper, but alas, you can't have everything.

This invitation is a tribute to all of you! We made a difference in the outcome of this election in order to secure a better future for the city we all love. Whether you agreed or disagreed with the outcome, you were here. You were listening to a new point of view. You heard the truth! You voted your heart and we now have a chance at an open government. A government of the people, by the people and for the people and not just those people who are the Mayor's friends. All the people of Lynn.

Speak up, be heard. She's listening!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Turbine Wine Bar ....... Emminent Arrival

The people at Turbine are telling me we're days away from seeing that door open. I really hope The City of Lynn is not causing the delays on this one. We need to get these downtown businesses open quickly. Once I know anything, I will share it with you. Has anyone heard any details on this place? Anyone seen inside yet?


Saturday, December 19, 2009

They're Talking About Lynn - What have we learned?

I was in Barnes and Noble the other day and couldn't resist buying a Lynn book from the "Images of America" series. If I was thinking, I would have held off and bought it over at the Lynn Museum. Great gifts over there for any Lynners with last minute christmas shopping to do.

The book got me thinking about the series we've been running on this blog, They're Talking About Lynn. It's really fun to talk about this town and its' rich history. The Downtown is remembered so fondly by all who were a part of it from the 1800s to about 1980. I believe we're starting to build fond memories again of this area thanks to the revitalization efforts of the past 5 years.

So what have we learned?

I've been picking up on a few common threads.

#1 A reason to hang out! The Blue Ox has been the most compelling reason to get people from Ward One and Ward Seven over here. RAW Arts seems to do the best job at getting folks from those Wards as well as Lynnfield, Marblehead, and Swampscott. It's great that they do their fundraisers right in the heart of Central Square. The recent added event at Zimman's was also brilliant. I'm sure 70% of that crowd was floored at the fact that we had a store like that in Downtown Lynn.  So, how do we give people more of a reason to come down and hang out here?

#2 Food, glorious food.... All night cafeterias, the smell of fresh chocolate being made, the smell of cooking rotisserie chicken. The Blue Ox, Pho Lynn, and Tatiana's are probably the most popular reasons to eat downtown. We need more to get a critical mass of people flooding here every night to eat.  A friend of mine is a big wig at the 99. He used to always tell me, that they would watch for where everyone else was flooding. You actually want an Applebees and a Chilis right next door. It's good for everyone if there are options. Just get the cars and people coming in to the area, then worry about competing against each other for their business.  The demand is still there.  I heard you have to get booked 2-4 weeks in advance at The Blue Ox now for a reservation during a popular weekend slot.  This blog gets more searches for Turbine Wine Bar then any other term since the election. People want more things to open. They want more of a reason to come downtown. The Felix Discotec is one of the most popular bars I've seen down here in a long time. Every weekend it's completely packed. Not my speed, but I'm glad business is doing so well for them.    So, what should be next to open? Doesn't need to be a sit down restaurant. There is a lack of reasons to come here for lunch as well. Big Belly's was awesome, but not enough business, I guess, to stay open. Are you hungry? What are you craving?

#3 Entertainment - We have the renovated Lynn Auditorium now. I think with some more energy and focus you could book a lot more there now with the North Shore Music Theatre closed.  The problem is no one can fill 2,200 seats. We still are lacking a medium sized venue. We need a 500-900 seat theatre for touring comedians, small music acts, and a regional professional theatre.  This venue could also show art films, films from the RAW kids, etc. Maybe it's a venue that connects the Museum to the Lynn Arts building. How about even an outdoor amphitheater for summer acts.  We could build one of those over by the Lynnway looking out on the skyline of Boston. What do you do for entertinment at night? It's not about movie theatres anymore. So, what is it about?

Some of these are ideas I've shared with you before. Some are new. But, honestly, who cares what I think? I want to know what you think?


Friday, December 18, 2009

Why Did You Use ANY of the Overlay?????

I just watched the first 80 minutes of the city council meeting from this past Tuesday where they voted on the tax levee for 2010. I'm kind of confused at what I saw. I have six pages of notes, but I'm a little tired as it is one in the morning, so I'll keep this as brief as I can.

So basically, what it boiled down to, was we had enough free cash 4.67M to balance the budget. Clancy the Clown suggested we also throw 1M of our reserve into the fray to reduce the tax burden by 1.1% for all taxpayers in Lynn. A completely absurd proposal. I listened to several financial experts tell me this during the meeting. I even listened to them tell us all that using any of this overlay was not necessary. Using the 350K that we did, was NOT necessary to balance the budget. Are you listening? No town, worth it's weight in financial practices, would have done what our council did on Tuesday.  My company, if it were able to tax us, certainly would have used it's full tax levee power to bring in the right level of revenue to a business (in this case, the City of Lynn) that sorely needs it.  This is such incredible short term thinking to dip into our overlay in the amount that we did.

I guess it was smart of Crowley and Kennedy to propose a compromise under the 500K mark, but it almost seemed too easy.  Are we at the point where a two hour meeting on something this important is too long? Why didn't we debate the merits of using ZERO more? They seemed to outweigh the negatives and seemed to align with the views of the Mayor-elect.  This will not continue in 2010 because there will be cuts to useless people in our city that have been on the crony train for 8 years. Why it had to continue in 2009 when our free cash covered our obligations, I don't know if I will ever understand.  You almost can't complain about the added tax burden. It's almost negligible when you look at the total number. Compare that to the possibilities of the entire city of Lynn getting on the path to a better bond rating and it makes no sense for us to care about $36 dollars on our tax bill for the year.

That's what we're talking about. With the 350K relief we got, I heard $18 being thrown around as what I am going to save. BIG DEAL! I would rather live in a city that has a chance with Moody's and the Department of Revenue.

At one point Councilor Cahill asked about the total we could possibly borrow at our current rating. The answer was more then we could afford to finance. He seemed all proud about that, but isn't that NOT the point. Isn't it about the percent charged on the debt we do have, not about getting the opportunity to borrow more. I fail to understand the point of your question, Councilor Cahill.

In 2002 we had a reserve of 4% or 8.2M. Today we're getting close to 1%. Dangerous ground folks. IN the face of local aid and 9C cuts, we're gonna get screwed if we keep spending this cash.

I hope Kennedy remains true to the promises she made on Tuesday. Get the waste out of this government and return us to sound fiscal practices and STOP using this cash.

Ok, now all you taxpayers can yell at me in the comments! I'm one too and I will gladly pay more.

I'm actually kind of upset the Sommerville option got shot down so fast. Let Ward One-derful subsidize some of this city. They won't all shop Downtown...fine.... pay for it in another way.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Tina Turner in Lynn

Ok, so it was the 70s and there was some sort of venue near where Building 19 is today! @81Anna tweeted that her father found photos to prove it. I'm still hoping they'll send me one. Any of you remember this event? What other big acts were playing downtown or on the Lynnway?

When I was poll checking this year, I sat next to this older woman who had some great stories about jazz greats who used to come through Lynn including Dizzy Gillespie. Her dad owned some music store on Munroe Street.  I really should start carrying around a recorder.

Maybe Seth's idea of getting a real music scene up and running in Downtown Lynn is not so far fetched and is just the history that is begging to be revived

Sunday, December 13, 2009

54 Central, 3A is for sale!!!

Be a part of all this. 54 Central Square, Apt 3A is for sale. Only $239,000. A Complete steal. We were in the unit above this last night and I can tell you, your neighbors will be awesome. Take a look at these pictures. Something like this in Boston would be close to a million. Come to Lynn. 19 minutes to North Station by train. Minutes from Wonderland via bus or car.

Reach out if you are thinking about moving here and have any questions or concerns. 


Saturday, December 12, 2009

They're Talking About Lynn - 50s - Central Square

This post really excites me. As I look out the windows from the top floor of a Central Square loft, it's so much fun to think about the history of this great downtown area.  So intrigued by the potential of the lot across the street (currently a Mayo parking lot) and the empty square next to Lynn Arts. So much potential. Who will tap it first? Let's see how this post inspires you.

More from Cathy (Brooks) Kibbey on Central Square

I remember Central Square very vividly.  There was so much going on there.  Just before you took the curve of Union Street to enter Central Square was Connolly's Chocolates.  Clearly on Union Street but just before you took the curve.  It was the best candy store around.  But it was so much more than candy.  It was gourmet before gourmet became a common buzz word.  As soon as you entered the shop painted in pale yellow there was the sweet smell of chocolate followed by display cases of hard and soft chocolates on the left and an extensive  display of fudge on the right.  All these treats were made on the premises.   Each selection of chocolates was was personally selected by the buyer and wrapped by a salesperson and placed in a cream covered box with the Connolly's  logo andfasrened with a gold ribbon.  Each season they specialized in special candies.  At Easter they had large chocolate covered eggs with various fillings.  Just a few doors down from Connolly's and just on the curve to Central Square was Kennedy's Egg and Butter Store.  There you could purchase fresh eggs, butter, freshly churned peanut butter, and freshly ground coffee.

As you entered the square there were  a variety of stores. Several small jewelry stores, pawn shops, The White Tower (not to be confused with White Castle), Klemm's Bakery (as mentioned previously in a blog), Arnold Stationary and the Waldorf  Cafeteria.  I remember in the mid fifties going to the Waldorf Cafeteria with my mother, aunt and cousins for lunch and then waiting outside for the bus to take us to Boston to see The Lady and the Tramp at the Majestic (now the Wang). 

Across the street in the square was Essex County Bank. But before that, it was Hunt's Restaurant.  Always crowded and always family fare.  Bissett Jewelry store seemed always to be there.  Buddy Bissett was the jeweler and his sister-in law assisted him.  You could always get a square deal from Buddy. 

Memory doesn't provide me with more information on that side of the street.  However, there was Orlannoff's Luggage and Leather Store next to Bissett's which you could always get  quality monogrammed  wallets or luggage.  

Still in the square and under the railroad pass there was a cluster of stores leading to Exchange Street.  One was Jake Bluestein's Poultry Shop which was situated at the bus stop.  It was a Kosher poultry shop with rotisserie chickens rotating in the window.  The aroma was phenomenal!  By the time you took the Highland Circuit bus home your appetite was peaked. There was  a smoke and newspaper shop, which was not uncommon for the times and another Pawn Shop.  Then there was the Pine Crest Lounge.  Dimly lit with booths and offering a variety of specials.  The luncheon specials usually tasted good for the right price.  There was the customary smell of stale beer, and just enough darkness to hide a multitude of sanitation sins.  Ah, those were the days before hand sanitizers and sneezing into your elbow.  The Capitol Diner was as good then as it is today. It is wonderful that some things never change...when so many good things do.   A taxi stand was situated under the railroad as well, but I seldom ever got to ride in a taxi when the bus was right across the street for only 15 cents.     

If you were out of work and/or  just hung around Central Square you got the handle as being a "Central Square Bum".  Clearly not a complimentary reference.  However, there was lot happening there and if you were a "bum" what better place to hang around?


I completely agree Cathy. It sounds like a wonderful place to hang around and we're starting to see the seeds of that return to being a true hangout. With Blue Ox and soon Turbine, Lynn Arts, Capitol Diner, Campus Coffee, and Charlie's we're returning Central Square to it's rightful glory.

When you talked about Buddy, I couldn't help but think of Omar and Oscar today. Fantastic service and great jewelry. I never feel like I am getting a bad deal there.

When you talked about the bus to Boston to see a show, I immediately think about the recent City Council meeting where they discussed a shuttle service to Boston, Foxwoods, Mohegan, and NYC.

Great stuff. Keep em coming Cathy. We're all enjoying your memories very much. Thank you for sharing your memories of our dear Central Square. 


Happy Hannukah

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I Want To Live in Lynn...And It's OK if You Don't....

Residency seemed to get almost as much air time as crime in the debates for the Mayoral race. It seems silly to me that we require city employees to move here in order to work here. Will someone explain to me why this is good for the city?

My opinion is that the best person for the job is the person for the job. It doesn't matter where they live if they have a passion for their work.

I've heard the argument that if an employee of the city has pride in their city, then why wouldn't they want to live here from many people. Well, that's all well in good, but you can't very well just uproot yourself from the home you've built with your family just because you got a new job in Lynn.

Maybe I'm missing some crucial part of this debate. Anyone want to bat this one around with me?

Better yet, want to help Lynn by getting this out of the city charter?

From the chater:

Section 8-11    City Residence Required
Every person who is appointed to a city office, and every person who is employed on a permanent full time basis by the city not a resident of the city at the time of such appointment or employment shall, within six months following such appointment or employment, establish his ordinary and usual place of residence within the city or such appointment or employment shall be deemed to be vacated or forfeited."

Elected officials should live here. That's fine. I can even "sort of" understand the requirement for public safety to live in or at least near the city. Why extend this to all full-time employees. We're limiting our potential hiring pool big time!! 

Ok, now, yell at me.... I can take it!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mona Lisa Sand Drawing

Check out Lynn-Side Edition. This post is cool stuff:

The truth on Turbine...

So yesterday this site experienced a spike in traffic. Most of you were searching in google for Turbine Wine Bar. 

I can only say what I've been told and what I see, which seem to be two different stories.

What I've been told is they are going to open mid-December, which would mean next week! What I see is very little progress over at the place in question.

No doubt it is going to open. Before 2010, I doubt it!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Kind of Developers We Need

As most of the older readers of this blog know, I have some problems with one of the developers who has done work downtown. For the sake of this post, they shall remain nameless.

I recently found this link and mention of Oasis Development
These are the type of developers we need to provide incentives to, so that they keep up with their positive improvements to the Downtown area.

Check this out! I noticed this garden over the past summer, but I was never really sure what it was. This is cool stuff.  Get in on the action for next growing season.

Contact The Food Project!


Random Acts of......Violence!

Blog can't be all roses, when people are randomly shooting off AK-47s in local chinese restaurants. We obviously have an issue when no one who lives Downtown wants to go West of Oxford Street or anywhere near Union Street. It's a bit like Dorchester where you feel very safe in one area and completely vulnerable a street later.

So what's up?

How do we stop these random acts of violence?

The first one last week was outside of Charlie Chan's on Union Street. A homeless woman and a man in a fight. 2nd Man comes out of restaurant and tries to stop the fight. Man gets stabbed.   The second incident was Saturday night. Man refused alcohol at China Lion on Market Street. Goes to car, gets AK-47 and Glock. Goes back to restaurant and starts firing at the ceiling.  Customers wrestle him out of the restaurant and get the weapon away from him.   These are two of the most public streets in Lynn. I'm not sure why these assailants feel they can get away with this. Both were apprehended.

What would deter these people from acting out these moments of lunacy? Do we need more police presence during late night hours on Union and Market. I find it hard to believe those are not well patrolled during those hours.  Do we need more awareness of the price you will pay if you act on your anger and rage?

Is this just the price we have to pay for living in an urban environment or is there something that should be done. I'm no expert. Perhaps you are? What do you think?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Downtown Sees It's First Snow....

They're Talking About Lynn - More 50s - Olympia, Warner, Central Square, Paramount

 In the last "They're Talking About Lynn", we heard from Charlotte (Hersey) Jackson and her memories of walking down from the highlands with her girlfriend, Cathy.  I was very happy to receive this post from Cathy just days after that last post hit.

More from the 50s from lifelong Lynn resident until 2009, Cathy  (Brooks) Kibbey

As I was mentioned in the last blog I think it is only fair to put my 2 cents in.  I am Charlotte's friend Cathy.  Lynn was no small potatoes.  Besides having Union Street as a main thorough fare, there was also Market Street and all the connecting streets in between.   We'll talk about some of the other streets on another blog.  Let's talk about the theaters.  Today with computers, DVDs, and other forms of entertainment available to  the youth, young people may find a game of dodge ball, hope scotch and hide and seek boring.  However, when all those little games we played became boring to us, going to the movies was one of our biggest treats.

  Lynn had 3 popular movie theaters during my childhood in the 50's.  However, before that there were more than just those 3.  At the turn of the twentieth century (between 1897 and 1915) there were 5 new theaters opened in Lynn including the Olympia.  That was before my time.  My mother talked often of the other theaters and the impact they had on her life. The 3 largest and most popular theaters that I remember were The Capital, The Warner and the grandest of all, The Paramount.  If you got to go to the show  on a Saturday by 12:00 noon, children ages 12 and under paid 25 cents for admission which included a double feature, cartoons and a news reel. They were always packed.  Back in those days there were ushers with flash lights to show you to your seat or make sure you weren't making out in the dark.

  The Warner usually had lines around the corner.   On the opposite corner  to the Warner was McClellan's dime store.  They sold a big sleeve of Popcorn for only 10 cents which was a definite "must"  if you were interested in munching during the show.  Under Mc Clellan's was Sassone's Italian restaurant with its red and white checkered table clothes and Chianti bottles with candles in them.  I can still remember the aroma of their  sauce as it  traveled through the side walk grates while waiting to go to the show.  Maybe we can talk about the restaurants at another time.  This is just about the theaters.

  I think the Paramount was the largest.  Definitely, it was the grandest.  The very best movies came there.   Next to the Paramount was the New York Bakery which sold doughnut holes in a large bag for 10 cents.  If they only knew what Dunkin' Donuts knows today. Sometimes I would go down Union Street a bit and get a bag of freshly roasted peanuts from the "Mr. Peanut " store.   The glass window had a mechanical Mr. Peanut who tapped the window all day long.  There was a permanent scratch on the window where his cane hit.  Inside was an assortment of nuts, all freshly roasted or being roasted.  My personal favorite were the red skinned Spanish nuts.  They were also the cheapest.  Nothing matches the feel of holding a warm bag of peanuts followed by the aroma and eventual eating.  At 10 cents a quarter pound it was another must for the show.   The inside of the Paramount was very plush and had gold leaf everywhere and ornate chandeliers and mirrors.  There was a huge balcony.  Downstairs was a smoking lounge as well as the men's and ladies rest rooms.  Did I say rest rooms?  The ladies room was elegant.  It was actually a suite of rooms.  First,  a lounge section, separate from the main lounge,  with sofas and chairs.  Connecting to the ladies lounges was a room filled with individual vanities, mirrors and velvet vanity stools, and connecting that room was, of course the actual restroom.  Many a little girl went to those vanities and pretended to be the movie stars on the screen upstairs.  Of course they also has a ladies room attendant.  I don't know what she was suppose to do, but she never looked happy about the little girls loitering around and giggling.  The decor throughout the Paramount was Art Deco and the colors were creams, black and china red.  The only drawback to the Paramount children's matinee was if you were not accompanied by an adult you were delegated to sitting in Aisle 1.  Drats!!  Of course they could never pull that off today.  Even as a child I thought it was unconstitutional, but that was the kind of weird kid I was.

Finally, The Capital.  Just a little history.  It was opened in 1910 and was originally called The Central Square.  It offered high class vaudeville and live entertainment.  But I only remember the 50's.  Although the Capital showed such great films as West Side Story, during my youth it had the reputation of showing horror films and movies which had already  made the circuit.  It was an elegant theater in it's own right, but the least popular.  It was flanked by a shoe store, now the Visitors Center and on the other side Stiliano's restaurant..  Ah, there it is again...... food.  So many memories tied up in food.  No wonder many of us looked like the Campbell Soup Kids.

These memories, although below the surface of consciousness, came back to me so vividly when I read the last blog.  I don't live in Lynn anymore, but did my whole life until recently.  I was always proud to be a "Lynner". 


Thank you Cathy for sharing your fond memories of entertainment in the Downtown area. If you want to contribute to this series, please contact me at

Bill Cosby at Lynn Auditorium...TONIGHT!!

Still tickets left to see Bill Cosby at Lynn Auditorium tonight, Dec 5th. One night only!. If you haven't been to Lynn Auditorium in the past year, go check out the newly renovated, 2200 seat auditorium located in City Hall. It's worth checking out regardless of what the act is. Tonight just happens to be a great venue with a great, classic act.  Come downtown, catch dinner at the Blue Ox, Pho Lynn, or Tatiana's and then head over to the auditorium for a night of good old-fashioned Cosby at his best.

For more on Lynn Auditorium and the other performances coming up, see their website or visit City Hall sometime and take a look. .

For tickets, visit Ticketmaster


This holiday season, we need to all look at the organizations around the North Shore doing pretty amazing things for others. Right here in Downtown Lynn we have RAW Art Works, Girls Inc, Straight Ahead Ministries, and the YMCA among others.  Consider a gift to one of these amazing organizations as part of your holiday shopping spree. There is also Item Santa, run by the Lynn Item, which needs all of our help.

My wife and I, along with a few friends, went to the Citizens for Adequate Housing (CAH) Gala tonight. A woman took to the podium with her story of how the Inn Between, run by CAH, saved her life. She found herself in an abusive relationship, landed in a shelter for battered women, and truly thought that she was going to die there. She met with CAH, and got herself in to the Inn Between. She was able to turn things around. Get a job. Build up confidence in herself. Today she owns her own business, is happily married and has three beautifully cared for children. A success story in every way. CAH is truly ending homelessness one family at a time. I am joining the Board of Directors for this organization in 2010 and I would appreciate you looking into how you could become involved in helping this organization either financially or in whatever way you can.

Finally, a lot of us have pets downtown. I love seeing you all with your dogs out by the clock in Central Square. Sometimes I wish I had a dog, so I could get to know you all better. I think if I put my cat on a leash you all might find me odd and not talk to me anyway. Plus, for those of you who know my cat, you know this would be pretty much impossible to get a harness on her.  Anyway, the shelters are having a real hard time this year. The Northeast Animal Shelter on Rt. 107 in Salem is a no-kill shelter and could really use help. Consider adopting or helping them with their efforts this holiday season.

Tis the Season folks... If you can, open up your hearts and your pockets....

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A little light is shed on Central Square....

It's that time of year. The tree is lit. That means there aren't enough days left in the year to get my Christmas shopping done.  Did anyone participate in the festivities today? I'd love to hear how it went. Did you enjoy Lynn Arts, The Lynn Museum? Anyone head out to dinner at The Blue Ox, Pho Lynn, or Tatiana's?

Merry Christmas Lynners!!!

Don't Forget the Tree Lighting today!

Lynn Happens has a great break down of the day at

I, unfortunately, will not be around for the festivities. Make an ornament for me!

735 Visits

Around election time was at about 300 unique visits for the previous 30 days. The site is now at 735 unique visits for the past 30 days.  Keep it up readers. Start talking more. I've opened up comments to everyone so you don't need to login anymore. I want to hear from you. Why do you read What is it missing that you hoped to find here?  You sick of me picking on Clancy? Too bad... that won't stop even when he isn't Mayor. Say it with me... January 4th.... January 4th!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

T-Minus 2 Cronies!!!

Quick Clancy, you got one month left, and two cronies to go! You're running out of time!!!!!

Clancy is trying to get the Chief spots of our Police and Fire Departments filled before he leaves office. This seems especially shady in the light of the controversy that brought Carritte up the chain of command. If Carritte is the right man for the job, then it should be obvious to a few more people.  Why are we so unable to put obviously qualified people into the running for these very important positions?

I smell something fishy and it's not Lynn Beach....   January 4th can not get here soon enough!!!


Tree Lighting in Central Square

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Kind of scary that December is here already. This Thursday they will light the tree at City Hall at 5PM and then have trolleys available to bring folks over to Central Square. Lynn Arts and Lynn Museum will have various activities for the kiddies and entertainment. This would be a great way to experience downtown if you haven't been here in a while.

After the tree lighting in Central Square and some shopping at Lynn Arts, take in some of the shops downtown. Get some great deals on jewelry from Omar & Oscar, get a gift for the home from Zimmans, buy a fitness class at the new karate/fitness studio. Get some Dunkins gift cards. Better yet, get some Blue Ox gift certificates. I think they are 10% off right now. While you're at The Blue Ox, sit down for some Blue Ox Burgers and a beer.

....a perfect night to experience the new Downtown Lynn.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

They're Talking About Lynn -50s - Klemm's Bakery, Lane's Drug Store, Kresge's Luncheon Counter

My parents grew up in Lynn and met at Lynn English High School. My dad worked at the chicken store downtown, right across the street from where I live today. I'm hoping to get a good article from him on that. My mom just recently wrote down some of her memories of Downtown Lynn. When my parents come visit my loft, they always look out the windows and fondly reminisce on their time spent down here. Here's some of what she remembers:

Memories from the 50s from then Highlands resident, Charlotte (Hersey) Jackson

"I have a lot of great memories of growing up in Lynn.  Downtown was very special to me. In those days, we lived in the Highlands and we were allowed to go to the downtown area and felt safe.  I remember my girlfriend Cathy and I walking down the hill on many a Saturday to Klemm's Bakery which was then in Central Square.  They made the best tuna sandwiches and the best french fries. Cathy and I would get them both and share.  

Klemm's is on the right white sign, black letters

After Klemm's, we would go to all the stores; Woolworth's, Kresge's, Bell Shop, and TW Rogers. We would just look, of course, we had no money. What little we had, we had already spent eating.  

Sometimes during the week we would go to Kresge's if my sister Doris was working at the luncheon counter. She would give us free french fries :) I don't know if she was supposed to, but she did.  She looked so cute. She had to wear a uniform with a small hat and apron.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  

Lanes Drug store was another hang out and everyone went there to get vanilla cokes. I remember the counter because they had the kind of stools you could spin around on.

     As Tricia also mentioned in her post, there was a record store near Silsbee and Union that we all went to buy our 45s.  It was a very narrow store and it was always packed with everyone getting there #1 release for that week.

 I have lots of memories and I am happy to share these with current and former Lynners."

Thanks to my mom, Charlotte (Hersey) Jackson for her memories. If you want to contribute to this series, please contact me at

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Faithful readers, thank you so much for visiting The recent election really brought things to a new level. Before this year, I was lucky to have 2 visitors on any given day. I've had over 700 visitors in the past month. I think it's a sign that we've finally got the momentum and energy behind downtown to really start making it happen. We all had a dream or a vision when we moved here. It's going to be up to us and the new administration to take it the next step. We have a new councilor with a lot of energy. We have a new Mayor who has pledged to open up the government and involve more of us in the process. We have some new businesses opening and new residents moving in. We have a lot to be thankful for... Here's my list of what I'm thankful for as a downtown resident. Leave a comment with your list.

10.The fantastic residents of Downtown Lynn that make eating, shopping, and owning property in Downtown Lynn completely worth it.

9. Capitol Diner and State Rep. Bob Fennel and his killer pancakes.

8. Lynn Arts for bringing us Third Thursday's and Meet Me Downtown

7. RAW Arts and their fantastic fundraisers including this year's incredible event at Zimman's

6.  Dunkin Donuts, Tres Virtudes, Flavaz, East Coast Karate, Columbia Insurance, Free Wind Travel, and Omar and Oscar for filling the storefronts on our block of Central Square.

5. Jamie Marsh and his absolute love for the City of Lynn and focus on important landmarks.

4. Seth and for tirelessly taping and posting all election debates, city council meetings, and everything else they do to keep us informed.

3. State Rep. Steven Walsh and all he does to directly impact downtown's re-birth. The fight for the Blue Line, the Waterfront, the power lines, cultural events downtown, are all him. Thank him every time you see him.

2. The Blue Ox and, of course, The Blue Ox BURGERS!!!

1. Mayor Elect Judy Flanagan Kennedy and her approach to open and community inclusive government.

Onward!!! A special thank you to our troops for defending our country and protecting our right to speak and live freely. I'm very thankful for all of you for caring enough to read and contribute to this blog and the other blogs of Lynners. Together, we're going to make this downtown the Blue Line's Central Square.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

End Homelessness on the North Shore One Family at a Time!

Get your tickets before Tuesday, 12/1!!!!

I really believe in the mission of this organization and am joining the board of directors in 2010. The Inn Between and The Inn Transition are two facilities run by Citizens for Adequate Housing. This organization provides the needed services for family and children to get the necessary support to improve their situation and get back into affordable housing.  It is far too easy to become homeless, especially in today's economy. Ever know someone who has had to lean on family in tough financial times? What if that family wasn't there? You can help by supporting Citizens for Adequate Housing at their annual Gala at the Ferncroft in Danvers on December 4th.

To purchase tickets:

by phone, please contact our office at (978) 531-9775 and speak to Judith Murray, ext. 11 or Betsy Leeman ext. 17 .

by email, please click here.

E-mail me first, if you know me.

Visit them on Facebook and read this short story of a family that found a home this October.

A Reason to Celebrate - Homeless Family Finds a Permanent Home

October was a month to celebrate. We knew that taking the Baez family into our privately funded community room was going to be a big challenge because of the many presenting barriers. However, we chose to take on the challenge. The family came to IB in April of 2007, a mother, whom we will call Maria, and two children, then 11 and 14. As soon as they moved in we knew that this was a very hard working mother who was very determined in growing and moving ahead. She soon decided to take advantage of the offer of a volunteer to teach her English. She went through all the levels of “Sed de Saber” (Thirst for Knowledge), an English learning program that proved very effective for this mom. I will never forget the day that she came to me to tell me: Ana I just came from my medical visit at the hospital and for the first time I did not need and interpreter!

Maria learned that she could take a training to get a license to do home child care. She took the course and eventually acquired her certification with the idea to eventually care for children in her own home. Meanwhile she cared from children of families close to her.

Maria suffers from Sleep Apnea and her sleeping arrangements here were less than adequate. While here, she underwent painful surgery which proved to be not successful. We aided her in acquiring medical equipment to help her sleep, but it took a long time and many visits to the hospital before she could get the right machine and the right attachments. Eventually she did, and was finally able to sleep several consecutive hours at a time.

The children were both doing poor in school, but were soon matched to our School on Wheels volunteers for help with homework. This proved to be a life saver for Maria who was very busy trying to earn a living and did not have the time, or the skills to aid her sons. The oldest son just stopped by yesterday to show me his grades; they have improved and we are proud with him.

As you may imagine, staying in shelter for such long amount of time proved difficult and painful. We saw this family go through a lot or crises and meltdowns. We saw many tears and many instances of desperation and deep depression, but with some words of encouragement and her tenacity, she never gave up the fight.

In October, CAH made the decision to offer her one of our affordable apartments on Holten St. till her housing offer came through. We felt Maria was really at the end of her resistance and a time of respite would aid her sanity. Two weeks later the offer for permanent housing finally came; she was offered a three bedroom apartment in Salem, where she now lives.

We rejoice with this family and together with them celebrate. They are going to be able to celebrate Christmas in their own place for the first time in a very long time.

CAH made a big difference in this family’s life and feel a great sense of pride for the labor we did.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

They're Talking About Lynn- 60s/70s - Warner Theatre, TW Rogers, Youth Week Parade

I'm really excited to get this series kicked off with this first post from my Aunt and lifelong Lynn resident, Tricia (Cahill) Jackson. Tricia is married to my Uncle Rich and lives currently near Austin Square. Some great tidbits in what she was willing to share with the Downtown Lynn blog readers. I wanted to restate that my aim is not to re-create the past, but to start a dialogue about our great Downtown area - not only what it used to be for so many, but what it is and can be for us today. These memories can give us new ideas on how to continue to define our Downtown Lynn. I'll leave the rest of this post up to my Aunt Tricia.

Memories from the 60s and 70s from lifelong Lynner - Tricia (Cahill) Jackson

I've been thinking about this off and on all day. My first thought was how much I dislike the fact that some people are always moaning about how much has changed downtown. Everything has changed so much whether it's downtown or anywhere else- some good and some bad.

I have a lot of memories of downtown and all of them are good- maybe I'm too young to feel bad that the old Lynn is gone but here are some memories I have from 1964 until about 1973. I barely remember the movie theaters downtown although I remember going to see a Phyllis Diller movie in the square with my older brother Jim and I saw Mary Poppins and Dr. Doolittle at the Warner theater. I must have been pretty young. Mary Poppins was released in 1964 so I was 6 years old.

Warner on the right, TW Rogers in the distance on the left

Back in the late 60's and early 70's there were still a lot of stores to shop in and it was a right of passage for a girl to go to TW Rogers with her mother to get her first bra!! Other milestones celebrated downtown - I had my first slice of pizza that wasn't from Monte's. If you've ever had pizza at Monte's, you'll know what I mean. Georgia's pizza at the corner of Union and Green Street was the place to go for the kids from East Lynn. When I was about 12, I was old enough to walk with my friends to Sasone's for a meatball sandwich and fries. Sasone's was on Blake Street. It was downstairs from McClellans if I remember correctly. We were pretty impressed with the table top jukeboxes they had. There was a record store on Union St near Silsbee Street and and we would go buy 45's on the way home.

When I was in junior high we used to go to Gordon's Dance Studio on Friday nights. Gordon's was on Central Ave on the 3rd and 4th floor in the building across from where Lynn Community Health Center has their office now. The lessons were from 7-9 and cost $2. We learned everything from ballroom to line dancing to what were popular dances then - like the stomp!!

I remember when I was young sitting on the steps of St Joseph's Church to watch the youth week parade. My father worked at Hood's Milk in Charlestown and would rush home after work to see the parade. For some reason, it was held early evening in the middle of the week. Back then, Lynn hosted the World Open drum and bugle competition at Manning Bowl and all the bands that came to compete would stay in the gyms at the schools. The youth week parade was held while the bands were in Lynn and it was a 2-3 hour parade!!

Lastly, I remember Santa arriving by helicopter to the Item Building. We would watch the helicopter land and then rush to City Hall to see Santa come by on a fire truck.


Great stuff. A big thank you to my Aunt Tricia and to those of you who have sent me your postings. I plan on posting one a week. If you want to contribute to this series, please contact me at


Friday, November 20, 2009

Flu Shots at Lynn Tech

City of Lynn H1N1 Vaccination Clinic
Lynn Tech Field House

Saturday, November 21st - 10AM - 1PM

This initial clinic must be limited to the following groups only:
- Children 6 Months to 18 Years of Age
- Pregnant Women
- Household Contracts of Infants Under 6 Months of Age

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hackathon09 - Lynn computer nerds, you out there?

I wonder if Lowell Gray ( or any other tech companies in Lynn (are there any?) would host one of these. I'm sure we have other techies that might attend who live in the city.

It's all about opening up government to the citizens and using technology to drive that effort. If you can get free community led efforts around this, that would be a great way to do it in the face of budget cuts.

What do we think, Downtown Lynners?

Take Mayor Elect, Judy Flanagan Kennedy's idea of putting the budget online. Maybe there are interesting ways of presenting that data to get our public involved in processing and submitting ideas for improvement. What else would be useful from an open kind of Lynn local government?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Judy wins.....again!!!

Kevin Kennedy reporting on Facebook that Judy Flanagan Kennedy won the recount! Numbers unclear...think it's by 30 or 34, but by slightly more then the original number. Mayor Clancy has congratulated her and all is as it should be.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

They're Talking About Lynn...

I am finding more and more when I tell people I live in Downtown Lynn, they have a special memory of the time they spent down here in their youth. Whether it be at one of the three movie theatres, or one of the many department stores, or simply hanging out on Central Ave or Union Street, they all have a unique memory or two to share. I'm starting a series on this blog where I will feature someone's memory of Downtown Lynn each Monday. I've already collected a couple. My goal is to connect the positives of the past to the possibilities of the present. I think we can learn a few things from these memories. My goal is not to re-create the Lynn of our past, but to spark dialogue about what a downtown area is (and has always been) about.

If you have a special memory you would like to share, please contact me.

1,2,3 Recount

Hopefully they know how to count to 27. That will be the number of votes Kennedy wins by after the recount. These systems are pretty accurate. There should be very few challenged ballots. I'm hoping to catch the end of it in person. If I'm there and they let us, I'll be blogging.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New review of the Blue Ox from NorthShore Magazine

Spot on as usual. These reviewers always capture the details of these menu items so well. Take a look and then get on over to Oxford St. and dine at The Blue Ox.

Re-build the Capitol Theatre

Is that a good idea?

Primary use local regional equity theatre. Could also be used for Film screenings for RAW, foreign language films to embrace film culture from Latin America, Russia, and independent film in the states. Lectures from the Lynn museum. Dance recitals from Lynn arts dance studio. Comedians who can't quite get the 2200 seat Lynn auditorium filled. Concerts similar to what north shore music theatre used to provide.

Now if only we had a sugar daddy to re-build it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mayor Shinn has challenged the election!

No surprise. With a 27 vote margin, I would expect anyone to challenge. Judy Flanagan Kennedy also got the necessary signatures to put her challenge in as well. This insures that both sides are present and can voice objections to ballots, etc. They are hoping to get it done all in one day, Wednesday November 18th.

Prediction - Kennedy beats "Chip" by 27 votes.


City of Lynn Concepts

Check out local blogger, Aikaterini Panagiotakis, and her ideas for how to improve Lynn Shore Drive and bring more traffic in to the downtown area.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Start a business in Downtown Lynn!!!

Now is the time to get in to Downtown. I'm seeing pretty substantial growth just in the past few months. We got a new candle store, a karate studio, and a brand new wine bar. This adds to the fantastic Blue Ox restaurant, Pho Lynn, Capitol Diner, Campus Coffee Shop, Omar and Oscar Jewlers, Flavaz Ice Cream, and Dunkin Donuts already in Central Square.

4.5% loans from EDIC. Check out the site if you're a startup or a small business looking for a location.

Turbine coming in December!!!

I heard from Stephen at Turbine Wine Bar. Looks like they are planning a few soft openings in early December and will officially open their doors mid-December. Hope the neighbors get in on one of those soft openings!!! ;-)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

250 to 500

The magic number is 500 for Downtown Lynn. This has been brought up to me one on one and I've heard it in political speeches for this year's election. I'm not sure why 500 is the magic number, but it can't be a bad thing to start driving more residents into the downtown area. So why did you move here? What makes you stay?

For me, it's my neighbors and the potential I see in the neighborhood. There's something great about the fact that we love to hang out with the people who live in this neighborhood. It's the 19 minute commuter rail trip into Boston. It's proximity to Nahant beach. It's my family history. It's the cool loft setups that would cost a fortune in Boston that have price tags in the 200s and lower here.

So, 250 people is not a lot of people. How do we get them to move here?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Building Bridges Thru Music, Inc.

I happened upon a very small blurb in the Lynn Item print edition about this organization. They have a performance on Sunday night at Lynn Arts from 6-9 PM. It looks like an interfaith group performing gospel, jazz, and blues. Sounds cool. I wonder if they're good?

The website has a calendar which when you click on the event tells you to see the website for more info (ummm?). Lynn Arts has nothing on their site about the event either.

I guess I'll be the online source of how to get tickets. :-)

Tickets are $12 in advance or $14 at the door. Call Ginny Makkers at 781-962-0022 or Doreen Murray at 781-953-1849.


Go visit the Lynn Museum

The Lynn Museum is having a live auction and food tasting on Saturday night. I won't be able to take it in as I have a performance that night out in Acton, but let me know how it is if you go.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

8 More Days!

The Clancy campaign has until November 13th to ask for a recount. No word from City Hall on whether or not he will ride that wave. I wouldn't blame him to be honest. He was quoted in the Boston Globe today saying:

"I haven't decided," Clancy, an eight-year incumbent, said this afternoon. "It's not a lot of votes, and it's a pretty accurate system. But we'll see."

Apparently he's giving the Item the silent treatment. Now they know how 8043+ of the citizens feel.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

One Vote!

It seems a bit cliche, but one vote really does matter. The difference today was 27 votes. That's basically one vote per precinct. One vote per precinct. Incredible, when you put it in that context, isn't it?

Without the scare tactics from the Mass Dems regarding Judy Flanagan Kennedy's good name, or the completely out of context property tax mailing, this would have been a landslide. I still view it as one.

By the way, I think the Mayor violated section 7-3 of the city charter by turning this into a partisan race, but I guess we'll let that slide. It seems lately that the charter is up to interpretation anyway. :-)

This blog used to get 10 visits per month if I was lucky and I think those visits came from one or two readers. This month, the blog got 300 unique visits. This election has given Lynn's citizens a voice, as any good election should. We've been trying to be heard for a while now, and tonight, we were heard loud and clear. I want to personally thank Judy Flanagan Kennedy for giving us this chance.

Big challenging road ahead, but this mayor is going to take us with her down that road, and that is going to make all the difference.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Judy wins!

Thank you to everyone who voted today. You truly made a difference. Only 27 votes decided the next Mayor of Lynn.

From the Lynn Item:
"With 28 of 28 precincts reporting in the Lynn's mayoral race challenger Judith Flanagan Kennedy has beaten incumbent Mayor Edward J. Clancy Jr. by 27 votes, 8,043-8,016."

Congratulations to the Kennedy family and the citizens of Lynn. Half of you don't realize it, but we're in for a great four years. Now let's get involved.


2 hours left for you. For me, it's off to rehearsal

Since my show opens on Friday, I must depart Lynn with 2 hours to go before the polls close. The air is very uncertain. Will the voters choose Judy to continue the great progress we have all brought to Lynn, or will they choose Chip to continue the fight against city hall for a better Lynn.

We shall see tonight! Seth will be posting results on for those not able to get LynnCAM on their TV.

Thank you Seth.

Good luck Judy, Eugene, Dan, Maria, Brendan, and all the other candidates. This was a great election and a great dialogue. I hope we can keep the momentum going in the coming months.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Vote Tuesday, November 3rd!!!

Polls are open from 7:00AM-8:00PM.

Where do I vote?

For rides to the polls, please call headquarters at (781) 586-0200.

Good luck to all the candidates! Please get out and vote. It really does matter!!!!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Councilor-at-Large - We need to pick 4 of 6

The six are


That's also the order. I should take Duffy off the list so you never hear his name again. Google Steven Duffy and read about his tax situation. But more importantly, listen to him debate while he chews his gum. Honestly! GUM! When asked about Downtown, he has no faith that anything can be done. We'll never see the Downtown Lynn we once knew. Really???

Meimeteas seems like a nice guy, but is very disappointing from a poitical angle. To listen to him you'd think I wouldn't be able to even leave my apartment in Central Square without getting shot. He took his business out of downtown and moved it over towards Buchanan Bridge. Oh well.

So those are my two NOs

I have two Maybes. Phelan and Crowley - They are both fine in my opinion. Crowley slightly outweighing Phelan.

That leaves me with two absolute YES votes. Eugene Shneeberg and Dan Cahill - Both have real visions for the Downtown area and Lynn as a whole. Eugene is the real deal. Working with kids to get them into more productive uses of their time outside of school. He has a proven track record of helping to bring real grant money into this city. Let this work continue on a grand scale. We all will benefit from his leadership. Cahill also has a great approach when it comes to downtown. Get Lynners to invest in itself. Go downtown to eat. Go downtown to purchase goods.

These are my opinions. I don't think they changed as I heard them answer each question from when I heard their opening remarks on knights of columbus debate.

DO NOT vote for Duffy

VOTE for Eugene Shneeberg and Dan Cahill

But more importantly, don't listen to me. Watch the debate and make up your own mind.


The City of Lynn, MA - Why do I care?

I think it's important to take a time out from the campaigning and talk about why we care. I've lived in many different places over the years and elections have come and gone and I've barely noticed. Three years ago, I decided to become a homeowner. I knew I wanted a loft but that was about it. My real estate agent took me to Lawrence, Lowell, Salem, Boston, Cambridge, Sommerville, and finally to Lynn. I fell in love with Downtown Lynn almost instantly. No one lived in my building at the time, but I immediately saw the potential. There were ZERO businesses in Central Square (even the Dunkin Donuts didn't exist). I thought back to my parents stories of Lynn growing up and how we would always be here visiting my grandparents. I'm fighting for their Lynn. The Lynn of which Charlie and Marion Hersey were proud to be a part. The Lynn that Claude and Madeliene Jackson lived in happily for years. The Lynn where Charlie Hersey (stage name "Ken Stone") entertained in Manning Bowl and on Lynn radio for years.

My dad used to work right across the street from the now burned-down Capitol Theatre. The business had live chickens which were killed fresh for the patrons. (ummm... kind of glad that shut down). Every time my parents visit they reminisce about the stores they used to go to on Union Street. About the pharmacy in Central Square where they used to go after school to get Tuna Fish sandwiches. Not sure why the pharmacy sold tuna, but it apparently was the best tuna in town. :-)

Over the past month, I've got to meet some wonderful people working for the campaign. Retired GE employees, former educators, lifelong residents, and retired and active firefighters. As I listen to these people, It makes me so happy I made the decision to come back here. To start a third generation of living in Lynn for the Jackson and Hersey families. I already see progress that has been driven by the residents who chose to move here. We now need to elect the right leaders to help us. When you go to place your vote on November 3rd, make sure who you vote for is someone who is going to help the residents with the next leap forward. Someone who is going to drive Lynn over the next 4 years to an even more beautiful place then it already is.


Downtowners Campaigning for Judy Flanagan Kennedy

Had a great day out in Wyoma Square, on Boston Street in front of Stop & Shop, and at the corner of Washington and Western Ave. Thanks for the all the support with the beeps and thumbs up! Get out the vote on November 3rd.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Lynn Mayoral Debate - Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce

The morning started out with a nice brekafast from the Porthole Restaurant and a greeting from The Mayor's Wife. "COREY JACKSON, how are you?" Wow, she knows my name. Either they're scared, or I should be :-) lol

So I'm not gonna lie, when residents aren't invovled, the debates are boring. I think that's a sign of what a dynamic community we are and the fact that commercial business hasn't been a priority so there didn't seem to be a lot of passion in the room. The debate was sort of 50/50 for me. Of course, you know my bias, but neither candidate really pushed any of my buttons. They answered questions on jobs, parking, safety, permitting, licensing, communication, taxes, library funds, and our image problem. Personally I don't think "Lynn, Lynn, the city of sin" needs to be a bad thing. Look at the marketing for Vegas. I think they draw in a few consumers.

Both candidates seem to be out of touch on the ISD. Everytime I hear about that organization, I don't hear good things. Poor Tatiana being harrassed about her awning. Taco's Lupita having to paint over a beautiful sign with black paint. I think something is wrong every time I drive by there now. The poor guy with the awesome signs in that building on the corner of Washington and Union getting hassled because he's adding some creativity and color to the area.

So, from this perspective, Judy still gets my vote. She seems to be more open to actually managing the ISD department. Make sure that department is doing it's job and listening to the business community of Lynn. Mayor Clancy simply stated that that's what the ISD should do on a day to day basis. It should not be the job of any elected official. ummm.... ok. Chip made some good points around getting more of the ISD documents and best practices online and into how-to guides. Judy was on the committee to form the ISD and has been to Quincy, Boston and other local communities in order to establish an organization that will work for the city of Lynn.

On jobs, both pointed to the waterfront as a catalyst. THe Mayor pointed out the great potential for immediate construction jobs as we move the power lines and begin work on whatever will be built there. Judy's response to this was a bit more visionary in my opinion. Judy would like to see something on the order of the Pavillion in Boston to bring in concert acts, comedians, etc. This is a good opportunity for us now that the North Shore Music Theatre has closed.

My two cents on this is I can see two things working very well for the city of Lynn. Either a 200-1000 professional theatre with more ability for smaller acts than the 2200 seat Lynn Auditorium OR a 5-10K venue which could bring in the likes of smaller pop acts that are on the cusp of breaking into venue type shows. The types of places Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber were playing last year before breaking into the ranks of a Garden show. This venue could also be a home for the types of Cirque de Soliel and other performances that they retro-fit into Suffolk Downs currently. Let's bring that money to Lynn. I think this type of venue is what Judy would like to see thought about. Judy's idea of shuttle buses from Wonderland and the MBTA Garage out to a waterfront destination on event nights is a great one.

This is what I'm talking about when I complain about the lack of vision in the current administration. We never hear ideas like this. I hear them from Rep. Steve Walsh, but the only thing I've heard from the Mayor is when the Lynn Item calls him and quotes him in the articles about budget cuts. Don't even get me started on last year's "We're in neutral" speech at the Downtown Lynn Neighborhood Association meeting. This morning he did nothing to make me think we won't just be business as usual for the next four years if he is elected.

Parking seems like a non-issue for me when it comes to the Chamber, but they brought it up, so it must be an issue. The Mayor brought up the under-utilization for our current parking resources. The MBTA garage is never full, the buffum lot is never full. He claims there's some technology needed to use these better. I parked in the Buffum lot for one year when I first moved Downtown. It's out of the way, dark and abandoned, and I could hear my car crying as I walked away from it each night. It's great for the folks in Machine Lofts, but it's scary for the rest of us and doesn't seem a safe place to leave a car. The MBTA garage is good for people using the train and horribly located for everyone else trying to do business downtown. As residents downtown, we have ZERO options to park other then those two places. To park in Buffum we need an overpriced monthly pass. (Can't pay per use, which would be good). To park in the MBTA Garage we're not giving Lynn any revenue and we have a dangerous walk home down Union street to Central Square. I don't care what the mayor says on crime, in the last few years, I'm a lot more nervous about my wife walking home from that garage than I used to be.
I don't understand why the Mayor and the City Council ignored the residents all together when we requested some sections of the side streets to be resident permit parking. Willow, pieces of Munroe, pieces of Union down across from the garage could be easily converted to resident sticker parking.

Judy pointed to the arrangement between The Blue Ox and Eastern Bank as a prime example of how we can work together to solve some of the issues in the immediate downtown area. She also pointed out some ideas around reserved parking in MBTA garage or in the Shaw's lot for other Market street merchants.

On Safety, Judy again stated she would like to see the community bike police back on the streets, the CLTs. She mentioned that she had spoken to one of the former CLTs who used to work on Union street and he claims that crime went down 50% because of the presence. Chip said crime is down in Lynn. Maybe he forgot to read the Lynn Item this morning. 5 stabbed at Lynn Classical. The Mayor pointed to the roll-back of hours as pro-business in reducing crime. He mentioned that the "hooligans of a more graphic word" (not sure what that meant) have moved on to Saugus now. I don't think they travel to Rt 1 for nightlife now. It's too hard to get to. Over the past few years we've had some pretty grotesque violence right behind our condo in the highlands that has reached National News. Maybe the statistics are down, but we certainly have issues. We will always have crime, but we need some better ways of dealing with the problem.

More police presence will help, but I also think we need more programs to combat gang violence and get these gang members out of Lynn or better yet give them another option for their future. There was a lot of this type of activity a few years ago, but it seems to have died down. We need to re-engage on these efforts and bring in State and Federal assistance to help. If our Police force is going to continue to dwindle, we need to increase coverage in some other way.

Library funding - both candidates said they will use it for a library. Why was this a question? Honestly we need to think a bit more strategic in my mind. Maybe we should reopen the blacksmiths and cobbler shops too. We're going to need a lot more then $1M to build a state of the art library that will serve the needs of today's youth. Google Books online. We're done! This is a non-issue and years away from anything real.

In closing statements the Mayor pointed out that these debates are good for government. I wonder if he gets elected if community forums of this sort will continue. I know Judy has publicly stated she wants to open up the government to the residents in a real way. Get more committees on LynnCAM, etc. I'm not sure where the Mayor stands on this. I've lived here for 3 years. I've only seen him be public in the last few months. He again stated that he's a Democrat and she's a Republican. Doesn't matter, but apparently it does to him. He then replayed his refrain on property taxes. Old news, read the Item for more.

In Judy's closing, she talked about the fact that we need to do what we can to make Lynn a destination NOW, not wait for the Blue Line as Mayor Clancy suggested. She again referred to the Waterfront and working through grants and influence with state, federal, and private sector to get things done NOW.

The Mayor has touted earlier that he has brough gender equity to the city. Judy wanted to point out that there has been one female hired on the Fire Department in 2004 and none since.

The Mayor touted earlier that she was against the roll-back. She wanted to remind the Chamber that she opposed the roll-back because she felt the business and restaurant owners were not given a fair chance to voice their alternatives. They were not listened to.

Personally, I had some friends who were at City Hall the night of that vote. They even felt there was nothing they could do. The city had it's mind made up and it wasn't much of a discussion.

The debate ended congenially. The Mayor and Judy were both talking to one another and laughing . Very civil. I like to see that. Hopefully he'll still talk to her when she's elected Mayor in just a few short days.

I'm a Democrat.... and I'm Proudly Standing Behind Judy Flanagan Kennedy for Mayor of Lynn and a little scared of the Mayor's Wife ;-)

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