Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Celebrate The New Year at Turbine Wine Bar

Several of the local lofts are joining together for a New Year's Eve to be remembered in Downtown Lynn. Most are planning on being at Turbine Wine Bar at 56 Central Square at some point during the evening. There are pre and post parties going on throughout Downtown as well.  I don't know if those are public so ask someone at Turbine where they're headed and follow them over.

Happy New Year!

If you haven't been downtown in a while, you know what your New Year's Resolution better be!


More Snow Photos and Videos on

Check out Seth's Excellent Adventure as he travelled around Lynn with his video camera and DSLR on Monday. Fantastic job getting out to the community and sharing it all with us. There are even some reader submitted photos.

Check it out over at


Monday, December 27, 2010

Snowed-in in Downtown Lynn

 Love it when Downtown gets big snow storms. Here are some pictures taken from 7 Central. I leave for Miami in a few days. I have a feeling it might look a bit different down there!

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Snow Emergency in Lynn, MA - 12/26 2PM Until Further Notice

According to the Daily Item, a snow emergency has been declared for noon starting at 2PM. For those of us Downtown, that means we need to get our cars off the streets. They do tow and yes.. it is expensive. Since it's Sunday, you can place your car in Buffum lot for free. MBTA garage is even better since you don't have to clean off your car in the AM and it's only $4. It fills up fast, so get over there soon if you want a space.

During Snow Emergency, information will be posted on the city website and also broadcast on the radio and local cable channels: WESX AM 1230 – WBQQ l04.9 FM – Comcast Channel 3 – Verizon Channels 28 and 37

Flashing Blue Lights indicate a Snow Emergency has been declared.
These lights are found at the intersections of Market Square; Market St/ Broad St; Eastern Ave at Essex Street; Essex Street at Rockaway Street; Western Ave at Waitt Ave, Lynnfield Street at Broadway; and O’Callaghan Way at Walnut Street.

Only during a snow emergency, parking for those residents without a driveway is available in parking lots at the following schools: Brickett, Callahan, English, Ford, Harrington, Ingalls, Sisson and Tech. Parking is also available at the Ellis Street Municipal Lot (School Street side) and the MBTA Garage at the intersection of Broad and Market streets (parking charge of $4 per vehicle). Please note that vehicles left at the school sites must be removed at the conclusion of the snow emergency.  If the snow emergency ends after 9:00PM, cars must be removed by 6:00AM the following morning or be subject to ticketing and/or towing.

The Department of Public Works operates 24 hours a day and can reached at 781-477-7099.

 All property owners are responsible for all snow removal in a reasonable timeframe. That goes for absentee building owners and landlords as well...

Be safe and enjoy some time snuggled up on the couch. It's gonna be one of those kinds of nights.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

I'm hoping to unplug for a few days and enjoy a great day with my in-laws today and my parents tomorrow. We're lucky that everyone lives in Massachusetts so there's not a lot of traveling to do. You, my readers, are so important to me. We went from 2,000 unique people in 2009 to 11,786 unique people in 2010 reading this blog. I see the passion for what we're all about lived out on the streets and in the squars of our Downtown every day. In the downtowners who live here, the workers who work here, and yeah... even in City Hall. The end of this year has seen a positive momentum shift. I predict a 2011 that is going to make you very happy to be a part of Downtown Lynn.

Merry Christmas or whatever it is you celebrate and if for some reason I don't talk to you until then, Happy New Year!

For details on this year's Xmas Eve Parade route, see the Facebook Page for the Lynn, MA Christmas Parade.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

All I Want For Christmas Is A New Council President!!!

Wow! What a delight to turn on my phone this morning and see that Phelan has a competitor for the council presidency, Dan Cahill. It's like Christmas came early!!!

Can Councilor Cahill pull this off?? I'm extremely proud of our Ward 5 Councilor, Brendan Crighton, for standing proudly behind a man he believes in, Dan Cahill.

To make this easy to understand, here are my Top 5 reasons why Cahill should lead the council. It's fairly obvious to me, but based on voting tallies of recent elections, I don't think Lynn is thinking this through correctly:

5. Open and Transparent - Cahill is always up front and honest with you. You can have a reasonable conversation with Cahill and not feel spoken to, but listened to. I can't say the same for Phelan. Recall, my visit to the principal's office. While confused at that time, I now know exactly why I was brought into that office. Phelan thought having public hearings where decisions seemed already made, was open and transparent. We had to suggest they put agendas online and then go back again and suggest they put the minutes online. I would LOVE to see the day when an open forum for the citizens returns to the council sessions. Today we play by Phelan's rules. Those in favor followed by those against with no opportunity for rebuttal.  If we really want Common Cause, Phelan is not our path towards it. Cahill is our leader on that charge!

4. Present - I don't mean at council sessions. They are both always there. As a matter of fact, that podium is the only place I have ever seen Phelan (besides the principals office). I have never seen him at LynnArts, Lynn Museum, RAW Arts, Arts After Hours, Neighborfest (once when Clancy gave his nuetral speech, but not since), Downtown restaurants, Election Day. Where is he? I think he lives in Ward One. Does anyone ever see him out around there?   Cahill on the other hand is at EVERYTHING! On election day this year, he ran around this city like a madman getting out the vote. He wasn't running for anything, but I saw him out there, freezing his ass off, getting done what was needed for Lynn in this years races.

3. Votes and Debates - Cahill was on the right side of the pitbull ordinance, Phelan was not. Cahill got all the right compromises in to the bill, Phelan fought them tooth and nail.  Cahill was on the right side of the entertainment ordinance, Phelan wasted our time bringing it forward in the first place. The end result being a restriction on the arts in our community. Phelan wished to stall the Leblanc case instead of moving along some sensible path. Cahill and Crighton understand how the state level works and knew this was a waste of Lynn's time and effort. Phelan seems to always be focused on stuff that doesn't matter.

2. Respect - From what I have seen, Phelan seems to hold grudges. What was up with the treatment of Patricia Barton at that first council session when her whole family was there to see her sworn in? If you buy Phelan's explanation on that, I have some land on the waterfront to sell ya. What is up with the spat between our Mayor and the Council President. That relationship is beyond repair and it's time to put someone at the helm who is willing to work with our elected Mayor, Judy Flanagan Kennedy.

1. Leadership - All of this comes down to a strong and powerful leader. I believe you lead by action. I do not believe you lead by preaching from the platform and getting what you want behind closed doors. I want an open, transparent leader who partakes in what Lynn has to offer, comes down on the correct side of issues, and leads this council with the respect and dignity we all deserve in this great city.

The man for the job is Dan Cahill!!!!

Call your councilors today and ask them to get thee behind Dan.  Ward 5, you are off the hook on this assignment, Brendan Crighton has already backed the right man!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Development Rumors in Downtown Lynn

Very strong rumors that 14 Central is close to being swept up by RCG. They are the company that brought you Boston Machine Lofts, Sloan, the Firehouse on Franklin and the Lydia Pinkham Building. They are incredible. They know exactly the type of development that works for Lynn's Downtown.

If this rumor is true, we need to send out the trumpets and welcome RCG back to our Downtown. They are a phenomenal force in our rebirth.

All I want for Christmas is for this to be the truth!

Maybe It's Just Me, But It Seems the Media Has Been Misled!

I saw a rat in Downtown Lynn. That was four years ago.

We have a rat problem in other areas of Lynn. Mostly due to foreclosed properties and absentee landlords.

How does an article like this one get published in the goddamn Boston Globe?

I can list out our main issues.  You all can.

Economic Development

Rats might fall somewhere around #20 on the list.

Why is the Boston Globe chiming in to the rat problem in Lynn? Is that really the image we want to be promoting to the rest of the state? Councilor Cyr, Councilor Trahant? Any comment here?
 Think about your actions over the last few months.

Certain residents of Ward Two...think about your actions!!! You have done this.


Someday, we'll get in the Boston Globe for a good reason and it won't be thanks to any of you.

We definitely have a rat problem. I just wonder if they are of the animal variety.


Sunday, December 19, 2010


Photo courtesy of
That's quite a number. As the Mayor got up in front of 2100 people last night, it got me thinking more about the genius of Lynn Auditorium. Jamie Marsh has done so much as a one man band over the years, but this month's success needs to be lauded! Two sellout crowds brought to our Downtown. That's 4200 people that would not otherwise be down here in December.  Jamie, along with the Mayor's incredible support, is hitting a few home runs as of late. Great exposure for our Mayor, incredible support for our Downtown businesses, and ultimately our tax revenue from Downtown.

Last night's Kenny Rogers concert was something special. He was interactive with the crowd. I never realized how funny he is. They did a video montage of Christmas music sung by people around Lynn and within City Hall. They had children choirs and the most adorable little girls on stage. Not sure if they were from Lynn or just Massachusetts but cute nonetheless. He played all the right hits and a great selection of his Christmas music. A wonderful night and everyone left happy.

Some people in the audience were "happier" than others. We really have a heckling problem in Lynn Auditorium. I've noticed it at a few events. When the performer is talking it's not ok to keep screaming randomly at him. When he's singing a ballad, it's not ok to be shouting names of other songs you want to hear. It's rude! If it were Phelan up there, I'd allow it, but no one else. ;-)  Maybe we should up the prices of the beer a little bit. OOOhh!! That just gave me another idea. They should serve alcohol at City Council meetings that have public hearings!!! :-) They don't listen to us anyway, why not make it more amusing for the cameras. (Disclaimer: This is a joke to all you about to click on the comment button).

If we were a bit smarter, we'd be capturing more of these 4200 leads and converting them into Downtown customers. How many of those 4200 people knew where Turbine, Lupita Restaurant, Tatiana's, Old Tyme Italian, The Blue Ox, Casa Antigua, and Antique Table are located? We should develop signage or a program/handout to give to all that has the details of everything else going on downtown with a good map of our One Way street hell maze. Program could pay for itself with the ad revenue it could generate.

For the next few concerts, it would be awesome to have several publicized after-party events around the city.   Let's take 20% of these sellout crowds and get them to stay Downtown. No need to go home at 10:30 when we can suck money out of them until 1.

I'll leave you with a few short clips from last night. Hope you got out to see it and if you didn't, stop missing out. It's time to discover Downtown Lynn and be a part of this. It is happening.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Is it happening?

Tonight I am headed to the second sellout at Lynn Auditorium in less than a month. That's 2200 seats! On our way there, we are going to try our luck at the Blue Ox that is out of reservations because it is so incredibly busy tonight. We have two substantial rumors of Mixed use development about to be made public on significant plots of land downtown.

A formula is starting to work. Hope you're coming along for the ride because the answer is yes. It is happening!

- Corey

Friday, December 17, 2010

How to get a 2-night vacation to Ward 1 Absolutely FREE

We've all heard about Ward 1. It's that beautiful land of milk and honey just on the other side of Wyoma Square (or something like that). I call it Ward ONEderful with love. I mean that. It's one of the many aspects of Lynn that make us very unique. Since we shackle our city employees to Lynn, a lot of them choose Ward One. Great looking homes, great people, and pretty good schools from what I hear. There is Gannon Country Club and one of the entrances to Lynn Woods. There is amazing access to route 1, route 128, and 95. I suppose that last point may be the reason our major hospital happens to be in Ward One. It makes little sense to me that it is not Downtown. The feeling was only magnified when I saw the other "customers" in the ER. I think it's clear where the need is. Also, wouldn't it be better to have quick access to Boston for transport via 1A? what do I know? City Council always does the opposite of what I think is right.

I checked in on Friday night with chest pain. Not a cool deal for a 30something, so I was concerned. It turns out not to be heart related so no worries. This post will not be about me, just my experience at Union Hospital. I've heard it's a very good hospital. My experience perfectly matched my expectation and as you know, I always shop Lynn. :)

I had two incredible docs in the ER. Very thorough and were able to put me at ease pretty quickly with a series of well executed tests. My favorite experience was the catscan. I think they referred to the guy running the machine as Jack. He was very funny in his explanation of how the injection was going to make me feel. I was glad for the warning. Anyone who has had a catscan probably knows what I am talking about.

A second ER doc visited me a little later in the night and we talked about favorite wines. Not sure if he was trying to figure out if I was an alcoholic or not, but it was a fun conversation. I told him about the white wines we like. He told me to drink red. So...doctors orders!!! :)

The nursing staff was incredible... Every single person I came across. I'm not going to try to remember names. Always made me feel comfortable and I always had everything I needed. The hospital seems very well staffed and run on all fronts.
I guess my only complaint was waiting an extra day for the stress test because no one was there to do it. I think I could have come home on Sunday if that could have happened. It was very nice to wake up to my PCP, Steven Lefkowitz. He happens to be a cardiologist, so it was good to hear from him that he didn't suspect my heart at all. He's connected to union hospital in an adjoining building. Great doc who I need to listen to more. ;)

Let's talk about the food. I know what you're thinking and I'm about to lose all cred as a food reviewer. Now, I should probably start off with the fact that I don't recommend a casual visit to the Hospital cafeteria, but the food brought to my bed was excellent. Lunch on the first day was a Chicken Marsala. For those who know me, its my go to dish when nothing else interests me. The sauce was decent and it was a low fat diet they had me on so none of the good stuff in the sauce. For dinner, they served a turkey meal with some sort of sauce that tasted like the stuff in pot pies. It was so good! Mondays breakfast was some pretty good French toast. Always had veggies and fruit. Something I sometimes don't do at home. I kind of wanted to stay through one more meal. No joke!

The experience was a delight beyond the pain and annoyance of the event. To be honest, it was kind of nice to just lay in a bed for a few days; a luxury I don't enjoy very often in life.

Thank you Union Hospital.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Power of the Paper Used for Such Good This Time of Year! - Support Item Santa!

Its funny, I had asked the folks over at the Item to send me a blurb about Item Santa so I could write about it and get you guys going on donating to this important philanthropic effort run by our paper every year. 

I was having trouble figuring out how I wanted to write about this special charity... Then, Thursday night happened.

I went to the tree lighting at City Hall Square and there was Peter Gammage (The big cheese over at the Item) freezing his ass off with the rest of us, speaking at the microphone about this time of year and enjoying the singing, playing and talking to Santa about renewing his subscription (ok maybe not that last one...)

After the tree was lit, I headed over to Central Square for the second lighting of the night. Santa had just arrived from city hall, a DJ was playing Christmas tunes and cracking jokes at the mic, kids were decorating ornaments for the tree at LynnArts, and there was Phil. That's right, Phil! Phil was standing there with a big smile on his face and a ladle in his hand. Phil was serving chowder, out in the freezing cold of central square. The chowder was donated by Sidekim Foods and The Porthole and was being served with joy by your general manager of the Daily Item.

Shoot on over one block away and you would have found Brad Spiegel, the managing editor of the paper, taking in the newest installment of Lynn Legacies at the Lynn Museum.

Now, they will be the first to say, that this isn't about them. Item Santa is about the families who desperately need your help during this season to put proper clothing on their children, good meals on their tables, and toys under their trees. I was excited to see such civic involvement from our leaders at the Item in that 1,2,3 punch as I traveled around our Downtown Thursday night. Perhaps this has always been the case, but it seems more visible this time of year just when so many need it most.

Last year Item Santa raised $116,600, the fourteenth consecutive year the drive exceeded $100,000.I think we can do better than that.

Download and print out the form and then send it or drop it off at The Daily Item, 38 Exchange St., P.O. Box 951, Lynn, MA 01903.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Lynn City Council Agenda for December 14th

Thought you all might enjoy a little light reading to put you to bed on a Friday night. 

City Hall Meetings on December 14th

License Committee, 7:15 P.M., Room 402
Discussion re:  Minor Licenses, and Other Business.

Public Property Committee, 7:30 P.M., Room 402
Discussion re:  911 Lease, and Other Business.

Finance Committee, 7:45 P.M., Room 408
Discussion re:  Financial Transfers and Other Business.

            City Council Agenda

Roll Call
Moment of Silence
Pledge of Allegiance

Communication from Her Honor the Mayor:
Dear Councillors:  I am hereby appointing Ms. Elisabeth L. Daly, 27 Stephen Street, to the Office of Economic and Community Development Citizens Advisory Board.  Ms. Daly’s term is effective immediately and will expire on February 1, 2014.  Sincerely, Judith Flanagan Kennedy, Mayor, City of Lynn.

Communication from Attorney Michael J. Barry:
Dear Councillor Colucci:  Enclosed please find a Disclosure of Financial Interest as required by M.G.L. c. 268A, Section 20(b) in order to be appointed as a Constable in the City of Lynn.  It is the recommendation of this office that you obtain the Mayor’s signature as appointing authority and submit the Disclosure to the Lynn City Council for approval.  Please be advised that it is the opinion of this office that you should abstain from a vote relating to the approval of the Disclosure Form.  Thank you for your attention to this matter.  Very truly yours, Michael J. Barry, City Solicitor.

Public Hearings:
Public Hearing to determine the percentage of FY2011 Tax Levy to be borne by each class of real and personal property.

Public Hearing relative to an Ordinance Amending the Ordinance Pertaining to Sex Offender Registry Restrictions in the City of Lynn.

Public Hearing pursuant to MGL, Chapter 139, Section 1, relative to a burnt, dilapidated or dangerous building at 102 Alley Street.  (Capano)

Public Hearing pursuant to MGL, Chapter 139, Section 1, relative to a burnt, dilapidated or dangerous building at 104 Alley Street.  (Capano)

Public Hearings to be Set Down:

Unfinished Business:
From the Ways & Means Committee meeting of November 30:

Ordered that Her Honor the Mayor is hereby authorized to execute all documents
necessary for a Section 108 Waterfront Loan Fund from the Department of
Housing and Urban Development.

Committee Reports:
Ways and Means Committee
Waterfront Committee
Public Safety Committee
License Committee
Public Property Committee
Finance Committee

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tree Lighting in Downtown Lynn

I could write a post about my amazing night in Downtown Lynn but I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Shawn Potter of All Care VNA

Peter Gammage of The Daily Item

The Honorable Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy with Santa

Lynn Classical Choir

Lynn English Choir

Lynn English Band - at least I think it's English

Doesn't that just say it all! Merry Christmas everyone! Hope your holiday season is joyous, peaceful and restful. It's going to be an amazing 2011. You'll see!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Theatre: The Matchmaker at North Shore Community College in Lynn, MA

This December, the North Shore Community College Performing Arts Council proudly presents a beloved American classic that the whole family can enjoy!

Thornton Wilder's THE MATCHMAKER
Directed by Matthew Woods
Costume design by Cotton Talbot-Minkin
Set design by Malcolm Young

Wealthy merchant, Horace Vandergelder, gets more than he bargained for when he hires irrepressible busybody, Dolly Levi, to find him a new wife, for she knows that love makes the world go round, but a little money helps to pave the way! When Dolly sets out to part the penny-pinching Horace from his purse and bring a smattering of young lovers together, however, complications - and grand adventures -- ensue!

Wilder's comic valentine to a bygone era weaves together the time-tested elements of traditional farce --mistaken identities! thwarted young lovers! secret rendezvous! - with a lively wit and a merry wisdom that are sure to warm the hearts of young and old alike.

And here's a little something for the trivia buffs: Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker would go on to inspire the hit Broadway musical, Hello, Dolly!

So don't just sit there wondering what to do this winter, grab a hat and come out to North Shore Community College's Lynn Campus for a rollicking and old-fashioned good time at the theatre.

The MATCHMAKER will be performed in the Lynn Campus Gymnasium, 300 Broad Street, Lynn (map)

Thursday, December 9 at 7:00 p.m.
Friday, December 10 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 11 at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

General Admission: $7.00
Students and seniors (with valid i.d.): 5:00$
Children 12 and under are FREE!

Tree Lighting - City Hall to Central Square - December 9th, 2010

Lucky for me I get to celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas. Hanukkah lit its last candle on December 8th. The menorah in it's full glory is something I love to see. How nice that as the menorah lights go out, we light up the trees on the Lynn Common and in Central Square. There is SO MUCH going on tomorrow night. Not the least of which is Lynn Museum's continuation of the Lynn Legacies series.

Begin the Evening at Lynn City Hall with Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy and All Care Hospice for the lighting of the City tree, then travel to Central Square where you'll be greeted with hot chowder (courtesy of the Porthole Restaurant, Diamond Kitchen & Catering and Sidekim Foods), holiday dance tunes and Santa Claus!    Not to mention the lighting of the Central Square tree. Our tree is way cooler than City Hall's. :-)

While you're there purchase a ticket for a holiday tree raffle (1 for $1, 3 for $5), and shop LynnArts, TLGUTS, and Subterranean (all within 25 Exchange Street).

This event is generously sponsored by the Daily Item of Lynn and is funded by the City of Lynn through the Offices of Community Development and Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy. Go Jamie and Judy (the dream team in my humble opinion).

Holiday in the Square is created by:  LynnArts, the Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce, the Daily Item with help from All Care Hospice Inc., Columbia Insurance (John Olson is the man!) and the Office of Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy.

Raffle trees have been decorated by:  LynnArts, the Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce, the Daily Item, The Lynn Museum and Historical Society, the North Shore Community College Arts Council, RAW Arts and DTLna with TLGUTS.


33 Central - Fully Detroit-ed Up

Thanks Zee Mah! You have made your building safer.  For that, I and other residents attached to your eyesore are grateful.  If what you tell our readers in your comments is true, you never had a buyer ..... and you couldn't afford to fix your storefront correctly and be reimbursed by Jamie Marsh's OECD facade program.

Unfortunately, this boarding up of all your windows, really doesn't cut it. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig. Ain't that how the old story goes.

They conveniently took the letter down or it too has been covered by a board. Interesting decorating technique. Glad I snapped a shot of that before it was too late.

The non-functioning sprinkler system, the decaying floors and ceiling, the mold issues, the red X signaling danger for our men in uniform... are still quite a problem for the surrounding buildings. 

Next steps, Mr. Mah?  And no... I don't mean taking RAW from their important work to bandaid your problem. I mean a real next step.  I have to imagine our city leaders are wanting to help you. If they are not... we need to know... so we can jump all over them. I've heard what they've been doing though, and to me, it still feels like you are the issue.

On second thought... you know..... this Detroit look could be good for some Eminem music videos. Maybe we now have a shot with his location scouts....

I'll contact them and let you know.


Two New Shows Added to Lynn Auditorium Roster - Kansas and Legends of Rock & Blues

Hope to see lots of you at the Kenny Rogers concert on December 18th. While it's not my music now, it was the music of growing up. I remember every year decorating our Christmas Tree while Kenny Roger's Christmas album was playing in the background. It should be fun to reminisce while hearing him sing those Christmas tunes live on the 18th,

Lynn Auditorium just announced two new shows for 2011. Check it out and get your tickets soon!

KANSAS, March 19th

The 2nd Annual Legends of Rock & Blues, February 4th
featuring Edgar Winter, Rick Derringer & Brad Whitford of Aerosmith!

Get your tickets today at, by calling 781-581-2971 or visiting our box office in room 311 of Lynn City Hall during normal business hours.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Poetry, Story, and Song with Don White and Elizabeth McKim - Dec. 16th

TLGUTS is at it again with another unique event in the gallery space. Great way to get up close and personal with singer, song-writer Don White (I'm From Lynn What Can I Say) and poet, Elizabeth McKim. Check out the press release below.


Poetry, Story and Song, a new event to be held bi-monthly at TLGUTS to promote the art forms of poetry, storytelling and song writing and performance, kicks off on Thursday, December 16th at 8pm. The inaugural performers are celebrated artists Elizabeth McKim and Don White. Each event features artists who have received acclaim in their respective art forms. Each performance is geared towards creating an intimate performance opportunity for both the audience and artists, and will be followed by a light reception. The number of tickets available is limited, so audience members are urged to buy their tickets in advance. 
The first featured artists, poet Elizabeth McKim and folk musician and storyteller Don White, are both Lynn-based artists who are not only highly acclaimed in their respective fields of discipline, but also proponents of the arts in Lynn. McKim has published multiple books of poetry, including, The Red Thread. Mckim is also Poet Laureate of the European Graduate School for Expressive Art Therapy in Switzerland and teaches at Leslie in the department of Creative Arts and Learning. She's a graduate of Goddard College, and guest lectures all over the country on poetry and writing and creativity.

Don White, the P.S.S. musical story teller, i.e. folk musician, is one of the nation's best. After more than twenty years of performing, White has mastered the ability of taking his audience on an emotional journey throughout his performance. He was born and raised right here in Lynn, which gives him a default charisma wrought with sarcasm and insightful humor. White has released more than a half dozen CD's and is also a published author. His book Memoirs of a C student, is a poignant, hysterical, and heartwarming tale spun around his life growing up in Lynn.

The first event, featuring Elizabeth and Don, is Thursday, December 16th, 8pm, at TLGUTS. The cost for tickets is $12 general admission, $6 seniors.

Get your tickets online at or email  Tickets will be held at the door.

The SERVE IT UP! Ceramics Invitational exhibit will be also be on display at The Little Gallery Under the Stairs thru January, 2010. The gallery is located in the lower level of LynnArts Inc., 25 Exchange Street, Lynn, MA 01901. Gallery hours: Thursdays 6:30-8:30pm,

Parking: There free evening street parking adjacent to and in front of LynnArts. There is also a parking lot located at the rear of the building.

The LynnArts Inc. building and TLGUTS are both handicap accessible. Please call ahead if assistance is required.

Friday, December 3, 2010

33 Central - We Can't Take it Any MAH!

33 Central continues to get vandalized and further boarded up. Zee Mah and his property are making Central Square look like Detroit. City leaders have met with Mr. Mah and offered our facade program and even found an interested buyer. All efforts have fallen apart. It's completely ridiculous.

Lucky for us, we have some pretty amazing city officials looking out for our Downtown. According to the letter posted on 33 Central Sq, after complaints yesterday about the second vandalism of this property, inspectors were sent to the property from ISD. Jim Cowdell, Jamie Marsh, and Michael Donovan are to be thanked for this fast action. They believe in the importance of our safety. They believe in our downtown revitalization efforts.  Here is what I saw on the property last night.

Danger to life and limb?

No functioning sprinkler system?

Floors and ceilings collapsing?

Now... let's think this through... To the left is Raw Art Works, home of several children and an active urban youth art program that is nationally known. To the right is East Coast Karate and our beloved Columbia Insurance owned by John Olson. East Coast Karate teaches several children karate classes and a class for kids with autism.

So... what do we think? Is it good that this building is in the middle of these two locations and not far from one of the cornerstones of the downtown residential movement, 7 Central Square.

The past two months have seen two vandalism attempts. We've seen this played out in the news before. Homeless gain access to abandoned property with known absentee owners and set up camp for the winter. Yes, they will be trying to keep warm. You all know what that means? We've all seen Lynn's history. We relived a part of it when the Andrew Street lot went up in flames a few years ago. We're lucky no one was hurt and that wasn't connected to residential units. I don't want that to happen to one side of Central Square, do you?

If you can't read the letter here, read it at 33 Central. This is just a picture I took of the letter posted on the window. The Red X above the letters is to let the fire department know that the building is structurally unsafe to enter. They might anyways if our lives are in danger, but come on???

Zee, Clean this property up and get back into compliance with mass state law or get out of our Downtown!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

World AIDS Day - December 1st

Growing up in the 80s, I was painstakingly made fully aware of the deadly HIV virus. I remember all of the talk on TV and in the schools. When I was around 10 years old, maybe younger, a friend of my dad's and member of The First Christian Church on Chestnut Street was diagnosed with HIV (church is still there, but the First Christian sign was taken down last year). His name was Michael. He was an involved Lynner and a wonderful man. He passed away in what seemed like a very short amount of time.

According to the World AIDS Day 2010 website, HIV is increasing in every region of the world. There are 33.4 million people living with HIV worldwide. This is broken down pretty much 50/50 men and women, and 2.1 million of that number is children.

In Lynn, we put aside some of our federal housing money for our HOPWA funding (Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS). 

It's still a very real issue in 2010. Today at 4:30PM, teens (and all ages) will be meeting on the steps of City Hall in Lynn, MA to create a human ribbon to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in our community.

Organized by Lynn Community Health Center's KAYA youth and Girls Inc. of Lynn, CAB Health and Recovery Services, Lynn Community Health Center, Health and Education Services, Strongest Link, Project Cope, Lynn YMCA, Lynn Museum and Historical Society, and the US Office of Refugees Resettlement. Please email Harry Schnur at with any questions!


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Urban Living Series - Launches Today

It's rare I get to talk about my other passion on this blog, technology. It's where I spend 9-5 and is something that I think lends itself well to urban life. Gadgets, gizmos, social media, web and software development seem to be something a lot of us are passionate about, at least from what I see in Downtown Lynn.

Something else I see as a common thread is people working for causes or at least people who are vocal about certain causes, charities, events, or social issues.

Today, Chris Hughes, former co-founder of Facebook launched The site is a sort of social media site for the non-profit world. Seems to be a cool place for the socially minded to hang out. It's having some growing pains as it's been featured on some of the most high profile sites for social media and tech news today, but I was  able to play around with it a bit before work.

The integration with Facebook seems tight as it pulls in your info, and your Facebook Page info if you set up an organization. I set up Arts After Hours on it today. In this day and age of so many non-profits needing to partner with one another to create some special opportunities and solutions to common problems, this site could prove very beneficial in that discovery and sharing process.

I look forward to using it more and more over the next few weeks once they figure out their scaling issues and start adding functionality to make it chattier on Facebook and more easy to collaborate with other non-profits.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Black Friday - Shop Lynn!

Most people laugh at me when I say I am going to do all my Christmas shopping in Lynn this year. It's not as hard as you think. While I plan on doing most of my shopping in legit independently owned small businesses, that will fail to pull in the necessary hot gift for the nieces. Tis ok, we have Gamespot on market street. We have Wal-Mart on the Lynnway. They pay taxes to Lynn and I hope they remain here while we build on the existence of such successful chains in Downtown Lynn.

Now that I've pretty much alienated a good section of my audience, here is where I actually want you to consider shopping.

TLGUTS - Awesome ceramics show. A serious way to support a local gallery and pick up some amazing quality platters, serving dishes, and place settings. OPEN on Friday from 10AM-4PM!!!!

LynnArts - Holiday sale is in effect. They might be open on Black Friday. I assume they will be open on Saturday from 10-4. The show runs until Dec 30th.

I can fully endorse the two above shows, as I have already purchased holiday gifts from both. You must get to 25 Exchange Street and make it a special holiday for those on your list.

Zimmans is alive and well on Market Street in Lynn. When you walk in the front door you are assaulted with fabric. Cool, but not as cool as the 2nd and third floors of Zimmans that most people don't even know exists. Check it out! Amazing stuff! Furniture, art, etc.

Go to brunch at Mildred's on Lewis St. After brunch, get a gift or two in their gift shop next to the diner. It is a phenomenal gift shop and you will find something you just have to have.

Pennyworths on Boston Street claims they have Uggs and North Face stock. I have not been inside yet, but it's worth a try. Right next door is Big Lots which has a lot of great bargains. We've got a lot of cool random stuff there.

Turbine is offering up a free gift with every $25 gift card purchased. At least they were last time I checked.

Blue Ox has gift cards as well that would be an incredible gift for anyone on your list who lives nearby.

Lynnway Liquors has that exact bottle of wine or craft beer you are looking for for that discerning palette on your list.

CVS on Boston Street. Walgreens on Union Street will certainly have those stocking stuffers you are in need of.

Omar and Oscar has some great jewelry and watches. They are located in Central Square across from turbine. Great people. Check them out this holiday season!

Shop Lynn! If we're in this to win it, why spend our money somewhere else. Make it your challenge as I've made it mine, to try to stay within our borders this holiday shopping season. Make these storefronts stay full. You are fully in control of our destiny this holiday season. Shop Lynn. Shop Local. Our future depends on it.



Readers, this has been a great year. I'm incredibly thankful that you continue to find value in the community we all are creating in Downtown Lynn. This year, more than any other in recent history, we have seen a big uptick in momentum. That can only mean good things in store for the future. 2008, this blog had 2 visitors a month, 2009 we were up to 700 a month, and as of today, we're approaching 2000 unique visitors a month.You're not only reading, you're contributing with your comments and your actions. This year brought us a new wine bar, Arts After Hours, Traveling Piano, Aquaponics, a strong season at Lynn Auditorium, a successful chili cookoff at LynnArts, a newly engaged Lynn Museum, and one of my favorite additions to our downtown, Fernando's and Chef Juan Gonzales. While it might not seem it at times, we have a lot for which we can be thankful. Here is my top ten. Leave what I left off in the comments.

10. Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy for telling the people on boards and committees for the city to PICK ONE.

9. Brendan Crighton, Peter Capano, and Dan Cahill for supporting Downtown Lynn vocally and by showing up down here! We see you and it means something!  

8. Jamie Marsh and Lynn Auditorium for continuing to embrace community and quality in everything you do. The slate of performers coming up is amazing. Big shout out to Jamie for setting up a movie night for the Downtown, office hours for downtowners to come and share their concerns, and hosting many nights at High Rock for Lynners to enjoy a most precious treasure.

7. The School Committee's renewal of the Food Project Lease at Ingall's School

6. Chiefs Coppinger and Carmody and all of our men and women in uniform for all they do to keep our great city as safe as possible.

5.Lynn Museum for an amazing year of programming bringing forward the great families of Lynn on display and in attendance. Lynnarts for some great family programming including an awesome chili cook-off. I would pay big money to get my hands on Matt O'neill's chili again. :-)

4.Turbine Wine Bar for taking a chance on Central Square and providing us with a nightly source of entertainment where we can hang out, drink amazing wine, and eat some incredible pizza with some of the best neighbors on the North Shore.

3. The Little Gallery Under the Stairs for promoting local artists as well as bringing international artists to Lynn gallery walls. For building community with music improv nights, writing nights, and partnering with and to bring more people out in support of local artists at Arts After Hours.

2. SPIN for their incredible work to help those in need of financial assistance and various initiatives to build community with the amazing support of the United Way Massachusetts Bay.

1. Juan Gonzales - Free Thanksgiving Meals for those in need, Cultural Programming on Munroe Street, and one killer Cuban Sandwich.

  Check out last year's Top 10 list.

Thanks everyone for making Downtown Lynn that much better in 2010. Have a safe and happy Holiday season and remember to SHOP LYNN this December. 


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Developing Downtown - Any closer to 500?

Out my back window I get to watch the progress of the Lynn Community Health Center and soon the new KIPP project up next to High Rock. Out my front window we will soon be able to see the tops of the cranes working on the All Care VNA building at the corner of Market and route 1A. I hear they break ground right after Thanksgiving.

In the Item today we had Jim Cowdell calling the Athanas family to task. Join us in a successful plan for the old Hawthorne eyesore or GET OUT OF OUR WAY!! The area needs a city overhaul or we might as well give up on trying to sell 14 Central.

Can I ask something though? Can we look at the plans for this area of the Downtown first? Can we NOT put another health care facility or service oriented building down here? Can we finally ADD to the momentum? Re-read the plans for the Arts & Cultural district. Re-read the Market St. strategic plan. Re-read the Washington street gateway plan. More lofts, more artist live/work space. Another restaurant along the lines of the Ox with a different fare. Still waiting for my BBQ restaurant. First floor retail/gallery space with residential/commercial on upper floors.

As we develop this space and future space Downtown, we should ask ourselves everyday, "Is this getting us closer to 500?"


Monday, November 22, 2010

Lydia Pinkham Open Studios - The Artists are Hard at Work in Lynn

When I woke up on Saturday, I knew I was headed to the Lydia Pinkham Building for the artist Open Studios. What I didn't know, was that I was in for quite a Lynn history lesson. I really didn't have a clue who Lydia Pinkham was or what she did in that building in the 1800s. I know, I know... some of you are shocked that I don't know this entire history lesson, but I bet a lot of you are right there with me.

In the 50s, my mom was telling me, that building had a certain mysterious quality to it. No one knew what went on in there and I'm sure the rumors were many based on its history.

One of the first artists I met in the building told me what used to be manufactured there; an elixir for women. Ahead of her time in many ways, Lydia Pinkham was one of the first to talk about female pains in a public way, one of the first to put her image on her materials giving birth to a modern form of advertising, and maybe not quite the first to add a little something special to the mix. Some of her concoctions were found to have cocaine and morphine and all of them contained alcohol. Certainly "altered the moods" of many women and she and her product became very successful. I believe she built many structures in Lynn and today her building serves many artists as a suitable home for the creative mind. It's somewhat fitting that one of the leading Lynn entrepreneurs of our past has passed on something that can be used for such a creative purpose.

The halls are filled with studio after studio, some of which were open on Saturday and others of which were not. It's a shame this type of event only happens once a year. This refrain has been repeated on Facebook a lot since I posted on the event. There were painters, sewers, potters, and comic book writers. There were people of all ages enjoying it all and I even saw some money exchanging hands. At the very top of the building is the Lydia Pinkham Pottery studio watched over by a very pleasant man who knew all the fine details of every single piece he had on display.

I asked a lot of the artists about the art scene and was surprised at the answer. They love doing their work in Lynn. Good rents, live close by, etc. A lot of them had galleries in wealthier communities on the North Shore. I heard Newburyport, Gloucester, Rockport to name a few. It got me thinking more and more about the artist live/work space ideas I've heard thrown around here a lot as of late. I think Lynn would be smart to embrace this idea and bring some real artist lofts in to the equation. They are working and living here and it's working. Lydia Pinkham Open Studios was living proof.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

SATURDAY: Lynn's Artist Studios and Galleries are OPEN

Just a reminder to get out in Lynn today and visit the many opportunities to see and buy some great artwork.  If you missed it a few days ago, here is your itinerary. I plan to be at Lydia Pinkham at 10AM. I will hopefully be able to post pictures live to the Downtown Lynn Facebook page. At 2PM I will be over at 25 Exchange Street where they have La Boheme in the black box, their annual holiday show and sale in the main galleries, and the Serve It Up: Plates and Platters at The Little Gallery Under the Stairs.

See you around in Downtown Lynn tomorrow!

Write up from the Lydia Pinkham Studios

The historic Lydia Pinkham Building in Lynn will be holding its fifth annual Open Studios on Saturday, November 20th from 10 am to 4 pm.

Join area residents and art enthusiasts at this year's Open Studios. North Shore Clay Studio and the artists of the Lydia Pinkham building will open their doors to the public for this free, annual event. Visitors are invited to walk through artists' studios, meet the artists, and view and buy their work.

This is a great invitation for the community to view and purchase nearly 25 local artists’ work, ranging from painting and illustrations to pottery, sculpture and multimedia!

Open Studios is the best way to meet the artists, see their work in the place it was created, and shop for the holidays. Roam from room to room during this once-a-year art extravaganza.

The Lydia Pinkham Building is located at 271 Western Avenue (Route 107) in Lynn, MA.


Friday, November 19, 2010

RatGate 2010 - The Item Joins the Dark Side?

Dark ages maybe.... where we don't embrace fact.....

We spread lies that have been proven to be such....

The editorial on page A3 of today's Item basically said that renewing the lease for the Ingall's School Garden will mean problems for the city of Lynn. Let's fact check for the Item.

1. The editorial states that residents (Ms. Puleo - that's not plural, the petition did not say this) "say the garden attracts youth gang members and that ripened produce is routinely pilfered." Right! Those crazy gangs and their vegetable stealing ways. James Harrison of the Food Project addressed this directly at the School Committee if you were paying attention (apparently not). They have seen ZERO evidence of stolen food on the property. It would kill their business. Another resident has gone through the police logs. No gang activity on that farm. Is she referring to the children working there????? It just isn't true.  

2. To quote the next sentence "What’s worse, they say, is that the garden, atop a former city landfill, has led to a rat infestation in the neighborhood." Really? The garden has been there seven years! The rat problem got worse over the last 2-3 years. The garden has bait traps and was inspected by a professional pest control company. NO EVIDENCE OF RATS. So if the garden is causing the problem, the rats sure don't like to prove that to us. NONE of the bait was eaten from the traps. WTF?

3. The editorial states Neighbors were also promised three years ago that improvements would be made to address those concerns. Those improvements were never implemented. Correct! City's issue, not the Food Projects. As a matter of fact, cameras and lighting are on the school committees list for all schools so this is not a garden issue and is an expense REGARDLESS. James Harrison already stated at the school committee session that they would take on some of the financial burden for the fence if not the entire thing (again, you got to listen to both sides).We're told that Puleo declined the improvements, as she has repeatedly in public commentary at the School Committee meetings. She only wants it gone. One person has no right to demand such things on the basis of the above untruths and if it ever gets shut down, I hope The food Project sues her.

3. Next quote is the conclusion the editors of the Lynn Item have come to:

"Indeed, given six years of nuisance neighbors have put up with (where are you getting this 6 years of nuisance comment???), and the yet to be determined cost of improvements, a better decision may have been to pave over this acre of school land. (how much does that cost??)"     Make sure you build in the cost for additional food for our poor at My Brother's Table, the additional curriculum Ingalls will have to create on their own without the Food Project, the loss of the lease revenue to the city... Beginning to sound cost prohibitive to shut it down actually... hmm??? Think it through!!!!!

Incredibly irresponsible and out of touch. Have you spoken to the Food Project representatives? Have you spoken to Ingalls School Principal Kim Powers? Have you spoken to proud Ingalls parent Jesse Jaeger? Have you spoken to the 226 people who signed the petition in favor of keeping the garden going? Have you spoken to the 45 youth who get summer jobs from The Food Project and are kept off the streets? Have you spoken to the children of Ingalls after they receive curriculum from The Food Project in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades? Have you spoken to My Brother's Table who gets produce to serve our hungry? Have you spoken to the abutters to Munroe Street garden (surely they have the same issue? oh wait... nope!!!!). Have you spoken to the City Health Director, to the Mayor, to anyone but Ms. Puleo? It seems you did not.

Do you understand the important or urban agriculture? Do you know about Lynn's initiatives to expand this for increased public health? Are you going to support that or squash it as you did on Page A4 today? Do your research and retract the editorial. Apologize to the Food Project and the citizens of Lynn. You took one person's take on this issue and created a PR nightmare for an incredible organization.

Shame on you, Lynn Item! (And you were doing so well there for a while....)


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Art-Lovers Itinerary for Saturday, November 20th, 2010

This Saturday we have so much going on in the arts and culture district of Lynn, MA. You really should take the opportunity to check some of this out. I am giving you an itinerary so that you can fit everything in, but some of this runs for the entire month of December so don't worry if you want to skip one or two steps. Eating is optional, the art is a must see. While you're looking, why not buy a few things?

9AM - Breakfast at the Capitol Diner

10AM - Lydia Pinkham Open Studios. Check out what's going on inside this historic building at 271 Western Avenue (Rt 107). The studios will be open until 4PM.

12PM - Lunch. Since you're on Western Ave at the Lydia Pinkham building, you could come up to the corner of Washington and Western and have a look at the newly refurbished Angelina's Sub Shop. They had a fire a while back and could use your support. If you'd like to come closer to Central Square, there is always Brother's Deli and Tatiana's  on Market street or Tacos Lupita on the corner of Washington and Munroe. Make sure you get a good lunch, we got a full afternoon planned for you.

2PM - Head on over to the LynnArts building at 25 Exchange Street. We have two options for you here.  In the main galleries of LynnArts, they are opening their Holiday Show and Sale. Come support our local artisans from around the North Shore and enjoy live music from our pals Kristen and Dave!  This show will run until December 30th.

If you're looking for more performing arts, Mass Theatrica will be performing a reading of La Boheme. Mass Theatrica does have one amazing roster of classical singers. You will not be dissapointed. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door or online. Even if you are just in the building for the show, be sure to sneak down the hallway and have a listen. You'll be sorry you didn't buy a ticket. This is the only scheduled performance of this reading.

4PM - Stay right where you are. Downstairs, in the Lynnarts building, is one of the most treasured secrets in all of Downtown Lynn, The Little Gallery Under the Stairs. At 4PM, they will be opening their new show called Serve It Up: Plates and Platters Ceramics Invitational. I've had the privilege of seeing some of the pieces from this show, and I can tell you personally that you are going to want your wallets ready to do some holiday shopping. Many pieces under $100. A great way to start a collection or buy that perfect unique gift for someone on your list. This show will run until January 8th.

6PM - Dinner @ The Blue Ox

9PM - After Dinner Drinks and Dessert @ Turbine Wine Bar

1AM - Lights Out (Sorry it's all Clancy's fault. I'm sure we'll figure out a way to keep the party going!)

See you in the Arts & Culture District on Saturday! Come experience Lynn and all that its artists have to offer.


Open Mic Videos from Last Night's Vote to Renew the Ingalls School Farm

They allowed for three people to speak in favor of the farm at Ingall's School last night.

They then allowed for those in opposition to speak. I would feel bad for this woman if she didn't constantly lie and deceive the public with her rhetoric. She only made headway this year because she added rats to her list of false claims about the garden. YES - she has tried before to shut down the garden. Unreasonable, unfair, anti-community behavior like this should not be tolerated in our city. Listen for yourself.

The actual School Committee session was supposed to up on (it's a little long for Youtube), but did not successfully upload. I will hopefully have that up by tonight.

The subcommittee moved the issue to full committee for a vote to renew the lease with the following stipulations:

1. Higher Fence
2. Lighting
3. Cameras
4. Background checks for all working on farm (a little much for a group of volunteer children)
5. Reduce the size of garden  (hoping this just means pulling the garden back from puleo's fence a tiny bit)

They will now go into negotiations with the Food Project on the lease. I hope they now go into business mode and treat The Food Project like the positive business partner they are. They deserve more from us. Shame on us for letting one woman lie to her neighbors and undo so much that The Food Project has done for the City of Lynn. Now, we go about our business and continue to laud the efforts of one of the greatest assets the City Of Lynn has in it's arsenal for urban renewal. Three Cheers to the Food Project and may you someday have a farm at every school in Lynn!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Food Project Will Be Staying at the Ingalls School

Thanks to everyone who came out in support of the Food Project tonight. Again, the only opposition in the room was Ms. Puleo and the same person who spoke last month.

The videos I captured have a public input session where they allowed for three people to speak in favor and three against (only two people spoke against, the same two from last meeting). I am currently uploading these videos, but they probably won't be up until tomorrow.

The opposition simply has lies, the Food Project has truth and a lot of good solid community improvements on its side. It was so clear to everybody in that audience of about 40 people, 38 of which applauded ferociously when the school committee voted to renew the lease at Ingalls school.

It now goes into negotiations between the Food Project and The School Committee where they will work out any compromise around lights, camera, gates, fences, size of garden, and background checks for all who work the farm. I hope the school committee researches a lot more about the rat problem in Lynn before it spends so much money appeasing the squeaky wheel.

Nice work, School Committee. Now, let's stand behind the Food Project in these negotiations and show them how important they are in our urban revival.

Videos will be posted tomorrow.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Not in the Mood to cook This Thanksgiving? Let Tatiana do it for you!

Tatiana's on Market Street in Lynn will prepare your Thanksgiving Feast!

Need help preparing a dish or two for your Thanksgiving celebration? Well starting TODAY you can call and order anything off the menu in platter sized portions for dinner or have Tatiana prepare your ENTIRE feast!!!  

Call today for details and pricing. 781.477.0700

Monday, November 15, 2010

City Council Agenda for November 16th, 2010

MEETINGS SCHEDULED FOR  Tuesday, November 16, 2010:

Ways and Means Committee, 6:15 P.M., Room 402
Discussion re:  Council Orders and Other Business.

Ordinance Committee, 6:30 P.M., Room 402
Discussion and/or to Set Down For Public Hearing:  The City Solicitor’s recommended Amendments to the Sex Offender Residency Ordinance; and Other Business.

License Committee, 7:15 P.M., Room 402
Discussion re:  Minor Licenses, and Other Business.

Public Property Committee, 7:30 P.M., Room 402
Discussion re:  Request from Sacred Heart School to hang  banners;   Request from SN Servicing Corp. to redeem property  at 15-17 Rockingham Street; Discussion regarding city-owned  property at 35 Cedar Street; and Other Business.

Finance Committee, 7:45 P.M., Room 408
Discussion re:  Financial Transfers and Other Business.

            City Council Agenda

Accept minutes of October 19, 2010 and October 26, 2010.

Roll Call
Moment of  Silence
Pledge of Allegiance

Communication from Her Honor the Mayor regarding reappointment of  Walter Proodian to the Lynn Water & Sewer Commission.

Communication from Her Honor the Mayor relative to the veto of the Order relative to a License Agreement permitting Seacrest Foods International to park vehicles at the Ford School Annex on Bennett Street. 

Communication from Peter M. Caron, Director of Assessing regarding request for public hearing to determine the percentages of the FY2011 tax levy to be borne by each class of real and personal property.

Communication from Michael J. Donovan, ISD Director notifying the Council that the Site Plan Review Application for 92, 118-120 Brookline Street has been withdrawn.

Communication from Richard Fortucci, City Treasurer regarding the foreclosure of a parcel on Phaeton Rock Road.

Public Hearings:
Petition of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 507, George Rivers, Post Commander for permission to transfer location of existing VFW Post from location at 90 High Rock Street to 19-21 Fayette Street, with All Alcohol Club License with hours from 12 Noon to 1:00 a.m.  Sunday through Saturday.  (Trahant)

Petition of AT&T, Francis Keller, for permission to modify equipment and add three antennas four feet in height and 11.8” wide between the current antennas at 92 Curwin Circle.  (Ford)

Petition of AT&T, Francis Keller for permission to modify equipment and increase antennas from 6 to 9 at 71 Linden Street.  (Ford)

Public Hearings to be Set Down:

Public Safety Committee Meeting of October 26, 2010:
The following individual was appointed Constable:

Carl Greenler, 198 Locust Street, Lynn

Committee Reports:

Ordinance Committee
License Committee
Public Property Committee
Ways & Means Committee
Finance Committee

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Welcome to Downtown Lynn, May I Help You Find Something?

I haven't been looking at my analytics as much as of late, but I just did and was kind of pleasantly surprised at the ways you are finding this blog. I figured I would go down the Top 10 and help you out a bit on what you might be looking for.

Scattered throughout the Top 10 are searches for Lynn Auditorium (Kenny Rogers topping that list). I'm glad you found us. Make sure you tell them at the box office that sent you. Check out their website for more information or give them a call at 781-581-2971. Our current Mayor and Jamie Marsh from the Office of Economic and Community Development have really stepped it up at Lynn Auditorium.  I heard Rat Pack went well. Southside Johnny, Julio Eglesias, Kenny Rogers and much more are on deck for this winter. I can't wait to see what they announce next.

Next on the list of search terms is Brad Spiegel of the Lynn Item. Brad is our new and improved Managing Editor. He has transformed the Daily Item from a source of daily angst for the residents of Lynn into a paper that matches our Lynn experience. Some good, some bad, but balanced, fair and celebratory of our achievements. Here's my post from my meeting with Brad Spiegel. I also recently made ammends with Phil Ouellette, the General Manager. Both are good guys and they are creating a much better paper over the past few months. I hope it keeps up. 

Next up on the list of search terms is our dear friend, John McGrail of The Mayo Group. By dear friend, I mean person I most would like to see go to jail. Currently indicted for illegal asbestos removal in several properties in Worcester and Lynn. Illegally dumping said materials in Lynn and don't even get me started on the list of issues we've had as building owners in Mayo property. Lucky for anyone coming in now, we've fixed most of their transgressions over the past 4-5 years.  His trial is set to begin in early 2011. I will keep everyone informed as to dates and possibilities for our involvement.

A lot of you are searching for variations of Downtown Lynn, Downtown Lynn Corey, Downtown Lynn blog. I think you're finding what you're looking for , but if you're not, let me know in the comments and I'll provide what I can. 

Thanks for reading and for those of you who do contribute with your comments, your likes on Facebook, your retweets on twitter and your subscription to our email newsletter, I thank you doubly. 

Where's the Agenda?

There is a city council meeting on November 16th... this coming Tuesday. Globe North somehow knew about two cell tower proposals coming before council, but I don't see an agenda. It's typically sent to us on Fridays and posted to the city website. Neither occurred this week. I'll try and secure the agenda tomorrow for you folks. 


Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Food Project - One Last Push to Save A Precious Garden

I'm so glad our city leaders are so uninformed some times. It really keeps me on my toes. FarmGate2010 has been no exception. While it seemed almost brain-dead obvious to me that the Ingalls Farm lease should get renewed without question, two councilors and one resident thought otherwise. That one resident was able to gather 70+ signatures on her petition which stated the following:

"We. The undersigned, homeowner’s and neighbors are asking the City of Lynn School Committee to stop the Ingall’s School Garden because of rats, vandalism, and gangs for our safety, health and peace of neighborhood. "

Now, if this were true, we'd have to get right behind the 70+ and support them. It is, however, categorically FALSE. It borders on a boldface lie. Councilor Cyr and Councilor Trahant stood proud behind the lie. Trahant has since reversed his opinion. This stance from our council along with the flood of letters from supporters of the garden cause the school committee to table the decision in October.

FACT: 30,000 pounds of local food produced by Ingalls School garden
FACT: Not one piece of bait disturbed by a rat on the The Food Project's property all season
FACT: Not one tag or sign of vandalism in recent years.
FACT: Boston experts were brought in by the Lynn Housing Authority and identified all the sources of the rat problem in the neighborhood. (The garden was not on that list).

The farm has the undying support of the school principal, students, several neighbors who have garden plots on this farm, and the 223 people who have signed's petition to save the Ingalls School garden.  I thank you for backing the right horse.

Also a source of inspiration for this year's Halloween costumes!
I should probably note, for those conspiracy theorists among us, rats don't actually like or go after fresh carrots. They don't typically dress up like farmers, either.

My wife does make one fine veggie, though.

Letter from James Harrison on 11/12/2010

Dear Friends,

We’ve reached the home stretch.  Since I last wrote, we have submitted a formal request to the Buildings and Grounds Subcommittee of the Lynn School Committee asking for the renewal of our lease at the Ingalls School.  We are officially on the agenda for the School Committee’s next meeting, this Wednesday, November 17.

Your support of The Food Project and our work at the Ingalls Farm has been tremendous.  Thanks so much to all of you who have called and emailed the School Committee, signed the online petition at and added your own statements, and, most especially, to all of you who showed up to support us at the last School Committee meeting on October 28.

We need your help one more time to carry us over the finish line.

Come and show your support on November 17. 

The group of supporters who came to the last School Committee meeting were crucial in demonstrating community support for the Ingalls Farm.  We will need to show this kind of support again on November 17 to save the farm.

If you are willing and able to come, please let me know so I can make sure we are there in force.  The best way to reach me is by email at

The Details:
Where: The Tiger’s Den (1st floor of the LVTI Annex), 90 Commercial Street Lynn, MA.
When: Wednesday, November 17 at 6:15pm

Thank you!!!!

James Harrison
North Shore Regional Director
The Food Project             
120 Munroe St.  
Lynn, MA 01901    

Friday, November 12, 2010

Check out Aquaponics on Union Street

The incredible minds that brought you the United Way Financial Stability Center are always looking for new ways to encourage thinking about success in our urban environment. Whether it be through services they provide to those in need, new business models that will work in a city like Lynn, marketing initativies that have the whole city talking about them nonstop, or their latest effort in sustainable urban growing, we have a lot to learn from this organization.

I don't know about you, but I had no freakin clue what Aquaponics was until the folks at SPIN started talking about it. Through a partnership with MIT and the Lynn Coalition for Green Development, Aquaponics is coming to life in full view at 270 Union Street in Lynn.

My rough understanding of Aquaponics is that you have an aquarium with talapia that provide nutrients of some kind to the water, that is then filtered up into a tank. When it reaches a certain level, it releases the nutrient rich water to a bed of rocks where various plants and vegatables are planted. The water is then filtered back down into the aquarium giving the fish whatever it is they need to survive. The only water lost is that which evaporates.

Now, I'm sure I got some of that wrong, but you get the general idea. Imagine this on a grand scale. A new kind of urban farming. A whole new source of healthy locally grown produce for our urban markets. I believe once the fish (talapia) get big enough those too can be a source of food.

Go check it out and read this article by MIT's CoLab Radio to find out a bit more. I think they even have a much better explanation of what the hell is going on inside this thing.

SPIN is really on to something with all of this activity lately. I expect to see many more projects which at first seem random, but when you really think through it, they become obvious. SPIN's job is create that spark. That spark that can give someone, who doesn't know where to start, a big playful shove in the right direction. It comes from the top, lives and breaths in all of their employees, and is acted out by everyone they serve.

You can get involved in this great organization. Just talk to their volunteer coordinator to get more information. From piano players to tax preparers, SPIN wants you! Prepare to be inspired!

Like SPIN Aquaponics on Facebook to stay up to date with all that is going on with this project.

While on Facebook, visit SPIN's other latest community building machine, the Traveling Piano.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Exciting Holiday Happenings at TLGUTS and LynnArts

On Saturday, November 20th, LynnArts is opening their Holiday Show & Sale from 2-4PM. On the same day, The Little Gallery Under the Stairs will be opening their new show all centered around ceramics. Both will be incredible ways to support our local artists and galleries while getting some of that Holiday shopping done. I've seen some of the stuff coming in at TLGUTs and I am sure some of you will want to buy some of this amazing work.

For the LynnArts Holiday show, it runs through December 30th. Gallery hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 10 am-5 pm, Thursday 10 am -8 pm, and Saturday 11 am – 4 pm. Yes, Lynnarts has listened to you all and are now open a bit later on Thursday night and are open on Saturdays. So please show up and show them some love.  LynnArts, Inc. is located at 25 Exchange Street in Lynn’s Central Square and is easily accessible by public transportation. Wheelchair access is available at the rear lower-level entry with prior notice. For more information please call LynnArts, Inc. at 781-598-5244.

Not sure about the details of TLGUTs yet, but will share as they become available. I know it begins on the 20th and the gallery is open T, W, Th 7-9PM (usually later) and Saturday 10-6. TLGUTs is located on the lower level of 25 Exchange Street directly underneath the community gallery in the LynnArts building. 

While you are there, check out Chris Barber's new Central Square creation, Subterranean (Lynn's only bookshop). I challenge you all to do all your Christmas shopping in Lynn this year. You got to hand it to em, the Lynn artist community is giving you tons of way to do it. 

See you at 25 Exchange! 


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

2,000 Thanksgiving Meals

Have you heard about the group pulling together with the goal of getting 2,000 turkeys cooked for families in need this Thanksgiving. Juan Gonzales from Fernando's is a part of this. He just sent the following details to me:

The event will be taking place, November 21st, from 11:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m. (Sunday) on MUNROE St.

The intentions and the goals in this event, are to promote the Tolerance between Religious Groups and promote social work between the groups.

As a sample of Humanity and Social Compromise, they will be sharing :

30,000 pounds of FREE groceries
500 FREE NEW winter jackets
1,000 "homemade style"  FREE Thanksgiving dinners.

If you are in need, this holiday season, you have someone fighting to make sure your November is just a little bit better. It's all happening in Downtown Lynn.

I love this man's Cuban sandwiches, but I love his heart and love for the people of Lynn even more.


Walking the Walk

I'm sitting here looking at the list of signatures on the mailing list for Arts After Hours and I see Peter Capano's name on top. This got me thinking about how much I see him in the Downtown area, supporting local businesses and coming to Downtown events.

In a campaign speech last year, Dan Cahill talked about how we have to figure out ways to entice more of Lynn's 90,000 to do business in their own Downtown. Dan is another one I bump into regularly down here. Most recently, I got to chat with him at The Blue Ox. He had just had dinner at Casa Antigua down the street.

Recently, I've begun to notice incredible support from the Mayor's office at local events, mostly from Mary Chalmers. Arts After Hours, Central Scare, Lynn Auditorium... you name it, you'll see Mary. While it's enough to just attend and be present and spend some dough Downtown, Mary is usually taking it a step further and volunteering for these events.

At our last Arts After Hours event, we had a flood of new volunteers to help us out.

Lynn Museum, RAW Art Works, and LynnArts are alive with event after event.

SPIN has come to life not only in their amazing support of those in need with financial services through the United Way Stability Center, but with their great work getting out in to the community with the Traveling Piano and Aquaponics projects. 

The Community Health Center is starting to take shape as they build up several floors of steel beams. Great to see real development downtown in a perfect location.

Have you been Downtown recently?

I haven't talked about Fernando's a lot recently, but let me tell you, I am still there once a week at least and Juan continues to amaze me with his skills. Tatiana's, Turbine Wine Bar and The Blue Ox are full speed ahead. Casa Antigua and Lupita Restaurant are brand new.

Last year, I had a Blue Ox gift certificate in the Citizens for Adequate Housing auction. Not a lot of people knew about the place and it didn't get the value I had hoped. This year, it was bid up by several bidder numbers. The people who won it are from Boston and wanted to come to Lynn to finally check these places out that they have been hearing so much about.

What we are doing is working! Every single Downtowner has a hand in this and more and more we're seeing people walk the walk.

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