Saturday, October 30, 2010

Costume Madness at Turbine Wine Bar - TONIGHT October 30th at 9PM!!!

Come in costume or just come to enjoy the creativity of our Downtown Lynn community. It will be a very fun night and a great way to experience Turbine for the 1st or 100th time. Don't have a costume but want to wear one? Check out these last minute ideas from

We will broadcast live at 10:30PM so you can check out some of the costumes. Come here at 10:30PM and hit play.

Watch live video from downtownlynn on

Turbine Wine Bar
56 Central Square
Lynn, MA 01901

Everybody Loves Ouell in the Winter

For my long time readers, you will no doubt be familiar with the back and forth I had with our local newspaper, The Daily Item of Lynn. During the Mayoral Election I grew to despise the paper with a passion. Most of you felt the same way. Some of you based on the election coverage and others of you based on the fact that they print "Lynn Man" next to everything even if the only connection to Lynn was that he rented a room here once 20 years ago.

All that aside. The paper has changed dramatically over the past 3 months. No seriously, (...yes, this is Corey... no one has hacked my account), it has changed in a very positive way and this needs to be recognized.

Today, I met Phil Ouellette for lunch at Fernando's. He's a good guy. Lives in Groveland with his family and grew up in Danvers. Has many family connections in Lynn and interned at the paper many moons ago when starting his career as a newspaper operations guy now turned General Manager. I'd say he's in his early forties. Was I close Phil?

Phil was only recently given real influence over the news department and one of the best moves in the history of the Lynn Item occurred a few months ago in the hiring of 35 year-old Brad Spiegel (the age thing is a bit of a joke. I guessed a little low when I did my piece on meeting Brad. I now know the truth, but I won't give it away). But seriously, Phil and Brad are shaking it up over there. In 2 short months the paper has gone from the devil's even spawn's blog, to a fairly balanced news source with a lot of coverage of community events and the good stuff going on in Lynn. They've even recently started linking to our blogs from when we are mentioned in the paper.  So, we're getting closer to open government and an open paper. Brad has been out for Meet the Editor nights, Phil is taking lunches with angry bloggers (I was nice), and the paper is improving. I think these things are related.

Phil was a great guy. I think he's going to start a foodie blog. His first post is going to be about Juan's amazing lunch at Fernando's. Right Phil?

So, in closing, I should tell you all what I told him. "I'm sorry!"  The passage that got me in trouble was in a post about Exchange Street. It was during or just after the Mayoral coverage I hated so much. I suggested that readers go into the Item building and smack someone in the face. Childish. Yes. It was stupid humor, but I can see why that might get lost. For that, I do apologize and i have removed the offensive sentence (my first deletion ever. I'm mixed on how I feel about that part). Phil has agreed to move on and there is a lot we all can do together. More to come...

So come on down to Central Square and head over to the Item building. Ask for "Ouelly" and give him a big hug. He's changing things for the better. We have a chance now at turning around the perception of Lynn as a horrible place. He's committed to that and believes it's extremely important. I believe Brad feels similarly. While they will continue to tell what they believe is honest and truthful, their mission is starting to align more with ours.

Looking forward to working closely together in this creation.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Turbine Halloween Costume Party - Saturday the 30th starting at 9PM

Awesome prizes for costumes given out at 10:30PM.

Turbine Wine Bar
56 Central Square

So, Sarah and I need help coming up with ideas for our costumes. Fun Friday project for anyone who is interested.

What are you going as? What should I go as?

Maybe Sarah and I should dress up like rat lobbyists (rats in suits) and have petitions to close down all farms and gardens in Lynn.  Yeah... I'll keep thinking.


Food Project Lease Renewal TABLED - I Smell a Rat! Oh....Sorry Councilors, didn't see you there.

As you no doubt are aware, the School Committee had the Ingalls School farm on the agenda.  It was placed on the agenda as discussion due to an abutter blaming the neighborhood's rat problem on the farm. She also claims it breeds vandalism and gang activity. Farms tend to do that after all....Um?

The meeting began with two councilors stepping up proudly to the microphone to state their opinions (as fact) so that they can look like they are doing something about the "rats."

Councilor Trahant recommended they kill the farm (with a heavy heart.. don't forget the heavy heart part). Then Councilor Cyr got up with the same message. None of them had any facts, just assumptions that the farm meant more rats.

FALSE: Councilor Cyr tells us that the Lynn Director of Public Health MaryAnn O'Connor says that the rats are there because of the garden.

TRUTH: Cyr was corrected in the meeting. The Mayor and other committee members have spoken with Ms. O'Connor. She says that if the garden were not there, there would still be the same rat problem.

As a matter of fact, John Ford had a study in his hand by professionals that came to the area from Boston and ruled out the farm as a cause of the rat problem. They found several other areas of the neighborhood to blame including uncovered trash, dead shrubs, etc.  OK, case closed, right? Let the farm continue to provide:

- 30,000 pounds of food per season
- fresh local produce for people on WIC and Food Stamps
- food for My Brother's Table
- 45 paid summer jobs for our youth
- Curriculum in the Ingalls School
- Produce for our Downtown Farmer's Market
- Produce for the CSA shares

Let that all continue right? Well, maybe not yet. Read on...

Charlie Gaeta of the Housing Authority who was once in support of closing the garden. Now, after seeing the facts from The Food Project and other studies done, has reversed his decision. It was clear Cyr and Trahant had not done that due diligence.  Ford clearly has all the facts. What the hell is going on?

I think my favorite quote of the night was when Cyr was going on and on about how big the plot of land was. He said, "It's almost like a farm!"   Ummmm... Cyr? It is a farm! Why are you here again? Ingalls is in Trahant's Ward. GO away! Cyr then went on to say that it shouldn't be at the Ingalls School, it should be in Lynn Woods! LYNN WOODS???? You going to bus the kids there? And what part of the woods do you want to rip up for this, Cyr?

Rick Starbard then chimed in with a few points. He goes on my awesome list along with John Ford and I mean that. He knew the facts. He knew that the last thing rats want are the vegetables.

Maria Carassco needed time to digest all the information coming at them. I think the councilors did the trick in confusing the council from the facts they had at hand. Spirito quickly jumped to compromise land once the opposition started talking.

J. Harrison the Director of the Food Project for the North Shore was so clear. There is a rodent problem in all US Cities right now. A lot of factors are leading to this. Farms don't seem to be one of them. The Food Project has been on the land for 7 years. The first time they ever saw a rodent on the farm was 2003. They immediately took steps to eradicate the problem. They brought in expert pest removal folks to bait the perimiter. This year, the farmers have noticed ZERO damage to the produce from rodents and none of the bait was eaten according to the pest removal company. The rats DONT LIKE the garden. I actually think the rats might be gaining some political clout and that's what this is all about. I think the rats might be trying to get a nice empty plot of land to play on. Veggies are yucky. I spoke with a rat in the area this morning out in front of Ms. Puello's house. He said, "While we like veggies, the people at the Food Project are so evil with their traps and bait and effective solutions to getting us to stay away, we'd much prefer to see the farm shut down."

The oppositions main points are all false.

She says there are rats. I've just told you the pest removal company says Nope, you're wrong.

She says there is vandalism. The wall near the garden used to be full of tags. The Food Project painted it. It has been tagged once in the 7 years.

She says there are gangs hanging out. If that's true, it's a police problem (and we don't think it's true). It used to be a haven for fights and gangs when it was empty. The Food Project now goes in to Ingalls and teaches all 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classes about the land. The kids, and now the community, really respect them and love that they are there. This is incredibly effective education. Respect for the city and the land is a big issue in this town.

The Mayor offered a compromise. Raise the fence height from 4 feet to 10 feet. Put locked gates on the entrances, Add lights, camera and try a new form of rat repellant outside of Ms. Puello's house. Ms. Puello said she just wants the farm closed. Wow!

Maria Carassco voted to table to digest all of the information.

I'm going to end this post here, but there's more to come after I catch the video on Apparently after a lot of us left (as we thought it was over), they let a few more people speak.

Our petition is up to 101 signatures. We need all of your support. Please sign today to keep Ingalls School Farm alive and well. The principal of Ingalls School was amazing at the meeting last night. She gets how important this is to our kids and our education system. Why take that away from the kids? It just doesn't make sense. Especially when you see that it won't solve the problem.

Message to the School Committee. Our Councilors do things ALL THE TIME that do not result in fixing the problem. Don't make the same mistake. I urge the School Committee to only listen to the facts and vote to extend The Food Project's lease. Compromise is not necessary when the opposition has no valid point.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Decision for U.S. Congress - John

One might think my title disrespectful to the long time representative of the sixth district of Massachusetts, but let me explain. I was asking my mom (graduate of Lynn English and long time resident of Peabody) the other day if she was voting for Tierney.

"Who?," she said.

"Tierney!," I said.

"Oh John! (laugh) Of course, I'm voting for John"

Now, at the time, I didn't think of the significance of what she just said, but now it's so obvious. He has been a presence in our community and he has taken the time with several of his constituents to get to know them and represent them with that knowledge in tow. She feels the use of his last name almost insane!

I personally don't know him to that level, but I hope to someday. I have been able to have a conversation with him directly about affordable housing. We were at Culturefest in Lynn earlier this year. He has been an avid support of Citizens for Adequate Housing. I volunteer on their board and housing is a primary concern of mine. He has worked hard for that cause and his record shows this.

I vote Republican sometimes, although less lately. I know some of my recently made friends may find that surprising, but you all know, that I vote on the person. Not just the person who is going to represent my views, but the person who I think will listen to both sides, evaluate appropriately, and make a decision that is in the best interest of the district.  Believe it or not, sometimes that person is Republican. They aren't all the angry monsters we see on TV.

Bill Hudak, however, seems to be exactly that. He takes a very angry stance and I don't find it constructive at all. He's pro-life and has anti-gay marriage talking points on his campaign site.  I believe his views on the tax code are something you need to look at carefully. Not that it would gain any traction in Congress anyway, but it's certainly worth another look.  During the presidential election, Mr. Hudak placed a sign on his lawn which somehow depicted Obama along with Osama bin Laden. I'm all for free speech and I think it's wonderful that Hudak expresses his views. I just happen to disagree with them and am concerned with the statement they are making about the man and his choices on how to get his point across.

I didn't expect this election to challenge my Judaism, but it's something that this race has made me face. Hudak now has a full Issues page dedicated to his position on Israel. They seem to be trying to paint Tierney as anti-Israel. The most informative article I could find that proves this is completely false, is from an interview with the Jewish Journal in Tierney's own words. Check it out, if this is bothering you. There really is no issue here. Tierney is absolutely pro when it comes to the people of Israel.

I'm voting for the man so many call John. I'm voting for the man I've seen in Lynn several times during this campaign (haven't seen Hudak once). I'm voting for the man I can stand behind. Tierney is the better choice for Lynn.

Election Day is November 2nd.

John Tierney for U.S. Congress

REMINDER: No on All 3 Questions!

The Food Project Needs Our Help!

There are a small number of people creating some noise about The Food Project garden at Ingalls School. This small number has managed to get a fair number of names on a petition. The lease is up for a vote on Thursday night at School Committee. Apparently, the neighbors are blaming the Food Project for a rat issue in the neighborhood (something Lynn deals with in MANY MANY MANY neighborhoods).

I see a solution - stop cutting funds for the rodent control. Cut 50% from 2009 to 2010. Is this the Food Project's fault?

I do not see a solution in killing a garden where are children learn, from which we stock our farmer's market, and where much of our locally grown produce comes from in our CSA shares.

School Committee - RENEW THE LEASE on Thursday night.

Friends and Readers - Sign the online petition NOW!

Please come with me to the School Committee meeting on Thursday night to show your support of one of Downtown's most treasured resources.

Here is a note from The Food Project director James Harrison ----------------------

Dear Friends,

This Thursday, the Lynn School Committee will vote on whether or not to renew The Food Project's lease at Ingalls Elementary School.  This may come as a surprise based on the many benefits our work contributes to our community, but a very small yet very vocal group of individuals are doing their best to use this vote to shut down the farm.

I can not stress enough how important this vote is to The Food Project here in Lynn.  The Ingalls Farm is the cornerstone of our North Shore programs, and without it the future of The Food Project in Lynn will be placed in jeopardy. 

What you can do to help:
1. Come show your support.  The School Committee is meeting this Thursday (October 28) at 5:30 p.m. at the Tiger’s Den (first floor of the LVTI Annex), 90 Commercial Street Lynn, MA.
2.  Contact the Lynn School Committee.  Call 781-593-1680 or email  Let the School Committee know that you support the farm at Ingalls School. For more information on what's at stake, see below. 
3.  Let us know what you've done!  If you could send me just a sentence letting us know if you plan to come on Thursday and about your communication with the School Committee, that will keep us in the loop.
4. Forward this email.  Let your friends know that The Food Project needs your help today!

Click here to see an NECN news story on our work at Ingalls. This brief clip shows the many ways that The Food Project impacts the school and the communities it servers.

Thank you!!!!


- J. Harrison

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

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

No, No and No! Easy to Remember how to answer the Ballot Questions

Executive Summary : For those of you who don't like to read, here's a very easy rule. If you see a question on the ballot and it wants you to answer Yes or No, simply answer NO.

If you'd like to learn a bit more, read on...

Let's deal with them one at a time. I'll start with the easiest and go to the more complex decisions that need to be made on Tuesday, November 2nd.

The Easiest: NO on Question 2.

Question 2 wants to repeal 40B.

40B has produced an incredible amount of affordable housing in Massachusetts and I honestly believe that without it, we simply would not see any attention paid to an extreme need in Massachusetts. A lot of communities can't even point to a minimum of 10% of their housing stock being affordable. This is a bit disgusting. Leads to the only option being renting something you can't really afford in this part of the country. This leads to more devastating circumstances for two many people in Massachusetts. Since 40B, many communities have seen the 10% minimum met, but we still have a long way to go. Don't take away the incentive that is doing so much for families at 80% of the median income level.  The alternative will simply increase the homeless population as there will be no other alternative. We already see this today due to the affordable stock not being what it should be. NO on Question 2.

2nd Easiest: NO on Question 3.

You want to reduce the sales tax? Sounds good right? New Hampshire doesn't even have a sales tax, after all. Right? Well, sure, but they have ways of making up for that sales tax miss. If the sales tax goes away, we need that cash from somewhere. Sure, we could cut some government services, reduce waste, etc, but that should be a goal regardless. Giving up 2.5 Billion dollars in annual revenue just doesn't make sense. It will translate to higher property taxes at the city level. I'm actually surprised our Mayor hasn't publicly joined our council in getting behind a NO Vote on Question 3. It will have to translate to increased cuts to our city budget, a majority of which is targeted at education currently, so guess where the cuts are going to have to come. It just doesn't make sense for MA and it really doesn't make sense for Lynn.Vote No on Question 3

A Bit Tricky But Still Simple: NO on Question 1

There is a very effective commercial for the people in favor of repealing the alcohol tax. It shows a dude paying taxes on his alcohol twice and then it goes on to state that the sales tax on alcohol is only a year old. So, a bit of digging shows that the sales tax means $110 Million to our revenue stream. This is pretty good. I can't think of a better thing to tax, and I shop at Vinnin Liquors religiously. Perhaps too religiously. Again, you hear the New Hampshire argument from the border cities, but as soon as you ask those same people if they'd like higher property taxes instead, what do you think their answer is? I've seen our city budget. It got slashed this year. We can't do that again next year and the year after as a result of these losses in state revenue. Money does trickle down from the state in the form of local aid. We need to keep these streams intact. Sure, the federal government is a bit of a different story when it comes to overspending on the wrong things. That's NOT what we're talking about here. This is a state and local city issue and that is why we need to vote NO on Question 1. Keep the money coming to the state. Alcohol is not a necessity. The only reason you should be in favor of this is if you are a liquor store. Otherwise, vote NO on Question 1.

Be a RAW Artist for a Day! How cool is that?

Maybe you've been to their annual event. Maybe you've volunteered for their mentoring program to get a student into college. Maybe you've been to their reel to reel film events at the Peabody Essex Museum. Now RAW is offering up a chance for YOU to be an ARTIST for a day! RAW is located right here in the heart of Downtown Lynn in Central Square.  Check it out:

RAW is once again offering our Artist for a Day workshop! Two of RAW's core
 teaching artists, Laura Menucci and Silvia López Chávez,
will guide you through an artistic exploration modeled on some of the
same techniques used with our young artists.

Treat yourself or someone special to a great early gift
this holiday season!
This workshop is designed exclusively for adults and prior art
experience is NOT required!!
Saturday, November 6, 2010    10:30am- 4pm
Saturday, February 5, 2011 10:30am- 4pm
RAW Space | 37 Central | Square Lynn, MA 01901

Treat yourself to an amazing day, gain a deeper understanding of the "magic"
of RAW, support our work and leave with your very own RAW art!
Participants are asked to bring a brown bag lunch.
Workshop is $125 per person.
Please RSVP by November 1, 2010 for the November workshop
to Rebecca Monen at
or call (781) 593-5515 ext. 216 to register or for further questions.

All payments are non-refundable.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Battle of the Bands at Lynn Auditorium on Saturday Night!

The Lynn Lions will host "Battle of the Bands", a rock-and-roll fundraiser on Saturday, October 23, 2010 from 7pm - 11pm at the Lynn Auditorium. Tickets are $12 and 100% of the proceeds benefits Mass Eye Research and other local charities. There will be 5 bands, dancing, raffles, cash bar and food from Brother's Deli.

Night Flight
Lois Lane and the daily planet
White Lightnin’

White Lightnin' is a pretty popular North Shore band with Tony Gallo on Vocals. Kevin Kennedy of Shufflemode played with this band for 16 years and is filling in on keys Saturday night. An extra treat for those Kevin Kennedy fans out there. 

Get out and check out Lynn Auditorium! Grab a bite at The Blue Ox, Tatiana's, or Turbine Wine Bar beforehand.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Arts After Hours presents Lynn's Got Sole TONIGHT 7-9PM @ Lynn Museum

Hope to see all my fine readers in attendance.  It is going to be a great night of art, music, wine and friends. I hope to be a lot less stressed this time around so I can meet more of you. Please come and say hi. 

Arts After Hours event will take place on Thursday, October 21, 2010 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Lynn Museum, located at 590 Washington Street in Lynn, MA. Admission is $5 per person and includes museum admission. At 9:00 PM, the event will move to Turbine Wine Bar at 56 Central Square for more festivities and the drawing of the 50/50 raffle prize. Guests must be present to win.

Arts After Hours is a collaboration of Corey Jackson (, Jocelyn Almy-Testa (, and Seth Albaum (

For more information please check out

Marie Antoinette by Steve Negron

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Council Notes from October 19th, 2010 - Who Needs an Agenda Anyway?

No doubt you've read today's Item. If not, please check out the story on the very shameful activity of our council president last night.  Sometimes Phelan makes me more embarrased for the city than the rats and gangs.  You expect more from your council president. At least I do...

I knew the City Council agenda and so did you since it was posted right here on Patricia Barton was right at the top of the printed agenda sent to me by the city council office and posted on the city council website (it still says that was on the agenda). Now, you might think... it was an accident. Phelan or the clerk simply skipped over that by mistake, but when you see Phelan's comments in the Item article you will see that it was deliberate.

Now... here's what bothers me the most. They knew at the beginning of the council meeting that they were not going to address it, right? After all, the clerk had the agenda in front of her and never was there any confusion over whether to skip something or not..... HMMMM??? Now...guess one told Patricia according to the Item. They made Ms. Barton sit in the chambers waiting.... and waiting.... and waiting....


Your city council president should have a bit more class, don't you think? Hope I'm not throwing feathers Tim. Feel free to use the comments for rebuttal.

Anyway, there were some other things discussed of note.

One very funny moment (to me) was when Tim Phelan congratulated Eugene Shneeberg on his new White House job. Relieved Tim? One less challenger. I am still so mad at Lynn for not putting Eugene in office. The people would have had one more vote in Council, we would have almost had the majority of the council representing the people. What a concept? But no... Washington gets Eugene.

I would also like to congratulate Eugene. Lynn will miss you!

 The council then called up Coppinger to talk about the pipe bombs (something he really could not talk about given the ongoing investigation). One important thing to note is that you can text TIP411 with the message "tiplynn " and it's completely anonymous. You can also call 781-477-4444 and remain anonymous if you wish. Anyone with information, please do call. No one has been hurt yet, but let's not wait until someone does get hurt.  If it's urgent or you notice anything suspicious, you are urged to call 911. 

The Public Hearings were not very eventful. There is some kind of wash-dry-fold place coming to downtown lynn. That's all they do, no coin-op or dry cleaning yet their name is "The Dry Cleaner by Val". That won't be confusing.

CUSTOMER: Hi, is this The Dry Cleaner by Val?
THE DRY CLEANER: Yes. How may I help you?
CUSTOMER: I have some dry cleaning i need done.
THE DRY CLEANER: Oh I'm sorry, we don't do that here.
(awkward pause)

Hopefully they are not using Crowley for market research as he apparently doesn't know we already have dry cleaners in Downtown Lynn and told this poor guy that there is probably demand for it here.

The Moral Code of Lynn (aka The Adult Entertainment Ordinance) and an ordinance on waterfront zoning were adopted officially, so... no more butt cracks or turgid states out of doors gentlemen.

At the end of the meeting, Crowley put forth three resolutions asking the council to urge the public to vote no on questions 1, 2, and 3. I'm completely in favor of his stance, but I question my council telling me how to vote. Cahill seemed to have the same question in his mind as he asked legal if it was ok that they were even doing this. :-)

They did it. For some reason Cahill and Lozzi voted in opposition of Questions 1 and 2 but abstained from question 3 (the most important NO on the ballot). Cahill may have had good reason. I'm pretty sure Lozzi just did it because it sounded cool when Cahill did it.

and I thought this was going to be a snorer. They never cease to entertain.

UPDATE: Turns out Cahill had conflict of interest in Question 1 and that's the one he meant to abstain from. He made a mistake. So the real question is for Lozzi. Why would you abstain????? Lozzi?


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Arts After Hours - It's What We Do!

I just left The Little Gallery Under the Stairs, one of my partners in Arts After Hours. What was going on there on  Tuesday night might surprise you. In TLGUTS, there were about 8 chairs, 6 of which were filled with musicians jamming to their favorite melodies. The music started rough and progressed to something completely amazing as they began to understand each other. In the book shop, Subterranean (which I learned to spell today), Chris Barber (owner) was carving his shoe for this weeks Arts After Hours "Lynn's Got Sole" while Seth (of, Jocelyn (owner of TLGUTS), and I went through the final logisitics for this Thursday's event.  Arts After Hours is becoming more a way of life in Downtown Lynn than any particular event.  It's what we do! It's how we live!

As someone who has found most of his artistic success in areas outside of Lynn, I am so happy to finally start to make headway on calling Lynn a place where I can have a place as an artist. It never really seemed that way before until I met a few others who brought me in to their own creative worlds. It's now clear to me that I need to do my theater here. (Stay tuned for more on that, come this spring.)

I've always felt that, artist or not, we are all part of a very unique creation downtown. Come see that taking shape on Thursday night at the Lynn Museum from 7PM on. As proof that we're all part of this creation, we have 4 Downtown Lynn business owners (who are also incredible artists in their own right) contributing to The Shoe Project.  Several residents will have their art on display. Fernando's and Turbine will be on hand with some of the most incredible food, wine and beer selections you will find anywhere on the North Shore.

I hope to see you on thursday. More importantly, I hope to inspire you and help you join in on this incredible experience of creating our artistic home in Downtown Lynn.
Chris Barber of Subterranean, doing some art... after hours


Friday, October 15, 2010

Traveling Piano Brings All Kinds Together in Downtown Lynn

Last night something very simple helped to do a rather complicated thing. How do you bring all the different people of Lynn together?

... from teenager to retiree
... from life long Lynn politician to new loft resident
... from business owner to unemployed
... from all cultures

Well you could just put a piano on the street?

And that's just what the people at SPIN decided to do. It was amazing how well it worked for a first trial. People walking by stopped to check it out or simply stared with a "What the hell is going on?" kind of face. The police decided not to shut it down as they viewed it as an incredibly positive idea for the community.

Around 5:30, it was Lynner's after work around the piano. As it got a little later the crowd grew and was mostly made up of Lynn teenagers from all different backgrounds. A little later the Downtown residents started walking through on their way to Neighborfest.

Everyone left with a smile on their face!

Thank you to Kelly Wall, Mark DeJoie, and the people at SPIN for bringing that to our community. I can't wait for the next one!

Look for the Traveling Piano on the City Hall Steps as you arrive for The Rat Pack at Lynn Auditorium on November 5th!

Kelly Wall from SPIN sits with a girl who came by before her piano lesson

Juan Gonzales, executive chef at Fernando's, is digging the live music!
Kevin Kennedy from Shufflemode takes a request for some Van Morrison.


City Meetings and City Council Agenda for Tuesday October 19, 2010

City Meetings for Tuesday the 19th
Interview Committee, 6:30 P.M., Room 402
Discussion re:  Mayor’s Appointment – Chairman of the License Commission:  Patricia Barton.

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 Seacrest Foods International; Request
From DPW; 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

Accept minutes of September 28, 2010

Her Honor the Mayor:

Dear Councilors:
I am hereby appointing Patricia Barton, 196 Locust Street, Lynn Massachusetts as Chairman of the License Commission.  Ms. Barton’s term is effective immediately and will expire on June 7, 2016.
Sincerely, Judith Flanagan Kennedy, Mayor

Dear Councilors:
Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 138, Section 5, stipulates that the Licensing Commission terms are for six (6) years, whereby one Commissioner must expire every two years.  In accordance with an opinion from the City Solicitor’s Office, a mistake was made previously when Michael Phelps was appointed to complete George Coles’ term on the License Commission.
Therefore, in order to comply with the Statute, the records should reflect that the appropriate expiration of Michael Phelps’s term will occur June 5, 2012.
Sincerely, Judith Flanagan Kennedy, Mayor

Public Hearings:
Petition of Val DePerrio, The Dry Cleaner, for permission to install washers and dryers to clean wash and fold (retail) at 170Liberty Street.  (Crighton)

Petition of Alfred Scibelli, A.J. Auto Sales, for permission for digital signs and others at 232 Western Avenue.  (Trahant)

Petition of WilliamP. Booras, Osborne Pharmacy for sign permit at 59 Essex Street.  (Cyr)

Public Hearings to be Set Down:
Petition of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 507, George Rivers, Post Commander, for permission to transfer locationof existing VFW post from original 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)

Unfinished Business:
City Council Meeting of September 27, 1020:

Ordered that the burnt, dilapidated or dangerous building or other structure located at 394-396 Eastern Avenue be adjudged a nuisance to the neighborhood or dangerous and prescribe to its disposition, alteration, or regulation all as authorized by Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 139, Section 1.

Adopt permanently:
An Ordinance Regulating Adult Entertainment in the City of Lynn.
An Ordinance Amending the City of Lynn Zone Ordinance and City of Lynn Zone Map (Waterfront)

Public Property of September 27, 2010:

Ordered that the owner, Arthur Costonis, Trustee, Tails Realty Trust, of the property at 9 Chancery Lane be allowed to redeem the property with the stipulation that all taxes, fines, and fees be paid immediately.

Committee Reports:
Interview Committee
License Committee
Public Property Committee
Finance Committee

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I'd rather live in Lynn, but thanks anyway, Lowell man.

There's been a buzz lately of a person looking to promote artist live/work spaces in Lowell. Some people in Lynn have even been promoting this guy. I'm not sure the logic on that one given the creation of which we are in the midst...ahem....

I am not alone, when I say NO THANK YOU. We would much prefer for that development to occur in Lynn. When you come to Lynn with such a development, then you can send us press releases and engage our local arts leaders in promoting your artist live/work spaces. Until then, thanks but no thanks. We're good and we're staying in Lynn.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Next Week in Lynn, MA

We have some great activity coming up in Lynn over the next 7or 8 days.  Tonight at the Ford School at 5:30, they are doing a tour of the garden with some great food from Fernando's, Juan Gonzales.

Starting at 5:30PM Thursday night, the Traveling Piano will be out and making music outdoors on the corner of Oxford and Market. Come and check it out on your way to the many events going on downtown on Thursday night. 

On Thursday, The Mayors of Lynn Past and Present come together for a roundtable discussion at the Lynn Museum from 6-7:30. Followed by a reception until 8:30.

Lynn's 3rd Annual Neighborfest at Tatiana's is on Thursday night as well. Always a ton of fun and a very well attended event. This is a great way to get to know a lot of your neighbors and perhaps some of your elected officials. The night begins at 7:30 at Tatiana's on Market Street.

A week from tomorrow, Downtown Lynn welcomes back Arts After Hours for it's second event at the Lynn Museum, Lynn's Got Sole.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

SPIN's Traveling Piano. Hear it on October 14th

The Traveling Piano will be at the corner of Market and Oxford on October 14th from 5:30-7:30PM. I will be playing around 6. Anyone can come down and play or just listen. This is a perfect thing to do prior to heading to the Lynn Museum for their Mayoral Event or Tatiana's for Neighborfest.  Become a fan of the Traveling Piano on Facebook.

If you do show up, business owners downtown are going to buy you a drink THURSDAY NIGHT ONLY at a local restaurant. Still working on the list, but you are guaranteed a free drink just for showing up and checking out the piano. How cool is that?

See you all there!


Friday, October 8, 2010

Funding approved for Lynn Station Video Surveillance

Woo hoo!!! Hey Jorge, get Channel 5 back here for this story.

"Local residents with the MBTA, MBCR and the Department of Homeland Security make Lynn Station one of the safest ways to travel in Massachusetts"

Update from Lt. Cmd. Robert Lenehan:
Last evening, Randy Clarke, Director of Security Initiatives for the MBTA, e-mailed me to inform me of very exciting and good news. Thanks to Randy’s hard work and dedication, the MBTA has been notified that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has approved the inclusion of Lynn MBTA Station in the Secure Stations Project. With this milestone achieved, what is left is selecting a vendor, finalizing design and camera locations, and the initiation of the installation progress.

Lessons from South Park - Part II - Anyone got some spray paint? I see a pitbull home that isn't marked!!!!

In the episode on cat banning I mentioned yesterday, Cartman is forced to hide Mr Kitty in his attic. To the sound of Israeli music, he brings the cat upstairs, tells Mr. kitty to start a diary, and closes the attic door. Later on in the episode he is visited by another woman who heard Cartman was hiding cats. Same familiar Israeli underscoring.

Some could get offended by this if you were not looking for the lesson being slapped in your face. I converted to Judaism about 8 years ago and I was sitting there wondering if they should be going there. The more I see Lynn City Council meetings, the more I see history's mistakes being repeated. Granted the pit bull ordinance is in no way shape or form comparable to the atrocities of World War II, but the parallels are a bit concerning.

During the public hearing on this, Crowley asked if we were going to force owners to wear red armbands so we would know their dog was aggressive training certified and exempt from the ordinance. While that doesn't seem to be the current thinking they are looking to possibly put a certain color collar on the certified dogs (this is borderline ok), but they are also looking at requiring owners to mark their homes to identify them as what?...evildoers?...people to be avoided?... for owning a specific breed.

They haven't met our cat, but if they did, no doubt we would be expanding this ordinance to dangerous cats. I wonder if they'd have to mark my whole building or just the fifth floor as a place where the unwanted live?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Lynn City Council could learn a few things from South Park

Last night I happened to catch South Park (they still allow this show to be aired in Lynn). It was the episode where the children learn that they can get high off a pretty disgusting activity involving cats. The city leadership raised up and put forth an ordinance to ban cats as a solution to the problem. Sound like familiar logic? Pitbulls, strippers..... Art. 

Lucky for the residents of South Park, they realized the ordinance was unenforceable and did nothing to solve the actual problem. I fear Lynn is headed towards the same lesson learned. 

Muzzle law on pit bulls (and anything closely resembling a pit bull if you don't want to be harassed) begins on Friday in the City of Lynn, MA.

Still one dog officer. City of 90,000....


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Lynn Museum - The Hub of Downtown Lynn

Just got home from a great night at the Lynn Museum. They brought in most of the major restaurants from Downtown Lynn and tons of auction items from businesses all over Lynn to their Bids and Bites Auction tonight. I hope they make a lot of money, but that's not the point of this article.

If you notice, they have this event tonight, the Past Mayors all coming together on October 14th, and are the gracious hosts of Arts After Hours on the 21st. They are regularly hosting 200+ people in the downtown area for evening events. They are living and breathing Downtown Lynn. They are actively engaged with the residents, artists, and business community. I see Kate Luchini everywhere. I see Joe Scanlon and Steve Babbitt everywhere.  I am loving the energy coming out of the Lynn Museum.

If you're not a member, sign up.  I'm going to get on that myself. If you are looking for a great event to experience the Lynn Museum, consider Arts After Hours on October 21st. They are our amazing hosts once again and we are going to turn that Museum into a Arts event that will not be soon forgotten.


This Weekend in Downtown Lynn

Check out Mass Theatrica's production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe Saturday night at 8 or Sunday at 4.

This weekend is also Lynn Museum's annual Bids and Bites Auction on Saturday night at 7PM. Tickets are $35 or two for $50.

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