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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lynn, Massachusetts City Budget is Now ONLINE!!!!!!

That's right folks. You can now take all the gory details in. Ask me questions. Ask the Mayor questions. It is now YOUR CITY!!!! You can know how the money is being spent without a trek to city hall. It's online. It's not just anywhere buried on the city hall website, it's on the FRONT PAGE!!!!!

YOU can now know what is deemed a priority of your council. YOU can now know what to communicate to your ward councilor and the councilor-at-larges. YOU can express your future wishes to your MAYOR. Your Mayor is listening. Just as she promised.

COMMON CAUSE, are you listening? Lynn is ready to join your ranks.

WE ARE OPEN. WE ARE TRANSPARENT.

WE ARE LYNN!!!!!

JUDITH FLANAGAN KENNEDY!!! I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE PROUD OF A SINGLE VOTE THAN TODAY!!!!!!!! For a mayor who won by 27 votes, that's no small vote!!!!

Welcome to the NEW Lynn!

This is just the beginning.

Go Judy!!!

-Corey

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Downtown Lynn Neighborhood Association Gettin' Represented

NOTE: Most of this is my commentary, not the opinions of Steve Walsh necessarily. I will quote him within if necessary.  

Steve Walsh is beyond a doubt one of our most important political leaders in Lynn, MA. I personally believe there will be a stronger, greater Lynn because of his leadership in the State House and wherever he goes next. I keep telling him to run for Mayor (no offense, Mayor Kennedy).

The conversation was a great one from my perspective. While we were off on tangents (I'm as guilty as anyone else here) on our typical whiny tirades about medical buildings, parking, and litter, we also touched on some topics where our State Rep. can be of assistance. If nothing else, he can help us to channel our energies and give us guidance on the process to effect change in this City or at the State level.

So.... we came out of this with one overarching theme and a few topics to investigate and get out the typewriter to send some old fashioned letters to our old fashioned city hall.

The overarching theme of the evening was "audience development." Steve's a theatre man like me, so I think he likes these metaphors, but when you think about it, Lynn needs an audience. First, a marketing program (which Jamie Marsh and OECD are working on) and then we all need to develop our audience and bring more people in to our shows, art galleries, restaurants, and residences. To do this, we have some things that we need to fix and/or implement.


1. Incentive Programs - The example was given of Downtown Philadelphia. Develop incentives that will drive our number from 200 owner-occupied to the 500 we need. Whether it be tax-free or free parking or something else??? These incentives will drive much more demand and convince more developers to get going on key renovations and new development downtown.  They would not apply to us who already are here, but the benefits would be extraordinary for the area.
ACTION: Letter to City Hall (Mayor, OECD, EDIC, LHAND, Council)

2. Clean up - Mainly focused around the MBTA property. Urine, feces, and throw up are not going to be tolerated anymore. When noticed on the stairs, platform, etc, we are to notify Steve personally. This IS a State issue! Steve will be investigating the security and cleaning schedules for the MBTA garage. It's a crumbling mess over there and it's not as safe as we would like it.
ACTION: Letter and several emails to State Rep. Steve Walsh. We will also be setting up a meeting with the MBTA.

3. Planning - Lynn does not have a City Planner. As a result, we are painting an abstract on the map rather than anything that makes logical sense. Central Square should be the Arts & Cultural District, Union to Buffum should be the medical cluster, Market Street should be the Retail and Shopping District. We're messed up as we allow our City Council to continue to plan out our city, we will continue to be pushed in a political direction for "friends" of the city. Short term thinking which will yield nothing in the long term.  As we begin development of the Waterfront, little thought has gone into the connection to the Downtown. Lack of a planner will only continue to hurt us.
ACTION: Letter to the Mayor's Office


Great thoughts, great meeting. I'm sure others got other things from this meeting. Please leave them in the comments.

Together we can develop our audience and have the Downtown we all know is possible here! We've come so far from where we were 4 years ago. Let's keep up the momentum. Push the city! Push the state! You elected these guys and gals, now hold them accountable!

Thank you to LynnArts, Susan Halter, and Jocelyn Almy-Testa from Lynnarts and TLGUTS for their hospitality.

Thank you to Rep. Steve Walsh for his time, honesty, and most of all... for really listening! These will be quarterly going forward.

-Corey

Sunday, June 27, 2010

DTLna to meet with State Rep Steve Walsh

Monday at 7:30 pm the DTLna will be meeting up with rep. Steve Walsh to talk about the present and future states of Downtown Lynn. Stop by Lynn Arts if you are interested or leave a question here and I'll be sure to get it answered.

-Corey

Friday, June 25, 2010

Michael Jackson (8/29/1958-6/25/2009) - Remembered tonight at Lynn Auditorium

Tonight was the Michael Jackson tribute at City Hall. Great turnout and a really fun night. Thank you to Jamie Marsh and the Lynn Auditorium for bringing this to Lynn. 

As I sat there and took it all in, I couldn't help but think about my last post. I sort of poked fun at comparing the titles of MJs songs to some of Lynn's recent events.  As I was listening tonight, I realized Michael did have a lot to say and he said it very well through song. A lot of things for Lynners to take to heart.  Here are a few that stuck out:

---------------------

Cuz There Are Ways
To Get There
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Little Space
Make A Better Place

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me
-----------------------

Protection For Gangs, Clubs  And Nations
Causing Grief In Human Relations
It's A Turf War On A Global Scale
I'd Rather Hear Both Sides Of The Tale
See, It's Not About Races Just Places Faces
Where Your Blood Comes From
Is Where Your Space Is I've Seen The Bright
Get DullerI'm Not Gonna Spend My Life Being A Color

Don't Tell Me You Agree With Me
When I Saw You Kicking Dirt In My Eye

But, If
You're Thinkin' About My Baby
It Don't Matter If You're Black Or White


Now to the event. Sorry about the picture quality. All I had was my phone. 

8:07- awesome beat boxer on stage, say what??? The crowd goes wild!!












8:13. Hip hop dancin kids are awesome!!!Where were these kids from?
























8:32. And now the main event. Ladies and gentlemen. The fake Michael Jackson!!!!



















9:11. It's the Jackson 5. Well, sort of...














10:27 heal the world.









10:30 they are acting like it's over but we ain't seen no zombies yet!!!!!

Here it comes













It was actually an amazing night and an incredible tribute to Michael on the 1st Anniversary of his death. 

Michael Jackson 
August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson's Songs Are All About Lynn, MA? - Wanna Be Starting Something?

Today is the anniversary of the "King of Pop's" death. May he Rest in Peace.

Tonight is Michael Jackson Tribute concert "The Ultimate Thriller" at Lynn Auditorium in City Hall.  There will definitely be tickets at the door.
 
As I look through Michael's catalog of music,  it seems he may have spent some time in Lynn. I mean look at these titles.

"Remember the Time" - The days when Lynn was in full flourish. The factories were screaming, Market Street had more going for it then Zimmans and Brother's Deli, Downtown Lynn was the place to be. We're coming back!

"You Are Not Alone" - Michael is obviously talking about the Mayo Group here. While many new owners believed they were the only one's duped, we soon found out that many people had cabinets falling off their walls,  incorrect sprinkler installations, and shotty exterior brick work. 

"Don't Stop Till You Get Enough" - This one is a great commentary on Clancy's wish to clinch the Mayorship with a recount. It didn't work out, so then he continued to harp on City Hall for some money he felt he was owed. Go Away! Just, "Beat It" (OOOHHHH, SNAP!)

 "Thriller" - Referring to City Council meetings. The horror shows that are "public" hearings that have no public involvement. Even when they do, the council ignores every single word coming out of the public's mouth. Someday we will flip this coin. If only we could raise the zombies in the other suburban Wards to come with us in to City Hall and make CHANGE!

"Wanna Be Starting Something" - Well now, this is self-explanatory, ain't it?

Leave an MJ song in the comments with the reason it reminds you of Lynn!!!

See you tonight at City Hall!

-Corey

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Arts After Hours - Lynn Museum Park - Seeking Artists

The Lynn Artists Voices Alliance is looking for artisans to show... no entry fees!!

Would you like a place to show/sell your artwork? Would you like to hang out for the night and work on a project while enjoying the company of other artists, listening to music, and meeting lovers of art from Lynn and the North Shore!

Come be a part of Arts After Hours at Lynn Museum Park. The park is located right behind the Lynn Museum at the corner of Union and Washington. Our first night out in the park will take place on August 12th. Contact me, Corey@downtownlynn.com, if interested in being a part of this. Seth Albaum and Jocelyn Almy-Testa are also organizers for this great event. We hope that this will become an ongoing series.

Sad that Third Thursdays are gone?? Be sad no longer, we are filling the gaps! Calling all artists and citizens of Lynn! You want an arts community, you got it!

-Corey

Turn it up one Moaahhhh!!! - Lynn, MA YMCA Spin Class

The YMCA is full of surprises. When I first joined I couldn't believe what I got for the price. I never got to see Chip Clancy in the Sauna (I try to avoid the locker room, I'd probably get stuffed in a locker PLUS all the men Chip's age insist on standing around naked talking to each other). What is that phenomenon?

Anyway..While I haven't snapped Chip with a towel, I have got to enjoy the full gym, the pool, and yes... The racquetball court. You'd pay big bucks just to be a member of a racquetball place and the Lynn Y gives it to you as part of the membership. Awesome!

This past Tuesday, I took my first spin class. I think Steve Martin, not the comedian, was the instructor. It was so incredible. Great motivation, and really fun for all levels of fitness. I'm very, very out of shape and the class is full of people like me all the way up to the fittest folks in Lynn. Check it out sometime!

The YMCA is located on Neptune Boulevard over by Lynn Tech.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lynn, MA City Budget - They Sure Know How to take the word Public out of Public Hearing

I guess we will have to resort to applauding and booing. There was no opportunity given to the public for comments. The Mayor was ignored repeatedly by the Council President. She only got to speak when Councilor Trahant finally called on her after getting the nod from Phelan.

There were a few lively debates with seemingly no purpose led by Cahill. I really want to like him, but he makes it so difficult. He had me with Fenton, but lost me on the police judgment debate. Fenton is the parking department head and seems to know very little about his department off the top of his head. Cahill was trying to argue that we do not need to continue to staff a worker to watch the abandoned car lot, which led to discussions of why we even have a lot to begin with. Seemed clear to me that shutting down this budget item would be the right call but the rest of the council didn't seem to have the guts to get behind him so nothing happened and fenton got to go back to his seat.

Then, the subject of the 383K judgement for Lynn PD came up and Cahill began about 20 minutes we all wish we had back. He kept arguing to pay the fee now from our overlay. The Mayor and the city financial officers all wanted to use the deferral method where the dept of revenue honors the check and we settle it up in December when we may have better options then using our overlay. Cahill kept harping on the fact that that would mean an automatic tax increase in december. False! It would mean we either use the overlay in december, use some other funds we don't even know about at this point, or worst case, raise taxes! The horror!

All in all, nothing changed, and the council approved the requested budget. Now I have no idea what happens next. From what I can tell, this ain't over yet.

Now, when we gonna see this sucker posted on the city website????


-Corey

Monday, June 21, 2010

Proposed Budget - City of Lynn, MA - Public Hearing June 22nd, 2010

I'm sure all of you went down to City Hall and requested a copy of the budget, and have studied it intensely in preparation for Tuesday's Public Hearing.  NOTE: These numbers are the requested numbers from the departments based on guidance from the Mayor's office. There will be two more takes on these numbers. An "Allowed by Mayor" and an "Allowed by Council."  NOW would be the time to be heard if your priorities are different then what you see here. Just in case, you've had a little trouble getting your hands on the useful information to have an informed discussion with the council, here are a few factoids for you.

General Government includes Mayor, Council, Comptroller, Treasurer, Collector, Assesor, City Clerk, License Commission, Precinct Offiers, Purchasing, IT, Workers Comp, Personnel, City Solicitor, ISD

Non departmental includes Insurance, Health & Life Insurance, reserve Fund, F.I.C.A. Match

Public Service includes DPW General, DPW Snow & Ice, Parking Abandoned Vehicles, and Parking Department

I think the rest is self-explanatory?


The largest cut came in Education. While this makes sense as it makes up 43% of our budget, it gets incredibly concerning when you combine that cut with the cuts made in ISD expenses. Most of those cuts will come at the expense of infrastructure improvements to our schools and other city properties. It's going to be a tough year for the already struggling school system. We are going to need to throw a lot of money at this in the coming years.  That all being said, it's still a fairly small percentage of the overall budget numbers.  This one, above all, makes me wonder why we're not increasing taxes.





It was a struggle to come up with 5 increased line items. This is a sad thing for our city in my opinion. There are areas we need more money, not less and I fear we're making our problems much worse with the cuts to Education and ISD (school infrastructure).  Look at these increases! It makes it even more depressing when you see that the increases are things we have little control over, which means we had to cut even further into our existing programs as a result of these.



































































































Fink! Nice recovery!

The last few days Central Square has looked pristine. It's like they got a toothbrush out and detailed it. I hope it stays this way. Until those trash bins are covered I have little hope.

It's funny, you walk one block down Exchange and the trash bins are overflowing and the street is a mess. It's like when I used to clean my room by throwing everything that was on the floor into my closet and closing the door quickly. Eventually, mom is going to open that door.

Covered trash bins? They still on order?

-Corey

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Saugus Selectmen: I applaud you!!!!!! Rollback is BAD for BUSINESS

According to this recent Globe article, Saugus Board of Selectmen decided 4-0 to not roll-back bar closing to 1AM. What it must be like to have a council in favor of business!!!! Ahhh.... we can all dream, can't we? It's my opinion that bars should never close or if you want to put a time on it, have them close at 4AM. People should leave when they are ready to leave. When they are tired. When they have sobered up a little.  People should not drive drunk EVER... no matter what time it is in the morning.  This is the Lynn Police Department's job, not the City Council or the License Board's job. 

Today we throw everyone out on the street at 1AM. It's pretty scary here around that time. They haven't changed anything. Sometimes, as we're leaving The Blue Ox or Turbine at 1AM, we stand on the street watching the craziness that is Downtown Lynn at 1AM. All it's done is move the problem.

On Tuesday, the Lynn Licensing Board headed up by Richard Coppinger (brother of our Police Chief) will hear proposals from the Lynn Restaurant Association. Richard, for once, open your ears on this topic. You have NOT been listening. Judy Flanagan Kennedy has been listening and she is imploring you all on the License Board to listen as well....And not just to your brother.

Try to hear both sides. 

-Corey

Prepared for the Public Hearing on the City Budget? Yeah, Neither am I.

So.. there is a proposed budget out in the wild.  They had a 2 and a half hour meeting with the department heads last week. Could follow most of it on lynnhappens.com video but some people spoke softly and I have no idea how the numbers actually broke down. I was informed by a reader on Friday, that you could actually ask for a copy. The last time I asked for a copy I was told it was too confusing and they wouldn't be sharing it with the public until it was done in July.  So.... on Friday I reached out to City Hall for an electronic copy.... Hello? Anyone there?

Hmmm... City Hall is closed on Friday afternoons. That's ok since they work real late on Tuesdays, but  how to get a copy of the budget?? Without sharing names (for now), I reached out to several people within City Hall and no one had an electronic copy.  Apparently the CFO does (phew!) and that will be forwarded to me on Monday.

I'd rather they forward it to the city website, but I'll take it! After all, what is the point of a public hearing if the public has no idea what we're discussing. No chance at all at an informed debate. With a Mayor that wants transparency and a council who prefers closed doors, it should be interesting to how this all pans out. I really hope the Mayor wins on this one. It will be a win for all of us.  Maybe then, we can actually hold our elected officials accountable. Until then, we'll have to trust that someone actually read the budget and that they're doing the right things for the City of Lynn. I didn't vote for half of them (purposefully), so I'd really like the opportunity to check up on them once in a while.


Onward to Common Cause. We're so close I can taste it!
-Corey

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Agenda: Lynn, MA City Council and Other Committees June 22,2010

TUESDAY, June 22, 2010:

Public Safety Committee, 7:00 P.M., Room 402
Discussion re: Constable Appointments and discussion with Fire Chief
re: Ladder Truck, 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 to hang banners; request to redeem property
at 40 Flint Street; and Other Business.

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



CITY COUNCIL MEETING, 8:00 P.M., COUNCIL CHAMBERS

City Council Agenda

Roll Call


Moment of Silence


Pledge of Allegiance



Accept Minutes of May 25, 2010 and June 8, 2010

Communications:

Public Hearings:


Public Hearing FY11 Budget for City of Lynn


Petition of Verizon, E. Everette Bryan, for permission to place approximately 344 feet of underground conduit from existing jointly owned pole on northerly side, running southerly and easterly to private property at 49 Atlantic Terrace. (Colucci)

Petition of Verizon, E. Everette Bryan, for permission to place approximately 75 feet of underground conduit from existing jointly owned pole on Easterly side, running southerly and easterly to intersection with Oceanside Terrace. Then from existing jointly owned pole on Southerly side of Oceanside Terrace, approximately 110 feet of underground conduit westerly to intersection with Eastern Avenue. (Cyr)

Petition of Verizon, E. Everette Bryan, for permission to place approximately 106 feet of underground conduit on Stanley Terrace from existing jointly owned pole, southerly to intersection with Western Avenue. (Capano)

Petition of Verizon, E. Everett Bryan, for permission to place approximately 131 feet of underground conduit on Western Avenue from existing Verizon Manhole on the northerly side at the intersection with Spencer Street, Westerly to intersection with Stanley Terrace. (Capano)


Public Hearings to be set down:

None.


Public Safety Committee


License Committee


Public Property Committee


Finance Committee



 

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Music of Leonard Bernstein

This Saturday at LynnArts, some great singers will be performing the music of Leonard Bernstein produced by Mass Theatrica. If you love his stuff, you will love how they sing it. So get yourself over to LynnArts and take this one in.



PRESS RELEASE FROM MASS THEATRICA:



Mass Theatrica continues its multi-arts season with The Music of Leonard Bernstein on Saturday, June 19, 2010, 8:00 PM at LynnArts, The Neal Rantoul Vault Theater, 25 Exchange Street, Lynn, MA.


Love West Side Story? Want to see if there really IS Trouble in Tahiti? Hear some of the most beloved tunes of this prolific icon of American music. You might learn a few interesting tidbits along the way through a narrated script written by our own Danny Bolton.


Featuring vocalists Rebecca Hains, Angeliki Theoharis, pianist and baritone Thomas Dawkins with narration by Meredith Lavine, this show is sure to be a crowd pleaser!


Admission is $15, $13 seniors and students. For more information about the program, please contact Mass Theatrica: phone: 508-757-8515, email: masstheatrica@yahoo.com or website www.masstheatrica.org. For directions to LynnArts, visit Directions to LynnArts

Bedtime Reading?

Sure wish I had a Draft City budget to peruse? Tick tock!

D.P.W. Lynn, MA - Hey Fink - Next Budget Meeting - Ask for More? No?

This weekend I actually need to watch all of the budget hearing that Seth taped for us over at lynnhappens.com. I skipped to the part where the DPW department head, Jay Fink, spoke. I think it can be summarized best by one of his final comments. He told the crowd that he's doing a lot more with a lot less and soon he'd be doing everything with nothing. Well, we do seem to have a bit of a problem then, don't we? Why sit there so quietly while Cahill begs you to say the city is screwed. No summer help this year, so Fink has to rely on Jamie Marsh and the OECD to do the D.P.W's job. At least, I think that's what I heard. Good thing we know that Jamie will actually do this, but it shouldn't be his problem.

I couldn't believe the answer to the rodent question. So... quick quiz for the readers. Which department do you think is responsible for rodent control in the City of Lynn? No cheating. Answer in the comments before you go over to lynnhappens and watch the video. The City of Lynn continues to provide us with some great entertainment.

While they've been working on this budget, the city is falling apart. Litter and crime (rape) in Central Square. Pho Lynn closing. Tonight should have been a Third Thursday, but those are canceled.

What the hell is going on? I used to be a nice happy blogger. ;-) Now I feel like one of those whiny bastards on the Item comment boards.

On a side note, we're fixing what we can... DTLna and LAVA will be running an Arts After Hours event in August to fill the void left by the city in not producing Thursday evening activities anymore. We will also be holding a movie night hosted by Jamie Marsh and the OECD. We can do some of it, but we really need the city's help.

S.O.S.

Cahill, Don't wait for an answer from Fink. He's too shy or something, just give him a little more money. Pretty please?

-Corey

P.S. There is a rumor floating around that lids for the trash bins in Downtown Lynn have been ordered! After months of pleading, I really hope this is the case.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

No Fluff! Episode 1 - The Lynn Bloggers TV Show

Seth Albaum from lynnhappens.com, Katerina Panagiotaki from heartoflynn.com and yours truly from downtownlynn.com talk about all things Lynn, MA. It starts with a brief interview with Kate Luchini from The Lynn Museum and Historical Society.

Other topics:
CultureFest 2010, Chili Cook-off, Clean Sweep to the Sea, Relay for Life, This Place Matters, Trash, All Care VNA, Market Street, The Highlands, Spring Pond Woods, The Blue Ox, Turbine Wine Bar, Fernandos...and the list goes on.

Hope you enjoy. Please let us know what you like so we can do more of it in the next show. We'll be taping from a different location each time. Stay tuned for more information on Episode 2!





If the above isn't showing up, try this one:



-Corey

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

No Alms From Duffy to Lynn, MA Police Department

According to a recent update by the Lynn Item, Councilor-at-Large Duffy has been asked to slow down on handing around the offering plate. I was very happy to see that John Olson was able to talk sense into the public statement of the LACC. I couldn't believe it when initially it looked as if they were in favor of such an idea. We really need to be thinking more pro-business in this town, or we're never going to keep the momentum going. Our Mayor has also been publicly against this money being used for hiring personnel. The LACC, the Mayor and Chief Coppinger seem to be aligned on this. LET IT GO, DUFFY!

http://bit.ly/buk7B0

Here is the official statement from the Chamber of Commerce, just mailed to their mailing list:

STATEMENT OF THE LYNN AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE REGARDING SOLICITATION OF FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS FROM LOCAL BUSINESSES
 
The Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce values its relationship with the police department and recognizes the tough job they face each and every day. And while we recognize the urgent need for funding the municipal budgets in Lynn and across the Commonwealth, we cannot support solicitation of area businesses for funding to support shortfalls in the operating budgets of municipal governments. It is our position that local governments either need to find new ways to enhance the revenue streams that are already at their disposal without adding to the tax burden on residents and local businesses, or cut costs in order to live within their means.

The Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce is willing to consider supporting specific projects or initiatives that could be funded by Public/Private Partnerships and are designed to stimulate the growth of business in Lynn area. These are the types of projects that will create jobs, improve the tax base, and improve the quality of life in our communities. We do believe that the private sector can work with state and local government to find ways, even in these challenging times, to improve the downtown business district, stimulate the development of new businesses, and fully develop the economic opportunities the abundant natural resources available in Lynn and the surrounding communities present.
It will take innovation, vision, and hard work, but we believe that we can, and must, work together to find real and lasting solutions to today's problems.

Got Your Michael Jackson Tickets Yet?

Go to lynnauditorium.com and get your tickets for the June 25th launch of The Ultimate Thriller Tour. Great press release on Hip Hop Press today. Check it out and get your tickets today.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Lynn Experiment is Setting Out to Clean up the Streets

I hear that jay fink is talking about how clean he is keeping Downtown Lynn at tonight's budget meeting at city hall. Good one, Jay! He apparently isn't reading the blogs and he definitely hasn't been downtown in a while. Check out the latest post on the Lynn Experiment. I hear this blogger is walking store to store to get business owners and condo associations to make the pledge to Keep Lynn Clean! Apparently paying taxes isn't going to give us clean streets. Time to do their job for them.


http://www.lynnexperiment.com/2010/06/please-join-effort-to-keep-lynn-clean.html

Monday, June 14, 2010

Video Blog from Lynn, MA Bloggers

On the 16th, some of the Lynn area bloggers will be meeting up to tape Episode 1 of a "yet to be titled" series about what's going on in Lynn. I'm hopeful this can clue you in to our voice, humor, and of course up the level of the conversation we're all having on the many blogs around Lynn. I expect that each Episode will have a different cast of characters. For the first episode we've confirmed me, Seth from Lynnhappens.com, and Katerina from Heart of Lynn (formerly City of Lynn Concepts). Tom from Lynn-side Edition might be joining us as well, but you may have to wait for Episode 2 to see Tom's smiling face.  We've also invited a new blogger, but I'm not sure if he wants his identity exposed, so I am still waiting to hear on that. :-)

So, what do you want us to discuss on the Episode? We'll tackle the positives like favorite restaurants and events going on as well as the controversial such as our trash problems, crime, development, and politics. Should be fun and can be even more fun if you get involved and help us set the agenda.  If you guys end up liking these, we may do some live so you can be even more involved if you wish.

So, what do you want us to talk about?

Any ideas for the vlog's name? Be nice! ;-)

-Corey

Lynn City Hall - Step It Up - This is Getting Ridiculous

The public trash cans in Central Square are literally overflowing with tons of trash. I'm not exaggerating. They are overflowing. The streets are a mess. This is one day after the Clean Sweep to the Sea. One day! This is too much for the residents to do ourselves. We need the help of the D.P.W. We need the street sweepers back and we need the trash cans emptied (I thought you already knew this should be on your todo list).


Crime is back downtown and the criminals are starting to figure out how to avoid the Lynn Police by doing their deeds on MBTA property. I called in a complaint about three kids doing a balancing act on the train wall over Central Square (almost killing themselves). No response from Lynn PD. In the recent rape incident, the Lynn PD claimed they couldn't get involved due to it being MBTA property?? That's great. We allow the MBTA to build a crime infested maze of alleys and garages and we can't do anything about what goes on in there???? Any urban city is going to have it's share of crimes, but I have noticed a difference in the amount of traffic I see from the Lynn Police lately. 

So, how about getting back to your abandoned child, Downtown Lynn. You were doing so well just a few short months ago. We used to have Third Thursdays. We used to have police cars parked out in Central Square on patrol. We used to have clean streets that were swept every night. We used to have barrels that got emptied.  Mayor? DPW? Councilor? Street Sweeper Driver Dude? Is Anyone Out There?

-Corey

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Vote for Central Square's Summer Outdoor Film!!

Indiana Jones has the lead with Ghostbusters on it's tail. If you combine the votes with the poll on lynnhappens.com, we almost have a three way tie with Jaws in the mix. Get your votes in today! The Office of Community Development will take the winner from the two polls combined and show this film in Central Square this summer.

The Poll is right at the top of the right hand side of this blog ---------------->>>

-Corey

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Live Music at Turbine Wine Bar

LIVE MUSIC @ TURBINE
- The Swamptown Ramblers @ 9:30pm -
Saturday June 12th


Http://www.turbinewinebar.com

http://www.facebook.com/pages/East-Lynn-MA/turbine-wine-bar/200726275502?ref=ts

Lynn's Second Annual World Folk Festival

A Letter from Bob Connolly to the Community:

Planning for Lynn’s Second Annual World Folk Festival is now underway.  Our planning committee this year is made up of a variety of local individuals and agencies, proudly collaborating to make this event a tremendous success.  Our first annual event was held last October, under gloomy skies and was attended by approximately 300 people.  This year we have decided to move the event date to Saturday July 3, to coincide with our nation’s birthday and Lynn’s fireworks following our event’s conclusion.  We have already booked local talent, that includes musician and dancers from a variety of cultural backgrounds.  We have asked our performers to showcase songs and dance celebrating, “Freedom’s Impact Around the World”.  Many of the groups feature school age children representing the far reaches of our globe.   The festival will, once again, be held at Lynn Heritage State Park.  We are also hosting world food vendor, artists and cultural presentations.



We realize the financial constraints that face all potential donors are great, especially in this current economic crisis. But we also feel that the strength of our city’s prosperity is based in the diversity of its' residents.  An event such as this serves to strengthen our community, as well as the businesses and individuals who invest in its successful outcome.  All donors, with contributions of $100 or more, will be listed on all printed material associated with the event, including programs, pre-event advertising and post-event press releases.  One of our community partnering agencies has offered their Tax ID #, so that your contribution may also be recorded as a charitable donation (available upon request).



    In order to be counted as a generous sponsor on our program and advertising we are requesting a reply by Wednesday June 23, 2010.  Thank you in advance for your support of this event. If you have any questions please contact Bob Connolly at (781)484-8614 or at rjcandnmc@aol.com


Sincerely,
Bob Connolly
World Folk Festival Organizing Committee

TODAY: TLGUTS Opening Reception of Xiaowei Chen's Four Years' Thinking

Join TLGUTS on Saturday June 12th for Xiaowei Chen's Four Years' Thinking opening reception from 6-8pm. 

Xiaowei's was chosen as the Boston recipient of the Artadia New York residency which she will begin this fall. This is her last solo-exhibition in Massachusetts before her residency. 

This exhibition of twenty works, spans the past four years of Xiaowei's body of work consisting of line drawings which she painstakingly creates with a .3 mm pen. Each piece is a commentary and intellectual study of human nature, war, our internal response to social and environmental climate and concerns, love, relationships, and more.

More about TLGUTS and Xiaowei Chen: http://www.tlguts.com

There is an after hours party planned at Turbine Wine Bar, a block away from the gallery at 56 Central Square. 

TLGUTS is located at 25 Exchange Street, Lynn, MA. 
free on-street parking on Saturdays. We are also located directly across the street from the Lynn commuter rail stop.

TLGUTS is located within the LynnArts community art center. The building is accessible and has a handicap parking spot in the rear of the building. Visitors needing to use the ramp accessible entry should call ahead for assistance.





Councilor-At-Large Running Fundraising Campaign for Lynn Police Department

This is almost comical. What's next... a raffle? 

Grand Prize - A Plot of Land on Lynn's New Waterfront
Runner-Up - Ride around for a day with Chief Coppinger
2nd Runner-Up -  A brand new Duffy truck

How about a silent auction? We could bid on old police bikes and used uniforms!!!

Councilor-at-Large Duffy would like money to be given by businesses to the Lynn Police Department through a fund set up through EDIC. I personally think this is crazy, no?!?! Yes... private/public partnerships are good. This is not an example of such a partnership.  Businesses pay taxes for police personnel. Lynn has a pretty high tax rate as I understand it for our current business owners. Now, certain businesses will give a little more? hmmm.... I don't like it.

If it's really necessary, I would assume a tax increase (for residents and businesses) is the correct and only fair and honest way to provide the additional protection needed to the city.

Duffy, put the collection basket down. It's embarrassing.

-Corey

Friday, June 11, 2010

You've Got Mail, Mr. Potter - All Care VNA and Site Plan Review

No one seems to know when this site plan review is going to happen. All Care VNA has not submitted their plan yet, according to Councilor Crighton. I already can see how the schedule will work out here, but I won't describe it, in case I'm wrong. I don't want to give anyone ideas.

I have to admit. Getting Shawn Potter all riled up is not fun, and certainly never has it been the intent. Just an interesting side effect, I guess, of trying to do what's right for our Historic Downtown Lynn.  Readership on this blog is doing very well and that is partly due to the multitudes of allcare domains visiting this site. So, now that we know you're reading.... are you listening? I emailed Shawn Potter earlier in the week in hopes that I could share with you some of his thoughts as he prepares for the site plan review with Mike Donovan (head of ISD), Brendan Crighton (Ward 5 Councilor), and a host of others.  As you've seen before, when people are willing to share thoughts, I share them with you

For those of you who are wondering what the hell I am talking about, I think the best post to get you up to speed is here. The link in the above paragraph was what Shawn Potter wanted me to share with the readers of downtownlynn.com.  The Market Street Vision Plan, that our City Council is currently ignoring, was written about in this post. Our three points are documented here (retail first floor, build out to the street, no fence). At the neighborhood meeting, the VNA felt under attack, but that was not the intent. Finally, the public hearing was held and a giant middle finger was placed high in the air to half the room. This left us with a site plan review as our only option of getting what's right for Lynn in that space at the corner of Broad and Market. City Council == BIG FAIL on this one.  While Crighton seemed to understand what was right for Downtown, the rest of the council didn't seem willing to care (and/or had personal interests in VNA All Care and were left out of the vote)!

So.....(deep breath).... that brings us to where we are today, and an opportunity to influence the building aesthetic. Most who spoke in opposition and even some who spoke in favor want a building that blends with the historical aspects of downtown. No one wants the beginnings of a suburban office park to sprout up at the gateway to Lynn's Historic Cultural Area.

So....

1. The building must be designed for future 1st floor retail (PERIOD). Anything else is short sighted and an extreme issue for the future viability of a downtown with any hope of having a real retail presence in the future. It doesn't matter if that floor is cubes and lobby space, but it should be designed with the future use in mind.

2. The building should be built out to the corner of Broad and Market. A set back from these two main streets makes NOOOOOOOOO sense for a Downtown building. NONE. Zero percent sense.  Put the green space, park, parking, etc behind the building.

3. I assume there is no fence. If there is still a fence in this plan, Phelan needs to let it go......Period.

We can now add a fourth, since Mr. Potter promised to place video surveillance behind the building. With the recent rape of a young female in the elevator in that MBTA alley MAZE, this would seem to make a TON of sense. I have every reason to believe that Mr. Potter will keep his word on this, if...for nothing else.... the safety of his employees.


I can't draw to save my life, but lucky for us, Katerina can. Now.... whatever you think of Katerina, please keep that out of the comments. Think about the high points of this design. Built to the street, incredible design and blend into its neighborhood. The tower and/or grass roof I could take or leave, but the over arching idea of this design and it's incredible respect for where it is going makes it something worth taking into account. I know she's met with Mr. Potter. I really HOPE he listened. Let me check my email......... Nope, nothing from Shawn.

With an extreme love for Downtown Lynn and it's Gateway Plot of Prime Real Estate, I implore you all to care as much as we do for how this thing is going to look. We will live with this for the rest of our lives. Long after All Care VNA has moved into something even bigger.

Best of luck to the Site Plan Review members. I know you all have a Lynner's heart and will try your best to do the right thing.

-Corey

Lynn, MA - City Meetings for Tuesday June 15th

Tuesday, June 15, 2010:

      
Crime Prevention Resource Committee, 6:00 P.M., Room 402
Discussion re:  Continued discussion regarding a “Plan of Action and Goals” relative
to public safety, and Other Business.


Committee of the Whole, 6:30 P.M., Council Chambers
Discussion re:  Budget Hearings with Department Heads.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Central Square Outdoor Film

The Office of Community Development is looking for your vote on what to show outside this summer in Central Square. If you hate the choices, it's my fault. Send me a message using the contact link above, but still vote for one of these. We'll attack other genres as we figure out what has the most mass appeal for you folks.

The poll is available on the right side navigation ----->

-Corey

It's The Trash, Stupid!

It's Certainly Not the Crime! It's Definitely not the Parking! It's not even .... wait for it..... The Pitbulls!

It's the freakin trash!

Covered Trash Cans (Up Union and All of Downtown) and More Frequent Street Sweeping! NOW!

I apologize, am I getting a little whiny again? Well you see, we've tried for months the nice way. We're sick of being nice. As a matter of fact, the last time we really wanted something and didn't get it, we were told we were being too nice. ;)

Allrighty then! Get us some covered trash cans and put a lid on both the trash and us whiny Lynners!

P.S. This wasn't an issue a year ago. Hmmm.... what's different about this year? Mr. Fink? You have any ideas? For those of you who don't know, Fink is the new head of the DPW...opps.... I just gave it away, didn't I?

NOTE: Stupid is not aimed at any one individual. Simply a reference to the famous economy quote of Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign. I felt explaining this was appropriate as I haven't been "humorous" on this blog for a while and I remember how some of you get when I get funny.  

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

June 2010 - Real Estate Market of Lynn, MA

Howdy Readers,

So... Soraya and I were talking and it seemed only right that we start to shed the light on the reality of the real estate market in Lynn. There is a lot of available property right now at an incredible price. If you've been reading this blog, you know that there's a lot going on down here and the potential for incredible neighbors is high! In this first post, Soraya lays out some of the facts of where we're at. I'm hopeful that over time, we'll be able to prove out the positive trends in Lynn, MA and the Downtown area. In future posts, we'll be heading in to some of the lofts to show you what Downtown has to offer. So enough from me, let's here from one of my incredible neighbors, Soraya E. Cacici.




------- Guest Post - Soraya E. Cacici - RE/MAX Heritage, LLC --------


The voice behind The Real Estate Stiletto blog lives on. I had to put blogging on the back burner in recent months, but I promise to return to the local blogging scene soon enough. In the interim, my friend and neighbor, Corey Jackson, has so kindly invited me to talk real estate on the fabulous downtownlynn.com.


So, I’ve been quite busy helping clients (hence the blogging hiatus). Here’s a bit of what’s been happening in our market – this includes all of Lynn, not just Downtown:


The following numbers show the trend of the Lynn real estate market by comparing key sales factors for the prior and current periods.


Most current median sales stats for Lynn:


Median sale prices for single-family homes are up 12% since May of 2009
Median sale prices for condos are down 8% since May of 2009
Median sale prices for multi-family homes are up 6% since May of 2009


I also calculated the local absorption rates, which demonstrate how long it will take for all the homes on the market to be sold, or absorbed, at the current rate of sales. For Example, if the absorption rate is 8%, then 8 out of 100 properties for sale sold that month. If the absorption rate is rising, the market demand for real estate is improving and if it is falling, the market demand is deteriorating.


Current absorption rates for Lynn are as follows:

Single Family Homes – 16%
Condominiums – 3%
Multi-Family Homes – 20%


Economics 101 of supply and demand - competing inventory greatly affects real estate prices. The following numbers shows the number of months that it will take to sell off the current inventory of active listings if the rate of sale remains constant.


Single Family Homes – 5 months
Condominiums – 11 months
Multi-Family Homes – 4 months


We saw a spike of properties go under agreement during the months of March and April, due to the tax credit deadline of April 30, 2010. Some of those properties have already closed, but we’ll see a trickle effect of the tax credit throughout this month since the tax credit doesn’t require a closing to occur until June 30, 2010.


I personally don’t believe that the tax credit made an astronomic difference in sales, though I don’t know for sure what things would have looked like without it. It’s safe to say that it certainly didn’t hurt.


I’ll leave you with this good news! Rates are still in the high 4% range for a 30-year fixed mortgage (for those who qualify). You can’t beat that.


Until next time, I wish you all a wonderful month of June!


Please don’t hesitate to call, text, or email with any real estate questions. I’m here to help however I can.


Soraya E. Cacici, Realtor
RE/MAX Heritage, LLC




Monday, June 7, 2010

The Little Gallery Under the Stairs is Now Open Nights!!!

Current Show

Xiaowei Chen, Lotus

Xiaowei Chen
Four Years' Thinking
June 5th - July 10th

Opening reception:
June 12th, 6-8pm, meet the artist!
After party at Turbine Wine Bar


Expanded Hours at TLGUTS
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings, from 7:30-9pm, in addition to their Saturday hours, 10am - 6pm.

http://www.tlguts.com

Lynn, MA City Council Agenda and Committee Meetings

Committee Meetings for June 8, 2010:


Crime Prevention Resource Committee, 6:00 P.M., Room 402
Discussion re: Continued discussion regarding a “Plan of Action and
Goals” relative to public safety, and Other Business.

Ordinance Committee, 6:30 p.m., Room 402
Discussion / And Or Set Down for Public Hearing: A Proposed Ordinance Amending the Ordinance Pertaining to Vicious Dogs and Animals Regulations in the City of Lynn (PHELAN), and Other Business.

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

Ways and Means Committee, 7:30 P.M., Room 402
Discussion re: Council Orders and Other Business.

CITY COUNCIL MEETING, 8:00 P.M., COUNCIL CHAMBERS
​City Council Agenda




City Council Agenda

June 8, 2010

Roll Call
Moment of Silence
Pledge of Allegiance

Communications:

City Treasurer:

Dear Councilors:
The City of Lynn has foreclosed on the following properties. Final Decrees can be found online at Salem Deeds:
9 Chancery Lane, Lot 014 Newhall Street, 80 Lowell Street
Please adjust your records accordingly.
Sincerely, Richard J. Fortucci, City Treasurer


Public Hearings:


Public Hearings to be set down:

Petition of Mexico Taco, Jeffrey Stevens, for permission for to park mobile food truck at 680 Western Avenue, 12 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday – Seasonal; and to visit soccer events at Magnolia Park Sundays Only, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. – Seasonal. (Capano & Lozzi)

Petition of Fiesta Shows, Eugene J. Dean, for permission for a Carnival Fundraiser for 4th of July Fireworks Fund at Lynn Tech Field, July 21-25, 2010, Wed-Sun. (Ford)

Petition of Holy Family

Petition of Light Tower Fiber LLC (dba) Lightower for permission to install a 2” conduit approximately 10’ between a National Grid Maintenance hole to the basement of 85 Exchange Street. (Crighton)

Petition of Verizon, E. Everette Bryan, for permission to place on Nells Pond Road, from the intersection with Split Rock Road, approximately 275 feet of underground conduit on the Northerly side and approximately 80 feet of underground conduit at two road crossings; thence approximately 1100 feet of underground conduit Easterly and Westerly on Southerly side and approximately 90 feet of underground conduit northerly to intersection of Crooker Drive for a total of approximately 1545 feet.

Petition of Verizon, E. Everette Bryan, for permission to place on Crooker Drive from jointly owned pole no 182/13 on Westerly side, approximately 100 feet of underground conduit southerly to intersection with Nells Pond Road.

Petition of Verizon, E. Everette Bryan, for permission to place on Split Rock Road, from intersection with Nells Pond Road, approximately 318 feet of underground conduit Northerly on Easterly side and approximately 80 feet of underground conduit at two road crossings for a total of 398 feet.


Unfinished Business:

Ordinance Committee Meeting of May 28:

An Ordinance Amending the Zone Ordinance Pertaining to Home Occupations in the City of Lynn

Committee Reports:

Crime Prevention Resource Committee
Ordinance
License
Ways & Means

New Business:

Representatives from National Grid and Coviello Electric



Sunday, June 6, 2010

Best Chili in Lynn Goes to Matt O'Neill of The Blue Ox

We had a great time at LynnArts last night. The chili was fantastic, the current exhibit is fantastic, the art miniatures were great, and always love hanging around with some Lynners.  The current exhibit is photography and is really good. Unfortunately LynnArts decided a while back that opening on Saturday is not necessary. So instead, it's become a gallery that only seniors can enjoy.

There will be some opinion pieces soon on this blog about LynnArts.

So, the evening wasn't about LynnArts, it was about these great chefs and some awesome chili and that's fine, but I don't think that was the intent. No one even spoke about what LynnArts is or why we were there to give them more of our money. I'm starting to wonder if it's time for some dramatic change there. 

But enough of this rant, how about some pictures from last night's event:

Matt O'Neill of The Blue Ox serving up the winning chili

This was the art that was auctioned off last night. The pieces were great, I wish there were more. I got an artisically enhanced postcard of Central Square by David Parsons.

Seth from lynnhappens.com and Raul Castanon. Raul had an amazing presentation and the flavors in his chili were extremely unique. Was very delicious. 

We then moved on to "carnival games." These kids were fantastic. My wife, Sarah, had the first go at it. No luck!
I'll take care of this...... Ok, maybe not! 
 Can Seth save the day? Look at that form and determination!
YAY! Seth gets 1, no.. 2, no... 3 Bears and breaks the event record for most bears per 9 throws!!!! I always knew Seth was a better blogger, but I never expected he had better aim! I feel so inadequate. :-)

The crowd eagerly awaits the winner of this year's Best Chili!
It's Matt O'Neill from The Blue Ox!

Our favorite omelette maker, State Rep. Bob Fennell, also makes one mean chili!! That's Dave Parsons next to Bob. He was one of the fantastic chili's of the evening and also a contributing artist to the Wall of Miniatures. I went home with his piece! Thanks Dave!


All in all, a fantastic night. As a chili event, it was A+. As an art fundraiser, it gets a D-.  So, how do we up the level of the art experience at LynnArts. It seems like we have the artists, from what I see online about the people involved. What are we missing?

-Corey

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Buy Some Artwork at The Chili Cook-off Tonight at Lynn Arts!

Tonight, starting at 7PM, the chili cook-off and annual art and silent auction will be taking place at Lynn Arts on Exchange Street.  We've talked about the fantastic chili on here and Seth now has a great writeup on Lynnhappens that includes a lot more information. I wanted to include here the names of the wonderful artists that have contributed time and their valuable artwork to this event. Hope to see many of you there. I'm the big dork with the camera. Come say hi!



Here's the list of participating RED HOT Artists. Where I could find websites or samples of their work I linked to those sites for you to check it out. The work you see on these sites may or may not be what you see at Lynn Arts tonight. Have fun getting to know these guys and gals.

Wall of miniatures:
Michael Milczarek
Rick Cloran
 
Silent Auction:
Rob Farris
Amy Anderson
Leslie Rosenberg
Jean Noyes
Pat Flaherty
Marilyn Cloran

-Corey

Relay for Life An Inspiration for Lynn, MA

I went down to Red Rock Park with Seth from lynnhappens.com at 1AM and what we saw was very memorable. Many people camping out and continuing the relay around Red Rock Park for loved ones lost to Cancer. My Grandfather of Essex Street Lynn died of Prostate Cancer. Best friends mom and founder of Citizens for Adequate Housing, Mary Jane Lee,  died of cancer.  My Uncle Kenny of the Highlands, died of esophageal cancer. This weekend is a perfect moment to reflect on the many people we've all lost and those who've miraculously been able to overcome this horrible disease. Here are some pictures from 7PM and our most recent trip down to Red Rock at 1AM. To donate, please visit the event website.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Live from turbine wine bar

11:49 what amazing service from Asia!




11:41 Seth from Lynnhappens.com is here and taking some sweet photos.

11:09. The Willows are fantastic. Love the Chardonnay and the crowd. I wish I could take more pictures of who is out tonight in Downtown Lynn. It is not my parents Central Square anymore. Come check it out!!!





9:50 The Willows are about to begin. Get your ass down here!!!



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