Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ring in the New Year In Downtown Lynn

For those of you who are looking for some fun in Downtown Lynn this New Year's Eve. There are the loft parties if you're in to that, but there are plenty of other ways to support the Downtown Lynn economy this NYE.

47 Central Ave

Cirque Soiree NYE Breakdown: Martha Wash (It's Raining Men, Everybody, Everybody, Strike It Up, Sweat! Everybody Dance Now) LIVE on stage!!!!!

Option #1: VIP Invite: Secure an invitation to be part of the Cirque Soiree for the ENTIRE evening. Start the party at 7:30 p.m., receive priority, unobstructed premier seating (It's your seat all night long), at least one bottle of champagne for your table, and a personal cocktail server at your call. You will enjoy Ravioli in Authentic Homemade Italian Marinara, Roast Prime Rib of Beef, Succulent Roast Turkey, Baked Lobster Pie, Roast Potatoes, Green Bean Almandine, and a sweet tray at your table at midnight. There are still a few of these exclusive VIP invites available. Call Richie at 978-586-0551. 

Option #2: Martha Wash LIVE, NO COVER, Doors at 9:30 p.m. Champagne Toast at midnight CASH BAR. STANDING ROOM ONLY! See you at Cirque New Years Eve!

776 Washington Street
$10 Cover - DJ Frenchy, Free midnight buffet, Jello shots, drink specials, party hats and noise makers included.  781-598-5618

Northern Nights

649 The Lynnway

NYE Two Thousand & Twelve at Northern Nights.... 2 great deals, and something to fit everyone's budget

Package #1 $30.00 Includes a 4 course meal served with; Shrimp Cocktail, Ceasar Salad choice of Chicken Cordon Bleu or New York strip sirloin w/ Baked Potato or Rice Pilaf and Tarragon Butter Carrots, Dessert, and coffee or tea served between 7:30 and 8:30 This also includes party Favors buffet served at 11pm, Balloon drop with prize$ and champagne toast at midnight. Along with the Admission price to our New Year's Eve Party (a $10.00 Value)

Package #2 $10.00 Admission to New Years Eve Party only, starts at 9:30 till 1:00 and includes party favors and a buffet at 11pm, Balloon drop with prize$ and champagne toast at midnight.

Tatiana's  8PM-1AM
70 Market Street




IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: They will be open for breakfast on NYE to nurse those Hangovers! 

Sand Bar  
714 Washington Street
NYE !! Italian Buffet 7 - 9 PM; Supertonic Band 9 - 11 PM ; DJ Christie 11 - Close!! Toast at Midnight !

The Blue Ox

The Blue Ox is fully booked according to open table.

Turbine Wine Bar
I'm not sure if they will be open or not. I know they were last year, but they've been closed this week with no notice on the door, so I would call first if your plans are to head to Turbine for some delicious wine, beer and food.  781.780.7301

For beyond downtown, please visit for a very full calendar 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

More than a Party at Lynn Museum - Karaoke with local celebs!

For those of you who haven't pledged at least a small amount to the kickstarter campaign for More Than a Number, please do! An amazing group looking to produce a wonderful exhibit at our Downtown Lynn museum.   Here's another way you can help out! Attend this party!
More Than a Party: A benefit celebration to raise funds for More Than a Number
Friday, January 13th, 6-9 PM
Mark your calendars for a very special evening filled with good food, fun, dance, kickboxing and karaoke performances by “local celebrities”! This event is a fundraiser to benefit the More Than a Number exhibition and schedule of programs at the Lynn Museum. The exhibition is scheduled to open on February 1, 2012.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wishing Downtown Lynn Readers a Very Merry Christmas

Thanks for another great year. While the blog writing has slowed down a bit, it has only been replaced by more activity on the streets. I hope I have even less time to write as Arts After Hours builds more and more music, visual art, and theatre in the downtown in 2012 alongside Centerboard, Lynn Museum, and LynnArts. In 2011, Arts After Hours added a full-scale musical, a cabaret music series, a jazz series, and several new visual art events including Cuba: In Form, Lynn's Got Sole and our Bourbon Street event. This activity has and will continue to encourage more development and action on the part of landlords, residents, and City Hall. All I want for Christmas is for our 15,000 unique readers of to stop and think about how they can make a positive impact on the Downtown local economy next year. It can be as easy as attending an event, bringing 3 friends to a Downtown restaurant, taking a walk to discover a new area, writing a positive story and promoting it online. I want to thank a lot of you for already taking part in many of those activities. Together, we are building something larger than we can even understand right now.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanza!  (and everything else I'm missing)

Be healthy, safe, and support local in 2012!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Arts and Culture Holiday Social - Friday at 7PM

This Friday at 7PM, come down to Turbine Wine Bar and socialize with our friends, neighbors, and employees in the Arts and Cultural District. Many of our organizations are one or two employees so we don't have the crazy office parties to look forward to this year. Almost all of our organizations couldn't do what we do without YOU! Yes you, even reading this blog makes you a part of it all. Buying a ticket is even better but we'll take any interest we can get at this stage.

Come and meet some of the folks behind the arts movement Downtown or just have a nice glass of wine and a stuffed popover or twelve. Come down at 7PM on Friday. The band Harvey Mapcase featuring songs from their CD "Three on a Match" will begin at 9PM. Every single one of you is welcome! Hope to see everyone and if we don't, have a Happy Holiday!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2011 - A Year of Progress?

As we approach the end of the year, I like to pontificate a bit on what has worked, what hasn't and whether or not we've taken steps forward or steps backward in our development as a community. Before I lead the witness (my normal approach), I was wondering what you all think. Has Downtown taken a step forward this year?  What do you wish was happening that isn't?

Keep it constructive. For this post, I will delete anything that doesn't advance the conversation. Fair warning!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

C is for Jobs, That's Good Enough For Me! Wicked Tasty Cookie Sale

It's Christmas time... You know? That time of year you all pull out the cookie cutters and start melting chocolate to make goodies for your loved ones to enjoy for the entire season. Or, you are like some of us, and never quite have time with all the other hustle and bustle to get the cookies done.

Have no fear! Wicked Tasty is here.

I have had the priviledge of getting to know the crew at Wicked Tasty over the past year. They partnered on the Carolyn Cole event to produce a phenomenal pre-show spread for Arts After Hours patrons. They were instrumental is providing several summer jobs to our youth this year and just recently hosted the first pop-up dinner in Lynn, MA over at the JB Blood building.

Wicked Tasty is a shining example of Centerboard's innovation when it comes to skills and business. It's not just about counseling, budget coaching, and tax returns. They've taken a whole step further and formed this delicious startup. This Christmas Cookie sale is a way for us to support the fantastic work they are doing. Well, that and we don't have to pretend like we're going to get around to baking ourselves.

Here's how you do it.

They answer phone orders on Monday, Tueday, Thursday from 9-5, Wednesday 12-8, and Friday from 12-4 781-598-9417 or you can e-mail Caleb at at any time to place an order. The order form is available at this link, so read up, order up, and fill your tummies! Tis the season.


The Nutcracker at Lynn Auditorium


Friday, December 2, 2011

You Gonna Get the Led Out?

Led Zeppelin tribute band (which I have heard is fantastic) is coming to Lynn Auditorium on Friday night, December 2nd. There are still tickets available. Check it out!

Get The Led Out Live in Concert! from GTLO Productions on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

World Aids Day 2011

Tonight was a busy night in Downtown Lynn. While Holiday in the Square was kicking off in Central Square, World Aids Day 2011 human ribbon ceremony was going on in Lynn City Hall. I'm consistently impressed with Harry Schnur and the kids he works with in the KAYA group. Here are some pictures from tonight's event at City Hall. Had a flash mob, a human ribbon of glow sticks and a candle-light parade. Was a beautiful thing to see so many come together for such an important reason.

Check out the flash mob that broke out!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Oh Christmas Trees!

This past weekend was busy on 107 and 1A as people flocked to their various favorite Christmas Tree locations to scoop up their favorite fir. It's an exciting and beautiful time of year as Lynn starts to light up in holiday spirit. The Item has kicked off what is sure to be another successful year for Item Santa and the holiday pop up shops have opened in the Lynn Museum and at LynnArts.

Tuesday night begins the tree lighting events with the tree on the Common at 5PM. After the tree is lit, the Lynn Auditorium will offer a free showing of A Christmas Story projected on a large screen in the auditorium.

On Thursday night, there will be a World AIDS day human ribbon at City Hall at 5PM and the tree lighting in Central Square will also be going on at 5PM.  Central Square festivities continue until 8PM with Santa, stockings for kids, wreath raffle, and holiday music at LynnArts.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Time for Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I could sit here and ramble on about all the things I'm thankful for, but they all boil down to one thing... you! You're the ones making all of this possible. Whether you're the politican reading this blog to see what I'm saying about you, or the new resident looking for things to do, or a life-long Lynner looking for a new perspective on this town, it's you that I am thankful for.

Without you, there would be no one attending auditorium shows, Arts After Hours events and buying products in local stores. Without you no one would be going to the restaurants downtown? Without you no one would be speaking up at City Hall and voting to build a stronger government.  Without you, no one would be fighting for a stronger Lynn!

We have a lot to be thankful for this year, but as I've said before... lists always get me in trouble.  I'll let you make the list. Leave something in the comments below for which you are thankful.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tree Lighting and Free Movie Night at the Auditorium on November 29th

NSCC Performing Arts Council brings Panto*mime to LynnArts

Check this out. Matthew Woods brings back to the stage something the entire family can enjoy this winter. I haven't been able to find a description online, but i did find this review from a 2010 mounting of this work on Larry Stark's Theatre Mirror

North Shore Community College Performing Arts Council presents

The Fantastic Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor

A Winter Panto*mime

Written and directed by Matthew Woods

December 1, 2, and 3 at 7 p.m., also December 3 at 3 p.m.

At The Neal Rantoul Vault Theatre

At Lynn Arts, Inc.

25 Exchange Street, Lynn, MA 01901

Tickets: $7 general admission

$5 students and seniors (with ID)

children 10 and under free

Friday, November 18, 2011

Open Studios - Saturday November 19th

I love this day in Lynn, MA. Last year it was so much fun to meet everyone in their studios and see some pretty amazing work being created right here in Lynn.

This is the best opportunity of the year to get very unique gifts for the holiday, see some incredible work and meet the artists that put it all together. This year Lydia Pinkham, Walnut Street Cafe, LynnArts, Arts After Hours, and the Lynn Museum all have interesting things to share on November 19th.

LYNNARTS - 25 Exchange Street
Holiday Art Studio Open House
November 19, 11-4pm 

In conjunction with the opening of the Holiday Sale and the Lydia Pinkham Open Studios, LynnArts will be hosting an Open Studios on Saturday, November 19 from 11-4.  Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to meet the artists, musicians and performers that make LynnArts their home.

WALNUT STREET CAFE - 157 Walnut Street 
November 19th, 10AM-2PM 
Henna body painting, paintings, knit ware, books, local authors and musician's books and cd's and more! And of course, the amazing coffee, soups, sandwiches, tea, etc... 10am - 2pm!

LYDIA PINKHAM - 271 Western Avenue 
November 19th,  10AM-4PM
Open Studios is a great opportunity to find unique gifts for everyone on your list. Open Studios takes place this Saturday (November 19th) from 10am-4pm at the Lydia Pinkham Building. Don't miss this great event!

ARTS AFTER HOURS  - 25 Exchange Street 
Open  Rehearsal
November 19, 1-4PM @LynnArts in the Rantoul Black Box Theatre
 I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change open rehearsals. We will be working on scenes from our upcoming musical. for more details on the show and to purchase tickets. Code EARLYBIRD gets you $10 if you purchase during the month of November.

LYNN MUSEUM - 590 Washington Street 
Shoppertunity Openhouse Saturday, 
November 19, 12-4pm  
Join the Lynn Museum for free admission to the museum and enjoy the exhibitions while you shop the pop-up shops from local artisans inside the museum galleries.  
 Haute Holiday is here! Shop locally at the Lynn Museum for your holiday gifts. This festive season features a Holiday Pop-Up Shop starting November 12 when you can shop inside our galleries for your favorite gifts from: Absolutely Creations, Bestbeading, Couture Planet, I Heart Arm Warmers, LD Designs, M and Zen, Treasure Beach and more!!  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pavlo's Kouzina - Step Inside!

244 Washington Street - Across from Richdale near the Courthouse

I could be the last one to this party, but I just discovered Pavlo's Kouzina. Yeah, yeah, I've driven by it a million times. I always wonder what it looks like on the inside, but it wasn't until today that I finally discovered this gem of a lunch location.

Fairly standard fare with your normal assortment of wraps, sandwiches, salads, and soups. They had a Thanksgiving sandwich on special today and I believe some clam chowder.  I always like to test my Greek sub shops (of which there have to be five million in Lynn) out by getting a version of a kabob something or other. I went with a kabob wrap. Fantastic! Nicely packed with feta, lettuce, tomato, chicken, and fantastic greek dressing. It was delicious.

I can only hope that their breakfast is as good as their lunch. I'm hearing amazing things about his steak sub omelet. Only open until 12 on Saturday which will make it tough for us yuppies to get out of bed in time, but I'm certainly going to try.

Check out Pavlo's Kouzina on Facebook to see pictures of the interior, the food, and the staff.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Connecting Downtown Lynn to the Highlands - High Rock Stairs Dedication

High Rock Stairs connecting Essex Street to High Rock Tower

Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy stands proud with kids from local middle schools and Girls, Inc.

Kids get a photo op

Jamie Marsh, head of the Office of Community Development, the office that made it happen.

Incredible views of Lynn and the Boston skyline from High Rock Hill

Kids enjoying cider and getting to meet Jamie Marsh and Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy

Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy meets some students working on a Future City project!

Downtown Lynn, just gorgeous!

You can't tell me that's not a beautiful downtown.

Congrats and Thank you to the Mayor of Lynn, Judith Flanagan Kennedy, Jamie Marsh and the Office of Economic and Community Development, The Highlands Coalition, and the Lynn DPW for taking another part of Lynn and making it all that more special.  Nice work!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

November Brings Pop-up Boutiques, and Wearable Art to The Lynn Museum

November 12 thru December 23, museum hours Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 12-4pm, Thursday 12-8pm. 

  Haute Holiday is here! Shop locally at the Lynn Museum for your holiday gifts. This festive season features a Holiday Pop-Up Shop starting November 12 when you can shop inside our galleries for your favorite gifts from: Absolutely Creations, Bestbeading, Couture Planet, I Heart Arm Warmers, LD Designs, M and Zen, Treasure Beach and more!!  

Shoppertunity Openhouse Saturday, November 19, 12-4pm
Join the Lynn Museum for free admission to the museum and enjoy the exhibitions while you shop the pop-up shops from local artisans inside the museum galleries.  

Wearable Art’s Fashion Night Out Wednesday, November 30, 6pm 
  Enjoy a casual night out of fashion and fun as the Lynn Museum hosts an informal fashion show presented by Infinity Boutique and Jos A. Bank of Swampscott. Enjoy wine, cheese, holiday fashions and an opportunity to shop locally and support local vendors. $20 donation to support educational programs at the Museum.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

News from LynnArts - Open Studios on Nov 19th

There is a lot going on this month and it's all starting on NOVEMBER 19th!!! Lydia Pinkham Studios on Western Avenue will be open for those of you who wish to meet the artists and purchase some great items. This is one of the few times they open their doors to the public for this very unique opportunity. Also on this date, The Lynn Museum will have their pop-up holiday shops open. This year, LynnArts, at 25 Exchange Street in Central Square Lynn will also be opening their studios to the public. Arts After Hours is taking part this year by offering an open rehearsal from 1-4PM of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change in the Black Box theatre. Come on by and check out the musical in it's very initial stages of creation. It's going to be a great day for the Arts & Cultural District. Mark it on your calendars and spend the day with us! 

LynnArts Fabulous Holiday Show & Sale
November 19-December 30
Opening Reception, Saturday, December 3, 2-4pm

This December, LynnArts, Inc. is once again sponsoring a holiday exhibition and sale featuring fine arts and crafts.  The galleries will be filled with a selection of beautiful and affordable paintings, photographs, pottery, sculpture, cards and more, with many pieces priced at under $100.

The exhibition and sale runs from November 19 through December 30.  Gallery hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 10 am-5 pm, Thursday 10 am-8 pm and Saturday 11 am - 4 pm.

The opening reception will take place on Saturday, December 3 from 2-4pm with live music provided by the Erinn Brown Duo.  So come enjoy holiday cheer, fine art and friends and pick up a few one-of-a-kind gifts for your family, all while supporting local artists and your local arts agency.

LynnArts, Inc. is located at 25 Exchange Street in Lynn’s Central Square and is easily accessible by public transportation. Wheelchair access is available at the rear lower-level entry with prior notice. For more information on the LynnArts Fabulous Holiday Show & Sale or other LynnArts programs and events, please call LynnArts, Inc. at 781-598-5244

Holiday Art Studio Open House
November 19, 11-4pm

In conjunction with the opening of the Holiday Sale and the Lydia Pinkham Open Studios, LynnArts will be hosting an Open Studios on Saturday, November 19 from 11-4.  Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to meet the artists, musicians and performers that make LynnArts their home.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

VOTE TODAY, November 8th by 8PM!

Today is election day and it's an important one. It's time to get out there and be heard. There are a couple of statements I expect to be made today.

It's going to be a close battle for the top of the ticket in the Councilor At-Large race.

It's going to be the first time in many years where we're not looking at a row of white men. A white woman is about as far as we got in the past decade.

It's going to be the first time that we will be looking at a person on the council that is not a "life long Lynner," an annoying phrase used by so many. I even find myself gong into how my ancestors have been in Lynn since the 1700s. Blah Blah Blah. Who cares?

May we please inform ourselves so the best men and women win in today's election. Please click the links to the left on this blog to read what I have on Councilor At-Large and School Committee. Head over to and watch one debate at least. They are so short.

Then get to the polls before 8PM and be heard. Elections are close around here. The 4th spot in the At-Large race will be a tough race. The top spot on the At-Large race will be a tough race. School Committee is even harder to predict. Your vote does matter.

See you at the polls.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Saying Goodbye to My Little Friend

For those of you who have been to Fernando's website, you are greated with the picture of a Cuban sandwich and the slogan, "Say hello to my little friend."  While in Scarface, it's a reference to a sort of grenade launching machine gun, at Fernando's it was a little Cuban sandwich, that if you ever tried, you would understand why the slogan makes sense. It packed the most powerful punch in all of Lynn's Lunch places. Over the last 24 months, Juan has cooked delicious food yes, but more importantly, he was incredibly involved in the local community, and that was noticed and admired by many, including me.  I only wished I worked days in Lynn so I could have been there every single day.

I know Juan, and I know this isn't the last we're going to see of this brilliant chef. I look forward to new projects and hope to still get to taste his delights out at the Lynn events around town. While foot traffic and an incredible maze of one way streets are still our primary issues Downtown, we're making progress on at least one front. The new VNA building will be done soon, more artists lofts will be going in in Central Square and hopefully we'll see the next RCG project underway at 14 Central Ave.  Unfortunately for Fernando's it's too little, too late.  For Juan's next stop on this journey, the timing will be just right!
Juan Gonzales at Culturefest, his annual event on Munroe Street

Juan's message on Facebook read as follows:

Beloved Friends and Clients,
The last 24 months that each of you gave to us, for bringing you food made 100% fresh, each of our plates made ‘a la minute’, gave us a preference to taste our food. Today I gladly inform you that in search of finding perfection in the business and attention of client, Fernando’s will temporarily close its doors. The new Chef and owner will bring in different attitudes in the Gastronomical area. Don’t forget of supporting small and local businesses, and thank you for your support and preference.

Thank you very much for you preference.
Juan Gonzalez
Owner and Executive Chef.
Head on over to the Fernando's fan page on Facebook and give Juan a shout out!!
So, I'll say goodbye to my little friend for now (the Cuban, that is), but I'm not saying goodbye to Juan Gonzales and his amazing food. I know the best is yet to come.
Juan Gonzales at Arts After Hours Back Yard Bash 2010

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Insomnia. No Problem - Try this Net and Cahill Lullaby

I was having trouble sleeping last night and I did what any other hyperlocal blogger would do, I started overthinking the upcoming election. I started thinking, "what if it doesn't work out in the best way for Lynn's future?"

I wrote this soothing lullaby to the tune of "Rock-a-Bye Baby" You know the tune.

If you're having trouble sleeping, try singing this to yourself. Or if you know a Lynn voter who is having trouble sleeping, call them and sing this to them:

Hong Net, Dan Cahill
(rock - a ,  bye - baby)
Dan Cahill, Hong Net
(uh-on the, tree top)

Hong Net, Dan Cahill
Dan Cahill, Hong Net

Hong Net, Hong Net
Dan Cahill, Dan Cahill

Hong Net, Dan Cahill
Dan Cahill, Hong Net!

Sing this every night before sleep to make sure you check the right 2 boxes on November 8th.


Monday, October 31, 2011

Say it With Me: Hong Net and Dan Cahill

The blog has taken on many different shapes in the past 6 years. Starting as a commentary on loft living in a rather empty downtown, it grew into a commentary on what I was learning about how messed up our city government seemed to be. That mess went all the way to the top seat and this blog soon became a very politically charged resource for challengers of Chip Clancy, namely Judith Flanagan Kennedy. Over the past year or so, we've been insanely focused on downtown activity and producing art in DTL. So much so, that the blog has taken a back seat to rehearsals, productions, etc.

Once again, we find ourselves amidst a very important election. We are faced with choices for Councilor-at-Large this year on November 8th at the ballot box as well as School Committee.  Time for the blog to get political for a month or so. My apologies to those who hate it when it gets this way. I can't wait for the hate mail. That's always the most fun.

I witnessed the largest travesty in Lynn voting two years ago when this city failed to elect Eugene Schneeberg to City Council. Eugene had intelligence, passion, and experience working with the youth of this city. Eugene, however, didn't have a last name that screamed "LYNN" to everyone at the polls. We therefore found ourselves at City Hall on inauguration day staring at a panel of middle-aged white men once again. Eugene is now working with the U.S. Department of Justice and advisors to the President in Washington, D.C.

We are now in 2011 and have another chance. Another chance to not only better reflect the face of Lynn in our city government but bring in a leader with the experience and passion to make an actual difference. That leader is Hong Net. If you haven't yet done so, please read Hong Net's responses to the 3 questions from

Hong Net has a great platform, fantastic ideas, and through his campaign and current work as a child support enforcement officer, he has shown that he has the energy and follow-through to really make a difference. His experience is exactly what we need. I hope in this year's election you will consider filling in the circle next to Hong Net.

This year I'm only giving you one more name to remember. Dan Cahill. Two names, Hong Net and Dan Cahil. Yes, you can vote for four, but don't.

As many of my readers know, I have grown to really respect Dan Cahill. He is currently serving as Councilor-at-Large and seems to me to also be a bit of an outsider. He doesn't have family members riddled throughout city hall and various other departments. He doesn't just go along with whatever the council president wants and he is often seen in the Downtown area supporting our local restaurants and attends all of the many Downtown events. More than I can say for any other candidate. Dan is very experienced with city finance, government policy, and the state's involvement in our city politics. He is often the voice of reason in council session and is always questioning what we all wish someone would question. Without Dan Cahill, I fear what we would have seen coming out of the council this past year. Whether we are overreacting (Adult Entertianment / Dog Muzzles) or under reacting (Parking Department, City Budget), he is always keeping the council in check. He really should be the council president and I hope he runs again this year for that spot.

Buzzy Barton and Tim Phelan seem to be shoe ins. The other two need to be Hong Net and Dan Cahill, period.

Please vote on November 8th and as always, don't take my word for it. Watch the debates on and make up your own mind. If you decide to be lazy though, that's ok -  just remember two names: Hong Net and Dan Cahill.

VOTE VOTE VOTE - If you want change, it's the only way you're going to get it!

Happy voting,

Friday, October 28, 2011

Councilor At-Large Debate - Highlands Coalition

My notes from the Councilor at-large Debate from Monday, October 24th, 2011.  Candidate Buzzy Barton was not present.

One week ago, Candidates were given a number of questions that would be asked and will have 1 minute to give an answer. 

Please remember these are my NOTES, not meant to be their words, but simply what I heard. I can't stand some of these folks, but try to be fair and honest about what was said. But as I always say, don't take my word for it. Go listen for yourself at

Commentary on the election as well as endorsements from will be available this weekend right here on this blog.  I'm not going to tell you who not to vote for, but I will tell you who to vote for. If you only like 1 or 2 candidates, only check one or two boxes. Period.  

Please stay tuned.



Tim Phelan  - Lifelong Lynn resident, family has been in Lynn since the early 1800s, son daughter, wife, attorney - have been a member of the Lynn School Committee, wife and sister are teachers in Lynn. Dedicated to City of Lynn. Not afraid to stand up and take a position that he believes in. Not afraid to say something that will offend somebody. He'll never sit on the bench, you will always know where he stand

Robert Clay Wlash - running because he believes the city is in need of someone new. Born in Lynn, MA. After work in the dot com industry, he decided to work for Walsh's Oil Company. Through delivering oil got to know many of the residents of Lynn and their issues. Worked on the waterfront as a youth. With the cities focus on the waterfront plan, it is important we have a councilor who is familiar with the waterfront and has opinions and experience.

Steve Duffy - He says he is the candidate that has the most in common with all of us watching.  He has a small electrical business for 4 generations. He hopes he can come across as just, the only difference between anyone out in the audience and Steve Duffy is that he puts his name on a bumper sticker.

Miguel Funez - From honduras, came to Lynn in 1993. Moved here with wife and two kids, kids are now in college. He sees the city changing and becoming more diverse.

Hong Net - Born in Cambodia and came over to the United States. Went to high school and graduated from UMass with a degree in Political Science. After college he worked with a non-profit back in Cambodia working to build back their government in areas such as education, job creation, and tourism. Has taught immmigration and citizenship classes. Has worked with the Health Center to help young children stay away from drugs.

Paul Crowley - He served three terms on the Lynn City Council. Accounting degree from Northeastern. Exec. Director of Greater Lynn Senior Services. Born on Green Street. His first girlfriend grew up just a few blocks from here. He brings to the table a deep committment to this city and a strong background in finance, accounting, and management.

Dan Cahill - Great to be hear in the Highlands. He remembers playing basketball here as a kid. Important to have these forums. Been a pleasure to debate amongst these candidates all of which has worked tirelessly. Live in Lynn, went to public school. Is an attorney. Just had first child several weeks ago so he's vested in the City of Lynn.

Question 1 - What do you believe to be the top issue facing the highlands and how do you propose to address the issue?

Phelan - The single most important issue is crime, public safety. We need to put more police oficers on the street. Need to increase the commmunity policiing. We need to increase the commercial tax base to increase tax revenue so we'll have the funding to do that.

Walsh - The top issue for Ward 4 is the pride and perception of Ward 4. Important as we move forward in the future to highlight the wonderful things about Ward 4. High Rock Tower, Lynn Shore Drive, Red Rock Park. Light up High Rock Tower like the Zakim Bridge. Get private funding for this. Wonderful that we have a community school, a garden, and the Highlands Coalition. All of this needs to be highlighted to help with the perception and pride of Ward 4.

Duffy - Walking around Ward 4 the last few weeks, the most concerning thing he's heard is the lack of ability to communicate with City Hall and politicians. When you go to City Hall there is nobody there that can understand what your needs are or how to go about helping you.

Funez - Unemployment and Foreclosures - No one is stepping forward to help the residents. He has experience working with the banks. Train those who are losing their jobs. We need to work on these two issues.

Net - It appears that public safety is the issue for Ward 4. We have so many abandoned homes in Ward 4 that are breeding grounds for crime. However, Highlands are becoming a model. Salem was here recently for advice on how to get community involvement going in their city. Information sharing throughout the city on what's working in the Highlands is needed.

Crowley - public safety is a concern. Like to point out what he's done in the past for Ward 4. In foreclosure area, Crowley met with housing authority and departments in the city of lynn. Made it a a requirement to register the foreclosed property and pay $350 per year and tell us who is managing the property and allows us to use those funds to manage those properties

Cahill - Seems there are common threads across the city - public safety, good jobs, good education - need to start looking at the city as a whole. For Ward 4, we need to get voting back to the higlands. Want to see more accesibility to voting to all areas of the city by making some investments to make this happen.

Question 2 (Yes or No) Would you vote to hire youth in Summer Job Programs through a lottery system?

Moderator comments - There are some teens in Lynn who have received summer job opportunities multiple times while others have received none.

Phelan - Yes
Walsh - Yes
Duffy - Yes
Funez - Yes
Net - Yes
Crowley - Yes
Cahill - Yes

Question 3 (Yes or No) Would you sign a pledge to restore voting at the Ford School?

Moderator comments - After voting stopped at the Ford School, voter turnout significantly dropped off in Ward 4.

Phelan - If the School's Compliant with the America's Disability Act
Walsh - Yes
Duffy - Yes
Funez - Yes
Net - Yes
Crowley - Maybe
Cahill -Yes

Question 4 (to incumbents only) - Cite an example of a measure that you introduced to better our city. What challenges did this proposal face?

Crowley - (continuing from his last question) Force the banks to keep properties up and develop a fund using those fees to diminish the potential impact of blight on the neighborhoods. Move through the foreclosure process without decreasing property value.

Cahill - Trying to reduce people's alarms - businesses, car, home alarms - police having to go to these places over and over again. Dangerous when so many false alarms are taking away our fire and police from real emergencies as they must respond to every alarm to ensure it's not real this time. He put together a small measure that is having great success.

Phelan - This past year the head of the Lynn Restaurant Association started making incquiries into where he could put a strip club in the City of Lynn. Put together an ordinance that prohibits strip clubs coming into the city of Lynn. Caught a lot of heat for it from people in the Restaurant Assocaitions. Wrong message to send that show the morals of our city. Someone wants to go to a strip club, they can go to another city and not to the city of lynn.

Duffy - Buildings issue. Worked with Inspectional Services over the last few weeks in order to change the way we do business with the exterminator. Proposing to put on two full time exterminators, put on through the year and get a handle on this problem many neighborhoods in Lynn are facing.

Question 5 (to challengers only )  What is your top issue as a new candidate?

Walsh - Encourage new businesses to come to Lynn so we can provide jobs and create tax revenue. Solutions suggested is to create simplified guides to those who come to city hall. We need to expand the features of our website to do more online. Suggested forming a cabinet between department heads and local business leaders. Freeze the commercial tax rate.

Funez - One problem we have in Lynn that is concerning is the youth population. What are we doing to educate our youth? Create jobs for them and keep them occupied. Reduce the crime as when they reach 17, 18 years old they will be in the workforce and not on the streets.

Net - Unify Lynn - Want to work to empower residents to clean up our neighborhoods, share information, and participate in our government and our city. Would bring neighborhood crime watches and involve local police. Want to promote trust in our community. Vast experience doing this in Cambodia.


CAHILL - The residents make the city. That is the focus. With him, his decision making process, is after having conversations with people. We have a city that has some great infrastucutre.  Sometimes we focus too much on the negative, our own worst enemy. We need to work together and make this city a great place. Make sure the young people do want to raise their families here.

CROWLEY - Thank you to Dr. Crane and the Higlands Coalition and to all the candidates here tonight. In closing, Would like to say that he deeply cares about this city. It shows on a daily basis. Very capable in respect to finance and accounting and works to help make decisions that help this community.

NET - From listening to people I have seen Lynn pride in action.  Lots of sub-cultures, talents in this city. I believe we can make huge strides if we find ways to promote community engagement with the government.  He will continue to listen and learn from everyone to make Lynn a better place

FUNEZ - The city is a growing city of deiverse people. We need to elect officials that will work with the Mayor. People who will listen to you and bring those issues back to city hall. He says he is that person. His job is to listen.

DUFFY - Thank you. One of the things that has always... ten years on the school committee... remember Dr. Crane came up with a proposal ( missed the name of it ) where she didn't give up, didn't reverse. Duffy enjoys working with people like that. With the willpower of the people in this room, you guys will make the difference, it won't be him. He promises to do the best in the best interest of everyone and he will not side with one group and he will be open minded.

WALSH - Everyone who knows him knows that he comes from a blue collar family. Growing up nothing came easy. Sympothizes with the struggles of the people of Lynn. However, believes Lynn is on the verge of a changing tide. If you have seen him working at K of C, Friend of Lynn Woods, or even on his own campaign you know how hard he works. Vision is to encourage new business, develop the waterfront. We can bring back business to lynn, create jobs, and increase tax revenue

PHELAN - He could talk about what the city council has accomplished, but he is not about what happened yesterday. Stop patting ourselves on the back and move forward. I don't want you to vote for me because you know me or know someone in my family. I don't want you to vote for me because you like my posters or my bumper stickers. I want you to vote for me because you think I'm qualified and you think I'm fair. If you don't, you shouldn't vote for me.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Councilor-at-Large 2011 - Tim Phelan continues it's Election series with a Councilor At-Large roundup. I asked each of the candidates 3 questions. Here is the response from Tim Phelan.  To see more on this series, please visit the Lynn, MA Councilor At-Large 2011 Series.

1. Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school? What on your resume or in your life experience makes you qualified for this office?

I was born in Lynn Hospital and have lived in Lynn my entire life. My mother and father are both from Lynn as well. My family has made Lynn their home since the early 1800’s. I choose to stay in Lynn and raise my family here because I love this City. I grew up on Kings Beach Road and spent countless hours on the beach playing with many neighborhood kids as well as my brothers and sisters. I went to Brickett Elementary School, Eastern Junior High, currently called Thurgood Marshall Middle School, and graduated from Lynn English High School, as did my 8 siblings, father and grandfather. I earned a BA in Humanities from Providence College and JD from New England School of Law in Boston.

I worked for Neighborhood Legal Services in Lynn providing legal assistance to an indigent client base, as well as being a prosecutor in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office (SJC 3:03). I have also been a substitute teacher in the Lynn Public Schools and a tutor at North Shore Community College. I am a member of the Massachusetts Bar, the U.S. Federal District Court in Massachusetts, the U.S. Court of Military Appeals and the American Bar Association. I have worked as the Human Rights Coordinator for S.T.R.I.V.E and served on many boards raising money for important causes such as Catholic Charities North. I have volunteered and coached many youth teams over the years in Lynn Youth Soccer and St. Pius CYO Basketball. I am currently a practicing attorney. My family had a business on Nahant Street for 40 years. In 2003 the building was burned to the ground by an arsonist. My family again decided to invest in Lynn and purchased an old run down building in downtown. It was falling apart and infested with rats and pigeons. Since that time through a lot of elbow grease, hard work and investment the building and business is up and running currently hosting Dito’s convenience store on the first level. However the thing that makes me most qualified to run for office is that I am a husband, a father of two children, a homeowner and a taxpayer.

2. Why are you running for Councilor At-Large?
I am running for Councilor at Large because I believe I can make a difference. Since being in office I have always remained independent. I have made a point of this so I would never be beholding to any single group, organization or political action committee. The formula for failure is the elected official who tries to keep everyone happy or do what is politically correct or expedient. I do not live by this motto. I do what I believe needs to be done for the best interest of the City of Lynn, period. I will continue to do so for as long as I have the privilege of holding public office.

I believe I would be able to list a long list of accomplishments in my tenure being on the City Council. However I will not do so here because what happened yesterday is not important. It is what is going to happen tomorrow that is important. I bring energy, passion and fight to this position. I am not afraid to speak my piece and take hard stands for our City. You will always know where I stand on an issue as I am not one to stay in the background or sit on the fence. I will fight for the people of this City. That is why I am running.

3. What do you see that is in most need of change? How will you change it?

There are many issues that need changing. The foremost is the concern of Public Safety. Without safe streets and neighborhoods everything suffers, i.e. real estate values, downtown development, schools, the perception of our City, etc. The trickle down or domino effect of this is tremendously negative. We must increase funding for police, increase community policing so that they can get to the youth at a young age and educate children in our schools to the negatives involved in crime. If you do not keep kids busy, more likely that not, many will get in trouble. This starts with the availability of after-school programs to keep kids off the streets.

Thank you,
Tim Phelan

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

POWER of Lynn Event at Lucia Lighting

Great way to check out Lucia Lighting and support a great cause! 

POWER of Lynn welcomes you to join them for their Annual Fall Scholarship Fundraiser: Talk, Shop & Have a Pop! The event will be held on Thursday, October 20th from 5:00pm to 8:00pm at Lucia lighting and Design, 311 Western Ave. in Lynn. The event costs $10 (cash or check) at the door and includes food and wine tastings.

This evening includes a dozen tables of local artisan vendors offering jewelry, accessories, silk jackets, skin care products, note cards, pottery, artwork and much more. Enjoy a glass of wine while you shop and network and then take a break to enjoy delicious finger foods some favorite local restaurants. All proceeds from admission and raffle ticket sales go to this year's beneficiary, North Shore Community College.

POWER of Lynn is the no-cost, no-rules networking group made up of women who live, work or just love being in Lynn. All are welcome! Sign up at

For more details on the event click here:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Friday Night - Award-Winning Cabaret Artist Jan Peters Comes To Lynn!

Arts After Hours and SPIN will present It’s a North Shore Thing featuring cabaret artist Jan Peters with the Tom LaMark Trio on Friday October 21st, 2011 at LynnArts on 25 Exchange Street, Lynn, MA 01901. Tickets are $35 for cabaret table seating and $25 for general seating. For more information, visit http:// or call the box office at 781-205-4010.

Prior to her move to Pennsylvania five years ago, Jan Peters was awarded every honor you could bestow on such a performer in Boston. The Improper Bostonian Best Cabaret Act of 2005, Independent Reviewers of New England Best Female Cabaret Artist of 2002, Bay Windows Best Cabaret Performer of 2002, and a 1999 Eugene O’Neill Cabaret Symposium Fellow, to say Ms. Peters is critically acclaimed would be an understatement.

The show, It’s a North Shore Thing, is a mix of old and new songs, some of the numbers people have come to expect and enjoy, some new material, and some funny tunes. There is an audience participation number planned, and a great trio led by musical director/pianist, Tom LaMark. Selections from Broadway and The Great American Songbook are all woven together with funny stories to celebrate her return to Massachusetts and to her new home on The North Shore!

“I have very fond memories of The North Shore,” says Jan Peters. “When I was a kid my family would spend many summer Sunday's visiting my Aunt and cousins and going to the beach. My fear of heights originated right on the Revere Beach Ferris wheel. It got stuck at the top when they were loading up new riders. I can still remember swinging in the breeze high above the beach holding onto my Dad's hand for dear life!”

The show will take place in the state of the art Rantoul Black Box Theatre right in Downtown Lynn’s Central Square. “The arts scene in Downtown Lynn is becoming more and more collaborative every day,” says Corey Jackson, Managing Director. “Ms. Peters was introduced to us by a local Central Square businessman, a supporter of Arts After Hours, and someone who has followed Jan Peter’s amazing career for years. When we got to sit down and listen to her thrilling voice, we knew we had to bring her to Lynn.”

This show continues Arts After Hours and SPIN’s collaboration on several cabaret and jazz events to increase cultural activity and drive more people Downtown. Mark DeJoie, Executive Director of SPIN says, "It's great to see so many people coming downtown to engage in the arts. The cultural activity and commerce that occurs in the Downtown as a result is truly having a profound impact on the Lynn community as a whole."

Free parking is readily available near the theatre. For directions to LynnArts facility, visit http:// For tickets, visit or call 781-205-4010.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Permission to leave Downtown - Go to B&N in Peabody

Join LynnArts and the Lynn Museum for their book fair at Barnes & Noble in Peabody Saturday, October 15th.. If you purchase any books, magazines, or food items that day at any Barnes and Noble store they will donate a portion of the the sales to LynnArts & The Lynn Museum. You can also shop on-line from 10/15-10/20. Just be sure to say that you are shopping for the LynnArts/Lynn Museum Book Fair! BOOKFAIR ID 10551455. They’ll be organizing all kinds of great activities at the Peabody store including live music, special activities for kids and an art exhibition. The Peabody Barnes and Noble is located at 210 Andover Street in Peabody (behind the North Shore Mall). So start your holiday shopping early and support arts and history in Lynn! For more information visit

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lynn Police Department Gets Grant for 200K

Boston - Tuesday, Senator Thomas M. McGee (D-Lynn), Representative Robert F. Fennell (D-Lynn), Representative Steven M. Walsh (D-Lynn), Representative Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead, and Representative Donald Wong (R-Saugus) announce that Lynn has been awarded $202,143 for community policing.

In conjunction with the Safe and Successful Youth program, the Shannon Community Safety Initiative and the upcoming allocation of Edward A. Byrne Justice Assistance Grant funding, this award for police staffing is part of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s effort at directing over $22 million in resources to reduce crime and strengthen our communities. This funding was made available through an amendment in the budget that was filed. During the budget deliberations, Representative Steve Walsh co-sponsored the amendment in the House, and Senator McGee co-sponsored the amendment in the Senate. “This comprehensive effort is designed to engage law enforcement agencies, municipalities, and community based organizations to work together to reduce violence in our neighborhoods,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Mary Elizabeth Heffernan. Senator McGee said, “I was glad to work with the members of the Lynn delegation to make sure that this amendment was included in this year’s budget.

These funds will help to continue the efforts to keep police on our streets. It is important that violence preventions remain a priority for our city.” Representative Robert Fennell said, “I am very pleased that during these tough economic times the legislative delegation has been able to work together and provide the additional funding the Lynn Police Department needs to continue in their efforts to keep our streets and neighborhoods safe.”

“I am thrilled that Lynn was one of the few communities chosen to receive this police department staffing assistance,” said Representative Walsh. “Having more available officers not only helps to keep our neighborhoods safe, but provides more opportunities for our police force to engage with local organizations and participate in public safety initiatives.”

“This is great news for the City of Lynn and its police department,” said Representative Ehrlich. “I am thrilled that the city will be able to use these funds to keep more officers on the streets to advance public safety through community policing.”

“I am grateful to hear that the Lynn Police Department will be receiving additional funding for the Community Policing Program,” said Representative Donald Wong.“The bi-partisan efforts of the lawmakers that represent Lynn further illustrates our ongoing commitment to public safety both in Lynn and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

Monday, September 26, 2011

Jan Peters, award winning cabaret artist, coming to Downtown Lynn

Jan Peters has been in Philadelphia for the past five years and has left a gaping hole in Boston's entertainment scene. I am happy to announce that Arts After Hours and SPIN are filling this hole after finding out that Ms. Peters now lives on the North Shore. She will be entertaining a Downtown Lynn audience on October 21st at LynnArts in the Rantoul Black Box Theatre. Tickets are now on sale and I can honestly say that they won't last. Get in on this special night in Downtown Lynn as we welcome Jan Peters to the North Shore in her triumphant return to the Boston cabaret scene.

Take a listen to the amazing voice of Jan Peters! 

Check our for even more clips. Tickets can be purchased right now at or by calling 781-205-4010.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Tons of Empty Storefronts? Well, sort of...

I'm reading a book right now called Life Inc. and it would suggest to me that 80% of you are going to be mad I am posting this. The other 20% are the ones that actually seek change. Our short term property value problem is going to become our long term property value problem if we don't start to embrace some key issues and get creative on how to resolve them. 

Kevin Sampson asked if I would post an editorial about his recent trials and tribulations in trying to open a store in Downtown Lynn. Here is what he has to say:

Guest post from local resident and once potential downtown business owner, Kevin Sampson

Earlier this year I set out to secure commercial space in downtown Lynn for a business that I planned to open. I had toyed with the idea of opening my own business for years but it seemed like the stars were finally aligned. I was meeting the right people, making the right connections, finding investors, gathering the support of local city officials and had a wonderful team of friends and neighbors supporting me and working with me to make my dream become a reality. Everything was going well until the search for commercial space began.

Take a quick walk around downtown Lynn and one would easily surmise that there are tons of options. Just ask the VNA. According to them and others, additional retail space at our gateway was unnecessary given how many empty store fronts we have in the downtown. I guess I was naïve because I honestly expected to find a space relatively easily. Boy was I wrong.

The spaces that are available in my opinion are class C at best. Downtown Lynn does not have any class A commercial spaces and class B would be a generous evaluation for most. The empty spaces are in shambles. What do I mean by that? I mean, no HVAC systems, no functioning bathroom, improper means of egress, faulty electrical work, non-secure access, improper fire wall separation, deteriorating floors…..

When spaces are so below code or just require a HUGE amount of work just to get it clean what kind of businesses are they going to attract? Certainly not the kind of businesses that most every resident I speak to who lives in DTL are hoping for. I don’t expect landlords to roll out the red carpet but I would expect at the very least that they have the space UP TO CITY CODE. I expect landlords to make their properties attractive to potential business. If you go to sell your house you stage it. You don’t white out the windows, leave graffiti on the façade, or keep piles of trash in the space. I guess you do if you don’t want your house to ever sell.

 I think landlords have a lot of nerve to expect a potential tenant to put tens of thousands of dollars of improvements into their spaces JUST to bring it up to code so that the space is eligible for an occupancy permit. I don’t expect a landlord to do any special build out, or lighting, or signage or any of the usual things a business does to outfit a space. Of course that is the responsibility of the business who is seeking to open. But I do expect landlords to have their spaces up to code and present a blank canvas to potential tenants who can then put their mark on the space with the build out. I think it is deplorable to have a landlord say, “I’d rather keep the space empty and wait for someone else to bring it up to code”. I am glad EDIC is working so hard to develop DTL. It will be years, if ever, before someone comes along and says, “Sure I will spend $30k+ just to bring a space up to code”.

The quality of the spaces is not the only issue. I was really unhappy with the lack of what I consider to be ethical business practices. I don’t do deals under the table. I don’t appreciate property managers not being up front with information about spaces. I don’t appreciate real estate agents not being honest about whom they are representing (me or the landlord).  All of those situations left a bad taste in my mouth.

So if you are willing to deal with some of the ethical ambiguity, if you are willing and able to spend huge sums of money to get a space safe and functional, if you are ready to take a risk of opening a new business in a downturned economy in a city that has been fighting a nasty reputation, then you get the reward of paying in some cases $13-15 per square foot. That’s the kicker! I am amazed at the rent prices for the area. A trusted real estate professional had shared with me that based on market value a reasonable price per square foot should be $10-11 at most.

I used to wonder why most businesses didn’t come to downtown Lynn. After my experience I understand why. I wonder how many other people like me tried and gave up when they realized just how terrible the inventory is.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Exhibitions at LynnArts

Small Works
Time Warner Gallery
September 24-November 2
Opening: Saturday, September 24, 2-4pm

Check out the opening of Small Works, this Saturday, September 24th from 2-4pm.  The show features the work of 28 Greater Boston area artists creating beautiful and complex work from a variety of media.  Small Works was juried by Lauren Johnston Winsor, Public Art & Donor Development Coordinator for the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA).  Ms. Winsor has over five years experience coordinating the public art programs at the NEFA in Boston. Working closely with individual artists and non-profit organizations, Winsor develops grant programs and provides technical assistance for public projects locally, regionally, and nationally. Ms. Winsor is active in organizing professional opportunities for the field through a networking and lecture series for artists and the launch of an online forum for public art in New England.  She regularly lectures on public art at colleges and universities across Massachusetts and has served as an artist juror for numerous commissions, grants and gallery shows in Attleboro, Boston, and Lowell, MA as well as in Portsmouth, NH.   
The Small Works artists include:
Brighton, MA:  Ronni Komarow
Cambridge, MA: Laura Carmen Arena
East Boston, MA:  Maureen O’Connor
Framingham, MA: Carol Blackwell
Georgetown, MA: Sandra Golbert
Haverhill, MA:  Linda Germain
Lexington, MA: Ania Gilmore
Lynn, MA: Pauline Bacon, Rolf Flor, Melenie Melanphy, Nadine Mitchell, Steve Negron, Jean Noyes, Heather Meri Stewart, Barry Ridlon, Joseph White
Malden, MA:  C-J Stevens
Marblehead, MA: Holly Chin, Betty Ann Downs, Barbara Rafferty, TANYA, Sandra Winter
Melrose, MA:  Kathy Mohan
Middleton, MA: Lisa Bohnwagner
Newburyport, MA: Tricia Jones
Salem, MA:  Janet Albert, Sara Ashodian,
Swampscott, MA: Robin Samiljan

Beyond the Book: an Exhibit of Books as Art
Willow Community Gallery
September 24-November 2
Opening: Saturday, September 24, 2-4pm

Recent work by: Jennifer Berringer, Carol Blackwell, Laura Davidson, Ania Gilmore, Margret Hall, Ronni Komarow,
Peter Madden, Stephanie Stigliano and Annie Zeybekoglu.

Plus a collaborative book by Ann Forbush, Ania Gilmore, Anna Leliwa, Monica Mitchell, Jan Powell, Annie Silverman, Carolyn Swift,
and Annie Zeybekoglu

Ronni Komarow, Curator

Artists have loved books for hundreds of years.  Though the artist’s book as a specific category of art is relatively new; it validates and celebrates artist’s passion for this format.  Artists who work in book-like formats love how a book feels, they love the concept of opening a cover and turning pages, and they love the gradual unfolding of a book’s content.  Book artists self-publish in unique formats that area specifically designed to illuminate and embellish the book’s meaning.

This selection of books is the culmination of more than 4 years of exhibiting by this group and represents an invitational of some of their finest work.  The work will be on display at LynnArts through November 2nd.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

VOTE - We're Awfully Loud the Rest of the Year, Be Heard Today!

The primary does matter. It's very likely one of your better candidates won't make it to the final round if you don't get out and vote! Hope you've had the chance to watch at least one question answered from the Council debate and read the responses from those who bothered to respond to the questions to the candidates. 

Get out and vote. At 12:30 today they were just getting to 100 votes in Ward 5 precinct 4. That's US, Downtown Lynn. Where are you? We have to be loud today. Council choices go from 10 to 8. It does matter to vote in this primary.

You have until 8PM. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Councilor At-Large 2011 - Dan Cahill continues it's Election series with a Councilor At-Large roundup. I asked each of the candidates 3 questions. Here is the response from Dan Cahill.  To see more on this series, please visit the Lynn, MA Councilor At-Large 2011 Series.

1. Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school? What on your resume or in your life experience makes you qualified for this office?
Though I grew up in Lynn for the majority of my childhood and entire adult life, I actually lived in Stoneham, Massachusetts for my first seven years.  My parents, both born and raised in Lynn, moved to that community following my father's military career.  It was not long before my parents decided to move back to Lynn, to be closer to family and provide me and my two older brothers a more diverse community in which to learn and grow in.  I grew up on the beach in Lynn, one of the most amazing environments for a young person.  I attended the Brickett Elementary school before going on to graduate from Eastern Junior High (now Thurgood Marshall Middle School), and Lynn English High School in 1997.  My secondary education includes a BS in Political Science from Northeastern University, a Masters in Political Science from Suffolk University, and a law degree from Suffolk Law.

My academic background in political science studies, as well as my law degree, may appear to be the strongest qualifying factors for my candidacy.  However, I feel my personal experiences working with people and within government has produced a skill set well suited for elected office.  Working at my parents' small business from a young age and well into my adult life, I was able to sharped communication skills by dealing with a vast array of different personalities and issues.  My mother was responsible to getting me involved early in political campaigns throughout Lynn, holding my first sign on a street corner for Robert Dugas, candidate for Ward 2 Councilor in the early 1990's.  Since then, I have involved myself on many campaigns at all levels, worked at the Massachusetts State House, the Essex County District Attorney's Office, and currently work as an attorney focusing on public policy and government relations at municipal, state, and federal levels.

Along with my two terms on the Lynn City Council, I also served two terms on the Lynn School Committee, and currently serve on two school committees for two regional high schools, both gubernatorial appointments.  I have a firm grasp on government at all levels and continue to stay involved in many different capacities, all producing the necessary experience to best serve the residents of Lynn.

2. Why are you running for Councilor At-Large?
I derive a tremendous amount of enjoyment being your Councilor-at-Large.  The events I experience and the people I meet, make this position a rewarding adventure.  It is the desire to help residents, fix problems, and improve our community that drives me each day to do my best.  I continue running for Councilor-at-Large because in this capacity I can utilize my knowledge, experience, and skill in a manner that positively impacts the lives of Lynners.

That being said, I also see a need for strong leaders in Lynn that can do what is right instead of what is convenient.  I have the best interest of the City when making decisions, not the best interest of one particular group or person.   We need to make practical decisions for our City's future and stop continuing to miss opportunities for the padding of someones ego or personal gain.  Be rest assured, when a resident is left scratching their head after an errant decision made by our City, I am scratching my head as well and will go the extra mile to question that decision and hold those accountable for the choices made.   

3. What do you see that is in most need of change? How will you change it?
I am not quite sure if we can point to any one specific issue that needs changing in Lynn without affecting or addressing a multitude of other topics.  At the macro level, the three biggest challenges we face as a community are public safety, economic development, and quality public education.  Aside from these core issues, I believe what also needs improvement is the  public perception outside our four corners.  Lynn offers quality amenities that people look for in a community.  We are fortunate to have beautiful beaches, expansive woods, clean ponds and streams, a municipal golf course, access to public transportation, and a diverse community with worldly experiences.  Changing Lynn's perception as a gritty old mill city starts with making wise improvements that residents can be proud of.  In an effort to promote Lynn, I personally utilize its amenities and often do so with people from neighboring communities, leaving them with a positive perception of the City.  The most effective way to change Lynn for the better, is to do so from within, utilizing its strengths and embracing its weaknesses. 

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