Sunday, August 28, 2011

We Go Both Ways!

I remember a meeting with the Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce a while ago where I asked what they felt was the number one issue to solve in Downtown Lynn. The answer, "one way streets." Living in Central Square, I never really thought about it much as it didn't really present me with any issues. When you think about it though, all the streets I use to get to Central Square are one way in my favor. It turns rather sour, really fast, when they are not in your favor. Try and get to Essex Street or Oxford from Market Street without really knowing Lynn and you're screwed.

Washington Street is a two way street until you hit Downtown. Union Street is a two way street except for one tiny section in front of the Capitol Diner. Essex Street is a two way street until you hit the Courthouse. Exchange Street is a two way street that turns into a one way Central Square which forks off into a one way Central Ave (different than Central Square) and a one way Willow Street.  Munroe, Oxford, Andrew... the list goes on.  Even opening up a few of these would make it so much easier to get where you need to do business downtown.

I just moved to Sloan Machinery Lofts right across from the courthouse and City Hall. Why I can't take a left out of my driveway to go down Essex Street  or over to Washington is beyond me.  One would also assume it would make sense that after taking a right on Essex, I would be able to go left onto Market Street (our major retail corridor) - NOPE, you must either go down Central and then find another one way to get over to Market, or go over towards the Common and figure out how to u-turn and get on to Market that way.

I know this has been an issue in our city for some time and it was quoted to me as one of the number one problems by LACC probably 3 years ago. So, what about it? Anyone else having trouble here? Anyone like the way it is?

Once again, I find myself asking, Why doesn't this city seem to have a planner on staff? Don't hire another consulting firm, hire a city planner.


Friday, August 26, 2011

School Committee 2011 - Charlie Gallo

I asked each of the candidates 3 questions. Here is the response from Charlie Gallo.  To see more on this series, please visit the Lynn, MA School Committee 2011 Series.

- 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?

Thank you for the opportunity to say a few words.

I graduated from Suffolk Law School in 2009, which I attended at night while working during the day. In 2005, I became the first member of my family to graduate from college, earning my Bachelors Degree from Suffolk University. In 2001, I earned my diploma from St. Mary’s High School, which I attended on both need-based financial aid and merit-based scholarships. I also attended Pickering Middle School, Sisson Elementary School, and Sacred Heart, all in Lynn. I am a fourth generation Lynn resident, and became a homeowner last year.

I work as an attorney, and will use my legal training to be an advocate for the Lynn Public Schools. School Committee members can be advocates in several ways – including for funding from city and state sources, but also for the students themselves. We must publicize the good that comes out of our schools, essentially advocating for our students’ reputation as they prepare for life beyond the classroom. I’ve already started to do this in a small way by posting positive newspaper stories about our students on the Charlie Gallo for Lynn School Committee Facebook page.

My candidacy is unique in that I am the only candidate who currently teaches. My course in State and Local Government meets at North Shore Community College one night per week. While I do not equate my teaching experience with those who teach at elementary or secondary school on a daily basis, I do believe that my background as a community college instructor will provide a practical basis for some of the decision-making and debate on the School Committee.

- Why did you choose to run for School Committee?

I am running for the School Committee because education has always been important to me. Our students deserve a quality education, and the future of our city requires that they receive one.

In addition to my background as an attorney and community college instructor (explained above), I offer a unique candidacy in light of my age. At 28 years old, I am the only candidate under the age of 40.

We have great history in Lynn. It is important to honor our past, as well as respect, learn from, and work with those who have spent all or much of their lives here. Still, we must recognize that one of the big problems that Lynn faces is that younger people are moving out faster than they are moving in. Many feel that they do not have an opportunity to have their voice heard, and they move out in their 20s and 30s. I am pleased to see a reversal of that trend in Downtown Lynn, for example, where many younger people are actually moving into the city and making a positive impact on the community. I want to build on that progress.

If elected, I will be in a position to lead by example, showing that there is an opportunity for younger residents to give back to the community and to our most important asset: the public schools, which will shape the future of our city.

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

One of the changes that I have been advocating for is to televise School Committee meetings. I understand that doing so may now be in the works. I applaud Lynn Happens for posting some of the recent meetings online, but recognize that many people are without high speed internet or even a computer. Many people cannot attend meetings because of transportation issues, work schedules, or family commitments. For these and all people in Lynn, School Committee meetings must be televised.

Televising meetings is important in and of itself, but really is about the bigger issue of open and honest government. This extends to being accessible to the public. If elected, I will return phone calls, respond to emails, and be available to meet face to face with parents and community members, so that they are able to be a meaningful part of the process.

Another change is to bring some creative and new approaches to the table, as we work towards the betterment of our schools. One area is funding, especially in tough economic times. Specifically, we should increase our investment in grant writing as a means to having smaller class sizes, more teachers, and improvements to the school buildings. Another is by teaming up with local businesses and nonprofits, to prepare our students for the real world. We should use the community as a resource to help our students learn about civics, personal finance, the arts, trades, and life skills that too often fall outside of the formal curriculum.

Lastly, I welcome input from the readers of this blog. Please feel free to email or call me at 781-592-9498 with your ideas, questions, comments, and concerns. I also invite you to check out or find Charlie Gallo for Lynn School Committee on Facebook. Thank you for your time in reading this post, and for your consideration of me for one of your votes for the Lynn School Committee.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Wizard of Oz Re-scheduled Due to Possible Storms

 The Wizard of Oz has been canceled by the company bringing the movie due to the possibilities of thunderstorms. The movie will be shown same time same place next Friday night.

New Details:
Red Rock Park  at 8:30PM on 8/26/2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Happy Birthday to Arts After Hours

Tonight Arts After Hours celebrates one year in existence.  It all started one year ago with the Back Yard Bash as we sat around a table wondering what the hell happened to the Third Thursday events in DTL. Now, it's not even important anymore, as so many groups have come alive downtown. SPIN's recent work on the Photography in Central Square and Cabaret Series in partnership with AAH, RAW Art Works work on the utility boxes in Central Square and other areas of the city, Building Bridges Thru Music, Lynn Museum's conversion to a first class event space, LynnArts gallery shows, NSCC PAC, Mass Theatrica, Urban Wine Project jazz series at Turbine Wine Bar, the Lynn Auditorium is ripping it up, and I could go on. I'm sure I just pissed someone off with that list. Lists are dangerous that way, but you get my point.

Tonight is not just a celebration of local art, music, food, and performing arts. It is about the life and energy of our downtown. We keep it going by supporting everything in that list above. I hope you will make it out to the Back Yard Bash this year. It is an event we are really proud of putting together. The courtyard is going to have jewelry making, paintings, glass blowing, crafts, and photography. The park will have live rock music from Black Dog Brother, Mean Creek (winner of Best Boston Act in Boston Phoenix Music Poll), and The Cinnamon Fuzz. For sale in the park, we will have a local professional chef, Greg Gray from GFB Consulting, serving up Italian Sausage, Caribbean Jerk Chicken on skewers, and Roasted Corn on the Cob with Parmesan cheese and Cajun spice. All I can say is, yum! Turbine Wine Bar will be there selling from their award winning wine and beer list.

Help us make this one hell of a birthday party. Get your tix right now at or by calling 781-205-4010.

and most importantly... thanks for all the support over the last year. Without the audience, we have nothing.

Let's Rock!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Public Art Display in Central Square

Great Photography project taken on by SPIN INC in Lynn, MA with the help of the United Way Mass Bay. Check it out.

Photo Project in Downtown Lynn Unveiled at 2PM on Thursday, August 11th

Short post to alert folks to a great arts initative headed up by SPIN and their summer jobs program funded by United Way. The youth along with a professional photographer have taken some great photographs. These have been blown up to ten feet by eight feet posters which are currently hanging in Central Square on the MBTA commuter rail walls on the corner of Exchange and Union. At 2PM Thursday, August 11th, SPIN will be unveiling these photos to the public, the Mayor of Lynn will be speaking, and people from SPIN will be on hand to talk about how they are getting into the Arts in a big way over the next few months.

Check it out. I'll post pictures and video later today.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

North Shore Navigators Playoffs Begin 8/3 at 6:15PM

I remember last year watching twitter as our home town North Shore Navigators made it all the way to the Championship and won it. It all begins again tonight as they take on the Sanford Mainers. Yes, you heard me right, the Mainers.  They don't seem all that clever with team naming up there in Maine, now do they. In any case, the game is tonight at Fraser Field at 6:15PM.

Photo courtesy of the North Shore Navigators
This is when home town baseball gets even more exciting as the best teams from around the league start coming to Lynn to take on our Navigators. Lucky for us, our Navigators are one incredible group of players.

Playoff tickets are available now and fans can purchase by calling the team box office at (781) 595-9400 or by going online at

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Downtown Lynn 5K - Clock to the Rock - Sign Up Now!

Print the image below and send your check to the Chamber of Commerce to get in on this 5K race now! This is a very fun event every year and a great way to experience Downtown Lynn and the Diamond District. Central Square to LynnArts down to Broad Street, up into the gorgeous Diamond District, down to Lynn Shore Drive, and back to Central Square.

This is an image below, right click on the image, and view it on a new page. Then print and return to the address on the document:


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