Happy 4th of July weekend to all and I hope the rain forecasted for today, stays away until after the afternoon cookouts are held. Before we look at the column a couple of stories caught my attention in today’s Sun.
Dave Pevear and Jim Campanini put together a serious of questions in a TEST YOUR FOURTH OF JULY I.Q quiz. Not sure I’d agree that this is really a 4th of July quiz (more like a History Test for the A/P class) but I did get 6 out of 15. Here are 2 questions from the quiz (answers at the end of the post)
Twenty-seven years after writing the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson on July 4, 1803, as president, made the formal announcement that: A. He was freeing his slaves B. The United States had purchased the Louisiana territory from France C. The University of Virginia was being established D. The tax on whiskey was being repealed
In the 1779 sea battle aboard the Bonhomme Richard, Capt. John Paul Jones uttered the famous words “I have not yet begun to fight” to the commander of this British gunship.
A. HMS Drake B. HMS Serapis C. Countess of Scarborough D. HMS George III
Dave Peaver has a touching story on the front of the sports page on Lowell Catholic’s retired Athletic Director Mickey Sullivan titled, Mickey Sullivan: Retired, yes; resigned no, Jenn Myers has a story about Lowell raising funds to keep pools open and Debbie Hovanasian has a profile of Rev. Peter Lovett, pastor of Lowell’s Christ Church United in a story titled Lowell pastor turns passion for cycling into fundraiser to house homeless families Has always subscribe to the E-edition or Home delivery of pick up a copy of the ONLY Daily regional newspaper that spotlights Lowell and gives you the best coverage of your city and its happenings.
In the Political Column it opens and closes with references to outgoing Supt. Chris Scott. Opening with a quote from her “In Cambridge education politics is a blood sport, but on the side they play golf. In Lowell, education politics is a blood sport, but the secondary sport is boxing without gloves,”
It concludes with mentioning she was “named superintendent- in-residence at the Community Training Center in Boston” and states it was learned by The Sun (hmm wonder who would tell them this?) state Department of Education, in analyzing preliminary data of the state’s Level 4 turnaround schools, has ranked Lowell’s Murkland School among the top achievers for improving student performance. The information is embargoed until an official report is released later this year. The Murkland School, according to the source, appears to have accomplished in one year what the state was mandating it do in three years. “The results surpass all other turnaround efforts. They are impressive,
The last lines take a shot at a couple of school committee members: It should be noted that Scott’s decision to bring in outside consultants to work with the Murkland School staff to develop and implement a turnaround plan was roundly criticized by School Committee members Jackie Doherty and Connie Martin.
GN: I usually save by responses for later but in point of fact the issue was NEVER bringing in consultants, that happens routinely but Connie Martin’s actual objection was they were being asked in NOVEMBER to pay for them AFTER they had begun the work and it wasn’t even THESE consultants.
From MY Blog in Feb 2011: C Martin answering a question: My comments during open meetings reflected my concerns about the mishandling of the Teach for Teachers consultant contract as well as the significant policy changes that were implemented at the Molloy Alternative High School. Most troubling for me was the emerging fact that despite my attempts to ask the Administration for accurate and factual information on these issues, it wasn’t provided.
For example, it was only when I made an official request to see the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s grant documentation that we were able to see that the Superintendent’s multiple statements that the grant would not allow any salary charges was inaccurate. We then learned that these same consultants had been working in the district since September with no contract. The committee was asked to vote on a contract that was being back-dated to September to allow retroactive payment. This was inappropriate both on the part of the Superintendent in allowing work to be done when a contract had not been approved and, in my mind, was bad governance on the part of the School Committee for voting to pay a questionable bill. I understood why my colleges chose to approve the bill and that the individual consultants were in no way to blame for the way their contract was mishandled but the fact remains, it is a bad financial practice to allow the district to incur liability for expenses when they have not been appropriately voted on.
Anyway back to the Column, it mentions Mayor Jim Milinazzo was more liberal with his gavel this week allowing councilor Caulfield and Elliot to bring up items not on the agenda.
Takes a shot at Councilor Patrick Murphy twice, once for not supporting and in fact taking his own shot at Councilor Elliot over the releasing of names for those who apply to boards and parks and the other for filing 10 motions this week because he may need to have back surgery later this month, so he is not sure he will be able to attend the council’s upcoming meetings. Instead of compassion they insult him stating he he could sound like John F. Kennedy for half of them and Robert Kennedy for the other half.
The column follows up on Councilor Bud and his attack on the City Solicitor for not rendering an opinion in 2006 even AFTER she pointed out NONE was asked for! Bud didn’t care about that fact and just replied “I don’t agree with one thing you said,”
They mention Lowell Police Supt. Ken Lavallee returning from the three-week Senior Executive Program in State and Local Government at Harvard’s JFK School of Government and reviews MIDDLESEX SHERIFF Peter J. Koutoujian changes in his high-level personal positions.
A few other things…
Councilor Rodney Elliot seems to want to ignore his earlier remarks from 2006 when he said “he was not trying to interfere with Lynch’s authority and that he “knew some people may not want to have their names released.” but because he is in a tough fight to get re-elected doesn’t seem to care about what people’s feelings are now and only wants the papers approval and support instead of caring about what the public wants.
Ed Kennedy trying a comeback reminds me of an old Boxer trying a comeback after losing his last few fights and wanting one more shot at glory.
Speaking of fighters, pick up a copy of the July Edition of the Valley Patriot where I use the interest and success of THE FIGHTER to rank the Council, School Committee and Greater Lowell Tech races. Here’s a little sample:
Rita Mercier – Heavyweight, Undisputed Champ who will reign has long has she wants
Marty Lorrey – junior/bantamweight, Long time sparring partner who’s stepping into his first solo fight. Will show he has trained long and hard and is ready.
Paul Belley – junior/welterweight, lost his first fight but has been training since. Battler with a never give up attitude, will fight to the end
The Incumbents – Dave Conway – Cruiserweight, Two fights to run away wins. Will again be tops and is firmly entrenched
The Challengers – Kristen Ross Sitcawich – junior/welterweight, Lost a heavyweight fight in 2007 but recovered and has the experience to capture the one uncontested seat. A real gamer
Have a Happy and Safe July 4th Weekend.
B.The United States had purchased the Louisiana territory from France Purchasing 828,000 square miles for $11.2 million from France more than doubled the size of the United States;
B. HMS Serapis