A story as old as time.

•December 2, 2013 • Leave a Comment


Lowell Sun

LOWELL — The Jerathmell Bowers House is reputed to have had a trapdoor that provided access to the attic where family members hid during Indian raids.

The house at 150 Wood St., formerly part of Chelmsford and named after a man who was a captain in the local militia, was designated a garrison house that could provide protection to neighbors in case of an Indian attack. It was also once part of a more than 100-acre farm.

Built in 1673, the home, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is the oldest building in Lowell.

But the future of the white, 1 1/2-story structure, which has had several additions over the years, has been a topic of debate before two city boards in recent weeks.

The historic home has come into the spotlight in the midst of Kazanjian Enterprise Inc.’s proposal to build two new commercial buildings at 150 Wood St., including a Lowell Five branch with a drive-through window.

It’s comforting to know that the advent of civilized Lowell required having to hide from unruly neighbors, and here we are 340 years later still observing the same practice.  I wonder what Jerathmell Bowers would think of Lowell today?  Who was tougher, the Latin Kings or a couple of Chief Passaconaway’s braves?   

…and there goes the neighborhood.

•December 15, 2010 • 1 Comment

Lowell Sun

LOWELL — Every night before going to bed, Gail Nagle, 64, checks on her boyfriend, Armand Viollete, 74, to make sure he is comfortable. Last Thursday, she was horrified with what she found: dozens of cockroaches scurrying over the bed.

“I told him to get up and get out of the bed. There were roaches everywhere,” Nagle said yesterday. “He lifted the mattress, and there were more.”

Viollete is blind and suffers from bladder cancer, chronic back pain and a heart aliment. Nagle is also legally blind and undergoes dialysis treatments three times a week for kidney disease. But her failing vision can detect motion. The crawling swarm of insects were unmistakeable.

The couple have lived in the Lowell Housing Authority’s 399-unit Bishop Markham housing projects on Gorham Street for five years. They said they want an affordable, clean apartment.

“We are not here because we want to be,” Nagle said. “We are here because we have to be.”

Yeah that’s just what we need.  More “roaches” in our low income housing.  They don’t just become a burden for their neighbors; they become a burden for the entire city.  It all starts with them playing their little roach music at all hours of the night, hanging on the stoop peddling their drugs (That’s not racism…that’s a fact).  Then you’ve got the regular roach domestic disturbances to deal with.  And just when you think you’ve gotten used to their antics, someone complains that their little roach schools aren’t good enough and then we’re busing their little roach children off to Belvidere and Highlands on our dime.  It’s a story as old as time.

Property Taxes on their way up…F’yeah!

•December 15, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Lowell Sun

LOWELL — City councilors voted last night to raise the median property-tax bill next year for owners of single-family homes in Lowell by an average of $120 — and nearly $300 for three-family homes.

The increased bills were a result of councilors voting 8-0 to support a property-tax structure in which industrial and commercial homeowners pay a rate 175 percent higher than residential homeowners. The rate shift is the highest allowable under state law.

Overall, the tax rate is set to jump from $13.27 to $14.27 per $1,000 in assessed value for residential homeowners, and from $27.46 to $29.73 per $1,000 in assessed value for industrial and commercial property holders.

That’s it?  Just an average of $120?  Why not go even further?  It’s not like anyone is going to leave.  Nobody ever leaves Lowell.  F’ it! I say double the property tax….Especially for those freeloaders up in the highlands.

•November 15, 2010 • Leave a Comment

How about the trailer for “the fighter.” Does that do anything for you?

•September 16, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Vintage Win for the Maroon and Silver Raiders…..

•September 13, 2010 • 3 Comments

Lowell Sun

TOPSFIELD — The ‘new-look’ Lowell High football team scored 19 second-quarter points in a very short period of time as it handed first-year head coach Jeff Moore an impressive 22-14 debut win over perennial Super Bowl contender Masconomet Regional on the road last night.

The Red Raiders broke open a scoreless game with three touchdowns and then held off the Chieftains, who had ripped Lowell, 35-12, in last year’s season-opener at Cawley Stadium.

Veteran 1,000-yard running back Angel Escalera had a big game with 181 yards on 31 rushes and a pair of touchdowns, while quarterbacks Kyle Edwards and RJ Noel alternated series and both contributed heavily to the big triumph while splitting the duties.

Boom!  Was that Mike “The Killer” Kowalski out there, or Angel Escalera?  My god, it feels like 1997 all over again.  I know it was only a win over Masco, who’s like the Notre Dame Academy of Cape Ann.  But you can only play the teams on your schedule.   I’m pretty sure the Chelmsford and Billerica coaches saw this box score and immediately ordered the trainers to move the next scheduled Winstrol cycle up a week.  Dracut coaches didn’t see the box scores because they don’t print them in the “funnies”…..whoaaahhh!

Eff You Boston Magazine and Your BullShit Rankings. LHS is still the Balls.

•September 7, 2010 • 2 Comments

Lowell Sun

WESTFORD — A few local high schools — led by Westford Academy — have made the honor roll, finishing at the head of the class in a recent ranking of the state’s top public high schools.

The September issue of Boston magazine names the 50 best public high schools in the state, grading each on data from the Massachusetts Department of Education.

Locally, Westford Academy scored the highest mark, landing at 36 out of 50, followed by Groton-Dunstable Regional High School and Littleton High School, which rank at 37 and 38, respectively. Burlington High School is at 42 on the list.

“I am extremely proud,” Westford Superintendent of Schools Everett “Bill” Olsen said. “We have a combination of an excellent staff, excellent students and excellent families, who all work together with one goal in mind, and that is to bring the best education to the children in this town.”

Color me unimpressed.  To manage my business, I’ll take a seasoned Red Raider over these green Ghosts any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.  Sure these pickles can average 500 on their SAT’s, but can they survive Spirit Day in the Riddick Field House? 

I’ve checked out all these schools on the list…and they’re all identical.  The only thing that sets them apart is the different ways the parents are spelling Aiden and Braiden.  In other words, nobody needs to take the LRTA to school because mom has Volvo Cross Country that seats 6.

And how on any planet is “graduation rate” an authentic measurement for how good a school is.  What, if Lowell High all of a sudden had a 12 to 1 teacher to student ratio, are we saying that would keep for example, the (fill in the blank Asian kid) from dropping out to join TRG?  How about the kid that drops out because he’s working full time at night and he’s having trouble waking up for school?  Or the sophomore who drops out because she’s expecting her second child? How is that an indictment on the school?

Seems to me you didn’t even need to bring in Babson Professors to do crazy math formulas (averaging) to complete these rankings.  You could have just listed the top 50 schools in the state based on a community’s household income and celebrated the exact same results.  But, I’m just a Lowell High graduate, and that would probably make too much sense.