Author Archives: Sam Litvin

June 2021 Minutes

7pm – June 26, 2021 This meeting was a hybrid of Zoom and in person at the LTC main meeting area.

Meeting was called to order by Jack Moynihan

Limited introductions.  Jack recognized Councilor Drinkwater.

  1. Approval of minutes 

Motion made and seconded to approve as presented.  Minutes approved

  1. Treasurer’s Report

The current balance in the bank is $1,133.29   with a $10 deposit pending. 

  1. Police Report by Captain Cullen

The report is attached and was brief.  The low level of crime in the downtown continues.  There were no questions.

  1. Guest Speaker – Christine McCall, Assistant City Manager & DPD Director,  discussed ongoing  issues

First – congratulations were extended to Christine for her recent appointment to Assistant City Manager.  This is in addition to her role as Director of Planning and Development.

The Central St bridge reconstruction was the lead off topic with questions on why the main beam replacement was not observed in the original assessment.  The answer is that the road deck needed to be removed to fully assess the beam’s condition.  The replacement design is being approved by MA DOT and a better understanding of the work schedule should be available in a week. This change (the main beam) should be good for 50 years.

Concern was expressed for the impact on Central St business. They are receiving some help from Economic Development.

Since the initial work on the Central Street Bridge started 2 years ago, can we be confident on the work schedule and completions date?  Christine pointed out the MA DOT is in charge of the project.  News and updates have been sporadic but the project information is available on

For updates and information on ongoing projects throughout Lowell, visit:

The City Council Transportation Subcommittee was meeting on Tuedsay 6/29 to discuss the Central Street Bridge.

If there are any specific questions about the Central St Bridge, please reach out to Christine and she can assist

Questions were asked about the bridge sidewalk closures at Market and Dutton (beside Mack Plaza).  There are open holes in the side walk. Information is being gathered on the problem.

There were questions on the slow pace of construction at the former Lord Overpass.  Why not work longer hours and complete sooner?  The project is complex and has a long timetable.

A street lamp on Market St fell down and struck a parked car.  DPW is working on it.

Christine also mentioned the Lowell Arts Market, the first of five events took place at Lucy Larcom Park.  See

For the other dates and locations

Some of the follow on to Christine’s presentation extended into general information.

  1. General Information

In the Roy Garage, pieces of concrete have fallen on to the roofs of cars, causing damage.  Report such problems to the garage manager. 

Sidewalks by the garage as well in other areas downtown are in very poor condition and present a trip hazard.  Concrete has deteriorated and salt for ice treatment was mentioned as a cause of the concrete deterioration.

Shauna Forcier report via chat that – The City of Lowell is hosting a community vigil to honor Lowell residents who passed away due to COVID-19. The ceremony will take place outside of City Hall tomorrow Tuesday, June 29 at 6:00 PM. 319 flags will be placed in the lawn of City hall to symbolize each life lost in Lowell. Please join us.

There will not be a July LDNA meeting

There will be an August Meeting to meet and hear from candidates for election to the City Council.  This year there will be district and at large councilors.

Wayne Jenness, candidate for our local district, 4, introduced himself.

               Notes by Stephen Greene

May 2021 Minutes

7 PM, Zoom Virtual (Online) Meeting

A recording of the meeting can be viewed online at:


Carolyn Alphen

Jack Moynihan

Sam Litvin

Meeting called to order at: 7:02.

Opening greeting

Approval of minutes

March 2021 Approved.

Treasurer’s Report

               (Report given by Carolyn in Steve’s absense) $1133.29 balance in account.

Police Report

               Capt Jack Cullen  – sector commander for downtown  –  stats not so good this month.  Discussed downtown issues with residents.

               Deputy Chief Mark LeBlanc introduced himself (now in charge of patrol)

Guest Speaker:  Laura and Greg Lamarre Anderson

               Inttroduced their new bookstore “LaLa Books” which will opoen at 189 Market Street (next to Warp & Weft) on July 23rd. You can find them online at:
Instagram @lalabookslowell
Twitter @lala_books
Facebook @lalabooks.lowell

  • focus on childrens books
  • focus on local authors
  • looking to collaborate with local artists and small businesses

Guest Speaker:  State Rep Vanna Howard

               Provided update on FY22 MA budget – secured $25k earmark for downtown beatification/improvements. Also took questions and discussed issues including:

  • hangings flower baskets for downtown streets
  • need for more (and better maintained) trash barrels downtown
  • opened district office downtown at 25 Central St (next to old court)

Guest Speaker:  Brad Buitenhuys of Lowell Litter Krewe

               Introduced Lowell Litter Krewe and spoke about their city-wide cleanup efforts.

General Information

– Discussion of possible return to in-person LDNA meetings. Would be best to have hybrid meetings

– New info kisok at Lucy Larcom Park courtesy of DIY Lowell.

Meeting Adjourns at 8:12.

March 2021 Minutes

7 PM, Zoom Virtual (Online) Meeting

A recording of the meeting can be viewed online at: Passcode: ZA317#z!


Carolyn Alphen

Jack Moynihan

Sam Litvin

Stephen Greene

Meeting called to order at: 7:01.

Opening greeting

Approval of minutes

Feb 2021 Approved.

Treasurer’s Report

               $983.09 balance in account.

Police Report

               Capt Jack Cullen, sector commander for downtown, discussed downtown stats and issues with residents. There were 3 aggravated assaults in the last month; all involved parties known to one another and all resulted in arrests.

Guest Speakers:  Lainnie Edmond from the Mayor’s Opiate Task Force, and Jon Kelly from Trinity Ambulance

               Detailed presentations on Lowell’s Opiate Task Force statistics and activities from 2011 to 2020 were made and the opiate situation in the city was discussed with a focus on the downtown area.

General Information

  • Discussion on slow pace of bridge and road construction projects and other transportation issues.

Meeting Adjourns at 8:10.

February 2021 Minutes

LDNA 2/22/21

7 PM, Zoom Virtual (Online) Meeting


Carolyn Alphen

Jack Moynihan

Sam Litvin

Stephen Greene

Meeting called to order at: 7:05.

Opening greeting

Approval of minutes

Jan 2021 Approved.

Treasurer’s Report

               $983.29 balance in account.  $10 annual dues as suggested donation.  We are looking into virtual/electronic means of remittance.

Police Report

               Capt Jack Cullen  – new sector commander for downtown  –  relatively quiet month.  Discussed downtown issues with residents.

               Lt. Rojas introduced himself as new head of Neighborhood Action Unit  –

Guest Speaker:  Lowell City Council member John Drinkwater

               Discussed mural project proposal.

General Information

– Dog poo is an issue downtown.

– What’s up with Myaoral Election issue?

– Need to clear snow and maintain sidewalks.

– Status of new Hamilton Garage?

Meeting Adjourns at 8:19.

January 2021 Minutes

LDNA 1/25/21

7 PM, Zoom Virtual (Online) Meeting

A recording of the meeting can be viewed online at:   Use Passcode:  33QNhH7&


Carolyn Alphen

Jack Moynihan

Sam Litvin

Opening greeting

Approval of minutes

Not posted — postponed.

Treasurer’s Report

               $983.29 balance in account.  $10 annual dues as suggested donation.  We are looking into virtual/electronic means of remittance.

Annual election of LDNA officers

               Carolyn and Jack expressed willingness to stay on for another year as co-chairs.  Sam is willing to stay on as secretary, and Stephen Greene has volunteered to serve as treasurer.  No other nominations were made, and the slate was elected unanimously.

Police Report

               Capt Kennedy – In charge of downtown district.  Discussed downtown issues with residents.

Guest Speaker:  Christine McCall, Director of Economic Development for City of Lowell

               Discussed economic development efforts, especially in light of COVID difficulties.

General Information

Meeting Adjourns.

February 2020 Minutes

LDNA 2/24/20



Carolyn Alphen

Jack Moynihan  (Arrived at 7:14)

Sam Litvin

Meeting called to order at: 7:03.

Opening greeting

Approval of minutes

Approval of January 2020 minutes: Not posted — postponed.

Treasurer’s Report

               $980.29 balance in account.

Police Report

Capt Kennedy – In charge of downtown district.

  • 3 agg assaults;
    • 1 was against officer during traffic stop
    • 1 male shot my bb gun; under investigation.
    • 1 arrest was made.
  • 1 burglary – kids mischief
  • 1 burg under investigation
  • Car breaks – doors were unlocked and electronics stolen.  LOCK YOUR DOORS!
  • 6 disorderliness
    • Several at smokehouse at closing
    • 2 at Appleton St involving homeless
    • 1 at central st; traffic stop with hostile driver
  • A spree of car vandalism seems to have been a 1-time thing involving juveniles.
  • City is looking at rolling back bar closing times.  This might help with craziness at bar closings.
    • Carolyn: LDNA isn’t sure rolling back hours is the solution; maybe giving the license commission better tools to deal with the bad actors would be a good step.
    • Police Lt:  The problem is really after the bars close and when everyone is out on the street trying to get to their cars.  Bar owners are generally cooperative with LPD.
    • Capt Kennedy:  LDNA should let license commission know what we think.

Q:  Do you know anything about a car damaging the building at Ayer Lofts over the weekend.

A:  No.  I can look into it.

Q:  Will we be able to walk over the signature bridge at night?

A:  Yes.  The whole area will be very well lit and patrolled once the bridge and judicial center opens in early March.

Q:  Can anything be done to improve the lighting and/or police patrols in the dark part of Prescott Street.

A:  Not sure what can be done about lighting due to the tall building.  But we will look into it.

Q:  Will parking enforcement be stepped up when the courthouse opens before the garage is ready?

A:  That’s really a question for the parking dept.

Christine McCall

  • 2020 Census.  1st time you can respond online.  You will get an ID code in the mail that you can use to sign in online.
  • Homeless count will take place over 3 days.  People living with friends/relatives should be listed on the resident’s census.
  • Pamphlet explains how to identify a real census enumerator who might come to your door.
  • Even if you fill out the online or paper census, a census worker might come to your door because of other surveys (e.g. ACS) that the census bureau conducts.

General Information

  • Harvard Graduate students were Downtown and in the Highlands asking about what was lacking in these areas. 
    • But what about residents’ interests?  Hamilton area is a neighborhood not an industrial park.  We need lighting and open space, etc.
    • Hopefully the city won’t take their recommendations without having open dialog with the residents.
  • Lighting along Pawtucket canal needs to be turned back on.
  • Axe-throwing venue is coming to Lowell!  Beer will be served, of course.

Meeting Adjourns at 8:02.

January 2020 Minutes

LDNA 1/27/20



Carolyn Alphen

Jack Moynihan

Sam Litvin

Meeting called to order at: 7:04.

Opening greeting

Approval of minutes

Approval of September & October 2019 minutes: Approved.

Treasurer’s Report

               $840.29 balance in account.  Time for annual dues: $10 suggested donation, any amount welcome.

Police Report

Lt Peasley – In charge of “neighborhood action unit”.  Will be focusing on downtown neighborhood.  Contact anytime at

  • 4 agg assaults.
    • 2 were domestic
    • 1 shooting in front of blue shamrock: known parties – drug deal gone wrong.
    • 2 involved Lowell high school
  • 4 car breaks – involves unlocked car doors or valuables left in plain sight.  PLEASE LOCK YOUR CAR DOORS!
  • 1 disorderly crime after bar closings.
  • Vandalisms mostly domestic related.

Q:  Thursday nights are getting to be as bad as Saturdays.  People are outside yelling and carrying on loudly and fighting.

A:  Call x3200 and report when this happens.  Officers will investigate.  Never hesitate to call.

Q:  Is the area down by the locks a safe place to walk at night?

A:  Yes, but if you’re worried call x3200 and the LPD can assist/escort you.

Q:  Kids on Veo-Ride bikes?

A:  The GPS units must have been disabled because all the bikes should have been removed for the winter.

John Leahy, Mayor of the City of Lowell

  • 5 yrs on school committee, 7 on city council.  Will be Mayor for next 2 years.

Q:  What is up with vacant building behind canal place?

A:  City Manager’s office is working on it.

Proposal for re-development will be coming up soon at the Planning Board.

Note:  Higher density than original proposal;  what about providing parking?

Q:  Can we spiff up the major access roads into the city?  We should provide attractive and welcoming gateways.

A:  Yes, we need a beautification plan for the whole city.

Do not litter signs.

Have more trash and recycling receptacles.

Plant more trees.

Downtown residents pay the same taxes as other residents but don’t get trash and recycling pickup services.

Q:  Certain properties don’t clear snow from their sidewalks.

A:  Call Development services and report the problem.

City needs more inspectors and to ticket more

Q:  Central St bridge update?  Can we get state delegation involved to pressure Mass DOT? 

A:  It was a fiasco.

Q:  Can something be done about the people that park in front of Canal III and block access to the garage?  Who owns that right-of-way?

A:  We will look into it.

Q:  How about access issues behind Canal Place?

A:  Carolyn reports ongoing conversations with Clare Ricker to find a solution.

Q:  What about broken parking meters?

A:  We need to look into replacing them.  If you can’t find a working kiosk after making an honest effort, don’t worry about getting a ticket.

Q:  Are there any plans for public bathrooms?

A:  Not sure.  Will look into it.

Q:  When a snow storm happens, what is the threshold for calling a snow emergency?

A:  Whenever plowing is going to take place.  The LPD makes the call.

Q:  Any update on the transitional living center day program?

A:  It’s a work in progress.  New homeless coordinator will be working on it.

Q:  What are plans for economic development committee?

A:  Councilor Elliott will chair the committee.  Has lots of ideas.

Q:  Who is chair of neighborhood committee and will they hold meetings in the neighborhood?

A:  Councilor Rourke is the chair.  He will likely hold the onsite meetings.

General Information

  • MRT has new under-35 program.  You can get any performance for ½ price, as well as ½ price drinks.
  • City Council motion has been made about discussing bar situation.  Might involve rolling back closing time to match surrounding communities.
    • Will the economic impact cause other problems?
    • We might penalize all bars for the sins of only some.
    • How about stricter regulations?
    • Maybe there the creative “punishments” that the license commission can use that would be unappealable.  (e.g. turning on lights early)
    • Perhaps a rule that if no manager is present, the bar can’t open.

Meeting Adjourns at 8:24.

Please Support Our Local Restaurants

During these challenging times, please support our local restaurants and their employees. A list of restaurants and their takeout/delivery options is in the file attached below:

A late addition to the list is “IV Seasons Restaurant” at (978) 452-9044 which is open for take-out from 4-8 p.m.

October 2019 Minutes

LDNA 10/28/19



Jack Moynihan

Sam Litvin

Meeting called to order at: 7:05.

Opening greeting

Approval of minutes

Approval of September 2019 minutes: postponed.

Treasurer’s Report

               $840.29 balance in account.  (Reported by Jack)

Police Report

Capt. Kennedy – In charge of downtown “Charlie” sector.

Here to hear about the concerns of residents.

  • 4 agg assaults; 2 were shelter related, 1 was bar-related, 1 was mental-health issue.
  • 2 car-breaks – both were unlocked vehicles.  PLEASE LOCK YOUR CARS!
  • 3 disorderlies – 1 public urination, 2 bar-related
  • 2 robberies – 1 involved a known party, 1 was a stolen bicycle in daylight for which arrest was made.
  • 6 vandalism, mostly in Appleton and South Street areas.  Many involve vacant buildings which will get worse in cold weather.
  • Underage bar stings have found 6 people at Blue Shamrock.  But they had very good forged MA licenses, so the bar is less on the hook than they would be if they had let in out of state licenses.

Q:  I walk through South Common every day.  Should I be worried about the homeless people?

A:  No, they generally keep to themselves.  City Manager’s office is working on day programs to help give these people somewhere to go.  Program to distribute free needles and other drug accessories has made things even worse.

Q:  Isn’t there a new drug court?

A:  Yes, but there are certain criteria for being able to access it.  One thing that’s required is for the individual to want to get well and make a change.  Many of the drug-addicted homeless don’t seem to want the help that’s available.

Q:  When is the shelter’s day programming going to begin?

A:  Soon, but not sure about the schedule.

Q:  Is the joint UML/LPD patrol still happening?

A:  No.  But it might be worth looking at starting up again.

New downtown police precinct is up and running.  It is staffed irregularly but generally between 8:30am – 11:00pm.  City Manager and LPD are committed to downtown quality of life.

David Henderson, Director of Marketing for the Merrimack Repertory Theatre, will discuss the MRT’s offerings and discounts

  • 41st season just began.
  • Current production “Cambodian Rock Band” deals with Cambodian Genocide, but its really a universal story about surviving and coping with tragedies, and yet it’s about family and filled with humor and music.  Great for younger audiences (16+) in spite of the somewhat heavy topic.
  • Later in the spring is a show about Nina Imone.

Q:  What’s up with the search for a new Artistic Director?

A:  90 people applied; Have been narrowed it down to 4 finalists.  Hopefully someone will be offered the job within the next month or so.

Summer youth program teaches general life communication skills.

Special discount nights:  $5 for the first night of each show.  $10 Lowell night, and other special discounts are available.

General Information

  • No meeting in November or December.  Next meeting is 1/27/2020.
  • Election is November 5th.
    • New voting system.
    • CPA

Meeting Adjourns at 7:50.

September 2019 Minutes

LDNA 9/23/19



Carolyn Alphen

Jack Moynihan

Sam Litvin

Meeting called to order at: 7:03.

Opening greeting

Approval of minutes

Approval of August 2019 minutes:  Motion made by Sam and 2nd by Carolyn; approved.

Treasurer’s Report

               $840.29 balance in account.

Police Report

Capt. Kennedy – In charge of downtown “Charlie” sector.

  • Car breaks involve unlocked cars  — Please lock your cars!
  • Disorderly conduct and unarmed robberies involve kids on bicycles.  LPD is working on the problem with the Juvenile Court.
  • Ongoing compliance checks at downtown bars are having success at discouraging underage drinking even though they have very good fraudulent drivers licenses.
  • Positive feedback from downtown residents regarding new precinct and increased downtown patrols.

Q:  Status of 60 day trial for Uber & Lyft?

A:  To avoid crowding at let-out time of bars.

Q:  But downtown residents aren’t able to get ride-share cars to come to their residence.  This is a real problem for residents that need these services.

A:  (City Manager) This shouldn’t be the case.  Will look into this.

Q:  Needles are an issue at South Common

A:  Call x3200 police non-emergency number and the needles will be picked up right away.

Q:  Actually, lots of issues at South Common.

A:  LPD is aware and working on it.  Lots of arrests were made recently specifically to get people help and services that they need in cooperation with the co-op program and Lowell’s new Drug Court.

City Manager Eileen Donoghue will speak on progress with various issues.

  • Couldn’t be more proud of the Lowell Police Dept.  The summer was relatively quiet compared to many other cities due to LPD’s hard work.
  • Council has stressed financial security, partnerships with institutions, and public safety.
  • Hamilton Canal District devised as an economic development engine for the city.  It got a bit stuck due to the recession, but now its back on track.
    • Streets “F” and “G” are under construction and the new signature bridge is nearing completion.
    • Ground has been broken on the new garage.  New construction manager at risk process and use of pre-cast concrete will bring the project in on budget and should be complete in about a year.
    • New courthouse should be finished by the end of the year.  Various court tenants will slowly more into the new building over a period of several months.
    • Various lots are being looked at by private developers and it looks like land swap with National Park is nearing actualization.
  • Lord overpass project will begin in the spring, to avoid conflict with garage construction activities.
  • Tiger bridge program going well, except for the central street bridge.  This project ran into difficulty because the canal couldn’t be fully drained of water.  The bridge will be re-designed and then they will re-try.  Project is being managed by MassDOT.
  • New public art sculpture: “Hydro” was unveiled last week at Utopian Park.  Park will be landscaped soon.
  • Plaza in front of Leo Roy Garage has been fixed up by the city.  Also, Kerouac park has had major improvements.
  • Jackson Street will get new street trees.
  • Middlesex & Marston Street bench has been removed and area will be improved.
  • Hanging flower baskets have been replaced and expanded.  A person has been hired to maintain them.
  • Public Safety:
    • New downtown precinct is focusing attention in the downtown area.  City has seen big double-digit decreases in various crime categories.
    • New police boat has made a big difference in dealing with craziness on the river.
    • New police ATV allows easier access to otherwise difficult to reach locations by the rivers.
  • Homelessness:
    • Big problem all over the state and country as well as Lowell.
    • In the spring a taskforce was formed, including police, school, hospital, CTI, many other organizations throughout city.  Looked at successful Worcester program and brought in national expert to consult.
    • Problem identified was not a lack of services, but that none were focused on housing, and the various programs weren’t coordinating.
    • Old model required homeless people to get themselves “on track” before any help would be provided.  New model is “housing first”  so their situation is stabilized, and then on-site services can be provided.
    • Transitional Living Center has historically kicked people out during the day.  Now, in partnership with the taskforce, the shelter will stay open 24hrs and provide a platform for providing services.
    • Rooming house development will be pursued to prove longer-term housing for the homeless while they get services.
    • On a day and night in June, a count was taken all over the city to figure out how many homeless people there were in the city.  Result was just under 200 people.
    • Hospital is helping because health care costs are much lower if people are in housing instead of on the street.

Q:  What about safety at the shelters.

A:  Facility is under-funded so that’s a challenge.  But city is working with the shelter on this problem.

Q:  What about mental health?

A:  Services have been provided by a facility in Lawrence.  City is now working to have Lowell Community Health provide these services locally.

  • High school project approved by MSBA, but its now under way for real.
  • Lower Locks Status
    • Mayor Samaris and Vice-Mayor Nuon have been pushing for a solution.
    • Land is owned by many parties including city, park, UML, MCC, etc, which has been a challenge.  Parties came away from meeting with a sense of urgency.
    • All stakeholders have agreed to work on a feasibility study to figure out exactly what needs to be done.  It will be a major project.

Q:  Will Lord overpass project project connect with Western Ave Studios?

A:  No.  Train tracks are I the way.

Q:  What can the city do when a developer comes in and starts and then abandons a project.  (Specifically worried about a project 246.1 Market Street between Canal I and Canal III)

A:  Developers have a fixed time to get things done.  And they need to maintain the site.  Will look into this specific property.

Q:  Do properties need to maintain the area in front of their buildings?

A:  Yes.

Q:  Can institutions (e.g. UML) do more to give to the city in lieu of taxes.

A:  UML actually does do a lot, but a lot is behind the scenes.  In fact, one project the UML decided to maintain as a private property rather than buying it as a concession to keep it on the tax roles.

Q:  Comcast is a pain?

A:  New company is coming in to offer fiber as an alternative.

Q:  What will happen to the old courthouses?

A:  They are owned by the state.  Building on Gorham Street is a historic structure that will be very difficult to deal with.  Another building is in very bad condition, but the city may be able to do something with it.

Mayor Samaris:  The city manager has done a fantastic job.  Many of the successes she mentioned are due to the Manager’s hard work and her taking the initiative to come up with good ideas to solve problems.

General Information

  • October 8th panel discussion at Senior Center on the new voting system options.  Will be on LTC.

Meeting Adjourns at 8:49.