Category Archives: Uncategorized

LDNA Draft Minutes – Virtual Meeting, September 27, 2021

Board members present: Carolyn Alphen, Jack Moynihan, Stephen Greene

  1. Approval of minutes
    August minutes had not been posted, will do in October.
  2. Treasurer’s Report
    $1,233.29 with no pending deposits
  3. Police Report
    Captain Cullen provided a brief police report for the Downtown for September to date (9/27).
    No handout was available. During this time, there were 5 assaults (primarily fights), 1 burglary,
    1 car break (car unlocked), 2 disorderlies, 2 shopliftings, 6 vandalisms (including 2 broken
    windows and car damage).
    During Q&A, electric bikes as well as regular bikes should not be used on the side walk.
    Concerns expressed about kids riding bikes dangerously in traffic. The police do follow up
    when they can track the to their homes. Let police know if you know who the kids are.
  4. They owner of Sahel on Central Street talked about their new restaurant. Emile Kamadeu
    whose family had a restaurant in Africa and Peter Tamajong said that they were attracted to
    Lowell because of its ethnic diversity. They had a soft opening earlier and recent ribbon cutting.
    They offer numerous African and Caribbean dishes. The restaurant took 4 year to open as there
    was much work to be done to get the site ready. Add the delays caused by the pandemic. The
    City has been supportive. Sahel is a work in progress and its liquor license is pending. They
    have arranged parking and are working on more. They welcome folks to come and taste the
    cuisine.
  5. Adopt a street program
    Jack Moynihan discussed an Adopt a Street Program that he and Vanna Howard have initialed.
    It is a weekly trash sweep of a section of down town street that someone has “adopted”. Trash
    picked and buckets are kept at the Roy Garage. They are currently doing the trash sweep on
    Fridays.
    If you are interested in adopting a section of street, contact Jack or Vanna
    jack.moynihan@comcast.net , vanna.howard@gmail.com
  6. General Business
    Carolyn and Jack opened the “floor” for general discussion. Carolyn reminded folks to support
    local business. She noted that a new Tea place had opened on Merrimack St. ?? is this correct??
    A question was asked about 2 large murals that are now being painted, one on the Athenian
    Corner wall and a second on the Gates Block overlooking the garden. More information will be​
    forthcoming, including development plans for the Athenean which have been delayed by the
    pandemic. The murals were approved and had funding.
    Shauna Forcier said she get more information on other questions posed and more information
    on Downtown Development Master plan, Among the questions, why can’t the Blue Bridge in
    the Hamilton Canal District be used by pedestrians. It currently is a hard hat area. What is
    going on with the Boott Mill building at 200 Market St (between Canal Place 1 and Canal Place
    3). Why was a security fencing place around the power house/stack across the driveway from
    Boott Mill at 200 Market st? Many lock boxes are now inaccessible. Why are apartments
    being built in Lowell and not Condos? What can be done about poor building management at
    Appleton Mills? What is going on to encourage Technology and Innovation in the City?
    Answers to many of these questions will be available at a future meetings. Shauna provided
    this link to the 2021 Lowell Plan: https://www.lowellma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/15196/FY-
    2021-2022-Action-Plan
    Captain Cullen said that if there is criminal activity going on at Appleton Mills, notify the
    police.
  7. Adjourn 7:54
    Prepared by Stephen Greene
    Added note.
    The Boston Globe printed 2 large articles on “Lowell Stages a Comeback”, 2021-09-30

LDNA Draft Minutes – Virtual Meeting, August 23, 2021

  1. Approval of minutes
    Moved, and approved
  2. Treasurer’s Report
    $1,233.29 including last deposit of $30
  3. Police Report
    Lt Rojas provided brief police report for the Downtown from August 1 to the 22 nd . He had a
    map and table which is not included. Crimes were relatively few and included car break ins,
    disorderly conduct and vandalism.
  4. “Meet the Candidates” virtual session with District 4 and At Large City Council candidates.
    Carolyn moderated the candidates who were given each 3 minutes of free time, 5 questions in
    reversing order and a final closing comment. Since brief notes would not reflect each
    candidate’s comments and responses, the recording of the Zoom meeting is available,
    https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/n0RDTO-
    8sKX2nAAwHAAJ9k5oOa5kYyF3_DAPUmln6bpphfxsTXv5ukMLtDUDOzgB.O6gXKqEls2CTuza
    Y
    Passcode: 0K0S*^hA

  5. The Candidates for City Council present on the Zoom meetingin starting order
    Vesna Nuon At large
    Paul Belley District 4
    Ryan Rourke District 4
    Wayne Jenness District 4
    Deb Belanger At large
    Rita Mercier At large
    John Drinkwater At large
    Bobby Tugbiyele At large
    For more information on the candidates and if they have a web site, see the Lowell Votes site
    https://www.lowellvotes.org/whosrunning2021/ scroll down to View Language. This will open
    the 8 districts and the candidates. Not all At Large candidates were able to attend this LDNA
    virtual forum.​
    For information on vote see the City Election and Census Office –
    https://www.lowellma.gov/294/Election-Census
    Don’t forget to vote in the Primary for District 4 on September 21 st and the election on November 2nd
  6. Adjourn 8:35
    Prepared by Stephen Greene

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

https://www.lowellma.gov/1526/TIGER-Central-Street-Bridge-over-Pawtuck

For updates and information on ongoing projects throughout Lowell, visit: lowellma.gov/construction.

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   tigerbridge@lowellma.gov

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 https://www.visitdtl.com/events/lowell-arts-market-at-lucy-larcom-park/

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: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/Q-IbZ9RPVaGAxwY4yS6BcqJViJRFDy6jXuYf7ZmxuGuGFsAYbk1oMK_OBqYSVcRD.aq-FQlrf7ffgBDRZ?startTime=1621899648000

Present:

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:

www.Lalabookstore.com
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: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/EKDAik4sQJ1euZIGwkcSWoxZXIahB5c_yLiAgcVTn4EoiSGAhmiVH5CtQOqrndCg.qcM8m6xiJcoKXTWw Passcode: ZA317#z!

Present:

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

Present:

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  –  grojas@lowellma.gov

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: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/yO_pGuJtFSinBhv_wSRFTQTjSBBRcvDKFxOAgr2peSd_PcV2myFLXQmEHFy3mmf0.PAoOc8a00e99ZxgB   Use Passcode:  33QNhH7&

Present:

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

7 PM, LTC

Present:

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

7 PM, LTC

Present:

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 DPeaslee@lowellma.gov

  • 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.