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See historic Lowell election results and candidate biographies.

Scenes from Earth Day Parade

Some photos from Sunday’s Earth Day Parade in Lowell

UMass Lowell Party Band

Jay Hungate with the winning entry from last year’s Kinetic Sculpture Race

Western Ave Artists Association drill team, with artist-like berets and paintbrushes

Armenian Genocide begins: April 24, 1915

Armenian Monument, Lowell, Mass.

Armenian Genocide begins: April 24, 1915

By Mimi Parseghian

Today is the 102nd anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian Genocide.  It was in the early morning hours of Saturday, April 24, 1915, that close to 300 Armenian leaders and intellectuals were arrested in the city of Constantinople (now Istanbul).  Very few were released from jail. The majority were sent to a prison near Ankara.  How they died and where they were buried is not known.

What began that day and continued for years was the forced deportation and systematic, planned elimination of the Armenians.  The deportation resulted in the death of over 1.5 million Armenians.  Initially, the men were the victims, but then it was women and children.  Without food and regularly attacked by militia, very few reached the safety of Syria or Greece.

The victims of the Armenian Genocide are not different than the other victims who were subjugated by man’s inhumanity to man. But unlike other such victims, we – the Armenian people – have never received acknowledgement, apology or reparations from the Turkish government.

But the plan to eliminate all Armenians failed, and the attempt to do so resulted in a resiliency that is passed on from generation to generation.  This past Friday, Governor Charlie Baker led the State’s commemorative activities and this past Saturday in Lowell, Armenian-Americans gathered once again at City Hall to raise the flag and remember the victims* but also to continue the march towards full justice.

(*victims of the genocide include three of my father’s siblings, tw0 of my mother’s siblings, my paternal grandfather’s family, and my paternal grandmother’s family – Mimi Parseghian).

Lowell in World War One: Apr 23 – Apr 27, 1917

Manuel T Martin Square, Central and Charles Streets. Killed in action in France, April 23, 1918.

This is the fourth installment of my Lowell in World War One series which commemorates the centennial of the entry of the United States into World War One. Here are the headlines from one hundred years ago this week:

April 23, 1917 – Monday – Success for British in new attack. French break up German counterattacks. Turks still in retreat up the Tigris.  Four Lowell boys on steamship sunk by U-boat off Irish coast. Richard Flynn tells story of steamer’s sinking. Germans fire four torpedoes without warning. Meeting of new recruits of home guard. Two companies of 60 or more men, all 35 years old or older. One company is made up of Spanish War veterans, another by members of Lowell Military Training School, and a third is from the Franco-American Volunteer Brigade.

April 24, 1917 – Tuesday – French commission in US. Minister Viviani, Marshal Joffre and other high officials landed this morning. British forces gain ground along a wide front. General Bridges, a member of British War Commission, told reporters in Washington that the reliance on a volunteer army and the delay of conscription “cost the lives of the most valuable citizens, crippled industrial mobilization, and immeasurably set back England’s efforts in the war.”

April 25, 1917 – Wednesday – Third day of bitterly contested battle on British front. Spain expected to soon enter the war. Germans plan attack on Petrograd. Another movement to overthrow German Chancellor. $200 million loan to Great Britain by US. Boy excluded from high school sues city.

April 26, 1917 – Thursday – Fourth day of terrific struggle on the British front. British advance halted at a staggering toll of human life. French Commission formally received by President Wilson. Lowell man and wife on torpedoed schooner. C. E. Petersen of Lowell was captain of vessel sunk by German submarine off Bordeaux. Soldier of the war zone trenches arraigned in Police Court. Paul Chambers, aged 37 years, “who has traveled all over the world, speaks 20 languages, soldier of fortune in the Boer War and a participant of many of the biggest battles in Central Europe, appeared before Judge Enright in police court this morning on a complaint charging him with drunkenness.” Chambers is a US citizen who was working in South African diamond mines when the war broke out. He traveled to England, enlisted in a regiment there, and was sent to France. He recently returned to the United States and was seeking employment here when he was arrested.

April 27, 1917 – Friday – Victory near, says Lloyd George. Settlement of the Irish question essential to speedy victory. British Premier in important speech discussed military situation, Irish question, and other major problems. Loans by the US to France and Italy. France’s war council and US officials in conferences. City Public Safety Committee to investigate high price of coal which recently rose from $10 to $12 per ton. Mill Girl Injured. Mary Gagas had a narrow escape from being seriously hurt this morning while at work in the Hamilton mills when her clothing got caught in the gears of a machine. Her clothing was torn and she sustained abrasions about the body.

How Trump is succeeding in his first 100 days by Marjorie Arons-Barron

The entry below is being cross posted from Marjorie Arons-Barron’s own blog.

Don’t snicker at Donald Trump’s high unfavorable ratings and lack of legislative achievements. He’s doing better than you think.

Trump may not have succeeded yet on his promise to repeal/replace the Affordable Care Act. He may not have succeeded in building a wall or ending immigration. He may have reversed himself on the Export-Import Bank, the value of NATO, labeling China a currency manipulator, and whether to get involved in Syria. But, while some pundits will seize on his failures and his national approval rating is at 42 percent, he is succeeding in a most sinister way.  Like a giant termite eating away at the supporting structure of a grand building, the Trump administration is gnawing away at the underpinnings of government.

Start at the top of key federal agencies, and consider the Secretaries now in charge of agencies they have pledged to destroy.  Scott Gottleib, Trump’s nominee to head FDA, has deep ties to Big Pharma and will be happy to fulfill  his boss’ promise to reduce regulations by 90 percent.  Scott Pruitt sued the EPA 19 times to block its actions and is now running the agency supposed to protect clean air and water.  Rick Perry running the Energy Department, which he has now vowed to eviscerate if not eliminate. Just think about the 100,000 people in Massachusetts who work in clean energy, one of our state’s top ten  employers. Trump’s new head of the FCC wants to end net neutrality, which could well limit the internet access important to start-ups here.

His inexperienced secretaries depend on smooth-functioning departments, but he has yet to nominate close to 2000 deputy, under-secretary and other officials, further undermining government.  As Senator Ed Markey told the New England Council, “The Republican paradox  is that they don’t believe in government, but they have to run for office to make sure government doesn’t work.”  So Congressional offices calling agencies for information or action find there’s no one there. Those who do answer, he reports, are afraid to talk,  especially if they’re involved in anything science-related. If you can’t outright abolish an agency, you can still underfund it, de-staff it,  prohibit it from promulgating new regulations or enforcing old ones – in short, paralyze it.

Huge budget cuts will mirror such slash-and-burn ideology. Tomorrow Congress returns from Easter recess, and, by Thursday, we can expect a battle royal over a continuing resolution to keep the government operating through September. The President may demand money for building his wall with Mexico in exchange for keeping it open. Health care may also figure in this week’s drama. Despite language in a new repeal/ replace bill to preserve requirement of basic benefits and ban on denials for preexisting conditions, there’s also language to permit states to waive those requirements. It’s a poison pill. Through all this, Donald Trump still has the approval of 88 percent of his base, the people who put him in office in the first place.

During the campaign, candidate Trump laid out his contract to make America great again in 100 days. Now he tweets that the first 100 days is a ridiculous standard.  Maybe so.  But we still have 1361 days left to President Donald Trump, term 1.  He is already demonstrating the damage he can inflict on our nation and its global leadership. He is already hollowing out government.  Are you tired of winning yet?

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Patriot’s Day

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