Frequent contributor Jim Peters sends along his thoughts on the upcoming city election, the national economy, and much else:
There has not really been alot of time to meander over the past few months, between my father dying and my business being very busy. But, I have had the opportunity to go to a City Council Candidate’s forum on city safety, and listen to men I respect and some I do not respect too much, talk about how dangerous a city this has become. One man mentioned the eight shootings on New Year’s Day last year, certainly a scary time, while others panned to the evermore glamorous topic of sexual predators in our City Library. Mr. Eliott stated that the downtown, as I recall his statement, was not safe anymore. I wanted to ask him where in the city he felt safe, since the downtown and the Library were apparently off limits to him. But I did not ask that question. It seemed like a cheap shot, and maybe he really believes that the only safe place is in his home in Pawtucketville. Which is a sorry thing for a sitting City Councilor to feel. But, maybe he does not feel that way and just mentions the dangers of the library and the downtown for other reasons which are known to only him.
Our Police Chief was there, but he did not speak. His was a nice presence, though. Too many City Councilors wanted to rid the Library of sex offenders but gave no specifics as to how that would be done. I wonder, do you check the licenses of every male and female adult that enters the building, which would be tedious and costly. How do you go about protecting the masses from mayhem and slaughter? How do you keep young children away from Level 3 Sex Offenders? I waited for just one councilor to come forward with a plan, but none did. I use the library all of the time, and I have never been harassed by any library employee for my license to see if I was a sex offender. And, given that many offenders are Level 1, meaning they probably got pulled over for urinating in the woods, I do not know where we draw the line.
Which brings me to another view. Has this President been good enough to be re-elected? The economy is in a mess. My talented Republican brother has been looking for a job for two years. My other Republican brother is worried about jobs going to China. So am I. When that solar panel manufacturer moved to China from, I believe, Devens, he cringed. Americans should be making their own goods, but every big retailer is drawing from China. I went into one shop, a very popular one, and I determined that I would buy only items made in America. I departed with a pint of Maple Sugar. Not exactly a stellar record for the President. I do not know what I think, but I know what my brothers think.
My father was buried this summer, and the people of Lowell were great. Dozens made contributions to various charities in his name, but not one decried the request for a private service. And Father Raymond Benoit of St. Margaret’s was fantastic. He was so kind to my mother, and invited her to the monthly Mind Mass at the end of the month. She flew all the way from Naples, Florida to be there. It was wonderful to see her again.
Textiles have died in Lowell. The last yarn wholesaler is leaving under Lowell’s orders to set up shop in Billerica. It seems artists were more important than Classic Elite Yarns, an internationally known yarn company, which is leaving its headquarters in Lowell because Western Studios wants their space. That’s the rumor. I do not know exactly what the facts are, but they seem to be in the middle. It is too bad to push our last textile company out for art. I like art, I draw, but I would never push out a vibrant business for it. That is just me, I guess.
What else is happening? Andy Rooney is one of my favorite people, he tells it like it is with humor and without profanity, something a lot of comedians and commentators cannot muster these days. I admit to a prediliction for westerns and old “chick” movies. One thing about a “chick” movie is that it always ends up with the girl getting the right guy. The ending always turns out right. I guess my favorite is Sandra Bullock and her slew of fine movies. My favorite movie, however, starred Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in
You’ve Got Mail.” I also enjoyed “Sleepless in Seattle.”
So those are my meanderings today. The City Council race is extremely important and it is time for the candidates to acknowledge it with specific plans for specific problems. Not the “fluff” I heard at the last forum. People are buying so many Chinese goods that Americans are losing their jobs. Something has to be done. Our President is worthy but not gathering any friends. All you can buy is a pint of Maple Sugar to get something “Made in America.” Textiles and Lowell are both history. Comedians must use profanity to get their message across, and those that do not are few and far between. Good movies are still being made, but we have labeled most of them “Chick Flicks.” Life is good, and I had a good father to prove it. I have a remarkable mother and thoughtful brothers and sisters. So I repeat, Life is Good