“Lowell gangster charged in Worcester shooting”
“Lowell gangster charged in Worcester shooting.” That’s the headline that Central Massachusetts woke up to the other day. The Worcester Telegram story described how Saravy Sok, 22, of 88 Forthill Ave., Lowell had been charged with armed assault with intent to murder along with several gun charges. The Telegram described Sok as “a member of the Tiny Rascals Gang-Grey, a violent street gang with ties to California.” He is alleged to have shot a man with whom he fought outside of a Worcester house party.
As a life-long resident of Lowell, I truly do know that there is a lot to like about the city. But I’m also a realist and headlines like this one help explain in part, at least, why it’s so tough to make Lowell the “destination city” that people used to talk about so often.
5 Responses to “Lowell gangster charged in Worcester shooting”
Great comment, my hope is people start to admit this reality. While its very important to have developmental ideas and physical projects in mind ie. trolley rails, parking garages, attractions and retail districts… city planners need to exert a greater interest in the balance of their progressive urban design. The cold hard fact is there are far too many people here with little structure in place to support themselves. We will never conquer the reputation until we are willing to speak plainly about the poverty and drug addiction that drives it. A start would be modeling ourselves less as a place “to visit or move to” and focus more on making it a better and safer place “to live”.
To Corey’s comment on making the city one whose quality of life is as close to excellent as possible, I would add that both Patrick J. Mogan and Paul E. Tsongas in their efforts to make Lowell a better city used similar language about objectives and evidence. From the 1970s on, Pat Mogan was clear in saying that one of the major goals, if not the main goal, in renewing Lowell was “to make Lowell a good address” for living, working, and enjoyment. Paul Tsongas in the 1980s was known to say that we’ll know that we’ve succeeded when it is evident that Lowell residents are choosing to stay to live and raise families and also when more people are moving into the city for what it has to offer.
I suppose I could start a book on this subject myself, but don’t need to because there are people more qualified like Bob Forrant and Paul Marion. I’d love to see a collaboration between them. If they can work together, I’m convinced a comprehensive book about the history of Lowell would come of it because of their different perspectives.
Dick, I congratulate you for capturing the essence of a situation that most people at the helm don’t want to look at. The momentum is there to continue to do great things started by all those involved in the rejuvenization discussions from 60s on. Perhaps Paul Marion understates his own involvement as one who at the very least witnessed up close the progress that was made back then, but I know that he participated more than most people will ever know.
Paul is to be congratulated for his own contributions and his efforts at keeping Lowell connected, as he continues his program of blending UML students and faculty into the fabric of Lowell, and, his untiring cultural and arts advocacy. These are huge tasks and we should all be proud to have a man with such vision (a Lowell guy mind you) in a position to facilitate programs that bring people together. This is exactly what’s needed to progress Lowell’s image, while improving quality of life opportuniities in the City.
Dick, I hope we can get tighter as a City. There’s still a lot of separation because of the fifedoms that need to stop and take a look at themselves. Are we a top down political system, or a people oriented community? I’m studying this closely and can tell you first hand that there are disconnects in key places in the overall stucture of Lowell’s government.
What do we as a community want Lowell to be EXACTLY? We lack a comprehensive collective vision, although we seem to be satisfied with going through the motions. Yes, we can list enormous accomplishments, but these accomplishments will be for naught if they’re not linked together for the ultimate benefit of Lowell’s citizens, including the various cultural communities that make the City so rich and worldly.
We’re at a critical juncture … the people need more voice. But first, they need to feel that they’re being listened to, that their participation matters. Political fifedomes and blue ribbon panels may be the bane of Lowell’s vision and ultimate progress towards becoming a world class City. We’ll always be a good City, but we have the potential to be so much more. Let’s not rest on our laurels. Dick’s post is a wake up call.
With Lowell having a median (not average but median!) income of $56,494 in 2009, one might ask “how are people supporting themselves?”
Drugs, sex and other illegal activities become a primary source of income in impoverished urban areas. These pursuits, like all commercial activity with the objective of profit, are made easier to accomplish with organization, thus the reach of gangs. Recall South Boston and Whitey. The proliferation of all cash businesses (like my favorite — the many nail salons on Beacon Hill which greatly exceeded demand) essential to wash that “commercial” cash can also signal a growth in illegal activity.
Please note that I am not saying all nail salons or all “all cash” operations are criminal. But all cash businesses are essential to robust criminal commerce.
The other source of support in Lowell, as most low income locales, is the transfer of other people’s money from taxes levied outside the city into subsidized housing, education, infrastructure, targeted tax breaks, health care, food . . . inside the city.
Ironically, to me, despite Lowell’s difficulty in moving from impoverished and subsidized into a more middle class profile, it is not uncommon to hear Lowell residents complain vigorously about “taxes and government” or to express anger and fear that Lowell will be overrun with newcomers who turn the city into, as one blogger put it, “a rich man’s haven”.
For those it may comfort, be assured there that there is no fear of that–despite the economic truth that Lowell would benefit from a larger % of residents with education and means whether accomplished through in-migration or better opportunities for current residents or, I would hope, both.
I kno he didnt do that shit dudes want to play with guns then testify against people real gansta