East Pawtucketville Neighborhood Group: 12/2/13 Community Meeting

Judith Davidson of the East Pawtucketville Neighborhood Group shared this report on the group’s December 2, 2013 meeting. To everyone involved in any of the city’s neighborhood groups or other organizations, I am happy to post your meeting announcements, agendas, meeting minutes and photographs. Just email them to me at DickHoweJr@gmail.com. Here’s the meeting report:

Police Chief Bill Taylor visits East Pawtucketville Neighborhood Group

This was a very special meeting. We had an unexpected surprise guest show up at 7:00 pm at McAvinnue School—Police Chief Bill Taylor, only two weeks into the job! Chief Taylor came to announce the initiation of on-the -ground police patrols for East Pawtucketville and the Acre. The patrols (pairs of UMass Lowell and Lowell Police officers) started their work this last Thursday (12/5/13). They are scheduled to be on weekly patrol Thursdays through Saturdays, starting at 9:00 pm and going into the early morning hours. They will be primarily on foot. These patrols are being made part of the routine policing assignments to improve safety in the East Pawtucketville and Acre area.

The new initiative marks Chief Taylor’s commitment to return to a community policing model in which officers on the ground will be responsible for meeting, greeting, and observing the community. This preventative approach coupled with heightened police visibility on evenings where incidents are high is one that our group has been advocating since its inception. We were excited to hear that our concerns have been heard and addressed.

The new initiative is also a demonstration of the growing partnership between the Lowell City Police and the UMass Lowell Police Department. Chief Taylor met recently with the UML police department and the two groups have begun to hammer out policies for closer collaboration on policing matters.
The news of the increased patrols in East Pawtucketville was announced in the 12/4/13 issue of the Lowell Sun, but Chief Taylor announced it first at our group meeting two days earlier. The East Pawtucketville Neighborhood group has instigated many meetings with city, university, and neighborhood members to discuss these community issues, and we thank Chief Taylor for coming to our meeting to share this news.

Documenting Disorderly Conduct in East Pawtucketville: It’s the Policy!

Captain Kennedy of the Lowell Police followed up this exciting news with a report on the crime statistics for East Pawtucketville over the last month. There have been few major problems during that period. Captain Kennedy reported that Lowell police officers are now officially required to write up all disorderly conduct calls in the East Pawtucketville area. This is in response to our group’s ongoing concern that disorderly conduct calls be documented, and, when students are involved, documentation be sent on to the UMass Lowell police for investigation. This is now the policy in the East Pawtucketville district. Again, thanks to all neighborhood residents who continued to advocate for better policies that would address the pressing problems of noise and disruption in the community.

Healthy Homes Update

David Turcotte, UMass Lowell Research Professor and expert on housing issues, provided a presentation on Healthy Homes. He shared important facts on the dangers that can be found within homes from mildew and mold to household pests. He also shared ways to eliminate or minimize danger. Many cleaning agents and pest removal products are toxic and Turcotte provided EPNG members with tips about healthier methods for getting rid of home problems. Using these tools, we can reduce asthma and other outcomes of an unhealthy home. Contact Turcotte at David_Turcotte@uml.edu
for more information about the healthy homes initiative.

Updates from the City

Mike Demaras was present to report on changes from the City of Lowell. Most residents will have received information about the new recycling bins. The new University Bridge (now the Howe Bridge) has been opened and the old bridge is slated to be torn down Spring 2014.

Franco-American Festival: Building steam for May 2, 2014

Excitement is growing around the second annual Franco-American Festival. It is scheduled for Saturday
May 2, 2014 from 10-2 pm in Gershlot. This one will be bigger and better yet! Participants from the 2013 festival are eager to re-commit and a number of new participant groups are in contact. A leadership group is now being formed. Please contact us if you are interested in participating. The Leadership Group will meet once a month from January through April to develop plans for the Festival. We are looking for individuals who would want to help with outreach to French Clubs and resturants; assistance with permits, fundraising and financial issues; and marketing activities.

Spring Meetings for East Pawtucketville Group

The East Pawtucketville group will hold two neighborhood meetings Spring 2014–one in February and one in April. Exact dates will be announced soon.

Friend us at: East Pawtucketville Neighborhood Group. You can also message us from that site.
Or email us at: eastpawtucketville@gmail.com