In case you missed it, there was an AP article in Monday’s T&G about abandoned cemeteries. If you’re interested in the Lowell cemeteries that were mentioned in that article, you can find an article about them from the Lowell Sun on Proquest. (As always, follow the instructions at the top of this post for Proquest articles. You can also use it to read Albert Southwick columns of the past…)
There was also an article [from more than a year ago] in Smithsonian Magazine that discussed two very different funerals. Those of you who are interested in cemeteries (ok, perhaps that’s just me) might find it a worthwhile read.
And — in case you miss DW’s column — the cemetery was also mentioned in today’s column.
A friend of mine who occasionally reads this blog took me to ask for promoting boards and commissions while not serving on one myself. “Of course I do — why do you think I write so much about the cemetery?” I responded. (I don’t think he noticed because I’m naturally morbid. So that was a touch embarrassing.)
I know that some of you are not yet tired of my harping on about boards and commissions. (Those of you who are can stop reading now.)
Tracy and I were discussing B&C a few days ago, and she said that Jo Hart (perennial attendee and commenter at City Council meetings) should apply for the Planning Board. Which were pretty much exactly my thoughts.
A year or two ago, the city had held a conference to encourage people to apply for boards and commissions, and I don’t think that that effort filled the backlog of empty seats that need to be filled.
So my proposal is…we should have the list of open board and commission seats, along with applications, available at every City Council (and Council Subcommittee) meeting, right where the agendas are, to encourage those people who show up at these meetings to apply. Because, really, if someone’s dedicated enough to sit through a few hours’ of City Council meeting, she’s probably dedicated enough to serve on a board.
The problem, of course — and I welcome comments that disabuse me of this thought — is that if you’ve taken the mic a few times at a Council meeting with any idea that is slightly outside the mainstream, or you call the CSX expansion a “truck stop“, you start to be perceived as a bit of a kook.
Let’s take the guy who keeps requesting a leash law for cats. Sure, it’s easy to peg someone like that as a bit of a loon. But maybe he’s a bird lover who’s tired of neighborhood cats killing songbirds. Maybe he’s seen a cat hit by a car.
It doesn’t really matter.
The problem is that when we ignore people like him, or tune out people like Jo Hart, we lose the opportunity to be informed and (perhaps) to have our minds changed. And — equally as possible — we might be missing out on someone with great ideas who can better our city.
I would like to wish Jeff Barnard the best of luck in his second round of chemo.
I would also like to point out my jealousy that he’s gotten a comment from Mike Germain while I’ve gotten no contact of yet. Really!