Overnight sensation

19th Century mill buildings on the Pawtucket Canal, in Lowell.

19th Century mill buildings on the Pawtucket Canal, in Lowell.

"Overnight the brick town of Lowell {Mass.} rose on the Merrimack River, attracting hundreds of farmers' daughters with  relatively high wages. For a generation the Lowell factory girls, with their neat dresses, proud deportment and literary weekly, were one of the wonders of America -- the first which Charles Dickens, arriving in New England, requested to see.

-- From How New England Happened, by Christina Tree

Dangerous dogs

A safe pit bull in public.

A safe pit bull in public.

Adapted from Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary,'' in GoLocal24.com:

Two pit bulls killed a seven-year-old boy Oct. 21 in Lowell. Attacks  on people by pit bulls are common. They’re aggressive and muscular dogs with very strong jaws. In some urban neighborhoods, they’re often kept by young men eager to display how tough they (the young men) are; the same as brandishing guns. And sometimes these dubious “pets’’ are kept to help guard drugs and drug dealers.

It is not the dogs’ fault that their physical strength,  their breeding and (often) their training to be aggressive make them so dangerous. But it’s past time to ban them from urban neighborhoods.

Pit bulls are generally seen as including the American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier and American bully. They have been bred to bite and hold their victims.

After some pit-bull attacks, Lowell tried to stem the menace in 2011 by requiring the dogs to be spayed or neutered and muzzled and leashed when off owners’ property.  But the Massachusetts legislature, prompted by owners of these breeds denouncing this  quasi-racial “discrimination,’’ barred cities and towns from enacting breed-specific ordinances.

With the latest horrific attack, Lowell officials are again demanding that pit bulls be brought under control. Meanwhile, owners who fail to properly control these sometimes murderous beasts must face severe criminal-law punishments.


Floss daily and keep hoping

Siemering resize-1  


"Captain America Suit'' (found lottery tickets, dental floss. man's suit), by REBECCA SIERMERING,  in the traveling Fiberart International show, which will be at the American Textile History Museum, in Lowell, Mass., through Oct. 26.  The museum say she says that the work ''reflects our yearning for a quick path to 'the good life.'''

Making textiles and the clothes that are are made of them used to be a very big deal in New England, especially in such old mill towns as Lowell. Now little of that stuff is made in our six states, but we still appreciate the art associated with it. Lowell, with its beautiful mills, canals and other reminders of its glory as a textile town,  much preserved in the Lowell National Historical Park, is well worth a visit.  It's  a way of understanding the ingenuity and dynamism that marked the American Industrial Revolution. (Then there were the horrors of child labor....)