hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

August 21, 2013

The Lamp Post

The Haverhill Gazette

---- — Keeping up with Tom: Haverhill favorite son Tom Bergeron continues to grow his celebrity status, with an appearance on “The Kris Jenner Show’’ — a new TV talk show. Bergeron, the Emmy-winning Haverhill native, is the host of the popular TV show “Dancing With the Stars.’’ Jenner, or course, is the mother of the Kardashian siblings, as in “Keeping up with the Kardashians.’’

It shouldn’t be long now: Look for a big announcement soon about that long-talked-about downtown development at the eastern end of Merrimack Street. The Newman’s Furniture building was sold a few weeks ago, and now another building in that area has also changed hands. It’s all pointing toward a residential-commmercial development that is expected to include the long-vacant Woolworth building at the gateway to downtown.

This Zombie wants peace and quiet: The noise from a new skate park in Connecticut is too much for rocker and horror movie-maker Rob Zombie, a Haverhill native. He and his wife have complained to the Litchfield County town of Woodbury that the park, which opened near their home in April, makes so much noise that it should be moved. The town is considering moving the park, but will first try to muffle the noise by enclosing the sides of the metal skate ramps, stuffing the jumps with Styrofoam and putting soundproofing fabric on a fence. The park hours were also reduced and it is closed on Sundays.

His thumb’s green: If you haven’t taken a ride up to Winnekenni Castle yet this summer, it’s worth the trip. The castle gardens have never looked better and make a beautiful setting for an outdoor picnic or family gathering. City Councilor Tom Sullivan, a Winnekenni Foundation board member, is responsible for gardening duties around the castle. That leads the Lamplighter to ask this: If Sullivan can transform the exterior of the castle with his gardening skills, what else could he do if given an opportunity to implement the 11-page Winnekenni Park & Plug Pond Improvement Plan he released in the spring?

College’s pockets deepen: Northern Essex Community College recently got a modest financial boost, thanks to Eastern Bank. Bob Rivers, president and chief executive officer of the bank, visited the school to make a $10,000 donation. As the college strengthens financially, NECC students received a record amount of scholarship money this year.

It didn’t take much: All it took for drivers to slow down when merging from Route 125 at Main Street onto Interstate 495 was a little pruning of branches. When state highway workers were paving that stretch of the highway recently, they also cut some branches away from a yield sign there. The Lamplighter has noticed in recent months drivers repeatedly zipping past the sign, apparently because they did not see it. But now that the branches are pruned, drivers are slowing down at the merge.

Helping with her creative skills: It was worth a try for Noreen Fantasia. The Northern Essex Community College reading tutor from Salem, N.H., had never created a PowerPoint, movie, or video in her life. But that didn’t stop her and two friends from creating a six-minute, YouTube video tribute titled “Boston State of Mind” which has received close to 8,000 views. It is designed to support One Fund Boston, where people donate to help victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.