hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

November 7, 2013

The Lamp Post

The Haverhill Gazette

---- — What’s in a color? Plenty for the city’s candidates, when it comes to their signs on display on lawns and elsewhere during this year’s campaign. Candidates of Irish descent such as City Council incumbents William Ryan and Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien featured, not surprisingly, lots of green on their signs. Councilor Colin LePage chose the traditional Haverhill High colors of brown and gold. Then there were challengers like Melinda Barrett, who used a bright, eye-catching shade of red.

Speaking of campaign signs: Once they knew their number on the ballot, some candidates attached that number to their signs in the days before the election. It is said that candidates are better off having their names at the start of the list on the ballot or the end, but not in the middle where their names can be overlooked by voters.

It’s about time: Word that the city is finally going to build a dog park after years of talking about it is making pet owners happy. It will probably also please people who visit the public park along Lawrence Avenue next to Round Pond. Despite a sign that bans the walking of dogs in that park, which is popular with neighbors, some people do take their canines there — and sometimes don’t clean up after them. The planned dog park at Riverside Park next to the stadium will be a fenced-in area equipped with bags and barrels so visitors can clean up after their pets.

City must rebound from loss: It wasn’t like shopping the finer shops of Andover or walking from store to store in a Southern New Hampshire mall, but Building #19 in Haverhill had its followers — and not for just a short time. For about two decades, locals got good buys there and found jobs there as well, but it’s all coming to an end. This week’s announcement that Building #19 stores here and elsewhere are closing confirmed rumors that endured for most of this year. City officials say they are hard at work trying to find a replacement business to move into the soon-to-be-vacant location in Riversedge Plaza. They should be aggressive because Haverhill cannot afford to let such a property sit vacant for long.

‘Photographic’ memory: Not only was avid Gazette reader Robert Takesian of Haverhill the only person to respond correctly about a Thanks for the Memories historical photo of a confectionery store that existed decades ago at 354 Washington St., but he also knew the name of the owner — Aslan Gogjian. The Lamplighter is impressed.

No missing this: For people who walk or drive the streets in the Nettle Middle School neighborhood, there was no missing the fact that the school planned a big yard sale recently. Students made big cardboard signs displaying details of the event and nailed them to utility poles in the area for passersby to see.

Resurrected park off to great start: The Route 110 Merrimack River Park is closed now as cold temperatures arrive, but the park had a successful summer season after being closed the previous 15 years. The park near the Methuen line was closed in 1998 due to crime there and the inability of police to combat the problem because of their other responsibilities. But it reopened this year thanks to the effort of neighbors and other residents who volunteered to take care of the property. Taking time every morning and evening to open and close the park gates were Judy Poirier, Stephen Breen, Jim Ferguson, Barbara Drelick and Dick LeBlond.

No time to waste: Have you noticed the work going on to the outer walls of the Citizens Center on Welcome Street? No sooner did cooler temperatures arrive than workers began replacing the siding on the building, which is old, deteriorated and letting heat escape. A few months ago, the mayor and City Council put money aside for the repairs, which are too long in coming.