hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

February 21, 2013

The Lamp Post

The Haverhill Gazette

---- — :Snow slips away: Did you notice how quickly the huge snow piles leftover from the blizzard began to shrink once the temperatures rose just a a bit and the sun hit them? The Lamplighter was amazed at how quickly the piles lessen — a good thing for safety reasons. It has made backing out of driveways easier and allowed drivers to see around intersections before pulling out.

:Not waiting for Mother Nature’s help: Kudos to state workers who got out there shortly after the blizzard and knocked down snow piles at merges on highway ramps to give drivers a better view and help them pull onto the interstate safely.

:Another pat on the back: Kudos too to the city’s firefighters who were out there the day after the storm shoveling out fire hydrants. It was quite a job, considering the city’s square mileage, but necessary. The Lamplighter encourages anyone who lives near a hydrant that still has snow on or around it to shovel it out or report it to the Fire Department.

What’s your guess? With city workers bringing load after load of snow by dump truck to the back of the Highway Department yard, quite a mound is growing there. Wonder if it will rival the mountain that was there a couple of years ago after several big storms. To widen main streets narrowed by snow, workers use front-end loaders to fill trucks and move the white stuff to the highway yard. The mountain a couple of years ago was so big that city workers were betting how long it would take for the final bit to melt. Some said it would be into July. Does anyone remember when the final melt happened?

Not what they were looking for: As the blizzard was picking up steam that Friday afternoon, people were out making their rounds — many of them gassing up their cars and trucks. But those who went to a popular convenience store/gas station in Monument Square got an unwelcome surprise. The nozzles on the self-serve pumps were covered with signs that said they were out of gas. The Lamplighter was among the surprised customers who had to go elsewhere for gas.

Boasting again in a big way? As more people with Haverhill connections make celebrity names for themselves, The Lamplighter wonders whether a second huge mural featuring well-known locals will eventually emerge downtown or elewhere. The Gateway Mural on the side of a four-story Essex Street building in the city center features historical figures such as Rowland Macy, who founded his successful Macy’s department stores generations ago in Haverhill, and current celebrities like best-selling author Andre Dubus. But recent accomplishments of people such as Haverhill native Kevin Hayes, who won a Grammy Award last week for a video by his country western band, has some wondering whether the city will eventually have another mural to boast of high-achievers who come from here.

Making their mark: People are still talking about the series of state police stops that locked up all edges of Lafayette Square one recent Saturday night. Troopers were everywhere that night starting not long after dark. They stopped people for everything from having unregistered cars to loud exhaust systems to more serious offenses such as drunken driving. As the stops began happening, word spread from one local watering hole to another, causing customers to be careful how much they had to drink.