hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

February 28, 2013

The Lamp Post

The Haverhill Gazette

---- — :Pothole city: With all the snow and freezing and thawing we’ve been having lately, holes are showing up on the streets of Haverhill and other communities. We don’t often see this many potholes until spring. A reminder — the mayor’s office and Highway Department welcome reports of potholes so city workers can fix them before they get out of control.

New building on the way: For those wondering what would happen to the empty lot at the corner of Fountain and Lawrence streets where fire ripped through a house last year, forcing its eventual demolition, the answer has come. Heavy equipment has been on the site excavating for what appears to be a foundation. It’s likely any structure built there will be residential because that’s what’s allowed by zoning.

Local building shines: The city’s Leewood Building continues to draw attention for the big array of solar panels on its roof. Congresswoman Nikki Tsongas, a supporter of green energy, toured the property last week to see its 1,000 rooftop solar panels — the largest such array in Haverhill. Federal and state money was used on the project. The U.S. headquarters for Swix Sport USA, Inc., is located in the building. Joining Tsongas on the tour was Peter Schwartz, owner of Leewood Realty.

Making his feelings clear: To School Superintendent James Scully, it was clear who caused violence to break out at Haverhill High after last week’s baketball game between Methuen and Haverhill. In a release after the incident, Scully said, “This evening following an excellent boys game....Haverhill Won....with a capacity crowd...a few Methuen students were yelling vulgarities and tossing snowballs at HHS students as they exited the gym. One Methuen student in particular was responsible for raising the emotions which resulted in all HPD officers on duty responding. The HPD did an excellent job in quelling the incident that could have mushroomed ... The HPD also took much grief from some that were arrested. Subsequent to the incident two cruisers from the Massachusetts State Police arrived at HHS to assist.’’ Tensions between students from the two high schools began at a hockey game a few nights earlier and erupted into a brawl after the basketball game, but no one was seriously hurt.

And a reminder about student violence: In the wake of the brawl at Haverhill High between Haverhill and Methuen students, Superintendent Scully used a mass phone calling device to contact families throughout the city. He told them incidents like that and another fight involving a Haverhill High student accused of stabbing people outside a party will not be tolerated. Scully’s phone message said, if part, “Both situations tarnish the good things that so many have accomplished at Haverhill High School. Please know that any individual who distracts from the good and interferes with any aspect of the purpose of that school will not only be prosecuted, but will also be removed from the student body as permissible by law and statue. There are so many great young men and women who attend that school that deserve better.’’

Hizhonor in their honor: Mayor James Fiorentini hosted a celebration of Lithuanian Independence Day on Feb 20 in his City Hall office. As he does regularly at such events, the mayor hosted several members of the local Lithuanian community.

Taking to the TV screen: Local cable TV recently premiered the new show “Spontaneous Construction,” which featured students and faculty from Northern Essex Community College. The hosts of the show contacted Michele Deane, coordinator of NECC’s dance program and a Haverhill resident, through social media last summer. She rallied students and faculty to lead a flash mob on the site of a home located on the North Shore, and to help with creating a backyard paradise for the homeowners. The Lamplighter thinks it’s an interesting concept.

Singing for peace: Northern Essex Community College student Amanda McCarthy is singing out against young people who threaten others. McCarthy of Londonderry recently wrote an anti-bullying song titled “I Don’t Deserve This” for popALERT, a Boston-based teen pop/rock band.

Congrats: Three Northern Essex Community College employees have received the quarterly employee recognition award for the first quarter of 2013. Congratulations to Patricia Malone Schade of Byfield, Richard Padova of Andover and Richard Lizotte of Amesbury.