:Follow parking rules, or pay: Police want to make sure everyone is aware that the winter parking rules are in effect, so they’ve been “announcing’’ it in a big way. They recently had an electronic sign on Main Street near Basiliere Bridge reminding drivers that the rules would be enforced starting this month. The rules require drivers leaving their cars on the street overnight park on either the even-numbered side or the odd-numbered side, depending on the month. And rest assured, the rules will be enforced — snow or no snow. In past years, people in some neighborhoods became irate when their cars were ticketed for being on the wrong side of the street, even though no snow had fallen. Police say they want residents to develop good parking habits early, so when the snow does fly plows will be able to pass by easily.
:City shows its generosity: Haverhill’s recent VFW Santa Parade not only entertained a huge crowd, but the Betsy Conte Food Drive that took place during the parade helped restock the shelves of nine local food pantries. They are All Saints Parish, Calvary Baptist Church Pantry, Emmaus, Open Hand Pantry, Pregnancy Care Center, Presidential Gardens Neighborhood Association, Sacred Hearts Church, the Salvation Army and Somebody Cares New England. The Conte family thanks the many volunteers who helped make this year’s drive a success and the many people who donated food items.
:No Christmas Castle, but holiday spirit lives: The Salvation Army decided not to set up the Christmas Castle in the Pentucket Bank community room this year, and instead invited parents seeking help to stop by their headquarters on Main Street. Salvation Army Lt. Jeff Hardy said the decorations at the Christmas Castle became too expensive to keep replacing due to age and accidents. Hardy and his wife wanted people to be in the Salvation Army building to experience all they have to offer. He said it has more space to distribute gifts to children of families in need. Hardy said the move allowed for quicker, better and more efficient services to clients, and all under one roof. Still, the Lamplighter missed his annual visit to the Christmas Castle to see all of its wonderful decorations.