:Close calls: Drivers should brace for a complex and sometimes slow ride on Main Street near the upper avenues. Last week, workers dug around manhole covers and raised them as part of a road repair project. They placed orange caution barrels on top of the covers to force cars to avoid them. The Lamplighter noticed a couple of cars narrowly missing hitting the barrels after dark. One of the barrels had a flashing light device attached to it, but the light was not working.
You know it’s summer when ...: The Lamplighter was driving south on I-495 the other day when he noticed the sign that pops up late each spring near the Ward Hill off-ramp. The sign reads “U Pick’’ and displays the image of a strawberry, inviting residents to pick fruit at a nearby farm. The sign is in a great advertising spot — right next to the eye-catching huge metal dog statue made by local sculptor Dale Rogers.
:On the electronic bandwagon: As the Bruins headed into the Stanley Cup finals last week, there was plenty of community support displayed around town. Flags with the team’s spoked B emblem were hanging from front porches of homes, but the most eye-catching items were electronic signs on businesses like Angelo the Florist’s shop on Winter Street. The shop has an electronic sign high on the building which flashed the words “Go Bruins.’’
Rainy memories: The rain which threatened last weekend’s annual Relay for Life event at Northern Essex Community College brought back memories of the rain-dampened relay from a couple of years ago. The relay features teams of people walking or running around the college’s track for 24 hours straight to raise money for the fight against cancer. During the previous rained-upon event, teams members who were camping out around the track were forced into the school’s gym to stay dry and away from lightning.
Time for a comeback: With all the boats we see docked at the Crescent Yacht Club on the Bradford side of the river, the Lamplighter wonders why the club can’t pull some of the owners together and bring back the end-of-summer boat parade, which has not happened for the last few years. The annual parade was popular for many years, starting at the North End Yacht Club in Newburyport and travelling up river to the Crescent club for a huge cookout and performances by local bands. But the event died out a few years ago because few boat owners were participating.
Speaking of the yacht club...: Here’s hoping the relatively new speed boat races happen again this year on the stretch of river near the club. The boats are an incredible sight, practically skimming across the water at speeds near 70 mph. The races have drawn big crowds in recent years.
Italy bound: The world languages and cultures department at Salem State University announced that four of its recently graduated students were chosen as recipients of competitive fellowships to teach English in Italy and France next year. The students include Tessa Allen of Haverhill, who graduated from Salem State in May. She will leave for the Lombardy region of Italy in September under the auspices of the Consulate General of Italy in Boston, and as part of the Future Teachers of Italian in the U.S. program. The Network of Autonomous Schools in Lombardy, through a relationship with Salem State, provides competitive fellowships to Salem State University students to study and teach in Italy. Allen was an honor student at Salem State and president of its Italian club. She majored in art design and art education, and minored in Italian.