hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

July 25, 2013

The Lamp Post


The Haverhill Gazette

---- — How hot was it last week? So hot that some local organizations canceled their golf tournaments. Look for lots of golfers to be on the links when those tourneys are rescheduled. Wonder if all that activity will affect the ability of people to walk onto public courses and play?

Battling for business: Gas price wars are on at either end of the city. The battle has been going on for the last couple of years on Route 125 in Ward Hill where the neighboring Prime and Blue Canoe stations always try to undercut each other by a couple of cents. A similar battle is brewing now in Duston Square, where Main and Primrose streets meet. The Mobile station there that was closed for months has reopened and is keeping its prices close to those of the Gulf station and convenience store across the street.

Dangerous moments: Drivers near a construction site on Mill Street next to Gale Park the other day had a scare. A heavy metal plate that covered a construction ditch in the road shifted, opening up the ditch to oncoming cars. Thankfully, a driver noticed the problem, stopped and used his cell phone to call police. The plate was soon placed back in its proper spot.

An adoption and a facelift: Several neighbors have been spending lots of time at the park at the western edge of Plug Pond lately, giving it a facelift. They have adopted the park and are planting flowers, pruning shrubs and doing other work to give the area a new look. The park is the latest of more than a dozen locations in the city to be adopted by volunteers.

New million-dollar look: Speaking of competition, the restaurant row along Route 125 near the Plaistow line is driving one eatery to improve its image. The Friendly’s restaurant is making nearly $1 million in improvements. It is located on a strip that has a variety of restaurants for customers to choose from.

Worth the walk: It’s a good thing the Plug Pond beach is open — and that it’s located so close to the inner city. In the last couple of weeks, especially during the recent heat wave, the Lamplighter has noticed lots of young people carrying beach towels and walking on Mill Street toward the pond. The walk isn’t bad from the Highlands neighborhood and even from the lower Acre.

Brighter crossings: If you think crosswalks across the city look a little brighter, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. Workers have been repainting the crossings in a striped format that stands out because of the design and fresh white paint. One of the crossings in particular, near the park at the western edge of Plug Pond, really stands out as you drive by it.

New faces among us: The Lamplighter has noticed some new faces in neighborhoods across the city lately, and perhaps you have too. It’s a summertime phenomenon — the post office sending out replacement letter carriers to cover for the regulars when they go on vacation. Some of them faced a tough breaking-in period recently with the heat wave.

They’ll always take the help: Volunteers have made their mark at Winnekenni Castle, where flowers are blooming thanks to people who gave their time to put plants there. For those who have more time to give, Elaine Barker of the Brightside organization has a suggestion: “If at any time you are going by the castle and would have a few minutes to pull up a few weeds among the flowers - the board would greatly appreciate it,’’ she wrote in an email to residents.