hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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July 4, 2013

The Lamp Post

(Continued)

Remembering where he came from: Although local author Andre Dubus has hit the big time, with two movies based on his works, he still takes time to come home to Haverhill and vicinity— and not to make a buck. Dubus readily agrees to speak at places like local libraries. Last week, he spoke to members of a Haverhill book club. His work most recently being discussed is his memoir “Townie’’ about growing up in Haverhill in the 1970s and facing tough times on the city’s streets.

What’s the holdup? Mayor James Fiorentini has been pressed by reporters lately about the quietly discussed project being eyed for Merrimack Street, involving the Newman’s Furniture building and possibly the long-vacant Woolworth building. It seems everyone downtown has been chatting about the possibility of a big residential and possibly commercial project there, but the mayor is mum. A little while back he said something would be announced soon, but so far nothing has been said.

Local woman honored: Several members of the Northern Essex Community College staff were honored at the recent Haverhill YWCA Tribute to Women, an annual event, but let’s not overlook another NECC staffer who received a similar honor out of town. Math professor Liliana Brand of Andover was one of 22 women honored during the YWCA of Lawrence Tribute to Women event.

All quiet: Does anyone remember all the ruckus that was raised a few years ago when the Whittier Rehabilitation Network wanted to convert its longtime rehab hospital on Summer Street to a psychiatric hospital? Neighbors said they feared the effect on the area — in terms of property values and even safety concerns. But drive by the hospital these days and you’ll notice nothing unusual. It’s quiet, as it always was in previous years, and city leaders have heard no complaints from neighbors.

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