hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

August 22, 2013

The Lamp Post

The Haverhill Gazette

---- — Enough already: Residents of the Buttonwoods Avenue neighborhood have had their fill of late-night explosions in the area. As the firework-like explosions (which sound like M-80s) continue and complaints to police increase, patrols to the area are on the ride. One school of thought is that whoever is responsible sets off the explosions in nearby Linwood Cemetery, before disappearing into the darkness.

Bright stripes everywhere: If you think the yellow lines on many city streets are looking brighter than usual, your eyes are not deceiving you. As the Lamplighter pointed out a couple of weeks ago, city workers have been taking advantage of the good weather by repainting crosswalks — and now they are also tackling the yellow center lines on roads.

Doggone: What ever happened to the proposal for a dog park in the city? Remember a couple of years ago when city leaders and others were excited about creating a park, possible in the area of Winnekenni Park? Nothing has happened since, and dog owners still walk their pets at Winnekenni and other parks — often off leashes.

It’s about time: Hilldale Cemetery appears to be getting some attention after complaints about poor conditions there — everything from overgrown shrubs and weeds to gravestones that need uprighting. The Lamplighter noticed a large construction crane parked inside the cemetery’s main gate, indicating work is underway.

Signs of the times: Have you noticed the signs popping up along local roads, especially near intersections, advertising upcoming events such as the annual River Ruckus Festival? It’s one way to get people’s attention, especially the captive audience of drivers stopped at red lights.

Bleeding them for a buck: The additional Massachusetts tax on tobacco recently went into effect, and it didn’t take long for stores in southern New Hampshire to take advantage of the situation. Some stores have kicked up their cost for a carton of cigarettes by a buck or so — less than the Bay State sales tax hike. It keeps smokers going over the border to the north to avoid the tax, but still puts more money into the pockets of those New Hampshire stores.

The hits keep on coming: The latest book by Haverhill High graduate Andre Dubus III is getting good reviews, in the wake of his other successes. It’s a collection of short stories titled “Dirty Love’’ — a departure from his previous big sellers such as the novel “House of Sand and Fog,’’ which was made into a movie, and “Townie,’’ Dubus’ memoir about growing up in tough parts of Haverhill in the 1970s. Dubus is still hopeful his novel “The Garden of Last Days’’ will be made into a movie, after the company eyeing it split with Hollywood star James Franco, who had signed on to direct the movie and play the lead role.

Wrong turn: People watching construction of the Groveland Bridge one day last week stared in disbelief as a young man on a bicycle somehow rode onto the bridge, despite signs warning against it. Thankfully, he realized he had made a wrong turn and was able to get off the bridge.