hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

August 29, 2013

The Lamp Post

The Haverhill Gazette

---- — Looking good: Take a ride down Water Street toward Trinity Stadium and you can’t help but notice the clear view of the river. It’s all thanks to volunteers and city workers who thinned out trees and shrubs, allowing passersby a good look at the Merrimack. And what a view it is this time of year, with sun-splashed water and boaters enjoying the warm summer days that remain.

Morning stroll: A resident of Highland Street in Bradford was sitting on his front porch around daybreak recently, enjoying his morning paper, when he saw something that stunned him. Two deer came walking slowly down the street and then stopped, as if whispering about which way to go next. They then strolled off into the distance, eventually disappearing. The resident, who has lived in the home near Bradford Common for many years, had never seen anything like it and couldn’t wait to tell the Lamplighter the story.

Advertising you can’t beat: It must have been a no-brainer for the owners of Arthur Sharp’s hardware store in Bradford when they were approached by young artists who wanted to put a mural up next to the Bradford Rail Trail. The students and their adult helpers asked if they could place the mural on the back of the store to show off images of nature — animals and plants — that trail visitors are likely to see along the river. The store owners agreed, and now their property is somewhat of a landmark. It hasn’t hurt their reputation in the community either.

Start of school rush: As this week’s opening of schools approached, the rush was on for city workers to finish up painting crosswalks so students can cross streets safely. Last week, traffic had to slow down and wind past several sites where police officers directed cars around the workers as they painted. This summer, city workers have been putting fresh coats of paint on crosswalks all over Haverhill.

Needs a good cleaning: The Lamplighter couldn’t help but notice a stretch of I-495 where trash dots the edge of the highway for quite a distance. It’s along the southbound lane near the Ward Hill Connector. Maybe it’s time for inmates from Middleton Jail to be brought in for a cleanup. They often pick up debris along the highway.

New-fashioned school shopping: A boy who appeared no older than 6 or 7 was school shopping at Walmart in Plaistow with his mother recently. They were in an aisle picking out notebooks, pens, pencils and other typical school supplies. The Lamplighter happened to overhear the boy tell his mother, “Don’t forget, I need to get a flash drive too,” in reference to a small, portable data storage device that is plugged into a computer’s USB port.

No time to waste: If the city hopes to open up South Central Street in Bradford to two-way traffic again, local officials better act quickly. They said if they are to get the state to pay for the change, it must happen by this fall. If it comes later, the city must pay. The one-way traffic flow was set up by the state as part of its $15 million Route 125 reconstruction project, but merchants, residents and city leaders say it has caused more problems than it has solved.

An award-winning blend: Kudos to two Northern Essex Community College professors — Linda Desjardins of Hampton, N.H., and Christopher Rowse of Haverhill — who received the Massachusetts Colleges Online Course of Distinction Award. It is given to state teachers who develop and teach innovative online and blended courses.