hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

April 3, 2014

The Lamp Post

The Haverhill Gazette

---- — The wrecking ball is swinging wildly just over the New Hampshire border.

If you’ve been shopping lately on the Route 125 strip just over the line into Plaistow where lots of Haverhill people go, you can’t miss the changes there. Several buildings in the old Shaw’s plaza have been demolished or are in the process of coming down.

It looks like a war zone, but is actually designed to boost the region’s economy. After several businesses moved out of the plaza, leaving storefronts empty for months, the owner came up with a plan to rebuild the plaza and attract new businesses.

They’re baaaack

Have you noticed that Canada geese have returned to Kenoza Lake after the winter?

It’s a big flock, congregating in their regular spot — the lawn on the north side of the lake. Because Kenoza is the city’s prime supply of drinking water, health officials have been concerned in the past that droppings from the birds would pollute the water, even though the lake has a filtration plant.

In the past, the city has tried to chase away the birds by using everything from a spell from a “dowser’’ (water witch) to plastic trash bags making an unusual noise by flapping in the breeze.

Wonder if Haverhill will try something new this year?

Speaking of the reservoir ...

Like so many bodies of water, Kenoza Lake is very high this year.

If you’re driving by the lake on Route 110, take a look and you’ll notice just how high it is.

It’s a welcome image as we head into spring and summer, when hot days have caused concerns in recent years about a possible water shortage.

There’s no escape

Last year’s graffiti spree marred many properties in the city, but things quieted down after two young men were charged in the crimes.

But as the warmer weather approaches, there are signs of graffiti outbreaks again.

The old Skelley gas station on Water Street next to the river is one of the most recent targets. If you drive past the building on this well-traveled street, you’ll notice one side of the structure is covered with graffiti — this after many graffiti markings were cleaned off the building months ago.

Vandals or Mother Nature?

The Lamplighter noticed several street and traffic signs on the ground last week.

Could it have been caused by the heavy winds that blew through the city one day, or were vandals striking again?

Taking on a cause

The staff, students and parents of Whittier Middle School have taken on a cause that is special to them.

They are working to raise awareness about autism.

Each day this week, they are sharing one autism fact over the school’s morning announcements.

People who donate to the cause will receive a sticker that displays a light bulb and says, “My school is lighting it up blue!” The students, parents and staff are making this effort to share information with the public about Autism Awareness Day.

Principal Toni Donais, students and the staff are wearing blue to school, and there are donation boxes in the homerooms for “Change for a Change.’’