hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

April 18, 2013

The Lamp Post

The Haverhill Gazette

---- — :Potholes a plenty: With the arrival of spring, potholes have emerged across the city. They are everywhere — on main streets and side roads, parking lots and alleys — and city workers are trying to keep up with them. A reminder from the Lamplighter: Residents are encouraged to report potholes to the Public Works Department so repairs can be scheduled.

He’s moving it around: More than one local restaurant/watering hole is getting some extra business thanks to a well-known local Red Sox fan. Peter Carbone, owner of E-Z Way Cleaners, invited friends via email to watch the Sox’ season opener two weeks ago at The Tap restaurant and bar. His plan was to steal away for the afternoon to take in the game. Carbone was at it again last week, inviting friends to watch the Sox’ home opener from Fenway Park — but this time at Archie’s Little River Ale House. His email read, “Catch (no pun intended) us for opening day at Fenway Monday at 2pm for a late, late lunch.’’

An expert’s approval: It’s a bit like when a well-known politician endorses someone running for office. Elaine Barker knows her way around the city’s parks. The president of Brightside — the group that organizes cleanups and plantings in parks and other areas of the city — is supporting City Councilor Tom Sullivan’s plan to improve Winnekenni Park, which covers hundreds of acres. She emailed friends and associates before a hearing on the plan last week and urged them to back it as well.

But, maybe a catch for the park project: The most sensitive element of the proposal to improve Winnekenni Park is the suggestion that the city charge a fee for people to use it. The money would go toward park maintenance. Even though City Councilor Tom Sullivan’s plan calls for a relatively small annual fee for park users, some local pols and residents are frowning on it, saying its use should remain free. Period.

Thanks for the thanks: The Lamplighter wants to thank the local Boys & Girls Club for presenting the Gazette with a plaque to acknowledge the newspaper’s coverage of club activities during the last year. The honor came at last week’s club awards banquet, with reporter Mike LaBella receiving the plaque. But in truth, no thanks were needed. The club has made plenty of news in recent months, from expanding the role of girls there to adding programs and facilities to the club’s building at the edge of downtown.

:High hopes: Word that the mayor and his staff were bringing local property owners and developers together for a conference last week had observers chatting about hopes that something will happen on several high-profile properties along the Merrimack River. They include the site of an old factory on the Bradford side of the river next to the roller-skating rink and the former gas station next to the Comeau Bridge. Then, there are two properties which have been vacant for decades — the old Taylor Goodwin lumberyard and, of course, the Woolworth building. These are prime spots along the river as city leaders urge the development of waterfront property.

:City native making his mark: Benjamin Powell, originally from Haverhill, has become a big player at Texas Tech University. He is heading a Free Market Institute there, designed to focus on the benefits of free-market economics. Powell, a newspaper columnist and visiting professor at the Rawls College of Business, said $4 million to run the institute was donated by an anonymous West Texas cattle rancher. The rancher thinks more teaching and knowledge of free markets is needed, and that Texas Tech is a great place to get this started, Powell said.