hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

January 30, 2014

The Lamplighter

The Haverhill Gazette

---- — Silver lining: Haverhill students might have been disappointed to wake up last Wednesday morning and see only an inch or two of snow on the ground. The forecast not only included a lot more snow, but also that school would be cancelled. Neither happened. The good news for students is that they won’t have to make up another lost day in June. With only two snow days so far, the last day of classes is currently set for June 16.

In, then out: The snowstorm, which began Tuesday afternoon, also impacted that night’s City Council meeting. Councilor Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien began the meeting by noting that Mayor James Fiorentini just declared a snow emergency in the city. “He said we have to be out of here by 8,” she told her colleagues.

Take cover: It was noted in this space last week that the mayor has once again been invited to fire the starting pistol at the seventh annual Frozen Shamrock 3-mile race Feb. 23. Organizer Dave LaBrode joked with councilors that this has been a bit of concern among local law enforcement types, but that since the mayor did it last year and no one got hurt, they asked him to do it again. Labrode also noted that more than 1,100 runners and at least another 1,000 spectators and supporters are expected for the event hosted by Archie’s Little River Ale House in Lafayette Square. “It’s not an official city event, but it’s a huge benefit to the city as it’s expected to draw more than 2,000 people to downtown Haverhill in the middle of winter,” Labrode told councilors, who approved the race last week.

Kudos athletes: School officials said Haverhill High School sponsors 29 sports and 47 teams each year. They said that during the 2012-2013 school year, participation in sports topped 1,000 students for the first time in six years, and that the level of participation continues this year.

So far in this school year, Hillie teams have captured five conference championships. It’s the first time this has happened since 1998, and is just the third time in the modern era, school official said. Six Haverhill coaches received Coach of the Year honors and five student athletes were named Player of the Year.

The Hillies were successful in the classroom, as well. Ten of the top 15 students in last year’s senior class rankings were student-athletes.

All the Hoopla: The public library is planning to offer a new movie streaming and download service through a company called “Hoopla.” Beginning Feb. 3, patrons with a library card will be able to stream or download up to seven movies, full length CDs or audiobooks per month to their computer, tablet or smartphone. Library officials said Hoopla doesn’t yet work with streaming devices such as Roku or Apple TV, but they said Midwest Tape, the company that provides libraries with various forms of media, is currently working on applications to make them compatible.

New concept: A new business called the “Paint & Wine Lounge” is opening at 57 Wingate St., Suite 103. The business is based on a concept that started in the south and is catching in this part of country. Adults can enjoy a night out and receive a painting lesson while sipping wine, beer, soda, juice or other refreshments. Instructors will be available to help beginners, aspiring artists and others create their own works of art. Saturday afternoons are for families, so kids can paint as well. The lounge is run by Shawna Kelley, a member of the Haverhill Cultural Council, and can be reserved for birthdays, private parties, bachelorette parties, bridal and baby showers, family reunions and other fun events. Soft openings are planned for next month and a grand opening is planned for March 15. Visit online at www.paintandwinelounge.com.

Report road woes: Potholes arrived early this year and the city is encouraging residents to report them. You can call the DPW at 978-374-2364 or you can submit a pothole repair request online at www.ci.haverhill.ma.us. There are two ways to get to the pothole repair request form. At the top left of the city’s webpage under “Departments,” select “DPW” then “Highway” then “Pothole Repair Requests.” Or half way down the left side of the city’s webpage, under “City Departments,” select “Highway” then “Pothole Repair Requests.” City officials said the goal is to repair potholes within 48 hours of their being reported.

White teeth, big ideas: Pearly Whites Express, located at 143 Essex St., Suite 208, recently hosted the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce staff for a complimentary tooth whitening session. Chamber staff and local business owners were recently spotted at Keon’s 105 Bistro planning their next Restaurant Mystery Tour — an evening event where guests enjoy a complimentary cocktail hour and limo ride to an undisclosed restaurant destination, a three-course gourmet meal and after party.

Congratulations: Pentucket Bank’s very own downtown Haverhill branch manager, Kerri-Ann Godin, might blind you with her new bling – this fall she became engaged.

Bunnies and Leprechauns: Breakfast with the Easter Bunny, a free event sponsored by the Pentucket Kiwanis Club, will be held the Saturday of Easter Weekend at Maria’s Restaurant on Essex Street. The Exchange Club of Haverhill is working on plans for its annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast at DiBurro’s, which will actually be held on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.

Took the cake: New City Councilor Melinda Barrett celebrated a birthday recently and the best present she got was her mother’s home-made cake. It’s a white cake with raspberry filling and a sweet butter frosting.