hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

December 27, 2012

The Lamp Post

The Haverhill Gazette

---- — :Locals brace after Newtown shootings: The Newtown, Conn., elementary school massacre had local school officials and police on alert. On the Haverhill school web page, Superintendent James Scully posted this: “I have letters sent to parents and staff.... in addition to what is there, Chief Denaro and I have been in close contact ... we’ll have Police Officers around all buildings all week and all available school staff will be very visible to help calm anxieties, etc.’’

Reaching out to Newtown victims: They call it “Operation Fuzzy Wuzzy.’’ Kudos to those who are making it happen. A Haverhill high teacher and others have collected donations of teddy bears to be taken to Newtown and given to children there. They collected so many bears that a local trucker offered his vehicle to bring the stuffed animals to that Connecticut town.

Satellite college campus a big boost: Word that UMass Lowell will open a satellite campus downtown next September has people buzzing. It’s good news all around — for businesses, which can expect sales to college students and staffers; property owners, who have a chance to offer up their buildings for the project; local students, who can take college classes closer to home; and the city, which will get a boost to its downtown image.

Sidewalk interference: The new sidewalks in Bradford on Route 125 heading toward Ward Hill look good — except for the utility poles smack in the middle of the walkways. City Councilor Thomas Sullivan is leading the charge to complain about it, saying the state made a mistake with this part of the Route 125 reconstruction project. Some observers say they fear the poles will force walkers, like parents with baby carriages, to go out into the busy road.

Congrats: The Lamplighter wants to congratulate Margaret “Meg’’ Hogan on her recent appointment to the board of L’Arche Irenicon Inc. A Haverhill-based residential community for adults with developmental disabilities, L’Arche Irenicon is part of a worldwide network of more than 130 communities which provide a family-like atmosphere for their clients. Hogan is vice president of external relations for Home Health Foundation, one of the largest and most respected home care agencies in Massachusetts.

New eatery for downtown: The Barking Dog restaurant is now open on Washington Street. It replaces the George at the Vault restaurant and adds to the mix of eateries in the popular restaurant district.

Good try, but ....: When a high-ranking state education official toured Haverhill High School recently, one student tried to take advantage of the situation. “Can we have a snow day all next week?” senior Adelise Roberts asked Mitchell Chester, commissioner of elementary and secondary education for the state. All he could do was chuckle.

A selfless Christmas: Home Health VNA had an outpouring of holiday support for frail, homebound elders and sick children. People and organizations across the valley joined in to help. The Rollins family of Haverhill (all 70 of them) decided to buy Christmas gifts for VNA patients instead of each other. The family provided five shopping bags of clothing, toys and supplies for patients and their families. The Haverhill Exchange club did a raffle to buy gifts for the children of the VNA’s Maternal and Child Health program. The club took the money raised and bought gifts for sick children and their families.

A humorous run: When the Andover Striders and the Winner’s Circle Running Club have their annual Run to the Beach 30K on Sunday, March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day), the event will be less than serious — judging by publicity that is circulating around the city. The race starts at the North Andover VFW and finishes at the Winner’s Circle Sports Bar in Salisbury. A press release from organizers tells participants to “feel free to jump in or out at any distance. If you would like to cheat, that’s OK too. There are no awards, no entry fee, no numbers, no T-shirts, no charities, no USATF, no registration, and no race directors to complain to.’’