:Timing is everything: The timing of traffic lights at the intersection of Main and Summer streets next to City Hall has improved, making travelling easier for the Lamplighter and other drivers who pass through that area. In the past, the light remained green for just a few seconds for drivers going between Main and Summer streets. That made it difficult for more than one or two cars to get through, before the light turned red again. But apparently the city has reset the lights.
:Check’s in the mail: A Haverhill resident told the Lamplighter that he was surprised at how quickly his tax return was processed this year. The man said he filed his federal and state taxes Feb. 1 at 11:30 a.m., and he received his state refund by direct deposit three days later.
:Warming to baseball fever: Feb. 5 was “Truck Day” and to the Lamplighter it signaled that spring is just around the corner. On Truck Day, the unofficial beginning of spring training for the Boston Red Sox, player uniforms and all the other equipment was loaded onto a tractor-trailer truck bound for JetBlue Park at Fenway South in Ft. Myers, Fla. The first games are Feb. 21, when the Sox take on Boston College and Northeastern University. Several Haverhill people plan trips to those and other spring training games.
:Popular priest dies: The Rev. Robert King, longtime of the city’s St. James Parish, died last week. His former parishioners miss him dearly.
:No love for runners: Due to last weekend’s snow storm, the 22nd Bradford Valentine Race had to be postponed. Organizers said this was the first time this popular road race had to be called off. The event will instead be held this Saturday, Feb. 16, at the same place and same time as originally scheduled. Online registration will remain open until noon on Friday, Feb. 15.
:More than trivial: When the Haverhill Rotary Club held its weekly luncheon Jan. 31 at the Haverhill Country Club, Rotarians purchased copies of the new Haverhill Trivia Book created by Haverhill High School teacher Phil Brown and his students. High school seniors Erin Doherty and Dan Burrows, members of the school’s Interact Club, which is sponsored by Rotary, went from table to table selling the books to an eager audience of buyers as a fundraiser for their club. Rotary President Frank Novak was the first to buy a copy, handing the students a crisp $10 bill.
:Fun for a cause: During the Rotary Club’s weekly luncheons at the Haverhill Country Club, one member must read a humorous story or pay a fee to have another member read it. During the Jan. 31 luncheon, Rotarian Paul Bertholdt was about to read a story titled “It’s Good to be a Man,” but deferred the honor to Greg DiBurro, saying he’d pay $5 for DiBurro to read it. DiBurro responded, saying he’d pay $5 for Bertholdt to read. They went back and forth until reaching a total of $30 for the club’s charity fund. In the end, Bertholdt, exasperated and laughing, said he might as well read the story as “this is going nowhere.” The story went like this: “A man has six items in his bathroom — a toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving cream, a razor, a bar of soap and a towel stolen from the Holiday Inn, while the average number of items in a typical woman’s bathroom is 437. A man would not be able to identify most of these items.’’ Women members of the club seemed to appreciate the joke.
:A welcome (and safe) change: The Lamplighter is noticing drivers who enter Interstate 495 north from the ramp off Main Street (Route 125 south) are finally starting to honor a yield sign there. For the longest time, drivers would not slow down, despite the sign, and often caused dangerous situations. The Lamplighter wonders whether the lack of leaves on tree branches near the yield sign is making it more visible to drivers.
:Speaking of signs: Those signs erected by the city on the outskirts of downtown that direct drivers to the restaurant district and public parking are appealing. They contain information that is helpful to visitors to the city. The signs are also well placed — erected in heavily traveled locations to catch the eyes of drivers.
:Doing your part: Mayor James Fiorentini has been active on his Revere 911 phone system, calling residents not just about emergencies but also to remind them about the city’s winter parking rules — that cars be left on the even-numbered side of the street during February. He also asked people to be considerate and do all they can to get vehicles off the street during snow storms to make the jobs of plow drivers easier.