hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

June 6, 2013

The Lamp Post

The Haverhill Gazette

---- — :Soaring high: There have been many eagle sightings locally along the Merrimack River recently, as resident Judine Raymond points out to the Lamplighter. Raymond, a loyal Gazette reader and frequent responder to the newspaper’s “Thanks for the Memories’’ photo segment, called to say many of the birds have been spotted in Bradford recently. Eagles made a comeback along the river several years ago — evidence that efforts to clean up the Merrimack have been successful, according to experts.

A clean slate: Graffiti recently spray-painted on the walls of Trinity Stadium have been removed, keeping tomorrow’s Haverhill High graduation from being marred by the unsightly vandalism. School officials and city workers have been quick to jump on such problems at the stadium, either covering the graffiti or removing it right away.

Showing her brains for business: This woman has a nose for business — and the brains for it, too. Kim Dobbs of Haverhill is the winner of this year’s Northern Essex Community College Business Plan Competition. She won for her plan for an inn in York Beach, Maine, called The Morningside. Dobbs was laid off from a previous job and is now managing The Morningside, which she is leasing to own. But that’s not all. She also designs and makes jewelry, which she sells.

Money talk: There was plenty of chatter last week about teenagers and how they handle money, but it was not their parents talking. State Treasurer Steve Grossman stopped into Haverhill High School to preach about his program that provided grant money to the school for a class about handling cash, check books and credit cards. Grossman joined Mayor James Fiorentini and School Superintendent James Scully in a discussion of the program. It is designed to teach students real-life lessons of handling money as they prepare to enter the workforce or go to college. Haverhill was one of 10 communities and school districts statewide to get a grant for the course.

Thankful, but worthy: One of the good guys around town, Dick LeBlond, called the other day to thank the Gazette and other locals for their praise of his volunteer work. LeBlond and his friends have “adopted’’ the area around the statue of General Lafayette in the square of the same name. They regularly comb the area to keep it free of debris — a labor of love for LeBlond because the statue was erected in the 1930s by Haverhill’s French community, of which he is a member. LeBlond encourages other residents to volunteer for cleanups to keep the city looking good. The Lamplighter agrees, having seen many such projects over the years that paid off.

Playing to the crowd: City councilors were talking a few weeks ago about blocking the annual firefighters Labor Day weekend boot drive to collect money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Several councilors said they were concerned about traffic nuisances and dangers caused by firefighters in busy intersections. But councilors quickly changed their tune last week, when firefighters and a child affected by the disease showed up at the council meeting. The permit for the collection was OKed with no discussion.

All in the family: The first annual Campus Classic 5K and Fun Run at Northern Essex Community College was a big hit, drawing many runners. But the event last month was especially notable for Susan Bonenfant of Plaistow and her loved ones. Three generations of her family ran.