hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

November 14, 2013

The Lamp Post

The Haverhill Gazette

---- — It takes one to know one: When first-time candidate Melinda Barrett had a strong showing in last week’s election, finishing third in the City Council race, former Mayor John Guerin had an interesting observation. “I told her there must be something about working on a food counter on Merrimack Street,’’ said Guerin, who was a butcher at the downtown Haverhill Beef company when he was elected. Barrett runs a successful deli just a few doors away from Haverhill Beef.

From summer beauty to fall mess: All the leaves falling from trees in places like Linwood Cemetery are creating a challenge for workers there. People rave about the variety of trees in that burial ground and how attractive it is, but the trees translate to a big mess when the leaves fall. Meanwhile, workers in places like St. James Cemetery don’t have it nearly as bad. That’s because there are far fewer trees there — an old-fashioned Catholic cemetery.

Getting a glimpse? With the leaves falling, perhaps people passing by Winnekenni Park on Route 110 will be able to get a peek through the trees at the historic castle on the hill. Years ago, city workers would prune the trees so Winnekenni Castle was visible from the road. There were even spotlights shining on the castle so it could be seen at night. The Lamplighter wonders if the city’s plan to spot-cut trees from woodland areas like Winnekenni Park means the castle will eventually be visible from the road again.

Getting the message across: The city’s roadside electronic signs have been getting lots of use this fall, with school back in session and the city election occupying much of residents’ attention last week. The signs are sometimes placed at roadside near schools to remind drivers to slow down for children’s safety. Last week, one of the signs was along main street at busy Walnut Square. Its message reminded residents to vote on Tuesday.

Tireless for Tyler: Even as darkness enveloped them and the polls were about to close on election day, supporters of mayoral write-in candidate Tyler Kimball were still working on his behalf, trying to squeeze out a few last votes for him. Several of them stood on a traffic island at the intersection of Lowell Avenue and Washington Street, waving Kimball signs at passersby minutes before the polls closed at 8 p.m.

Speaking of Kimball: The Lamplighter wonders how the failed mayoral candidate will be accepted over time, as he promises to be a fixture in city politics. The day after the election, Kimball, who is a Haverhill firefighter and owns Kimball Farm, was canvassing the city, talking to residents and saying he planned to regularly attend City Council meetings to share his ideas, and also offer them to Mayor James Fiorentini. Word is Fiorentini wasn’t particularly welcoming of Kimball’s plans.

Here’s to the Hillies: It’s remarkable how well Haverhill High teams are doing these days. The football team, which had that long losing streak a few years ago, has righted its ship and is in the playoffs this year. And so many other Hillie teams made the playoffs this year and last year. Athletic Director Tom O’Brien and his coaches and other staff members have done a great job and deserve the community’s thanks.

Winning dimly: It’s a strange way to get a home field advantage, but word is that Hillie teams playing night games at Trinity Stadium have a bit of an advantage because they are used to the relatively dim lights that illuminate the field. The Hillies are used to those conditions, while visiting teams have trouble adjusting at games. The athletic department is trying to raise money to install new lights, but it’s an expensive job.