hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

August 1, 2013

The Lamp Post

The Haverhill Gazette

---- — :Lining up for the fall run: Voters are about to find out who their choices will be in the fall election. After much talk about whose names will be on the ballot, candidates are making their final decisions this week, as the deadline for filing nomination papers arrives. Look for an interesting City Council race, with at least one incumbent not seeking re-election.

Spirits for sale: Remember when the Bradford Shell convenience store gave up its liquor license a few months ago, after city licensing officials bad mouthed the store for selling to minors? Word then was that the Gulf gas station and convenience store in Duston Square would take over the license. It’s been a while coming, but the Gulf station finally has the license. Signs for the sale of beer popped up in the store’s windows last week.

An eye-catcher: The Lamplighter was passing by the western side of Plug Pond the other day when he couldn’t believe his eyes. A pontoon boat — one of those slow-moving flat crafts designed to carry large groups of people — was making its way across the pond. It stopped at the edge of the small park along Mill Street and picked up a few passengers. Such vehicles are unusual on the city’s ponds and lakes because the use of fuel-driven motors is banned from those bodies of water which feed into the drinking supply. It turns out the pontoon boat is perfectly legal, powered by an electric engine. The boat is owned by a man who lives at the edge of the pond. He got permission from local conservation officials to use the boat there because it has the electric engine, which poses no danger to the water.

A new ring to on old tradition: Look for an old image to return to the downtown during the next holiday season. Word is some local organizations want to bring back the Christmas bell that hung above Washington Square for decades. The image of the bell is etched into the memories of local people who are 40-ish or older. The original bell is long gone, but the organizations are reportedly looking to fashion a new one that is a mirror image of the old one.

‘Tis the season: It seems everywhere you look there’s paving work going on — whether to streets, driveways or highways. This is the season to get those jobs done, and workers for the city and state and from local companies are taking advantage of the dry weather to make needed repairs.

Less than a barrel of fun: Watch out for construction barrels on Interstate 495 ramps, particularly those that link to Main Street in the northern part of the city. When you drive on those ramps, especially at night, the barrels can surprise you, forcing you to swerve if you’re not careful. The barrels are located on top of catch basins that have been reconstructed during the state’s recent massive highway repaving project.

Looking good: People are raving about the plants and flowers blooming along Main Street in the area of Central Plaza. The flowers, many of them bright yellow, really stand out. The city invested a few thousand dollars to put the plants and flowers there.

A clean slate: All that graffiti that marred buildings and vehicles around the city in the last few weeks is quickly being removed, and it’s a welcome change. Police say two teenage boys used spray paint to tag words on their targets dozens of times.