Now that we're past early September and the time when preliminary local elections take place (when there are enough candidates), the political landscape is turning toward the local election in November.

There was no preliminary election this year in the races for mayor, City Council and School Committee because too few candidates took out nomination papers. But as the first week of November and the final election edges closer, more candidates' signs are appearing on lawns of homes across the city.


Reaching new heights

The Haverhill Heights project overlooking the Merrimack River is really taking shape.

For months, the skeleton of the 10-story building was expanding against the skyline, but now workers are enclosing the floors, giving everyone a sense of what the finished product will look like.

The project is being built off downtown Merrimack Street, next to Haverhill Bank and in a parking lot formerly owned by the city and taken over by Sal Lupoli of Sal's Pizza fame.

The building will have businesses on the first floor, residential units on upper floors and a culinary arts education program run by Northern Essex Community College.


Outfitted in orange

The big "American Dog'' statue next to I-495 in Ward Hill is outfitted for particular seasons of the year and holidays — an American flag for the Fourth of July, a Christmas image during the holidays.

If you've driven that stretch of highway lately, you may have noticed the big dog has pumpkins all over it for the fall season and Halloween.

The statue, about 12 feet tall and nearly impossible to miss as you drive that area, is the creation of local metal artist Dale Rogers. He and his staff decorate the statue several times each year.


Mum's the word

As an autumn chill hits the air, mums, the popular hardy fall flowers, are showing up across the city.

You might have noticed them at the new Vietnam Veterans Memorial in the park near the entrance to Plug Pond.

They're also prominent at a spot next to Gale Park — a small traffic island "adopted'' by City Councilor Tom Sullivan. Each year, he decorates the island with a colorful display of the flowers.



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