Gerard R. Boucher of Haverhill.
Blinded combat veteran Gerard R. Boucher of Haverhill misses hearing WHAV’s music and news on his television. Haverhill Community Television (HCTV) Monday confirmed it has temporarily replaced WHAV’s audio on Comcast channel 22.
Boucher was wounded during the Vietnam War in 1967 when he was only 20. He said he relies on the availability of WHAV, and is disadvantaged by its removal.
HCTV Executive Director Darlene Beal said the decision to remove WHAV’s news and music programming as background audio is unrelated to WHAV’s news coverage about the group’s clash with the city.
“Right now, we decided, we had a call to put up some beach footage so we put up some beach footage up over the community bulletin board. With beach footage goes beach music,” Beal said. She said the beach music is “coming down when the snow goes away.”
Boucher, who lost his wife Janet in December, is active in the community, serving as senior vice commander of the local Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Hannah Dustin Chapter 20. He also reminds residents each year of the importance of White Cane Safety Day and serves on the city’s Commission on Disabilities.
The timing of HCTV’s change reminded some of Groveland’s previous ban of WHAV’s audio on its cable television channel.
In 2009, Groveland public access television banned WHAV because of, what Groveland government officials called, the reporting of “lots of unflattering things.” The disagreement occurred when then-Open Mike Show host Jack Bevelaqua voiced his concern about Groveland’s approval of septic systems near Johnson’s Pond, Haverhill’s backup drinking water source.