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Barrett Implores City to Aid ‘Chronically Underfunded’ Haverhill Public Library

Ahead of this spring’s budget sessions, Haverhill City Councilor Melinda E. Barrett did her due diligence Tuesday night to petition for increased funding for what she calls the “chronically underfunded” Haverhill Public Library. Over the last year, Barrett said 51,000 cardholders found the location a “highly used and valued” resource—a resource that risks losing certification if the city doesn’t fill a much-needed $195,000 gap. The Library’s Board of Trustees and the City of Haverhill partner jointly to oversee the Library and over the last 11 years, Barrett said the Trustees increased their budget 41 percent, while the city boosted their contribution 0.2 percent. “The city has to have a plan for closing the funding gap and maintaining appropriate funding going forward,” Barrett said. “I don’t know if we have that plan, but I hope we can work together with the Mayor to make that plan happen.”

Haverhill has failed to meet requirements for certification 14 times in last 16 years but received waivers, Barrett said.

Mass. School Building Authority Approves Moody Roof Repair, Nixes Other Requests

State aid is on the way to help repair the aging infrastructure at Margin Street’s Moody School. On Tuesday, the Haverhill School Committee and Mayor James J. Fiorentini were notified that the Massachusetts School Building Authority invited the city to participate in the accelerated repair program to overhaul the roof of the preschool. The green light comes four months after the School Committee implored Fiorentini to seek state aid for four city schools: Haverhill High, Golden Hill, Silver Hill and Moody Schools. In the end, Fiorentini submitted Statements of Interests for all except Silver Hill, telling WHAV Tuesday he wishes he could take another pass at the application. “I really have second thoughts about including all three schools.

Full Harvest Moonz Marijuana Dispensary Preps for May 21 Special Permit Hearing

Haverhill is one step closer to getting the city’s first retail marijuana shop, with councilors Tuesday night voting to grant Plaistow Road dispensary Full Harvest Moonz a special permit hearing on May 21. Headed by Weymouth-based CEO Janet Kupris, the dispensary at 95 Plaistow Road inked a host community agreement with Mayor James J. Fiorentini in December and finalized all traffic study, site plan and security paperwork with the city earlier this month. Attorney Michael Migliori petitioned the Council on behalf of Kupris at Tuesday’s Council meeting, making Full Harvest Moonz the first of Haverhill’s three proposed retail dispensaries to progress to the special permit phase of the licensing process. During the May 21 session with councilors, the Full Harvest Moonz team’s security plan, hours of operation and other logistics will be ironed out, with the nine-member panel voting to approve or deny Kupris permission to do business in the city. Councilor Michael S. McGonagle is expected to sit out special permit proceedings, as he and his sister, Kathy McGonagle Darby, recently purchased the former Seafood Etc.

Today’s Obituaries—April 24: Freeman, Pica, Sifre

David A. Freeman, 57, died April 18 after a short illness at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Boston with his family by his side. Freeman served as the shop manager for North Andover’s Town Auto Body for more than 30 years. Calling hours are Friday, April 26 from 4-6:30 p.m. at the Kevin B. Comeau Funeral Home, 486 Main St., Haverhill. A funeral service follows in the funeral home at 7 p.m.

Kristen M. (Wunderlich) Pica, 48, died suddenly April 20 at Lawrence General Hospital.

Edward L. Gately, 86, Korean War Veteran

(Paid obituary)

Edward L. Gately, 86, of Haverhill, formerly of Groveland and Salisbury, passed away peacefully Friday, April 19, 2019 at The Country Center for Health and Rehabilitation in Newburyport, MA. His loving family was at his side. He was the devoted husband of Gisele (Vaillancourt) Gately. Edward was born August 26, 1932, the son of the late Charles and Alice (Dewhirst) Gately. He was raised in Bradford, having graduated from Sacred Heart Middle School in Bradford and Saint James High School in Haverhill.

Vargas: Haverhill Facing a Significant Housing ‘Crisis’

Making rent, coming up with down payments or simply keeping a roof over one’s head is a becoming a significant problem in Haverhill, state Rep. Andy Vargas tells WHAV. In fact, the sophomore Beacon Hill policymaker went so far as to call the issue a “crisis,” telling co-host Ralph Basiliere that housing is the biggest worry faced by his constituents in recent months. “We all know how much of a crisis this is—and I would call it a crisis,” he said. “The No. 1 issue that we get calls for in my office has to do with housing, whether it’s people being forced out of their homes, people that can’t find rent in Haverhill, can’t come up with down payments to qualify for some of the mortgage programs that are out there.

Hilldale Cemetery Cleanup Effort Planned for Sunday

The Hope for Hilldale Cemetery group seeks volunteers for a Sunday, April 28 cleanup session at the Haverhill burial ground from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Volunteers are asked to bring any gardening tools they may have available to share and gather at 66 Hilldale Ave., Haverhill.

KidsFEST 2019 Is Saturday, May 4: What to Expect at the Washington Street Fair

Heads’ up, Haverhill: KidsFEST 2019 is coming! This year, the annual family-friendly street fair is returning to the city’s downtown business district on Saturday, May 4, held on the stretch of Washington Street between Casa Blanca restaurant and The Tap. According to Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce Events Director Melissa Seavey, the scaled down affair was orchestrated in an effort to appease downtown neighbors so they can go about their business on a busy Saturday when the event takes place between 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Seavey is optimistic about consolidating the event, which carries a “Dr. Seuss” theme, to a smaller area. “Here’s hoping that we have the perfect location for a downtown event,” Seavey says. In addition to live music from acts including Thomasina Glenn and Be Imagine’s Bliss and Chaotic Sanity, Creative Haverhill holds its first juried youth art show at 90 Washington St., with art on display from artists in grades pre-K through 12.