Public Meetings This Week: Council Seeks Resolution to Downtown Paid Parking Stalemate

The public has opportunities to shape policy this week as various Haverhill boards meet. In the interest of transparency in government, WHAV provides this list of upcoming meetings every week. Haverhill City Council begins anew discussions of the city’s troubled downtown paid parking plan tomorrow, starting with a decision on whether to override Mayor James J. Fiorentini’s veto of a plan to help councilors get around state conflict of interest rules. Late last month, councilors and the mayor attempted to resolve a problem where certain councilors are barred from voting on parking issues because they either own property or have parking passes for downtown area. Because five votes are required—even when as many as four members cannot participate, most parking measures fail.

Early Massachusetts Presidential Primary Voting Begins Today; Here’s Where to Vote

Early voting for Massachusetts’ presidential primary is underway today in Haverhill and area communities. Although the Massachusetts presidential primary is next week—Super Tuesday, March 3, residents may vote as early as today. Haverhill, Methuen and most area communities accept ballots beginning at 8 a.m., every day this week. Merrimac, however, opens at 9 a.m.

Extended hours are also available tonight in Merrimac, until 7, and Groveland until 8. North Andover stays open late tomorrow, until 7 p.m., and Haverhill remains open Wednesday, until 8.

DiZoglio Bill Promotes Local Business, ‘MassMakers,’ with Web Portal, Holiday Promotion

Sens. Diana DiZoglio and Jason Lewis and Jon Hurst of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts plan to speak at a press conference this afternoon in support of a new DiZoglio proposal to support local businesses. DiZoglio’s bill, known as an Act to Support MassMakers, aims to assist small businesses, in part by establishing a Massachusetts Main Streets Office and a MassMakers web portal. The portal seeksl to assist aspiring start-ups and scale-ups, micro-businesses. Among other things, the bill also requires the governor to annually proclaim the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday following Thanksgiving Day as “Local is the New Black Weekend,” to “promote awareness of the vital role that local businesses play in the economy and general welfare of the Commonwealth throughout the year.”

“Our small businesses are the economic engines of our communities and essential to job creation and growth,” said DiZoglio.

Mass. State Police Add Dozens of Patrols As Distracted Driving Warnings Begin

State Police plan are deploying “dozens of additional patrols” to Massachusetts roadways as a new distracted driving law kicks into effect. Motorists can expect to see troopers more frequently, particularly during busy commuting times, Massachusetts State Police Col. Christopher Mason said at a Thursday press conference highlighting the imminent implementation of the law that Gov. Charlie Baker signed in November. Some cruisers will carry two troopers, allowing one to serve as a “spotter” for motorists who do not comply with the new restrictions on virtually all handheld cellphone use behind the wheel. “Our goal is for you to get home safely to the ones that you care about and the ones that care about you,” Mason said.

This Week’s Radio Listings: Methuen Superintendent Kwong Among Daily Live Guests

Tonight’s Radio Highlights

Classic Hits: Favorites all day, except as indicated
Community Spotlight: News of upcoming cultural and civic events, quarter past every hour
Wave Weather: Every 30 minutes
World News: Noon and 11 p.m.
Take Two Movie Review: “Birds of Prey,” 8:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m.
Mass Moments: “Lynn Shoeworkers Strike,” 1860, 6:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m.
Dave Mack’s Rock and Roll Oldies Party (live): 3-6 p.m., Saturday. Gunsmoke: “The Queue,” 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.

Sunday’s Radio Highlights

Classic Hits: Favorites all day, except as indicated
Community Spotlight: News of upcoming cultural and civic events, quarter past every hour
Wave Weather: Every 30 minutes
World News: Noon, 6 and 11 p.m.
Take Two Movie Review: “Birds of Prey,” 8:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m.
Mass Moments: “Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Opens,” 1903, 6:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m.
Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: “The Buyer and the Cellar Matter,” 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.

Week of Feb. 24
Monday’s Radio Highlights

Classic Hits: Favorites all day, except as indicated
Local News: Every half hour from 6-9 a.m., hourly 9 a.m.-3 p.m., every half hour from 3-6 p.m.
WIN for Breakfast: Win Damon is light, lively and local, 6-9 a.m. Guest: Ralph T. Basiliere, chairman, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Commission. Community Spotlight: News of upcoming cultural and civic events, quarter past every hour
Mass Moments: “U.S. Hockey Team Wins Olympic Gold,” 1980, 6:45 a.m. and 3:45 p.m.
Melinda’s Garden Moment: “Growing Mexican Sour Gherkin,” 7:45 and 4:45 p.m.
Sound Beat: “In the Still of the Night,” 8:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m.
Insight Daily: “The Art of All Things,” 9:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m.
Suspense: “A Statement of Fact,” 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.
World News: 11 p.m.

Tuesday’s Radio Highlights

Classic Hits: Favorites all day, except as indicated
Local News: Every half hour from 6-9 a.m., hourly 9 a.m.-3 p.m., every half hour from 3-6 p.m.
WIN for Breakfast: Win Damon is light, lively and local, 6-9 a.m. Guest: Methuen School Superintendent Brandi Kwong. Community Spotlight: News of upcoming cultural and civic events, quarter past every hour
Mass Moments: “William Dawes Dies,” 1799, 6:45 a.m. and 3:45 p.m.
Melinda’s Garden Moment: “Old-Fashioned Flower Favorites,” 7:45 and 4:45 p.m.
Sound Beat: “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” 8:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m.
Insight Daily: “The Art of All Things,” 9:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m.
Dimension X: “Universe,” 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.
World News: 11 p.m.

Wednesday’s Radio Highlights

Classic Hits: Favorites all day, except as indicated
Local News: Every half hour from 6-9 a.m., hourly 9 a.m.-3 p.m., every half hour from 3-6 p.m.
WIN for Breakfast: Win Damon is light, lively and local, 6-9 a.m. Guest: Haverhill Rotary Club President Megan Shea.

Bradford Elementary Staff, School Administration to Meet Monday to Begin Resolution of Faculty Complaints

A simmering dispute between the staff and leadership of Bradford Elementary School is bringing a fresh discussion of issues and a possible framework for dealing with future concerns. Haverhill School Superintendent Margaret Marotta is calling a Monday meeting of school staff and district leadership aimed at outlining “the school district’s plan to provide staff an opportunity to share their concerns about the school in a structured, confidential manner.” Marotta’s move comes after members of the Haverhill Education Association reported on the eve of February school vacation that 75% of school staff voted “no confidence” in Principal Louise Perry and Assistant Principal Nicole McGrain. “These concerns are being taken seriously,” said Marotta Friday in a statement. “It is disheartening to me that for five years the staff has had concerns and that this was the platform used to share the information with the current district leadership despite multiple avenues of communication specifically created to share issues that arise within our schools. Conversation and communication are our best avenues to resolve these situations.

Today’s Obituaries—Feb. 21: Stuart

Gwendolyn I. “Gwen” (Haynes) Stuart, 90, died Feb. 19, at Wingate of Haverhill. She was the wife of the late Donald A. Stuart. Born in Haverhill July 13, 1929, she was educated in Haverhill and graduated from Haverhill High School. Her career spanned many years to include King’s Dept.

Council Representation by Ward Emerges as Favorite by Attendees of Haverhill Fact-Finding Meeting

Haverhill residents turned out en masse last night for a Citizen’s Outreach forum, presented by the City Council to gather public input on possible changes to the city charter. The number one topic of discussion was a proposal by Mayor James J. Fiorentini to change the council to ward-based representation. Currently, all members of the City Council are elected on an at-large basis. The mayor says the current system leaves some members of the community under-represented. While not every person that spoke at the meeting agreed on the details of such a change, such as whether there should be two or four at-large councilors, but they were overwhelmingly in favor of having all seven of the city’s wards represented on the Council.