Haverhill Moves Ahead With Next Phase of Little River Dam, Saying Removal Would Unify Neighborhood

Haverhill is moving cautiously toward taking down the Little River dam near Lafayette Square and establishing a walking trail, pedestrian bridge, fishing platform and kayak/canoe launch area. The state formally granted the city another $475,000 this week for river restoration design and permitting, while providing amounts to other area communities for similar climate change preparations. Haverhill mayoral Chief of Staff Allison Heartquist says the latest phase is a two-year process, requiring signoffs from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Heartquist says the neighborhood, including Cashman’s Field on Hilldale, could be unified in the post-industrial future. “It’s basically going to improve the connectivity of the neighborhood with recreational opportunities,” she tells WHAV.

Appeals Court Judges Rule in Favor of the City of Haverhill and Cannabis Retailer Stem in Zoning Dispute

A state Appeals Court ruled yesterday in favor of the City of Haverhill and Stem, a downtown cannabis retailer, over the legality of zoning where the shop is located. The appeal of last year’s Land Court decision was requested by J. Bradford Brooks and Lloyd Jennings, as trustees of L&B Realty Trust, and Stavros Dimakis, as trustee of Evthokia Realty Trust. They contested Land Court Judge Robert E. Foster’s decision last year that Licensed Marijuana Establishments are consistent with the city’s Licensed Marijuana Establishments Overlay Zone, Waterfront District and Downtown Smart Growth Overlay District. The opponents argued city rules call for a 500-foot buffer zone between any marijuana establishment and schools, childcare facilities, parks, churches, libraries, playgrounds and youth centers. Appeals Court Justices Sookyoung Shin, Joseph M. Ditkoff and Maureen E. Walsh ruled Haverhill’s creation of overlay zones following voters’ approval of recreational cannabis did not result, as alleged, in “spot zoning.” They also acknowledged federal and state schoo1 zone statutes relating to “controlled substances,” but noted there is no outright ban as evidenced by use of such drugs by medical offices near schools.

Haverhill Becomes a Purple Heart City, Honors Most Recent Recipient Donald Jarvis

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Purple Heart City Ceremony Calls Attention to World War II Heroism of Late Haverhill City Councilor
Methuen Also Becomes Purple Heart Community and Honors Recipients for Sacrifices

Haverhill formally became a Purple Heart City Saturday morning with the pinning of the city’s newest recipient of the medal, Donald R. Jarvis, and honoring all wounded in service to the country. While steps toward naming Haverhill a Purple Heart City have been taken since December when then-Veterans of Foreign Wars Lorraine Post 29 Commander Keith Gopsill proposed the idea, Jarvis learned in April he had also been named a recipient. Gopsill, now junior vice commander, told those gathered at Grand Army of the Republic Park that U.S. Army Specialist Jarvis was injured on Feb. 13, 2012 when he was serving as a combat engineer in Afghanistan.

Purple Heart City Ceremony Calls Attention to World War II Heroism of Late Haverhill City Councilor

Saturday’s Purple Heart City ceremony in Haverhill brought a moving and emotional tribute that revealed the largely untold saga of late City Councilor Theresa Baumann’s heroic service during World War II. City Councilor John A. Michitson called his aunt Terry his “inspiration for public service” and read the tribute prepared by Baumann’s daughter Sandy O’Dea. Baumann became a Purple Heart recipient herself when, as serving as a nurse in the U.S. Army, she was wounded in Germany when a V-1 flying bomb struck. She was hit in the eye and face and was awarded the Purple Heart, as Michitson detailed to the crowd gathered downtown at Grand Army of the Republic Park. “She was on duty when a buzz bomb hit an abandoned home that her team was using as a makeshift hospital.

Haverhill’s National Night Out Draws Large Crowds, Brings Community Together for Food, Fun and More

After a year off because of the pandemic, Haverhill’s National Night Out appeared to draw record crowds that enjoyed games, food and conversation. Newly installed Police Chief Robert P. Pistone called the celebration at Swasey Field one of his “favorite events of the entire year.”

“We’ve got the entire community out here, all the officers, fire department, Trinity Ambulance. This year, we have the State Police, the sheriff’s department. We have the National Guard here. We also have a lot of community members that set up booths,” he said.

O’Brien to Retire from Haverhill City Council After a Tenure Bookended by National and Local Crises

Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien is not on the Haverhill ballot this year after two decades as a city Councilor—a tenure bookended by national crises—the attacks of 9/11 and the COVID-19 pandemic. O’Brien campaigned for City Council during the uncertain times surrounding the hijacking of four airplanes by Al-Qaeda that were used in attacks on New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington. She was also personally familiar with a simultaneous local crisis—the failure of the city-owned Hale Hospital, where she worked as a nurse. The events influenced her governing once she was elected that fall. Among her proudest achievements, she told WHAV, is the redevelopment of abandoned factories downtown into new housing and retail spaces, which she called “a quality of “life” issue.

Amazon Formally Opens Haverhill Location, Presents $10,000 to United Way One Haverhill Fund

Amazon officially opened its new Haverhill distribution site Wednesday, giving the United Way’s One Haverhill Fund a $10,000 donation as a good neighbor demonstration. United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley Vice President of Engagement Dahlia Cox accepted the donation in the presence of local elected leaders, including Rep. Andy X. Vargas who encouraged creation of the fund last year during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. “To have a company come into the city and immediately fulfill their word. That is true partnership right there,” Cox said, adding Amazon has also pledged to offer helping hands during days of service. Cox said the One Haverhill Fund has raised about $130,000 since it was created.

Voters May Not Have Chance to Decide Haverhill Charter Change as Drive Moves Toward Legislature

Under threat of lawsuit, Haverhill is being told to elect its City Council and School Committee by neighborhood. It may be too late, however, for voter input on the change. Haverhill City Clerk Linda L. Koutloulas said Tuesday it may be possible to get the question on November’s local election ballot. However, Haverhill Latino Coalition’s Manual “Manny” Matias told WHAV it is time to petition the state legislature to impose the change on the city. “We would want the home-rule petition.