A Uniquely New England Event, ‘CiderFeast,’ Comes to Downtown Haverhill This June

A native with a familiar last name is bringing his New York City experience back home to Haverhill with CiderFeast New England in June. James Carbone, who settled in New York 35 years ago, won City Council approval this week to bring his idea to Haverhill’s riverfront. “Hard cider about 10 years ago really became the next thing in terms of orchard-based, farm-based, quality ingredients—It’s kind of like natural wine, except it’s lower alcohol. It’s really native to New England and the northeast,” he explained. He noted he has been putting on festivals and tastings in New York for the last 10 years, but came back to Haverhill because of COVID-19-related business shutdowns in the Big Apple.

Councilors Resolve to Find Parking and Sidewalk Solutions for Haverhill’s Concord Street

With two public schools and a recreation area on the street, Haverhill city councilors Tuesday night resolved to find solutions to a lack of consistent sidewalks and off-street parking on Concord Street. Councilor Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien highlighted the issue, noting she saw skaters at Round Pond this past winter parking on the low, soft curbing of the street or parking on both sides making passage difficult.

“We went from people being parked on the street, which was at times very tricky—sometimes there were cars parked on both sides of the street so that it was single file going through, either up or down Concord Street, and now that we’ve moved into the spring, and we have fishing and people out and about in that area because it is a lovely place to walk, they’re parking on the sidewalk,” she explained. O’Brien proposed considering off-street parking for about 10 cars near Victory Avenue and the exit from Pentucket Lake School. She asked the idea to be developed in time for this year’s budget deliberations. Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan said he already asked the mayor to install new sidewalks all the way along Concord Street to Kenoza Avenue and install granite curbing which will discourage drivers from straddling their cars over the barriers.

Haverhill Marijuana Shop Files Suit Against City, Arguing it Does Not Have to Pay ‘Community Impact’ Fee

This story has been updated to include an additional statement from Stem. The owner of an adult-use marijuana shop filed suit Friday against Haverhill, saying the company should not pay “community impact” fees unless the city proves the added cost of hosting cannabis businesses. Stem, which opened nearly a year ago at 124 Washington St., asked Essex County Superior Court to make Haverhill “provide the required documentation and substantiate the fee,” allow the court to hold the fee until the matter is resolved and prevent the city from recovering certain legal costs. Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini disputes Stem’s contention the city must justify the fee and argues Haverhill gave the store a downtown monopoly in exchange for the agreement. “They wouldn’t be there had they not come in and voluntarily said they wanted to pay and agreed to pay a community impact fee.

Cassano and Arthur Plan Retirements After Maintaining City Hall Continuity Behind the Scenes

While those elected to Haverhill’s two major boards have come and gone over the years, smooth operation was maintained behind the scenes thanks to the efforts of two women who have kept track of the tiniest details. Haverhill School Committee Executive Assistant Beverly A. Cassano is retiring this month after nearly 40 years and Haverhill City Council Secretary Barbara S. Arthur retires in May after 25 years. They are both leaving in place systems to help keep the continuity. Cassano worked for many of the city’s legendary names, beginning as a clerk in 1982 under school Superintendent Warren E. Thuotte and where she was mentored by former Business Manager Nancy Paszko and co-worker Diana Melendy. She went on to work under Superintendents Thomas Fowler-Finn, Fritz Esch, Arthur Tate, Raleigh Buchanan, James Scully and Margaret Marotta as well as interim Superintendents John Phelan, Michael Wrenn and Gerald Quatrale.

New Georgia Sen. Ossoff Has Haverhill Family Ties and Wealth Traced to Area Leather Industry

One of Georgia’s two new senators, Thomas Jonathan “Jon” Ossoff not only has Haverhill family ties, but a connection to the city’s storied shoe industry and wealth emanating from the area’s leather enterprises. The 33-year-old made history last Wednesday when he delivered the U.S. Senate into Democratic hands, but his victory was largely overshadowed by the insurrection that day at the Capitol in Washington. Ossoff’s great aunt, Eve Kladky Ossoff, was born in Haverhill, daughter of Israel and Sarah Kladky who founded I. Kladky Leather Co. in 1918. The company operated from 98 Phoenix Row, 35 Railroad Square and other Haverhill locations over the years.

The Night the Martian ‘Death Ray’ Missed Haverhill

Editor’s Note: This is an update of earlier versions of this story. Marking the 82nd anniversary of the historic broadcast, 97.9 WHAV airs the original “Mercury Theater on the Air” presentation of the “War of the Worlds” at 10 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 31, with an encore three hours later at 1 a.m. 

The supposed Martian invasion of Earth and its aftermath 82 years ago this week didn’t seem to faze Greater Haverhill residents. In fact, most locals didn’t even know about the “death rays” that destroyed metropolitan New York the night before. That is, until they picked up their newspapers Monday, Oct.

Slavit Family Places Storied U.S. Coast Guard Boat on River; Free Tours to be Available

There’s a new craft on the Merrimack River—a 1959, 40-foot former U.S. Coast Guard boat—and it will soon be available for tours as well as life-saving missions. And the boat, which once famously patrolled the Great Lakes, has quite a history as Tim Slavit tells WHAV. “It was the first boat on scene at a famous wreck called the Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975. A hurricane and a 700-foot container ship broke apart in seconds and the never saw the crew again with 29 men on board,” he says. Slavit, whose legendary father, Capt. William J. “Red” Slavit, served many years as harbormaster, launched the boat Monday, making good on a promise he made to WHAV listeners last month.

Kayak Rentals, Merrimack Riverboat Among New Haverhill Merrimack River Activities

Part 2 of 2 (Read Part 1 here.)

Haverhill’s downtown waterfront welcomes kayak rentals beginning next week and—possibly not too far off—an expansive riverboat taking passengers up and down the Merrimack. Next Wednesday, July 1, Plum Island Kayak launches boat rentals with a ticket office near the gazebo at Riverfront Park, behind Washington Street. Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce President Dougan Sherwood says ceremonies begin at 11 a.m.

“We hopefully have a ribbon cutting and christen the new business on the docks, and I think he’s going to have a dozen or two dozen boats down there for people to jump into,” Sherwood says. Plum Island Kayak’s Ken Taylor expects to be joined by officials, businesses and the first customers. Besides the new ticket office, the city’s Harbor Commission, headed by Chairman Sam Amari, authorized the purchase of additional docks.