You Have Everything to Gain By Being Involved

I’m pretty certain that we aren’t really as concerned as we make ourselves out to be when it comes to protecting the environment. And, I think a lot of that indifference comes from the fact that often times we look to the government or nonprofit agencies to solve the pollution problems we see around our communities. We also do not believe that our contribution to the problem is all that significant, nor is our involvement in a solution. The costs of both come at a price we are not able or willing to pay, either because it’s a hardship or presents insurmountable time commitment problems.

For beginners, when you have a large corporation with seemingly unlimited sums of money financing the election of local, state and federal officials, trying to influence those same officials with private citizen lobbying efforts is frustratingly difficult. And those same officials supported by corporations install like-minded appointees to regulatory agencies that vote in lock-step with corporations, while supposedly charged with regulating their behavior. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is a prime example of this scenario as local residents have discovered in New Jersey, as they fight to prevent unneeded gas transmission pipes from being installed under the roads of their communities or through previously protected environmentally sensitive areas of the state.

Haverhill’s Season of Optimism

Harbor Place at White’s Corner. With springtime temperatures and cloudless, sunny skies above the city, the changes to the area between Harbor Place and Haverhill Bank on Merrimack Street certainly looked impressive as I recently strolled along the boardwalk between the two buildings. The soon to be completed Bradford Rail Trail will certainly add a terrific additional option for a walk, bike or run along the opposite side of the river. This area had been long neglected but certainly has been revived by an incredible transformation undertaken by dedicated citizens as well as local and state government officials and agencies. Soon the docks of the Crescent Yacht Club will be slipped into the water along the shore of the river, and the boats will head out onto the Merrimack for a pleasure cruise or a fishing trip to catch “the one that got away” in years past.

Spring and the Red Sox: Season of Optimism

Ah, the season of optimism. When we’ve all tolerated the winter months, any temperature over 45 degrees is a welcomed relief, and all weather forecasts are great, even if there’s a bolt of lightning or the sound of thunder in the midst of a downpour. The Red Sox moving van has returned from the annual trip down south, with truck drivers who have long since peeled off the sunburn of the first few days down in the Grapefruit League,  and returned home covered in a tan we can all envy and  to which most snowbirds can relate. If the team did well, with veterans making remarkable comebacks, pitchers getting in the groove and hitters sending home runs out beyond the palm trees, the visions of a world series and a free living room set from Jordan’s Furniture appear on the October horizon. But if they struggle throughout the spring as passed balls, grounders through the infield and gopher pitches to the often played, less talented  Minnesota Twins head over the outfield fence, we always manage to remain optimistic with the phrase, “It’s spring training...the games don’t mean anything anyway !”

Forty years ago, when I took a one-year break from work to contemplate whether I would continue my then career path, I bought weekend season tickets to the Sox.

Careful, All of Us Live in Glass Houses

A lot of finger pointing takes place in this community and state regarding individuals taking advantage of or abusing benefits that government programs make available to them. And, as you read or listen to this column, please understand that I am not a big fan of these unlawful acts either. But I think we should all keep in mind that many of us need to do a little self-examination of our own actions as we raise an index or middle finger at the people among us that “get around the law.” I readily admit that I too fall into this category myself from time to time. That is some glass house we all have to admit we live in. For starters, look around your neighborhood here in Massachusetts and see how many people live here but have New Hampshire license plates on their trucks and cars.

You Too Can Lend A Hand

One of the great privileges I have had since I started volunteering at WHAV has been the chance to research, produce, and air some of the “Community Spotlight” segments that are heard at 15 past the hour every day. These segments inform the listeners about non-profit fund raising events that either benefit members of our community, or highlight the work that these organizations undertake to better the community, the institutions that exist within it, and the people who rely on us to help them in their hour of need. Some of these organizations reach out to WHAV asking to help them get the word out for them. Other times, many organizations that are doing amazing work are not aware of the this station’s efforts to promote them for free. It’s nice to know that the phrase “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t” does not apply to “Community Spotlight.”

I have been retired for a little over five years now, and because of that, I have had the opportunity to lend a hand a bit.

Differences of Opinion Bolster Our Democracy

I have a hunch that no sooner will I finish posting this column, then someone will post a comment about socialistic leanings that I supposedly hold, or that of the media that carries this column. But, that’s what democracy is all about. Over the course of time leading up to the recent presidential election and for the four months since, a lot of opinions have been shared by some individuals. It seems that the comments made by the president’s tweets have emboldened a number of people to come front and center with their feelings. Since this is a democracy, everyone has the right to an opinion, whether anyone else agrees with it or not.

Haverhill Groups Must Band Together and Promote the City

The citizens of Haverhill, city agencies and volunteer activists have been coming together to support the many cultural, educational, culinary and historical characteristics that make Haverhill the great city that we all love so much. As we all know, Haverhill has a lot to offer residents, visitors and potential home owners. As we continue to improve and increase the diversity of attractions, I think this is a great time to turn our attention to promoting ourselves in the Merrimack Valley, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the other nearby states within New England. But it will take a level of cooperation and consolidation of resources to deliver this message to other communities. For the most part large retail malls promote themselves as a collection of retailers under one banner, whether that be The Mall at Rockingham Park, The Burlington Mall, or the recently opened MarketStreet Lynnfield.

Don’t Forget Common Courtesies When Interacting with Others

I’m beginning to think people are slowly forgetting how to interact with others. Of course, there are those times around family and friends, or in workplace situations, where interacting with those around us is either pleasurable or necessary. But, outside of those two situations, I think we have gotten so self-reliant and self-absorbed that we have lost our way in other social situations. In this day and age, with our focus riveted to cell phone texting and tweets, phone calls in the middle of places that when they happen make a person look like they are talking to themselves, or our focus on the myriad of tasks we feel compelled to complete, we are tuning out the people whom we come in contact with in public places. And this has been going on for quite some time now.