Fish to Leave Greater Lawrence Family Health Center; Board Plans Needs Assessment and Search

Dr. Guy L. Fish, who became president and CEO of Greater Lawrence Family Health Center in 2021, is leaving the position. The Health Center’s board of directors said Tuesday it will assess the organization’s current and future needs and undertake a comprehensive search. In a statement, the board said members “appreciate the leadership Dr. Fish has provided over the last three years, especially as the Health Center navigated the challenges of COVID-19 and the transition from the pandemic, and we thank him for his leadership in the development of our strategic plan and our new Accountable Care Organization partnership.”

Fish succeeded John M. Silva. He previously served as acting CEO of Nextstage Therapeutics, CEO of Cellanyx Diagnostics and was a leader with profit and loss responsibilities for 17 years at the health care strategy consulting firm Fletcher Spaght. Greater Lawrence Family Health Center serves more than 68,000 patients with their primary health care needs at locations in Lawrence, Haverhill and Methuen.

Downtown Haverhill Apartment Complex Seeks to Shed 72 Spots of Required Off-Site Parking Spaces

The owner of a sprawling apartment redevelopment in downtown Haverhill is seeking permission to reduce its required number of tenant parking spaces by 73 spaces. The Forest City Residential Group project, now known as Halstead Haverhill, originally provided 394 parking spaces, including 72 offsite on city property and in the Granite Street public parking garage. Attorney Connor A. MacIsaac, however, says a parking demand study shows the offsite parking spaces are not necessary. In a letter last Thursday to city councilors, city Economic Development and Planning Director William Pillsbury Jr. said he “strongly recommends” councilors deny the request. “In my opinion, compliance with the above minimum off-street parking requirements is necessary to guarantee the availability of sufficient parking for residents, guests and others,” he said.

Podcast: Riding with MeVa Regional Bus Regulars and Driver Larry Corcoran

(Additional photograph below.) The sky is still dark when Larry Corcoran, a bus driver for Merrimack Valley Transit, starts his route outbound from Haverhill at six a.m. For the few who ride this early in the morning, the transportation is essential. When MeVa leaders went before state lawmakers to request more money early this month, Chief Communications Officer Niorka Mendez said, for some of the people they serve, “This is the only way to get to food access, to get to medical care—even in the social aspect of visiting friends. On the bus, as a bus driver, I used to talk to them, and maybe we are the only people they talk to during the whole day. They don’t have a family member to talk to or vent [to].”

Corcoran, the most senior MeVa driver, said his job requires multitasking. He has to be “an expert motor vehicle operator, and also a personality.

House Ways and Means Committee Budget Boosts Haverhill’s Allocation of State Education Aid

While it won’t plug a looming revenue shortfall, Haverhill could receive $5.3 million more in state education aid over last year if the House Ways and Means Committee gets its way. The House last week proposed a formula that would give Haverhill $88 million in so-called Chapter 70 aid compared with $82.6 million in the current year. The amount is also $131,664 more than Gov. Maura T. Healey proposed in her draft budget. “Changing our state education formula when I joined the House in 2017 was my top priority,” said Rep. Andy X. Vargas in response to questions from WHAV. “Passing the Student Opportunity Act was a herculean effort by many.

Northern Essex Community College’s ‘Hurricane Diane’ Take Home 9 Kennedy Center Honors

The Northern Essex Community College Theater production of “Hurricane Diane” has won nine national awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Honors include The Citizen’s Award; Outstanding Achievement in Performance, Mirrorajah Metcalfe, liberal arts writing major; Distinguished Achievement in Dramaturgy, Jessica Newey; Outstanding Achievement in Ensemble Performance; Distinguished Achievement in Performance, Gwynnethe Glickman; Distinguished Achievement in Performance, Olivia Barberian; Distinguished Achievement in Direction of a Play, Brianne Beatrice, Northern Essex Community College professor; Special Achievement in Production of a Play; and Outstanding Achievement in the Facilitation of a Brave Rehearsal Space. “It’s crazy our work is being honored like this. They’re looking for good art, and our art is being recognized,” said Beatrice. She will travel to Washington, D.C., later this month to accept the awards at the Kennedy Center.

City Begins First Phase of Seasonal Sidewalk Repairs and Street Paving

Haverhill this week began the first phase of its annual street and sidewalk resurfacing projects. Street paving is set for Offer Street; Hilldale Avenue, from Vale Street to the New Hampshire border; Glen Meadow Road; Twin Brook Circle; and Ferry Road, from South Riverview Street to Cross Road. Sidewalk repairs are scheduled for Webster Street, Travers Street at Kenoza Avenue, Winter Street in the vicinity of the YMCA and Washington Street at Ford Street. In a separate statement officials said milling of roads continues today on Peabody Street, from 33 Peabody St. to Salem Street; Boxford Road from 275 Boxford Road to the Chadwick Road intersection; and How Street, from Winter Street to Welcome Street.

Howe to Read From Her Book ‘On the Plus Side’ April 27 at Haverhill Public Library

Author Jenny L. Howe reads from her 2023 novel, “On the Plus Side” and talks about writing romance and why plus-size representation matters during an upcoming presentation in Haverhill. Howe’s talk will be followed by a book signing and the first 10 people to register receive a free book

Howe first started scribbling stories into black-and-white composition notebooks with neon pink pens when she was in junior high and never really stopped. In college, she decided to turn her love of books into a career by pursuing a doctorate in literature, where she spent the next few years studying medieval romances. Now, as a professor, she teaches courses in college writing, literature and children’s media. Her talk takes place Saturday, April 27, from 2-3 p.m., at Haverhill Public Library’s Johnson Auditorium, 99 Main St., Haverhill.