With Public Showing Little Interest, Haverhill School Committee Sends $128 Million Budget to Council

A lack of any public comment on next year’s school budget kept a special Haverhill School Committee meeting last night to just under 10 minutes. The meeting was a follow-up to last week’s meeting where the School Committee voted 6-0 to approve a budget of just under $128 million for the upcoming school year. Last night’s meeting was designed to allow the public an opportunity to express opinions and ideas regarding how that money should be spent. With no apparent interest by the public in discussing the financial plan, the Committee voted 6-0 to submit the proposal to the City Council for approval. On a separate issue, the School Committee postponed a decision on paying for airfare to allow a teacher to visit Poland to attend a workshop on the Holocaust.

Haverhill and Lawrence Receive $100,000 Each for Tree Planting; Added $20 K to Raise Awareness

Haverhill and Lawrence are receiving $100,000 each from the state’s Greening the Gateway Cities Implementation Grant Program to plant hundreds of trees. Haverhill will plant 300 trees and hand out educational brochures about the benefits of a healthy tree canopy and tree care, while Groundwork Lawrence plants 350 trees in the South Lawrence West neighborhood, impacted by the Columbia Gas line explosion, and the Tower Hill neighborhood. The state program aims to help communities “build resilience and mitigate the harms of the climate crisis” by supporting tree plantings in Gateway Cities across Massachusetts

“Recently, I got my hands dirty in Malden planting trees. I saw firsthand the tremendous benefits the Greening the Gateway Cities Program has on communities,” said Gov. Maura Healey. “Our administration is proud to announce we’re investing in our future by creating more tree canopy in Gateway Cities across Massachusetts to ensure we are providing healthy and livable communities for generations to come.”

The program is a partnership between the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, Department of Energy Resources and the Department of Housing and Community Development along with Gateway Cities and local grassroots organizations.

Businesses May Seek Help From Visiting State Office of Business Development June 8

State Office of Business Development Northeast Regional Director Maria DiStefano plans to meet with businesses one on one next Thursday to hear their needs, suggest how to grow business and provide potential resources. DiStefano is meeting by appointment Thursday, June 8, between 10 a.m. and noon, in 20-minute increments at the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce, 264 Essex St., Lawrence. Appointments are available on a first-come, first-served basis by calling 978-686-0900 or emailing [email protected].

Haverhill Public Library Presents ‘Owls Up Close’ Saturday

Marcia and Mark Wilson from Eyes On Owls present their live owl program, “Owls Up Close” tomorrow. For young audiences, the show starts with an interactive reading of a big book version of “Owl Babies.” Adult and older youth groups begin with a slide program that’s followed by the live owls. Attendees sees each of six live owls up close, as they perch safely on Marcia’s glove near the audience. The Wilsons highlight the owls’ unique adaptations, habitats and behaviors in the wild, while sharing tips on how one may find signs of owls around them. Shows run 45 – 60 minutes.

Boston Fed’s Collins Singles Out Community Colleges as Providing Opportunities for Everyone

Editor’s Note: Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Susan M. Collins’ visit last week to a community college provides some insight into the Fed’s thinking about the role of community colleges, such as Northern Essex Community College, in the larger economy. By Jay Lindsay, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

The first college visit of Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Susan M. Collins’ tenure came last Thursday at a community college—a choice she said she made to highlight the economic importance of such schools. Collins’ visit to Community College of Rhode Island in Warwick came about 11 months after she began as president and CEO of the Boston Fed. “It’s really essential to me that our economy does provide opportunities for everyone, not just for some,” she said told the students. “That makes community colleges like CCRI really important in the higher education landscape.”

Collins—a former university professor, dean and provost—said she’s been asked recently to speak at numerous educational institutions.

Every Haverhill Ward Has at Least One Council Candidate with Ferreira Entrance; Grannemann for Schools

Tuesday is the day of Haverhill’s special election, but interest is also building for this fall’s first ward-based city elections. As it stands now, only four of seven ward council seats are contested. Devan Ferreira, known for her activism around education and agriculture, ensured there would be at least one candidate for every ward by taking out nomination papers recently to run for Ward 3 councilor. Ferreira lobbied unsuccessfully in 2017 to keep the charter of the Silver Hill Horace Mann Charter School, but helped convince the City Council in 2019 to form a Haverhill Agricultural Commission. Of sitting city councilors, only incumbent Joseph J. Bevilacqua has yet to take nomination papers from the Haverhill city clerk’s office.

Podcast: On WHAV, DA Tucker Names Mental Health Among First Responders, Public a Top Concern

Essex County District Attorney Paul F. Tucker has made taking care of first responders one of his office’s priorities. The district attorney, appearing on WHAV’s “Win for Breakfast” program Wednesday, discussed the importance of paying attention to mental health issues, saying he looks at it in two ways. “I will say Chief (Robert P.) Pistone in Haverhill has does an excellent job with a very, very good department. I look at the mental health issue through two lenses…when I was the police chief in Salem, we actually created something called ‘The Community Impact Unit,’ where we brought mental health clinicians to ride with the police officers. This was back in 2009.

Whittier Birthplace Celebrates Art and History Saturday Along its Freeman Trail

Whittier Birthplace celebrates art and history this Saturday with Cultural Arts Day on the Freeman Trail. The birthplace of famed poet John Greenleaf Whittier offers a celebration of cultural arts at each of the 13 stops along the half mile Donald C. Freeman Memorial Trail with experienced poets, musicians, visual artists and more outside Saturday, June 3, from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m., outside at Whittier Birthplace, 305 Whittier Road, Haverhill. The attractions add to passages at each station from either Whittier’s own poetry or from the prose of one of his many biographers. Freeman was a former trustee and Haverhill Public School teacher, principal and superintendent.