Sen. Payano and Community Development Committee Plan Listening Session Today

The Massachusetts legislature’s Community Development Committee, co-chaired by Sen Pavel Payano, is having, what it calls, a “listening session” today to hear from those who wish to introduce themselves to the committee. The hearing will be the first of the 2023-2024 session for the joint panel, chaired by Payano of Lawrence and nine-term Rep. McMurtry of Dedham. It takes place in person or online at 1 p.m., in Room A-2 at the State House. Those seeking to provide oral testimony, however, must pre-register online here. Once registered, further instructions will be sent.

43rd Annual Crescent Yacht Club Charity Canoe Race Set For June 3

The 43rd Annual Crescent Yacht Club Charity Canoe Race takes place a week from tomorrow. The race, formerly known as the Lou Marcel Canoe Race, starts Saturday, June 3, at 9:15 a.m. at the Essex County Alternative Correctional Center in Lawrence and finishes at the Crescent Yacht Club in Haverhill. Speaking before the Haverhill City Council this week, Viki Oullette, co-chairperson, said participants use canoes, kayaks and other water craft to navigate the Merrimack River. Haverhill residents are invited to take part in the race or simply mosey down the Merrimack just for the fun of it. “This year marks the 43rd annual Crescent Yacht Club Charity Canoe Race and will benefit the Northeast Veterans Outreach Organization, who help our local veterans, and the Sacred Hearts Saint Vincent De Paul food pantry who currently help feed over 1,200 families per week,” she explained.

Haverhill’s Pride Flag Raising Ceremony and Reception This Thursday

The City of Haverhill’s official LGBTQIA+ Pride flag raising ceremony and reception is set for Thursday afternoon

The annual ceremony, organized the last few years by City Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan, takes place with the flag raising Thursday, June 1, beginning at 4 p.m., in front of Haverhill City Hall, 4 Summer St. Following the ceremony, a free reception and buffet dinner takes place from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at Hans Garden, 114 Washington St., Haverhill, sponsored by Pentucket Bank.

Comeau Reflects on Shared Spring Interests Among Humans, Outdoor Friends in ‘Approaching Rabbit’

Dr. Raymond F. Comeau, a Haverhill native and poet, notes “Springtime is for birds and flowers, but it is also for humans and rabbits.”

In his “Approaching Rabbit,” Comeau describes a meeting between a human and a rabbit, “to see if there is room for getting along.”
Approaching Rabbit
I saw yesterday through my window
One jump up and another
Run underneath like a clown
Then they frolicked
Around the holly bush
So today before I went in
I took two tiny steps
Toward a rabbit’s black eye
And speckled body
Then stopped
It didn’t move so I took another
Two steps slowly
No movement just a staring
Black eye I waited
Then two more but this time
It scampered about six feet
Away and on to eating
Like me so I went in
© Raymond Comeau August 2021

Haverhill Schools, Mayor Come Closer on $128 Million Budget; Debt Vote Could Help Finance It

The Haverhill School Committee last night held firm on its $128 million spending plan—and won a level of support from the mayor—after school administrators presented facts and figures on how that money would be used to improve education. At the last meeting, Committee members learned the city would not be providing an expected $3.3 million to that budget and school administrators were told by Mayor James J. Fiorentini they must make cuts to stay within the city’s total budget. Instead, however, school officials returned with a presentation explaining why there is no room to make budget cuts while still preserving a quality education for students. Assistant School Superintendent Michael J. Pfifferling began by citing a survey conducted earlier this year asking parents, teachers and others what was most important to them regarding school spending. “We did a community survey to all of our parents, all of our staff members, of what they thought our budget priorities should be.

Haverhill Honors its ‘Hometown Heroes’ Thursday with Speakers, Flyover, Artillery Salute

(Additional photograph below.)

Haverhill honored its “Hometown Heroes” Thursday afternoon, in a ceremony marked by a State Police helicopter flying overhead and an artillery salute, while remembering those killed in action and those who served during all of the nation’s wars. The third annual tribute ceremony, organized by the Exchange Club of Haverhill, kicks off the period between Memorial Day and Veterans Day when 121 banners recognizing those who served are displayed throughout the city’s central business district. Retired Brigadier General John J. Driscoll spoke in honor of Haverhill’s heroes, but also took time to reflect on the current fiery political discourse. “You may think it can never get any worse than it has. My advice is to have faith in America.

Team Haverhill’s Neighborhood Clean & Green Team Seeks Volunteers for Tuesday

Team Haverhill’s Neighborhood Clean & Green team is looking for volunteers to help clean a stretch of South Main Street on the Bradford side of the Merrimack River. The group gathers Tuesday, May 30, from 6-7:30 p.m., at the start of the Rail Trail behind Dunkin’ Donuts to pick up litter from the Basiliere Bridge up to Haverhill Bank and areas nearby. In addition, with ward-based elections happening this fall, Team Haverhill Neighborhood Clean & Green is partnering with friends and organizations across the city to hold cleanups in all seven wards. Team Haverhill will provide supplies, but asks volunteers to bring gloves and trash pickers, if they have them.