Festival of Trees at the Buttonwoods Today Features Gift Buying, Ladies and Educators Discounts

The 2023 Festival of Trees at the Buttonwoods continues today with, among other activities, its Ladies and Educator Night. Festival of Trees at the Buttonwoods is open today from noon-8 p.m. Ladies and educators receive a discounted admission of $5 from 3- 8 p.m. Local vendors and crafters also offer gift buying opportunities and Santa Claus returns for a visit. On Thursday, from noon-8 p.m., there will be a Children’s Scavenger Hunt, while Friday, from 10 a.m.-8 p.m., is Senior Day with $1 off the ticket price. There will be a Senior Tea Party from noon-2 p.m., featuring a performance by the Comedy Masque Review from noon-1 p.m. Old-time radio shows provide the sound backdrop to “Nostalgia Christmas at the Buttonwoods” with coffee, tea and pastries all day and a Candlelight Tour of the John Ward House from 6-7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 9, brings Family Day, from 10 a.m.-8 p.m., with colonial cooking demonstrations from noon-5 p.m., and a holiday concert performed by Currier Square from 6-7:30 p.m.

Sunday is the finale, running from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., with Holiday Artisan Fair with more music by Currier Square and light refreshments.

As Downtown Project Advances, Haverhill Council to Decide Temporary Parking Issues

Plans for the $160 million redevelopment of a downtown Haverhill parking garage and adjacent parcels means certain parking leases must end, and temporary parking created, to accommodate Merrimack Street residents and businesses. Haverhill city councilors tonight are asked to end parking agreements with Harbor Place and Pentucket Bank, which have rights to 198 parking spaces in the Herbert H. Goecke Jr. Memorial Parking Deck and approve plans for replacement parking in several areas, including a vacant lot at 56-70 Merrimack St. Specifically, councilors are being asked to authorize Mayor James J. Fiorentini to end the parking licenses in time for the demolition of the Goecke Deck by next August. The new parking plan requires by next May the expansion of the Haverhill Place parking lot just north of the parking garage from 30 to about 82 spaces and creation of 30 temporary spaces on land owned by a Harbor Place-related company, at 56-70 Merrimack St.; 12 spaces next to the existing Pentucket Bank branch at White’s Corner; and—after the August demolition of the existing garage—130 temporary spaces on the same lot. Developer Salvatore N. Lupoli’s plans to build a 660-space garage with construction starting next September and completion estimated by the end of 2025.

State Awards $15,000 to Haverhill’s Riverfront Cultural District

Haverhill’s Riverfront Cultural District was one of 54 areas awarded state grants last week to “encourage the development and success of the cultural districts and foster local cultural preservation.”

The Riverfront Cultural District, which covers Washington and Wingate Streets in downtown Haverhill, is administered by Creative Haverhill. It received $15,000 during a ceremony by the Massachusetts Cultural Council at Gloucester Stage Company. The grants are intended to encourage the development and success of the cultural districts and foster local cultural preservation. “Using creativity as a foundation, our cultural districts have proven themselves as drivers of economic activity within communities,” said Massachusetts Cultural Council Executive Director Michael J. Bobbitt. “With this investment, we’re not only supporting the creative and cultural sector, but the communities that host cultural districts as they continue to leverage their unique character to attract visitors and support economic growth.”

Cultural Districts may use the money for marketing and promotion; capacity building, artist or vendor fees, creative community placemaking or public art, collaborative cultural policy or strategic planning and data collection and/or reporting.

Haverhill Public Library Offers Two-Part Beginner Gmail Class

The Haverhill Public Library is offering a two-part “Getting Started with Gmail” class, beginning Thursday, Dec. 7. Participants will learn the first steps of using Gmail including signing up for an account. The class is designed for those who do not have Gmail or have not used their account for an extended time. Part one takes place Thursday, Dec.

State Police Name 62-Year-Old Victim of Interstate 495 Haverhill Rollover Crash

State Police Monday identified the Connecticut man who died Friday afternoon in a single-car crash on Interstate 495 in Haverhill. Sixty-two-year-old David Ziembko, of New Britain, Conn., who was the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle, was pronounced dead after being taken to Lawrence General Hospital. Ziembko was removed his 2017 Honda CR-V by first responders who attempted emergency life-saving measures. A release from Massachusetts State Police Media Communications Director Dave Procopio notes a preliminary State Police investigation found Ziembko was driving south in the left lane just prior to the Route 97 overpass when, just before 3 p.m., his car left the roadway, entered the grass median and struck a guardrail. The collision caused the CR-V to roll onto its roof.

Today’s Obituaries: Beloved Haverhill Teacher Jean (Andrewartha) Ray Dies at 70

Jean (Andrewartha) Ray, 70, a cherished mother, devoted friend, esteemed educator and a pillar of the Haverhill community, passed away peacefully at her home in Bradford on Thursday, Nov. 30. Jean was born on Sept. 26, 1953 to the late Alfred J. Andrewartha and Alberta Andrewartha in Haverhill. Born and raised in Bradford, Jean was a proud graduate of Haverhill High School class of 1971 and went on to study at Emmanuel College where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in French in 1975 and in 1976, earned a master’s degree from an exchange program at the University of Valencia in Spain.

During Tearful Exchange, Haverhill Woman Receives Late Dad’s Vietnam Medals

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A Haverhill woman was brought to tears last week when Congresswoman Lori Trahan hand-delivered long sought-after medals awarded to a Vietnam veteran who died last year. Julie Ambrose said her father Raymond Sanders of Columbus, Ohio, served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. She said undertook a personal mission to collect her father’s honors. “He got sick a couple of years ago and it was really important to me that we get these medals,” she said. Ambrose first reached out to the National Archives, but after waiting a year, she turned to Trahan for help.

Whittier Tech to Discuss Building Project at Upcoming Meetings in Merrimac, Haverhill

Information about the proposed $445 million replacement of Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School will be presented during meetings this week in Merrimac and next week in Haverhill. As WHAV reported at the time, the Whittier School Building Committee voted last February to build a three-story, W-shaped building that would contain almost all vocational, specialty, support and community programs on the first two floors and academic classes on the third floor. After reimbursement by the Massachusetts School Building Authority, the 11-member cities and towns would share the balance of what was then estimated to be $286.1 million. The Merrimac Select Board hosts a public forum Wednesday, Dec. 6, from 6-8 p.m., at Merrimac Town Hall, 2 School St., Merrimac, while the Haverhill City Council hears details Tuesday, Dec.