Councilors Ask Mayor to Determine if Federal Money Can Help Drought-Stricken, Haverhill Farmers

As every backyard gardener will attest, the hot, dry weather this summer has played havoc with vegetables and other crops and, for the farming community, the drought-like conditions are hitting them right in the pocketbook. As a result, Haverhill City Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua introduced a motion last Tuesday asking Mayor James J. Fiorentini to look into the possible availability of federal money to help Haverhill farmers. “I’ve spoken to several farmers and they’ve been impacted from the drought. I’ve looked into it, and I believe that there is an opportunity for eligibility from some of the federal funds because they are a business, because they serve individuals in low- to moderate-income sections and they’re part of our economic well-being in our city,” he said. Councilors agreed, voting 8-0 with Councilor Shaun P. Toohey absent.

Haverhill School Committee Selects Boston Law Firm for Union Bargaining and Other Labor Issues

The Haverhill School Committee chose a new law firm last Thursday to assist with contract negotiations, employee discipline and other labor relations matters. Boston-based Morgan, Brown and Joy was selected after committee members interviewed representatives from three firms seeking the assignment. Other contenders were Mirick O’Connell out of Worcester and Murphy, Hesse, Toomey and Lehane of Quincy. In his pitch, Morgan, Brown and Joy partner David M. Connelly explained why he believes his firm would offer the best representation for Haverhill. “The other two firms are large firms that have a diverse practice.

‘PrintWorks: Making Music ‘ This Saturday at Museum of Printing

Haverhill’s Museum of Printing plans, what it calls, “a multi-century, multi-sensory interactive event combining an art installation, printmaking workshop and live musical performance” this Saturday. “PrintWorks: Making Music” features a workshop, recital and food. There will be a self-guided tour, hands-on printmaking in the Museum’s letterpress studio, lunch and snacks on the patio deck and a musical program at 3 p.m. for all registered participants. The program takes place Saturday, Aug. 20, from 1-4- p.m., at the Museum of Printing, 15 Thornton Ave., Haverhill.

Poet Comeau Reflects on Repercussions of ‘Fooling With Truth’

Editor’s note: Dr. Raymond F. Comeau tackles a timely topic with his poem, “Fooling With Truth.”

A Haverhill native, and now of Belmont, Comeau is a retired dean and current lecturer at Harvard University Extension School. He is also a trustee, emeritus, of the John Greenleaf Whittier Birthplace in Haverhill. Fooling With Truth
It’s intriguing but sad
How we think ourselves happy
Or happy enough
When we may be in an undertow
That has us barreling out to sea
The price for courting lies
And ditching truth
(Anathema in every book)
It’s our freedom bristle some
Slapping Jefferson along the way
Maybe we’ll change like a comet
That runs its course
Or by a fall (I hope not)
Or by a few in sturdy life rafts
Courageous in turbulent
Waters to lead us home
© Raymond Comeau February 2022

Podcast: Haverhill’s 5th Annual Restaurant Week Sprinkled with Special Events and $20.22 Prices

Haverhill’s Fifth Annual Restaurant Week will again be bookended by a sold-out, under the stars eating event and a capstone awards night. In between, more than a dozen local dining establishments are celebrating the year with appropriately priced $20.22 specials. The kickoff is L’Arche Boston North’s Longest Table Thursday, Aug. 18, on the Rep. Brian S. Dempsey Boardwalk. Haverhill Chamber President and CEO Alex Eberhardt said Restaurant Week kicks off in earnest the next day.

Baker Signs Cannabis Reform, Limiting Fees Cities Charge; Law a Victory for Stem that Sued Haverhill

A court battle between Haverhill and a downtown cannabis shop may be moot now that Gov. Charlie Baker has signed legislation that requires communities to renegotiate “impact fees” in host agreements. Besides forcing renegotiation of host community agreements, the bill creates a Social Equity Trust Fund which would pay for loans and grants aimed at supporting people of color and others “disproportionately harmed by the War on Drugs” and move closer to social pot consumption sites. The bill was previously approved by both houses of the state legislature. It was supported by such local legislators as Sen. Diana DiZoglio and Reps. Linda Dean Campbell, Lenny Mirra, Andy X. Vargas and Christina A. Minicucci.

N.H. Officials Say Evidence Suggests Five-Year-Old Girl with Haverhill Ties was Murdered in 2019

New Hampshire officials said Thursday they believe a five-year-old girl with Haverhill ties was murdered in 2019. N.H. Attorney General John M. Formella, Manchester, N.H., Police Chief Allen D. Aldenberg, and U.S. Marshal Enoch F. Willard said in a joint statement that Harmony Montgomery was murdered in Manchester in early December, 2019. “While Harmony’s remains have not yet been located, multiple sources of investigative information, including biological evidence, lead to this conclusion. As a result, this is now a homicide investigation. Investigators continue to look into the circumstances of Harmony’s murder and search for her remains,” they said.

Senate Signs Off on Haverhill Petition to Elect Council and School Committee Mostly by Ward

The Massachusetts Senate Thursday approved Haverhill’s home rule petition, requiring candidates for City Council and School Committee a year from now to run mostly by neighborhood. The bill, sponsored in the state Senate by Sen. Diana DiZoglio, was previously passed by the House after being presented by Rep. Andy X. Vargas in that branch of the legislature. Legislation calls for the City Council to expand to 11 members with seven city councilors elected by ward with four others elected at-large. The school Committee will have seven ward members, three citywide representatives and the mayor as tiebreaker. It also reduces School Committee terms from four to two years.