As Classroom Temperatures Rise, Haverhill Looks to Mitigate Effects of Climate Change

Climate change made its way into local decision-making recently as the Haverhill School Committee opened the window of discussion on how school administrators plan to deal with rising temperatures in classrooms and its effect on students and teachers alike. Committee member Gail M. Sullivan introduced the topic, expressing concern over excessive heat in school buildings and the likelihood of it only getting worse going forward. “I’m very concerned about some of the problems that I think are going to continue and get worse, and one of them is heat in the buildings. Our buildings are all designed to retain heat because we live in New England. So, we need to acknowledge what’s happening in the climate.

Haverhill, Area Communities Suffering Flood Damage Not Eligible for Federal Disaster Aid

Haverhill and several other Essex County cities and towns with major flooding damage from the Aug. 8 storms were denied federal disaster relief coverage last Friday. Mayor James J. Fiorentini, who shared the notice Thursday, and the City Council had declared a public emergency in the immediate aftermath of the storms in hopes of bolstering the city’s case for emergency financial assistance for public infrastructure, businesses and homeowners. One hundred and seventy-two residents submitted private property damage claims forms totaling about $2.5 million and 21 businesses submitted claims totaling about $3.7 million. The city estimated its damages to public infrastructure at $2.4 million.

River Ruckus Saturday in Haverhill Rain or Shine; Music, Classic Cars, Kids’ Fun, Fireworks Too

Team Haverhill’s annual River Ruckus takes place Saturday in downtown Haverhill with live music, classic cars, children’s activities, local food and more topped off at night with fireworks over the Merrimack River. The festival takes place between noon and 8:30 p.m., at Riverfront Park and Washington Street in downtown Haverhill, but the Haverhill YMCA unofficially launches with its “Run to the Ruckus” 5K Road Race starting at 9 a.m. in Washington Square. The River Ruckus stage opens at noon with the national anthem performed by the Haverhill High School Chorus. Choral Director John Salvi then leads between 25 and 30 Hillie singers through music by the band Queen. WXRV 92.5 the River takes over the stage at 12:30 with a performance by Frontwoods, followed by The Far Out, 1:45 p.m.; Life of the Party, 3 p.m.; Joe P, 4:15 p.m.; and American Idol winner Phillip Phillips headlining at 6.

Haverhill Board of Registrars Sets Mayoral Vote Recount for Next Wednesday

The Haverhill Board of Registrars of Voters met yesterday and, as expected, formally accepted both the recount petition filed by mayoral candidate Guy E. Cooper and the withdrawal of Scott W. Wood Jr.’s candidacy in the mayoral race. City Clerk Kaitlin M. Wright said a recount for the preliminary election in the mayoral race is scheduled to take place next Wednesday, Sept. 27, beginning at 11:30 a.m. and continuing until completed, on the main floor of the Citizen Center, 10 Welcome St. She said all those who are interested are welcome to attend. Cooper petitioned for the recount after falling short just 10 votes behind Wood.

Haverhill Receives $4 Million Federal Grant to Fully Staff Bradford Fire Station Ladder Truck

A long-sought second Fire Department ladder truck to be based in Bradford will become a reality thanks to a $4 million federal grant. The Haverhill Firefighters Grant Writing Team said yesterday it secured a SAFER—Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response—grant that will pay for 16 additional firefighters over the next three years. As late as this past spring, Fire Chief Robert M. O’Brien made the case that Bradford requires its own ladder in light of plans to replace the Pfc. Ralph T. Basiliere Bridge over the Merrimack River. He was thankful for a budget that allowed for four-person crews at Water Street, but called for more help.

Haverhill Mayoral Candidate Wood Withdraws Citing ‘Falsehoods;’ Cooper Joins Barrett on Fall Ballot

Mayoral candidate and sitting 20-year School Committee member Scott W. Wood Jr., leaves public life at the end of the year after choosing by Monday’s deadline to end his mayoral run. Wood’s withdrawal, followed by his preliminary election elimination from a Ward 4 School Committee post, represents his precipitous fall since June when allegations resurfaced of racist and misogynist conduct while he was working as a police officer. The revelations came to light in Wood’s own suit against the city, challenging the loss of police jobs in Haverhill in 2021 and Wenham in 2022. “I look forward to addressing and clearing my name from the baseless accusations and falsehoods that have circulated. My commitment to Haverhill has never wavered, and it never will,” Wood said in a statement.

Haverhill School Board Votes 6-0 to End Legal Action Against Teachers, Sidesteps Meeting Law Complaint

Accusations, denials and general confusion were in the mix during a discussion by the Haverhill School Committee last Thursday over the legality of an earlier closed-door meeting. As previously reported by WHAV, the School Committee went into executive session late last month where they apparently voted 5-1 to end legal action against the Haverhill teachers’ union over recovery of costs related to last fall’s teachers strike. WHAV challenged the legality of the session, arguing that the Committee failed to state the specific purpose of the closed-door session beforehand, in violation of the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law, and privately discussed the vote with the Haverhill Education Association. Committee member Paul A. Magliocchetti began the discussion by pointing out the requirement for transparency in deliberations regarding public policy decisions. He said there are, however, 10 exceptions where the need discussion out of the public eye are acknowledged by the state.

Haverhill Exchange Club Donates $2,000 to Help Replace Items Stolen From Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The Haverhill Exchange Club has stepped up with $2,000 to replace some of the power tools, landscaping equipment and other items stolen late last month from Haverhill’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Mill Brook Park. The Exchange Club’s Thea Tsagaris said the donation is an extension of the Haverhill Exchange Club’s efforts to recognize and support veterans and active-duty members through its Hometown Heroes program. “We were saddened to hear of the recent theft at the Vietnam veterans park and wanted to help recoup some of the losses by donating funds from the program. It’s important to the Haverhill Exchange Club to preserve the visual reminder of the sacrifice and the ultimate sacrifices our veterans made for our country,” Tsagaris said. Ralph T. Basiliere, chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Ad Hoc Memorial Committee, said he discovered the theft, which he valued at between $5,000 and $8,000.