EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

July 9, 2014

Editorial: Cheers for local newsmakers

CHEERS to the bearers of more good news for the future of downtown Haverhill. Gov. Deval Patrick and other state officials yesterday announced a grant of $10 million to build a new boardwalk along the Merrimack River that will stretch from the Basiliere Bridge to another downtown boardwalk.

The news comes on top of the big news that the long vacant Woolworth’s building is being demolished to make way for the 5-story Harbor Place building, which will transform the city’s downtown and spur even more development. In fact, it appears to be doing so already. At yesterday’s gathering, it was also announced that Pentucket Bank will demolish its older building at the Merrimack Street parking deck and move its headquarters into Harbor Place. The demolition will make room for more badly needed parking.

The prime tenant of Harbor Place will be a satellite campus of UMass Lowell. Haverhill Rep. Brian Dempsey, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said yesterday’s announcement of the boardwalk grant brings the state’s total investment in the project to $25 million.

CHEERS to the New Hampshire circuit court system, which announced plans to make it lot more convenient to file small-claims cases. Gina Apicelli, senior administrator of the circuit court system, said new computer kiosks and Internet access will be available for the first time in courts in Salem, Derry and Plaistow.

People filing small-claims “will be able to file from the lobby, their homes, work and libraries,” Apicelli said.

That’s good news for users of the small-claims system, who won’t have to schedule time off from work or make the trek to the local courthouse. Small-claims cases are the most common type of legal action in New Hampshire — last year, the state court system handled 22,016 of them, including 13,118 newly filed cases. It’s good see public servants taking steps the make the lives of they people they serve a little easier.

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