A Sun Staff report
THE LICENSE Commission on Thursday came down hard on Kevin Hayhurst and his two downtown bars for the latest incident in which Hayhurst allegedly assaulted a patron.
The commission voted to suspend the liquor licenses of Finn's Pub, where the incident occurred, for 30 days.
The commission also voted to require that Hayhurst be replaced as the manager of record for Finn's and Brian's Ivy Hall, his other Merrimack Street establishment, which was to have its license suspended until the manager was changed.
Hayhurst got a reprieve Friday when a Middlesex Superior Court judge issued a temporary injunction staying the commission's actions until at least a hearing this Friday at 2 p.m.
Hayhurst did not show remorse on Facebook after the License Commission's decision.
On a thread where people were commenting about The Sun's story about the decision, Hayhurst "liked" some negative comments about him and his establishments, including:
* "I've never been to business school, but I'm fairly certain that punching your customers is not considered to be a good idea."
* "Both needed to close anyway, nothing but punks and trouble circles around both places."
One commenter asked if it was odd Hayhurst was liking every negative comment about his bars.
Hayhurst's response: "Charles, it's because I couldn't careless (sic) what you guys say. If you notice all the negative comments about me are from people that have never met me. I find humor in your ignorance."
Hayhurst also posted, "Haters gonna hate."
"There is more documented problems at the city library than any bar in Lowell," Hayhurst wrote. "They have more issues when high school lets out than when bars let out."
One commenter wrote, "witch hunt."
Hayhurst's response: "Thank you. You're 100 percent right."
PELHAM POLICE Chief Joe Roark opened the eyes of the Board of Selectmen to the idea that a career police professional could possess the skills to handle the paperwork required of town administrator. Selectmen also made the pleasant discovery that a no-nonsense approach could restore the kind of peace and propriety that had been lacking at Town Hall in recent years, according to Chairman Ed Gleason.
"I don't want to say anything to denigrate anybody, but at one point it seemed like we were being called in here (to Town Hall) quite frequently to deal with things related to behavior and discipline, and that all went away when (Chief Roark) took over," Gleason said Tuesday, following the board's vote making Police Lt. Brian McCarthy the new town administrator. "It gave us an idea of how things should operate."
Clearly, the person Gleason didn't want to be quoted "denigrating" was Pelham's former administrator Tom Gaydos, who resigned in February for reasons that were not made public.
"I'm relieved," was the succinct reaction of veteran Pelham Cable-TV Coordinator Jim Greenwood, who worked in proximity to Gaydos for 11 years and then with Roark. "I've known (McCarthy) for a long time," said Greenwood. "It's good for the town."
McCarthy was also a N.H. state trooper for nine years and chief of police in Brookline, N.H., joining Pelham police in 2005.
ON TUESDAY night, the Lowell City Council voted unanimously to appoint Hannah York of Texas as city auditor.
On Wednesday another finalist, Andrew Vanni, the chief financial officer/town accountant in Middleton, called Mayor Rodney Elliott to request a copy of the meeting minutes.
Elliott said Vanni also requested the resumes of the other finalists. The mayor referred Vanni's request to the city clerk's office.
"He seemed to me he was questioning our decision, and he wanted to get resumes to see who his competition was," Elliott said. "He also seemed a little agitated with the fact we did not select him."
Vanni did not respond to requests for comment Friday. Vanni was not available for the council's two original scheduled interview dates, so the council scheduled another interview and delayed their decision to accommodate him.
Some councilors had said Vanni was the second best candidate, and definitely hurt his chances when he said he would require a contract, while York said she would not.
"During the interview process, he lost me on the contract and he might have lost several people on that answer," said City Councilor Ed Kennedy.
City Treasurer Elizabeth Craveiro attended Vanni's interview, raising eyebrows. Craveiro had encouraged Elizabeth Pavao, North Reading's finance director, to apply in the first round, a source told The Column. Pavao dropped out after being named a finalist.
Craveiro was out of the office Friday and did not respond to a request for comment.
York, who has worked for just under five years in the Travis County Auditor's Office in Austin, Texas, says she was grateful for the council's support and hopes to start on June 9.
"I'm just thrilled," York said. "I'm really excited to get up there and get to work."
BOTH ELLIOTT and City Councilor Bill Martin complained Tuesday about customer service in the treasurer's office and had personal examples to share.
Elliott described going with a man he said had been hit with a $30 demand fee for not paying his excise-tax bill. Like similar complaints, Elliott said the man was upset because he says he never received the original bill.
The mayor said he and the resident were told by an employee in the office: "That's the law. It is what is. Too bad."
"First and foremost, the customer service by at least by one gentleman in the office could be a little nicer," Elliott said.
Martin also told about a visit to the treasurer's office, which he said occurred last year when he went to pay his family's excise-tax bills.
Martin said the woman working at the counter was very helpful, but that another employee disrupted the visit.
"So someone in the treasurer's office -- where we don't have time to give verbal info over the phone -- they have time to go and speak to the clerk and whisper something in the clerk's ear so that the clerk could tell me not to lean over the counter because I was invading the space of the worker," Martin said.
Assistant Collector Robert Haley declined comment, referring a request to Craveiro, who was absent Friday.
Councilor Rita Mercier brought in a motion a couple years ago about concerns about demand fees, which prompted complaints about customer service in Craveiro's office.
Craveiro was alleged to have told a woman who said she had never received a demand fee before that "there is a new treasurer in town." At the time, Craveiro said the resident took her remark out of context. Craveiro has been treasurer since late 2011.
ENTERPRISE BANK founder and current chairman George Duncan is nearly as well-known today for his stewardship of many of the region's nonprofit agencies as he is for check books.
Duncan attributes the trait directly to one of the bank's founding directors, Nancy Donahue.
"Nancy always urged us at the bank to get involved in the nonprofits," said Duncan. Involvement could be as a board member, benefactor, or simply helping out when able.
That legacy was on full display last Tuesday evening when Enterprise brass, employees and friends named the bank conference room overlooking the intersection of Merrimack and Shattuck streets the "Nancy L. Donahue Room."
The highlight of the evening was the unveiling of a portrait of Donahue by photographer Kevin Harkins inside the venue.
Donahue, looking splendid as usual, was accompanied by her husband Richard and six of her 11 children.
The Boston Business Journal recently recognized Enterprise for its corporate philanthropy. Duncan, and the bank's corporate communications director, attributed the recognition directly to the seeds sown many years ago by Donahue.
The bank is also admired for its Non-Profit Collaborative, which supports nonprofit organizations in the Merrimack Valley, the north central region of Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. Together, with the Enterprise Bank team, they work on behalf of the nonprofit community to develop programs and resources to benefit these valuable organizations.
Donahue is best known for her stewardship of the Merrimack Valley Repertory Theater.
But through the Nancy and Richard Donahue Charitable Foundation, many other non-profits have benefited from their generosity: New England Quilt Museum; Greater Lowell Community Foundation; and the Whistler House Museum of Art to name just a few.
"Hey, I've been blessed and it's much more fun to give than it is to receive," said Donahue. "We all want Lowell to be the best mid-sized city in the country and this is our way to enhance our city and see that it happens."
Duncan said Donohue had callouses and worn knees in her jeans from participating in community gardening projects or neighborhood clean-ups.
"She also gets in the trenches," said Duncan. "She's a real leader. She's been a real mentor for many of us here at the bank, including me."
FOR HIS DECADES of service to the town, Chelmsford resident Dennis Ready had the main meeting room in Town Hall named after him earlier this spring.
Now a similar honor may be given to Town Meeting representative Carol Cleven, the former state representative and Chelmsford School Committee member.
"Her resume for town achievements, it goes on and on," Selectman Matt Hanson told the School Committee this month while making a proposal to name a garden-like area outside the school administration building, including a tree and a plaque to honor Cleven.
The town's CIVIC (Community Involvement and Volunteerism in Chelmsford) Committee nominated Ready and Cleven for the honors. Superintendent Frank Tiano and the School Committee gave their support.
"I can't think of anyone who deserves it more," Chairman Mike Rigney said.
A ceremony has been scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday.
A FORMER state rep who has also worked in the state treasurer's office, Andover School Committee member Barbara L'Italien has Beacon Hill connections popping up in her bid for a state Senate seat.
Announcing her candidacy in Andover last week, L'Italien was introduced by Boston Rep. Angelo Scaccia, who recounted sitting in the House chamber alongside L'Italien and now-Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. Both, Scaccia said, have big hearts.
"He has a soul, he cares for people," Scaccia said of Walsh. "And that's what this young lady behind me does, and did. She worked for those who most needed help. That was her focus from the day she got there until the day she left."
Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Mike Lake also showed up in support.
L'Italien, along with Andover Selectman Alex Vispoli and Lawrence School Committee member Pavel Payano, is now one of three candidates seeking the seat currently held by Sen. Barry Finegold of Andover. Finegold is running for state treasurer and has also been racking up Beacon Hill endorsements, including ones from Reps. Patricia Haddad of Somerset, Brian Dempsey of Haverhill and Ron Mariano of Quincy.
WITH LONGTIME Ayer District Court Judge Peter Kilmartin, 69, set to retire next week after 24 years on the bench, filling his robe as presiding justice in Ayer won't be easy. Lowell District Court Judge Elizabeth Cremins has been spending more and more time in Ayer, getting familiar with that courthouse, its people and the cases. It appears she'll get the job.
OUTSIDE THE polls during the Groton town election on Tuesday, selectmen candidates standing with their political signs faced competition for voters' attention from residents handing out flyers in protest of a potential natural-gas pipeline project. Kinder Morgan subsidiary Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company is considering running new pipelines through the region, according to Selectman Peter Cunningham.
Barry Pease, who narrowly lost his bid for a selectman's seat, said the issue emerged as a hot-button issue at the 11th hour. Cunningham also said getting as much information on it as possible will be his first task after re-election.
Selectmen are holding the first information session on the pipeline issue on Thursday night at Groton Pool & Golf Center. The meeting will not involve Kinder Morgan. Because of the size of the center, selectmen hope only Groton residents will show.
"There is a lot happening and it's happening quickly. We are trying to piece together (information)," Cunningham said.
Contributing to The Column this week: Enterprise Editor Christopher Scott, Lyle Moran in Lowell, John Collins in Pelham, Katie Lannan in Tewksbury, Lisa Redmond in the courts, Hiroko Sato in Groton, Grant Welker in Chelmsford, and the State House News Service.