For bus schedules please go to the school district website.

Seniors Enjoy Tai Chi

Louise Rand and Carol Smith

Come to the Senior Center on Tuesday at 9 am to experience Tai Chi.  Tai Chi is so magical that almost anyone who does it, including rank beginners, has profound feelings of deep soul centering and expanded chi flow.  These can best be described as enlightenment experiences.  More incredible, it doesn’t go away, but gets better with practice.  Repeat practice of the form deepens the blissful sense of peace, the feeling of returning to your inner self.

Who may practice it?  Any age, race, sex, or religious group is welcome.  No previous training in any form of Tai Chi, Chi Kung or meditation is required.  The sick and weak, as well as healthy and strong benefit from simple movements.   This is simple, graceful, easy to learn and easy to practice.  What have you got to lose?  Stop in and give it a try.

Rose Choquette

The class strives for inner peace.

Connie L. Case and Henry Misserville

Chamber to Honor “Distinguished Businessperson” at Annual Dinner

The Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce this year’s recipient of the 2007 William A. Brown Distinguished Businessperson Award: Arnold “Arnie” T. Croft, Esq., of Croft & Brooks, PLLC.  Attorney Croft has made a significant impact on the Greater Salem community through his legal practice, his involvement in the community, and his leadership within the local business population.  Croft graduated from Boston University in 1970 with a Business of Science in Business Administration, and in 1974, he graduated from Suffolk Law School with a Juris Doctorate.  He began practicing law as a sole practitioner the same year, working in the Boston area.  In 1980, Mr. Croft entered into a partnership with Joseph Sano and opened the first office of Sano & Croft, Attorneys-at-Law, in Lynn, Massachusetts.  A second office was opened in Salem in 1983, and Croft continued practicing estate planning and real estate law, forming new relationships and business contacts locally.  In 1992, Croft again began a solo practice until forming Croft & Brooks, PLLC, with local Attorney Leann Turner Brooks in 2001.

Since relocating to Salem, Croft has been very engaged in the business community — through his involvement in the Chamber of Commerce, (serving on the board of directors and as chairman of the board), Methuen-Salem Rotary (serving as president and on the board of directors) and Salem Rotary (charter member and current member), Red Cross of Merrimack Valley (serving on various committees, the board of directors, and as representative to the New Hampshire Council), Salem Contractor’s Association (current member), and the Town Planning Board (serving on the board, participating in the Master Plan and Fire Department Review Committee). 

Croft was instrumental in starting the Greater Salem Rotary Club in 2001.  Through his initial and ongoing efforts, this club has grown to 40 members and has provided thousands of dollars to local area youth and families in need.  His leadership, both in Rotary and out, has earned him the respect of his peers and the community.  He was awarded the Rotary’s most prestigious award, the Paul Harris Fellow Award, for his efforts.  Croft has long been a champion of causes for those in need, and he has been commended for his pro bono work, particularly involving children, including work with the Boys & Girls Club of Salem.

This year, the Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce and the event’s sponsor Citizen’s Bank are very pleased to present the most prestigious William A. Brown Businessperson of the Year Award to Attorney Arnold Croft.  The presentation will take place on September 26 at the Chamber’s Annual Dinner.  The festivities will be held at Atkinson Resort and Country Club, beginning with cocktails at 6 p.m.  Dinner will begin at 7 p.m., with the presentation of awards immediately following.  For additional information, or to purchase a ticket, contact the Chamber Office at 893-3177. 

Apartment Fire Leaves Families Homeless

by Andrea Ganley-Dannewitz

A fire that tore through an apartment building early Monday morning was nothing less of a rude awakening to the residents who live there.  3:00 a.m. was the time when alarms at 14 Tiffany Road sounded off loudly waking the families sleeping inside.  Fairly heavy fire conditions is what the residents of the building discovered as they hurried to evacuate to safety.  One family jumped from a window that was approximately five feet from the ground.  Fire rescue crews pulled a resident who lives in a basement floor apartment to safety through a window.

No one was injured in the blaze.  Fire department officials credit the residents for responding to the alarm when they did.  Evacuating immediately is why they say there were no injuries.  The occupants of the 12 apartment dwelling are left homeless.  The Red Cross has responded to help those in need.

Salem Fire Department responded to the call and arrived within minutes.  The fire was contained inside the building, but the building’s exterior does show some minor damage as a result of the fire such as broken windows which are now boarded up, broken glass on the lawn, and yellow caution tape.  The interior of the building suffered heavy smoke damage.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Salem Fire Marshal’s Office, Salem Police Department, and the State of New Hampshire’s Fire Marshal Office.  Officials are not commenting at this time on whether or not the blaze is suspicious.

Educate Yourself and Others: Marfan Syndrome

by Michelle Pinsonneault

Left to right: Salem Fire Chief Kevin Breen, Kaddy Ackroyd, and Salem Deputy Chief Michael Wallace

Kathleen (Kaddy) Ackroyd, a Salem resident, conducts training sessions for local fire departments on the Marfan syndrome and aortic dissections.  She recently educated the members of the Pelham and Salem Fire Departments and the Derry EMS community on the syndrome that effects one in every 5,000 citizens in the United States, including men, women, and children of all races and ethnic groups.

Marfan syndrome is a disorder of the connective tissue — the glue and scaffolding of the body.  It can affect the eyes, heart, bones, and muscles differently, varying from case to case.  Those diagnosed with this disorder should not lift heavy objects or play contact sports such as football, basketball, and soccer.

Marfan syndrome is caused by changes in a gene on chromosome 15.  Mutations cause abnormal connective tissue that can lead to Marfan features and medical problems.  This lifelong disorder is hereditary and often not diagnosed through a single blood test.  Marfan syndrome is not the same for everyone, but it often effects people with long legs, arms, and fingers; tall, thin body types; those with scoliosis, flat feet, crowded teeth; those with nearsightedness, Glaucoma, or cataracts at an early age; those with skin stretch marks not due to pregnancy or weight gain; and those with spontaneous pneumothorax (sudden collapse of the lung).  Anyone with a number of these characteristics should look into their family medical history and then get a physical examination, echocardiogram, slit lamp eye exam, and genetic testing.

Though doctors can make diagnoses from these sources, it is often difficult to diagnose.  People can have Marfan syndrome features but not enough of them to have Marfan syndrome, according to the National Marfan Foundation (NMF).  On the contrary, people with the disorder rarely have all Marfan features.  Some of these features may be easy to recognize, while others can only be observed through special tests.  It is important to understand that Marfan syndrome features in the aorta can cause sudden death if not treated.  These symptoms or features usually progress with age.

Treatments for Marfan syndrome vary and can help manage heart problems to improve the quality of life of a patient, but there is currently no cure.  Treatment strategies include heart medications to reduce stress on the aorta; carefully checking bones, joints, eyes, heart and aorta; eye and back surgery; changes in physical activity; and regular echocardiograms (test of the heart and its valves).

At least 40 percent of Marfan cases are diagnosed too late, usually on the autopsy table, because aortic dissection occurs and goes undiagnosed, explained Ackroyd.  It is a disorder, which can affect people emotionally.  The outlook for a person with Marfan syndrome has improved as medical technology has improved.  The quality of life for Marfan patients is better, with lengthened lifespans.  If Marfan is detected early, and appropriate treatment is seen through, the expectancy for some with Marfan syndrome is similar to that of an average person, according to NMF.  Many famous people lived with Marfan, including Abraham Lincoln; Tony award-winning playwright of Rent, Jonathan Larson; U. S. Olympic Gold Medal Volleyball captain, Flo Hyman; University of Maryland basketball player, Chris Patton; and many more.

For more information of Marfan syndrome, check out 

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