Field of Dreams Cleanup

by Robyn Hatch

Brian English doing his share

Salems Field of Dreams desperately needs help with maintenance, repairs and gardening work.  This is and often overlooked and ignored beautiful park.  There are gardens, hiking trails, benches and beautiful, fun play areas for children – from the wooden train, to new safe swings and clean sand boxes.  Those who take care of their own property know maintenance is a nonstop adventure ­ Field of Dreams is no different.  This cleanup had been highly publicized and on the date of cleanup, only a few from the board with their family members showed up to help.  These few generous people cant be expected to do it alone.

Field of Dreams desperately needs organizations to help with the washed-out area by the playground.  There is also a problem with sand on the hill by the climbing castle washing down and plugging up the stream at  the bottom of the hill.

Field of Dreams is also looking for garden people (whether flower companies, organizations or individual gardeners) to take care of individual plot areas throughout the park.  This is an endeavor that brings advertising and accomplishment.  Please call Ross Trecartin at 233-4455 for details, ideas or suggestions on how to make this park a peoples park for young and old.

This is also a good location for Eagle Scouts, Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts to do their projects and get awards and recognition  – gardens for school children to work on, maybe flowers planted for loved ones, etc.  Make Field of Dreams a safe and enjoyable place for all!

Very special thanks to the sponsors who helped out with the cleanup with food and beverages.

  • Dunkin Donuts (134 North Broadway)
  • Dunkin Donuts (15 South Broadway)
  • Dunkin Donuts (380 South Broadway)
  • Romanos Pizzeria
  • Giovannis Pizzeria
  • Sals Pizza
  • Diamanates Pizzeria

Another special thanks to Kaboom Cleaners who donated a $2,000 gift card from Home Depot to help with rakes and equipment.  Water was donated by the 99 Restaurant.

Again, thanks to all and please help Salem to keep Field of Dreams up and running.

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Town Forest Nature Trail Open to the Public

by Jay Hobson

My favorite poet, Robert Frost, penned a poem called The Road Not Taken and when I walked the Town Forest nature trail on Saturday the words of that poem about someone confronted with a choice of two roads and choosing “the one less traveled” came springing to mind.  I could stay on Shadow Lake Road with cars and trucks whizzing by or walk the nature trail. I chose the road less traveled.

Unknown to many Salem residents, the nature trail consists of nearly five miles of hiking trails and paths and gives the sense of solitude in a world full of noise and electronic gadgets assaulting the senses.

The only sounds on the trail were the crunch of my own footfalls on the sandy path, the call of a brilliant red cardinal, and the soft and soothing sounds of nature.

The trails are clearly marked and wide enough to walk two abreast.  Hilly terrain and flat parcels lend to the hiker who is just out to enjoy nature or to the fitness enthusiast who wants a cross-country workout.

So in the words of Robert Frost at the end of his poem:

“I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -

I took the one less traveled by,

And it has made all the difference.”

If you would like to take the road less traveled and enjoy some of what the trails have to offer, the Town Forest is located on Shadow Lake Road past the Elks which will be on the left.  The sign marking the entrance to the parking lot is on the right. 

Bridge to nature at its best at the Salem Town Forest

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Selectmen Vote to Establish Charter Reform Committee

by Jay Hobson

At the Monday, April 14, selectmen’s meeting, the five-member panel voted unanimously, after lengthy discussion, on the make-up of a committee to look into the reform of Salem’s charter.

The issue began several weeks ago when Town Manager Jonathan Sistare was doing research for Selectman Michael Lyons on an unrelated matter and discovered the law under which Salem operates does not include having a budget committee; in essence, saying that Salem’s Budget Committee has no authority.

After discussing the matter at the April 7 meeting, the board decided to create a committee to review the matter and possibly reform the charter to remedy the situation.

At the April 14 meeting, Selectman Lyons made a motion which was seconded by Selectman McBride that would create a committee which would include one member of the selectmen, one member of the school board, one member of the budget committee, one member of the 2007 CIP committee appointed by the chairman of that board, and one citizen who is not a member of any of the four previously mentioned boards.

“On the appointments, I would look to the chairman to pick someone who has no agenda.  For example, Selectman Lyons brought this before us and he wants to go from 66 percent to 60 percent (to pass warrant articles at town meeting) and I don’t believe in the 60 percent.  I believe in the 66 percent so I would have an agenda to leave it the way it is at 66 percent.  So please do not pick me because I know what I’m looking for.  We need a selectman who’s going to be open-minded and look outside the box, someone who can reach something we can all agree on at the same time and make it unanimous.  That’s all I’m asking,” Hargreaves said.

Board Chairman Selectman Elizabeth Roth asked Selectman Lyons what his purpose was for the charter reform committee.

“Initially I had three thoughts, three charges and, as Town Manager Sistare has indicated, one of them may not be relevant anymore given the guidance we might get from DRA (Department of Revenue Administration).  One would be the budget committee problem, and two would be if we should change the charter.  That’s not I would take after reading a packet over the weekend,” Lyons said.

“When you said ‘change the charter,’ what specifically did you mean by ‘change the charter’?” Roth said.

“Well, the committee can look at changes at every level.  I don’t want to have them do what I like.  I am very careful not to say what I propose because, as Pat pointed out, I don’t want to bias that committee,” Lyons said.

Selectman Arthur Barnes stated that “the problem (regarding the budget committee) should be fixed here locally.  The only way we’re going to do that is with a charter study committee.”

At the previous meeting on April 4, Selectman Hargreaves indicated that he “would like to see the chairmen of all three boards to possibly be on the committee,” and this week Selectman Barnes said that was agreeable to him and wanted to discuss it.

“I disagree completely with that (appointing chairmen to the committee).  We’re not dictators here; we’re elected representatives.  We’re elected.  We have no authority over their boards.  None whatsoever.  They’re all elected by the people.  It’s up to that committee to decide who they will appoint.  Maybe the chairman will appoint him/herself or maybe someone else.  No way will I support a committee that appoints chairmen other than the fact that the chairmen and the committee can make whatever decision they want to make.  They’re elected and autonomous and we should not be dictating what they do,” McBride said.

Selectman Lyons agreed, stating, ”I agree with Selectman McBride.  That would be unprecedented.”

For clarification, Board Chairman Roth looked to Town Manager Sistare asking him if “there was any past history or precedent that he knew of regarding placement of board members or chairmen placed on a committee such as this.”

Sistare answered, “Not in my experience.  My experience has been that you would take members of other committees but not specific office holders of a committee.”

After more discussion, the board agreed to a make-up of the review/reform panel.  The board unanimously agreed that the committee would be formed with the chairman or his/her designee of the board of selectmen, the chairman or designee of the budget committee, the chair or designee of the school board, the chair or designee of the 2007 CIP Committee, and three citizens who are not members of any of the previously mentioned boards who will be appointed by the board of selectmen.

The charge to the newly formed committee would be threefold:  to look into the budget committee issue, the 60 percent versus 66 percent issue, and to review if a new charter should be on next year’s ballot.

In Other Business:

Recreation Director Christopher Dillon was advised by an Aquatics Risks Management Seminar that advised the department against charging a fee for use of a facility with swimming that has lifeguards “since state law does not require lifeguards be at a facility.  Charging a fee where lifeguards are present would give the implication that the standard of care was higher.”  So the recommendation was to charge a parking fee instead of a user fee.  The board unanimously voted to charge the following parking fees:

Resident all day:  $5

Resident season pass:  $25

Non-resident all day:  $10

Non-resident season pass:  $50

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Woodbury Family Fun Fair

by Robyn Hatch

Salem Family Resources/Success by 6 held a Family Fun Fair at Woodbury Middle School.  It featured large used toys, sports equipment, baby equipment, a book sale and story-time with guests readers throughout the day, parent information, childrens crafts and games, face painting by Sheri Sharkey, and many inexpensive toys that filled the whole gym area – almost like Christmas in spring.  All proceeds support the work at Salem Family Resources/Success by 6, a nonprofit organization offering family and parenting support resources in the Greater Salem Area.  Leftover toys will be stored and used at a later date.  Great job!

Mikaylea Hatch, Ryann Burns and Madison Burns having fun

Pat Corbett reading stories to the children

Cara and Jack Begley with their dad

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