Family Fun Day

The Derry-Salem Elks held a Family Fun Day at the Pavilion at the Elks Lodge, Shadow Lake, to kick off youth week.  It was cold and rainy but the few who showed had lots of food to enjoy which was prepared by the famous Elks cook, Marvin.  The festivities included crafts and board games.  There was much eating and much laughter.  Everyone had a good time, regardless of the weather!

Marvin with his famous food!

Jasmine, Brittany and Keyshanna enjoying the rainy day.

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Fairytale History

by Robyn Hatch

Kelley Library’s Librarian Cathy Cloutier presented a short assembly to children (ages 1 to 6) on Fairytales and their history.  The kids were asked if they knew what a fairytale was and what fairytales have in common.  The Frog Princess and A Frog Prince are ‘fractured fairytales’ where the tale is changed from the original.  They were also asked if they could tell or knew the difference.  Thirty minutes later, crafts began on making individual boy or girl frogs; when they were set out to dry, Jack and the Beanstalk was read.  Crafts were then finished, snacks were eaten, and the kids left very happy.  Handouts of crossword puzzles and color pages were given to each child with the encouragement to try writing their own fairytale.  Kelley Library, excellent program!

Cathy is reading The Frog Prince.

Sabrina and brother Massi are working on crafts.

Leah is working on her project.

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Selectmen’s Notes

by Jay Hobson

At the April 28 selectmen’s meeting the issue of the state senate reviewing a plan to levy a 10 percent tax on charities that participate in Texas Hold ‘Em poker games at Rockingham park was raised by Selectman Everett McBride.

“I want to propose that the Board of Selectmen send a letter to the Senate which can be written by the town manager and signed by him on behalf of the board and get sent to the Senate hopefully by tomorrow (4/29) that would in fact oppose this tax being imposed on the Texas Hold ‘Em  tournaments and the charities because I think it’s a shame.  If the governor wants to generate funds, video gaming is $300 million right there.  This is going to generate peanuts and it’s going to hurt the charities,” McBride said.

“This bill is wrong.  You’ve got to stand up for what is right.  This bill is not right for the charities and it’s not right for the track.  It’s time for us to stand up for the charities and the track.  That track has been there over a hundred years and supported all the charities and anything this town has wanted.  Let’s stand up and be counted and support the track right here, right now, tonight,” McBride said

Board Chairman Elizabeth Roth said, “The charities I’m involved with are looking at it and we may lose the revenue source completely because I’m told that we (the charities) will not be able to afford to continue with the Texas Hold ‘Em.  That’s significant for a lot of communities that need projects that take place as a result of the money generated there.”

Town Manager Jonathan Sistare requested clarification, saying he wanted to be sure that “we’re consistent with our message that we are in favor of video gaming and the town and state fees that would generate. So this is strictly because it impacts charities.”

After lengthy discussion the motion made by McBride was defeated in favor of a motion by Selectman Michael Lyons that the letter tell the Senate it needs “to consider this bill carefully and that there are other ramifications to be looked at relative to its effect on charities and the local Salem community at large.”

The motion passed 4 - 1

At the May 5 selectman’s meeting Town Finance Director Jane Savastano reported that as of April mid-grade gasoline the town uses for its cars was budgeted at $2.37 per gallon but the actual cost is $3.23 per gallon; and diesel fuel for trucks at the Department of Public Works and Fire Department is budgeted at $2.61 per gallon but the actual cost is $3.88 per gallon.  At the current rate and using last year’s usage figures, the town could be facing a $115,000 shortfall due to the rising fuel costs.

Heating fuel also could be a problem as costs also have risen.  The town used 128,000 gallons last year at a negotiated price of price of $2.15 per gallon but now heating fuel prices are as high as $3.41 per gallon and higher and the contract expires in late June.

Health Officer Brian Lockard reported on the town’s efforts to control mosquitoes, citing a larvacide program in which a bacterial insecticide is released in swamp and stagnant water areas and said catch basins also will be treated. In a couple of weeks, according to Lockard, traps will be set to determine species numbers and to note the presence of West Nile Virus or Eastern Equine Encephalitis in traps.

Street spraying, which is less effective, will be conducted later if it is determined that the threat of possible disease is high, according to Lockard. 

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Sewage Backup a Stinky Situation for Salem Police

by Andrea Ganley-Dannewitz

Thursday evening, May 1, police had a stink of a situation to deal with at the station.  Just two months after Salem voters turned down a new $7.1 million police station, Salem police will need to spend an unknown amount of money for repairs around the station to keep it safe.  A new plumbing system would have come with a new station, though no one could have foreseen Thursday’s sewage mess.

From Thursday evening through some of the weekend, police officers were without toilets, locker rooms, cell block and hallways.  The raw sewage flowed up through old drains, showers and toilets.  A Lawrence, Massachusetts, company was at the station Friday assessing the damage and trying to figure out what caused such a severe backup throughout much of the station.  Officers had started to think the cause could have been the result of an incident earlier in the week.  A severely mentally disturbed man was taken into custody for shoplifting.  The man was held in the cellblock until he began to remove his clothes, bathe in the toilet and shove his underwear down the toilet attempting to flush it.  An officer asked him remove the underwear from the toilet, but instead he reached in and shoved it way in as far as he could.

The plumbing crew didn’t seem to think that was the actual cause.  They believe the station’s outdated cast iron pipes are the problem for the building-wide backup.

Officers were able to use the booking room to process and temporarily hold prisoners, but any long-term prisoners had to be taken to Brentwood.

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Alcohol Compliance Check Yields Only Two Violations

by Andrea Ganley-Dannewitz

Salem Police Department conducted alcohol compliance checks on businesses holding liquor licenses on Saturday, May 3.  A total of 67 businesses was checked with two failing by selling alcohol to underage buyers.

According to Captain Shawn Patten it appears the businesses communicate with each other when the compliance checks are conducted and said the department will modify its techniques for future stings.

He said Salem police would like to think businesses are committed to preventing underage sales and the recent results are much improved over past checks.  He added that he hopes the improvement is due to the effect of that commitment and not due to warnings among the businesses during the sting operations.

The businesses and the employees identified as making the sales as  Rosey’s Place, 224 North Broadway; Simon Najjar, 50 of Salem, prohibited sales, court date June 2; Shaw’s Supermarket, 92 Cluff Crossing Road; 17 year-old boy from Lawrence, Massachusetts, court date June 2.

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