Jewelry Designer and Salon Donate Defibrillator to Fisk School

From left: Leslie Stratos, Susan Garafalo, Cynthia Dimario, and Susan Rhodes.

Susan Garafalo, designer and founder of HeartStrings’ Jewelry, presented an automated external defibrillator (AED) to Susan Rhodes, principal of Fisk Elementary School, on May 8.  HeartStrings and Salon Grazie of Salem worked to fund the purchase.  Leslie Stratos, co-owner of Salon Grazie, displayed and sold Garafalo’s unique designs of sterling silver jewelry in her Ermer Road establishment.  All of HeartStrings’ proceeds of the jewelry sales from the salon and sales to other clients of HeartStrings were used to buy and donate the equipment.

In 2005, Garafalo’s husband suffered sudden cardiac arrest during a routine workout at a gym.  Had there not been an onsite defibrillator, he would not have survived the attack, leaving behind his wife and children.  That life-changing experience inspired Garafalo to provide AEDs to schools and community centers.  “I felt by combining the love of my craft and my strong desire to make a difference in the fight against cardiac arrest, I could really do something to help save people’s lives.  That’s the whole reason behind our donation and presentation at Fisk School,” Garafalo said.

The Fisk School is the last Salem school to receive an AED, which will be mounted in the lobby for public access.

Sudden cardiac arrest kills more than 450,000 Americans each year, more than breast cancer, prostate cancer, AIDS, house fires, handguns and traffic accidents combined.  It is the leading cause of death in the U.S.

At the presentation were Garafalo; Rhodes; Cynthia Dimario, Fisk nurse; and Stratos.

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Knights of Columbus Honors Josie Simard

At the New Hampshire State Council Knights of Columbus, 109th Annual State Convention held May 2, 3, 4, at The Crown Plaza in Nashua, Josie Simard was recognized as the New Hampshire State Council Outstanding Council Lady in recognition of her dedication and devoted service to the Bishop Peterson Council 4442, Salem.

Simard has been involved with the Knights since 1976 when her husband, Chanel, was the deputy grand knight.  She is a past president of the Knights of Columbus Ladies Auxiliary.

For years she has prepared lunches and snacks at the council for those who marched in the Christmas parade, and for the children’s Christmas party.  For the past several years she worked with the Knights at Christmas time, distributing toys to the needy.  She has worked in preparing food for those who participate in the Knights versus Squires basketball and softball games.  Simard has worked the blood drives that have been held at the council home for many years.  She volunteered working bingo games until the second-hand smoke became a problem.  Recently she has volunteered her services working Texas hold em and other fundraising activity for the Knights.

Simard has a long history of volunteering her services to other organizations, i.e., Kiwanis, Junior Woman’s Club, Christian Doctrine teacher at St. Joseph’s School, teachers aide at North Salem School, Brownie leader, the Senior Center, where she supervises more than 40 seniors who work the Boutique Shop.  She recently, was appointed to the board of the Council of Aging. 

Congratulation also need to be extended to Simard and her husband as they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on May 11. 

From left: Josie Simard, Grand Knight Joseph Stafford, Chanel Simard, Gertrude Kamford and Sir Knight Wilfred Bamford.

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Selectmen’s Notes

by Jay Hobson

Salem’s Board of Selectmen meet at Chairman Elizabeth Roth’s North Andover office conference room.  From left: Town Manager Jonathan Sistare; Roth, Selectmen Everett Mc Bride, Arthur Barnes, Mike Lyons (with back to camera) and Pat Hargreaves

The Salem Board of Selectmen met 4 - 7 p.m. on Friday, May 9, for a “selectmen’s retreat” at the law offices of Board Chairman Elizabeth Roth at 231 Sutton Street, Suite 1B, North Andover Massachusetts.

After some inquiries from Selectman Pat Hargreaves regarding the legality of holding a public meeting out of state and without television coverage or an official transcript, Roth allayed any concerns by handing out copies of the law that says such a meeting, open to the public and with sufficient notice of the time the meeting was to begin, is in Roth’s words, “absolutely legal.”

Hargreaves asked if he could tape-record the proceedings and the board assented.

Once underway, Town Manager Jonathan Sistare and the rest of the board members outlined what projects would be high on their priority lists.

“We’re here to develop a cohesiveness of the board and to try to think outside the box in a relaxed atmosphere,” Roth said.

Some board member priorities:

Everett McBride – 2008-2009 budget process, discretionary spending increase must be held at zero, roads, bridges and sewers with a top priority being to provide electronic banking style transactions at town hall.

Arthur Barnes – Bridge programs must go on and the lack of raises for department and division heads.

Hargreaves - Department heads should be more forthcoming with information to the selectmen, bridges, rivers need to be cleaned up and dredged, get rid of beaver dams, hydrology studies and would like to see four more firefighters.

Mike Lyons – Finding out if the amount being spent on roads, improving things, establishing trust funds for the various departments so money is on hand when unexpected situations arise, flooding and possible curbside trash pickup considering the price of gas.

Roth – Recycling could save the town $500,000, make town greener, updating the Website to be more like other towns such as Haverhill, bringing in another cable company to promote competition to reduce prices, economic development (“we’re in a cycle of just keeping up”), marketing the town.  Returning to when Salem was the “Gateway to New Hampshire.”

After discussion on each of the topics, the meeting ended with Roth saying the board was pleased with the ease of transition of Sistare into his job.  The board implied a tacit vote of confidence in Sistare’s performance to date.

At the May 12 regular meeting of the board of selectmen, the issues of the Depot traffic congestion and rail trail pedestrian and bicycle path was discussed.  Representatives from Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. (VHB) gave presentations on each of the projects.  The main focus at the early stages is abutter participation and involvement with an eye to create a plan that everyone can work with and alleviate traffic congestion at the Depot and to try to incorporate a transit system that will use a corridor of pedestrian/bicycle traffic that would allow employees and shoppers to use the corridor safely in conjunction with buses.

The Depot project as well as the trail corridor will involve abutter participation and cooperation in the planning stages and will provide recreational as well as practical elements to solving the Route 28 traffic issues.

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Salem Hopes Paving Projects Stay on Track

by Andrea Ganley-Dannewitz

Salem expects to have completed three big road projects this year.  Some residents have waited a long time to see that happen.  Much of the work will be in the Arlington Pond neighborhood and north Salem.  Mary Ann and Elsie avenues are expected to be completed by August.  North Main Street, under construction for more than a year, should be almost complete by late summer.  The final phase of the North Main Street repaving project known as the “top course” may not be put down before winter, which would leave crews to finish it in the spring of 2009.  But officials hope that won’t happen, that the “top course” will be down by October.

The Shore Drive project has been much anticipated by residents who drive on that road every day.  It drives more like an off-road course than a residential neighborhood road.  Officials are awaiting state permits and about five right-of-way adjustments from several neighborhood residents.

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