Library Clocks

by Robyn Hatch

Bob, looking at someone’s clock with interest

Kelley Library was pleased to present a seminar by Bob Frishman, owner of Bell-Time Clocks, in Andover, MA.  His topic was on antique clocks, from early-beginning to present-day styles of clocks.  He told us much history, from the different styles of clocks to the different mechanisms that have been used to make them keep time properly.  He showed many wonderful slides and had many books and pamphlets to look at during the presentation.  He was also able to talk to guests who had actually brought their old clocks with questions about repairs and value.

Bob Frishman has professionally repaired, restored, and sold antique clocks for more than 27 years.  In 1993, he founded Bell-Time Clocks, named after a Harper’s Weekly engraving by Winslow Homer depicting New England textile mill buildings and workers.

Another masterpiece being shown

While the majority of his 4,000 repair customers are private owners and collectors, he also does trade and institutional work.  He has restored clocks for Brown University, the Andover Historical Society, the Museum of Our National Heritage, Phillips Andover Academy, and the Gibson House Museum.

Bob Frishman is a past president of New England Chapter 8 of the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors.  He served as First Vice President from 1999 to 2001, in charge of organizing all of the chapter’s many meetings, workshops, lectures, and educational programs, and prior to that he served four years as Chapter Treasurer.  He has published clock-related articles that can be viewed in their entirety on his site (, along with several others written by his wife.  He lectures on horology to historical societies, service organizations, and school groups.  He exhibits at antique shows where he sells restored vintage clocks.

After graduating from George Washington University in 1973, he worked 10 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC, as a speechwriter, legislative assistant, and press secretary.  The next 10 years he spent as vice president and then president of AKKO Inc., his family-owned acrylic furniture manufacturing company.  He served as a member, and then chairman, of the Lawrence, MA Planning Board.  From 1993 to 2003, he was trustee of The White Fund Inc., a Lawrence-based charity, and a trustee of the Lawrence Public Library.  He is married to author Jeanne Schinto and lives in Andover, MA, his home town.

“Watch” the clock

The wooden levers of an old clock

Possible $1.6 Million Loss in Revenue Worries Town Officials

by Andrea Ganley-Dannewitz

The Town of Salem’s Board of Selectmen invited state legislators to the Knightly Room to attend a special informational meeting on Wednesday, February 18.  The main concern weighing on selectmen and town manager Jonathan Sistare is a possible $1.6 million revenue loss, which came to their attention when Governor John Lynch announced a plan that withholds state revenue to New Hampshire towns for the rooms and meals tax and state aid.

Selectmen’s Chairwoman Elizabeth Roth expressed her deep concern for this issue when she explained how fiscal the board was in putting together a lean town budget for 2009-2010.  Selectman Roth said, “We have been very fiscally responsible since last March in anticipation of a bad economy.  I have a feeling it’s still going to get worse.”  Roth also said she hopes that revenue loss to the town won’t result in the layoffs of police and firefighters.

Town manager Jonathan Sistare says local governments are facing the same concerns as the people — how to pay for services.  Sistare also said Salem could lose an additional $1.7 million in state aid for Group 2 Retirement (police and fire officials).  Currently the state contributes 35 percent towards the retirement of police officers and firefighters, but Governor Lynch proposed reducing that to 30 percent.  Sistare says the amount of these increases to taxes is about 8 percent of our current tax rate.

Several state legislators turned out for the informational meeting and heard the concerns from Salem.  Representative Russ Ingram (R-Salem) tried to assure town officials that this is not set in stone.  “This budget will not look like this by the end of June.  It’s going to go to the House; it’s going to go to the Senate.  You can talk all you want, but they are not going to be the same numbers,” Representative Ingram said, referring to the Governor’s proposed budget.

Senator Mike Downing (R-Salem) supports the expanded gaming bill and hopes his fellow lawmakers will see this proposal as a help to the state’s major budget crisis.  He and several other lawmakers that were present at the informational meeting also realize that the bill likely will not make it past the House, let alone the Senate.

When asked about how federal stimulus money may assist Salem, Senator Downing said that, from what he has been shown and told, the greater part of New Hampshire’s share of the stimulus funds would be for education.

Selectmen anticipate that if revenue loss occurs in 2009 tax rates will not be affected; however, 2010 tax rates could make for a difficult year.

A definitive answer to this issue will not be known until June, when the state’s budget is approved.  Lawmakers expect several revisions of the state’s budget before its approval.

Shaheen Holds Roundtable on Economy at More Space Plus

by Len Lathrop

Keith Belair and U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen concluded a three-day tour of small businesses across New Hampshire by meeting small business owners at More Space Plus, which is owned by Keith Belair and his family.

Invited to attend were George Fairburn of Tri-State Garage Doors, Donna Morris of the Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce, Ann Lally of Salem Co-operative Bank, George Fredette of SFC Engineering, Mary Grise of The Inside View, Elaine Unsworth of Prudential Dinsmore Associates, Mark Harvey of H&B Homes, Rita Zolubos of N.E. Interior Design Studio, Denise Manchinton of Coco’s Fashion Jewelry, and Jeanie McAllister and Sarah Sonnesso of Jeanie’s Dry Cleaners.

After introductions, George Fairburn spoke about how “People’s phones just aren’t ringing anymore.  It’s gotten to the point now where you are operating in the red.  I don’t know if we’ll be here tomorrow.”

Shaheen told the dozen small-business owners that the economic stimulus package would help businesses and put spending money into the hands of consumers.  But, she cautioned, it won’t resolve all the economic problems facing the region and the country.  “It is a first step,” Shaheen said.  “But that one piece of legislation isn’t going to turn everything around.”

George Fredette, of SFC Engineering and a very active member of the Salem Chamber of Commerce, said the Manchester-based company recently had to downsize because of the bad economy.  He said many people with disposable income were holding off on projects due to financial uncertainty.  People are scared and afraid to spend money, even those who have it.  He spoke of written contracts being cancelled.

Anne Lally spoke about the credit problems that poor lending practices have created for many people, but mentioned that local banks that held the mortgages they lent still have money to lend and are accepting applications, and asked Shaheen if she felt that consumer debt (i.e., credit card debt) might become tax deductible as it was under other economic plans.

Following a question from Donna Morris, Shaheen replied, ”It would not be a good thing for America to lose its auto industry.”  Members of Shaheen’s staff said she intends to stay in touch with small business owners from around the state and bring their concerns to Washington.

Shaheen serves on the U.S. Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.

Teddy Bear Picnic

by Robyn Hatch

Lisa April, Karen Marcello and Kathleen Costello (all Salem residents), checking out Richie’s friend, Wally

Children of all ages were invited to bring their favorite stuffed animal for a “check-up” at the Teddy Bear Clinic sponsored by Build-A-Bear Workshop (Rockingham Mall), The Eagle Tribune, and Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, MA.  This took place at the lower level of the former Macy’s Court in The Mall at Rockingham Park.  This fun day was an interactive event which showcased a dozen fun and educational booths, games, entertainment, and giveaways.  Bearemy (Build-A-Bear mascot) posed for photos with the children.

Holy Family Hospital staffed this event.  There was a Teddy Bear Nursery where every stuffed bear got its health checked, was given a birth certificate, and was instructed in better ways to keep safe.  Band Aids were placed on the bears, and then given a kiss and a hug.  Broken bones were repaired and wrapped in bandages, while beary delicious snacks were plentiful.  Hearts were discovered and stuck with a sticker, and heart and blood rates were measured.  X-rays were shown of bears that had come to Holy Family for care, with an explanation on how X-rays help to care for these friends.  The day was not complete without a ride on a real stretcher, with each child trying on real hospital scrubs, caps, masks and booties.

This was a day to be long remembered!

This is so much fun

Nurse Gabriella Aloisi

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