Salemfest Features Car Show in 2009

by Chelsea Hanninenen, Intern Reporter and Andrea Ganley-Dannewitz


A Model T arrives at the car show at the High School.

Salemfest, held this year on September 19-20, is a great weekend for families to get together.  Whether you wanted to check out the handmade jewelry, the endless amount of raffle prizes, the meatball subs described as ‘awesome’ on the menu, or just a day to enjoy the fresh air with friends and family, Salem-fest is something that should not be missed.

Every age was welcomed.  There was face painting, moon bounces, and a Thomas the Tank Engine roaming railroad train for the younger participants.  The train led up to about 25 people up and down the sidewalk between the Kelley Library and the Salem High School.  It was new to Salemfest this year and ran all day Saturday.  The Boys and Girls Club was also open for kids of all ages.  There was a popcorn and Ice machine, games, races, and loud music playing from every corner.  For older folks joining in on the fun, there was a book fair in the Kelley Library and tents set up with various handmade items of clothing and accessories ready to be purchased.  However, the main attraction new to Salemfest was the antique car show.

The car show was held in the Salem High School parking lot.  Cars as old as 85 years sat proudly on display, some with insightful posters next to it.  People meandered around for hours, checking out the aged Volkswagens and Corvettes.  There was even a Model-T on display.

A rundown army car was present at the car show, as well.  Inside the car were several guns, a grenade, and a newspaper article.  The paper was dated in the early 40’s, talking about the making of the car and how the war (WWII) had just ended.  It was mind-blowing to have the opportunity to read an article printed over 60 years ago, still intact and in mint condition.

Many of the proud owners sat beside their cars, discussing facts and information about their prized possession.  One man had posted a sign in front of his car, stating he was, in fact, the only owner the car had ever had.  Everyone was friendly and in good spirits.   Especially when they noticed the BBQ stand in the middle of the parking lot providing sodas, hot dogs, hamburgers, and chips galore.

Salem-fest is a day for the community to come together and bask in some old-town activities.  It is held annually, so be sure to stop by next year. The attractions grow bigger and better every year.

The woman behind the magic is Salem resident Betty Gay.  Several years before the first Salemfest, Betty chaired the St. David’s Craft Fair.  During her annual project Betty looked around and realized so much else was going on.  At one point a cute parade of dressed up dogs walked by.  Civil War historians were re-enacting the Civil War, Salemhaven and Silverthorne were holding the annual Fall Fair.  She realized that she had something then, but she did not know at the time it would become her brainchild – Salemfest.

Betty has gained huge support in the community for her annual celebration similar to Old Home Days held in area towns such as Hudson and Derry.  Much work is put into planning Salemfest, planning even begins right after the signs come down.  Official work on 2010 Salemfest will begin in June, as Betty organizes interested groups and hosts planning sessions to put the fun all together.


Lillian Brainay with her daughter Gwen “the Clown” checking out the treats for sale at Salemhaven.


Sons of the Union Veterans, Gilman E. Sleepers Camp #60, set up a camp on Main Street near the Historical Society Museum.

Selectmen Budget Ready for Budget Committee Review

by Jay Hobson

The selectmen finalized the budget that they will send to the budget committee for review by interviewing the police, fire and public works department heads.

Police chief Paul Donovan, Fire Chief Kevin Breen and Director of Public Works Rick Russell sat before the selectmen and had their respective budgets looked at closely by the selectmen.

Selectman Pat Hargreaves repeatedly requested cuts to each of the department’s budgets only to hear the vote taken recorded as being “three to one in favor with selectmen Hargreaves in opposition”.  The phrase was used so many times that Hargreaves quipped that “I’m going to make me a sign that says I’m 3-1”.

One of the line items that Hargreaves wanted to cut was subscriptions by four members of the police department to the same publication at a cost of $120.00 each.

“Why can’t one person subscribe and let the other officers share the information,” Hargreaves asked.

In response, chief Donovan said that the subscriptions were password protected on the Internet and each officer had to have their own account. The measure failed 3-1 with Hargreaves in opposition.

Hargreaves’ cuts were rejected so many times that he said “forget it, you guys aren’t going to cut anything so I’m not going to go any further” to which acting chairman Mike Lyons said, “Your prerogative” and quickly moved on to the next item.  Selectman Everett McBride at one time said to Hargreaves “you should (keep requesting) your cuts.”

Selectman Lyons in his capacity as vice chairman is acting chairman while Arthur Barnes is on vacation.

Fire Chief Kevin Breen had requested the Deputy Chief position be filled in this budget year and Town Manager Jonathan Sistare declined to include a full time deputy chief at a salary of $117,000, opting for an administrative assistant at $85,000 to Chief Breen instead.

“As I said on the night of Sept. 3, I am not in favor of this.  The Deputy Chief position has been vacant since the retirement of Deputy Chief Michael Wallace. This is not a new position,” Breen said.  He went on to add that the administrative assistant as proposed would make less in salary than a line officer and shared with the board the voluntary cuts and cost saving measures that his department has made in an effort to reduce the fire department’s costs such as increasing ambulance accounts receivable to over $1 million.

“This department has tried hard to maintain a tight budget…I would remind everybody that this department cut an administrative position two years ago,” Breen said.

Breen also added that the fire department has never had just three chief officers.  “This position will oversee line personnel.  This is not a position just to do paperwork.  The person will oversee 70 percent of our business, so it must be someone who is technically proficient in our operation and will have supervisory authority,” Breen said.

Selectman Hargreaves showed a measure of frustration as the deputy fire chief was eliminated in favor of an administrative assistant, a cut of about $31,000, suggesting that the public works department and fire department are cut excessively and the police department doesn’t suffer the same treatment.

Selectman McBride responded with “They know what’s best.  Between the manager (Town Manager Jonathan Sistare) and them (Fire Chief Breen et. al) they’ll figure it out.  Times are tough and the (fire dept.) budget is up only 1.21 percent.”

Selectman Elizabeth Roth said that she understood selectman Hargreaves position but felt that the motion was “forcing the hand of the board to make administrative decisions,” and that she would probably abstain.

“It makes no sense to me to put money in the budget for an administrative secretary when we need a deputy fire chief,” Roth said.

Selectman Hargreaves made a motion to put the $31,000 back into the budget and it failed for lack of a second.

The Public Works Director Rick Russell asked the board to remove $60,000 from his budget regarding a storage facility stating “I and we are not prepared to put it up next year.”

When questioned by Acting Chairman Lyons why he was withdrawing the money, Russell replied that he’d gotten several quotes that put the price at about $115,000 and he wasn’t going to ask the board for the additional funds.

When all was said and done, the budget being sent to the budget committee will be up 6.5 percent and the water rate will be up .31 percent.

Once the budget committee receives the budget, they will review it with the school board budget and the package will be voted on by voters at the town meeting in March.  The budget committee can change the budget and items voted down or accepted by voters in March.

Boys’ Volleyball Reaches 100th Consecutive Win Milestone

by Chris White


The Salem Blue Devils Men's Volleyball team get support from their fans at their 100th win!

The Salem Blue Devil faithfully packed Davis Gymnasium last Thursday evening in anticipation of Salem volleyball’s 100th consecutive victory over a span of almost five and a half seasons.  At 5 p.m. there was a line of students out the door anxiously waiting to cheer on the team.  When the boys made their way on to the floor, the packed stands rose to a thunderous ovation.

The Blue Devils, who have never lost in NHIAA competition, blew out Mascenic 3-0 in which the scoring of the games was 25-9, 25-15, and 25-5.

“The crowd was amazing and these kids deserve it,” Head Coach E.J. Perry said.  “One hundred straight is quite an accomplishment.”

Senior captain Dan Tiner had an outstanding game to lead Salem.  After beginning the game with a powerful kill, he finished with 14 kills, eight blocks, and nine service points which included five aces.  Jason Kinney also controlled the net up front with 11 kills, seven blocks, and 10 service points along with four aces.

Captain Setter Chris Barnes accumulated 21 assists in just half the game’s action. He also contributed three kills, four digs, and three blocks.  Captain Libero CJ DeMarco was exceptional in the back row, tallied nine digs, 11 service points, and two aces.

Justin O'Brien, an unsung hero on the team, had six digs and seven service points, and Corey Forrest had one of his best outings of the year with eight powerful kills and two blocks.  Junior Joe Gallant played well from the middle position with five kills, while Jared Scali, Joe Travato, and Kyle Ruffen all added three kills apiece.

“Tonight we all came together and we were clicking,” Tiner said.

This night, however, was a night for the program.

Players from Salem Volleyball’s past such as Brian George (a member of the first varsity team) and Chris Connolly (from the first-ever club team in 2000) were in attendance.  Sean Stewart, a stalwart on three championship teams, and Mike Sapochetti from last year's team were also on hand to support the Blue Devils.  A number of parents of the Blue Devil alumni came out to support the team too.  Salem's number one fan and supporter of both the girls’ and boys’ programs, Denise Miano, beckoned everyone about the game by blasting an email message to over 300 people. 

Salem seated 700 fans at the record-setting game.  Perry credits Principal Bill Hagen and Athletic Director Dave Rozumek for the large turnout.  As school administrators, they both encourage the student body to support the volleyball team and other athletics at the school.

“The fans really helped us out,” DeMarco said.  “They’re always behind us.”

Coach Perry extends his personal thanks to his former assistant coaches, Dan Young and Jeff Jordan, for their contributions.  He also recognizes his current assistant Scott Wright for his hard work.  He thanks all the alumni for their contributions to the program.

The team thanks everyone who came out to support them in its 100th victory and looks forward to seeing fans at the Homecoming volleyball game Saturday against Pinkerton at 10:30 a.m. in the Davis Gymnasium.

“This is a huge step in the right direction for Salem volleyball,” Barnes said.  “Hopefully as many fans as we saw tonight will continue supporting us.” 

How much is one-hundred?  The Salem boys are in some pretty good company as far as winning streaks are concerned.  Some Notable All-time Salem High School Consecutive Victories:  Boys’ Volleyball - 100 (National Record), Softball - 84 (3rd Highest Nationally), Boys’ Basketball – 33.  Some Notable All-time N.H. Consecutive Victories:  Boys’ Volleyball, Salem High School – 100, Girls’ Volleyball, Gilford High School – 92,

Girls’ Softball, Salem High School - 84 , Boys’ Basketball, Conant High School – 66.  Some Other Notable Athletic Streaks:  High School Basketball, Passaic High School – 159, Olympic Sprinter Edwin Moses (400 meter hurdles) - 122 races, Men’s College Basketball, UCLA Bruins – 88, Professional Football, New England Patriots – 21.

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