Salem News

Wildlife at the Library and Not Just in Books

On Wednesday, June 20th, the Wildlife Encounters Zoo visited the Kelley Library. The zoo is a NH-based wildlife, environmental and life sciences educational entity.  Founded in 2004 by Derek Small, Wildlife Encounters Zoo is a result of 13 years of public education and non-native wildlife rehabilitation rescue.


Fashion and Fun Found at Senior Center

by Denise Rush

Well, it is official; the search for Salem’s top models - of wedding attire and crazy hats - is over.

On June 21, from 1 – 3 p.m., seven stylish ‘senior-itas’ who frequent Ingram’s Senior Citizen Center modeled evening wear in the center’s bridal-themed, annual Ladies Social Tea /Fashion and Hat show.

Donning community-donated formal wear given to their on-site Thrift Shop (which included a new Oleg Cassini wedding gown - price tag intact), these golden-aged divas emerged.  They strutted their styles before a crowd of 85 of their tea-sipping peers and three distinguished judges (who on this day might be known as the fashion-police):  Salem’s Chief of Police, Paul Donovan; Deputy Fire Chief, Mike Wallace; and Town Manager, Dr. Henry LaBranche.

Patti Drelick, Ingram’s Director, narrated the wedding party as they gracefully made their entrance into the hall, interjecting between the paraded outfits that all the gowns worn could be purchased for a mere $3 (with the exception of the Oleg Cassini) from the Thrift Shop store where all profits are then recycled as well to fund other center activities.

This second-time-around-the-altar mock bridal party was comprised of the following “bridesmaids”:  Bernadette Morton modeled a peach-chiffon mother-of-the-bride ensemble with beaded brocade; Marie Leone graced the floor in long-sleeved lavender loveliness with a matching iridescent pearl clutch purse; Vi Simone looked smashing in a summer garden-length black and white designer number by DKNY of New York; Pat Leslie wore a classic off-white pants suit that draped over one shoulder; Lorraine Amirault was pretty in Cinderella pink chiffon (complete with glass slippers); and Beverly Johnson was a striking fashion plate in deep-purple brocade.

But, the real head-turning show-stopper came when the sized-2 petite, white-haired, tiara-crowned bride, Virginia Murphy, made her dazzling debut in the white (little-too-heavily-beaded for this little lady) Oleg Cassini bridal gown with a very big white bow tied in the back adorning its five-foot train.

“It was so heavy with all those beads that I needed a push,” said a smiling Virginia.  “I try to keep up with the fashions.”

As for the questionably-fashionable homemade hat competition, there were some pretty wild and crazy creations set before the judges:  Jeannette Green (second place winner of dinner for two at the Colosseum) wore a skein of yarn with knitting needle horns, while her mother (who was visiting from Florida), Margaret Maiocchi, made a Marge-Simpson-bag-lady fedora out of a blue-knit winter hat with white plastic garbage bags sticking out of it; Claire Meade’s red-hat creation was called Spring Fling; Dottie DeNicola wore a pink cowboy-looking number; Marie Leone (third place winner, also of dinner for two at the Colosseum) used bunched white netting and flowers for her entry; 91-year-old Hattie (yes, HATtie) Greenwood looked sporty in her Jason Varitek autographed Red Sox hat; and Barbara Ainslie won first prize (dinner for four at the Colosseum) with her fringed lampshade that actually lit when you pulled its dangling chain.

As she physically pulled the fringe aside to see when asked a question, her eyes lit up as well: “Hey, I say if you can’t find any fun, stick a lampshade on your head - and I did.”

But, for those who attended, they didn’t need to do that to have a few laughs.  Thanks to the efforts of event coordinators, Gerri Beck, Ellen Venturo, and Dolly Falco, a good time was had by all who enjoyed sharing tea, fashion, and friendship amongst some still hip and stylish seniors.

And, to you all, I say, hats off!


Claire Bead


Hattie Greenwood


Dorothy Denicola


Bernadette Morton


Our Bride Virgina Murphy in an Oleg Cassini gown.


Jeanette Green


New Town Manager Chosen

by Jay Hobson

The regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen began with the Salem Selectmen announcing that it had authorized Town Manager Henry E. LaBranche to “extend a conditional offer of employment” to Jonathan Sistare, Town Manager of Jaffrey, NH. Sistare is currently serving in Iraq as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves.

Official negotiations with Sistare will begin as soon as background investigations have been completed.

Sistare has over 18 years experience in executive and municipal involvement and has been Town Manager of Hopkinton, NH from 1989 to 1993 and Town Manager of Jaffrey, NH from 1993 until 2007.

Sistare graduated with a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of New Hampshire in Durham in 1989 and received his Juris Doctorate from New England School of Law in 2001.

The retiring Salem Town Manager Dr. Henry E. LaBranche will remain available to aid in smooth transition.

In other business, the June 25 Selectmen’s meeting was a seminar on the state’s Right to Know Law and was officiated by Salem town counsel Gordon Graham.

Various members of boards and committees attended and the law, as it pertains to municipal government, was explained.

In an apparent allusion to the Salem School Board’s recent decision to require the Planning Board to make its requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act, Selectman Pat Hargreaves asked Graham, “If one board requests information from another board, does the requesting board have to pay fees that the average citizen would be required to pay?”

Graham stated that would be silly, yet it would be up to the boards in question to determine that.


Got Fish ?

Dan Breen, 14, with his 41 1/2 pound, 47 1/2-inch Striped Bass. Reporter/Photographer Jay Hobson was at Salem Town Hall last week, when he stopped Dan and his dad showing off his catch he landed out of Hampton Beach.


Canobie Lake Executive Appointed to New State Board

by Scott E. Green

Thomas Morrow, the Operations Manager at Canobie Lake Park and 30-year employee, has been appointed to a new State Board; the Amusement Ride Safety Advisory Board.

The board's purpose is to advise the Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Safety and its Division of Safety Services before rules are promulgated concerning amusement ride safety.

It shall consist of seven members; the New Hampshire Commissioner of Safety or designer, an owner or operator of portable amusement rides, two owners or operators of permanent amusement parks, an insurance professional involved in insuring amusement rides, an engineer who repairs or maintains amusement rides, and a general public member.  Initial terms are staggered, and then all members serve four-year terms.  There is no salary involved but members may be reimbursed for their expenses.

So far, the only members appointed to the board are Morrow for a two-year term, and the portable ride member W. Scott Miller of Webster for a one year term.  There is no fixed schedule for meetings yet, excluding a requirement that the board issue an annual report on or before January 1 of each year.

Morrow said that the board's creation is not a reaction to an incident, but rather a proactive move to prevent incidents.  Morrow also said that the amusement park industry supports the creation of such boards.

The Salem resident has long been active in community affairs such as the Chamber of Commerce and the Exchange Club, and is currently a trustee of the local Dollars for Scholars trust fund. 

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