Exploring pubs – 04/11/2024

Do you want to go where everybody knows your name? That Cheers-y feeling is what Michael Witthaus describes at area pubs, each of which has its own personality. He looks at six such establishments and what they’re doing to build their unique communities.

Also on the cover This week’s art section is packed. On page 14, check out Michael’s story about the latest “A Distant Conversation” exhibit pairing two artists. On page 16, Zachary Lewis looks at upcoming shows from NSquared Dance. Plus listings, the Arts Roundup and more.

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Higher education task force reports A press release from Tuesday, April 2, stated the Public Higher Education Task Force released ...
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Conditions on the trail are not like in your yard Lt. Jim Kneeland is the Search and Rescue Team Leader ...
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The Big Story News Item – Sox Jump Out Fast: We’re just 10 games in, so it’s too early to ...
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Save it for next year, snow Just in case we forgot where we lived, April started with a snowstorm. Last ...
Friday April 12 The New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, 1 Line Drive, Manchester, milb.com/new-hampshire, 641-2005) will celebrate ...
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A look at some of the gathering spots that offer their own unique character, entertainment and, of course, beer What ...
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Currier curates a conversation Robert Mapplethorpe, Tulips. Courtesy photo. When Lorenzo Fusi joined the Currier Museum of Art in February ...
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NSquared is home for modern dance By Zachary Lewiszlewis@hippopress.com Dance, artistic movement of the human body, is one of humankind’s ...
The latest from NH’s theater, arts and literary communities • Frost show rescheduled: Due to the inclement weather on Thursday, ...
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Jewelry maker and owner of CCMDesigns in Nashua (@ccmdesignsforyou) What do you wish you had known at the beginning of ...
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Dear Donna, Is this record player a throw-away? Would someone use this still? Thank you for any help. Amy Dear ...
Family fun for whenever Boogie! • Musical play group is held at the Arlington Street Community Center (36 Arlington St., ...
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News from the local food scene By John Fladdjfladd@hippopress.com • Chocolate and wine pairing: Learn to pair chocolate with wines ...
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This year’s theme is plays and musicals How much do you know about the French-speaking world other than France or ...
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A springtime tradition at Concord Craft Brewing Dennis Molnar, co-owner of Concord Craft Brewing, says weather plays a bigger role ...
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Challenging comedy from Daniel Sloss Jokes can be made about anything, Daniel Sloss believes; nothing is off-limits. Among the topics ...

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The Weekly Dish 24/04/11

News from the local food scene

By John Fladd
jfladd@hippopress.com

Chocolate and wine pairing: Learn to pair chocolate with wines so they both taste even better. Tuscan Brands Wine Director Joe Comforti and Chocolate Educator Maggie Prittie of World Wide Chocolate will teach participants how to taste and source fine single-origin chocolates, and how to pair them with complementary Italian wines, Friday, April 12, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Tuscan Market at Tuscan Village (9 Via Toscana, Salem, tuscanbrands.com, 912-5467). Tickets are $70 and available through the Tuscan Brands website.

Children’s cooking class: Very young cooks (ages 5 and up) and their grownups can make homemade pizza and decorate cupcakes on Friday, April 12, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at The Culinary Playground (16 Manning St., Derry, culinary-playground.com, 339-1664). Each adult-and-child pair will make a personal pizza topped how they like and decorate a themed cupcake. The cost is $45 per pair. To register, email cooking@culinary-playground.com.

Spring flowers cookie decorating class: On Saturday, April 13, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., release your inner florist at LaBelle Winery (345 Route 101, Amherst, labellewinery.com, 672-9898) at beginner hands-on cookie decorating class led by instructor Keli Wright. Participants will be given step-by-step instructions in mixing icing and piping intricate designs. Refreshments will be served. Tickets are $69 and are available on LaBelle’s website.

Organic gardening: The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire (84 Silk Farm Road, Concord, NOFANH.org, 224-5022) will kick off its 2024 gardening series with an online class, “Native Perennial Food Plants For Your Edible Landscape,” on Tuesday April 16, from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. This is the first of a series that includes four remote lectures and one in-person class. Registration for this series is available at nofanh.org/gardeningseries. The cost is $12 for each online class or $40 for all four. NOFA members will receive a 25 percent discount.

Beer and yoga: Pipe Dream Brewing (49 Harvey Road, Unit 4, Londonderry, pipedreambrewingnh.com, 404-0751) will host its monthly Flights and Flow yoga class on Sunday, April 14, from 11 a.m. to noon. The class costs $30. Attendees should show up at 10:30 a.m. for registration and to get settled in and should bring their own yoga mats and water. Flights of four Pipe Dream beers will be served at the end of class, just in time for lunch. RSVP by emailing Pipe Dream at events@pipedreambrewingnh.com.

Kiddie Pool 24/04/11

Family fun for whenever

Boogie!

Musical play group is held at the Arlington Street Community Center (36 Arlington St., Nashua) every Friday at 10 a.m., where you can make music with your little one, meet new friends and learn new songs. Attendance is free. Visit nashuacms.org or call 881-7030.

Bounce!

• Fun City Trampoline Park (533 Mast Road, Goffstown) has all the jumping your kids need, with a special toddler time on Fridays from noon to 3 p.m., in their 60,000-square-foot facility, according to their website. There is a 250-pound weight limit. Fun City also offers laser tag and bumper cars. For kids age 6 and under prices range from $14 to $20 for a 90- to 120-minute jump, and for those over the age of 6 prices range from $23 to $32 for a 90- to 120-minute jump. Jump socks are required for those over age 6 and are $3. Fun City Trampoline Park is open Monday through Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m., Friday from noon to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Visit funcitytrampolinepark.com or call 606-8807.

Bend!

• Vibe Yoga & Aerial Moon (85 W. Pearl St., Nashua, 759-8432) will host a four-week family yoga series with Lauren Young on Saturdays, starting June 1, from 10:15 to 11 a.m. You’ll learn yoga poses, breathwork and mindfulness through books, songs and games together as a family, according to their website. The class will end with snuggly relaxation in this series that’s ideal for adults and children between the ages of 3 and 8 but younger and older siblings are welcome, according to the site. The cost is $80 for one adult plus one child and $20 for each additional person up to four people total. The class series is limited to six families. See vibeyoga603.com.

• Slightly older yogis can join Lauren Young for kids’ yoga for children between ages 5 to 12, according to the same website, right after family yoga on the same Saturdays, from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. This is a drop-off program where kids will learn and practice yoga postures, breath work and mindfulness through games, songs and art; once your child is dropped off you can enjoy an hour at the coffee shops and stores in downtown Nashua. Registration is $80 per child. Visit vibeyoga603.com.

Boil and bake!

• The Culinary Playground (16 Manning St., Derry) is offering cooking classes for mini-chefs from 3 to 6 years old, with a Pasta Primavera course on Friday, April 19, and Sunday, April 21, at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., according to their website. These classes are designed for kids to work independently or with their caregiver close by if needed. They will prepare a recipe or two, usually with two servings, and read a book while it cooks, according to the website. Registration is $20 per child. Visit culinary-playground.com or mail cooking@culinary-playground.com or call 339-1664 for details or to register.

Be entertained

The Lorax (PG), the 2021 animated movie based on the Dr. Seuss book and featuring the voices of Zac Efron, Danny DeVito, Taylor Swif tand Ed Helms, will screen Chunky’s in Manchester (707 Huse Road), Nashua (151 Coliseum Ave.) and Pelham (150 Bridge St.) on Friday, April 12, at 3:45 p.m. Reserve seats at chunkys.com.

Be artistic

• The Creative Studio at the Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St. in Manchester; currier.org) will celebrate Slow Art Day on Saturday, April 13, “ described as “a global event that aims to help more people discover the joy of looking at — and falling in love with — art,” according to a museum newsletter. The day will feature slow-looking activities and more, the newsletter said. As the second Saturday, this Saturday also features free admission to New Hampshire residents. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

On The Job – Chantelle Morin

Jewelry maker and owner of CCMDesigns in Nashua (@ccmdesignsforyou)

What do you wish you had known at the beginning of your career?

How expensive beads are. It’s pretty expensive. When I did my taxes this year I was very surprised at what I’d spent on tools and supplies. It’s expensive.

What do you wish other people knew about your job?

I wish people that are creative and have an idea just go for it. I remember one day I had a friend who wanted to make earrings and she goes, ‘What do I do first?’ and I said, ‘You just have to start,’ so I wish people would just start.

What was your first job?

Working for the Telegraph [The Nashua Telegraph] delivering papers.

What is the best piece of work-related advice you’ve ever received?

Probably from my dad, who was in the military, and it was, just be the hardest worker I can be. If it’s slow, you should be doing something. Always be working.

Zachary Lewis

Five favorites
Favorite book: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Favorite movie: Avengers: Endgame
Favorite music: My favorite band is Paramore
Favorite food: Cheeseburgers
Favorite thing about NH: That it’s so close to Maine where my family lives.

Featured photo: Chantelle Morin. Courtesy Photo.

The Art Roundup 24/04/11

The latest from NH’s theater, arts and literary communities

Frost show rescheduled: Due to the inclement weather on Thursday, April 4, the production of Robert Frost: This Verse Business has been postponed to Sunday, May 12, at 2 p.m. at the Stockbridge Theatre (5 Pinkerton St., Derry; pinkertonacademy.org/stockbridge-theatre). Read an interview with star Gordon Clapp on page 16 of the April 4 issue of the Hippo; find the e-edition at hippopress.com.

Four birthdays and a funeral: See the Majestic Theatre’s production of the comedy Birthday Club, in which “five women get together for their birthdays, each with her own story, to drink, celebrate, commiserate and support each other,” on Friday, April 12, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, April 13, at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 14, at 2 p.m. at the Majestic Theatre (880 Page St. in Manchester; majestictheatre.net). Tickets cost $15 to $20.

SONGS AND STORIES
Singer-songwriter William Florian presents an evening of music and stories that is the final concert of the Concord Community Concert 2023-24 season on Saturday, April 13, at 7:30 p.m. at the the City Auditorium, according to a press release. The show will include the music of The New Christy Minstrels, Peter, Paul & Mary, John Denver, Neil Diamond, The Beatles, Pete Seeger, The Mamas & The Papas, and uplifting originals presented with amusing stories in an intimate performance, according to the press release. In a statement, Florian said “there is a lot of power behind the meanings of these songs. They continue to be relevant today, but they also bring you back to a specific time in your life. They bring up feelings and memories that make you smile.” Tickets are $20 at the door, $23 online, free for those under 18, with tickets at the door available up to 90 minutes before showtime. Visit ccca-audi.org or theaudi.org/events or call 344-4747 for more information.

Cue the “Water Works” The upcoming exhibition at Two Villages Art Society, “Water Works,” showcases work from three artists who explore the subject of water in all its guises, from tides to tears, and opens with a free reception on Saturday, April 13, from noon to 2 p.m. at the gallery at 846 Main St. in the village of Contoocook. It will run until Saturday, May 11, according to a press release. Painter Ann Saunderson and photographers Sher Kamman and John Hoglund worked with curator Rick Lugg to create the show that will include abstract and realistic paintings and artistic photographic compositions, in vibrant colors and subtle tones, according to the same release. Refreshments will be available and music will be provided by Brad Myrick for the opening reception. Two Villages Art Society’s gallery is open, free of charge, Thursday through Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Visit twovillagesart.org.

Arts cafe: The Londonderry Arts Council announced in a press release the 2024 Arts Café will take place on Saturday, April 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Londonderry Senior Center (535 Mammoth Road, Londonderry). The Arts Café is an annual free family event with local art, music and community spirit where attendees can enjoy complimentary coffee provided by Coffeeberries of Londonderry, hot chocolate and delicious breakfast pastries while they browse the artwork and can engage with the artists, according to the press release. The event will feature live acoustic music performances as well as a 50/50 raffle to be drawn at 3 p.m. with proceeds going to supporting local art events; participants do not need to be present to win, according to the release. Visit londonderryartscouncil.org.

Free family concert: The Nashua Public Library (2 Court St., Nashua) hosts the Nashua Chamber Orchestra on Saturday, April 13, at 2 p.m. with top student soloists in a family-friendly program with pieces from Mendelssohn, Mozart, Tschaikovsky and more. Kids will also be introduced to the instruments of the orchestra, according to their website. Listeners of all ages are invited. Visit nco-music.org.

FOUR ARTISTS
Twiggs Gallery’s (254 King St., Boscawen) first exhibit for the 2024 season, “Pushing Our Boundaries,” showcases the talent of four League of NH Craftsmen artists: woodworker Steven Hayden, textile artist Cheryl Miller, ceramist Lori Rollason, and mixed media artist and calligrapher Adele Sanborn, who collaborate as the 9th State Artisans, according to a press release. This exhibit will run until Sunday, May 19, according to the release. Hours are Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. Visit twiggsgallery.org or call 975-0015.

Four Seasons in April: Catch one or both of the candlelight concerts at the Rex Theatre (23 Amherst St., Manchester, palacetheatre.org) on Wednesday, April 17. At 6 p.m. it’s “Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and More” and at 8:30 p.m. the show is “A Tribute to Adele.” Tickets to either show cost $43 to $60. — Zachary Lewis

Body rolls & compass turns

NSquared is home for modern dance

By Zachary Lewis
zlewis@hippopress.com

Dance, artistic movement of the human body, is one of humankind’s oldest forms of expression throughout all cultures. NSquared Dance, a contemporary dance company based in Manchester, believes in the power of dance and advocates for this ancient art form in the Granite State.

Zackery Betty, Artistic Director of NSquared Dance, spoke about how it’s “a company that’s really driven to bring awareness [of] the joy of dance but also the art of dance and be able to share it through empowerment, encouragement for community members, for other dancers and also for audience-goers.”

NSquared Dance is a nonprofit that Zackery Betty and his husband, Nick Neagle, who is the founder and creative director, brought up from New York City. Neagle is a New Hampshire native and both Betty and Neagle are “excited to make [New Hampshire] our home,” Betty said. “You don’t need to go to this giant metropolis in order to fulfill a life for dance. It is viable within the smaller communities and the cities [in New Hampshire] that still have a lot to give.”

Betty and Neagle both graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, he said, and “[NSquared Dance] was [Neagle’s] senior thesis … to create a company, and he did the business plan … based out of Boston but then he just really transposed it to fit more in the New Hampshire area…. Through trials and tribulations we’ve now come to have a brand new outlook.”

That outlook involves a myriad of dance styles.

“We actually are pretty happy to capitalize on our different types of genres,” Betty said. “We specialize in contemporary dance and modern but we do have a very strong tap background. We also can do jazz, ballet … checkmark [all] the dance genres except for no folk or ballroom dance, that’s not our specialty.”

They do have a specialty in their choreography, which springs from unique starting points.

“Sometimes it starts with a costume. Sometimes it starts with a music inspiration and other times it will start with either a story or an idea,” Betty said.

NSquared’s next performance will be on Saturday, April 13, at the Amato Center for the Performing Arts in Milford for the New England Inspirational Dance Festival run by Saving Grace Dance Ensemble.

“The New England Inspirational Dance Festival is a celebration of dance through inspiration,” Betty said. “Saving Grace Dance has presented several different platforms for dance companies and dance crews to come perform. We’re bringing one of our works that we did in February … it’s just a duet, but it’s a duet that brings light to what possibly could bedance in another realm … a higher realm.”

Betty and Neagle are selective yet open-minded about who becomes an NSquared Dancer.

“We are a very open and encompassing group…,” Betty said. “We look through a lens of joy mixed with technique. We have a very strong technical background underneath for all of the dancers. That doesn’t necessarily mean that all of our dancers have gone to college for dance, but we do have a large group of them that have…. We look for storytelling in relation to being able to use your voice within a room as a creative and as an advocate for the art of dance. We look for someone who can bring both of those aspects into the studio and the stage.”

After the Festival, NSquared will premiere The Lavender Scare in collaboration with dancers through New Hampshire Dance Collaborative at the Rex Theatre in Manchester in June.

As it happens, at NSquared “all of our dancers were born and raised here in New Hampshire except for myself and our rehearsal director,” Betty said. “It’s really nice to have that local group of people…. It’s nice to pride ourselves that we are locally born and raised for dancers.”

NSquared Dance also holds drop-in classes for professionals and college students on Sundays at the New England School of Dance (679 Mast Road in Manchester) for $15.

“We’re excited to invest,” Betty said, “in the best stories that have helped create us and helped create our community … to put that on the stage and not have to use words for it.”

Dance Dance
New England Inspirational Dance Festival
Where: Amato Center for the Performing Arts, 56 Mount Vernon St., Milford
When: Saturday, April 13, 6 p.m.

The Lavender Scare
Where: The Rex Theatre, 23 Amherst St., Manchester
When: Thursday, June 27, 7 p.m.

More: nsquareddance.org

Featured Photo: Courtesy photo.

This Week 24/04/11

Friday April 12

The New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, 1 Line Drive, Manchester, milb.com/new-hampshire, 641-2005) will celebrate their mascot Fungo’s birthday during their home game against the Somerset Patriots at 6:30 p.m. See more about the Cats’ plans this season in the April 4 issue of the Hippo; see hippopress.com for the e-edition.

Saturday, April 13

Celebrate Earth Day early with Stonyfield Farm (10 Burton Drive, Londonderry, stonyfield.com, 437-4040) at the Stonyfield Earth Day 5K and Earth Day Fair on Saturday, April 13, beginning with a race at 9 a.m. In addition to the 5K race/walk, there will be a kids’ fun run, vendors, a beer garden for ages 21+, games and activities. The event takes place at Londonderry West Soccer Fields (90 West Road, Londonderry). Visit Millennium Running’s website at millenniumrunning.com/stonyfield5k.

Saturday, April 13

The Little “Giant” Comics Old School Comics Show (oldschoolcomicshow.com) is today at Everett Arena (15 Loudon Road in Concord) starting at 10 a.m.. Tickets cost $15 for general admission or $50 for VIP admission (an hour early at 9 a.m. plus a red carpet entrance and a goodie bag), according to the website. The show features comic book vendors and comic book artists, including what the show is billing as Venom-palooza, a line-up of artists who have worked on Marvel’s Venom comics.

Saturday, April 13

Barrel & Baskit (377 Main St., Hopkinton, barrelandbaskit.com, 746-1375) will host a seedling workshop with Black Forest Nursery from 10 to 11 a.m. Participants will learn the basics of how to start garden plants from seed.

Saturday, April 13

To Share Brewing Co. (720 Union St. in Manchester, tosharebrewing.com, 836-6947) hosts its second annual Thrift Shop Prom from 5 to 9 p.m. Participants are encouraged to put on their fanciest or silliest dress-up clothes and dance. There will be a DJ, the Terracotta Room and more. A suggested donation of $5 at the door benefits the Pink Boots Society.

Saturday, April 13

New Boston’s Friends of the Library hold their annual auction at the Whipple Free Library (67 Mont Vernon Road, New Boston, whipplefreelibrary.org, 487-3391). A silent auction will take place from 6 to 7 p.m., and a live auction will start at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, April 17

The Millyard Museum (200 Bedford St., Suite 103, Manchester, manchesterhistoric.org, 622-7531) hosts the annual meeting of the Manchester Historical Association and opens a new exhibition, “Who Wore It? The Forensics of a Dress,” from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibition will focus on the clothing of women who worked in the mills in the 1800s and early 1900s. The public is invited to the meeting, a reception and the exhibition opening with an RSVP.

Wednesday, April 17

Rescued Treasures is a volunteer-managed program that benefits pets awaiting adoption at the Humane Society for Greater Nashua (24 Ferry Road in Nashua, hsfn.org, 889-2275) through the resale of donated items online and at seasonal in-person marketplaces. Today is Donation Day: Donations of new and gently used items will be accepted from 9 a.m. to noon. See the Humane Society’s wish list of items online at hsfn.org (click on Events).

Save the Date! Sunday, April 21
If you can’t make it to the Thursday, April 11, Golden Girls – The Laughs Continue live show at the Capitol Center for the Arts’ Chubb Theatre in Concord (ccanh.com) make a plan to catch it at the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St., Nashua, nashuacenterforthearts.com, 800-657-8774) on Sunday, April 21, at 2 or 8:30 p.m. Due to adult content, this is an 18+ performance. Tickets for the Nashua show start at $52.

Quality of Life 24/04/11

Save it for next year, snow

Just in case we forgot where we lived, April started with a snowstorm. Last week’s nor’easter brought snow, ice, winds, a snow day for many and more than 140,000 New Hampshire customers without electricity, according to an April 4 press release from the New Hampshire Department of Safety.

QOL score: -1

Comments: Knock wood, fingers crossed, no whammies — can it be spring now?

And then, an earthquake

A 4.8 magnitude earthquake on April 5 was centered in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, but felt in New Hampshire, according to the U.S. Geological Survey in a report at earthquake.usgs.gov. On a map of the event, the government agency reported shocks felt throughout Vermont and New Hampshire. According to an April 5 report by the Washington Post, the geology of the Eastern Seaboard is extremely solid and rocky, which helped shockwaves travel an unusually long distance.

QOL score: -1 because the April 8 solar eclipse already had all of our “weird natural phenomenon” focus

Comments: WMUR reported that people in Concord, Manchester, Nashua and other communities across the state felt the quake. New Hampshire was home to a Gilford-centered 2.2-magnitude quake on March 27, the WMUR story said.

Notable chef

Milford chef and restaurant owner Chris Viaud is one of the finalists for a James Beard Award. In an April 3 press release, the James Beard Foundation announced that Viaud, the chef and owner of Greenleaf and Ansanm in Milford and Pavilion in Wolfeboro, is a finalist in the Outstanding Restaurateur category. The award criteria describe an outstanding restaurateur as one “who uses their establishment(s) as a vehicle for building community, demonstrates creativity in entrepreneurship, integrity in restaurant operations, and is making efforts to create a sustainable work culture, while contributing positively to their broader community.”

QOL score: +1

Comment: The winner of this award will be announced at the James Beard Award ceremony in Chicago in June.

Screens go dark

Chunky’s Cinema Pub’s locations in Nashua and Pelham will close on May 9, according to Facebook posts on those locations’ pages and as reported by multiple media organizations. The Chunky’s at 707 Huse Road in Manchester will thankfully remain open and gift cards can be used at that location (staff from Pelham and Nashua will also be offered positions in Manchester, the posts said). The Nashua location has been open for more than 17 years and the Pelham location has been open for 27 years, the posts said.

QOL score: -2

Comments: Nashua and Pelham locations will plan to go out in style with some screenings of modern classics — Labyrinth on April 29 at 7 p.m.; Dirty Dancing on April 30, at 7 p.m.; The Goonies on May 1 at 7 p.m.; The Big Lebowski on May 2 at 7:45 p.m., and Jaws on May 3 at 7 p.m.

Last week’s QOL score: 66

Net change: -3

QOL score this week: 63

What’s affecting your Quality of Life here in New Hampshire?

Let us know at news@hippopress.com.

How to prepare for a hike

Conditions on the trail are not like in your yard

Lt. Jim Kneeland is the Search and Rescue Team Leader and Coordinator at New Hampshire Fish and Game, and the Hike Safe Representative/Partner with the U.S. Forest Service. Visit hikesafe.com.

What is your advice for inexperienced hikers?

Depending on experience levels I always think that hiking in a group is obviously a good idea. Then you can bounce ideas off of one another when you’re out on your excursion, like when to turn back or if you don’t feel comfortable with the conditions. Or better yet if you’re really inexperienced there are a list of guides that you can find online and going with an experienced guide, maybe taking your first time or two to kind of go through a safe way to go hiking … in adverse conditions or basic conditions that you’re not familiar with. That’s another good way to gain some experience is to go with a guide.

What should hikers know about springtime in New Hampshire?

Hiking enthusiasts [who] come from the south where their lawns might be green and the daffodils are coming out … there are still a lot of times late into the spring [with] winter-like conditions and that means you should be prepared … with clothing, footwear, traction devices, even after today you probably need snowshoes again here, even in April. That’s the kind of thing we see people usually screw up here and that’s the change of the seasons, being prepared for where … different weather conditions that are still going on here in elevation.

What is a Hike Safe card?

A Hike Safe card is a way that we help fund search and rescue here in New Hampshire. Traditionally, prior to the advent of the Hike Safe card, the only way that Search and Rescue was financed was through this $1 surcharge on OHRV [Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle] registrations and boat registrations, and that wasn’t eating the cost of search and rescue here in New Hampshire, so they came up with the voluntary Hike Safe card, which is a $25 per person or $35 per family Hike Safe Card which lets you support Search and Rescue in New Hampshire and actually has helped defray the cost of Search and Rescue placed upon the agency.

What should you do if you encounter a bear, bobcat, etc.?

We do have, obviously, bears, bobcats, coyotes, foxes, those kinds of things here in New Hampshire. It’s very rare, you might see one, but it’s very rare that you have an adverse interaction with one. Making noise, making yourself appear large, usually gets the animal to go the other way. I can’t think of a time, there’s only been a few occasions where … not myself, but I have heard of bad interactions with people outdoors and that’s typically because they surprised the animal or maybe even, in the instance of a bear, maybe got between a sow and its cub, but typically most wildlife doesn’t hang around long enough…. Noise is my best advice.

What should Granite Staters do to help preserve wilderness areas they frequent?

They can visit websites through the Forest Service, Appalachian Mountain Club and whatnot to see the best ways to protect those fragile environments above treeline and that’s basically staying on the trail, not trampling vegetation…. A lot of our trails are marked by rock cairns, which are piles of rock that mark the trails, and then in the summer months when you can see the granite that you’re hiking on there’s usually a painted blaze on the rock or a tree that depicts where the trail goes, so staying on marked trails…. Then obviously, no one likes to see garbage and stuff up on the trail. Take what you bring. It baffles me to go hiking and you see people putting dog poop in the green bags and leaving the bags on the side of the trail. If you’re going to pack it in, you can pack it out, so that’s my advice on trash….

Zachary Lewis

Featured image: Lt. Jim Kneeland. Courtesy photo.

News & Notes 24/04/11

Higher education task force reports

A press release from Tuesday, April 2, stated the Public Higher Education Task Force released a report of its findings on the strategic alignment of public higher education in New Hampshire, including short-term and long-term initiatives intended to reduce financial barriers, increase accessibility, drive the state’s economy and ensure the foundation for an active and engaged citizenry in accordance with Executive Order 2023-06 issued by Gov. Chris Sununu. The task force, which was composed of leadership from the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) and University System of New Hampshire (USNH), state officials and industry leaders who solicited statewide input from various stakeholders, recommended long- and short-term initiatives, according to the press release.

Short-term initiatives include transfer credit and curricular alignment between CCSNH and USNH while expanding credit opportunities for experiential work, implementation of New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) accreditation for CCSNH as a single statewide college with locations throughout the state, the streamlining of admissions process to proactively accept CCSNH students with a predetermined GPA to USNH schools, notification of automatic acceptance to CCSNH for high school students, utilizing consistent admissions and financial aid processes for students of both systems, an increase in the use of online delivery to provide access to workforce opportunities, the recruitment of employers to assist graduates with loan repayments when they begin working, and co-locating the CCSNH and USNH system offices in a shared workspace to foster the streamlining and coordination of common administrative functions, according to the release.

Long-term initiatives include the implementation of a study on having the two systems under one governing board and one chancellor, developing a rolling six-year plan, updated every two years, the elimination of institutional competition through program duplication where duplicate programs are not needed, the expansion of online offerings and potential consolidation to a single platform across both systems, the examination of offering CCSNH courses and programs on USNH campuses and vice versa, improving transfer ability from CCSNH to USNH, and the analysis of physical assets and program utilization across both systems for space utilization and the potential for shared facilities, according to the same release. Visit governor.nh.gov for the entire report.

Medicare scams

In an April 5 press release, Attorney General John M. Formella issued a consumer alert for New Hampshire residents, especially New Hampshire Medicare recipients, warning of receiving multiple reports of scammers posing as Medicare representatives to obtain personal identifying information, The scammers ask whether the recipient has received a new Medicare card, and if the recipient states they have not the scammer then asks for the recipient’s personal identifying information, including the recipient’s Medicare and Social Security number, according to the same release.

Scammers can use the personal information obtained to perpetrate additional scams, engage in identity theft or commit additional crimes, including fraudulently accessing financial resources of the victim, according to the release.

Medicare is not issuing new cards to recipients in 2024, and Medicare does not make unsolicited calls to recipients asking for personal or private information. If you receive a call from anyone claiming to be calling on behalf of Medicare asking if you received a new Medicare card or seeking personal identifying information, it is a scam, and consumers who receive calls should hang up immediately, according to the release.

Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) for all Medicare-related inquiries. Complaints can be made to your local police department and by calling the Consumer Hotline at 271-3641 or by visiting doj.nh.gov/consumer/complaints/index.htm.

Renovations at New Hampshire Hospital

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced in a March 26 press release the completion of construction in the “E” Unit at New Hampshire Hospital (NHH), a unit that was designed for children, has been renovated to accommodate the adult population, and reopened on Monday, April 1, bringing 12 more psychiatric beds online and increasing NHH capacity to 164 beds. Further renovations will bring six more beds online by May for a total capacity of 170 beds to serve adults. In a similar fashion the “F” unit continues with renovations, with the intention of NHH being at full capacity of 185 beds later in the year, according to the same release.

Increasing inpatient bed capacity is a component of “Mission Zero,” the Department’s plan to eliminate an occurrence known as “ED boarding,” where people in acute behavioral health crisis seek care in medical emergency departments while they wait for care in another setting. This was a top focus outlined in New Hampshire’s 10-Year Mental Health Plan.

Lori Weaver, DHHS Commissioner, said in a statement that “as we make steady advancements in our work toward eliminating ED boarding in New Hampshire, the increase in bed capacity at New Hampshire Hospital will help reduce wait times for people who need inpatient psychiatric care. However, inpatient capacity-building is just one part of a multi-pronged effort to eliminate the wait list. The mental health system continues to make strides in many of our Mission Zero strategies that will help reduce the need for, and length of, inpatient psychiatric admissions.” Visit dhhs.nh.gov for more information.

Visit the Spring Craft Fair in Tilton on Saturday, April 13, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Winnisquam Regional High School (435 W. Main St.), where there will be a myriad of crafters and vendors.

On Wednesday, April 17, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord (45 S. Main St., gibsonsbookstore.com) the Poetry Society of New Hampshire will host an afternoon of verse with this month’s headliner, Miriam Levine, and an open mic follows her reading.

Stratham Historical Society holds its annual spring appraisal day Sunday, April 14, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Stratham Firehouse (4 Winnicutt Road). Experts will appraise antiques and collectibles for a small fee; a limit of five items is recommended. See strathamnh.gov/historical-society (click Meetings and Programs) or call 778-0434 for details.

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