Island funny

Lakes Region comedy show

There’s a limerick from a bygone time that begins, “there was a young man from Nantucket,” but this isn’t that kind of story. Brian Glowacki was born on the island off Cape Cod and found humor via Def Comedy Jam specials on HBO. When he realized there were clubs where comics told jokes, he decided to give standup a shot.

Glowacki soon found his secret weapon: a face that telegraphs mischief. When he pauses with a sly smirk during a joke setup, it’s like watching a Mento dropped into a bottle of Coke; audience laughter builds, anticipating what’s next. This sort of thing also happens regularly in Glowacki’s daily life. While he’s holding a microphone, at least he gets paid for it.

There’s a bit about repurposing his wife’s breast pump when their infant grows out of it, and it feels like he worked it out at the Kitchen, to let’s say mixed results.

“Everybody knows that feeling,” he said in a recent phone interview. “It’s like the next thing coming out of my mouth is either going to get me in trouble or arrested.”

The latter outcome is less likely than the first; his is a mostly “clean” set. That’s one of the reasons comedian Bob Marley picked Glowacki to open shows for him, something he did for a few years. It started when a Rhode Island club hired him to host for the Maine comic. The gig worked out, and he got the call the next time Marley appeared.

“By that time I had different material, and that showed them I could at least try to have a different set each time we came through a place, which was important to those guys,” he said. “It ended up some of their guys dropped out and I moved up the ranks with Marley. I ended up being one of their two main guys.”

These days Glowacki is hitting much bigger targets. He parlayed a successful run at Boston’s Comedy Connection into a pair of sold-out shows at the prestigious Wilbur Theatre. Glowacki attributes the event’s success to his relatability as a comic.

“I don’t scare anybody away, I don’t ever talk about politics or anything like that, I’m talking about things that we’re all living,” he said, adding that a willingness to bet on himself was a big part of it. “I say all the time, I take big swings … I don’t sulk in the failures, and I don’t get too excited over the victories. I just cross things off my list. Things that excited me as a little kid, now I do them as an adult.”

Upcoming on his schedule are headlining shows at Mohegan Sun, and the comedy club in the MGM Casino in Springfield, Mass. The night after he appears at Beans & Greens Farm in Gilford, Glowacki will play his biggest gig yet, headlining at Cape Cod Melody Tent, a legendary 2,500-seat venue.

“I’m the first local that’s ever been crazy enough to even try to sell that place,” he said. “We’re doing it all word of mouth. I don’t have an agent or credits or any of that. We just spread the word from people having a good time at a show, and they tell their friends, which is the best marketing you can hope for.”

The Gilford show offers the chance for him to prepare for the Cape show and “make sure I’m all dialed in.” Fellow comic Gary Marino co-produced the BGlow & Friends event and will serve as its host. It will be Glowacki’s first time at Beans & Greens. “Usually when I do stuff with Gary, it’s been a home run, so I was like, whatever, I’m in.”

Brian Glowacki & Friends
When: Saturday, July 20, 7 p.m.
Where: Beans & Greens Farm, 245 Intervale Road, Gilford
Tickets: $30 at eventbrite.com

Featured photo: Courtesy photo.

The Bikeriders (R)

A buffet of character studies and Chicago-y “da Bears” accents is laid out for your perusal in The Bikeriders, which is based on a real life “living amongst the outlaw bikers” book by Danny Lyon, as the movie and Wikipedia tell us.

The movie is structured around a series of interviews between author/photographer Danny (Mike Faist) and Kathy (Jodie Comer), wife of Benny (Austin Butler), who is one of the core members of the Vandals motorcycle club. The Vandals are led by Johnny (Tom Hardy), who formed the club in Chicago, supposedly after seeing The Wild One. When Kathy met the club members, who she describes as mostly unsavory types, in the mid 1960s, Johnny made a point of telling her he’d make sure nobody bothered her. Kathy was sort of lust-at-first-sight with Benny and fell for Benny and to some degree the “outlaw” life during her first motorcycle ride with the whole club. But she always seems a bit torn between her attraction to Benny’s whole “what are you rebelling against, whaddaya got” devil-may-care thing and her desire to separate herself and her husband from what she sees as an increasingly dirtbag-y group of dudes. As the 1960s wear on, new members with more violent dispositions join up and Johnny — who also has a wife and children — seems eager to find some kind of way out, possibly by giving Benny the leadership position.

These new guys don’t listen, Johnny says to Benny at one point, which feels like the generational lament that all older-guard people in all situations and occupations have toward newbies. Johnny created the thing, but now the meaning of the thing has shifted while he has more or less stayed the same. You stay too long at the party and your cutting edge thing becomes cute nostalgia at best — Johnny trying to deal with that is probably the most interesting element of his character.

The most interesting part of Kathy is Jodie Comer’s whole full-bodied creation of her, all cigarettes and mannerisms and conversation style. It occasionally feels like more of an acting exercise than a character in a story, but Comer is a compelling actress and she creates a highly watchable character even when she’s just, like, drinking coffee from a very 1970s green mug.

For me The Bikeriders actually feels at its strongest when it’s just characters talking — Kathy talking about her opinions of the group, a guy named Zipco (Michael Shannon) talking about his attempts to join the army. You get a sense of real people with backstories and inner lives. When there was plot happening, I often felt like the movie was just giving us goobers making bad decisions without really showing us what held these people together. It’s a movie worth a watch for the acting even if I didn’t feel like it was worth rushing out for. B-

Rated R for language throughout, violence, some drug use and brief sexuality, according to the MPA on filmratings.com. Written and directed by Jeff Nichols (from the book by the same name by Danny Lyons), The Bikeriders is an hour and 56 minutes long and distributed in theaters by Focus Features. It is also available for rent or purchase.

Featured photo: The Bikeriders.

Friday’s outdoor lunch plans

Food Truck Friday brings eats to Arms Park in Manchester

Every Friday throughout the summer, there will be food trucks in Arms Park (10 Arms St., Manchester) between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. They set up at the far western end of the parking lot adjacent to Cotton Restaurant and the University of New Hampshire’s Manchester campus, overlooking the Merrimack River. (Arms Park is the riverside park with the brightly painted stairs leading down to the river.)

Food Truck Friday is the brainchild of Stark Brewing Co.’s Peter Telge. Stark Brewing, based in Manchester, recently completed a mobile kitchen in a food truck. Telge said he was inspired by what happened at the Tideline Restaurant in Durham, which allowed a pair of food trucks to use its parking lot on weekends.

“They started with two trucks just on the weekends,” Telge said, “and now it’s up to six trucks, Monday through Friday. It’s become a destination.”

Telge saw the same potential near his restaurant, in Arms Park. It is not as well-known as many of Manchester’s other parks, but customers frequently asked him, “Has this always been here? Why don’t people know about it?” Telge partnered with City of Manchester Parks and Recreation department to bring the project together.

“Because we’re working with the City,” Telge said, “we’ve been able to save money on fees and permits.” It also made it easier to expedite the paperwork.

Tim Cunningham is in charge of social media for Food Truck Friday. Like everyone involved in the project, he is confident that it will become extremely successful, once enough people know about it.

“Pretty much we’re just blasting out [social media posts] every week,” he said. “Every week we’re trying to post about it, get people out there, because Fridays, especially in the summertime down there, are beautiful down by Arms Park. There’s so many people in the millyard that will think Friday would be a great day for them to maybe not bring a lunch that day and go down to the park and support some local food vendors”

John Worthen is one of those vendors. He is the owner and operator of Purple Snack Shack (text: 818-9796, facebook.com/purplesnackshack), a mobile snack shack that is indeed painted purple. He sells mostly pre-packaged food and drinks.

“I have pre-packaged everything,” Worthen said. “… novelty ice cream bars, soda, Gatorade, candy bars, potato chips, things like that.” He’s waiting for more customers to learn about Food Truck Friday. The main problem he sees is the lack of foot traffic.

“There’s not a lot of people walking here right now,” Worthen observed. “There’s a few that come by, you know, but it just doesn’t have the viewing. [The hot dog stand] up on Commercial Street — they set up up there, and they’ve got a whole ton of people. If it was busy here, it’d be great, but we’re not too busy yet.”

Joe Savitch is the owner of the Creative Kones food truck. This summer he is working with his daughter Isla. “I’m the Kid,” she said.

“Of Joe,” she clarified.

Creative Kones specializes in food in cones, but not just ice cream.

“We center around all kinds of things in cones,” Savitch said, “from snow cones to waffle cones where we put fun things like chicken and waffles. We have taco cones, which we did this year at the taco tour, and we also do a handheld Japanese-style crepe cone. We leverage creativity as much as we leverage the cones to have some fun with our food.”

“Hopefully all the businesses here, with the hotel and the mill buildings and stuff, word will get out that there’s something new for lunch.”

Food Truck Friday
Arms Park, Manchester
See the Stark Brewing Co. Facebook page for updates on Fridays about who is attending that week’s events.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream dances to life

Shakespeare outdoors for six shows

By Zachary Lewis
zlewis@hippopress.com

Ballet Misha and Theatre Kapow were excited when the Dana Center at Saint Anselm had the idea to present A Midsummer Night’s Dream and have it produced by these two innovative artistic organizations. They will perform together for six outside performances starting on Thursday, July 18.

Saint Anselm is no stranger to outdoor Shakespeare performances, notably hosting a recitation of the Bard’s sonnets each year on his birthday.

“I’d always admired other larger cities doing [outdoor shows] … I thought why can’t we do this here up here on the hilltop at Saint A’s,” said Joseph Deleault, Director of the Dana Center. “We present it in front of the beautiful Alumni Hall, which is at the center of campus, which is illuminated … it’s family-friendly and it’s really a great evening for everyone.”

Theatre Kapow has performed Shakespeare on the Green at Saint Anselm in the past, and Ballet Misha has performed the Nutcracker here. The Dana Center decided to partner with Ballet Misha “because they do such great work,” Deleault said.

The production features six actors from Theatre Kapow and 15 dancers from Ballet Misha. Cecilia Lomanno, a Ballet Misha company member, will serve as the seventh actor, performing the role of Puck.

“All of the actors and dancers are female-presenting, women and non-binary people, which is another thing that I think is really cool about our production,” said Emma Cahoon, director of the production.

Minimalism is a driving force of the production. “The costumes are very simple and the lighting is very simple,” Cahoon said. The music will come from the Mendelssohn score of the play.

Cahoon is a big fan of the classics.

“I really love working with plays that people have their own preconceived notions or associations with, and I think Midsummer is one of the greatest examples of that,” Cahoon said. “I think it’s really exciting to take pieces like that and enliven them in a way that people might not have encountered in the text before.”

Cahoon’s dance background has aided her in her professional directorial debut; she graduated in May with a BFA in Theatre Arts from Boston University.

“I find ways to communicate with [the performers] in a language that they already know, the dance language, and that happens to come really easily to me because I grew up as a dancer myself,” Cahoon said. “I was a tap dancer for quite a while and I also dabbled in ballet and jazz and modern.”

Those experiences lend perfectly to collaboration with New Hampshire’s premier ballet company. Amy Fortier, Director of Ballet Misha and its affiliate school Dimensions in Dance, is excited for the Midsummer Night’s performances.

“It’s really fun for me to get to work on a project like this because normally we just do ballet, right, or we just do dance and the dancers don’t ever have to speak,” Fortier said. The speaking roles are of the fairies in Queen Titania’s court.

“My professional dancers are playing the roles of … Peace Blossom, Mustard Seed, Cobweb, and Moss,” Fortier said. “They don’t have tons of lines but they do have lines, and it’s been fun having to work with them on that process because they’re definitely not used to having to speak.”

Ballet Misha does a full-length ballet version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that Fortier first choreographed in 2010. For this version, she said, “They have edited out some of the text to condense it down to an hour-and-a-half-long production that they do straight through without an intermission.”

Aside from the speaking roles, the dancers are essentially an emotable and breathable set.

“The dancers are almost like a moving set because it’s a minimalist production and the dancers fill in the space on stage where maybe, normally, the set of a forest or the set of Athens would be,” Fortier said. “I am bringing in dancers to represent the fairies … I have dancers representing the woods that they go through and then I have dancers who are representing the transition back to the city of Athens and they do different types of dance movement to kind of convey the different moods of … Athens versus the forest.” How does a human mimic a tree? “The girls who are dancing as part of the forest have a really soft, languid movement. They’re moving very slowly to represent the forest behind the actors. The dancers representing the transition back into Athens, it’s more of a courtly dance. They’re wearing these white Grecian dresses. I’ve tried to keep it kind of statuesque.”

Everything that isn’t acting or music will be the dancers. “The dancers are the ambiance or the ambient noise in the background of the actors delivering their lines,” she said.

“It’s really exciting for us because we’ve only ever done it as a movement-based telling of the story…. It’s always really exciting for dancers to get to perform outside. There’s something really freeing about it. ” Fortier said.

A second production may be added to the roster for next year, “but we haven’t gotten to that point yet,” Deleault said.

Whether it’s the heartbeat-like iambic pentameter that draws attendees to the production, the beautiful swirls of movement of the dancers like a William Blake painting of the play come to life, or just the excuse to sit outside with the evening summer sky for a few hours, Shakespeare has been providing an escape for hundreds of years, and today is no different.

Shakespeare on the Green: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Presented by the Dana Center, produced by Ballet Misha and Theatre Kapow
Where: Saint Anselm College, 100 Saint Anselm Drive, Manchester
When: Thursday, July 18, Friday, July 19, Saturday, July 20, Thursday, July 25, Friday, July 26, and Saturday, July 27, at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $25, free for kids 12; tickets.anselm.edu
Bring your own food, drinks, blankets, etc.

Featured image: Courtesy photo.

Pedals + power

You have e-bike questions. We have e-answers.

What is an e-bike?

It’s pretty much what it sounds like — a bicycle with a small electric motor to help a rider power through the tough parts of a bike ride in which they otherwise pedal, and wave to friends, and do other bike-ridey things. The website for Trek Bicycle Hooksett says, “Electric bikes (also known as e-bikes and electric assist bikes) amplify your pedaling power thanks to an electric drive system. There are many different kinds of e-bikes, but all of them use an electric motor and battery to help you power your bike.”

“An e-bike is born as a bike,” said Mark Dimenico, owner of Rail Trail eBikes in Derry. “You can pedal it like a regular bike; it lets you do most of the pedaling, but there’s a sensor, and every time you make a momentum of the pedal, a revolution, the sensor kicks the motor on and it holds it on at a steady pace.”

Who rides an e-bike?

E-bikers seem to come in all shapes, sizes and ages. Some have injuries that make it difficult for them to ride a conventional bicycle.

“They come in and they’re looking for a bike,” said Dimenico of Rail Trail eBikes. “They have their bikes, but they can’t ride them anymore or they get a knee operation or a hip operation. Maybe they don’t have the strength [to ride a conventional bicycle].

Amy Faust of Raymond is this type of rider. She had a long-standing back injury that kept her from riding bikes with her friends.

“I used my friend’s e-bike and we went on a great bike ride,” she said. “My husband was like, ‘I can’t even believe you’re doing this; you look so happy.’ So then we ended up just going and looking, and he’s like, ‘Nope, we’re going to buy you one that fits you perfect, because you just, you liked it so much.’”

Others want help easing into riding. David Fritz of Trek Bicycle described some of his customers:

“They come in and just are getting back into [bike riding] or just getting into it,” he said, “and they just, they want to go further. They want a helping hand. You have commuters that may not have access to a shower at work. On a hot summer’s day, you’re getting that helping hand; you don’t show up to work all sweaty.”

E-bikes aren’t just used recreationally. Some municipalities use them for times when it would be awkward to use conventional vehicles. The Derry Fire Department confirmed in a telephone interview that it has deployed e-bikes for the past two marathons in Derry and plans to do so in the future. E-bikes allow medical personnel to weave through a crowd of runners to get to people who need medical care.

The Derry Public Library recently acquired two e-bikes with an eye toward using them to tow a small trailer to book events.

“Our plan is that once we get [our bike program] rolling,” said Jessica Delangie, Head of Technical Services for the Library, “we’ll be able to take the bike out to different events. Obviously we’re right next door to the park, but we could take it to the park for any event there, but then also the splash pad, farmers market, that kind of thing.” Library staff will be able to take books to book clubs, Delangie said, or to off-site story times. Eventually, the Library hopes to use the e-bikes to make home deliveries.

Isn’t riding an e-bike cheating?

According to David Topham, the founder and treasurer of the Bike-Walk Alliance of New Hampshire (2 Whitney Road, Suite 11, Concord, 410-5848, bwanh.org), not unless you’re racing. Otherwise, it’s not like there’s a bike-riding purity test, even when riding in a group.

“You know, you’ve got this little motor helping you out on the hills,” Topham said. “We’ve got to work our tails off going up the hills. Are we cheating? The bottom line — the feeling I got from the bicycling community — is that no, the idea of a club is our camaraderie, people out having some fun, enjoying the fresh air, go out for the ride, go out for … probably a beer and a coffee or a pizza or something after the ride — this person’s got the little probably half-horsepower motor assisting them on a hill but they’re out there enjoying the company of others.”

Are e-bikes all the same?

red e-bike on brick sidewalk beside brick wall
EZ Rider from Rail Trail eBikes in Derry — a heavyweight, rugged e-bike, is good for commuting or trails. Photos by John Fladd.

There are many, many different types of e-bikes, from different manufacturers, at different price points. According to ReallyGoodeBikes.com, an online e-bike retailer, there are currently 250 brands of e-bikes in the U.S. and 500 in Europe.

“There’s road bikes with skinny tires,” Mark Dimenico from Rail Trail eBikes said, “for people who want to just drive on the road and go to work. And then there’s off-road bikes with fatter tires, for going up hills and through streams and over little jumps. They’re pretty much built to encompass all the different kinds of riding. You can ride them on gravel, sand, snow, the street, paved areas and non-paved areas. The bikes are set up so they can pretty much handle all conditions.”

For riders who want extra stability, he said, there are e-tricycles.

David Fritz from Trek Bicycle described something called a comfort hybrid.

“A comfort hybrid puts you in a more upright, more comfortable position,” Fritz said. “You can get it with a regular frame or a step-through frame. There’s a suspension seat post that helps take the sting out of the bumps. They come fully equipped with fenders and racks, with a rack on it. All of them come with a light that comes on. Most of them come with a little bell.”

In addition to all this, however, there is still another distinction to consider when looking at e-bikes: class. There are three classes of e-bikes:

• Class 1 provides an electric assist only while pedaling.

• Class 2 provides electric assist while pedaling and also by throttle control, a button or a twist grip. It can go up to 20 miles an hour.

• Class 3 has motor power. Using motor power only, it still cuts out at 20 mph, but as a pedal assist it can go 28 mph.

David Topham was instrumental in pushing through legislation in New Hampshire to codify these classes into law in 2018. The goal was to legally classify e-bikes as bicycles rather than motor vehicles.

“The way the law is written is that Class 1 and 2 are allowed on rail trails. Class 3, because it has the option of getting assistance for 28 [mph], is technically not allowed on rail trails,” Topham said.

Where can I ride an e-bike?

Because e-bikes are officially classified as bicycles in New Hampshire, they can mostly be ridden anywhere a non-powered bicycle can.

“I travel a lot with friends,” Mark Dimenico said. “We go out for rides in the evening and we go to places and do things and we take the bike paths or we take the back roads. [My friends are] just like, ‘I didn’t know this was out here. I didn’t know this trail was there. I didn’t know this lake was here. I didn’t know this stream was here or this view was there.’ They were so amazed by this little trail and all of a sudden we’re on the side of Lake Massabesic on a beach.”

Owning an e-bike has opened up many new places for Amy Faust.

“I had a group of friends,” Faust said. “Some had e-bikes, some didn’t, and we just started doing some group bike-riding, and I was able to do a 30-mile bike ride because I had my e-bike. And so it’s just been really fun. Most of the time I go on the rail trail and trails like that, but once in a while I’ll do a group ride on the road with friends. We just got a camper and we’re going to bring our bikes to different places all around and travel and part of that will be riding our bikes.”

row of e-bikes in store, different colors
Electra Townie Go! Step-Thru commuter e-bikes at Trek Bicycle Hooksett. Photo by John Fladd.

David Topham sees e-bikes as a force for social change. He said that riding e-bikes “draws people together through a common interest, and collectively we call e-bikes … a great equalizer. I’m highly involved — the co-founder — of the Granite State Wheelers Bicycling Club in Nashua. We’ve been doing road rides primarily now for 53 years. A lot of times, one person in the family might have better strength or skills than the other. But if they still want to go out and have some fun together, one person could be on the conventional pedal variety bike, and the other one might get a little assistance out of an e-bike, and they have a wonderful time because they’re now still together doing a fun thing outdoors.”

Mark Dimenico has been impressed by the way e-bikes allow older riders to stay connected to a community.

“There’s a group in Derry,” Dimenico said, “and they call themselves the Golden Eagles. And they’re all octogenarians — they’re 80 years old plus, and they all ride e-bikes.”

How much does an e-bike cost?

As with most consumer goods, there is a wide range of prices among e-bikes.

“We’ve got bikes that adults or teens can ride that start out at $550,” said Mark Dimenico. “We’ve got one for $699. We’ve got a few of them for $1,200. The average price is $1,600. Our most expensive Class 3 bike is $1,900.”

But, he said, as with everything, there’s always a more expensive version.

“We get bikes from manufacturers and some of these bikes can run $12,000 to $13,000,” Dimenico said.

close-up of e-bike motor and gears
Fuel EXe 9.5 Deore, a trail e-bike, at Trek Bicycle Hooksett. Photo by John Fladd.

As an example of the price range of e-bikes, ReallyGoodEbikes.com has a category on its website for “eBikes Under $1,000 with 16 models, mostly starting at $800. At the high end, there are Class 3 mountain bike e-bikes for 10 times that price. As of July 10, one — the Bakcou Storm Jäger — carried a list price of $8,199.

E-bike retailers say a new rider should buy an e-bike from an actual bike shop, rather than from a big-box store or online. It’s likely that an e-bike will eventually need repairs, and there is a much better chance of a shop being able to repair a model that it sells.

“Most places only work on their own bikes that they sell,” said Mark Dimenico. “There are probably 10,000 bikes now that are on the market. New companies are coming out every day. They’re selling bikes and then they’re going out of business. They’re just leaving a trail of bikes behind that are all broken down and with no support, no parts.”

Buying according to the cheapest price tag can be a very short-term bargain, he said: “They [customers] usually end up buying them online and bringing them to us because they need a lot of repairs. [The bikes] come in a box and there’s really nobody to fix it for them. Things break on them and they’re cheaply made and they’re inexpensive and you get what you pay for in this business. We do a lot of repair work for all sorts of different brands that people buy and sometimes they’re brand new and they’re broken down the next day and what do you do?”

What is the future like for e-bikes?

When asked about the future of e-bikes, David Fritz stuck two thumbs up, and gestured to the ceiling.

“It’s going up and up and up,” he said. “I’d say 25 percent of our sales are e-bikes. I don’t know the exact numbers. But yeah, it’s booming.”

David Topham agreed.

“The use and sale of regular road bikes — not talking e-bikes, just the style of skinny-tire road bikes — sales have dropped off approximately 40 percent since Covid,” Topham said. Meanwhile sales of e-bikes are surging. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (energy.gov), sales of ebikes have risen significantly each year since 2019. “In 2018,” it reported on its website, “there were 325,000 e-bike sales.” But “[in] 2022, there were 1.1 million e-bikes sold in the United States.”

E-BIKE DEALERSHIPS
The Bike Barn 720 Union St., Manchester, 668-6555, bikebarnusa.com
Cycles Etc. 450 Second St., Manchester, 669-7993; 288 N. Broadway, Salem, 890-3212; cyclesetc.com
DG Cycle Sports 44 Nashua Road, Londonderry, 216-2022; 75 Railroad Ave, Epping, 734-5788; dgcycles.com
Electric Bikes of New England 27 Buttrick Road, Londonderry, 319-4909, ebikesofne.com
Exeter Cycles 4 Portsmouth Ave., Exeter, 778-2331, exetercycles.com
EZ Electric Bikes & Scooters 61 Epping Road, Exeter, 778-1402, ezbikesandscooters.com
Goodale’s Bike Shop 14B Broad St., Nashua, 882-2111, trekbikes.com
Pedego Electric Bikes 236 N. Broadway, Suite F, Salem, 458-2094, pedegoelectricbikes.com
Rail Trail eBikes 22 E. Broadway, Suite 2, Derry, 216-5034, railtrailebikes.com
S&W Sports 296 S. Main St., Concord, 228-1441, swsports.net
Trek Bicycle 19 Triangle Park Drive, Concord, 225-5111; 1197 Hooksett Road, Hooksett, 644-2111; trekbikes.com

E-bike the trails

Charge up those e-bikes and zip down a trail today.

These are rail trail segments in southern New Hampshire. E-bikes that are Class 1 (“pedal-assist” only, max assisted speed 20 mph) or Class 2 (throttle-assisted, max assisted speed 20 mph) are allowed on the trails, according to the New Hampshire Rail Trail Coalition. Rail trail information was compiled from nhrtc.org.

Ashuelot Rail Trail, Keene to Winchester, 21 miles (primarily gravel trail, but paved road in and near Keene)

Brookline Rail Trail, Brookline to Milford, 4.4 miles

Cheshire Rail Trail North, Keene to Walpole, 17.8 miles (primarily gravel trail, but paved road in and near Keene)

Cheshire Rail Trail South. Fitzwilliam to Keene, 18.5 miles

Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail, Concord to Newbury, 35 miles — still in its planning phase but there are completed segments: Stevens Rail Trail, Warner to Hopkinton, 1.3 miles; Tilly-Wheeler Rail Trail and Lower Lake Todd segment, Bradford, 1 mile; Warner Rail Trail, Warner, 1 mile; Fisherville Road to Carter Hill Road, Concord, 2.5 miles

Derry Rail Trail, Derry to Windham, 4 miles (paved road)

Dover Rail Trail, Dover, 3.8 miles (paved road)

Farmington Rail Trail, Farmington, 6 miles

Fort Hill Recreational Rail Trail, Hinsdale, 8 miles

Goffstown Rail Trail, Goffstown to Manchester, 5.5 miles

Granite Town Rail Trail, Milford to Brookline, 3 miles

Harrisville Rail Trail, Harrisville, includes Chesham Depot Rail Trail section, 0.5 mile; Skatutakee Lake Road & trail section, 1.4 miles; East View Trail section, 1.4 miles; Jaquith Rail Trail section, Hancock to Harrisville, 1.5 miles

Heads Pond Rail Trail, Hooksett, 1.7 miles

Hillsborough Rail Trail, Hillsborough, 8 miles

Lilac City Greenway, Rochester, 1.2 miles

Londonderry Rail Trail, Londonderry, 4.5 miles (paved road)

Mascoma River Greenway, Lebanon, 3 miles (paved road)

Mason–Greenville Rail Trail, Mason to Greenville, 9.1 miles

Nashua River Rail Trail, Nashua to Ayer, Mass., 12 miles (paved road)

Nashua Heritage Rail Trail, Nashua, 1.3 miles (paved road)

New Boston Rail Trail, New Boston, 4 miles

Monadnock Rail Trail, Jaffrey to Rindge, 7.5 miles

Peterborough Rail Trail, Peterborough to Hancock, 6 miles

Piscataquog Rail Trail, Manchester to Goffstown, 2 miles (paved road)

Potanipo Rail Trail, Brookline to Hollis, 6.5 miles

Rockingham Rail Trail, Fremont Branch, Windham to Epping, 18 miles

Rockingham Rail Trail, Portsmouth Branch, Manchester to Newfields, 25.3 miles

Salem Bike-Ped Corridor, Salem to Windham, 5.2 miles (2 miles paved road, the rest gravel)

South Manchester Rail Trail, Manchester, 2.4 miles (paved road)

Windham Rail Trail, Windham to Derry, 4.1 miles (paved road)

Featured image: Rail 8 from Trek Bicycle Hooksett. photo by John Fladd.

News & Notes 24/07/18

Tax website is updated

According to a press release, the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration (NHDRA) launched an updated version of its website on Tuesday, June 25, that was designed to be easier to use and to optimize access to its Granite Tax Connect portal, which enables taxpayers, tax professionals and other customers to manage their accounts.

The new version features a more user-centered, intuitive approach that begins in a more visually appealing design with an introductory “How Can We Help You Today?” section, and includes a drop-down list of targeted questions to lead customers directly to the section of the site most appropriate to their needs, according to the release.

The website has also been optimized for mobile users and sees as many as 1,400 visits each day, according to the release.

New website features and sections include a top-level link to the “Granite Tax Connect” portal that allows users to file and amend returns, view balances, make payments, view correspondence, register new accounts, update information, submit documents and applications, among other uses; the “Taxpayer Assistance” section with quick links to the site’s most-visited pages; sections on municipal and property taxes, meals and rooms taxes, forms and instructions, and tax laws and rules; and a “Resource Center” that contains Frequently Asked Questions, reports and publications, technical information and declaratory rulings, and power of attorney information. Visit revenue.nh.gov.

Feds give money for transit

According to a press release, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a senior member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, and Sen. Maggie Hassan along with Reps. Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) applauded the announcement of $22.6 million in federal funding being awarded to public transit improvement projects in Manchester and Durham.

The Manchester Transit Authority will receive $19.9 million through the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Bus and Bus Facilities Grant Program for the construction of a new transit center, which will replace the city’s outdated facility and enable an expansion of transit services in the region, according to the release.

The University of New Hampshire will receive $2.7 million through the FY24 Low and No Emission Grant Program to replace diesel-powered buses with compressed natural gas buses for its Wildcat Transit service, according to the release.

Medicaid coverage enhanced

Gov. Chris Sununu announced enhancements to Medicaid to expand primary care services and preventive treatments to improve residents’ health, patient experience, and the financial outlook of the program, according to a press release.

Gov. Sununu and the Executive Council approved contracts with three managed care organizations (MCOs) to begin covering preventive treatments in primary care for persons enrolled in Medicaid that go into effect on Sunday, Sept. 1, according to the release.

Hospitals will see Medicaid rate increases totaling $76 million, which more than doubles the base rate for inpatient services with a 120 percent increase to critical access hospitals and 133 percent increase to Prospective Payment System (PPS) Hospitals as well as increasing rates for outpatient services inclusive of enhancing direct payments supporting such services, according to the release.

New patient-first services reimbursable by the New Hampshire Medicaid Program include health risk assessments, preventive screenings, preventive mental health screening and counseling, comprehensive medication reviews, and coverage for care coordination performed in primary care offices, according to the release.

The current inpatient base rate to Critical Access Hospitals of $3,345 increases to $7,351, and the current inpatient base rate to PPS Hospitals of $3,011 increases to $7,001, according to the release.

The rollout of these new services supports the goals in the DHHS Roadmap 2024-2025, according to the release. See governor.nh.gov.

NH Book Festival

A two-day festival of authors and books will take place in downtown Concord on Friday, Oct. 4, and Saturday, Oct. 5, according to a New Hampshire Humanities newsletter. The festival will feature events with author Kate DiCamillo, an event with author Jean Hanff Korelitz that includes discussion of her new book The Sequel, panel discussions, book signings by more than 40 authors, a street festival “with books galore” and more, the newsletter said. See nhbookfestival.org. Tickets for the “Adult Keynote” on Friday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m. with Jean Hanff Korelitz cost $60 and include a copy of her book; the event takes place at the Capitol Center for the Arts in the Chubb Theatre (ccanh.com). Tickets to the Saturday, Oct. 5, event with DiCamillo — “From Novel to Netflix” looking at her books that have become movies — cost $30, which includes a copy of The Magician’s Elephant. The event is at 5 p.m. and also at the Cap Center, according to the website. The festival is slated to run Oct. 5 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free, the website said.

There’s a Sip & Stamp: Cardmaking & Wine Tasting event at Wine on Main in Concord (9 N. Main St. in Concord) on Wednesday, July 24, from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $40, which includes all materials, instruction, light snacks, a wine tasting, and liquid glue to take home. Participants may make three cards using stamping techniques from crafter Kathy Clark. Visit wineonmainnh.com.

Colby Hill Inn in Henniker (33 The Oaks, 800-531-0330) hosts its third Annual Lobster Bake and BlueberryFeast, on Sunday, July 21. Seasonal summer foods will be served and original blues music will be played by the Rick Campbell Band. Tickets are $125 per person (plus sales tax and gratuity) including open bar ($15 credit for non-alcohol drinkers). Visit colbyhillinn.com to buy tickets.

“The Music of Abba – Direct From Sweden” will ring out from the Tupelo Music Hall in Derry (10 A St., 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) on Tuesday, July 23, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $39.

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