This Week 24/02/22

Thursday, Feb. 22

The Robert Cray Band comes to the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St.;, 800-657-8774) tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $35. Find more ticketed shows this weekend and beyond in the Concert listings on page 38.

Friday, Feb. 23

Catch a weekend of tribute acts at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St. in Manchester) and Rex Theatre (23 Amherst St. in Manchester) starting with tonight’s Palace show “Back to the Eighties with Jessie’s Girl” at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $35. Tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 24, “Who’s Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience” hits the Palace stage at 2 and 7:30 p.m.; tickets cost $40.50 to $50.50. Meanwhile, the Dave Matthews Tribute Band performs Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Rex. Tickets cost $35. See for more information and to purchase tickets for all shows.

Friday, Feb. 23

Queen City Improv turns your ideas into laughs tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Chunky’s in Manchester (707 Huse Road; Tickets cost $20. See for more on the group.

Friday, Feb. 23

See a free screening of Gospel, a new PBS series by Henry Louis Gates Jr., and hear a performance by the Higher Praise Gospel Choir from Boston tonight at 6 p.m. at the Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St. in Manchester; The event is free but reserve a seat via the museum’s website.

Saturday, Feb. 24

Combat Zone 83, Combat Zone MMA, comes to the SNHU Arena (555 Elm St. in Manchester;, 644-5000) tonight at 6 p.m. Ticket prices start at $20. See the full fight card at

Sunday, Feb. 25

End the weekend with the sing-along piano bar tonight at 6 p.m. (doors open at 5:30 p.m.) at the Bank of NH Stage (16 S. Main St. in Concord; No tickets needed. Jim Tyrrell takes the requests and accompanies the singers.

Thursday, Feb. 29

February is one extra day long so you get one extra day to vote in Hippo’s Best of 2024, our annual readers’ poll. Go to; voting ends tonight.

Save the Date! Thursday, March 14
“Shamrock Shenanigans: Comedy for a Cause” will feature comedian Jimmy Cash on Thursday, March 14, at 6:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Hospital (172 Kingsley St. in Nashua). Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets cost $50 and support Stepping Stones, which supports people 25 and under facing homelessness in the greater Nashua area, according to, where you can purchase tickets.

Quality of Life 24/02/22

Helping wheels

As mentioned at the bottom of this page, we welcome your QOLs. Michael McDonough of Catholic Charities of NH writes: “The CareGivers needs volunteers to help homebound and disabled seniors in Greater Manchester. Ninety-three percent of CareGivers’ clients live alone, facing social isolation and food insecurity regularly, negatively impacting their health and emotional well-being. These seniors rely on our volunteer-driven Caring Rides services for essential trips to medical appointments, doctors’ offices and grocery stores. Unfortunately, the demand for the program’s services is increasingly surpassing the number of available volunteers, and we need volunteers more than ever. Volunteer opportunities are flexible and tailored to your schedule.”

QOL score: +1 for the service

Comments: See for information on volunteering; see for more on Catholic Charities of NH.

Helping wings

The Aviation Museum of New Hampshire (27 Navigator Road in Londonderry;, 669-4820) honored Karen Hannigan-Machado, retired principal of the Manchester School of Technology, on Jan. 24 at an event at the Common Man in Windham for her role in establishing the school’s plane-building partnership with the museum, according to a press release. The program was the first of its kind in the northeastern U.S. and the school constructed a specialized workshop/hangar for the plane-building program, which led to the establishment of the school’s Aviation CTE program, the release said. Hannigan-Machado received a model of the Van’s RV-12iS aircraft (which is the airplane the students are building), the release said.

QOL score: +1

Comments: See for more on the “Student Plane Build” program.

Near-perfect angels, apparently

According to a press release from the personal finance website WalletHub, New Hampshire ranks 49 in the 50 states in “Sinfulness” as measured by seven (naturally) factors, including greed and vanity, the two sins on which the state scored highest (22nd and 23rd respectively). Vanity in particular was measured by things like “number of plastic surgeons per residents aged 18 and over” and “number of manicurists and pedicurists per capita,” according to the website.

QOL score: +1

Comments: No mention in the “Vanity” section of our vanity license plates, which the New Hampshire Department of Safety reported that 13 percent of motorists have, according to a 2022 article on But then, being wiseguys for the benefit of fellow drivers isn’t really a “sin.”

QOL score: 56

Net change: +3

QOL this week: 59

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

Let us know at

Truck Day gets a flat

The Big Story: Even with the Celtics and Bruins taking center stage with football done, the big story is the utter lack of interest in your Red Sox as they open spring training. This is a team that a decade ago sold out 820 consecutive games and looked at Truck Day as an unofficial local holiday. Yet this week, no one cared. At all.

Sports 101: Name the seven former Celtics who later became head coach of the team.

News Item – Celtics Shooting: Thanks in part to their often overpowering offense the C’s have started with the NBA’sbest record. But buried in the credit their 3-point bombing gets is their incredible accuracy on 2-point shots, where, led by Kristaps Porzingis’ 63.2 percent, four guys in the eight-man rotation are above 60 percent and as a team they’re making an incredible 57 percent of their twos. The best the Bird-era Celtics ever did was 53.1 percent in 1987-88 when Kevin McHale’s 60.6 percent made him the lone guy over 60 percent.

News Item – High-Profile NBA Teams Struggle: An interesting story as the NBA season evolves is how teams with Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Luka Doncic and Steph Curry aren’t living up to the results their big names are expected to produce. L.A., Dallas, Golden State and Phoenix have all struggled mightily to just get a playoffs play-in slot, while long-downtrodden Oak City and Minnesota are solidly in the guaranteed slots with young Orlando competing for one. And while the Suns and streaking Warriors may have righted their ships, the question is, are we seeing a changing of the guard?

The Numbers:

44 – NCAA-record rebounds pulled down by Lauryn Taylor for D-II Francis Marion in a win over North Greenville.

64 – wins the 43-12 Celtics are on pace to reach after closing the first half with a136-86 win over Brooklyn.

Of the Week Awards

Clever Headline – San Francisco Chronicle: They led their paper the day after the 49ers lost the SB to KC in Sin City with “Loss Vegas.”

Now I’ve Seen Everything – Eddie House: We know the days of the tie and jacket are gone but seeing that get-up of a hooded sweatshirt under a sports coat Eddie wore sitting in for Scal during last week’s Celtics-Nets broadcast game was a new low. The good news is he was solid analyzing the game.

Thumbs Up – Caitlin Clark: Congrats to the U of Iowa star for passing U of Washington’s Kelsey Plum’s 3,527 career points to become the all-time leading scorer in women’s D-I college basketball. She did it in style by going for 49 points, 5 rebounds and 13 assists in a 106-89 romp over Michigan.

Thumbs Down – NBA All-Star: With the ridiculous final score of Sunday’s defensive masterpiece 211-186, can the NBA All-Star game be called anything but what it’s become — a travesty?

Random Thoughts: The MVP chants Jayson Tatum got in Brooklyn last week are the loudest I’ve ever heard a guy get playing away from home.

Guess Adrian Griffin really was Milwaukee’s problem. After going 3-7 in the first 10 games since his firing, the Bucks have obviously turned it around under Doc Rivers. Including the fired-in-May Mike Budenholzer, their tab for HC’s on the payroll is around $30 million.Here’s my question about Mac Jones: If he can’t play in the NFL, why was he so good his rookie year? Luck or something else?

Sports 101 Answer: The seven former Celtics who later coached them are Bill Russell, Tommy Heinsohn, Satch Sanders, Dave Cowens, K.C. Jones, Chris Ford and M.L. Carr.

Final Thought – The Red Sox: The worst part of the Red Sox dilemma mentioned earlier was not the lack of player moves, unwillingness to spend on talent, phony team-leaked rumors they were in on every free agent from Shohei Ohtani to Tucker Carlson, or the hiring of a not nearly ready for prime time GM. It was hearing earnest but clearly delusional team president/sacrificial lamb Sam Kennedy offer this doozy in defense of the team’s brass on WEEI in January: “If you think for one second that we aren’t passionate, committed, dedicated to the Boston Red Sox, you’re wrong, you’re a liar, and I’ll correct you on it, because it’s total BS.” Sorry, Sam, that’s not true. Expectations are at their lowest for your team since the bottom-dwelling days of the 1960s because ownership simply does not care about anything beyond expanding their sports business portfolio. Thus you’ve got a long haul in front of you.

So Tip No. 1: Calling your customers “liars” is not the best way to go. Tip No. 2: Tell us the truth — that you’re rebuilding, with a target date for when you’ll be ready, so unrealistic expectations built by owner Tom Werner can be adjusted to look at Triston Casas and company with an eye on their growth, not being failures who can’t live up to the 2004 glory days.

Be honest with your customers and then get your act together.

Email Dave Long at

News & Notes 24/02/22

Two food recalls

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services, is advising consumers not to eat foods included in a recall of products containing Rizo-Lopez dairy products including Bright Farms Inc. Southwest Chipotle salad kits (sold at Hannaford and Price Chopper), Dole Fresh Vegetables Avocado Ranch Dole Chopped Kit (sold at Shaw’s), Ready Meals and store-made taco kits sold at Shaw’s and Southwest Chicken Wrap sold at Costco, according to a press release from Feb. 14. “A national outbreak of Listeria infections has been linked to cheese made by this company,” the release said. See the FDA website, (click on “Outbreaks of Foodborne Illness”), for a full list of products related to this recall. “At this time, no illnesses related to this Listeria outbreak have been identified in New Hampshire,” the release said.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services also sent out a press release on Feb, 14 “advising residents not to consume ready-to-eat meat charcuterie products containing Coppa, a type of dry-cured pork, produced by Fratelli Beretta USA Inc.” “The meat has been recalled because it may have been under processed and could be contaminated with foodborne pathogens,” the release said. The recalled products were distributed nationwide to stores including New Hampshire stores Walmart, Costco, Market Basket and Hannaford, the release said. “The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with local and state partners, are investigating an ongoing outbreak of Salmonellainfections potentially linked to RTE Coppa products. To date, there has been one illness associated with the Salmonella outbreak in New Hampshire,” the release said. See for all the products in the recall. Call DHHS Division of Public Health Services at 271-4496 with questions about either recall.

Democracy, knitting

New Hampshire Humanities is presenting a series of events that look at different aspects of elections and voting called “Knit Together Democracy,” according to a newsletter. Materials will be provided and knitters of all skill levels as well as non-knitters are welcome, the newsletter said. The series leads up to a “Knit Democracy Together” exhibit, which will open Thursday, June 13, at 1 p.m. at the New Hampshire State Library (20 Park St. in Concord) featuring a collaborative sculpture of the New Hampshire Statehouse crafted by citizen crafters and Knit Democracy Together founder Eve Jacobs-Carnahan, the newsletter said. See for a list of upcoming events and to register.

Special screening

The Friends of NH Drug Courts and the Hillsborough County (South) Drug Court present at screening of the film The 50, a documentary about 50 men who became certified substance abuse counselors while incarcerated, on Monday, April 29, at 6 p.m. at the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St.;, according to a press release. The event will feature a post-screening panel moderated by Judge Tina Nadeau and feature three of the film’s cast members, the release said. Tickets cost $25 and proceeds go to Friends of NH Drug Courts, the release said. See for the movie’s trailer and to learn more.

Walk against hunger

Families in Transition will hold its 34th annual Walk Against Hunger on Sunday, March 19, at noon in Veterans Park in Manchester, according to a press release. The event costs $15 to register, $25 to get a T-shirt, the release said. Register by March 31 at 11:59 p.m. to be eligible to win a Yeti cooler, the release said. This year’s event includes a new walk route and an after-party in Veterans Park, according to the release. See

20th season of Fisher Cats

The New Hampshire Fisher Cats will take the field at Delta Dental Stadium in downtown Manchester for their 20th anniversary season on Tuesday, April 9, at 6:35 p.m. The Toronto Blue Jays, for whom the Cats are a Double A affiliate, recently announced in a press release the Fisher Cats 2024 coaching staff: Cesar Martin will manage the team for the fourth consecutive season; Jake McGuiggan will serve as bench coach; Mitch Huckabay returns for a second season to serve as hitting coach; Joel Bonnett will serve as pitching coach; George Carroll and Delta Cleary Jr. will serve as position coaches; Eric Yardley will be bullpen coach; Roelvis Vargas and Dalton Holemo are trainers; Casey Callison and Zach Kollar will be strength and conditioning coaches; Stephanie Xavier is team nutritionist; Geoffrey Soriano serves as team chef; Branden Gonzalez is technology & coaching assistant and Raul Pimentel continues his time in New Hampshire as mental performance coach. Tickets for the upcoming season are on sale at including for specialty packages, such as a two-ticket purchase to the Marvel’s Defenders of the Diamond game on Friday, June 14, which comes with a Defender of the Diamond cap, and a two-ticket package to the game when the team plays as the New Hampshire Primaries on Friday, Aug. 23, which also includes a special hat.

PILLAR Gallery & Projects in Concord is currently showcasing its third exhibition, “Excavations,” through March 22. The show “presents themes of geological time and forms…. Artists include Jonathan Mess, Julie Hamel, Shino Takeda, Debra Claffey, Cody Tamaian, Anne Kinne, Victoria Elbroch and Al Jaeger,” according to a press release. The gallery is open Sunday, Tuesdays and Fridays 3 to 7 p.m.; see

Flag Hill Distillery & Winery in Lee will hold a County Line Derby snowshoe race and derby party on Saturday, Feb. 24. The event is described as “a mashup of the elegance and big hats of the Kentucky Derby with the chaos and excitement of a snowshoe race, snow or not,” according to a press release. The event starts at 9:30 a.m.; see for tickets.

To Share Brewing Co. in Manchester is holding a Bonsai Bar night on Thursday, Feb. 22, from 6 to 8 p.m. Learn about the art of crafting and caring for a bonsai using a Dwarf Jade tree, according to a post on the brewery’s Facebook page.

Wednesday, Feb. 28, is Teen Anime Day at Nashua Public Library (2 Court St.) Anime fans in grades 6 through 12 are invited to hang out, watch anime, draw and more, according to

This Week 24/02/15

Thursday, Feb. 15

Catch the 14th Annual New England Winter Blues Festival tonight starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Rex Theatre (23 Amherst St. in Manchester; presenting a Gulf Coast Records Revue with Popa Chubby, Albert Castiglia, Monster Mike Welch and Paul Size with The Wicked Lo-Down. Tickets cost $35. Michael Witthaus talked to festival organizer Nick David for a story in last week’s issue of the Hippo (see and check out page 36 in the e-edition of the Feb. 8 issue).

Friday, Feb. 16

Attention Oscar completists and film fans in general. The Oscar Nominated Short Films come to Red River Theatres (11 S. Main St. in Concord; starting today. The line-up this weekend: The five short films nominated in the animated category (an 80-minute production) will screen at 12:30 and 5:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16, and Saturday, Feb. 17, as well as at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 18. The live action shorts (two hours and 20 minutes) will screen Friday, Feb. 16, and Saturday, Feb. 17, at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 18, at 5:30 p.m. The documentary shorts will screen Sunday, Feb. 18, at 2:30 p.m. Find more screenings in the film listings on page 30.

Friday, Feb. 16

Regular season basketball schedules are wrapping up. The men’s team of the Rivier Raiders plays Fisher College tonight at 6 p.m. at Muldoon Fitness Center (440 Main St. in Nashua). See

The SNHU Penmen basketball teams each have three more regular season home games on the schedule: Pace University on Saturday, Feb. 17, (women at 1:30 p.m.; men at 3:30 p.m.); Assumption University on Saturday, Feb. 24, (women at 1:30 p.m.; men at 3:30 p.m.) and the College of Saint Rose on Tuesday, Feb. 27, (women at 5:30 p.m.; men at 7:30 p.m.). The games take place at Stan Spiro Field House (at the Southern New Hampshire University campus, 2500 River Road in Manchester); regular season games are free to attend.

Saint Anselm Hawks basketball teams play their final regular season home games on Wednesday, Feb. 21, against the University of New Haven. Men play at 7:30 p.m., women play at 5:30 p.m. at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium (73 College Road on Saint Anselm College campus in Manchester). Tickets to either game cost $10 (kids 5 and under get in free to regular season games) and are available for purchase starting one hour ahead of game time at the Gymnasium ticket booth. See

Saturday, Feb. 17

If last weekend’s end of Dancing Queens’ run at the Palace Theatre left you wanting more ABBA, head to Gimme Gimme Disco tonight at 8:30 p.m. at the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St. in Nashua; This dance party — disco attire encouraged — will feature a DJ playing the hits of ABBA, The Bee Gees, Donna Summer and Cher, according to the website. Tickets cost $19 to $24.

Save the Date! Sunday, March 3
See the Red Hot Chilli Pipers — yes, “Pipers” — on Sunday, March 3, at 4 p.m. at the Capitol Center for the Arts (Chubb Theatre, 44 S. Main St. in Concord; The band bills itself as “bagrock” — a fusion of traditional Scottish music, with bagpipes, and rock and pop anthems, according to the Cap Center. Tickets start at $33.75.

Quality of Life 24/02/15

Smarties, part 1

New Hampshire has been ranked as the 8th most educated state in America for 2024, according to a study released by the personal finance website WalletHub. The study evaluated all 50 states based on 18 metrics across educational attainment, school quality, and achievement gaps between genders and races. New Hampshire excelled in several key areas, ranking 4th for the percentage of high school diploma holders, 10th for associate’s degree holders or college-experienced adults, and 8th for bachelor’s degree holders. The state also stood out for having the smallest gender gap in educational attainment, taking first place.

QOL score: +1

Comment: Neighboring Massachusetts, home to prestigious institutions like MIT and Harvard, tops the list as the most educated state in the U.S., boasting the highest percentages of adults with bachelor’s and advanced degrees and leading the nation in high school math and reading scores.

Smarties, part 2

Spark Academy, situated on Manchester Community College’s campus, recently hosted Dean Kamen, Gov. Sununu and other dignitaries to celebrate the creation of 200 Experiential Robotics Platform (XRP) robots by the academy’s student-led 3D print farm. According to a press release, this initiative aims to supply low-cost robotics kits to New Hampshire classrooms, fostering skills in problem-solving, teamwork and engineering among students. Spark Academy, which integrates robotics into its curriculum, enabled students to gain hands-on manufacturing experience through this project. The involvement began when fourth-year students participated in a capstone project testing the XRP prototype, leading to the production of kits for global distribution at the FIRST Global Conference in Geneva. The Academy plans to continue producing XRP kits, with future projects potentially originating from student ideas.

QOL score: +1

Comment: Spark Academy is currently open for 2024-25 admissions, with an info night for prospective families scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 22. For more details, visit

The gas station roller coaster

In New Hampshire the average price of gasoline has increased by 1.9 cents per gallon over the past week, reaching $3.08/g, according to GasBuddy’s analysis of 875 stations. This marks a 4.1-cent rise from last month and a 23.0-cent decrease compared to the previous year. Meanwhile the national average for diesel has climbed 6.9 cents, now at $3.99 per gallon. GasBuddy’s survey identified the price range in New Hampshire from the cheapest station at $2.76/g to the most expensive at $3.89/g. Nationally, the average gasoline price has gone up by 5.2 cents, averaging $3.17/g, which is 9.6 cents higher than last month but 20.0 cents lower than last year, based on data from more than 150,000 gas stations.

QOL score: -1

Comment: “We’ve seen the national average price of gasoline inching higher now for three straight weeks, but I’m afraid the worst is yet to come. With several major refinery issues persisting across various regions, the eventual transition to summer gasoline is likely to continue to put upward pressure on prices, with larger weekly increases likely coming in March and April,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, commented in the price update.

QOL score: 55

Net change: +1

QOL this week: 56

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

Let us know at

3 & counting for Mahomes

The Big Story – Super Bowl 58: With a first three quarters that were nothing to write home about SB 58 wasn’t a game for the ages. But the excitement picked up and drama built throughout its eventful fourth quarter and the second overtime period in SB history, where we were reminded of two things by Patrick Mahomes: Don’t bet against greatness at the end of huge games, and Tom Brady’s hold as the GOAT may not by as long-lived as most think.

Yes, after winning “just” his third title on Sunday he still has a long way to go to match Brady’s seven SB wins. But since there was a 10-year gap for TB between winning his third at 27 and his fourth at 37, the 28-year-old Mahomes can make up a lot of ground before athletic senior citizenship sets in if the winning continues in KC during that time.

In the meantime, enjoy his greatness.

Sports 101: Who holds the record for most career Super Bowl sacks?

News Item – New Day for Kelly: Following the shocker of the week, options to root for locals in college football are down to one school, The Ohio State. That’s because Chip Kelly stunned almost everyone by stepping down as HC of the UCLA to become OC under his old QB during UNH’s Ryan Day era. He took it after Day’s old OC, Bill O’Brien, who not too long ago was OC for the Patriots, stepped down after less than a month to become HC at BC.

Got all that? Well if you did follow the dizzying array of O’s, H’s, U’s and B’s that preceded all the C’s in the last paragraph you probably are an elite Scrabble player.

News Item – NBA Trade Deadline Moves That Affect Celtics: (1) After recently bringing in OG Anunoby and the Detroit duo of Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks lastweek to add scoring punch off the bench, the Knicks may now be the Celtics’ biggest threat in the East. (2) While injuries are always the issue for him I like what a healthy Gordon Hayward can do for Oak City off their bench. (3) Not sure how much help new Celtics Xavier Tillman and Jaden Springer are going to help. But I can say I’ve seen Springer play in short stints twice and both times he caught my attention in a good way.

The Numbers:

2 – wins for Doc Rivers in his first seven games since replacing Adrian Griffin as coach of the going-in-the-wrong-direction Milwaukee Bucks.

6 – Celtics alumni traded last Thursday including Hayward, Evan Fournier, Kelly Olynyk, Grant Williams, Dennis Schroder and Marcus Morris — twice.

58 – consecutive Super Bowls this reporter has seen to keep me in the club of people who’ve seen every one ever played.

Random Super Bowl Thoughts:

How in the name of George Halas could the NFL let the fans vote for SB-MVP? It turns the award into the same kind of homer-driven fan boy popularity contest that wrecked baseball’s All-Star Game.

How in the name of George Blanda can you start voting for the award early in the fourth quarter? At that point the score was 13-10 and Christian McCaffrey was probably the MVP. Except there were still 29:57 left to play and double the action occurred as more points were scored during that than in the first 45 minutes.

Really strong game in the booth for Tony Romo, where he was right on the mark a lot. Like saying SF had to go back to the run when they went stagnant in the third quarter. He was right on a couple of go-for-it-on-fourth-down calls, great on identifying pre-snap match-up advantages and on explaining what the motion by others did to get Mecole Hardman open for the game-winning TD catch.

I’m betting that as the joyful Hardman flipped the historic TD ball away, somewhere Doug Mientkiewicz was saying, “dude, that’s not what I’d do with that ball.”

Where are all those folks who said Andy Reid was a horrible coach who couldn’t manage the clock coming down the strength in big games?

As the Bears get ready to take a QB at the top of the draft for a third time in seven seasons, wonder what those in Chicago watching Mahomes do it again were thinking knowing da Bears passed on him in 2017 to take Mitchell Trubisky instead.

Sports 101 Answer: The record for career SB sacks of 4.5 is shared by Charles Haley, who played in five SB’s with Dallas and San Francisco, and Von Miller, who played just two for Denver.

Final Thought – Battle to Save the World: Ifwe face a winner-take-all football game with an alien force for the survival of the planet, which trio are you taking — Bill Belichick,Brady and Gronk, or Reid, Mahomes and Travis Kelce?

Email Dave Long at

News & Notes 24/02/15

Civil Rights focus

U.S. Attorney Jane E. Young has announced the appointment of Matthew Vicinanzo as the first dedicated Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) for Civil Rights in the District of New Hampshire. According to a press release, this move aims to bolster the enforcement and protection of civil and constitutional rights within the state. A New Hampshire native, Vicinanzo brings experience from his previous role at Crowell & Moring LLP, where he specialized in the federal False Claims Act, anti-fraud statutes and complex commercial disputes. Vicinanzo’s commitment to the community and his eagerness to expand the Civil Rights practice were highlighted by Young as key factors in his appointment. This initiative follows the allocation of two new attorney positions by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, aimed at addressing civil rights as well as domestic terrorism and violent crime in New Hampshire, with the latter role being filled in October 2023.

State of the City

The Greater Manchester Chamber was slated to host the 2024 State of the City event with Manchester’s newly elected Mayor Jay Ruais at The Venues at the Factory, presented by Dartmouth Health, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, at 8 a.m. (moved from Feb. 13 due to weather). According to a press release, this breakfast forum was to provide Chamber members with an opportunity to stay informed about local affairs and engage directly with city leadership. Mayor Ruais was scheduled to outline his priorities and goals for the year ahead, engaging in a comprehensive discussion with moderator Scott Spradling on topics such as the city budget, public safety, economic development and homelessness, as well as the future of Manchester’s school district and his vision for the city. The event was scheduled to include networking, welcoming remarks by GMC President & CEO Heather McGrail, sponsor remarks by Dartmouth Health President & CEO Dr. Joanne Conroy and a moderated Q&A session, culminating in a dialogue on Manchester’s path forward.

Outstanding service

Senior Assistant Attorney General K. Allen Brooks, Chief of the New Hampshire Department of Justice’s Environmental Protection Bureau, has been honored with the 2023 Outstanding Service in Public Sector Law Award at the New Hampshire Bar mid-year meeting, according to a press release. Announced by Attorney General John M. Formella, this recognition is awarded to individuals demonstrating exceptional service in government, military, law enforcement, public interest law services or nonprofit organizations. With a tenure at the NHDOJ since 2004 and leading the Environmental Protection Bureau since 2008, Brooks has dedicated his career to protecting New Hampshire’s environment and natural resources. His accomplishments include securing significant settlements in major environmental cases, such as the State v. Exxon groundwater contamination case, leading efforts against Volkswagen for illegal “defeat devices,” and reaching a settlement with St. Gobain for PFAS remediation in drinking water. Brooks was nominated for the award by his colleagues.

Dam ownership

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services has been granted the authority through HB1429 to transfer ownership of state-owned dams to municipalities or other interested parties, including the provision for making loans from a dam maintenance revolving loan fund. According to a press release, this legislation, aimed at facilitating the transfer of dams and ensuring that their upkeep or removal aligns with local interests, requires a year’s notice before any state-owned dam removal. It establishes criteria for municipalities to acquire ownership, including legislative approval and agreement on long-term debt and maintenance issues. The law sets up a loan program to support the repair and maintenance of these dams, funded by a newly established dam maintenance revolving loan fund, which will be operational once it accrues a balance of at least $2.5 million. The initiative will be effective from July 1, 2024.

Noise pollution

Sen. Denise Ricciardi has successfully led the passage of SB 580-FN, a bill designed to address noise pollution from highways in communities ineligible for federal funding. According to a press release, this bipartisan effort introduces a new funding mechanism, allowing the New Hampshire Department of Transportation to allocate up to $10 million in turnpike toll credits annually to a Noise Barrier Construction Fund. The initiative, supported by Sens. Watters, Gray and Birdsell, aims to facilitate the construction of noise barriers in New Hampshire neighborhoods overlooked by current federal eligibility criteria. The bill, having been amended by the Senate, is now under review by the Senate Finance Committee.

Keith J. Loud, M.D., M.Sc., Dartmouth Health Children’s physician-in-chief, will participate in a panel discussion on America’s gun violence epidemic following the New Hampshire debut of “On the Exhale,” a one-woman show by Martín Zimmerman, at the Bank of New Hampshire Stage in Concord on Sunday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m. According to a press release, the play aims to illuminate the real-life impacts of gun violence on families. The panel, also featuring state Sen. Debra Altschiller, will explore solutions to mitigate this crisis. The discussion is part of a production by Theatre Kapow, with tickets available at

New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility (NHBSR) will celebrate its 2024 Business Sustainability Awards on Wednesday, March 13, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Southern New Hampshire University in Hooksett. According to a press release, this event will recognize businesses, students and individuals who have shown exceptional commitment to sustainability across various categories. The awards are based on the NHBSR’s Measure What Matters 101 Survey. NHBSR invites members, partners and sustainability enthusiasts to join the celebration. Visit

Salem will host a series of Girl Scouts informational events for girls in grades K through 3 and their caregivers. According to a press release, the events will be held at North Salem Elementary School on Thursday, Feb. 15; at Dr. Lewis F. Soule Elementary School on Wednesday, Feb. 21, and at Barron School on Thursday, Feb. 22, each from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The gatherings will introduce participants to Girl Scouts programs and are open to all interested parties, with walk-ins encouraged. Visit

This Week 24/02/08

Thursday, Feb. 8

Dancing Queens, the Ultimate ABBA Disco Tribute, begins its final weekend run tonight, with a show at 7:30 p.m. at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St. in Manchester;, 668-5588). Other shows this weekend include Friday, Feb. 9, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 10, at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 11, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $28 to $49. Find Michael Witthaus’ story about the show in the Jan. 25 issue of the Hippo at

Friday, Feb. 9

Lotus Land, the American Rush tribute band, plays two nights at Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St. in Derry; — tonight and tomorrow night, Saturday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $39. Find more ticket concerts this weekend and beyond on page 42.

Saturday, Feb. 10

Looking for a new outdoor winter hobby? NH Audubon’s Massabesic Center’s (26 Audubon Way in Auburn; 668- 2045, “Beginner Bird Outing” will be held today from 8:30 to 10 a.m. All ages and skill levels of birders are welcome, according to the website, where you can register for the class, which costs $10 per person.

Saturday, Feb. 10

Join your fellow Swifties at “Swift Me Away,” a dance party featuring the music (but not, it should be noted, the person) of Taylor Swift today at 8 p.m. at the Bank of New Hampshire Stage (16 S. Main St. in Concord; Tickets cost $21.75 (plus $5 at the door).

Tuesday, Feb. 13

Learn about the plans of scientists and artists for the April 8 solar eclipse at “Science on Tap: Science in the Shadow of Eclipse 2024” today at 6 p.m. at Stark Brewing Co. (500 Commercial St. in Manchester), an adult program presented by SEE Science Center. The event is free but advance registration is appreciated; go to

Wednesday, Feb. 14

Catch a screening of the silent film Speedy (1928), a romantic comedy starring Harold Lloyd and featuring Babe Ruth and presented with live musical accompaniment by Jeff Rapsis, today at 7 p.m. at the Rex Theatre (23 Amherst St. in Manchester; Tickets cost $10. Find more Valentine’s Day and Galentine’s Day special screenings in the film listings on page 35.

Save the Date! Saturday, April 6
Comedian Preacher Lawson comes to the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St. in Nashua; on Saturday, April 6, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $29 to $49. Find videos of his comedy via

Quality of Life 24/02/08

Child care aid

The New Hampshire Department of Health of Human Services (DHHS) has launched “Child Care Accelerate,” an 8-week business support initiative designed to aid child care providers in the state. According to a press release, the program, created in collaboration with Seed Collective, aims to help these providers improve their business operations and financial management to ensure their long-term viability and to enhance the availability of quality child care. Participants will have the chance to apply for the Opportunities to Succeed (OTS) grant, supported by $5 million from American Rescue Plan Act Discretionary funds, to fund projects like facility improvements. This initiative is a continuation of the state’s efforts to utilize $29.7 million in ARPA-D funds for critical needs within the child care sector, which includes various capacity-building and workforce expansion projects.

QOL score: +1

Comment: Since March 2020, more than $150 million in federal relief funds has been invested in the New Hampshire child care system.

UNH deadline extension

Students and their families will have more time to make decisions about their higher education, as the University of New Hampshire (UNH) has extended the application deadline for the 2024-25 academic year. This change comes in response to recent updates to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), providing applicants with a buffer to understand their financial aid options fully.

QOL score: +1

Comment: Despite the challenges posed by the FAFSA changes, the university has noted an increase in applications.

Sewage in the river

The Merrimack River faced a significant environmental challenge last year, as around 2 billion gallons of raw sewage mixed with stormwater runoff entered the river, surpassing previous sewer overflow records, NHPR reported. This increase is attributed to factors such as climate change impacts, increased rainfall and ongoing riverfront development. Outdated combined sewer systems struggled to handle heavy rain, leading to untreated sewage entering the river. Sewer overflow advisories were in place for 39 days during June and July. Approximately 500,000 to 700,000 people rely on the Merrimack River for drinking water.

QOL score: -2

Comment: Manchester, one of the most affected areas, is working on a project aimed at reducing sewer overflows into the river, estimated to cost over $300 million and extend over two decades.

QOL score: 55

Net change: 0

QOL this week: 55

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