Quality of Life 23/11/23

Oh no, weather!

As you travel around the area for the Thanksgiving long weekend, WMUR was, as of the morning of Nov. 20, predicting a wintery mix and rain for Tuesday evening and into Wednesday. This weather pattern was expected to impact travel plans Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, particularly in central and northern New Hampshire, according to the reports. Travelers were advised to stay alert to changing weather patterns, with some areas possibly receiving several inches of snow before the transition to rain.

QOL score: -1

Comment: It’s November — messy weather is to be expected, though one of the busier travel/running around to find heavy cream days is not the greatest timing. Luckily, the storm was anticipated to clear by Wednesday evening, paving the way for a dry and cool Thanksgiving Day, WMUR reported

Oh no, kittens!

As you travel around the area for the Thanksgiving long weekend, beware stray kittens. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has identified rabies in two stray kittens from North Conway, prompting a warning for residents to avoid contact with stray, feral or wild animals. According to a press release, the first infected kitten was brought to the Conway Area Humane Society and tested positive for rabies on Nov. 13, after showing symptoms on Nov. 11. A second kitten tested positive on Nov. 16, leading to an ongoing investigation to identify potentially exposed individuals. DHHS advises those who suspect exposure to seek medical attention.

QOL score: -2

Comment: “Rabies is a fatal but preventable disease,” New Hampshire State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan said in the release. “Rabies typically circulates in wild animals, and every year, 20 to 30 animals test positive for rabies in New Hampshire. The best way to prevent exposure is to avoid direct contact with stray, feral, or wild animals. If a person is exposed to a sick animal, they may need the rabies vaccine and protective antibodies to prevent disease.”

Oh no, ice cream!

As you travel around the area for the Thanksgiving long weekend, make sure to check your ice cream. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued a consumer advisory regarding a recall of Wilcox Ice Cream products due to potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. The recall was initiated after the bacteria were detected in a sample, according to a press release. The affected products, with “best by” dates of 9/13/24, 9/14/24 and 9/15/24, are sold at various New England food establishments, including Hanover Co-Op Food Store, Lebanon Co-Op Food Store and Monadnock Food Co-Op. Consumers are urged to stop consuming the product immediately and either dispose of it or return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.

QOL score: -1

Comment: While no illnesses have been reported, Listeria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections. Symptoms of listeriosis include fever, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, and more severe neurological symptoms. Treatment is available with antibiotics, and anyone who believes they may have been affected should seek medical advice.

QOL score: 88
Net change: -4
QOL this week: 84

What’s affecting your Quality of Life here in New Hampshire?
Let us know at news@hippopress.com.

Sox rebuild coming

The Big Story – Red Sox Makeover Begins: The spotlight in Red Sox Nation shifts to Craig Breslow this week as the makeover of a Red Sox team shaped by him kicks into gear. It has the Nation high on the belief the owner will open the checkbook to bring in big-ticket free agents. But what’s needed first is an assessment of who stays, to make clear what their needs are. To be followed by how those needs can be filled through free agency and trades of players deemed expendable.

Breslow has an uphill climb, but with Triston Casas, Rafael Devers, promising hurler Brayan Bello, solid reliever Garrett Whitlock and possibly speedy Jarren Duran as the core, he’s got a decent foundation to start with.

With that in mind, Breslow is now on the clock as he tries to silence skeptics (like me) by letting all see if being a Yale Phi Beta Kappa and alleged smartest guy in baseball translates to building a title-winning team.

News Item – Hot Mess Pats Return: To tank or not to tank? That is the question for the 2-8 Patriots as they return from their bye week. If Coach B is returning the answer is no, because he needs all the wins he can get to pass Don Shula for the most in history. If he’s not, then go for it to get the best draft position for the next guy to rebuild from.

News Item – Crybaby Coach Poll Results: The results of an exhaustive Hippo Sports poll for who is Sports’ Biggest Crybaby Coach is in. It’s a tie:

Nick (good night) Nurse – The ex-Raptors and now 76ers head man never sits down or shuts up no matter what the call, which was so evident in his two games vs. the Celtics already.

Sean McDermott – The NFL’s answer to Nurse is a blamer who whines from the sidelines on every single call for or against his Buffalo Bills, as evidenced by his scapegoating of DC Leslie Frazier last year and OC Ken Dorsey last week for team failures under his watch.

The Numbers:

13.3 –NBA-best point differential over their opponents in the Celtics’ 9-2 start that’s a whopping 5.1 higher than second-best Denver’s 8.1.

47.9 – NBA-best team rebounds per game by the Celtics.

106.0 – fourth-ranked points per game allowed by the Boston Celtics.

Of the Week Awards

Holy Cow Am I Old Note – It came when Mike Gorman’s soon-to-be Celtics play-by-play successor Drew Carter said on air last week that by being born in 1997 he’d never seen Michael Jordan play. Let alone Larry Bird.

Penitentiary News – After being convicted in a New York Court last week it looks like ex-Celtic Glen Big Baby Davis may be headed for a stretch in the big house. Big Baby was part of an elaborate scheme to rip off the NBA of $5 million in bogus medical and dental insurance claims. It’s unclear whether he’ll go or avoid time. But since one-time Nets first-round pick Terrence Williams got a 10-year stretch for being the pilot’s mastermind I’d be nervous if I were Baby.

A Little History – Nov. 23: On this day in 1984 Boston College QB Doug Flutie locks up the Heisman Trophy with a 472 passing yard performance in a 47-45 win over defending National Champion Miami with the most famous Hail Mary of all-time with a 47-yard TD heave from Flutie to Gerard Phelan in the end zone on the final play.

Final Thought – The Rex Sox Rebuild: Over the next few weeks we’ll talk about what we think the Sox should do in the rebuild and/or chart their progress as it unfolds. We’ll start with these two key pieces of that process.

First, the biggest danger they face is yielding to public pressure to make a big, but ultimately unwise signing just to placate Red Sox Nation. Like by wasting $190 million on the dual bust combo of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez after a last-place finish in 2014.

Second are priority needs, which are: (1) two starting pitchers, one in free agency and the other in a trade; (2)put Garrett Whitlock and Tanner Houck in the bullpen — if you’re going to ask starters to just pitch five or six innings you must have a pen that can lock up the game from the seventh inning on; and (3) improve the defense.

We’ll get into specifics as we go along.

Email Dave Long at dlong@hippopress.com.

Going to the Hill

Small business owners take their issue to D.C.

In response to the Basel III Endgame regulation, which could escalate capital costs for small businesses, Dina Akel, owner of Vieira Luxe, a bridal and special occasion wear shop in Nashua, joined more than 50 entrepreneurs in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 14. Their mission: to articulate to lawmakers and Federal Reserve officials the significant impact this regulation could have on small businesses like hers.

How did the Basel III Endgame regulation discussions in Washington impact your business outlook?

I went to D.C. to advocate for small businesses that will be impacted by this proposal. It’s concerning that it will be even more difficult to access capital than it already is. It was my first time in D.C. ever, so I was super nervous, but I knew how important it was to be there. After the discussion we had with our senators and representatives, I felt my story was heard, and I was confident they were in our corner. I’m confident they’ll do everything they can to advocate for us.

What major challenges did you discuss in Washington regarding the high interest rate environment?

One of the discussions was actually my personal story about recently applying for business funding through grants and loans. I applied to various grants and was unsuccessful, so alternatively I applied to my long-standing banks, and was also unsuccessful. I was feeling a little defeated at that time. I finally asked one of my banks and a representative from SBDC if they had any other funding resources for me. They connected me with a nonprofit lender. The first time around, I got denied. The second time I was approved. When I spoke to them, they told me we could aim for the 5 to 8 percent interest rate mark, which is what I was expecting. Once I got the approval, though, they provided me with a loan in the two-digit mark. That was definitely more than I could afford. However, I was desperate since the business was growing so quickly and I lacked the resources to keep up with it, so I accepted the loan, and honestly, we can’t afford for the situation to get any worse.

What outcomes or responses did you receive from your meetings in Washington?

We received very positive responses from our members of Congress. They were all willing to help and push against this proposal, which was great.

How might the outcomes from Washington affect your future business plans?

I’m a little worried that if this proposal goes through our customers might actually experience more inflated prices. We may not be able to provide the same high-quality products our customers love, and we may not be able to keep up with the demand and, God forbid, shut down in the process. I’m already struggling to keep up with all of it. People need to remember that when you’re a small business owner, in your first few years you are literally everything in the business: the customer representative, the cashier, the accountant, the inventory manager, custodian, website builder, you name it. When that gets to be too much, we have to delegate and hire people to help us. The reality is you need money to make money.

What were your key takeaways from the interactions in Washington?

Small businesses are already considered risky to lend to. If this goes forward, and interest rates also go up, we’ll be seeing a lot of businesses closed down.

What follow-up actions or continued advocacy plans do you have post-Washington visit?

I’m part of the Nashua Chamber of Commerce, the Suffolk University alumni, the National Association for Catering and Events, and a few more groups. I’ll make sure I have an opportunity to speak with them all about this. That way they can speak up and share their stories. They can call members of Congress and let them know why it’s important. We can all come together as a community to advocate for all small businesses.

Featured photo: Dina Akel, right, joined by U.S. Representative Ann McLane Kuster and a group of New Hampshire small business owners outside the U.S. Capitol. Courtesy photo.

News & Notes 23/11/23

Hospital shooting

On Friday, Nov. 17, a state Department of Safety security officer was fatally shot at New Hampshire Hospital, a state-run psychiatric facility in Concord, the AP reported. Bradley Haas, who was previously the chief of police in Franklin, was working at the front lobby entrance when a man identified by law enforcement as John Madore entered the hospital and fired a handgun; Madore was then shot and killed by a state trooper assigned to the hospital, the Union Leader reported. Investigators found a U-Haul truck in the hospital’s parking lot containing an AR-style rifle, a tactical vest and several ammunition magazines, which they are investigating for possible connections to Madore, the AP reported. The shooting was confined to the hospital’s front lobby, and no other injuries were reported, according to the article. The hospital continued operations but was closed to visitors immediately after the incident, according to the report. There were 152 patient beds occupied on Nov. 17, according to a press release from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

Early childhood ed

The Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) is now providing comprehensive tuition assistance for individuals pursuing careers in early childhood education, potentially allowing students to earn credentials with little to no personal expense. According to a press release, this initiative is due to collaborations with the State of New Hampshire, the University of New Hampshire’s College of Professional Studies and the NH Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Children Youth and Families. Scholarships available include Early Childhood Tuition Assistance and Granite Steps for Quality Tuition Assistance, along with the newly introduced CCSNH ECE Scholarships. These are designed to fill gaps left by other aid programs and make early childhood education programs more accessible to residents.

Better internet

New Hampshire is seeking public input on improving internet connectivity, especially in areas currently lacking service, NHPR reported. The state has received nearly $200 million in federal grants aimed at providing high-speed internet connections to about 25,000 residents who are part of the 8 percent of the state’s population without internet or a device to access it. The Department of Business and Economic Affairs is calling for suggestions from residents and community leaders on the best uses for these funds to enhance broadband access. Public comments are open until Dec. 13 and must be submitted in writing via email to broadband@livefree.nh.gov. For additional details, the public can visit the website at nheconomy.com.

Bank layoffs

The Bank of New Hampshire has announced the layoff of 19 staff members and has ceased accepting new mortgage applications, NHPR reported on Nov. 15. This decision, as stated by the bank’s president and CEO Christopher Logan, is a result of unstable markets and diminished returns on loans, the article said. According to the article, existing customers will not experience changes to their loans or services, and the bank will continue to service existing loans and those currently in process.

Fewer students

New Hampshire has experienced a consistent decline in student enrollment over the past two decades, with the New Hampshire Department of Education reporting a 1.4 percent decrease in public and public charter school students for the 2023-2024 academic year. According to a press release, this year’s enrollment stands at 165,095, down from 167,357 the previous year and significantly lower than the 207,684 students in 2002, reflecting a 20.5 percent decline over 21 years. Specific districts such as New Castle and Stewartstown have seen the most considerable declines, while others like Marlow and Landaff have experienced increases. Even the state’s largest districts, including Manchester, Nashua, Bedford, Londonderry and Concord, have not been immune to this trend, with all reporting fewer students compared to last year. This decline is mirrored in the state’s higher education institutions, with a 13 percent drop in enrollment at the University System of New Hampshire since 2019.

Behavioral health

The New Hampshire Insurance Department (NHID) has released a bulletin, Docket Number INS 23-038-AB, to improve access to Behavioral Health Integration (BHI) services and address the reimbursement challenges faced by behavioral health practitioners. According to a press release, the bulletin provides guidelines for health insurers on the use of billing codes for BHI services, aiming to clarify billing protocols and the roles of Behavioral Health Care Managers, as well as the eligibility of clinical practitioners. The NHID recommends that insurers follow guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the American Medical Association to align with industry standards.

The Bedford Facilities Information and Communications Committee has announced the advancement of the South River Road Police and Fire Complex, with the town planning a new station and substation due to increased service demands since 1994. According to a press release, the project, located at 300 S. River Road, is estimated to cost $34 million, with an extra $2.5 million for existing facility renovations, funded by a proposed 20-year bond. This bond, expected to impact taxes by $0.531 per $1,000 property valuation, will be discussed in a public hearing on Jan. 24, 2024, followed by a March 12, 2024, vote. Public sessions and tours are planned to inform residents about the project.

Gov. Chris Sununu joined New Balance leadership on Monday, Nov. 20, for the groundbreaking of the company’s new manufacturing facility at 12 Innovation Way in Londonderry, which had been previously delayed. According to a press release, the event marked the start of a $70 million investment by New Balance into the 102,000-square-foot facility, with an expected addition of more than 150 jobs. The facility is scheduled to begin production in 2025.

C&J Bus Lines has announced the resumption of its bus services from Dover Bus Terminal to Boston’s Logan Airport and New York City, starting Feb. 4, 2024. According to a press release, the service will provide 26 daily roundtrip schedules between Dover and Logan Airport, along with a daily service to New York City. The Dover terminal, which operates 24 hours a day, offers free parking facilities. C&J has also introduced a reservation system for these routes. Visit ridecj.com.

This Week 23/11/16

Big Events November 16, 2023 and beyond

Friday, Nov. 17

Consider a few of your favorite things this weekend when the Community Players of Concord present The Sound of Music at the Concord City Auditorium (2 Pine St. in Concord). The show runs tonight at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 18, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 19, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for adults, $17 for ages 17 and under and 65+ and are available at the box office starting 90 minutes before showtime and at communityplayersofconcord.org.

Saturday, Nov. 18

Concord starts the holiday celebrations early with the Concord Christmas Parade today at 9:30 a.m. on Loudon Road between Hazen Drive and Canterbury Road.

Saturday, Nov. 18

Time for “Thanksgrilling” — the Goffstown Ace Hardware (5 Depot St. in Goffstown; goffstownhardware.com, 497-2682) will hold demos and family activities today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. explaining how to grill a holiday turkey and sides, according to the store’s Facebook page.

Saturday, Nov. 18

The 2023 Feztival of Trees runs today through Sunday, Nov. 26, at the Bektash Shriners of New Hampshire Shrine Center (189 Pembroke Road in Concord; bektashshriners.org, 225-5372). Except for Thanksgiving, the event will be open daily: Saturday, Nov. 18, and Sunday, Nov. 19, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Monday, Nov. 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Tuesday, Nov. 21, and Wednesday, Nov. 22, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 24, and Saturday, Nov. 25, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 26, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition to enjoying the holiday sights, checking out the Candy Cane Cafe and taking a photo with Santa Claus, attendees can enter raffles for the decorated trees (winners will be picked on Sunday, Nov. 26). Admission costs $5 for ages 12 and over.

Saturday, Nov. 18

Catch Spectacle Live Laughs today at 8 p.m. featuring comedians Chris Zito, Steve Bjork and Mike Koutrobis at the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St. in Nashua; nashuacenterforthearts.com, 657-8874). Tickets cost $29. Find more laughs this weekend and beyond in our Comedy This Week listings on page 42.

Save the Date! Sunday, Dec. 3
LaBelle Winery has some holiday events slated for Sunday, Dec. 3, at its two locations. In Derry (14 Route 111), catch the Holiday Pops Concert at 4 p.m. (doors open at 3:30 p.m.). A Brass Quintet and a String Quartet featuring members of the NH Philharmonic Orchestra will perform classical melodies and holiday hits, according to labellewinery.com, where you can purchase tickets ($30 general admission, $20 ages 4 to 12). At 5:30 p.m. at the Amherst winery (345 Route 101), it’s the Hogwarts Yule Ball, featuring a four-course wine dinner, Harry Potter- and holiday-themed decor and dancing to holiday tunes, according to website, where you can find the full menu and reserve a spot for $95 per person. See labellewinery.com for more on both events or call 672-9898.

Featured photo: Christmas tree

Quality of Life 23/11/16

Lung health

The 2023 “State of Lung Cancer” report by the American Lung Association highlights New Hampshire’s notable performance in managing lung cancer. The state ranks 5th nationally in surgical treatment rates for lung cancer and 9th in survival, with a 28.9 percent survival rate, surpassing the national average of 26.6 percent. In early diagnosis, New Hampshire is 10th in the nation with 28.4 percent of cases diagnosed early, compared to the national average of 26.6 percent. The state also ranks 14th in lung cancer screening, with a 7 percent screening rate, significantly higher than the national rate of 4.5 percent.

QOL score: +1

Comment: Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths in the state and nationally, and New Hampshire ranks 36th for the rate of new lung cancer cases, with 61 cases per 100,000 people.

Mental health

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire has announced an initiative to improve access to behavioral health care by reducing member copays for both in-person and virtual behavioral health visits, effective Jan. 1, 2024. According to a press release, these reduced copays will be equal to or lower than those for primary care visits. The company has also expanded its network with new providers who offer bundled services at a single monthly copay, instead of billing separately, making multiple or concurrent treatments more accessible and affordable for members. The reduced copay initiative applies to all of Anthem’s health plans in the fully insured large group, small group and individual markets in New Hampshire, and is also offered to self-funded plans.

QOL score: +1

Comment: “Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health and high cost shares should not be a barrier to getting on the path to recovery and good health,” Maria Proulx, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire, said in the release.

Beware the scams

Eversource is alerting customers to be wary of scammers during the holiday season, when scam activities often rise. Scammers, posing as Eversource representatives, are using advanced tactics to extort money and personal information through threatening calls, emails, and fake websites. Eversource emphasizes that its representatives never demand payment through prepaid debit cards or Bitcoin ATMs or by arranging meetings at stores, and they do not solicit for third-party energy suppliers. Customers should verify any suspicious Eversource representative, as legitimate employees have photo IDs and wear company-branded clothing. Disconnection notices are always sent in writing. If uncertain about the legitimacy of a call or visit, customers should contact Eversource directly, using contact information available on their bills.

QOL score: -2

Comment: For additional safety tips, customers can visit the Utilities United Against Scams website at utilitiesunited.org.

QOL score: 88
Net change: 0
QOL this week: 88

What’s affecting your Quality of Life here in New Hampshire?
Let us know at news@hippopress.com.

The week that was

The Big Story – Pats Elevator Going Down: During the first run of the TV show Frasier, when things were really going bad for Frasier Crane he would pretend he was in an elevator and say, “going down.”Well, after the Patriots’ latest disaster, this time in Germany, the elevator on Coach B’s time in New England is descending so rapidly it’s like the cable snapped and the safety protocols aren’t working either. The latest in a series of debacles came in the form of a 10-6 baseball-like score vs. Indianapolis on Sunday, sending them into the bye at a surreal 2-8.

Talk radio will be ablaze with (1) will Coach B still be on the sidelines when they return in two weeks? (2) Mac Jones has punched his ticket out of town, and (3) with no chance of pulling out of their nosedive should they just tank to enter the Caleb Williams sweepstakes? Given all that, no sports radio for me, because none of it will be about finding solutions. Just pointing the finger of blame.

Sports 101: Who has committed the most fumbles in NFL history?

News Item – Pritchard’s Shooting Woes: Earth to Joe Mazzulla: Payton Pritchard may be short, but he’s not a point guard. The reason he’s shooting under 30 percent is that he can’t shake defenders for room to shoot. If you want points off the bench, let Jayson Tatum play point forward and spot up Pritchard behind the line, because what he is is a catch-and-shoot guy.

News Item – Rookies on Record Paces: Since Gale Sayers set an all-time NFL record with 22 TDs it will be tough to become the best NFL rookie ever. But Houston’s CJ Stroud and L.A. Ram wideout Puka Nacua are giving it the old college try. Stroud is on pace for 4,958 passing yards, which would obliterate Andrew Luck’s record 4,374 from 2012. And he has a shot at Justin Herbert’s record of 31 TD passes, though he’ll need to pick it up a bit as he’s on track for 28. As for Puka, he’s at 60 catches and 800 yards, which will give 120 catches and 1,562 receiving yards in 17 games and take him by Jaylen Waddle’s and Ja’Marr Chase’s 104 and 1,455 respective records.

News Item – 76ers Minus Harden: It was just one game, but what was evident when Philly beat the Celtics last week was that they are better without James Harden. And not just because he dominates the ball and can’t cover my grandmother. With Harden’s dominating days over, the emerging Tyrese Maxey is just better.

The Numbers:

11 – a not bad losing margin by the basketball team at the U when they lost to Syracuse in the Dome 83-72.

28 – Not so much for Dartmouth when they got smoked by Duke in a 92-64 loss the same day.

520 – million dollars over 10 years ESPN.com projects Shohei Ohtani will get in free agency this winter despite his injury-riddled career.

Of the Week Awards

What A Stupid I Yam: To me for omitting in last week’s Sports 101 that Russell Westbrook joins Harden and Bob McAdoo as MVPs who’ve been traded four times.

Thumbs Down – Barf-Inducing Moment: I can take bad extra uniforms to juice merchandise sales, an in-season tournament I don’t get, even Tatum wearing hot pink sneaks, but I draw the line at having a non-parquet floor in the Garden at any time, like for the NBA’s new in-season tournament games. Come on, Adam Silver, that’s like tearing down the wall at Fenway for the All-Star game. Boooo. Barf. Booo.

Sports 101 Answer: Brett Favre is the all-time leader with 166, which means that since he’s also the interception leader with 336 he turned it over more than 500 times in his career.

In case you’re interested, Tom Brady is sixth with 138, while it’s astonishing Peyton Manning is ranked 59th with just 75.

Final Thought – Injured List: Those who said they were willing to include Rob Williams (which I was not) in the Celtics deal for Jrue Holiday because he’s injury-prone were right on the money last week. Lob It To Rob didn’t even make it out of the year’s first week before being lost for the season after knee surgery.

My fret was over lack of depth and that they were giving up the eventual replacement to Horford. But with the injury-prone Malcolm Brogdon now out with hamstring issues too, if they’d stayed the C’s depth would be even worse.

Ironically the injury news came on the same day Al Horford sat out to avoid playing back-to-back games. But the C’s won anyway when Pritchard and Sam Hauser had 28 bench points in a win over Brooklyn. So, as Casey Stengel used to say, you never know.

Email Dave Long at dlong@hippopress.com.

Still serving

A veteran helping veterans with at-home care

Mark Nalbandian of Bedford is a Navy veteran and caregiver at 360 SHS, a Bedford-based organization that offers home care and pairs senior caregivers with elderly clients in need. He delves into his journey from serving in the military to providing care for fellow veterans and shares his experiences and insights on how this transition has shaped his personal growth and impacted the broader community’s perspective on veteran care.

How has your experience as a Navy Airman shaped your approach to caregiving?

I spent six years in the Navy and during that time I learned quite a few great life skills, such as communication, consistency and the importance of showing up ready to work every day. I have had the privilege to care for three seniors who are Korean conflict veterans. I am currently caring for one of these clients still. It means the world for me to be able to support fellow veterans as they age in place.

What were some challenges you faced transitioning from military service to a caregiving role?

After my time in the Navy, I spent 25 years in commercial concrete, followed by a building contractor and real estate career. I began working with [360 SHS owner] Judy Loubier about five years ago. I got sick in 2008-2009 with stage 4 head and neck cancer. I faced some harsh treatments and needed constant care while I was recovering. Once I recovered, I saw my dad in the hospital. When he was picked up by an ambulance to bring him to the care facility, I inquired about the profession and what an average day looks like and it inspired me to try something new. Now, communication, companionship and everyday chores are a big part of my job. It’s really meaningful to help keep seniors and veterans safe and prevent falls.

What personal significance does caring for fellow veterans hold for you, and how has it influenced your growth since your military service?

I am in my mid to late 60s and the veteran clients like the commonality of and mutual understanding of being veterans. The related experiences are so meaningful and we can converse for hours. I love it. I worked for a few concepts before discovering 360 SHS, and five years later I know this is the last job that I will ever work. I don’t do it for the money. I do it because it is important and I pride myself on being able to support my fellow veterans.

How has your work at 360 SHS impacted the community’s understanding of veteran care?

360 SHS was doing a great job of caring for veterans before I was brought on five years ago. However, I can bring a different perspective, being a veteran myself, and have been able to build great relationships with senior veterans throughout the community. 360 SHS understands the importance of matching veteran caregivers with veteran clients as they are able to create meaningful relationships. It feels good to help veterans — and other seniors — age in place without having to get dragged out to a nursing home. I feel better knowing that they get to stay in their home and not have to leave their life behind after bravely serving our country.

What advice would you give to veterans considering a caregiving career post-service?

Do it! It is a lot more meaningful than when I was building bridges in my previous career. I never saw myself doing this job, but I love it and know I will do this until the day I retire. 360 SHS helps hire active reservists, knowing they might have to up and leave. They provide services for veterans who can get paired with 360 SHS through the VA. 360 SHS offers a lot of recognition and appreciation during Veterans Day and outreach to all veteran clients and caregivers.

Featured photo: Mark Nalbandian. Courtesy photo.

News & Notes 23/11/16

Livable NH

AARP has unveiled the 10 top-scoring livable communities in New Hampshire according to its new AARP Livability Index. According to a press release, this index evaluates factors crucial for aging populations, such as housing, transportation, neighborhood elements, environment, health and community engagement. The highest-ranking communities in New Hampshire are Hanover, Lebanon, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Concord, Keene, Littleton, Goffstown, Peterborough and Manchester. While these communities have shown progress in job availability, environmental aspects and civic involvement, they all require improvements, particularly in housing affordability and access, as well as proximity to key destinations. The AARP Livability Index is a comprehensive tool that scores communities across the U.S. based on services and amenities impacting aging individuals, aiming to bridge the gap between current community provisions and the needs of older adults. The platform, accessible online at aarp.org/livabilityindex, allows users to search for scores by address, ZIP code or community and includes new features like the “Community Finder Quiz” and climate data for each location.

Organic rules

The organic certification process in New Hampshire is facing significant changes. According to a press release from the Free State Food Network, the National Organic Program, a federal standard for crops and livestock, has grown into a $50 billion industry but is now challenged by issues such as funding, potential corruption and lack of transparency. The New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food (NHDAMF), the current accrediting agent for organic certification in the state, is considering relinquishing its role due to staffing challenges, rigorous program standards, and an outdated fee structure. While this move might end state enforcement of organic certification, it wouldn’t halt the issuance of certifications, as other agents could step in to fill the gap. Two legislative service requests are in place to address this issue: LSR 2024-2473 advocates for an agreement with the USDA for organic certification, while LSR 2024-2167 proposes removing the responsibility from the NHDAMF. Concerns have been raised about the National Organic Program’s governance, suggesting it now leans more toward commercial interests rather than the ethical and safety standards initially intended.

Future workforce

ApprenticeshipNH, a workforce program of the Community College System of New Hampshire, is celebrating National Apprenticeship Week from Nov. 13 through Nov. 19. According to a press release, the program, focusing on high-demand fields like advanced manufacturing, health care, IT and more, combines classroom instruction with on-the-job training in an “earn-while-you-learn” model. The highlight of the week is the first-ever ApprenticeshipNH Summit on Nov. 17, aimed at strengthening New Hampshire’s workforce by connecting employers, career seekers and community organizations. The summit will feature interactive workshops, networking opportunities and Champion Recognitions for businesses and individuals leading in apprenticeship initiatives. Funded primarily by U.S. Department of Labor grants, ApprenticeshipNH has established more than 100 apprenticeship programs and supported 1,300 apprentices since its inception in 2017.

Liquor commission kudos

The New Hampshire Liquor Commission (NHLC) has been honored for the eighth consecutive year by StateWays Magazine in the Control State Best Practices Awards, according to a press release. Recognized for its alcohol responsibility programming and retail innovations, NHLC won awards for “Best On-Premise Partnership” for its New Hampshire Mocktail Month program and “Best Retail Innovation” for the ‘Tis the Season marketing campaign. New Hampshire Mocktail Month, initiated in 2020 in partnership with Brown-Forman, involves the state’s restaurant community in promoting alcohol-free “mocktails” to encourage responsible drinking. The ‘Tis the Season campaign, conducted during the 2022 holiday season, effectively used various media platforms to enhance customer engagement and sales.

Capital trip

On Tuesday, Nov. 14, more than 50 small business owners from across the country, including a group from New Hampshire, visited Washington, D.C., to address challenges regarding access to affordable capital, according to a press release. In response to the Federal Reserve’s consideration of the Basel III Endgame regulation, which is expected to increase the cost of business loans and credit lines, these business owners met with more than 40 lawmakers and senior Federal Reserve officials. They aimed to highlight the negative impact of this regulation on small businesses and presented a comment letter signed by more than 3,000 small business owners nationwide, with 44 signatories from New Hampshire. New Hampshire representatives included Dina Akel of Vieira Luxe, Shira Nafshi of The Trainer’s Loft, Danya Landis of Machina Kitchen & ArtBar, Celeste Burns of Burns Automotive Services, and Toutou Marsden of Dell-Lea Weddings & Events. Their efforts were part of a larger initiative to advocate for small businesses in the current high interest rate environment.

Returning for its 11th season, the Ice Castles attraction is set to reopen in North Woodstock, according to a press release. This year’s installation, with an anticipated opening in late December or early January, features a new design with slides, caverns, tunnels and ice sculptures. Tickets go on sale on Nov. 29. Visit icecastles.com/new-hampshire.

Ellie Mental Health, which describes itself as having an innovative and community-driven approach to mental health care, has opened a new location in Manchester at 25 Sundial Ave., in Suite 310W. According to a press release, the mental health franchise has been rapidly expanding nationwide. Visit elliementalhealth.com.

Join Derry Public Library (64 E. Broadway) on Wednesday, Nov. 29, at 6:30 p.m. for an informative session with Dan Blakeman of Lifetime Retirement Partners, as he delves into essential retirement topics. According to a press release, Blakeman will cover a range of subjects including long-term care, Social Security, and the development of a solid financial plan for retirement. Register online at derrypl.org/adult/events/9564/retirement-planning-workshop.

This Week 23/11/09

Big Events November 9, 2023 and beyond

Friday, Nov. 10

The Capitol Center for the Arts’ William H. Gile Concert Series has two free shows this weekend. Tonight, catch the NH 39th Army Band Veterans Day Concert at 7 p.m. at the Cap Center’s Chubb Theatre (44 S. Main St. in Concord; ccanh.com). Admission is free but go online for tickets to the event.

Friday, Nov. 10

The curtain rises on the classic whodunit Clue, a play based on a movie based on a board game about who killed Mr. Boddy and presented by the Anselmian Abbey Players at the Dana Center (Saint Anselm College, 100 Saint Anselm Drive in Manchester; tickets.anselm.edu, 641-7700). Shows tonight and Saturday, Nov. 11, are at 7:30 p.m.; the Sunday, Nov. 12, show is at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $20.

Saturday, Nov. 11

The second Gile Concert this weekend is a Deepawali Celebration today at 6 p.m. at the Heights Community Center (14 Canterbury Road in Concord) featuring the band Himalayan Dreams. The event is free and tickets are not required; see ccanh.com for videos of their performances of Nepali music.

Tuesday, Nov. 14

LaBelle Winery in Derry (14 Route 111, labellewinery.com) will hold the grand opening of its LaBelle Lights holiday lights display today from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. More than a million twinkling lights are part of the path of lights, a map of which can be found at labellewinery.com/lights. The display is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. through Sunday, Jan. 7. Each week features a theme; “Holiday Card Week” kicks off the celebration with “Holiday Pajama Week” Nov. 21 through Nov. 26, according to a press release, which says ticket holders are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots or a non-perishable food item for End 68 Hours of Hunger. Tickets are on sale now and cost $18 for adults, $12 for ages 65+ and $8 for ages 4 to 12 (kids ages 3 and under get in free and tickets on Tuesdays are half price), according to the press release.

Tuesday, Nov. 14

Chris Isaak comes to the Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St. in Derry; tupelomusichall.com, 437-5100) on the “It’s Almost Christmas” tour tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $95 to $125. Find more ticketed musical happenings in our Concert listings on page 38.

Wednesday, Nov. 15

Start planning your Thanksgiving menu with help from WineNot Boutique (25 Main St. in Nashua; winenotboutique.com), which is holding a “Selecting Wines for Thanksgiving” walk-around event. Tickets cost $20 for a 45-minute tasting session (first session starts at 4 p.m., final session starts at 7 p.m.). Consider 15 wines from three wine companies, according to the website, where you can purchase tickets.

Save the Date! Friday, Nov. 16
The Nutcracker will be presented by Southern New Hampshire Dance Theater, at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St . in Manchester; palacetheatre.org, 668-5588) Thursday, Nov. 16, through Sunday, Nov. 19. The Nutcracker features more than 60 dancers and performers, according to a press release. Tickets cost $28 to $49. Shows are Thursday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 18, at 11 a.m., 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 19, at noon and 5 p.m.

Featured photo: Labelle Lights.

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