News & Notes 22/03/10

Covid-19 update As of Feb 25 As of March 7
Total cases statewide 297,729 299,651
Total current infections statewide 2,130 1,045
Total deaths statewide 2,373 2,403
New cases 4,032 (Feb. 19 to Feb. 25) 1,922 (Feb. 26 to March 7)
Current infections: Hillsborough County 588 256
Current infections: Merrimack County 163 75
Current infections: Rockingham County 310 144
Information from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

Covid-19 news

State health officials reported 42 new cases of Covid-19 on March 7. The state averaged 151 new cases per day over the most recent seven-day period, a 49 percent decrease compared to the week before. Hospitalizations continue to be low, at just 56 statewide as of March 7.

Finding firefighters

A new ad hoc committee has been formed to improve the recruitment, hiring and retention of firefighters and EMS providers throughout New Hampshire, according to an announcement from New Hampshire Department of Safety commissioner Robert L. Quinn, Division of Fire Standards and Training & Emergency Medical Services director Justin Cutting and State Sen. Sue Prentiss, D-West Lebanon. The announcement stated that there was a net loss of nearly 200 EMTs and paramedics in the state last year, which was double the loss seen in 2020.

Until now, there has been no centralized collection of data of organized recruitment efforts to replace that workforce. The job of the committee, which is made up of a diverse group of stakeholders, elected officials and workforce and HR professionals, will be to analyze the trend and recommend actions to reverse it. Additionally, the Division of Fire Standards and Training & Emergency Medical Services is looking to hire someone for the newly created position of recruitment and retention coordinator, the release said.

The committee’s first meeting is scheduled for March 16, with recommendations to be submitted to the commissioner within 90 days.

Pharma settlement

The funds owed by Purdue Pharma and its owners, the Sackler family, for their role in the opioid crisis have been increased from the $4.325 billion owed under the original bankruptcy plan to a minimum of $5.5 billion as part of a national settlement, according to a press release from the office of New Hampshire Attorney General John M. Formella. If certain conditions are met, the family could have to pay up to $6 billion.

Between 2017 and 2019, the Sacklers were alleged to have sold prescription opioids through Purdue using a marketing campaign that downplayed the risks of abuse, addiction and death associated with prescription opioids. A bankruptcy plan issued by the Bankruptcy Court was approved for Purdue Pharma in 2021.

The settlement also states that the Sackler family must provide a statement of regret and allow the Sackler family name to be removed from institutions’ buildings and scholarships. New Hampshire would receive approximately $46 million from the settlement if it goes through, which is up from $27 million allocated in the original bankruptcy plan, to be used for opioid treatment and prevention programs in the state. “New Hampshire has been particularly hard hit by the opioid epidemic, and Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family bear significant responsibility for causing so much harm to our state,” Formella said in the press release. “While no amount of money will be enough to address the harm they caused, this settlement is a significant step toward holding the Sacklers accountable for what they did and will provide much-needed funds for our state to continue fighting this epidemic.”

Conditions outlined in the original bankruptcy plan, which required the Sacklers to dissolve or sell the company by 2024, make more than 30 million of their documents public, and disengage from manufacturing and selling opioids, will be upheld as planned.

Ukraine scam

Attorney General John M. Formella has issued a warning to New Hampshire citizens about scams on the rise taking advantage of the crisis in Ukraine. Fake charities may target well-meaning people looking to donate funds for relief efforts in Ukraine, or charities that intend to help but are not well-established may not be able to use donated funds for the purposes promised. Formella’s advice to donors is to research charities before giving, which should include checking the charity’s registration status with the Charitable Trusts Unit at doj.nh.gov/charitable-trusts/registered-charities, and checking the charity’s history and reputation of using donated funds as promised to donors. Donors should also avoid sending money online unless they know and trust the fundraiser, and should never share their personal financial information over the phone.

Load limits posted

As rising temperatures cause the frost that is built up under paved roads to dissipate, public roads will become susceptible to pavement breakage. To address this potential hazard for drivers, New Hampshire Department of Transportation commissioner Victoria Sheehan has ordered customary, state-authorized spring load limits on sections of the state highway system. Limits are posted based on research by NHDOT District engineers to determine the level of risk for each roadway. The maximum vehicular weight allowed in posted sections of the state highways is 30,000 pounds (gross weight) or the cumulative width, in inches, of the vehicle’s tires’ contact with the road’s surface, multiplied by 300 (whichever figure is less). Vehicles transporting home heating oil, processed milk products or maple sap and septic pumper trucks are exempt from the seasonal bans under State law with approval from the NHDOT District engineers. See newengland511.org for an updated list of posted roads.

AARP grants

Applications for AARP New Hampshire’s 2022 AARP Community Challenge grant program are being accepted now through Tuesday, March 22, according to a press release. The program, now in its sixth year, is part of AARP’s national Livable Communities initiative and awards grants to local organizations and governments to fund quick-action projects (projects that are expected to be completed by Nov. 30) designed to help communities across the state improve their public spaces, transportation, housing, civic engagement, Covid-19 recovery, diversity and inclusion and more. Communities that have demonstrated that they are inclusive, address disparities, engage volunteers and support their residents who are age 50 and older will receive preference. The application deadline on March 22 is at 5 p.m. Visit aarp.org/communitychallenge.

Maintenance work on the I-93 Exit 17 Hoit Road bridge in Concord will begin Tuesday, March 14. There will be lane closures throughout the project, which is expected to be completed in May, according to a press release from the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. Detour signs and message boards will be used to direct motorists, the release said.

Manchester Historic Association Executive Director John Clayton will be transitioning to a new position, according to a press release. “Director of Community Relations [is] a part-time position that allows him to concentrate on what he knows best: community relationships in all their iterations,” Manchester Historic Association board chair Colleen Kurlansky said in the release. “We are delighted that he will be maintaining this connection with the MHA.” In his time as executive director, Clayton helped more than double the Association’s grant support, memberships are at record levels, and the Millyard Museum has seen record numbers of visitors, the release said.

A bicycle fix-it station at the south entrance of the Salem Bike-Ped Corridor will soon be installed by 15-year-old Boy Scout Andrew Keegan as he works toward earning his Eagle Scout ranking. According to a press release, Keegan wrote on his GoFundMe page that he’s hoping to raise $2,500 for materials, permits and approvals.

This Week 22/03/03

Big Events March 3, 2022 and beyond

Thursday, March 3

Local musicians unite to honor the spirit of the Green Martini, a Concord nightlife spot that burned down about 10 years ago, tonight at 8 p.m. at the Bank of NH Stage (16 S. Main St. in Concord; ccanh.com). Tickets cost $15 for general admission (plus fees). The line-up for the evening is slated to include more than a dozen musicians. Michael Witthaus spoke to the Green Martini’s former owners about the show and the bar in last week’s Hippo. Find the e-edition at hippopress.com and go to page 41.

Friday, March 4

Bedford Off Broadway will kick off its two-week presentation of The Senator Wore Pantyhose, a comedy by Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore, tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $15 general admission, $12 for seniors or students. The show will also run Saturday, March 5; Friday, March 11, and Saturday, March 12, at 8 p.m. And Sundays, March 6 and March 13, at 2 p.m.

Friday, March 4

Another comedy hitting a local stage: The Philadelphia Story presented by the Milford Area Players at the Amato Center (56 Mont Vernon St. in Milford). See the show tonight and Saturday, March 5, (and next Friday, March 11, and Saturday, March 12) at 8 p.m. and Sundays, March 6 and March 13, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students. See milfordareaplayers.org.

Saturday, March 5

See Dyer Holiday play at Liquid Therapy (14 Court St. in Nashua; liquidtherapynh.com) tonight at 6 p.m. Find more live music at area bars and restaurants in our Music This Week listing on page 35.

Saturday, March 5

Steve Sweeney is the featured comedian at tonight’s Tupelo Night of Comedy, which starts at 8 p.m. At Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St. in Derry; 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com). Tickets cost $25. Find more comedy happening this weekend in the Comedy This Week listing on page 34.

Sunday, March 6

Enjoy an evening with Dolly Parton and James Patterson, who co-authored the new book Run Rose Run, tonight at 7:30 p.m. via Gibson’s Bookstore. The virtual event precedes the March 7 release of the book; a new Dolly Parton album of the same name is slated for release Friday, March 4. Access to the event starts at $30 (plus fees) and includes a copy of the book. See gibsonsbookstore.com. The Bookery in Manchester is also selling tickets to the event; see bookerymht.com.

Save the date: March 11

Tickets are on sale now for the Palace Theatre’s (80 Hanover St. in Manchester; palacetheatre.org, 668-5588) next big show: Bye Bye Birdie, which starts Friday, March 11. The musical, which features such classics as “A Lot of Livin’ to Do” and “Put on a Happy Face,” features an Elvis-ish rock star headed to the Army and the publicity stunt that has him give “One Last Kiss” to an everygirl fan. The production runs through Sunday, April 3, with shows Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and Sunday at noon. Tickets for adults cost $39 and $46.

Featured photo. Rachel Burlock. Courtesy photo.

Quality of Life 22/03/03

Not so sinful

New Hampshire is the sixth least sinful state in the country, according to a report from WalletHub. The personal finance website compared all 50 states in the country based on several of what it calls “key indicators of immoral or illicit behavior,” including anger and hatred, jealousy, excesses and vices, greed, vanity and laziness (measured by looking at data such as thefts and fraud to gauge jealousy or percentage of adults not exercising as part of gauging laziness — to which QOL responds, hey, maybe some of us are busy doing other things). To read the full report, visit wallethub.com/edu/most-sinful-states/46852.

QOL Score: +1

Comment: The study found the Granite State to be the least angry, with Massachusetts ranking as the second least angry. Perhaps the study’s authors have never seen us share a highway headed north on a long weekend.

DEI training for businesses

The New Hampshire Tech Alliance and the Center for Women and Enterprise are partnering up to offer ongoing virtual or in-person Diversity Equity and Inclusion office hours, open to any interested Granite State businesses. According to a press release, participants will work directly with Equity and Racial Justice consultant Kile Adumene, a local community organizer and native of Nigeria who has lived in New Hampshire for more than 20 years. Adumene is the co-founder and facilitator of the Manchester Community Action Coalition, which hosts regular meetings for people of color, immigrants and others to come together on civic and community matters.

QOL Score: +1

Comment: “This partnership … will help small businesses from all sectors access the guidance and support they need to navigate their own DEI challenges at no cost,” Center for Women and Enterprise director Chandra Reber said in a statement.

Housing supply

The state’s Department of Business and Economic Affairs recently released its annual report on housing supply from its office of planning and development, according to a press release. As of 2021, the total housing supply in the state is estimated to be 642,800 units, seven-tenths of a percent higher than the number of housing units recorded during the 2020 census. According to the release, New Hampshire added 4,446 units to its housing supply in 2020, slightly less than in 2019, when the housing stock increased by 4,483. Data from the U.S. Census report shows that New Hampshire saw a population growth of 5,500 between July 2019 and July 2020, with the state registering the fourth-highest percentage (61.6 percent) of inbound moves in the country that year.

QOL Score: 0

Comment: “This report is a reminder that New Hampshire’s appeal and pro-growth economy requires that we continue working on solutions to provide housing to meet the demand,” BEA commissioner Taylor Caswell said in a statement.

New EMTs

Sixteen newly trained EMTs have completed American Medical Response (AMR)’s Earn While You Learn program in Manchester, according to a press release. They were recently celebrated at the Manchester Fire Department; eight of them were hired as full-time EMTs and eight are part-time for AMR Manchester. Over the last 12 weeks, many of the Earn While You Learn classes were taught at various fire stations across the city. Participants are hired as employees and compensated while attending the EMT-Basic certification course.

QOL Score: +1

Comment: “It has been a privilege to work alongside these future lifesavers who have demonstrated a strong commitment to our citizens and community,” said Manchester Deputy Fire Chief Ryan Cashin, who was on hand for the celebration.

QOL score: 60

Net change: +3

QOL this week: 63

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

ESPN ranks NBA’s top 75

Last weekend ESPN released its ranking of the 75 players on the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team, and as you might expect I have some thoughts.

Given the evolution of the skills it’s hard to compare the pioneers with the players in the uber-athletic, crazy shooting 21st-century game. So these thoughts are based on how players dominated their era. Bonus points are given to their impact on winning in the playoffs and after joining a team. Like for Larry Bird, Kareem AbdulJabbar and Shaq, when the C’s, Bucks and Magic went from 29 to 61, 27 to 56 and 21 to 41 wins respectively the year they arrived in town.

Doesn’t belong

Carmelo Anthony (69): He scored a lot of points, 28,042 and counting. But so did Dan Issel (27,482), Vince Carter (26,728), Alex English (25,613) and Artis Gilmore (24,941), who also was a great rebounder, while Melo is a ball hog non-defender with zero playoff success.

Anthony Davis (71): His high is pretty high, but it’s too early to be here. Especially since he made the playoffs just twice in his first seven seasons, has no MVP and his title came as the second dog to LeBron.

Let me think about this

Russell Westbrook (68): Super stats, but hard to play with because he never gave it up until he couldn’t get his shot and that’s why he’s won bupkis.

James Harden (50): The most effortless scorer I’ve ever seen. But he doesn’t even try on defense and rewarding that goes against my grain Plus, while it’s irrational, I really hate the beard.

Who’s missing

The candidates are the four mentioned above, along with Bernard King, Pau Gasol, Bob Lanier, Chris Mullen, Joe Dumars, Dennis Johnson, Jo Jo White, David Thompson, Dwight Howard and Klay Thompson. All were/are better than Melo. On highest peak I’ll add King.

Surprising, but they deserve to be here

Dennis Rodman (67): Say what you will about him, but he personified the fact that greatness doesn’t have to be about scoring. He was vital to five championship teams when he was a smothering defender who gave Bird fits with Detroit and later was arguably the best post-Chamberlain/Russell rebounder the NBA has seen.

Bob McAdoo (45): All the injuries fog how dynamic he was with Buffalo when the under-sized centers battle between Dave Cowens (61) and him was so cool to watch. Then as the showtime Lakers’ sixth man he juiced the fast break to be even crazier when he replaced Kareem.

Too high

Giannis Antetokounmpo (18): But only because he’s just at mid-career with one title and two MVPs. So can’t see him yet ahead of the early dominance of George Mikan (28), who won seven titles in 10 (NBA/BAA) seasons, or later Lakers Jerry West (19) and Elgin Baylor (20).

Pete Maravich (54): Truly unbelievable in college, but not so in the NBA. Belongs in high 70s, maybe.

Kevin McHale (39): We all love Kevey, whose defensive versatility was vastly underrated and who for a few years was downright unstoppable. But Cedric Maxwell was more important to two of his three title teams and I’ve got him just eighth on my all-time Celtics list behind Cowens, Paul Pierce (62), Sam Jones (60) and Robert Parish (63). Sorry, Bob Ryan, Elvin Hayes (58) was better for much longer too.

Chris Paul (29): With him still looking for his first title, with no MVP or even being over .500 in the playoffs, he’s certainly not better than Steve Nash (37 — two MVPs), Bob Cousy (34 — six titles, one MVP, who invented what everyone does today in real time on the fly) or Allen Iverson (31).

Are you kidding me?

Willis Reed (57): Earl Monroe (55) is my favorite Knick ever and I loved watching Walt Frazier (41) grow from the pilfering, defense-first player he came to the NBA as to the unstoppable scorer he became. But even with Clyde actually being the real star of the Willis Reed game (36 points, 18 assists, 10 steals), sorry, those guys weren’t better than the Captain. Are they daft? Reed was the heart and soul of the golden era ’70s Knicks and the Finals MVP on both championship teams. No blanking way.

Reed was also better than his somehow ranked 48 rival Wes Unseld (teammate The Big E was better than big Wes too) and especially stat boy but no titles and no MVP Patrick Ewing (40). Reed is the greatest Knick ever and it ain’t close.

The Top 10: You can quibble with a place or two, like I’d flip Kobe (10) and Shaq (11) because it’s not a coincidence the big fella was the Finals MVP for all three of their shared championships. But aside from one glaring mistake they mostly got it right with, from 1 to 11: Jordan, LeBron, Kareem, Magic, Wilt, Russell, Bird, Duncan, Big O, Kobe and Shaq.

The Big Mistake: Superior talent, great stats and major awards are nice. But the only stat that actually matters is winning and a guy’s impact on that. Jordan won six MVPs and six titles (which might have been eight straight if he hadn’t retired the first time). Kareem matched both and is the all-time scorer. But Bill Russell matched the MVPs while winning 11 titles in 13 years and never lost a deciding Game 7. And no, he didn’t always play with the most talent. His final title came when he was at the end (averaged under 10 points a game) and, beyond a prime-of-life John Havlicek, was playing with aging starters and a bench full of scrubs against L.A. with three from the Top 75. But thanks to the incomparable will to win he still won. The winning started when he arrived and ended when he left. They now call him the greatest winner ever. But in my book, if you’re the “greatest winner” that also means you’re the greatest player.

Care for carers

SNHMC welcomes new chief nurse

Meet Susan Santana, the new vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center in Nashua.

What is your background in health care?

I came from Lowell General Hospital, and I’ve been a nurse for over 30 years in various leadership positions. I have extensive experience driving and improving nursing practice. … I have a lot of experience in the Magnet designation program and the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s program, which is a designation for excellence in patient care, and that has really been the footprint that has driven much of what I’ve done as a leader in nursing. … I would say that, as a leader, I’m compassionate, visible, accessible and approachable. I’m focused on the work environment for nurses and also, more broadly, for all health care workers. My No. 1 professional passion is to create an environment that empowers the voices of the nurses so that they can provide quality care for patients, and to create a culture of teamwork and shared decision-making.

What does your job entail?

I oversee all of the nurses and their practice at Southern New Hampshire Health. I’m visible to the frontline nursing department, and I work collaboratively with the non-clinical departments, as well, with the goal of improving care for our patients [at SNHMC], and patients within our community. I’m involved in driving strategy that makes for a very strong Patient Care Services Division and positioning us to be the best place to work and the best place to practice medicine.

What are some of the biggest challenges in the nursing field right now?

I would say that the biggest challenges are staffing and the impact that the pandemic has had on the health care environment as a whole. There is a shortage of nurses. Many people are deciding to leave health care due to the effects of the pandemic. We’re working very closely on recruitment, retention and growing our workforce. Workforce development and professional development of our employees is of great importance, so we’re making sure that we’re partnering with human resources and posting those positions. … Also, because there aren’t enough nurses, the nurses are often working overtime, and they do get tired, so it’s very important that we support those nurses who are working tirelessly to care for our patients.

What do you hope to accomplish in your role?

To bring pride and excellence to the nursing division, to continue the good work that’s been started by this organization and to create a work environment that is a magnet for people to want to work in. … My vision is to have an engaged workforce that simply enjoys and loves the work that they do, and a workforce that is driven by the outcomes of their patients and in being involved in making a difference by improving the care of the patients.

What do you find rewarding about your work?

Helping to grow our young nurses and to mentor them as young leaders. Seeing that growth is very rewarding, and you don’t see it everywhere. The culture here at [SNHMC] is very special, and the teamwork and commitment of its employees is really second to none, so being in an environment like that is certainly rewarding, as well.

Why should someone consider a career in nursing?

I would say that nursing is one of the most rewarding fields that you can go into. There are endless opportunities as a nurse in this health care environment. There’s nursing inside of health care organizations, nursing in the community, the business side of nursing — there’s something for everyone in the nursing profession.

Featured photo: Susan Santana. Courtesy photo.

News & Notes 22/03/03

Covid-19 update As of Feb 18 As of Feb 25
Total cases statewide 293,697 297,729
Total current infections statewide 3,073 2,130
Total deaths statewide 2,333 2,373
New cases 5,506 (Feb. 12 to Feb. 18) 4,032 (Feb. 19 to Feb. 25)
Current infections: Hillsborough County 749 588
Current infections: Merrimack County 286 163
Current infections: Rockingham County 439 310
Information from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

Covid-19 news

State health officials reported just 93 active hospitalizations due to Covid-19 on Feb. 23 — that’s down from more than 400 back in early January and also the first time since the early fall that it has dipped below 100. “The omicron surge is decreasing, both in New Hampshire and nationally,” state epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan said during a press conference that day. “As population immunity has increased, there’s also been a notable decline … in the severity of disease from Covid-19, and largely due to the availability of vaccines.” In response to the continued downward trend of cases and hospitalizations, Chan announced new updates to the state’s mask recommendations. “At this point … we are no longer recommending universal face masks for people in indoor, public locations, unless a person is required to wear [one] for their specific situation,” he said. Chan noted that this change does not apply to certain situations where face masks are still required under federal guidance or regulations, such as while someone is on board public transportation or when inside of a health care facility.

As of Feb. 25 there were 2,130 active infections and 92 hospitalizations. The state averaged 290 new cases per day over the most recent seven-day period, a decrease of 27 percent compared to the week before. All 10 counties remain at substantial community transmission levels.

Governor veto

Last week, Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed HB 319, which would have required students in the university and community college systems of New Hampshire to pass the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services civics naturalization test. In his veto letter, Sununu said that last year he passed SB 320, which implements a similar civics competency exam for high school students that goes into effect in 2023 “and will help continue the Granite State tradition of a citizenry actively engaged in self-government. As such, House Bill 319 would serve to address the lack of civics education only in out-of-state public post-secondary students. House Bill 319 would also represent the first time the legislature has imposed a universal graduation requirement for students at our public colleges and universities. I am concerned that this would create a precedent for future legislatures to mandate extreme requirements.”

State settlements

New Hampshire is expected to receive its full share of settlement funds — approximately $115 million paid over 18 years — following the final approval of the $21 billion opioid agreement with the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors: Cardinal Health, Inc., McKesson Corporation., and AmerisourceBergen Corporation. According to a press release from the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, the defendants will start releasing funds to a national administrator on April 2, and states will start getting funds in the second quarter of 2022. Under state law, all of the funds will be used for opioid abatement purposes to support treatment, recovery, harm reduction, and other strategies to address the opioid epidemic, with 85 percent of those funds going directly into a dedicated opioid abatement trust fund, the release said.

The State has also entered into a settlement agreement with the Monsanto Company, Solutia Inc., and Pharmacia regarding polychlorinated bi-phenyl contamination of state waters and other state property. According to a press release, the old Monsanto Co. marketed and sold numerous products containing PCBs knowing that PCBs caused harm to human health and the environment from 1929 to at least 1977. This caused 104 state water bodies to be impaired with PCBs and has required the state to issue numerous fish advisories. Monsanto has agreed to pay $25,000,000 to resolve this case, and the State will get $20,000,000 of that after paying attorneys’ fees, the release said.

Lottery app

The New Hampshire Lottery has launched a new mobile app, allowing players to check their tickets, find retail locations, stay up to date on new promotions and customize the app to their preferences to show their favorite games and winning numbers. According to a press release, the app is available on iOS and Android devices, giving users an easy way to stay up to date with the latest news from the New Hampshire Lottery, including winning numbers, jackpot amounts, current scratch ticket games and results. A Ticket Checker lets players see if they are winners by scanning the barcode from the bottom front of scratch tickets and Powerball, Mega Millions, Lucky For Life, Tri-State Gimme 5, KENO 603 and other games, the release said. Players can also purchase Fast Play tickets from any Lottery vending machine by scanning the QR code.

No Russian spirits

On Feb. 26, Gov. Chris Sununu issued Executive Order 2022-2, an order instructing all of the state’s Liquor & Wine Outlets to immediately remove all Russian-made and Russian-branded spirits from store shelves until further notice. The order is one of several similar measures taken by state governors as a show of solidarity with Ukraine against Russia’s invasion of the country just days earlier. “New Hampshire stands with the people of Ukraine in their fight for freedom,” Sununu said in a statement on social media. Brands include Stolichnaya, Russian Standard and Hammer and Sickle — according to a statement from the New Hampshire Liquor Commission, sales have been suspended at each store per the governor’s order, and updates on each product’s availability will be provided “as the situation evolves.” Visit liquorandwineoutlets.com.

Dining with dogs

Sununu also signed SB 17, an act relative to permitting dogs in outdoor dining areas of restaurants, last week. The bill will go into effect on April 25, according to a report from NHPR. It allows restaurants to permit dogs in outdoor dining areas alongside their owners if the restaurants follow certain guidelines, like putting up a sign so patrons know where dogs are allowed, taking food safety measures, ensuring dogs are under their owners’ control, and not allowing restaurant staff to play with or pet the dogs.

Travel board

State Division of Travel and Tourism director Lori Harnois has been elected to serve on the U.S. Travel Association’s Board of Directors. According to a press release, Harnois will serve a two-year term beginning this month. “It is an honor to be elected to serve in this capacity,” Harnois said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to being more involved in national issues … and elevating New Hampshire’s presence on a national level.” Based in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Travel Association represents all components of the travel industry and produces research in the form of travel data, analysis and insights to keep the industry and lawmakers informed. According to the release, the newly elected directors will convene for the first time in person at a meeting in Washington, D.C., in April.

The Raymond Coalition For Youth is partnering with Unite Us to expand Unite Us in New Hampshire, a coordinated care network that aims to address the unmet needs of people and families throughout the state. According to a press release, Unite Us helps connect people to mental and behavioral health services, youth and family resources, and financial assistance. By partnering with Unite Us, the Raymond Coalition For Youth will offer a central point of contact where health care providers, social service organizations and individuals can access and refer people to needed services while monitoring progress.

The public is invited to the Manchester Land Use Code Code-a-Palooza on Monday, March 7, and Tuesday, March 8, at the Palace Theatre’s Spotlight Room. Put on by the City of Manchester and Town Planning and Urban Design Collaborative, the event is a chance for residents to talk with community members, city staff and planners to share ideas, hopes and concerns about the future of the Queen City’s sustainability, character, housing, and development, according to a press release. A schedule of meetings can be found at manchesternh.gov/landusecode.

Rev. Andrew Armstrong, Senior Minister of The First Church Nashua, plans to travel approximately 2,000 miles from Nashua, Iowa, to Nashua, New Hampshire, to raise awareness and funds for repairs to the 129-year old church bell tower. According to the press release, the church has started a GoFundMe page to support Armstrong’s ride and the restoration of the historic New England landmark.

This Week 22/02/24

Big Events Feb 24, 2022 and beyond

Thursday, Feb. 24

Head to the Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St in Manchester;   currier.org) today for Art After Work, when the museum admission is free from 5 to 8 p.m. and the Winter Garden offers drink specials and a full menu for purchase as well as live music — this week’s performer is Paul Nelson. Tours include a 5:30 p.m. tour of the exhibit “As Precious As Gold: Carpets from the Islamic World, which is on display through Sunday, Feb. 27. The Currier is open Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission costs $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, $10 for students and $5 for ages 17 to 13; kids under 13 get in for free.

Thursday, Feb. 24

Head to the Rex Theatre (23 Amherst St. In Manchester; palacetheatre.org) for a screening of 1954’s Seven Brides for Seven Brothers today at 10 a.m. as part of the Senior Movie Mornings series. Tickets cost $10.

Friday, Feb. 24

The final weekend of the LaBelle Lights, a walk-through light show at LaBelle Winery in Derry, starts tonight. LaBelle Lights is open from 5 to 8 p.m. tonight through Saturday, Feb. 26. See labellewinery.com for tickets (which can also be purchased on site); tickets cost $15 for adults (plus fees, for all paid tickets), $10 for 65+, $8 for ages 4 to 12 and free for kids 3 and under, according to the website.

Friday, Feb. 25

Millyard Brewery (25 E. Otterson St. in Nashua; millyardbrewery.com) hosts an exploration of the pairing of beer and chocolate featuring Loon Chocolate tonight at 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $12 and are available online. Sample four beers with four specially paired chocolates.

Head back to Millyard Brewery for the pairing of Saturday night and laughs: Comedian Jimmy Cash will headline a comedy show starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 26.

Friday, Feb 25

Catch the Soggy Po Boys tonight at 8 p.m. at the Bank of NH Stage (16 S. Main St. in Concord; ccanh.com). Tickets cost $18 to $21 (plus fees). See the Cap Center website for a video that shows off their New Orleans-inspired sound.

Saturday, Feb. 26

Relax with Klipper (Austin Klipp’s piano and vocals) at Liquid Therapy (14 Court St. in Nashua; liquidtherapynh.com) this afternoon at 2 p.m. Find more live music at area bars, breweries, restaurants and other locales in the Music This Week listing, which starts this week on page 42.

Saturday, Feb. 26

“Hostess with the mostest?” Monique Toosoon will preside over the monthly “Life Is a Drag” show at Chunky’s Cinema pub (707 Huse Road in Manchester; chunkys.com) at 9 p.m. Tickets to this 21+ show cost $25; doors open at 8 p.m.

Wednesday, March 2

Get some free doo-wop at the Concord City Auditorium (2 Prince St. in Concord) tonight at 7:30 p.m. when The Rockin’ Daddios perform. See walkerlecture.org or call 333-0035.

Prepare to beam up: March 3

Head to the Capitol Center for the Arts (Chubb Theatre, 44 S. Main St. in Concord; ccanh.com) on Thursday, March 3, at 7 p.m. for a screening of 1982’s Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan followed by a live presentation featuring Capt. James T. Kirk himself, William Shatner. The actor will tell stories about his career and take questions from the audience, the website said. Tickets cost $39.75 to $99.75.

Featured photo. Tent featured in the “As Precious As Gold” exhibit.

Quality of Life 22/02/24

Benny and the Cats?

Benny, Casey, Tucker — those are the options for the name of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats’ new bat dog in-training, and fans are being asked to vote for their favorite. According to a press release, the golden retriever puppy won’t be working as the bat dog this year, but he will be making appearances at Delta Dental Stadium throughout the season, including his official debut at the May 13 game. The to-be-named puppy is a rescue who came from New Hampshire-based volunteer organization Hero Pups, which provides support dogs to veterans and first responders in New England. “We’re proud to continue the legacy of Ollie the Bat Dog, who provided us so many wonderful memories over the years,” Fisher Cats President Mike Ramshaw said in the release.

Score: +1

Comment:The winning name of the Fisher Cats’ new bat dog in training will be announced in the coming weeks. Vote at nhfishercats.com.

Help wanted

New Hampshire employers are having a hard time finding people to work for them: According to WalletHub’s 2022 States Where Employers Are Struggling the Most in Hiring report, the Granite State ranks 4th in the nation. The report said that overall the country’s labor force participation rate is experiencing the slowest recovery of any recession since World War II. In New Hampshire the job openings rate during the latest month was 8.50 percent; in the past 12 months it was 7.28 percent. Alaska topped the list, followed by Vermont and Wyoming, the report said.

Score: -2

Comment: This is tough on businesses, and customers too understaffing is making for longer lines at the grocery store, longer waits at the drive-thru and more frustrating customer service experiences.

Professional education opportunities

Through its micro-credential program, UNH is now offering more than 250 micro-credential courses and 26 certificate programs, the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs announced last week. Classes and programs focus on providing work-ready skills and are available in areas ranging from computer science and cryptocurrency to business management and law, according to a press release. Classes are taught in person and online; they start as low as $50 and are open to anyone, not just UNH students. Several similar programs are available at other schools in the state’s Community College System, including at NHTI, where all micro-credentials lead to an NHTI certificate or a degree program, the release said.

Score: +1

Comment: “Our state’s micro-credential programs give individuals a cost-efficient option to higher education that allows them to obtain and showcase ‘work ready’ skills,” BEA Commissioner Taylor Caswell said in the release. “It’s an interesting turning point in our higher-education system that will shape the future of the state’s workforce as a whole, benefitting thousands of companies.”

QOL score: 60

Net change: 0

QOL this week: 60

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

NBA at All-Star break

The Celtics went into the All-Star break within one infuriating Jayson Tatum isolation play on a 10-game winning streak. With them having won 11 of their last 13 most will say that’s me seeing the glass as half empty.

But while I know that it got him a makeable 18-foot buzzer-beater in a 112-111 loss to 19-41 Detroit, I also know putting that Kobe wannabe shot/game in the top drawer had a big part in why they suddenly were/are playing so well. I could go into more detail, but suffice it to say I think it’s better for all when he aggressively takes it to the basket as he did during all but one play in the streak.

As for the streak, it’s nice, but I’m not gaga over it yet, as aside from the 50-point dismantling of Philly, six wins were against under-.500 teams, while Miami and Denver had half their top players out with injuries.

Still, there were clear signs of playing more effectively as a unified team, which is the best news as the second half starts in Brooklyn on Thursday night.

Here are a few other NBA stories making news at the break.

Speaking of Brooklyn, Bill Parcells once famously said, “You are what your record says you are.” So since their record is 4 and 10 in the 14 games the unvaxxed Kyrie Irving has played I’m not sure why it’s such a big deal whether he plays or not.

Rodney Dangerfield You’re Waaaay Off Award: To me, for saying Phoenix would have a hangover season after going to the finals last summer. Wrong. At 48-10 they have the league’s best record and lead Golden State by 6 1/2 games out West. My bad.

I also didn’t see Memphis (41-19) and Cleveland (35-23) getting as good so quickly behind their young stars. Ja Morant is already among the NBA’s 10 best players while Darius Garland and Evan Mobley are going to be big-time players for the Cavs.

Incidentally, think New Orleans regrets taking the always injured Zion Williamson over Morant in the 2019 draft?

Not sure what planet Tracy McGrady moved to after he retired. But hearing him say that Giannis Antetokounmpo would “struggle” in McGrady’s era is evidence it’s in a galaxy far, far away.

How about the L.A. Lakers rescinding the season tickets for life given by the late owner Jerry Buss to Laker all-timer Jerry West? But that’s what a franchise now run by daughter Jeannie did to a guy who, as an iconic player, coach and GM, was instrumental in building it to be worth $2 billion or so today. Better yet, they didn’t even tell him. They did it with a text to his wife. Classy.

Actually, here’s a real example of class. Got to love Joel Embiid paying the $20,000 fine of just-up-from-the-D-Leaguer Jose Alvarez after the two got double T’s for jawing at each other in a recent Sixers-Pelicans tilt. The picture of the 6-foot Alvarez standing chest to chest with the 7-foot Embiid is hilarious. The big fella reportedly said he did it because “there was nothing to it beyond just two guys jawing. He’s on a two-way contract, I make a lot more money and liked his spunk.” Not sure spunk-hating Lou Grant would do it, but it was classy.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. After building ridiculous expectations on a mediocre for most franchises barely-make-the-playoff season, the ravenous New York media is now killing coach Tom Thibodeau because the Knicks haven’t lived up to the not in touch with reality expectations they set in the first place. Even though they’re the ones who hailed bust Kemba Walker as a savior mainly because he played his high school ball in the Bronx. Ditto for ever inconsistent free agent Evan Fournier. While it’s true the Knicks have struggled, who’s really to blame for the natives being restless, a team that’s at the level everyone outside New York thought they would be at, or a media horde dumb enough to pitch them far above what they actually were?

And remember, these are the same doofuses who proclaimed the now twice traded 7’3” Kristaps Porzingis as an emerging superstar even though he did his best work 30 feet from the basket. Who turned out to be an injury-prone middling player with a one of a kind name.

Ben Simmons Saga Finally Ends: The short summary of the James HardenBen Simmons blockbuster trade is that each team gave up a guy who quit on them for someone who could quit on them in the future.

But when the final results are in I expect Brooklyn to win this deal big for two reasons.

First, Nets GM Sean Marks got more by getting a much younger and signed for three more years headliner in Simmons, a solid three-ball shooter in Seth Curry and two first-round picks for the unhappy Harden, whom they likely were going to lose as a free agent in four months.

Second, who remembers the fall-away jump shooting Michael Jordan in Washington? Or how about Russell Westbrook in L.A. now?

To keep Harden, Philly will have to give him a five-year deal worth north of $250 million. A contract that starts at 33 for a guy who clearly is much bigger than in Houston and has seen his scoring average drop from 34 per to 22 a night in two years. If the size is age, not just being out of shape, that will affect his killer first step, which in turn will make his killer step back easier to defend. All of which means they’ll eventually be paying $50 million to a guy who’s lost half his offensive arsenal.

Thus Philly had better win a title in the first two years or this could be a catastrophe, because like with Westbrook they’ll never be able to dump the contract at the end.

Sweet spots

’Tis the season for Girl Scout cookies

Carrie Green Loszewski, vice president of engagement for the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, talked about Girl Scout cookie season and how customers can buy cookies and support their local Girl Scouts.

What challenges are Girl Scouts facing with cookie-selling this year?

Like so many industries over the last two years, we’ve been hit in the Girl Scout cookie industry the past few months with shortages and delays. The bakers we contract with have experienced some staffing shortages and ingredient delays and, now, some transportation issues that have resulted in us not receiving the full order of cookies we placed. We were able to fill all the orders the girls took for the first part of the sale in January — that’s when they go door to door and ask their neighbors and friends and family [to buy cookies], and they collect orders on their order card or through our digital app. Those orders get placed in what we call the ‘initial order,’ and those were all delivered last weekend. Our ‘covered orders,’ which are a smaller portion of our sale and are the cases you see the girls selling outside Walmart and the grocery stores on the weekends — for those, we didn’t receive the full amount of different varieties of cookies we ordered.

What are the different ways people can buy cookies?

We have a cookie locator on our website where people can enter their zip code and see all the booths … happening within 20 or 30 miles. … The girls also have the ability [to sell through] our online platform called Digital Cookie. They set up their own electronic cookie store, upload a video, their goals and set all the parameters. Then, they can share that link with friends and family, who can purchase cookies using a credit card. If they’d like, they can select to still have their cookies [hand] delivered by the Girl Scout. … [People who don’t know a Girl Scout personally] can go to that cookie locator on the website and select a troop’s digital link … to purchase cookies online to be shipped to their house. The cookies often come within two to three days. … We also have DoorDash available in the Manchester area, so people who live in that vicinity can order their cookies through DoorDash.

How are troops keeping themselves and customers safe while selling in the community?

They have to follow all the safety protocols; they’re expected to wear masks and follow any requirements by the store [where they’re selling]. Some troops got really creative last year and this year with large chutes [to distribute] the cookies or used a Plexiglas display as part of their booths to make sure everyone stays safe.

Which cookies are available and which are in short supply?

Some booths won’t have all the varieties customers are used to seeing. The shortages are mainly with the Tagalongs, Trefoils and the new cookie the Adventurefuls. We’ve still got plenty of Thin Mints, which are the No. 1 selling cookie … and the Do-si-dos, Lemon-ups and S’mores should all be available at the booths. There are fewer cases of Samoas, but most booths should have some. … [For online orders,] we have some varieties [labeled unavailable] because … we aren’t sure what we’re going to be receiving for reorders, and we don’t want people to purchase them online and then not [receive what they ordered] … but we’re hoping we’ll be able to [make] more varieties [available] once we know what we’re going to be receiving for reorders, which will hopefully be in the next few weeks.

How can a customer support Girl Scouts if the cookies they want aren’t in stock?

We’re encouraging customers to try a different variety that maybe they haven’t tried before, or to stock up on [other cookies that are in stock]. … Customers can also choose to donate a box if they don’t see a variety they want to eat. [Donated boxes] will be given by the troop to local fire departments or hospitals or military veterans.

What are the proceeds from cookie sales used for?

The cookie program is the main money-earner for our troops. They’re using these funds to go camping in the summer, to go on trips, to do service projects in their community and to help them earn badges.

What kinds of skills are the girls learning from selling cookies?

The cookie program has always been a great way for girls to learn business skills. … [With the shortages], they’re learning firsthand how to help customers who might be disappointed and how to sell some of the different varieties we have available. … The skills they’re learning have also stayed really up to date. Twenty or 30 years ago, when I was selling cookies, it was all about building your confidence to knock on someone’s door or make a phone call. Now, they definitely still build those types of skills, but they’re also learning about what information to share on a video [online] … so that it makes a good sales pitch and how to share a store link to get the most customers to see it.

Featured photo: Carrie Green Loszewski. Courtesy photo.

Stay in the loop!

Get FREE weekly briefs on local food, music,

arts, and more across southern New Hampshire!