This Week 22/03/10

Big Events March 10, 2022 and beyond

Thursday, March 10

Thursday means it’s Art After Work at the Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St. in Manchester;, 669-6144), when, from 5 to 8 p.m, museum admission is free and you can view the art, listen to music (performing this week: River Sister) and check out the food and happy hour specials in the Winter Garden. This week’s special tours include “A Glitter of Green” at 6:30 p.m., when you can get ready for St. Patrick’s Day (next Thursday, March 17) by looking at the significance of green in three museum pieces, according to the website. Current museum exhibits include “Appeal of the Real: 19th Century Photographs of the Ancient World” and “WPA in NH: Philip Guston and Musa McKim.”

Friday, March 11

Majestic Theatre presents the comedy Nana’s Naughty Knickers tonight through Sunday, March 13, at the Majestic Studio Theatre (880 Page St. in Manchester; The show runs Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and 17 and under.

Friday, March 11

Oscar completists can add another movie to their “seen it” list: The Worst Person in the World (R, 2021), nominated for original screenplay and international feature film, starts screening today at Red River Theatres (11 S. Main St. in Concord; 224-4600, Red River is also still screening the nominated shorts packages: Catch documentaries on Thursday, March 10, at 6:15 p.m. Live-action shorts will screen Thursday, March 10, and Friday, March 11, at 3:15 p.m. and Saturday, March 12, at 11:30 a.m. And the animated shorts will screen Saturday, March 12, at 5 p.m.; Sunday, March 13, at 3:15 p.m. and Thursday, March 17, at 4 p.m.

Saturday, March 12

Get a taste of AC/DC with Dirty Deeds The AC/DC Experience at the Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St. in Derry;, 437-5100) tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35.

Sunday, March 13

The Milford Area Players production of the comedy The Philadelphia Storyfinishes its run today with a 2 p.m. show. Other shows this weekend are at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 11, and Saturday, March 12. The show runs at the Amato Center for the Arts (56 Mont Vernon St. in Milford). Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors. Visit

Tuesday, March 15

Lil’ Buck brings “Memphis Jookin’ The Show” to the Capitol Center for the Arts’ Chubb Theatre (44 S. Main St. in Concord; tonight at 7 p.m. The show is presented with free admission for four tickets for Concord-area residents by the William H. Gile Concert series according to the website, where you can see a video of Lil’ Buck’s dance moves.

Wednesday, March 16

It’s storytime at the New Hampshire Telephone Museum (1 Depot St. in Warner;, 456-2234) tonight when Miss Sue of the Pillsbury Free Library in Warner comes to read some of Gianni Rodari’s Telephone Tales at 3 p.m. Suggested donations are $5. Telephone Tales features stories within the story of a father who travels for work but calls his daughter every night to tell her stories.

Save the Date! Saturday, March 26, and Sunday, March 27

The Citizens Shamrock Half-Marathon, Relay and Shuffle will take place the last weekend of March in downtown Manchester. Sunday, March 27, is also the day of the Manchester St. Patrick’s Parade, for which the shamrocks have already been painted on Elm Street, according to As for the races, the half-marathon and relay take place on March 26 and the Shuffle and an 8-and-under Lil Leprechaun Run take place on March 27. There are also virtual options. See

Featured photo. River Sister. Courtesy photo.

Quality of Life 22/03/10

Making progress in the war on drugs

While drug overdose deaths in the United States increased 20.6 percent in one year (from the time period of June 2019 to June 2020 to the time period of June 2020 to June 2021), during the same time period New Hampshire was one of just four states to reduce its number of drug overdose deaths. According to a press release, the Granite State is projected to reduce the number of drug overdose deaths by more than 11 percent from 2018 to 2021, thanks in part to the state’s progress on its three-year action plan, Expanding Our Response, which was created in 2019 by the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol & Other Drugs. The action plan has increased access to substance use disorder peer recovery support and recovery housing, and increased investments in prevention, treatment and recovery. The commission recently updated the plan to set priorities for 2022 to 2024, including the formation of a Stimulants Committee that is tasked with addressing the increased use of stimulants in the state, the release said.

Score: +2

Comment: “Over the last few years we have made substantial progress in our long-term fight against the opioid epidemic by prioritizing a community-based Doorway response to this epidemic that puts individuals ahead of systems,” Gov. Chris Sununu said in the release.

All kinds of tax help

The New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration is reaching out to residents to let them know that it is available to offer guidance throughout the taxpaying season and directing taxpayers to its new tax management portal, Granite Tax Connect. According to a press release, Granite Tax Connect allows taxpayers to schedule payments to be automatically withdrawn from their bank account on a specified date. Taxpayers can either create an account or make a payment without a login. With an account, taxpayers can file returns, schedule estimated payments, see a history of returns and payments submitted and see letters received from the Department, the release said. “As a resource to the taxpaying community, we are committed to assisting taxpayers and tax preparers with all their needs this tax filing season,” NHDRA Commissioner Lindsey Stepp said in the release.

Score: +1

Comment: Taxpayer resources are available at, and the Taxpayer Services Division is available to answer all filing questions by phone at 230-5000 (option 2), the release said.

Longtime holiday food program canceled

The Capital Region Food Program’s Holiday Food Basket Project will no longer exist in the same format, after five years of research and analysis have shown that the project in its current form is not sustainable. According to a press release, the 50-year program has seen changes over the last 10 that have caused “fragmented communication and complexities that led to complications in effectively executing the project.”

Score: -2

Comment: The CRFP, which is an all-volunteer organization, will still work to get food to those in need during the holidays and throughout the year through its Year Round Distribution Project, the release said.

New grants for women and girls of color

The New Hampshire Women’s Foundation has launched a new grant program, the Women and Girls of Color Fund, for initiatives led by or serving women and girls of color in the state. According to a press release, the fund “aims to reverse the historic and persistent underinvestment in women and girls of color” and will provide low-barrier, faster turnaround grants to projects by and for this population.

Score: +1

Comment: The fund will accept applications quarterly, with the first grants deadline on July 1; visit

QOL score: 63

Net change: +2

QOL this week: 65

What’s affecting your Quality of Life here in New Hampshire? Let us know at

Lockout outlook

Well, with the announcement last week that the first two series of the 2022 baseball season have been canceled due to the lockout, get ready for an onslaught of sky-is-falling claims from the baseball media.

You’ll hear familiar phrases like “tone deaf,” “greedy,” “exploitation,” baseball’s becoming a “niche” sport and it could go the way of horse racing and boxing, which at the midpoint of 20th century were two of the nation’s three most popular sports. Oh, and of course there’s also the “how could they do this?” unseemly money grab when people are suffering in a brutal war in Ukraine.

The latter is valid, but was also used during the dust-up over who’d get what during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

In fact, the onslaught has already started with no fewer than four columns in the Boston Globe last week alone. The last was by usual voice of reason Tara Sullivan and carried the title “Indifference has replaced interest in baseball and it is unfathomable the sport let itself get here.”

Two came from Dan Shaughnessy. I call him the prince of darkness because of his knack for making any misstep seem like a triple homicide. I’ve been reading the guy since the 1980s and during that time there have been numerous sports work stoppages and last week’s columns were dusted off “Armageddon is here” iterations of those written during the other disputes.

Then there was young Chris Gasper’s Norma Rae-inspired screed that (seemingly) took longer to read than War and Peace. It took the owners to task for exploiting the poor players. Problem is that amid all the overwriting he never got around to why we should care that players are being exploited.

And while I know full well the owners are lying and have been crying poor since before miserly Charles Comiskey’s pernicious ways made it seem like a good idea to eight of his White Sox players to throw the 1919 World Series, let me infuse all this with a little perspective. Or is it reality? Or sanity maybe?

The Players Association just rejected a proposal to make the minimum annual salary $700k as too low; the annual average salary is north of $4 million while an unlikable stiff like Bryce Harper makes $40 million a year for each of the next eight years. A guy who was so indispensable the Nationals won the World Series right after he left as a free agent.

So if that’s what exploitation is, someone, please, please, PLEASE exploit me like that!

Since the players are the actual product they certainly have a right to fight for what they help the owners take in. But with what they already get, why should anyone care one what they get, win or lose? Especially when they individually are just as greedy as the owners.

They claim to all be in it together. But that‘s only because a united front gives them needed leverage in their fight with the owners. But once that’s out of the way, it’s every man for himself.

Consider Max Scherzer, who took the Yankees to task last week for manipulating the competitive balance tax to hold their spending at the luxury tax threshold at “just” $188 million. Which he said considering their profitability they shouldn’t do.

That’s the same Scherzer who just signed a deal with the Mets to make a whopping $42 million for each of the next three years, while the guys at the bottom are making $600k. If Max were really interested in all his brothers in the labor battle he could kick, say $12 million of his $42 million into a fund for the guys at the bottom to split at the end of the year like a World Series share. It would still leave him with $30 million per, which I’m guessing he can get by on. And if others in his tax bracket like Harper and Mookie Betts did the same they could probably get the minimum guys over a million a year.

But we don’t hear that from Max, because he wants to get every last dime he can get out of the free market for himself. Especially since that’s what the Players Association preaches in fighting to avoid a salary cap like the one in the NBA that’s such a drag on salaries poor Russell Westbrook only makes $47 million a year.

Besides, that would be socialism. Except isn’t that, for better or worse, what a union actually is?

Fine. But if Max and his exploited compadres can do that, why can’t the Yankees? Then it’s may the better man/group win.

As for this adding to the woes of baseball’s declining national interest, I would point out that since there has not been a work stoppage in baseball, none of the decline (between 2007 and 2019) has anything to do with bickering over money.

Not to mention that while some may grumble during it, it’s all soon forgotten and fans come back every time. True even when a strike canceled the 1994 World Series and an entire NHL season was wiped out by the lockout of 2004-05. So don’t listen to the doomsday prediction because history shows they’re wrong every time.

As for the fan indifference mentioned by Ms. Sullivan, while it’s real at the moment, I’d argue it’s not specifically for the sport itself. It’s more of the “been there done that, so wake me when it’s over” variety.

So instead of looking at the glass being half full, this could actually be an opportunity to fix what really is causing the decline in attendance. Make one of the bargaining concessions be putting a structure in place for players and owners to jointly address everything from the cost of tickets to the pace of play to altering the way stat geek baseball is sucking the excitement out of the game.

That would make this stoppage constructive and if it takes until even July, it’s time well spent.

Weekend scientist

Meet Aspire Intern Vick Mahindru

Over the last five months, Manchester High School West sophomore Vick Mahindru has had the unique opportunity of working with staff at the SEE Science Center in Manchester to develop and test the museum’s hands-on STEM exhibits. The Aspire Internship, offered at SEE in partnership with Sunrise Labs, a medical device engineering company in Bedford, is awarded each year to a local student of color who is interested in pursuing a career in science or education.

How did you discover this internship, and what made you want to apply for it?

What made me apply for this internship was that I always wanted to learn more about engineering, since it is one of my career interests, and evaluate and design different prototypes and then see the finished product at the end. I became aware of the internship [through] another opportunity, the Health Career Quest weekly class. In that class, every week [the organizers] would bring in guests to the meetings who were [in] health-, medical- and science-related [fields]. One day the guests were [from] the SEE Science Center, and they were telling us about their engineering feats such as the iBOT electric wheelchair, which interested me a lot in applying for this internship. I then officially wrote my cover letter and resume and submitted it and made sure to explain what this internship in particular meant to me.

What does it involve? What kinds of things do you do when you’re at the museum?

This internship involves learning about engineering, working with kids [and] collaborating with others…. The kinds of things I do when I’m at the museum are: I get to collaborate with the exhibit team and outside contractors to create exhibit prototypes; help to design evaluation tools … such as prototypes for Social Science Research [an academic journal]; and conduct research for exhibit topics such as the Amoskeag Mills.

Do you have any ideas about what you would like to study or pursue as a career in the future?
Yes, after my experience at this internship [and] with multiple extracurricular [activities], I am trying to narrow it down, [based on] my interests and skills, to a couple of career fields, such as engineering, medical, software engineering, orthodontics, real estate, nanotechnology engineering, Lego design, [a field that’s] music-related and the CIA.

What are some skills you’re learning at the museum that you think could be applicable to your future education and career?

I am learning in this internship … [about] how to build and test prototypes; resume-building; collaborating with others; workflow pacing [and] time management; and [how] to help design evaluation tools for social science research.

What is your favorite part of doing this internship?

My favorite part of this internship was every week, going on Sundays and working toward my goals, such as learning more about engineering, how to build and test prototypes and how to be more efficient and productive, and then seeing all those goals come to reality nearing the end of my internship.

What has been the most challenging part?

There weren’t really any challenging parts of this internship besides [having to] work individually on projects I was assigned and then give updates to my supervisor, which I was hesitant [to do] at first, but then [the projects] came out great.

Would you recommend this internship to other students? What kind of student do you think would be a good fit for it?

Yes, I definitely would recommend this internship to other students. The kinds of students that I would think would be a good fit for this internship are students who can give 100 percent commitment and reliability to this internship.

Featured photo: Manchester High School West sophomore Vick Mahindru. Courtesy photo.

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, 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 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

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; 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 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

Saturday, March 5

See Dyer Holiday play at Liquid Therapy (14 Court St. in Nashua; 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, 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 The Bookery in Manchester is also selling tickets to the event; see

Save the date: March 11

Tickets are on sale now for the Palace Theatre’s (80 Hanover St. in Manchester;, 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

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

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

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

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.

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