This Week 21/08/26

Big Events August 26, 2021, and beyond

Thursday, Aug. 26

New Hampshire Fisher Cats continue their run of home games at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium (1 Line Drive in downtown Manchester; nhfishercats.com) against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies with games through Sunday, Aug. 29. Games today through Saturday, Aug. 28, are all at 7:05 p.m.; Sunday’s game starts at 1:35 p.m. Special theme days include Alex Trebek Tribute Night on Aug. 26, Wrestling Night (with a Sumo Bobble Belly giveaway) on Aug. 27, post-game fireworks on Aug. 28 and a youth jersey giveaway on Aug. 29. The F-Cats begin another run of home games on Tuesday, Aug. 31, when the Portland Sea Dogs return (that game will feature post-game fireworks).

Friday, Aug. 27

Comedian Juston McKinney begins a four-show run at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord tonight with a show at 8 p.m. Subsequent shows are Saturday, Aug. 28, at 5:30 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $29.50 (plus fees). See ccanh.com.

Friday, Aug. 27

Get in your classic red Ferrari (but don’t try to roll back the odometer) to head to Wasserman Park (116 Naticook Road in Merrimack) to see Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (PG-13, 1986) tonight at 7:30 p.m., part of the Merrimack Parks and Recreation’s Summer Movies in the Park series. The screening is free and is open to the public. See merrimackparksandrec.org/movies-in-the-park. Looking for more nostalgia-filled screenings? The Prescott Park Arts Festival’s outdoor movie on Monday, Aug. 30, is Big (PG, 1988). It starts at dusk; see prescottpark.org.

Friday, Aug. 27

Watch hopefuls compete in the Hampton Beach Talent Competition, running today through Sunday, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m. at the Seashell Stage on Hampton Beach. Today, the juniors (under 18) compete; tomorrow, Aug. 28, it’s the over 18s, and Sunday is the finals, according to hamptonbeach.org, where you can find more about this and other beach events.

Saturday, Aug 28

It’s another day of Old Home Days.

Plaistow’s Old Home Day today will include a 5K road race (registration starts at 7:30 a.m.), fireworks, food vendors and more, according to plaistowohd.com.

Candia’s Old Home Day will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Moore Park (74 High St.), according to candiaoldhomeday.com. The day will kick off with a parade, followed by crafters, artisans, food, music and exhibits in the park as well as Michael’s Awesome Juggling and Variety Show at 12:30 p.m., the site said.

Gilford’s Old Home Day will kick off with a 5K road race and a free kids fun race (check-in starts at 6:30 a.m.) and a pancake breakfast hosted by the Gilford Rotary (7 a.m.), according to gilfordrec.com. The library will serve pie and ice cream starting at 9 a.m. as long as it lasts or until noon, and a book sale will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the site said. Crafts people and food vendors will open for business at 9 a.m. on the Village Green and a parade steps off at 10 a.m., the site said. The day will also feature kids games and events, demonstrations, live music and fireworks at 9 p.m.; see the website for details.

Save the Date! Tuesday, Sept. 21

The fall season of art classes for children and teens begin on Tuesday, Sept. 21, at the Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St. in Manchester; currier.org). Classes in comics, drawing and painting including offerings that are online and classes in person. Adult art classes kick off earlier in September with classes that have one- or two-day sessions as well as weekly classes. Offerings include figure drawing, painting, and an art sampler. See the website for details and to register.

Featured photo: Justin McKinney. Courtesy photo.

Quality of Life 21/08/26

Police beats Fire, CHaD kids win

First responders played a back-and-forth game of baseball on Aug. 20 during the 10th CHaD Battle of the Badges at Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester, but after pulling away in the eighth inning, Team Police beat Team Fire 11-5, making it their fourth straight victory in the series and bringing their all-time record to 7-3 over Fire, according to a press release. And along with all the fun, the event raised more than $111,000 to support patients and critical programs at Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

Score: +1

Comment: Team Police also edged out a fundraising victory, bringing in $2,200 more than Fire, according to the release.

Look out for lanternflies

New Hampshire might have a new invasive species to worry about. According to a report from NHPR, the invasive spotted lanternfly can devastate fruit crops, and while it so far has not spread in New Hampshire, state officials said it will likely return. The spotted lanternfly is currently causing problems in the mid-Atlantic, where in states like New York, officials are telling people to kill any lanternflies they see. They’re about an inch long with black-spotted grey wings and red underwings, the report said, and they weaken plants and trees by sucking out their sap and leaving behind feces that attract other insects and can cause black sooty mold. State entomologist Piera Siegert said the bugs’ favorite host plant is the tree of heaven and is also considered invasive in the U.S. — locally, it grows in Manchester, Nashua and other “disturbed habitat” areas, such as along highways and rail corridors.

Score: -1

Comment: Siegert said in the NHPR report that New Hampshire residents should look out for the bugs and their waxy egg masses and send any sightings or specimens to the state.

A cookie to look forward to

A new brownie-inspired cookie with caramel-flavored crème and a hint of sea salt is being added to the 2022 Girl Scout cookie lineup. According to a press release from the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, Adventurefuls will “take cookie lovers on a delicious taste adventure just like Girl Scouts go on their own amazing adventures through the program.” Such adventures include earning new Cookie Business badges for running their own cookie businesses and selling online via the Digital Cookie platform. The badges range from goal setting and effective sales-pitching to using market research, creating business plans and implementing digital marketing campaigns, the release said.

Score: +1

Comment: New Hampshire’s cookie season kicks off Dec. 29; sign up at girlscoutcookies.org to be notified when Adventurefuls, plus favorites like Thin Mints and Samoas, go on sale.

QOL score: 89
Net change: +1
QOL this week: 90

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

Why can’t you play two QB’s?

So the “Should it be Cam or Mac?” media soap opera raged on again all last week. It got a weird jolt when both played very well in the Patriots’ 35-0 pre-season rout of the Eagles. Though it should be noted it all came against the second team Philly D.

Depending on which camp the media member was in, the pontificators said the showing was further evidence their choice should be the Week 1 starter. Not that it matters, because with Coach B leaning toward the veteran, I suspect no matter what Mac Jones does, it’s Cam Newton’s job if he keeps playing like he did vs. Philly, when he had more mustard on his throws than he did all last year.

But here’s my question: why can’t the Patriots play both guys based on game circumstances and match-ups? Especially since their distinctly different skills are so complementary?

Say what you will about Cam’s puny eight TD passes last year, but he still ran for nearly 600 yards while scoring a QB team record 12 touchdowns to account for just four fewer touchdowns than Tom Brady threw for in 2019. As for Mac, his game is about quick, accurate, on the money short throws that move the chains and he’s run the no huddle in each game, which is something Newton never did in 2020.

Of course playing two quarterbacks challenges the old axiom that says if you have two quarterbacks you have none. And there’s also the same voices the likes of the Wright Brothers, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs and others heard on their way to changing the world from folks with tiny brains who said, “We can’t do that, because we’ve never done that before.”

Except when it comes to NFL football it has been done already, and quite successfully at that, though admittedly not recently. Here are a few examples.

1950 L.A. Rams: I know this was 1950, but with two Hall of Fame quarterbacks and HoF wideouts in Crazy Legs Hirsch and Tom Fears this team chucked it all over the lot. So much so that their 38.3 points per game season scoring average is still the highest in NFL history. Norm Van Brocklin and Bob Waterfield each started six games and played in all 12 games, as NVB threw 233 passes for 2,061 yards and 18 touchdowns, while Waterfield managed to throw 213 for 1,540 and 11 while being married to ’50s Hollywood starlet Jane Russell. The combined 29 passes would have been a NFL record if done by one guy. They made it to the title game, where they lost to the Browns 30-28.

1956 Giants: Kind of a weird setup where Don Heinrich started all 12 games but Charlie Conerly came off the bench to play more snaps in every game as he threw twice as many passes (170-88) as Heinrich. It worked, though, as the G-Men went 8-3-1 and crushed the Bears 47-7 in the title game.

1970 Raiders:Daryle Lamonica was the starter and backup George Blanda only threw 55 passes. But George, not Lamonica, was the 1970 Player of the Year because over a seven-week period he rallied Oakland from behind to win or tie six games in the final minute by throwing the winning TD pass or moving them in position to where he kicked the winning (or tying) FG.

1972 Washington Football Team: To this day I don’t know why George Allen played the wobble and win ex-halfback Billy Kilmer at QB over the great Sonny Jurgensen. But any time they were down by 10 or so in the second half, in came the relief-pitching Sonny to chuck spirals all over the yard. It was actually a multi-year thing, but in ’72 it took them all the way to the SB before they lost as the Dolphins completed their undefeated season.

Can it work? In a word, yes, but it’s likely up to Cam. QB controversies are most destructive when the locker room gets split over who should play. So if Cam fought it there might be issues. But then again, this is his last chance to show he can still win big as a starter, so if Bill wants the kid to play he may have to go along no matter what.

As for implementation, football is now a game of situational players and player groups. Long yardage, short yardage, red zone packages, down 14 in the fourth quarter, up 14 in the fourth, quarter etc. Just assign the appropriate QB to the appropriate package and their job will be to be ready when the call comes and produce when on the field. What’s the big deal?

How would it work? Given their knack for innovation I’m sure Josh McDaniels and Coach B could come up with plenty of ways to employ their combined skills, like these:

The change of pace:With Mac already showing he can handle the no huddle, they could pick up the pace to start the second half (and derail any adjustments) by running it for three or four series. Then bring Cam back in with a jumbo package to ground and pound a winded defense to control the ball and clock.

The wildcat: If the choice is to start with the pinpoint passer, then make Cam a Wildcat QB like New Orleans successfully did last year with Taysom Hill, who is neither the passer nor the runner Newton is.

Relief pitcher: If Jones turns out to be the more reliable passer, then he plays the Jurgensen/Blanda relief pitcher role if they fall behind and need to pass on most downs.

I’m not sure if Coach B would try this, but I am sure if they did they could pull it off. Plus it would be great to see the naysayers kill it until it worked and then spend the next few years pontificating about how they knew it would work from the start.

Got it.

To be continued

What to know about the Delta variant

Dr. Jose Mercado, associate hospital epidemiologist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, answered questions about the Delta variant of Covid.

How concerned should we be about the Delta variant?

The Delta variant [is] classified as a variant of concern [and] is now the predominantly circulating variant in the United States. One thing that we are quite sure of is the increased transmissibility of the disease the likelihood of one person infecting other individuals who are so susceptible to the disease compared to the original strain. The thing that we still don’t know is the likelihood of the Delta variant causing severe disease and hospitalizations. We assume that it is more likely, but we need more data around that.

How prevalent is it in New Hampshire?

We do not routinely test … each positive test to confirm the variant … [but] there is a proportion of [positive tests] that the state [has tested for the variant], just to confirm the epidemiology of the disease … and what we’re seeing thus far is consistent with what we’re seeing in the nation: The Delta variant appears to be becoming, if not already, the predominantly circulating variant in our communities.

Does it spread the same way as the original strain?

The belief is that it still is spread through respiratory droplets. You may catch it when you are close to an individual who has the infection who is breathing out air that you are then inhaling … or is coughing and sneezing around you … or if you have [infected] respiratory droplets in your hands that you then transfer to your nose and mouth. The debate is whether it has the ability to spread as an aerosol the difference between droplets and aerosol is the distance of how the virus can spread between individuals and I don’t think we have necessarily confirmed that.

Who is at the highest risk of contracting it?

Unvaccinated individuals are at highest risk for acquiring a virus … and our elderly population and those who may have a weak immune system remain at the highest risk of severe disease.

How effective is the vaccine at protecting against the Delta variant?

The most recent data that we have received [from] the CDC is that the vaccine [initially] provided greater than 90 percent protection, [but] for new infections over time, we did see a slight drop in vaccine effectiveness … to about 80 percent. What is reassuring is that vaccine effectiveness against hospitalizations and severe disease has remained above 90 percent over time and with the introduction of new variants.

Does that mean Covid cases are trending up overall?

Most counties in the state are … at high levels of transmission. If you compare where we were back in the spring, where we started to see a drop, we’re now seeing an uptick of cases as we go into the fall.

Should vaccinated individuals continue practicing mitigation strategies?

Yes. … Now is really not the time to completely relax our mitigation strategies. … Data [shows that] even vaccinated individuals have the same amount of viral loads, compared to unvaccinated individuals, meaning they can still transmit the disease. … Following the CDC guidelines of wearing our masks, [practicing] hand hygiene and physically distancing when we’re not able to wear our masks is important for protecting individuals who are not vaccinated or have weak immune systems.

What is the current data on positive cases among children?

We are seeing more cases as well as more cases that lead to hospitalizations in children. This may be driven by [the fact that] kids younger than 12 years old are still part of our unvaccinated population. The hope is that, as the vaccine is approved for the younger population, that will start to help curb the rise in cases in younger individuals.

Are you anticipating a spike in cases among kids as they return to school?

Not if we’re able to follow the mitigation strategies. … When we resumed in-person learning, we were successful in keeping our kids safe, and it didn’t really result in a lot of outbreaks. … Data [showed] that exposures [among children] really came from community exposures, not exposures at school. … That’s why it’s important to continue to follow those mitigation strategies to reduce your risk of exposing yourself [and] potentially bringing it home.

Featured photo: Dr. Jose Mercado. Courtesy photo.

News & Notes 21/08/26

Covid-19 update As of August 16 As of August 23
Total cases statewide 103,462 105,302
Total current infections statewide 1,704 2,324
Total deaths statewide 1,395 1,402
New cases 1,345 (Aug. 10 to Aug. 16) 1,840 (Aug. 17 to Aug. 23)
Current infections: Hillsborough County 457 635
Current infections: Merrimack County 144 185
Current infections: Rockingham County 345 483
Information from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

Covid-19 news

State health officials announced 174 new positive cases of Covid-19 in New Hampshire on Aug. 23. The state averaged 281 new cases per day over the most recent seven-day period, an increase of nearly 50 percent over those from the previous week. As of Aug. 23, there were 2,324 active infections statewide and 107 current hospitalizations due to the virus.

On Aug. 23, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration fully approved the Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19 for people ages 16 and older, according to a press release. The vaccine, which will now be marketed as Comirnaty, also continues to be available under emergency use authorization for people ages 12 to 15, and for the administration of a third dose in immunocompromised recipients. “While millions of people have already safely received Covid-19 vaccines, we recognize that for some, the FDA approval … may instill additional confidence to get vaccinated,” acting FDA commissioner Janet Woodcock said in a statement. “Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S.”

Affordable housing

The New Hampshire Housing Board of Directors approved funding for 16 affordable multi-family rental housing developments during the fiscal year ending June 30, which will produce or preserve almost 1,000 units of affordable rental housing in the state’s communities. According to a press release, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits — a federal program that encourages developers and investors to create affordable multi-family housing for low- and moderate-income families by using tax credits — and other federal and state funding will support these projects. LIHTC-funded housing accounts for about 95 percent of publicly funded workforce housing produced in New Hampshire, the release said. Other funding sources that New Hampshire Housing administers for affordable housing include the federal HOME program and Housing Trust Fund, the state Affordable Housing Fund and tax-exempt bond financing. “The state and federal funding sources that New Hampshire Housing provides are essential financing tools for public and private developers to create and renovate affordable rental housing throughout the state,” Dean Christon, executive director of New Hampshire Housing, said in the release. Local projects include 42 general occupancy units in six townhouse-style buildings on Village Street in Concord, with; 74 general-occupancy units in Woodland Village in Goffstown; and 11 supportive housing units in the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter, an adaptive reuse of a former school into units that will provide housing for people experiencing homelessness.

Drive sober

New Hampshire has rolled out this year’s Labor Day impaired driving high-visibility enforcement campaign, where drivers can expect to see increased law enforcement on the road now through Sept. 6 specifically targeting impaired drivers. The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over initiative includes education efforts like messages on highway message boards, radio advertisements and social media public service campaigns, according to a press release. The New Hampshire State Police will work with 63 police departments for the border-to-border, statewide saturation patrol effort to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities due to impaired driving. Last year, 39 people died in alcohol-related crashes on New Hampshire roads, the release said. The New Hampshire Office of Highway Safety has several recommendations, including calling 911 if you see an impaired driver on the road; designating a sober driver or using a ride service; acknowledging that buzzed driving is drunk driving; and taking the keys of a friend who is about to drink and drive and making arrangements to get them home safely. The campaign is being funded by the New Hampshire Office of Highway Safety and grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Granite Tax Connect

The third and final phase of Granite Tax Connect — the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration’s new online user portal and revenue management system — is now up and running. According to a press release, Granite Tax Connect provides an improved online experience to approximately 148,000 New Hampshire taxpayers, tax preparers and customers of the Tobacco/Smokeless Tobacco Tax, Real Estate Transfer Tax, Private Car/Railroad Tax, Utility Property Tax and Low to Moderate Income Credit. The system allows people to complete tasks online, such as filing taxes electronically, scheduling automated online payments, checking on the status of returns, payments, refund and credit requests and more. It also allows customers of certain tax types to complete additional tasks; wholesalers, manufacturers, taxpayers, practitioners and all DRA customers associated with the Tobacco/Smokeless Tobacco Tax, for example, can renew licenses, pay taxes electronically, view reports such as the Tobacco License lookup and License Additions/Deletions and more, according to the release. The state’s e-file for counties will no longer be available as of Jan. 1, so it is imperative to create an account prior to that date, the release said.

Police oversight

A commission at the New Hampshire State House has formed to try to create an independent police oversight body that would process reports of police misconduct in the state, according to WMUR. The effort has been backed by Gov. Chris Sununu and the Law Enforcement Accountability Commission established last year, but has not yet made it through the Legislature. Chaired by Attorney General John Formella, the commission has until Nov. 1 to work on the proposal.

Cyberthieves

The Town of Peterborough had $2.3 million stolen in two cases of cybertheft, according to NHPR. First $1.2 million was intercepted while being transferred from the Town to the ConVal School District. Investigation by the U.S. Secret Service Cyber Fraud Task Force revealed that the thieves had posed as school district staff and used forged documents and email accounts to access the transfer. Several weeks later, the thieves used a similar tactic to intercept funds being transferred to contractors for construction on the Main Street Bridge project. The money cannot be recovered by reversing the transactions as it was converted to cryptocurrency, and it has not yet been determined whether insurance will cover any of the losses. The Town’s total budget for this fiscal year is a little over $15.8 million, according to the article.

Downtown Concord has two new art pieces on North Main Street. According to a press release, “Into the Wind” and “Sunflower from Mars,” both created by Chris Plaisted, have been installed in front of The Works Cafe and near The POST Downtown and Parlor Salon, respectively. The sculptures are part of the 4th Annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit, Art on Main, a free, open-air, 24/7 year-round outdoor art exhibition, the release said.

All online processing fees, including fees for vehicle registrations, taxes and parking tickets, will be waived for Manchester residents for the next year, according to a press release. “By waiving online service fees, we’re hoping more residents who may be nervous about the rise in Covid cases take advantage of the convenience of engaging in city services online, rather than coming into City Hall in person,” Mayor Joyce Craig said in the release.

More than 275 children swam, biked and ran in the annual Kid’s Try-athlon at the Bedford Town Hall and Bedford High School on Aug. 15, according to a press release. The event benefited Friends of Aine, a nonprofit organization providing bereavement support services to grieving children, teens and families.

New Hampshire’s first finding of West Nile virus this year was detected in a mosquito batch in Salem on Aug. 3. According to a press release, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has elevated the risk from the baseline level to low.

This Week 21/08/19

Big Events August 19, 2021, and beyond

Thursday, Aug. 19

Catch Alli Beaudry & Nick as the live music performance at tonight’s Art After Work at the Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St. in Manchester; currier.org, 669-6144). Admission is free on Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m. and you can enjoy live music, free tours and food and drink for sale in the Winter Garden Cafe. Today’s tours are of “Critical Cartography: Larissa Fassler in Manchester” (at 5:30 p.m.) and “The Body in Art: From the Spiritual to the Sensual” (6:30 p.m.) Advance online registration is recommended, according to the website.

Friday, Aug. 20

Team Fire will face off against Team Police during the friendly competition known as the Battle of the Badges Baseball Classic atNortheast Delta Dental Stadium (1 Line Drive in downtown Manchester) tonight. The game starts at 6:30 p.m. and benefits programs at Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD). Tickets cost $10 and are available at chadbaseball.org.

Saturday, Aug. 21

History Alive returns to the town of Hillsborough today and tomorrow, Sunday, Aug. 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sponsored by the Hillsborough Historical Society and held at locations on Jones Road and at the Historic Center, History

Alive features presentations about Abenaki music and drums (at noon), a talk on the use of native plants (1 p.m.) and Abenaki stories at 3 p.m., all on Saturday, and a discussion of the Abenaki Trail Project on Sunday at noon, as well as ongoing displays and demonstrations of Abenaki crafts, military reenactors, other historic crafts and on Sunday, a cake walk at 11 a.m. and a children’s parade at 3 p.m. See historyalivenh.org.

Tuesday, Aug. 24

New Hampshire Fisher Cats kick off a run of home games at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium (1 Line Drive in downtown Manchester; nhfishercats.com) against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies tonight with a game at 7:05 p.m. Tonight is Weather Night, part of the SNHU STEM Series. Games continue through Sunday, Aug. 29. Games tonight through Saturday, Aug. 28, are all at 7:05 p.m.; Sunday’s game starts at 1:35 p.m. Other special theme days include Alex Trebek Tribute Night on Aug. 26, Wrestling Night (with a Sumo Bobble Belly giveaway) on Aug. 27, post-game fireworks on Aug. 28 and a youth jersey giveaway on Aug. 29.

Tuesday, Aug. 24

Tonight it’s our time, down here, when The Goonies(PG, 1985) screens at the Rex Theatre (23 Amherst St. in Manchester; palacetheatre.org, 668-5588) at 7 p.m. Head back tomorrow for another ’80s classic, Gremlins (PG, 1984), on Wednesday, Aug. 25, at 7 p.m. Tickets to either show cost $12 with part of the proceeds benefiting Motley Mutts Rescue.

Save the Date! Thursday, Sept. 2

Get two performances in one show on Thursday, Sept. 2, when Bella White and OldHat Stringband co-bill at the Word Barn (66 Newfields Road in Exeter; thewordbarn.com). The show starts at 7 p.m.; general admission costs $25 plus fees.

Featured photo: Ali Beaudry. Courtesy photo.

Quality of Life 21/08/19

Mental health matters

The Granite State was well represented during the National Alliance on Mental Illness’s virtual convention last month. According to a press release, New Hampshire’s Kid Governor Charlie Olsen presented the keynote address, sharing his experience with depression and reminding viewers they’re not alone. Meanwhile, NAMI New Hampshire Executive Director Ken Norton received the Richard and Betsy Greer Advocacy Award for his efforts to advance policy and advocacy that impacts people living with mental illness and their families. And Dr. Isabel Norian, who recently completed her term on NAMI New Hampshire’s Board of Directors, was named a NAMI 2021 Exemplary Psychiatrist, one of only six psychiatrists nationally to receive the honor, according to the release.

Score: +1

Comment: Kudos especially to Charlie Olsen for being brave enough to tell his story and help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.

Earn while getting EMT certified

As part of an effort to address the national EMT shortage, American Medical Response has partnered with four New Hampshire EMS schools to offer its Earn While You Learn program. According to a press release, participants are hired as employees and compensated while attending AMR’s EMT-Basic certification course, the release said. Upon successful completion of the program and obtaining their state certification, participants are promoted to EMT-B, with a commensurate pay increase. New England EMS Institute in Manchester, NH CPR in Bedford, NH Fire Med in Nashua and Great Brook Academy in Concord will be offering the classes. The 10- to 12-week program starts in September and is for candidates 18 years of age or older who have a high school diploma or GED and all required immunizations, and pass background checks and a drug screening. Visit amr.net/careers.

Score: +1

Comment: This is the first Earn While You Learn program in New Hampshire, the release said.

Gambling for good

After 10 days of charitable gambling at Manchester’s Filotimo Casino, the Community Caregivers of Greater Derry received a check in the amount of $58,696.70 to help the nonprofit with its mission of serving the elderly and disabled. According to a press release, the funds will be used to increase staff and programming. “The funds from charitable gaming are critical for nonprofits in New Hampshire, especially with all of the uncertainty surrounding Covid,” Cindee Tanuma, Executive Director of the Community Caregivers of Greater Derry, said in the release. “We still don’t know when people will want to attend fundraising events again.”

Score: +1

Comment: Raising tens of thousands of dollars without having to organize a major fundraising event is a huge boost for local nonprofits.

QOL score: 86
Net change: +3
QOL this week: 89

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

Next stop Williamsport

You know it’s strange when a Little League team from Manchester and Hooksett gets to the New England Regional Final game and doesn’t even get to use their own name because the team they played was Manchester of Connecticut. At least according to the Hartford Courant. So North Manchester-Hooksett is New Hampshire. But someone tell me why the other guys weren’t called Connecticut? And don’t get me started on a championship game being called after four innings on the mercy rule with North — ah, New Hampshire leading 11-1. How in the name of Frank Malzone can a championship game be decided by the mercy rule? Incredible.

However, that’s the “get off my lawn” portion of this column, so let me add: North Manchester-Hooksett in the Little League World Series — wow! Thrill of a lifetime. Congrats. Looking forward to all those accounts from my one-time broadcasting partner Jamie Staton streaming in on WMUR.

OK, here’s some other stuff that’s going on.

People often forget what a marathon an MLB baseball season is. Latest example is the Yankees being just three games behind the Sox as their crucial series started on Tuesday after being given up for dead on July 24 after falling nine back of the Sox after losing three of four to them at the Stadium.

I don’t get the criticism of Chaim Bloom bringing in Kyle Schwarber over Anthony Rizzo at the trade deadline. The prime objective was to get a productive left-handed bat to balance off the lineup against right-handed pitching. At the deadline Rizzo was hitting .213 with 9 homers and 26 RBI against righties vs. Schwarber’s .258, 23 homers and 46 RBI. So he got a better 2021 hitter for a better price. Thus instead of (now red hot) Bobby Dalbec sitting out, it’s .215 hitting rookie Jarren Duran, with Alex Verdugo playing center, Schwarber and J.D. Martinez splitting time at DH and in left field. Not a defensive enhancement for sure, but half the time it’ll be in left at Fenway, where anyone can play. Dicier on the road, so Duran gets more time as a defensive replacement. True, Schwarber was IL’d at the time of the deal, but after a hot start Rizzo went to the Covid-19 inactive list on Aug. 7.

Ditto on the pitching. True, it’s a bit risky to rely on Chris Sale, but if healthy who got a better starter at the deadline than maybe the Dodgers? As for the relievers he got, I’m guessing with Garrett Richards and Martin Perez now in the bullpen they’re unneeded/mop-up arms stockpiled in case someone gets hurt.

Since we’ve already had a record eight no-hitters this year, my claim micro-managers are taking the drama/thrill out of one of baseball’s great feats by regularly yanking guys with no-no’s in progress sounds a little dumb, doesn’t it? They didn’t even have that many in the Year of the Pitcher in 1968. Though they did see San Francisco’s Gaylord Perry no-hit the Cardinals one day and the Cards’ Ray Washburn come back the next day and no-hit Perry’s Giants.

The best of the best was Arizona’s Tyler Gilbert throwing on Friday in his first major league start. Only the fourth time that’s happened since they started pitching overhand in 1884.

Speaking of first ever starts, Mac Jones made his during the 21-13 win over the Washington Football Team last Thursday. Not bad, but not earth-shattering as some made it sound. Basically, he was Brady 2001 in dinking and dunking his way to a meager 4.6 yards-per-attempt average. Overall he was 13-19 for 87 yards with no TD drives against WFT’s second teamers. In a word: progress.

What a Stupid I Yam Note of the Week: In last week’s column on the biggest Patriots stories as pre-season play began, I left out arguably the most important story: With likely six new starters on offense and six more on D, the key to the season is how quickly the new people assimilate to the system and mesh with their new teammates.

Speaking of dumb, am I the only one who thinks it’s beyond ridiculous that the PGA Tour forbids players from wearing shorts on super hot days? What does that accomplish?

The Celtics fan in me has always hated the newly acquired Dennis Schroder whenever he’s played against them because he plays chippy. But he brings what’s needed most to the oh so placid Celtics, someone who plays with a feisty edge. They haven’t had anyone like that since they foolishly let Marcus Morris walk after 2018. And thanks to a whopper of a business error, they get him for a measly $5.7 million.

Can’t take credit for this as I saw it on one of those dumb internet trade proposal things. It has the Celtics getting the dying to get out of Sacramento Marvin Bagley III for Grant Williams, Romeo Langford and a pair of second-round picks. He’s been disappointing so far, so it’s a risk, but one with a high upside if the former second overall pick gets it together. If he doesn’t, he’s still a 14 and 7 career guy who can come off the bench to play the 4, and even 5 in small lineups, while also making them bigger. Worth the risk — do it.

OK, one more “get off my lawn” comment. Forget Shohei Ohtani, just think of what Tristan Lucier’s 2 home run, 9 strikeout effort would have been if the Final had gone the full six innings vs. the other Manchester! And finally, hey, New Hampshire, er, I mean North Manchester-Hooksett! Everyone back here is pulling for you!

P.S. Whatever you do, next time you see him, don’t ask Staton about our interview with John McCain during a pretty good football game between Dartmouth and Cornell the day of the first GOP debate at Dartmouth during primary season back in 2000.

A disaster.

Back in town

Market Days Festival returns to Concord

Intown Concord executive director Jessica Martin talked about the 47th annual Market Days, a three-day street festival in Concord happening Thursday, Aug. 19, through Saturday, Aug. 21.

How is Intown approaching Market Days this year?

Now that things are back open after being closed for more than a year, this is kind of like our ‘welcome back’ to downtown. … We’ve decided to go back to the basics and keep it classic with things that have worked and been successful in the past. Good food, good music and fun activities — that’s what we’re really trying to focus on.

What’s on the agenda?

We have over 120 different types of vendors attending, with a mix of food, retail and nonprofits … as well as the Concord Arts Market, and the farmers market on Saturday morning as normal. … For kids and families, we have a KidZone, which will be directly in front of the Statehouse stairs. … The library is doing a storytime for kids. … We have a great kids musician, Mr. Aaron, coming. … We have free activities all three days, including workout classes [like] yoga, Zumba and jazzercise; dance demonstrations; all kinds of arts and crafts; face painting; … a touch-a-truck; … and a beer garden. We have a dog training show and a splash zone for dogs. … There are three stages with more than 30 hours of music and entertainment: the Binnie Media Performance Stage, which is the main stage, on South Main Street near Red River; the Homegrown Stage in Bicentennial Square, which features all local talent and musicians; and a variety of different performances happening in Eagle Square, including Tandy’s Idol, which is a singing competition similar to American Idol. … Also on the main stage on Friday, we have our outdoor movie, which is American Graffiti.

What safety precautions are being put in place?

Market Days is usually held in June, and we plan to go back to having it in June. That is, overwhelmingly, the month that people like to have it … but we moved it to August this year because we thought that would allow more time for people to get vaccinated and feel more comfortable being in a larger group. Obviously, the new delta variant has posed some questions for us, but the city hasn’t decided to put a mask mandate back in place or anything, so we’re just encouraging people who attend, especially those who aren’t vaccinated, to protect themselves by wearing a mask, and to social distance whenever possible. We’ll have quite a few hand sanitizer stations around for people as well.

What kind of turnout are you expecting?

We’re thinking it could be anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 people. Everyone we’ve talked to is really excited for it. We think it’s probably going to be one of the highest turnouts ever for Market Days, especially if the weather is good, because people are so anxious to get out and resume going to events.

Why did Intown feel it was important to only postpone rather than skip the event this year?

… After how much small businesses have struggled through this last year, we think [Market Days] is really important … as a revenue-driver and [it] really helps to boost our local economy, especially for downtown businesses, but also for the greater Concord area. … It’s also about morale [for the community]. Market Days has been a part of the community going on its 47th year. People have memories about coming to Market Days from when they were little kids. It really makes things start to feel like there’s some sense of normalcy again.

What’s the best way for people to plan out their day?

This is our first year having a Market Days website — we wanted to make sure that people are really clear about what’s going on and when it’s going on, so they can find a map of activities and all of the entertainment schedules there.

Market Days Festival

Where: Various locations on and off Main Street in downtown Concord
When: Thursday, Aug. 19, through Saturday, Aug. 21, with festivities from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day
Cost: Admission and most activities are free
Covid protocol: Masks are not required but are strongly encouraged, especially for attendees who have not been vaccinated. Social distancing should be practiced as much as possible. Hand sanitizing stations will be available.
More info: Visit marketdaysfestival.com for a map of activities and schedule of entertainment and special events. See facebook.com/intownconcord for updates. For all other questions, call Intown at 226-2150.

Featured photo: Jessica Martin. Courtesy photo.

News & Notes 21/08/19

Covid-19 update As of August 9 As of August 16
Total cases statewide 102,117 103,462
Total current infections statewide 1,270 1,704
Total deaths statewide 1,389 1,395
New cases 1,131 (Aug. 3 to Aug. 9) 1,345 (Aug. 10 to Aug. 16)
Current infections: Hillsborough County 362 457
Current infections: Merrimack County 86 144
Current infections: Rockingham County 307 345
Information from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

Covid-19 news

State health officials reported 310 new positive cases of Covid-19 in New Hampshire on Aug. 12, the highest number announced in a single day since April 22. During an Aug. 12 press conference, state epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan said that New Hampshire had averaged between 160 and 170 new infections per day, a majority of which have occurred in people who are unvaccinated. As of Aug. 16 there were a total of 1,704 active infections statewide, with all 10 counties at substantial community transmission.

Dr. Beth Daly, Chief of the Bureau of Infectious Disease Control of the New Hampshire Department of Health & Human Services, also provided an update on vaccine distributions in the state during the press conference. More than 800,000 Granite Staters have received at least one dose of vaccine to date, with around 752,000 of those now fully vaccinated. “While the number of people getting vaccinated each week has slowed down, we do still have 1,000 new people each week who are making that choice to initiate vaccination,” Daly said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending a third dose of either the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine for moderately to severely immunocompromised people, according to an Aug. 13 statement from Director Rochelle Walensky. The CDC recognizes about 3 percent of the U.S. adult population as being immunocompromised, including recipients of organ or stem cell transplants, people who are actively being treated for cancer, and those who have an underlying condition that weakens their immune system, such as an advanced or untreated HIV infection. According to the statement, the third dose should be of the same vaccine they originally received, administered at least four weeks after the second shot.

Vetoed

Last week, Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed HB 239, after New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella, as well as all of the state’s county attorneys, wrote to him expressing concerns with the language of the bill as written, according to a press release. “Occasionally, well-intentioned legislation can fall apart because of a few misplaced words or technical language that was left out,” Sununu wrote in his veto message. “Unfortunately House Bill 239 contains a fatal flaw that must prevent it from moving forward. I support the legislative intent to extend the statute of limitations for juvenile victims of first-degree and second-degree assault. However, this bill presents severe negative consequences that could greatly hinder ANY prosecution of first-degree assault in New Hampshire.” According to the release, the bill fails to make clear that the extension of the statute of limitations for prosecutions under RSA 631:1 to a victim’s 24th birthday only applies to juvenile victims. “[The bill] could readily be interpreted to preclude any prosecution for a crime under RSA 631:1 beyond a victim’s 24th birthday,” Formella and the state’s 10 county attorneys wrote in their Aug. 6 letter to Sununu. “As such, cases under RSA 631:1 with adult victims over 24 years of age simply would not be able to be charged or prosecuted.”

Sununu also vetoed SB 141, relative to the procedure for conducting firearm background checks, and HB 334, relative to prohibitions on carrying a loaded firearm on an OHRV or snowmobile and relative to the procedure for conducting firearm background checks.

More Powerball

The New Hampshire Lottery will introduce a third weekly Powerball drawing each Monday starting Aug. 23, with the anticipation that it will increase the number of cash prizes and jackpots awarded each year. According to a press release, the Monday drawing will join the weekly Wednesday and Saturday drawings but will not change the Powerball game odds or set cash prizes. Players will still choose five numbers from 1 to 69 and one Powerball number from 1 to 26. Most recently, Darin Lazzard of Rochester and Margaret Walsh of Atkinson split a winning $1 million Powerball ticket for the drawing on July 24, and William Metzger of Hudson claimed a $1 million winning Powerball ticket for the drawing held on July 10. NH iLottery also saw a $2 million Powerball win on July 10, though there has been no prize claim yet, according to the release.

Police Academy

The Manchester Police Department will be hosting its 34th session of the Citizen’s Police Academy, with the first class scheduled to be held Wednesday, Sept. 15, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Manchester Police Department, 405 Valley St. According to a press release, the academy is an eight-week program that gives residents the opportunity to learn about the role of the police department in the community. It is a classroom format with some limited participation, if you choose. The program is free, but you must fill out an application, and a background check will be required. All classes will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. Visit manchesterpd.com and click on the citizen’s police academy link to access the online application.

Charter school grants

Last week the New Hampshire Department of Education announced the first recipients of the federal public charter school grant program. According to a press release, the grants are part of a $46 million federal public charter school grant, and 14 programs applied for the funds. Northeast Woodlands, Spark Academy, Gathering Waters and Heartwood were each selected to receive new start-up grant awards, which can be up to $1.2 million, with an additional $300,000 for meeting department-identified priorities such as opening schools in under-served areas, targeting services for at-risk students, and showcasing unique and innovative educational programs not widely offered in the state, the release said. Founders Academy and MicroSociety received expansion grants, which can be up to $600,000 and provide funds for schools to expand enrollment, grade levels and educational programming. And CSI chartered public school received a replication grant, which can be up to $1.2 million and provide funds to replicate a successful charter program in another part of the state. The department anticipates releasing a second round of funding in the late fall, the release said.

Vaccines at state parks

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with the New Hampshire Department of Natural & Cultural Resources, is making it easier for people to get Covid-19 vaccines with the new NH Mobile Vaccine Van. The van will provide free vaccinations at select state parks on select dates now through Sept. 30. Everyone who gets their vaccine at a state park will receive a complimentary day pass to any New Hampshire state park or historic site, valid through December 31, 2022. Visit dhhs.nh.gov for vaccine locations and dates.

Shtudy, which was founded in 2018 by two UNH Durham graduates and whose mission is to help bring more racial diversity to New Hampshire’s tech industry, is hosting the first ever virtual Shtudy Tech Diversity Career Expo to connect tech job seekers of color with companies actively hiring STEM talent, on Wednesday, Aug. 25, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Find more information at shtudy.co/career-expo.

On Aug. 11, Gov. Chris Sununu visited the Inn at Sunset Hill in Sugar Hill to sign SB 105, which established April 8, 2024, as Solar Eclipse Day in New Hampshire.

Local entrepreneur Melissa Davis is opening up the first Blo Blow Dry Bar in the Bedford community. According to a press release, the New Hampshire native has returned to the Granite State after a 20-year hiatus and saw the need for a high-quality blow out option in the area. Blo Blow is scheduled to open on Friday, Aug. 20, in the Bedford Grove Shopping Center.

The NH Senior Games Annual Track and Field Event will be held at the Gatsas Athletic Complex in Manchester on Sunday, Aug. 22. According to a press release, the day-long event will include sprinting and running events, throwing events like shot put, javelin and weight throw, plus high jump, long jump, triple jump and pole vault. Same-day registration will be available for athletes, and event volunteers are also welcome. Visit nhseniorgames.org.

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