Quality of Life 20/08/27

Victory for the Knights
The Nashua Silver Knights baseball team, part of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, concluded its 10th anniversary season with a 5-3 win over Worcester, claiming its league-leading fifth title, according to a press release. Kyle Bouchard, who was named MVP of the series, made the final run in the ninth inning that won the Knights the game. The win also made the Knights the first team in FCBL history to lose the first game in the three-game championship series, then make a comeback to win the final two games.
QOL Score: +1
Comment: The Silver Knights players, coaches and staff members will receive their championship rings at a ceremony in Nashua (date TBD).

Drought worsens
Parts of southern New Hampshire have escalated from a “moderate drought” to a “severe drought,” according to a press release from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. The drought has affected areas in Rockingham and Merrimack counties, more than half of Strafford County and a small portion of Belknap and Hillsborough counties, with 49 percent of the state still experiencing moderate drought, 31 percent experiencing abnormally dry conditions, and groundwater levels across the state steadily decreasing. The U.S. Drought Monitor said below-average precipitation and a lack of snowpack followed by hot and dry conditions are leading factors.
QOL Score: -1
Comment: The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services urges people living in areas that are in moderate or severe drought to practice water conservation, like eliminating water use for watering lawns and washing cars, to help ensure that communities’ basic water supply needs can be met .

Beware of pet scam
There’s a new internet pet sale scam making the rounds, according to a press release from New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald. There have been recent reports throughout the state of scams in which purebred puppies and kittens are advertised for sale at a low price on seemingly legitimate websites.The sellers claim that the animals must be shipped and that buyers cannot pick up the animals in person. When a buyer sends money to purchase an animal, the seller demands more money to cover supposed shipping costs, paperwork and vaccinations, but the buyer never receives the animal.
QOL Score: -1
Comment: To protect yourself from this scam and similar scams, MacDonald advises not buying a pet online (unless it’s from an established rescue group) or from a long-distance seller who has to ship the pet to you; always speaking to a seller on the phone and, if possible, verifying their legitimacy through references; being skeptical of rare or expensive breeds being sold for too-good-to-be-true prices; and never transferring or wiring money to people you don’t know.

Another case of Jamestown Canyon virus
An adult from Dunbarton has tested positive for the Jamestown Canyon virus, becoming the third detection of the virus in the state this year, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health Services announced. The arboviral risk level, which measures the risk of infections being transferred from mosquitoes to humans, has been increased to “high” for Dunbarton. The neighboring town of Bow, which was already labeled high risk, will remain so; the risk level in the neighboring town of Weare will increase to moderate; and the surrounding towns of Hooksett, Hopkinton and Goffstown will remain at moderate risk.
QOL Score: -1
Comment: Jamestown Canyon virus and other mosquito-transmitted infections present in New Hampshire can cause severe neurologic illness, according to State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan.

QOL score: 54
Net change: -2
QOL this week: 52
What’s affecting your Quality of Life here in New Hampshire? Let us know at news@hippopress.com.

Quality of Life 20/08/20

Books to go!
Manchester has a brand-new Bookmobile, and it was scheduled to get rolling after a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, Aug. 18, according to a press release. Books and kids activities are put in bags based on subject or reading levels. Weekly stops are from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. throughout the week — Mondays: Livingston Park (156 Hooksett Road), Tuesdays: Beech Street School (303 Beech St.), Wednesdays: Kelley Falls (440 Kelley St.), Thursdays: Jewett School (130 Jewett St.) and Fridays: Elmwood Gardens (83 Trahan St.).
Score: +1
Comment: Everyone is asked to wear a face mask and practice social distancing at each stop — worth it for a few good books.

Baby-friendly New Hampshire
The Granite State ranks 6th in the nation for the best state to have a baby, according to a study released by WalletHub, which looked at factors like cost, health care accessibility and baby-friendliness. Some of New Hampshire’s top rankings were for Infant Mortality Rate (first in the nation), Hospital Cesarean-Delivery Charges (second) Hospital Conventional-Delivery Charges (third), Pediatricians & Family Doctors per Capita (fourth) and Rate of Low Birth-Weight (sixth).
Score: +1
Comment: Massachusetts, Minnesota and Vermont were the Top 3, respectively, according to the study.

Pedal for Hope
The 15th annual Pedaling for Payson will be held Saturday, Sept. 12, at Elm Brook Park in Hopkinton to raise money for the Pedaling for Hope Fund to support programs at the Concord Hospital Payson Center for Cancer Care, according to a press release. The Hope Fund specifically helps support the Payson Center’s Nurse Navigator Program, which coordinates medical treatment and community outreach for the most vulnerable cancer patients. Bicycle rides range from 16 to 57 miles; there’s also a mountain bike adventure that makes a pit stop at Henniker Brewing Co. After the rides, there will be a socially-distanced barbecue lunch and live entertainment at the park.
Score: +1
Comment: Anyone interested in participating can register online and create a fundraising page at pedalingforpayson.org.

Great American Ribfest canceled
The second annual Great American Ribfest, originally scheduled for June, then postponed to August and then to October, has now been canceled altogether, an Aug. 10 post on the event’s Facebook page announced. The Merrimack Rotary Club is instead looking ahead to Father’s Day weekend in 2021 to hold the next festival, which is expected to feature barbecue vendors, food trucks, live music and more.
Score: -1
Comment:“Despite developing new safety and hygiene protocols, now is not the right time to gather thousands of people together,” the Facebook post reads.

QOL score: 52
Net change: +2
QOL this week: 54
What’s affecting your Quality of Life here in New Hampshire? Let us know at news@hippopress.com.

Quality of Life 20/08/13

Saving Valley
Efforts to take back and clean up Valley Cemetery in Manchester are being relaunched as a group of volunteers — the Original Friends of Valley Cemetery — pivots its focus to restoring gravestones and the chapel, according to Tanya Frazier Orr, who is leading the efforts. Orr said in an email that on Saturday, Aug. 22, a cleaning and restoration workshop will be held for anyone who wants to learn how to conserve various types of gravestones. In addition, the Manchester Memorial Company will be cleaning the Samuel Bell monument to provide an example of what can be accomplished with simple cleaning.
Score: +1
Comments: “Combined forces and fresh energy spell nothing but success for this team and their restoration goals,” Orr said in her email.

Pick up trash with Carter
Five-year-old Carter Manson of Manchester was named July’s Granite Stater of the Month by U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan for encouraging people to get outside and help clean up their communities, according to a press release. Carter has wanted to be a garbage collector since he was 3, so it was fitting that during the April stay-at-home orders he asked his mom, Kelly, if he could go outside and pick up trash. Kelly said yes and took pictures of him in the act, then posted them on Facebook. After getting positive feedback from her friends and family, she decided to create a group called Carter’s Clean Up Crew, which now has nearly 800 members from across the United States and Canada, according to the release. The crew has raised $1,400 to help get members of the group supplies like trash grabbers and gloves.
Score: +1
Comment: Carter is asking local residents to join him and his crew on Saturday, Aug. 29, at Pulaski Park in Manchester from 8 to 10 a.m. for a community clean-up, according to a post on wzid.com.

Second Jamestown Canyon virus case this year
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that an adult from Bow tested positive for Jamestown Canyon virus. According to a press release from the Department, the person experienced fever and mild neurological symptoms but was not hospitalized and is doing well. This is the second case of the mosquito-borne pathogen in New Hampshire this year, and the 11th since the first case was reported in 2013. The arboviral risk level, which indicates the risk of transmission of these infections from mosquitoes, for Bow has been increased to high and is at moderate for the surrounding towns of Goffstown, Dunbarton, Hopkinton, Allenstown, Hooksett, Pembroke and Concord.
Score: -2
Comment: DHHS noted in its press release that risk of infection with Jamestown Canyon virus as well as Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus and West Nile virus will continue to increase throughout the summer and into fall.

All aboard for Hopkinton history
The Hopkinton Historical Society has created a driving tour that includes seven stops in Hopkinton and Contoocook that feature railroad points of interest. According to a press release, the tour is taking the place of what was supposed to be a summer exhibit: “Given the continued uncertainty regarding opening dates and people’s comfort levels with gathering in groups indoors, we decided the best approach was to take our exhibit on the road!” the release reads. The tour looks at how the railroad impacted farmers, tourism, mills and factories, among other things.
Score: +1
Comment:The tour can be found at HopkintonHistory.org, or followed on Clio, a downloadable app for driving tours of historical and cultural sites.

QOL score: 51
Net change: +1
QOL this week: 52
What’s affecting your Quality of Life here in New Hampshire? Let us know at news@hippopress.com.

Quality of Life 20/08/06

Millyard Museum on a mission
The Manchester Historic Association has announced that it plans to restore and display the “Sweaters” portion of the illuminated Pandora Sweater Factory sign, which read “Home of Pandora Sweaters” and was on top of the Pandora Mill building at 88 Commerical St. for about half a century, according to a press release. Although the Pandora piece of the sign is beyond repair, Manchester Historic Association Executive Director John Clayton said in the release that restoring even a portion of the sign “is a tribute to both Pandora Industries and Manchester’s historic textile industry.” When the sign was removed from the building in the early 2000s, some of the letters disappeared, but one of those missing letters was recently returned, allowing the Historic Association to move forward with the restoration. But the “E” and the “S” are still needed to complete the sign, and the Association is asking for the public’s help in locating them.
Score: 0 (+1 for the Historic Association’s efforts, -1 for the missing letters)
Comment: The Millyard Museum hopes to have the sign on display by the end of the year, according to the release, and is asking that if anyone has any questions or information about the missing letters, they call the museum at 622-7531.

Learn about our lakes
Help keep New Hampshire’s 1,000 lakes safe with NH Lakes’s latest free webinar series, which starts with “Managing Recreational Safety on New Hampshire’s Lakes” on Wednesday, Aug. 12, at 7 p.m. New Hampshire Marine Patrol will explain basic boating laws and safety and tell you what to do if you see something unsafe out on the lake, according to a press release from NH Lakes. On Wednesday, Aug. 19, at 7 p.m., the webinar “The Ecology of New Hampshire’s Lakes” will cover how our lakes formed and how they change throughout the seasons, plus stories of some of the strange things people have reported seeing in the state’s lakes. And on Wednesday, Aug. 26, at 7 p.m., “The Ecology & Management of Plants in New Hampshire’s Lakes” will cover how to recognize what’s growing and blooming and how to recognize invasive plants.
Score: +1
Comment: Registration is free but required at nhlakes.org.

Big losses in employer-provided health insurance
New Hampshire ranks fifth in the country for the number of people who lost health insurance from February through May, according to data compiled by Zippia, a resource site for job seekers. The numbers for this time period were compared to the 2018 uninsured rate, which is the most recent data available, according to Zippia, and the results do not include dependents who lost insurance. According to the data, New Hampshire saw a 43-percent increase in uninsured adults.
Score: -1
Comment: The state with the highest number of people who lost health insurance is Massachusetts, followed by Hawaii, Rhode Island and Michigan.

SWAM strong
Individuals, groups and swim teams around the state held small events throughout July as part of the Virtual SWAM20 event to benefit Swim With A Mission, a veterans support organization in New Hampshire. According to a press release, groups like The Granite State Penguins Masters Swim Club, The Seacoast Sharks Youth Girls Swim Team, The Manchester Police K-9 Unit and members of the Navy SEALS, have held their own events in lieu of the usual annual event at Newfound Lake. The Granite State Penguins Masters Swim Team, for example, met at Big Island Pond in Hampstead for a 10K team relay race. The Manchester Police K-9 Unit competed in a 5K relay race at Baboosic Lake in Merrimack.
Score: +1
Comment: The event honors the 89 New Hampshire service members who died during the war on terrorism, according to the press release.

QOL score: 50
Net change: +1
QOL this week: 51
What’s affecting your Quality of Life here in New Hampshire? Let us know at news@hippopress.com.

Quality of Life 20/07/30

No Multicultural Festival this year…
This year’s Concord Multicultural Festival, typically held in September, has been canceled due to the uncertainty and challenges presented by Covid-19 that “just cannot be addressed effectively” at an event of its size, according to a press release from the festival planning team. The festival celebrates different cultures and heritages from around the world through food, music, art and activities.
Score: -1
Comment: The festival planning team will instead host Welcoming Week in September, where immigrants, refugees and long-time residents come together to discuss how to build welcoming and inclusive communities; assembling a virtual cookbook with recipes from a variety of cultures submitted by individuals, families, businesses and organizations; and presenting international art, dance and music at International Art Day, part of Intown Concord’s Market Month, on Saturday, Aug. 22.

… New Hampshire Senior Games canceled too
The 2020 New Hampshire Senior Games have been canceled, according to a press release. The decision was made to protect the well-being of the athletes, who are ages 50 and up. “Our board has spent many hours over the past several weeks and considered a broad range of alternatives,” NHSG Board Chair Larry Flint said in a statement. “At the end of the day, we felt this was the most prudent decision.”
Score: -1
Comment: It’s not all bad news — this year’s games would have been a qualifier for the 2021 National Senior Games in Florida, but as many other states have also canceled their games this year, the National Senior Games Association decided that any athletes who qualified for the 2017 or the 2019 national games are automatically qualified for 2021, according to the press release.

Ready to rock
“Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey, “Cotton Eye Joe” by Rednex, “Party In The USA” by Miley Cyrus and “Can’t Stop The Feeling” by Justin Timberlake are some of the songs that 17-year-old Hayley Dufour, a senior at Alvirne High School in Hudson, loves to listen to, and thanks to her they’ll be featured on Pandora’s new Special Olympics Champions playlist. According to a press release from Special Olympics New Hampshire, athletes throughout the country submitted playlists along with their reasons for choosing the songs, and Dufour’s playlist made the cut. Through Unified Sports at Alvirne, Dufour participates in soccer, basketball, track and cheerleading, and outside of school, she participates in softball and bowling with Special Olympics New Hampshire, according to the release.
Score: +1
Comment: QOL loves the upbeat song choices and will be checking out Dufour’s playlist on Pandora.

QOL score: 51
Net change: -1
QOL this week: 50
What’s affecting your Quality of Life here in New Hampshire? Let us know at news@hippopress.com.

Quality of Life 20/07/02

2020, part 2
More businesses and organizations in New Hampshire are reopening and the state is coming out of shutdown mode. But we’re certainly not back to what life was like in January and who knows what “normal” is going to look like in the coming months. So, in this second half of 2020, QOL will restart the QOL meter, and restart at 50, as we do at the beginning of each year, recognizing that no 100-point meter can really gauge what it’s like to live in this unprecedented time (or accurately reflect all that has changed in the last few months).
QOL score: ?
Comment: There has been a lot of sadness over these past few months, a lot of frustration and a lot of fear. But there have been moments of optimism too. QOL will try to keep doing what QOL does best — pointing out the good stuff and the bad stuff that is part of life here in southern New Hampshire.

First in the nation!
New Hampshire is the most patriotic state in the country, according to a study from WalletHub, which used data of 13 “key indicators of patriotism” to compare the 50 states. Among other findings, New Hampshire ranked first in Civics Education Requirement, fourth in Percentage of Adults Who Voted in the 2016 Presidential Election, sixth in Peace Corps Volunteers Per Capita, and 10th in Veterans per 1,000 Civilian Adults.
QOL score: +1
Comment: Following New Hampshire on the list was Wyoming, then Idaho, Alaska and Maryland, while California, New York and New Jersey were listed as the three least patriotic states in the country, according to WalletHub’s data.

Prices at the pump
The average gas price in New Hampshire was $2.07 as of June 29, according to GasBuddy, which is 13.6 cents per gallon higher than a month ago but 52.4 cents lower per gallon than during this week last year. New Hampshire’s cheapest station was $1.83 per gallon, and the most expensive station was $2.29 per gallon. Though the prices have been rising gradually in recent weeks, they dropped slightly last week nationwide, likely due to a resurgence in Covid-19 cases, according to GasBuddy. “Motorists across the country will likely be influenced by what develops in those areas — improvement and a slowdown in Covid would cause gas prices to continue rising, while a continued resurgence in Covid-19 cases and a drop in gasoline demand will mean lower gas prices,” Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in the release.
QOL score: 0 (because while $2.07 is low, that under $2 was such a welcome silver lining)
Comment: This is setting the state up to potentially have the lowest gas prices on the Fourth of July holiday since 2004, according to GasBuddy.

Great state for kids
The annual Annie E. Casey Foundation report found that New Hampshire is the second best state in the country for children’s well-being. The Granite State ranked second in the family and community domain, which includes data like Children in Single-Parent Families (30 percent in 2018) and Children Living in Poverty (1 percent in 2018). New Hampshire ranked fifth in the education domain and sixth in both the health and economic well-being domains.
QOL Score: +1
Comment: Massachusetts is the best state for children’s well-being, according to the report, beating New Hampshire in the education (second) and health (first) domains.

QOL score: 50
Net change: +2
QOL this week: 52
What’s affecting your Quality of Life here in New Hampshire? Let us know at news@hippopress.com

Quality of Life 20/07/23

No fall sports for UNH players and fans
The University of New Hampshire Department of Athletics announced July 17 that its fall sports teams — cross-country, soccer, football, field hockey, and women’s volleyball — will not compete in intercollegiate athletics this year. “For months, we have worked … to establish safe protocols and practices that would protect our student-athletes, coaches, staff and the greater community,” UNH Director of Athletics Marty Scarano said in the announcement, which was posted on the UNH Athletics Department website. “As of the last few weeks it has become obvious that … the virus is not under control and continues to present a significant risk.” The announcement noted that all athletic scholarships and eligibility will be honored for this year.
Score: -2
Comment: According to the announcement, the possibility of moving fall sports to the spring is being considered, and decisions regarding winter sports will take place in early fall.

Record-breaking spring turkey hunt
New Hampshire hunters set a record during this year’s spring turkey hunt, harvesting 5,719 turkeys, which is 643 more turkeys than last year, according to a news release on the New Hampshire Fish & Game website. The youth hunt weekend also saw an increase, with a harvest of 500 turkeys (8.7 percent of the season’s total), compared to 424 last year. There were plenty of heavy birds this spring, with the largest weighing between 24 and 29 pounds. The top five towns for number of turkeys harvested were Weare (84), Concord (77), Gilmanton and Claremont (75 each), and Belmont (73), according to the news release.
Score: +1
Comment: New Hampshire Fish and Game is asking the public to provide turkey brood observations through Aug. 31 for its annual turkey brood survey. Visit wildnh.com/surveys/turkeybrood.html to participate.

Backpack Drive is on
The New Hampshire Department of Education announced in a press release that it is now accepting donations of new backpacks for its fifth annual Backpack Drive. Backpacks are needed for students of all ages and will be accepted through Aug. 19 at the Department of Education, 101 Pleasant St. in Concord. The backpacks will be distributed statewide to school nurses, law enforcement and PPE stations, which will make them available to students in need. “New Hampshire families sometimes struggle with the out-of-pocket expenses of sending their kids back to school, and this is one way people can lend a hand,” Diana Fenton, who first created the Backpack Drive for the department in 2016, said in the release. Last year, more than 600 backpacks were collected.
Score: +1
Comment: QOL is welcoming all signs of normal “back to school” happenings this year.

We suck at driving
New Hampshire ranks No. 5 in the nation when it comes to the number of at-fault car accidents, according to a study from Insurify, an auto insurance quotes comparison site that analyzed the driving records of 2 million car insurance applicants across the country. Their data found the following in New Hampshire: percentage of drivers with a prior at-fault accident, 15.71; percentage of drivers with a prior speeding violation, 12.78; percentage of drivers with a prior DUI, 2.13; and number of drivers with a prior reckless driving incident, 30 out of 10,000. “Based on New Hampshire’s high volume of reckless driving incidents … a possible determinant of this state’s accident rates could be a lack of common discretion on these less congested, open roads, leading to an abundance of carelessness and an increase in driving errors,” the report reads.
Score: -1
Comment: At least we ranked higher than our neighbors, Massachusetts and Maine, which came in at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.

QOL score: 52
Net change: -1
QOL this week: 51
What’s affecting your Quality of Life here in New Hampshire? Let us know at news@hippopress.com.

Quality of Life 20/07/16

Finding fun at home
Reader Claire wrote in to praise several local efforts to make staying at home more bearable, specifically the “Courageous Community Conversations: Can We Talk about Race” Zoom program sponsored by the Goffstown Public Library, the Currier Museum of Art’s online ARTalk with Larissa Fassler on “Mapping Manchester” and the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire’s virtual tour of Italy on the Fourth of July. “It brought back a lot of memories of my trips to Rome and Pompeii,” Claire wrote.
Score: +1
Comment:“Online learning can be fun, and no tests,” Claire wrote.

New AmeriCorps members lending a hand
Sixteen founding members of the NH Covid Community Care Corps have been sworn in as AmeriCorps members and were scheduled to begin their eight-week term of service with nonprofits and city departments in Manchester and Nashua on Tuesday, according to a press release. In Manchester, four AmeriCorps members will work with the Parks & Recreation department to help develop in-person programming for small groups of youth, and 12 will serve in the Manchester Welfare Department, Health Department, the Mayor’s Office, and the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester. Four members will work in Nashua’s Department of Emergency Management and Public Health Department, and the Police Athletic League of Nashua, and one member will help with the Neighborhood Provisions program, a collaboration led by Dartmouth-Hitchcock that will coordinate delivery of food and groceries to community members at higher risk for Covid-19.
Score: +1
Comment: Goodwill Northern New England is accepting inquiries for full-time, year-round AmeriCorps service terms that will begin this fall. To express interest in becoming a member or being a host site, visit bit.ly/GoodwillAmeriCorps2020.

Watch your water
Despite recent bouts of rain, moderate drought conditions are expected to continue in the southern half of New Hampshire, prompting the New Hampshire Drought Management Team to meet last week to discuss the drought’s impact on the state. According to a press release, State Climatologist Mary Stampone said at the meeting that the drought will likely persist through at least the end of July, as recent precipitation won’t make up for the precipitation deficit for the year, or the anticipated high temperatures and below average precipitation expected over the coming month. Lake levels are below normal, rivers and streams around the state have been at or near historically low flows, and the majority of the state’s 31 monitoring wells are much lower than normal, according to the release. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services is encouraging outdoor water use restrictions for community water systems.
Score: -2
Comment:New Hampshire’s last substantial drought was in 2016, according to the press release.

Return on investment
New Hampshire has the best taxpayer return on investment, according to a WalletHub study, which considered data from five categories — Education, Health, Safety, Economy, and Infrastructure & Pollution — and took into account how people are taxed in each state. New Hampshire ranked second for Total Taxes per Capita (population aged 18+), fourth for Safety, seventh for Health, 13th for Economy, 30th for Education and 36th for Infrastructure & Pollution.
Score: +1
Comment: Florida took the No. 2 spot for overall taxpayer return on investment, followed by South Dakota, while last place went to Hawaii, according to the study.

QOL score: 51
Net change: +1
QOL this week: 52
What’s affecting your Quality of Life here in New Hampshire? Let us know at news@hippopress.com.

Quality of Life 20/07/09

Bummer about baseball
The Fisher Cats announced last week that Minor League Baseball has officially canceled the 2020 season. According to a message on the team’s website, Fisher Cats season ticket holders, mini-plan holders and fans who booked groups, suites and other hospitality nights for the 2020 season will receive a 125-percent credit on their deposit to be used toward the 2021 season, and single-game tickets can be used at any Fisher Cats home game in 2021. “We’ve remained optimistic throughout this process and done everything we can to prepare for the 2020 season, so [this] news is difficult to hear,” Fisher Cats President Mike Ramshaw said in the release. “But fan safety is our top priority, and we’ve already begun hosting safe, socially distanced events to make Delta Dental Stadium available to our community this summer.”
Score: -2
Comment: This will be the first time in 17 years that the Fisher Cats won’t play ball in New Hampshire, according to the message. In that time, the team has won three Eastern League Championships and sent 125 players to the majors.

Volunteers for the win
Civic involvement and engaging youth volunteers were a couple of the topics covered in the three-day 2020 Governor’s Conference on Volunteerism, held recently via Zoom, according to a press release. The keynote address, “​The Power of Giving Power Away: Finding Fit to Maximize Volunteer and Organization Impact​,” was given by Bryan Bessette, president and director of the Freedom Café in Durham, which is a nonprofit that works to end human trafficking.
Score: +1
Comment: It’s never too late to start volunteering. “[Covid-19] has made people kind of reevaluate a little bit where they’re going on their path in life, and that’s what Volunteer NH is all about,” Gov. Chris Sununu said at the conference. “That’s what these service organizations are all about — finding something that can be a new path for you to find your service, whatever it might be.”

Dry conditions mean higher risk of wildfires
The risk of wildfires due to abnormally dry or moderate drought conditions throughout the state has prompted the New Hampshire Forest Protection Bureau and the New Hampshire Fire Marshal’s Office to ask that residents and visitors use extra caution when having campfires, cooking outdoors or using fireworks. According to a press release, 90 percent of wildfires in New Hampshire are caused by human factors, and the state experiences 200 wildfires on average each year. “A single ember from a campfire or an errant spark from fireworks landing on dried grass, leaves or other combustible items can ignite and become a wildfire that results in property damage, personal injury or even loss of life,” the press release reads.
Score: -1
Comment: Fire permits are required for all open outdoor burning, which includes debris fires, campfires and bonfires; seasonal permits are available to individuals or businesses that have recurring fires, such as home fire pits and campgrounds. Permits are available at nhfirepermit.com.

Local food at your fingertips
Wondering where to get fresh dairy, produce and specialty foods in Merrimack County? A town-by-town food guide, created by the Merrimack County Conservation District, lists farms in the area as well as local farmers markets, according to a press release. This is the 10th year the district has created this guide, which also features short articles about local farms. The purpose of the guide, according to the release, is to let residents and visitors know about the agricultural diversity in Merrimack County and how to find a variety of products.
Score: +1
Comment:You can download a copy at merrimackccd.org, or request a physical copy by calling 223-6020 or emailing info@merrimackccd.org.

QOL score: 52
Net change: -1
QOL this week: 51

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

Quality of Life 20/06/25

Happy campers

The New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation announced in a press release that existing campsite reservations for the remainder of the 2020 season will be honored at the following campgrounds: Bear Brook State Park, Franconia Notch State Park-Cannon Mountain RV Park, Crawford Notch State Park-Dry River Campground, Ellacoya State Park, Greenfield State Park, Hampton Beach State Park (South), Jericho Mountain State Park, Franconia Notch State Park-Lafayette Place Campground, Lake Francis State Park, Monadnock State Park-Gilson Pond, Moose Brook State Park, Pawtuckaway State Park, Pillsbury State Park and White Lake State Park. The department will continue to evaluate whether to open additional reservations and campgrounds as the season progresses, but there are plenty of private campgrounds that have opened as well.

Comment: QOL headed up to the White Mountains for two nights at a campground last weekend and found the brief retreat to be very relaxing — and easy enough to maintain social distancing.

Let the games begin

The Nashua Silver Knights, part of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, will begin regular season play on Thursday, July 2, the league announced Monday. The league includes five other teams (four based in Massachusetts and one from Connecticut). The Silver Knights will host 21 of its 39 games at home in Holman Stadium, starting with three days of games July 2, July 3 and July 5. The regular season will conclude on Aug. 19 and will be followed by a best-of-three series to determine this season’s league champion. Visit nashuasilverknights.com.

Comment: This league features a “Home Run Derby Wins It” tiebreaker — if a game is still tied after one extra inning, the teams each get three minutes to hit as many home runs as possible, and the winner of the shootout-style derby wins the game.

Watch your water

As of June 18, the entirestate of New Hampshire has been categorized as abnormally dry, according to a press release from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, and drought development is likely in the state’s southern counties, including Merrimack, Rockingham and Hillsborough counties, which had received 50 to 75 percent less precipitation than normal over the past 60 days. Because of these conditions, the department is urging those with private wells to start conserving water now to avoid the need for well improvements or new wells. Suggestions include limiting outdoor water use and staggering water use for things like doing laundry and showering to allow the well time to recharge. For more suggestions, visit des.nh.gov, click on “A-Z list” and scroll down to Drought Management.

Comment: For those who have city or town water, municipalities and water utilities will likely impose outdoor water use restrictions as dry conditions continue, according to the release, and the department is asking the public to “be conservation-minded and abide by restrictions.”

Celebrate seafood all summer long

The 31st annual Hampton Beach Seafood Festival has been canceled, the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce announced in a press release last week. The Chamber decided to cancel the event, which typically draws more than 100,000 people throughout its three days, “in the best interest of the public safety and public health,” according to the release.

Comment: It’s not all bad news for seafood lovers: The Chamber is creating the “Summer Long Hampton Beach Seafood Celebration Guidebook,” which will direct people to the businesses that normally participate in the festival. The free guidebooks will be available at businesses along the coast and at the Chamber’s beach office on Ocean Boulevard starting July 6.

QOL score: 63 (the score is temporarily suspended, but QOL will still be keeping tabs on New Hampshire’s well-being each week)

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