Album Reviews 20/6/18

Sara Serpa, Recognition: Music for a Silent Film (Biophilia Records)

Serpa, a jazz singer from Portugal, has been a fixture for years, applying her elite-level voice to music that’s always just palatable (and dada) enough to keep influencers on their toes; she even won the No. 1 spot on Downbeat’s 2019 Rising Star Female Vocalist poll, which is, to me, amusing. Her shtick involves “wordless singing,” that is to say there are no recognizable words, just her voice uttering random vowel/consonant sounds. She does this gently and without electronic assistance, instantly captivating anyone in earshot who doesn’t have somewhere else to be. Her sparse but powerful 10th album, probably her most out-there work, is meant to backdrop a documentary she also put together, consisting of Super 8 footage of various scenes of life in 1960s Angola while under Portuguese colonial rule. An odd but ultimately fascinating work offered in memory of the victims of a long-forgotten injustice. A

Used Cassettes, Used Cassettes (Loose Union Records)

This is the purported final album from the surf-garage quartet, which finally disbanded for the same reason that they got together: they’re not from South Korea. You see, the members are from randomly different places — Detroit, South Africa and Canada — and met near Gangnam, where they were probably as surprised as their parents to find massive fame in the country, one highlight of which was starring in their own comic book, which was read by millions. The breakup weighed on their minds while recording this; finality is everywhere in these none-too-upbeat songs, all of which feature their trademark sound (think Coldplay with Raveonettes guitars), downtempo-ed to mark the occasion. It’s not like America didn’t have an opportunity to clue in to these guys; there were pieces in Spin and plenty of other places, but regardless, their legacy does live on as they go about their new lives, once again scattered to the winds (the bassist went off to build a beach hut in Sri Lanka – not shabby, friends). A

Retro Playlist

Eric W. Saeger recommends a couple of albums worth a second look.

In a local music scene almost solely composed of fedora-hat bar-bands that happily and unironically play “Brown Eyed Girl” for fun during rehearsals, my never-ending quest to find a halfway decent techno artist/band has come up bupkis, save for Otto Kinzel’s yeoman efforts to put some industrial-metal-tinged tuneage up on the board. In February I talked about his new single “I Bleed for You” here, a dark but very listenable song with addictive acoustic piano lines and a boss guitar solo.

Since you asked, what would get me really jacked is receiving a message from a local musician or soundsystem who’s released an album or EP that sounds even the remotest bit like something a respectable artist would put out, mindfully rendered both vocally and beat-wise. Maybe I’m missing an act that’s done stuff on one of the Facebook “NH Musicians” or whatnot groups, but to date, I remain unaware of any. You must come unto me, lambs, or I can’t help you get famous.

That reminds me, I totally spaced Tricky’s new EP, 20,20, when it came out on March 6. These three new tunes from the trip-hop pioneer were about as slow as you can go without flatlining, bare bones and morose but nevertheless brimming with, I don’t know, comfort? Opener “Hate This Pain” is an instant classic, driven by a lazy, Jelly Roll Morton-ish piano doodle and a string of expletive-riddled existential mumblings lovingly delivered by Tricky and his backup singer Marta.

If you’re in a local band, now’s a great time to let me know about your EP, your single, whatever’s on your mind. Let me know how you’re holding yourself together without being able to play shows or jam with your homies. Send a recipe for keema matar. Email for fastest response.

A seriously abridged compendium of recent and future CD releases

• June 19 is a Friday, meaning brand new music releases, for your brain! Any self-respecting curator of such a weekly announcement list would naturally start this week’s proceedings with Rough and Rowdy Way, the new album from wizened folkie mummy Bob Dylan, so we’ll do that, just to be normal for once. If you don’t know what Dylan sounds like — hey, I once had a girlfriend who couldn’t name one Beatles song, so you just hush — think of Tom Petty with no vocal range whatsoever. If you start there, you must move on to his renown as a poet, and take that on face. A lot of critics have put this album’s advance tunes under a microscope, mostly the 17 interminable minutes of Murder Most Foul, a 17-minute ballad about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, which actually comes off more as a cultural reference name-checking exercise, wherein he mentions Shakespeare, Stevie Nicks, Charlie Chaplin, Jelly Roll Morton and A Nightmare on Elm Street, among others. I couldn’t care less about anachronistic laissez-faire folkies preaching to politically unaware comfortably settled boomer choirs about the ever-mounting perils of this era, but if someone derives a little fleeting comfort from mildly imaginative hot takes lifted from mainstream-media-pundits, like “The age of the antichrist has just begun / it’s 36 hours past judgment day,” I shan’t grumble but simply continue stocking up on Angel Soft and bottled water. I mean, Dylan did stop the Vietnam war, or was it that President Johnson’s enthusiasm ran out after the Tet Offensive? So confusing!

• Whew, I’m sure glad we’re done with that bit, because if we had to revisit some more ’60s flower-power music, I swear I’d … GAHHH, barf, looky there, fam, it’s a new album from shaky-voiced great-great-grandparent Neil Young, called Homegrown (get it?), and this one isn’t even about hot new takes on the current apocalypse, it’s about old hot takes from the old apocalypse, because this was recorded in 1974! I mean, I thought “Ohio” and “Southern Man” were cool songs when I was young enough to ignore his dreadful guitar solos, but I just don’t know if I can take this. Oh well, I suppose it’ll be cool to see what he was doing after he sold out completely in 1972 and released the wussy cowboy-rock single “Heart of Gold,” even while there were all sorts of other apocalypses that were apocalypsin’, and plus, Richard Nixon. Ha ha, the video for the single “Try” starts out with this dude in a yellow shirt and a giant bird in sunglasses — oh wait, that’s a “Limu Emu” car insurance commercial. So this tune is super slow and boring, really heavy on the dobro guitar, like I have this weird urge to chew tobacco, but I’ll bet I wouldn’t really like it.

• Thank goodness, finally a band this week that wasn’t making records during the Abraham Lincoln administration, Protest the Hero, with their new LP, Palimpsest! All progressive-metal heads know that their last album, 2013’s Volition, was a big deal, reaching No. 1 on the U.S. charts, but will this new song, “From the Sky,” be awesome? Huh, I like the drums. It sounds like Pendulum played at double speed. The singer’s too loud in the mix. I like Gogol Bordello a million times more than this, but whatever.

• Finally, fedora-rocker Jason Mraz’s new “slab” Look for the Good is also on the way; let’s see if my Tums has kicked in enough to handle the title track. So in the video he’s chilling in the forest, watching a magic laptop showing guys working at horrible jobs, but in slow-motion so it’s OK, and the lyrics are Brady Bunch platitudes about nice people. The song has a one-drop beat that makes me think of Raffi, not Bob Marley. I think Tums may be the answer here, guys. — Eric W. Saeger

On board

Manchester tabletop game developers working on third game

Bobby Fowler and Brenda Noiseux, best friends and founders of the Manchester-based tabletop game company Almost a Game, say they’re looking forward to reuniting and continuing their work on their third game, which has been put on hold because of Covid-19.

The duo released their first game, Wicked Apples, in 2016. It won the Tabletop Audience Choice Award at that year’s Boston Festival of Indie Games.

Wicked Apples is designed for two to five players ages 12 and up, and takes about 15 to 20 minutes to play. The gameplay is player-versus-player and involves memory, bluffing and luck.

“It’s a very cutthroat, ‘Take that!’ kind of game, where you’re actively trying to knock out your opponents,” Fowler said. “There’s a lot of player interaction.”

Each player starts with a set of four cards representing apples three good, and one wicked which they can look at only once. Then, the cards are placed face-down, and the players take turns sliding their cards around to their opponents. At the end of a round, each player must choose one of the “apples” in front of them to eat. Any player who eats a wicked apple is out of the game. Additionally, the good apple cards all have special actions the players must do, which result in the cards being randomly shuffled around.

“As the game goes on, the apples get more and more mixed up, and you have to really try to keep track of where everyone is pushing the different apples in each round,” Fowler said.

The game may end with one winner the last player standing after all other players have eaten wicked apples and been eliminated or it may end with no winner, should the last two players both eat a wicked apple in the same round.

“It’s fun that way because then, if you get the sense that you aren’t going to win, you can still say, ‘OK, so how can I take my opponent down with me so that no one will win?’” Noiseux said.

Last December, Almost a Game released its second game, Space Chase. It’s designed for one to six players ages 12 and up, and takes about 30 to 45 minutes to play. Unlike Wicked Apples, Space Chase is a cooperative game, meaning all players work together as one alliance and will collectively win or lose. The gameplay is tile-based and involves using strategy and teamwork.

The players act as a crew aboard a spaceship. Their objective is to outrun an enemy hunter who is tracking their ship. To do that, the players must lay down tiles to create a path to the escape gate. If they reach the escape gate before the hunter reaches them, they win.

“We thought space as a theme would be a good fit for the mechanics of the game,” Fowler said. “There are tiles that are wormholes, which allow you to go from one side of the board to the other; and there are suns on the board, which you have to fly by really fast; so being in space allows players to interact with the tiles and use them in many different ways.”

Fowler and Noiseux met through work and developed a friendship, bonding especially over their mutual interest in tabletop games.

“Neither of our significant others liked to play games and we did, so it became this fun thing that we could do together,” Noiseux said.

Fowler has a passion for art and studied graphic design in college. He does both the design and the artwork for his games, which he said is unusual among game developers.

“Pretty much all game designers design the game, then hire an artist to do the art,” he said. “I get a fun, unique perspective, because as I’m designing a game I’m also thinking about the art. I can make sure that the artwork is reinforcing the design, and that the design is reinforcing the artwork, and that they really come together.”

Noiseux handles the marketing, play-testing and project management, but has been taking a more active role in the creative process for the company’s third game, False Queen, which is still in the early stages of development.

“I’m excited for us to start working together more closely and collaboratively on the designs,” she said.

Almost a Game
Order Wicked Apples ($15) or Space Chase ($45) at

Quality of Life 20/6/18

Free face masks for Manchester

The Queen City Rotary Club will be handing out free reusable face masks as part of the Mask Up NH project, a collaboration between The Common Man Family restaurants and rotary clubs around New Hampshire to provide free masks to local communities to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. According to a press release, the masks will be available for contactless, drive-through pickup at three locations in Manchester, St. George’s Greek Church (650 Hanover St.), Blake’s Restaurant (353 S. Main St.) and Manchester Police Athletic League (409 Beech St.), on Friday, June 19, from 4 to 7 p.m., and Saturday, June 20, from 9 a.m. to noon. Visit and

Comment: For more information about the Mask Up NH project, visit

NH really Gives

At NH Gives, a 24-hour giving event hosted by the New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits, a record-breaking $3,256,784 was raised, including $1 million within the first eight minutes, according to a press release. The total funds raised between 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9, and 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 10, is more than double the total funds raised at the events from the last four years combined, which was $1.5 million. This year’s NH Gives also broke its record number of participating New Hampshire nonprofits, with 488, and donors, with 13,428. Visit to find local nonprofits and causes to support.

Comment: “I looked at the totals in the first 10 minutes of the event and I actually shouted with joy,” said Dick Ober, president and CEO of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, which has been the lead sponsor of NH Gives since 2016. “This continues to be a really, really challenging time for nonprofits, who are having to adapt and work under extremely challenging conditions to continue to deliver on their critical missions. And the people of New Hampshire were saying: ‘We get it! Thank you for what you do! We are here for you.’”

Delicious donations

Girl Scouts weren’t able to sell their Girl Scout cookies this year due to the Covid-19 stay-at-home orders, but they found another way to distribute the cookies. As part of their Gift of Caring campaign, the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, which includes more than 10,000 girls in New Hampshire and Vermont, donated 30,000 packages of cookies to the military and front-line workers fighting the pandemic, plus 12,000 packages to the New Hampshire Food Bank and 1,200 packages to the staff at Elliot Health System and Catholic Medical Center to thank them for their service during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a press release.

Comment: Eileen Liponis, executive director of the New Hampshire Food Bank, said in the release that while the food bank always tries to have nutritious foods available, “everybody loves a Girl Scout cookie. In this time, it’s great to have a little uplifting treat.”

A city that reads together…

The Nashua Public Library will announce the featured book for its 2020 Nashua Reads: One City, One Book program on Friday, June 26, according to a press release. Library cardholders can reserve the book and check it out through curbside pickup at the library, or they can download the book as an audiobook or e-book. Local book clubs will also be able to reserve multiple copies of the book for their members. The program was created for Nashua residents to read the same book at the same time, then discuss the book with others in the community. A virtual event with the author of this year’s selected book will take place on Sunday, Oct. 11. Visit or the library’s Facebook page to see the announcement.

Comment: To find out what the book title is, subscribe to “This week @ your library,” the library’s e-newsletter, by going to and clicking Subscribe to our eNewsletter on the Connect menu, or follow the library on Facebook.

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

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

A little Election Day practice

Making the year ahead in this most unusual coming sports year even more unusual is it’s coming as the presidential election and the Black Lives Matter protest appear to be on a collision course. That took a major step forward last week when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and USA Soccer broke ranks from their previous stance to back their players’ right to protest. The president immediately and stridently assailed those new stances as unpatriotic and said he won’t be watching. Thus with detractors and proponents on each side it’ll be happening every Sunday and with the election growing closer and closer it will likely be a hot campaign topic all through every following week. That means sports may have a greater direct impact on how people vote for president than it ever has before.

So, to get ready, I’m going to practice my voting technique today by voting on the following items that have been in the news of late.

News Items: Automated Balls and Strikes Good for Baseball?

One of baseball’s coming debates is when the not too far off technology is perfected, should baseball have balls and strikes called by technological automation? When replay first arrived I wasn’t a big fan because I thought it might take the human element out of the game. But with the growing regularity of brutal officiating errors happening all through sports that feeling is gone. Now the concern is just about getting an answer more quickly. I particularly like the idea of a computer calling balls and strikes because it will standardize what a ball and strike is according to what the rulebook says it is over the discretion of each ump on a given night. I vote yes on automated strike zones.

News Item: Do Baseball Players Deserve Leeway On Money Talks?

While I have been critical of baseball for its tone deaf fight over money, I will say comparisons to the other leagues is not quite fair. NBA and NHL players were paid through the end of March and missed just one paycheck. For NFL players it’s looking like they’ll play the entire schedule with some fans in the stands, so they won’t miss any checks and the financial hit won’t be as severe for their owners. Baseball players meanwhile haven’t been paid since last year and with no fans at their park and half the seasonal TV revenue gone they’re facing a vast reduction in pay. Plus with 100 years of documented history in the memory bank, their lack of trust in their owners is well-founded. Since it’s not apples and apples compared with the other sports the vote is to give them a little leeway in this battle. Though my advice is keep clueless nitwits like Blake Snell away from the mike.

News Item: Will Young Patriots Receivers Be Better Without Brady?

One of the stories of actual interest in the relentless Tom Brady or Jarrett Stidham news cycle is will the production of the Patriots’ maligned young receivers improve with a less demanding QB in Tom Brady’s place? It’s food for thought, though it’s more complicated than just that. For one thing, the offense will be dumbed down for Stidham, which will make decision-making on the fly less complex for them as well. That complexity probably contributed to Brady’s much discussed “trust issues” with newcomers. Though I’ve thought that it was more simply being set in his ways and pickiness the last few years when his “I know all the answers to the test mentality was a bit of a double-edged sword. It led to complete command of the offense, but his lack of patience for those who didn’t have that led him away from the young guys in ways he hadn’t earlier in his career when he jelled immediately with Deion Branch, David Givens, Gronk and Aaron Hernandez. So, while they won’t be as good as they were with vintage Brady, I’m a yes that they’ll get more from N’Keal Harry and company with a player closer to their learning curve under center.

News Item: Does Mike Bolsinger Have a Case?

You’ve got to love this one. Former Blue Jays reliever Mike Bolsinger filed suit in February against the Houston Astros for damages to his career. The claim is their sign stealing was behind him being lit up for four runs and four hits in 1/3 of an inning in 2017, which immediately got him sent to the minors for good. So here’s the question for a judge and jury to ponder: Did that one game alone get a guy with 1-7 record over two years when the ERA’s were 6.31 (2017) and 6.61 (2016) demoted to the minors? Sorry, those are journeyman numbers and the kind that get guys sent to the minors all the time. Vote to throw the bogus claim out of court.

News Item: Jeter a Lock for Yanks’ Mt. Rushmore

Saw this one on Facebook when a kid I grew up with posted a picture of Derek Jeter looking up at the Yankees’ Mt. Rushmore like Ruth, Gehrig and DiMaggio were waiting for him to join them as the fourth member. Hey, I like Jeter as much as the next guy and think his adulation in NYC is similar to the Tom Brady GOAT stuff around here. But, sorry, the gushing NYC media making him out to be a cross between Joan of Arc and Charles Lindbergh is way over the top. Even the Brady comparison doesn’t work since TB is (or may be) the greatest at his position while Jeter is not the greatest at his. Though teammate Mariano Rivera was and that’s why he’s higher in my Rushmore voting than Jeter. So with him just ninth on my all-time Yankees list behind Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, the Mick, Yogi, Rivera, Whitey Ford, Bill Dickey and Jeter with either Andy Pettitte or Red Ruffing rounding out the Top 10, it’s a no vote for Jeter.

Justice for all

Thompson organizes Black Lives Matter Nashua

As the racial justice organizer for the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire, Jordan Thompson has done a variety of advocacy work, been involved with political campaigns and supported the efforts of other individuals and groups fighting for racial justice throughout the state. The nationwide invigoration and growth of the Black Lives Matter movement following the May 25 killing of George Floyd prompted Thompson to organize Black Lives Matter Nashua. He discussed the group’s mission and the need for more racial justice work in New Hampshire.

Why did you pursue a career in racial justice work?

It’s always been very personal for me. … My family has been deeply involved in politics. … Growing up in the foster care system showed me there’s a real need for the centering of social services. There’s a need to address a lot of disparities in our health care system. Child welfare reform is a major issue that we need to address. After I aged out of the foster care system at 18, I started working with a nonprofit called the National Foster Youth Institute in Washington, D.C. … We wanted to tackle federal legislation to address [child welfare] issues, but also challenged folks to go back to their home states and be the change they wanted to see at a local and state level. Immediately after I came back from Washington, D.C., I decided that I wanted to run for office. I ran twice in New Hampshire, first for moderator, then for the state House, unfortunately losing both times. I lost my primary for the state House by 30 votes; it was a very close race. I had decided that public service is what I wanted to do. I wanted to amplify the efforts and voices of young people of color in New Hampshire.

How did Black Lives Matter Nashua begin?

Of course, I was very saddened by the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. I had worked with Black Lives Matter Manchester, which is a really incredible group … and I felt inspired by that. I knew there were groups in Nashua that wanted to be more engaged in this work. … We formed … in response to the growing need to address racial justice in New Hampshire, specifically in the southern tier. We organized a vigil and protest … and had a really good attendance of over 1,200 people.

What is [its] ongoing mission?

We’ll be continuing … to rethink the role of law enforcement in our communities, to address a list of demands that we intend to present to our congressional delegation in our state and local leadership, and to provide a space for black and brown people to survive and thrive in their communities. We [plan to meet] with members of law enforcement so they can hear from youth that are impacted by these issues; having town halls with our local, state and federal delegations; and trying to lay out clear demands for policy reforms, then holding elected officials accountable to those demands once they’ve been agreed to. … We’re also working with the Greater Nashua NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] and Black Lives Matter Manchester … [and] supporting protests and vigils that have popped up in the area and surrounding towns like Merrimack and Londonderry.

How did Black Lives Matter Nashua’s first vigil and protest go?

It went really well. We had a few agitators at the very beginning, but other than that, it was very peaceful. We had an incredible program of speakers [who delivered] inspiring messages. … I’m grateful that we continue to set the standard here in New Hampshire that our protests and demonstrations are peaceful and provide an opportunity for lasting change.

What measures are you taking to ensure safety at these gatherings?

We’re continuing to coordinate with local law enforcement to make them aware of the presence of agitators before they have the opportunity to agitate, and we’re trying to follow a lot of the guidelines that have been set in relation to the pandemic, making sure that folks wear masks and that people are adhering to social distancing.

What are some of the biggest issues affecting people of color in New Hampshire right now?

We suffer from the same issues that black communities face nationwide. There is a lack of access to opportunities, housing [and] quality and accessible education. … Representation is another big one. We do not have representation in local , and because we have such a small demographic of black and brown people in New Hampshire, we really need an entity that is going to be effective in getting our voices heard. … Thankfully, Nashua’s law enforcement has a good working relationship with our members.

How can people get involved?

Attend a protest. Call your representatives with a clear set of demands, and then hold them accountable. … We’re constantly posting content on social media to engage people … who want to call their senators, state representatives and Governor Sununu. We have graphics with very specific action items to give people a script and dialogue to follow. … These are going to be difficult conversations. … Learn how to listen. Realize that you may be coming into this very ignorant, and that’s OK. There’s no such thing as a perfect ally. There’s no such thing as someone who knows every single thing that there is to know about these issues. We’re all learning together. — Angie Sykeny

News & Notes 20/6/18

Governor’s updates

Covid-19 updateAs of June 8As of June 15
Total cases statewide5,0795,345
Total current infections statewide1,401984
Total deaths statewide286320
New cases449 (June 1 – June 8)321 (June 9 – June 15)
Information from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

In the past week, Gov. Chris Sununu made multiple announcements in the state’s ongoing response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

On June 9, Sununu issued Emergency Order No. 50, which temporarily gives compensation for travel expenses for members of the General Court in New Hampshire.

In a June 11 press conference, Sununu announced the June 15 expiration of his stay-at-home order. The order had been issued back on March 26 in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the Granite State. The stay-at-home order has now transitioned into a “Safer at Home” advisory, which removes the social gathering limitation of 10 people or less, as well as the classification of “essential” versus “nonessential” businesses.

Several phased reopening guidelines for more business sectors in New Hampshire were also announced during the press conference, as part of Sununu’s “Stay at Home 2.0” plan. As of June 15, traditional gyms were able to reopen at 50 percent capacity to normal activities, such as aerobics, yoga, dance and martial arts.

Amateur sports, also on June 15, were able to move into Phase 2 of reopening, which includes the reopening of indoor athletic facilities for low physical contact sports, as well as expanding group training sessions.

Bowling alleys, small racetracks, tourist trains and organized motorcycle rides were all able to reopen on June 15, as part of the revamped guidance on outdoor attractions. Regarding New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, Sununu said his office is still working with officials there on creating a viable plan for reopening with capacity guidance.

Charitable gambling facilities, museums, libraries and funeral homes also received new reopening guidance that began on June 15.

Beginning June 29, indoor movie theaters, performing arts centers and amusement parks will be permitted to reopen, all with capacity limitations. As of June 15, flexed guidance documents for those sectors are still being finalized.

On June 11, Sununu issued Emergency Order No. 51, terminating Emergency Orders No. 4 and No. 24, which had temporarily prohibited landlords in the state from issuing eviction or foreclosure notices to their tenants. Both Emergency Orders No. 4 and No. 24 will terminate on July 1. Per Emergency Order No. 51, the minimum notice period for eviction notices has been extended from seven to 30 days, for those based on nonpayment of rent from March 17 through June 11.

On June 15, Sununu issued Emergency Order No. 52, an order regarding public health guidance for business operations and advising Granite Staters they are safer at home. Emergency Order No. 52 also includes Exhibits A and B, which provide universal guidelines for all employees and employers and industry-specific guidelines for businesses and organizations, respectively. The order will remain in effect until at least Aug. 1.

Details of all of Sununu’s announcements and orders can be found at

Gubernatorial election

On June 12, Gov. Chris Sununu announced on Twitter that he has officially filed for re-election for a third term as governor. He’ll be running against the winner of the Democratic gubernatorial primary, held on Sept. 8, which so far features two candidates. Executive councilor Andru Volinsky also filed on June 12, as did State Senate majority leader Dan Feltes, according to press releases from their respective campaigns. The 2020 state gubernatorial election will take place on Nov. 3.

State House candidates

More than 400 Democratic candidates have filed for more than 380 seats in the New Hampshire House, according to a June 12 press release. The candidates included 114 first-time filers, 202 women and 45 educators, the release said. On the Republican side, 385 candidates have filed, according to the state’s Committee to Elect House Republicans.

College plans

At least three New Hampshire colleges and universities have announced their plans for the upcoming fall semester.

Saint Anselm College in Manchester will resume on-campus classes on Aug. 19, following the approval of its Board of Trustees, according to a June 9 press release. In a letter sent to students and faculty, College President Dr. Joseph Favazza detailed a school calendar that would include beginning classes in mid-August and ending the semester on campus prior to Thanksgiving, on Nov. 20. Final exams for the Fall 2020 semester will take place remotely. The academic calendar also includes an expanded break between the fall and spring semesters.

Rivier University in Nashua will also welcome its students back to the campus for face-to-face instruction in the fall. “While we confidently anticipate our campus reopening, the university is taking a number of steps to ensure students, faculty and staff will use best practices to create an environment that supports the health and wellbeing of our entire community,” Rivier President Sr. Paula Marie Buley, IHM, wrote in a June 9 letter to students.

Southern New Hampshire University, meanwhile, will be extending remote learning for campus students through the fall, according to a June 10 press release. The university is also reducing undergraduate campus tuition to its online rates for all students.

Manchester budget

On June 9, the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen adopted the FY2021 budget by a vote of 8-7, according to a press release. In addition, finance director William Sanders released the final FY2020 general fund expenditure and revenue forecast, which predicts an operating surplus of $1.6 million. The approved budget allocates $159 million to the city and $183 to the school district, as well as funding for all existing collective bargaining contracts and salary agreements on both the city and school district sides.

Craigslist scams

State officials are warning potential renters of property scams via Craigslist, according to a press release. The scam involves an apartment or house that is offered for rent on the popular listings website, which will often contain details and photos in an attempt to convince consumers that it’s a legitimate offer. When the scam artist, posing as a landlord, is contacted, the consumer is asked to pay a reservation fee upfront through a bank transfer or electronic money transfer service such as Cash App or PayPal. If the consumer asks to visit the property before making the payment, the “landlord” creates an excuse. “Consumers should not transfer or wire money to people they do not know,” Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald said in a statement. “Most legitimate landlords will accept a personal check or money order.” If you or someone you know may have fallen victim to this scam, you can file a complaint at or call the state’s Consumer Hotline at 271-3641.

Curbside spirits

More of the state’s Liquor & Wine Outlet stores are now offering curbside pickup, following a successful pilot program by the New Hampshire Liquor Commission, according to a press release. As of June 11, curbside and in-store pickup orders can be placed at Stores No. 81 (619 Sand Road, Pembroke), No. 33 (1100 Bicentennial Drive, Manchester), No. 74 (16 Michel’s Way, Londonderry), as well as at Store No. 73 on Interstate 95 South in Hampton and Store No. 67 on Interstate 93 South in Hooksett. Place your order at least one day in advance by visiting and selecting a 15-minute time slot between noon and 5 p.m. Orders must be a minimum of two bottles. No same-day pickup is available, but you can place orders for up to two weeks in advance.

The New Hampshire State Forest Nursery in Boscawen announced that its spring seedling sales were up 15 percent this year over last year, which was also a record year. A total of 517 orders were placed, for $193,039, and 2/3 of the orders came from New Hampshire residents, according to a press release. If you want to receive the 2021 seedling catalog, visit

Liberty House in Manchester has launched a special fundraising campaign called “Mission Renovate & Restore: Combating Veteran Homelessness, which will help raise money to increase residential capacity and expand services, according to a press release. An anonymous donor contributed $250,000, which will be matched dollar-for-dollar between now and July 30. Visit

The fireworks that were scheduled to start July 1 at Hampton Beach might be put on hold thanks to piping plovers, a protected species that has nested on the beach, right where fireworks crews would normally set up, according to a press release. Check the official Hampton Beach Facebook page for updates.

My racist self

I am a racist. It took me 35 years to first say the words and the last two examining the complexity of its meaning. I say it now not because it’s easy but because it serves as a critical reminder of the internal work needed to play a role in dismantling white dominance.   

See, even above, I swapped out “white supremacy” for “white dominance” because the latter is less threatening, and it doesn’t immediately cause people to shut down. In doing so, I made the choice to center white emotions over the reality of what the black community feels. I’m complicit.

For all the learning and reflection I’ve engaged in, I still ask myself, “What good is knowledge if I do not apply it?” I know The Hippo calls this section “Granite Views,” yet all of us writers for it are white.  What message is that sending about whose viewpoints matter or what voices should be raised up in our state? Yet have I ever used my position to challenge it? I’m complicit. 

Positioning myself as the heroic white person — as not one of “those people” — separates me from the very identity that I need to be most connected to. As a queer, white woman, I have taken my pass to not be as oppressed, coupled with still feeling oppressed, as my excuse why I don’t intervene more. I’m complicit. 

There are many aspects to the system of anti-black racism that remain outside of my lens. However, there is no excuse to remain uneducated about the dynamics and history of racism in America. We have books, films, TEDTalks, articles and social media accounts to follow where countless experiences are shared. But what good is awareness if I’m not willing to take inventory of my own culture and identity, see how it shapes these experiences, and take action to address it? I’m complicit.

What we see on the news is often how we define racism in this country but it runs so much deeper than that. Being complicit is one of the most prevalent ways white people participate in this system and the impact is palpable. Fortunately, it’s fully within one’s own control to acknowledge and address it.   

If you want to get involved, please educate yourself, be willing to truly listen without getting defensive, and find ways to support the solutions being shared by the black community. White allyship is needed but it requires significant self-reflection and realizing the work should not be motivated by simply wanting to be “not racist.”

“It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.”— James Baldwin

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