Flowers fit for a dog

In celebration of Daffy

Daphne mezereum was the registered name of my corgi, Daffy, who passed away on Aug. 25. Born in 2006, Daffy was my constant companion who was always ready for an adventure — or especially a meal or snack. When her back legs gave out, she figured out ways to propel herself forward with glee — ignoring the inconvenience, and trying to overcome the pain. Finally, when the pain was nearly constant, we reluctantly called the vet.

We buried Daffy alongside her cat friend, Winnie, who passed naturally at age 23 in June, and Abby and Stanley and Emily, all good dogs who have passed on and been buried in a quiet shady place on our property. Each had their graves decorated with flowers from the garden. Let’s take a look at some of the plants I grow, and that I used to commemorate Daffy and celebrate her life.

Of course I cut branches of her namesake, Daphne mezereum or February Daphne. It is a fabulous shrub that blooms in May here in Cornish Flat, displaying pinky-purple fragrant flowers in abundance. It is slow-growing, so easy to maintain. No need to do much pruning, other than stems I cut to force in a vase each year in April.

And I put in her grave a couple of stems from a Harry Lauder’s walking stick shrub. A walking stick seems fitting for a dog that had trouble walking. It’s a curly hazelnut that would not really be good as a walking stick — there are no straight bits. Mine is a variety called ‘Red Majestic’ of the European filbert (Corylus avellana).

In the spring the leaves are a deep red-purple but develop a greenish tinge as the summer progresses. I have mine in a flower bed and have been able to keep it to a six-foot-wide and -tall tree by annual pruning.

And I sent Daffy off with diamonds: Pink Diamond, that is. It’s a lovely variety of hydrangea paniculata. I bought one that is a “standard,” meaning that it came with a straight trunk that had branches grafted on at the four-foot-high level. So it started out as a shrub with some height, and never suffered from the awkwardness common to many hydrangeas that start as multi-stemmed shrubs.

At the bottom of Daffy’s grave I placed boughs from a Canadian hemlock (Tsuga canadensis). This is a native evergreen tree that grows well in sun or shade. In 1972 I dug up several growing wild in a field nearby and planted them as a hedge. They are now 50 feet tall or so. My late sister, Ruth Anne, lived in Canada and loved Daffy fiercely, calling her “the dog of joy.” So these boughs commemorated them both. I no longer promote planting hemlocks because an insect pest, the wooly adelgid, is decimating them, though thankfully not in my area, as yet.

Of the woody plants, the last I placed in Daffy’s grave was a stem from my Bartlett pear. Daffy, always hungry, would gorge on the pears that fell on the ground beneath this tree, so it seemed fitting to put a branch in.

I cut fresh perennial flowers for Daphne’s grave, too. Phlox have been gorgeous this year, disease-free and fragrant. Daffy is the only dog I’ve had who noticed flowers. I have a picture of her checking out a vase of tulips. But phlox is in all its glory in sunny beds, so I cut some.

Daffy had a sunny disposition, even at the end when she was in pain, so I included a sunflower. Like Daphne, it was a short one, perhaps ‘Teddy Bear.’ There are so many great sunflowers out there, many short and with multiple flowers branching off the main stem. They are easily started from seed. Chipmunks love them when they are just starting, so I grow them in six-packs until they are tall enough to ignore the rodents. Deer love sunflowers, too, however, when they get bigger.

And roses went in the grave, too. My favorites are the Knockout roses. Perhaps because they are not fragrant, they don’t seem to be attractive to the Japanese beetles that can plague old-fashioned roses. They are fast-growing and can reach a height of four feet in a couple of months even if all above-ground stems died over the winter. The one I selected for Daffy has had 25 blossoms most of the time this summer.

Then we added some Shasta daisies, those wonderful, cheerful flowers with white petals around a central yellow button. My patch of those gets a bit bigger each year in full sun. And Mexican sunflowers (Tithonia rotundifolia), a six-foot-tall orange annual in the daisy or sunflower family. We start lots of these by seed each year, and I am always delighted by the results.

I suppose there were other flowers we picked for Daphne’s last day, though it’s all a bit of a blur. I do know that flowers always lift my spirits, and certainly they needed some lifting that day. But I’m doing better now, and being in the garden has helped. Later this fall I will plant bulbs on her grave – snowdrops. They are the first flowers to bloom in spring, and always bring me joy. And after all, she was the Dog of Joy.

The Art Roundup 20/09/10

DIY art: Studio 550 Art Center (550 Elm St., Manchester) is now offering art-at-home kits, which include all the materials and tools needed for a do-it-yourself art project. Projects include mosaics, succulent plant arrangements, clay jars, fairy houses, mugs and open-ended clay projects. The kits come with step-by-step instructions, accompanying video tutorials or guided workshops by request. Completed clay creations can be dropped off at the studio for firing. Visit or call 232-5597.

Duo display: “2020 Double Vision,” an exhibit featuring work by two New Hampshire Art Association artists, is on display now through Sept. 17 in the lobby at 2 Pillsbury St. in Concord. Both artists create paintings inspired by scenes in New England and beyond. Debbie Mueller’s style uses bold, simple designs with a focus on light and how light affects the shapes and colors within a scene. Marianne Stillwagon’s paintings depict picturesque villages and changing seasons in a contemporary primitive Americana style. “It’s extraordinary how two artists can look at the same scene and create vastly different paintings,” Mueller said in a press release. “We each have our unique vision and way of interpreting our world … [and] our unique viewpoint to our scenes.” All artwork is for sale. Viewing hours are Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Saturday from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Visit or call 431-4230.

Virtual author events: Gibson’s Bookstore of Concord has two virtual author events coming up. On Sunday, Sept. 13, at 2 p.m. there will be a “Roaring 20s Middle Grade/Young Adult Author Panel” with authors who debuted their middle grade or young adult novels in 2020. Featured authors will include Josh Roberts (The Witches of Willow Cove), Lorien Lawrence (The Stitchers), Cat Scully (Jennifer Strange), Kaela Noel (Coo) and Cathleen Barnhart (That’s What Friends Do). Participants are encouraged to come with questions about the authors’ stories and writing and publishing processes. Then, on Monday, Sept. 14, at 7:15 p.m., Meredith Hall will present her debut novel Beneficence in a pre-publication event. The novel is a story of love and the gifts, obligations, covenants and compromises that come with it. She will be joined in conversation by New Hampshire poet Wesley McNair. The events will be held on Zoom, and registration is required. Visit or call 224-0562.

Sculpture symposium concludes: The 13th annual Nashua International Sculpture Symposium will have its closing ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 12, at 1 p.m., when the public can see the completed sculptures revealed at the installation site, located at the west entrance of Mine Falls Park. It will also be livestreamed at Sculptors Taylor Apostol from Massachusetts, Elijah Ober from Maine and Kelly Cave from Pennsylvania have spent the last three weeks in Nashua creating the sculptures. They will continue working up until the closing ceremony, daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the installation site. The public is invited to stop by during those times to watch the sculptors work and interact with them during their breaks. A map of the 36 existing sculpture sites along with suggested walking and biking tour routes is available at

Last chance for free comics: Free Comic Book Summer, a reworking of Free Comic Book Day in which local comic book shops put out a handful of different free comics every Wednesday, will conclude with its last batch of free comics on Wednesday, Sept. 9. The comics will include The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess/Splatoon (adventure/fantasy, for teen readers) with Squid Kids Comedy Show; The Incal (sci-fi, for mature readers); and Sue & Tai-chan (a “kitty comedy” based on the Chi’s Sweet Home series, for readers of all ages). Visit for the full list of this year’s free comics and to find participating comic book shops in your area.

Plays by the Lakes: The Winnipesaukee Playhouse (33 Footlight Circle, Meredith) announced in a press release that it has reopened, with a small season of three productions to be performed at the Playhouse’s outdoor amphitheatre in September and October. Or, will run Wednesday, Sept. 2, through Sunday, Sept. 6, and Wednesday, Sept. 9, through Saturday, Sept. 12, at 4 p.m. The historical play by Liz Duffy Adams’ is a fictionalized account of the life of England’s first female playwright Aphra Behn. Tickets cost $29 to $39. Or, will be followed by The Mountaintop, opening on Wednesday, Sept. 16, and No Wake, opening on Wednesday, Sept. 30. Visit or call 279-0333.

Featured Photo: Debbie Mueller art, featured in “2020 Double Vision” exhibit. Courtesy photo.

Fall Guide

A look at how this fall is shaping up for arts and entertainment

Fall events are happening.

Though this year’s guide to arts and entertainment is smaller, theaters are presenting shows, galleries have exhibits, bands are performing and local food is being celebrated. (At least, that’s the way the schedule stands at the moment. As with everything these days, plans may change. Check with the venues about their safety protocols and scheduling processes.) In addition to live in-person events from now through Thanksgiving, we also take a look at a few from-home options to stay connected to your favorite arts organizations.

Need a reason to get excited about autumn? We collected a pile of fall fun.

Theater, inside and out

Local theater companies are taking a number of different approaches to their fall shows.

The Hatbox Theatre in Concord will carry on with indoor, in-person shows, including a mainstage production with a two-week run, but with strict safety measures.

“Hatbox is exceeding state guidelines by requiring mask use by all patrons and staff,” owner Andrew Pinard said. “Performers, when appropriate, will wear masks, but will also observe social distancing … [and] are encouraged to follow the same rules in rehearsal.”

The theater has sought out shows with a small cast and has suspended all musical performances until the spring of 2021, but “plans may change depending on the course of the pandemic,” Pinard said.

The Peacock Players have suspended all in-person mainstage productions until further notice but will still offer some smaller shows by its improv and musical theater troupes in Nashua’s Library Park.

“[We] will continue to engage our students, families and patrons through the remainder of the year … [through] live outdoor performances,” artistic director Keith Weirich said.

Theatre Kapow of Manchester will present its fall series, consisting of three one-person plays, as virtual performances.

“We love the energy of the in-person audience, but for this series, we will be engaging you [virtually],” said Carey Cahoon, an actor and director with the company. “Bring these three stories into your homes and find companionship in isolation.”

— Angie Sykeny


• The Winnipesaukee Playhouse (33 Footlight Circle, Meredith;, call 279-0333) will present a season of three productions this fall, all of which will be performed at the Playhouse’s outdoor amphitheatre. The play Or, is going on now through Saturday, Sept. 12, with performances every day at 4 p.m. The Mountaintop will run from Sept. 16 through Sept. 26, with showtimes Wednesday through Sunday at 4 p.m. No Wake will run from Sept. 30 through Oct. 11, with showtimes Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., plus two additional shows on Saturday, Oct. 10, at 2 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 11, at 5 p.m. Tickets for all plays cost $29 to $39.

• The Hatbox Theatre (270 Loudon Road, Concord;, 715-2315) will host a number of shows this fall, including a mainstage production of the A.R. Gurney play Love Letters from Sept. 11 through Sept. 27, with showtimes on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Performer Andrew Pinard will bring his show “Discovering Magic” to the stage on Wednesdays, Sept. 16, Oct. 14 and Nov. 18, at 7:30 p.m. Tiny Hands Productions presents its comedy show “Comedy Out of the ‘Box” on Thursdays, Sept. 24, Oct. 15 and Nov. 19, at 7:30 p.m. Queen City Improv will perform on Thursdays, Sept. 17, Oct. 8 and Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for all shows cost $22 for adults and $19 for students and seniors.

• The Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester;, 668-5588) will present a mainstage production of Nunsensefrom Sept. 11 through Oct. 4, with showtimes on Wednesdays, Sept. 16 and Sept. 30, Thursdays, Sept. 17 and Oct. 1, and Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at noon and 5 p.m. Tickets cost $39 to $46 for adults and $25 for children. Then, the Palace kids will perform Beauty and the Beast Jr.,from Oct. 6 through Oct. 17, with showtimes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 7 p.m., and Saturday at noon. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $12 for children. The musical The British Rock Experience will run Oct. 23 through Nov. 14, with showtimes on Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at noon and 5 p.m., with an additional show on Wednesday, Oct. 28, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $39 to $46 for adults, $30 for seniors age 60 and up and veterans and $25 for children. Finally, the Southern New Hampshire Dance Theater will bring its traditional performance of The Nutcracker to the Palace stage on Thursday, Nov. 19, and Friday, Nov. 20, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 21, at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 22, at noon and 4:30 p.m. Tickets cost $39 to $46 for adults and $25 for children.

• The Majestic Theatre will present three shows at the Majestic Studio Theatre (880 Page St., Manchester;, 669-7469) this fall. Piano entertainers Keith Belanger and Robert Dionne perform in “Piano Men” on Sunday, Sept. 13, at 6 p.m. Robert Dionne performs in the “Mix Tape” Piano Cabaret on Saturday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m. The Rockin Daddios vocal group will perform on Saturday, Nov. 21, with shows at 2 and 7 p.m. Tickets cost $15 and must be purchased in advance.

From home: All three performances will also be offered virtually, livestreamed and recorded. Tickets for virtual shows cost $10 and must be purchased in advance.

• Cue Zero Theatre Co. ( presents Shakespeare in the (Ball) Park, a reimagined baseball-themed version of Romeo and Juliet, at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium (1 Line Drive, Manchester) on Sunday, Sept. 20, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $10.

• The Peacock Players (, 886-7000) will have two free outdoor shows in Library Park in Nashua. Technical Difficulties, the Players’ improv comedy troupe, will perform on Saturday, Oct. 24, and the Players’ musical theater troupes Spotlight and Center Stage will perform on Sunday, Oct. 25.

More stay-at-home theater

• The Manchester Community Theatre Players present a livestreamed performance of Blood on His Hands?, an original play by local playwrights Alan D. Kaplan and Tom Anastasi, Sept. 25 through Oct. 3, with performances on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. It’s free to watch. Visit

• Theatre Kapow will present a series of three livestreamed one-person plays this fall: Feast from Sept. 25 through Sept. 27, Natural Shocks from Oct. 23 through Oct. 25 and A Tempest Prayerfrom Nov. 20 through Nov. 22. Showtimes are on Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 4 p.m. Tickets cost $10. Visit

Artistic endeavors

Many local art galleries are open and ready to welcome visitors this fall.

“We are thrilled to be back in person after a few successful socially distant events,” said Kimball Jenkins executive director Julianne Gadoury, adding that there are currently four exhibitions being planned (and one there now) for the Concord estate’s galleries. The galleries are open to no more than 10 visitors at one time, and masks are required. Kimball Jenkins can continue to host in-person artist receptions safely outside on its upper lawn, Gadoury said, with distance between guests and refreshments served in individual portions.

Art 3 Gallery in Manchester just opened a new exhibit but is proceeding with caution; viewers are encouraged to explore the exhibit via a virtual tour on the gallery’s website, and if they prefer to see the exhibit in person they should call ahead so the gallery can ensure a safe number of visitors at all times. The current exhibit will stay up for around six weeks, gallery owner Joni Taube said, but plans for the rest of the fall are still up in the air.

“We have not decided what will go up next because of the pandemic,” Taube said. “One day at a time here.”

The League of New Hampshire Craftsmen has reopened its galleries at limited capacities across the state (including galleries in Concord, Hooksett, Nashua and Meredith).

“[They] are open and have full inventories of beautiful crafts by local artists,” said Sarah Nyhan, League communications and administrative director.

The League will continue extending its customer service to accommodate customers who aren’t ready to return to the galleries in person, Nyhan said. They can “shop” by phone or email and either pick up their items curbside or have their items shipped to their home.

— Angie Sykeny


• Work by two New Hampshire Art Association artists is featured in “2020 Double Vision, on view now through Sept. 17 in the lobby at 2 Pillsbury St. in Concord. Both artists create paintings inspired by scenes in New England and beyond. All artwork is for sale. Viewing hours are Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Saturday from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Visit or call 431-4230.

From home: NHAA will present its 34th annual Lassonde Exhibit online as a virtual exhibit from Sept. 18 through Oct. 16. It will feature juried works by a number of artists following the theme “Travels Near and Far.”

• The League of NH Craftsmen headquarters (49 S. Main St., Concord;, 224-3375) has an exhibition, “Art, Craft & Design, on view now through Sept. 27. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

From home: A virtual tour of the exhibit is offered on the League website.

• Twiggs Gallery (254 King St., Boscawen; 975-0015, has an exhibit, “Searching for Solace: Sacred Spaces/Sacred Places, on view now through Sept. 27. It features paintings, sculpture, textiles and ceramics by 13 artists exploring the concept of personal sanctuary, with a focus on nature. Gallery hours are Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, noon to 4 p.m.

• The Kimball Jenkins Estate (266 N. Main St., Concord; 225-3932, presents an exhibition, “Life’s Work: Occupations & Identity, in its Carriage House Gallery now through Sept. 28, with an opening reception to take place on Thursday, Sept. 10, from 5 to 7 p.m., outside on the upper lawn. The exhibit features portrait photography by Maundy Mitchell that explores the evolution of trades and societal views on identity and jobs. Gallery hours are Monday through Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• The New Hampshire Antique Co-op (323 Elm St., Milford; 673-8499, presents “Abstract Paintings & Tribal Masks” in its Tower Gallery now through Sept. 30. The exhibit and sale features modernist 20th- and 21st-century paintings juxtaposed alongside a collection of Oceanic and African hand-carved masks and figural carvings. Co-op hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Tuesday by appointment.

From home: NHAC’s first-ever virtual art exhibition and sale, “Summer Palettes: Impressionist & Modernist Works from the 19th century to Present, is viewable online now through Sept. 30. It features more than 50 paintings by 19th- and 20th-century artists, as well as contemporary and local artists, that evoke the essence of summer.

• “Manchester’s Urban Ponds: Past, Present, and Future: A Celebration of the Manchester Urban Ponds Restoration Program’s 20th Anniversary” is on display now through Nov. 28 at the Millyard Museum (200 Bedford St., Manchester; 622-7531, in the State Theater Gallery. The exhibit provides a look at the history of some of the ponds in Manchester. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission costs $8 for adults, $6 for seniors age 62 and up and college students, $4 for youth ages 12 through 18, and is free for kids under age 12.

• The Currier Museum of Art(150 Ash St., Manchester; 669-6144, is now open with three special exhibitions. “Richard Haynes: Whispering Quilts” features a series of drawings inspired by traditional quilting patterns that tells the story of an enslaved family’s dangerous journey along the Underground Railroad from a southern plantation to freedom in Canada; “Photographs from the Civil Rights Movement” features photography from the Civil Rights protests in the 1950s and 1960s; and “Open World: Video Games & Contemporary Art” explores how contemporary artists have been influenced by the culture of video games, through paintings, sculpture, textiles, prints, drawings, animation, video games, video game modifications and game-based performances and interventions. Museum hours are Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and closed Monday through Wednesday. Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, $10 for students, $5 for youth ages 13 through 17 and free for children under age 13 and must be purchased in advance online.

• Art 3 Gallery (44 W. Brook St., Manchester;, 668-6650) has a new exhibition called “Simple Pleasures” on display now. Viewing hours are Monday through Friday from 1 to 4:30 p.m., and by appointment.

From home: A virtual tour of the exhibit is offered on the gallery’s website.


• The Concord Arts Market is held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., now through Sept. 26, in Concord’s Bicentennial Square. The juried outdoor market features a variety of art and crafts by local artists and craftspeople. Additionally, the Concord Arts Market and Concord Handmade will host a Capital City Art Bazaar in Rollins Park on Saturday, Oct. 3, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit

• Canterbury Shaker Village (288 Shaker Road, Canterbury; 783-9511, will have its Artisan Market on Saturday, Sept. 12, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The market celebrates handcrafted arts with music, family activities and demonstrations. Tickets cost $12 for adults age 25 and over and are free for youth and adults under age 25. Guided village tours will also be given for $10.

• The Capital Arts Fest, hosted by the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, will take place on Saturday, Sept. 26, and Sunday, Sept. 27, outside on Main Street in Concord. The juried craft fair will feature League members and invited artisans from around New England, plus live music. Visit or call 224-3375.

Special events

• The 13th annual Nashua International Sculpture Symposium closing ceremony, at which the finished sculptures will be revealed, will take place on Saturday, Sept. 12, at 1 p.m. at the installation site, located at the west entrance of Mine Falls Park. Until then the public is also welcome to visit the sculptors while they work at the installation site daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit

From home: The closing ceremony will also be livestreamed at

• The sculptures created during the 20th annual Hampton Beach Sand Sculpting Classic are still on display and illuminated for night viewing now through Sept. 13. Visit

More stay-at-home art

• City Arts Nashua’s annual ArtWalk has been reworked as a virtual event called ArtWeek. From Oct. 17 through Oct. 25 there will be virtual arts events and activities for kids and adults, music, artist demonstrations and talks and a screening of the 2020 Meri Goyette Arts Awards presentation. Visit

• Creative Ventures Gallery in Milford will present its annual holiday exhibit and sale, “Small Works – Big Impact, virtually on its website from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31. It features small works of art in various media, priced affordably for gift buying. Visit or call 672-2500.

Food fun served safely

This fall, many of the larger festivals have been canceled altogether, while others have been reimagined as limited-capacity, virtual or drive-thru-only events to promote social distancing.

Some event organizers have experienced success despite the restrictions. After canceling their traditional Greek food festival in May, volunteers and members of St. Philip Greek Orthodox Church in Nashua hosted a drive-thru-only event for two days in late June. The menu was limited and advanced online ordering was encouraged — but people still came.

“It was fantastic,” event volunteer Joyce Powell said. “It exceeded our expectations, and people seemed really thrilled to still be able to get their food while staying safe.”

A similar two-day event is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 2, and Saturday, Oct. 3, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. While these were the original rescheduled dates from the May festival, Powell said the decision was made to transition that one into a drive-thru event as well.

The menu has expanded from the June event to now also include spit-roasted lamb and pastichio (Greek lasagna), two options that weren’t available from the first event, Powell said. Dinners are available for purchase, which include Greek-style rice and green beans with your order. The dessert options have been expanded to include koulourakia (Greek butter cookies) and galaktoboureko, an egg custard baked in layers of phyllo dough.

Advance ordering online is encouraged, Powell said, although call-aheads will be accepted on the day of the event.

“You can tell us what time frame you’re going to come pick up your order, so we can prepare the food accordingly,” she said.

A smaller event coming up this weekend, the Hollis Grape Festival is carrying on with its previously scheduled date of Sept. 13, according to organizer Al Fulchino of Fulchino Vineyard. The festival features Italian desserts like gelato for sale, plus live entertainment and photo opportunities in a grape-stomping barrel.

There will be no physical Distiller’s Showcase in November, but Mark Roy, spirits marketing specialist for the New Hampshire Liquor Commission, said virtual tastings and events are in the planning stages for New Hampshire Distiller’s Week.

In Laconia, Lakes Region Community Services is working on presenting an online version of its popular Lakes Region Uncorked event, also this November. The organization has partnered with Osteria Poggio restaurant in Center Harbor and will be offering a special menu of food and beer or wine pairings for participants to take home and enjoy.

— Matt Ingersoll


• Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tours (221 Daniel Webster Highway, Merrimack) will hold two “Craft-Oberfest” virtual tastings on Thursday, Sept. 10, and on Thursday, Sept. 24, at 6 p.m., featuring several breweries’ innovative takes on German Oktoberfest styles. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Ticket holders will be provided with a Zoom link upon their purchase.

• Enjoy autumn afternoon tea with The Cozy Tea Cart on Sunday, Sept. 13, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Gatherings at The Colonel Shepard House (29 Mont Vernon St., Milford). The cost is $39.95 per person and reservations are required. Visit

• Stomp some grapes and enjoy some Italian treats at the fourth annual Hollis Grape Festival, happening on Sunday, Sept. 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. on the Hollis Town Common (Monument Square, Hollis). Admission is free, but signups online in advance of the event are requested, by visiting Fulchino Vineyard’s website at

• The next Winemaker’s Kitchen Cooking With Wine series event at LaBelle Winery (345 Route 101, Amherst) will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 6 p.m., and will cover healthy meal planning. The cost is $25 per person. Other Winemaker’s Kitchen events are scheduled for Oct. 7, covering autumn pumpkin recipes, and for Oct. 21, covering cooking with beer. Visit

• St. Philip Greek Orthodox Church (500 W. Hollis St., Nashua) will host its next Greek food pop-up drive-thru event on Friday, Oct. 2, and Saturday, Oct. 3, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. A follow-up to a similar event held at the church in June, this one will include lamb, pastichio (Greek lasagna), Greek meatballs, stuffed grape leaves, spanakopita and more, including a variety of desserts. Call-in orders are also accepted on either day of the event. Visit or call 889-4000.

• Enjoy socially distanced cars and coffee at 603 Brewery (42 Main St., Londonderry) on Sunday, Oct. 4, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The car show will take place in the main parking lot alongside the brewery’s outdoor beer tent, with local coffee available and breakfast sandwiches cooked to order from Chef Keith Girard. At noon, the lunch menu will be available. Visit

• The Cozy Tea Cart will hold a harvest afternoon tea tasting on Sunday, Oct. 11, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Gatherings at The Colonel Shepard House (29 Mont Vernon St., Milford). The cost is $39.95 per person and reservations are required. Visit

• LaBelle Winery (345 Route 101, Amherst) will host an intro to wine workshop on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 6 p.m., featuring senior wine associate and educator Marie King. Participants will learn several specific areas of wine knowledge, including how it’s made and how to taste it, then will taste five wine and food pairings. The cost is $45 per person. Visit

• Join LaBelle Winery (345 Route 101, Amherst) for a Frank Sinatra tribute dinner on Thursday, Oct. 15, at 6:30 p.m. The event will feature a four-course plated dinner, a full bar with beer, wine and cocktails available for purchase, and a performance from Boston jazz singer Rich DiMare. Tickets start at $70 per person. Visit

Lakes Region Uncorked will be reimagined as a virtual event this year, on Friday, Nov. 6. Lakes Region Community Services have partnered with Osteria Poggio restaurant in Center Harbor to create a food menu paired with six New Hampshire beer and wine selections, which will be packaged for groups to enjoy at home. During the 90-minute online live event, each featured beer and wine purveyor will introduce and present their product. Visit

• Enjoy Thanksgiving afternoon tea with The Cozy Tea Cart on Sunday, Nov. 15, from 1 to 3 p.m., at the Gatherings at The Colonel Shepard House (29 Mont Vernon St., Milford). The cost is $39.95 per person and reservations are required. Visit

Classical sounds

Most classical music organizations in the state have postponed their performances until next year or canceled their seasons altogether. But some, like Symphony New Hampshire, are attempting to still hold in-person events this fall, with the understanding that any events they plan are far from a sure thing.

After announcing an ambitious revised schedule for its 2020-2021 season in June, Symphony New Hampshire has to rework its entire season again; last week, Nashua public schools made the decision that no outside organizations can use school-owned facilities, including the Keefe Center for the Arts, where most of Symphony New Hampshire’s upcoming concerts were going to take place.

“We’re not surprised,” executive director Marc Thayer said. “We’re already planning to present a season of smaller ensembles … in smaller venues in Nashua, Manchester and Concord, all within the CDC’s and the New Hampshire governor’s guidelines.”

The revised season, now titled “A Season of Giving Back to the Community,” will be focused on collaborations with other local arts organizations and artists; programs that benefit area nonprofits; and educational and community programs at area senior centers, hospice homes and retirement communities.

“We are excited about plans to feature our musicians in a variety of other venues,” Thayer said.

— Angie Sykeny


•​ Symphony New Hampshire will perform a series of three outdoor concerts at the Beaver Brook Association’s Maple Hill Gardens (117 Ridge Road, Hollis): Americana Brass Quintet on Saturday, Sept. 12, and String Quartets on Saturday, Sept. 26 and Oct. 10. The gardens will open at 4 p.m., and the music will begin at 5 p.m. Tickets for each concert cost $15 per person, $25 per couple and $5 for children age 12 and under. Tickets for the whole series cost $35/$65/$15. Seats are limited. Purchase tickets online in advance at Symphony New Hampshire will also present “America the Beautiful,” a free outdoor concert, on Friday, Oct. 2, at 6:30 p.m., outside in the Bandshell at Greeley Park (Concord Street, Nashua). The symphony’s brass and percussion players will perform the patriotic and popular music of Grieg, Copland, Gershwin and Joan Tower, including Gershwin’s “Summertime,” Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” and more. Nashua’s Mayor Jim Donchess will narrate Copland’s Lincoln Portrait. Visit or call 595-9156.

•​ ​The First Music Concert Series presents “Pops for Pipes IX,featuring organist Brink Bush, on Sunday, Nov. 8, at 3 p.m. at The First Church (1 Concord St., Nashua). Visit

• The Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra will perform Wild Symphony, the debut classical work by The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown, at The Music Hall Historic Theater (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth;, 436-2400) on Sunday, Nov. 15, at 2 p.m. Ticket costs and sale dates are TBA.

Stay-at-home classical

•​ Piccola Opera will livestream New Hampshire Opera Idol 2020 on Saturday, Sept. 26. Singers will compete for cash awards and performance contracts. More details are TBA. Visit

•​ The Nashua Chamber Orchestra has made recordings of its past concerts free and accessible to all online at, and the Souhegan Valley Chorus has made the virtual concert it performed in the spring free and available to watch at

Listen live

Social distancing restrictions continue to impact the Granite State’s live music scene, but there are still plenty of opportunities to catch a concert this fall.

On Sept. 18, the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord will host Cash Unchained, a tribute to country legend Johnny Cash. It’s the only indoor concert currently on the center’s calendar and the first one to be held since early March, according to assistant executive director Joe Gleason, although an outdoor summer concert series has been held at Fletcher-Murphy Park in the interim. The venue will be filled at just 25 percent maximum capacity, or roughly 300 of its 1,300 seats.

Gleason said the decision was made to keep the show booked because it was relatively inexpensive and because the performer was still willing to come. But the reality, he added, is that the revenue brought in from a limited-capacity show just barely covers basic production costs. Finding enough talent willing to come play a show at a venue that’s nowhere near half full is another challenge altogether.

“Because of the restrictions, the numbers just don’t line up to make it worthwhile,” he said.

The Bank of New Hampshire Stage, meanwhile, has two upcoming comedy shows for its limited capacity of just 92 — Juston McKinney will perform on Sept. 12, while Robbie Printz, Rob Steen and Paul Landwehr will perform on Oct. 24. Boston jam band Neighbor had previously been scheduled for Sept. 26, but that show has since been moved outdoors.

“The plan is to start doing one show a week there, almost always on a Friday or Saturday, and then get back up to two shows a week soon after,” Gleason said.

In Derry, the Tupelo Music Hall’s Drive-In series has been wildly successful, hosting 81 consecutive outdoor concerts from May 16 through Aug. 28 before one had to be rescheduled due to rain. As colder weather begins to approach, Tupelo staff are continuing to assess how best to move forward.

“Assuming that we can find artists who want to tour this winter, we will then announce whether we will be having shows this winter or we will simply close for 4-6 months,” the venue’s Sept. 2 newsletter read. “We are trying to come up with a strategy that will result in something everyone is comfortable with.”

Two more outdoor concerts are scheduled at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester, as part of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats’ Socially Distanced Concert Series. On Sept. 11, the Fisher Cats will host a Beatles Tribute Night featuring The Weeklings, while Almost Queen, a tribute to the legendary group fronted by Freddie Mercury, will perform on Sept. 12. Both shows are presented by the Palace Theatre in collaboration with Intown Manchester and the city’s Parks and Recreation department.

“We have the stage set up … so that the video board serves as a great aesthetic to showcase the band itself on the big screen,” Fisher Cats general manager Jim Flavin said, “and then we have 10-by-10-foot field plots that are set up six feet apart. … Face masks are required for when you’re coming in and out of the stadium.”

— Matt Ingersoll


• At the Capitol Center for the Arts (44 S. Main St., Concord; 225-1111, Cash Unchained, a tribute to country icon Johnny Cash, will perform on Friday, Sept. 18, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $25. Neighbor will perform outside the center on Saturday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m., as part of the Capital Arts Fest. Admission is free.

Saint Anselm College’s Dana Center for the Humanities (100 St. Anselm Drive, Manchester; 641-7700, will present Grammy-nominated fiddler Mairead Nesbitt on Saturday, Oct. 10, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $40. On Friday, Nov. 6, at 7:30 p.m., the Dana Center will present a virtual live streaming of Le Vent Du Lord. Tickets are $20. Then Saturday, Nov. 21, The Eagles Experience, a tribute to the Eagles, will perform two shows at 5 p.m. and at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40.

• Shows at Drive-In Live (Cheshire Fairground, 247 Monadnock Highway, Swanzey, continue with alternative rockers Dinosaur Jr. on Saturday, Sept. 12, at 8 p.m. (rain date is Sept. 13). Don’t miss the Dark Desert Eagles on Friday, Sept. 18, at 8 p.m. (rain date is Sept. 20). Citizen Cope will perform on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 8 p.m. (rain date is Sept. 20). Chase Rice will perform on Friday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. Badfish, a tribute to ’90s ska punk group Sublime, will perform on Friday, Oct. 9, at 8 p.m. (rain date will be either Oct. 11 or Oct. 12). Tickets start at $75 per vehicle for Badfish and Dark Desert Eagles; $99 per car for Citizen Cope, Chase Rice and Dinosaur Jr.

• At the Flying Monkey Movie House & Performance Center (39 S. Main St., Plymouth, 536-2551,, guitarist Al Di Meola will take the stage on Saturday, Sept. 26, at 7:30 p.m. (tickets start at $45). October has seven shows on the schedule including The Association on Friday, Oct. 2, at 7:30 p.m.; Pink Talking Fish, a combination Pink Floyd, Talking Heads and Phish tribute group, on Friday, Oct. 9, at 7:30 p.m.; Justin Hayward on Friday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m.; the Crash Test Dummies on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 7:30 p.m.; Damn the Torpedoes, a tribute to rock icons Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, on Friday, Oct. 23, at 7:30 p.m.; Al Stewart on Saturday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 p.m., and Classic Stones Live, a tribute to rock icons The Rolling Stones, on Friday, Oct. 30, at 7:30 p.m. November’s line-up includes The Wailin’ Jennys on Thursday, Nov. 12, at 7:30 p.m., and Peter Noone, a.k.a. “Herman” from the English pop group Herman’s Hermits, on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 7:30 p.m. Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket and Chris Barron of Spin Doctors will perform an intimate live set on Saturday, Nov. 21, at 7:30 p.m.

Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton Beach, 929-4100, has two shows on the schedule. ‘90s rockers Collective Soul will perform with contemporaries Better Than Ezra and Tonic on Friday, Oct. 23, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $63. The Little River Band performs on Thursday, Nov. 12, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $29.

The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, has five performances on the schedule for September. The Sarah Blacker Trio performs on Saturday, Sept. 12, either at 6 p.m. or at 8:30 p.m. (shows are outside; rain date is Sept. 13). Tickets start at $60 per table of three. See Kat Edmonson on Thursday, Sept. 17, either at 6 p.m. or at 8 p.m. (shows are outside; rain date is Sept. 18). Tickets start at $65 per table of three. The Don Blakeslee Trio will perform on Saturday, Sept. 19, at both 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. (shows are outside; rain date is Sept. 20). Tickets start at $60 per table of three. See Massachusetts country duo Ayla Brown and Rob Bellamy on Thursday, Sept. 24, at 6 p.m. and at 8 p.m (shows are outside). Tickets start at $60 per table of three. Tom Rush performs on Sunday, Sept. 27, at 4 p.m. Tickets cost $55.

In October, shows include Chris Trapper on Friday, Oct. 2, at 8 p.m.; rockers Ward Hayden & The Outliers on Saturday, Oct. 3, at 8 p.m.; The Mammals on Friday, Oct. 9, at 8 p.m. and the Sons of Serendip on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 8 p.m. Folk singer and guitarist Patty Larkin is scheduled to performon Saturday, Nov. 14, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30.

• There are two more shows left in the Social Distanced Concert Series at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium (1 Line Drive, Manchester, 641-2005, Beatles Night is Friday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m., featuring the band The Weeklings, as part of their Socially Distanced Concert Series. Tickets start at $23 per person. On Saturday, Sept. 12, at 7 p.m., the series wraps up with a performance by the Queen tribute band Almost Queen. Tickets start at $23 per person.

The Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester, 668-5588, will host Moondance: The Ultimate Van Morrison Tribute Concert Thursday, Sept. 24, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $29 to $39.

• More of the Palace’s concerts are scheduled for the Rex Theatre (23 Amherst St., Manchester, 668-5588, An All-Star Tribute to Tom Petty is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 2, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $19. Enjoy A Night with Elvis, a tribute to Elvis Presley featuring Mike Slater, on Saturday, Oct. 10, at 7:30 p.m. See David Clark’s Songs in the Attic, a tribute to Billy Joel, on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $29. See singer-songwriter Matt Nakoa on Thursday, Oct. 29, at 7:30 p.m. Celebrate Halloween with Acoustic Grateful Dead Night, featuring local performer John Zevos, on Saturday, Oct. 31, at 7:30 p.m. And the Pat McGee Band will perform on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 7:30 p.m.

The Stone Church Music Club (5 Granite St., Newmarket, 659-7700, frequently has shows scheduled for five nights a week but not all of them require tickets in advance. Some that do: The ChickenShack Bluegrass Band performs on Friday, Sept. 11, at 6 p.m. (tickets cost $30 per table of four and $35 per table of six). Truffle and Born Naked will perform on Saturday, Sept. 12, at 5 p.m. Tickets cost $60 per table of four and $75 per table of six (21+ attendees only). The Honey Bees Trio will take the stage on Friday, Sept. 18, at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $25. See Sans Souci, a tribute to Jerry Garcia, on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 6 p.m. Tickets are $50 per table of four or $60 per table of six. Roots rock group High Range performs on Saturday, Sept. 26, at 6 p.m. Tickets are $40 per table of four or $50 per table of six.

In October, Cormac McCarthy performs on Friday, Oct. 2, at 6 p.m. Tickets are $60 per table of four and $75 per table of six. Other shows this month include The Phosphorescent Rats on Saturday, Oct. 3, at 6 p.m.; Club d’Elf on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m.; IdleWild: A Celebration of the Allman Brothers Band is on Friday, Oct. 23, at 6 p.m.; The Kenny Brothers Band on Saturday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m., and Bearly Dead on Saturday, Oct. 31, at 6 p.m.

Tupelo Drive-In (Tupelo Music Hall, 10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, will continue its offerings of parking-lot performances, at least into October. The Dueling Pianos of New Hampshire will perform on Friday, Sept. 11, at 5:30 p.m. The Adam Ezra Group has four upcoming shows: Saturday, Sept. 12, or Sunday, Sept. 13, at 1 p.m. or 5 p.m. each day. Acclaimed singer-songwriter Shawn Mullins will perform on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 2:30 p.m. and at 5:30 p.m. John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band will perform on Sunday, Sept. 20, at noon and at 3 p.m. The Machine will perform on Sunday, Sept. 27, at either 1 p.m. or 4 p.m. See instrumental guitarist Johnny A. on Saturday, Oct. 3, at 4 p.m. Neighbor performs two shows on Sunday, Oct. 4, at 1 p.m. and at 4 p.m. See Foreigners Journey on Saturday, Oct. 10, at 1 p.m. or at 4 p.m. Will Evans of Barefoot Truth performs on Sunday, Oct. 11, at 4 p.m.

There are two more tribute bands on the schedule: Sweet Baby James, a tribute to James Taylor, will perform on Friday, Sept. 25, at 5 p.m. KICK: The INXS Experience will perform on Saturday, Sept. 26, at noon and at 3 p.m. Tickets to all shows cost $75 per vehicle.

Zinger’s (29 Mont Vernon St., Milford, will feature Erin Harpe & The Delta Swingers on Friday, Sept. 11, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $22. Also scheduled this month: JB Aaron on Saturday, Sept. 26, at 7:30 p.m.; tickets cost $22.

Featured Photo: Andrew Pinard presents “Discovering Magic” at the Hatbox Theatre in Concord. Courtesy photo.

Quality of Life 20/09/10

Closure canceled at Crotched Mountain

Crotched Mountain School in Greenfield will remain open under new ownership, the school announced Sept. 1. According to a message on its website, Gersh Autism, which provides educational and support services for children on the spectrum, will assume full operational and financial responsibility for both the day and boarding schools starting Nov. 1, which is the day the school had been scheduled to close. The school had planned to close after the pandemic put further strain on what was already “a challenging financial situation.”

Score: +1

Comment: “[The] closing announcement left many families saddened and deeply concerned for their children’s education, development, and future,” Commissioner of Education Frank Edelblut said in the message. “This … is welcome news for the State of New Hampshire and the families and students we serve.”

Nashua kids can Learn United

Hundreds of volunteer tutors are ready to help students in Nashua “Learn United” through a new program being offered by the United Way of Greater Nashua, according to a press release. With the anticipation that thousands of students will need extra educational support this fall due to the quick transition to remote learning in the spring followed by summer vacation, the United Way is matching tutors with students who are referred through the Nashua school district. The tutoring will take place at locations like the Boys & Girls Club, Nashua PAL, Girls Inc., and the Adult Learning Center or the YMCA of Greater Nashua.

Score: +1

Comment: Also through Learn United, a “School Supply and Tech Pantry” has been created, with backpacks and other school supplies, plus refurbished laptops and tablets for low-income students and teachers.

West Nile virus detected

The first batch of mosquitoes to test positive for West Nile virus in New Hampshire this season was found recently in Manchester, according to a press release from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. Humans can contract West Nile virus if they are bitten by an infected mosquito. It was first identified in New Hampshire in August 2000, according to the release, and virus activity has been detected every year since then, the most recent human case being in an adult in 2017. Symptoms usually appear within a week after a bite and can include fever, muscle aches, headaches and fatigue.

Score: -1

Comment: You can help prevent mosquito-transmitted infections by using bug spray, avoiding being outdoors between dusk and dawn, and removing standing water from around the home, New Hampshire State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan said in the release.

QOL score: 54

Net change: +1

QOL this week: 55

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

2020 NFL on the launch pad

Here’s our annual look at what lies ahead for the Patriots as they begin the quest for another Super Bowl title on longer odds than they’ve had in quite a while.

2020 Schedule: With all the division games likely to be tougher and Pat Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson on the docket, along with 2019 top pick Kyler Murray and Jimmy G, it’s challenging. Though a Jimmy G-vs.-Tom game would have been fun.

Coronavirus Defections: With a league-leading nine guys including key cogs Dont’a Hightower, Pat Chung and Marcus Cannon they got hit hard.

Secondary: Everyone is back from the league’s best secondary but Chung and the traded Duron Harmon, for whom untested but versatile 2019 No. 2 pick Joejuan Williams will step in. But with versatility, depth and having the NFL’s best corner, Stephon Gilmore, it should be a major strength again.

The O-Line: With anchor Dave Andrews back at center, Shaq Mason healthy and after finally seeing what Isaiah Wynn can do, this looked to be a real strength after being such a disaster much of last year. But with Cannon opting out there’s a question at right tackle with no obvious answer. Jermaine Eluemunor has the inside track, but he played just 29 snaps last year, so it bears watching.

Running Back: On paper there’s depth with the most reliable being outstanding third down back James White. But there are issues. Sony Michel is wildly up and down, Rex Burkhead is brittle, I wonder why Damien Harris never played last year and free agent Lamar Miller had success in Houston but is coming off ACL surgery. Plus, I don’t see a goal line and short yardage back, do you?

Linebacker: Their top four linebackers — Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts and Jamie Collins — are gone and, sorry, that’s a bigger loss than the 2019 version of Brady. And I just don’t see their production being replaced by Ja’Whaun Bentley, two high draft picks and a bunch of who-the-heck-are-they free agents. Chase Winovich had his 2019 moments, but until I see more consistency, he’s just a guy with Mark Gastineau-esque “hey, look at me” gyrations after he occasionally does something good.

Receivers: Beyond Julian Edelman who knows what they’ll get here and at 34 I’m expecting a tick down from him. Mohamed Sanu? N’Keal Harry? Jakobi Meyers? The rookie tight ends? Two had better emerge or they’ve got big problems. OK, cross off Sanu, who got cut already after giving up a second pick for him.

The Draft: They need players to contribute from both the 2020 and 2019 draft classes. But with just five guys left from the three before that, I’m not filled with confidence.

Kicking Game: They’ve had two kickers in 24 years. Will rookie Justin Rohrwasser make it three in 36? Or will he lose out to the capable Nick Folk to break the string?

X-Factor – Cam Newton: Not sure what he’s going to be. But I do know if they want to make the playoffs he’s got to be good because the O must carry a bigger part of the load this year than last year.

AFC East: For 20 years the Pats have mostly had a giant edge in coaching during division play. But that’s not likely the case vs. Sean McDermott and Brian Flores in Buffalo and Miami at least. So with that gap smaller and all three teams dramatically improved in the second half last year, I expect a more tense race than usual with everyone bunched between 11-5 and 8-8.

Prediction – Because he’s reduced his TO’s considerably and can make enough plays to win with their defense I’m a believer in Buffalo QB Josh Allen. SoI’m picking Buffalo to win the East followed by NE, Miami and NY.

Departure of You Know Who: Thanks for the memories, but based on what he did just last year the bar is not set all that high for his replacement.

Bill Belichick: The real “was it Tom or Bill?” battle begins, where I suspect, with his rep in doubt to a degree, we’ll be reminded of just how much more impact a good coach in football has over the top guys in other sports.

Diploma + degree

Career Academy’s inaugural class gets underway

The New Hampshire Department of Education and the Community College System of New Hampshire have created a program that allows high school seniors to earn their diploma and work toward an associate’s degree or certificate simultaneously over the course of two years at no cost to the student. The first New Hampshire Career Academy class, consisting of 12 students in pursuit of degrees in criminal justice, finance and accounting, culinary arts, cyber security and other fields, will begin courses at community colleges around the state on Sept. 12. Nathaniel Greene, bureau administrator for the Bureau of Educational Opportunities and department liaison for the Career Academy, talked about the new educational opportunity.

How does Career Academy work?

It functions kind of like a dual enrollment program, except, rather than the student getting their high school diploma with some college credit, they’ll be enrolled in a full community college program. They’ll do an additional year [of high school] — they’ll be a fifth-year senior — and at the end of the program, they’ll come out with both a high school diploma and a certificate or associate’s degree from a community college.

How is this being funded?

We set it up through one of our charter schools, because the state makes payments to a charter school, as opposed to traditional public schools, which receive the bulk of their revenue from local property taxes, so we don’t have control over what they do with that money. By having a student enrolled in a charter school while taking courses at community college, the state can give the money that it would normally give to the charter school to the community college system instead, to cover the cost of tuition. It’s actually the same amount of money that the state would pay for a student to attend a charter school … so, in effect, there’s no cost to the student. … I think that’s the biggest benefit of this program, by far; it gives our low-income students across the state an opportunity to get their associate’s degree, which will open up more doors for them when they get out into the workforce.

What kind of student would be a good fit for this program?

It’s a great option for kids who have already figured out what they want to do and want to fast-track to that next step of getting a certificate or associate’s degree. … I think the kinds of kids who are going to be attracted to a program like this and going to be successful are kids who are interested in academics, self-motivated and responsible … and understand that this is going to be a challenge.

What will a student’s day look like?

They’ll be enrolled just like any other adult community college student. They’ll attend all of their courses at the community college … including the high school courses they need to get their diploma. … They’ll move through the [degree] program just like the other community college students do.

Would they be missing out on their high school experience?

We set up the program so that students can still take part in the normal things they would do as a senior in high school. If they want to attend their senior prom or participate in extracurricular activities at the school, they can do that. … They wouldn’t necessarily be graduating with their [senior] friends since they have to do that fifth year, but we have suggested that schools let that student participate in the ceremony and walk with their friends. They’ll just be given a blank diploma and will receive their real diploma after their fifth year.

What are some of the challenges students should be prepared for?

One of the things we stress to students and parents is that they’re entering an environment that is not the same as their high school environment. They’re entering the adult world. They’re going to be taking courses with adults, some [of whom] are in their 30s, 40s or 50s. … Things aren’t as structured, so there’s going to be more personal responsibility placed on the student. … There will be some guidance resources, but it’s not the same as the guidance counselor at their high school, and there won’t be access to the same kinds of social and emotional support and services that exist for students within a high school.

How does Career Academy set students up for success?

I think one of the biggest ways is the partnerships we’re creating with the businesses and industries that the students are going into. … We’re working with the [Health Care] Administrators Association for students coming out with nursing and medical degrees. We’re working with a couple different manufacturing companies for students getting degrees and certificates in mechanical engineering, engineering technology, advanced manufacturing and robotics. We’re reaching out to accounting associations for students who want to go into the financial field. … The intent is not only to get kids into the programs, but also to connect them with New Hampshire [employers] who want to hire them and keep them here in the state.

Featured Photo: Nathaniel Greene. Courtesy photo.

News & Notes 20/09/10

Covid-19 updateAs of August 31As of September 7
Total cases statewide7,2757,476
Total current infections statewide228238
Total deaths statewide432433
New cases141 (Aug. 25 to Aug. 31)201 (Sept. 1 to Sept. 7)
Current infections: Hillsborough County7884
Current infections: Merrimack County1620
Current infections: Rockingham County7755
Information from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

Covid-19 news

On Aug. 31, Gov. Chris Sununu issued Emergency Order No. 66, extending Emergency Order No. 52, which had been issued on June 15. Emergency Order No. 52 is an order regarding public health guidance for business operations and advising Granite Staters they are safer at home. Emergency Order No. 66 extends that advisory through Oct. 1.
During a Sept. 1 press conference, Sununu announced the launch of an online Covid-19 case dashboard specific to schools in New Hampshire. The dashboard, which can be accessed by visiting, features real-time data on current virus cases that is sorted by schools in the state. You can also search for any specific school’s data by town or by academic level.On Sept. 3, Sununu issued Emergency Order No. 67, an order establishing the Remote Learning Center Verification program. During a press conference, Sununu explained that the program ensures that parents with children enrolled in a school district that has gone remote has safe options available to them. During the same press conference, Sununu announced a new addition to the online jobs portal at, specific to schools. “We know that some schools have had difficulties filling … some of their openings as they begin to reopen,” he said, “and so, interested folks can apply for those current job openings through this new portal.”
Sununu also announced that Jerry Little would be leaving his post as Director of the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery and returning full-time back to the Banking Department. Taylor Caswell, the Commissioner of the Department of Business and Economic Affairs, will replace Little as GOFERR director.
On Sept. 6, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services issued a press release announcing the investigation of a potential outbreak of Covid-19 at the University of New Hampshire’s Theta Chi Fraternity in Durham. Eleven people associated with the fraternity have tested positive for the virus as of Sept. 6, according to the release. Officials are advising anyone who visited the fraternity since the end of August to seek testing.

MPD chief retires

Manchester Police Chief Carlo Capano announced on Sept. 1 that he will retire after nearly 25 years. “For nearly twenty-five years, Chief Carlo Capano served the City of Manchester with distinction,” Mayor Joyce Craig said in a statement following the announcement. “In his time as Police Chief, he has led the men and women of the Manchester Police Department with honor, addressed challenges head-on, and proved time and time again the safety of our community was his number one priority.” Craig noted that Capano was responsible for implementing body cameras for officers, increasing the number of training opportunities for officers, increasing the police complement and adding more community officers downtown.

Masks for schools

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will provide 229,925 cloth masks to public and private schools in New Hampshire, meant for students who are low-income attending schools that are providing in-person instruction, according to a press release from the New Hampshire Department of Education. In August, schools in the state also received 100,000 reusable cloth face masks that were distributed by the New Hampshire National Guard and New Hampshire Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. “In our communications with New Hampshire educational leaders, securing adequate supplies of PPE has been a top concern,” Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut said in the press release. “Health and Human Services has identified masks as one of the important layers of protection that make it possible for our students to return to school safely, along with hygiene, social distancing, and other recommended practices.” Some of the masks will be set aside for schools that are currently providing remote instruction for when they move to in-person instruction.

Rocking the vote

Stay Work Play is encouraging young residents to vote in November through its NH Rocks the Vote nonpartisan campaign, according to a press release. The initiative will use digital media to provide young people with information about how to register to vote and how to vote. The campaign was scheduled to kick off Wednesday, Sept. 9, with a webinar about how to vote absentee, open to anyone interested via Then, on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3), there will be a virtual “get out the vote” live broadcast, also accessible via the website, starting at noon and featuring live entertainment and music, speakers and messages from local leaders.

The public is welcome to attend the public memorial service for former Attorney General and Governor Stephen Merrill, outside the Statehouse Plaza in Concord on Friday, Sept. 11, at 12:30 p.m., according to a press release.

The New England Heart & Vascular Institute at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester has implanted the first Watchman Flx in New England, according to a press release. The release said that the device reduces the risk of stroke in patients who have non-valvular atrial fibrillation.

Londonderry High School has been named the fifth National Banner Unified Champion School in the Granite State, having “demonstrated a commitment to inclusion,” according to a press release from the Special Olympics. The school met the Special Olympics’ 10 standards of excellence to achieve national banner status.

Four-year-olds in the greater Nashua area can now take advantage of a free at-home kindergarten readiness program called Waterford Upstart, funded by a Preschool Development Grant awarded to the United Way of Greater Nashua, according to a press release. The program is designed for children and families who could use extra support.

A new education system

We are appalled by the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on our world. While we see most of it is bad, oftentimes devastating, I’m convinced that in the long run our world and our lives will be better.

Maybe not so if I’m in the cruise ship business, office space business, brick-and-mortar retail or any of so many other businesses that will be permanently impacted. But education is one of those entities that will be permanently changed and, in my opinion, for the better.

Trying to get schools back to normal anytime soon will be nearly impossible. As a result, our schools will increasingly become better at delivering distance learning. And the more they do, the more they will like it, and the more they’ll be hooked on keeping it as a permanent component of how they deliver learning.

They’ll learn what I’ve learned, that from a strictly learning standpoint, established platforms for distance learning, like New Hampshire’s Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (VLACS), generally speaking, deliver better results than traditional classroom learning. You can do the research, as I did. The results are clear. Students retain more of their learning online and it’s cheaper. The cost for VLACS is about half the price of a traditional school. While it may not be right for every student, make no mistake, online learning is here to stay.

But there’s more change coming. There is a growing agreement that a high school diploma is no longer sufficient to prepare young people for the world of work and that there needs to be a greater connection between school and preparation for careers. This, too, is going to change the nature of K-12 learning. Internships, apprenticeships, Extended Learning Opportunities (ELOs) and making business a clear partner in the education of our students will become a greater part of the high school experience. More students are going to be able to receive college degrees and work-related credentials while they’re in high school.

As a result, the cost of college value proposition will continue to diminish and colleges will continue to struggle to attract students. While this was already happening, the pandemic will only speed up the number of colleges that will close.

All of this will translate into not only a shift in how our system delivers learning, but a shift in how we use resources in this new model. Our public schools will be better than ever! Trust me, it’s coming!

Fred Bramante is a past chairman and memtber of the New Hampshire State Board of Education. He speaks and consults on education redesign to regional, state and national organizations.

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