Quality of Life 22/06/30

Free women’s hygiene products

A free women’s hygiene cabinet, organized by United Way of Greater Nashua and Girls Inc., has been set up outside of the Girls Inc. facility on Burke Street in Nashua. The cabinet, known as “Rosie’s Pantry,” is open during the club’s open hours, weather permitting, to distribute free women’s hygiene products to anyone who needs them. United Way of Greater Nashua volunteers will be outside Hannaford in Nashua on the second Sunday of every month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., to collect donated products for the cabinet, according to a press release.

QOL score: +1

Comment: The cabinet features a depiction of Rosie the Riveter painted by student artist Isabella Zayas in collaboration with Manchester-based public art organization Arts Build Community.

Native plant globally extinct

The smooth slender crabgrass has been confirmed by the New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau to be globally extinct, making it the first documented plant extinction in New Hampshire and the fifth documented plant extinction in New England since European settlers arrived, according to a press release from the New Hampshire Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. The plant was native to New Hampshire and only existed at Rock Rimmon Park in Manchester. The confirmation of extinction was pending studies of a similar plant growing in Mexico and Venezuela, but that plant was recently determined not to be smooth slender crabgrass.

QOL score: -2

Comment: The smooth slender crabgrass is one of five rare plant species that used to grow in Rock Rimmon Park that are no longer there due to human activity, the press release said.

NH is the July 4 state

A recent WalletHub study ranked New Hampshire the ninth most patriotic state in the U.S. The study looked at 13 criteria, including the number of active duty military personnel, veterans, AmeriCorps volunteers and Peace Corps volunteers; civic engagement; community volunteer work; grand jury and trial participation and more. New Hampshire made the top 10 for three criteria, including Peace Corps volunteers per capita (7th), percentage of adults who voted in the 2020 presidential election (4th) and U.S. history or civics education requirements (1st).

QOL score: +1

Comment: Vermont is the only other New England state that made the top 10, coming in just above New Hampshire in 8th.

Gas prices are down again

The average price of gasoline in New Hampshire went down by 8 cents per gallon last week, averaging $4.86 per gallon as of June 27, according to a GasBuddy price report. The data is based on a survey of 875 gas stations throughout the state. Prices are still 20.2 cents per gallon higher than a month ago and $1.91 higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel is currently at $5.80 per gallon, the report said.

QOL Score: +1

Comment: The price was down by 3.7 cents per gallon the week of June 20; here’s hoping the trend continues…

QOL score: 79

Net change: +1

QOL this week: 80

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

A catch-up day

Many things have collected dust while we’ve been following the Celtics playoff run. It’s time to dust them off, with extra attention to some recent back-in-the-day stuff

Just so you know, I will not believe anything about how improved the Pats defense will be or the draftees are until I see it for myself.

I admit, though, I’m hoping Malcolm Butler has a great return season. I never liked how it ended here for the author of the greatest play in team history (tied with Adam V’s kick in the snow) and hero of SB win No. 5.

Dan Patrick is the best interviewer in sports. He asks real questions while showing his fandom at the same time and it’s always fun. Like with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in his George Foreman good-guy third act of life, the ones with the big fella are fun and interesting. Plus he loves Larry Bird trash talking stories.

The NFL Network just named its Top 3 Defensive Players of All-Time:

Lawrence Taylor: Deserved. Not only was LT a dominating, scary and destructive force, he also changed how his position was played. And his DC in NYC concurs.

Reggie White: I’m a no on Reggie. Great player, but always thought he was given a little too much credit for what he actually did. Guys like Dick Butkus and Deacon Jones dominated more and Deacon’s teammate Merlin Olsen made 16 straight Pro Bowls playing on better defenses than Reggie was ever on.

Deion Sanders: It is downright laughable the Kyrie Irving of football is in this trio. They say he shut down half the field with his coverage skills. Maybe, for a time, but the guy didn’t hit in either of the pro sports he played. Forget all positions, here are five cornerbacks who were better: Rod Woodson, Night Train Lane, Darrelle Revis, Darrell Green and Ty Law, not to mention Ray Lewis, Mean Joe Greene, Aaron Donald, and about five guys on Lombardi’s Packers.

In the merchandise era there are many stupid-looking uniforms out there. And while this may be a get off my lawn moment, I hate the Red Sox “city editions” worst of all. How does yellow and pastel blue have anything to do with Boston or the Red Sox? The Sox’ dumbest choice since making Bobby Valentine the manager.

If the rumor floating around is true Kevin Durant is not communicating with the Nets front office because “he’s frustrated” with them for not getting to know and “understanding” Kyrie Irving, it says his/their sense of entitlement now outweighs their talent and I’d dump both. Hope it’s not true, as I always liked KD. But seems like it may be.

That makes the trade rumor Miami is willing to give up Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro for Durant a little more interesting. With Durant turning 34 in September, it’s yes if I’m Brooklyn. But with team prez Pat Riley 77, he’s likely in “win now” mode so maybe.

I like Mad Dog Russo probably more than most, but with Lombardi’s Packers second and the Bradshaw Steelers third, the Top 5 Sports Dynasty Teams recently listed on Stephen A’s show was nuts. Both won less and didn’t last as long as the Patriots or Montana/Young 49ers. Not to mention the Celtics, Lakers and Montreal Canadiens.

For the record here are my Top 5 (which values long time at the top over the burst of a short-term great team that disappeared when the best guys got old like GB and Pitt): (1) Yankees, (2) Montreal, (3) Lakers, (4) Celtics and (5) Patriots, while acknowledging the 49ers’ run was cut short by the advent of the salary cap, which clobbered a team put together under different rules.

I’ll also take the Tom Landry/Jimmy Johnson Cowboys over GB.

Staying back in the day for a second. I just saw the fourth quarter of Bill Russell’s last title win in Game 7 in the 1969 Final on YouTube and was astonished how badly it’s been reported for history. First, the high bounding and fall-through-the-rim foul line jumper by Don Nelson was not the winning bucket as it’s been made out to be for decades. The final points came on foul shots by John Havlicek and Larry Siegfried. Second, I’ve never heard mention the Celtics blew a 17-point fourth-quarter lead before winning in the end. Third, while the score was 108-106 the C’s had a six-point lead with 10 seconds left and the last L.A. basket came as time expired, so it wasn’t as close as made out to be. And for Russo and the rest of the mis-remember folks who think the NBA was better back in the day because of their fundamentals: I didn’t see one box out the whole fourth quarter. Oh, and L.A. was 28 for 47 (Wilt 4-13) from the line in a two-point loss

If WNBA’er Brittany Griner is a political prisoner in reprisal for sanctions against Russian for its unprovoked attack on Ukraine, doesn’t that make “free Brittany” rallies counterproductive? Because the noise gives Vladimir Putin what he wants — attention.

I get the protests about the money coming from the sinister Saudi Arabia government and it does look like Greg Norman has been bought and paid for. But an entity challenging the PGA like the LIV tour being bad for golf? That’s what they said about the AFL and the ABA and it was just the opposite.

Personally I don’t follow the Bruins enough to give an informed opinion on whether Bruce Cassidy should have been fired as coach. But I did notice mild-mannered Boston Globe hockey writer Kevin Paul Dupont calling it a scapegoating by GM Don Sweeney and President Cam Neely after not getting enough good players to make the B’s more competitive. Since I can’t recall KPD ever being overreactionary or a blamer, what he says makes me wonder.

We’ll get to the surging Red Sox next week.

Email Dave Long at dlong@hippopress.com.

Culture contribution

Franco-American Centre names Franco-American of the Year

Meet Timothy Beaulieu, the winner of the Franco-American Centre’s 2022 Franco-American of the Year Award.

When did you first start exploring your Franco-American heritage?

I grew up away from the culture and the language. I grew up like any American kid did; I just happened to have the funny last name. I didn’t really know too much about our Franco-American heritage, where we came from or what our traditions were until I got older, when my grandfather just started kind of unloading on me. … Then, I thought it would be something cool to promote and grow.

What has been your involvement with the Franco-American Centre?

I started volunteering for the Franco-American Centre back in 2014, and I have done a bunch of stuff for them. I ran their program committee for a few years. I created their YouTube channel, and then we created the first French-language YouTube contest that we’d seen in New England, the Euclide Gilbert Foundation French language video contest. I was on the Board of Trustees for six years. My pet project, which I started in 2015, is PoutineFest. I still run PoutineFest today.

How did you start volunteering for them?

I was looking for a nonprofit organization I could get involved with that was tied to my Franco-American heritage. There aren’t a heck of a lot left. Then, I found the Franco-American Centre. They seemed to have to have a presence, so I thought it’d be really cool to get involved. The thing I liked about the Franco-American Centre is that they’re willing to look at things that are new and not just do things that are old.

What is the Franco-American of the Year Award?

The Franco-American Centre picks someone who has done volunteer work and such in the Franco-American community. … I was pleasantly surprised that they picked me; I didn’t expect them to because I didn’t really grow up in the Franco-American community … but [the winner] doesn’t have to be a Franco-American; it can be anyone who has been involved in the Franco-American culture and language … so it’s cool that they picked me, someone who grew up away from the culture and then came back to it.

What are you up to now?

I’m planning the next PoutineFest for October. That is my primary focus. I think PoutineFest can help make some money for the Franco-American Centre and bring the culture back and make people more aware that you can’t throw a rock without hitting someone with a French name in Manchester or Nashua. It would be cool to see New Hampshire really lean into that heritage more and do more with it.

What do you want people to know about Franco-American culture in New Hampshire?

It’s crazy to think that Montreal is only four hours from here — I mean, Quebec is really almost part of the New England region; the border is right there — and New Hampshire has so many Franco-Americans or French-Canadians, and still, we don’t teach the language in many schools. It seems like I am always hearing about another French program getting cut. It would be really cool if we could bring the language and some of the culture back and make those connections with Quebec again. There doesn’t need to be a barrier; it doesn’t need to be shut off.

Featured photo: Timothy Beaulieu and family. Courtesy photo.

News & Notes 22/06/30

Covid-19 update Last weekThis week
Total cases statewide 330,116 (as of June 20) 331,496 (as of June 27)
Total current infections statewide 2,270 (as of June 16)1,906 (as of June 23)
Total deaths statewide2,570 (as of June 20)2,576 (announced June 27)
New cases 1,282 (June 14 to June 201,434 (June 16 to June 22)
Current infections: Hillsborough County 965 (as of June 20)939 (as of June 27)
Current infections: Merrimack County294 (as of June 20)316 (as of June 27)
Current infections: Rockingham County764 (as of June 20)682 (as of June 27)
Information from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

Energy costs relief

Gov. Chris Sununu, along with legislative leaders and the New Hampshire Department of Energy, has announced a New Hampshire Emergency Energy Relief Program in response to the nationwide increase in energy costs. According to a press release from the Office of the Governor, the program will include $7.5 million in assistance to help 24,000 low-income families with the costs of cooling their homes during the summer; $7 million for the Electric Assistance Program, which provides assistance with energy costs on a tiered scale to households making less than 60 percent of the median household income; and $60 million to provide $100 bill credits to nearly every residential electric bill ratepayer in the state.

Pediatric Covid vaccine informative video

Dartmouth Health Children’s has created a video to inform the public about pediatric Covid vaccines. In the video, Susanne E. Tanski, MD, MPH, section chief of general pediatrics at Dartmouth Health Children’s, discusses the new emergency use authorization for Covid vaccines for children as young as six months old and answers commonly asked questions. “There are 19 million children who are six months to four years old who have not yet had access to this vaccine,” Tanski said in a press release. “This is a moment we have been waiting for.” Darmouth Health Children’s locations are booking pediatric vaccination appointments now, according to the release.

Applications open for Moose Plate grants

The New Hampshire State Conservation Committee is now accepting applications for 2023 Conservation Moose Plate Grants. Eligible grant applicants include municipalities, County Conservation Districts, nonprofit organizations engaged in conservation programs, public and private K-12 schools, County Cooperative Extension natural resource programs and scout groups that promote and support efforts to protect, restore and enhance the state’s natural and agricultural resources, and provide conservation leadership and guidance. Grant application information can be found on the New Hampshire State Conservation Committee website, scc.nh.gov. Applications are due on Sept. 9, and the grants will be announced in December and available to use in July 2023. The grants are made possible by funds raised through the sales of conservation license plates, known as Moose Plates. New Hampshire residents can purchase Moose Plates year-round at mooseplate.com.

Updates on new forensic psychiatric hospital

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Administrative Services and New Hampshire Hospital officials will hold the fourth public information session on a proposed forensic psychiatric hospital on Thursday, June 30, at 6 p.m. According to a press release from DHHS, the 24-bed secure facility will be built adjacent to New Hampshire Hospital, a psychiatric hospital located on Clinton Street in Concord, and will provide safe, skilled and therapeutic psychiatric treatment for forensic patients. The information session, which will specifically cover design updates for the new facility, will be held virtually over Zoom, accessible at nh-dhhs.zoom.us.

NH Retail Association president to retire

Nancy C. Kyle, president and CEO of the New Hampshire Retail Association, will retire at the end of 2022 after a 28-year tenure with the Association, according to a press release. Kyle has a long list of achievements. In 2020, during the pandemic, Gov. Chris Sununu appointed her to the Re-opening Task Force, where she was pivotal in helping retailers adapt to the new restrictions and stay in business.

The Association’s board of directors have selected the Retail Association of Maine to provide full association management to the NH Retail Association, the release said. Curtis Picard, the president and CEO of the Retail Association of Maine, will become president and CEO of the New Hampshire Retail Association when Kyle officially retires, according to the release.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my tenure at the Retail Association, and wanted to make sure that when I left, the Association was in good hands,” Kyle said in the press release. “I’ve known Curtis for 15 years, and there is no other person I would even consider handing our Association over to.”

Hundreds of people gathered last weekend in Manchester, Concord and other New Hampshire cities and towns to protest the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, according to NHPR. The rallies were organized by Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund and other abortion rights activists and reproductive health care providers. A small group of anti-abortion activists also gathered in Manchester to celebrate the ruling, the report said.

A New Hampshire Historical Highway Marker has been installed in Raymond near the intersection of New Hampshire Routes 27 and 156 to commemorate the invention of chain link fencing technology by a Raymond resident Frank J. Mafera in 1930. The marker reads “CHAIN LINK FENCE INNOVATION” and includes a brief history of the fencing.

The United Way of Greater Nashua is looking for more than 100 volunteers to help distribute free school breakfasts and lunches to elementary school students in the Nashua School District. According to a press release, the meals, provided by the school cafeterias, will be distributed on at least one weekday per week from July 5 through Aug. 5 outside of five elementary schools. Register at volunteergreaternashua.org or call 438-2173 or email info@unitedwaynashua.org.

Across the aisle

My flight from San Francisco to Boston was full and, as I learned, many of the passengers were on their way to graduation ceremonies across New England. Mine was an aisle seat midway in the Economy section, and across sat — as I found out later — a grandmother traveling with her son and wife to attend the college graduation of the granddaughter. Before long, the grandmother and I began exchanging pleasantries regarding everything from how Covid had curtailed our travel for the last two years to how we each were planning to spend the long weekend. She was excited about her granddaughter’s forthcoming graduation as she herself had graduated from the same college 70 years earlier. She confided to me her age: 92!

That detail of her age quickly led us into a conversation about college life and then the changes she’d lived through over her long life. As our topics moved to more political matters, I noticed other passengers had put down their reading and appeared to be listening. Because she was a bit hard of hearing, I was speaking a tad louder and so it was probably easy for folks seated in front or behind us to catch snatches of our exchange. But we were surprised when a passenger immediately ahead of us turned around and offered a thoughtful comment on our discussion of the forthcoming midterms. That must have prompted the woman behind me to join us also and before long we had a robust four-way conversation going.

The five-plus-hour flight passed quickly as we talked nearly all the way. It was clear we were not all of the same mind about current events and personalities, but we listened respectfully even when differences were very pronounced. As our plane began its approach to Logan Airport, the grandmother leaned over to us and announced, “You know, we’ve just had a substantive conversation ‘across the aisle.’ As a country, we need a great deal more of this.”

Ours was a fortuitous experience because such candid and civil conversations across divides of whatever kind are rare because they are hard and sometimes risky to have these days. In her book Becoming Wise: An Inquiry Into the Art of Living, Krista Tippett offers “Generous Listening” as a way to learn about both others and ourselves by seeking, through respectful questions, to understand another person’s views. On that flight, four strangers leaned across a physical as well as an ideological aisle. I certainly felt better for it.

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