This Week 22/08/11

Big Events August 11, 2022 and beyond

Thursday, Aug. 11

The 65th annual New Hampshire Antiques Show begins today at 10 a.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Downtown (700 Elm St.). The show will feature more than 50 antique dealers from all over the region, taking place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 11, and Friday, Aug. 12, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13. Tickets are $15 on Thursday and $10 on Friday and Saturday. Visitors ages 30 and under — with proper identification — are admitted for free. Visit

Thursday, Aug. 11

Hudson’s Old Home Days return to the grounds outside the Hills House (211 Derry Road, Hudson) today through Sunday, Aug. 14. The hours are from 5 to 10 p.m. on Thursday, from 5 to 11 p.m. on Friday, from noon to 11 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. There will be games for kids, live music, carnival games, a fireworks display, fair food and more. Visit

Friday, Aug. 12

The Majestic Theatre (880 Page St., Manchester) is putting on Nunsense, starting today at 7 p.m. The musical comedy follows the Sisters of Hoboken as they put on a variety show to raise money after the cook, Sister Julia, accidentally poisons 52 members of their convent. The show will run Fridays, Aug. 12 and Aug. 19, at 7 p.m.; Saturdays, Aug. 13 and Aug. 20, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 21, at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $15 to $20 and can be purchased at

Friday, Aug. 12

This is the last week to catch Bubble Boy the Musical at the Hatbox Theatre (270 Loudon Road, Concord). Bubble Boy follows the story of Jimmy Livingston, a teen with immune deficiencies that force him to be trapped inside a plastic bubble with his mother. The final dates of the show’s run are tonight at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 13, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 14, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults, $22 for students, seniors and members, and $19 for senior members. Visit

Saturday, Aug. 13

The final weekend dates of the 89th annual League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s Fair are today and tomorrow, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Mount Sunapee Resort (1398 Route 103, Newbury). Read more about the event on page 19 of the Hippo’s Aug. 4 issue — visit to read the e-edition for free.

Saturday, Aug. 13

The Alton Bay Boat Show returns today for its 45th year at the Alton Town Docks from 9 a.m. to noon. The show is sponsored by the New Hampshire Boat Museum and features a variety of vintage boats on display. Admission is free. Visit

Wednesday, Aug. 17

Londonderry’s Old Home Days, which kick off today and run through Sunday, Aug. 21, will also celebrate the town’s 300th anniversary this year. Vendors, games, food and a parade are just some of the events planned for the town’s tricentennial celebration. Follow the Facebook page @townoflondonderryoldhomeday for details and updates.

Save the Date! Thursday, Aug. 18
Maple Hill Farm (117 Ridge Road, Hollis) is bringing back Music in the Gardens with a brass quintet from Symphony New Hampshire. The gardens open at 4:30 p.m., with music beginning at 5:30 p.m. On the Rocks New Hampshire will be there serving drinks out of its horse trailer bar. Tickets are $30 and children 12 and under are free. Visit

Featured photo. Music in the Gardens at Maple Hill Farm. Courtesy photo.

Quality of Life 22/08/11

Pedal to the metal

New Hampshire Teacher of the Year Sara Casassa received the trophy and bragging rights as the winner of the sixth annual New Hampshire LotteryEducational Cup Challenge at New England Dragway in Epping on July 30. According to a press release, the language arts teacher at Barnard School in South Hampton raced against Vermont’s Teacher of the Year Karen McCalla behind the wheel of a mini school bus on a quarter-mile drag strip. The event raises awareness for the more than $2.3 billion and counting that the New Hampshire Lottery has generated for New Hampshire education since its inception in 1964.

QOL score: +1

Comment: Casassa said in a statement that she was “a little nervous” and “relieved when it was done,” but that it was a fun and unforgettable experience. “Many of my students were there lined up along the fence holding signs and cheering me on,” she said. “It was fantastic.”

All business

Amy LaBelle, founder and co-owner of LaBelle Winery, teamed up with Girls Inc. of New Hampshire to lead a free one-day entrepreneurship workshop for girls ages 11 through 13 on July 30 at LaBelle Winery’s Amherst location. According to a press release, the workshop, titled “Empowering Angels: Empowerment through Entrepreneurship,” is designed to inspire young people to pursue entrepreneurship through training in basic business skills and strategies and by providing entrepreneur role models. Each girl developed her own business idea and plan, then pitched her idea to the group. “We were blown away by the pitches the girls put together in such a short time frame,” LaBelle said in the release. “They were terrific.”

QOL score: +1

Comment: The girls also got to take a tour of the winery, which focused on the STEM aspects of winemaking.

Youth mental health pandemic

The annual Kids Count Data Book released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation on Aug. 8, which for the first time included data on mental health among youth ages 3 through 17 in all 50 states, revealed that there was a 26 percent increase in anxiety and depression through the first year of the Covid pandemic, creating what the U.S. surgeon general has called a “mental health pandemic.” According to a press release, that number was even higher among youth in New Hampshire, with mental challenges increasing by 27.8 percent from 2016 to 2020.

QOL score: -3

Comment: Another finding in the report was that nine percent of New Hampshire children are living in poverty, with 25 percent of households with children having high housing costs, and that 3 percent of New Hampshire children aren’t covered under a health insurance plan.

Whoa, baby

A recent WalletHub study ranked New Hampshire at No. 8 out of the 50 U.S. states and District of Columbia for Best States to Have a Baby. The study looked at a number of criteria, including hospital delivery costs, access to prenatal care, postpartum depression rates, the number of fertility clinics, infant mortality rates, the rate of preterm births, child care centers per capita, parental leave policies and more.

QOL score: +1

Comment: New Hampshire had an especially strong showing in the criteria of hospital Cesarean delivery charges (2nd), hospital conventional delivery charges (2nd) and pediatricians and family doctors per capita (3rd).

QOL score: 83

Net change: 0

QOL this week: 83

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

Questions from Pats camp

The Patriots are back at work getting ready for the 2022 opener. They do so with a host of big question marks brought on by (a) a disastrous final month of 2021, which included getting annihilated twice by Josh Allen and Buffalo, (b) a number of high-profile defensive departures, (c) losing offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, coupled with the curious “Bill being Bill” decision to not name a replacement, and (d) low expectations for not much more than a one done in the wildcard playoff round.

So with that as the backdrop, here’s what to keep an eye on this month.

Biggest Strength

Running Game: Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson give them thump on the inside and burst to run outside. That will help the play action passing and let them get it more often on third and short, which is the key to having long drives.

Biggest Questions

Who’s Calling The Plays: Since I was no fan of Matt Patricia during his overly cautions, strategy-deficient reign as defensive coordinator, and he was a disaster as HC in Detroit, it’s distressing to hear Matty P will be calling the plays on offense. Made worse by an apparent scrapping of a big part of the playbook to create unnecessary confusion for QB Mac Jones.

Enough at Wideout: With the damage Randy Moss caused 2007 opponents in mind, I wanted Coach B to use his top pick and whatever else was needed to trade for a speed burning No. 1 receiver (and pay him) the way Philly did with AJ Brown. Instead he used that pick on an OL most thought he could get in Round 3 and spent the No. 2 on outside burner Tyquan Thornton of Baylor. Like the sentiment, but given the drafting record at the position he’s already in prove it mode.

So what do they have? DeVante Parker is a nice addition, but he’s a No. 2 and has been injury-prone in a seven-year career with just one 1,000-receiving-yards season. After that are Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne. Both solid, but they’re third-line guys who would be much more dangerous if they had a true No. 1. Finally there’s the speed guy Nelson Agholor, who I’ll get to later. If Parker can stay healthy they’re better, but they’re in a division with Tyreek Hill and Stefon Diggs, so they should have traded for the burner.

The Secondary: They’ve gone from the best secondary in football two years ago to a giant question mark thanks to Coach B fiddling while Rome burned. Instead of trading Stephon Gilmore for value ahead of 2021 (rather than the bag of beans he got doing it at mid-season) and spending the money to give JC Jackson an early extension, he walked when it got too expensive for Bill. So now it’s mix and match with retreads and rookies at the corners. Not sure who it could be, but someone has to come through or Mac will need to score 40 a game to win.

The Young Linebackers: With Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins gone, opportunity abounds for all the linebackers they’ve drafted in the last three years. And the question is, can those guys do the job?

Big Years Needed

Matthew Judon: He had 12.5 sacks in his first 13 games. But he got Covid in Week 14 and was MIA after that as the D fell apart. They need a full season this year.

Mac Jones: The numbers show he was better in his rookie year than Tom Brady was in 2019. That was good enough for me. Now he needs to be more in command and take the next step up. Plus with Matty P calling the plays, I’m hoping for a lot more audibles.

Guys to Watch

Kyle Dugger: With Devin McCourty nearing the end, the defense needs the next leader. After a solid Year 2 he’s the guy the brass wants that to be that guy.

Josh Uche: We’ve been hearing about his pass rush potential for two years. So in the put-up-or-shut-up year it’s time to find out if he can be the second edge rusher they need

Rhamondre Stevenson: I thought by the end of the year he was even better than Harris, as his acceleration through the hole and elusiveness in the open made big gains more likely. Plus he can catch, so I’m expecting a jump up in production.

Cole Strange: He can’t be a whiff. Because their top draft pick is stepping into a big hole at left guard and with an offense built on a solid running game and led by a young QB who needs to be protected, he needs to be as good asLogan Mankins and Joe Thuney were from the jump.

Marcus Jones: Except for a four-game stretch in 2020 byGunner Olszewski, who seemed more interested in running to contact than away from it, the return game has been awful since Cordarrelle Patterson left town. We’ve been burned (Cyrus Jones) by expectations from big college stats. But the No. 3 pick had four return TD’s last year. So it will be very helpful if he can be as dangerous here.

Improvement Needed

Jonnu Smith: Let’s just say he was an expensive bust a year ago. Thus while Hunter Henry was fine, the two tight end games never materialized. That needs to change and he needs to be much better.

Nelson Agholor: After a disappointing 37-catch three-TD season he needs to do a lot more to justify the expense. And that would have a bigger impact downhill, because if his speed can be a regular factor, it helps everyone else be better.

The X-Factor: The health of the re-shuffled offensive line where flip-flopped tackles Trent Williams and Isaiah Wynn both have injury histories. With not much depth they need them to stay healthy.

We’ll check back in a month for the answers.

Email Dave Long at

Serve’s the purpose

General counsel returns from public leadership program

Mary Ann Dempsey, general counsel for New Hampshire’s Judicial Branch, was named the 2022 recipient of the Caroline and Martin Gross Fellowship, awarded by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. Dempsey talked about the experience in which she spent three weeks in July participating in the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

What is your background and current role in public service?

After law school, I started my legal career as a law clerk with the New Hampshire Judicial Branch, which is where I am now. I did a two-year clerkship. I went into private practice for 12 years. Then, Attorney General Mike Delaney, in 2011, asked if I’d join the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office to head the civil bureau. That was my return to the public sector and working in state government. The civil bureau team would represent all of the state government, including the state agency, in litigation, helping them with client counseling and things of that nature. I was at the AG’s office for approximately three and a half years when Gov. Hassan asked if I’d serve as her legal counsel for the second term of her gubernatorial administration, so I moved over to the governor’s office for two years. … When Gov. Hassan was elected a U.S. senator, that’s when I came back to the judicial branch, in 2016, to be in the role I’m in now, which is as the general counsel.

What is the history of the fellowship?

It’s a three-week intensive program for state and local government leaders throughout the country. … The group consists of elected officials, law enforcement, city and county folks and then some state people who work in state governments, such as myself. … Martin Gross and Caroline Gross were both very active in public service in New Hampshire, so they created this fellowship to provide the funding for one person from state or local government in New Hampshire to attend the Harvard Kennedy School executive education program.

What led you to apply for it?

Judge Tina Nadeau, who is the Chief Justice of the Superior Court, was selected by the Charitable Foundation approximately 10 years ago to participate in the Harvard Kennedy program. I work closely with her, and she has been such a proponent of the program and the skills that it helps to develop, so she had encouraged me for a few years to apply. It wasn’t until this year that it was a good year for me to do so, and I was lucky enough to be selected.

What exactly did you do during those three weeks?

The program [runs] Monday through Friday, all day, with lectures from Harvard Kennedy professors in specialized areas. Then, you work in groups, and you work on projects. The whole goal is to teach individuals new skills and how to address policies, how to move programs forward and how to engage in dialogue with folks who may have a different view of a policy or a program from you. It’s an executive leadership program that’s designed to help individuals engage in tough discussions to either have a more comprehensive program or to be able to have opposing viewpoints in a respectful and professional way.

What were some educational highlights from the program?

One of the classes that was really impactful for me was a crisis management program which teaches skills to mitigate against a crisis, whatever that crisis might be — any unexpected issue that disrupts the flow of business — and how to essentially be prepared for the unknown. It’s a difficult concept for most of us to think about, but after Covid, every single business, public and private, has had to live through a situation like that, so it’s so relevant in terms of how to make sure your organization is able to continue operations, projects and necessary work. That was incredibly interesting to me. There was another class on how to engage in informed communication, both with constituents and with members of your team. … One program was about power dynamics in the sense of understanding the different groups that you may work with in your role in government and how to interact with each [in order to] make a successful team engaging in that type of work.

How are you planning to apply these new skills to your work in New Hampshire?

One example I can give is [that] the judicial branch is working on the centralization of our mental health docket, specifically our involuntary emergency admissions. It requires interaction with other members of the state government, with hospitals and with advocacy groups. That’s a perfect project to use these skills to help make sure that we’re all talking the same language, that we have common goals and that we can make productive steps throughout a complex process to bring it across the finish line.

Is there anything else you took away from this experience?

It was, without a doubt, the most diverse group of individuals that I’ve probably been in a classroom setting with since college. The conversations were so enlightening and enriched by having folks with different experiences, different backgrounds, diversity in jobs, diversity in race, diversity in geography.

Featured photo: Mary Ann Dempsey. Photo by Cheryl Senter.

News & Notes 22/08/11

High energy

New Hampshire Eversource customers saw an “unprecedented increase” in the supply portion of their bill on Aug. 1, according to an Eversource newsletter. The energy supply price, also known as the energy service rate, changes twice a year, on Feb. 1 and Aug. 1; most years, customers see a decrease in the Aug. 1 rate, but this year the rate has increased from 10.669 cents per kilowatt hour to 22.566 cents per kilowatt hour. For a residential customer who uses 600 kilowatt hours of power in a month, the total monthly bill will increase by approximately $67.63, which is approximately 50 percent. The cause of the increase, the newsletter said, is the record-high natural gas prices and energy supply pressures from the global economy. Eversource is working with the state to explore how it can provide financial assistance to New Hampshire customers this fall and winter, such as a credit on their electric bills.

Return to the Board

The Nashua Board of Education announced the nomination and selection of a new member. Dorothy Oden recently filled the seat that had been vacant since Sandra Ziehm resigned on June 30 and will fulfill the remainder of her term, which continues through December 2023. Oden was selected from a group of 17 Nashua residents who had submitted a letter of intent and presented their credentials to take the seat. She previously served on the Board from January 1992 to November 1995, and from January 2014 to December 2021. She was a longtime staff member at Amherst Street Elementary School in Nashua, hired as a paraeducator before working as a classroom teacher from August 1999 until her retirement in June 2013. “Having worked in the district as a para, a teacher and as a recent board member, I feel I am an ideal candidate and could quickly be a contributing member of the board with my recent and past experiences in the district,” Oden wrote in her letter of intent.

Free senior photos

The Boys & Girls Club of Manchester is offering free photo sessions for incoming high school seniors in the greater Manchester area on Wednesday, Aug. 17, from 2 to 5 p.m., at Stark Park in Manchester. According to a press release, local photographer Danielle Sheerin will be assisting the BGCM students, providing them with photography experience. The 15-minute shoots will give families professional-quality photos for their seniors to use throughout their last year of high school. They should register in advance at Seniors will also receive a complimentary membership to the BGCM’s teen program for the 2022-2023 school year, which offers a variety of activities, experiences, clubs and personal development programs, as well as opportunities to apply for post-secondary education scholarships.

Big money

The Mega Millions Jackpot ended on Friday, July 29, having generated more than $6.6 million in sales in its final week, with the New Hampshire Lottery selling the second-most Mega Million tickets per capita of the 47 lottery jurisdictions in the U.S. that sell the tickets. According to a press release from New Hampshire Lottery, New Hampshire players purchased $5.6 million in tickets at New Hampshire retailers and an additional $1 million through New Hampshire Lottery online sales, with more than 10,000 new players in the last month. Though the $1.337 billion winning ticket was purchased in Illinois, there were three winners in New Hampshire, including a $1 million winning ticket purchased at the Market Basket on South Broadway in Salem; a $20,000 winning ticket purchased at Circle K in Tilton; and a $10,000 winning ticket purchased at Shaw’s in Hampton. The jackpot set a record as the third largest U.S. Lottery jackpot of all time.

Suicide prevention for students

Gov. Chris Sununu signed SB 234 into law on Aug. 3, a bill that requires student identification cards to include the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. “Every student and family should have equal opportunity to access lifesaving services, and this bill moves us forward,” Sununu said in a statement. “New Hampshire is tackling our mental health challenges, and we are adding more and more investments every day.” New Hampshire recently implemented a new three-digit dialing, texting and chat code, 988, which connects callers experiencing suicidal, mental health or substance misuse crises to a national network of more than 200 call centers via the established National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire, in partnership with the Andover Historical Society, has added a new historic marker for Potter Place in Andover, commemorating the life and work of Richard Potter. According to a press release, Potter was America’s first Black magician and ventriloquist and made his home in Andover in the early 1800s. The Andover Historical Society owns and maintains the historic grounds and family graveyard of Potter and his wife, Sally, as well as the Potter Place train station, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. An event celebrating Potter’s influence on American theater will be held at Proctor Academy in Andover on Friday, Sept. 30, and will feature a performance by ventriloquist Dan Ritchard and a presentation by John Hodgson, author of Richard Potter: America’s First Black Celebrity. Visit and

Dartmouth Health’s Heart & Vascular Center hosts its fifth annual Love Your Heart Night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester (1 Line Drive) during the New Hampshire Fisher Cats game against the Erie SeaWolves on Saturday, Aug. 13. The event, centered around heart health awareness and reducing the risk of heart disease, will feature free heart-health screenings, CPR demonstrations, fun and educational activities and a video message from Kelly George, an Enfield resident who received a life-saving heart transplant. Attendees are encouraged to wear red. Gates open at 6 p.m., and there will be fireworks following the game. Visit

Gov. Chris Sununu has named the new Ash Road Bridge over Interstate 93, just north of Exit 4 on I-93 in Londonderry, in honor of its designer, Robert J. Prowse. According to the Union Leader, Prowse is a longtime New Hampshire Department of Transportation designer and has designed 400 bridges over six decades.

A community garden

Having grown up in America’s heartland, one of my fondest childhood memories is of the garden that our family planted every spring. It was huge by New England standards, average by Midwest standards. So many hours of labor and love went into the garden, but the rewards were well worth the effort. Early morning harvests (before the heat got too bad) led to bushels (literally) of tomatoes, green beans, corn, peas, potatoes, onions, lettuce, cabbage and anything else my mom decided to grow that year. After a few hours spent in the morning hauling in the goods, the afternoon’s tasks required my siblings and me to clean and prepare the harvest for my mother to work her magic. She would spend the afternoon canning and freezing the produce to be served and enjoyed in the cold of winter when it tasted every bit as delicious as the day it was harvested.

Today I am a pretend gardener here in New Hampshire. I have a vertical tower that utilizes hydroponics for my summer vegetables. My family loves the tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, and lettuces that our tower produces, but I am just playing at it. There is no canning or mass production going on, no feeding of the masses.

One wonders what type of garden the City of Manchester and Families in Transition (FIT) envisioned when federal funds were spent to purchase property, demolish buildings and address environmental concerns to create the Hollows Community Garden and Learning Center in 2018. According to a recent Union Leader article, the plan was for the garden to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to supplement meals served at Families in Transition Family Place Resource Center and Shelter. A grant funded a part-time garden manager until 2020, when funds were cut. Currently, the lot is vacant and overgrown. FIT is currently requesting permission from city aldermen to develop the land as affordable housing.

No doubt affordable housing will address a much greater need for Manchester than a community garden, and it falls into the wheelhouse of FIT. They have done it many times before and have done it well. Remembering from my Midwest roots what it takes to achieve a meaningful return from a garden, I think FIT is wise to pivot back to their core mission for this parcel of land. Unless there is funding, staff and volunteers, combined with experience and knowledge to drive the project forward, a community garden is doomed to end up exactly where it is today, a vacant and overgrown piece of land.

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