This Week 22/09/22

Big Events September 22, 2022 and beyond

Friday, Sept. 23

Join 603 Forward and the Forward Foundation for the Forward Fest today at the Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester) at 5:30 p.m. The event will celebrate young leaders of New Hampshire. The event will have live music, arts, community building and food. Ticket prices for adults start at $50. For more information about this event, visit

Friday, Sept. 23

Mel’s Funway Park (454 Charles Bancroft Hwy, Litchfield) has undergone its annual transformation into Spooky World as of today at 7 p.m. The horror-themed amusement park will have a haunted hayride, a maze filled with a new breed of monster, a 3D nightmare attraction called Dream Scape, and a chance to escape Asylum 47. Tickets start at $54 and can be purchased at

Saturday, Sept. 24

The Beaver Brook Association (117 Ridge Road, Hollis) is hosting its annual Fall Festival and Art Show today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event features artwork by regional artists, children’s art, live music, animal and birds of prey presentations, guided hikes and herbal and flower products and refreshments for sale. Amy Conley will offer children’s songs and a puppet show (at 11 a.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday), and the Flying Gravity Circus, a children’s circus troupe, will perform at 4 p.m. on Saturday. The event is free to attend and more information can be found at

Saturday, Sept. 24

Today is the opening reception for the The New Hampshire Potters Guild’s biennial exhibition, “Storied in Clay,” at the exhibition gallery at the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen headquarters (49 S. Main St., Concord). The exhibition will open on Sept. 26 and run through Oct. 27. The reception is free and takes place during the two-day Capital Arts Fest (today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) happening on Main Street in downtown Concord. Visit for more information on the exhibit and for more on the fest.

Saturday, Sept. 24

Millyard Brewery (25 E. Otterson St., Nashua) is hosting an Oktoberfest today from 1 to 8 p.m. and tomorrow, Sunday, Sept. 25, from 1 to 6 p.m. The festival will have live music, games, traditional German food, a beer stein holding contest and more. Visit for more information.

Sunday, Sept. 25

The annual Merci train ceremony is today at 1 p.m. at the boxcar’s permanent location, on Reed Street in Manchester. The ceremony commemorates the soldiers from New Hampshire who fought and died in France during World War II, liberating the French people. The ceremony is free to attend, and more information about it is available at

Save the date! Saturday, Oct. 22
Adam Sandler is coming to the SNHU Arena (555 Elm St., Manchester) on Saturday, Oct. 22. Sandler will be performing a new stand-up comedy routine. Doors to the event will open at 6:30 p.m., and the show will start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $39.50 and can be bought at

Featured photo. The Flying Gravity Circus. Courtesy photo.

Quality of Life 22/09/22

Celebrating recovery

Hope for New Hampshire Recovery, a Manchester-based nonprofit that connects people in recovery with people struggling with addiction, presents its Recovery Festival on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Veterans Park in downtown Manchester. According to a press release, the event will feature more than 40 representatives from local recovery residences, treatment and recovery centers, health agencies and other pathways to recovery; as well as music, free candy, free home Covid tests courtesy of the Manchester Health Department and free Naloxone courtesy of Manchester Doorway. Visit

QOL score: +1

Comment: The Hope Recovery Center, on Wilson Street in Manchester, hosts more than 40 recovery meetings a week and presents musical talent shows and more than 600 member-made paintings on the walls “to help demonstrate that recovery is more than just going to meetings — it’s a brand new and better life,” the press release stated.

Vaxxed up

A recent WalletHub study ranked New Hampshire at No. 3 out of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia for the Most Vaccinated States. The study looked at various factors, such as the influenza vaccination rate of youth; the share of teenagers with up-to-date HPV vaccinations; the share of senior adults who have received a Zoster vaccination and more. New Hampshire ranked especially high for flu vaccination coverage rate among adults (No. 3) and share of adults with tetanus vaccination (No. 3).

QOL score: +1

Comment: New England swept the top six, with Massachusetts at No. 1, followed by Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, and Connecticut at No. 6.

Return of the flu

New Hampshire health officials are warning that the upcoming flu season could be the worst in several years, NHPR reported. Influenza cases dropped significantly in the 2020-2021 season as a byproduct of Covid mitigation measures. The number of cases increased in the 2021-2022 season, but were still significantly lower than a typical season pre-Covid. This fall and winter, however, influenza cases are expected to fully rebound. The CDC recommends that people get a flu shot by the end of October to reduce their risk of becoming infected with or becoming seriously ill from the flu, which typically peaks around February.

QOL score: -1

Comment: Covid booster vaccinations updated to protect against the omicron variant recently became available in New Hampshire, and it’s safe to get the Covid booster and the flu vaccine at the same time, according to the CDC.

Overdoses on the rise

The total number of suspected opioid overdoses so far this year in New Hampshire’s two largest cities, Manchester and Nashua, is 624, which is 19 percent higher than the total was for 2021 at this time of year, the Union Leader reported. The cities are currently averaging between 80 and 90 drug overdoses a month, putting Nashua on track to have the highest number of opioid overdose-suspected deaths in a one-year period since 2015, and Manchester on track to have the highest since 2017.

QOL score: -2

Comment: The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration recently warned the public of an emerging trend of fentanyl produced in the form of brightly colored pills, powders and blocks, made to look like candy to appeal to children and young people, the article said.

QOL score: 83

Net change: -1

QOL this week: 82

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

The latest week that was

A few thoughts on interesting sports stories in recent weeks.

Count me as enthusiastically on board with the new 12-team college football championship tournament to start as early as 2024.

I love that champs from the six top leagues automatically make it, there will be six at-large bids and the four highest-ranked teams get an opening week bye.

The Boston Globe headline reading, “Six fumbles, two interceptions, and just 29 rushing yards” told all you needed to know as BC lost its home opener to Rutgers. But how does a football team with eight turnovers only lose by one point, 22-21?

Suspending George Steinbrenner for life is what got Fay Vincent fired as Baseball Commissioner in 1990 because the remaining owners didn’t want an employee with that kind of power over them. Hence Milwaukee owner Bud Selig replaced him. So give NBA commish Adam Silver props for having the stones to suspend Suns owner Robert Sarver a year for the range of abuses investigators uncovered.

Props also to Brad Stevens for not panicking after Danilo Gallinari went down with a torn ACL. Better off first giving Sam Hauser a shot as the bench three-point bomber to save their meager cap space/injury exemption for the better options available in February at the trade deadline or buy out market if he’s not the answer.

Who else saw the irony in Danny Ainge getting back (with the usual boatload of top picks) Collin Sexton in Utah’s trade of Donovan Mitchell to Cleveland? The now 23-year-old 20-point scorer was the lottery pick sent to Cleveland to get Kyrie Irving in 2017.

Amid the excitement of Aaron Judge’s chase to pass Babe Ruth and Roger Maris for the single-season AL home run record and, more importantly, most in Yankees history is the absolute lunacy of analytics’ impact on baseball, as when manager Aaron Boone batted him lead-off on a team with 7, 8 and 9 hitters hovering around the Mendoza line (.200) and also getting few walks. My baseball analytics say this: With no one on base in the first at-bat for the team’s best RBI guy, and thanks to the stiffs in front of him getting on base twice every 10 at-bats during his next three, instead of the nearly five that would be on if batting clean-up, he’ll hit with roughly 300 fewer guys on base over 150 games. Case in point: When he hit numbers 56, 57, 58 and 59 last week, three were solo homers and the fourth had one guy on. I’d like to hear the stat geeks explain the benefit of that.

Here’s a stark illustration of what pitching is today vs. in the era when men were men, even when a guy is pitching great, as Arizona’s Zac Gallen did when he recently tied back-in-the-day-ers Orel Hershiser and Don Drysdale (plus Zack Greinke) for the all-time record of making six straight starts without allowing a run.

The difference is that Gallen never made it past the seventh inning in any of his starts while throwing 41.1 innings. For Drysdale it was six complete game shutouts, while Hershiser matched that and needed to go extra innings once to earn the all-time record at 59.

That’s two full games’ worth of innings more than Gallen. How can those feats be considered the same thing?

Hey, Matt Patricia, what’s the over-under in Patriots games for when you’ll finally call a few screen passes to help reduce the pressure on Mac Jones?

The “I did not know that” fact of the week, courtesy of Concord sports aficionado Jeff Smith via Facebook: While I saw the old man play a lot when he was hooping for Saint Anselm, I didn’t know Steelers tight end Patrick Freiermuth, who caught a TD vs. the Pats on Sunday, is the son of back in the day Hawks/Oyster River HS star John Freiermuth.

Best comic line I’ve heard from a broadcaster in a long time came from Ian Eagle during Sunday’s Patriots-Pittsburgh game. His partner Charles Davis made a Seinfeld reference about Nelson Agholor taking the “marble rye” (Jerry stole one from an “old bag” in one episode) into the end zone after a leap over and snatch away from the defender. Eagle followed that during the replay by saying that “was real and spectacular,” which is what Teri Hatcher said to end a show Jerry spent trying to find out if her, ah, impressive anatomy was real or enhanced. Yada, yada, yada.

Glad the aforementioned Eagle also cleared up why Pittsburgh is finally retiring the number of Steelers great Franco Harris 40 years after he last played. Turns out it’s to coincide with the 50th anniversary of his “Immaculate Reception” that stuck a dagger much deeper into the heart of Raiders Nation than the tuck rule did in early 2002. Makes perfect sense since it is unchallenged as the NFL’s most shocking ending and one of its greatest games.

Incidentally, my introduction to Harris came when he played with Lydell Mitchell at Penn State in one of the greatest college backfields ever. In those days WPIX in New York used to air condensed one-hour versions of PSU games on Sunday mornings. I watched every week, but thanks to the quirky delivery of whoever the announcer was, it was almost two seasons before I realized he was not the hard-running Irish fullback named Frank O’Harris I thought he was, but instead the son of an Italian mom and English dad named Franco Harris.

I hope all the LIV golfers taking Saudi Arabia blood money saw the gut-wrenching 60 Minutes special on the bravery and brutal sacrifice of the FDNY on 9-11 and its aftermath that ran on the 21st anniversary, ’cause their being so tied to that attack is one of the things SA is trying to whitewash with their golf PR campaign.

Email Dave Long at

Safety first

New director of homeland security, emergency management

Meet Robert Buxton, who was nominated by Gov. Chris Sununu to be the director of the New Hampshire Department of Safety’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Buxton was sworn in to the position on Sept. 6.

What is your background in this type of work, and how did you come into this position?

I was a 30-year fire service employee. I retired out of the town of Hudson; I [served for] nine years as fire chief there. I graduated from UNH with a master’s degree in public administration. One of my core roles in Hudson was to be the emergency management director. This position provided that next step of opportunity for me in my career, and I thought it was a great opportunity to come in with a really motivated staff to put out good customer service to the communities in New Hampshire.

What do you and the Division do?

The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management covers a lot of opportunities surrounding community preparedness, community outreach, emergency management, disaster planning and public assistance grants. The Homeland Security side co-manages the state’s Information Analysis Center. We provide a lot of support to the local communities surrounding Homeland Security information and emergency management. … I’m on Day 3 [of the job]. The day to day right now looks very busy in regards to getting my arms around the different divisions and having an understanding and creating a routine with staff and basically looking at the vision of the organization and setting that out. Right now we provide forward-facing customer service to 234 communities in the Granite State, and we look to continue that as we move forward.

What are some of the biggest issues the Division is working to address right now?

We’re still providing a lot of support to the local community surrounding Covid and the Covid monies and disaster relief funds. Secondarily to that, we’re also heavily engaged in the school safety process. We continue to work the different levels of emergency response surrounding Seabrook Station [Nuclear Power Plant] and those events are probably the top three or four that I can give you right now. Those are the top three things right now.

What is your role in responding to the pandemic? How is it different from the role of other state departments, such as the Department of Health?

This is a collaborative effort on the state level with DHHS, and right now, probably the biggest responsibility and collaborative piece that we’re working through is in regards to the recovery money, making sure that we’re supporting the communities and getting the relief money [to them] and managing those grant processes. Additionally, we continue to work on messaging, making sure those messages are put out in the state of New Hampshire and that they are clear.

How do you work with each New Hampshire community to ensure that it has the funds, training and preparedness to respond to an emergency quickly?

One of the strengths of this Division over the years … [has been] their hard work in collaborating with the local municipalities. They’ve created a very supportive environment for the emergency management directors across the state in making sure that they’re getting the resources that they need to be able to prepare and provide the service to their constituencies when an emergency does arise. There’s a very strong foundation that has been put in place, and we look to continue to grow that as I phase into my position.

What do you find rewarding about this line of work?

This line of work is one of the most rewarding things, I think, that you can look at. You have a direct impact to all 234 communities across the state of New Hampshire, and it’s a great opportunity [for them] to see us continue to prepare, so we can make sure that folks understand what they need to do if we’re getting close to a potential disaster and make sure they have the tools. It’s that day-in-and-day-out impact that we push out to the local communities that’s the most rewarding.

What can individuals and families do to prepare for and stay safe during an emergency?

There are four key steps that I would like them to look at: stay informed, have a plan, make a kit — a kit for no power, a kit for cold weather, those sorts of things — and get involved. They can sign up for the New Hampshire alerts to stay informed on what potentially could be happening in their area.

Featured photo: Robert Buxton. Courtesy photo.

News & Notes 22/09/22

New Hampshire 2022 primary election results

The results of the New Hampshire 2022 primary election on Sept. 13 are as follows, according to the New Hampshire Secretary of State:


  • U.S. House District 1: Karoline Leavitt (34.81%)
  • U.S. House District 2: Robert Burns (32.95%)
  • U.S. Senate: Donald Bolduc (37.12%)
  • Governor: Chris Sununu (78.70%)


  • U.S. House District 1: Chris Pappas (unopposed)
  • U.S. House District 2: Annie Kuster (unopposed)
  • U.S. Senate: Maggie Hassan (94.31%)
  • Governor: Tom Sherman (unopposed)

The New Hampshire 2022 general election will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Visit the New Hampshire Secretary of State website,, for information about voting and elections.

Right to Covid vaccine privacy

New Hampshire residents now have the option to withdraw their Covid vaccination information from the New Hampshire Immunization Information System in accordance with New Hampshire House Bill 1608. “The state of New Hampshire obtained information about your Covid-19 vaccination status without offering you a chance to opt out of the state immunization registry,” the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Public Health Services stated in a press release. “Our New Hampshire constitution honors your right to privacy, including your medical information, and you have the right to withdraw your information from the immunization registry.” Residents who want to withdraw their Covid vaccine information from the state’s registry must complete a Withdraw and Remove Information from the NH Immunization/Vaccination Registry form, available on the NH DHHS website,, and obtain a health care provider’s or notary’s signature, then fax the form to the DHHS Immunization Program at 603-271-3850.

First child monkeypox case

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services and the City of Manchester Health Department have confirmed the state’s first pediatric monkeypox infection. According to a press release, the Manchester child became infected after exposure to a household contact infected with the virus. The child is experiencing mild symptoms and is currently isolating at home. The departments are working with the child’s school to identify any individuals who may have had close or prolonged contact with the child while they were contagious. State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan stated in the release that “the risk to the general school population and others in the community is very low.” The CDC has reported at least 27 cases of monkeypox in youth under the age of 16 in the U.S. Visit for information and resources on monkeypox in New Hampshire.

Energy costs assistance

With rising fuel and electric costs expected this winter, House Bill HB2023 has been passed allowing the New Hampshire Department of Energy to provide up to $35 million in relief on energy costs to qualifying New Hampshire families via an emergency fuel assistance program and supplemental electric benefit. “New Hampshire just delivered the largest energy relief package this state has ever seen, helping families in need this winter — using our state surplus funds,” Gov. Chris Sununu said in a press release. “Thanks to strong fiscal management, New Hampshire is able to invest state-surplus funds to help families get through this winter.” The one-time emergency relief package will be available to households that earn between 60 and 75 percent of the state’s median income; an additional $7 million is allocated to support existing assistance programs for households making 60 percent or less than the state’s median income.

Aviation Museum volunteering

The Aviation Museum of New Hampshire (27 Navigator Road, Londonderry) is having a volunteer open house on Tuesday, Sept. 27, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., where the public is invited to meet current volunteers and learn about the volunteering opportunities available at the museum. According to a press release, the Aviation Museum is a nonprofit organization “dedicated to celebrating New Hampshire’s role in aviation history and inspiring tomorrow’s pioneers, innovators and aerospace professionals.” Volunteering opportunities may include greeting guests at the front desk, leading tours and staffing the gift shop; working with young people through the education outreach program and student plane-building program; evaluating donations and cataloging items in the historical archive and assisting researchers; administrative tasks related to memberships, fundraising, communications and building maintenance; managing tech systems; and helping with special events. If you plan to attend the open house, call 669-4877 and leave a message with your name, or send an email to

The New Hampshire Food Bank and the Concord Police Department will host two Stuff-A-Cruiser food drives in Concord this month — one on Friday, Sept. 23, from 9 a.m to 1 p.m., at Shaw’s Supermarket (20 Fort Eddy Road), with donations to support the Salvation Army, and the other on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Hannaford Supermarket (73 Fort Eddy Road), with donations to support Friends of Forgotten Children. According to a press release, the goal of the drive is to fill a police cruiser with non-glass, non-perishable food donations in support of Hunger Action Month, a nationwide awareness campaign to fight hunger. Visit to learn more.

Ryan Cashin, Deputy Chief for the Manchester Fire Department, has been nominated for the position of Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director for the City of Manchester. According to a press release, the nomination went before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Sept. 6 and is on a one-month layover until the next meeting on Oct. 4. “Deputy Chief Cashin has been a dedicated member of the Fire Department for 23 years,” Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig said in the release. “He is a strong leader and problem solver, who has worked hard to earn the respect of the men and women of the department and the city as a whole.”

A top prize-winning ticket for the Lucky for Life lottery game was drawn at Nouria on the Londonderry Turnpike in Auburn on Friday, Sept. 16, WMUR reported. The prize before taxes is the winner’s choice of $1,000 a day — $365,000 a year — or a one-time payout of $5.75 million. Friday’s ticket is the third top prize winner to be drawn in the Granite State since it started offering the game in 2012. The first two were drawn in August 2013 and March 2016. The game is currently played in 23 states, plus the District of Columbia, with drawings held seven days a week.

Let the conversation about our kids begin!

The first time I worked on redoing the Minimum Standards for Public School Approval was 1992. I was a brand new member of the State Board of Education, which was embroiled in a huge controversy (Concord Monitor’s sixth biggest story of the year) over its seemingly heavy-handed approach to revising the document that governs how New Hampshire runs K-12 education. It was trial by fire as my first assignment involved 300 angry education supporters in Exeter. The next week it was 600 in Salem. So I asked for authorization from then state board chair Judith Thayer to conduct a meeting aimed at bringing the constituents together to review their concerns. We met for a half day at the Legislative Office Building and came up with solutions that seemed to satisfy the parties. They passed unanimously. Overall, It was a great lesson for me. I learned how not to approach changing the minimum standards. Inclusiveness and transparency is the lesson!

The second time I took on this task was in 2003 when the new governor, Craig Benson, asked me to chair the State Board and charged me with redesigning public education, a charge most would have run screaming away from. But it was exactly the charge that I wanted.

Both Benson and I were not good students. I’ve often said “school taught me that I wasn’t very bright and life taught me that school was wrong.” We wanted a system that would work for every student! What the State Board came up with is called competency-based learning. We were the first in the nation to put it into our regulations and started a national movement.

But don’t take it that success was easy, because it was not. Change scares lots of folks. Especially when it involves kids. That state board set out to create what former Executive Director of the New Hampshire School Boards Association Ted Comstock (RIP) said was “the most inclusive process in state history.” Sounds like we succeeded.

We’re about to do it again. The nonprofit that I lead, the National Center for Competency-Based Learning, has been tasked by the New Hampshire Department of Education to update the minimum standards. We have an All-Star Team of New Hampshire public school professionals who’ve worked tirelessly to put together a draft to begin this important discussion. So, let’s bring the conversation all over the state to get input from educators, parents, kids and the entire New Hampshire community. I can’t wait!

Fred Bramante is a past chairman and member 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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