The week that was

The Big Story – Celtics’ Dream Ends: After Derrick White’s miraculous putback with :01 left to force Game 7 on Monday night, it was all set up for history to be made by the Celtics. But the 0-3 hole they had dug for themselves was too deep, as after winning three straight, sadly they put up yet another stinker at home to finish 5-6 at home in the playoffs, as the Miami Heat made history instead by becoming the first play-in team to make the NBA Finals.

No one beyond Rob Williams and Devin White played well. And while I don’t like to be unkind, it’s hard to fathom a human being playing a worse game than Jaylen Brown did in his turnover-strewn mistake- and forced shots-filled Game 7.

Jayson Tatum gets major points for gutting out the whole game after spraining his ankle on the game’s first play.

As do the Heat, who showed their toughness by not following the Boston Globe’s Game 7 story line of “could they somehow recover from their devastating Game 6 loss?” Answer: they could.

Sports 101: Three players in NBA history have played 20 years for the same team. Name them.

News Item – Alumni News: In case you missed it, NateEovaldi had quite a run earlier this month when he went for 29.2 scoreless innings for Texas. And he actually was allowed to pitch a complete game shutout against the Yanks and an 8.2-inning job vs. Oakland as well. Overall he was 6-2 with a 2.60 ERA in his first 10 starts for the new team.In the words of local legend Bob Lobel, “Why can’t we get guys like that?”

News Item – Mets Fans Show True Colors: It didn’t take nitwit Mets fans long to go from loving Justin Verlander in December to booing Verlander in just his third start and first home appearance at New York’s Citi Field (8 hits and 6 runs), which followed his giving up just 1 run while striking out 10 vs. Cincy in his second start.

News Item – Shaq Feeling The Heat Too: In what has to be a first ever, after chasing him for months, a legal processor finally hit Shaquille O’Neal with a summons during Game 4 while working the EFC for TNT according to media reports. They were after him to let him know he is a defendant in a class-action lawsuit claiming he and other celebrity spokespeople (Tom Brady, his ex-wife and Steph Curry) misled investors in the gone-bust FTX bitcoin investment scheme.

The Numbers:

3.49 – ERA jump for Sox closer Kenley Jansen, from 0.77 to 4.26 after he blew consecutive ninth-inning leads on May 12 and May 13, giving up 5 hits, 4 walks and 6 runs while getting just 3 outs.

7 – unheard of number of guys on the Miami Heat roster who went undrafted coming out of college before taking winding professional roads prior to being signed as free agents by Pat Riley and company.

10 – wins vs. 41 losses for Oakland’s A’s to tie them with the 1932 Red Sox for the worst start after 50 games in MLB history. Their 31-131 full-season pace would surpass the 40-120 1962 Mets as the worst season ever.

26 – times sluggers Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani have gone yard in the same game since becoming teammates in 2018, after doing it vs. the Red Sox when the L.A. Angels of Anaheim finished off their three-game sweep of Boston with a 7-3 win on Wednesday.

Random Thoughts:

LeBron James playing all 48 minutes in L.A.’s elimination game to Denver when he had the juice to go for 40 points and fall just an assist short of a triple double at 38 was impressive.

Put a pair of big-wire framed glasses and a blue blazer on NBA star Jimmy Butler and he’s a dead ringer for Jackie Chiles, the Johnnie Cochran-like parody lawyer on Seinfeld.

And Miami back-up center Cody Zeller looks like one of those plumbers or firemen JJ Redick said Bob Cousy played against in the ’50s.

Betting the squib/low line drive kicks will become a bigger factor in 2023 in the wake of the NFL adopting a rule last week that gives teams the ball at their 25-yard line if a guy makes a fair catch on any kick-off inside their 25.

A Little History: A look back in time shows the Celtics could have had two Miami Heat starters on their 2023 roster. In the 2012 draft they let Butler slide by them to go 30th overall to Chicago, after Danny Ainge selected Ju’Juan Johnson, who lasted one year in the NBA, with the 23rd pick. Then in 2019 three-ball bomber Max Strus was their final pre-season cut when they keptJavonte Green.

Sports 101 Answer: Dirk Nowitzki, Kobe Bryant and Udonis Haslem are the three to play 20 years for one team.

Email Dave Long at

Beach read

Jill Piscitello discusses her new novel, A Sour Note

Author Jill Piscitello talks about her new mystery novel set in Hampton Beach, A Sour Note.

What is A Sour Note about?

A Sour Note features Maeve Cleary, an unemployed event coordinator, coming to terms with the public end to her engagement with a famous morning news host. Thanks to a social media darling’s corpse turning up behind her mother’s music school, Maeve’s plan to recover in the privacy of her childhood home is upended. As suspicion surrounds her and a few friends, media interest peaks again. While following a trail of clues, she fends off help from a clairvoyant cousin, butts heads with a no-nonsense detective and toys with the idea of allowing a bit of romance back into her life.

What inspired you to set this story in Hampton Beach?

My family has visited Hampton for decades. The Natural Resources Defense Council included Hampton Beach on its list of safest and cleanest beaches in the country several times, and the April 2023 issue of Country Living named it one of the eight “classic beach boardwalks.” … I was walking along a stretch of ocean when the idea for A Sour Note first arose. What better place for a mystery than a beach setting offering more than a scenic view? Sure, the beach is beautiful. However, it’s the people, food and entertainment that create a buzzing hive of activity to fill pages with.

How did you incorporate the unique atmosphere of Hampton Beach into the story? How did you strike a balance between the light, summery setting and the tension and suspense required for a mystery?

Hampton Beach is unique because it offers something for everyone. Arcades and a stretch of playground entertain children for hours, adults have endless choices for food, and live music plays every night. The sun, sand and sights set a carefree background in stark contrast to Maeve’s dangerous search for a murderer.

How did you blend the book’s magical elements with the grounded reality of the murder investigation?

A large percentage of people believe in some aspect of psychic ability. Many claim to experience premonition or déjà vu. Maeve wavers between skepticism of her cousin Calista’s clairvoyance and entertaining the idea she might have a gift. Though I enjoy reading paranormal cozies, I wanted a story that people could relate to. Doesn’t everyone know someone who claims to ‘have a feeling?’

What motivated you to venture into the mystery genre? How did you approach writing a mystery compared to your previous works?

My previous books fell within the sweet holiday romance genre. I love watching couples find their way to happily ever after and am a huge fan of the Hallmark Channel. … I plan to revisit the romance genre as an author, but in my heart, I’ve always wanted to write mysteries. I’m not sure who is more responsible for this aspiration — my mother for introducing me at 12 years old to Mary Higgins Clark, or the author herself for sucking me into each and every word of the books that kept me reading late into the night. Writing the first draft required a significant amount of planning and research. In romance novels, shifting back and forth between the two main characters is easier than balancing a larger cast of voices demanding to tell their own stories.

What do you hope readers will take away from A Sour Note in terms of entertainment and emotional resonance?

I’m hoping readers enjoy an intriguing tale filled with unexpected twists, friendship, strength, love and likable characters they look forward to revisiting time after time.

Can you give us a glimpse into what readers can expect in the next two books of the series?

The second book will be set during the fall after most of the tourist crowd has left for the season. Calista will have a much larger role in the story. The third mystery is still in the outlining stage, but we will see Maeve’s mother pursuing a romantic relationship while her daughter solves another case.

Featured photo: Jill Piscitello. Courtesy photo.

News & Notes 23/06/01

Artifacts found

Archaeologists from Dartmouth College made significant discoveries at Weirs Beach, the Laconia Daily Sun reported, unearthing thousands of artifacts ranging from 19th-century nails and glass to arrowheads dating back as far as 8,000 years. The team conducted the dig following an archaeological radar survey and aimed to relocate areas previously identified in 1976, gaining a better understanding of the region’s past. Though the excavation posed challenges due to soil dredging during parking lot construction, resulting in a mixed layer of artifacts from different time periods, researchers were able to use visual catalog references to identify unique projectile points, including an 8,000-year-old arrowhead.

Treatment center

A ribbon cutting ceremony, attended by Gov. Chris Sununu and Commissioner Lori Weaver, was held for East Acres at Hampstead’s inaugural level 5 psychiatric residential treatment facility on Friday, May 26. The facility is the state’s only youth psychiatric treatment center and represents the highest level of mental health care available.

School funds

New Hampshire schools have been awarded a total of $1.2 million in Beyond School Enrichment Grants, allowing them to implement summer enrichment opportunities and year-round initiatives to support students’ academic and developmental needs outside of traditional school settings. According to a press release, the grants, funded by the state’s ESSER II funding, aim to prioritize recreational activities and enrichment programs before and after school, as well as during the summer months, addressing concerns around students’ mental and behavioral health. The New Hampshire Department of Education awarded grants to 56 schools, with most of the initiatives scheduled for this summer. The programs cover various areas, including equine therapy, summer camps and after-school programs with mentors. Additional funds of $125,490 are still available, and interested schools or districts can apply until the funds are exhausted.

Bike week

The 100th Laconia Motorcycle Week will begin on Saturday, June 10, with the annual Peter Makris Memorial Run, which supports a range of charitable organizations, including the Laconia Fire Department’s Life Saving Fund, Easter Seals “Veterans Count” program, Lakes Regions Emergency Response Team, Building Dreams for Marines, Belknap House for homeless families and the NH Veterans Home and has raised more than $550,000 to date. The event will begin with registration at The NazBar & Grill, opening ceremonies at The NASWA parking lot, a police-escorted ride to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, and an after-ride party back at the NazBar & Grill, which will include a lunch prepared by Boston celebrity chef Anthony Ambrose. Visit or call 366-4341.

Wind power

Join the New Hampshire Network for Environment, Energy and Climate for a free virtual event, “Clearing the Fog: Understanding Offshore Wind in New England,” on Monday, June 5, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. According to a press release, the event, moderated by Rob Werner, New Hampshire State Director of the League of Conservation Voters, aims to debunk myths and pave the way for a better understanding of offshore wind’s potential. It will feature panelists discussing the benefits and challenges of offshore wind in New Hampshire and the broader New England region: Carol Oldham will explore the business aspects, Melissa Birchard will delve into transmission challenges, Joe O’Brien will provide insights into labor considerations and Stan Labak will address the impacts on marine biodiversity. Register at to secure your spot for an audience Q&A session.

Illegal robocalls

Attorney General John M. Formella has filed a lawsuit against Michael D. Lansky LLC, operating as Avid Telecom, along with owner Michael Lansky and vice president Stacey S. Reeves for allegedly initiating and facilitating billions of illegal robocalls, violating federal and state telemarketing laws like the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and Telemarketing Sales Rule, according to a press release from the attorney general’s office. Avid Telecom, a VoIP service provider, allegedly sent or attempted over 24.5 billion calls, including approximately 7.5 billion to numbers on the Do Not Call Registry and around 36.2 million to New Hampshire, the release said. They allegedly aided in routing robocalls across the country and used fake caller IDs, including millions of calls impersonating government agencies and private companies, the release said. The lawsuit is part of the Anti-Robocall Multistate Litigation Task Force, a collaborative effort of 51 attorneys general to combat the influx of illegal robocalls in the United States. “This lawsuit is against one of the worst actors in the telecom industry … [and] represents yet another step in our efforts to hold these companies accountable and end their illegal robocalls,” Attorney General Formella said in the release.

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) will host a public open house on Thursday, June 1, at the Town of Hooksett Administrative Office Building (35 Main St.) to provide information regarding the US Route 3/NH 28 roadway improvement project from Alice Avenue to NH Route 27/Whitehall Road in Hooksett. The project, according to a press release, aims to enhance pedestrian access and traffic operations along the corridor. Attendees are welcome to drop by anytime between 2 and 4 p.m. or between 6 and 8 p.m. to obtain project information and have their questions addressed by the project team. No formal presentation or agenda is scheduled. Visit

The American Independence Museum in Exeter is now part of the Blue Star Museums initiative, providing free admission to currently serving U.S. military personnel and their families through Sept. 4, according to a press release. The museum has a collection of 3,000 historic artifacts and develops programs and exhibits that honor inclusive perspectives. Visit

The Nashua Garden Club will host its June program, “Bringing Tropical Plants Outside,” on Wednesday, June 7, at 7 p.m. at the First Baptist Church (121 Manchester St., Nashua). According to a press release, Chris Bell, Wholesale Manager of Weston Nurseries in Middleboro, Mass., will present on orchids and other tropical plants. Attendees can learn about the benefits of relocating house plants outdoors for the summer. Visit

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