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Ray Duckler
Veterans snowshoe hike through Ahern State Park in Laconia on Wednesday, Mar. 4, 2015, as part of the Camp Resilience program.

(ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

Ray Duckler: For veterans, a place for support, rejuvenation

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Breathe, yoga instructor Helen McConnell told the group of eight veterans, each storing some form of emotional baggage. Stretch. Bend. Relax. Unpack. McConnell twisted the men, participating in a therapeutic process in Gilford this week, into pretzels, then switched off the light in a room at the Gunstock Inn and told them to lie on the floor, eyes closed, arms …

Ray Duckler: Around here, some like the snow, while some like it hot

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

For Chris Spannweitz, the snow means cash in his pocket. For Jim Bashios, it means a pain in his tush. One is a private contractor who shovels roofs in a business he started last month. The other is a landlord and well-known convenience store owner whose tenants might need his help before the …

Ray Duckler: A Porsche, a truck, a snowmobile? What would you buy?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The salesman quoted me a price for the Porsche Boxster, a two-door silver convertible with a sound system that could reach Vermont. “Around $70,000,” he told me. “$69,712 actually.” “That’s it?” I said. I reached into my winter coat, for my checkbook stored in the inner pocket, and smirked. “Got a pen?” If …

Ray Duckler: A stroke of genius outweighs sour grapes

Monday, January 12, 2015

Bill Belichick, head coach of the New England Patriots, is a super genius, and that’s from someone, me, who hates the Patriots. Belichick pulled a fast one Saturday in a playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens, leaving football …

Ray Duckler: Settle in for the new year with a little kindness

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The holiday season is over, meaning it’s time to clean up and make good on those promises for 2015. There’s lots to do: Pack up the lights, move the tree outside, chuck the fruitcake, return the Chia Pet, lose weight, pay the credit card bill, sponsor a child, …

Ray Duckler: Ronnie Berlack, Franconia skiing star, killed in avalanche

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The news broke like the avalanche itself, quick, powerful, unforgiving. Ronnie Berlack, a 20-year-old skier from Franconia, a prospect on the U.S. ski team, a young talent who nearly competed on the World Cup circuit, died yesterday, the …

Ray Duckler: A couple of dedicated women honored in big ways

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Check the photos used for today’s column and you’ll notice two local people, each shown in a 15-minutes-of-fame snapshot that grew from their personal stories. On Dec. 3, Dottie Spofford, an 80-year-old Concord farm girl with the wisdom …

Ray Duckler: He sure proved me wrong. How about you?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Forget leftovers from the holidays, the turkey, the ham, the Christmas goose. For me, pass the crow. I deserve it. Three months ago, before he donned a cape on his back and an “S” on his chest, I …

Ray Duckler: Concord High student shows plenty of class

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Alyssa Pellegrini doesn’t care what you think about her. Not anymore. Once, when a digestive disorder made her throw up in the school bathroom and leak stuff from a tube during class and miss weeks of school, causing …

Stories of the Year #10. With heroin use surging, state looks across its borders

Friday, December 26, 2014

Opioid abuse, specifically heroin, emerged as a major threat in 2014, forcing the state’s safety, medical and political leaders to scramble in search of a solution. According to data released in a recent report, 911 calls for drug …

Ray Duckler: In her perfect world, her sister fits right in

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

She says her artwork is perfectly imperfect, meaning there’s a human element in everything she creates. So maybe this is a case of art imitating life. After all, nothing has been perfect for Katie Johnson, and that’s just …

Ray Duckler: War and sand replaced by magic and snow

Sunday, December 21, 2014

For Greg and Amber Card, neither place seemed real. Not the Middle East, with its enemy soldiers, blood and death. Not the North Pole, with its Santa Claus, elves and magic. Call them contrasting visions, fighting for a …

Ray Duckler: Katherine Drouin’s battle moves in front of the camera

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Katherine Drouin’s fight against an eating disorder, featured in a two-part Monitor series last August, will be one of three segments chronicled in a TV documentary Monday night. The hourlong show, called My Strange Criminal Addiction, will start at 10 on Investigation Discovery. Drouin compulsively eats and purges, …

Ray Duckler: Alosa’s team a traveling show you won’t want to miss

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Bring a pressure gauge to the Pembroke Academy gym, and the needle might spin out of control. Pressure is part of the culture there these days. From the pressure of expectations, to the pressure to succeed at a …

Ray Duckler: A great aunt and great nurse leads on Day of Infamy

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Lucy Gentilhomme picks up one of the four books displayed in her office at Beaver Meadow School. She flips open to one of several pages, marked with a slip of paper, that documents the role her great-aunt, G.B. …