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Ray Duckler
Joe Randazzo (left), formerly of Penacook, leans in for a "kiss" with Johnny Depp in costume as Donald Trump. Depp plays Trump in Funny or Die's "The Art of the Deal."

Ray Duckler: Joe Randazzo razzes Trump, and everyone else, for that matter

Friday, February 12, 2016

For someone like Merrimack Valley High School graduate Joe Randazzo, Donald Trump is pure gold. Randazzo is a satirist who holds up a mirror to show us how dumb we are, or can be. Last Wednesday, a Trump-roasting mockumentary, written by Randazzo and shown on the humor website Funny or Die, appeared online the day after our first-in-the-nation primary. Called The Art of the Deal: The Movie, and based on Trump’s 1987 business-guide book, it stars Johnny Depp as The Donald and also includes Ron Howard as the narrator; Henry Winkler as former New York City mayor Ed Koch; Michaela Watkins as Ivana Trump; and …

Ray Duckler: How Hillary Clinton lost New Hampshire in eight years

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Granite Staters announced Tuesday night that they believe in Santa Claus. Robin Hood, too. Bernie Sanders, perceived as a politician who gift wraps idealism and robs from the rich to give to the poor, won the state’s hearts as well as its primary. He stamped the official state seal on an election season …

Ray Duckler: Fast food workers demand $15 an hour

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Money makes the world go around. It also stops traffic in Manchester, makes the city’s cops mad, disrupts a local fast food restaurant, scares kids, and makes you wonder what we, as a country, should do about the minimum wage. Fifteen dollars an hour? That is the question, and you can bet voters …

Ray Duckler: The biggest political issue of our times, and few care

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The voter waiting in line to hear Hillary Clinton held the pamphlet crumpled in her hand, unread, destined for the trash. I asked the woman, Melissa Umpierrez of Manchester, for comment on the material given to her by …

Ray Duckler: Looking for the Democratic nod for president? Let me introduce Mary Louise Hancock

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Hillary Clinton wasted no time naming someone who reflects New Hampshire’s grace and grit: Mary Louise Hancock of Concord. Speaking to former governor John Lynch during a rally at Dartmouth College in November, the potential Democratic nominee for …

Ray Duckler: Concord, a hockey town, shows why at White Park

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The rich history in the big tent, serving as a makeshift locker room for the sixth Black Ice Pond Hockey Championships, hit me like a barrage of slapshots. Look, there’s Bruce Gillies, the goaltender who once faced pucks …

Ray Duckler: ‘Monitor’ staffers who covered McAuliffe, Challenger disaster remember the day

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thirty years ago today, two local journalists, Bob Hohler and Mike Pride, tried to make sense of what had happened on a clear-but-cold Florida morning. The Monitor’s columnist and editor had to shelve their grief as best they …

Ray Duckler: Aaron Keller, the Silver Fox of ‘Making a Murderer,’ has become part of the story

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Once Aaron Keller’s hair is in place, it barely budges. Same as sharing his feelings about a high-profile murder case. He stands firm. Keller, who teaches English composition and communications at New Hampshire Technical Institute, was a TV …

Ray Duckler: For Christa McAuliffe, time should stop, at least once a year

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A few people forever changed on Jan. 28, 1986 want the memory of Christa McAuliffe to spread across the country. They want to officially honor the former Concord High School social studies teacher and her six crewmates, killed …

Ray Duckler: In the land of opportunity, lesser-known candidates get a shot, too

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Something called the Lesser-Known Candidates Forum, held Tuesday night at Saint Anselm College, made me laugh and made me proud, at the same time. Laugh because 23 white men, 50, 60 and 70 years old, took turns telling …

Ray Duckler: Rest easy, Helen Arlington, because your son is nearby

Friday, January 15, 2016

Helen Arlington got her wish Thursday, one that will last forever. She’s now resting beside her son Gary Andersen at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery – hallowed ground she’d been told was off limits to her. It …

Ray Duckler: Bill is back, and with him comes lots of baggage

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Comeback Kid is back, with all his strengths and flaws. We get Bill Clinton, master politician, energizing the crowd Monday at Nashua Community College, listing the reasons why his wife would make a great president, mixing in …

Ray Duckler: Happy New Year, says one tough baby

Friday, January 1, 2016

Scarlett O’Hara will forever be known for her strength, a survivor whose toughness belied her petite, helpless appearance. Now meet Scarlett Bigelow, the first baby born at Concord Hospital in 2016. Named after the protagonist of Gone With …

Ray Duckler: In God we trust? Priests in New Hampshire made that hard to do

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

David Ouellette, 53, had one correction to make. Yes, Catholic priests were more than merely respected figures in his community when he was growing up in Rochester. They were placed on a pedestal, revered, almost God-like, right? “You …

Ray Duckler: After months of digging, investigators uncover church abuse, then turn up the heat

Monday, December 28, 2015

When Will Delker and Jim Rosenberg of the attorney general’s office began sifting through pages from what they called the Secret Archives – two filing cabinet drawers filled with evidence of sexual abuse and cover-ups within the state’s …