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Granite Geek: Forest streams are so pretty; too bad they’re such a pain to measure
04-15-2024 4:18 PM

By DAVID BROOKS

One of my favorite parts of hiking in New Hampshire is coming across a rushing brook or mountain stream. They are one of nature’s most beautiful creations. But we live in reality so I realize there are complications even when things are beautiful. For...

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Granite Geek: 28 years after an ‘e-mail course’ a professor ponders changes to online courses
04-22-2024 3:03 PM

By DAVID BROOKS

More than 28 years ago I interviewed Kenneth Levasseur, a professor at UMass-Lowell, about his innovative new project: A math class via email.In the resulting column I noted that the course, the school’s first official online class, would have...


Henniker forum to focus on Main Street crosswalks
04-21-2024 11:48 AM

By DAVID BROOKS

The owner of Superscoops on Henniker’s Main Street says she’s ready to make the ultimate business sacrifice to help the people who flock to her walk-up window in nice weather.“I’m willing to give up two parking spots in front of my store so there’s a...


Wildfire season is here: Concord at moderate risk; high risk further south
04-17-2024 10:22 AM

By DAVID BROOKS

Despite all the wet weather, spring fire season has arrived.For the first time this year, parts of the state were rated Wednesday as being in “high” risk of wildfires by the state’s Forest Protection Bureau.The period after snow melts but before...


Regal Theater in Concord is closing Thursday
04-16-2024 11:38 AM

By DAVID BROOKS

After Thursday’s 7:30 p.m. showing of “Kung Fu Panda 4,” the Regal Cinema on Loudon Road will close for good, ending 28 years of multiplex movies on The Heights in Concord and marking the latest step in the redevelopment of the Steeplegate Mall.What’s...


Climate disasters elsewhere can raise home insurance rates here
04-12-2024 1:00 PM

By DAVID BROOKS

By the standards of the world’s increasing climate disasters – the tornadoes, wildfires and deadly heat waves that fill headlines every week – the back-to-back snowstorms that just clobbered New Hampshire’s power grid weren’t too bad. But don’t get...


MVHS crossword creator puzzles over puzzles
04-10-2024 4:54 PM

By DAVID BROOKS

Do you know a six-letter word that’s key to the “butterfly effect”? What’s the loneliest number? How do you express excitement in Japanese?If you answered those easily, Natalie DeGreenia has a puzzle for you.The Merrimack Valley High School senior has...


Granite Geek: In a sign of the times, rooftop solar in New England produced 5 Seabrook Stations worth of electricity
04-08-2024 12:54 PM

By DAVID BROOKS

A decade ago concern spread among folks who ran power grids that too much wind and solar power, which comes and goes in semi-unpredictable ways, would cause our electric system to go all wonky. I remember 10% of total output being tossed around as a...


Heat pump gives Concord Quaker meetinghouse many benefits, including a bunch of pre-schoolers
04-04-2024 11:47 AM

By DAVID BROOKS

When leaders of the Concord Quaker meetinghouse replaced their old boiler with a geothermal heat pump, they were excited about operational benefits and with helping out the climate. But the best part, it turns out, is all the little kids.“This is...


Task force: NH community colleges should automatically accept high school graduates
04-03-2024 11:07 AM

By DAVID BROOKS

New Hampshire’s community college system should turn its seven distinct colleges into one college with seven campuses to give students more flexibility, automatically accept New Hampshire high school graduates, and have its curriculum and academic...


Sponsors of removed Flynn historical marker ask judge to reconsider
04-02-2024 5:09 PM

By DAVID BROOKS

The sponsors of the historical marker for Elizabeth Gurley Flynn have asked a judge to reconsider his ruling that they don’t have status to sue the state over removing the marker.Mary Lee Sargent and Arnie Alpert made the request of Merrimack County...


Granite Geek: Studying results of the eclipse with balloons and ham radios
04-01-2024 5:10 PM

By DAVID BROOKS

Next Monday I will be lazing around while watching the solar eclipse up near the Canadian border, having received assurances that there will be no clouds whatsoever, but some folks around New Hampshire will be approaching the event more seriously as...


Power outages are possible again from storm arriving Wednesday
04-01-2024 12:27 PM

By DAVID BROOKS

You probably don’t want to hear this but there’s a chance we’ll be seeing power outages again Wednesday and you should get ready.A major winter storm moving east is expected to intersect with a nor’easter moving up the coast, bringing hail, snow, ice...


Everybody wants workforce housing but what exactly is it?
03-30-2024 10:00 AM

By DAVID BROOKS

Urban planners talk a lot these days about the need to support the “missing middle.” They’re talking about building size – more than a house, less than a high-rise – but they could be talking about income size.For decades the free market has...


Cyber attack continues to cripple hospitals, doctors, pharmacies in New Hampshire and nationally
03-29-2024 12:31 PM

By DAVID BROOKS

A cyberattack on a company that provides back-end services for hospitals and other health-care providers, including approving types of care and processing payments, is still affecting patients and providers throughout New Hampshire and the rest of the...


Bow power plant to add solar and batteries; coal use to end by 2028
03-27-2024 11:54 AM

By DAVID BROOKS

The region’s last coal-fired power plants, located in Bow and Portsmouth, are expected to switch to large-scale solar power and battery-storage under plans put forward by their owner, Granite Shore Power, marking New Hampshire’s first big transition...


Climate change is even hurting maple syrup production in Quebec
03-25-2024 12:24 PM

By DAVID BROOKS

An annual New Hampshire breakfast featuring lots of maple syrup products that emphasizes the risks climate change poses to the industry has an extra hook this year: Maple powerhouse Quebec is struggling.Canadian news outlets are reporting that Quebec,...


Ambulance service in N.H. faces problems from big surprise patient bills to struggling companies
03-24-2024 7:50 PM

By DAVID BROOKS

Ambulance service might be one of the most basic and important parts of the health-care system, but it’s also a financial mess in New Hampshire, both for patients and private companies.“We’ve talked to consumers who say, ‘I’ve fallen at home and...


Breezeline cable to offer mobile service this spring
03-22-2024 4:18 PM

By DAVID BROOKS

The cable and internet company Breezeline, which recently completed its fiber-to-the-home installation in Concord and other New Hampshire communities, is preparing to expand into mobile phones, part of an industry trend in which companies combine...


‘You shall not obstruct the dome’ – Planning Board weighs downtown height restrictions
03-21-2024 3:37 PM

By DAVID BROOKS

Concord residents will have a chance to express their opinion next month on whether redevelopment next to the Phenix Hotel on North Main Street should exceed height limits that are designed to keep the State House dome visible from I-93.The request,...


N.H. lawmakers consider limit on breeding flat-faced dogs
03-21-2024 10:55 AM

By DAVID BROOKS

Americans love flat-faced dogs: French bulldogs beat perennial favorite Labrador retrievers to be the most commonly registered purebred dog last year, according to the American Kennel Club, while pugs and pekes aren’t far behind.But popularity has its...

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