Peter Biello

Host, All Things Considered

Peter Biello is the host of All Things Considered at New Hampshire Public Radio. He has served as a producer and host of Weekend Edition Saturday at Vermont Public Radio and as a reporter/host of Morning Edition at WHQR in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Peter has won several AP awards for his journalism, which has appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered and This American Life. He’s also a fiction writer whose work appears or is forthcoming in Gargoyle, Lowestoft Chronicle, Green Writers Press, and South85 Journal. He’s also the founder of Burlington Writers Workshop, a nonprofit writing workshop based in Burlington, Vermont, and co-founder of Mud Season Review, a literary journal featuring fiction, nonfiction, poetry and visual art that publishes in print annually and online monthly.

Peter lives in Concord, New Hampshire. 

Ways to Connect

Peter Biello / NHPR

Kevin Roark waits tables at the Barley House in Concord. On this day, he stands at the host's station, greeting guests as they walk through the door. 

"Two?" Roark asks a pair of women who have come in for lunch. 

These women don't seem to recognize Roark. But he has a reputation among the regulars here. You may have encountered a server like Roark at other restaurants. A little theatrical or over the top.

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Cancer has traditionally been treated with some combination of radiation and chemotherapy. But these treatments, which often cause pain and take a great deal of time to complete, don't necessarily increase the quality of a patient's remaining years.

But new treatments are emerging that approach cancer in different ways, and Granite Geek David Brooks is here to discuss them.

Listen to the conversation:

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Manchester VA is responding to criticism about the medical center's women's clinic. The clinic is currently on the 6th floor, accessible by a flight of stairs or an elevator.

A report on NHPR described how women who have suffered military sexual trauma can find riding in that elevator with men stressful.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Bookshelf from NHPR is New Hampshire Public Radio's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State.  All Things Considered host Peter Biello features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. If you have an author or book you think we should profile on The Bookshelf, send us an email. The address is books@nhpr.org.

Liberty House in Manchester has a new leader. Jeff Nelson took the reins as Executive Director of the nonprofit two months ago. Liberty House helps up to ten veterans at a time transition from homelessness to permanent housing. Nelson spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello about how Liberty House does its work and where he thinks it's going.

The Liberty House provides transitional housing for veterans, helping them out of homelessness. How great is the need for a service like this in New Hampshire?

Peter Biello / NHPR

Look at portraits of the nation's leaders and you'll see a particular trend come and go over the years: facial hair. For decades facial hair is in, and then, suddenly, for decades more, it's out. But why? Granite Geek David Brooks recently noticed this pattern in the photographs of the mayors of Concord, which are displayed along several flights of stairs at City Hall, and he says a particular invention may have something to do with the trend. He spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Last week's mass shooting in Las Vegas has prompted what seems to be the perennial discussion of gun control. Steve Marchand, a Democrat running for governor and former mayor of Portsmouth, says politicians should be ready to talk about guns and legislate if necessary.

Peter Biello / NHPR

One of the dozen Manchester VA whistleblowers has announced his candidacy for Congress.

Stewart Levenson says he will challenge Democrat Annie Kuster in New Hampshire's second district as a Republican.

He and other doctors came forward last summer with allegations of leadership failures at the Manchester VA that resulted in patient harm. 

Peter Biello / NHPR

Samuel Alicea is a wide receiver on the Tilton School football team. He's seventeen years old. He's black. And he's a protester. About a year ago, when he was a student at Merrimack Valley High School, he knelt in protest during the national anthem, following the lead of Colin Kaepernick, who knelt in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The response was swift and ugly. Alicea left Merrimack Valley for Tilton School, where his family says he's safer. He spoke with NHPR's Peter Biello about what the year since his controversial protest has been like for him. 

Peter Biello / NHPR

When a pipe burst at the Manchester VA Medical Center last July, the ensuing flood ruined spaces where veterans meet their doctors. One of those spaces was dedicated to women's health. Now, as the VA rebuilds itself, some see an opportunity to improve the experience for women veterans.

Before July's flood, to get to the women's health clinic at the Manchester VA, women needed to walk through the front door, climb a flight of stairs to the elevator, and ride it up to the sixth floor.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Bookshelf from NHPR is New Hampshire Public Radio's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State.  All Things Considered host Peter Biello features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. If you have an author or book you think we should profile on The Bookshelf, send us an email. The address is books@nhpr.org.

Roman Mager / Unsplash

A mathematician working as a lecturer at the University of New Hampshire made a discovery that surprised many in his field, given his position at the university and his life story.

Yitang Zhang grew up in China under Mao’s cultural revolution and worked a variety of low-wage jobs before he made his mathematical breakthrough.

NH Community Seafood

Last May, we reported on New Hampshire Community Seafood's effort to sign on at least 1,000 people for their community supported fishery, or CSF. A CSF is like a farm share, where subscribers can pick up seafood at various locations throughout the season. 

The push for new members was driven by a desire to support New Hampshire's ground fishermen. Their deadline was the end of summer, and with that now upon us, Andrea Tomlinson, manager of New Hampshire Community Seafood, joins NHPR's Peter Biello with an update.

Listen to their conversation right here:

Peter Biello / NHPR

Lawmakers questioned officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs and a VA whistleblower today at a congressional hearing in Pembroke.

Convened by Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster of New Hampshire and Republican Rep. Jack Bergman of Michigan, the field hearing was an attempt to understand the allegations of leadership failure behind the mismanagement of patient care at the Manchester VA.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Earlier this year, Keith Howard stepped down as executive director of Liberty House, a transitional living facility for formerly homeless veterans.  And he started something new.

Howard now lives at a converted hunting camp in northern New Hampshire, on the grounds of Warriors at 45 North, where he's going to run writing retreats for veterans.  Howard himself lives in what he calls the Tiny White Box. I went to visit him there. 

The Department of Veterans Affairs has released a list of the twelve people who will serve on a task force looking at the future of health care for New Hampshire veterans.

Since July, a dozen whistleblowers have come forward with allegations of substandard care at the Manchester VA.  One of those whistleblowers, cardiologist Erik Funk, will serve on the task force.

The list also includes four people who are not VA employees and five who are not New Hampshire residents.

Ed Kois, a VA doctor and leader of the whistleblowers, said that's a problem.

Bryan Marble/Flickr

The economic headlines in recent months have been overwhelmingly positive, both in New Hampshire and nationally.

The stock market is up, median household income is reaching record levels, and unemployment is low. NHPR’s Todd Bookman, who covers business and the economy, joined All Things Considered Host Peter Biello to dive deeper into the numbers, and explore what the data means for working families in the state.

Casey McDermott for NHPR

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity met at Saint Anselm College in Manchester today. This marked the group's second meeting and comes amid criticism over the actual intent of the commission established by President Trump through executive order according to the order.

The commission was never meant to find evidence of voter fraud, but to find anything that enhances or undermines "confidence in the integrity of the voting process."

The Trump administration’s commission on voting issues is meeting today at St. Anselm College in Manchester. The meeting comes amid a debate over the purpose of this commission.

Republican State Representative Fred Doucette of Salem, co-chair of President Donald Trump's campaign in New Hampshire, is in attendance. He spoke with NHPR's Peter Biello.

Peter Biello for NHPR

For a half-century, UNH professor emeritus of plant biology and genetics J. Brent Loy has been in pursuit of genetically ideal gourd.

Loy, who is a researcher with the researcher with the NH Agricultural Experiment Station, has been using selective breeding techniques to create varieties of melons, pumpkins, and squash that satisfy the needs of commercial growers and gardeners alike.

Recently I stopped by UNH's Kingman Research Farm in Madbury to learn more about his work.

Courtesy of Francestown Village Store

Earlier this summer, news broke that the Francestown Village Store, a 203-year old institution in that small Monadnock town, would be closing. The story made headlines in New Hampshire, but also caught the eye of the Wall Street Journal.

It turns out all that publicity may help save the store.

Geoff Forester | Concord Monitor

At Epsom Central School, a mural map of the United States features a small confederate flag planted on the southeastern states.

Tuesday night, the Epsom School Board voted 3-2 to defeat a motion to remove or alter the mural to remove that flag. It's a debate that had echoes of the unrest surrounding Confederate monuments in other parts of the country.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Bookshelf from NHPR is New Hampshire Public Radio's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State.  All Things Considered host Peter Biello features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. If you have an author or book you think we should profile on The Bookshelf, send us an email. The address is books@nhpr.org.

Jason Moon - NHPR

Schools in Portsmouth started a bit later this week—at 8:20 a.m. instead of 7:30 a.m. The idea is that if kids are allowed to sleep later, they’ll be better prepared to learn once they get to school. Schools in the towns of Durham, Madbury, and Lee as well as the Inter-Lakes School District in the Laconia area also are starting late this year.

Steve Zadravec is superintendent of Portsmouth's schools. He’s been a supporter of these later start times. He spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello.

Peter Biello / NHPR

As the Manchester VA Medical Center continues to recover from catastrophic flooding, allegations of dangerous delays in veterans’ care, and unsanitary conditions, VA officials and a dozen whistleblowers are trying to chart the future of veterans’ healthcare in New Hampshire. It’s not clear what that will look like.

Roychan Kruawan / Unsplash

Tomatoes: from your garden, they are full of flavor. They even smell good. Tomatoes from the grocery store, however, might lack that same intense taste. Depending on what variety you buy, the tomato may have been engineered or sprayed to be heavy, not flavorful. Tomatoes are sold by the pound, after all.

A new bit of technology may help some farmers create a tastier tomato. Granite Geek David Brooks has been writing about this tech for The Concord Monitor and spoke with NHPR's Peter Biello about it. 

Peter Biello / NHPR

An employee of the Manchester VA Medical Center says his bosses have retaliated against him for speaking to investigators about problems with veterans' dental care and the Veterans Choice Program.

Gary Von George worked as the Business Office Manager at the Manchester VA. He says he tried to resolve several issues internally.

But he says after Manchester VA leaders learned he'd spoken to the VA's Office of Medical Inspector, he was moved to a different role.

Flikr Creative Commons / Jim.Richmond

States participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, are looking towards the future. For the past two years, the nine states have been trying to determine how to clean up power plant pollution in New Hampshire and across the region after the year 2020.

A new set of draft proposals lays out how RGGI might do that. State climate campaign director for Environment New Hampshire Travis Madsen spoke about this with NHPR's Peter Biello. 

Peter Biello / NHPR

A task force created to look at the future of the Manchester Veterans Affairs Medical Center is taking shape. 

The task force was formed in response to whistleblower allegations of unsanitary and unsafe conditions at the medical center. Whistleblower Erik Funk, a cardiologist, was invited to serve on the task force - but he is the only one.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Manchester VA Medical Center will hold a town hall meeting Wednesday in Rochester.

The meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. at Frisbie Memorial Hospital, is a chance for veterans to ask questions of administrators tasked with managing significant challenges at the medical center.

The Manchester VA has been recovering from flooding caused by a burst pipe. It's also being investigated for widely-publicized allegations of substandard care and unsanitary conditions.

The interim director of the Manchester VA, Al Montoya, is scheduled to attend the meeting.

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