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. 

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A new study from the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire shows people living in rural northern New Hampshire and adjacent counties in Maine and Vermont hold increasingly positive views of life there, though they also agree that the lack of job opportunities, drug abuse, and population decline are important problems.  (Scroll down to read the full research report.)

For more on the study of life in rural northern New England we turn to Larry Hamilton, professor of sociology and a senior fellow at the Carsey School. He's one of the authors of the study.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The task force looking at the future of VA health care for New Hampshire veterans wrapped up two days of meetings Thursday. For the most part, these meetings are calm deliberations. Task force members listen to presentations, ask questions, and discuss VA issues.

But a heated exchange at yesterday's meeting highlights the simmering tensions between VA whistleblowers, who went public with their concerns, and VA leadership.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Senator Maggie Hassan says she's still working toward bipartisanship, even as the Senate GOP tax reform bill gets closer to a vote.

She says much of the process has been happening behind closed doors.  But she and other Democrats have been reaching out to Republicans and advocating for a return to regular order and hearings on the floor.

Peter Biello / NHPR

 

A top regional official at the Department of Veterans Affairs remains involved with a task force looking at the future of the Manchester VA - despite having been removed from his role as co-chair and member of that task force.

Regional VA director Dr. Michael Mayo-Smith was removed because of concerns raised by the state's congressional delegation and VA whistleblowers, who say he bears some responsibility for what they're calling harmful delays in care to veterans.

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Now that the Senate Budget Committee has passed the Republican tax plan, GOP leaders hope the full Senate will take it up this week.

While the fate of the bill is unclear, Democrats seem to be united against it, calling it a giveaway to the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

New Hampshire Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen joined NHPR's Peter Biello to discuss the legislation.

After being halted for nearly a year, construction of two aircraft hangars at the Pease Air National Guard Base is set to resume next month.

Work on the hangars stopped in December 2016 when the New Hampshire National Guard terminated the nearly $32 million contract with Cutter Enterprises, LLC of Connecticut for what officials say were problems with the quality of the work and failure to make sufficient progress.

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  House Speaker Shawn Jasper spent some time this afternoon in his office on the third floor of the Statehouse filling a box with stuff. All Things Considered host Peter Biello caught up with Jasper as he packed up.

NHPR: What's in the box? What are you taking home?

Jasper: Papers. Cards. You know, a Gavel in there. Just a lot of personal stuff that I'm taking home that I'll sort through later. 

Peter Biello / NHPR

Ernest Hebert is best known for his novels. His first book, The Dogs of March, was published in 1979 and cited for excellence by the Hemingway Foundation. It was the first of seven novels in his Darby Chronicles series, which painted a vivid portrait of working class life in rural New Hampshire. 

(Scroll down to the end to read Ernest Hebert's top five reading recommendations.)

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Southern New Hampshire University continues to reinvent itself. At the beginning of the decade it had 2,000 students and shaky finances. Today, it serves more than 80,000 students online and 3,000 on campus, making it one of the country's fastest-growing universities.

This week it continues that expansion with the announcement of a major infrastructure project in Manchester.

Some members of the New Hampshire Democratic Party are forming a caucus for military veterans and their families. 

About fifty people have expressed interest in joining, says Amelia Keane. She's a Democratic representative from Nashua and a combat medic in the Army Reserves.

Keane is also a member of the caucus, and she says its goal is to advocate for legislation that would improve the lives of veterans and their family members. She says right now the caucus is just getting started.

Peter Biello / NHPR

How do you get serious about baking bread? French bread, in particular, which takes hours to make and years to master.

For Manchester resident Benge Ambrogi, the path to becoming a serious baker began in the late 1980s, with a bad loaf made by someone else—the man who would become his father-in-law.

"It was terrible. Typical first loaf. Very heavy and monochromatic. Not a very interesting loaf."

"What did you tell him about his first loaf?" I asked.

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Electricity generated for New England - whether from clean or not-so-clean sources - all gets dumped in to the same pool of electrons. So when we draw from that pool, how can we be sure we're getting power from a clean source?

Granite Geek David Brooks will be discussing this as part of the NH Science Cafe taking place tonight at the Draft Sports Bar in Concord, and he joins NHPR's Peter Biello with more. 

Peter Biello / NHPR

All this week, we're honoring military veterans by sharing their stories of service. Today, we hear from Army Veteran Michael F. Richmond of Claremont, New Hampshire. When he was in the Army in the 1980s, he witnessed history in the making in Berlin. But the Army wasn't his plan "A" or even plan "B."  

Peter Biello / NHPR

In the late 1880s, rail was creeping across western America, connecting towns and changing lives. The west was still relatively wild in those days, and that Wild West is the setting of the new young adult novel by Erin Bowman. Retribution Rails is the story of a young man caught up with a band of cold-hearted killers and thieves and the young woman who aspires to write for a newspaper, any paper, and prove that she can write just as well, if not better, than any man out there. Erin Bowman spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello.

Peter Biello / NHPR

All this week, we're honoring military veterans by sharing their stories of service. Today, former Marine  Tim McLaughlin talks about a transformative day for him and for the U.S.: September 11, 2001. 

Peter Biello / NHPR

All this week, we're honoring military veterans by sharing their stories of service. Today, Donna Nobrega tells us about her experiences as a sailor in the 80s and early 90s, when the country was at peace. 

Peter Biello / NHPR

This week, in honor of Veterans Day, we're hearing from New Hampshire veterans about their time in the service. To kick off this series, a story of caring and deep rewards, from veteran Ginny Timmons of Boscawen.

Timmons was assigned to an evacuation hospital in Vietnam and cared for young men in intensive care. It was difficult, but she was committed to the role. "I loved the service," she says.

 

(Editor's note: We recommend listening to Timmons recall her time as an Army nurse.)

 

Peter Biello / NHPR

A task force looking at the future of health care for New Hampshire veterans wrapped up a two-day meeting on Wednesday. The task force was created to take the long-view on how veterans get their care from the Manchester VA, which has been embroiled in scandal since the summer. Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with NHPR's Peter Biello who attended the meetings.


Peter Biello / NHPR

A task force looking at the future of healthcare for military veterans in New Hampshire kicked off the first part of a two-day meeting Tuesday with a look at mental health, surgery, women vets, and a VA culture change. That meeting continued Wednesday with examinations of primary care, rehabilitation, and geriatric and extended care services. 

Peter Biello / NHPR

This week on The Bookshelf, author Joe Hill of Exeter, N.H. joins Peter Biello in studio.

Hill's new book, Strange Weather, is a collection of four short novels. In one, the sky rains needles that rip to pieces anyone unlucky enough to be outside. In another, a skydiver gets stuck on a cloud. And in a story without any supernatural connection, people with easy access to guns use them to devastating effect. Joe Hill is the author of many works, including the novels Horns, NOS4A2, and The Fireman.

Speculative fiction is a genre that takes us into a previously unimagined world - a world that, with a few plausible tweaks, becomes utopian, dystopian, or something else entirely. 

The Neukom Institute for Computational Science at Dartmouth Colllege is announcing the establishment of the Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards, a global program to honor works of speculative fiction. 

Daniel Rockmore, director of the institute, joins Peter Biello to talk about the awards.

Listen to the interview:

Fifteen years ago, former New Hampshire Supreme Court Chief Justice John Broderick was attacked by his son, who had an undiagnosed mental illness. Now, Broderick  is on a mission to increase awareness of the signs of mental illness that he missed in his son.

Last year he began speaking to high school and college students as part of the Change Direction New Hampshire campaign and he continues that effort tomorrow in Canaan, N.H., in a joint appearance with state Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The task force looking at the future of the Manchester VA Medical Center has a new co-chair.

Dr. Jennifer Lee is Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the VA. She replaces Michael Mayo-Smith as co-chair. Initially on Monday, the VA removed him as only from his role as co-chair. A statement released by the VA late Tuesday indicated he is no longer a member of the task force.

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:

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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.

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