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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Truth seems especially hard to get to these days. "Fake news" articles on social media tend to look like they come from legitimate news outlets, and even the most well-researched story can be derided as "fake news."

Under these conditions political reporters push forward with their work. For a look at how that work has changed we turn to NPR's Domenico Montanaro. He's lead editor for politics and digital audience at NPR and he's here in New Hampshire to discuss leaks, fake news, and a free press at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College.

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.

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Following his State of the State speech this morning, Governor Chris Sununu signed an executive order that aims to streamline services for New Hampshire's military veterans and their families.

The executive order would create a single point of contact for veterans seeking state services. It also gives the state's Adjutant General more authority to coordinate the efforts of the state's existing resources.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Congresswoman Annie Kuster says VA Secretary David Shulkin must immediately address allegations related to official travel.

In an audit by the VA Office of Inspector General, Shulkin is found to have improperly accepted Wimbledon tennis tickets and gone on an 11-day European trip with his wife that mixed business and sightseeing at taxpayer expense.

Peter Biello/NHPR

The task force looking at the future of the Manchester VA met again Wednesday and will meet all day Thursday. Members are trying to come up with a tentative set of recommendations on how to best provide VA health care to New Hampshire's veterans.

The task force itself was created as a response to whistleblower allegations of substandard care that harmed some VA patients. Earlier today, in between sessions, NHPR's Peter Biello spoke with the task force co-chair, Dr. Jennifer MacDonald.

Peter Biello/NHPR

Last week the VFW Post 168's bar and banquet hall on Deer Street in Portsmouth was sold. Mounting costs and competition prompted the sale, leaving members of the VFW without a permanent home. 

The day after that sale, an NHPR producer and I went to Portsmouth to learn more about what this means for the veterans who used it, and what the new owner has planned. 

 

Peter Biello/NHPR

This is the Bookshelf from NHPR. I'm Peter Biello. This Super Bowl Sunday, people all over the country turned on their televisions to watch the New England Patriots face the Philadelphia Eagles. Among those watching: New Hampshire author Joseph Monninger. He's a Pats fan, but he says he can't believe he still watches football.

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When it comes to trees, New Hampshire is rich and with such abundance you might imagine that the logging and milling industries in the state are flourishing. But that is not the case. The industries that used to buy these trees and the products made from them are in decline.

But new uses for the wood are out there, and in his column in the Concord Monitor this week, Granite Geek David Brooks writes about how these new uses could provide a boost to the timber industry. 

Peter Biello/NHPR

 

This is All Things Considered on NHPR. I'm Peter Biello. A bill under consideration at the New Hampshire State House would require certain law enforcement agencies to adopt a written policy regarding eyewitness identification procedures. 

 

Peter Biello/NHPR

 

A new report says the Department of Veterans Affairs has been reluctant to acknowledge fault with how some patients were treated by the VA facility in Manchester. 

 

The report comes from the US Office of Special Counsel (or OSC), the agency in charge of reviewing the VA's response to recent whistleblower allegations.

 

Peter Biello / NHPR

Making your own liquor at home is illegal under federal law. A bill in the New Hampshire House right now would legalize the distilling of a limited amount of alcohol in the same way the state regulates in-home production of wine and beer. One local entrepreneur who sells stills is hoping the bill will provide a boost to his business.

In a workshop off Depot Street in Manchester, foreman Jeremy Burrows rolls a beautifully-shined sheet of copper through a machine to emboss it.

Wikipedia

Fifteen years ago this week our regular guest David Brooks discovered Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Back then it had a mere fraction of the articles that it has now. But one of the early entries was for the city of Concord, New Hampshire. David recently tried to track down the person who created that page for Concord and his search led him to someone who prompted what's considered the biggest controversy in Wikipedia's early history.

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Facing a dire financial situation, Serenity Place in Manchester will close its doors after four decades. Services provided by the addiction treatment center will now be divided up among a variety of providers in New Hampshire, including Granite Pathways, the Farnum Center, and Elliot Hospital.

Tom Donovan is the director of charitable trusts for the Attorney General's office. He started the receivership process for the Serenity Place investigation. He spoke to NHPR's Peter Biello.

Friday was the last day of work at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England for Jennifer Frizzell. 

 

She's been serving as the organization's Vice President of Public Policy for New Hampshire since 2011. 

Frizzell is leaving to spend more time with her children.  She says she's had many legislative and political victories over her 15 years with the organization. 

She says that support for Planned Parenthood is strong. The organization says it will announcing the incoming Vice President for Public Policy later this month. 

Peter Biello/NHPR

The Manchester VA Medical Center is celebrating the reopening of its women’s clinic today.

A tour of the reconstructed space on the sixth floor will take place as part of the open house scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

The reconstructed women's clinic will have its own waiting room and restroom.

It has been closed since July, when a pipe burst and flooded it and several floors below. Interim Manchester VA Medical Center Director Al Montoya says about 85 percent of the space that was flooded has since been reopened.

Peter Biello / NHPR

When an elementary or middle school student can't pay for lunch, that student will run up lunch debt. Students with debt are sometimes given an "alternative meal" instead of a hot lunch, and that could lead to shame and embarrassment. Recently a man in North Haverhill launched an effort to wipe out kids' lunch debt in his local schools...and is now promoting what he calls "lunch equality." 

Peter Biello / NHPR

It’s been nearly six months since problems at the Manchester VA made national headlines.

Whistleblowers came forward with accusations of dangerous delays in care and unsanitary conditions. A task force formed in the wake of those accusations has been meeting to figure out the best way to deliver care for New Hampshire veterans.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with NHPR's Peter Biello who attended a meeting of the task force yesterday.


Peter Biello / NHPR

The New Hampshire House has passed a bill that would create a state Department of Veterans and Military Affairs.

The goal of the bill is to bring all the state's resources for veterans and military personnel under one roof. Right now veterans' resources for education, housing and homelessness, benefits, and medical care are handled by separate entities.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Author Paul Durham has a short commute. His writing studio is in the backyard of his home in Exeter.

“I call it an abandoned chicken coop,” Durham says, “because chickens used to live here. It's really an eight by twelve-foot shed with barn-style doors on the front. I have it decorated with a Christmas wreath. There’s my doorknocker and the coop sign. And then—go ahead and step in if you want."

NHPR File Photo

  Helen Hanks began her first four-year term as commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Corrections in November. She'd served as assistant commissioner previously and she comes into this new role at a time when the department is struggling to retain staff. It's a problem that some say is exacerbated by comparatively low pay for corrections officers. This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED on NHPR. I'm Peter Biello. Commissioner Hanks joins me now to talk about the state of the department.

 

 Welcome to All Things Considered.

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Recently the New York Times reported the story of a former Navy pilot from Windham, New Hampshire who, while on a routine training mission, saw something strange that he could not identify.

It was an aircraft he thought was a 40 foot-long oval - it was a UFO. But was it a being from another planet? Granite Geek David Brooks says, "Probably not."

He joined NHPR's Peter Biello to talk about why.

Stephen Voss | NPR

Robert Siegel has been a familiar voice on NPR since 1976 and the host of NPR's All Things Considered since 1987. At the end of this week, and to the dismay of many listeners including myself, Siegel will end his run as host of All Things Considered. Robert Siegel joined me to talk about wrapping up his storied career. 

Two subcontractors have sued the company fired by the New Hampshire National Guard for what it called substandard work on hangars at Pease Air National Guard Base.

In separate filings, B.L. Mechanical of Uxbridge, Mass., and Piquette & Howard Electrical Service of Plaistow, N.H., have sued Cutter Enterprises of Connecticut and its insurance company, claiming that they owe money for work performed in 2015 and 2016.

Cutter was fired in December 2016 for what National Guard officials say was slow progress and poor quality work on two aircraft hangars.

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With only a few days remaining in this tax year, New Hampshire taxpayers are searching for ways to maximize their refunds or minimize their tax bills under new 2018 tax rules.

Chris Sullivan is a tax attorney with Rath, Young and Pignatelli. He joined NHPR's All Considered to answer some pressing tax questions.


www.nhbedbugs.org

Update: The Urgent care clinic was reopened Thursday afternoon, following the closure Wednesday, the VA reports.

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The Manchester VA's urgent care clinic was closed Wednesday after the discovery of bed bugs.

Patients were sent away after the bugs were found in the waiting room and in one exam room.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Department of Veterans Affairs is asking military veterans from New Hampshire to provide feedback on the future of VA health care in the state.

The survey asks veterans about how they would prefer to receive VA services. It also asks about the impact of combining existing VA clinics in Somersworth and Portsmouth into a larger clinic in Dover.

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.

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Governor Sununu's Advisory Commission on Transportation will vote Dec. 20 on whether to increase tolls statewide.

Peter Biello / NHPR

A group studying the future of healthcare for New Hampshire's veterans meets Monday, and one key figure will not attend.

Dr. Michael Mayo-Smith, director of the New England VA system, is voluntarily stepping away from the task force.

This comes months after he was removed as its co-chair. He's been an informal advisor since then.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  Gov. Chris Sununu just made two announcements on equity issues at the state level. The state Department of Justice is launching a new civil rights unit. And the governor is forming a new advisory council on diversity and inclusion.

 

Peter Biello, host of All Things Considered, speaks with Andrew Smith, who will be involved in the new state efforts. Smith works in the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. He works with groups in New Hampshire after racial incidents occur.

 

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