Sam Evans-Brown

Environment and Education Reporter

 

Sam Evans-Brown has been working for  New Hampshire Public Radio since 2010, when he began as a freelancer. His work has won several local broadcast journalism awards, and he was a 2013 Steinbrenner Institute Environmental Media Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University. He studied Politics and Spanish at Bates College, and before reporting was variously employed as a Spanish teacher, farmer, bicycle mechanic, ski coach, research assistant, a wilderness trip leader and a technical supporter.

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Politics
9:18 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Full Audio: Kuster, Garcia Meet In First 2nd District Debate

Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster (L) and GOP challenger Marilinda Garcia
Credit Screenshots via NH1 news

In their first debate Democrat Ann Kuster and her Republican Challenger Marilinda Garcia both did their best to connect their opponent to another, less popular politician.

Garcia tried to tie Kuster to Obama, whose approval rating in the latest UNH poll was below 40 percent.

“She chaired his campaign committee or parts of it while in New Hampshire, and as recently as a few months ago she still claims to be one of his strongest supporters in Congress,” said Garcia.

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Environment
5:34 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Spilled Oil In Speedy Piscataqua Would Make For Tricky Clean-Up

Ray Reimold directs a Newington Fire Department boat during an oil spill drill on the Piscataqua river Thursday.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

  At 4:30 in the morning, a worker unloading number six oil from a barge at the Sprague River Terminal in Newington, smells fumes. He finds a leaking pipeline, and radios to stop the pumping, but already there are an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil in the river.

It sounds scary, but as the crackling voices over the radio in the boat supervising the cleanup make clear, there’s nothing to fear. Before every transmission, they declare, “This is a drill, this is a drill.”

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Environment
4:28 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

'Scrubber' Cost Dispute Heard By Regulator

Credit Christian Patti / http://christianpatti.com/

The question of who will pay the cost of cleaning up emissions from the state’s largest coal-fired power plant is before the Public Utilities Commission this week.

“The issue that we’re facing here today is that as a result of increases of costs of commodities as well as increases in the engineering complexity of what we had to build, the price was higher than a lot of people expected it to be,” said PSNH’s lead attorney Bob Bersak.

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Politics
5:31 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Environmental Groups Pour Money Into N.H., But Can Climate Change Sway Voters?

NextGen Climate has been bringing a faux "Scott Brown's pickup truck" to their events, complete with fake oil drums and cardboard cutouts of Charles, and David Koch, and Scott Brown.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

  Environmental issues have never ranked high on the list of issues that drive most voters to the polls. But this year, Tom Steyer – a former hedge fund manager and billionaire – has pledged to spend $50 million dollars in a few key races around the country, hoping to make climate change a central issue. This spending begs a question: can talking about global warming actually win elections?

Steyer’s operation in New Hampshire, NextGen Climate, has 24 full-time staff, and 5 field offices with two more slated to open in the coming weeks.

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Environment
4:29 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Report: Cancer Cases Avoidable If Well Owners Test For Arsenic

Credit Dennis Amith via Flickr CC

A new study out of Dartmouth College estimates that arsenic in well water could be causing as many as 830 cases of cancer in the granite state.

Related: Worried About Your Water? How To Get Your Well Tested

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Politics
9:57 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Guinta Says He Would Have Voted Against Obama's Iraq-Syria Actions

Guinta speaking with Laura Knoy at UNH Law Center, 2014
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Republican Frank Guinta, who is running to regain the congressional seat he held for one term, says he and his opponent, Democratic incumbent Carol Shea-Porter, would have agreed on at least one vote. Guinta would have voted against the Obama administration’s current military campaign in Iraq and Syria.

In a conversation with NHPR’s Laura Knoy at the UNH School of Law’s Rudman Center, former Congressman Guinta said he would want more details on the president’s plan to arm moderate Syrian rebels.

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Environment
5:35 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

N.H. Officials Seek Public Input In Ocean Plan

Credit Northeast Regional Planning Body / http://www.northeastoceandata.org/maps/maritime-commerce/#

New Hampshire citizens got a chance Monday night to weigh in on a first-of-its-kind ocean plan at a hearing in Portsmouth. Officials from across the region are working on recommendations on how to use federal waters.

This is a big committee. It includes representatives from the six New England states, ten Native American tribes, ten federal agencies, and the region’s fisheries regulator.

The goal is to balance the various uses of the ocean beyond three miles off-shore.

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Environment
5:37 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Regulators Ask For Emergency Action To Protect Atlantic Cod

Credit Joachim s Muller / Flickr CC

Parts of the cod fishery could soon be closed or see tighter catch limits. The cod fishery has been in free-fall for years, but this week, the New England Fishery Management Council asked the federal government to take “emergency action” to stop the decline in cod stocks. That could mean closing sensitive areas to fishing.

Cod catch limits were cut by 77 percent in 2012, but Pat Fiorelli, Public Affairs officer with the council, says it hasn’t helped.

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Environment
6:15 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

N.H. Solar Could Double, Thanks To 'Group Net Metering'

A dump-truck empties fill into a decommissioned waste-water lagoon in Peterborough. The site will soon be the largest solar array in the state.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

In Peterborough, right next to the waste-water treatment plant, there’s what looks like a giant mud pit, with puddles covered with thick green algae.

“What was here was a waste water-treatment lagoon with water depths of around six to seven feet,” explains Rodney Bartlett, the town’s director of public works, as he watches as load after load of rock and gravel is dumped into the mud. “What we have in process is the water’s been removed, sludge has been removed and the filling process has started, and on top of that will be a one megawatt solar array.”

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NH News
8:30 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

As Electricity Prices Rise, Policy Makers Ponder Solutions

Senator Jeanne Shaheen, former Senator Scott Brown, Governor Maggie Hassan, and GOP nominee for Governor Walt Havenstein all addressed energy policy makers in Concord on Monday
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Lawmakers, energy developers, and policy wonks descended on downtown Concord today for the annual New Hampshire Energy summit. The event couldn’t come at a more appropriate time, last week New Hampshire electric utilities – with the notable exception of the state’s largest, Public Service of New Hampshire – announced winter rate hikes ranging from twelve to fifty percent.

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NH News
12:52 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Electric Co-op Latest Utility To Announce Rate Increase

Credit David DeHetre / Flickr CC

  Another utility has announced that electric rates will rise this winter. For customers of the New Hampshire Electric Coop, the state’s second largest utility, winter electricity bills will rise 12.2%

The rate increase takes place on October 1st, and will cost ratepayers using 500 kilowatt hours $12.47 cents more per month. The increase is due to increasing rates on the energy half of the electric bill, which are increasing from 8.97 cents per kilowatt hour, to 11.6 cents.

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NH News
7:20 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Consumer Advocate Seeks Relief On Liberty Rate Hike

New Hampshire’s Consumer Advocate has asked regulators to soften the blow of a big rate hike expected for as many as 42,000 New Hampshire electricity customers. The average customer of Liberty Utilities, which provides electricity to towns on the Massachusetts border and in the Upper Valley, says customers, might pay as much as $50 more per month for winter if the increase is granted, a 50 percent increase.

On cold winter days, homes burning natural gas for heating fill up most of the pipelines coming into New England, and what little gas is left over becomes very expensive.

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Education
5:30 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

After Pilot, 'Bar Exam For Teachers' Set To Launch State-Wide

UNH students taking part in the Pilot of the new "teachers' test" familiarize themselves with the requirements
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

As early as next year, college students in New Hampshire teacher preparation programs will be taking a new test. It’s known as the TCAP, and all 14 of the state’s teacher education schools are adopting it voluntarily. While some states have opted to sign on to tests designed elsewhere, the Granite State has blazed its own trail when it comes to creating what has been compared to a bar exam for teachers.

Every student teacher who has graduated from UNH knows about the Portfolio. It was a collection of reams of lesson plans, tests, handouts; the artifacts of teaching.

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Education
4:49 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Raising The Bar? N.H. Teacher Prep Colleges Face New Requirements

Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

  Many teachers and teachers-of-teachers will tell you that after passing your certification exams, graduating and getting your certificate, you’re still not ready to teach.

“You have the idea of what’s going to go on, but when you walk in the idea is usually just blown to heck and back,” says Joe Cilley a high-school art teacher at Belmont high school.

“The problem is that college is theory, it’s all theory! It’s not practice,” adds Kelly Hamilton, who teaches English in Belmont.

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Environment
4:10 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

State Extends Firewood Quarantine To Rockingham and Hillsborough Counties

These box traps, which drivers will notice hanging from trees along the side of the road.
Credit Mike Gifford / EAB Trap

New Hampshire has expanded its firewood quarantine to Rockingham County and Hillsborough County east of interstate 293, after discovering an invasive beetle in Salem.

The Emerald Ash Borer – which has decimated ash trees in the mid-west – was discovered in traps mounted less than a mile from an infestation just south of the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border, in North Andover.

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