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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NH News
4:15 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Teachers' Union Comes Out In Favor Of Casino Money

NEA President Scott McGilvray at the press conference hosted on Monday.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

The state’s largest teacher’s union, the National Educators Association of New Hampshire, has come out in favor Governor Maggie Hassan’s budget, including its use of casino gambling as a source of funding.

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NH News
4:27 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Northern Pass Lets Another Route Deadline Pass By

Credit Chris Hunkeler / Flickr Creative Commons

Officials with the controversial Northern Pass project – a proposed 180 mile transmission line from the Canadian border to Deerfield – have missed another deadline.

A post on the project’s website states “although we have identified a new route which meets our project requirements, we believe it is in the best of interest of landowners, communities, and all stakeholders for us to continue to build on the details of this proposal and to take the time now to make some additional refinements before we begin the formal public review processes.”

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NH News
5:49 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Jilted PNE Customers Could Get A $9.50 Consolation Check

Credit ax2groin / Flickr Creative Commons

Power New England, the electricity supplier that was kicked out of the regional market for not 

  paying its bills, has proposed a settlement with regulators. The company has agreed to reimburse customers for the confusion its hasty exit from the market caused. The settlement proposes cutting $9.50 checks  to the roughly 7,300 former PNE customers who were switched to Public Service of New Hampshire. In all the payments will cost PNE around $70,000.

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Environment
2:40 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Keeping Connected: Preserving North Country Wildlife Corridors

Pete Steckler does GIS mapping for the Nature Conservancy. He has worked to create a computer model of how animals move through different landscapes, and he says that rivers like the North Branch of the Contoocook can be thoroughfares for several types of critters
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

The Northern Woods contain a lot of the animals that are symbolic of New Hampshire: bobcat, otter, black bear, fishers, and porcupines to name a few. Many of these animals are mostly found up north because they need a lot of space to move around. One project is trying to come up with a plan to make sure that movement can continue.

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NH News
5:37 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

N.H. Bars Could Stay Open Late

Credit KayVee.INC / Flickr Creative Commons

The New Hampshire House of Representatives has voted to allow bars to serve alcohol until 2 in the morning. That extends closing time by one hour.

Representative Emily Sandblade, a Republican from Manchester, says there are 45 states that allow bars to close at 2 am or later. "Of these states 22, or about half have lower rates than alcohol related accidents than New Hampshire," she said on the House floor, "That statistic is telling us that our earlier closing hours aren’t buying us any special protection."

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NH News
5:16 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Number Of Homeless In State Up 6%

More than 2,500 individuals in New Hampshire are homeless, a 6% jump from a year ago. The data comes from a one-night census that took place in January.

Roughly half of the homeless are concentrated in Hillsborough County.

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Environment
2:48 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Wind Moratorium Will Get A Vote On Senate Floor

Credit gsbrown99 / Flickr Creative Commons

Opponents of Wind Farms and of Northern Pass are backing an effort to explicitly require the state’s Site Evaluation Committee to consider effects on view sheds, home values, opinions of town governments and other factors, when permitting new energy projects.

One bill also includes an amendment that tacks on a one year moratorium on new projects while these changes are implemented.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Senator Jeannie Forrester says people who worry that the bill would chill development should think of the chill she believes energy development could create.

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NH News
9:19 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Spring Snow Storms Into N.H.

A man shovels the sidewalk in front of Rig A' Tony's in downtown Derry on Tuesday. He said he's a friend of the owner and was helping out.
Michael Brindley/NHPR

New Hampshire was dealt a late-season winter storm on Tuesday.

With snow whipping across his face, Christian Driscoll did his best to stay warm as he filled up the tank of his wife’s car at a Londonderry gas station.

“I’m just grabbing some gas for the wife so she doesn’t have to do it then she’s on her way to Salem.”

While the calendar may say spring is only a day away, you wouldn’t know it by the weather. Driscoll says there’s not much you can do other than accept it.

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Environment
11:54 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Newfound Voters Reject Wind Farms

New Hampshire Wind Watch has signs sprinkled around the region. Opposing green "Yes" signs have been distributed by Iberdrola, and can be found in front of a few homes as well.
Sam Evans-Brown NHPR

It’s town meeting season. Around Newfound Lake Several towns are contemplating non-binding resolutions to take the pulse of voters on the question of wind-farms.

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Environment
6:00 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Coping With The 'Crazy Quilt'? Towns And State Revamp Shoreland Protection

Thanks to a strong conservation ethic, Squam Lake is one of the state's most un-developed large lakes. But development is starting to threaten water quality of many New Hampshire water bodies.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Perhaps the biggest driver of New Hampshire’s tourist economy is clean water. Sparkling lakes sell boats, second homes, and jet-ski rentals. But keeping that water clean means smart development. As a new bill changing how the state protects shoreland works its way through the legislature, different New Hampshire towns disagree on what exactly smart development looks like.

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Environment
4:46 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Another Wind Farm Eyes The Lakes Region

Credit Donna Hiltz / NHPR

A group that opposes wind development in New Hampshire says another wind farm is in the works for New Hampshire’s Lakes Region. Members of New Hampshire Wind Watch say that a subsidiary of a German company, called Juwi Wind, has signed a lease for 1,300 acres of land Groton, for the purpose of building a wind farm.

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Education
12:27 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Funding Fix For Charters Headed Toward Finish Line

Credit Redjar / Flickr Creative Commons

The New Hampshire House of Representatives has passed a bill that would end what has been called a moratorium on new charter schools. The bill still has a way to go before it is law, but charters in the pipeline could still open in time for next school year.

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Environment
4:29 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Wind Moratorium Won't Make It Out Of Committee

While wind opponents were frustrated today, the committee's vote sets the stage for an omnibus bill to come forward next session to reform how the Site Evaluation Committee makes its decisions
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

New Hampshire’s legislature will not put a moratorium on new wind projects... at least not now. Today a house committee voted to work on the bill over the summer. 

Several members of the Science, Technology and Energy committee, like Meredith Republican Herbert Vadney, indicated support for a moratorium, because of the controversy bubbling around Newfound Lake.

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Business and Economy
5:00 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

The Power New England, Resident Power Situation Explained

Cheap natural gas prices have led to a boom in the construction of gas generating power plants. That combined with market deregulation in New England have set the stage for some tumultuous times in the New England electricity market for years to come.
Credit Duke Energy / Flickr Creative Commons

Many Granite State electric customers are scratching their heads after an electricity supplier, Power New England, was abruptly kicked out of the market two weeks ago. Customers of Power New England and its sister company, Resident Power, have had to try to sort out what's going on from media reports where utilities and power suppliers are slinging accusations back forth indiscriminately.

So here’s a breakdown of what has happened to date.

Who are Resident Power and Power New England?

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Environment
10:52 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Who Needs Batteries? Seacoast Firm Stores Energy With Air

SustainX’s compressor is built from the lower half of a MAN Diesel Turbo engine. SustainX’s Richard Brody says this type of engine powers 80% of the world’s marine fleet, and is known for reliability.
Credit Courtesy Photo / SustainX

Solar and wind power are intermittent, and if enough of them are powering the grid, some kind of storage will be necessary. And storage means batteries, right?

Not necessarily. In Seabrook New Hampshire, a start-up is doing it with compressed air.

It’s pretty easy to see how energy stored as compressed air works: When you let go of a full balloon, it flies all around the room because of the energy stored inside. So if you use electricity to run an air compressor, you basically just need to find a way to run that compressor backwards to get electricity again.

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