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
5:54 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

House Lawmakers OK Bill Encouraging Buried Powerlines

Credit NHPR Staff

Update: The House Ways and Means Committee Chair, Susan Almy, has declined to take up this bill, meaning it moves directly to the Senate

The New Hampshire House of Representatives has passed a bill that establishes a preference for burying power lines like the controversial Northern Pass Project.

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NH News
4:39 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

N.H. Skiers Freeman, Fairall, And Alexander To Represent U.S. In Sochi

Credit Bunches and Bits / Flickr CC

New Hampshire will be well represented on the US Ski Team that is headed to Sochi in February. Today three Granite Staters learned that they have earned a ticket to the Olympic games.

Andover cross-country skier Kris Freeman will appear in his 4th Olympic Games. It will be the second Olympic appearance for Lebanon ski jumper Nick Alexander, and the first for jumper Nick Fairall of Andover.

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Environment
5:41 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

N.H. House To Take Up Wind, Transmission Moratorium

Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Wednesday the New Hampshire House of Representatives will take up a bill proposing a moratorium on wind turbines and electric transmission projects.

The Science, Technology, and Energy Committee voted 13 to 6 to recommend killing this bill, which failed to make it to the House floor last year, but the politics surrounding wind farms and Northern Pass have become volatile.

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Environment
4:18 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

State Entomologist: Cold Not Enough To Stop Invasive Bugs

Wooly Hemlock Adelgid was discovered to be killing trees in the state in 2000.
Credit BlueRidgeKitties / Flickr CC

While frigid temperatures don’t feel particularly great, they do play an important role in the state’s ecosystem.

One way that cold temperatures can be helpful is by beating back the wave of invasive insects that have laid siege to the state’s forests, but State Entomologist Piera Siegert tells NHPR’s Brady Carlson that the some of the recent headlines about the impact of this cold on invasive bugs over-state the case in the Granite state.

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NH News
5:18 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Despite Losing Spot On U.S. Team, Freeman 'Very Confident' About Sochi Berth

Freeman racing in at National Championships in Utah
Credit courtesy Kris Freeman

Kris Freeman is from Andover, New Hampshire and while you may not have heard of him he’s a big time cross-country skier.  But this three-time Olympian has found himself in an unfamiliar position this season: on the bubble. For the first time Freeman has had to fight for his spot in his fourth Olympics.

Over his career, Kris Freeman has had some of the best results in the history of American Cross-Country skiing.

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NH News
3:41 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Innis Calls For Reforms To Budget Process, Tax Code

Credit Candidate's Facebook Profile

Dan Innis, a Republican Candidate for Congress in New Hampshire’s first district, has released a proposal for reforming the country’s budget. The former Dean of the UNH Business School Dan has proposed requiring that a budget be passed every two years and enforcing a strict timeline on the budget process. He is also calling for tax code reform: closing loopholes and eliminating deductions in order to broaden the tax base.

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NH News
5:30 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Beyond Northern Pass: Where New England Will Get Its Power Remains Uncertain

Credit peupleloup / Flickr CC

  Third in a three part series.

Whether or not the Northern Pass transmission line gets the state and federal permits it’s looking for, HydroQuebec is poised to send ever more of its hydro-power south. It’s increasingly clear that New England will need more power soon and with transmission lines are being proposed all around the Northeast, Canadian hydro is likely to play a role.

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NH News
5:30 am
Thu January 16, 2014

A Shifting Baseline: Would We 'Get Used' To Northern Pass?

Meagan Therriault and Geoff Pinard's driveway spills out almost directly beneath the Phase II power line.
Credit John Hession / NH Magazine

Second in a three part series

It’s possible that the Northern Pass, a 186-mile transmission line Public Service of New Hampshire proposed in 2010, might be built over the many objections of the project’s opponents. Its developers hope it can gain state and federal approval and construction can be completed by 2017.

If that does happen would people get used to it, or would it become a permanent scar on the state as opponents fear?

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NH News
5:30 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Power Push: Learning From N.H.'s First HVDC Power Line

The Phase II power line is operated by National Grid and stretches from Monroe New Hampshire to the Massachusetts border. It came into service in 1990.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

First in a three part series, and a collaboration with New Hampshire Magazine.

While the Northern Pass is one of the most controversial energy proposals in recent New Hampshire history, it is not the first such project to come to the Granite State. Another power line, called Phase II, stretches from Monroe New Hampshire down to the Massachusetts border. Driving through Hopkinton today you can’t miss the three-tower-wide power line corridor that streaks through the town.

But they were a surprise to many residents 25 years ago, when they were installed.

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Education
3:11 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Hassan Supports Lower Court Decision Striking Down Ed Tax Credit

The administration of Governor Maggie Hassan has submitted brief in support of a Superior Court ruling that crippled a controversial Education tax credit program. The program gives tax breaks to businesses that donate to scholarship funds. The scholarships are then used to help students switch to a private school or homeschooling.

Last spring a judge ruled it was unconstitutional to use those funds to give scholarships to students going to religious schools. The New Hampshire Supreme Court is set to review that decision this spring.

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Business and Economy
2:11 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Two New Oyster Farms Proposed

Credit minwoo / Flickr CC

Two new Oyster Farms could sprout up in Little Bay next year. If approved, it would make ten farms in operation in the estuary.

The max size for an oyster farm in New Hampshire is four acres, but the two proposed farms are both considerably smaller. One, from a UNH Masters student would be 2.5 acres, and the other would be just an acre in size.

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Environment
5:25 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Push To Ramp Up Energy Efficiency Faces Hurdles Of Trust

Credit Ben McCleod via Flickr CC

When it comes to investing in energy efficiency, many in New Hampshire’s clean energy sector are worried the state is falling behind the rest of the region. A recent national report seems to bear that out. It ranks New Hampshire last in New England for efficiency policies. But efforts to ramp up the least controversial energy policy – using less – could have a hard time getting the support of the state’s business community.

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NH News
5:09 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Community Group Saves Whaleback Ski Area

Credit adamjackson1984 / Flickr Creative Commons

Whaleback Mountain, a one lift ski area in Enfield will open this weekend. A community fund-raising blitz helped secure the money to buy the mountain after its owners went bankrupt last year.

Whaleback was saved after a community group cobbled together $300,000 from fund-raising and a grant from the Byrne Foundation to buy the defunct ski area from the bank.

“We are wishing the weatherman was slightly more cooperative,” says John Schiffman a retired accountant in Lebanon who spearheaded the effort.

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Newscast
3:55 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Poor Air Quality For Keene Area Friday and Saturday

The Department of Environmental Services blames cold temperatures and low winds for poor air quality in the valleys of Southwestern New Hampshire, including Keene.

Education
5:08 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

N.H. Misses Out On $37.5 Million Early Ed Grant

Credit plums_deify / Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire has missed out on another round funding in the federal education grant program Race to the Top. The state was hoping for $37.5 million dollars to improve pre-k and early childhood education programs.

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