Top Stories: NH Not Alone In Health Exchange Setbacks; Northern Pass Foes Worry Tract Being Eyed

May 13, 2013

Credit via WUKY

1. New Hampshire Not Alone In Health Exchange Setbacks

The new health exchanges are often described as something akin to Orbitz or Travelocity. A central place--a website--where insurance can be researched, compared, and purchased. Professor Timothy Jost with Washington and Lee University in Virginia says another key role of the exchanges is subsidies. When the individual mandate kicks in January 2014, the Federal government will offer tax credits to low and middle income people. But the financial support is only available if you purchase through the new exchange. That’s why reform advocates say it is crucial that New Hampshire have its exchange up and running.

2. Northern Pass Foes Worry A Huge Conservation Tract Is Being Eyed

For more than a year landowners and a conservation group have been trying to keep Northern Pass from finding a route through Northern Coos County. But there’s one possibility that would give Northern Pass a big step forward: Crossing a huge conservation tract controlled by the state. Such an effort could easily make the project even more controversial.

Credit Sheryl Rich-Kern, NHPR

3. Aging In Place

According to a recent AARP survey, more than 95 percent of New Hampshire seniors want to remain in their own homes as they age - but that’s not always practical or affordable. To address these concerns, two non-profits in the state are developing a novel approach to home-based eldercare that’s becoming popular around the country.

4. Middle School Dress Code Blues

Junior high school can be an awkward, unsettling experience for anyone. Especially for teachers; imagine having survived it once, then witnesses cavorting teens finding their way over and over again. Jessica Lahey is an English, Latin, and Writing teacher at Crossroads Academy in Lyme, New Hampshire. She also writes about education and parenting for the New York Times and other publications, and on her blog, Coming of Age in the Middle. Her article, “A Dress-Code Enforcer’s Struggle for the Soul of the Middle-School Girl” was recently published in The Atlantic and she joined us to discuss the worry over dress codes and the chaotic middle years.

Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

5. Fiddleheads: Tasty Forest Secrets

Fiddleheads are the whimsical, tightly coiled spiral of fern sprouts that push their way up from under the layers of winter debris on the forest floor. They are also a regional and seasonal delicacy, and their season is incredibly short. In some Southern parts of the state, it may already be over. For any given fiddlehead patch, it can last as little as a week and a half. That means for those who harvest the sprouts, fiddlehead patches are closely guarded secrets.

6. Snob Zones

In her new book, journalist Lisa Prevost examines the long history of policies she says have led to a lack of affordable housing in many New England towns. Prevost argues this “snob zoning” harms not only those who might need a reasonably-priced place to live, but also the very communities that fight against these developments as well.

7. State Investigating Former Manchester Diocese Official For Misuse Of Funds

The New Hampshire attorney general’s office is investigating a former top official in the Manchester diocese. Monsignor Edward Arsenault is under investigation for improper transactions involving diocesan funds. According to Diocese of Manchester, it was allegations about a inappropriate adult relations that prompted its scrutiny of Monsignor Edward Arsenault. That in turn, uncovered evidence suggesting Arsenault misused diocesan funds.

8. Sunshine Having An Impact On Drug Company Payments To Doctors In N.H.

As part of the Affordable Care Act, pharmaceutical company payments to doctors will become public information starting in 2014. But a slice of those disclosures is already available, and the impact of transparency is being felt across New Hampshire.

Credit Logan Shannon via Rob Fleischman's Brain

9. The ‘Quantum Internet’ Explained…In Amateur Illustrations

A government lab announced earlier this month that it’s been operating a quantum internet at Los Alamos for the past two years. Which led us to wonder, um, WHAT IS A QUANTUM INTERNET???

10. NRA Spends $25K On TV Ad Backing Sen. Ayotte

The National Rifle Association is praising New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte in a TV ad set to begin airing this week. It’s the latest in a series of ads hitting airwaves in the Granite State either attacking or supporting her.