The Exchange

The Exchange is New Hampshire's only locally produced statewide call-in talk show. NHPR listeners have a daily forum to discuss important issues and speak directly with elected officials.

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This week on The Exchange:

Monday, 7/6: Higher Ed Crisis?: What You Need to Know

Tuesday, 7/7: Classroom Safety: The Debate over Child Restraint

Wednesday, 7/8: Supreme Court Decisions

Thursday, 7/9: Driverless Cars

Friday, 7/10: Friday N.H. News Roundup

Mayor Bloomberg’s attempt to ban super-sized sugary drinks in New York City was thwarted by a judge recently, but he plans to appeal. Its brought up the question, once again, of how much of a role should government play in the fight against obesity. Supporters of this approach say it's such a serious problem that government needs to get involved, but others say these efforts amount to a nanny state and that personal responsibility is the best approach.


Next Week On The Exchange - July 1, 2013

Jun 28, 2013

Next week on The Exchange, we bring you some of our favorite Exchange shows of the past year.  We begin with the question “Should government play a role in our growing obesity problem” from nutritional labeling to super size sodas. We also look at New Hampshire downtowns, where they’re doing well and where they aren’t. We talk to former Shell Oil President John Hoffmeister on his ideas about the future of energy. For Independence Day, we bring you our program on Calvin Coolidge, a President born on the 4th of July and we end the week talking about the bullying problem in NH.

Sara Plourde

This week the legislature gave near unanimous approval to a ten point seven billion dollar state budget. Lawmakers also approved medical marijuana, as well as changes to the state’s year-old Voter ID law. Same-sex couples celebrate two recent decisions of the Supreme Court. Hesser College gets a new name and a sister-city deal between Portsmouth and Santacangelo, Italy falls apart. We'll look at the stories that made news for the week of June 24th.


After months of anticipation, the Supreme Court overturned The Defense of Marriage Act, and ruled California’s proposition eight unconstitutional. Both are considered major decisions for the gay rights movement. We’ll look closer at these rulings and what they may mean for the Granite State.

Guests :

Sara Plourde / NHPR

With warm vacations on our minds, we’ll look at some of the best reads for the longest days of the year.

A series by Boston Globe reporter Beth Daley explores how the tick-borne illness, Lyme disease continues to spread across the Northeast, all while doctors are increasingly divided on treatments, and the public is in many cases bitterly frustrated by the medical establishment’s response and the lack of ready answers.


Food Politics

Jun 24, 2013

Ten years ago, Marion Nestle’s groundbreaking book on how the American food industry influences nutrition and health was met with praise and criticism. Nestle has expanded and revised her influential book, raising questions about the roles of personal and corporate responsibility and finding that the food industry is still encouraging unhealthy behavior in order to make a profit.


Sara Plourde

Lawmakers have reached a tentative deal on the biennial budget, but whether or not that includes Medicare expansion as been tabled until October. They also appear to have found middle ground on medical marijuana and a women's prison.  A gathering against gun violence gets rowdy and ends with police and a taser. And dodge ball gets a second chance in one New Hampshire school district.  We'll look at the big New Hampshire stories of the week of June 17th.


Protests against the Prime Minister Erdogan continue this week after a violent crackdown sparked national protests. While some point to the Arab Spring as a comparison, a secular Turkey is its own special case. We’ll look at what’s happening in the region, and implication for American foreign policy.


In the current American political system, some say larger states can be at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to political representation in the U.S. Senate and electoral college, to a degree some say the Founders likely never imagined. Some are clamoring for a remedy of some sort, while others suggest the two Senators per State model still plays an important role in balancing political power. We'll look at both sides of this debate. 


The Roberts Court

Jun 18, 2013

In a new book, veteran Washington Correspondent Marcia Coyle explores the inner workings of the Supreme Court under the leadership of Chief Justice John Roberts.  Coyle examines how the Roberts Court has dealt with some of the most incendiary issues of the day – including gay marriage, health care, second amendment rights, and campaign finance reform. 


In a new book, UNH professor Jeffrey Bolster argues the North Atlantic, for all its vastness and power, is deeply vulnerable.and has suffered cycles of over fishing for centuries, with each new method of fishing causing stocks to decline. We’ll look back at this history and what it might teach us about restoring our oceans to health.


W. Jeffrey Bolster - UNH Professor and author of the new book "The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail"

Sara Plourde

It's been another busy week for New Hampshire news. As lawmakers work to finalize the state budget, the issue of whether to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act  has become a major sticking point. The House and Senate try to find compromise over the Voter ID and Medical Marijuana bills. The Union Leader prints its last newspaper in its Manchester plant and the horse race is getting larger as more Granite Staters begin to announce that they'll be candidates in races from Governor to Manchester Mayor. We'll look at the top stories for the week of June 10th.

Heroin in New Hampshire

Jun 13, 2013

The rise in heroin usage in Northern New England has reached alarming levels. Some attribute it to an epidemic in prescription drug abuse, where those addicted to painkillers like oxycodone can no longer afford those pills are switching to a cheaper alternative. In New Hampshire deaths from heroin have increased 6 to 7 times in the last decade. We’re looking at the increased problem of heroin addiction here in NH and what can be done about it.


NH Energy Wars

Jun 12, 2013

Fifteen years ago, New Hampshire embarked on a dramatic experiment, deregulating electricity. The idea was to bring competition to power production; a sector where typically just a handful of highly-regulated utilities dominated. These days, Granite Staters are being pursued by a variety of power suppliers, from all over.  And their efforts are paying off, with more and morer customers switching from the state’s largest utility, PSNH to new providers.

A recent report by the Center for Disease Control shows a huge jump in the number of American kids with food and skin allergies. Some are so severe, they’re life-threatening. There are several theories about why this is happening, including the proliferation of anti-bacterial soaps. We’ll talk about that, and why advances in treatment has been so frustratingly slow.


In a new book called “Saved”, author Ben Hewitt explores a different way of looking at wealth. Rather than dwelling on monetary standards and what can be lost financially, Hewitt writes through experience of what can be gained when we prioritize personal relationships, community cooperation, and connectedness to the environment.


Ben Hewitt - Vermont based author. His new book is called "Saved: How I Quit Worrying about Money and Became the Richest Guy in the World"

Next Week On The Exchange - June 10, 2013

Jun 7, 2013

Next week on The Exchange, we begin with author Ben Hewitt and his new book called Saved, a meditation on the meaning of money and the concept of wealth.  Next, we look at the charged debate over electricity in New Hampshire.  And we explore the spike in heroin use in the state; what doctors, police, and policy makers are doing about it. E-mail us at and join us all next week for The Exchange every morning live at 9/and again at 8 p m, here on NHPR!

Sara Plourde

The biennial June Budget dance begins, as the State Senate passes its plan, it’ll have to resolve differences with the House and Governor.  Also: a possible breakthrough in a long stalemate, between New Hampshire hospitals and the state over Medicaid managed care. A new group launches anti-Obamacare ads in the Granite State and the potato becomes our new state vegetable. We'll look at the top NH stories for the week of June 3, 2013.


avinash1936 via Flickr/Creative Commons

All week, NHPR Education reporter Sam Evans Brown has been looking at a massive transition underway the Granite State, a new set of school standards known as the Common Core.  Educators nationwide have been shifting toward this new system. We’ll find out kind of discussions are taking place at our local schools among teachers, principals and students. 


Several Granite State communities are grappling with how best to deal with this population. Issues include their use of public property, where and how they can ask for money, the right approaches to truly help these individuals. There’s been lots of debate and even lawsuits filed, including accusations that some recent actions are band-aids to a much larger problem.  Today we'll look at these challenges.


NHPR Staff

In a highly-watched decision yesterday, the justices upheld Addison’s conviction of “capital murder” for killing a police officer. But the court said at a later date would it rule on Addison’s death sentence itself. We’ll look at this decision, what it means for the capital punishment debate in New Hampshire and its possible ramifications.


civicboosterclub via Flickr Creative Commons

It’s The Socrates Exchange on the question of Justice or Vengeance.  Justice is often defined as fairness, the dispassionate rule of law, while vengeance is defined as a personal vendetta. But when justice doesn’t seem enough, is vengeance the answer? Does justice bring closure while vengeance is perpetual?  Does justice require that victims feel avenged?  We ask these and more questions on the Socrates Exchange.

Nick Smith, Associate Professor of Philosophy at UNH, advisor to the Socratic Society at UNH, and advisor to The Socrates Exchange.

Taking Stock of STEM

Jun 3, 2013
Shyam Subramanian via Flickr Creative Commons

The subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math are all the rage these days among politicians, business and education leaders who say we need more emphasis on these subjects to compete globally. But others say we’re going overboard on STEM and that society benefits from a broader approach that includes the arts, communication, and critical thinking.


Fred Kocher: President of the New Hampshire High Tech Council and founder and president of Kocher and Company, a marketing and communications firm.

We begin by taking stock of STEM -- the big push these days to enhance science technology engineering and math in education. Then, the Socrates Exchange returns as we examine the question of vengeance versus justice.  And later – we look at shifting policies toward homeless people, with recent controversies over their use of public land in Concord and Manchester. E-mail us at and join us all next week for The Exchange.


The Republican-led State Senate gets closer to a final budget, while carving out a deeper divide with House Democrats.   Also, new challenges for President Obama’s Affordable Care Act in the Granite State.  And a makeover for the Hooksett I-93 rest areas as a well-known New Hampshire restaurateur gets the bid.



Norma Love, Statehouse reporter for The Associated Press.

Josh Rogers, NHPR’s statehouse reporter, and senior political reporter and editor.

Sara Plourde

Some of the top stories this week include the Senate's budget, new challenges to Obama's Affordable Care Act in New Hampshire, and approval for a revamped rest stop on I-93 at Hooksett.


  •  Norma Love- Statehouse reporter for the Associated Press
  • Josh Rogers- NHPR's statehouse reporter
  • Jonathan Van Fleet – Managing editor for content at The Telegraph

The Muddle Over Medicaid

May 30, 2013

The Affordable Care Act encourages states to expand Medicaid coverage and provides funding to do so. So far, the tally is roughly even between states opting in and opting out, but some are still undecided, including New Hampshire.  Medicaid expansion has support from the House and Governor but the Senate has some serious doubts.


The News On Newspapers

May 29, 2013
Mustafa Khayat via Flickr Creative Commons

Newsrooms are shrinking across the country – including in the Granite State, which has seen several of its own daily papers struggling. The Internet continues to challenge traditional methods for gathering and delivering news, and many wonder if the daily paper can survive. However, some organizations are coming up with new approaches and finding ways to thrive.


Budgetary Back And Forth

May 28, 2013

The House has rejected revenues from the Senate’s gambling bill while Senators have said no to higher taxes on gasoline and cigarettes. Meanwhile Governor Hassan says she still wants to fund her priorities but after these votes, finding that money will be difficult and cuts may in store.  We’ll examine how it might all play out.