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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Next week on The Exchange:

Monday, 11/9: Lead Poisoning

Tuesday, 11/10: Campaign Finance

Wednesday, 11/11: Special Broadcast: Radio Documentary on Lakeview NeuroRehabilitation Center

Thursday, 11/12: T.B.A.

Friday, 11/13: Friday N.H. News Roundup


Crossover Day

Mar 22, 2012

Crossover Day is the time when bills that have passed the New Hampshire House go to the State Senate and vice versa.  And this year, much of that legislation has sparked enormous debate…on issues from contraception to unionized labor to public education.  We’ll look at what important bills are changing hands, how well they may do in their other House of government, and, if they do pass, how they may stand up against the Governor’s veto pen. 


Eminent Domain Explained

Mar 21, 2012

It’s long been a controversial government power: The ability to take private property if it’s deemed for the “greater public good”.  But often, even the mere suggestion of its use provokes public outcry.  We’ll  look at this idea of eminent domain,  how it’s been applied by all levels of government, and how it’s come up recently here in New Hampshire.


Dartmouth physician Ira Byock says even with incredible advances in medicine, far too many Americans suffer needlessly and die “badly”.  In a new book, Byock calls for a new approach toward the end of life; one focused on taking care of persons, not just “bodies”, and helping patients and their families reach decisions about dying.


If you don't know the name, Dayton Duncan, you'll most likely be familiar with his work.  He's an award winning writer and filmmaker who has been Ken Burn's right hand man for decades. The two have collaborated on multi-hour films on topics that have ranged from Lewis and Clark to the Civil War to Baseball to our National Parks.  Their latest collaboration is on the Dustbowl that premeires in 2012. On Friday night, Dayton Duncan sat down with Laura Knoy before a live audience at the Colonial Theatre in Keene to talk about his work and his special collaborative process with Ken Burns.

Next week on the Exchange, we begin with a favorite from the Exchange archive vault as we rebroadcast our interview with writer and filmmaker, Dayton Duncan live at the Colonial Theater in Keene.  Then we talk to Dartmouth Professor, Ira Byock, who's new book looks at end of life care and why he says "far too many Americans suffer needlessly and die “badly”.   Then we examine the idea of eminent domain, recently its been used to block the Northern Pass project, we'll look at what eminent domain really means and where its limits lie. Finally, this week marks Crossover Day in the NH Statehous

Fuel Frustrations

Mar 16, 2012

The temperature isn't the only thing that seems to be rising lately in the Granite State, so are gas prices.  The cost of a gallon has gone up by about 20 cents in the last month and it shows no signs of slowing down.  Some are predicting that by the summer we may be paying upwards of 5 dollars for a gallon of gas.  Global energy markets blame harsh weather in Europe, tensions with Iran and a cutback in exports from such countries as Syria, Yemen and South Sudan.  Some suggest that higher gas prices may not only affect the average driver's wallet, but upcoming political races as well, as we

This year, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services turns 25 years old.  Its Commissioner, Tom Burack says that over that time a lot of progress has been made in terms of clean water, air and land, but there’s still a long way to go.   “This legacy,” Burack says “requires vigilance and maintenance”. Those are tough goals, and with recent budget cuts to his department it makes it even that much more tough.

Insurance Ideas

Mar 14, 2012

There’s an effort underway to make insurance more affordable in New Hampshire by allowing a range of plans – some with a maximum number of mandates and others with fewer mandated services.  Supporters say this gives consumers greater choice  -- they ask why a young unmarried male, for instance, pay for a plan that includes prenatal care. And, they say, it could help bring down cost, which has left too many people unable to afford any insurance at all.

Contraception Commotion

Mar 13, 2012

Last week the New Hampshire House voted to allow employers to exclude contraceptive coverage from health insurance plans on the basis of religious objections – reversing a 12-year-old law requiring insurers that offer prescription coverage to include contraceptives.  Supporters say the bill protects religious freedom because it allows groups with religious objections to birth control to avoid providing this coverage to employees. Opponents say it interferes with the relationship between a woman and her doctor.

An Astronomy Update

Mar 12, 2012

Huge Solar flares and 'coronal mass ejections" have the potential for major disruptions.  New extra-solar planets seem to be found every week. A new rover on Mars called 'Curiosity' seems to be peaking ours, while the New Horizon's spacecraft is heading to Pluto. We'll get the latest news that's going on from the skies with the Exchange's Space Guys. 


Next week on the Exchange, we begin with our Astronomy guys.

Vows over Gay Marriage

Mar 9, 2012
thirtycats / Flickr/Creative Commons

On June 3, 2009, Governor John Lynch signed a law that allowed gay marriage in the Granite State. A little less than 7 months later, the first wedding ceremonies began to be performed.  At the time, New Hampshire made history as the first state to pass a same-sex union bill without a court order or the threat of one.  But before the first "I do" was uttered, some groups and lawmakers vowed to pass legislation overturning the law.  Last year, bills were tabled to focus on the budget, but now this year several pieces of legislation are on the table and money on both sides of this interest is

The Real Romney

Mar 8, 2012

We know he's running for President and that he's become a household name. We know he ran unsuccessfully in 2008 as well. We know that he was Governor of Massachusetts and that he was behind a major health care bill that passed in that state. We know he's Mormon, Republican, good looking and has a great smile, but who is the 'real Romney'. Who is the Mitt Romney behind the campaign promises, debates, political ads and handshakes? What drives him, what were the events in his life that motivated him and why does he want to be President so badly?

Zeppelin5787 / Flickr/Creative Commons

We’re looking at yesterday’s voting in Ohio, Tennessee, Idaho, Virginia, Vermont, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Massachusetts, Alaska and Georgia in the Republican nomination contests.  We’re looking closer at the results and at where the campaigns go from here.


Wayne Lesperance: Professor of Political Science and Director for the Center for Civic Engagement at New England College.

Dante Scala: Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of New Hampshire. He tweets @graniteprof.

taberandrew / Flickr/Creative Commons

We continue our series on New Hampshire immigration by looking at the proposed refugee moratorium in Manchester. The moratorium would temporarily stop the city of Manchester from accepting new refugees. Meanwhile a recent bill in the statehouse would allow communities throughout the state to establish moratoria. The supporters claim that a moratorium will allow the state to better serve the current refugees, but the bill leaves some wondering if closing the doors to refugees is the best answer.

Guests: / Flickr/Creative Commons

We talk about the balance of power in New Hampshire government.  A number of bills have appeared in the state legislature that would seek to constrain the judiciary; from eliminating the state supreme court to avoiding constitutional review of laws. Today we investigate the friction between the legislative and judicial branches of our state government.


David Campbell: Democratic State Representative from Nashua

Brandon Guida: Republican State Representative  from Chichester

Next week on the Exchange, we begin with a look at current tensions between the Legislative and Judicial branches of our state government. Several bills on the docket look to curb the power of the courts, but some are objecting to it.   Then as part of our series on New Hampshire Immigration, we look once again at a proposed refugee moratorium in the city of Manchester and why some are saying that in order to better serve our current refugees, we need to put a temporary halt on allowing new ones to come in. On Wednesday we crunch the numbers of the Super Tuesday elections and we end the wee

New Hampshire communities have long depended on it to fund government services and schools. Over the years that reliance has grown, as state funding has abated. The tax is often lauded for enhancing local control but criticized for over burdening those on fixed incomes.  We’ll look at these arguments both in this state and nationally.


We explore the economic philosophy of John Maynard Keynes. His ideas of government spending “priming the pump” during bad times have  been applied by American leaders from FDR to Obama. But Keynsian  theory continue to spark fierce debate – some feel it’s still the best way out of a slump – but others believe this distorts the free-market and that these ideas have run their course.


What began a half century ago as an organization for insurance purposes has grown into much more.  The AARP has become an influential lobbying group with forty million members.   We’ll talk with the author of a new book which examines this and the AARP’s role in current debates over Medicare and Social Security.  

  •  Frederick Lynch - An Associate Professor of  Government at Claremont McKenna College, and author of Invisible Victims and the Diversity Machine


It’s been nearly a year since authorities began clashing with anti-government protests in the nation of Syria.  Since then, massive fighting, deaths, detainment and calls for President Assad’s resignation have topped the headlines. Today we'll talk to a roundtable of Syrians and Syrian Americans living in New Hampshire about their thoughts and what they’re hearing from loved ones in their home country. 


Frances Moore Lappé

Feb 27, 2012

Today we sit down with iconic food writer and activist Frances Moore Lappé.  In the 1970's, Lappé pioneered the idea of conscientious eating with her book “Diet for a Small Planet”.  Now forty years later, she says much has changed.  There's more awareness of the connections between food, health, and the environment, yet there's also growing world hunger requiring she says a complete global re-think.  Lappé is coming up to New Hampshire at the end of the week to be the Keynote Speaker at the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire (NOFA-NH) 10

Next week on the Exchange, we begin with iconic food writer and activist Francis Moore Lappe, whose nineteen-seventies book Diet for a Small Planet changed the way many think about how they eat.  We'll talk with her about the similarities and struggles between world hunger and the local food movement.   Then a roundtable of Granite Staters with ties to Syria joins us, to discuss their concerns over the horrific violence and political turmoil in that country.  Then later on, we look at the pro’s and con’s of New Hampshire’s  heavy reliance on property taxes and look at how the property tax i

redalbano / Flickr Creative Commons

We're evaluating Mental Health Care in New Hampshire.  Once considered a model system, the state’s services have come under harsh scrutiny, prompting one group to sue on behalf of patients. State officials acknowledge problems but point to shrinking dollars, while lawmakers claim budgetary constraints that just won’t budge. We check up on what’s ailing this system and what might fix it.


Louis Josephson, CEO of Riverbend Community Mental Health in Concord and

Today, we sit down with New Hampshire’s Education Commissioner Virginia Barry.  We’ll talk with her about recent questions concerning the Federal No Child Left Behind law, and whether New Hampshire should seek a waiver.  Also, we'll examine recent bills in the Legislature aimed at increasing parental control over instruction and a possible education funding amendment.  


Recent debates over the new health care law and rules over refugee settlements have been challenged by states, including New Hampshire. Meanwhile several bills by the Granite state legislature, would overturn certain authorities of towns and school boards. We’ll see who can write the rules and where the lines are drawn.


We talk to the author of a new book who says that Americans spend too much, save too little and borrow excessively and that we might look to countries in Europe and East Asia, where governments encourage thrift and saving rates are much higher.  We’ll examine the financial habits of people on three continents over two centuries and what we might learn from it. 


  • Sheldon Garon - Professor of History at Princeton University and author of “Beyond Our Means: Why America Spends While the World Saves”

According to our guest today, Colin Woodard, America's political divisions aren't between red states and blue states, right and left, Republicans and Democrats but between 11 distinct North American cultural regions.  They are regions the he names "Yankeedom", "Greater Appalachia", "The Deep South" and "The Far West" and they have been created by centuries of Americans who settled there, each with their own unique cultures, religions, political traditions and ethnographic characteristics.  Woodard suggests that only by truly understanding these regions can we begin to see beyond these deep 

Next week on the Exchange, we begin with a favorite from the Exchange archive vault, as we listen back to our show with author Colin Woodward on his book "American Nation".  Then we talk to author Sheldon Garon, who says  that Americans save too little, spend too much and borrow way more than our European and Asian counterparts. Then recent debates over the new health care and refugee settlements have some state politicians defying federal rules.

In his state-of-the-state speech, Governor Lynch made it clear that he’d like to see a change to the Constitution,  setting out how New Hampshire pays for public schools. Similar efforts have failed before, sometimes over the meaning of a single word or phrase.   We’ll look at this latest attempt, the arguments around it, and whether this year is the year an amendment is approved.