Last weekend was the first actual weekend of summer…an event barely noticed by many who’ve been barbequing, swimming and gardening since Memorial Day. Plenty of people do celebrate the longest day of the year in a more traditional way…and we’re talking traditions that stretch back thousands of years -- Carol and Clay Young hosted a fire ceremony to welcome in the solstice in the backwoods of Wentworth, New Hampshire, with a small, but diverse group of revelers. Word of Mouth’s Molly Donahue was there and brought us back this audio postcard.
There’s buried treasure in the rivers and streams of New Hampshire. 22 carat gold to be precise. While it’s very high quality, it’s also very low quantity. Experienced New Hampshire prospectors say that even though there isn’t much to find, it’s not hard to find. But you have to know where to look and how to find it as Sean Hurley reports from the gold-speckled Wild Amonoosuc River in Bath.
The Wild Ammonoosuc River trickles to life in Kinsman Notch and rushes for 15 miles from Woodstock to Bath before breaking into the bigger, slower glass of the Ammonoosuc.
"For a dyslexic who does not yet know they are dyslexic, life is like a big high wall you never think you will be able to climb or get over. The moment you understand there is something called dyslexia, and there are ways of getting around the problem, the whole world opens up." - Sir Jackie Stewart
Developmental reading disorder, or dyslexia, is the most common learning disability. It often manifests as difficulty in learning to read or spell fluently, resulting in poor performance on written tests. Abelardo Gonzalez is a software developer based in New Hampshire and the creator of Open-Dyslexic – an open source computer font designed to help make reading easier for those with dyslexia.
Two separate black bear sightings in Portsmouth earlier this week startled residents and raised new questions about bears in urban areas.
Early this week, two Portsmouth residents reported black bear sightings to police. Officers responding to the calls said they believed the bears were cubs, but were unsure if a larger bear was with them. Bear sightings are rare instances in the Seacoast, but N.H. Fish and Game’s Wildlife Damage Specialist Rob Calvert says that this behavior isn’t entirely out of character.
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 joins us to discuss the worry over dress codes and the chaotic middle years.
Hundreds of first-time beekeepers across the state are anxiously awaiting their first shipment of honey bees this week. NHPR’s Ryan Lessard reports on the growing popularity of the hobby and what it could mean for the pollinating insects’ struggle for survival.
President Obama’s newly unveiled budget is making political waves…he’s pushing for publicly funded “preschool for all,” paid for with a new tax on cigarettes. Here in New Hampshire, there’s been a different kind of preschool push…toward teaching kids outside. So-called nature preschools and forest kindergartens may sound like more fun than foundational, but this approach to early learning is gaining popularity for teaching the basics, while getting kids away from screens into the wilderness.
An unnamed lake in Kettleborough, New Hampshire has an almost mythological pull on the characters in a new novel by Abi Maxwell. Bodies disappear into the ice, the shamed and broken hearted sometimes float…sometimes are swallowed in its depths. A young woman named Alice, abandoned as an infant, is found floating in a tethered canoe. Its mysteries are deep and startling, the inventions of a first-time novelist who is also the assistant librarian at the Gilford public library. Abi will read from her new book, Lake People tomorrow night at Gibson’s Books in Concord.
A new report from the New Hampshire Insurance Department says that heath insurance rates are on the rise in the state. The “Medical Cost Drivers Report” finds that health insurance premiums jumped 3.8% in 2011.
The data also shows that insurance companies saw a near 3% increase in profits.
Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny says that rising co-pays and deductibles mean the insured are less able to rely on their health plans to cover medical bills.
There’s only so much cost sharing that someone can bear, and still call it insurance.
Nearly sixty years after “Peyton Place” was published, tourists still stop in Gilmanton, New Hampshire, to ask locals about its author, Grace Metalious. The novel shocked America with tales of small town secrets, sex, and hypocrisy, and outraged the citizens of Gilmanton, where the unconventional Matalious lived with her family. It became one of the best-selling books ever, a hit movie, and TV's first prime-time soap. Writer George Kelly, came across some persistent Matalious myths while writing about the novel for New Hampshire Magazine. His article, “50 Shades of Grace: The Impact of ‘Peyton Place’ on New Hampshire Sixty Years Later”, can be found in the current issue of the magazine, as well as online.
NHPR’s Sam Evans-Brown found that the traditional ice-fishing bob-houses that pop up each winter may be on their way out. Earlier this month, Sam caught up with Dave Genz—the man credited as the “Godfather of modern ice fishing” and the only ice-angler to be named to America’s fresh water fishing hall of fame—as he fished and demonstrated and some of the newer innovations to the winter sport.
Conditions in New Hampshire’s White Mountains are notoriously for being more harsh than ranges of similar altitude. Those conditions make the Whites a perfect training ground for world class mountaineers. NHPR’s Sam Evans-Brown spent the day with Fred Wilkinson as he climbed Cathedral ledge.