Seacoast musicians and music lovers are lucky to have writer Chris Hislop
March 1 — To the editor:
For 20 years, our Seacoast music and arts community has been incredibly fortunate to have Christopher Hislop as our documentarian, our reviewer, our critic, our supporter, our fan, our friend.
Across the pages of newspapers, magazines, weeklies, websites, venues, boards and nonprofit award juries, Chris has devoted an enormous amount of his time and energy to the music and musicians from here in our hometown as well as those who come from far and wide to share their work with us, honor our stages and enhance our culture.
Continued: Listen now! The best Seacoast music of 2021. Local musicians are lifting us up in a trying year.
As a decades-long music industry veteran, I have witnessed the steady decline of local music journalism and regional arts coverage across the United States and abroad, with budgets that are drying up and loyal writers abandoning their posts out of sheer necessity.
But not Chris. He’s still up, still writing, still giving us artists the oxygen we need to keep creating, and still introducing you to sounds and personalities you might never otherwise experience.
Continued: A Rock Star and More: A Tribute to Seacoast’s Chelsea Paolini, Lost Too Soon at 32
Continued: An ode to the late David Surette: the Seacoast music scene mourns one of its greatest inspirations
Last week my band Dreadnaught premiered our new 25th anniversary album in concert and there was Chris at the side of the stage, beer in hand, smiling broadly as he basked in the sound he had himself helped to make it possible. He didn’t lose that night, but make no mistake, we’re lucky to have Chris Hislop.
CEO, PARMA Recordings
Bass player, Dreadnaught
Chairman, Board of Directors, The Music Hall
I remember the Air Raid Wardens in Portsmouth during World War II
For the editor:
I am writing to you regarding Sherry Wood’s Feb. 13 article (“Let Them Come, We’re Ready”). I was 7 years old in 1942 and I remember a “practice” air raid. It was a Saturday night and my mother was having one of her card parties. We had blackout curtains, but our neighborhood Air Raid Warden knocked on the door to tell my mom and her guests they were all too loud and to shut up.
I also remember being a student at the old Whipple School on State Street (I lived on the corner of State and Madison streets). Regularly, our second grade teacher, Miss Katkin, would read to us in the school basement. We also had to wear identification tags.
Continued: ‘Let them come, we’re ready’: when air raid officers marched through the streets of Portsmouth
I had three uncles in the army and two in the navy, and my aunt Frances was a WAC from the town of Newington, driving a truck in North Africa.
Given the current conflict in Ukraine, it is a good time to remember the sacrifices made in our own country during the Second World War.
Thanks to columnist Robert Azzi; we must do more for hungry children
March 1 – To the editor:
I want to thank Seacoast Sunday opinion columnist Robert Azzi for recently writing about my HB 1660 bill which failed by just three votes on the floor of the New Hampshire House on February 16. Judging by the number of nasty comments directed at him, his weekly column must be one of the most read articles in our local paper, right there with comic books and high school sports news. Azzi’s comments on February 27, 2022 were passionate, inspiring and 100% correct.
Continued: Azzi: 40 cents a day for starving children was too much for the majority of NH House
The main thing that HB 1660 would have done if enacted was to reduce the price of a so-called “discounted” lunch from 40 cents to zero. It also established a “Meals for Students” fund to accept funding for school nutrition programs from any available source. Currently, school nutrition is primarily funded by the US Department of Agriculture and student families, but my bill would have allowed other entities such as private foundations (or even the state government to -even) to more easily inject additional dollars. Finally, my bill duplicated a Republican-sponsored bill (HB 1564) that would mandate breakfast at school. Most eligible schools in New Hampshire already offer breakfast as well as lunch, but a number (ranging from 30 to 170 depending on who you ask) have yet to do so.
I was pleasantly surprised that the bill received so much support. The January 25 committee hearing was cursory, with half a dozen committee members absent.
It was hard to make much sense of the Republican majority “blurb” in the Feb. 11, 2022, House calendar, which was brief and confusing and looked like a sixth grader. But, their objections were entirely financial in nature, so strictly speaking, House Education Republicans went out of their way: They were only supposed to examine the basic policy behind the bill. Even though Republicans tossed around buzzwords like “parental responsibility and “local control,” they weren’t opposed in principle to child feeding per se. They were only concerned about paying for meals. financial matters should have been given to a second committee, the House Finance Committee Anyway, my bill would have only been about $650,000 a year, which is money well spent – particularly well spent if we could use federal and/or private funds to pay for this relatively low cost.
HB 1564 (“a law requiring school districts to provide breakfast to students”) has yet to be filed at New Hampshire House. It will arrive later this month. I urge my colleagues at New Hampshire House to vote for HB 1564, and I urge my readers to contact their state officials to champion school nutrition programs.
Representative Timothy Horrigan
A message from a friend in Russia
March 1 — To the editor:
The tragedy unfolding in Ukraine, a throwback to the indiscriminate bombing of European cities during World War II, shows the true face of a dictator who will stop at nothing to bring back some form of Soviet Union.
The brave people of Ukraine deserve our full support.
After the invasion began, I wrote a letter of support to my friends in Russia, knowing that they did not support this unprovoked attack and knowing that they were living under a virtual dictatorship. This is what Lyena wrote to me.
“Thank you for your support, your concern and your good understanding of the situation.
Normal people here, who have not lost their honor and conscience, are completely in shock at what is happening. Until recently, we didn’t think this would happen.
Now we feel great pain and shame in front of the whole world for this terrible war.
We can only cry and sympathize with the Ukrainians. We just pray that it ends sooner, but we realize that we will never get rid of this shame…”
New England maple syrup impacted by climate change
February 28 – To the editor:
Here in New Hampshire and surrounding New England states, maple syrup is a major commodity. If you’re like me, you grew up enjoying real maple syrup for breakfast. As New Englanders, we are lucky enough to buy local maple syrup. I was disheartened to learn that our maple syrup, among other things we love, is being impacted by climate change.
For sap to flow, temperatures must be below freezing at night and above freezing during the day. These requirements make the maple syrup industry extremely vulnerable to climate change. Historically, the sugar season started around March. But due to warmer temperatures, in recent years it started as early as January and was shorter overall. In addition to this changing sugaring season, the maple syrup industry faces additional challenges. A 2017 study found that climate change could lead to a decline in sugar maple habitat, meaning fewer maple trees, and a 2018 study found that the growth of individual maple trees had been stunted over over the past two decades. Some experts fear that the combination of these factors could mean that maple syrup could become a thing of the past.
While some syrup producers have found ways to combat these changes, with improvements in sustainable forest management and more efficient harvesting tools, the impacts of climate change cannot be ignored. These patches are temporary and while the damage can be mitigated in the short term, it is crucial that we address climate change as a whole. Right now in the United States, the Build Back Better program is our best hope in the fight against climate change. With landmark climate legislation included in the package, it’s crucial that we fight for our planet (and our maple syrup!) by fighting to Build Back Better.