Seacoast

Courtesy photo

The 18th annual New Hampshire Film Festival kicks off Thursday in Portsmouth.

The four day festival features films from everywhere, but organizers say there’s a tradition of recognizing filmmaking in New Hampshire.

"There's never a shortage of material for us when we're looking to program New Hampshire Day,” says NHFF Executive Director Nicole Gregg. “So I would say that's a pretty good indication that it's a pretty active industry here in the state."

The Silent Spring Institute will study how PFAS chemicals affected the health of children in Portsmouth and on Cape Cod.

The National Institutes of Health gave Silent Spring $2.6 million for the study.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is seasonally closing some areas to shellfish harvesting in Little Bay and the Bellamy River due to recent findings about the water quality impacts of Portsmouth wastewater treatment plant. 

A drug recovery center in Rochester is back open after the city ordered it shut down Friday, citing a zoning violation.

The center, one of two locations run by SOS Recovery, operates out of a local church.

AP

A viral video of a whale carcass falling from a front-loader and dumpster to the pavement in Rye this week highlights what's being called an "exceptional die-off" of Minke Whales off the coast of Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

New England Aquarium spokesman Tony LaCasse says scientists do not yet know the source of these dead whales.

Via unlockinghistory.com

A middle school student in Seabrook has been criminally charged for making threats to "shoot up" his school.

The students' peers first reported the threats on Friday. On Monday, SAU 21 Superintendent Bill Lupini says that students returned with more detailed and serious reports.

School officials say they do not believe the school was in danger, but the student is not attending classes.

Police say the students' name and many details - including plans for returning to school - cannot be released because of juvenile privacy rules.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Hampshire is doing its part this weekend for the Ocean Conservancy's annual, international coastal cleanup.

NHPR’s Annie Ropeik went out with one group of enthusiastic trash collectors at Wallis Sands State Beach Friday morning and has this story.


Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Rye Harbor users are urging federal officials to prioritize a dredging project they say is long overdue.

About 700 boat captains, fishermen and other residents signed a petition that was given to staffers for New Hampshire’s U.S. Senators at the town selectman’s meeting Monday night.

Rye Harbor hasn’t been dredged since around 1990, and users say increasing sedimentation is becoming an economic burden and a safety risk for mariners.  

marinas.com

Vessel owners from Rye Harbor want action on what they say is a long-overdue dredging project.

They’ll meet Monday night with state and federal officials to talk about the need for that maintenance, which would be carried out by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Lobsterman Keper Connell docks his boat, the Figment, in Rye Harbor.

He says rising seas, bigger storm surges, and more development nearby are all worsening the natural sedimentation at the edges of the harbor.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Hundreds of people rallied for action on climate change in Keene and Portsmouth this weekend.

They were part of demonstrations nationwide, ahead of a global climate summit in San Francisco this week.

Seacoast families and students filled Portsmouth's Market Square with electric vehicles and signs denouncing fossil fuels and President Trump’s climate policies.

They listened as mock-time travelers told stories from two potential futures. One came after inaction on climate in the present day:

The weekend has arrived, so go ahead and make the most of it. Here are 5 things to do in New Hampshire, plus a little extra because, well, you deserve some fun.

Check out the NHPR community calendar for more ideas - and submit your own events.

Dan Tuohy

For this week’s Radio Field Trip, we’re heading to the Seacoast to meet with people who have had some strange encounters.

 

Do you have a suggestion for an upcoming Radio Field Trip? Click here to submit your idea, or email us at fieldtrips@nhpr.org.

 


Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu announced plans last week to study whether New Hampshire schools should be required to start after Labor Day.

But some families who flocked to Seacoast beaches on the holiday Monday said they don’t really care when school starts.

Dawn Szelog’s family had staked out a spot among the crowds at Wallis Sands State Beach in Rye by late morning, as the temperature neared 90.

Eversource

Hearings began Wednesday on Eversource’s proposed transmission line between Madbury to Portsmouth.

The Seacoast Reliability Project would span 13 miles between Madbury and Portsmouth, with a mile buried under Little Bay at Durham and Newington.

Final hearings are scheduled to start this week on Eversource's proposed Seacoast transmission line – but delays at the state Site Evaluation Committee are still possible.

The Seacoast Reliability Project power line would span 13 miles between Madbury and Portsmouth, with one mile buried beneath Little Bay between Durham and Newington. 

NOAA

 

Avian flu and distemper may be to blame for a rash of seal deaths in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.

Southern Maine beaches have been beset with dead harbor seals in recent weeks, with dozens washing up stranded or having perished. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says Thursday that the first batch of sampled seals have tested preliminarily positive for either avian influenza or phocine distemper virus.

Four seals have tested positive for both viruses.

Courtesy

Rochester is hosting its first-ever food truck festival Sunday.

Food trucks and local chefs from the Tri-City area will converge on the Lilac Mall parking lot for the new event.

Organizers include the owner of the Dover-based Crescent City Kitchen truck, who says he hopes the festival will be an annual event.

Nine trucks are slated to be on-site, serving barbecue, ice cream, poutine and more.

The festival will also include a local beer garden, live music and games.

Courtesy

A solar company, a honey maker and an environmental group will celebrate the honey bee Saturday in Rye.

ReVision Energy's director of market development, Dan Weeks, says honey bees are threatened by climate change, fossil fuel pollution and other environmental hazards.

Companies like his want to help fix those problems, Weeks says, "because we see fossil fuel dependence, rising temperatures, carbon pollution as a factor harming honey bees, as well as a lot of other species."

JIM RICHMOND VIA FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says they found no problems with the response to cracks in concrete at Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant during a recent inspection.

Their new report is another step forward in the power plant's bid to get its license renewed.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The Coakley Landfill on New Hampshire’s Seacoast is back in the headlines, more than 30 years after it became a Superfund site.

Neighbors are again worried the site could be poisoning their drinking water, after a rash of childhood cancer cases nearby and the discovery of dangerously high levels of PFAS chemicals at the landfill.

That’s despite local officials' promises that the landfill is safe, under control and not a threat to nearby residents. In fact, they say the landfill is mostly just misunderstood.

 

A fourth person has died from injuries sustained in a car crash a week ago that went unnoticed overnight in Hampton Falls.

State police say 19-year-old Daniel Petruzzelli, of Manchester, died Saturday. He was a passenger in a car that went off Route 88 and crashed into a stand of trees.

Authorities believe the crash happened around 6:30 p.m. on July 28, but it wasn't discovered until nearly noon the next day because the car was hidden by thick vegetation.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

A first-of-its-kind water treatment system has begun filtering high levels of toxic PFAS chemicals from the groundwater at Pease International Tradeport.

It’s the latest, biggest phase of millions of dollars in government response after PFAS was found in a drinking water well at Pease in 2014.


Going Local: The Seacoast

Jul 18, 2018
Sara Plourde; NHPR

We look at the New Hampshire Seacoast as part of our regional series, Going Local.

With thirteen miles of ocean, a vibrant local business and arts scene, and cities and small towns that surround the beach and inland estuaries, the Seacoast is rich in culture. However, the region has faced challenges with climate change and a higher cost of living. We look at what makes this part of our state unique, and in both smaller towns like Exeter and 

Epping, and big draws like Portsmouth and Hampton.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

This week's new moon and the remnants of tropical storm Chris could bring unusually high tides and minor flooding to parts of Hampton this weekend.

Drivers on roads near Hampton Harbor usually notice when tides reach their flood stage of 11 feet high. Low-lying pavement can become covered in water.

Thursday night's high tide was over 11 feet, and high tides may hit that around midnight and midday through early next week.

National Weather Service meteorologist William Watson says there shouldn't be any serious impacts.

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

Smuttynose Brewery is back up to speed on the Seacoast after being sold at auction earlier this year.

North Hampton-based Runnymede Investments bought Smuttynose after that auction, and brought in former Boston Beer Company CEO Rich Lindsay to head up the brewery.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu was on the Seacoast today, signing two bills dealing with chemical contamination and health risks. 

One bill could lead to stricter limits on PFAS chemicals in drinking water.  

Sununu spoke at Jenness Beach in Rye, near the Coakley Landfill Superfund site and Pease Tradeport.

Both are PFAS hotspots that have raised health concerns for neighbors.  

Courtesy photo

A former high school guidance counselor in New Hampshire has been sentenced to over two years in prison as part of an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to sexual assault charges involving a student.

Kristie Torbick, of Lee, had worked at Exeter High School. Education officials said the assaults happened in late 2016 and early 2017.

Other charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement.

The 39-year-old Torbick surrendered her education credentials. She also will need to register as a sex offender after serving her sentence.

Sara Plourde; NHPR

The Exchange will explore a different region of the state every Thursday starting July 12th: the Great North Woods, the White Mountains, the Lakes Region, Dartmouth/Sunapee, the Monadnock Region, the Merrimack Valley, and the Seacoast. 

We look at what makes each region distinct, the biggest issues facing that part of the state, and what people who live there love about their home. 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Summer means certain historic venues open up for the season. In North Hampton, at Little Boar's Head, Union Chapel is one such place.

The late 19th Century house of worship held its first interdenominational service of 2018 on July 1.

Its 141st season features a different minister each Sunday at 11 a.m. 

Click and drag your mouse for a 360 view from the altar. Click the + or - signs to zoom in or out.

NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will implement a protected zone off the coast of Massachusetts until the middle of the month to try to help endangered North Atlantic right whales.

The protected area is located south of Nantucket and is designed to protect right whales. The whales are among the most endangered marine mammals, and they have suffered from high mortality and low reproduction in recent years.

There are as few as 360 right whales remaining.

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