Heard on the Exchange | New Hampshire Public Radio

Heard on the Exchange

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U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan is keeping her options open when it comes to supporting certain priorities of  President Joe Biden, including raising the minimum wage to $15 and canceling some amount of student debt.

Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill would raise the minimum wage to $15, just one of many elements aimed at boosting the economy. Speaking on NHPR's The Exchange on Wednesday, Hassan says she instead supports an increase to $12.

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John Burns says the drastic drop in the amount of people coming into his three recovery centers in Dover, Rochester, and Hampton for help worries him. Burns is director of the SOS Recovery Community Organization.

“I think they're afraid of physical contact. I don't know how they're doing – but I can guess. And the isolation is a problem.”

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Coronavirus outbreaks at New Hampshire facilities serving the elderly continue unabated. Just two days after state officials announced a major outbreak of COVID-19 cases at a Manchester long-term care facility, the number increased from 51 to 84, with four deaths attributed to the coronavirus.  

 

 

 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

During an Exchange interview, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, who describes herself as progressive but practical, emphasized the word "progressive" in that characterization.  

"I actually pass bills and get things done," she said, referring to the 100 bills she has passed in Washington, DC. -- a frequent campaign theme.  Among the bills she is most proud of: securing funding for a collapsed Minnesota bridge, a bill on drug shortages, and her work on broadband issues. 

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These are not times to be trifled with as Andrew Yang sees it: American jobs are fast losing ground to aumotation, causing politcal upheaval, devastating communities, and even contributing to the kind of despair that can lead to addiction and suicide. And that's before artificial intelligence begins hitting organizations in earnest, he says, citing foremost technology leaders. 

 

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Senator Elizabeth Warren has called herself “a capitalist to the bones” and sees no contradiction between that description and her plans for expanding government, raising taxes and increasing regulation. 

“Without rules, capitalism is theft. So for me, it's about making sure we have a set of rules so that you really get competition so that nobody gets cheated, so that everybody has an opportunity,” she said during an Exchange 2020 Forum. 

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Peter Fifield says the moment when someone struggling with addiction decides they are ready for help can be a fleeting one. The mental health and drug and alcohol counselor sees it firsthand. He manages one of nine locations around New Hampshire where people can seek help.   

These “hubs” are part of the state’s new Doorway program, launched in January with federal funding to address the state’s addiction crisis. “The walk-in access is paramount,” Fifield said on The Exchange.  “They can just walk in and get connected.”

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 Next week, when lawmakers are expected to vote on whether to override Governor Sununu’s vetoes of dozens of bills, Forest Society President Jane Difley will be rooting for HB 183. 

 “This would help support the six biomass plants in New Hampshire for a period of time,” says Difley,  who is retiring in October after 23 years leading the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.  

 

 

(Difley recently joined The Exchange to discuss her tenure at the Society. You can hear the full conversation here.)

 

Exploring Education: 'Learn Everywhere' in N.H.

Aug 19, 2019
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We conclude our "Exploring Education" series with the N.H. Department of Education's Learn Everywhere program.  This initiative would allow the state school board to approve credits for students' outside experiences, from internships to dance classes.  Supporters say the goal is wider academic and economic opportunity, but many teachers and local administrators are opposed. 

As schools in New Hampshire prepare for a new law requiring suicide prevention policies, questions about how districts will implement these policies remain.

The law also requires school districts to include annual training on suicide recognition and prevention for all school staff.

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Veteran  and novice teachers agree: Anyone considering a career in teaching should start working as early as possible with students – either as student teachers or as tutors – to see if it’s a good fit.  One may love and excel at math but not necessarily know how to best teach it. Today's teachers are also expected to deal with challenges unrelated to the subjects they teach. 

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We examine how teachers themselves are educated, including how aspiring teachers are certified. We'll also explore how teacher training programs have changed to meet the needs and ambitions of today's students, and why many educators say professional development over the course of their careers is often not useful.

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The state park system is thriving, with a 30% increase in visitors since 2013, according to Philip Bryce, director of the N.H. Division of Parks and Recreation, which includes 93 sites. 

“It's nice because our mission is to get people outdoors, enjoying the outdoors, because it’s good for your health; it's good for your frame of mind, and it's wonderful to see that,” Bryce said on The Exchange.  (For the full conversation, listen here.)

Via Atlas PyroVision's Facebook page

President Trump has said that an increase in tariffs on Chinese goods would boost manufacturing and bring jobs back to the United States.

Stephen Pelkey, CEO of Jaffrey's Atlas PyroVision Entertainment Group in Jaffrey, says that for industries like his, this is not easy to do. Atlas is the largest fireworks company in New England.

Ali Oshinskie for NHPR

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand presents herself as a fighter – and a winner, seemingly unfazed by low poll numbers.  Speaking on The Exchange, the New York Senator said she believes she can win over red, blue, and purple parts of the country, touting her popularity in conservative parts of her home state.

"I've never backed down from a fight. I take on the fights that other people won't, and I actually win. And that's been my story," she said. 

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As employers complain about a labor shortage and a tight job market, they may be overlooking a large group of potential workers that face certain barriers or stigmas – among them, people with criminal records or who are in recovery, recent immigrants, older workers, or people with disabilities.

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Andrew Yang could give his platform on Universal Basic Income in his sleep: he’s been widely covered on the impacts of automation and technology on the American workforce and how he plans to solve those issues through a “Freedom Dividend” and value-added tax. But on key social issues like gun-control and abortion, Yang hasn’t had as much air time.

NHPR Host Peter Biello asked Yang on The Exchange about his signature platforms and less popular policies for the tech entrepreneur running his first campaign for public office. Read selected excerpts from the interview below; they have been edited for clarity.

[Listen to the full conversation here.] 

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Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld said he’s “not a fan of the Republican Party in Washington, D.C. today,” but he’s running for that party’s nomination for President. Weld spoke on The Exchange about his platforms as well as his distaste of President Trump. He has made a number of comments, sometime contradictory, about whether he’s running to win or to weaken Trump among Republicans. In an interview with Peter Biello, Weld said he “would never support Mr.

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Dr . Robert Feder says he spends about a quarter of his time on the phone with insurance companies trying to get care approved for his patients.

These requests are often denied, he says, and criteria for "medically necessary"  care are often overly restrictive or not transparent. 

 

It’s now legal for all states to allow sports betting, after a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, and it looks as though New Hampshire is likely to go this route.     

The N.H. House voted 269 – 82 last month to allow sports gambling on mobile devices and at up to 10 retail locations.  HB 480 has its next hearing in the state Senate on April 24.  

Opponents worry about encouraging gambling addiction.  For supporters, legalizing sports betting means bringing a practice that’s already happening out of the shadows  -- where criminal elements operate -- into the regulatory realm.  

Ali Oshinskie/NHPR

 

Like every 2020 Presidential Candidate, Marianne Williamson has her policy positions on the issues. But Williamson argues her ideas present what she calls a “fierce and authentic” conversation, unheard elsewhere in the crowded Democratic field.  

In an interview on The Exchange, Williamson described her approach, while painting an image of an America traumatized by economic distress and spiritual malfunction. She suggested that her status as a political outsider, along with her work helping people seeking transformation, make her the best-suited candidate for the country at this time. 

The conversation on climate change has a new vigor in recent months, thanks in part to the Green New Deal. Though it was voted down in a procedural vote in the U.S. Senate, the non-binding resolution has intensified conversation on climate and yielded climate policy packages from both sides of the aisle: Republican Rep. Max Gaetz’s Green Real Deal and Senator Lamar Alexander’s A New Manhattan Project.

Ali Oshinskie for NHPR

U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan said the ripple effects of opioid addiction will be felt for generations. 

She joined NHPR's The Exchange Monday to discuss the federal and state responses to the crisis, as well as the role the FDA may have played in either "wittingly or unwittingly" encouraging overprescribing of opioids. 

Listen to the full interview here, or watch a video of the program below

Hassan also addressed climate change -- she prefers a series of steps, rather than the sweeping Green New Deal. And she's concerned about the possible impact of  Medicare for all proposals now under discussion.

"As you transition people from one system to the next, it can be very disruptive...especially if you're somebody with complex medical needs," she said.

Ali Oshinskie/NHPR

Former Maryland Congressman John Delaney says the 2020 election is going to be "fought in the center."  The Democratic presidential primary candidate spoke on NHPR's The Exchange about several platforms he believes have bipartisan appeal, including a carbon tax, a comprehensive immigration reform package, and a plan for universal healthcare that includes options for private or supplemental insurance.

Ali Oshinskie for NHPR

Congresswoman Tulsi  Gabbard, Democrat representing Hawaii, says she is running for President to end  “wasteful regime-change” wars and to bring an end to the "nuclear-arms race."  Gabbard says she would redirect trillions of dollars spent on military conflicts toward health care, education, infrastructure, and other needs.   

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Since the FBI revealed its "Operation Varsity Blues," charging a group of super-rich parents with massive college-admissions fraud, outrage has been widespread.  But family income and other forms of influence have long played a role in college admissions. Meanwhile, the scandal has also spurred a broader conversation about the role of parents and other adults in the application process.  

The following are highlights from a conversation with a private admissions counselor and a longtime teacher who joined The Exchange on Tuesday, March 19: Pulling Back the Curtain on College Admissions.  The excerpts have been edited for clarity.  Listen to the entire program here. 

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: March 8, 2019

Mar 7, 2019

A hearing on proposed red-flag legislation gained national attention after several male lawmakers wore pearl necklaces during testimony on gun violence. The move drew widespread criticism. Rep. David Welch, one of the lawmakers wearing pearls,  said they'd been handed out by members of the Women's Defense League of New Hampshire and he'd worn them in solidarity with their opposition to red-flag laws. In other news, town meeting season is in full swing, and public hearings on PFAs regulations for drinking water began this week. We discuss all of this, and other big stories in New Hampshire this week. 


NHPR Staff

A battle is brewing over the state's new Medicaid "community engagement requirement," which requires certain beneficiaries of Medicaid to engage in various activities, including attending school or holding a job in order to receive coverage.  

New Hampshire is one of a handful of states with this type of arrangement, often called a "work requirement."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

As part of NHPR's Crossroad: The N.H. Opioid Reporting Project, The Exchange went on the road on February 7, 2019 to the Nashua Public Library for a live discussion on how the city is taking a multi-pronged approach to tackle the opioid crisis. 

This discussion was recorded at the Nashua Public Library on February 7th, and an edited version of the conversation airs on Thursday, February 14th at 9 a.m. and again at 7 p.m.

The conversation is also available below. Click here to find the full, unedited discussion

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Eleven states have reported measles outbreaks, including a large one in Washington state, which allows for philosophical exemptions for families who disagree with the mandate to vaccinate.  Although all 50 states allow for medical exemptions — religious and philosophical exemptions are also allowed in many states. New Hampshire allows for religious exemptions — and according to recent immunization reports that number has risen to 4,234 from about 3,700. 

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