Local Commentary

The fifth privilege and ‘opportunity hoarding’

I recently read an article in the Boston Review that shocked me in a number of ways. The piece is titled “The Dream Hoarders: How America’s Top 20 Percent Perpetuates Inequality.” The author is Richard V. Reeves. Shock No 1: Reeves begins by recounting how in 2015 President Obama ...

Whatever happened to customer service?

Full-service gas stations, car hops, free delivery, doctors making house calls – what do these things have in common? Like good old-fashioned customer service, they are all things of the past. Maybe I’m showing my age, but, I can remember when you could pull into a gas station, get your ...

Gerrymandering is a real threat to our democracy

Last month, we outlined the history of gerrymandering and explored the basic question, “Why should we care?” Briefly, the answer is that the practice of manipulating voting districts favors the reelection of people and parties already in office. It allows officials to choose their voters, ...

Mother’s Day concert to celebrate community

“I never weary of great churches. It is my favorite kind of mountain scenery. Mankind was never so happily inspired as when it made a cathedral.” – Robert Louis Stevenson Music in the cathedral – on Mother’s Day. Music of Russia, Armenia, Georgia, Greece, the Mediterranean, ...

April brought cold, cloudy, slow start to spring

Spring continued to be elusive in April with a cold, cloudy weather pattern holding a firm grip on much of the nation from the Rockies to the East Coast. Precipitation was very close to normal and snowfall was a bit less than we would expect to see during a normal April. After a long and ...

Becoming an outdoors woman: The journey within

“She was like the sun. She knew her place in the world. She would shine again regardless of all the storms and changeable weather. She wouldn’t adjust her purpose to things that pass.” – Nikki Rowe Outdoors woman – look how far we’ve come!!! From the 1890s when pioneering women ...

The joy – and adventure – of adopting a puppy

For the first time in years, I forgot my column deadline. I have a good excuse, though. We were busy welcoming a new member to the Lemen/Broyles family. No, I did not have a baby. Nor did any other being living under our roof. But we were joined this week by an adorable Labrador mix puppy, ...

Come to Litchfield and ‘Ask a Muslim Anything’

Just before World War I, Nashua’s Indian Head National Bank published “Breezes From the Orient,” a collection of letters, written to the Nashua Daily Telegraph by Ira Francis Harris – the bank’s cashier – while on a 1913 world tour of the Orient. Published in 1914, the bank ...

Lilacs come in many varieties, perfect for any landscaping theme

Every year and without fail, the lilacs bloom to reassure us that summer is coming. A fragrant flower, New Hampshire residents can enjoy them for only a couple weeks. The robust flower historically symbolizes love, and can be found growing in abundance along our high ways, country roads and ...

How can you LIVE UNITED this spring?

As I travel throughout our community meeting people, one thing often comes up as a theme – “How can I get involved and make a difference?” I think that there are several reasons why people ask this, but primarily it comes down to either not knowing what the opportunities are to get ...

Policy can help New Hampshire rein in Medicare costs

New Hampshire residents suffering from painful and chronic medical conditions stand to benefit from a federal rule change this year that would offer greater access to treatment for Medicare ...

A fresh look at gerrymandering

Gerrymander: to divide a geographic area into voting districts in a way that gives a party an unfair advantage in elections. In 1812, Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry signed a bill authorizing the revision of voting districts in his state. Members of Gerry’s party redrew them in a way that ...

March 2018 was snowy, a bit on the mild, dry side

I wonder how many thought we were done with winter weather when temperatures reached into the middle-70s in late February, and the ground became bare of snow. March would throw a curve ball bringing lots of snow to our doorsteps and certainly a wintry feel, despite being the first official full ...

Lost & Found: What could possibly go wrong?

Looks like I still have some good karma left in the bank. I recently forgot my credit card at a St. Patrick’s party where I was running a tab at the bar. Gee, what could possibly go wrong here? Let’s examine the facts. I’m celebrating a holiday where drinking is the objective. I’m ...

Youth philosophy conference generates wonder

“Wonder is the feeling of the philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder.” – Plato Wonder is a good thing. When I came away from the 9th Annual HYPE (Hosting Young Philosophy Enthusiasts) Conference held two weeks ago at the University of New Hampshire, I came away with more questions ...

From the cosmos to the coral reef: A tribute to mathematical women

“She who influences the thought of her times, influences all times that follow. She has made her impression on eternity.” – Hypatia (415 A.D.) Last night the earth passed through the Vernal Equinox, that tipping point when the days and nights reach a momentary equilibrium, that moment ...

The Civics of Civility: The art of the question

“The man who never changes his mind is like still water and breeds reptiles of the mind.” – William Blake Socrates, the most famous of teachers, was not renowned for what he taught but how he taught. He did not just focus on the question, he dwelled on it. In the wake of a question lies ...

It never hurts to get a little nostalgic about Nashua

Some of you may remember an article I wrote back in November titled, “Growing Up Nashua,” where I discussed growing up on the Tree Streets of our city. Much like an episode of “Happy Days,” I once again have some thoughts of Nashua in a nostalgic light and a bygone era. From the 1960s ...

Arming teachers is a valid, necessary discussion

I am not a member of the NRA, never have been. I do not own any guns. Never have. I am not a teacher, but my daughter is. I am, however, retired from the Army after 36 years. You may hate the NRA, but not everything they say is wrong. Even a broken clock is correct twice a day. When there is a ...