Stories of our connected and rapidly changing region.


NEXT Episodes

View and download the latest episodes from NEXT.

Fisherman Tim Rider. Photo courtesy of Tim Rider

Episode 120: How Fishing Regulations Hurt Fishermen; The Life And Death Of A Football Star

November 15, 2018

This week on NEXT: we discuss the experience of immigrating to our region. First we speak with a man who fled violence in his home country of Nicaragua. Then we explore the growing backlog at the immigration court in Boston. We also learn about the life and death of former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, and how his brain is helping scientists discover the long-term effects of head injuries. Plus, we learn about the measures that regulate the fishing industry, and how this makes it difficult for small-scale fishermen to make a living. It’s NEXT.

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Democrat Jahana Hayes addresses her supporters in Waterbury after declaring victory in her U.S. House race against Republican Manny Santos. Hayes becomes the first black woman elected to Congress in Connecticut. Photo by Ryan Caron King for Connecticut Public Radio

Episode 119: Historic Firsts In Politics; Investigating Racism In One Of The Whitest States In The Nation

November 8, 2018

This week on NEXT: we discuss election results from around the region. Plus, we explore incarceration rates of African-Americans in Vermont. Finally, we learn about the history of pirates in colonial New England. And we hear the story behind an unusual Craigslist ad. It’s NEXT.

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Episode 118: How Refugees, And A Soccer Team, Changed A Town; A “Greener” Way To Grow Weed

November 1, 2018

This week we listen to stories from our archive that explore new conservation efforts taking place around New England, including the effort to reduce the amount of energy needed to grow marijuana, and a forest that serves as a home for wildlife and helps store carbon to meet energy goals set thousands of miles away. Plus, we hear from two young men about what it is like growing up black in a mostly white town. We also discuss how a soccer team united a divided town. Finally, we learn about heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano’s New England roots and visit a baseball museum tucked into a mall in the Berkshires. It’s NEXT.

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Episode 117: “Dawnland” Explores Reconciliation With Native People; Younger Politicians Try To Break Into “Old” State Houses

October 25, 2018

This week on NEXT: as the election approaches, we explore what questions will be on ballots around the region. And, we hear from young candidates who are trying to make it into New Hampshire’s State House. Plus, we discuss a new documentary that tells the story of the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission, created to investigate the state’s history of separating Wabanaki children from their families. As the weather cools, we go outside to hear about rising moose mortality rates, tips for safe hiking, and how mushrooms could help mitigate the effects of climate change. It’s NEXT.

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A Glasswing International staff member walks through town with a young boy who lives in Las Palmas. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

Episode 116: Gang Prevention Efforts Stretch From El Salvador To Boston; Climate Change Questions For Candidates

October 18, 2018

This week on NEXT: we learn about two organizations that are working thousands of miles apart to keep young people out of gangs. Plus, a youth leadership academy in Hartford, Connecticut, is focusing efforts on reducing gun violence. Did you hear the election is coming up? We explore how gubernatorial candidates from around the region are discussing energy and the environment. Then we head north to Canada to hear from dairy farmers about their reaction to the new trade pact. Finally, we take to the seas: fishermen explain why they need better life jackets, and we learn about two growing industries along Maine’s coast. It’s NEXT.

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Episode 115: What We Can Learn From Kansas About Wind Power; “Autumnwatch” Puts New England on Display

October 11, 2018

This week on NEXT: we hear from a Connecticut family that is coping with psychological distress following their mother’s deportation. And, we visit a museum that has created a poetry playlist to help visitors understand what it means to be indigenous today. Plus, we discuss what New England can learn from Kansas about wind energy. We also preview the live, three-part PBS/BBC special, Autumnwatch New England, that highlights the changing season in our region. Finally, have you noticed how many squirrels there are this year? We go on an unusual home visit and listen in as an expert removes the rodents from homes. It’s NEXT.

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A map of Bear Brook Gardens, a neighborhood abutting the park. Photo by Jason Moon and Allie Gutierrez for NHPR

Episode 114: Aquaculture’s Next Wave; “Bear Brook” Investigates New Hampshire Murder Mystery

October 4, 2018

This week on NEXT: as General Electric replaces its CEO, we discuss what the move means for the company. And, we explore businesses from around New England, including the next wave for the fishing industry. We also travel to a hospital where we learn about a program that is working to reduce the rate of C-Sections. Plus, we look at how Medicaid expansion contributes to changing the rate of uninsured populations in rural areas and small towns. And, a new podcast explores a murder in New Hampshire that has changed the way that cases are investigated. It’s NEXT.

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Episode 113: Exploring And Patrolling The Border; “Last Seen” Examines Famous Boston Art Heist

September 27, 2018

This week on NEXT: after explosions in the Merrimack Valley, residents, and local businesses, deal with life without gas. We check-in on recovery efforts and reflect on how New England’s aging infrastructure effects gas lines throughout the region. Plus, we remember the Hurricane of 1938. And we travel along the Northern Border to learn about life in the country’s “Northland.” Finally, a new podcast explores the largest unsolved art heist in history: the theft of thirteen pieces of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. We learn more about the pieces that were stolen and about what happened that night. It’s NEXT.

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An area of recently planted beach grass on Plum Island is roped off for its protection. Photo by Robin Lubbock for WBUR

Episode 112: Connecticut River Dams Provide Power, Possibilities; Rising Seas Threaten Shoreline

September 20, 2018

This week we listen back to stories from our archive that explore energy and the environment. First, we travel along the region’s largest river and hear how a re-licensing process offers a rare opportunity for re-imagining its future. We dive into the plans for a microgrid on a small island off of Maine that could serve as a model for future electricity grids around the country. Plus, we speak with author Elizabeth Rush about preserving language as our climate changes. We also visit an island off of Massachusetts that is facing the reality of rising seas. Finally, we explore the impact of beavers on our region’s landscape with author Ben Goldfarb. It’s NEXT.

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Shortly after being teleased, deportees purchase snacks and other various items from a woman set up outside of the Centro de Atención integral a Migrante (Comprehensive Migrant Care Center) in San Salvador. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

Episode 111

September 13, 2018

This week on NEXT: we hear from Salvadorans who are in the region on Temporary Protected Status, but might soon be forced to leave the country. And we visit the detention center where deported Salvadorans are welcomed back into El Salvador. Plus, a unique program teaches students how to play squash, and helps them gain admission to competitive schools. We also listen to the first episode of VPR’s new podcast, “Jolted,” which explores a school shooting that didn’t happen, and the repercussions of the event. Finally, we discuss the link between mental illness and creativity, and learn about the linked lives of a neurologist and a famous author. It’s NEXT. 

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Oysterman Jay Fairty's radioed a morning call to raise the Ferry Street Bridge (seen in the distance). Fairty said the Quinnipiac River was good for business. "There's no better spot for oystering," Fairty said. "A lot of it's the water quality. The salinity. The food supply, everything is good here." Photo by Ryan Caron King for Connecticut Public Radio

Episode 110

September 6, 2018

This week on NEXT: a year after a racially-charged, violent incident in New Hampshire, we hear from two young men about their experience growing up black in a town that’s mostly white. Plus, we sit in on a new play that discusses race, with the hope of making its audience uncomfortable. We also hear about an unexpected victory in the Massachusetts state primaries, and check-in on the Massachusetts and Rhode Island legislative sessions. And, as the fire season continues in the West, we hear from a New Hampshire firefighter who has just returned from the Mendocino Complex. Finally, we discuss the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale, and hear an orchestra inspired by the majestic creatures. It’s NEXT.
*And a warning for our audience: this story includes a racial slur.*

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Bales of recyclable aluminum and steel cans ready to be shipped at the Chittenden Solid Waste District. Photo by John Dillon for VPR

Episode 109

August 30, 2018

This week on NEXT: after PFAS Chemicals were found at the Coakley Landfill, residents demanded answers. NHPR’s Annie Ropeik explores the response from officials and community members. And, as the global market for recycling crashes, VPR’s John Dillon looks at how prices are changing in Vermont. Plus, what’s unique about governing in New England? We speak with two experts about the challenges of governing in our region. Finally, as MGM opens a casino in Springfield, MA, we hear from local residents about their reactions, and learn about what programs are in place to help individuals with gambling addictions. It’s NEXT.

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Rosa Lina Linder shows a photograph of her 16-year-old daughter on her cellphone, still being detained in the U.S. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

Episode 108

August 23, 2018

This week on NEXT: we speak with WBUR’s Shannon Dooling who recently returned from a reporting trip from Honduras and El Salvador where she explored the effects that U.S. Immigration Policies are having on individuals in those countries. Plus, after a forum about diversifying New Hampshire’s workforce faces a backlash, we explore how hate groups are present in our region. In addition, the PawSox announce that they are moving to Worcester, and we hear reactions from Pawtucket. And, did you know that heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano grew up in New England? Author Mike Stanton tells us about his roots in our region. Finally, we listen in on an annual moose calling competition. It’s NEXT.

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Campers from the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe search for bugs in the cedar swamp. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

Episode 107

August 16, 2018

This week on  NEXT: we explore eviction rates in Maine. Plus, New Hampshire is the only state in the country where the secure psychiatric unit is located inside of a prison. We discuss what that means for individuals in the unit. And, we learn about how controlled burns can actually help keep some forests healthy. We also visit a summer camp held by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe on Cape Cod that combines culture and science. In addition, we discuss the legacy of the Salem Witch Trials with an author and a historian, and we visit Yale University’s bell tower, where we listen to music from a unique instrument: the carillon. NHPR’s Peter Biello guest hosts for John Dankosky. It’s NEXT.

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The First Universalist Church in Orange is one of the locations that appears in "Castle Rock." Photo by Robin Lubbock for WBUR

Episode 106

August 9, 2018

This week on NEXT: we discuss the move to alternate forms of energy around the region, including the latest on the effort to bring hydropower from Canada to Massachusetts, a nuclear power plant that’s up for sale, and the effect of individual solar panels on the region’s grid. We also learn about PFAS chemicals in the region’s water, and how climate change is effecting coastal drinking wells. Plus, we visit two New England towns shaped by Stephen King: his hometown of Bangor, Maine, better known as the fictionalized Derry, and Orange, Massachusetts where the new series based on King’s Castle Rock was filmed. It’s NEXT.

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Episode 105

August 2, 2018

This week on NEXT: we explore how proposed changes to the farm bill will affect SNAP programs around New England. Plus, we speak with an environmental journalist to learn how beavers have shaped our region. We explore how the response to acid rain could serve as an example for science informing public policy. And we take you on a hike in the White Mountains in New Hampshire to search for true quiet. Finally, we look at the United States’ relationship with Canada, and we visit a theater troupe who are performing along the border. It’s NEXT.

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Arthur Harris Jr. Photo by Ryan Caron King for Connecticut Public Radio

Episode 104

July 26, 2018

This week on NEXT: we examine why HIV disproportionately affects African-Americans nationwide and learn about efforts to promote a drug that can lower one’s risk of getting the disease. Plus, during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, Provincetown, Massachusetts was hit especially hard. We hear from survivors about the impact of AIDS on their community. And, we speak with Bill Littlefield, host of WBUR’s “Only a Game,” before his retirement. Plus, we talk with a group of marathon swimmers who attempted to swim across a lake that borders both the United States and Canada to raise awareness about international borders. Finally, we learn about a program in a New Hampshire state prison where inmates learn woodworking. It’s NEXT.

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Plum Island. Photo by Robin Lubbock for WBUR

Episode 103

July 19, 2018

This week on NEXT: months after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, we check-in on life on the island. Plus, a look at conservation projects around New England, including a debate between “green” and “grey” infrastructure on Plum Island, Massachusetts, a forest in Vermont that is helping to meet greenhouse gas goals in California, and a debate about whether or not to turn an old stone quarry into a massive reservoir in Connecticut. And, we hear about a proposed development in Central Vermont, and the four small towns that banded together to stop it. Finally, we discuss how the trade war between the U.S. and China is affecting Maine’s lobster industry, and we speak with two cousins who are bringing the Maine lobster bake around the country. It’s NEXT.

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The view from the top of Mt. Washington. Photo by Annie Ropeik for NHPR

Episode 102

July 12, 2018

This week we discuss border patrol checkpoints around New England and a recent arrest that was made in New Hampshire. And, we consider sustainable infrastructure around the region, including how a small island off the coast of Maine is transforming its energy system into what they call the next, next electricity grid. Tensions rise between preservation and tourism on top of Mt. Washington, and we see the effort being made to make the marijuana industry more energy efficient in Massachusetts. Also, as the state of Vermont narrowly avoided a government shutdown at the end of June, we check-in on Vermont politics. Finally, we get a tour of Cuttyhunk Island by the last two kids who live there. It’s NEXT.

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Episode 101

July 5, 2018

This week on NEXT: The invasive Emerald Ash Borer has made its way around the region, threatening millions of ash trees and the culture of the Penobscot Nation in Maine. And, as recreational marijuana becomes legal in Massachusetts, we hear from new populations who are considering partaking in pot. Plus, we visit a Baseball Museum in an old mall in the Berkshires, and we speak with one of the best Atlantic salmon fishers alive, who reflects on the “Presidential” history of the fish. Finally, we take you to an exhibit in Lyme, Connecticut that explores the unique nature and history of the New England farm. It’s NEXT.

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Episode 100

June 28, 2018

This week on a special 100th episode of NEXT: we hear highlights of a live panel discussion about the effects of immigration on the economy. Plus, we listen back to some of our favorite pieces from the past 100 episodes, including how one actress perfected a Boston-flavored accent, why a local chef cooks with invasive species, and what a musician is doing to make a “sound map” of the White Mountains. Finally, we revisit a conversation with a composer whose music is inspired by the New England landscape. It’s NEXT.

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Episode 99

June 21, 2018

This week on NEXT: as housing assistance ends for Puerto Rican evacuees in Massachusetts, many families face uncertainty. Plus, a look at Massachusetts’ struggling public transit, and the aging water treatment infrastructure along the Connecticut River. A rural small town in Maine wonders how it will get it’s high-achieving graduating high school seniors to return, and new programs in Vermont and Maine aim to bring in young workers. Finally, an interview with Bill McKibben about the Ripton Country store in Vermont, and the importance of general stores around New England. It’s NEXT.

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A tupelo tree in Rhode Island. Photo by Elizabeth Rush

Episode 98

June 14, 2018

This week on NEXT: why is the region’s largest utility buying water companies? We explore Eversource’s move to get into the water business. Plus, a look at the new Hartford Commuter Rail that will link Springfield, Massachusetts to New Haven, Connecticut. And, we talk with a local author about how she is using language to preserve the changing world. Finally, a look at innovation around the region, from the booming biotech industry in Boston, to changing industrial buildings in New Hampshire, to innovative distilling in Vermont. It’s NEXT.

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Whitewater rushes out of Wilder Dam, near Hanover, in early May. Photo by Britta Greene for NHPR

Episode 97

June 7, 2018

This week on NEXT we look at two sources of alternative energy: hydroelectric power along the Connecticut River, and solar power in New England. We also discuss gun deaths in Vermont and New Hampshire, and hear about an unlikely partnership that is working to reduce the rate of gun suicides. Plus, fifty years since the death of Robert F. Kennedy, we reflect on his legacy, and visit an archive of his assassination. Finally, we debate the history of stone walls in New England, and listen to a stonemason describe the work that goes into creating each one. It’s NEXT.

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At the end of the season, sugarmakers have to pull thousands of taps by hand. Photo by John Dillon for VPR

Episode 96

May 31, 2018

This week on NEXT: the story of how one “unaccompanied minor” traveled to Massachusetts. Plus, a massive wind farm will open off of the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. We discuss what this deal means for energy in the region. And, how the opioid crisis is effecting the African American population in Massachusetts, and pregnant women in New Hampshire. In addition, now that the New Hampshire legislative session has come to a close, we reflect back on the past few months of politics in the state. Finally, two local-food battles: one between the FDA and maple syrup producers in Vermont, another between food-delivery apps in Maine. It’s NEXT.

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The container ship, El Faro. Photo courtesy of Paul Haley and Rachel Slade

Episode 95

May 24, 2018

This week on NEXT: We discuss security concerns on the Northern border of the United States. And a Vermont Supreme Court ruling touches on when an action can be construed as a threat, and when it falls under a person’s right to free speech. Plus, while the Steamship Authority is performing an audit of the Martha’s Vineyard Ferry, we discuss the history and the future of the shipping industry in New England. We also hear about  the “living memorial” to Holocaust survivors created by one Massachusetts man, and tour the Mark Twain house with a group of Puerto Rican evacuees. Finally, Maine-based L.L. Bean is finding unlikely success in Japan. It’s NEXT. 

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Episode 94

May 17, 2018

This week on NEXT, we’re focusing on the many ways climate change and rising sea levels are affecting New England. We talk with climate scientists, urban resilience experts and even artists about how they’re grappling with these questions. Plus, we’ll visit eroding salt marsh islands, rivers and streams that are getting saltier, and a city that’s bearing the brunt of climate worries and industrial infrastructure. It’s NEXT.

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Episode 93

May 10, 2018

This week on NEXT: why the opioid crisis is hitting Latinos in Massachusetts especially hard. Police are setting up stings to catch bootleggers in New Hampshire. Political news from around New England, including the new ranked-choice voting system in Maine, and a new bill in Connecticut that pledges the state’s electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. We also hear from a New Hampshire judge about how his son’s mental illness changed his life and visit a Palestinian art museum in Connecticut, which is the only one of its kind in the United States. It’s NEXT.

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Episode 92: Belonging

May 3, 2018

This week on NEXT, we visit a Hartford elementary school that is going to great lengths to make evacuees from Puerto Rico feel welcome. And, a mural in the Durham, New Hampshire post office that led to controversy last year is still causing concern. Plus, have you ever gotten a speeding ticket in Vermont? We dig into the three towns that gave the most tickets in 2017, and learn how their speed limits were set. In Maine, a police officer was shot, setting off a four-day manhunt for the suspect. We hear about the life and legacy of the officer, Somerset County Corporal Eugene Cole. And as the weather is getting warmer and sea turtles are being released back into the wild, we re-visit a group that is working to save them. Finally, an in-depth look at the world of recycling. It’s NEXT.

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Episode 91: Finding Home

April 26, 2018

A Brazilian immigrant who has lived on Martha’s Vineyard for over 15 years is now facing deportation. But it’s not a clear-cut case. WBUR’s Shannon Dooling reports on the story behind the Supreme Court Case, “Pereira v. Sessions.” And, while states across New England are debating gun control regulations, Vermont passed a series of reforms…

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Episode 90: The Question

April 19, 2018

The next U.S. Census isn’t till 2020. But already, there’s controversy over a plan to ask all U.S. households about their citizenship status. The Mayor of Springfield, Mass. has been trying to shut down a church housing an undocumented woman from Peru. The Trump Administration has imposed tariffs on a number of products coming from…

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Episode 89: Marathon

April 12, 2018

An unusual asylum case has a woman suing the federal government. In Maine, a look inside a program to provide mental health to police. In Vermont, a group of recent war vets helps their colleagues by going into the whiskey business. Also, a new book One Goal tells the story of a divided town with an influx of refugees that is brought together by soccer. And, we’ll remember the Boston Marathon bombings, which happened five years ago this week. It’s NEXT.

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Episode 88: Saved

April 5, 2018

This week we discuss how David Shulkin’s departure from the White House will affect veteran care in New Hampshire. And, just miles away but worlds apart: dairy farmers in northern Vermont and southern Canada reflect on how national policies are effecting the future of their industry. Plus, 50 years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. we discuss his time in New England. Also, we go on a tour of New England’s unique architecture. It’s NEXT.

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Episode 87: Northeast Kingdom

March 29, 2018

This week, we look into what’s next for clean energy in Massachusetts since the rejection of the Northern Pass project. We hear from reporters around the region about a new project that was selected in late March. Students around the country marched for increased gun control measures and we discuss some actions states can take to reduce gun-related deaths. Plus, have you ever heard of the “Northeast Kingdom”? A small section of Vermont has earned the nickname, but how? Finally, we look into how colonial Americans created the system of weights and measurements that define our world today. It’s NEXT.

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Episode 86: First Response

March 22, 2018

President Donald Trump has declared opioid abuse a national health emergency. But that’s not news to the people of New Hampshire where the death rate from addiction is twice the national average. That’s why President Trump chose Manchester, New Hampshire to deliver a speech about the national epidemic this week. We check-in on two groups affected by this crisis, who are often overlooked: the recovery community and first responders, many of whom are suffering from “compassion fatigue.” Plus, six months after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, we re-visit Connecticut’s efforts to help evacuees resettle in the state.

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Episode 85: Walkout

March 15, 2018

Students around New England participated in a national school walkout this past Wednesday, calling on Congress to pass stricter gun control laws. We look at efforts to keep students safe, through state models for gun control reforms, and Connecticut’s efforts to increase school security. Plus, we visit New Englanders touched by immigration: one New Hampshire man who is being deported, and a Rhode Island man who is in training to become a Customs and Border Protection officer.

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Episode 84: If You Build It

March 8, 2018

New Hampshire is known for its mountain views, but it’s got another less family-friendly attraction- cheap liquor. Out-of-staters have been skirting the legal limits of what you can buy at state owned liquor stores, but the government is not so keen to investigate.  And while Massachusetts deliberates over where to build a transmission line to bring down Canadian hydro-power and who gets the contract for offshore wind turbines, there’s a smaller-scale way to save money and cut down on emissions: making homes more energy efficient. We hear about a program that helps Connecticut residents keep the drafts out, and visit a company that builds some of the most efficient homes on the market. Plus, we parse what New England communities ask from their local baseball teams – and what the owners of those teams are asking from taxpayers in two struggling cities… and more.

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Episode 83: Separated

March 1, 2018

A Guatemalan family living in Massachusetts faces a painful separation. Organic dairy farmers feel the squeeze of low prices and production quotas. And we talk to two communities on opposite sides of the political spectrum who are opting for dialogue over division. Plus, we hear the true story behind the legend of a notorious Rhode Island shipwreck; and learn how artists make a living in New England and beyond. WBUR’s Shannon Dooling fills in for John Dankosky this week.

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Episode 82: The Other End of the Line (Updated)

February 22, 2018

This week, some favorites from the archive: North of the border, a fascinating story of land disputes, French Canadian pride, and massive dams that are set to supply more power to the New England grid. We tour an old Hartford factory that’s preparing for a new life as a food and jobs hub for a struggling neighborhood. And we get a taste of what’s new about New England food.

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Episode 81: Return

February 15, 2018

New Bedford, Massachusetts is known for its profitable fishing port. It even draws visitors by celebrating Moby Dick, a novel inspired by whalers there. But facing a crackdown on fishing by regulators, the city is starting to look at another source of revenue – offshore wind. We take a look inside the hidden, often lucrative world of Vermont sheriffs, and morn (or celebrate??) the end of L.L. Bean’s lifetime return policy. Plus: responding to racism on campus through art, and Palestinian storytellers in Boston.

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Episode 80: In Between

February 8, 2018

For Puerto Rican hurricane evacuees, FEMA housing support runs out on February 14. Though Hartford and Holyoke are hubs for Puerto Ricans, finding housing is a challenge. We hear reports from both cities. And we weigh the costs and benefits of living in that outlier of New England states – New Hampshire. Plus, a musician who takes inspiration from the land itself joins us in studio.

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Episode 79: Linked

February 2, 2018

The world of renewable energy doesn’t seem like one that would be filled with drama. But that’s just what we had this week, when a New Hampshire governing body decided to deny a permit for a massive transmission project. We talk to our panel of energy reporters about what it’ll take to get green power to New England. Plus, Maine’s lobster population has been booming, and new research points to some reasons why. Also, we’ll sit down with the man behind Take Magazine – an ambitious, but ultimately unsustainable attempt to tell a story about New England’s arts and culture. What did he learn about how contemporary arts intersect with our love of history?

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Episode 78: Wicked

January 25, 2018

This week, some interviews and stories from the archive. We look at the data on gun deaths in Vermont, and think through ways to prevent suicides in places where gun ownership is part of life for many. Plus, Orange is the New Black actress Yael Stone reveals the thinking behind her character’s blend of Boston and Brookyln accents, and we talk with a linguist about how the way New Englanders talk is changing. Also, wicked powda, wicked cheap: a visit to a down-home mountain where skiing is affordable for the masses.

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Episode 77: A Seat at the Table

January 18, 2018

A woman who’s widely referred to as the “original Dreamer” weighs in on the current moment in immigration. A young man shares a tale of rising above poverty, homelessness, and undocumented status. Plus, does Boston deserve its racist reputation, and what’s being done to move beyond it? We discuss takeaways from the Boston Globe’s series on racism with columnist Adrian Walker. We get a critical look at offshore wind from across the pond, and rethink a potato-focused school break.

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Episode 76: Going to the Well

January 11, 2018

This was a big week in weed: we catch up on the news around New England, and hear the story of a puzzled cancer patient trying to figure out how to manage the side effects of chemo with cannabis. Also, an investigation into water contamination in Vermont wells near farms reveals a shocking shortage of oversight by the government agency in charge of agricultural pollution. And for workers on those dairy farms in the Green Mountain State, 2017 was an anxious year as many face fears of deportation. In the wake of a cold snap and flood-inducing “bomb cyclone,” we parse the difference between climate and weather. Plus, we’ll visit a driving school designed for New England winter, and explore the legacy of the first American woman to write a symphony.

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Episode 75: Company Town

January 4, 2018

What happens when a company leaves a company town? We’ll talk to an ethnographer who charts the story of a New Hampshire paper mill that closed, leaving hard feelings and few jobs behind. We’ll also track water quality in two New England Bays, and examine the source of some of our water pollution problems – the lightly regulated residential septic system. Finally, we’ll go to a Boston laboratory for creating new beats.

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Episode 74: Locked Away (Updated)

December 28, 2017

What does a state owe to people serving time in prison? And what does it owe those who should never have been locked up in the first place? We speak with a man who went to prison in Massachusetts for 32 years for a crime he didn’t commit. And we travel back over 300 years to a war on New England soil where women leaders played a major role. Plus, elm trees make a comeback, and a New Hampshire bagpipe business bumps up against global trade rules.

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Episode 73: Protected

December 21, 2017

Immigrants from Central America will soon find out if their Temporary Protected Status will end. It’s allowed them to live here legally for decades. This episode, we take a look back at a big year in immigration policy, and look ahead. We also consider what some states are doing about widespread waste of prescription drugs. Also,…

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Episode 72: The Other End of the Line

December 14, 2017

When a local sheriff in northern Vermont pulled over two Mexican farmworkers last August for a traffic violation, he immediately called for the U.S. Border Patrol. Immigrant rights advocates say more detentions and deportations are likely under a new Vermont policy that governs cooperation between state and federal law enforcement. And north of the border,…

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Episode 71: Go or Stay

December 7, 2017

This week, we get an update the flow of migrants leaving the US to go to Quebec, and meet Puerto Ricans deciding whether to stay on the island or come back to New England. We’ll talk about housing for a rapidly aging population in Vermont, and learn how a the settlement dollars from a Volkswagen lawsuit could help spur electric vehicle use in Maine. Finally, we get a taste of what’s new about New England food.

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Episode 70: Locked Away

November 30, 2017

What does a state owe to people serving time in prison? And what does it owe those who should never have been locked up in the first place? We speak with a man who went to prison in Massachusetts for 32 years for a crime he didn’t commit. And we travel back over 300 years…

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Episode 69: Home Again

November 21, 2017

On this Thanksgiving week, we’re presenting a few favorite segments from our archives. We dig into our energy series “The Big Switch” with stories about solar power on homes and farms, and profile a new large-scale passive housing movement. And singer-songwriter Dar Williams tells us what she’s learned about making a vibrant community while writing…

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Episode 68: Referendum

November 16, 2017

This week, we’re talking ballot questions. Why are more of them showing up in voting booths in states like Maine and Massachusetts, and how much power do elected officials have to tinker with citizen-passed laws? Plus, a Puerto Rican family is reunited in Holyoke, Mass., and a Vermont veteran with PTSD finds a way to heal,…

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Episode 67: Woods and Waters

November 9, 2017

We’ve got lots for you this week. Fishermen clash with offshore wind developers, once-depleted bluefin tuna experience a resurgence, and 3D printing brings manufacturing back to Massachusetts. Meanwhile, off-road vehicles bring money and grumbles to White Mountain towns. Plus, the fascinating story of when “Live Free or Die” bumped heads with the First Amendment — and why it could prove relevant in an upcoming Supreme Court case.  Last, an appreciation of the sticky sweet snack of many a New England childhood.

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Episode 66: Nor’easter

November 2, 2017

New England is recovering this week after a big storm knocked out power for days in some places. How do we keep the power on today, and make our communities more resilient in the long term? We also ruminate lyrically on fickle New England weather with writer Will Dowd. A story from Texas puts the…

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Episode 65: Border Battle

October 26, 2017

This week, we talk Amazon HQ2: whether Boston has a good shot at becoming the home of the corporation’s second headquarters, and why New Hampshire slings so much dirt at Beantown in its bid. We’ll also get an update on how Puerto Ricans with Connecticut connections are coping with hurricane recovery on the island. Plus, we’ll learn how Massachusetts volunteers help keep wild sea turtles alive when the seas turn cold. And in time for Halloween, we visit a haunted tavern to hear tales from New England’s spookiest places.

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Episode 64: Living with Pain

October 19, 2017

Utility companies face allegations that they drove up the cost of electricity in New England, and they’re pushing back. A rural doctor is told by the state she has to quit – in part because of her prescribing practices. Her patients ask, “who will help me with my pain?” We have the story of a wildfire that ravaged Maine 70 years ago. And we find out what the deal is with wild turkeys that are bugging residents around Boston.

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Episode 63: Hometown

October 12, 2017

We check in with New Englanders and their loved ones in Puerto Rico. And with everything we now know about opioid addiction, are doctors still over- prescribing painkillers? Also, after Las Vegas, one gun shop owner says the industry should self-regulate. Plus, we chat with singer-songwriter Dar Williams about her new book on rebuilding America’s towns. All that and more this week on NEXT.

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Episode 62: On Patrol

October 5, 2017

This week, we walk the US-Canada border with Border Patrol agents, and hear the concerns of civil rights lawyers who worry about their ability to stop people they suspect of living in the country without documentation. We’ll also hear the story of an unusual experiment proposed for Martha’s Vineyard, one that asks residents to trust a scientist who’s trying to stop the spread of Lyme disease. We meet a man who’s become a Boston institution while playing music in a bear suit. And we go to church on an uninhabited island.

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Episode 61: Heart of Gold

September 28, 2017

New England communities prepare for an influx of hurricane refugees from Puerto Rico, and worry about family back home. We’ll learn what Germany can teach us about welcoming immigrants, and we’ll tour an old Hartford factory that’s preparing for a new life as a food and jobs hub for a struggling neighborhood. Plus, the craft beer industry is exploding in New England, but another time-honored trade is in danger of disappearing.

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Episode 60: Geology is Destiny

September 21, 2017

This week, immigrants facing domestic violence take a chance applying for a special visa. Plus, a nervous look at Vermont’s outdated flood maps, and a new study that finds New England is losing forestland fast. Also, how does geology influence human behavior? We go WAY back into the history of our region to find out. And it’s time once again for The Big E – the massive agricultural fair that ties together the New England states. We’ll give you a taste.

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Episode 59: Dammed

September 14, 2017

Dams clog rivers and streams all over New England. Environmentalists want to take many of them down to improve habitat for fish, but some entrepreneurs want to put them back to work doing their original jobs: making power. Plus, with the Trump Administration’s voter fraud commission meeting in New Hampshire this week, we revisit our conversation about the wacky political world of the Granite State. And, we take trips to two places that are trying to attract tourists: the factory site of a controversial gun magnate, and a mythical wonderland that takes shape just over the border in Québec.

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Episode 58: Under the Gun

September 7, 2017

This week: in Vermont, suicides account for 89% of gun-related deaths. Why is that percentage so high, and what’s being done to lower the risk? Also, we learn how the region is reacting to President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program. And, we’ll explore the wide variety of accents that colors the speech of New Englanders – and how those sounds are changing. Finally, we wade into an offshore war between Maine and New Hampshire – and visit a summer camp with a colonial flair.

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Episode 57: Storm

August 31, 2017

This week, we revisit New England’s most devastating weather event, the hurricane of 1938 – and find out what we’ve learned about protecting against storms. We’ll also learn about the new deal struck by Northeastern states to combat climate change, and about a big battery that could be the future for energy storage. Plus, we hear the music of the White Mountains and make some noises only a moose could love.

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Episode 56: Protest

August 24, 2017

The events in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this month have echoes in New England. This week, we hear local reactions to seeing a Keene, New Hampshire local featured in a documentary about white supremacists at Charlottesville, and we recon with a quieter kind of racism in Boston in the wake of the “Free Speech” rally and…

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Episode 55: On the Grid

August 17, 2017

A new draft federal climate report forecasts warmer temperatures, higher seas, and more precipitation for the Northeast than predicted just three years ago. We speak with a UNH climatologist. And one town is host to a surprising amount of resources New Englanders, and that’s taking a toll on local residents. We find out how Massachusetts’ big renewable energy procurement is shaping up, and learn about local efforts to save seeds from disappearance. Plus, visits to a West Indian food fest in Hartford, and an influential artist colony in Peterborough, NH. Jill Kaufman fills in for John Dankosky this week.

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Episode 54: Overflow (Updated)

August 9, 2017

From Lake Champlain to the Connecticut River, overtaxed sewage systems are being pushed to filter out more pollutants. This week, we look into what it takes to clean up our water systems. Following the announcement that Los Angeles will host the 2028 Summer Olympics, we revisit Boston’s aborted Olympic bid in search of lessons about…

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Episode 53: Whistleblowers

August 3, 2017

Untreated spinal conditions, rusty medical equipment, and a fly infestation are a few of the complaints alleged by a group of doctors at the VA Medical Center in Manchester, New Hampshire. We speak with a reporter who’s following the story. And a Massachusetts man, in prison for murder, fights to get a new trial after over 30 years in prison. Plus, we bring you the brief and fascinating history of a little-known anti-immigration party that swept the Massachusetts government in 1854, and more.

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Episode 52: Yes, In Your Backyard

July 27, 2017

Lyme disease has been on the rise in New England, and early data suggests this is a particularly risky summer. We speak with a doctor who’s been trying to track the history, and discuss why preventing transmission can be so tricky. And we consider an immigration ruling by the high court in Massachusetts and how it may come into conflict with Trump administration directives. Plus, a 400-mile kayak trip, and other recreational opportunities.

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Episode 51: Not In My Backyard

July 20, 2017

New England has been waiting for years for real, high speed rail to get travelers more quickly from New York to Boston, but the path of that new line caused big headaches in some small towns. Federal railroad officials have now backed off part of a new high speed rail plan — listen for our update. And it may be easier to keep a railroad from intruding on your property than a more dogged adversary: beavers. Plus, we visit an ultra-low energy use apartment building that’s so well insulated you can turn off your heat in February — in Maine.

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Episode 50: Like a Rolling Stone

July 13, 2017

The New Hampshire state parole board often addresses inmates using “indelicate language.” Is it defensible? Plus, an investigation into the long-term fallout from Rhode Island’s disastrous deal with former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling. And, we look back at the history of the Newport Folk Festival, and Vermont’s short-lived gold rush.

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Episode 49: One Man’s Trash

July 5, 2017

This week,  some stories and interviews from our archives. We find out what a Reveal/APM Reports investigation tells us about police de-escalation training in New England, and visit police in New Hampshire who are reaching out to children who’ve been traumatized by witnessing crime. We also explore the work of Marsden Hartley, whose art defined the rocky coast, the looming hills, and the working men of Maine.  Plus a trip to New England’s biggest flea market, where the people are as fascinating as the stuff on display.

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Episode 48: The Catch

June 29, 2017

Alex Ciccolo, the 24-year old who was arrested two years ago in Adams Massachusetts on charges of attempting domestic terrorism is back in the news. His mother spoke with our reporter Jill Kaufman. Later in the show, we’ll take a look inside the multi-million dollar world of eel trafficking in Maine, and learn about an effort on Martha’s Vineyard to help small fishermen get a foothold. Plus we’ll discover the surprising origins of a body pulled in by a fishing boat off the coast of Cape Cod, and explore our region’s ambiguous relationship with inclusivity, through the arts.

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Episode 47: Safe Space

June 22, 2017

This week: New Hampshire’s largest addiction recovery organization faces allegations of dysfunction and verbal abuse, and Boston considers whether to allow a facility where drug users can inject under medical supervision. Plus,we take a big-picture look at casino gambling in New England, and meet a Connecticut biologist who’s trying to breed a hardier honeybee.

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Episode 46: Afterburn

June 15, 2017

With the closure of  Massachusetts’ last coal fired power plant last month, some South Coast towns are pinning their hopes on offshore wind. Plus, we’ve heard the stories about immigrant farm workers facing deportation – but what is their daily life like? And why do they make the risky journey to Vermont? And, decades after the AIDS crisis hit, residents of Provincetown remember the impact on their community.

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Episode 45: Dystopia

June 8, 2017

This week, we have stories about immigrants face misunderstandings and confusion in their interactions with the criminal justice system. Plus, the popular Hulu series The Handmaid’s Tale prompts us to look back at the New England Puritan culture that provided the underpinnings for Margaret Atwood’s women’s dystopia. And we take in nature’s bounty at one of New England’s less appreciated destinations – Long Island Sound.

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Episode 44: Uncovered (Updated)

June 1, 2017

This week, a few updates on stories from our archives. The Boston Globe Spotlight team shines light on sexual abuse at elite New England boarding schools, and it prompts more investigations and more allegations. Plus, we follow scientists who are recreating ancient forests, and tracking the effects of climate change on moose. And we hear about a program at a rapidly-diversifying New Hampshire high school that aims to build understanding between American-born students and newcomers.

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Episode 43: Ebb and Flow

May 25, 2017

Southern New England states are hungry for renewable energy. There’s energy up north, but there are hurdles to bringing down to southern states. This week, we look at the stalling of wind energy in Maine, and the controversy over a project that would bring hydro-electric power from Quebec to the New England grid. Plus, we have updates to government plans to clean up the Long Island Sound, install high speed rail, and conserve land – or not- in our region. And we learn what makes “New England’s Magazine” tick. Buckle up.

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Episode 42: Overflow

May 18, 2017

From Lake Champlain to the Connecticut River, overtaxed sewage systems are being pushed to filter out more pollutants. This week, we look into what it takes to clean up our water systems. We also revisit Boston’s aborted Olympic bid in search of lessons about urban planning and civic engagement. And we follow the journey of an aluminum can, and meet a DIY Youtube star from the woods of Maine.

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Episode 41: Public Comment

May 11, 2017

This week, we find out what a Reveal/APM Reports investigation tells us about police de-escalation training in New England, and visit police in New Hampshire who are reaching out to children who’ve been traumatized by witnessing crime. We go inside the public input process in two big regional transportation projects – and find out what role citizens can play in shaping highways and railways. We take an electron’s tour of New England’s power grid, and wonder whether we might be ready for Daylight Saving Time, full-time.

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Episode 40: Not Just Four Walls

May 4, 2017

This week, the death of a veteran raises questions about a VA facility in Vermont; and what the story of a mentally ill homeless man in Connecticut tells us about systemic neglect. Plus we’ll talk about town-gown relations in cities large and small, and we hear the stories and music of refugees.

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Episode 39: First in the Nation

April 27, 2017

This week, a political reporter’s history of the New Hampshire primary. Plus, we follow scientists who are recreating ancient forests, tracking the effects of climate change on moose, and fighting to keep funding for weird-sounding research. And we hear the story of a soccer team that’s leveling the playing field for kids of all backgrounds.

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Episode 38: Uncovered

April 20, 2017

This week the Boston Globe Spotlight team shines light on sexual abuse at elite New England boarding schools, and it prompts more investigations and more allegations. Connecticut’s unpopular Democratic governor says he’s not running for re-election. We’ll find out why and ask “why are so many blue New England states now being run by Republicans?” And we’ll hear about “duckling diplomacy” in Boston, and Moscow.

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Episode 37: Landscape

April 13, 2017

This week, we tackle the confusing and contradictory world of health care, from politics that are personal, to overcoming the trauma of being a refugee, to the shifting language of addiction. We also explore the work of Marsden Hartley, whose art defined the rocky coast, the looming hills, and the working men of Maine.

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Episode 36: A Roll of the Dice

April 5, 2017

This week: immigration enforcement has been directed to begin detaining and deporting all unauthorized immigrants. We’ve talked about sanctuary cities, but what about jurisdictions where law enforcement does report to ICE? We look at the very different approaches taken by Vermont and New Hampshire. Later, we visit the front lines of a border war between competing casino developments. Plus, we meet New England’s other NEXT.

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Episode 35: Outfished

March 30, 2017

“He has no compunction about telling you how he’s screwing you,” is how one fisherman described the way the man known locally as “the Codfather.” This week, how one man gamed the system meant to keep fishing fair and sustainable off our shores. Plus, we talk gentrification in two very different Boston squares. And with the first hints of spring, we bring back the story of a grandma who conquered the Appalachian trail.

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Episode 34: Color Lines

March 23, 2017

This week, we have updates from the front lines of the battle over immigration policy. An African immigrant tries to cross into Quebec, nearly freezing to death in the process, and a Syrian family just barely skirts a travel ban to come to Connecticut. We’ll also try and answer two tricky questions: Why is Vermont so very white, And whatever happened to Boston’s Black renaissance? Plus, the climate’s getting warmer- can I start my seedlings yet?

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Episode 33: Goodbye Winter

March 16, 2017

With plenty of fresh powder on the ground, we’ll look at how climate change is changing our region’s ski industry; and learn why the sport now comes with such a high price tag. We’ll also hear about how Providence, Rhode Island is grappling with being a “Sanctuary City.” And, we get inside the unique, intensely democratic process that is a New England town meeting.

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Episode 32: A Tall Order

March 9, 2017

Today, we parse what’s clear, what’s changed and what hasn’t changed, about US immigration policy and the powers of ICE, the federal immigration police. We hear what the vetting process was like for one refugee in Maine, and follow NPR’s Code Switch podcast as they trace Puerto Rican identity in a Massachusetts town. Plus, a look into the often-overlooked history of slavery and emancipation in New England.

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Episode 31: Rising Tides

March 2, 2017

This week, stories of very different places in battle with the sea. We’ll consider a massive – and expensive – seawall plan that could save Boston, and coastal adaptation in New Hampshire. We speak with the author of a new book about Martha’s Vineyard, the island tourist hub that’s been slowly eroding for 20,000 years. And, from the failed attempt to brand Rhode Island with the slogan “Cooler and Warmer,” to the enduring “Live Free or Die,” to the new “West Mass,” we look inside the marketing of New England.

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Episode 30: Crossing Borders

February 23, 2017

This week: more stores from our series Facing Change, about shifting demographics in New England, and the impact of immigration. A reporter crosses the border to find those leaving the US to seek asylum in Quebec, and we go to prep school to meet a pair of teenage refugees. We’ll meet people trying to build political power in the region’s growing Muslim community, and visit a Spanish-language bookstore that’s open for just five more weeks.

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Episode 29: Taking a Leap

February 16, 2017

This week, we look at how the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – the Northeast’s plan to cut carbon emissions – has been working, and what the shifting political environment might mean. We dig into a new study about plans to expand natural gas capacity in New England. On a farm in Vermont, we find out what’s really worrying the young people working the land. We’ll also track otters, fly through the air, and dash through the snow pulled by a horse – minus the sleigh.

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Episode 28: Sanctuary

February 9, 2017

This week, we have updates from New England News Collaborative reporters on the impact of President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning travel from seven majority Muslim countries. Another executive order is aimed at punishing so-called “sanctuary cities” — municipalities that refuse to detain undocumented immigrants. Our guest says that’s just the first of many battles we’ll see between cities and the Trump administration. And we hear about a program at a rapidly-diversifying New Hampshire high school that aims to build understanding between American-born students and newcomers.

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Episode 27: A Leg Up

February 2, 2017

While Boston has more than rebounded from the great recession, many of New England’s smaller cities are still feeling the pain of de-industrialization. In Massachusetts, some of these former mill towns are plotting a comeback. We take a look at what two so-called Gateway Cities are doing to provide economic opportunity. We’ll also learn about the down and dirty politics of Providence, Rhode Island in the 1970s and ’80s, when city leaders cozied up to the mob, with the makers of the podcast Crimetown. And with the “Greatest Show on Earth” coming to a close, we pay a visit to a museum dedicated to P.T. Barnum in the showman’s hometown of Bridgeport, Connecticut.

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Episode 26: The Price of Admission

January 26, 2017

This week, immigrants and the mayor of Boston react to President Trump’s executive actions on immigration. Plus, people in mental health crises are getting stuck in emergency rooms, sometimes for days. We consider two very different Boston-area squares that are experiencing gentrification. And finally, the New England accent that time forgot.

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Episode 25: Yankee Go Home

January 19, 2017

When nonviolent arrestees can’t afford even a low bail, should the bail system be done away with? Emily Corwin reports from New Hampshire. Plus, asbestos in Boston’s renovation boom. We check back in with author Colin Woodard to learn why some in the region he calls “Yankeedom” flipped from blue to red in the presidential election. Plus, one woman remembers the 2007 ICE raid in New Bedford, MA.

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Episode 24: On Ice

January 12, 2017

Federal policy changes were supposed to end random deportations of people who aren’t criminals, but in parts of New England, it’s still happening. We continue our series “Facing Change” and talk to Vermont farm workers. We also hear how Boston police are enforcing that city’s pro-immigrant “Trust” act. We also explore the history of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s formative time in the tobacco fields of Connecticut, and the story of how New England’s biggest mountain — home to some of the worst weather in the world — became a tourist haven.

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Episode 23: Back from the Edge

January 5, 2017

Across New England, there’s been an epidemic of opioid addiction, overdose, and death. This hour, we dig deep into the causes of this crisis with health reporter Martha Bebinger. We travel to Cape Cod to hear firsthand the stories of those affected. We also look for solutions, including for those most at risk of overdose: inmates getting out of prison. And we examine the role of New England’s traditional dairy industry in creating the landscape we love, as we remember forgotten farms.

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Episode 22: A Roof Over Your Head

December 29, 2016

In January of last year, a disabled homeless man was struck and killed by a car in Concord, New Hampshire. Gene Parker’s death led to a lot of questions about homelessness in that state. This week we hear from two reporters who went looking for answers. Plus, what we’ve learned about acid rain, climate change and more from 50 years in the life of an experimental forest, and what biologists are doing to help big animals move safely under highways. And last, an inside look at policing and race discrimination.

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Episode 21: Facing Change

December 22, 2016

Perhaps nowhere else in the country is the impact of recent immigration trends so pronounced as in New England, where the predominantly white population is quickly aging, and where the influx of young immigrants is changing the identity of the region. This week, we hear from employers who bank on immigrant labor, community members getting ready for an influx of Syrian refugees, and foreign-born workers training to care for the elderly.

Also, the Connecticut origin story of the Gun that Won the West, and a how the murder of a priest taught us all a lesson about protecting the innocent.

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NEXT is a weekly radio show and podcast hosted by John Dankosky, based at Connecticut Public Radio.

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