NEXT Episodes

View and download the latest episodes from NEXT.

Episode 248: ‘The Happiness Lab’ Professor On Ways We Can Be Happier; How Jonny Sun Is Learning To Balance Work And Rest

April 29, 2021

When Professor Laurie Santos first offered a course about psychology and happiness at Yale University, over a thousand students signed up. This week on NEXT, Santos gives us tips  on how we can be happier in our lives. Plus, we’ll hear dream experts discuss the evolution of COVID-19 dreams. And we talk to author, illustrator and TV writer Jonny Sun about his relationship with work and free time — and the things he’s unintentionally inherited from his family. 

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Episode 247: ‘It’s My Future’: Young Activists Take On Climate Change; How We Can Adapt To Electric Vehicles

April 22, 2021

By the time today’s teenagers are fifty, they’ll be living in a very different New England. This week on NEXT, we hear from young climate activists around our region about how they’re responding to the threat of climate change. And after a year of no travel, why some climate researchers are reconsidering how much they fly. Plus, listeners reflect on their experiences with electric vehicles, and we talk with an expert about the future of EVs. 

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Episode 246: How The Lost Kitchen’s Star Chef Is ‘Finding Freedom’ After Hitting Rock Bottom; Pushing Past ‘The White Colonial Imagination’ To Enjoy Nature

April 15, 2021

Erin French’s ascent to rock star chef almost didn’t happen. Before becoming the owner of The Lost Kitchen in Freedom, Maine, she lost nearly everything that mattered in life. This week on NEXT, we talk with French about her journey and new memoir “Finding Freedom.” Plus, as a way to diversify staff and address inequality, more employers are dropping degree requirements for certain jobs — and gaining a market advantage. And we hear from Mardi Fuller, a volunteer leader with Outdoor Afro, about enjoying nature despite the prevalence of the “white colonial imagination.”

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Episode 245: A Non-Binary Child And Their Family Explore Identity; The Impact Of Banning Race-Based Hair Discrimination

April 8, 2021

A few years ago, Hallel came out as a “boy-girl” to their parents. This week on NEXT, 9-year-old Hallel and their family explore gender identity. Plus, we learn about a new Connecticut law banning race-based hair discrimination in the workplace and in schools. And we hear from newcomers to New Hampshire about whether they plan to stay in the state after the pandemic.

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Episode 244: A High School Senior’s Journey Back To School After A Year Online; Author Jennifer De Leon On Returning To Her Roots

April 1, 2021

After a year of online school, high school senior Bridget Donovan is back in the building and feeling like “a freshman again.” This week on NEXT, we tag along with Bridget and visit a New Hampshire school that’s experiencing the social benefits of learning outdoors. Plus, we hear about Massachusetts’ new climate legislation and how it compares to other New England states. And author Jennifer De Leon reflects on language and heritage in her new book of essays.

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Episode 243: Anti-Asian Hate And The Inextricable Link Between Racism And Sexism; How The Pandemic Changed Cooking And Eating Habits

March 25, 2021

This week on NEXT, in the aftermath of the killings of six Asian women in Atlanta, we hear about the inextricable link between racism and sexism. Plus, we talk with Boston chef and restaurateur Irene Li about how the pandemic has altered our relationship with food and cooking. And the entanglement of a North Atlantic right whale named Snow Cone has caused an outcry from fishermen, who say they’re being unfairly blamed.

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Episode 242: Insights On American Culture For ‘The Immigrant And The Curious’; Outfitting Triple-Deckers To Curb Climate Change

March 18, 2021

Through fresh eyes, there’s a lot that’s unusual about American life and culture — from bloated wallets and giant cars to the emphasis on self. This week on NEXT, writer Roya Hakakian shares keen observations from her new book “A Beginner’s Guide To America.” Plus, how retrofitting triple-decker houses can help fight climate change. And singer-songwriter Niu Raza blends musical traditions to find her signature sound and a new sense of home.

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Episode 241: ‘Artemis’ Astronaut Reflects On NASA’s Mission To Land First Woman On The Moon; A Coastal Town Reckons With Sea Level Rise

March 11, 2021

NASA plans to land the first woman on the moon by 2024. This week on NEXT, we talk to a Maine astronaut who is part of the Artemis mission about why that milestone matters, and what it’s like to be in zero gravity. Plus, we’ll hear from two sisters who are participating in one of the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials for children. And we visit one coastal community on the Cape that is considering a retreat strategy as sea level rises.

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Episode 240: Pressure Intensifies To Bring Students Back To Classrooms; Environmental Group Reckons With Race And Inclusivity In The Outdoors

March 4, 2021

The Biden administration and state leaders are pushing to get more students into “in-person” classes again. This week on NEXT, the politics of making it happen. Plus, as the Massachusetts Audubon Society reckons with its founder’s racist past, the group’s push to create equitable access to nature. And we talk with Crystal Maldonado about her debut young adult novel “Fat Chance, Charlie Vega,” the importance of representation — and seeing herself on the page.

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Episode 239: What High-Speed Rail Could Bring To New England; Vermont Town Mourns The Loss Of A Historic Bridge

February 25, 2021

A new report shows that millions of homes across the country are at risk of flooding — and insurance companies aren’t keeping up. This week on NEXT, we explore the inequities and how this affects our region. Plus, we hear more about a proposal for high-speed rail across New England that Congress may consider soon. And we visit a Vermont town that’s mourning the loss of its historic covered bridge.

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Episode 238: The Lasting Impacts Of The Station Nightclub Fire; What We Can Learn From New England’s Forests

February 18, 2021

This week on NEXT, we hear about the enduring impacts of The Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island that killed 100 people in 2003. Plus, the mysterious history of Lost Nation Road in Vermont. And we visit an experimental forest in our region to gain new insight on New England research of the natural world. 

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Episode 237: Disparities In New England’s COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout; Biomass Plant Proposed In ‘Asthma Capital Of The Country’

February 11, 2021

This week on NEXT, we’ll hear the latest on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout across our region — including concerns over inequities in distribution — and get expert answers to some of our questions about life after vaccination. Plus, what’s next for a proposed wood-burning biomass plant in Springfield, Mass., a city beset with high asthma rates. And we’ll learn what it’s like to work as a ski patroller during the pandemic.

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Episode 236: The Promise Of Ropeless Fishing To Save Endangered Right Whales; How Connecticut Is Working To Diversify Its Juries

February 4, 2021

This week on NEXT, why one New England state is vaccinating young researchers before older adults. Plus, a look at ropeless fishing and the hope to save the endangered North Atlantic right whale. We’ll also hear from Connecticut’s Supreme Court chief justice about racial inequities in jury selection — and what his state is doing about it. And how the pandemic led one New Englander to create an unusual fictional crime thriller.

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Episode 235: An Insider’s Look At The ‘Troubled Teen’ Industry; Advancing Racial Justice In The Transition To Clean Energy

January 28, 2021

This week on NEXT, what student loan forgiveness under the Biden administration would mean for borrowers in Maine. Plus, an interview with Shalanda Baker, a new deputy director at the U.S. Department of Energy, on the role of energy justice in the transition to clean energy. And we hear from an insider about what happens at behavioral treatment programs for “troubled teens.”

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Episode 234: COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Faces Challenges In New England; The Lasting Impact Of Pop Star Selena

January 21, 2021

The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are the first of their kind to use mRNA. This week on NEXT, how this new experimental technology could help fight diseases like cancer and cystic fibrosis. Plus, some of the challenges of vaccine distribution in New England. And a new podcast, “Anything For Selena,” explores the Mexican American pop star’s legacy and what it shows us about belonging in America.

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NENC/America Amplified Special: What The Biden Administration Will Mean For Climate Change In New England

January 14, 2021

Severe storms. Heat waves. Rising seas. New England is already seeing the impacts of climate change, and scientists project they will become more severe and deadly, shaping how we live and work in the northeastern U.S. This week on NEXT, in a special ahead of Inauguration Day, the New England News Collaborative and America Amplified look at climate change in our region and how President-elect Joe Biden’s administration could affect climate action in the future. Biden has proposed the most ambitious climate platform of any incoming U.S. president in history.

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Episode 232: Skipped Classes, Teacher Shortages, Mental Health Concerns: How Schools Are Taking On Pandemic Challenges

January 7, 2021

Public school enrollment in New England is down during the pandemic. But even when kids are enrolled, it can be a struggle to get some to show up. This week on NEXT, how one district is tackling absenteeism and why doctors are increasingly concerned about youth mental health. Plus, Massachusetts school districts try to cope with a teacher shortage. And when a Vermonter’s business plummeted after COVID hit, she donned an inflatable T-Rex costume and started dancing.

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Episode 231: How Fighting For Marriage Equality Unmade A Family; N.H. Man Lands In 1st Amendment Dispute After Insulting Cops

December 31, 2020

This week, in a special episode of NEXT, we listen to a collection of award-winning stories from the New England News Collaborative — from a retrospective on the couple that fought for marriage equality in Massachusetts, and later divorced, to a close look at a First Amendment dispute in New Hampshire.

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Episode 230: New England’s Most Famous R&B Family Reflects On Race In America

December 24, 2020

The brothers behind New England’s famous R&B group Tavares are of Cape Verdean descent. This week on NEXT, what that means in a Black and white America. And an effort to change the name of Faneuil Hall in Boston continues as New Englanders grapple with the region’s racist past. Plus, how author Jennifer De Leon’s childhood experience informed her debut novel about school desegregation. 

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Episode 229: Deadly Outbreaks Persist At Nursing Homes; How Transportation Emissions Harm Our Health

December 17, 2020

Most COVID-19 deaths in New England can be tied to long-term care facilities. This week on NEXT, how a nursing home – spared from the virus for months – got hit this fall. Plus, the number of lives we could save if we cut our transportation emissions. And we’ll hear how the “Fauci effect” is driving up medical school applications.

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Episode 228: Getting The COVID Vaccine To New Englanders; Hunting And Hiking On The Rise Up North

December 10, 2020

The first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive as soon as mid-December, but it’s up to each state to figure out how to distribute the vaccines. This week on NEXT, we’ll hear about who gets priority in New England. Plus, some health experts question whether contract tracing is worth the investment. And as hunting license sales boom and more people hit the trails in northern New England, the benefits of getting outside.

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Episode 227: The Challenge Of Saving Right Whales From Extinction While Protecting Lobstermen’s Livelihood

December 3, 2020

This week on NEXT, North Atlantic right whales are under threat of extinction. Scientists say entanglement in fishing lines is the main cause of death, but changing the way New England lobstermen fish won’t be easy. Plus, we hear from young climate activists pushing Massachusetts lawmakers to pass a bill requiring climate change education in K-12 classrooms. And the banner and burden of the phrase #BlackGirlMagic.

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Episode 226: Hope And Conflict At Bami Farm; Journalist Maria Hinojosa On Immigration And Public Media

November 26, 2020

When a group of immigrants started a community farm in a Yankee farming town, their presence was complicated by race and rural American identity. This week on NEXT, the story of Bami Farm in Rhode Island. Plus, how the pandemic has accelerated the debate over driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants in Massachusetts. And journalist Maria Hinojosa talks about what’s at stake if public media fails to become more diverse.

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NENC/America Amplified Special: Lessons Lost: The Struggle To Talk About Race In Some New England Classrooms

November 19, 2020

What we don’t learn in school can matter as much as the lessons we do learn. This week on NEXT, we talk to teachers and students about the harm of omitting stories and cultures from curricula — and how we can do better. It’s a rebroadcast of our final show in a series of specials on “Racism in New England,” produced by the New England News Collaborative and America Amplified. 

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NENC/America Amplified Special: New England’s Abolitionist History at Odds With Racist Realities

November 12, 2020

Here’s the story that New England tells itself: Racism is a Southern problem. But our region’s abolitionist past hides a darker history of racism, slavery and white supremacy. It’s a legacy that lives with us today. This week on “Episode 224” of NEXT, we rebroadcast a special from our series on racism in New England — produced by the New England News Collaborative and America Amplified.

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Episode 223: Inside New Hampshire’s Secret List of Cops With Credibility Issues

November 5, 2020

America is taking a hard look at policing right now. Many wonder: can we trust the cops? In states across the country, the answer to that question is already out there – on secret lists kept by government lawyers. This week on NEXT, “The List” from New Hampshire Public Radio, which looks at one state’s decades of secrecy around police misconduct and asks: why do these lists exist? And if they were finally made public, would they solve our policing problems?

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Episode 222: How The AP Calls Election Winners; Hip-Hop Artist Latrell James On Celebrating Mortality

October 29, 2020

Transgender and nonbinary people can face misgendering at the polls. This week on NEXT, how that can make voting especially stressful this election. And with Nov. 3 just around the corner, we hear from the Associated Press about its process for calling the presidential race … and about 7,000 others around the country. Plus, we talk to Boston hip-hop artist Latrell James about his life and what inspired the lyrics for his new EP “Under.”

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Episode 221: What’s Motivating Early Voters In New England; Toxic Dangers Lurking In Local Water

October 22, 2020

In-person voting has started in some New England states. This week on NEXT, we talk about what’s driving people to vote early this general election. Plus, as temperatures warm due to climate change, toxic cyanobacteria are increasingly polluting our water. And we talk to author Jennifer De Leon about “Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From,” her new young adult novel set in Boston.

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Episode 220: The Maine Race That Could Help Flip The Senate; Coping With New England’s Severe Drought

October 15, 2020

After years of strong support from Maine constituents, Republican Sen. Susan Collins is in one of her greatest political fights. This week on NEXT, how a few highly contested races in New England could impact party control at the national level. Plus, we’ll talk about how New Englanders are coping with a severe drought.

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NENC/America Amplified Special: Lessons Lost: The Struggle To Talk About Race In Some New England Classrooms

October 8, 2020

What we don’t learn in school can matter as much as the lessons we do learn. This week on NEXT, we talk to teachers and students about the harm of omitting stories and cultures from curricula — and how we can do better. It’s the final show in a special series on “Racism in New England,” produced by the New England News Collaborative and America Amplified. 

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NENC/America Amplified Special: Addressing The Toll Of Racism On New Englanders’ Mental Health

October 1, 2020

Racism is trauma. But for many of us, racism’s impact on mental health can be hard to talk about. This week on NEXT, we hear about the stressors of racism in New England and ways to get relief. It’s the third show in a special series on racism in New England — produced by the New England News Collaborative and America Amplified.

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NENC/America Amplified Special: How Segregation Persists In ‘Progressive’ New England

September 24, 2020

Despite progress in civil rights, segregated communities still exist throughout New England. This week on NEXT, we look at how housing laws and discrimination influence where we live. It’s the second show in a special series on racism in New England — produced by the New England News Collaborative and America Amplified.

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NENC/America Amplified Special: New England’s Abolitionist History at Odds With Racist Realities

September 17, 2020

Here’s the story that New England tells itself: Racism is a Southern problem. But our region’s abolitionist past hides a darker history of racism, slavery and white supremacy. It’s a legacy that lives with us today. This week on “Episode 216” of NEXT, we premiere a special series on racism in New England — produced by the New England News Collaborative and America Amplified.

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Episode 215: First-Gen Ivy Leaguer Straddles Two Worlds; Actor Luis Guzmán On Living In Vermont

September 10, 2020

The pandemic has been a balancing act for first-gen college students like Mikayla, who attends Brown University while worrying about her family back home. This week on NEXT, Mikayla’s audio diaries on navigating 2020 as an Ivy Leaguer and the daughter of undocumented immigrants. Plus, when a student gets COVID — what’s it like in the “isolation dorms”? And actor Luis Guzman on making Vermont his home.

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Episode 214: Who Will Get The COVID Vaccine?; Canadian Court Ruling Says U.S. No Longer Safe For Refugees

September 3, 2020

A Canadian court has determined the U.S. is no longer safe for refugees. This week on NEXT, we go to the border of Vermont and Canada to learn what this could mean for asylum seekers heading north. Plus, when a COVID-19 vaccine is approved, who will want one and who will get priority? New Hampshire residents who commuted to Massachusetts before the pandemic are not keen on the state’s persisting income taxes as they work from home.

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Episode 213: Bracing For The Return Of College Students; Why A Doctor Quit Showering Five Years Ago

August 27, 2020

College students are heading back to some New England campuses. This week on NEXT, how schools are dealing with the influx of students during a pandemic. Plus, a doctor who quit showering five years ago talks about the impact of “too much” hygiene on skin health. And a New Hampshire town considers how to honor a Black Revolutionary War hero who did not get his dues.

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Episode 212: Early Lessons As Rural Maine Returns To School; Challenging Hometown Culture Of Silence Around Racism

August 20, 2020

Most New England schools are still fine-tuning their reopening plans. This week on NEXT, we visit a school in northern Maine that has started the year early — and hear about the lessons learned so far. Plus, two sisters re-examine the racism they experienced growing up in a predominantly white Massachusetts town. And we hear from early survivors of COVID-19 about their long recovery process.

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Episode 211: Protests Spark Some Police Reforms in New England; The Case Against Call-Out Culture

August 13, 2020

Following the rise of protests against police brutality, we look at what has changed, from police reforms to employee walk-outs. Also on this week’s show, we talk to an activist who says today’s call-out culture is toxic — and who advocates “calling in.” Plus, refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo find community in an Orthodox Armenian church in Rhode Island.

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Episode 210: Teachers Consider Quitting Job In Face Of Health Risks; A Doctor Vows To Speak Up Against Racism

August 6, 2020

This week on NEXT, we hear from teachers who are agonizing over going back to school and putting their families and themselves at risk — or quitting their jobs. Plus, a doctor who has experienced racism vows to stop being silent when she witnesses injustice. And we remember a Black transgender woman whose brutal murder in Boston helped spark a global movement.

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Episode 209: Divorcing After Fighting For Marriage Equality; Insulting Cops Lands NH Man In 1st Amendment Dispute

July 30, 2020

This week, in a special episode of NEXT, we listen to a collection of award-winning stories from the New England News Collaborative — from the divorced couple that was the face of marriage equality in Massachusetts, to a close look at a First Amendment dispute in New Hampshire.

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Episode 208: The Debate Over Controversial Statues; Heat Waves And How COVID-19 Complicates Efforts To Stay Cool

July 23, 2020

This week on NEXT, New Englanders debate the removal of controversial statues. Plus, schools in New England are trying to figure out how to safely teach students this fall. And we look at how the pandemic and climate change are complicating efforts in New Hampshire to stay cool during this hot summer.

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Episode 207: We Changed For COVID. What About The Climate Crisis?; How Companies Say They’ll Fight Racism

July 16, 2020

The pandemic forced many of us into new habits. Why can’t we do that with climate change? This week on NEXT, why seismic lifestyle shifts to help the environment could be possible right now. Plus, how the business community is addressing systemic racism. And the tension over thru-hikers who resisted calls to quit the Appalachian Trail during the pandemic.

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Episode 206: Tackling The Anticipated Rise In Evictions; Investing In ‘Green’ Pandemic Recovery

July 9, 2020

Eviction cases are expected to soar this summer. This week on NEXT, the debate over extending an eviction moratorium. Plus, a recent night of vandalism in Providence, Rhode Island, was blamed on “outside agitators” — the story is much more complicated. And 16 ideas for investing in a green pandemic recovery.

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Episode 205: Tips For Avoiding Coronavirus As States Reopen; The U.S.’s Worst COVID-19 Racial Disparity Is In Maine

July 2, 2020

This week on NEXT, how to stay safe during a pandemic as reopening continues in New England. Plus, Maine has the worst racial disparity for coronavirus infections in the country — we’ll talk about why. And a tattoo artist that covers up racist tattoos for free gets an uptick in requests.

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Episode 204: Declaring Racism A Public Health Crisis; The Hidden History Of Black Vermonters

June 25, 2020

This week on NEXT, we talk about the different ways racism has become a public health crisis. Plus, the story of recent efforts to resurface the history of Vermont’s 19th century Black communities after some residents tried to cover it up. And unexpected lessons from scientific inventions that have transformed our lives.

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Episode 203: How Zoning Rules Can Perpetuate Segregation; #BlackintheIvory Rises As Scholars Talk Racism In Academia

June 18, 2020

Racial segregation is a modern-day problem. This week on NEXT, we hear from an expert on how zoning rules continue to perpetuate segregation in New England. And we interview the co-founder of #BlackintheIvory about racism in academia. Plus, how can we cut carbon emissions during and after a pandemic?

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Episode 202: The Impact Of Anti-Racism Protests On Pro Sports; What Historical ‘Female Husbands’ Teach Us About Gender And Sexuality

June 11, 2020

As protests continue over racism and police violence, some professional athletes in New England are not staying on the sidelines. This week on NEXT, how protests could impact changes in pro sports. And when courts put eviction hearings on hold amid the pandemic, some landlords in Rhode Island resorted to shutting off utilities to try to push out tenants. Plus, connecting the history of “female husbands” to our modern understanding of gender and sexuality.

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Episode 201: New England Protesters Condemn Systemic Racism; Maverick Town Leaders Hatch Plan To Sidestep Sea Level Rise

June 4, 2020

This week on NEXT, as protests continue over police brutality and the death of George Floyd, we hear from an educator on how to dismantle racism in public schools. And a Rhode Island community threatened by sea level rise is taking action to save their town. Plus, a project that gets hair clippers to transgender people brings needed comfort during the pandemic.

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Episode 200: Experts Answer Social Distancing Questions; Advocates Seek Aid For Immigrant Dairy Workers

May 28, 2020

Even as restrictions loosen in New England, uncertainties remain over how to avoid spreading COVID-19. This week on NEXT, medical experts answer listener questions about staying safe in this newest reality. And immigrant workers on Vermont’s dairy farms are considered essential, but they’re not getting coronavirus aid from the government. Plus, a birder coaxes Purple Martins back to Cape Cod.

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Episode 199: The Complications of Reopening; Students Sue Universities in New England Over Remote Classes

May 21, 2020

This week on NEXT: A slow reopening is now underway in every New England state. But the uncertainty over COVID-19 is prompting some businesses on Cape Cod to scale back or not reopen at all. Plus, colleges in New England are facing lawsuits from students who allege they didn’t get the education they paid for this spring. And we hear about a laughing club that is trying to bring levity to current circumstances.

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Episode 198: New Hampshire Beaches Closed To Deter Out-of-Staters; Can Summer Camps Open Their Doors?

May 14, 2020

As parts of New England reopen, states are working to protect themselves from visitors. This week on NEXT, New Hampshire is wary of beachgoers from Massachusetts. And despite hiccups distributing stimulus money to small businesses, some bankers are working overtime to secure funds. Plus, Maine summer camps wonder if they can open this year.

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Episode 197: Families Consider Removing Loved Ones From Nursing Home Hotspots; The C-19 Blues

May 7, 2020

This week on NEXT, New England states are still competing for COVID-19 testing supplies. But researchers at Yale University are studying new saliva tests that show promise. Plus, we hear from a country singer in Rhode Island about this catchy lyric: “Six feet apart or six feet under.”

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Episode 196: Science Teachers Adapt Hands-On Lessons For Remote Learning; Dealing With COVID-19 In Vermont Prisons

April 30, 2020

For a hands-on subject like science, remote learning is particularly tricky. This week on NEXT, how science teachers and students are adapting and experimenting from home. Plus we go inside Vermont prisons to see the response to COVID-19.

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Episode 195: Does New England Have Enough COVID-19 Tests?; The Fight To Save Yiddish

April 23, 2020

Public health experts say it will take widespread testing to reopen the economy. This week on NEXT, we look at where testing capacity lags in New England. And we hear from a Dartmouth scientist on how the Trump administration’s overhaul of mercury emissions rules could impact human and animal health.

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Episode 194: The Moral Dilemmas For Frontline Health Care Workers; Coronavirus Deepens Racial Health Disparities

April 16, 2020

Health care workers are facing moral dilemmas and complicated questions during the pandemic. This week on NEXT, we hear from hospital workers in New Hampshire who feel torn between serving their families and the public. And COVID-19 is not the great equalizer: we’ll talk about the inequities driving racial disparities in infection rates and deaths in Connecticut. Plus, how the sudden quiet outside is affecting birds.

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Episode 193: Losing Sense Of Smell From COVID-19; New England Fishing Industry Takes a Hit

April 9, 2020

This week on NEXT: Loss of smell has emerged as a possible symptom of COVID-19. We delve into cases in Rhode Island and how the state is screening patients. Plus, a look at how the iconic New England fishing industry is navigating the pandemic. And we take a ride with a Boston limo driver who says this isn’t the first pandemic to touch his life.

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Episode 192: Out-of-State Visitors Must Self-Quarantine; The ‘Choice’ In School Integration

April 2, 2020

New England states are asking visitors to self-isolate for 14 days to slow the spread of coronavirus. This week on NEXT, we look at Rhode Island’s approach to out-of-staters as COVID-19 cases rise. And we head to Maine, where a toilet paper company is trying to meet demand for rolls of “white gold.” Plus, the unintended consequences of school choice.

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Episode 191: Weathering Coronavirus Through FaceTime; Getting Drug Users Clean With Help, Not Handcuffs

March 26, 2020

Before the coronavirus outbreak, a wife visited her husband nearly every day at the nursing home. This week on NEXT, how visitor limitations are separating the couple for the first time in 70 years of marriage. Plus, how homeless shelters are coping with the pandemic. And we talk with singer-songwriter Heather Maloney about music, meditation and how she found her voice during a silent retreat.

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Episode 190: Remote Learning During Coronavirus; The Town That Brought Back A Mascot Critics Called Racist

March 19, 2020

This week on NEXT, elementary school teachers scramble to put together remote learning for students as schools close amid the coronavirus pandemic. Plus, the backlash in a New England town that reinstated a school mascot critics say is racist. And the resilient journey of an ESPN editor whose headline went viral for the wrong reasons.

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Episode 189: New Englanders Prepare For The Coronavirus; Racial Harassment Or Free Speech?

March 12, 2020

As the coronavirus spreads, we look at how New Englanders are preparing. And after the only black woman in Vermont’s House of Representatives was targeted by a white nationalist, state officials and community members debated racial harassment versus free speech. Plus, “The Portuguese Kids” tap their culture experiences for comic material.

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Episode 188: From Your Parents To Foster Care In A Split-Second; Lily King’s ‘Writers & Lovers’

March 5, 2020

Mary’s life changed drastically when she became the foster parent for four grandnieces and nephews. This week on NEXT, we explore the ways foster care is succeeding and struggling in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. And for families looking to adopt, we hear about the most affordable option — and other routes that could break the bank. Plus, bestselling author Lily King weaves parts of her life into her new novel, Writers & Lovers.

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Episode 187: Fight Over Religious Exemptions For Vaccines; Sex Ed In New Hampshire

February 27, 2020

Activists in Maine and Connecticut are fighting against mandatory vaccine rules for students in public schools. This week on NEXT, we look at the fate of religious exemptions for vaccines. And the only requirement for sex education in New Hampshire is that teens learn about HIV and sexually transmitted infections. Some teens are having conversations around inclusivity, consent and abstinence.

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Episode 186: The ‘Choice’ In School Integration; Feds Ramp Up Immigration Enforcement In Some Sanctuary Cities

February 20, 2020

White parents say they want their kids to go to integrated schools. But when they’re given the power to choose, schools tend to be more segregated. This week on NEXT, we’ll dig into a recent report on school choice. And we hear from a mother who says her son was on the losing side of school integration. Plus, a soldier exposed to secret nuclear weapons tests during the Cold War returns to college at 83.

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Episode 185: Sanders Takes New Hampshire Primary; Coronavirus’ Economic Impact Felt In Boston’s Chinatown

February 13, 2020

The economic impact of COVID-19 or the coronavirus outbreak in China is trickling down to Boston’s Chinatown. This week on NEXT, how unusually quiet restaurants indicate ignorance and possibly racism. And a Harvard study outlines the long-term health risks for gunshot survivors. Plus, we’ll recap the New Hampshire primary.

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Episode 184: Ahead Of New Hampshire Primary, Identity Politics And Climate Change In 2020 Election

February 6, 2020

After delays in the Iowa caucus results, we turn our attention to the New Hampshire primary on February 11. This week on NEXT, what to expect from the Granite State in the 2020 presidential election. And a political scientist shares how identity politics has impacted the race so far. Plus, a look at how candidates are addressing climate change — a top issue for New Hampshire voters.

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Episode 183: All New England Licenses Now Offer Non-Binary Gender Option; ESPN Editor Fumbles Headline, Turns To Priesthood

January 30, 2020

Connecticut became the last New England state Monday to include a non-binary option on its driver’s licenses. This week on NEXT, we talk to the person who helped push for change in Maine — the first state in the region to include the non-binary designation. And ahead of the New Hampshire primary Feb. 11. we hear where Democratic presidential candidates stand on drug policies. Plus, what happened to the ESPN editor whose headline about Jeremy Lin was interpreted as a racial slur.

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Episode 182: Northern New England Is The Oldest Place In The Country; A Senior Home With No Rules

January 23, 2020

The U.S. population is getting older. And in northern New England, it’s even more pronounced: Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are the oldest states in the nation, on average. This week on NEXT, stories of housing for seniors, including an investigation into inadequate care facilities and a window into alternative housing situations that work. Plus, we hear from three women named Dot who grew up together in the same town, turned 100 last year and remain friends.

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Episode 181: The Town That Reinstated The “Redmen” Mascot; A Mother Helps Her Son With Severe Autism

January 16, 2020

A New England town has decided to reinstate a school mascot critics say is racist. This week on NEXT, the school board in Killingly, Conn., ditched the old “Redmen” mascot — then brought it back in what may be the first reversal of its kind. We also look at the impact of college football on the rise of two Massachusetts colleges. Plus, we talk to a mother about raising an adult son with severe autism.

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Episode 180: 2020 Is A Big Year For New England Politicians; Coal Still Powers Our Electricity

January 9, 2020

2020 is a big year in politics, and New England senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are among the Democratic front-runners challenging President Trump. This week on NEXT, we look at where things stand in the presidential race and impeachment. And we hear how coal continues to play a role in New England’s electrical grid. Plus, how paid leave proposals and nursing shortages highlight cross-border economies.

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Episode 179: Coral Could Hold Secrets To Fighting Climate Change; Female Punk Rockers

January 2, 2020

This week on NEXT, some scientists believe the Northern Star coral in New England’s cold oceans could hold valuable secrets for fighting climate change. And we look at what it would take to create an effective public transit system and cut back personal car use in Vermont. Plus, how a drummer influenced a generation of female rockers.

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Episode 178: Heather Maloney On Going From Meditation To Songwriting

December 26, 2019

This week on NEXT, we talk with singer-songwriter Heather Maloney about quitting her music degree for meditation, then becoming a songwriter during silent retreat. And the carrier pigeons of old still find a way to race across the sky. Plus, essayist Tim Clark remembers the neighbors who helped when his wife fell down the church stairs.

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Episode 177: Misplaced Breathing Tubes, A Potentially Fatal Medical Error; Choosing To Be Childfree

December 19, 2019

In 2018, a doctor in Rhode Island discovered EMS crews misplacing breathing tubes, a potentially fatal mistake. This week on NEXT, an investigation from The Public’s Radio and ProPublica into the state’s 911 emergency system. And a black feminist talks about the pitfalls of the call-out culture. Plus, as fewer babies are born in the United States, some adults are choosing to be childfree.

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Episode 176: How Latinos Saved American Cities

December 12, 2019

Voters across the region –and political spectrum– can agree on one thing: they care about immigration. This week on NEXT, a new poll of New Hampshire voters finds the immigration policies they care about largely don’t affect them. And we hear from a historian who says U.S. cities owe their revitalization to Latino immigrants. Plus, how achieving the triple decker, immigrant dream in New England is fading.

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Episode 175: Solutions And Challenges To Cutting Carbon Emissions

December 5, 2019

This week on NEXT, we talk about greenhouse gas emissions and the two sectors that are emitting the most: energy and transportation. Scientists and policy-makers agree these sectors need to transform in order to slow the pace of global warming; we look at how they’re doing. Plus, 400 years after the first slaves were brought to the United States, a jazz composer maps the history of African-Americans music.

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Episode 174: PFAS And The Ethics Of Contamination; Thanksgiving Misconceptions

November 26, 2019

PFAS chemicals have contaminated sites around New England, but when a World War II-era bomber crashed at a Connecticut airport last month, firefighters did not hesitate to use foam containing the chemicals. We’ll talk about the ethical balance between saving lives in the moment and long-term health risks. And we look at what we get wrong about Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims. Plus, the case for cohousing.

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Episode 173: Legal Weed Competing With Black Market Product; ‘Collision Course’ Leads To Fatal Shooting

November 21, 2019

This week on NEXT, a teenager and officer’s “Collision Course” leads to a fatal shooting. Plus, we look at racial profiling and policing in New England. And it’s been about a year since the first legal sale of recreational marijuana in Massachusetts, but cannabis sales on the black market haven’t stopped.

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Episode 172: A Nephew’s Ammo Request Pushes Aunt To Raise Red Flag; Living With Lyme

November 14, 2019

This week on NEXT, a woman turns in her nephew to police after he asks to use her address to order high-capacity magazines for an AR-15-style rifle. And a new survey shows how wrong Americans are about the leading cause of gun deaths. Plus, some Maine high schools adjust to eight-person football as school populations…

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Episode 171: Motivating New Englanders To Vote, Or Not

November 7, 2019

A year ahead of the 2020 election, NEXT looks at what motivates people to vote –whether they participate or not. Plus, we’ll talk about why New England voters aren’t that unique anymore and break down the costs of Medicare for All for four families.

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Episode 170: How Fishing Regulations Hurt Fishermen; The Life And Death Of A Football Star

October 31, 2019

This week on NEXT, we talk 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. And fishing industry regulations can make it difficult for small-scale fishermen to make a living. Plus, a new book explores how objects in an abandoned mill building could tell the story of a town.

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Episode 169: Revitalizing Northeast Cities; A Charcoal That Could Ease Climate Change

October 24, 2019

Pittsfield, Massachusetts took a major hit in the ‘80s when General Electric downsized, taking thousands of jobs with it. This week on NEXT, we look at revitalization efforts there. And the story of an urban planner who helped shape some New England cities. Plus, all the ways biochar can ease climate change and pollution, and the pros and cons of wood heat.

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Episode 168: ‘Collision Course’ Of An Officer And Teen Leads To Fatal Shooting; ‘The Portuguese Kids’ Tap Their Background For Comedy

October 17, 2019

This week on NEXT, a teenager and officer’s “Collision Course” leads to a fatal shooting. We look at racial profiling and policing in New England. And patients forced into psychiatric treatment are suing New Hampshire for allegedly being held too long against their will. Plus, “The Portuguese Kids” tap their ethnicity for comedy material.

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Episode 167: A Nephew’s Ammo Request Pushes Aunt To Raise Red Flag; Fall And New England Forests

October 10, 2019

This week on NEXT, a woman turns in her nephew to police after he asks to use her address to order high-capacity magazines for his AR-15-style rifle. And a new survey shows how wrong Americans are about the leading cause of gun deaths. Plus, a new rule could bring more development to the largest forested area east of the Mississippi.

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Episode 166: New Hampshire Holds Tight To First National Primary; Syrain Refugees Settle Into Their New City

October 3, 2019

This week on NEXT, the Trump administration took away deportation deferrals for seriously ill immigrants and then gave them back. Plus, after three years of adjustment, a Syrian family is feeling settled in Vermont. And a new podcast from New Hampshire looks at how the state clinched the first-in-the-nation primary and held fast. Finally, we hear from residents of one of the easternmost U.S. towns.

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Episode 165: Vaping Scare Prompts Official Action; Climate Change Migrant Goes To Maine

September 26, 2019

This week on NEXT, two mayors face corruption charges and not all voters seem to care. We’ll hear why a vaccine for Easter Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is not widely available. Plus, as the Gulf of Maine warms and cold-water species travel north, fishermen who adapt will thrive.

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Rodger Gwiazdowski holds up a Puritan tiger beetle found this summer. This incredibly rare insect was spotted at a secret spot along the banks of the Connecticut River.

Episode 164: New England’s Most Endangered Species; Young Climate Activists Take The Lead

September 19, 2019

This week: We search for New England’s most endangered species. We talk to young climate activists about what motivates them. Plus, the fight to stop non-organic milk from making it into products labeled organic.

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Former Sen. John E. Sununu and New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu have followed the political footsteps of their father, former Gov. John H. Sununu. Photo by Casey McDermott for NHPR

Episode 163: The History Of The GOP And Climate; Growing A Better Lunch

September 12, 2019

This week on NEXT, tall tales from Springfield’s famous son, Dr. Seuss. And how another famous family, the Sununus, shaped the climate debate.

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The 'Bridge4Unity' group at the Penn Center in Beaufort, South Carolina in January. Photo by Pat Crutchfield

Episode 162: Tackling Race Through Dialogue; Hunting for Old Growth Forests

September 5, 2019

A dialogue project brings together people from Massachusetts, South Carolina and Kentucky to talk about race and racism. We’ll learn how the conversation is going between these very different parts of our country. And, we’ll go looking for the oldest trees in New England.

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Nate Clifford_Northampton's Cornucopia Natural Wellness Market

Episode 161: Hemp Hangups; Living With Lyme

August 29, 2019

Hemp is big business – farmers are growing it…stores are selling its extract, CBD, and some people are even smoking it. But big expectations for the crop are being tempered by regulatory concerns. In this episode, we’ll consider the region’s market for hemp, as well as our love-hate relationship with deer. Plus, we’ll go inside the body to understand the little bacteria that causes the big problem called Lyme Disease. And, we’ll soak in those last few days of summer on the boardwalk…with the King of Old Orchard Beach.

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Episode 160: On The Campaign Trail in New Hampshire; Seals In Cape Cod

August 22, 2019

This week on NEXT: They’re cute. Kids love ‘em, sharks really love ‘em…so, what’s the real deal with seals? We’ll wade into the controversy over seals on Cape Cod. And, as the massive Vineyard Wind project faces new delays, we’ll look at how countries with 20 years of offshore wind experience made it happen. Plus,…

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A service at the Church of the Woods in New Hampshire. Photo by James Napoli

Episode 159: New England’s Unusual Holy Sites; Harvard’s Voices From History

August 14, 2019

This week on NEXT:  How a dam removal in Maine changed the way rivers are restored. Plus, we’ll visit a unique library at Harvard University, and learn about the fascinating history of an interstate school district in our region. Finally, we’ll visit two unusual holy sites. It’s NEXT. 

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Episode 158: Life on Parole; Revisiting MGM Springfield One Year Later

August 8, 2019

This week on NEXT: When you get released from prison on parole, it’s a chance to start fresh – turn to a new chapter. But when all you get is bus fare – and there’s no support system, no job, and you’re far from anywhere…what do you do? We’ll explore what life’s like on parole. We’ll…

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John Thomas, Nico Wheadon, John Dankosky, Elihu Rubin, Cathy Stanton at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, Connecticut Carlos Mejia / Connecticut Public

Episode 157: Fishermen Raise Wind Power Safety Concerns; New England’s Industrial History Preserved

August 1, 2019

Gun violence throughout our region, including police shootings. How wind farms will impact fishing in the U.S. And how to reuse old factory buildings that contain cultural importance in New England. It’s NEXT!

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Episode 156: The Confusing Tangle of Immigration Law; Hunting for Old Growth Forests

July 26, 2019

This week on NEXT: Immigration officials have traditionally honored state pardons when considering who they can deport, but that’s stopped in one state. We’ll look at legal challenges to the detention of immigrants. And, we’ll meet a family coping with a year spent apart. We’ll also go looking for the oldest trees. Plus Norman Rockwell’s…

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Architecture student Ben Hait's designs for a future Provincetown, Massachusetts. Courtesy of Adam Sherman

Episode 155: Rising Seas And A Re-imagined Provincetown; Restorative Ocean Farming

July 18, 2019

This week on NEXT:

As sea levels rise, an architecture class imagines a new future for Provincetown, Massachusetts. We’ll also hear from a family that is taking the climate into account with each decision. 

Plus, we’ll talk with a commercial fisherman turned restorative ocean farmer. And we’ll listen to a group that’s bringing new life to historic sea chanties. 

Finally, the loggers of the northern forest who are working the old fashioned way. 

It’s NEXT. 

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A service at the Church of the Woods in New Hampshire. Photo by James Napoli

Episode 154: New England’s Unusual Holy Sites; Harvard’s Voices From History

July 11, 2019

This week on NEXT: 

How a dam removal in Maine changed the way rivers are restored.

Plus, we’ll visit a unique library at Harvard University, and learn about the fascinating history of an interstate school district in our region.

Finally, we’ll visit two unusual holy sites.

It’s NEXT. 

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A racer on Whitcomb Hill Road crouches low approaching a part of the racetrack known as "the left slide." Photo by Ben James for NEPR

Episode 153: Racing Through The Forest; Food Justice For Farmworkers

July 3, 2019

This week on NEXT:

Why Vermont’s farmworkers are facing food insecurity. 

Plus, how our bicycle infrastructure was created, and a new trend in bike racing in Vermont. We’ll also learn about a skateboarding competition in Western Massachusetts. 

Finally, we’ll hear a personal story of addiction and recovery. 

It’s NEXT.

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Biologist Pete Picone. Photo by Patrick Skahill for Connecticut Public Radio

Episode 152: Dr. Seuss’ New England Roots; Polluted Rivers, Rebounding Mills

June 27, 2019

This week on NEXT:

We discuss the future of natural gas in our region.

And, how Springfield-born Theodor Geisel became Dr. Seuss. We’ll also hear from young environmental activists.

Plus, we’ll take a tour down the Quinnipiac River. And, if the walls could talk, what would they say? A new book explores how objects in an abandoned mill building could tell the story of a town. Finally, we’ll meet a troubadour who’s touring our region.

It’s NEXT.

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Photo by Peter Nelson

Episode 151: Bad News For Bees; Combating Opioids

June 20, 2019

This week on NEXT:

We’ll travel with a van that’s providing addiction services on the streets of Boston. Plus, how EMTs are helping collect overdose data in Connecticut. We’ll also discuss the choices parents of deaf children face about how to teach their children to communicate.

And, we’ll learn about how the health of bees effects our food supply. We’ll also go fishing on the Connecticut river.

Finally, we’ll hear from former workers at prominent music venues in Western Massachusetts who say there was a pattern of labor law violations.

It’s NEXT.

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Bren Smith hauls oysters in from his ocean farm. photo courtesy of Bren Smith

Episode 150: Restorative Ocean Farming; Logging By Hand

June 13, 2019

This week on NEXT:

We’ll hear about how housing policies have created segregated towns across New England.

Plus, we’ll talk to a commercial fisherman turned ocean farmer about the future of the fishing industry. And a group in Maine is bringing new life to historic sea chanties.

Finally, we’ll learn about the loggers in the Northern forests of Vermont who are still logging by hand.

It’s NEXT.

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Alex Williams, with Blue Earth Compost, loads barrels of food waste into a truck during a recent food scrap pickup run in Hartford. Photo by Patrick Skahill for Connecticut Public Radio

Episode 149: The Next Water Contamination Crisis; High-Octane Birding In Massachusetts

June 6, 2019

This week on NEXT:

We’ll hear about how PFAS chemicals got into the milk supply at one Maine farm.

Plus, a look at waste laws around New England.

We’ll also learn about how efforts to save one local butterfly ended up helping another. And, a 24-hour birding competition in Massachusetts. Finally, we’ll talk to citizen scientists in Vermont.

It’s NEXT.  

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