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Stories of our connected and rapidly changing region.

NEXT Episodes

View and download the latest episodes from NEXT.

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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The Mahican-Mohawk Trail , a 100-mile trail intended to follow the area's indigenous footpaths along the Deerfield and Cold rivers and over the Hoosac Range, is named in part for the Mohicans, whose homelands are in Berkshire County. Photo by Elodie Reed

Episode 148: Making Amends On The Mohawk Trail; Border Stops Far From The Border

May 30, 2019

This week on NEXT:

We’ll take a look at police body cameras around the region. Plus, a border stop far from the border. 

As Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, MA goes to close, we discuss the decommissioning process. Plus, we’ll listen to the history of the plant.

And, how the Mohawk Trail got its name, and who has been left out. 

It’s NEXT.

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Episode 147: Sir Babygirl’s Rural Roots; A Lobster War On The Border

May 23, 2019

This week on NEXT:

We look at Rhode Island’s 911 system, and Emergency Medical Services in Vermont.

We’ll learn about a lobster war on the U.S.-Canada border.

And, we’ll discuss a rural pop star’s New England roots. We’ll also visit the New England Accordion Museum.

It’s NEXT.

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

Episode 146: Rising Seas And A Re-imagined Provincetown; Purdue Pharma’s Political Power

May 16, 2019

This week on NEXT: How the Sackler family has impacted Massachusetts politics, and why their role in a ski resort is causing controversy in a small town in Vermont. And a new program helps Vermont seniors outside of nursing homes. Plus, an architecture course imagines a future for Provincetown, Massachusetts as rising sea levels threaten the town. We’ll also discuss why breweries have become a destination for candidates campaigning in New Hampshire. And we’ll go to a gravel bike race in Vermont. Finally, we’ll remember a poet who lived in New Hampshire. It’s NEXT.

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Students eat lunch. Photo courtesy of Fiona Turner from Eat Up

Episode 145: Nuclear Plant’s Impact On Hometown; New Menu For School Lunch

May 9, 2019

This week on NEXT: The city of Providence, Rhode Island is thinking about selling its water to make up for its large pension liability, but is it the city’s to sell? Plus, new lobster traps could help protect endangered North Atlantic Right Whales from entanglements. And, as the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station is set to close later this month, we look at the environmental and economic effects the plant has had on its hometown of Plymouth, Massachusetts. Finally, we’ll hear from an entrepreneur who’s working to change Boston’s school lunches, and we’ll visit a farm on Connecticut’s coast. It’s NEXT.

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The Isham-Terry house in Hartford, Connecticut. Photo by Ryan Caron King for Connecticut Public Radio

Episode 144: Housing In New England

May 2, 2019

We’re going to dig into one issue this week: housing in New England. It’s not a surprise that our housing costs are some of the highest in the nation, but there a lot of other factors making this issue one of our region’s most pressing. Electricity, heat, food and transportation all cost more here. Our bustling urban hubs are attracting high-tech jobs, and sky-high rents, that are forcing lower income workers out of the cities. But the availability of affordable housing in the suburbs can be a challenge, too. And, in New England’s rural regions, many of our existing houses are old and inefficient, far from shopping centers and public transit. Today, we’re going to explore these problems and some solutions. 

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Robert Buchsbaum holds a phragmites root at the edge of the marsh at Mass. Audubon's Rough Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary in Rowley. Photo by Robin Lubbock for WBUR

Episode 143: Invasive Plants and Climate Change; Limited Broadband Access

April 24, 2019

This week on NEXT: We’ll explore broadband access around New England. Plus, what role should invasive species play in combating climate change? And, we’ll travel to Maine and Martha’s Vineyard for discussions about race and racism. It’s NEXT.

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Episode 142: Campus Protest Then And Now; Food Insecurity On The Farm

April 18, 2019

This week on NEXT: We speak with Teresa Mares about her new book, which explores food insecurity among farm workers in Vermont. Plus, we take a look at school funding around our region. We’ll talk with NHPR’s Sarah Gibson about her new series, ‘Adequate,’ and listen to reporting from Connecticut Public Radio’s David DesRoches about private philanthropy in public schools. Finally, we’ll discuss protests on Harvard University’s campus fifty years later, and speak with activists about how student organizing has changed since then. It’s NEXT.

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Episode 141: A Historic Marathon Run; Tackling Race Through Dialogue

April 11, 2019

This week on NEXT: What CMP’s Transmission Line would mean for Maine’s forests. Plus, Vermont’s declining refugee population. And, Rhode Island’s shrinking quahog industry. We’ll also learn about a dialogue project between individuals in Massachusetts, Kentucky and South Carolina. And, we’ll meet Fenway’s Mr. Fix-It, learn about the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, and visit New Hampshire’s last Roller Rink. It’s NEXT.

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Layla Bermeo, Assistant Curator of American Paintings, at the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the MFA Boston. Photo by Robin Lubbock for WBUR

Episode 140: Boston’s Art Renaissance; Legal Weed’s Race Problem

April 4, 2019

This week on NEXT: How “equity measures” built into Massachusetts’ law to legalizing marijuana are working on the ground. Plus, the push to legalize sports betting around the region. And, we visit a community solar project in Connecticut. We’ll also learn about how the example of a politically influential family in New Hampshire can illustrate how the Republican Party’s attitudes towards climate change have evolved over time. Finally, we meet some of the millenials of color who are shaping Boston’s arts scene, and we’ll hear about a book of poetry inspired by the Pioneer Valley. It’s NEXT.

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Sir Babygirl in her childhood bedroom in New Hampshire. Photo by James Napoli

Episode 139: Rural Pop Star’s Rise; Lizzie Borden’s Legacy

March 28, 2019

This week on NEXT:

We look at Rhode Island’s 911 services. Plus, as rural towns in Vermont have trouble getting enough volunteers to staff EMS, how emergency care in the state is being affected.

We also discuss the trial of Lizzie Borden.

And, how a pop star who recently performed at South by Southwest got her start in New Hampshire.

Finally, we visit the New England Accordion Connection and Museum.

It’s NEXT.

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Dr. Hannah Rabin of Richmond Family Medicine says children waiting for placements at the ER deserve better care. Photo courtesy of Emily Corwin for Vermont Public Radio

Episode 138: Children Wait Days In ER For Psychiatric Care; Gunmakers Face Scrutiny For Sales, Safety

March 21, 2019

This week on NEXT: a year after a school shooting that didn’t happen in Vermont, we hear about what changes to school security are being made in the state. Plus, we learn about firearm exports out of New Hampshire. And, why children seeking psychiatric care in Vermont’s emergency rooms are forced to wait. Also six months after a casino opened in Springfield, Massachusetts, what gambling addiction services are available? Finally, a new bill would alert residents of Massachusetts if sewage is in the waterways. And we visit the abandoned towns underneath Boston’s drinking supply. It’s NEXT.

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The interior of Buckminster Fuller's geodesic dome in Woods Hole. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

Episode 137: Decaying Buildings Force Towns To Consider History; The Complicated Path Of Power From Quebec

March 14, 2019

This week on NEXT:A side-by-side comparison of Northern Pass and New England Clean Energy Connect, and what’s next for the transmission line that will bring hydropower from Canada to Massachusetts. Plus, we hear from a Vermont woman about her opioid addiction, and how she is moving towards recovery. And we visit two old buildings that are making communities re-think what role history should play in their future. It’s NEXT.

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A lobster in a crate. Photo by David Abel from Lobster War.

Episode 136: Climate Change, Border Dispute Lead To Lobster War; Bringing Broadband To Urban, Rural Users

March 7, 2019

This week on NEXT: We travel around New England to learn about who has trouble getting reliable internet access, and why that matters. Plus, we discuss a new documentary about the fight for lobster along the U.S.-Canada border. Finally, we’ll introduce you to the Snow Rangers of Mount Washington, and take you down a giant luge in New Hampshire. And we’ll listen in on Maine’s great chickadee debate. It’s NEXT.

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Richard Shepard and Joyce Rickson lead the way during NAACP organized march. January 2015. Vineyard Haven, MA. Photo by Ivy Ashe.

Episode 135: Race And Policing On Martha’s Vineyard; The Present And Future Of Nuclear Power

February 28, 2019

This week on NEXT: we’ll talk about how regional issues are playing out in state capitals, including discussions of tolls, clean-ups of the region’s waterways, and cross-state transmission lines. Plus, we look at the future of nuclear energy around our region. Finally, we’ll go to Maine and Martha’s Vineyard for a discussion of race. It’s NEXT.

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Episode 134: The Fate Of Thousands Of Vietnamese Immigrants; Cookbook Makes The Case for Diversifying Seafood

February 21, 2019

This week on NEXT: we discuss the role of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in communities, including partnerships between New England Sheriffs and the agency. Plus, we explore the challenges incarcerated women, and their families, are facing in Western Massachusetts. And, why Southeast Asian refugees are especially susceptible to gambling addiction. In addition, how changes to immigration policies under President Trump are effecting Vietnamese immigrants. Plus, we learn how to cook with a diversity of seafood, and discuss why eating different types of species can help sustain our fisheries. WBUR’s Shannon Dooling guest hosts. It’s NEXT.

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From left: Marc Lapin of Middlebury College, along with Tina Heath, Charlie Hohn and Zapata Courage from the state wetlands program. They recently toured the Cornwall swamp section of the Otter Creek wetlands. Photo by John Dillon for VPR

Episode 133: Preserving Wetlands To Prevent Flooding; The New Hampshire Primary, One Year Out

February 14, 2019

This week on NEXT: A year before the 2020 New Hampshire Primary, we take a look at what we can expect, and how the state’s impact on the election is changing. Plus, we learn about the importance of wetlands, and visit one in Vermont. And as more rivers in New England move towards that rare “Wild and Scenic” distinction, we visit a river that has received the honor. Finally, we’ll hear a story about how education provided a man freedom in prison. Then we’ll visit a smoothie chain run by an exoneree. It’s NEXT.

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Cyclists ride down Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. Photo by Robbin Lubbock for WBUR

Episode 132: Battling Over Bicycling Culture; Lawsuit Targets Opioid Maker’s Family Fortune

February 7, 2019

This week on NEXT: we explore the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ case against Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family. Plus, we discuss the process of getting lobster licenses in Maine, and learn why some have been on the waitlist for over ten years. Plus, we take a look back at the cultures and ideas that shaped road and mountain biking infrastructure in New England. It’s NEXT.

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Evan Chamberlin, 9, drinks from a water fountain at Union Elementary School in Montpelier. Union Elementary was one of the few schools that voluntarily tested its water for lead following a state-sponsored pilot study. Photo by Howard Weiss-Tisman for VPR

Episode 131: States Take A Stand Over Contaminated Water; Coastal Home Prices Plunge As Seas Rise

January 31, 2019

This week on NEXT: we discuss the effect of sea level rise on home values around New England. And, we look at water quality issues in Vermont and New Hampshire. Plus, we re-visit the history of the Patriots in our region. And we visit frozen lakes in Massachusetts and Vermont, where New Englanders are enjoying the cold. It’s NEXT.

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This female bobcat was tagged and outfitted with a GPS collar, which she'll wear for 300 days. Photo by Patrick Skahill for Connecticut Public Radio

Episode 130: Bobcats On The Prowl In New England; Small Colleges Battle To Survive

January 24, 2019

This week on NEXT: we learn about a lawsuit levied against Dartmouth College. And, as Hampshire College seeks a “strategic partner,” and as Green Mountain College closes, we discuss the future of small colleges around our region. Plus, what are the pros and cons of heating with wood? We’ll hear about the health, economic and environmental impacts of the practice. Finally, we visit Harvard University where the future of a tree is up for debate, and we go with a biologist to learn more about where bobcats live, and what they’re doing. It’s NEXT.

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Inmate Carrisa Butkewitcz cares for Tavish, an older horse at the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals in Windham that she describes as "calm and sweet." Photo by Susan Sharon for Maine Public

Episode 129: Horses, Inmates, Recover Together; States Battle Over Minimum Wage

January 17, 2019

This week on NEXT: we take a look at minimum wages around our region. Plus, why renewable energy credits are dropping in value in Vermont. And, how states around New England could make the switch to 100% renewable energy. Finally, we go to the region’s largest horse rescue that is saving the lives of both horses and humans, and we visit a crane sitting above Boston. It’s NEXT.

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Firemen standing in thick molasses after the disaster. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.

Episode 128: The Molasses Flood That Changed Boston Forever; States Battle Over Business With Mega Subsidy Deals

January 10, 2019

This week on NEXT: we discuss how the government shutdown is effecting individuals in New England, including through a growing backlog of cases at Boston’s immigration court. Plus, we learn about how states around our region use subsidies to lure businesses. And, on the hundredth anniversary of the “Great Boston Molasses Flood,” we hear about how the event shaped the relationship between business and government. Finally, we explore the best New England food of the past year from Yankee Magazine’s Senior Food Editor, Amy Traverso. It’s NEXT.

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Bridge Tender Mike Dorsey runs through the controls of the Grand Avenue Swing Bridge in New Haven. "People don't usually look up here," Dorsey said. "They just ride right through not even knowing that we're up here." Photo by Ryan Caron King for Connecticut Public Radio

Episode 127: Stories From 2018 That Defined New England, And A Look Ahead to 2020

January 3, 2019

This week on NEXT: we discuss the role that New England politicians will play in the 2020 presidential election. Plus, we look back at an important year in Maine politics. Finally, we discuss some of the stories that made us smile in 2018. It’s NEXT.

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Shaun and Melisa McDougall, of Hanover, are checked into South Shore Hospital where Melisa will deliver twin boys. They don't want a C-section, which fits the goals of Ariadne Lab's Team Birth Project, now in the testing phase at South Shore. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

Episode 126: Doctors, New Parents Work To Prevent C-Sections; Building A Better Life Jacket For Lobstermen

December 27, 2018

This week on NEXT: we go inside a delivery to hear a new project in action. Plus, we learn about a research team that’s working to build a better lifejacket. And, we discuss the shipping industry and the history of pirates in our region. Finally, a New England town celebrates it’s rich literary history.  It’s NEXT. 

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Teacher Jessica Pollard at Lee Elementary School leads her class in a mindfulness exercise. Photo by Karen Brown for NEPR

Episode 125: Teaching A School To Be Trauma Informed; Advocates Work To Keep The Heat On For Low-Income Gas Customers

December 20, 2018

This week on NEXT: we hear from a family in Rhode Island struggling to pay the bills to keep the power on. We also discuss an offshore wind auction that broke records. And, we’ll travel to Tijuana, where migrants who are waiting to apply for asylum are getting legal advice from students and teachers from Boston. Plus, we visit a “trauma-informed” school in western Massachusetts. Finally, we find an unusual way to harvest Christmas trees. It’s NEXT.

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Orlando sits in a plaza in Metapán, El Salvador. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

Episode 124: What A Student’s Deportation Reveals About School Police And Gangs; Iranian Families Reunite At The Canadian Border

December 13, 2018

This week on NEXT: we learn about how an argument in an East Boston high school set off a series of events that led to a young man’s deportation. Plus, Iranian students living in the United States who are separated from their families due to the travel ban find a place to reunite along the U.S.-Canada Border. And we speak with Vermont Congressman Peter Welch about legislation he has co-sponsored that would reduce the zone that U.S. Customs and Border Protection are able to set up checkpoints within from 100 miles down to 25. We also learn more about the electricity market that keeps power on around New England. Finally, we listen to a Middle Eastern music group in Western Massachusetts, and preview a new play that takes the audience into barbershops around the world. It’s NEXT. 

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Michael sweeping up cigarettes and other debris from the sidewalk outside the ACC Needle Exchange in Central Square in Cambridge. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

Episode 123: Meth Use Compounding Opioid Crisis; Counting The Trees That Store The Carbon

December 6, 2018

This week on NEXT: we explore the high drug overdose death rates in our region and why methamphetamine is a rising threat. Plus, we learn about why the Northeast is warming faster than other areas of the United States, and how trees, and individuals could help reduce our carbon footprint. And we look at a close race for Secretary of State in New Hampshire. Finally, we discuss President George H.W. Bush’s ties to New England. It’s NEXT.

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Veteran Steven Mandile make the first purchase of recreational marijuanain Massachusetts at Cultivate in Leicester. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

Episode 122: Lining Up For Legal Pot; The Real Cost Of Electricity

November 29, 2018

This week on NEXT: we discuss the opening of recreational marijuana shops in Massachusetts, and the start of legalized sports betting in Rhode Island. Plus, we take a look at electricity prices around New England and reflect on our aging gas infrastructure. And, how an invasive species might play a role in curbing the effects of climate change. Finally, we explore what we can learn from the call of a bat, and consider the history of ‘Sheep Fever’ in New England. It’s NEXT.

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Shelly Lowe, executive director of the Harvard University Native American Program. Photo by Andrea Shea for WBUR

Episode 121: Poetry Explores Indigenous Life; Hit Podcasts Examine Unsolved Crimes

November 21, 2018

This week on NEXT: we learn about the cultural significance of the ash tree for the Penobscot Nation in Maine, and how an invasive beetle is threatening ash trees around our region. Plus, a poetry playlist at a local museum aims to help visitors understand what it means to be indigenous today. We also listen back on conversations about some of our favorite regional podcasts. And, we visit people with unusual jobs around our region, including bridge tenders in Connecticut, CBD entrepreneurs in Vermont, and two men who are turning kombucha run-off into specialty vodka. It’s NEXT.

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

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