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

Andrew Yang makes time for a selfie with a voter at at a Democratic Party picnic in Greenfield.

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, the gypsy moth population is down in our region – which is good news for the trees. 

It’s NEXT!

On The Campaign Trail in New Hampshire

Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro makes his way to the cable TV tent in Greenfield Sunday.
CREDIT JOSH ROGERS | NHPR

Late summer might normally be a quiet time in the parade of presidential candidates that are coming through the region, but many Democratic candidates face a crucial test in the coming days: either qualify for the next round of televised debates or risk losing relevance. 

That urgency is on display as candidates make the rounds. We caught up with Josh Rogers, senior political reporter for NHPR, to get a sense of how this campaign has been a little different.

Pressure On Local Media Outlets

The “Burlington Free Press” will be under new ownership as two of the country’s largest newspaper companies merge. We’re talking about how the trends in the news and media business are being felt in Vermont.
MATTHEW SMITH / VPR

A proposed merger of two giant newspaper chains, GateHouse and Gannett, is stoking fear. Combined, the two companies own more than 100 newspapers in New England, including The Providence Journal, owned by GateHouse, and the Burlington Free Press, owned by Gannett.

That paper’s executive editor, Emilie Stigliani, talked to Vermont Edition’s Jane Lindholm.

In Massachusetts alone, gatehouse owns ten daily papers – including the Worcester Telegram and Gazette and The Cape Cod Times – both of which have layoffs in recent days, according to Poynter.

For a look at what further newspaper consolidation could mean, WBUR’s Callum Borchers visited the city of Fall River home of the Herald News.

More Than Just Shark Bait

(Miriam Wasser/WBUR)

If you visit parts of Cape Cod and the Islands this summer, you’ll find they’re mobbed…not just with sunbathers, but with seals! Tens of thousands of seals. 

And everybody’s got an opinion about them. To some, they’re adorable, a playful attraction that helps the ecosystem. To others, they’re a shark magnet that needs to be culled.

So which is it? And what does science say about the seals? WBUR environmental reporter Miriam Wasser went to the Cape to find out.

Attack of the Gypsy Moths

Forester Dan Evans surveys tree damage following a massive multi-year defoliation caused by gypsy moths in eastern Connecticut. PATRICK SKAHILL / CONNECTICUT PUBLIC RADIO

In recent years, an invasive insect called the “gypsy moth” has spelled doom for countless New England trees. From 2016-2018, it’s estimated gypsy moths defoliated more than 2 million acres of trees in southern New England. And that means, now, foresters have to clean up a lot of those dead trees. 

But as Connecticut Public Radio’s Patrick Skahill reports, gypsy moth populations are, finally, declining.  

About NEXT

NEXT is produced at Connecticut Public Radio
Host: John Dankosky
Digital Producer: Carlos Mejia
Senior Director: Catie Talarski
Music: Todd Merrell, “New England” by Goodnight Blue Moon, “Moonshine” by Billy Wylder

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