Stories of our connected and rapidly changing region.

cpb-logo

Episode 98

Future housing at the Frank Jones Brew Yard in Portsmouth. Photo by Robert Garrova for NHPR

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.

Eversource Enters the Water Business

This map shows Eversource's combined service area with Aquarion. The energy company now wants to buy Connecticut Water, in a move it says would complement its Aquarion merger. Photo Credit Eversource/Business Wire

This map shows Eversource’s combined service area with Aquarion. The energy company now wants to buy Connecticut Water, in a move it says would complement its Aquarion merger. Photo Credit Eversource/Business Wire

Eversource is trying to buy its second water company in the past year. NHPR’s Annie Ropeik explores why the region’s biggest electric utility is hoping to provide water service to hundreds of thousands of customers across four New England states.

Hartford Line To Connect Region

CTrail's new Hartford Line, which will carry passengers between New Haven and Springfield, will begin service on June 16. Photo by CTRail

CTrail’s new Hartford Line, which will carry passengers between New Haven and Springfield, will begin service on June 16. Photo by CTRail

Beginning on June 18th, the new Hartford Line commuter rail will link Springfield, Massachusetts to New Haven, Connecticut, and cities in between. For less than $16 dollars, commuters can catch more than 12 trains a day and travel at speeds up to 110 miles an hour. Cassandra Basler from WSHU reports.

Author Elizabeth Rush on Rising Seas

A tupelo tree in Rhode Island. Photo by Elizabeth Rush

A tupelo tree in Rhode Island. Photo by Elizabeth Rush

Sea levels are rising at a fast pace: affecting lives around the country and the world. Elizabeth Rush grapples with impact that sea level rise has on the people, animals, ecosystems and landscapes in the United States in her new book: Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore. Elizabeth is going on tour around the region. Visit her website for more details

Retreating from Rising Seas

The porch of a cottage in the first row of houses along Roy Carpenter's Beach. This is one of the cottages that will be moved to the back in the next 2 years. Photo by Avory Brookins for RIPR

The porch of a cottage in the first row of houses along Roy Carpenter’s Beach. This is one of the cottages that will be moved to the back in the next 2 years. Photo by Avory Brookins for RIPR

Throughout Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore, Elizabeth Rush discusses the difficult decision that communities face when sea levels threaten: do you re-build or retreat? RIPR’s Avory Brookins explores how one summer community in Rhode Island is moving cottages back from the rapidly rising seas.

An Insider Look at Boston’s Biotech Industry

The "tribes" of biotech often do lunch at Catalyst restaurant in Kendall Square. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

The “tribes” of biotech often do lunch at Catalyst restaurant in Kendall Square. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

Boston has become home to a booming new industry: Biotech. And in addition to the economic growth this industry is seeing, it’s also creating a new culture in the heart of the city. As part of WBUR’s Bioboom series, Carey Goldberg takes us on an insider’s tour of who’s who in the center of it all.

Industrial Buildings Become Housing in New Hampshire

Mike Bernier points to a photo of a factory employee party that took place on the grounds of what is now the Sundial Center. Photo by Robert Garrova for NHPR

Mike Bernier points to a photo of a factory employee party that took place on the grounds of what is now the Sundial Center. Photo by Robert Garrova for NHPR

In New Hampshire’s increasingly tight rental market, one area where there’s new development is conversion of industrial buildings. It’s a niche market, but one that’s attracting multiple generations of residents. NHPR’s Robert Garrova looks at how millenials and retirees are finding common ground in the industrial spaces of the state’s past.

Entrepreneurs Turn Kombucha Run-off Into Specialty Vodka

Jeff Weaber (L), founder/CEO of Aqua ViTea, and Lars Hubbard (R), co-owner of Appalachian Gap Distillery have partnered up to make Aqua Vodka: a vodka made with alcohol extracted from kombucha. Photo by Eric Shimelonis

Jeff Weaber (L), founder/CEO of Aqua ViTea, and Lars Hubbard (R), co-owner of Appalachian Gap Distillery have partnered up to make Aqua Vodka: a vodka made with alcohol extracted from kombucha. Photo by Eric Shimelonis

Visit the beverage cooler at your grocery store and you’ll find bottle after bottle of kombucha. The increasingly-popular fermented drink is made from tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. But now the tart, fizzy, probiotic beverage is making its way somewhere new: Behind the bar.

Rebecca Sheir introduces us to neighboring entrepreneurs in Vermont who are putting kombucha to a surprisingly “spirited” use.

What will Springfield be like when the casino opens? What about in 5 years? Who will be the winners and the losers?  Join us for a free night of lively conversation, great food and beer as we pose these questions to journalists covering the casino. It’s a special NEPR “News and Brews” event — Springfield’s Big Gamble — Tuesday, June 19th, 5 PM at Valley Venture Mentors in Tower Square, Springfield. Let us know you’re coming at nepr.net.

Photo at the top of the page: Future housing at the Frank Jones Brew Yard in Portsmouth. Photo by Robert Garrova for NHPR

About NEXT

NEXT is produced at Connecticut Public Radio
Host: John Dankosky
Produced with help this week from Lily Tyson and Ali Oshinskie
Digital Producer: Carlos Mejia
Executive Producer: Catie Talarski

Contributors to this episode: Annie Ropeik, Cassandra Basler, Avory Brookins, Carey Goldberg, Robert Garrova, Rebecca Sheir
Music: Todd Merrell, “New England” by Goodnight Blue Moon, “A Night in Mos Eisley” by Chris Thile, “West End Blues” by Louis Armstrong, “Jigsaw Puzzle Blues” by Fleetwood Mac

Stream every episode of NEXTWe appreciate your feedback! Send critiques, suggestions, questions, and ideas to next@wnpr.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.