Book: Creative guide
Jan11

Book: Creative guide

How to Be An Artist By Jerry Saltz (129 pages, nonfiction, 2020)   What does it take to be an artist? This is a list of what goes into the life of an artist. Whether you already are an artist or it’s still just a dream, this book has golden nuggets of inspiration and information. As No. 2 on this list says, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Step one. You are a total amateur. That’s okay. Everyone has to start...

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A look back at 2020
Jan01

A look back at 2020

The year 2020 started much the same as the rest, but soon shifted in dramatic ways. The Black Ice Hockey was postponed, but then brought back. In February, we cast ballots in the primary. Executive orders limited Maple Month visitors to sugar shacks. Town meetings were changed or delayed by many. We stockpiled toilet paper. Our restaurants delivered. We sewed thousands of masks. And healthcare workers rose to the task. We rallied...

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City newsletter: Tree collection, wreaths dispersed

The city manager’s office sent out the City Manager’s Newsletter last Wednesday. The full newsletter can be found by going to concordnh.gov and clicking the “Newsletter” button. Here are some highlights: Tree collection Christmas tree collection starts on Monday, January 4 and will continue for two weeks in coordination with residential curbside trash and recycling collection. Residents can place Christmas trees curbside for disposal...

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Poem: The New Year
Jan01

Poem: The New Year

The new year does approach, as we cast the last aside,   we seek the road to a better place, to simply feel better inside. It is not riches or fame, that we seek as time does proceed,   but the peace and contentment, that all of us do need. There have been sad times, some good but only a few,   optimism one year ago, forsaken but nobody knew. We look within during trying times, seeking better we try to find,   for...

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Looking back: My grandfather’s final story
Jan01

Looking back: My grandfather’s final story

Life can be fleeting at times. When you have the time, the will is not always presented. When your moments are limited each and every story will flow like the most powerful river. Such was the case many years ago as my grandfather neared the end of his journey. He had the time, as well as the desire, to finish his story with class. His stories became very detailed as he articulated each and every event so vividly. When one is focused...

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Book of the Week: Focus on happiness
Jan01

Book of the Week: Focus on happiness

The Self-Care Solution: A Year of Becoming Happier, Healthier, and Fitter: One Month at a Time By Jennifer Ashton (275 pages, nonfiction, 2019)   Are you happy? Want to get your life together? This quick read will get you started. Self-care tends to take a backseat these days. We just don’t have time for it. We’ll do it tomorrow. This book will help you kick your excuses to the curb. It details Ashton’s year of self-care...

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Novel blends history and dark fantasy
Jan01

Novel blends history and dark fantasy

The Witches of New York By Ami McKay (560 pages, historical fiction, 2017, available on Hoopla)   Ami McKay’s The Witches of New York is the perfect antidote to dreary winter days and long, cold nights. Fans of the television series Penny Dreadful will relish this dark historical fantasy with feminist themes, set in Gilded-Age New York City. It’s a suspenseful gothic tale, best savored with a steaming mug of herbal tea and an...

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This week in Concord history

Dec. 31, 1999: Despite a bomb threat, First Night celebrations wrap up without incident. Enthusiasm, however, is hard to find. “It doesn’t feel like New Year’s Eve,” one would-be Concord reveler laments. “There’s not a lot going on,” another adds. “And with no snow, it’s even worse.”   Dec. 31, 1866: Fire burns the roof and destroys machinery at the Penacook Mill. Though it is so cold that the firemen’s clothing freezes, a...

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Poem: Covered Bridge
Dec24

Poem: Covered Bridge

Just an old covered bridge, spanning the brook, surrounded by vibrant foliage, the same bridge our ancestors took. Nestled in the deep forest, on the road near a farm, the bridge that pays tribute, to the people that pass without harm. A refuge to man and his horse, for many years past and more, when history was respected, in New England days of lore. This covered bridge made by craftsmen, so many admirers still take a look, just an...

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Book: Check out King biography
Dec24

Book: Check out King biography

Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King By Lisa Rogak (310 pages, nonfiction, 2008)   Ever wanted to know the man behind the horror? How does he get his ideas? These stories may be realer than you think to the renowned author Stephen King. Yes, even The Shining. This book goes over the makings of a world-famous author. His origin story. How he struggled to get noticed as an author, despite submitting his work to...

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Poem: The  Mansion
Dec24

Poem: The Mansion

The brick mansion, under the slate roof old, has sheltered many families, many Christmas stories told. New lives were started, where many lives did end, the brick house holds secrets well, just like a dear old friend. There were times of joy, but not always so, the old brick house on North Main, where so many young children did grow. Generations have passed, the memories this mansion does hold, the brick mansion, under the slate roof...

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Book: ‘Harry Potter’ for adults
Dec24

Book: ‘Harry Potter’ for adults

A Deadly Education By Naomi Novik (336, fiction, 2020)   After the second time he saved my life, I decided that Orion Lake needed to die.  He can keep his flashy heroics away from me; I don’t need help surviving the Scholomance like his fans do.  Forget the monsters, cursed artifacts and the deadly peril in this boarding school; I’m probably the most dangerous thing here.  Give me a chance and my spells can kill millions, even...

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Book: Sidekick moves to big league
Dec24

Book: Sidekick moves to big league

Hench By Natalie Zina Walschots (416 pages, fiction, 2020) Anna does boring things for terrible people because even supervillains need office help. As a data entry temp, she’s just a cog in the machine. But at her newest assignment, everything goes very wrong, and an encounter with the “ultimate superhero” leaves her badly injured. Compared to the other bodies strewn about, she’s the lucky one. So, of course, then she gets laid off....

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Fun, festive activities for the whole family

Capitol Center adds more virtual shows On Friday, the Capitol Center for the Arts announced two more virtual shows to its partnership line-up. Celtic Thunder Christmas will air Thursday, Dec. 24, at 6 p.m. With the holidays just around the corner, and everyone begins to work on their holiday shopping list, what better way to make your holiday list complete than to include Celtic Thunder a part of your holiday cheer? Get in the spirit...

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This week in Concord history
Dec24

This week in Concord history

Dec. 24, 2000: Several former Union Leader correspondents announce they’re starting up a free weekly competitor. HippoPress Manchester, scheduled to hit the streets in the new year, will focus on younger readers with a mix of reporting on restaurants, night clubs and the arts. Dec. 24, 1999: Wolfeboro Falls Postmaster Laura Cronin reports that her annual work as Santa’s secretary is going well. The job entails showing the letters to...

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Checklist: Simply having a wonderful Christmastime
Dec23

Checklist: Simply having a wonderful Christmastime

For many people, this Christmas will be a smaller, quieter one than we’ve ever had before. While in-person visits with family are curtailed, there’s still plenty of ways to bring joy to the holiday and keep it going through the snowy season. If you’re feeling stuck, here are some ideas to get the season’s greetings going: Decorate a gingerbread house Read a story with your household, bonus if you can do it around a fireplace Cut paper...

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City newsletter: Municipal offices closed for the holidays
Dec22

City newsletter: Municipal offices closed for the holidays

The city manager’s office sent out the City Manager’s Newsletter last Friday. The full newsletter can be found by going to concordnh.gov and clicking the “Newsletter” button. Here are some highlights: Holiday closings and reminders City offices will be closing at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 24 through Friday, Dec. 25 in observance of the Christmas holiday. City offices will be closing at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 31, through Friday,...

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Natural scenes on exhibit at chamber gallery
Dec16

Natural scenes on exhibit at chamber gallery

New Hampshire Art Association pastel artist Chris Reid will have her work on display in an exhibit titled, “The View Through My Eyes,” at the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center beginning Dec. 22. “My work is a conversation with nature,” Reid said. “My paintings are more than simple depictions of place. Rather, they invite a choreographed dance of the eyes, where the viewer is invited to look deep into the depths of...

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Photos: A season all aglow
Dec16

Photos: A season all aglow

The holiday season is upon us and across the city families have decked the halls in anticipation. While some homes have had astounding displays for years, many more are all dressed up as more people stay home. Here are just a few of the outdoor lighting displays you can see: Borough Road 9 Peterson Circle 90 Primrose Lane 29 Winterberry Lane 45 Jackson Street Alice Drive and Kyle Street Elm Street Email news@theconcordinsider.com if...

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Book of the Week: Expert guide on crafting a tale
Dec16

Book of the Week: Expert guide on crafting a tale

On Writing and Worldbuilding By Timothy Hickson (233 pages, nonfiction, 2019)   If you’re looking to up your writing game, this book is great for learning more advanced techniques. You may know how to craft character and plot already, but find out how your characters affect plot and vice versa. Learn how to use exposition in a way that will make your writing look like the pros. Explore the link between your characters and...

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At nightfall, the lamplighter makes rounds
Dec16

At nightfall, the lamplighter makes rounds

Main Street in Concord is pictured here on a dark night, back on July 25, 1953. This photograph was taken shortly after Concord Electric installed new electric street lights on Main Street. Main Street wasn’t always so bright, light was indeed a luxury not easily afforded to our ancestors. In the 1880s, the Concord lamplighter still walked the old cobbled streets of downtown Concord. A lonely, solitary man fortunate to have a job...

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City news: Winter has arrived for the capital city
Dec16

City news: Winter has arrived for the capital city

The city manager’s office sent out the City Manager’s Newsletter last Friday. The full newsletter can be found by going to concordnh.gov and clicking the “Newsletter” button. Here are some highlights: Holiday closings and reminders City offices will be closing at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 24 through Friday, Dec. 25 in observance of the Christmas holiday. City offices will be closing at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 31, through Friday,...

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Concluding the year with virtual activities

Jazz Sanctuary continues virtually This Sunday, Dec. 20, at 1 p.m., “Holiday Music and the Jazz of Connection (While Apart)” will air virtually as a YouTube premier. During the pandemic, Jazz Sanctuary has launched a monthly themed “Conversation and Tunes,” and this month’s production samples album cuts from 11 consecutive years of holiday “friends and family” CDs shared annually by WildVine Jazz (Tim Wildman and Jock Irvine). Pastor...

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This week in Concord history

Dec. 17, 1979: New Hampshire’s multi-million dollar ski industry, already plagued by high fuel prices, is getting nervous about the winter. With just five days until the start of Christmas vacation, only six of the state’s 35 ski areas are open. Not only has there been a shortage of natural snow, but warm weather has hindered artificial snowmaking operations. Ski area operators are praying for a heavy snowfall before Christmas to bail...

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Santa Paws is coming to town
Dec09

Santa Paws is coming to town

  Your dogs and cats may already be feeling spoiled over the last year with extra walks and time spent with you at home, but they’re family and you may want to spoil your furry companion a bit extra over the holidays. We headed over to locally-owned Sandy’s Pet Food Center to see what we could find. Well, it was a lot, so you’ll have to check it out for yourself, but here are some highlights:

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City Newsletter: New video game leagues available
Dec09

City Newsletter: New video game leagues available

The city manager’s office sent out the City Manager’s Newsletter last Friday. The full newsletter can be found by going to concordnh.gov and clicking the “Newsletter” button. Here are some highlights: COVID Fund NH Community Development Finance Authority tentatively awarded $499,899 to the City of Concord, and its partners, special COVID-19 Community Development Block Grant funds made available via the Cares Act to provide public...

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Children’s story filled with good themes
Dec09

Children’s story filled with good themes

Mice Skating By Annie Silvestro; Illustrations by Teagan White (12 pages, children’s fiction, 2017) I wish I could wrap this book around myself like a cozy woolen scarf! The story follows Lucy, an adventurous field mouse with a predilection for outdoor winter fun, as she tries to convince her friends to leave their snug winter burrow and experience the joys of the snowy outdoors. Lucy takes it upon herself to knit winter hats for each...

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Keep your pets healthy during holidays
Dec09

Keep your pets healthy during holidays

The holidays are a time of great celebration for many people, but for pets it can also be a time overwhelmed by new noises, sights, smells and visitors. Here are some tips from the ASPCA to keep your furry pals safe during the season: Plants, decor Oh, Christmas Tree: Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn’t tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water — which may contain...

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Exotic animals may be good option for some
Dec09

Exotic animals may be good option for some

It’s gift-giving season, and you may be considering giving someone you love a pet. Before you run to the pet store or shelter, here are some things to consider. Since COVID-19 broke out, pet ownership has soared as evidenced by the number of new pet adoptions at humane societies. At the same time, the costs of pet ownership are also causing an increase in pets being surrendered to shelters. Small or exotic pets may be a good...

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This week in Concord history
Dec09

This week in Concord history

Dec. 10, 1883: Nervous customers make a run on the China Savings Bank of Suncook. “The bank had heretofore borne a reputation of soundness, but of late there has been some acknowledged mistakes in the management of the institution,” the Weekly Union of Manchester reports. The presence of state bank commissioners makes depositors nervous, and by 10 a.m. 200 are waiting in line, demanding their savings in full. “Their deposits range...

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