Seacoast Scene 9-19-19

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SEPTEMBER 19 - 25, 2019

Seacoast Stay on the

Find luxury close to home at local inns and B&Bs


Master McGrath’s


Autumn awaits Well, this is the last weekend of summer, as autumn begins Sept. 23. Overall I think we can say it was a good one, although it seemed like a very short season, and very hot. Larry Marsolais Fall is a busy time of year, with festivals, fairs, apple picking, pumpkin carving, Halloween and many more things to do. As I have said in the past, Halloween is special for me. We start decorating our yard next week so it is ready for Oct. 1. Keep an eye on the Scene over the next few weeks — I am pretty sure I might be able to get a picture in. I have to give a big shout out to

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Hampton Rotary, of which I am a member. We are just finishing our fundraising events, which are mostly in September, and it was an incredible month. As a co-chairman for one of these events I think I can speak for the entire leadership group when I give a big thank you to the members, friends and everyone else who helps us. We ask a lot from our members, but in the end Hampton Rotary will be able to help out many in our local community! There is one more rotary event coming up; see page 21. As always feel free to call me anytime at 603-935-5096 to discuss local issues or to place an ad. Larry Marsolais is the general manager of the Seacoast Scene and the former president of the Hampton Rotary Club.

SEPTEMBER 19 - 25, 2019 VOL 44 NO 28


Games Daily 11am -1am

Advertising Staff Larry Marsolais Seacoast Scene General Manager 603-935-5096


Editorial Staff

8pm - Midnight

Editor Meghan Siegler

BREAKFAST SERVED Sat & Sun 8am-2pm

Editorial Design Laura Young and Tristan Collins

Friday Special Fried Clam Plate Saturday Special (4pm on) Roast Prime Rib of Beef Au Jus

Contributors Rob Levey, Michael Witthaus, Matt Ingersoll, Jeff Mucciarone, Caleb Jagoda, Allison Willson Dudas


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603.474.3540 SEACOAST SCENE | SEPTEMBER 19 - 25, 2019 | PAGE 2


COVER STORY 6 Stay on the Seacoast

MAPPED OUT 16 Beaches, restrooms, where to walk your dog and more

PEOPLE & PLACES 17 The coolest Seacoast dwellers and scenes

FOOD 22 Eateries and foodie events

POP CULTURE 28 Books, art, theater and classical

NITE LIFE 30 Music, comedy and more

BEACH BUM FUN 32 Puzzles, horoscopes and crazy news

Have an event or a story idea for the Seacoast Scene? Let us know at:

Your weekly guide to the coast. Published every Thursday (1st copy free; 2nd $1).

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Seacoast Scene PO Box 961 Hampton NH 03843 603-935-5096 |

319 New Zealand Rd • Seabrook, NH 03874



EVENTS TO CHECK OUT SEPTEMBER 19 - 25, 2019, AND BEYOND Farm tours and food

Goss Farm in Rye is hosting an open house and farmers market on Sunday, Sept. 22, from noon until 3 p.m. There will be food trucks, local vendors, music and tours of the barn, fields and gardens, plus local restaurants offering specialty food samples. Admission is free. Visit Courtesy photo.

Arts alive

The 5th Annual TEAM Fall Equinox Festival will be held on Saturday, Sept. 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Swasey Parkway. The event will feature arts vendors, food vendors, live music, kids activities, interactive art projects and a yoga session in the park. The park will be open to the public, with a suggested $10 donation per person and $20 per family. Gretchen Klempa, an Exeter native formerly of Gretchen & The Pickpockets, will be kicking off the festival weekend with a “TEAM Songwriter Circle” performance in the River Room lounge at Sea Dog Brewery at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20. Tickets are $10. Visit Photo: Gretchen Klempa. Courtesy of Raya Al-Hashmi.

Fun with fairies

Run for Rett’s Roost

On Sunday, Sept. 22, Throwback Brewery in North Hampton will host the Superhero 5K and Kids Fun Run, an annual celebration to benefit Rett’s Roost, an Ogunquit, Maine-based organization that runs weekend retreats for families that have experienced childhood cancer and child loss. The fundraising event will begin with a 3.1-mile race starting and ending at Throwback, followed by a kids’ fun run on-site shortly thereafter. During and after the race, there will be ample activities for all ages, including free kids crafts and games, face painting courtesy of Pixie Palette, balloon animals and a magic show with Sages Entertainment, a Kona Shaved Ice truck, fresh cotton candy and popcorn, a raffle and more. Adults 21 and over who complete the race will receive a free beer compliments of Throwback. And for the third year in a row, Alligator Wine will be playing a set of Grateful Dead covers immediately after the race. Visit

The 15th annual Portsmouth Fairy House Tour will take place Saturday, Sept. 21, and Sunday, Sept. 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine. The charity event is the world’s largest fairy house tour and features more than 250 handcrafted fairy houses. It takes place on the grounds of Prescott Park, the Governor John Langdon House and Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth’s South End. Ticket prices are $25 family advance or $30 day-of; $12 adult advance or $15 day-of; $8 senior advance or $10 day-of; and $4 child advance or $5 day-of. Advance discounted tickets can be purchased until Sept. 20 at Photo: “Inside the Fairy Ring” by Rebecca Romanoski, winner of the 2018 Fairy House Tour Artist Invitational. Photo by Barry Kane.

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Seacoast Stay on the

By Rob Levey

Lamie’s. Courtesy photo.

Staying at a bed and breakfast or a historic inn in the Seacoast isn’t just for the summertime. If you’re looking for a night or two of luxury, check out one of these places that will let you feel like you’re on vacation even when you’re close to home.

Ashworth by the Sea

295 Ocean Blvd., Hampton Beach There are plenty of reasons to keep coming to Ashworth by the Sea throughout the off season, according to Director of Sales & Catering Eileen Menard. She said they will offer attractive rates and promotions in the off season. “We will also have themed nights in Breakers Lounge, such as Burger and Brews night and Wine and Dine, just to name a few,” she said. “The hotel also offers happy hour every Sunday to Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m with select wines and beers and appetizers.” Weekends in the off season tend to be busy, too. “They are very popular at the hotel with all kinds of group business and social events as well as guests looking to get away for a romantic weekend,” Menard said. She said their meeting space attracts businesses year-round, too. “We have 6,000 square feet of flexible meeting space that was refreshed to include comfortable banquet chairs, new carpet, new sound and new lighting package,” she said. “The banquet space caters to small and large weddings, corporate retreats, conferences, reunions and social events.”

She said the more than 100-year history behind Ashworth by the Sea is another big draw. “Many performers stay with us due to the musical performances at the Ballroom and past celebrities have frequented the hotel throughout the years,” Menard said. “Select rooms offer an oceanfront view with a glass balcony, too.” For her, the beauty and functionality of the property is an “easy sell” to prospective clients year-round. She said their staff make it easy, too. “I enjoy working with the managers and the staff,” she said. “We have a great team here at the hotel. Our general manager, Jeff Lang, is committed to guest service and also to the associates, which creates the optimal working environment.”


The Victoria Inn Bed & Breakfast and Pavilion 430 High St., Hampton

Featuring seven rooms, The Victoria Inn Bed & Breakfast and Pavilion is owned by Tracey Dewhurst, who said this past season started poorly but finished strong. “It was … a really awful spring, but we still had a lot of guests because we have events like weddings,” she said. “The events are pretty consistent, and I think overall it has been a positive year. We are up from last year and becoming more known.” In describing the experience at her bed and breakfast inn, she said all guests receive a full breakfast and fresh baked goods by a server in a cozy elegant dining room. 8



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“There is a menu, and they have a 7 choice of three entrees,” she said. “They choose what they want and leave [the menu] outside of their door.” Dewhurst said they are unique in that they also feature a restaurant, Victoria’s Kitchen Cafe, that is open to the public for breakfast and lunch seven days a week. “We give vouchers to Victoria’s Kitchen if [inn guests] want breakfast at a different time,” she said. She said she initially opened Victoria’s Kitchen Cafe in 2015 so they could cater their own events. “When we started the bed and breakfast, we could host big weddings but couldn’t cater them,” she explained. “Now I have a chef over at Victoria’s Kitchen. We can offer the full experience, from the food to the venue.” The venue includes accommodations, which are all framed within an old house from the 1860s that has been entirely renovated and updated. “It’s like being in someone’s house, but we maintain the privacy that you would receive in a hotel,” she said. “We are intimate, small, antique.” Their location helps create their ambience, too. “We are off the beach but close enough,” she said. “It is quieter than being on the beach.” Dewhurst said she looks forward to the off-season, which she said said can still get busy, especially during the holidays. For Dewhurst, staying open year-round has been key to the success of her bed and breakfast. “I really believe in digging my heels in and being a part of the community,” she said. “I want to be open year-round. That has helped me in being successful because people know we are here. We are open year-round with the same hours. The area has so much around for locals and tourists.” In addition to lodging and dining,

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Courtesy photo.

Dewhurst said they host a variety of community events, fundraisers, art shows, and beer and vendor events. “You have to be creative and generate your own business,” she said. If you ever want to visit The Victoria Inn Bed & Breakfast and Pavilion to see what it’s all about, Dewhurst said the doors are open. “We encourage people to stop by and check it out,” she said. “We take a lot of pride and put in a lot of work. … Stop by if you are curious.” The Victoria Inn Bed & Breakfast and Pavilion offers local residents a 10-percent discount if they send their families to stay there during the holidays. “A lot of the time, everyone will come over for the breakfasts and they will all eat together,” she said.

Lamie’s Inn

490 Lafayette Road, Hampton Lamie’s Inn co-owner Mike Higgins describes it as “an historic New England inn.” He said their property is 10





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Ashworth by the Sea. Courtesy photo. 8

charming, yet with modern conveniences. He said one of their largest differentiators may be their restaurant, The Old Salt Restaurant, next door. “Our guests love the convenience of a full-service hotel with restaurant on site,” he said. “Guests can enjoy their continental breakfast in the Old Salt dining room each morning, and we have some great overnight packages that include dinner or our Sunday brunch.” For Higgins, though, the fact their business is family-owned and -operated may be its biggest distinguishing characteristic. “My brother, sister and I have been running the restaurant and now the inn together for over 30 years,” he said. “Several of our spouses and children are also a big part of the operation, and of course we have staff who have been with us for years and are part of the family as well.” In looking to the fall, Higgins expects a “strong foliage season” at the inn. He said the off-season is, in fact, a great time to stay at Lamie’s Inn. “One reason is that we’re very centrally located right on Route 1 and close by to Route 95,” he said. “Of course, the ocean is beautiful any time of year, but there are many other activities throughout the year.” According to Higgins, these activities include fall fairs and festivals, historic towns, shops, museums, skiing and winter sports. “Guests might just want to escape with one of our cozy winter packages where they can stay in the inn and dine at the Old Salt without having to venture outside,” he said. He said another great reason to stay at Lamie’s is when locals have visiting friends and family in the area.

“Our small, cozy inn is the perfect place for out-of-town guests to feel at home while giving everyone a little elbow room,” he said. For Higgins, though, any time is year is good for a visit to Lamie’s or The Old Salt. “I love the homey feeling of our property,” he said. “There is so much history here, old photos and mementos to browse, and interesting architectural features, too. … Because we’re a small family-run business with the most wonderful staff, everyone is warm and welcoming, so I hope our guests will feel at home, too.”

The Americana

61 Ocean Blvd., Hampton While it’s been open for decades in Hampton Beach, The Americana is under new ownership with Peter Lawrence and Bill Connell, the latter of whom characterized this past summer as “quite good.” “We had a great mix of long-time repeat renters and new renters that we hope will come again,” he said. For Connell, The Americana is unique for several reasons, one of which is its location on the beach. “We have 11 units and a great New England feel to the building, as we’ve made upgrades,” he said. “We’ve also done what we can to maintain the character of the property.” With summer in the proverbial rearview mirror, Connell said The Americana has monthly renters who generally stay at the property now through the end of May. During this time, he anticipates continued upgrades, too. “We have plans to continue to 12

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Ashworth by the Sea. Courtesy photo. 10

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upgrade the property and specific units as well as make exterior changes while making it more energy efficient,” he said. As for what he loves the most about The Americana, Connell said it is their guests. “This was our first summer as new owners, so we did not know what to expect,” he said. “We were overwhelmed with the support we received from all of our guests, though, especially those who have been coming to The Americana for 10-plus years.”

The Exeter Inn and Epoch Restaurant and Bar 90 Front St., Exeter



According to Derek Hunt, general manager, The Exeter Inn and Epoch Restaurant and Bar had “a fantastic summer” that he hopes will carry on into the off season. “The entire area benefited from exceptional weather in June, July and August, which certainly helped drive business,” he said. “Additionally, Epoch Restaurant introduced new daily specials, including Monday Buck a Shuck and Wednesday Date Night, which helped fill our beautiful outdoor patio all summer.” Hunt said their property is distinguished by an atmosphere that is “intimate, warm and casually sophisticated.” “We uphold a tradition of hospitality long vanished from today’s impersonal, chainstyle hotels,’ he said. “At every moment, our gracious staff delights and surprises to make sure you feel perfectly at home and well taken care of.” In elaborating on the inn itself, Hunt

described it as “a celebration of New England heritage.” Built in 1932, the boutique hotel boasts “a graceful Georgian façade and richly detailed millwork and architecture.” “Following a series of meticulous renovations and enhancements, we offer every contemporary comfort imaginable in all of our 46 guest rooms,” he added. Hunt said their restaurant helps to enhance this ambience. “Our restaurant’s menu lives at the intersection of American regionality and global influences with dishes that showcase fresh, seasonal ingredients from local producers,” he said. “Our ability to provide our hotel guests with a truly memorable dining experience or even late night cocktail certainly sets us apart from the rest.” In preparing for fall, Hunt said this season is “phenomenal” with Exeter itself as the perfect destination. And the inn will have its first Oktoberfest on Oct. 6 with live music, cold beer and a German-inspired threecourse menu. For Hunt, though, the experience at The Exeter Inn or restaurant is defined by an attention to every detail. “Our reputation rests on our attending to every detail — from the perfectly stoked fireplace in the lobby to the crisp linens on our dining room tables,” he said. Hospitality is their mission. “To us, the pineapple etched prominently on our front door represents the symbol of hospitality since the days of early American colonies,” he said. During the colonial era, he explained, recently returned sailors would place this “exotic fruit on their doorsteps.” “It was an announcement of their homecoming, inviting friends and neighbors to visit and accept their hospitality,” he said. 14

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The Ladyfinger Tea Lounge at Garrison Inn. Courtesy photo. 12

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Inspired by William Lloyd Garrison, editor of the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, Garrison Inn features 24 hotel rooms. “They merge the industrial look of the newspaper letterpress workshop with modern streamlined design, which are perfectly integrated into the original National Historic Landmark structure,” said hotelier Joy McFarland. She said the architectural features of the hotel are what set Garrison Inn apart from others. “Reclaimed woods, luxurious linens and upholstery along with framed ephemera and historic hotel silver give each guestroom a feeling of warmth and integrity,” noted McFarland. She said prominent retained architectural elements, such as working fireplaces, exposed brick walls, handhewn beams, wood paneled window shutters and wall moldings highlight the grandeur and exclusivity of the historical landmark. Modern amenities in each room include private bath, flat-screen TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, mini-fridge and selection of glassware/barware displayed on historic hotel silver. McFarland described the hotel as “luxury boutique.” “At Garrison Inn, we believe there’s a

place for refined, innate style in a world full of mega chain hotels,” she said. “We are not a bed and breakfast. We are a small independent hotel with a distinct personality and soul where the genuine care and comfort of our guests is our highest mission.” In looking ahead to the off season, McFarland said she expects the same clientele, including wedding parties every weekend and a mix of business travelers, tourists and repeat guests during the week. As for what she loves best about Garrison Inn, McFarland said every day is “new, challenging and fun.” “We love our guests and our guests love us,” she said. “Guests feel more like friends when they stay with us, because they are surrounded by people who care. That’s why they come back so often and with so much enthusiasm.” McFarland also expressed enthusiasm for Garrison Inn’s recently opened Ladyfinger Tea Lounge with marbled flooring, pink velvet chairs “and femininity everywhere.” She referred to the lounge as “the prettiest room in Newburyport.” “Here, you can indulge your feminine side in dainty lemon-filled cookies and sip fine tea from our curated collection of English bone china tea cups,” she said. “The complimentary tea time presentation is available from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily and exclusively for registered hotel guests.”

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'Briens O or revisit my heart’s true desire to open a music school. I consulted with some wise and trusted mentors, wrote up a business plan, researched the area, took several deep breaths and opened the doors of Seacoast Academy of Music with two pianos at the Drake Farm Book Barn in North Hampton. No regrets.

Christine Petrucci. Courtesy photo.

How long has Seacoast Academy of Music been open? We opened in September 2001 at the Drake Farm Book Barn, which was located on Route 1 in North Hampton. As we outgrew that facility, we moved into our current location [in] Centennial Hall [at] 105 Post Road [in] North Hampton in January 2006. Tell us a little about your background. I have spent my life teaching and performing music. I have a passion for both. My formal education includes a master’s in music education, piano, from UMass-Lowell. I have taught classroom music in public and private schools as well as accompanied ballet and choral groups and performed in several bands as a singer/trumpet/piano player. Musical collaboration has always been my greatest joy and music has been the channel of all my life’s expressions — corny, I know, but true.

able successes. Our students perform in recitals, competitions, musicales and various other locales throughout the New Hampshire Seacoast area.

Any challenges? Sure. Many of our students’ schedules are full of structured activities. That is sad and frustrating because the child is not Do you have many employees today? allowed the time to explore and discover Today we have 16 of the finest music how to grow as a musician through practice. instructors at SAM, who teach private Taking lessons has minimal advantage music lessons in a wide variety of musical without the follow-through of practice — instruments and voice. and good practicing also needs time to be learned. What ages do you teach? Our students range in age from 2 1/2 years Have you always loved music? Is this a old to 85, beginner to music professionals. lifelong passion for you? We also have a Centennial Hall Jazz Band, a Yes and yes. SAM Rocks! Band, electronic music class, Ukulele by Donation and a “Decrescendo” When not teaching, what do you do for class for tiny tots. fun? I practice. I study. I listen to music. I go Any exciting developments to share to see as many good musical concerts as about the program? possible. I love to dance. I enjoy cooking In 2004 we launched our “Satellite with my husband, drinking fine wine and School” program through which we being in the company of family and friends teach in other schools before, during or and we love to learn about people, their after school music lessons. Currently, history and foods, music and culture when our satellite schools are the Cornerstone we travel. Of course, I also enjoy being School in Stratham, the Swasey School on the water, kayaking, paddleboarding or in Brentwood, the Sparhawk School in sailing. It is all fun to me. Amesbury, and the Lincoln Street School in Exeter. Anything exciting on the horizon for you personally or professionally? Any successes you can share? Yes, I play piano and sing with the Things are going great! Every ‘aha’ Deep Blue C Studio Orchestra. We are 18 moment from a student is a sure sign members who perform concert-style shows of success. Every smile, each great in theaters for the public or private gala recital performance and the look of quiet events. Every performance is exciting! satisfaction on a student’s face are share— Rob Levey

What led you to form your business? Long ago, I was preparing to open a music school in Lowell, Massachusetts, and then life — divorce — got complicated, so I moved to New Hampshire with my two children and entered the business world of sales and design of custom cabinet making. That was followed by candle manufacturing, where I earned another lifetime education. Then the kids grew up and I faced another crossroads. My choices were to consult with cosmetic/aromatherapy companies [and] become an event coordinator on traveling cruise ships, [which] sounds glamorous, Centennial Hall under renovation. Courtesy photo.

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Bikes around the bend. Photo by Jason Record.


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The 46th annual Seacoast Century Weekend kicks off the morning of Saturday, Sept. 21, at Hampton Beach State Park’s South Pavilion, and will continue throughout the weekend. The event is hosted by one of New England’s most active adult recreational bicycling clubs, the Granite State Wheelers, who are eager to get everyone, regardless of age and skill level, involved in one of New England’s biggest biking events. “It’s a pretty special event,” said Granite State Wheelers committee member Molly Lunn Owen. “There are lots of bike rides in the region, but this one has ... different length options. … What’s best about this race is you can do a number of different routes and still have the beautiful scenery along the Seacoast.” Cyclists will have their choice of 25-, 50-, 63- and 100-mile scenic routes along the New England coastline. All experience levels are invited to try any route and are welcome to come two days in a row to bike a second route for no additional cost. Greeting riders when they return to the pavilion will be a fun, festival-like affair that includes ice cream, DJ-led music and massages, as well as the event’s traditional post-cycling meal of soup and chowder. “Folks finish at all different times, so whenever you roll in, we want to make sure there’s an upbeat vibe available for you when you finish the event,” Owen said. The event’s relaxed atmosphere is a purposeful attempt by the Granite State Wheelers (formerly the Granite State Wheelmen) to expose as many people to the sport as possible. By offering a welcoming environment and letting bikers go at their own pace, the goal is to provide a familyfriendly environment where everyone feels welcome. “We’re trying to make sure everyone feels included. That’s something, as a relatively younger cyclist, that I really care about: exposing the sport to people of all ages so everyone can feel comfortable and excited to be on a bike,” said Owen. “We do say it’s a familyfriendly ride in that as long as the group stays together, 25 miles is perfectly doable for a kid who likes to ride his or her bike.” While the more experienced bikers generally

lead the pack, Owen made it clear that the event is for anyone who’s interested, and that the flexibility of the route’s length means more flexibility for the riders themselves. She says the Granite State Wheelers refer to the Seacoast Century Weekend as an event, not a race, because removing any pressure to finish within a certain time frame leaves ample room for riders to simply enjoy themselves. “There are always cyclists who want to go fast. They tend to start at the beginning, they start early, they finish early and then everyone else is able to ride and enjoy themselves and not worry that they’re in a race or trying to stay out of the way of intense cyclists. It’s really an alllevels friendly event,” she said. Not only does the Seacoast Century Weekend attract riders of all ages and experience levels, but Owen says the ride frequently pulls in loyal cyclists from across the country who make a point of returning to the East Coast each year just for this event. “We do have a number [of riders] from California, Washington, Oregon, Florida, Utah. We get people from all over the country. People tend to come back year after year,” Owen said. Anyone interested can register Saturday or Sunday for $75 (registering Saturday means you can come back and participate again on Sunday at no cost). All proceeds go to fund rider education and support bicycle safety and advocacy in New Hampshire. Owen encourages everyone to come out to support the riders, enjoy the number of activities happening at the finish line, and volunteer to help the ride run smoothly. — Elyse Carmosino

First-time GSW Century riders in 2018: Anthony (13) and Camden (14). Photo by Jeff Amaro.


Natural connection BioBlitz returns to Odiorne State Park On Saturday, Sept. 21, the Seacoast Science Center’s annual BioBlitz event is back at Odiorne State Park, with unique opportunities to explore local wildlife and habitats. The event is meant to be a creative way to get community members actively thinking about the biodiversity around them. “Bioblitz is one of my favorite events of the year, and it’s such a fun way to inspire people to connect to and appreciate nature,” Director of Mission Kate Leavitt said. “We love being able to offer this unique opportunity to people of all ages.” What makes this event different from most is that attendees are given the chance to assist local biologists with research and add their own contributions to a working database. Odiorne State Park consists of 135 acres and seven distinct habitats that allow ample room for exploration and discovery. According to the Center’s website, over 2,300 species have been identified since 2003, and that number only continues to grow. Last year alone, 350 participants identified over 500 different species, 21 of which hadn’t previously been discovered in the area. “We now have a 16-year dataset of the biodiversity of Odiorne,” Leavitt said. “This information helps us to track change over time, and better informs our understanding of the complex webs of interactions that exist here, and the important services they provide to not only the local ecosystem but to our own health.” The Center stresses the importance of events like this one, where participation by local community members helps to not only monitor biodiversity but also provide educational opportunities for families and generations to come. “It’s a great way to get curious children and adults involved in scientific research. They’re able to make discoveries, share them with experts, and contribute to the overall results of our BioBlitz,” said Leavitt. For those not interested in getting their hands

Courtesy photos.

dirty, the Center’s Gregg Interactive Learning Studio will have plenty to explore indoors. Attendees can learn about the identification process and use microscopes to examine insects, seaweed, and other samples of species that have been collected by local naturalists. This year participants will have another opportunity that’s even more hands-on. For an extra $5 visitors can learn about the anatomy and physiology of squid during a guided dissection session. “It’s fun to go into the learning studio and see kids and visitors hunched over the scopes and talking with the scientists and trying to key out different species,” Leavitt said. The day’s schedule is packed with fun and educational activities from 6 a.m. until 3 p.m., and the Center wants to engage as many community members as possible. Regardless of interests, there’s an event for everyone.

“We go tide pooling, we go out to the salt marsh, we hunt for mammals and mushrooms and insects, we check out the freshwater pond. It’s just an amazing opportunity to check out the biodiversity that exists here in our coastal park,” said Leavitt. According to Leavitt, one of the day’s most popular events is always birdwatching, when some of the more eager attendees rise at the crack of dawn to gather at the park and attempt to identify a handful of the area’s many bird species. Leavitt says this event isn’t only about the birds, however, but also a chance to bond with other like-minded individuals during one of the most peaceful moments of the day. “It’s fun to ride the sun. It rises right over the water. We all kick the day off with coffee, watching the sun rise, and then the birders start their walk,” she said. Anyone interested in attending BioBlitz can register on the day of the event at the Seacoast Science Center or ahead of time online at Fees are $10 per individual or $30 for parties up to six people. For more information, email or call 436-8043, ext. 17. As part of a lesson on responsible research and leaving no trace, participants are asked to bring reusable water bottles and containers in an effort to make the event zero-waste. — Elyse Carmosino BioBlitz Event Schedule 6-7 a.m. - Birding 8 a.m. - Seine Netting 9 a.m. - Plants 10 a.m. - Tide Pooling/Seaweed 11 a.m. - Pond/Insects Noon - Lunch/Special Program 1 p.m. - Mushrooms/Beach Clean-Up 2 p.m. - Mammals 3 p.m. - Salt Marsh/Squid Dissection 128406



Subaru driver haunted by sounds of the past Dear Car Talk: I have a love-hate relationship with my 2015 Subaru Outback. Driving from Michigan to Yellowstone National Park, it made a By Ray Magliozzi rhythmic noise that increased with speed all the way there and back. It made my wife and I very uncomfortable and nervous. Upon our return, the dealership discovered we had defective wheel bearings in both front wheels. I heard the mechanic say something about so much heat buildup that parts were welded together. New parts were installed, and a fairly quiet ride resumed. But I worry about every little noise the car makes now. Could the damage caused by the heat buildup back then affect the car’s performance three years later? Welded parts sounds so bad. I wonder if all I got was a Band-Aid fix. — Tim No, you’re fine, Tim. Although you might consider meditation for the Outback anxiety you’ve developed.

The parts that were defective were your wheel bearings. The wheel bearings attach the axles to the wheels, while allowing the wheels to spin. They’re made of two cages with a bunch of ball bearings in them, and the balls are what allow the wheels to spin easily while the bearings support the weight of the car. If a bearing fails — due to poor manufacturing, mileage or lack of lubrication — it becomes harder to turn, and it gets hotter because of the friction. That’s what happened in your car. That’s why you were hearing that rhythmic noise all the way to Yellowstone and back. You’re a patient guy, Tim. But here’s the good news: A wheel bearing is a completely self-contained unit. Even if it heated up and fried its ball bearings to the point that some of them fused together, nothing else around the wheel bearing would be harmed. Once the bearing was replaced, your car was absolutely fixed, and there’s nothing further to worry about. I’d take them at their word that the original wheel bearings were defective, Tim. They’re gone now. Nothing to worry about. Enjoy your car.

Dear Car Talk: I have a 2017 VW Golf that I purchased used. It had 8,000 miles on it. I noticed one of the tires did not match the others. I figured it had been replaced because of damage. After about six weeks of use, I got a low tire pressure warning. Sure enough, the odd tire was the one that was low. I had winter tires on for five months. The odd tire did not lose any air while it was stored. I switched back to my summer tires and sure enough, after about six weeks, I got a low tire pressure warning again — same tire. The tire has been checked for leaks; none can be found. It appears to only leak when driving. It has been removed from the wheel and remounted, same results. Any suggestions? — Roger It’s not unusual for a tire to only lose air when it’s being driven. When the tire is just sitting in the garage on its rim, off the car, it’s not being deformed. It’s not being subject to all the forces tires are under when the car is stopping, turning and going over bumps. At some point, when that tire is deformed in a certain way, it’s slowly

losing air. Now, there’s a very small chance that the wheel is at fault. If the tire had to be replaced due to damage, it’s possible that damage was from a huge pothole that also bent the rim. Perhaps the previous owner had the rim straightened, but there’s still a slight irregularity. I trust your mechanic — having dismounted and remounted the tire — would have seen anything obvious. And the car is too new to have rust or corrosion around the wheel. You can test the “wheel” theory by moving the suspect tire to another wheel. Swap a couple of tires to different wheels and then see if the leaky tire still leaks. By process of elimination (let’s see ... you have the wheel and you have the tire), you can confidently conclude that it’s a bad tire. I’m pretty sure that’s what it is, Roger. If it were my car, I’d skip the further experimentation and just invest $110 in one new tire. I think that’ll fix it. In the unlikely event that the leak continues on the new tire, bring a friend to hand you tissues to cry into when you go to price a replacement wheel at VW. Visit

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AT SONNY’S TAVERN A New York City-style gastropub and cocktail bar with its own Seacoast twist, Sonny’s Tavern (328 Central Ave., Dover, 343-4332, has a menu that caters to whatever mood you’re in. According to general manager Tyler Lessard, it’s almost like two menus in one — you have your comfort fare like cooked-to-order burgers, sandwiches, truffle fries and hushpuppies, but also the option to treat yourself with slightly more elegant entrees, like stuffed haddock, wild mushroom risotto or dry aged sirloin. The eatery’s New York City influence comes through not only from its rustic look, but in a big way as well from its cocktail menu. Lessard said many of the bar’s nearly two dozen craft cocktails, like the Smoked Manhattan and the Lemon Meringue, use made-from-scratch ingredients and are inspired by the Big Apple cocktail bar experiences of its co-owners, Dean Baltulinis, his wife, Amanda Gouin, and their friend, Mark Ryan. The Scene recently caught up with Lessard to talk about some of his favorite dishes at Sonny’s Tavern and what you can expect when you visit. How long has Sonny’s Tavern been one of the few places around where you around? can get a really nice cocktail even at About six years now. midnight or later, which is really nice for people who get out of work late. What makes Sonny’s Tavern unique? We’re a place that gets a very high What is your personal favorite dish? amount of regulars, and they come for On the gastropub side, our deviled eggs the experience as much as they do for the are a big hit. We have a rotating slate of food. We have an environment that’s very different flavors of the week. We’ve accepting, it’s well-kept and organized, done lemon truffle, Buffalo and tomato and people will often engage with each basil, just to name a few. One of our other. I would say that our nightlife is more savory dishes that I love is our mac different as well. We have karaoke on and cheese. [It has] five different cheese Thursday nights, but then we also have blends with cavatappi pasta. late karaoke from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. We’re


Sonny’s Tavern in Dover. Courtesy photos.

What is a drink or dish that everyone should try? For a cocktail, I would say the Darryl Strawberry. It’s pineapple habaneroinfused tequila, so it’s got a little bit of heat to it. As far as food, you’ve got to try the Sonny’s Burger. It’s a very big burger that we import from one of the best butcheries in Boston. It rotates as far as what goes on the burger. Sometimes will do a red onion aioli that we make from scratch.

What is an essential skill to running a restaurant? Both cooperation and being understanding. We have a small, close-knit group of employees who are driven and goal-oriented, and that is also very key. What is your favorite thing about being on the Seacoast? Just the cultural and environmental aspects. You can go enjoy scenic cities both on the coast and inland, and there’s so much history in a lot of these places, too. — Matt Ingersoll


TRY THIS AT HOME Coconut Candy Bar Biscotti

Coconut Candy Bar Biscotti Makes 28 biscotti 1/3 cup unsalted butter softened 1 1/4 cups sugar 2 eggs 1/2 teaspoon almond extract 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract 2 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup sliced almonds 3/4 cup sweetened, flaked coconut 6 ounces milk or semi-sweet baking chocolate 1 teaspoon coconut oil Extra sliced almonds or flaked coconut Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add coconut and almond extract, mixing well. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt.

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Michele Pesula Kuegler. Courtesy photo.

may be the best paid job I’ve ever had. This week I returned to one of my favorite baked goods: biscotti. There’s so much to like about biscotti. They keep and ship well and can be an indulgent breakfast, a treat with a cup of tea, or a light dessert. Plus, you have so many options for what flavors they’ll hold. These Coconut Candy Bar Biscotti are full of all sorts of yumminess: coconut, almonds and chocolate. Once you make a batch, you may find these are your new favorite cookie! Michele Pesula Kuegler has been thinking about food her entire life. Since 2007, the New Hampshire resident has been sharing these food thoughts and recipes at her blog, Think Tasty. To find more of her recipes, please visit Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and stir to combine. Stir almonds and coconut into dough. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into 10″ x 4″ rectangle, using floured hands. Set each loaf 2″ apart on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until the dough is set. Leaving the oven on, remove the biscotti loaves and cool for 15 minutes on cookie sheet. Using a serrated knife, cut the loaves into diagonal slices, 1/2″ thick. Place slices on cookie sheet with the cut sides down. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes. Turn over slices, and bake for 8 to 9 minutes more. Remove biscotti from oven, and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack. Combine semi-sweet or milk chocolate and coconut oil in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until chocolate glaze is smooth. Using a spoon, spread a layer of glaze on the top of each biscotti. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to set glaze.

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It occurred to me last week, after I submitted my first column (of course), that I didn’t introduce myself. Nope, I jumped right into the rationale for the recipe name. While it was a fun column to write, I’d like to start my second column with a proper introduction. I’m Michele, a self-taught cook who has a great passion for food. I’ve been cooking for almost as long as I can remember, standing on a chair next to my mom and stirring the cookie batter. And I wasn’t just there to make sure I got one of the beaters before my brothers; I truly enjoyed cooking. Fast forward a decade or so and I began cooking and baking on my own. Sometimes it was helping out at home by starting dinner for my mom, and sometimes it was making cookies or brownies to share with friends. As an adult, I’ve always been someone who enjoyed cooking and baking. If there’s time, I almost always prefer to make homemade instead of buying premade stuff from a store. As evidence of that, when my kids were little and slept over at a family member’s home, they came home with a shocking revelation. Did I know that there were frozen waffles that came in a box? Yep, at the ages of about 5 and 7, they only knew of homemade waffles. With all of this excitement for food, a dozen years ago I decided it was time to build a food blog, Think Tasty. Ever since then, I’ve dedicated a portion of my workweek to thinking about and playing with food in my goal to create a new recipe every week. It

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A Napa favorite

In praise of the Neal Family wines




This week’s column is about two of my favorites: Neal Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon and Neal Family Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc. To understand and fully appreciate these wines, you must understand where they come from — a long and rich history of vineyard management and a full, intense involvement in the production of superlative wines. Neal Family Vineyards is the product of three generations residing and farming in Napa Valley, California, a valley that is world-renowned for its wines. Mark Neal and the Neal Family history are firmly embedded in its soil. Mark Neal is a longtime friend who I met on 2003 when he made a trip to Massachusetts. We hit it off immediately, as my parents were vegetable farmers; we had so much in common. During some of New Hampshire’s annual Wine Week celebrations, I’ve had parties for Neal and other California wine makers I’ve gotten to know. Mark Neal is the son of Jack and Athene Neal. In 1968, Jack Neal formed a vineyard management company in Rutherford, in the heart of Napa Valley. His goal was to provide top-quality farming and vineyard management throughout Napa County. Mark has told me that his fondest memories are of his working side by side with his father suckering, tying and planting vines. The company, Jack Neal & Son, Inc., has grown to become one of the largest service providers in Northern California. In 1994 Mark became the owner and manager of Jack Neal & Son. The company has taken a leading role in the application of biodynamic, organic and sustainable farming practices, and 90 percent of the acreage it manages is in compliance with CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) environmentally conscious organization regulations. In 2001 Mark saw the culmination of a dream come true. Neal Family Vineyards completed the construction of a winery on his new home estate high atop Howell Mountain, a product of love, labor, and a commitment to his family business and passion. The winery took nearly three years to complete and Mark oversaw every aspect of the design. It is constructed into the side of the mountain, with barrel aging caves carved horizontally into the hillside. Neal Family Vineyards was created with the intention of producing only the best wines in the Napa Valley. Neal Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, originally priced at $55.99, is currently on sale at $30.99. This wine is classically produced by blending grapes from St. Helena, Howell Mountain and Rutherford on the valley floor. In each vintage, specific characteristics unique to the sites are repeated annually, while each growing season, from year to year, imparts identity with subtle to dramatic differences.

Courtesy photos.

A great way to experience these differences is to experience a vertical tasting of these wines — that is, open bottles from two or three or as many as six different years, and taste them in succession. The differences are astounding! The wine is aged for 20 months in 50 percent new French oak. This wine has a deep redpurple color and firm structure. Aromas include blackberry, cassis, cherry and vanilla. The taste and “feel to the mouth” is intense, but very velvety, with black cherry fruit, some cedar, with a hint of leather, to a complex and long finish. Decanting is recommended and will significantly enhance the enjoyment of this wine. Neal Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, originally priced at $19.99, is currently on sale at $15.99. This wine is made from grapes grown in Rutherford and from the eastern foothills of Howell Mountain in Napa Valley. The grapes from the foothills impart more floral tropical notes to the classic sauvignon blanc character derived from the Rutherford vineyards. Whole cluster pressing, stainless steel fermentation and “sur lie” aging (allowing the wine to sit on the yeast and grape particles created by fermentation) give this wine a very slight yeasty nuance. Classic sauvignon aromatics and flavors of lemon and lime are augmented by the fruit flavors of pear and a bit of pineapple, with some minerality that gives the wine a bright and lively feel to the mouth and finish. The “sur lie” aging imparts a creamy texture not found in other sauvignon blancs. This wine is best served chilled, but not too cold to experience its best aromas and flavors. These wines can only be described as singularly spectacular. This sale is a generous invitation to enjoy these two wholly organically grown wines that are handmade to very high standards. Accept the invitation, and pick up a bottle (or more) of each and enjoy them! Fred Matuszewski is a local architect and a foodie and wine geek, interested in the cultivation of the multiple strains and varieties of grapes and the industry of wine production and sales. Chief among his travels is an annual trip to the wine producing areas of California.

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25 years of beer

Smuttynose celebrates with a festival

David J Murray. Courtesy photo.


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The party is just getting started at Smuttynose Brewing Co. in Hampton. The brewery turns 25 this year, and to celebrate they are having a festival on Saturday, Sept. 21, that includes beer, food, live music, games and more. “For our 25th birthday bash, we wanted the focus to be on the incredible industry that has helped us get to where we are and supported us along the way,” said Alex Weaver, the communications director for Smuttynose. Because there are so many successful breweries in New England, Weaver said that Smuttynose wanted them to be included in the festival too. “We reached out to a bunch of our friends [who we’ve] worked with in the past or whose approach to beer and brewing we just can’t help but admire,” said Weaver. “The result is a roster of participating breweries we’re really proud of and attendees should be very excited about.” Smuttynose Brewing Co. was founded in 1994 in Portsmouth. The name came from Smuttynose Island, part of the Isles of Shoals. The brewery eventually moved to its current location at the historic Towle Farm in Hampton in 2014. At Towle Farm the brewing facility was constructed with sustainability in mind, earning it LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification in 2016. At the time, it was the second and largest brewery to receive the seal. “Smuttynose has always had environmental stewardship close to our heart. [The LEED certification] is a massive undertaking for a brewery of our size but something that’s incredibly important to us,” said Weaver. In the past 25 years Smuttynose has brewed five core beers (including their original Shoals Pale Ale) and six seasonal beers. The brewery also has a Big Beer Series annually with a rotating lineup of limited-edition beers, and uses their original facility in Portsmouth as Smuttlabs to make single-brew batches of experimental beers. Now Smuttynose is preparing a celebration brew specifically for their 25th anniversary.

They will team up with the participating breweries at the festival and make it that day, with plans to release it to the public in October. “The celebration brew is going to be a double IPA riff on our iconic and awardwinning Finestkind IPA,” said Weaver. “It’s been incredible to watch all these brewers put their heads together on the recipe and we’re confident the resulting brew is going to blow people away.” Another aspect of the festival that Smuttynose is excited about is their ongoing partnership with the Black Ale Project. It’s a craft beer initiative that helps to raise money and awareness on behalf of U.S. war veterans. As part of this partnership, a portion of all proceeds from the festival will go to the Warrior Expeditions organization. “We couldn’t think of a better organization to support than Warrior Expeditions,” said Weaver. The New England-based company supports military veterans through the therapeutic power of time spent in the outdoors, such as hiking, biking and paddling. Weaver said that attendees of the festival should be excited for great beer and great people. “Seriously, the attending breweries represent many of the absolute best in the region and you know they’ll be pouring their best and freshest beer for such a major event,” she said. The festival will take place on Sept. 21 at their brewery, at 105 Towle Farm Road in Hampton. It runs from 3 to 6 p.m., but attendees will be able to purchase beer until 9 p.m. Tickets will give you access to sample five-ounce beers from all participating breweries. There will be a full selection of food to choose from, as well as music and games to keep everyone entertained throughout the day and night. The event is for ages 21 and older. VIP access ($45) is limited to 150 people and lets you in an hour early. General admission is $35. For those who don’t plan on sampling beer, a Designated Driver ticket is $10. Tickets are available at — Danielle Roberts


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The Beekeeper of Aleppo: A Novel, by Christy Lefteri (Ballantine Books, 336 pages) In 2016 and 2017 author Christy Lefteri volunteered for UNICEF at a refugee center in Athens, Greece. There she treated droves of Syrians fleeing the brutal takeover of Aleppo. So many people had suffered through the bombing and shooting by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, nearby countries like Macedonia eventually had to close their borders to asylum seekers. Farther European destinations were a pipe dream to families without resources. With The Beekeeper of Aleppo, Lefteri compiles the collective horrors of war into a compelling narrative buoyed by hope but also laced with brutal realism. The novel tells the story of Nuri, a former beekeeper from Syria who has arrived in the United Kingdom with his wife, Afra. Back in Aleppo, Afra had been an artist, but the war took her eyesight and the couple’s child, Sami. The couple is overwhelmed with grief from the loss of their son and their home. Lefteri alternates between the relative calm of the U.K. — where Nuri and Afra are anxiously waiting for their asylum status to be approved — and flashbacks to their journey with lecherous smugglers, treacherous seas and uncertain flights. Throughout her storytelling, Lefteri uses the imagery of bees and gardens to help the reader process Nuri’s emotions. When Nuri finds scant internet access to check emails from his cousin Mustafa, Mustafa talks endlessly of the new bee colony they will establish together in Britain. While Nuri is battling bureaucracy to receive health care for his blind wife, he dutifully attends to a single bee outside that doesn’t have any wings. Even during the throes of escape, Mustafa tells Nuri, “Spend your money wisely—the smugglers will try to get as much out of you as they can, but keep in mind that there is a longer journey ahead. You must learn to haggle. People are not like bees. We do not work together, we have no real sense of a greater good — I’ve come to realize this now.” These passages are lyrically written and provide a much-needed palate cleanser after

scenes of violence and hopelessness. Nuri’s goal throughout the book is to reach Mustafa, but once he arrives he’s afraid to contact the best friend he’s been separated from for so long. The emotional and physical journey for him and Afra is nearly insurmountable, they are entirely different people in the U.K. than they were in Syria. Nuri says, “I do not want Mustafa to know what has become of me. We are finally in the same country, but if we meet he will see a broken man. I do not believe he will recognize me.” Lefteri captures the inner life of a broken man who can’t fully process his own trauma with heartbreaking accuracy. But even after arriving in the U.K., Nuri and Afra’s journey is far from over. Nuri knows the immigration officer “will want to know how we got here and she will be looking for a reason to send us away. But I know that if I say the right things, if I convince her that I’m not a killer, then we will get to stay here because we are the lucky ones, because we have come from the worst place in the world.” They have to be coached on how to describe their suffering convincingly. Even then, the immigration officer tells them, “To stay in the U.K. as a refugee you must be unable to live safely in any part of your own country because you fear persecution there.” Nuri responds, “Any part? Will you send us back to a different part?” He’s met with silence. The plight of refugees is a hard pill to swallow, but a necessary one. When you’re thrust into a first-person account (even a fictional one), you’re forced to reckon with how war affects identity. At one crowded checkpoint, Nuri detachedly observes the other refugees in the market stalls. “Sometimes I forgot that I was one of these people,” he thinks. In Aleppo, Nuri and Afra had a family, their careers and charming nights with friends eating rich food with fresh jasmine and honeycomb. Even after the worst happens — the loss of a child — how could they move on? One can only hope they are met with compassion along the way, but as The Beekeeper of Aleppo shows us, that’s hardly the case. A — Katherine Ouellette


Downton Abbey. Courtesy photo.

The royal family visits the Crawley family in the extremely low-stakes, Christmas-episodelike Downton Abbey.

Since I think most of Downton’s Christmas episodes were tacked on to seasons in the U.S., I’m thinking specifically of the tone and structure of the Christmas Day episodes of fellow U.K.-to-PBS import Call the Midwife, which are usually a blend of one central story, some relatively lightweight subplots and a reminder of who all these people are — all in a relaxed, extremely gentle, “you’ve just cleaned up two tons of wrapping paper and hosted your in-laws; now this is you time” presentation. This movie (or at least the screening I saw of it) literally begins with actors Jim Carter, who plays Carson the longtime and now retired Downton butler, and Phyllis Logan, who plays housekeeper and recent Carson wife

Mrs. Hughes, talking directly to the camera and running through the basics of all the characters, hitting such series highlights as the time Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) had a man die in her bed, the time Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) had an out-of-wedlock child by a man who was killed by 1920s Nazis (the clips reel really highlights the soapiness of this series) and the many zingers of Dowager Countess Violet (Maggie Smith). Then the movie begins with what felt like hours of a shot that tracks the progress of a letter from Buckingham Palace to Downton, where current butler Thomas Barrow (Robert James-Collier) delivers it to the earl, Robert Crawley (Hugh Bonneville). The king (Simon Jones) and queen (Geraldine James) are coming to Downton for a parade, a dinner and to stay the night; the next day, the family will join the royals at the nearby-ish estate of Princess Mary (Kate Phillips) for a ball.

And that’s basically it. Keep the royals tolerably happy for not quite 24 hours — that is the task of the Crawleys. Unlike previous Downton parties, nothing really hangs on the success of this event — Mary and Edith aren’t trying to catch husbands, nobody’s trying to talk their American mother Cora’s (Elizabeth McGovern) family into doling out more cash. This lack of any serious plot makes the movie feel a bit like it’s running at half speed but also keeps things very gentle. Along the edges, we have Tom Branson (Allen Leech), who manages the Downton estate with Mary and is the widower of her younger sister Sybil. Tom meets Lucy (Tuppence Middleton), the lady’s maid to Crawley cousin Lady Bagshaw (Imelda Staunton), a woman with whom Violet has a beef. Over what? Who knows but there is an extremely obvious secret surrounding Lucy. And speaking of beef, below stairs,

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Downton Abbey (PG)

the Downton staff all have a beef with the high-handed royal household staff. Mary makes the situation worse by bringing Carson out of retirement to “help” Barrow, who in a fun scene basically tells the family to stuff it because he’s not going to be involved in this royal nonsense if he’s going to be pushed aside. (This leaves him free to star in his own minor subplot with the one good-guy royal staff person, a king’s valet.) Eventually, other staff members are sick of getting stepped on and go to polite, passive-aggressive battle with the royal staffers. Our warring Downton-ers: valet Bates (Brendan Coyle), his wife lady’s maid Anna (Joanne Froggatt), “oh right, her” other lady’s maid Baxter (Raquel Cassidy), sad-sack-ish Molesley (Kevin Doyle), footman or something Andy (Michael Fox), cook Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) and Daisy (Sophie McShera), who I think tips the scales into being more funny than annoying here. She seems to speak for the modern audience on the “waste of time” aspect of all the to-do around the royal visit. This movie is just fine. It didn’t need to exist, it doesn’t really tell us anything new about the characters or their futures. It’s enjoyable fluff, an extra helping of scone and cream. My biggest knock on this movie is actually that it’s a movie. Since comfort seems to be both the point and the ruling ethos, I would have preferred to watch this snugged on my own couch. As a movie in a theater, I guess it gave me the fun of listening to everybody else in the audience laugh at the dowager countess’ barbs. B Rated PG for thematic elements, some suggestive material and language, according to the MPAA. Directed by Michael Engler with a screenplay by Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey is two hours and two minutes long and distributed by Focus Features.

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Human touch

In new album, film, Franti strives to stay grounded The question of where a song comes from is answered eloquently by Michael Franti in the documentary released alongside his latest album. “Nobody Cries Alone” was written the morning Franti learned that his teenage son’s kidney disease had worsened. While cameras roll, he breaks down in the studio. Then, encouraged by his producers, Niko Moon and Ben Simonetti, Franti collects himself, and creates inspiring music. It’s a revealing moment, and one that Franti still has trouble watching, even after seeing Stay Human with audiences over a dozen times. “Whenever that part of the film comes up, I always sort of curl down into my seat because that was a really hard day for me, so the emotions kind of come back up,” he said in a recent phone interview. He noted that many fans have told him that the scene resonates with them. “That’s why we left it in, because I really wanted people to see what my process is for taking emotions that are inside me, and how they become songs,” he said. Most of the film focuses on people who inspire and help Franti “stay human” — a friend living with ALS, an environmental activist producing sustainable bamboo products on formerly deforested land, a South African charity steering vulnerable children toward education. Its genesis was Robin Lim, a midwife in Indonesia who had founded free health clinics in poverty-stricken world regions. When Franti reached out to interview her in 2013 for a short Facebook clip, he learned she was in the Philippines, assisting typhoon victims. “Robin was like, ‘Well, I’d love to [but] there’s just been this huge hurricane. … If you want to come here, we can film,’” he said. “So that is what I did, and when

Michael Franti. Courtesy photo.

I was done with the interview, I realized there’s so much incredible inspiration in the story that it needs to be a longer form.” As he traveled the world, performing infectiously upbeat music with his band Spearhead, running the wish-granting Do It for the Love foundation with his wife Sara, and hosting clinics at Soulshine Bali, a yoga retreat hotel named after his

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“When I looked back at the cut that I had done, I was like, in order to really understand how they affected me, it’s important to see my journey and where I have come from,” he said. Franti offers an affirmation — one of many — at the film’s end, when he says, “Our struggles are our greatest gift.” Asked to give an example from his own life, Franti spoke of being given up for adoption at birth, and growing up in a mixed race household. “I never felt comfortable in the family I was in,” he said. Though it’s something he still wrestles with, he’s turned it to his advantage. “I have learned that some of the things that I thought were my weaknesses at the beginning ended up being my strengths. One of those is that I’ve always been a very empathetic person,” he said. “I learned that could be a strength in what I do as a musician and as a filmmaker. … My empathy is my superpower.” Another recurring topic in the documentary is rising above cynicism in a coarsening world. “Like anybody else, I get up in the morning and it really is an effort,” Franti said. “But I’m somebody who, again, believes in the power of optimism, and everywhere I go throughout the world, I see billions of people doing billions of little things to make billions of people’s lives better every day. We have to realize that this 2001 breakout hit, Franti kept finding battle is exactly that; it’s one that requires new inspiration — and filming it. The tenacity and love and commitment.” result was a five-year odyssey. — Michael Witthaus “I kept thinking, man, I should add this to this film. That’s how it came to be that Michael Franti & Spearhead I connected and told the story of all those When: Friday, Sept. 20, 8 p.m. other people,” Franti said. Where: Casino Ballroom, 169 Ocean As the reels began to stack up, it Blvd., Hampton Beach became clear to Franti that the project Tickets: $39 at needed to delve into his own life.

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“Be a Superhero” — they all wear one Across 1 Technique taught at the Groundlings and UCB 7 Here, in Paris 10 Like 7 or 13 13 Airport serving Tokyo

14 Magnetic metal 15 “La ___ en Rose” 16 ___ Berry Farm (California theme park) 17 1991 De Niro thriller, or what you shouldn’t have when answering the

theme clues? 19 “Caribbean” plant more commonly called allspice 21 Holy Roman leader (abbr.) 22 Golf course supply 23 Piano exercises 26 “I’m off!” 28 Chiwetel Ejiofor, in 2019’s “The Lion King” 31 Donut maneuver 32 Start of many rap names 35 Cracker in sleeves 37 ___ Wonder (Robin’s nickname) 38 Puzzle activities where you want to leave? 41 Film street of nightmares 43 Turn from bad to mad, maybe? 44 Luau paste 45 Inventive Goldberg


47 “Eat It or ___ It” (Smosh Pit show on YouTube) 49 “Diary of ___ Black Woman” (2005 film) 53 Phobic 55 Old saying 58 Drink that may be pale or Scotch 59 Key ingredients in boba tea 63 1990s web browser now owned by Verizon 65 Silent film’s successor 66 Olive loved by Popeye 67 Scott Turow memoir about law school 68 More malevolent 69 Small, in Scotland 70 Former M&M hue 71 Can’t stand Down 1 Type of computer printer 2 Bahrain’s capital (not to be confused with a Central American country) 3 On time 4 “One Day at a Time” star Moreno 5 Super Bowl XXV MVP Anderson 6 Explorer ___ da Gama 7 “Dies ___” (“Day of Wrath”) 8 Duracell battery feature 9 Unskillful 10 Adds vocals to, maybe 11 ___ de los Muertos

12 ___ Spiegel 14 Gathering of the Juggalos band, to fans 18 Family conflict 20 Freemium game breaks, often 24 “Achtung Baby” co-producer Brian 25 Tough section of a jigsaw puzzle, maybe 27 “Happy Days” hangout 29 Minotaur’s island 30 Go on the radio 33 Neat drink’s lack 34 “The People’s Princess” 36 Where zebras may be spotted 38 Fortify for fighting 39 Pizzeria order 40 “Pulp Fiction” role 41 “Nurse Jackie” settings 42 “Star Trek” captain Jean-___ Picard 46 Notable timespans 48 Org. with wands and X-ray machines 50 The Duchess of Sussex’s original surname 51 Partners 52 Dry zone 54 Center of Disney World 56 Director Michael of the “Up” series (now at “63 Up” in 2019) 57 Make on a loom 60 Amenable 61 Cartoon unit 62 Hit the ground 63 Right this moment 64 Knack for detail © 2019 Matt Jones

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BEACH BUM FUN HOROSCOPES By Holly, The Seacoast Area's Leading Astrologer

• Aries (March 21-April 19): You’re the smartest person in the room, but only because the place is filled with postal workers. • Taurus (April 20-May 20): Reports of your demise will be greatly exaggerated. Likewise reports of your intelligence. • Gemini (May 21-June 20): You’ll be beside yourself today, which should make it easier to talk to yourself.

• Cancer (June 21-July 22): Today your friends will help you out. Specifically, they’ll help you out the door. • Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Someone will try to make you look bad this week, but no one will notice any difference. • Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Time to forge ahead with new plans, instead of relying on plain old forgery. • Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Steer clear of unpredictable people. Hey, I’ve just decided to fly to Paris! • Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Moderation will buy you respect. And if that doesn’t work, there’s always cash. • Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Stick to what you do best, although it’s possible you’re just lousy at everything. • Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): You’ll be tempted to take on too much, especially at dessert. • Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Opportunity knocks this week. Unfortunately, it will be an opportunity for you to get robbed. • Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): Avoid pushy people. And you really should if you know what’s good for you.



Fill in the grid so that every row, every column, and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9. Answers will appear in next week's paper.




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YOU’VE GOT TO HIDE YOUR PUZZLE AWAY Across 1. Siouxsie & The Banshees got ‘Pulled To __’ 5. What Paul & Linda McCartney were 9. ‘95 Lisa Loeb album to go against heads on a quarter? 14. Cornershop had a ‘Brimful Of’ it 15. First Smashing Pumpkins video 16. U2 ‘__ The End Of The World’

17. Part of wine glass held at record deal toast 18. Might make a long one from tent to front row 19. Old school heartthrob Nelson 20. Cody Jinks “I’m __ middle and that’s just fine” (9,2,3) 23. What John Lennon did to ‘Your Love Away’

24. Warped tour sisters Meg & __ 25. Jimmy Buffett might play on sandy ones 29. Arctic Monkeys ‘__ __ You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ (1,3) 31. Acronymous ‘A Fire Inside’ band 34. Sam & Dave ‘Hold On, I’m __’ 35. In New Jersey, Bruce Springsteen is from the Long Branch this 36. Band members’ fragile self images 37. Signature Hawthorne Heights song (4,2,3,6) 40. ‘05 musical film w/Rosario Dawson 41. Blocks rain coming down on outdoor stage 42. A compound interval w/an octave plus a 2nd 43. Silversun Pickups see through a ‘Lazy __’ 44. Beck ‘Midnight Vultures’ hit ‘Sexx __’


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45. ‘98 Fastball album ‘__ __ Pain Money Can Buy’ (3,3) 46. Kinks ‘One __ The Road’ 47. What you do in the Coachella sun, slang 48. Beatles debut US single/debut UK album (6,6,2) 56. Bob Dylan ‘__ __ Behold’ (2,3) 57. Got had by ‘Runaround Sue’ 58. What Brian Epstein did to Beatles, slang 59. Liquid measurement of one of Sublime’s ‘40’ 60. Ethereal ‘Shepard Moons’ singer 61. Michael Buble ‘How Can You __ A Broken Heart’ 62. ‘Human Clay’ Scott Stapp band 63. ‘Who Goes First?’ __ Atomic Dustbin 64. Beatles “You say goodbye, __ __ hello” (1,3) Down 1. Phil Lynott’s 4-string instrument 2. Aerosmith “They tell it like it __ __ everybody they meet” (2,2) 3. Van Morrison’s ‘Here Comes The Night’ band 4. Whitney Houston ‘__ Script, Different Cast’ 5. Bob Marley “__ __ love that I’m feeling?” (2,4) 6. ‘04 Willie Nelson song to sleep to? 7. Hanoi Rocks ‘Don’t You __ Leave Me’ 8. Heart ‘All I Wanna Do Is __ Love To You’ 9. Genesis classic ‘__ __ On Again’ (4,2) 10. Robinson of Viva Voce 11. Drummer enemy while playing

12. Some __ It Hot 13. Fronted Family Stone 21. ELO ‘__ __ Was A Boy’ (4,1) 22. Like model band 25. Movie music 26. ‘12 Lumineers smash (2,3) 27. Guns & Roses ‘Sweet Child __ __’ (1,4) 28. ‘Mama Weer All Crazee Now’ Quiet __ 29. Heartthrob might have a lot of them in the fire 30. UK sing/songer in 60s and 70s Jansch 31. Johnny Rivers ‘Secret __ Man’ 32. The Verve’s fourth album, go figure 33. Donovan lost her and now wonders ‘Where __ __’ (2,3) 35. “These are __ __ of my favorite things” (1,3) 36. Demonic Mercyful Fate song? 38. ‘99 Powerman 5000 album ‘Tonight The __ Revolt!’ 39. ‘Yellow Submarine’ song ‘__ __ Northern Song’ (4,1) 44. Early Primal Scream hit that made them rich? 45. Big indoor venues 46. Might be sitting on this, for so-so show 47. Roger Waters band Pink __ 48. Def Leppard ‘__ Some Sugar On Me’ 49. The Beatles visited a ‘Penny’ one 50. Bass amp Mike Gordon of Phish uses from God’s garden? 51. To yearn for new tunes 52. 18-wheeler used for tour 53. Babyface ‘Everytime I Close My __’ 54. Norwegian popster Maria 55. Reggae’s ‘Killer On The Rampage’ Grant 56. 80s rapper Tone __ © 2019 Todd Santos



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Redneck chronicles

Melinda Frye Toney, 44, of Oak Hill, West Virginia, was charged with wanton endangerment on Aug. 22 for brandishing a pistol in the parking lot of the New Life Apostolic Church on May 11. It seems Melinda, wife of Pastor Earl Toney, and Lori Haywood, 29, wife of Youth Pastor David Haywood, had an ongoing conflict, according to a police spokesman. Fayette County Sheriff’s Detective Kevin Willis told the Register-Herald of Beckley, West Virginia, that the “straw that broke the camel’s back” was an argument over a T-shirt Lori Haywood wore to a church event. The two couples met at the church that day to try to hash out the wives’ differences, but, said Willis, “(I)t just made it worse, I think.” Melinda Toney left the meeting and went to her car, where she retrieved her firearm. When Pastor Earl moved to stop his wife, the gun discharged. Det. Willis confirmed that Melinda Toney had a concealed weapon permit.

Serving the public

The Sharonville, Ohio, police department found a way to turn a resident’s misconceptions about marijuana laws in Hamilton County into a teaching moment on Sept. 3. The department posted on its Facebook page a recording of a call received on Aug. 25 from “Mr. Marilyn Manson,” who complained that “two Sharonville cops ... stole my f-ing weed last night.” The angry man insisted that anything “under 100 grams is cool, right?” but was, in fact, wrong. (It is legal to possess up to 100 grams of marijuana in the city of Cincinnati, but that law does not cover the entire county — including Sharonville.) The officers who confiscated the weed were arresting the man’s wife, whom he identified as Marilyn Manson during the call, when they found the contraband in her purse. In a second call to police, the caller also complained that the officers had taken his carryout order from Red Lobster. “It was a fresh meal of Cajun f-ing pasta!” he ranted. Fox19 reported that a police supervisor later met with the man to clarify the laws about marijuana and explain what had happened to his dinner.

Repeat offender

ating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, along with possession of a controlled substance (for the Tylenol 3 found in her bag). Police released her, but hours later she was seen driving away from a liquor store in her car. Officers stopped her again and found her to still be under the influence, they said. Police also said they learned Needleman-O’Neill didn’t have a valid driver’s license, hadn’t registered her vehicle, and had lost her right to drive after the first offense earlier in the day. She was charged with additional crimes and is scheduled for two court appearances on Sept. 17.

Police report

A Texas motorcyclist with the memorable nickname “Baby Jesus” taunted Blue Mound police on Aug. 10 as they tried to pull him over. Police posted dashcam video of Jesus Sebastian Gomez doing wheelies and standing on his motorcycle while weaving in and out of traffic, eventually getting away from officers. Fox News reported that witnesses viewing the video helped identify the rider, and police issued a statement urging Gomez to turn himself in. “(Y)ou need to come speak with us regarding this incident or we can come to you. (We could have a come to ‘Baby Jesus’ meeting),” they offered. Gomez surrendered to the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office on Sept. 4 and was charged with evading arrest.

earlier this year for using his superpower — a photographic memory — for apparent evil. According to police, Taniguchi was able to memorize more than 1,300 numbers from credit cards as people used them at his shop register, SoraNews reported. He admitted to investigators that he would remember the name, card number, expiration date and security code, then write the information down as the customer walked away, later using the accounts to make online purchases of items he would then sell. Police, who tracked him to his address by using orders for two expensive handbags, found a notebook with hundreds of accounts listed.

Weird science

• In the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, 74-year-old Mangayamma Yaramati gave birth to twin girls on Sept. 5. Yaramati and her 82-year-old husband had wanted children for years, but they had been unable to conceive. “We tried many times and saw numerous doctors,” Yaramati said. “So this is the happiest time of my life.” The Washington Post reported that Yaramati had already gone through menopause, so a donor’s egg was fertilized with her husband’s sperm, then implanted in her uterus. Her doctors, who claimed she is the oldest person in the

world to give birth, delivered the twins via cesarean section. • Residents of Kaysville, Utah, have reported two incidents when a drone has approached them, identified itself as belonging to the Kaysville Police Department and issued directions to them. On Sept. 8, a drone told people walking on the campus of Davis Technical College to evacuate, although it didn’t specify why. Earlier, a couple walking their dog were followed by a drone that told them to take their dog inside, Kaysville police officer Alexis Benson told Fox 13. Benson said even if the department owned a drone (which it doesn’t), it wouldn’t use it to issue evacuations or make commands. She also warned that impersonating the police is a crime.

Wait, what?

New for 2019, Mattel is releasing a Dia de los Muertos Barbie. That’s right, Day of the Dead Barbie, celebrating the traditional Mexican holiday honoring ancestors. She arrives wearing a fulllength embroidered dress and traditional skull-like face-painting representing the dead. Dia de los Muertos is celebrated from Oct. 31 through Nov. 2, and the doll’s designer told ABC7 he wants to expand awareness about the holiday. Visit

What’s in a name?

Rep. Raul Ruiz, 47, a California Democrat representing the 36th Congressional District, may face an unusual opponent in the November 2020 election: GOP candidate Raul Ruiz, 57, a construction contractor. “I want to give the citizens another option,” challenger Ruiz told Politico. “I’ll say this. I had the name first.”

Least competent criminal

Gary Lambe, 54, made the job of the Toronto (Canada) Police Service easier on Aug. 23 when he allegedly made a photocopy of his face during a break-in at a commercial property there. Police said the suspect “ate some food items” and created the picture of his face — which he left behind. Fox News reported that police eventually arrested Lambe, who was already in custody for an unrelated incident, and charged him with breaking and entering and failing to comply with probation.

Police in Wilton, Connecticut, told WVIT they scored a two-fer on Sept. 7, thanks to 64-year-old Ellen NeedlemanO’Neill. The woman was arrested that afternoon after a caller alerted police of a driver who hit a parked car in a parking lot. Officers conducted field sobriety Most competent criminal tests, which they said Needleman-O’Neill Yusuke Taniguchi, 34, a shopping mall failed, and she was charged with oper- clerk in Koto City, Japan, was arrested SEACOAST SCENE | SEPTEMBER 19 - 25, 2019 | PAGE 38

PET OF THE WEEK The New Hampshire SPCA in Stratham has more than just cats and dogs available for adoption; there are also a wide variety of small animals looking for homes. That includes Marley, a 2-year-old male ferret who is super friendly and totally adorable! Marley likes to be the center of all human attention and doesn’t love sharing his space with other ferrets, so he would do best in a single ferret household. He is very clean in his cage and is litterbox trained. Ferrets are very loving; they can form strong bonds with their people. They are also quite inquisitive and do best with families that will give them plenty of attention and interaction. Stop in and meet this sweet boy. To help encourage small animal adoptions, take 50 percent off your adoption fee on all small animals through Sep. 30. Visit






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