Health and Environment

We live in a beautiful place, and I'd like to work to keep it that way.  From the quality of our groundwater and surface water to global warming these are important issues to face in a proactive manner.

The health of a community can be measured based on many factors, including environmental contamination, waste management, community-based programs, designation and use of green space, public transportation and health care programs.  This paper presents a nice summary of ways to measure environmental metrics of a community.

Here's a summary of some of the issues that I think are important to our Seacoast Community:

  • Health and Environment - As an invited member of the Governor's Task Force for the Pediatric Cancer Cluster Investigation, we are working to raise awareness of environmental issues that could trigger health impacts.  These include air, groundwater, surface water and sediment contamination.  As an environmental consultant for 25 years I have an ability to analyze and interpret conditions that may affect the health and well being of our Seacoast residents and be a part of preparing recommendations to the governor for next steps. 
  • Sea-Level Rise - Living in this vibrant Seacoast community makes us vulnerable to future flooding due to sea level rise.  This is an important issue that needs to be tackled to maintain our way of life, property values and safety.  Current estimates indicate that Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is vulnerable to flooding with sea level rises with high tides projected to cover 27% of the shipyard by the year 2100.  Similar issues will be encountered relating to Seabrook Nuclear power plant.  Both of these issues represent a future national security risk as well as a risk to the residents of our seacoast communities, and we must do our part to combat sea-level rise by reducing our environmental footprint.
  • Environmental Planning - Planning ahead for overall community health is crucial for maintaining our beautiful and vibrant seacoast community.  This includes addressing environmental issues, making good decisions for future use and designation of green space and our public schools and developing community-based programs that encourage community involvement.
  • Seabrook Radiation Monitoring - It is shocking that New Hampshire does not have any real-time monitoring of radiation from Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant, especially considering Massachusetts does. While it is certainly the state's responsibility to provide the funding for a monitoring system, and thus for keeping our families safe and healthy, I am not waiting for the state; I have started a private fundraiser to establish a monitoring system in New Hampshire, which you can find here.

 

Education

I believe that education is a top priority for the future of our country.  Every child deserves a chance at a high quality, affordable education, including both K-12 and higher education.

Our community is aging and the numbers of K-12 based children in our communities are on the decline.  This is likely connected to higher education costs, increasing property taxes and real estate values which dissuade young families from moving in.  With a focus on the future we can continue to provide a high level of public education to our community which in turn, is a large part of maintaining high property values.

 

"Community schools, a decades-old idea revitalized for the 21st century, place schools at the center of communities, making them hubs around which the community gathers its resources to help attain better outcomes for students, their families, and surrounding neighborhoods. In these schools, which focus on the whole child, community resources are strategically organized to support students and connect to the community."     -(Potapchuk, 2013)

 

I believe it is crucial to maintain community-based schools in New Hampshire and our Seacoast community.  I was struck by a speech given by a local educator at this year's graduation ceremony regarding the successful graduation of a student from a very difficult background that was supported by the community and educators.  This is the model of the success that we have to continue to develop in our community. Innovation is required to maintain the health and financial viability of our community-based schools, such as exploring leasing agreements with specialists or incorporating elder programs into schools to assist with youth education.

The proximity to the University of New Hampshire in Durham greatly influences our seacoast communities. Youth and their families visit and attend the school, are an active source of workers that fuel our tourist-based economy, and often they stay in our community upon completing their education, providing growth in younger populations.  But unfortunately, funding for higher education in New Hampshire has been on the decline since 2010 (Figure 1).

source: http://www.demos.org

As a result, tuition costs for public universities in New Hampshire have increased substantially to make up the difference (Figure 2).  UNH is one of the top 4 most expensive state schools for in-state tuition in the country for the 2010-2011 school year. Tuition rates have continued to rise in the past several years with a 2.6% between 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 for in-state tuition (see figure below).  Increases like these drive our youth out of the state and out of the seacoast community, contributing to the aging of our Seacoast population.

source: (http://www.demos.org)

 

Committing to prioritizing government funding for in-state and out-of-state tuition for our public university system is crucial to bringing in and keeping youth as active participants in our vibrant Seacoast community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1. University of New Hampshire tuition rates between 2012-2013 and 2015-2016.

(Source: National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/)


 

 

Mental Health and Opioid Crisis in NH (coming soon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What issues are important to you?

Contact Form

Required fields are marked with a

 

Security Question:

What is 3+4?

Political advertisement paid for and approved by the candidate.
Campaign Websites by Online Candidate