Can NH shape its own destiny?

To the editor:

New Hampshire is a state I love. My family has lived here for more than 10 generations. Therefore, it truly saddens me that my own son and daughter are among a generation that is vanishing before our eyes. The harsh reality is that other states are doing a better job providing affordable education, housing and healthcare as well as opportunities for employment.

Peter K. Francese, the visionary demographer from Exeter, understood this disturbing trend a decade ago when he teamed up with filmmaker Jay B. Childs and writer Lorraine Stuart Merrill to produce the prescient documentary and companion book, “Communities & Consequences: The Unbalancing of New Hampshire’s Human Ecology, and What We Can Do about It.” The compelling stories reveal the complex issues underlying the numbers through interviews with families, businesses, and local and state leaders.

Joined by research director Caroline Amport Piper, Mr. Francese and his colleagues are now in the process of developing a sequel, “Communities & Consequences II: Solutions for a State at Risk.” The 30-minute documentary will be accompanied by additional resource materials available online. Individuals and organizations interested in supporting this initiative – through sharing their stories or financial sponsorships – are encouraged to contact Mr. Francese directly at

Personally, I believe that we cannot shape our own destiny without learning from our own experiences. As President Coolidge once said, “We review the past not in order that we may return to it but that we may find in what direction, straight and clear, it points into the future.”

Tracy W. Messer

Categories: Letters to the Editor