Mass. gas fires

Firefighters from Kingston, N.H., battle a blaze in North Andover, Mass., on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018.

"This can’t happen again,’’ U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan told federal officials last week at a hearing on a disastrous natural gas pipeline explosion that rocked Lawrence, Mass., in September.

Hassan was making the point that in fact such an event CAN still happen, in part because recent federal safety mandates have yet to be enacted. She told the head of a federal agency that it is way behind on rules implementation.

She asked for, and got, a commitment to meet the congressional mandates and would share findings of the Columbia Gas investigation with states.

We have heard such promises before, so it is incumbent on Sen. Hassan, as well as New Hampshire state officials, to stay on the issue. For instance, one possible cause for the Lawrence explosion was that a fully certified professional engineer was not supervising a pipeline project on the day of the accident that killed one young man, destroyed homes and displaced many.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is calling for a new state law with such a requirement. Are New Hampshire regulators confident that engineers are in place here?

We will give Sen. Hassan credit for bearing down on the issue rather than grandstanding like some of her colleagues, who seemed more interested in the pay of utility brass.

It may be that Hassan’s experience as a governor has her better prepared to look at the nuts and bolts of such an issue.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

We hold no brief for Manchester resident Joshua Fields, a convicted felon who is considered by a judge to be a danger to the public. But that judge, Landya McCafferty of the U.S. District Court, still saw fit to grant the man early release from prison.

Heroes are people who put their lives in peril in order to save others. We pause this weekend to remember the heroes of Sept. 11, 2001, along with all who perished.

Friday, September 10, 2021
Wednesday, September 08, 2021

State Sen. Sharon Carson, R-Londonderry, is on the same track as we have been regarding efforts to strengthen public oversight of police misconduct cases. We have argued that rather than trying to reinvent the wheel with an entire new entity, the powers that be should look to use the existin…

Sunday, September 05, 2021

One of the men who conspired in the brutal execution of Americans, including New Hampshire journalist and humanitarian James Foley, has pleaded guilty for his crimes. His life will be spared and his confinement humane, something he and his fellow ISIS butchers never granted others.

New Hampshire lost a special citizen in Judge Kenneth McLaughlin last week. In his era, which lasted a long time, he played a role in New Hampshire aviation, in Scouting, in the judiciary, and as a contributor to Nashua and New Hampshire civic life.